Our RETROactive Eighties week kicks off with Mr. Big, who had a worldwide smash with their ballad “To Be With You” in 1992. After taking some time off, the band is back with a brand new album called What If… that is full of their signature blend of technical prowess and melodic sensibility. Icon Fetch talked with drummer Pat Torpey about the recording process, the story behind “To Be With You,” and getting to play with Robert Plant and the Knack.
For twenty years, guitarist Michael Harris has stretched the boundaries with his progressive guitar playing. His latest effort, Tranz-Fused, adds an element of jazz fusion to his instrumental fretwork. Icon Fetch talks with the Dayton native about his new CD and his involvement with several other projects, including the legendary Ohio band Arch Rival.
SAW 3-D – Music Inspired by the Motion Picture (Sony) CD review
The “D” in the title could stand for “done” as this is the seventh and final installment of this horror series. Only six songs appear in the actual film, so as before, the rest fall under the “inspired by the movie” category. The SAW 3-D soundtrack gathers a wide scope of what’s considered “metal” from all over the planet. I’m not kidding here when I mean all over the planet: only six of the 16 tracks are from American groups. You get bands from Canada (Default & My Darkest Days), Australia (Karnivool), Ireland (Kopek), Finland (Lordi), Switzerland (Krokus), Britain (Nitzer Ebb), and three bands from Japan (Dir En Grey, Boom Boom Satellites & Wagdug Futuristic Unity).
Two of the best songs on the disc are exclusive to this soundtrack: Saving Abel’s driving “Never” and Saliva’s anthem “Badass.” There’s even one unsigned band, I-Exist, out of Indianapolis. What really makes this work is the diversity of bands. You get radio-ready metal (Hinder, Saving Abel), alongside bands that radio wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole (Dir En Grey) and throwback bands (Krokus & Lordi). Especially good is Kopek’s “Love is Dead,” where they list a whole lot of things that are dead, then ask “is it dead”? If this is indeed the final chapter of this movie (and who really believes that one?), this serves as a worthy musical keepsake. –Tony Peters
Geoff Tate has led Queensryche through 11 albums that have combined metal with thought-provoking lyrics. The band is celebrating the 20th anniversary edition of their landmark album Empire. Tate talks with us about the direction they decided to take after the previous album, Operation: Mindcrime, and how their smash single “Silent Lucidity” almost didn’t make the album. He also talks about the band’s surreal performance on the 1992 Grammy Awards. Click below to listen to the Geoff Tate Queensryche interview on Icon Fetch.
Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier (Sony Legacy) – CD review –
Let me start out by saying that I have been an Iron Maiden fan since the beginning. The band has had many lineups over the years but none more successful than the current one. The new album, The Final Frontier, is the bands most successful chart topper to date reaching number one in 39 countries.
The 2011 tour will surely be one for the record books and a tour not to be missed. Check Iconfetch for tour information near you. The band has even given us a free Final Frontiers Flash Game to play while we listen to the new album. Check it out… http://www.thefinalfrontiergame.com/ . While I fly my space ship around and shoot stuff, let me talk about the the new release. First track- ‘The Satellite 15’ is an epic intro that will play out great for live shows, different almost tribal drum beats and electronic sounding bass play for four and a half minutes before Adrian Smith’s guitar explodes into the new albums title track, ‘The Final Frontier’. The familiar voice of Bruce Dickinson rings out.
During the title track you hear Bruce singing “Done more in my life than some do in ten, I’d go back and do it all over again.” and that Iron Maiden has. The Final Frontier leads smoothly into the single ‘El Dorado’ which has the classic Maiden secret formula we have grown to love, special herbs and spices and even some evil laughing. The track “Coming Home” seems to talk about all the time these guys have spent in the air together.
The band can surely compare themselves to satellites, they have probably spent more time in the air than hubble over the last 30 years. There are some more mellow cuts like ‘When The Wind Blows’ and a few heavier such as ‘The Talisman’ that sound like they could have come off of the ‘Somewhere In Time’ (1986) album. It is great to hear the guys back together again it will be even better to see them at the show… Up The Irons – James McCann
It’s been 20 years since the release of Pantera’s landmark “Cowboys From Hell.” To celebrate, they’ve put together a deluxe 3-disc collection, featuring the entire album remastered, a disc of demos and a third disc of live material, recorded during the ensuing tour. But, the real treat of the collection is an unreleased Pantera song called “The Will To Survive.” Icon Fetch catches up with former Pantera bassist Rex Brown and gets his thoughts on the new set, and it’s place in metal history. He also gives his reflections on the loss of bandmate “Dimebag” Darrell, and updates us on his new project, Arms of the Sun. Click below for the Rex Brown Pantera interview.
Drummer Ray Luzier joined Korn in 2008 and did two massive worldwide tours with the band. Now, Korn has released their ninth album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are, and Luzier’s monster drumming is all over it. The band is currently out on the road with Rob Zombie in the Mayhem Festival. Icon Fetch talks with Korn’s newest member. As an added bonus, we also talk with Rob Zombie’s bassist Piggy D. Click below for the Ray Luzier of Korn and the Piggy D of Rob Zombie interview.
Swiss hard rockers Krokus have returned with their original lineup for the first time in 25 years. The band is best known in the US for hits like “Screaming in the Night” and “Stayed Awake All Night.” They’ve just released their new disc Hoodoo, that harkens back to their early 80’s heyday. Icon Fetch talks with lead singer Marc Storace about what led to the reunion, how they approached recording the new CD, and how they still love filming videos with hot chicks in them. Click below for the Marc Storace Krokus interview.
Scorpions – Sting In The Tail (Universal) – CD review –
Yes, there is still venom left in the band from Hannover, Germany. The Scorpions have decided to call it quits after their current tour and if Sting in the Tail (Universal) is indeed their final studio record, (17th to be exact) it is worth the purchase. This album of 12 songs could have easily fallen somewhere between their best known album of the 80’s “Love At First Sting” and their most commercially successful foyer into the 90’s “Crazy World”.
Beginning with the current radio hit “Raised On Rock”, which has a definite “Rock You Like A Hurricane” feel, guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs deliver crunchy riffs and some solid solos to please any rocker. 62 year old Klaus Meine (yes that’s right, he’s 62), sounds in great vocal form on tracks like “Slave Me”, “Rock Zone”, and “Turn You On”. “The Good Die Young”, featuring the Finnish symphonic metal singer Tarja Turunen, is the weakest of the bunch, suffering from some less than stellar verses lyrically, but rebounds during the chorus.
There are even a few ballads, which the Scorpions always did well, (ala “Still Loving You” and “Winds Of Change”) in the songs, “Lorelei” and the album closer “The Best Is Yet To Come”. The lyrics are at times, unsophisticated. But, that’s not the reason anyone has ever listened to the Scorpions, right? The band have stated that the reason for their impending retirement is that “they want to end the Scorpions’ extraordinary career on a high note”, and they’ve done a pretty decent job with this CD. They are currently on the road in the U.S. and Canada through the end of August, so get out there and GET YOUR STING AND BLACKOUT before these guys call it quits. More info at the-scorpions.com. – Allen Roenker
High-octane rockers Jackyl have just released When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide (Mighty Loud Records), 12 tracks of riff-heavy, irreverent rock n’ roll. The band is best known for “The Lumberjack,” which proved that a chainsaw could actually be used as a musical instrument. Icon Fetch talks with lead singer Jesse James Dupree about the new CD, tour and filming the Full Throttle Saloon reality show for TruTV during Bike Week at Sturgis. Plus, he tells us about when things go wrong with his chainsaw on stage. Visit Jackyl’s official site for more info, www.jackyl.com. Click below for the Jesse Dupree Jackyl interview.