Sunday, 15 October 2017

NIKKI SIXX announces 10th anniversary editions of THE HEROIN DIARIES - re-visited and re-imagined

LOS ANGELES CA, – This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Nikki Sixx’s drug-soaked NY Times bestselling memoir, THE HEROIN DIARIES and SiXX:A.M.’s The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. To commemorate more than a decade of sobriety and life lessons learned, Nikki Sixx and SIXX:A.M. revisit the seminal work; announcing Tenth Anniversary Editions of the book and album in multiple formats including: digital LP, CD, CD / DVD, and Special Edition Vinyl, and Graphic Novel. Fans can get a jump start TODAY by pre-ordering these and more exclusively at PledgeMusic.

Nikki Sixx got sober sixteen years ago. A decade ago he shared this story with the world. And yet with the modern opioid crisis looming larger than ever; Sixx’s journey to sobriety and the words and music it inspired remains poignantly relevant. Chronicling the year of decadence and depravity that almost cost Sixx his life during the recording and tour for Mötley Crüe’s seminal 1987 album GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, the book not only became a worldwide bestseller but also spawned the band SIXX:A.M., and Sixx’s nationally syndicated daily iHeart Media rock radio show “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.”

Says Sixx: “Over the last ten years I’ve met so many people who have thanked me for The Heroin Diariesand say that it saved their lives,” explains Nikki. “But the truth is, writing The Heroin Diaries saved my life too.”

Journey back again into this mega–New York Times bestselling survivor’s story in one of the most “harrowing” (Rolling Stone) and “heartbreaking” (The New York Times) memoirs of addiction ever published and the soundtrack it inspired. The once-shattered rock star shares raw and mesmerizing journal entries from the year he plunged to rock bottom—and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again. In never-before-seen photos and exclusive new chapters, Nikki reflects on his decade of sobriety in this expanded 10th anniversary edition of the book.

SIXX:A.M. also celebrates its 10-year anniversary with the re-release of The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack: 10th Anniversary Edition. Comprised of James Michael (vocalist, producer, songwriter), Dj Ashba (guitarist, songwriter) Nikki Sixx (bassist, songwriter), the group initially came together to write, record, and co-produce The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, which sold over 300,000 copies, and includes the #1 hit single, “Life Is Beautiful,” which became radio’s most played rock song of 2008. Over the past decade SIXX:A.M. has become a full-fledged global rock powerhouse, releasing four additional albums, multiple Top 5 hits and playing the biggest festivals and arenas around the world.

THE HEROIN DIARIES: Ten Year Anniversary Edition by Nikki Sixx is out October 24th via Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster featuring a new cover, never-before-seen photos and exclusive brand new chapters.

THE HEROIN DIARIES: 10th Anniversary Edition Soundtrack by SIXX:A.M. will be released October 27th via Eleven Seven Music as a digital album, CD, and CD/DVD. A limited edition vinyl package will also come later this year. All music configurations feature new artwork, personal notes from the band and include 3 newly re-imagined tracks: “Life Is Beautiful 2017”, “Accidents Can Happen 2017”, and Girl With Golden Eyes 2017”.

Also on pre-sale is The Heroin Diaries graphic novel, a collaboration that Nikki Sixx and HEAVY METAL recently announced at ComicCon San Diego. The Graphic Novel presents the Heroin Diaries from a different angle and gives both insight and understanding to the deadly trap and temptation of addiction adapted by Rantz Hoseley, illustrated by Danijel Zezelj, and Keiron Dwyer, an with exclusive cover art by David Mack.

In addition, Sixx will debut his first-ever photography exhibit in partnership with Leica Camera at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles beginning October 4 (announcement forthcoming). The collection features Sixx’s most precious moments and interactions from the past decade, in images including homelessness and drug addiction amongst other topics which Sixx was all too familiar with before photography helped change his life post-sobriety. WATCH: “Life Is Beautiful 2017” Lyric Video by Rantz Hoseley:

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Third Eye Blind at The Academy 1st October 2017 - GIG REVIEW

The Californian band managed to get a full house at the Academy on a windy October evening in the Irish capital. It's been a long time coming, 1st ever date in Ireland for Third Eye Blind (3EB). It was also their last European tour date and a special day for Kryz Reid, their Irish guitarist. That said it took a while for the venue to fill up, funny to note that the balcony had been booked for Kryz’s family and relatives.

A few Americans accents overheard there and then in the crowd would suffice to remind you that 3EB enjoy a much bigger status and reputation in their home country than Europe.

After a relative boring support act (albeit talented but) not suited to support an indie band, Jenkins and his crew finally showed up and all the signs indicated that they were in great form and ready to rock the house down.

Square, powerful and professional from the get go they were. We got a few songs from the last album Dopamine spread among a set heavy based on tracks from the self titled and acclaimed "Third Eye Blind" album. The album was released twenty years ago, but gosh, every tune was received enthusiastically by fans who knew all the hits.

That said it took a while for the crowd to warm up to Stephens who appeared to be somewhat distant in the first place but once the ice got broken fans were not shy in accompanying him and his superb vocals.

I was not too sure what to expect to be honest, partially because I am a big fan of the group and biased but also because the last time I saw them on stage was 20 years ago in Paris. They were a very different outfit back then with only Brad (drums) and Jenkins having managed to remain as original members of what is often considered as the golden era from 3EB.

Overall great guitars (and soli), superb backing vocals, positive energy and amazing lights made sure that everybody had a great time. Alternating acoustic intros, ferocious riffs or funky based rhythm there were no weak moment in a show that gradually gained in intensity when the crowd overtook the backing vocals on most songs 20mns before the end of the show.

Overall: Jenkins lyrics are as efficient live as listened in the intimacy of your headset, the band he has surrounded him is excellent and frankly I think they were as good as the last time I saw them if not better.

Now I hope I won’t have to wait 20 years to see them again.

Photo and review by Pascal Derrien

The Virginmarys - "Sitting Ducks" EP - Self Released 22 September 2017 - REVIEW

The Virginmarys - "Sitting Ducks" EP
Self Released 22 September 2017

Lucky me, the atheist in me has been picked to listen and review the Virginmary’s new EP "Sitting Ducks". Now I have no faith in Christian music and on top of that I also have to tell you that I don’t like ducks. Well that’s not exactly true, I like robber ducks. And by the way if you want great robber ducks with out of this world characters I know a great shop in Florence in Italy but I think I digress... I can see Dani frowning at me with her "Will you get on with it" stare so let me come back to the matter at hand. 😊

4 tracks from the three piece English band The Virginmarys. I am not mad about the first one "Sleep" I must say but things get serious with "Sitting Ducks", the title, an energetic track with a great chorus, jumping guitars and possessed lead vocals from Ally Dickaty.

With a few albums and EPs behind them, the three guys are not exactly neophytes when it comes to recording, having worked previously with Gil Norton. Being positioned as alternative rock, punk or power indie, the band is versatile and talented and it does not matter what label you want to stick them with.

With a British stamp clearly overlooking their music it is difficult not to think about the Artic Monkeys at times in "Through The Skys" but "Sweet Loretta" is in my opinion the little gem on this EP. I like the backing vocals and how the track is built around a strong tempo. Matt Rose (bass) and Danny Dolan (Drums) are doing a superb job at bringing an infectious groove in this song that you would wish to never end.

Guys you may not believe in me - but you got to believe in the VirginMarys.

Pascal Derrien

Thursday, 28 September 2017

V1 - ARMAGEDDON End of The Beginning

Ex-IRON MAIDEN frontman and guitarist return with power rock magnum opus! V1 is a band that you need to know. With an impressive pedigree involving a shared history with a certain band named Iron Maiden, V1 is a rock ‘n’ roll supernova coupling an incendiary hard-rock sound with rabble-rousing showmanship. Formed by former Iron Maiden men Dennis Willcock (vocals/frontman) and Terry Wapram (guitars) in 1978, V1 is the only band to date able to claim it poached a singer from Iron Maiden!

V1 now re-emerges with a blazing new line-up, rolling back the years with a veritable blitzkrieg of hard rocking buzz bombs. From call-to-arms opener ‘V1 Rocket’ to the bombastic and progressive finale ‘Armageddon’, the legendary V1 catalogue has finally been recorded and mixed to album quality. Their objective, to get the music out to the fans around the world longing to hear it: “We want to take the band where it should have got to first time round. The songs deserve to be heard - each one has a real story attached. We stay true to the origins but of course bring them into the now. It is a real pleasure to revisit the songs from 1978 and fully develop and record with all the experience gained in the intervening years.” Terry Wapram, Guitarist

‘Armageddon: End of The Beginning’ is an album of melodic hard rock and killer riffs,70s/80s metal and epic song structures. A crystal clear mix and contemporary production give these modern recordings a razor edge. It is a certainty that there will always be interest in V1 due to their NWOBHM heritage, particularly their place in the Iron Maiden family tree. But listen to this album and you are sure to agree ‘Armagedon….’ proves V1 to be a killer band in its own right.

Dennis Willcock (lead vocals): Frontman and chief rabble-rouser Dennis started his singing career way back in 1963 and his first fully functional band went by the name Bearded Lady. By 1974 Dennis had joined the respected London rockers Smiler alongside a young Steve Harris, and it was at this point in time that things really got going. A short stint with supersonic turbo-rockers Nitro followed, before Dennis committed to the nascent Iron Maiden, fronting the band through the mid/late 1970s as they built up a solid following and developed their repertoire. Leaving Iron Maiden to work with Terry Wapram in V1, Dennis was a main player in the London rock scene during the late 1970s and the turn of the 1980s, as his bands V1 and Gibraltar ruled the Ruskin Arms and beyond. A true showman and solid gold entertainer, his every performance is characterized with energy and conviction.

Terry Wapram (guitars): founder member of V1, and a gifted and versatile guitarist with the ability to switch effortlessly and with great velocity between understated rhythm playing and blistering lead guitar. Terry can sound like two or three different guitarists within the same song and his guitar pyrotechnics are an important ingredient in the dynamic V1 sound. Scouted by Dennis whilst playing London’s famed Marquee Club in the mid-1970s, as guitarist with the sleazily named Hooker, Terry was an obvious choice as axe-man for Iron Maiden during their formative ‘1 guitar + keyboards’ phase as they experimented away from the twin guitar sound. After ‘Maiden, Terry quickly assembled V1, the only band in the history of rock that can claim they were good enough to lure away a lead singer from Iron Maiden! In recent years Terry has played in a number of bands including Space Chickens with former ‘Maiden drummer Ron Rebel, and more recently with Buffalo Fish alongside V1 bass player Dwight Wharton. A highly respected guitarist, Terry Wapram always delivers.

Dwight Wharton (bass guitars) hails from Virginia in the USA, bringing an international dimension to the new-look V1. A true musician, Dwight began the long road to mastering his craft at the age of 11. A few years at university were formative to his development and it was not long until he became an in-demand session musician on the US East Coast, before setting sights on the British music scene. More session work followed but it was upon meeting Terry Wapram and forming Buffalo Fish that Dwight believed his own style was truly noted. Finding frequencies lower than a rattlesnake’s belly, Dwight was the obvious choice to provide the bass in the revamped V1 and take the music forward into the 21st century.

Gareth Dylan Smith (drums & percussion) cut his hard rocking teeth playing loud and fast with some of the best amongst London’s dark underbelly, touring extensively and recording several critically acclaimed albums along the way. Having often had the sense that he was born 30 years late for the music he was destined to play, when the opportunity presented itself to drum in V1, Gareth jumped at the chance to work with such an explosive and influential band.

A distinctive and hard-hitting drummer, Gareth can play like a hurricane and often does, but dig beneath the surface and you’ll find capabilities above and beyond the usual ‘animal from the muppets’ hard-rock drummer cliché: Gareth is a classically trained musician, a versatile team player with song-writing flair, belting backing-vocals……and a PhD in the Sociology of Music and Music Education. He’s even authored an authoritative book about drummers, and as a writer has also contributed to music encyclopedias, and to magazines such as Rolling Stone and Rhythm. The renaissance man of drumming, Gareth’s thunderous beats, freight train tempos, are guaranteed to ‘rock your house down’! Gareth’s ambitions with V1 are to “bring to life the awesome demos that were recorded in 1978. I wasn’t there for the original demo recordings, so I want to be true to those ideas while bringing whatever contemporary thing I have to the table as well. Honestly, V1 is the perfect band for me - I love the music, the attitude and the guys. It’s a proper rock band playing proper rock music and making no apologies for it. Rock on.”

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Barrett Martin releases debut book 'The Singing Earth' featuring bonus CD of rare and unreleased music including MAD SEASON

Barrett Martin proudly releases his first book titled, ‘The Singing Earth’, in the UK through Sunyata Books and Proper Distribution. Watch the trailer here for The Singing Earth:

The Singing Earth is a collection of musical adventure stories from musician and writer Barrett Martin. The book chronicles Martin's musical work in 14 musical regions, across 6 continents, over the course of 30 years. It starts with his involvement in the 1990s Seattle music scene, and then explores: Song lines and sea trails in Australia and New Zealand; trance drumming in Central America; Griot music in West Africa; musical diplomacy in Cuba; touring with a Brazilian rock band; recording shamanic music in the Peruvian Amazon; playing the blues in the Mississippi Delta; recording in the Palestinian West Bank; the power of American resistance music; and the ancient influence of Asia in music and culture. There is also initially a companion CD soundtrack that comes with the book, which contains rare, unreleased songs from Martin’s various bands, as well as field recordings from the incredible musical environments he has visited. Those who read and listen to the musical journey that Martin recounts will find themselves transported through exotic global landscapes where they learn about the links between ecology, community, and the music that connects us to our greater humanity.

The next edition of the book won’t have a CD but will instead have an expanded 44 song soundtrack that comes as a digital download from the website featuring an astonishing 44 songs and natural soundscapes from around the world.

BARRETT MARTIN BIO: Barrett Martin is a drummer, composer, producer, and award-winning writer best known for his work with several prominent Seattle bands including, The Barrett Martin Group, Walking Papers, Mad Season, Screaming Trees, Tuatara, Skin Yard, and the Levee Walkers. He has played on over 100 albums and film soundtracks to date, and when he is not on tour, he produces albums that range from indigenous music, to jazz, blues, and rock & roll. Martin holds a masters degree in Ethnology and Linguistics and is a professor of Music at Antioch University Seattle. He writes a music and culture blog for the Huffington Post, and in 2014 he was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thompson Award for excellence in writing.