Regarding Red Dragon Cartel vocalist DARREN JAMES SMITH


Well, I have read and listened to people discuss the debut performance of Red Dragon Cartel at the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood. Darren James Smith was raked over the coals and drug through the street. Apparently he had an off night, well that sometimes happens. If you have ever performed on stage in any capacity you know what I’m talking about. There are many things that can affect a performance: nerves, illness, preoccupation with something, or sometimes you are just not feeling it. I have been there before, it happens. It pained me to see people attacking Darren as they did,  I’m sure it hurt him. People were saying “he’s no Ray Gillen” we know that and I don’t think Jake E. Lee was trying to recreate another Badlands either, this was a new band with new life. There are several things that I feel (and these are just my opinions) affected this show in particular. First off the amount of press this show got was immense, no pressure there right? A lot of bands have time to hone their live performances before the press descends upon them. Not these guys,  we were inundated with minute to minute updates.  Second, I understand he had strep throat which sucks on any level but for a vocalist it’s devastating. Being sick and performing really does suck, been there, done that. Pile on these things to pushing yourself, learning songs, traveling it all adds up. 

I am sure that Red Dragon Cartel did not just pick Darren James Smith arbitrarily. There was something there and some chemistry between them that sparked the fire. Let’s give them the chance to find their groove and rock our ears!

I does my heart to good to see the smile on the face of  Jake E. Lee. He is writing songs and back on stage where he belongs.

Oh yeah, “Bark At The Moon” – Thanks Jake we know you wrote it!


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

the Hellion

Benefit Concert Featuring David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Troy McLawhorn (EVANESCENCE), Sal G (STAIND) + EYE EMPIRE — Performing Together for ONE NIGHT ONLY in Celebration of the “Battlefield of the Mind” Film and Soundtrack Release‏

Benefit Concert Featuring David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Troy McLawhorn (EVANESCENCE), Sal G (STAIND) + EYE EMPIRE

and MORE Performing Together for ONE NIGHT ONLY in Celebration of the “Battlefield of the Mind” Film and Soundtrack Release


The All-Star Line-Up Unites to Benefit the Boot Campaign at the Legendary Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA on April 24, 2013

 image001 (1)


Tickets Available Now!


*A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Boot Campaign*



On April 24th, an all-star cast of musicians will perform at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, CA as part of a benefit concert for the Boot Campaign and their support of our military veterans. In a rare appearance, these alternative rock stars will appear together, performing songs off the “Battlefield of the Mind”documentary soundtrack, releasing on the same day on Chill ( April 24th is also the official release date of the documentary.


“Battlefield of the Mind”, a film ArtistDirect calls, “the most powerful documentary of the decade,” is a full-length documentary that tells the raw and tragic details of what life is like as an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran today. Many veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and among them are those whose lives have fallen apart and have become homeless as a result. Severe PTSD leaves these returning heroes on a downward spiral into their own personal hell. The documentary is available to stream and download at:


The musicians performing together for ONE NIGHT ONLY in support of the film and the cause include:


– David Ellefson of MEGADETH

– Troy McLawhorn of EVANESCENCE

– Sal G of STAIND

– Pete Murray of LO-PRO

– Neil Godfrey of LO-PRO

– Headliners EYE EMPIRE, featuring Corey Lowery (STUCK MOJO /STEREOMUD /DARK NEW DAY) and B.C. Kochmit (SWITCHED) and Ryan Bennett (TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION) and military veteran Donald ‘DC’ Carpenter (SUBMERSED)



Event Details

The event will open at 7:00pm with filmmaker and participant interaction, exclusive look at the documentary, and Q&A. At 8:30pm the doors will re-open for the all-star jam and performance from Eye Empire.

*A taste of the music from the soundtrack can be found here. (The track is “No Words” Featuring Mike Mushok, Pete Murray, David Ellefson and Sal G.)


Tickets are $20 for full access, $15 for performance only.

To purchase tickets and RSVP visit:


VIP tickets (which include early access to soundcheck) are made available at



The Documentary

Narrated by David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Co-produced by Aaron Lewis (STAIND), this documentary by Fran Strine takes on a tragic truth – that those men that put their lives on the line to defend our freedom have come home to a world plagued by PTSD and homelessness.  1 in 7 homeless adults are veterans and over ¼ of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, physical illness and substance abuse at the same time.


These sad truths moved a concerned public to donate en masse to get the film made leading to a rousing KICKSTARTER success.  The film raised 190% of its funding goal with the soundtrack raising 120% of its funding goal. The film is currently available on CHILL ( and will see its official physical release along with its soundtrack on April 24th.


“After engaging in conversations with these veterans living on the streets and hearing their stories, I knew this was the documentary I had to make and show that we, as citizens can make a difference,” says director and co-producer Fran Strine. The VA was approved $1.35 billion for the homeless in 2013 – a mere 0.035% of the $8.3 trillion US budget, says The White House Office of Management & Budget.  Forbes adds that providing permanent housing for the chronic homeless would save taxpayers $3 billion.


The soundtrack for the film features members of many prominent rock bands. DC of EYE EMPIRE, a former soldier himself, said of his band’s involvement, “I have always been sensitive to issues that face our troops Stateside & abroad.  When our good friend Fran mentioned that he and Aaron were going to be making this film and that he would like for us to be involved with the music, we were very humbled.”  Vocalist, Pete Murray (previously of ULTRASPANK) called working with the likes of Ellefson and Mike Mushok of STAIND “…an amazing experience. Working with other musicians with different backgrounds and influences has been an incredible opportunity.”


In addition to his narration duties, MEGADETH’s David Ellefson contributed to the soundtrack.  He explains the synergy between the music and the film, “Lyrically these songs were inspired directly by the film and the people portrayed in it.  In many ways, the Soundtrack continues the narrative of the film in music form.  I am proud that the songs and people involved in making them took the subject matter to heart and used it as the springboard for our songwriting.”  Composing score and soundtrack music was a labor of love for STAIND’s Mike Mushok.  “In writing music to the film, I got to watch a scene and express how I feel about it by writing music to it,” explains Mushok.  “It was something that I really enjoyed doing and am happy with the way it ultimately turned out.”


Spread the information about the plight of these veterans by purchasing the film and soundtrack and sharing it with your friends and family. Information is power and “Battlefield Of The Mind” is the ultimate ammunition in battling veteran homelessness and PTSD.



The Soundtrack

Track listing:

1. War Isn’t Over Yet – Eye Empire

2. Give Me Life – LoPro

3. Tear It Down – Feat. Mike Mushok, Pete Murray, David Ellefson & Sal G.

4. Wake of War – Feat. Troy McLawhorn, D.C., Mike Mushok, Corey Lowery & Mike Froedge

5. No Words – Feat. Mike Mushok, Pete Murray, David Ellefson & Sal G.

6. Not Like You – Feat. Troy McLawhorn, Pete Murray & Mike Froedge

7. When – Life on planet 0

8. Witness – Viasava

9. Drop us in hell – Feat. Sal G & Joseph Dougherty

10. Awakening – When earth awakes

11. Wake up – Feat. Michael Benedetto & Keith Caro

12. Save me – Feat. Michael Benedetto & Keith Caro

13. Ask McFly – The Dreaded Marco

14. Hollow Destination – Otan Vargas




For press inquiries and additional information, please contact Adrenaline PR and Maria Ferrero at 732-462-4262 or



About Boot Campaign:

The Boot Campaign is a grassroots initiative started by five women from Texas known as The Boot Girls.  The campaign encourages everyone to ‘get their boots on’ providing an easy and tangible way for Americans to show appreciation for troops, cultivate awareness of the challenges they face upon return and raise funds for military programs meeting the physical and emotional needs of our heroes.  What better way to say “Thank You” to our troops than wearing a pair of boots just like theirs?  Proceeds from boot sales combined with donations and corporate sponsorships help us to assist wounded military and their families with job placement, mortgage free homes, PTSD counseling, adaptive clothing and so much more.


About Chill:

Chill is the premier video platform and marketplace to find entertainment content distributed for a global audience direct from artists, comedians and filmmakers. Consumers can stream or download-to-own top films, docs, series and comedy specials in HD quality to any device and transact worldwide. Chill recently released the critically acclaimed Maria Bamford: Special, Special, Special. Based in Los Angeles, CA, the company is backed by venture funding from Kleiner Perkins, William Morris Endeavor (WME), 500 Startups, Redpoint Ventures, Crunchfund, Science Media, Troy Carter and Atlas Venture. Chill is founded by Brian Norgard and Daniel Gould.








My co-host at Bleach Bangs Radio ( introduced me to Sunset Riot. He told me that this band was a feel good band with incredible stage energy, catchy hooks, and all around great guys. When I finally got the chance to meet and see them I was wowed. I was lucky enough to interview the guys with Charlie for our show Music U-Night/Rock U-Night ( Here is the link for the interview:

     My wife has always been an INXS fan and has always loved the iconic Michael Hutchence. I couldn’t believe the resemblance to Sunset Riot’s singer Delacoma Rio to Michael. When I told her she had to see them she was at first skeptical. When she finally got to see them she was hooked. We actually took a trip to Hollywood to catch their set at the world famous Whisky-A-Go-Go.

The famous Whisky marguis!

The famous Whisky Marquis!

I have continued to remain friends and stay in touch with the guys in Sunset Riot even though they are back home in Australia. Here are some photo memories of their 2012 visit to the USA.

the Riot Van in NM!

the Riot Van in NM!


The boys pre-show in NM.

The boys pre-show in NM.


Really Charlie? Really? In NM.

Really Charlie? Really? In NM.


Dani and Del, new found friends. in NM.

Dani and Del, new found friends. in NM.


I love taco Bell!!! In NM.

I love Taco Bell!!! In NM.


Del Getting down to business in NM.

Del Getting down to business in NM.


the Hellion and Sunset Riot in NM.

the Hellion and Sunset Riot in NM.


Sunset Riot “Stir Crazy” at the Whisky, Hollywood CA. -video by Dani Anaya

the Hellion, Dani, and the GREAT Sunset Riot in CA.

the Hellion, Dani, and the GREAT Sunset Riot in CA.

Thanks to Charlie Owens for introducing me to Sunset Riot. Thanks to Del, JP, Ziggy, Resh, and Simo for making some amazing music and some awesome friendship. See you guys in 2013!!!



the Hellion










Sometimes you see a band that just sticks with you. I mean pretty soon they are eating your food, ordering pay-per-view, making long distance phone calls, on and on and on… Beelzebubba is one of those bands. Seriously though, on a recent trip to Hollywood I caught their performance at the Whisky A Go-Go. Prior to the show several people had asked me if I had ever seen Beelzebubba before. To be honest I hadn’t, nor had I ever heard of them before. I was quite taken aback when they took the stage dressed as people right out of my worst nightmares. Cowboy hats, western shirts, and pointy boots OH MY! I thought I was at a rock show?!?! As soon as they started playing though….everything was gonna be ok, or was it?

I caught up with Adrian Jackson Dunham (A),and   Zachary Maxwell Dunham (Z) and tried to figure out the question,  What in the HELL is Beelzebubba?

     Z: I’m not really sure how to define it…

   A: A really fun band, the inception of which is from our heads… We dress like Texans who are trying to look sharp for the ladies… We do songs you might not expect to come out of a ten-gallon hat… We are a country band.

How did this unholy union come to be?

A: Zach and I always liked to play music together. Beelzebubba is a vein we hit and ran with. We have always been fascinated with outsider art, primarily music and concept albums of this genre. Thor’s “An-Thor-Logy”, AKA “Ride of the Chariots”, The Shaggs “Philosophy of the World”, and anything by The Kids of Whidney High are my greatest influences. I feel that these all reflect the way the world really is.

     Z: Me too. My brother and I have been playing music together since 1998. Our stuff has always been just for us, trying to make each other laugh. We grew up in a small town where we’d get snowed in a lot, so we needed to entertain ourselves. It started as really silly rock (we sang songs of praise about the wrestler Goldberg and Yassir Arafat). Then we got really into NES video game music – covering classics and making our own. In 2005 we formed our first band called Hokma Gandhi. We sucked, playing at one or two total shit hole bars, and believing all the time that we were geniuses; and we didn’t have to work hard because we were going to be discovered and magically whisked away to the realm of stardom. We did that for two years, until Hokma Gandhi blessedly dissolved. Then Adrian and I sort of went our separate ways – I moved to NYC and he stayed in LA. Do you want to add anything about Hokma Gandhi?

   A: No. You said it, that’s fine.

Z: We reunited in 2009 when I moved back for work. One day in the summer of that year, we were driving around listening to a mix Adrian had made. The only song that wouldn’t skip was “Cop Killer” by Body Count. We love that song, always have ever since we were kids. Adrian said, “How awesome would this be as a country song?” I said, “Fucking awesome. In fact, this should’ve been a country song.” Adrian said, “Let’s record it – like a slow country shuffle,” and I replied, “No, let’s do it as a moderately peppy two-step.” We then immediately set up the laptop and recorded it in his kitchen in about a half hour. That was the first track we did. Adrian and I reinvented the song as a country song, almost an exact rendition except for the chord progression in the chorus – Adrian makes very careful, considerate musical liberties with every cover we do. We showed “Cop Killer” to some people and they all laughed their asses off. Then we sort of left it alone, and did other stuff to make each other laugh, like traditional Jewish Power Metal…

 A: Hineih Ma Tov is still one of my favorite things we’ve ever done…

 Z: A few weeks later, Adrian came to me and said we should start a band. But what kind of band? Our tastes are so varied and eclectic? He suggested that we just do like we’ve always done and just do whatever we want – kind of like Mr. Bungle or Ween or Frank Zappa. But I came back and said that Cop Killer is really something to be proud of and we can take our secret formula of comedic song writing and do an entire album of country-fried punk, heavy metal or gangster rap songs. Now we had a country band with a Satanic through line. Adrian came up with the name by combining an ancient pseudonym for Satan (Beelzebub – Lord of the Flies) and Bubba, a pretty standard redneck name…

A: Which coincidentally is also the name of a Dead Milkmen album.

 Z: And that is the birth of Beelzebubba. I’m the manager of the band – getting gigs, scheduling rehearsal, etc – and I also have a lot of creative input. I came up with the flag and the costumes, for instance. But the feel, the overall artistic vision, is Adrian’s. He designed the website, he orchestrated every song.

Tell me about the magical alchemy of players that comprise Beelzebubba.

Z: I’m the lead singer. My background, all of my training and stuff, comes from musical theatre. Freddy Mercury, Mike Patton, Stevie Wonder, Rob Halford and Ozzy Osbourne are my favorite singers.

A: I’m the lead guitarist and I sing backing vocals. I went to music school, studied experimental music. My favorite musical style of all is Judas Priest. I met John in school – he’s our drummer. He’s good at just about everything from blast beats to Bach. And he’s really good at World music, like African ensemble drummer and Indian tablas.

Z: Aaron, the bassist, is one of my buddies. He’s got a sick sense of humor and he loves outlaw country music above all other things in life. Although this is his first band, he’s been playing guitar and bass for years with his brother, who is a drummer. And James, the pianist, is someone I met through doing choral work. He’s a veteran, highly proficient in both guitar and piano, and also music composition. He’s written several musicals and teaches regularly.

What does the future hold for the band?

Z: The future holds a lot of fun and a lot of work. We hope that this can be our full-time job. We want to play all over the US and the world. We’re very confident that we reach a wide audience, and what we represent and what we’re saying really hits a nerve in our current sociopolitical climate. We’re definitely interested in fame and fortune, but we abhor complacency. We want to rock. We want to disturb, challenge, infuriate and horrify. This could be the best job ever.

I know that you started out doing covers, but I have heard rumors of some original tunes coming our way, is this true?

A: Yes. We’ve got two new ones, “Get Away, You Fuckers”, which is about being stuck in Los Angeles traffic, and “Maybe Sandusky”, which is about Jerry Sandusky being President and other characters who in the public eye. We’ve also got a couple more in the works. 

(“Out of State Fuckers” comes to mind – the Hellion)

 Z: A little over a month ago, I told Adrian we have to start making our own songs. People keep saying “Amazing covers! Do you have any originals?” We’re really good. People are watching. But if we don’t say what’s in our hearts and solely stick to these covers, people will stop watching.

 A: Our approach to playing other peoples’ songs… I mean, listen to our version of “Bitches”, then listen to Insane Clown Posse’s and tell me it’s not original. That being said, I totally agree that if we only do our covers we’ll only get so far. If we want to break out we have to take a risk and put down what we’ve got.

Z: At first we were scared: How do we incorporate who we are and what’s going on with us into the formula, created originally for transforming pre-existing songs. We weren’t sure, and we didn’t want to force it. Then one day I was walking down the street, talking to Adrian on the phone, and this cute Green Peace girl standing in front of a local restaurant, trying to get people’s signatures for something, started mocking me. She put her hand up to her mouth and mimicked me walking and talking on the phone – I assume in an effort to get my attention so I’d sign whatever petition she had. I kept talking, but as I got close I had this irresistible urge to scream, “FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING CUNT” as loud as possible. I didn’t, of course. I went home and explored that urge and realized both my brother and I have a tremendous amount of rage. Rage, I believe, is what separates lasting comedy from comedy that is cute and transient. Comedy in music runs the risk of being cute, which is detestable to Adrian and me. It must be fueled with rage, or else you’ll get stuff like Andy Samberg, Jimmy Fallon and Dimitri Martin…

A: Or that guy… What’s his name… I don’t know, it doesn’t matter.

