Band Feature – KONGOS

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

 

Kongos Perform at JBTV Music Television Studios in Chicago, IL

Kongos Perform at JBTV Music Television Studios in Chicago, IL – Source: Kongos Official Facebook Page

 

13920789_10154130849135589_6610212323573118562_n

The Kongos’ label, Just Music, presented us with a plaque for Lunatic going Gold! (South Africa)

The youngest of the four Kongo brothers, Danny was born in South Africa. The other three brothers were born in London and moved to South Africa when they were more or less one to two years old. They grew up surrounded by music as their father was John Kongos, a South-African musician who enjoyed two Top 5 UK pop hits in the early seventies.Over time he gravitated more towards the production side of the industry, he enjoyed the studio more than he did touring. His father built his own studio and he worked together with producer Mutt Lange on Def Leppard’s “Pyromania”.

The family moved from South Africa to Paradise Valley in 1996 and this is where the boys had a chance to hone their craft in the basement studio and cut their latest album. All four brothers attended Chaparral High School, only Johnny and Jesse tried college, but both of them never finished. The brothers wanted to earn their living through music and Jesse and Johnny were playing in jazz groups. Danny and Dylan didn’t finish High School and never had the desire to have a career in anything but music, school was viewed as an obstacle by the brothers more than as a means to an end.

The Kongos played their first show at a coffee shop in Mesa in 2003, the place was packed. The Kongos’ friends and family came out to support the band and thereafter the number of audience members dwindled, but that first show gave the band a taste of what it felt like to play to a larger audience. The brothers always had their parents’ support, their dad was in the music business which meant they had access to an amazing facility and mentor.

The band went on to hone their craft releasing their debut album “Kongos” in 2007. The album did not spawn any major breakthroughs. Fast forward to 2010 and the band had a lot of expenses recording and touring, but they weren’t generating a lot of income. They had already recorded a large part of their sophomore album “Lunatic” and were performing the songs live. They were sending songs to record labels and radio DJs, to no avail. The band was starting to doubt the longevity of their music career when they got a break at a radio station in Phoenix and started generating interest. Soon another radio station started playing their songs which reflected in the size of the audiences they were performing for in Phoenix.

The band sent e-mails to various radio stations across the world among them South Africa ,the program director for 5FM (national radio station) responded, because he loved the song and decided to play it to more or less 2 million listeners.

The station played “I’m Only Joking” and The Kongos blew up overnight. The proof of the country’s reaction was evident with the influx of people who “Liked” the band’s official Facebook page and interacted with posts. After an extensive tour in South Africa the band went back to the United States and it took another year for the band to have a breakthrough. In the meantime the band wasn’t being idle and they worked on what would eventually become “Egomaniac”.

Initially their record label Tokoloshe Records decided to push the single“I’m Only Joking” based on its performance on KWSS and 5FM. A DJ called Nerf heard something special in the song “Come With Me Now” and started playing it in it in Denver on KTCL-FM. The single received the biggest reaction for his station than ever seen before. “Come With Me Now” started the fastest climb up the Billboard Alternative Songs chart by an unknown artist since Evanescence did the same with “Bring Me To Life”. They had to set aside the new material they were working on in order to concentrate their efforts and capitalize on their platinum breakthrough. A lot of the material had already been written or was in the demo-ing process, due to the lag of success between South Africa and the United States.

 

The downside of the success of “Come With Me Now” is the high expectations for the band to deliver a smashing follow-up single. The life of the first single was extended due to the success that it experienced.

The brothers’ goal with their latest album was to turn fans of their hit single “Come With Me Now” into fans of the band as a whole. “Take It From Me” is the first single from the “Egomaniac” and it’s well on its way to become the band’s second hit single.

The Kongos care a lot about their sound production and they have invested a lot of money to upgrade their equipment instead of the studio. The band was determined to retain their stamp on their music, while still creating something new, unique and fresh.

The Kongos are currently on tour and they performed in Cape Town last night and they are performing at the Oppikoppi Festival tomorrow.

The Kongos are a unique band with a “flavour” of their own that sets them apart from the competition. If you want to explore your taste in music then this is the place to start.

Follow the band on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KONGOS

Follow Jesse Kongos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JesseKONGOS

Follow Dylan Kongos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DylanKONGOS

Follow Danny Kongos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dannyKONGOS

Follow Johnny Kongos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnnyKongos

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

OppiKoppi_500x500B7qEzQsIUAEbnjRiok

 

 

Advertisements

5 GREAT Cover Songs by Rock Musicians

Like The Rock Riff on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

I love listening to great covers of great songs, but hearing it being performed by a rock band that I like is fantastic. Bands do cover songs for various reasons, to prove to their fans that they are versatile, for marketing purposes, to show their talent or to appeal to a different fan base. Whichever the reason I know I’m always interested to see what a band will be able to do with a popular song or a song that is in another genre. It lets the fans see the band in a new light and it captivates fans of other genres of music.

