BABYJANE, GILBY CLARKE, AND WORLD DOMINATION…

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Wait, what? You’ve never heard of Babyjane? Don’t worry, you soon will. Imagine if you will a band steeped in Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Skid Row, Sex Pistols, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, The Cult, Faith No More, Megadeth, Pantera, KISS, Aerosmith and you will begin to understand the music of Babyjane.

Australia has given the world some great bands and now we can include Babyjane into that fold. I was excited to learn that Babyjane was doing a little bit of work with one of my favorite artists and one hell of a nice guy, Gilby Clarke. Paul Judge – Bass / Vocals recently related the story of how they came to work with Gilby:

” the song basically came to be through testing the waters to see who was out there in the States that would just record one song with us, so we could get a feel of who we wanted to do the next album with. we recorded twice with Michael Wagener so we’ve been there and done that – we didn’t want things to start getting stale by recording with him over and over again. plus, he’s all the way over in Nashville. we love it there, but it’s so far away – we wanted to spend more time on the coast. it’s a better environment for recording, at least for us.

asking Gilby to record us was a punt we took that we never thought he’d say yes to, but he jumped at the chance when he heard our demos. we sent him demo’s for 4 songs we’d been working on – You Know That Bitch Better Than Me, 23 Sins, No Enemies and Do Ya Know Who I Am. he chose Do Ya as the song – we ended up trimming the title because it sounded catchier.

recording with him was great because he was in our favourite band from our teenage years. we had to rush it – we only had a day in LA before catching 2 flights to Oklahoma to play Rocklahoma. he was supportive and really guided us into a groove when laying the song down. other producers haven’t been quite so nice in the past. being positive and patient with musicians goes a long way. but, while recording with him, Keith Olsen reared his head up again – and we were scheduled to record with him two years ago, but the funding fell through. he made us an offer which was too good to refuse this time, and since he was always our original choice, we left the Gilby things as a fun one-off experiment and went back to our original plan, which was to have Keith record the next album. we met up with him in hollywood, he bought us dinner, then came down to watch us play at the whiskey.

when we got offstage he said “absolutely fantastic – I HAVE to record you guys now… we’re gonna make this happen.” so, all we need to do now is line up WHEN we’re gonna record with him in 2016.

as for recording with Gilby, he’s so busy with Slash and Duff and all the rest of them in Kings of Chaos that we wouldn’t have had time to do any more songs with him than the one we did. but when you hear it, you’ll see it was worth it. it’s a song about not really having any relationship with yourself at times. feeling alienated from yourself, having no idea who the fuck you are. it’s the first track we’ve recorded to feature our more recent guitar player, Sav Hatzi.

we’ve been very lucky in the 7 years we’ve been a band – we haven’t taken over the world but we’ve worked with amazing people in the industry. all without having to get loads of commercial airplay too. we’ve had an idol of ours, John Corabi, sing the opening song on our second album, we’ve had Michael Wagener mix and record us from top to bottom, we’ve opened for Sebastian Bach and Paul DiAnno, we’ve been given attention on blabbermouth.net six times, we’ve been invited to play Rocklahoma, no one can ever tell us we haven’t reached some milestones. if it all ended tomorrow we’d be over the moon with what we’ve done. most importantly, we’ve made some amazing music.

but the next album is really gonna blow heads off. Whitesnake 1987 is a milestone in rock, and Ozzy’s No rest For the Wicked was one of my favourite albums growing up – Keith’s done them both, as well as Jesse’s Girl, Winds of Change by the Scorpions… he’s got an ear and sensibility  for great melodies. that’s just what Babyjane need. so we’ve had the big, snappy sound of Michael Wagener leading the way on a Babyjane album, we’ve had a racy, get-it-all-done-in-one-day thrash of working with Gilby – which was great for the feel of the song – and next we’re going to have a big, planned, soundscape of rock n roll love that only Keith can accomplish at the mixing desk. in fact, when I hear him talk about the Neve console on the Sound City documentary he did, I get excited at what he’s going to bring to the album.” -Paul Judge

     

     Andy Smith (vocals and guitar); Sav Hatzi (lead guitar); Paul Judge (bass and vocals) and Nik ‘Animal’ Kats (drums)

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     Babyjane, not content with just hanging around Australia, has kicked in the door to the outside world and wedged it open. With their impending new release and the people involved they will have no problem knocking it off its hinges.

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Babyjane

     -the Hellion

 

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they journeyed down the Highway To Hell and came Back In Black

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how can a band have back to back swansongs? Leave it to AC/DC. I was watching a documentary on the band and it got me thinking about their career. Keep in mind these are just my opinions and mine alone.

AC/DC has been hanging out in my ears since “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” caught my attention in late 1976. I was hooked from the get go. I really identified with the rebellious dirty sound of these guys. AC/DC was a band full of guys that were the type your parents warned you to stay away from and yet you couldn’t. I felt an affinity towards these guys and made it my mission to collect their music and adopt their attitude.

I earned money to buy High Voltage, T.N.T, Dirty Deeds, Let There Be Rock, and Powerage. I did my best to wear them out as they remained in constant rotation on my turntable. There was just SOMETHING about the vibe of the music.

The summer of 1979 AC/DC delivered unto the world their best work to date, Highway to Hell. This record was perfection start to finish. The songs were flawless, and the cover was every parents nightmare back then. Devil horns, pentagrams, sullen hooligans…heroes to us rebellious youths.

Then a short seven months later my hero Bon was found dead in a car, death by misadventure, taken out like he lived.

In my mind I think that AC/DC made the best album they could ever make and the pressure to top it was weighing heavy on Bon. I think it was Bon Scott era AC/DC’s swansong.

My mind was blown when in the summer of 1980 a new AC/DC record hit the stores, Back In Black. Wait, what?!?!? They had replaced Bon Scott?!?!? Turns out that yes they had.

I bought it and raced home to hear what my beloved AC/DC had done. It wasn’t bad, in fact the record kicked ass. Brian Johnson wasn’t Bon and he wasn’t trying to be, and I was ok with that. It was AC/DC and yet….not. I felt that the new stuff was good but was missing a bit of their street tough element. To me this was Brian Johnson era AC/DC’s swansong.

And that was that, the following records really did nothing for me and I felt that my beloved AC/DC had crossed into the realm of hard-pop music and even though I have consistently purchased every release the love affair  was long over.

That is how to me AC/DC made back to back swansong records. They jumped the shark twice, and to me that’s ok.

AC/DC soldiers on to this day and yes I still support them and always will, but that special connection, that spark, that nod from one street tough to another is long gone…

Thanks for the history guys, I still have the denim vest, and can still smell cigarette smoke and feel the whiskey flask in my pocket, and probably always will.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s AC/DC!!!

the Hellion

So you want to be a promoter?

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So you wanna be a promoter huh? Well you better put your big boy/girl pants on and get ready to work. If you think it’s a cool thing to do and you get to hang out with the band, you have another thing coming.

What exactly is a promoter? According to the internet it says: Tour promoters (also known as concert promoters or talent buyers) are the individuals or companies responsible for organizing a live concert tour or special event performance. The tour promoter makes an offer of employment to a particular artist, usually through the artist’s agent or music manager. The promoter and agent then negotiate the live performance contract.

Let’s be real, most bands these days deal with local “in town” promoters. This means a lot of work for the small time promoter because most don’t really have the money or staff to back them. This also means a lot of upfront money out of pocket for said promoter. First things first, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE FUCKING MONEY TO PAY THE BANDS!!!!!!! The minute you book a show you should set aside your guarantees. There is nothing more heinous than for a traveling band to get stiffed on their guarantee. Most of these bands are getting show to show on the money from the previous show. Now, let’s talk venue. Make sure you completely check out the venue and ensure load in/out locations, if there is a “green room” for the band, if there is sound equipment and a person to man it (here’s a tip: a good promoter should be able to put their hands on a PA and sound guy in a minute. ALWAYS HAVE A BACK UP, AND A BACK UP BACK UP!) The MINUTE you book a show PROMOTE THE SHIT OUT OF IT!!! This does NOT mean just create a Facebook event page and sit back and expect the masses to show up. Make flyers, call people, hand out said flyers at other shows, hit up the local radio shows, HIT THE STREETS!!! Night of show, BE THE FIRST PERSON THERE!!!! You are the director of traffic for the evening, period. Make sure everything and everyone has a place and they are in it. Make the bands feel welcomed and appreciated (THEY WILL TELL OTHER BANDS HOW THEY WERE TREATED!!!) and they will do their best and will love to work with you again. The fans will come to know that your shows are well run and incredible and the word will spread. There are no excuses for putting on a lame show.

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

-the Hellion

it’s all you

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With all of the news of racial/social/political unrest as of late it has caused me to reflect on things, and I have come to the conclusion it is all because of you.

You have the choice to not hit your child or your spouse. Sure you might have grown up in a home where domestic violence was the norm (I myself witnessed my mother beaten by my stepfather and I was at the end of a few myself), and yet I choose to respect my wife and children. I choose to not follow that path.

You have the choice not to sexually abuse others. Again, I knew  people who were abused by people they trusted and yet they grew up and made choices to help others that were being abused.

