Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer Discusses His New Book “Wicked Words and Epic Tales”

Iced Earth founder, songwriter, guitarist and producer Jon Schaffer has announced the release of his first ever book, “Wicked Words and Epic Tales”.The book is the debut release from Schaffer and his new publishing company Wicked Tales, LLC and is the first of many original concepts planned for future release by Schaffer. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jon recently about the books creation, the accompanying music and his plans for future releases.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us where the idea/opportunity to do this book came from?

Jon Schaffer: The idea for the book came to me around Christmas of 2019. I was at home with my family and I all of a sudden had this idea to do an anthology of all my lyrics. I have always been a big fan of comic and graphic novel art. It’s actually something I have been doing for years on the Iced Earth album covers. We have so much bad ass art that has been done for us over the years and have made contact with a lot of great artists that I thought I could commission a bunch of new material and put something together for the die-hard fans. I had never really seen anything like what I was thinking of doing but I know that if Steve Harris, Geezer Butler or Roger Waters put out something like this as a fan I jump on it. I ended up deciding to use Kickstarter to get things going because it allowed me to gauge the interest and figure out how many copies to make. After I decided I was going to add new art I thought it might be cool to do some spoken word audio tracks to go along with it. What ended up happening was I decided to create some new music as well. What we ended up with is this something in between an audio book and a soundtrack. I call it a narrative soundscape and that comes as a bonus with the book.

AL: Is this all new musical content?

JS: No. These songs have been written over the course of my career specifically with Iced Earth. I think the oldest song is “Angels Holocaust” which was written around 1991. With the exception of the song “Wolf” all the material is based off of the original compositions. What I did was instead of the album being this loud, ripping heavy metal work I took verses and choruses and turned them into string and keyboard pieces. I did play some guitar but not that much and we programmed in some theatrical drum loops to give things dynamic. For the spoken pieces I really tried to get into character and make things dark an eerie or very emotional depending on what each piece called for.

AL: Will a reader/listener be able to put the music on and have it match up with the book chapters?

JS: It’s broken up a little differently. The book has over 250 pages. The lyrical content alone is well over 100 songs and features lyrics from more than just Iced Earth. The music portion is 15 tracks picked from just my Iced Earth works. If a reader wants to match things up they will just have to go to the index and find the page number for each song to make that happen.

AL: How did you go about selecting the artists who have work featured in the book?

JS: Some of those guys like Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo I have worked with in the past on Iced Earth album art so I knew them. All of the artists who I have worked with through all my projects and career are credited. I worked with an additional 15 new artists specifically for this book. I just started reaching out to people. I reached out to Jim Balent on Instagram and he came on board I then reached out to Jonboy Myers and he was interested. Richard Ortiz did four pieces of art which are killer homage pieces. Roy Young who was in charge of the layout of the book is a guy I met when I was working with Todd McFarland in 1994. Roy has been very instrumental in this. There is tons of great stuff in this book.

AL: We the artists given free reign or did you have specific pieces you wanted each person to do?

JS: I went to each of them with a specific plan. From there the artists will generally take that idea and run with it. If it ends up being something I am not happy with we make edits and changes until it’s where I want it to be. Each artist put their own unique spin on “Set” who is kind of Iced Earth’s mascot. They all had their own interpretation of the character which is something I really loved. You could tell it was Set but the Set character does not have one specific look or logo like Batman or one of those other superheroes. Everyone added their own style which made this part a lot of fun.

AL: The book features two different covers. Does each of the books feature something different that the other does not aside from the alternate cover art?

JS: The books will all be the same on the inside. There are actually four covers in all. Two main covers were done and then did two nude variations of Jim Balent’s cover. Those covers are limited to 100 and 150 copies. The slip case for each book is the same but inside is where you will find all the virgin art aside from the spine which has to include an identifiable marker denoting what the work is. I had a chance recently to see some of the test and it looks amazing! It’s all printed on nice heavy paper with lots of colors. Even the text pages are predominately color.

AL: “Wicked Words and Epic Tales” is the first book to be released via Wicked Tales LLC which you own. Can we be expecting more books from you in the future?

