#INTERVIEW: Coal Chamber’s Mikey and Meegs on proving themselves over again

“It’s been 13 years since Coal Chamber put out a record. We all worked so hard on this music to make sure the whole album was a stellar push forward for the band and not some nostalgia trip! If you like it heavy and unique you’ll love ‘Rivals’! This record is full of crushing huge hooks and big down tuned riffs to move ya. Support Heavy music in all its forms!” says Dez Fafara on their new album.

When we eventually come to look back on this year, 2015 will be marked down and under-scored as the year in which the reformed NuMetal band Coal Chamber made a welcome return to the world stage. Not only did they return to the stage, but they came armed with a highly anticipated and stunning new album – ‘Rivals’ – released on Napalm Records.

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If you thought that Coal Chamber were just going to go through the motions and regurgitate the sound from their previous two albums ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Chamber Music’, then think again. ‘Rivals’ is truly invigorating, helped, not least, by Mark Lewis’ (Producer) deft touch in the studio and the bands’ maturity in their songwriting, as well as how they now handle their own personal relationships. The latter had undergone such extremes, it ultimately lead to the band’s break up some 13 years ago.

We caught up with Mike ‘Mikey’ Cox (drummer) and Miguel ‘Meegs’ Rascón (guitar) at The Waterfront, Norwich, on the second date of their UK tour. We began by asking about how the album was put together and the reaction to the release of ‘Rivals’.

Mikey: Yeah, like the response has been crazy! You know, we kind of just write, we don’t plan on “Oh my God that’s right”, like we tried in the past. You try to write a certain way to try to envision what people want to hear. You write it, and you’re like “Yeah, this sounds like us”. With the new record, I think a lot of it is the fact that we’ve all matured as musicians. We just got older, wiser and me and him (Meegs) spent more time on really locking in all the individual parts, but it still sounds like us.  Our Producer, Mark Lewis (who has produced from Whitechapel and DevilDriver), helped us a lot. We wanted a live, nasty, not perfect record; we didn’t sit and make everything perfect. We did Click Track on the record like we always do, but our tempos go up and down like live, you know? We tried to do it with one tempo and it sounded horrible. It sounded boring, because we’ve always been a band that pushes and pulls. When parts get heavier, we go! All the tones on the record, all his (Meegs) wacky guitar shit, we spent four days just getting drum tones alone, which is crazy! It’s a nightmare going through the process, but in the end you know it just sounds nasty. We wanted a nasty record, that’s my best term for it, ‘nasty’.

TCRS: If I can turn to Meegs – Mike’s been talking about what’s gone down in the studio, but could you explain to us what is so different between how you put this album together and for instance ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Chamber Music’?

Meegs: Well on a personal level, the comradery and the way we treat each other is obviously like night and day. Back then, it was all wacky and fucked up and that definitely kinda like penetrates into your music, you know it definitely affects your music, whether it’s bad or good, but now it’s like you know we get along. We’re great friends and on a personal level it definitely shows in the way we write and also from ‘Dark Days’ to Rivals there’s a big gap. Musically, its progressed to the better, so yeah, so just personally and musically it’s just like night and day, definitely.

TCRS: We were catching up with Dez (Farfara – vocals) earlier, and he was recalling the time all got together and listened back to the final mix of ‘Rivals’, and it was quite an emotional moment for you all?

Mikey: Yeah, I mean when you’re writing the songs… you know, we holed up in a shitty rehearsal space and just do it old school. So me and Meegs always had the vision of how it’s going to sound recorded. Other people walk into a rehearsal space and you’re just jamming this loud, it sounds like shit and you don’t envisage how it’s going to sound polished on the record. When I got that music back, even before Dez did any vocals, I used to work for Snoop Dogg and I would travel four hours total in the day, two hours in the traffic and two hours back, and I listened to it on repeat for months and months and every day I was like I can’t believe how good it sounds and it captured everything we were trying to get and the ones Dez laid vocals and I got just the rough, I was like holy shit! To this day, I can’t believe it came out as good as it did. I’m not saying we’re not capable of it, because obviously we are, but you have a vision of where it’s going to go. Sometimes you get a record and oh shit it’s not as crazy as I thought it would be, you know This song is not as heavy as I thought it would be. With this record, I was like every song, top to bottom, I was like “Holy shit! This sounds good!”. Once we heard the final – we only changed the mixes just a little bit, perhaps three or four times with Mark (Lewis), it was very emotional, because I never in a million years thought we would be sitting here, let alone do a record ever. Mark (Lewis) really helped us and every really stepped up their game. To finally get it to happen, it was very emotional. We’re really proud of the record.

