Bauhaus Summons Fans On Rainy Night In Anaheim

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Prancing and preening, Peter Murphy, currently sporting an admirable gray goatee, gave Bauhaus fans exactly what they desired with his stage antics bringing each song to life. He was completely locked in from the opening strains of “Double Dare”, which kicked off the main set that featured In The Flat Fields in chronological order.

It may have been pouring rain outside on a Wednesday night in SoCal, but the Bauhaus faithful didn’t let that stop them from showing up and they were rewarded tenfold. This was the first night of the US portion for the 40th anniversary tour and the band was on fire!

David J and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

David J and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

David J, with his signature fair hair and dark shades, was back in the fold and his style of playing bass brought an element to the songs not easily duplicated. His nimble fingers picking and strumming his fretless bass through the set of songs he helped create 40 years ago.

Mark Thwaite effortlessly played the guitar riffs and melodies Bauhaus fans know so well as he has many times over the years with Murphy. I couldn’t see who was playing drums, but he captured the recognizable drum patterns of songs such as “Nerves” throughout the night.

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Murphy’s voice was extremely strong, recreating all the hooks and nuances of every song, while simultaneously moving about the stage. He never stopped moving the whole night. At times he reminded me of a caged predator, a feral cat at the San Diego Zoo, pacing back and forth in its cage. The stage was his cage and he covered every inch of it as he transformed from one character to the next, subtle clothing changes included.

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

His command of the audience grew with each song, captivating and mesmerizing, as the second set kicked in with eight more beloved Bauhaus songs including, “She’s In Parties,” “Silent Hedges,” “Dark Entries,” and the granddaddy of them all, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. Seldom played in its entirety, often as part of a medley, tonight Murphy gave it his best. The crowd went insane as his sinister glare, piercing blue eyes, and otherworldly stance mimicked the iconic vampire while chanting the lyric “Undead, undead, undead”.

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

Peter Murphy of Bauhaus; photo James Christopher

All night the lighting on stage captured the atmosphere of the music, often awash in shadow and dark colors yet, each member was spot lit just enough that you could engage in what was happening. The sound mix was reliably superb as is standard for the Grove of Anaheim.

“Passions Of Lovers” began the first encore followed by the T. Rex classic “Telegram Sam” and Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”.

Murphy spun, pranced, paced and captivated the audience for 90 minutes ending with one last haunting encore of Dead Can Dance’s “Severance”.

Jonty Balls of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

Jonty Balls of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

But earlier, before Bauhaus delighted us, kicking off the night was the English psych band Desert Mountain Tribe. I was thrilled to see they were on the bill and they were fantastic. The crowd was drawn to the music from the very first song, their energy and hypnosis sucking them in. The trio had a perfect, full sound, all instruments mixed together nicely.

Shouts of “What’s the name of your band?” could be heard by the second song and finally singer/guitarist Jonty Balls said something along the lines of, “Got off a fucking plane two hours ago. We’re from London. We’re called Desert Mountain Tribe.”

Matthew Holt of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

Matthew Holt of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

I don’t think anyone caught the name because after a nice, long, trippy instrumental bit that spellbound the audience, I could hear more shouts of, “Who are you? You’re amazing.” A couple cornered me and asked me point blank the name of the band, which they repeated back to me a few times until they got it.

If they really did arrive two hours before hitting the stage they must have been running on pure adrenaline, playing their songs seemed second nature because they were tight and got more amped as their set continued.

Frank van der Ploeg of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

Frank van der Ploeg of Desert Mountain Tribe; photo James Christopher

By their last song, “The King” which builds nicely for five or six minutes, the guitar reaching sonic proportions to the groove laid down by the bass and drums, the crowd was ecstatic and cheered enthusiastically.

Goth meets Psych. A seamless transition to the new millennium.

If you’re a fan of Bauhaus, you can still catch them in L.A. at the Novo Feb. 28 but arrive early to catch Desert Mountain Tribe. You’ll be glad you made the effort.

Alien Weaponry Nail It Live In The USA

ALIEN WEAPONRY play HOB/San Diego Dec. 18, Fonda Theatre Dec. 20 and 21; press photo

ALIEN WEAPONRY play HOB/San Diego Dec. 18, Fonda Theatre Dec. 20 and 21; press photo

New Zealand’s teenage ALIEN WEAPONRY debuts in the states opening for MINISTRY. Don’t let their age or the fact that they sing in their native Maori language fool you into thinking they’re a gimmick. Their music is at times unique yet fits right into several genres. Sometimes tribal chanting, sometimes industrial rhythms and sounds, sometimes breakneck thrashing metal.

Concert Guide Live caught up with Alien Weaponry to find out more about what they’re into musically, underage touring, growing up Ministry fans, singing in Te Reo Māori, and… playing hackey sack?

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: This is your first U.S. tour – welcome – and what took so long? What are you looking forward to?
ALIEN WEAPONRY: Thanks! We’ve been aspiring to get over here for the past year, because we have a lot of fans in the States, so it’s brilliant to have finally made it. We’re really looking forward to touring with Ministry, who we listened to a lot of growing up. We are also looking forward to playing our first headline show in the USA; and meeting the 6 amazing First Nation bands who will be doing that show with us.