JS: This was my first step in to learning how to self publish. There will be more books however they will not be lyric books. Going forward the timing will depend on what happens with the music business as it relates to what is going on in the world right now. My band is international and I am not sure when or if we will be able to travel freely again. With the members being spread out and living in various places putting together or planning an Iced Earth tour production just can’t happen right now. My plan since 1997 when I first created the “Something Wicked” universe was to always end up being in comics and graphic novels once I retired the band. It’s a killer story with a lot of potential to dive in to so that’s always been my plan. This book was a test and something I started before the world went in to lock down. When that I happened I just continued to work. There will be more things coming out however I don’t have a specific date as it will be after Iced Earth retired. I am getting close to that time but I still want to do one or two more records before that day comes.

AL: If someone did not pre-order the book via Kickstarter will fans still be able to get a copy?

JS: We will have some extra copies available through the Iced Earth merch store. We are in negotiations with Plastic Head who handles our merchandise in Europe about our options. Shipping an item this heavy is quite pricey so we are trying to figure out a way to get to more than just the United States where a majority of the sales have occurred. We hope to have that figured out very soon. In the future we may release a digital and/or trade paperback. There also could be a second printing if the demand is there.

To find out more about “Wicked Words and Epic Tales” click here                  



Today, Chicago bred trio The Lawrence Arms share “Last Last Words” off their forthcoming record Skeleton Coast out July 17 via Epitaph.

The track “is about coming to terms with your own obscurity – but like, in a pretty upbeat way,” says vocalist and guitarist Chris McCaughan. “It’s an escape dream to an edge of the world while being strangely content with some undergrown adulthood. It’s part undercover love song to the sometimes beautiful randomness of the universe and part offbeat, comical reminder to keep rewriting your unknown future. Like so much of the record, the song chases tiny flashes of light in the darkness.”


Skeleton Coast was recorded 30 miles east of El Paso, TX at Sonic Ranch Studios with longtime producer Matt Allison. The album contains the elements of the band’s sound that fans have come to love for the past two decades but recontextualizes them in a way that somehow sounds perfectly aligned with this strange time in our collective history. Although it was written and recorded before the Coronavirus upended the world, the band’s seventh studio album sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free. “For a band who has been around as long as us, this is about as urgent of a record as we could make,” vocalist and bassist Brendan Kelly explains. “It may be kind of dark but it’s really about searching for light in the darkness and finding it, as small as those moments may seem. That’s sort of where we’re at: Collecting the scraps of things that could make for a bearable existence in dark times.”

1. Quiet Storm
2. PTA
3. Belly Of The Whale
4. Dead Man’s Coat
5. Pigeons and Spies
6. Last Last Words
7. Demon
8. Ghostwriter
9. How To Rot
10. Under Paris
11. Goblin Fox Hunt
12. Lose Control
13. Don’t Look At Me
14. Coyote Crown

The Lawrence Arms have never had any agenda apart from just having fun and making good music. Since forming in Chicago in 1999—the trio of bassist/vocalist Brendan Kelly, guitarist/vocalist Chris McCaughan and drummer Neil Hennessy—have made albums that continually challenge the boundaries of their sound. In the process they’ve carved out a distinctive identity in the punk community that’s simultaneously gritty, beautiful, melodic and mutinous

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames latest exhibit “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”

Dee Snider is the out spoken, wild hair front man of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Dee is currently one of the subjects in a recent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame titled “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics”. The exhibit showcases some of the most important debates of our country through the lens of rock music. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Dee recently about the exhibit, his thoughts on the country’s current political climate and the Twisted Sisters farewell shows scheduled for this fall.

Adam Lawton: How did you become involved with the current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit “Louder Than Words”?

Dee Snider: As it turned out my involvement during the 1980’s in Washington was a significant rock and politics moment. They reached out to me to do an interview and afterwards asked if I had any items I could loan them for a display. I ended up donating some of the things I wore the day I testified before congress. After talking with them more I was invited to the opening of the event which evolved into me singing an acoustic version of “Were Not Gonna Take It”. We did that with just piano and vocals and it went real well. This song is so much more important and says so much. It’s a lot more than just a great party song.

AL: Prior to your appearance before congress were politics something you had always been interested in?

