Talking to Michael Sweet of Stryper about the new record ‘FALLEN’


It’s always a good day to talk with Michael Sweet from Stryper. I had the chance yesterday to speak with Michael a bit about the new record and some other things. It was a heartfelt conversation and left me feeling good. Thanks again Michael, and Kevin for making it happen. Enjoy our conversation right here:

     Do yourselves a favor and pick up the new Stryper release out on Frontier Records Friday, October 16th, I give it a 15 out of 10 stars!!!


     Check out Stryper online:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – the shame continues


I find myself beating a dead horse again with the announcement of the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

The elite few are at it again by nominating too many artists that ARE NOT IN THE ROCK N’ ROLL GENRE!!! I think it was said best by the Sex Pistols when they refuse to attend their 2006 induction and sent the following letter:


Transcript: “Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organisation selling us a load of old famous. Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL”

So what should happen? How should we recognize those worthy? Here are my thoughts: You wouldn’t see Slayer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (if indeed there is one) or the R&B/Soul/Funk/Rap Hall of Fame (if indeed there is one of those as well) and I wouldn’t expect to either.  You wouldn’t see Whiz Khalifa inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame either. So why would we see Country Music artists or R&B/Soul/Funk/Rap artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  We don’t have cross-genre radio stations so why would we have a cross-genre Hall of Fame called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I am of the opinion that we could rename it as the Music Hall of Fame and let it become a free for all or stick to the music for what it was named for and just induct artists in the Rock And Roll genre. Now there is nothing wrong with other genres of music let’s just call it as it is.

As for the elite few that are in charge of nominations…well I think we should let the people speak. There should be criteria that bands must meet for nomination for sure but I believe the listeners should have the final word. Every year the bands that meet said criteria should be listed and a site opened where the fans have a certain amount of time to vote, and the top 16 should be the ones inducted, and the process cycles annually.

These are just my thoughts and musings. I’ll shut up now and go listen to the new Stryper record.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

Wait, they made a new record?


A recent conversation I overheard: “I’m going to see Def Leppard this weekend, are you?” “No I don’t like him.” I interjected “You know, Def Leppard has a new record coming out.”  To which the response was “I only like that one song, you know, the “Sugar” song.”

After banging my head repeatedly into the wall I began to think about veteran bands and their new music.

I can recall going to several recent shows where the bands were touring on new music and yet the fans were only interested in hearing the “hits” from the past. It is this that bothers me. Why make a new album then if no one cares to hear the new stuff? I get why there are so many frustrated musicians in the world these days.

I, for one, love to hear the new music, I actually prefer it. I blame this on corporate radio (yet again, the bane of my existence). Oh yes they will play the “new” track from the more popular artists for a bit but then often times it fades away to be replaced with the classic “hit” songs.

What does this really do to the artists? I feel that it makes some of them only go through the motions when writing a new record. They put it out only because they have to contractually. It’s the “nobody cares to listen to our new music, so why bother” syndrome. I am not saying it’s always like that but I get that vibe from some.

So what is the fix? I don’t really think there is a general fix for the problem. It is up to us stalwart music lovers who go out and buy the new releases from veteran artists to turn others on to said new music. I have said in the past that Rock N’ Roll was spread by word of mouth in its beginning and it has come full circle to that today.

I am tired of seeing people at Iron Maiden, KISS, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, etc., etc., shows looking bored and distracted when they play new material. I get it, you love “that one song”, but why not give the new stuff a chance, and you might just find another song or two to love.


It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

Catching up with Jerry Gaskill from King’s X

     You know it’s a good day when Jerry Gaskill calls you up to talk about his upcoming solo record. Enjoy our conversation right here:

     Be sure and pick up Love And Scars from Jerry Gaskill on October 30th  preorder here:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion

Metallica has jumped the shark (in my opinion)


Many years ago some pissed off disaffected young men decided to tell the world how they were feeling. Their medium: loud, fast, and aggressive music, their name? METALLICA!!!!

