Band of the Month – The Pretty Reckless

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The Pretty Reckless are an American hard rock band from New York. The band now consists of  Taylor Momsen (Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar), Ben Phillips (Lead guitar, Backing Vocals), Mark Damon (Bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums).

The band The Reckless formed in 2009, but changed their name to The Pretty Reckless to avoid trademark problems.  Taylor Momsen worked with different producers for two years before she met Kato Khandwala, she liked him, because he was a rock producer as opposed to a pop producer. Kato introduced Taylor to Ben Phillips and the three of them started writing songs together. At the time three unnamed musicians was hired to perform alongside Taylor Momsen. The band played their first concert on the 5th of May 2009 at the Annex in New York, seven concerts followed and then the band’s lineup changed. The band’s new line-up consisted of Momsen on vocals, John Secolo on guitar, Matt Chiarelli on bass, and Nick Carbone on drums. The latest line-up’s first show together also took place at the Annex theater on the 3rd of June 2009. The band recorded some demos in 2009 and opened for The Veronicas in 2010. In 2010 three of the band members left, leaving Taylor Momsen looking for three new members to complete the band’s line-up.

Ben Phillips, Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins are part of the band’s current line-up. The band signed with Interscope Records and planned to release their debut album in 2010. The band’s main influences are The Beatles, Oasis and Nirvana. Taylor Momsen’s personal influences include Joan Jett and Kurt Cobain. On the 30th of December the band released a new song called “Make Me Wanna Die” and offered to their fans as a limited-time free download on Interscope Record’s website. The song appeared on the movie Kick-Ass’s Soundtrack and features in the end credits of the film. On the 9th of April 2010 the band performed at the “Vans Warped Tour 2010 Kick-Off Party” and they played at The Bamboozle music festival on the 1st of May 2010. Their first EP released on the 22nd of June 2010 and received mixed reactions It contained four songs, three of which was released on their debut album these are “Make Me Wanna Die”, “My Medicine”, “Goin Down”. Their debut album “Light Me Up” was released on the 27th of August 2010. The US release of Light Me Up was delayed not being released until February 2011. “Miss Nothing” was the second single released from Light Me Up. The Evanescence tour was the third worldwide concert tour for the American rock band Evanescence. The Pretty Reckless was the opening act for their tour. The band was confirmed as the opening act for the Guns ‘n Roses Chinese Democracy tour in November of 2012. In 2012 two more singles off of the band’s debut album was released namely “You” and “My Medicine”, music videos for both singles were made.

The Medicine Tour was the second headlining tour by the band in support of their album “Light Me Up” and their 2012 EP Hit Me Like A Man. The tour consisted of 52 North American shows, 5 South American shows and 2 shows in Asia.

Their second EP “Hit Me Like A Man” featured 3 new songs and 2 live versions of songs off of their 2010 release Light Me Up. On the 6th of October 2012 a soundtrack called Frankenweenie Unleashed! was released to support the film Frankenweenie, the Target version of the soundtrack included a new song by The Pretty Reckless called “Only You”. In November 2012 Taylor Momsen turned to Twitter to vent her frustration with the havoc that Hurricane Sandy caused. All of thier recording equipment had been destroyed due to he fact that New York City was pounded by the storm.

Momsen tweeted: “Our studio, all its gear, all our guitars, destroyed… fuckyouhurricanesandy… At least we are safe. There are thousands less fortunate,  our thoughts are with you, hang in there.”

Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/taylor-momsen-band-pretty-reckless-see-equipment-loss-due-to-hurricane-sandy/10297408#p1EwYpehk6v2VW1o.99

On the 11th of December the band’s fourth single called “Kill Me” was released. The song featured on the last episode of Gossip Girl, but the song won’t be included on the new album. On the 9th of January Amp Rock TV released a video of Taylor Momsen and Ben Phillips performing an acoustic version of “Cold Blooded”. On the 30th of May 2013 the band released a new teaser trailer for their new album “Going To Hell”. The first single off the new album will be bear the same title as the album “Going To Hell”. The song was released on the 24th of September and a music video will follow soon. The “Going To Hell Tour” will be the band’s third headlining tour and it will be in support of their second album. The tour begun on the 20th of September 2013.

I decided to feature The Pretty Reckless as the Band of the Month, because they are entertaining to watch. The band isn’t afraid of controversy and sound great live. The Pretty Reckless are gutsy, talented and determined to delight their fans.

