Decibel Geek Podcast
Episode 9 - Top 5 Non-Makeup Era KISS Songs

Another show centered around KISS? I know, you’re shocked. We’re fans. We love KISS. Deal with it. There will be lots of opportunity to discuss the merits of new, fresh bands like Britney Fox and Pretty Boy Floyd in later shows.

Chris Czynszak reminds everyone of his discovery of KISS on Dial MTV in 1987 and his brother’s reaction and guidance to the more ‘pure’ era of the band. But Chris still has a soft spot for that non-makeup era of the band. He also makes mention of the recent passing of Eddie Balandas, a close confidant of KISS during their heyday as well as the iconic intro voice on the Alive II album from 1977. He will be missed.

Aaron Camaro shares his memories of first listening to Animalize as well as his monthly pilgrimage to the local record store to build build his KISS album collection.

Obviously, we’re not going to reveal what Aaron & Chris’ choices were in these here show notes. That would be anti-climactic and stupid (I know, like this show right? Thought I’d go ahead and pre-insult us).  Every non-makeup era album will be mentioned on the show but not every album will be represented in our Top 5. We aren’t including any of the compilations or live records from that time since Let’s Put the X in Sex is certainly not going to make either of our lists anyway.

The non-makeup era of KISS is largely ignored by the musical public but is beloved by those of us that discovered the band during this era. The albums they released during those years are snapshots of a simpler time in our lives and the concerts were some of the best nights of our lives. This episode of the Decibel Geek Podcast will cover the ever-changing state of KISS through the non-makeup era. You’ll hear thoughts on Vinnie Vincent’s huge contribution to the Lick It Up album as well as an update on his most recent musical output. Mark St. John gets a quick mention in this episode that probably lasts longer than his actual tenure in the band. Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer are discussed and, of course, no discussion of the non-makeup era is complete without mentioning Eric Carr. By the way, check out the new album released by the estate of Eric Carr titled Unfinished Business that features song very cool Eric-written tunes.

Chris & Aaron are both big KISS fans but they definitely have differing opinions on certain aspects of the non-makeup era. You’ll hear them debate what they loved and what they hated. This was a fun episode to put together and think you will enjoy it as well. If you don’t, you’re not out any money so whatever.

Direct download: Episode_9_-_Top_5_Non-Makeup_Era_KIS.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

We begin this week with an explanation of Aaron Camaro’s hobby of hanging out with big, beefy dudes that like to oil themselves up and roll around with each other. In other words, he’s involved in microphone work for professional wrestling in the Nashville area. Aaron gives us the lowdown on all of the relevant info that you need to watch hulking guys beat the snot out of each other and Chris calls him out for trying to turn the show into a roid-themed infomercial. Chris hasn’t been impaled by a turnbuckle….yet.

Next, we are proud to bring you the first entry of Rage Against the Scene. This segment was a popular written feature that Chris used to write that was enjoyed by the Nashville-area hard rock and metal crowd. We decided to bring this feature back as an audio entity so you can hear Chris bitch all about what he hates about the Nashville Scene (publication) as well as the local rock scene in general. No one is safe from the ranting and Chris lets the bile spew forth with rants about the recent Soundland festival and why he thinks it’s nothing more than a bunch of secret-handshake bullshit that ignores a multitude of talent in the local area. He also tears into the Scene publication in general for swinging from Jack White’s nuts, only promoting one local record store and mentioning Those Darlins & Jeff the Brotherhood for the millionth time as if they are God’s gift to the music industry and should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame immediately. Come to think of it, it would make sense since the Hall of Fame (ala Rolling Stone’s editorial staff) has about as much common sense and taste in music. Chris wraps up the segment by hinting at a future rant against 102.9 the Buzz in the future. Yes, his hate has spread to other avenues and modern rock is starting to fit in the crosshairs.

Our feature interview for this Nashville X-tra premier is Chris Higgins from Piranah. Higgins had plenty of interesting things to say including his opinion of the local Nashville rock scene vs. playing out of town, some stories from the bands trip to Illinois to open up for Soil and what it felt like to have a room with hundreds of people singing their song back to them.  He also gives his take on whether Nashville has the ability to have a scene comparable to booms previously seen in Los Angeles and Seattle. With a tip of the cap to such local notables such as Ray LeGrand of Nashville Metal Bands, Higgins tells us what he thinks it might take to break Nashville as the next musical boomtown.  We touch on some personal history with Higgins’ recollections of his travels from his move to L.A. in the early 90’s to his time playing R&B music in North Carolina, to his return to metal in Nashville and how he became the skin-basher for Piranah.

There’s lots more planned for future Nashville X-tra episodes including interviews with venue managers, promoters, and more local band members. To our Music City rock & metal brethren, keep your horns in the air and your shot glass full!

Music Featured:

Intro: Manic Bloom

All Breaks: Piranah

Outro Commercial: Mindset Defect

Direct download: NashvilleXtra1_Master.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:54pm EDT

Episode 7 - Geekwire w/Mitch Lafon

Music Featured:

Theme: Manic Bloom

First Break: Oblivion Myth (6:41)

Second Break:  Hello Kelly (16:55)

Third Break: 3 Minutes to Live (25:15)

Fourth Break: Absinthe Junk (34:55)

Fifth Break: Fist of the North Star (41:33)

Outro Music: Mindset Defect



The show starts with an introduction to a new voice.  A voice of a different kind. A voice of a cheesehead headbanger from Wisconsin.  Aaron Camaro makes his official Decibel Geek debut with a quick history of his rock and metal background, his enduring fandom for Tuff, and why he would rather be on this crummy little podcast than sell-out to Top 40 radio.

The Geekwire segment is officially introduced with a quick discussion about Geekwire contributor Mitch Lafon from You’ll hear all about Mitch (as if you don’t already know if you’re a regular listener) and why he’s the best source of info for current rock and metal news.  We plan to have this type of rock news-related show every couple of weeks so you don’t have to strain your eyes reading it all the time.

Next we go in-depth with Vinnie Vincent’s musical output this week. Buckle up tight because it’s quite a ride!

We begin things with Mitch by getting his Alice Cooper Welcome 2 My Nightmare  mini-review  where Mitch shares his thoughts on the tracks and actually admits that he digs Ke$ha. Maybe we should reconsider this partnership. (just kidding Mitch)

Anthrax’s new release Worship Music is next on the docket with Mitch’s take on how Joey Belladonna adapted to the material that was originally written for former vocalist Dan Nelson and how much of the album was re-tracked after Nelson’s departure.

The discussion turns weird as we make our frightening predictions for the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration Lulu and pontificate on how they actually surpassed Death Magnetic for the band’s worst album cover ever. Chris’ take on Lars’ recent revelation of the band being reduced to tears by Lou Reed’s lyrics reminds him how he’s been reduced to tears from Lou’s out of tune vocals (check out the video for What’s Good if you want a shining example.

Discussion of KISS’ upcoming Monster album provides Mitch’s take on the title, what he’s heard from the KISS camp about the new tracks and the direction of the album. Mitch also mentions his disdain for Music from the Elder and Chris tries to convince him that some of the songs would work well in a live setting. Calls to Chris’ psychiatrist have not been returned.

Gene Simmons’ upcoming wedding. Is it purely for ratings or has Gene realized that even groupies have an age limit? Chris and Mitch both agree that they are more excited about the next volume of Kissology and share their thoughts about what type of stuff is on their wish list for the next collection-o-KISS.

Next Mitch shares information gleaned from a recently discovered video on youtube for Peter CrissOut of Control title track that features all sorts of strange footage including crime scene footage, mountains of cocaine, guns, and huge stacks of cash; or, for Peter Criss of 1980, Tuesday.

The saga of Mike Portnoy and his multiple projects is discussed with Chris and Mitch’s take on why  he can’t seem to stay in a band, what happened with his severance to Dream Theatre, and why is ego may be bigger than a southern state.

