Band of the Month – Hoobastank

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Hoobastank is an American rock band which formed in 1994 in Agoura Hills, California. At the start the line-up consisted of vocalist Doug Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, drummer Chris Hesse and original bassist Markku Lappalainen. According to Chris, Doug had known Dan for a while before competing against him in a high school battle of the bands competition. Subsequently they decided to form a band by recruiting Markku and Chris to form Hoobastank.

Hoobastank started playing gigs at local venue, Cobalt Cafe along with Incubus and others. The band recorded their first full-length self-released album in 1998 strangely titled They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To. The album featured a unique saxophone section headed by Jeremy Wasser.  At this point, Hoobastank had developed a strong reputation in Southern California which attracted interest from Island Records who signed the band in 2000. At the time of signing, the band had already completed a second full-length album titled “Forward” featuring Jeremy Wasser. However Island Records execs felt that the direction they were heading in would sound better without the sax, so Jeremy left the band and the album was delayed. A few tracks were re-recorded for release on the band’s self-titled 2001 release.

Their self-titled album was released in November of 2001. The first single off the album was “Crawling In The Dark” which became a breakthrough hit reaching No 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Number 3 on the Modern Rock Chart, Number 7 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 1 on an MP3.com download chart in early 2002. The song featured in the 2002 inline skating game, Aggressive Inline on the Xbox, Playstation 2, Playstation and GameCube consoles. The second single “Running Away” was an even bigger hit reaching Number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Number 2 on the Modern Rock Chart, Number 9 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 3 on the MP3.com download chart. The Hoobastank album went Platinum and reached Number 25 on the Billboard 200 chart and Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. The album received international recognition and the band toured in support of the album through Europe and Asia. The third single from the album “Remember Me” achieved moderate success reaching Number 23 on the Modern Rock Charts. “Losing Grip” is a song which the band created for the soundtrack of the movie The Scorpion King.

In 2003 the band contributed a song named “Right Before Your Eyes” to the Daredevil soundtrack. The band entered the studio with producer Howard Benson. Recording was interrupted for a month when Dan Estrin was seriously injured following a minibike incident in August. Dan had recovered by October and the band performed at the Nokia Unwired Tour with the All-American Rejects and Ozomatli in November.  The band’s name originated when Doug was still very young, his brother was the vice president of BMW Motorcycles in Germany and the street’s name in which he lived was called Hooba Street and before Doug could pronounce it he used to call it Hoobastank. His brother still teases him about it. When the band was trying to come up with a name, it was really difficult to come up with a name that hasn’t already been taken. Someone suggested the name and it stuck.

The band’s second album The Reason was released in December 2003. The single “Same Direction” was available for download on the band’s website. ” Same Direction” reached Number 9 on the US Modern Rock Chart, Number 16 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 16 on the composite World Modern Rock chart (based on the US, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Australia). A year later the band released a dvd called Let It Out which is a collection of the band’s music videos. The title track was released in the first half of 2004 and it became a massive hit. The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, Number 1 on the US and World Modern Rock Charts. The song was also played on the final episode of Friends. In Canada the song set a new record for the most weeks at Number 1 after it spent 21 weeks at the top of the charts. In the US the album reached Number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. In early 2004, the band’s profile increased when they landed a supporting slot on Linkin Park’s Meteora world tour.

Their third album Every Man For Himself released in May 2006 and debuted at Number 12 on the Billboard chart. Three singles off the album “If I Were You”, “Inside Of You” and “Born To Lead” were released. Hoobastank co-headlined a tour in 2005 with Velvet Revolver. The band received a chilly reception from some audiences and rumours of a feud between Doug and Scott Weiland started to surface.

On the 2nd of June 2008 Doug Robb posted on the band’s temporary website announcing that the recording process of their upcoming album was almost done and that fans could expect a release date within a couple of weeks. The album For(never) was released on the 27th of January 2009. The first single from the album “My Turn” premiered on radio on the 13th of October 2008.

