Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 2-25-17

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 2-25-17.

2-25-17 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Let Down” – PALISADES

#14 –  “Show Yourself” – MASTODON

#13 –  “Eternally Yours” – MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

#12 –  “Madness” – ALL THAT REMAINS

#11 –  “Anti-Everything” – DED

#10 –  “Take Me” – KORN

# 9 –   “Hated” – BEARTOOTH 

# 8 –   “Love Falls” – HELLYEAH

# 7 –   “Let You Down” – SEETHER

# 6 –   “Help” – PAPA ROACH

# 5 –   “The Bottom” – DEVOUR THE DAY

# 4 –   “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” – ADELITA’S WAY

# 3 –   “Alone” – I PREVAIL

# 2 –   “Breathe” – THROUGH FIRE

# 1 –    “Monster” – STARSET

RELATED ARTICLES:

TOP 30 OCTANE BIG ‘UNS COUNTDOWN SONGS OF 2016

TOP 100 HARD ROCK SONGS OF 2016

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q4

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2015

Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Blacklite District – “Cold As Ice”: Video WORLD PREMIERE

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Blacklite District has just released “Cold As Ice” (the latest single from their upcoming album, Instant Gratification).  Today on Hard Rock Daddy, we feature the world premiere of the video for the song, and share an exclusive look at the meaning behind the song from Blacklite District frontman, Kyle Pfeifer.

Blacklite District marches to the beat of their own drum, both musically (with a unique mixture of rock, rap and synthesizers) and in mindset.  Getting attention these days is challenging enough for any band, much less one that is brave enough to shake things up with a sound that is disruptive to the norm.  To their credit, the band has continued to build a loyal audience and fan base even when radio doesn’t jump on board right away.

There is an air of defiance to “Cold As Ice,” a track that throws caution to the wind with a frenetic mixture of rock and rap and their signature electronic sound.  It’s not easy to make all of these elements work together, but Blacklite District makes it look like it is.  We need more bands like this that dare to be different!

 

In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Blacklite District frontman Kyle Pfeiffer discusses “Cold As Ice”

“Cold As Ice” is straight-up and in-your-face.  I talk about the real issues that are in this business, and artists getting told not to do things a certain way.  The funny thing is, every time we’ve done something our way, we get the best result.  We don’t believe in following the trends, because there are no trends.  Rock radio has gotten very boring, and I think we all know that on a certain level.  It’s an open playing field and we’re gonna scratch and claw our way to the top.  We’ve gotten 5 million plays on YouTube over the last couple of months, and we have a large online following (in terms of sales & streams).  It’s only up from here!  We encourage anyone looking for a show that has something new and real, to come see us on this upcoming tour. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Blacklite District is the REAL DEAL!”

Check out the video for “Cold As Ice” below…

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/23/17: BLACK HISTORY MONTH

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/23/17: BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

LIVING COLOUR – “Cult Of Personality” (1988)

In celebration of Black History Month, we are all honoring some of our favorite black hard rock/metal artists.

Back in 1988, when Living Colour burst onto the scene, they had the benefit of being featured on MTV, giving them a much higher profile than most other black hard rock/metal artists (outside of the legendary Jimi Hendrix).  The grunge movement and the drastic shift of MTV eventually left the band without the outlet that they had when they debuted with Vivid.  A handful of songs from their debut album got attention on MTV, but none made as much of an impact as the in-your-face “Cult Of Personality.”

Like many big hits, this song was written in just one rehearsal session.  The instantly recognizable riff was stumbled upon when practicing another song.  It would go on to become the band’s biggest hit, winning a Grammy in 1990 for Best Hard Rock Performance.

What separates Living Colour from most other black hard rock/metal artists is that they became a household name as a band made up exclusively of black members.  Although songs like “Cult Of Personality” help to expose the band to the masses, it was also their image that helped make them rise above the din during the height of the hair band era.

While most other hard rock musicians were sporting spandex and teased hair, Living Colour had a style all their own.  They were truly unique, especially frontman Corey Glover whose multi-color braids mesmerized you as he banged his head.  The music was just as bold and powerful.  In a genre that is predominantly white, Living Colour made a meaningful, lasting impact that is to be celebrated, particularly during Black History Month.

 

 

KING’S X – “Goldilox” (1988)

Back in 1988, I discovered King’s X in a bit of an unusual way.  They had just come out with their debut album, Out Of The Silent Planet, and were still unknown.  My plan for the summer of ’88 was to do an internship one day a week at Concrete Marketing / Management.  Although I would eventually go on to work for the company several years later, that internship lasted for only one day.

