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Issue #572.5

11 December 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Mini-Issue #572.5
December 10, 2010

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-Howdy and Happy Friday! – Tim

-Halford is playing the House Of Blues in Dallas, TX, on Monday, December 13. Throughout this weekend tickets can be bought for $20 at http://www.livenation.com/event/0C00456380F956B5 . See http://www.robhalford.com/ for more.

by Sean P. Gahgan (spgahgan@comcast.net)

-Blind Guardian/Holy Grail/Seven Kingdoms
The Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL
November 29, 2010

Seven Kingdoms
(no set list available)

Thanks to the great Chicago weather and traffic we arrived a little late and caught the last half of the Seven Kingdoms’ set. The mix was pretty good and the band was OK but I was unfamiliar with their music so I don’t have much to comment on.

Holy Grail
(no set list available)

Holy Grail hit the stage in a blast of fury with more energy than the small stage of the Bottom Lounge could hold. Although I had never heard any of their material previously they did play some catchy, in-your-face Power Metal which made me take note and I do plan on looking them up soon.

Blind Guardian
Sacred Worlds / Welcome To Dying / Born In A Mourning Hall / Nightfall / Fly / Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) / Bright Eyes / Banish From Sanctuary / Lord Of The Rings / A Voice In The Dark / And Then There Was Silence // Wheel Of Time / The Bard’s Song – In The Forest / Valhalla / Mirror Mirror

The largest draw for me to Blind Guardian besides the epic Power Metal that they write and perform is singer Hansi Kursch. There are certain singers/front men that command your attention while on stage. Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) is the best example of this, his charisma and aura just draw you in and you feel every word he sings throughout your body. I hold Hansi on this same level. His delivery and passion suck you into the song and you can’t help but be moved by the words and music. Simply put, he is a monster on stage.

This is the second time I have seen Blind Guardian and they did not disappoint. Blind Guardian came on at 9:45 p.m. and delivered a nearly two-hour show that did a great job covering their 25-year history. They opened up with what I am considering my favorite song of the year, “Sacred Worlds.” I anticipated how Blind Guardian would pull off this song live as the original studio recording has multiple vocal tracks and was recorded with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague. With the help of some backing tracks, the orchestra portions played well in the mix and the band performed flawlessly. Hansi’s voice was electric as the words flowed through the audience and charged the crowed with energy. The crowd jumped all over the next song, “Welcome To Dying,” singing the chorus at the top of their lungs. Hansi did a great job of introducing each song with some background as to the subject matter. The near capacity crowed was totally into it and for as complex and lengthy as some of Blind Guardian’s songs are the majority of the crowed was singing along word for word. With the catalogue that Blind Guardian has to pull from I was very impressed to hear so many highlights in their set that I wanted to hear. The epic “And Then There Was Silence,” “Lord Of The Rings,” “Nightfall,” and “Fly.” “Fly” is just such a heavier song live and really improved over the studio version. They could have played any of the songs off of their latest, AT THE EDGE OF TIME, as I believe it is one of their strongest in their catalog, but to get the three songs we did — “Sacred Worlds,” “A Voice In The Dark,” and “Wheel of Time” — these were great selections and came off very well live.

Frederik Ehmke is a machine on drums. He pounded through the near two-hour set with what seemed to be limitless energy. The rest of the band was incredibly tight and pulled off the complicated music flawlessly while having a great time on stage. It makes me smile and laugh at how soft-spoken Hansi can be while speaking between songs and then once launched into the song a beast of a voice comes out of him; it’s just part of his charm.

I can’t say enough about this band and what a powerful performance they put on. While the stage and venue were small and the near capacity crowd was probably right under 700, they played like it was 10,000. This band continues to impress with high quality songs, production, and live performances. It’s no wonder that they have been around for 25 years. He is to hoping we get another 25 years.

Relevant links:

Blind Guardian

Holy Grail

Seven Kingdoms

by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-Interview w/ Roman Glick (Jackyl)
November 30, 2010

Jackyl’s latest album, WHEN MOONSHINE AND DYNAMITE COLLIDE, was released earlier this year through Mighty Loud Entertainment, and the second single — entitled “Just Like A Negro” — has (predictably) caused a bit of a stir. Yes, the combination of the song title and the band’s “good ol’ Southern boy” persona certainly is provocative, but the message behind the lyrics is one of praise and brotherhood. The track was originally done by the funk band Mother’s Finest, and when Jackyl main man Jesse Dupree worked on a side project with some of the members he re-wrote the lyrics to be from a white man’s perspective. Jackyl’s latest single version features a guest rap from no less than Run-D.M.C.’s Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, who has been touring with the band this year. I recently spoke to bassist Roman Glick about the song, the live show, and a few other topics, after Dupree temporarily lost his voice.

