Raquel Figlo

MI Conversation Series Presents: Rob Halford

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Most Friday nights you can find the bars in Hollywood filled with rockers and metal heads, but this was no ordinary Friday night.  Tonight, school was in session with the ultimate metal god Rob Halford of Judas Priest in a candid conversation led by AP writer Ryan J Downey.  Hollywood’s Music Institute has been hosting sit down one on one talks with famous musicians hoping to inspire a new generation and support their dreams of rock n roll fantasies.

Tonight Rob Halford shared stories of what it was like recording music with his band Judas Priest and how he is surprised he is still alive. He touched on a couple subjects that stood out to and inspired me. He said back when he started music, the record companies had money, but now there is no money in music and everyone is scrambling trying to figure it all out. But he did say to the crowd of hungry metal heads, don’t give up your dreams and always keep trying. We hear this over and over again, but for some reason coming from the metal god it seemed to stick more and made me think about my dedication to the metal community and what kind of mark I want to make. Rob Halford also touched on the subject of the PBS documentary about the two young boys that shot and killed themselves after they heard a Judas Priest record. You could see on Rob’s face that this was an emotional topic, because it would have changed his life and the fate of music forever if the court case was decided the other way. A lot of metal bands would have been in trouble and music would be regulated and censored.

At the end of the night, Musicians Institute let the audience have an opportunity to ask Rob some questions of their own.  I thought it was endearing to hear the young students start their questions with, “HI Rob my name is so and so”, and Rob would greet them and call them by their first name. They must have felt like they were on cloud nine to have metal god Rob Halford address them by their first name. A lot of the attendees let Rob know how influential he was in their life. One guy said he has an autistic son, but when he puts on Judas Priest his kid starts rocking out and is aware of his surroundings. That is incredible, we hear stores like this all the time that music is universal and brings life into people.  The fact that it is metal music that helped this man’s son makes that more special and Rob Halford liked it too.   The interview was two hours of intense focus on Rob, the time went by so fast that some metal heads didn’t get a chance to ask their questions. When the night ended, you left with a lot more knowledge about the metal god beyond just his epic high pitched notes and loud appearance on stage. Rob mentioned that perhaps the new Judas Priest album will be the best one yet.   The bar is set very high with all their classics, so we shall see.  Rob seemed to be very proud and excited to get the new album out to his fans. He said to follow him on IG because it is really him and he posts. His IG is @robhalfordlegacy.  I started following and so should you.

Raquel Figlo

The Night Time Show with Stephen Kramer Glickman, where Metal meets Comedy!

The Late Night Show

Bill Farmer I first heard about The Night Time Show with Stephen Kramer Glickman when Ironaut, a local Los Angeles metal band, invited me to check them out when they played as the house metal band for the show.  I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be like every other standup comedy night I have been to: a handful of comics telling jokes one right after the other; some would be funny, others not so much.

The Late Night Show proved to be much more than that. It was something completely different and innovative because it combines the best of standup comedy using a talk show format and incorporating a different METAL BAND as the house band each time. Typical of other late night talk shows in this genre, Glickman starts the night by telling a few jokes about current events or as he calls it “Headlines”, before moving behind a desk where celebrity comedians talk to him after their set.  During the course of the show, it has all the elements of great late night television show like video clips, comedic sketches, interviews, and crowd interaction that is more edgier than what you see on broadcast TV!

It was a sold out show on May 14 and the biggest star of the evening was Dane Cook, who seemed to have a chip on his shoulder because he snapped at both the drummer of Ironaut and a photographer just doing her job! Bill Farmer, best known for voicing Disney’s Goofy for the last 30 years, stole the show IMO when he parodied Pulp Fiction, in the voices of Bugs Bunny and Evangelist Billy Graham doing the “Say what Mother F*ck*r” scene. Other stars of the night included an epic set from Tom Segura, Mike Black and Helen Hong who were all extremely funny and in good spirits! Fire Ball Whisky started the night with free drinks to the first 100 attendees while Stephen Glickman capped the night off by passing out delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the audience!

The next Night Time Show with Stephen Glickman is June 18th   in the main room of The Hollywood Improv. I suggest you get your tickets now because the show is known for selling out! This month’s lineup includes Mo Collins, Jeff Richards, Harland Williams, Wendy Liebman and The Lucas Brothers!!!! The house band for the night is SPEED METAL BAND “EXMORTUS”!!!!  And my personal favorite perk… the first 100 AUDIENCE MEMBERS GET A FREE FIREBALL WHISKY Drink!

More about Stephen Glickman:

RNR: When did you decide a life of comedy was the way to go?

Stephen: I got stuck in a waterslide when I was 14 years old because I was too fat. I realized that my most embarrassing moments are my favorite stories to tell and that the best comedy is born from pain.

