Straight outta 1986! The Classic Rock Show returns with another Back To The 80s ‘Special’.

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Straight outta 1986! The Classic Rock Show returns with another Back To The 80s ‘Special’ Thursday, 13th August from 7pm BST (2pm EDT / 11am PDT).

Significant album and single releases from 1986 that included works from Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Queen, Europe, Cinderella, Ozzy Osbourne, Genesis, Magnum, Poison, Slayer, Alice Cooper, Status Quo and David Lee Roth.

As for what happened in the news that year, there’ll be mention of the M25, Chernobyl, BSE, The Big Bang, Platoon and, of course, the ‘Hand of God’.

Take a trip back to 1986. Tune in via the links on the website www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk on Thursday, 13th August from 7pm BST.

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#NEWS: The Picturebooks begin their UK tour in Brighton 16th May

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THE PICTUREBOOKS start a run of UK shows this Saturday (16th May) with a set at The Great Escape in Brighton.

The Picturebooks are a rock-blues-country-soaked German duo consisting of Fynn Claus Grabke (vocals/guitar) and Philipp Mirtschink (drums). Signed to the highly regarded LA psych/stoner imprint Riding Easy, they have recently completed their first UK tour, where they went down the proverbial storm on a set of dates with The Answer to promote the forthcoming UK release of their album ‘Imaginary Horse’.

They return to the UK for the following shows:

16.05 BRIGHTON – The Great Escape
17.05 BRISTOL – Louisiana
19.05 LONDON – Barfly
20.05 TUNBRIDGE WELLS – Forum
22.05 LEICESTER – Scholar
23.05 SHEFFIELD – Corporation
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‘The Classic Rock Show’ interviewed the band recently. You can read it all here.

Like/Follow www.thepicturebooks.com Facebook Twitter IG YouTube

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INTERVIEW: Bad Touch discuss their debut album ‘Half Way Home’

A Norfolk five-piece who are turning heads and going places in the industry, Bad Touch blend together elements of classic, 80’s rock with blues licks to create a powerhouse of melodic rock. Listing Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes and Rival Sons amongst their influences, they are a band who love to turn up the volume, but also infuse their songs with subtlety and melody.

It bodes well for new album ‘Halfway Home’, due out at the end of April, and we got a taste of their style when we played their lead single ‘Wise Water’ on the show last week

https://soundcloud.com/bad-touch-demo/wise-water-1/s-h6g57

The album has been a long time coming for Bad Touch as it’s been 5 years since their inception. Having started with cover songs, their set has evolved into their own material. Which they have taken the time to hone and mould into their own style. Patiently working on their own material before launching into a debut album, the result is truly impressive.

Bad Touch are currently supporting The Answer on their UK tour and prior to them taking the stage at Chinnery’s, Southend-On-Sea, last week, I sat down with all five members of the band and began by asking about the length of time it’s taken them to release their debut album.

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MJ: ‘Half Way Home’ is your debut album. It’s been a long time coming. We played the lead single ‘Wise Water’ on the show last week and I can tell you that it went down really well with the listeners.

Stevie: I’m glad that you say your listeners like Wise Water. Yes, it has been a long time coming. Well, it was just that we all wanted to make sure that, when we got this album out, we wanted to do it right. So, you know, we wanted to make sure that people wanted it. We’d done a few UK tours, and we got our name out there. So, we thought, let’s do the album because people want it.

MJ: There’s a lot of people that have seen you fellas play. They like your music and we get requests to play Bad Touch. Seeks, how’s that sound to you with the reaction that you’re getting from the album?

Seeks: It’s lovely. It’s great that people are asking for us to play our own music. It’s fantastic. I mean I don’t know how anyone else would feel about it, but just for people wanting our music being played is the whole point we do it, you know?

MJ: Let me turn to Bailey. What is it you’re enjoying most about this album?

Bailey: I’m loving it. We spent ages writing it, recording it. And it’s now actually out there for people to listen to. That’s nice to actually hear them say that they’re enjoying it as well.

IMG_3459MJ: George, tell us about the songwriting on this album. Have you all taken a share of responsibilities?

George: We sort of write each song in a different way. Like on some of them one person might have written 90% of it, but other songs you might just get a guitar riff and then we all sort of collaborated together. But, in general, it’s hugely more or less one person has the germ idea, and then we all take it away, and then we all write our own parts to it. And lyrics can be done in one night or one year, you know?

Stevie: That’s one of the things I love about being in Bad Touch the best is getting everyone else’s ideas and going, “Wow. That sounds awesome. I’d have never have thought of that.”

MJ: Rob, you’re obviously testing out the new songs on this tour?

Rob: On the set at the moment is all the new stuff from the album. There’s no sort of old tracks from the old EP. But, we’ve got a couple more experimental tracks on the album where we sort of do our thing where it goes on for a little while. They’re blues-y, slower. So, we try to keep it more upbeat with the set that we’re doing. But, obviously, we’ve got half an hour set, so we sort of want to get on there, do our thing, and then come off. So, it’s going well at the moment. The Answer guys, they sort of pick the particular tracks they like, and they’ve been really cool about it. So, it’s all going well.

MJ: And the feedback, Stevie, on this tour with The Answer has been really positive.

