Darryl Hall and John Oates Live Review

Darryl Hall and John Oates brought their eight-piece band to Atlantic City Hard Rock Casino for an electrifying sold-out show that didn’t disappoint.  Darryl Hall and John Oates played to a sold-out show that consisted of people of all ages. Hall and Oates played a 14 song set with a mixture of hits and other songs. the best way to describe the show is that it was a celebration of the band and their music and a great way to finish out what was a busy touring year.

The audience was into every song. The songs to some takes them back to their high school memories for the young fans a chance to see how good Darryl Hall and John Oates are. Tonight the band gave one of their best performances. The backing band didn’t disappoint, long time member Charles DeChant put on a great performance playing the saxophone and doing double duty playing the keyboards. Percussionist Porter Carroll has an amazing voice that compliments Darryl Hall and John Oates. Darryl Hall and John Oates can still hit the notes on their songs. Give the duo credit for having a backing band that sounds just as amazing as they are. Darryl Hall and John Oates have kept the same line up since 2013, live they sound as if they have been together longer. One of the highlights is the band playing Is it a star which sounds better live in 2018 than in years past. The band left the audience screaming for an encore and why not the night was still young and the band still had a lot of energy to come back and rock the night away. The fans were treated to a four song encore.

Not many bands artists from the 70’s can pull off high energy shows as Darryl hall and John Oates can. It is a treat when the band goes out on tour. After the weekend shows there will be another tour in 2019. If you missed them this year make sure you catch them next year. It is worth the time.

Setlist

Maneater

Family Man

Out of touch

Say it isn’t so

It’s a laugh

You’ve lost that love and feelin

She’s gone

Sara smile

Is it a star

I can’t go for that (no can do)

ENCORE

Rich girl

Kiss on my list

Private eyes

You make my dreams

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Russell Powell Interview

 

Russell Powell hosted his first east coast exhibit at One Art Space in New York on October 27, 2018. I was amazed at the art work on display and how Russell had done it by hand and used a new technology where people could use an app and be able to see how the work was done from start to finish. I had a chance to sit down with Russell Powell and talk about the his art work.

 

Angel Alamo: How did you get the idea to do art work by hand?  How did you get started as an artist?

Russell Powell: As a self-taught artist, I’ve been teaching elementary school art for the past nineteen years in Campbell, outside my hometown of San Jose, California. I credit my students as a major source of inspiration for my work and the creation of my unique hand stamping technique. My method is to create a portrait on my hand and then transfer the image to paper. Hand stamping, which took over two and half years to refine, utilizes both color and black and white ink. Although each portrait is created on a raised surface, I strive to achieve as much detail as possible. Many of my subjects are historic figures, indigenous people and exotic animals. To showcase my passion, I founded Pangaean Studios in 2012.

 

AA: Was this your first art exhibit?

RP: This was my first east coast showing.  I’ve had art exhibits throughout California, specifically in San Jose and Santa Clara. Most recently, I was proud to have a spread in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odd is Art book.  In conjunction with the book launch, Ripley’s commissioned a special piece featuring the faces of 16 historic guitarists in the shape of a guitar. I was also featured on the cover of Content Magazine. Videos of my hand stamping process have garnered millions of views on popular social media platforms and have been applauded by celebrities including Rohan Marley, Run DMC, Cedric The Entertainer, amongst others.

AA: How did the art exhibit what was the reaction from people?

RP: People were very engaged with my work, which is what one hopes for as an artist.  They were particularly excited about the augmented reality component introduced to the show through PhotoBloomAR. To see a final piece and then see the creation by pointing your phone at the work, is truly a unique experience.

 

AA: Do you plan on doing anymore? Will you be doing any more art shows in the future?

RP: Yes, I am planning a show in Lost Angeles in early 2019. Stay tuned to pangaeanstudios.gallery for upcoming details and new original works.

 

 

AA: Some of your art work features famous people who did the idea come about?

RP: At the 2016 Global Citizen Rally, I had the privilege of hand stamping a portrait of Nelson Mandela on attendees, which was displayed on stage during the Eddie Vedder and Beyonce performance. I also had the honor to gift hand stamp portraits to Malala and Ruby Bridges, two women whose contributions have advanced human and civil rights causes.

 

AA: How can people that may want to buy your painting or book you for an art show get in touch with you?

RP: Email russell@doubledown.digital, send me a direct message via @pangaeanstudios on Facebook or Instagram or visit pangaeanstudios.gallery.

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Exxxotica 2018

The exxxotica hosted its annual event at NJ Expo. This is the 11th year that it has been hosted in New Jersey. Edison, NJ is the perfect location to host this event. There is plenty of free parking which is a plus. It’s easy to get to right off exit 10 on the New Jersey Turnpike. According to their official website EXXXOTICA is The Largest Adult Event in the USA Dedicated to Love & Sex. Taking place over three days, EXXXOTICA was created for like-minded adults who are looking to “celebrate sexy”.

The event is a great event for the local area as they host after parties and hotel rooms are booked for fans who come from the all over the United States for this event. The event is a chance of for fans to meet their favorite adult entertainers for a picture and a quick chat. There are both male and female adult entertainers.  The event on Friday nights is ladies free. The event also hosts a variety of workshops. It is a fun event. People come to check out the latest new things in the world of adult entertainment. It is still good clean fun. I recommend the event. There is no other event like it in the east coast. All three days are great for the event. Friday night seems the best one if I had to pick which day out of the three is best. There is always plenty of security everything is done in a respectful manner. To check out more information go to to:

https://exxxoticaexpo.com/

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Interview with Buckets N Joints

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Buckets N Joints have been busy lately preparing their 2nd album due for release next year and preparing for a tour to follow. The band is busy playing 100 shows a year. I was able to interview this great new band to talk the band and upcoming album.

 

Angel Alamo: How did the band come up with the name Buckets N Joints?

Buckets N Joints: The name was made up by Gal, our guitar player during a vacation he had in Thailand. People either think it’s childish or awesome, so no matter what, it makes them think about it, doesn’t it?

Angel Alamo: What can fans expect from the band on the 2nd album?

Buckets N Joints: It’s rocking and it’s fun. We feel like we really captured the essence of the band and how we play live, which can sometimes be difficult in a studio setting.

 

Angel Alamo: When will the band be releasing the album?

Buckets N Joints: The album will be released on March 2019. The first single “Disappear” is out already and another song will be released as the second single soon.

 

Angel Alamo: What are the band’s influences? 

Buckets N Joints: We love alternative rock groups like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, Guns N Roses, Foo Fighters and Muse and such. Every every member of the band likes different kind of aspects in music so it gives us an interesting color we think.

 

Angel Alamo: How was it playing in Germany and Russia?

Buckets N Joints: Amazing, people responded really well and rock out with us. In Russia we played in a Punk/Metal festival called “Dobrofest”. We were concerned that the people won’t understand what we’re doing there because we’re a more of a rock group than a punk group. But we were pleased to know that people actually really liked that we were different.

 

Angel Alamo: How does the band approach songwriting?

Buckets N Joints: We usually jam out and get a riff from improvizing and expand on that. Our singer Royi is good with writing lyrics on music that is already made so we usually write the music before everything. But there are no rules in this band, sometimes someone comes up with a song at home and we work on it together.

 

Angel Alamo: If the band could tour with anybody who would you go on the road with?

Buckets N Joints: I think you’d get a different answer from each member haha.. But I guess all of us with love to just tour with our biggest influences

 

Angel Alamo: The band is going on a European tour who did that come about?

Buckets N Joints: We’re used to tour in Israel, but it’s a small country so we wanted to expand ourselves out of the border of Israel. Especially after seeing good reactions from Germany and Russia when we toured there. We’ll have a European tour when the album is released and we’re very excited about it.

 

Angel Alamo: Are there any other places that the band plans to tour in? 

Buckets N Joints: We wish to play everywhere, but right now we work on playing in Europe.

 

Angel Alamo: How has the band been able to maintain the same line up?