On the 29th of April 2010 a Vanessa Amorosi fan site revelealed details of a collobaration between Hoobastank and the Australian singer, a duet version of The Letter. Later on it was revealed that there was another version of the song between Hoobastank and American-Japanese singer, lyricist, actress and model Anna Tsuchiya. The music video featuring Vanessa Amorosi was shot in Los Angeles at Lacy Street Studio with director Paul Brown. Anna Tsuchiya’s version of the song appears on Hoobastank’s greatest hits album “The Greatest Hits: Don’t Touch My Moustache (Deluxe Edition)“.

The best of album The Greatest Hits: Don’t Touch My Moustache was released on the 5th of August 2010 through Universal Records in Japan. The Deluxe Edition’s tracks were selected from their first four albums by their fans on the band’s official record label website. Hoobastank was the support act for Creed on their 2009 reunion tour. On the 2nd of September 2009, the band announced on Twitter that they were recording an acoustic album. The band covered the song Ghostbusters for Halloween and it was accompanied by a music video on Hoobastank’s Official Youtube Channel. On the 8th of December 2009, the band released the live album Live from the Wiltern exclusively on iTunes. On the 19th of January 2010, Hoobastank released a new song entitled “We Are One” as part of a compilation from Music For Relief in support of the Haiti Earthquake crisis. On the 12th of February 2010, Hoobastank released a new song titled “Never Be Here Again” as part of the Team USA Olympics soundtrack. In May the band announced that they will be performing an acoustic live tour in several places in Japan. They released an acoustic album titled “Is This The Day” on the 4th of August 2010 in Japan. Ending their decade-long connection with Island Records, the band went back to indie status when they released their fifth album on Open E Records.

On the 18th of January 2011 Doug Robb provided the vocals for Apocalyptica’s new single titled “Not Strong Enough”. Another version of the song is available which features Brent Smith from Shinedown on vocals. A music video for the song was released which features Brent Smith. In June 2011, the band went on tour in Iraq for the USO Road Tour, performing for the U.S. military throughout the country.

On the 5th of April 2012 the band announced the tiitle of their new album via Twitter. The album was titled “Fight or Flight” and on the 3rd of May the band revealed the first single “This Is Gonna Hurt”. The album was released on the 11th of September 2012.

I chose to feature Hoobastank this month because I used to listen to their album “The Reason” back when I was in High School and while I was in college. I recently found the album among some other CDs and popped it in the car while my fiance and I went for a drive. It really brought back some great memories and I think all of the songs on that album are really impressive.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Hoobastank

You can follow Doug Robb on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoobaDoug

You can follow Chris Hesse on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarkHesse

You can follow Dan Estrin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrEstrin

You can follow Jesse Charland on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jesseTchar

Kings of Chaos Concert Review – 07/06/2013

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KIngs of Chaos performing at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town Source: http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

KIngs of Chaos performing at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town
Source: http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

I have waited for months for the Kings of Chaos Concert and I can’t believe its all over already!

I bought my tickets the day after the concert was announced, initially the main reason I bought tickets for the show was to see Slash. The original line-up included Slash, Gilby Clarke, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Joe Elliott, Dave Kushner, Glenn Hughes, Ed Roland and Sebastian Bach. A few weeks passed and it was announced that Sebastian Bach had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts and Myles Kennedy was going replace him instead. I couldn’t believe it, I was literally jumping up and down with excitement. I have nothing against Sebastian Bach at all, I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to see Myles Kennedy perform in my home country. Needless to say, I now had even more incentive to go to the concert, the downside was that my boyfriend was leaving the country to go to Sweden for work on the 8th of June and he wouldn’t be able to go. Luckily I heard that there was going to be a second show on the 7th of June, so I could change it.

My boyfriend and I arrived at GrandWest Casino just after four o’clock, had something to eat and then the waiting began. We were the 4th couple from the front of the line. The queue only really started to grow at about six o’clock. People who were at the front of the line kept some space for their friends that only arrived later in the evening. This caused some tension due to the fact that some of us have waited for hours just to be pushed back by people who were arriving late. More people tried to push towards the front, because they thought if one group could do it, they could do it as well. Security controlled the situation to an extent.

