Home > Music > Detritus Issue #650 – Did You Miss Us?

Detritus Issue #650 – Did You Miss Us?

Issue #650
Week of June 10, 2013

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Patrick Brower, Editor

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Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-So we unexpectedly went on hiatus about two months ago, and now we’re just popping back in briefly to get Neal’s excellent Ethan Brosh interview published. I managed to throw in a few other tidbits but time is at a premium these days… I’m not exactly sure when we’ll be back. – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-Manowar’s WARRIORS OF THE WORLD 10TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED EDITION CD Will Be Released Across Europe On June 28, 2013

The new edition takes Manowar’s multi-award winning, best-selling album to the next level.

Fully re-mastered and with a different bonus track, this brand new edition provides even higher sonic quality than ever before.

Mixed at legendary Galaxy Studios by world-renowned mixing engineer Ronald Prent, the 10th Anniversary Edition was re-mastered at Manowar’s own studios Hell and Haus Wahnfried by Joey DeMaio personally with Manowar’s in-house audio engineer Dirk Kloiber.

“It was an amazing experience, re-visiting this production. There are so many great memories associated with this album, from the recording to the post-production to the many unique live performances. All these experiences go into your work, when you sit in the studio and create a new experience for your fans,” said DeMaio.

WARRIORS OF THE WORLD 10TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED EDITION contains all 11 tracks from the original release, entirely re-mastered, plus a live recording of “House Of Death,” recorded during the BATTLE HYMNS MMXI Tour at O2 Academy in Birmingham, England; Manowar’s triumphant return to England after 16 years.

The album features, among others, the iconic title track “Warriors Of The World United,” the battle cry “Call To Arms,” and a series of further favorite hymns, including “Hand Of Doom” and the live favorite “House Of Death.”

WARRIORS OF THE WORLD 10TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED EDITION is already available as digital album on iTunes worldwide and as CD at http://www.thekingdomofsteel.com/ .

Track List:
1. Call To Arms
2. The Fight For Freedom
3. Nessun Dorma
4. Valhalla
5. Swords In The Wind
6. An American Trilogy
7. The March
8. Warriors Of The World United
9. Hand Of Doom
10. House Of Death
11. Fight Until We Die

12. House Of Death – Recorded live at O2 Academy in Birmingham, England, 03/27/2011


*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Famous Underground, Featuring Nick Walsh Of Slik Toxik, To Release Self-Titled Debut On July 2

“Famous Underground is a skull-rattling reminder that a stand-alone identity in the here and now overshadows past glories and current blood-sucking music industry trends.”
– Carl Begai / BW&BK

Famous Underground is led by vocalist Nicholas Walsh, formerly front man of the band Slik Toxik. Folks that remember life before grunge may recall the Canadian hard rock outfit kicking up a proverbial storm in the early ’90s. The band achieved Gold status in Canada with their full-length debut DOIN’ THE NASTY and took home the 1993 Juno Award (Canada’s version of the Grammy) for Best Album Of The Year. Sadly, in spite of their success Slik Toxik called it quits in 1995 as grunge tightened its hold on the music scene.

Nick isn’t one to simply fade into the background, however. Biding his time, honing his craft, he continued to work as a musician and spent close to 10 years fronting Revolver — a dark and dangerous new take on what Slik Toxik started — with longtime bassist/musical partner Laurie-Anne Green at his side. In the fall of 2011, Nick and Laurie-Anne had several new songs ready to go, which resulted in a new outlook and excitement for the future. They decided to start a new project and recruited musicians to form Famous Underground.

There are so many sub-genres in metal and rock now, our music is a combination of different varieties of hard rock and heavy metal. “I’m a fan of a lot of the metal or rock that’s out today,” says Nick, also a discerning fan of old school metal bands like Mercyful Fate, Crimson Glory and Iron Maiden. “Out of the ‘new’ groups out there, we like Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Disturbed, and part of the reason for that is you can hear elements of some of the stuff that influenced us so much.”

Ultimately, Walsh prefers to let the music do the talking. Famous Underground’s self-titled debut features 11 songs that run the gamut from up-tempo crushers to groove-stomp-heavy anthems to arena rock ballads, with no apologies offered for being unpredictable.

Nick says:

“Famous Underground is all-encompassing because we like all kinds of music. Look at Guns N’ Roses, who were hailed as one of the most dangerous bands around back in the day. They also put out ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and an album (G’N’R LIES) with a bunch of acoustic stuff on it. We’re one of those types of bands. We’re not going to paint ourselves into a corner and strictly do one form of rock or metal.

“I think Famous Underground is a band that sings about the human condition,” Nick offers. “We’re not preaching, but we’re pointing things out to people, saying ‘Look around at the world you’re living in.’ There are things going on that need to be brought to people’s attention, and if they don’t get it in a song they’re not going to get it at all.”

