Friday, March 7, 2014

Carl Palmer's "Decade" concert DVD, "The Solo" art film, and newly expanded "Carl, Do Ya Wanna Play?" anthology

Carl Palmer, among the most renowned drummers in rock history and a founding member of both ELP and ASIA will be featured in three global releases by Music Video Distributors. Being released worldwide on March 11 will be DECADE (which chronicles the 2011 tour show and celebrates the 10 year anniversary of Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy band); THE SOLO, (an acclaimed art film by British director Andrew Cross which presents Carl Palmer's drum solo as a form of physical art); and the newly expanded 2 CD anthology, CARL, DO YA WANNA PLAY?, a compilation covering 50 years of recordings band by Carl Palmer with Emerson Lake & Palmer, ASIA, Carl Palmer Legacy, The Craig, PM, Mike Oldfield, and other acts he has worked with.

"I am very excited to have these titles coming out and available finally for my fans," says Palmer, who has been touring since his group launched its 2014 tour with a sold out show in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on January 18. "Decade is a complete show by my band, and features our power trio interpretations of the greatest songs of ELP and select classical composers. If you loved ELP but want to hear these songs done in a completely different musical environment, this DVD is something you will want to see and own. We are extremely proud of the final product, which was captured at one of our shows on the 2011 tour."

Adds Palmer: "The Solo was an art film I was asked to be involved with by film maker Andrew Cross. The idea was to show the audience that a drum solo and exploration of various percussion instruments could be positioned as a work of art."   The film has received rave reviews at screenings done in art museums in England, with critic Stephen Lee in his review, saying, "The Solo transforms an unassuming landscape into the spatial re-enactment of music as pop idyll."

The newly expanded version of Palmer's UK-only released two disc CD compilation, Carl, Do Ya Wanna Play- The Carl Palmer Anthology, features many of the greatest recorded works of Palmer's career with ELP, ASIA, Atomic Rooster, Mike Oldfield and as a solo artist. It even includes a rare track of Palmer performing with the Buddy Rich Orchestra, at the insistence of the famed jazz drummer and long time friend of Palmer's.

Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy is a red-hot power trio that features Palmer on drums and percussion; guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick. "Since 2001, I have been playing with my own power trio, replacing the keyboards with electric guitar," says Palmer. "I felt that was the only honest way to approach the music of ELP. I didn't want to have a singer trying to sound like Greg Lake. ELP did so much instrumental music, this format made sense to me.  Hearing the keyboard parts done on guitar is certainly different, but just as satisfying. The idea was to re-invent the music; there will be several new classic ELP tunes this time around."

As for ELP, Palmer closed that chapter of his life when the band played a final show in 2010 at London's High Voltage Festival, where they celebrated their 40th Anniversary. "ELP has ended its on again off again existence when we did High Voltage.  We had a great run and remain friends, but the best way I can honor our musical legacy is to present that music the way I do with my own band.

These MVD releases come in conjunction with the release of a new ASIA studio album, Gravitas (and 2014 tour), and Palmer's acclaimed second collection of modern art available at

On tour Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy will play nearly two hours and drum enthusiasts can expect an evening of compelling percussive skills, from the man who brought the drum set to the forefront of rock n roll music.


THE WINERY DOGS Announce First-Ever 'Dog Camp'

Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen of THE WINERY DOGS have announced Dog Camp, their first annual immersive program for aspiring musicians of all ages and levels, set for July 21-25, 2014 at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, New York.

Produced by Dreamcatcher Events, this special vacation experience offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the three legends as campers attend instrument-specific clinics, learn songwriting mechanics, and enjoy very special intimate performances and jam sessions from THE WINERY DOGS and special guests. Look for the daily itinerary for Dog Camp to be announced in the coming weeks and check out a video from Mike Portnoy talking about Dog Camp below.

Tickets for Dog Camp are on sale now at Attendees will have access to all workshops, seminars, gourmet meals, performances, jam sessions, and camp activities.

"We've all done clinics over the years, but it's always been something that's primarily centered around one instrument that each of us has typically done on an individual basis," says drummer Portnoy. "Dog Camp is the first time that any of us have hosted or participated in a true 'Band Camp.' As a result of that, we've got some incredible surprises in store for everybody attending."

"We'll be living together, hanging together, and jamming together," Portnoy continues. "We want you to ask as many questions as possible, and we're going to engage you on a one-on-one basis to help you realize your goals as a player."

"What's interesting is to talk about music, concepts, objectives, reasons why you're playing the instrument, what you want to achieve, and how to get to that point, rather than talking about major versus minor scales," says lead vocalist/guitarist Kotzen. "I love that feeling of sharing concepts with people. In THE WINERY DOGS, we all have various experiences that a lot of other people don't have. It's an opportunity to share that and grow; the feeling of moving forward and learning and experiencing something new. That's what excites me about Dog Camp. It's the creative process and creativity that make me want to do music, and I want to share that."

