Legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES) was interviewed by Piers Morgan on a recent edition of CNN‘s “Piers Morgan Tonight”.
I love music that makes you get up and want to pursue something. The Baltimore, MD band CHARM CITY DEVILS have done that with the new album SINS. From start to finish this album pushes full steam ahead with power, angst and real motivational qualities especially in the song UNSTOPPABLE. I love how front man John Allen serves up new approaches in his vocals throughout the songs on the album. I love how STILL ALIVE tells a story and it brings together the elegance of rock and the grit of power that explodes throughout the song. SPITE is just a energy induced track that gets you up and dancing and singing along on volume 10. LOVENWAR exudes the same edgy tone and energy amped appeal. If one band can cover a timeless track that would be these “Charmed” boys they tackle the song MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW and really bring their tone to it and makes it a fan favorite and I think even a band favorite. They also indulge you with a softer side of the band with ALL YOU’LL EVER NEED and DEVIL IS A WOMAN drives you with sex appeal and just a gritty bad ass rocking track.
CHARM CITY DEVILS have shared the stage with the Motley Crue men and also has worked closely with Nikki Sixx and I think with classic and talented spirits around them they have really showed the true talent of the band on this record SINS. I think with the recent release of the disc it’s going to be a real go getter for the summer and when these guys come to town you better go and see them because if you think they rock on an album the live set is explosive.
The band is signed with Eleven Seven Music and the band members consist of Anthony Arambula (bass), Jason Hesier (drums), Victor Karrera (guitar), Nick Kay (guitar) and John Allen (singer) who you might remember back in the day when he backed up SR-71 as a drummer. I had the chance before John got busy with the new record to throw out some questions for him, so enjoy getting to know John and the band CHARM CITY DEVILS.
WHERE DID ALL THIS AMPED UP ENERGY AND EDGIER TONE COME FROM ON THE NEW ALBUM SINS?
We are just five angry dudes!! Lol, no I should say I have some anger issues I am working through! Maybe writing and singing these tunes is my therapy.
FAVORITE SONG ON THE NEW DISC YOU JUST CANT LEAVE OFF THE SETLIST?
“Man Of Constant Sorrow”! It’s got this cool/dark vibe.
Well, it was faster! Laughs, the overall process was so pro! Skidd Mills is an incredibly talented guy and really helped us achieve another level of songwriting, musicianship and professionalism. He’s got Grammy ya know!
MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW IS A COOL COVER VERSION YOU GUYS DID. HOW DO YOU DISSECT A TIMELESS SONG LIKE THAT TO MAKE IT FEEL LIKE YOUR BANDS WHOLE VIBE AND CURRENT MUSIC SOUND? IS THERE A LOT OF THINKING OR JUST GOING WITH EMOTION OF A LIVE JAM SESSION TO COVER A SONG?
We just felt like we had to de-construct it to make it work for us. I love it and many seem to agree which is always gratifying for someone who puts their balls out there!
DEVIL IS A WOMAN STILL SHINES WITH BLUESY SASSYNESS, WAS THIS A OLD TRACK YOU BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE AND IF NOT WHEN DID THIS SONG START TAKING SHAPE IN THE SONGWRITING PROCESS OF THE NEW RECORD?
“DIAW” is a totally new song and it was actually fairly late in the writing for this record. It’s the kind of song I like to write. It has a nasty groove that I can see strippers getting into worldwide!
ALL YOU’LL EVER NEED IS A OLD TRACK AND VERY HEARTFELT HOW MUCH WAS CHANGED FOR CURRENT EMOTION FOR THE SONG OR WHEN YOU WROTE IT BACK IN THE DAY DID YOU KEEP THE SENTIMENT CLOSE TO THOSE EMOTIONS??
That track is the lightest moment on the record since it deals with a fairly new romantic relationship and that state of complete blissfulness. We kept it close to its original form.
STILL ALIVE IS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE TRACK ANY COMMENTS FROM YOU ABOUT THIS TRACK AND HOW IT CAME OUT OR THE WRITING OF IT?
It’s about the things you would miss if you were to die young and how the people around you can help you fight to live.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET EMOTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BURIED DEEP IN YOU AND GETTING THEM OUT INTO A SONG??
Write it down! I don’t know. Write, write, write. Then write some more. Get drunk and write. See what comes out. Maybe it’s a case of not thinking about it too much and writing the first thing that comes to mind. The process is different for everyone.
EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN A FRONT MAN FOR A WHILE NOW, IS THERE STILL ANY AWKWARD MOMENTS HAVING YOUR ROLES CHANGED FROm DRUMMER TO SINGER?
Not really. Sometimes before a show I look for drumsticks!
Yes! We’re starting our tour on April 19 in Roanoke, and we’re really excited to play at Rocklahoma next month. We’re going to be adding new shows all the time.
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Metal Injection turns the camera onto the people working behind the scenes in the music industry and focuses on the abundance of females in bands in the new millenium, and their ever-growing influence in the metal scene.
