Posts Tagged “Debut Solo Album”

Jorge Fretes of Spain’s GoetiaMedia.com recently conducted an interview with guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne‘s guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Gus G.‘s debut solo album, “I Am The Fire”, will be released on March 18 in North America via Century Media Records.

“I Am The Fire” track listing:

01. My Will Be Done (featuring Mats Levén)
02. Blame It On Me (featuring Mats Levén)
03. I Am The Fire (featuring Devour The Day)
04. Vengeance (featuring David Ellefson)
05. Long Way Down (featuring Alexia Rodriguez)
06. Just Can’t Let Go (featuring Jacob Bunton)
07. Terrified (featuring Billy Sheehan)
08. Eyes Wide Open (featuring Mats Levén)
09. Redemption (featuring Michael Starr)
10. Summer Days (featuring Jeff Scott Soto)
11. Dreamkeeper (featuring Tom S. Englund)
12. End Of The Line (featuring Mats Levén)

The cover artwork, pictured below, was designed by Gustavo Sazes (ARCH ENEMY, KAMELOT, DREAM EVIL).

The video for the album’s opening track, “My Will Be Done” (featuring Mats Levén), was produced by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company, who has previously worked with DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, IN FLAMES, SONIC SYNDICATE and KAMELOT, among others.

Gus handles all guitar, bass and keyboards on “I Am The Fire”, and is joined by a roster of friends and guests that help bring his vision to fruition: drummers Jeff Friedl (A PERFECT CIRCLE, PUSCIFER, DEVO) and Daniel Erlandsson (ARCH ENEMY), bassists David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Marty O’Brien (TOMMY LEE, WE ARE THE FALLEN, LITA FORD), and vocalists Mats Levén (CANDLEMASS, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION), Blake Allison (DEVOUR THE DAY), Michael Starr (STEEL PANTHER), Alexia Rodriguez (EYES SET TO KILL), Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), Jacob Bunton (ADLER) and Jeff Scott Soto (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, TALISMAN, ex-JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN).

“I Am The Fire” was mixed by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STONE SOUR, STEEL PANTHER) and was recorded between Los Angeles and Gus‘ home country of Greece through the latter half of 2013. A few of the album’s tracks include “Eyes Wide Open”, “Redemption”, “End Of The Line” and “Blame It On Me”. The album showcases a well-balanced mix of active rock, classic hard rock, traditional metal and guitar-driven instrumentals, taking listeners on a diverse journey and opening doors to Gus G.‘s soulful playing.

Gus G. has had an amazing rise within the worldwide rock and metal scenes and has amassed an impressive body of work, both in studio and touring. He emerged as an up-and-coming talent with the groups DREAM EVIL (Sweden), MYSTIC PROPHECY (Germany) and NIGHTRAGE (Greece), but it is his work with his own band FIREWIND (who have released seven studio albums and two live releases) and as a member of Ozzy Osbourne‘s band that have helped him emerge as one of the world’s top metal and rock guitarists. His work on Ozzy‘s “Scream” album led to a Grammy nomination in 2010, and his list of accolades includes Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Metal Guitarist,” the “Dimebag Darrell Shredder” award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, and Metal Hammer Greece “Best Guitarist” on four separate occasions.

“I Am The Fire” video:

“I Am The Fire” album EPK:

“My Will Be Done” video:

gusgiamfirecd

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The “Hard Rock Nights” radio show recently conducted an interview with Tom Keifer, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based blues-rock band CINDERELLA. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Keifer‘s debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 30 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group‘s Independent Label Group).

The collection of 14 new songs ranges from intimate, organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock. It embraces the blues, rock and country roots that have always been present in his unique sound that has generated the sale of over 15 million records worldwide for CINDERELLA. Rolling Stone praised Keifer as “a gritty, bluesy (rocker) with enough genuine swagger to draw comparisons to Mick Jagger.”

“This record was a labor of love,” Keifer told TriCities.com. “When I started this record, CINDERELLA was in the middle of a lawsuit with Sony Records. This record is not in any way to be taken as me stepping away from CINDERELLA.”

“I took a lot of time making this record,” he continued. “I made it over 10 years. I wanted to make something I loved. My wife, Savannah (Snow), co-wrote a lot of the songs with me. It was a blessing to me.

“Each song has something to do with life. It’s just life, love, love lost, being crazy, going crazy, being lost. The record, there’s no change, really, in style. It has the peaks and valleys.

“I’ve always approached music, played music that I like. I’ve never chased trends through CINDERELLA and with this album. It reflects what’s in me.”

“The Flower Song”, the album’s first single, was serviced to AAA radio stations nationwide on February 4, while “Solid Ground” was serviced to all rock formats on March 11.

Keifer wrote “The Flower Song” with Jim Peterik, formerly of the bands SURVIVOR and the IDES OF MARCH.

“The Way Life Goes” is a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride that has been Keifer‘s life for the past 15 years. From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed, his solo debut is a story of perseverance, a testament to the power of passion and will, when combined with a true love of music.

“It’s pretty scary,” Keifer said of his vocal paralysis. “I’ve had six surgeries to deal with the collateral damage. Performing… has been difficult for me because of the vocal issues I’ve had. I work several hours every day on that. That’s a difficult thing for me every day.”

Interview (audio):

“Solid Ground” video:



tom-keifer-the-way-life-goes_600

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BACKYARD BABIES and MICHAEL MONROE guitarist Dregen (real name: Andreas Tyrone Svensson) will not be touring with the former HANOI ROCKS singer for the remainder of the year so that Dregen can focus on promoting his debut solo album, available now in Sweden via Universal Music.

Says Dregen: “I was part of making two damn good rock n’ roll records at the same time. Both records are too good not to tour them and neiter Michael Monroe or me will disappoint our fans! The fantastic guitarist Rich Jones will temporarily fill in for me [on the road with Monroe].

“Please try to catch a show with both Dregen and Michael Monroe this autumn! They will both rock. And roll.”

Michael Monroe‘s new album, “Horns And Halos”, was certified gold in Finland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies within the first week of the CD’s release.

Released on August 27 via Spinefarm Records, “Horns And Halos” is the follow-up to the 2011 critically acclaimed “Sensory Overdrive”, winner of Classic Rock magazine’s “Album Of The Year” and a No. 1 record in Monroe‘s Finnish homeland.

The official video for Dregen‘s first solo single, “Just Like That”, can be seen below. The song received its world premiere on August 10 on Swedish national radio P3. It was then released on August 14.

Produced by Dregen and Pär Wiksten (THE WANNADIES), Dregen‘s first solo venture in a 25-year career that has seen him at the core of such internationally acclaimed acts as BACKYARD BABIES and THE HELLACOPTERS features all new material, and is a contemporary and inventive distillation of the Stockholm-based guitarist’s far-reaching record collection.

Recorded for the most part in Pär Wiksten‘s Hospital1 studio in Stockholm, with mixing handled by Michael Ilbert at the legendary Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, these 10 tracks come in a variety of hues and colours, moods and textures, veering from hard-hitting blues (“Flat Tyre On a Muddy Road”), through sinewy, snake-hipped funk (“6-10”) and onto kool, KISS-inspired strut ‘n’ roll (“Mojo’s Gone”).

BACKYARD BABIES announced in November 2009 that they were going on an indefinite hiatus after completing a European tour.

dregencd2013_600

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Frontiers Records will release the debut album from Swedish singer ANGELICA, “Thrive”, on November 29 in Europe and December 3 in North America.

Best known for being the singer in THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, Angelica Rylin finally decided to pursue her childhood dream and to walk in the footsteps of such amazing singers such as Ann Wilson of HEART, Leigh Matty of ROMEO’S DAUGHTER and Robin Beck and record her debut solo album in a true melodic rock style.

Some melodic rock songwriting luminaries answered the call in order to create the magic harmonies and music displayed on Angelica‘s debut album. “Harry Hess, Daniel Flores, Robert Sall, Alessandro Del Vecchio and Anders Wigelius all contributed,” says Angelica, and some excellent guitarists such as Jesper Strömblad (IN FLAMES), Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR), Per Berquist (SMASH INTO PIECES) also appear on the album. There is also a very special performance by keyboardist Matt Guillory (JAMES LABRIE). Still, Angelica wrote or co-wrote several songs on her record, showing another side of her abilities.

