David Lee Roth


Posted: January 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


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!’”

Roth stops to laugh uproariously again, as he does after almost every sentence. Read the rest of this entry »


Bon Voyage


Posted: September 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


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.


Now Boarding


Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


The deluxe clear vinyl and digital formats of Plastic Ants’ “FALLING TO RISE” are NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER on BANDCAMP via the band’s own Requisite Recordings label. Only interested in digital? You can also pre-order high-quality “Mastered for iTunes” files on iTUNES.

The full album will be officially released on September 23, but by ordering now, you’ll immediately receive high-quality digital files of four songs: “Falling To Rise,” “Across The Falls,” “Sympathetic Strings” and “Not Much Makes Her Cry.”

The band’s full-length debut brings together classical and rock musicians, including singer-guitarist Robert Cherry, bassist John Curley (Afghan Whigs), drummer Joe Klug (Wussy) and keyboardist-singer Guy Vanasse, plus guest performances by singer Lisa Walker (Wussy) and cellist Amy Gillingham.

The album was produced by John Curley and the band at Ultrasuede, in Cincinnati; mastered by Dave Davis at The All Night Party, in Cincinnati; and cut to lacquer by Jeff Powell at Ardent, in Memphis. Jeff Johns designed the album artwork, featuring a cover photo of one of the last Convair 880 jets in existence, shot by John Curley.

We hope you enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed making it. Cheers, Plastic Ants.


The Psychedelic Furs + Echo And The Bunnymen


Posted: November 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , | No Comments »


Parallel Lines

Background note: I first interviewed Richard Butler at the Gramercy Hotel, in NYC, in the early ’90s. As we sat down at the table in the bar, he fired up a cigarette and said, “You can’t write that I’m smoking, my wife will kill me.” So much for post-punk rebellion… Still, Butler and the ever-quotable Ian McCulloch were among my idols growing up, so it was always a thrill to interview them. This piece was written as a preview of their joint tour, in 2001.

The distinctive croon. The doomed-romantic lyrics. The ever-present cigarette and shades. The fastidiously unkempt hair. From a distance, the Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler and Echo And The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch share much in common. But mostly it’s their separateness that links them. In fact, they each carved such individual career courses in the ‘80s that they never really crossed paths until 2001, when the two bands toured together for the first time.

“There were other bands who had that mutual-admiration thing going on—like the born-again Christians,” explains McCulloch, taking a playful jab at the Bunnymen’s rivals, U2. “We weren’t that kind of band, and I don’t think the Furs were, either.”       Read the rest of this entry »


Sgt. Pepper’s Creative Secrets


Posted: September 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading at “The Accelerator”


The Dandy Warhols


Posted: May 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


Modest Proposals

“Can’t someone just make them stop?” beseeches Courtney Taylor-Taylor from the stage. “This is Detroit—isn’t it legal to just shoot them?”

The Dandy Warhols are under attack . . . from Mahogany Rush. This is Detroit. Somehow these things happen. The present is always challenged by the spirit of 1976. The Portland psych-pop combo is playing the Shelter, a downtown basement residing beneath Saint Andrew’s Hall, a larger venue that tonight hosts Mahogany Rush. You may remember the hard-rockin’ trio from such classics as “Dragonfly,” “Hey, Little Lover,” and “Requiem For A Sinner.” (No? Me neither.) In the Me Decade they were eternally third on the bill at seemingly any given stadium-rock show. Tonight they’re finally playing above another band—literally—and their amplified kick-drum is thumping through the floor between pauses in the Warhols’ set.

“Wait. They’re hippies, right?” Taylor-Taylor thinks he’s found a solution. “Why doesn’t someone go up there and give ‘em some acid? Then they’ll just sit on the floor and talk about themselves. There can’t be more than 14 of them onstage. It wouldn’t cost that much . . . ”
Read the rest of this entry »


The Wisdom of Dimebag Darrell


Posted: December 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Background note: When I interviewed metal legend Dimebag Darrell for a Guitar One cover story, shortly before his death, in 2004, I warmed up with a query about his infamous hangover remedy. He was more than willing to share his secret, elaborating on the nuances he’d developed through painstaking research.

The riotous interview that followed featured many anecdotes that simply didn’t fit the context of the larger piece (on the then state of heavy metal), but reading back through them, I think they’re just too entertaining not to share. So here, published for the first time, in unexpurgated form, is the wisdom of Dimebag.

Raise a glass and read along (for heightened effect, imagine his words spoken by Yosemite Sam)—but follow his lifestyle lead at your own risk. Although a little too much was always enough for Dimebag (after all, it was a depraved fan’s bullet that ultimately brought him down, not the Crown Royal), most of us lack a guitar hero’s constitution and flexible hours. Read the rest of this entry »


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club


Posted: October 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


What Can A Poor Boy Do?

Background note: BRMC were notorious for monosyllabic responses to interview questions, but once we established some common ground, they gradually warmed to my queries. The ice breaker? Chiefly Nicolas Roeg’s film Performance. The band originally considered calling themselves the Turner Purple Orchestra, after the fictional band fronted by Mick Jagger’s character, Turner, in the movie. Bassist Robert Been was performing under the pseudonym “Robert Turner” at the time of this interview, in 2003, and I called him on it. Still love this group. I feel like I’m transforming into a werewolf the second I hear one of Been’s bass lines. Hopefully they’re working on something awesome as I type.

They brought it upon themselves.

Call yourself a rebel and the question is bound to arise: What are you rebelling against? The members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club know it well. The question has come up repeatedly in interviews since the San Francisco-based trio released its 2001 self-titled debut and captured imaginations with feedback-wreathed drone-pop gems like “Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll (Punk Song).” Read the rest of this entry »


You Will Know Love


Posted: April 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »



Skinny Mirrors At A Glance


Posted: February 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


The debut EP from Skinny Mirrors is a compelling paradox—a collection of sugar-in-the-raw pop songs, short in the making yet long in the finishing.

The group, a collaboration between singer-songwriter Robert Cherry and producer/multi-instrumentalist Craig Ramsey, took shape one winter in the basement studio Ramsey had set up in Cherry’s Mid-Century modern ranch home, mere blocks from a slate-and-olive Lake Erie, then ringed with wave-shattered sheets of dirty ice. Read the rest of this entry »


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