Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series – The Radio Sun

From Melbourne, Australia.

This album (their third in three years) came out in 2016. And since this release, they have released “Beautiful Strange” in 2018 and a few single song releases in 2019.

There is also a cool single called “Spaceman” released in 2015. Check out the cover.

Paul Laine is on production duties and does co-lead vocals on the song “Wink And Smile”. There’s a cool story as to how Laine got involved with the band. Go to the YouTube account of The Radio Sun and you will see a documentary called “Paul Laine And The Radio Sun”.

Laine also appeared on stage with the band on a small run of Australian shows.

Guitarist Brett Garsed from John Farnham/Nelson also appears on “Falling For You”.

The band is made up off Jason Old on lead vocals, Stevie Janevski on guitars, Robbie Erdmanis on bass and Ben Wignall on drums.

Their style is pure melodic rock. It doesn’t stray whatsoever in the same way that AC/DC doesn’t stray from their style.

“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”

The guitar playing from Janevski gets me interested. The vocal melodies are layered and the Chorus sounds massive. Make sure you check out the singalong lead break.

Musically the song reminds me of “Walk With A Stranger” from Skid Row, which was a song they played on the scene before they got signed and Trixter covered.

“Standing On The Edge Of Love”

It’s got that melodic rock riff that seems to appear in every melodic rock song. But. I don’t care. I like it as much as I like a 12 bar blues shuffle.

“You’ll Never Know”

The Chorus hooks me.

“Fall To Pieces”

It’s got a fast pedal point head banging riff to kick it off like a song from the “Surfing With The Alien” album by Satriani.

The outro is excellent.

“Wink And Smile”

A melodic lead kicks off the song. Paul Laine features on this.

“Falling For You”

Brett Garsed appears on this. Make sure you check out the solo section. It’s Garsed at his shredding best.

The band also covered “After The Rain” from Nelson. It’s on YouTube.

And for a melodic rock band they are not on Frontiers or from Sweden. But from Australia.

Check em out.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

AFM Records And International Orders

It’s great how the label gets the money when I click buy on the item, as they put up money for the album to be made, but as a fan I still don’t have the physical album.

Let me explain.

Evergrey is one of my favorite acts. They will always be a favorite, regardless of the crap service of their label.

When I saw they had a few different release packages set up for the new album “Escape Of The Phoenix”, I was interested to get one.

The album release date was set as 26 February, 2021.

So on 23 December, 2020, I clicked buy on the EVERGREY – Escape Of The Phoenix – Ltd. Artbook (incl.CD + 7″-Picture-Vinyl). The only place that had it was the AFM store and all the items come from Germany.

The price for the item was €43.86 EUR.

As i was going through with the purchase, I get hit with a €23.99 EUR shipping and handling fee. And I’m thinking, it’s half of the cost of the item. And with most items during the pandemic coming via sea you would think that the shipping would be less.

Anyway the total price came to €67.85 EUR and the Exchange rate at the time was 1 AUD = 0.588771 EUR.

So the final price of the album for me came to $115.24 AUD. I thought fuck it, I’m a fan and it’s coming up to Christmas. Plus I was a few bottles of wine in.

So I clicked buy.

On 19 February, 2021, I got an email that the item had shipped.

You would think AFM would post it a bit earlier for international orders but hey labels have never been customer centric or very smart in that regard, treating their customers as potential pirates, but their whole business model is based on customers.

Hell, I became an Evergrey fan because of piracy.

Since 20 February, 2021, the tracking number tells me that the item is still in Frankfurt, Germany.

Seriously.

On 26 February, 2021, the album hits streaming services and I crank it.

On April 1, 2021, I sent AFM an email and told em, nice April Fools joke as I don’t think I’m ever going to receive this item as it’s still in Germany.

I’m waiting a response.

Now for the album, it’s excellent. And I’ve already reviewed it.

Thank god for streaming and pirates and everyone else who allows access to the music. It allows the fans to crank it.

But the labels don’t realize that the people who buy physical editions are collectors and we can’t wait until we get the item in our hands.

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2001 – Part 1.1: Evergrey – In Search Of Truth

It’s time to start a new year in review.

And I normally have about six to ten records on a post but in this case it had to be one album as it’s one of my favorite Evergrey albums.

So Part 1 is broken up into 1.1 and 1.2.