RNR: Were you always an entertainer?

Stephen: Yes. I have always been a ridiculous person.

RNR: What do you want people to know about your late night comedy show?

Stephen: The Night Time Show is the only LIVE late night show in Los Angeles. We have the best comedians on stage and the greatest metal bands on earth playing with us on every show. We also give away close to 100 shots of Fireball Whisky to the audience at the top of the show. It’s a big night with surprise guests. It’s fucking awesome.

RNR: Have you ever been to a metal show? Do you like metal? What bands do you like?

Stephen: Yes of course. ACDC is the greatest concert I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen Tool, Marilyn Manson and a ton more live in concert, but in the last few years I got really into Cannibal Corpse, Meshuggah, Exmortus, Fear Factory, Mini Kiss and Ironaut. It is my dream to have Mac Sabbath on our show.

RNR: What future projects are you working on?

Stephen: Becoming a WWE wrestler, booking more badass guests on The Night Time Show podcast and blowing shit up in the desert.

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Make sure to follow:

Stephen Glickman: https://www.facebook.com/beforenickelodeon.itwasjustglickman?fref=ts

Ironaut: https://www.facebook.com/ironautmusic/?fref=ts

Hollywood Improv: https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodImprov/?fref=ts

Fireball WhiskEy: https://www.facebook.com/FireballWhisky/?fref=ts

By Raquel Figlo

“The Yellow King” : Interview with Erik Kluiber of Ironaut

 

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Here is the full length interview with Erik Kluiber, lead singer and bassist for Ironaut from the current issue of RNR Magazine. They are getting some killer reviews and building quite the fan base! They just played Loaded last night in Hollywood. If you missed them, you have a chance to check them out in March on the following dates:

Friday March 4th
at Scotland Yard Club with
Taarkus
Beastmaster
Ironaut
Black Prism
Monday March 21st
Metal Mondays at Blacklight District Lounge with
Red River Massacre
Grand Lord High Master
Ironaut
Malison
Atala
Thursday March 24th
Viper Room with
Black Tusk
Holy Grail
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Check out their music video “Horned Goat.”

Since the days when he was the guitarist for Gypsyhawk, a lot has changed for Erik  Kluiber, who now fronts Ironaut, a heavy doom metal band! Earlier this year, I saw Ironaut perform at Loaded in Hollywood. At the time, the band was strictly instrumental and I could tell these were seasoned musicians with lots of talent and passion. Recently, Erik stepped up to the plate as the band’s lead singer and now Ironaut is causing a colossal wave for the doom stoner metal scene in LA. They can definitely be the next pioneers for the movement and they have a great shot with the support of legendary producer Paul Fig, who is engineering their upcoming EP. Ironaut is a three piece band of skilled musicians who play intense guitar solos, thunderous drumming and dark, disturbing lyrics from the mind of the yellow king, himself.

This was the second time I interviewed Erik. The first time was when he was with Gypsyhawk in 2013. You can see that interview on the Rock ‘N Roll Industries YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/Rocknrollindustries)

RNR:  What is the history of the Ironaut?

ERIK KLUIBER: In late summer of 2014, I was the guitarist for Gypsyhawk who had just disbanded.  I had to start all over again, so I went back to Craigslist and started searching.  Many people despise Craigslist, but I’ve actually had a lot of success with it.  I’ve landed a lot of gigs through it including White Wizzard, Scattered Hamlet, Gypsyhawk, and now Ironaut.

Guitarist Pat McHugh had an ad listed for a band he’d been demoing for years called Ironaut.  His ad caught my eye because of the influences, artwork, and original recordings he posted online.  He needed a bass player, so I picked up a bass and learned four of his tunes.  We got together with a drummer he had at the time and it was alright, but nothing really happened.  We kept in touch and tried jamming again in early 2015. That’s when we found drummer Ivan Najor and things clicked.  We wrote a bunch of tunes and started playing instrumental shows while we looked for a vocalist. After six months of not finding anyone to sing for us I said, “Fuck it – I’ll do it,” and here we are.

RNR:  Who writes the songs and what are they about?

ERIK KLUIBER: For the album, two of the songs are reworks of Pat’s instrumental demos while the other three were written collaboratively at our practice space, one riff at a time.  After six months of jamming and playing out, we stopped writing music because we got way too far ahead of ourselves.  It was not our intention to write endless instrumentals.  Once I took on vocal duty, we went back and reformatted our stoner progressive metal instrumentals into songs.  Pat and I worked together on lyrics for the first three.  Once I got the hang of it, I took over and finished the remaining two on my own.  Pat draws from stoney cosmic overtones and I like to inject dark sarcasm fueled by Facebook rants and coffee binges.

RNR: You are working with well known producer Paul Fig who has worked with great metal and rock bands such as Alice in Chains, Huntress, and Ghost. Tell me about Paul and what was the conception of the album and recording of it like?

ERIK KLUIBER: Paul Fig is an amazing producer/engineer who I never thought we’d have the chance to work with. That’s the beauty of this town.  On St. Patrick’s Day this year, I was part of a music video that producer Jim Rota of Fireball Ministry was working on.  Around that time Ironaut was looking to record a demo, but the studio Pat used previously had lost its lease.  I asked Jim if he had a studio to recommend and he said “Yeah, mine.”  Ironaut was initially thinking of recording a longer instrumental album, but we gave my voice a shot and made the switch to a three piece band with vocals. Two months later we booked the time with Paul and went for it.

Paul recorded us playing live without a click track to capture the feel of Ironaut’s sound.  We recorded many takes of each song.  We recorded over and over until the song found its peak and then recorded a few more takes until we started to suck.  The first two days were spent finding the tones and recording the live takes.  We kept the drums and most of the live bass.  We spent the next few days on guitars, and then about 3-4 hours per song for vocals.

There was a good team chemistry between the four of us with Paul at the captain’s chair.  That’s important, because time is limited in the studio and you can second guess yourself to death.  Paul stepped in when we needed him and helped us make decisions to make sure the album came out right.  The dude knows heavy music and isn’t going to let a sub-par performance slide under his watch.

RNR: You started off as an instrumental band. Now you are the lead singer and playing bass, is it difficult to do both? Has the style of the music changed since you added vocals, or is it the same?

ERIK KLUIBER: When you start writing songs as instrumentals and then go back to fit in vocals, you hear things differently. The style is still the same, but we had to rearrange the songs for them to be effective. I like how things turned out because the structure of the songs are still unconventional and interesting.  It’s not easy to play and sing, but it’s been a mind expanding challenge.  I never thought I’d be playing bass and singing for a band, but it seems to work.  Necessity is the mother of invention.

RNR: What are some of your pet peeves?

ERIK KLUIBER: You can’t wait forever to make things happen.  I’ve been in bands that take an eternity to do the simplest shit.  It’s like, what the fuck is the fucking problem?  You’ve got to have forward momentum, always.  I’ve got better things to do than sit around in a tiny room and smell other guy’s farts when the music isn’t happening.

RNR: What do you want fans to know about your music before they listen to it?

ERIK KLUIBER: Some of our favorite bands are Entombed, High on Fire, COC, and The Sword.  I think there is a group of heavy music fans who will enjoy what we do.  It’s metal with a stoner/doom edge but, at the same time, high energy with solid riffing.  Our album should be out and free to stream by the time this interview is printed.

RNR: How is Ironaut different from your previous bands?

ERIK KLUIBER: I’ve never been in a three piece before and there is purity to it, which I find exciting. We thought for a while that we’d find a bassist and a singer, and I’d switch over to guitar like every other band I’ve been in.  After a few rehearsals, we found that the three of us made plenty of noise on our own and it was fun.  It sounds tight and less people equals less stress!  The three of us are all from the Great Lakes region.  Pat’s from Chicago, and Ivan and I are from Detroit…  Three kindred souls far from home, found together by chance, perhaps in the right place at the right time.

RNR: What is your own personal favorite album of the year?

ERIK KLUIBER: My favorite album of 2015 is Ghost – Meliora

RNR: Anything else you want to tell your fans and our readers?

ERIK KLUIBER: Check out Ironaut at www.facebook.com/ironautmusic

Raquel Figlo

 

Kelly Maglia: Rocket Queen

 

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If you are lacking motivation or inspiration in your life, let me introduce you to Kelly Maglia, the most talented and hard-working lady you will ever meet! She is a clothing and costume designer, entrepreneur, pole dancer, business owner, blogger, guitarist, and now rock n roll goddess! She recently debuted her latest EP “Just Enough Rough” and it is getting a lot of attention. A classically trained vocalist, you would swear she was a seasoned Metal star with years of performing behind her. Her live shows are as theatrical as they are musically captivating.  But, as with many people, life got in the way of her dreams and instead of pursuing a performing career she started several clothing lines and outfitted others who performed on stage.   After years of running her very successful dancewear company, she is back to following her rock ‘n roll dreams and taking every little bit of experience she has gained along the way to build a solid path to reach rock stardom. And many of her live shows feature her talents as a pole dancer!! We sat down at the famous rock bar Loaded, in Hollywood, to see what she has in store for her fans in 2016.

RNR: I read that you are trained as a coloratura soprano before turning to pop music. How does that work as you venture into other genres?

Kelly:  A coloratura soprano is a type of classical opera singer. It is typically a very high light voice, with a lot of fast notes. My voice tends to sit in a really high place which is interesting since I am now singing rock and metal. So that was quite a journey for me, but I have been training with a vocal coach for quite a while now and it is paying off.