You can follow Taylor Momsen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylormomsen

You can follow The Pretty Reckless on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPROfficial

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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Lead Vocalist of the Week – M.Shadows

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Matthew Charles Samuels was born on the 31st of July 1981, better known as M.Shadows the lead vocalist and songwriter for the American heavy metal band, Avenged Sevenfold. M.Shadows posesses the voice type of high baritone. A baritone is a classical male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voice types, the baritone is the most common male voice type. He is well-known for his gritty singing style and occasional screaming.

M.Shadows started singing at an early age, but his interest in rock music grew as he got older and started playing the guitar. His early musical experience with the piano, had a strong influence on his guitar playing and singing voice. He attended Huntington Beach High School where he played in a punk band called “Successful Failure” for a brief period. M.Shadows later formed Avenged Sevenfold in 1999 along with his high school friends Zacky Vengeance, The Rev and Matt Wendt. Soon after one of The Rev’s friends joined the band as the lead guitarist. In 2001 the band released their first studio album called Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, the album gained mixed to positive reviews from critics. The band released their second album Waking The Fallen in 2003 and the band played the Vans Warped tour later that year. While discussing the band’s name, M.Shadows says that all the band members had the task of coming up with a list of names and he was the only one who completed the task. Avenged Sevenfold is a reference to the Book of Genesis, a name that the band  preferred over Lips of Deceit, another biblical note.

M.Shadows like the rest of the band has stage names, because many of the bands that inspired them for example Slash from Guns ‘n Roses and Munky of  Korn had stage names. He decided on the name M.Shadows, because he felt like the darker character of the group and he used M instead of his first name Matthew due to the way it sounded.

Shadows’ vocal style has evolved over the years, initially on the band’s first album he used a harsh metalcore-style growls with limited use of clean vocals. The release of the band’s second album demonstrated his progression towards melodic vocal melodies but still retained a strong screaming influence. With the release of City of Evil the band’s first major label release in 2005 featured minimal background screaming, stronger vocal melodies and increased attention on harmonies and melodic hooks. This change resulted in vocal contributions from each band member during live performances and remained prevalent on every album the band has released since 2005 with two exceptions being God Hates Us and Not Ready To DIe which returns to the band’s style of their earlier releases between 1999 – 2003.

One of M.Shadows biggest influences is Guns ‘n Roses, he cites them as the reason for him being in a band and writing music in the first place. He was also influenced by bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne and Pantera. M.Shadows says that Megadeth are the reason they incorporated a classic metal sound into their music, because that type of sound crosses over and extreme metal doesn’t.

Some might say that these influences was what lead to Machine Head frontman Rob Flynn calling “Hail To The King” a covers album. Rob went as far as to list 10 jokes about the album and the similarities the album/songs have with other classic rock bands. After Chris Jericho (Fozzy singer/WWE Wrestler) made M.Shadows aware of the comment he responded to the claim by shrugging it off and taking it as a joke. He has met Rob on many occasions and he says that Rob has always been friendly to him. As a joke M.Shadows thinks Rob might have gone a little overboard, but he realizes that everyone has their own opinion.

I decided to feature M.Shadows on the blog when I saw a screenshot of their “Hail To The King” music video on Loudwire.com. I was very impressed with the video’s style and the execution. I will admit that I was pretty intrigued by M.Shadow’s long hair, although the overall verdict on YouTube didn’t sound as positive. I’ a sucker for a guy with long hair!

The following quote was taken from an interview M.Shadows had with Metal Injection: http://www.metalinjection.net/latest-news/drama/avenged-sevenfolds-m-shadows-declares-metal-dropped-off-after-the-90s

“We feel that metal dropped off after the ’90s in terms of production and songwriting,” Shadows said after naming the likes of Pantera, Metallica and Megadeth as the new record’s main influences. “Metal music isn’t at the forefront as much as it used to be.”

The vocalist elaborated further, “We wanted to write a record that was highly influenced by the early ’90s records and mid-’80s records we grew up on. Then we went back even further and were influenced by [Black] Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. We studied those records, looked at what they were doing and how they were doing it. A lot of them came out of the blues, so we studied the blues and classical music. We just wanted to write a record that was different.”

View the latest video from Avenged Sevenfold here:

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheOfficialA7X

Source: AVENGED SEVENFOLD PHOTO SESSION SHOT AT CLUB REVOLUTION. FT LAUDERDALE , FL. 17 OCTOBER 2005. PICTURES LARRY MARANO/LFI © LARRY MARANO/LONDON FEATURES

Source: AVENGED SEVENFOLD PHOTO SESSION SHOT AT CLUB REVOLUTION. FT LAUDERDALE , FL. 17 OCTOBER 2005. PICTURES LARRY MARANO/LFI © LARRY MARANO/LONDON FEATURES

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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. 😀

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