Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tommy Stinson Talks "Democracy"

gasoline, November 2008


Guns N' Roses bassist Tommy Stinson sets the record straight on the most anticipated album of the decade.

"None of us could have ever gone to Axl and said, ‘Dude, I think you're taking too long.’ He had to do what he had to do to make it the right record, and only he knew in his head what that was going to be."

If you were to ask me a couple of years ago "Which do you think we'll see first — the election of the first African-American president or the release of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy?" I would have put my money on the President. But since Obama will not be inaugurated until early next year, I guess, technically, I would have been wrong.

It's hard to believe, but Chinese Democracy is actually here. News of its release was impossible to escape. The Guns N'F'N' Roses publicity machine steamrolled posters across countless billboards; advertisements adorned the pages of newspapers and magazines; leaked tracks were dissected over the radio waves, and the merit of said tracks was scrutinized by diehard fans all over the Internet. You duck into your local watering hole, thinking it's a safe haven, only to find GN'R beer coasters spread out all over your table proclaiming the release date: 11/23/08. Even through all of this, though, there was a small sense of doubt about the album's arrival. But, alas, it seems that for professional recluse/perfectionist Axl Rose, it was a little too late to back out of this release date the way he has done so many times in the past.

The struggle that was Chinese Democracy started back in '94 when Axl first revealed that he had been working on the follow-up to the band's cover album The Spaghetti Incident?. After the release of such classics as Appetite For Destruction, and their magnum opuses Use Your Illusion I & II in the late 80s and early 90s, this enticing little tidbit was all it took to turn buzz surrounding a new GN'R album into a deafening roar. Axl disclosed the album's name long before any material had ever seen the light of day. Thus began the saga that is Chinese Democracy.

It's a convoluted tale spanning fourteen years. Expectations for the group's sixth studio album became so high they eventually towered at an almost unreachable height. With unmet release dates and a revolving door of musicians (including avant-garde guitarist Buckethead and punk drummer-for-hire Josh Freese), high-profile producers Moby and Bob Ezrin, among others, all eventually jumped ship. The birth of this album has been fraught with accounts of instability and infighting. however, one supporting member has been involved in the reformation of GN'R since the beginning of the Chinese Democracy debacle — Tommy Stinson, the former bassist of 80s punkers The Replacements. So, when I got my chance to interview the charismatic bass player, I just had to ask...

What took so fucking long?

"You know what? ... I don't know," Stinson divulges. "I really don't know if there was one thing. I think it was a multitude of things. That's my straight-up answer without getting into specifics, because I think if I get specific, it can be taken as sort of negative, and I don't want to go there." Inarguably, some discretion is required when talking about W. Axl Rose, a man infamous for his vicious disputes with his bandmates. But after some prying, Stinson loosens up. "I think the main thing is, we just didn't have a lot of help doing it. Geffen merged with Interscope; that definitely changed what was going down with the record. For whatever reason, because of the merger, it seems to me that that was the point when things slowed way, way, way down."

I'm reluctant to call Tommy Stinson GN'R's "new" bass player, seeing as he's been playing with the band for a decade, taking over Duff McKagan's four-strings back in 1998.

But since GN'R has only released a handful of tracks for various soundtracks in the past ten years, I guess it's only fair. [Other new recruits include Richard Fortus (rhythm guitar); Ron Thal (lead guitar); Frank Ferrer (drums); and Dizzy Reed (piano), who besides Axl Rose remains the only original member from the Use Your Illusion era.]

Now that Chinese Democracy has been released, Stinson looks at the album as two sides of a coin. "It's a little bittersweet. It took so long [to record the album], which is a drag, but the sweet thing is that it's actually out now, and people can actually check it out and judge for themselves on its worth or not." He then continues, "But ultimately for us, [the experience] was totally worth it. It turned out great, and I think it turned out right. I don't know if it would have turned out right a year ago or four years ago.

Having it produced by Axl Rose and Caram Costanzo says it all. We went to people that were put to us to help make the record, and that ultimately didn't work out. You just kind of have to wash your hands of it."

With its budget rumoured at upwards of 13 million dollars, this could arguably be the most expensive record ever made. The recoup costs alone would be enough to bankrupt a lesser band for a lifetime. There aren't many musicians that can demand and receive these kinds of grandiosities — with no deliverables and no end-date in sight — apart from Axl Rose. "They kind of left him to his own device. That's kind of the bad part about that. The record could have used a lot more help than we had. Certainly a lot more support and interaction might have been good."

Stinson continues, "I'm just glad it's out. I think whatever happened happened. Would it happen that way again? Probably not. But I think [Axl`s] passion was always in the right place. He was like, 'You know what? When I feel that it's done, that is when it is going to be done,' You can look at that any way you want. And if you're the leader of the band, it fucking falls on him anyway. Good or bad, successful or not. I think whatever he had to go through to get to that point is totally cool. There's none of us that could have ever gone to him and said, 'Dude, I think you're taking too long.' That wouldn't have made sense. He had to do what he had to do to make it the right record, and only he knew in his head what that was going to be."

With a career that spans 30 years, Stinson has also had his fair share of hard knocks in the music industry. Stinson and his late brother, Bob Stinson, formed The Replacements when he was only 13 years old. (The band's first three records Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash; Hootenanny, and Let It Be were reissued last April) "It kind of got rammed into me," Stinson reminisces. "My brother saw me monkeying around on the bass once and asked me if I wanted to play, and I sad, 'Sure! Sounds kind of fun.' But it kind of hurt my fingers. I didn't really like it. He'd throw shit at me and beat up on me to get me to do it. And then he gives me fucking candy and Coke to keep playing it. I'd fucking tell our mom, and bitch that he's fucking making me do something I didn't want to do. It ended off working out pretty good, 'cause I ended up starting to like it after awhile."

The Replacements produced seven LPs and one EP before disbanding In 1991. Stinson then went on to form and front the band Bash & Pop, releasing the single "Making Me Sick" on the Clerks movie soundtrack. At his humble beginnings — being bribed with sweets for bass licks — making music a life-long career was something Stinson didn't see coming. "God no. But then again, I never thought I would live this long!" Stinson says, laughing, "To see 42 would be one of [my biggest achievements]. I've done so many things that have had little proud moments in them. The Replacements reissue thing kind of brought me back to some moments which were pretty good, but I'm still hoping for better ones."

Well, perhaps those moments are just around the horizon. Although the new GN'R line-up has played songs from Chinese Democracy at past concerts, this time it's different, The band finally has something complete and concrete to show. No more smoke and mirrors. "New" songs, such as "Catcher in the Rye" (originally written in 1999) offer infectious sing-a-long chants that recall the salad days of Use Your Illusion. It's just a shame that there aren't any whistle solos. Axl's straining and grandiose wail in the latter half of "I.R.S.", however, is certainly reminiscent to the ending of "You Could Be Mine" — although this time it sounds somewhat auto-tuned. And with the liner notes crediting seven people for "additional Pro-Tools", it could very well be. To those who are wary of the absence of any of the original band members (most of whom went on to form the now defunct Velvet Revolver) Stinson pays no mind.

