Monday, August 30, 2010
Adam Lambert brought his Glamnation Tour to the Roanoke Special Events Center in Roanoke, Virginia on Thursday, August 26, 2010. The event was close to sold out and the crowd was very diverse and very enthusiastic. Fellow season eight American Idol contestant Allison Iraheta has been opening shows for Adam on his tour and she proved to be a worthy tour mate. The eighteen year old Iraheta has a voice on her that is seasoned way beyond her years. The spunky little red head reminded me a great deal of a young Pat Benatar with her voice and stage presence. Her set consisted of several tracks from her debut CD “Just Like You” including a chilling acoustic version of her single “Scars”. Fans were treated to a surprise rocking cover of, none other than, Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”.
While waiting for Adam, the crowd got pumped up by a great selection of songs by the Black Eyed Peas, Journey and Michael Jackson. The houselights then went out and a prerecorded version of “For Your Entertainment”, the first single off of his CD of the same name. Then Adam emerged at the top of a flight of stairs onstage in a top hat and long coat to his song “Voodoo” and the crowd erupted.
Adam proceeded to run through song after song including his bizarre spin on Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” that he performed on American Idol. “Fever” proved to be another crowd favorite that night. He shared the stage with two male and two female backup dancers along with a very tight four piece band. Let’s not forget to mention the pipes that Adam has blessed with. For those who saw him perform on Idol and we in awe of his voice, let me tell you that it is just magnified a billion times live. He has got to have the most powerful, pure voice that I have ever heard live.
The show was very colorful with a great laser show that added to the almost techno/rave feel of some of the performances. One of the highlights of the show was an acoustic version of the song “Whataya Want From Me”. The show closed with Adam’s current single “If I Had You”, which is currently in the top ten on VH1’s countdown. A short, one song encore was next which saw him cover T-Rex’s song “20th Century Boy”.
The show itself was a lot of fun. It was very high energy, with lots of dancing and a few wardrobe changes. I was hoping for a longer encore in anticipation of hearing his cover of Gary Jules’ “Mad World”, which was originally done by Tears For Fears and performed by Adam on Idol. I was also surprised at how tame his show was. I had read some things online about his show, but that night in Roanoke was free of anything that could be interpreted as controversial.
Unlike other Idol contestants who tend to jump into the industry way above their heads after Idol, Adam seems to taking a smart approach and touring smaller theaters and halls instead of trying to take on large coliseums. He is selling out the majority of his shows and getting rave reviews. For those who thought it was more important to pay attention to this man’s sexual orientation, you missed an amazing show that evening. Hopefully, this gifted artist will continue his momentum and build on it. Adam is proving that sometimes losing on American Idol is a great deal more rewarding than winning.
Storytelling is an art form that is slowly fading away in today’s music industry, but not if Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have their say. The Wilson sisters, over their 30 plus year career, have given us such lyrical classics as “Dog and Butterfly” and “Dreamboat Annie”. The eighties came along and a change came over the sisters. The focus suddenly became less centered on crafting personal lyrical gems and more on cleavage and big hair. It was an educational experience to say the least.
The changes in the industry in the eighties and nineties did cause the girls to stop and look at what was going on. They regained their focus and started to remold the legacy that they has established. The focus went back to writing personal and meaningful songs. It looks as if things have come full circle on their newest release entitled “Red Velvet Car”.
Heart is at a very unique point in their career where they don’t have to record, but they want to. There are still a lot of unpinned lyrical gems floating around in the heads of Ann and Nancy. What better place to start than returning to the home of their original label. This CD was recorded for Legacy Recordings which is part of the Sony Music Entertainment family. The band recording their debut album all the way through 1983’s “Passion works” under the Sony flagship, so this is a homecoming for them.
“Red Velvet Car” contains probably the most personal and introspective lyrics since those gems from their early seventies and all around their strongest CD in years. The lead off track entitled “There You Go” sets the tone of the CD with its unique arrangement of instruments and lyrical warnings. It is a very unique song that sounds refreshingly different for the band.
Radio has been all over the track “WTF” and for good reason. It’s a power rocker with Ann’s powerful vocal interpretation of the lyrics taking it to another level. “Red Velvet Car”, my personal favorite on the CD, is a very sexy slow song. The string section in the background of this song adds a profound layer to this song that just helps it transcend to another level.