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TCRS: You’re currently on tour here in the UK. You’ve certainly got some fond memories of the UK, right?

Mikey: Yeah first time we did a signing here was at the Virgin Megastore in London. I was 19 and we were there for like five hours. Got in the cab and they were chasing us down the street in the cab! I called home and I was like “Mom I’m a Beetle, I’m famous!”. I’m so famous, I’m not rich but I’m definitely famous over here.

Meegs: Definitely not rich! [laughs]

Mikey: Yeah. It’s been really good here. We’re looking at it as starting over. We have the old songs we have to play. We love those songs, but for taking that much time off you have to reinvent yourself and you have to prove yourself all over again. You can’t expect to have the same fan base as when you broke up. 13 years is a long time and a lot of bands come back after two years and don’t do shit!

TCRS: No doubt you’ll be introducing a few more new songs to the setlist, but for the time being you’ve got ‘Rivals’ and ‘IOU’?

Mikey: Yeah. We don’t want to play songs that people over here haven’t heard through someone’s iPhone recording and then post it and people think that’s how the record sounds through someone’s phone. Once this tour is over, we’re going to add four more new songs to the set.

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Coal Chamber’s Meegs and Mikey at The Waterfront, Norwich

Meegs: The fans that we do have, obviously, they’re here to see us preform the old songs. But we want to expand the fan base and have the people really hear what we’re doing now, than what we’re doing in the 90s.

TCRS: You’ve moved on?

Mikey: I think with our area of music, with all the bands that grew up with and toured with back in the day, we all turned into crazy assholes and the bands couldn’t stay together and now I think everyone is growing up…

Meegs: We’re no longer in our 20s, so it’s like you’re kind of invincible, you know, in the head space and physically in your 30, 40s.

Mikey: I mean we pretty much lived the life of 50 people, with all the shit we’ve done and experienced in travelling, that’s more than 50 people combined do.

Meegs: Yeah, like here we just became normal and just we’ve done so much that you’ve lived like a couple lifetimes, so we’re good, we’re not going to be old people going oh we should’ve done it, like “No, we did it!”.

Mikey: Yeah, we’re still a bunch of nut cases, we got our things you know… I think every musician is a fucking nut job, all of them.

Meegs: You kind of have to be.

Mikey: We all think way differently from the rest of the world and you know stuff is not realistic and you’re living in a travelling submarine, so your grasp of reality is weighed. When I get home and I do normal stuff with my son. It takes me a second to go “Oh wow! This is normal!”, because you literally in airports and throwing around and pointing in one direction and but it’s definitely a dream come through.

Coal Chamber’s tour support comes from as. These three bands are worth the admission price alone and didn’t disappoint the Norwich faithful on Thursday night (May 21st, 2015).

Coal Chamber came, saw and conquered, rounding off a splendid evening with 13 songs, all delivered with aplomb.

Take it from us, these guys are more focused than ever before…go check ’em out on tour and pick up a copy of ‘Rivals’!

UK Tour w/ Soil, the Defiled & Dope
20.05.15 UK – Leeds / Stylus
21.05.15 UK – Norwich / The Waterfront
22.05.15 UK – Warwick / Copper Rooms
23.05.15 UK – Nottingham / Rock City
24.05.15 UK – Glasgow / O2 ABC
26.05.15 UK – Bristol / Motion
27.05.15 UK – Exeter / Lemon Grove
28.05.15 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2
29.05.15 UK – Wolverhampton / Wulfrun
30.05.15 UK – Manchester / The Ritz
31.05.15 UK – London / Koko [Sold Out]

Coal Chamber band links: Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Thanks for visiting this site. We hope you enjoyed reading the interview.

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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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NEWS: Crazy Lixx have a new video + further news on self-titled album release

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Every rock band needs a self titled album – The kind of album that really does the band’s name justice –The kind of album that shows both old and new fans what the band and their music is really all about – The kind of album that is the essence of the band and their sound and the kind of album that is the total sum of years of experience from playing, recording, writing songs and touring. This is that album for Sweden’s Crazy Lixx.

