A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

No Fucking Regrets Episode 77: Brian Tatler from Diamond Head

Here is the link.

Legendary New Wave Of British Heavy Metal guitarist Brian Tatler sat down with Robb Flynn from Machine Head for an in-depth chat.

The first 20 minutes, Flynn talks about his friendship with vocalist LG Petrov, the frontman for Swedish metal bands Entombed, Entombed A.D. and Firespawn who had just passed away. LG was diagnosed with bile duct cancer and doctors couldn’t remove it. They tried to treat it with “chemotherapy” to prolong his life.

Flynn mentions how he got turned on to Diamond Head by Metallica covering their songs. Before Metallica got signed, people even thought the Diamond Head covers were Metallica originals.

Their debut album in 1980 was called “Lightning To The Nations”. There are seven songs on the album and Metallica covered five of em, throughout their career.

Diamond Head re-recorded their debut album a few years ago and in a great twist, covered a Metallica track, “No Remorse” for the album as it had “DH qualities” according to Tatler.

There is an awesome cover of “Sinner” from Judas Priest as well and Tatler talks about how Priest was a band they looked up to, how Priest influenced em and how he’s “pretty sure” he nicked bits from “Sinner” and “Victims Of Changes” for Diamond Head songs.

He stole the name from a Roxy Music album called “Diamond Head”. Funny how Robb Flynn also took the name “Machine Head” from Deep Purple.

For one weeks studio time, they signed away 15 years of publishing. They were young and they had no idea what publishing was. So when Metallica covered their songs, the publishing was going elsewhere and finally in the late 80’s Tatler went all legal, to get the publishing back.

They didn’t know about the other young bands in the UK at the time like Def Lep, Saxon, Maiden, Angelwitch until Sounds started writing about em. And then so many other bands started coming out, all looking for a record deal.

Geoff Barton from Kerrang was a massive fan of the band and he did a massive write up in Kerrang. They saw that Maiden, Leppard, Saxon and Angelwitch got signed and people wondered why no one signed Diamond Head. So they went the independent route.

Sean Harris (their singer) mom managed the band, which ended up being a bad idea.

Diamond Head never toured the US in the 80s and Robb mentioned how he just presumed that Diamond Head was super huge and that they toured relentlessly in the US.

They finally got a deal with MCA, did two albums, did one tour of Europe and got dropped.

He talks about writing a pop rock song for their first MCA album “Borrowed Time” called “Call Me” because of label pressure, so they could get on to “Top Of The Pops” and they’ll sell a lot of records because of it. But they didn’t. And MCA was not the label for metal bands to be on.

They started touring the US in the 2000s and it was Dave Mustaine from Megadeth that made it happen. Mustaine offered them his crew to help em with set up, sound checks and everything else.

Because Tatler mentioned that DH doesn’t have the pulling power to get crew and buses, so they do their own set up, pack up and their own driving in a van.

He talks about how a 17 year old Lars Ulrich heard “It’s Electric” from a magazine sampler and he then wrote to the fan club, and he said he’s coming over to the UK to watch em play live. And Lars Ulrich ended up sleeping on Tatler’s floor in a sleeping bag in Tatler’s parents house. Lars slept for a week at the Tatler’s and three weeks at vocalist Sean Harris’s parents place.

And my favorite quote from Tatler is “Not everyone gets to make it.”

But he’s okay with it and where he’s at. He’s still doing what he loves. Playing guitar in a band.

A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The B-Sides For Engaging With Fans

Remember how cool it was to discover new bands or songs from the B-sides of singles.

Like when I purchased the “Creeping Death” single and I first heard “Am I Evil” from Diamond Head and “Blitzkrieg” from Blitzkrieg. Or picking up the Whitesnake singles to “Here I Go Again” (and hearing “Guilty Of Love), “Give Me All Your Love” (and hearing “Fool For Your Loving and Don’t Break My Heart Again”), “Is This Love” (and hearing “Bad Boys” and “Standing in the Shadow”) and “Still Of The Night” (and hearing “You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again”).

Europe also promoted their back catalog with the release of “The Final Countdown” single. On the B-side there was the excellent “On Broken Wings”. Def Leppard also went into the archives when they put non album tracks “Ride Into The Sun” and “I Wanna Be Your Hero” as the b-sides to “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” respectively.

Throughout music history, the b-side has often thrown up an extra, unexpected treat. And with technology advancing, the vinyl b-side is a thing of the past, and when CD singles started coming out, the B-side was relegated to a four song EP while the MP3 introduced the era of cherry-picking and the b-side was dead forever.

One of my favourite rock acts from Australia “Candy Harlots” had real good single releases. I still have the original 7 inch single of the Leeno Dee penned “Danger” that was with Ron Barrett (RIP), Mark Easton, Leeno Dee, Tony Cardinal and Marc DeHagar. On the B-side was the Ron Barrett penned “Wrap 2 Arms”.