Nancy takes over vocals on “Hey You” and just may be one of the best songs that she has ever written. It tells of a love come and gone and the being thankful for what was, but not being bitter or angry during this process. The addition of Nancy on mandolin adds a nice touch to this very Sheryl Crowish song.
“Queen City” pays homage to Seattle where the Wilson sisters grew up and where Ann lives today. “Safronia’s Mark” is another lyrical gem that is about the sister’s great, great, great grandmother from the Civil War era. It’s a beautifully arranged song that is another standout on the CD. Speaking of songs written about family members, “Sunflower” was written by Nancy about Ann and given to her as a birthday gift. Wow and to think that all I ever got from my sister was a card.
The last track entitled “Sand” is a new recording originally done by the girls sideproject The Lovemongers. The song, even though previously recorded, had never truly felt complete. They rerecorded it for this CD and added some different instruments and the song has finally seen its completed form. It’s a beautiful song that I thought couldn’t get any better than the original, but I was sorely mistaken.
Heart chose Ben Mink to produce this CD. They were familiar with his work since he produced Ann’s amazing solo CD entitled “Hope and Glory” back in 2007. He was a wise choice for this project as he continuously challenged the girls in ways that they haven’t been throughout all their recording years. As in challenging Ann’s vocals and asking her to hold back instead of just unleashing her vocals as she normally does. He even challenged Nancy’s play of the acoustic guitar some thirty plus years after she first picked one up.
“Red Velvet Car” is the first CD from the band since 2004’s “Jupiter’s Darling” release, but well worth the wait. Ann and Nancy may be a little older, but much, much wiser. Open the door and hope in this “Red Velvet Car” and be prepared for the musical ride of a lifetime.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Church came early for me this week with the combination of a run-in with an old friend and the act of spontaneity. It was a muggy Saturday and my afternoon was free. I had read online that the legendary band Heart was playing a very small, intimate amphitheatre in Raleigh, NC. Although we had no tickets, we decided to take our chance by driving down and seeing who may extra tickets for sale in the parking lot.
Sure enough, standing right by the entrance gate was a woman holding up tickets that she needed to unload. We purchased them for the very low price of only $10 each and entered. I should have known right then that it was going to be a very special evening. The opening act was a new male vocalist by the name of Erick Baker who took the stage all alone and very vulnerable with only his acoustic guitar and the mic. His voice, very similar in vein to David Grey (reference provided from a friend) was amazing and he definitely poured his heart into each song. At one point, I remember hearing him and thinking that the song sounded very familiar. He was doing an slowed down, acoustic version of the Beastie Boys “You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party”, which he managed to pull off and make it work. Just a quick side note, please look into this artist for he is a very talented guy on the verge of a major break.
The sky started to fade to night and the air started to cool and the setting was great for an outdoor concert. Heart hit the stage about 9:00 and it did not take long to see that these ladies are truly the real deal. In a age of “here today, gone today” flavors of the week in the music industry, it’s always rewarding to see an act like Heart. The Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy for those not in the know, have been rocking out for over thirty years and still do not get the respect that they truly deserve.
Ann kept the banter between songs very short, acknowledging that there was a lot of history to cover and for the crowd to have a goodtime and enjoy the evening. The arrangements on some of the hits that they have been playing for years were toyed with just a little bit to give the songs a fresh interpretation. Their big hit from the eighties “These Dreams” showcased Nancy on mandolin which was a great artistic move on the her part. It really added to the structure of the song and made it, in my opinion, even better than the original version.
The band is actually touring this summer to support their new CD, “Red Velvet Car” and they played three tracks from it that night including the texting friendly appropriate song called “WTF”, which was actually a good little rocking tune. The band continued to mix up the classic hits from the seventies and the hits from their big, yet brief heyday in the eighties. Ann’s version of “Alone” was stripped down to an almost keyboard only performance that really showed why her voice is one that the most underappreciated voices in the history of music. How many times can you say that you have gone to a concert and that the singer’s vocals sounded even better live than on the CD itself? Ann’s voice live has that pure, raw emotion feel to it that gets stripped away during production in a studio.
