UFO Sighting In San Juan Capistrano Not To Be Missed (Flashback 2016)

UFO

UFO play The Coach House Mar. 20

Flashback: VINNIE MOORE with UFO 2016 interview:

UFO will be greeted with a sold out show at The Coach House Mar. 20 as they return to the local venue they’ve played numerous times over the years.

“We love the antique shops and also some of the bars and restaurants in the area. Ha!” guitarist Vinnie Moore quipped. “We always seem to have a packed house full of energetic fans which makes it a pleasure. And it’s a great sounding room.”

Following the release of their 21st album last year, A Conspiracy Of Stars, the English hard rock band is adding a few of the newer tracks to their set list of greatly-anticipated songs.

“Of course we try to keep in as many of the classics as possible, and also play a couple from the 80’s era of the band,” Moore said.

“As far as new stuff, I love playing ‘Messiah of Love’ and ‘Rollin’ Rollin’. ‘Venus’ (from the album Covenant) is always a blast to play, but really I enjoy everything.”

Moore became the permanent lead guitarist with UFO in 2003, began touring with the band and first appeared on You Are Here as well as each of the following albums.

“When I was a teenager learning to play guitar I was a UFO fan,” Moore acknowledged. “I never would have dreamed that someday I would be in the band.

“I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s so I was into all the classic stuff like The Beatles, Led Zep, Deep Purple, Queen, Rainbow, etc.”

Some of the classic UFO songs and fan favorites were during the Michael Schenker era in the 70’s. Songs such as “Doctor, Doctor,” “Lights Out,” “Too Hot To Handle” and “Rock Bottom” have been performed untold times by the group but may vary slightly depending on the audience and the venue.

“A lot of my soloing is improvised so it is different from night to night,” Moore said. “This keeps it fresh and exciting for me and keeps me on my toes and in the moment.

“It’s a little like a pro sports game. There are certain guidelines that you know about in advance, but everyone watches because no one knows what the outcome is going to be on that particular day. And this is why it’s exciting.”

While there have been numerous personnel changes over years, vocalist Phil Mogg and drummer Andy Parker have worked together since the inception of the group. What’s the secret?

“Probably copious amounts of booze,” Moore teased.

If you’re in a band starting out today, Moore suggests doing it “Because you love it and have a passion for it.” To, “Follow your love and become great at what you do.

“At that point, try to create and seize any opportunities that already exist or that you can dream up. Then let me know.”

As the California leg of their U.S. tour approaches, Moore added, “We look forward to seeing the fans at The Coach House.

“Thanks for your continued support.”

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Crazy Energy Of Dream Wife (2018 Looking Back)

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

DREAM WIFE / ALICE GO 2018 interview, looking back…

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.

Rival Sons Play Rock-N-Roll Like It’s Meant To Be (Flashback 2016)

RIVAL SONS

RIVAL SONS play The Forum Feb. 11 and The Observatory Feb. 12 photo: Ross Halfin

Flashback RIVAL SONS 2016 interview…

Long Beach rock-n-roll band, Rival Sons, on tour with Black Sabbath, will make a stop in Santa Ana to headline their own show on Feb. 12.

“I hope to see everybody there, it’s going to be a big show,” drummer Michael Miley said. “And, listen to local rock radio, call KLOS tell them you want the Long Beach band, Rival Sons played on their station.”

The opportunity to travel the world and play music may be many musicians’ ultimate goal, but having your local rock radio station embrace you is icing on the cake.

“Our roots are strong so it’s going to be a packed show, a beautiful show, and it’s going to be sponsored by KLOS, a station I grew up listening to,” Miley confirmed. “It’s pretty much a dream.”

Rival Sons success in Europe is light years ahead of their success in the U.S. Although they have toured with many well-known, classic bands such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, and Alice Cooper people in the U.S. have been slower to catch on.

“The music business here does not embrace rock-n-roll or support it or give money to it. And rock radio is an uphill battle for what we do,” Miley explained. “Most Americans need to be spoon fed what to like, unless you’re a person who likes to seek out new music.

“We’re basically an R & B band just like The Who or Zeppelin. All the British Invasion bands were white boys who tried to play black music and turned it up real loud. That’s originally what rock-n-roll was, right?

“People think Foo Fighters are rock-n-roll. I love the Foo Fighters but that’s not rock-n-roll. Rock-n-roll is music that has blues in it. When the blues left rock-n-roll it became rock.

