VOCALIST JAMES DURBIN ANNOUNCES DEBUT DURBIN ALBUM

 (photo credit Heidi Durbin)

“THE BEAST AWAKENS” DUE FEBRUARY 12, 2021

FIRST SINGLE, ‘KINGS BEFORE YOU’ FT. CHRIS JERICHO & PHIL DEMMEL OUT NOW

Hailing from the shores of Santa Cruz, CA, USA, modern heavy metal revivalist James Durbin is on the verge of releasing his boldest, heaviest album to date with the announcement of the debut album from DURBIN, “The Beast Awakens”. Coming February 12, 2021 via Frontiers Music Srl, fans can get their first taste of the album with the release of the single ‘Kings Before You’ featuring Chris Jericho (Fozzy) and Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence). Listen to the song on your favorite streaming platform or on YouTube HEREhttps://youtu.be/7ojvtjwZYgM

Pre-order/save the album HEREhttps://orcd.co/beastawakens

James Durbin is finally releasing the album he has always wanted to over the course of his decade long recording career. Combining his love of all things DIO, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, Durbin set out to craft his own signature strain of fantasy inspired power metal for his debut Durbin album, “The Beast Awakens”. 

“I’ve found a home for my creativity with Frontiers. They really share my vision for the type of metal I wish to create and we’re all excited to see where it will lead,” 

says Durbin. ‘Kings Before You,’ the first single released from Durbin’s forthcoming album, features guest vocals from Fozzy vocalist (and AEW Wrestling star) Chris Jericho and renowned guitar wizard Phil Demmel (BPMD, ex-Machine Head).

For each of the solo sections on the remainder of the album tracks, Durbin called upon his own axe wielding brethren to help out. Jon Yadon Jr., Marc Putnam, Dylan Rose, and Nick Gallant all contributed guitar solos for the album. Due to the situation with COVID-19, the album was recorded largely remotely, with only Durbin himself, alongside his producer Ellison, occupying the recording studio. Durbin says,

“the fact that the album sounds the way it does, with the way it was recorded, is a testament to the passion of everyone involved. I am very grateful for all the love and care that was given to my songs and I can’t wait to unleash my metal upon the world.”

All the songs included on “The Beast Awakens” were written solely by Durbin himself. “2020 has been such a strange year for all of us. Coincidentally, our shelter in place order happened just as I had begun writing for the album. It really forced me to write by myself and not rely on others to write the riffs for me. And then to write the lyrics and melodies too,” tells Durbin. 

Once the songs were written and demoed by Durbin, he brought in the rhythm section of virtuoso drummer Mike Vanderhule (Y&T) and master bassist Barry Sparks (Ted Nugent, Scorpions, Dokken, B’z). With Durbin handling the album’s rhythm guitars, his core lineup was complete. 

James Durbin is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Santa Cruz, California. Many associate his name with his appearance on Season 10 of American Idol (2011), where he was unabashedly flying the flag for heavy metal. In fact, on the finale, he appeared with undisputed metal gods Judas Priest for rousing renditions of “Livin’ After Midnight” and “Breaking the Law” and also appeared with legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde. This was followed by Durbin’s debut album, 2011’s “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster” that blended a mix of hard hitting riffs, vulnerable lyrics, and Durbin’s signature scream. James has also worked and performed alongside many incredible musicians including Stevie Wonder, Don Was, Sheryl Crow, Tom Jones, Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, Bob Babbitt of The Funk Brothers, and Steel Panther, just to name a few. 

Durbin’s signature vocal prowess and powerful stage presence have earned him stamps of approval and praise from rock and metal royalty like Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar, Rob Halford, and more. He has four full length albums to his name, in addition to lending his voice to a handful of various albums.
James Durbin is an artist on the rise and a performer you don’t want to miss. Expect his debut record under the name “Durbin” in early 2021. Fans of heavy metal revivalists like Haunt, Eternal Champion, Sumerlands, Enforcer, and the like, as well as hard rock and classic heavy metal fans in general are in for a treat!

Lineup:
James Durbin – Vocals. Rhythm Guitars
Jon Yadon Jr., Marc Putnam, Dylan Rose, & Nick Gallant – Guitars
Barry Sparks – Bass
Mike Vanderhule – Drums

FOO FIGHTERS DEBUT NEW SINGLE “SHAME SHAME” ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

STREAMING NOW AT http://foofighters.co/Shame   

NEW ALBUM MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT http://foofighters.co/MAM  

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

Foo Fighters just transformed Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in to a rock n roll party, with the first ever performance of their smoldering new single “Shame Shame” on the November 7 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by friend of the band Dave Chappelle.

“Shame Shame” is the first taste of the band’s forthcoming 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, due out February 5, 2021 on Roswell Records/RCA Records.

Medicine at Midnight is available for pre-order as of… midnight (give or take)—including a limited edition purple swirl vinyl version, available exclusively at http://smarturl.it/FFOnlineStore.

Produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, engineered by Darrell Thorp and mixed by Mark “Spike” Stent, Medicine at Midnight packs the following nine songs into a tight-ass 37 minutes:

     Making a Fire
     Shame Shame
     Cloudspotter
     Waiting on a War
     Medicine at Midnight
     No Son of Mine
     Holding Poison
     Chasing Birds
     Love Dies Young

Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, and Rami Jaffee.