All the seventies classics seem to have been spotlighted including the rocking “Barracuda” , “Straight On” and “Magic Man”. A very cool little “mash-up” was their classic “Even It Up” mixed with the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” which sounded amazing. A personal highlight for me was my favorite of their classic seventies hits “Dog And Butterfly” on which Ann can do no wrong. Such a beautiful song on which Ann’s connection with the lyrical content is an element lacking in so many singers today.
Heart fans know that the band is notorious live for doing some amazing covers of classic songs from bands that they are fans of. A prime example being the solid cover of Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”. Well, the girls may have just topped themselves with the encore played this particular night. The two song encore started with a wicked cover of Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be”.
What was about to happen next is one of those events that you feel honored to have experienced. At that point, we were taken to church by the Wilson sisters as they graced the crowd with a cover of the Who classic “Love Reign O’er Me”. Now, I am a Who fan and had even talked on Face Book with a fellow writer about the exact same song earlier in the day. To add to the irony of it all is the fact that I was even wearing a Who shirt that evening! What proceeded to happen over the next six minutes was nothing short of spiritual. The power of Ann’s voice delivering the poetic words of Pete Townsend’s masterpiece from Quadrophenia. That, combined with the superb musicianship supplied by the band, created one of the strongest musical moments that I think I have ever witnessed live.
Overall, the show was nothing short of a stellar display of pure talent. Artists like Ann and Nancy Wilson are rare in today’s music scene. True, back in the eighties, they did get caught up in that “packaged” artist machine that pushed style over substance, but it didn’t take them long to come to their senses and get back to what it was all about…the music. Did they play all the hits that night in Raleigh? No, quite a few of their big ones were left out, but just about everyone there walked away with a feeling of satisfaction and definitely getting their moneys worth. In today’s recession, that just doesn’t happen too many times.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Washington, DC. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? President Obama? The White House? Politics? Probably alot of negative stuff involving the government is the first thing that comes to alot of people’s minds. Yet, there is something refreshing coming out of DC that just may take the country by storm.
They go by the name of Super bob, although they played under the name bob for many years. That story will come later. I discovered these guys by accident one night when I went to a club in North Carolina to see another band and I happened to get there early. You know how sometimes you want to go late so that you don’t have to sit through some lame group while waiting for the good stuff to begin? Boy, was I about to be pimp slapped into paying attention to who this band was setting up their equipment.
Four young guys were up there and two were pretty average looking while the other two consisted of a guy with very long dreads and another with shorter, multi-colored dreads and tats. Ok, that did catch my attention a little bit. Then, the sampled music began to play over the PA system and their first song began. It was shaking up a hot soda and then letting the lid off. The guys just erupted on the stage and began jumping all around and slinging instruments and totally killed it. They grabbed your attention and refused to let you go. Their sound is like a hybrid of Korn and Rage Against The Machine and early Red Hot Chili Peppers, yet they do it in a way that makes it their own, not like they are imitating another.
That was over a year ago and I finally caught up with these guys shortly after the release of their new CD “Rock n Roll” at a small venue in VA before their show.
JP: “Hey guys, first off thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I saw you last year at the Somewhere Else Tavern in North Carolina and you totally blew my mind. I had never heard of you guys before, but you won me over that night. You were amazing. I was trying to find some stuff online about you and how things got started. Can you catch me up to speed?”
Adam: “Well, Matt and I have been friends since we were really little and we always knew that this was what we wanted to do. In our first band, Matt played bass and I sang. I didn’t like the sound of my voice for what we were attempting to do so we switched.”
Matt: “Yea, I didn’t really think that I had a great voice but it just worked. Drew, he used to be our sound guy, but he sucked at it. He was the world’s worst sound guy! So, we needed a drummer and he learned the set in like a week and a half. Then Carl came in and this lineup has been together since 2004.”
JP: “The name bob, which of course is now Super bob, how did you guys decide on that for a name?”
Matt: “Well, we just wanted something simple. You know, a name that everybody would get. You see the name and you have no idea what we will sound like but after hearing us, you always associate our sound when you see that name.”