In no particular order here are 5 of my favourite cover songs that I would like to share with my readers.

Number 1 : 30 Seconds To Mars – Where The Streets Have No Name orginally by U2

Jared Leto really impressed me with the quality of his voice on this song and the elegant way in which the band performed the song. I get goosebumps every time I listen to their version. One of my favourite cover songs for sure!

 

 

Number 2: Smith & Myers – Someone Like You originally by Adele

Smith & Myers, vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Shinedown did a variety of cover songs for their fans that are available on iTunes, but this is my favourite one as I was wondering where they would go with a song as big as Adele’s Someone Like You. It’s really interesting to hear the male vocal on this song in particular and they made it their own which is quite difficult to do with such an iconic song.

 

 

Number 3: Halestorm – Get Lucky originally by Daft Punk

When such a radio-freindly mainstream song gets a makeover it is really refreshing.I love the rock version of Get Lucky. Its gives the song new life. Halestorm have released EPs featuring some great covers, but this one stood out to me, because it was in a genre far-removed from what the band normally does.

 

Number 4: Device ft Lzzy Hale – Close My Eyes Forever originally by Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford

What an intimidating song to cover, but no need to worry it was absolutely effortless for David Draiman and Lzzy Hale. They didn’t just do the song justice they dominated it. The combination of Lzzy and David’s voices are impeccable and so is the production of the song.

 

 

Number 5: Santana ft Chris Daughtry – Photograph originally by Def Leppard

In my opinion Chris injects some vigour into the song which some might consider as a classic song that is better left untouched. I truly enjoy the combination of Santana’s flawless guitar solos and Chris’s powerful, belting voice. To me this version catapulted the song into the 21st century.

 

Have your say below, which cover song featured here is your favourite?

 

Have a fantastic week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Kings of Chaos Concert Review – 07/06/2013

Like The Rock Riff on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

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. 😀

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

Sinner’s Creed: A Memoir

For the latest rock music news “Like” The Rock Riff on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff. TheRR logo

 

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

 

 

As promised on our Facebook page The Rock Riff will now be reviewing Scott Stapp‘s uncensored Memoir.

I have looked forward to reading this book since I heard about it more or less a year before its release date. I had a few questions on my mind on Creed- and Scott Stapp’s history, I was eager to have those questions answered by reading this memoir.

Was/is Creed a Christian band?

Were the relationships within the band completely restored after their reunion in 2009?

Has Scott Stapp fully recovered from his addiction (s)?

Will Scott Stapp admit to his shortcomings in this book?

Did any violence occur when the police arrested Scott Stapp at his home in 2006?

Did Scott Stapp try to commit suicide?

All of my questions were about answered by the time I finished reading the book.

I will share a few highlights from the first part of the book and after that I will give my personal opinion on the book.

The book starts by recounting the incident at The Delano Hotel, Miami Beach on the 18th of November 2006 when Scott fell 20 feet and landed on his forehead. It is amazing that he survived that fall, even the doctors couldn’t believe it.

From an early age Scott was forced to be the man of the house after his biological father, a marine left his mom and two sisters behind. He took the responsibility upon himself to be the family’s protector/guardian.

Religion played an increasingly important role in Scott’s early childhood and later in his young adulthood. Scott’s grandfather was a descendant of Indian heritage and Scott loved spending time with his grandfather at the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina, where his grandfather owned land and a cabin. His grandfather had a different approach to Christianity, he saw God in nature and his surroundings.

At the age of nine Steve Stapp entered his life, Scott loved the man who promised to protect and look after his mother and sisters. Steve Stapp married Scott’s mother and legally adopted Scott. Anthony Scott Flippen was renamed Scott Alan Stapp. He perceived the adoption as a way to start over.

When Steve became an official member of the family, he became the head of the household and he made sure everyone knew it. Steve wanted Scott to improve his behaviour at school and to bring home nothing less than an A in every subject. Fear started to rule every aspect of Scott’s life, fear of disappointing God and his stepfather Steve.

Scott was introduced to rock music by a friend who brought over a record of Def Leppard. In the middle of listening to the song “Rock of Ages” Scott’s dad burst in his bedroom door, his dad told his friend to go home. Steve told Scott that Rock ‘n Roll was not music, it was an instrument of Satan. He forbid Scott to ever listen to any music where an electric guitar is played. Scott promised never to listen to rock music again, but that wasn’t enough, so Steve decided to give him a beating to make sure he stopped listening to rock music.

