I want to address the ongoing debate/issue concerning the fact that there are two versions of the same band that exist currently in the world of Queensryche. This is not unchartered waters nor will it be something that goes away anytime soon. Unfortunately for the fans, Rock n’ Roll is a business and in the old days when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford left Aerosmith (for example) there became The Joe Perry Project. No problem. New name, new identity, no harm done. Today with the branding being so identifiable within the rock community there are now legal battles to see who rightfully owns and gets to use the name – both for recording purposes and touring. RATT, L.A. Guns, Great White, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath – the list goes on of popular bands that shift band members and fight over ownership of the logo and identity. I have always looked at it as more music, more shows, more reasons to get excited about hearing a new or slightly different take on a band or sound that I found pleasing. Have I liked all of the different versions of the bands? NO. Corabi replaces Vince Neil and they put an album called Motley Crue..did I like It? Yes. Did it bomb? Yes. Who cares? Whether Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche ultimately gets ownership of the name or the camp featuring Todd LaTorre wins out..I win as the fan because I can enjoy both for what they each offer. Read more
When Forevermore was released back in 2011 my initial thoughts were “Coverdale was able to bring back vintage Snake while still sounding fresh and current”. A ton of credit must go to Doug Aldrich whose contributions to the songwriting stood out even more here than on 2008’s “Good To Be Bad”. Tracks like “Love Will Set You Free” and “Steal Your Heart Away” are some of the strongest Snake tracks ever. Aldrich is able to pick up the mantle passed down from Micky Moody, John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Steve Vai and leave his indelible mark on the legacy of one of rocks classic acts. Read more
Wow, can you imagine that 1994 was the last time we heard any new original material from Cinderella with Still Climbing? Well Mr. Keifer, the 19 year break was well worth the wait with The Way Life Goes. On his new solo release, Tom takes the listener on a journey through all of what made Cinderella great – whisky soaked vocals, crunching guitars, bluesy hard rock, and kick-ass menacing anthems aimed to please. Tom took his best shot and hit the target with a resounding BULLYSEYE. The songs are so strong it truly rivals anything on Night Songs or Long Cold Winter – two classics in my collection. Keifer has come up with some his most memorable lyrics, really painting a picture with each track while keeping me tapping my best air drums at the same time with a solid backing band. Read more
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Your newest project Outlier is due here in the US on May 7 and appears to be one of your most ambitious projects you may have ever undertaken. Except for a few lead guitar parts you played each instrument, every lead vocal and even the production work. How long was the process and was your motivation any different this time around?
I have no master plan when I start anything I work on. I have no commercial route I’m chasing. It’s not like I’m trying to be trendy, trying to look or sound like today’s flavor of the month. I’m more like a five year old boy who plugs in his guitar hoping to connect to the hotline of the God of creativity and come up with something cool.
I had a very basic idea going in, I knew I did not want another record full of wining ballads. I concentrated more on the rough edges of each track, giving more attention to the guitar parts. I was very keen on trying to build a bridge between the traditional side of Kingdom Come and the new phase of the band via 2013. I’m pretty happy with the mesh of the two I think Outlier represents.
Everybody is not going to hear what I hear in terms of the new material and get that connection but I tried. The record took me 18 months to complete but I took breaks during the process because I didn’t want it to seem like work it has to be fun. I went through the same struggles all musicians sometimes do where I wanted to scrap the whole project and give up music completely and then three days later I’m thanking God for the inspiration to carry on with a new idea.
Lenny you’re never going to please every fan as you try and break new ground as an artist and strive to write and record the types of songs you want to record. For the average US fan who enjoyed the first two Kingdom Come records but may not be that familiar with your more recent Kingdome Come material, suddenly they see Outlier available at whatever outlet they obtain new music, expecting to hear the next “Do You Like It?” what would you say to them?
Well with new songs like “Let The Silence Talk” and “Skip The Cover And Feel” those have the typical Lenny Wolf sort of vintage 80’s sounding Kingdom Come feel to them. But again my own hearing habits have changed quite a bit since the first record came out in 1988. I do appreciate those records and songs from that era and still enjoy performing them live. Actually if I were to go back and listen to older music I find myself more in tune to the 1970’s and that type of production work and guitar sound.
But honestly I don’t spend a ton of time worrying about trying to appeal to the fan who only wants to hear “Get it On “2013. I could have written “Yesterday” or “Stairway to Heaven” on this new record and some cynics would have been like “Hey Lenny” those songs are ok but they are not really hip new songs! I just try and write songs that my instinct is telling me to do and I can only hope people catch onto it. I try to reach music fans at their inner heart or soul and try to create some cosmic energy where they go and buy it.