METAL VETERANS BUTCHER BABIES DEBUT AN EVOLVED NEW SOUND IN NEW SINGLE “BOTTOM OF A BOTTLE”

EXCLUSIVELY PREMIERED WITH LOUDWIRE
BAND ALSO RELEASES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WINE‘BLOOD RED’ CALLED “BUTCHER BURGUNDY”

Metal mainstays, recording artists Butcher Babies today release their first new single in three years called “Bottom Of A Bottle” with celebratory new wine to accompany the release called Butcher Babies branded ‘blood red’ wine. Both commemorate their 10-year anniversary as a tour de force band. 

The new song premiered on Loudwire and in lauding the song said, “‘Bottom of a Bottle’ showcases a more melodic side of the Butcher Babies, and is sure to attract both rock and metal fans alike.”
“Bottom Of A Bottle” marks a musical evolution for this seasoned band. The new sound is a bit of a departure from the band’s extreme metal history,  taking their signature sound and building on it to create something entirely new for listeners.

Distorted guitars and driving drums still back the powerful vocal duo of Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, but the band has moved to a catchier and more melodic sound. 

In talking about the new song, Carla tells Loudwire, “Haven’t we all been at the bottom of the bottle at some point? Name a better way to commiserate about it than by writing an anthem that turns the heartache into a celebration. We are pumped to finally release some new tunes that showcase a different side of who we are, yet remain uniquely Butcher Babies.”

Heidi continues, “This song is a product of the environment it was created in. At that moment, I was the guy at the end of the bar telling stories from yester-year. I’ve been there a time or two so the lyrics just flowed. This song holds a special place in my heart because of that exact moment. We’ve been sitting on this song for a long time so I can not wait for our fanbase to take the trip with us!”

In addition to the new song, Butcher Babies are celebrating 10 years as a band by releasing their own signature wine called “Butcher Burgundy”. Heidi says, “We are stoked and feel like pairing an AZ wine with a song we wrote in AZ fits perfectly with a song called “Bottom of a Bottle”.  Now we can all enjoy a Bottle together!”

The new wine will be available for purchase on the Butcher Babies website.

The new single marks the first release from Butcher Babies forthcoming EP, which is set for release in mid-2021. 

ZAKK WYLDE CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF BLACK SABBTH WITH BLISTERING RECREATION OF SABBATH’S DEBUT ALBUM!

“VERTIGO” COMING OUT THIS SEPTEMBER
ON MAGNETIC EYE RECORDS!

STREAM ZAKK SABBATH’S VERSION OF “BLACK SABBATH” NOW AT ROLLINGSTONE.COMhttps://bit.ly/2NVKF2J 

Early September will see ZAKK SABBATH, the BLACK SABBATH tribute band featuring guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko  (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) and drummer Joey Castillo (Danzig, Queens of the Stone Age), release their spectacular tribute to the Birmingham four, a faithful yet supercharged rendition of BLACK SABBATH’s first album. Vertigo Records issued the iconic debut album on a Friday the 13th in 1970, and the world was never the same. Legendarily recorded in a single day in October 1969, the earth-moving self-titled set closed the book on hippie optimism with its dark magic and ushered in a brand new genre, setting the metal template for decades to come.

Exactly 50 years later, ZAKK SABBATH celebrate the first chapter in the Sabbath catalog with a reverently rendered tribute, simply titled “Vertigo“, which is slated for a release on September 4th, 2020, via Magnetic Eye Records. Faithfully recorded in the spirit of the original, live in the studio and with a film crew documenting the process, the session culminated in a new version of a landmark album that celebrates the greatest heavy metal band of all time and the record that started it all.

“We recorded a live EP and were wondering what we could do next as a cover band, so the 50th album anniversary came just at the right time”, explains Blasko regarding Zakk Sabbath’s decision to go studio. “Compared to ‘Paranoid’, which is almost like a best-of record, the bulk of the material on ‘Black Sabbath’ is deep-cut, really experimental stuff that was never thoroughly explored, so that was a challenge, not to forget that we wanted to meet our own high standards.

Describing the DIY process as “very productive,” the three respectfully added their own flair to make for a slightly different flavor, also revisiting various live renditions and “extending a solo here or slowing things down because that’s what they tended to do on stage.”

Today, ZAKK SABBATH are sharing a first track taken from “Vertigo” exclusively with Rolling Stone Magazine. You can now stream their tribute version of the iconic anthem, Black Sabbath, HERE!

ZAKK SABBATH’s “Vertigo” won’t be available digitally, “to make the release feel authentic to the time when vinyl ruled the earth. It was such a cool time for those of us that grew up during that time. The fan experience with the physical product is irreplaceable with digital and streaming. We wanted to capture that authenticity.”

“Vertigo” will be available as:

  • Digipak CD
  • CD/DVD hardcover book with the album behind-the-scenes-interviews and making-of
  • limited edition yellow vinyl

Tracklisting:
1) Black Sabbath
2) The Wizard
3) Wasp / Behind the Wall of Sleep / N.I.B
4) Wicked World
5) A Bit of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning

Set to be released on September 4th, the album pre-sale has just started at THIS LOCATION!