DS: I had no interest in politics at that time. I was a young man in rock and roll and you just don’t think about those things. The song was written about my/our oppressors and I was sharing it with our audience who were equally frustrated. Now were older and there are greater concerns. The political climate right now is just awful! The fact that we have probably the most despised person in the history of presidential elections running against the second most despised person. The elections are going to come down to voting for one of those two people. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be so that’s why now more than ever I want “Were Not Gonna Take It” to inspire people. I want people to listen to that song and have it inspire them to try and make a change to get things back to the way our fore fathers intended it to be. People have to vote based on if they like the other guy or girl candidate instead of what issues they stand for. People are viewing this election like a reality television show. We all know reality television is not real but this is! When it comes down to this election we are just boned. I am actually in the process of shooting a new video for “Were Not Gonna Take It” with the guy who shot the original. This time around the video is not going to be funny. It’s going to be a fucking statement! The thing is its too late now but it’s not too late for the future to make something happen.

AL: Initially “Were Not Gonna Take It” was attached to Donald Trump’s campaign. How did that come and about and how did things work when you asked them to stop using it?

DS: I want to make something very clear. Donald Trump is a friend, a great guy and a class act. Unlike most politicians he called me and asked if he could start using the song. Him being my friend I told him he certainly could use it. Now when you are friends with people there is a rule. You don’t talk about three things sports, religion or politics. We never talked about the things he was standing for so when I started to see and read this stuff I thought “Holy Shit!” I called him up and told him I couldn’t stand behind the things he was saying. He said ok and that was it. Donald is a class act because he asked me first to use the song and then stopped using it when I asked him. I still like him as a person but we definitely don’t see eye to eye politically.

AL: Having seen where “Were Not Gonna Take It” has gone what do you think the young Dee Snider would think of all this?

DS: Young Dee Snider would be stunned. That song was written to rile up the masses and scare parents and it did that. Then it leads to me being the poster boy for all things bad about rock music and having to defend my songs and speaking out about censorship. Cut to now and it’s a rock and jock anthem, It’s on kids shows and commercials for women’s pre-menopausal medications. The ultimate irony of all happened a couple of years ago when the “Rock of Ages” film came out. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a typical esc character fronting a PMRC esc organization who is trying to stop rock and roll. What song do they end up singing? “Were Not Gonna Take It”. You had to be fucking kidding me! That was the ultimate definition of irony. If you told young Dee Snider that thirty or forty years ago he probably would have punched you in the face! (Laughs)

AL: Twisted Sister was recently the topic of a documentary titled “Twisted F****** Sister” which showcased the bands early career. Are there plans to release a second part to that showing the success of the band?

DS: We sort of covered that with the “Behind the Music” special that aired on VH1. That’s the story most people tend to already know. We supported the making of that documentary but it was not something that was instigated by us. There was a documentarian who was intrigued by our story having learned that we were a band for ten years prior to making it big. This was something he was taken with and we welcomed his interest as too many people think that we jumped on the bandwagon of hair metal. We didn’t jump on it we built it! There were no bands like Motley Crue or Poison when we started. I give credit to Hanoi Rocks and Quiet Riot as well for also contributing but there was certainly no wagon to be jumped on. We were carrying the torch for something that record companies were rejecting. This film shows how hard we fought to get noticed and to where we are.

AL: It was recently announced that the band will be playing a handful of farewell shows this year. Can you tell us about those plans and what prompted this decision?

DS: I think this is long overdue. I don’t want anyone to take that the wrong way but I never intended to reunite Twisted Sister and then be together longer than we were when we first got together. I wanted to fix the broken relationships we had with one another and then end on a higher note than the one we ended on when we quietly disbanded in 1987. After a few years of reunion shows we had accomplished what I had wanted. We played the Wacken Festival to seventy five thousand people and it was a perfect show played to a perfect crowd on a perfect night. It also was captured by a dozen or so HD cameras and is available on DVD. That’s how I wanted to end things and I asked the guys if we could stop however the guys voted to keep going. With AJ passing away the sense of who Twisted Sister is and how we wanted to be remembered has become very strong. We know guys have members die and they keep going but we don’t want to be that band. After AJ died it seemed like a logical stopping point for us but with one caveat. AJ was the nice guy in the band however he didn’t have any sort of estate planning set up in the event something happened to him. These shows are going to allow us to say our goodbyes to the fans but also help raise some money for AJ’s estate. Along with our love for AJ and with the help of Mike Portnoy who is one hell of a drummer we did a run of shows last year and will be doing some this year as it will be our 40th anniversary. After these show’s that will be it for us. I don’t think anyone would fault us if we wanted to continue on indefinitely however there are other things we have to take in to account besides the loss of AJ. We perform with a very high energy rate and aggressiveness which has become expected of us. I don’t want to let our fans down. With a lot of work at the age of 61 I am still in great shape but no one beats gravity. I don’t want to go down on stage with a broken hip or something. If I did I don’t think the guys would even know something happened because they have seen my roll around on the floor before. (Laughs) Those guys wouldn’t think anything was really wrong until the EMT’s showed up as they probably would just assume I was milking it.