DETRITUS: I understand Jesse [Dupree] had a little problem with his voice?

ROMAN GLICK: We’ve been out here, in Kansas City and we started getting up into the cold weather, into Michigan, just been running. We got a couple days off and he’s taking a break, you know?

D: Good, this hopefully won’t impact the current tour?

RG: NEVER! (laughs) That’s one thing that’s been consistent. We don’t take off. Jesse doesn’t mess his voice up enough to take off; we always play. He’ll blow air into the microphone if he’s got to.

D: Have you ever had to do something crazy, like where the other guys in the band sing for him?

RG: No, no, nothing like that. That’s what I’m saying, ‘cuz he always covers it — he’s a machine.

D: So on to the new single, “Just Like A Negro.” I’ve read interviews with Jesse where he discussed the controversy surrounding the song.

RG: Mm-hmm.

D: He got into the story, that the song’s actually been around for a while and that he co-wrote it with some African-American guys he’d done a side project with…

RG: The folks in Mother’s Finest, yep. It was a Mother’s Finest song.

D: So I’m wondering, given Jackyl’s history of run-ins — like when Kmart had problems with “She Loves My Cock” from the first…

RG: Yeah, yeah. (laughs) That’s a song about a rooster, by the way.

D: Of course it is. Everyone loves farm animals, right? (laughs) There have also been accusations of homophobia, and other things. Were you guys really expecting there to be *no* controversy over a song title like that?

RG: Yeah, well, but is that a reason to not do a cool song? You know what I mean? That wasn’t the focus of it. It was just about the song; it’s a great song and it just happened, and it sounded amazing. And, it just so happens it has a great message, and it just so happens that a guy like D.M.C. wants to be a part of it. It’s a cool thing. We don’t think about things like that. We don’t think “Well it’s gonna piss somebody off. Let’s go do that!” We just do what we’re doing. I can’t answer you in an honest way other than that.

D: It is a really cool song. The video/single version is re-recorded from the album version, with D.M.C.’s part added?

RG: Absolutely. The original track was on the record, and then Darryl [“D.M.C.” McDaniels] and Jesse had gotten together and talked — he was real excited about doing stuff; they had met in Jesse’s studio — and it just kind of happened. It was an organic thing; it just happened. It was great. He wanted x amount of bars, and so we allotted him that. It allowed me to re-cut some of the bass underneath what he’s doing, ‘cuz it was going to be a different song at that point; it was gonna have another verse put to it, and it was gonna be rapped by a Hall Of Famer. So, yeah, it’s pretty special.

D: They’re both cool but I definitely prefer the new version with D.M.C.’s vocals. And the video is really cool, too.

RG: It was great, man.

D: Can you talk a little bit about how the idea for the video came about?

RG: (laughs) Yeah, about two days before, we just had a break and we just said, “That’s what we’re going to do, let’s just make this happen.” Jesse had some cool ideas about the imagery of the older artists, some of the forefathers of the craft. It was cool; everything about the idea that happened, we just made it happen. Kansas City is a pretty magical place for us so we got a lot of relationships there, and we made some pretty cool things happen in a short period of time. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to think it to death — it was just an idea and we had access to some equipment, and we just went in and took advantage of it. We had some great people working with us on it. Then they had the folks from Kansas City inside being a part of it — the fans that we’ve had there for so many years now — and it made it that more special. It was just electric in there man. It wasn’t thought out or done to death, it was just like BOOM!, “Let’s throw this together, let’s do this, it’ll be great!” And it just happened. Again, it was an organic thing. Pretty awesome.

D: So it’s one of those situations where something really cool came together quickly.

RG: It’s just timing man. Everything feels good and you just kind of roll with it. That’s the way I feel about it. Nothing’s been forced or contrived about it, it just happened honestly. That’s why I go back to the question you asked, about the offensiveness of it vs. our history of offensiveness — offensive-ism? — it’s not ever really conceived like that. It’s just a great thing, great timing.

D: Well with the song, if someone actually takes the time to read the lyrics it’s pretty clear what’s going on.

RG: Yeah, yeah, exactly. If you’re going to disown it just by the title of it, I don’t have anything to say to you anyway.

D: How did it progress from D.M.C. finding out about the song, to wanting to contribute vocals to it, to appearing in the video, to now he’s out on tour with you? How did all that come together?

RG: Just exactly how I said. Literally it was just a matter of him being excited about it, he cut it within a day, I re-did my bass within a day. BOOM! We said, “Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna play Sturgis. Let’s just jam.” The whole initial idea was just for him to come out and do Sturgis with us, and we’d kinda debut it and talk it up, and it’d be a great thing for the rally. We didn’t really realize how it was gonna be, like “Wow, let’s keep on doing this.” ‘Cuz that’s what it was like after the show — “Dude, we gotta do some more of this. We gotta talk some more.” It just happened. It just fell into place — it was nice. Good things should happen like that.

