Sandoval/Araiza: Project Playlist

If I were to have to give a quote about the music Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza make, it would be this: “This is music as it should be, no preconceived formula here. These guys write and play what they “feel” and that, my friends, is the true spirit of music.”

I’ve known these two guys for a while now and it had been my great fortune to have been at the birth of most of their work. Of The Earth, Frank Hannon Band and now as Jeff and Mike.

That being said, let’s talk about their latest effort  Project Playlist. I cannot tell you how many times I received a text or an excited phone call from Mike telling me to “check out this riff” or “what do you think about this?” there was passion in those messages and that fervor and passion found its way to the record untarnished. Jeff, on the other hand, is like a Zen Master, calm, cool, and collected. His lyrics and powerful yet smooth vocals carry weight and presence that in my opinion border on legendary. Let’s get into the tracks and stroll around a bit.

Project Playlist opens with “The Good Fight” (which happens to be my go to track on this record). Have you ever heard a song that just stays with you? I mean one that you find yourself hitting repeat over and over again? One that you manage to find something new with each listen? You find yourself absent-mindedly humming or tapping the beat throughout the day? “The Good Fight” just happens to be a song like that. Even cooler is that a couple of my close friends wrote it. I tried to put that aside and came to the conclusion that the fact that they were my friends was irrelevant, this is a damn good song, period. As I continued to listen to “The Good Fight” I compared it side by side with other songs and artists I consider in the same vein. This comparison led me to the conclusion that this track by a couple of guys that live in my town and I know personally can go toe to toe with artists like SIXX A.M., Pop Evil, STP, etc., etc. This track features studio wizard Chris Collier on drums and bass as well as production.

“So Long”, featuring Will Hunt on Drums, has a fresh , yet  familiar feeling and yet stays unique. Powerful and yet not abrasive in away this is a song that one could use to set the pace of their impending day. Feeling good and energetic is what this track brings to me.

“It’s All I need” features Kurt Arft on bass and Chris Collier on drums and really packs a punch. Deep lyrics and Jeff’s powerful vocals give this song some weight. This is a heavy song but not overbearing if you get my meaning. Their craftsmanship shines through here.

“Beggars And Thieves” features Kurt Arft again on bass and Will Hunt on drums. This track is probably the “grooviest” one on the record and will have your head bobbing and foot tapping as soon as you start listening to it. There’s a couple of twin guitar parts that Mike just kills with.

Project Playlist closes out with “No Answer” which features Frank Hannon has that 70’s vibe that just goes so well with this song. I love the guitar wok in this track. Nice way to close out the record with some quality music and friends.

What do we ultimately get with Project Playlist? A Rock and Roll record that stands up in this turbulent time in the music industry. Jeff and Mike said “Damn the norm, we’re gonna make the music that we feel inside” and it works, on so many levels. Music at its purest level is what we have here folks.

I must also give shout outs to Kurt Arft, Will Hunt, and Frank Hannon for stepping up and going toe to toe with Jeff and Mike. Their performances are outstanding on this record. I didn’t forget Chris Collier, not only did he deliver some killer bass and drums, like a mad scientist he grafted it all together to deliver a superior recording. I think that in today’s DIY music industry production quality has suffered at the hands of inexperience in record production. Jeff and Mike know the value of a properly produced record and have developed a relationship with Chris that works.

So, after all of that why should you get a copy of Project Playlist? I could say because they are my friends and it would be cool to help them out, but I’m not. You should get this record because it’s great music, that’s it in a nutshell.

Now, you only have until Friday 08/12/16 to get your order in at https://squareup.com/store/JeffAndMike  after that you will only be able to pick it up at live performances. Good news is new music is already being made so stay tuned.

Thanks Jeff and Mike for keeping music alive. – the Hellion

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE 2016 U.S. TOUR WITH ZAKK SABBATH & KYNG

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June 15th, 2016 – Clutch continues their Psychic Warfare World Tour 2016.  Headline tour dates for September-October are in.  The group will be heading back on the road this Fall headlining another leg of their US tour. Supporting the tour will be Zakk Sabbath and Los Angeles based metal band Kyng. Including 2 festival appearances, the trek will begin in Buffalo, NY at the The Town Ballroom on September 28th and conclude in Worcester, MA at The Palladium on October 30th.
 
Clutch lead vocalist Neil Fallon commented “We are pleased to announce that this Fall Clutch will be hitting the road again in the U.S..  This time with Zakk Sabbath and KyngClutch toured with Black Label Society a few years back and it was a blast –  and no doubt, this one will be a blast as well.  We hope to see you all there!”
 
Psychic Warfare is the latest and eleventh studio effort from Clutch.  The disc debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, No. 2 on the Billboard Independent,  No. 1 on the Billboard Hard Rock and Billboard Rock charts.  On Record Store Day this past April 16th Clutch released a limited edition numbered etched vinyl 12 inch that included two previously unreleased tracks from the Psychic Warfare sessions:  “Mad Sidewinder” and “Outland Special Clearance“.   Psychic Warfare was produced by longtime producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die).   
 
Zakk Sabbath, bring their take on Black Sabbath songs on the road for the first time ever The band features  guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label SocietyOzzy Osbourne), bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Ozzy OsbourneRob Zombie) and drummer Joey Castillo (DanzigQueens Of The Stone Age).   Kyng, the Los Angeles based metal trio, will be supporting their 3rd release and follow up to 2014’s Burn The Serum.
 
Pre-sale tickets will be on sale today (June 15th) at 12PM local time with public on sale beginning Friday, June  17 at 10AM local time.  Pre-sale tickets are available here: Tickets.artistarena.com/clutch 
For all other information, visit the Clutch website (www.pro-rock.com).
 
Clutch, Zakk Sabbath, Kyng 2016 Tour Dates
 
09/28 – Buffalo, NY @ The Town Ballroom
09/30 – Lakewood, NJ @ First Energy Park – Rock Carnival *
10/01 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/02 – Louisville, KY @ Champions Park – Louder Than Life *
10/04 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
10/05 – Atlanta, GA @ The Buckhead Theatre
10/07 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre Street Stage
10/08 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
10/10 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
10/11 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/12 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
10/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
10/15 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
10/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
10/18 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
10/20 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
10/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/22 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
10/24 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note ** NO Zakk Sabbath
10/25 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
10/27 – Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
10/28 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
10/29 – Clifton Park, NY @Upstate Concert Hall
10/30 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
 
* festival appearance 
 
CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

                                                  

 
For more  information, check out the band’s website:
 
Official: www.pro-rock.com
 
You know I’ll be there!!! – the Hellion

the Hellion Rocks talks to Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza about their new release Project Playlist

If any of you are like me, you constantly crave new music. Not just new music but quality music. Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza deliver, in spades, with Project Playlist. Jeff and Mike have taken many musical journeys together and have included me along the way. Check out this heartfelt discussion we had about how they got to where they are today. When you’re done watching I HIGHLY recommend you click on the picture below and order Project Playlist . There will be a detailed song by song review up this Saturday so stay tuned. Project Playlist is currently the front-runner for CD of the year on the Hellion Rocks and that’s no joke.  Order yours today!!!

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

-the Hellion

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO WATCH IT!

CD Cover

     CLICK THE PICTURE TO ORDER NOW!

The top 10 of 2015

     2015 is over but it brought us some great new music. Here are my top 10 in no particular order, enjoy:

Stryper – Fallen

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Stryper’s new release, Fallen, is a supercharged release to say the least. For a band that has been around for 32 years they have continued to impress. This record is full of killer riffs and powerhouse vocals. I am totally impressed by the production quality of this record. I was even surprised to see a Black Sabbath cover on here “After Forever” is done very well by Stryper.  The track that grabs hold and will not let go is “Fallen” :

     Check out Stryper online:

https://www.facebook.com/Stryper/?fref=ts

http://www.stryper.com/

Ugly Kid Joe – Uglier Than They Used Ta Be

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     Ahhh Ugly Kid Joe, 19 years after Motel California UKJ is back with a full album. These hold a very special place in my heart and always will. This record shows that UKJ has not lost a bit of the attitude that made them so great. This is rock n’ roll pure and undistilled. The stand out here is “Hell Ain’t Hard To Find”:

     Ugly Kid Joe online:

https://www.facebook.com/uglykidjoetheband/?fref=ts

http://www.uglykidjoe.net/

Throw The Temple – No Way But Down

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     Throw The Temple is a hard working band that takes itself serious without being serious about it. Believe me, every move they make is calculated and planned. After seeing them perform for several years they have finally put out and album to be proud of. Full of deep lyrics and catchy tunes ( I even persuaded them to provide the theme song for the Hellion Rocks) this is an album which should be garnering national attention. Enjoy the video for “We Got It Goin'” right here:

     Throw The Temple online:

https://www.facebook.com/throwthetemple/?fref=ts

http://www.throwthetemple.com/

Devil City Angels – Devil City Angels

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     This record was a complete surprise to me. While technically a “supergroup” it sounds nothing like one. I was ina bad mood the first time I played this record, by the end not so much. This is just a feel good record that you can tell was fun to make.  Comprised of the legendary Tracii Guns, Rudy Sarzo, Rikki Rockett, and Brandon Gibbs, this is a DO NOT MISS record. Here’s the video for “Boneyard”:

     Devil City Angels online:

https://www.facebook.com/DevilCityAngels/

Motorhead – Bad Magic

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     Motörhead has always been a guilty pleasure for me. I have always listened to them and probably always will. I have seen the fairweather fans come and go as the trends change. I was extremely saddened to hear of the deaths of Lemmy and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. This final album from Motörhead is to savor and enjoy.  Take a listen to “Electricity” and pay your respects:

       Motörhead online:

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMotorhead/?fref=ts

http://www.imotorhead.com/tablet/index.html

Skulldron – Through The Smoke

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     Skulldron rocks, plain and simple. I have known these guys for years and years and enjoyed them immensely. Skulldron falls into the Stoner/Doom metal category and they do it so very well. This is a band that NEEDS some worldwide acclaim. This is another record that SHOULD be in your collection. Well crafted and put together Through The Smoke takes you on a trip to a very cool place in your head. Take a peek at G.O.A.T. :

     Skulldron online:

https://www.facebook.com/skulldron/?fref=ts

http://skulldron.com/

Clutch – Psychic Warfare

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     Clutch is band that, to me, everyone should be running to the store and buying all of their records. Firing on all cylinders and then some,  Clutch  simply rules. This album continues Clutch’s streak of aggressive, hard charging rock. I have one thing to say about Clutch, if you don’t like them, you haven’t listened  to them. Psychic Warfare is a great record to introduce you to the awesomeness that is Clutch. “X-Ray Visions” will whet your appetite:

     Clutch online:

 https://www.facebook.com/Clutchband/?fref=ts

http://www.pro-rock.com/

Dellacoma – South Of Everything

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     Dellacoma Rio, vocalist for Dellacoma is one of the hardest working men in rock n’ roll. Hailing from Australia, Del continually works on world domination. Putting together an outstanding band of three world class musicians: Art Struck, Matt Cook, and Rick Reynolds,  Dellacoma wrote and recorded a well crafted piece of art. No frill, no filler, just straight up feel good music. This is my pick for road music of the year. Put this on, roll down the windows,  and hit the road. Let me show you what I mean:

     Dellacoma online:

https://www.facebook.com/dellacoma

http://www.dellacoma.com/

Red Sky Mary – River Child

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     Red Sky Mary was an accidental find for me. I was completely taken aback by the soul in this young band. It was as if someone jumped into a time machine and collected the DNA from several 70’s bands and somehow fused them into Red Sky Mary. I find so much depth and beauty in this record it amazes me that their are bands still making music that you can truly feel. Here is the latest from Red Sky Mary:

     Red Sky Mary online:

https://www.facebook.com/redskymary/

http://www.redskymary.com/

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Live at the Roxy 9.25.14

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     Slash and crew deliver on this live recording from the Roxy. I f you have never had the chance to catch them live this is the next best thing. Relaxed and fun this record showcases Slash’s and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators talent. With songs that span throughout Slash’s career from GNR, Velvet Revolver, through today this one is a winner. My favorite track from this record:

 

Slash and the boys online:

https://www.facebook.com/Slash/

http://www.slashonline.com/

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

     -the Hellion

our thoughts are with those in Paris

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yet again we hear of mans inhumanity towards man. I am sickened and saddened at the reports of the wanton destruction in Paris. It’s ok to have different beliefs than others, just let others have their beliefs as well. I have never ever imposed my beliefs on any one else, I have also never faulted or told someone they were wrong for not believing as I do.

People out of their houses and enjoying themselves were cut down for doing so. People out and enjoying a sporting event were targeted.  People who enjoy music and put aside their differences and come together to enjoy live music were executed enjoying what they love.

It is a another sad day in this world that is rapidly losing touch with its sanity…..

 

-the Hellion

Alive on the Road fund

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In this day and age a band on the road faces numerous challenges. Stolen instruments, gas money, vehicle repairs,  feeding themselves, showering, where to sleep, and yet they keep doing it in order to share their music. I am constantly seeing posts about bands getting into some heinous situations every day. Most recover and carry on, others find the situation overwhelming. I am bouncing around the idea of creating a fund based upon donations to help keep bands in need on the road.

I am thinking if we can create a network of people around the USA willing to put their heads together and figure a way to help bands out when they get into a situation in which help is required. Keep in mind this is only in the exploration stage right now and I am open to any and all ideas. We might even be able to get help from some hotel, vehicle repair/rental, food, and musical instrument and supply companies.

My tentative name for this is the Alive And On The Road fund.

If you have an interest in this and wish to provide some input please contact me at janaya@thehellionrocks.com

I can’t do this without the greater music community people so please help to keep young bands on the road.

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

-the Hellion

sadness, hatred, death and sorrow….

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I would like to apologize to my loyal readers. I had to step away from social media for a minute because of the overwhelming flood of mayhem on it. I needed time to reflect on how I can help. We need more positive messages and treatment of each other. Only by looking within and deciding to make a positive impact can we make changes. Never be afraid to care.

-the Hellion