Enter to Win a Blu-ray of Clive Owen’s “Words & Pictures” [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of Clive Owen & Juliette Binoche’s “Words & Pictures”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the film on Blu-ray 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 romantic drama. This giveaway will remain open until September 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all of our Media Mikes readers worldwide. 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.

Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Owen) meets his match in Dina Delsanto (Binoche) — an abstract painter, and new teacher on campus — and challenges her to a war between words and pictures…and, in the process, sparks an unlikely romance. Stars Academy Award® winner Juliette Binoche (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The English Patient, 1996) and Academy Award® nominee Clive Owen (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Closer, 2004).


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Win a DVD of “Louder Than Words” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with ARC Entertainment to bring you the new, uplifting film “Louder Than Words,” which will be released on DVD on Tuesday, September 9th.

The film, which stars David Duchovny and Hope Davis, tells the true story of the Fareri family, who turned a personal tragedy (the loss of their youngest daughter to a rare illness) into a goal to build place of hope for other families.

All you need to do is register below and you could win one of two copies of the film on DVD. This giveaway will remain open until September 19th. At the end, two random entries will be chosen and the winners notified by email. Good luck!


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DVD Review “Scott Ian: Speaking/Swearing Words in Glasgow”

“Scott Ian: Speaking/Swearing Words in Glasgow”
Number of discs: 1
Label: Megaforce Records
Rated: Unrated

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In 2013 Heavy Metal musician, author and television personality Scott Ian made his way over to Europe to perform his first run of speaking shows detailing his 30+ years in the music business. “Scott Ian: Speaking/Swearing Words In Glasgow” is the full length visual presentation of Scott’s show in Glasgow, Scotland which was made possible by fans from around the world donating money to the project through the PledgeMusic campaign.

Even if you are not a fan of Anthrax or heavy metal music in general there is plenty of humor in this release from Scott Ian. Shot live while performing his first ever run of speaking shows Scott shares some of his most wild stories from his career as the guitarist for one of the founding bands of thrash metal, Anthrax. From the tale of drinking with legendary Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister to his chance meeting with director Steven Spielberg, Scott’s dialogue will have you laughing from the word go. Over the course of the DVD Scott takes the viewer on a roller coaster that is his life. Through ups and downs Scott pulls no punches and is steadfast in his approach. You don’t have to be a heavy metal music fan to enjoy these stories!

To more to Scott’s witty banter are a handful of art slides that correspond with each of the stories told. This was a great addition as just seeing a cartoon version of 80’s era Scott with long hair was enough for me. Add in similar cartoon versions of Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna, heavy metal icon Johnny Z and of course the previously mentioned Lemmy and these entertaining slides act as the icing on the cake for this release. If you were fortunate to catch this show or one of the other European/U.S. shows this DVD is a must have for your collection. If you weren’t able to make it out to the live show but wanted to then you already know what you need to do. Buy this DVD!


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Film Review “Bad Words”

Starring: Jason Bateman and Rohan Chand
Directed by: Jason Bateman
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 29 mins
Focus Features

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a man with a dream. That dream is to be named the best speller in America. And what better way to prove your skills than at the annual Golden Quill Spelling Bee? The only problem: Guy is 45 years old.

In a very strong directorial debut, Jason Bateman gives a change of pace performance as a spoiled man-child who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Finding a loophole in the rules, which states that no contestant can compete if they have graduated 8th grade, Bateman completely leaves behind the gentle “everyman” persona he’s made a career out of playing in everything from ”Arrested Development” to “Identity Thief.” Whether it’s convincing a fellow contestant that he’s just had sex with his mother or threatening to physically assault a girl contestant, Bateman adds a new “trick” to his overloaded bag of comic goodies.

Equally good is the supporting cast, headed up by eight year old Rohan Chand as a little boy who, despite his best intentions, ends up bonding with guy. That the boy and his father may be just as dastardly as Guy is one of the comic highlights of the film. Other strong supporting work is turned in by Kathryn Hahn as the reporter who sponsors Guy’s attempt, Allison Janey as the “Bee” overseer and the great Phillip Baker Hall as the long time educator who will stop at nothing to keep the spelling bee scandal free.

