Home > Interview, Music > Mini-Issue #618.5 Last Issue of 2011

Mini-Issue #618.5 Last Issue of 2011

Mini-Issue #618.5
December 2, 2011

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-Happy Friday! Here’s a cool feature on the new Eric Carr UNFINISHED BUSINESS CD. I added a bunch of press releases and news bits that have been coming in fast ‘n’ furious, too. (I’m still not sure if there will be an issue next week, so this may be it for 2011. If so, we’ll see you back here in January.) – Tim

by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-Eric Carr – UNFINISHED BUSINESS Interviews
November 2011

Last week marked the 20-year anniversary of a sad date in rock history: on November 24, 1991, we lost Queen front man Freddie Mercury and Kiss drummer Eric Carr. It’s hard to believe two decades have passed by so quickly. I was always a bigger fan of Kiss than Queen, and Carr’s time in the band throughout the 1980s is my favorite period of Kisstory, so any time anyone mentions “The Fox” I take notice. The TALE OF THE FOX (1999) and INSIDE THE TALE OF THE FOX – THE ERIC CARR STORY (2000) home videos were excellent reflections on his life, and the albums THE ROCKHEADS (1998), featuring music recorded for a cartoon show idea Carr had in the ’80s, and ROCKOLOGY (1999), featuring songs Carr worked on for Kiss in the late ’80s with guitarist Bruce Kulick and songwriter Adam Mitchell, were absolute lost treasures. And now, 20 years after Carr’s tragic death, his sister Loretta Caravello has assembled and released UNFINISHED BUSINESS, which features even more lost treasures. The 12 musical tracks are comprised of demos, pre-Kiss material, cover songs, and older material spruced up by contributions from Kiss/Carr cohorts and fans Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Ted Poley (Danger Danger), A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister), Kee Marcello (Europe), John Humphrey (Seether), the band ZO2, Benny Doro (Unchained), and Marcia Juell. The CD also includes six interview segments with Carr and longtime Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. Just prior to the anniversary of Carr’s passing, I spoke to Ms. Caravello about what it took to create this great package, and what lies ahead…

DETRITUS: What sparked you to put together this CD?

LORETTA CARAVELLO: I’d have to say it was when I came across a couple of songs that no one had ever heard. I said, “How am I going to get these out there for the kids to enjoy?” I said, “I should put a little CD together, but how am I going to do this?” because we only have these two or three songs. But then what started to happen was other things started to come my way, like “Trouble’s Inside You” by Mitch Weissman. I just happened to be talking to him and he said, “Hey, I got a song your brother did with me,” which is on the CD now. [There was] a cassette from Mark St. John, where my brother wrote “Midnight Stranger,” and Mark said, “You know, this is something your brother had given me” — actually he gave it to all the Kiss members for a possibility on ANIMALIZE. So what happened, the spark lit slowly — let’s put it that way. (laughs) It was first a thought then it started to really become a reality.

D: I didn’t realize that song came from Mark St. John; he’s been gone for a little while now so that tells me you’ve been planning this for some time.

LC: That song is two years old! (laughs) No I’m kidding. It seems like it took that long, I’m telling you, because I had to put it off. My mother became ill, and things of that nature. I put it off because I had — remember, I had a lot of wonderful people helping with this; I know you’ve done some interviews which is great because they all enjoyed it — and I had to work with their schedules. Which is fine; you know, when people are helping you that’s the way you gotta go. So it took a long time, but it’s here. And actually, God works in funny ways because maybe it was meant to be out on his 20th.

D: When was it clear to you the timing of the release would coincide with his 20th anniversary?

LC: Last year when my mother died. That said to me, “You know, this is it now — you gotta get yourself together and you gotta pull this thing together no matter what direction it’s in right now.” Because it was all over the place… It kind of was, not a burden, but it was always in the back of my mind that I hadn’t finished this. I said, “This thing’s gotta get done for my brother.” That’s what happened. I really got into gear after my mother passed away. It kept me busy, and it was for my mom also, and you know, it’s for my brother of course.

D: What is your official title for the project, Executive Producer or Producer?

LC: Stupid Sister. (laughs) That’s me. No, that’s what would my brother would call me. “Get outta here!” (laughs) No no no, he wouldn’t say that. I would say I’m the Executive Producer, yeah.

D: How difficult was it to track down some of the folks who participated in the recordings? For example, I know Kee Marcello is in Scandinavia.

LC: Ralph Asbury, who designed the artwork, does a lot of tribute albums. He’s really great with CDs and everything. We became friends; I’ve known him for a lot of years, and he used to actually be a wrestler — that’s how I first met him. He said, “Loretta, I put my albums together and I ask everybody: ‘Look guys, do you want to be on this?’ This, that, and the other thing.” So he knew somebody named Marko Pukkila, the bassist who plays on “Elephant Man.” Marko knows all these people, musicians; he loves playing with people. He just happened to know Kee Marcello, and he said, “Listen Kee, let’s try this song.” So I never really came into any contact with Kee at all. This is what I mean — that this thing comes from all over and yet it just melted into one beautiful thing, and that even makes it more amazing, how it came together. You know, there’s just different artists, like Marica Juell. She knew, there again, somebody that I knew — friends of Bruce [Kulick] just happened to know her and she happened to be in town that week in L.A., just bopping around. So they said, “Hey, you want to try this?” And she said, “Sure, I’ll do it.” And she did it; she took it home with her to San Francisco. She has ProTools; she’s really talented and she put it together. I never heard from her and she never heard from me, basically. This went through someone else; I got the piece and [production assistant] Beth [Jordan] put it together. It just… It just worked out. It was very weird that everybody that’s on this was meant to be on it, because they came together in such peculiar ways.

D: What about the CD’s interview segments, which are interspersed among the songs? Where did they come from?

LC: They came from Tony Confessore, who did a tribute show for my brother many, many years ago. Actually, he interviewed my brother when he was alive, of course, because that’s where the material comes from. I just happened to know him — he’s a neighborhood guy, a real cool guy. I asked him, “Would it be all right if I threw a couple of these clips in?” He said, “Sure.” And that’s how it came about. It just so happened that my brother happened to talk about some of the stuff on the CD. I was gonna include more of the interviews but I wasn’t sure, you know, about the reaction from the fans. Me, it’s my brother, okay? And I could always turn my brother off when I wanted to. (laughs) So I said, “You know, maybe the fans will kind of listen and say, ‘Oh I don’t want it. Skip this. I just want to get to the music. Forget this! Forget this!'” But it’s been a good response. I probably would’ve been a lot better off putting a little more on for them.

D: Yeah! I’m a big Kiss fan from those days and it was unfortunate that I never really saw or read many interviews with your brother. I remember back when Dale Sherman’s book “Black Diamond” came out in 1997…

LC: Oh, he was a great guy, yeah. He came over to the house a couple of times. Great guy.

D: That book included a bonus CD featuring an interview with your brother. I thought that thing was complete gold, a total find.

LC: Oh it was, it was. And not that I want to spill the beans about anything right now, but someone came to me — it’s funny how people come out of the woodwork. They come to you and they offer you things that you never even knew existed. Someone from Canada came to me; he had interviewed my brother a few months — October — before he got sick in 1990. I know the timing of that, basically, when he wasn’t feeling too well. The questions that this guy asks my brother are questions that I never heard anybody ask. And my brother’s answers… If I was trying to find out what my brother was thinking about things, I found them out through this interview. I mean, he talks about the Rockheads. The guy says, “What about if ‘The Rockheads’ doesn’t take off as an animated thing?” My brother says, “Well, you know, maybe we could do some sweatshirts, or some other kind of stuff.” And that’s what I did with them. And I never knew that my brother was for it, that my brother would approve of something like that. I always thought it was the animated thing — which it is — but I never heard him offer a different direction. So we’re going to release this interview; the guy gave us permission to do it. And when you hear some of this stuff, it’s like — it makes me cry because it’s really my brother just talking as a brother. The stories he tells, and things that happened to us as kids that he’s never shared with anybody.

D: That sounds amazing.

LC: Yeah, it’s very touching to me. I mean, at least to me as a sister, just to find out, “Wow, that’s what my brother thought.” You learn things.

D: It’s amazing, even after he’s been gone this long. Does it feel like it’s been 20 years?

LC: Not really because I kind of do things to keep his memory alive. So he’s there every day, and it just feels like it was yesterday that I was with him. In a way it’s a good thing, you know — it just keeps you going. I mean, I got a lot of things in my life for myself, too, but my brother is part of that and will always be part of that. I can only do so much to carry on his memory, you know? (laughs) Someday I won’t be here, either. I’m not worried, because it’s gonna live through the kids. That’s what’s important.

D: What about the photo on the CD cover? That’s an awesome shot of Eric. Where did that come from? Did you have to dig for that or did someone give it to you?

LC: Oh yeah, I had to dig in my pockets real deep. (laughs) No I’m kidding you! I had to license that shot. But it came about by a fluke. I had Joey Cassata from ZO2 was over at my house, and Billy Amendola from Modern Drummer… And by the way I’ll throw this in — Modern Drummer is releasing a nice spread on the CD this issue, in November, in Modern Drummer. So everybody go out and get that! So we were sitting by my computer and I was showing Joey the original cover, and he said, “You can’t do that! Get something in makeup!” I said, “What are you talking about? I got three days left!” And then I was just flipping through shots that I had, that were just in my collection, and they said, “We want that one — it looks great!” So I’ve got to thank Joey and Billy — they’re the guys. I viewed it differently; I view it from another perspective. They view it as Kiss fans because they are huge Kiss fans, so they helped me in that way. And then I got in touch with Bill Ludwig, the original owner of the photo — and nobody knew who shot it — and he tracked me to Robert Keeling, who did that photo shoot for my brother in 1980. And the rest is history.

D: I have to ask… I’m sure everyone who’s a Kiss fan is dying to know if you contacted Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons about this project. Have they given their blessing, or anything like that?

LC: Not at all, not at all. Nope. I didn’t because, basically, it’s something that I did the right way; nobody could ever say that I did it the wrong way. It’s in good taste. We do have the rights to use my brother’s image and likeness as we wish, in that respect. As far as the shot on the cover, as long as you license the shot it doesn’t matter whether he has makeup or not, because you’re actually licensing the shot. But I wanted to thank them in the CD, personally, because, you know, overall if it was not for them my brother wouldn’t have lived his dream. He lived his dream, regardless of whether it was short. They gave him that chance. So as far as their blessings, in terms of that, they have not said anything to me. Meaning, they know the project, and they even said something very nice about my brother in the Modern Drummer article about the CD. Kissonline.com’s store is carrying the CD. So that was my way of interpreting them saying, “Hey, it’s okay. It’s in good taste and it’s a good thing. Go for it.” That was it. But I didn’t physically call them, no. There’s no need for that. If they called to talk I’d say, “Hi,” you know, but there’s no need for that.

D: How has the response been, from the people who’ve bought the CD?

LC: I have not had one negative response. Now, I don’t know, maybe I deleted those beforehand… Nah, I’m kidding. (laughs) But I’ve not had any negative response. Some are better than others, in terms of, you know, some people think it’s amazing, some people have their favorite songs. Some people understand the real concept of what it’s all about — it’s unfinished business. They were just so hungry to hear new stuff. And all the artists on it, they’re amazing what they did with the material, from “Shandi” to “All Hell’s Breaking Loose” — I mean, you couldn’t ask for better than that. “Eyes Of Love,” the way John Humphrey plays that with Benny Doro… it’s fabulous. What do you think about it? (laughs)

D: Ever since you started putting out the TALE OF THE FOX videos, and the ROCKOLOGY CD way back when, in the late ’90s…

LC: Yes, we go back a long way, you and I.

D: I mean, everything that you’ve put out I think has been great, just because he was a big reason why I got into Kiss — and hard rock — at the age I did, around when CREATURES OF THE NIGHT came out.

LC: Good time, yeah.

D: The sound of his drums was so amazing, and his Fox was a cool character. I even remember watching earlier, when he was introduced to the American fans on that show “Kids Are People Too.” Everything just clicked for me. I was like, “He’s cool! I like this guy!” But I always wanted him to hear him sing, and to do more. I remember the MTV concert from the ANIMALIZE tour, where he got to sing “Young And Wasted” and “Black Diamond,” and my friends and I were like, “Finally! This is so cool!” Every little scrap about your brother that comes out is important to me.

LC: And that’s basically, too, the way I felt with the CD, was… I mean, I went through an endless amount of tapes, okay? I do have hundreds of songs, but a lot of them are pre-Kiss — and not that that doesn’t make it good; some of them are spectacular where he sings and plays. The kids don’t care; they love the pre-Kiss stuff, too. They just want to hear him play and sing. It’s a lot of fun. But a lot of it you have to be careful what you use, what you don’t use, who’s on it, who’s playing — you’ve got to get permission and there’s a lot of red tape involved. As far as the video goes, there’s actually going to be another video coming, probably in July, a TALE OF THE FOX PT. 2 with all-new footage. That’s going to be put together by Jack Sawyers, who did the first one and who has hours — endless, endless hours — of video, professional video.

D: Well, good! I was going to ask about what else is coming up. You’d dropped hints to me before about a vinyl version of UNFINISHED BUSINESS. What else is on the horizon?

LC: A little bird told me there may be a vinyl ROCKOLOGY and UNFINISHED BUSINESS together, limited to a certain amount of copies. But that’s not right around the corner — it takes about three months for those things to at least even just be manufactured. We’re talking maybe more in the spring. And that’s not going to be put out from me — that’s going to be put out from someone else. There’s actually an awesome iPod cover — actually covers for all those Apple products — of my brother. There’s also going to be a Rockheads series — and these are all from a company called Magic Brands in Australia — so you’re going to get a lot of stuff there, you’re going to get sets of picks. There’s a new UNFINISHED BUSINESS drumstick that’s coming out, which is just going to be a limited edition, and some of them are actually going to be signed by the drummers on the CD. I think we’re only doing like 60 pairs of those. That’s going to be pretty cool. We got a lot of stuff. Would you like to see a card set? Three separate sets of 15 each with all personal shots that my brother owned, of the band.

D: Like the trading cards that came with the TALE OF THE FOX video, that sort of thing?

LC: Yes, three sets, 15 per set. And that’s taken from shots that he shot of the band, or someone shot for him. There’s a very cool shot of Gene blowing fire and he’s got his regular clothes on. This is stuff that like you or me, if we were just hanging out, would take shots. That’s coming out. There’s a lot of stuff. You just have to keep watching the website. Have you seen the series of videos we’ve been doing with BraveWords.com, the “Through The Years” videos?

D: Yes I have.

LC: Those are cool. Also, there’s going to be a contest coming up from BraveWords.com. I’m working with them, from EricCarr.com, to give away a gold record award. Paiste’s giving us a 22″ crash cymbal; they want to be part of the contest. There’s going to be CDs given away, signed sticks, signed CDs… It’s going to be really cool. The contest is actually going to be interactive, where Bruce Kulick, Marcia Juell, the whole group ZO2, John Humphrey from Seether, and Eddie Trunk are actually going to ask you a question. The answer’s found in the video trailer, which is going to follow them asking you the questions on the screen. Then you go to BraveWords.com to submit your answers. It’s going to be a random draw but there are going to be lots of prizes given away. It’s probably going to be announced maybe the first or second week of January. So we’re going to start it probably a week or two before Christmas. Everyone can be a part of it.

D: I’m glad so many people are helping you and pulling together to help celebrate Eric’s life.

LC: They’re all great people. In life sometimes you cross paths with people and you don’t understand why. Like I told you, I think everyone that is on this CD was meant to be there. Because believe me, a lot of people were asking, you know, who had a story or who had no belief — there were people that didn’t believe in the project and they didn’t even want to be part of it because they don’t like the way “Shandi” sounded, or don’t like the way this sounded… And I’m glad that they didn’t do it because it turned out better with the people that should’ve been on it.

D: So, ultimately, are you satisfied with the CD?

LC: Yeah! I’m very happy with it. Like I said to you, I wish I had more to share with the fans, in terms of recordings… I do have some recordings and things that still are going to come out, maybe as a download. Right now the CD is available on iTunes, Amazon — it’s available everywhere. But we’re going to do a limited edition, probably just from EricCarr.com, where you’ll get a downloadable 16-page booklet with all different photos and stuff, and probably a limited edition extra track.

D: Finally, I just want to say thank you so much for doing this project, and for the interview.

LC: Thank you — you’re the one helping us out. I appreciate it.

-Throughout our correspondence leading up to this interview, Loretta also put me in touch with several of the folks who had a hand in creating UNFINISHED BUSINESS. I conducted the following brief email interviews with:

Ted Poley – singer for several melodic rock acts, most notably Danger Danger, who toured with Kiss just prior to Carr’s passing.

Ralph Asbury – musician and multimedia mastermind behind Lunar Moth Entertainment and the TributeAlbums.com website.

Marcia Juell – successful dance music singer and songwriter, whose hits include “Beautiful Day,” “Free,” “Let It Flow,” “Fly Away,” and this year’s “Calling.”

Kee Marcello – former guitarist of Europe; he’s now an author and in the midst of a booming solo career with the Kee Marcello Band.

DETRITUS: What does Eric Carr, or his era of Kiss, mean to you?

TED POLEY: He was a very nice guy, and I loved watching him play every night when I was on tour with Kiss.

RALPH ASBURY: My first introduction to Kiss came from an older cousin that was into the band in the late ’70s. When Peter Criss first left the band, I was really too young too realize that there had been a change. Years later when I was a teenager with a band of my own, it was the Eric Carr/Bruce Kulick lineup that was an influence to me as a musician. Of course, I went back and learned the history at that point as well. So, at different points, Kiss has meant different things to me. What Eric Carr has always meant to me was the perfect example of meeting a hero and having them live up to your expectations. So many times you hear stories about people getting the chance to meet a rock star or and actor that they admired, and the person turns out to be a jerk. With Eric this was never the case, and his reputation clearly reflects that.

