Chaotic Riffs Magazine - Issue 1 - Portfolio

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Chaotic Riffs Magazine - Issue 1 - Portfolio
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Freakshow - An Interview with Frankie Banali .......... 4
Predator - An Interview with Guitarist Damien Lee Thorr .......... 8
Smash & Grab Review - Bugera Bugera 333xl 2-12 .......... 14
Holes & Hearts - An Interview with Riley .......... 16
Holes & Hearts - An Interview with Casey .......... 19
Pressure - An Exclusive Interview with Director AJ Caruso .......... 23
Interview with Mike from "Back From The Ashes" .......... 28
Guitar Lesson with Damien Thorr .......... 30
Kristy Majors Interview .......... 32
Editor
Leith Taylor
Graphic Design
Phil Dirlam
Illustrat ion
Phreakshow
Advertise With Us:
[email protected]
Questions or Comments:
[email protected]
Reviews
“Chopper”
McGhee
Lessons
Damien Lee
Thorr
Chaotic Riffs Magazine is owned, created and published by:
Vortexual Dreams Production, Inc.
PO Box 32, Ocala, FL 34478
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
tracks for what became
FREAKSHOW.
JRock: Freakshow is the
first band you’ve been
involved with since Quiet
Riot played it’s final gig in
2007.....Did you have any
reservations about being in
another band after being
in Quiet Riot for so many
years?
JRock: Freakshow is
Markus Christopher Allen
(Miss Crazy) of Lead Vocals/Guitar, Jeff Lebar on
Lead Guitar (Cinderella),
Tony Franklin (The Firm/
Blue Murder) and you......
What was it like when
you guys got together and
jammed for the very first
time?
Frankie Banali: While
there is no question that
QUIET RIOT has always
been my number one
priority. I’ve also always
been involved in a lot of
other musical opportunities
throughout my career. The
FREAKSHOW recordings
initially began simply as a
recording session because
you never really know how
anything is going to develop anymore.
Frankie Banali: We’ve
never done so. I flew to
San Jose, did one day
of pre-production with
Markus, then recorded all
the tracks in two evening
sessions, a seven hour
session and a three hour
session the following day.
The rough guitar and vocal
tracks along with the final
drum tracks were sent to
Tony Franklin, he completed the tracks at his studio
in LA and then sent them
back to Markus. Jeff flew
in and recorded the guitar
solos with Markus in San
Jose.
JRock: Can you tell me
how you first got involved
with Freakshow?
Frankie Banali: I received
a call from Markus asking if I would be interested
in recording the drums to
songs that he had written. I
told him that I would like to
hear the material first before
deciding to make sure I was
the right drummer for the
songs. We left it at that and
about six months later he
called again and we spoke
for quite some time and he
then sent me four songs and I really liked the material. JRock: What was the songI looked at my schedule and I was booked to record writing like for this album?
drum tracks for Guns ‘N Roses keyboardist Dizzy
Reed’s solo record. Once I had completed those ses- Frankie Banali: Markus
wrote all the songs. There
sions I made plans to fly to San Jose where Markus
was based out of to commence recording the drum
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
were two songs in particular that Markus
felt that I changed the songs enough to be
credited as a writer. I left my musical DNA
all over all the songs.
JRock: Freakshow features an all-star
lineup....I was curious if you were a fan of
the work they did in their previous
bands?
Frankie Banali: I have had a musical
relationship with Tony Franklin as far back
as 1992 both in studio recordings and live
performances. Tony is fantastically talented and my favorite bass player to play
with. Since FREAKSHOW began more as
a musical idea than a band, I suggested to
Markus, who already knew Tony through
Tony’s work as the artist rep at Fender
and his personal musical history, that I
would approach Tony to see if he would
be interested in recording the bass tracks.
Happily he was. Jeff La Bar I’ve known
for decades and have wanted to work with
him for decades! He’s the real deal, a great
honest rock and roll guitarist, I just love
that guy. Markus I only initially knew from
our phone conversations and from the
M!SS CRAZY CD’s that he had sent me.
He is a very good songwriter, knows how
to belt out a rock tune and is a riff master
on the guitar. I think that all four of the
musicians involved have created a very
unique sound in this day and age while still
maintaining a foothold from each of our
musical influences.
JRock: I understand that Freakshow’s
debut release is going to be released on
Retrospect Records. How did Freakshow
get involved with them?
Frankie Banali: I had received a
message from Cass the VP at Rose
Entertainment to let me know that
Retrospect Records had heard some
of the material via the FREAKSHOW Myspace and that they were
very interested. I contacted the
label and negotiated the contract on
behalf of FREAKSHOW.
JRock: How did you guys come up
with the name Freakshow?
Frankie Banali: One day Markus
kept sending me text messages with
name ideas one after another after
another. One of the names had the
word “Freak” in it, I text him back
FREAKSHOW and it seems to have
stuck.
JRock: How important of a role do
you believe the Internet has played
in helping to promote Freakshow?
Frankie Banali: No more and no
less than any other band. Of course
the Internet allows anyone to reach
a broad number of people worldwide instantaneously, but I think
that the interest in FREAKSHOW
is largely generated by the style and
quality of the songs and the name
value of all the people involved and
their musical associations, that being my name alongside the QUIET
RIOT, W.A.S.P. etc., entities, Tony
Franklin’s name alongside The
Firm, Blue Murder etc., Jeff LaBar’s name alongside Cinderella
and Markus Allen Christopher’s
band M!SS CRAZY.
Frankie Banali
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: What do you remember most about the recording sessions for Freakshow?
Frankie Banali: That it came very easy to me because the songs are really great rock songs and
suited to my style of drumming. I came in as usual very prepared. I knew what I wanted to play on
the songs that I already had as demos and the balance I learned on the one evening of pre-production. Markus and I worked very well together, so it was easy even though we had only met 24 hours
before for the first time and I was back home in LA 72 hours later.
JRock: Can you tell the readers of chaotic riffs magazine about the Drums you used on The Freakshow CD?
Frankie Banali: I used a Ludwig re-issue Amber Vistalite set, 14 X 26 Bass drum, 10 X 14 rack
tom, 16 X 16 and 16 X 18 floor toms. The cymbals were Sabian APX model 24” ride, 18” and 20”
crash cymbals and 15” hi-hats. The drum heads were Aquarian. I had planned to bring my 1976
Ludwig 6.5 X 14 Supraphonic snare drum that I used on the METAL HEALTH record and thought
I had until I got back home and realized that I had grabbed the 1977 Ludwig 6.5 X 14 Supraphonic
snare drum instead from the rack. Easy mistake, my vintage snare racks have 88 or 89 snare drums!
Johnny Lima who engineered the record did a fantastic job in capturing what I sound like which I
am so grateful to him for that. Thanks Johnny!
JRock: Do you have a favorite song off of the Freakshow CD?
Frankie Banali: I like them all very much, so it’s difficult to
pick. If I had to choose I think they would be “Looking Back
At Me” “It’s Really Over” “Welcome to the Freakshow” “Everyone” but they are all really fun songs.
JRock: How many songs are on the Freakshow CD and do you
have a release date yet?
Frankie Banali: There are eleven songs total and we have a
tentative release date of April 10th.
JRock: Does Freakshow plan on touring behind the
new CD?
Frankie Banali: I think everyone would like to, it
just depends what happens with the record. I don’t
need to tell you what the state of the music industry
is in. I must mention that from the start it was understood that Tony does not want want to tour because of all of his existing commitments. So the bass
player situation would need to be addressed at the
proper time.
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: What have you been listening to
these days as far as
new music goes?
Frankie Banali: Odd variety of things
as usual. Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis,
George Clinton, Verdi, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Vivaldi, Free,
Janis Joplin, Humble Pie..... It goes on
and on, and on!
JRock: A few years back you release
a Led Zeppelin tribute CD .... Do you
have any plans to release an other CD
with Frankie Banali and friends, or
maybe even a Frankie Banali solo CD
down the line?
Frankie Banali: No plans for another
Led Zeppelin Tribute CD. I’ve toyed
with the idea of doing a solo CD with
my songwriting partner, extraordinary
guitarist and studio engineering whiz
Neil Citron, but I need just the right
muse to motivate me in that direction if
ever.
JRock: Anything you’d like to say to
your fans?
Frankie Banali: Thank you for all the many years of
support of the many musical adventures that I’ve been
a part of to date. It is you that have made it possible for
me to have a career that has lasted far longer than I ever
expected it to last. For that I am grateful.
Interview by JRock Houston
FREAKSHOW
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Interview By Riff Maniac (Leith Taylor)
Riff Maniac: I understand that Predator has
finished the recording for
their debut album. What
was the inspiration for the
songwriting for this killer
CD?
with the plan to record a
really good album and it
was the perfect opportunity to share my views and
thoughts.
Each song is unique. With
that I mean that each song
talks about something difDamien: I have always
ferent and with the hope to
written and always observed the world. Many make others think. Obvithings happen in life that ously, we are in a world
really make you think and where nothing takes us by
surprise anymore. However,
do something about it.
Chris and I got together so much needs to change.
Damien: Each song is
very special. We love playing the entire set live. As
far as favorites go, it all
depends on the mood.
Riff Maniac: What type
of guitars were used during the recording of the
album?
something, you can
always go back and
change it and even
create newer parts for
the songs and when inspiration hits, the ideas
can be interesting.
Riff Maniac: Were
there any obstacles
along the way while
Damien: We used a bunch
recording your selfof different guitars. I
titled album?
make these really cool
hand made guitars called Damien: Chris and I experithe Raven, under my own enced all sorts of computer
glitches and other problems.
Riff Maniac: Is there a
name brand, Damien.
favorite song on the CD
Chris and I use these. On One of the bigger problems
you enjoy to play or are all the majority of the album was finding the right lead
singer. We originally had
of them fun to play?
Chris and I used Mosers
(BVI and Genesis) and for this guy who was great
Cursed, I used one of the but became very unreliable. It took Chris and I
Ravens I designed. They
more than 7 weeks to find
are really great!
a replacement. We met
Riff Maniac: As a talented a lot of really nice guys
musician do you prefer be- but all of them sucked.
ing in the recording studio We hired this one guy
or performing live?
but his personality was
that of a complete jackass
Damien: Recording is
always a challenge. Play- so we decided to scrap
ing live is always fun and the tracks he recorded
pumps you full of energy. and went on the hunt
for a lead singer again.
In the studio, you have
more options for creativity. Nestor came highly
If you don’t like
recommended by a
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Riff Maniac: What’s it like being
in band with Chris Reiser who is a
past student of yours? Do you guys
Riff Maniac: Was there one
disagree on styles or agree on most
song that gave the band trouble
things?
during the recording of it?
Damien: It is a great pleasure to
Damien: I can’t think of any
play with Chris. Even at a young
particular song that gave us any
age, he displayed some very imhell while recording. It was difpressive musical skills. We don’t
ficult overcoming the computer
really disagree on anything. We
problems when they hit. Somemake up Predator’s guitar team and
times we’d record something
everything we do matches quite
and it would be lost. Then we’d
well. He’ll come up with ideas that
hear things in the mix and then
make my head turn and I come up
were unable to fix them. Chris
with ideas and we make everything
was learning the programs as
work.
we went along. I think he’s got
it down now.
Riff Maniac: Tell us a little about
the line up for the band and how
Riff Maniac: What endorseyou guys got together?
ments does the band have
currently?
Damien: Our lead singer is Nestor
Aguirre, from Managua, NicaraDamien: Chris and I both have
gua. He has an amazing voice. We
an endorsement with Moser
first heard him sing on some videos
guitars. Neal Moser was one of
we found on YouTube. His voice
the founders of BC Rich. After
was great but I wasn’t sure he
a while, he went off on his own
could sing with the band because in
and has been
the videos, he sang without music.
making some re- It was just him. I wanted to audially good guitars. tion him to make sure he had an
Mosers are really ear, that he could sing in key. When
great. Remember, we brought him in for his audition,
I own a music
we had him sing Icon. He totally
store, so I can
blew us away.
play any guitar I
feel like playing. Chris Reiser is an extraordinary
guitarist with a great heart for
I choose Mosers.And we play heavy metal. I have always admired him and it is a real kick playDamiens, too!
ing with him. We are a lot alike.
friend and brought him in for
an audition.
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
We like the same things and think a lot
alike as well.
Rotten Rudy Orozco is also from Managua, Nicaragua. He is a really nice guy
with a metal heart to match Chris and I.
He has great playing abilities and gets the
driving sound of Predator home for us.
We were looking for a bass player and he
was always tagging along with Nestor. We
handed him a bass and that was it!
Our Drummer is Dan Galante. He is from
New York. I had placed an ad in Craig’s
List looking for a drummer. There were
other ads on there for the same thing. I
didn’t think we would find someone because of all the ads there. I got a call from
Dan but he had dialed my number by mistake. He was actually trying to reach one
of the other bands to play covers. I talked
him into coming in and we hit it off. He is
a really nice guy with a lot of talent.
Riff Maniac: I understand that the song
Closet Anti-Christ is written about domestic violence and that a portion of the
proceeds from the sale of the album will
be going to Women In Distress.
Can you tell the readers a little
about the inspiration behind
the writing of the song and getting involved with Women In
Distress?
Damien: Chris and I bounced
ideas back and forth for this
one. He had most of the song
written out and I helped him
arrange it so that it could fit the
melody and lyrics.
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
I got the idea for the lyrics a long time ago but never
wrote it until it was time to record the PREDATOR CD.
It was long ago when I lived in an apartment complex in
Ft Lauderdale. There was a very beautiful girl living a
few doors down from me. She was absolutely gorgeous....
you know... when you see someone very attractive at the
mall or at the beach... for just a few seconds but yet, you
remember them the rest of your life..... you know what I
mean... anyway, I was a bit envious of her live-in boyfriend. One day I was coming home from work and he
was beating her up. Without a second thought, I jumped
in to rescue her. I beat him black and blue. I helped her
gather her things so she could go and stay at her sister’s
house. She gave me her phone number and it made me
very happy because I thought she and I could begin
something special.... something beautiful and wonderful.... I thought we could have a great relationship... or at
least a nice time under the sheets.... Anyway, 3 days later
she moved back in with the asshole. I moved on... I never
understood why women stay.
Damien: We have just been signed by the metal label
Arctic Music Group for distribution. As of June 2,
it will be in stores everywhere. People can order it
online from various sources.
Riff Maniac: What type of fan base would you say
would enjoy listening to the CD?
Damien: Metal heads. People who really and truly
love heavy metal.
Riff Maniac: What is the best thing about being in the
band Predator?
Damien: Playing our music. The creative process. We
have a lot of fun.
Riff Maniac: What do you think about the state of the
music industry?
Damien: Interesting how new technology has changed
the world. In the past, unknown bands would remain
unknown. Now with Internet connections, people can
I have a friend who works at the local Women In Distress reach anyone in the world. I think we have grown
shelter and she tells me about how many women have no popular due to that technology.
other place to go so they sleep on the floor. It breaks you Riff Maniac: If you had to sum up the band’s lyrics in
and makes you think when some people have nothing...
eight words or less, what would it be?
We are trying to sell enough cd’s (the dvd of our video is
Damien: Poetry that makes you do a double take. It is
included) so we could donate money to help them out.
all hard and cold reality about the world that our lyrics
One thing that has pissed me off is that we reflect.
have been harshly criticized by a couple of Riff Maniac: After listening to the songs
Christian groups for the song title. I tried
on the CD, the lyrics seem very thought
explaining that the song is about domestic provoking and powerful. Can you elaboabuse and it seems it goes in one ear and
rate a bit on how the writing of the lyrics
out the other. It seems they miss the point
took place?
of life and act as if they are right and everyone else is wrong. I find their ignorance Damien: CURSED (LETTERS FROM
HELL) ...... This one is a hard subject alquite amusing.
ways open for debate. This one asks “who
Riff Maniac: As far as the sale of the Pred- has the right to die at will?”. After sufator CD goes can fans purchase that online fering a fate worse than death, completely
or will it also be available in stores?
unable to enjoy a decent quality life,
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
without any freedom, who would want to live? Is it
noble or is it too much to ask the government for the
right to suicide? I wrote this one when Chris Reiser
and I were coming up with ideas for songs. He had the
amazing intro riff and I had just read the book by Ramon Sampedro with the title, LETTERS FROM HELL.
It is basically the sad story of a sailor who suffered
an accident that left him quadriplegic. He challenged
the courts in Spain for the right to die but it was never
granted. Subsequently he found a way to terminate his
life without implicating others. Once Chris showed me
the riff, the song flowed very quickly and we finished it
right away. I love the power of the sound and Nestor’s
voice really comes through on this one. Now... I am not
saying that everyone should die when they want to....
I am simply saying when there is no hope of a good
quality life, and not remnants of what their life was,
as in terminally ill people who suffer greatly, it should
be an option and not the depressed rich woman who
wants to die because her husband bought her the silver
Mercedes when she wanted a red one.
with abuse. They are very thankful and it makes me feel
good that we touched them in a positive way.
DEMON SOUL..... Chris came up with some really
amazing guitar parts for this one. As soon as he played it
for me, I loved it. I helped him with arranging the parts
where I could compose the melody and then the lyrics.
This one is about drug addicted women who let their
children starve while they get their fix. Unfortunately,
it is a side of the drug war that no one gets to see. It
amazes me how the film TRAFFIC a few years back
documented so much about the drug problems in the
world. They showed how everyone is affected except
they missed one vital and most important element: the
children. When authorities make a drug bust, the children of these people are always removed from the home
and placed immediately into foster care. These children
are the casualties of the drug war.
DIE UNBORN..... I had played around with the idea
for a long time for this one. The riff for the intro Chris
had composed a few years back when he was in Metal
Militia with Paolo Gregolletto, who is now the bass
BETWEEN VENGEANCE & FORGIVENESS....This
player from Trivium. We used the intro riff and basically
song deals with a few issues: ethics, religion, greed,
created a whole new song from it. It is one of my favorto name a few..... Sometimes I get so pissed at the
ites that we play live because it has that raw and heavy
f#%king world I just want to scream..... Some people
power that I love in a metal band. It is a song about
complain endlessly without motive and never realize
abortion. A touchy subject where two opposing views
their petty cries are outweighed by some who are less
always collide. I thought it was an interestfortunate. I guess they have never visited
ing poem if it were written from the point of
people at the burn unit at the hospital or
view of the unborn. It is difficult when both
a homeless shelter for abused children.
sides are right and wrong at the same time.
Or perhaps they have never seen children
ICON.... This was originally on my Sonic
sleeping on the church steps in South
Brutality solo album I did a while back. It
America.
is a song about war. I understand war is a
CLOSET ANTI-CHRIST.......I already
necessary evil.... but to what extent and when
talked about this one earlier on. It is
do we quit? I believe in kicking ass when
about domestic abuse. Since we put
needed! Chris insisted that we do the song
the video on our Myspace page, many
for Predator and it worked out great. It was
women have come forward with a horror also the very first one we auditioned Nestor
story about their own person experiences with and he totally blew us away!
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
FUGUE-ITIVE is basically one of J.S.Bach’s inventions and I took the right hand and arranged it for one
guitar and the other hand for another guitar. I love playing it and Chris and I have a lot of fun with it.
LONE WOLF ..... This one was written after reflecting
on how fortunate life can be as you look at the bright
side of things. Chris came up with some really brilliant
parts for this and the fast speed really got me going. I
love heavy metal when ripped fast. I helped arrange the
parts and composed the lyrics. I put together the harmony lead licks together and they fit in very well. This
is actually the very first song Chris and I wrote together
and recorded for the album.
a young guy going to his girlfriend’s father to explain
that he’s just gotten her pregnant.....I don’t think a metal
song has covered this subject..... very real...... very
powerful.......and very HEAVY! The sound is just pure
thrash metal! Chris presented the riffs to me and I immediately knew this one was going to be cool. It is short
but really kicks ass.
IN THE NAME OF GOD?... This song was written in
the very typical way that Chris and I write. We bounced
a few ideas back and forth and before we knew it, we
had a kick ass song in our hands. I love the energy of
this one when we play it live and Nestor was absolutely
incredible when we recorded it. The lyrics reflect much
of the hypocritical behavior we see with religious orgaMERCY.... This was a hard one for me..... This song
nizations. Everyone one of them does things and prois about children in foster care. It affects me in many
motes things that are nothing but nonsense. All of them
ways since I myself was fostering a few years back and
are guilty: Jews, Christians, Muslims.... the list goes on.
lost a child I was adopting. Even after so many years,
With the Christians, it is really bad and their conduct
the wound is fresh and sometimes I don’t know how I
has led me to conclude that Christianity, as they define
move on but I do. I know what the children go through
it, doesn’t exist. It is hard to swallow when they bomb
and I also know that the adoption and fostering admina clinic or shoot people for the color of their skin and
istrators expect you to be made of stone. I sometimes
claim it in the name of god..... All religious fanatics are
wish I were. Chris and I put this one together after he
dangerous and they walk around with an arrogant sense
showed me some riff ideas. I bounced some ideas to
of entitlement, as if everyone else is beneath them. We
him and before we realized it, we had a really cool
have been criticized by a bunch of them about our song
song. The intro was a solo that consisted of a bunch of
titles. It clearly reflects that they have not taken the time
themes I had composed through the years and when
to read our lyrics.
Chris heard it, he said ”That’s the intro!”.
Riff Maniac: Any inspirational words you
THE BORDER...This was written about would like to say to your fans?
how people in other countries work
Damien: We have only one life. Use it well.
and work and have no opportunities or
Riff Maniac: What can your fans expect
rewards. They risk life to get here while
from the band in the future?
some people here just piss away their
opportunities....it’s a real shame...... Chris
and I spent some time arranging the parts Damien: More excellent heavy metal from
the heart. We will not disappoint any of you
for this one and the final product is very
with a bad album.
impressive. I love playing this one live.
The sound is very catchy and heavy.
Riff Maniac: Any plans to tour within the
A MOMENT, SIR... ....This one is about United States?
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Damien: With the release of our album, we are getting details
into place to be able to play some shows.
Riff Maniac: What would your advice be to high school students who are in a rock band?
Damien: Take music lessons because there is always room for
improvement. Learn to listen to yourself. Never lower your
standards.
Predator Debut CD Now Available on
Amazon.com
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Bugera 333xl 2-12
www.bugera-amps.com
One hundred, twenty F’ING watts of unbridled
rock-and-roll brutality seemed too good to be true
with a street price of $699 for an all-tube combo
amp, especially one with 3 channels. I decided to
buy into the hype though…. Besides, if it turned
out to be a tragedy, I wouldn’t be out of a pile of
money. I called thirteen dealers before I found one,
and haggled the poor salesman down well under
the going rate for it (thanks Jay at Discount Music,
Orlando!).
I got this beauty home, and the first thing I noticed
was that this thing is rock solid. I could have done
without the plastic knobs, but after finding out
metal knobs run about six bucks a pop, 21 metal
knobs would have added a small mint to the price
of the amp! Unpacking it also revealed where they
DID decide to spend the money. Included with the
amp was a rock solid all metal footswitch capable
of switching between all 3 channels and the FX
loop. It’s a rarity to see a footswitch of this quality included in an amp at this price range, if one is
included at all. Another nicety that I noticed about
the amp is that it also had high and low gain inputs,
which are nice for those guitars with high output
pickups like mine. Plugging into the low gain input
with my guitar with high gain pickups helps to
keep the guitar from distorting too badly. It’s a nice
feature, indeed.
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
The panel layout is well thought out and easy to
understand. To the left, we have the clean channel. This channel has bass, mid, treble, and volume
control. There is also a LED switch to turn on the
digital reverb for that channel. For those of you
who have never had the pleasure of using EL34
tubes before, they are gritty by nature, and the
reason behind the crunchy “British” sound. I was
expecting a dirty clean channel when I found out
this amp had the EL34 tubes in it, but was quite
surprised by the crystal clarity. It almost reminded
me of the clean channel in an old Roland Cube
tube head I owned as a kid. I was most impressed.
The middle of the panel is where you find the
controls for the crunch and lead channels, as well
as a noise gate. This is a nice feature because of the
fact that tubes are noisy, and this helps to clean it
up without affecting the sound. Here, each of the
channels has a volume, gain, bass, mid, and treble
control. You also find some LED switching here.
There is a switch on each channel for reverb and
an XL switch. The XL switch helps to “fatten” up
the bottom end. It’s basically a low end EQ boost,
which sounds phenomenal.
Lastly, to the right we have the master volume,
which is controlling the base volume for all three
channels, a presence control, and reverb control, as
well as the power and standby switches.
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Listening to the channels for the first time is like…
well, sonic nirvana. Never in my lifetime did I think I
would find such fine tube distortion from an amp that
falls into the price range of other competitors’ solid
state line. To me, the lead and crunch channels reminds
me of a Soldano SLO100.
Product Review:
Bugera 333xl 2-12
Product Rating: 4.5 Rockhands
Warranty Dept Rating: 5 Rockhands
The Specs:
120 watt all-tube amplifier
It was hard to stop playing the amp, but after a few
Preamp:
weeks of rocking out, I had to, because it just stopped
2 x 12Ax7A tubes
playing one day. This is where I found I was going to
2 x 12Ax7 tubes
have to interact with the warranty department. I was
dreading this part, considering the size of the Behringer Power Amp:
Corporation. I was surprised at how quickly my calls
4 x EL34 tubes (can be easily converted to
and emails were responded to, and to how quickly that
4 x 6L6GC tubes)
I was pointed to a nearby service center. I was also
Speakers:
even more surprised, since it was so close by for me,
2 x 12” Bugera 12G70JB 70watt, 8 ohm
that when I took the amp into the center to get serviced, speakers (wired in series for 16 ohm)
instead of having to wait weeks and have it shipped
3 Channel with high and low gain input
back, the guy there goes, “Just take a trip for a couple
Line output with adjustable output level
of hours to the local guitar store, and I will have you
Effects loops with adjustable levels for
back up today”. It was obviously a simple fix. It was
both send and return
merely a plug that was rated for a lower current rating
Dimensions :
than was going through (oops), but I was assured this
20 13/32” x 27” x 9 3/4”
has since been remedied. But as for speed of service
in getting my issue fixed, the warranty department and
Weight:
service center get 5 rockhands from me for being the
63 pounds
best that I have EVER had to encounter.
Included accessories:
If you are looking for a quality tube amp on a working
Footswitch (clean, crunch, lead, and FX
man’s budget, with quality service to boot, look no fur- loop channels), all metal
ther than Bugera. They have an amp for every style and
Sticker
every budget. Coincidentally, for all of you gearheads
User manual in multiple languages, Behthat think there is no real amp out there that doesn’t
ringer product sheet, Warranty info sheet.
come in a head/cabinet configuration, they make the
333xl in a head, and offer a 4x12 cabinet also, for a
street price of under $850. If you are still reading this
and not on your way to check one out for yourself, GO!
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Review by “Chopper” McGhee
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
An Interview With Riley
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: Ok Riley why don’t we start off with how long
ago did you and your brother Casey form your band
Holes and Hearts?
Riley: Yes, it will be released the end of May 2009, the release party is May 23rd 2009 at The L.A. Hangout in Tampa,
FL…. Hope to see you there! The official release date will be
May 26th, 2009 but everyone who comes to show can get it
Riley: We played are first real gig in March 2008 but we
first!. It is our First CD and it will be Self Titled “Holes and
were jamming at our house for a while before that and
Hearts”. There will be 13 tracks total on it and it was produced
did a few parties and school shows too.
by Frank “BLAME” Macek. The label it will be released on is
JRock: Can you tell our readers the interesting story on Mongrol Records, an Independent Label based out Los Angehow you and Casey came to name your band Holes and les.
Hearts?
JRock: How would you describe the overall sound of the
Riley: Yes, I was born with a large hole in my heart and songs on the CD?
we didn’t know it. My mom saw that I wasn’t growing
Riley: The songs are a mix of in your face ROCK with some
and eating enough and she brought me to the doctors
Killer Ballads and some weird stuff that will blow your mind...
and they made me go to the hospital for some x-rays,
Crank it up!!!
the next day I had Heart Surgery and then months later
I had Open Heart surgery all before I was 1 year old, I
JRock: Did you and Casey write all the material that appears
was lucky and my Mom’s intuition saved me. I thank
on the CD or work with any outside Co-writers?
all the doctors who worked on me and saved my life, I
Riley: I come up with most of the lyrics and original thoughts
believe I am here for a reason and a lot of my thoughts
for a song and Casey comes up with the Guitar parts and muand lyrics are rooted heavily from those experiences
sic. Our producer also helped us and showed us how to arrange
and stories. So that is where the name Holes and Hearts
and finish a song. There are 2 tracks on the CD that we did not
came from! We thought it was better than my Dads sugwrite, “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” and “Hypocrite”,
gestion of “Crazy Little Bastards”.
all the others are Holes and Hearts.
JRock: Who were the bands/musicians who had the
JRock: Did you and Casey play all the instruments on the CD
greatest influence
or did you have a backing band work with you on the CD?
on you?
Riley: All the guitars and bass parts on the CD are played by
Riley: Alright, one of the 1st concerts I remember going
Casey. All the singing is me and Casey, but we did have some
to was a Beach Boys show, I think I was like 5?
girls that we know come in and cut vocals on the outro of
Then fast forward to 9, Casey bought the My Chemi“Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word”. Our producer did the
cal Romance CD and I can remember locking myself in programming and drums. I also played keyboards.
my room and singing every word to the entire album,
JRock: When did you start recording your CD and how long
I loved it and that launched me into my parents collechas it taken you to get everything recorded?
tion… Motley Crue, AC/DC, Extreme, Skid Row, White
Lion, Zeppelin, Warrant, Queen, Journey, Guns and
Riley: It seemed like forever but now that we are done it just
Roses, NIN… I love all these bands and more as well
all flew by… the first song we recorded and ended up making
as Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, Blue October, Papa the CD is “I Am Not Afraid” and we did that back in the end of
Roach, Buckcherry, Three Days Grace and more. Some 2007 after buying a Protools M-Box. Since then, we spent time
of my singers and front men are Sebastian
writing and playing the songs live so we could have them tight
for the studio. We really dug in the beginning of this year and
Bach, Freddie Mercury, Brian Johnson, James Brown,
most of the songs were recorded in the last 3 months.
Chris Cornell, Josh Todd, Gerard Way and Axl Rose.
JRock: How old were you when you first started sing- JRock: What do you remember most about the recording of
ing?
your debut CD?
Riley: I have always been singing since I was little but Riley: That it was a lot of work and a lot of fun! I definitely
became more serious about it when I was 9 and I’m 11 learned a lot and I really like being in a studio.
now.
JRock: What was it like the very first time Holes and Hearts
JRock: I understand that Holes And Hearts is about to
laid down a track and heard it played back to you guys for the
release your
very, first time?
debut CD....Can you tell me a little bit about the CD?
Riley: It was amazing hearing myself and my brother recorded
How many songs on it? , Who produced it? What label
and having our own song completed! It was just really cool
it is going to be released on? have a release day yet?
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
and I have been hooked ever since, it made me realize my
ideas can actually come to life, very cool!
JRock: Once the CD is released..... What plans do you have
for promoting the new CD?
Riley: Well, there’s the CD release party here in Tampa,
FL on May 23rd, 2009 and then our last day of school is
June 4th and we are heading out on tour as soon as the
bell rings. We play that same night at The Pit in Jacksonville, FL, right on the Atlantic Ocean so we can ROCK the
East Coast. Then we head straight across the country all
the way to Los Angeles for shows and to ROCK the West
Coast. We will be playing a lot of cool venues and festivals this summer in Dallas TX, Mobile AL, Las Vegas NV,
Hollywood CA, Cleveland OH and more. So yeah, we plan
on working as hard as we can to spread the word about our
music and bring our live show to as many people as possible and just keep doing what we love, music!
JRock: I read on your website that Holes And Hearts is the
official spokesperson/band for an organization called Rock
Against Homelessness.......Can you tell me how the band
first became involved with this organization and what
you hope to accomplish?
Riley: Yes, ROCK AGAINST HOMELESSNESS is based
out of LA and the idea was started by another young kid
named Connor, who is 9 years old and he started a sock
drive for the Homeless Mission in LA. He and his Mom
liked our band and reached out to us through Myspace and
told us what they were doing and their mission and we
immediately wanted to be involved in helping. We did a
few shows here in Florida and asked people to bring socks/
clothing for donating and then we gave it to them for the
LA shelter. Connor’s idea has really taken off. There have
been 3 Public Service Announcement Videos already released with us and Ambre Lake from Rock of Love, Rhino
Bucket, Chas West, KNAC DJs, and more celebrities from
the Rock and Roll world. There will be a Benefit concert
this Summer in LA that we will be playing at along with
other bands and we will be shooting a video for our song
“Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” that will be about
this sad situation.
hospital with serious problems can go and play and learn
music and forget about their health issues for a while. We
were lucky enough to be involved with this because Brian’s
wife Brenda, heard about us, saw us at a couple of shows
in Sarasota and she liked us and wanted us to be there. She
is the coolest person ever! We actually got to ROCK “I Am
Not Afraid” in the Music Therapy Room on the Ribbon
Cutting Day with Brian there, Steve Luongo on the drums
and all the press. Definitely my favorite memory so far…
Thank You Brenda!!!!
JRock: I really love your song “Sorry Seems To Be The
Hardest Word” Can you tell me a little bit about the song
and if there’s any chance it’s going to make it on to the CD?
Riley: Thanks, I love that one too and it was fun recording
it, especially having the girls come in and sing the part at
the end of the song, good times! We were working on an
original song called “Throwing Pennies” that was inspired
from our involvement with “ROCK AGAINST HOMELESSNESS” when we heard Elton John’s “Sorry Seems
to be the Hardest Word” and we just thought the words in
that song were very powerful and that we could rock it up
and put our Holes and Hearts twist on it and it could relate
to the sad situation of the homelessness crisis that is going
on right now!.So “Throwing Pennies” didn’t make this CD,
maybe the next one, but our version of “Sorry Seems to be
the Hardest Word” is definitely going to be on the New CD.
JRock: Anything that you’d like to say to your fans?
Riley: We have been so lucky to have met so many cool
people so far! THANK YOU ALL! I am so proud of these
songs on this CD! They are a piece of who I am and every
word I sing comes from the bottom of my heart! Always
be yourself, never try to be someone else and stand up for
what you believe in… ROCK ON!
www.myspace.com/holesandhearts
Interview By JRock Houston
JRock: I also read on your website that you’re involved
with AC/DC Singer Brian Johnson’s music therapy....What
exactly is this and how did you first get involved?
Riley: Brian Johnson’s Music Therapy Room is the first of
its kind and was opened at The Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The room is located in the Children’s wing and it is
filled with musical instruments, and I mean real musical
instruments like electronic drums, pro tools, electric guitars, basses, keyboards and a PA system, not to mention all
the cool posters. It is there so that the kids that are in the
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
An Interview With Casey
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: I understand that Holes And Hearts is Casey: I remember having fun and making memories
almost done recording your debut CD....What and drinking a lot of Guayake Yerbe Mate Tea… they
was the songwriting process like for this CD? hooked us up! I also remember waking up at 6 in the
morning one day and recording the lead for “Let Me”,
Casey: It was awesome I had a great time doone of those magical “one take” moments where I
ing it and I learned a lot. I would record ideas
thought to myself, damn that sounded really good!
and parts for songs onto my computer every
night before I would go to sleep and then
JRock: Was there one song that gave you a lot of trouble
email them to our producer. Then we would
either when you were writing or recording it?
get together and pick the strongest ideas and
Casey: The bridge in “FEEL” was a little more of a
arrange them into a song. I recorded a lot of
challenge! We knew we wanted something chaotic and
ideas and still am, it got me in the habit of
disturbing to go along with the lyrics, so it took some
recording everything, there is some cool stuff
work coming up with that. Once we had the part written,
that didn’t make this CD, and I’m already
we recorded it pretty fast. Big Bubbles, No Troubles...
looking forward to the next.
JRock: Is Holes And Hearts endorsed by anyone?
JRock: Do you have a favorite song on the
CD or is it kind of hard to pick just one favor- Casey: Yes we are endorsed by N-Tune Onboard Guiite track?
tar Tuners, Minarik Guitars, Dean Guitars and Guayaki
Yerba Mate Beverages so please go and check these guys
Casey: You know it’s really hard to pick but
out and tell them Holes and Hearts sent you...
I would have to say that I really like “Sorry
Seems to be the Hardest Word”. I loved reJRock: What’s it like being in band with your Brother?
cording the solo and harmonies on it!
I mean do you guys disagree a lot, agree on most things,
influenced by the same types of bands?
JRock: Can you tell me about some of the
guitars you used on
Casey: It’s awesome and there are no problems, I love
Holes And Hearts debut CD?
it, he’s my best friend! We do have many of the same
influences like Tesla, Atreyu, My Chemical Romance,
Casey: Yes, on all the songs expect “Are We
Journey and a lot more. Any show I go to, he goes to and
Done Yet” and “Shake the Cage” I used a
vice versa, so yeah, we are tight.
Schecter C-1 Classic which is my main guitar.
On “Shake the Cage” I used my crème limited JRock: I understand that on May 8th,2009 that the band
edition Minarik Diablo and on “Are We Done is going to play a benefit show for the American Cancer
Yet” I used an Ibanez Artcore for the warm
Society ...Can you tell our readers a little bit about the
fuzzy and also my Schecter Acoustic. I used a show and how you first got involved with it?
Warwick Bass on everything but “I AM NOT
AFRAID”, which I used and old Aria SG. Oh Casey: It called The Relay for Life and its held at
yeah, on “11:57” I used a Larribee Acoustic. Land O’ Lakes High School here in Florida. We met an
amazing person, Lori, at a show and she asked us to be
JRock: As a musician do you prefer the reinvolved and play at it last year and it was really cool.
cording studio or performing live?
It’s a community event that goes on all Night Friday into
Saturday afternoon where there are people walking all
Casey: I love them both but I definitely like
night long, people camping out and also selling things,
performing Live the most. I can’t really
all to raise money and awareness for the American Canexplain the feeling but it’s a great one, the
cer Society to help find a cure. Last year we played in the
crowds energy sends me over the top! We
football stadium right on the track… we are
have some Great fans!
really looking forward to it.
JRock: What do you remember most about
JRock: As far as the debut CD goes can fans purchase
the recording of your
that only on-line or will it be available in any stores?
debut CD?
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Casey: We will have it for sale online and at all
our shows.
JRock: Who would you say is the fan base for
Holes And Hearts?
Casey: It’s pretty wild, we have a lot of teenage rockers and we also have a lot of Hot older
women who seem to really dig what we are doing.
That’s cool with me! We get a wide range of ages
and people at our shows.
JRock: What is the best thing about being in
Holes And Hearts for you?
Casey: Hmmm... Hot older women! No, but seriously, meeting new people, doing what I love and
being able to share our music with other people....
Oh yeah, and Hot older women!
Casey: To be honest, I am mainly focused on what
we are doing right now. I don’t think I’ve been in it
long enough to answer this but I will say that I am
very excited about what the future holds.
JRock: Anything left that you’d like to say to your
fans?
Casey: Thanks for everything! We love you guys!
You ROCK and we couldn’t do it without you!
THANK YOU! Oh yeah, don’t forget to come to
our website or Myspace on May 26th and buy the
CD!!!! Looking forward to ROCKIN’ You ALL!
www.myspace.com/holesandhearts
JRock: What do you think about the state of the
music industry?
Interview By JRock Houston
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: I know that one project you’re currently
involved with is the film Pressure which you’re
The Screen Writer for. Can you tell the readers
of Chaotic Riffs Magazine what the film is about
and how you came up with the story line
for the film?
JRock: Most people know you as a Guitar
Player.......You’re used to creating music....
What was it like for you to write/create a
movie script as opposed to creating music?
A.J.: Actually, it was overwhelming. I have
been asked this before and typically describe
A.J.: Basically, this project was only really
the undertaking as such. Writing and recorddesigned as a “pilot” to go through the process
ing music is a challenge in itself. You are
of making a short film from A to Z. There was
basically creating an emotional experience
never really the intent to revolutionize indepen- that plays out to the listener through a song.
dent film making by any stretch.
A movie script however, involves creating
A good friend pursued the start up of his own
an entire world from nothing. This includes
film company and invited me to do a film under creating an entire environment complete with
his company Arc Way Films (www.myspace.
characters, personalities, emotions, scenarios
com/arcwayfilms). Always being interested in
and a storyline. This all needs to be crafted
film making, I accepted. Again, “PRESSURE”
such that the timing and execution drives the
was only meant to be a technical learning expe- overall story in the desired direction for the
rience. Granted we had very little equipment to viewer, providing the desired outcome, scene
work with, no budget, and no real experience,
after scene, after scene. I compare it to the
but wanted to test the waters so to speak as to
equivalent of making 10 full length albums.
the requirements necessary to make a small film. The average person has no idea of the asAs an extreme horror fan, I decided to write a
tronomical effort that goes into filmmaking.
small horror-suspense screenplay to support the Let’s not forget that music and score accounts
project. Inspired by a friend’s “creepy” basefor probably 50% of the emotion behind a
ment, I wrote the opening scene and built from film, which means you STILL have to create
there. I intentionally kept the story based in
music. That is what makes film-making so
the style of classic 80’s horror, mixed with a
intriguing. It is literally a “creative-fest”.
who-dunnit theme. I also had to keep the story
calibrated with a zero-budget and centered on
JRock: What plans do you have for releasing
the limited locations we had to work with. I then the film? Will it be released in theaters or go
weaved the storyline in and out of these restric- directly to DVD?
tions. With only one camera and practically no
sound equipment, we moved forward based on
A.J.: For this project, we had no intention
the combination of these limitations.
of a formal release.
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
However it can be watched at MySpace Films.
The link is provided on my personal page
(www.myspace.com/ajcaruso) and at the Arc Way Films
site listed above.
JRock: Who do you think would enjoy seeing your film?
A.J.: Mostly anyone interested in independent films I
would guess, as well as any amateur film makers out
there.
More details can be found at www.reyosanpictures.com.
In addition, I am working on a Straitjacket Smile CD release
for Versailles Records (www.versaillesrecords.com). SJS
is my band from back in the early 90’s and are planning a
release of all of our old material as well as a couple of new
tunes. Classic old school rock with a couple of new modern
tunes. Finally, I am also working on a project with a great
friend and incredible drummer Sergio Yetta (www.myspace.
com/sergioyettadrummer). We are working on a few songwriting and recording projects and plan on a release later
this year for sale.
JRock: I understand that you have your own recording
studio where you record your own music as well as produce
other acts...Can you tell our readers about some of the bands
that you’ve recently produced?
A.J.: I created the studio with the intent to record and produce mostly local artist. However, since then, I have been
involved in so many other personal projects that it has really
become my personal studio. Should my personal calendar
clear, I will continue to pursue this. The good news is that I
simply don’t have the time given all of my personal projects.
JRock: Can you tell me about some of the actors in the
film and how the film was cast?
JRock: You’re a musician who has appeared on several tribute CDs. Do you have plans to appear on any more tribute
CDs in the future?
A.J.: Absolutely. At this point the only project I am aware of
for 2009 is an AC/DC tribute from Versailles Records, but
A.J.: The film was cast using all amateur actors and
I believe there may be a few more that will surface through
actresses as well as a number of friends that were interested in participating. Again with no budget, we could not the year.
afford to hire professionals. Some of the cast have there
own sites which can be found at the Arc Way Films MyS- JRock: Have you ever had an interest in release an instrupace site. They all did a great job considering the lack of mental solo CD or maybe even an instructional DVD?
formal training and experience.
JRock: Will any of your own music be featured
in the film?
A.J.: Actually, I wrote and scored the entire
project with all original music. In addition, I
incorporated some additional music/songs, by a
few other artists as well.
JRock: Music wise what do you have going on
for 2009?
A.J.: My immediate project involves ironically
writing the score for a full length feature film
from Reyo-San Pictures entitled “My Friend,
Oscar”, scheduled for release in the summer of
2009.
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
A.J.: Not really. I have taught guitar at different
points in time, and while I gave it thought before,
I am really more of a player than an instructor.
There are so many guitarists who are more talented than me in that respect, I will leave that to
those masters.
JRock: Once Pressure is released do you plan on
trying to write another screen play?
A.J.: Yes. In fact, I am currently writing my next
screenplay. We have sparked some interest in a
local investor, so we are in the concept phase for
an upcoming screenplay. We do plan to make a
gallant effort with this next project which we plan
to release to various film festivals and potentially
for a formal DVD release if possible. The plan is
to release again under Arc Way Films if possible.
A.J.: Just to keep on rocking and supporting music
and the arts. The internet has opened the door for
thousands of unsigned and independent artists to
reach millions of potential fans both with music
and filmmaking. Let’s all continue to support this
great technology and enjoy the massive expansion
of the independent music and film industry. If done
right, everyone wins! ROCK ON!!!
INFO: AJ can be reached at www.myspace.com/ajcaruso. Additionally, anyone interested in potential
film casting or crew participation in the Atlanta,
GA area, please send an inquiry message to Arc
Way Films at www.myspace.com/arcwayfilms.
Interview by JRock Houston
JRock: Which do you think is easier to do? Work
in the music industry or the film industry?
A.J.: Both have very similar challenges. However, as hard as it is to break into the music industry,
I think the film industry is much more challenging.
JRock: What do you think of the current state of
the music industry?
A.J.: The industry is definitely passing through
a milestone. Digital downloading has created a
necessity to rethink of how music is marketed and
sold. I don’t agree with free downloading unless
the consent of the artist is granted. This has been
the primary contributor to the astronomical ticket
prices we see at concerts, since artist are forced
to recoup some of these losses through LIVE performances, which (so far) cannot be reproduced. I
think that the ability to purchase single songs (i.e.
iTunes, etc), provides the best of both worlds for
the consumer and the artist. It allows the artist to
be legally paid for their work, and puts pressure
on the artist to provide a complete album of high
quality material; otherwise consumers will only
buy the “one good song” as opposed to the entire
album. The days of the one-hit wonder will no
longer sell entire albums as was done in the past.
Again, consumers should be content in paying for
their music without stealing from the artist. The
“win” is that they get better material for less.
JRock: Anything left that you’d like to say to
your fans?
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Neal Moser grew up in a generation that came out of the military during the
Vietnam War searching for meaning in their lives. He found his meaning in
playing and singing in a band. However, he was not happy with the standard
guitars available or the sounds they produced. He had learned to do basic
guitar electronics at Warwick Electronics, Vox Guitar division, in 1966, just
before he went into the military. On returning from service he started working at West Coast Organ and Amp in Hollywood, California as a guitar electronics tech. While working there Neal Moser worked on the guitars of many
of the most famous players and bands of that era including, Jimi Hendrix,
Iron Butterfly, Vanilla Fudge etc. It was during this time that Neal Moser came up with electronic modifications to meet
the needs these famous players had for innovation in guitar sounds. In 1971 Neal developed special electronic circuits for
his own use and found that many of his customers were very interested in what he had developed. One of his customers
took his guitar to Bernie Rico of BC Rich Guitars to get it painted and when Bernie saw the electronics he called Neal and
the rest is history. A unique collaboration between Bernie Rico and Neal Moser was the beginning of the Metal Guitar
market. It was during this time that Neal Moser designed guitars for BC Rich that were pointy and unique and earned him
the title of “Father of Metal Guitars”.
When Neal Moser left BC Rich in 1985 he was introduced to Lee Garver by Wayne Charvel and at that time Neal and
Lee produced instruments under the name “Neal Moser Guitars/GMW Guitar Works”. After retiring in 1995 and due to
many requests from old customers and fans for highly customized handmade, neck through guitars he started thinking
about building again. Moser Custom Shop was born in 2003 in the hills north of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.
Now in his 60s Neal has decided that it is his turn to pass on the many skills he has acquired over his long and prolific
career as a guitar designer and builder. He has decided to offer intensive seminars that are 2 weeks in duration to a maximum of four students at a time. Neal realizes that many, who have the same love for guitar building that he has, need
more direct and personal instruction on how to hand build quality neck through guitars. He is offering his tricks of the
trade at a price he believes many can afford even in these tough times. For further information go to www.mosercustomshop.com and you can also learn more about Neal Moser’s career and life at www.nealmoser.com.
For class dates call 818-834-6616 or visit our website at: www.mosercustomshop.com
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
By purchasing this album, up to 50% of the net profits will be use to help people and communities in need. Our goal each year is to provide a means to combine local music and talent to
generate proceeds to be used to help the community at large by selecting bands who are willing to participate in the cause to help raise monies to assist in the funding of the United Song
Alliance projects. These services are available for anybody in need of assistance with a variety
of issues, such as, food, mortgage payments, car payments, home improvements and a list too
long to list here. For full details for obtaining assistance from the United Song Alliance please
visit the www.unitedsongalliance.com website.
War Remnants is available for purchase at
CD Baby for $12.95 for the CD and $9.99 via
digital download.
Get yours today!
$14.95
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Interview W/Back From The Ashes Guitarist: Mike
www.myspace.com/backfromashesmusic
JRock: Is everyone
in the band involved
with the songwriting
process?
Mike: Absolutely. We
all do our parts & help
each other out with
ideas. Our songs are
written on a feeling.
Anger, Sadness, Happiness. If one of us is
feeling a certain way
we write about it..
JRock: How long have you been a
professional musician?
Mike: Since 2004
JRock: How old were you when you first started playing the guitar? Did you take lessons or
would you consider yourself to be self taught?
JRock: What has been
the reaction to Back
From The Ashes so
far?
Mike: I started when I was 13. Self taught..... I
cant read music...(I’m such a faker..LOL)
JRock: Do you remember what was the very,
first song you learned to play on the guitar?
JRock: How long has your band Back
From The Ashes been together?
Mike: Iron Man from Sabbath
Mike: Since 2004
JRock: Can you tell the readers of Chaotic
Riffs Magazine about some of the bands you
were in prior to Back From The Ashes?
JRock: How many albums has the band
released so far to date?
Mike: Ummmmmmm This is my first
band.......
JRock: How did you meet the other guys in
the band and come to form Back From The
Ashes?
Mike: 1 and a half. Our first album “Broken” was released in 2006. We just released a self titled EP with 6 tracks on it...
Mike: So far we have
them all fooled.....LOL
or is it the other way
around. They say they
likes...Hmmmmmmm.
LOL
JRock: What do you
remember about the
band’s very, first
recording session?
Mike: I was nervous as
hell. Very intimidating
at first. We recorded
with Byron Filson at
Mike: Jason was in another band and I audiMike: We used to be called Sleeper Cell. Villian Recording. He
tioned for them. Jason loved my
was so cool to us and
playing, the other guys thought I wasn’t right I thought that was a good name. Then all
for the band. About a year later, I saw another of a sudden 30 other Sleeper Cells popped me especially that it
ad from Jason looking to form a band. I hit
up. I was so frustrated with finding a name became very memorahim and him and I have been together ever
ble. I never laughed so
I felt like we were restarting every time.
since. After a few lineup changes, we finally I felt like we were having to come back
hard in my life. Byron
got the right people in this band.
from ashes! So it stuck. BFA was born...... is a 100% AWESOME
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
JRock: Can you tell me how you guys
came to name the band Back From The
Ashes?
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: What do you remember most about the band’s very, first,
professional gigs?
Mike: Again I think we have come a long way since then. I remember none of us looking at the audience and standing still just
trying not to f#ck up. LOL
JRock: Back From The Ashes is from Phoenix, Arizona, what is
the music scene like there these days?
Mike: I think the music is like everything else the economy has affected. It’s a bit slow on the local scene. I just went to a Lamb Of
God concert last week, and I was surprised there wasn’t as many
people out. Things are tight all over man.
JRock: Who are the bands/musicians who had the greatest influence on you?
Mike: Well I get a lot of crap for being an 80”s lover but I would
say Randy Rhoads, Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) ZAKK WYLDE,
Greg Tribett (Mudvayne).. The list goes on and on.
JRock: What is currently going on with the band?
Mike: We are gearing up to do some touring right now in the
Southwest region. We just started working with a huge promotional company “BIG NOISE” so we will see where that goes. Our
fan base is getting bigger & bigger. . “We have the greatest fanz in
the world”. We are also blessed to have Yvonne from Metal Music
Promotions & Shauna O Donnell from MUEN magazine helping
us out. They have been instrumental in getting the word out about
us. If you are a music lover you have to check out MUEN magazine & Metal music promotions.
JRock: What can fans expect from Back From The Ashes in the
year 2009?
Mike: Hopefully world domination...LOL... Okay maybe a new
CD....LOL
JRock: Are you involved w/any other bands/projects that you’d
like to mention?
Mike: Nah man, I’m just too busy with this project..LOL
JRock: Anything left that you’d like to say to your fans?
Mike: Thank you for believing in us. KEEP SPREADING THE
ASHES!!!!!
Interview by JRock Houston
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
Hello Readers!
I am Damien Lee Thorr, lead guitarist for Predator. I have been a guitar instructor since 1986 and have devised methods of teaching that help aspiring guitarists overcome challenges and thus, help them learn faster. One of the primary
things about music is the importance of reading music. Many players do not read and resort to tablature or “tabs” from
the internet. I feel it is harmful to use that system rather than the traditional notation system because it limits the player.
Many young players want short cuts. However, when it comes to music, it is highly recommended to read music
because it will help you become a better musician and you will not be limited to only playing music you are familiar
with. Additionally, The ability to read music properly will increase your level of musicianship and provide you with a
greater understanding of music, composition, harmony, and a lot more. Basically, you will have an understanding on
why things work the way they work.
The first example explains the mathematics of music. When one reads music, in addition to finding tones on the manuscript and on the instrument, what you are essentially doing is measuring space between notes. Study carefully diagram A. This will explain how to count rhythm.
Diagram B represents the positioning of notes on the staff. Note that the guitar has lower notes which must be written
by adding extra ledger lines below the staff. Also, for higher notes, extra ledger lines must be added above the staff.
On diagram C each stave represents a string on the guitar. The thick black line represents the nut. The notes to the left
of the nut are the notes as they appear as open strings (strings without fretting). The thinner lines represent the frets.
Use diagram C as a “map” or fingering chart. Study it well and next time I will show you how to use it.
For any questions, contact me here: [email protected]
Good luck!
Damien
Diagram A
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
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Diagram B
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Diagram C
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Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
JRock: You’re a solo artist as well as
the Guitar Player in Pretty Boy Floyd.
What is the biggest difference for
you as far as recording a solo album
or recording an album w/Pretty Boy
Floyd?
Kristy: My solo music is a bit more
personal to me. The lyric content is
more real and the music covers a wide
variety of influences. PBF albums are
about good time party music.
JRock: Your latest solo CD Sex,
Drugs, ‘N’ Rock N Roll, great title by
way was released in 2006. Are you
happy with the way the album came
out? What kind of response has the
CD received from your fans?
Kristy: Sometimes I go on a writing streak and shit just flows out
of me. I don’t sit down to write
with any preconceived ideas.
Some songs fit the Floyd style,
some are personal for my solo
work and most of them are garbage that gets tossed in the trash.
JRock: I read on your website
that Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll
was voted top 10 independent
rock record in 2007....That must
be a great feeling. Who was it
that helped make this happen?
The critics or your fans?
Kristy: Yeah that was cool because I didn’t do anything to promote that album except post it on
MySpace and play a few shows.
I think it was a combination of
both . Most critics are music fans
as well.
Kristy: Yes! I had just bought a pro
tools rig and was figuring out how to
use it and I’m much happier with the
production of that record. The response from PBF fans have been great
JRock: I really loved the song
but I’ve also reached a new audience
“Only The Good Die Young”.......
that never heard of PBF and that’s a
Can you tell me a little bit about
cool thing.
the inspiration behind that song?
JRock: As far as album/concert reWas it based on a real person or
views goes do you care equally about what?
what both fans and critics think of
Kristy: That’s a Billy Joel song
your music?
hahahahaha! I wish i could take
Kristy: Music to me is just a hobby
the credit for writing it. He’s one
now and a labor of love. It has always of the greatest songwriters in the
been my passion. I’ve learned over
world. The lyrics are amazing
the years that you can never please ev- and my mother always use to tell
erybody so I just aim to please myself me “ Only the good die young “
and if other people dig what I’m doing . It stuck with me over the years
I’m grateful.
so i thought what a great song to
cover.
JRock: When writing songs I was
curious if you know right away if
you’re writing for a solo album or
Pretty Boy Floyd?
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
JRock: How many solo CDs
have you released to date?
Kristy: Well , I really only count
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
the “Sex Drugs n Rock n Roll “ record as
my first solo album. There were others that
I recorded on a 8 track with a drum machine
that are just horrible sounding. I might go
back and
a little bit about the new CD? How many
songs are on it? Who produced it, who
plays on it, the overall sound of the album?
Kristy: I’m not sure how many songs are on
it yet , still finishing it up. It’s very much up
the same alley as SDRR musically. It was
produced by me and Keri Kelli. Keri Kelli
is on guitars, bass, vocals and multiple session drummers. Same line up as the SDRR
album.
JRock: What is currently going on with
Pretty Boy Floyd?
Kristy: We are recording 2 albums. A cover
record of old 70’s glam tunes and a new
album that will only be available to buy at
live shows. Were selectively playing dates
around the world in 2009 when we have
downtime from recording. 2010 will be a
different story for touring.
JRock: Anything left that you’d like to say
to your fans Kristy?
Kristy: Without you we are all nothing. I
can’t thank you enough for the continued
support for the past 20 years.
re-record those albums with the new system I have in the future.
JRock: When performing as a solo artist is
it difficult for you to play guitar and sing
lead?
www.myspace.com/kristymajors
www.kristymajors.com
www.artists-worldwide.com
Kristy: Yeah, my solo music is more complex lyrically and musically. It’s a challenge to pull the songs off live with everything that’s going on . I come from a punk
rock mind frame when playing live so I
usually just strip it down and make it raw.
JRock: Who were the bands/musicians
who had the greatest influence on you?
Kristy: The Ramones, Kiss, The Beatles,
Elvis and Johnny Cash . I have an eclectic
taste in music.
JRock: I understand that your next solo
CD is scheduled to be released in June....
Can you tell your fans and the readers of
Chaotic Riffs Magazine
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
Interview by JRock Houston
Copyright 2009. Chaotic Riffs Magazine - www.chaoticriffsmagazine.com
www.YoHoWear.com
Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
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Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
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Issue 1 - May 07, 2009
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