Posts Tagged ‘winter’

RED’s Anthony Armstrong Talks New Album, Winter Jam Tour + More

Essential Records RED ’s latest album ‘Release the Panic’ was recently unleashed and hit the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart in its debut week. The disc, which features the hit single ‘Perfect Life,’ marks the first time the band has worked with producer Howard Benson ( Halestorm , Papa Roach , P.O.D .). The band is also in the midst of Winter Jam Tour 2013, an annual Christian music festival featuring artists in many different genres. After that tour wraps up, they plan on embarking on a headlining run in April.  Loudwire recently caught up with RED guitarist Anthony Armstrong to discuss the album and tour, staying connected with his faith, the first time they heard a RED song played on the radio and other topics. How did the songwriting and recording process for ‘Release the Panic’ compare to previous RED albums? They are all pretty comparable. We spent about a year and a half writing this record. A lot goes into it. Picking a producer was a challenging process. Once we got that locked in, we started the pre-production process. How did you decide on working with producer Howard Benson? He wasn’t the only guy that was on our radar. We did several interviews and talked with different producers. Howard spelled it out pretty clearly for us as far as what the process would be with him. You don’t waste a lot of time with Howard. A lot of things get done. We took about 2 1/2 months to make the record and actually moved out to Los Angeles for a while to work with Howard. He made it very clear that he’s not the best at everything. That’s why he has a team of guys. He’s not the best ProTools guy, so he has the best ProTools guy in the business. He’s not the best amp engineer, but he’s got the best guy in the business. He said the process would work really well for us, and he was right. We got in the studio and it was all about the music, not wasting a lot of time on the side trying to get things worked out. If something went wrong, he had a guy there to fix it and get us ready to go. It was cool. How do you think the band’s sound evolved on this album? Each record is its own thing. You go into it wanting it to have its own identity more than anything. That’s what we wanted with this record. We didn’t want it to be another “Until We Have Faces,’ another ‘Innocence & Instinct,’ another ‘End of Silence.’ We wanted it to be its own thing, and I think we accomplished that by taking some production elements out, to try some new things. The whole idea behind making this record with Howard was to get to the point. Let’s not be so dramatic and poetic when we don’t need to be. It’s about getting to the point faster and making it memorable. Were there more electronic elements on this album? I wouldn’t say electronic. It’s mostly programming elements. You’re not hearing as many symphonic elements. You’re not hearing as much piano or strings. These things have always been in our music, you’re just hearing more of them out front more than ever. People say we’ve “gone electronic,” but we’re doing nothing different on this record as far as that is concerned. Like I said, it’s a mix thing. We just decided to bring it out and make it more prominent in the mix. You’re currently in the middle of the Winter Jam Tour. How has that been going so far? This is the fourth time we’ve gotten to do Winter Jam, and that’s definitely a highlight for us. It’s a great tour, and a great time to release a record. Playing in front of thousands of people every night is definitely going to help record sales and help generate new fans and give everybody a chance to hear the record. You have to be in people’s faces for them to get a taste of what you’re going for. Winter Jam affords us that opportunity. It’s the biggest tour in the world during the first quarter. It’s great for any band. You’ve also developed quite a production to accompany your live show. We’ve kind of painted ourselves with that brush, and it’s something we look forward to. We have created more of a theatrical element to our band. We’re big believers that there has to be a visual element to carry along with the music. We have focused on that with our live show. We’re working on our new set right now. It’s a whole new fresh look We want to show the fans what we were going for and give them something to visualize along with the new songs. When you’re playing with such a diverse linup in Winter Jam, how difficult is it to win over the crowd, many who may not be familiar with your band? It’s a challenge. There are people covering their ears, people cowering in their seats in the fetal position (laughs). They aren’t there for the hard rock element. But our meet and greet lines are wrapped around the arena. We know that there is a need and a want for this type of music. We’re here to do our thing, and I think there are a lot of kids that relate to this type of music. Winter Jam is a great place because there is every type of person that comes to this show. What do you have coming up after Winter Jam? We’re going to take 10 days off, then we start our headlining run. We’ll be doing a brand new show in support of the new record. RED appeals to many different audiences; rock, metal, Christian, secular. How do you balance all those different marketplaces? I think the balance comes from not labeling ourselves. We don’t call ourselves a Christian band. We don’t call ourselves a mainstream band. We’re just a band. People find comfort in throwing a label on a band. We just set out to play shows It’s easy for us because we know exactly what we’re there for and what we’re doing. Every band has to learn how to tour, learn how to be on the road, learn how to be professional. When you were starting out, who were some of the bands that helped you learn? I feel like we went through band boot camp. We went through a lot of growing pains on those early tours that we were on. Bands like Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin and guys like that had crews that had been on the road for 15 or 20 years who weren’t willing to put up with greenhorns. They whipped us into shape really quick. It was a matter of us staying humble. There’s a pecking order and you have to earn respect. It worked out well for us. We just kept our mouths shut and worked our butts off. If you listen and learn, your band grows. Being on the road so much, how do you stay connected to your faith? It’s difficult for anyone to be on the road, even if you’re doing devotionals and group discussions and Bible study. On Winter Jam, we have ‘Jam Church” on Sundays. On a tour with ten bands, you’d be surprised how many guys aren’t at Jam Church. You have to make the time, you have to put in the effort to stay connected. One of the things the pastor on this tour says every night to the audience is that I have this iPhone, but if I don’t plug it in, it doesn’t work. If we don’t plug our faith in, how is it going to work? How are we going to be useful in the right moment? We just have to make the time. Because the four of us are like-minded and believers, if one person isn’t motivated, the other three are and can provide encouragement and accountability. These days RED songs are on the radio all the time. Take me back to the first time you heard one of your band’s songs on the radio. We finished our first four songs. We were in Franklin, Tenn., about 10 to 12 miles away from downtown Nashville. A local rock station played what they called “the local buzz” on Sundays. We had given them our four songs. That Sunday night we got together and went up to the top of this power station on the top of a hill in Franklin to hang out. The guy on the radio said he didn’t know where these guys came from, but I think they have a bright future, and then he played our song ‘Breathe Into Me.’ I can’t tell you the feeling when he started playing it. We were so overwhelmed with excitement. We thought we had made it and were on top of the world. As young and green as we were, we didn’t realize how much work we had ahead of us. Watch RED’s ‘Perfect Life’ Video