“In Search of Truth” is the third studio album and first concept album by Evergrey. It is the first album to feature guitarist Henrik Danhage and bassist Michael Håkansson, as well as the only one to feature keyboardist Sven Karlsson. Founder and mainstay, Tom Englund is on vocals and guitars with the very underrated Patrick Carlsson on drums.

Produced by Andy LaRocque, who had produced all the band’s previous albums up to now.

The album deals with alien abductions, based on the allegedly factual account of alien abduction victim Whitley Strieber’s book “Communion”.

The album cover was created by Swedish graphic designer Mattias Norén, who I once contacted for a possible album cover for an album I was involved in, before I decided to go with Brazilian artist, Gustavo Sazes.

An alien abduction story can be sort of blah, but Englund is the master at showcasing his personal side in the lyrics. So what we hear lyrically is how the main character struggles to understand what is happening and how scared and confused they are.

“The Masterplan”

Less than 5 minutes and what an opener. One of my favourite songs from Everygrey. Make sure you check out the live version on “A Night To Remember”. They do a Maiden “Running Free” singalong after the lead section which is perfect.

And the music video clip, with people painted to blend in the walls is unsettling as their eyes open, as the main character is being watched at all times.

“I have decided to keep this tape recorder with me at all times. Just so that I maybe one day can explain all the strange things happening to me. The lack of sleep…the loss of time. But most of all, the sensation of never being lonely…always being watched…”

And then the 7/8 syncopated intro blasts off.

Then that Chorus. The constant double kick, the power chords and the vocal melody which sings;

We are all a part off, forced to live within, a conspiracy for ages, the masterplan

The next time the second chorus rolls around, there is a little melodic lead before it. It’s a “why not” moment, to break up the verse and chorus structure.

The instrumental section in the interlude, the lead break and how they come out of this interlude and back into the Chorus. A masterpiece.

Make sure you check out Henrik Danhage’s outro lead break.

“Rulers Of The Mind”

It has another memorable intro.

The stomping drumming in the verses reminds me of “Kashmir”.

There is this orchestral choir happening over one of the lead breaks, which is unsettling.

And how good is the Chorus vocal melody and we had to live through an intro, two verses and a solo before we got to it. And then there is silence and a piano line. And slowly, it rebuilds up.

Make sure to check out the lead break at the 3.50 mark. Then at 4.21 those orchestral choirs come back in. They are cinematic and desperate. And the last 50 seconds, the Chorus reappears.

At 6 minutes long it didn’t get boring and I press repeat.

“Watching The Skies”

It feels like a Malmsteen or Dream Theater cut with the keyboard solo. And the double kick drumming from Patrick Carlsson is relentless, fast when it needs to be and syncopated when it needs to be.

Check out the section from 4.05 and the excellent lead break kicks in at 4.45.

“State Of Paralysis”

It has a haunting piano riff to kick it off and Englund is in theatre mode as he plays a fearful and confused abductee.

“They’re coming, they’re coming”

Englund keeps repeating those words.

“The Encounter”

“State of Paralysis” and “The Encounter” are basically the same song split into two different tracks. This one is progressive. Like Dream Theater “Awake” style of album.

Make sure you check out the guitar solo at the 3 minute mark and there is this ten second guitar melody that plays between 3.50 and 4.00.

And those same words, “they’re coming” keep reappearing.

“Mark Of The Triangle”

This is probably Evergrey at its progressive best, with tempo changes and technical playing. But still accessible.

The start alone has the bass locking in with the kick drum while the synth plays chords and the guitars play a lead.

This morphs into the guitars syncopating, with double kick drumming and the keyboard playing a melodic lead.

And it quietens down to the verse, which is just bass, piano and drums with a vocal melody.

At 1.30 the trademark Evergrey syncopated riff kicks in. It’s their style.

The whole guitar solo section from 3.55. Listen to the piano riff that kicks it off. All the pop songs from Max Martin use it. It’s a Sweden thing.

At the 5 minute mark the synths become dominant and its cinematic.

“Dark Waters”

The symphonic choir is haunting.

At 2.44 there is a different symphonic choir for a few seconds that reminds me of “Suite Sister Mary” from Queensryche. Which isn’t surprising as Queensryche is listed as an influence.

And the last three minutes of the song is epic, reminding me of songs like “The Aftermath” and “The Storm Within” from their recent albums.

