Author Archives: AW
Written by Tony Housh (Seasons After)
As I mentioned in my last installment of “My Rock and Roll Journey,” after living in a small area and searching for my spot, eventually I began looking for a new place to call my musical home. I knew that if I didn’t somehow find my way to a larger area with a more happening music scene, that I would surely never find the musical situation that I needed in order to grow myself as a young vocalist and frontman. I began slowly setting my sites on Dallas, TX. I just couldn’t help thinking about a trip I had once taken to Dallas several years earlier to visit my cousin Mark and family.
My cousin Mark had extended an invite to me to come to Dallas and chill for a week or so after I had just gotten out of high school, so I took it. I had already given college a run, and to be honest, I sucked at it. I would sit in my classes and think to myself… “Why am I here? I didn’t like going to school in the first place, and now I’m paying for it??” Naturally, it didn’t work out in the end because the college route never felt right to me.
I found myself getting off of a Greyhound bus in downtown Dallas at the age of 18 to meet my cousin Mark for a short stay. He immediately began showing me around the city after picking me up from the bus station.
Dallas was huge to me! I could feel the energy pulsating through the air. There was something about that city that made me feel electric. Even the traffic was amazing. I loved every aspect of it! It honestly felt like I had been missing this fast-paced environment my entire life. Coming from a small town, Dallas was truly amazing.
One of the first places that my cousin took me to was the historic Dallas entertainment club district – Deep Ellum. It was only a few miles from the bus station. As we made our way down the one-way streets in downtown Dallas, I stared out of the windows of his red Chevy short bed hotrod at the towering buildings, each one casting a shadow over the streets. I was amazed and blown away during the entire ride through the downtown area. Keep in mind that it was only around noon on a Saturday when Mark picked me up, so Deep Ellum was relatively quiet.
He looked over to me and said…“Hey cuz, I’m going to take you into the area that I am bringing you to tonight for a concert. I want you to see it during the day. Once I bring you back tonight for the show, you will be floored by the transformation that happens when the sun goes down.” And boy, was I ever!
Later that night, he brought me back to Deep Ellum. I was fascinated by it all…the large crowds moving from club to club, the well-dressed men standing at club doors overseeing the entry of patrons, the tattoo shops, the beautiful women and the cars wrapped around (what appeared to be) blocks of traffic with everyone partying to the max! It was my first time seeing all of the colors of personality and insanity that can be humanity…each person doing and being what they wanted to be at that very moment. I freaking loved it!
Mark took me to my first, second and third rock show ever…all in one night! Our first top was Trees, a live music venue that it still killing it in Deep Ellum to this day. We watched a band from the Dallas area called Stinkbug. I just stood there in awe of the band. I was mesmerized by the frontman. He was so in control of the crowd, and brutal with the delivery of every phrase. Even in between songs, he was an animal. I just stood there, not even bobbing my head, just watching, thinking and dreaming about that being ME on stage. It felt like my place for some reason. That dark club and those crazy streets outside somehow made me feel like I had a direction.
After leaving that show, we bounced over to another local kickass spot called Deep Ellum Live. Once again, I stood there in awe while watching a band called Fishbone. I just knew that I needed to live in this city, but it would be another six years before I would call it home.
Over that six-year period, I would end up doing a lot of things that had very little to do with music. The occasional jam session here or there would happen with friends from time to time. I even drove back and forth to the Dallas/Fort Worth area from Abilene just to jam with random guys for a night before heading back home to the family life. It was my little way of fulfilling my urge to sing I guess.
During that time, I ended up getting married and having two wonderful kids. I even began building some sort of career for myself outside of music in trucking and route delivery. But as they say, all good things must come to an end (I suppose). The “Big D” was just around the corner for me, and I don’t mean Dallas. That “Big D” would come a little later.
At the age of 23, I was facing a divorce. I was super bummed about the entire thing (as you can imagine). By the time the situation had found its way to finality, (almost 5 years later), I had begun trying to find my way back to Dallas to play music in the places where I had stood and dreamed it all up years before. After all was said and done, I began looking up bands in the Dallas area on the internet and setting up auditions. I had nowhere to live and no job, but I decided that I was going to go to Dallas no matter the cost of the journey.
It wasn’t very long after (on September 9, 2001) that I threw my belongings in my car in West Virginia and set sail for Dallas and a new beginning (without even having a place to live or a job to feed me). I didn’t care. I was going to make a move no matter the consequences!
