Ok, ok, I get it!!!

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So, people are calling me out on my Facebook statement from earlier today. After hearing about the Metallica/Budweiser beer thing. I posted: “Drink some beer with our name on it so you don’t care if our next record is terrible…” I then commented on my own post: “What’s next Megabeer, Five Finger Hard Punch?”

It was all in fun people, but I get it. I’m close enough to people in the industry to understand the struggle. Being a musician in today’s world is harder than ever. That is why many of them have chosen to diversify their interests. That is why we have seen so many hot sauces, coffees, restaurants, clothing lines, guitars and gear, etc., etc. from artists these days. The problem that can arise from this, in my opinion, is that I feel the music gets lost in all of the hustle and bustle.

So, in conclusion, pay more attention to the music instead of the “stuff”! Now go buy some music and band merch, and hit up a show or two!!!

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.

Bar Bands, Bar Bands, Bar Bands…2

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First off I want to thank you all for the overwhelming response to last nights Bar Bands post. I was however, reminded of a few more things regarding bar bands and I am addressing them now.

Promoters, you need to do just that. I have seen an unfortunate trend as of late with putting up an event page on social media sites, dusting off your hands and calling it a day. I am sorry that is not good enough, period. I cannot tell you how many times at the last minute I get a message “hey you coming to the show tonight?” and because of the lack of show promotion this is the first time I hear of the show. Shame on you, shame. You are doing the band a complete disservice to say the least. EVERYONE should know about a show you put together.

Club owners, pay the bands a decent rate!!!!! These guys are traveling on their own usually on limited means throughout the country. Club owners wake up because you know they are talking to each other about clubs to play in and which to avoid. Imagine if you treat a band decently and they spread the word and you have bands knocking your door down to play your venue. Word gets around, locals will see the bands are dying to play your venue and will be beating your door down to attend.

Promoters and Club owners, ADVERTISE!!!!!! There are usually on most towns several means of advertising the show.  If people don’t know, they wont go!!! If you work with the advertising outlets I am sure a bond can be made and some kind of deal can be made.

Lastly, remember these bands are providing us a service and we should be thanking them.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!!!

-the Hellion

Bar Bands, Bar Bands, Bar Bands…

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Recently a couple of people have made disparaging comments about bar bands. One person in particular  made it known that bar bands were beneath him and a waste of time. Well I am here to tell you that most bands you have heard of and listen to today got their starts in a bar somewhere. Ok, ok there are those few anomalies out there I’m sure who jumped immediately into arena gigs.

The Doors, Motley Crue, the Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, the list goes on and on. These bands played to small crowds at first and honed themselves into arena machines.

Now, in today’s world, arena bands are mostly extinct so the return of the bar/club band is more important than ever. There are several bar/club bands that live in my heart these days. They are there because I have insight as to the blood,sweat, and tears they exude. Their craft is important to them and they are willing to go that extra mile to give their all to their fans. I wish to personally thank the following bands/performers in no particular order: Dellacoma, Nomada, Skulldron, Throw The Temple, Scattered Hamlet, Darken The day, Wulf, Beard, Ragdoll, Crowned By Fire, Mike Araiza,  and many, many more. I salute you all for being the warriors you are and for flying the Rock N’ Roll flag high. All you other local bands, STEP UP!!! And to you naysayers out there, I’ll debate you on camera anytime, you know how to reach me.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s Rock N’ Roll!!!

-the Hellion

 

 

Speaking on the Grammys

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I was doing my best to stay out of the “Grammy bashing” posts, but alas, I find myself jumping in. If we as music lovers and consumers are unhappy with the situation we need to speak up. If everyone who has made a statement would take the time to make their thoughts known to the right people we might make a difference. By flooding the radio stations with emails, phone calls we might make a difference. By writing and emailing the Grammys and telling them your thoughts we might make a difference. Lastly, by PURCHASING the music you love and telling others about it, and going to shows and supporting the music you love we WILL make a difference. – the Hellion

Catching up with Justin Manning of Crowned By Fire

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I have been fortunate and had several interviews with Justin. One had crows making a guest appearance, and another featured traffic altercation. Tonight we had an hour of uninterrupted conversation. Sit back and enjoy:

http://www.crownedbyfire.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CrownedByFire

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s CROWNED BY FIRE

     -the Hellion

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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…

RANT INSIDE!!!! PROPER SHOW ETIQUETTE!!!

375273_10150521102730972_923334663_n     I’ve spoken upon this subject before and an event that occurred last night has fired me up again. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE ROCK N’ ROLL COMMUNITY?!?!?!

Let me set the stage: Last night I was fortunate to have been granted coverage of the Saint Vitus show here in NM. The venue does not have a photo pit so you have to shoot from the crowd. I usually shoot and move and work with the crowd to shoot the event. Well last night there was this cat to my immediate left who was flailing about like a man possessed knocking into people and making a general nuisance of himself. Now, I don’t mind someone getting totally lost in the music at all but one should realize there is a world outside of their five foot space. This guy continued bumping, elbowing, and knocking into people with complete disregard and then it got worse. Dave Chandler, the guitarist for Saint Vitus, posed in front of my camera for some choice shots and this idiot next to me shoves into me and starts throwing his hands in front of my camera thus ruining any chance of a good shot. I politely said “Hey man, I’m working here” his response was “FUCK YOU” he then continued to thwart every shot by reaching and flipping the bird in front of my lens. An altercation was imminent when my security bros came and confronted his guy who fronted on them as well. The girl he was with was begging him to chill but he was having none of it. They grabbed this guy gave him and his girl the boot. The crowd cheered his ejection as they were tired of him as well, we all enjoyed the rest of the show and I was able to get back to shooting a kick ass show.

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We all know show attendance is down across the board and completely sucks. I heard several people make comments after that guy was thrown out. “And that I why I don’t go to shows much anymore.” “Who needs to go out and see shit like this?” “Fuck it, people suck. I knew I should have stayed home.”

What happened to the world? The Rock N’ Roll community used to be about being cool and having a good time, not about fighting and being an idiot. Sure there were hose occasions  but they weren’t that common. Come on people if we want to revive the music scene we need to look within ourselves and our own actions.

be the community, be the music, BE COOL!

the Hellion