“We’re definitely lone wolves in a densely packed forest of nothing.”

RIVAL SONS

Michael Miley photo: James Christopher

Currently on tour with Black Sabbath in the US and Canada, Rival Sons will have the opportunity to reach many new fans.

“We have this crazy opportunity to be personally invited by Ozzy to be on this tour,” Miley said. “It’s pretty nostalgic and I can’t really put it into words.

“When (Tony) Iommi walks out and plays “Iron Man” I get shivers thinking back to when I was a kid and my older brother used to scare me playing Black Sabbath. It was the scariest thing. Ozzy was like a monster. My earliest memories of Sabbath, not that they’re bad, Sabbath were doing their job, was scaring the shit out of me! So, it’s pretty nostalgic.”

It’s been a few years since the last album Great Western Valkyrie but their fifth album is due sometime around May, also on Earache and distributed through Warner Bros. Like their previous album, it was recorded in Nashville with producer, Dave Cobb.

“Yep, we have a new record coming out in 2016, baby! Not sure I can say the name of it, yet,” Miley teased. “We’re really excited. It took us 3 weeks like all of our other records.

“We like to go in and over three weeks force ourselves to write songs in the studio. Nothing is pre-rehearsed or anything. I’ve never heard the songs. It’s a good way to get a human element into your recording. Forced, non-rehearsed music.”

Whether you catch them opening for Black Sabbath at The Forum, or headlining The Observatory, the Rival Sons always play hard, treating every concert as if it was their last show on earth.

“When I talk about rock I mean rock-n-roll.”

The Cult Live In The Moment Stop At Grove (Flashback 2016)

THE CULT

THE CULT play Grove of Anaheim Jun. 3; photo Tim Cadiente

Flashback: IAN ASTBURY / THE CULT 2016 interview…

The Cult return to Southern California following several months on the road, the release of a fresh new album, Hidden City, and more live dates on the horizon, indicating 2016 to be another busy year.

“We’ve been increasing our productivity in terms of performing and touring,” singer Ian Astbury said.

“We haven’t really stepped away from it too long.”

Not a band to rest on their laurels, The Cult continue to evolve and move forward, including the recent addition of Damon Fox playing both rhythm guitar and keyboards.

“We’ve got a great live band, right now. It’s sonically much different. I mean, anybody who’s seen us hasn’t seen this band with a keyboard player. The band right now is very connected and the set list we’re working with, as a narrative, works very well.”

Performing live is more or less second nature to Astbury, citing that pretty much everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong at shows, so they just roll with the punches.

“Something alchemical happens when you walk on that stage. You can’t really explain it or articulate it, you just have to experience it.”

Hidden City marks The Cult’s tenth studio album and lyrically, it contains Astbury’s observations and interpretations of life.

“Travel’s really important to me,” Astbury noted.

“It kind of gets me out of my environment. You know, instead of just taking impressions of media or printed material. That’s definitely a part of it, as well, but I find that travel has the most profound influence, for me.

“Hidden City really refers to our internal lives, our intimate lives. I mean, you could say, spiritual lives, intuition. Information that comes in through the heart is usually good information. It might be negative information coming in but it’s still authentic in the way you interpret it. Once it gets caught in your cognitive process then it becomes distorted or whatever…

“I think our intimate experiences are what really forms our characters. Every individual has a different life path and they’re all valid. But I was really referring to the heart, intuition as being the core theme of the title. And I could expand upon that but we’d be here forever.”

Each song is multi-layered with possibilities of meaning and thoughts to provoke or inspire further contemplation.

“There’s no right way or wrong way to perceive this record,” Astbury said.

“I mean, I have my perspective on it. But there’s also contradiction. You could have a completely different conversation with me tomorrow. Depends where I’m at.”

Forming in 1983, The Cult hit the ground running in terms of putting songs together so they could start playing live, with Astbury and guitarist, Billy Duffy collaborating since its inception, forming the cornerstone to the band’s longevity.

“We were in a live music scene,” Astbury recalled.

“Basically, you just got your songs together as quickly as possible so you could get out and play. We were very impulsive.

“But over the years you develop a desire to want to craft songs and give them a little more time to gestate.

“There’s so many points of reference that’s woven into the record, sonically woven in, in terms of textures. For example, on this record one of the instruments we started out early on with was piano. A lot of people see The Cult as being purely a guitar driven band.”

