Slipknot….hmmmm?????

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Ahhh Slipknot…they have been all over social media with the impending release of their new record .5: The Gray Chapter. While Slipknot is not one of my favorite bands they do have my respect. I say this because of their tenacity to persevere after the death of Paul Gray, and the departure of Joey Jordison, and to their use of promotion.

I happen to dig bands that represent themselves visually as well as through their music. Kiss and  Alice Cooper exposed me to theatrical rock in my misspent youth and I am glad to see bands like Slipknot carrying the torch for visual rock.

One of the things I find lacking in bands today is their lack of promotion. The internet and social media is a great tool if used to its potential. Slipknot used its loyal fan base to help generate buzz around their future release. At one point blacking out their website and Facebook pages. This caused a lot of online discussion about what was happening with the band. Then on July 15, they began releasing July 15, the band began releasing short teasers for the new album for over a two-week period that turned out to be clips from the official video along with samples from a song entitled “The Negative One”.

More recently there has again been much buzz about the new drummer and bassist and the fact they are not getting their own unique masks and identities within the band. Again, the fans were eating this up online. Combined with the release of their new video for “The Devil In I”which introduced their newly redesigned masks, Slipknot is ensuring they remain in the eyes, ears, and minds of the world.

Slipknot has some decent tracks that are listenable and some that are not but I’ll take them. Oh yeah, I still hate clowns.

 

“And the rain will kill us all”

-the Hellion

 

Rock N’ Roll is NOT dead Mr. Simmons

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So I recently read the article where Nick Simmons interviewed his father Gene Simmons in Esquire:

GENE SIMMONS: ‘ROCK IS FINALLY DEAD’

The Kiss rocker expands on his thoughts about the past, present, and future of recorded music.

I have a few things to say about this. I have seen that this article has recently been trending on Facebook. I am of the opinion that it is indeed NOT dead.  Gene has pretty much killed the hopes and dreams of future musicians. I remember when music was made for the sake of creating art, the success that followed was a bonus. Imagine if Beethoven or Van Gogh only were only creating art for commercial or monetary gain. That is where the music industry has seemed to have gone. I blame the industry itself for becoming too corporate. If they don’t see an immediate gain for it they don’t see fit to put any money behind it. THAT is the problem. I think that someone that holds the status of Gene Simmons should put his experiences back into helping the industry not discouraging it.

I have a very good friend who is named Dellacoma Rio. He is a vocalist from Australia. He, to me, embodies the spirit of Rock N’ Roll. While he was in previous band Sunset Riot they managed to book shows and gain exposure in the US while still being based in Australia. They toured the US extensively and successfully gaining ground at every turn. Unfortunately due to creative differences and life changes Sunset Riot chose to mutually dissolve. Dellacoma Rio, however, was not done. The spirit and fire of Rock N’ Roll burned passionately within him. With a little bit of reinvention and tenacity he put together a new band and hit the road again. Booking gigs and festivals across the US the newly formed DELLACOMA began the process of making themselves seen and heard. In the midst of touring across the US they took the time to stop and make an old fashioned Rock N’ Roll record. No processing, no extreme overdubs, just raw and fresh. A record that translates to live performances seamlessly. The evening of finishing in the studio they played a gig and set off on the road again. All of this from a gentleman who comes from modest means. There is no one bank rolling this gentleman or his band, just blood, sweat, and tears. Rock N’ Roll is alive and well within DELLACOMA. That is an example of one of many bands I know and love who work equally as hard.

Getting back to Gene Simmons, KISS has always had the opportunity to be trend setters. I feel that they have let us down as of late. When the reunion, and farewell tours were done they had the chance to reinvent themselves and continue to gain new ground. Instead of putting others in the classic makeup they could have invented new “characters” for Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. It was done before with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. I am of the opinion that what we have now is Diet KISS, or KISS Lite now with 50% less KISS. They have put out two mediocre records and continue to rely on their back catalog instead of searching within and getting in touch with  the part of them that drove them in the early days.

Now, to basically tell young rockers to give up is a pretty crappy thing to say. When Rock N’ Roll was in its infancy there was no one there handing out checks or promoting or playing the music. It was all word of mouth and shameless self promotion. I feel that we have returned to those days. While the internet has been a curse to the industry due to the whole downloading issue it has also allowed bands to use it to promote and reach out on their own. OK in the vast sea of bands putting out their stuff on the internet how do they get heard? Well that falls to people who do what I do and the bands themselves. By taking that step and getting out, touring, not taking no for an answer and promotion, promotion, promotion they can be heard. Is the money still there, of course not,  it is still lining the pockets of the greedy corporations. I’m sure Gene has his pockets full. I challenge those rockers who have “succeeded” to reach out and help bands be heard and succeed in their musical endeavors. There IS new music being made that defies the current slop being force fed to us by corporate radio and the bloated industry, you just have to open your ears and eyes and look and listen for it.  No Gene, Rock is NOT dead by any means, like everything else we just have to work a little harder at it.

 

thump thump, thump thump, THUMP THUMP….

you hear that? That’s the pulse of Rock N’ Roll and it’s still strong.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL…and we love it!

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

Die So Fluid Releases “Landslides” Music Video & Announces Finnish Tour Dates

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Die So Fluid Releases “Landslides” Music Video & Announces Finnish Tour Dates

August 20, 2014 – Los Angeles / London based Gothic rock band Die So Fluid have released the official music video for their track “Landslides (originally premiering with Bloody Disgusting). The track is from the band’s album “The Opposites Of Light” which will be released in the U.S. later this year. The band has also announced the dates of their upcoming tour of Finland. The tour kicks off in Tampere on September 3rd and wraps up in Lahti on September 7th.

Die So Fluid – Landslides

Landslides’ is a track from the darker, more introspective side of our new album ‘The Opposites Of Light’. The song is about intense desire and loyalty. The video is an emotional and psychedelic trip into a shamanic desert scene highlighting the dream-time qualities of the song. The lyrics were partly inspired by my fascination with Carlos Castaneda, a kind of cult leader who wrote books about shamanism. Narrated in first person, they have sold millions but some critics say they’re works of fiction. He had three female followers who lived with him, changed their names, and cut off ties to family and the outside world. They mysteriously disappeared after his own death. The remains of one of these women was found in Death Valley near where her abandoned car had been discovered. I directed this video myself and used a Go Pro camera that a very generous Die So Fluid fan gave me. We filmed it at the magical Vasquez Rocks where Star Trek was shot, I’m lucky to live nearby. I just let the ancient land speak to me and the visions flow.Grog (Die So Fluid)

Connect With Die So Fluid:
Die So Fluid Official
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

About Die So Fluid:

Die So Fluid are the modern incarnation of a ‘power trio’. Their sonic being possesses the muscle of metal, the angular cheekbones of post-punk, and the burning soul of vampiric desert torch song.

History:

Die So Fluid first surfaced in 2001, touring the country in the wake of their debut EP “Operation Hypocrite”, released on Sanctuary. They released a further single, ‘Suck Me Dry’ with Sanctuary before forming their own label, Cartesian, and releasing their third single ‘Disconnected.’ In 2004 Cartesian released the band’s debut album, “Spawn Of Dysfunction” in the UK. The album was universally well received and is still selling through the major chains of the UK and iTunes worldwide. Promotion of “Spawn Of Dysfunction” almost solely relied on the band touring the UK which they did tirelessly, turning up for over 300 shows between 2003 and 2006. Apart from pursuing a campaign of playing their own shows off the beaten track Die So Fluid supported bands like Drowning Pool, Vex Red, Clawfinger, Boy Hits Car, Feeder, Girlschool, Antiproduct, and The Wildhearts. Further promotion of the album came from a single release of the title track licensed to Retinue Records which was supported with a video featuring the babes and the fighters of a metal wrestling event.

Recording for “Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending” started in 2005 with the album’s opening track ‘Gang Of One’. The finished recording was so good it actually caused a crisis within the band as they mutually agreed the pinnacle of what they had been trying to achieve musically on “Spawn Of Dysfunction”. But in the end it was this realization that freed them to explore a wider range of influences and styles. So songs like ‘Existential Baby’ and ‘Test Confessional’ draw on Al’s ska background and ‘Throw You Away’ features an Egyptian string arrangement thanks to one of Drew’s colleagues in gypsy troupe, The Death Orchestra. The finished record is the product of multiple sessions scattered over a two year period. This ungainly recording schedule was adopted because the record was being financed by royalties from ‘Spawn’ – as they trickled in. For “Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending” Mark Williams was back in the producer’s chair at his new premises in the legendary Battery Studios building in North West London. The title track was partly fueled by the long drawn out recording process, and at the time, no prospect of a release. That changed in 2007 when the band found a new backer in Finland and finally “Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending” was made flesh. The first single ‘Happy Halloween’ was released worldwide on iTunes on November 2nd, 2007 and coincided with a Halloween festival appearance in Helsinki and Die So Fluid’s portrait by Paul Harries appearing on Finnish postal stamps. The esteemed rock photographer, and long time associate of the band, also directed the video for second single ‘Existential Baby’. ‘Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending’ was released in the UK in February 2008 to a great response and immediately entered the retail sales charts. The band then diligently followed the cascade of international releases – touring Finland, the USA (twice), Germany and the rest of Europe, appearing in nearly 20 different countries in 2009. As well as headlining festivals in Portugal, Germany, and Switzerland Die So Fluid supported Eisbrecher, Mindless Self Indulgence, My Ruin, Ill Nino, Maj Karma, and Prong.

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2010 saw the release of “The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime.” The band licensed the album to DR2 which frankly restricted the breadth of the album’s distribution. Nonetheless the press came back with universally positive reviews and with the help of videos ‘Mercury’ (playlisted on Scuzz and Kerrang) and ‘What A Heart Is For’ the band’s audience continued to expand leading to sell out shows at the Scala and Dingwalls in London and Virgin Oil Company in home from home, Helsinki. The live popularity was also reflected in requests for festival appearances in Finland, Holland, and Spain as well as the UK, including 3 appearances for Hard Rock Hell. The album itself was viewed by the band, and producer Mark Williams, as a consolidation of the sound they had previously strove for. This was the first time the band had anything like a conventional ‘month in the studio’ album recording session. The record has been the band’s best selling yet and helped push their Spotify play count over 5 million. From the middle of 2011 the band went on hiatus, barring a few live commitments including two sell out London shows and an exclusive performance at the London Bass Guitar show. The band concentrated efforts into reclaiming their music and extracting it from the grip of labels and companies making lapsed or unjust claims to it. They started recording “The Opposites of Light” in December 2012. The album was made available accompanying a UK tour in April 2014 preceding it’s upcoming USA release campaign this Fall. The release of “Black Blizzard” with stunning video by David Kenny has sparked a constantly growing global buzz, with the Twitter following rising over 23K and Facebook over 11K. Notably this track was in the official final selection of Classic Rock Magazine wildcard entries for Songs Of The Year 2013. The band heads to the UK for an appearance at Alt Fest in August, followed by September tour dates in Finland. They will be touring extensively in the USA November onwards.

Scattered Hamlet releases video for “Shelter”

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YEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWWWW!!!! I can’t help myself. Every time I listen to my brothers Scattered Hamlet it just comes out of me. This is just some good old American made Rock N’ Roll music right here. Now, it isn’t enough that these handsome young devils want to tickle our ears, no sir, they have now just released a video for “Shelter” for our viewing pleasure. This is the type of video that has to be enjoyed LOUDLY and with a tasty adult beverage. Scattered Hamlet has been a part of my life for several years now and will remain so for many to come. Great job on the video guys! Here’s the link:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s SCATTERED HAMLET!!!

     the Hell Riders Captain

 

 

Mike Araiza covers Geoff Tate’s Queensryche in Albuquerque, NM!!!

I am fortunate with the accomplishments achieved on the Hellion Rocks. I am proud to work with and call people like Charlie Owens and Randy Norris my brethren in arms with this crazy world of Rock N’ Roll journalism. I am now pleased to announce the addition of Mike Araiza to the fold as a guest correspondent. Mike was gracious enough to cover the Geoff Tate fronted Queensryche for me while I am away in New York. Here is Mike’s coverage so enjoy:

     When a living legend TAKES HOLD of the stage

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In a world of smartphones, tablets, online streaming and disposable trends I was
excited to drive up to the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM and see a line around
the building for a Rock show. Excitement was definitely in the air to see the one and
only Geoff Tate and his band of living legends which consists of Randy Gane
(keyboards), Kelly Gray (guitars,vocals), Robert Sarzo (Guitars Vocals), Simon Wright
(Drums) and the one and only Rudy Sarzo (Bass Vocals). By the time I got to the photopit
the venue was packed like I have not seen in a long time even to upper level was
full. I could hear fans talking about their favorite song(s) and discussing the hope to
hear them all. I even overheard the “ I saw ‘em in 199x in Colorado” stories man I am at
a real rock show with which looks like a sold out venue!
The moment I never get tired of comes. Boom, house lights go off and the crowd erupts
into a loud roar of anticipation man this is what it is all about. The entire band struts out
with pure swagger (think of Jordan walking on the court for a finals game). To be honest
I was absolutely star struck by all of them and the crowd was so epically loud and full of
excitement I had a hard time remembering that I was there to take pictures. Within a few
bars of musical excitement the band forms into a visual balance and Geoff Tate takes
hold of center stage belting out THAT voice which we all grew up on also demonstrating
the true craftsmanship of being a legendary frontman. Not to mention, this band is
opening up a can of rock n’ roll whoop ass. Mix is tight, drums are thundering, bass is
locked hard with the drums, guitars are loud and punchy, keyboards sound fresh. I now
know why Geoff Tate recruited these guys! Chemistry is off the charts here folks!
Each song is accompanied by the crowd singing at the top of their lungs with fists
pumping in the air (which the entire band really appreciated I could see it on all of their
faces you guys kicked ass Albuquerque). It is important to note that each song was
played exactly like the respective albums. This band is loaded with a group of artists
that have been around the world with AC/DC, Ozzy, Quiet Riot just to name a few and
the stage presence shows it as well. After 90 minutes of mind-blowing Rock N Roll and
two outrageously killer encores it was time for the after show meet and greet. I watched
the entire band gracefully sign autographs, take pictures, have conversations with the
fans, this was really cool to watch. Nothing but humble and appreciative vibes going on
with this band. Geoff Tate was a pleasure to meet and was a true gentleman as was the
entire band. In closing I urge you to buy a ticket and go see this band when they come
to your area also check into the VIP as well. Last but not least a huge thanks to James
“The Hellion Rocks” for this awesome privilege and a huge thanks to Geoff Tate and his
team. Rock N Roll is a gift let’s keep giving it…
~ Mike

DANKO JONES Releases Long Awaited Live Album – ”Live At Gröna Lund”

DANKO JONES Releases Long Awaited Live Album – ”Live At Gröna Lund”

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DANKO JONES is happy to announce the release of their first official live album exclusively through Spotify! Listen to the album here: spoti.fi/1kw9wZb 

 

With close to 20 years of touring experience and a reputation as one of the best live bands in the world it would have been wrong not to at least try and capture the energy of the DANKO JONES live show on tape with the recording taken from their only show in Europe this year – at the legendary Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm, Sweden on May 16th. Their relation to Sweden has always been a special one and has resulted in countless shows, two gold singles and top ten album chart positions, so for this show to be the pick for a live album seems only natural.

 

The album contains 20 tracks of classic songs from their live reportoire and ends with ”Bring On The Mountain” – a song everyone who has ever attended a DANKO JONES concert will be familiar with – that is now being made available as a recording for the very first time.

 

The band is currently finishing up a new studio album and will do a string of festival dates in Canada this fall along with an exclusive US show at Motörhead’s Motörboat along with Megadeth, Anthrax and of course the hosts themselves!

 

 

More on DANKO JONES:

http://www.dankojones.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dankojones

https://twitter.com/dankojones

http://instagram.com/danko_jones

 

 it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s DANKO JONES!!!

-the Hellion

K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, and Mike Araiza

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You ever have one of those friends where your conversations end up very cerebral? Mine is my good friend Mike Araiza. We were talking on the phone the other day and right out of left field Mike brought up the classic Judas Priest record British Steel. We then proceeded to discuss the twin guitar assault that was K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton.

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If you were a metal head and a guitar geek in 1980 British Steel was your wet dream. From the opening notes of “Breaking The Law” to the closing of “Steeler” K.K. and Glenn killed it. Mike and I discussed the merits of other twin guitar bands like Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy and such and came to the conclusion that no other band completely nailed it like Judas Priest. I remember when my guitar playing metalheads would play Priest records for hours upon hours trying to learn and replicate these guitar gods. We all even tried to emulate the look of these two heroes. K.K. and Glenn each had their own distinct style of playing each unique in their own way, and yet they complimented each other perfectly.

Mike and I discussed the depth and structure of British Steel as an album. If one takes the time and truly listens to the construction of this classic record you can hear and feel the music they were trying to share with us. Mind you this record was made in analog so careful thought and planning was executed in order to develop this sonic masterpiece. I still have a vinyl copy in my collection.

When you have some free time grab a decent pair of headphones, shut off the world, and get yourself lost in the guitar work of K.K. and Glen on British Steel. It’s a headtrip worth taking. As usual thanks Mike for the friendship and conversations. I look forward to seeing more of them right here on the Hellion Rocks.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!

-the Hellion