Do you feel that Outlier contains more autobiographical songs or just your observations and views on the world today?
I think that I have written both. When I think of songs like “Rough Ride Ralleye” or “When Colors Break The Grey” those are based musically on 2013 sound and technology. Using sounds and elements I built on my own nothing you find, for instance, on a keyboard pre produced. I literally spent weeks and weeks trying to come up with my own sound on each track. Then again “Let The Silence Talk” was more of something based on my life. I had to reel myself in when doing this one and kept saying to myself “Now Lenny DO NOT OVERPRODUCE THIS SUCKER!” let it just grow, remain simple and let the riff and the melody and the lyrics do the talking.
So is it safe to say that certain songs could have been extras on an earlier Kingdom Come records and other songs could only really have been written today?
Yes for sure. Like I mentioned earlier “Let The Silence Talk” I mean that song could have been written in 1984. “Skip the Cover and Feel” is another one that would have worked then. Whether the fans like it now is another story. I really have to please myself when creating new material. You cannot record the expected over and over again. How many more times can I write “Do You Like It?” I would bore myself to death and most likely others as well. On the other hand the record company would probably love it if I could write another “Get It On” twenty times over but I take music seriously than to just repeat myself over again. Being a creative manic that just wouldn’t work for me.
What are the touring plans for 2013?
I can tell you that we would love to tour in North America and play all over the states but we are not exactly on the Metallica or Bon Jovi level so there would have to be a bill that would make sense financially. We are talking to a new booking agent this year and every consideration is being made to make it happen. I’m sure I will be playing in the states at some point. It used to be my biggest market and I love and miss my fans there a lot. I take it day by day and let the almighty musical god do what he will for me.
Last summer there were several media outlets that had created a buzz about the possibility of a reunion of the original Kingdom Come lineup. Is it still a possibility and how do you feel about it personally since you are the lone flame that has kept the Kingdom Come legacy alive and kicking into 2013?
After playing with James (Kottak) a few years back here in Germany when I opened for the Scorpions we sat back and looked at each other and asked ourselves why we ever broke up in the first place? I love James even though at times he can be a total clumsy snitzelbrain he’s like a brother to me. We have talked about writing and recording some new material but he’s been busy with The Scorpions and I’ve been recording and touring as well. It’s all possible. I recently reconnected with Derek Shulman who had originally signed us to Polygram Records and we talked about the possibility of getting the band back together. The current band and lineup is my priority but you never say never.
Having been born and raised in Germany but also having lived in the United States for several years what do you think is the major difference (if any) between rock n roll bands in Europe and North America?
Their outlook on life (in general) is the same. Musically however there are some differences. Most German bands have a different approach to music. Me personally I have always connected more with English speaking bands and solo artists. Beatles, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Then I developed my own thing based on them. I was never really caught up with the German sound like Helloween for instance. Great band very successful but not exactly my cup of tea. I was Americanized long before I ever step foot in Los Angeles. Just because of the way I think, the way I like to talk to people and at the same time minding my own business and doing my own thing. Live and let live is my motto even before any religious approach I may have had.
Do you feel that newer bands have an easier road to success than they did say thirty years ago?
No. I think that what we are experiencing right now is an absolute overload of information. Technology enhancements are a great thing and all musicians are taking advantage of it but there are too many artists now and not enough fans for each one. Record sales in general are down drastically since then and bands that sold 5 million records then may only sell 100,000 today. The industry just doesn’t have the cash flow it once did to support enough younger bands and stick with them for a while and build them up like they once did. Due to technology every 5th kid on this planet is putting out his own music like on YouTube or Facebook. To keep up with who’s putting out what and when it is coming out is difficult. It’s a time effort that I think a lot of fans just don’t have today. Back then with less choices and less releases fans could focus better and therefore give it more support. Much harder today for newer bands for sure.
Lenny if you were not a musician what do you think would have been your career choice?
The right hand man in the Godfather? A job from 9 to 5 was never really my cup of tea although I delivered washing machines, waited on tables and did whatever I had to do to support myself while playing guitar. I’m a big fan of being in the water and have spent an awful lot of time on my boat so maybe a fisherman or captain of a ship. Maybe a pirate? Jack Sparrow?
Did your parents support you in your choice to become a musician?
Not really. My mom was just barely getting by in the early 1960’s and we were renting rooms in what was then known as giant bunkers left over from WWII. I’m pretty much a self made man who had a dream to play guitar and saved my money to buy my first amp. I’m not as successful as Steve Jobs but I’m content in other ways and grateful to my fans for supporting me.
Do you listen to a lot of new music?
Honestly, I don’t. My brother lives in Seattle, Washington and is my antenna to the outside world. He spends more time listening to what’s hot, what’s not and sends me things all the time. That never really interested me then or now. It takes me awhile to discover new bands and new songs. I guess that type of musically approach of being so disconnected has its advantages and disadvantages.
Any final thoughts to your fans as the first single and video “God Does Not Sing Our Song” gets its initial release?
I’m well aware that the record maybe a bit difficult to digest for older Kingdom Come fans. New listeners have an easier adjustment. I’m just trying to get fans excited and take them on a journey. I’m just out here trying to build a fan base. I’m a very emotional sucker and I think this will shine through my music quite clearly. It’s not made for elevators and or any Hot Cherry Pie eating contests. I appreciate you writing about it and tell my fans not to believe everything they hear about me because I’m much worse!
- God Does Not Sing Our Song 04:05
- Running High Distortion 04:14
- Rough Ride Ralleye 04:35
- Let The Silence Talk 03:29
- Holy Curtain 03:59
- The Trap Is Alive 04:41
- Skip The Cover And Feel 03:37
- Don`t Want You To Wait 04:31
- Such A Shame 03:18
- When Colors Break The Grey 05:03
For more info visit:www.lennywolf.com
Stephen Pearcy is a survivor. That best describes his personal life as not only battling through years of substance abuse but also his musical career as a whole. Constantly fighting his inner demons ultimately landed him in rehab in 2009 for a booze/pills/weed and heroin addiction that almost ended his life. Subsequently, his career has had as many twists and turns and ups and downs as any organized car race that Pearcy may have driven in or been a part of since he attended his first race back in his teens. Read more
As Saxon geared up to release their 20th album Sacrifice in late February, TWRY caught up with Biff Byford to get all the details.
Sacrifice will be Saxon’s 20th record with a US release date of February 26. What would you say fans can expect from this newest release?
I produced the record myself so I wanted to make sure it was a lot heavier than the last one. There are no ballads on this one. It was a bit of an intense experience for sure making sure the direction did not wane during the recording process. We expect it to do better than the last one as we do with all of our albums. It’s gotten some fantastic reviews in the press so far, The release date has been postponed a bit because we were not happy with the booklet and inserts. The US release date is now March 26.
Biff you contributed all of the lyrics on Sacrifice. It doesn’t appear that anyone would ever accuse you of being a romantic at heart. You generally try to write about world history, current events or life circumstances. Do you think this is a fair statement?
Yes, I always write all of our lyrics on each album. That is a fair statement for sure. I’m not real big on rock n roll cliché lyrics. I can do it if I wanted to now and again, most of the time I like to songs to be like a mini book. Lyrics that fans can read and get off on.
Although you produced the album the band decided to work with legendary producer/mixer Andy Sneap (Testament, Accept, Megadeath) this time around on the mix. Was this the first time you have worked with Andy and what do you think he brought to this project?
It was the first time I have worked with Andy on a project together. I have known him for quite sometime. I really liked a lot of work he has done with other bands. He has a real unique ear for metal guitars in particular. I wanted him to mix it because my idea in producing this record was to have something more real and less digitally enhanced. Andy was really up for this challenge and has been a huge Saxon fan for years. We had a chat prior to heading into the studio and came up with a plan After I had finished my production work we took it down to Andy’s place and mixed it there.
You have some re-recorded versions of some Saxon classics as bonus tracks. How did that come about and was it difficult to pick which ones were used?
It’s never easy to pick songs for a set list or in this case to re-record. We were looking for something interesting to do rather than do an entire re-recorded record of the hits or an unplugged album that has been suggested in the past. “Crusader” has been one of our bigger hits internationally and we sent it away to be orchestrated and we were truly blown away when the finished product was returned. We love that track for this idea because it’s so much more epic than some of the others that were considered. As far as the acoustic tracks that were chosen we really wanted these to be completely stripped down. Just the guitars and my voice nothing else. “Just Let Me Rock” was also on the Crusader album but we wanted to give it a heavier treatment and I think we succeeded. “Forever Free” is a motorcycle anthem of sorts and thought it would be fun to give it some new life.
The album cover was once again created by Paul Raymond Gregory. How far back does that relationship go back?
