Thu, 27 December 2012
Since the world didn't come to an end last week (check out our Songs for the Apocalypse episode), we are thrilled that we can celebrate Christmas with you all!
Since the very beginning of the Decibel Geek Podcast, we've received an increasing number of requests for a Motley Crue special. So, with this being the season of giving, this week we decided to have A Very Motley X-mas.
In this episode, Chris & Aaron randomly select albums from the Crue's 30+ studio discography and spin one song they'd like to share with the listeners from each. You'll hear songs from the 1981 debut, Too Fast for Love, all the way through 2008's Saints of Los Angeles.
Also included in this episode are a couple of our famous Deep Thoughts With....segments; this week including one from Nikki Sixx and one from Tommy Lee. Thought provoking stuff, indeed.
With Motley Crue, controversy is never far away and their press headlines tend to overshadow a lot of great hard rock music. With that in mind, we made a conscious effort to stay away from all of the off-stage drama and focus squarely on the music as this is a celebration, not an expose.
We solicited some listener picks through our Decibel Geek Fan Page as well as from the die-hard Crue heads over at the Motley Shout boards. Did some of their suggestions make our list? You'll have to listen and find out.
We hope all of you Motley Crue fans enjoy this audio look back on their career.
As for the future, Nikki Sixx revealed in a Facebook response that there definitely will be a new Motley Crue record and it will be "the best one yet."
Former Motley Crue front man John Corabi has recently released an all-acoustic album entitled John Corabi Unplugged on Rat Pak Records.
The album features renditions of songs from his days with Motley as well as his pre-Crue band The Scream and post-Crue band Union. It also includes 5 new songs and an interview. Go to www.johncorabi.com to check it out and buy it.
And if this episode inspires you to want to beef up your Motley Crue collection.....go Buy It Here!
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Wed, 19 December 2012
With the Mayan Calendar running out this week, the Decibel Geek Podcast just may have run it's course in 64 episodes; at least that's what Aaron Camaro seems to believe.
It's up to Chris to talk Aaron off the ledge as they spin some of their favorite songs about Doomsday in this week's episode, Songs for the Apocalypse.
We start things off on a true note of finality with a track off Dio's final studio album, the 2004-released Master of the Moon. Few could rival Ronnie James Dio when it comes to apocalyptic lyrics as is evidenced by more than one of his songs being featured in this week's episode.
In 1969, amid political tensions and war casualties, many people were pondering their mortality and some were beginning to predict the end times. The Rolling Stones were no exception with their Let it Bleed album. Dripping with wonder and sincerity, Gimme Shelter is a standout track that is still as applicable in current times as it was so many decades ago. While the Stones version is a radio staple, Chris spins a great take on the track from Australian hard rockers Thunder on their 1995-released Their Finest Hour (and a bit) album.
Aaron's pick of GWAR's Gor Gor is an interesting take on an apocalypse song; this one coming at the hands (er, jaws) of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that is unleashed on the land of the free in their 1992 album, America Must Be Destroyed.
We return from the break with Chris' pick of a very obscure, but awesome, track by veteran Los Angeles hard rockers Warrior. Not to be mistaken with the pre-KISS Vinnie Vincent project of the same name, Warrior built a large following along the Sunset Strip through the 80's and 90's but never quite achieved the success they deserved. This was due in no small part to an ever-changing lineup that for all intents and purposes became the minor leagues for rock stars with members changing constantly and joining/quitting other well-known bands of the era. We spin a track from the Mark IX lineup of Warrior with Chris' pick of a straight up apocalyptic tune. Buckle in!
Another artist that tends to get his point across from the dark side and certainly doesn't shy away from writing apocalyptic lyrics is Marilyn Manson. Aaron's choice of a final-day track from the 1998 Mechanical Animals album is as close as you can get to a love song about the apocalypse.
One irritating factor about American radio is the fact that some non-American bands never get their just due in the USA. One of those bands is Accept. In America, Accept are considered a one-hit-wonder; known purely for the early 80's hit Balls to the Wall. What many Americans don't know, thanks to radio, is Accept's career goes back to the late 1960's and they have sold over 17 million albums worldwide. Chris' pick from their 2010's Blood of the Nations album is just more evidence of the greatness of Accept.
Aaron's next pick of the title track from W.A.S.P.'s 1989 Headless Children album is enough to give everyone a case of the heebee jeebees. We segue from Blackie and co. to Dio's second appearance on this week's show with a 1984-released track that is prophetic and very much in place in this week's theme.
Aaron's next pick of a very well-known Black Sabbath track may seem a bit strange for our show. On closer inspection of the lyrics, there's no way we could do this show and not include this track from their 1970-released Paranoid album. Truly metal!
We close out the show (hopefully, not literally) with a time-sensitive track from Iron Maiden's 1984 album Powerslave. The Doomsday Clock became a big news story in 1984 with the cold war heating up and US & Russian political tensions. Bruce Dickenson and co. were aware of this and wrote a song that perfectly captured the paranoia that was sweeping the globe at the time. An interesting look back for sure.
If you're still around after listening, please.............
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Wed, 12 December 2012
When we did our Library of Loud episode in September, our special guest that week was Tales from the Stage author Michael Toney. During that conversation, Michael mentioned that he had recently started managing guitarist Jeff Duncan. Immediately, gears started turning in our heads to get the Odin/Armored Saint/DC4 guitarist on the show. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Toney, we're able to bring you our conversation with Mr. Duncan this week.
Jeff Duncan started playing guitar at the young age of 10 after being inspired by his professional musician-father. In this discussion, Jeff shares how he was exposed to a variety of music through his father; from 1950's do-wop to 60's-era singer/songwriter styles such as Cat Stevens. But, it was Jeff's discovery of Black Sabbath that put him the path to hard rock and heavy metal that he would embark upon.
With the formation of Odin in the early 1980's, Jeff Duncan quickly became a staple of the burgeoning Sunset Strip rock music scene. After a number of years of paying dues in small clubs, Odin had gathered enough of a following to attract the interest of Hollywood mainstay and "godfather" of rock and roll, club owner Bill Gazzarri. Gazzarri gave Odin prime exposure on the main stage of the venue bearing his name; exposure that culminated in the band's appearance in the Penelope Spheeris-directed documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. Jeff Duncan shares his memories of the band's rise on the Sunset Strip and describes the experience of being in the film.
Also in this discussion are Jeff's recollections of a difficult period of transition; one in which he witnessed the breakup of Odin, was involved in the short-lived Lostboys, and his recruitment into metal legends Armored Saint. All of this change took place in the brief period of 2 years.
Jeff Duncan's blistering guitar work on Armored Saint's 1991 release Symbol of Salvation was a strong addition to a band in the midst of tragedy, with original guitarist Dave Pritchard passing away of leukemia just before recording. In this conversation, Jeff explains the emotions that he, and the rest of Armored Saint, were going through as well as reflecting on his friendship with Pritchard.
Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Armored Saint knows about lead singer John Bush's departure in 1992 to take over vocal duties in Anthrax. This departure led to the disbanding of Armored Saint until 1999 when the band reunited to record the 2000 Revelation release. Jeff Duncan shares with us what it was like disbanding Armored Saint on the heels of such a successful album and the status of his friendship with Bush through all of this transition.
During the hiatus from Armored Saint, Duncan started DC4 with brothers Matt & Shawn and guitarist Rowan Robertson. Releasing albums Mood Swings and Volume 1 in 1995 & 1998 respectively; DC4 has methodically built a rabid fan base and has since released 2009's Explode and 2011's Electric Ministry. Featuring a gritty hard rock and metal sound; DC4's brotherly chemistry shines through and in this conversation Duncan shares what it's like working in a band with family and how his new turn as a lead vocalist took shape.
We close out the show with a track off of the aforementioned Electric Ministry album from DC4. To check out more DC4 and keep up with Jeff, go to www.dc4rocks.com
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Wed, 5 December 2012
First up is Chris' conversation with Hirsh Gardner. Hirsh is most well-known as the drummer for late 70's band New England. New England's first album was produced by KISS' Paul Stanley and the band opened for KISS on their 1979 Dynasty tour. What many people may not know is that Hirsh was creatively involved with Vinnie Vincent in projects that predate his involvement with KISS as well as the Vinnie Vincent Invasion.
In this discussion, Hirsh recounts his memories of being introduced to Vinnie through Gene Simmons, demo sessions with Vinnie on some songs that wound up later being used by Invasion as well as KISS, his admiration for Vinnie's underrated vocal ability, and his memory of Vinnie telling him that he was offered the lead guitarist slot in KISS.
Hirsh also shares his memories of reconnecting with Vinnie during a KISS tour stop in Boston which sparked another musical collaboration when things went sour between Vincent and Simmons & Stanley. This collaboration came to a sudden halt when Vinnie, according to Hirsh, uprooted the project and jetted back to Los Angeles to form what became known as the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Hirsh also recounts the legal steps he took in trying to get what he felt he deserved which included having the Invasion's equipment seized before a show in Boston.
Through all of the drama, Hirsh seems to still have good memories of working Vincent on a creative level and his stories were very interesting to us, as fans. You can keep up with Hirsh at is official website of www.hirshgardner.com.
Up next is a brief discussion with Tom Silver. Tom was a National Marketing Representative for Chrysalis Records in the 1980's while Vinnie Vincent Invasion was on its roster. In this conversation, Tom remembers his experiences of working with the members of Invasion, albeit limited.
There have been rumors for decades about conflict between the Invasion and Chrysalis Records during this period and no one from the record company has publicly spoken about it. We ask Tom for his take on the theories that Chrysalis was showing favoritism of Mark Slaughter and attempting to squeeze Vinnie out of the band during the promotion for All Systems Go.
Tom also shares his memories of working with Slaughter as they formed from the ashes of the Invasion.
Tom is now a certified hypnotherapist and has appeared on many major network television shows. More information on Tom Silver can be found at www.tomsilver.com.
This will, more than likely, be the final installment of the Vinnie Vincent Special. For a full explanation of this decision, please check out the Humanity Wins Out blog post that is available on the official Decibel Geek website. We hope you've had a shredding good time listening to these specials!
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Wed, 28 November 2012
Sometimes, things are better the second time around. Such was the case in the circumstances that led up to the making of this episode.
Multi-platinum, award-winning producer/engineer Toby Wright has worked on so many amazing landmark rock and metal albums that a cursory glance of his discography is staggering. For Chris & Aaron, Toby literally helped build the soundtrack of their lives. So, it was no surprise that upon learning about his move to Nashville in 2011 that he was added to the Decibel Geek interview wish list. We're very proud this week to present to you our in-depth and engaging conversation with Toby Wright that touches on many notable albums from throughout his career. What you are hearing today is take 2. The reason for this is explained the opening of the show. After everything we went through to bring this episode to you, we think you'll agree that Toby Wright is truly a great sport when it comes to being interviewed.
Jar of Flies, the acoustic-based 1994 EP from Alice in Chains, was a pivotal release for the "Grunge" era as it proved that there was more to this new genre from the Pacific Northwest than overdriven, sludgy guitars and doom & gloom vocals. Toby Wright's involvement in this album, as well as its creation, was a very organic thing. In this discussion you will hear Toby's memories of how all parties involved went from zero preparation to writing, producing, and mixing a full EP in just 10 days. Jar of Flies has since gone on to sell over 4 million copies and remains one of the most relevant releases of the early 1990's.
While not all of our listeners prefer the mid to late 1990's genre loosely known as nu-metal, there's no denying its impact on the ever-shifting tides of what's popular in the musical world. Toby Wright was right in the middle of this, love-it-or-hate-it, groundbreaking new style with his work with bands like Sevendust (Home, 1999) and Korn on their massively successful 1998 release Follow the Leader. Wright remembers being aware of what he wanted to do with Korn's sound right away. "Personally, I thought that the sound was a little sloppy. I was looking to make it bigger and fatter." Raising Korn's production level with a thicker, deeper sound, Wright's work paid huge dividends and Follow the Leader caused Korn to explode in popularity as it has gone on to sell over 14 millions copies.
Some projects that Toby Wright was involved in have had some controversy from fan circles over the years and in this long-form discussion, you will get his take on some long-running rumors and speculation.
In 2005, Ozzy Osbourne's camp released the Prince of Darkness box set. This package was intended to be all-encompassing of Osbourne's career and included studio tracks, live tracks, b-sides, demos, duets, and cover songs. Toby Wright was brought in to produce the new material for the box set. In this discussion, Wright remembers back on Ozzy's displeasure over the speed at which the basic tracks were prepared and the encounter with Sharon Osbourne that led to his dismissal from the project.
Slayer's 1994 Divine Intervention album is discussed in this interview with Wright reflecting on Tom Araya's thought process in the lyrical composition as well as the painstaking process of mixing the album numerous times to make Slayer and American Records owner Rick Rubin happy.
One longstanding question among Metallica fans is in regards to the bass sound, or absence thereof, on the ...And Justice for All album in 1988. Rumors have abounded over the years that then-new bass player Jason Newsted was enduring a rough hazing by guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich as the reason for the burying of Newsted's bass tracks. Toby sets the record straight on this rumor and also looks back on the grueling hours spent as an engineer on this album perfecting Ulrich's drum parts; "We actually walked out of the studio with about 45 seconds worth of recorded music per day. 6 months to do drums, my friend."
We finish things off with a heavy discussion of two KISS albums that Wright was involved in; the polarizing Crazy Nights (as an engineer) and Carnival of Sous (as producer).
Crazy Nights, released in 1987, seemed to be the apex of Paul Stanley and co. chasing trends. Featuring pop-friendly hooks and over-the-top guitar acrobatics from lead guitarist Bruce Kulick, Crazy Nights was a bold attempt to take KISS back to the forefront of the musical mainstream. With slick production, catchy songwriting, and top-notch production courtesy of Wright's engineering and Ron Nevison's production; the album had all of the ingredients needed to be a hit. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be as KISS had a hard time shaking their previous reputation as an old arena act and longtime fans of the band were turned off by the slick sound of the album. In this interview, Wright recalls his time working on the album, his history with Ron Nevison (over 25 albums together) and fondly remembers his brief time working with the late Eric Carr; "He was just an amazing dude. I remember laughing quite hard in the studio a few times."
Finishing off the interview is an in-depth discussion of the 1997-released (but 1995-recorded) Carnival of Souls album. This album will always be somewhat of an anomaly in the KISS canon due to the circumstances in which it was made. Recorded as the follow-up to the critically successful Revenge album from 1992, Carnival of Souls featured KISS going a much darker route. In this conversation, Toby Wright shares his memories of making this album, its material, his take on the fans' opinions of it as well as Paul Stanley's not-so-kind words on it. Wright was also present in the studio the day that the final offer for KISS to reunite came through and shares his memory of Gene Simmons breaking the news to Bruce Kulick and drummer Eric Singer and their reactions.
