Sunday, August 28, 2016

Past, present, future

Most often, I ask my friends the question -If you could pick one certain year to live in for the rest of your life, with the music released that year, watch that year´s films in theatres, wear the same clothes and go to the concerts at that time. Which year would you choose?
Let´s say there is a gate of time where you could step through and on the other side, was a complete different year. Would you go back in history, stay in the present or head right into the unknown future?
You can of course go as you are, in your present age and with your family.
It´s an interesting idea so I am working on the greatest albums, films and concerts (I´ve been to myself) of various years in the past, the first post will be online within a week or two.
About the year, I´d pick 1986 because it´s the year my favorite film Aliens was showing on the cinemas and I went to see some amazing concerts like Magnum on their Vigilante tour, Monsters of Rock featuring Def Leppard, Ozzy and Scorpions, not to mention Saga on their Behavior tour with Honeymoon Suite as the support act, plus Uriah Heep and Nazareth both as headline acts on the same bill.
I never got the chance to see Journey with Steve Perry so this would be a great opportunity to catch them on the Raised on Radio tour, the last tour with Perry.

Soundwise, the Canadian rockers in Art of Dying feel comfy in 2016 with their brand new EP Nevermore, this is pure active rock living and breathing in the now. A genre that many thought would go the same destiny as emo and numetal but it turned out we were wrong.
Their new single Torn Down stand out but the other 5 new songs will also please all fans of modern hard rock/post-grunge that Nickelback invented 15 years back.
Another band that has a more timeless sound is Detroit based Citizen Zero with their debut album State of Mind available now, these guys play classic rock with one foot in 90´s rock.
On one side, you could say they´re highly influenced by Free and Bad Company but also related to 90´s bands like Live and Black Crowes.
Their frontman Josh LeMay is the star here, a lot of rocknroll singers would die to have his voice.
However, overall I would say Citizen Zero are more 1991 than 1975.
The sound of the future belongs to the Japanese metalcore act coldrain, anything can happen here where the band ain´t afraid to blend electronica and pop with the modern metal.
Anyone who loved their latest album Vena is in for a treat with their new EP Vena II Chapter One that contains two new songs and two acoustic versions of songs from Vena.
And I guess with the title, that there is a chapter two coming too.

The American band Nine Shrines still think it´s 2002 when numetal had it´s peak, this is a new band with members from Attack Attack, Downplay and Life on Repeat. Their debut EP Misery is in fact a solid affair of Breaking Benjamin meets SOiL-like alternative metal.
If you miss those days of numetal taking over the airwaves, then Nine Shrines is the answer to your prayers. Even though there´s nothing new to it, they´re pretty good.
Once in a while, I love to go back and get all nostalgic over classic albums that takes you back to a certain moment or place in time.
And so I did, the other day I bought the digital version of Scottish punk band The Skids first album Scared to dance from 1979. I listened a lot to this record on cassette back in the late 70´s when punk rock revolutionised the music industry. This album features their biggest hit Into the valley, the best song The Clash never wrote.
The late guitarist Stuart Adamson continued to be successful with Big Country in the 80´s, he passed away in 2001 but the music lives on. In 2006, U2 and Green Day covered The saints are coming by The Skids as a charity single.
Last record out today is the new awesome compilation Death Resonance from Swedish melodic death metallers Soilwork, a perfect album where you will get all the Japanese bonus tracks from the albums Stabbing The Drama (2005) and forward.
Death Resonance also includes 2 new tracks and the Japan only EP Beyond The Infinite, a must have for Soilwork fans.
A question, is there any better frontman than Björn Strid that can handle both growls and clean vocals like a king?! I don´t think so.
2016 signing out.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Interview with Truckfighters

The mighty TRUCKFIGHTERS’ own label, Fuzzorama Records, and Century Media Records team up to floor the gas and fuzz pedal.
“Signing to Century Media Records is like kicking in the fuzz pedal with all knobs turned to 11 - maximum energy, maximum output and totally out of control!”, comments the band.
The new album “V” will be released worldwide through Fuzzorama in cooperation with Century Media Records on September 30th, 2016.
Shortly after the album release, the TRUCKFIGHTERS will hit the road again to play an extensive European tour. Exact tour dates and further plans to play the rest of the world will be announced soon. Expect something big. Super fuzz big!
Palace of Rock needed to sort things out with the band´s 4 stringer and lead singer Oskar Cedermalm, here´s what he had to say about Michael Jackson, Phil Lynott and why he loves the 80´s.

Good evening, let´s start with a normal question. Who is the greatest bassplayer in the world in your opinion?
Oskar-Ohh, I really don’t have any opinion on that and I don’t listen that much to the technical skills in a musician, sure I prefer to listen to people who can play their instruments very well, BUT I hate people who are too good, you know these kind of bass players that can play fast and know a lot of theory haha… I usually prefer bassplayers or who ever it might be, guitar players, bass players etc that can put the right note at the right place instead and do it with love and feeling. Also I do listen more to the song structure than the individuals, I mean a very basic song by Black Keys can be so much better than some jazzfusion shit when everybody just play until their fingers bleed.

I must confess that I only own one Truckfighters album on CD, it´s Gravity X so I must indeed do better. But how does it feel to stand right next to Thin Lizzy´s Life and Tygers of Pan Tang´s Crazy nights in my record collection?
Oskar-Haha, no worries, that’s a classic album nowadays, maybe not as classic as Thin Lizzy. The other band I never heard of so you can replace that one with the new Truckfighters album instead haha. Anyway, now you remind me of a good bassplayer, IF you insist getting a name, Phil Lynott was a very good bassplayer, but maybe not because of anything else rather than he knew how to write great songs, and he also knew how to make the bass blend in and play the exact right stuff to add what’s necessary to the song.

Your band has been a trio for a few years now but the first albums are recorded with two guitarists, how do you perform the songs from Gravity X and Phi live that are written for 2 guitars?
Oskar-Our guitarist plays with dual rigs and 4 cabinets hehe. That alone does not replace another guitarist, we know that… but with a Dango in the band we think it’s enough with one of those lunatics. Also we got used to it, the albums after with ”Mania”, ”Universe” and now ”V” have been recorded without an extra guitarist so I guess we now released more stuff in this format than the other.
I’m also one of those people who doesn’t bother if I go and see a band I like live if the live act is a bit different than in the studio, for me it’s two different things. I guess it’s probably awesome for hardcore fans of Dream Theater to go and see them and hear the exact same notes that are on the album, But imagine if that band would jam a bit more and loosen up, go outside the box with improvisations live? The sky is the limit. I would like to have more of that in today´s music where there’s so many bands playing after click track, backing track etc just to make a replica of the studio album… More of Grateful dead (and I’m not talking about the drugs, only the "jams"), and less of backtrack in live music I would say.

The band must have been through more line up changes with different drummers than Spinal Tap, are you guys impossible to work with or what´s the deal?
Oskar-Hmm, probably haha. I guess me and Dango been playing together for 15 years, we do have a very un-Swedish way of working, meaning we are brutally honest and direct to each other, we don’t have time to wrap things up in some phycological mumbojumbo… Not that we are cruel to each other, we are friendly but very professional, telling each other when we think something isn’t up to standard. I guess coming in as a new drummer and we demand them to play good can be tough, but this is what we do, it’s our living and we don’t want to stagnate and get stuck in the same place.. we want to evolve and also move forward for every album we do. With this said, all drummers so far actually quit for different reasons, the last three for an example, Poncho he quit because he got an offer to start playing with Blues Pills who are very close friends to him and also their music is more his style so I don’t blame him, you need to listen to what your heart says.

Enzo quit because he lost inspiration I think, the formal excuse was that he should have time to focus more in ”his” bands… I mean if you jump into a band, is hard I guess, to feel the same soul and the passion like we do. We’ve been sweating, struggling and working really hard with TF for 15 years. But the last drummer, Mr El Dano, we actually fired, yes correct, the drummer on the album is not playing with us anymore. But that was due to prioroties and he never had time to do it 100%, always had to run away to be somewhere else instead of rehearsing and spend the necessary time in studio etc etc.

I think the band´s sound has evolved through the years with the latest album V sounding more atmospheric, are you becoming more progressive with age?
Oskar-Yes definitely, but not on purpose… I guess as you get older you might lose interest in the songs that you easily can pull together on a coffee break, kind of, I’m not saying that is what happened in the past for us… but the older you get, the more you feel like you want to challenge yourself, and you’re not afraid of doing so either. You care less and less about what other people think which is good as well, even though we of course appreciate people digging our music. This doesn’t necessarily mean we will do more and more progressive stuff, it’s more about doing something a bit different each time so we don’t stagnate and do the same album over and over again, because then it will not be as fun as it is right now and probably about time to stop playing instead.

Truckfighters play a lot of live shows every year, what is the most memorable gig so far?
Oskar-We had a few, first time at Hellfest in France was amazing, the biggest crowd we had so far, around 6000 and this was 11.40 Sunday morning!!! Also when we played Wacken in front of even more people was a surreal experience and something you could only dream of when we started the band… But I also remember some of the small, in door club shows where the heat was so intense that it was dripping from the sealing, Swamp room Mania in Munich for an example… That’s a total different experience to get the crowd so close that they are almost falling up on stage… Maybe that’s why we still think it’s so much fun to play live, we get both experiences all the time… If you get too big I guess you only play the venues and arenas where the crowd is a bit too far away, don’t misunderstand me, I love these gigs too.

The new album V is your fifth studio album and like the previous releases, it´s available both on CD, LP and digital. Since the format Compact Cassette is coming back slowly, would you consider to release a Truckfighters album on Cassette?
Oskar-No not really. I mean even if you have a cassette player I really think you also have the other formats as well, a phone/computer, CD, or LP player… I don’t miss the cassettes either, the only thing I miss about it is that you could do mix tapes, you did that all the time, also you borrowed mix tapes from friends and so on, it was a very nice experience when we were young, too bad that died out. 

If you were trapped in one certain year and had to live in it for the rest of your life, watching the films, listening to the records, wear those clothes and see the concerts from that same year.
What year would you choose and why?
Oskar-I guess a lot of people would say the 70´s now, but I think I’m going to say late 80´s perhaps, I would like to say 92-93, when the grunge era came but that was also a bit of depressing times around the world, I remember Sweden at least went through economical crisis at that time, or is my memory not what it used to be haha, maybe it felt that way because I was a teenager haha. Anyway, the 80´s was a time when you could do everything, become who ever you wanted, have an idea, go for it, get rich etc etc… Then maybe I could choose my today´s wardrobe and bring it so I don’t have to wear the nasty clothing at that time haha.

Live in London is your first ever live album, released earlier this year, is it a "real" live album or has it been fixed in the studio afterwards?
Oskar-It is live for real of course, we did just a few tiny tiny details that needed to be done in the studio, but it’s not like some artists that start recording the guitars all over again in the studio haha, I’ve heard stories about Kiss Alive, not sure how much of it that is correct though, maybe just rumours?

If we take a deep look at your own record collection, what album is the one that we would least expect to find in there?
Oskar-Probably Michael Jackson (smiles), I was actually a fan, or still am a little bit… He was an exceptional songwriter and I think I’ve been inspirited more than I can believe of M.J in my own music.  I saw him in 92 when he just released Dangerous and in my opinion, that was the peak of his career, shortly after that, the long tragical spiral wen’t down slowly, I have no idea about the child abuse accusations either, was he just a misunderstood freak or did he actually do these horrible things to the children? Anyway... 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Album Spotlight : The Rebel Light - A Hundred Summer Days

Los Angeles trio The Rebel Light have been pulling in comparisons to bands such as The Shins and Temples and draw heavily on their influence of the sun drenched sound of 60’s California pop.

Strangers is the perfect introduction to The Rebel Light’s hazy, indie pop sound. With huge sunny choruses, warm nostalgic synths and shimmering guitar lines, The Rebel Light eliminate the winter blues

The band wanted to create a soundtrack to your summer - music to listen to as you drive down the Pacific highway in your vintage car with a big fucking smile on your face.
The Rebel Light is Will Steil - Lead Vocals/Keyboards/Acoustic guitar, Jarrett Steil - Guitars/Backing Vocals, Austin Turner - Bass and Brandon Cooke - Drums.

A Hundred Summer Days is out now on Dualtone Records.

Tracklisting : 1.Strangers 2.Where did all the love go 3.Hard to believe 4.Summer haze 5.Afterlife

Album Spotlight : The Comfort - Love EP

Brisbane alternative rock duo The Comfort have released the second single Your Heart from their upcoming EP 'Love' to be release on September 16.

Showing maturation and growth Your Heart shines with hope and security a stark change from the darkness of debut EP 'Ghosts'. The track delivers commitment and hope in a world that is lacking.

As a whole Your Heart explores themes of love and intimacy, asking the question commitment, relationship or both?

"Your Heart is about being so infatuated with someone that the felling is indescribable. You can use thousands of metaphors and analogies, but no words come close to pin pointing how and why you love them," said guitarist and vocalist, Liam Homles.

Both boys believe the best way to accurately portray these feelings is through art and more directly, song and poetry.

"The song is entirely woven with lines from an E.E. Cummings poem that I actually have engraved on a watch which I was given by my partner," said bassist and vocalist, Dom Harper.

The filmclip, hosted by massive heavy music channel Dream Bound, takes a look at The Comfort's passionate live performance showcase how the boys truly intend to deliver their art.

Your Heart comes as a follow up to The Comfort's last single Everstone which found success in multiple plays on triple j and almost 20 thousand views on Youtube.

Love EP is released on Sept 16th.

Tracklisting : 1.Everstone 2.Love and other drugs 3.Dysphasia 4.Your heart 5.Forgive, accept, love 6.Deprime