Posts Tagged “Songwriter”

Resident Rock Star conducted an interview with Ivar Bjørnson, guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Norwegian progressive/psychedelic black metallers ENSLAVED, on February 11 at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below.

ENSLAVED‘s twelfth studio album, “RIITIIR”, sold around 2,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 8 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

ENSLAVED‘s previous album, “Axioma Ethica Odini”, opened with 1,400 units back in September 2010 to debut at No. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.

“Describing the sound on the new album is both easy and hard,” ENSLAVED‘s Ivar Bjørnson said. “It is easy because it sounds like ENSLAVED, whatever that means. It is hard because there are so many layers and different focal points. I have a feeling that it has a deeper complexity than our previous efforts, but at the same time, I do find it more catchy and moving. Then again, I am the opposite of objective in this, so again I’ll leave it up to the people outside the band to make up their mind.”

ENSLAVED‘s previous two CDs — “Vertebrae” (2008) and “Axioma Ethica Odini” (2010) — were released via Indie Recordings in Europe and Nuclear Blast in North America.

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“If Not Here, Where?”, a brand new song from Finnish metallers AMORAL, can be streamed below. The track comes off the band’s upcoming album “Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows”, which will be released in early 2014.

‘Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows’ is a concept album, and ‘If Not Here, Where?’ sits right in the middle of the album and the story, marking a turning point in the protagonist’s journey,” says Ben Varon, guitarist and main songwriter of AMORAL.

“We wanted the first taster to really represent the whole album. Also, ‘If Not Here, Where?’ being such a massive chunk of music, almost like two songs in one, it will take some time for listeners to digest it all, and hopefully this track will keep people occupied until we leak out another song.”

AMORAL‘s fifth album, “Beneath”, entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 30. Released on October 26, 2011, the CD came equipped with a stunning 18-page poster booklet (made by Spanish artist Marta Nael), expanding the cover artwork into all its glory.

AMORAL is:

Ari Koivunen (RASKASTA JOULUA) – Vocals
Ben Varon (GREASE HELMET) – Guitar
Masi Hukari – Guitar
Pekka Johansson – Bass
Juhana Karlsson (SHEAR) – Drums

(Thanks: Fireangel of Night Elves)

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Behind-the-scenes and performance footage from KAMELOT‘s September 20 concert at Slim’s in San Francisco, California can be seen below.

KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai is sitting out the band’s North American tour so he can stay home with longtime girlfriend Simone Simons, (EPICA singer) as they await the birth of their first child. Filling in for him is Coen Janssen of EPICA.

KAMELOT‘s latest album, “Silverthorn”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 79 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “Poetry For The Poisoned”, opened with around 6,100 units in September 2010 to enter the chart at No. 74.

“Silverthorn” was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, October 26, 2012 in Germany and October 29, 2012 in the rest of Europe via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD marks the band’s first release with Tommy Karevik, the Swedish vocalist who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of).

In a 2012 interview with Loudwire, KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood stated about what Karevik brings to the band: “I think when we knew we had to bring in a new person on vocals, we wanted the opportunity to grow the band, not just to maintain the band or survive. We wanted to look at this as an opportunity to make the band bigger, [and] I think with Tommy we can do that. Not only is he an exceptional singer, he’s a great songwriter and he’s way ahead of what I thought he would be in terms of being a frontman. People who come out to shows will see that this guy is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t imagine a better choice, honestly. In the beginning, when this whole thing started, we were a little unsure of what the future might be, but now we’re really excited about it.”

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The Gates Of Slumber

Jason McCash has announced he’s quit The Gates Of Slumber – although he says the move is entirely amicable.

And the doom metal songwriter and lyricist has vowed he’ll be back in action soon.

McCash says: “It’s nothing at all against Karl Simon and Bob Fouts, but I think it’s something I have to do at this time. I really hope and wish the best for them and the group.

“I’m not done with music. I have a whole album’s worth of material that was supposed to be part of the next Gates Of Slumber album, that I very much want to see come to life.

“The material I have is still in the same vein as songs like Death March, Dragon Caravan and Day Of Farewell – it just won’t be under the Gates Of Slumber banner.”

McCash admits he’ll miss the band and he’s proud of what they achieved, adding: “I’m sorry for this to happen, but it’s just time for me to leave.”

Drummer J Clyde Paradis left the band last year, also amicably. Their last release was an EP entitled Stormcrow in January.

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Joseph Schafer of Invisible Oranges recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Invisible Oranges: To me, “Surgical Steel” sounds at its heart to be a very sad record.

Walker: You think?

Invisible Oranges: I think so.

Walker: If anything, “Heartwork” and “Swansong” were, lyrically, very serious. This is a throwback to the old days of CARCASS, where it was very lighthearted. But this is cool because you’re extracting something from this album. Which is fine. I’m not here to dictate how people should perceive or enjoy this album. People who look at the lyrics and titles and think what the fuck they want are ultimately fragile and stupid. There’s no real agenda here, no real issues, nobody’s trying to brainwash anyone. I’m not Barney Greenway [NAPALM DEATH]. You can look at it at whatever level you like. You can view the lyrics as throwaway, or look very deep into it, and that’s fine. People keep asking me what the chorus is, the numbers on “The Dark Granulating Satanic Mills”, and I’m not going to say. I’ve heard some interesting theories as to what those numbers are about, and that is far more interesting than the reality.

Invisible Oranges: Would you describe to me the moment when you realized you were happy doing CARCASS again.

Walker: The first rehearsal. I was just happy to be playing with Bill [Steer, guitar] again. He’s a far superior musician to me, and a far superior human being as well. It was cool to be back where we started.

Invisible Oranges: It really seems like, retroactively, CARCASS is the relationship between you two.

Walker: Yes, you could argue that. If I hadn’t met Bill, Bill would have achieved musically, but I don’t think CARCASS would have existed, so in that sense you’re right. But the central songwriter of CARCASS has always been in flux. In the old days it was Ken [Owen, drums] who wrote a hell of a lot of the riffs. If you look at “Reek”, we had an equal three-way split. On “Symphonies”, Bill started doing more, and I did more of the lyrics. “Necroticism” is 95 percent Ken and Bill. Mike [Amott, guitar] came in at the end with one riff. “Heartwork” was all Bill and Mike‘s riffs. So as you can see the core of the band is constantly changing in terms of who’s writing the riffs. On “Surgical Steel”, it’s all Bill who’s coming up with the riffs. The more I think of it, you can’t really call the band mine and Bill‘s because in the past so much of it really was Ken. Ken cast a long shadow on this album, and his ghost is in the drumming, is in the lyrics and the songtitles. And he even tracked some backing vocals. He’s still there in spirit very much.

Invisible Oranges: That’s sort of poetic considering the way he is mixed into the record, his vocals are lower, so he almost literally is a ghost in the songs.

Walker: It’s important as far as credibility. If you look at the SLAYER situation, they’re going to have a hard ride now with no [Dave] Lombardo and the death of [Jeff] Hanneman. You could accuse the same thing of CARCASS — there’s no Ken, no Mike Amott. Especially from Mike‘s fanboys [we could hear those accusations]. Mike does deserve credit, but sometimes I think he’s extracted a little too much credit from CARCASS considering what he put in. Some people will hate this album on the basis of there being no Ken and no Mike Amott, so we’re very conscious of that, but we’re not stupid. We know what sounds good. We didn’t want something that would sound like “Swansong” when you compare it to “Heartwork” and “Necroticism”. We know what people want.

Read the entire interview at Invisible Oranges.

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Behind-the-scenes and performance footage from KAMELOT‘s September 14 concert at Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado can be seen below.

KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai is sitting out the band’s North American tour so he can stay home with longtime girlfriend Simone Simons, (EPICA singer) as they await the birth of their first child. Filling in for him is Coen Janssen of EPICA.

KAMELOT‘s latest album, “Silverthorn”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 79 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “Poetry For The Poisoned”, opened with around 6,100 units in September 2010 to enter the chart at No. 74.

“Silverthorn” was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, October 26, 2012 in Germany and October 29, 2012 in the rest of Europe via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD marks the band’s first release with Tommy Karevik, the Swedish vocalist who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of).

In a 2012 interview with Loudwire, KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood stated about what Karevik brings to the band: “I think when we knew we had to bring in a new person on vocals, we wanted the opportunity to grow the band, not just to maintain the band or survive. We wanted to look at this as an opportunity to make the band bigger, [and] I think with Tommy we can do that. Not only is he an exceptional singer, he’s a great songwriter and he’s way ahead of what I thought he would be in terms of being a frontman. People who come out to shows will see that this guy is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t imagine a better choice, honestly. In the beginning, when this whole thing started, we were a little unsure of what the future might be, but now we’re really excited about it.”

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Fan-filmed video footage of KAMELOT‘s September 6 performance at Stage 48 in New York City can be seen below.

KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai is sitting out the band’s North American tour so he can stay home with longtime girlfriend Simone Simons, (EPICA singer) as they await the birth of their first child. Filling in for him is Coen Janssen of EPICA.

KAMELOT‘s latest album, “Silverthorn”, sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 79 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “Poetry For The Poisoned”, opened with around 6,100 units in September 2010 to enter the chart at No. 74.

“Silverthorn” was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, October 26, 2012 in Germany and October 29, 2012 in the rest of Europe via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD marks the band’s first release with Tommy Karevik, the Swedish vocalist who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of).

In a 2012 interview with Loudwire, KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood stated about what Karevik brings to the band: “I think when we knew we had to bring in a new person on vocals, we wanted the opportunity to grow the band, not just to maintain the band or survive. We wanted to look at this as an opportunity to make the band bigger, [and] I think with Tommy we can do that. Not only is he an exceptional singer, he’s a great songwriter and he’s way ahead of what I thought he would be in terms of being a frontman. People who come out to shows will see that this guy is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t imagine a better choice, honestly. In the beginning, when this whole thing started, we were a little unsure of what the future might be, but now we’re really excited about it.”

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In honor of the victims’, families, and heroes of 9/11, Richie Sambora got together with songwriter and friend Bernie Taupin to write and record “Engine 19”

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Grammy winning songwriter and producer Desmond Child is raising funds to help reach the distribution and marketing goals of his new documentary ‘TWO’

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Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Icon Vs. Icon: Is there musical ground you are anxious to cover?

Chris: We have already started writing songs for the next record. We will be focusing in even more on what we do best — the groove, the space, the heaviness and the melodies. As much as we love IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, DIO and a lot of new bands like STONE SOUR, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, we also have a big appreciation for JOURNEY, FOREIGNER, STYX, QUEEN and THE BEATLES; bands who used a lot of harmony. We like the days where every guy in the band sang! We really want to continue those days. I think one of the reasons we have been doing so well because FOZZY is a little bit different than the norm and that has helped us get to the next level.

Icon Vs. Icon: Where are you in process of creating this new material for a new FOZZY album?

Chris: We are going to go back into the studio starting in January. We are writing now and we want to have this thing released for the summertime. It is would be perfect timing for putting out a record, where we can go tour with at all the summer festivals and tours. We are getting everything sorted out and organized right now. Like I keep saying, there is just so much momentum from “Sin And Bones”, we want to keep that rolling and the elevation continuing along!

Icon Vs. Icon: Speaking of new music, where do you find yourself looking for inspiration as a songwriter?

Chris: I just go by songtitles. If I see an interesting phrase, something that piques my interest, I will write it down and work my way backwards from there. Obviously, there are a lot of different places you can derive lyrics from. Personally, I like imagery lyrics. If you look at “Sandpaper” or “Spider In My Mouth”, they are more imagery driven, rather than literal, visceral meanings. I also like relationship-type songs like “In My Head” or “Shine Forever” or “Feed My Addiction”. Then you have the more fantastic ones like “What Happens”, “Past Life” or “Dark Passenger”, which was loosely based on ‘Dexter”, or storm — “Storm The Beaches” is about being in World War II. It is just whatever catches my eye, but it typically starts off with the song title.

Icon Vs. Icon: Last time we spoke, you had been giving some thought on doing a live DVD release to capture the live show. Any movement on that front?

Chris: Yeah, we just filmed a set at Bloodstock, which is a big festival we played in England a few weeks ago. Once we have that all organized and ready, I am sure it will be released before the new record or if nothing else, with the new record as a bonus disc.
Icon Vs. Icon: Last time we spoke, you had signed a book deal for a third autobiography. You had mentioned wanting to start chipping away at it while on tour. Where do you stand in that process?

Chris: I did actually start it. A couple of weeks ago we were in Austria and I finally bit the bullet and started working on it. I am about 85 pages in. Once you kind of crack the seal and get to work on it, it becomes addictive. That is what you need to write a book because it is a huge project that takes a lot of effort. I have a couple of great books to live up to, so I have a certain level of quality to meet as well. All of those factors lead you to waiting for the right time. Once you get started, it is hard to stop. That is where I am at right now, so hopefully it will be out next year. I am not sure exactly if it is supposed to be out in the fall or winter. I know what my deadline is and I am late! Fire it up!

Read the entire interview at Icon Vs. Icon.

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