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Saturday
Sep292007

Brother Firetribe - False Metal

brotherfiretribe.jpgOne of the best parts of writing this online magazine everyday is making friends and learning of new music from all over the world. A few weeks ago, a Spinefarm Records executive dropped me an email about Brother Firetribe. The Finnish band is currently working on a new album, and they are not ashamed of their love for 80s glam metal.

Brother Firetribe lists Van Halen, Skid Row and Journey as influences and you can hear all these bands on the album False Metal. Brother Firetribe got together around 2002 and they started out as the band False Metal. Time passed and they became Brother Firetribe, but kept their original name as the title for their debut release.

False Metal was released in 2006 and features this track listing:

Break Out
Valerie
I'm On Fire
Love Goes Down
Devil's Daughter
Midnite Queen
One Single Breath
Lover Tonite
Spanish Eyes
Kill City Kid

While Brother Firetribe like some of the heavier glam bands, they describe their sound as "easy going." I would agree with this assessment. The tunes are too heavy for adult contemporary radio (thank goodness) but not quite heavy enough for Metal Mania. It's a tightrope walk, but Brother Firetribe seem to be making their own rules about music and the metal industry.

My favorite songs on False Metal are "Love Goes Down" and "Midnite Queen." The latter really does sound like a Van Halen-Journey hybrid with the dueling keyboard and guitar.

Brother Firetribe are:

Pekka Ansio Heino - vocals
Empuu Vuorinen - guitar
Jason Flinck - bass
Tompaa Nikulainen - keyboards

You can listen to some clips from False Metal on www.myspace.com/brotherfiretribe. The band also has "I Am Rock" posted on their page. I believe this tune will be on their next release.

 

 

 

Friday
Sep282007

Lynam is Back!

lynam.jpgNew music alert! My favorite southern rockers Lynam have just posted new music from their upcoming release Tragic City Symphony.


You can hear hear "Lyndsay Says," "Disappointment," and "Just Say Anything" by clicking www.myspace.com/lynam.


Here's a live video of my boys performing "Better" from their album Slave to the Machine.



***Suggested reading: "It's All In Your Head" (September 6, 2007).

Thursday
Sep272007

Mandatory Metallica

justice.jpgIt was dark and rainy when I finally decided to leave bed this morning. Yes, I have a day job but sometimes you just have to let yourself linger. Sleep is important!

So, as I threw on my clothes in a haste after lingering a little too long, I jumped in the car and decided I needed some Metallica.

Mandatory Metallica: ...And Justice for All.

Yes, there are some days when the glam mistress feels more thrash than whammy.

Today is one of those days.

...And Justice for All is a great album. "One" is my all-time favorite Metallica song, and you can hear the direction the band was taking with several songs like "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" and the album's title track.

Many people complain the production on ...And Justice for All is complete crap, but I disagree. It's that raw quality that earned Metallica a legion of true fans before the glossy "Black" album. After Bob Rock and Metallica, fans screamed "sell-out!"

It seems the boys in Metallica can't win for losing.

I wonder if I like ...And Justice for All so much because it produces a complete story, albeit a dark one. In many ways, Metallica created a dense work of art: complicated, with literate themes approachable enough that even a angst-filled teen could (would!) relate.

If you don't own ...And Justice for All, click the link and buy the disc - now. Make atonement for your sins. Go ahead, I'll wait. This is a must own album for every Metal fan.

Dare you disagree?

Wednesday
Sep262007

Countdown to Eruption

Van_halen_logo.jpgIt's time to start my official countdown to Van Halen live. I see the band on their reunion tour in just 17 days.


Tomorrow, the tour of the year begins. If I had more money I would fly to Charlotte, North Carolina to be among the first to experience this monumental event. Unfortunately, I work in television so that means no cash. Still, I'm pretty optimistic that my stop at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is going to be great.


Final practice video just surfaced -- to me the band sounds pretty great. Are you planning on going to the tour of the year?



Tuesday
Sep252007

Taime Downe: The Bring Back Glam! Interview

Taime Downe is done with the past: he doesn't want to talk about lawsuits or former band members. Instead, it's all about the music. Bring Back Glam! recently spoke with the Faster Pussycat frontman about the band's first album in 14 years, the trouble with touring and the cure for the common hangover. Transcription follows.

Bring Back Glam!: Your new album is Power and the Glory Hole. It hasn't been out too long. Are you already working on new stuff?

Taime Downe: We're working on new stuff. Maybe just an EP. We've got a few other tracks we were working on for the record, they didn't make because they just weren't done. We didn't have time to get them done before we went into the mix and we're working on a couple new ones as well.