Buckets N Joints: We’re just good friends I guess. We try to stay as honest as we can with each other and as time goes on, I think we get to know each other’s advantages and disadvantages and we work together with that.

 

For more information on Buckets N Joints go to https://www.facebook.com/BucketsNJoints/

 

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Tyketto Michael Clayton Interview

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For 30 years, Tyketto’s life is like a Rocky story. A band that has been knocked down, gotten back up, and refuses to give up. They are the band that are still rocking with no signs of slowing down. Tyketto (Danny Vaughn-Vocals, Chris Green-Guitar, Greg Smith-bass, Michael Clayton-drums, Ged Rylands-keyboards) have had a busy year touring. This year will see the release of the band’s upcoming DVD, “We’ve Got Tomorrow, We’ve Got Tonight” and next year, the 25th anniversary tour of their sophomore album Strength in Numbers. I had an opportunity to catch up with Michael Clayton to talk about the DVD and the upcoming tour.

Angel Alamo: How did the idea for the live DVD come about?

Michael Clayton: Once we got back on the world stage and started doing the big festivals, we were exposed to a multitude of different bands. Some just kind of phone it in and are doing whatever to make their money. Then we see several bands that are playing wonderfully, but when you see them from show one to show two and year one to year two, it’s the same cut and paste show. Even though it’s quality, it’s the same thing. The bands we like to go see are the bands that always try to mix it up. We’ve been together 30 years, so how many people in our genre haven’t seen us live?

With the challenge of once again reinventing ourselves, the first dialogue was to record an acoustic DVD where we’d do different arrangements unplugged. We soon remembered that we’d done that once or twice over the years, so it didn’t seem special.

So, the idea started: Let’s get backing vocalists. Great, okay, we’ll do that. Let’s get a horn section. Okay, we’ll do that too. And let’s get a string section. Once everybody got all excited about it, we just started throwing these crazy ideas around. Fast forward six months; we’re in Wales and we’ve got a 14-piece band on stage! We then added the extra pressure of recording it in front of a live audience, so it just became this monster. It was born out of wanting to give our longtime fans something that they never saw before.

Angel Alamo: What can fans expect on the live DVD? Will they get to see, like the backstage stuff, of the band preparing?

Michael Clayton: Our first thought was to look through the catalog and pick obscure stuff, but we then thought that doing stuff that’s lesser known and doing it differently may really throw our fans. I think Chris and I started talking and agreed on just doing our most popular songs. I’m not sure if you remember Bon Jovi doing an “Unplugged” show on MTV many years ago, where and he and Richie did this acoustic version of Livin’ on a Prayer that had this somber feel to it. It was a melancholy version of that beautiful pop song. I never forgot it, because it was a song I knew and loved for many years, but suddenly it became a new song again because they did it differently.

So that became our mindset, and we just started throwing around crazy ideas. I suggested Kick Like a Mule, (which is a flat out, balls to the wall rock tune), but wanted to do it like a big band, with horns and real campy backing vocals, like The Andrew Sisters.

In addition to the live music, there is a ton of interview footage and band commentary, as well as one of the rehearsal days where the five of us did a few songs without the extra members.

Angel Alamo: And then, what were some of the other ones that really stuck out?

Michael Clayton: The Last Sunset is a pure acoustic song. We decided to put instrumentation behind that, and make that a kind of Keith Urban, pop country tune.

Faithless always had a Zeppelin-esque feel, and we just heard these big strings ala, “No More Tears” by Ozzy (Osbourne). The big metal strings sound. So, we put that in.

Wings was one I was pushing for that Danny and Chris weren’t initially hearing. I wanted to do it like a flat out, late 1950s, early ’60s, Frankie Valli doo-wop feel; playing up the backing vocals a lot. Once we got rolling with the idea, they were like, “Wow, okay, this is cool. We’re gonna do it this way.”

The one that was scary for us was Forever Young, because that’s something that you’re just not supposed to touch. That’s the big song. Chris sent this idea over, and in my stubborn, New York head, all I was registering was the word, “Different.”  He asked, “What do you think?” I’m like, “I hate it!” It was such a left turn! He loved it, so he asked, “Without giving Danny your opinion, would you mind if I sent it to him?” I said, “No, of course I don’t. It just sounds so radically different, I’m not sure if the fans are really going to embrace this.” So, he sends it to Danny, who immediately calls me up and goes, “I think you’re fuckin’ nuts dude. I love it.”  I got outvoted, and the more I listened to it, I very happily admitted that I was wrong. I’m glad they talked me into it, as it’s a DVD highlight.

Angel Alamo: There’s nothing wrong with that, because I mean after 30 years, it’s okay to want to do something different.

Michael Clayton: Danny and I are the only two original members left in Tyketto. With our genre getting a little bit older, I can’t think of many bands that have all the original members. It seems like the fans are a bit more understanding of change, whether you do a song differently or have different members on stage.

Angel Alamo: What has been the key to keeping the band together?  The band, it’s like you guys seem more like a family than a band.

Michael Clayton: We’re all busy in our lives and in our own businesses. We’re all doing well out on our own, so Tyketto is a very elective decision. Danny said it best in an interview back in June that it’s like a family reunion we don’t get to do all that often.

Chris brought his son to M3 this past May. I was flashing back to our M3 appearance a few years prior. That was the first time my son Ryan saw Tyketto, and now here’s Chris’ son Sullivan seeing us for the first time. It is very much a family thing. We say it so much; we’re always paranoid it’s gonna come off non-sincere, but it’s true.

Angel Alamo: Is he the one that got to sing with Slaughter?

Michael Clayton: Yeah, Sullivan went up onstage and sang with Slaughter! He’s a rock star. We do phone Q&As and trivia contests discussing his faves; KISS and Alice Cooper. He’s a beautiful boy.

Angel Alamo: Back to the DVD. Any release date in mind?

Michael Clayton; We were talking about maybe an October release, not realizing this is 14 songs. It’s mixing a 14-piece band. It’s new renditions. There’s probably an hour, hour and a half of interview footage, behind the scenes stuff and the artwork to tend to. I would say a late fall release is probable,

Angel Alamo: Was there any reaction to how the fans would feel to the arrangements of the songs on the DVD? Like you mentioned they don’t like the songs being messed with, but was there anything in the back of your mind saying, “Is this a good idea?”

Michael Clayton: We were petrified! This could have derailed in a thousand different ways, and I can honestly say I’ve never been more nervous behind my drums. The event ended up becoming very personal. Each band member took turns introducing a song and adding in their own personal thoughts. It was very emotional for all of us. When we went into the audience for the post-show dinner, fans were saying, “When you did that version of Forever Young, I was crying.”

We struck a personal chord with people. Doing the songs stripped down and hearing what went behind these songs when they were first written, it became this special moment in time. I can’t even describe what went on that weekend, but we all felt it. If people listen to it and hear the same thing that we all felt that weekend, it was worth all the stress. Logistically, it was very risky and there were many times when we thought we were in way over our heads, but I think the fans are gonna absolutely love it.

Angel Alamo: The band are actually going on the road to do the 25-year anniversary of Strength in Numbers. Besides the European tour, is the band gonna do any other tours beyond?

Michael Clayton: That one we totally stumbled on. I went to do a Facebook post, and I really had nothing to say. Nothing was really going on to report, so I went through my laptop, looking for a picture to put up. I wasn’t even thinking about any kind of business. I just put the Strength in Numbers album cover up and wrote something like, “Holy shit, next year’s 25 years.” That’s it. And it got over 800 likes in two hours. Suddenly, people are saying, “You have to tour on that album!” It just lit everybody up. We got to talking about it, and agreed it was a great idea. A few weeks later, the March 2019 tour was booked! We’ve also signed on for a September 2019 festival in Hamburg Germany. Once we can take a breath from the DVD, we may add a few European dates onto that.

Angel Alamo: What are your memories of making the Strength in Numbers album?

