Friday, October 28, 2011

Papa Roach Pledges Their Rock Allegiance

The Rock Allegiance Tour is a new tour package this year featuring a bunch of old
friends and touring mates. It also features quite a bit of familiar “radio
hits” for a rock show. Papa Roach is one band responsible many of them. Jacoby
and the boys are co-headlining the tour with Buckcherry. I was fortunate to
catch lead guitarist Jerry Horton in between a meet and greet with fans and
dinner at a show in Winston Salem, NC recently. Jerry caught me up to speed
with the goings on in the world of Papa Roach.

Hey Jerry, thanks again for taking the time this afternoon to talk to us. I know things have been a little hectic with the meet and greet and sound check and
everything. I am sure that not every day on the tour is this hectic. How have
things been so far?

Yeah, today has been a little hectic! I just met someone at the meet and greet who is coming to see us seven shows in a row. That’s amazing! The tour has been going really well and we have been playing to about 5000-6000 fans each night. We’re good
friends with all the bands on the tour and it’s been a lot of fun. This is the
first time that we have actually been able to have a set on stage too. The
feedback is that overall; it’s a really good show.

You guys are still touring off of Time for Annihilation. Have you begun to look forward to the next album?

Oh yeah,this is the last tour for this record cycle and we are going to take a month
off and start writing for the new record. We will probably take about six
months to write and record this time. We usually take about three months for
the entire process, but we’re going to take our time and make sure everything
is right.

Do you have a time frame that you are shooting for as far as a release goes?

We are hoping to have it out by fall of next year. That’s what we are shooting for.

This tour is a new package deal this year. Do you have any say so on a package like this or do you just go where the suits tell you to?

We have a little say so on something like this. There are the people who own the rights to the name of the tour and they did approach us and asked for our input on who should be on it. I think this tour is an amazing package; there are a ton of
radio hits up and down the entire package.

You guys are alternating with Buckcherry on closing the show each night, so you guys both get an hour. How tough is it to pick a set list when you only have that short of an amount of time?

It’s basically all of the radio songs; that’s what it ends up being with a short set
like that. Obviously, it’s a lot better when we have time to do a full set, but
it is what it is.

You guys tour like crazy when you release an album and you seem to stay on the road forever. What are the best and worst parts of being on the road?

The best part is the show and the worst part is being away from family.

What about the food? You guys seem to be in great shape and that has to be tough with eating on the road.

Yeah, the food can be quite treacherous at times. You have to try and be choosey, but
it’s not always an easy thing to do. I have a weakness for cheesecake and
Reeses peanut butter cookies. I definitely need to stay away from the dessert

You have been out with Buckcherry several times in the past and there seems to be a great family type atmosphere to things. What’s it like being out with those guys?

We’re all really good friends and get along great. It’s funny because we keep saying that we all wouldn’t mind not seeing each other for a while. We do love being on the
road with them, but it would be nice to tour with someone else (laughs) for a

I have a few questions that the fans sent me to ask you. What’s your favorite 80s metal/rock album?

That’s a really tough one. I would probably have to go with Metallica And Justice for All. That’s the album that got me into playing guitar.

Favorite guitarist?

I can’t name just one. If I had to pick a couple it would have to be James Hetfield and Jimi Hendrix.

Favorite drummer?

I would have to go with Abe (Cunningham) from the Deftones.

Most underrated band of any era?

Kings X, without a doubt. I have a funny story about Doug (Pinnick) from Kings X. We played at this place called Warehouse Live in Houston and our tour manager was outside where everyone was lined up. He did like a double take and saw Doug in line for the show. They know each other and he yelled at him and asked him what he was doing and Doug said, ‘I’m going to a rock show!’ Then our manager jerked him out of line and let him in. He was just going to buy a ticket like an average Joe and see us play. That was a huge honor for us!

What about any guilty pleasures that you can share?

I am obsessed with cars to the point that it’s like porn for me. I can tell you just
about anything about the. I’m a gear head because my dad did drag racing when I
was younger and it just worked its way into my brain.

If the band gave you the chance to cover any song on the next album, what would you choose to do?

We have talked about this before. We have tossed around the idea of covering “Thunder
and Lightning” by Thin Lizzy. I think I need to learn that solo in order for
that to happen. John Sykes is a force to be reckoned with.

Wow, that would definitely be awesome to hear. I hope you get that solo nailed so that it sees the light of day. I guess we should wrap this up now so that you guys can get ready. Thanks again for your time Jerry. I can’t wait to see you guys tear it up tonight!

Josh Todd of Buckcherry Talks Rock and Roll and Fried Chicken

The Rock Allegiance Tour rolled out onto America recently with a lineup worthy of a very long night of maximum rock. Buckcherry is co-headlining the tour with Papa
Roach. The tatted bad boys from L.A. have been bringing their style of slick
and sometimes raunchy rock each and every night and exciting crowds across the
US on this tour. I caught up with front man Josh Todd before their set in
Winston Salem, NC recently. We talked about AC/DC, opening for KISS and fried

Hey man, I want to start off by saying thanks for taking the time to do this interview. The Rock Allegiance tour is a new package this year. How have things been so far?

It’s been going great! We’ve been touring for our record All Night Long since July of last year, so this is just a small leg of our tour for that album. We’re about 200shows deep. We’re a little tired, but other than that, the shows have been going awesome.

You guys are like a touring machine after you put an album out. You seem to have that old school mentality of hitting the road and staying on it seemingly forever after you have a new album drop.

Yeah, that’s how we built our fan base and our reputation off of the live show. That’s how real rock bands do it; you go out and play live.

So, after this tour end, you guys will be taking part in the Ship Rocked cruise. What can you tell us about that?

We’re doing like three shows or maybe more. I really don’t know that much about it other than it goes on annually and they have been doing it for a while now. They have
been after us to participate, but this is the first time that it actually
worked out with our schedule. It’s going to be a mess; people just hammered

How did signing with 11-7 Music change you guys? Did it free you up and give you more creative control? What was behind the decision to go with them?

11-7 was actually created for Buckcherry. We were the first band to be on it so that we could put an album out. Our manager created it because at the time, nobody
would sign our record 15, which was our highest selling record of all that we have put out. It’s a great story because since we couldn’t get a proper record deal in the states, he started a record label for us. We were the first record and the rest is history. Now, there are all sorts of great bands on the label. It’s just so good to be independent. Basically, a major record label is really just a bank. If you are just starting out and don’t really have a fan base built up yet, a major label can get you on a bill and get tour support. Once you’ve established that base, the way to go is independent. You have more control over everything.

You mentioned All Night Long, which came out in 2010. Are you guys writing or working on any new material yet? With all of your touring, have you even had any time to do so?

We’re thinking about doing a concept record, so we have some ideas in the works.
We’ve been writing some songs, but we have to see how it’s all going to come
out. I think it’s going to be really cool.

Wow, a concept record? That definitely has my curiosity peaked. I can’t wait to hear that. Speaking of curious, I wanted to ask how it was opening up for KISS back in 2009.

It was amazing! That was actually the second KISS tour that we got to go on. We got to open up for them in Europe on our first record. We did a whole tour with them,
24 dates, when they decided to put their makeup back on. We were a brand new
band, we had never been on arena stages and we had never been to Europe. It was
very intimidating, but we had such a good time on that tour. KISS is really
cool because they support real rock and roll bands and they were very cool to
us. They took us under their wing back then and we really appreciated it. Then,
we got the privilege to do it again on here in the States.

I know you guys caught a lot grief for the language that you use during your shows on that tour. I mean, it’s a Buckcherry show and it’s expected. You guys stayed true to yourselves and didn’t change.

Yeah, we did have a lot of problems with the profanity issue on that tour. I mean, I get it because a KISS show now is a family affair. We did our best to clean it up
some, but some of our songs do have profanity in them. I guess it’s just not
acceptable for us to be using it.

You have an hour to play tonight. How tough is it to trim your set list down to fit that time frame?

It is pretty tough because we just finished up doing headlining shows in July and August. Now, we have to condense it down quite a bit because we can’t play as long as
we would like to. The first week or so it takes some getting used to, but now
we’re having a blast out there.

A fan sent me a question to ask you. Are you listening to anything music that may surprise your fans?

I listen to all sorts of stuff. I just like good songs. I like music that
will motivate me. I like Neil Diamond. I just went through a major 70s Bruce
Springsteen phase. I am addicted to his song “Rosalita” right now. I’m really
into Rival Suns. They have two or three records out and they sound like a young
Led Zeppelin and they are awesome.

Here are a few other questions for the fans; best 80s metal/rock album?

AC/DC’s Back in Black; that album changed my life!

Most underrated band?

Do you mean right now or ever? There was a band that came out called Love/Hate and they were amazing, but they never really got a shot. They put out a record called Blackout in the Red Room. For me that record is right up there with Back in
Black and Appetite for Destruction for me. That’s one if you really love rock, then you should really visit that record. They deliver that stuff live perfectly. Jizzy Pearl, the singer, was such an influence on me early on. I would go to LA and see shows when I was like 16 and I had never seen a rock band. I mean, I never really go the glam bands like Poison and all those kind of glammy hair bands I never really got. Then, I saw Love/Hate and I thought this stuff is amazing. Jizzy was rad and he
still is.

Favorite food while you’re out on the road?

I really love fried chicken and I know that it’s probably going to kill me at some
point, but if I can find some good fried chicken, I’m going to go get it. I ate
at Bojangles because it was close to here and I just had to do it. After I’m
done, I’m like man I shouldn’t have done that.

Favorite drink?

Jack and coke.

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this interview than with a great drink! Thanks for the chance to talk with you and I can’t wait to see you guys out on the stage tonight putting on a show like only Buckcherry can do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

80s Metal Goddess Still Throwing Horns After 25 Years

The 80s saw metal explode into the mainstream and take over the radio airwaves and MTV. It was a period dominated heavily by androgynous men and very few women. The few women who did venture in this genre were seen more as eye candy or a novelty act. It was hard for a woman to be taken seriously as a musician during this time.
Germany brought us a heavy metal band by the name of Warlock and was fronted by a blonde warrior by the name of Doro Pesch. Although she was a beautiful woman, she also had a very strong and aggressive nature to her that has allowed her to endure for over 25 years.

Due to legal reasons, the band changed its name in 1989 and released its fifth album as Doro. She received a great deal of exposure on MTV and many of the metal magazines of that era including Metal Edge, Circus and Kerrang. Her album that was produced by Gene Simmons of KISS also garnered quite a bit of attention. Over the last two decades, Doro has continued to record and tour and has even ventured into acting.

This month sees the release of a special 2DVD/CD package entitled 25 Years in Rock. It’s a commemorative package of Doro’s 25th anniversary show from 2008 when she played the ISS Dome in her hometown of Dusseldorf, Germany. It was the 2500th show in her career and a very special day to all of those involved in her career. We recently caught up with Doro who told us all about the new release and reflected on her long career.

Doro, it’s awesome to be able to sit down and talk to you. Your must be very excited about your new album that’s about to come out. Can you give us some details?

Thank you for wanting to talk to me! I am so proud of this album that is coming out. The show is 3 ½ hours long and there are so many guests on there. Klaus and Rudolph from the Scorpions were there and Jean Beauvoir. We also have a lot of the great ladies of metal including Liv Jagrell, Jackie Chambers and more. The show is huge and it took 10 months just to build the stage. It is a visual treat; it’s the home of Warlock. You know how Iron Maiden had Eddie? Well, we had a huge warlock built that rose up behind the drum set. It had lights and smoke coming out of it and it actually scared some people.

I also read that you were going to be doing a few dates here in the states for the release?

Yes, there are two dates with one being 9/9 in New York City and one on 9/11 in Chicago. Those are two of our favorite places to play and we’ve always done really well there. Hopefully, we will be doing many more dates in the US after the new album comes out.

Your career is in its third decade. You have to have a lot of great memories along this crazy metal ride that you have been on?