For More Info Visit:
www.zakksabbath.com

DEMONS & WIZARDS RELEASE MUSIC VIDEO FOR DEBUT SINGLE “DIABOLIC”

III SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 21, 2020 VIA CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER HERE

Coming on the heels of the recent announcement that DEMONS & WIZARDS will release their first album in 15 years III on February 21, 2020, the band is back to unveil the music video for their debut single “Diabolic.” The newest musical opus showcases the sound that fans have come to love from the band. The just released music video borrows stylistic elements from the album cover to tell the time old tale of good vs evil with Hansi Kürsch and Jon Schaffer as the main characters. Watch the video for ‘Diabolic’, which was created by iCODE Team here: https://youtu.be/frMkdkCV2D0.

Hansi Kürsch states: “‘Diabolic’ for sure is a musical statement and its message is very clear and precise: We take no prisoners! We had a hard time figuring out a proper opener to ‘III,’ but when ‘Diabolic’ took shape, we realized it was the perfect introduction to the album!”

Jon Schaffer adds: “This song is a sequel to ‘Heaven Denies’ and it is dark, heavy, vicious,melodic, and totally atmospheric, everything I love about songwriting and making records in eight minutes! ‘Diabolic’ has the right attitude to make a strong statement as the first song that people will hear after 15 years!”

DEMONS & WIZARDS is one of the most legendary collaborations in the history of heavy metal, uniting the talents of Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) who are friends for nearly three decades.

DEMONS & WIZARDS musically embodies both musician’s stylistic trademarks and has resulted so far in two hugely celebrated studio albums, Demons & Wizards and Touched by the Crimson King. Both records have been reissued in 2019 on time with the group’s extremely successful return to the world’s stages. Now, the band presents III, a stunning monument of dynamic and powerful heavy metal that simply has all you would expect from these iconic musicians! III is epic, melodic, crushingly heavy, atmospheric, and all in between. 65 minutes of heavy metal mastery! III can now be pre-ordered in a variety of luxurious and limited formats: https://demonswizards.lnk.to/III.

The track-listing for III is:

01. Diabolic

02. Invincible

03. Wolves In Winter

04. Final Warning

05. Timeless Spirit

06. Dark Side Of Her Majesty

07. Midas Disease

08. New Dawn

09. Universal Truth

10. Split

11. Children Of Cain

The III recording line-up consists of:

Hansi Kürsch – Lead & Backing Vocals

Jon Schaffer – Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Bass Guitar, 6 and 12 string Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Guest Musicians on III:

Brent Smedley – Drums

Jim Morris – Additional Guitars, Backing Vocals

Jake Dreyer – Additional Guitars

Ruben Drake – Bass

Thomas Hackman, Olaf Senkbeil, John Jaycee Cuipers, Zakery Alexander, Jeff Brant, Todd Plant, Jerome Mazza – Backing Vocals

PA’dam chamber choir – Classical Choir

Skillet’s John Cooper talks about the bands debut graphic novel “Eden”

John Cooper is the vocalist/bassist for the Platinum selling rock group Skillet. The band recently partnered with Z2 Comics to release their first graphic novel titled “Eden”. Media Mikes caught up with John and the band at New York Comic Con to discuss the creation of the book, its similarities to the group’s music and if there will be books to come in the future.    

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the bands new comic “Eden”?

John Cooper: I love comics and they are something I grew up with. I have always looked at Skillet as sort of a theatrical band. When I say theatrical I am meaning more from an operatic feel than that of a visual feel like Kiss or Alice Cooper. I had always envisioned doing a comic book as I see us all as characters. I had sort of put it off because if it’s not done right it can become terribly cheesy. On social media I am always posting about comics and I ended up getting a call from Z2 Comics asking if I would be interested in doing a graphic novel. I told them yes and that I had some story ideas but I wasn’t sure where to begin. They said that’s ok as they had some ideas of their own. I wanted to do something that was more science fiction as opposed to hero driven. I was looking for something with a post-apocalyptic feel but with a message of hope. That’s something you don’t see a lot. The book has sci-fi and super-natural elements mixed in with some religious undertones. In my view I think all great science-fiction have religious elements. When I say “religious” I’m not necessarily meaning Christianity but just religious. Films like “Dune”, “Blade Runner” and “Battlestar Galactica” are solid examples of that.

AL: How much collaboration went into the book?

JC: I brought the theme of a dying world filled with people all having the same dream which is leading them to paradise. I worked with some really great writers who helped me put together all the different ideas I had. Sadly the idea of the glowing eyes was not my idea but one I really liked as it was sort of an homage to “Dune” which is one of my all time favorite books.

Ian Lawton: What did the rest of the band think about the comic?

JC: The band loves the comic. At first I think they weren’t too sure what to expect. My wife Corey knew what I was going for as she knows me really well. I think it’s hard for people to understand what’s in your head when you are creating something. Once the book was done I think they were a little shocked as to how good it was and how emotional it is.

AL: Did the writing for “Eden” happen at the same time you were writing the band’s latest album “Victorious”?   

JC: Yes, I was writing for both things at the same time. It was a very crazy and busy two years. While these two things were going on I also released a side project EP titled “Fight the Fury” along with our drummer Jen’s side project “Ledger”. All of these things were basically written and released in two and half years. Writing for the comic was making me really want to write music so all of these things had me firing on all pistons. Each project worked off of one another.

IM: Was writing the book similar to writing music?