And class is always in session when Famous Underground are on stage. Focused, uncompromising, even if you go into one of the band’s shows without having heard a note beforehand, you’ll leave with a lasting impression tattooed on your brain. Famous Underground is as much about drawing the audience in as they are about getting the music out.

Nick states:

“When we rehearse, we engage each other and get our initial vibes from the music that we perform together, but on the stage that vibe turns into a much larger connection. We really like to create and feel that connection with our audience.”

Famous Underground is also a band that gives the fans what they paid for at the door. Rather than indulging in nonsensical mid-set jams, they keep things as close to the album as possible. As Nick puts it, “Even when we have an element of surprise or introduce something a little different on stage, there is always thought put behind our actions.”

Laurie-Anne says:

“We can’t wait to get out there and perform this album for everyone.” The fans will have the chance to take part in the Famous Underground experience soon enough, and the band is chomping at the bit to bring their one-of-a-kind show to the people.

These musicians have independently garnered critical acclaim supporting such acts as Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Kid Rock, Black Sabbath, Billy Talent, Yngwie Malmsteen, April Wine and many other international acts.

Famous Underground is:
Nick Walsh – Lead Vocals / Guitar
Laurie-Anne Green – Bass / BG Vocals
Rick Corvese – Guitar
Darren Michael Boyd – Guitar
Desche Sparboom – Drums



Hi Res Cover Art:

*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Heavy Metal Instrumental Single From Upcoming “Zombie Squash” Game Soundtrack Free On Facebook

New Metal Instrumental “Destroy” By Roy Z Released Free On Facebook Page

Summary: “Destroy,” a new heavy metal instrumental single by Roy Z (Judas Priest, Sepultura, Sebastian Bach) can be downloaded now for free from the “Zombie Squash” Facebook page in advance of its June 17 release date at iTunes & Amazon. “Destroy” was written, performed, and produced by Roy Z and is the first single from the upcoming soundtrack for the free iOS and Android game “Zombie Squash” which stars the voice talents of George A. Romero, the iconic director of “Night Of The Living Dead.”

PHOENIX, AZ — ACW Games announced the release of “Destroy” a heavy metal instrumental single from the upcoming “Zombie Squash” soundtrack written, produced, and performed by Roy Z known for his stellar production work with Sepultura, Sebastian Bach, and Halford.

Before the single goes on sale at iTunes, Amazon, and other global outlets on June 17, fans of the official “Zombie Squash” Facebook page ( http://facebook.com/zombiesquash ) can download a complimentary MP3 of “Destroy” now. Users simply have to visit the “Zombie Squash” Facebook page, click on the “Destroy MP3” tab, and “Like” the page. A download link is then revealed to the user.

“Destroy” is a high-tempo, shredding piece by Roy Z. With numerous credits including producing Judas Priest’s ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION which debuted at #13 on the US Billboard chart in 2005, Roy Z’s signature ferocious sound is evident in “Destroy.” Roy Z plays guitar, bass, and keys while Dave Moreno (Tribe Of Gypsies) provides the bombastic drums. “Destroy” was mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Adrenaline Mob, Yngwie Malmsteen).

The song erupts with a furious pace as does the thrill of the “Zombie Squash” game. Additional original songs by Roy Z are heard throughout the game.

A full-length “Zombie Squash” soundtrack written and produced by Roy Z will be released later this year.

A recent FEARnet review of the “Zombie Squash” game referred to the soundtrack as “headbanging metal… auditory mayhem.” DreadCentral.com called Roy Z “a badass” where he was recently interviewed about the soundtrack.

“Zombie Squash,” a free game for Apple and Android devices, was created by Attila Juhasz whose metal credits appear along with Roy Z’s on numerous Halford and Fight releases for graphics, marketing and editing. In the ’90s, Juhasz published the metal magazine New York Onslaught and managed New York rockers No More Johnny.

“Zombie Squash” features the voice talents of George A. Romero, the iconic director of “Night Of The Living Dead” and “Dawn Of The Dead,” and the Godfather of all zombies.

“Zombie Squash” is a world where plants and vegetables like turban squash and pumpkins turn into zombie squash spawned from the evil experiments of Dr. B. E. Vil (Romero), owner of the biochemical, genetics company Monsterno Corporation. You play as Jack Stompingtail, a fearless rabbit who fires carrots and other garden ammo at the zombie squash onslaught. The player has to try and stop the Zombie Squash from taking over the world. An addictive, survival-mode mini-game is also included.

The fun-for-all ages, tongue-in-cheek, action game is available for free from iTunes, GooglePlay, and Amazon.com. Free HD tablet versions of “Zombie Squash” are also available for the iPad and Kindle Fire.