We heard the band starting to rehearse just before six and they carried on till past 19h00 when the doors were supposed to open. I could feel the excitement in the air starting to build at 18h30 when everyone in the queue decided to stand up while they were waiting. I was becoming incredibly impatient and I just wanted the concert to start already! At about 19h00 I thought the audience was going to stampede through the door. The doors finally opened at 19h15 and security warned the audience members to calm down. We took our place to the left of the stage right in front. The DJ played “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback which got the audience quite excited, he proceeded to play some Offspring, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Kings of Leon etc. The concert finally got underway at 20h30.

The KFM DJ introduced the man who made the concert possible and the band walked onstage about 15 minutes later. First to enter was Duff McKagan, second to the stage was Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum and Glenn Hughes kicked off the show with their cover of Deep Purple’s Highway Star. Next up was “Smoke on the Water” another Deep Purple cover. Ed Roland came onstage to perform “Heavy” and “Shine” which are Collective Soul covers. Now it is Joe Elliott‘s turn to perform “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” which are both Def Leppard covers. It was great to hear Pour Some Sugar On Me live!

Now the moment that we have all been waiting for Slash and Myles Kennedy take to the stage with the ground-shaking cover of “Nightrain”. Slash jumps down from the podium where the drums are and I get goosebumps every time that Myles opens his mouth. I could feel my heart beating in my chest whenever Myles came towards us. Myles continues to entertain with a cover of Guns ‘n Roses’ “It’s So Easy”.

All the band members leave the stage while the crew members build what seems to be an acoustic set. Some of the band members get comfortable on the couches onstage, while Glenn Hughes performs a brilliant (Deep Purple) cover of “Mistreated”. Joe Elliott performed a Def Leppard cover of “Two Steps Behind” which the crowd loved singing along to, Ed Roland performed a Collective Soul cover of “The World I Know”. Myles performed a beautiful rendition of Velvet Revolver’s “Fall To Pieces”. I overheard an audience member saying that Myles’s performance of that song was absolutely beautiful! Gilby Clarke took the mic to perform “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to the audience’s delight! That marked the end of the acoustic set and the band left the stage while the crew members cleared the stage.

Glenn Hughes performed “Burn” (Deep Purple cover) and “Communication Breakdown” (Led Zeppelin cover). Ed Roland came in to perform “Slither” (Velvet Revolver cover). Joe Elliott took to the stage to perform “Tie Your Mother Down” (Queen cover) and “All The Young Dudes”, a David Bowie cover which I don’t think the audience was very familiar with. My hero Mr Myles Kennedy came back onstage to wow us with 2 super popular (Guns N’ Roses) covers of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City”. The audience was enthralled by his performance and we couldn’t believe it when the show was over! The audience chanted a few slogans after the show, but it didn’t look like there was going to be an encore, to our dismay.

The long wait was worth it and I trust the shows that followed Friday night was just as impressive! I have to be honest in saying that I’m not very familiar with the older bands that were represented during the night, but I enjoyed every moment. It was the first time that a bass player (Duff McKagan) really made an impression on me. Normally the bass guitar/guitarist seem to fade into the background, but no one could deny his talent. Matt Sorum shined on the drums, the drums forming a crucial part of every song. Gilby Clarke brought his style and flair to the party and even managed to throw in a wardrobe change as well. Glenn Hughes showed off his vocal chords and the crowd really appreciated his contribution. Ed Roland and Joe Elliott added some diversity to the group. Dave Kushner was a nice touch which rounded off the group.

Slash’s performance was pure perfection, as usual, you could really feel and see the love the audience has for him. I could see from the look on Myles’ face that he was enjoying every second of the show, as a performer and an audience member. Myles never stopped smiling. The real treat of the show for me was to see Myles, I still can’t believe I saw him play live. His performance was immaculate.