BBG: It took a long time to record and release Power and the Glory Hole.

taimesings_wm.JPGTD: I just put out stuff when it's cool. That's the first studio record for Pussycat in fucking fourteen years. I've been doing different shit, like the Newlydeads stuff and when we decided to put together Pussycat again, we'd end up on tour. So every time we'd get working on it (the album) we go on tour for four or five months. Then we'd have to stop, regroup, figure out what the fuck we had recorded last. Every time you go back you think "This is shit" and you tear it apart. We work on new stuff…and it kept happening.

BBG: So you're a perfectionist?

TD: Well, when you have the access to do it. It's not like we're banging shit around in a rehearsal room, then running into someone's studio to record. We have our own studio. Me and Danny (Nordahl, bassist) just do everything.

BBG: Do you still like touring?

TD: As long as it's a fucking fun tour…if it's miserable. Shit, we had a fucked up bus last time and it was just miserable. When it comes to show time, it's fun. Then you have to get back on this bus with no AC -- it was the summer with no fucking AC, it kept going out every other day.

BBG: This summer?

TD: No, last. It was fucking miserable. Everywhere we went was 105 degrees. One time, the temperature on the bus was 119. From an hour outside of L.A. on tour, it broke down on the way to Vegas. It was shitty the whole fucking tour. That stuff about touring I hate. Like I said, when it comes show time…you have to block that shit out and have a good time.

BBG: Do you still prefer performing in the U.S. over Europe?

TD: Yeah. I like playing overseas, but dealing with all that different shit. It's fun to be able to travel and play. The States are just easier because you know the money, you know the food…just everything. The home comforts.

BBG: I want to know more about the new CD. Did you produce the entire disc?

TD: Yes.

BBG: And you wrote all the songs, too?

TD: Yes, me and Danny.

BBG: Do you want to move more into producing?

TD: Yeah, because I don't plan on prancing around the stage forever! I ain't no spring chicken.

BBG: You feel like you hit a certain age, and you should hang it up?

TD: I want to do it when it's fun. I don't want to go out and tour just to tour. As long as it's a fun tour, and it's good…I don't want to beat it to death. There's other things to do that are just as fun. I like to produce bands, I like new music. Who knows? I like to do different shit.

BBG: What do you think of the 80s bands - like Poison - who tour every summer?

TD: I think it's cool! They have a lot of fans. There were a lot of people that didn't get to seem them back in the day, it's good. A lot of fans were too young to see them back then. As long as they put on a good show - and Poison does that. Poison does a good job every year. We had fun when we went out with them a few years ago. 2002, 2003 whenever it was, we had a fucking blast.

BBG: They're a good party band.

TD: They put on a great party show.

BBG: I think Faster Pussycat is a party band.

TD: We're more of a party band, with the party show. The evil band!

BBG: Did you always want to be the evil band?

TD: Laughs. No, we never made it a point. We do what we do.

BBG: So you didn't think, way back when, "Let's turn the Strip upside down."

TD: We just wanted to have a good time. We wanted to play rock n' roll, go on the road. Drink a lot of booze and get fucked up and have a good time - and get paid to do it! That's all we wanted to do.

BBG: Faster Pussycat has a very evolved sound. I know you don't like it when people say you're goth or industrial…do you still like to be called sleaze or glam?

TD: To me it doesn't matter. To me, it's like…when I probably said that I was getting bombarded with it all the time. It's, uh…I had the word for it. I can't think of it. I haven't had enough coffee. I got wrecked last night… with friends from Toronto. Two hangover days in a row! Like I said, I ain't no spring chicken.

BBG: I'm sure you can hold your liquor.

TD: Those damn Jager shots…they kept giving them to me!

BBG: I can't drink that stuff. It tastes like cough syrup -

TD: I can't either! I had a hangover before I went to bed. I was like "Goddamnit, this better be over before I wake up."

BBG: Well, was it?

TD: No headache…just sort of sluggish. Lazy.

BBG: Do you have a favorite hangover cure?

TD: Usually, just the hair (of the dog, that is!). I'm like, no, not today. I saw some stuff on the counter and decided I would have coffee.

BBG: Well, at some point you have to just say enough is enough.

TD: Yeah, two days. Yesterday was the hair. Today is coffee.

BBG: Are you going out again tonight?

TD: I hope not! My friends are here until Thursday.

BBG: Your birthday is Saturday. Do you have any plans?