CGL: How would you describe your music for people who aren’t familiar with it, and why should they get there early to catch your set?
AW: We’re a mix of old-school thrash and groove metal; and we also sing in Te Reo Māori (New Zealand’s native language). If I have to give a reason for people to come early to see us, it’s probably not a very good sign, haha. Just do it – you won’t regret it.

CGL: You’re touring with Ministry in the states – how familiar are you with their music, their recent album? They’ve got a lot of angst!
AW: Lewis (de Jong/guitar and vocals) and Henry (de Jong/drums) grew up listening to Ministry so they’re a big inspiration to the band. As far as their new album goes, we all think that it kicks ass! Psalm 69 is still our favorite though!

CGL: Alien Weaponry – are you into Sci-Fi films or am I way off the mark in the story behind the name?
AW: Yeah, we love our sci-fi films and did get the band name from District 9, which Lewis and Henry watched for the first time when they were 8 and 10 years old. It was cool then, and it’s still one of our favorite movies.

CGL: What’s the longest tour you’ve done and how do you keep yourselves entertained?
AW: Our longest tour so far was a three-month tour through Europe earlier in 2018. It wasn’t too hard to stay entertained because we’re all a bunch of clowns! We often sing along to NZ music as it blasts through the van or play hackey sack to pass the time.

CGL: You’re all underage, do you have chaperone’s? Are you all drop outs?
AW: Hahaha, yeah, we are all underage (in the US at least) so we do have to bring one of our parents with us to be able to play in a lot of venues. As for being dropouts, that’s just Lewis. Henry actually finished school last year; and Ethan (Trembath/bass) is still planning on finishing his education (it might take a while though – we keep dragging him off on tour).

CGL: Who are you currently listening too? Do you listen to any music that differs greatly from your own sound?
AW: We all listen to a vast selection of music genres that is very different from our own. We take inspiration from musicians like Bob Marley, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Sticky Fingers to name a few. Of course, we all listen to metal as well! We’re all really into Twelve Foot Ninja from Australia; and Jinjer who are another amazing Napalm band.

CGL: What’s one of your favorite songs to play live and why?
AW: “Kai Tangata” is definitely our favorite song to play live. It’s really fun to play on the instruments for all of us, and we all have vocal parts during the chorus. It’s a pretty challenging song, so it’s really satisfying to nail when playing live. Also, not to forget, it’s our ‘wall of death’ song!

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage?
AW: We always hype each other up right before we go on stage which is usually us running around or doing pressups or something weird. Sometimes we’ll sing popular Māori waiata (songs), like “Tutira Mai nga Iwi,” which practically everyone from New Zealand knows.

CGL: Any good road stories? Any funny or interesting situations happen while on the road?
AW: When we were driving from Metaldays in Slovenia up to Wacken, we had a tire blow out on our caravan on the autobahn in Austria. That was bad enough, but when it happened, it had just got dark and a huge thunderstorm had just started, so there was rain and hail and thunder, and forked lightening everywhere, which was lighting up the forest all around us. We had to get out of the van for safety, so we were all standing huddled on the side of the road. It felt like we were in a horror movie, and we were going to get struck by lightning or something was going to come out of the woods. That was pretty surreal.

CGL: What’s behind the decision to use the Maori language in your songs?
AW: Henry and Lewis both have Maori ancestry and grew up speaking the language – they went to a kura kaupapa Māori (total immersion Māori school) when they were younger. In New Zealand, there is a school competition called Smokefree Rockquest, which we entered five times and eventually won; and there was also another competition which ran alongside it call Smokefree Pacifica Beats, where at least 25% of the lyrics had to be in Te Reo Māori, so we thought we’d give that a go, too and ended up winning that as well in the same year. Henry and Lewis were at a mainstream school by then and they had lost quite a lot of their language, so incorporating it into our songs was a great way of getting back into it. And, Te Reo Māori just works so well with metal, so we kept doing it.

Catch them at House Of Blues/San Diego Dec. 18 and the Fonda Theatre Dec. 20 and 21.

Dance The Night Away With The Orb

THE ORB play Teragram Ballroom Nov. 21; photo Roney-FM-K3-Media

THE ORB play Teragram Ballroom Nov. 21; photo Roney-FM-K3-Media

The Orb recreate a live musical collage of their greatest hits during this, their 30th year anniversary, currently on tour in the states. Breaking out samples and sounds, beats and rhythms, The Orb impact an audience with their trippy sounds and visual aids.

“It’s a mish mash of old and new,” founder Alex Paterson noted. “With bits of old things being played over new things and vice versa. A bit more energetic. A bit more danceable, rather than hip swaying.”

The Orb bring their own elaborate visuals to compliment the live music which are dependent on the size of the screen available at each venue. The bigger the screen, the bigger the visuals. While producer/collaborator Michael Rendall joins Paterson for the musical side of the live spectrum.

“It’s a very similar set up as me and Thomas (Fehlmann) with a lot more freedom.,” Paterson said. “We’re sacking the Americas… We’re throwing American techno back at them…old style…payback time. It’s all good fun. And remember it’s 30 years since the beginning of House pretty much in the world.

“But the visuals compensate for everything you see… I’m just the conductor.”

