#INTERVIEW As his UK tour beckons, Glenn Hughes talks candidly about the past, present and future.


Vocalist/bass guitarist/songwriter Glenn Hughes is a true original. No other rock musician has carved such a distinctive style blending the finest elements of hard rock, soul and funk. That astonishing voice is Hughes’ calling card. He’s known as a singer’s singer. Stevie Wonder once called Hughes his favorite white singer.

Hughes, a native of Cannock, England, absorbed all kinds of influences, including early British hard rock, the Beatles and, most importantly, American soul and R&B. The sleek Motown sound from Detroit and the gritty Stax/Volt sound from Memphis left their mark on him.

The first important band Hughes was a member of that achieved notable success was Trapeze. The band’s early ’70s albums included Medusa, Trapeze and You Are The Music… We’re Just The Band.   In 1973, Hughes joined Deep Purple. The trailblazing hard-rock legends had just weathered the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bass guitarist Roger Glover, but guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice continued with the addition of Hughes and David Coverdale.

Since 1992, Hughes has toured extensively in Europe, Japan and South America in support of solo albums, but more recently has been involved with award winning supergroups’, Black Country Communion with guitar star Joe Bonamassa, keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) and drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham and just last year, California Breed, who also featured both Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham along with newcomer guitarist Andrew Watt.

We caught up with Glenn mid way through the European leg of his current tour and began asking him about the UK leg, which begins in Southampton on October 16, and his latest recording ‘Waterfall’ with Dario Mollo in Voodoo Hill

TCRS: How are you doing Glenn? Looking forward to coming back to tour ol’ Blighty? We’ll catch you in Norwich (The Waterfront, October 19).

GH: I’m doing good man. I’m doing really good. I’ve got to tell you how excited I am to be playing in the country of my origin.

TCRS: Can I offer you a hearty congratulations on the Voodoo Hill album you did with Dario Mollo. Lyrically and musically it’s a solid album.  GH: Thank you. I think it was good to do an album after Cali’Breed (California Breed). I needed to. What would I do if I couldn’t speak through my music? I try not to do a lot of talking. I can’t look into my work in the 80’s because it was so bland. The lyrics I write these days are so subliminal and so euphoric, they ring true to me. So some of the lyrics on Voodoo Hill’s Waterfall is better than anything I’ve ever written.

TCRS: It’s a mighty fine sounding album. Everybody on there is really pushing.

GH: You know, Dario sent me those tracks and I went into my studio writing room in my home and I wrote the 10 songs in two days. And I recorded them in two afternoons!

TCRS: Good grief!

GH: What I like to do is, I like to write in the moment. And I write about, you probably know this, I don’t write about Devils and Goblins and what have you. I let other rock singers do that. I write about the human condition. I wrote about stuff that you or your family or we are going to go through. Let’s just say, if you know anything about me, you know that I’ve been through the mill. You’ve heard the stories about me, most of them are true, but I have lived 10 lifetimes. I’m very sensitive, driven by fear, driven by insanity and driven by recovery, hence my lyrical content. It’s not about boy meet girl is it? It’s about boy loses girl. Boy almost dies. It’s pretty, pretty wild.

TCRS: You are without a shadow of a doubt a distinctive sounding musician. And that’s borne out of what just related in the music that you write.

GH: I think the last track on Voodoo Hill which you probably haven’t heard called the last door. I think we when you garnish that and you listen to what I’m saying. It’s pulsating. It’s who I am.

TCRS: Your longevity in performing on records and on stage seem to have continued unabated despite, as you’ve mentioned, the ups and downs. How do you keep going?

GH: Faith. I think you know about what happened. I’ve been in two bands in the past five years, California Breed and Black Country (Communion). As the lead spokesperson for both of those bands, when anything goes wrong, with any company, it’s the CEO they point the fingers at. And that would be me, so I was the one regardless of what happened, who takes the blame. You need to know this, that the people that hear and read this that all I wanted to do was be in a band with Joe and Jason and Derrick and Andrew. But certain people didn’t want to work hence me being scolded for something I wanted to do. So when California Breed broke up in December, I decided I’d go back to my regular Glenn Hughes thing and it just seems to be that the time is right for me now. There’s no coincidence that Robert Plant won 6 Grammys 7 years ago. It was like ‘his time’, you know. I get that. I didn’t expect to get to sell out a complete South American tour. I didn’t expect to sell out Vienna last week with 300 people outside. Its insane. I just think it’s the people I have surrounded myself with new management, new agent. Having them by my side has really helped.

TCRS: Your book ‘Deep Purple and beyond: Scenes from the life of a Rockstar’ was published in 2011 and it shed a bright light on your career.