"I looked at it as more of an historical challenge. The way Axl presented the whole thing to me, it was like, 'Fuck, yeah. Let's see what comes of it.' That's probably why I stuck around for this long. I'm just waiting to see how it ends up."

As are we. While fans and curious listeners clamour to hear what Axl and company have been trying to cook up all these years, the much-hyped album has also been the target of much jesting. A few years back, The Offspring tried to beat GN'R to the punch by announcing that they would name their next album Chinese Democrazy (You Snooze, You Lose), which in the end turned out to be an April Fools' joke. Instead, both singers just decided to share the same haircut. But the oddest stunt of all surrounding the release of Chinese Democracy has to be Dr. Pepper's statement that if the record saw the light of day before the end of 2008, the company would give everyone in America a free soda. Well, boo-urns to the soft drink giant, because GN'F'N'R actually managed do it!

But will Stinson be in line to cash in on this bizarre promotional freebie? "Fuck, yeah!" Stinson laughs. "The funniest thing about that is someone told me if everyone in the country cashed in their Dr. Pepper coupons, it would cost them $160 million dollars. That would be a hysterical footnote on the release of this record, right there."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chris Pitman Interview

The following is an excerpt from a Japanese Interview with Chris "Mother Goose" Pitman, keyboard player for Guns N' Roses, SexTapes, Lusk and more. A big thanks goes out to MYGNR and Ayako for posting it first!

How come some people call you "Mother Goose?"

Chris: That was a nickname I acquired sometime when Buckethead was in GN'R, all his friends had great nicknames, and that name came up for me. I seldom hear it anymore, or I only hear it when I'm around people associated with that era and it always makes me laugh and remember some good times.

Let me ask you about GN'R a little. We used to hear the rumor that Chinese Democracy would release 3 records before release. After all, Chinese Deocracy was released 1 record, as everybody know. Did you have any favorite song that not included in Chinese Democracy?

Chris: Yes, we did have a large collection of songs recorded through the years, and many I don't even remember now! But to think of a favorite song right now as we speak, I would have to say its one called "Beta's Barn."

On the Web: ChrisPitman.com

Enormous thanks to MYGNR!

Bumblefoot: "GN'R Makes Its Own Rules"

There's a brand new Bumblefoot interview in the March edition of Guitarist Magazine. I've included some of the tastier tidbits below. A big thanks goes out to the gang over at HTGTH for all the scans.

Guitarist: So, Ron, how does one go about joining one of the biggest bands of all time?

Ron: It all began in the summer of 2004 when I got an email from Joe Satriani, who, coming from New York, I'd known for years. He said that the guys in Guns N' Roses were looking for a new guitar player and that he had recommended me. Pretty quick after that one of the guys in the band sent me an email saying hello, then we started talking with management and the producers of the album and we started making plans way back then. It all went quiet for a while, then in early 2006 they had a tour ready to go and we got together in New York and started jamming. We would get together and play like three songs and say, cool, let's do three more tomorrow! And just kept doing that for two weeks, then we hit the road and played 27 countries in front of a million people. It was pretty damn good.

Guitarist: How did you begin work on Chinese Democracy?

Ron: In between the legs of the tour, we would hop in the studio and start laying tracks. The songs were already written a while back and a lot of the stuff had a very industrial foundation and for me personally, the one thing I felt could really add to the music was the sleaze factor, and to make it sound like a guitar-driven rock 'n' roll song, which is kinda funny because most people think of me as some kind of shredder guy and they focus on the solos, where to me the most important thing I feel I added to Guns N' Roses was in the rhythms and overall vibe of the album. For example, I used fretless guitar for some of the rhythms — like on the title track — and I feel it really adds something to the verses with that whole growling sound.

G: Did you feel a responsibility to respect the already existing guitar tracks, now that those guys are no longer in the band?

R: I would just try to keep the existing parts in mind and play something that's not going to step on something else and at the same time find the balance between not stepping on toes, but giving as many options and possibilities as you can. Plus, I didn't really know how things would be balanced in the end, what's going to be loud, what will be low, what's going to be there, what won't be. That's why I was like, you know what, let me just try absolutely everything and present to you everything, and that way you can mix and match and later on everyone will sit around and say let's go with this, or this bit sucks, or this bit is good ...

We now know that Brian May's tracks weren't used on the final version, which he has expressed disappointment about. What happened to his takes?

Brian May had done a whole lot of tracking for the album that unfortunately wasn't used. Brian had recorded a solo for "The Catcher in the Rye" years ago, and I had done some takes later on. And I guess they chose to go with the stuff I put down, which actually I feel a little guilty about: you know Brian May is definitely someone who is of "we are not worthy!" status. Brian, if you read this, you're welcome to play anything you want on one of my records. In fact, I won't play any guitar at all and you can play all the guitars – that would be fine with me.

Speaking of your own work, since joining you've found time to produce and release two solo albums, titled Normal and Abnormal. What's the story with those albums?

Normal was about everything going on in my crazy life back in 2004 when there was some crazy GN'R shit going on. Some of the songs on there were inspired by GN'R's old manager [Merck Mercuriadis], who I got in a fight with, so I wrote a bunch of songs about the guy.

Are there any future plans for Guns N' Roses? A World Tour, or another album perhaps?

There are no plans as of this moment, I would be surprised if we didn't tour, but there are no plans just yet. I feel an affinity for Guns N' Roses because GN'R makes its own rules, it does its own thing how it wants when it wants, and if you tell it it needs to do something, it will do the opposite just to give you the finger and I'm the same way. A lot of people might not have it in them to go on that ride of not knowing what's going to happen, that feeling of waiting to go on stage to the point that people are about to riot and destroy the fucking place, then you go on right before they do. To me it's the equivalent of going on a rollercoaster, you put your hands up and go, Wheeeee!

Enormous thanks to HTGTH for the scans!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Who's Frank?

A Lena Boone 'toon

Related: Del James Interviews Axl
Steven Adler is Everywhere

Jivin' Sister Fanny

Here's some amazing footage from BruisedViolet:

"Jivin' Sister Fanny" appeared on The Rolling Stones' album, Metamorphosis, their only outtakes collection.

It's an outtake from The Let it Bleed / Beggars Banquet sessions.

It appears on Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds' Live EP (1993). You can download the track here.

MTV to Play Music Videos


MTV is recommitting to music videos. Starting April 1, and we're not fooling, the station will air clips from 3-9AM during the week.

Number of days and frequency are still up in the air, but check this space and we'll let you know when we hear more


Also, as you've probably already heard by now, MTV has launched a new video on demand site where they plan to serve up every video and live performance they have ever aired.

It's called MTV MUSIC. Redundant, Ironic or Oxymoronic name? You decide.

You can compare YouTube's video and sound quality with MTV MUSIC's below.


Free Download at Marilyn Manson dotcom


Marilyn Manson’s anticipated reunion with longtime friend and foil Twiggy Ramirez inches closer with the release of "We're From America," the first listen from the forthcoming The High End of Low.