Wow, there are so many of them. Where do I start? One would be playing with Megadeth in 1986 on the Monsters of Rock. Touring with (Judas) Priest in 86 is another and our 1987 tour with DIO. Then there was our first tour of the US with Megadeth. I loved recording my album in 1990 that Gene Simmons of KISS produced. He has been the best producer that I have ever had. He was a great motivator and he pushed me to achieve more. Did you know that Tommy Thayer, who is in the band now, was my co-producer on there? He also played a lot of the solos too. Gene brought me a demo of a song called “Unholy Love” that he was singing on and told me that he really wanted me to record it.

There weren’t too many women in metal when you started. The few who were seemed to be more eye candy or seen as a novelty act. Do you think you may have broken down a few doors for some of the women in the field today?

I really don’t know if I knocked down any doors, but I may have taught them how to always be a fighter. My fans have always said that my heart beats for metal. The people out there know I love doing this. The truth has always been in my music and it shows. Nowadays, there are so many more great women out there making music and it has brought more of a balance to the field.

You are and definitely always have been the real deal. How else would you still be doing this after over 25 years? How do you stay inspired? What keeps you motivated?

The fans always have and always will motivate me. I have a great fan base and I live for them. That’s one reason that I have never been married because of how important they are to me. I always have them in my heart and in the back of my mind.

Speaking of your fans, when can they expect some new material from you?

I am hoping, fingers crossed, to have my new studio album out next year. We already have been performing one song from it called “Raise Your Fists” which we opened Waken in Germany with it and the fans loved it. We have been writing for it and it’s going to have all the ingredients; heavy, hardcore, speed and lots of anthems. We will then be here in the states touring as much as we can and hitting as many markets as possible.

That sounds awesome and we can’t wait! Doro, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us. Here’s to 25 more years and a 50th anniversary DVD to come out in the future.

Talking Music With John Corabi

John Corabi is one of those guys that everyone has heard of, yet nobody knows who he is. Well, don’t take that quite literally! John had been in numerous bands and projects, such as The Angora and The Scream, before landing his biggest mainstream gig as lead singer in Motley Crue. His stint with the Crue back in 1994 is still a controversial subject amongst the ranks of Crue fans.

John went on to form Union with Bruce Kulick, former KISS guitarist and also be a part of ESP: The Eric Singer Project which also included Kulick. John has been busy this year touring with Cinderella and performing a one-man acoustic show. This is to coincide with the recording of and eventual release of his first acoustic album. I had the chance to catch John’s acoustic set in Charlotte, NC and I got the opportunity to speak with him backstage afterwards about all things Corabi.

Hey John, it’s great to see you man. That was one amazing set that you just performed out there. You are one of those rare exceptions where a singer’s voice is actually better live than on the album. It has that rough edge to it, but is full of raw emotion. A very interesting set list too.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. Yeah, the set list is ever changing. I have so much that I can choose from. I want to throw in a Scream song and something from Union and of course the Crue. I also try to do a song or two from my upcoming acoustic album as well and some covers of songs I love.

Can you tell us more about the acoustic album that you’re working on?

Definitely! I am having a blast putting it together. It’s going to include acoustic versions of my old stuff and there will be about 5 or 6 new songs on there too. I was hoping to have it to sell on the tour, but it may not happen. I am doing this one by myself including releasing it because I have no label right now. The industry is going through such a crazy period right now that this seemed the best way of doing it.

What do you have lined up after the acoustic album comes out?

After I get the acoustic album finished in Nashville, I am going to work on putting out a regular, electric album with the band I am using. I have to work on that between my gigs this summer and hopefully have it out early next year.

I had the opportunity to interview Bruce Kulick at his BK3 release party at the KISS Coffeehouse. We talked about your collaboration on “No Friend of Mine” and the possibility of a full scale Union reunion.

I would love for us to get together and do something. It’s just tough to get all four of us free at the same time. I’m doing mine thing right now and Bruce is busy with Grand Funk Railroad. Jaime and Brent are busy guys too, but I am open to it.

Union put out some amazing music. Do you think the timing was wrong because of what was going on in the industry?

Maybe so because Union seems to have taken on a life all its own. I have had so many people come up to me and tell me how much they loved us. It seems to have grown over the years, almost like becoming a cult favorite. Maybe the market just wasn’t right for what we brought to it.