D: When D.M.C. comes out with you now, does he just sing on the one song or do you do anything else together?

RG: We do a couple different songs. We’ll change it up.

D: Cover stuff? Does he jump in on the older Jackyl stuff?

RG: We’ve got some older Run-D.M.C. stuff; we’ve got a couple things to do. It’s pretty cool — that’s what I’m sayin’. We’ve got some more ideas in the future. We just want to have fun.

D: On the surface, someone might think this is just a gimmick — an elaborate one — but just a gimmick. But it doesn’t sound that way at all.

RG: Well yeah, exactly. It does in a sense, I suppose, because it’s such a cool thing. It’s just an assuming thing I guess people have a perception of, and that’s what’s unfortunate. ‘Cuz it’s just not that deep with us; we just want to have a good time and play music and collaborate with everybody, you know? That’s what it’s all about — that’s what the song’s about. All mixed together in the music machine. That’s what it is.

D: So let’s see… Jackyl has collaborated with Brian Johnson, another Hall Of Famer, and now D.M.C.

RG: Yep, yep.

D: Who’s the next one?

RG: (laughs) Who knows, man? Who cares? Even if they aren’t, let’s just have a good time, let’s just play.

D: You mentioned Sturgis. I’ve been watching the reality show “Full Throttle Saloon,” with Jesse. It looks like an upcoming episode will focus on the night Jackyl played.

RG: Yep, every Thursday night during the rally is when Jackyl plays at the Throttle. We’ve been doing it for 11 years. Now we hold the attendance record; it’s our night and it’s our week. Sturgis is something we’ve pretty much been attached with for a while now.

D: Really, how wild is that rally? I’ve never been there. I’ve only seen it on TV. It looks completely out of control.

RG: It is in a sense, but it’s like a Disney World for adults, you know? There’s no young ‘uns running around. Everybody’s just out to have a good time. There’s no people out there looking to scrap; it’s just everybody out having a good time. There are doctors, lawyers, there’s every faction of the world out there, and they’re all celebrating together. Everybody wants to go out, have some drinks, watch some shows, and get on their bikes and get home safe, and get up and do it again the next day. It’s wild in the sense that you get to see a lot of people letting their hair down that don’t get to let their hair down a lot, and then you get to see a lot of people letting their hair down and that’s all they do, is let their hair down. (laughs) It’s a pretty cool combustion.

D: We saw in the first episode where Jesse performed some dentistry by yanking a guy’s tooth out with vice grips.

RG: Yeah. (laughs)

D: And it looks like in another episode he’s going to get shot out of a cannon. Do the rest of you guys get to participate in those hi-jinks?

RG: Jesse’s insane. Ever since I’ve known Jesse he told he’s going to get shot out of a cannon. He pretty much stands by what he says so I knew it was gonna happen. I just didn’t know it was gonna happen this year.

D: Back to the new album. It’s been out since summer; how’s it doing?

RG: It’s doing great. It allows us to tour and we’re reaching the people. We go knock on their doors. That’s what we do. We don’t rely on radio ‘cuz it’s so fragmented and disjointed, so we go tour. We hump it hard.

D: I know it’s still early, and I know it was, what, eight years between studio albums, but are there plans for what’s next?

RG: Well, I mean, I got plans but you never know what happens. (laughs) I’m just gonna continue doing what we’re doing.

D: I know Jesse’s done solo projects, and I know a little bit about your background with Brother Cane. Do you or the other guys have anything going on outside of Jackyl, or are you pretty much committed to the band right now?

RG: I’ve got a project called Player/Kommander that I do with some guys in Birmingham that I grew up with. A guy named James Hall; he’s a pretty iconic figure. He’s played with a band called Mary My Hope; it’s hard to describe his style but he’s pretty electric. I’ve got a side project with those guys. We put a record out a year or so ago. It’s what I do when I’m not doing this, you know what I’m saying? It’s just something to do, and it’s another avenue to create and write songs, and just make music.

D: Where are you guys now?

RG: I’m on the bus. We’ve been rolling down the highway for a couple days. We’re on our way to Fargo, North Dakota, up into the snow. We’ve got a couple shows and then we’ll take a small break, and finish up the 10th, 11th, 12th. Then we’ll go home for the holidays.

D: I wish you safe travels, and thanks for the interview. I appreciate it.

RG: All right brother, I appreciate it, too.

-Check out the video for “Just Like A Negro” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TMO9A7uccw , and for a Fox News bit on the making of the video, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTtsqE_FUpc .

Relevant links:


Mighty Loud Entertainment


*** OUT ***

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