Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Progressive Nation at Sea 2014 (includes The Dear Hunter)

7/30/13 4:30PM

so, The Dear Hunter came *on board* (no pun intended), lol. I was thinking if them and Bend Sinister were on this, at least they'd have 2 non-traditional prog bands. I suppose King's X and even Jolly are as well.

Progressive Nation at Sea begins at $700 per person plus taxes and fees.

But the key thing for this is the PRICE TAG.. So, you're looking at with Airfare/travel a MINIMUM
of $1200, lol. But I would guess before it's all said and done, it'll probably end up costing closer to $2000, lol.

However, even if I won the fucking Power Ball, I think there'd be a better chance my girlfriend would start playing guitar in a technical death metal band, than being okay with me going to this for 5 or 6 days, WITHOUT HER.

And even if I won the Powerball, the cost would not be the reason she wouldn't even think of going. Because

a) she can't stand more or less all these bands
b) she hardly would ever be able to find it enjoyable to be stuck on a boat with a bunch of white males who she likely would have next to nothing in common with other than a general interest/obsession for music
c) she'd never be able to convince her mother it would be a good idea
d) Maybe the MOST important, She would in-effect miss at least 1 of her Classes in Grad School

and even if she didn't go, she would see my going as selfish, which I suppose I can't argue with her, because I would easily find the interest to use even HALF OF THE COST to take 1 or 2 trips somewhere SHE and I would enjoy like San Francisco, Boston, or even like Hawaii or Europe. And from a more REALISTIC standpoint, I think it makes sense for me and her to stay with my elderly Grandma in AZ ON OUR OWN (for 20+ years, I've always been there with my folks, but then again, they usually have paid for my trip) in March for maybe 4 days, that could WORK AROUND HER SCHEDULE and be literally less than HALF of this FOR THE BOTH OF US.

That ALL being said, this comes across as a bunch of bands I have enjoyed historically all in 1 place. To have The Dear Hunter, Jon Anderson, Pain of Salvation, Transatlantic and King's X together is frankly ODD in a COOL WAY. However, I've seen ALL OF THEM, in some cases, MANY TIMES. But the point being, the idea of getting to see them in general isn't all that big of a deal. To see them TOGETHER and I'll be honest, within a group of prog nerds hanging for this long of period of time, would have its appeal.

But, $1500+ APPEAL??? eh, not really. If Fates or more so, JOHN ARCH were there along with The River Empires, Pepe Deluxe, The Reign of Kindo, Apes and Androids, Kiss Kiss and a whole slew of others who I've never seen but love dearly, than the $1500+ might seem more justifiable. But it sure as hell won't be happening, at least this year. But for others, I guess we'll see. I really do think Mike is a little bit over his head with thinking tons of people have that level of cash to shellout, especially with Cruise to the Edge as well, although I suppose some people might have gone to Cruise the Edge last year and see Jon Anderson on the bill and want to give this a try instead.

But the common Dream Theater/Transatlantic/Portnoy fan, just guessing, doesn't have quite as much disposable income from an AGE guestimation than say the avg Yes/Genesis?Renaissance fans who are looking towards Cruise to the Edge.

But then again, some of the costs of going to festivals like ProgPowerUSA and Nearfest isn't incredibly different give or take $300-$500, perhaps that demographic will try this.

But myself, I guess I'm curious how this goes and maybe wonder if there is any success, who might be brought on for a 2nd PN at Sea in 2015 or 2016.

I do find it interesting how close I was to predicting the lineup. PSMS, Riverside, Tony Harnell + Bumblefoot and Next to None were the only names I didn't bring up that are there (for now, more may get announced, although I still wonder if Steven Wilson was added, how much better this thing would sell, but the odds are probably low to none).

I do think The Dear Hunter may have agreed to do this partially from an offer they may have had for Progressive Nation 2009 that they turned down. I wonder if Casey felt like turning something like this down a 2nd time, he might regret. I suppose I should check TDH forum and see what people are saying. Maybe I'll get some reaction when I see and talk to them and hopefully Casey directly in September at The Varsity Theater. I actually would love to see a THE DEAR HUNTER-LED Festival where you'd have TDH and bands like The Reign of Kindo, The River Empires and Hotel of the Laughing Tree potentially. But unless I paid for the whole thing, I don't think it would ever happen. More likely Coheed would be able to put on something like that.

edit: Well my WORDING probably could have been better or more accurate, but in passing along this link on a few places including Twitter, Casey noticed and sent me a messages on twitter:

if you'd like, you could just ask me why we're playing it.
Sure thing. So, what is/are the reason(s) the band are playing at Progressive Nation at Sea?

1. I've always tried to expose the band to as many different demographics, and in as many settings as possible..
2. I was personally approached about the opportunity by Mike Portnoy, based on his appreciation of the band alone...
3. We get to be around some really amazing musicians and bands.
4. My band gets to take a cruise and play music in a month we are used to sitting at home in snow or rain.

All are totally valid points, that I suppose I could have asked him. But I often am too shy or feel it not the best thing to ask. Although Casey is probably 1 of the only people on twitter who actually would answer that sort of stuff, or any stuff. Because I have sent messages to other people like Kimbra and Mayer Hawthorne and never received a reply. Casey I suppose I don't consider the idea of just shooting him a message once in awhile. Maybe it's the fanboy/starstruck experience for me, or maybe it is like I said, something I just worry if I'd be bothering him. But then when I go off onto complete speculative ideas with really no factual information about, and then PASS THEM ALONG (not to forget just posting), I guess I'm vulnerable.

I was telling  my gf, this kind of stuff probably would be better understood through in-person or at least a podcast or youtube video. Which is 1 reason I'm sort of thinking trying that, because I'll write a lot of things that sort of are in my head and just come out of me into here. And I often if not always want to have an opinion, usually a strong opinion, but I don't think of how some, namely the people/musicians who may see it may regard it. Not so much if something is good or bad, but if something is TRUE or FALSE.

I can see why someone might find concern enough to respond to that. I just need to think about that kind of thing before throwing out speculation, especially in HOW IT IS WORDED.

Then again, it hasn't helped my situation to be hampered by an inflamed/flare-up in my lower back since Saturday morning. It's not been fun, so getting stressed out about stuff + that + other stuff like work, isn't exactly helping my state of mind. But I'm trying to be optimistic regardless.



Progressive Nation is hitting the high seas in 2014!  Join us in this inaugural sailing from February 18th – 22nd 2014 on the luxurious Norwegian Pearl heading from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay and Freeport, Bahamas.  This music festival at sea gives you an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean and all the amenities of a cruise ship; you will enjoy music from morning ‘til night with over 40 shows on multiple stages, along with activities, Q&A’s, panels and workshops from your favorite artists.   