As a director, Bateman knows how to tell a story and, more importantly, how to pace the comedy so, when it’s at its best, it just flows smoothly across the screen. In a word, “Bad Words” is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!

Concert Review: Scott Ian “Speaking Words”

“Speaking Words”
Scott Ian
Date: Thursday, March 6th 2014
Venue: The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Anthrax/The Damned Things guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian brought his spoken word tour to the quaint Syracuse, NY venue known as the Lost Horizon on March 6th were he spoke about his 20 plus year career in the music business. Though this is Ian’s first run with this venture here in the States and his first appearance in Syracuse since 1987,he showed himself as the consummate professional and left no stone unturned.

Prior to the nights event whenever I heard the term “spoken word” I immediately thought of Henry Rollins and his outspoken and sometimes controversial speaking sessions where he shares with those in attendance his recent travel stories and thoughts on various subjects. However I now have a new name to throw in to the spoken word ring as Scott Ian proved he is more than just a heavy metal guitarist with an impressive goatee. For close to 3 hours Mr. Ian took the 100-150 people in attendance on journey dating back to Anthrax’s first trip to Europe which included a chance meeting with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead that resulted in a rather colorful explanation of what happens when a non-drinker hangs out with Lemmy for one evening. Accompanied by several cartoon like slides that added to the comedic side of Ian’s tales and a number of personal photos Scott progressed through his life and some of its darker days before closing out the night with tales of his late friend, Pantera/Damage Plan guitarist Dime bag Darrel.

After Ian finished up his portion of the evening he opened up the floor to questions from the audience. This proved quite entertaining as one fan in attendance proclaimed that he was there to request a DNA test from the Anthrax guitarist after being told by his mother that he was the result of a one night stand between his mom and Ian in 1983. Scott quickly put this person in place stating a number of facts proving that this was definitely not the case. Other questions tackled during the Q and A session included questions about the status of a new Anthrax album, the release of his upcoming book and DVD along with stories of Scott’s encounter with former area resident and heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio.

It could have been very easy for Scott to get up on stage go through a pre-rehearsed routine and that would have been it however the evenings show was much more than that. Witty banter between Scott and the intimate crowd along with off the cuff stories and a lively question and answer session made the night unique and fun. You never knew where things would go next and it was something a bit different that a traditional stand up or spoken word performance. Another cool feature added to the night for those with a little extra drinking money was an after show meet and greet with Scott where he mingled with fans and continued to answer whatever questions people may have been too shy to answer during the open forum. The whole night was very relaxed and felt like you were hanging out with a bunch of friends telling war stories. My only hope is that Scott continues to do these types of shows and continues to evolve as a multi-tiered artist.

Scott Ian, Legendary Anthrax Guitarist, Officially Announces “Speaking Words” Tour

SCOTT IAN: Legendary ANTHRAX Guitarist, Author, and TV Personality Officially Announces “Speaking Words” Tour, North American Leg

New 60-Second Video Teaser Launched via VICE Noisey

 SCOTT IAN’s Hilarious One-Man Storytelling Experience Kicks Off in Chicago, IL on February 20, 2014

“Geek, author, guitarist, icon: when it comes to recounting the history of metal, SCOTT IAN is the man – catch him while you can.” – Alex Milas, Editor, Metal Hammer

At this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality SCOTT IAN has a lot to say. After decades-worth of international touring with Anthrax, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences— SCOTT IAN certainly has some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.

Following the resounding success of the UK leg of his “Speaking Words” tour, Scott is picking up the mic again for a 15-city North American leg, kicking off in Chicago, IL on February 20th.

An official “Speaking Words” tour teaser, featuring professional footage from his upcoming “Speaking Words: Live in Glasgow” DVD (pre-order coming soon), has been exclusively released via VICE Noisey today. Watch it here.

Don’t mistake this for your run-of-the-mill spoken word tour. In SCOTT IAN’s own words, “it ain’t no poetry reading” either. “Speaking Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Scott will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience.

SCOTT IAN adds, “England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Germany; I’ve been “Speaking Words” all over the world. My friends in the U.S. and Canada, you asked for it and now I finally get to bring it home! I’m looking forward to talking with ya, talking at ya and telling you some amazing tales of drunken debauchery and ridiculousness. No punches pulled, no swear word left unturned, and no question avoided in the Q&A. Let’s do this!”