The company was in the process of moving offices, so they weren’t sure that they would even be able to give me any guidance during the internship.  It was a disappointment, but on the bright side, I was given a parting gift – the chance to raid the promo closet.  Back then, retail was strong, and Concrete Marketing was (by far) the best at marketing hard rock and metal, so there was plenty to choose from.  I grabbed a number of titles from artists that I already knew, and one that intrigued me because of the album cover artwork – King’s X, Out Of The Silent Planet.

When I dropped the needle on the record, I was blown away.  King’s X was unlike anything that I had ever heard before.  And though they have put out some incredible albums through the years, their debut still remains my favorite, and “Goldilox” remains one of my favorite songs ever by any artist.  As I listened to the album, I had no idea that Doug Pinnick was black.  All I knew was that I was instantly drawn to his distinct, soulful delivery that oozed charisma and stood out from all other hard rock music of the time.

When I finally got the chance to see King’s X at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC, my awe of Pinnick continued to grow.  Not only was his voice as flawless live as it was on record, but he is also one of the best showman to ever grace the stage.  I don’t know exactly how tall Pinnick is, but to say that he is a towering presence is no exaggeration.  In a lifetime of going to concerts, it’s hard to pinpoint many specific moments.  However, one that still sticks with me to this day is seeing Pinnick take a running start and stage diving into the crowd, eventually landing several rows from the stage.

In my opinion, Pinnick is still one of the most underrated frontman of all-time, and King’s X one of the most underrated bands.  It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving to honor on this special Black History Month edition of Hard Rock Music Time Machine.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

BAD BRAINS – “I Against I” (1986)

Growing up, I was lucky to be part of a music scene where race had no bearing on what we listened to.  When we all listened to punk and hardcore, we never paid attention to black musicians or white musicians.  We all listened to hardcore because we were angry teens mad at the world, disillusioned, and didn’t want to be part of the norm.  Bad Brains was one of the bands we all listened to repeatedly.  Whenever an outsider would make a comment like…“oh, I didn’t know they were black,” the response was typically a blank stare or a “yeah, so?”.  The band combined jazz fusion, funk, metal and reggae to come up with a unique sound.  When they introduced the speed of punk, the political lyrics and PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) into the mix, their music became the sound that hundreds of thousands of punks and hardcore kids grabbed on to.  Despite the band’s objection to being called the innovators of hardcore punk, Bad Brains (to me) are THE pioneers of hardcore punk.

 

GOD FORBID – “Anti-Hero” (2004)

One of the best metalcore/thrash bands to have come out in the late ‘90s was New Jersey’s God Forbid.  The band (which had three black members) came out around the same time as the New Wave of American Metal (along with bands such as Lamb of God and Shadow’s Fall).  Their sound is loud, heavy and fast with Byron Davis’s death metal/metalcore screams, Corey Pierce’s thunderous drumming and Doc Coyle’s amazing guitar riffage.  I was saddened to hear of the band breaking up in 2013, but the sound of God Forbid lives on.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

CROWN OF THORNS (JEAN BEAUVOIR) – “All I Wanna Do” (2008)

Jean Beauvoir is an incredibly talented musician best known for his smooth vocals and masterful bass work, but who can deftly handle almost any instrument in the band.  Born in Chicago, and with proud Haitian roots, he’s also a prolific songwriter, producer, and entertainment executive, and the founder and CEO of Voodoo Island Entertainment Group.

Jean got his start in the doo-wop group the Flamingoes, and then playing bass for the Plasmatics in the early ‘80s.  He worked for a couple years with Stephen Van Zandt before launching a solo career in the mid-‘80s, catching a big break when his song, “Feel The Heat” was chosen by Sylvester Stallone for the hit movie Cobra.

His music has spanned many genres, but my personal favorite is the hard rock he produces with his band Crown of Thorns.  This song comes from their 2008 album, Faith.

 

SEVENDUST (LAJON WITHERSPOON) – “Thank You” (2015)

Born in Nashville and raised in Atlanta, Lajon Witherspoon has music running through his blood.  His dad was a singer in a funk band, and when he took up music himself, Witherspoon started with the soul group Body and Soul.  It was while singing with them that he was discovered and recruited by the band that would eventually evolve into Sevendust.