When James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich got their shit together and put Dave Mustaine and Cliff Burton in the lineup they were ready to shake up the Rock N’ Roll world. They were loud, obnoxious, and very much what we needed in music at that time.

They then went to New York to record their debut record with which they planned sonic assault on the eardrums of the world, which is when they began their race to “jump the shark” so to say.

Nobody was madder and more disaffected than Dave Mustaine (if you doubt me listen to his music even to this day). When they kicked him out and replaced him with Kirk Hammett from Exodus they started down that road to the shark.

While we got some really good music from Metallica in the early days the clock was ticking for our young anarchists.

Keep in mind these are just my thoughts on Metallica and how I feel they have jumped the shark. Like I stated earlier I believe their path to jumping said shark was with the dismissal of Dave Mustaine. I do indeed own every release by Metallica and I have passed my judgment as this: the so-called Black album was the demise of Metallica in that I feel the loss  of any fire and passion in their music. Yes, there were some great tracks here and there in the subsequent records but none that were solid from open to close.  Now am I saying Metallica sucks? Not a chance, they just aren’t making the music that I fell in love with anymore. I will continue to purchase their future releases and give them a fair listen and hope for that spark to reappear, but I am not holding my breath. I will thank them for the back catalog of music that still put my fist in the air but inside I weep when I listen to St. Anger….

Rest In Peace Cliff Burton, I have always admired and respected you and your style of playing.


It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!

-the Hellion


a band I still listen to: Woods Of Ypres

"Woods of Ypres 2009" by Mark Coatsworth

                                               “Woods of Ypres 2009” by Mark Coatsworth

Woods of Ypres is a band that I still miss today. About ten years ago their CD: Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth ended up in my hands. I did a little digging and found that they were out of Canada. While I generally hesitate to label bands, this one was doom laden and fantastic. I kept up with Woods of Ypres through their subsequent releases, Woods III: The Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues, Woods IV: The Green Album. And then David Gold, the front man and only constant member, was gone, killed in a car crash in 2011. Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light, my favorite of their body of work, was released posthumously in 2012.

Woods of Ypres is another one of those bands that have been done a disservice by the music industry, they were ignored. Like far too many other other great young bands out there they lack the support from radio these days.

Woods of Ypres takes me on a journey to the dark places of my mind and yet lets me see them in a different light. I always come away cleansed and refreshed after listening to some Woods of Ypres.

While they are gone, they are not forgotten by any means. If you are looking for something different to listen to, check out Woods of Ypres. In fact, I’m gonna provide you with the link to “Lightning & Snow” my favorite track off of their last and final album, enjoy:

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s WOODS OF YPRES

     -the Hellion

Was Jimi Hendrix that great?


Hendrix performing on the Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967

     I have had many conversations about Jimi throughout the years. There are those who laud his playing, and those who deeply criticize him. Myself, however, have a different opinion on Mr. Hendrix.

     I believe that Jimi played the heart and soul. He felt the music coursing throughout his every fiber and was able to bring that out through his writing and playing, and that was good enough.

     I don’t feel he was the greatest or most technical player. I feel that he felt the guitar talking to him and he listened to it and not the limitations the musical world had imposed, and that was good enough.

     I have said before and I stand by it, music lives within all of us, some of us listen, and some hit the mute button. Jimi turned it up to 15 and beyond. You can see the magic in his live performances. When Jimi, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding took the stage it was a spectacle to behold.

     In conclusion, Jimi was not the greatest guitarist ever (I don’t think that title can ever be granted to one guitarist) but he did pave the way for others to realize it was ok to experiment and take their music to new levels. He influenced so many guitarists that I to think he is a legendary guitarist but not the best ever.

     If you want to see musicians truly lost in their craft check out this video for “Purple Haze”. Put it on the big screen, turn it up as loud as you can, and stare into their faces, you’ll see what I mean:

     Be true to the music within, it your friend that will be with you no matter what.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

   -the Hellion