It’s been loosely suggested that Hidden City is the third album in a trilogy, beginning with 2007’s Born Into This, followed by 2012’s Choice Of Weapon.

“The birth of The Cult in the 21st century really begins, to me at least, with Born Into This which was a really impulsive record,” Astbury said.

“We made it like we did when we first started. We made that record in like 30 days, from beginning to mixing.

“We demoed and wrote for 21 days then we jumped in and did 15 days in the studio, Britannia Row Studio, in London, which is Pink Floyd’s studio and with a producer called Youth who’s produced everybody from The Byrds to Primal Scream.

“Choice of Weapon was started in the high desert with Chris Goss, in the Joshua Tree area. And that was a lot more immersive, working with Chris. That’s why we went to the desert, to begin that record, a more ethereal way of working, a more intuitive way of working.

“And then Bob Rock came in and kind of guided it home, and we finished the record.

“In conversations with Bob at the end of Choice Of Weapon he said ‘I’d love to be involved at the very beginning at the genesis of the next record’.

“You know, all the time we were against the clock in terms of touring obligations or release date obligations. I mean, when you’re working with a label it’s sort of like, ‘ok, here’s the release date’ and you know you’ve got to be done by a certain period and that can sort of force your hand. But with this record (Hidden City) we wanted to take our time. “

The album evolved over two years with the band alternating between working on it for two or three weeks, then touring for six weeks, going back and forth.

“It gave a chance for the body of work to develop and evolve. There’s a lot in Hidden City. There’s a lot of layers, so many layers that we haven’t even gotten to with this record. It just keeps unfolding.”

Needless to say, over the course of their career, there have been numerous changes in the music industry and the world in general. All of it lingers in some way, possibly creeping in to a lyric on Hidden City or possibly an as yet unwritten song. When asking Astbury what changes he’s noticed many things jumped immediately to mind.

“Watching our human impact on environment over the decades.

“Experiencing the focus away from the best and the brightest to the celebration of celebrity culture. We celebrate ignorance, for the most part.

“Moving into realms of science that we’ve never been into before – the quantum level.

“There’s a spiritual revolution going on. There’s an existential crisis of like, you know, the meaning of life.

“So we’re rearranging our whole psyche in terms of what it means to be human, what are our fears and dreams, our aspirations, where are we heading? I think that’s why we’re in this sort of crisis right now where people are turning to distraction and escapism.

“It’s all in this record and if you’re prepared to look, if you’re prepared to stick with it, and listen to it, live with it, more shall be revealed.”

Astbury also perceived that there’s some amazing art being created simultaneously as a counterpoint.

“Even the new Star Wars movie grabbed me,” Astbury laughed.

“The themes are archetypal, these are global themes – the rise of the young heroine who goes to discover her father. The search for the father, the search for the mother, these are archetypal themes that I think we can all relate to as humans and I think they did an amazing job with that film.

“So, not to mourn the past, there is a great revival, though, in people questing for all kinds of lifestyle choices and we live in a much more mixed, cultural community now. We’re way more integrated and that’s great. And if we keep moving forward that’s a beautiful thing. That’s something I definitely embrace.”

The Cult will be performing songs from throughout their extensive catalogue including some new sure-to-become-favorites at the Grove of Anaheim on June 3.

“We always try to create a set that people coming through the door want to hear, songs that are familiar to them,” Astbury said.

“I like to leave everything on the stage, I like to come off the stage feeling depleted. It takes time to reconstitute that every day but that’s what we’re there to do.”

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band Rock SoCal (2017 Remembered)

IAN HUNTER & THE RANT BAND

IAN HUNTER & THE RANT BAND play Teragram Ballroom Sep 12 and The Coach House Sep 13; press photo

IAN HUNTER / MOTT THE HOOPLE / THE RANT BAND 2017 interview remembered…

Ian Hunter, the once glam rocker of Mott the Hoople who evolved into a phenomenal solo artist penning radio hits such as “Cleveland Rocks” and “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, continues to tour and write interesting albums such as last years’ Fingers Crossed.

He will be performing with The Rant Band at Teragram Ballroom Sep. 12 and The Coach House Sep. 13, a venue he has played a few times including when he and Mick Ronson played after a week-long stint recording 1979’s live album Welcome To the Club at The Roxy.
The group has put together an amalgamation of songs covering 48 years of music to perform.