JC: I didn’t notice this until after the book was done and I had read it. I know that may sound sort of silly but, sometimes when you are writing you don’t always notice things others might as you are just going with what is coming out. After I read the book I felt as thou it was very similar to our music. The book is a little dark but it is meaningful. That’s what people say about Skillet songs and I think “Eden” has that same feel.

IM: Can you tell us about the special hardcover edition that will be available?

JC: That’s something that I am still waiting to see myself. I have seen parts of what are going to be in it and I am very excited for the finished version to be available. It’s going to have this really cool axe on it which is my weapon in the book. With this beard I sort of feel like a lumberjack and thought that an axe would be a perfect weapon as opposed to some of the other more futuristic weapons you see in the book.

AL: Is this just a one off book or are there plans to do others?

JC: The band is going to be out on the road until mid December so that’s going to have me tied up for a few months. We have started to talk a little about the possibility of more books but nothing is definite. I think it would be great to do a second one.

To order a copy “Eden” click here and to order Skillets latest album “Victorious” click here   

Bassist Sam Rivers Discusses His New Band SleepKillers and Their Self Titled Debut Album

Sam Rivers is best known as a founding member and bassist for the band Limp Bizkit. His new band Sleepkillers which includes Damien Starkey, Bobby Amaru and Adam Latiff is set to release its debut self titled album on January 25, 2019. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Sam recently about the group’s formation, the new album and their video for the song “Dirty Foot” which premiered Nov. 2.

Adam Lawton: How did Sleepkillers come together?

Sam Rivers: As far as the writing that went into this first record goes it was me and Damien Starkey. I was living in Jacksonville at the time and we had been talking on the phone about getting together and doing some jamming. I ended up going over to his studio and after a couple of hours of just having fun we had the basis of three songs. We wanted to keep going so we just dove in. Soon after that Limp Bizkit was going back on tour and Damien had some stuff of his own going and we kind of lost touch. During that time we had both played the tracks for people and they kept saying we should turn what we had into a full length record. About a year and a half later we reconnected and after a couple bumps in the road we are here now with a finished record.

AL: At what point in time did the rest of the band come together?

SR: Bobby Amaru came in when we were still working on some of the songs. He helped us really turn things around. Adam Latiff didn’t come in until later. This was going to be just a small project for Damien and me but we took it further and needed people to play live. Bobby wanted to play drums and we couldn’t disagree. He may be the singer of Saliva but he is one hell of a drummer! Adam was a friend of Damien’s for a long time and now he and I are friends and he is just a great fit and an amazing guitarist.

AL: Did returning to the material over a year later cause you to change any of the initial recordings?

SR: I think the sound was really already there so we just rolled with it. We worked really hard at making sure everything blended together and matched up and I think we did a good job. We had that initial vision from when Damien and I first got together and that’s what we stayed with.

AL: Do you see Sleepwalkers as being more of a side project or, something you hope to do full time?

SR: I think we are going to go with it. Right now it’s just a great time. Our plan for right now is to push out as much material and content as we can. That will help us find our core fans which we can build tour and things like that around. I think the biggest thing right now is for us to get this record out and show people that we are a band. As time goes on we are going to evolve so this will be something we do full time but it’s going to be wrapped around our other work.

AL: What can you tell us about the first single “Dirty Foot”?

SR: That was a hard decision. Damien and I kept going back and forth between two or three different songs and we just couldn’t decide. We played it for a few close friends and they all had different picks. This was really odd because we had thought they would choose at least one of these three. That wasn’t the case so that didn’t really help. We took it to some of our peers and people who we really respected and let them listen to it and then sit on it for a bit. That gave us a different view on things. We still hadn’t agreed that “Dirty Foot” was going to be the one but after everything we decided that it had everything we wanted to showcase in our first single and we went with it.

AL: Can you tell us about the video you just released for the song?

SR: We had been trying to find someone who was not only in our budget but someone who was going to put their one hundred and ten percent in to this as well. We talked with David and gave him some of our ideas and from there he just ran with it. We just gave him the clearance so from there we could see what he could come up with. Our biggest thing was once we found someone we wanted to get behind them and stick with them. That’s not to say we won’t ever work with anyone else but we wanted to really see what David could do and open it up to keep going.

AL: Has there been any talks of touring in support of the release?

SR: That’s something we are planning and look to do at some point. We do have a few shows currently lined up which we will be streaming worldwide. There is no way we can hit Europe and all those places at one time so we thought this would be a cool way for us to get to those places and give them a feeling for what one of our shows is like.

For more in on Sleepwalkers you can visit their official website at www.sleepkillers.com

 

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Knocked Loose Debut New Video for “The Rain”

ACCLAIMED HARDCORE HEROES KNOCKED LOOSE DEBUT NEW VIDEO FOR “THE RAIN”
*BAND’S NORTH AMERICAN TOUR IN SUPPORT OF LAUGH TRACKS UNDERWAY NOW*

Critically heralded Kentucky hardcore band Knocked Loose has teamed up with ConsequenceOfSound.net to unveil a new video for their song “The Rain.” The track is featured on the band’s acclaimed, debut album, Laugh Tracks, which is available everywhere now from Pure Noise Records.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “THE RAIN” NOW AT CONSEQUENCEOFSOUND.NET: http://bit.ly/2A25dke

“We’re really excited about this one, I think we’re ending the Laugh Tracks cycle on a strong note thanks to Max Moore. Definitely the most fun video to shoot.” – Bryan Garris

PURCHASE/STREAM LAUGH TRACKS:
MerchNow – http://bit.ly/2CAuioW
Apple Music – https://apple.co/2yuAom5
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2INa5wh
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2PwnZFO

Knocked Loose’s new video for “The Rain” comes as the band is amidst their final North American tour in support of their groundbreaking 2016 debut album, Laugh Tracks. The band’s tour with Beartooth and Sylar will continue through October and November. Tickets are on sale now!

