COOL SITE ALERT: The Riot Act


The Riot Act is the weekly newsletter by Riot Entertainment, a kickass Aussie company who are responsible for distributing a lot of awesome metal and rock stuff, and who have recently branched out as a label in their own right with Fozzy and Free Reign. The Riot chaps have always been freaking awesome to me (I think the first time I met them was when I interviewed Steve Lukather a few years ago) and if they were here right now I’d give them a bearhug. They’re not, so instead I’m gonna let everyone know about The Riot Act.

This week’s Riot Act includes news about Zakk Wylde’s Aussie tour, as well as the trailer for the movie Bones, which features Zakk:

There’s also news about Bruce Kulick’s Aussie tour and forthcoming album, a DVD trailer for Exodus, and heaps more.

You can sign up for the Riot Act newsletter at Riot’s site: http://www.riotact.com.au

Here are the tour dates for various Riot-affiliated bands:

LORD (Sydney)
Dec. 5 The Brisbane Hotel (All Ages), Hobart
Dec. 5 The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Dec. 11 Gaelic Club, Sydney
Dec. 12 The Espy, Melbourne

THE POOR (Qld)
Fri, Dec 11 – Annandale Hotel – Sydney
Sat, Dec 12 – East Brunswick Club – Melb

SCREAMFEST (Mainly Europe!)
Thurs 31st December 2009 & Fri 1st January 2010
Enmore Theatre Sydney

CHIMAIRA (USA)
Wed, Jan 13 – Capital Perth
Thurs, Jan 14 – Fowlers Live Adelaide (AA)
Fri, Jan 15 – Billboard The Venue MelbOver 18’s
Sat, Jan 16 – Billboard the Venue Melbourne Under 18s Afternoon Show
Sun, Jan 17 – The Hi- Fi Brisbane
Mon, Jan 18 – The Metro Sydney (AA)
Wed, Jan 20 – The Transmission Room Auckland NZ Licensed All Ages

ACE FREHLEY (USA)
Feb 1st PERTH. Metropolis Fremantle
Feb 4th ADELAIDE. HQ.
Febr 5th MELBOURNE Palace (formerly Metro)
Febr 7th SYDNEY Enmore Theatre
Febr 8th BRISBANE The Tivoli

WEDNESDAY13 (USA) – FEB
Thurs11th SYDNEY. Metro Theatre (ALL AGES)
Friday 12th BRISBANE. Club 299
Sat 13th MELBOURNE. The Hi-Fi Bar. Melbourne

SOUNDWAVE feat: Anthrax, Meshuggah Baroness & Whitechapel
Sat, Feb 20 – Brisbane
Sun, Feb 21 – Sydney
Fri, Feb 26 – Melbourne
Sat, Feb 27 – Adelaide
Mon, March 1 – Perth

GENGHIS TRON (supp for Converge)
Tue March 16 Amplifier, Perth
Wed March 17 Fowlers, Adelaide
Thur March 18 Corner, Melbourne
Fri March 19 Manning Bar, Sydney
Sat March 20 Hi Fi, Brisbane

DECAPITATED, Psycroptic, Origin & Misery Index
April 1st –Transmission Room, Auckland, Lic/AA
April 2nd – The Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne, 18+
April 3rd – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, 18+
April 4th – The Hifi, Brisbane, 18+
April 5th – Fowlers Live, Adelaide, Lic/AA
April 6th – Black Bettys, Perth, 18+

NEWS: Devin Townsend ‘Addicted’ details

Devin Townsend has updated his website with info – including the cover – for his next CD, Addicted. Take it away, Dev!

Hey folks, Dev here with the update for the second instalment of the DTP (Devin Townsend Project)

We are just readying the release of album 2, Addicted so here’s a few brief words:

With Ki, I kind of strode out in uncharted territories for myself musically, and loved the experience. But during the course of writing this 4 record project, it was inevitable that I would end up writing a selection of tunes that were very much in line with my back catalogue. This group of songs is the second record in the series, and it is called ADDICTED.

Musically, Addicted is along the lines of the big, wall of sound hard rock / heavy metal of Ocean Machine and Accelerated Evolution (even Physicist at points). It is a very direct and ‘to the point’ album with an emphasis on groove and the chorus. In the past, lots of my records end up taking a kind of Pink Floyd-ish route (between song meandering etc.) … Addicted is really simple: 11 rocking songs and no bullshit.

I wanted to make a record that was heavy, without being dark or depressing. When I got into metal it was for the energy behind it, but somewhere along the way that energy started getting really negative. In music right now, there’s a ton of heavy bands that are really depressing to listen to loudly. I wanted to make a record without any real deep metaphor on the surface. Something that sounds good, has a good beat, and a positive feeling. It is still heavy as-all-get-out, but I think there’s a differentiation to be made between being ‘peaceful’, and being peaceful but wanting to celebrate loud, crushing music.

The vocal duties on this record are handled by myself and Anneke van Giersbergen. (I wanted to have male and female vocals kind of ‘tell the story’ so to speak). It’s an honour to work with her and she has a lovely, lovely energy. The other musicians on this record are Ryan Van Poederooyen on drums, Brian Waddell on bass, and Mark Cimino on guitars.

I love this record, it affects me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s a fully rocking album of optimism. If you just want to ‘play it loud’ without any crazy metaphor, this album might be for you!

On other notes:

I have been rehearsing with a new band, and we will start touring in early 2010, representing all the back catalogue of solo material, from Ki, Addicted, Physicist, Ziltoid, Terria, Ocean Machine, dtb, Infinity etc… I have some big plans for this and rehearsals are sounding amazing. The touring entity will be called ‘Devin Townsend’ and is essentially a way for me to get out there and interact again and showcase 15 years of music that never really got it’s fair shake. We look forward to seeing you out there!

I will start the work on the fourth record Deconstruction in Los Angeles in October, some great plans for that… (and btw, THAT is a heavy record with a lot of metaphor…) news on that as it comes!

So I hope you will enjoy Addicted, in the theme of the dtp, the reason Addicted exists is maybe a little deeper than what the record sounds like up front. But up front, it kind of states: ‘Life is tough, the world can be an ugly place…so lets forget about the dramas and ROCK – here’s some heavy guitars, big choruses and killer beats’

Song Titles:

ADDICTED
UNIVERSE IN A BALL
BEND IT LIKE BENDER!
BEAUTIFUL CRUSH
HYPERDRIVE
WILD HEARTS
IH-AH!
THE WAY HOME
NUMBERED
SOULS AWAKE!
OM

Haven’t got Ki yet? What’s wrong with you! Buy it from Riot Act.

10% Off Value Brands at Music123.com (coupon: VALUEME, exp: 8/31)

NEWS: Ace Frehley joins the Riot family

Killer news about Australian distribution for Ace Frehley’s new CD. I always looked forward to when guitar students would bring in KISS stuff so I could show them how to steal Ace licks.

Riot Entertainment are extremely proud to announce a licensing deal for the brand new album by ‘Space’ Ace Frehley titled ‘Anomaly’ for Australia.

Ace Frehley is finally ready to add a new exclamation point to his celebrated career. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the legendary Ex-Kiss guitarist has concocted an explosive new solo effort. Flaunting fiery riffs, pristine production by Marty Fredrickson and jaw-dropping craftsmanship, Anomaly, on Frehley’s own Bronx Born Records licensed in Australia by Riot Entertainment, ties together the original KISS axeman’s trailblazing past, present and future.

One of the most beloved personalities in rock ‘n’ roll, Frehley’s the man behind not only KISS’ iconic logo, but the all-time stadium classic ‘New York Groove.’ His supercharged cover of Sweet’s 1975 classic ‘Fox on the Run’ will blow you away, and the record includes several nods to his distinguished career throughout, from the pickup acrobatics of ‘Fractured Quantum’ to the unmistakable signature solo on ‘Outer Space’ and wah-wah scourge of ‘Genghis Khan’
(featuring backing vocals from Meat Loaf’s daughter Pearl Aday).

It should go without saying, but “this album has some heavy, heavy songs,” Frehley promises.

‘Anomaly’ will hit stores on Tuesday 15TH September!

www.riotact.com.au

INTERVIEW: Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf

Monster Magnet have been absent from the live scene for quite a while. After a highly publicised battle with prescription drugs, main magnet Dave Wyndorf took some time out from the live circuit to get himself together again. Now Wyndorf and Monster Magnet are back to reclaim the throne they so rightly hold (and to lay mighty blows down upon the usurpers who have pilfered the band’s sound for their own ends in recent years). In fact, in researching this interview and delving into some Monster Magnet stuff I haven’t listened to in a few years, it really struck me that there should be a Grammy category called Band You Didn’t Realise Beat Everyone To It By 15 Years.

It’s been a long time since you’ve toured Australia, and a while since you’ve put out an album. What prompted the forthcoming Oz tour?

It’s been 10 years. What prompted it was me trying to make up for lost time. I lost us some time in the last 10 years. We usually tour for two years off a record but for Monolithic Baby we only did one, so we didn’t make it down to Australia again, for reasons that were totally my fault. I got horribly addicted to this terrible drug called Benzodiazepine, which I took for sleep. It’s pretty embarrassing that after years of being very good with drugs and stuff, I get addicted to a prescription drug. Unbelievable. But long story short, it put me down. Like, really put me down – life threatening and the whole bit.

So was it the pressure of touring and the lack of sleep?

Sleep. Totally. I mean, there’s nothing pressured about touring, except for the fact that you never get enough sleep. At least, I didn’t. And I never realised just how wacky you go when you don’t get sleep. You really go crazy. It wasn’t as easy as ‘I need to sleep so let me lay down.’ I would lay down and not go to sleep. So as a result I would just get up and continue on with my life. And it drove me nuts. So then I got the pills and everything was cool until it wasn’t cool any more. There are certain things in life, natural functions that if you rely upon an artificial remedy, you’re gonna pay for it. And I did. And now that that’s under control I’m like, ‘Let’s go!’ I had to be careful about what I promised I was going to do until I got my feet wet again, so that’s what I did.

So what are your memories of previous visits to Australia?

It’s awesome to be there man. I love Australia. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. I remember so many great things. Obviously touring is not a sightseeing exercise – what you see is dressing rooms and hotels and stuff like that. But I had the greatest time with people I met, and I did get to walk through Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, and I got out as much as I could. I just liked the whole vibe. It’s like someone dropped England into the tropics. To me, a guy from New Jersey, Australia’s a very exotic place. It just seems that the idea of rock is very much alive in Australia. And looking back over Australian music, there’s a lot of guitar. Even pop music. Crowded House? Guitar-based. INXS? Guitar based. Y’know what I mean? It’s fucken’ awesome. I buy psychedelic compilations, and there’s so much psyche rock from Australia from the 60s and early 70s. It’s awesome. So I’m totally sold, from the Scientists all the way up to Wolfmother. I love it.

Talk us through your songwriting process. I worry about asking this question because it can seem so generic but everyone has a different answer.

No man, I love listening to answers and I love to hear how people write songs. I write ‘em with a drum machine or some sort of drum pattern. If it’s a really hard rock song with a 70s feel, a hard rock combo feel, I won’t go crazy on the drum machine. I’ll just use the thing for a tempo. Then the ideas I have about drums are all in my head anyway, so I don’t need to program the drum machine that hard. What I’ll use it for is sometimes accents and tempo, and that’s mainly so I can play it for the band so they’ll get an idea of where I’m coming from, rather than have me start totally from scratch and explain it. They enjoy it that way. Now, if it’s something more poppy or like a standard rock and roll song then I’ll program the drums because there’s not a lot of fills in the songs and I can actually program the drums to nail exactly what I wanted. So depending on what type of song it is, more or less of the drum machine, and always something to keep tempo. For recording I have one of those real amateur-hour things, a little Korg D 1600 MK2, and it’s good enough. It’s great. You can put 16 tracks down but on my demos I don’t usually go over 8 or 9 tracks, and it’s fine.

Do you ever bring in a completely orchestrated demo?

I used to, all the time, completely, in the early days. The band would be like, “Why are we even playing it? It’s all done!” But I loosened up in the later years. And I’ve become better at explaining what I want, what I’d like to hear. And also there’s a danger of, when you finish something a little bit too close at home you wind up chasing after that, never getting it, and you wind up disappointed. It’s a bitch. So this is something I’ll do with the small songs: If you’re going in to record with a band and you’ve got like 12 songs to do or something, leave a bit of time in the studio for three of those songs, to do them the way you would do it on a demo, but just do it on the big gear. I think you’d be really happy. It’s a little pressurised because, like, [adopts gruff studio engineer voice] “What, you’re gonna do it all yourself?”] but as long as the sounds are there, how bad could it be? You know what you’re doing, you’re playing against each other. I do this all the time with the smaller songs, the ballads and stuff. They’re played by me alone because it actually saves time and I know they’re going to be somewhat together because I know what I played on the previous track. Listen to White Stripes. I think everybody knows by now that Jack White played the drums on those records. He played the drums, he played the bass, he played everything. And Elephant, Get Behind Me Satan are really fucken’ great records. I’ve gotten to the point of, anything that works.

Let’s talk about gear for a moment. Are you a big gearhead?

I used to be a huge gearhead. Fuzzboxes and stuff. I still love it. I just think there’s nothing like buying something that will enhance – or you believe will enhance – your sound. I learned a long time ago that most fuzz boxes pretty much do the same thing. There’s not that much difference, but when you have that cool-lookin’ box in your hand, it’s fucken’ badass, y’know? I want a Foxx fuzztone as opposed to the Vox. I want the Fender Blender. I want the original Big Muff, I want the Russian Big Muff, I want the Mini Muff. I love it. And I love vintage tape echo machines, although they’re making some really great digital ones now. The digital Echoplex, and Roland has a digital Space Echo, which sounds like it would be ridiculous, but they did it. They actually made it sound really, really awesome.

You need as many options as possible, so you can go through and use every one, or decide that they all sound like shit and just go back to an amp and a guitar, which is something I often do with recording. I’ll just say “I tried every box in the world and none of them is doing it for me, so let’s just plug an SG into an old Marshall.”

So what was your first guitar?

My first guitar was a Washburn. I can’t remember the model of it. It was an ulgy red thing that looked kind of like a horse shoe, just a plain butt-ugly guitar. To me it looked kinda like an SG body, but it really didn’t. It had 2 big humbuckers in it. At the time I thought that was the coolest thing in the world.

When was this?

I started playing when I was about 28, 29. I was too lazy to play. I was a singer before that. It’s interesting, before I even bought a guitar I bought a fuzz box. I bought a fuzz box, a microphone and a four-track. And the guitar was actually the last thing I got. So I was sitting at home with a four-track machine, screaming through a fuzz box and making guitar parts with my mouth. Because I was desperate to write songs, and I didn’t have people to play with any more because my first band had broken up. But it actually works when you’re writing songs. So I bought that Washburn, and every day I would try to learn chords. I started just recording stuff with one string, or two strings with one played open for psychedelic parts. Eventually I learned a couple of cheats on some chords, and then I was off. That’s why the guitar’s the best instrument in the world.

CLICK HERE to buy the Boss RE-20 Space Echo delay/reverb pedal from Musician’s Friend for $249.

Monster Magnet Australian tour dates

September 5 Brisbane, Australia – The Hi-fi
September 6 Sydney, Australia – Metro
September 8 Melbourne, Australia – Billboard
September 10 Perth, Australia – Metropolis Fremantle

Buy Monster Magnet CDs at RiotAct.com.au

This interview is also in the current edition of Mixdown Magazine.

NEWS: Vai’s Naked Tracks box set available

Steve Vai’s Naked Tracks box set is now available as a physical release.

This is from the latest Riot Act newsletter here in merry olde Australia: 
STEVE VAI – NAKED TRACKS – 5 DISC BOX SET
Favored Nations/Riot

Arguably the most amazing guitarist to walk the face of the earth, Steve Vai is set to release his groundbreaking new DVD IN September but until then check out this innovative piece of Vai! Get ready to get naked! ‘Naked Tracks’ is housed in a special limited edition digipak box set. This series of play-along CDs is designed to help create an atmosphere of focus so you can shred yourself into a personally-induced inspirational nirvana.

Included in the set are 5 CD’s featuring backing tracks from the following albums: ‘Passion & Warfare’, ‘Sex & Religion’, ‘Alien Love Secrets’, ‘Fire Garden’, ‘The Ultra Zone’, ‘Alive in an Ultra World’, & ‘Real Illusions: Reflections’!

Previously only sold on www.vai.com and iTunes. Steve Vai is one of the most influential guitarists of our time. An excellent practice tool for any guitarist. A must have for the Steve Vai collector. World tour late 2009-2010.

Great news huh? I bought them from an online store a while ago and I …hey wait a minute… you catch that last bit?

Let’s look at that again:

World tour late 2009-2010.

SWEEEEEEEEEEET.

Anyway, back to the Naked Tracks: Here’s Jon from Guitar Noize rocking his cover of Answers.

NEWS: Bumblefoot joins Lita Ford’s band

In a posting on his forum, Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) just said this:

Hey all,

It’s my pleasure to announce I’ll be doing shows over the Summer with Lita Ford, playing guitar with the band alongside Bumblefoot drummer Dennis Leeflang.

To GNR fans: Lita and I have GNR’s blessings to do this together, all is cool. This won’t interfere with upcoming GNR plans, I’ll be flying out and coming right back.

To Lita fans: lookin’ forward to meeting y’all and having a great time together!


CLICK HERE to buy Bumblefoot’s Abnormal from Riot.

UPCOMING SHOWS:

FRI JUNE 12, 2009
Redwood Run (Piercy, CA)

SAT JUNE 13, 2009
Jackson Ranchero Casino (Jackson, CA)

SUN JUNE 21, 2009
Meltaway Festival (Zaragosa, Spain)

FRI JUNE 26, 2009
Bang Your Head Festival (Messegelände Balingen, Germany)

SAT JUNE 27, 2009
Gods of Metal Festival (Milan, Italy)

TUE JUNE 30, 2009
Rockwave Festival (Athens, Greece)

FRI JULY 3, 2009
Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)

SAT JULY 4, 2009
Bridgeview Music Jam (Bridgeview, IL)

FRI JULY 17, 2009
Monndance Ranch Jam (Walker, MN)

FRI JULY 24, 2009
Molson Canal Concert Series (North Tonawanda, NY)

SUN JULY 26, 2009
Ridgefield Playhouse (Ridgefield, CT)

MON AUG 3, 2009
Buffalo Chip (Sturgis, SD)

SAT AUG 22, 2009
Rock Gone Wild (Algona, IA)

SAT SEPT 5, 2009
Taste of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)

NEWS: ESP unveils Nergal ESP

According to Riot Act, Behemoth main man Nergal and ESP have teamed up to create the LTD HEX-7, a thoroughly bitchen 7-string V.

Nergal says “When ESP approached me about building my signature model, I was stoked! I’ve always been a fan of their instruments and I’m very grateful for giving me an opportunity to envision my idea of what a perfect 7 string guitar for extreme metal should look like! I already can’t wait to test this beast on our upcoming US summer tour with SLAYER and MARILYN MANSON!”

Nergal recently auctioned his very first Ibanez 7-string, a very beaten-up and well-loved RG7620, on eBay.

Behemoth has selected Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Slipknot, Napalm Death, Carcass) to mix their new album which is due later in the year. The CD is being now recorded in Radio Gdansk in Poland with Behemoth, Daniel Bergstrand and Woytek, and Slawek Wieslawscy as producers. Nergal says “I’m beyond excited about this new album. It’s not just the finest piece of music we’ve ever made, but it’s also the most mature tunes we’ve created without compromising our sound. I’m stoked about Colin Richardson involvement in the mix of the record. We’ve tried to book him for our last album, ‘The Apostasy’, but due to busy schedule he wasn’t available then. His name needs no introduction. I have absolutely no doubts that Colin will deliver and I’m expecting the new album to have the sound that’s bigger than life!”