The only thing I dread after a concert of this magnitude is the withdrawal symptoms/depression that follows the first high after the performance, because music is my drug of choice. :D

I hope that I will one day once again get to see Slash and Myles Kennedy perform in my hometown.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Slash Photo by  WARREN TALMARKES Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Slash
Photo by
WARREN TALMARKES
Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by  WARREN TALMARKES Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by
WARREN TALMARKES
Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by  WARREN TALMARKES Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by
WARREN TALMARKES
Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by  WARREN TALMARKES Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by
WARREN TALMARKES
Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by  WARREN TALMARKES Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Photo by
WARREN TALMARKES
Source: http://www.talmarkes.co.za/kings_of_chaos/

Source: http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA Photograph by Willim Welsyn

Source: http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA
Photograph by Willim Welsyn

Glenn Hughes and Duff McKagan Photograph by Willim Welsyn  Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Glenn Hughes and Duff McKagan
Photograph by Willim Welsyn
Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Ed Roland Photograph by Willim Welsyn  Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Ed Roland
Photograph by Willim Welsyn
Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Matt Sorum Photograph by Willim Welsyn  Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Matt Sorum
Photograph by Willim Welsyn
Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Joe Elliott Photograph by Willim Welsyn  Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Joe Elliott
Photograph by Willim Welsyn
Source:http://www.facebook.com/RollingStoneSA

Frontman of the Week – Corey Taylor

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Early Life

Corey Todd Taylor was born on the 8th of December 1973, he is an American musician famous for his role as lead vocalist and lyricist of Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Corey Taylor was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Corey briefly lived in Orlando with his uncle, although Corey was raised by his mother in Waterloo, Iowa for the most part. Corey described Waterloo as a hole in the ground with buildings around it. He has a Belgian, Polish and Danish background that he inherited from his father’s side.

Corey was raised by his single mother and he grew up not knowing his father. His father left prior to his birth and at his mother’s request remained absent from Corey’s life.

Corey developed a liking toward classic rock after his grandmother introduced it to him. In 1979 Corey and his mother was watching the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century when the trailer for the 1978 horror movie “Halloween” came on. This introduced Corey to masks and horror themes. On the other hand his grandmother fueled his love for rock music playing him a collection of Elvis Presley’s songs from the mid-fifties to late seventies. Corey especially developed a liking toward the songs “Teddy Bear”, “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds”. He also started listening to Black Sabbath starting with their early work.

Corey along with his mother and sister lived in an old dilapidated farmhouse, which in late autumn would look like Black Sabbath’s album covers. By the age of 15 Corey had already developed a drug addiction and by that time he had already overdosed on cocaine twice. At that time Corey was living in Waterloo Iowa, but he later decided to set out on his own. He ended up living in his grandmother’s trailer in Ohio. His grandmother took legal custody of him and helped him buy musical equipment. When Corey was 18 years old he left his grandmother’s trailer and went to various places, but he returned to Des Moines on numerous occassions.

Slipknot

In Des Moines, Iowa, Joey Jordison, Shawn Crahan, and Mick Thomson approached him asking him to join Slipknot. Corey initially agreed to join one of their practice sessions and ended up singing in front of them. Of the nine members that Slipknot consists of Corey was the sixth member to join the band. At the time Corey felt he could expand more in Slipknot than in Stone Sour and he temporarily quit the band even though they were recording an album with Sean McMahon. Corey performed with Slipknot for the first time on the 22nd August 1997, which according to band members did not go well. He performed without a mask the first time, but for the second show Corey wore a mask that resembles his debut album mask. Corey has recorded with Slipknot since the release of their second demo album which was a self-titled demo used to promote the band to prospective labels and producers. He recorded with Slipknot at Indigo Ranch which is situated in Malibu, California.The band’s debut album Slipknot peaked at number one on the Top Heatseekers Chart, it went Double Platinum in the US and it was included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Corey began recording for their second studio album “Iowa” in 2001 at Sound City and Sound Image in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. The album was released on the 28th of August 2001 and peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart, as well as number 3 on the Billboard 200. While writing for Slipknot’s third album Corey decided to write songs that would not call for an explicit label, after critics stated that Corey relied too much on profanity on Slipknot’s second album. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. All Hope Is Gone was the first Slipknot album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200.