He has had an incredible career as the lead singer of one of the most successful alternative metal bands, putting out eleven hit albums with Sevendust.  Boasting one of the most distinctive, soulful voices in metal, he was even ranked by the magazine Hit Parader as one of the top 100 metal vocalists of all time (coming in at # 35).

Billboard Top 25 Hard Rock Albums – 3/4/17

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Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 3/4/17.  Top 25 albums ranked by multi-metric ranking, including traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).  The chart is compiled by Nielsen Music.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 25:

      1. METALLICA – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
      2. OVERKILL – The Grinding Wheel
      3. JOURNEY – Journey’s Greatest Hits
      4. METALLICA – Metallica
      5. QUEEN – Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection
      6. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      7. GUNS N’ ROSES – Greatest Hits
      8. BON JOVI – Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection
      9. NICKELBACK – The Best Of Nickelback: Volume 1
      10. I PREVAIL – Lifelines
      11. AC/DC – Back In Black
      12. SKILLET– Unleashed
      13. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
      14. METALLICA – …And Justice For All
      15. METALLICA – Master Of Puppets
      16. FOO FIGHTERS – Greatest Hits
      17. LINKIN PARK – Hybrid Theory
      18. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH -Got Your Six
      19. 3 DOORS DOWN – The Greatest Hits
      20. HIGHLY SUSPECT – The Boy Who Died Wolf
      21. LED ZEPPELIN – IV
      22. SHINEDOWN – The Sound Of Madness
      23. SYSTEM OF A DOWN – Toxicity
      24. AEROSMITH – Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits
      25. THREE DAYS GRACE – One-X

RELATED ARTICLES:

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2016

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Archives

HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 2/18/17

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HRD RADIO REPORT 

The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by AllAccess.com), and appears every Tuesday on HardRockDaddy.com.  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on HardRockDaddy.com.

TOP 100 HARD ROCK SONGS OF 2016

TOP 50 ACTIVE ROCK SONGS OF 2016 (by spins)

TOP 30 OCTANE BIG ‘UNS COUNTDOWN SONGS OF 2016

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 2/18/17.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

CHART CHART ARTIST SONG TITLE RADIO
POSITION POSITION SPINS
THIS WEEK LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
1 3 SHINEDOWN “How Did You Love” 2181
2 1 METALLICA “Atlas, Rise!” 1961
3 2 GREEN DAY “Still Breathing” 1821
4 7 PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God” 1338
5 6 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again” 1309
6 8 KORN “Take Me” 1239
7 5 HIGHLY SUSPECT “My Name Is Human” 1214
8 9 BEARTOOTH “Hated” 1202
9 4 GHOST “Square Hammer” 1133
10 11 STARSET “Monster” 1123
11 12 CHEVELLE “Door To Door Cannibals” 987
12 13 SIXX:A.M. “We Will Not Go Quietly” 962
13 15 POP EVIL “If Only For Now” 915
14 14 BLEEKER “Highway” 897
15 21 NICKELBACK “Feed The Machine” 685
16 16 IN FLAMES “The Truth” 553
17 19 SKILLET “Back From The Dead’ 543
18 18 THROUGH FIRE “Breathe” 507
19 17 AVENGED SEVENFOLD “The Stage” 502
20 22 K.FLAY “Blood In The Cut” 486
21 24 ADELITA’S WAY “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” 423
22 25 HALESTORM “Still Of The Night” 412
23 20 DEVOUR THE DAY “The Bottom” 410
24 26 BLINK-182 “She’s Out Of Her Mind” 393
25 23 SICK PUPPIES “Where Do I Begin” 387
26 27 ALTER BRIDGE “My Champion” 386
27 28 ART OF ANARCHY “The Madness” 350
28 39 MASTODON “Show Yourself” 329
29 29 AVATAR “New Land” 306
30 32 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Heavydirtysoul” 287
31 36 ALL THAT REMIANS “Madness” 281
32 30 GOODBYE JUNE “Oh No” 273
33 33 BADFLOWER “Animal” 234
34 37 LETTERS FROM THE FIRE “Worth The Pain” 217
35 38 CITIZEN ZERO “Lure And Persuade” 204
36 34 FROM ASHES TO NEW “Breaking Now” 202
37 35 AMITY AFFLICTION “All Messed Up” 178
38 41 MISSIO “Middle Fingers” 173
39 42 RADKEY “Dark Black Makeup” 139
40 40 CROWN THE EMPIRE “Weight Of The World” 125
41 43 SEPTEMBER MOURNING “20 Below” 120
42 0 INCUBUS “Nimble Bastard” 119
43 50 DED “Anti-Everything” 115
44 49 LIKE A STORM “Pure Evil” 89
45 47 CAGE THE ELEPHANT “Cold Cold Cold” 87
46 48 THE REVIVALISTS “Wish I Knew You” 83
47 46 DOROTHY “Dark Nights” 79
48 57 FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES “Lullaby” 77
49 56 GOJIRA “Stranded” 77
50 53 YOU ME AT SIX “Give” 77

 

 

 

PUBLISHER’S PICK OF THE WEEK (By Adam Waldman)

INCUBUS – “Nimble Bastard”

The evolution of Incubus is the culmination of a journey that began over two decades ago. Bands like this, who unapologetically blur the lines between genres sometimes find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to radio play.  However, Incubus has managed to garner radio attention even when it felt like the songs weren’t necessarily a great fit, particularly on Active Rock radio.  This time around, these “nimble bastards” from California have landed right in the sweet spot of the format with their latest single, “Nimble Bastard” (from their forthcoming album, 8).  Vacillating between slower, more moody moments and uptempo melodic moments with a heaviness that hasn’t been associated with Incubus in recent times, this song is a perfect fit for Active Rock.  It’s no surprise that it has already cracked the Top 50 this week.  This song should have legs and make a meaningful climb if early spins are any indication of what’s to come.
 

 

 

PUBLISHER’S PREDICTIONS (by Adam Waldman)

Last week, I predicted that Shinedown was a virtual lock to unseat Metallica and take over the #1 position this week.  Brent Smith and company easily made that prediction come true, gaining nearly 200 spins as their closet competition lost significant spins.  They now hold a lead of 800+ spins over The Pretty Reckless, who, as predicted several weeks ago, is making their move towards the top.  Even if Shinedown plateaus, they should still hold the top spot for at least a month.  With no other artists in reasonable striking distance, “How Did You Love” can coast to a lengthy stay at the top.  Of course, there is always the possibility that they suffer the same fate as Metallica and Green Day in recent weeks and starting trending down as soon as next week.  Time will tell…
 

 

HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.

SPIN IT…

BLACKLITE DISTRICT“Living In A Nightmare”

AS LIONS – “Aftermath”

MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA“Right Here And Now”

AMERICAN GRIM“Idols”

EVE TO ADAM“Tongue Tied”

NEVER SAY DIE“Like A Nightmare”

I PREVAIL“Alone”

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE“Eternally Yours”

 

DROP IT…

Twenty One Pilots“Heavydirtysoul”

K-Flay“Blood In The Cut”

Cage The Elephant “Cold Cold Cold”

Blink 182“She’s Out Of Her Mind”

The Revivalists“Wish I Knew”

You Me At Six“Give”

Highly Suspect“My Name Is Human”

Green Day – “Still Breathing”

 

 

THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless

KING OF THE HILL

As expected, Shinedown roars into the #1 position on the new Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart.  Metallica and Green Day both slip back one notch as their airplay takes a heavy hit. However, the momentum was so strong for new “King Of The Hill” that they would have claimed the lead without any slippage involved.
 

 

NOTABLE CHART MOVEMENT

Starset breaks into the Top 10  with nice spin gains of more than 10%…

New to the Top 20 this week is the latest from Nickelback and the debut of K.Flay

Mastodon has the high debut in the Top 30 this week…

Missio leads a pair of newcomers in the Top 40….

Veterans Incubus have the highest charting song among three new entries (and one re-entry).
 

 

THREE UP & THREE DOWN

RISING

Shinedown – “How Did I Love”

Starset “Monster”

Nickelback“Feed The Machine”

 

FALLING

Ghost – “Square Hammer”

In Flames – “The Truth”

Avenged Sevenfold“The Stage”
 

 

 TRENDS AND OBSERVATIONS

Radio can be (and sometimes is) pretty fickle, and the fortunes of a song can reverse on a dime, but at the moment, it looks like the top spot on the chart could be in the same hands for the next month easily enough.

 

WRAP-UP

That’s all for this week.  Tune in to HardRockDaddy.com every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

Music Discovery Monday – 2/20/17

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Music Discovery Monday – 2/20/17

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)

GRUMPYNATORS – “Take The Last Dance With Me”

“Danish Motorbilly” – now there’s a genre that you don’t hear much about (because it was most likely coined by Denmark’s Grumpynators).  When you listen to “Take The Last Dance With Me,” you’ll understand why the band needed to create their own sub-genre of rock.