THE ORB "No Sounds Are Out Of Bound" cover art

THE ORB “No Sounds Are Out Of Bound” cover art

Mixed throughout the setlist of reimagined greatest hits are several songs from No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds. Tracks such as “Doughnuts Forever” and the 15 minute “Soul Planet”, one of Paterson’s favorites to play live.

“Soul Planet all the way,” Paterson confirmed. “It’s the last track on the album and it’s the longest track on the album. It’s what we can all do very, very, very well. When we do a long track, we can investigate what’s going on in 15 minutes, it’s good fun.”

“And Rush, “Rush Hill Road” which is a single and a video. That goes down real well. We muck it about, make it sound a bit heavier.”

The catchy “sing along” album version of “Rush Hill Road” features Hollie Cook on vocals.

“Dare I say I know her dad, Paul Cook, from the Sex Pistols”? Paterson teased. “I used to be a Killing Joke roadie, and Paul’s met me years ago many times in different clubs and things and we all eventually did a gig, it was quite bizarre, with the Sex Pistols when they did a reunion back in the 90’s, it was really odd.

“So anyway, I met Hollie a couple times through the reggae connection, as well, then she started doing an album with Youth (Killing Joke), and Youth being one of my best friends invited me over, and we did a track on her album, then she did a track for me on our album.”

Prior to No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds, The Orb released Cow, a unique and truly original flow of atmospheric songs, alternating and overlapping samples such as – animal noises, rushing rivers – but it wasn’t really toured or performed live.

“Well, what I can tell you about that album is that no musical instruments were played in the making of that album,” Paterson revealed. “It was an absolute joy to use samples in a very constructive way…not even bars, not even loops, just sounds; and then creating our own music with those sounds.

“The whole thing was (put together) a little under 10 days. It’s a small album, it’s only 41 minutes long. It sits very well on the palette.

“Lots of the recordings were taken in America when we went down to the Moogfest three years ago in Durham and I discovered the river Eno which I thought was quite amusing, so I recorded it. And that’s on the album, as well.”

Hanging out in clubs in the late 80’s, hearing things that he liked, Paterson wanted to do his own thing similar to what he was hearing.

“I was lucky to have people around me with studios that I could go in and muck about,” Paterson recalled. “Creating my own music in ‘88, ’89, was very much fun. A lot of freedom. A lot of experiments. Not afraid to do things.

“Everything’s gotten a lot easier with the advent of mass production of computers. It takes away a lot of the studio costs, which is quite good, really. Because you can spend a lot of time in the studio doing this thing.

“I haven’t finished yet. It’s a good feeling to feel that a childhood sort of dream that you always wanted to make music, you always wanted to be known for your music, your art, I did it.”

It’s not often that The Orb play in the states so don’t miss them at Teragram Ballroom Nov. 21.

“Looking forward to Los Angeles,” Paterson admitted. “We should be rocking you by then.”

Fortunate Youth Bring Their Signature Sound Back Home

FORTUNATE YOUTH play The Novo Nov. 21, Observatory / North Park Nov. 23 , Observatory / Santa Ana Nov. 24 and 25; press photo

FORTUNATE YOUTH play The Novo Nov. 21, Observatory / North Park Nov. 23 , Observatory / Santa Ana Nov. 24 and 25; press photo

Good Vibes!!! This phrase is at the center of reggae music and is a pivotal force in the popular L.A. reggae act Fortunate Youth.

“Basically, myself and another member were really looking to create a name that was positive,” explains Greg Gelb of the band. “And fortunate youth being a kind of state of mind, you know a positive state of mind, and music keeps you young; so, if you have a youthful mindset, you’re kind of lucky to be young forever through music.

“Four of us went to high school together – Jered Draskovich, Corey Draskovich, myself Greg Gelb, and Travis Walpole- and our singer Dan Kelly is a transplant in the L.A. area from Mississippi so we kinda linked up with him. There were like two bands that we decided to put together. And later added our drummer from Las Vegas, Jordan Rosenthal.

“Our manager decided to have a birthday party and we decided to take these two bands and combine forces. And along the way we have added other members which has turned it into a six piece.”

FORTUNATE YOUTH: press photo

FORTUNATE YOUTH: press photo

Reggae is a fluid art form; while constantly maintaining a close tie to its roots, over the years it has shown an incredible ability to fuse with many other styles of music along the way. “We kind of joke about that,” muses Gelb. “We all have our own interests, some similar and some different. And when it came out, we all decided to band together and what came out was our sound.

“Definitely reggae influenced…. but I tell a lot of people we blend a lot of different styles into reggae, and that is what we enjoy about it,” reflects Gelb. “It’s kind of like an open book where you can blend a lot of cool styles and the reggae vibe is open to a lot of that. It has allowed for a good collaboration of sounds. I think what we most enjoy about being in the reggae genre is the community; it’s very welcoming and everybody is really positive.”

Speak to any reggae fan, and they will tell you seeing it live is a necessity for far too many reasons to list. “Definitely the energy,” states Gelb. “It all starts with everybody in the crowd, a kind of reflective and positive energy that goes back and forth.

“One of the most fun songs we play live, in terms of a high energy song, is “Burn One.” I think that’s a crowd favorite for sure so that’s always fun. Another fun song I enjoy is “Things,” that’s a fun song to play. I don’t know if you know, but four of us switch instruments throughout the show. So, I play guitar and then get a few songs on the bass. The four of us each get to jump on the bass in the set so we kinda joke that we all like to fight over the bass.”