“Different World’s”

How good is the piano intro?

And then Englund sings, with all his emotion.

The piano takes centre stage again at the 50 second mark with another iconic riff.

Then it goes back to the piano intro and an acoustic guitar with more vocals.

At 3.26, it’s the tape narrative again about, “oh god, it’s happening again”. The piano is haunting and at the 4 minute the guitar solo begins with big bends.

“Misled”

The album closer. It starts off with a piano riff and then the band cranks in.

Listen to the ahh choir before the Chorus and then there is a blast beat section of furious double kick before the Chorus kicks in.

Each verse has a different riff but within the same chord structure. Its creative and a progressive way of thinking.

At 2.59, it’s the style of Evergrey that they have carried to this day, syncopated staccato guitar riffs with a keyboard melody over the top.

The whole guitar solo section and coming out of it needs to be heard.

And then its silence, with a taped piano riff playing and Englund singing, “I’m crawling back to sleep” before the whole band kicks in.

I have to mention again that Tom Englund is a very underrated vocalist. Each song bears his emotion and soul. You hear anger, sadness, hope, fear and happiness. His voice is strong, ballsy, unique to him and it avoids sounding like a Geoff Tate or Ray Adler or Bruce Dickinson or David Coverdale copycat which a lot of artists started doing to get a break in the market. And throughout this album, his voice moves between strong and bold to panic, crying and whimpering in “Different Worlds” as he narrates, “Oh, god, it’s happening again / I don’t wanna be here / I wanna go home”.

This was also Evergrey’s first release on German label, “Inside Out”, a move up to a bigger label from their previous independent label. For the label, Inside Out, 2001 was a big year as they released “Burn the Sun” from Ark, “Terria” from Devin Townsend and “In Search Of Truth” from Evergrey, all seen as defining albums in the progressive metal genre.

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The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension

It’s a double album, released in two stages. The first part is “The Afterman” Ascension” and the second part is “The Afterman: Descension”.

It is the first Coheed and Cambria album since 2005 “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” to feature Josh Eppard on drums, and the first to feature Zach Cooper on bass.

I purchased the deluxe version of the album.

The original advertisement

In summary, “The Afterman’s” story takes place at the start of the saga. It follows Sirius Amory, an astromner and his All Mother spaceship as they explore a powerful energy source known as the “Keywork” which is powered by the souls of the departed, imprisoned in some form of purgartorial afterlife.

The Fan VIP allowed me to enter the venue early to watch an acoustic performance before the show as long as I had purchased a concert ticket.

There is an AUTHORS NOTE in the book which states that “the world within the Keywork is the first stop of the two levels of the afterlife.

The first, where Sirius is at the moment, is actually more of a purgatory, though the souls are unaware that this is not necessarily their final resting place. Once the souls stop looking out only for themselves, shirking the “me, me, me” attitude that leads to regret, unfinished business and unrest, they can move to the collective consciousness, to the perfect Utopian afterlife.”

And as Sirius explores this energy source he starts to encounter the souls of these people and their stories are told in the “Key Entity Extraction” songs I to IV.

The Hollow

A piano riff kicks it off. You can hear the keys hit the strings.

It gives you a visual of how the souls come at Sirius.

Claudio Sanchez transposed the “The Ring In Return” melody into this. The piece is meant to express the anxiety Sirius is feeling before he heads out into the Keywork.

There is a narrative between Sirius and Mother who is the onboard AI of his spaceship, who promises to be with him all the way as he enters this mysterious energy sournce.

Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute

You can see how Domino is controlled by a puppet master.

The intro which reminds me Dream Theater’s “Learning To Live” outro and “Wasted Years” from Iron Maiden was enough to get me to lose my shit.

Domino is one of the first lost souls Sirius encounters.

It’s a personal song about the troubles that former bassist Michael Todd was involved in, after falling in with a bad crowd and the addictions he had.

But its told in the story of a boxer named Domino, who had it all to be a champion, but fell in with the wrong crowd, throwing fights and using drugs. One day he convinced his brother Chess to help him and his gangster friends with an armoured car robbery, which went horribly wrong and Chess got shot. Domino unable to go on, took a gun to his mouth and ended it.

The Afterman

In the book you get a drawing with the lyrics on the next page, plus a blurb from Claudio who talks about the origins of the song and the personal inspiration.