“You’ve got to please the casuals that means you’ve got to do a bit of the old stuff,” Hunter explained. “Then you’ve got to please the other half that means you’ve got to do a bit of the stuff no one’s heard, then you’ve got to do some solo stuff. And it all sort of melds in somehow.”

Naturally there should be a couple of songs from Fingers Crossed such as the recently released single, “Ghost” that has a delightfully soulful chorus complimenting Hunter’s rough around the edges vocals. As well as “Dandy” which is a nod to David Bowie who passed while Hunter was having difficulty writing a completely different song called “Lady” that he turned into “Dandy”.

“I only knew him for about a year that was around the Hunky Dory, Ziggy period,” Hunter recalled. “I kind of wrote the song from a fan’s point of view from that period.

“Because when he came in, everything was kind of drab, it was kind of like watching a black and white movie. Then, all of a sudden, David came in and everything went technicolor.”

One of the lyrics, “the last bus home” shows up throughout the song and refers to the end of a good night out.

“We used to go and see gigs and they were magic then you would come out and you really didn’t like your own existence,” Hunter chuckled. “It’s the same as when you came out of a movie and it’s ‘oh Jesus, here I am again’. That’s the whole idea of it.”

Not one to write and tour at the same time, Hunter prefers to focus on one or the other. He’s been touring since last year on the recent record and will most likely begin writing the next one in January.

“I just write when I want to make a new record,” Hunter noted. “I’m not one of those people, I can’t really work on the next one when I’m on the road. If I started on it now, it would be a bit dated by the time I did it.”

Being a rhythm guitarist and not a lead guitarist, Hunter prefers Martins, but also uses Gibsons and RainSongs.

“I have two other guitar players in the band so I stay acoustic,” Hunter said. “RainSongs is kind of a unique guitar because it’s not wood so it has a little edge to it. It’s kind of like halfway between an acoustic and an electric. I use it for open tuning.”

He keeps some of his guitars in Europe and some in the States so he doesn’t have to deal with transporting them as often.

“When we depart here, we go to Germany, then England and you don’t want to be carting stuff all over the place so we generally leave stuff in different countries,” Hunter explained. “You can pick them up when you’re there and it saves a lot of aggravation on the plane.
“It’s something you learn over the years. I never would have thought of it years ago.”

Something else he has learned over the years is that you have quite an advantage if you are passionate about what you choose to do in life.

“And if music’s your passion, more luck to you, but get a lawyer,” Hunter laughed. “If you haven’t got one in the family, get one.

“Usually with musicians, one side of the brain’s not working. They need somebody to compensate for the side of the brain that’s not working.

“I mean, I could never understand at school why you had to be good at arts and sciences. Usually you find arts people aren’t very good at math and vice versa.”

One other thing he laughingly mentioned he’s picked up over the years is that he likes to have a drink prior to going on stage.

“It’s a ritual that starts about 30 minutes before we go on. It gets you in the mood.”

Come Hear Legendary Guitarist Dick Dale! (2018-Looking Back)

DICK DALE plays The Coach House Jul. 14; press photo

DICK DALE plays The Coach House Jul. 14; press photo

DICK DALE 2018 interview, looking back…

Legendary guitarist, Dick Dale, continues to play to live audiences everywhere and will return to San Juan Capistrano’s icon, The Coach House, July 14. SoCal has been fortunate to hear Dale perform at The Coach House numerous times partially because he and the owner go way back.

“Gary (Folgner) and I have been very dear friends from the beginning of time,” Dale mused. “Many, many, many years ago he called me up and said ‘I would like you to come and play at my place’.”

This was back when Dale had a 15 piece rock band with keyboards, horns, backup singers, double drums, etc. and there was no way he could pay the whole band to play at his place.

“So my drummer and my bass player said ‘We’ll come and do it, Dick, you just bring your guitar and we’ll back ya’,” Dale recalled. “I got afraid because usually I have the whole band to fall back on. But they convinced me.”

Once he had stripped down the band it naturally led to creating his now signature style of guitar playing but don’t limit it by calling it “surf”. He plays a variety of music from Rockabilly to Boogie Woogie to Jazz to Big Band and everything else.

In fact, Dale pointed out that the word “surf” can actually become a negative and prefers not to use in advertising because it limits his attendance.

Many years ago, he performed a sold out show at Fullerton College, but when he returned several months later, something was amiss and the place was only half-filled.

“When I went outside the building there were all these surf posters so I took the booker and walked him up to a black man and I said ‘Excuse me, sir. Would you go and see the king of the surf guitar?’