RNR: When did you start playing guitar? What bands influenced you?

Kelly: I started playing guitar five years ago. I am obsessed with Skid Row. I love the twin guitar work in that band. The first songs I learned on guitar were Skid Row songs.

RNR: You are very well educated. Tell me about your time in London? Did that have any influence on your writing style today?

Kelly: I won a scholarship to study in London and I ended up staying there for four years. I worked in the theater as a literary manager, meaning I read all the submitted plays to the theater. I worked on very established plays as well and worked with the directors. That experience has very much effected what I do now in rock ‘n roll.  All my lyrics have some kind of story. They all have a beginning, middle and end. The live shows I do also have a great theatrical experience to them.

RNR: Who is the “New Kelly Maglia” that you describe in your promotional trailer?

Kelly: Previously, my website was exclusively to costume design for the pole and burlesque communities. I become known in those communities as “Kelly the costume designer.”  I still am that, I love costumes, but the “new Kellymaglia.com” was designed to focus on the music and that is kind of the dream I have had for a really long time. Now it is all about the music but the fashion is very much alive.

RNR: When did you first try pole dancing and playing guitar? How did the crowd react?

Kelly: I started pole dancing and playing guitar around the same time. I didn’t really think about combining the two, but it all happened when we were playing a show at the Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood. I just thought, “I bet I could climb this pole with the guitar on my back and swing it around to the front and play.” It was right in the middle of the song “Still of the Night” by White Snake and I thought to myself, “I can do this.” So I did it. I climbed up and played a few chords and people went crazy over it! It has now become a signature move of mine.

RNR: What inspires you to write your music?

Kelly: The lyrics come first. It always comes from a life experience. Usually something that happened with me and a guy. Very often I will be sitting somewhere and the first verse shows up in my head and it is just off and running from there. The song, “Just Enough Rough” which is my first single, I wrote the riffs on the guitar before I had any lyrics. It was an exercise my guitar teacher had given me.  I put the riffs aside and then one day I was in the shower and the first line ”You say that you are a shit show” popped in my head and I was like, “Oh my, I know what this song is about!” (Laughs).

RNR: What are the reviews saying about “Just enough Rough?”

Kelly: We just released an EP. So far it hasn’t even been out for over a month yet and it has been getting a really great response. My favorite is from Hair Metal Mansion. Andrew the Axe Man listed my EP as one of the top five of 2015.

RNR: Tell me more about your live shows?

Kelly: I like to describe my live shows as Van Halen meets Cirque du Soleil. We are a modern take on 80’s hair metal with pole dancing, but we also include aerialists and contortionists. Moving forward more emphasis will be on my band and my original music. We will still highlight our sexy pole dancers and a story that is woven throughout the show.

RNR: Tell us about Kelly’s Closet, your couture clothing line.

Kelly: I am really excited about Kelly’s Closet. We launched our first collection last year and now we are really coming into full circle of what I really want to do. Every time I release a new music video I am going to release a new clothing collection inspired by the music videos. For example, you can watch my music video and see all the costumes that I designed for myself and for my dancers and you will be able to buy a version of that from Kelly’s Closet. We will have different versions all the way from the couture, to the affordable pieces that are inspired by everything you see in the videos.

RNR: What are you hoping 2016 will bring?

Kelly: I want this year to be the year I go out on the road. We spent 2015 writing the album, building the brand new website, and launching Kelly’s Closet. This year I am ready to take my live show to the world!

For more in formation on the fabulous kelly, please visit: http://kellymaglia.com/

By Raquel Figlo

Affliction Studio Grand opening and Megadeth take over; Dystopia private listening party!

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I have been anticipating the grand opening of the Affliction studio and Megadeth listening party for over a month now and it was well worth the wait. As you walked in the warehouse there is a state of the art radio studio with big microphones and a nice sized stage! The event was held on January 21st, and it was  invite only, but for those who wanted to be a part of the action and could not, they could watch the live stream on the Affliction YouTube Channel . It was a packed house and I recognized a lot of familiar faces like Dino Cazares (Fear Factory), his lovely wife Jennifer, Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Thom Hazaert (David Ellefson Productions) and Sonny “Rock My Walls” photography. Everyone at the event had a smile on their face and a cool beverage in their hand from the open bar. The margaritas were spicy and delicious and if you were in the mood for a more manly drink, you could ask for a “Lemmy.” Outside in the parking was fresh tacos provided by Borracho Tacos. You had a choice of carne, pollo and cheese quesadillas. I got all three and I was definitely satisfied.

The night was hosted by Jose Mangin, Affliction VP of Brand Management and radio personality of my favorite station on SiriusXM, Liquid Metal. The other host of honor was “God Father” of thrash Dave Mustaine, who was in great spirits throughout the night walking around the warehouse, doing a little shopping, eating tacos and taking selfies with the VIP’s! The night was full of excitement with opening band Painted Wives who put on a great performance and had the future metalheads of America at their feet, literally. It must have been the lead singer Justin Suitor’s son, because they were both wearing the same blue checkered flannel. The little boy kept making his way closer up to the stage. The blasting sounds of metal did not bother him one bit! I am a new fan of Painted Wives after hearing them live. I did a little shopping myself and enjoyed the 65% off mark down that Affliction gave all VIP guests. The store had a lot to choose from and a lot of new gear I haven’t seen before.

It was now time to listen to the new album, Dystopia. Jose gave a welcoming introduction with Dave Mustaine and Kiko Luererio on stage. Jose asked Dave, “Do you have any words you would like to say to your fans?” Dave responds, “Hi.” After many laughs by the crowd, Dave continued to say, “I want to thank Jose and Affliction. And for everybody to look around and enjoy the evening, enjoy how beautiful we all are and how much fun this night is going to be!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was a great leeway into the new album that was played in full blast and enjoyed by everyone! The night wrapped up with California hard rock band KYNG who always put on an energetic and killer show. I have seen them many times and like them very much! It was a great night and I am so excited to see future events at the Seal Beach HQ. Affliction really did a great job of entertaining the crowd, offering the killer discount and making everyone feel right at home! Make sure to grab the new album Dystopia by Megadeth and go visit the new and improved Affliction warehouse and grab some new gear!

Raquel Figlo

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Metal Allegiance Plays Loud and Fast in Honor of the Late Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister

 

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January 9th was a day of celebration and mourning for the recent loss of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, former frontman of the band Motorhead, who passed away two weeks ago of terminal brain and neck cancer. The official memorial service was streamed live at the Rainbow Room in Hollywood, California and the Sunset Strip was packed with fans, rock stars, friends and family who all came out to pay their respect to the rock ’n roll legend.  The all-star band Metal Allegiance, previously scheduled at the Whisky a Go Go that night, was asked if they would play a tribute to Lemmy and they agreed.

While Metal Allegiance is an all-star metal band created by Mark Menghi and his friends David Ellefson (Megadeth), Alex Skolnick, (Testament), and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs), this particular night was the ultimate metal jam in tribute for Lemmy with Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), and Troy Sanders (Mastodon). Additional guests included Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), John Tempesta (The Cult), Mike Tempesta (Powerman 5000), and Mikkey Dee (Motörhead).

Metal Allegiance took the crowd by storm opening up with Electric Eye by Judas Priest, lead by Mark Oseguda. Mosh pits broke out and the packed house at the Whisky was going nuts enjoying their metal idols singing their hearts out. Metal Allegiance also played songs from AC/DC, Van Halen, Sepultura, Metallica, Accept and Black Sabbath, but that was just the beginning. Then they played some of their songs from their recently released self-titled album and then got right into Motorhead songs. They played Killed by Death that got the crowd in frenzy, Ace of Spades and The Chase is Better than the Catch.  A very emotional highlight of the evening is when Mikkey Dee former drummer of Motorhead came out on stage and had everyone bow their heads for 15 seconds to show their respect for their fallen member.  Then the celebration continued with MotorHead classics and ended with a very loud Seek and Destroy by Metallica!

Two of the opening bands were Doll Skin and Cage. The girls in Doll Skin are very talented, sounded great and had killer voices, cute haircuts and bad ass attitudes! The next band Cage, sounded great as well. The vocals on Sean Peck (lead singer) were high and mighty and reminincent of Rob Halford of Judas Priest.

Lemmy touched the hearts of many musicians and it showed that night how much he was respected and idolized as a great friend and fellow Rock n’ Roller. Live Fast, Die Old. Rest in Peace Lemmy Kilmister.

By Raquel Figlo

Devilskin and Tracii Guns LIVE at the Whisky a Go Go April 29th!

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Devilskin photos by Enrique Nunez

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As a music blogger I have the opportunity to interview and check out new bands as I try to support the music scene as much as I can. When I was asked to interview New Zealand band Devilskin, who opened up for legendary musician Tracii Guns, I jumped on the opportunity and did as much research as I could to see what this band was all about. They definitely lived up to their reputation as arena rock performers.

Devilskin is a Rock/metal band from Hamilton, New Zealand that was formed in 2010 by lead guitarist Nail and bassist Paul Martin. Jennie Skullander is the lead vocalist who is not only gorgeous but has amazing vocal range and can growl with the best of them. Drummer Nic Martin is not only the youngest member of the band but he is also the son of Paul Martin. Imagine going on tour with your dad? Nic’s an excellent drummer with lots of energy who hits the drums with great power and precision. The band debuted their album “We Rise” in July 2014 and it entered the national charts in New Zealand at number one and became certified gold. Super impressive!