Mitch shares his thoughts on the passing of Jani Lane and relays his experiences of interviewing him over the years. Chris also shares his opinion on Jani’s passing and he and Mitch delve into their takes on Warrant’s reaction to the news.

We wind things up with Mitch with a discussion of the Morissey/Def Leppard press sparring that features Joe Elliott and the former Smith’s singer talking trash about each other in the press. The fact that a spat between these two is newsworthy tells you how sad the state of new music is these days. Nevertheless, we hash out the trash and Mitch points to possible trouble in the Def Leppard camp.

Aaron Camaro helps us put a bow on this ear candy with his take on Gene Simmons’ pending nuptials and an admission of reality show fandom.  Chris gets the last word with a teaser for the next episode that will include a discussion of Aaron Camaro’s side project that involves him hanging around with big, beefy dudes.  We’re still trying to come to grips with it. Anyway, quit reading this and go listen to the show!

Direct download: GeekWire1_Master.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:20pm EDT

Rik Fox is a pioneer, artist, and has a unique perspective as an inside source of the rise of the American hard rock and heavy metal era of the 70s, 80s, and beyond. Rik witnessed the ascension of KISS, The New York Dolls, WASP, Motley Crue, among others. Never one to mince words, Rik is engaging, funny, and quick-witted. And with so many great stories, Decibel Geek delivers another memorable two-part interview. Without further ado, enjoy Rik Fox.

Direct download: Rik_Fox_Episode_Part_2_Final.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:04pm EDT

Rik Fox is a pioneer, artist, and has a unique perspective as an inside source of the rise of the American hard rock and heavy metal era of the 70s, 80s, and beyond. Rik witnessed the ascension of KISS, The New York Dolls, WASP, Motley Crue, among others. Never one to mince words, Rik is engaging, funny, and quick-witted. And with so many great stories, Decibel Geek delivers another memorable two-part interview. Without further ado, enjoy Rik Fox.

Direct download: Rik_FoxEpisode1FinalMix.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

This segment of the show has more guests, more stories, and more buffoonery than Part 1. We start off with my update of how the Vinnie Vincent story helped put me in  print with a quote of mine being used in a local Nashville publication. I also delve into the recent developments of Vinnie's comments on his recent "settlement", a deeper look at what the charges really mean, and a look at the bizarre treatment of many of his fans.

The messabe board drama is compelling due to the fact that one of Vinnie's biggest fans started up a message board last year after Vinnie locked everyone out. The fraternization and open conversation between fans has led Vinnie to lable this forum as a "Hate Group". We get the low-down from webmaster Vic Radacic about how both forums came to be and why they are butting heads now.

Bravewords' Mitch Lafon checks in from Canada with his take on Vinnie Vincent. Mitch was one of the few that got to see Vinnie on KISS' Creatures of the Night tour and explains his dismay at finding out that Ace Frehley had left KISS just before seeing Vinnie hit the stage.

Alexx Michael from Shameless also joins us for an in-depth discussion about his involvement with Vinnie's appearances during the 1996-97 European KISS Expo tour. Alexx has plenty of stories to share with us including the business transaction that went sour over a guitar in which he believed Vinnie was attempting to dupe him. 

We also hear briefly about Vinnie's "almost" re-emergence in 2006 at Ed Roman's guitar shop in Las Vegas where it appeared that there was a deal in place for Roman to produce a line of Vinnie Vincent signature guitars and an upcoming appearance set for Vinnie to perform at the store. Suddenly, the advertising for the event vanished and nothing else was said on the subject. We hear briefly from Ed Roman to find out what happened.

Wrapping things up, I explain my own personal feelings after 2 years of researching one of my guitar heroes and try to express what it's been like to fall in love with much of the music while at the same time hearing so many disheartening stories.

I'm not shutting the door to a possibility of a Part 3.....but I definitely need a break! Hope you enjoy listening and rock on!