TD: I'm not sure. I might go to Arizona and visit one of my best friends from Seattle. He has a place down there. Plus, I'm supposed to go to Seattle to see my mom. I gotta find some stuff I have stored up there, and see my mom. I want to kill two birds. But I might go to Arizona with my car to bring some of my stuff back, I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee, so I can load some stuff, boxes and crap. That's this weekend…and maybe go with my friend back to Seattle. He might do the drive with me.

BBG: Does you mom follow your career?

TD: Oh yeah. I'm the boy.

BBG: But you're not an only child.

TD: No, I have sisters. They are younger than me. We all get along really good.

BBG: Tell me how your name became Taime?

TD: From my grandmother. She's Italian, she was in fashion and stuff. She was importing clothing from Italy and Europe to stores in Seattle. The floor of her business is where Sub Pop was. It's funny because my friend Dana who works for Sub Pop back when they were kicking ass and shit. I went home for Christmas, and he took me to a Sonics game. After the game, we went to his office and I was like "No way! This is where I used to come when I was little!" My grandmother's assistant was French, and Taime comes from . She couldn't talk French and it came out "Taime." My dad's name is Gustav and I didn't want to go by that. My grandmother hated my dad - this was my mom's mom. My parents split when I was four.

BBG: Do you have any contact with your dad?

TD: No, I haven't spoken with him in years.

BBG: Does he know you're famous?

TD: Yeah. It's been about 10 years since we spoke. He's in Cleveland, and it's weird because I record a lot in Detroit now. The next time I'm up there, I'm going to go see him. I don't want him to die on me without…you just never know.

BBG: You sound like you're becoming an adult.

TD: Why would I do that now! I'm 42. It hasn't kicked in yet. I can't. It's too late. I can't go to college now.

BBG: Can you imagine having a day job and wearing a suit?

TD: More like working at McDonalds. I want to go through the management training program. (Laughs).

BBG: Actually, I want to know how you had money to get the Cathouse going.

TD: I was a promoter…me and Rikki (Rachtman). I mean, I worked at Retail Slut, but that was a just a clothing store. I did lighting at the Troubador, but as soon as we started rehearsing, I quit the Troubador job. I was working there at night. Once I put the guys together (Faster Pussycat) that's when I quit the Troubador because we rehearsed at night and I worked at Slut during the day. I worked at Retail Slut and I would pimp the shit out of our band. We were brand new, before our record deal and we wanted people at our shows. I would pass out flyers at work…our early shows were packed. That's promotion. When you do a party, and you pack people in…do it at a club. You make money. Rikki had done clubs…like dance clubs, so we got together and did a rock club. We mixed rock with dance and that was Cathouse. It took off and kept growing and growing as we went. When we got signed, and our friends Guns n' Roses got signed, they played the club. All the bands pretty much played. It was fun.

taimesmokes_wm.JPGBBG: Do you still want to release a CD and DVD from the Cathouse reunion?

TD: We're trying. We got a lot of footage that was fucked up. That's the main thing. The video footage. The live recording, there was some technical shit that went down on stage. Some songs you can't really hear. We go back to listen to something you want to put out …some of the tracks need completely recreated, so I don't even know. There might be…we might put a few of the songs out. Some are fixable, audio wise. Like one of the guitars went out, or the background: we can fix that. We figure we might do that, for maybe an EP. If we can get some of the footage working, we'll do an enhanced CD with some videos.

BBG: Was Full Effect Records created for Faster Pussycat?

TD: Well, it's Tony's (Scrock) label. He started it. I was going to do one (a label) for our shit. Doing it with a major label, you get nothing. Nowadays, we can promote just as well as they can. It's just getting exposure to people. We run our own ads. Plus, we'll make way more money on our CDs. With a major label you make nothing. I don't want to start a new deal. I want to be in charge.

BBG: Did you get screwed in your first deal?

TD: No. Elektra treated us really good.

BBG: Do you own your masters?

TD: No, Elektra does. We own our songs. I can rerecord them if I wanted to. That's part of why I need to go to Seattle. I need to go through some old contracts. Try to see what they're going to do with them. If the CDs are going out of print, then we'd like to figure out a way to remaster the shit. It's been 20 years. I'd like to do a remaster and a release.

BBG: Perhaps a boxset?

TD: Definitely. I just have to see what the dealio is with the original contract. I can go and rerecord the shit, but it's not what I want to do. I really want to remaster. We don't remix. We can bring up the bass, change it sonically. Make it sound a lot better. The technology today makes songs sound clearer.

BBG: You were supposed to be on tour this month. What happened there?

TD: I don't know. We're checking out different agencies. Until it's something worthwhile, I'm not doing. It's for everyone in the band: we want to go out and play, but we don't want to do it half assed. Then we had the whole Brent (Muscat, original guitarist) issue. We got that taken care of, but now we need to let that shit die down.