The digital delay riff is excellent. A beautiful and tragic song.

It takes place on Valencine, the home planet of Sirius and how his wife Mary reacts to seeing a breaking news report which states: “Controversial researcher Sirius Amory feared dead after unexplained explosion, ending privately funded endeavour to self-professed “Keywork”

Mothers Of Men

The intro riff gets me interested to pick up the guitar and learn it.

Sirius discovers that the Keywork doesn’t discriminate against positive or negative energy. It’s all energy in the end and valuable at that.

Goodnight, Fair Lady

Can there be a pop rock song about a serious subject matter like date rape?

In “Goodnight Fair Lady”, Sirius’s wife is at a bar and her drink gets spiked. She is saved by an Officer called Graves Colten. The Officer will eventually become her love interest.

Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood The Cracked

The second entity is a wannabe starlet, fixated on celebrity culture who would go to dangerous lengths to feel she was connected to celebrities.

All the songs on this album are from personal experiences, which have been made to fit the narrative as in this case, Claudio also had some fan stalkers during his time.

Key Entity Extraction III: Vic The Butcher

The albums most rocking song.

Vic was a tyrant Army General who did anything to get into power and did anything to stay in power. He is rage in the Keywork.

He asked a promising soldier called Sentry to kill innocents, but Sentry refused (you will get his story in the next Afterman review) and Vic ordered other soldiers to kill Sentry.

Eventually but at an older age, Vic was charged with war crimes and was due to stand trial for them, but he ended up burning the building he lived in, with both he and his wife inside and hundreds of others.

Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful

“Evagria The Faithful” is the opposite of “Vic The Butcher”.

The Yin to the Yang.

She rescues Sirius from Vic’s tight grip. She has shed her human consciousness and transcended into the Utopia. She operates on a part of the Keywork which is in perfect harmony and oneness. She keeps the other entities away from Sirius but she can only hold them off for so long.

Subtraction

This was supposed to be a Prize Fighter Inferno song (a Claudio Sanchez side project which also continues the story from a character in the earlier albums).

The song deals with the thoughts of Sirius and how with his relentless need to explore the uncharted territory, he is also driving his relationship with Mary to breaking point.

And the first part of the album ends with “The Afterman: Descension” next.

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Phil Demmel on The Jasta Show

Here’s the link to the Jasta Show interview with Phil Demmel.

Phil Demmel, lead guitar player for VIO-LENCE, formerly of Machine Head is on The Jasta Show. For hard rock fans, Jamey Jasta is the person who wrote the majority of material for Dee Snider’s “For The Love Of Metal” album and working with Dee on a new album. Plus he has albums out as a solo artist and as part of Hatebreed.

I didn’t know of Demmel until he joined Machine Head and I then saw a past link between him and Robb Flynn, when they both did time in the band VIO-LENCE.

It’s a great easy chat between em. Just two muso’s talking and catching up.

Demmel talks about the moment he passed out on stage in Europe at the same time his Dad passed away in the U.S. And he’s spiritual, taking into his life the concepts he likes from Christianity, Buddhism and other religions.

He talks about children.

He found out he has a 33 year old daughter who messaged him via Facebook while he was on tour with Machine Head in the 2000’s and is a product of a 1987 one night high school romance. He has another child from a previous relationship as well.

He also had a vasectomy in 2009, which he then reversed when he got engaged to Bleeding Through keyboardist Marta Peterson in 2012. They have one kid via IVF and another one which “is a miracle”, according to Demmel.

Demmel laughed about never taking the easy route in life.

And both Jasta and Demmel talk about how kids give them focus. Jasta got into podcasting because his daughter wanted to get into it. And I can relate. My kids wanted to make stop motion mini movies so I learned about stop motion. I started to blog because my kids wanted to blog and I did it to show them how. They blogged a few times and stopped.

He talked about his earlier high school bands playing covers of Maiden, AC/DC and Def Leppard. He plays aggressive music and is known for his work with Machine Head but his influences are the same as all of ours, when everything was known as Metal before the labels made up different titles for every sound.

He joined Machine Head in 2002 and he was still working a tradie job, up until 2011. Once the Jackson endorsement money started coming in, he could become a full time musician.

Think about that for a second.

