Bassist Joey Vera talks about MOTOR SISTER

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Yipee!!! (That’s me jumping for joy at the fact that someone remembered the band Mother Superior)

I recently learned that Scott Ian gave himself a birthday present that in reality gave back to all of us.

     For his fiftieth birthday, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian wanted one present more than any other – the reunion of one of his favorite unsung heroes, Mother Superior – only he wanted to be a part of the lineup.

“They’re a great, classic band that hit me in the same spot as all my favorite ’70s bands, whether it’s UFO, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick or KISS,” Ian explains. “I knew getting to play with them would be like joining KISS and getting to record all my favorite KISS songs with Gene and Paul.”

Thanks to Scott’s wife Pearl Aday, who has been working on her solo career with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson for years, all it took was a quick phone call and the stage was literally set for Scott’s dream gig. “I wanted to cherry-pick a set list of my favorite Mother Superior songs and get these guys together and have the concert at my house,” Ian says of the event that eventually led to an album.

“[Mother Superior] frontman] Jim [Wilson] was totally into the idea. Pearl was a huge Mother Superior fan from way back and was in. I asked my good friends Joey Vera (Fates Warning/Armored Saint) and John Tempesta (White Zombie, The Cult) to be a part of it because I knew they were both big fans as well and with no hesitation they said, ‘We’re in.'”

Wilson, too, was stoked by the opportunity to dust off some songs he hadn’t played since his LA rock trio broke up in the early 2000’s after releasing eight albums and playing as Henry Rollins’ backing band.  “I definitely didn’t need any arm-twisting,” he says. “I was totally flattered and thought it was a great idea. I figured it would be fun and it was a great opportunity for a new chapter to be established in order to move forward.”

The band called itself Motor Sister after the Mother Superior song “Little Motor Sister” and got together the day before the party to rehearse in Ian’s jam room. For the party, they invited about 25 friends who were already Mother Superior fans and appreciated the significance of Wilson re-opening the vault.

“The energy in the room was amazing and we were great as a band playing those songs,” Ian says. “It felt awesome. We had no intention of doing anything after that. It was just something we did for fun and to celebrate my birthday.”

The crowd for the show may have been small, but it included several industry veterans who couldn’t stop raving about the performance. In no time, word got back to Metal Blade A&R man Mike Faley, who immediately realized the potential to capture the lightning in a bottle vibe the band exhibited that night and put it out on a record.

“He called me up and asked if I had any intention of doing anything more than that one show,” recalls Ian. “And I said, ‘It’s funny you should mention that because I was sitting in the kitchen talking to Pearl and I just said to her, ‘Imagine if we could make a record.’ And they said if I was serious Metal Blade would be happy to put it out.”

After the original Mother Superior broke up, Wilson recorded a solo album and played with Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris and Pearl. As rewarding as those projects have been, he was excited to return to the pedal-to-the-floor groove-rock he pursued for almost 18 years with Mother Superior.

“The minute I started to play with Scott, Joey and John the chemistry was amazing,” Wilson says. ” We sounded like a band that had been together forever. It was fresh, it was powerful. The original band had moments, but it was a power trio and it just never got its due. We were either a little ahead of our time or a little behind our time. When Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were taking over, we were rock and roll fans. We were being driven by classics like Humble Pie, Cream and KISS. Scott, John and Joey all come from that same place, too, so when we got together to play these songs that Scott had chosen it was like we were putting a fresh coat of paint on these old songs that still held up.”

Enthralled at the idea of making a record of his favorite Mother Superior songs, Ian emailed  producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) and asked if he thought it was possible to recapture the same spontaneous energy Motor Sister generated at their makeshift gig, and if an album could be recorded quickly. “He said, ‘Yeah, we can make the record in two days and we can make it sound really good.’ So that’s what we did,” Ian says. “A week and a half later, we made the record in LA over a two day period. We recorded the whole thing live in the studio and the set-up was just like it was at my house.”

For Wilson, revisiting Mother Superior classics with a second guitarist leant a new urgency to songs like “Devil Wind,” “Beg, Borrow, Steal” and “Dog House.” “I was always the sole guitar player of the original band. I overdubbed rhythm guitar in the studio, but it was all me,” Wilson says. “Now, there’s definitely a metal edge to these songs. It’s still blues-soaked rock and roll influenced by Zeppelin and the Stones. But it’s so great having Scott’s guitar in the mix. He’s playing on the left side and I’m on the right. Sometimes I jump in the center for a solo. But when you listen to the album it’s so cool to hear the two guitars and know who’s doing what. So if I’m doing a bluesy solo, you hear Scott on the left side adding his touch to the rhythms. And it sounds like him. I’ve never heard these songs sound more exciting.”

Ian, too, couldn’t be prouder of the album and insists he favorite tracks change almost every day. “I always go back to ‘Devil Wind’ because there’s something so epic about it,” he says. “If they ever finally make ‘The Dark Tower’ by Stephen King into a movie or TV series, ‘Devil Wind’ sound be the theme song.”

While everyone in Motor Sister is busy with their day jobs, they are all interested in playing live as much as possible. “We are a great live band” Ian says. “We proved it to ourselves in my jam room. It was our ability to play live together that made this happen and I can see us getting onstage and  playing this shit back-to-back, Ramones-style, and just blowing people’s minds with the power of these songs. And the door is always open to write more material because Pearl and Jim are always working together and I’m always with them. So we’ll see what happens in the future.”

“It would be great to keep this thing going,” Wilson concluded. “I enjoyed playing these songs with Motor Sister more than I’ve ever enjoyed them before. Scott’s like a brother, John Tempesta is such a monster drummer, Joey [Vera] is incredible and Pearl’s harmonies and background vocals are amazing. This feels like a continuation of trip I started long ago and it’s a real blessing.”

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     To top it all off I had the chance to speak with Joey Vera about the whole thing:
      it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!
     -the Hellion

FATES WARNING Reveal New Album Title, Artwork, Release Date, and Tour Dates!

FATES WARNING Reveal New Album Title, Artwork, Release Date, and Tour Dates!

c_diadlU.S. Progressive Metal pioneers FATES WARNING have finally returned with their first studio album release in about a decade! Entitled Darkness In A Different Light, the album will be released on September 30, 2013 in Europe and October 1, 2013 in North America via InsideOutMusic.

Darkness In A Different Light is FATES WARNING‘s first album of new material since the release of FWX in 2004 and also marks the first release for the band’s stellar current line-up of Ray Alder (vocals), Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti (guitars), Joey Vera (bass) and Bobby Jarzombek (drums).

The album was produced by Matheos and mixed by long time FATES WARNING engineer Phil Magnotti, while mastering was handled by Maor Appelbaum at Maor Appelbaum Mastering, California.  The (above pictured) artwork for the album was designed by Conte di San Pietro.

FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder checked in with a comment as follows:

Darkness in a Different Light is the result of almost two years of very hard work from everyone in the band. 
I believe that this line-up is the best that Fates has ever had, and I also think that it comes through in the music on this album. It’s been almost nine years since our last studio album and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished here.
We are looking very much forward to playing some new songs for our fans who have stuck by us over all these years. We plan on touring as much as possible for Darkness in a Different Light and hopefully we’ll hit a few places we’ve never been…”

Indeed, FATES WARNING already have headlining touring runs confirmed for October in Europe and November/December in North America, with further live activity to follow in 2014.
Here are all the dates announced so far:

FATES WARNING European Tour 2013:

SA 05.10.2013 Baarlo (The Netherlands) – Progpower Festival
SU 06.10.2013 Zoetermeer (The Netherlands) – Boerderij
MO 07.10.2013 Aschaffenburg (Germany) –  Colos Saal
WE 09.10.2013 Essen (Germany) – Turock
TH 10.10.2013 Roeselare (Belgium) – Verlichte Geest
FR 11.10.2013 Augsburg (Germany) – Musikkantine
SA 12.10.2013 Pratteln (Switzerland) – Z7
SU 13.10.2013 Brescia  (Italy) – Colony
TU 15.10.2013 Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Orto Bar
WE 16.10.2013 Budapest (Hungary) – A38
TH 17.10.2013 Bratislava (Slovakia) – Randal
SA 19.10.2013 Thessaloniki Greece) – Eightball Club
SU 20.10.2013 Athens (Greece) – Gagarin 205
TU 22.10.2013 Moscow (Russia) – KZ Moskva

FATES WARNING North American Tour 2013:

FR 15.11.2013 Joliet, IL – Mojoe’s
SA 16.11.2013 Detroit, MI – Harpos
SU 17.11.2013 Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub & Billiards
MO 18.11.2013 Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
WE 20.11.2013 Toronto, ONT – Mod Club
TH 21.11.2013 Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance
FR 22.11.2013 Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
SA 23.11.2013 New York, NY – The Studio @ Webster Hall
SU 24.11.2013 Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
TU 26.11.2013 Amityville, NY – Revolution
WE 27.11.2013 Reading, PA – Reverb
FR 29.11.2013 Springfield, VA – Empire
SA 30.11.2013 Spartanburg, SC – Ground Zero
SU 01.12.2013 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
TU 03.12.2013 Houston, TX – Scout Bar
WE 04.12.2013 San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
TH 05.12.2013 Dallas, TX – Trees
SA 07.12.2013 Phoenix, AZ – Rocky Point Cantina
SU 08.12.2013 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
TU 10.12.2013 Los Angeles, CA – The Whisky
WE 11.12.2013 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
FR 13.12.2013 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
SA 14.12.2013 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven

More details about Darkness In A Different Light will follow in the coming weeks…

FATES WARNING Line-Up:
Ray Alder – Vocals
Jim Matheos – Guitars
Joey Vera – Bass
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Frank Aresti – Guitars

FATES WARNING Online:
www.fateswarning.com
www.facebook.com/FatesWarning