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

 

 

 

 

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back up soon

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the Hellion Rocks will be back up and running soon from my temporary location in upstate New York…

We need Rock N’ Roll heroes

 

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Remember when Rock Stars were larger than life? Glammed out superheroes we stuck on our walls and tried to emulate? Over the top looks and lifestyles were the norm for them. Not to mention we had a lot of cool music to listen to. We need them back in our lives, and then some.

Turn on the news, read a paper and it’s doom and gloom with no end in sight. It’s getting old and tired to me.  Remember how you felt when you saw you favorite Rock Star or picked up a new record, poster, or magazine? Remember how good it felt?

There are still real Rock Stars walking the earth. They are out there and we need to step up and support them and what they do. Go to a Rock Show and help it to be all that it can be. Buy the records, shirts, and hit them up for posters and such. Let’s enjoy ourselves and revel in Rock N’ Roll once again!

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

the Hellion

Dellacóma Rio returns with new lineup and a new EP – The Dead Will Rise

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Change
Dead Will Rise
Needle In The Red
Under My Skin

     Dellacóma Rio came to my attention as the dynamic front man of the stellar Australian group Sunset Riot. Unfortunately sunset Riot parted ways last year.   Dellacóma Rio however, decided to forge ahead with his music career and reinvent himself musically. Dellacóma went to ground and worked on some new music to wow the world with. I am fortunate to have been in constant contact with Dellacóma during this transition and now have the chance to tell you about the new EP:The Dead Will Rise  by the band DELLACOMA!!!

Dellacoma Band

     The four song EP shows a departure from the sound of Sunset Riot. Dellacóma’s sound is rougher and a bit raw, and I love it. I don’t have the EP track listing so I’ll talk about the tracks one by one. “Change” has that catchy groove that sucks you in from the get go, there is no time to ease into this track. Great harmonies augment  Dellacóma’s voice and he is singing stronger than ever. The chorus will have you singing along with your fist in the air. “Dead Will Rise” slows the pace a bit showcasing the raw emotion in the voice of Dellacóma Rio. This is definitely a song worthy of raising your lighter (or lit up phone) as the song moves through its soulful guitars and melodies.

     “Needle In The Red” is one of my favorite tracks off of the EP hands down. Dirty raw and nasty rawk n’ roll brings this track to life. Nice guitar hooks with plenty of wah, solid back beat, throbbing bass line combined with the power of Dellacóma Rio’s voice make this a winner “Come and get some, yeahhhh”.  “Under My Skin” is the second of my favorite tracks. It begins with a drum intro worthy of some of the top arena bands of the past. This track is reminiscent of those bands we all know and love form those arena days. It’s very easy to imagine this song cranking as thousands of fans scream for more. Powerful and punchy this track will be a winner live!

     Dellacóma Rio is back and he hasn’t missed a beat. His live lineup is Matt Cook on drums, Rick Reynolds on bass, and Art Struck on guitars. Dellacoma the band is hitting the road this spring in support of the new EP so keep a look out for a show near you!

     Stay up to date with Dellacoma online:

     http://www.dellacoma.com/

     https://www.facebook.com/dellacoma

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s DELLACOMA!!!

     -the Hellion

2013 was a great year for the Hellion Rocks, bring on 2014!!!

178928_10150973183505972_426071352_n 2013 was great year for us here at the Hellion Rocks. Killer interviews, great shows and hanging with even cooler people. It’s very cool when you get to talk to artists you have grown to admire. It’s even cooler when they message you and stay in contact with you. It’s a great feeling when you also help to spread the word of a new up-and-coming band as well. In the past year I have learned how small the music community really is. It is amazing the connections that lead to other connections and how the music brings us all together.

I have to give thanks to my cohorts at Bleach Bangs Radio, Charlie Owens and Randy Norris. These guys are my brothers plain and simple. They are the embodiment of awesome and I am proud to work with them.