GH: Yeah it was 2011. I wrote it, and check this out MJ, I wrote that 10 years ago, but it took 4 years for me to talk about my relapses. I didn’t want to tell you that I was a bad boy, when you thought I wasn’t. I got sober in ’91 and let’s just say we had a few slip ups in the mid ’90s. I didn’t think it was important to tell you, but what was made clear to me one evening as I slept was that probably somebody out there that’s gonna know that I’m lying and that would be me. I can’t live a lie, so consequently it took me a year to rewrite few passages and to bear my ass. I’m a man of no secrets. I’ve done some things in my life that have not been spectacular and been unkind, but I’ve never gone out of my way to hurt another human being. So I wanted to do it properly and it took four years to write that book. Well, it’s in seven languages and I’m gonna have to write other books and consequently I’m gonna be doing a film. Not about book, but I’m doing a film in December in the Far East. And I’m stretching the boundaries of what a rock artist should be. It’s not just about the normal anymore it’s about visuals. It’s about stretching the boundaries you know? It’s just being something a lil’ different.

TCRS: Are we likely to see some additional chapters written?

GH: I have been asked to do that. It’s a matter of working it all out. Because since then I’ve done an open heart surgery and I’ve had this happen and that happen and things….I guess three more book there. I could write three more books. You know?

TCRS: You mentioned Black Country Communion and California Breed earlier, bands that have been so popular with fans of all ages. What are the chances of rekindling relationships with some of your former band mates?

GH: If I told you that…let’s just say this every person I’ve played with, especially in my sober years are very very good friends of mine. But being in a band is difficult when everybody’s got hidden agendas or they don’t come. If I’m gonna form a band with you and I’m 64 and I’ve got 7, 8, 9, 10 years left. I’ve got ten years to do what I want to do. I mean, I’m in an arena, on the arena stage. I can’t form another super group with three other dudes that one of them may do this again to me. My management in L.A. say there’s more interest in you now than if you put a super group together. I am with Slash, Matt, Duff and Steven Tyler in Kings of Chaos, we play about 15 shows a year and its fantastic, but it’s  a bloody lot of work you know? You got a lot of managers, a lot of coming and going, you’ve got this and that. I love my friends in Kings of Chaos we’ve been friends for 30 years, but the essence of who I am is my work as a solo artist. Still making new music, still working with the orchestras and again making movies. My management company are very much in the movie industry in L.A. and they see Glenn Hughes as vital entity within that genre.

TCRS: It’s great to hear that positivity from you Glenn especially after what you’ve been throug, what you’ve been put through and what’s been written about you…

GH: You know something bro’? ‘Cause this is the world you live in. This is what you do. I can’t read those damn comments. You know, it’s like Ozzy is one of my dear friends, Ozzy Osbourne. If we could be in a room of a hundred people and there’s one guy giving us the fucking finger, right, and we’re only concerned about is that one guy! So what I don’t do is, I don’t go and read comments on news websites because people who have nothing but bad to say people are envious. They have no life, they think that they own what they say and people will go along with that. I’m sensitive and but I don’t give a shit. You cannot buy the success that I’ve had with money. You have to earn it. The world has changed man from 30 years ago. It’s just changed drastically but the music for me it’s healed me it’s kept me alive. It’s given me an amazing lifestyle with family and you know, I think I’m writing the best music I’ve ever written right now. 

TCRS: You’ll be heading over to tour the UK again, beginning Saturday October 17 in Southampton. Tell us about the band you’re bringing over Glenn?

GH: I have a guitar player called Shawn Anderson, before BCC he was my guitar play for five years. Great guitar player, but he unfortunately really booked himself out this year. So I said to myself “Christ! Who am I going to get?” So I got on the phone with somebody in Vegas, a friend of mine in Vegas he was best man in my wedding. And he said “You got to call Doug Aldrich.” And I went “Oh my god! Of course I’m gonna call Doug Aldrich!” I called Doug Aldridge and within two minutes he was in! Yeah, ok, we had to change some plans because he was contracted to do some things in Las Vegas. You know? His new wife’s having a baby and I’m going “Oh my god! Is this gonna be happening?” And then you know we went to South America and it was so successful. And I have to say this to you about Doug; not only is he one of the Top 5 guitar players I’ve played with, and I’ve played with them all!, he is one of the nicest men we have in the industry. And not a bad looking guy to have on the stage too. [laughs] He’s a good looking boy. Hey you know something man? Years ago it would have been difficult for me to have these younger dudes on the stage with me, but you know something, we’re just human beings, man. People want to fucking have fun and you know? It’s like I’ve played with all kinds of people. Doug’s just one of those kinds of guys that’s just this great human being. He really is. 
TCRS: And you’ve got Pontus Engborg on drums?

GH: Yeah, Pontus is with me before BCC. He was with me from, yeah, 3 years before BCC. He went to school in L.A. and learned drums in L.A. My best friend is Chad Smith, and Pontus is like a mini Chad. You know? So it’s like I get to play with Chad Smith’s brain behind the drum kit.

TCRS: That is one awesome line up and it gets a double thumbs-up from us here in the UK!

GH: That is really cool man. It really means alot to me to have someone from my own country sticking their thumbs up for me.

TCRS: That’s the band, so what can we look forward to hearing on this tour?

