Various Artists – Spectrum LP [Subplate Recordings]

Spectrum LP cover art

Spectrum LP cover art

Exploring the farthest reaches of the dark side of DnB lies the label Subplate Recordings: operated by Typecell, with a keen focus on the minimal and experimental side of DnB, it has built a formidable repertoire of artists and releases which continue to push the boundaries in every way imaginable. They just dropped a massive release entitled the Spectrum LP, a various artists compilation that is chock full of genre-bending tracks the likes of which have never been heard before.

Starting off the release is label boss himself Typecell with the tune “Observer.” It introduces the LP with an ominous tone that perfectly sets the stage, building intense levels of tension that ebb and flow as you try to anticipate what comes next.

VRUM picks up where the previous tune left off on “Oracle,” continuing the sinister undertones as it brings in hypnotic effects that hint at the radical diversity contained within. Rumbling bass, distorted chords blasts, and dub influenced beats creep slowly into your brain.

On “The Devil Wears Nada”, Hickupz brings out the deep DnB vibes. With an emphasis on the metronomic click of the snare and the heavy thump of the kick, he creates a track that explores the limitless potential of drum and bass by using a mutated bassline that does whatever it wants.

Bringing out chopped up drum patterns, Exsitu showcases his adept skills of crafting challenging beat patterns with “Unfold.” Deceptively simple, each layer interacts in unexpected ways that give this song a compelling flavor that takes you by surprise.

Driving the listener onwards with reckless abandon is Surgence and Noir, delivering the energetic mood of “Enigma.” This tune layers mind boggling techy drums with a bouncy, vibrational bassline. This makes for an insanely heavy tune which infects the body as well as the mind.

Black Opps delivers a fierce workout of a tune on “Metal Advocates.” With relentless drumming, foreboding atmospheres, echoing vocal motifs, and a haunting bassline, the tune demonstrates the power contained in richly designed sound textures.

Keeping things rolling along is “Valve” by Nobiz, creating one that revels in repetition. He deftly weaves a track that seems to contain endless layers and movements, yet it’s glued together by familiar components that weave themselves in and out of the tune with their own otherworldly elements.

The grimy sounds of neurofunk grace the next track, “Delirium” by Parasite. Just like the name implies, this track evokes the chaos one would find in the netherworld. The grinding buzz saw sounds burrow deep into your brain, yet the vibe-heavy beat has you loving every second of this track.

Stuttering basslines, high octane cymbal work, and hypnotic drum patterns comprise Resslek’s tune “Picanha.” A whirlwind of a track that grabs you and carries you off before you even know what’s happening, it leaves you fiendishly craving for more.

Voortrekker and Cling bring out “Chafe” next. It employs a constantly shifting bassline peppered with creepy effects and metronomic drumlines; these create a feeling of shadows creeping in, instilling a desire to let them flow into you.

With “Asmodeus,” Mew Zu brings us an absolutely evil bassline that sucks you into the underworld. The sucking sound of the vocals sound demonic, playing with your mind in a sinister way that you can’t help but get infected by.

Get ready for a truly wild ride on “Omen” by Nodsy. The rollicking sub bass of the track defies the senses, as the melodic stabs and precisely crafted beat carry you away. Brandishing all of his production power, each layer stacks ever so subtly and coalesces into the huge sound which defines the track.

Building a tech lover’s dream is the trifecta of Against Odds x Hewson x Jaise, bringing us “Cylinder.” Just like a whirlpool, this song spins you around relentlessly as you gladly give into it. The closer to the center you get, the more you realize the freedom of losing yourself in music.

“Thunder” by Demented closes this LP out. It possesses an addictive rhythm you can’t help but step to. Even during the break, it refuses to let up, keeping the momentum at full drive. Finally, it clobbers you over the head with a massive drop, pulsating with wave after wave of sub bass.

This is an album not to be missed; from its experimental approaches that create addictive tunes to reveling in the wild frenzy DnB offers, it’s a real eye opener on what the future holds for this genre. Available on Beatport, scoop this one up immediately!