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett + James Hetfield Hang With Vans Pros Nathan Fletcher + Steve Caballero

Kevin Winter, Getty Images As part of the cross-promotion for the new Metallica -created shoe line with Vans, each of the band’s members have been meeting with some of Vans-backed sports athletes for new video features. Robert Trujillo’s clip went up first, with the bassist meeting with Vans team skater Tony Trujillo. Incidentally, both Trujillos, along with Tony’s wife Ashley, have formed the Trujillo Trio and they have tracks that can be downloaded for free  here . On the heels of Trujillo’s video comes new featurettes pairing James Hetfield with pro skateboarder Steve Caballero and guitarist Kirk Hammett with pro surfer Nathan Fletcher. In Hetfield’s video, Caballero is treated to a tour of the frontman’s vintage car collection as well as the Metallica HQ studio. Once inside, the skateboarder visits the band’s “jam room,” which is covered with the fan banners they collected over the years. There’s also the inspiration hallway, filled with photos of iconic acts like the Sex Pistols , Kiss and Black Sabbath , and what Hetfield calls “the frustration zone,” where the members can work out their anger on punching bags. Hammett, meanwhile, reminisces with Fletcher about one of their standout performances, playing alongside Van Halen in the late ’80s. The guitarist also uses the clip to discuss his new Vans shoe. He explained, “The inspiration comes from the fact that I like wearing black and I like the fact that this is a Vans shoe that is completely black. Inside you have a little guitar pick shape stamped in there and what you see is a version of a Ouija board on the guitar pick and the inspiration from that came from one of my guitars.” As for the target audience, he adds, “It’s very subtle. It’s made to cater to those individuals out there who like it none more black.” Watch James Hetfield Give Skater Steve Caballero a Tour of Metallica HQ video platform video management video solutions video player Watch Kirk Hammett + Pro Surfer Nathan Fletcher Catching Some Waves + Licks video platform video management video solutions video player [button href=”” title=”Next: Casting Call – Metallica” align=”center”]

