Lead Vocalist Feature – Tommy Vext

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Thomas Cummings was born on the 15th of April 1982. He is better known by his stage name Tommy Vext and is known for being the lead vocalist for Bad Wolves, Snot, Divine Heresy and Westfield Massacre. In 2017 Tommy filled in for Ivan Moody on Five Finger Death Punch’s European arena tour when the vocalist checked into a medical facility.

Tommy started his music career in Brooklyn, New York as a teenager singing in local hardcore bands and he engaged in freestyle rap battles with the neighbourhood’s hopefuls. He even snuck into the nightclubs for his own shows, because he was too young to enter.

In 1996, he formed the band Maniacal Disciple with some friends, Jim Donovan, Steve Perlmutter and Mike Kontaras. They eventually changed their name to Vext based on Wu-Tang’s lyrics and it became Tommy’s nickname in the New York hardcore scene.

In 2005 at the Roadrunner’s 25th anniversary show Tommy was invited to sing with Corey Taylor from Slipknot.

In 2006 Tommy was recruited by Dino Cazares from Fear Factory to be the front man for his new band Divine Heresy. Their debut studio album “Bleed The Fifth” was released in the United States on the 28th of August 2007  by Century Media Records. The album was produced by Logan Mader, formerly of Machine Head and guitarist for Soulfly. “Bleed The Fifth” was met with warm reviews by the critics and fans alike.

Tommy was responsible for the majority of the lyrics which was influenced by the Book of Revelation, natural disasters, war and terrorism.

Due to unresolvable differences between Tommy and Dino Cazares, Tommy parted with Divine Heresy in 2008. Later on bassist Joe Payne and drummer Tim Yeung broke ties with Dino as well.

Snot is an American heavy metal band from Santa Barbara, California that was formed in 1995. Their debut studio album “Get Some” was released in 1997 with Lynn Strait on lead vocals. The band disbanded after Lynn’s death in 1998. In 2008 the band reformed with Tommy on lead vocals. The band did a fall tour in 2008 in the USA in support of DevilDriver. Snot went on hiatus again when the original guitarist Sonny Mayo left the band. In 2014 Snot reunited at the Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood. They played three more shows in Southern California before going quiet once again.

In 2011 Tommy Vext reformed Vext with members of Mutiny Within, along with guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi. The band releseased an EP titled Impernance in 2012 and a year later they released another EP Broke is the New Black.

After his stint with Snot, Vext moved on and formed a new band known as “Westfield Massacre”. The band released their self-titled debut album on Urban Yeti Records 2016. In 2017, Vext began working on a side project with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin Vext left Westfield while he was on tour with Five Finger Death Punch.

In 2016 Tommy formed a new band with former DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin, named Bad Wolves. Guitarists Doc Coyle (Vagus Nerve, God Forbid), Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead) and later bassist Kyle Konkiel formerly of In This Moment were recruited for the project. During the summer of 2016 they headed to the studio to start recording the bands’ debut album. They headed off to AudioHammer studios with longtime collaborator Mark Lewis who has worked with Trivium and All That Remains to name a few.

On the 2nd of May 2017, Bad Wolves independently premiered a song titled “Learn To Live” coupled with a music video. In November 2017 it was announced that Bad Wolves had signed with Eleven Seven Music and Zoltan Bathory (founding guitarist of FFDP) became the band’s manager.

Bad Wolves released their debut studio album “Disobey”on the 11th of May 2018 through Eleven Seven Music. The album reached number 23 on the US Billboard 200. In November 2017, the band released their second single “Toast To The Ghost”. On the 18th of January 2018, they released a third single , which was a cover of The Cranberries “Zombie” and it charted on multiple charts. The cover of this song took the band’s reputation to a another level and placed them on everyone’s radar. The Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was meant to have performed the song with the band, but she passed away prior to recording the song. The music video for the song was released on the 22nd of February 2018, it paid tribute to the singer and the original music video.

The song topped the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, while the music video was viewed more than 170 million times. The single is certified platinum in Canada, the United States and gold in Germany.