Once I arrived in Arlington (a Dallas suburb), I immediately began attending auditions. I like to joke that I had a band interview before I even filled out a job application, but it’s the truth. Within a week or so, I had contacted a very good friend of mine who allowed me to have a bed in his efficiency apartment’s kitchen. I would call that home while I searched for my new band. The search would continue for just a few weeks before I ran into a band called Havoc; they were looking for a singer. We would eventually be known as Flip 44, and later as MyMotive.
In Chapter 4 of “My Rock And Roll Journey,” I’ll tell the story of Flip 44 and MyMotive, and the twists and turns through the Dallas music scene that set the course for my journey of today.
MORE “MY ROCK AND ROLL JOURNEY” STORIES
Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown for the week of 1-14-17.
1-14-17 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 – “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” – THREE DAYS GRACE
#14 – “Take Me” – KORN
#13 – “Doomed” – BRING ME THE HORIZON
#12 – “Breaking New” – FROM ASHES TO NEW
#11 – “Breathe” – THROUGH FIRE
#10 – “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” – ADELITA’S WAY
# 9 – “Monster” – STARSET
# 8 – “We Will Not Go Quietly” – SIXX:A.M.
# 7 – “Hated” – BEARTOOTH
# 6 – “Never Again” – BREAKING BENJAMIN
# 5 – “The Bottom” – DEVOUR THE DAY
# 4 – “How Did You Love” – SHINEDOWN
# 3 – “Remember We Die” – GEMINI SYNDROME
# 2 – “My Name Is Human” – HIGHLY SUSPECT
# 1 – “Square Hammer” – GHOST
By Adam Waldman
Friday the 13th…a day that the superstitious fear, but it is also one that people like me embrace. After a long wait, the day has finally come for the debut EP from a band that has been featured prominently over the past year or so on Hard Rock Daddy. Every song on Ugly Melon’s EP is outstanding, but that is a story for another day. Today, we celebrate the debut of a track that is near and dear to my heart – a brilliant cover of “The Rose,” which was made famous by Bette Midler in 1979 when it was featured in a movie with the same name.
So what makes this more special than any other exclusive world premiere that we’ve done? To fully appreciate what this moment means, we must travel back in time to the ‘80s, when I had dreams (like many) of becoming a rock star. The only problem is that I didn’t play any instrument, and was never more than an average vocalist (at best). My strength was always in lyric writing and the ability to hear things in my mind that I knew others would appreciate if I was somehow able to have someone with true talent interpret my ideas. That’s where Ugly Melon comes in – more specifically, vocalist Tony LaSelva and guitarist Lu Cachie.
It feels like a lifetime ago that this dynamic duo sent in a cold submission for a feature on Music Discovery Monday, but the truth of the matter is that it was less than a year ago. Since that time, Ugly Melon been featured a number of times on Hard Rock Daddy – including as the #13 song on our recently published Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of 2016. The music is what drew me to the band, but over the course of the last year, we have become friends with a mutual trust and respect.
When I heard Bette Midler’s version of “The Rose” while driving in the car one day with my family, I instantly said that Ugly Melon has to do a cover version of the song. I knew that LaSelva’s soulful vocal style would bring the emotion of the song to an entirely new level, and that Cachie would do the same with his poignant guitar arrangement. The trick was conveying my vision to a band that wasn’t even looking to do a cover song. Because of our relationship, this duo got to work on one of the most inspired hard rock cover songs that I’ve ever heard.
Because we connect on a level that goes beyond music, I was able to use shared personal tragedies as an inspiration to get LaSelva to tap into exactly what I was thinking for the song. He did what I would have done if I had his vocal gift. Cachie took the references that I gave him and delivered something truly memorable. It’s as if he had experienced the same pain as us.
I have listened to this song dozens of times (often times playing it on a loop). It continues to get better with each listen. You don’t have to be familiar with the original to appreciate this masterpiece. Those who are familiar with the original will find that all of the elements that made the song emotionally stirring are still there. Ugly Melon has brought out the bittersweet beauty of “The Rose” in a way that no one else could have. I’m honored to have my friends be the ones to bring my vision to life in such a meaningful way.
Without further ado, I present to you the exclusive world premiere of Ugly Melon’s interpretation of “The Rose”…
By Ian Liberman
2016 ended as it began, with the death of another rock icon. Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died of cancer at the age of 69. ELP was one of the first progressive rock bands to receive critical attention in the ‘70s. Lake was also member of King Crimson.
NEWS & NOTES
The Epiphone Revolver Music Awards returned to North America this year. For the first time ever, the awards were held in NYC. Check out the full Hard Rock Daddy recap.
LOUDER THAN HELL – Katherine Turman
Last summer, I finally got around to reading Jon Weiderhorn and Katherine Turman’s Louder Than Hell, a New York Times Best Seller that I had been anxious to read. The book features a number of top hard rock and metal stars discussing the history of the genre. Some of the artists featured include Axl Rose, Rob Zombie and Tom Morello discussing their respective roles in the history of rock. This book is a 5-star read for rock and metal fans!