“And he said ‘No, man. That’s not my bag, man.’

“Then I said it in a different way. I said, ‘Would you see a guitar legend, even if you never heard of him?’

“His reply was, ‘Oh man, I dig guitar, man. I’ll be there in a minute’.”

Several years into his career, in the late 50s, Dale wanted to give his band a name like many of the bands of that era, which is when The Deltones came about.

“We would perform at Riverside National Guard Armory in San Bernardino,” Dale recalled. “We thought the radio would be the big deal. We would take ads out on the radio that would say ‘Go see Dick Dale and The Deltones’.”

Now, 30 plus years later, people still remember the name The Deltones. Dale says people often tell him he looks familiar, or ask him if he plays guitar, but it’s the name The Deltones that they seem to remember more than his own name.

“You know why they remembered The Deltones?” Dale asked. “Because it was the last thing that was said to them on the air – Dick Dale and The Deltones!”

Dale’s lengthy career has witnessed and pioneered much in the music industry and he has a lot of stories to boot. He rarely does interviews anymore because he feels there’s too much sensationalism and wonders why people can’t just write good things. This is something he and his wife, Lana, feel strongly about.

“All we want to be is left alone. Let us take care of God’s creatures, the animals. And we will entertain and try to help people who have the same ailments that we have by showing them, ‘Look at me, I’m still on this stage and I’m not taking drugs to do it’.”

Having said that, when he’s off stage Dale does like to converse with people and share the things he and Lana have been through, showing he’s the same as they are.

“We are just showing the people that we are like them and we give them little tips when they ask us, ‘How do you perform on that stage? It looks like there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re what, 80 years old? ’,” Dale said. “But there are times I’ve had to sit in a chair. There are times they had to carry me on the stage, the pain was so great.

“I’ve been in the martial arts ever since I was 18. It’s been a way of life. I learned things to help fight pain and how to deal with it.”

Over the course of the interview, Dale shared some of the things he’s learned by experience over time which are akin to words of wisdom.

“I have a statement I’ve always said – when anything hits you in the face whether it’s illnesses or pain – I always say, ‘Deal with it.’ Then I say, ‘Get used to it.’

“The other one is, ‘Your body follows your mind. Don’t be so weak in your mind that you will allow something in your body that will kill you.’ Your body is your temple. Treat it like your temple. That’s what we do.”

Mark your calendar and don’t miss witnessing some legendary music and you may even get to hear a few funny or enlightening stories in between the songs.

Featured Video – Jaz Coleman and Ondrej Smeykal (Black & Red) “On the Day the Earth Went Mad”

ALIEN ANT FARM Playing Audience-Free At Whisky A Go Go

ALIEN ANT FARM; Photo Dimitri Mac

ALIEN ANT FARM; Photo Dimitri Mac

Alien Ant Farm will play an audience-free, livestreamed show at Los Angeles’ Whisky A Go Go On July 11.

Pre-Order Tickets For Online Performance Here

Fresh off the release of their cover of Wham!’s “Everything She Wants,” and their signing to Megaforce Records, Alt Rock veterans ALIEN ANT FARM are ready to entertain fans currently in lockdown with their upcoming livestreamed, audience-free performance from the world famous Los Angeles music venue Whisky A Go Go on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Presented by Revolver and INKED, can purchase tickets to watch the stream at home here: https://alienantfarm.veeps.com/

Having been together since 1996, Alien Ant Farm have supplied a steady stream of rock hits, including “Movies,” “These Days,” and their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” The band are currently working on their sixth studio album and will be releasing more new music later in 2020.
alien ant farm
“We live in this wait-and-watch world at the moment,” says guitarist Terry Corso about the upcoming performance. “So I think this online performance at the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood is going to be an experiment in what could be the new norm. Everyone is having to get creative and outside the box as far as facilitating material to fans. I think this is a pretty intriguing situation, and I’m excited at the notion of playing one show that people all over the planet can participate in.”

“Next for the band is working with our new label partner Megaforce Records to get this new record out ASAP,” he explains about future plans. “Getting back on the road would be great. Maybe even keep developing our drink line with Packinghouse Brewing Co. We’ve been trying to write music during the lockdown. Suddenly, everything now is about video, so there’s a lot of that going on… front yard golfing, home projects, keeping loved ones safe and trying not to go crazier than we already are, etc.”

