Interview – Phil Demmel of Machine Head

Phil Demmel is a guitarist that I have looked up to for quite some time. Demmel is the lead guitarist of one of my favorite bands, Machine Head, and I has been a massive influence my my musical writing style.


Demmel is also a massive inspiration to me for a very different reason. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a heart condition called vasovagal syncope. Around this some I just happened to listen to Machine Head’s 2007 album, The Blackening, and found comfort in it. As I stewed in my own depression surrounding the difficulties of dealing with my heart condition, videos of Phil fainting on stage began to surface on YouTube. Machine Head would soon announce that Demmel’s condition was the same as mine.

Discovering that one of my musical heroes shared my condition made it much easier to deal with it. I had wanted to talk with Phil about it ever since.

On November 26, I got my chance to talk with him about the band’s recent tour difficulties, the band’s recent free agent status, and our heart condition.

Read and Listen to the full interview after the jump.

[Read more…]

Gary Clark, Jr. “Blak and Blu” Album Review

Blak and Blu

It came from the south and spread to cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit. Now Gary Clark, Jr. is bringing the blues back to Texas. This state is home to some legendary blues guitar players such as Albert Collins, Lightning Hopkins, Johnny Winter, but most notably and more well known to the casual fan, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clark was found by Vaughan’s older brother, Jimmy, and he became big around the Austin, Texas scene before achieving more notable success. Clark lives up to that standard and then some on his new offering. This is the follow up to his smash EP, “The Bright Lights EP.”

[Read more…]

Interview – Fredrik Åkesson of Opeth

Fredrik Åkesson is the lead guitarist for the progressive death metal band Opeth. He is also known for his guitar work in numerous projects that include Arch Enemy, Tailsman, Krux, and Tiamat.

Åkesson is currently on tour with Opeth promoting the band’s latest album Heritage (which I was a fan of).

Here is a phone conversation we had in which we discussed the current tour with Mastodon, Mikael’s recent injury, the dark lyrical content of the band he had when he was nine, his favorite beers, and more. He even divulged the band’s post-festival season tour plans, although he is unsure if he was supposed to or not.

Listen to the full interview with clips from Åkesson’s work after the jump…

[Read more…]

Motley Crue- Las Vegas

Feel Good in Sin City: Motley Crue Reiview

I have many bands, from KISS to Guns N Roses, to Megadeth to Bob Dylan. One band however that has long been on my list of bands to see is one of the most notorious bands from the 1980’s: Motley Crue

In February of 2012 the Crue played over 9 shows in 3 weeks at the Hard Rock Casino Resort, and let me say, it felt good. Although the production value was not as great as that in the Carnival of Sin tour, the Crue still blew away almost all live competition. Complete with stilt walkers and trapeze artist this show was truly one for Vegas.

Always looking for a new exciting drum effect, Tommy Lee’s new gimmick was quite impressive. His drum set was sitting on the bottom of a huge circle track that sent Tommy going around and around, upside-down in a circle. [Read more…]

Chickenfoot iii

If supergroups are your to your liking than Chickenfoot’s new album Chickenfoot iii is for you! Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony formerly of Van Halen, teamed up Joe Satriani and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Pepers to formed the Band Chickenfoot back in 2009 and have recently released a second album entilted “Chickenfoot iii”. Yes even though this is the band’s second album it is called “iii”. This sequel follows the same formula as the first album, no two songs sound a like and its a departure from the first album. The album the features the range of hard rock to blues rock on the album. Sammy Hagar vocals are strong as ever and shows the great songwriting skills that helped his former bands reach great sucess, Montrose and Van Halen. Joe Satriani shows off his usual ear blasting guitar play and ease to change from song to song. When Michael Anthony was replaced in Van Halen by Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen’s son, he has nothing but time and great bass play to devote to Chickenfoot. [Read more…]

Second Time around

For the second time in a 5 month span I was able to go see Zappa Plays Zappa at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. For those unfamiliar with the Band, it is a tribute band of sorts that plays the music of famed guitarist and rock hero Frank Zappa, who died of cancer in 1993 of cancer. The leader of the band is Zappa’s son Dweezil. Dweezil spent over three years to learn the catalog of his father’s vast collection and has done a great job to master it. Dweezil Zappa opened the catalog of his father and put on a great show. The venue itself was very unique and gave a great sound to the show. The Crest theater has stadium like seating and is older and gave a great surround sound feel. This show was vastly different from the show I had seen in San Francisco when the band was an opening act. The first act of the show was a short half hour set of mostly lesser known songs from the 1960’s. The second set was much longer and was absolutely rocking. The second set featured a more diverse sound. Some blues songs, mixed in with some jazz and then a quick turn into a solo on a kazoo. [Read more…]

Music Review – Bleeding Horse Express

Bleeding Horse Express is a band from Canada that plays “Southern Rock”. They have quite a cool selection of instruments ranging from guitars and banjos to trumpet and trombone. They tend to play blues driven rock all at a moderate to slow tempo. Though these songs are fairly unappealing to me some of their more up tempos songs are quite cool! I enjoyed playing them in both my car and at home. Some of the guitar solos are really impressive as well, and have a very classic old school feel to them. [Read more…]