     Eddie’s Mates holds a special place in my heart as well. Sandy and Sean have not only helped us with Bleach Bangs Radio they also made the logo for the Hellion Rocks! Thanks EM!!!

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I have to thank my wife Dani for giving me the courage and strength to reach out and chase this crazy dream. She is ALWAYS there for me.

There are so many people who mean the world to me as well: Mike Araiza, Jeff Sandoval, Adam Joad, Jake Delling LeBas, Redd Yoachum and the rest from Scattered Hamlet, Craw Cajun and Kat Ford, Death Alley Motor Cult, Kurt Arft, Wornstar Clothing, Justin Manning and Crowned By Fire, and Dellacoma Rio and the Sunset Riot guys, Steve Helmer, Dave Gold, and Bobby Siekkinen . Those are just a few from an incredible list.

Thank you to all of the publicists that have worked with me this year as well. Here’s looking towards a productive 2014!!!

Thanks to Blabbermouth.net and Circus Magazine for picking up some of my interviews! I am honored and humbled.

Lastly but far from least I wish I could personally thank each and every one of the 60,000 people from the 140 countries around the world who dropped in on this site last year. I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you want to see here in the future.

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

see ya in 2014 – the Hellion

Happy Holidays from the Hellion Rocks!

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2013 was an AWESOME year! I got to photograph and interview some GREAT artists and make  a lot of new friends. Thank you to you all for stopping in and checking things out! We’re planning on bringing you bigger and better things in 2014! I’m already backed up with CD reviews!

 

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

the Hellion

What is music to me?

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What is music? Wow, what a question. I’ll try to tell you what it is to me.

I remember being alone a lot when I was younger, I also remember a painful childhood. Yet there was always a friend around to whisk me away from reality, music. I would often find myself listening to the world around me and the music it contained. There were birds chirping, the wind in the trees or against a building, the rain, sometimes the music of people going about their lives. That was natural music and it lives within us all, it is primal.

I remember radio becoming a close friend to me as well. I would listen to the various stations open minded to all that I was hearing. Through it all Rock N’ Roll called to me and welcomed me with open arms. There was such feeling in the music, and I identified with it. I was carried away from the everyday world by Rush, Van Halen, Boston, Peter Frampton, KISS….on an on. I was safe with them and I felt good. I give thanks to the live DJs who turned me on to the music they were listening to. I remember being able to call them up late night and discuss music with them and learn of bands and songs that still hold meaning to me today.

Ahhh the rock show, I have many fond memories here. When I was old enough I started going to live concerts and experiencing live music. What a joy to hear the songs I had come to know and love in a live setting. It was magical to see the songs being played to the moment. There is nothing like a live song played with the passion and emotions of the artist in the now. It was a party going to a live show, no fighting (well not like today, there were a few at times), no animosity, such a gathering for a good time. You could find out about bands you might not have heard of yet from others and you could turn them on to bands you have discovered. It was FUN!!! No cellphones, no leaving before the show was over, you were on from the first note to the end. Then the post show hangout and discussions, oh the times we had.

The event  of a new release, yes I said event. Once upon a time there were music stores and that was their main focus. Many of us would read every scrap of print we could find in order to know about upcoming releases. We would hang around in the record store talking music, and about the bands we loved. When a new record came out we would eagerly shell out our hard earned bucks, race home heart pounding, rip off the plastic, smell the fresh vinyl, drop the needle, and escape into the album artwork and liner notes.

What is music? Well, to me it is life, love and who we are. Our styles and preferences may change throughout the years but that love lives on within us. It is a different world today, the demise of the big labels, record stores closing, live radio traded for corporate canned programming. And yet, I raise my horns high and rock on as I have always done. The spirit lives on in me as I know it does in others and I am taking it back from the corporate world and I am gonna pass this message on to the world. Go to a live show, buy a t-shirt, buy a physical copy of the bands music, read the liner notes, TALK to people at a show, live the music because it lives in you.

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL (and I love it)

-the Hellion