“It’s fun, you know,” Gelb continues. “We all have fun playing the bass. It’s a little bit…. you get to move around, it’s a little more simplified, and is a key element to the feel. So, yea, we have fun playing the musical instruments.”

Currently embarking on their West in Peace tour, the band is excited to be playing the west coast again; and thus, created a whimsical name for the tour with a funny story behind it. Gelb explains: “We were hoping people would get the bit of humor with it. The concept is based on the West Coast tour so there’s the west. One of our songs that illustrates the theme we are going for with our music is “Peace, Love, and Unity” so that’s a track of ours that we play almost every set. When people ask us what we are all about, that’s what we try to embody. That’s what we wanted to incorporate as well so we pieced those two things together.

“Then we decided to throw Elmer Fudd as the kind of spokesperson of that with the way he talks. Instead of rest in peace, he would say west in peace. And when we commissioned a friend for the flyer, we made a picture of him meditating and looking peaceful. So, it was just a twist on positive and rest in peace.”

Being from Hermosa Beach, Fortunate Youth looks forward to some hometown shows and the opportunity to bring their sound to longtime fans.

“The Observatory is like a backyard party for us,” reveals Gelb. “Just in terms of how a lot of friends come out so it’s definitely a good fun party feel to it. We are excited to record a live album there and get that experience there and put it out for people.”

With this tour, Fortunate Youth is spreading their love all around SoCal beginning Nov. 21 at The Novo, Nov. 23 at The Observatory North Park, Nov. 24 and 25 at The Observatory Santa Ana, Nov. 28 at The Majestic, and Nov. 29 at The Date Shed. Catch them at one, or even all, of these dates for deep reggae vibes you won’t find anywhere else!

Darkwave Rolls Through L.A. Courtesy Of Felte

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

Nestled among the dark, quiet residential neighborhood just west of the 110 freeway in downtown L.A. lies the Pico Union Project and scene of Felte Records two-day celebration of live music featuring bands on their roster.

The historical synagogue was the perfect setting both architecturally and atmospherically for the music that was performed.

DEVON CHURCH; photo James Christopher

DEVON CHURCH; photo James Christopher

I got there early to catch all four bands on Day 2 and found a spot in one of the pews to kick back and watch Devon Church. His haunting, sexy, heartfelt songs were the perfect way to start the evening. Their minimal sound was full, hypnotic, easing you to drift away while nodding to the dirge-like rhythm. Offsetting the lead singer/guitarist was the keyboardist dressed in striking red from head to toe.

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

A DJ took over the music during a quick set change while people got up off their pews and began to fill the floor in front of the stage for Public Memory. They were rewarded with a surprisingly energetic set albeit too short.

Always in constant motion, it was hard to take your eyes off Robert Toher as he moved between his keyboard and the microphone simultaneously jumping and dancing as he sang. Holding the mic with one hand and gesturing with the other or playing a tambourine or shaking the hell out of a maraca he frantically moved around the stage, giving his all to the music.

The addition of a live drummer truly added another dimension to this dark, comforting, weird, unusual music. His tight rhythm patterns absolutely complimented the songs I knew so well. I appreciate a drummer that doesn’t hide behind the splashing of symbols.

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

PUBLIC MEMORY; photo James Christopher

There was another keyboardist who was often mouthing the words while he energetically danced and played, head bobbing, body bowing adding yet another dimension to the effects and noises, odd patterns and overall strangeness.

This was one of the bands I particularly came to see and clearly, I was not alone. Shouts of “yes” and screams of recognition could be heard as the first note of nearly every song began.

Speaking to a fan after their set she said, “These guys are like me.” She completely connects to their music.

They left us wanting more.

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

Ritual Howls was the other band I was looking forward to seeing. The floor was still packed which told me that they were also highly anticipated by the rest of the crowd.

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

Right from the start the band seemed to have sound issues on stage but from the audience side of the stage it was a joy to hear so many of the songs live after hearing them through car speakers for a couple of years!

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

RITUAL HOWLS; photo James Christopher

Paul Bancell’s familiar guitar hooks and melodies were clear as a bell as were his deep vocals. Ben Saginaw’s pulsating basslines and Chris Samuels’ synth samples and drum machine drove the songs, at times there was a distinct dance groove. Somehow the melancholy feel of the music often makes me think of a spooky Joy Division and yet Ritual Howls has their own very recognizable sound.

ODONIS ODONIS; photo James Christopher

ODONIS ODONIS; photo James Christopher

Odonis Odonis closed the night with their hypnotic, industrial trance music. Synth-driven by Constantin Tzenos and Denholm Whale. Drummer Jarod Gibson stood between them banging out rhythms on an electronic drumkit and/or snare drum. I wasn’t familiar with the group, but their deliberate mesmerizing beats and synth sounds won me over, at times reminiscent of Nitzer Ebb.

ODONIS ODONIS; photo James Christopher

ODONIS ODONIS; photo James Christopher

Felte Records is the rare type of label that if you like one, or even two bands on their roster, chances are you’re going to like more. I wish I could have made it to both nights because I’m sure I would have discovered a lot more!