Before we go, we get a quick take on Toby Wright's attitudes and opinions about the music industry today, what he thinks of the do-it-yourself state of recording, what he looks for in a band, and details about current and future projects.
Keep up with Toby at www.tobywrightmusic.com
There's so many more questions that we have for Toby Wright and hope to have in on for a second interview in the future as we really enjoying speaking with him. We hope you enjoy listening. Rock on and......
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Wed, 21 November 2012
We were all set to release a very big interview-based episode this week with producer/engineer extraordinaire Toby Wright until we discovered that the week of Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) is not particularly kind to podcasts as many listeners are on holiday and podcasts, by nature, are consumed by a large number of listeners while on the job.
With that in mind, we wanted to make sure our conversation gets the exposure it deserves so we are pushing it back by a week. In the meantime, this week we give you a music-based taste of the massively impressive Toby Wright discography. Episode 60 - The Wright to Rock gives you a heaping helping of Rock & Metal to tide you through until next week.
We open the show with a kicking track from Corrosion of Conformity's 1994 Deliverance album before seguing into System of a Down recording a blinding Black Sabbath cover for 2000's Nativity in Black II album.
One of the most interesting stories that will be revealed in next week's conversation with Toby Wright will be that of the controversy surrounding Jason Newsted's bass sound (or lack thereof) on 1987's ...And Justice for All. With a good primer for that discussion, we give you a track that is truly to die for from this landmark album. We follow that up with a rare track from a rare band, Cats in Boots, that was an American/Japanese hybrid. Toby Wright was an assistant engineer on this 1989 release.
Coming back from the break we relax things a bit with a great tune from Alice in Chains from their massively successful EP, Jar of Flies before cranking things into overdrive with a Slayer cover of a Steppenwolf tune from a NASCAR-themed release. How's that for digging deep?!
We travel back to 1991 to spin a track from the first album that Toby Wright produced by Canadian-bred band Brighton Rock from their Love Machine album before spinning a track of a much-discussed, controversial KISS album that never got the exposure that it deserved.
Korn reached overwhelming mainstream success in 1998 with the release of Follow the Leader. In next week's discussion, you will hear about the circumstances that led to Toby Wright being the producer of this album that showcased a fuller, thicker guitar sound. In the meantime, we give you a deep cut that will certainly get you fired up.
It's rare that a tacked on "new" track on a greatest hits compilation can stand up to the hits that it's sandwiched with but we finish off today's Toby Wright-themed episode with a track that is every bit as worthy as its competitors-in-song from Motley Crue's 1991 Decade of Decadence album.
We think you're gonna love next week's discussion with Toby Wright and hope this week's music-themed episode helped get you in the mood for it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wed, 14 November 2012
This is not a test! We have "jammed the transmission" and taken over the Decibel Geek Podcast. Consider this the Hostile Hoser Hijack as this week your favorite podcast has been taken hostage by CANADIANS!
Consider this episode as a sequel to the previous Radio Sucks - Canadian Edition show but this time broadcast from the pirate studio in the Great White North. Chris and Aaron get to take the week off whether they expected to or not! Your hijacker hosts, Wally Norton and Rich Dillon dig through some of their Canadian Cd's in hope of turning on the Decibel Geek Army to some new sounds from north of the border.
Things get rolling with Automan.ca a new Canadian band featuring a familiar name. Front man Darrell "Dwarf" Millar (Killer Dwarfs) has stepped out from behind the drums and exercises his vocals with "Back in the Sun"
Wally dedicates his first pick to Aaron Camaro who mentioned Slik Toxic on the last Canadian episode. From the "Doin the Nasty" album comes "Cheap Nicotine". Slik Toxic's vocalist can be now heard fronting his new band Famous Underground with a new album just released not long ago.
Slash Puppet is up next, with "When the Whip Comes Down" probably one of the greatest Canadian bands to never get signed back in the day. Up here though, they burned bright with some great tunes and kick ass live shows.
Up next, something almost unheard of on the Decibel Geek show is a ballad. In what Wally describes as the greatest rock ballad ever written, we have Gypsy Rose and "Don't Turn Your Back On Me Now" from the Gene Simmons produced Prey album.
"One Way Ticket" is a tune from a great young band out of the Hamilton area, 40 Sons. This tune proves that there is hope for the future as these kids are writing some really melodic, kick ass rock tunes.
Fraze Gang, featuring Greg Fraser and Stevie Skreebs of Brighton Rock have just released Fraze Gang 2 and "Saint or Sinner" the lead off track is Wally's pick to kick things into overdrive. With a real Judas Priest feel, the guitar work on this track is truly smoking!
Some Decibel Geeks might know of the television police drama Flashpoint. What you may not know is that Hugh Dillon who plays Officer Ed Lane on the show is also the front man for Canadian Punk rockers The Headstones. Rich spins the high octane "Reno" off the Smile and Wave CD.
The Decibel Geeks have already been introduced to Carl Dixon and Coney Hatch. This time we turn to Coney's bass player Andy Curran and his solo band Soho 69 with the track "Scatterbrain".
Next up Rich chooses the song "Pine Valley" from the obscure Canadian band Mushroom Trail. A bluesy little rocker from a band so obscure that he even stumped his co-host.
Closing out this Canadian metal feast, after all the back-bacon and beer. We have a real treat, West Memphis Suicide rocking out a crunchy version of Kiss's "War Machine". This track can be found on the new Kissin' Time - Canada's Tribute to Kiss CD. This Cd was just released on Halloween 2012 with all proceeds going to Sick Kids Hospital here in Toronto.
If you dig any of the songs played this week....
Back In The Sun - Automan.ca
Cheap Nicotine - Slik Toxic
When The Whip Comes Down - Slash Puppet
Don't Turn Your Back On Me Now - Gypsy Rose
One Way Ticket - 40 Sons
Saint Or Sinner - Fraze Gang 2
Reno - The Headstones
Scatterbrain - Soho 69
Pine Valley - Mushroom Trail
War Machine - West Memphis Suicide
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Wed, 7 November 2012
Few things are more synonymous with Rock and Roll than drinking. Like peanut butter needs jelly or carrots need peas, Rock and Roll tends to go down easier with alcohol. Of course, no one probably ever woke up hungover in a stranger's bed after eating vegetables. But, we digress.
This week, Aaron and Chris pick their Top 5 Drinking Songs. With the huge plethora of choices out there, this was a pretty tough list to put together and there are tons of other choices that could have been made but who's to say this subject won't be revisited in the future?
Things start off on a humorous note with a track from Buckcherry's Black Butterfly album that describes the frustration that many of us of the male persuasion have endured due to excessive imbibing of substances crossed with an opportunity for companionship.
Next up is a track from Guns N Roses' legendary debut album that speaks from a directive point of view and also predicts a hazy night ahead. That track segues into a tune from Thin Lizzy's 1979 Black Rose album that was clearly coming from the songwriter's realization that you can lean a little too heavily on the good times and wind up drowning your sorrows with the same solution. A cautionary tale for sure.
Before we head to the break, we hear from a drinking all-star with a track from Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society that is matter of fact in kicking your ass.
We return from the break with one of the all-time classic drinking songs and certainly a no-brainer for the Decibel Geek Podcast. This is the song that fully inducted Chris into the KISS Army and sounds just as fresh today as it did on 1975's Alive! album.
One band that knows a lot about having a good time is Ugly Kid Joe as their song history bears out. This week we decided to include a track that will remind many listeners of high school parties while the parents were away.
Alice Cooper was at the height of his drinking dependence in 1977, releasing the Lace and Whiskey album and assuming the fictional role of a hard-drinking PI; not exactly a stretch for him at the time. The album was a success but his drinking had become too much to bear and was his last material released before entering a sanitarium for treatment. He wouldn't, however, be done with his battle with the bottle for several more years. Our inclusion of the title track from this album is a must for its quirky, yet dark, tone at the time.
We return from the break with the second contribution from alcohol-consumption expert Ace Frehley with a track from his 1978 KISS solo album that will leave you as blind as a skunk before spinning a ZZ Top track that is so intoxicating it's been covered by a slew of other great artists. We had to go with the original 1973 track though for authenticity.
Closing things out is a track by WASP that celebrates getting hammered in the state where everything is bigger. We think you'll like it. And if you do......
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Thu, 1 November 2012
After having a great time discussing the first half of the Year 2000, we're back this week to finish it off as we cover July through December of Y2K.
We lead things off with some stories from 2000 including the AOL (remember them?) merger with Time Warner, the first season of Survivor, and the Elian Gonzalez custody drama that had America on the edge of its seat.
Jumping into July, we discuss Rage Against the Machine's free concert outside the Democratic National Convention in protest to the two-party system. If you've paid attention since then, not much has changed but they get an "A" for effort.
We spin a variety of artists in our coverage of July and August of 2000 including clips from newer groups such as Jack Off Jill and Mudvayne as well as tried and true rockers such as UFO and Motley Crue. We also include a track that slipped our mind during part one but was too good not to include.
September saw Rage Against the Machine back in the headlines as bassist Tim Commerford is arrested for climbing on the set of the MTV Video Music Awards after losing the award for Best Rock Video to Limp Bizkit. Who could blame him?
We spin polar opposite tracks from David Coverdale and Suicidal Tendencies during this segment (how's that for diversity?)
In October, the aforementioned Limp Bizkit released the nausea-inducingly titled Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, selling over a million copies in its first week. My how things have changed since 2000.
Covering October, we spin tunes from Fozzy, Hammerfall, Megadeth, Slash's Snakepit, and Over Kill. No Linkin Park being spun on this show.
We return from the break to close out the year with a controversial tune released by ever-controversial Marilyn Manson in November.
December saw the Backstreet Boys racking up 1.6 million sales in its debut week with Black & Blue. To properly react to that stat, we share a clip from Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 that sums up our thoughts nicely.
Closing out this episode is a great song (one of many other great songs) from the Iommi album that was released in October of 2000.
We dug deep once again to give you a nice variety of rock and metal that you may have missed in 2000. If you dig something that you heard on today's show, remember to......
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Wed, 24 October 2012
Aaron and Chris were guests on the most recent episode of The PWA Show. You can check it out here.
Aaron was interviewed by Cassius Morris this week for his That Reporter Kid Speaks podcast. You'll hear about how the Decibel Geek podcast became what it is today. Check it out here.
This Week's Show:
When we first mulled over the idea of doing a Year in Review show about the Year 2000, we thought what most people our age thought; "Was there enough good music released that year for a full episode. Well, today we can proudly tell you that YES, there was a lot of good music released that year. Of course, most of the stuff that us Decibel Geeks dig the most was sorely lacking in exposure due to the rise of boy bands, pop divas, and nu-metal ruling the popular music charts.
We dug deep into our archives, as well as many other nooks and crannies, to bring you some true diamonds in the rough. We are pretty confident that you'll definitely get turned on to some great new tunes/bands this week with Part 1 of our 2000 Year in Review.
January was, of course, a pivotal month in history as everyone was calming their nerves after realizing that the world didn't actually come to an end on January 1st as had been predicted by more than a few wackos who had overhyped the Y2K paranoia that swept the nation at the end of 1999. Aaron spins a track from the deliciously-titled Regurgitation album by Tuff to start things off followed by a stalwart choice form AC/DC's February-released Stiff Upper Lip album.
Chris spins an uptempo rocker from the Rollins Band that includes his then-new backing back and it's a barn burner for sure. Heading into March, we spin choices from Pantera, Enuff Z'nuff, Armored Saint, and Dio; all amazing bands that were overshadowed in the public view by NSYNC as they were busy selling 2.4 million copies of their new album in one week. Something ain't right when that happens....
April of 2000 brought us KISS announcing their Farwell Tour. What's that? They're still around 12 years later? Hmm, well we discuss what circumstances could have caused that while also discussing Ted Nugent ruffling some feathers from the stage during that same tour as he was the opening act. Ted, in the words of Aerosmith, please let the music do the talking. But, we digress.
Also in April, Lars Ulrich became rock music's public enemy number one as he and his mates in Metallica filed suit against peer-to-peer service Napster and fired the opening salvo of a copyright-based civil war that is still raging today.
We spin a track by the relatively unknown Samantha 7, who has a well known singer who had too many irons in the fire in 2000 and forced the S7 side project back on the shelf. You'll get a taste of what might have been this week.
In May of 2000 Britney Spears was raking in dough and album sales through her style-over-substance based second LP, Oops!...I Did It Again as it sold 1.3 million copies in its debut week and 20 million over its lifetime. We lament the general public's poor taste by spinning tracks by Dynamite Hack, Orange Goblin, Bad Religion, and King's X; giving you a healthy dose of true musical substance to chew on.
After the break we segue from May to June with a track that truly marked the return of a legend as Iron Maiden roared back with the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith with Brave New World. While there was definite excitement among hardcore Iron Maiden fans, the album failed to reach the numbers of previous Dickinson-sung releases.
June included a controversial release from Queens of the Stone Age and we spin a track that could double for a junkie's shopping list and includes backing vocals from a certain Metal God. Speaking of Metal Gods, Alice Cooper released Brutal Planet; an album that quite clearly was a stab at capitalizing on the nu-metal movement of the era with hit and miss results.
Closing out Part 1 of this 2000 Year in Review is a track by NY hardcore band Madball and one of the heaviest Poison tracks you'll ever hear from their Power to the People release.
Lots of music crammed into this one. Hope you dig it! If you do......
Black Label Society
Queens of the Stone Age
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Wed, 17 October 2012
We're back this week with a second helping of our live recording at the recent Nashville Comic & Horror Festival and this time we have some company.
Our good friends from the PWA Show dropped by to help us create an all-covers show that is certainly like no other that we've done. We're sure that some of the choices today will either make you want to jump for joy or want to reach through the ipod and strangle us. Either way, we don't think you'll be bored.
The PWA Show is hosted by Dave and Korey and posts new episodes, like us, every week. What do they cover on the PWA Show? Well, just about anything. Their off-the-cuff, stream of consciousness conversations are pretty interesting and give you a fly-on-the-wall feeling when listening. Check them out and give them a listen. We consider them our brothers-in-podcasting.
We kick things off with Chris' pick of a industrialized version of a Zeppelin classic before going to Dave's pick of a KISS classic covered by a group of Alternative pioneers from Minnesota.
Korey makes his first selection of a White Stripes cover with a Tennessee connection before Aaron shifts things back heavier with his choice of a controversial frontman covering a Maiden classic.