The band toured with Breaking Benjamin, Starset, Shinedown and Five Finger Death Punch for the first half of 2018.

One of the most fascinating parts of Tommy’s story is the home invasion he experienced in 2010. He was attacked by his twin brother when he was high in his own home. His brother is currently serving 17 years behind bars for attempted murder and Tommy had to testify against him.

“Remember When” one of the songs from “Disobey” was written describing Tommy’s childhood and his relationship with his twin brother. It describes two people who lived the exact same life and went through the same hardships, advantages, disadvantages and were ultimately defined as adults by the different choices they made. Their lives reflect the choices that they made as individuals.

I’m in awe by how Tommy handled the adversities he had to face and how he ended up overcoming them. He now helps other creative people face their addictions in order to overcome them and he helps people fight depression. By doing this Tommy feels that he has found his purpose and he passionately embarks on a mission to better others’ lives as well as his own.

If you want to read more about Tommy’s personal life, here is a link to the article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brick-brick/201808/tommy-vext-and-the-deafening-sound-self-termination

Rock Regards, Lauren K

Band of the Month – We Are Harlot

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First of all I would like to thank Roadrunner Records for making me aware of this band. Suddenly this band’s name popped up everywhere on social media and on Roadrunner Records’ newsletter. Eventually I decided to see what all the hype was about…I now know EXACTLY what it was about ;). I love their latest single “Dancing on Nails”.

We Are Harlot often shortened to just Harlot is a rock band organised by Danny Worsnop (formerly of Asking Alexandria) and guitarist Jeff George (formerly of Sebastian Bach). The lineup is comprised of Brian Weaver from Silvertide and drummer Bruno Agra (formerly of Revolution Renaissance). The band’s goal is to be a rock and roll band inspired by legendary bands such as Aerosmith, KISS, Def Leppard and Van Halen, intending to be a modern re-creation of 80’s rock and roll music.

In 2011 Danny Worsnop met Jeff George met due to the fact that they used the same lawyer Eric German in Los Angeles. After the meeting the two members moved in together as roommates and Danny invited Bruno which then lead to the three of them recording some demos. Initially the material was going to be used as material for Danny’s solo record, but they advertised the role for a full-time bassist, met Brian Weaver from Silvertide and developed into a band.

In 2014 the band was announced as one of the acts of the annual rock festival Rock on the Range under the name “We Are Harlot” and it was the first time that the band performed in front of a live audience. Initially the band was named Harlot, but due to copyright and legal issues the name changed to “We Are Harlot”. Upon signing to Roadrunner Records, the band explained that when the time came to sign a record deal, a lot of record labels came calling. Roadrunner championed the band from the start and their foundations are built on great rock ‘n roll bands that the band loves. We Are Harlot would love to continue carrying the torch for rock ‘n roll culture.

After their performance at Rock on the Range the band played at many other different festivals and tours including Rocklahoma in May where they replaced Trivium when their lead singer damaged his voice.  The song ‘Denial was released last year and drew attention from the WWE, who picked the track to be the new theme song of the its television program Monday Night Raw. We Are Harlot supported The Pretty Reckless on the 28th of May at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and performed “Denial” at WWE Raw on the 18th of August. The band also performed at 2014’s Aftershock festival in September.

In early 2015 the band issued a statement via Rocksound magazine announcing that they will be releasing their debut album in March 2015. ‘We Are Harlot’ was recorded at Steakhouse Studios in North Hollywood, Calif., and produced by Kato Khandwala (The Pretty Reckless) along with Worsnop, George and Agra. After releasing their second single “Dancing On Nails” the band made their debut album available for pre-order on iTunes for the 31st March 2015. Danny Worsnop announced his departure from Asking Alexandria, stating that he thinks Asking Alexandria will do better without him and he would like to focus more on We Are Harlot. The band’s presence is confirmed for South Florida’s ‘Fort Rock’ festival, North Florida’s ‘Rockville’ festival in April 2015, Rock on the Range, ‘Northern Invasion’ based in Somerset both of the latter taking place in May and the band will be performing at Download Festival in June.

I love this band, because they have an unbridled fire and passion which make them a force to be reckoned with. I’m happy to see a band setting out to deliver a modern twist on rock ‘n roll music which is right up my alley. Everything that We Are Harlot do seems effortless which makes their music even more enjoyable. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much, much more of this band.

I think it took a lot of faith in his band mates and courage for Danny Worsnop to leave a successful band to start a new band. After hearing their songs I can see why he made the drastic change and it counts in their favour that none of them are new to the industry which is a great advantage. I believe this band will go from strength to strength.

Have a look at the band’s 2 fantastic music videos:

Dancing On Nails

The One

We Are Harlot, ‘We Are Harlot’ Track Listing:

1. ‘Dancing On Nails’
2. ‘DLT’
3. ‘Someday’
4. ‘Denial’
5. ‘Easier To Leave’
6. ‘One More Night’
7. ‘Never Turn Back’
8. ‘The One’
9. ‘Love For The Night’
10. ‘Flying Too Close To The Sun’
11. ‘I Tried’

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

Follow Danny Worsnop here: https://twitter.com/dannyworsnop

Follow Brian Weaver here: https://twitter.com/BrianWeaverYO

Follow Jeff George here: https://twitter.com/jeffgeorgemusic

Follow Bruno Agra here: https://twitter.com/TheCatBruno

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Source: https://www.facebook.com/weareharlot/photos_stream?ref=page_internal The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer
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The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer
Source: https://www.facebook.com/weareharlot/photos_stream?ref=page_internal The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer
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The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer

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The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer

Source: https://www.facebook.com/weareharlot/photos_stream?ref=page_internal The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer

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The Rock Riff does not own this image. Credits to the photographer

Band of the Month – Airbourne

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Airbourne formed in 2003 as a hard rock band hailing from the Victorian town of Warrnambool, populated by 32,000 people. At a very early age Joel ‘O Keeffe’s main interest was listening to the albums that he had stolen from his uncle which included bands like Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, The Angels, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs and Cold Chisel. By the tender age of 11 Joel had picked his first guitar trying to emulate his Oz-rock idols. Joel’s younger brother Ryan was paying close attention to Joel’s hobby and soon after he was under the same spell as his brother. Ryan started playing drums at the age of 11 and started rehearsing with his now 15-year-old brother much to the delight of their neighbours who was constantly calling the cops due to the noise. Joel met David Roads when the two worked at the Hotel Warrnambool. The pair brought their guitars back to work and started jamming after their shifts ended. Bassist Justin Street was recruited in 2003, whom Ryan met after stumbling home after a party one night. Turns out he was interested in moving to Melbourne with the band.

It would be another nine months before the band would make the permanent move to Melbourne, so in the meantime they had to drive to the capital to play shows as regularly as they could, often returning to Warrnambool as the sun was coming up with $25 to their name and a full day of school stretched out before them. They were exposed of the realities of what it would be like to be a working rock ‘n roll band in Australia. In early 2005 the band relocated to Melbourne. The band found a four-bedroom home and started playing gigs relentlessly. Ryan claims that they attacked Melbourne putting up a posters for every gig they were playing and if it got ripped off they will just replace it. They had to walk, because they couldn’t afford a car. In March 2004 the band won a state-wide band competition Push-On in Melbourne. The band recorded an eight-track extended play Ready To Rock which appeared in July 2004 as an independent self-funded release. In August, they signed a five album record deal with Capitol Records. According to Joel while the band were living in a shared house they threw a party and while listening to a Krokus CD a blown fuse resulted in a fire burning the back part of the house.

Gigs at Melbourne pubs became stadium shows and the band even supported The Rolling Stones and Motley Crϋe. Given that the band had only released one EP (Ready To Rock) it was an amazing feat. National tours with the likes of Dallas Crane, Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, You Am I and Magic Dirt helped further hone their rowdy live show. A main stage slot at the 2006 Big Day Out festival cemented the band’s role as one of the country’s fastest rising bands.

Airbourne always go on stage to try to prove to the public and their audience how good rock ‘n roll music is.

In 2006 Airbourne got their big break after they started to receive a lot of attention from international record labels. They relocated to the States to start working with legendary producer Bob Marlette.  His credits include albums by Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Shinedown. Airbourne started with a lengthy pre-production stint narrowing down 40 songs to only 11 songs which would eventually appear on “Runnin Wild“. The band enlisted Andy Wallace (Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Linkin Park, Slipknot) to mix the album to make sure that their immense live energy translated to CD. Runnin Wild released in Australia on the 23rd of June 2007. In February Capitol Records had cancelled their contract with the band, but their album was still issued in Australia through EMI. In 2007 Airbourne attracted the attention of Roadrunner Records’ A&R man Ron Burman in New York and secured a worldwide record deal in July. During late 2007 ,  the group toured the United States supporting Kid Rock and Korn. In September 2007, they issued a five-track live extended play “Live At The Playroom“.  Runnin’ Wild was issued in North America, Europe and Japan in January 2008, after which they relocated permanently to the US. The album reached the Top 100 on the UK albums chart and appeared on the Billboard 200. In November at the Astoria in London, Dan Hawkins (Stone Gods/The Darkness) joined Airbourne played the AC/DC song “Whole Lotta Rosie”, Hawkins played Joel’s guitar while Joel sang without any guitar.

One of Ryan’s ears blew out, because he had his headphones on too loud! So he recorded the album with the use of only one ear.

In January 2009 David Roads confirmed that Airbourne would enter the studio to start recording their second album No Guts. No Glory. The album was produced by Johnny K, mixed by Mike Fraser and was released on 8 March 2010 in the UK, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and released on the 20th of April in the US. The album reached the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and top 20 on albums charts in Austria, New Zealand, Finland, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland. In the UK the album peaked at No. 31, while on the US Billboard 200 it reached the top 100. The band went on a UK Tour supporting Iron Maiden on their Final Frontier World Tour from July to August 2011.

In November 2011 it was announced on the band’s official Facebook page that the band had started working on a new album mid-2011 and that updates were to follow soon. The album’s name Black Dog Barking was revealed in early February 2013 on their Facebook page. The album was released on the 21st of May 2013 via Roadrunner. The cover artwork was created by Australian artists The Sharp Brothers who also created the cover artwork for the No Guts. No Glory. album. According to David Roads , the idea behind the album title was to use the black dog as a metaphor for the bands’ ability to break the rules. At the end of 2013 the band toured Europe and supported, among others, Swedish band Corroded.

Airbourne’s music carries a distinct 80’s rock flavour which is really unique in today’s market. They are a passionate, determined band, which they convey through their energetic live performances. Airbourne draws inspiration from classic rock bands without being false. The band is keeping the spirit of classic rock alive in the 21st century.

You can follow Airbourne on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Airbourne

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Theory of a Deadman

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Theory of a Deadman originated in Canada, more specifically in Vancouver. The band was formed in 2001. The band’s name originated from a song title with the same name that was featured on their debut album, the song was later renamed “The Last Song“.

The lead singer/guitarist for the band Tyler Connolly slipped a copy of the band’s demo to Chad Kroeger at a post-concert party. Chad Kroeger obviously saw some potential in the band as they were the first act that got signed to Chad Kroeger’s record label 604 Records.  On the band’s demo was the song which would later become the “Invisible Man”. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on the 17th of September 2002. Their music stayed within the grunge genre, but delivered powerful songs like “Make Up Your Mind” and “Nothing Could Come Between Us” both of which was released as singles.

On the 29th of March 2005 the band released their second album “Gasoline”, slowly moving away from their grunge sound by incorporating more pop-and country influence into their music. Four singles from “Gasoline” landed onto the Mainstream Rock Chart and the album cracked the Top 60 of the Billboard album chart. After the release of the album the band toured with Shinedown and No Address. Theory of a Deadman went on a promotional tour in the same year which was headlined by Breaking Benjamin and The Exies.

The band performed the theme song to World Wrestling Entertainment’s No Way Out’s pay-per-view in 2006 a cover version of “Deadly Game” from the WWE Anthology album. The song was released on WWE Wreckless Intent album. They did a cover of “No Chance In Hell” which is Vince McMahon‘s theme song, the song was released on WWE The Music Vol. 8. on the 25th of March 2008. The band performed the theme song for the 24th Annual WWE Summerslam.

On the 1st of April 2008 Theory of a Deadman released their third studio album Scars & Souvenirs which delivered 8 singles namely “So Happy”, “By The Way”, “Little Smirk“, “Bad Girlfriend”, “All or Nothing”, “Hate My Life”, “Not Meant to Be” and “Wait for Me”. “By The Way” features backing vocals from Daughtry band members Chris Daughtry and Robin Diaz. With this album the band developed their own unique sound a little more with daring lyrics and flashier sound.

Theory of a Deadman attended the Juno Awards in Calgary, Alberta after taking part in a promotional tour across Canada called Journey To The Junos. Theory of a Deadman performed in the 96th Grey Cup halftime show on the 23rd of November 2008. Hinder and Theory of a Deadman supported Mötley Crüe during the fall 2008 /winter 2009 tour as well as Crüe Fest 2.

On the 9th of April 2009 Scars and Souvenirs was certified Gold by the RIAA with 500, 000 copies sold in the US alone.

In late 2010 the band announced that they were busy recording their fourth studio album which was scheduled for a mid-2011 release date. Tyler Connolly later confirmed that the album titled “The Truth Is… would be released on the 12th of July 2011. The first single, “Lowlife” was released on the 17th of May 2011. Musically not too much has changed on their fourth album, but the band had an epiphany when it came to songwriting. The band had more confidence and Tyler was willing to be more open and honest about his feelings than ever before. Tyler thought it would be fun to write a song about a Lowlife, because their fans aren’t people wearing fancy clothing or driving around in the latest cars. Their fans are regular people who like to have a good time and listening to rock music.

In 2011 Theory of a Deadman co-headlined the second annual Carnival of Madness tour with Alter Bridge. The supporting bands were Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way and Emphatic.

The band contributed a song called “Head Above Water” to the Transformers:Dark of the Moon which was released on the 14th of June 2011. The band’s record label Roadrunner Records made a free download of the song “Drag Me To Hell”  available on their website on the 16th of June 2011.

The band consists of Tyler Connolly [Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar], David Brenner [Rhythm Guitar], Dean Back [Bass], Joey Dandeneau [Drums].

I’m a fan of Theory of a Deadman’s music, because they are realistic about their goals. They don’t expect to change the world with their music, they just want their fans to love, laugh, cry and share their passion for music along with them. The band compose enjoyable, catchy and honest songs/lyrics which is refreshingly different in today’s music landscape.

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

You can follow Dean Back on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheoryDean

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Theory Of A Deadman Dave Brennerby ~ChibiStalker16 Source:http://chibistalker16.deviantart.com/art/Theory-Of-A-Deadman-Dave-Brenner-316356665

Theory Of A Deadman Dave Brennerby ~ChibiStalker16

Guitarist of the Week – Mark Tremonti (Part 2)

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Continued from Part 1…

After Mark and Scott decided to call Brian Marshall to ask him if he would like to join them in their new endeavor. Brian accepted their offer and he decided to quit his band at the time called Head Heavy. They began auditioning singers for the  band asking potential vocalists to sing over demo tapes. Myles Kennedy auditioned and the band remembered him fronting The Mayfield Four as the opening act for Creed in the 1990s. They instinctively knew that Myles had the vocal range and tone that they were looking for. They flew him down and they got along so well that they asked him to join the band.

After juggling many different band names they finally settled on Alter Bridge named after a long-standing bridge near Tremonti’s childhood home in Detroit, just off of Alter Road. Parents forbade their children to cross the bridge as it led to the bad side of town. All of the band members were very excited to be on the verge of a new chapter in their lives.

While Mark Tremonti was between bands he got involved with Submersed a new band on Wind-Up’s label. Mark introduced Eric Friedman to the band who was impressed by his impressive guitar playing. Eric was then added as the band’s lead guitar player. Mark produced Submersed debut album “In Due Time”. The band opened for Alter Bridge’s US tour in 2004 & 2005. Eric ultimately left the band and the band was dropped from Wind-Up’s roster in 2008 and the band later broke up.

Alter Bridge entered the studio in 2004 to record their first album. The band turned in their first single and the producers edited the guitar solo out, the reason being that radio stations won’t play songs that have long guitar solos in it. Mark didn’t want to compromise and refused to surrender to their demands. Mark’s role in the band changed slightly from Creed’s setup. Mark contributed to many of the lyrics as well as more prominent backing vocals. “In Loving Memory” was a tribute to Mark’s deceased mother and “Shed My Skin” refers to the isolation Mark felt as a child when his family moved to Florida.

Alter Bridge’s debut album “One Day Remains” was released in August 2004. Their first single “Open Your Eyes” reached #2 on the mainstream rock chart. Alter Bridge began to build a fan base in the US as well as in Europe. Mark brought his brother Michael on as the band’s press and fan liaison as the band was about to embark on their tour. Alter Bridge mostly played small clubs and started earning acclaim for their live performances.

In 2005 “One Day Remains” has already sold 500 000 copies and reached Gold status. In 2005 Mark became a father to his first son Austen on the 24th of May. In 2006 Wind-Up was not providing adequate support due to its lack of mainstream success. Wind-Up wanted its much more profitable band Creed to reunite. Mark and Scott Phillips engaged in a multimillion buyout to release Alter Bridge from their recording contract. Alter Bridge funded the recording of their second album “Blackbird”.

Alter Bridge toured European Summer Festivals to keep going and when they returned to the States they tried to get signed by many record labels. They eventually signed with Universal Music who was happy to let the band keep up their creative independence. Mark became a father for the second time on the 19th of November 2006. The band completed Blackbird and their second album was released in October 2007. Blackbird was the first album where Mark incorporated a second guitarist whereas Myles contributed a lot of the songwriting, guitar layering and half of the title track’s guitar solo. The album achieved moderate success with the lead single “Rise Today” reaching number 2 on the mainstream rock chart. Alter Bridge continued to tour small clubs in the US, but they most notably gained more attention in Europe more specifically in the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Alter Bridge often returned to Europe where they were able to play larger venues to fund the band financially, making them able to tour the US’s smaller venues as well. Danish pedal maker T-Rex Engineering offered Mark a signature phraser pedal in 2008.

In 2008 Mark decided to release an instructional DVD – “Mark Tremonti – The Sound and the Story”. The DVD has technique practice routines, songwriting tips, a documentary and guest lessons offered by some of Mark’s guitarist friends. Mark has always been a fan of instructional dvds and Mark’s brother Dan released the dvd from a guitar venture he launched called Fret12. Dan owns a media marketing company called Core12.

Alter Bridge decided to record a live dvd in 2008, they originally planned to film it at the Brixton Academy in London, but logistical issues forced them to move the shooting to the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. The venue can hold about 6000 people. The band once again experienced label trouble and the DVD was delayed multiple times due to Universal’s lawyers. The full dvd was not released until January 2011, two years after the concert was filmed. The concert-only version reached number 1 on Amazon.com’s music dvd charts.

Throughout Alter Bridge’s career the ex-band members including Mark sought to distance themselves from Creed. Creed was often ridiculed in the media and their hits were often parodied. Mark was often quoted as saying that a Creed reunion will never happen and after 5 years since the breakup it seemed like rumours of Creed’s reunion was a thing of the past.

Early in 2009 rumours started to surface that Creed will return and initially the band didn’t even know about the rumours. Scott Stapp‘s management got in touch with Alter Bridge’s management and arranged a meeting with Creed’s ex-bandmembers. Scott Stapp apologized for his behaviour that caused the downfall of the band, saying that the past 5 years have changed him. Mark and Scott both had families now and both have matured. They decided to put the past behind them and before long the band decided to practice some of their old songs together. The first song they practiced was “My Own Prison” and the moment they started playing together the bond that they had as a band was reestablished. They knew they had to set up a tour and they started planning a 2009 summer reunion tour.

With a tour coming up Creed decided to write an album to support the tour. The first song that they wrote was “Full Circle” which was a reflection of Creed’s rebirth. After they completed the album, the band embarked on their first tour in six years with Mark bringing along Eric Friedman to play rhythm guitar.

“Full Circle” was released in October 2009 on Wind-Up Records and although it was Creed’s least-successful selling album it still reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 beaten only by Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” album. Creed recorded their first live dvd in Houston, Texas. At the end of the show the band received a Guinness World Record for the most cameras (239) ever used in a live recording. The dvd was released in December 2009.

After Creed’s 2009 tour, Alter Bridge began to work on their third album, internally codenamed ABIII. The band was once again faced record label issues and decided to fund the recording for ABIII themselves. Alter Bridge eventually landed on Roadrunner Worldwide, everywhere except the US where the album was released on Alter Bridge Recordings via Capitol Records a subsidiary of EMI.

After calling it ABIII for so long the band decided to name their third album ABIII. The album was released in October 2010 in Europe and November 2011 in the US. The album received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The album’s material was affected by the band’s frustrations on the music industry and Myles’s struggle with faith. Their first single off of the third album “Isolation” slowly gained momentum on the charts until it reached Number 1 on Mediabase’s Active Rock chart, as well as Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it stayed for four weeks straight. In 2011 PRS refreshed the Tremonti SE guitar by providing new colours and incorporating bird inlays.

While on tour with Alter Bridge Mark solidified his intentions to make a solo album, with Eric Friedman joining the project as well as former Submersed drummer Garrett Whitlock. Mark’s solo album “All I Was” was released on the 17th of July 2012 by Fret12 Records. He decided to make a solo album, because he writes so much material and some of it is not suited for Alter Bridge or Creed. All I Was was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette and the album shows prominent speed metal influences.”Wish You Well” the third single released off of the solo album was written by Mark when he was only 13, he released a demo recording of the song which was recorded in 1987.

Mark is known to be a collector of pinball machines and he is a car enthusiast. When he is on tour he will make an effort to fly back for his son’s birthdays.

Mark is well on his way to cement his name into the list of history’s great guitarists. A true idol that any musician can look up to, he is a hard worker and passionate about music. I hope that he will create music in any shape or form for many years to come.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Apocalyptic Love Album Review

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The long wait is finally over! I have been waiting patiently to rip the music from this album to my library on my laptop. I received the album a week ago and the wait was definitely worth it, just like I expected. I will try to explain my thoughts and my experiences while taking a trip through Apocalyptic Love.

First off keep in mind that this album was recorded live and it’s recorded to analog. It has all the mistakes and it has the talking in between the takes.

“It’s a traditional way of recording. Because of modern technology, you can make a record without having to be in the same room with the other people on the record. You also don’t have to know how to play, because they can fix that, too.” – Slash quoted by Amy Sciarretto March 24, 2012 on Loudwire

With a guitarist as famous as Slash and a lead singer as popular as Myles you listen to the record differently than you would a band that has played together for a long time. The first time you listen to the album as a whole, then the second time you may pay more attention to the guitar solos and music. The third time you admire Myles’s vocal abilities and the variety that his voice offers to each song.

The first thing that I realised while listening to the album was how much attention was paid to the music. The perfect timing of the screaming guitar solos, the drums and the rhythm guitar played by Myles as well as the bass that ties everything together.

I believe each song was structured in a way to evoke a certain nostalgia or emotion from the listener. Even though I didn’t grow up listening to classic/80s rock I can still tell there are sections that sound very similiar to the rock bands of the 80s, which I love. In my opnion this album is a modern take on classic rock ‘n roll if that makes any sense.

I think this album has reinvented 80’s rock music for the modern audience. I’m writing about modern rock music on my blog, because I believe that in the 21st century we have musicians that are just as talented as musicians in the past. Although I can appreciate a touch of old school here and there, Apocalyptic Love has that combination just right.

One of my favourites is One Last Thrill, how Myles pulls that song off without becoming out of breath I don’t know. It just makes you want to dance. Bad Rain is my overall favourite with its feisty lyrics and guitar licks. It teases the listener with slow verses and an anticipating chorus. Anastasia starts off with an acoustic guitar and the band behind Slash suddenly enters showing what they are capable of. Anastasia is a straight up rock track which is really enjoyable. Shots Fired builds up into a frenzy of instruments and bites into an angry chorus.

So, if you have been salivating to get a taste of some real rock n roll, add this album to your collection you WILL NOT be dissapointed. I feel like I have had a taste of a different brand of rock music and I have to say I like it!

From the many performance I have seen from Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators all of these artists are effortless performers. Myles sings extremely high notes without showing any effort on his face or in his body language. The same goes for Slash who makes playing a guitar look like child’s play.

I highly recommend this album to any rock music lover.

Congratulations to Slash on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif. What an amazing achievement and the best thing about it is that he deserves it. Well done!


Photo can be viewed here:http://www.triplem.com.au/brisbane/music/photos/slash-acoustic-max-sessions-2010


Original photo can be viewed here: http://loudwire.com/slash-announces-dates-for-2012-north-america-summer-tour/

Rock Regards,


Band of the Month – Shinedown

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Shinedown Band Members

I recently received Shinedown’s Amaryllis as a gift from my sister overseas. I listened to the album about 3 times a day for more than a week. Brent Smith’s vocals are incomparable, his voice is so strong and powerful.

“Shinedown is an American rock band from Jacksonville Florida, formed in 2002 and founded by members Brent Smith (vocals), Brad Stewart (bass), Jasin Todd (guitar), and Barry Kerch (drums). A few line-up changes followed, and the band’s current line-up consists of Smith and Kerch, the band’s only two remaining original members, with guitarist Zach Myers and bassist and pianist Eric Bass.” (Insert from Wkipedia)

The album Amaryllis is loud in your face and holds nothing back. It kicks off with the fast-paced Adrenaline, then into the powerful Bully a song that is meant to uplift victims of bullies, Amaryllis is next which is a touching and emotional song about that something/someone special in your life. Unity is about empathy for your fellow human beings and helping others as best you can. Enemies in my mind is about selfish people who never think of others and that there are consequences for their actions. I’m Not Alright is such a beatifully twisted song, the lyrics are dark, yet the start of the song sounds almost like a ballad. The meaning of the song to me is that everyone has quirks and weird habits and that you should be content with that.

Nowhere Kids is about the materialistic society we currently live in and how there is an emptiness beneath the glamour and the glitz. Miracle is about a person that is always there for you and a person who believes in you. I’ll Follow You is certainly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, its about unconditional love and how you will do anything for someone you love. It is such a powerful song and touches me deeply whenever I listen to it. For My Sake is about someone in your life having a negative impact on your well-being and in order to protect yourself you have to distance yourself from that person. My Name (Wearing Me Out) is about someone always putting you down and how you should rise above that hate and ignore them. Through The Ghost is about about rediscovering yourself and getting your life back on track.

Shinedown is one of my favourite rock bands and individually they are solid, charismatic and decent people. Brent Smith has battled drug addiction and recently he lost weight as well. I really look up to him as a role model and I admire him a lot.

Shinedown is currently on tour and might be on their way to your home country, so keep a lookout for their tour dates that are posted on their official website. http://www.shinedown.com/

You can follow Shinedown’s Fanpage on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ShinedownsNationII) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/Shinedown_Fans) and their blog on WordPress (http://shinedownsnation.com/)for updates, news and photographs.

Shinedown Amaryllis Album Cover

Shinedown’s 4th Studio Album Amaryllis

If you’re interested in connecting with the band members on Twitter, here are their individual accounts:





and here is Shinedown’s official Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/#!/Shinedown

Rock Regards,

Lauren K