Crazy Energy Of Dream Wife

DREAM WIFE play The Echo Oct. 10 and Constellation Room Oct. 13; photo Hollie Fernando

DREAM WIFE play The Echo Oct. 10, Casbah Oct. 12 and Constellation Room Oct. 13; photo Hollie Fernando

Listening to Dream Wife’s self-titled debut album, it sounds like they’re having a ton of fun, which guitarist Alice Go enthusiastically confirmed. Looking at their tour schedule, it seems there’s no rest for the wicked!

“It’s true, it’s true,” Go declared. “It was like straight after we released our album in January this year we went straight out to play Laneway Festival in Australia. And kind of since then pretty much this year has been nonstop. So, yea, it’s going to be great to come out and do a headline tour to the U.S.”

And playing live is what it’s all about, the live show being the truest part of their whole project, one that started a few years back when they all met at art school in England.

“It’s where the energy, where the soul comes from, it’s basically jamming in the practice room, it’s the way we interact with our friends and family, it’s a crazy chemistry in Dream Wife, it’s always such a great energy on stage, and we hope that translates to the crowd and I think actually as a band we try to break the ice… it’s the way we play…and have a good time ourselves,” Go explained.

Dream Wife; photo Joanna Kiely

Dream Wife; photo Joanna Kiely

It’s interesting how Dream Wife has both playful and serious songs that make you stop and think one moment, then let loose and be silly the next.

“It’s always a really special part of the set when we play our song “Somebody”,” Go mused. “I think it’s when everyone actually is respecting everyone else around them and it brings the focal of attention to that.

“Then coming from that song later in the set to “F.U.U” where it’s everyone screaming “bitch” together as a crowd … I think it’s the major extremes in the set that hopefully everyone can enjoy themselves and everyone can take something from it.”

Vocalist Rakel Mjöll, writes the lyrics, weaving together stories from conversations between the band members or their friends, keeping it true to heart, with the possible exception of “F.U.U” which may or may not have evolved from jamming the theme song from the Fresh Prince.

“There’s a couple of original stories at this point,” Go laughed. “I think we were just jamming around with the theme tune for the Fresh Prince and it just escalated… I think that playful nature comes across in the way we like to write. At this point I’m not even sure what the origin story is!”

Bella Podpadec plays bass and while they used to work with a drum machine, they currently play with a live drummer, Alex Paveley.

“He’s amazing,” Go said. “I think having live percussion brings a lot of energy. That backbeat is really important to this band and the sound.”

Dream Wife; album art

Dream Wife; album art

But, back when the three women started this project, they wanted to figure out amongst themselves what their terms were, what they wanted from the band and how they wanted to navigate the music industry.

“You want to figure out what your project is on your own terms before someone else comes along and tells you how it is, so we were very wary of that sort of stuff,” Go explained.

“At the moment I think we have an amazing indie label – Lucky Number – based in London, they’re very supportive, and we really trust them to enable us to take this project in a way that we see fit…we can do some things we were never able to do before… but it still feels like a project that is in our control in terms of vision, content, message, where we want to go musically… I feel very lucky about the position we’re in.”

While Go feels a lot has changed in the male dominated music industry, she also feels women need to band together, in a sense, too.

“I think yes, a lot has changed in that it’s a conversation in a more open way with diversity and equality in the music business,” Go said. “I have a sense that ultimately it’s still a conversation that needs to be pushed and we can’t lax on that otherwise things stay stagnant and don’t change. It’s about continuing the conversation.”

For decades women in music have often been viewed as a novelty or a manufactured thing. One or the other. There weren’t many women in rock that were role models.

“Yea, yea, totally, totally, totally,” Go enthused. “It’s either a unicorn in the traditional sense or it’s a kind of no control situation… a manufactured situation or a fake situation.

“It’s like the Spice Girls were so exciting as a kid and girl power … I think there’s something empowering about that feeling now and reclaiming that as well as reclaiming the place in music where we’re more serious as musicians…yea, yea, it’s kind of complicated, isn’t it?

Be a part of the wild energy and catch Dream Wife Oct. 13 at Constellation Room.

Nothing Fishy About Jack Russell’s Great White

JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE will play The Coach House Jun. 15; press photo

JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE will play HOB/SD Sep. 12, The Wiltern Sep. 14 and HOB/Anaheim Sep. 15; press photo

“It’s a fine line between insanity and genius and I walk the edge of that line every day,” Jack Russell declared while explaining that he never gets bored, even on the road.

“Well you know I’m the kind of guy that can have fun in a shoebox, I entertain myself, I never get bored. I think when people say they’re bored they’re just boring. For me, and I don’t mean this to sound conceited or whatever, but I’m my own favorite company, you know? I make myself laugh. I’m a total goofball.”

Jack Russell’s Great White is currently on the SiriusXM Hair Nation 2018 Tour that will stop at HOB/SD Sep. 12, The Wiltern Sep. 14 and HOB/Anaheim Sep. 15, but there’s not much he needs to bring along.

“Just my underwear,” Russell laughed. “The only thing I take on the road and is really important is my warm up tape and Throat Coat tea. Everything else kind of finds it way. Of course, I have my own microphone and things like that but other than that I’m pretty self-sufficient.”