Available as a free download March 27, exclusively on MarilynManson.com, the song will be available as a digital single on April 7 and will preview Manson’s forthcoming seventh studio album landing May 26.

The album’s official first single "Arma ... geddon" will arrive at radio April 13.

Manson’s new lineup including Ramirez (for the first time in close to a decade), plus keyboardist Chris Vrenna, and dummer Ginger Fish, will close the main stage at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, this July through August.

Manson will also kick off his world tour with a headline festival run this June in Europe.

Produced by Manson ,Vrenna,and Twiggy, The High End of Low was recorded in his Hollywood Hills studio and also features the track, "I Want to Kill You Like They Do In The Movies."

Manson says of the new album, "I think my life definitely ended and began. The record sounds very final, but it's almost optimistic - though that feels like a strange word to use. It's a phoenix from the fire and a redemption resurrection."

The first one’s always free ...
Beginning with a small, slow dose on March 27 with "We Are From America."

The new era of Marilyn Manson and The High End of Low starts now!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Loaded Announces Spring Tour Dates

Loaded has announced their Spring Tour Dates which will take them from Seattle, Washington in April, all the way to Amsterdam this June.

Don't forget, Loaded will play live and answer your questions on the Nationally syndicated radio program Rockline, Monday, April 13 at 11:30 PM Eastern Time.

Loaded is scheduled to perform at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, and Download Festival in Donnington Park, UK.

Apr 09 - Crocodile - Seattle, Washington
Apr 18 - Cannery - Nashville, Tennessee
May 02 - Showbox Market - Seattle, Washington
May 16 - Rock On The Range Festival - Columbus, Ohio
May 17 - Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, New Jersey
Jun 03 - Virgin Oil - Helsinki, FIN
Jun 04 - Teatria Club - Oulu, FIN
Jun 05 - Sauna Open Air Festival - Tempere, FIN
Jun 06 - Rock AM Ring Festival - Nurburg, GER
Jun 07 - Rock IM Ring Festival - Nuremburg, GER
Jun 10 - Caribana Festival - Crans-Pres-Celigny, SWI
Jun 12 - Download Festival - Donington, UK
Jun 14 - Zenith - Munich, GER
Jun 15 - Schleyerhalle - Stuttgart, GER
Jun 16 - Funkpark AM - Berlin, GER
Jun 17 - Arena - Prague, CZR
Jun 20 - Metalway Festival - Zaragoza, SPA
Jun 21 - Nova Rock Festival - Nicklesdorf, AUT
Jun 22 - Sportzentrum - Wettingen, GER
Jun 23 - Palladium - Cologne, GER
Jun 26 - Idroscalo Festival - Milan, ITA
Jun 27 - Graspop Festival - Dessel, BEL
Jun 28 - Melkweg - Amsterdam, NETH

The band is still taking ideas for their Spring Tour T-Shirt. Email your artwork to loadedrocker@yahoo.com

Duff's other band, Velvet Revolver, is due to announce their new vocalist "soon."

Ticketmaster Loses 1 Billion Dollars

Ticketmaster Posts Loss of $1.07 Billion


Citing declining ticket sales, costs associated with layoffs and a massive impairment charge, Ticketmaster swung to a loss of $1.07 Billion on revenue of $384 Million in the last three months of 2008, the company reported Thursday.

The results could bolster the ticketing company's contention that adverse economic conditions are part of what is forcing it to merge with concert promoter Live Nation.

Ticketmaster shares closed at $4.09 in 4PM Nasdaq Stock Market trading, down less than 1% but significantly below a 52-week high of $27.

The loss compares with net income of $51.1 Million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Excluding the impairment charge, net income for the latest quarter fell 81% to $9.9 Million, or 16 cents a share; FactSet Research Systems had expected earnings of 29 cents a share.

For the year, net income excluding the impairment charge declined 56% to $74.7 Million.

In a conference call discussing the results, Chairman Barry Diller lashed out at politicians and others who have raised questions about the company's proposed merger. Mr. Diller singled out New York Senator Chuck Schumer for engaging in what the executive called "always-to-be-expected shameless grandstanding."

Senator Schumer aggressively questioned Ticketmaster's chief executive, Irving Azoff, during a hearing last month on the merger. The deal would create an unprecedented music-industry powerhouse, dominant in ticket sales, concert promotion, venue operation and artist management. That has created a controversy, with competitors and others in the business complaining that the company would have too much power.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Senator Schumer, Brian Fallon, said "concertgoers would be better off if Mr. Diller provided cheap seats instead of cheap shots."

The bulk of Ticketmaster's loss was because of a $1.1 Billion charge the company took because of a precipitous decline in its share price since being spun off from IAC/InterActiveCorp last year. The fourth-quarter revenue represented an increase of 9.4% from the year-earlier period, mainly because of acquisitions, the company said.

The company incurred a loss of $18.82 a share, compared with income of 91 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the full year, Ticketmaster reported revenue of nearly $1.5 billion, a 17% increase from 2007, thanks to its acquisitions of Front Line Management, resale service TicketsNow and Paciolan, a college-sports ticketing company. The company said its revenue from ticketing amounted to about $1.4 Billion, for 141.9 Million tickets sold -- an average of 3% more per ticket than it reaped in 2007.

The company posted a net loss of $954 million for the year, thanks to the impairment charge.

The merger is one of several controversies currently facing the company. Mr. Diller also addressed the company's attempts to capitalize on the so-called secondary market in tickets, which has been controversial, because it has appeared to serve as a way for artists to charge more than face value for their concert tickets while pretending they are actually being resold by fans.

Mr. Diller apologized for the flap. "We are in the early stage of our efforts and we're learning all the time," Mr. Diller said. "While we've certainly made our mistakes, they've been of omission, not commission."

During the call, Ticketmaster President Eric Korman called the episode "a setback for us," which Mr. Azoff said generated "disappointing headlines."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slash and Steven Adler Recording Together

Sonic Excess
Brandon Marshall: So you have a new incarnation of Adler's Appetite, how has the new line-up been working out?

Steven Adler: It's been going great! I have Alex Grossi on guitar, Michael Thomas on lead guitar, Sheldon Tarsha singing and Chip Z'nuff from E'nuff Z'nuff on bass. In the past seven years this is who I have from different line-up changes. Everyone is having a great time.

Q: Now in 2005, Adler's Appetite recorded an EP with original material, do you have any plans on going into the studio and recording a full length album?

A: Absolutely! Next week (First week in April 2009), once we finish this tour up, I am going to go home for a few days and just sleep. We have done 22 shows so I am going to sleep for a few days, then I am going to have a couple meetings with Slash. I have been working with Slash. I am producing a record and playing on it of course, so that will be in a week or two that we finish with this (the final date on the tour).

Q: Is that going to be Slash's solo record?

A: No, that is going to be my record, but I am going to play a song on Slash's solo record too, so I will be doing some recording with him on that but he is going to be producing my record.

Q: Now are you going to have any guest appearances on your record?

A: Of course, we want eight cover songs. With each song we do we want at least one person who played on the original version to play on my record. I am thinking about changing the name to Adlers GN'R too because you cannot copyright the letters. I am 1/5 of the band just like he is 1/5 of the band (Axl Rose). At least I'm out their playing the songs people want to hear.

Q: So, this is not going to be just a regular recording, it is going to have everyone on it?

A: Yeah, I want to do it old school with a two inch tape and not with computers. I want an old sound, not perfect and crispy. I do not want to take away the magic of the songs that I redo. Nowadays, people go into the studio and record a song, the drummer will play 30 seconds of the beat and type the rest of it in on a computer. I want it all real, that's how we did Appetite, it was done in one take. It was anything goes, whatever happens, happens.

Q: The last time I did an interview with you, I had asked you about the new Guns N' Roses line up and you said that "there is no new Guns N' Roses" Do you still feel the same way and have you heard Chinese Democracy yet?

A: Yeah, Axl should have named the bad W.A.R for W. Axl Rose and I think that would have been much better.

Q: Axl Rose did a recent interview with Del James and when asked about a Guns N' Roses reunion, Axl gave a reason for not considering it and listed why involving every former member. Axl said "Steven [Adler] brings assorted ambulance-chasing attorneys and the nightmare of his mother. One gig, or even a couple songs, could mean years of behind-the-scenes legal aftermath." What is your response to that?

A: I do not know why he would say that. My mother thing is over and I do not know why he is still going on with that. Now that I'm back in control and have power of attorney, I don't know why he would say ambulance chaser. I don't get it.

Q: I have been watching you on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, was a lot of the footage taken out of context?

A: They had to, there was ten cameras, filming 24 hours a day and they gotta take that film and cut it up into a one hour show for each one. It was crazy, I would turn the light off in the bathroom because I thought they had a camera in there. That was how crazy it was, but it was the best thing I ever did. It really was a great experience, and I am still working with Dr. Drew and Dr. Sophia. They are great friends of mine now and have been really great to me.

Q: Did you watch the show when it aired and was it tough to see yourself in that kind of shape?

A: Yeah, it was on like three times a day so I would see some of it sometimes. I hated seeing that girl, whatever her name was, dial 911 and call the police on me. I am just watching my life change when she was dialing 911 to have me arrested, that really sucked. Otherwise, it was great people, and I had a great experience. It helped me and I have been sober.

Q: Do you still keep in contact with anyone from the show?

A: Not really, I do with Jeff Conaway and Gary Busey. I just saw Sean Stewart in New York, so it was nice to see him.

Q: We really appreciate your time and is there anything you would like to add?

A: Come check out my MySpace and click on my friends list.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

DJ Ashba Joins GN'R

Guns N' Roses is proud to announce that guitarist n' songwriter Dj Ashba has joined the band. Ashba, who officially replaces current NIN guitarist Robin Finck, is best known as co-founder of hard rock bands Sixx AM and Beautiful Creatures.

"Dj's a gifted, energetic guitarist that Guns N' Roses is proud to have on board!!" exclaims Axl Rose. "We're very excited to have the opportunity to work together. Guns' radar has silently been aware of Dj's presence for quite some time. He brings a fresh approach to our particular brand of mayhem expanding the tapestry of Guns N' Roses live. Once Dj's name was in the hat, the hat disappeared!!"

"It's an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of a band that I have always loved and respected," said Dj Ashba. "I'm looking forward to working with Axl, who is not only one of the few great front men of our generation, but a true artist."

Dj Ashba co-wrote and co-produced Motley Crue's latest album Saints of Los Angeles, which garnered a 2008 GRAMMY nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance, as well as co-wrote and co-produced the Sixx AM album Heroin Diaries.

Robin continues to be part of GN'R, by virtue of Guns' history and his involvement in Chinese Democracy.

Now, one step closer to the abyss, Ashba joins a band who's all time roster is nearly as long as it's founder Axl Rose's rap sheet!

Related: DJ Ashba to Play for GN'R?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Slash & Friends News

According to VG.NETT, Slash will be joined by Ozzy Osbourne for his headlining appearance at the Quart festival, 0n June 30 in Kristiansand, Norway.

Slash will perform a mixture of old and new material on the festival's opening day.

Slash previously played with Ozzy at the 77th Royal Variety Performance in November 2005. They performed the Beatles classic "In My Life."

You can watch the video below.

Related: Slash and Friends
Slash Solo Album Update (Updated)
OZZY OSBOURNE To Perform With SLASH At Norway's QUART Festival

We Were Young We Were Hot


Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Izzy Stradlin Friday Again

Spazed in a time zone
Of light and darkness
Here I've known
I feel quite happy in this place

Float into sky tones
Of blue and white
And ends unknown
I feel quite happy in this place

I hear someboday calling
Off in the distance yelling


Hitchhike to star planes
Of gas and lights and colored rings
Just floating out there
In the maze

No going home zone
No twisted signs of lives we've known
I see the colored earth below

Jane's Addiction at SXSW

Jane’s Addiction performed a not-so-secret 10-song gig at a former supermarket off an Austin highway Thursday night / Friday morning at The South by South West Music Conference.

Set List:

Three Days
Ain’t No Right
Standing in the Shower Thinking
Ted, Just Admit It ...
Been Caught Stealing
Had a Dad
Mountain Song
Ocean Size

I'll try to put up more videos as they appear.

In related news, the band is releasing two new studio tracks online today (March 20) via Ninja2009.com, the tour site for the forthcoming co-headlining tour with Nine Inch Nails.

The two studio cuts available for free download are "Chip Away" and "Whores," both songs that fans will recognize from 1987's self-titled live release.

"Just to get some creative juice flowing- we went into the studio for about two weeks," Perry Farrell told Billboard.com.

"We had the idea to re-record two tunes, just because they'd never been done officially in the studio. And we had some fun writing some new things. A handful that are close to finished, but not quite done. But there's no rush to put anything out at this point."

Trent Reznor and Alan Moulder were acting as producers for the new cuts. But can fans expect a new record? "I don't think so," Farrell says. "For me, the idea is to introduce one or two songs into this touring cycle along with the ones everybody loves and knows."

Not only is the band gearing up for a hefty summer tour, the rarities box set "A Cabinet of Curiosities" is due April 21 via Rhino. The set includes three CDs and a DVD, featuring "Soul Kiss," a documentary on the group and Farrell's movie "The Gift. "I supplied a lot of music to Warner Bros," Perkins says. "A lot of the stuff has never been heard before."

"It's a really nice, fetishy object," Farrell adds. Perkins has also taken some bootleg material and remastered it. "There's some rough sounding stuff, sonically," guitarist Dave Navarro adds. "But it's worth a listen. I have old versions of Zeppelin recordings at home that I don't necessarily throw into rotation all the time, but I like it."

Thanks to ultra8201.com
Related: Jane’s Addiction Rip Through Early Catalog at SXSW
Jane's Addiction Drops Two Free New Trent Reznor-Produced Tracks

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shooter Jennings Turned Down VR

Shooter Jennings Offered Velvet Revolver Job Twice!
Country rock star Shooter Jennings has confirmed that he has been offered the job of singer with Velvet Revolver – but has turned the band down twice!

Shooter, the son of country legend Waylon Jennings, was one of the men Classic Rock tipped as potential VR singers back in April of last year.

At that time Duff McKagan admitted that Jennings could make a good replacement: "Shooter’s great, actually," he told CR’s Scott Rowley. "That’s a good idea. He’s does a southern rock thing, but his old band was straight up kinda rock. He’s a talented guy man, he’s pretty awesome. He would be good."

In a new interview with Classic Rock, Jennings confirms that he was asked – but turned the band down. And not just once.

"They’ve asked me twice, dude," Jennings told CR’s Henry Yates. "I’ve done a couple of shows with those guys, and they asked me a couple of years ago and they asked me again last year to be the singer. And it pained my heart not to say yes, because those guys are the best players in the world. They’re literally one of the best bands I’ve ever heard and to be able to sing with them has been amazing. But I had a talk with them about it, and I would absolutely still, to this day, get in a room and jam with them, but first of all, I knew I was gonna be doing another record and that what I wanted to do was really special to me, and I didn’t feel I could stifle that."

"I didn’t feel like my next step should to be to go from feeling like my back was broken by Nashville to stepping into the shoes of Scott Weiland and singing that stuff," he continued. "I kinda said, if you wanna get together and do some stuff, that’d be fine, but I don’t know about me going out and singing those songs, and being the replacement for Scott Weiland, after Axl."

"You have to understand how big that is for me, because Guns N’ Roses was one of my favourite bands of all time," Jennings continued. "I was six years old when Appetite For Destruction came out and it was the coolest thing. I never liked Bon Jovi. I never liked hair metal. I never liked any of that. When I heard Guns N’ Roses, it was dangerous and it was mean, and that was why I wanted to move to LA. I wanted to be Axl stepping off the bus with the hayseed in his mouth."

"Duff, Slash, Matt and Dave have all become good friends and it’s no disrespect to them, but I just felt like it wasn’t my time to do that, y’know? For all the money it probably would have brought ..."

Phish Tickets Fiasco

Phish Fiasco: Ticketmaster Glitch Releases Red Rocks Passes Early, Then Cancels Orders
A week before tickets for Phish’s four-night, July/August stand at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre were supposed to go on sale, a Ticketmaster glitch allowed Phish fans to scoop up four-day passes to the event last night.

However, the feeding frenzy was short-lived as Ticketmaster quickly halted the sale and canceled all orders, further angering fans who were already frustrated over Live Nation’s failed Phish ticket release last month.

Tickets to the Red Rocks shows weren’t supposed to go on sale until March 26, but eagle-eyed Phans noticed that Ticketmaster had apparently begun selling its allotment of four-day passes early.

Rumors quickly swirled that Phish may have been trying to sidestep scalpers and reward the true fans with a surprise presale. However, Ticketmaster confirmed that the mistake was a routine glitch.

One commenter points out that the Ticketmaster Contract of Service reads "If ... you are able to order a ticket before its scheduled on-sale or presale date or you are able to order a ticket that was not supposed to have been released for sale, then: Ticketmaster will have the right to cancel that ticket" — which is precisely what happened. Almost instantly Phans began receiving e-mails saying their orders had been canceled. (Some of them may not have gotten the message yet: eBay is awash with sellers offering the four-night pass at roughly $2800-$4000 per ticket.)

Fans will now have to try again on March 26 to score tickets to the Red Rocks shows, the band’s first at the venue in nearly 13 years.

And on a some-what related note, don't miss Tony Kuzminski's fantastic piece on how ticket prices and scalping are destroying the last vital segment of the music industry.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tommy Stinson: The Ultimate Replacement

If you think Tommy Stinson landed the world's easiest gig when he joined Guns N' Roses in 1998, you've got another thing coming. Sure, playing a handful of gigs and recording little more than a song a year may not sound like much. Add a healthy salary retainer and infrequent rehearsals, and it begins to sound better than even the cushiest corporate engagement. But make no mistake: Being the bassist in Guns N' Roses takes work – a lot of it.

Case in point: Chinese Democracy.

Perhaps no album in history has been has scrutinized as Chinese Democracy. The followup to Guns N' Roses' 1993 effort, The Spaghetti Incident?, the record's extreme budget ($13 Million) and absurd incubation period (ten years), made it the butt of many jokes. But behind the scenes, things weren't so funny.

"Chinese Democracy was unlike any other record I've made or would ever want to make again." Stinson says wearily. Having recorded eight albums with Midwestern alt-punks the Replacements – the first few of those while he was still a teen – Stinson knows a thing or two about making records.

A rotating cast of drummers and guitarists and unhealthy record-band relations turned the Chinese Democracy production into a nightmare, and Stinson was there on the sidelines all the time.

"The whole thing was an exercise in patience," he says. "It got to be really dumb."

Listening to Chinese Democracy, you can almost hear the last ten years in pastiche, as moments of singer / songwriter introspection co-mingle with down-tempo electronica and aggressive industrial grooves. Tune into Tommy and you'll hear a similar patchwork of influences: the melodicism of Paul McCartney, the confident swagger of ex-Guns bassist Duff McKagan, and the total tonal awareness of too many studio greats to name.

Just back from a Soul Asylum gig in Peru, Tommy took a second to talk Guns, gear, and what went into making Chinese Democracy.

How did you get the gig with Guns N'Roses?

My friend Josh Freese was playing drums with the band. I ran into him in a Hollywood rehearsal hall, and he mentioned that Duff had quit, then he asked if I knew any bass players. We just kind or laughed about it, because it sounded like a funny thing for me to go audition for Guns N' Roses.

Guns N' Roses were never my thing when the band first came out - they just weren't my style. I thought at least it would be fun to play with Josh. But I learned five or six songs for the audition. We basically just jammed, and it was pretty fun. They seriously needed a bass player, so they asked if I'd do it.

Why do you think you were the right guy for this gig?

"The only thing I could grasp at is that I have the kind of punk-rock attack that Duff did. He wasn't really a Metal guy - he had punk roots. On the other hand. he's got sensibilities that are different from mine. I couldn't place exactly what they are - they're unique to each one of us."

Do you and Duff know each other?

I met him a few years back, and he seemed like a really sweet guy. He didn't seem to have any issues with me - I don't think he wanted the gig anymore.

Describe the writing process for Chinese Democracy.

I came in around '98 when the band was still writing the record. It was Paul Tobias and Robin Finck on guitar, Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman on keys, Josh on drums and me.

Everybody was just slowly starting to bring in ideas. We were set up at Rumbo Recorders, a big studio out in the middle of nowhere. A funny thing - Captain & Tennille own it. The whole thing looks like a boat.

Anyway, we all just started hammering ideas out. Essentially it was eight guys collaborating. To be thrown into that kind of environment - eight guys from very different walks of life - was very crazy, I'd never worked in that way, but it was cool.

There were guys who'd never ever made a record putting out their ideas. At first, those of us who'd actually made records thought their ideas sucked, but there were also some good ones.

How did you work out your ideas in a civil way?

We each had to give reasons for liking or disliking something - you couldn't just be bull-headed. We had to function as a democracy or we'd end up hating each other.

Collaborating was good for that. I think every one of us learned a lot from it

When it came time to track the bass, was there still that spirit of collaboration, or were you left to your own devices?

We were all left to our own devices to come up with individual instrument parts. The broader song ideas had to be hammered out.

"Street of Dreams" stands out for having a lot of cool, counter melodic bass work.

That's definitely one of the places where I tried to play melodically. Axl (Rose) had the majority of that song written, and I brought in the bridge bass line and progression.

It has a few licks that seem to reference Duff's playing. Was that intentional?

When I started hammering out those Guns N' Roses songs, I started to really dig into what Duff was doing - I really liked the stuff he played. I'd be lying if I said his playing didn't seep into my subconscious - like the way he uses grace notes. And I wouldn't be afraid to say I stole some of his stuff.

Josh Freese left Guns N' Roses in 2000, and was replaced by Brain Mantia. What did that mean for the tracks you recorded with Josh?

I had to redo them. I probably ended up completely re-recording each part five or six times over the years. It was tough. What really happened was the record company stood back and left Axl to his own devices.

Axl had all these ideas, and he needed somebody to help interpret what he wanted. He had to basically produce himself, and that's not what he went into this wanting to do. There are a lot of reasons the album took so long to make, but I think the record company really dropped the ball on this one.

What do you see as the root cause for that?

I think everything changed when Geffen merged with Interscope. When that happened, Axl was told that [A&R executive] Jimmy Iovine would play more of a role in making the album happen. What Jimmy did instead was throw other people into the mix who weren't very capable.

What happened when producer Roy Thomas Baker was brought in?

He wanted to re-record everything, because he felt he could get better tones. In my opinion, he wasted many years and many millions of dollars trying to get us better sounds that we could have addressed in the mixing stage. I'm not a proponent of his style of producing. I think Iovine put Roy Thomas Baker in the producer seat because he didn't think the raw sounds were good enough.

Then Roy came in and would try every Marshall guitar amp in a five-state area to find just the right guitar tone. And he wanted to do that for every single part on the album.

What amps did you use for Chinese Democracy?

A 1x15 Matchless combo that's a great-sounding bass amp - real dirty and beefy. We usually mixed that with a DI signal.

What amps do you like to use live?

Around the time we played the Rock in Rio festival in 2001, I was using SWR amps. We were gearing up for a massive production, and I thought, if I'm going to be playing for 300,000 people, I should probably have a big amp! I bought three Megoliath 8x10 cabinets, six Big Bertha 2x15 cabinets, two Mo'Bass heads, and a power amp.

It sounded great - louder than balls! We had dress rehearsals and all, and then we found out we were going to use in-ear monitors [laughs]. Of course, the reason we're using in-ears is so Axl can hear himself sing - one of his biggest problems with the old band was that they were louder than hell, and he could never hear his vocals on stage. Well, we didn't really know that until we got down to Rio. Here we were with this huge wall of amps, all turned down to 1 or 2.

What was that Rio gig like?

Crazy. The only thing anyone could hear in our in-ears was the sound of the crowd coming through Axl's vocal mic. It was like a jet engine. After that, I did make use of the 8x10s since the cabinets had a low end that translated well when miked.

For most of Chinese Democracy, I used a DI, my Matchless amp, and the SWR as my big, loud amp.

After I realised our stage volume had to be a lot quieter, I had to make some real adjustments. I ended up talking to Ampeg, who was doing a reissue of the flip-top B-15 1x15 combo all hand-wired and really nice. Now I put those behind the stage and crank them - they sound awesome - running that sound to my in-ears and the front-of-house. I keep a couple Ampeg 8x10 cabinets onstage at a low volume just to get a little low end.

Do you modify your Fenders?

I do - I've used EMG pickups since I was in the Replacements. They give me a lot of growl and grit when they hit the preamp of an SVT.

How did you come to prefer a P/J pickup configuration?

I started doing that when I got the Guns N' Roses gig. I figured Duff played that kind of bass, so I should use something similar to try to match that sound.

What other gear have you been using?

It's cool - this is the only band where I've been able to play a Gibson Thunderbird. I used to have a '63 Thunderbird that I loved, but it just broke too many times. I used a new Thunderbird on the song "Chinese Democracy."

I also played a StingRay on a few tunes. The StingRay didn't sound right for the older Guns material, but I liked the tone for some of the newer stuff like "Better." It's great for drop-tuned stuff – it's got a nice, gritty tone.

Until recently, I'd never really cared about basses – except that they work. But lately I've gotten into the idea of finding the right instrument tone for the right song. I've really gotten into Hofner Beatle Basses, because they do something that no other bass can. I have two '67s – one's beat up, and the other one's clean. They're a blast to play, but I could never use them with Guns. If you want to know how manly Paul McCartney was, check out those old Hofners – those bad boys have a lot of low end!

How did you start playing bass?

One day when I was around 11 years old, my brother Bob saw me monkeying around on his bass. He asked me if I wanted to play it. I said yes, but it really hurt my hands. But his band needed a bass player, so he pretty much bribed me with Coca-Cola and candy bars. It went on like that until I got kind of good at it.

I think my brother showed me how to play Yes' "Roundabout" before he showed me how to play the blues scale [laughs]. "Show Me The Way," "Boney Maroney," and "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" were the first things I learned. I listened to everything my brother did: Yes, Rush, and Johnny Winter.

Did that kind of prog-rock influence come to play in the Replacements?

Not so much – it just got us into playing our instruments, then our punk-rock aesthetic came to bear.

When I got older, I started listening to what Paul McCartney was doing with the Beatles and what James Jamerson was playing on Motown records. I started listening for the melodies that bass could create, and for ways of being musical without getting in the way. I've always strived for that - not to add more notes and play busy lines, but to accentuate what's there already.

What was your main gear with the Replacements?

For the most part, it was Fenders through Ampeg SVTs. I started off playing Rickenbackers, but then I began to use P-Basses because they sustained better and were easier to play. Those Rickenbackers have a lot of sharp edges to cut your hands on – I did a lot of that!

The Replacements had a reputation for being a kind of beautiful mess, but on record the band sounded tight. How did you manage that?

Paul Westerberg is a great songwriter. Early on, we rehearsed a lot. We'd play in our basement because that was the only place to get together, and it gave us something to do in the middle of winter. In the early days, we got to be really tight. Down the road, we didn't rehearse as much, but we had a subconscious connection – we knew what worked and what didn't. Mostly in the studio it seemed to work – we'd catch that lightning in a bottle and move on. There were a lot of times Paul would come in with a song, we'd play it a few times, and then roll tape – that was it. We didn't spend a lot of time messing with arrangements and parts.

What's some music you've recently gotten into?

I've been digging that Sara Bareillis song "Love Song" [from Little Voice, Epic, 2007]. That's a greet bass track - Crazy tone. [L.A. session great Chris Chaney is on bass.] I like the new Pretenders record, Break Up the Concrete [Shangri-La Music, 2008]. My friend Don Smith produced it, and he said Chrissie Hynde wrote the whole record right there in the studio. She wouldn't let him mix it - she wanted to go with the rough takes. It's got this great, unpolished feeling about it. Jim Keltner is playing drums - he rips balls on it! I find a lot of music now is over-produced. That's what I like about Break Up the Concrete - it's raw. I just made a record for ten years, and I tracked every damn song five or six times!

Are there plans for a Guns N' Roses tour?

Yes. And that's all l can tell you! [Laughs.] Word has it we'll start rehearsing in February for dates in April. I have a feeling it's going to happen, but I'm not holding my breath. It seems that every time that ball starts rolling, it rolls a bit Like a square wheel at first.

Which tracks from Chinese Democracy are you most looking forward to playing live?

It's hard to say, but "Riad and the Bedouins" is probably one of them. The riff is pretty nutty, and I think people either love it or hate it, but it's a groove that's really fun to play. It's aggressive and note-y. "If the World" is another one. It doesn't have a lot of bass - it's mostly whole-notes. We've had to work on the arrangement to make it work with a live band, but I think that one will be a lot of fun to play live.

With three guitars, two keyboards, drums, vocals and bass, GN'R's lineup is much larger than the Replacements. Has that proven to be a difficult adjustment?

Whatever I do, I want it to sound good. I don't care if there are 40 people up there onstage - it needs to mesh. When we first started rehearsing, it seemed it might be chaotic and not sound very good. But as time's gone by, we've figured out how to make it all work. In an arena setting, there isn't room to be subtle. It seems like the more you add, the more gets lost. It's hard to make that many parts sound good in that kind of live atmosphere. My original thought was, sounds great - can't wait until we rip it live as a four-piece! But that's not gonna happen. And it shouldn't - each part is really important, and everyone's put a lot of time into learning how to get the right live tone.

Thanks to HTGTH for the scans.

If you're interested in reading more, here's some stuff that didn't make it into the print version of the interview.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Strange Case of Matthew John Trippe

Matthew John Trippe claims that in June 1983, Mötley Crüe's managers Doc McGhee and Doug Thaler decided to bring him in as the new Nikki Sixx after Nikki was unable to continue due to a serious car crash.

In January 1988, he filed a lawsuit against McGhee Enterprises, Inc. citing civil theft and other relief, claiming royalties that were never paid for songs he said he wrote. These included "Danger", "Knock 'Em Dead Kid", "Girls Girls Girls", "You're All I Need", "Dancing on Glass", and "Wild Side".

In March 1989, Mötley Crüe recorded a demo for Dr. Feelgood called "Say Yeah." The song's lyrics, written by Nikki Sixx, are supposedly about Trippe and the lawsuit. The track later turned up on Supersonic and Demonic Relics (1999).

On December 10, 1993, Matthew Trippe finally dropped his lawsuit.

The following is an interview from Chronological Crüe with Roger Hemond of Sixx Pack

CC: Tell me how you hooked up with Matthew Trippe.

RH: Back in the summer of 1987, I had just moved to Florida. At the time I was trying to establish myself in the local music scene in Tampa. After making friends with some of the people at my new place of residence, The Abbey Apartments in Tampa, I began hearing a wide variety of rumours from a variety of people that a guy that used to live at the apartments claimed to have been used as a stand-in for Nikki Sixx while Frank Feranna [the real Nikki Sixx as per his birth name] was recovering from a car accident. Also that he had written music for a bunch of Mötley Crüe's music, and was planning to sue them for royalties. After hearing all these rumours, I was curious to say the least, and as time went on I met some people who knew Matthew Trippe. I urged these people to introduce me to this flake so I could once and for all dispel the curiosity. We made a few trips (pardon the pun) to Matt's house, but he was never home. More time passed and a gentleman by the name of Carl F came to my apartment looking for Matt. Someone had apparently told Carl that I knew how to get a hold of Matt, when I had only been to his house, never actually meeting him. Carl had met Matt while incarcerated (big surprise huh). Matt had told Carl his whole story about being used and abused by Doc [McGhee], Doug [Thaler], and the rest of the gang. That he was in Mötley Crüe until he got arrested in South Florida in 1986. He said that the band and management used his going to jail as an opportunity to slip Frankie back in the band and leave him for dead, in a jail cell, with no money, no way home, and no identity. WWHHHHAAAAA!!!

CC: So why was Carl looking for Matt?

RH: Carl happened to be very good, life long friends with a guy in Tampa who at the time was managing major professional wrestlers, owned a large night club, as well as dabbled in some things of an illegal nature, which was the reason Carl was incarcerated to begin with. Anyway, Carl convinced his friend, (who will remain nameless for my own protection) to invest in Matt. They hired a private investigator named Jerry Oglsbie, they hired lawyers, and planned to hire a band for Matt to record and possibly tour.

CC: What did you tell Carl when he showed at your apartment looking for Trippe then?

RH: I knew where Matt lived, but some of the things I heard were that people had actually made attempts on Matt's life as a result of his claims, so I didn't want to just tell this person I had never met or been where Matt lived, for fear that I might be jeopardizing his family. I was also very curious by this time and didn't want to wash myself from the situation by sending this guy on his way with directions to Matt's house. I told Carl that I would go over to Matt's house personally (who at this time I still had not met) with a note to get a hold of me, so I could relay the message that this Carl was looking for him with good news about having convinced his friend to invest in Matt's case.

CC: So was Matt home when you went there?

RH: Well a few days after that, another guy shows up at my apartment. This time a dorky, stuttering, slightly over weight gentleman, who held his cigarettes between his middle two fingers. I immediately recognized this guy as the person I had seen in pictures some people had of 'this guy going around saying he is Nikki Sixx.' It was Matt. He came into my home, went to my refrigerator, grabbed a beer, sat down at my dining room table, and put his feet up. After knowing him for less than 5 minutes, I was already less than impressed and pretty pissed off about his manners.

CC: Cheeky bugger hey! Why did he come to your apartment?

RH: I had already been in a band for about three months called Sircor. Matt told me all about having a management team, lawyers, private investigators, and also said he was getting a lot interest from some record labels, RoadRunner for one. He said I should audition for the guitarist position they needed to fill, so I did. They liked me. I suggested that Matt come and watch my band Sircor. He did and Sircor then became Sixx Pakk.

CC: Wow!

RH: We wrote and played for weeks, but the management didn't like some of the guys in Sircor, so they went looking for very marketable musicians to eventually replace everyone in the band except for Matt, of course, and myself. Lucky me!!!

CC: Yeh sure! Who else ended up joining Sixx Pakk and what was the band like?

RH: We actually had a hell of a band. We picked up Jim H, a David Lee Roth look-alike with an incredible voice, and Joe D, who is probably one of the best drummers I've ever seen, professional or otherwise. All we did was practice and write, and put up with this contemptuous, alcoholic moron, named Matt. We did have a lot of fun though, we had a great rehearsal facility, and some of our bills were being payed by management.

CC: What was the goal of the band at this stage?

RH: Management one day came to us and told us to start writing to record and tour. At the time, we were constantly being told by these guys that we were going to do a series of shows in Amsterdam, Japan or Great Britain. All kinds of things were being discussed, even a tour with Crimson Glory, who at the time was being managed by Warren Wyat, the same guy who managed Saigon Kick. So to a certain degree it was a roller coaster ride to hell... to an 18 year old future rock star. After a lot of meetings, none of the plans ever came to fruition.

CC: Did Sixx Pakk ever get a recording down?

RH: During this time [March/April 1988] we recorded a three song demo at Morrisound Studios in Tampa, where at the time, Juliet, a local band that Kevin Dubrow from Quiet Riot had taken under his wing, were in the next studio doing a mix down or something. When you are recording, you may end up spending a lot of time hanging around a television in the lounge waiting for other guys in the band to cut their parts. Such was the case at Morrisound and I can't tell you how funny it was to see Kevin, out in the lounge, relentlessly malign Matt and tease him saying things like, "Yeah and I was Lita Ford for two years in The Runaways." He really gave him hell. The stuff at Morrisound turned out pretty damn good though.

CC: Who wrote the songs for Sixx Pakk? Did Matthew Trippe prove his supposed song writing abilities?

RH: I had written the music to two of the three songs, and Jim H the vocalist wrote the words to all of them as well as the music to the one I didn't write. The frustrating part was we had to tell the press and everyone else that Matt had written all of it, in order to strengthen his claim. Under protest, I quickly had all of the music copywritten, giving credit to the rightful authors, THEN I agreed to tell people that Matt had written the music. Kind of sucks huh?

CC: Sure.

CC: What was the deal with his suit against Mötley? It was all a scam right?

RH: He could at times be very convincing and to this day, I don't know whether or not anything he said was true. I have seen copyright forms processed by the Library of Congress that had every member of Mötley Crüe's full real name, aka name, and social security number, with the exception of Nikki Sixx. All it said was Nikki Sixx and gave a social security number, which I swear to God was the same number on Matthew John Trippe's social security card which I was holding in my other hand. I'll tell you one thing, if I were going to try to pull what Matt alleges Thayer/McGhee did, I would probably pick someone a lot like Matt to do it with, because nobody would believe him completely - he was a lunatic! A variety of photos seemed to show differences in facial features through those years for Nikki Sixx. That could be attributed to any number of things though I guess. Matt was at the time that I knew him, a member of the Temple of Set, which is a pretty exclusive organisation. I find it a little strange that they would allow some weird-guy-nobody with no money to be a member, but I guess it could happen.

CC: What about his Nikki Sixx tattoos then?

RH: He had all of the tatts through the Theatre of Pain years. They were not cheaply done and there were several. He had a wife, a brand new baby boy, and no money - so I have no idea how he would have paid for them.

CC: So this is perhaps a case for Mulder & Scully [from the X-Files] in your mind then?

RH: He looked a lot like Nikki Sixx. Maybe a little heavier but the facial features were very similar. There are some things that leave considerable doubt as well, like the fact that he didn't 'remember' some of the music he had written. He was NOT a virtuoso bassist! But weirder shit has happened in this country by far.

Related: Shout at the Beatle
Mötley Crüe Unveils Crüe Fest 2 Lineup

Spiritualized Confirm Classic LP Gig

I love this album.

Spiritualized confirm classic album gig
Spiritualized will play the entirety of their Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space LP at a live gig on October 12.

The show will be part of the All Tomorrow's Parties Don't Look Back series, which take place at the Royal Festival Hall. According to NME, the gig will include a choir, string and horn sections and special guests.

The space-rock band's 1997 record charted at number four in the UK and featured the tracks "Electricity", "Come Together" and "Cop Shoot Cop." It was voted NME's album of the year, beating The Verve's Urban Hymns and Radiohead's OK Computer to the title.

A re-issue of the record, described as the "Legacy Edition," is expected to be released in the same month.

Monday, March 16, 2009

DJ Ashba to Play for GN'R?

Guns N' Roses Guitarist Rumors: Add DJ Ashba of SIXX AM
On March 5 Metal Sludge posted a rumor that Ryan Roxie (former Alice Cooper guitarist) was auditioned before the GN'R camp.

This rumor seemed to have some validity based on direct phone calls Metal Sludge received noting that their comments caused a "shitstorm".

Now in more recent developments Metal Sludge has been on the receiving end of more rumors.

This time it's naming DJ Ashba of SIXX AM as a likely candidate to play in Guns N' Roses.

Axl still needs a guitarist, Slash still needs a singer...

Tony Montana's Velvet Revolver Audition

Say hello to my little friend.

Tony Montana is the lead singer of the Huntington Beach, California based band, Inanna's Brother.


VR Update: Detroit Singer Definitely in Top 3

Velvet Revolver -- the hard rock band comprised of original and second-wave Guns N' Roses members -- denied earlier today that they've hired Canadian singer Gord Prior to replace original singer/douchebag Scott Weiland, who left the group last year. There have been rumors that Prior's the new vocalist, triggered by a video of him singing to VR tracks on Youtube.

This is good news to us, as we've heard from very reliable sources that a Detroiter may actually be Velvet Revolver's new vocalist; at least he's a very strong candidate. The band began auditioning vocalists to replace Weiland shortly after the New Year, and we've heard that the choice is now down to two or three candidates, the said Detroiter definitely among them. Bassist (and my former Hollywood neighbor} Duff McKagan said in early February that he, Slash and crew were just a few weeks away from naming a new singer...so we imagine the announcement should be coming any day now.

We're not going to name the vocalist so as not to jinx things or to embarrass him if things don't pan out. But here's a hint: He did recently perform at Blowout 12...but, no, he didn't sing. Good luck, dude. We've got our fingers crossed!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Slash Solo Album Update (Updated)

Slash is on Twitter, and he's finally leaking the names of some people working with him on his solo album.

So far he's mentioned Kid Rock, Ron Wood, Patrick Keeler, Estelle and M Shadows.

Slash and Friends will play the Quart Festival on Tuesday June 30 2009 at 5 PM.

Slash posted the following message to his MySpace Blog today.
Hello all, what's happening?

Just wanted to update you on what's going to be happening in the next few weeks.

Week after next, Im going into the studio to start recording.

I've made a ton of headway getting some killer songs written with some very profound individuals over the last couple of months.

It's going to be an amazing record.

Next week however, Im going to do some guitar work for an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", performed by Escala, an all girl string quartet from the UK.

I'll check back next week and let you know how it goes.