A special opportunity to join a VIP meet & greet at each date is available now via SCOTT IAN’s webstore. This unique and limited event will allow you to spend time with Scott like never before. It’s a veritable post show hangout with a metal legend— one that’s sure to enrich your knowledge of not only all-things SCOTT IAN, but Anthrax and metal history in general. The VIP meet & greet also includes a special VIP laminate, banner, and other goodies. Learn more and get your passes here:

Currently Confirmed SCOTT IAN “Speaking Words” Dates:

2/20 – Chicago, IL @ Mayne Stage

2/21 – Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge

2/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre

2/24 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater

2/25 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo Club

2/26 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion

2/27 – Ottowa, ON @ Ritual

3/01 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ramshead Live: Power Plant Live

3/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

3/04 – Boston, MA @ Hard Rock Cafe

3/05 – New York, NY @ BB Kings

3/06 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon

3/07 – West Warwick, RI @ Manchester 65

3/08 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall

With a career spanning three decades, Scott is heralded as metal elite. As the co-founding member of AnthraxSCOTT IAN helped to create the thrash metal genre in the 1980’s. Anthrax have sold over 10 million records worldwide, have multiple Gold and Platinum awarded recordings, multiple Grammy nominations and have toured the world over on roughly 90+ tours since 1984. SCOTT IAN is recognized as a constant and unanimously recognizable figure in the worlds of music, poker, comics, movies and television. Currently, SCOTT IAN hosts Blood & Guts for the Nerdist Channel, and along with Anthrax, is writing songs for their presently untitled 11th studio album, due out in 2014.

For more information on SCOTT IAN, please visit these websites:

Official SCOTT



Twitter: @Scott_Ian

CD Review “Mark Twain: Words & Music”

Performed by: Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keillor, Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: September 21, 2011
Label: Mailboat Records
Tracks: 27 – 14 Disc one / 13 Disc two

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Normally, I wouldn’t think that I would ever listen to a CD about Mark Twain’s life. This CD is being released by Mailboat Records, which is backed by Jimmy Buffett.  Yes, that is all I need to have in order to listen to a CD about Mark Twain. “Mark Twain: Words & Music” is a double-CD which tells the story of Twain’s life in spoken word and song. Voices on this project include Jimmy Buffett (as Huck Finn), Garrison Keillor (as the narrator), Clint Eastwood (as Mark Twain) and Angela Lovell (as Susy Clemens). Yes, I did mean that Clint Eastwood.

This is not just a typical spoke word album. There are perfect blend of 14 story segments with 13 corresponding songs performed by Emmylou Harris, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rhonda Vincent, Bradley Walker, Carl Jackson, The Church Sisters, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, Marty Raybon, Val Storey, Vince Gill, Joe Diffie, and Ricky Skaggs. Is that enough talent for you to handle on on CD? This project was produced by Grammy Award-winner Carl Jackson in order to benefit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death and 175th anniversary of his birth back in 2010.

This CD doesn’t just stop at the tracks on both discs, also includes is a very detailed 40-page linear notes included, which complements this album very well.  The liner notes are great and even include pictures of Twain along with the text. I recommend listening to the album and then checking out the book. If you are a history buff, this gives a unique approach to the life of one of our greatest scholars.  If you are a Jimmy Buffett fan, then you are going to love getting to hear him put his spin on Huck Finn, it is awesome. Clint Eastwood also channels his inner Dirty Harry once again for his role of Mark Twain. Lastly, if you are a fan of bluegrass/country music then you will definitely dig this.

Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. Hello yourself, and see how you like it… – Jimmy Buffett, Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keillor
2. When Halley Came To Jackson – Emmylou Harris
3. Hannibal, Missouri, where my boyhood was spent… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Buffett
4. Better Times A’ Comin’ – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
5. He agreed to teach me the Mississippi River… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Buffett
6. Run Mississippi – Rhonda Vincent
7. Several years of variegated vagabondizing… – Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keillor, Jimmy Buffett
8. A Cowboy In His Soul – Bradley Walker
9. It liberates the vandal to travel… – Garrison Keillor and Clint Eastwood
10. Safe Water – Carl Jackson
11. You ain’t ever to love anybody but me… – Garrison Keillor and Clint Eastwood
12. I Wandered By A Brookside – The Church Sisters
13. It was a mighty nice family… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Angela Love
14. Beautiful Dreamer – Sheryl Crow