Artists like Axl Rose, Rob Zombie and Tom Morello explain their roles in the history of rock. I guarantee it is a five star read!
The following is my interview with Katherine Turman….
IAN: Why did you limit your market to just hard rock and metal when you decided to write a music book?
KATHERINE: While both Jon and I love many genres of music, as journalists, the majority of both of our experience, over two decades, has been interviewing and writing about hard rock and metal bands like Metallica, Pantera, Lamb Of God, Black Sabbath and hundreds of others. We are both very passionate and knowledgeable about metal. So, we had the credibility, insight and contacts to cover metal from top to bottom. Plus, at more than 700 pages, there’s no way we could have included other genres in the book. We had so much more to put in about metal, but ran out of room! But Louder Than Hell is not only for metal lovers; it’s for music lovers and people interested in subcultures of society, and for everyone who likes to read great stories straight from the musicians’ mouths.
IAN: Which artist was the most transparent and revealing about their life, and in what area?
KATHERINE: Many of the artists gave us hours and hours of time. We had especially good interviews with Philip Anselmo of Pantera, Rob Halford of Judas Priest (who wrote the book’s afterword) and Scott Ian of Anthrax (who wrote the forward to Louder Than Hell). Philip was open about his drug use, as was Halford, who also spoke about coming out as a gay man. Don Dokken spent hours on the phone and delved into dirty details, while Ministry’s Al Jourgensen liked his interview for Louder Than Hell so much that he commissioned Jon to write his book – The Lost Gospels of Al Jourgensen. But our goal was to get different stories and different sides of stories already told, which is why we tracked down people like Terry Glaze (the singer of Pantera before Anselmo) and Neil Turbin (the first Anthrax singer). We’re so glad that people enjoy Louder Than Hell. It took us four years, and sometimes we wondered if we’d ever finish, but we couldn’t be more proud and happy with the final result!
Thanks to Harper Collins, Jon Wiedernhorn, and the amazing Katherine Turman taking the time to talk with Hard Rock Daddy’s Inferno Of Rock column.
MUSIC’S UGLY (BUT SUPERIOR) STEP-SISTER – ROCK
Since the inception of the Grammy Awards in 1958, the sound of rockabilly and blues were dispensed with as a major part of the musical part of the platform. Unfortunately, even when rock exploded in the mid-‘60s, with its creative genre and sub-genres, the trend continued. This despite the fact that sales of rock, hard rock and metal continued to outpace pop by four or five times. In 2012, the Grammys finally capitulated, and created ten rock categories (including Metal). The Grammy Association found a way to pervert those rock classifications by getting rid of the hard rock groups, while trying to place pop artists in the rock categories as often as possible.
What followed next were the horrors of Jethro Tull and Tenacious D being listed in the Metal category. This year, Beyoncé , appeared in the rock category. The band Trapt has complained that there has been a conspiracy to destroy rock, and based on the evidence, they are probably correct.
The rule was to maximize the shelf-life of pop artists, because once their songs dropped off the charts, they were out of the eye of consumers. They also knew that rock music sold its self without the benefit of high promotion. This story was broken wide open by an insider author, Henry Schipper, who wrote Broken Record in 1992.
Don Harris of the Daily Press stated…
“Schipper’s book shows that, from its inception, the Grammy’s have been remarkably short-sighted, and were created by big label interests and “pop” songwriters in an angry response to the popularity of rock ‘n roll music. That explains why, to this day, the Grammy Awards virtually ignore rock music.”
Further evidence is provided in The Song Machine (by John Seabrook), which shines a light on this theory.
Take a look at this year’s nominees in the rock categories to see for yourself.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
JANUARY 2017 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
 Which Metallica album helped to inspire the band’s latest release – Hardwired To Self Destruct?
 What do Skillet and DevilDriver have in common?
DECEMBER 2016 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
Which band has been criticized for appearing on the X Factor TV Show in Australia? Disturbed
The Vigilante Classical Music Orchestra in Belgium will do their first non-classical tour using metal rock tunes. Which band and tune will they use?
[a] Led Zeppelin – “Stairway to Heaven”
[b] Pink Floyd – “The Wall”
[c] Tool – “Stinkfist”
An award winning metal band has said that their 2017 release will have “the return of the deity.” Name the band…
Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1/12/17
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, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
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)
ROB ZOMBIE – “The Great American Nightmare” (1997)
In some ways, it’s hard to believe that Rob Zombie’s “The Great American Nightmare” came out 20 years ago. In other ways, the song seems like a current rock song. Confused? This song was originally written to be featured on the soundtrack to Private Parts, a biopic about radio legend Howard Stern. It quickly became much more than that as it was turned into the theme song for his daily radio show. It’s the song that I’ve heard more than any other over the past two decades, but ironically, I very rarely hear it in its entirety, as it is always talked over before it ends. Not only does the song/movie turn 20 this year, but it also happens to be Howard’s birthday today, so this seemed like the most fitting song to choose to kick of Hard Rock Music Time Machine 2017.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (f. LL COOL J) – “I Make My Own Rules” (1997)
It certainly hasn’t gotten the exposure that Rob Zombie has gotten, but “I Make My Own Rules” was also featured on the Private Parts soundtrack. If you are familiar with Howard Stern, you know that this song also would have been an excellent choice to be the theme song to his radio show. LL opens the song with swagger – “You know the rules of the game baby…We can handle this like gentlemen, or we can get into some gangsta shit…This is big time rock and roll baby” – before the Chili Peppers jump in with their signature funk rock sound, which carries throughout. LL can be as smooth as silk, but he can also lay the hammer down (as he does on this underrated track). This is one of the more forgotten rap/rock collaborations, but it’s a good one that is worthy of revisiting.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
AMON AMARTH – “Guardians of Asgaard” (2008)
I admit it; I was watching Vikings when this song was playing in the background, which inspired me to include it on this week’s HRMTM. This melodic death metal band delivers with a killer track from their seventh studio album, Twilight of the Thunder God. Their music is heavy, with chugging riffs and a pounding rhythm section that gives you no choice but to bang your head. Their videos are entertaining as well, taking the Nordic Viking mythos to another level. Sound the battle horns when you blast Amon Amarth!
ARCH ENEMY – “You Will Know My Name” (2014)
In the realm of melodic death metal, props must be given to Sweden’s Arch Enemy. “You Will Know My Name” – from the band’s 9th studio album, War Eternal – starts off with a classical style guitar riff, some keyboards and an almost flamenco drum beat while exploding into the death metal growls of Alissa White-Gluz. Arch Enemy is one of few female-fronted melodic death metal bands that is able to produce material that appeals to the fans of this genre. One cannot think of melodic death metal without including Arch Enemy on that list.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
CIRCUS MAXIMUS – “Game of Life” (2012)
Norwegian progressive metal band Circus Maximus released one of their best albums in 2012 with Nine. This upbeat (but complex) number from that album moves a series of poignant questions through some inspired arrangements.
ANDRE MATOS – “Separate Ways” (2007)
In 2007, Brazilian vocalist and pianist Andre Matos (ex-Viper, ex-Angra, ex-Shaman) put out his first solo album, Time To Be Free. In addition to some amazing original material, he did justice to Steve Perry’s high range vocals while covering this Journey classic. The guitars are amped up high, together with his voice, as the band brilliantly “metalizes” the song.
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.
The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 1/7/17. All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:
|THIS WEEK||LAST WEEK||THIS WEEK|
|1||1||HIGHLY SUSPECT||“My Name Is Human”||2052|
|3||3||VOLBEAT||“Seal The Deal”||1803|
|5||5||GREEN DAY||“Still Breathing”||1701|
|6||6||AVENGED SEVENFOLD||“The Stage”||1655|
|7||7||SHINEDOWN||“How Did You Love”||1388|
|8||8||RED SUN RISING||“Amnesia”||1240|
|9||9||DISTURBED||“Open Your Eyes”||926|
|10||11||BREAKING BENJAMIN||“Never Again”||912|
|12||13||CHEVELLE||“Door To Door Cannibals”||795|
|13||12||A DAY TO REMEMBER||“Naivety”||767|
|15||17||SIXX:A.M.||“We Will Not Go Quietly”||645|
|16||18||IN FLAMES||“The Truth”||630|
|18||21||POP EVIL||“If Only For Now”||570|
|19||20||KINGS OF LEON||“Waste A Moment”||554|
|20||22||RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS||“Go Robot”||502|
|21||23||METALLICA||“Moth Into Flame”||481|
|22||24||GEMINI SYNDROME||“Remember We Die”||431|
|23||28||PRETTY RECKLESS||“Oh My God”||379|
|24||26||DEVOUR THE DAY||“The Bottom”||334|
|25||27||SICK PUPPIES||“Where Do I Begin”||330|
|27||30||ADELITA’S WAY||“Ready For War (Pray For Peace)”||302|
|28||31||AVATAR||“Night Never Ending”||263|
|30||32||BLINK-182||“She’s Out Of Her Mind”||252|
|31||33||FROM ASHES TO NEW||“Breaking Now”||239|
|32||37||ART OF ANARCHY||“The Madness”||225|
|33||35||GOODBYE JUNE||“Oh No”||217|
|34||36||AMITY AFFLICTION||“All Messed Up”||215|
|37||39||ONE LESS REASON||“Break Me”||163|
|38||42||3 DOORS DOWN||“The Broken”||141|
|40||44||LAMB OF GOD||“The Duke”||114|
|41||47||CROWN THE EMPIRE||“Weight Of The World”||108|
|43||48||THREE DAYS GRACE||“You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”||101|
|44||49||TWENTY ONE PILOTS||“Heavydirtysoul”||98|
|46||52||TWENTY ONE PILOTS||“Stressed Out”||93|
|47||54||K.FLAY||“Blood In The Cut”||92|
|50||57||LIKE A STORM||“Pure Evil”||82|
PUBLISHER’S PICK OF THE WEEK (By Adam Waldman)
HALESTORM – “Still Of The Night”
Halestorm takes some recent trends (hard rock cover songs and a classic rock revival) and knocks it out of the park with their balls-to-the-wall interpretation of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night.” There are a lot of powerful female vocalists out these days, but Lzzy Hale is on another level. With a sexiness that rivals Hollywood actresses, a vocal delivery that stands toe-to-toe with the legendary voices of classic rock and an ability to appeal to rock fans across the generations, Hale is a unique talent. Like many bands these days, Halestorm releases EPs so that they always have fresh material and can stay out on the road. However, Halestorm is the only band that has created a recurring series of cover EPs (ReAniMate). “Still Of The Night” is off of the latest installment (3.0). Back in the ’80s, girls wanted to be with David Coverdale and guys wanted to be him. Fast forward three decades, and Hale has reversed that trend (although you have to imagine that she has her fair share of female suitors). As usual, Hale and company have delivered a kickass cover that pays homage to the original while making it their own.
PUBLISHER’S PREDICTIONS (by Adam Waldman)
2017 begins as 2016 ended – with Highly Suspect’s “My Names Is Human” sitting on top once again (despite a moderate decline in spins). Ghost closed the gap with a moderate gain in spins, but even a replication of this week will not be enough to reach the top. At this point, the only prediction that can be made is that radio should get back to work, because it still looks like things are on autopilot. Here’s another prediction far from the top…Twenty One Pilots will see the return of “Stressed Out” fall off the chart once again (where it belongs). There is absolutely no rationale for the song coming back onto the chart again long after it made its run. If you read this column regularly, you know our feelings about the band even being on the chart in the first place.
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.
HALESTORM – “Still Of The Night”
SEASONS AFTER – “Fighter”
SHALLOW SIDE – “Renegade”
ART OF DYING – “Torn Down”
MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA – “Heart Of War”
BLACKLITE DISTRICT – “Broken Souls”
CHRYSALIS – “My Eternity”
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE – “This Light I Hold”
Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”
Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul”
K-Flay – “Blood In The Cut”
Head & The Heart – “All We Ever Knew”
Kings Of Leon – “Waste A Moment”
Blink 182 – “She’s Out Of Her Mind”
Metallica – “Hardwired”
Green Day – “Bang Bang”
THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless
KING OF THE HILL
The beat goes on (and on and on) for Highly Suspect on top of the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart for an eighth consecutive week. Ghost and Volbeat remain second and third for their sixth straight week in those spots.
NOTABLE CHART MOVEMENT
Breaking Benjamin slips into the Top 10…
The only new entry in the Top 20 is from Pop Evil…
Bleeker makes a big jump into the Top 30, Avatar rises into that tier as well…
Returning to the Top 40 this week is Badflower. Three other songs reach that strata despite having fewer spins than the week before….
There are four songs arriving in the Top 50 this week but the most interesting (and puzzling) case might be the Twenty One Pilots track that returns after nearly a year’s absence, having spent 13 weeks on the chart previously starting as far back as November 2014.
THREE UP & THREE DOWN
Green Day – “Still Breathing”
Pretty Reckless – “Oh My God”
Bleeker – “Highway”
A Day To Remember – “Naivety”
One Less Reason – “Break Me”
Sylar – “Dark Daze”
TRENDS AND OBSERVATIONS
Yes, Active Rock radio has resorted to recycling songs that ran their course over a year ago. It’s reaching the point that I can’t really even try to explain some of the things that happen without the use of very strong language. Since I’m trying to avoid that, I’m uncharacteristically at a loss for words.
That’s all for this week. Tune in to HardRockDaddy.com every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/