Personal Life

Corey has a daughter called Angeline from a previous relationship, she was born in 1992. On the 17th of September 2002 Corey’s then fiance Scarlett Stone gave birth to their son, Griffin Parker. Corey Taylor and Scarlett Stone got married on the 11th of March 2004. Scarlett took it upon herself to face Corey’s mother about the issue of his father’s absence. She demanded from Corey’s mother all the details about his father. When Corey’s mother finally gave in Scarlett hired a private investigator to find Corey’s father. When Corey and his father finally met on the 28th of March 2005 , the reunion turned out very well. Taylor was overjoyed by the reunion stating that “A whole new chapter in my life has opened”. Although Taylor and his father now have a relationship their paths do not cross often. Corey and Scarlett’s marriage lasted 3 years after which they divorced.

Corey has also had alcohol-abuse problems. His drinking worsened as time went by, eventually it reached a point where he would drink when he got up in the morning up and generally wouldn’t stop until he blacked out. According to Corey the problem began to eat away at his family when he became disinterested in the things happening around him and when he showed no concern for the people in his life. Corey made several suicide attempts, all this culminating to the events that took place on the night of the 14th of November 2003. On this night Corey was attempting to jump off the 8 story balcony of Hyyat on Sunset Boulevard. Corey first said that his wife at the time (Scarlett Stone) stopped him from jumping. In an interview with Kerrang! Radio Corey recanted that statement and stated that it was actually his friend Thom Hazaert who stopped him from jumping. Scarlett gave Corey an ultimatum stating that he would either have to sober up or she would annul their marriage.

Stone Sour

Corey and electric guitarist for Stone Sour Josh Rand contacted Jim Root (Slipknot’s guitarist) and Shawn Economaki (Stone Sour’s original bassist) to start writing for their debut album. Original drummer Joel Ekman rejoined the band as well. Corey returned to Stone Sour five years after he left the band and they recorded their debut album Stone Sour in 2002. Stone Sour decided to  record at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Their self-titled debut album was released on the 27th of August 2002 and it made its debut at number 46 on the Billboard 200. Before Stone Sour started recording “Come What(ever) May” in 2006, Corey was sober. Their second album “Come What(ever) May” which was released on the 1st of August 2006  debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. During the recording of their third album drummer Joel Ekman left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Roy Mayorga. On the 7th of September 2010 the group released their third album Audio Secrecy. The House of Gold and Bones is a concept double album. The first part was released in October 2012 and the second part will be released in April 2013. There are 24 songs in total, 12 on each disc.

Other Work

On the 3rd of August 2009 Corey co-hosted the Kerrang! Awards alongside Scott Ian of Anthrax.  On the 13th of November 2009 Corey married Stephanie Luby. The following year the duo co-hosted the awards again. Corey collected the K! Services to Metal Award on behalf of Paul Gray who died as a result of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl. Paul Gray had also shown signs of significant heart disease. In early September of 2010 Corey announced that his book Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good would be released on the 12th of July 2011 through Da Capo Press.

Corey has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Soulfly, Apocalyptica and Damageplan. He also made an appearance on some of Steel Panther’s singles; “Death to All but Metal”, “Eyes of a Panther”, and “Asian Hooker”. In 2006 Corey founded Great Big Mouth Records. He has produced two albums Face Cage’s self-titled album and Walls of Jericho’s Redemption. On the 13th of January 2009 Corey confirmed that he was working on a solo album, but the material didn’t suit any of the main bands that he is a member of. He describes his solo work as a cross between Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash and Social Distortion. Corey says that there is a country background that comes built-in with living in Iowa. Corey and the Junk Beer Kidnap Band performed their first show on the 24th April 2009 at the People’s Court in Des Moines, Iowa, marking Taylor’s first official solo show. Corey has performed with Dum Fux a punk rock, hair metal cover band and Audacious P which is primarily a Tenacious D cover band.

Corey tried out for the place of lead singer for Velvet Revolver, but it didn’t work out. Corey collaborated with Aaron Lewis in July of 2011 while promoting his solo album. Corey also collaborated with Blink-182′s drummer Travis Barker on Barker’s solo album.