Tickets for ALIEN ANT FARM’s upcoming livestream performance at Whisky A Go Go on July 11 can be purchased here.

Mike Peters Presents The Alarm

MIKE PETERS presents THE ALARM Jul 9 Belly Up, Jul 11 The Concert Lounge, Jul 12 The Coach House; photo James Christopher

MIKE PETERS presents THE ALARM Jul 9 Belly Up, Jul 11 The Concert Lounge, Jul 12 The Coach House; photo James Christopher

Mike Peters, or The Alarm, or Mike Peters presents The Alarm, how ever you want to put it, the music has been saying it all since the 80s. Three SoCal dates are on the books for July so we thought we’d re-run an interview with Mike from 2017.

The Alarm have been crazy busy in America this summer with a ton of live shows including dates on Vans Warped Tour as well as their own headlining gigs not to mention a new documentary.

“It’s great, we love being on tour and playing our music,” founding member, Mike Peters said. “We’re lucky to be alive and playing music in 2017.”

With a multitude of dates in SoCal, it’s The Coach House that Peters has a great affinity with in Orange County.

Mike Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

Mike Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

“It’s a special place in some ways ‘cause it’s where the last Alarm gig with the original lineup took place,” Peters recalled. “The audiences have come with all the changes that have gone on and rallied round and supported me as a solo artist and have been there for me. It’s a bit of a home away from home.”

This time The Alarm is performing as a full band with Peters’ sons helping the crew with the show and setting up equipment.

“They’re on the summer holidays and they’re both musicians,” Peters mentioned. “They’re having an amazing time. They’re loving it.”

Vans Warped Tour has a certain reputation of bands and genres that at first glance seemed at odds with a group such as The Alarm. However, the audiences have been very receptive, and they’ve increased their social media followers.

“It’s been a challenge, of course, but we’re still a modern band and can mix it up,” Peters explained. “It’s breathed a lot of life blood into the group.

Jules Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

Jules Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

“Seeing how young bands play and react in modern times has been good for us. It’s never good to re-tread old ground. It’s always great to take up challenges. And I’m sure the Vans Warped Tour will really inform the future of the group and keep us relevant. It keeps us in the modern context which is what we always strive for.”

For a band that first toured America in 1983, creating a 25-minute set out of their huge wealth of music required great discipline.

“It’s a really good opportunity for us to get together and think about how we put our music across and I think we came up with a great set,” Peters said. “We get 11 or 12 songs in, a really good representation of where we came from. It comes over great as far as I’m concerned.”

Peters often refers to a 1976 Sex Pistols concert and hearing “Anarchy in The U.K.” as inspiration for wanting to learn how to make music himself.

“I got a guitar from a guy that my sister was going out with and he showed me how to play a couple of chords and I never looked back,” Peters recalled. “I just played along to records in my bedroom and tried to go see bands when I could.

Mike Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

Mike Peters/The Alarm; photo James Christopher

“I grew up on glam rock – David Bowie, Marc Bolan and TREX, Slade, Sweet, those kind of bands in Britain. And when it became Punk rock it was The Clash, The Pistols, Joy Division, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Buzzcocks. The purest song would be a three-minute punk rock single, that was what I loved the best.”

Today, the songwriting is inspired by his life and what he’s been through. Both Peters and his wife are Cancer survivors and he has been living with leukemia for 21 years.

“Music has kept me strong, kept me one step ahead of the disease and allowed me to become a father and a musician. I have a charity called Love, Hope, Strength, we give a lot back through that to society and like I said, I’m very lucky to be alive and play music in 2017.”

When it comes to the actual songwriting, it’s usually the music that comes before the lyrics. But it’s all jumpstarted by a phrase.

“Somebody says something to you or you read something or hear something and that triggers something in your imagination that makes you want to say something and that becomes the title and then the lyrics flow from there.

“I think after you have a phrase then the music instantly follows. You can hear it all in your imagination straight away just because you’ve given birth to it.”

Following the exposure Peters has enjoyed being around a lot of modern bands and seeing a little bit of what’s going on with the next generation, Concert Guide Live was curious what sort of advice he had for bands starting out today.

“Stay off the internet. Go underground. Do it with posters and aim at your own audience. Don’t try to be global before you become local.

“If you’re gonna make it, you’re gonna make it. Don’t be on the internet a lot. You’re better off staying off the grid. Be punk rock, go underground, you go dark, people will find you.”