“Destroy” YouTube Teaser:

Company Information:
ACW Games is a division of Attila’s Creative Works LLC. “Zombie Squash” was created by Attila Juhasz owner of ACW Games/Attila’s Creative Works LLC. “Zombie Squash” TM is the registered trademark of Attila’s Creative Works LLC.

Web Sites:

*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Witches Mark Update

(Note: This combines two different press releases. – Tim)

WITCHING METAL RITUAL Available For Pre-Order Now!!!

Witches Mark — the self-professed “Bringers Of Heavy Metal Death” hailing from Austin, Texas — have completed work on their WITCHING METAL RITUAL full-length, due to be released through Heaven & Hell Records on July 15th, 2013.

WITCHING METAL RITUAL is currently available for Pre-Order at a special introductory price of $8.99 (US) Follow the link to secure your copy!


WITCHING METAL RITUAL features eight tracks of uncompromising metal glory blending elements of thrash, speed, doom, black, and death while anchoring their overall sound firmly within the framework of traditional heavy metal.

Co-Produced by Witches Mark and Stuart “Batlord” Laurence (Agony Column/Ignitor) with mixing and mastering duties handled by Brendon Bigelow (Ignitor/Death Of Millions) WITCHING METAL RITUAL features a stunning post-apocalyptic inspired album cover courtesy of Yannick Bouchard of Illusory Dreams.

Metal fans can also expect a number of exciting guest appearances on WITCHING METAL RITUAL including Ross “The Boss” Friedman (Manowar/Death Dealer/The Dictators), Jack Starr (Virgin Steele/Burning Starr), Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/WatchTower/Ignitor/Broken Teeth), and Martin Debourge (Damien Thorne/Head Transfer Process).

The four band members of Witches Mark recently commented on their new album WITCHING METAL RITUAL in a string of interviews with the underground metal press.

“When people think of the US they don’t think of the traditional metal, they think of Britain, Germany… But the United States had Manowar, they had Virgin Steele, they had Slayer… Tons of bands that really were the best out there and that’s what we wanted to showcase on our album because we are American as well,” bassist Andy Gonzalez stated in an interview with SA Musicians Talk Show Radio.

When asked in an exclusive video interview with Robb’s Metal Works to describe what metal fans can expect to hear on the band’s new album WITCHING METAL RITUAL vocalist and guitarist Robb Bockman had the following to say “I’d best describe it as a bunch of dudes that love metal and we just play what we wanna f*cking hear. It’s a celebration of metal.”

“Definitely energy, power and attitude… Gotta make a statement, you know?” stated drummer Scott Palmer in an interview with Slayed In Oregon. Guitarist and founding member Robert Williams added “We were able to bring a heavier, meaner, darker sound.”

WITCHING METAL RITUAL will be released in Enhanced-CD format and will also include bonus video content including a music video for the album’s title track.

In late 2009, Heaven & Hell Records released A GRIM APPARITION, the debut EP from Witches Mark.

New Music Video Unveiled For “Witching Metal Ritual”

Texas metal act Witches Mark posted a new music video for the track “Witching Metal Ritual.” The track features ex-Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss (Death Dealer) and is the title track to the band’s debut full-length LP, which is due for release via Heaven & Hell Records on July 15.

WITCHING METAL RITUAL features eight tracks of uncompromising metal glory blending elements of thrash, speed, doom, black, and death while anchoring their overall sound firmly within the framework of traditional heavy metal. A teaser for the album can be heard over at this location:



*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Ivanhoe: Sixth Album From German Prog Metal Veterans To See Release Via Massacre Records

Massacre Records will release the new album from German progressive metal veterans Ivanhoe this Summer, with a North American street date of July 2 now locked down.

With a long line of releases including their early demos as well as five full-length studio recordings on their résumé, Ivanhoe has toured and performed across Europe with the likes of Iced Earth, Nevermore, Queensryche, the Scorpions, and countless others, including sets at major festivals including Bang Your Head, Building A Force, and others, helping them become a widely known and respected act over the last two decades.

With nearly an hour of brand new material, the sixth Ivanhoe album SYSTEMATRIX brings out some of the most powerful and professional anthems in the band’s ongoing lineage. The hard-hitting tunes on SYSTEMATRIX were produced, mixed, and mastered by Andy Horn at Red Room (Edenbridge, Lanfear, Rob Rock, Liv Kristine, etc.), capturing the talented act with immaculate auditory quality, and showcase the South German prog act boasting their strongest effort so far.

The seventh track from SYSTEMATRIX, “Walldancer,” has been posted to YouTube in advance of the album’s release. Listen here:

SYSTEMATRIX Track Listing:
1. Systematrix
2. Human Letargo
3. Tin Cans Liberty
4. War Of The Centuries
5. Madhouse
6. Learning Path
7. Walldancer
8. The Symbiotic Predator – Seduction
9. The Symbiotic Predator – Resolution
10. The Symbiotic Predator – Late Recognition

Ivanhoe Lineup:
Mischa Mang – vocals
Chuck Schuler – guitars
Giovanni Soulas – bass
Richie Seibel – keyboards
Mathias Biehl – drums


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Winner Announced For Foghat Songwriting Contest

It’s not often that fans get the opportunity to collaborate on a song with a rock band that has had the success that Foghat has obtained. But that was exactly what happened to a gentleman by the name of Phil Dessinger, when he won a contest asking fans to add lyrics to the originally all-instrumental tune, “495 Boogie,” from Foghat’s latest CD, LAST TRAIN HOME. And on July 9, fans can hear the winning version, dubbed “The Word Of Rock n’ Roll,” which is being issued via the band’s own label, Foghat Records.

The contest entries were narrowed down to the final three by the band and judges Ken Dashow of WAXQ FM Classic Rock Radio in NYC and Jeb Wright of ClassicRockRevisited.com and then put up for voting by the fans. As Foghat explained in a statement: “Thank you to all of you who entered the ‘495 Boogie’ contest. What great lyrics! What an extremely difficult choice. We seriously like all three of the final entries (and many of the others), so for us they are all winners! But the votes are in and it was a VERY… VERY close contest.”

“495 Boogie” (the most downloaded track on LAST TRAIN HOME) was recorded in two takes. It came out of a jam with Roger’s brother, Colin Earl, who came up with the song, Jeff Howell on bass and Lefty Lefkowitz on harmonica. Eventually, just for fun, Classic Rock DJ Charlie Ocean from Mobile, Alabama, added lyrics to “495 Boogie” renaming it “Big American Blonde,” and sent it to the band. Realizing that this was a very cool idea, Foghat decided to run a contest and invite their fans and all song writers to add their own lyrics to the tune. Sadly, Charlie Ocean passed away on July 6, 2011, which led to the idea being put on hold. But eventually, the group felt it would be a fine way to pay tribute to their fallen friend, resulting in the contest running from October 2012 through February 2013.

And the lucky winner turned out to be Mr. Dessinger, whose back-story is an interesting one. The son of an original member of the CBS Orchestra through the golden years of live radio and TV, Phil followed his dad to all of the shows and grew up at what is now called the Ed Sullivan Theater. He has seen everybody perform from Sophie Tucker to the Beatles. He has written songs for a UNICEF-Special Olympics global campaign, an Off-Broadway rock musical and a series of independent artist projects.

Due to such anthems as “Slow Ride” and “Fool For The City,” Foghat has remained a classic rock radio staple since first appearing on the scene in the 1970s. And the band continues to rock on today, as evidenced by their aforementioned latest album, LAST TRAIN HOME, which was comprised of both original tracks and some fantastic re-worked blues classics. And Foghat’s winning streak continues with the upcoming release of “The Word Of Rock n’ Roll.”

“CONGRATULATIONS PHIL DESSINGER! Nice Job! Great lyrics… great story! Great positive song: ‘Love my life, come on! May be a grind, but I’m strong.'”

For more information, visit:


*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Venrez To Unleash AMERICAN ILLUSION July 30, Film Video For Song “Unforeseen” And Confirm Tour Dates With Slash

One of hard rock’s most promising new bands, Venrez, is gearing up to return soon, with their latest release, AMERICAN ILLUSION, on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Comprised of singer Steven Berez (whose last syllables of his first and last name serve as the group’s name), guitarists Jason Womack and Alex Kane, bassist Michael Bradford, and drummer Ed Davis, the Los Angeles-based group is ready to take it to the next level, as evidenced by the album’s forthcoming single, “Unforeseen.”

“‘Unforeseen,'” states the group’s leader, nearly as recognized for his striking resemblance to Howard Stern as for his rock ‘n’ roll, “is my favorite track on the LP. It’s brutally heavy and demanding to play right. It’s At The Drive In meets Alice In Chains, and really reflects the experiences we’ve had touring the world together. It’s about a guy we met backstage on tour in France, Phillippe. He was so wasted but so happy too. He was all about embracing the moment maybe more than anyone I’ve ever met, and inspired me to put pen to paper. He did ultimately get kicked out of the venue for crapping in the sink of the women’s toilet… but who hasn’t at least once?!”

On Tuesday, June 11, a striking video for “Unforeseen” will be issued, which was directed by Natalie Bible.

To check out this clip and to purchase the tune (available on Tuesday, June 18), follow the following links:

video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh2L3wQW3Gg

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/venrez/id384931398

Other standouts include the heavy rocker “Vultures,” as well as a surprise remake of Sonny Bono’s “The Beat Goes On.”

Thus far, Venrez has opened shows for shock rock legend Alice Cooper, and has received praise for their debut full-length, 2012’s SELL THE LIE, of which the Celebrity Café website reviewed and praised the band, saying “Venrez is doing something different with their music, and they’re doing it well. It’s a refreshing throwback to earlier rock and roll musical eras.”

And come this summer, Venrez will rock the world with AMERICAN ILLUSION.

Confirmed track listing for AMERICAN ILLUSION:

1. Unforeseen
2. Sanctity
3. Hot Air
4. Free Will
5. Silver And Gold
6. Intellectual Drool
7. Vultures
8. Hunger
9. The Beat Goes On
10. Temptress Of The Moon

Venrez Opening for Slash:

Sun-Jul-21 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
Wed-Jul-24 – Park City, UT – Park City Live
Thu-Jul-25 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues


*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Mongrel Releases Lyric Video For “C & 1/2”

BOSTON, MA — The Boston based, female fronted, rock-punk-metal crossover band Mongrel have just unveiled the official lyric video for the song “C & 1/2” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJgJsfgKf04 ) from their album RECLAMATION. The album has received great reviews around the world and Mongrel recently secured physical distribution for the RECLAMATION album (THC-Music/Vanity Music Group) in both the US and UK. RECLAMATION was recorded and mixed by Jim Foster (POD, Nullset, Sully Erna) and has received great coverage in the UK in magazines such as Big Cheese, Vive Le Rock, Terrorizer, and Metal Hammer! In the US the album’s first single/video “Bored To Death” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZiczkduf2E ) hit number 41 on the CMJ Radio Charts and has received play on Faction/Sirius XM, Mood network (formerly DMX), and stations such as WAAF, KNAC, and WSOU.

Mongrel plans on premiering the full video for “C & 1/2” in the coming weeks.

“We’re really excited for the new video and we thought the lyric video was a nice way to get people more familiar with the song as it’s become a popular sing-a-long at shows,” says guitarist, Adam Savage. “Let’s face it, we all know someone who goes that extra mile to make our lives a little more annoying and this song is about them. We’ll be debuting the real video soon but we hope you’ll enjoy this one as well as we definitely had some laughs putting it together.”

Mongrel will be playing in NYC this Saturday June 15 at The R-Bar and has announced dates throughout the northeastern US this summer including shows with Halestorm (7/14 Hartford CT), and Godsmack (8/10 Gifford, NH).

Relevant Links:


by Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

-Interview w/ Ethan Brosh
May 21, 2013

After over 30 years of listening to guitar based music I find that these days I’m not easily impressed; often I hear guitarists who sound just like their favorite player, musicians with plenty of technique but lacking feeling and creativity, and albums that are bland, uninspired, or lacking in melodic content. I was introduced to Ethan Brosh via his debut album OUT OF OBLIVION and discovered a rare artist who combines what to my mind are the essential elements required to be a great “shredder”: melody, feeling, technique, and creativity. Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Ethan during what has to be the “holy grail” of tours for an up-and-coming guitar god — opening for Yngwie Malmsteen! Read on as we discuss the tour, Ethan’s upcoming album LIVE THE DREAM, his current gear, and valuable advice for young players just starting out…

DETRITUS: This tour with Yngwie is pretty much a dream gig for a young virtuoso guitarist. How did that come about?

ETHAN BROSH: It was pretty simple — just my manager knew someone who works with Yngwie and he hooked it up — I just have a great manager. You know after you do certain things in the music business you start getting to know enough people. These things occasionally just appear.

D: The shows have been going well so far?

EB: Absolutely, yeah. We’ve done 20 out of 25 shows and it’s pretty much as good as I could have expected it. The crowd reactions have been really great; people have been loud and very responsive, so as far as that goes I’m very happy because I really didn’t know what to expect going into it. I didn’t know if I would have a bunch of just guitar players annoyed by the fact that I’m there and just like waiting for Yngwie. But it really hasn’t been like that; people have been very, very kind and very supportive. You know the fact that I go right before Yngwie every night and these people are still appreciating what we do, that’s a great thing.

D: Excellent! You are doing half the shows as an instrumental unit and the other half with your vocal project Burning Heat. How is that working out to do those two split sets?

EB: I thought the instrumental band went over really well; people really dug it. You know I didn’t know how people were going to respond to that but I thought it was like a perfect crowd for that because there are a lot of guitar players there, a lot of musicians. And for me doing the changeover to Burning Heat it took me about a day to get used to it because by the time I started playing with Burning Heat again I hadn’t rehearsed with them for three or four weeks, but I’ve played with Burning Heat for quite awhile so I’m very familiar with the songs. Again, it was something like once I changed bands I didn’t know what the reaction of the crowd would be, but it’s been pretty much equally good so I’m very happy about that, too.

D: I’ve been listening to LIVE THE DREAM — it sounds great! Let me ask you about some of the songs…

EB: The new album? Yeah…

D: “Space Invaders” and the title track have kind of a Jake E. Lee type rhythm…

EB: Ah, well I guess it’s in my veins because Jake E. Lee is one of my all-time favorite players!

D: Yeah, mine too! (laughs)

EB: I’m glad you appreciate Jake E. Lee. In my opinion he was the greatest guitar player that played with Ozzy, that’s for sure…

D: I think maybe Randy Rhoads first but then for sure Jake E. Lee right after that!

EB: Yeah…

D: He doesn’t get enough credit. Everybody always goes to the other players but I’m like “Well, no, he is a lot better than people give him credit for.”

EB: Yeah, I’m with you on that.

D: I love the monster riffs and scary note selection on “Rude Awakening” and “Silver Lining…”

EB: Oh, thank you!

D: Sounds like maybe some George Lynch influence there…

EB: Yeah, another one of my absolute top favorites. George is a good friend of mine; we shared a music video together and he played on a tune on my first record.

D: Yeah, that was awesome; on the first album you had him, Greg Howe and Joe Stump but you don’t have anyone playing with you on LIVE THE DREAM do you?

EB: I have Dave Ellefson from Megadeth playing on it; this time I put a lot of attention to the production of this record because this was something really important for me. I want this album to sound really huge, very clear, very nice; and I think we managed to achieve that. I went after a guy called Max Norman…

D: Yeah it helps to have Max Norman doesn’t it? (laughs)

EB: Yeah it helps out!

D: He did the first few Ozzy records, he has worked with Megadeth and George Lynch, so yeah, very good choice, I think you got the right guy!

EB: Exactly, and he has been out of the music business for about 20 years…

D: Yeah, I haven’t heard much from him in a long time…

EB: I know, so I got a hold of him somehow and I managed to convince him to come out of retirement and do that mix for this record. We went to a place called Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut — great studio — and we mixed everything on a 48 channel SSL board and yeah, it has been really good. Max and I went to Portland, Maine to Gateway Mastering where the greatest mastering engineer of all time is working and his name is Bob Ludwig — he has been mastering for over 50 years for anyone from like Elvis and Jimi Hendrix to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Madonna, Michael Jackson, you name it, he has done it!

D: Wow, lots of experience there!

EB: Yeah, so that was a great experience, you know and also listening to the record in the best listening environment you could pretty much have, it doesn’t get any better than that. So if this album doesn’t sound huge, I don’t know how you make a huge sounding album!

D: It sounds great to me…

EB: Thank you.

D: I really like your acoustic playing with the flamenco and classical flavors. You started off with classical didn’t you?

EB: Yeah, I started with classical guitar.

D: That’s a great foundation for this kind of stuff isn’t it?

EB: Ahh, I guess so, I mean it came back to just my parents having the belief of “You need to start on an acoustic instrument before you play electric guitar.” And it’s not that they really believed that but they kind of went along with that and I figured I’d do whatever it takes for me to get my electric guitar, so I started playing classical guitar but I ended up really loving that too; so I kept on going and played both instruments which are very different from one another!

D: Yeah they are! (laughs)

EB: Yeah nowadays I try not to incorporate too much of the classical influences into my rock playing, just way too many people have done it…

D: It’s getting kind of cliched, isn’t it?

EB: Yeah, Yngwie has done it and he does it the best, and there are enough people trying to rip him off and I don’t want to be another one…

D: (laughs) Right, yeah, that’s true. That is one thing I like about you, you incorporate your influences without being imitative…

EB: Well thank you, thank you very much!

D: Do you get to play any acoustic live or do you keep it pretty much electric?

EB: I keep it pretty much electric but I might do some fingerpicking on electric guitar so I will bring some of my classical guitar influences — not really with classical music — but the approach, the techniques of fingerpicking and all that stuff; it just depends on how much time I have on stage and what the set is. You never know what the future holds though — I may feel like bringing a classical guitar on stage. I might do it at some point.

D: There is some real nice variety on the album, pieces like the Zeppelin homage “Up The Stairway,” and “Knock On Wood” — that’s nice to put that in there, it kind of “clears the pallet” for the other stuff…

EB: Yeah, you know what, I take a lot of things into consideration when I make a record, and I feel like when you play instrumental music the easiest thing is to get someone bored out of their mind…

D: Yeah, I’ve heard a few records like that! (laughs) Too much of one thing…

EB: Exactly. So I’m like: you don’t have a singer, you have only tunes, and if those tunes are based on the idea of “look how fast I can go” and “this is a lick that I know” and “I’m basing this tune over that lick” — that’s probably the wrong way to go about it. I try to keep in mind the overall picture and you’ve got to have a variety of sounds and tunes, you’ve got to keep it interesting. The song order is really important, too. So yeah, that’s why it takes me a long time to make a record; I’ve got to have it perfect.

D: I also love cool, unaccompanied solos and you have a nice one on here called “Crying Moon.” Did you play keyboards behind that?

EB: Well you know what it is? It’s guitar synth…

D: I was thinking it might be a guitar synth. That’s really nice what you have going there…

EB: Thank you, yeah, it’s a couple of different parts, I played the chords and then I played this epic bass underneath, like a keyboard bass and yeah, I thought it came out pretty cool. I appreciate your comment because I’m not hearing about it too much from people. Maybe it’s just because it is the last track.

D: People may think “Oh, he just put a solo” but that’s a musical piece in and of itself.

EB: Yeah, I really like that one personally, so thank you.

D: Do you have a song selected for a video or a single?

EB: Well I think what you suggested at the beginning, “Space Invaders” and the title track “Live The Dream,” are strong tunes that need a video, and probably knock on wood because it’s a very different technique and I think it would make a very interesting video.

D: I was going to ask you about Angels Of Babylon. What’s the situation with that, are you still working with them?

EB: Well I recently just parted ways with Angels Of Babylon — on very good terms. Rhino is a very good friend of mine. We’re about to release the second album on an Italian record label called Scarlet Records. You know Rhino does pretty much everything in that band — he writes all the music, writes even the guitar riffs and everything, he can pretty much play every instrument, he can sing and really make a great record and write great songs. I pretty much played lead guitars on that record and some nylon string guitar and I feel like some of my best lead guitar playing is actually going to be on this second Angels Of Babylon record.

D: I’m looking forward to hearing it! I know you mentioned you would like to tour with Iron Maiden at some point, them being a big early influence on you…

EB: Still is!!! This is the band that really got me into rock music which led me to start playing guitar and they’ve been my favorite band since I was 10 years old…

D: Yeah, I love ’em too! Besides them is there anyone else you would like to tour with or work with in the future as far as having guests on your albums or someone you would really like to play live with?

EB: Absolutely, yeah. As far as guests on my records, all the guys I grew up listening to like Yngwie Malmsteen or Nuno [Bettencourt], you know a lot of those guitar players I grew up on. But one thing I really want to do is I want to play with a huge ’80s metal band, a band who still plays in arenas — because I love all these bands and I really want to be the guitar player of one of them. I don’t want to take anyone’s job, you know I would feel horrible about that but in case something ever changes, to play with Ozzy, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake or Megadeth, one of those bands if something ever changes and that spot is available, I would love to be considered for that.

D: I have a feeling that will happen for you…

EB: Thank you so much!

D: Can you go over your basic gear setup, what you are using right now?

EB: Yes, on this tour and also recording my second album I’m using pretty much exclusively iSP Technologies gear. iSP just like makes the best guitar-oriented equipment…

D: I need to check some of that out.

EB: Yeah, Buck Waller — he’s the owner — he is just a genius engineer. They made a head called the Theta, it’s a great head and there is a preamp version of it, like a rack-mountable preamp, and now they just came out with a pedal version of that preamp. At first I was a little skeptical, I was like “I don’t know if that pedal is really going to sound the same as the head,” but they managed to actually get exactly the same sound, same circuitry right into a pedal and I’m very, very happy about that. Finally you can have a pedal board that sounds good, which is something that I never, ever had. I did my whole second record LIVE THE DREAM with that preamp and now that the pedal version is out I’m pretty much the first guy to play with it. I took it on tour with me and now I’m playing the whole tour opening for Yngwie Malmsteen with that pedal, and with iSP Technologies speaker cabinets and their new power amps. They are really tiny but they are super loud and sound really good. Yeah, I’m getting compliments about my tone everywhere I go, in every city, and playing right next to Yngwie Malmsteen that’s a pretty big deal because Yngwie has a ridiculous tone!

D: Yeah, he does! (laughs)

EB: Yeah, to be up there and for people to notice the iSP tone is amazing…

D: I’m going to look that up…

EB: Definitely, I think every guitar player nowadays owes it to themselves to check it out.

D: What is your main guitar right now?

EB: I don’t really have a main guitar, I like having lots of different guitars. It’s like “What is your favorite T-shirt?”

D: (laughs) Right…

EB: Know what I mean? Nowadays on this tour the main guitar that I play with is a Fender HM Strat, those guitars were made in the late ’80s…

D: The kind Greg Howe used to use back then?

EB: Exactly, they were very good sounding guitars, very comfortable, they look really nice. So it’s kind of like a guitar that… you know it’s always going to be a good guitar, it works in many different situations, it works for this tour for sure.