Follow the band at https://www.facebook.com/KnockedLoose for more updates.

Knocked Loose 2018 Fall Tour Dates with Beartooth and Sylar:
10/10 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
10/11 – Carrboro, NC @ Cats Cradle
10/12 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
10/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
10/14 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
10/16 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
10/17 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum Theatre
10/18 – Jacksonville, FL @ Nighthawk’s
10/19 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
10/20 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
10/21 – Corpus Christi, TX @ Brewster Street Ice House
10/23 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
10/24 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamo City Music Hall
10/26 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
10/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Pressroom
10/28 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater
10/31 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
11/01 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
11/02 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s Bar & Grill
11/03 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/04 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre
11/06 – Portland, OR @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
11/07 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
11/09 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/10 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
11/11 – Wichita, KS @ Rock Island Live
11/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
11/13 – Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
11/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
11/15 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
11/17 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
12/15 – Buffalo, NY @ Buffalo Riverworks *
* with Every Time I Die (no Beartooth or Sylar)

Film Interview: Director Susan Walter talks about her debut feature, “All I Wish”

 

After almost three decades working behind the scenes on other people’s films, Susan Walter has finally gotten to sit in the big chair.  As writer and director of the new film “All I Wish,” she called the shots and achieved a dream.

 

While promoting the film, which is now in theatres and also available on Video on Demand, she took time out to talk with me about finally being in charge.

 

Mike Smith:  Please tell me that Tony Goldwyn isn’t really that bad of a singer. (NOTE:  In the film, Goldwyn tries his hand at karaoke, much to the chagrin of anyone in earshot.)

 

Susan Walter:  (laughs) Tony Goldwyn is a brilliant singer!  The first time I talked to him about that scene, he said to me “you know I can sing, right?”  He wanted everyone to know that he could sing.

 

MS:  Where did you get the idea for the film?

 

SW:  I’m a huge fan of “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s one of my favorite films of any genre’.  And what I love about it is that it takes these two characters and looks at how the spend time together over a long period of time.  So I thought what would happen if I showed characters that not only got to know each other but got to know themselves over a long period of time.  And I picked each period beginning on a birthday because your birthday is a time when you look at your life.  The stakes are super high on your birthday.

 

MS:  Most people, when they think of romantic comedy, don’t readily think of Sharon Stone, who is more known for tougher roles.  What made you cast her?

 

SW:  Sharon cast herself.  (laughs)  Literally.  She got the script originally when it was written for her character to be in her 20s, and I wanted somebody tough and vibrant to play the mother.  I sent her the script and offered her the mother and she called me and said, “I’m not playing the mother…I’m playing the lead!”  And I got chills all over my body because I knew that she was right.  She felt really connected to the character and she really spoke passionately about why she had to do it.  So that’s the version of the movie that got made.

 

MS:  Which also became a bonus because you got to work with Ellen Burstyn.

 

SW:  We were so lucky that Ellen responded so well to the script.  Sharon was so passionate about having her and when we sent it to her she responded right away.  Though Ellen’s character appears tough as nails in the film she also has a vulnerability that you can feel.  You can feel the love that she has for her daughter and it was something beautiful for me to watch.

 

MS:  You’ve spent decades working behind the scenes until you finally got the opportunity to direct a feature.  Was the experience everything you thought it would be?

 

SW:  I have to tell you, I was totally nervous into the lead-up of the movie.  I was worried.  Could I do the job?  Did I have the energy?  It takes an incredible amount of stamina to direct a feature film.  You’re on your feet all day and you need every corner of your brain to do the job.  I got so much incredible support from my cast, especially Sharon.  They made it effortless.  It was like being weightless.  I entrusted them with their characters.  I was just there as a sounding board if they had a question about a line or a moment.  The experience of directing was almost effortless.

 

MS:  You’ve worked with several name directors in the past, including the late Garry Marshall.  Did you learn anything from them that you used on your set?

 

SW:  The one thing I learned from Garry in regards to actors is to just let them play.  Make them feel safe and let them play.  And when they had an idea, it was always “yes.”  He may not have agreed with it, but he would always say, “let’s try it.”  That was the way he worked and I think some of it rubbed off on me.  I said “yes” a lot to my actors.  We played a lot.  And I think you can feel how free they felt when you watched the film.

 

MS:  What are you working on next?

 

SW:  I wrote a movie with a friend of mine who is an actress and an extremely hilarious human being.  It’s an “R” rated ensemble comedy that we’re putting together now.  Hopefully we can start it soon.  I hope it doesn’t take another fourteen years.