“We were discussing possible titles for the album and we didn’t really feel like any of the suggestions were quite right. Then I came up with the idea of a making it a self titled album and we all agreed this was the right time for one. You know, bearing the very name of the band, a self-titled album does have a lot to live up to, but we all felt that this album has what it takes to represent the band as a whole, both in terms of the songs, the sound and the performance.” – says lead singer and producer Danny Rexon.

crazy lixx

With their fourth release, Crazy Lixx have grown as a band and perfected their personal sound into 11 anthemic rock songs that will satisfy both the hard core Lixx fans as well as fans of melodic hard rock and hair metal in general. By combining the strategies of recording and producing the album themselves along with utilizing the mixing qualities of the great Chris Laney, the sound of the album has once again returned to the bombastic sound of Crazy Lixx’ earlier work while at the same time adding the improved song-writing and playing qualities of today’s Crazy Lixx.

“We’ve learned a lot through the years, especially when it comes to the recording process and we’ve put all that knowledge and experience to use on this album. We used many different studio settings to record different parts of the album and didn’t rush the recording but made sure everything was as good as it could get. At the same time we didn’t want to be too nitpicking with details, I mean we’re still in the business of rock n’ roll, right?”– adds guitarist and co-producer of the album Andy Zata (formerly Dawson).

Crazy Lixx have just released a new video ‘Hell Raising Women’, the opening track of the new album.

In addition to returning to the old Crazy Lixx sound the band has also re-recorded fan favorite “Heroes are Forever” which was originally on the band’s first, now out of print album.  “It’s this one song, that was our first single back in around 2006, that we’ve played on almost every live show we’ve done since then, but when we started to think about it, it was a song that a lot of our fans had no chance of ever listening to. The first album, ‘Loud Minority’, which was released on a minor independent label, was only released in a limited printing which has long since sold out, and it isn’t available digitally either. Still we felt that the track was one of those songs that had a really fundamental Crazy Lixx vibe to it, so we decided to record it again and give the fans a nice treat. If you ask me, it came out way better this second time around.” – says drummer Joél Cirera.

crazy lixx lWith the addition of bassist Jens Sjöholm and the return of original drummer Joél Cirera, Crazy Lixx Mk III has been proven to be the best constellation to date, both in concert and on a recording.“I think the fans will really enjoy what we’ve got in store for them with this album. Killer songs, great sound and memorable hooks combined with a bit of the twin guitar action and riff-based approach that we added to the sound on our last album.” – says guitarist Edd Liam.

 

Newest and youngest member, bassist Jens Sjöholm adds: “Being my first album release with Crazy Lixx I don’t really have any special expectations, but hearing the final result and seeing how fired up the guys are about it makes me look forward to seeing the reactions of the fans and media.”

It’s really a bit of a do or die, no guts, no glory situation – after all, you only get one chance to do a self titled album, so make sure you do it good.” – concludes Danny Rexon

CRAZY LIXX are…DANNY REXON Vocals, JOÈL CIRERA Drums, ANDY ZATA Guitar & B.Vocals, JENS SJOHOLM Bass, EDD LIAM Guitar & B.Vocals

‘Crazy Lixx’ release date (Frontiers Records): EU: November 7th, NA: November 10th 

Tracklisting: Hell Raising Women; Sound Of The Loud Minority; Outlaw; Girls Of The 80’s; I Missed The Mark; All Looks, No Hooks; Ain’t No Rest In Rock N’ Roll; Call To Action; Heroes Are Forever; Psycho City; Wrecking Ball Crew.

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NEWS: Papa Roach return with anthemic brand new track ‘Warriors’

Papa Roach return with anthemic brand new track Warriors, the first teaser track to be made available from their brand new album ‘F.E.A.R.’ (Face Everything And Rise), due early next year.

‘F.E.A.R.’ will be unleashed on 26th January 2015, via Eleven Seven Music, and was produced by the JUNO Award winning Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Five Finger Death Punch).

Warriors will be digitally released via iTunes on 21/10/14.

Since their debut 3+ million selling album Infest, the quartet have gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide, picked up multiple MTV EMA and Grammy Award nominations and have garnered 7 million fans across social networks.