GH: Four decades worth and it starts at Trapeze and then it’s gonna go on to (Deep) Purple, Black (Sabbath), you know? Black Country (Communion) then Glenn Hughes’ Songs In The Key Of Rock tracks and Soul Mover. You know? It’s gonna be be dramatic. It’s gonna be sensitive. It’s gonna be aggressive and it’s gonna be a little bit of all of the stuff. But lets be clear, wearing the rock hat, wearing the rock clothes and sounding like a rock guy. This is all rock!

TCRS: What do you have planned going into 2016?

GH: Full year ahead. I don’t even have time to make an album. I’m gonna be in Africa in February, North America in March, Europe etc. Festival season starts in May ends in September. Back to Malaysia in October and I’ll be finishing the tour next November 16th. There’ll be another UK run. We’re building, building, building. I really want to be doing this, it’s something that, if you know my history, I haven’t toured enough. Now it’s all changing; I think I need to be touring more and more and more. When people think of Glenn Hughes, they say you’ve gotta see him sing live to know who he is. So that’s what I’m doing.

TCRS: For the time being, thanks Glenn. We’ll see you out on the road.

GH: Come on. Let’s have some chips! [Laughs]

GLENN HUGHES – OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 UK TOUR

 

OCTOBER

Sat 17  Southampton, ENGLAND – Engine Rooms              BUY TICKETS

Mon 19 Norwich, Waterfront                                                     BUY TICKETS

Tue 20 Newcastle, Tyne Theatre                                               BUY TICKETS

Thu 22 Belfast, Limelight                                                               BUY TICKETS

Fri 23 Glasgow, The Garage                                                        BUY TICKETS

Sun 25 Holmfirth, Picturedrome                                                BUY TICKETS

Mon 26 Bilston, Robin 2                                                                BUY TICKETS

Wed 28 York, Fibbers                                                                     BUY TICKETS

Thu 29 Manchester – Club Academy                                        BUY TICKETS

 

NOVEMBER

Sun 01 London, Electric Ballroom                                              BUY TICKETS

Special Guest on the tour is Jared James Nichols who will perform songs from his new album “Old Glory & The Wild Revival” and his forthcoming tour EP “Highwayman” featuring the single “We’re An American Band”.

Go check out Glenn Hughes at www.glennhughes.com

Thanks for reading this article!

Website:www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk

Twitter:@ClassicRockShow
Facebook Group:www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

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Tune in to ‘The Classic Rock Show’ tonight (1st Oct) from 7pm (BST)

TCRS This ThursdayTune in to ‘The Classic Rock Show’ tonight (1st Oct) from 7pm (BST) and hear some classics from Black Sabbath (x2), Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper,  Jefferson Starship, Mr Big, Saxon, Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Alice In Chains, Bon Jovi, Danger Danger, Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch.

Plus, we have some new music from this year: X-Ray Visions by Clutch from their forthcoming album Psychic Warfare (out Oct 2), Greek bluesmen The Zilla Project, Chantel McGregor, Guy Bailey’s new band Thirsty, Biters, Huntress, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown and Motor Sister.

TuneIn: http://ow.ly/Qi6Rc  

See you later. Cheers!

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

#TONIGHT What shall we rock out to later tonight? Find out here…

TCRS This ThursdayWhat shall we rock out too later tonight?

AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen (the birthday boy), John Mellancamp, Judas Priest, two from Queensryche, Saxon, Alice Cooper, Black Label Society, Europe, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Electric Light Orchestra, Ozzy Osbourne, Extreme to name a few. Plus new music from David Gilmour, The Jokers, Graveyard, Biters, The Palace Of The King, Mirror, The Shrine, Amberian Dawn and Moonspell.

All from 7pm BST. TuneIn: http://ow.ly/Qi6Rc  Hook up with other listeners via our Facebook Group!

See you later. Cheers!

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

#INTERVIEW New Years Day’s Ashley Costello talks Malevolence, songwriting, recording, touring and board games!

Band Logo - New Years Day2015 has already been a monstrously significant year for the band New Years Day. It saw them play this year’s Van Warped Tour, as well as frontwoman Ash Costello hosting the Alternative Press Music Awards Red Carpet and taking an active role as a spokesperson for PETA.

Malevolence is the title of their forthcoming album, produced by Erik Ron (Escape The Fate, The Word Alive, Motionless In White, Set It Off) and is the band’s first release on Another Century Records. New Years Day will be heading over to the UK as tour support for Motionless In White, beginning November 23rd in Belfast.

So impressed were we with the single ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ when we played the track on ‘The Classic Rock Show’ the other week, we got in touch with Ash Costello and had a chat about all things New Years Day.

TCRS: New Year’s Day, formed ten years ago?

Ash: Well, if you think about just ten years. Yeah, that sounds like a long time, but then again you have to also realize that all the Wikipedia…How do I say this(?), it looks at our high school years and counts that. You know, I feel like the first five years don’t really count because we were children. I mean we were a band, but we were kids and we didn’t know what we were doing at all. So I don’t really count that. But New Year’s Day as an adult got serious and became a real band I’d say was about five years ago…2010.

