Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sean Delson Interview



Hey guys.
So I had the pleasure of interviewing Ex Fozzy and Stuck Mojo bassist Sean B. Delson. Enjoy.


I first wanted to ask how you got into Fozzy and Stuck Mojo? And I also want to know what your experience with them was like.

"Thanks for taking the time and seeking me out to do this interview. The very short answer is..."Richard Park Ward". I've known him (if memory serves) since either the late 80's or early 90's? We use to work a day job together, and our 2 bands played a lot of the same venues. Years went by and Rich approached me at a Music Conference to play on his solo record. "My Kung Fu is Good". It is a GREAT RECORD!!! I hope that it will be re-released on a proper label and get the credit it deserves."

As you mentioned, you worked on "My Kung Fu is Good" with Rich Ward. Did you enjoy it?

"Of course I very much enjoyed the process. It was amazing working with Rich again and producer Rick Beato on some of those tracks. Once I played on that record, Fozzy and Mojo fell into place."

When did you start Agent Cooper?

"Agent Cooper was an offshoot of our old band, "Salem Ash", which was born in HollyWood, CA(I think) around 1987. Our singer, Doug Busbee formed Agent Cooper years after Salem Ash had run its course after we all moved to Atlanta. Sometime in the mid 90's I think."

Are you enjoying your time with the band?

"I have actually been enjoying a bit of the quiet life after nearly a decade of non stop touring!! I've been taking some time to travel a bit more and go back to those distant lands that I discovered whilst touring. The time has really given me inspiration for my love of music and new ideas are flowing. It's a great feeling that's hard to explain."

Are you currently working on anything?

"Yes. Agent Cooper is trying to tidy up and finish 3 tunes. In fact, Doug is coming up here later today and I hope to get a fair amount of work done (in between a few adult beverages!). I think the last album I played on what just after we finished a 6 week European tour with Tony MacAlpine. He asked me to play on his record. How could I say no?"

What can we expect from Agent Cooper in the future?

"If I had my way...(and I will be talking about this with Doug later on today) I'd like to go back and work with a producer on our body of work, and perhaps get some fresh mixes and production ideas. I'd really like to do that."

I would also like to know what it was like to be in Fozzy and Stuck Mojo, and also just wroking with Rich Ward in general. 

It’s funny that most people use that phrase “working with…” when it comes to music. I will tell you what it felt like “playing with Rich”, because it was much more play than work! Now because I had known Rich for so long before we teamed up, it was like seeing an old friend. Our bands had crossed paths many times before. We even worked an actual day job together way back when… So the history has some real history.

There used to be this big music showcase event in Atlanta called “The Atlantis Music Conference” that was put on by Mark Willis. Its aim was to educate new artists about the industry through information sessions, give them exposure through talent showcases, and connect them with industry professionals through networking events. It ran from around 1998 – 2008. (Mark manages Fozzy, Rich, and Mojo to this day) I guess it must have been around 2003 when Rich was ready to really push his solo record. If memory serves, and as you know, it was going to be a bit of a departure from the “Heavy Metal” that he was known for. At that time, Mark had landed us (Agent Cooper) a good slot at the conference. That night, Rich came out to check us out. Frank Fontsere on Drums, Eric Frampton on Keys, Doug singing, and me, of course…. On bass. After the show Rich walked up and explained his idea for the record and asked if I would be interested in playing on it. I didn’t hesitate for a second to say, “Of course!” Well…. It seems that asking me to play on the solo record more or less “ruffled the feathers” of Fozzy’s then bassist. He upped and quit! So I got another call from Rich saying, “We (Fozzy) have a gig in NY some 48 hours from now. Can you do it?? “Uhhhhh…. YES! Send me the set list ASAP!” The rest, as they say… is History. That gig in NY, lead to the permanent position in Fozzy. Then came “All that Remains”, that lead to the Stuck Mojo revival. And that lead to more tours and more records. Insert about another 10 years of that. I swear it was non stop! It was just natural. We were family. Almost all the members that I mentioned at the Agent Cooper gig above also played on those records. It’s a big family down south and it we were very much interwoven.
Pretty much from moment I played with Rich on The Duke Project, that was it for all the bands. The core band remained the same, and only the singer changed. So it became a “cycle” if you will. We would record a Fozzy album, then a Mojo album. Many times we would also “stack” the tours. For example: Fozzy would do a 3 week run across the UK and then into some other part of Europe. Let’s say the tour ended in Paris. CJ would fly home after the gig to fulfill his WWE obligations, while Lloyd “Lord” [Nelson] would have been flown over to Paris to see the gig, rest, and then a Stuck Mojo tour would begin. It must be said that making all this work out smoothly is largely due to Mark Willis. He’s the man behind the curtain that manages EVERYTHING for the 3 bands. He even helps Agent Cooper, so hats off to Mark. As for my favorite band…that’s very tricky. Talk about 4 totally different bands. From a sheer musical standpoint, I would have to say Agent Cooper and The Duke Project. I can expand on that if you wish. Fozzy was so much FUN! Of course having a world famous superstar celebrity as your lead singer really opened a lot of doors that afforded us many great opportunities that we may not have otherwise been offered. I’m sure you can see that. MOJO was a machine. Plain and simple. The vibe was very different in that band, and the crowds that it drew. Intensity! So they each have their place, you see?