PROGRESSIVE NATION founder Mike Portnoy elaborates: 
"In 2008 & 2009, I created a touring package called "Progressive Nation" and with Dream Theater headlining, we did three full tours (two in North America and one in Europe) that showcased a variety of bands that embraced the spirit and musicality of progressive music. 

Well after a 5 year hiatus, I have decided to resurrect Progressive Nation and this time we are taking it to the seas! 
But rather than a 4 band bill like previous Progressive Nation tours, we have expanded the bill to OVER A DOZEN of today's greatest progressive bands, musicians and artists! (and there may be one or two more still to be confirmed) 

Myself and my former DT bandmate Derek Sherinian have teamed up with Sixthman (who have done incredibly successful cruises with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the annual Kiss Cruise to name a few) as well as our friends at Inside Out Music and look forward to a very successful inaugural launch of PROGRESSIVE NATION AT SEA Feb 18th thru 22nd 2014 

We are so excited to take part in this historic maiden voyage and look forward to sharing this one of a kind event with fans from all around the world!" 

Visit www.progressivenationatsea.com to register for the pre-sale today! 
This music festival at sea gives music fans an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean, guest will have the opportunity to see their favorite musical heroes perform numerous sets around the many stages set around Norwegian Pearl. And when guests are not attending a performance, a variety of activities hosted by the artists will fill the day. 

Progressive Nation at Sea begins at $700 per person plus taxes and fees. Prices include entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl’s outstanding amenities, including outdoor pool, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center. Fans can read more and sign up for the Progressive Nation pre-sale at www.progressivenationatsea.com 

With 15 decks of fun, Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. Onboard concerts aren’t the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl - passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the onboard lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino. Progressive Nation cruisers will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic “Hippo” water slide, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience. 

Forthcoming announcements are scheduled to follow detailing artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, and activities!  For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale, fans should visit www.progressivenationatsea.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/progressivenationatsea 

twitter: http://twitter.com/prognationatsea

7/29/13 5:00PM

okay, it's tomorrow. Just for the sake-of my wishlist would probably be something like:

Flying Colors
Pain of Salvation (Daniel Gildenlow performing with TA as well)

then again, if it's a Cruise, it might include 8-10 bands like "Cruise to the Edge" so throw in:
The Flower Kings
Big Elf
Spock's Beard
The Winery Dogs
Steven Wilson (still a longshot, but Mike did hang out with Steven recently and I can only imagine how helpful his name would draw people to this thing)
Fates Warning
Scale the Summit

A Longshot preference with bands Mike has mentioned liking:
Transatlantic (doing new stuff and mostly if not all music from the 1st 2 albums)
The Dear Hunter
Bend Sinister

Total fantasy (with still regards to being active bands)
Transatlantic (same as above, and also for the fact there has to be at least 1 Portnoy band on the bill)
Pepe Deluxe
Hotel of the Laughing Tree
The River Empires

edit: a lot of the speculation on the forums are saying, for affordability and maybe the wording "out of the WATER" is it'll be a CRUISE with Transatlantic and some others.
It probably makes sense, and thus if it is a Cruise, I won't even think about wanting to go, barring myself winning the Powerball.

7/26/13 12:00PM


BIG NEWS coming next week...prepare to be blown out of the WATER!!

At least 2 of these I am predicting will be on the bill:
Flying Colors
Neal Morse
The Winery Dogs

I'll add in my wish list later, although it doesn't go so far anyway given a tour with this kind of roster, honestly, the odds are it won't come to MN and be like a 5-10 date tour. But next week I'm sure that will be revealed.


Monday, July 29, 2013

The Red Paintings - The Revolution Is Never Coming (2013)

7/29/13 5:30PM

finally available in the US w/  t-shirt bundle as an option. Vinyl? ..maybe in due time.

6/11/13 12:00PM
Available to purchase in AUSTRALIA, HERE FROM JBHIFI 

Loving this fucking record, the more I hear it. Trash does remind me of some singers, I think perhaps maybe closest to Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro.

But not to spoil, but when my Midyear Albums countdown is published soon, don't be surprised to see this record rather high. 

6/10/13 12:00PM 

Wow, this album "The Revolution is Never Coming" very well may have lived-up if not exceeded the expectations and hype I've seen in so many glaring reviews over the past few weeks. Wow, the drumming is BOMBASTIC, the songs are *epic* in more than a few ways. The strings or mostly violin work is tremendous. The melodies stay with you. I think the amount of time/years they spent working to finish it is evident. I can see myself listening to it a fair amount over the coming weeks to get a better idea, but for now, I can already say it's a 4-star record with a ton to explore. It may just be held back by a few little things like some of the tracks silent spots, and a little bit of compression on the cymbals and swallowing by their singer briefly at points.

But if the Revolution is in fact never coming, at least this record finally has come.

1 early review

Another review from today (5/23/13)

Taking elements from the full rainbow of rock from the 60s to the future and beyond, you’ll find The Beatles sitting alongside Karnivool, and Radiohead in a world where Seattle grunge, punk, neo-classical, prog, and many more genres live harmoniously.

This amalgamation was created by The Red Paintings with help from a choir, violin, cello, horns, guitar, synth, bass and drums. Oh, and a 35-piece orchestra.

The Revolution Is Never Coming

01 Vampires Are Chasing Me
02 Dead Children
03 Dead Adults
04 Wasps
05 The Fall Of Rome
06 Walls
07 Streets Fell Into My Window
08 You’re Not One Of Them
09 It Is As It Was
10 Hong Kong
11 Deleted Romantic
12 Rain
13 The Revolution Is Never Coming

release date in Australia for this album is June 7th. I guess it'll be coming to North America in August or perhaps even October. These glaring reviews have my interest going up about this record, quite a bit more.

Friday, July 26, 2013

36 Hours Left for Typhoon Tour Success!

Typhoon's Kickstarter Page

I can't believe I never shared this before. But anyway, they have a 36 hours to go to receive a little under $5900 to make their tour happen with a VAN they can fit all 12-17 members.

Their new album White Lighter comes out in a few weeks as well, and if I recall, some of the Backer levels include it in more than 1 format even.

Hopefully they'll have that final push in the next day-and-a-half, as I am planning on seeing them live at The Cedar Cultural Center in September.

White Lighter is out August 20

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blackfield - Blackfield IV (2013)

7/25/13 11:54AM

New song "Jupiter." I haven't heard it yet of course, but some comments are saying it's good like the track "Pills" below.

6/8/13 9:53AM

Scratch the info from 6/6/13, here's the info. So AUGUST 26TH at least internationally.