Michael Clayton: Misery!! For many years, that record represented us getting dropped by Geffen and the advent of grunge music, (which put us out of business for a while), a few of us ending long term relationships and Jimmy leaving the band. All that is the Strength in Numbers era.

I think it wasn’t until Chris and Ged came into the band that I changed my outlook. With new blood comes new energy. Watching the new guys play the Strength In Numbers songs, and seeing the fans going nuts was amazing. I thought to myself; Don’t Come Easy was always my baby. That was the good life, big advances signing to Geffen, our first major deal. That has all the positive connotations with it. Once I listened to the Strength In Numbers record without judging all the circumstances around it, I’m like, “Man, this is a fuckin’ good album.”. A lot of fans in England prefer it over Don’t Come Easy. My memories of the making of the record aren’t really that great, because there was so much other shit going on, but my current memory of the album, as far as body of work, is wonderful. I’m looking forward to playing that whole album. We’re doing the record in its entirety on that tour.

Angel Alamo: Like you said, it’s still a great record because at the time you were going through the thing with Geffen, I remember Nelson was like waiting and waiting for the follow up album.

Michael Clayton: We finished the album right when things started turning. We had a fully mixed and mastered record, we had the artwork done, we had the photo picked for the cover, we had a full press schedule ready to go. This thing was as ready as ready could be, so we figure let’s go visit our team. They haven’t seen us in a while, as we’d been on the road and we’d been working on this record.

We went to some journalist friends, and they “weren’t available” to see us. We then went to our accountant’s office to play him the mixes. We weren’t into the first chorus of the first track, and he left! Brooke and I sat there, listening to our own record by ourselves in this huge conference room. He came back in, and I thought it was to say, “Oh sorry guys, I had a call, let’s listen to this.” He came back in to get a folder he left on the desk, grabbed it and fucking left again! We were sitting there like, “What?” That was the beginning of the end of that chapter. Overnight, it was gone. That was devastating for us.

Angel Alamo: Then?

Michael Clayton: The European market didn’t feel the hit as much as the American market did, so we just took it elsewhere. That year when we were in that state of flux, we just hit the road. We toured England relentlessly on that record. We toured Europe and The States too. We’d go out for four or five months at a time and just play anywhere and everywhere. That’s how we survived. And then things went quiet after that. For a band to sustain themselves purely on playing live is exhaustive. You gotta be out on the road how many days a year just to pay your rent?

So that ended. It got us through ’94, but by the end of that year, Danny had just had enough. That’s when he quit. Everything came at a price for us over the years it seems, but we’re still here.

Angel Alamo: That’s the great thing, like when I was talking to Danny at the M3 festival, it was like, wow, you know, it’s kind of cool to have grown up reading about you in Metal Edge magazine, and reading your interviews, I’m here face to face, laughing with you, I’m like, “Who would’ve thought?”

Michael Clayton: No, we never would’ve thought. This whole thing came just as we started getting a little bit of gas in the tank. That’s when the genre just exploded, with the M3 and the Monsters of Rock and all the festivals going on all around the country. It was so weird because we’d go to those Monsters of Rock cruises, or even the M3 festivals we were on. I looked at the bands on those bills, and we’re probably one of a handful of bands that doesn’t have a gold or platinum record. We never achieved that status.

What’s happening now is people like yourself saying, “Holy shit, I get to see these guys finally.” That happens a lot. But in addition to that, they’ll come up and say, “Dude, I’m a Y&T fan, I don’t know who the hell you guys were, but holy shit!” Every night on that cruise, our dear friend Dave Meniketti from Y&T would announce, “If you haven’t seen these guys, go see them!” He was just such a great supporter of us, as are band members from Firehouse, Faster Pussycat, the other members from Y&T, Winger and Queensryche. Many had never seen us live, and just recently discovered Tyketto. The old fans are coming back around, saying “Wow, it’s great to see you again,” and there’s new fans discovering us for the first time.

Angel Alamo: Fans are always curious to know, does the band ever check out what the fans are saying on Facebook?

Michael Clayton: I love our band’s social networking although I’m personally not into it too much. I think Jon Bon Jovi said that it’s much more interesting to be a voyeur, and watch what other people are saying versus you, because right now, if you put your opinion on social media, you’re looking to get your head handed to you! I think our Facebook page is about 18,000 people now. We didn’t go trolling for any names, that’s truly our fan base. One of the many things I love about our British fan base is they give it to you straight. They’ll tell you if it’s good and they’ll tell you if it’s bad.

There was a fan named Luna. Many years ago, on the Strength in Numbers tour. He came to see us, and I remember asking, “Luna, how was the gig?”

He goes, “Eh, you kinda sucked.”

I reply, “Excuse me?”

And he goes, “Dude, you look like you were gasping for air up there.”

Well, I was. I was smoking a pack of Marlboro reds a day. He was being so brutally honest with me. It really hurt me that my smoking had deteriorated my performance to the point where a fan recognized it, and I must have told him ten times over as many years that I quit smoking that next day because of him. Now, that’s a REAL fan!

You gotta take it as it comes. Some fans will tell you you’re the greatest thing in the world if you’re not, just because they’re your fans. You get the pessimists out there, and the haters, that nothing you can do is right. We listen to everybody, but at the end of the day we make our own decisions. But yeah, we are very active, we always want to know what our fans want to hear. We respect them. They’ve been with us for 30 years. When we did that DVD in June, I think there was maybe 120, 130 people a night. I knew 90% of them by first name.

Angel Alamo: Did you know that one of your friends is involved with a Tyketto fan page?

Michael Clayton: That’s Julie. Julie is Wonder Woman! She handles our merchandise, our website and is involved on the fan page. She and her husband Darren are just sweetheart people, very intelligent and get the business side of things. They are both indispensable members of the family.

Angel Alamo: Would the band ever do a residency, like your peers, much like in Vegas or in any venue? Like a residency type of thing?

Michael Clayton: In Tyketto, one never says never! Anything is possible. Danny and I are like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Little bit younger and not as many zeros in the bank account, but Danny likes to be an artist. He wants to create. He said the business circles give him a headache. I’m a very active businessman and told Danny on many occasions, “‘Til the day I’m in the ground, I’m gonna look for something to spark us,”. That Anvil documentary comes to mind. It just blew them up. We’ll look at any opportunity, residency included. I will always be looking for that one thing to turn our tide, but in the meantime, we’re just enjoying the ride.

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Tyketto Interview M3 Festival

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Angel Alamo: What has the band been up to lately?

Danny Vaughn: It’s a bit of a quiet year for us. We have a couple of major things coming up with the festivals in June. One in Switzerland one in London. We are doing something we have never done before which is we are filming a live DVD in over two nights, which is kind of reinterpreting a lot of our songs that we are known for that our fans love. We are including a string section, backing vocalists, violinists, soloists all kinds of crazy stuff going into it.

Angel Alamo: Is that the plan that the band has with an evening with Tyketto?

Danny Vaughn: It’s dinner with the band, it is multiple video takes we will do about six songs each night. Working with the audience getting it all filmed.

Ged Rylands: It’s like Michael says it is more of a TV show, that’s the kind of vibe we are going for.

Danny Vaughn: Something we have always wanted to try. It’s something that bands on our financial level rarely get an opportunity to do. We have been very lucky we have had someone helps us, because it cost quite a bit to put on a production quite like that. We have always kind of shot over our pay grade if you will. We are grateful we get included in the same sentence as the same bands that are on today’s bill. We haven’t sold anywhere near what most of these guys have sold over the years.

Angel Alamo: You guys have not really been as active do you think people are now rediscovering the band?

Danny Vaughn: What you are referring to is a lot America we have never left Europe. when you see We tour England almost every year. I’m down and if we don’t I do it with my solo band. We have never gone away in Europe.

Ged Rylands: A lot of the bands here today they come up to us they are envious of our position to be able to go over to Europe because a lot of these bands don’t get that chance.

Danny Vaughn: Our last European tour was like 5 weeks.