My blog post was slightly delayed due to the amount of research I had to do to write the article. I haven’t really listened to Stone Sour prior to this post, but I absolutely love “Do Me A Favor” from the upcoming album “House of Gold & Bones – Part 2″. I couldn’t stop listening to it! I love Stone Sour’s contrast in their songs, the heavy verses which are interchanged with melodic choruses.

“House of Gold & Bones – Part 2″ will be released on the 9th of April 2013.

Corey Taylor is a complex individual with contrasting demeanor. He appears calm and collected during interviews and acoustic performances. He shows his wild side when he is performing with Slipknot and his rebellion when performing with Stone Sour. Corey has a baritone voice (classical male singing voice whose range lies between the bass and tenor voice types). His voice is extremely versatile, his voice can change from a soft melodic tone to a deep growl within seconds. He has used his voice in many ways through melodic singing, growling, screaming, shouting and rapping. Two characteristics Corey has that stands out to me is his diversity and his work ethic. He is always involved in music in one way or another and coming up with fresh ideas.

This was Corey’s thoughts about the Grammy Awards and I have to agree with him. Rock/Metal Awards should be televised, its not like Rock is a niche market like Folk or World music. The Rock music genre should be promoted properly, because millions of people buy rock albums. The rock genre should have more categories too, you can’t throw all of them in one basket, there are various sub-genres within rock music.
You can follow Corey Taylor on Twitter  here: https://twitter.com/CoreyTaylorRock

You can Follow Stone Sour on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/WeAreStoneSour

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinASource:http://atea-cina.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-I-170884081

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinA
Source:http://atea-cina.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-I-170884081

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWingsSource: http://harlotwings.deviantart.com/art/Corey-Taylor-260003788

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWings
Source: http://harlotwings.deviantart.com/art/Corey-Taylor-260003788

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDiseaseSource: http://thenoisedisease.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-Corey-2-48978211

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDisease
Source: http://thenoisedisease.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-Corey-2-48978211

Man of the Moment/Frontman of the week – Myles Kennedy

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Myles Kennedy

Myles Kennedy
Credits go to Katie McPansy and McPansy Photography
Source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/kmcpansy/8037541700/in/photostream/

Today I feature my most recent obsession, Mr Myles Kennedy himself! I can’t wait to tell you more about this talented vocalist and guitar player.

Myles’s story started on the 27th of November 1969 when he was born Myles Richard Bass in Boston, Massachusetts and as a child he moved to a farm in Spokane, Washington. His father Richard Bass died when he was at the tender age of 4. Myles’s mother later remarried to a minister and they took the surname Kennedy. Myles was inspired by musicians Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder and he started playing trumpet at the age of 10 and guitar at the age of 15. He attended Mead High School while he played guitar in the school’s jazz band and trumpet in the school’s marching band. His extracurricular activities included playing in a local heavy metal band called Bittersweet with some of his fellow classmates. Myles found his singing voice by listening to his parents’ Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder records, Myles also states that Robert Plant was a huge influence on him. After graduating in 1988, Myles enrolled in Spokane Falls Community College where he decided to study music.

Upon graduating Myles enrolled in a Commercial Music/Jazz Studies Program at the Community College. Using the skills he learned from this program in 1990 he joined jazz band  Cosmic Dust (Fusion Band) as a guitar player. Myles’s work with Cosmic Dust was very advanced, using his knowledge of jazz theory combined with his advanced technical abilities and interweaving cord changes it wasn’t long before he became a well-respected guitarist among local musicians. Cosmic Dust’s first album, Journey, was released in 1991. The album was well-received by critics.

After the release of Cosmic Dust’s first album, Myles left the band in order to start working on a new band that would become known as Citizen Swing. Myles provided the lead vocals as well as the lead guitar for the band. The band’s sound was a combination of funk, R&B, blues and alternative all rolled into one. They released their first album in 1993 which was called Cure Me With The Groove, Myles helped produce the album. The band consisted of Myles, Craig Johnson on rhythm guitar, bassist Dave Turner, drummer/percussionist Mike Tschirgi and trumpeter Geoff Miller. Citizen Swing’s second album Deep Down was released in 1995. The band disbanded in the same year as their second release. All the music and lyrics on Deep Down was written by Myles Kennedy. Journey, Cure Me With The Groove and Deep Down is obviously highly sought after by fans, but these albums are extremely rare. I wouldn’t mind hearing it either, it should be interesting to hear a young Myles sing a different genre of music.