One Saturday Scott spent an evening at a friend’s house and was told to be home at 6 a.m. the following day so that he could go to church. Scott overslept and received a spanking in full view of his family. After this incident Steve Stapp introduced the children to The Timer. The Timer was set to 5 minutes, the time allotted for Scott to shower and brush his teeth, 6 minutes to get dressed, gather his books and to be seated at the kitchen table. If he wasn’t in his chair when The Timer went off he would receive a beating. After breakfast he had five minutes to wash, dry and put away the breakfast dishes and then two minutes to put on his coat and get to the car. If The Timer went off you would receive a beating with no exceptions.

Scott received beatings every Monday night for the sins he didn’t get caught committing. He wasn’t permitted to date or even go out to watch a movie, so he put all his energy into sports. After a terrible fight during which Steve hit Scott’s mother Scott decided to take his car and escape his household. He went to live with a friend for about two months, until his father started to lure him back home by exploiting his weaknesses. Scott received offers from the Naval Academy, Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania. Steve led Scott to believe that the schools were not offering full scholarships and that he should attend a Christian school instead, which led Scott to attend Lee University.

When Scott arrived at Lee University he realised just how sheltered his life had been. He had never tasted beer, he had never seen/smoked marijuana and he had never kissed a girl before. Scott got expelled for smoking marijuana after he admitted to smoking it to the dean.

Scott decided to attend Tallahassee Community College and planned to transfer to FSU. He met up with Mark Tremonti and they decided to start a band together, a band that will eventually become Creed.

The years in which I listened to Creed as a teenager, I had heard through the media that Creed was a Christian band. I never understood that statement at all. In my mind a Christian band would sing their praise to God directly through their lyrics. Analysing Creed’s lyrics I interpret their songs as an ongoing struggle with faith, religion, being human and God.

It was unfortunate that they were branded with a Christian label. I find their music to be emotional and spiritual, it is an experience that cannot be replicated. As a listener Creed’s music allows for deeper introspection. It makes me realise how flawed we are and how we will always strive to be better than ourselves. If it wasn’t for the Christian label and being called “uncool”, I think Creed would have been taken more seriously by music critics and music fans alike. Creed delivers heavy melodic rock music and their lyrics have meaning. What more could a fan of rock music ask for?

I found the book really enlightening when it came to the events that shaped Scott Stapp as the man he is today and the events that shaped Creed.

If you are looking for a book that describes the details of all the debauchery that occurred during Creed’s career, you will have to look elsewhere. The book does not glorify any behaviour typically associated with rock stars.

This book taught me a lot about the music industry, people, fame and depression. In my opinion it is of the utmost importance that depression is mentioned throughout the book. It demonstrates the power of the illness and how it can continue to haunt you to the point where you implode/explode. It is a common belief that if someone is depressed they sulk and hide in their room/home until they feel better or receive medication. Depression rears its head from time to time if left untreated, it is the long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or the inability to visualize a happy future. The sufferer is forced to lead a normal life and to pretend to feel normal, even sometimes fooling themselves. Another description of depression is a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include self-inflicted injury or suicide.

When Creed reunited in 2009, I found it really strange that it wasn’t being marketed through the social media sites, radio or news websites. Some people probably still don’t know that Creed has reunited. The reason for this is revealed in the book and it just demonstrated to me once more what people will do for money.

Any musician or band that is on the brink of being discovered or has had a taste of fame will do themselves a favour by reading this book. I know it’s not possible to avoid all the pitfalls that you will face during your career, but at least you can say that you entered it with eyes wide open.

Personally I think it was unfair that people/the media was judging Scott for being a Christian or a hypocrite. All Christians have sinned during their lifetime, its part of being human. To hold someone in the public eye to different standards than you do yourself is in itself hypocrisy.

I really admire Scott’s wife Jaclyn’s role in his life and that of her family. Her family seem like sophisticated, educated and loving people.

A great read if you’re interested in learning more about Scott Stapp, Creed or just interested in learning more about humanity.

You can follow Scott Stapp on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottStapp

You can follow Sinner’s Creed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SINNERS_CREED

You can like Sinner’s Creed on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SinnersCreed

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Source: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/OOoypwpUg8Z/NASCAR+Sprint+All+Star+Race/MSYbbWRuWKa/Scott+Stapp(May 21, 2010 - Source: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Source: http://www.zimbio.com/
(May 21, 2010 – Source: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)