The longest tour Russell ever went on was for 16 brutal months, without any breaks, not even going home once.

“Just tour, tour, tour, tour, play our shows,” Russell recalled. “Yea, it was pretty grueling. I get home and my kid is 3 inches taller. My wife found somebody else. It was like ‘Oh hello. Goodbye.’ Being on the road is very hard on relationships. I mean it really is. I’m on my third wife right now. So, we’ll see how that goes.”

Last year saw the release of He Saw It Comin’ which featured 11 songs written by Russell and guitarist Robby Lochner. The pair work well together, bouncing ideas off one another. Russell writes lyrics, but not music, although sometimes he comes up with a melody such as for the song “She Moves Me”. He then sort of hummed it to Lochner so he could figure out the chords.

“It’s about a guy that falls in love with a prostitute,” Russell began. “She ends up staying with him all night with their first tryst. So, he thinks she’s all with him, so he moves in with her. Then he finds he’s the one being left alone and she’s out there doing her thing. He can’t help it cuz he’s in love with her.

“And it’s all based on life experience. That happened to me at one point. I fell in love with this porn star and she’s ‘I’m off to work’. I finally woke up to the fact, I mean I always knew what she was doing but then one day I was like ‘this is crazy’. She’s going off to work, having sex with guys for a job, then she comes home and I’m like, ‘wanna make love?’ and she’s ‘I’m too tired. I’ve been doing that all day long’. This is really disgusting, so I had to bail. That was back when I was getting loaded all the time. Now that I’m sober I don’t do crazy stuff like that anymore.”

That’s not entirely true – he’s found other crazy things to do, such as fish for sharks, which since he lives on a boat, is something he can do when ever the urge hits him.

“Sharks have always been my thing,” Russell shared. “I just love them. They’re beautiful creatures. The ones I fish for are Mako sharks, they’re really acrobatic, they’ll come out of the water, they’ll do cartwheels in the air. They’re just incredible fish. They really are.

“When I was a kid, my father used to take me out fishing down in San Diego, and I started working on the boats when I was really, really young. At one point I managed to get a 100-ton license, which as far as I know, I’m still the youngest kid to ever get a 100-ton license with the Coast Guard, a Master’s license.”

Considering all of the mainstream success and tours over the years, Russell says the coolest place he’s ever played is the L.A. Forum, which happens to be where he saw his first concert. It’s also where he was presented with his first Platinum record.

“I remember sitting in the 22nd row, loge seat, when I was 15 years old watching Blue Oyster Cult,” Russell recalled. “I told my friends, I’m gonna be on that stage one day and you’re gonna be asking for tickets. And they’re like, yea, right.

“And then April 6, 1988, I was sitting across the parking lot and I opened up my window and there was the Forum…I was playing there the next night…it was sold out…I just sat there and stared at it for like an hour.

“Then when I went to soundcheck the next day, I walked in and they were setting up all the gear, so I went out and I sat in that basic area where I was when I was a kid. I watched them setting up and I looked and said, ‘you know, Jack, you’ve really come a long way’. I’m looking at the stage and I went, ‘Yep, about 5000 feet’.”

In addition to the current tour, Cleopatra Records will be releasing his two solo albums which have never came out in the States, beginning with Shelter Me in June.

“In fact, it’s so hard to find, the record company had to go on eBay and pay 90 bucks to buy the CD, so they could make copies,” Russell laughed. “That’s pretty funny.”

And then there’s a book that Russell has been working on with a ghost writer that is due to come out in the Fall called, “Dancing On the Edge”.

“The reason I really wanted to do it was to let people know that no matter how far down the scale they are in life, if you really want to and believe in it, you can be anything you want,” mused Russell.

“I think people need to know that instead of feeling sorry for yourself and think you’re stuck in one spot, if you really want to be getting out of it, you can do whatever you want.

“We’re the architects of our own lives, and if you think positive things, positive things will come back to you and vice versa. So, I don’t ever think bad about people. I hate no one no matter how bad they messed me over I just pray for them. I don’t carry around that emotional baggage, cuz, you know, it’s really bad to do that. Plus, it’s painful.”

Break On Through With Wild Child

WILD CHILD play The Coach House Sep. 1; photo Wayne Herrschaft

WILD CHILD play The Coach House Sep. 1; photo Wayne Herrschaft

“Probably the number one comment we have received for many years is, ‘I never got to see The Doors live but I feel this is as close as I will ever get. Thank you for doing this. I was born at the wrong time and missed it’,” Dave Brock (founder/vocalist) shared.

SoCal is fortunate once again to experience the sensation that is Wild Child, as they return to The Coach House with the ultimate tribute to The Doors Sep. 1, playing songs such as “Hello, I Love You”, “Touch Me,” and “Light My Fire” to name a few.

“The Coach House has a long history of hosting some of the best bands that ever played,” Brock said. “If the walls could talk… The level of entertainment there is always at the top. The setting is very intimate yet holds a fairly big crowd for a club. There’s not a bad seat in the house. People have a great time there.”

Concert Guide Live caught up with Brock to find out how it all began, about the attention to detail in both the sound and equipment, and much more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Did you ever see Jim Morrison play live?
WILD CHILD: Although I was alive when The Doors were playing, I was far too young to actually see them in person. My brother was eight years older than I and saw them as a teenager. He loved The Doors.

I remember one time driving home with my mother and brother as a small kid. The long version of “Light My Fire” was on the radio and I remember my brother yelling out loud that this song was going to last all the way home. I was aware of The Doors as a child, but they really didn’t get on my radar until midway through college, when I was going through a phase of discovery as most young people do. Questioning… everything. Exploring, testing the boundaries. Examining everything I was ever taught or told. This is great music for those at that period in their life.

Dave Brock, Wild Child

Dave Brock, Wild Child

CGL: How important is it to you and the rest of the band to play the songs as close to the originals as possible?
WC: Probably the most important thing that Wild Child does, is playing the music as close as possible to the original. Whether it be the studio recorded version or perhaps a great live version. Or a combination of the two.
Our instrumentation is exactly what The Doors had. We were able to find a very rare Gibson portable organ, as Ray (Manzarek) used to play live on stage. Very ominous sounding keyboard that is impossible to simulate with a synthesizer. We also had Ludwig Custom make a drum kit exactly like John Densmore’s. Same Gibson SG guitar Robby (Krieger) used to play.

But it does not stop there. It’s mandatory in this band to play the songs exactly like the original members. No one interjects with their favorite licks they have learned over the years or plays in a different style. We realize what people are paying for and what they deserve.

CGL: What is one of your favorite songs to play live?
WC: What I like most about The Doors songs is that for the most part they are very different from each other. It’s almost like walking through an art gallery, each song is like a different painting. With lots of visual imagery and poetry. The band is comprised of such different types of musicians. A boogie-woogie keyboard player, a flamenco guitar player and a jazz drummer in the same band. Crazy good!

CGL: What is the longest tour you ever went on? How did you keep yourself engaged while constantly riding a bus?
WC: The longest tour I was ever on was in Europe. Mostly Western Europe. However, it was only for about a month and a half. I have never done extremely long tours. Probably why I have had such a long career. I have also very rarely done bus tours. I prefer sleeping in hotels. Our equipment / crew needs are so small that we really don’t even need a bus. I went on a few bus tours with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors, when I was their singer. That is how they preferred to tour. Those were great times, but I hated leaving a five-star hotel room to bump down the road in a bus overnight. The closer I can get to a normal life on the road, the better I feel about it.

CGL: Tell me about the moment that led to you deciding to do a tribute to the Doors?
WC: While attending Long Beach State University I became a big Doors fan. I heard a radio ad about the Jim Morrison rock opera at Gazzari’s night club on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. So, I went to it the next evening. It turned out to be a live audition and not really quite a rock opera, yet. I showed up and they let me in for free. All they needed was my name for the clipboard. Later I found myself being called on stage to sing a song. The only one I knew was “LA Woman”. Never before doing something in front of a crowd, held a microphone etc., I was singing “LA Woman”. When it was over, Jim Morrison’s sister, Anna came out of the crowd and had photos taken with me. Soon after they offered the lead role to me. That’s what got me into this mess. But I really have enjoyed it. After that journey ended, I took some time off and then formed my own band, Wild Child.

Dave Brock, Wild Child

Dave Brock, Wild Child

CGL: How many songs do you know? Are there any you’d still like to learn?
WC: I’ve probably done every song The Doors have done at one time or another. However, for our show I have to realize that most people coming to see us only know what they’ve heard on the radio and may not even own any of the albums. So, I have to be careful with how many obscure songs we add to a set of music. Maybe two or three at the most. Luckily the hits are not poppy or corny.

CGL: Vocally, what do you do to keep your voice and range in shape?
WC: My secret to vocal longevity is attributed to these two things. First of all, I sing in my own vocal range. Where a lot of people doing other people’s material actually have to sing outside their normal range to accomplish that. That is very hard on your voice.

Iron Butterfly Brings Psychedelia To The Coach House

IRON BUTTERFLY play The Coach House Aug.18; press photo

IRON BUTTERFLY play The Coach House Aug.18; press photo

Sixties psychedelic group, Iron Butterfly, best known for the song, “In A Gadda Da Vida”, from the album of the same name that sold over 48 million copies, will bring a slice of musical history to The Coach House Aug 18.

“We don’t really dress up for the occasion, the guys are in their 60s,” percussionist Mike Green said.

“There may be a tie-dye shirt here or there, or Indian moccasins, mainly because it looks good on stage. We also have a sixties style light show.”

Back in the day, the band used to make sure there was a certain kind of beer or food in the dressing room, or maybe a bottle of whiskey.
“Now all I want is Pepto Bismo and Advil,” Green joked.

While some audiences may be skeptical about the changing lineup of the group, Iron Butterfly was never about one member, it was about a specific sound of the band, which the current lineup captures.

“We go out and play the original songs, it’s not a tribute band, we are Iron Butterfly,” Green said.

A little background history goes like this. Green, who has known the group since the early days, assembled the current incarnation of Iron Butterfly with the blessing of “In A Gadda Da Vida” drummer, Ron Bushy, who is presently on a medical hiatus and is the only member to appear on all six studio albums.

“There was never a percussionist with the original Iron Butterfly,” Green explained.