He played and toured the world for a 9 year period and in downtime, had to hustle on a building site for a payday. He remained in Machine Head up until 2018 and he laid down a lot of crushing riffs and a lot of iconic solos, ala Randy Rhoads song within song solo moments.

A listener asked him some of his favourite tracks he’s been involved in.

Demmel mentioned “Farewell To Arms” as he wrote the intro and outro and those sections still give him chills, the Chorus to “Locust” and some of the melodic contributions to “Darkness Within”. “Killers and Kings” was also mentioned as a song he wrote 95% of music to.

He loved being in Machine Head, it was a band he wanted to be in and stay in, but it got to the point where Robb Flynn was going in one direction musically and Phil Demmel was going in another direction musically. So he bailed.

He’s still emotional about the way it ended, the awkward tour and the goodbyes. It wasn’t a clean break, and Demmel mentioned how none of his past break ups have been clean. They’ve all been pretty professional in relation to the departures. He spent 16 years in the band and 98% of it was good, so he’s not going to let the 2% take over the 98%.

If you havent heard him play check out “Darkness Within” and “Locust”.

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Albums That Influenced Jake E Lee

The great Martin Popoff released a book a while ago called “10 Albums That Changed My Life”.

Jake E Lee was one of the artists who gave Popoff his top 10.

The albums “Bark At The Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin” with Ozzy Osbourne introduced Jake E Lee to the masses, but its “Badlands” and “Voodoo Highway” which really showed what Jake E Lee is all about.

But that all ended by 1991.

Since Badlands, he became a recluse and did a few solo releases here and there and he sold some gear for extra cash. He eventually re-appeared with the “Red Dragon Cartel” which didn’t set my world on fire, but as a fan, it was great to have him back, recording and releasing music. And with every release he does I’m still interested to hear it.

So here are the 10 albums which changed Jake E Lee’s life?

Ozzy Osbourne – Bark At The Moon

His first album with Ozzy Osbourne, who told the world he wrote the album with one finger and a piano.

Lee said that this record changed his life. It was exciting to work with pro musicians like Bob Daisley and Tommy Aldridge and to write with Bob Daisley (but Ozzy is credited as the only songwriter on the album) and to record in a foreign country.

The song “Bark At The Moon” is almost at 72 million streams on Spotify. And who can forget that intro riff and the outro solo.

Scorpions – Virgin Killer

This is what Lee said about the album.

“I was in bands by this point. I was going through a lot of different bands.

I was in a funk band and we had a full horn section and I loved playing that stuff.

I was also in a fusion band, where we did a lot of Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra. It wasn’t a popular band, but it was a fun one to play in.

I was in a rock band and for me, at that point, Ted Nugent was huge but he was not really my cup of tea. He sort of simplified everything and it was making it less interesting and I was getting a little bit tired of rock.

So I think the only band I really enjoyed back then at that moment was Scorpions. Uli Jon Roth was a beast on guitar. But like I say, I was not 100% in rock. I was in other bands that interested me more.”

When “Bark At The Moon” came out, Lee came across as very accomplished and experienced, but when you look at the hours he put in with different styles and different bands, you get an idea of the work ethic in place to expand his mind outside of just rock music.

Led Zeppelin – III

Lee saved up his allowance to buy this album and it became his favourite Led Zeppelin album. This is what he had to say on it.

“I heard “Immigrant Song” on the radio and it was such a nasty riff and a spooky song and I was like, great, this album’s going to be bitchin’.

And I took it home and that’s the only song like it on the whole record. It pissed me off.

I tried to take the record back and they wanted to know why.

And I said, “Because I don’t like it”.

“You can’t bring a record back just because you don’t like it”. And I was stuck with it for the next month, until I could buy another new album. So it was the only new music I could listen to then.

And then it grew on me.

After a month, it was and still to this day is, my favourite Led Zeppelin record. And the reason I wanted to address that is, I kind of feel like our Red Dragon Cartel record “Patina” is like that, most of the songs on there aren’t immediately accessible.”

That’s how it was when you had to buy a physical album. Like it or not, you were stuck with it, so you listen to it a little bit more and you start to like it a little bit more. But from the mid 80’s, a lot of filler started coming onto records and it didn’t matter how many times you listened to the album, you just couldn’t like all of it.

And what are people’s views of “Patina”?

I listened to it once and filed it away. It’s time to get it out and give it a re-listen.

Deep Purple – Machine Head

Lee listened to “Machine Head” a lot as he liked Ritchie’s blues influence and how he made a Strat sound so big and powerful. At this stage, Lee was a Gibson guy.

But when he made his debut to the world with Ozzy he was a Strat guy.

Montrose – Montrose

Lee talks about Ronnie Montrose and how he should have been more applauded than he was, because he was a monster guitar play, with a great tone who could write solid songs.

Aerosmith – Rocks

The first record he got from Aerosmith was “Get Your Wings”. It made him a fan, but it was “Rocks” that became his favourite because of the looseness in the guitar playing of Joe Perry.

Van Halen – Van Halen

Lee basically said, when Van Halen came along, they changed his life.

When this record first came out, he quit the other bands he was in and just stayed within the rock bands. They did a lot of Van Halen covers and he started to write songs in this style.

He goes on to say “Eddie’s playing really turned everybody’s thoughts on how to play guitar upside down”.

Long live the King. RIP. EVH.

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Band Of Gypsies

Lee mentions how “Are You Experienced” is the reason he picked a guitar up, but “Band Of Gypsies” is the album he can’t get enough of.

Lee mentioned how Hendrix was so much harder to learn than the other guys like Page and Clapton, and I agree with him. The other guitar players stuck within normal shapes and patterns when it came to leads and playing, whereas Hendrix was different. Lee called him “John Coltrane on guitar”.

Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Da Vida

This was Lee’s first rock record he purchased. Before that, he was exposed to James Bond soundtracks. He thought it was the heaviest thing he ever heard.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Lee thought Iron Butterfly was the heaviest thing he ever heard and then he heard the Black Sabbath debut. Nobody sounded like that according to Lee.

I posted another post previously when Jake E Lee mentioned his Top 5 guitar solos in a July 1989 Guitar World interview. And he more or less has stayed true to what his top 10 albums are.

The list is Jimi Hendrix and “Red House” from the “Hendrix In The West” album released in 1971.

“Crossroads” from Cream’s “Wheels Of Fire” featuring Eric Clapton.

“Since I’ve Been Loving You” from Led Zeppelin “III” featuring Jimmy Page which shouldn’t be a surprise.

“Mean Town Blues” from Johnny Winter and “Stratus” from a Spectrum album featuring Tommy Bolin.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – March 22 to March 28

4 Years Ago (2017)

I always like to highlight some of the bullshit that Copyright spews up. For a law that’s meant to protect the artist, it’s a instantly abused so that Corporations benefit. And pretty soon, expect to see laws change that benefit investment funds.

I wrote about how the RIAA/MPAA are large perpetrators of fake news in the world. When billions of dollars are involved, these industries employ some of the most creative writers in the business to basically creating fictional works of fakery. Does anyone remember these ones.

  • Home Taping Is Killing Music And It’s Illegal
  • Copy a CD and get a criminal record
  • Piracy: It’s a crime
  • Piracy kills artists.

And I wrote about artists who made up by sharing their files with fans as unsigned artists and how some bands couldn’t include a song on an album because they couldn’t track down the original writer because of bad record keeping by the same organizations who claim to protect the artists.

Artists were also taking their labels to court for digital payments as Spotify was making inroads in the US market and these artists on deals pre tech were still getting paid on that old sale royalty deal.

The Spotify Release Radar was that good that I need to write about the artists and songs that appeared like “Midnight Flyer” by The Night Flight Orchestra.

My favourite Swedish supergroup of metal heads was back, playing the classic rock music I love. This time around, it’s about a galactic space opera, where the human race is pitted against female space commanders with pearl necklaces. It’s a brilliant James Bind script.

“Sinking Ship” by Harem Scarem and that funky groovy foot stomping Intro riff was on the list.

How good is Pete Lesperance on guitar?

Along with Harry Hess they have navigated 30 plus years of Harem Scarem, plus their solo work and side projects.

Other tracks that appeared are “Snakes In Paradise” by Crazy Lixx, “Never Was A Forever” by Honeymoon Suite, “Light Me Up” by Doom Unit, “Straight To The Top” by Creye, “Underneath” by Blacktop Mojo and “Big Sky Country” by KXM.

8 Years Ago (2013)

I was still on a Bon Jovi and White Lion deep dive into their catalogue. Here is a post of “We Got It Going On”. It’s the best song on the “Lost Highway” album.

I did a week 2 update on Bon Jovi’s “What About Now” album as it slipped from Number 1 to Number 7. In week one they had 101K unit sales to 29K units in week 2.

At the time, Mumford and Sons who after 26 weeks on the chart, was still moving 27,000 units of their album “Babel” and in total, “Babel” had sold 2,122,000 copies.

7 years later, the “What About Now” album still doesn’t have any certification.

Where does a band fit who where promoted as pretty hair boys in tight leathers but played a brand of hard rock that was technical and who also wrote about serious themes.

Thats the predicament White Lion found themselves in. “El Salvador” appeared on “Fight To Survive”, the anti war ballad “When The Children Cry” appeared on “Pride” and on Big Game, the band was singing about apartheid in “Cry For Freedom”, religion in “If My Mind Is Evil”, Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior in “Little Fighter” and violence in the family “Broken Home”.

Here is my review of the “Big Game” album.

And here was Part 2 of a Guitar World interview with Vito Bratta discussing the album.

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Australian Method Series – Bad Juju

I only got into these guys last year. The cover got me interested.

There is a normal looking human hand reaching out from dark grey water and another human hand trying to pull up the person, who is submerged. Then there are two other hands, withered and decaying and white, trying to keep the submerged person in the water and trying to bring the unsubmerged person also into the water. And this takes place in front of a red moon.

I pressed play on the EP called “You’re Not Alone” (released in September 2020) and became a fan. I mentioned it in my September 2020 post. Prior to this, they had another EP release called “Hidden Desire” in 2018, which I pressed play on today, but it’s nowhere near as accomplished as this EP.

So I did some reading.

They are from Melbourne, Australia. A lot of the websites have them listed as an emo act or a pop punk act or an alternative Brit Pop act but this album is basically anthemic rock.

“Disappoint”

The layered guitars of the intro is enough to get me interested. It reminds me of bands like Anberlin.

I don’t want to disappoint you
I don’t want to ask the question where I already know the answer

None of us want to be hated. Acceptance is important. It’s instilled in us from birth. If we are not part of a group, then something must be wrong with us. But that’s not the case.

Sirens

Another catchy guitar layered intro hooks me in which also serves as the chorus music.

Picture Us

It feels like a Brit Pop 90’s song, mixed with The Cure and a little bit My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

Dawn

My favourite song.

The fuzzed out intro reminds me of Bowie and The Wallflowers. The song deals with being lonely at night and giving life to those dark thoughts. And it’s another song, created on a bed of layered guitars.

Bad Juju’s vocalist Russell Holland mentioned that the song was influenced by a text message which said, “Do you get lonely? Because I get lonely too”.

What do you do when a friend is using drugs to deal with isolation.

The “wo oh” slow interlude section needs to be heard.

Say It”

It feels like a track from “Mellon Collie” from The Smashing Pumpkins. There is also some Blur, maybe some Cure and New Order and maybe a bit of a grungy alternative rock sound if anything.

The truth is I’m not fine and it’s not okay / tell me what you want to be hearing I will say it like I fucking mean it” is the hook in the Chorus.

It’s basically a FU to “Are You Okay?” day.

Because the truth is, we always have doubts and fears.

Let’s Talk”

It’s a pop song about giving up on a toxic relationship.

“I’ve been feeling really really shitty, since you came and moved to this city”

And eventually, he’s leaving town on the interstate, with the window down and a feeling of freedom as to what is next.

After two EP’s, I am interested to hear what is next.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Sales vs Streams

Ryan Downey over at Stream N Destroy goes to some lengths to track what is hot and cold in the world of rock and metal and all the different sub genres that fall within.

The below Zombie and Queen stats are from his latest email blast, which can be read online here.

Rob Zombie, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
24,700 Album Units (Nuclear Blast Records)
Released: March 12, 2021
20.6k Album Sales, 2400 Song Sales
2.5M Song Streams this week

Queen, Queen
18,800 Album Units (Hollywood Records)
Released: July 13, 1973
54 Album Sales, 8k Song Sales
23.2M Song Streams this week

Check out the anemic album sales from Queen versus the song streams. 54 physical album sales vs 23.2 million song streams. This is why music and the catalogues of artists are becoming so valuable. People and especially investors have real data as to who is listening to what. Get people listening on streaming services and it will pay forever. And if you ain’t getting a slice of those payments, we’ll your deal needs to be renegotiated.