Performing at the Whisky a Go Go on April 29th was their first LA show and they nailed it! The crowd’s reaction was positive and from the look on everyone’s faces they were impressed by Devilskin’s performance! You can check out their videos on YouTube and one of my favorite songs already is Little Pills because of the melody and heavy riffs. A lot of the songs they sing have depth and meaning, something you can relate too. You can read my full length interview with Devilskin in the next issue of Rock ‘N Roll Industries Magazine.

I was hanging out upstairs by the bar waiting for Tracii Guns to take the stage when Rudy Sarzo walks up and, of course, I had to stop him and take a photo! He is so nice and a killer bassist. For those who don’t know he was in Quite Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. He has had quite the career and he still is playing bass and killing every performance. You can catch him all over rock venues in LA! However, I am glad to see him sharing the stage with Tracii Guns formally of LA Guns! When Tracii Gun’s band started to play I couldn’t help but notice the lead singer Keith St. John because he is very charismatic. His stage presents reminds me of Robert Plant back in the 70’s and he has the vocals and the look of a rock star. Tracii Guns is just the ultimate shredder on the axe! He really put on a great performance that night and did it with great passion and energy. The night had a special surprise when 11 year old drumming prodigy Jagger Alexander-erber took the stage. He was on the television program Australia’s Got Talent. His parents were in the audience grinning ear to ear as he played a Led Zeppelin song with the band. He shocked the whole audience how incredible he was. Tracii gave Jagger a hug when the song ended and was super impressed, himself, by the performance! It was a great night for Rock N Roll!

By Raquel Figlo

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Septicflesh and Moonspell reign Kings at the Black Castle

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It’s been a year since I last saw SepticFlesh while they toured with legendary death metal band Deicide. I was excited to hear they were going to play the Black Castle and it was going to be the only Los Angeles or Orange County appearance of The Conquerors of the World III Tour. I have never been to the Black Castle and heard it was not in a safe neighborhood but if you are a true metalhead the Black Castle is right up your alley. They sell beer and nachos out of a pickup truck in the back of the venue and it doesn’t get more metal than that!

On May First, Church of the 8th Day and The Elegy Ensemble put on a killer lineup consisting of the bands Septicflesh, Moonspell, DeathStars, Noctuary and Kaustik. It was a late start because of stage and sound issues, typical of LA, but once the bands started going the audience was forgiving and headbanged the night away. I missed the first couple bands because I was on the SepticFlesh tour bus interviewing one of the founding members Christos Antoniou who plays Guitars & Orchestral. I posted a question on FaceBook asking fans what they would ask Septicflesh and Blake Ryan Chadwick asked, “Do you have any responsibilities/jobs/hobbies outside the band?” Christos response was, “We don’t have normal jobs. I work as a composer. I have my own professional studio in Athens, Greece and my brother (Seth Siro Anton-lead singer and bass) does art work for other bands.” You can read the entire interview in the next issue of Rock N Roll Industries Magazine when it comes out!

I was able to catch part of DeathStars’ set. I have never seen them before but I heard great things about the band. What makes this tour especially unique is Septicflesh released Titan in 2014, Moonspell just dropped their new album Extinct on March 6th, and Deathstars released The Perfect Cult in 2014. This long and extensive tour is hitting big markets and is a great way to promote all three releases! I was really looking forward to seeing Moonspell not only because I dig their music, but I also got to meet the band on the Septicflesh tour bus before the show. Moonspell is a Portuguese gothic metal band that was formed in 1992, and is the most recognizable metal band from Portugal. They play dark metal at its finest. Not only can you headbang to the music, but it is also captivating and hypnotizes at the sometime.

SepticFlesh hit the stage with force and held nothing back! During the set Seth Siro Anton introduced their new drummer Kerim “Krimh” Lechner and he fit right into the band, never missing a beat! What I like about Septicflesh is they have incorporated the Prague Philharmonic on a number of albums. This is the work of Christos, who is a composer and has studied classical music in England. The last album from Septicflesh is Titan and to me one of their best work. They played quite a few songs from their new album and I am glad because it is one of my favorites. ‘ProtoType’and ‘Prometheus’are two of my favorite songs off the new album because of the intensity of the orchestra and the heaviness of the riffs. I highly recommend you check out the music video for ‘Prometheus,’ it is a work of art in a disturbing way! I will let you be the judge!

Septicflesh performed incredibly with their captivating stage presence, dressed like dark armored knights. I was in the pit front row next to the stage headbanging enjoying the show. Surprisingly enough, there were a lot of girls in the audience enough and they too were rocking out harder then the next girl! I always enjoy seeing Septicflesh and I look forward to the next time they are in town! Hopefully we will have new music from them by then.

 

Tour Dates:

4/24 Mexico City, MX – Circo Volador

4/25 Austin, TX – Dirty Dog #

4/26 Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club #

4/28 Phoenix, AZ – Joe’s Grotto #

4/29 Ramona, CA – Ramona Mainstage #

4/30 Las Vegas, NV – LVCS #

5/2 Oakland,CA – Metro Opera House #

5/3 Portland, OR – Tonic Lounge #

5/4 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven #

5/5 Spokane, Wa – The Pin #

5/6 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre #

5/9 Indianopolis, IN – Emerson Theater #

5/10 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room #

5/11 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s #

5/12 Cleveland, OH – The Agora Theatre #

5/13 Toronto, ON – The Opera House #

5/14 Montreal, QC – Theatre Corona #

5/15 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall #

5/16 Worcester, MA – The Palladium #

5/17 New York,NY – Gramercy Theatre #

5/18 Springfield, VA – Empire #

5/19 Atlanta, GA – Hell (The Masquerade) #

^^ w/ Moonspell

# with Moonspell & Deathstars

 

By Raquel Figlo

UnBlackened: Black Label Society at the Grove of Anaheim

 

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The Grove of Anaheim was the last stop on the “UnBlackened” tour by the almighty Black Label Society, fronted by the ultimate shredder Zakk Wylde. I was lucky enough to catch Zakk play a tribute song to Dime Bag Darrell at last year’s Golden God Awards, but hearing the whole band play an acoustic set is a whole other experience.

I am so glad they decided to make their one night only concert at Club Nokia Live DVD and CD in Los Angeles, a US tour. With their album “Catacombs of the Black Vatican” that was released last April, they added a new member to the family. Dario Lorina formally of Lizzy Bordan, is the new axe-slinger for BLS replacing long time guitarist Nick Catanese. When Zakk introduced each of the band members, he said that Dario not only kills it on the guitar, but he also makes a tasty chicken piccata! Still in the band is brother John (JD) DeServio on bass and Jeff Fabb on drums.

I arrived to the ceremony right in time for the black curtain to drop. A space was saved for me in the front of the barricade so I could see the whole show for the next two hours. The band opened with Losin’ Your Mind and the crowd did just that! The set list consisted of songs from Zakk’s solo album Book of Shadows and Southern rock band Pride & Glory. Acoustic shows are so much more intimate with the audience because you can actually hear the melodies of the songs and the emotions of the band.

Zakk always gives it his all but I felt he really put in the energy for the last show of the tour. Throughout the set he threw in long guitar solos while he and Dario kept switching back and forth from the piano to the guitar. Both piano driven tunes “In This River” and “Angel of Mercy” were two of my favorite highlights of the night. I would catch Zakk looking over at Dario with eyes of respect because Dario was holding it down on both the keys and the strings! Zakk pulled some of his famous moves and played the guitar behind his head a few times and with his teeth! Zakk pulled out the double neck Les Paul signature “bullseye” guitar and gave a truly epic performance and somewhere in the middle of the set he played a tribute to Dime Bag Darrel who as a really close friend of Zakk’s. The crowd held up their cell phones like lighters and sang along. It was a beautiful and touching moment and I really liked that he took the time to give his respect to not only his friend, but a talented musician that was taken away from us way too soon in life.

The set went by way too fast and before you knew it, the show was over. Zakk took the time to thank his fans and throw some memorabilia out into the crowd. I was up front and I saw Zakk wipe his face with a black towel and then he threw it right at me! I caught it and of course I kept it. Weird, I know, but hey it was a pretty cool moment. I must have been in the perfect spot because I also caught his guitar pic, what an epic night indeed!

For more information on Black Label Society visit http://blacklabelsociety.com

By Raquel Figlo

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Set list:

  1. The Battle of Evermore

(Led Zeppelin song)

  1. Losin’ Your Mind

(Pride & Glory cover)

  1. Suicide Messiah
  2. Road Back Home

(Zakk Wylde song)

  1. Spoke in the Wheel
  2. House of Doom
  3. Machine Gun Man

(Pride & Glory cover)

  1. Sold My Soul

(Zakk Wylde song)

  1. Angel of Mercy
  2. In This River
  3. Scars
  4. Empty Promises
  5. Throwin’ It All Away

(Zakk Wylde song)

  1. The Blessed Hellride
  2. My Dying Time
  3. Overlord
  4. Stillborn

Adopt the Arts: Honoring Billy Gibbons & Butch Trucks

Rock n roll’s elite graced the red carpet and the stage at the Roxy, on January 12th , to raise money for music education at the first annual Adopt the Arts Charity event. Those in attendance  included Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Butch Trucks (The Allman Brothers), Slash, Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Steve Lukather (Toto), Edgar Winter, Jimmy Vivino (Conan O’Brien), Frankie Perez, and Adopt the Arts co-founder Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver). The backing band for the evening was The Disreputable Few. Orianthi walked in holding hands with Richie Sambora, both wearing stylish hats, and there was lots of bling flashing around everyone’s necks. These rock stars don’t age, they looked better than ever!

 As I walked in to the delicately lighted room and past the auction items, there were chairs where people would usually stand. Once I sat down, a friendly server brought some appetizers. The catering for the event was delicious.

The show began with Matt Sorum talking about Adopt the Arts and how important music education is to both our youth and society as a whole. His co-founder Abigail Berman shared a few words, herself, and statistics about the decline in music education in California schools. Sadly, only one out of ten kids get an arts education.

They strongly pushed the message that the purpose of the evening was to raise funds for music education and to have fun doing so. And they raised a lot of money. During the intermission they auctioned off signed guitars, original photography and Matt Sorum’s signed drum heads. At one point the audience started making donations. I heard two $5,000 donations, $500 donations plus other smaller amounts. This was what the event was all about, donating for music education and about giving back to the arts, the concert was a bonus.

It was sold out with good reason. The honorees of the night were Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Billy Gibbons, lead guitarist of ZZ Top, and  Butch Trucks, one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. These men are legends and to see them on stage and play in an intimate venue like the Roxy is an experience I will never forget.

Billy played all the classics and my favorite song, Cheap Sun Glasses. Highlights of the night included Edgar Winter playing the blues alongside Billy Gibbons, Richie Sambora jamming shoulder to shoulder with his lovely lady Orianthi. They looked and sounded great together!  Matt Sorum turned in his drums for the bongos for selected songs and did a great job getting the audience into the mood. The night was pure rock and roll and soul!

Something that touched me is when Butch Trucks talked about music’s impact on his life growing up. He said he was in marching band eighth grade through high school. He added that he is now 67 years old and sometimes it is hard for him to climb the three steps to his drums, but when he starts playing he feels like an 18 year old super hero. He added, “With music, you don’t need your head… you feel it!”

The concert continued with hit classics from the Allman Brothers. The Grand Finale was all the rock stars jamming out together in unison. It was star studded event that will go down in history! It was the first live event to have a full 360 view that viewers could watch online. It was also the first event like this for Adopt the Arts and I was a part of it!

Adopt the Arts Foundation really hits home with me. At the age of 7 I started playing the piano. I also took violin and cello lessons. It  was really cool to learn how to play those instruments and play along with other students. As I grew into my teens I fell in love with rock n roll and metal. I started playing guitar at age 14 and I played all through high school and spent many Friday and Saturday nights at home with my guitar. As an adult I still sit with my original Fender guitar and play my favorite songs. I never made it to rock star status but I love music so much that I found away to be in the industry as a music journalist.

Programs like Adopt the Arts are vital to help develop well rounded individuals. Playing those instruments as a young child taught me discipline, responsibility, gave me confidence and it made me feel good about myself! It is sad and disturbing to hear that music and art budgets have been cut back drastically in California. As a society, we need to support non-profits such as Adopt the Arts. We have to show the youth the future is not just the internet and the latest technology, it’s about self expression and raw emotions. And music education highlights these very important qualities.

About Adopt the Arts
Founded in 2010, Adopt the Arts Foundation brings together well-known artists, public figures, and the general public to save the arts in America’s public schools. Co-founders Abby Berman and Matt Sorum believe that it is morally and ethically incumbent upon the public-at-large to foster the creativity, dreams, hopes, and imaginations of our children. Adopt the Arts is dedicated to improving the academic performance of every child through the gift of making art and music available to public school students. In 2011, Adopt the Arts chose Rosewood Avenue Elementary (West Hollywood, CA) as its pilot school, working directly with the principal and the booster club to ensure that the students receive exposure to all the arts disciplines, including music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Adopt the Arts is paying the salary of the music teacher and has outfitted a music room with donated keyboards, guitars, and drums. With the help of the arts education branch of LAUSD, Adopt the Arts is identifying the most underserved schools in the district as it prepares for its next series of adoptions. In September 2012, Adopt the Arts donated 1,000 musical instruments (i.e. drum kits, keyboards, guitars, bass guitars) to LAUSD elementary schools. Each school site is available to be “adopted” by anyone that wants to help—whether a business, a working artist, celebrity or public figure—to underscore the importance of community involvement. As of December 2014, Adopt the Arts has now adopted Westminster Elementary School in Venice, CA and their music program will begin at the school in January 2015. (adoptthearts.org)

Story by Raquel Figlo

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