MARCIA JUELL: It was a total HONOR to be included in this amazing project dedicated to Eric! I did not grow up listening to Kiss, my parents were convinced they were devil worshipers! lol

KEE MARCELLO: A lot. CREATURES OF THE NIGHT is one of my all-time favorite Kiss albums. Eric’s explicit sound and style of drumming has left an unforgettable imprint. I have often used it as a sound reference when I’ve been recording/producing.

D: Why did you want to take part in the project, and how did you come to be involved with it?

TP: I was asked by his family to do it and I didn’t hesitate to participate.

RA: I little over 10 years ago I released an album called PROPHECY. It was a tribute to Eric Carr, and was modeled after the 1978 Kiss solo albums. The idea was to take the inspiration that I got from Eric and Kiss and write some songs as if I were a member of the band when the solo albums where produced, something Eric didn’t get a chance to do. When I was putting the project together I met Eric’s family through a mutual friend and discussed the project with them. They where very supportive of the project, and even offered the use of some material that was included on the album. I have been in touch with the family ever since, and was asked to participate in this project from the early stages a few years ago.

MJ: It kinda fell into my lap actually. I was introduced to Eric Carr’s sister Loretta by my good friend Tony Williams of Music Star Productions. He had recommended to Lor that I would be a good choice for some of the female vocals on UNFINISHED BUSINESS and “Shandi” was the song of choice.

KM: I got the question from the producer Marko Pukkila. He showed me the song “Elephant Man,” which I immediately liked, and instantly started hearing arrangements and my interpretation of it. I was very moved by the lyrics which so obviously where about himself.

D: How did you contribute to the CD?

TP: I sang the song “Just Can’t Wait.” I also arranged the backing vocals and sang them with my friend Mike Ledesma.

RA: I had a few hands in UNFINISHED BUSINESS. I designed the logo and the CD packaging. After discussing the theme and material that would be included, I am very happy to say that I came up with the title for the album. I also acted as somewhat of a project consultant in that I was able to help with some of the licensing involved, marketing options, and some of the business side of things.

MJ: I sang backing vocals on “Shandi.” I recorded and engineered my vocals in my ProTools home studio, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

KM: I arranged and played all the guitars on “Elephant Man.” It was an interesting process making the parts of the song “glue together,” since it’s both changing from acoustics with a slide melody into a heavy riffing second part and also has a tempo change. I think it turned out great!

D: What are you up to now, and how can fans best stay informed?

TP: I am touring the world in Danger Danger and with my solo band, I have many shows planned for 2012 around the world and I hope that my fans will come out and rock with me. I have a new digital single, “Breathe” available on iTunes, and a great video on YouTube, you can check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ewx665FeOo&feature=youtu.be . Please go to http://www.tedpoley.com/ and also see me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ted-Poley/123851607689228 .

RA: Right now I am working on a number of projects including an animated film with an all-star cast, a have a book coming out shortly, and a bunch of smaller projects in the works. Visit my production company website for the latest: http://www.LunarMoth.com/ .

MJ: I’m excited about several new collaborations coming soon: “Save My Heart” (Soviet Recordings), “Live Again” (Bonzai Records), and “Happiness” (Housepital Records). All of my records can be found on my iTunes page at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/marcia-juell/id219711701 . Keep in touch with me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1720338302 and my main website http://www.marciajuell.com/ .

KM: I just released my autobiography, “The Rock Star God Forgot,” and my new album, REDUX: EUROPE, in Sweden. The book is being translated into English and is going to be available during 2012. The album is released worldwide in February. In June 28-30 my manager and I are launching “KeeFest” which is going to be one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe. It is taking place at Åby Racingtrack in Mölndal right outside Gothenburg City. It will have the capacity of five football courts. (!!!) My band, Kee Marcello Band, is embarking on a European tour which will start in Scandinavia in February. We have requests from all territories, so this will eventually be a World tour. For updates about this, coming tours, releases, etc., go to http://www.keemarcello.com/ . I want to take the opportunity to thank all my fans for the support. See you on the road soon!

-Clearly, UNFINISHED BUSINESS was a labor of love for many different people from all over the musical landscape. It’s a testament to Carr’s influence on, and relationships with, those who were close to him and those who followed his career, and it offers deeper insight into what made him tick. As a longtime fan I offer heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in putting it together. Long Live Eric Carr!

Relevant links:

Eric Carr

“Through The Years” videos
Pt. 1 – Bill Aucoin & John Humphrey (Seether)

Pt. 2 – Bruce Kulick & Lydia Criss

Pt. 3 – A.J. Pero, Mark Slaughter & Carmine Appice

Pt. 4 – Carrie Stevens & Eddie Trunk


*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-The Last Vegas: The OTHER SIDE EP Release — Get It Now


The Last Vegas’ new OTHER SIDE EP is now available through the TLV Merch Store ( http://www.shopbenchmark.com/thelastvegas ) and worldwide through Century Media Distribution ( http://www.cmdistro.com/ ). The CD version of the OTHER SIDE EP features a bonus track “My Way Forever,” not included on the digital version (available on iTunes, AmazonMP3, etc.). Plus, Santa says from now ’til Xmas, every TLV T-shirt in the Merch Store ships with a FREE copy of the new EP. Grab one.

And check out the video for “The Other Side” here:

Chicago Tour Dates:
December 9, 2011 @ Cubby Bear Wrigleyville w/ Bad City
December 14, 2011 @ Bottom Lounge w/ Parlor Mob

2012 European Tour Dates:
February 3, 2012 Hondarribia Psylocibenea Spain
February 4, 2012 Burgos Estudio 27 Spain
February 7, 2012 Cangas De Morrazos Salason Spain
February 8, 2012 A Coruña Mardigras Spain
February 9, 2012 Leon Campus Spain
February 10, 2012 Vitoria Helldorado Spain
February 11, 2012 Pamplona Totem Spain
February 14, 2012 Madrid La Boite Spain
February 15, 2012 Cadiz Supersonic Spain
February 17, 2012 Valencia Durango Club Spain
February 18, 2012 Barcelona Rock Sound Spain
February 19, 2012 Monzón, Huesca Serjos Zona Rock Spain

…stay tuned to thelastvegas.com for updates.

