Roadcase Royale—a new band fronted by Heart co-founder Nancy Wilson and former Prince collaborator Liv Warfield—has a background that’s rich in rock and R&B.
The band also includes Ryan Waters, Warfield’s lead guitarist and musical director, and Heart veterans Dan Rothchild (bass), Ben Smith (drums) and Chris Joyner (keyboards).
Their debut single is the infectiously funky “Get Loud,” which you can check out below. It’s a women’s anthem with a laid-back, power-driven groove that provides a solid acoustic/electric foundation for Warfield’s sultry vocals.
Roadcase Royale will make their live debut performance at this year’s Rock Against MS Benefit Concert, which will take place Saturday, March 25, at the historic Los Angeles Theatre. Wilson will perform as part of an all-star band during the event—and Roadcase Royale’s headlining performance will follow.
I recently caught up with Wilson to get her thoughts on Roadcase Royale and the Rock Against MS event.
How did Roadcase Royale come about?
We saw Liv on Jimmy Fallon playing with a group, and she was doing this amazing song called “Why Do You Lie” that her guitar player wrote. We were blown away. Heart had a few shows coming up at the Hollywood Bowl, and we wondered if she’d be interested in opening for us. We got her to come and play and Liv and I just became fast friends. She’s the sweetest person and a wonderful human being and has a voice that’s so powerful.
We really hit it off and said we should do something together. So we got together with some of my guys and Ryan Waters and started writing. Everything worked so well right off the bat.
How would you describe the sound of Roadcase Royale?
I call it muscular rock and roll with a flavor of R&B. There’s also plenty of dimension in it for more romantic balladry. We’re flexible musically and can do stuff that’s way R&B or way heavy rock. We’ve got a five-song EP that’s almost ready to come out where you’ll hear all of those things.
How does the writing process for Roadcase Royale differ from writing with Ann Wilson for Heart?
It’s actually kind of similar. Ann always has really cool lyric ideas. We’ve both got a notebook that’s full of lyrics and song titles, and so does Liv. In the case of Roadcase Royale, everyone in the band has a lot to offer as a writer and producer. Dan Rothchild has a song with lyrics and cool musical parts that were going to do. Our drummer, Ben Smith, is working with Liv and Ryan, and then Chris Joyner was the one who came up with “Get Loud.” We all contribute and listen and know how to communicate our ideas to each other.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Nancy Wilson by Clicking Here!
Straight from the comics to the mean streets of Los Angeles comes veteran Hollywood producer Patrick Durhan’s action packed sequel to 2011’s “Cross”– “Cross Wars”.
Given incredible power by an ancient Celtic Cross, Callan [Brian Austin Green] and his team of weapons experts continue to wage war against the forces of evil in Los Angeles. But when a ruthless villain named Muerte (played by Danny Trejo) threatens to kill his crew, Callan and his team must join forces with an all-girl crime-fighting squad to help save the day.
What they don’t realize is that Muerte is not working alone. He’s resurrected the evil immortal Gunnar (Vinnie Jones) who has a plan more sinister than anyone can imagine. Can Callan and his team prevent the looming apocalypse and save humanity? The superhero adventure was released on February 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and also stars Tom Sizemore and Amy Jane.
Durham wrote, produced, directed and stars in the offbeat, action-packed sequel and is known for being one of Hollywood’s most in demand horror film producers. He’s also the genius behind such films as “Creepshow Raw,” “Tooth and Nail” and “Cabin Fever 2”.
I recently spoke with him about “Cross Wars” and more in this exclusive new interview.
Where did the idea for “Cross” begin?
I’ve always been a fan of superheroes and one day decided that I’d love to see a Celtic-themed one. I’ve always liked the idea of Green Lantern’s ring and Iron Man’s chest plate. Heroes that have things with power, but that power can eventually run out. It’s the reason why Callan’s cross also runs out of power. It makes him more human by proving that he’s not invincible.
How would you describe the story of “Cross Wars”?