Although their sound is vastly different, you can hear the influence of the most well-known band coming out of Denmark these days – Volbeat.  The band features former members and crew from Taggy Jones and Volbeat.  They also supported Michael Poulsen and company on tour.

Grumpynators cite a number of artists spanning a wide spectrum as their influences on their Facebook page: Motorhead, Metallica, Twisted Sister, Social Distortion, Megadeth, Volbeat, Ramones and ‘40s/’50s Country and Rockabilly.  A handful of these jump out at you on “Take The Last Dance With Me,”  making for a unique, entertaining, high-energy mix that leaves you tapping your feet and moving your head along to the beat.

 

 
PRIDE OF LIONS – “All I See Is You”

You may not know Jim Peterik by name, but it’s almost impossible not to be familiar with his work.  In addition to being responsible for Survivor’s greatest hits during his time as the band’s guitarist/songwriter, he also penned classics such as Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely” and a number of other songs from well-known artists.

In 2003, Peterik formed Pride Of Lions with Toby Hitchcock.  According to Peterik, Pride Of Lions is…“my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the ‘80s updated with more modern production sounds.”  That is exactly what Pride Of Lions delivers with “All I See Is You,” from their latest album, Fearless.  If you are a fan of feel-good ‘80s hard rock, this track will take you back to a time when the world felt like a happier place.
 

 

 

ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

OVERKILL – “Goddamn Trouble”

From their latest release, The Grinding Wheel, this classic thrash metal band from New Jersey is back.  “Goddamn Trouble” is legendary Overkill…speed punk and thrash metal roots.  Bobby Blitz screams with wild abandon just as well now as he did 30 years ago.  Being one of the oldest thrash bands around – even before the “Big Four” – Overkill remains one of the most legendary and influential thrash bands in history.  Even after all these years, the band’s sound has remained true.

 

KREATOR – “Fallen Brother”

Kreator is another old school thrash metal band that has been around since the ‘80s.  One of the pioneering bands of the death metal and black metal genres, the band has evolved and changed over the years.  Their latest album, Gods of Violence, retains the speed and heaviness from their early days.  Even with their dark, evil messages and lyrical content, “Fallen Brother” pays homage to departed musicians and artists who were big influences of the band.  Watch the video and see how many faces you recognize. Thrash metal is alive and well in 2017!
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BLOODBOUND – “Battle In The Sky”

Swedish power metal giants Bloodbound return with their seventh studio album, War of Dragons, (due out at the end of this week).  It’s another fine entry into the genre, with blazing twin guitars, some amazing choral arrangements and powerful vocals by Patrik J. Selleby.

 

CRYSTAL VIPER – “When The Sun Goes Down”

Crystal Viper is a female-fronted Polish metal band that delivers some heavy (but always melodic) music.  They were formed in 2003 by vocalist Marta Gabriel and released their debut album in 2007.  They have just released Queen of the Witches, their ninth album in only ten years.

 

SUBMISSIONS

To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

My Rock and Roll Journey: Michael Del Pizzo – Sunflower Dead – Chapter 3

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Written by Michael Del Pizzo (Sunflower Dead)

Let’s Start A Death Metal Band!  What Do We Know?  We’re Gonna Learn…Quick!

What’s up rock fans?  Here I am, back for another installment of “My Rock and Roll Journey.”  So far, we have discussed key moments that led me to my path, unknowingly rocked out to Metallica in front of disapproving Catholic school girls, and even realized that I could scream like the guy in Death rather easily at a young age.  What we haven’t discussed yet is the actual moment playing in a band started.

And thus…We begin…Making mistakes…

When I was around 14, I went to lunch with my mother and her friend who noticed I was wearing a Metallica T-shirt.  She asked if I played in a band.  My mom immediately said “NO!”  I said that I didn’t, but quietly thought…“I am GONNA!”  Problem was, I didn’t play anything except the piano (not exactly a heavy metal instrument).  Worse than that, there was only one kid in my neighborhood to start a band with.

Some things are just meant to be in life, even if it’s just for a moment to set you on the right path.  This is one of those moments.  The kid in my neighborhood and I were getting into heavy metal at the same time.  Better than that, his father played guitar and was giving him lessons.  I figured…here we go!  He could teach me what he learns and we will both play guitar and start our band.  That lasted all of 20 seconds.

From the first time I picked up a guitar, I felt one thing… this instrument BLOWS!  I hated it.  The guitar still remains way too singular to keep me occupied.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I see all the things that can be done on it.  It’s just not for me.  That also meant (at the time) that the bass would not be for me.  I figured a bass would be just like a guitar.  Of course, I grew to learn the differences between the two.  The bass (had I picked one up) would have been great for me, but it wasn’t meant to be.  This left drums and vocals.  I thought…let me be a drummer.  Problem was, who had drums?  Who had the money for drums?  Who was gonna teach me to play drums?  And damn, they are loud!  So yeah, that was out too.

Just like that, within moments, I became a vocalist, who couldn’t sing…AT ALL!  What I could do was scream like the guy in Death.  I firmly believe limitations create opportunity (remember that my friends).  I figured that if I all I could do was scream, and all my friend could do was play basic power chords on guitar, since we both loved this super heavy death metal…LET’S START A DEATH METAL BAND!

We began immediately.  I specifically remember it being a cold Friday night.  My friend had this thing called a reel-to-reel recorder.  He said that he was going to record himself playing guitar and I could scream over it.  So, he started playing all these riffs that had nothing to do with each other, but sounded really heavy coming through his white Ibanez guitar and Peavey combo guitar amp.

When he was done he said…“It’s your turn.”  I was like…“What am I going to scream?”  He handed me a cassette j-card from the band Possessed and said…“Just scream their lyrics into the microphone over the guitar parts I just played.”  So, I did, and I’ll tell you what, it sounded really cool to hear myself recorded.  Man, I would love to have those reels today.  I’m sure it’s total dog shit, but what fun it would be to listen back.

We played like this for a little while but realized we weren’t getting anywhere.  I believe we were missing some key components to being in a band (like songs – haha).  This motivated me to go home and start writing lyrics and songs titles on my own like “Consuming Devastation” and “Monstrosity.”  I had no music of my own, and since my friend never really wrote songs, we were going to need members, specifically ones who could write songs with us.  And then…BOOM!  Destiny reared its head once again.

At the exact time my neighborhood friend and I were death metaling out, my other friend (Jim) was going through his own musical journey.  I hadn’t seen Jim all winter long, but when I did see him in the summer time, he had long hair, and started telling me he was into rock and heavy metal.  I was like… “No shit, me too!”  (BTW, Jim is affectionately known as “Jaboo”…you know, the lead guitarist in Sunflower Dead).

I’ve known Jim since we were about 5 years old.  What I didn’t know, was that while I was trying to start a band with my neighborhood friend, Jim had been taking guitar lessons from a guy who had played some guitar solos on Cinderella’s first album.  He told me he was learning to play songs by Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen.  I thought that was interesting…very interesting.

I said to him… “Why don’t you come over to my friend’s house this weekend?  We’re starting a death metal band.”    

He said…“What’s death metal?”

I said…“Don’t worry about it, just come over and play a few guitar solos over my friend’s riffs and I’ll scream.”  Jim agreed, but he still tells me to this day that it was the second biggest mistake of his life (the first being listening to his Mom when she suggested taking guitar lessons – haha).

When that weekend came around, Jim (Jaboo) came over with his red G&L Invader guitar and little combo amp.  He plugged in and started ripping it up.  I was like…“DAMN!  This dude can play!” Within minutes, we recorded a demo with my neighborhood friend playing rhythm guitar and Jim playing a ripping solo.  I mean it was awesome, and I know it’s awesome because I still have it on cassette.  We asked Jim to be in the band right there and said… “You help us write songs and play those solos.  We’ll get a drummer and bassist and come up with a name.”

Later that night, Jim and I wrote our first song in my parent’s basement (the first of many songs together).  The song was called “Questions.”  It was a death metal ballad (haha).  I still have the piece of paper that we wrote the lyrics and the actual music notes on.  Truth is, it wasn’t really a ballad, but it was slow and grindy instead of lightning fast.  We realized then and there that groove would always be an important part of our songwriting.

I believe (within a few weeks) that we had a few songs written and a band name.  We started with Eliminator (because I was a huge Overkill fan).  That didn’t work, so we moved on to Nemesis (only to find out it was taken).  We then settled on Thanatos and thought it was so cool.  Of course, that was taken too, but what did we know?  That is the main thing…WHAT DID WE KNOW?!

The answer to that question is…NOT MUCH!   I learned that very quickly, as Thanatos would only last like 5 months.  All major problems in bands seem to happen when you start adding people into the fold.  Why?  Because people suck ass!  Seriously though, it’s because we were very young and stupid.

The first major mistake we made was choosing a “cool” guy who wanted to play drums instead of choosing a trained drummer who was into the vision of the band.  The truth was, the drummer we chose was very early on in his drumming, and he wasn’t up to par.  Not that I was any good either, but all I was doing was screaming.  You HAVE TO have a good drummer…ALWAYS!  Anyways, that drummer wasn’t into death metal (and neither was Jim to be honest).  At first, this wasn’t an issue, but it very quickly became one.

Remember, chose people who are capable and down with your vision or it won’t work.  The second major mistake was allowing someone to join the band who really knew nothing, but acted as if he did, and we listened to him.  In our case, we added a bassist who had a good “look,” but not much else (except bad vibes).  His bad vibes created a division in the band.

The third major mistake we made was choosing sides because of the division that was created.  The result was us deciding to kick out my neighborhood friend that I started the band with.  Think about that, my friend and I were the two guys in the band who actually liked death metal.  Once we kicked him out, it was only a matter of weeks before I was told that we needed to change the musical style of the band or I was out.  Guess what…I was kicked out! (haha)

Just like that, what had begun with a conversation with my mother’s friend, came to fruition and ended in a matter of a year.  Would this be the end?  Obviously not… there are many, many, many more mistakes to make in bands before I could do music at an only 50% retardation rate in SFD (haha).  Till the next chapter…Stay Weird!!!

RELATED ARTICLES:

My Rock and Roll Journey: Michael Del Pizzo – Sunflower Dead– Chapter 1

My Rock and Roll Journey: Michael Del Pizzo – Sunflower Dead – Chapter 2

MORE “MY ROCK AND ROLL JOURNEY” STORIES

TONY HOUSH – Seasons After

SAL COSTA – Smashing Satellites

JOEY “CHICAGO” WALSER – Devour The Day

ADAM TROY – Sonic X

SHAUN SOHO – Crash Midnight

TONY LA SELVA – Ugly Melon

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown – Week of 2-18-17

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Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 2-18-17.

2-18-17 Big ‘Uns Countdown playlist can also be found on www.HardRockDaddyNetwork.com (the HRD YouTube channel), in addition to archived playlists dating back to 2013.  Links to reviews of songs from the countdown are featured at the bottom of the page.

#15 –  “Help” – PAPA ROACH

#14 –  “Show Yourself” – MASTODON

#13 –  “Like A Nightmare” – NEVER SAY DIE

#12 –  “Lullaby” – FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES

#11 –  “Madness” – ALL THAT REMAINS

#10 –  “Eternally Yours” – MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

# 9 –   “Lifeline” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH 

# 8 –   “Anti-Everything” – DED

# 7 –   “Hated” – BEARTOOTH

# 6 –   “The Bottom” – DEVOUR THE DAY

# 5 –   “Love Falls” – HELLYEAH

# 4 –   “Alone” – I PREVAIL

# 3 –   “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” – ADELITA’S WAY

# 2 –   “Monster” – STARSET

# 1 –    “Breathe” – THROUGH FIRE

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TOP 30 OCTANE BIG ‘UNS COUNTDOWN SONGS OF 2016

TOP 100 HARD ROCK SONGS OF 2016

2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q4

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Top 135 Hard Rock Songs of 2015

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2014

Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2014

Top 30 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Songs of 2013

Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown Archives

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/16/17

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 2/16/17

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

CINDERELLA – “Long Cold Winter” (1988)

Cinderella’s “Long Cold Winter” is actually a song about a love lost.  The song has nothing to do with the temperature; it’s just poetic license.  However, living in a cold climate that has already been pummeled with snow (and still only half way through the season), this song has been running through my head in recent weeks.

If you look at the photo featured above, it’s plain to see why Cinderella has always been looked at as a “hair band.”  Aesthetics aside, their music has always been more in the realm of blues-based hard rock bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.  Had they arrived on the scene a decade earlier with a different look, there’s an excellent chance that they would have been looked at as one of the great bands of the generation.

“Long Cold Winter” is a brooding, slow-tempo blues rock song that, if not for Tom Keifer’s distinct vocals, may leave you thinking that it was Led Zeppelin as you listen.  Although it is about lost love, the song captures the melancholic feeling that you get from the winter blues.  If “hair band” is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Cinderella mentioned, I strongly suggest listening to “Long Cold Winter” to see that they are being unfairly categorized.
 