TCRS: This year has seen the band play on the Vans Warped Tour. How’s that gone?Band Photo - New Years Day (3)

Ash: Well, I mean that couldn’t gone any better we weren’t originally put on Main Stage, we were put on the stage below that. But, we got put on Main Stage all the time. And you know we got put on Main Stage more than any other band that was moved around and it just went so well. You know our crowds were bigger we expected. It was just a really good place to be this summer. You know, we really felt like we’re actually making a difference here.  You know we’re doing the things we set out to do and it feels like for the first time we’re seeing them happen in front of our eyes.

TCRS: What were the highlights for you?

Ash: Every time we got moved up to Main Stage was a highlight for sure.

TCRS: How did you entertain yourself in between shows?

Ash: We play a lot of drinking games [Laughs]. Yeah, we’ve done Warped Tour before so we kinda knew what to bring, what to expect! Like, okay, we need to be the band that brings the table with the chairs and the tent so we can all hang out and invite other bands. We have board games and ping-pong tournaments and so we brought all kinds of board games and drinking games and tables and chairs and coolers. And we’d set up behind our trailer. and just invite other bands. We’d always have something to do to Escape the Fate or Memphis May Fire or Pvris; we’d just play games all day!

TCRS: So that experience from the previous tour was put to good use this time round?

Ash: Yeah. I learned, you need a tent to sit under, you need chairs to sit on and you need a table and the rest just kind of brings itself. We didn’t think of it last time, so we were all just burning in the sun, sitting on the ground.

New Years Day - Malevolence - CoverTCRS: You’ve got a new album coming out entitled “Malevolence” which will hit the streets October 2nd. It’s New Year’s Day’s third full length album and first with Another Century record label.

Ash: Yeah, we were actually signed to a subsidiary of Century Media before called Hollywood Waste Records. When they abolished that they really didn’t take any bands that were on it. Ss we had one record that we put out that was on your own, but then I guess what had happened was the owner heard the record and was like “Oh my gosh! This is so good. What do we do with this?” And we had to tell him, “Oh you guys dropped us” and he was like “What?”. They re-signed us basically and that’s pretty much what happened there. I’m really glad that we did because we were having offers come in from other labels.  I’m just glad we went back to Century because they honestly they feel like family. They really do.

TCRS: What made you all decide to go back into the studio?

Ash: It was about that time. It had been about two years since our last full length. So it’s just about that time and we were about to head on warped tour and generally before you leave for a big tour like that you want to have an album before you embark on that busy schedule. Otherwise you just get sucked into the schedule and pretty soon there’s no time. We were still recording when we started Warped Tour and I had to fly home to fly home on the days of to finish the album. So it was a pretty hectic time and it was the only time we had to do it.

TCRS: And this time your back working with Eric Ron who produced your previous album Victim To Villain. He’s been such a positive influence on the band, right?

Ash: Oh yeah. I mean he’s a genius you know. That’s why everyone wants to work with him. He’s a goddamn genius that guy! He took a liking to New Year’s Day, he also manages us and we’re the only band that he manages. And he’s like a brother to me now and has influenced me in a way or he’s made me better. He’s made me a better front-person, he made me a better vocalist, a better songwriter, better marketing, just better at everything. He has had a very positive influence and it’s really hard to find people because even though we have Eric Ron, we still branch out and work with songwriters. We are so different and so unique; I have such a specific vision that it’s very hard to find people that understand that. Eric Ron has always understood it from the get go, so that’s why we tend to stick with the people we love, that we call family and we’re very rarely branch out from that.

Band Photo - New Years Day (5)TCRS: What’s your approach to songwriting?

Ash: Oh god. I hate songwriting. I’ll just be honest I hate it. It’s the worst for me because it’s, you know, you have to go back and find the perfect way to say some sort of hellish way to say some sort of hellish pain you went through so that other people can understand it and relate to it. It’s generally not a very fun process for me. That’s why it takes me a long time to write a song, but in a way that’s a good thing because I truly care about what I’m saying. I truly think about how the person will relate and I really think about how I’m saying what I’m saying. You know, I put a lot of thought into it and with Malevolence the songs are the most honestly, purely from the heart lyrics I’ve ever done and that’s what makes me the most proud of this album. I think people are really going to relate to it.

TCRS: We played Kill Or Be Killed on the show just the other week. It sounds tremendous. Tell us about that song.

Ash: Kill Or Be Killed is about how I was pushed around a lot in the beginning and still am sometimes in the music industry, because I’m a girl. I think that doesn’t help any and I tend to get knocked around. I hit a point a year ago and it was like I’m gonna push back from now on and I don’t care who doesn’t like me. And I don’t care who gets mad or who says bad thing about my back. Like “Oh, she’s a Diva. Or she’s a this, that and the other”, I just know what I want and I’m gonna fight for that and so that’s where the saying, you know, Kill Or Be Killed…backs against the wall, bloods gonna spill…! While I was recording some of the songs, I would get emotional and cry. And I know it sounds like so cheesy and cliche, but I think if you’re not feeling what you’re writing to that degree, I would sit back and go, well, I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t push myself hard enough. I didn’t dig down deep enough and I need to go back and revisit it and try harder. ‘Cause I know that everyone is different. I know that for me, that’s the standard I have for myself.

TCRS: What’s different about this album compared with your previous releases?

Ash: I think with the previous releases, I had a vision of what I wanted to sound like. You know, who is to say that you’re gonna achieve that the first attempt out the gate? And I feel like Victim to Villian was a great record and it came very close, but it still wasn’t enough for me. So with this album, although I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied, this is a lot closer to the way I envisioned New Year’s Day sounding; it’s much heavier, much more emotional, a lot darker. So I feel like this is New Year’s Day growing up in a way. You’re always learning and I don’t feel like on Victim To Villain I was as honest as I am in Malevolence. So I kind of go there a little bit more, emotionally, you know?

Band Photo - New Years Day (4)TCRS: Is there a theme running through the album?

Ash: Yeah, yeah. Personally, I’d had a really hard year. I mean New Year’s Day was starting to take off and I really, for the first time, had never dealt with negativity in my life. For the first time, I was starting to see what losing a friend to drugs was like. Or losing a friend to money. Like disagreeing on money and losing a friend. Or, you know, watching people get greedy because they see what you have. You know people using you. People using you then stabbing you in the back. Being cheated by someone that I’ve been dating for a very long time. I mean just pretty much all the nastiest things you can of happened this year and I had to become stronger than all of it. And so the album, the reason it’s called Malevolence, is because I really identify with the character Maleficent. You know she started out as a pure person, but kind of the wrongdoings of the world turned her into this evil, vengeful, powerful being. And I just felt I related to that and so that’s pretty much what the album is about.

TCRS: What’s been the reaction to the new songs out on the road?

Ash: I’ve never had such a good reaction to new songs, in my life! Normally, there’s at least someone who’s like “Ah, I liked your old stuff better” or “I don’t get it”. You know there’s always someone, but even YouTube, where it’s like the worst of the worst comments ever, I’ve not found anything negative. You know people are just really loving it and so I was a little worried at first but now I’m like “Fuck! Okay. Let’s roll with this. This is great!”

TCRS: You’re heading over to the U.K. to tour with Motionless In White.

Ash: Yeah! I’m so excited. We’re going to share a bus. It’s going to be all nothing but board games [laughs]. I’m so excited.

TCRS: Do you have any particular favorite board games?

Ash: Yes! Yeah, there’s two  that we play. No, there’s three that we play constantly and one is called Geek Out, which actually gets us into serious fights because what you do is you pick up a card and it’ll say “Name six planets from Star Wars”. Or “Name seven comic book super villains”, and you’ll get into arguments with your friend and legitimately get pissed off. So we play that a lot. Like I’m talking hours! And then we play Pictionary and we play…oh what’s the other one? Oh, Scategories is our big one. Yeah. We get pretty serious. And then Scene It because we’re all really into movies. We play Scene It a lot. it’s like a movie trivia game.

TCRS: It won’t be your first time over in the U.K. What are you looking forward to most on this tour?

Ash: Yeah, last time out was with Escape the Fate which was our first time, they’re also our best friends. So I mean talk about the funnest time of my life. I mean honestly like I get butterflies when I think about how much fun it was. And then we came back for a week to do the Metal Hammer Awards thing. So this will be our second real tour but the third time we’ve been over. As for waht we’re looking forward to most, oh, the sightseeing! We get super into sightseeing!

TCRS: What message do you have for your fans out there for coming to see you this time?

Ash: Y’all better bring the pain. We demand a lot of audience participation. So there’s no free rides in our shows. You have to crowd surf. You have to circle pit. You have to do these things or you’re just going to get a shoe in your face. Just prepare yourself.

TCRS: And as for your album?

Ash: I would just like everyone to have an open mind and to let out the little angry monster we keep inside all of us. And usually quiet up and kind of shut down. I would like people to listen to it and kind of release that monster for a little bit.

New Years Day supporting ‘MOTIONLESS IN WHITE’ UK Tour:

23 NOV Belfast (IRL) Mandela Hall
24 NOV Dublin (IRL) Academy
26 NOV Manchester – Club Academy
27 NOV Leeds – Stylus
28 NOV Glasgow (SCO) – Garage
29 NOV Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
01 DEC Birmingham – Asylum
02 DEC Bristol – The Fleece
03 DEC Southampton – 1865
04 DEC London – Underworld
06 DEC London – Underworld

New Years Day online: www.facebook.com/nydrock | http://www.twitter.com/NYDrock

The new album from New Years Day ‘Malevolence’ is out on Another Century October 2nd. We dig ’em and we think you will too.

Cheers!

www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk | @ClassicRockShow | www.facebook.com/groups/theclassicrockshow

#INTERVIEW Extensive interview with Michael Wilton of Queensryche

queensryche logoAgainst the formidable obstacles of an ever-changing cultural landscape, the rise and fall of various musical trends, and the near collapse of the record industry itself, Queensrÿche secured a triumphant legacy as one of hard rock’s most respected and celebrated acts, selling 30 million albums around the world across a 30-plus-year career.

