Category Archives: Music
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
Interview with The Commander in Chief
By Clicking Here!
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.
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.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with David Bergman by Clicking Here!
When 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
Interview with George Lynch by Clicking Here!
I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of listening to Ann and Nancy Wilson. As far as I’m concerned, Ann’s voice and stage persona combined with sister Nancy’s infectious guitar work is as powerful now as it was when Heart released their platinum selling debut album forty years ago.
Over the course of their illustrious career Heart has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide and have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Which makes sharing Christmas with Ann and Nancy all the more special.
For Heart’s new live CD/DVD package “Heart and Friends: Home For The Holidays” Ann and Nancy returned to their hometown of Seattle, Washington to stage a celebration of the season, and brought along a few friends for good measure.
Recorded live at the Benaroya Symphony Concert Hall, the Wilson sisters perform a selection of favorite holiday classics that are sure to put you in the holiday mood. Joining them on stage for this one of a kind special are guests Shawn Colvin, Sammy Hagar, Richard Marx and Pat Monahan (Train).
But it just wouldn’t be a true Heart show without a few surprises, and this collection is no different. Included in the live performance is a reading of an original Christmas poem by Nancy Wilson as well as a killer version of the classic Heart song, “Barracuda”.
Of course, the sisters saved one of the best for last. Remember when Ann and Nancy did a version of “Stairway to Heaven” that brought Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant to tears during the Kennedy Center Honors a few years ago? Yep, the sisters have included another draw dropping performance of that song here, complete with a local Seattle choir.
All being said, “Heart & Friends : Home For The Holidays” is the perfect soundtrack for the season, and an ultimate must have for fans of the reigning Queens of Classic Rock.
CD/DVD track listing:
Seasons Rockin’/Love Came Down at Christmas (feat. Shawn Colvin)
POEM (Nancy Wilson)
All Through The Night (feat. Richard Marx)
All We Need Is An Island / Santa’s Going South (feat. Sammy Hagar)
Please Come Home for Christmas (feat. Pat Monahan)
Stairway to Heaven
Ring Them Bells (feat. Pat Monahan, Richard Marx, Shawn Colvin)
Classic rock fans, what do you get when you combine the talents of Journey, Night Ranger and Whitesnake into one incredible unit? You get, Revolution Saints. The new super group featuring Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich.
Revolution Saints has just released a video for the song, “Turn Back Time”; the first single from their self-titled debut being released in North America on February 24 from Frontiers Records. The video, directed by Devin DeHaven (Rick Ross, Whitesnake, Kiss and R. Kelly) features the band on a sound stage mixed with cool visual landscape images. “Turn Back Time” introduces fans to a powerful new sound. One that recalls the classic rock days of old but still keeps a twenty-first century feel!
Already renowned for his excellent drum work and backing vocals in Journey and Bad English, Castronovo’s vocal prowess is the spotlight in Revolution Saints. On bass and co-lead vocals is Jack Blades; already known for his melodic, hard rock approach in Night Ranger as well as with Damn Yankees . Guitarist Doug Aldrich rounds out the trio; bringing with him a fiery blues guitar attack and lengthy experience with bands like Whitesnake and Dio.
Revolution Saints’ music showcases the passion and enthusiasm of three of the best rock musicians in the game today and a release that should not to be missed!
When 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
Interview with Joe Lynn Turner by Clicking Here!
It 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
Interview with Chad Taylor by Clicking Here!
There’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
Interview with Malina Moye by Clicking Here!
The 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
Interview with Michael Sweet by Clicking Here!
Somewhere 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
Interview with Joe Perry By Clicking Here!