Black Star Riders Rock The Grove With Saxon (2018 Looking Back)

BLACK STAR RIDERS

BLACK STAR RIDERS play Grove of Anaheim Apr. 20 and Microsoft Theater Apr. 22; photo Richard Stow

BLACK STAR RIDERS 2018 interview, looking back…

Black Star Riders are charging in to SoCal with heapings of hard rock, taking a night off from the Judas Priest Firepower tour to perform Apr. 20 at the Grove of Anaheim, with Saxon. Both bands rejoin the tour at Microsoft Theater Apr. 22.

Robbie Crane (bass), proclaims that he and his co-musicians are very excited to play at the venue, claiming that it shall be very special for any hard rock loving concertgoers who attend.

“We’re excited to play that gig,” Crane said. “That’s a show that we’re doing with Saxon, which is very cool, and we will be playing a longer set list as opposed to the 40 min set list that we play with Judas Priest.”

Crane says he is excited for the event as it marks something of a jovial homecoming to the Orange County area.

“That’s my hometown. I was born in Orange County so I have a ton of family there. It’ll be very cool.”

Formed in 2012, Black Star Riders are a spin-off of the iconic hard rock group Thin Lizzy, initially founded by guitarist, Scott Gorman and drummer, Brian Downey. The five-man group has managed to achieve its own unique style and sound to differentiate it from the original band it evolved from.

Crane officially joined the lineup in 2014 replacing the group’s very first bass player Marco Mendoza. Though he has played with six other bands, namely the Vince Neil Band and Ratt, playing with Black Star Riders has been very rewarding for the music veteran.
“I think everything has just been a great experience for me,” Crane said. “Culturally and musically it’s different from anything I’ve ever done before.”

Crane admits that one of the things that isn’t different for him is playing the Thin Lizzy songs, something he grew up doing while a young, aspiring musician.

“I played so many Lizzy songs in a cover band as a kid,” Crane revealed. “Scott would laugh at me ‘cause I knew all these Lizzy songs when I came in to play for them. He actually said to me ‘wow, you really make these songs swing.’ I tried to explain to him that I played these songs a hundred times before, just never with the real guys.”

Crane has quickly found himself in good company, both with the band and with music lovers. Already in his fourth year with the group, Crane’s graced many live concerts hosting the loud, boisterous jams of Black Star Riders to concert attendees. He has even aided in the creation of their second and third records – The Killer Instinct and Heavy Fire.

Though comfortable recording music in a studio, Crane admits that playing live is to him the group’s true reward for each new album they successfully produce.

“We’re musicians at the end of the day and that’s what we like to do,” Crane explained. “That’s what we loved to do as kids, that’s what we aspired to do and we’re doing it on a professional level. Not a lot of people can say that they’ve done as we all have, individually and collectively, under the Black Star Riders brand.”

No matter where the group plays, whether the United States or Europe, Crane says it is always a great experience to play live and introduce people to their solid, high-volume brand of hard rock that has made the group its niche in the music industry.

“It’s just great to share that gift of music,” Crane says. “You touch people and they get excited about it and we’re excited. We’re up there, happy as heck, just to be playing. What better life do we have?”

Black Star Riders are slated to continue playing alongside Saxon and Judas Priest until next month. Once that collaboration is over, Crane says he and his bandmates plan to take it easy and focus on playing at local music festivals.

However, Crane says this is a soft prologue to two much more daunting musical treks that they have planned for the near future.

“Our hope is in the fall that we do another smaller tour of the U.K. and then we’re going to start on our fourth record in January or February.”

Initial writing for the album has already started, Crane reveals. That process shall continue indefinitely even though the group continues playing live with no foreseeable end in sight.

“The whole time we’ll be writing, as we always are,” Crane remarks.” Every day it’s like, ‘I’ve got this idea!’ It’s a good thing. We’re always perpetuating and moving forward, which is great.”

ALBUM REVIEW: Jupiter Sprites “Holographic”

Jupiter Sprites “Holographic” cover art

Jupiter Sprites “Holographic” cover art

Creating a full-length album is an arduous process for any musical act – long hours in the studio, multiple takes of particular sections, nailing that one specific sound, blending the disparate sounds just right, etc. There is a lot that can go wrong and plenty that can go right; it’s that tug of war that has shaped some of the most iconic albums in music history. The Jupiter Sprites are no stranger to this process and journey, having embarked on their own trial by fire with the album Holographic. Filled with lush soundscapes that fuse the intimacy of the bedroom with the technological breadth of the modern studio, they have created a work that expands the mind as it touches the heart.

