Rush frontman Geddy Lee was recently interviewed by the Birmingham Post, and he recalled his emotional response to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“It was really overwhelming and we all got choked up,” he told the paper. “Our fans have always placed more importance on us getting in than we have – we’d always thought it was no big deal. But at that particular moment it sure did feel like a big deal.”
As awesome as it was to accept induction into the Hall of Fame, though, Lee and the rest of Rush are focused on the present and future. "I love to play – that’s my whole reason for being,” he said. “And we’re playing better than we’ve ever played – and I say that without much hesitation. Something happens after you play for 40 years... you get good at it!”
VIP packages for Ratt's summer tour dates are on sale now! For $125 per person, you get a Ratt dog tag/bottle opener, a hand-signed tour poster, a commemorative VIP laminate, and access to a meet-and-greet with the band after the show! (The price does not include your ticket - you must already have a ticket to the show to upgrade to the VIP package.)
Ratt tour dates for which VIP packages are currently available are as follows:
July 12 - Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Airway Heights, WA July 13 - The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT July 20 - Rock USA, Oshkosh, WI July 26 - Surf Ballroom & Museum, Clear Lake, IA July 27 - Halfway Jam Festival Grounds, Royalton, MN August 3 - Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, Sterling Heights, MI August 15 - Vetter Stone Amphitheater, Mankato, MN
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed by Planet Rock in the UK, and answered fans' questions on multiple subjects, including discussion of favorite guitar solos; whether he plays air guitar while listening to music; how music theory influences him; and much more. Watch now!
Robert Baird at Stereophile wrote a great review of Willie Nile and his latest album, American Ride, dude June 25th! Click here to read at Stereophile or read the full story here:
“You see that empty space?” says Willie Nile, motioning toward a lot between buildings on Bleecker Street, an impish Irish grin flickering across his face. “They haven’t built anything there yet because Anna Wintour lives around the corner. And that red-brick house over there, the one with the white door? That’s where Dylan lived. I used to see Bob around the neighborhood now and again.”
People talk revolution in the cafes
They debate right and wrong while they drink
There are buses there are cars there are shiny movie stars
There are starving artists standing on the brink
—”Life on Bleecker Street,” from American Ride
Having lunch at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal with one of New York’s most dedicated and heartfelt rock poets comes complete with a walking tour of the music sites in this most storied of Manhattan neighborhoods. In Greenwich Village, as in life—and in Nile’s personal odyssey in music—it’s all about the journey.
The Winery Dogs (@TheWineryDogs), the power trio featuring rock veterans Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), have signed with Loud & Proud Records. The Winery Dogs’ self-titled debut album will be released in North America on July 23. THE WINERY DOGS was self-produced and mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther). It features a classic rock/power trio sound which seamlessly melds the immense talents of the three veteran rockers.
Of The Winery Dogs’ signing, Mike Portnoy commented, “I am so excited about The Winery Dogs and am proud and honored to be working with two of the greatest musicians on the planet! Richie Kotzen is such an unbelievable talent, as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. I think The Winery Dogs will finally get him the attention and recognition that he so richly deserves. And what can be said of Billy Sheehan that hasn’t been said already? He is one the true pioneers of the instrument and a legend. I am looking forward to working with the great staff of Loud & Proud Records, some of whom I worked very closely with during their time at Roadrunner and my time with Dream Theater. I look forward to continuing that relationship with The Winery Dogs!”
Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky added, “The debut by The Winery Dogs absolutely rocks and we are very excited that Loud & Proud is their label partner. This body of work showcases not only their renowned skills as musicians and vocalists, but also the depth of their talent as songwriters. Billy, Mike and Richie delivered some of the best performances of their illustrious careers and I am confident this album will be recognized as one of the truly great rock albums of the year.”
Touted as one of the best guitar players in the world, Richie Kotzen also possesses a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and is highly regarded as a gifted songwriter. With guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, Kotzen has built a remarkably diverse 20-year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. A prolific songwriter, Richie has written several songs that have gone on to become hit singles around the world and he continues to appear in countless books, magazines and websites, being acknowledged as one of the top guitarists in the world.
Mike Portnoy is one of the founding members of Dream Theater, with whom he played drums for 25 years, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. Portnoy’s long list of awards include 26 Modern Drummer magazine Reader’s Poll Awards, including Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine’s record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (twice), Best Educational Video/DVD and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (seven times) while in Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold. He also holds the distinction being the second youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (at age 37) and is currently the youngest in the magazine’s Hall of Fame. DRUM! Magazine named him Drummer Of The Year for the last two years in a row (2011 & 2012), and he won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for “Drummer Of The Year” in 2011.
As a founding member of Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan forged his place in hard rock history. Mr. Big’s trademark virtuosic musicianship with stellar vocal harmonies and earned them numerous hit songs, including the ubiquitous “To Be With You,” which was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in 15 countries, propelling the band to major international success and record sales in the multi-millions. Sheehan was voted the “Best Rock Bass Player” 5 times in Guitar Player magazine’s Readers Poll, earning him a spot in their “Gallery of Greats” along with Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Eddie Van Halen and more, and he has won several Reader’s polls around the world. He won the prestigious Player magazine (Japan’s #1 Music mag) Reader’s Poll for Best Bass Player an unprecedented 14 consecutive times and Burrn! magazine’s (Japan’s #1 heavy metal mag) Readers’ Poll five times. His hands and signature are preserved in cement on the Rockwalk at Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA.
Stay tuned for U.S. tour news, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
The second part of Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's three-part conversation with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has been released, and you can listen to it now above. In this segment, the two men talk about drumming on another man's kit; Rush's performance with the Foo Fighters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony; painting; and much more. You can also read a transcript on musicradar.com, and listen to the first part of their conversation below.
Seattle’s Walking Papers, the much-buzzed-about new band featuring rock luminaries Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season), Jeff Angell and Benjamin Anderson (both of The Missionary Position) have signed with Loud & Proud Records and are gearing up for the August 6th release of their self-titled debut.
Recorded in Seattle and mixed by veteran producer Jack Endino (Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney), Walking Papers features a guest appearance by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who played on lead single “The Whole World’s Watching” and “I’ll Stick Around.” Rolling Stone spotlighted the latter, praising it for its “slow, grinding blues pace that combines elements of Morphine and Tom Waits.” The song can be heard here.
“The Whole World’s Watching” will hit rock and alternative radio in June.
Guitarist/vocalist Jeff Angell and drummer Barrett Martin formed the band last year and played their first shows in Seattle as a duo. They became a trio with the addition of bassist Duff McKagan and a quartet when keyboardist Benjamin Anderson joined the fray. Angell and Martin also served as the album’s co-producers.
Walking Papers show that a great song can be conveyed with thundering drums, rumbling bass, and a howling guitar just as easily as it can with percolating marimbas and shimmering vibraphone. The songs on this album can stand alone as individual stories, but taken together as a whole, they convey a much larger narrative with tales of wandering souls, the collisions of will, and the dark beauty of the American heart.
The band has already received media praise from both sides of the pond, with noted Seattle Times rock critic Charles R. Cross saying the band’s brightness rivaled the sun’s and, unlike so many supergroups, its future might be even brighter, and UK mag Classic Rock praising the band’s collection of songs as “a masterpiece of mood and tension.”
The band will celebrate the release of Walking Papers with a headlining slot on the second stage of this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. The tour, which features Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction, and many more, kicks off August 9th at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA.
About signing Walking Papers, Loud & Proud Owner and President Tom Lipsky said, “Members of Walking Papers have earned critical acclaim and success throughout their respective careers. What impresses me most about them however is that they continue to invest their creativity and energy in breaking new ground and in taking their music directly to the fans. I am excited that they chose Loud & Proud as their label and I look forward to a successful partnership.”
“Walking Papers is thrilled to be holding the nail while Loud & Proud swings the hammer,” said vocalist/guitarist Jeff Angell. “It is with great confidence that we put our songs in Tom Lipsky’s very capable hands.”
Catch Walking Papers On Tour this summer / Uproar Tour
“Having played bass with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and Jane’s Addiction, Duff McKagan has been around a lot of talented frontmen. Now in his new band, Walking Papers, McKagan gets to work with a vocalist he’s long admired, Jeff Angell.”
The Winery Dogs is a new project featuring Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). Listen/watch the tracks “Elevate” and “Desire” below.
Critically-acclaimed veteran New York singer/songwriter Willie Nile has signed to Loud & Proud Records, marking the first signing for the label under its new distribution deal with RED. Nile’s brand new album, American Ride, will be released on Loud & Proud Records in North America on June 25th. Of the label’s inaugural signing Loud & Proud Owner and President Tom Lipsky commented, “Willie Nile is the first artist that Loud & Proud has signed since entering into our new partnership with RED Distribution and his new album American Ride will be our first release via RED. Willie has the qualities that we are drawn to when we consider artist opportunities. He is genuine, passionate about his music and committed to supporting it through touring and interaction with fans across the country.”
American Ride – Out June 25th
Willie Nile’sAmerican Ride was produced by the team of Grammy Award-winner Stewart Lerman (who has worked with Nile since the ‘90s) and Nile with additional production by touring bassist Johnny Pisano and touring drummer Alex Alexander.
Willie Nile began his career playing in the clubs of New York City’s East Village. From such humble beginnings, Nile has had a storied career for more than three decades releasing 11 albums to date (including albums on such major labels as Arista and Columbia Records). Nile’s prolific body of work has been lauded by both critics and fans (celebrity and otherwise) alike. Of his most recent album, The Innocent Ones, Rolling Stone hailed it as one of the “Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums Of 2011,” while BBC Radio deemed it “Stunning…THE rock n’ roll album of 2011.” Willie Nile’s celebrity fans include Bruce Springsteen, with whom he’s guested onstage multiple times, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on The Who’s 1982 U.S. tour. Other avowed Nile admirers include Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who recently remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.” Willie Nile has toured the world many times over and will head out on an extensive world tour in support of American Ride immediately following the album’s release.