Disc 2
1. Don’t scrunch up like that, Huckleberry… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Buffett
2. Huck Finn Blues – Brad Paisley
3. The crows would gather on the railing and talk about me… – Garrison Keillor and Clint Eastwood
4. Huck Finn Blues – Marty Raybon
5. So wounded, so broken-hearted… – Garrison Keillor and Clint Eastwood
6. Love Is On Our Side – Val Storey
7. Wheresoever she was, there was Eden… – Garrison Keillor and Clint Eastwood
8. I Know You By Heart – Vince Gill
9. My concsience got to stiring me up hotter than ever… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Buffett
10. Ink – Joe Diffie
11. The report of my death was an exaggeration… – Garrison Keillor, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Buffett
12. Comet Ride – Ricky Skaggs
13. The truth, mainly… – Garrison Keillor and Jimmy Buffett

Blu-ray Review “The Words: Extended Special Edition”

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Ben Barnes and Zoë Saldana
Directors: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Run Time: 97 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“The Words” was not a film that I was interested in seeing in theaters. I do love Bradley Cooper and Zoë Saldana but it just didn’t interest me. The romantic thriller also does have a decent supporting cast including Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Ben Barnes. I was a bit plenty surprised this little film definitely kept you guessing until the very end. Not my favorite of the year but if you are bored on a Saturday night, looking for some great acting and an interesting story – then I would suggest checking this out. This special edition Blu-ray also includes an extended edition of the film, as well as the theatrical edition.

Official Synopsis: “There’s more than one way to take a life…” and there are no truer words. Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has achieved his every goal: a loving wife, critical success and a best-selling novel. The only problem, he’s risked everything he values because his success is not entirely his own. Now, as his conscience starts to haunt him and his past wrongs are revealed, he uncovers the steep price that must be paid, throwing his whole world and relationship into jeopardy. The consequences may just affect the legacy of himself as well as those closest to him.

The Blu-ray itself doens’t break the barrier of the format but surely looks nice.  The 1080p transfer is crisp and looks clear.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks steals the show with the film’s score and delivered  packs the dialogue very clear as well. The special features really consist of only four featurettes.  They are decent but nothing amazing.  The first is a making-of with “Unabridged: A Look Behind the Scenes of The Words”.  The next is a chat with Bradley Cooper and the filmmakers in “A Gentleman’s Agreement”. Lastly there are also two character featurettes focusing on “Clay and Daniella” and “The Young Man and Celia”.  Since this film is really a character film it works well but I would have loved to seen a commentary track as well.

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for “The Words” [ENDED]

CBS Films is releasing THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana wide on Friday, September 7th. The screening is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, September 4th at the AMC Altamonte  at 7:30pm.

A multi-layered romantic drama with an all-star cast, The Words centers on Rory Jansen, a talented writer with a beautiful wife and mounting internal and external pressure to achieve success.  What he chooses to do in order to fulfill his ambition has the potential to cost him everything, and he soon finds himself repeating the mistakes of someone in the past.  Now, the worlds of two men living in different times threaten to converge as both are forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for placing ambition before love.

Blu-ray Review “A Thousand Words”

Directed by: Brian Robbins
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Ariel Winter, Kerry Washington
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Eddie Murphy, he has been hit or miss (mostly miss) recently. His decisions to constantly do kid’s films are really hurting his career. I mean if they were good kids film’s that one thing but besides “Shrek” franchise…they aren’t. This film is no different and actually has sat on the shelf since 2008. My main concern why would you have Eddie Murphy in a film where he can only speak a thousand words when he is the funniest when he goes on long-winded rants. It doesn’t seem like a smart move. Due to this the film really doesn’t deliver beyond a few chuckles.

Eddie Murphy plays Jack McCall, a literary agent who in order to sign huge client, a New Age guru, he must agree to the following the guru’s ways in order to get the contract. When a tree suddenly appears in Jack’s backyard, he finds that it loses a leaf every time Jack says speaks or writes a word. He has to choose his words carefully and aims to learn a valuable lesson on the consequences of every word we speak…Yawn.

The Blu-ray is not bad for a comedy. The 1080p transfer looks good and is presented in its original aspect ratio: 2.39:1. The audio track included is an DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, which sounds decent also. The special features are lacking though like the film itself. There are a whooping 11 deleted scenes included and an alternate ending. That is about it. The scenes are decent and worth a watch but nothing that could have helped the film.