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Papa Roach begin the touring cycle for F.E.A.R. in America this October, before travelling through Europe with In Flames, a brief stop in Japan with Slipknot for KNOTFEST, before heading to Australia for Soundwave in February 2015.

Expect further exciting announcements and more new music from Papa Roach in the very near future.

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NEWS: Blues Pills release their latest single ‘Gypsy’

Amassing a huge following at a rapid rate, the hottest property on the blues rock circuit at the moment Blues Pills have released their latest single ‘Gypsy’.

The American-Swedish-French quartet have produced their own take on Chubby Checker’s 1973 classic track, taken from their self titled album (released 25/07/14) via Nuclear Blast Records.

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The self titled, 10 track LP features artwork by renowned Dutch artist Marijke Koger-Dunham, who is best known for her work with The Beatles and Eric Clapton.

Relentless road warriors, Blues Pills have toured incessantly throughout the previous years, appearing at some of Europe’s premier festivals along the way such as DesertFest, Hellfest, Sweden Rock and Roadburn.

Catch the quartet’s mind blowing live show at the following dates on their headline UK run [buy tickets here]:

blues-pills-the-vintage-caravanMon Nov 10th Bristol, Exchange

Tue Nov 11th Birmingham, Oobleck

Wed Nov 12th Manchester, Star & Garter

Fri Nov 14th Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms

Sat Nov 15th Hard Rock Hell, Pwllheli

Sun Nov 16th Glasgow, Audio

Tue Nov 18th London, The Dome

Blues pills will be ably supported by The Vintage Caravan and, as announced in the past few days, BlackWolf!

If you miss them on this tour, you can catch them supporting Rival Sons on their string of UK dates this December!

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INTERVIEW: Reagan Browne returns to England for a mini tour in October. We caught up for a chat.

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‘Gypsy Woman’s Got The Groove’ is the new single from Texas born Reagan Browne. We played the song on the show last week and it produced one of the most positive reactions to a new song we’ve seen in a while. Not only does it feature Reagan in top vocal form, the feel-good hooks lead into polished solo work from guest guitarist Eric Johnson.

Reagan Browne returns to England in October for a short run of dates:

 

October 16th at The Roadhouse, Birmingham
October 17th at The Carlisle, Hastings (Free entry)
October 18th at Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend
October 19th at Fiddler’s Elbow, Camden Town, London

Always up for a bit of banter, we caught up with Reagan to talk about working with Eric Johnson, Phil X, Billy Sheehan and Marty Friedman. We also discussed the back story to the new single, as well as the touring band members, but we began by first talking about the sweltering heat LA residents have been experiencing recently.

Keep up to date with Reagan Browne:-

Official Website: ReaganBrowne.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/officialreaganbrownepage
iTunes: www.itunes.com/reaganbrowne

Thanks for listening!

Website: www.TheClassicRockShow.co.uk
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INTERVIEW: Joanne Shaw Taylor speaks ‘The Dirty Truth’

In May 2014, Joanne Shaw Taylor reunited with her ‘White Sugar’ album producer Jim Gaines, and recorded a new studio album in Memphis.  “The Dirty Truth” is a return to Joanne’s original sound that mixes rock riffs with blues influences. The album is released in the UK today, Monday 22nd September, on Joanne’s boutique label Axehouse Music.

Josnne Shaw Taylor_by Stephen Fourie_6

“I wanted to go back into the studio in Memphis with Jim to retain the same vibe that we captured on the first album,” says Joanne. “The new album is a combination of rock and blues. It’s an exciting collaboration, and hopefully my fans will love the more stripped down sound.”

We spoke to Joanne on the anniversary of the passing of Jimi Hendrix. Before we began our chat about ‘The Dirty Truth’ and her upcoming UK tour, we asked Joanne for her thoughts on the day we celebrate Jimi’s life and works.

Joanne Shaw Taylor speaks ‘The Dirty Truth’ here:

The new album (buy it here) dovetails Joanne’s 14-date November UK Tour with former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden as special guest. The tour kicks off on Saturday 1st November at Norwich Epic. Click here for further details for all the tour dates.

posterJoanne Shaw Taylor – Official Website www.joanneshawtaylor.com

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Official Facebook www.facebook.com/joanneshawtaylor

Thanks for listening!

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