It was my great pleasure to chat with Annie Zaleski about my well-spent ’90s serving as an editor at “Alternative Press.” Annie is my former intern and longtime friend, and these days a widely published and well-respected writer and editor. I couldn’t be prouder of her.
Thanks for a great interview, Annie. And happy 30th birthday, AP. Long may you serve the outsider kids in the black tees and hoodies.
You can also check out this trailer for the magazine’s exhibit in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum. You might recognize a few of the talking heads. Cheers!
Background note: I interviewed Slash on three separate occasions. By the third session I think he finally remembered we’d spoken before. In honor of Guns’ induction into the Rock Hall, here’s my favorite chat with the chill guitar hero, followed by an interview with Guns’ producer Mike Clink, who helped shore up Slash’s memory about the recording of Appetite For Destruction. I originally conducted the interviews for a Guitar One cover story in celebration of that album’s 15th anniversary. Ten years later the rock world still waits to see if the classic line-up that created it will share a stage again. Breath-holding is not recommended.
The Guns ‘N Roses legend is one filled with as many cautionary tales as it is rock-and-roll victories. There’s the time Duff McKagan’s pancreas exploded from prolonged over-indulgence. And the time Izzy Stradlin was arrested after relieving himself in an airplane’s galley. And the time Axl Rose incited a riot because an audience member took his photo. Read the rest of this entry »
Background note: I originally interviewed Zakk in 2006, for the cover of the now-defunct Guitar Edge magazine.
The wicked? They’re still not getting much rest these days. Especially not Zakk Wylde.
On an average weekday, the guitar slinger rises early in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, lifts weights, and then heads to the studio where he and producer Michael Beinhorn (Ozzy Osbourne, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers) are putting the finishing touches on what will be Black Label Society’s 8th album, Shot To Hell (Roadrunner).
Then, around the time most mortals enjoy dinner, Zakk heads to Ozzy Osbourne’s estate, where he works well beyond the witching hour in the Ozzman’s home studio. Thus far they’ve written and recorded 20 or so new songs, according to Zakk. The best of those cuts will appear on the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2001’s Down To Earth, tentatively due later this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Background note: This good-humored interview originally appeared as a cover story in Guitar One. The band broke up fairly soon after, but they’ve since reunited for an album and tour (and now star in a Samsung commercial). Hopefully they’ll actually make it to the stage in Cleveland this time so they can finally utter the immortal salutation.
Expectations precede The Darkness. Mine do at least. Beer in hand, I perch on a comfy settee in a well-appointed sitting room in Cleveland’s swank and indeed ritzy Ritz Carlton Hotel. I’m awaiting the group’s catsuit-sporting Justin Hawkins and his younger brother Dan. Together they form the band’s twin Les Paul fury–singer Justin taking the classic widdly-widdly lead role and Dan holding down the power riffage and rhythms.
It’s only noon, but I figure the party never stops around Britain’s new rock royalty, right? Or so I have read. “Wasting beer is disrespectful,” Justin recently pronounced. And in England, it’s certainly well past tea time. Judging from the waaay-over-the-top videos for the band’s insta-anthems, who knows what could happen?
Background note: You can’t judge a man by one conversation, but Lenny was fairly sour the day I interviewed him for a “Guitar One” feature back in 2004. Fortunately he warmed up a little once I proffered my theory about 2004 being an especially strong year for Geminis, with Prince, Outkast’s Andre 3000, Morrissey and Lenny in some sort of creative ascension or revival. Hey, sometimes you gotta get the story by any means necessary, even if it means dipping into astrology.
Lenny Kravitz sounds exhausted and not a little exasperated. For the better part of a day, if not week, he’s been fielding questions about the demise of his relationship with Brazilian model Adriana Lima; his fling with actor Nicole Kidman; his vacations with Mick Jagger; his herb-smoking sessions with rock royalty; and last, if not least, his pierced dangle. Journalists, it seems, have forgotten something. Read the rest of this entry »
Background note: The following interview was conducted on October 23, 2001, for an album preview for Alternative Press, which named Bowie’s Heathen one of 2002’s most anticipated releases. The phone interview left me with considerably more content than the brief assignment required, but since the discussion revolved around probes concerning the sound of a then-unheard album the world would soon hear, the transcription remained spooled away on my hard drive for over a decade. Until now. Read the rest of this entry »
One Break Coming Up, Or How Diamond Dave Saved Summer
Background note: Apparently I once interviewed David Lee Roth. At a time when he was still on the outs with the Van Halens and touring with Sammy Hagar. Probably for Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer. And he did not disappoint. Quite awesome.
David Lee Roth laughs uproariously at his own ingenuity. In mid March, while the rock world waited patiently for Van Halen to do the right thing and welcome the singer back into the fold, Diamond Dave was busy doing what he does best–thinking outside the box while practicing those whirling kicks. Word was that Roth and Sammy Hagar–who replaced Roth in 1985, then quit Van Halen himself in 1996–couldn’t stand each other. Who would believe they could ever share a stage? Why, Diamond Dave, of course.
“I wanted to create something that wasn’t predicted, yet when you saw it, it was patently obvious,” he says of his co-headlining tour with the Red Rocker. “It’s kind of like the wheel. I didn’t think of that either, but when I saw it I said, ‘But of course–no corners!’”
The deluxe vinyl version of “Falling To Rise” is finally ready for take off. Grab your copy at PlasticAnts.Bandcamp.com (includes instant digital download) or a high quality digital download at iTunes.com. To celebrate the launch, we put together this micro-film with a few talented friends. Hope you enjoy.