Vinnie Jones is back as Gunnar. He’s a villain who’s cursed to live forever and as a result, he wants to kill everyone on Earth because it’s the only way he can die. Callan and his team are out to get him but they also understand that that they can’t kill him because he’ll only come back. So, they have to figure out a way to imprison him before he can destroy the world. Things get very crazy in end. In the first film, Michael Clarke Duncan’s character was running L.A. Michael who was a great guy who sadly passed away. Danny Trejo had a cameo in the first film and he came back for this one.
What was the writing process like?
The first film we wrote and developed and changed up a little bit along the way. It was a great success. The new film has so many interesting characters to it. We’ve got 6-7 lead females and 6-7 lead Cross guys. We’re going to do a part three which will be a very dark finish to the franchise.
What’s it like working with Brian Austin Green?
We actually wrote the series with him in mind. Brian’s such a nice guy and a great actor who does his own stunts. He’s a legend who’s so great with improve and timing.
You wore so many hats on this film: writer, director, producer and actor. What were some of the biggest challenges?
There are at least fifty things that you’re doing all at the same time. Everything from finding locations to dealing with talent agents. That’s when you suddenly find yourself on set directing and remember, “Wow! I forgot I’ve got lines in this scene!” [laughs].
What else can you tell me about the next film in the franchise?
In “Cross Wars”, Danny Trejo’s character reveals a new villain with a new amulet. He’s going to be downright, scary, dirty and awful and a lot more violent. If things fall into place, we’re likely to start filming in the next few months.
Was a career in entertainment something you always aspired to do?
Yes! From the first time I saw “Star Wars” and “Raiders of The Lost Ark”. That was when I said, “That’s it. Nothing else will do.” I grew up in the Carolinas and moved to California when I was 18. Forty-six movies later and I’m still doing it.
What’s your role as a producer?
I have a lot of celebrity friends. My job is usually to bring in the celebrities and the money, which are the hardest things to get. That’s my specialty.
Are there any other projects you’re working on right now?
I’m working on a few horror films right now. I’m also working with Victor Miller, who created the original “Friday the 13th”. He and I are going to start work on a film together in the next year.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
When you see the finished film. That’s when you can look up and say, “Wow! We actually created that!” There are a lot of actors that have passed on, but when you see them on screen every day it’s like they’re still alive. Once you do a movie, it’s like you live forever.
Imagine Dragons recently released the music video for their latest single, “Believer.” The video, which was directed by Matt Eastin—who worked with the band on “Roots,” “On Top of the World” and “Shots (Broiler Remix)”—features actor Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, The Expendables), depicting a man facing his inner-self—the toughest critic of all. It also pays homage to some of the classic movies the band grew up with.
Imagine Dragons features Dan Reynolds (vocals), Wayne Sermon (guitar), Daniel Platzman (drums) and Ben McKee (bass). I recently chatted with Reynolds and Sermon about the new single and video, their gear and more.
What’s the songwriting process like for the band? Does it begin with a melody, a hook, a lyric?
REYNOLDS: Every song is different, and everyone contributes in their own way. A song may start from a beat, a guitar riff or a chord progression. Maybe even a word.
What inspired the new single, “Believer”?
REYNOLDS: The song is about overcoming emotional and physical pain to arrive at a place of peace and self-confidence.
Where did the idea for the video come from, and what made you decide to include Dolph Lundgren?
REYNOLDS: The video shows a man battling shadows of himself. We came up with the idea for this metaphorical representation of the song with Matt [Eastin], our director. Dolph was the perfect guy for the role. Not just because he’s a great actor and martial artist. He also does look a lot like an older, much, much stronger me [laughs].
What was the filming process like?
REYNOLDS: It was one of the most fun film shoots we’ve ever done. The set was beautiful and there really weren’t any unexpected problems, which is weird on a music video set. I got rocked pretty good on some of those hits, though.
You mentioned Matt Eastin, who you’ve worked with several times in the past. What was it like working with him again?