You have the choice to not abuse alcohol. Again I have firsthand experience with alcoholism in the home. This is a devastating problem int he country today. I have again made the choice to stay away from that lifestyle.

You have the choice to not abuse drugs. Once more, I have experienced this in my home as a child. This is another choice I am proud to have made in staying away.

You have the choice to obey the law and not run from the police. I am saddened to see all of the death and destruction in the news today regarding this issue. Think of how many would still be alive if they had just obeyed the law and the police. I say again, you have the ability to choose the right thing.

There is only one race, the human race. We are all brethren and should not be afraid to embrace each other publicly and claim our love for one another. We could achieve miracles then.

Choose wisely my friends

-the Hellion

Go home iHeartRadio, you’re drunk

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I used to enjoy listening to the radio. Now it’s just a jukebox with the selector buttons broken so we hear the same songs over and over. While I enjoy all forms of music, I predominantly listen to Rock N’ Roll. Recently one of my favorite long time radio stations, KZRR 94 Rock, was assimilated by the collective known as  iHeartRadio. This assimilation has brought with it inane commercials for  iHeartRadio advertising artists and events that have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GENRE OF ROCK N’ ROLL!!! I also tried out their streaming of 94 Rock while I was out of state for three months. With their streaming they have something called “Fast Tracks” which turn out to be an abbreviated version of a song…wait, WHAT? PLAY THE WHOLE SONG!!!! Here’s another idea for iHeartRadio, how about playing some of the new artists trying to break through? I mean as much as I love the artists that do get play, there are many others out there.

I get the feeling that iHeartRadio is actually trying to kill off live radio and music as well. Just the other day another station that I listened to, 104.1 The Edge, dismissed its long running morning show personalities. This dismissal has led to an out-crying of support for said personalities. The reason was given as “restructuring” of the radio station…sigh.

I think we need REAL radio stations back with REAL DJ’s who played the music that they loved and had some control over it. I mean think about how many bands you were turned on to by a DJ.

I say now go home iHeartRadio you are not welcome anymore.

-the Hellion.

Bon Scott and Brian Johnson and AC/DC

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I was 13 years old and had that one older friend that my parents warned me about. He was also that friend who turned me on to some great music. He had long hair, wore a denim vest, engineer boots, drank beer, and smoked cigarettes. He also loved this band from Australia called AC/DC.

I grew to love this band as well and their “dangerous image”. They were raw, abrasive, and didn’t give a shot about niceties. They songs reached into your dirty side and made you feel cooler by just having listened to them. There was no pop, bubblegum, with these guys, just nasty Rock N’ Roll.

Bon Scott had a voice like no other, period. There was no smooth golden notes to slide easily into your ears. Bon himself exuded so much coolness, and it worked.

Then in 1980 on the heels of their greatest album to date, Highway To Hell, the world lost Bon. I was devastated to say the least. Myself and my Rock N’ Roll cronies paid our respect by trying to wear out our AC/DC records. And yes, I shed a few tears for Bon.

I don’t remember when it was but I soon read rumors that AC/DC was going to soldier on with a new vocalist. My circle was abuzz with speculation. And on July 25th 1980 we were waiting at the record store for the new release, Back In Black.

We listened to the record trying to be accepting of what we were hearing. It was a great record from start to finish. While the new singer, Brian Johnson, was no Bon Scott, he did the band justice. We had hope for AC/DC with Brian.

It is now 2015 and I now find myself reflecting back through the years of AC/DC music. Now, I am gonna piss a lot of you off. Back In Black was the last great album AC/DC made.

I had high hopes for the band but in my opinion they strayed into the pop world with all of the albums after Back In Black. While not becoming a shitty band, they just lost that dangerous raw edge that drew me in in the first place.

I do happen to own every AC/DC release from the beginning to Rock Or Bust, and will continue to support them, I just happen to not get the same rush from their newer music.

Bon, I miss you and wonder how far you could have taken the band,  and Brian great effort in carrying on but sorry, it wasn’t the same.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s AC/DC

-the Hellion

Bleach Bangs Radio discusses Motley Crue, AC/DC, and Van Halen and should they hang it up?

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Well, like that irritating rash, WE’RE BACK!!! We at Bleach Bangs Radio are exploring out options to infiltrate your ear holes and burrow into your brains. This time we decided to discuss some bands and their lifespans. Should they pull the plug? Should the defibrillators be hooked up to them? Check out the show right here:

     Afterwards let us know your thoughts. Pay attention as well because you just might have your chance to participate in an upcoming Bleach Bangs show yourself!!!

     -Bleach Bangs crew