Here’s what’s up with Justin Manning

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Had the chance to chat with Justin Manning about some stuff…so check it out:

     -the Hellion

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Black Sabbath

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Summer of 1977…

I had just met the neighbor kid in the apartment complex we had just moved into. He invited me over to hang out and listen to music one afternoon. He asked me if I liked Black Sabbath and I told him that “Iron Man” was a cool song but that was about all I knew. He then proceeded to play Master of Reality. The music was like an adrenaline shot to my senses. I was hooked immediately and had to have more and find out all I could about Black Sabbath.

Over time I managed to collect their music and it became a part of my regular listening schedule. I couldn’t explain it but the music reached me on many levels. And then, as quickly as I had found them, there was news of a band split.

Back then (before up to the minute news from the internet) rumors began circulating of Ozzy leaving the band. This unfortunately became truth.

It came to pass that Black Sabbath had hired Ronnie James Dio to sing and Ozzy launched a solo career. I was a long time Rainbow fan and was curious to see what Dio would bring. I was positive that Ozzy would have some cool stuff as well.

Let’s talk Black Sabbath first. With the addition of Dio they brought us Heaven and Hell. I like this record but it brought about a sense of change to the Black Sabbath style. I always felt that this record took them in a more pop rock oriented style. It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t MY Black Sabbath that I’d grown to love. It proved to be the same with the Mob Rules. They had just failed to reach as had been done with their previous work. I like both records and still listen to them today but not nearly as much as the earlier work. And then Dio was gone.

To be honest I left them at that point not even bothering to listen or seek out their music. Black Sabbath was lost to me at that time.

Ozzy went on to great success as a solo artist. He surrounded himself with stellar musicians and made some good records. Like Dio era Sabbath it was different. Ozzy tried to cultivate the Prince Of Darkness image but it failed to reach me. The music while great again, in my opinion, leaned a little more towards the pop rock side.

I know, I know, I can just see some of you rolling your eyes at this. Change is ok and sometimes can be good. It was good for Ozzy’s career and not so much with Black Sabbath. Sabbath eventually reunited with Dio for Dehumanizer before parting ways again.

Eventually Ozzy and Sabbath got over the past and reunited for 13 (without Bill Ward), but, for me, the magic just wasn’t there anymore.

Over time we lost Dio to cancer, Ozzy’s solo career kind of came to a slow down, and Sabbath again had some infighting leading to a permanent split with Bill Ward. But, as I have said in other conversations, that is band business of which we as fans have no part.

All in all, it’s been a good ride with Sabbath and Ozzy. I will always have and cherish the early music they made. Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy, and Never Say Die! will ALWAYS be the definitive Sabbath albums for me. I will still continue to support anything Sabbath or Ozzy does because that’s what we as music fans do. I don’t have to love it but without that support it will go away. The bands that were influenced by Black Sabbath are countless.

Thank you Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward for the hours upon hours of enjoyment you have given to me over the years. You four will forever be Black Sabbath in my heart and mind. To all of the others who have had a hand in the Sabbath legacy: Geoff Nicholls, Craig Gruber, Vinny Appice, Ian Gillen, Bev Bevan, Ron Keel, David Donato, Eric Singer, Dave Spitz, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Bob Daisley, Tony Martin, Cozy Powell, Laurence Cottle, Neil Murray, Bobby Rondinelli, Mike Bordin, Adam Wakeman, Tommy Clufetos, Rick Wakeman, Gerald Woodroffe, Don Airey, Brad Wilk thank you for being a part of such legends. Zakk Wylde, ZAKK SABBATH?!?!?! That’s what I’m talking about!

Dio, you just rule, period.

 

It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s mother#$%*ing SABBATH!!!

-the Hellion

 

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE 2016 U.S. TOUR WITH ZAKK SABBATH & KYNG

clutch Fall US tour ad

June 15th, 2016 – Clutch continues their Psychic Warfare World Tour 2016.  Headline tour dates for September-October are in.  The group will be heading back on the road this Fall headlining another leg of their US tour. Supporting the tour will be Zakk Sabbath and Los Angeles based metal band Kyng. Including 2 festival appearances, the trek will begin in Buffalo, NY at the The Town Ballroom on September 28th and conclude in Worcester, MA at The Palladium on October 30th.
 
Clutch lead vocalist Neil Fallon commented “We are pleased to announce that this Fall Clutch will be hitting the road again in the U.S..  This time with Zakk Sabbath and KyngClutch toured with Black Label Society a few years back and it was a blast –  and no doubt, this one will be a blast as well.  We hope to see you all there!”
 
Psychic Warfare is the latest and eleventh studio effort from Clutch.  The disc debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, No. 2 on the Billboard Independent,  No. 1 on the Billboard Hard Rock and Billboard Rock charts.  On Record Store Day this past April 16th Clutch released a limited edition numbered etched vinyl 12 inch that included two previously unreleased tracks from the Psychic Warfare sessions:  “Mad Sidewinder” and “Outland Special Clearance“.   Psychic Warfare was produced by longtime producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Every Time I Die).   
 
Zakk Sabbath, bring their take on Black Sabbath songs on the road for the first time ever The band features  guitarist/vocalist Zakk Wylde (Black Label SocietyOzzy Osbourne), bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Ozzy OsbourneRob Zombie) and drummer Joey Castillo (DanzigQueens Of The Stone Age).   Kyng, the Los Angeles based metal trio, will be supporting their 3rd release and follow up to 2014’s Burn The Serum.
 
Pre-sale tickets will be on sale today (June 15th) at 12PM local time with public on sale beginning Friday, June  17 at 10AM local time.  Pre-sale tickets are available here: Tickets.artistarena.com/clutch 
For all other information, visit the Clutch website (www.pro-rock.com).
 
Clutch, Zakk Sabbath, Kyng 2016 Tour Dates
 
09/28 – Buffalo, NY @ The Town Ballroom
09/30 – Lakewood, NJ @ First Energy Park – Rock Carnival *
10/01 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/02 – Louisville, KY @ Champions Park – Louder Than Life *
10/04 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
10/05 – Atlanta, GA @ The Buckhead Theatre
10/07 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre Street Stage
10/08 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
10/10 – Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
10/11 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/12 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
10/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
10/15 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
10/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
10/18 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
10/20 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
10/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/22 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
10/24 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note ** NO Zakk Sabbath
10/25 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
10/27 – Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
10/28 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
10/29 – Clifton Park, NY @Upstate Concert Hall
10/30 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
 
* festival appearance 
 
CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

                                                  

 
For more  information, check out the band’s website:
 
Official: www.pro-rock.com
 
You know I’ll be there!!! – the Hellion

The Troubadour of Testosterone, Zakk Wylde, releases Book Of Shadows II

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I have been listening to the new Zakk Wylde release for several days now and want to share my reflections on it with you.

When I received my pre-order in the mail I was excited to hear some new music from Father Zakk. I unwrapped the CD, and quickly threw it in my truck’s player and settled in for a listen…..

Playing this album it felt like i had put on a pair of comfortable slippers, and settled in to my favorite easy chair. While the songs were new, they felt familiar and comfortable like old friends and yet at the same time, not stale and boring. I tried to pick out some standout tracks but was unable to as the flow of the record, for me, needs to be taken as a whole.

So why would Zakk need to make a solo record? Why not another Black Label Society record? Here are my thoughts.

We all know Zakk can grab his fiddle and choke some fantastic music from it that will crush our collective chests like so many packs of cigarettes, and we know he has some tender moments that give us some memorable ballads. With Book of Shadows II, Zakk gives us some reflective music. This CD is full of music that truly comes from a mans thoughts and life experiences and listening to it will transport you into a thoughtful place. I am taken back to the music of James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Don McLean. These guys created art with their words and guitars.

Why then would hardcore, badass, metalhead, rockers, like this record? Because it shows craftsmanship, and talent…lots and lots of talent. The skill set Zakk shows us on Book of Shadows II shows us why he remains so relevant in the vast world of guitarists.

Bottom line, Book of Shadows II feels like a record that I have had in my collection for years and years and yet puts a smile on my face whenever I play it.

While all of the songs stand out to me as a whole Zakk has released a video for “Sleeping Dogs” and you can check it out here:

     Whether you are a Zakk Wylde/BLS fan or not you should run out today and pick Book of Shadows II to up, pop it in your player, roll the windows down, and go for a 60 minute drive and just let finely crafted music flow through you and take to a reflective place.

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

     -the Hellion

 

 

Was Jimi Hendrix that great?

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Hendrix performing on the Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967

     I have had many conversations about Jimi throughout the years. There are those who laud his playing, and those who deeply criticize him. Myself, however, have a different opinion on Mr. Hendrix.

     I believe that Jimi played the heart and soul. He felt the music coursing throughout his every fiber and was able to bring that out through his writing and playing, and that was good enough.

     I don’t feel he was the greatest or most technical player. I feel that he felt the guitar talking to him and he listened to it and not the limitations the musical world had imposed, and that was good enough.

     I have said before and I stand by it, music lives within all of us, some of us listen, and some hit the mute button. Jimi turned it up to 15 and beyond. You can see the magic in his live performances. When Jimi, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding took the stage it was a spectacle to behold.

     In conclusion, Jimi was not the greatest guitarist ever (I don’t think that title can ever be granted to one guitarist) but he did pave the way for others to realize it was ok to experiment and take their music to new levels. He influenced so many guitarists that I to think he is a legendary guitarist but not the best ever.

     If you want to see musicians truly lost in their craft check out this video for “Purple Haze”. Put it on the big screen, turn it up as loud as you can, and stare into their faces, you’ll see what I mean:

     Be true to the music within, it your friend that will be with you no matter what.

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

   -the Hellion

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