REYNOLDS: There’s nothing better than working with a director that you know and trust. Filming is a much less stressful process when you know that it’s going to look great on camera. Matt has a great eye but also understands the way we think and is super detail oriented.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Imagine Dragons by Clicking Here!
Sara Coates is perhaps most widely recognized for her recurring role of Serena (Pie Girl) in Syfy’s post-apocalyptic series, “Z Nation”. But the beautiful actress is also versatile enough to have appeared in the Sundance hit, “Laggies” with Keira Knightley and more recently, as the voice of Margeurite Bake in the “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” video game.
Sara will showcase even more of her dynamic prowess with her next film, “Lane 1974”. Written and directed by S. J. Chiro, “Lane 1974” follows the story of 13-year old Lane [Sophia Mitri Schloss] whose life is uprooted when her mother [Katherine Moennig] forces the family to leave the safe confines of the North Carolina commune where she grew up. After a series of dangerous and isolating events, Lane sets out on a 600-mile journey alone in search of the “normal” life she has always imagined.
Sara plays Clarise, one of the only people in the film that gives Lane’s mother, Hallelujah, a chance. Even though Clarise thinks the best of people and their intentions, she eventually becomes frustrated by Hallelujah’s attitude, especially when the children are put in danger because of it. The film will have its world premiere at SXSW on Saturday, March 11th.
I recently spoke with Sara about Lane 1974 and much more in this exclusive new interview.
Let’s talk about your new film, “Lane 1974”. How did it all come about?
I’m from Seattle originally and was really deep in the theater community. The director and screenwriter, S.J. was also from Seattle and we had known each other briefly. When she was going to do this movie she thought of me and the two of us sat down and had coffee and talked for hours about the movie and the time-period. It was the first time I got to sit down with the creator and ask questions and give my opinions. S. J. is so passionate about her characters and her work and eventually offered me the role.
What was it about the script that piqued your interest?
A period piece was unlike anything I had ever done before. That was a huge thing. The script is based on the book, “The Hypocrisy of Disco” and is so beautiful. It’s a coming of age story about a relationship between a mother and daughter and how that relationship can be confusing and not always perfect. I related to the main character, Lane, who wanted to have this incredible life but realizes she has to make it her own. That was really interesting to me.
What can you tell me about your character, Clarise?
Clarise is one of the only characters that gives Hallelujah [played by Katherine Moennig] a chance. Clarise lives on a bus and is this “Earth Mother” who believes that she can fix everyone. She goes through this journey of realizing that she may have to put up walls and not just let everyone in. What was interesting about playing her was that it went against everything I’m usually comfortable with as a girl. Stepping into this new experience of not brushing my hair for a while and wearing relatively no make up wasn’t something I was used to, but it was very exciting to transform into this character.
What was the filming process like?
Because it was a lower budgeted film there was a lot of team work involved. Coming from community theater where everyone does everything, it was cool to get thrown into that kind of grassroots effort. We filmed at S.J.’s mom’s property in Northern California which was (and still is) a commune. It was very collaborative with lots of long days. This film is close to S.J.’s heart and she was integral in making it a creatively satisfying experience.
I have to ask about another project you were involved in – the video game, Resident Evil 7. What was that experience like?
It’s funny because even though we knew it was horror game, we worked on it for almost a year and a half before they actually told us what game it was [laughs]. I remember they really wanted to keep the character’s relationships strong. So we had vocal coaches and many, many rehearsals. They were adamant about having relationships that were almost palpable as well as terrifying.
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I have a new web series coming out called “Language Academy”. It’s a funny story about an English as a second language teacher where I got to work with a lot of really funny comedians. And who knows? I may also come back to “Z Nation“. My character has already died twice, but it’s a comedic, apocalyptic world where anything can happen. I love the fans and the ScyFy network and was so excited to be a part of the project.
Was a career in acting something you always aspired to do?