Israel's leading counter-culture Rock musician Aviv Geffen returns with Blackfield IV, featuring Steven Wilson and other special collaborators. 

The new album includes guest vocal performances from Brett Anderson (Suede), Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev) and Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema). 

Since Welcome To My DNA, Geffen's profile has continued to rise and Aviv has worked with legendary producers Tony Visconti and Trevor Horn, played live with U2 and Placebo, and been a judge on the Israeli TV show, The Voice. 

Aviv contributed writing and vocals to Blackfield IV, while Steven Wilson - who also mixed the album and provided the 5.1 mix - added guitar and vocal parts. 

This is the limited double disc cd/dvd-av edition, presented in a digibook. 

Pre-order for 26th August shipping. 
preorder (£11.99 GBP) 

1. Pills 
2. Springtime 
3. XRay (featuring Vincent Cavanagh - Anathema) 
4. Sense of Insanity 
5. Firefly (featuring Brett Anderson - Suede) 
6. The Only Fool is Me (featuring Jonathan Donahue - Mercury Rev) 
7. Jupiter 
8. Kissed by the Devil 
9. Lost Souls 
10. Faking 
11. After the Rain

6/6/13 7:30PM
apparently for mixing reasons among others?, this album has been pushed back to November.

Source: I read it on the dreamtheaterforums.org I recall.

2/25/13 9:00PM
The news about a new Blackfield album isn't really all that new, as the below linked Twitter status is from November 20th. But the video stream below is for a new song titled "Pills."

And I may have not made as much time for another BF album, namely due to the fact their last record Welcome to My DNA was "forgettable" among other ways to describe it. And the fact Steven Wilson has stated more than once his involvement with Blackfield is even more limited, now not even being an official member. So, it really is just Aviv Geffen and whatever guests along with Steven Wilson in a much more limited role. I guess he sings on a few songs, and plays some guitar among a few other things (see Wikipedia or some recent SW interviews).

But "Pills" sounds pretty good actually. More textured and melancholy maybe than anything since the debut record.

And it's coming in April according to that post. Among the guest singers, one is Danny Cavanagh from Anathema. And I believe it'll be released on Kscope Music.


BF4 should be out around April,sounds really good and Steven worked on 5.1 mix as well..more details to follow pretty soon A

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The House Harkonnen - Vol. 7 Pressurize?

7/18/13 4:15PM

Split and the album is coming out at the end of the year. I also received a message per Facebook that Vol.7 is in-effect "Beastmode" just re-recorded, etc.


This is a 7 inch Vinyl split between the bands "The House Harkonnen" and "The Spectacle". This is the latest material from both bands. The record has an original song from each band's upcoming album on side A and a cover on side B. HK covered the band Self with the track "9 lives" and The Spectacle covered the band Sepultura with the track "Slave New World".
The House Harkonnen new album Vol.7 will be out at the end of the year. The Spectacle's new album will follow shortly. Each track on this 7 inch was recorded just for this album. All the tracks are brought to you from Do For It Records.
The album will be released on September 6th at the Double Wide in Dallas and then a later date at Rubber Gloves in Denton. It will also be available online on theDo For It Records Store. This is a limited pressing of 100 white vinyl discs with hand-printed sleeves made by Do For It Design. Each album will be hand numbered and come with a digital download card.

3/29/13 3:33AM

Good stuff. I'm thinking this will not be on the 2013 release of Beast Mode, an album ever since hearing about, I've wanted to check out. But it was put out in only limited release last Fall.

Perhaps "Vol. 7 - Pressurize" will be a new album's title? The band are in the studio right now anyway.

Karnivool - Asymmetry (2013)

7/18/13 2:00PM

Whole Album Streaming:

6/27/13 9:33AM

Per this new newsletter, Asymmetry drops in the US on August 6th (physical) and July 23rd (digital).


Well, some of you didn't believe us when we said there would be news on the release of Asymmetry in North America soon, but here it is! Our new friends at Density Records have been hard at work and we're happy to confirm that you can pre-order Asymmetry in North America. Right now! Asymmetry will be released in the U.S. on August 6, 2013 via Density Records and will be available digitally from July 23, 2013.

For those who don't know, Density Records are part of the Workhorse Records Group and the extended Vagrant Records family, and have been friends of Team Vool for a while. We hung with them at one of our LA shows a few years ago and their passion for the band and for music in general was obvious. The rule with these things is this: you always want to sign with a label whose back catalogue you want to steal! Here's hoping we are good for some freebies now...

You can pre-order the Deluxe (CD version) of Asymmetry in North America from the Workhorse Music webstore here. The pre-order includes the 90-minute live DVD 'Live at the Forum' featuring a full concert from The Forum in Melbourne, Australia.

The album will also available for pre-order from US iTunes beginning Tuesday July 2 - when you pre-order the album, the new single “We Are” will download immediately.
The Asymmetry World Tour begins  in Australia in late July and moves on to Europe in October. North Amercian tour plans will be revealed soon!
Speaking of Europe, A bunch of new European shows have been announced, and just so you know tickets are flying out of the door for everywhere so if you are planning on coming  - get onto it sooner rather than later. Details of the whole tour are here

We are also really excited to be adding three more shows to the next tour in Europe with dates in Norway, Sweden & Denmark:
05 November 2013
Oslo, Norway
06 November 2013
Stockholm, Sweden
11 November 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sydney friends if your work or home radio is tuned into Triple M and you like the idea of us infiltrating their airwaves, Triple M Sydney are asking what you think of our first single "We Are". If you feel like telling them you can do it here

And lastly, now that we have entered the internet age (i.e have a website that works nearly all of the time), we're in the process of updating our subscriber list. That means you lot! We'd really like to know what part of the world you're from, so we can keep you up to date on all the latest news specific to your country. Please click here to update your details - it only takes a second!

Over and out!
Vool HQ

6/14/13 9:02AM
I dig the video/1st single below "We Are." The jury will still be out with this record until I hear it with headphones as the songs from Sound Awake sounded great per radio streams, and then the terrible mix from the cymbals was noticed with headphones and my opinion totally changed about those songs and the album.

But beyond that issue, I can't help but be rather jazzed to hear this album. Cool cover art fwiw.

July 19th is when it drops down under. North America?

1. Aum 
2. Nachash 
3. A.M. War 
4. We Are 
5. The Refusal 
6. Aeons 
7. Asymmetry 
8. Eidolon 
9. Sky Machine 
10. Amusia 
11. The Last Few 
12. Float 
13. Alpha 
14. Om 


Karnivool - Asymmetry (Deluxe Edition) The limited Deluxe Edition comes in a digipack with a PVC O-Ring (slipcase). The DVD (exclusive to this version) features a 92 min live concert; ‘Live At The Forum’. It is s 8x camera pro shoot from The Forum , Melbourne, Australia.