Ged Rylands: Yeah

Danny Vaughn: That’s a long time

Ged Rylands: We do good numbers were not playing to 50 or 60 people. It has always been that way.

Angel Alamo: Is it Because audiences are more loyal. In America you have to have a big number 1 Radio hit where in places like Europe and Japan once the fans love you they love you forever.

Danny Vaughn: I think that’s it that is basically right. They have very long memories. They are not locked into the trends. You know that’s not saying that our shows are filled with teenagers but they are there, that’s always heartening to see a 12-year-old rocking out to your songs alright good parenting.

Ged Rylands:  We have gotten a lot of new fans these last few years.

Danny Vaughn: The reach album really got us a lot of new fans. You do something like this today even a lot of people come up to me today and say I don’t know who you are I just went out and bought your album you really can’t beat that.

Angel Alamo: Is there any new music on the horizon?

Danny Vaughn: Our last studio album was in 2016 Reach Then we put out live in Milan which was 2017 which was us playing live at the frontiers music festival. So yes it is time to start engaging in the writing process again. I got my Whiteboard out at home by the way with 35 ideas.

Angel Alamo: So there is no timeline as to when the next studio album will be coming out.

Danny Vaughn: Oh no I don’t like to say it because one, I am unfortunately notoriously slow when it comes to writing songs. I can’t make any excuses for it I just think a lot. Also we won’t put something out because it’s time to if it’s not ready it’s not coming out. We want to put out an album that we would happily sit and listen to which is what reach is.

Angel Alamo: The rest of the year will the band be doing any major touring?

 

Not too sure no just the things that I mentioned with the festivals.

Ged Rylands:  The last two or three years we have been touring almost Non-Stop.

Danny Vaughn: In 2017 we did two European tours and We have been very, very lucky to have been included in for about 5 Years running in the Monsters of Rock cruise. That has really opened the doors for America. We have done a few more American shows of course we would like to do more like this. So next year is a quiet year. It will be devoted to writing. Taking ideas back and forth between all of us.

Angel Alamo: What was the feeling like playing in your first arena show in Denver in 1991. Any memorable moments.

Danny Vaughn: The most memorable moments of that show was actually after the show. That was the first tour with Nelson. We had gone a few shows with them but just was the first official night of the tour. A played we had a great night. We watched Nelson and they blew the house down, so we are packing up at the end of the night. I suddenly realized that they got hot tubs backstage and stuff. I turned the corner and someone goes dude, so we got the nelson twins with two or three very lovely young women in the hot tub. They go what are you doing. We are getting on the bus, they go bullshit you are getting in the hot tub. So I get in so yeah that was my first memory.

Angel Alamo: Who was the best band that you guys toured with?

Danny Vaughn: Best is a harsh word.

Angel Alamo: Or good bands.

Danny Vaughn: Nelson was a stunning band but they were a great band. Everybody was building on their looks. They went out on tour they had one of the best guitar players in the world with Bret Garsed, Bobby rock on drums, and Gunner is a stunning bass player. Paul Mirkovich on keyboards. But seriously a solid live act. Anybody ask me that question in my history I will say Iron Maiden when I was in Waysted we were opening for Iron Maiden across the United States and Canada. That is quite an experience.

Ged Rylands: Shows like these with a lot of these bands and then afterwards you just become friends. This can be transported to Germany, UK, different festivals it’s the same kind of bands You meet up with these bands during the summer months’ friendships do develop. It’s nice when bands do gel.

Danny Vaughn: There is a lot less competition between us all, are a lot more of us of course as we are older, be really appreciate where we’re at,that we still get to do this at whatever level. It’s a privilege to do it.

Angel Alamo: You read my mind about the next question back then that you would imagine that you would still be doing music today after all these years?

 

Danny Vaughn: I mean back then my imagination was quite Limited. I just wanted to be a star man and that was it you wanted to be Bruce Springsteen, or Bon Jovi or whatever. And then it becomes your life. No, there was nothing in my imagination that would of prepared me to be 56 years old and looking ahead Band camp I still do this and I do not do anything else. Believe me I have over the years. It is quite nice to not have another job.

Angel Alamo

Angel Alamo: I have to share this as fan, I still remember reading one of your interviews on metal Edge magazine.

Danny Vaughn: Oh Gerri Miller.

Angel Alamo: The one segment where you guys were shooting the music video (forever young).

Danny Vaughn: Yeah, I still got that.

Angel Alamo: I remember reading the interview. Before the whole internet thing.

 

Danny Vaughn: Those were the good days. One of the things that has killed music a little bit. There is none of that anticipation for information anymore. Go back a little further to Led Zeppelin. They didn’t do a lot of interviews. So what day did for example kerrang magazine So we have spoken to Robert Plant. Bought that because that was your only insight. Now because the demand is so immediate Internet anything video or whatever you’re constantly feeling this machine that’s why the attention span is short while I heard that song now 400,000 times this month now I’m moving on.

Angel Alamo: After knowing the songs were so many years do you guys still practice?

Ged Rylands: No

Danny Vaughn: Cat is out of the bag.(laughs)

Danny Vaughn: You want to know what’s funny this thing that were talking about and evening with Tyketto. It is the hardest that it’s been and it will work. So this is going to be concentration time. A lot of times you think you should practice but these guys are so locked in let me tell you a story. We played the Barcelona rock festival in front of 25,000 people hot as balls literally I am hallucinating on stage. I feel bubbles is that hot. I normally for a longer set would have to acoustic guitars because I use different tunings so one it’s normal to me and then their songs like standing alone Where it’s dropped down a whole step so I’m playing standing along And I picked up the wrong guitar The one that is tuned up a whole step higher than what I would normally sing in. I am playing the song because I do the whole Intro by myself. And half of my brain is going excuse me excuse me my brain shout out I am busy. So I’m playing I’m playing The first chorus where I sang Stand up and both sides of my brain goes you asshole so my point being is that at that point you can’t stop so I have to tough it out a whole step higher and these guys I think you picked it up first Jed picked it up first. And look at the bass player and said you’re not playing as an F this is G so without missing a beat that I can see now I got to have the whole band played the exact same song The guitar player transposed the solo, On the spot and played the solo a whole Step Up from the way he has been playing it for three years. So I’m really confident About you know we can get together and rock.

Angel Alamo: How do you warm up for show?

Danny Vaughn: Just waking up we have to be on at 11 so we have to be here around 9 if I have a chance I’ll do warm workups but there was no time today I don’t think warming up is really big and are things to do.our drummer Mike will always do some drum stuff.

Everyone just does their own thing and is to their own space. Over many, many years before shows we tend to freak people out. Before shows no matter how big or small we tend to fall asleep and people go like dude are you alright  is anything wrong what’s the matter aren’t you into this you are about to go in front of 10,000 people. Is just your body going I know it’s coming. I need to be explosive to end so we just save it now as you get older you have to parcel out your energy wisely.

Ged Rylands:  This is actually what you can expect backstage. This is what it actually looks like everybody’s just relaxed and chill

Danny Vaughn: That’s kind of how we are I mean you can find endless things to get all worked up about and it does no good to anyone to yourself to your friends to your family. As long as the essentials are in place any of these bands will tell you. You do this long enough you are so used to okay we didn’t have a keyboard stand so let’s put the keyboard on some boxes is that okay yeah fine.

Angel Alamo: Would you ever put out a remastered version of your debut album?

Danny Vaughn: We actually did there is a remastered version that’s kind of a weird spot for us because we have never been able to have any control of that it’s only by Geffen the publishing is owned by Universal I believe so we never been able to say hey would you please give us this album so we can rework it we do it we release it because it was unavailable for years completely out of reprint but one of these companies that does that Rock Candy Music got a hold of it last year and re-released don’t come easy. That coincided with the 25 year anniversary of the album so that year we toured Europe and did just played whole don’t come easy album all the way through.

Ged Rylands: That was the basis of our live show with live album and DVD live in Milan.