Then a few years later came the “Danger” CD Single. However this time the B-side was another Ron Barrett penned song called “Hot Love Child”.

The intention of the single was for artists to double up with releasing two great songs at a time.

“The Beatles” single releases came to be known as the “Double A-sides”. In the Seventies, the second cut was even seen to overtake its a-side: “Beth” from Kiss comes to mind. It was their biggest hit and it was a b-side to “Detroit Rock City”. By the Eighties, the B-side started to become a method for releasing versions of songs that were not officially released. Some bands used demos of unreleased songs, while others used live recordings of released songs or demos of released songs. Other bands used the B-side as a way to record cover songs.

Bon Jovi took the “unreleased demos of songs plus liver versions of released songs” route initially with each single, while Metallica took the “demos of released songs plus cover songs route”. Both formats worked and fostered a connection with fans that ended up with both bands releasing  albums that celebrated their own paradigm.

Bon Jovi came out with the boxed set” 100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong” which focused on the unreleased songs. They did it again with the 2014 re-issue of “New Jersey”.

Metallica brought out “Garage Inc” which further built of the culture that both bands created.

Motley Crue tried to get in on the act with their “Supersonic And Demonic Relics” release.

Just recently Machine Head did a similar concept with “Killers and Kings” and their cover of Ignite’s “Our Darkest Days”/Bleeding”. It was a creative release that had four different covers based on Tarot Cards. As a fan, I purchased all four of the covers and they are still wrapped in plastic.

Coheed and Cambria released all the demos plus a few unreleased songs as part of the Super Deluxe release for “The Afterman” releases.  We, (the fans) lapped it all up.

Those albums that I purchased, I played them over and over (especially the demo/unreleased songs). However, all that time and devotion from all the fans was not counted by any metric so the artist had no idea the engagement the fans had with those releases.

All that mattered was the flawed business model of the initial purchase.

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

Any Publicity Is Good Publicity

I love the latest Journal Entry by Robb Flynn. It’s a crack up around the new A7X album.

“Avenged Sevenfold – Now with more Metallica”

“After hearing Heretic, Dave Mustaine flips out, blames Obama, Metallica and UFO’s for A7X stealing Symphony Of Destruction.”

Any publicity is good publicity. I posted previously that it was a ballsy move releasing some of the songs with so many similarities. I am not against it, as I have always said progress is derivative. “Hail To The King” has people talking, and that is what you want from an album, especially in this day and age, where albums come out and by six weeks they have disappeared. You want the album to stick around for at least 12 months in people’s minds.

I can’t believe that some people are losing their minds in the comments section on Facebook. No one can take a joke these days. There are a whole heap of people sticking up for A7X, while others are completely writing them off. Poor old Robb Flynn is copping it as well. I couldn’t stop laughing though with all these A7X fans making comments like, “I don’t hear any similarities to the songs mentioned”, I was like WTF, what rock have you been hiding under?

For the record I am cranking this album again today. And you know what, if a kid is hearing this kind of music for the first time and Avenged Sevenfold is their first introduction to Heavy Metal music, then what an introduction it would be for them. I played it to my boys (ages 8 and 7) and they really dig it. They haven’t really heard much Metallica and Megadeth so they don’t know the songs written by Megadeth and Metallica. This is much in the same way, when the Eighties bands came out, I didn’t know about the Sixties and Seventies bands that the Eighties bands were “influenced” by. So for an introduction to a new generation, “Hail To The King” is a great sounding album.

Tracks 1 (Shepherd Of Fire), 2 (Hail To The King), 3 (Doing Time), 5 (Requiem), 7 (Heretic), 8 (Coming Home) and 9 (Planets) are standing out at the moment. I was never a fan of “Sad But True”, so I am not really a fan of “This Means War”, however it does have some cool melodic lead breaks. I think the vocal melody is too much like “Sad But True” and that makes me dislike it as I didn’t like the original vocal melody anyway. On the other hand, I am a fan of “Symphony Of Destruction” and I really like what A7X did with “Heretic”. I still prefer the original. The ballads are boring as.

I remember when I started purchasing LP’s from Seventies era bands like Mott The Hoople and Slade in the Nineties via the second hand record shops. I swear I heard the first three Motley Crue albums on those albums as well as Def Leppard up to “Pyromania”. The same deal with Aerosmith’s Seventies output. I heard Guns N Roses (GNR) and Motley Crue straight away.

Recently I have been listening to NWOBHM, especially the more obscure bands and Metallica has ripped all of them off. Diamond Head is the most obvious. Then you have the unknown band like “Bleak House” that got really ripped off for “Sanitarium (Welcome Home)”. If Bleak House was still together in 1986, when “Master of Puppets” came out, they could have used that to their advantage. “Thanks to Metallica for bringing attention to our song “Rainbow Warrior” with “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).”