Century Media Distro Pack Exclusive

Exclusively from Century Media Distribution, get the new OTHER SIDE EP, a collector’s edition album T-shirt, plus an autographed tour poster by the band for $20.00.

Order it now:

The Last Vegas

*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Lion Music Label & Artist News

House Of Shakira Gearing Up For Release Of HOS: Artwork, Track Listing & Video Teaser Revealed!

House Of Shakira, one of Sweden’s longest running and most respected melodic hard rock bands, are back with a revitalized lineup which sees Andreas Novak (solo/ex-Mind’s Eye) joining on lead vocals, a potent new set of songs and a bright future as their new opus HOS will testify on 27th January 2012, released via Lion Music.

The full track listing is now confirmed as:

1. Brick Wall Falling
2. Changes In Mind
3. Carry My Load
4. Zodiac Maniac
5. Fractions Of Love
6. Midnight Hunger
7. Endless Night
8. All Aboard!
9. What Goes Around…
10. I’ll Be Gone
11. Voice In The Void
12. Lost In Transition
13. Out Of My Head

In addition a video teaser of a selection of new tracks can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdPU_Ny5YKU .

Full information coming shortly.


Venturia Guitarist Charly Sahona Makes “Guitar Idol III” Final

Venturia founder/guitarist and solo artist Charly Sahona has been selected as a finalist and will appear live at “Guitar Idol III”; the world’s biggest and best guitar competition with its live final showcase on 4th December 2011 at The Garage, London (N5). Full info on the event at http://www.guitaridol.tv/ .

Charly’s solo album NAKED THOUGHTS FROM A SILENT CHAOS (Lion Music) was released in 2010 and he is currently finishing up the production of the third Venturia album (title TBC) set for release in 2012.

First Vocalist Confirmed For Book Of Reflections’ III

Book Of Reflections musical mastermind Lars Eric Mattsson has checked in with the following update.

“Things are going well with the new Book Of Reflections album. We are now in the final stages of recording with only the vocals remaining and I am today proud to announce that the phenomenal singer Carsten ‘Lizard’ Schulz (Evidence One, ex Domain) has joined the team.”

The new album sees an ever-evolving flow in the project’s style into progressive neo-classical waters and another vocalist announcement is expected shortly.

Book Of Reflections’ III is set for release later in 2012.

Lion Music Webstore Super Sale!

A big box with 100 Mixed Lion Music back catalogue CDs for just 298 Euros!

Most of these are going to become rarities as they won’t be reprinted once sold out so now is the chance to discover some older gems from our back catalogue.

Visit http://www.lionmusic.com/ShopSelect.htm and click Mega Sale on left menu.

Lion Music

*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Electric Boys To Sweden Rock Festival 2012!

Electric Boys (S)

With an original hybrid of funk and the mighty distorted riff, Swedish Electric Boys’ debut album FUNK-O-METAL CARPET RIDE paved the way for all sorts of bland copies. Songs like “All Lips N’ Hips” and “Electrified” even had the hugely successful producer Bob Rock feeling so sure that Electric Boys were going to make it big that he produced an American version of the album in 1990. The musical content of the follow-up, GROOVUS MAXIMUS, backed up its title and songs like “Mary In The Mystery World” and “Knee Deep In You” cemented the fact that Electric Boys had carved themselves a very own chapter in rock history.

But nothing good lasts forever. The album FREEWHEELIN’ saw half of the band replaced, and the next inevitable step was a break-up in 1994 — for what seemed to be for good. The core duo of Conny Bloom (vocals and guitar) and Andy Christell joined the legendary Hanoi Rocks, but when the Finnish group broke up in 2009 it opened up for a reunion for Electric Boys. And so Conny, Andy, guitarist Franco Santunione and drummer Niclas Sigevall returned to the big stages in style with a very well-received gig at Sweden Rock Festival the same year. However, his time it will be even better. The band’s fourth album, AND THEM BOYS DONE SWANG (2011), proves that Electric Boys are stronger than ever.

Tickets are available at our website: http://www.swedenrock.com/ . There you can also find more information about ticket prices and accommodation.

Around 70 bands will perform on our five stages next summer. The following bands have been confirmed so far:


More info about the bands can be found on our website: http://www.swedenrock.com/

Welcome to Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, 6-7-8-9 June 2012!
Tel: 0456-317 95
Fax: 0456-317 94
E-mail: info@swedenrock.com

Sweden Rock Festival
Nygatan 27
294 34 Sölvesborg

*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Napalm Records News

Diabulus In Musica: Signs To Napalm

The gothic metal band signed a worldwide recording deal with Napalm Records. The new album will be released in March 2012! The latest live dates are listed below!

“We feel extremely happy and proud to start working hand-in-hand with one of the biggest labels in our genre today. We both share a similar enthusiasm towards the new album, which is why we feel confident about our future and are strongly motivated. Our upcoming release is full of passion, energetic, yet delicate, and also a big step forward in our music. We are sure that this new deal with Napalm Records will bring our music to the next level!”

27.02.12 BE – Brussels / Ancienne Belgique + TARJA TURUNEN
02.03.12 ES – Barcelona / Mephisto + LEAVES’ EYES, ATROCITY
03.03.12 ES – Madrid / Rythmo y Compas + LEAVES’ EYES, ATROCITY


Månegarm: Viking Warriors On Napalm

The Swedish warriors Månegarm are the latest addition to the Napalm roster! The Viking metal band has been releasing one anthem after another since the mid nineties and will continue this legacy with a new long-player in 2012:

“We are very proud to announce that Månegarm will sail under the Napalm Records banner from now on. We are very excited and encouraged as we enter this new collaboration and we’re certain that this will mean a big improvement for Månegarm as a band. We expect to release a killer new album in late 2012. Keep you eyes and ears open!”


Serenity: New Clip

The Austrian metallers produced a video to their song “When Canvas Starts To Burn”! The clip is available at http://www.youtube.com/napalmrecords#p/u/3/DIxgC0Hl4cU .


Xandria: Reveal Cover

Xandria reveals the cover and title of their new album. Fans may admire the NEVERWORLD’S END artwork and the second part of the studio diary at http://xandria.de/ .


Napalm Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Patrick Hemer Releases MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

Artist: Patrick Hemer
UPC: 798576534028
Cat. #: MBR34-102
Genre: Metal / Progressive / Shred
Areas Of strength: Europe/USA/Japan

“Progressive Metal meets virtuoso guitar playing and amazing vocal work in this stunning masterpiece that proves that the Progressive Metal label can definitely include well-crafted songs.”

A long-respected studio musician, touring hired gun and guitar instructor, Patrick Hemer gained worldwide recognition at the dawn of the 2000s as the main man and fretboard wizard of the German metal band Horizon with whom he recorded a few cult albums, including the critically acclaimed THE SKY’S THE LIMIT (Massacre Records – 2002) and the outstanding WORLDS APART (Massacre/King – 2004) that received a warm welcome in Japan, thanks to the fervent support of legendary magazine Burrrn!

Back to the world of recording studios for a while after the untimely break-up of Horizon, Patrick collaborated in numerous projects in a wide array of genres, started getting involved in production, and also devoted himself more and more to teaching to become an in-demand clinician maintaining strong contacts with the guitar community.

But his deep, unwavering love for metal music finally had to take over again…

Now, teaming up with drummer extraordinaire Tom Wagner and keyboardist David Casanova, he has put together a new solo project meant to display his best, but also heaviest, playing and songwriting to date.

His current album, MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE produced by Patrick himself, is a perfect balance of huge guitar riffs, warm melodic vocal work with stellar harmonies and Hemer’s trademark out-of-this world soloing, all backed up by clever arrangements and Tom Wagner’s brilliant drumming.

Definitely proving that Patrick Hemer belongs to the small club of the best players on the planet, MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE is also a Progressive Metal masterpiece and a must for every fan of the genre.

Now, all the world’s Prog-Power Metal maniacs and shred guitar aficionados can feel confident in the future, they know that Patrick Hemer is here to keep the flame alive and well…

Track List:
1. Up From The Ashes
2. Thorn In My Flesh
3. Edge Of Insanity
4. For All Eternity
5. Firelight
6. The Godfather
7. Panem Et Circenses
8. Legend In Your Own Mind
9. Death On Two Legs
10. Guilty
11. Terra Incognita

*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Handsome Dick Manitoba Throbblehead Figure Announced

Pre-Orders Open Now, Shipping February 2012

Handsome Dick Manitoba, King of New York and fearless leader of The Dictators, has been promoted to throbblehead status!

This figure capturing Richard’s signature modern day look is limited to 1,000 numbered units, stands at 7 inches tall, and is made of super strong polyresin.

Don’t mess with Manitoba as he stands proudly representing the Lower East Side. He’s accurately sculpted right down to the weathered Dictators leather jacket and searing glare.

Currently, you can him out on his own radio show, “The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program” in Little Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage, on Sirius – XM Satellite Radio (Ch. 21), Mon. – Fri., 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. (ET). You can also drop by his World Famous Rock And Roll Tavern, Manitoba’s, located at 99 Ave. B, NYC (Btwn. 6th & 7th Streets).

Link to Purchase:

Manitoba is the twelfth person to be polyresinated by Aggronautix. In May of 2009, the company launched with a highly popular G.G. Allin “1991” figure, which was limited to 2,000 numbered units.

All Aggronautix figures are now available for purchase on http://www.aggronautix.com/ or http://www.seeofsound.com/ and will also be available at many independent retailers, comic shops, tattoo parlors, etc via distribution by MVD Entertainment Group — a company specializing in music-related distribution since 1986.

Follow Aggronautix on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Aggronautix .

# # #

Distributed by
370 Washington Ave.
Phoenixville PA 19460

*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Himora’s ARGUE ALL YOU WANT Out Soon On Drugstore Records

Artist: Himora
Drugstore Records #DRDIGI04
File Under: Hard Rock
EAN: 707124504234 9
Release: December 9, 2011

Track list:
1. Just Can’t Stop
2. Like A Heart Attack
3. Too Long At The Fair
4. Birmingham
5. When The Boys Are Back
6. Wings
7. Big Betty
8. Summer Dress
9. Fisherman’s Blues
10.Mexico Smile
11.Legend In Your Lunchbox

Himora takes you on a ride back to a time when rock music was interesting and fun! Good songs and great musicianship to quote a live review; “A gourmet dish served by fork-lift” 🙂

Even though ARGUE ALL YOU WANT is their first outing under the Himora moniker, these guys have been playing together, on and off, for about a decade.

Apart from a short stint in the US in 2004, and a couple of Norwegian tours as backing band for Eric Martin (Mr. Big) Himora has somehow slipped under the radar as far as commercial success goes. Still they’ve maintained a loyal (if exclusive) following and are known to be a supertight and powerful live act. This translates well on a lot of the tracks on ARGUE ALL YOU WANT. The arrangements are solid and Himora delivers a classic rock package that is both confident and rough, even beautiful in places.

This four-piece out of Oslo, Norway, juggles ’80s power-pop against a classic ’70s rock swagger, like Cheap Trick meets Bad Company with a bit of old school Aerosmith / James Gang funkiness thrown in there too.

Inspired by the usual suspects, Himora still put their own stamp on things. The discerning listener will recognize several influences, but for the most part, Himora dance the night away in their own right. If you’re into ’70s – ’80s melodic rock that veers slightly off the beaten path and if you enjoy the occasional wisecrack lyric, (think Joe Walsh, Fagen, Zappa) Himora might just be your new favorite band.