The first project we worked on with Paul was the Crusader album in 1984. Over the years Paul has worked on quite a few of our album covers about 90%. Usually with Paul we will have a chat about the idea in general and tell him broadly what I want. Sometimes it’s as simple as a song title sometimes it’s a bit more than that. This time around I wanted to concentrate on the Mayan Inca culture and symbolism that was prevalent in that culture during that period. The face with the tongue and the sun symbol are representations of strength and what Saxon is really into. Images that are really striking and make you think.
What will be the first single and do you plan on any videos for Sacrifice?
We have a video coming out for the song “Sacrifice” which will be the first single. Seems as though “Made in Belfast” is getting a lot of buzz in reviews and seems to be a favorite track amongst those who have heard the record. That looks to be a possible 2nd video and I plan on talking to the record company about very soon.
Looks as if the “Sacrifice” World Tour is starting in March with the Monsters of Rock Cruise, a date in Mexico City, a few shows in South America and several dates in Europe starting in April and running all the way through the summer sharing the stage on some major festivals. When do you think North American fans might see Saxon back on stage?
We have some time held in May for some possible dates across the pond. We also have plans for some dates in September/October as well. We have a new booking agent so we want to secure dates in America, Canada and Japan as well. Our 2011 tour in the States (although short) was very successful. The website will be updated with dates as soon as they are confirmed.
Heavy Metal Thunder-the Movie was released in late 2012. It’s a documentary on the history of Saxon and includes interviews of past and present members of the band. After watching the finished product did any of its content shock you at all in any way?
No not really. I already knew the story because I lived it!! As far as the kudos and such from other artists that’s always nice to hear. I do realize that Graham Oliver would like a shot at a reunion gig but at this present time we really don’t have time for that. To tell you the truth there are not tons of offers for millions of dollars being thrown around to me. I think for the most part fans are content with this current lineup. But never say never!
In 2007 you released an autobiography Never Surrender. Did you find the experience therapeutic? Also based on your frankness did you receive any backlash at all from family or friends?
I think the film and the book actually tied in quite nicely. Although five years apart I pretty much said the same thing in both. It was a good experience. The book was surly a more emotionally trip for me personally than the film was. I explained in the book why members left the band or were sacked from the band and the film sort of confirms it. The book was more about me personally where the film is more about Saxon its history and the fans . I was really kind to former band members in the book. I made sure I didn’t diss anybody personally or if we had band orgies who slept with who and so on. I wanted to make sure with the book that I didn’t tare open any wounds.
Biff, at 62 years old does it surprise you how technologically gifted an artist you appear to be with frequent podcasts and one of the most up to date band websites I have ever seen?
The thing is with the internet you have to remember that we have been working consistently now since 1979. We have grown up through the digital revolution really. We are not dinosaurs and we have a really great grasp on modern technology. We use the website to get information to our fans as quickly as possible. I spent quite a bit of my time giving the webmaster grief because he’s not updating the content fast enough. The internet for better or worse for newer bands or established acts such as Saxon is the lifeline to the fans and general public.
The first time I saw Saxon was in Boston at the Orpheum in 1987. You played middle on a bill with openers Raven and headliners WASP. Do you recall that tour and any memories that you may have from it?
I remember that tour well because we really didn’t want to it! We wanted a break that winter and we didn’t get one. We wanted to be home for the holidays! My biggest memories from the Orpheum Theater was Saxon opening for AC/DC on the Back in Black tour in 1980. Saxon always had a strong following in Boston. I recall meeting and greeting with fans then and now.
Do you think as you look back on your career at this point is there a place in the world or a country that Saxon has not toured in that you would still like to play?
China we have never been to. I would love the opportunity first hand to view the country, the people it’s culture. India same thing. Would love to go there just for the food! New Zealand as well we have never played.
With all of the bands that point to Saxon as an inspiration to their style or direction do you ever feel ill at ease in meeting someone who may seem nervous in your presence? Have you ever met someone whom you looked up to as a vocalist or songwriter and had a similar reaction?
It’s hard to tell really. When we play festivals with multiple bands on the bill we have great relationships with some current bands like an American band like Machine Head for example. They are more or less contemporaries for us really although they site Saxon as an early influence. The newer bands do seem a bit nervous at times the first time you may say hello backstage. I hate to think of us as “legends” because it makes me feel old! For me I will often attend Rock Awards ceremonies in London and recently Robert Plant was only two tables away from me that was bit nerve racking. I wanted to go over and say hello but I didn’t. But yea even I get butterflies around certain musicians that I looked up to.
There seems to be no stopping Saxon in 2013 and beyond. I cannot see where there will be one defining moment ending the band. Do you ever see yourself in retirement? Will there ever be a ‘farewell tour “or do you think something like that is sometimes used by bands as a ploy to sell more tickets?
No I don’t. Maybe we should finish after this album or tour what do you think??(laughing) We’ll have another go in the studio at least one more time and see if we can better this one! We will just see how it goes. Sometimes bands do these farewell tours and change their minds. Maybe they have an argument with someone in the band and four months down the line they are suddenly friends again. We played with Judas Priest last year and that was supposed to be the end for them as well.
What is your final message to your fans Biff?
Well for one I have a great connection with our North American fans. I used to live in the Northeast for a time in the Poconos Mountain region when I was married to an American girl. I enjoyed the winters riding on my snowmobile. I love that area of the country. I love all areas of the US for different reasons. We will be back in 2013 and hope to see ya real soon!
The new Helstar 2 CD/1 DVD set 30 years of Hel contains songs pulled from the bands entire career recorded from a concert in the bands hometown of Houston Texas earlier this year. Was this show performed specifically to coincide with the concept of a career spanning type event or did it just end up that way?
It was all planned out that way from the get go. The show had been promoted that way from the moment it had been confirmed. I think however it the show took on a life of its own because of our rabid fans.
Are there some songs or albums touched upon during this performance that have either rarely been played out or have never been performed live?
Songs from Multiples of Black have not been performed live since 1995. It has long been considered “the black sheep of the family” album and now “Good Day To Die” is one of the most liked songs in the set based on crowd response.
If someone were to ask you “Hey James, I’ve never heard of your band before. But I’m interested in making a single purchase for my collection and I want THE defining moment of Helstar”. What would you say to him?
You know what I’d probably say to him is that the 30th year Anniversary set that we just released wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Not only because it touches upon our entire career but also it because it defines our band musicallyand our sound as a band in 2012. Our newer albums are a whole lot heavier than our older material I would almost describe it as “Melodic Thrash”. I would also more than likely suggest they go get The King of Hell (2008) and Glory (2010) because it is much more representative of what Helstar is now and always wanted to be. Forget the past. Then again how do I know that this guy is not more into classic metal like Judas Priest sounding bands, which is where his heart and mind may be? Then maybe I made a bad move and should have suggested Burning Star (1984). He might like that much more. The new Live album is the safest way to go about answering it. The other point I would like to make about that older material is that this release presents that older material in a much heavier light here in 2012. The whole show makes all the material sound fresh and current although some of the tracks are thirty years old!
Helstar did a tour of Europe last month how did it go?
It went great. We got to go to some obscure countries for the first time. That’s the most exciting part about playing in Europe we love all of our German and Dutch families we call “Mainland Europe”. Belgian and Austria are always going to be part of our trip over there it’s inevitable. We went to Turkey and Budapest this time and it just took our excitement level up a notch. The energy level in those counties is so intense because they don’t get much exposure to metal over there.
Do you think European audiences are more dedicated to classic metal than here in the US?
Without question. It’s a way of live over there and not a trend like it was here in the States. As our corporate world takes over and one minute we are into this type of music or that band and then the next band and the next style of music. The odd thing about that question is it’s not just Europe it’s the rest of the world except us! Mexico, Canada, all of South America true metal fans. Metal is big everywhere but here. Sad but true.
While you were in Europe after the Helstar dates you also performed in a tribute band correct?
I have a tribute band called “Sabbath Judas Sabbath” The Ultimate Tribute to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest The Dio years only. It’s basically my own small little enterprise. I have seven chapters total now. Six in America and one in Europe. The one in Europe may expand to two or three. The one I have in Europe right now is a band called Metalsteel from Slovenia (metalsteel.net) . Intially I was paying in Germany and Holland where all of my main contacts are located and fans were driving 10 11 hours to a gig. So I need to be around closer to their home turf. So when I was there we did one show in Italy and 3 in Spain. When I know Helstar is going over I always try and book gigs for a week or two longer while I’m there.
You played a few shows in Texas earlier this month and you have another scheduled for The Warehouse in Houston where you shot the DVD on December 1 and the big 70, 000 Tons Of Metal Cruise Jan 28-Feb 1 2013 are there talks of doing any other touring throughout the US?