Because you have listened to “My Kung Fu is Good”, you will know that it was a serious departure from Stuck Mojo and Fozzy for Rich. It was his solo record and these songs were so much “from the heart”. The songs came from a “different” place. Not the angry riffs everybody was used to. There is so much musicality on the record and I enjoyed having the freedom to write and create my bass lines on those songs. Even pulling out some fretless bass, which you don’t really get to do that much in metal! Working with the world famous Rick Beato was great as well. He also did “All that Remains” as a result. There’s nothing wrong with riffing, mind you, but this record was nothing like Rich had ever done and I was honored being given the task to play bass on it. Two old friends…. Just doing what we do. A few months ago he called me and asked if I’d like to play a charity concert down in Atlanta. “Of course”…. Always my standard answer. So we played a Taylor Swift song for a children’s charity. Very very cool."

Big thanks to Sean Delson for taking the time to do this interview. It was great getting to chat with him and learn about his time in Fozzy and Stuck Mojo. Hope you guys enjoyed this interview. If you haven't already, go check out Agent Cooper and go give "My Kung Fu is Good" a listen. It's a great album.
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Alice Cooper "Paranormal" Album Review

Alice Cooper is back with his newest album "Paranormal". This album is a masterpiece. I hope you guys check it out if you haven't. I hope this review helps you decide if it's worth checking out, in case you were on the fence about it. 

Paranormal- I love how this is the opening track. It's got this creepy vibe to it. Like I can almost imagine  a scene from a horror movie in my mind, as I listen to the song. It's just great.  

Fireball is definitely the song that sticks out on this album. The reason I say this is because it's different from most Alice Cooper songs. It's got a different vibe, but it's really catchy. Although It's different from most of Alice's songs, it still sounds like a song he would do. It's different but still works, if that makes sense. 

Paranoiac personality was the first single to be released. I automatically fell in love with it and couldn't wait for the rest of the album. After hearing it, I was like: "Yes. Alice Cooper is back." 

I could go on and on about this album. It's definitely a 10/10. The album is a little different from Alice's other albums, yet it doesn't sound totally different to where you're questioning if it really is an Alice Cooper album. 
The second CD with the original members of the band was really good. It was nice to hear them reunited even though it was only for 2 new songs. Then the live songs were also great. All together, definitely worth the purchase. 

So I hope you guys enjoyed this review. The album is definitely worth checking out. So if you haven't listened to it, go check it out. You won't be disappointed. 
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Megadeth albums ranked




Hey guys. So I decided to rank Megadeth's albums. Hope you enjoy.


1.) Rust in Peace
This album started what most would say was Megadeth's best era. The 90's. It paved the way for more great Megadeth albums to come.

2.) Countdown to Extinction
What most would say is Megadeth's greatest masterpiece. It's not my favorite album of their's, but it is great nonetheless. It also helped show metal heads and everyone else what Megadeth is all about.

3.) Dystopia
The latest masterpiece. This album is a great throwback to those that grew up with Megadeth in the 90's. