Story: Rick Steele
I had a conversation with Grg Hammetson, lead
guitarist for the band Beatallica. Beatallica’s forte is
taking a Beatle song and a Metallica song, mash them
up, and create something that is very fresh and unique.
Joining Grg in Beatallica is Jaymz Lennfield (vocals),
Kliff McBurtney (bass), and Ringo Larz (drums).
Beatallica released their first full length album, Sgt.
Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band, this past July.
Just off a tour of Europe, they are ready to attack the
StageShots: How would you describe
Beatallica to people?
Grg Hammetson: Well, the thing is it’s not as
easy to describe as it sounds like. It takes a little bit
more understanding. Some people will refer to us as a
tribute band and we sort up turn our noses up at that
and say, no, that’s not exactly right. We are doing more
of a mash up than a tribute. I guess if I had to explain
it, it is sort of a Beatles base the way Metallica would
play it with different lyrics.
SS: What is your song writing process? How
do you decide which songs to pick and how to mash
GH: That’s the tricky part, you can’t just go
under the bridge and grab two food items and throw
them together and have it work. You have to be
selective in what you pick. We pretty much try to
match the two songs together in the most proper way
we can. There is no formula, per say, it’s just thinking
about it and making jokes, like saying titles and making
each other laugh. I think, even that process has
matured from that first batch of seven songs were
thrown together and created. The older songs have less
of a clever mash up, whereas the new tunes, especially
on the new CD, have a very clever mash up. You can
see the progression from the old ones.
SS: You seem like an exciting band to see live,
was the studio enjoyable when you recorded your latest
GH: Yeah, it was a complete blast. Recording
is fun. We have a real great producer; he’s like the 5th
member of the band. He has the right mindset for
production, very detail orientated and a little bit
sarcastic, so it works really well. But the real fun part,
the part that is the most fun, is playing live and
traveling around. For me, I love to travel and to meet
these people and talk to them after the show and just to
get to see the world. It’s kind of the pendant of the
band to have fun, drink beer and have more fun
SS: Anything else you want your fans to know?
GH: Well, I guess I would just say if you get a
chance, check out our CD and our website. We have a
really excellent forum that is very very funny and the
people on there are characters, it’s at
www.beatallica.org. Just sign up for the forum there.
All the legitimate news is on the website. There’s a lot
of stuff that’s a bit hard to understand about this band
and sometimes it gets printed a bit wrong here and
there, but the place to come for the real scoop is
The 69 Eyes………….......................9
Vains of Jenna……....................…..19
August Burns Red............................23
Cover Photo by William Simpson
Back Cover Photo by Erick Lopez
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Is a bi-monthly publication distributed Ntionally. Views
expressed in StageShottz Magazine may not reflect the
opinions of StageShottz Magazine or its staff.
Copyright 2008 StageShottz Magazine, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.
Concert Review from the Grizzly Rose
Story and Photo’s by William Simpson
Recently, on a cold January night, Pat Green brought
his brand of Texas country rock to the sold out Grizzly
Rose in Denver. Green was introduced at his first
show of 2008 by Mudflap and Flip from the Denver
radio station KYGO and greeted by 2000+ fans
screaming “Pat F**king Green”.
Green started the 90 minute show off with his hit
Don’t Break My Heart Again and received a salute
of every kind of beer bottle held high in the air.
Green really fed off of the crowd singing Texas On
My Mind back to him. Next, a couple of songs about
Texas dedicated to the Dallas Cowboys, who were
playing in a playoff game the next day.
The band was high energy and jamming on top of the
monitors to get closer to the crowd during the song
Three Days, dedicated to all the beautiful cowgirls in
Green and the band ended the show with a very tight
and high energy jam session on a couple of songs
including Southbound 35. Green even tried his hand
at the electric guitar.
Green left the stage to another round of “Pat F**king
Green” from the wild crowd, returning after a couple
of minutes for a two song encore. The show ended
Green’s biggest hit to date, Wave On Wave.
Despite recently having surgery, Green put on a very
tight and explosive show that truly brought the house
down. Many fans that were at the show are anxiously
anticipating Green’s next trip through Denver.
Story: Jennifer Chance
Photo’s: Erick Lopez
With a new direction and a new drive, they reformed a
year and a half ago, and hit the ground running. With
focus on the art instead of the deal, the creation
process yielded a product that was distinctly Droid’s
own. They recorded a demo and started playing out
again. A show at the historic Whisky a Go Go in Los
Angeles was the turning point for the Long Beach,
Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer caught the
show at the Whisky. He knew the band from days
before and really believed in the new sound. The
timing could not have been more perfect. The same
day, Shaffer had signed paperwork starting his own
label, Emotional Syphon Recordings. He signed Droid
on the spot.
As the flagship act for Emotional Syphon, Droid is
well aware of the risks on both sides. Eason
acknowledges this, but has complete faith in both the
band’s ability and in Shaffer. “He’s a good guy,” says
Eason. “He’s in this (business) to make art, not for a
tax write off.”
What is one of the best perks of signing a record
deal? “I just quit my day job,” says James Eason,
with a smile. “I just hope I don’t have to go back.”
Eason and the other members of Droid probably
don’t have too much to worry about there. With a
record deal, a self-titled debut album, a spot on the
main stage for Korn’s Family Values Tour 2007, and
a spot on the Guerrilla Carnival Tour 2008, things are
definitely moving in the right direction.
While band’s success is well-deserved, it was not
immediate. Three members of the band, Eason
included, have been together for seven years, but
never got the recognition or representation they
craved. Eason attributes it to misdirection. “We were
trying to make a living so much, that we were not
playing what we wanted to,” he says. There were
some minor successes (the band toured with Korn for
a while) but nothing major was happening. So the
members went their separate ways.
The art of Droid’s music is what brought them to this
moment, and it is what will propel them forward.
With blistering guitar riffs and a rhythm section that
pounds the listener into submission, the energy is
palpable. The band’s uncompromising style is
extremely heavy, a relentless assault on the senses, but
with a rhyme and reason to it. “I think we are bringing
the groove back in metal,” says Eason. The “shred”
factor is definitely still there, and even the most
diehard death metal fan can find something to like
about the tracks on the album, but the band hopes to
“break it down and bring it back.”
Labels such as death metal, hardcore metal and the
like have been used to describe Droid, but that is
exactly what they hope to avoid. Their attitude, like
their music, is defiant. They don’t want to be pegged
as “this or that.” They are simply Droid. “I know that
sounds like an asshole remark,” says Eason, “but it is
true. Once you are put into a genre and that trend is
over, you are over.” Too much blood and sweat has
gone into this band for them to risk being flushed
away with the change of the tide. That, however, is
highly unlikely. Droid’s adaptability, from early days
to now, is one of the things that keeps their
An opportunity to further change things up came on one of the tracks on their debut album. “Vengeance is Mine”
pits Eason’s scorching vocals against an iconic metal front man, Chino Moreno from the Deftones. Eason was
elated at the chance to work with an idol. “It was like I was a kid, looking up to him,” he says, “but I couldn’t be a
fan. I had to be a professional.” The result is a vicious vocal battle, with a heaviness from Moreno that Deftones
fans have not heard in a while.
For all their recent successes, Droid is still operating within their fundamental design—just five guys making the
music they want for the people that want to hear it. They know they have a break, and they are ready to take full
advantage of it, but they also know how they want to move forward. Staying down-to-earth and in touch with the
people who drive their success—the fans—is a primary goal of this band. “There are no ‘too cool for school’ guys
here,” says Eason. “We are the people who will play, then go have a beer with you.” Onstage, this comes through
as well. A Droid show is exactly what is expected- a brick wall of pummeling metal hitting you at 90 miles per
hour. The lyrics are real, and the force is unstoppable.
For Eason and his band mates, the future is somewhat like their music, barreling straight ahead with full steam
and no brakes. They have been through a lot to get to where they are, and are intent on moving forward, but the
dream is reality at the moment. They are making their music on their terms. And those day jobs? History.
Story: Megan Quinn
Photos: William Simpson
The Showdown has had a lot of time to refine their
brand of Southern metal. Originally from Elizabethton, TN,
vocalist David Bunton, bassist Eric Koruschak, drummer
AJ Barette and guitarists Josh Childers and Travis Bailey
have been touring “for forever.” The Showdown started in
1999 as a punk band before letting their Southern roots
and love of metal take over. “We’re not trying to bring in
the Stars and Bars, but we do love Southern rock and pick
up on it a lot. We also draw a lot of influence from bands
like Metallica,” Bunton said.
The Showdown also weaves Christian influences in
with their shreds, but Bunton said the band isn’t trying to
preach. “The lyrics come from who we are and how we
live, but we want people to listen to it and have fun no
matter what their background is. That’s a true success for
us,” he said.
Despite The Showdown’s reputation for being laid
back and fun-loving guys, the song “Fanatics and
Whores” made waves after they released their sophomore album, Temptation Come My Way, last February.
Christian stores that had carried The Showdown’s first
release censored the song or had it taken off the album.
“The song is about how some people use
Christianity to make money, and we think that’s
wrong,” Bunton said. “To us, Christianity is
about being honest and real. The Christian industry
can’t suck it up and listen to that.”
Bunton said the hard work the band put into
the album paid off despite the controversy. “We
spent two years working on that album. Before, on the
first album, we were all still in school. For this one,
we treated (recording) like it was our job. It was much
more of a group effort.,” he said.
The band’s first album, 2004’s Chorus of
Obliteration, happened almost by accident. When
Mono vs. Stereo approached the band with the offer
of a record deal, the Showdown didn’t just jump right
in. “We hesitated. We thought, it’s hard to be in a
band financially and emotionally. Then we said,
‘We’ll just do an EP and maybe tour’,” Bunton said.
But after the CD release, the band did more than
Three years later, The Showdown is enjoying
diverse publicity. They recently made AP Magazine’s
100 Bands You Need To Know, and Temptation Come
My Way landed a spot on Billboard’s Top 200 list.
And if the band isn’t busy enough touring and
promoting their album, this past summer, they
became bloggers for HM Magazine, chronicling their
“You know, we enjoy every tour. We just love to hang
out and it’s nothing but a good time,” Bunton said.
“It’s all killer.”
You can keep up with what’s happening with The
Showdown on their webpage,
Photo: William Simpson
The 69 Eyes
Story and Photo’s by: Rick Steele
I recently sat down with Jyrki 69 of the band often
called the Helsinki Vampires, The 69 Eyes. The Glam/
Goth band, started in Finland in the early 90’s, took
Europe by storm. With their latest CD, Angels,
released in 2007 and recently wrapping up a headlining
US tour with Wednesday 13, they are poised to take
Ultimate Revenge: Who were your influences
growing up and the driving force that lead to you
fronting a rock band?
Jyrki 69: I got inspired when I saw Elvis
Presley on TV when I was 8 yrs old. That’s how I got
to know about rock and roll. I’m still on the same
road. I have never been to Memphis though. So, could
that be the driving force? Touring so long that finally,
one day, we will play in Memphis and I will have a
chance to visit Graceland. Elvis showed that there is
no limit if you just believe in yourself and I am curious
to see how far we can go with The 69 Eyes. I’ve been
saying we are the missing link between Hanoi rocks
and HIM. Not just for a historical fact, but I think
UR: You have been together as a band for 18
years now. What’s your secret of staying together and
J69: Viable sounds really nice. Something I
read from a review of our latest album, Angels,
somebody wrote that it doesn’t sound like the 8th
album of an old band, it sounds like a fresh album from
a fresh band and that was one of the best review I’ve
read. Since the beginning we were just friends. We
met in the rock bars in the Helsinki night life. We were
just getting together to get wasted and try to play some
cover tunes. I wanted to do some flyers for this band
and I ended up as the singer because they could not
find anyone and I was brave enough to try to imitate
Alice Cooper to the microphone. It’s been like that
ever since, we are Finish boys and fans. We just think
it’s exciting to play at big festivals with our favorite
bands and meet our favorite musicians and later on, of
course, becoming friends. It’s like the same sparkle
and same ambition and same excitement ever since the
beginning. This is worth mentioning to maintain the
original “why” the band was put up, it was put up to
have fun you know the original rock and roll fun in like
the most crazy way.
UR: With the release with your latest CD,
Angels, how do you see it as different than your last
J69: Angels is a very dark album even though
the title might reflect that it is not that dark. I think
Angels has a more organic sound. It has a more live
sound and my vocals have a more live sound on the
album. If you’ve never heard of The 69 Eyes it’s the
best album to start with and then when you start to
discover our earlier releases you won’t be surprised
what you will find. On the other hand, if you know
our history you will easily understand what I am about
to say, that Angels sorta sums up all the sides of The 69
Eyes, it has gothic rock and a heavy dose of glam rock
there as well, since we started as a glam band. It has
all the different aspects of The 69 Eyes.
Interview with Dez Fafara and John Boecklin
Photo’s: William Simpson
StageShottz Magazine recently caught up with Dez
Fafara and John Boecklin the singer and drummer
for Devildriver. I interviewed them on the bands tour
bus while Lamb of God played the Fillmore
Auditorium in Denver. Following a blistering 30
minute set, Dez and I met in the back of the bus, and
John joined us after a few minutes.
StageShottz: Dez, I’ve read that you consider Ozzy
and Phil Anselmo your biggest influences.
Dez Fafara: I’ve been influenced by everyone from
Johnny Cash to Ozzy. Ozzy and Phil have different
singing styles, but I draw on them lyrically, as well.
(When John joined us, Dez mentioned that in
addition to drumming, John does some writing for the
SS: How has the tour gone with Lamb Of God and
Dez: This has been a great tour; we always enjoy
being on the road with these bands. This is the 5th
time we’ve toured with them and they’ve all been
SS: What cities have you enjoyed playing the most?
Dez: I’ve enjoyed every stop on this tour.
John: My favorite city so far has been Chicago.
SS: Have you written anything along the way on this tour?
Dez: No, but I think John has been working on a few things.
SS: Dez, during your set tonight, you mentioned that you had been interviewed by a local Denver newspaper about a
recent tragedy and you were concerned with being misquoted. Can you expand on that?
Dez: Yes, I was interviewed for 45 minutes this morning about 2 recent shootings in Colorado. I guess I was asked to
do this as I had a pretty religious background growing up and didn’t mind speaking out against this violence. I just felt
like I had to say to the fans that we were aware of the tragedy and that this didn’t have anything to do with music. (The
shooter wrote on his blog that he had recently seen Cradle of Filth live)
SS: As the tour winds down, what are your thoughts?
Dez: We’ve been on the road a long time, and we need some downtime. We haven’t had a day off in quite a while and
we’ve eaten in too many truck stops.
SS: When you get home, do you start to miss the road?
Dez: Yes, after about 3 weeks, I start to go stir crazy and I miss being out on tour.
SS: What plans do you have for the immediate future in terms of touring?
Dez: We have supported so many bands on tour and we’re tired of being limited to 30 minute sets so we will be
headlining the next tour and we’ll have Napalm Death as our supporting band.
SS: Is there one band in particular you haven’t toured with, but would like to?
Both guys at once: Metallica.
SS: In closing, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
John: Yes, thank you to all of our fans who buy the records and come see us live.
Story: Keisha Newman
Photos: William Simpson
Think back to 1987. The big teased hair, acid jeans, and bands like Ratt. How rad would it have been to
know someone famous? Well Erik Ferentinos was that rocking kid. And that is where our story begins. Erik’s
parents were neighbors to Ratt’s front man and lead vocalist Stephen Pearcy. Erik began doing odd jobs for
Stephen and the two became friends. In their hanging out Stephen noticed Erik’s voice and encouraged him to
write songs. Never taking any advice for granted Erik not only wrote his own songs, but with Stephen’s assistance
formed the band Voodoo. Erik’s songs have the absence of normality. This spurned playing in local San Diego,
places like The Church, or Psychedelic. These places never catered to one genre or another. Every show looked
like a middle school dance, one side with Alternative and the other with Punk. Erik took this division and made
into something special. Voodoo fizzed out and Erik continued his pursuit of success in the music industry. Erik
hosted shows in “brick by bricks”. These cheap dives were where Erik hung around when he was a teen. These
places held about 400 people, not a huge number but enough to rock out. This humble homage to teen hangouts
wasn’t going to get him world renouned accolades but at least he was beginning to make a name for himself. For
6 years he occasionally sung with Ratt, but Erik wanted more. He wanted his name “in lights”; he wanted to
touch people’s lives through his work. What was Erik to do? One word… AntiDivison.
AntiDivison, what kind of name is that? Think outside of your comfort zone and enter Erik’s. It means
unity; against being apart. A band with a name like that has a lot to live up to. In today’s world band members are
fluid coming and going because of any number of reasons. Erik wanted his band to stay together. According to
Erik “bands have a better survival rate if one person writes the songs, and then forms the band.” There maybe
some truth in it, but one thing is for sure AntiDivison is on its way to the top. As a top band on Pearcy’s label, Top
Fuel Records, AntiDivison has several events lined up for the rest of the year. On October 15th they took part in
The Virginia City Revival Show. They are also taking part in the Metal in America Tour. This is huge. It is giving
this hot new band exposure beyond their own conceptions, and it gives the finger to all those who hated on the
Not to skew the opinion about AntiDivison but
this seemingly hard-ass band has a softer side. They
realize the potential they own in regards to their fan
base. The members of this band want people to be
attracted not only to their music but also by their
lifestyles. Erik and the guys want their fans to realize
that they are human too, and they are doing their best
to be good guys. Erik feels that the best way to keep a
loyal fan base is to earn their respect. The best way to
earn the respect of fans is through connections. They
realize that someday there may not be a need for
record labels because of technological advances like
Lime wire, and IPOD downloads.
We all have goals in our lives, and
AntiDivison is no exception. Erik wants to get back in
the studio and write more hits with producers and get
back on the road. For Erik success is “living out of
your suitcase”. Who would have guessed that a guy
whose favorite animal is a wooly mammoth would be
the front man for a funky fresh rock band.
For info, tour dates, and merch, go to
I recently caught up with Danny “Boone” Alexander, the lead singer of the Atlanta based group, Rehab, on a short
break between tours. With the smash hits “Sittin’ At A Bar” and “It Don’t Matter”, along with their follow up
CD, “Graffiti The World”, to their credit, Rehab, consisting of Alexander on vocals, Mike Hartnett and Foz on
guitars, Hano Leathers on bass, Chris Hood on drums, DJ Chris Crisis, along with second vocalist Demun Jones,
are working to become a household name.
StageShottz: What first got you interested in music and planted the seed for a life of music?
Danny Boone: I grew up with a lot of music around me, my grandmother played Spanish music all the time, my
granddad played country, my mother played disco, so anything they listened to I was soaked in from early on.
When it first hit me to where I wanted to do it was somewhere around ’84, hip hop started to get a lot of notoriety
and I was really drawn into it. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even know it was hip-hop when it first
popped up in Georgia, I just thought it was some kinda weird new music.
SS: Rehab has a very distinct sound on your last CD, “Graffiti The World”, how did you develop your sound?
DB: I think it’s the fact that Mike is such a good guitar player, most of that is based around his guitar. I was trying
to write around what he was doing and make sense of it all because I had never done anything like that either. It
was a big challenge.