"I want to emphasize that players should keep an eye on what we're doing and why during the performances," adds bassist Sheehan. "In between songs or mid-song, I want to stop to make a point about what's going on and why. The expertise of being able to play ensemble is a bit of a lost art with kids today. They don't do what we did when we were growing up. Right away, we just got in a band whether we could play or not. Now, kids want to get up to a level of expertise and then join a band."

"[During the seminars] I like to have back-and-forth communication," Sheehan continues. "I want to speak with people and hear their opinions, disagreements, and challenges. I believe anyone who attends will see a jumpstart in their quest to achieve their dreams."

Dog Camp offers a variety of pricing options, based on the variety of available accommodations. All activities will be held at Full Moon Resort, which features an eclectic array of comfortable, rustic country-inn accommodations as well as primitive tent camping. All accommodations are just steps away from daily camp activities. Guests can enjoy the spring-fed swimming pool, on-site access to the Esopus Creek, and explore the splendors of the Catskills on the nearby network of hiking trails. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this one hundred-acre wonderland of mountains, fields, and streams is a world of its own.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DREAM THEATER's JORDAN RUDESS Says Streaming-Music Services Won't Allow Creative Musicians To Survive

Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: Did you make any new discoveries about songwriting on this latest [self-titled DREAM THEATER] album?
Jordan Rudess: Well, we kinda discovered that it is possible to take the DREAM THEATER style and kinda bring it into more concise format and still have it feel like it's us and that it really works. That was an experiment. In the history of the band, we've tried to bring certain songs a little bit more tight and on this album more so. So we can see that it works.
Metalshrine: With a band like DREAM THEATER, is there ever a limit to how far you can stray from the sound you're known for? Or do you always have to keep it within the DREAM THEATER boundaries, so to speak?
Jordan Rudess: The stylistic window. First of all, DREAM THEATER is a fairly wide stylistic world and there are a lot of things that can be included, be it a little honky tonk thing or a slightly jazzy thing, so there are many possibilities. There are certain things that really don't go or don't fly inside the DREAM THEATER window. The best example of a band that completely does what you're referring to is RADIOHEAD. They create these songs and then next thing they're an electronic band doing weird stuff. DREAM THEATER does not work that way. We've worked very hard over the years in creating this window of parameters and it's kinda a common ground for all of us as musicians to create this particular kind of music. An example is that many years ago, I remember I had just gotten an amazing percussion library of native instruments called Battery with great electronic drum sounds. I came into a DREAM THEATER writing session and we started off jamming and I was playing these really cool sounds and we had a great, great jam and it was really funny and we all ended up laughing at the end, which was really cool. I remember [former DREAM THEATER drummer] Mike Portnoy saying, "That was amazing, but we could never do anything like that!" It was just too different and too odd.
Metalshrine: You mentioned in an interview I read, that [drummer] Mike Mangini brought mathematics into the band. Can you explain that?
Jordan Rudess: Sure. I'm still learning about it myself. I always thought of strange rhythms as a bunch of 3's and 2's. Usually you can divide things in 2's and 3's and some kind of combination in the accents therein, but when I started working with Mike, he thinks in large numbers. He thinks in 19 against 5, so what I understood in working with him, is that he has a very unique mathematics brain. He's like a genius when it comes to numbers relating to musical patterns. He was able to bring some of that into our war games. What's cool is that he can introduce some kind of mathematical idea and then John [Petrucci, guitar] and I can take it and use it and make notes and make music out of it. It's a very interesting addition to the DREAM THEATER world. It's fascinating and it's really cool. We come up with some stuff that I would never come up with myself, because I don't think like that.
Metalshrine: How do you feel about the music business? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

Jordan Rudess: I would say that I'm excited about it from one point of view, being someone who enjoys technology and appreciates all the different ways of discovering music and to get music out there and the fun things you can do within the social media aspect. That said, I can't help but be really upset about the fact that it seems harder than ever for a young band to make it. Maybe it's because there's just too much stuff and too many ways and people get lost and don't know where to look for a band. It's such a wash of stuff and you're looking at this service and that sevice, Spotify and Bandcamp. And you hear about the kinda money some of these streaming services pay the musicians and it's really, really concerning. I have Spotify and I listen to it and I think it's really cool, but as an artist starting out, that's really upsetting. The world, the industry has to rethink how that's going. It's not gonna allow creative musicians to survive. It's easier to get the music out there, but how are you gonna make money off of it and how are you gonna get anywhere? Everybody I talk to is basically saying or agreeing that it's just harder.