It was always something that I wanted to do but growing up it seemed so out of reach. My mom and brother are both artists and my dad was an engineer and I always did programs in school that allowed me to do improv or plays. It wasn’t until I got to college that I decided I was going to do it. I realized then that this was what I was going to do because nothing else made me feel so alive. Sometimes people will ask me what my main goal is, and it’s hard to answer because I have so many. I just keep working, meeting people and making an impression. It’s about never stopping and being open to the experiences that come to you.
The Night Siren, the new album by rock legend and former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, is a modern guitar album with a heavy message. In Hackett’s own words, it’s a wake-up call to the world.
Everything about the album is a reaction to the right-wing ideas dominating the political landscape, including Hackett’s decision to use musicians from around the world.
“It’s a whole United Nations of 20 people who are on [the album],” Hackett says. “The message is basically peace. If musicans can work together peacefully, I don’t see why the rest of the world can’t do it.”
I recently spoke with Hackett about The Night Siren, his gear, John Wetton and more.
The first thing I’d like to do is get your thoughts on the recent passing of your friend, John Wetton.
John was a man who was as sweet as his music. He was a wonderful guy and I’m sure in spirit he’s still around. Just about every night on this tour I’ve dedicated something to him. He was the warmest, most incredible guy and is sorely missed by so many people.
Let’s talk about The Night Siren. What inspired it?
I made friends with many interesting people from all over the world that I wanted to work with. Some of the album was recorded in Hungary, some in Sardinia and some of it in the U.K. There was also some data I had collected over time I felt would assimilate well into what we were doing. But The Night Siren was not a rushed album. Everything was given its due time—as well as the Surround mix—in order to give Roger King [keyboards/programming] the maximum amount of time.
Why the title, The Night Siren?
Anyone who’s a thinking soul is worried about the state of the world at the moment. Multicultural diversity and diplomacy is terribly important and the only real hope we have. With the rise of right-wing politics and the idea of going back to nationalism and kicking people out, the more we begin exploring the possibility of a conflagration the size of the second world war, or worse.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Steve Hackett by Clicking Here!
Interview: AXS TV’s Evan Haiman discusses New Season of ‘Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar Presented by Mercury Insurance’
Now in its second season, AXS TV’s original series “Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar Presented by Mercury Insurance” features the Red Rocker traveling across the U.S. to interview and jam with some of the most recognizable and legendary artists in music.
The show’s one-hour season premiere [which airs Sunday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT] kicks off in Hagar and Metallica front man James Hetfield’s hometown where they turn on the camera to the star-studded 3rd annual Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit they founded. The concert event held at the world-famous Fillmore includes Hagar interviewing Hetfield as well as musical jams with Hagar, Hetfield, John Mayer, Melissa Etheridge and many more.
Future episodes include Hagar visiting Norman, Oklahoma to interview and jam with the multi-talented and award-winning Toby Keith at his 160-acre ranch, and meeting up with rock legend John Mellencamp at his art studio in Bloomington, Indiana where Hagar delves into Mellencamp’s passion for painting and talks about the struggles he had staying true to himself while coming up in the music business.
AXS recently spoke to Evan Haiman – Vice President of Programming and Production for AXS TV about the new season of “Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar Presented by Mercury Insurance” and more in this exclusive new interview.
AXS: How did the series ‘Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar Presented by Mercury Insurance’ come about?
Evan Haiman: We’ve done a lot of projects with Sammy in the past, whether it was a concert or his birthday bash. So we already had a relationship with him. Sammy pitched the concept to Mark [Cuban] where the idea was going to be his life. He goes out on the road and meets with friends, who are obviously musicians, and they connect. Then we put it all together to make a show. Mark thought it was a great idea and it fits into our niche. Sammy’s a great personality and a good representation of what our programming model is.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Evan Haiman by Clicking Here!
Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp—which is now in its 21st year—gives musicians the chance to hang with and learn from some of the most respected talents in rock.
Sure, attendees can interact, jam with and be mentored by legendary players, but the camp also allows them to write, rehearse and record in a professional environment, all of which culminates in a once-in-a-lifetime live performance.