SS: How do you handle constantly touring and being
married and raising a child?
DB: That’s tough. It’s made me appreciate being
home a lot more. I like the road and all that but you
come home and start noticing your children look
different. You talk to them all the time and they
sound the same but you get back home and it’s a
pretty big deal. Its tough man, I ain’t gonna lie, its
tough. Its one of those things, I don’t know if every
artist has it, I don’t know if it’s just me, but you feel
guilty no matter where you are. You’re home and
you feel wrong for being a musician then you go out
on the road and you feel bad for leaving your family,
but at the same time you are bringing home a
paycheck. Its weird man.
When you’re on the road that much and you get off
its hard to tell 6 or 7 dudes, we’re off the road so its
time to get in the studio, you know what I mean. As
taxing as the road is, its takes a long time to sit and
recover from all that.
SS: When you recorded “Graffiti The World” and
on your next album, do you do most of the music or
is it a team effort?
SS: Are you making new music and when can we
expect a new Rehab album?
DB: I don’t know. I’m making music everyday. I
think I have an addiction or something to it. A lot of
it might be wacked but I’m doing it every day, I try
not to stop. I think a new CD is going to come soon
but I really have no idea. We are going back on the
road which is going to be hard. We’re not going to
be doing much recording out there, you know,
because we’re not the band with the recording studio
in the tour bus yet so we’re working on it. We’ve got
over a hundred songs that are just sitting ready to be
spruced up, we just gotta get around to doing that.
DB: It was a team effort all the way around the board;
everyone brought something to the equation. It was
definitely a team effort. I came up with beat ideas
here and there. There were a couple of songs where
it was my melody I was singing that turned into a
song. Mostly I was just trying to adapt to a new set
of people that were playing a certain kind of music.
But it was definitely a group effort.
SS: Musically speaking where do you see yourself 35 years down the road?
DB: Man, I don’t know. I’ll be doing music of some
sort. Within our little camp there are alot of people
that want to get out and do their own thing. I know
Mike Hartnett wants to do a solo album. I know
Demun Jones wants to do a solo album; he might be
working on it now. We don’t see each other when
we’re home a whole lot.
I’ve been working on some of my hip hop stuff and we have the rehab thing we still have to get done. I hope something
lucrative happens of some sort. I’ll be doing it with or without money but if we were selling out arenas that would be
SS: For people that have not heard of Rehab or don’t know what you are about, what would you like them to know
DB: Well, it’s just a group of guys trying to do what we’ve always wanted to do as far as our passion for music. You
know Hano has been working hard for years, Demun has been working hard for years and so has Mike. Everybody has
been working hard for years and has not letup. There’s so much stick-to-it-iveness. You don’t find that in a lot of
places. Very rarely you’ll find some people who will luck up and get in a good situation. All of us are just people who
have stuck to it and plugged away for so long. Not to brag or anything like that. We’re not coverboys by any stretch of
the imagination we just love music and we work hard in doing it. I just like good catchy music, that’s what I’ve always
liked, you know what I mean, and I think that’s what all of us liked. That’s the whole reason we all got into music, we
heard a song that we liked or heard something that spoke to us.
You can find more information on Rehab on the internet at www.rehabmusic.com or www.myspace.com/rehabmusic.
Story and Photo’s: William Simpson
She has been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, the
first Canadian female this honor has been bestowed
on. She has also sold more than four million albums
Not only is Terri’s music very entertaining but
it is powerful and comes form her heart and soul.
“People come up and tell me stories about how
certain songs got them through something hard – a
broken romance, a parent or child being sick or not
making it, a personal tragedy”, states Clark. “It is
powerful what music can do”.
A Terri Clark show is well worth going to see
and a show that should never be missed. Also look
for Terri’s soon to be released CD. In the meantime
you can keep up with Terri at www.terriclark.com.
Terri Clark is on the road in support of her
new single, “In My Next Life” and her upcoming new
CD, which is to be released early this year. Known
for her dynamic, high energy shows that project a
party like atmosphere, Ms. Clark did not disappoint at
her recent stop in Denver. She had the near capacity
crowd at the Grizzly Rose on their feet cheering from
the first note until the stage lights went out.
Born in Alberta, Canada, Terri has proven she
is one of the top female singer/songwriters in the
business. From her first hit single, “Better Things To
Do”, in 1995 Terri has been a mainstay on the charts
with such hits as “You’re Easy On The Eyes”, “When
Boy Meets Girl”, “I Wanna Do It All”, “Poor Poor
Pitiful Me”, “Girls Lie Too”, and her number 1 single
“I Just Wanna Be Mad”.
Vains of Jenna
Story: Keisha Newman
Photo’s: Erick Lopez
America has been invaded by another
European band. Just like the Beatles did in the 1960’s,
2007 has brought the high energy of Vains of Jenna to
our soil. Vains of Jenna had an unusual start. From
what began as two rival bands playing in Sweden, and
then dissolving, emerged Vains of Jenna.
The lead vocalist Lizzy DeVine was working
at his parents driving school when he first met his
future band mates. The first musical seeds were
planted with Lizzy as a child listening to Aerosmith,
his parents’ music. That led to a love affair with other
80’s rock bands like Guns n’ Roses. By age nine he
had his own band, but that was only the beginning of
the realization of his dream. Although Lizzy was
playing in another band, he was unhappy with the
music that they were generating. Lizzy and current
band mate JP, (bass) first focused their sights on
Nikki Kin the rival band’s guitarist. Both wanted his
kickass riffs in their band. Soon Jacki Stone was
drumming newly formed Vains of Jenna into the
bands bright future.
Like any new band just starting out, Vains of
Jenna (VOJ) had its share of obstacles.
The rock scene is much harder to break into in
Scandinavia, and Europe as a whole than here in the
states. “People in Europe are more open to fun rock
and roll and like good ole rock music” said Lizzy. He
believes that the music here, in the states, is so
mainstream and mass produced. There is little
originality, it is all about big names, and what’s hot
this season. New bands in Europe are a hard sell
because everyone is trying to make it in the music
scene. This difficult environment is not a bad thing to
say the least; in fact it may be argued that it makes
bands better. What better way to push the bar of body
moving, hair flinging rock music than with a little
competition. Not only did VOJ reach the bar, they
raised it even higher.
But Europe was not to be conquered at the
moment; that would come later. Their first month as a
band was amazing. The band slept in their van in an
UK alley so they could play at the venue at night.
Then they were given the opportunity to play at the
Whiskey in L.A. at Cruefest. This show gave them
their first manager Stevie Rachelle, who opened even
more doors for VOJ. After Cruefest came a meeting
with Gilby Clark of G& R. Gilby let the band record
a couple of demos in his studio. These demos
dropped the “make you wanna drink and party” music
into the laps of music legends and Hollywood’s
young and famous.
Ever catch the theme song of Bam Magera’s reality show Unholy Union. It’s VOJ! The song is entitled “Don’t
give a Damn” from the new CD. Bam launched his fame with Jackass, and he is helping out music newbies with
is label Filthy Note Records. VOJ released their freshman album “Lit up/ Let down” on October 24, 2007.
A new CD is not the only thing that VOJ have accomplished in this whirlwind year and half. They went on
tour with Poison and Ratt after CC Deville, Rickki Rocket, and Bobby Dall saw these Swedes playing live. In fact
Lizzy believes that the band has made it as far as they have as quickly as they have because of their live
VOJ loves giving live performances and touring because each new city gives them a chance to gain more fans and
play their style of rock and roll.
All this success has naturally increased their wallets, but that is least of their goals. All the boys want is
play have fun and play with each other for the rest of their lives.
The best way to sum up VOJ is with these words: Can you believe it?
Review: Johnny Concert
Queensryche played a ripping show at the
Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. The band looked and
sounded great. Attendance was light, but those of us there
were definitely the true veterans.
Geoff Tate had amazing stage presence and judging by his biceps has been hitting the weight room. His
voice was spot on. Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson
were also on their games. Jackson played a 5-string and
you could always pick out his bass line but it was never
overbearing. He does a great job of complementing the
guitars and holding down the beat at the same time.
Rockenfield’s drum set is so cool with chains holding the
cymbals. I love his complex, off-beat rhythms. The
guitars were superb. Michael Wilton and Mike Stone
both had a crisp, clean tone. They split the leads and the
solos and the interplay between the two was riveting.
The best part was when, during a solo section, the guitarists would trade short shred sections back and forth from
opposite sides of the stage. Then they would both walk to the center of the stage and marry the two guitar sounds a
la Iron Maiden- each playing the same riff, but an octave apart. There were silvery, flashing lights that introduced
and then followed the build-up of the guitar solos. Magical.
The set list was filled with plenty of offerings for old fans and new. From the ‘Warning’ album,
Queensryche played ‘NM 156’- which was unexpected- and ‘Take Hold of the Flame’- which was expected.
From ‘Rage for Order’- ‘Screaming in Digital’ (featuring Tate’s vocals), and ‘Walk in the Shadows’. From
Stranger’. (When ‘Operation Mindcrime I’ came out, it was
in my tape deck for months. I literally listened to it 100
times in a row, so these songs were particularly near and
dear to my heart). The boys from Seattle hit the ‘Empire’
album hard. They played the song ‘Empire’ with its trademark, slow, ‘informative’ section, along with ‘Silent Lucidity’, ‘Anybody Listening’ and ‘Jet City Woman’. Everyone
sang along with ‘Jet City’ in an anthemic tribute to the
band. ‘Anybody Listening’ was one of the highlights of the
evening- high intensity that focused on the meaningful
lyrics. Even though I consider myself to be a die-hard
Queensryche fan, I have not yet delved into Mindcrime II.
The band played a couple of selections from this album but
I couldn’t sink my teeth into them.
Queensryche has a new album out called ‘Take
Cover’. It features 11 of their favorite cover tunes. From
this they played a deeply moving version of Pink Floyd’s
‘Welcome to the Machine’. The light show added to the
intensity of this classic, and Geoff Tate even broke out the
saxophone. They also did an amazing take on Black
Sabbath’s ‘Neon Knights’. Sabbath is one of the best
bands of all time,
and after recently seeing the Heaven and Hell tour, I
can tell you Queensryche did this song justice. Tate
introduced this number by touting Dio’s skills- saying
that Dio’s musicality is far superior to the other
Sabbath singers. A cheap, albeit indirect, shot at Ozzy,
but definitely true. The final cover was the Police’s
‘Synchronicity II’. They did a good job on this song,
but I am sick of the Police and it didn’t seem to fit as
well as the others.
Queensryche’s still got it. The band was incredibly
tight and very professional. This was a solid ‘A’ show,
and they sent us home smiling. Rock on.
August Burns Red
Story: Rick Steele; Photo: Erick Lopez
August Burns Red is a Christian metal band out
of Lancaster, Pennsylvania formed in early 2003. Their
latest release, Messengers, debuted at number 81 on the
Billboard 200 which spawned a headlining US tour.
Along with debuting at number 81, Messengers also sold
9000 copies in the first week. Messengers is the second
full length album released on Solid State Records. “That
is an incredible accomplishment and a pretty big deal for
us”, stated drummer Matt Greiner.
Now, August Burns Red is a very unusual name
for a band and according to Matt, it has a very unusual
and tragic story behind it also. As Matt puts it, “It all
started with our original vocalist, Jon Hershey”.
Apparently, a few years prior to the creation of a band,
and need for a band name, Jon was in high school and
was dating this girl, August, when he decided it was in
both of their best interests to break it off. According to
Matt, “she flipped out and took it so hard”. Shortly
afterwards she went to Jon’s house and burnt down his
I think we all see where this is going; yep, Jon’s dog
Redd was in the dog house at the time. So the next
morning we have a newspaper headline, “August
Burns Redd”, and a couple of years later a band name.
“It’s not a month and it’s not a color”, stated Matt.
All members of the band contributed to the
music and the lyrics on Messengers. According to
Matt, “we all grew up in different homes with slightly
different forms of Christianity and it adds a different
twist on the lyrics and makes the lyrics more diverse”.
Needless to say, they all really enjoyed being a part of
the creation process. The writing process was
something that wasn’t planned it just kind of fell into
place. As for the title Messengers, Matt says they
“thought of it as a record with a message from several
different people and thus we are the messengers.
While on tour, the guys in August Burns Red talks to
kids every night and they share their message and life
With the release of Messengers and their
positive energy, August Burns Red is poised to get
their message out to the world. They have been
together as a band for five years, with 2 albums and
many tours of the US and Canada. There has also
been talk of a world tour soon which will include
Australia, Europe, and Japan. For a great show, catch
an August Burns Red concert. You can also find them
Story: William Simpson
In 2007, the controversial and outspoken Billy Milano
released two CD’s, one from each of his bands. The
final chapter of the Stormtroopers Of Death (SOD),
Rise Of The Infidels, was released as a “Thank You”
to the fans. Also, Milano’s Method of Destruction
(MOD) released their latest CD titled, Red, White,
and Screwed. We sat down with Billy to discuss both
CD’s among other things.
StageShottz: So is this truly the end of SOD?
Billy Milano: Yeah, I mean this is not really as much
of a new product as much as it is a final product. I
think it’s important, as with everything in life, that
when you move on you are happy with the conclusion
of what you are moving away from. As a band, it was
important for me to do this last extended EP, this last
offering form SOD. It was important to give this one
last thing to the fans, something to finally bring it
back full circle. And of course there’s no reason to
continue with the band.
SS: Are you going to do a farewell tour?
BM: We did our farewell tour in 2000. I also did one
show in 2001 for Chuck Billy from Testament for his
cancer benefit. That pretty much concluded it I don’t
think it needs much more than that. I kind of like the
fact that the last show we did was a benefit. On the
extended play EP; it’s an Extended DVD as well, so
you can watch the show from Seattle.
SS: With MOD, you have new line-up, how is the
chemistry in the band?
BM: As far as the record, we had Scott Lee Sargeant
on guitar, Derek Lopez on drums and myself, I played
bass and sang. It seemed to work well when it comes
to writing. But live is a different story and we had to
find a bass player (Tim Casterline). The vibe of the
band is very good and the chemistry of the band is
very light and laughable at time, you know, we are
having a good time with it and we are not taking it
too seriously and we’ll see what’s happens after that.
SS: How was the experience of being in the studio
again making the Red, White, and Screwed CD?
BM: We approached it very open minded, we weren’t
trying to impress anybody by writing a great record.
Whether or not it will be perceived as a great record I
think is in the eyes of the beholder, but I think we did
a really good job. It was fun being in the studio
again, it’s been 4 years since I have been in the
studio. It was a good experience overall for the band.
SS: How would you describe Red, White, and Screwed as compared to your previous CD’s?
BM: I think this record really brings the band full cycle and more importantly brings my style of writing full
cycle. This new record actually brings MOD back to its roots. It’s just a record, a really good record, I think. It
basically looks at everything I’ve accomplished in my life and everywhere I have been. I’ve used that as a basis
to write this record, so the record is basically about me more than anything else. It is definitely the cornerstone of
the career of MOD. If it was the end after this record I would have no complaints.
SS: Are you bringing your dogs on tour with you this time?
BM: Yes, I think so, they are my tour dogs. I think we had this conversation before about my dogs in Denver
when they had the pit bull ban and my dogs look kinda like pit bulls. The one thing that safeguards me is that I
have my dogs in my contract; I’ve got my travel guide for hotels that are animal friendly. They are American
bulldogs so I’m safe like that. I plan this out very well. Despite the fact that I would give my life to protect my
animals so no one will ever touch my dogs, believe me.
Story and Photo’s: Erick Lopez
I met with Vinnie Paul of Hellyeah at the Denver stop on their tour.
I was told the other members of the band were sick. I shook his
hand and sat down across from him in the “green room” on the
couch. He was, as always, a very warm person.
StageShottz: You have influenced many new rising stars but who
did you look up to as a drummer growing up?
Vinnie Paul: Tommy Aldridge of Black Oak Arkansas (Whitesnake,
Qzzy Osbourne) he is a heavy hitter… I loved his usage of the double
SS: Do you stay in touch with former members of Pantera?
VP: No, not at all, not in years.
SS: How did Hellyeah come about?
VP: It was a brainchild of Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and Tom (Maxwell of Nothingface) after touring together. They
contacted me when they needed a heavy hitter on the drums and we were friends, so they called me in.
SS: A lot of bands that combine superstars from other bands have a hard time overcoming the egos. How is the
chemistry of Hellyeah?
VP: We all came into this project with the knowledge that egos would not be tolerated; we clicked immediately.
We wrote the first couple of songs within a few days.
SS: How is Hellyeah different than the other bands
you have been in?
VP: I feel that our different styles make our songs
Fresh... different, yet the same as before.
SS: In that same vain, how would you describe
VP: We are heavy rockers, Solid metal and thanks to
our previous bands we can be adventurous.
SS: Tell me about the new Live DVD you have
coming out on Nov 13.
VP: It is basically a documentary that allows our fans
to see how we came about, and what goes on
backstage... I think our fans will really enjoy it as it is
SS: Where do you see Hellyeah in 5 years? Does the
band have staying power or is it just a fun project thats
not built to last?
VP: Hopefully, touring with our 3rd CD. I feel this is a
true band, but we all may do some of our own projects
like Mudvayne and I have Big Vin Records.
SS: How is Big Vin Records coming along? Any new
VP: Well, with touring it has been on hold, but once
we take a rest we have over 3000-5000 demos to go
SS: Any plans on going back to the studio for the next
VP: Well, this tour runs thru March ‘08 and includes
dates in Australia and New Zealand. We will take
some time off then probably begin to work on our
next CD for ‘09 release, but we do have some really
great ideas we have been throwing around.
Story and Photo’s: William Simpson
before slowing it down with My Whiskey
Years off his latest album, “Real Things”,
released last year.
Joe and the band were very tight
during a crowd pleasing jam session
accompanying the song I’ll Wait For You and
a great cover of Nickelback’s Rockstar. The
set was closed out with the relationship
favorite Let’s Get Drunk And Fight, Joe’s
latest single, It Ain’t No Crime, and with the
crowds help, Brokenheartsville. After Joe
left the stage and the crowd raised the roof,
he came back out to finish the 90 minute set
with an encore of Tequila Makes Her
Clothes Fall Off and Comin’ Back In A
For everyone that saw the concert of
Country singer/songwriter Joe Nichols at the
Grizzly Rose in Denver recently, they were a
part of something even larger. The Grizzly
Rose hosted the St. Jude Children’s Research
Hospital Benefit presented by Denver radio
station KYGO, which rose over $14,000 for
Joe, backed by his six piece band and a
big innocent smile that makes the girls scream
everytime he flashes it, started the night off by
letting the rowdy crowd know that Size
Matters and asking the question that every
guy has asked at one point or another, What’s
a Guy Gotta Do (to get a girl in this town).
He proceeded to work the crowd up and
encourage the crowd to participate in the bar
room anthem, Joe’s Place, the crowd
favorite; The Impossible, She Only Smokes
When She Drinks, and Cool To Be A Fool,
Remember the name JOE NICHOLS,
write it down. You will be hearing it for a long
time to come and don’t forget to catch his
show everytime you can.