With over 250,000 albums sold to date across their acclaimed 2005 debut, Themata, and 2009’s ground breaking follow-up, Sound Awake, Karnivool established themselves as one of the most vital forces in progressive modern music. Now a major international draw, appearing at festivals such as The Big Day Out, Sonisphere (France), Download (UK), SXSW (US) and Hurricane (Germany), and gaining high praise from international press titans such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Kerrang! and Rocksound, Karnivool have belied expectation again with album number three, the brazen and introspective, Asymmetry.

The limited Deluxe Edition comes in a digipack with a PVC O-Ring (slipcase). The DVD (exclusive to this version) features a 92 min live concert; ‘Live At The Forum’. It is s 8x camera pro shoot from The Forum , Melbourne, Australia.
With over 250,000 albums sold to date across their acclaimed 2005 debut, Themata, and 2009’s ground breaking follow-up, Sound Awake, Karnivool established themselves as one of the most vital forces in progressive modern music. Now a major international draw, appearing at festivals such as The Big Day Out, Sonisphere (France), Download (UK), SXSW (US) and Hurricane (Germany), and gaining high praise from international press titans such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Kerrang! and Rocksound, Karnivool have belied expectation again with album number three, the brazen and introspective, Asymmetry.

This expansive new work was designed in the band’s Perth studio over two years, before in late 2012, the Karnivool caravan headed across the continent to bunker down with legendary producer, Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Mastodon) at Byron Bay’s Studios 301
Track Listing


  1. Aum
  2. Nachash
  3. A.M. War
  4. We Are
  5. The Refusal
  6. Aeons
  7. Asymmetry
  8. Eidolon
  9. Sky Machine
  10. Amusia
  11. The Last Few
  12. Float
  13. Alpha Omega
  14. Om

DVD - Live At The Forum

  1. Simple Boy (Live)
  2. Goliath (Live)
  3. Shutterspeed (Live)
  4. COTE (Live)
  5. New Day (Live)
  6. Fear Of The Sky (Live)
  7. Deadman (Live)
  8. All I Know (Live)
  9. Umbra (Live)
  10. Themata (Live)
  11. Set Fire to The Hive (Live)
  12. Roquefort (Live)
  13. Change (Live)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pantera Parody: Cooking Hostile with Phil Anselmo

this is for the most part, Gold..

I guess they have another video coming soon (this was 1st posted in June); although it seems often the 1st/initial idea works best, and often the follow-ups seem to be rehashes or suffer from "sequel-itis" as my friend says. The 1 exception: adam02's Dream Theater voice-overs.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I should write an article like this (if I haven't already)


The guy, Jon Hunt, makes a lot of legitimate points.

I've turned my poor wife into a prog rock fan. And she's got *quite* particular taste. I can't just force her to listen to any old damn thing and have her like it; six years into our relationship, and she*still* doesn't love heavy metal, really. But prog rock? Yeah, I've seen her actually put it on the turntable (well, computer) herself. She's proof positive, I think, that if you actually stop and listen to this stuff, you *might* actually like it.

So, The Big Bang Theory (Chuck Lorre), go ahead and start using the prog references/implementing them into some of your shows scripts. Psych I suppose as well, but TBBT IS MAINSTREAM and ABOUT NERDS/SCIFI.

Anyway, I guess this guy claims to be the biggest Michael Nesmith fan in Minnesota, which I will argue for my girlfriend or my friend Diana G as well, but I don't know him too well. Although given this article, I might want to get in touch with him at some point.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

22 - Short Acoustic Rehearsal Video/New Studio Video

7/11/13 6:06AM

some pretty sweet ideas for this upcoming record seem to be coming out. Lots of oscillator tweak-ing and whatnot.

6/3/13 11:36AM
I haven't heard it yet, but supposedly the new stuff is really bringing it. They should have a new album out soon, although whether it comes out this year or not is still unclear (from what I've read at this point).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'm substitute djing on KFAI tonight 7/10/13 (Midnight-2AM)

 7/10/13 9:35AM-12:00PM

I'll try and post the playlist later today. Overall, good show. I feel bad though about my last segment with the East of the Wall music being far too loud to hear myself and Joyce. But thankfully that only happened for a couple of minutes in 1-segment.

Something to learn from of course.


Ours - The Worst Things Beautiful 
dredg - Gathering Pebbles
The Reign of Kindo - Til We Make Our Ascent
The Dear Hunter - His Hands Matched His Tongue
The River Empires - Three Tigers
Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Weather Maps for Nikolai
Pure Reason Revolution - The Apprentice of the Universe
Oceansize - Unfamiliar
Kevin Gilbert - Finally Over You

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving: - tracks from Deaden the Fields
Judgement Day - tracks from Peacocks / Pink Monsters
East of the Wall - tracks from A Farmer's Almanac

Nikka Costa - Can't Please Everybody
Quadron - Favorite Star
Under the Influence of Giants - Mama's Room
Booker T - Sound the Alarm
Timmy Sean - What You Do
Josh Rouse - The Western Isles
Bend Sinister - Things Will Get Better
Pepe Deluxe - Vamos Muchachos
Sir Video - On and On
Fountains of Wayne - The Girl

Mayer Hawthorne - tracks from A Strange Arrangement Instrumentals

7/9/13 10:06PM
On the "Modern Kicks" show along with my gf Joyce. It should be interesting, although my playlist will be in the 1st hour, hers in the 2nd, there may be a bit of a contrast (with some crossover).

KFAI Site which has a LIVE STREAM linked

Modern Kicks page

there's a Facebook page linked there, along with Archives. The show will be Archived starting early tomorrow morning for 2 weeks. I'll be sure to post a playlist and some more comments soon about this. Thanks to Sean from Modern Kicks for allowing Joyce and I to fill-in for his show.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Age of Rockets - Adults (2013)

7/8/13 6:18PM

I got it as a download today given I pledged $25 or more to the Kickstarter. CDs will be coming later to the $100 Kickstarters and I guess even later (like 2014?) for the standard version.

But here's the breakdown. I sort of understand why he shared the Tracklist so long ago (2012?) . In a way, it's like what Archive or Biffy Clyro have done (among many others) where they release demos and other songs/other version of songs. The new Ours album I guess very well could be including more version like this.

But, this was intentional. What I'm struggling a bit with is how I want to listen to this. Initially I'll probably just play the 3 "versions" as they are, and then maybe highlight specific versions of each track and try and then combine them on a CDR. I say that, as I am a little challenged compared to most people, including who The Age of Rockets intended this album's experiment to be for, as in FOR AN MP3 PLAYER/PLAYLIST to be played either at random between all 3 versions, or just a mixing and matching AMONG ALL 30 OF THE TRACKS AMONGST ALL 3 VERSIONS.