Drugstore Records
Grenseveien 11 b
0571 Oslo, Norway

*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Abnormal Thought Patterns: Debut EP Released Today

Stream Of Full EP Available Via Metal Underground

The blistering self-titled debut EP from technical progressive metal outfit Abnormal Thought Patterns is now officially available! Officially released today on the band’s own recently formed CynNormal Lab Recordings, Abnormal Thought Patterns is now available to the public via CD and high-quality digital download through several major online spots as well as from the band directly.

In celebration of the release, Abnormal Thought Patterns have reached out to the brethren at Metal Underground to host a stream of the entire EP for the coming weeks. Stop by and have your face removed by the seven tracks harnessed on the scorching ABNORMAL THOUGHT PATTERNS right here:


Multiple ordering options are available as well at this location:


Formed by Northern California-based brothers Jasun and Troy Tipton (both of Zero Hour, Cynthesis) and Mike Guy (Zero Hour), the instrumental act is arguably the most mind-melting display of technical proficiency from this closely-knit trio to date. Having performed together for over eight years in a variety of well-known progressive metal acts, Abnormal Thought Patterns fuse angular riffs, intricate time signatures and intense solos, generally at a very high velocity, constantly creating highly intense and invigorating song structures. In order to complete the live sound, the trio recruited longtime friend and talented guitarist Richard Sharman; a student of Jasun’s for many years and a great addition to the group. Five of the EP’s tracks were mixed by Dino Alden (Marty Friedman, Zero Hour), and the other two by Matt LaPlant (Sikth, Nonpoint), with mastering duties handled by Alan Douches (Between The Buried and Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan) and cover artwork by Erick “Wurm” Pollard.

“Between the impressive guitar work, controlled drumming, and dominant bass presence, this instrumental group is easily one to keep an eye on regardless of your taste in Progressive material. 8.5/10” – Apoch’s Metal Review

“…a crazy 20-minute face melting technical shred-a-thon and by far the best work out of all three members of the band.” – The Inarguable

“…they are just too damn good on their instruments and must practice 25 hours a day. The opening track, ‘The Machine Within,’ is sick. I have never heard a bass guitar played so fast of so clearly in my life… I suddenly have a clear understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem. 4/5” – MusikReviews

Abnormal Thought Patterns Facebook

CynNormal Lab Recordings Facebook

*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-UK Hard Rock Band Starseed Set To Release Their Debut Single In The US

New Single, “Shine” Will Release On iTunes December 6, 2011

NEW YORK, NY — The UK based hard-rock band, Starseed will debut their new single, “Shine” in the US on December 6, 2011 through iTunes. Their soaring vocals and powerful melody will leave all hard rock and metal fans begging for more. The US release of Starseed’s album, PEACE MACHINE, will be released early 2012. Starseed will also be in the US for promotion early January.

Touring with bands such as Godsized and Senser, Starseed has also played major festivals alongside Rage Against The Machine, Rob Zombie, and Linkin Park. Most recently, they performed at the 2011 Download Festival. With these achievements, Starseed are also proud endorsees of PRS Guitars, Blackstar Amps, Tama Drums, Roland, Sabian Cymbals, Rotosound Strings, Protection Racket and TC Electronic.

Starseed, who includes Russell Spence (Vocals, Guitars), Gerald Gill (Guitar, Vocals), Peter Wicker (Guitar), Murray McClery (Bass, Vocals) and Andrew Spence (Drums, Vocals), produce some of the most satisfying melodic hard rock. Epic energy, powerful, and riff driven rock with electrifying stage shows, their music grasps many elements of the post grunge scene drawing influences from early Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains to the power and torment of Soil. More recent comparisons include the tenacity and energy of Stone Sour and intense melody of Alter Bridge.

For more information and to keep up to date on Starseed, visit:


*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-Suicidal Bride Records Set To Release THROUGH THE GATES OF SLEEP Compilation

St. Albert, AB based indie label and home of melodic metal band All Else Fails are proud to release their latest compilation VOL. 1: THROUGH THE GATEST OF SLEEP on December 16th, which features 13 rising bands from the Canadian underground scene.

Track Listing:
“This Burden of Life” – All Else Fails
“Chaos In Cairo” – The Order Of Chaos
“Evolution Pain” – Inside It Failed
“Richard” – Until Dawn
“Chaosphere” – After The Fall
“Rage” – SILO
“From The Gallows” – Tyrant
“Demons Inside” – Aftertaste
“Eternity Below” – Quartered
“Incessant Rain” – Collective Unconscious
“Soul Devoid” – The Ruined
“Blissful Solitude” – Enduring The Fall
“Distance Means Nothing” (Acoustic) – Trash The Monument

Suicidal Bride Records, in co-presentation with BarsnBands.com, will also be presenting a listening party for the compilation at Eden Strip Club (13120 97 Street Northwest) in Edmonton, AB, where fans can get a lap dance to tracks from the release.

Barrett Klesko, label head and vocalist/guitarist of Suicidal Bride Records band All Else Fails, was asked why they were holding a release party at a strip club rather than the norm of a concert venue. He came up with his top reasons.

“Watch metal ‘rip in a whole new way, no pun intended. I have many reasons for choosing the listening party at Eden. Mainly for the reason that we were just looking for something fun and different for the metal head fans of the label and bands on the compilation plus we think getting a lap dance or two to a ripping metal track is pretty memorable plus my sister works there so I get to make it a family function lol.”

Event Details:

Time: 8 p.m. – 18+
Cover: $5 at the door if you mention your there for listening party. ($7 otherwise)
Location: Eden Strip Club
Address: 13120 97 Street Northwest

Facebook Event:


Promo Trailer:

Suicidal Bride Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Contrive Support Cavalera Conspiracy Australian Tour 2012

Melbourne Power Trio Contrive are confirmed as opening support for the upcoming Cavalera Conspiracy Australian Tour 2012.

Guitar/Vocalist Paul Haug comments: “These guys are the reason Andrew and I picked up instruments in the first place, massively influential! These shows will be exciting to the say the least!”

The band has just begun writing new material for the follow-up to their 2010 album THE INTERNAL DIALOGUE, which was mixed by Devin Townsend. Review here:


* Contrive play only these dates.