Direct download: Vinnie_Vincent_Special_-_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

Episode 5-1 - Vinnie Vincent Special Part 1

I think Hell has officially frozen over!

This episode is a long time coming and I hope it will inform people that have always wondered "What the hell happened to Vinnie Vincent?"

The show begins with a quick recap of how I had the seedling of an idea of finding out what happened to Vinnie Vincent and turning it into a writing project. What began as a quick idea that would make an interesting magazine article snowballed when I received so much information from so many angles that I began to entertain thoughts of turning the story into a book.......then, I got realistic. A book at this point in time about a recluse guitarist who's 15 minutes of fame ended in the 1980's just wasn't practical; no matter how much I loved his music, songwriting, and intriguing story.

I launched the Decibel Geek podcast when I remembered how much fun it was to interview some of the people that I grew up listening to and artists of today that I dig. I had already conducted some interviews for the Vinnie Vincent project at the time and figured I could use some of those and add some new ones for a big episode on Vinnie.

Little did I know at the time that Vinnie Vincent was about to be a public figure again in a big way; not one of his own choosing. From seemingly out of nowhere, Vinnie Vincent appeared on TMZ due to being arrested for a domestic violence episode with his wife. Within 24 hours his mug shot was all over the place; the first photo seen of him in almost 7 years!

The 2 years that I've spent researching this troubled virtuoso's history has been uplifting at times (when discovering his music post-KISS) and depressing at others. This episode of the Decibel Geek Podcast seeks to give a glimpse into what some of Vinnie's peers over the years have experienced working with KISS' former Ankh Warrior and provides me with a chance to speak as a voice of the fans who are trying to navigate this strange situation.

Joining me in part 1 of this Vinnie Vincent Special are former WASP, Steeler, & SIN bassist Rik Fox who shares with me his shock at, what he claims, was his song being ripped off by the Vinnie Vincent Invasion shortly after letting Vinnie and band mate Dana Strum listen to his demo and the icy reception he received when trying to settle the dispute.

Also joining me is Keli Raven, a veteran Los Angeles musician that was breaking into the scene back in 1991 and worked with Vinnie Vincent on the still-unreleased Guitars from Hell album. Raven also was involved with some of the music for writing sessions for KISS' Revenge album and was witness to Gene Simmons & Vinnie Vincent's creative process. Unfortunately, Keli states that Vinnie continuously lived up to a bad reputation that he had built by that time.

This episode is just the tip of the iceberg and will leave you wanting to hear more (we hope!). Part 1 of the Vinnie Vincent Special is your ticket to a behind the scenes look at one of the most intriguing rock personalities of the 1980's. Get ready for an audio Invasion!

- Chris Czynszak

Direct download: Vinnie_Vincent_Episode_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

Episode 4 - Top 5 Rock Documentaries

Piranah drummer and Jager afficianado Chris Higgins joins us for a Top 5 of epic proportions! This show features our takes on what we think are the best Rock Documentaries of all time! This list wasn't easily arranged as you'll hear when we list all of the "also-rans" that almost made the cut. There's plenty of stories, shots, laughs, and some more shots as well as some Piranah music for your listening enjoyment during the breaks. It's all a hazy memory now, but sit back and enjoy our takes on the best Rock Docs ever!

Direct download: Episode4_Rock_Docs.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:49am EDT

Radio personality Doogie Vance drops by to talk about Concert Memories. We discuss the good, the band, and most definitely the ugly. You'll hear quips and anecdotes on such artists as Metallica, Lenny Kravitz, The Exies (remember them?), KISS, Snoop Dogg and Parliament Funkadelic! It's a plethora of rock talk while taking an acid trip down memory lane!

Direct download: Episode3_Mix_Pre-Tag.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:58am EDT

Dylan Kinney of Nashville Comedy Theater contributes his sarcastic wit to our discussion of such rock news topics as Van Halen's recording process, Sammy Hagar's new book, Loverboy, Tom Cruise, and our favorite covers of Rebeccah Black's Friday among other things.

Direct download: Episode2_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm EDT