Janus – is an ancient, two-faced Roman god of gateways and beginnings. Also the root word of January, Janus is a mythological figure that looks both forward and back and symbolizes change and transformation.
JANUS is also one of the best rock bands to come out in the last few years (yes, that is my opinion and I’m sticking to it).Hearing the Chicago based band is ready to release another masterpiece of a record made me a happy girl. The music these guys create gives you a sense of calmness, a bit of anger and a bit of overall power. The music is liberating pouring out sheer beauty with a twist of darkness and mystery, but with a sense of “light at the end of the tunnel” mentality.
NOX AERIS the new album is coming out this week on March 27th and the band has been touring already for this amazing record. The guys have a full package; a killer creative side, an amazing live setting and a brilliant sense of storytelling.
I had the pleasure to chit chat via email with singer David Scotney while the guys were on the road with Chevelle and he gave me a little insight on the record, the artwork and how he got into performing,
SINCE THIS ALBUM IS A TAD BIT HEAVIER DO YOU FEEL YOU TOOK THE SUCCESS OFF OF EYESORE AND CREATED FROM THERE FOR THIS ALBUM?
I would say it wasn’t a conscious choice to go heavier, based on the success of “EYESORE,” but we certainly wanted to go to a different place with the new record than the last and we had a lot of experiences to draw on that fed into the writing process.
WAS ANY OF THESE NEW TRACKS TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS DEMOS OFF RED RIGHT RETURN?
No, we started from scratch. There were certainly demos lying around, but we really wanted to tread new ground. It was the only thing that seemed inspiring enough to motivate us to make another record.
STAINS REPRESENTS A DARK POINT OF VIEW WITH A PROCESS OF SELF HEALING, WAS THISTHE OVERALL THEME FOR WRITING THE RECORD?
In a lot of ways that is true. There were many challenging life experiences that we endured as a band, and personally, throughout supporting the last record on the road and the writing process of the new record that we channeled and which led to the darker perspective.
THE ALBUM TITLE HAS AN INTERESTING MEANING WHICH YOU ALSO PLACED WITHIN THEBANDS JOURNEY THUS FAR WHY?
When it comes to the album concept and title, we always try to find something that speaks to where the band is collectively. A lot of the songs can be much more personal, but the bigger album picture always speaks to where the band is as a whole. The idea of connecting a man-made myth from the late 14thcentury around the Black Death seemed liked an interesting metaphor for where we were as a band during the writing process.
HOW MANY SONGS DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE IN THE DEMO STATE OF WRITING AND HOW DO YOUCUT IT DOWN FOR THE FINAL OF THE ALBUM?
We have a lot of parts that we demo, but very few that make it to song format. If we can’t get a few parts to the point where they work together vocally, as a verse and chorus, we usually move on.
We did look at a lot of the late 14th century artwork and imagery around the plague doctors which definitely inspired the art, but the challenge for us is to always try and make any historical visual reference feel modern so we try to put our own twist on it.
DID TOURING CHANGE YOUR IDEAS ABOUT SONGWRITING?
I think it definitely affected our writing in a good way. When you hear the crowd reacts to certain songs more than others you get inspired by it, which can then inspire you in the studio. I think you also know what songs you may not end up playing live so you can take a bit more freedom on them to explore other directions.
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND ADD A HEAVY VIBE TO THE LAST ALBUM?
No, I think there are songs on the first record that mean a lot to us and reflect where we were as a band at that point in time. Those are the kinds of things you never want to change.
BIGGEST GROWTH FOR YOUR BAND IN THE STUDIO AND ALSO OUT ON THE ROAD THIS TIMEAROUND?
In the studio, I would say we’ve become very efficient. We’ve learned a lot and having a deadline motivates you for sure. On the road, I think we’re taking much better care of ourselves and have certainly learned a lot from our past experiences on the road.
YOU’VE TOURED WITH CHEVELLE BEFORE HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND?
We’re playing new songs and we have a history with those guys, which make it fun. We like what they do and they get what we’re doing so it’s a good fit.
WHAT MADE YOU BECOME A FRONTMAN? A SONGWRITER AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN VISUALLYCREATIVE??
I started out painting and then learned the guitar. I didn’t start singing until later and mastering the front man persona is something I think is always evolving as you evolve as a person.
DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATIVE IDEAS ON VIDEOS FOR SONGS?
Unfortunately, we have no plans to make any videos for this record .Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to explore videos in the future.
DO YOU FEEL THE BAND INSPIRES FOR THE FUTURE OR TAKES A LOT FROM THE PAST TOCREATE MUSIC THAT IS UNIQUE BUT STILL CURRENT?
I think we try to explore music and textures that we’ve never experimented with and try to always push our songwriting. Outside of not wanting to repeat ourselves there’s usually no conscious effort to draw from the past or present.
A 15-minute video clip in which VAN HALEN members David Lee Roth(vocals), Eddie Van Halen (guitar) and Alex Van Halen (drums) talk about the band’s early days has made its way online: