Category Archives: Interview

Interview: Producers Christa Campbell & Lati Grobman discuss ‘Experimenter’

Lati Grobman & Christa Campbell

Lati Grobman & Christa Campbell

Producers Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman are making a name for themselves in Hollywood and people are starting to take notice.

Want proof? Since combining years of individual acting and behind the scenes experience to form their own company; Campbell-Grobman Films, the duo has achieved success in a variety of film genres and documentaries as well as being named one of 10 Producers To Watch by Variety. What’s even more special is the fact that Campbell and Grobman are involved in a new film project, “Experimenter”, that will be screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival!

Directed by Michal Almereyda, “Experimenter” tells the story of famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram who, in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans willingness to obey authority and the shocking results. The film stars Peter Scarsgaard, Winona Ryder, John Leguizamo, Kellan Lutz, Jim Gaffigan, and Taryn Manning.

In addition to the screening at Sundance, Campbell and Grobman have many other projects in various stages of development, including “Leatherface” – a prequel to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as well as the Jennifer Aniston/Owen Wilson comedy, “She’s Funny That Way”.

I recently spoke with Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman and asked them about “Experimenter” and some of their other upcoming projects!

What does having one of your films screened at The Sundance Film Festival mean to you?

Christa: It’s been a dream of ours for quite a while. Sundance is one of the best festivals ever and for us to have one of our films there this year is just amazing!

Lati: I remember when I was a young filmmaker (or even as just a film fan), I would often go to Sundance but never thought it would happen for me in my lifetime. It really is a dream come true!

What can you tell me about your film, “Experimenter”?

Grobman: It’s a story of an evidence of the human kind that asks the question: “To what extent will we go to listen to authority?” It’s really scary. Here you have someone who is a very nice and decent person but is also doing these horrific things. You start thinking to yourself, how could these things happen?

It would be like asking the question, “How did some of the things in World War II happen?” On the outside, it was obvious that the SS Officers were terrible. But some of the most horrific things about World War II were the people who were living there at the time. The ones who knew that their neighbors were disappearing and being killed but did nothing about it. Those are the kind of people who are the scariest. The ones who don’t take action. This movie is a little piece of life showing what we’re capable of.

Experimenter

What was the casting process like for “Experimenter”?

Campbell – Peter Scarsgaard is a friend of Mike Almereyda (director) and the two of them had been attached to the film for a few years. They had passion for getting the film made and about getting Winona Ryder involved. Lati and I then called up Kellan Lutz and asked him if he’d be interested in doing the movie. Kellan read the script and within an hour called us said, “Absolutely! I’m in!” You always hope that you get the people you want and hope that they will have the same passion as you and in this case, we got both!

You’ve both done a lot of work separately in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. When did you decide to team up and work together?

Campbell: Lati and I have been friends for a long time. She had been producing movies for many years and I was an actress at the time we became friends. Eventually, there came a point where I started producing without actually realizing it.

Grobman: Christa was actually producing movies but not taking any credit for her work. I remember there was this one movie where she had put the cast together, got the financing and even some of the product placement. Basically, she had pretty much done everything. I said, “Christa, you realize that you made this movie happen and deserve producer credit, right?” That’s when she said, “Oh, no! I just want to act. That’s all I care about.” I remember telling her that whether she knew it or not, she was the producer of the movie.” She wound up not taking credit for that film but then she started to get the “bug”. Christa is one of those people who once they get a passion for something; they go all the way with it! That’s how it all started.

As producers, what do you look for in a project?

Grobman: We both have our personal preferences. Christa is a big fan of horror and I’m more into documentaries. Both of us love good action movies and thrillers. But it’s not necessarily about what genre we love. Sometimes, it’s about the deal.

Campbell: The cool thing about the two of us working together is that we can split our time. Lati is currently closing two of our documentary deals and I’m focusing more on “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

What other projects are you working on?

Campbell: Right now, we’re doing “Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Leatherface)”. We’re prepping to shoot with directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury; who worked on the film, “Inside”. We’ll be shooting that in Bulgaria. We also have a Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson movie (“She’s Funny That Way”) that will be coming out. “Shut In” was a little horror movie we did with Steven Schneider from Paranormal Activity. We’re in post-production with that and will be hitting the festival scene very soon. All of our movies are in different stages. Then of course, we have “Experimenter” at Sundance!

What excites you the most about the year ahead and the next phase of your careers?

Campbell: Just having the opportunity to make the films that we love and travel the world is what excites us. It can be challenging at times but we both have the kind of personality that wants to take it on. Some of the deals we’ve made have been amazing.

Grobman:  Every day and every deal is a challenge and you definitely have to earn it with a lot of sweat and tears. But even though it may not be as glamorous behind the scenes, whenever you get the chance to walk the carpet it’s just wonderful!

Guitarist The Commander-In-Chief Discusses ‘2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album’

Commander-Photo by Jeff Xander

Guitar fans might remember seven-string guitarist the Commander-In-Chief from her Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 guitar-duel video, which she made with classically trained guitarist Thomas Valeur.

That video, which was premiered on GuitarWorld.com, was one of the site’s 10 most-watched videos of 2013.

Late last year, the Commander teamed up with another classical guitarist, Craig Ogden, for a new album of guitar-driven goodness—2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album—that takes metal virtuosity back to its classical roots.

Ogden, the principal lecturer on guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, was recently featured as one of the top classical guitarists of all time by ClassicFM.

In addition to inspired versions of Caprice No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini (the Italian composer whose music has influenced scores of guitarists, including Yngwie Malmsteen) and an instrumental version of Carlos Gardel and Alfredo LePera’s tango, “Por una Cabeza,” 2 Guitars also showcases the Commander’s vocal skills on an original song, “Let It Go.”

We also should add that the Commander’s Caprice No. 24 video was one of GuitarWorld.com’s 10 most-watched videos of 2014.

I recently caught up with the Commander and asked her about her new album with Ogden, her gear and more.

GUITAR WORLD: What made you decide to do a project like this?

After the guitar duel, I noticed a lot of comments from people asking about the next one. I had only planned on doing one, but everyone kept saying how they couldn’t wait for more. So I thought it’d be cool to do another one.

The piece I found was the massive “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” [by Camille Saint-Saëns]. Once I checked it out, I knew it was going to take me a while to learn. So rather than just doing one piece and video at a time, we decided to instead make an entire album.

You can read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with The Commander in Chief
By Clicking Here!

 

‘Work': Bon Jovi Tour Photographer David Bergman Discusses New Coffee Table Book

The first concert I ever attended was a Scorpions show in 1984. I remember this event because, at the time, I was excited about checking out the openers, a young, up-and-coming band called Bon Jovi.

Little did I know I’d also be bearing witness to what would become one of rock’s biggest juggernauts.

Photo: David Bergman

Photo: David Bergman

Tour photographer David Bergman has spent the last three and a half years working as Bon Jovi’s official tour photographer. With carte blanche access, Bergman has been able to travel the world with the band and document their activities—as well as their shows—with his camera.

Bergman has combined a collection of his photographs into one masterful coffee table book that’s appropriately titled Work. The book, an over-sized, 5-pound, 210-page hardcover tome, offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s top touring bands.

In addition to being an in-demand touring and sports photographer, Bergman also runs tourphotographer.com, which lets fans go online and buy high-quality image prints shot at the shows they’ve attended.

I recently spoke with Bergman to find out more about Work and his time spent on tour with Bon Jovi.

GUITAR WORLD: How did this book project come about?

Since the beginning of 2011, I’ve photographed every single Bon Jovi live show, which is quite a lot when you think about it. Last year alone, they did 102 shows on six continents. After every show, I would do an edit and narrow it down to the best of the best from each performance.

Over time, I started to develop this massive archive, somewhere in the range of 800,000 images, many of which no one had ever seen. So I brought it to the band. The idea of doing a book was something we had been talking about for quite a while. They’ve done book projects over the years but nothing quite like this. By the end of this last tour, we decided the time was finally right and started putting it together.

Photo: David Bergman

Photo: David Bergman

You can read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with David Bergman by Clicking Here!

‘Only to Rise’: George Lynch Talks New Album with Michael Sweet, Plus Lynch Mob and Dokken

Sweet-LynchWhen most people discuss potential supergroups, the last combination of artists they toss around are Michael Sweet of Stryper and George Lynch of Lynch Mob, Shadow Train and Dokken.

Yet these two masters of shred have joined forces for Only to Rise, the debut album from their new project, Sweet & Lynch, that will be released January 27.

Joining the Sweet & Lynch adventure are bassist James Lomenzo [Megadeth, White Lion] and drummer Brian Tichy [Whitesnake, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne].

From the opening notes of the “The Wish” to songs like “Dying Rose,” “Love Stays” and “September,” it’s evident the blend of Sweet’s unmistakable voice and Lynch’s signature guitar tone has yielded exceptional results.

I recently caught up with Lynch to find out more about Only to Rise and get an update on the new Lynch Mob record, Sun Red Sun, and his Shadow Nation documentary and Shadow Train band projects. Lynch also puts to rest any rumors of a Dokken reunion.

GUITAR WORLD: How did the collaboration with Michael Sweet begin?

Lynch Mob and Stryper share an agent, and we’ve done a few tours together. During a few of those dates here and there, Michael and I would hang out and casually start talking about the idea of working together. We enjoyed each other’s company and had mutual respect for each other musically and as people. It was a good fit. So when the opportunity from Frontiers Records came along to do this record, it was an easy decision. Just a handshake and off to the races!

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with George Lynch by Clicking Here!

Joe Lynn Turner Discusses Rated X and the Possibility of a Rainbow Reunion

Rated_XWhen Frontiers Records wanted to put together a supergroup to record an album of classic hard rock music, they looked to Joe Lynn Turner.

Turner, the former lead vocalist for Rainbow and Deep Purple, also a successful solo artist, quickly agreed. Before long, bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice were on board.

Following several unsuccessful attempts at filling the guitarist slot, the band found Karl Cochran, who stepped in to provide some tastefully inspired shredding. With infectious songs like “This Is Who I Am” and “Fire And Ice,” Rated X’s self-titled debut sounds like a band that’s worked together for years as a unit.

Unfortunately, Cochran suffered a stroke during the completion of the album and is still on the road to recovery. I recently spoke with Turner and got an update on Cochran’s condition as well as the Rated X album and the possibility of a Rainbow reunion with Ritchie Blackmore.

GUITAR WORLD: How’s Karl doing?

Thanks for asking. He’s improving drastically. His speech is still a bit impaired and he’s paralyzed on his right side, but he’s able to move his arm up to his shoulder and has some feeling in his hand. He’s not walking with a cane, which is incredible for this type of situation. He’s progressing but we know it’s a long, hard road.

If you don’t know much about Karl, he’s a guitar aficionado. His house is filled with vintage guitars, amps and a workshop. His is a complete guitar world. We’re doing benefits to help pay for his medical expenses. We had a very successful one at the Iridium in New York and are doing a few more. We’re doing what we can because the cost of health care is off the hook these days.

How did the you come up with the name Rated X?

It actually started out as just a project we called Project X. We thought that since we were all ex-members of bands, had ex-wives and all had lived “rated X” lives [laughs], that’s what we should name the band.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Joe Lynn Turner by Clicking Here!

‘The Turn': Live Guitarist Chad Taylor Discusses New Album, Guitars and ‘Throwing Copper’

LIVE_TheTurnIt was a turning point when the band Live took a self-imposed hiatus in 2009.

Lead singer Ed Kowalczyk wanted to focus on a solo career while the band wanted to return to a more ensemble-based format. Unable to resolve their impasse, the band and Kowalczyk decided to go their separate ways.

Enter vocalist Chris Shinn, who over the years had developed a strong rapport with members of Live. Now, after a therapeutic three-year soul search, Live are back with a new singer, album and perspective.

The Turn, Live’s first album in eight years, reunites the band with Jerry Harrison, who produced three of the band’s previous albums — Mental Jewelry (1991), Throwing Copper (1994) and The Distance to Here (1999).

The release of The Turn also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the group’s 8 million selling Throwing Copper, a monster album that yielded the band’s biggest single, “Lightning Crashes,” which was Number 1 at Modern Rock radio for 10 consecutive weeks.

With 20 million in worldwide album sales to go along with a dynamic new lead singer and a redefined focus, Live are ready to enter the next phase of their career.

Live consists of Chad Taylor (guitars), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass), Chad Gracey (drums/percussion) and Chris Shinn (lead vocals/guitars).

I recently caught up with Taylor to discuss The Turn, guitars, the 20th anniversary of Throwing Copper and what he’s most looking forward to with this new version of Live.

GUITAR WORLD: It’s been five years since Live took a hiatus/break. Was the expectation always that you’d one day get back together?

The end of Live 1.0 was open-ended. What we knew at the time was that the chemistry that had been so essential to making Live exuberant, exciting and creative had just dissipated. We were a band that could have probably have used a therapist, but like most men, we just decided that separation was the best idea to try to salvage any kind of relationship we had we each other.

During the time of the break/hiatus the clarity that helped solidify everyone’s future was the fact that Ed [Kowalczyk] made it clear he wanted to make solo music, and we made it clear we wanted to make ensemble music. There’s such a difference in the way you do it. You can hear in the transition of Live through our subsequent records how the band became more focused on the singer/songwriter than on ensemble creativity. In my opinion, the thing that always made Live was our ability to play off of each other. When we lost that, the spirit of the band went away.

Read my complete

gw_logoInterview with Chad Taylor by Clicking Here!

‘Rock & Roll Baby’: Guitarist Malina Moye Brings Hendrix Influence and Blues Power to New Album

RockRollBabyThere’s a seductive passion and feel in Malina Moye’s guitar playing, as evidenced by her insanely good new EP, Rock & Roll Baby, which was released October 14.

From the infectious, funk-inspired single “K-yotic” (which features Bootsy Collins) to her take on the Jimi Hendrix classic “Foxey Lady,” Rock & Roll Baby is a high-octane experience of blues power.

In addition to being an in demand performer on her own, Moye also has taken part in the Experience Hendrix Tour alongside guitar greats Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. She also had the distinct privilege of honoring the Queen of England’s 60-year reign by performing her own rendition of “God Save the Queen.”

I recently spoke with Moye about her new album, her gear and more.

How would you describe Rock & Roll Baby?

It’s an in-your-face combination of Led Zeppelin meets Sly and the Family Stone, with a little bit of Hendrix thrown in. I love real music and the feeling it gives you. As a guitar player, I love the freedom of being able to express who I am in my solos. This is me, and this album is what I’m about.

What’s your songwriting process like?

It varies. Sometimes I’ll be on an acoustic and be messing around with riffs. Other times I’ll hear melody in my head and sing it into my phone so I can go back to it later. Then I’ll pick up my guitar and start putting the pieces together. Music can literally speak to you. It will tell you what it has to say. You just have to be open to it.

Let’s talk about a few tracks off the album, beginning with “K-yotic.” What was is like working with Boosty Collins?

Bootsy is incredible. What I love the most about him is how he’s able to spontaneously come up with ideas. I was messing around on the track, jamming, when the idea of having him on it came to me. I remember I sent the track over to him and said, “Hey, tell me what you think of this.” A short while later, he sends me a new track back with a note that said, “This is what I think of it!” [laughs]. It was hot!

You can read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Malina Moye by Clicking Here!

Stryper’s Michael Sweet Talks New CD/DVD Package, ‘Live at the Whisky’

StryperThe Whisky a Go Go is a legendary Sunset Boulevard club with a deep-rooted musical history.

Everyone from Led Zeppelin to Van Halen has performed on its tiny stage. It also has served as the launching pad for bands like the Doors and Guns N’ Roses, to name just a few. In fact, one can argue that the Los Angeles rock scene began when the Whisky opened its doors in 1964.

The guys in Christian hard rock band Stryper also cut their teeth at the Whisky. The small, intimate setting was the starting point for the band’s musical journey, back when they were called Roxx Regime. So it’s no surprise Stryper’s new live CD/DVD package, Live at the Whisky pays homage to those early days.

Recorded at a sold-out November 2013 show, the 16-track collection documents the band’s first show in support of their latest album, 2013’s No More Hell To Pay. Live at the Whisky features live performances of the some of the band’s classic hits, including “Calling On You,” “Free,” “Always There for You,” “Soldiers Under Command” and “To Hell with the Devil.”

Included with the live album and DVD are music videos for “No More Hell to Pay” and “Sympathy,” plus an interview segment the band — Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums) — recorded for Nashville All Access.

I recently spoke to Sweet about Live at the Whisky as well as Sweet & Lynch, Sweet’s new side project with George Lynch, James Lomenzo and Brian Tichy.

GUITAR WORLD: Tell me a little about the band’s history at the Whisky.

We go way back with the Whisky. I’ll never forget the first time I played there when I was 16. I was with my brother, Robert, in the band Roxx Regime and we played there with Kevin Dubrow’s Quiet Riot, which was what it was called at the time. We had this small dressing room and I remember Kevin kicking the door open and screaming at us because we were using too much hairspray [laughs].

What do you like most about that venue?

Playing at the Whisky is such a unique experience. There’s a certain vibe there that’s hard to explain. You can actually feel the history when you walk through the doors. It’s a tiny kitty-corner stage with not much room to move around. You’re right in the corner bumping elbows all night long, but that’s part of the cool factor of performing there.

You can read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Michael Sweet by Clicking Here!

‘Rocks’: Aerosmith Guitarist Joe Perry Talks New Memoir, Guitars and Next Solo Album

ROCKSSomewhere after the second British invasion and shortly before the advent of disco and punk, five guys from 1325 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston began finding their niche to take over the world.

They bucked the system at every opportunity, while at the same time set a precedent for a generation of bands that would follow them.

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s story has been full of ups and downs. Finally, it’s a story worth telling. Perry’s new memoir, Rocks: My Life In And Out of Aerosmith, is an honest reflection of the life and career of one of rock’s all-time greats.

Throughout its pages, Perry pulls no punches in detailing the rise, fall and second coming of one of the greatest bands of all time. Speaking candidly about his early love of the wilderness, his conflicts with authority (includung his refusal to cut his hair in school), the drug abuse, dealing with controlling managers and his stormy relationship with Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler.

In addition to a plethora of amazing photographs, Rocks also contains a detailed appendix featuring the guitars and gear Perry has used throughout his career. It’s a treasure trove of information for guitar players and gear enthusiasts.

Perry’s life journey is encouraging, inspiring and at times heartbreaking. But where Rocks really shines is in its ability to showcase a different side of human nature and just what it takes to get along.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Perry about his new memoir as well as got an update on Aerosmith and his next solo album.

GUITAR WORLD: What made you decide to write a book at this stage of your career?

Not too long ago, there was a vibe. It was the 40th anniversary of the band and our last Sony record. There were also a lot of other things going on in our personal lives that made it seem like it was the end of one era and the beginning of another. That’s when my wife Billie asked me, “What do you think about writing a book?” There was something inside me that just clicked and it felt like it was the right time.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Joe Perry By Clicking Here!

‘Retrogrenade': Gary Cherone Talks New Hurtsmile Album, Extreme and Van Halen

If you follow the career path of frontman extraordinaire Gary Cherone, you can’t avoid bumping into some serious guitar-rock royalty.

Hurtsmile - Photo by: Marc Lacatell

Hurtsmile - Photo by: Marc Lacatell

Whether it’s his partnership with Nuno Bettencourt in Extreme, fronting the mighty Van Halen or performing with his idols Brian May and Tony Iommi at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in the early Nineties, Cherone has performed with true living legends.

But perhaps no guitarist knows Cherone better than his brother. That’s why Hurtsmile — which consists of Gary Cherone, his brother Mark Cherone (guitar), Joe Pessia (bass) and Dana Spellman (drums) — is a reflection of Cherone’s personal tastes.

Inspired by the records they grew up on, Hurtsmile’s new album, Retrogrenade, which will be released October 7, is full of swaggering guitars, soaring vocals and Cherone’s trademark eclecticism.

From the fiery opening track, “Rock and Roll Cliché,” to songs like “Hello I Must Be Going” and the politically charged “Big Government,” Hurtsmile finds inspiration through a joint collaborative process. It’s not “retro” in the sense that they’re trying to sound like someone else. It’s a sonic nod to some of their early influences.

I recently spoke with Cherone about Retrogrenade, Extreme and some memorable moments from his career.

GUITAR WORLD: How did the writing process for Retrogrenade differ from the band’s first album?

On the first record, Mark and I wrote a majority of the songs. For this one, everyone contributed to every song. Joe really stepped up and contributed songs rather than just contributions within another song. Songs like “Walk Away,” “I Still Do” and “Sing a Song” were ones that Joe and I wrote. Mark and I also wrote songs together and then there were collaborations between all of us, including Dana. That to me is the real strength of this record.

Read the rest of my
gw_logoInterview with Gary Cherone by Clicking Here!

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