In 1995, Myles started teaching guitar lessons at a store called Rock City Music (if we only knew then what we know now!). By August 1996 Myles was in a band called The Mayfield Four where he took the role as lead vocalist and lead guitarist of the band. His childhood friends Craig Johnson, Marty Meisner and Zia Uddin completed the lineup for The Mayfield Four. They signed a contract with Epic Records thanks to a critically acclaimed demo the band recorded in 1996 followed by a live extended play called Motion in 1997. The band’s debut album Fallout was supported with a 15-month tour with bands like Creed, Big Wreck and Stabbing Westward. This is where Myles’s voice was introduced to future bandmates Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Philips. Fallout was praised by critics but failed to chart, Craig Johnson was subsequently fired from the band for unknown reasons.

Following the Fallout tour Myles made an appearance in the 2001 drama film Rockstar starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. Myles was contacted by his manager and told that the filmmakers needed someone that could sing high and that his name was mentioned. Myles met Zakk Wylde and Jason Bonham on set. Myles was the only actor in the movie whose real voice was used.

The Mayfield Four’s second and last album Second Skin was released in June 2001. Myles stated in an interview conducted on the 26th of October 2010 with Entertainment-Focus that Second Skin was one of his most personal albums lyrically up until the release of AB III. Although The Mayfield Four was popular they never garnered enough attention to break into the mainstream. In 2002 the future of the band began to look uncertain and Myles began recording new music. The band went on hiatus that year and ultimately disbanded. It was during this time that Myles damaged his ears by listening to music on his headphones that was played at volumes that were too high. This resulted in tinnitus which is defined as the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. Myles fell into a depression in 2002, because of this condition and claimed that he had grown disillusioned with music and the music business. He consequently went on a musical hiatus. Former Guns ‘n Roses guitarist (the one and only) Slash contacted Myles and asked if he was interested to be a vocalist for a new band he was forming now known as Velvet Revolver. Myles declined the offer. Myles continued to work on his music, but took a more acoustic approach.

Myles Kennedy is best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for hard rock band Alter Bridge. In late 2003 Myles was contacted by then-former Creed bandmember Mark Tremonti who wanted Myles do do some vocals on a few tracks he had recently written. Mark, Brian and Scott left Creed in 2000 and wanted to start a new band. Alter Bridge took its name from an actual bridge located near Mark Tremonti’s home in Detroit. Alter Bridge was officially formed in January 2004, their debut album, One Day Remains was released in 2004 by Wind-up Records and it was certified Gold by the RIAA. One Day Remains is the only album released by a band which Myles is officially part of that does not feature Myles playing guitar.

Their second album Blackbird was released in 2007 on Universal Republic to mostly positive reviews. Blackbird featured Myles on guitar as well as some of his songwriting. Mark Tremonti recalls passing Myle’s bedroom one night on his way up to his own room. He heard jazz music coming from Myles’s bedroom, at first he thought it was a CD, but when he entered the room he saw Myles jamming on his guitar. Mark says that Myles hid his guitar skills, because he didn’t want to step on Mark’s toes. Myles knew his current bandmates contacted him for his voice and not his guitar skills. Myles’s guitar skills turned out to be quite an asset to the band and it brought a new dimension to their music. Alter Bridge toured in support of Blackbird from 2007 through to 2008. They released a concert film Live in Amsterdam an it was sold through Amazon.com in 2009 and in stores in 2011 after several delays.