Danny Vaughn: The live in Milan is the whole don’t come easy album. That’s what they wanted. It’s imperfect everything is not completely right there are mistakes here and there but it’s what a live band is, it is a shoot from the hip kind of thing. As a matter of fact the opening song my acoustic guitar I come out in the beginning and I singalong while the band is jumping around and didn’t have my guitar on the guy doing monitor board just forgot to turn it on so the beginning you kind of hear and if you don’t hear it then look at the monitor guy going yo the n it comes on going back to what was said earlier. If you let something like that turn you into fuck you tighten up like that there goes the whole show. I think its dynamite live album. I’m not a live album fan but it’s great to be able to put it out.

(After the interview we got to chat a bit and talk about metal sludge Danny was enough to share a story about his first interview with metal sludge)

Metal Sludge has got me in a little bit of trouble over the years so it’s nice to do something nice. I’ll tell you a story and it’s a good story. I had my first interview with Metal Sludge years and years ago. I made a horrible mistake right after I did it. Which was I listened to the metal sludge interview first with Dee Snyder. I was taken in by the fact that Dee Snyder does not give one single flying f*** he says whatever he really means and I got that into my head and I said some really shity things I said some shity things about some of my contemporaries who I actually quite light and I just was in the wrong mind frame consequently I insulted Ted Poley and we didn’t  talk for years and when we did finally talk he said why did you do that not only are these are my peers these are also my friends I have known Ted for over 35 years we go back to playing cover bands together so I was just trying to stir up a little controversy to be something I’m not which is a combative arrogant mouthy  kind of guy it wasn’t Metal Sludge fault I just went with the flow and it cost me Of course we’ve become friends since and I did apologize.

Queensryche Interview M3 Festival

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I was able to talk with M3 festival headliners Queensryche (Todd LaTorre & Michael Wilton) before hitting the stage.

Angel Alamo: How is the new album coming along?

 

Todd La Torre: It’s going well actually; it is in the mixing stages right now.

AA: How is playing at the M3 festival different from some of the other festivals?

Michael Wilton:  We have a variety of festivals that we play. Like in Europe there’s all different kinds of festivals. We play Rockin the rivers music festival which is more heavier bands I guess, this is more kind of traditional 80s style of music. It’s a different genre it’s a different flavor. But that’s cool that we can play in Rockin(the rivers music festival) and M3 festival.

TL:  I think it’s probably one of the only festivals in the states that hosts this type of event with the lineup that you have where some of the other festivals have a lot of new bands and some of the older bands and across as a lot of different genres. This is a little more what’s the word that I am looking for a little more of the same era. Which is fine.

AA: Todd you wear originally a drummer in the future would you ever do a side project as a drummer?

TL: Sure I mean it would be fun. Not for a touring thing because Queensryche is what I do with the band full time.

  I can’t imagine any time that would be able to do that but as a drummer I would love to drum with a side project recording or video or maybe a couple live shows as the drummer where I’m not the front guy that would always be fun.

 AA: What songs are the most difficult to play live?

TL: We kind of nail them all. It’s a hard question

AA: Which album or band made you want to go into music?

 

MW: The first Van Halen album and there’s Black Sabbath, Never Say Die tour

TL: For the rock genre early Ratt and Dokken. Those were two of my all-time favorites Stryper outside of that genre when my ears really started to pay attention to music really want you started to pay attention to Fleetwood Mac Billy Joel stuff like that. As a young child I started playing guitar when I was 10 and then that took a backseat to drunk when I was 13 and that was more of the rock influence took place with the bands that I just mentioned.

AA: Once the new record comes out what are the bands touring plans?

Normally we would tour europe twice a year this year we decided to take some time off because of the new album we want a really hit it hard once the new record comes out so we don’t want to saturated any markets prematurely or anything like that, there are some potential shows in South America we just came back from India a few days ago surely a North American tour. We will definitely be going overseas once the new album comes out.

Michael Sweet (Stryper) Interview

I got the chance to talk to Stryper frontman Michael Sweet a few hours before he was to hit the stage at the M3 festival for the start of the world tour to support the new album God Damn Devil.

Angel Alamo: How does it feel playing at the M3 festival this year?

 

Michael Sweet: Well we just got in very late last night, I went to bed and I arrived here on the scene just a few moments ago so it looks like it’s going to be awesome man some great bands good turnout is going to be exciting.

It’s a bit cooler today it was like 95 degrees’ yesterday right.

AA: Yes

MS: It’s going to be 65 which is a lot better so yes we’re excited it’s going to be good.

AA: Before a show how do you warm up your voice your voice still sounds amazing after all these years?

MS:  I smoke about four cigars and drink about a fifth of bourbon, I’m just joking (laughing). You know what man I don’t do what I should do most of the time. I try to warm up, drink some tea do some exercises and chill out and decompress. I do not always have the time to do that. But yeah I try hard to take care of myself so I think that helps.

AA: With the new album God Damn Evil How long does the band plan to be on the road for?

MS:  By the end of the year we will have done two tour runs about 6 to 7 weeks long each we will have done many fly dates were going to Japan, Australia, Spain, and quite a few other fly dates as well Puerto Rico I know so when are we going to a lot of places. We are working on hopefully some south American dates hopefully that comes together. A lot of touring between now and the end 2018 all in support of the new album (God Damn Devil) We are going to keep going, we have a lot in store for people in the next 10 or 15 years.

AA: After spending so many years together is it easier to get along as a band as the years go by?

MS: We figure out how to get along as a band after spending so many years together.  Like anything you’re dealing with four different personalities so you have to communicate you have to learn how to deal with things and handle things in a professional an adult manner I think over 34 years we figured out how to do that it gets tough sometimes you know like someone has to get on me about something I have to pick up after someone you know what I mean those little tiny things that really don’t matter what they do we go through that like any other band which is just like a marriage that just came out working to talk and communicate as much as you do that’s going to be great

AA: Will the band ever released a box set of unreleased music or album remastered with bonus tracks?

MS: I mean that is certainly a possibility we have never discussed that. I think we are at a point where we have enough music to do something like that we have quite a catalog and loud music so that’s something that we could do but it would have to make sense though it would have to be in demand and people would have to want it. For us to put it together and go through the effort of making that happen in today’s music world is questionable.

AA: How has technology changed to hate that you write music or has it changed?

MS: It’s change a little bit I’m able to put things together faster because of drum software and programs and iPads and guitars apps It makes it a little easier you can set up anywhere and write which is really cool. Obviously Pro tools has made life more difficult and easier. the easier side is that you can pretty much do anything you want with Pro Tools in terms of editing and what not and the difficult side is that you can pretty much do anything you want so with that comes more time and expense and effort and all that kind of stuff so in the old days there was something really cool about going in and recording on tape analog not spending two hours on a guitar solo like you can now with Pro Tools. You can do a 100 takes and piece them all together now a little bit of cheating with them and you can lose your spontaneity you can lose your energy and it becomes stale pretty fast.

AA: And my last question are there any places that you haven’t played yet?

MS: There are a few places we’ve never been to China or Russia and we’ve never been to Mexico we almost went to Mexico a few times but it didn’t work out but man we would love to go to all three places especially Mexico because it’s so close and we have such a large fan base there so it will be amazing to see that become a reality.

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Interview with Pro Wrestler Roni Big Bang Nicole

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Angel Alamo: What do you enjoy the most about wrestling?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: Wrestling is SUCH an memorable and timeless sport. The combination of athletic prowess, pageantry, storytelling, conflict and victory are lived out in real time inside (and sometimes outside) a wrestling ring. Its truly a marvel to behold. I think what i enjoy most about wrestling is creating one of a kind moments with my opponents and supporters alike. It is always SO validating to look out and SEE the fans reacting to what I do because something we (my opponent and myself) created FOR the patrons to enjoy. Its cathartic and anxious, crippling and liberating. I enjoy being able to weave a story for the crowd to delight or despair in, it’s intoxicating. Seductive. Addictive.