The much-anticipated new offering, ‘Condition Hüman’, sees LaTorre deliver the performance of a lifetime on what is now his sophomore recording effort with the band. Produced by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed, Sanctuary) in the band’s native Washington, Condition Hüman is a new mountain towering over many of the peaks and valleys of the hard rock landscape.

The band’s name is uttered in the same breath as many of the groups they looked to as influences and others who arose as peers. Queensrÿche built a dedicated legion of fans traveling the globe on tour with fellow rock giants like Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Def Leppard. In recent years, they’ve consistently delivered high-octane live shows combining the hungry fire of a new band with the tempered experience of master showmen. Even with eleven gold and platinum plaques and a several Top 10 hard rock anthems woven into the very fiber of the genre, Queensrÿche won’t relent. In fact, they’re in the throes of a jaw-dropping creative resurgence.

Michael WiltonThe band is currently touring across North America with the Scorpions (Sept 10th to Oct 9th). We caught up with founding member and lead guitarist, Michael Wilton, soon after their Wacken Festival debut.

TCRS: You’re on a break now, following your recent tour of the UK and Europe?

Michael: Yes we just finished 21 shows in 23 days. Blitzed through Europe and the UK, and now I’m just in Germany then I’m heading back to the States before we start the next tour.

TCRS: You took in a few festivals including Wacken Festival. I believe that’s a first for the band, if I’m not mistaken. How was it?

Michael: Yeah! It’s really amazing that we never played that festival and Wacken is such a huge event. It’s just, it’s mind blowing you know. How that little town just turns into this metal Mecca you know and just the crowds. I mean that was one of the biggest crowds I’ve performed in a very long time and it’s well organized and wow!, you know? And I met the owner, he’s just so down to earth and such a cool guy. And you know hopefully we’ll be able to attend and play that one again sometime.

TCRS: Before we get into the big stuff about the band and the new album, may I just take you back to 1984, when I believe it was the first that you came to the UK, as tour support for Dio on the ‘Last in Line Tour’. Am I right with that?

Dio Last In Line tourMichael: That’s right! Wow!

TCRS: I saw you at the Hammersmith Odeon [now Hammersmith Apollo]. I recall drinking with friends in the bar, as you do, anyway we heard you guys light up and we’re looking at each other and we’re like “Hey, this sound is something we’ve not heard before!”, and we all trailed into the auditorium and were all just blown away by you guys. What are your memories of that time?

Michael: Oh well, thank you. I mean that was, what ’84? A long time ago…and for us that was such a monumental tour. We were so grateful you know to be on tour and you know Ronnie was the consummate gentleman. He kinda of showed us the ropes in a lot of areas and just such a great person and all the guys in the band were great. And so accommodating to us because we were just getting our legs for touring the world. I’ve got an interesting thing: I had never had Indian food before. Ronnie had a chef out there and he invited us to eat Indian food. That was the first time I ever had Indian food.

TCRS: Was it the last?

Michael: No! I kinda like it. You know, as long as my stomach can handle it.

TCRS: Perhaps not something you recommend on tour maybe, certainly not on a tour bus anyway.

Michael: Yeah exactly! [laughs]

Queensryche line upTCRS: Jumping back to the present day, how is the band finding its way around on stage since singer Todd Le Torre joined?

Michael: It really going excellent. You know we’ve been touring on the previous recording of 2013 you know for two years now Todd is comfortable with singing a song. His voice is getting stronger and he’s just more comfortable being on stage and singing these songs. These are not easy songs for anybody to sing. So, he’s really done a great job and he’s definitely acclimated to the road life and being out here. So, everything is kind of settled in a way so we’re doing quite well.

TCRS: And I guess he brings another amount of experience to the party as well.

Michael: Well he does especially over here in Europe. You know he’s got a reputation with Crimson Glory and now he’s with Queensrÿche, he brings a whole new dimension to the live performance. He is so energetic and so passionate about the music. There’s a new energy on stage with the band and everybody is just really just having a great time and having fun again.

TCRS: The audience are certainly feeding of that energy and that gives you something to feed off.

Michael: Oh yeah. It definitely does. Especially like you know when you’re playing in front of 65,000 people, it’s just unbelievable the energy. The support we’re getting from the crowd…well, it’s just kinda like the old days.

queensryche condition human album art

TCRS: The new album, Condition Hüman, is out on Century Media October 2nd. Produced by Chris “Zeuss” Harris, who’s known for recording with Hatebreed, Soulfly, Whitechapel and has been working on the new Rob Zombie album, how did that arrangement come about with Zeuss?

Michael: We already had a few songs, but didn’t want a repeat of the last album. We wanted to evolve from it and I think this was a very important record that we needed to establish, you know, that we are the roots Queensrÿche as well as a current band. Zeuss was introduced to us by the A&R guy at Century Media. I had looked at his portfolio and it’s like, wow, you’ve done some heavy bands! When I first talked to him, he goes “Let me just tell you, I’m not about changing Queensrÿche, I’m about bringing that band magic that happened on those early records, and finding that and bringing that back out in your performances to record. I’m gonna mix this so it’s current…you’re a current band!. You know, that’s kind of how we started and we met and then it was just the whole thing of scheduling and finding somebody that was flexible. He was flexible. He had just finished the Rob Zombie album and he had a certain amount of time allotted that he could do with us. So, basically he had I believe six weeks to record 15 songs, Queensrÿche songs that is. It was a lot of hours and he is a workhorse. He got so much accomplished and it was just 16 hour days for the guy. He actually even traveled on the road. We had a couple weekend shows that we had to do and he actually traveled with us and set up in a hotel room and we recorded the guitars in that kind of a setting just to keep on schedule. So we basically finished with all the music in six weeks. We then needed a couple more weeks for Todd to finish up vocals, so he had to talk to Rob Zombie and see if we could you know borrow a couple of his weeks. Rob Zombie was very cool and let us finish the album – I just want to say that. Then it was just off to the mixing and the mastering. We’ve been just very, very busy, you know; touring, recording and like I said things have been a little more settled. There’s not too many distractions anymore and we’re just on our mark for fertile grounds of creativity. There’s going to be no stifling of that.

unnamed (2)TCRS: Sounds like you guys really do have a game plan now.

Michael: Exactly! Like I said, things are settled. We have our management. We have a proper booking agent in the Europe and the UK now. We’ve got proper booking agents in the US. We’ve got PR people in the US. PR in Europe and the UK. And Century Media  is totally behind us. They exercised their second option on the recording contract, which I might add that hasn’t happened since EMI!

TCRS: Congratulations! Just going back to Zeuss, if I may, what was he able to bring out of each of you in the recording studio?

Michael: I think he got us out of that way of thinking that everything had to be kind of structured and a pop song format arrangement. He got us out of that traditional way of thinking and you know we kind of brought the spirit of Rage for Order, The Warning, MindCrime and just let’s do things a little bit different. Let’s do some tempo changes, some key changes, some fake endings, some extended endings, some segues that come out of nowhere. He was like “Let’s just have some fun with these, so that they’re more unique and they sound more in the spirit of how you guys are”. And he really brought that out in everybody. I mean most notably Ed Jackson (bass). I mean the bass used to be so prevalent in our old recordings and Zeuss was adamant at making sure  that Eddie’s bass was featured and you could hear it on every song. And you know more of just playing with the Kick drums playing. Let’s get the old Ed Jackson back into this. And you know so  and that’s just one example. I mean he did that with everybody. He got just amazing performances out of everybody.

TCRS: You never stop learning in this business do you?

Michael: Me, personally, no. I’m constantly learning and relearning and relearning what I’ve relearned. You know it’s a never ending process and that’s what makes it so fun. You know it’s just I have such a burning desire to do what I do that I just, I can’t stop it. I’m just insane about it so it’s just I love what I do and I love the fact that I can keep learning from it definitely and I think I can say that for everybody else in the band as well. That we’re just a bunch of guys that can co-habit together.

TCRS: That’s great to hear, Michael. We played the lead single ‘Arrow Of Time’ on the show the other week and it went down a storm with Queensrÿche fans and, let me tell you, now you’ve won some new fans over as well.

Michael: Thanks for playing it! We’re really proud of that song, and that’s what it’s about, you know, we’re also a current band. The audiences are so varied and different and if we can influence  new listeners to check out what we’re doing, that’s just great! We’ve played that song every night as an added bonus, so the fans got to hear a live version of a song that’s not even out yet.

TCRS: When are fans likely to hear more of the new album in your live sets?

Michael: Well, hopefully, you know the release is October 2nd and I know we’ve got another single [Guardian] and we have some videos coming through the pipelines, so yeah we’ll be able to bring those into the set. I don’t know if we’ll do that on the Scorpion’s run, but we’ll be able to do that maybe on our own shows in between those Scorpion shows.

TCRS: What are you looking forward to most touring with the Scorpions?

Michael: Well, you know I’m a big Scorpions fan, so obviously the music is something I’m looking forward to, but it’s just the opportunity to finally properly play with the Scorpions and play the United States and Canada with it all. They’re playing in some pretty big places that we haven’t played in a long time. So I’m really looking forward to that and I just think it’s going to be awesome. I love these guys and I have all their albums, so it’s kind of a double dream come true.

TCRS: What rig are you taking around these days?

Michael: Well, what I take around with me is called a Kemper Profiler and it’s kind of a self contained amp that I can just plug into a rented speaker cabinet and all my sounds are in that along with a wireless system and my trusty ESP Signature guitars. Oh, and a foot pedal, that’s about it.

TCRS: The ESPs loaded with Seymour Duncan’s, I guess?

Michael: Oh Yeah. Love the Seymour Duncan’s! One of my guitars is a Custom ESP that they made for me and the other one a Signature ESP and that’s what I travel with.

TCRS: Have you ever done a rig rundown on YouTube, I don’t think I have seen one?

Michael: No, I never have. I think it would probably disappoint a lot of people as it’s all in this little box. All stored on a thumb drive, a little 1GB thumb drive! [laughs]

TCRS: I don’t think it will disappoint anybody. Okay, Michael, so what is the future looking like now for Queensrÿche?

Michael: We’ve got a plan that we’ve been sticking to and we’re just going to continue on with that plan. We’re gonna tour, of course, and after the Scorpions tour we go into November and December doing a few gigs in the US. In January, we start up again and we go all the way through March. We’re booking more shows and I think another summer tour over in Europe is on the cards.

TCRS: Good luck with the new album. If ‘Arrow of Time’ [and Guardian] is anything to go by, Queensrÿche have another belter of an album in ‘Condition Hüman’.

Michael: I think any Queensrÿche fan is gonna just love this recording. And if you’re not a fan, well, check it out anyway. It’s a very cool, eclectic, semi-progressive, semi-metal, semi-hard rock album. Queensrÿche is back with a vengeance!

‘Condition Hüman’ will be released 2nd October via Century Media Records. ‘Arrow Of Time’, ‘Guardian’, ‘Hellfire’ and ‘Bulletproof’ are destined to take their place among Queensrÿche’s most beloved songs. Produced by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed, Sanctuary), ‘Condition Hüman’ is a new mountain towering over many of the peaks and valleys of the hard rock landscape.

Queensrÿche is: Todd La Torre – Vocals | Michael Wilton – Guitar | Eddie Jackson – Bass | Scott Rockenfield – Drums | Parker Lundgren – Guitar

Queensrÿche: www.queensrycheofficial.com | www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial | www.twitter.com/queensryche

Thanks for taking the time to read this interview. Make sure you check out the new album…it’s killer!

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

#NEWS British rock ‘n’ rollers The Temperance Movement announce their brand new studio album ‘White Bear’

British rock ‘n’ rollers THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT are proud to announce their brand new studio album, ‘White Bear‘.

Due to be released on January 15th, 2016, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to their 2013 self-titled debut was recorded with producer Sam Miller in London, Northamptonshire and Monmouth and features 10 stomping new blues-rock anthems.  The band will support ‘White Bear‘ with a UK tour which kicks off the day after the album’s release.

ttm_2015THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT comment:

Guitarist, Paul Sayer confides, “White Bear is a real step on for us sonically and artistically.  Playing so many shows together over the last 3 years allowed us to develop a really clear idea of where we wanted to go with our next record.  When it came to making this album we had a bit more time and space to let our creativity go, and I’m incredibly proud of what we achieved.”

Whilst on the album title, ‘White Bear‘, singer Phil Campbell notes, “Nick called me with the title which inspired the lyric to the song.  It refers to a study by Daniel Wenger on mindfulness and the controlling of unwanted thoughts, testing a quote from Dostoevsky’s ‘Winter Notes on Summer Impressions’: ‘Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.'”

ttm_whitebearWhite Bear‘ track listing:

1. Three Bulleits
2. Get Yourself Free
3. A Pleasant Peace I Feel
4. Modern Massacre
5. Battle Lines
6. White Bear
7. Oh Lorraine
8. Magnify
9. The Sun and Moon Roll Around Too Soon
10. I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind

White Bear‘ is available to pre-order now on CD, signed CD, vinyl and limited edition signed white vinyl, and is also available in a number of t-shirt bundles.  Reserve your copy now at http://www.earache.com/ttm

The album is also available to pre-order now on iTunes, including an exclusive bonus track, at http://bit.ly/whitebear-itunes

Don’t miss THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT on tour in the UK in support of ‘White Bear‘:

Jan. 16 – Portsmouth, UK – Pyramid Centre
Jan. 17 – Norwich, UK – UEA
Jan. 19 – Aberdeen, UK – Beach Ballroom
Jan. 20 – Glasgow, UK – Barrowland
Jan. 21 – Newcastle, UK – University
Jan. 22 – Leeds, UK – Becket University
Jan. 24 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2
Jan. 25 – Birmingham, UK – Institute
Jan. 26 – Cardiff, UK – Y Plas
Jan. 27 – London, UK – Shepherd’s Bush Empire

All tickets and bundles are available at http://thetemperancemovement.com/whitebear

Get more news and info from THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT:

Official site – http://www.thetemperancemovement.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheTemperanceMovement
Twitter – http://twitter.com/ttm_tweets

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
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#NEWS This is what we’re up to during our three hour show: Thursday 7-10pm BST

TCRS This ThursdayAfter a simply stellar ‘Bex Rocks’ last week, I’m back to play you a mix of Classic Rock, your requests, along with plenty of bangin’ new releases.

This week, we’ve got the new singles from W.A.S.P. Queensryche, Skindred, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Trivium, Coheed & Cambria, Huntress, Devil City Angels, Absolva and something off the new FFDP album ‘Got Your Six’. There’s some newcomers to ‘The Classic Rock Show’ too, in the form of Set It Off (support for the upcoming Mallory Knox UK tour), Speaking The King’s, Derange and Empire of Fools.

What else are we going to squeeze in? Whitesnake, Metallica, Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Tank, Johnny Van Zant, Pink Floyd, Motley Crue, Saxon, Rush, Big Country, Kreator, Slipknot, Y&T, Krokus…

All from 7pm BST. TuneIn: http://ow.ly/Qi6Rc  

See you later. Cheers!

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