We return from the break with the first country artist to ever be spun on the Decibel Geek Podcast and it's a great cover of a Catman-sung KISS classic from the 1970's. Coming off of that, Dave selects a Marilyn Manson cover that helped the shock rocker break through to the mainstream.
Korey's second choice of the song that is arguably the birth tune of rap-rock runs completely counter to Aaron's choice of Tesla covering a killer track by Alice Cooper.
Next up is Chris' choice of Pearl Jam jamming out a live version of one of the best arena rock anthems of all-time before Dave chooses a cover performed by another Seattle-formed band performing a David Bowie classic from MTV Unplugged.
We finish things off with The Man in Black delivering a painful rendition of a wrenching Nine Inch Nails song from 2002 and end things on a heavy note with Aaron's pick of W.A.S.P. covering a rollicking Who track.
Send all hatemail regarding Korey & Dave's picks to firstname.lastname@example.org and.........
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Wed, 10 October 2012
On Saturday October 6th, the Decibel Geek podcast ventured out of the bat cave to meet a large contingent of fellow Geeks at the Nashville Comic & Horror Festival.
With a ton of amazing folks wearing wild costumes and special guests including Ernie Hudson in full Ghostbusters gear, it was a bit distracting recording on-location but we still want to share the experience with you in this week's episode; Radio Sucks Radio Show volume 8!
Our mobile producer Marc Bullard joins us on the mic this week as the three of us select a truly eclectic mix of tunes are you are not likely to hear on your payola-funded corporate radio station.
Aaron spins a celebratory tune from The Donnas before coming out of our first break with Marc's pick of a newer track from Extreme followed by a more recent tender-loving song from Motley Crue's Saints of Los Angeles album.
Before heading into the break, Chris spins a track from Iron Maiden that ponders the idea of toying with crazy people.
We return from break #2 with the strangest grouping of songs you'll never hear anywhere else. We segue from Aaron's choice of a powerful track from Paul Stanley's 1978 KISS solo album into a track that Marc picks in honor of Aaron performed by The Dead Milkmen.
If that wasn't strange enough, Chris serves up a long jammified track from King's X that will surely make you want to never attempt to play guitar again.
Closing out today's show is a track from End of the Century by The Ramones that Chris loves in all it's different incarnations. We hope you dig the tunes you hear today. If you do.......
Wed, 26 September 2012
While our Year in Review shows tend to have a great response each time out for the wealth of information that we try to squeeze in each time and numerous song clips that we attempt to shoehorn in; we've also plenty of folks tell us that they like when we spin more than 1:00-1:30 length clips of songs and prefer to hear more music. This week's show is our attempt to satisfy that contingent....with a twist!
Instead of just a typical show spinning songs from the chosen previous Year in Review, we decided to explore a new option of entertainment with a Decibel Geek episode from 1991! We dug through the archives and dusted off this episode of a very young Chris and Aaron and you'll get to hear where their minds were at (when not "using" the Sears catalog) and their opinions of the bands of the day as well as the changes in the ever-shifting music industry.
We hope you will enjoy this rare look back to a simpler time in our lives and some great music that we were digging on in those days. Thanks for joining us on this time warp back into history with Radio Revisited 1991!
*Editor's Note* - All content contained in the "flashback" portion of this episode is not, in fact, from 1991 and is meant purely for comedic purposes. Anyone taking offense or feeling misled by this scripted error should contact the offices of Decibel Geek attorney Uneedto Getalife (he's foreign).
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Wed, 19 September 2012
It's been quite a memorable week here at Decibel Geek headquarters.
We had record numbers of downloads with the recent Bruce Kulick episode and have received a lot of great feedback on the show. Bruce is currently doing a Crazy Nights retrospective on his official site and it would behoove you to give it a look. Good insight into a very divisive album among the KISS Army.
In other KISS-related news, our very own Wally Norton had his recent review of The Tour's stop in Toronto get a mention on KISS Online. There's also another great Toronto review posted by The Meister that you should check out as well. We'll put our horns down and get on with the business of this week's episode.
As we announced last week, Aaron and Chris will be appearing in-person at the upcoming Nashville Comic & Horror Festival at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 6th. They will be recording all day long at their table and YOU can even be on the show. All details including guest list and prices are available at www.comiccitytn.com.
This week's Geek of the Week is Jani Vare who had some great feedback on the Bruce Kulick episode. To be eligible to be a future Geek of the Week simply join our facebook fan page and add to the conversation.
The only thing more enjoyable to a true Decibel Geek than listening to music is reading the stories behind the music. There have been some amazing books written about the genre of Rock as well as plenty of great bio/autobiographies that give a deep insight into the people that churn out that ear-splitting music that we love to hear. With that in mind, we present this week's topic; Library of Loud: Favorite Rock Books.
Joining us for this discussion is someone that certainly knows a thing or two about Rock books; author Michael Toney. Mike recently released his own book; Tales from the Stage. This book is loaded with great interviews of numerous bands/artists that are right in the Decibel Geek wheelhouse including Ron Keel, Tracii Guns, Eddie Trunk, and the aforementioned Bruce Kulick. This is not standard fare as far as rock interviews go as Mike delves deeper with his questioning to probe out specific details about the lives of his interview subjects that are eye-opening, funny, and as is the case with WASP's Chris Holmes, utterly shocking. You'll look at your favorite rock stars with a whole different perspective after reading this book.
We decided to do a round-robin style conversation about our favorite Rock books with each of us discussing three choices each as well as the most popular suggested pick by our listeners at the facebook fan page.
In round one, Mike picks a relatively recent autobiography by a certain Spaceman from a different planet. Aaron picks an exhaustive document on England's biggest rock export of the 70's and Chris chooses an autobiography that is a serious look at the inner-workings of one of the biggest bands in history told from a members' persepctive.
Round two sees Mike picking a memoir of a metal legend that's recent statements in the press have been equally as impactful as the thrash music that he's churned out for 30 years. Aaron's second choice is an in-depth look at the Hottest Band in the Land from the business side of things that includes so much detail it could easily be required reading in a college classroom. Chris rounds out round two with an inspiring book that chronicles that life of a concert promotion giant that ended in tragedy.
Before we get into round three, Mike shares a contradictory take on the Mark St. John transition to Bruce Kulick in KISS during the 1984 Animalize tour. Aaron and Chris were truly surprised by this revelation. Is it the real story? What do you think?
Our final round of picks includes Mike's pick of an autobiography that is as entertaining as it is informative and is, quite frankly, a miracle in its existence due to the tumultuous lifestyle of the book's namesake. Chris' final pick is, in his opinion, the ultimate document on KISS (can you tell we like them?) with its engrossing detail and depth. Aaron finishes things off with his final pick that happens to coincide with our listener's overwhelming favorite and it's a choice that is anything but clean.
With a topic like this there are so many other choices that could have easily been our lists but are also worthy of your time and attention. These include books that have been promoted on our show before like Lydia Criss' Sealed with a KISS and Dick Wagner's Not Only Women Bleed.
Before we let Mike go, we had to grill him for his thoughts on the enormous (in size AND price) KISS Monster book that was recently released and he certainly didn't shy away from his opinion on it.
As you'll hear at the end of the show Mike is graciously offering a great deal on Tales from the Stage for the Decibel Geek listeners. If you go to www.TalesfromtheStage.com before October 31st and type in the offer code RADIO, you'll get 10% off the price of the book! This book will make a great addition to any rock fans book shelf. Get it before it's too late.
We'd like to thank Michael Toney for being this week's guest and appreciate him coming on to Geek out with us about books. Read on!
Wed, 12 September 2012
This week, the Decibel Geek podcast hits a milestone with Episode 50 and we are thrilled to celebrate it by sharing a recent in-person conversation we had with former KISS and current Grand Funk Railroad guitarist Bruce Kulick.
When Chris was a 12 year old kid, he ventured to a record & comic shop in Nashville to purchase his first KISS albums. Leaving the store that day with cassette copies of Ace Frehley (1978), Dynasty (1979), and Crazy Nights (1987), he began a journey into the world of the Hottest Band in the Land. With Crazy Nights being the then-current release, he was immediately drawn to the fleet-fingered antics of lead guitarist Bruce Kulick. If you had told him back then that he would wind up interviewing Kulick years later, he would have never believed you.
Bruce was in Nashville recently to play a festival show with his current band, the legendary Grand Funk Railroad, and was nice enough to let Aaron and Chris set up shop at his hotel for an in-depth discussion of his entire career. Providing the room to record was Bruce's friend and owner of Rebel Guitars; a custom, hand-crafted guitar company. Bruce was trying out his newest purchase at the interview, a sweet looking red-white-and-blue TeeVee that would be featured onstage later that night for the Grand Funk classic, 'We're an American Band.'
We go all the way back to the mid-70's to discuss Bruce's time as the lead guitarist for the Andre True Connection. If you're not a connoisseur of vintage porn or disco music, then you probably aren't familiar with her but if you connect the dots, you'll see that she's an important part of 70's pop culture. Plus, this video of Bruce performing with Andrea is truly must-see TV.
Bruce also shares some memories of touring the "chitlin circuit" with George McCrae as well as his time as the lead guitarist in the stage production for Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album of which is brother, Bob, was also a member.
In a recent appearance on Decibel Geek friend and fellow podcaster Matt Porter's KISS Room show, Kulick made mention to interviewer Frank Hagan of KISS Mask that he had heard about Ace Frehley making inquiries about a possible return to KISS and that his interest was rebuffed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. This, in turn, set KISS message boards alight with speculation and accusations. We ask Bruce to clarify his remarks.
Also included in this discussion are Bruce's thoughts on the circumstances that lead to the reunion, rumors about a reunion years prior that included Ace Frehley and Eric Carr, and his impressions of a recent KISS show that he attended in Irvine, CA.
Midway through the show, we have a brief 4 minute segment to promote the upcoming Decibel Geek podcast live appearance at the Nashville Comic & Horror Festival on October 6th. Included in this segment are comments from festival organizer Marc Ballard with a listing of some of the special guests (including Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters II, Airheads, and The Crow fame.) This will be the Decibel Geek Podcast's first remote recording appearance and we'd love to meet everyone that comes out. Don't miss it! (shilling....done).
Back to the discussion, we get Bruce's recollections of KISS playing a Nashville show in 1994 to help celebrate Gibson Guitars 100th Anniversary and how the show different from many others.
Other topics in the second half of the discussion include Kulick's take on why KISS is charging so much money for the upcoming Monster book and why it appears to completely ignore his era of the band as well as his memories of the awkward transition from Mark St. John to Bruce as permanent lead guitarist in the band.
We play Name Association with Bruce and he shares initial impressions on Tommy Thayer, Eric Carr, Michael Bolton, Don Johnson, and many more and we also find out if he planned to visit Vinnie Vincent while he was in town.
We close things out with some questions about the possibility of a Bruce Kulick autobiography, new Grand Funk Railroad recordings, and his memories of Union.
Of the utmost importance though, we grill Bruce in this interview with the question many KISS die-hards have always wondered, 'Just what was going on with that strange looking KISS stage logo from the early 90's?' His answer may surprise you. It did us.
Thanks again to Bruce Kulick for his time and for the many years of wonderful music. Be sure to visit his official site for upcoming news, articles, and tour dates.
Wed, 5 September 2012
After a great week of getting Ugly with Whitfield Crane, we return to fill your head with loud, auditory goodness. Radio Sucks Radio Show vol 7 is here!
This weeks Geek of the Week is Dan Miles! Dan is the host of the Friends of Dan Music Podcast and we're thrilled to call him a friend as his podcast features some great in-depth conversations with some real insiders of the music industry. He recently talked to Simpsons music composer Alf Clausen about his 40+ years in the industry and we highly recommend his Jim Morrison episode that features the Lizard King expressing himself between takes while in the recording studio. Dan is a great supporter of the Decibel Geek podcast and we thank him this week by bestowing this great honor on him ;-)
We've got a ton of diversity for you this week for the 7th edition of the Radio Sucks Radio Show.
We start things off with a great track from the Sabbath w/Dio era album Mob Rules before launching into a track from Warrant that could easily be described as everything that Cherry Pie is not; and we're thankful for that.
Chris has been trying to dive headlong into the Cheap Trick catalog after much cajoling from fellow KISS fans about the many treasures inside and he unearths a power pop masterpiece from 1977's self-titled debut album that will please anyone with a rock and roll sweet tooth.
We come back from the first break with an ode to the demise of a serial killer from a Wisconsin-born band that you'd never expect to hear on our show.
Our Fresh Blood pick for this episode is The Treatment from the UK. Currently opening for KISS and Motley Crue on The Tour, this group of fresh-faced Brits sports a serious classic rock influence and solid, raw sound that we think you will most certainly dig. If you are attending The Tour, this act definitely seems to be worthy of showing up early.
Aaron gets super-obscure with his pick of a Faith No More song from the Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey soundtrack that is woefully under-appreciated before launching into a choice cut from Baltimore's own Clutch.
Queensryche has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons as the band has recently split from singer Geoff Tate and lawyers are busy running up hourly fees while firing lawsuits back and forth. We discuss the current wranglings before Chris' pick of a track from Operation: Mindcrime that is aptly titled in regards to the current situation.
Shotgun Messiah was a band that largely got swallowed up in the early 90's scene-changeover that affected so many bands but bassist Tim Skold would go on to success in a number of other projects; notably his work with Marilyn Manson. Aaron picks a powerful track off their 1992 sophomore album Second Coming.
We return from the break with the king of shock rock with Chris' pick of a great anthem from the 1975 Welcome to My Nightmare album that never gets old and feels as fresh today as it did back then (except maybe for the Donny Osmond reference).
Closing out volume 7 of our Radio Sucks Radio show is a wickedly evil pick of a Monster Magnet tune from their Powertrip album. We've got tons of big stuff planned for the near future and hope that you enjoy these tunes as we ramp things up for a very busy Fall season. Rock on!
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Wed, 29 August 2012
It's no secret to fans of the Decibel Geek Podcast that we, especially Aaron Camaro, have a great affinity for Ugly Kid Joe.
Born out of suburbia (ie. Isla Vista, CA) in 1990, Ugly Kid Joe showed up in the middle of a power shift in the rock world with a sound that didn't fit into the glam rock style that was on its way out nor with the dirge-like sound emanating from the grunge underbelly of Seattle that would soon take over the world.
Named on the spot as a spoof of California hair-farmers Pretty Boy Floyd, Whitfield Crane and best friend Klaus Eichstadt formed the initial lineup of the band and released the breakthrough EP, 'As Ugly As They Wanna Be.' The album broke through to mass audiences with the success of the track 'Everything About You' and would go on to become the first EP to be certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. In this long-form discussion, Whit Crane shares the stories of how the band was formed, what the musical climate was like at the time, and his opinion of Pretty Boy Floyd.
Ugly Kid Joe would climb the rock ladder in 1992 with the follow-up album 'America's Least Wanted' which featured the considered-by-WalMart-offensive cover depicting Lady Liberty giving the finger. Featuring a guest vocal from Judas Priest's Rob Halford on the track 'God Damn Devil,' the album solidified Ugly Kid Joe in the public consciousness with the release of their cover of Harry Chapin's 'Cat's in the Cradle' and, to a lesser degree, the opening track 'Neighbor.'
A long period of touring the globe would ensue throughout the following years including opening slots for Ozzy Osbourne and Def Leppard as well as headliner status of their own. Along with lots of touring, Ugly Kid Joe was on a non-stop treadmill of appearances, interviews, award shows, and other assorted promotional activities (also LOTS of partying with such legends as Eddie Van Halen and Lemmy). Crane reflects on how crazy the lifestyle was and what memories remain with him to this day.
1995 saw the release of 'Menace to Sobriety' which featured the lineup of Crane, Eichstadt, guitarist Dave Fortner, bassist Cordell Crockett, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Featuring a tighter, heavier sound, the album received rave reviews.
After disappointing sales for the 1996 release 'Motel California,' Ugly Kid Joe disbanded the following year. The members went on to other projects and bands with Larkin becoming the drummer in Godsmack and Crane doing a stint with Life of Agony as well as work with Medication and reuniting with Larkin for Another Animal. In this conversation, Crane reveals the emotions and motivations behind these projects and reflects on what he takes away from those experiences.
After 15 years apart, the 1995 lineup of Ugly Kid Joe have released their new EP, 'Stairway to Hell.' Featuring a bold production from guitarist/production genius Dave Fortner, the album has all that one would expect from Ugly Kid Joe and more. We get Whit's thoughts on our impressions of the album and if he agrees or not. Aaron also gives a heartfelt testimonial to Whit on behalf of all Ugly Kid Joe fans before we wrap things up with a special preview of the upcoming single from 'Stairway to Hell.' We thank Whitfield Crane for giving us his time, attention, and reflections on a career that has rocked and shows no sign of stopping.
Wed, 22 August 2012
After a week of reflecting on January - July of 1987, we round things off this week by discussing August - December and try to shoehorn in as many tunes and memories as we can.
August saw the release of two of the year's landmark albums in Michael Jackson's 'Bad' and Def Leppard's Hysteria.
MJ had not released an album since 1983's historic 'Thriller' release and the world's ears were ready for a followup. 'Bad', released on August 31st went on to produce five number one singles in the USA; a record which has not been broken.
Def Leppard's slickly-produced 'Hysteria' album had smash hit after smash hit and would go on to sell over 20 million units.
Other notable releases from August of 1987 included albums by Metallica, Twisted Sister, and Aerosmith.
September spawned album releases by rock legends such as Pink Floyd, Motorhead, Rush, The Ramones, and KISS. While not all of these releases would go on to be big sellers, some amazing songs were overlooked by the general public.
The big news story of Ocotober of 1987 was the rescue of Baby Jessica. After falling down a well in Midland, Texas two days prior, emergency crews are able to save the young child in front of a national television audience.
Motley Crue attempted to release 'You're All I Need' as a single from the Girls, Girls, Girls album on October 19th but were shunned by MTV and radio due to the graphic nature of the lyrics. We take a listen to hear what the uproar was about.
Notable releases of October 1987 included albums by Alice Cooper, MSG, Sepultura, and the multi-million selling 'Faith' album from George Michael after his split with Wham! (blech).
We finish things off with a discussion of the albums released in November and December including offerings from Black Sabbath, Anthrax, and two albums by Overkill. Also in this discussion we reflect on bands that were established in 1987 as well as those that called it quits before playing things out with a dreamy track from Dokken's 'Back for the Attack' album.
Wed, 15 August 2012
1987 was a special time in the adolescence of a young Aaron Camaro and Chris Czynszak; being aged 13 and 11 respectively. This was an interesting time in American pop culture with tv shows like The Cosby Show and Cheers leading in the ratings while edgier upstart FOX Network was providing more reality-based programming that would go on to dominate the next decade.
We discuss all of that and spin some of our favorite music from January through July of 1987 in part 1 of this 2 part special. The "hair band" movement was in full force in 1987 as bands such as Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi were ruling the charts and filling arenas. But a glimpse of a grittier future in rock was given with Guns N Roses landmark debut album, Appetite for Destruction. Taking the world by storm with a no-frills, attitude-filled song list, AFD ran counter to the image-based culture that was on top at the time; relying more on substance and swagger and becoming one of the premier live shows in all of music.
We also touch on how hindsight is definitely 20/20 when it comes to looking back on songs/albums that were revered in those early days of puberty and how are outlook on them has either changed or stayed the same. Some things definitely have held up over the years while others certainly sound more like they are fixtures in this Cold War-era that we are remembering.
There's lots of discussion, good tunes, and LOTS more music ahead in part 2. We hope you enjoy our trip back to 1987.
Wed, 8 August 2012
When we think back to those angst filled teenage years in the early 90's when we couldn't find a fake i.d. and we still had a curfew, some of our best memories are of spending Saturday nights hanging out at a friends house, eating day old pizza and watching the Headbangers Ball on MTV.
While Curry did an admirable job hosting the Ball, the show took on a more adventurous and fun direction when Rachtman took the reins in 1990.
Riki Rachtman's profile in rock history goes back further, though, to his days as owner of The Cathouse; a famed L.A. nightspot that was frequented by rock stars of all sorts and the women that adored them. Rachtman's first on-camera appearance took place in 1988's Penelope Spheeris-directed The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. In the movie, Rachtman is interviewed on location at the aforementioned Cathouse along with co-owner/roommate Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat.
Rachtman's friendship with Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose led to an audition at MTV as Curry was on his way out as host of Headbangers Ball. His hosting duties would last for five years (1990-1995) until Headbangers Ball was abruptly canceled with no more than a phone call to Rachtman breaking the news.
In the ensuing years since Headbangers Ball, Riki Racthman has stayed active in the entertainment industry; contributing his hosting talents to such outfits as World Championship Wrestling, Los Angeles radio station KLSX, several VH1 productions, and his NASCAR-themed racing show called Racing Rocks and is heard on over 120 stations across America.
Riki was gracious enough to take some time to talk to Chris this week about the crazy days of The Cathouse, the story that led to getting the Headbangers Ball hosting gig, his memories of hosting the Ball and traveling the world, his response to critics that have accused him of pushing an agenda while on MTV, and his take on where the network (and music in general) is at today.
Riki also gives us details about his current 3-country/11 state trek from Mexico through America through Canada and to Sturgis on motorcycles with his long-time friend Taime Downe. As of the date of this episode's recording, Riki and co. were in Washington state and you can track their progress in real-time by clicking this link or you can receive his updates on his Twitter page.
We thank Riki Rachtman for taking the time to talk to us. We hope this episode brings back as many memories for you as it did for us.
Wed, 1 August 2012
Now that KISSMAS in July is over, the Decibel Geek Podcast returns with a bunch of variety this week all in the name of threesomes! Before we get to the music, a couple of announcements.
As we announced last week, you can stream the Decibel Geek podcast ever Friday night through Maximum Threshold Radio at 7:00p.m. EST. We're proud to be a part of this great internet radio station and highly recommend you check them out for some great rock and metal as well as the Maximum Threshold Radio Show that is streamed live every Saturday night. You never know, Chris or Aaron just might be in the chat room during their show.
This week's Geek of the Week is David Haltom! David left an awesome comment on our facebook fan page that mentioned Aaron Camaro's laugh that gave us a good chuckle. Aaron is now in therapy and we thank David for his contribution. Now, onto today's show!
1. A group of three persons or things.
2. An activity involving three people.
Consisting of or performed by three.
Get your mind out the gutter folks! Did you really think we were going to spend an hour talking about old Ginger Lynn and Ron Jeremy films? We teased you with all sorts of things involving the number 3 over past week and today we discuss our favorite threesomes; as in rock power trios.
A rock trio is about as bare-bones as you can get (as long as you aren't counting folk singers and 2-man hipster garage rock). No keyboard players (unless one of the three is one), no backup singers, and no extra percussionists (we're looking at you, Slipknot). The onus is purely on the three individuals to hash things out and make the magic happen. While there are plenty of fantastic four and five piece bands the existence of the power trio makes one sit up and take notice as there is an honesty and ingrained camaraderie that takes place between the members.
A group that helped define the term "power trio" was certainly the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix, one of the most influential guitarists in rock history, was perfectly complimented by the solid bass playing of Noel Redding and the ferocious drumming of Mitch Mitchell. Aaron's choice of song is immediately recognizable but that does nothing to short-change its impact to this very day.
Chris recently watched the rockumentary, Lemmy; centered around one Mr. Kilmister. Still running on the high of viewing this great film, Chris' pick of Motorhead is a natural for this list. Bare-bones, kick-ass rock is featured from Lemmy and co. with a track from the No Remorse compilation that is very reptilian in nature.
It's hard to believe that ZZ Top has been around since 1969 and are still kicking ass to this day. With their new EP 'Texicali' the band, thankfully, have ditched the synthesizers that propelled them to the top of the mainstream charts in the 80's in favor of the boogiefied (is that a word?) approach that build their hardcore fanbase throughout the 1970's. Aaron spins a track on this short appetizer to their full album due in the very near future.
We couldn't do a show on Rock's greatest trios without including a great group from Canada......The Tea Party! Don't worry, that other awesome trio will be played later in the show. The Tea Party (no affiliation with the political group), rose to prominence in Canada from the 90's through 2005 and are recently reunited. Sporting a sound that could be described as the Doors meets Zeppelin with a side of Ravi Shankar, Chris was very surprised when he stumbled upon this group while researching for this episode and gives you a taste of what this little-known (outside of Canada) band sounds like.
Formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966, the James Gang never achieved the breakthrough success that singer/guitarist Joe Walsh would later enjoy with The Eagles and his solo career but this was a very important band for the late 1960's and early 1970's that need to be heard and appreciated. Aaron's funky pick of a song from 1970's James Gang Rides Again is a riff that is just as awesome today as when it was released.
Chris' next pick of Rush is mandatory in order to keep Canadian listeners from making a trip to Nashville with pitchforks in hand. Aside from that, Rush is a great band and Chris' pick of a track off of their brand new Clockwork Angels album is quite possibly the heaviest song that Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart have ever produced.
Sublime was one of those bands that was pretty much over by the time they had a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor. With the untimely death of singer Bradley Nowell, the band has since gone on to perform with a different singer but has failed to capture the ska/rock/punk mix they were able to conjure with Nowell. Aaron's song choice for this episode is a shining example of what could have been.
No list of greatest rock trios would be complete without a mention of Cream. One of the very first supergroups, Cream consisted of Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton. Bruce's experimental jazz-like bass lines and Baker's heavy-handed drumming were perfect compliments to Clapton's blues-based noisefests that were produced from the earliest days of the wah-wah pedal and Chris' song choice is a stunning reminder of how prolific this band was.
Possibly the most underrated rock trio ever, King's X has plowed ahead through 30+ years of trials, tribulations, and tons of great music. It's truly criminal that this band has not received the mainstream support that it so richly deserves. The soulful playing and singing of bassist Dug Pinnick, the soaring solos and harmony parts of guitarist Ty Tabor, and the swinging, powerful drumming of Jerry Gaskill fuels this Texas-born trios amazing balance of heavy meets melodic rock. Chris' song choice from 1994's Dogman album showcases the tightness and tenacity that is King's X.
Known as the band that killed glam, Nirvana exploded onto the world's stage with their 1991 album Nevermind and went on to become one of the most influential bands of the modern era. Aaron decided to go back further and showcase a track from the band's pre-success era album Bleach and you'll also hear the story behind the song.
We close things out with a track from three guys from New York City that has a license to ill. While the Beastie Boys have never been known as hard rock or heavy metal, there's no denying that this track from the Ill Communication album will certainly get you pumped for a night out (or an ambush).
Wed, 25 July 2012
We're pulling into the homestretch of KISSMAS in July and thought we'd end the month with a Geeky BANG!
Before we get down to it we want to proudly announce that you can stream the Decibel Geek podcast every Friday night through Maximum Threshold Radio! These guys are spinning rock and metal 24 hours a day and were nice enough to let us Geeks take over their airwaves every Friday night at 7:00pm EST. We appreciate this opportunity and hope you will check out all of the other great programming they provide as well.
This week's Geek of the Week is Victor Ruiz of the Mars Attacks podcast. Victor had the winning suggestion for this week's KISS-related show subject and we wanted to give a tip of the hat to him. Be sure to check out Mars Attacks for lots of great rock and metal discussion. To qualify for Geek of the Week, just join the facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/decibelgeek and leave us a comment. Simple as that!
With 20 studio albums, numerous solo albums, and other projects to boot, it's logical to think that KISS must have a treasure trove of unreleased material. While we got some of that from the officially released box set, fans are still waiting for a bulk release of demos and unreleased nuggets (in good sound quality) from the band. There are, however, a lot of little-known gems floating around the bootleg collector market and that's what we wanted to focus on today. Special thanks to KISSFAQ for providing such in-depth information that aided in our research for this episode.
In this episode you will hear demos, unreleased tracks, and alternate takes from the Hottest Band in the Land as well as cases where songs were turned inside out from demos to wind up as officially released songs years (sometimes decades) later. We also will take a look as some songs that KISS recorded but didn't officially release and where those songs wound up.
We've got many eras of KISS covered in this show including unreleased material from Destroyer, the roots of Rock and Roll Over gems Calling Dr. Love and Ladies Room, as well as a Zeppelin-inspired instrumental that didn't quite make the cut on Music from the Elder. You will also hear a 1985-penned Asylum demo that turned into a track on 2009's Sonic Boom.
We also include a track that's gone through a number of permutations (that's a big word like 'gymnasium') and has been recorded by the Creatures of the Night era and Psycho Circus era lineups yet has (criminally) never been officially released on a KISS studio album.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. You will hear numerous strange demos that, understandably, never qualified for official released. It's an interesting look at KISS' songwriting process over the years and how their approach has changed/stayed the same. We hope you enjoy the scraps of what we found on The Kutting Room Floor.
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Wed, 18 July 2012
KISSMAS in July hits week three with a bullet with the third installment of our Vinnie Vincent Special. If you are new to the Decibel Geek podcast, then you may not know that 2 of our most popular episodes took place in 2011 when Chris Czynszak (pre-Aaron Camaro), released parts 1 and 2 of the Vinnie Vincent special. The episodes received lots of attention across the web due, in no small part, to the then-recent legal troubles that the former KISS guitarist was enduring. Since the release of the pair of episodes on Vincent, listeners from all over the globe have contacted the Decibel Geek website asking if another installment would be coming. While initially hesitant to release more specials on the troubled guitarist, we recently had the fortunate opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with someone that worked very closely with Vinnie Vincent and had a unique, behind the scenes perspective that many people have never seen.
If you heard the self-titled Vinnie Vincent Invasion debut in 1986 and saw the video for Boyz are Gonna Rock, then you witnessed the first Milli Vanilli moment on Mtv. While the vast majority of music fans were unaware, the owner of the voice in that video was seeing it for the first time along with them. That is due to the fact that Robert Fleischman, vocalist on the studio recording of the Invasion debut, was no longer in the band by the time of the video premier due to a contract dispute. In today's conversation, Fleischman shares what it was like putting the album together, the zaniness that took place in the studio, and the tense interactions between band members, managers, and record company executives.
Fleischman's involvement with Vinnie Vincent is not limited to that one album. He was actually working with Vincent and former members of the band New England in Los Angeles in the early 1980's. While putting together demo tracks of what would later become the Invasion debut, Today's conversation has Fleischman sharing stories of the early songwriting process of Vincent and what it was like when the shredder showed up to rehearsal to tell them that he had been offered a job playing lead guitar for KISS.
The third time that Fleischman was involved with Vinnie Vincent took place after the disbanding of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion immediately following the promotional tour for their second album, All Systems Go, fronted by Mark Slaughter. While hesitant to work with Vinnie after the previous experiences, he agreed to continue the working relationship. His stories of what happened to cause the full album to go unreleased have to be heard to be believed. This conversation gives you an idea of what took place in the early 1990's when Vinnie was putting together this project and why it only yielded an EP's worth of material years later.
Another topic covered in this conversation is Robert's response to a press release issued by Vinnie Vincent in 2011 stating that he was intending to re-record the All Systems Go album with Robert Fleischman handling vocal duties instead of the aforementioned Slaughter.
We also touch upon Robert's early career as a member of Journey, his solo tour opening for Van Halen during the VHII tour, and how performing with Journey in celebration of their induction to the Rock Walk of Fame sparked an interest in returning to the music industry with his new band The Sky.
Featuring one time Vinnie Vincent drummer (Guitars from Hell unreleased album-era) Andre LaBelle, The Sky formed in 2009 after Fleischman traveled cross-country to join LaBelle in Richmond, VA. Sporting a live, organic sound with influences dating back tot he British Invasion of the 1960's, The Sky have released their self-titled debut album. All music played during this episode of the Decibel Geek podcast is from The Sky debut album. For our listeners, Robert is now offering autographed copies of The Sky's debut album if you order through this link. Don't miss your chance to own a great piece of music signed by a vocalist that has seen it all.
We want to thank Robert Fleischman for such a candid, open conversation and wish him the best of success for The Sky.
We are also still accepting suggestions for our final KISSMAS in July episode next week. If you have a KISS-related idea that you think we should discuss, give us a call at (540) - DBGEEK-1 or (540) 324-3351. The deadline for suggestions is 7/22/2012.
Direct download: Episode_42_-_Vinnie_Vincent_Special_Part_3_-_Robert_Fleischman.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 5:37pm EST
Wed, 11 July 2012
After such a great response to our Lydia Criss conversation in week 1, KISSMAS in July shifts into a new gear with Chris and Aaron's favorite KISS Kover songs taking center stage. When researching covers of KISS songs, it quickly became apparent that KISS has influenced artists from just about every genre of music (we couldn't find any jazz KISS covers).
While there were, of course, plenty of examples of straight-ahead rock bands paying homage to the hottest band in the land; the covers from the worlds of disco, pop, folk, bluegrass, and death metal really surprised us.
We must give credit to the fine folks of KISSFAQ for providing such a great, deep discography of pretty much anything and everything KISS and related.
Obviously, with so many cover songs existing, it would impossible to even include a fraction of them in this episode. So, with that said, Aaron and Chris ventured to celebrate KISSMAS in July by playing their favorite covers. A lot of digging went into these picks and we hope that you are turned onto some great stuff. If so, click one of the links below to hear more of these great KISS-inspired artists. Rock on!
Wed, 4 July 2012
Welcome to KISSMAS in JULY here at Decibel Geek headquarters! We're always looking for new excuses to do KISS-themed material and doing a full month of KISS stuff in July just seemed like a logical choice.
We kick off the month-o-KISS with an in-depth conversation we recently had with Lydia Criss. Formerly the wife of original KISS catman Peter Criss, Lydia entered the KISS Army's consciousness in 1976 when she accepted the award for 'Beth' being the #1 single of 1976 at the People's Choice Awards. What was the reason for Lydia accepting the award? Listen to our discussion to find out.
A few years ago, Lydia published a coffee table memoir of her life entitled Sealed with a KISS. Jam packed with tons of photos never before seen of KISS and Peter Criss from their earliest days as a struggling band rehearsing in a frigid loft in downtown Manhattan, their apex of popularity in being named the most popular band in America according to a Gallup poll, and beyond. The book also gives a rare glimpse into Lydia's personal life as the wife to a rising star in the music world.
In this conversation, Lydia, Chris, and Aaron pick some of their favorite Peter Criss-sung songs and Lydia shares her memories of the stories behind the making of the songs including the drama that would arise between band members.
Peter Criss' 1978 KISS solo album included quite a few songs about the end of a relationship. This mirrored reality as it was around this time that Peter's marriage to Lydia was ending. Lydia recalls the experience of hearing these songs and the effect they had on her at a tumultuous time in her life.
Also in this discussion are Lydia's memories of accepting KISS' People's Choice Award and the conversation with Gene Simmons that led to her accepting the award on the band's behalf. The story of how Beth came to be has been told from numerous different angles and Lydia tells her side of the story and it's probably something you haven't heard before.
While this conversation includes some great inside information from a person that was right in the middle of the rise of the Hottest Band in the Land, you will get WAY more great stuff like this if you purchase a copy of the 2nd printing of Sealed With a KISS. Included in this new printing are over 20 new photos as well more content including a listing of tons of gigs that Peter performed before joining KISS.
If you are a KISS fan and don't own this book, you are truly missing out. It's totally worth the money and you don't have to mortgage your house to afford it. Check it out!
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Thu, 28 June 2012
Without question, one of the more popular theme shows the Decibel Geek podcast has ever produced was our Bizzaro Covers episode which featured hard rock and metal bands performing non-hard rock and metal songs.
While original material is always a joy to listen to (unless it's being produced by Nickelback), a good cover song that puts a new spin or perspective on a song provokes emotion and can trigger the listener into liking something they normally wouldn't even care about.
Before we dive right in to the music, there are a few things we need to pimp. Our Canadian correspondent Wally Norton recently scored a great interview with Coney Hatch singer Carl Dixon that was picked up by a few other web media outlets.
Also discussed are some wonderful comments from this week's Geek of the Week. To be qualify for Geek of the Week simply head over to our facebook fan page and click LIKE; simple as that.
Of course, if you want to go one step beyond and tell a friend or write a review in iTunes, your chances go up exponentially (who said payola is dead?).
To round off the news, we discuss a commentary that Decibel Geek podcast host Chris Czynszak wrote in response to the recent reveal of the price of KISS' new Monster book and the harsh reaction that has been echoed by about 99% of the KISS Army. Consider a second mortgage.
We dug deep this week to bring you some gems that you may have not heard before. While there are a number of bands you've heard of, there's a couple oddball choices as well. All of the songs are certainly not what we typically play but we think you'll agree that they all benefit from a harder production. As the cheesy Autograph tune used to say, "Things go better with rock."
Wed, 20 June 2012
With so much going on in 1969 there was no way we were going to be able to squeeze all of it in to one episode and we're back this week to give you a second dose of the news, the music, and the personalities of the year of the rooster.
We begin things on a dark note as we discuss the Manson family murders including murder of actress Sharon Tate and Charles Manson's obsession with the Beatles song Helter Skelter and his morbid perception of the lyrics. This leads into a taste of one of the standout tracks from the Yellow Submarine album.
With the Beatles on their way out, a successor was on the rise in Led Zeppelin as Robert Plant and company released I and II in 1969. We spin one of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and segue into Jimmy Page's least favorite Zeppelin song but we dig it.
1969 saw the second and final album by the Jeff Beck Group released as Beck-Ola climbed to #15 on the charts on the strength of Jeff Beck's guitar playing and the growly pre-AOR vocals of a young Rod Stewart. Aaron picks his favorite track off the album and we give you a sample of that.
As we discussed in Part 1 of our 1969 Year in Review, Detroit was a hotbed of activity in the rock and roll world that year and it's arguably the birthplace of punk and alternative music due to the emergence of The Stooges. Fronted by Iggy Pop, The Stooges were a stripped down noise machine that perfectly encompassed the alienation of youth in the blue-collar Midwest. While not a big seller (peaking at 106 on the Billboard charts), The Stooges debut album is widely considered the foundation for a slew of punk and garage bands the world over in the years following it. We take a listen to Iggy's ballad of submission.
We return from the break to discuss an intimate little affair that included 350,000 people hanging out on a farm while musical legends entertained and promoters warned people to check the color of their acid. Woodstock was a three day history maker; with performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, CCR, and Santana among many others. Considered by many as the greatest musical festival of all time, it's a true snapshot of America in 1969 as it had ties to music, pop culture, and the ongoing conflict in Vietnam.
Also in 1969 a group led by a couple of friends from Lincoln, Nebraska released a song that was quite prophetic that warned of the dangers of future advances in electronic and medical technology and how society would be affected in a negative way. While we love where technology is these days (we wouldn't be able to provide you with this podcast if it weren't), there are signposts out there that do make you wonder if these guys were onto something. You'll get to hear these thought provoking lyrics as we feature the majority of this interesting track.
We started this episode off on a grim note with the Manson murders and we end it on one as well as we discuss the tragic events that occurred at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival. Billed by many as 'Woodstock West', the show was doomed before it even started with the Hell's Angels biker club being hired as security. With rampant drug use and a chaotic atmosphere, things spun out of control throughout the day; even causing the Grateful Dead (prime organizers of the festival) to decline to play their scheduled time slot. Things hit a boiling point while the Rolling Stones were onstage and you'll hear a clip of Mick Jagger trying to get the audience to relax. We play out on a hopeful note with a song from the Stones album Let it Bleed that tries to instill some hope in a crazy society.
1969 was not a year for the weak willed and it's certainly not one that will be easily forgotten. We hope these 2 episodes gave you a good perspective on it.
See you next week!
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Wed, 13 June 2012
After a week exploring the titans of thrash metal, we're ready to take another trip back in time to a time of hippies, war, and some amazing rock music. First though, some new business.
It's been almost a full year since the Decibel Geek podcast received a large amount of attention on the web when we put out parts 1 & 2 of the Vinnie Vincent Special which featured commentary and discussion with some notable people that had worked with/for the former KISS guitarist. The episodes had downloads well into the thousands no doubt due to the massive amount of media exposure given to Vincent when he was arrested for alleged domestic violence against his wife.
Since parts 1 & 2, we've had numerous requests for a new Vinnie Vincent special. For a long time, we had no intention of doing another special on the troubled guitarist but over the past few months have had the opportunity to speak with a few people that have also worked with Vincent and the conversations were rather enjoyable and we think the fans deserve to hear what these people have to say.
With no communication coming from Vinnie, we are hoping to satiate the curiosity of his fans as best we can. While there are always lots of stories (good and bad) with Vinnie, you can't deny that his mastery of guitar playing and songwriting. Our next Vinnie special, which will be available in July, will include stories (good and bad) from someone that worked very closely with Vincent and wanted to share his experiences with us. More on that in the future so stay tuned.
We head back in time this week to 1969 in the fourth installment of our Year in Review series. When researching this episode, Aaron and Chris realized that an absolute TON of music/news/events took place in 1969 and it became apparent while recording that this episode would have to be broken into two parts. Part 1 this week features discussion about many landmark events, albums, and concerts that took place in 1969.
In March, Jim Morrison of The Doors was arrested after allegedly exposing himself at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium and also charged with attempting to start a riot after lashing out at the audience. This leads us into a track from The Doors' 1969 album The Soft Parade that could possibly be considered autobiographical of Morrison.
What does Judas Priest have to do with an episode discussing 1969? Listen and find out.
Chris shares a story about his mother, who had actually married Chris' father in 1969, seeing an unknown group in Florida playing a bar. The group was then called The Allmon Joys. They'd later go on to be a little more well-known and we spin a track off of their debut album that will leave you feeling pretty whipped.
Aaron spins a Neil Young & Crazy Horse tune that was actually written about Paul McCartney's touring guitar player. What flavor is she?
1969 was the year that we landed on the moon and David Bowie communicated with Ground Control. We discuss the cultural impact of a billion people watching us go one step beyond before segueing into some noisy, gritty hard rock from a Detroit band that was probably too anti-establishment for their own good.
One band from San Francisco, CA ruled the year of 1969 with 3 albums hitting the Top 10 with their unique brand of swamp rock that later influenced The Dude in all of us.
Before becoming the living cliche that would ultimately cause his demise, Elvis Presley had a momentous 1969 with the launch of his longstanding residency in Las Vegas and charting highly with Suspicious Minds and In the Ghetto. We discuss the year of the King of Rock.
One curve ball thrown in 1969 was from the Beach Boys who released the 20/20 album to a confused public. With Brian Wilson slipping more out of the picture due to mental distress, the brothers Carl & Dennis Wilson took on a more hands on approach and the results definitely reflect that. Aaron spins a track that you would definitely never guess was produced by the Beach Boys. This one needs to be heard to be believed.
There's tons more in store for next week with Part 2 including some massive festivals, war, murder, and plenty of great tunes for your listening pleasure.
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Thu, 7 June 2012
While we don't typically delve deep into thrash territory on the Decibel Geek podcast, 2 bands that came out of California in the early to mid 1980's (one formed out of necessity to battle it out with the other), are truly a part of rock royalty and are the subject of our interview/discussion this week.
Metallica's 1981 lineup that included James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was a true force to be reckoned with but politics and substance abuse caused it to be short-lived with the band unceremoniously canning Mustaine while on the road. Determined to exact revenge, Mustaine formed Megadeth in Los Angeles in 1983 with bassist Dave Ellefson.
With both bands releasing platinum albums and performing for sold out audiences across the globe, the rivalry remained pretty evenly matched between the groups until Metallica saw mainstream success with 1991's Metallica (aka The Black Album) shooting the band into a new strata for metal music. One could argue, though, that Megadeth have put out material that rivals, and in some cases exceeds, Metallica's output throughout the 1990's and 2000's.
This week we take a hard look and listen to the early days of both bands as we chat with rock photographer Bill Hale. Hale was a photographer for Metal Rendezvous magazine in the early 1980's and shot photos of rock legends including KISS, Riot, UFO, and Black Sabbath. He was witness to the ascent of Metallica, as is recounted in his excellent photo book Metallica: Club Dayz 1982-1984 and thus, was in good company to witness the formation and launch of Megadeth which is chronicled in his new book Megadeth: Another Time, A Different Place.
In our conversation you will hear Bill share his stories of what it was like knowing Lars Ulrich when he was just a struggling drummer trying to make contacts in the Los Angeles area. Hear about James Hetfield's early stage fright which caused Dave Mustaine to be the voice between songs for many of Metallica's early shows.
Hale also shares his opinion of what took place when Mustaine was fired from Metallica and the politics that seemed to surround the situation. Interesting stuff here!
With a thirst for blood, Dave Mustaine formed Megadeth and Bill shares his memories of the earliest days of the band and the rivalry that exists to this day. We also get his thoughts on the sad losses of both Cliff Burton and Gar Samuelson (of whom the new Megadeth book is dedicated).
Aaron, Chris, and Bill also spin some of their favorite tracks from Metallica & Megadeth's first three albums throughout the conversation.
It's a fun long-form discussion with a person that caught music history through the lens of his camera and forged friendships with highly diverse personalities that still captivate rock and metal fans to this day. It's time for some Metal up your......ears.
Wed, 30 May 2012
We're back this week with more ear candy for your head holes. Plus, it's Aaron Camaro's birthday this week so be sure to wish him a happy 37th birthday. 37?!? Chris will be 36 in November so we're right on schedule for our midlife crises.
We've got a jam-packed show today filled with tons of tunes from different eras of rock and metal including some new stuff in our Fresh Blood segment.
Things kick off with a strong, very non-disco cover tune from KISS' 1979 Dynasty album which leads us to discuss our anticipation for the forthcoming Monster release and the ever-changing rumored release dates. We also give a deserving plug to Mitch Lafon's great 5 part feature on the 20th Anniversary of the Revenge album on Bravewords.com which includes interviews with Tommy Thayer, friend of Decibel Geek Dick Wagner, Bruce Kulick, Kevin Valentine, and this week's interview with Eric Singer. If you are a KISS fan, you will be highly entertained by these features. Good job Mitch!
We transition into some talk about the recent news that Van Halen cancelled and handful of shows and announced they are taking a break to avoid burnout. Is that the real reason or are the boys dishing out a Different Kind of Truth? We give our thoughts on that before diving into a deep cut from the 1978 self-titled debut.
Aaron gave Chris a hard time during the last Radio Sucks show for playing a "soft" Enuff Z'Nuff tune and counters this week by playing a track that proves that the band had some musical muscle when they wanted to get away from day-glo costumes and dancing video rainbows.
We come back from the break with a "shot and a half" of Fresh Blood featuring a killer band from Spain known as Angelus Apatrida. Chris was turned on to this group by Victor Ruiz on the great Mars Attacks podcast and couldn't help but share a little taste of this great rising band that just straight-up kicks your teeth in (in a good way). We segue from Angelus Apatrida straight into a hard-nosed rocking track by West Memphis Suicide. These guys are based out of Canada (thanks Wally for turning us on) but they've got all the aggression of a group of Cowboys from Hell that we are sorely lacking today. We really think you'll dig this band.
Speaking of Pantera, we pontificate (that's a big word like "gymnasium") about the recent rumors of a possible reunion tour with Zakk Wylde filling Dimebag Darrell's shoes. Can you Vinnie Paul and Phil Anselmo make amends and is it right for the band to charge forward without its dearly departed heart and soul? We discuss it before Aaron breaks our streak of not playing any Black Label Society with a track that is pretty brutal but satisfying.
The rock/metal world on the internet lost a true friend and funny voice on May 21st, 2012 with the death A.j. Confessore; better known as C.C. Banana. We pay tribute to the memory of C.C. with a track off of an album that he helped produce; Kiss My Ankh: A Tribute to Vinnie Vincent which features Banana 7 performing a parody of KISS' Unholy about the unlikeliest of subjects and the Kisstoric story behind it. R.I.P CC.
June 5th marks the return of Ugly Kid Joe with their new E.P. Stairway to Hell. The first single has been released and we dug it so much we thought you'd like to hear it as well. Crank this one up!
We finish things out with a short discussion of the recently (almost) reunited RATT performing together with bassist Jaun Croucier for the first time in years at the recent M3 Festival. Is Juan a permanent member of RATT again? Will the band follow up the well-received Infestation album with one of their principal songwriters from back in the day? We give our thoughts on all of that as we delve into a classic track from the Out of the Cellar album.
Putting a bow on this Aaron Camaro birthday episode is his pick of the greatest song that a guy ever wrote about his own genitalia. You certainly won't hear this one on the radio. Be sure to check us out on facebook and twitter and please keep those reviews coming in iTunes. It makes a world of difference in getting more ears to enjoy this show. We thank you all so much for your support and have many more cool things in the pipeline. See ya next week!
Wed, 23 May 2012
Jack Russel of Great White joins us this week to discuss a career that has spanned the highs, lows, and everything in-between.
Last week was a busy week in the press for Russell between dodging drunk boaters and having to clarify remarks about former manager Alan Niven. He takes a few minutes to discuss these stories, as well as where the current legal case with the rest of the band stands, with us before we launch into career-talk.
And what a career it's been. From their early days in 1978 as Dante Fox, Jack tells us how the name Great White came about and how it relates to albino guitar players.
We get Jack's recollections of the Sunset Strip in the days before it exploded which included flyer wars with Nikki Sixx and Motley Crue as well as his thoughts on how the internet has pretty much squashed the chances of a regional thing on that level happening again.
We discuss the reversal of touring to sell albums shifting to recording an album as an excuse to tour and Jack's thoughts on what downloading has done to deplete potential income and the presence of record stores.
Chris asks Jack to explain why the first two Great White albums sound so distinctly different from everything that followed and we find out why all of those keyboards appeared on the Shot in the Dark album. You'll hear Jacks memories of touring with Whitesnake in the U.K. for Great White's first european tour as well as a story about the members of Judas Priest playing volleyball in Biloxi, MS while on the Defenders of the Faith tour.
Russell tells us how he had to fight to get Save Your Love included on the Once Bitten album after the producer and record company went cold on the song; a gamble that paid off for Russell and the band as the song received widespread radio airplay.
Following the breakthrough success of the Once Bitten & Twice Shy albums, the tide started shifting in popular music with "party" rock bands beginning to multiply to the general public's disgust causing the overnight change of pace with grunge music taking over the airwaves. Jack gives us his memories of this period of time and how it hit the hard rock scene like a freight train and did much damage to the prospects of success for their then-new album Psycho City. He also tells us about Great White's experience opening for KISS during 1992's Revenge tour and getting a front row seat to the media machinations of one Gene Simmons.
After venturing into solo territory, Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall began performing again as Jack Russell's Great White with Kendall leaving the band again. With new guitarist Ty Longley, the band played The Station nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island where pyrotechnics caused a fire that killed one hundred people including Longley. Jack Russell tells why he's decided to no longer comment on the incident.
We wrap up the conversation with some talk about the band's amazing cover of Led Zeppelin's Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and why they decided to record an entire album of Zeppelin covers songs as well as the upcoming America Rocks 2012 tour that Jack and co. are undertaking this summer along with Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Lillian Axe. Jack also makes it a point to thank his legion of very supportive fans that helped to bring him back from a horrific physical state to rocking stages all over the world again.
Special thanks to Dave Hardin and Valerie Ince for helping arrange this interview.
Check out Jack Russell's website for tour dates, news, and messages from Jack himself.
Wed, 16 May 2012
In the short year that the Decibel Geek podcast has existed, some of our more popular episodes have been our Year in Review shows. We have received some great feedback from all over the world about our 1975 and 1983 episodes and this week we head to the 90's as we focus on a truly transitional year in rock music in 1991.
Chris and Aaron are spinning a plethora of their favorite songs from 1991 and you're sure to hear lots of stuff you may have missed while radio stations were shoving Bryan Adams and Amy Grant down your throat. While the glam to grunge overnight transition took place in September with the release of Nirvana's landmark Nevermind album, you'll hear plenty of examples of the wide variety of great music that was being released even before anarchist cheerleaders picked up black pompoms and the janitor got his groove back.
1991 was a crazy year for cannibalism, true and fictional, with Jeffrey Dahmer proving that Aaron Camaro is not the only lunatic from Wisconsin and Anthony Hopkins' strange appetite in Silence of the Lambs.
We also learned in 1991 that Pee Wee Herman likes himself. He...really....really....likes himself. Of course, he went to jail and was ridiculed for something that 99% of the population does and that 1% dude sure is frustrated.
Michael Jordan got us to eat our Wheaties, Madonna pissed of parents of teenage boys everywhere with a "racy" video that is tame by today's standards and there was a TON of great music produced in 1991. You'll hear us yack about all of it this week on the Decibel Geek podcast.
Thu, 10 May 2012
While America is our home base and largest listener area, our friends up to the north have been accumulating like a blizzard lately. We've had quite a few new Canadian listeners over the past year. There are a few reasons, we think, for this.
2. Our interview with Killer Dwarfs singer Russ Dwarf helped us attain more audience members. KD is a great band and Russ still waves the flag up in Canada.
3. The addition of Wally Norton to the Decibel Geek staff. Wally's regular feature, Hoser Heavy Metal has helped shed some light on Canadian rock bands you should check out. His recent interview with Helix's Brian Vollmer also received acclaim throughout the internet and brought more folks from the Great White North our way.
So, with that said, it's only natural that we'd decide to shine a spotlight firmly on Canada. This week we're cranking tunes by bands/artists from Canada that are considered legends, some that could be considered diamonds in the rough, and some that we're pretty sure you've never heard before.
We debut the new Fresh Blood feature in this episode that gives you a listen to something brand spanking new that actually sounds good; a rare feat on the radio these days.
Chris shares his thoughts on the music documentary 'Mayor of the Sunset Strip' and why it's appropriate to the Radio Sucks subject. He also tries to explain the Decibel Geek habit of hating Nickelback and why they will never, ever be played on the show (unless it's for parody's sake).
It's a full hour+ jam packed with rock and metal from our neighbors to the north. So, grab a brew and open your ears for a party in your head. We love you hosers!
Thu, 3 May 2012
Welcome to our nightmare. We think you're gonna like it. Actually, the episode that we post for your listening pleasure today was truly a dream come true for us.
In this long form discussion, veteran guitar maestro Dick Wagner reflects on what it's been like being on the inside of rock history for 40+years. Appearing on more than 200 albums and garnering more than 35 Gold and Platinum albums, Wagner has quite a story (or in this case, many stories) to tell as he gives us a glimpse of the fantastic historical essays that await you in his recently released (and soon to be hardcover-released) e-book entitled Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock and Roll Musician.
Dick shares stories with us from his earliest days including backing Jerry Lee Lewis in a television appearance as well as the circumstances that led him to become the musical director for the Alice Cooper solo band.
Also in this discussion is Dick's recollections of a short stint living in Nashville in the early 1990's attempting to break into the Country music songwriting game and the resistance he received from the "good ole boy" network.
Wagner gives us the inside story on Alice Cooper's (and his own) substance abuse trouble in the 1970's and early 1980's. You'll hear about Alice's state of mind during the recording of 1983's bizarre DaDa album as well as the strange fitness routine Cooper incorporated into his daily life when the two first met.
From Aerosmith's Get Your Wings to KISS' Destroyer & Revenge albums, Wagner has appeared on some very well-loved tracks without receiving credit for his playing. Does he harbor any ill-will for not receiving his just desserts? You'll hear his unfiltered take in this interview.
Dick also shares his take on what he and the Alice Cooper band thought of a young upstart named KISS surpassing them on the charts.
This episode features some stories from Wagner's personal archive that must be heard to be believed. Stories of all facets of pop culture colliding at specific times. Strange bedfellows indeed.
Our discussion with Dick Wagner only scratches the surface of the goldmine of amazing stories of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and more sex that you'll be glued to when reading Not Only Women Bleed.
Be sure to check out Dick's official website for news updates as well as a full history/discography.
We are very pleased to bring you this episode and thank you for listening. Be sure to check out www.dbgeekshow.blogspot.com for more info and other great episodes!
Wed, 25 April 2012
"We hear & we obey" - Gene Simmons
Truer words could not be said of this weeks episode. This week, we turn the controls over to you, the listener. We've received some great requests over the last few weeks and now we get to share your choices with the world. We're happy to present our first Listener Request Show.
Before we get started, Chris & Aaron give a quick update of what's been going on at the official Decibel Geek website including a number of great new articles by our most recent writing addition, Wally Gator including 3 Guitarists You Should See Before You Die, Hoser Heavy Metal, and Death of the Album. We also give a shout out to Andrew Jacobs with another great interview; this time with KISS Army founder Bill Starkey.
Now, onto the music. We received requests from all over the world from this show as well as many States. You'll hear requests today from Australia, Canada, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, New Jersey, South Carolina, Virginia, Utah, and Illinois. It's wonderful hearing from you all and we look forward to doing another listener-based episode in the future.
We'd like to plug the projects of a few of our listeners that took the time to request songs on today's show:
RJ Hogg of the Classic Rock Bottom website
Mike Sains of the Tower of Sour podcast
Vic Baric of the Vinnie Vincent Fan Forum
Denny Smith of The Great Affairs
There's lots of diversity in the song choices and you're sure to hear something you've never checked out in this episode. We added a few things to the iPod thanks to you guys and appreciate the requests.
Enough of our yapping, let's hear some tunes!
Thu, 19 April 2012
We're back this week to give you a Stiff Upper Lip after we Flick the Switch and Blow Up Your Video; making you feel like a Fly on the Wall who needs some Black Ice to recover from a Ballbreaker. If that doesn't give you a clue as to what we're talking about, then we'll spell it out for you....AC/DC.
While the Bon Scott era of AC/DC laid the foundation of what we have today, we wanted to take an episode to appreciate some of the highlights of the Brian Johnson era of the band.
With the tragic passing of Scott in 1980, AC/DC was left pondering the decision of whether to go on. A fan in Cleveland, Ohio forwarded a cassette tape Brian Johnson fronting the band Geordie to AC/DC manager Peter Mensch who then recommended the singer to Angus Young and company. Young remembers Bon Scott raving about seeing Geordie years before and it was decided that Johnson was a good fit for the band.
Brian Johnson, of course, burst onto the scene in his first album with the band, 1980's legendary Back in Black album. The album needs no explanation as chances are you already own it since it is the 3rd best selling album of all-time.
AC/DC has persevered since Back in Black with 10 studio albums that have flown in the face of what's trendy and stayed true to their roots.
Chris and Aaron pick out 5 of their favorite tracks from the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC and there's plenty of variety to go around. While it is a common jab by critics to say that AC/DC uses the exact same formula for all of their songs, we venture today to show you that there is variances throughout their history. When you dig deeper into the albums, which the Decibel Geek podcast specializes in, you discover hidden gems that you may have not noticed before.
It was a blast putting this episode together and we hope you'll crack open a Fosters, make a Vegemite sandwich, and crank up some solid rock from Down Under with our Top 5 favorite Brian Johnson era AC/DC tunes!
PS: Don't forget that this week is the last week to get your requests in for our upcoming Listener Request show! The deadline to get your request in will be this Sunday, April 22nd at 6:00p.m. Central time. After that, any requests will be applied to future shows. The number to call is (540) DBGEEK-1. Give us a ring and tell us what you want to hear. You just may hear yourself on the show!
Wed, 11 April 2012
Before we flash back in time we want to remind you of our upcoming Listener Request episode! We want you to call in your hard rock/metal song request on our hotline and we'll play our favorite requests on the show! The number to call is (540) - DBGEEK-1 (or (540) 324-3351). That number will take you straight to our voice mail hotline. Don't be shy!
We had some great feedback on the recent 1975 Year in Review show so we decided to jump back into the time machine and venture to another year. This time we're going back to the days of Atari, Dr. J, and Metallica before they became sycophantic Lou Reed cohorts. We're heading back to 1983.
This Year in Review episode has got a little bit of everything from the pop culture stew of 1983. There was a lot going on in the entertainment world from M.A.S.H. ending its legendary run atop the television world to the release of the tragedy-laden movie version of The Twilight Zone movie. We touch on that stuff but we're a music show, right?
The musical landscape of 1983 was certainly varied. The top of the Billboard charts was mostly owned by Michael Jackson as this was the release year for his vaunted Thriller album. Other top pop stars of the year included The Police and a young starlet named Madonna.
The hard rock and metal world was certainly in flux in 1983 with grease painted rock legends KISS decided to scrub off the clown white and go au naturele on MTV. A new metal band was starting to make waves in the Bay Area in 1983. Metallica released Kill 'Em All on Megaforce Records and heavy metal was never the same. 1983 was a confusing year for rock legends Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath with the left-of-center releases of DaDa and Born Again respectively.
So, break out your Wacky Wallwalkers, strap on your Swatch, and hope into the Family Truckster. It's time to hit the time travel highway to 1983!
Wed, 4 April 2012
Networks, KISS Reviews, and The Group Thing
We've been awfully theme-y lately and decided to spend this week doing what we do best; being unorganized and playing whatever we feel from our iPod. Before we get to the music, we've got a few news items. Cue the teletype:
We're now a part of a cult! Decibel Geek Podcast is now a proud member of the Auralgasm Podcasting Network. Don't fear, this doesn't mean that you'll be squirting from your ears in the future. It simply means that we were selected from a large group of entries to be a member of this new podcasting network for independent, high-quality shows. The majority of the shows on the network are comedy based so we're not sure if that means we are funny or unintentionally funny. Either way, we're thrilled to be part of this new and growing network. Head over to Auralgasm to see our dedicated show page with custom artwork. And while you're there, check out some of the other shows. We have and they've made us laugh. We're just sayin'.
This week Chris put up an exclusive review on the Decibel Geek facebook page of his thoughts on KISS' recent performance in New Orleans during the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. Lots of reaction was elicited from Paul Stanley's vocal performance and Chris shares his thoughts and concerns over what this may mean for a very busy 2012 in the world of KISS.
We also give a special thanks to Jeff and Jon over at the Class Rock Bottom website for recently creating a Decibel Geek podcast group on their page. These guys are some of our most dedicated fans and always give us good feedback on the episodes and we are honored that they thought enough of the show build a group page to discuss it. Go check it out!
Lastly, before we get to the tunes, we're on the prowl for more writers/contributors to the official website. We love the content that we receive from our current contributors but are thirsting for more content to share with you, the listener, while you wait for the next episode each week. If you have a passion for writing about hard rock and/or metal and want to get some good exposure to your work, contact us at email@example.com and let us know that you are interested. We look forward to making you a part of the team!
Uh, Aren't We Supposed to Hear Music?
Sorry, we had to shill for a few minutes there but today's show is most definitely packed to the gills with a variety of rock and metal. You're going to hear a little bit of everything today from pop-rock to Danish metal as well as a great track from an Australian band, Chinatown Angels, who were nice enough to send us a bunch of free swag including t-shirts, cds, and posters. We wouldn't play the music if it sucked so you can rest assured that this band is exactly the type of fresh blood that we look for in today's music.
In conclusion, we hope you enjoy the scattered musical picks that we have for you today. They are all over the place and there's definitely something for everyone. Rock on this week and we'll see you next week!
Wed, 28 March 2012
Chris and a raspy-voiced Aaron Camaro return this week with a trip into the past. We're adjusting our flux capacitor and taking the wayback machine to 1975; an era where people wore bellbottoms, platform shoes, and had ridiculous haircuts without a shred of irony.
While there was plenty of music to vomit over, there was also lots of cool rock being put out into the ether. We take some time to share that music in today's episode as well as our discussion of some news events that happened throughout the year.
So, kick back, grab a quaalude, and take off those Toughskins while we take a look at 1975.
Thu, 22 March 2012
After a week spent in Bizarro World, we're back to discuss something *GASP* KISS-related. We'll give you a second to pick your jaw back up. Ready? Okay.
With the recent announcement of the upcoming Summer tour featuring KISS & Motley Crue, we decided that now is as good a time as ever to devote a show to our favorite Starchild, Paul Stanley.
For almost 40 years, Paul Stanley has provided audiences all over the world some awesome musical contributions. No matter what is in fashion, be it disco, new romantic, heavy metal, hair metal, etc, Paul has been able to tap into a genre and produce relevant results.
Today, Mitch Lafon of Bravewords.com joins Chris Czynszak for a discussion of their favorite Paul Stanley-penned KISS tunes. Co-host Aaron Camaro has his voice in the shop this week for repair but does chime in during the intro and outro of the show. He will be back next week.
Today's show is dedicated to the memory of Tony Whitfield; a Decibel Geek listener and avid KISS fan that we lost too soon recently. Tony loved rock and roll and KISS as much as anyone and he carried that torch for all his days through his own projects and ventures.
Tony Whitfield w/Paul Stanley
We salute Tony in this episode with a testimonial from friend Cassius Morris of the Creatures of the Net podcast at the end of the episode. Rock on in Heaven Tony!
The Final Word
So, without further ado, check out Mitch and Chris' picks for favorite Paul Stanley tunes!
Wed, 14 March 2012
After a quick week off, we're back and we're spinning more covers but things are a little different this time. We're not going with tried and true covers this time. This time, we're going into the Bizarro World with some of the strangest rock and metal covers that still kick ass.
These are tunes that were not necessarily originally intended for the rock and metal world but some visionary artists decided to show that, as Autograph, prophesied back in the 1980's, things go better with rock!
We start the show with some talk about our recent discussion with Jan Kuehnemund of Vixen and the response we received as well as the swell new look of our official website and news on our Facebook fan page. We had to whore ourselves out a little.
Moving on, we get into the music with our lone straight ahead rock cover. We had to go with this track because we couldn't squeeze it in on the Under Covers episode and it just plain kicks ass (regardless of band members' political views).
We're not going to be spoilers and give away the tunes we're playing. What fun would that be?
So, kick back with a cold bevereage, crank the show, and stay frosty!
Fri, 2 March 2012
Anyone that was around during the glam rock era of the late 1980’s remembers the teased hair, lipstick, and revealing clothing. There was also a female rock band named Vixen that was giving the pretty boys a run for their money in the hooks and looks department. Plus, you could unashamedly stare at them and drool without requiring therapy in later years.
We recently had an opportunity to spend some time chatting with founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund about all things Vixen and some theories on the music business in general.
Jan gave us all the details of the current Kickstarter project that Vixen has launched to help fund their next album.
We take a trip down memory lane from Jan’s early days forming Vixen in St. Paul, Minnesota with high school friends to their journey out west to Los Angeles in the early 1980’s.
It certainly was not an overnight success story for Kuehnemund as she struggled for a number of years moving Vixen forward while enduring demanding producers and numerous lineup changes.
One lineup of Vixen saw the band portraying a group known as Diaper Rash and performing at a bikini contest on the beach. The group toured the Midwest in between shooting their parts as well as working waitress jobs in the Los Angeles area to survive.
Jan gives us her recollections of the formation of the most notable lineup of the band which included singer Janet Gardner, bassist Share Pedersen, and drummer Roxy Petrucci. We hear her story of how ‘Edge of a Broken Heart’ was written and delivered in 24 hours by singer/songwriter Richard Marx as well as her comparisons of the 1988 debut album to the follow-up Rev It Up.
Aaron and Chris hear Jan’s memories of touring with artists such as KISS, Deep Purple, and Ozzy Osbourne among others.
Throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, Vixen became a chameleon –like group, shuffling members but the transition was certainly not seamless as Jan was in and out of the group and even took them to court over copyright infringement for the 1998 album Tangerine. We asked Jan about the stresses and strains of that era and she was very open about what took place.
We hear about the current lineup of Vixen and how they formed in only a few weeks time to finish out the Voices of Metal tour.
Vh1 came calling a few years later and got Vixen back together for a single one-off performance in Los Angeles. The tension in the room was palpable when the four women met again for the first time in years but they pulled it together to perform.
We also ask Jan if there’s any possibility of another Vixen reunion and she gives us the low-down on recent contact between band members. Pretty interesting stuff.
We want to thank Jan Kuehnemund again for coming on the show and wish her luck in the future with Vixen. To check out more Vixen stuff go to www.vixenrock.com.
Thu, 23 February 2012
We have a jam packed episode filled with tons of music you may have never heard as well as a couple of tracks that you certainly won't want to hear again!
Aaron and Chris take you through a journey of some of their all-time favorite hard rock and metal cover songs in this special edition of the Radio Sucks Radio Show - Under Covers.
In this episode, you will get lots of great cover songs performed by artists such as Sebastian Bach, Metallica, Ace Frehley, Ugly Kid Joe, and Tuff among many others.
We also introduce a new segment to the show this week with 'Defend Your iPod'. In this new feature, Aaron and Chris put each other on trial over a song that is found on each others iPod. We think you will find the choices and revelations in this segment riveting, revolting, and downright weird. The only clue we'll give you is one song is angelic while the other explains how a redneck outing can be just what the doctor ordered when you lose an appendage.
There's lots of music-y goodness for your head holes in this one. Hope you dig it!
Wed, 15 February 2012
We’re very excited to bring you this week’s episode. Today, we give you our recent conversation with Eddie Trunk. Mostly known from That Metal Show on VH1 Classic, Eddie has a rich rock and metal history that we delve into in this hour-plus in-depth discussion.
From High School Student to Record Executive
We venture back to Eddie’s teen years when he was introduced to the radio industry via a college station that taught radio basics to high school students. That led to his employment at a record store located across the street from a local rock and roll radio station in New Jersey. After a run of turning the radio station employees on to a number of rock and metal bands that they were ignoring, Trunk decided to take matters into his own hands and produced a deejay demo tape through a friends pirate radio station. The tape was good enough to earn him an internship at WDHA and later, his own show.
While earning his stripes in rock radio, Trunk met Jon Zazula, then a local record shop owner. Zazula was starting up his own record label and implored Trunk to give his struggling bands some exposure. With that, Eddie Trunk became one of the first major market deejays to spin tracks by bands such as Anthrax and Metallica. Trunk soon took on a job with Zazula, now known as Jonny Z, at Megaforce Records where he ascended to Vice President at the age of 25.
Meeting the Ace and Moving On
While at Megaforce, Trunk helped kickstart the careers of such bands as Kings X, Overkill, and Manowar. But it was a dream come true as a KISS fan to help get Ace Frehley back into the music world with the formation of Frehley’s Comet. Trunk quickly bonded with the guitar legend and their friendship remains strong to this day. In this discussion you’ll hear Eddie’s memories of that time working with Ace and his thoughts on Ace’s recent sobriety.
After a few years at Megaforce, Trunk had a brief stint in music management and continued to build his radio resume in the New York area; working at some of the bigger rock stations as well as being picked up for syndication in other markets.
TV on the Radio & Metal for a Cause
In 2001, Eddie began his long-term relationship with VH1 Classic; becoming the featured male host for special programming as well as interviewing many rock legends on the ‘Hanging With’ series.
Also in 2001, Trunk organized the New York Steel Concert; benefiting the victim’s families of 9/11 with a huge set by Ace Frehley, Overkill, Anthrax, Sebastian Bach, and a reunited Twisted Sister. The event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and is considered by Trunk to be his most proud accomplishment in music.
That Metal Show & The Book Club
Eddie Trunk is currently the host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show; considered to be the leading talk show for all things hard rock and heavy metal. The new season will begin taping in March 2012.
Trunk also recently released his book ‘Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal’ and has appeared at book signings recently. The book is available wherever books are sold and personally signed copies are available at www.EddieTrunk.com.
Updates from Eddie Trunk are also available via his twitter page @EddieTrunk.
We want to thank Eddie again for coming on our show and hope that you enjoy listening to us discuss his history in the hard rock and heavy metal universe. Rock on!
Wed, 8 February 2012
You just keep coming back to get your ears blasted and we thank you! Last week's Eric Carr episode really took off and we want to welcome all the new listeners. For the uninitiated, we try to mix things up throughout the month. While we love doing the interviews and have plenty more for the future, we also like to showcase some music as we're doing today.
Corporate radio sucks. That statement is about as simple as saying that the sky is blue or Nickelback is the antithesis to good music. With that said, Aaron Camaro & Chris Czynszak set out each month to play you some deep cuts from rock and metal history that the payola-induced corporate fat cats shudder away from. This is the Radio Sucks Radio Show part 4!
We've got a full slab of great music for you today. We start things off with a Motorhead track from the 'Iron Fist' album followed by a KISS track off 1974's Hotter than Hell.
Our first break is comprised of a flashback commercial featuring an unlikely pairing between two acts; especially when you consider who was opening up for whom.
We segue into some 'Shout at the Devil' era Motley Crue as we discuss the band's recent residency in Las Vegas. We make sure to update everyone on Vinnie Vincent's recent musical output. It's buggin'! After that, we give you a track from the 31st lineup of L.A. Guns, the last one to feature Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns before they decided that two was better than one.
With this week's release of 'A Different Kind of Truth,' Van Halen is front and center on the world's radar (competing with the likes of Snookie and American Idol, wtf). We decided to avoid the lawsuit and play a classic Van Halen cover instead to get you primed for the new one. Trust us, it's worth going out and picking up.
The second break of the show features David Lee Roth extolling the virtues of the Decibel Geek podcast. We also hear from an inanimate object that is near and dear to a former WASP guitarist's heart (and liver).
The next 2 songs feature polar opposite bands but equally enjoyable. One is known for providing levity and humor in their records and their movie. The other was a legend that's music still holds up today against all of the other metal bands that they inspired.
Next up is a band that you've probably never heard of covering a song of another band you've probably never heard of. Exciting right? Aaron really pulled out a gem with this one. Midnight Moses was originally performed by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band but covered beautifully on this track by Spearfish.
Our next break includes Nigel Tufnel explaining why the Decibel Geek podcast is the only show that goes to eleven. We also hear from Mama Cass in her final moments.
We wrap up the show with some bands that each of us dig from the 1990's. Chris spins a track from a band that many of our listeners probably consider rap-metal but there's no doubt that musically this track slams. Go ahead and start writing your hate mail; we can take it. Aaron closes things out with a track from a band that Chris can't stand. In all fairness, Chris has only heard the one track that this band is known for so Aaron decides to expose him to a new slice of said group's catalog. Will Chris dig it? Wait and see.
That's all we got this week. Can you believe we got through all of these show notes and didn't say one thing about the Super Bowl? Dammit!!!
Wed, 1 February 2012
A Sister’s Culminating Tribute & Mom’s a Groupie?
In Episode 19 we chat with Loretta Caravello, sibling of the late, great Eric Carr of KISS fame. Eric was taken way too early from the rock music world and Loretta has continued to keep his memory alive with the recent release of ‘Unfinished Business’; an album featuring now-completed versions of Eric’s songs that were previously incomplete. The songs are rounded out by a cast of special guests from the rock and metal world including Bruce Kulick (KISS), John Humphrey (Seether), and Ted Poley (Danger Danger) among others.
The discussion starts with talk of the new album including Loretta’s memory of discovering Eric’s 1980 KISS audition tape and how his rendition of Shandi was the only track recorded in stereo on the tape, thus allowing its completion on Unfinished Business.
Chris goes on to tell Loretta his Eric Carr story that involves car trouble after a KISS concert and his mother being mistaken for a lovesick groupie. Listen to the story, it makes more sense.
Kulicks, Frehleys, Wizards & Merchandise, Oh My!
Loretta tells Aaron & Chris about Eric’s bond with Bruce Kulick and Ace Frehley over the years and expounds on the stories of Eric being restricted from playing with Ace on the ‘Breakout’ track with Frehley’s Comet.
She also clears up the mystery floating around about Vinnie Vincent’s supposed ownership of Eric’s makeup design. This rumor has been around quite a while and you’ll get to hear her thoughts on this topic.
Loretta lets us know of some future Eric Carr-related endeavors down the road including a trading card set that will feature many candid photos taken by Eric himself during his time with KISS.
From Stove Repair to Stadiums
We discuss Eric’s meteoric rise from being a stove repairman playing small clubs to playing packed stadiums on the other side of the world just a few months later. Loretta tells us about the call Eric received from Bill Aucoin telling him that he was a member of the band.
This just scratches the surface of what we talked about so go check out the episode and enjoy this trip down the Eric Carr memory lane and be sure to pick up Unfinished Business at www.ericcarr.com!
Thu, 26 January 2012
Where There’s a Will (& Enough Alcohol) There’s a Way
For those of you that saw the post that was put up yesterday, you already know that Chris has had the week from hell and Aaron also had some rough news over the past seven days. But, have no fear, another episode is here!
We may be a day late but we’ve got all the bottom-end that you can handle and we’re not talking about Kim Kardashian (thanks for the extra hits Google Alerts). We’re picking our Top 6 Favorite Bassists today! Why 6 and not the requisite 5 that we always do? Well, you’ll have to listen to the episode to figure that one out but let’s just say that it was due to one of the hosts and it wasn’t the buzzed one.
The Joy of Hops & Bulletproof Vests
We eagerly anticipate a shitstorm of hatred from this episode since it’s about as subjective as it gets. What were our criteria? Well, this week Chris was going through so much that his criteria was basically, pick bassists that he digs and that are memorable. Aaron on the other hand did his homework and has plenty to say about his choices, why he made them, the mysteries of the universe, and a dissertation on the physics of mechanical resonance in pre-Industrial Age Manitoba. Actually, the beer flowed and lots of stuff came out so that’s our best guess.
Ear Candy to Shove in Your Head Holes
With so many different options to choose from on this list, we give you a plethora to think about and digest in this episode. No clues, no hints, just listen to the show and get your torches and pitchforks ready. Some of these you will agree with and some you will not. Either way, it’ll be a good distraction from traffic, treadmills, or bosses with bad breath. We hope you enjoy it and can’t wait to get the hate mail. Rock on folksies!
Wed, 18 January 2012
Diamond Dave & The Hype Machine
For anyone living under a rock or not named Sammy Hagar, the hype surrounding the recently-released single and forthcoming album from Van Halen has sparked loads of excitement and speculation whether the new tunes will cause us to break out our Rubik’s Cube and ponder the days of bellbottoms through Wall Street excess. The first album released by a David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen since 1984; ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ promises to illicit reactions of all kinds on February 7th, when it’s released. The newly released single, ‘Tattoo’ has drawn mixed reviews as well.
The Car’s Out of the Garage & News You Can Use
We are without co-host Aaron Camaro this week, as he’s on assignment with one of his other ventures. Never fear though, we brought in guest commentator Mitch Lafon from Bravewords.com this week.
Before we delve into Van Halen, we have a few news items to discuss in the intro to the show. By the way, if you want to skip straight to the Van Halen discussion, it starts just after the 5 minute mark though I’d rather you listen to me prattle on about other stuff for a few minutes.
We’ve brought on a few new writers to the Decibel Geek website. Please welcome J Alexander, JB, and Andrew to the team! We’ve had some amazing articles and interviews posted in the past week since these folks came on board and I’d like to tip my hat to them. JB’s first articles will be coming very soon. J Alexander wrote a fantastic article about Why Boy Bands Aren’t So Baod (trust us, it’s not what you think) and Andrew Jacobs has been churning out tons of great interviews for us including Larry Harris (former Casablanca Records), Blair N. Bitch (Betty Blowtorch), and Patrice Zappa-Porter (sister of Frank Zappa). Many new articles and interviews are planned in the future for the show and the site as well as a full revamp of the site itself that will make it much more user-friendly and fun to visit so stay tuned!
Dave, Sammy, Gary, & The Gang – A History Discussion
Chris and Mitch first share their thoughts on Van Halen’s appearance at a cramped Café Wha? In New York as well as the then-sample of ‘Tattoo’ that was floating around. They also discuss the different lineups and albums released by Van Halen from the 1977 debut all the way to today. During the discussion, you’ll hear music from each album, some tracks you may have never heard before, and some entertaining (we hope) commercials and liners. There’s tons to discuss and we cram it all into an hour. Van Halen has seriously passionate fans and we are sure that some of our opinions will bring out some pitchforks and cause some bewildered looks but remember, it’s just our opinions. Feel free to use the comment section on the site or facebook or twitter or any of the other outlets we use to tell us how wrong we are. We like the attention.
Wed, 11 January 2012
A Second Helping of “I Don’t Hear a Single, But Who Cares?”
We’re back with another generous portion of tunes that you won’t get to hear on commercial radio because they are too busy getting blown by a&r guys while pimping out whatever modern rock schlock is being force-fed to the masses.
We say, screw that! Decibel Geek presents the Radio Sucks Radio Show 2! We’re giving you some delicious ear candy that will exorcise any Nickelback-inspired demons.
Spacemen & Hard – Up Criminals
We kick things off with a track from KISS spaceman version 1 – Ace Frehley, singing a song that Gene Simmons provided him entitled ‘In Your Face’. This track was recorded for the 1998 Psycho Circus album but, for some insane reason, was cut from the album in favor of the cringeworthy ballad ‘I’ve Finally Found My Way to You’ as well as the self-congratulatory ‘Raise Your Glasses.’ We love KISS (as it’s obvious) but Chris was left scratching his head, and balls, over some of their decision making for this “reunion” album.
Up second is a track that went semi-viral via youtube by Beggars & Thieves. Featuring cameos from Slaughter drummer Blas Elias, Ron Keel, and even noted rock-recluse Jake E. Lee, the video for ‘Come Undone’ drew attention from many of us with a taste for melodic hard rock and a keen sense of nostalgia. Plus, the song really gets stuck in your head which, in this case, is a good thing. Check out the video on the website.
Tony’s Fight & Tool Grabs You
We return from the break with Tomorrow’s Dream from Black Sabbath Volume 4. We recorded this episode a few days before the recent tragic news that guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tony and the Sabbath camp and hope that this excellent track will give you some joy as Tony fights this illness.
Next up is a very stripped down, hungry Tool performing a live rendition of the song ‘Jerk Off’ from the pre-Undertow E.P. entitled Opiate. This cd was on constant rotation in Chris’ dorm rooms in the 90’s as the soundtrack to many activities that are long since forgotten due to the haze from substances of old. Check out Maynard James Keenan’s scream near the end of the song. It could peel paint off the walls.
The Klok is Ticking & Diamond Dave’s Shakespearian Alter-Ego
Aaron gives us all something to think about with his choice of Dethklok’s ‘Castratikon’; a track that will surely get a giggle out of our female audience while increasing the sales of athletic supporters simiultaneiously. Guard your junk guys!
With all of the Van Halen hoopla going around, we thought it would be nice to revisit the old days. The new single ‘Tattoo’ has certainly drawn a mixed reception from music fans but there’s no denying the greatness of this next track, ‘Romeo Delight’. Also, stay tuned for a Van Halen special coming soon from the Decibel Geek podcast!
Chicks With Weapons & Hooded Kidnappers
Aaron shares a track by a band that’s time was cut too short by the tragic death of its singer. Betty Blowtorch has a solid punk rock sound with the sneering vocals of the gone-too-soon Bianca Butthole. Hell on Wheels is the leadoff track from 2001’s ‘Are You Man Enough’ and is a fine example of what could have been.
2002 saw the release of The Song Ramones the Same; a tribute album to the punk pioneers featuring a cool cover of ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away ‘ by a group called Cool Millions. Pay attention for the banjo at the end!
L.A. Guns N Roses Supernova WTFBBQ & Some Rocking Little People
Chris & Aaron have a quick discussion about the ever-revolving lineup of band members for L.A. Guns after a stint with former Rockstar Supernova contestant Dilana lasted longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage (thanks google search engine). Aaron is waiting his turn to be the 878th member of the band. Until then though, we give you a great track from Guns N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction; ‘It’s So Easy.’
We finish things off with a good friend of the show; Russ Dwarf. We interviewed Russ a couple of months ago and can’t wait to have him back on the show in the future. You may be seeing Russ as well as other friends in the wider podcasting world soon so stay tuned!
That’s all for this time! See ya next week!
Thu, 5 January 2012
It’s the New Style for the New Year
You’ll notice a change immediately during the theme song; an abrupt belch which is a sign of something new. We’re giving this whole live recording thing a shot and you’ll hear everything in this episode warts-n-all including Aaron and Chris stumbling over words, getting tongue tied, and sound effects going off without warning. It’s as unprofessional as it gets but at least it’s entertaining. Plus, Chris doesn’t have to play around with hours of editing so hopefully this will be a welcome change that will provide more content in the future.
We start out talking about what we got for KISSMAS including Aaron’s review of the Ace Frehley autobiography, ‘No Regrets’ and the cool new Rocksmith game.
We update Vinnie Vincent’s output for the holidays. Impressive!
Chris gives a shout out to Cassius Morris from the Creatures of the Net podcast who recently did an impromptu interview with Eric Singer who called in during his live stream. Cassius is only 13 years old but is already on his way to becoming a big name in podcasting. Congrats to Cassius!
We share a cool radio commercial advertising the Sex Pistols tour of America in 1977 which leads to a discussion of the Sex Pistols impact in music as well as their reputation rubbing off on other punk bands like the Ramons. We also touch on a quick discussion of the G.G. Allin documentary Hated which documents all of the fecal-smearing, heroin-induced debauchery leading up to Allin’s death.
Ramones in Kindergarten
Chris shares his thoughts on a recent video that’s been sweeping youtube of a kindergarten class singing the Ramones’ classic ‘Judy is a Punk.’ It makes you feel all snuggly inside and gives hope to the world. There’s nothing that will renew your faith in mankind like a bunch of kids singing “perhaps they’ll die”….oh yeah!
Corabi Rocks for Tots & a Cinderella Story
Chris and Aaron reflect on their recent outing to see John Corabi’s Toys for Tots where they got to talk with Corabi as well as Jeff Labar from Cinderella; fresh off his hip-replacement surgery and filled us in on the possibility (or lack thereof) of new music from Cinderella. We recap the setlist and describe our trek over to a hipster bar invaded by metalheads with the strangest mix of songs from the jukebox you’ve ever heard.
Van Halen & the Little People
Chris & Aaron discuss the recent announcement of Van Halen’s new album and new single ‘Tattoo’ due next week. We’re totally excited to hear a song about the little guy from Fantasy Island (thanks to the guys from From Out of Nowhere for that joke). We also bemoan how much cooler this news would have been with Michael Anthony involved.
Shameless Self-Promotion 101 & The Days of Axl’s Life
The guys give their take on the recent induction of Guns N Roses to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a discussion of Eddie Trunk’s recent grilling of the CEO of Hall of Fame as well as the big question of who is going to show up for the ceremony. Will it be the old guys or the new guys? Or, will Axl’s ego be big enough on its own to fill the whole stage. They wind up rambling quite a bit so we hope you dig listening to these guys yack on and on about Axl and co.
Chris & Aaron make the announcement of their expanding roles in the podcasting world as they will be contributing members of Podkisst, the leading KISS podcast as well as some contributions to the great Mars Attacks podcast for their Class Albums series.
That’s our first foray into the recording live thingy. We promise we’ll get better at it. In the meantime, feel free to laugh at all of the mistakes.
Smell ya later!