The Offspring, 3 Doors Down + Stone Sour Headline Inaugural Fort Rock Festival

Kevin Winter / Michael Loccisano / Adam Bettcher, Getty Images Hard rock fans can add another great festival to their must-see list this spring when Fort Myers, Fla. hosts the inaugural Fort Rock Festival. The lineup for this year’s event features such top acts as the  Offspring , 3 Doors Down and Stone Sour leading the way. In addition, organizers have revealed that Papa Roach , Volbeat , In This Moment , Escape the Fate , Device , Pop Evil , Otherwise , Mindset Evolution and more will take part in the event, which takes place at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers April 14. Additional acts will join the festival as well and the bands will be divided up into the Main Stage and the Jagermeister Second Stage. Fort Rock comes from Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live, part of the team that has produced the Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion and Welcome to Rockville festivals. Tickets for the Fort Rock Festival go on sale Saturday, Feb. 23 at 6AM ET at the event’s website . There will also be special VIP and hotel packages available as well. [button href=”” title=”Next: Check Out Other 2013 Must-See Rock Concerts” align=”center”]

Dave Grohl to Bring Sound City Players to NYC

Kevin Winter, Getty Images Dave Grohl has discussed his desire to bring the Sound City Players to stages around the world and having just completed a stellar show in Los Angeles, he’s revealed the next destination will be at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom Feb. 13. There are a few tweaks to the lineup from the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles shows, but Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates will be joined during the evening by Stevie Nicks , John Fogerty , Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick ‘s Rick Nielsen , Rage Against the Machine ‘s Brad Wilk, Nirvana ‘s Krist Novoselic , Fear’s Lee Ving, Queens of the Stone Age ‘s Alain Johannes and Masters of Reality’s Chris Goss. In a recent podcast interview with , Grohl stated that he would like to bring shows to New York, London, Berlin, Sydney and the South by Southwest festival in Austin. However, at this point, the New York date is the only one that’s confirmed. Tickets for the New York show go on sale this coming Tuesday (Feb. 5) at 4PM ET. Get them via Ticketmaster here . Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City’ movie is currently screening in select theaters and is also available for purchase online here . [button href=”” title=”Next: See the ‘Sound City’ Film + Soundtrack Details” align=”center”]

Guitarist Rob Caggiano on Anthrax Exit: ‘My Heart Simply Wasn’t in It Anymore’

Kevin Winter, Getty Images Former Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano is facing a major career change and seems enthused about the future. Caggiano tells Pro Sound News that ultimately his desire to have more creative involvement in the music he was generating led to his exit. He explains, “If you were to ask me to give you the absolute main reason why I decided to leave Anthrax, I would tell you that I left because my heart simply wasn’t in it anymore. I had a blast playing with those guys and they will always be family to me, but outside of my guitar solos and production work, Anthrax was never a creative outlet for me [musically]. That wasn’t by any choice of my own but the way, it’s just the way it is.” The guitarist adds, “I guess it just got to the point where I started asking myself, ‘What the hell am I doing? I’m a musician. This is who I am. Being creative is simply soul food for my soul. Why am I devoting all of my time and energy into a band where being creative is impossible for me?’ It simply stopped making sense a while ago and I ended up feeling very unhappy and very unfulfilled. It started feeling like I was just going through the motions and that’s not what music is about to me at all.” In recent years, Caggiano has seen his production career expanding and he’s interested in exploring that to the fullest as well. The guitarist, who is currently producing Volbeat ‘s next album, says, “Making records is a lot of hard work and to be honest, I usually can’t even listen to an album I’ve worked on when I’m done with it. It’s the smiles and excitement people have when they listen to it that make it worthwhile for me.” As for working as a recording musician and touring artist, Caggiano says, “I’m absolutely not giving up my guitar! I’m not giving up touring anytime soon either. I love the stage and I love touring. It’s in my blood and it’s who I am. I just needed to step off the machine to reevaluate things. Sometimes it’s good to do that and with change comes growth. I have a lot to say musically and I’m ready to scream!” To read more of Caggiano’s thoughts on music production and his future, check out the full interview at Pro Sound News . [button href=”” title=”Next: Anthrax Name Guitarist Rob Caggiano’s Touring Replacement” align=”center”]

The Black Keys Take Legal Action Against Casino

Kevin Winter, Getty Images The Black Keys may allow some of their music to be used in commercials, but the band isn’t exactly thrilled that another company has been using a track that is similar to one of their songs. According to the Hollywood Reporter , the group has accused casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment of improper usage and has filed a lawsuit to stop it. The band charges Pinnacle with using a song that is “substantially similar” to ‘Howlin’ for You’ in their advertisements, including one spot that ran this past September. They’re claiming that Pinnacle has violated trademark law and state in the lawsuit that the company has “suggested a false designation of origin as well as making unfair competition for them.” The group also cites claims made by Pinnacle on Twitter and YouTube that the song in question was “a licensed musical interpretation.” This isn’t the first time the Black Keys have taken legal action against improper usage of their music. Just last year the band filed a lawsuit and eventually settled for an undisclosed amount after both Pizza Hut and Home Depot aired commercials with material similar to the band’s songs without permission. The legal action isn’t holding up the Black Keys from keeping busy. The band reportedly ducked into the studio earlier this month to begin coming up with music for their next album. The disc will be the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated ‘El Camino’ album. [button href=”” title=”Next: Black Keys Among Leading 2013 Grammy Nominees” align=”center”] ?

Tom Morello Reveals Identity of ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ Video’s Naked Guy

Kevin Winter, Getty Images Rage Against the Machine ‘s Tom Morello has continued his video series where he answers fan questions and in his latest installment he revealed a long-secret piece of trivia from the band’s history — the identity of the naked guy in the ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ video. In the clip, the offending naked guy is briefly shown standing next to singer Zack de la Rocha, and more than a few fans have asked how that piece of video footage found its way into the clip and why. Morello revealed, “It was a friend of ours who toured with us named MJ Plenty and at the time on that particular tour we were doing this grim, I wouldn’t call it hazing, but we had this outstanding $250 per diem money that was always sitting on the desk. And then someone in the band or someone in the crew would come up with a different task and if you did the task you got the $250.” The guitarist recalls that Plenty accepted the bet, which for that night entailed him going onstage naked, with a few other conditions that needed to be met to achieve the goal. Morello says, “He’s not just naked, he’s naked with his wiener tucked. It you do it frame-by-frame, you’ll see that he has a wiener-tuck going on. And I’m not sure if he’s singing the Maynard [James Keenan] part of ‘Know Your Enemy’ or if he’s just onstage during that part of ‘Know Your Enemy’ while Zack is singing to him, but part of the deal was that he couldn’t laugh. He couldn’t break character, he had to be … stoic. He did it. He got the $250 and he is forever immortalized in the ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ video.” With Rage pretty much on break at this point after reissuing a 20th anniversary edition of their debut album last year, Morello is finding other things to keep him occupied. The guitarist says he’s currently working on a new Nightwatchman album and will play a show at New York City’s Lincoln Center Feb. 16. In addition, it was just confirmed that Morello will sit in with Bruce Springsteen ‘s E Street Band during their Australian trek as Steven Van Zandt has requested time off to shoot his TV series, ‘Lilyhammer.’ Watch Rage Against the Machine’s ‘How I Could Just Kill a Man’ Video [button href=”” title=”Next: 10 Best Rage Against the Machine Songs” align=”center”]