Tuesday 24th January Panthers, Newcastle
* Friday 27th January ANU BAR, Canberra
* Saturday 28th January Metro Theatre, Sydney
* Wednesday 1st February Billboard, Melbourne
Monday 6th February The Hi Fi, Brisbane

Check out the latest Contrive live photos from their recent House Of Rock show!



*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-The Devil’s Blood To Unveil THE THOUSANDFOLD EPICENTRE Video Teaser Series

Occult rock legion The Devil’s Blood will be releasing a series of video teasers leading up to the release of their upcoming full-length, THE THOUSANDFOLD EPICENTRE. Each week a new teaser will be viewable via the band’s official Metal Blade landing page. To start, check out the art teaser clip for the title track at http://www.metalblade.com/thedevilsblood/ .

Metal Blade Records recently announced its union with the eclectic rock ensemble and will unleash THE THOUSANDFOLD EPICENTRE in North America on January 17, 2012. The record offers up 11 tracks produced with the help of Pieter Kloos at Void Studios (Eindhoven, The Netherlands).

The myriad of influences, both artistically and spiritually, that creates the overall aesthetic of The Devil’s Blood takes the listener into a labyrinth of wondrous amazement and dark realization, using the tradition of rock ‘n’ roll music as being a mouthpiece for the influence of The Devil to evoke a powerful, sensual and energetic mixture of Musical Theatre and Ritual Practice. Using the power of their written material, which traditionally holds common ground with, for example, ’70s hard rock and ’60s psychedelia, as a stepping stone, the band moves into complex improvisational drifts that drive, clash, shake and force their way into the subconscious of the listeners while at the same time opening up their senses with the use of fire, blood, incense and other ritualistic ingredients.

Further info on The Devil’s Blood to come. Stay tuned….


*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-“In Union We Thrash – Tour 2012”: Coming On February 2012!

Born from the collaboration of four between the most long-lived and noteworthy thrash metal bands of the Italian scene we are proud to announce the confirmation of “In Union We Thrash – Tour 2012”, itinerant kermess that will see protagonists Methedras, Irreverence, Brain Dead and Endless Pain, over half-century of thrash metal made in Italy. The dates scheduled are 10 and the beginning of the tour is foreseen in February 2012. The wish to realize this project come directly from the combined words of the bands involved:

“The initiative born from the will to give a shake to a scene (the Italian one) holed up for too many years cause of ‘managerial monopolies’ imposed by professed agencies, enmities and useful polemics between bands (nothing more than ‘battle of the have-nots’). We know ourselves reciprocally since many years and we are friends, the will to create this tour born from this, first of all. Evidence of this is the fact that the running order will change on every date. Doesn’t matter the slot we all we’ll have, but letting people hear our voices and offer a show that satisfy everyone of you that will support this tour. We sincerely hope that this will be the beginning of a new era for the Italian metal scene.

“Thrashy Yours!


The schedule of the definitive dates will be announced around the middle of December 2011 then stay tuned on the official bands’ web spaces!



Brain Dead

Endless Pain

Official Tour Partners:

Italian Thrash Attack


Madboys Eventi & Concerti


Rock Hard Italy

Vivo Management

Irreverence – Thrash Metal Since 1995

*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Heirs: Somber Post-Doom Unit Releases New EP And Video

Melbourne, Australia’s avant-garde post-doom quartet Heirs will unleash their newest release stateside next week, in the form of the HUNTER EP. Picking up where their 2010-released FOWL full-length left off, the new three-song mini-release takes its time permeating your psyche with nearly 25 minutes of even more mellow and somber passages, leading off with two original tracks and closing out the release with an extensive Sisters Of Mercy cover track.

HUNTER will be officially released on CD, 10″ wax and digital download in North America on Tuesday, December 6th via Heirs’ own Denovali Records, bearing new stateside distro via Nail Distribution.

This week the band have posted a brand new video for the title track to the EP. Check out “Hunter” and more on Heirs and the new EP at http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/?p=3820 .

HUNTER EP Track Listing:

1. Hunter
2. Symptom
3. Never Land (originally recorded by Sisters Of Mercy)

Stay tuned for more updates on the band as they plan more live actions and more throughout the new year.


-There’s new Arrayan Path interview at Lords Of Metal, at http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showinterview.php?id=4089&lang=en .

-There’s a new Sebastian Bach audio interview with Bloody Disgusting at http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/music/2340 .

-Check out these interesting Grammy nominations… In the “Best Recording Package” category Chickenfoot’s III is up against Reckless Kelly’s GOOD LUCK & TRUE LOVE, J. Viewz’s RIVERS AND HOMES, Arcade Fire’s SCENES FROM THE SUBURBS, and JAY-Z AND KANYE WEST’s WATCH THE THRONE. And the nominees for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” are Dream Theater’s “On The Backs Of Angels,” Foo Fighters’ “White Limo,” Mastodon’s “Curl Of The Burl,” Megadeth’s “Public Enemy No. 1,” and Sum 41’s “Blood In My Eyes.”

-Upcoming tour dates for The Iron Maidens:

12/2 – Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX – all ages
12/3 – Smokin’ Aces, Mission, TX – 21+
12/4 – The Meridian, Houston, TX – all ages
12/10 – The Ruby Room, San Diego, CA
12/17 – The Can Club, Garden Grove, CA
12/30 – Green Valley Ranch Casino, Las Vegas, NV
12/31 – Paladino’s, Tarzana, CA

See http://www.theironmaidens.com/ , http://www.facebook.com/TheIronMaidensOfficial , and http://www.myspace.com/theironmaidens for more.

-Lance King’s new MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/lancekingvox , has a player that’s been updated with “brand new music and lots of older songs in it too!”

-Lord Volture from The Netherlands has a new podcast video at http://www.lordvolture.com/video and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8d8hK9RHB8 . This one takes you behind the scenes of the NEVER CRY WOLF photo shoot. See http://www.lordvolture.com/ for more.

Thanks to Axel Wiesenauer, Pitch Black Records, Nightmare Records, and Bill “Jethro Tull” Kotowski for help gathering some of this information.

*** OUT ***

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