Adam: “Yea, kinda like Korn, plus we wanted it to look good on a sticker. As far as the name goes, it was something that we decided to do because another artist had a similar name and we just went ahead and instead of waiting, we decided to change it. We wanted to keep our logo and just add an adjective. So far, it has been a smooth transition.”
JP: “So, tell us about the early days of the band.”
Adam: “Oh, we sucked! Well, musically we did. We went to see Korn and we knew that’s what we wanted to do. I high energy type show, not just stand around.”
Matt: “Yea, the fans were always commenting on how great we were on stage and how they loved the show. We are always pushing each other on stage to be better.”
JP: “With the way you guys are always jumping around on stage, there have got to be alot of accidents.”
Adam: “About every month and a half, we usually have some sort of accident. Carl has gone through several stages. Matt’s back has been sliced open with a guitar before.”
Matt: “Six seconds before a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club in DC, I blew my ankle out. I tore the tendon off the bone and proceeded to do the rest of the show on one foot.”
JP: “I am amazed that nothing worse has happened to you guys with the energy that you bring to the stage. Let’s hope tonight’s show is accident free.”
The guys are touring no win support of their second CD entitled “Rock n Roll”. The stage to them is their ring and they dare you to step in. They are on a crusade to save rock and roll and they will not take no for an answer. Powered by a diet of crack and steroids, they let you know who they are and that they mean business from the start. Just listen to track one of their new CD. The song, “Pleasure To Meet You”, lets the listener know that they are not just “another played out radio song”. Carl’s pounding bass and Adam’s crunching guitar riffs combined with Drew’s amazing back beat has created am amped up sound for them that is very contagious. One listen and you cannot help but to bob, no pun intended, your head long with it.
“Push” is an awesome song that is more in the vein of one of their influences Korn. One of my favorite songs on the CD is entitled “Coffee and Guns” and is both lyrically and musically one of the standout tracks on the disc.
The guys told me that they tried different things on this CD because they wouldn’t have to be performing them in their live set. They experimented with acoustic guitars, like on “Lonely as It Takes” and “El Chupacabra” as well as some new electronic tricks of their own.
Their set that night in Roanoke had the crowd in that tiny club on their feet the entire time. No matter the size of the venue, these guys bring it 110% each and every performance. They tour up and down the East coast doing 120 dates last year and looking to surpass 150 this year. It’s that old school mentality of bringing it to the people live and proving themselves that is making believers out of people. Check them out on Facebook or at www.myspace.com/bobband or www.superbobmusic.com.
If these guys hit a club anywhere near you, then drop what you are doing and take the time to check them out. If you are a fan of Rage Against The Machine or Korn, then their sound will be right for you. It is an addictive combination that they have put together. Carl lets his bass do the talking as he pounces around on stage. Adam is very energetic and likes to snarl out at the audience and get the crowd involved and feel like part of the show. Drew, hide behind his drums is always working up a sweat providing the back beat for these guys. Matt, what can we say about Matt that hasn’t already been said. A guy who is more energetic than a daycare class on a fieldtrip to the zoo! His unique multi-colored dreads make him stand out and his unique voice is insane. These boys are old school believers in hard work, blood, sweat and tears...well, not sure about the tears part. Check out their crusade to keep rock and roll alive.
They’re several definitions of Mayhem in the dictionary. A state of disorder or riotous confusion, havoc. That may be the best of them to sum up this year’s successful Rockstar Mayhem Tour. It made a stop on August 3 on a blistering Tuesday afternoon. The Raleigh venue was one of, if not the, smallest venues and crowds on the tour which has pulled in some impressive numbers in this summer’s dismal touring season.
The gates officially opened at 2:15 with a steady stream of black t-shirts, piercings and tats roaring through. Ah, the summer outdoor concerts, you have to love them. You see so much that you never expected to see and that usually has nothing to do with the artists performing. The crowd is like the show before the show!
Going to a show like Mayhem requires a few things from those in attendance. Sunblock is important as the temp that day was in the upper nineties with minimal shade to be found. Another is stamina and the consumption of lots of water. Lastly and probably most important is money.....lots of money. Every band was selling merchandise and almost all were doing meet and greets. Most of them required you to buy their CD and you got an autograph and picture with them. This is a great marketing move, especially with the industry being in such a downward spiral because of downloading. The mucho dinero also comes in handy considering beer was $9, Gatorade was $6 and hotdogs were $5 each.