Calpurnia Release Debut Single “City Boy”, New EP to Be Released on Royal Mountain

CALPURNIA RELEASE DEBUT SINGLE “CITY BOY”
NEW EP TO BE RELEASED THIS SPRING ON ROYAL MOUNTAIN

Photo Credit: Calm Elliott-Armstrong

Calpurnia’s story is how teenage rock dreams are meant to unfold: four friends, all raised on a healthy diet of the Beatles, Nirvana and David Bowie, and a deep love for their respective instruments, retreat one day to a basement and begin jamming together. They cut their teeth on some cover songs and then, with just enough confidence and a dose of adolescent enthusiasm, they write and record their own tunes. And the results are nothing short of stunning. “It was kind of destined to be,” Finn Wolfhard says of the almost serendipitous genesis of the rough-and-tumble Vancouver-based indie-rock foursome he formed with three of his now-closest friends. “We all just really clicked. And when I’m passionate about something,” the singer-guitarist adds of Calpurnia, who this spring release their self-titled debut EP via Royal Mountain Records, “I like to get it done as quickly as I can. There’s not a lot of wasting time. I love just going for it. Go big or go home.”

Today, the band has given us a taste of what is to come from their debut EP which was recorded in Chicago this past November with Twin Peaks’ frontman Cadien Lake James serving as producer. The video for “City Boy” was directed by Josiah Marshall, bassist from Whitney, who captured the band while they were making their record.

Calpurnia will be touring this summer in support of the EP including the recently announced Royal Mountain Music Festival at Raspberry Farm in Ontario where they will share the stage with Mac DeMarco, U.S. Girls and more.

More on Calpurnia….
The band – which in addition to Wolfhard includes lead guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe, a six-string prodigy whose bedroom-shredding viral videos have earned her legions of fans on social media, bassist Jack Anderson and drummer Malcolm Craig – all grew up within walking distance of one another. But it took Wolfhard – best known as one of Hollywood’s hottest young actors thanks to his role as Mike Wheeler on Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things – meeting Craig on the set of Canadian punk rockers PUP’s “Guilt Trip” music video for things to finally spring into motion. In short order, the pair met Tesler-Mabe at a music summer camp, and she quickly introduced them to Anderson, her close childhood friend and bassist. “And as soon as we started rehearsing it was just insane,” Anderson says of the quartet’s instant personal and musical chemistry. “It was kind of unbelievable. Like a gift.” Once they played their first official gig together, it was a done deal. “We had all the adrenaline we needed,” Craig says. Where they’d previously played cover songs, “after the response we got,” Craig notes, “we were like, “Let’s record some of our own music!””

For more info on Calpurnia checkout their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Calpurniatheband/

Remember the Monsters Debut New Single “Romeo & Juliet”

ARIZONA ROCK BAND REMEMBER THE MONSTERS DEBUT
NEW SINGLE “ROMEO & JULIET” AT NEWNOISEMAGAZINE.COM
New Album, The Pieces Remain, Out March 16th!

January 19, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Arizona’s next, breakout rock act Remember The Monsters have announced today plans to release their debut, full-length album, The Pieces Remain, on March 16th. Gearing up for the record’s unveiling, the band has partnered with NewNoiseMagazine.com to premiere the record’s first new track, “Romeo & Juliet.”

Stream “Romeo & Juliet” here

Commenting on the new song, the record’s producer Cameron Mizell (Sleeping With Sirens, Danny Worsnop) says, “This song makes me feel all of the feelings all at once, intensely, and when the song is over I feel as if I was just beaten senselessly in a masochistic fashion. It’s fucking bizarre in the best way.”

Remember The Monsters’ vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Ashten Banks add’s the song is “my sick and twisted take on a literary classic.”

Blending the wide range and dynamic sounds of their many influences, Remember the Monsters combines the sleazy glam and soaring melodic hooks of Rock N’ Roll (think Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses) with the hard-hitting edge and soulful introspection of their modern contemporaries. Genre defying and passionately driven, the band delivers a listening experience unlike any other.

Fans can also stream “Romeo & Juliet” at the locations below:
Spotify – http://spoti.fi/2FTUGZg
Apple Music – https://apple.co/2Ds3w2A
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2Be5JJb

Hardcore legend Harley Flanagan talks about his debut solo album “Cro-Mags”

Punk mainstay Harley Flanagan is often recognized as one of the most influential members of the NY hardcore/punk scene of the early 1980’s. His band the Cro-Mags set the early standard for hardcore which is still followed and recognized to this day. Harley recently released his first solo album titled “Cro-Mags” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with him recently about the album, his trials and tribulations with his former band and also about his upcoming book.

Ryan Albro: At what moment did you decided it was time to release your first solo album?

Harley Flanagan: I had some ideas in my head that I had been working on and at one point I was fortunate enough to have some studio time made available to me so I decided that I was going to use that time to start laying down some demos. From there one thing led to another and it wound up turning into this album.

RA: What was the writing process like working on a solo album versus previous albums?

HF: It was really the same process as I am the guy who came up with riffs. Back in the old days, I would have be recording them on a cassette player or when I was living with Squatch I used to call up Parris’s house and tell him not to pick up the phone so I could hum riffs on his answering machine. He’d learn the riffs and then we’d meet up later and we’d play them together. Now I sit around the house and record them on my phone. Whenever a riff comes I put it down and I work with it. I had a ton of riffs on my phone and when the studio time became available I went in and just waded through everything and picked out a bunch that I thought had an old school type of feel. I wanted to write a bunch of short songs that just come in, punch you in the face and walk right over you. I actually wrote everything believe it or not on an acoustic. I am actually thinking about releasing an acoustic version online just for fun because that’s how this whole album was originally recorded

RA: What made you decide to name the album Cro-Mags, considering the issues you have with the band?