Once upon a time, when streaming started to be taken seriously, the record labels and Billboard had no idea what was hot or number 1. The Billboard charts didn’t correlate to what was played the most on streaming service. In other words the labels and Billboard were out of touch. So Billboard decided they had to bring streaming into the Charts equation and made their charts more like a mathematic assignment.

But at least the charts are now taking streams into account by using 1,500 streams as an album sale or unit. I still think it’s wrong to try a fit something new into an old metric, but hey what do we fans know.

Song sales also add up to album sales. 10 songs equal an album.

In Queen’s case, there is enough activity for those 23.2 million streams and 8K song downloads plus 54 album sales to equal 18,800 units.

Compare Queen’s numbers to Rob Zombie’s first week numbers.

There are 20,600 physical album sales from RZ versus 54 for an album released in 1973. While record sales will give people an instant quick payday and some bragging rights about charting, it’s streaming that will show if anybody is listening after the hype of the album release.

You would expect based on evidence right now, that RZ fans will be listening to his music in 40 years’ time. But will he keep replenishing his fan base enough to keep the streaming numbers. Because replenishing the fan base is the key to long term survival.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Are Bands Disappearing?

Did Adam Levine just say crap without thinking or did he have a point?

The Twitteratti went into meltdown to prove that bands exist.

A look at some of the bands, shows that they do exist in their niche. Which is a good place to be, as that niche audience will sustain you for a long time, while the popular music consumers move on to the next hit and the next hit and the next hit.

Even the Guardian went into bat for him with this article, about young people not being excited by bands.

Meanwhile, Levine clarified that he meant to say that bands don’t exist on the popular charts.

There’s no doubt that popular music has moved towards the solo artist. It’s easier to make a deal with one person than many others. Then again, in most bands, there is always one person who writes the majority of material and who really gets the record deal.

It’s easier for the labels to deal with a solo artist than a band, as band members seem to come and go these days. And this pisses the labels off. Especially when a member leaving could be the person they want to stay. Having a shared vision amongst members is much harder these days then the days of old. Then again even it was hard. Musical differences anyone.

It’s easier for a solo artist to start creating, as our culture is shaped by technology and a recording studio is available at their fingertips, in their own bedroom.

Meanwhile, starting a band, means putting in some time to jam, playing shows and each member owning at least $5K worth of equipment. It’s expensive and time consuming to be in a band. Apart from owning equipment, you need to pay for rehearsal spaces, travelling expenses and studio time to record. And the venues available to you are spread far and wide, whereas once upon a time the venues were clustered around each other.

Social media also makes it hard for bands because it lends itself to “the one”. The band is never the influencer. It’s the person in the band, provided they control their account and not a PR person.

I guess I’m an old school rocker who still gets excited by bands.

In the last ten years a lot of bands have impressed me enough to buy.

From memory, and this isn’t a definitive list, they are The Night Flight Orchestra, Volbeat, Corroded, Rise Against, I Am Giant, Revolution Saints, Art Of Anarchy, King King, Audrey Horne, TesseracT, Tremonti, Parkway Drive, King Company, Halestorm, Kingcrow, Dynazty, Days Of Jupiter, Royal Bliss, Reach, Rival Sons, Gathering Of Kings, Art Of Dying, Free Spirits Rising, Blacktop Mojo, Bad Wolves, Work Of Art, Cyhra, Leprous, H.E.A.T, Long Distance Calling, Night Demon, Tokyo Motor Fist, Michael Grant And The Assassins, Haken, In Flames, Storm Force, Adelitas Way, Seether and Jorn.

And then I have the usual suspects like Trivium, Evergrey, Vanishing Point, Bush, Black Label Society, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Godsmack, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dee Snider, Michael Sweet (projects), George Lynch (projects), Mike Portnoy (projects), Whitesnake, Coheed and Cambria, Slash, Megadeth, Soilwork, Papa Roach, Tesla, Machine Head, Jimmy Barnes, Killswitch Engage, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Harem Scarem, Red, In This Moment, Protest The Hero, 10 Years, Vandenberg and Stryper.

They don’t break the Top 20 streaming charts but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a career.

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