Alter Bridge took a break in 2009, while the bandmembers were busy with various projects, but they continued to write music throughout the year. In early 2009 Myles confirmed that he was working on a solo project and described it as being “dreamy” the opposite of Alter Bridge’s more aggressive sound. Myles described the material as being more singer/songwirter based. A firm release date has not been announced and in 2010 the album was put on hold. Myles has previously confirmed that Slash will appear on the record. In late 2009 it was reported that Myles will be working with Slash on his solo debut album. Myles has co-written Starlight and Back from Cali and provided the vocals on the tracks. On February 3rd, 2010 Slash announced that Myles would provide the vocals on his tour supporting his self-titled solo album. The self-titled solo album from Slash was released in April 2010. Alter Bridge regrouped later that year (2009) and began working on AB III and it was released in 2010 through Roadrunner Records worldwide, except in North America where the album was self-released on Alter Bridge Recordings via EMI.

Myles wrote about his personal experience concerning faith, belief and spirituality. According to Mark Tremonti Myles is an atheist, but Myles has stated in an interview with Kerrang! Magazine that he is somewhere between being an atheist and being a Christian. Myles has said that despite being raised in a Christian household he does not believe in any organised religion. Myles considers himself to be part of a growing segment of the community who questions authority and scrutinize concepts that no longer seem as logical as they once did. I can sympathise with his views on this subject. Myles has said that this is his most personal album since Second Skin from The Mayfield Four. A second concert film Live at Wembley was released on the 26th March 2012. I need to get my hands on these dvds ASAP!

Slash’s second album Apocalyptic Love features Myles Kennedy as the sole vocalist and along with Bobby Schneck, Todd Kerns, Brent Fitz and Slash they complete the lineup for the album. Apocalyptic Love was released on May 22nd, 2012. Myles reportedly mentioned that some of the lyrics on the album dealt with his earlier experiences with drugs. You can read my review for Apocalyptic Love here: http://therockriff.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/apocalyptic-love-album-review-2/

“April 14, 2012, Kennedy performed three Guns N’ Roses songs with five former members of Guns N’ Roses during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in Axl Rose‘s absence.” – Source - Jordan Zakarin (April 16, 2012). “Guns N’ Roses Perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction with Myles Kennedy in Axl Rose’s Absence”. Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/guns-n-roses-perform-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-myles-kennedy-axl-rose-312396.

Myles has collaborated with numerous musicians over the years including a collaboration in 2005 with Chris Jericho from Fozzy where Myles sang the chorus of “Nameless Faceless” from their album All That Remains.

Myles is influenced by a wide range of artists from different genres ranging from jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, soul to name a few.

Myles has stated at various times that Jeff Buckley is a major influence on him as a singer. Myles says that Jeff Buckley’s emotional intensity was one of the most inspirational things for him as a singer and made him come to terms with the fact that he is a tenor. A tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register( a vocal register most frequently used in speech and singing in most languages).

In February of 2012 I decided on impulse to purchase AB III from a local online store, I wanted to see what all the hype surrounding Myles and Alter Bridge was about since I’ve heard quite a lot about them on Twitter. I follow the Creed bandmembers and I became aware of Myles and Alter Bridge in that manner. I became irritated with the fact that I was in the dark and that I had no knowledge of this band. I had to grow accustomed to Myles’s voice on my first few listens, since it isn’t common to hear a tenor singing rock music. After a few days I was hooked and my love for Alter Bridge consumes me everytime I listen to their albums. I now have all three albums and I listen to them on a daily basis.

Personally I love the soft, mysterious tone of Myles’s voice on Slip To The Void and his amazing vocal acrobatics on All Hope Is Gone. I love his emotional delivery of the song In Loving Memory and his aggressive tone in Ties That Bind. I love his uplifting high notes on Rise Today. His performance on Apocalyptic Love showcases the variety in his voice and his lighter side. He starts off softly on Not For Me and then the song escalates up to where he makes his stand against drugs and the lifestyle that goes with it. I’m so glad that I bought that album and I look forward to many more years of listening to his beautiful voice.

Listen to Myles Kennedy’s rendition of Hallelujah:

Myles is suffering from Bronchitis and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.

Myles is currently on tour with Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

See tour dates here: http://slashonline.com/tour/

Myles Kennedy

Source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/pitschspics/7449808058/
Copyright: Claude Piscitelli

You can follow Myles Kennedy on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/MylesKennedy

Myles Kennedy

Myles Kennedy
Copyright: Wolfgang Schultes

Rock Regards,

Lauren K