BBG: The lawsuit didn't stop you from touring. We're you afraid of confusing people?

TD: I'm sick of dealing with promoters. Give it a little bit of space and time. Just do it right. I don't want to go out half assed. It has to be done right.

BBG: Well, tell me how to "do it right."

TD: Booking it well in advance. Plenty of time for promotion. Picking the right bands that are available. Routing it right…just everything. If it takes us doing it ourselves…we're very capable.

BBG: Do you write for other bands?

TD: I don't necessarily intend to. When you have a lot of unfinished stuff around and people need help... They can take it, and put a whole new twist on it. I'm doing that with some people now.

BBG: Will you tell me who you are working with?

TD: Roxy Saint is one and Paulie Perrette from NCIS, that CBS show.

BBG: Last question: will you make any videos to support Power and the Glory Hole?

TD: Yes! We're working on ideas right now. Roxy Saint is really good at that. We might be swapping out some stuff. We might swap songs for her video work.

BBG: Which songs do you want to make clips for?

TD: I don't know yet. We actually might do a couple. Maybe with the same theme…maybe tie them in to each other. It would probably come out in January.

Monday
Sep242007

New Tickets and Journalism 101

I finally received a call from Pryor Creek Music Festivals this morning. If you're not familiar, this is the company that hosts Rocklahoma.

I renewed my seat license four days after Rocklahoma 2007. Fans who renewed by September 17 had a chance to get better seats. I pulled out the credit card and crossed my fingers. My seats at this year's festival were not bad...but they were not great either. I originally purchased my three tickets on Easter, and by that time all the really great seats were sold. I was on an aisle, relatively far back from the stage. The aisle meant a good view of the stage, plus there was plenty of room to dance or just sit and relax.

My old seats were not center -- they were side section. It was my dream to make it to the center, but I refused to give up rows. So, in July 2008 I will be in the same side section as last year...just four rows closer and on the direct aisle. I'm both happy and sad. I'm grateful for the seats I landed, but really wanted the coveted center. Still, my section is closest to the beer tent...and isn't that all that really matters?

It's 290 days until the festival for those that are keeping count. Tickets to the general public go on sale next Monday, October 1st.

Here's a report on the economic impact of Rocklahoma 2007. The first person to tell me what's wrong with this clip will win bragging rights for the week. Seriously, leave me a comment and tell me what is journalistically wrong with this piece.


Sunday
Sep232007

Jackyl Live (and Drunk)

blackstonescherry_wm.JPGLast night I saw Jackyl with special guests Black Stone Cherry. The free concert was part of the Rumble Rally 2007 at Aces and Eights Harley-Davidson in Mason, Ohio.

I guess I underestimated the draw of the event. There were probably 5,000 people in attendance. 4,500 of those were bikers. It seemed everyone owned a high-end hog...and many were looking to buy another motorcycle to add to their private fleet.

2blackstonecherry_wm.JPGI've never seen Black Stone Cherry perform, and I don't own their self-titled disc, but I'll be ordering a copy today. They were great, and they played an extra long set. Their set included many songs of their debut release, including "Lonely Train." They also played some southern favorites...and showed off with two guitar solos! Black Stone Cherry are from Kentucky and you can tell by the themes of their music...and their southern drawls.

jackyl2_wm.JPGJackyl are Jackyl -- loud and obnoxiously entertaining. Last night was Jesse James Dupree's birthday, so he celebrated by "pacing" himself on the hard liquor, and inviting dancers on stage. The rowdy crowd loved it.

The set list looked something like this:

Push Comes to Shove
Just Like A Devil
Kill the Sunshine
Locked and Loaded (with Jesse's son Nigel)
Secret of the Bottle
Mental Masturbation
Down on Me
I Stand Alone
When Will It Rain
Dirty Little Mind
Redneck Punk
We're An American Band
She Loves My Cock
The Lumberjack

jessespits_wm.JPGJesse's son Nigel Dupree kept coming on stage to sing, dance, clap. While Jackyl were crazy as usual they were not as crazy as their Rocklahoma performance. Perhaps because the stage faced a major intersection in the high-brow town of Mason, Jesse thought it best to not moon the crowd. At any rate The Lumberjack was, as always, the best part of the show. After the concert, the Harley-Davidson dealership gave away two chainsaws. I didn't know there was a contest, or I would have entered. I'm not sure the chainsaws were those used by Jesse, or were just an intelligent marketing ploy.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor show, too. Makes me sad that concert season is effectively over and winter is right around the corner.