D: You are finishing the tour in Tampa, Florida. Any plans after that to continue with more live dates?

EB: Yeah, you know, especially seeing on this tour how great the reaction is for both Burning Heat and my instrumental band. In talking to some of these venues and meeting promoters who want to book us now I’m definitely going to look into options of doing a tour, maybe myself, maybe opening for a bigger act. You know, I love playing live, that’s really what it’s all about and I just can’t wait to be out there again. I’m kind of sad the tour is almost over…

D: Yeah, it was kind of a quick one wasn’t it?

EB: Well it is a 25-show tour, it wasn’t easy with the distances between…

D: Yeah, I noticed your travel was kind of ridiculous! (laughs)

EB: It is ridiculous…

D: You have like 700 miles between some of the places you are playing…

EB: Exactly, night after night — it’s definitely an interesting adventure but you know what, when you are onstage it really is the best thing, it just makes it worth it for the next night and I’m getting a little sad that it is going to be over soon. But I’m excited about what is out there in the future — I mean, two and a half months ago I didn’t even know about this tour and that’s the cool thing about the music business, you never know what’s around the corner.

D: Well let me ask you one more question. I know you teach at Berklee periodically; any advice for up-and-coming shredders?

EB: As far as their career or their playing?

D: Their playing, improving the quality of their playing.

EB: As far as playing I think what people need to do — especially nowadays — you know there are all the resources for becoming a great player, everything is out there, everything is free… I think that one of the biggest problems is that people get a little bit lost and don’t really know what to focus on because they will go and learn the craziest things on YouTube and be able to do it really well, but then a lot of the foundation will be lacking. So I think that everyone should still get a good teacher, not a teacher who just plays fast but someone who really gets the concept of music very well; learn that and use all those resources online, play a lot, and do some things like you used to do in the old days. Take one record and learn the whole thing by ear, start to finish; go out there and play with a band, really experience the real thing. Don’t just videotape yourself in your bedroom because those are the things that you see a lot nowadays. You’ve got to just focus on the right things and spend all your time, money, and energy on that, basically. If you do all those things you should be fine; one very important thing too: don’t rip off one guy!

D: Yeah! (laughs)

EB: There are a lot of guitar players that are in love with famous guitar players — take Yngwie for example — there are a lot of people who are so in love with Yngwie and hey, there’s nothing wrong with it, I love Yngwie and I think he is the master at what he does but we already have one Yngwie, know what I mean? He already took that spot so you’ve got to be someone else.

D: I appreciate your time Ethan, hope to see you live soon!

EB: Thank you Neal!

Relevant links:

Ethan Brosh

iSP Technologies

Magna Carta

-Arrayan Path’s IV: STIGMATA is out this week through Pitch Black Records. Hype: “Judging by the numerous enthusiastic reviews the album has been receiving so far, it’s already looking like the band will have yet another album making it into several ‘best of the year’ shortlists!” The CD version of STIGMATA, featuring two bonus tracks, is available now at http://bit.ly/105pb7y , and the digital version is available on iTunes, AmazonMP3 and other music stores. There is also a special limited edition that comes bundled with a cassette, and it is almost sold out. A lyric video for “Stigmata” is online now at http://youtu.be/VUxHAnIQ9i8 , and “post-production has already started” on the band’s first “real” video clip. See http://www.pitchblackrecords.com/ for more.

-There’s a new interview with Craig Goldy (Dio Disciples, Budgie) at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/JpZD .

-Masterplan’s NOVUM INITIUM (AFM Records) is out now Europe and is due June 18 in the US. Check out a trailer with excerpts of all the regular album’s songs at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdaZiaOhcS0 . The digital single “Keep Your Dream Alive” is available at AFM’s MP3 store at http://afm.musiclogistics.net/releases/57269?lang=en , and the video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ4BlRwKMRo .

-RAISE THE CURTAIN, the first solo album from Savatage main man Jon Oliva, is due June 21 in Europe and July 2 in the US. Check out a lyric video for the song “Father Time” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ewjuNgRYU8 .

-U.D.O.’s STEELHAMMER debuted at the following chart positions: Germany – #21, Sweden – #23, Finland – #38, Norway – #67, Switzerland – #79, USA – #107 (Billboard Alternative Charts).

-According to the latest Y&T newsletter, Sammy Hagar has asked Dave Meniketti “to perform a set of Montrose tunes at Hagar’s ‘Four Decades Of Rock’ show at San Francisco’s America’s Cup Pavilion on September 7.’ The lineup will be Hagar, Meniketti, Bill Church, and Denny Carmassi. See http://www.YandTRocks.com/ and http://www.meniketti.com/ for more.

Thanks to Chad Bowar for help gathering some of this information.

*** OUT ***

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