But unless I use a 3-cd changer and hit random, which I don't foresee unless I'm at my girlfriend's who has 1 or in her car, I am likely going to have to CUSTOM MAKE my own versions/order of the tracks.

Which I guess is sort of 1-of if not the whole point of this experiment.

Now, the music itself or course needs to hold up and justify it, and I think it may, but it's funny how this is a format or listening to music that in some ways, actually DOES REQUIRE you to listen carefully.

But that should be at least part of the fun of it.

1.1 Darling Street (Version 1) 3:21
1.2 Alas That Such Evil Days Should Be Mine (Version 1) 4:26
1.3 March/April/May (Version 1) 7:54
1.4 Cold Season (Version 1) 2:36
1.5 Connecticut (Version 1) 3:16
1.6 What Was for Us (Version 1) 3:11
1.7 Chapter 7 (Version 1) 3:46
1.8 Flights (Version 1) 4:17
1.9 When the Moon Began to Drift (Version 1) 3:41
1.10 Can't Tell Me Nothing (Version 1) 4:39


2.1 Darling Street (Version 2) 3:29
2.2 Alas That Such Evil Days Should Be Mine (Version 2) 5:15
2.3 March/April/May (Version 2) 4:28
2.4 Cold Season (Version 2) 3:17
2.5 Connecticut (Version 2) 3:03
2.6 What Was for Us (Version 2) 3:12
2.7 Chapter 7 (Version 2) 3:51
2.8 Flights (Version 2) 3:41
2.9 When the Moon Began to Drift (Version 2) 3:17
2.10 Can't Tell Me Nothing (Version 2) 6:58


3.1 Darling Street (Version 3) 2:52
3.2 Alas That Such Evil Days Should Be Mine (Version 3) 3:28
3.3 March/April/May (Version 3) 5:13
3.4 Cold Season (Version 3) 2:26
3.5 Connecticut (Version 3) 5:00
3.6 What Was for Us (Version 3) 3:14
3.7 Chapter 7 (Version 3) 10:04
3.8 Flights (Version 3) 3:32
3.9 When the Moon Began to Drift (Version 3) 3:03
3.10 Can't Tell Me Nothing (Version 3) 2:30


123 minutes or 2 Hours and 3 minutes.

7/4/13 11:32AM

The Record is done. It will be out September 1st (my birthday) Kickstarter kickers will get it this week.

sadly we won't ever play again and this is the last record. We managed to do 3 records and never have a release party!

Good News and Bad, but not surprising news.

It took nearly 4 years, but this sucker is finally coming out. Bittersweet I suppose.

If I have 1 regret, I was looking at my Kickstarter contribution, I gave $25.

A digital download of the entire 30 track album as soon as it's finished. You will be one of the first people to receive the album. Probably about a month before it goes up on itunes! Also the name and link on our website!

But it appears in order to have received the physical CD(s), I would have to have contributed $100, lol. Now I remember why I didn't.

I guess if in some way, this album is released in physical form to the public, I may have to purchase a copy for an affordable rate ($30 or $40 perhaps?). I asked them on Facebook about the format, so hopefully that'll be more clear soon.

3/27/12 3:33AM

I was holding off posting this until more of the final details went public, but I suppose it doesn't make much difference at this point. Here's the cover art that is now public. And the track list for the 1st CD is below. Hopefully more details will come soon, namely a release date (or a Kickstarter pledge email download/mail-out date)

I do know, in all likelihood, this album will be the last The Age of Rockets record, for many years if ever. But regardless, if this album is amazing, it will hopefully be worth it.

CD 1
01 - Darling Street
02 - Alas That Such Evil Days Should Be Mine
03 - March / April / May
04 - Cold Season
05 - Connecticut
06 - What Waits For Us
07 - Chapter Seven
08 - Flights
09 - When The Moon Began To Drift
10 - Can't Tell Me Nothin'

10/16/11 11:33AM

facebook announcement

As I think I posted in earlier entries, this 30-track, 3-cd concept record is coming, and for those who pledged to their kickstarter for this album and perhaps the pre-order, they should be receiving an email download link sometime around X-Mas.

In the mean time, I would definitely recommend hearing some of the clips Andrew Furtal has shared on their tumblr page which have totally intrigued me, maybe even more than their previous records.

The only thing to be a little down about is what Andrew posted on facebook the other day

Losing my mind working on the new record. I will be very surprised if I have another Age of Rockets record in me after this.

which I honestly don't blame him and the large amount of time and work that he has had to put into this album/project I would think once its done, he and the band will want to take a long break from recording. But then again, time can recharge/replenish and change your mindset.

Sound & Shape - Short July/August 2013 Tour

I'm just passing this along as I hope some folks are able to catch Sound & Shape on this brief tour this Summer. I might, but of course none of the dates are in Minnesota unfortunately. But I do recall Ryan mentioning to me they were going to come to Minneapolis last year (or early this year? I forget).

I would still love to see them live, but it'll have to be on a tour down the road.

It is a little odd how the 3 bands I sort of liken to each other in some ways, House of Fools, Bend Sinister and these guys, S&S are the only 1 I have not seen yet (although include Hotel of the Laughing Tree in there as well I suppose).

Tour Dates:

7/29 - Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
           w/Magnets and Ghosts

7/30 - Ocean Springs, MS @ Government Street Grocery
           w/Champion Club

7/31 - Hattiesburg, MS @ Brewsky's
           w/Magnets and Ghosts

8/1 - Shreveport, LA @ Bear's

8/2 - Tuscaloosa, AL @ Green Bar
         w/Magnets and Ghosts

8/3 - Florence, AL @ DP's
         w/An Abstract Theory

8/4 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
         w/Magnets and Ghosts

"The power trio Sound & Shape relies on more classic-rock stylings, and are shamelessly prog in their epic musings... The frontman has a great voice that matches the band's complex compositions..."

-By J.R. Taylor/Black&White (Birmingham, Al)

“For just three guys, Sound & Shape have a huge sound that seems to lack nothing except more attention and recognition. If bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Wolfmother can, it’s safe to say that Sound&Shape might be the next to hit it big.”

-By Jonathan Carabba/Submerge Magazine (Sacramento, Ca)

“...Sound&Shape aren’t dicking around trying to get you to bob your head. They’re there to blow your mind.”

-By Valerie Nutt/The Pulse (Murfreesboro, Tn)

“It's not hard to believe the band has been hard at work with hundreds of live shows from 2006 til today, but more incredible is their love for the music they've generated and developed.  They are astonishing.”

-By - Di Francesco Amato/Long Live Rock N Roll (IT)

Mayer Hawthorne - Where Does This Door Go (2013)

7/8/13 9:19AM

6/26/13 11:43AM

New official for "Her Favorite Song"

oh my gawd, Mayer and the Doggeeeee Band!

Jessie Ware?

6/22/13 12:13AM

I dig this teaser, which I would guess "Behind the Door" is the title of a documentary about the album?

Having captured listeners’ attention with lead single Her Favorite Song and the Father’s Day-themed Reach Out Richard (which I’ve adopted as my official theme song), Mayer Hawthone continues to build anticipation for his senior set with The Stars Are Ours. A recent interview revealed that Hawthorne and frequent collaborator Pharrell Willams (co-producer of the record in conjunction with Andrew Cohen) share a passion for Steely Dan, and nowhere is that influence more clear than on this cut, a bluesy, ‘70s-inspired rocker boasting intricate guitar work and a knotty vocal melody. Like what you’re hearing? More retro, yet forward-looking jams await on Where Does This Door Go, dropping July 16, via Universal Republic.

Stream the 2nd to last track "The Stars Are Ours"
(it's also on iTunes by the way)

Deluxe Edition Link

1 Problematization 0:15
2 Back Seat Lover 3:51
3 The Innocent 3:22
4 Allie Jones 4:04
5 The Only One 3:20
6 Wine Glass Woman 3:47
7 Her Favorite Song 3:33
8 Ay Bass Player 0:14
9 Crime (with Kendrick Lamar) 4:40
10 Reach Out Richard 4:08
11 Corsican Rosé 4:08
12 Where Does This Door Go 4:18
13 Robot Love 3:27
14 The Stars Are Ours 4:31
15 All Better 4:18

1 They Don’t Know You (Bonus Track) 4:05
2 Fool (Bonus Track) 3:07
3 Kaila (Bonus Track) 3:57
4 Small Clone (Bonus Track) 4:00
5 Designer Drug (Bonus Track) 3:33

6/18/13 12:00PM

Awesome how he finally is releasing Henny & Gingerale and at least Designer Drug will the B-side for that 7" single.

6/13/13 11:57AM
New song below "Reach Out Richard" as as Mayer just wrote:
Love you Dad. This new song is for you.  

Also I love how in this Article from RollingStone.com  he talks about his background with of all genres, \M/etal. Haha,..a genre my gf you can say, is not a fan of, lol.

The singer – who was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has since relocated to Los Angeles – says Where Does This Door Go allowed him to explore all his varied musical influences, from hip-hop to funk and metal. "This is the album that is truly me," Hawthorne says. "It was really about a journey into the unknown, doing something totally different and not knowing where it was going to go or how people were going to respond to it. And if that means really having that sort of DJ Haircut side of me come out and my hip-hop background, and my love for Michael McDonald and Steely Dan and the Cars. . . I used to be a metalhead, too, back in the day. I listened to Iron Maiden and Helmet and those are influences that have finally gotten [a] chance."

6/3/12 8:00PM


this album is sounding more intriguing in a lot of ways. The only things are, #1 Designer Drug is not included. Could it be this album's "Henny and Gingerale"?

#2 there's a whole bunch of guests, but other than Jessie Ware and I suppose now Pharrell Williams, they're not necessarily names I have favorable backgrounds with.

Although if the songs are good, that may not matter. The comparisons to Thriller and the name dropping of Steely Dan caught my eye in that interview.

I guess with Designer Drug's absence, and the comment about so many songs could be singles; i.e. the album has 4, 5, 6 or more songs as good if not better than Designer Drug, it's absence may also not matter.

But we'll see. July 16th of course is a holiday in more than 1 respect.

L+T: At SXSW, you premiered some of the tracks from Where Does This Door Go. If I’m not mistaken, you originally didn’t know if you were actually going to release some or all of the tracks as an EP or album…or even release them at all. Is that correct? Was there a determining factor that led to your decision to create a LP?

MH: I recorded over forty songs for this album. It was really tough to narrow it down. The track list changed every day. In the end I decided to keep the album short and try to release the rest later. I really wanted to make a party record like [Michael Jackson's] Thriller, where every song could be a single.

1. Problematization
2. Back Seat Lover
3. The Innocent
4. Allie Jones
5. The Only One
6. Wine Glass Woman
7. Her Favorite Song
8. Crime (with Kendrick Lamar)
9. Reach Out Richard
10. Corsican Rosé
11. Where Does This Door Go
12. Robot Love
13. The Stars Are Ours
14. All Better

5/15/13 8:16PM
New single "Her Favorite Song (featuring Jessie Ware)" being released on Monday May 20th, but streamable now.

This is just a out-of-leftfield prediction, but this Mayer Hawthorne may THEE record to come out of nowhere as a legit album of the year contender. Why I say that, I would NOT expect it. But these 2 new songs and trailer really intrigue me.

I may actually get to enjoying Mayer somewhat close to my Mayer-aholic girlfriend does, lol.

4/29/13 9:13AM

Facebook Link

July 16th, 2013. Where Does This Door Go it's easy to presume that is said title and the release date of his next full-length record. Designer Drug the single he released like a month ago, is about as good a track as he's recorded (although my Mayer-aholic girlfriend might argue otherwise). It even has a psychedelic element.

I do know this should be a big deal to me given it is such a big deal to my gf. It actually comes out only 4 days after Mayer plays at the 2013 Basilica Block Party in fact, in Minneapolis.

Interesting trailer which shows clips from many movies. The one's I caught:

Being John Malkovich
Beetlejuice 2x's
Willia Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
The Wizard of Oz
The Shining
Alice in Wonderland
The Matrix
Team America: World Police

May 25 University of Denver - Magness Arena Denver, CO
Jun 08 Cultivate Festival - Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA
Jul 12 Basilica Block Party Minneapolis, MN

with One Republic
Jul 23 Ravina Festisval - The Pavillion Highland Park, IL
Jul 25 LC Pavillion (Outdoor)  Columbus, OH
Jul 27 Meadow Brook w/ OneRepublic Rochester Hills, MI
Jul 28 Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center  Canandaigua, NY
Jul 30 Newport Yachting Center  Newport, RI
Aug 01 Bank of America Pavilion  Boston, MA
Aug 02 Mgm Grand Theater At Foxwoods  Mashantucket, CT
Aug 03 Musikfest  Bethlehem, PA
Aug 05 Filene Center At Wolf Trap  Vienna, VA
Aug 06 Cape Cod Melody Tent  Hyannis, MA
Aug 08 Tags w/ OneRepublic Big Flats, NY
Aug 09 Pier Six Pavilion  Baltimore, MD
Aug 10 Hudson Waterfront Park  Hudson, NY
Aug 12 Hard Rock Live  Orlando, FL
Aug 13 Seminole Hard Rock Live Amphitheatre  Hollywood, FL
Aug 15 Chastain Park Amphitheatre  Atlanta, GA
Aug 16 Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre Charlotte  Charlotte, NC
Aug 18 The Woods at Fontanel  Nashville, TN

Interview with Victor Arduini (ex-Fates Warning)

I am sharing this and add what I can for now. As some may know, I am a very big fan of Fates Warning, including pretty much ALL of their work, which includes the 2 albums original guitarist Victor Arduini played on. I honestly have not thought about what happened to him, sadly, in a long time, if ever. Although it's odd how that is the case, given I for one, absolutely LOVE The Spectre Within and still regard it as the best John Arch-period record, and probably among their 5 best records. 