One of this year’s camps—which runs March 2–5 in Hollywood—features Steve Morse, Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice, all of whom are or have been members of Deep Purple.
I recently spoke to Morse about this week’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp and got an update on Deep Purple. Check out the interview below.
What do you enjoy most about doing these camps?
One thing I do have is a lot of experience, so I guess it would have to be to legitimately be able to answer any questions and to pass along tips. Back when I was trying to learn stuff, it was usually done by listening to records through a bad speaker in the basement of my house and trying to guess.
There were so many question marks about everything, and my brother and I would always wonder what it would be like to be a professional musician. Then when Led Zeppelin came to town right before their first album came out, we’d try to imagine how all of this worked: How many business people are involved? Who does what? Is it possible to make a living doing this? They were all legitimate questions. For people feeling that same way now, I can bring my knowledge to them. It’s a really cool idea.
Simply put, what’s the camp like? What kind of experience is it?
It’s a real team effort with several different projects. There are a bunch of professional players who come in, and we organize and concentrate on a tune and play together. When I did the last one, there was also a Q&A session and performance interaction with everyone. At the end, all of us did a big jam concert.
What can you tell me about the new Deep Purple album, Infinite?
Well, I can tell you is that it’s the same producer [Bob Ezrin] and studio that we did the Now What?! album, which did very well for us. We had an abundance of material and Bob gave us a lot of latitude. He was a great influence and had a vision of what he wanted the band to sound like.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Steve Morse by Clicking Here!
Following the release of Heart’s critically acclaimed album, Beautiful Broken and last year’s headlining tour with fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Cheap Trick, Ann Wilson decided it was time to spread her wings for a while.
Kicking off March 8 in Wilson’s hometown of Seattle, the legendary vocalist and her solo band, Ann Wilson Of Heart, will embark on a new 20-date tour with stops that include Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia and New Orleans among others.
The Ann Wilson of Heart tour promises an eclectic mix of music from Wilson’s storybook career. Included will be timeless songs from her years with her sister Nancy in Heart, as well selections from her work as a solo artist and what’s best described as iconic, soul stirring covers that have been the driving force in the singer’s life.
AXS recently spoke with Ann Wilson about her new tour and more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: How big of a role did music play in your house growing up?
Ann Wilson: It played a huge role. My parents were really musical people. They didn’t play professionally, but they both loved music and it was always on in the house. All different kinds. They just liked anything that was good. It wasn’t much of a stretch to start being a musician in that family.
AXS: What inspired your new Ann Wilson of Heart tour?
AW: As a singer and a creative person I really wanted to stretch out. We’ve been touring constantly for most of this century and I just felt the need to get out of the “Heart” box and do something different. So I’m about to embark on a yearlong tour with my band. It’s a show that will be in theaters because I’ve designed it so that it’s beautiful and needs those types of venues for the video wall and production. We’re going to do some Heart songs, some of my new songs and some covers that have inspired me both as a singer and person over the course of my life.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Ann Wilson by Clicking Here!
Thirty-five years have passed since the Michael Schenker Group released their legendary 1982 live album, One Night at Budokan.
However, last summer, Schenker—one of rock’s most respected guitarists—returned to Japan with three of the vocalists who helped him achieve worldwide success in the Eighties to record a new live disc.
The show, which was shot and recorded in front of 5,000 fans at Tokyo’s International Forum, will be released March 24 as Michael Schenker Fest Tokyo on CD, DVD, Blu-ray and digitally. The album reunites Schenker with MSG vocalists Gary Barden and Graham Bonnet, plus Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group. Also performing were MSG alumni Chris Glen (bass), Steve Mann (guitar) and Ted McKenna (drums).
The album celebrates the music and guitar wizardry of Schenker—and gives longtime fans a chance to re-live some incredible rock and roll moments.
I recently spoke to Schenker about Michael Schenker Fest Tokyo and more in this new interview.
How did the Michael Schenker Fest come together, and when did the idea for this live album begin?