Angel Alamo: What do you enjoy the least?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole :Wrestling definitely follows the 80/20 rile, so knowing that and having the heart-set and mindset that wrestling is a gift and privilege, and not a right? Lessens the sting of some of the more challenging and disappointing moments that come. Even with that proactively positive outlook, difficulties do present themselves. One of the more challenging aspects of professional wrestling are the individuals who disregard the mantle of professionalism and utilize other means for booking opportunities. In turn, the promoters or bookers ignore in-ring skill and focus on ‘favors’ or the buddy system. However, wrestling has become SO broad that now wrestlers have amazing options for weekly or bi-weekly wrestling opportunities.

Angel Alamo: What got you into wrestling?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: I was introduced to Olympic style wrestling at a very young age, I have older family members who were scholastic wrestlers and as a girl I attended these events with my uncles. I was captivated and entertained by the athletes who were relying on mental acuity in order to physically win a contest. It was an enthralling experience and from there the transition into professional wrestling was inevitable.

Angel Alamo: How is wrestling in Japan different and how are the fans over there?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: Wrestling in Japan is different top to bottom, not only the wrestling culture but the entire approach is completely different. From the conditioning to the training regiment Japan takes a integrated approach to professional wrestling that is actually mainstreamed into Japanese society. It is refreshing to see how valued professional wrestling and wrestlers are and how the fans are so supportive and hospitable to this bewitching form of entertainment. The matches are are physically demanding and on each show, each match truly builds to the finish which makes each event it’s own interactive spectacle. The energy in the venues is so electric it’s palpable. I was at first concerned about the language barrier between myself and the other Joshi wrestlers. However, wrestling consistently proves to be universal in both understanding and fundamental principles, it was an easy adjustment after my initial tour there. I loved the passion that is present in EVERY wrestler there, you can see and feel how much they want to be the best and it drives you to do the same.

Angel Alamo: How did you get into wrestling?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: I stumbled into the opportunity to train just by happenstance, even though I had previously searched for professional wrestling training online. I found schools, some credible and some not so credible but all of them required relocation. At the time I was just finishing school and was not prepared to relocate to another city, I felt the situation was turning into a pipe dream of sorts and it was only then, by chance, I was connected with an individual who had aspirations of wrestling promotion who was looking to train a core roster of members. It was then that I began my initial training in Fayetteville, North Carolina with ‘NiteStic’ Eddie Brown and Ring Wars Carolina.

Angel Alamo: Who are your favorite wrestlers?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: Kong| Kyoko Inoue|Manami Toyota| Jazz| Ivory| Eddie Guerrero|Chris Benoit|Undertaker|Owen Hart| 2 Cold Scorpio | Dash Chisako| Meiko Satomura| Mima Shimoda| Minoru Suzuki|Naomichi Marufuji| El Cyclon Negro|

Angel Alamo: You are a model, wrestler, cheerleader, and actress. Where do you find the time to manage doing all of those things?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: Time management 😉

Angel Alamo: What do you do to prepare for a match?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: If I know my opponent ahead of time I will watch their film and study their move-set so that I am familiar with their work. I will also work through any skill or techniques that I’d like to polish before the match in training that week and make sure I’m ‘ring ready’.

Angel Alamo: What are your future plans?

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: Watch and see 😉 But world domination is among them. 🙂

Angel Alamo: What does your motto mean “Life has shown no mercy. So Opponents receive no quarter.”

Roni BIG BANG Nicole: This was my old motto when I was doing the ‘She Hulk’ of the South gimmick. I was referring to the fact that life shows no one, any mercy. You deal with trials and tribulations and yet the world keeps spinning. No-one is immune to the tough lessons that life hands out and therefore, my opponents should expect any mercy from me inside the ring.

 

Snapchat: Roni Nicole R

Booking/Apperance/Inquires: Roninicoler@gmail.com

Facebook :/ RoniBigBangNicole

Twitter: @Glitterliicous

IG: @GlitterliciousBangBang

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Interview with Bob Dee with Petro

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On a rare nice Saturday afternoon, I got the chance to meet and talk to Bob Dee with Petro in Jersey City NJ. Not far away from New York City where Bob had been working hard on his new album. It was a rare opportunity to have an in-depth conversation about music, his new album, and what it’s like touring around the world. An experience that many of us would see as a dream job. This year is expected to be a busy year with the release of the new album and a world tour to follow.

Angel Alamo: Where did you grow up? 

Bob Dee: Hi Angel, thank you for taking the time to interview me.

I grew up in Utica, NY then moved to Ithaca/Cortland, NY to play with a band called “Tokyo”. I was blessed to have been schooled by some of the legends of rock. The late Gary Driscoll (Rainbow, Elf) he called me cool breeze showed me the ropes of touring along with Craig Gruber RIP (Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Gary Moore)  Duck MacDonald (Blue Cheer),Joey DeMaio (Manowar) and Dawk (RIP) he made my guitars and hot rodded my amps.. he was the guy who hotrodded all of Richie Blackmore’s amps and guitars I even bought two of Richie’s Marshall bottoms… I learned everything from them about touring and songwriting… I then moved to New York City and within a short time.

I signed a six figure publishing deal with Famous/Paramount and a six figure record deal with RCA records.

AA: What musicians influenced you growing up?

BD: I was into the rock bands like Kiss, Deep Purple and Mott, The Hoople, and of course Jimmy Page. My favorite guitar player is Gary Moore. I even won the Guitar World Gary Moore contest a few years ago. I have always been a Gibson Les Paul guitar through a Marshall amp player, after seeing them play. I just saw Ace Frehley play in New York City. I was like a schoolboy so excited. I have a large giant “Kiss” poster up in my apt from when they played ‘Madison Square Garden” here in NYC

AA: What are your favorite albums?

BD:  As for older albums I have been listening to “Mott The Hoople” and the early “Queen” album called Sheer Heart Attack as for new albums I have been into this band called “HIM” from Finland I have all their albums and saw them recently on their final tour sadly they broke up.

AA: How is recording the new album coming along?

BD: It’s been a journey so far. We had so much success with the last album with “Socially Awkward” as the single … I knew I had to come up with a new anthem for the world… we demoed I think 22 songs all though the holidays it was gut wrenching but on the final weekend of recording I wrote the single. The album is out now

AA: Any new details about the new album?

BD: Well Angel you have the scoop. The title of the new album is called “Killstar”

Yes the album is being mastered by Alex Saltz he just mastered the new Stryper album there will be 11 songs with the new single called “Fight”.

AA: How is making this record different from previous album?

BD: The last album, I wrote most of the songs in a room in Queens. I stayed in that room and just kept demoing songs. The songs just flew out of me so easy this album we demoed something like 22 songs … all through the holidays freezing cold and snow and finally on the last weekend of recording. I came up with the single “Fight” an anthem for the working class man so stoked the song rocks!!

AA: Is it best writing songs at home or on the road? 

BD: I love writing on the road something about the tour bus the motion I always carry my iPhone and Evernote app to write and sing all my ideas into it. I have a Pro-tools set-up at home but I always go to Brian Bauers studio in Union, New Jersey to record… Brian has been with me since the beginning my first album “Bullets & Bandaids” we then go to Flux studios in New York City so Scott Campbell (drums) can record his drum tracks

AA: What musician would you like to go out on tour with?

BD: We toured the UK last summer and we were support for “Chris Holmes” former ‘Wasp” guitarist wow we had a blast he really loved us because I was from New York City so he let my guitar player Ade Fisher use part of his amp set-up

AA: How did you get signed?

BD: This is a cool story. I was married living on the Upper Westside NY. in a one bedroom doorman building overlooking the city. a beautiful life, one day two years ago she broke up with me and told me she wanted a divorce. while we were going to Santorini Greece for our vacation. She told me I was a loser and said I would never get another record contract, so we got a divorce and I moved out devastated to Queens, NY with 4 boxes and 11 guitars and two Marshall amps. All I had was a room. I was so broken but I channeled all my pain and I wrote all the singles in one week Socially Awkward etc. I sent the songs over to Mark Berry and he signed me on the single to AMG/Universal records. We then went on to release the full album through AMG/SONY records and signed multiple licensing deals and toured the UK.

AA: How are audiences different in other parts of the world than in America?

BD: I think the highlight for me …when we played in Japan wow talk about love the fans are pretty amazing. I had one fan make me a comic book with my image that I still sell on my website. I also loved our show this past summer when we played in London we got bumped to 1am in the morning so we went out and walked around Soho and just kept drinking and eating when we got back to the club the place was packed the band Ade Fisher, Norm Appleby and Paul AT Kinson were on fire the crowd was rushing the stage and they were just pumped up!!! loved every minute of it.

I can say as for the US.. we played SXSW in Austin Texas and the crowds were amazing .. I had an awesome show in Rochester NY recently ….wow love Rochester they know how to rock!!!

AA: What do you make of the Gene Simmons’s statement that rock is dead?

BD: I heard he said that … hmm we have been lucky I have sold more CD’s and Merch in the last two years than my whole career and the fans and the shows have been amazing around the world.. I don’t believe it!! Gene will be Gene.. I am an Ace fan!!

AA: What is the toughest cover song to play and why?

BD: Its funny you should ask that question. We just recorded a cover of the ‘Rolling Stones” classic “Wild Horses’ it was not as easy as I thought. I didn’t want to record it the traditional way with acoustic guitar real pretty so I got in the studio with My Gibson Les Paul guitar and my Voodoo Amps and just cranked out power chords and I had Scott Campbell drums just record a groove… I just sang over the top of it  almost ethereal sounding vocals we then had a cello player come in and play a counter rhythm It sounds huge so far.. I hope our fans will enjoy it!!

AA: How is it determined how much time do you play?

BD: It is always up to the promoter. I will give you an example. When we played in London we got bumped up to 1 in the afternoon we were all pissed off. The place was packed. This is not bad for a guy from New York but the crowd was rushing the stage anit was a heatwave and we played an hour.

AA: Which do you prefer to play festivals or just playing on your own?

BD: I like festivals it is amazing you get put in with these bands I love it. It’s so many people to play for.

AA: What was some of the best band you opened up for?

BD: We did support for Chris Holmes he took us backstage he was nice he took pictures that was the highlight he was super nice. I have different bands I have a band here in the US I have one in the UK and one in Japan.

AA: What are Japan audiences like?

BD: Japanese fans don’t go as crazy but they are very respectful everything is done to a tee.

I still remember flying to Maui and then Japan I believe I went from New York to LAX then to Maui and we did Tokyo and Osaka coming back and they would not let me with my guitar. I had to basically sit down while they went through the stuff that I bought. They finally checked my guitar I almost got arrested going through the airport but I did it with no problems.

AA: How is Domino’s Pizza?

 

BD: Domino’s is a little different McDonald’s they have more fish sandwich and someone that’s all they do it over there.

We are working on a Japanese store with the promoter over in Japan. I want to go everywhere.

AA: How is traveling on the road?

BD: You travel in a van for 5 hours you get fatigued never eat good food. In Germany they’re really big on beer I remember going to the airport and Frank port and the employees are wanted me to sign autographs and it was a big deal.

AA: How was the video shoot for the song black forest?

BD: Call time was call time was 530am. It was A2 hour train ride on the way back from 10 to midnight and then fly back. It was 2 hours of plan looking good and lip-syncing you’re still thinking you’ll get that in your veins.

AA: What will be the first single?

BD: Fight song we are shooting the video in Orlando

 

For more information on Bob Dee with Petro and to buy his new album go to

https://bobdeewithpetro.com/

 

 

Interview with Foreigner’s Tom Gimbel

Foreigner is not slowing down now or thinking about retirement. The band is embarking on another tour this year around the world and doing another 100 shows. The band is also putting out Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus their latest live release on April 27, 2018. I had the chance to catch up with Foreigner’s rhythm guitarist Tom Gimbel  to talk about the latest live release upcoming summer tour with Whitesnake, and the band’s future plans.

Angel Alamo: The band is putting out Foreigner with The 21st Century Orchestra & Chorus on April 27, 2018 and doing some tour dates behind the live album. How did the project to work with an orchestra come about? 

Tom Gimbel: It’s a long process. We started off doing acoustic shows, and that went so well that (guitarist) Mick Jones our leader decided how can we take this to the next level? Let’s take it one more step, and you might know that we have had choirs on stage with us.

So, yeah, now we’ve got a bigger choir and a full orchestra. So, when you put all three of those elements together, it’s a special sort of hybrid sound, and it’s like massive. It’s like gothic. You know? It’s like something you would see in a movie… It sounds so good, Angel.

We are really the music lends itself really well to the orchestral kind of arrangements and the choir and everything goes together. It makes for a really interesting night. Of course, you got the rock band right there at the center. And, that holds it all together. We’ll do some regular rock stuff, and we’ll do some stuff with the choir and the orchestra. Maybe a couple of acoustic numbers, it’s like a three-part plan.

AA: So, that’s what you guys are going to be doing with the tour? With the orchestra?

TG: Certain dates I think we’re going to do that. I’m just not sure which ones, but yeah, we’ll be mixing those dates in throughout the summer. It’s great.

AA: As a musician, how challenging is it to work with an orchestra? 

TG: It’s not a huge challenge because we are all on the same page, and the musicians share that common love of the art of music. So, we’re all naturally just kind of connected. The only thing that’s a little different is following the conductor when you have an orchestra, there’s a conductor there. And, typically, we follow the drummer. You know, in a rock band, but when you’re going with the orchestra, you got to sort of keep an eye on the conductor. He’s setting the tempos, and the drummer getting that from him. So, I don’t know if you’ve seen any of them. He’s got like one eye on the conductor and two ears on the drummer. That gives us three points of reference so I got three chances of being in the right spot.

AA: You guys are going out on tour with Whitesnake. What can fans expect from this upcoming summer tour? 

TG: Yeah, we’ll have Jason Bonham and his Led Zeppelin experience. He’s part of our family. He was actually in foreigner for a few years in the early 2000’s so he’s really a buddy his Led Zeppelin show is the best in the business besides Led Zeppelin. So, he’ll be there, and then, Whitesnake comes on. They’re just phenomenal in terms of playing and the songs have a lot … Ton of fun.

And, Foreigner, we’re going to do our high energy show. Kelly Hansen, our singer runs around, dances in the audience. He’ll do shots. He’ll kiss girls. He’ll do anything. Very unpredictable. Very unpredictable. we are going to play all the songs that people want to hear at a Foreigner show. That’s pretty much what you can expect. It’s going to be a triple bill and real real good rock and roll values. Loud guitars.

AA: What was it like playing with Lou Graham last year?

TG: It’s great to see Lou again. I was lucky enough to work with Mick and Lou in the early 90’s, and so I got a chance to know Lou Graham over those ten years. The first ten years I was working with Foreigner was with Lou Graham. And these, last ten years, has been with Kelly Hansen. So, some of the most fun was to see Lou Graham and Kelly Hansen getting along so well because they are both phenomenal singing talents. It’s nice to see people at that level that can have so much in common and get along so well.

We were a little concerned. Yeah, are there going to be any weird feelings? I think they like each other.  People get along, and it’s the whole thing. We’re kindred spirits because we are all bound together by the mutual love of music. Most people at this point in their lives, they love music with all their heart. That’s why you would dedicate your whole life to music. So, we’re all automatically on the same page. It works out really well, and it was just so much fun to see Lou back in action with us. Especially surrounded by Mick Jones and those guys all know each other from back in the heyday of the 70’s and 80’s. So, it’s a treat, and it always is. And, I look forward to seeing him again soon.

AA: Can fans expect a new studio album from Foreigner?