Almost like the album that you recorded with the Crue! There seems to be a line drawn in the sand when it comes to that album. You have one side saying it was the worst album that they ever recorded, yet the other side stands by it as their best album ever. Personally, I love it and think it’s some of the best material that they ever recorded and definitely some of the best songwriting.

Thanks man! It’s good to hear that from the fans because it seems as if Nikki just wants to forget that album even happened. It’s like they are sweeping it under the rug like there’s this big cover up. They don’t even include it on some of the greatest hits compilations that they put out.

I have to ask you John; you looked like you were having a blast up on that stage tonight. There you were with just the mic, your barstool and your acoustic guitar. You are so vulnerable up there in that type of situation. A few songs into your set and you had the crowd eating out of the palm of your hand. Was it as much fun for you as it appeared to us in the crowd?

Oh hell yeah! That’s what I love, that’s what I live for. I don’t think I could do a normal 9 to 5 job!

I think I can speak on behalf of all of the fans and tell you that we’re all glad that you don’t work 9 to 5.

Cinderella and John Corabi Deliver An Awesome Night Of Music

There was something special in the air that night in Charlotte. You could just tell it was going to be a magical night. The Cinderella tour had pulled into town and the line outside started forming early in the afternoon. The small club was a far cry from “back in the day” when stadiums and huge arenas were being packed. Cinderella is celebrating their 25th anniversary on this tour and they prove that they haven’t missed a step.

The show started with John Corabi (Union, The Scream, Motley Crue) opening up for the band and getting the crowd warmed up. That’s a tough thing to do when all you have is a mic, a barstool and an acoustic guitar. Well, that an amazing passion for the art that you create. Corabi opened with “Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore)” from his former band Union which included former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. He also included a couple of Scream songs including the amazing “Father, Mother, Son” which received a huge response.

“Hooligan’s Holiday” was next from his much underrated and sometimes missing in action album that he recorded as lead vocalist of Motley Crue. He also included a very of the Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” that was so heartfelt and full of emotion that it was truly moving. Corabi’s set was just that; it was real and genuine and from the heart. He shared great stories with us and brought the entire club together for his short set.

Cinderella stormed the stage next and ripped into “Once Around The Ride” from their debut album Night Songs”. This was the first time that I had seen the band since lead singer Tom Keifer’s throat surgery. His voice did seem a little strained at first; as if he didn’t take the time to warm up, but all that soon changed. “Shake Me” was next and the crowd’s reaction was as if gas had been poured on a once small fire. Their biggest hit being played two songs into their set has to speak volumes. Everyone knew at that point why there was something special in the air that night. We were about to be blown away by a band whose decade is seen as one full of bad songs and bad fashion choices.

The set list for the remainder of the night read like a Cinderella’s greatest Hits album. “Somebody Save” me brought back memories of watching MTV to see the great music videos that Cinderella always made. I have to add that the songs did not sound dated; they had a very fresh sound to them and the boys delivered a solid performance on each and every one. Tom commanded that center stage and kept the banter to a minimum, but the rock and roll output to a maximum.

The stage went dark and the roadies rolled out a beautiful piano and the lighters went up in the air. Yes, a few cell phones did too, but it doesn’t compare to a sea of lighters. The crowd knew that Cinderella’s power ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)” was next and it was such a great moment when Tom sat down at that piano and began the song. The band left the stage, but returned a short time later to the roar of the frenzied crowd. “Long Cold Winter” and “Shelter Me” were the encore song choices and the band then did a bow to the crowd and thanked them for 25 years of good times.

What we saw on this special night was not a band just going through the motions. They seemed hungrier than I remember when I saw them open for Bon Jovi back in 1987. It was a show heavy in substance and light in style. One problem with so many bands from that era was that they were just the opposite. Cinderella did have a great lightshow that night, but there were no props used that night. It was a night of pure musicianship and talent.

There are a lot of bands out on the road these days who act as if we, the fans, owe them something. They stand on the stage like mannequins and they seem like they are bored. These are both young bands and bands who have been around long enough to know better. Today’s economy stinks and for some of these people to fork out money for a concert ticket and not get their money’s worth is downright disrespectful. With that being said, I feel like I owe John Corabi and Cinderella more than what the ticket sold for because that was a steal!