HF: I basically felt like it was time for me to reclaim something that is rightfully mine. All bullshit aside, my hand has always been extended to those guys and even after all the shit went down at Webster Hall and along with everything else, my hand is still extended. The fact of the matter is that so called band is just John and occasionally Matthew. There’s nobody playing in that so-called band that has ever written a Cro-mags song and the Cro-mags have not written a song since I haven’t been involved. They are like a tribute band doing songs and other covers. This new record sounds more like Cro-Mags than anything anybody’s done since. I’m taking back the name. That magic is never going to be recaptured without everyone being involved. I believe that and I know that and that’s why I’m the sentimental fool that’s always fucking extending my hand to these guys, but obviously it doesn’t mean as much to those guys as it does to me. The good that game out of it far outweighs the bad, but unfortunately there has been a lot of bad. For me that whole interruption in 2012 and then putting out this album and really venting my feelings about that moment has been a real positive thing for me because it has helped me exorcise a lot of those demons.

RA: You also have a book coming out can you tell us about that?

HF: As far back as I can remember people have been telling me I should write a book, at least going back to like the 80’s but, I never really wanted to. Despite being told I have some really great stories it’s just never been something I had the desire to do. When I was going through some particularly tough times in my life I started thinking that in case anything happens I do want my side of the story to get out. I already knew that hardcore had made enough of an impact culturally where there would inevitably be books written and bullshit said and bullshit told. I was like I’m going to get my side of this out and I’m going to tell my story, the actual story. If I don’t I’m going to wind up with some asshole telling my life story the way they perceived it or the way they want it told to serve their purpose. I started writing everything down that I could remember going back as far as I could to my early childhood. Over the years of working on it I kept going back and fact checking and, double checking and, confirming facts with my family members. My mom was helpful with that before she passed away. I did a lot or research on everything. I wrote this book with the intention of it being something that people would want to read and them to see what it was like living in that time period through the eyes of a child, through the eyes of someone that was there growing up in it. There has been a lot of books about punk rock but there haven’t been any written by someone who was 10 years old when this happened. It goes through my whole life. It starts off with the day that Webster Hall went down and then right when that started to erupt it goes back to my early childhood and it retraces everything through as much as I could. Obviously I had to cut a lot of shit out or it would have been like a 10,000 page book but I wound up getting an editor and after everything was written and really narrowed down to the most powerful stuff. People can get a taste of what will be in the book if they check out www.harleyflanagan.com

RA: Lastly, What are your plans for touring in support of the new album?

HF: I have looked into doing some shows and some touring but so far the right show hasn’t come up. I work 6 days a week, I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love being home with my wife and spending as much time with my kids as I can. For me to get out there and tour it has to be the right shows. When the book comes out I will definitely be doing a book tour and, the idea is I would like to try and book shows that coincide with that so I can perhaps do a book thing during the day and maybe a show that same evening in the same city. That way you can kill two birds with one stone while having fun.

Murder and Melody in America: “The Devil’s Carnival” Composers Debut Trailer for a Dark New Opus

 

Icons of cult cinema, Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Saar Hendelman (The Devil’s Carnival franchise) pull the trigger on a new, twisted musical world, American Murder Song. Combining stop motion animation and moving daguerreotype portraits, American Murder Song features a rogues gallery of original murder ballads set in early nineteenth century America. The genre-defying duo invite you to Follow The Mark, if’n you’re brave. For tunes and updates: http:///www.AmericanMurderSong.com.

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Testament’s Alex Skolnick talks about new band Metal Allegiance and their debut album

Alex Skolnick is probably best known as the guitarist for the legendary thrash metal band Testament. When not performing with the group Alex keeps busy with numerous side projects such as The Alex Skolnick Trio and, his latest endeavor Metal Allegiance, The group which features a laundry list of some of today’s top heavy metal performers is set to release their debut self titled album on September 18th and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Alex recently about the album and the group’s formation.

Adam Lawton: How did you first get involved with the Metal Allegiance project?
Alex Skolnick: It all happened pretty fast. I was on the “MotorBoat Cruise” playing with Testament and that’s where the very first performance under that name happened there. There were a bunch of us guys hanging out during dinner one night and some of the guys were talking about set lists. They wanted to add in some classic Van Halen and I was the guy who was pretty up on that stuff. I wasn’t really planning on playing and Mike Portnoy sort of threw it out there as a joke and I went along with it and everyone went nuts. We ended up having this great jam and afterwards we were talking about more shows in the future and I said I would be for it any time. I get a call one day asking if I would be interested in doing an album. I had never worked with any of these guys before but I was willing to give it a shot. I went in thinking it was going to be mostly an album of covers with possibly two or three original songs. Up until this point all we had played together was covers. When we got together the writing process just took off. We started off with just a couple songs we felt great about and it just sky rocket from that point on.

AL: Being that you all had never worked together before what was the creative process like for the group?
AS: We all are fans of this music and we wanted to make an album that we would be excited about putting out. We all had ideas as to what makes great album and we wanted to make sure that we captured the performance of each player involved with the record. There’s a lot of great stuff being recorded these days digitally but we wanted to take a more analog approach and incorporate elements from areas that inspired us to become musicians.