“Ron wanted to add a percussionist to augment the sound because it is very percussion driven due to his famous drum solo.”

Rounding out the band are Ray Weston (drums) who started touring with the band after Bushy took ill; Dave Meros (bass) joined following the death of Lee Dorman; Eric Barnett (guitar) has been a long-time member of Iron Butterfly; and Martin Gerschwitz (keyboardist) who recreates the ethereal, churchy organ that is as critical as the drums to the overall Iron Butterfly sound.

“I wanted to find people that knew the sound, liked the sound, and were familiar with it,” Green said.

Over the years, there have been several lineups of Iron Butterfly with some of them using the name illegally. Now Bushy owns the name and Green is his partner in licensing the group so there should always be a true representation of the band, it’s music, and the whole Iron Butterfly experience.

“This is the most solid incarnation, with the remaining original members’ blessings,” Green said.

“Come and return to a different place in time and experience Iron Butterfly.”

faUSt Promises Splendid Mess At The Broad

faUSt play The Broad Jul 28; press photo

faUSt play The Broad Jul 28; press photo

FaUSt, the legendary 60s German experimental rock band, will make a rare appearance July 28 at Summer Happenings: Social Shamans at The Broad in Los Angeles, supported by the Goethe Institut.

Concert Guide Live caught up with founding member, Jean-Herve Peron the day after arriving in the U.S.to talk about the upcoming tour, politics, and music. En route to their Air BnB in Chicago, Peron was a little bit punch-drunk, excited and ready for the first show.

“We are totally ready,” Peron enthused. “We are jet-lagged. We are nervous. We are standing right in the middle of a huge traffic jam. The weather is too hot. We are ready!”

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Will you have any sort of stage show or are you just going to play your instruments and go for it!?
JEAN-HERVÉ PÉRON: It’s going to be a splendid mess. A great touted performance. There will be women and men involved and water tanks and all kinds of things happening. Dada, punk, poetry…

CGL: FaUSt has been around for nearly 50 years, which means you must have a fanatical fanbase. Are you making new fans, as well?
JHP: Our bodies are aging and our bones and muscles are getting involved in time. But our spirit is not getting old for some reason. Sometimes I wonder, am I infantile or am I senile? I’m not sure which end I’m at. So that keeps us in a position of always looking at the world with newborn baby’s eyes, and the same with art. My friend, Zappi (co-founder Werner ‘Zappi’ Diermaier) and myself are still curious about things, we like to explore new things, we like to discover the digital world, all kinds of things.

CGL: Going back to the beginning, what were some of your early musical inspirations that lead you to doing this type of music?
JHP: The major factor that was triggering our energy was that we wanted to find our own destiny. Let me put it this way – Germany was a cultural wasteland after WWII. The USA helped Europe to get back on their feet. The economy got much better but there is always a side effect to this.

Obviously, all the European’s are very thankful that the USA helped us get out of this mess. But the side effect was that we were invaded by a new culture, a new way of food, of art. I’m talking about like the McDonald invasion and also, I’m not being arrogant about this, but this wasn’t enough for us young people. I’m talking about 1960, fifteen years after WWII was over. We were young, and we wanted to have our own way of thinking. And certainly, the lyric of typical rock-n-roll didn’t satisfy us, and the three-chord endless sequence didn’t satisfy us. We were eager to find our own identity. That was the main motivation.

CGL: It’s probably that way for every generation.
JHP: Absolutely. In 1968 we were the May ’68 children and we wanted to change everything socially, politically, economically, sexually, Everything. And nowadays I notice, and for this I have an excellent thermometer, I have a daughter who is as young as I was in ’68, and I feel they are confronted with a similar situation and I feel that there is a lot of energy that is similar to the energy that we had back in ’68.

My daughter’s generation is having a hard time. There is a powerful drift to the right and it’s all over the world. In Europe it’s very clear to see and in other countries also. And the young generation doesn’t want to go right. A huge majority of them don’t want to go right. They have other values in life. I can feel in my daughter’s communication that she’s desperate, but she certainly isn’t helpless. She’s conscious of the environment she’s conscious of the political weirdness of the time and she’s acting against it. I am very proud of this generation.

CGL: When you put together your set list do you know what you’re going to do in advance?
JHP: We have more of a general idea of what we are going to do, and the rest of the set list will be influenced by whatever happens on the days before or directly on the day. But since we know that technical matters are involved of course we know roughly what will happen.

And may I mention, it will be quite exceptional – we will have this splendid group of three colorful ladies called Ernsthafte Angelegenheiten. That means in German, “Serious business. Serious matters. Serious Issues”. They will bring this new blood into FaUSt. And that promises to be for us and everybody involved very challenging but very interesting.

CGL: Are they playing with you or are they playing separately?
JHP: They are playing with us as part of FaUSt. We also have some friends playing with us.

CGL: Is there anything else you’d like to add or talk about?
JHP: We are extremely excited to be performing in the United States. It’s a bit complicated to get into your country but once we are here, it’s great. Meeting so many people in the audience. Meeting so many different artists in so many different cities. We are privileged.

The Los Angeles portion of the tour will include founding members Jean-Hervé Péron and Werner ‘Zappi’ Diermaier along with Amaury Cambuzat, Braden Diotte, and possible surprise guests.