I don’t think so. Right now we are in the initial stages of writing for the new Helstar record. Just going through some ideas and some riffs right now. For me personally I’m going to start booking more Sabbath Judas Sabbath gigs for the US maybe through mid spring. That’s what keeps me busy in between projects I get antsy otherwise! My latest new chapter of this tribute band is now out of Pittsburgh and I did some shows with them prior to leaving for Europe.
Will there be a new Helstar album in 2013?
Yes there will. I’m working on that right now.
You took some vocal lessons early in your career with an opera teacher?
After I did Burning Star, the first record, I decided I needed to seek some assistance up until then I was just all natural self taught. Singing is a god given gift. People can give voice lessons but if you don’t have that gift of a unique voice you can’t teach that. A trained singer will know based on hearing your voice if you have the potential to become a singer. I was noticing early on that I was losing my voice and having problems with my vocal cords and I was abusing them because I wasn’t breathing right. This friend of mine knew this teacher who was the Houston Opera Trainer and she also worked at the Houston School of Performing Visual Arts. Basically it was a school for gifted kids who went here instead of a regular high school so that they could study their art more. Still have regular school subjects but focus more on their individual talents. This friend of mine went to that school for art and he knew her. He gave her Burning Star and he told her I was interested in taking lessons. She actually called me. She said she listened to the whole record every single song. She then said honestly there isn’t much I can show you. I thought that meant..you suck! But then she said you already have a gift. What I can teach you is how to breathe properly and that’s what your problem is. So for 2 months once a week she taught me how to breathe from my diaphragm. I still use them today. It’s like learning how to breathe again like when you’re a baby. Watch a baby breath. That’s why there belly’s are going in and out. As we get older and gravity takes over and our bodies change we start to breath more from our chest and lungs more and less from the belly. Good singers breathe like babies!
I heard an audio interview where you talked about your first band that you were in called Death Wish (cool name by the way! Charles Bronson was king in 1980!) and you were doing covers by Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions are you good at mimicking different voices?
Yes I can. As a kid I was always trying to mimic actors on TV, film, and cartoon characters. My mom told me even I was very small I was always doing something with my voice, besides singing. Something I have started to look into is voiceover work. If anyone is reading this and can point me in the right direction please let me know!
Other than writing for a new Helstar record are you working on any other musical projects at this time?
I had joined the band Malice and we released a new album this year called “New Breed of Godz” and we almost went to Europe as well. The problem was that our guitar player (Mick Zane) had some medical issues with one of his hands and Jay Reynolds has been busy with Metal Church as well. I’m sure we will do another Malice record when the time is right.
I also understand that you are a real Rat Pack Fan like myself? Do you think you could have pull off hanging with that group knowing their reputation for nonstop partying?
You think the bands from the 70’s and 80’s partied hard..those guys had raised the bar so high I don’t think anyone is ever going to come close to that 3 ring circus! How easy could be living in Las Vegas playing at one Hotel doing two or three sets a night for 2 or 3 weeks in a row! Not getting on a tour bus going from city to city these guys never had to travel for long distances. I would love to travel back in time and spend a whole day trying to keep up..
Are there still musical goals and endeavors that James Rivera wants to accomplish?
There are several. Because I admire singers like Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Neil Diamond I have always wanted to start a smooth jazz project. Totally different from anything I have ever done but it is a passion of mine and I hope to be able to pursue it at some point. The other guys in Helstar became big time IT guys with huge companies after the early success of the band. I never did. They have the luxury of touring as their vacation! I kept crawling around like a roach in the 90’s trying to survive in this business. But they owe the comeback of Helstar to me because I kept the fire lit and the passion alive it made it a possibility for them to come back for a reunion. I will die with a microphone in my hand. When the metal days are over and I can’t hit those notes any longer it will be time to put on a suit with long grey hair and do my jazz thing!
Reviewed by: Roger Scales Read more
Triple ‘Heart’ Attack Review – Kicking and Screaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll / Fanatic / Strange Euphoria
Well guys this will be a first for your 80’s Guy..try and review three HUGE releases by Heart in the same post. These include: Kicking and Screaming A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll a very moving tell all written by Ann and Nancy Wilson with Charles R. Cross, Strange Euphoria a 3 CD/1 DVD Box set retrospective spanning nearly 40 years of Heart music and Fanatic, the brand new 2012 Heart Studio Album. Talk about your cardiac alert due to sensory overload! I may need a defibrillator and CPR when all is said and done but knowing I’m paying my own tribute to the dynamic sister duo of Ann and Nancy Wilson maybe just what the doctor ordered. Read more
Live At Sweden Rock Festival 2008
Reviewed by: Roger Scales Read more