Z: After we figured out the rage ingredient, we sat down and wrote three songs in one day, all of which we’re really proud and excited for.

A: Yeah, “Maybe Sandusky” took only twenty minutes. We took a quick break, which is when I came up with “Get Away, You Fuckers” while I was taking a shit. I showed it to Zach and he said, “Perfect.” – meaning the song, not my dump.

 Z: We proved to ourselves that our formula works, and we’ve sort of hit our stride. Our goal is to get at least 12 tracks by the end of the year. Then we cut an album.

A: And when we cut an album, that doesn’t mean we won’t do “Cop Killer” or “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, et cetera.

I was lucky enough to catch a live show, can you describe a performance to the readers?

Z: It’s a full show, sixty minutes, with no explanation or dialogue, but a definite emotional arch and direction. It’s very theatrical in this sense. It’s challenging for the audience. We set it up as a sort of demented sing along – these covers are popular songs many people know, but presented clean and yet entirely pissed off. So the audience finds themselves indulging in lyrics, screaming lyrics that could probably get you arrested in the real world. However, it leaves the audience with a feeling of completing a fun, crazy and unpredictable journey.

A: Yeah, a lot of it is about a band getting up there and rocking. No excuses, no fucking around, no whining!

Z: Stand flat-footed, facing the audience. No self-indulgent jamming with our backs to the audience, which for some reason is a tasteless trend in most live music.

A: It would be funny if we all turned around during every solo… The drummer, too.

Are there any of today’s artists that give you inspiration?

 Z: Not that many popular artists. I’d say a lot of Mike Patton’s projects. All the bands we play with inspire me, however. Young people trying to find their voices against a shit load of obstacles. I’ve been there, and I’m always reinvigorated and inspired by people who have the courage to try to express themselves in a public forum. Pussy Riot inspires me. Aaron, Adrian and I saw Glenn Campbell’s final performance at the Hollywood Bowl. That was incredible.

A: I’ve named a few earlier in the interview. I’m inspired by, the now defunct, Afrirampo, Pussy Riot, Secret Chiefs 3, and I like that song by Selena Gomez, “I Love You Like a Love Song”, baby.

What advice would you give to a group a young people trying to start their musical careers?

 Z: I have three things to say. First, always be true to yourself, no matter how crazy or unpopular or unmarketable you think your music might be. All of the greatest bands in history did what they wanted to do. Do whatever your instincts dictate, regardless of failure. And when you do inevitably fail, relish it, for it will lead you to what cannot fail. After a decade of not having a totally awesome product, we’re finally doing it, and it’s turning out to be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. Second, set a noble goal. Mine is to make a really fun product from scratch with my brother. We’re not rich and famous, but we’re making our own totally original thing, and we’re laughing our asses off doing it. This means I’m living in my goal and I feel fucking successful and grateful; it keeps me working hard in rehearsal, finding gigs, playing shows, and all the other tough necessary things a band’s gotta do. And third, don’t buy into your own publicity or image. It’s a show, and at the end of the day you have to wash your dishes and do your laundry.

A: I’d say when you play a gig be sure to stay and watch the other acts. It’s courteous to stay and it’s a good opportunity to network and study live performance. I’ve seen it for years where bands just play and bounce. And the other piece of advice is, I’m paraphrasing Lemmy Kilmister, but he said something to the tune of, “Don’t try to write something great, that’s not how great music is done. Writing music is about putting down what you got.”

What do you guys think of the music scene today?

Z: It depends on what scene you’re talking about. If you mean American Idol or the Grammy’s, I’m sickeningly reminded of the Nazis – how they systematically exterminated the Jewish artists and intelligentsia; and then introduced their own artists, saying, “Ah, now this is how art is supposed to be.” I always like seeing live music. My brother and I saw Primus at the Wiltern last October. That was incredible. We saw Dio twice before he passed, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with Rob Halford… All of these shows were so wonderful and memorable. I also like seeing unsigned, no name bands because I never know what I’m going to get. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s magnificent – either way, it’s always a learning experience. So I guess I think of today’s music scene as school, looking for what works and what doesn’t so I can make the best product possible.

A: Yeah, the coolest scene I ever saw was at Metal Masters in San Bernardino in 2008 – that’s when we saw Motörhead, Heaven and Hell and Judas Priest. You could talk to everyone. Everyone was super friendly and had nothing to prove. Everyone was exactly where they wanted to be.

Are we ever gonna see Beelzebubba spread their music throughout the world on tour?

Z: I fucking hope so.

Here’s a taste:


And now you know !


the Hellion