Jupiter Sprites press photo

Jupiter Sprites press photo

Starting off with the ethereal beauty of “Ocean of You,” they immediately get to work demonstrating their prowess in using beautiful sounds with lilting rhythms to create a signature sound. The tune takes pleasure in establishing itself as a hypnotic pop song, before meandering into a fuzzed-up jam section that is as enjoyable as it is unexpected.

The slow pace of “A Radiant Eclipse” glides in next. There is a soft surging vibe that is executed with such extreme precision it’s breathtaking. This is the sound of being in a waking dream; the kind where you have a certain amount of control and have the pleasure of wandering around at your own leisure. The manner in which the spacey vocals interplay with the bubbling effects provides even more detail, making this one a pleasure to get lost in.

“Feeeel” uses the mesmerizing power of the trick beat with infectious vocals to work its magic. While employing chillout vibes, it creates the perfect amount of movement that gets your body rocking back and forth in ecstasy. The subtle introduction of the bassline creates a slow rising sensation that builds and builds, until a momentary break launches you into space backed by a delayed-out motif which carries you to the next dimension.

Mike Elliott / Jupiter Sprites press photo

Mike Elliott / Jupiter Sprites press photo

“Haunt” takes things to the heavier end of the spectrum. It’s impossible to resist the hypnotic flavor of this one, taking you on a merry go around which exists in the celestial world of the clouds. This track puts on full display the depth and power of subtlety that the Jupiter Sprites have spent so much time perfecting. Each note is as a perfect drop in a pond, slowly rippling out into the recesses of the mind.

Chimes, vibrational bass tones, and the warmth of a buzzy synth motif begin “Continue On.” The deep tones of the bass and the interplay with the rhythm create the perfect backdrop for a heady trip here; the rising melodies, long harmonization of the vocals, and airy layers all fuse together to create a never ending trip through the interior of the mind, creating the perfect bridge from one moment to the next.

“Resolving Resound” is not just an aptly titled track, but a wonderful fusion of shoegaze rock tendencies with the blissful leanings of this band. This song recalls the best aspects of the past of music with the exciting glimmer of the future – before you know it, you’re humming the words and sucked into the landscape of the tune – reminding you of meeting a long lost friend after too much time apart.

Portia Capp / Jupiter Sprites press photo

Portia Capp / Jupiter Sprites press photo

“Stakes” closes the album out, and like any good closer, it reminds you of every step you’ve taken along this journey and wrapping it into the perfect package. It has the lush symphonic textures, chilled out vibes, rhythms that groove, and melodic twists that have dotted the entire album. Yet it has its own unique blend of it all that carries you off to infinity as the album comes to a slow close, refusing to ever leave your thoughts.

This is an album anyone will thoroughly enjoy, with its layered textures and fresh take on the music process. The first time through is a pure joy to listen to, while repeated listens slowly reveal all the subtle intricacies that will keep you coming back for more. Grab a copy yourself and dive in!!

Peter Hook To Play New Order And Joy Division Substance (Flashback 2016)

PETER HOOK

PETER HOOK plays “Substance” at The Wiltern Sep 24; photo James Christopher

Flashback: PETER HOOK / JOY DIVISION / NEW ORDER 2016 interview.

New Order and Joy Division bassist, Peter Hook, returns to SoCal, this time playing The Wiltern Sep. 24 with Peter Hook and The Light. The lengthy set will cover both the Joy Division and New Order albums Substance.

This is a reprint of the Concert Guide Live interview with Peter Hook conducted on a previous tour through SoCal.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Peter Hook and The Light are in the midst of a pretty massive worldwide tour, what do you like about playing live?
PETER HOOK: I love playing live and I always have done. To me, touring is really exciting because I love to travel and I love to meet fans from all over the world who have been touched by our music. We are touring a lot this year, which is great.

CGL: Who is in the band with you?
PH: The Light is made up of 4 excellent musicians. First we have David Potts on guitar and vocals who first played with me in my side project REVENGE in the early 1990s, and later went on to become my song-writing partner in another band of mine, Monaco. Then on drums and keyboards we have Paul Kehoe and Andy Poole, both of whom were also a part of Monaco. Then to round out the line up we have my son, Jack, playing bass alongside me. I must say with the 2 bass guitars it really creates a unique sound.

CGL: Considering all of the material you can pull from, what is one of your favourite songs to play live?
PH: Off the top of my head, and because we just played it at rehearsals, I would say that “Subculture” is one of my favourites to play live. It showcases the goth-pop aspect of New Order and is also great fun to play because it shines a spotlight on each individual instrument. For example, towards the end there are 2 different live bass lines being played as well as synth bass and a keyboard line, while the guitar remains solid and funky throughout and the drums have a nice, loose feel about them. It is a track from New Order’s third album, “Low-Life.”

CGL: How did it come about that your son took up the bass, as well?
PH: I did not pressure him into doing it, he just began to develop an interest in my bass guitars aged around 11 or 12 and then went from there. I got him his first bass when he was 13 and he developed into a really great bass player.

CGL: When you first went on tour together, what surprised you about him?
PH: When we first went on tour he had never done anything like this before but he took to it really well, which was nice. He was not overawed by the occasion yet also kept his feet on the ground and it is important to find that balance. I am very proud of him and we continue to have a great time.

PETER HOOK

Peter Hook; photo James Christopher

CGL: What was it like when you first decided to take on lead vocal duties?
PH: It was very daunting at first. I had not planned to do it, I just sort of fell into it. But concentrating on the vocals forced me to draft in my son on second bass which is now one of the hallmarks of our group, so that was a fantastic thing to have happen. I was very nervous at first because I had never been in that ‘frontman’ role before, and it was the Joy Division material we played first and Ian Curtis of course has very big shoes to fill. I am aware I will never fill them, but I just try and do the best job I can. When we moved on to doing the New Order material, let’s just say that Bernard’s shoes did not feel as big!

CGL: Your bass tone and playing style have always been unique in that it’s reminiscent of guitar playing. Was that a conscious effort and what drove you to choose to play the bass?
PH: I chose to play the bass simply because when me and Bernard saw the Sex Pistols, we were blown away by the gig and decided then and there to form a band, he already had a guitar. So I just went out on a whim and bought a bass. The guy did not have a case for it so I took it home in a bin bag! My playing style developed partly by accident! Bernard’s equipment was so loud and gnarly back then that I had to play high in order to hear what I was doing, and it was Ian that told me that it actually sounded good, and that later went on to become one of my trademarks.

CGL: What is your favourite bass guitar and why? How important are the type/brand of amps to you and to the sound you like to get?
PH: My favourite bass guitar is my ‘VIKING’ bass guitar, which I play live. It was custom built to my specifications by Chris Eccleshall in the UK who is a very gifted guitar maker. I really like the tone it gives and it is also very durable which makes it a good one to take on the road. When it comes to amps I tend to favour Hi-Watts, which I have used since as long as I can remember as well as other gear by Trace Elliott, which is also always very good.

CGL: You’re playing three shows around Los Angeles this time, each one with a different set. But the “Low-Life” / “Brotherhood” set will be the new one. Assuming that you haven’t played most of those songs for some time, which song was the most challenging to “re-learn”?
PH: Yes. We are playing 3 times in LA this year, 6 different albums. I must be crazy! We also have some very special guests lined up to join us, which is always exciting. The “Low-Life” and “Brotherhood” show is the newest one like you mentioned, it has been a challenge but is such an enjoyable set to play live. I’d say the most challenging to get right was probably “The Perfect Kiss” simply because that is such a complex song with so many different layers, but we pulled it off and it sounds great, complete with cowbell and frog noises!

CGL: Is there anything you’d like to add?
PH: Not much, other than I am really excited to be coming back and I will see everybody very soon!

ALBUM REVIEW: Painted Doll “How To Draw Fire”

Painted Doll "How To Draw Fire" cover art

Painted Doll “How To Draw Fire” cover art

If I told you that one of the best psych-rock, power pop albums – check that, one of the best ALBUMS period you’re going to hear this year, is an unlikely collaboration by a comedian and a death metal musician you might think I was pulling your leg.

Well get ready to be surprised because How To Draw Fire is the second collaboration between comedian/musician Dave Hill ( Cobra Verde, The Goddamn Dave Hill Show) and Death Metal musician Chris Reifert (Autopsy, Abscess) and it’s really, really good.

The two met at the 2015 Housecore Horror and Film Festival in San Antonio, TX where they bonded at a Goblin concert and started jamming together, the jamming quickly turned into songs that turned into their excellent 2018 self-titled release. Their new release How To Draw Fire comes just two years later, and it delivers big time, offering up 12 tracks packed with face melting psychedelics, huge power pop melodies and gigantic riffs. No sophomore slump for these guys, not even close.

Painted Doll; press photo

Painted Doll; press photo

Opening track “In The Sea” sets high standards for the entire repertoire with its arpeggiated guitar intro played against some rain and thunder effects and then BAM it slams into a power chord shuffle, fuzzed out guitar melodies and thundering drums – all mixed old school in WIDE STEREO just the way it should be. The catchy chorus is icing on the cake and right from the get-go you know you’re in for a winning ticket with this record.

Over the course of the album Painted Doll mix things up nicely from track to track, adding acoustic guitars, psychedelic rock and straight up pop into the mix so the whole time you’re listening it always sounds fresh and engaging. Song writing is top notch as well making How To Draw Fire a hidden gem deserving of wider exposure and a work that holds up to repeated listens.

Dramarama Does ‘Anything, Anything’ To Rock HOB (2013 Remembered)

Dramarama

Dramarama opens for Berlin at the House of Blues Anaheim Sat., April 13th

JOHN EASDALE / DRAMARAMA 2013 interview remembered… This was one of the very first interviews for Concert Guide Live!

Alternative rock group, Dramarama may have formed in New Jersey, but they call Southern California home and Orange County their base of operations. They will be playing with Berlin at the House of Blues in Anaheim on April 13.

Since this is a co-headlining show, Dramarama won’t be able to do their “Grateful Dead four hour marathon jam” according to vocalist John Easdale. “Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until we have a show all by ourselves.”

They still promise to do an entertaining mix of old and new.

Dramarama have been recording a much anticipated new album for the last couple of years. It will be ready to go after some final mastering and artwork touches. “We’re hoping to get it out before the end of the year but we were hoping that last year, too,” Easdale said.

With the internet, many artists self-release their material. “There’s always that option, “said Easdale,
“We’ve been doing it ourselves since our first 45 in 1982.”

“There are a thousand bands selling a million records and a million bands selling a thousand records,” he added.

The mid-80s radio hit “Anything, Anything” seems to have defied time becoming a “classic rock” song in its own right. “It is truly gratifying and rewarding. I wish that every song I wrote had that kind of impact and that people accepted it in the same way,” Easdale said. “My purpose with every song is what happened with that song.”

Three of the original Dramarama members Peter Wood, Mark Englert, and John Easdale continue to be in the band. The other two members bassist, Mike Davis, and drummer Tony Snow, have been part of the group for over fifteen years.

As a final thought, Easdale mentioned, “We hope that the people from the audience have as much fun as we do!”

Sun Worship With Allah-Las (2017 Remembered)

ALLAH-LAS

ALLAH-LAS play Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21; photo James Christopher

ALLAH-LAS 2017 interview remembered…

Local scenesters Allah-Las play their unique, psychedelic, dream pop at Music Box Oct. 18 and The Regent Oct. 21. The group is known for playing their interpretation of retro 60s rock a la The Troggs, The Standells and The Grass Roots, full of catchy choruses and guitar hooks.

Now with three albums under their belt, the songwriting continues to evolve while hinting at previous influences. Songs such as “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind” and “Don’t You Forget It” are crowd favorites from their self-titled 2012 debut, while newer tracks “Could Be You” and “Famous Phone Figure” are quickly catching on.