“I got the chance to step out of my comfort zone and just focus on being a great singer. I also got to do a couple of amazing co-writes, for instance with Harry Hess of HAREM SCAREM,” continues Angelica. “But what I’m most happy about is that I got to include a couple of my own songs too. It’s a great mix of classic but modern AOR love songs.”

Helped by producer, drummer and songwriting partner Daniel Flores (FIND ME, SEVENTH WONDER, THE MURDER OF MY SWEET), Angelica managed to create a superb album which offers soaring and instantly likeable hook lines, solid guitar riffs and a crisp sound.

“After releasing two albums with THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, I get an opportunity to show my fans a slightly different side of me and at the same time have fun and explore another side of rock music that I grew up with and truly love,” says Angelica. “I have pushed my boundaries vocally on this album and grown as a singer, which is very important for me on a more personal level. I guess this is every singer’s dream.”

“Thrive” track listing:

01. Breaking My Heart
02. I Am Strong
03. To Your Rescue
04. Can’t Stop Love
05. Nothing Else You Can Break
06. Riding Out The Storm
07. Rain On My Parade
08. Losers In Paradise
09. You Will Never Win
10. This Kiss Is Just For You
11. I’m Not Waiting
12. Take Me To Your Heart
13. Breaking My Heart (bonus videoclip)

angelicathrivecover

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Zisis Petkanas of Greece’s Rock Overdose recently conducted an interview with Tom Keifer, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based blues-rock band CINDERELLA. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

Keifer‘s debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 30 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group‘s Independent Label Group).

The collection of 14 new songs ranges from intimate, organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock. It embraces the blues, rock and country roots that have always been present in his unique sound that has generated the sale of over 15 million records worldwide for CINDERELLA. Rolling Stone praised Keifer as “a gritty, bluesy (rocker) with enough genuine swagger to draw comparisons to Mick Jagger.”

“This record was a labor of love,” Keifer told TriCities.com. “When I started this record, CINDERELLA was in the middle of a lawsuit with Sony Records. This record is not in any way to be taken as me stepping away from CINDERELLA.”

“I took a lot of time making this record,” he continued. “I made it over 10 years. I wanted to make something I loved. My wife, Savannah (Snow), co-wrote a lot of the songs with me. It was a blessing to me.

“Each song has something to do with life. It’s just life, love, love lost, being crazy, going crazy, being lost. The record, there’s no change, really, in style. It has the peaks and valleys.

“I’ve always approached music, played music that I like. I’ve never chased trends through CINDERELLA and with this album. It reflects what’s in me.”

“The Flower Song”, the album’s first single, was serviced to AAA radio stations nationwide on February 4, while “Solid Ground” was serviced to all rock formats on March 11.

Keifer wrote “The Flower Song” with Jim Peterik, formerly of the bands SURVIVOR and the IDES OF MARCH.

“The Way Life Goes” is a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride that has been Keifer‘s life for the past 15 years. From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed, his solo debut is a story of perseverance, a testament to the power of passion and will, when combined with a true love of music.

“It’s pretty scary,” Keifer said of his vocal paralysis. “I’ve had six surgeries to deal with the collateral damage. Performing… has been difficult for me because of the vocal issues I’ve had. I work several hours every day on that. That’s a difficult thing for me every day.”

Interview (audio):

“Solid Ground” video:



tom-keifer-the-way-life-goes_600

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Tom Keifer, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based blues-rock band CINDERELLA, was recently interviewed by Daily-Rock Quebec. You can now check out the questions and listen to Tom‘s responses below.

Keifer‘s debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 30 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group‘s Independent Label Group).

The collection of 14 new songs ranges from intimate, organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock. It embraces the blues, rock and country roots that have always been present in his unique sound that has generated the sale of over 15 million records worldwide for CINDERELLA. Rolling Stone praised Keifer as “a gritty, bluesy (rocker) with enough genuine swagger to draw comparisons to Mick Jagger.”

“This record was a labor of love,” Keifer told TriCities.com. “When I started this record, CINDERELLA was in the middle of a lawsuit with Sony Records. This record is not in any way to be taken as me stepping away from CINDERELLA.”

“I took a lot of time making this record,” he continued. “I made it over 10 years. I wanted to make something I loved. My wife, Savannah (Snow), co-wrote a lot of the songs with me. It was a blessing to me.

“Each song has something to do with life. It’s just life, love, love lost, being crazy, going crazy, being lost. The record, there’s no change, really, in style. It has the peaks and valleys.

“I’ve always approached music, played music that I like. I’ve never chased trends through CINDERELLA and with this album. It reflects what’s in me.”

“The Flower Song”, the album’s first single, was serviced to AAA radio stations nationwide on February 4, while “Solid Ground” was serviced to all rock formats on March 11.

Keifer wrote “The Flower Song” with Jim Peterik, formerly of the bands SURVIVOR and the IDES OF MARCH.

“The Way Life Goes” is a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride that has been Keifer‘s life for the past 15 years. From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed, his solo debut is a story of perseverance, a testament to the power of passion and will, when combined with a true love of music.

“It’s pretty scary,” Keifer said of his vocal paralysis. “I’ve had six surgeries to deal with the collateral damage. Performing… has been difficult for me because of the vocal issues I’ve had. I work several hours every day on that. That’s a difficult thing for me every day.”

Daily-Rock Quebec: Is the process of writing and recording music is the same as a solo artist?

Daily-Rock Quebec: My favorite songs on “The Way Life Goes” are “Welcome To My Mind” and “Babylon”. What are your favorite songs on this album?

Daily-Rock Quebec: Do you have any new fans at your shows? Or are there only CINDERELLA fans following you?

Daily-Rock Quebec: I heard that you are doing duets for this tour. Have you done that often?

Daily-Rock Quebec: If you had to record a duet, whom would you choose to record it with?

Daily-Rock Quebec: You haven’t written for another artist, have you?

Daily-Rock Quebec: Any gigs coming up soon?

Daily-Rock Quebec: Will these gigs be an opening act or an headliner?

Daily-Rock Quebec: Would you consider a show in Montreal in the near future?

Daily-Rock Quebec: Seeing how the music business has changed over these past years, would you discourage your son to go in this direction for his future?

“Solid Ground” video:



tom-keifer-the-way-life-goes_600

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BACKYARD BABIES and MICHAEL MONROE guitarist Dregen (real name: Andreas Tyrone Svensson) will release his debut solo album on September 25 via Universal Music in Sweden. The CD will be issued via Spinefarm Records in the U.K. on September 30.

The official video for the album’s first single, “Just Like That”, can be seen below. The song received its world premiere on August 10 on Swedish national radio P3. It was then released on August 14.

Titled simply “Dregen”, this 10-track release is a modern take on an era when rock music came ready-dipped in decadence and glamor; when the commercial and the credible could sit comfortably side by side; when albums were a great 35 minutes over 2 sides of vinyl rather than fleshed out with filler; when backing vocals were big and brash and (feather) boa’d; when heels & musicians were generally high; when emotion and entertainment were the driving forces, and when lifestyle was king…

Produced by Dregen and Pär Wiksten (THE WANNADIES), Dregen‘s first solo venture in a 25-year career that has seen him at the core of such internationally acclaimed acts as BACKYARD BABIES and THE HELLACOPTERS features all new material, and is a contemporary and inventive distillation of the Stockholm-based guitarist’s far-reaching record collection.

As well as being a key and original member of both BACKYARD BABIES and THE HELLACOPTERS, Dregen has also lent his skills to projects as diverse as INFINITE MASS (’70s-inspired, “Scarface”-lovin’ sleaze-funk), SUPERSHIT666 (spontaneous rock’n’roll distortion with various WILDHEARTS and HELLACOPTERS members keepin’ the needle maxed) and Michael Monroe‘s touring and recording band (the sleeve concept for MM‘s forthcoming “Horns And Halos” album is his, too), so it’s no great surprise that the aforementioned collection is both lovingly-compiled and built on punk as much as rock, jazz as much as blues…

“Y’know, that was the hardest part,” recalls Dregen. “I was staring at my records for over a year, thinking, ‘How the fuck can I get the vibe from KISS, SLAYER, THE BEASTIE BOYS and Miles Davis into one single record?’ But I did it, and it sounds very much like me. It’s a high-energy rock ‘n’ roll album with the greatest songs I have written and recorded.”

As for the musicians involved, Nicke Andersson (former ENTOMBED mainman/drummer, co-founder of THE HELLACOPTERS and now the driving force behind IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC) plays drums, bass and rhythm guitar on three tracks, where he also gets a co-write credit. Other featured musicians include drummer Karl Rockfist (MICHAEL MONROE, DANZIG), and bassists Sami Yaffa (HANOI ROCKS, NEW YORK DOLLS, JOAN JETT, MICHAEL MONROE) and John Calabrese (DANKO JONES), with Dregen taking care of all guitar and vocal parts, and Danko Jones and Swedish female singer Titiyo adding occasional support at the mic.

However, it’s the reunion with Nicke that will doubtless mean most to rock ‘n’ roll fans the world over…

“It’s true,” reflects Dregen, “Something magic always happens when we play and write together. I don’t know what it is, but there is definitely something special there. Nicke is one of my all-time favorite drummers, and we haven’t really worked this closely since the early HELLACOPTERS days…”

Recorded for the most part in Pär Wiksten‘s Hospital1 studio in Stockholm, with mixing handled by Michael Ilbert at the legendary Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, these 10 tracks come in a variety of hues and colours, moods and textures, veering from hard-hitting blues (“Flat Tyre On a Muddy Road”), through sinewy, snake-hipped funk (“6-10”) and onto kool, KISS-inspired strut ‘n’ roll (“Mojo’s Gone”).

Like Dregen the man, “Dregen” the album is hard to sum up in an easy phrase; what we have here is a multi-tiered collection of from-the-heart songs — songs packed with retro-chic, glam-rock glitter, and shapes ‘n’ sounds that are modern without chasing trend.

“Dregen” track listing:

01. Divisons Of Me
02. Just Like That
03. Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road
04. Gig Pig
05. Pink Hearse
06. Bad Situation
07. One Man Army
08. 6-10
09. Refuse
10. Mojo’s Gone

Dregen is currently assembling a touring band to take the above songs out on the road; no one is 100 per cent confirmed as yet (“They’ll be great musicians, though — promise!”), but it’s likely that those selected will be charged to learn a few “rusty earrings” from the Dregen past, making this a rock ‘n’ roll show happy to celebrate glories past whilst still keeping both eyes squarely on the road ahead. And, of course, a tattooed, white-knuckle grip on the wheel.

BACKYARD BABIES announced in November 2009 that they were going on an indefinite hiatus after completing a European tour.

dregencd2013_600

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Tom Keifer, best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based blues-rock band CINDERELLA, was recently interviewed by Spark TV. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Keifer‘s debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 30 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group‘s Independent Label Group).

The collection of 14 new songs ranges from intimate, organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock. It embraces the blues, rock and country roots that have always been present in his unique sound that has generated the sale of over 15 million records worldwide for CINDERELLA. Rolling Stone praised Keifer as “a gritty, bluesy (rocker) with enough genuine swagger to draw comparisons to Mick Jagger.”

“This record was a labor of love,” Keifer told TriCities.com. “When I started this record, CINDERELLA was in the middle of a lawsuit with Sony Records. This record is not in any way to be taken as me stepping away from CINDERELLA.”

“I took a lot of time making this record,” he continued. “I made it over 10 years. I wanted to make something I loved. My wife, Savannah (Snow), co-wrote a lot of the songs with me. It was a blessing to me.

“Each song has something to do with life. It’s just life, love, love lost, being crazy, going crazy, being lost. The record, there’s no change, really, in style. It has the peaks and valleys.

“I’ve always approached music, played music that I like. I’ve never chased trends through CINDERELLA and with this album. It reflects what’s in me.”

“The Flower Song”, the album’s first single, was serviced to AAA radio stations nationwide on February 4, while “Solid Ground” was serviced to all rock formats on March 11.

Keifer wrote “The Flower Song” with Jim Peterik, formerly of the bands SURVIVOR and the IDES OF MARCH.

“The Way Life Goes” is a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride that has been Keifer‘s life for the past 15 years. From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed, his solo debut is a story of perseverance, a testament to the power of passion and will, when combined with a true love of music.

“It’s pretty scary,” Keifer said of his vocal paralysis. “I’ve had six surgeries to deal with the collateral damage. Performing… has been difficult for me because of the vocal issues I’ve had. I work several hours every day on that. That’s a difficult thing for me every day.”

Interview (audio):

“Solid Ground” video:



tom-keifer-the-way-life-goes_600

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“Collide”, the new solo video from SOUNDGARDEN bassist Ben Shepherd, can be seen below (courtesy of RollingStone.com). The track comes off Shepherd‘s debut solo album as HBS (his given name of Hunter Benedict Shepherd), “In Deep Owl”, which was released on August 27. The collection of songs was recorded in the industrial neighborhoods of Georgetown and Interbay in Seattle, Washington and was produced by Dave French, Ben Shepherd, Chad MacMurray and Nathan Yaccino. It features guest appearances by SOUNDGARDEN drummer Matt Cameron and former PEARL JAM drummer Matt Chamberlain.

Regarding the CD title, Shepherd told Bass Player magazine: “That’s an old nickname for the neighborhood where I hang out.”

He added: “[The album] was done before SOUNDGARDEN returned to doing anything, and then it was put on the back burner.”

Speaking about the lyrical approach of his solo material, Shepherd told PureVolume: “I want to do that to give people freedom to think and feel about what it is. I don’t want to just blurt it out, unless it’s one of those songs where you want to say exactly what it is. I don’t tend to write journalistically like that when it comes to words. Like ‘Stone Pale’ was made up on the spot years ago. Then, I added a verse during the recording of this record because I thought it needed another verse instead of just repeating a verse.”

hbsdeepowl

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Rick Florino of PureVolume recently conducted an interview with Ben Shepherd about the SOUNDGARDEN bassist’s debut solo album as HBS (his given name of Hunter Benedict Shepherd), “In Deep Owl”, which was released on August 27. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

PureVolume: As this has been a long time in the making, when was the first time you got to sit down and listen to it? What was your reaction?

Ben Shepherd: It was a while ago that I actually listened to it. Not having a band, it’s hard to go through sequencing by yourself. You’re like, “Fuck, what’s next?” You have to listen to it as someone else. I tried to imagine how I would want to hear it and then sequence it. Then, I’d run it by everybody involved like Dave French, Chad MacMurray, and all of my friends. I actually did listen to it a bit ago from start to finish. I wanted to make it something you’d want to listen to and keep it fresh. That’s all I was aiming for.

PureVolume: It’s the first unfiltered and unadulterated look at you that fans have gotten.

Ben Shepherd: That’s true. That’s why I did it. It was like, “Where is he? Whatever happened to that guy?” It was done before SOUNDGARDEN had ever reunited.

PureVolume: Do you feel like there’s a certain mystique to the lyrics?

Ben Shepherd: I want to do that to give people freedom to think and feel about what it is. I don’t want to just blurt it out, unless it’s one of those songs where you want to say exactly what it is. I don’t tend to write journalistically like that when it comes to words. Like “Stone Pale” was made up on the spot years ago. Then, I added a verse during the recording of this record because I thought it needed another verse instead of just repeating a verse.

PureVolume: It’s very immediate…

Ben Shepherd: That’s really how it was. “Baron Robber” was made up on the spot. I told the drummer Joseph Braley, “I have a song for you to play.” Then, I made it up on the spot, and we worked it out as we were doing it. [laughs] He nailed it, man!

PureVolume: Is it fair to say there’s a western vibe to the record?

Ben Shepherd: In any town, there’s a spot where you can see where it was made. Where we were at in Georgetown, its nickname was Deep Owl. That’s all trains and wobbly-era. It’s 1800s, early 1900s. People were wearing bowlers and old filson jackets. They’re all brick workers, union guys, iron workers, and all kinds of stuff. It definitely has that era feeling with modern stuff thrown on top of it. It was more about absorbing the feeling of it. I always write songs like that anyway. I think that’s from my youth. The first song I ever heard in life was “Big River” by Johnny Cash. It’s totally in my ilk to do that.

Read the entire interview at PureVolume.

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