The band’s schedules on the two secondary stages, the Silver Stage and the Jagermeister Stage, were staggered. One band would play their set on one stage and within minutes of finishing, another started playing on the other stage. Get the picture? Each band’s set was roughly thirty minutes in length but an intense thirty-minute set. All killer with no filler!
3 Inches Of Blood kicked off the day with a loud set that got alot of the hungry head bangers going but just wetted their appetites for more. In This Moment’s set saw lead singer Maria Brink go out into the crowd to the soundboard for their final song, “Daddy’s Falling Angel”, to get a circle pit going around the board. The fans were game and started a huge dust storm that looked like cattle being herded to their slaughter as their circled her.
Shadow’s Fall had a great crowd for their set which included a great cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at The Moon” that got the crowd singing along. Lead singer Brian Fair pulled a little guy on stage, maybe 7 or 8, who could barely see over the barricade but had been head banging their entire set. He let this little rocker watch the last song from the side of the stage. Talk about a Mayhem memory!
Norma Jean and Chimaira, who had just played a club date the night before with In This Moment in Charlotte, NC, got some of the best crowd reactions with their ear splitting sets. There was lots of crowd surfing going on. Hatebreed closed out the Jager stage showing that after sixteen years of doing what they love, they still have what it takes to teach some of the younger bands how to rock out properly. These guys are an excellent example of true hardcore and always believing in what they are doing.
The band’s kept a tight schedule and right at 6:30, as shown in the program, Five Finger Death Punch took to the main stage. Vocalist Ivan Moody has assembled a tight unit of guys who, although were not friends to begin with when formed, have grown into a vital band in today’s scene. Ivan is great with the crowd too. At one point asking who in the audience had bought their new CD and then asking who had illegally downloaded it. Well, a question like that made some shy away from answering but there were quite a few who admitted to it. Ivan said that, even though it took fifteen cents out of his pocket for every copy downloaded illegally, the main thing was that it brought them out to the show. Their cover of Bad Company classic song “Bad Company” got a great response from the crowd.
Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God took the stage next. They are celebrating their fifteen years of slaying audiences this year. These guys are another example of never straying from your beliefs and compromising. Their aggressive forty minutes set had very little banter with the crowd and they simply gave the audience what they came for, the music. A set of all substance and very little style. Don’t get me wrong, these guys don’t depend on props or a fancy stage to make their point. They have a great light show but no fancy distractions to take away from the fact that they are here to thrash your faces off. These guys weren’t nominated at Revolver’s 2010 Golden Gods awards for Best Live Band because they sit on barstool and sing.
Next up was Rob Zombie, who definitely puts on a show. Almost the complete opposite of Lamb of God, Rob is over the top with his stage show. You know for a fact that two of his influences growing up were KISS and Alice Cooper when you see his show. There were flames and robots and smoke everywhere and that was before Rob even came out on stage! His set mixed in a few White Zombie songs along with his solo material. “Dragula” and “Never Gonna Stop” had the crowd on their feet. He paid tribute to his idol Alice by doing a cover of “School’s Out” which was awesome. His guitarist John 5 has been playing dates on a broken foot and teased him about it. He asked him if he wanted to play something softer that would hurt as much and he went into “Sweet Dreams” which he covered when he played with Marilyn Manson. Rob said that he was going to play a classic to get the older people in the grass seats up and played a hyped up version of his White Zombie classic “Thunderkiss ‘65” that went over great with the crowd.
At most venues on the tour, after Rob leaves so does most of the crowd. It almost seems as if he should have headlined. For those who left early, they missed a great performance by Korn. After some ups and downs the last few years, it seems as if they have returned more to what got them established back in 1994. That heavier, kind of edgy sound that you remember Korn having back then and less electronic. They played a few new songs from their latest CD and went old school with the rest of their set list. Their show was also full of pyro and a great overall stage show. Lead singer Jonathan Davis seems to have the boys back on track and their set at mayhem showed that they haven’t lost a thing.