Monday, March 3, 2014

MASTODON's BILL KELLIHER Discusses New Song 'High Road'

MASTODON guitarist Bill Kelliher, GOJIRA vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier and KVELERTAK singer Erlend Hjelvik took part in a group interview with editor in chief Rick Florino about their upcoming joint North American tour.
Asked what song he's written means the most to him up to this point, Kelliher said: "I don't know. I'd have to say it's something off of our [upcoming] album.
"There's a song called 'High Road'. I wrote the music. The lyrics were written by [MASTODON drummer] Brann Dailor. I think it's going to be a single. It was a riff I wrote in my sober time. I was feeling really good about it. I actually wrote it on a James Hetfield model ESP. It's the 'Snake Bite' guitar.
"I was sitting in my hotel room in Luxembourg because we had a couple of days off there.
"It's a very simple, easy, and heavy riff. I didn't think it would catch on with anybody else, but Brann was, like, 'I hear some really cool vocals there!' It just blossomed into this huge six-minute song with cool leads. They're not solos, but leads in the middle of the song I put together my song. It's something I worked really hard on.
"It's new and fresh.
"I'm excited for it to come out and have other people hear it and let me know what they think."
MASTODON's spring headlining tour with support from GOJIRA and KVELERTAK kicks off April 28 in Seattle and criss-crosses the U.S. before culminating in a performance at the Rock On The Range festival on May 18.
MASTODON is putting the finishing touches on its sixth album at a Nashville studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS).
Speaking to, MASTODON singer and bassist Troy Sanders was asked if the band's new material picks up where "The Hunter" left off or if the group is "on a whole new trip." "I think, to a degree, it picks up where we left off," he said.
"As always, nothing was really pre-determined and spoken of beforehand, like, 'Okay guys, we need to write a lot of long epic songs and a lot of short sweet songs. We need to have a couple of slow ones.' Nothing like that was predetermined verbally amongst the four of us. We go in there and we kind of pick up on whatever comes through Brent [Hinds] and Bill's [Kelliher] fingers and their guitars and build and build.
"I guess it's going to be more of a continuation of where we left off with 'The Hunter'. Hopefully, it's just a collection of good MASTODON rock 'n' roll songs. That's where it's headed."
Asked what it's been like working with Raskulinecz on the new album, Kelliher told Metal Hammer magazine: "It's something that we totally need — a cheerleader to get our asses in gear. There he is saying, 'Come on, you're MASTODON… you're one of the biggest bands in metal… Smash that hammer down and write some heavy shit. It's time to do or die!' He's that kind of a guy."

MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor recently told about the band's forthcoming CD: "It's gonna be massive and insane, lots of epic greatness. There will be lots of huge riffs and new directions. It's real weird, real math-y, real straightforward. It's up, down and all around. It's a culmination of everything for the band. The snowball keeps rolling and collecting snow."

DEEP PURPLE Members To Appear In Israeli TV Series 'Atlantica'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, legendary rockers DEEP PURPLE will make a cameo in Israeli TV series "Atlantica".
The band's lead singer, Ian Gillan, and bassist, Roger Glover, will appear as themselves in the series, which focuses on an aspiring rock act from Jerusalem. They will shoot the cameo this coming weekend while DEEP PURPLE is in Israel for two scheduled concerts at Tel Aviv's Nokia Arena.
DEEP PURPLE's appearance in "Atlantica" came about through a combined effort between casting director Amira Buzaglo and promoter Udi Appelboim, whose production company is bringing DEEP PURPLE to Israel for the band's third visit to the country.

"Atlantica" will premiere in Israel at the end of the year on cable provider Hot.

GEOFF TATE On QUEENSRŸCHE Court Case: I Hope We Can All Part Ways On Good Terms

During a brand new interview with the Colorado Springs, Colorado radio station KILO FM 94.3, singer Geoff Tate was asked if he has seen the article on BLABBERMOUTH.NET where legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo — who plays for Geoff Tate's version of QUEENSRŸCHE — called Tate "the finest composer, singer, frontman that ever was, of [Geoff's] generation." "No, I didn't see that," Geoff replied (hear audio below), before adding, "Well, that's very complimentary. He's quite a gentleman, Rudy. It's a pleasure playing with that guy. He is an amazing individual. Not only is he a fantastic musician and player, but as a person, he's one of the most down-to-earth, spiritual guys you'll ever meet. He's always calm. He's the kind of guy that you can sit and have a couple-of-hour conversation with, easy."
Tate was also asked about the progress of the settlement talks with his former bandmates over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name. "I can't really talk about the court case anymore, 'cause it's kind of coming down to the end of it now," he said. "But whatever the outome of it is, I just hope that it's settled, for everyone, in a good way and everyone's happy and we can all part ways on good terms, and move on. And there's a lot of more music to come out, and I'm looking forward to that."
Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE's former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band's name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.
While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand," Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. "I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I'm sure the market can get these things sorted out," she added.
Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE now features Tate along with guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and the band's latest additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE), Rudy Sarzo and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).

"Frequency Unknown", the latest album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart. Issued on April 23, 2013, the CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.