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Interviews   

The Night Flight Orchestra: A trip through classic rock


The Night Flight Orchestra - David & BjornThe fashion in rock nowadays leans towards retro, with a superabondance of bands offering their own version of the “seventies” or “eighties” spirit – with various degrees of success. The Night Flight Orchestra and their retro sound have a certain something that clearly sets them aside from the teeming masses and will make you feel that they did not simply jump into the bandwagon. The following interview does nothing but strengthen that feeling: first of all, the musicians’ experience gives them a certain intuitive freedom in their music and allows them to explore every aspect of classic rock. And above all, The Night Flight Orchestra never lapses into 70s pastiche or 80s irony. Their music is genuine, passionate, and full of joie de vivre – all qualities that are clearly highlighted in their second record, Skyline Whispers, that we just can’t recommend enough.

We talked at length to the two men behind one of the most exciting classic rock projects of the last few years: vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid and guitarist David Andersson, both of them known for playing in Soilwork, a highly different but still extremely talented band.

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Interviews   

Cradle Of Filth: the witches can’t change their spots


Dani Filth - Cradle Of FilthIt’s tough for a band to lose two guitarists at once, especially when one of them was a founding member. But if you are willing to take a new start, it can be a rejuvenating experience that will help you put aside the ways you’ve become stuck in. And this, it would seem, is what happened to a very famous black metal band (whatever genre Nazis might say): Cradle Of Filth.

In the following interview, you can literally feel the enthusiasm of the band’s leader, Dani Filth, regarding this breath of fresh air and the arrival of an actual duo of guitarists, who deliver riffs, melodies and harmonies with great complicity. For the band, the new record, Hammer Of The Witches, was an opportunity to start working as a six-piece again (when The Manticore And Other Horrors was the work of only three people), and to revive the spirit of the most emblematic albums of their career.

A very talkative Dani Filth talks about all this after the cut. Get ready for an interview about sorcery and eroticism, and for a few cutting remarks aimed at the band’s detractors.

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Interviews   

Under The Sun Of Faith No More


Mike Bordin - Faith No MoreAll it took was a reunion at keyboardist Roddy Bottum’s wedding: the members of Faith No More remembered the good old times and the strength of their personal and artistic relationship, and in 2009, what we’d all stopped hoping for (because 12 years is a long time) happened: one of the most unique and liberated rock bands ever to grace this planet was back. It took 18 years for us to enjoy the successor to Album Of The Year, but Sol Invictus is finally there for us to savor – just liked we savored the band’s strange but classy show at the Hellfest a few weeks ago, with white-clad musicians and heaps of spring flowers.

It was during the festival that we met drummer Mike Bordin, who seems genuinely happy about the band’s situation. The word “proud” keeps coming back whenever he mentions the new album. Bordin shares with us the spirit that has motivated the return of Faith No More and the writing of new songs, gives us a few clues to understand his own positive personality, and explains the band’s relation to business and the unique character of their music.

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Interviews   

Frank Iero: music from the guts


Frank Iero & The CellabrationAlthough My Chemical Romance split in 2013, there was no way Frank Iero, the band’s rhythm guitarist, was going to slow down. He was already involved in other projects when MCR’s schedule allowed, and he’s since tinkered with industrial experiments with Death Spells, started exploring other artistic forms on his website, and embarked almost reluctantly on a solo career with Frnkiero And The Cellabration. The first album he put out under this name, Stomachaches, was composed on his own, mixing the pop/rock undertones his fans are used to and an almost folk songwriting to deliver a record that is at once straightforward and full of paradoxes.

We met a jovial and loquacious Frank before his concert at the Longlive Festival in Lyon to talk about this new project. Pleasantly surprised by the turn of events since the release of Stomachaches, the man doesn’t hide his enthusiasms or his doubts, and comes across as a tireless and humble artist who tries to fight against his own limits and do what he likes. We talked about all this in the following interview.

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Interviews   

Johanna Sadonis makes a pact with Lucifer


Johanna Sadonis - LuciferEvery misfortune can turn out to have a silver lining. That’s the kind of twist life sometimes has in store for us – and it’s precisely what singer Johanna Sadonis went through in the space of just one year. 2014 saw the release of the first album of her band The Oath, as well as said band’s demise. Johanna’s effervescent duo with Linnéa Olsson was full of promises, but as the singer confesses, it ended bitterly. But wallowing in sorrow is useless, and that same year, Johanna founded Lucifer with guitarist Gary Jennings, one of doom and stoner rock’s masters of riffs, renowned for his work with one of the kings of the genre, Cathedral.

Speaking of the devil, it was Lee Dorian, Cathedral’s former vocalist (they called it quits in 2013) and Rise Above Records’ current boss, who knocked at our digital door, explaining that Lucifer is now one of his label’s priority. The man has a good intuition for that sort of things (he was after all the one who discovered and signed Ghost, a band that offers retro music as well and has everyone talking about them now), and it’s obvious when you listen to the combo’s first record, soberly titled Lucifer I, that he was right once again.

Without a second thought, we picked up the phone to call Johanna, who told us about all this and more.

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Interviews   

Armored Saint: A smashing return!


John Bush & Joey Vera - Armored Saint 2015 by Stephanie CabralAll those who know Armored Saint will agree that the band has never had the success or the recognition they deserved. And yet, both bassist Joey Vera and vocalist John Bush, the two leaders and main composers of the combo, don’t really seem to care. On the contrary, they fully appreciate their good fortune: over thirty years after their debut, they still have fans, are still able to release albums and enjoy full artistic creation. Their new album, Win Hands Down, is the epitome of musical success. Five years after La Raza, which was also lauded by the critics, the band comes back victorious.

We met the two musicians to talk about the record at length. And since Armored Saint releases are few and far between, we wanted to take the opportunity, with this very long interview, to also talk about the band’s state of mind, the way they look back on their career, the way they work, as well as Anthrax (with whom John Bush played for thirteen years), Fates Warning (Joey Vera’s other main band, which, in his own admission, helped him evolve as a musician and a composer in the 90s), and Motor Sister, Scott Ian’s new band, in which the bassist also plays.

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Interviews   

Helloween: the pumpkins claim their rights


Helloween 2015

Over the years, Helloween have shown that they reserve the right to do whatever they want, whether it is the controversial Chameleon (1993), the gloomy The Dark Ride (2000), or the sometimes crazy Unarmed (2009). But that also means they have the right to release a “traditional” album, something that will satisfy the three generations of fans that have followed them through the years and the turmoil that went along with them. Said album is called My God-Given Right, and guitarist Michael Weikath would really like it to replace the obligatory Scorpions best of record in every household in the world. This is the summary of Helloween’s sound, a perfect release to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their first album, Walls Of Jericho, twenty years with singer Andi Deris, and ten years with the current line-up (a record for the pumpkins).

We met founding member Michael Weikath and Andi Deris to talk about the band’s fifteenth record, their musical choices (which have something to do with producer Charlie Bauerfeind), and the themes of the album – and, from there, to extrapolate on thorny topics, like humor, religion, and freedom. Because the two buddies are the talkative kind, we learned many things about them and the band along the way.

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Interviews   

Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) : “Without rock, we’re fucked”


Justin Hawkins - The Darkness by Scarlet PageLike any self-respecting rock band, The Darkness have had their share of disappointments and difficulties. Just a few weeks ago, a couple of days after this very interview was conducted, they announced Emily Dolan Davies was leaving the band, even though her arrival had only been made official at the end of December 2014. But according to singer Justin Hawkins, setbacks are more than just part of a rock star’s job: they’re actually necessary. “Nobody wants to live life on the tea cups of the funfair, you want to go to the roller coaster! It’s much more interesting”, he says.

The band’s latest album, The Last Of Our Kind, is a vibrant homage to a special brand of rock: the unifying, licentious, slightly exuberant kind. A genre Hawkins talks about with genuine passion, which makes him feel like a super-hero, and which he would like to put back in the spotlight in popular culture, although he remains pragmatic and realistic. In the meantime, The Darkness took the matter into their own hands, and now they’re putting out an album they can be proud of. Hawkins tells us all about it after the cut.

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Interviews   

Dir En Grey delve into their origins


Kaoru - Dir En GreyTo us Westerners, Japanese culture is both fascinating and puzzling. First because we’re less used to it than we are to other, more dominating cultures in the global artistic world. With regards to metal, we’re obviously more accustomed to the American, English, German, or Scandinavian scenes. But what makes things all the more mysterious, if not utterly incomprehensible to us, is that Japanese art mirrors a society, culture and way of life vastly different from our own.

We recently talked to Japanese band Dir En Grey, who offer a crazy musical and emotional roller-coaster. We asked guitarist Kaoru to help us understand what makes Japanese music and art so special. It was also a good opportunity to talk about the band’s new album, Arche, which revolves around pain – a subject more unifying than any other, according to him.

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Interviews   

When the white snake puts on its purple coat


David Coverdale - Whitesnake by Mark Weiss“Non, je ne regrette rien”, as Édith Piaf would put it. Now those lyrics apply to David Coverdale, who went back to his distant past to put together The Purple Album, Whitesnake’s latest record, made up of covers from his era in Deep Purple. It is with unmitigated pleasure that we listen to him talk about the surprising genesis of this project, but also about his memories from the years 1973-1976, his relationship with Ritchie Blackmore and the late Jon Lord, everything the experience has brought him, and his genuine, never-ending gratitude. Now, in the 2010s, Coverdale has the same passion for music and the idea of creating it that he had at the time – even if he’s aware that time does fly, and if it’s obvious he’s wondering what the future will be made of. The Purple Album could be his last rock record, he confesses, without too much confidence.

At any rate, it is the first album since the departure of guitarist Doug Aldrich, who rekindled the fire in Whitesnake’s music in the space of two records. Consequently, it’s also the first with his new guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, whose talent as a classical musical never ceases to amaze him. It might also be a good opportunity to start considering a more acoustic and intimist music. But he’ll tell you that himself, too.

With David Coverdale, questions are almost unnecessary; they’re merely prods for him to keep telling his story, with all the detours and deviations that go with it. An interview with him also implies a healthy dose of honesty, elegance (when he talks about other people), and humor (particularly when he goes all Columbo and talks about his wife, who seems to matter an awful lot to him). And this time, the poet trades Häägen-Dazs for little blue birdsto kick off his tale…

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  • Monday, 24 August 2015 à 0:53
    Phil Campbell isn’t afraid to speak his mind!
    Wednesday, 5 August 2015 à 9:18
    Andi Deris (Helloween), a realistic optimist
    Friday, 17 July 2015 à 17:14
    Hellyeah will give blood for blood
    Monday, 6 July 2015 à 20:13
    Under The Sun Of Faith No More
    Sunday, 28 June 2015 à 14:55
    Mr. Lordi loves to tease
    Tuesday, 23 June 2015 à 16:41
    Gojira: Joe Duplantier answers your questions
    Saturday, 13 June 2015 à 11:48
    Johanna Sadonis makes a pact with Lucifer
    1/3
    base
    kprod