Although notoriously a band of few words, Concert Guide Live managed to get a few words out of them in a previous interview prior to the release of Worship The Sun and this is what they had to say:

CGL: It looks like you have a handful of dates lined up so far this year. What else is in the works?
A-L: We’re working on finishing our second record, new songs etc.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How did everyone in the band meet, did some of you meet while working at Amoeba Records?
A-L: Matt (Correia, drums) Miles (Michaud, vocals/guitar), and Spencer (Dunham, bass) went to high school together in Los Angeles. Later on Matt, Spencer and Pedrum (Siadatian, guitar) all worked together at Amoeba. We had a lot of interest in various types of music back then, working at Amoeba allowed us to spend time digging for more.

CGL: What is everyone listening to these days?
A-L: Aww lots of stuff. The search never ends.

CGL: Working with Nick Waterhouse sure seems to be a good fit for your sound. Do you record your songs then give them to him to produce, or do you all collaborate on the production?
A-L: We always work together. I’m sure it’s annoying for Nick to have to listen to us argue our points on the mix but he’s patient. He’s an amazing producer and a great friend.

CGL: What is the status of a new album?
A-L: Should be coming out on a Tuesday sometime.

CGL: it seems like you play quite a bit and all over the place, any good road
stories you can share?
A-L: Nothing to mention really.

CGL: Is there a particular song the band looks forward to playing live and why?
A-L: Yeah. We have some new ones we’re excited to try out live. See how they change and adapt as we play them for an audience.

CGL: How would you describe Allah-Las to someone who isn’t familiar with your music?
A-L: Aww well. I try my best to avoid it and let people decide. We get some pretty funny comparisons though.

Flashback 2015: Front 242 To Play Classics At Rare Avalon Show

FRONT 242

FRONT 242 play Avalon Sep 27

Flashback: PATRICK CODENYS / FRONT 242 interview from 2015…

Front 242 is playing a handful of dates in the U.S. this September, including one at Avalon Hollywood on Sep. 27.

“Los Angeles is a particular place which has always had a strong ‘dark’ community,” said long-time member, Patrick Codenys. “To me, it is such a contradiction to the image most people have of the city: cinema, plastic body culture, glam and fake, etc.

“As a matter of fact, there is a real creative underground scene far from those stereotypes. You just need to know where to look to enjoy it.”

Although the band no longer tours, they enjoy working with people who are willing to bring them to the U.S. under good conditions.

“This allows us a more relaxing time and even a chance to meet fans and friends,” Codenys said. “Besides, I like Avalon, it is a beautiful venue.”

Their live performance will consist of playing a sort of “best of” set with the classics. While some versions of the songs have been changed and modernized, each will be represented graphically.

“Sound-wise we are back to analogue sounds, close to our early albums,” Codenys said. “The new technology allows us to be more sharp and precise with our sound without betraying the spirit of the time. The show remains purely physical with projections and clips for each song. Bringing back the aesthetic of the 242 album covers and imaginary world. We worked close with people to design the graphics and stage costumes.”

Front 242 began creating their brand of pre-computer electronic music in Belgium in the mid-80’s. This meant finding creative ways to recreate music live that sometimes lead to unexpected mishaps while performing.

“In the very early 80’s, sequencers were not stable and any variation in the electric stream could make you lose your programming,” Codenys said.

“Also, clubs in the U.S. have a tradition of rock/jazz/country/blues bands and were not ready for electronic music. People working in a club would say, ‘Place your drum on the riser.’ We would answer, ‘We have no drums.’ Then they would show us where we could place our guitar stack and we would say, ‘We have no guitar.’ Finally they would say, ‘You are not a band.’ It was very difficult to change the mentalities at the time.”

When Front 242 first started to use samples, soundtracks, speeches, etc. they weren’t copyright-protected like they are now. They would use tape recorders to align the voices onto a track.

“Around the 90’s we needed to ‘mask’ the origin of our vocal samples by using effects, cuts, plugs, etc.,” Codenys said. “As for the sound samples, we always designed our own sounds – sometimes sampling synth sounds to restructure, filter and reshape into a sampler.”

For example, the track “Welcome To Paradise” includes lines of sampled lyrics such as, “Hey poor, you don’t need to be poor anymore. Jesus is here (don’t tell the devil).”