It started about two years ago. A promoter had the idea of having Graham Bonnet and his band support Temple of Rock and sing a couple of songs with us. When we did that, I was like, wait a minute. There are so many songs from different eras and I’m playing all of this past material with different singers. I thought that if I could put Robin and Gary and Graham together I could do all of the Eighties material and perform those songs with the original singers—and it would be fantastic!
So I started thinking about a group of musicians: Steve Mann, who is a fantastic guy and player and was connected to McAuley and myself from the McAuley Schenker days, and Chris Glen and Ted McKenna, who had both worked with Graham and were also the original rhythm section [after Cozy Powell] for the Michael Schenker Group with Gary. It couldn’t be better than that.
A promoter in Japan eventually found out about it and set us up on tour. One of the shows was Tokyo, a beautiful place that sold out immediately. I decided to record it and make sure it would be captured forever. In a way, it’s like a déjà vu of Budokan.
You can read the rest of my
Interview with Michael Schenker by Clicking Here!
Born in Liverpool, England, actress Natalie Loren Kwatinetz was captivated by American films from an early age.
Although her striking looks would eventually lead her to a successful modeling career –including working with famed British fashion photographer, Bob Carlos Clark, Natlalie eventually became an in-demand DJ before launching an acting carer with a resume that includes appearances in “Entourage”, “Violence” and 30 Seconds To Mars’ short film, “Up In The Air”.
Natalie’s next role will be in the upcoming Jennifer Garner film, “The Tribes of Palos Verdes”.
The film focuses on the lives of two teenagers who move to Palos Verdes, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. Their mother (Garner) teeters on the brink of a nervous breakdown while one of her daughters turns to surfing to escape her troubled home life. Natalie plays Gina, a member of the local tennis club that their mother dislikes. The film, which also stars Alicia Silverstone and Elisabeth Rohm is expected to be released in late 2017.
I recently spoke with Natalie about “The Tribes of Palos Verdes”, her career and more in this exclusive new interview.
How did this project come about for you?
It was a typical audition process. Originally, I had auditioned for a different role but when I went in to meet with the director, Emmett Malloy, we decided to go with anther role for me. I was very excited to be a part of it.
What attracts you to a script?
Great writing and getting to work with different directors and talking to them. I love great characters and storytelling and being taken on an emotional journey.
How would you describe the story of “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” and your character, Gina?
It’s the story about Jennifer Garner’s character and the lives of her teenagers when the family moves to Palos Verdes. While there, she meets my character. Gina is someone who likes to play tennis and have a perfect life, which is something Jennifer’s character doesn’t find very attractive [laughs].
What was the chemistry like on set and getting to work with Jennifer Garner?
It was great working with Jennifer. Her character was so different from things she’s done in the past. The vibe on set was amazing; everyone was ready to work, and it’s great to be around that creatively.
Did you always know you wanted a career in entertainment? Was it something you always aspired to do?
Absolutely. I started out as a model and had a huge passion for music as well. I was a DJ for a while, performing as Luxury Kills and performing at a lot of clubs in L.A. and fashion shows in New York. It was a fun time. I soon started to get more involved in acting because it was another passion of mine. Although I still love music I eventually decided to give up DJ’ing and concentrate more on film work.
What is it about the creative process that excites you the most?
I love it when you get a script and you know the director and character and can already get a feel for what kind of vibe it’s going to be.
Do you ever see yourself getting on the other side of the camera at some point?
I’d love to eventually get into directing and producing. It’s definitely something I’d like to do at some point.
What’s something people may not know about you?
I like to paint and draw and would actually like to go to art school — if I could find the time [laughs]. I really like drawing faces and trying to capture expressions.
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I’ve been living between New York and L.A. Right now, it’s pilot season now and there are a few things happening that I can’t announce just yet — stay tuned!
What excites you the most about his next phase of your career?
I’m just looking forward to working on more great projects. There’s a lot of things happening in L.A. right now, so it’s very exciting.