Stevie: Yeah. It’s lovely to have all these people saying how much they’re enjoying it, both the album and the live performances and stuff like that. I mean, but we take criticism where criticism is due just like we take credit. We’re quite aware that we’re not breaking any sort of boundaries with regards to musical experimentation. We’re quite happy doing what we do and it being feel good, rock music, you know? I think too many times people are caught up in it and the brains behind it and think, “Oh, we’ve got to be new. We’ve got to…” It’s like, if it sounds good and you enjoy playing it, then that’s all that matters. And, if people enjoy it, then even better, you know?

badtMJ: You seem to have found your feet with this album.

Stevie: Oh, that’s very kind of you. No, we definitely wanted to make sure that you say that. The thing with this album, which I’m most happy is that it sounds like us. If you came to see us and bought the album, you wouldn’t get the album home and go, “This doesn’t sound like them.” It captures us or what it is to be Bad Touch, you know?

George: In the album, we’ve tried things on the album that is different, but that’s the whole point of an album. But, it’s not like we’ve gone synthesizers, and electric drum kits, and things. It’s basically a five-piece rock band doing what they do, you know? And we did everything on the album.

MJ: Well, we’re going to leave it here because you’re off to sound check. Thanks so much for chatting with us on The Classic Rock Show. Last few words from you guys for the fans out there?

Seeks: A big thank you everyone and to your listeners for the support.

Rob: Yeah. Thanks a lot everyone. You’ve been great.

George: Yeah. Keep coming to the gigs and keep rocking!

Bailey: If you haven’t heard the album yet, we hope you enjoy it.

Stevie: Just want to say thanks for listening and, even more so, thanks for wanting us. And thanks too to The Classic Rock Show for putting us up.

Bad Touch on Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeInstagram and www.badtouchrocks.co.uk

Cheers

MJx

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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

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NEWS: YES ‘LIKE IT IS’

PromoImageAmong the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, Grammy Award winning, Yes, has a new live album, ‘Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome’.

In Spring 2014, Yes performed in their Canada, UK and European tour a true classic rock header by performing two of their most popular albums in their entirety, all in one concert: 1971’s ‘The Yes Album, and 1977’s ‘Going For The One’.

Music audiences across the world experienced the albums – each representing an important milestone in Yes’ career which encompasses sales of close to 50 million albums worldwide – performed from beginning to end.

Yes are:
Jon Davison – Vocals
Chris Squire – Bass
Steve Howe – Guitars
Alan White – Drums
Geoff Downes – Keyboards

Tracklisting:
Cd1: Going For The One; Turn Of The Century; Parallels; Wonderous Stories; Awaken.
Cd2: Yours Is No Disgrace; Clap; Starship Trooper; I’ve Seen All Good People; A Venture; Perpetual Change.

Dvd / Blu Ray: Going For The One; Turn Of The Century; Parallels; Wonderous Stories; Awaken; Yours Is No Disgrace; Clap; Starship Trooper; I’ve Seen All Good People; A Venture; Perpetual Change.

The album is available through Frontiers Music here.

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Asia’s ‘High Voltage’ live album out soon!

asia_liveRecorded on the 24th July 2010 at the inaugural High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park, London, this ASIA live CD / DVD captures the band, in the original line-up (Geoff Downes – keyboards, Steve Howe – guitars, Carl Palmer – drums, John Wetton – lead vocal and bass),  performing classic material from the 80s, plus songs from the first two albums of its reunion, “Phoenix” and “Omega”.

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The show was performed to an enthusiastic festival crowd ready to hear the world’s biggest selling album of 1982 performed in its entirety for the first time in Europe.  In fact, this remains the only video document of the original line-up performing the debut album in full.

This live CD / DVD is an irreplaceable companion to the original studio album and the reunion that saw the original members of ASIA return to and stay at the top of their game, this time in front of a ‘home audience’.

asiaSince then of course, Steve Howe has stepped aside and Asia brought in Sam Coulson who went on to record the superb ‘Gravitas’ album, released in March. Our interview with John Wetton is here.

“High Voltage” will be released by Frontiers Records in a glossy digi-pack CD / DVD digi-pack format with Roger Dean artwork and the track listing includes:
Only Time Will Tell, Wildest Dreams, One Step Closer, An Extraordinary Life, Time Again, Cutting it Fine, Without You, I Believe, Here Comes the Feeling, Sole Survivor, Heat of the Moment

Release dates: EU: August 22nd 2014. NA: August 25th 2014

For all things ASIA, please visit: www.originalasia.com

Follow ASIA on Facebook: www.facebook.com/asiatheband

Make sure you catch them on tour!

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On tonight’s show…

Another week flies by and here we are once again…just a few hours away from showtime.

On tonight’s show, we’ve got all your requests to play, plus a few tracks from bands who released albums this week back in the day, and we’ll see if we can fit in one or two songs which feature artists who would be celebrating their birthdays.

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We’re following last week’s Black Stone Cherry competition with another; one which features Aussie band Massive, and a chance to win a CD of their debut album ‘Full Throttle’ (out July 21st on Earache Records), revamped with four new recordings. The competition will open at 8pm tonight – look out for more details on that later on.

All this and much, much more besides, including something from the new Judas Priest album ‘Redeemer Of Souls’, Deep Purple, Night Ranger, David Lee Roth, Night Ranger, Faster Pussycat, Megadeth, W.A.S.P., Saxon, Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Status Quo, Budgie, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Guns N’ Roses, Killswitch Engage, Kingdom Come…phew!

Tune into the show from 7pm tonight via the links on our homepage www.theclassicrockshow.co.uk. Join in the conversation on Twitter and our Facebook Group.

See you later.

Cheers!

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
Twitter: @ClassicRockShow
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