Lulu – Why Branding Sells More Than the Music Itself

Blog, Rock/Metal

I’ll get this off of my chest now, before I move on to the real reason I’m writing about this album. ‘Lulu’ the collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica is the worst album I’ve ever heard. The reason I don’t like the album apart from the fact that it sounds awful, is just how pretentious it is. They’ve deliberately created this as a legacy project – in the vain hope that years down the line people will regard it as a work of genius. They could describe it as ‘artistic’ and a project of expression. However, the truly iconic examples of artistic works we’ve seen over time, weren’t created for the egotistical pursuit of legacy (at least most of them weren’t).

Why Are Good Drummers Are Like Gold Dust?

Blog, Rock/Metal

Why is a good drummer so hard to find? My band has recently started looking around for a new drummer and it’s really, really hard.

The thing about drummers is, they are usually mental. I know this, because I used to be one. We’ve tried different approaches, advertising in practice studios, online etc, but we’re not having much luck. The best drummers I know are frantically busy with session work, already in other bands, working in education etc… So you’re hardly likely to be approached by a drummer. No – it’s us that will have to do the chasing.

We even tried the approach of looking at students at University who haven’t yet been snapped up by someone else. Trouble with this approach is they are either a) Incredibly unreliable or b) Not good enough to the point you’re surprised they’re doing a degree in it.

So what I’m really looking for is some alternatives for this situation. At this rate we’ll do away with the drummer and have a drum machine… at least it’ll be on time to band practice…

Blast From The Wasted Past

Blog, Live Music, Rock/Metal

If you’ve read the About Me section of this website, you will note that I used to be in a metal band called Wasted. We were a bunch of Metallica wannabes at the time and to be honest, we sounded more like a cross between Venom and a bunch of pissed mates doing their best to be metal.

One cool thing we did was a Metallica medley at a bunch of gigs with a mixture of new and old songs including St. Anger (it had just come out). Recently the guitarist and singer dug out an old VHS tape of one of these gigs and hastily uploaded it to YouTube. I’m proud to say I’m about to post it here. I’m semi-relieved I didn’t suck as much on drums as I thought I did…

Song Lyrics I Can’t Stand

Blog, Rock/Metal

I’m rubbish with lyrics. In my band, I don’t think I’ve ever written a single lyric – I don’t view music as some sort of poetic outlet and I’ve rarely written a piece of music that expresses some innermost feeling. I don’t say this as a dig at other musicians, rather I don’t share the same gift they have. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t spot a bad lyric every now and then.

Live Review: Secret Skunk Anansie Rehearsal

Blog, Live Music, Reviews, Rock/Metal

A few Fridays ago I tagged along with a friend to go and see Skunk Anansie live. The only difference was this wasn’t a gig, it was a rehearsal. The next day they were due to start a new tour promoting their new album ‘Wonderlustre’ so they held a special friends and family only rehearsal at LH2 studios in West London. It was a chance to see their full stage set up, lighting, costumes, the works. There was only about 50 or so people there in this large hall but the atmosphere was still great.

Book Review: ‘To Live Is To Die’ by Joel McIver

Blog, Reviews, Rock/Metal

Looking around in any bookstore and you’ll see a large number of biographies of rock and metal stars. Of course many rock stars never quite got the chance to write about their life, meeting their maker much sooner than many would have wanted.

Joel McIver’s book is no ordinary book of another dead rock star. ‘To Live Is To Die’ is a book about Metallica’s Cliff Burton documenting his early family life and love of music right up until his untimely death in 1986. Right from the beginning it’s clear that this book is very well researched with interviews quoted from people associated with Metallica right from the very beginning of their existence. McIver even took the time to interview many people himself which is why this is a highly reliable and faithful account of Metallica’s genius bassist.

‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ on Piano

Blog, Rock/Metal

First of all, many apologies for not posting on here for a while. I’ve been off rebuilding the website for my band after a lineup change. Whilst I get back into the flow of posting stuff again I thought I’d put up a video of me I recorded yesterday playing Alice in Chains’ song ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ on piano.

I learnt most of this by ear so I don’t know if it’s 100% accurate but it’s good enough for me… The original song has Elton John playing piano on the recording which was a collaboration I never saw coming. Anyway hope you enjoy it, leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Live Review: Sonisphere 2010 (Day Two)

Blog, Live Music, Reviews, Rock/Metal

So on Saturday I was most fortunate to attend the second day of the Sonisphere festival. I’d only known I was going since the day before and ended up on Anthrax’s guest list but in my opinion the second day had the most enticing line-up of bands. What I thought I’d do is talk through the bands I saw and how good there were. Some were great, some not so and one performance will remain in my memory forever. So without further ado, let’s crack on…

YouTube ‘Lyric’ Videos – A New Craze?

Blog, Digital Music, Internet, Music Marketing, Rock/Metal

It’s that time of year when bands gradually start rolling out new albums for the listening public. In the run up to the release date it’s now fairly common for them to release a ‘single’ to give fans a taster of what’s to come. ‘But it’s always been like that!’ I hear you say – well indeed, but the method of which the single is released and promoted  has changed dramatically.