 

SAVATAGE – “Dead Winter Dead” (1995)

If ever there was a band that comes to mind during the winter, it is Savatage.  Well…sort of.  While this underrated band flies below the radar of many, Savatage spawned the tremendously popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra (a band whose music transcends genre preference).  The Savatage name and perception as a metal band ended up creating a barrier to the masses.  Founder Jon Oliva admitted to being frustrated that the success of “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/4” (originally featured on the Dead Winter Dead concept album) came under the TSO moniker.

Dead Winter Dead was the first Savatage album after the tragic passing of Oliva’s brother (Criss), who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993.  Criss was the original lead guitarist for the band.  This album featured Al Pitrelli on guitars.

The title track off of the album is a gritty rocker that chugs along underneath theatrical vocals.  Like sun breaking through dark, ominous clouds, Pitrelli’s guitar work shines like a beacon of light.

If you’re only familiar with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and have yet to discover what Savatage has to offer, this is a good place to start, before working your way backwards through their catalog.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

MACHINE HEAD – “Davidian” (1994)

In 1994, a little heavy metal band from California released an album called Burn My Eyes.  Combining groove-laden Pantera-esque riffs with the thrash metal speed of Slayer and Exodus, Machine Head rose to the top of the metal genre in the mid-‘90s.  One of the more socially aware bands during that time period, the band screamed and tore their way through topics such as the L.A. riots, abuse, urban decay and disillusion for society.  Although their sound has changed a bit in recent times, “Davidian” is a great song that provides a snapshot of life in the mid-‘90s.

 

SOULFLY – “Back to the Primitive” (2000)

Upon leaving Sepultura in 1996, Max Cavalera immediately went to work and started his new band, Soulfly.  Taking the Brazilian tribal influences evident in Sepultura’s roots, Soulfly continued on its course by mixing Brazilian tribal drumming and world music with thrash metal, resulting in a groove-heavy eclectic sound.  The debut of Soulfly boasted a plethora of top-named musician contributions such as Roy Mayorga on drums, Tom Araya from Slayer, Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares from Fear Factory and Chino Moreno from Deftones.  The band is still going strong, with an album recently released in 2015.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

LORDI – “It Snows In Hell” (2006)

They wear monster masks and litter the stage with horror props, but despite the showmanship, ultimately it’s about the music. Layered and pounding, at times playful, at times chilling, this is some powerful melodic metal. This one comes from the band’s 2006 breakout album, The Arockalypse, and is likely to be performed when the band comes all the way from Finland for their much-anticipated American tour.

 

DAVID READMAN – “Evil Combination” (2007)

When he’s not fronting for Pink Cream 69, Voodoo Circle or Almanac, this busy vocalist can be found putting out some amazing solo material.  This melodic metal piece comes from his 2007 self-titled album.  He is currently reforming that project, bringing on some Dutch musicians and changing the name, slightly, to The David Readman Band.  New music is expected soon!

Billboard Top 25 Hard Rock Albums – 2/25/17

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Billboard Hard Rock Albums Chart for the week ending 2/25/17.  Top 25 albums ranked by multi-metric ranking, including traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).  The chart is compiled by Nielsen Music.

THIS WEEK’S TOP 25:

      1. METALLICA – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
      2. QUEEN – Greatest Hits I II & III: The Platinum Collection
      3. DISTURBED – Immortalized
      4. METALLICA – Metallica
      5. JOURNEY – Journey’s Greatest Hits
      6. GUNS N’ ROSES – Greatest Hits
      7. I PREVAIL – Lifelines
      8. BON JOVI – Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection
      9. GALACTIC EMPIRE – Galactic Emire
      10. NICKELBACK – The Best Of Nickelback: Volume 1
      11. AC/DC – Back In Black
      12. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1
      13. BLACK SABBATH – The Ultimate Collection
      14. LINKIN PARK – Hybrid Theory
      15. JUDAS PRIEST – Turbo 30
      16. SKILLET– Unleashed
      17. FOO FIGHTERS – Greatest Hits
      18. 3 DOORS DOWN – The Greatest Hits
      19. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH -Got Your Six
      20. LED ZEPPELIN – Mothership
      21. HIGHLY SUSPECT – The Boy Who Died Wolf
      22. METALLICA – …And Justice For All
      23. EVANESCENCE – Fallen
      24. METALLICA – Master Of Puppets
      25. THREE DAYS GRACE – One-X

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Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2016

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2015

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2014

Billboard Top 50 Hard Rock Albums of 2013

Billboard Hard Rock Albums Archives