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Live and direct from 7pm GMT…Tonight! #classicrock

This week has come around so quickly. More great music is in store, however, including your requests as well as a sprinkling of album tracks from LPs released this week back in the day from the likes of Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Extreme, Pantera, Europe, Poison, Kiss, Aerosmith and Coverdale Page.

We’ve also got the new single from Motor Sister who are fast becoming my fave band of Q1 2015, along with a homage to three musicians who passed away this past week…Mike Porcaro (Toto), Bruce Crump (Molly Hatchet) and Andy Fraser (Free).

Join the listening rock party from 7pm GMT www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk

TCRS tonight

 

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NEWS: 1983 revisited with ‘Back To The 80s’ Part 4

This week’s show takes you on another trip down memory lane, back to the year 1983, with Part 4 of a series of shows celebrating Rock Music through the 80s, year-by-year. “Oh yeah….looking through those rose-tinted spectacles again, are we?”, but those of us fortunate enough to have lived through the early 80s can be forgiven for thinking it was an era where rock music, not for the first time, took on an energy all of its own, providing some notable highlights and in some case, breaking new ground.

Just look at a few of the bands we’ve lined up for you to rock out to in the first hour of the show! Motley Crue, Dio, Y&T, Quiet Riot, Yes, Genesis, Alcatrazz, Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore.

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And if that’s not enough, we’ll be hearing from the likes of Queensrÿche, Metallica, Kiss, Molly Hatchet, Hanoi Rocks, Magnum, Bryan Adams, AC/DC, Rainbow, Journey, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Hawkwind, Marillion, Status Quo, Accept, Dokken, Ozzy Osbourne, Slade, Def Leppard and ZZ Top.

Three hours of great music, anecdotes and news headlines from the year 1983 – 7pm Thursday, 12th February.

Listen links are on our homepage www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk

Cheers!

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

INTERVIEW: ‘We Are The Brave’ is the new EP from Skarlett Riot. We hear all about it from Skarlett herself.

sr_logo_jpg_hi_resIt’s fair to say that UK quartet Skarlett Riot don’t lack confidence. As anyone that’s had the pleasure of witnessing this young four-piece live will attest to.

In an already jam-packed career Skarlett Riot have wowed audiences at Download (earning a 4K live review from Kerrang!) and Bloodstock, and have shared stages across the UK with the likes of Wednesday 13, D-A-D, Reckless Love, Heaven’s Basement, Periphery, Firewind, Black Spiders, Edguy, Taking Dawn, L.A Guns, Glamour Of The Kill, Crashdiet, Vains Of Jenna, Deaf Havana, Francesqa plus many more, including the prestigious Reading and Leeds festivals to their live resume.

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The band’s debut EP, the critically acclaimed “Villain”, set the benchmark high and led to glowing praise within the rock community. In 2013, they released their first album ‘Tear Me Down’, once again, it was received well by press and fans. Now, they’re about to release another EP entitle ‘We Are The Brave’, a collection of songs with big riffs, and strong themes.

I recently got talking to Skarlett, the lead singer, about the EP and I began by asking her about the new video which has been circulating on Scuzz TV.

MJ: Skarlett…welcome to The Classic Rock Show. How are you doing?

S: Yeah, I’m good, thank you.

MJ: Busy time for you all. You’ve a new video out for the song “Rising”.  It’s a track off your We Are The Brave EP which is out on February the 16th. Tell us about the video.

S: Basically, we filmed it about six months ago. And we wanted like something silhouette-y, so you can only see the band at the end of the video. So it’s all blacked out, and the idea of it is the song is called “Rising,” obviously, and the lyrics are about getting revenge on someone, saying you’ll be back again. Having power in the lyrics. So we wanted to keep it all silhouetted out, and then at the end have the world kind of exposed so it looks more powerful, at the end, I guess. So we just got it on Scuzz TV as well which we’re really excited about too.

MJ: How long has the We Are The Brave EP been in the making?

S: I would say about a year. We’ve just been writing as much as possible since the Turn Down album in 2013. We had been thinking of doing a second album, but we said no, let’s put the best of what we’ve written so far into one EP. So we wrote about 10 songs and we picked about five to go on the EP, which has brought us up until now, really.

Riot Individual1MJ: We’ve talked about “Rising”, but as you mentioned there’s five tracks on the EP: “Divide Us,” “Cascade,” “Wake Up,” and “Are You Alive?” Take us through each of those.

S: All the tracks, apart from “Rising” are about living life to the full and not wasting any time. Like “Wake Up”, “Are you Alive?” and “Cascade”. The lyrics to “Cascade” are about time slipping through the hourglass and having no time to spare. You know, it’s the sand in the hourglass is never going to stop, just like time itself. So, the back message is live your life and enjoy it and don’t listen to what anyone else says…just do what makes you happy.

MJ: Last year, of course you were seen at a number of festivals and on tours. How is 2015 looking for Skarlett Riot?

S: Yeah, we’re continuing to raise our profile and get as many fans and people knowing the name as possible. We’re touring with Gus G in February and then we’ve a few headline dates. We’ve got a sold out show at the O2 Academy Islington with Kamelot and Gus G in March. We’ll be with Slam Cartel in April…and a couple festivals here and there…so far, so good.

MJ: Going back to the EP, the front of the EP is a depiction of a lion’s head, which has been hand-drawn. Is that Helen Hebenton‘s work again?

S: Yeah, that’s right. We’ve known Helen for quite a while and worked with her before, way back to the Villian EP cover and the Villain t-shirts. She’s also responsible for designing the band’s new logo. We wanted the style of the new EP cover have a vintage look, with black and gray artwork. Helen was a perfect choice. She did a great job with the EP, the cover. It was largely her idea to use the lion it would best represent power and strength. I think it has come across really well.

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MJ: You’re obviously going to be pushing the tracks on the EP in your ‘live’ set?

S: Yeah, we’ve been practicing like crazy. It’ll be like three or four of the new EP tracks and then we’ll be mixing it in with a couple of the Tear Me Down tracks. So, they’ll be a lot of new material in there, but we’ll be putting in a couple of what we think are the best tracks from the Tear Me Down album as well.

Riot-5 copyMJ: Any plans to release an album, or more videos on the back of this EP?

S: Yeah, I think we’ll be releasing a couple more singles off of the back of the EP. We wanted this EP to last the full year. But in between that we’ll be writing some more while the EP is circulating. We’re hoping to be writing an album, too, but we’re not sure when that will be released yet. For the moment, we all feel that we need to have the right material in place first. Make sure it’s 100% and that we’re all 100% happy with it.

MJ: Any last little things that you want to get over to the fans?

S: Just thank you very much for supporting us. We had such a great response to the pre-order for We Are The Brave. You can order it on www.skarlettriot.bigcartel.com. Yeah, thanks for the support and we’ll see you on the road!

You can reach Skarlett Riot through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the official website.

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClassicRockShow @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

INTERVIEW: Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica explains “‘Shadowmaker’ is a strong journey”

 

logoApocalyptica is a Finnish cello-rock band from Helsinki, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Perttu Kivilaakso and drummer Mikko Sirén. Their music borrows elements from a wide variety of genres including classical music, metal, world, folk and progressive rock. They have sold over four million albums to date. The band’s recent albums included both instrumentals and collaborations with various singers, such as Corey Taylor, Adam Gontier and Cristina Scabbia.

Apocalyptica have recently recruited an official vocalist, Franky Perez, who was part of Scars on Broadway, Pusher Jones and appeared on Slash’s first solo record.

apocalyptica with frankyThe band will release their eighth studio album ‘Shadowmaker’ in April through Eleven Seven Music. We have had a taste of what’s to come as a lyric video of the album’s title track has been released. They’ll be releasing a single, ‘Cold Blood’, mid-Feb along with a video directed by Lisa Mann who has directed a number of Apocalyptica videos.

I got to speak with Perttu Kivilaakso the other day after they had shot a new video for a future single release ‘Cold Blood’ out mid-February.

MJ: A very warm welcome to ‘The Classic Rock Show’, Perttu.

PK: Thank you!

MJ: Bands such as Electric Light Orchestra, Eloy, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Sky, etc., have all used heavily orchestrated arrangements within their work and have been cited as having influenced many an artist/band both then and still do so to this day. What music being created today influences you and how has it manifested itself in the music you have written and recorded?

PK: The band have a large taste when it comes to all kinds of music. We cellists naturally grew amongst classical music, symphony orchestras. I personally have loved opera, especially 19th century Italian, my whole life. I would say that everything we have listened to and loved has had an influence to what we are doing. I still listen to opera and bands like Arch Enemy, Slipknot, as well as Muse, Ellie Goulding, Owl City.

MJ: Apocalyptica perform live shows the world over, and to a heavy schedule. We all think that guitars, keyboards and drums are pretty robust instruments these days. How do the Cellos bear up to the stresses and strains of travel by air/sea?

PK: We have such a great flight cases for the cellos that ever since years back when we started using them, none of the instruments has been destroyed in cargo.

MJ: Do you have any tips on how to keep them in shape and what do you need to look out for?

PK: Cellos are very sensitive instruments and usually need careful handling,keeping them off from heat/cold etc…BUT we are not really a good example for that, so if you watch Apocalyptica banging them cellos, try to avoid all that and you’ll do just fine! [laughs]

apocalypticashadowmakeralbumcoverMJ: Your new album, entitled ‘Shadowmaker’, was recorded in Nashville, TN; not somewhere you’d instantly recognise as a haven for Symphonic Rock bands. Why there?

PK: We went to Nashville just because of Mr Raskulinecz’s studio. We had a clear vision how we would want the album to sound and approach and our choice for producer was very obvious for us.

MJ: As you have mentioned, Nick Raskulinecz has produced the album. He’s previously worked with the likes of Rush, Alice In Chains, Evanescence, Mastodon and Foo Fighters to name but a few. What was it like working with him and his team?

PK: Nick is definitely one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever worked with in the business. He was able to help us find an entire new level for our group, in ways of playing as well as our thinking. This time we were better prepared for the recordings than ever, after months of rehearsing and pre-production, practicing and yet more arranging and jamming together. So, when it came to the final recordings, everything was clear. And Nick concentrated to achieve magical performances from all of us.

MJ: Can you share any instances that occurred in the studio where he got you to think differently about your approach, for example, to a certain section of work?

PK: He had a big impact in how we set out our arrangements. We discovered many cool progressive and brave solutions. In fact our motto for this recordings was “Be Brave”.

MJ: How soon into the recordings was it before you came to realise that you really had made the right choice with Nick as your producer?

PK: I think we all realised it already in pre-production, We had a strong vision for the album, but already from the start Nick encouraged us to follow our hearts and not to worry about anything else, like pressures from outside our band. So this time it is easy to say that the album is absolutely as we felt while composing, arranging and recording. Nick was able to set us on fire!

MJ: How would you describe the album?

PK: Shadowmaker is a strong journey, a story that brings you through various emotions. The album is somehow more serious, it is also totally a “band record”…we wanted to have just one voice, one vocalist, to bind all…better together.

MJ: You’ve already given us a taste of what’s to come by releasing a lyric video. Tell us about how the title track ‘Shadowmaker’ came about?

PK: The Shadowmaker song was so determined; one of the most powerful tracks we did that we wanted it to be album title as well. It is a cool example of the musical variety we have, from sweet vocal choruses to dark metal, pure cello sounds collapsing with horrific distortions. That pretty much sums up what it is to be “Apocalyptica”.

MJ: As on previous albums, you’ve chosen to work with other musicians. How did your collaboration with Franky Perez come about?

PK: We really wanted to concentrate on our band this time around and not to focus anymore with all the “featuring stuff” etc. We wanted to bring in a vocalist who is able to join us for all tours ahead; one guy to sing the album and perform with us ‘live’.

We had quite a big closed audition to find a person who would fit in perfectly. I have to say that we are more than happy having Franky, as besides him being an amazing vocalist, so versatile, handsome and stuff, he is also the nicest guy on earth.

Perttu on set of Cold Blood videoMJ: Which songs from the album will you look to play ‘live’ and do you have a personal favourite?

PK: Of course we’d like to play most of them, if not all ‘live’. I think the whole album is just so cool. As for a personal favourite; I have a close relation with ‘Dead Man’s Eyes’, and that will be so emotional to play ‘live’ as well. I feel like I sacrificed a part of my soul while composing those melodies and making them come alive!

MJ: We’ve come to the end of our chat. It’s clear to me listening to you that the recording of this album and the prospect of what lies ahead for Apocalyptica, has had a significant impact on both you and the rest of the band. I’m curious to learn, therefore, what have you taken from this experience?

PK: Personally, I once again found out few more tricks to play cello differently than I’ve ever done before. Some ultimately fast passages which felt impossible at the time [laughs].  This experience has made me love music even more. I am so excited for the band, for the release of Shadowmaker, all the forthcoming tours, my other musical projects and life in general!

You would have to be brain-dead not to have picked up on Perttu’s enthusiasm. He certainly left me in no doubt whatsoever that the band are a strong outfit. What they’ve seemingly accomplished with this new album is something more than just a great piece of work, of which they’re rightly proud…I sense it’s a new beginning.

The album ‘Shadowmaker’ is set for release in April 2015…and we can’t wait to hear it!

Want more Apocalyptica? Check out the following links: Official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Cheers!

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClassicRockShow @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

INTERVIEW: Huntress guitarman Blake Meahl talks to ‘The Classic Rock Show’

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Huntress captured the hearts and minds of Metalheads with their ‘Starbound Beast’ album. On the back of it, the band have been regularly seen alongside top-line touring acts across the US and Europe, and have made a major impact on the festival circuit. They’re currently touring with Amon Amarth (w/ co-support act Savage Messiah), taking in the UK, France, Portugal and Spain to sold out shows. I caught up with guitarist Blake Meahl to chat about all that’s happened to them since their 2013 album release on Napalm Records, gaining some insight into how they’ve progressed as a band.

starbound-beast-51ee46bb149b9MJ: Blake, welcome to The Classic Rock Show.

BM: Right on, thanks for having me.

MJ: You’re here in Colchester tonight. A town steeped in history.

BM: I hear it’s the oldest recorded town in your whole freaking island!

MJ: Absolutely, the Romans have been here. Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe took them out.

BM: I heard they got their asses kicked, right? Jill went bat-shit crazy when she heard all about her! [laughs]

MJ: Starbound Beast was received so very well in 2013, you’ve a new line-up as far as band members are concerned. It’s been a busy time for you guys. You’re currently touring with Amon Amarth on their ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ tour and what a tour it’s been thus far! And such a cool story on how it worked out.

1413563433BM:  Yeah! It’s a fitting tour for us, it’s been awesome. I mean, we’ve toured with a lot of incredible acts. We’ve just been so lucky and blessed to have so many crazy tour opportunities, but Amon Amarth has been on our list of, like, it would be so perfect. We first played with them on the Mayhem tour in the United States, which is like a month-long festival circuit. But before that we were at the Metal Hammer Awards out here because we were at Download for the first time and Amon Amarth was there also, and I run into Olavi and he’s like, “I know who you are!”. I was like, no way, what are you talking about…you’ve never heard us! And he’s like, “Oh yes I have! I have! You’ll see. I really like Huntress.” And sure enough he goes, “You’ll find out by the end of the tour. I did an interview and mentioned you”. And it turns out it was in Guitar World magazine and he’s was asked who are you looking forward to? And sure enough, he says it’s Huntress. And of course we don’t read it until after the Mayhem tour, and then we got to do a handful of one-off shows with them and here we are now! One of the things that I’d like to think we have in common is a really high priority of melody and songwriting. He was saying in that same interview, “People are always asking me like, what’s your secret? You wrote that song? Incredible. It’s not that hard! I just write songs. You know, I’m just writing melodies.” And when you see them and you see the crowd they are singing along to the guitar lines, just ‘whoa-ing’ away. And that’s all it comes down to is the fact that they’re not just trying to jerk themselves off like a little 12 year old kid trying to play as fast as he can. I’m actually going to make some music that people want to hear and remember. And that’s our goal also.

MJ: You’ve been in lots of bands prior to Huntress. Is there any difference in the way you write when you have a female vocalist as opposed to a male vocalist?

Huntress by Robert SuttonBM: Well, that’s an interesting question. In my former bands I was the vocalist, so I would probably just torture myself and put myself out of my range and try to scream my voice out and it would work out, maybe. I was trying to write stuff for myself and I was very inexperienced and I’ve never played at a professional level band like this before. It was always a hobby with my best friends. You already mentioned we’ve had some turnover in band members – our current drummer is my brother. We played together in high school and then we didn’t play together for about eight or ten years and only recently have reconnected with it, so all these bands I’ve been in have been such minor leagues. We never aspired for much, it was just we’re playing metal and we like to keep it weird and progressive and we always figured we would be in a van and just figured we would get some crappy label deal that we would be bound to for the rest of our lives and we didn’t care, that’s what we did. And as this band came together and we realized the potential of it and also our tastes and maturities changed, like a lot of the song writing has progressed not because of it being a female vocalist but because of what I realised I should have realised a long time ago, which is that the song is what’s important, not the riff. As much as I love riffs, and as important as they are, string 50 of them together as fast as you can is not a song. You know?

MJ: We just heard you play a new song, called ‘Flesh’. Yet to be recorded, I’m guessing.

BM: Basic tracks are done, but Jill has not done her vocals yet.

MJ: It sounds killer and it’s already one of my favourites of yours.

BM: Awesome, thank you. Really excited to hear that reaction. That song is one of the ones our producer is really excited about too. We’ve been playing four new ones in our set and that’s just one of them.

MJ: So tell us about the album. Has it got a name yet?

BM: Not that I’m allowed to reveal, but it’s going really well. It’s a strange process this time, because we stopped in the middle of it to come out here. And we stopped in the middle of our writing, our pre-production process to go on our last tour with Arch Enemy and Kreator in the States, so it’s been stop-start. It’s turning out really good though, and I’m very excited about it. As I said on a previous question, it’s focusing further and further on the songwriting and always knowing, Jill’s the vocalist. The vocals are what sticks with people and we can’t all be trying to compete for center stage and I feel like that’s one of the mistakes we’ve  made in the past, one of the mistakes I’ve made as a guitar player…I’m just the fucking guitar player! As much as I love these lead guitar riffs and I’m going to have my space, you can’t always be competing, putting in double kick and a fast riff over a vocal. Metal bands sometimes get away with it, because there’s a lot of growling and all that. But when there’s too much melody fighting for center stage, it doesn’t really equate to a catchy song, you know? Or something that really sticks with people, and that’s the main goal here. So we’re just getting smarter and smarter about our songwriting and hope it’s going to open a lot of doors for us and that a lot of people are going to love it, and maybe some of the fans that have been with us for our extreme riffs and stuff, maybe they’ll long for that first album to be repeated here, but I think we’re making a much, much better product now as a result, you know?

Huntress by Mike Lockheart

Photo credit: Mike Lockheart

MJ: You’re working with some incredibly experienced and talented people on this album. Where did you record the album?

BM: Well, it’s being done in Burbank with a production team, Jim Rota and Paul Fig. Jim has played in a band called Fireball Ministry and is now doing a lot of video production. He did the Sound City movie for Dave Grohl and this whole new Sonic Highways thing and is the producer of that stuff. Paul is a badass engineer. He just did the last two Alice in Chains albums, he did the new Ghost album, he works with Nick Raskulinecz all the time who does a lot of big production stuff. We’re in really good hands. It’s cool because we have this most incredible engineer who is capable of whatever we need and a guy that’s constantly making us sit back and think about the song, and remember that the big picture and what the sum of all parts is what is important, not what each individual instrument is doing.

MJ: You’re making space for all the musicians!

BM: Yeah, it’s so important, it seems like such a stupid, obvious thing but especially in the metal world it’s easily forgotten.

MJ: Well, Blake it’s been a real pleasure sitting with you talking about the tour, the new album, the music and the songwriting. We wish you well on the rest of the tour, and every success for 2015. We are really stoked to hear that we have a new Huntress album this year.

BM: Thanks man. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for supporting us over the years and playing our music. To the guys ‘n gals reading this who haven’t heard of us, go watch the Zenith video and then come back and talk to me. To our fans who come out to our shows, we so appreciate your support. Make sure you tune into to ‘The Classic Rock Show’!

So there you have it…by the sounds of it, we’ve one heck of an album to look forward to from Huntress later on this year.

Show ‘em some love by checking out Huntress’ website, Like their Facebook and Follow them on Twitter @HuntressKills…but whatever you do, go see this band ‘live’ as they are killer!

Cheers!

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClassicRockShow @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

NEWS: Three hours of killer rock tuneage lined up for tonight’s show

Hello and welcome back!

wpid-img_20141127_121828.jpgNormal service will resume tonight following last week’s ‘Special’. While we’re on the subject of last week, the response to our series ‘Back To The 80s’ has been simply astounding. Thank you!

Ok, back to tonight’s show. We’ve three hours of killer rock tuneage lined up for you, as many of the requests sent in this week as we can fit, plus single releases from Crobot, Blind Guardian, Skarlett Riot, Cancer Bats and a new band for us Empire of Fools.

As for the Classic Rock…we’ve lined up some beauties for you…Black Sabbath, Dio, Van Halen, Boston, Genesis, Bon Jovi, Triumph, Pantera, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Maiden, Georgia Satellites and many more besides.

Join us tonight, from 7pm GMT (listen links can be found on our Home Page). For all the chat and comment during the show, visit our Facebook Group.

Cheers

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClassicRockShow @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

NEWS: ‘Back To The 80s’ Part 3 – Classic Rock from 1982!

This Thursday night, from 7pm GMT, we’ll continue our journey through the 1980s with Part 3 in our series of ‘Specials'; three hours of great music from the year 1982.

‘Back To The 80s’ has been a bit of a trip down memory lane and it’s reminded us all, me included, of just how great the music scene was “Back in the day”.

back-e1413283476176This week’s show includes music from a time where Rock Music was an ever present on MTV, national radio and mainstream TV from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Asia, Nazareth, Survivor, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, REO Speedwagon, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Mama’s Boys, Judas Priest, Night Ranger, Gary Moore, Rush, Queen, Cheap Trick, Golden Earring, Tank, Gillan, Triumph, Motorhead, UFO, Magnum, Pat Benatar, Dire Straits, Status Quo, Uriah Heep, The Michael Schenker Group, Y&T, Krokus, Iron Maiden along with a few more besides.

Join us from 7pm this Thursday for a trip down memory lane. Listen links are on our homepage www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk

Cheers!

MJx

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClassicRockShow @ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group:www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow