DECEMBER 11, 2021
ROCKWiRED SPECiAL FEATURE: ALLAN HOLZMAN
have long championed the notion that Battle Beyond the Stars, B-movie mogul Roger Corman’s 1980 space opera on a shoestring, has been long overdue for a pop cultural rediscovery. It hasn’t happened yet. Strange considering that space opera these days is limited to the offerings of a galaxy far, far away and the final frontier. Thanks to streaming, we’re inundated with both Star Trek and Star Wars despite some hit or miss results. You would think that Corman’s humble space epic that got its plot points from Akira Kurosawa would spark some sort of curiosity. You mean to tell me it’s possible to keep a space western yarn limited to one movie? One clever movie? Not to say that Battle Beyond the Stars doesn’t boast any pop cultural bonus points. It was the film that got director James Cameron (The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic) his start by cutting his teeth as the film’s art director. Acclaimed screenwriter John Sayles wrote the film’s clever and exciting script. Producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens) also got her career in film going as an assistant to Roger Corman and Oscar-winning composer James Horner showed the world what he was made of. His score for the film was so out of this world that Corman’s studio used the damn thing in a couple of other unrelated movies.
APRIL 18, 2021
ROCKWiRED REWiND: EURYTHMiCS - REVENGE (1986)
n June of 1986 I was enrolled in summer school and licking my wounds after my first full academic year of Catholic school. My fifth grade year marked a drastic change in scenery with stark concrete school grounds surrounded by a twenty foot high chain link fence. In retrospect you would think the school was designed by the architect who designed the Attica Correctional Facility. I also had to wear a uniform – a first for me. It consisted of a light blue dress shirt and navy blue slacks and matching tie. Mine was a clip on. No tennis shoes here. Just loafers and black socks. My class attended a mass every Tuesday morning performed by a drunken Monsignor. Yes, St. Michael's Elementary School was a madhouse out of KEN KESEY's imagination with a monstrous nun, the principal, ringing a bell to signal the change in classes. The teachers. Dear God! The teachers. You never met an unhappier set of hens hellbent on making matters of reading, writing and arithmetic a strained and unpleasant affair. And let's not forget the Catholicism itself. Learning about a religion that wasn't mine was especially daunting. Terms like “original sin,” “chastity,” and “fidelity,” meant absolutely nothing to a touch and go Episcopal like myself. Even if I was only ten going on eleven. Needless to say, the grim surroundings and indifference led to poor academic performance. And I don't have time to bring up the bullying that often went unchecked and I'm just taking about the teachers.APRIL 11, 2021
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ARENA
he good times don't roll in an age of masks, social distancing and voter suppression. Even with a glimmer of hope offered by the roll out of vaccines, news of a rise in cases and the variants are there to remind you the nightmare ain't over yet. There hasn't been much out there in the way of escape so when a synthwave artist known as ARENA released a rather exciting cover of the 1986 VAN HALEN song DREAMS, our curiosity about this mysterious artist was piqued. ARENA is JOEY ARENA , the front man for the rock band OVTLIER, a band that caught our attention as a publication a couple of years back with the release of their rather fine EP WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU. The angst often associated with the active rock set seems to tailor made for the chaotic times that we are living in now, but JOEY ARENA, the charismatic front man, felt something different. With the pandemic slowing what was left of the music industry, ARENA turned to the radiant sound of synthwave and nicked the new project after himself. Launching this new sound with a VAN HALEN cover is a curious move indeed but it is one that has paid off. Hell, ARENA's glorious interpretation of DREAMS has earned the highest praise possible from SAMMY HAGAR himself.
APRIL 6, 2021
ROCKWiRED NOTES: CASEY HENSLEY
hat moment when an artist finds their voice and starts sharing it with the world is the stuff of dreams. Rock n roll dreams anyway. Blues rock artist CASE HENSLEY's own rock n roll dreams were about to become a reality with the release of her first studio album GOOD AS GONE on March 13, 2020. Armed with first rate blues rock gems penned by HENSLEY and guitarist and collaborator LAURA CHAVEZ, GOOD AS GONE should've brought the whole blues rock world into a frenzy. Unfortunately, GOOD AS GONE's release coincided with the date that the country and the rest of the world officially shut down due to the Coronavirus. There was not a whole lot to celebrate in the year 2020 but GOOD AS GONE was one hell of a ride with its hard rocking first single IF I PRAY, its uplifting title track and the absolutely smoking BREAKING YOUR HEART. I get the feeling that an electrifying live show could've taken this album and the artist to some exciting places but 13 months in the pandemic, society is starting to see glimmers of hope with the roll out of vaccines. Perhaps live shows will be coming back into the picture and HENSLEY can seize the rock n roll moment and glory that she so richly deserves.
MARCH 5, 2021
ROCKWiRED NOTES: CARY MORiN AND GHOST DOG
y the time this pandemic is over, everybody is going to have an album!” Those were the words of singer songwriter guitarist CARY MORIN's publicist in regard to his latest album DOCKSIDE SAINTS, an homage to the blues and zydeco sounds of the New Orleans area, which was recorded in 2020 just a heartbeat before the global pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Evidently there was some question about what to do with the mastered recordings when it was announced that the good people of the world needed to mask up, stay six feet apart from one another and stop going to live shows. Thankfully Mr. MORIN realized that the world needed something to listen to in a time marked by lock downs and just plain old isolation.
JANUARY 31, 2021
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BRAD HELLER
o one needs to be reminded of the power of COVID-19 to knock the best laid plans to the ground. Recently, I found myself kicked to the ground by the virus with minimal symptoms and a two-week isolation period that had me questioning my life up to this point. But now the virus is behind me and back doing what feels normal. Another fellow who has come to understand the power of our current pandemic to level hopes and dreams is singer songwriter BRAD HELLER. In late 2019, HELLER had released his latest album THE SENTENCE to a string of promising reviews and an eagerness to hit the road in the Spring of 2020. Unfortunately, a mysterious virus from China began seizing the headlines and little by little the already shaky infrastructure of the independent music industry found itself paralyzed by social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Oh, and let’s not forget one of the nastiest Presidential elections of all time. Despite not being able to tour, HELLER has managed to keep the album in eyes of the public through positive critical notices and a music video for the album’s single ETERNAL GARDEN. At the end of 2020, music critics were laying the usual hossannahs on BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN's latest offering A LETTER TO YOU and deservedly so. However, HELLER is a singer songwriter cut from the same blue collar cloth as SPRINGSTEEN and has tons to say about the fragile human condition in these uncertain times.
DECEMBER 27, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BiLL CHAMPLiN
over and now
has been a
year marked by
that can be
agreed upon is
year needs to
come to an end
and the end of
going to get
front man BILL
all that the
promise of a
ringing in the
New Year with
the release of
his new single
FOR LOVE soon
to be released
will soon be
LOVE will mark
album in ten
society is in
the midst of a
at an exciting
is one that
marked by a
as both a
singer and a
DECEMBER 6, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: AS STRANGE AS ANGELS
hen I got on the phone with NORMAN MATTHEW of AS STRANGE AS ANGELS it was a whole hour before he and drummer MICHELLE GRAVES were going to kick off a livestream performance on YOUTUBE. The excitement was electric and tangible even over the phone, but then again, it was the eve of the release of the band's new single THE CURSE – a thunderous active rock stomper that is all about raging against the darkness and stepping into the light. The subject is not entirely unexpected coming from MATTHEW – a songwriter who has made a decent coin within the heavier side of rock – but the rah-rah-rah comes at a most frightening time for music and music makers. In the throes of a pandemic that has only worsened it is the fighting spirit of active rock that seems to be the only music addressing the crisis and AS STRANGE AS ANGELS have their work cut out for them in a grim way. Things couldn't be further away from the time I first spoke with MATTHEW five years earlier.
NOVEMBER 22, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: PAT BENATAR - GET NERVOUS (1982)
y 1982 PAT BENATAR, rock n roll's premiere coloratura, had become a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. The proof of this was in three platinum selling albums that boasted the woman's flare for the dramatic when it came to matters of the heart and sexual politics. Even if critics of the day weren't on board with what the diminutive siren had to offer, two consecutive GRAMMY wins in the category of BEST FEMALE ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE ( In 1981 for her album CRIMES OF PASSION and in 1982 for the single FIRE AND ICE) provided both vindication and validation. Fuck ROLLING STONE! While gramophone-shaped trophies and favorable chart placings on the BILLBOARD 200 gave the ex-bank teller-turned lounge singer-turned rocker some enviable notoriety, it was MTV that made BENATAR a superstar.
NOVEMBER 15, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BLACK MANSiONS
o one was prepared for the horrors of 2020. No one could've predicted civilization being rocked to a stand still by the prevalence of a virus that forces one to wear a mask and keep six feet away from both strangers and loved ones alike. And lets not even bring up one of the most bitter and contentious election cycles ever in this country. We may not have expected wine and roses but no one saw an ATWOOD-styled dystopia either. However, the synth duo BLACK MANSIONS may have been on the money with the release of their haunting debut EP, PART I – PRAECURSIO. Comprised of singer TOM KUNZMAN of the band 18th & ADDISON and keyboardist SPAGS of the band END OF AN ERA, BLACK MANSIONS is a project that has allowed these two gentlemen to break free from the guitar driven rock that their respective bands are noted for and traverse the kind of synthesized musical landscape that made groups such as DEPECHE MODE and YAZOO the transistorized pioneers that they have become in the annals of pop music.
NOVEMBER 12, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: MARLON MONTGOMERY
n 1975 the late rock n roll troubadour MIKE MONTGOMERY found himself at a fork in the road of a winding career that had taken him from the teen dances and honky tonks of his home state of Oklahoma to the hustle and bustle of New York City. The members of MOTT THE HOOPLE had made an offer to the singer, songwriter and keyboardist MONTGOMERY to have him replace their legendary front man IAN HUNTER. Who knows what would've been possible had MONTGOMERY filled HUNTER's shoes by becoming the front man of one rock's most celebrated bands. However, MONTGOMERY was also contacted by ex-FREE guitarist PAUL KOSSOFF who requested that he move to London so the two of them could form a band together.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: AiMEE MANN - BACHELOR NO. 2 (2000)
t was only the summer of 2000 and already the new millennium felt like a bust. It was my first full year out of college and my days were spent working various temp jobs and my evenings were devoted to playing in a band I had started. Starting a band was what I had wanted to do the most once I got out of college and I had already prepared myself for having to work some job I didn't like in order to help make that silly rock n roll dream a reality. I was young and I knew I could do it but eventually the band broke up after an ugly fistfight and all I was left with was strumming on an acoustic guitar, working a job I hated and drinking too much. Oh 1999 was supposed to be a launching point for me but the last notch of the 20th century wasn't the party that PRINCE predicted. Hell, even STAR WARS came back and that sucked. I complain in retrospect but no one had any idea of the horrors that were just around the corner in terms of a terrorist attack and the shitty millennium that has ensued. At least BLONDIE got back together.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: JOAN ARMATRADiNG - THE KEY (1983)
1991 I was
old and life
as I knew it
apart due to
with the year
thanks to the
PEARL JAM. One
that a sixteen
year old like
me at that
ground in this
new rock n
I didn't. I
was a gawky,
mixed race kid
the white rage
coming out of
movement to me
seemed like a
ethos was at
odds with the
music I grew
up loving in
over the work
that time was
myself in the
music that had
SEPTEMBER 5, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: PAT BENATAR - GO (2003)
he post 9/11 world desperately needed the cartoon toughness of PAT BENATAR. After the collapse of the World Trade Center, American society had become stifled. It was no time for jokes and it was the beginning of much of the political divisiveness that has taken hold of our cultural landscape today and in the aftermath of the terror attacks by Al-Qaeda forces entrenched in Afghanistan, the country went to war...with Iraq. In a strange way it all sounds like a piece of cake now given the fact that we are in the rows of a global pandemic. We may not have had to wear masks and we may have been able to move freely, but culturally, the years that followed 9/11 were bereft. There was a sanitization that took place in music with artists like DIDO, NORAH JONES, JOHN MAYER and DAMIEN RICE putting out material that was heavy on wistfulness and pop psychological heartache, but nothing terribly punchy. Hell, even a punchy, alternative rock band like NO DOUBT went pop that year with that HEY BABY shit. This clean cut approach to pop was irritating. Thank god for PINK. Oh and there was that band EVANESCENCE with that breakthrough hit of theirs, but that got on my nerves quickly. The musical landscape of the time could've used BENATAR's pyrotechnic vocals and fighting spirit.
AUGUST 30, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: EURYTHMiCS - WE TOO ARE ONE (1989)
here wasn't a better time than 1989 to be a confused teenager. The REAGAN years got a little bit of an extension thanks to the election of GEORGE W. BUSH and my fourteen year old self wondered if that was a good thing. The AIDS crisis was in full swing and as a gawky, lanky, biracial kid coming to terms with the fact that I was gay, this disease was terrifying just by the stigma alone. The Berlin Wall came down and the communist threat was over, but what did that mean? My only refuge from all of the confusion was pop radio and STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION, but with playlists seeming finite in what they had to offer and MTV pushing the same damn thing radio was, it seemed like pop music had become the hierarchy that this high school business was. BELINDA CARLISLE had declared heaven a place on Earth back in 1987 but two years on, I was starting to know better. At least there wasn't a fucking pandemic.
AUGUST 27, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: TiNA TURNER - BREAK EVERY RULE (1986)
n the late spring of 1984 my family had purchased a brand new station wagon. A Peugot station wagon – a now little known French vehicle that wasn't easy to buy parts for. However, this Peugot 505 was assembly line new. We didn't have a ton of money growing up so a new car felt like a big deal. It finally felt like we had finally stepped into the eighties and this was just during out initial test drive. One of the features that the Peugot brand was known for was the sound systems in their vehicles and my dad had the dial on the local R&B station 95 WPGC. I remember the day so clearly because it was a happy moment for our family and ours was a family that had known a little turbulence. I remember a lot of rain and sunshine that day and the resultant rainbow appearing which kind of seemed symbolic of our coming up in the world. It was on that drive and through the speakers of that car that I first heard the voice of TINA TURNER.
AUGUST 23, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: BiLLY OCEAN - SUDDENLY (1984)
a time when
pop music was
and be happy.
it's all about
of today's pop
but that's a
grew up in a
time when pop
only was it
out of your
head, it also
had a look and
that was due
largely to MTV
music of the
height of this
the year 1984
as PRINCE AND
A VIRGIN, TINA
All of the
by MTV. Hell,
still a hit
than a year
course for pop
music to come.
In fact, it
would have a
onto the U.S.
pop scene with
all the way to
#1 on the U.S.
HOT 100 after
AUGUST 19, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: THE SMiTHEREENS - 11 (1989)
rowing up in the Washington D.C. area in the late eighties, it seemed like the only rock music you could find on the dial was hair metal. Not that I was complaining. I was fourteen years old back in 1989 and was enthralled by everything that was being delivered by the likes of GUNS AND ROSES and DEF LEPPARD. And of course I remember feeling slightly annoyed by the offerings by bands such as POISON and WARRANT. There was a bombastic grandeur to the music back then that can be hard to imagine now in a time where there isn't much rock n roll. The hair was big, the men in these bands were pretty and the music was thunderous. But there was also an inaccessibility to it. The rock n roll lifestyle was nothing that my mixed race, gawky, FRANK HERBERT reading fourteen year old self could relate to. The men of GUNS AND ROSES and DEF LEPPARD were rock gods. Not real people.
AUGUST 16, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: URGE OVERKiLL - SATURATiON (1993)
it before in
and I'll say
it again, the
nineties was a
rock was king
PEARL JAM and
the angst of
rock and heavy
that came with
it was strange
to see this
to the fame
where not even
a pandemic has
done much to
fine with me
as long I
don't have to
look at Doc
Even as an 18
year old in
1993, I found
for the days
when rock n
up and deliver
on the promise
of drugs and
sex. In 1993
rock n roll
was all about
AUGUST 9, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: PAT BENATAR'S 1980 ALBUM CRiMES OF PASSiON
n a time when pop stardom is doled out on this or that televised singing contest, it may be hard to remember that there was a time when getting your name out there was a dues paying process. Such was the case for a young woman out of Long Island with a four and a half octave range and a dream. In the seven years before the release of her platinum selling debut album, PAT BENATAR, nee ANDRZEJEWSKI, got the ball rolling on her singing career as a singer in a Richmond, Virginia - based lounge quartet called COXON's ARMY. As local recognition of the young singer grew, so did BENATAR's ambitions and she set course for New York City, where the action was. Strangely, her start in New York didn't happen at TRAMPS or in the grit and grime of CBGBs, but at CATCH A RISING STAR, a comedy club famous for launching the careers of ROBIN WILLIAMS, EDDIE MURPHY and RICHARD BELZER. It was here that BENATAR began honing her sound as a pop siren with a decided rock n roll edge, even if the house band at the time didn't even have a guitarist. One Halloween night in 1977, BENATAR sported a black leotard, heavy eye make up and a toy laser gun as tribute to the 50's b-grade science fiction film CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON. Reactions to her live act in those days were strong, but with a new look, the crowd went wild and BENATAR incorporated the look thereafter. Little did she know how impactful the look would be in the years to come. Soon she was signed to CHRYSALIS RECORDS and her MIKE CHAPMAN (BLONDIE, THE KNACK) produced debut album IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT busted out of the gate with platinum sales with a little help from that joyful raucous of a first single HEARTBREAKER and nothing like THE VOICE or ADAM LEVINE hitting a buzzer and turning around in his chair was needed. Not bad for a 26 year old divorcee.
AUGUST 8, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: SPLiT SECOND MELTDOWN
or years ROB CLORES ha made a decent coin and a reputation for himself as a go-to keyboardist. The New York City-based musician has toured and recorded with the likes of JESSE MALIN, THE BLACK CROWES, TOM JONES, COLIN HAY (of MEN AT WORK) and JOHN POPPER (of BLUES TRAVELER). Laying down the keys for said artists has made for an impressive resume but, in speaking with CLORES over the phone, it was clear that the need to step from behind the keyboard and up to the front of the stage was where the man wanted to be. Now the rock n roll journeyman has stepped into light as a recording artist with his solo project SPLIT SECOND MELTDOWN and it's self-titled debut EP. CLORES has picked a fine time to try to make a splash as a recording artist given what the COVID-19 pandemic has done to the world a more specifically the - music industry. However, with SPLIT SECOND MELTDOWN, CLORES has managed to issue music that speaks to the dystopia that we are currently living in. You can hear it on the EP's first single FLESH AND BLOOD. THE STONES' GIMME SHELTER may have painted a rockin' picture of doomsday, but FLESH AND BLOOD tells the tale in real time and the gritty rock n roll stomp never relents while the BAD RELIGION-esque NOBODY LEFT BUT ME continues the doom and gloom and establishes CLORES and SPLIT SECOND MELTDOWN as an artist with something to say. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with ROB CLORES regarding the new EP. Here is how the interview went.
AUGUST 3, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: LUKAS ROSSi
he first time I spoke with LUKAS ROSSI in 2008 the world was in the midst of the Great Recession. I was out of a job and doing all I could to make this ROCKWIRED thing work out. ROSSI was going through some changes in his life as well. A couple of years earlier, the ultimate rock n roll dream came true for the Canadian rocker when he competed in the reality contest series ROCKSTAR SUPERNOVA and won the prize - the lead singer spot for the titular supergroup comprised of TOMMY LEE (MOTLEY CRUE), JASON NEWSTED (METALLICA) and GILBY CLARK (GUNS N' ROSES). Following his victory, ROSSI saw the world through SUPERNOVA's tour of North America, Australia and New Zealand. For reasons that I can't quite remember, SUPERNOVA came to an end and ROSSI took the experience, ran with it and has maintained a solo career ever since. His FREDDIE MERCURY meets JEFF BUCKLEY howl has been put to fine use on his signature brand of blistering hard rock over the past decade. Now, in the throes of a global pandemic, LUKAS ROSSI has re-emerged with a sound marked by pop hooks and a sunnier outlook on life. Hey, if the guy can pull it off in times marked by political divisiveness, masks and a rising death toll, more power to him. However, ROSSI handles his shift in sound with both zeal and know-how. ROSSI's new album SUMMERTIME is a milestone in the artist's unpredictable career and could earn the season rocker even broader appeal. He is already on the right track with the titular single and its music video featuring appearances from the likes of TOMMY LEE, members of P.O.D. and TIFFANY. ROCKWIRED had a chance to catch up with LUKAS over the phone from his studio in Nashville. Here is how the interview went.
JULY 30, 2020
ROCKWiRED SOUND BiTE: THE PRETENDERS
he release of the eleventh album to bear the name PRETENDERS was preceded by the release of a series of cleverly produced music videos for each song in lieu of a tour with JOURNEY that ended being canceled because of COVID-19. So when the album was finally released last week, there was no reason for HATE FOR SALE to come off sounding like a surprise and a revelation. You see, since the release of 1994's THE LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS and (the even better) VIVA EL AMOR in 1999, CHRISSIE HYNDE hasn't managed to keep things as raw and invigorating as anything you heard on the band's eponymously titled 1980 album with the exception of her 2014 solo album STOCKHOLM. With HATE FOR SALE, HYNDE reunites with original drummer MARTIN CHAMBERS and welcomes bassist NICK WILKINSON and guitarist JAMES WALBOURNE who shares co-writing with HYNDE on all ten tracks. The forementioned surprise is the rambunctiousness and snarl of the material which comes out in full force on the punkish title track, the cracking rock-a-billy of I DIDN'T WANNA BE THIS LONELY, and the BLONDIE-esque bop of TURF ACCOUNTANT DADDY. Of course what good is a PRETENDERS album if HYNDE can't show off a gentle side as she does on the R&B ballad YOU CAN"T HURT FOOL but her balladry goes s step further with torchy, piano led CRYING IN PUBLIC which eschews equality between the sexes and gets lost in the hopeless emotionalism and tears that go along with being a woman. Damn, I wish I bought this thing on vinyl!
JULY 30, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: JAMES PACE BAND
n an age marked by doom and gloom, and I'm just talking about the active rock scene - not COVID-19, it is hard to believe that there was a time when rock n roll was rooted in the blues and had a more transcendental vibe. You could hear it in the likes of JIMI HENDRIX, CREAM and PINK FLOYD. Perhaps it was the spirit of the times that those artists inhabited but there is just as much chaos now as there was in the sixties. Hell, there might be more chaos now given the fact that we are in the rows of a global pandemic and civil unrest. There couldn't be a better time for music from the likes of THE JAMES PACE BAND. If their latest single, the rhythmic, HENDRIX-styled rocker, TOUCH THE SKY is any indication this is a band with a message of love and an electric vibe that can lift spirits and expectations for what modern rock music has to offer. TOUCH THE SKY is an anthem that will perk ears and interests and according to the band's front man and guitarist JAMES PACE, there is more waiting in the wings. Not even a global pandemic can stop the JAMES PACE BAND as they put the finishing touches on their forthcoming album THE SIERRA MADRE SESSIONS which they hope to release sometime this fall. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with JAMES PACE of THE JAMES PACE BAND regarding their new single and their forthcoming album. Here is how the interview went.
JULY 28, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: THE LONELY ONES
"Everything has changed," exclaimed MARTY McCOY when I had mentioned the fact that the last time I had spoken to him was in October of 2017 when his then-band BOBAFLEX had just released their album ELOQUENT DEMONS. From where I stood, it seemed as if the West Virginian hard rock band reknowned for their bombastic live shows and their maudlin brand of active rock that spoke to the lows and the manic highs of life and love (if we can call it that) seemed to have reached a creative and commercial zenith with the release of what would become the band's final album. The first release off of that album, LONG TIME COMING, seemed to suggest that the band was due for a step up after standing out by a mile from other less worthy rock n roll fare. With sold out shows and reasonable returns from their album's release, it was indeed strange when the band had announced last year that co-founder SHAUN McCOY was stepping away from the band and that BOBAFLEX would now be known as THE LONELY ONES. All of those months ago when branding was considered important, one could easily question the wisdom of changing a name of such a beloved institution as BOBAFLEX. Unfortunately we are now in the grips of a worldwide pandemic and folks can overlook such a silly detail and get lost in some music that seems to fit and transcend our current dystopia. After all, what else are you going to do? Go to the store?
TO READ MORE CLiCK HERE!!!!
JULY 25, 2020
ROCKWiRED SOUND BiTE: THE LONELY ONES - FLASH/THE HERO
As if QUEEN doesn't get enough tribute these days since the release of their biopic a couple of years ago. Sure, that sounds cranky but can you blame me given the devastation unleashed on us by COVID-19?
For the better part of 20 years BOBAFLEX was the hard rock band that should've had everyone believing that rock n roll was still alive. You couldn't even accuse these West Virginians of falling under that dreaded (by me) nu metal category. Any self respecting rock fan should've been rallying behind these guys instead of hating on GRETA VAN FLEET but with the departure of co-founder and co-vocalist/guitarist SHAUN McCOY, BOBAFLEX are now THE LONELY ONES and have done their level best to push their singles ETERNAL SADNESS and THE LONELY ONE in a time when people are advised not to gather in crowds.
APRIL 30, 2020
ROCKWiRED REWiND: EURYTHMiCS' 1985 ALBUM BE YOURSELF TONiGHT
was the year that pop music grew a heart with the advent BOB GELDOLF's BAND AID initiative which had kicked off in late 1984 with the release of the now-classic Holiday pop tune DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS which featured vocals from just about every major recording artist popular on MTV at that time from across the Atlantic. Months later US artists, led by MICHAEL JACKSON and LIONEL RITCHIE, would pick up the slack and launch the USA FOR AFRICA initiative with the single WE ARE THE WORLD featuring just about every artist who was able to make it to the GRAMMYs that night with producer QUINCY JONES capturing the historic pop moment on reel to reel and video.
APRIL 5, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ZOMBiEKiNG
ou never think of metal music bringing the denizens of a small town together but the music of ZOMBIEKING has managed to o just that. Robstown, Texas boasts a population of 11,487 and is just a few minutes away from Corpus Christi where ZOMBIEKING has honed their lived act for the past seven years and have brought their Robstown neighbors with them according to frontman JUAN MANUEL during a recent phone call. With a built in audience such as this one would expect one hell of a send off for the band's debut EP DEAD TO LIFE but seeing as how the release coincided with the on set of the coronavirus pandemic, we have no idea how the band's debut on the PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT label went. IF there was anything we were able to extrapolate from our phone conversation with JUAN MANUEL it was how perseverance has served the band well up to this point and I can't imagine the band or their potent brand of metal backing down from any circumstance. Not even a fucking pandemic. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with JUAN MANUEL of ZOMBIE KING regarding the the band's debut EP DEAD TO LIFE. Here is how the interview went.
APRIL 3, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: A LOST ASYLUM
n the eve of the great COVID-19 pandemic, the Salt Lake City-based gothcore band A LOST ASYLUM released their self-titled debut album via PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT. This isn't the most ideal time to go big with your debut release but front woman HOLLY WATSON and the band, GIL MENCHACA (guitars), DANTE LONG (guitars), JUSTIN BELL (drums) and JAMES ROAKE (bass), are committed pros and have been even before the founding of the band back in 2016. In the past four years A LOST ASYLUM has built up a loyal fanbase by steadily and stealthily touring the West Coast and if the the band's hard hitting, riff-driven brand of gothcore is to be believed, there is a grit and a resilience to this band that will not be denied. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with A LOST ASYLUM's front woman HOLLY WATSON over the phone. Here is how the interview went.
APRIL 3, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DELTAPHONiC
n listening to THE FUNK, THE SOUL & THE HOLY GROOVE, the third album from the New Orleans-based band DELTAPHONIC, I would start off by stating that the third time's the charm but seeing as how the album is due to be released on April 10 when the coronavirus pandemic is set to get worse, one would think that the timing couldn't be worse. In an email interview with DELTAPHONIC's founder ANDREW T. WEEKES, the frontman acknowledges the hardship but has found support among the music community in New Orleans and their role as musicians in this crisis. "We're all working musicians so it’s difficult financially, but we have a strong community that supports us," said WEEKES. "We'll be alright thanks to them. Sometimes it's hard to feel good about promoting our own music when we’re constantly being reminded that a lot of people's lives are in crisis. Hopefully our music helps people get through these hard times."
MARCH 28, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: RELiC KiNGS
hange is unavoidable and I think that point is being hammered steadily into the global psyche now that we are in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. A band such as RELIC KINGS doesn't deserve such a grim segue but that is what this very pandemic has done to us. However, the subject was change. I first became acquainted with the First Nations rock band in 2014 when they were known as BLACK STONE and had made a name for themselves throughtout Indian Country by issuing a full throttle, riff-heavy rock n roll sound. A couple of years later, the band changed their moniker to RELIC KINGS and refined their sound to something more palatable for active rock radio on their secone EP ARMOURY which earned the band an INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARD for BEST ROCK BAND. In the latter half of 2019 RELIC KINGS released their latest album BLINDED BY THE SUN adn had ROCKWIRED not been in the midst of a lengthy hiatus, we would've given it up for the band in a timely manner. The bash and strut of the band is still in full force but the approach seems to have more of a 'knowing' to it than it did before. Case in point is the piano-led ballad STAY TONIGHT. Before everything went to hell, ROCKWIRED had a chance to catch up with the band's lead singer ROB FARIES regarding the band and their latest album. Here is how the interview went.
MARCH 25, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: NEVERWAKE
t's going to take a while to learn just what business as usual is going to mean when your living under a global pandemic. In trying to catch up with everything having to do with ROCKWIRED in the past couple of weeks, I've continually found myself falling off the saddle. We all want out normalcy back. However, in resisting the urge to keep up with all of the bad news, I uploaded my interview recordings to my transcription software of choice and started typing and in doing so I found comfort in my conversations with bands that had just released a new album in the days before COVID-19 was something that we were all going to have to stay indoors from. Specifically, when I spoke with lead singer JOHNNY DiCARLO of the Pittsburgh-based band NEVERWAKE, I was taken by the bands D.I.Y. spirit in producing their latest music video for their single CALL OUT MY NAME. The story of the band NEVERWAKE is one of people from different backgrounds coming together to make something great, and while everyone is encouraged to abide by the rules of social distancing, the band and their music have come to symbolize coming out on top amid struggle. In speaking with DiCARLO, he mentioned his sense of responsibility as a songwriter and how it is something that cannot be taken lightly or for granted. The following interview took place March 5, 2020.
MARCH 9, 2020
ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF THE MONTH NOMiNEES: ZOMBiEKiNG, A LOST ASYLUM, RELiC KiNGS, NEVERWAKE, ALL SOULS, JANGLiNG SPARROWS AND JEFF CARLSON BAND!!!
OCKWIRED.COM is pleased to announce the nominees for our latest ARTIST OF THE MONTH COMPETITION. Just a few days ago we announced BLAME BABY as the ROCKWIRED ARTIST OF THE MONTH winner for March of 2020. Now, we are getting things set for the month of March and we've got an amazing group of artists for you to pick from. This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by POLL-MAKER. Voters are welcome to vote up to 5 times a day although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.
This month's nominees include ZOMBiEKiNG, A LOST ASYLUM, RELiC KiNGS, NEVERWAKE, ALL SOULS, JANGLiNG SPARROWS and JEFF CARLSON BAND. The polls will close Friday, March 27, 2020 and the winner will be announced Monday, March 30, 2020. The winner will receive extra promotion on the pages of ROCKWIRED.COM with a free web ad which will appear on all of the pages of the website for one month.
MARCH 9, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: JEFF CARLSON BAND
n speaking with JEFF CARLSON in regard to how he happened to find himself in the world of rock n roll, I came away with a vision of him as the kid in that TWISTED SISTER video for WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT declaring that he wants to rock. And why the hell not? "I'm the classic case of not wanting to go to school and just wanting to rock," laughed CARLSON when speaking of how rock n roll took hold of him as a youth and didn't let go. "It's not smartest outlook on life but that was where my attitude was." The fabled road to rock n roll glory has always been a rocky one but CARLSON has managed to stay the course for the past twenty years fronting such bands as ANGEL PARK and LIQUID SKYE but it is the JEFF CARLSON band that has managed to make the most noise having shared stages with such acts as LITA FORD, TESLA, FIREHOUSE and FASTER PUSSYCAT. After twenty years of rocking out consistently, CARLSON and his band are set for one hell of a year having recently been signed to RFL RECORDS and the release of their upcoming EP SECOND CHANCE which is being preceded by the single - a glorious cover of the FOREIGNER classic JUKE BOX HERO featuring FRANK HANNON of TESLA on lead guitar. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with JEFF CARLSON regarding the band's new single and forthcoming EP. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 22, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: JANGLiNG SPARROWS
AUL EDELMAN of JANGLING SPARROWS is on a mission to make music that saves lives! When he pointed out to me that rock n roll used to save lives when I spoke to him for an interview, I was immediately reminded of the emotional impact that this country's greatest musical invention was able to deliver. You no longer hear and feel that impact on today's pop radio or on any of those singing contests that deliver the ratings. On JANGLING SPARROW's latest album BOOTSTRAPS AN OTHER AMERICAN FABLES, EDELMEN emerges as a roots rock troubadour with an emphasis on 'rock' and a knack for telling a story - a trait that has been lacking in rock n roll since SPRINGSTEEN started getting a little too big for Asbury Park. ROCKWIRED had a chance to get re-acquainted with PAUL EDELMAN of JANGLING SPARROWS regarding their new album. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 16, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: FRAMiNG HANLEY
ever underestimate the power of rock n roll. Once it is in your system there is just no way to shake it. Singer and bandleader KENNETH NIXON found that out over a period of six years after he and his band FRAMING HANLEY chose to quietly call it quits and step out of the active rock limelight following the release of their 2014 album THE SUM OF WHO WE ARE. No one gives the rock n roll lifestyle the credit that it deserves for being a demanding profession where a good part of a calendar year is devoted to being on the road. Three years after FRAMING HANLEY's last release, KENNETH NIXON had a musical itch to scratch so he teamed up with FRAMING HANLEY guitarist RYAN BELCHER to form a new project tentatively titled SUMNER ROOTS. In forging this new sound for a new project, the two quickly realized that what they were working on was a new FRAMING HANLEY album an spent an additional three years perfecting their forthcoming album ENVY, which is due out on February 21, 2020. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with KENNETH NIXON on FRAMING HANLEY about the band's newest album. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 12, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BLAME BABY
t surprises me that power pop hasn't seen much of a resurgence in an age where pop music is bigger than ever. I've always been a sucker for a three minute song with melodies executed with a full throttle, rock and roll approach and some punchy guitar riffs. It's an approach that you don't hear all at often on today's pop radio but the LA-based band BLAME BABY aren't concerning themselves with that. This new power trio is more interested in creating a pure pop rock moment which kind of explains their penchant for releasing singles as opposed to EPs or LPs. Late last year they released their debut single HEADCASE a surf rock anthem about self-realization and loss of identity. The subject matter is a little heavy for something wrapped in the in such delectable power pop. Now, the trio comprised of lead singer and guitarist JESSE JOHNSON, bassist OMAR D. BRANCATO and MATT TUCCI on drums, have released their newest single, THE FLOOR, another energetic burst of pop rock which is all about sweet surrender and keeping the dream simple - another sentiment you don't hear in a lot of what pop radio has to offer these days. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with front man JESS JOHNSON regarding the BLAME BABY and their new single. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 10, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: SPENCER KRASCH
f someone else makes another stupid remark about rock n roll being dead, I'm gonna shoot 'em! If anyone deserves a hyberbolic opening in their ROCKWIRED write up, it is SPENCER KRASCH. So you didn't recognize a name of one single artist at this year's GRAMMYS and the appeal of this BILLIE EILISH has you scratching your head until it bleeds. That doesn't mean that the only music out there that you can bang your head to has vanished. Although it has taken a few hits with the passing of NEIL PEART, WHITNEY HOUSTON making it into the ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME and not PAT BENATAR and one of my favorite bands out there, BOBAFLEX, not being a band anymore. Back to Mr. KRASCH, the former front man of DELTA ROSE. In my line of work I'm used to strapping young lads telling me that they are all about keeping rock alive, but coming from KRASCH, it sounds like more than mere lip service. I first noticed the guy's stage presence and chops when his band DELTA ROSE came to my nick of the woods along with the band DIAMOND LANE five years ago. It was a rare night out for me and I looked forward to getting in touch with the band. Regrettably it didn't happen. Five years later, KRASCH has stepped away from DELTA ROSE and has gone solo with his debut album, the curiously titled WOOLLY MAMMOTH. Released weeks ago, KRASCH's ambitious debut release was preceded by the album's first single GOLDEN LEGS along with a music video where KRASCH proves to be both a rock n roll lothario and an equestrian. The video and the single provide a taste of the theatricality that KRASCH hopes to bring to a live stage in the months to come. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with SPENCER KRASCH regarding his debut album. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 8, 2020
ROCKWiRED BLAST: THE LA MUSiC ViDEO AWARDS SEEKS MUSiC ViDEO SUBMiSSiONS FOR CONSiDERATiON FOR NOMiNATiON iN THEiR UPCOMiNG AWARDS SEASON!!!
he year 2020 marks the third year for the annual LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS which highlight and salute the artistic and technical merit of music videos by artists, bands and filmakers from around the world. In the past three years, the LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS have grown exponentially in both reputation and stature as a celebration of the marriage of sound and vision and last year, the ceremony found a home at that the COVINA CENTER OF THE PERFORMING ARTS in Covina, California. This year the fledgling awards ceremony will be returning to Covina on July 11, 2020 but before that can happen, the LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS needs to come up with some nominations.
The LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS has been seeking music video submissions from bands, artists and videographers since January 13, 2020 through the website FILMFREEWAY.COM and will continue to do so until the regular deadline April 2, 2020. There is also late deadline date of May 1, 2020. The nominations will be announced on May 18, 2020 and nominees will be featured in a special publication put out by ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE - THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE 2020 LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS which will be released on June 1, 2020.
FEBRUARY 2, 2020
ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF MONTH: CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
FEBRUARY 2, 2020 - You voted, the polls have closed and the winner of the 96th ROCKWIRED ARTIST OF THE MONTH title is CORNERS OF SANCTUARY on the strength of her new EP WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND. A brand new year is upon us and it should all feel like a blank slate, but the Pennsylvania-based metal band CORNERS OF SANCTUARY are still on our radar. A few months ago, we gave the band coverage for their Yuletide release A MERRY METAL CHRISTMAS VI and gave us at ROCKWIRED something to listen to that was both headbanging and festive all in one shot as our tiny little publication returned a bit early from its 2019 hiatus. Historically, we could always rely on CORNERS OF SANCTUARY to fill our previous editorial calendars with content whether it be a lone single, an EP or a full length album. In the week before the end of 2019, the band released their new EP WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND, a collection of overlooked songs from the band's vault of songs that have been dusted off and and brought to life with blistering new arrangements. If that wasn't enough to kick off a new year, the band will soon be putting the finishing touches on a brand new LP titled HEROES NEVER DIE which according to guitarist MICK MICHAELS won't see the light of day until much later in 2020.
FEBRUARY 1, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BREATHiNG THEORY
ow more than ever, a positive mindset is the sort of thing that needs to be encouraged. Maybe even celebrated. Hell, one deserves a badge for getting through times marked by political divisiveness, economic uncertainty and climate change with a big ole smile. The Florida-based band BREATHING THEORY have made it to me when I spoke with them that their latest album BALANCE is all about embracing a more transcendental state of mind, but that doesn't mean these guys are a bunch of Pollyannas. BREATHING THEORY has been on the scene for the better part of a decade and have toured the country and shared stages with the likes of of 12 STONES, BOBAFLEX, SID WILSON from SLIPKNOT, SICK PUPPIES and EVANESCENCE. A more positive attitude aside, the new album BALANCE sounds like a band at its zenith. The two years it took putting the album together sound like time well spent and the first hint of these glorious results comes in the form of the album's first headbanging single THE NOTHING. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with front man CORY BRITT and guitarists COLLIN MORRISON and ROB MAHONEY regarding their new album. Here is how the interview went.
JANUARY 20, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ROGER CAPPS
he news of PAT BENATAR being snubbed by the ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. The four-time GRAMMY winning rock coloratura has been eligible for consideration since 2004, twenty five years after the release of her debut album - the platinum certified IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT which boasted the woman's signature headbanging anthem HEARTBREAKER. That was only the beginning of the gamine rocker's influence over the charts, the airwaves and pop culture. She was the first female artist on MTV and armed with a four-octave range, she stuck it to the rock n roll boy's club with a sound that was forceful and feminine. Evidence of her influence on the firmament of hard rock is felt today with such standards as HEARTBREAKER, HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT, HELL IS FOR CHILDREN, FIRE AND ICE, LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD and WE BELONG still permeating the airwaves through classic rock radio. Perhaps none of this means anything to an organization that is all about serving as a pantheon for achievements in rock n roll. Fan support for BENATAR's induction came through loud and clear in the HALL OF FAME's much publicized fan ballot where BENATAR came in second place, curiously following DAVE MATTHEWS BAND with 882,207 votes. However, the fan ballot was only worth one industry vote - one vote out of over a thousand voting members.
JANUARY 14, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: WiLDSTREET
ock n roll never gets out of your system. As a publication, we've just just returned from a lengthy hiatus that lasted for much of 2019. The band WILDSTREET endured a period of silence themselves from 2012 to 2016. Boasting a glorious sleaze metal sound, the New York City based band emerge onto the rock scene in 2006 with the release of their self-titled debut album and didn't blink in the four years that came after performing at all of the right festivals such as ROCKLAHOMA (the band has played their for five years straight), SXSW and M3 FESTIVAL and sharing stages with the likes of TWISTED SISTER, CRASH DIET, KIX and LA GUNS. In speaking with the band's front man ERIC JAYK, the reasons for WILDSTREET's two and a half year absence seems irrelevant now. WILDSTREET has been all about looking to the future since their triumphant return to rock n roll in 2016 at the GRAMERCY THEATER with a brand new line up. In December of 2017 WILDSTREET released their comeback single RAISE HELL and began working on their eagerly awaited album WILDSTREET III in earnest in 2018. That album is due to be released sometime in 2020 and to whet the appetites of their enthusiastic fan base WILDSTREET has released some rather strong singles in the past few months such as the raucous TENNESSEE COCAINE and the driving THREE WAY RIDE. Next month the band will issue another single - BORN TO BE - while hitting the road for a tour that will take them up and down the East Cost and to Columbia and to Mexico for some dates with CRASH DIET.
JANUARY 5, 2020
ROCKWiRED NOTES: CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
brand new year is upon us and it should all feel like a blank slate, but the Pennsylvania-based metal band CORNERS OF SANCTUARY are still on our radar. A few weeks ago, we gave the band coverage for their Yuletide release A MERRY METAL CHRISTMAS VI and gave us at ROCKWIRED something to listen to that ws both headbanging and festive all in one shot as our tiny little publication returned a bit early from its 2019 hiatus. Historically, we could always rely on CORNERS OF SANCTUARY to fill our previous editorial calendars with content whether it be a lone single, an EP or a full length album. In the week before the end of 2019, the band released their new EP WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND, a collection of overlooked songs from the band's vault of songs that have been dusted off and and brought to life with blistering new arrangements. If that wasn't enough to kick off a new year, the band will soon be putting the finishing touches on a brand new LP titled HEROES NEVER DIE which according to gutiarist MICK MICHAELS won't see the light of day until much later in 2020. ROCKWIRED had the chance to speak with MICK MICHAELS regarding the release of WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND and the band's plans for the new year. Here is how the interview went.
DECEMBER 27, 2019
ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF THE MONTH NOMiNEES:JILLIAN RISCOE, VIOLATES/VIOLETS, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY, DARK STATION, PORN, WILDSTREET AND THE JEFF CARLSON BAND!!!
OCKWIRED.COM is pleased to announce the nominees for our latest ARTIST OF THE MONTH COMPETITION. Our monthly artist competition has been noticeably absent for months when blues rocker DIANA REIN was annouced as the winner. ROCKWIRED has been busy trying to figure out how we are going to move forward with 2020. Now, we are getting things set for the month of January and we've got an amazing group of artists for you to pick from. This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by POLL-MAKER. Voters are welcome to vote up to 5 times a day although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.
This month's nominees include JILLIAN RISCOE, VIOLATES/VIOLETS, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY, DARK STATION, PORN, WILDSTREET and THE JEFF CARLSON BAND. The polls will close Friday, Janaury 31, 2020 and the winner will be announced Monday, February 3, 2019. The winner will receive extra promotion on the pages of ROCKWIRED.COM with a free web ad which will appear on all of the pages of the website for one month.
DECEMBER 24, 2019
ROCKWiRED's 15 THiNGS: BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS
ver since DISNEY aquisitioned the STAR WARS franchise, any discussion having to do with a certain galaxy far, far away has become a contentious one. On one side you've got folks thinking that STAR WARS has faltered under the Mouse and feel that the franchise's latest offerings merely push some sort of SJW agenda ordered by KATHLEEN KENNEDY with the new film's female leads and then you've got guys like me who think you can never have too much of this operatic space yarn as long you don't bring up midichlorians or JAR JAR BINKS. Not even the presence of BABY YODA has managed to neutralize the minefield littered with a bunch fat, bearded bros and shrill trixies with YOUTUBE channels lamenting the death of STAR WARS and their helicoptered childhoods. THE RISE OF SKYWALKER has been out for a couple days and its box office looks reasonable from here, but I can already see it causing friction on one's FACEBOOK timeline or the dinner table this Christmas. You're going to see more combativeness over STAR WARS than you will the impeachment of DONALD TRUMP.
DECEMBER 21, 2019
ROCKWiRED ViDEO BLAST: FEATURiNG NEW MUSiC ViDEOS FROM BLUE MOViE, JEFF CARLSON BAND, KRASHKARMA, DARK STATION, MICHAEL HORNBUCKLE BAND, CHURCH OF THE COSMiC SKULL AND LORD NELSON & SEB L!!!
or the past couple of weeks ROCKWIRED has done a serviceable job in proving that it is back for the long haul. In our absence one of the editorial features that we wanted to get back to was our VIDEO BLAST feature where we search FACEBOOK for music videos by independent artists to single out for our readership. Some of the videos we picked this week are from bands that have come around ROCKWIRED's way in the past and the rest are brand spanking new to us such as CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL, JEFF CARLSON BAND and DARK STATION. The familiar faces include the likes of BLUE MOVIE, KRASHKARMA, MICHAEL HORNBUCKLE BAND and LORD NELSON & SEB L. Even with MTV having morphed into god knows what, music videos are more important than ever in helping to brand a band and forge an identity outside of the music. It's been a formula that has worked for decades but in an era where artists really have to rise above a ton of white noise on the internet and social media, it's damned essential.
DECEMBER 17, 2019
ROCKWiRED REWiND: ROXETTE'S 1989 ALBUM LOOK SHARP
few days ago, BILLBOARD announced that the music streams for ROXETTE had shot up a whopping 770% following news of the untimely death of their female singer MARIE FREDRIKSSON on December 9, 2019. Clearly I'm not the only one who likes their pop music to be over-the-top and frilly yet with a dose of wry wit and even a little sadness. Yes, the Swedish duo's playful and punchy catalog, which spanned everything from power pop to electronic dance beats to epic power ballads on a GEORGE PAL scale, was the stuff that pop dreams were made of. There was a knowing to the heartache that FREDRIKSSON put that lean mean contralto of hers into, but a bright-eyed innocence came through as well. Comparisons to ABBA were inevitable, but it was that 'knowing' that set ROXETTE apart as well as a cheekiness, especially on the more stomping pop rock tunes that were often issued by ROXETTE co-founder PER GESSLE. This was a pop package for the ages so it is no wonder people are giving the music of this formidable duo a second listen and maybe even getting lost in some pleasant memories. Aside from being the year of her death, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of ROXETTE's breakthrough into the US pop charts with their sophomore album LOOK SHARP and that alone brings back memories. In 1989 I was a tall, skinny, lanky, un-athletic 14 year-old without a prayer. My only salvation was Top 40 radio which was world's away from the pop environment we have today.
DECEMBER 15, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DARK STATiON
n a pop music culture that is all about celebrity and social media, the curious life of the rock band gets overlooked by many simply because there are no rock bands to speak of that get put out into the public consciousness anymore. It's all country and R&B and whatever else shows like THE VOICE want you to believe is going to fly with the American public. It's a shame because the Southern California based band DARK STATION boasts a sound that we don't hear at all in the current pop firmament. It is a sound rooted in the hard rock raucous that typified post-grunge of the late nineties and early aughts with lyrics that aren't about braggadociousness or moving like JAGGER, but about life gone wrong and then horribly wrong but faced with an optimism that isn't easy to understand yet must be embraced if one is to move forward. The push and pull of life is what the music of DARK STATION is all about and they've captured it perfectly on their debut album DOWN IN THE DARK, an eleven song opus produced by AUGUSTUS CRYNS (BUTCHER BABIES, ANTHRAX, VYCES). Since the album's release in October of 2019, DARK STATION has been showing with world what they're made of and proving that rock is on the rise again with the singles HEROES, VILLAIN, NO LIFE and OBVIOUS, all of which were accompanied by some first rate music videos. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with DARK STATION's front man NATHAN SPADES regarding the band's debut album. Here is how the interview went.
DECEMBER 12, 2019
ROCKWiRED PR BLAST: JEFF CARLSON BAND
as Vegas, Nevada's Scorchers Of Melodic Hard Rock, the Jeff Carlson Band, have announced they have inked a worldwide deal with RFL Records. The band delivers a high dosage of hooks with their melodic hard rock style that taps into the glory days of the late 80's and early 90's and pulls that energy into the new millenium. With heavy guitars, high energy melodies and a heart pounding backbeat, JCB blast the arena rock style into the spotlight and into the ears of today’s young listeners.
DECEMBER 11, 2019
ROCKWiRED REMEMBERS: MARiE FREDRiKSSON
he voice of MARIE FREDRIKSSON is a hard thing to describe in the age of TV shows like THE VOICE. It was strong with a slight rasp and was capable of issuing slick pop, driving rockers and some of the most daring and sweeping power ballads to ever hit the pop stratosphere. If you listened very closely (especially on the forementioned power ballads) you could hear a sadness welling up in the woman's throat. As the female vocalist and co-founder of the Swedish pop duo ROXETTE, FREDRIKSSON covered all of the bases that I just laid out for you but it was FREDRIKSSON tearing into the duo's power ballads that set her apart from many of her late-eighties/early nineties pop contemporaries. That voice of her's soared on such material as the number one songs LISTEN TO YOUR HEART and IT MUST'VE BEEN LOVE, but there was something understated in her delivery - an intimacy that had nothing to do with being a pop diva. I'm confident that none of the judges on THE VOICE could put their finger on it either. I feel that it was most definitely love, but it's over now with the passing of MARIE FREDRIKSSON on December 9, 2019 after a 17 year battle with cancer.
DECEMBER 8, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
he Christmas season is upon us and ROCKWIRED had a feeling that we could rely on the metal band CORNERS OF SANCTUARY to deliver the goods in terms of yuletide cheer and their own signature brand of metal guitar riffage. On the surface, a metal band doing Holiday themed music sounds tongue-in-cheek but the Holiday spirit amongst these ragscallions is most definitely for real and will not be denied. You're not a faker when you have just issued your sixth Christmas-themed album. In recent years the blasting of Christmas music through the overhead speakers of this or that retail outlet so soon after Halloween has practically been scientifically proven to bring out the inner GRINCH in people and who can blame them? There is a maddening redundancy to all of the frivolity. Who cares if it's BING CROSBY or MARIAH CAREY doing the deed?
DECEMBER 7, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: JiLLiAN RiSCOE
lot can happen in the space of ten years and this is most certainly true of singer JILLIAN RISCOE. When ROCKWIRED first became acquainted with RISCOE in 2009, she was an unabashed pop rock princess armed with a soulful delivery and a punchy sound that was heavy on pop psychological heartache and all of the drama that goes with the territory. Yes, her debut album ELEVEN:ELEVEN was the first hopeful sign of an artist on the rise. A star was born, yet surprisingly RISCOE defied conventional divadom and chose to share the spotlight with a band. In 2010, she formed the THE 21RST CENTURY and played stages at all of the right festivals and workshops and toured the country. In 2013, RISCOE put THE 21RST CENTURY behind her and formed RED VELVET CRUSH which continued her issuance of pop rock gems that spoke to the ups and downs of life and romance. Up until two years ago, we had every reason to believe that RED VELVET CRUSH was going to be here for the long haul with the release of two amazing EPs but 2017 saw the end of that band.
DECEMBER 4, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ViOLATES/ViOLETS
or years, Russian-born guitarist JAY KATANA has made it his mission to combine rip roaring electric guitar sounds with modern dance beats. While his instrumental approach wasn't likely to make a blip on pop music's radar, it was most definitely an intriguing sound that would feel right at home on this video game or that NETFLIX original. ROCKWIRED first became acquainted with KATANA in 2016 with the release of his debut EP BLEEDING BOYFRIEND VOLUME ONE where the man's musical ambitions were punctuated by a series of frantic, animated music videos. In 2018 he released the LP BRIGHTER THAN YOUR FUTURE which continued his alchemy of rock guitar and EDM beats. In September of this year, KATANA released the EP BLEEDING BOYFRIEND MIXTAPE (THE END 2012 -2019).
OCTOBER 14, 2019
ROCKWiRED BLAST: ROCKWiRED.COM ON HiATUS
nyone who has followed ROCKWIRED.COM closely throughout the course of 2019 could see the writing on the wall and this official announcement may come as no surprise. 2019 was not our year and in order to ensure that the website survives, ROCKWIRED MEDIA LLC - the company that powers ROCKWIRED.COM - has decided to put the website on hiatus until the January 17, 2020. According to ROCKWIRED.COM's editor-in-chief BRIAN LUSH, this announcement probably should've been issued much earlier in the year. "Never before have I ever been faced with a dilemma like this in all of the 15 years that we have been in operation," Says LUSH. "With the downturn in advertising and feeling as if we've lost our way a bit, I think the time away is going to be the best medicine for ROCKWIRED and when we return, I've got a good feeling that our readers will truly appreciate our little publication even more and we may even bring new readers aboard the ROCKWIRED train."
JULY 11, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: MiKKEL CLOUD
've seen countless new acts come out of drydock confident in their musical vision and their singular sense of artistry. TRANSISTOR_1, the new EP from the recently formed electronica duo MIKKEL CLOUD, is their first official release and singer WHITTNEY MIKKEL's earthy coo and the otherworldly electronic arrangements of JAREN CLOUD are the sonic hallmarks of this new act. However, it is curious to note that the duo's first significant musical marking is a small collection of covers of RADIOHEAD songs. MIKKEL CLOUD take the songs HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY, PYRAMID SONG and TRUE LOVE WAITS and give the music the kind of musical spin that would make THOM YORKE proud. In fact the tunes feel right at home with MIKKEL CLOUD's jazzy electronica. Unlike the countless BUSTER BROWN's I've witnessed picking up an acoustic guitar and yelping the band's 1994 hit CREEP, MIKKEL CLOUD serve up an interpretation of RADIOHEAD's music that satisfies artistically and sonically and won't cause eyes to roll. In speaking with the spritely and adorable Anaheim-based couple over the phone, the challenges of getting people to take in intertpretations of RADIOHEAD seriously was not lost on either WHITTNEY or JAREN.
JUNE 21, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DiANA REiN
hen I spoke with singer songwriter and guitarist DIANA REIN in the two weeks prior to the release of her new album QUEEN OF MY CASTLE, she was kicking back in her hometown of Chicago and celebrating her parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Fifty years of wedded bliss takes a rare dedication and it is the same dedication I had recognized in REIN when I first profiled her in ROCKWIRED two years ago in regard to her 2017 album LONG ROAD. On that album, REIN embraced the blues in an earnest and sincere way tht wasn't overly studied or heavy handed - just natural. Now, REIN proves that her embrace of the blues is still both genuine and heartfelt with QUEEN OF MY CASTLE - an album that showcases REIN's guitar chops and songcraft on such stand out tracks as HEAT, PURE SOUL and GET DOWN. Two years is a long time to get an album ship shape but when I spoke with REIN, this latest album was a true labor of love with quite an evolution.
JUNE 20, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DELMONT
hen I got on the phone with JONAH KAZMAN, the drummer of the Philadelphia-based rock band DELMONT, it was easy to hear the buzz of activity through the speaker. One would guess that it was simply a band getting together for rehearsal. When a band issues an exciting slice of modern rock with a decidedly bluesy edge as DELMONT has with their new EP AGED, it makes sense to get the band into touring shape. However, this wasn't the case. According to KAZMAN, all of the members of DELMONT were moving into a house together. In all the years that I've been trying to get to know bands and to get a sense of what makes them tick, I've never met a band of brothers like DELMONT. I've interviewed bands with members that didn't want to be in the same room together, but a band who get a house together? It doesn't sound real but it is. In fact, if what one hears on the band's latest EP is to be believed, then the chemistry that bonds DELMONT together is indeed formidable. Who knows? They may even end up being ideal roommates.
JUNE 7, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: KELLY BELL BAND
reat music transcends genres and for twenty-four years, THE KELLY BELL BAND has been making 13 albums worth of great music. Now, the band has issued their latest album KNOW MY NAME and the borders that have traditionally separated such music as metal, blues, jazz and rock are nowhere to be found, resulting in a musical journey that is unparalleled in an age where singles are king...at least until APPLE takes i-TUNES away. If the myriad sounds collected on this one album look daunting in print, to front man KELLY BELL it's just business as usual. In fact, the music of THE KELLY BELL BAND indeed has a label and it's "Phat Blues".
MAY 28, 2019
ROCKWiRED DOSSiER: SHONDRA JEPPERSON
aking a living out of what one loves to do is the hardest thing in the world to achieve, but songwriter and performer SHONDRA JEPPERSON makes it look easy. Based in Sedona, Arizona, SHONDRA and her husband TOM JEPPERSON run their own production company ENTERTAINMENT BY TOM AND SHONDRA where the two produce live shows and concerts, musical murder mysteries and emcee various events. As an entrepreneur, SHONDRA has married a love of music and performance into a comfortable living that has made her and her company a stand out in their community and the greater Southwest region, but before settling in Sedona, SHONDRA has been an award winning songwriter and a stand out actress in various comedic, dramatic and musical theatre productions.
MAY 16, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ZFG
ou never get a second chance to make a first impression and I have the sneaking suspicion that the band ZFG had that very saying in mind when deciding what the band's first single was going to be. Their anthemic debut single SPECIAL is a thick slice of pop rock heaven that combines no nonsense metal riffs with a funky rhythm section. On top of these proceedings is the soulful wail of lead singer JULES GALLI. Pop smarts such as this don't grow on trees, especially in today's musical climate. In the case of a band like ZFG, pop smarts are simply a matter of good genetics. The band's founders, guitarist TREV LUKATHER and bassist SAM PORCARO, are the respective sons of STEVE LUKATHER and MIKE PORCARO of the band TOTO. Of course, illustrious musical chops aren't limited to these two. Drummer JOSH DEVINE has worked with ONE DIRECTION and lays down one mean thunder clap while lead singer JULES GALLI's vocals give the music that R&B sheen that made ADAM LEVINE a big deal in the first place. ROCKWIRED had the chance to speak with founder and guitarist TREV LUKATHER regarding the band and their new single. Here is how the interview went.
APRIL 16, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DALi VAN GOGH
n all the years that we've known DALI VAN GOGH, we could always rely on the Nova Scotia-based band to deliver a rocking good time with every successive release, but with their latest album UNDER HER SPELL, they really mean it. As a publication, we can't help but get all warm and sentimental when it comes to these guys. They were one of the first bands to be featured on ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE in 2012 and all those years ago, despite their relative youth, they were a band who had been through some drastic line up changes, but for guitarist and founder ISAAC KENT, it was all par for the course. The music was the mission and it seemed this grunge metal juggernaut was going to go the distance until the band broke up in 2014 and KENT shifted his attention to the entreprenuerial task of turning the DALI VAN GOGH brand into an independent record label. With a few signings, one would have thought that KENT's future as music mogul was secure until a fire destroyed his recording studio and home. The devastating set back forced KENT to re-examine his life and his brand and from the ashes emerged a new and improved DALI VAN GOGH with a 2016 album aptly titled FROM THE ASHES, which showcased the band and KENT's unshakable spirit. Now with their new release UNDER HER SPELL, DALI VAN GOGH issues the very blistering hard rock that they have made their unmistakable trademark, but this time around, the band is more interested in serving up a good time with such tracks as the single, GET AWAY, SUPERMAN AND MacGYVER and EAST COAST WITCHES. ROCKWIRED had a chance to catch up with guitarist and founder ISAAC KENT and keyboardist RACHELLE MOREAU of DALI VAN GOGH six days before the release of their new album. Here is how the interview went.
APRIL 10, 2019
ROCKWiRED NEWS BLAST: THE OFFiCiAL GUiDE TO THE 2019 LA MUSiC VIDEO AWARDS TO BE PUBLiSHED BY ROCKWiRED MAGAZiNE!!!
n April 22, 2018 ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE will be releasing the official guide for the 2019 LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS taking place in Covina, California on May 11, 2019 at THE COVINA CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS. This guide will feature an indepth look at the all of the music videos that have been nominated for this exciting awards program and give readers and music fans a taste of what the world of independent music has to offer in the way of visuals. It is a mission that has ROCKWIRED publisher BRIAN LUSH "completely excited" to say the least. "I'm all too anxious to get this immense project off the ground!" says BRIAN LUSH. "These days, it's not just the song that gets an artist noticed. It's the vision that a band brings to the table. This is nothing new. MTV got the ball rolling decades ago but with services like YOUTUBE and other social media, a music video is more important than ever to have but the problem is that there is so much out there and an awards program like the LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS will give people a taste of everything that is out there. The number of categories is truly intimidating but ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE's guide to this year's program is going to cover all of it with style and charm."
MARCH 24, 2019
ROCKWiRED REViEWS: THE DiRT
he "rock n roll biopic" is bigger than ever since the box office success of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and the subsequent OSCAR win for actor RAMI MALEK for his flashy portrayal of the one and only FREDDIE MERCURY. Later this year, we can expect a film based on the life SIR ELTON JOHN, nicked ROCKET MAN, to hit the silver screen. Rock n roll has always lent itself to great drama given the intensity of the music and the fabled ups and downs that usual accompany lifestories that come complete with meteoric rises, devastating crashes and burns that hopefully culminate into a newfound resilience to move forward with an audience to cheer the protagonist on. I've already betting that ROCKET MAN, like BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, will go for hagiography at the expense of telling us something truly juicy and why the hell not? Both films are produced by the very subjects they cover. This is not quite the case for THE DIRT, a film based on the collaborative autobiography of glam metal icons MOTLEY CRUE titled THE DIRT: CONFESSIONS OF THE WORLD'S MOST NOTORIOUS ROCK BAND. The eagerly awaited film has dropped on NETFLIX at a very curious time in pop cultural zeitgeist marked by #metoo and thought of it has me in stitches.
MARCH 19, 2019
THE ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF THE MONTH NOMiNEES:
OCKWIRED.COM is pleased to announce the nominees for our latest ARTIST OF THE MONTH COMPETITION. Our monthly artist competition has been noticeably absent since the month of February when Maryland-based rockers VEER were annouced as the winners. ROCKWIRED has been busy trying to figure out how we are going to move forward with 2019. Now, we are getting things set for the month of April and we've got an amazing group of artists for you to pick from. This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by MICROPOLL. Voters are welcome to vote as many times as they wish although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.
This month's nominees include THE INFECTION, TURBO TAYLOR & THE RIFF RAFF, 9ELECTRIC, SILVERTUNG, SHALLOW SIDE, BRAVO DELTA, DALI VAN GOGH. The polls will close Friday, March 29, 2019 and the winner will be announced Saturday, March 30, 2019. The winner will be featured in a special podcast presentation and will receive extra promotion on the pages of ROCKWIRED.COM with a free web ad which will appear on all of the pages of the website for one month.
TO CAST YOUR VOTE CLiCK HERE!!!
MARCH 19, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: THE iNFECTiON
espite comprising hard rocking journeymen with over 80 collective years of musical experience between them, THE INFECTION is a brand new band that is hellbent on getting folks to feel energized and inspired by the music on their debut album TIME TO HEAL. Two years isn't exactly a hell of a long time to be together as a band, but front man RICK DUNN, bassist SANTIAGO HELMAN, drummer VINNIE LAROCCA and ax man TOMMY GUARNIERI have used the time wisely to craft a lean and mean metal sound that speaks to the highs and lows of living life in a culture where you've got a scandal here and feel outraged about over there. You can hear that very sentiment in the band's first single and music video CONSEQUENCES. Of course, all of the kinks in the songwriting were worked out before they stepped into the recording studio and got a little help in the mixing and engineering with ANTHONY ROCKY GALLO (JOHN LEGEND, JON BON JOVI, THE CULT). Rock n roll is always it's most potent when it has something to say and there is plenty the band has to say when it comes to such issues such as the scandal ridden times we're living in (CONSEQUENCES), homelessness (VAGRANT) and acknowledging the men and women who have served this country (THE BRAVE). ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with the all of the members of the band over the phone on the very day that the album TIME TO HEAL was released. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 28, 2019
ROCKWiRED SPECIAL FEATURE: 2019 LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS
ust when you thought that we saw the last of the award seasons with the recent broadcast of the 91rst annual ACADEMY AWARDS, along comes a new awards season for fans of a medium much smaller than that of the silver screen. Since it's inception last year, the LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS has sought to celebrate the very best in both the sound and vision that is coming out of the world of independent music. Last year over a hundred music videos were nominated in over 30 categories and this year, the submissions for the second annual LA MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS are looking to exceed those numbers. Organized by JOWANNA LEWIS - the CEO of the online radio station RADIOKSCR.COM - this annual awards celebration is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the hottest events in the music industry and LEWIS couldn't be more excited by what is in store this year. "There are a lot of things that have me excited!" said LEWIS in a recent phone conversation with ROCKWIRED. "One of the first submissions that I got was from the R&B singer INDIA.ARIE. When I saw that I was like "What?" That was pretty crazy. I also got a submission from a K-POP band from South Korea. It's a little but much to be honest. A part of me is thinking that this is going to be so much bigger than last year. We've also got a new venue this year and we're doing a whole lot of things in trying to secure sponsors. It is definitely going to be a bigger event. We've also added some new categories this year like BEST METAL MUSIC VIDEO and BEST COVER SONG. So I'm really excited. I think that it's all kind of crazy to be honest."
FEBRUARY 25, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BRAVO DELTA
ry, try again can either be sage advice or an exercise in futility. I suppose it depends on whether you're one of the glass half empty or glass half full types. So far, 2019 has proven difficult for ROCKWIRED as a publication, but for the band BRAVO DELTA, the year is shaping up to be a big one. The Vegas-based hard rock band has issued their first full length album, the aptly-titled UNBREAKABLE, after years of maintaining as a band despite health problems, setbacks and life getting in the way of that glorious music making process. Despite the obstacles, BRAVO DELTA have come out on top with a collection of songs that speak to the highs and lows of life and it can be heard and felt on the albums first single, the title-track of the album. On the heels of their previous EP releases SUNSET WASTELAND (2012) and SHUTDOWN SEQUENCE (2013), BRAVO DELTA have happened upon a sound that will perk the ears of active rock radio programmers and get some serious momentum going. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with the band's front man BRANDON DAVIS regarding the band's new album. Here is how the interview went.
FEBRUARY 4, 2019
2019 ROCKWiRED READER'S POLL AWARD WiNNERS!!!
he awards season for the 2019 ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS provided ROCKWIRED.COM with a steady stream of traffic and a great deal of voter excitement throughout social media. Lacking this year was the promised awards show which was cancelled due to budget problems. "It was too bad that we couldn't deliver a fun, spirited awards show this year to bring the season to an end, but the enthusiasm of the voters this year was celebration enough for us." says ROCKWIRED editor-in-chief BRIAN LUSH "The awards season has to end somehow and our editorial year must go on. In a way, the ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS is the official close of 2018 for us as a publication. It's important for us to celebrate the talent that made the previous year extraordinary and now that the winners are being announced we can explore all that will be possible in 2019."
FEBRUARY 3, 2019
ROCKWiRED.COM's ACiD FLASHBACK: THE DOORS
he opening song "BREAK ON THROUGH" gives the album a powerful start to a psychedelic trip that leads you to "THE END" with so many less regarded gems outside of the big three such as 20TH CENTURY FOX, CRYSTAL SHIP, SOUL KITCHEN, THE ALABAMA SONG. If you were to silence the vocal track on the album, the instruments would still stand out and be distinct, especially RAY MANZAREK playing on the keys. Often, JIM MORRISON is the most cited member of THE DOORS because he was just so charismatic that he stood out and I feel gave rock the larger than life image that it carried for years but he isn't without help. You had RAY MANZAREK on keys of course, ROBERT KRIEGER on guitar, and JOHN DENSMORE on drums. As talented as they all are, I don't think they would have made it anywhere without JIM MORRISON and JIM MORRISON wouldn't have made it anywhere without them.
FEBRUARY 2, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: THE SPEAR SHAKERS
x woman KELLY RICHEY has led a charmed life as an independent music maker, living her creative life on her own terms. After launching her own record label SWEET LUCY RECORDS, she has cut over 16 albums and has made a name for herself as a one of kind live performer with a sound rooted in the blues. Now, she is shaking things up a bit with her latest musical project THE SPEAR SHAKERS, where she has taken notes from JACK WHITE of THE WHITE STRIPES and has teamed up with a drummer and eschewed the role of a bass player. Said drummer is percussionist SHERRI McGEE and she and RICHEY are one hell of a spirited rock duo, bringing some-much needed revelry and recklessness to what we call blues rock. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for THE SPEAR SHAKERS. This month, the duo is releasing three new singles - I WENT DOWN EASY, LEAVING IT ALL BEHIND and SOMETHINGS GOING ON. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with KELLY RICHEY of THE SPEAR SHAKERS regarding their new music. Here is how the interview went.
JANUARY 16, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: VEER
hrough the eyes of our quaint little publication, 2019 isn't quite feeling like it's own year yet. 2018 is still pretty much on our mind, given the frenzy over our current awards season, but the year has to progress and things have to get better. The upside to our award season is that submissions go through the roof. The downside, is that there is so much to go through. Where do you find the time to take it all in? One submission that stood out simply because it was a band that hails form my home State. In the past, ROCKWIRED has given it up for such Maryland-based rockers such as SILVERTUNG, BLACK ANGEL DOWN and the more regional band SEPIA. VEER is the latest offering to the world of active rock from the Old Line State and they've demonstrated that they've got a one, mean, knock out rock n roll punch with their new album APOCALYPTIC, BABY. Powered by brothers RONALD (vocals) and JON MALFI (drums), RYAN FOWLER on lead guitar and CHRISTIAN MATHIS on bass, VEER issues the kind of rock that is as heavy on guitar as it is on hooks. Throughout 2018, they had released a series of singles that had reached respectable chartings on the 365 RADIO NETWORK and Australia's 89.5 THE VOICE OF THE VALLEY. With the release of APOCALYPTIC, BABY, hopefully it won't be long before VEER make a good impression Stateside. Due to a snowstorm that had blon in through Maryland, ROCKWIRED conducted an email interview with the members of VEER regarding their new album. Here is how the interview went.
JANUARY 9, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: MESSER
ome bands get started when one runs an ad in some city paper or Craigslist, asking for players to help realize their musical ambitions. And in the case of a band like MESSER, all that was needed was good old fashioned serendipity. All of the players were right where they needed to be according to front man and band namesake DEREAK MESSER. Some members were spotted where the front man got his hair or his tattoos done, and before he knew it, the band MESSER was on their way to active rock glory. With the help of producer CHAD GENDASON, MESSER has an album that anyone worth their salt in the current hard rock set can be proud of. This self titled debut came off the assembly line and onto a #3 placing on the SOUNDSCAN NEW ARTIST CHART while it's lead single MAKE THIS LIFE peaked at #25 on the ACTIVE ROCK RADIO. As songwriters, MESSER prove their hearts are in the the right place with gritty material that speaks to the toxicity in relationships (their latest single SAVE MYSELF) and the inner turmoils that go unnoticed due to sunny surroundings with the song EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL - a semi-tribute to the CHRIS CORNELL and CHESTER BENNINGTON. ROCKWIRED had a cahnce to speak with DEREAK MESSER regarding the band's music. Here is how the interview went.
JANUARY 7, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BEXLEY
n the weeks before being introduced to BEXLEY, I had been thinking that there has a tremendous dearth in the number of solo female artists specializing in rock n roll lately. These days, it seems like a woman's place in music is limited to lilting indie folk, being an over-eager, over-emoting contestant on THE VOICE or being a garden variety pop tart. I miss the days when women like PAT BENATAR where issuing bombastic rock n roll that was celebratory and confident and didn't resort to victimhood. Now, I can thankfully count the Seattle-born rocker BEXLEY as a female artist going against the grain of what is expected of women with a microphone and - god forbid - an electric guitar! The young lady is no stranger to a live stage, and has made her presence known since she was ten years old performing at talent shows. Nurtured by the grunge capital of the world, BEXLEY found her voice and her purr instantaneously and there was no looking back. Her latest single is the headbanging RUN RABBIT RUN and all we cane say is we're in this woman's corner. The single precedes the release of her forthcoming EP LOST IN THE MOMENT which is due out January 18, 2019. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with BEXLEY regarding the new single and forthcoming EP. Here is how the interview went.
JANUARY 7, 2019
ROCKWiRED PRESS RELEASE: 2019 RRPA AWARD SHOW
OCKWIRED.COM's award season will be coming to a glorious finale with the two hour presentation of the 2019 ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS SHOW which will air on the online radio station RADIOKSCR.COM on Sunday, February 3, 2019. Here, the winners will be announced ina program that is sure to entertain. Hosting the proceedings will be ROCKWIRED.COM's founder and editor BRIAN LUSH along with some special guests. "With our awards season, it is like the Holidays have been extended. It's always exciting to see to fans voting for their favorite artists and the traffic spiking for this event. " says LUSH " It lets me know that we're doing something right as a publication that has now been around for fourteen years. We live in a time when music is taken for granted as this free commodity that anyone can listen to and download for nothing, but the response to the ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS proves to me that music is more than this free commodity. IT is something that people are truly passionate about, and that is why we are still in the game as an online publication despite some changes that have happened along the way."
JANUARY 2, 2019
ROCKWiRED NOTES: ALASTAiR GREENE TRiO
or years, blues rock guitarist ALASTAIR GREENE has proven that one can find their passion in life, travel the world and make a decent coin. So what if you're not a household name? ROCKWIRED first became acquainted with the guy when he released his 2009 album WALKING IN CIRCLES. Ten years later, his reputation has gone beyond the Los Angeles Music scene with a series of releases that have demonstrated his passion for the blues and roots music while never failing to "rock the house". The most recent of his studio output is the 2017 album DREAM TRAIN where GREENE worked with producer DAVID Z and the man and his band's distinctive brand of blues rock was served up with some delectable seventies hard rock flourishes. Touring for the album has kept GREENE and his band busy, so it's no surprise that a live album was released on the heels of DREAM TRAIN. LIVE FROM THE 805 captures a band at the top of their game with electrifying performances from GREENE's formidable catalog and some choice covers thrown in to remind you that he's all about the blues. ROCKWIRED had a chance to catch up with ALASTAIR GREENE regarding his trio's latest live album. Here is how the interview went.
DECEMBER 30, 2018
DAMNiT GiLLEY: BiRD BOX
ere I am attempting to cash in on the hype of the NETFLIX original film BIRD BOX starring SANDRA BULLOCK and honestly it was a let down.
BIRD BOX was massively over hyped and turned into a somewhat goldmine for memes. The best maybe being SANDRA BULLOCKS character and her kids wearing blindfolds crossing by a SALVATION ARMY bucket.
It wasn't a terrible movie but felt like a lesser M NIGHT SHYMALAN film which the obvious comparison is his film THE HAPPENNING and ultimately it is the love child of THE HAPPENNING and the film A QUIET PLACE. M. NIGHT SHYMALAN is probably somewhere masturbating to the twist at the end of the film honestly. The king of twists is twisting his knob for sure.
DECEMBER 13, 2018
ROCKWiRED'S ANNUAL READER'S POLL BALLOT
ward season is upon us here at ROCKWIRED.COM and today we are pleased to announce the nominees for the upcoming 2018 ROCKWIRED READERS POLL AWARDS. Our award season has always been a huge to do but this time around we will be doing it bigger than we've ever done before. This year the voting will begin on Today, December 13, 2018 here at ROCKWIRED.COM with polling provided by MICROPOLL. Polls will close January 25, 2019. On February 3, 2019, winners of the 2019 ROCKWIRED RADIO MUSIC AWARDS will be announced on a two-hour presentation which will be featured on the online radio station RADIOKSCR.COM. This marks the twelfth annual awards season for ROCKWIRED and this year's top nominees include STATiON, TO WHOM iT MAY, HYDROGYN and CORNERS OF SANCTUARY. This year we have come to a concensus on an impressive list of nominees. Please take a good look at who we have selected and cast your vote with care.
This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by MICROPOLL. Voters are welcome to vote as many times as they wish although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.
DECEMBER 10, 2018
ROCKWiRED SPECiAL FEATURE: XMAS CHEER
n my last trip to the grocery store, I made a point of asking the cashier how he was holding up with the constant bombardment of Christmas music. He said he was fine. He pointed out to me that this year, management made a point of piping the music down to where it was no longer intrusive. From a retail perspective, that made all of the sense in the world to me. Come Holiday Season, all I've ever wanted for Christmas was for Mariah Carey to pipe it down a few thousand fucking notches.
DECEMBER 9, 2018
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BLUE MOViE / BLACK FiLM
hey always say that persistence pays off. No one needs to remind a band like BLUE MOVIE of the rewards that go with sticking to one's guns. Of course, the reward for this band has been a dedicated following and not the kind of public embrace that greets a competitor from THE VOICE. Early on, we saw the the musical and aesthetic charms of the band when they released their album DELUSIONS IN TECHNICOLOR back in 2012 - a mixture of DARK HORSE COMICS-styled imagery with the very progressive metal flourishes that have made DREAM THEATER a big deal. With two albums behind them, the line up for the band changed drastically with the departure of their bassist and lead singer, leaving guitarist TONY PARIS and drummer LISA FOERDERER to fend for themselves. In the midst of putting together their 2014 release SYNTHETIC III, they found vocalist ANTHONY NOTO. It was one this release that BLUE MOVIE adopted their second moniker BLACK MOVIE - a band alter ego that has stayed with them ever since.
DECEMBER 6, 2018
ROCKWiRED NOTES: JONATHON LONG
ong referred to as JONATHON "BOOGIE" LONG within blues circles, it has been brought to my attenton that the middle name "BOOGIE" has been dropped. I can't believe I didn't get round to asking this Baton Rouge-based singer-songwriter why. For years, the guitarist and singer has been a progenitor of the blues sound that his immediate surroundings are famous for. Now, LONG has taken off in a slightly different musical direction with the release of his new, self-titled album on WILD HEART RECORDS - the label founded by blues artist and guitarist SAMANTHA FISH. Not only had FISH given LONG a home with her fledgling label, she had assumed the seat behind the recording console and allowed LONG to cut loose. This self-titled release showcases a blues troubadour at an excitng crossroads. LONG breaks free of the restrictions of the blues and steps into rockier, edgier Americana-styled territory with the kind of songwriting approach that can be heard by the likes of contemporaries such as MIKE ZITO or JOHN HIATT. The first single BURY ME sounds heavy at first, but the moody slow burner is a celebration of a life that was lived joyously and honestly. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with JONATHAN LONG regarding his new album shorlty after it's release. Here is how the interview went.
DECEMBER 4, 2018
ROCKWiRED NOTES: DE-ARROW
ineties nostalgia is all of the rage these days and I can't figure out why. The eighties were so much more awesome and I can only imagine that a land mass such as Australia was even more awesome. CROCODILE DUNDEE put the curious continent on the map in a pop cultural sense for us yanks , but the the land down under had it's own party going on in the age of REAGAN. Almost thirty years after the bnd disbanded, we are just getting to know that band DE-ARROW who have just released a collection of demos that were cut between 1983 to 1989 through the label 20th CENTURY. If these were just demos, I'm curious to hear how the the proper releases sounded. In a time of mascara and big hair, DE-ARROW came to the fore armed with the sort of musicianship that was more typical of progressive rock bands - which were out of of vogue for the the time, but not so much these days. Keyboardist NOEL HART and guitarist DRAGAN STANIC have gone through the past brightly and assembled a collection of music that represents all that was possible in the decade of excess, but also gives a look at what American rock radio missed out on. This collection may not convert a non-fan but it will definitely make you curious to hear the band's proper output. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak to keyboardist NOEL HART regarding the collection. Here is how the interview went.
DECEMBER 2, 2018
THE ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF THE MONTH NOMiNEES:
OCKWIRED.COM is pleased to announce the nominees for our latest ARTIST OF THE MONTH COMPETITION. We have just announced that BELOW 7 are ROCKWIRED.COM's ARTISTS OF THE MONTH for the month December. Now we are getting things set for the month of November and we've got an amazing group of artists for you to pick from. This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by MICROPOLL. Voters are welcome to vote as many times as they wish although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.FOR iMMEDiATE RELEASE:
DECEMBER 1, 2018 - You voted, the polls have closed and the winner of the 91rst ROCKWIRED ARTIST OF THE MONTH title is BELOW 7 on the strength of their new LP CRASHING DOWN. nwinding and sharing a love of music is what the band BELOW 7 credits their formation to. Sure, it's not the most earth shaking beginning for a hard rock band from Bristol, Tennessee, but BELOW 7's commitment to issuing rock n roll in the vein of GODSMACK, ALICE IN CHAINS and ROB ZOMBIE has remained strong from them ever since their first meeting of the minds. It is a commitment that has seen them through their initial days as a cover band up until now as they've been signed to the PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT label and have introduced themselves to a wider audience with their new album CRASHING DOWN. It's no wonder that such music making that is rooted in a straight forward love of music has yielded some rather pleasing results such as the punchy first single MILLENNIAL - less of a takedown and more of a portraiture of a generation with no get-up-and-go.
NOVEMBER 28, 2018
ROCKWiRED SPECiAL FEATURE: 2018 EDiTOR'S CHOiCE
t was the year that wasn't supposed to look like much. In late 2017, ROCKWIRED made the decision to cease publication of our monthly magazine and simply focus on beefing up our website with articles that would've ended up on the magazine anyway. Within the first few weeks of the year 2018, we noticed a huge change in ROCKWIRED. Our traffic started to go through the roof. This year proved to us that pulling back and keeping things simple is the way to go. While we miss the look and feel of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE, we love the sight of readers from throughout the continent and beyond visiting our website to catch up on what's exciting in the world of independent rock n roll.
NOVEMBER 26, 2018
ROCKWiRED SPECiAL FEATURE: TiNA TURNER
eary are we as a publication in bringing up the dearth of female voices in rock these days. We could say that what we need is another rock n roll hero like the woman born ANNA MAE BULLOCK in an unincorpated township in Tennessee called Nutbush, but you'd roll your eyes at the pun, as you are probably doing now, and thinking "There isn't gonna be another TINA TURNER." Who needs another TINA TURNER when we've still got the real thing walking this green earth? Retired, happily married and living in Switzerland, TURNER has boasted one of those few musical careers that have reached legendary proportions and had the sort of biblical backstory worthy of CECIL B. DEMILLE's TEN COMMANDMENTS.
NOVEMBER 16, 2018
ROCKWiRED PRESS RELEASE: ROCKWiRED PULLS ROCK SHOW
t's the end of an era for ROCKWIRED.COM! Due to a busy schedule, a change in the times, and perhaps that natural evolution of an online music publication, ROCKWIRED is stepping out of the podcasting arena that it has been engaged in since 2010 and has officially pulled the plug on it's weekly music program ROCK SHOW. "It really boiled down to not having time to produce a two hour weekly show." Says ROCKWIRED founder BRIAN LUSH, who hosted the show with RITA LOUISE. "The initial response was amazing but finding the time while you've got an online magazine to run was very difficult and becasue of that, the show suffered in terms of output and response. ROCKWIRED is a very serious thing for us and for me. The writing has proven to be more effective than any podcasting that we've been doing. It's something that flies in the face of what everyone tells you about podcasting - that it's more effective than writing or blogging or whatever. Clearly for people that come to ROCKWIRED, what we write is more important and it's been reflected in the traffic that we receive. So, for the foreseeable future, there will be no more podcasting from ROCKWIRED."
NOVEMBER 14, 2018
ROCKWiRED NOTES: BELOW 7
nwinding and sharing a love of music is what the band BELOW 7 credits their formation to. Sure, it's not the most earth shaking beginning for a hard rock band from Bristol, Tennessee, but BELOW 7's commitment to issuing rock n roll in the vein of GODSMACK, ALICE IN CHAINS and ROB ZOMBIE has remained strong from them ever since their first meeting of the minds. It is a commitment that has seen them through their initial days as a cover band up until now as they've been signed to the PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT label and have introduced themselves to a wider audience with their new album CRASHING DOWN. It's no wonder that such music making that is rooted in a straight forward love of music has yielded some rather pleasing results such as the punchy first single MILLENNIAL - less of a takedown and more of a portraiture of a generation with no get-up-and-go. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak to BELOW 7's front man JARROD EVANS regarding the band's new album and some exciting new developments on the horizon. Here is how the interview went.
NOVEMBER 12, 2018
ROCKWiRED NOTES: SiR REG
n his pursuit to put together a band capable of issuing a boisterous celtic punk sound, BRENDAN SHEEHY left his native land of Ireland, packed his bags and settled in Koping, Sweden in 2002. I'm not quite sure that is the textbook instruction for doing so, but it's managed to work out for SHEEHY and his band SIR REG. We're also not sure how this band stands out in their Scandinavian surroundings, but their approach seems to help their cause and not hurt it. Five albums into their career, the band has released THE UNDERDOGS. Despite the "us versus them" that can be implied from the title, the album is a collection of songs that speak to the daily struggles of love and life. "An underdog represents everyone who's trying to reach the top of their game but is met with next to impossible odds," says SHEEHY "These odds only exist because you let them. Put your head dow, work hard and you can achieve your goals. It's all about believing in yourself. I think we an allrelate to that in one way or another." This "pick yourself up" message is something new for the band who were never afraid to get a little political in the past, but in these times marked by right versus left, we could all do with a little less politics and a little more uplift. Due to scheduling conflicts, ROCKWIRED was only able to secure an email interview with BRENDAN SHEEHY regarding SIR REG'S new album. Here is what he had to say.
NOVEMBER 8, 2018
DAMNiT GiLLEY: FREDDiE MERCURY SOLO ALBUMS
am riding the QUEEN wave for attention by giving my take on the two solo albums that were released by FREDDIE MERCURY. The first being MR. BAD GUY released on APRIL 29th, 1985, the second being BARCELONA which was released OCTOBER 10th, 1988. I don't know if BARCELONA counts since it was technically recorded with MONSTERRAT CABALLE. MONSTERRAT CABALLE was a Spanish Operatic Soprano who passed away on OCTOBER 6th of this year. Which I have just learned from googling her.
NOVEMBER 6, 2018
THE ROCKWiRED ARTiST OF THE MONTH NOMiNEES:
OCKWIRED.COM is pleased to announce the nominees for our latest ARTIST OF THE MONTH COMPETITION. We have just announced that CORNERS OF SANCTUARY are ROCKWIRED.COM's ARTISTS OF THE MONTH for the month November. Now we are getting things set for the month of November and we've got an amazing group of artists for you to pick from. This official ballot page has been set up with polling services provided by MICROPOLL. Voters are welcome to vote as many times as they wish although it may involve clearing your cache and cookies to do so.