TG: That’s a great question. I’m not really sure. Mick Jones as a songwriter, he’s always working on something. So, we just kind of have to wait and see if it comes out, how it comes out. How it will find its way. And, it’s really just a matter of time. I think he’s always working on something, and there has been some talk about Mick and Lou getting out some old songs that they never finished and possibly finishing those up and releasing them. But, it’s too soon to tell.

And, Mick is really the only one that knows. So, we’ll wait and see. I’m not sure about the whole studio album, Angel. Nowadays, bands will put out two or three songs or maybe just one song for a movie. In the old days, you had to put out an album. Now, you can just release maybe a handful of songs. People are going to grab them off the internet one at a time anyway.

And, we don’t have all that pressure to do 13 songs on one album. It takes a long time to make 13 songs. So, maybe just who knows? Maybe just one, two or three might end up in an album or just released as singles. Never know, but we are certainly going to hope so. See what happens.

AA:  What are your favorite songs to play live?

TG: I like all the Foreigner songs to play live. They work really well in a live setting. I think maybe that’s the way they were constructed. Mick always put a lot of thought into the way he crafted these songs so they lend themselves really well to a live setting. And, each song has something special that I love about it. So, aside from Virgin where I get to lose my mind on the saxophone, I would say they’re all favorites.

AA:What is the toughest part about being on the road?

TG: Early morning wake up call. That’s the only thing that bothers us. We love being on the road. We love every single part of it, but once in a while if the only flight that’s available is a morning flight and you got to set that alarm or have a wakeup call from the front desk and it goes off at seven and you didn’t go to sleep until six. Ouch. That hurts when you only sleep for an hour or two, and the alarm goes off. That’s the toughest part of being on the road from my point of view.

AA: Any bands out there that you would still like to play with?

TG: I’m not sure. We have done so many. Angel, we’ve played with Def Leppard and Journey and Styx and REO and Kid Rock. The list just goes on and on and on. Dewey Brothers, Peter Frampton You name it, we’ve played with them. So, I would say that that is something we feel very happy about. The opportunity to work and get to know some of those bands. Cheap Trick, what a treat it was to play with them. So, yeah, from a band standpoint, I’m not sure that there are any other acts that we’d love to tour with.

It really is different. Yeah, it really is different when you see something live. There’s an atmosphere. There’s a magic in the air. You just can’t duplicate. I thought for a while, if I get the biggest screen TV and the best surround system, it would be just like a concert. Not unless you can put ten thousand people in your house. That’s a big part of the atmosphere is all those people and the electricity in the air. There’s nothing that comes close, and the outdoor sound if it’s outdoors or even if it’s indoors. It’s that big PA and the stage and the excitement. It’s one of the best things that I have ever had the opportunity to be involved in.

AA: What are the band’s plans for after the summer tour?

TG: Usually, we do shows into the fall. A lot of shows are around the States I believe. I haven’t looked at the schedule, but I know we’re going to some wild places. Iceland. We’re going to Iceland for the first time. That’s one of the places I’ve never been.

We’ll go to South America. It really is a global act so I’m going to guess we’ll be using our passports quite a bit. And, so, that will probably happen after the summer. So, yeah, we are just going to keep traveling. We usually do that up until about Thanksgiving, and then we break for the holidays. Everybody gets to take some time with their families through Thanksgiving, December and Christmas and New Year’s. We take some time off to recharge our batteries, and then, we’ll be at it again. They’re already booking shows for 2019. There is no end in sight.

AA: What was the first instrument that you ever started playing.

TG: For me it was drums. I was one of those kids that was always banging on pots and pans. The dashboard of the car when you’re little and your parents drive you around. I was just playing drum solos on the dashboard of the car so they dropped me off at a drum school. Just crazy kid thinks he’s a drummer, and I had my first drum lesson. And the teacher said, “Hey, not bad for a six-year-old. It’s ridiculous.” So, I started lessons at a very young age. That’s been my life ever since.

AA: Wow, that’s a shocker. I thought you were going to say the saxophone.

TG: Yeah, I got into all the instruments after that which worked out well because rhythm and drums, it’s all sort of the root of music. You start with rhythm and you go from there so. After that, I got into the guitar and the keyboards and flute and the sax and the cousin of the flute. So, they were related and I just had a blast every time I picked up a new instrument I was like, “Ooo, I love this. I want to play it.” So, it just kept going. It was really cool.

AA: What advice would you give to any young musicians that are starting out?

TG: Yes, I think that people that are learning music need to listen to the stuff that they love. Usually, people get interested because they hear something that makes them motivated, and in my case, it was probably the Beatles or Creed Credence Clearwater even Motown. So, whatever that music is that you love, listen to it over and over and over. Let it get inside your soul, and then start singing along with it. Playing along with it. If you’re playing an instrument, try to play along with your favorite albums and favorite music if you can. And, you’ll get little bits and pieces like how does he do that? I’ll stop the record and think how does he do that? And, I’ll figure it out on my sax. Oh, that’s how that goes. So, I really think that a lot of the best musicians in the world learned to be proficient by playing along with records

And, that’s my advice for folks that want to be musicians. You got to listen a ton and then, try to play along with those same records. Even if it means dancing around in front of the mirror if you want to be a singer. Kids today are not shy about this. They dance around pretending they’re singing into a microphone. You can just … Sets you free. You just lose yourself. And, I always recommend that even it if it’s kind of embarrassing. Don’t be afraid, and kids really, they’re not that shy anymore. We used to be shy. Oh, I don’t sing. Remember guys that would stare at their shoes in church while everyone sings, and they kind of mumble along, nobody really wanted to sing.

But nowadays, kids aren’t shy about it. So, that’s the good news. So, I would just say embrace it. Listen to your favorite records as much as you can. Discover music that you like and listen. So much of music is listening. That’s how it gets inside your soul. It buries itself in there and then, when you want to plan in your own fashion that same material will find its way out.

AA: what is the best thing and the worst thing about social media for musician?

TG: Well, when I think of social media, I’m thinking in terms of people being able to say, “I discovered this music. Check it out.” Here’s what I’m listening to on Pandora or Spotify, whatever format they’re finding this stuff. They can share it. That’s the best part of social media being able to share music. In the old days, you had to have a record or a radio. There was no way to hear music if you didn’t have it. Nowadays, you can just click and hear the greatest stuff imaginable. So, to me, that’s the best part of this explosion.

I would say the worst part or one of the downsides is that people are connecting more with their machines and not people. In the old days, literally, my friends and I would get together and listen to music. We would get records, record players and put them on and listen to music together. Nowadays, it’s somebody with their headphones. They could be anywhere by themselves. And, so, I would like it more if people spent more time with other people.

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Skyler Blu Jai Interview

Skyler Blu Jai was the first person I ever interviewed at Exxxotica. It was a nice treat when a year later I was able to talk to Skyler Blu Jai again for a new interview.

Angel Alamo: How did you start in the business?

Skyler Blu Jai: I came across BBW camhouse and I met with Platinum Pussy and I have been with them ever since.

Angel Alamo: Being in the adult industry does it make it more difficult to have a personal relationship?

Skyler Blu Jai: No, I came into this business with a strong relationship. We see eye to eye on things.

Angel Alamo: What do you like to do in your free time?

Skyler Blu Jai: I am a face time video gamer. I love XBox and comics.

Angel Alamo: What are the most annoying fan e-mails that you get?

Skyler Blu Jai: Penis pictures. The I love you and want to marry you, you don’t even know me, all you have seen is my pictures.

Angel Alamo: Are there any porn stars out there that you hope to work with?

Skyler Blu Jai: I would love to work with Cherokee D’ass

Angel Alamo: What is the toughest part about being in the industry?

Skyler Blu Jai: Balancing business and family.

Angel Alamo: What have you been up to lately?

Skyler Blu Jai: Snapchat, social media work which has been really good for promotion. I have been working with Pink Kandi. I am more aware of what I want to do. It’s fun getting to know people. I am going to be modeling for Madame

Angel Alamo: How is BBW Camhouse going?

Skyler Blu Jai: BBW camhouse is going great there are a few new girls at the house.