So, after almost twelve hours of being in the blistering sun, the day had come to an end. Well, except for fighting all the traffic out. This year’s Mayhem Tour has been operating with ticket sales averaging a little over 20% above last year’s tour, which is good news for all of us metal fans. I cannot wait to see what tour producers Kevin Lyman and John Reese will have in store for us next year. I hope the smaller turnout doesn’t discourage them from coming to Raleigh, NC again. For those who were there, it was an awesome day full of rip your face off metal and for those who missed out, maybe next year! Horns high metal heads!
Monday, August 9, 2010
In the movie "Almost Famous", Creem magazine Editor Lester Banks tells aspiring fifteen year old writer William Miller that whatever he does, do not become friends with the band. Writers and reviewers are seen as the enemy. That advice ran through my head the night before I was to interview In This Moment. You see, I became friends over the last few years because, well to be honest, I was totally captivated by them. I had never experienced anything like them live before. I have seen them numerous times since my first show with them on OZZFEST in 2007 and we have become friends.
I went to their show in Charlotte,NC on August 1 where they played with Norma Jean and Chimaira. It was an off date from their successful Rockstar Mayhem Festival this summer. In This Moment played first and proved why they are stealing shows on the secondary stage at Mayhem on a daily basis. Their set that night was a very tight eight song set focusing heavily on their new CD "A Star-Crossed Wasteland". The band opened with "Just Drive" and proceeded to rip through tracks like a buzz saw through fresh lumber. "Daddy's Falling Angel", from their first CD, closed the show with more intensity than most bands combine into their entire set.
After a meet and greet with the fans at the merchandise booth, I was escorted back to their bus for the interview. The band is sharing a bus with Norma Jean, so it was a bit crowded and chaotic. So, Chris (Howorth, lead guitarist) led me to the back of the bus to Maria's quarters where we were to conduct the interview sitting on her bed. Yes, you read that right! I conducted my interview while sitting on the bed with Chris, Maria and her dog Twinkles. Don't be hatin' people!!
JP: "Hey guys! Well, it's been a while since we last talked and alot has happened in your career. Can you tell me a little about being on this year's Mayhem tour and how it's been going?
Chris: "Mayhem has been amazing, right from the start! This is the kind of tour we belong on. We know all the bands and are friends with everyone, so it has been great. Last year's Warped Tour was fun, but we didn't get to meet as many bands and weren't friends with as many like we are at Mayhem. The crowds have been absolutely insane!
JP: "So tell me, what was your initial reaction when you heard the first week's sales of the new CD. According to Billboard Magazine, it sold 10,500 copies the first week and debuted at number forty!"
Maria: "We were really, really excited about it. He was more stressed about it than me."
Chris: "I had been thinking about it like 2 weeks before the news came out. We were getting reports from the label of how many copies different outlets had sold. Nowadays the trend is to sell half of what you did last time. We knew we were growing and we were really shooting for 10,000. So, we were really stoked when we heard."
JP: "You worked with producer Kevin Churko again. What type of working relationship do you have with him now? Does he challenge you to think outside the box?"
Maria: "We love him and we're like family with him, yet at the same time he will tell us if something is good, yet not quite good enough. So, I think we have a great relationship with him."
JP: "The Promise" has generated alot of buzz amongst the fans. I had heard that the song was originally suppose to be with Ivan from Five Finger Death Punch. Can you fill me in on it?"
Maria: "Yea, we have been wanting to do something with Ivan for a while now. He was originally our choice to sing this duet with me. Adrian Patrick was the fill-in for Ivan to show him how the track was suppose to go. So, we layed down a rough track for Ivan and sent it to him and he loved it."
Chris: "Literally, the day before we were suppose to record with Ivan, the record company stepped in and for whatever reason, it didn't happen."
Maria: "So, instead of going out and looking for a big name person to step in, we decided to go ahead with Adrian. He totally shocked all of us with his voice and it is so rich and alluring. It's also kind of cool that nobody really knows who he is either."
JP: "The marketing of the new CD, with the utilization of Facebook and all the different exclusives that the outlets had for it, who was involved with all of that?"