I also will never forget how down I was when I found out Joe DiBiase was leaving the band around 1995 or 1996, right after I got into them. A guy I was tape-trading with and writing to about bands, mentioned how he thought Fates might be done. He wrote I recall  "Jim will probably hang it up" or something. So my even new-found emotional attachment to Fates Warning (I only became a fan around 1995 or 1996), gave me very strong feelings about an original member leaving even then. Why Victor, Steve Zimmerman and John Arch's departure wasn't the same, I suppose it only can be thought due to the fact Joe was still a member when I came on board, while those others (and Frank Aresti) were not.

I suppose I also was still unhappy about the fact Kevin Moore had left Dream Theater not too long before that as well.

But he does speak out, frankly, about as brutally honest and even in an outspoken tone at times, this interview kind of has me seeing him and maybe even Jim Matheos in a slightly different light.

I guess part of it is, how he departed. This is his perspective of course, but I guess I always assumed it was on good terms and there wasn't any ill-will or bitterness. Jim has often if not always come across as a reasonable if not rather like-able guy who avoids those kinds of conflicts. But maybe the fanboy in-me doesn't know or see him entirely how I could.

But the whole perception Jim has, has been quoted about his feeling of the early music before. I remember the quote (paraphrasing) "I look back on that early music and realize what a DORK I was."

I never forgot that, but also, especially with his recent experience with John Arch again, I don't know how serious he is about that. Maybe he doesn't revere it, or sees it as mostly nostalgia, rather than how Victor sees it still. But I guess I'm not sure why that should fully detract on Jim's interest to talk about it and play any of that music live again.

Now WITH Victor or Steve Zimmerman? that may be more of an issue But as Victor talks about in this interview, it's too bad he was there (and Steve?) in Hartford, CT and they couldn't join the others on stage, seems kind of silly. Maybe/Hopefully another time.

I also am curious about how Victor feels about Fates Warning's music since he left. He sort of says some of it is interesting, but almost like it's not THEE Fates Warning he founded, etc. I wonder if he kind of feels like they should have changed the name of the band or something. But by that, I wonder if he really enjoys the idea of being "progressive" anyway. 

As far as his band Freedom Reign, I am totally unaware of them or their music. I may check them out, although from the description he gave, I'm not sure how far they will go. I do like some Black Sabbath, including some of the Ozzy stuff (although I have not checked out the new reunion album, and the reviews haven't really got me too motivated at this point. Otoh, Sound Opinions, among other places, just reviewed it and I would be curious what they said).

I suppose my curiosity would be, *how* Spectre-like is it? and part of the issue with that is, without John Arch and John Arch's VOCAL LINES/LYRICS/MELODIES I wonder how it could capture what was so great about SPECTRE. But it probably is still worth sampling no matter.



1. Why did you leave Fates Warning after "Spectre"?
I was asked to leave as I was becoming concerned how I would afford to raise my family if the band went on a full tour. Back then we were all in our early 20's and I was the only member who was married. I learned I was to be a father in the coming year. We didn't make any money at the time and the prospect of quitting my job to go on the road just wasn't a reality. The other guys were young, hungry and single !! After expressing my concerns the band had a meeting which led to my dismissal. It was mutual at the time although I was very upset with Jim as he clearly expected everyone to put the band first at all costs or you were out. the problem was he wasn't the leader of the band. We were all equals in a sense but made to feel if we didn't go along he would get members to vote with him (reluctantly) and you'd get out voted. Jim and I were both writers in the band and competing to contribute to band. At times I felt he wanted more control than I would allow and that caused tension between us. After I left he became more controlling with other members of the band which led to John Arch leaving after ATG for similar reasons of difficulty touring as me with similar ultimatums given. From that point Jim finally got what he wanted and became the "leader" of the band. He now could write most of the songs and have full control over the direction of the music. While I still wish I could have been a part of ATG (We actually were rehearing a few songs before I left), I would have left after John did. he was the voice of the band and the arrogance of kicking John out would have really pushed me over the edge.. I appreciate the fact that Fates name and legacy have endured over the years and Jim has made some interesting music but I really just don't connect to what they have became musically in the following years.

2. What does the first two albums mean to you?
The first two albums are my youth. It brings back memories of five young guys still learning their chops and finding their influences together through all the new music coming out at the time. We were really a band of brothers who wanted to be a part of the metal world and began to write our first songs together in a garage while soaking up all this great music going on around us. Night On Broken was a raw, to the point metal album that started it all. I still remember getting the copies in the mail and holding our first record. Man we were so proud and we never looked back. We now saw ourselves as recording artist and felt we were among our peers. We began to get opening slots for Anvil, Overkill, Attacker, Obsession, Motorhead, Queensryche and got to live the life we always wanted.. The Specter Within was our first real production. The songs were much better written and it was so fuckin' heavy !! We got to live in California for 5 weeks to record the disc. We had the ability to get the best sound we wanted and to this day is is my favorite album Fates has done because it is just so raw and pure. I would have wanted to see Fates stay true to what Specter started and just expand from there. Freedoms Reign's CD is more of a continuation from where I left off with Spectre. Not that I'm trying to recapture Fates. It's more of just who I am as a musician and the natural abilities and influences that I had in 1985 are still there and I'm just being myself when I pick up a guitar and write riffs. There gonna have some sense of similarity with 28 years of growth and experience.

3. Why didn't they ask you to join them on stage for a couple of songs in Hartford 2012 ?
You'd have to ask Jim. It was suggested at one time to even do a tune but never heard anything beyond that. I was pretty uspet we couldn't get together for a bow. I mean it's the only time we all were in the same building and yet you don't make it happen ? For what reason wouldn't you ? No matter how many versions of Fates there are there will only be one true original line up that started it all. You can't erase that time or era. You can't pretend it doesn't matter. No matter what the five of us know what those first few years were about and despite that Jim has no interest in returning to his past, the rest of us still do as do many, many fans who would have loved to see us together for a moment in our hometown. People have asked me if I'd ever do a reunion show and my answer is YES !! But I know for a fact Jim would never consider it and even if he did I would find it hard to stand on stage and enjoy it while knowing he's mocking the songs inside and feeling he's above them now. Sorry but I embrace them and to play them again would be amazing and I'd need to know everyone on that stage felt the same way.

4. What have you done after leaving Fates and forming Freedoms Reign ?
Well I raised two fantastic kids which took up most of the next 20 years. I actually didn't play guitar for a few years after Fates. Just trying to find myself and be a good dad. But I soon realized how much I missed making music. I began writing/recording with some friends and soon saw myself back where I came from. I actually played bass for 3 years in a great local band who went through the process to trying to get signed..I've recorded a solo project in 1993 (Painted Horse) which I'm pretty proud of. In addition I went back to school and became a Registered Nurse and have spent 20 years working with the elderly. It's another passion that's rewarded my life.

5. How was the show for you in Hartford with the band ?
The show was fantastic !! We got to play some new songs to a Fates audience and it went over very well. Having so many people come up to us after the show and comment on the songs and energy they felt really said alot.

6. How is your relationship with Jim nowadays ?
It's more of a business relationship. he will let me know of things going on with re-releases or other business. We don't really speak or communicate much for other reasons. There's just not much in common except we both played together 30 yrs ago. And while I still embrace and cherish those days and the music we made I just don't think he feels the same which is pretty sad. Somehow he's embarrassed by it and can step away because of the what he's done since. It's like Sabbath turning their back on Paranoid !!!

7. Please introduce us to the band
The band consists of Mike Jones/Bass, Tommy Vumback/Guitar, Chris Judge/Drums. The band was actually in place before I joined. They had some songs written which I produced as a demo. I ended up writing lyrics, singing and soloing on all 10 and we put it out as a local release. I never planned on joining but was really impressed with their musicianship. Mike and I have know each other since we were 10. We actually found Steve Zimmerman together and started a cover band of new metal which then became Fates Warning. We've best friends who have played together over the years. Finally we get to play together again

8. In Freedoms Reign you sing and play guitar. How did you get the idea to take the vocals ?
I became a singer out of desperation. lol.. Seriously I just couldn't find a vocalist who heard the songs the way I did. There's so many great vocalists out there which I don't see myself as one, but good vocals don't always project the vibe of the song. I wrote or co-wrote all the music on this CD and had melodies in mind which I just couldn't see other people singing. I began doing some vocals in another bands I was recording with and realized I could make it work. After doing our 1st local release I got the confidence to do it full time and here we are. The new Cd allowed me the proper recording to bring out my vocals in the best light. I really dig writing the words and melodies over my music. It brings it full circle. I'm no John Arch but a bit of Ozzy will do.

9. Can you describe the bands style ?
The music is just Old School Metal !! Each song is it's own piece with influences from our past as well as present. I don't walk away from my Fates days and still bring a sense of that style and sound to the music. It's not a purposeful thing. I just still like to play the same way and love to write heavy powerful riffs just like i did in 1985. Yet there's so many things I've been influenced by over the years that show their way trough the music. I've already begun to write for the next CD which we hope to begin recording by early next year. I can say it will be darker and heavier. Some really cool riffs going on.

10. How big is the Sabbath influence ?
Sabbath will always be a huge influence in my writing. I worshiped them back in the day and Iommi's riffs are just amazing. I'm a riff player too and love to play any Sabbath riff I can. I don't want to be a Sabbath style band but there will always be an element of them in the writing. I've been told some of the vocals remind them of Ozzy. I really never even thought of that. I guess i just sing with a similar approach. I love listening to Ozzy sing Sabbath but also how the music and the vocals always worked so well together. Every album they did was a bit different than the last where todays bands sound identical to their last. I can't tell what album a song is from. I'd like to see our band approach each release the same way.

11. How did it come that Nick Belmore did the production ?
I heard a demo by Joe DiBiase's son's band (Oath Of Insanity). The first thing that blew me away was the production, especially the drum sound. It was exactly what I wanted and know with our songs he could bring them to life. We met and hit it off instantly. He truly has a talent for recording and was a great extra member of the band in the studio. He's worked with Hate Breed as well as his own band Toxic Holocaust.

12. You signed to a European label. How did that happen ? Did you find an American distribution ?
There's really not a great audience for actual CD's in the U.S. We went with Enrico at Cruz Del Sur because he has a great reputation in the U.K and has the ability to get our music to an audience that respects what we do. There's such a cool metal scene in Europe. The kids still support the band by buying the CD's, going to shows. It reminds me of when Fates began in 1983. Bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Merciful Fate, Accept, Diamond Head, Loudness were all just starting and I couldn't get enough of it. You'd go down to the local record store and see what new imports were in. Now I see the same thing in U.K. I have one goal and that is to get our band over to UK and do some shows. I want to be apart of what's going on knowing our music would fit right in. There's a huge Fates following in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Holland and I want to see us get on some festivals and/or support another band doing a few weeks of shows. We're looking to see how the CD does and go from there.

13. Do you include some fates warning songs in the setlist ?
No.. First of all I can't sing that stuff and secondly we don't want to confuse people. I mean this band has nothing to do with Fates other than myself once playing with them. Fates is a special thing to me and unless I see John Arch and the band standing on stage with me I really would rather not do it. I did do a one-off show last year with Steve Zimmerman's band and at end of the night we played 2 old Fates classics (Misfit and Soldier Boy) It was great to do it and we nailed it pretty good. felt like 1984 all over again.

14. For sure you cannot live on the money you earn with FR. What is your profession ?
I'm a Registered Nurse. I always say it pay's the bills so I can loose money playing music !!! Seriously I love Nursing. It's a great career, very rewarding and I love the geriatric population I get to work with every day. As far as Freedoms Reign goes we just hope to earn enough to record another CD as well as get to UK to do some shows. Once you take the thought of being rich out of the equation everything makes sense and is fun. The passion to write and record music is something I'll never put a price on

15. What is the message behind the cover ?
There really isn't any meaning. We came up with our name just throwing some ideas around. When I saw the artwork it just appealed to me in some cool way. The angel in the picture has been freed from her reign of submission, yet she seems sad as if she may not want to be free. Sometimes in life the obvious choice isn't what we always want.

16. Is FR a political band ?
Absolutly not. I hate fuckin politics. I can't stand how the US Government operates. I mean whatever one side comes up with the other rejects just out of spite. For being the greatest nation in the world we have our heads up our ass when it comes to making decisions and getting things done. Supposed to be "One Nation, Under God... "We act like kids sometimes and I'd never mix music with politics. Would take all the fun out of it
 — with Tom Vumback.