AL: Was a majority of this album created separately and sent back and forth via email or was there a point where everyone got together and recorded as a group?
AS: We worked in a couple different phases. The first phase involved the three core guys of the project. Myself, Dave Ellefson and Mike Portnoy were brought together by our mutual friend Mark Menghi. The four of us got together during the holidays and did our first session. A few weeks later we got together again for a second session. Those sessions were all done in a traditional band type recording session. In February we went out and did the “ShipRocked” Cruise and after getting back we began the next phase of work which we did in Long Island at Mike Portnoy’s home studio. There was some stuff that got sent back and forth via email but a majority of the album was done the classic way with everyone being present in the same recording space.

AL: When it came time to bring in the various guests who appear on the album who was the person making those decisions?
AS: The four of us myself, Dave, Mike and Mark made all of those decisions together. We call ourselves “The Core Four”. There was a constant stream of text messaging that we all would reply to where we all made suggestions related to the music. We decided that we would all have to agree as to who was going to be asked to be a part of the project. There were some ideas that didn’t end up happening as ultimately we felt they just wouldn’t fit and some of those may have helped sell more records but this wasn’t about that. Everything was about the feel of the track and how each piece fit and worked together.

AL: With the project taking on almost a life of its own is this something you guys hope to continue to expand on or, is this album the closing piece for the group?
AS: I believe we would like to keep this going indefinitely. There is no reason not to. We don’t want to be limited to just performing on cruise ships or at large events. We do have plans to do those types of events but we also want to do more. We have the album release show in New York at the Best Buy Theater which is going to feature most of the personnel from the album. That’s something that is going to be hard to duplicate on a tour but we are figuring things out as we go. We just announced our first international show in Mexico City which will feature the core group along with Mark Osegueda from Death Angel on vocals. There are a number of different levels that this project can work on which I think is going to be really great.

AL: Outside of the Metal Allegiance project what else are you currently working on?
AS: I have a lot of stuff going on. I have my first acoustic album out which is called “Planetary Coalition”. This is a world album and is something that I always wanted to make. I have a bunch of great artists featured on there including Rodrigo y Gabriela. Last year the trio recorded a live concert and it came out really well. We also recently wrote a few new songs and I think we are going to release that as a live album. I’m going to be a part of the “Axes and Anchors” cruise which is a cruise for guitar enthusiasts. Zakk Wylde is going to be there along with Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and a bunch of other great players as well. Testament has mostly one off shows booked as of right now and in between those we are writing new material with hopes of having a new album out next year.

Audiotopsy’s Greg Tribbett talks about debut album “Natural Causes”

Greg Tribbett is probably best known for his guitar work with Mudvayne and Hellyeah which featured former Mudvayne vocalist Chad Grey and former Pantera/Damage Plan drummer Vinnie Paul. Greg’s newest project Audiotopsy is set to release their debut album titled “Natural Causes” at the end of the summer and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Greg recently about the album, the group’s formation and the upcoming tour plans for this fall.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about how you guys came together to for Audiotopsy?
Greg Tribbett: Around July of 2014 I called up Matt McDonough and we got talking about putting something together as we both had nothing going on at the time. I ended up flying up to Matt’s house for a weekend and we wrote about seven songs in two days. We hadn’t played together for about 5 years by this point but things went really well. We decided we needed to get a singer and a bass player so we called Billy Keeton who we knew from the band Skrape. He had already been jamming with Perry Stern so those two sort of came as a package deal. We were really stoked at this point as we didn’t need to look for a bass player. We ended up going down to Florida to record those seven songs and we all gelled together great. It was a great time and things just came together really quickly.

AL: Was there ever any thoughts in your mind when you put the group together about how to distance it from your guys previous works with other bands?
GT: That was definitely on my mind. I didn’t want to sound like Mudvayne or Hellyeah as I have done all that. When I was writing I really tried to concentrate on originality and create things that were both new and fresh. I think we certainly accomplished that.

AL: Was the ability to come up with new material quickly something you have always been able to do or was this something new for you?
GT: It comes pretty easy for me. Usually I will just sit down and start thinking up riffs in my head and play them out on guitar. From there I will start working on the actual song. Within about 20 or 30 minutes I will have a song laid out. When Matt and I got together he was familiar with my work style from all the time we had spent with each other over the years. When I got to his house I came with most of the songs structures already laid out. There may have been one or two songs that we worked on together but for the most part things were pretty much done. I just let Matt do his thing over the riffs that I brought. We did the albums first 7 songs that weekend at Matt’s. A short while later I ended up writing another three songs that we also did at Matt’s. We originally were just going to release an EP but ended up doing a full length release instead.

AL: What type of single release plans do you have for the album thus far?
GT: We have the song “Headshot” out right now but I don’t really consider that to be our single or anything like that. The actual single will be coming to radio soon and that is called “The Calling”. We actually have plans within the next few weeks to do videos for both of those songs.

AL: What types of tour plans are in place to support the album?
GT: Right now we are looking at late fall or early winter to get out on the road. We have a lot of feelers out right now as there are a bunch of tours going out at this time. We are looking at all those and we plan to go with the best offer that suits us. From there we will make all the plans and whatnot that goes along with booking a tour. We will definitely be out there through 2016 promoting the band and the record. We want to go worldwide with this.

 

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