“‘Welcome to Paradise’ is an ambiguous track as some people took it first degree and others found it cynical,” Codenys said. “Of course, it is more of a joke if you listen to the message; but what is the real interest of that song is the way words are singing. We started from that preacher’s speech/singing and built the track around it. Generally, it goes the other way around, first music then lyrics.”

Today, as in times past, a live Front 242 performance is a way for them to experiment with all the facets of their music through mixing different technologies.

“But what remains the most important is the emotional communion that we experience with our audience during the show,” Codenys said.

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.”

Guitarist Tinsley Ellis Journeys To The Coach House (2018 Looking Back)

Tinsley Ellis

TINSLEY ELLIS plays The Coach House Feb. 28 and Canyon Club Mar.1; photo Flournoy Holmes

TINSLEY ELLIS 2018 interview, looking back…

Blues rock legend Tinsley Ellis makes his return to SoCal playing at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano Feb. 28 and the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills Mar. 1.

Ellis and his bandmates look forward to the return, especially to The Coach House.

“We have played there several times, we like it very much,” says Ellis. “Concert goers will expect to hear us do songs off the brand new Winning Hand CD as well as some of the older CDs that I’ve put out over the last 35 years.”

Since entering the music industry back in 1975, Ellis has remained a steadfast and active performer in the blues rock circuit whose innovative musical stylings have made him a favorite among concertgoers and music lovers in general.

TINSLEY ELLIS; photo Regan Kelly

TINSLEY ELLIS; photo Regan Kelly

Ellis owes his continuing musical journey to the blues and rock bands he listened to growing up in Southern California. Ellis also cites bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers as his favorites growing up and are some of his main inspirations.

But Ellis says one particular performance stands out to him along with going to see B.B. King live. It’s a performance that pushed him to finally get an instrument and become an active musician.

“I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964,” Ellis relates. “I begged my parents for a guitar. I started playing in bands in high school and college. When I graduated from college I just kept going with it and I’ve doing it about 50 years now.”

Ellis has honed his musical style that has earned him a sterling reputation along with the title of “a bona fide worldwide guitar hero” from The Chicago Sun-Times. He also has numerous live appearances on record along with 17 albums to date with the latest being Winning Hand which saw release in January.

Ask him what kind of music he plays that’s helped him achieve such accomplishments and you’ll get a four word summation.

“Guitar driven blues rock,” Ellis says. “There’s a lot of guitar playing going on and there’s a lot of blues music mixed with rock music.”

It’s an amalgamation that results in superbly composed notes of both Southern-style rock and blues. These compositions are often accompanied by moody, rugged vocals from Ellis that is an iconic trademark of blues musicians like him
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Ellis continues to actively make new music whenever possible. He has little trouble doing so as he remains consistently inspired.

“The songs kind of come to me at any particular time,” Ellis relates. “I may be driving down the road or sitting in my hotel room or I may actually be in the studio when I’m writing it.”

Ellis says he’s especially thankful to today’s technology which makes it even easier for him to create his music.

“Thanks to the cell phone with its recording feature I can just hit record and sing my ideas into my phones. The ideas are never lost so I can write songs wherever I am.”

The biggest reward for Ellis is being able to play his music. Not only do music goers get to enjoy it but so does Ellis. For him, the music he plays is a safe and wonderful means of escaping reality for a while.

“The music carries me away and I hope that it carries the listener away and delivers the listener back safely to the real world.”

Though Ellis has played many performances with just himself and his band mates he has shared the stage with other notable musicians. Ellis says he always looks forward to these performances.

“My favorite performances are the ones where we open for someone I really like a lot musically and then they call me on the stage to jam with them at the end.”

The list Ellis gives is impressive to say the least.

“Albert Collins, Coco Taylor, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy. I’ve opened for all of them and performed with them during their set. There’s been rock bands as well like The Allman Brothers Band, Government Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Widespread Panic.”

In the meantime, Ellis says he intends on focusing on doing solo performances and his current tour. Once it’s over, he intends to go right back to work.

“At the end of the long tour, I’ll get back in the studio and begin writing songs for another album,” Ellis reveals.

Ellis encourages people to come see him live during his current tour and to enjoy his music live.

“People can see where we’re playing at tinsleyellis.com. I look forward to heading your way soon.”