Chris: "The plan was that we wanted to make it different than the last time because of the timing of the CD and how we were growing. So, we wanted to do something special for the fans and give them alot of options. The exclusives and the preorders were the record company's decision. Some fans actually bought multiple copies because of what they wanted."
JP: "I'm guilty as charged! I have to admit that I bought copies for my kids as well as getting multiple copies for myself!"
Chris: "Well, you are a part of that 10,500 so thanks for supporting us."
JP: "OK, I have to ask about your mic stand. What is going on with that?"
Maria: "I wanted a unique stand and I collect antique dolls and such. So, it was literally the night before the first Mayhem show and I said to myself that I gotta do this. So, Chris and I sat in his bedroom and he helped me hack it all together and sew it all up. He kind of surprised me because he was really passionate about it and he's usually not an artsy fartsy type of person."
Chris: "She kept on badgering me about it and I knew that I wasn't going to get any peace until it was done."
JP: "Back to last year's Warped tour, looking back on it, what can you draw from doing that type of tour?"
Maria: "To me, the positive would be all of the teenage girls who come up to us and say that they saw us there last year. We do any tour with a positive attitude and take out of it anything positive if we can."
Chris: "Also, it helped us by introducing us to Kevin Lyman who does Mayhem as well."
JP: "So, what's ahead after Mayhem for you guys?"
Maria: "We are going to a few select dates headlining and then we will take about a month off and the go back on the road. The CD is still very new so we plan on touring our butts off here and internationally, but nothing is confirmed yet."
JP: "So, if you guys weren't in a band, what would you be doing right now?"
Maria: "I would be in a circus or an actress. I would need an artistic outlet."
Chris: "If I wasn't doing this, then I would be trying to do this."
JP: "Or possibly designing mic stands?"
Maria: "Yea, but we would still need to hear the roar of the crowd."
JP: "Your fan base continues to grow and grow. You have such an amazing one on one connection with so many fans. Are you worried that connection may be lost as you grow bigger?"
Maria: "I'm not really worried about losing it. We will just have to try harder. I mean look at Korn, as big as they are a t the top of their game and they manage to do signings."
Chris: "We will continue to but just as long as it's safe. Not as much for us guys as it is for Maria. You can't help it, there are alot of strange people out there and we don't want to put her at risk. I mean, we can't go to the soundboard after or before e show as easily anymore and just hangout. Even when Korn does it, it's very controlled and organized. Yet, no matter how big we do get there will always be those fans and friends who have been there since the beginning that we will have that special bond with....no matter what."
JP: "The next single is 'The Promise'. I know you have already shot the video. When will both be released and is there talk of a third single yet?"
Maria: "The single comes out in September and the video will follow. As far as a third one, it depends on how well 'The Promise' does. If it blows up, then we will look at what is possibly the next single."
Chris: "Yea, the record company will pick one and we will pick one and then we will fight it out."
At this point, I thought our interview was complete. I was in for quite a surprise!
Maria: "Do you want a special little treat?"
JP: "Now how can I say no to you?"
Maria: "Do you want to see the rough, rough version of the video for 'The Promise'?"
JP: "Are you serious?"
Chris: "Yea, nobody outside of the band has seen this. Not even our families, you will be the first."
At that point, they turned on the tv and DVD player and I watched the rough cut of the video. Now, Maria swore me to secrecy. She does this all the time! Last year on tour, she told us that they were on the Mayhem 2010 Tour and that I couldn't say a word yet because it wasn't public knowledge yet. I watched the video, probably not knowing that my jaw was hanging wide open. I remember that when the screen faded to black that I looked at Maria and said, "Wow, that was hot!" and she started giggling. Now, I cannot talk about the storyline at all, but I can tell all the fans that it is a very sexy and hot video that uses the art of sexuality in such subtle ways that it makes the video smolder. Oh yea, the ending, if left the same, is very hot too.
So, the interview was over and we left the bus and got pictures and autographs. My shirt smelt like Maria's perfume for a few days and I didn't want to wash it. It was a great night at Amos' and one that I will not forget. I will always have that memory of interviewing Revolver's Hottest Chick In Metal Maria Brink while sitting on her bed in the back of their tour bus. Oh yea, Chris was there too.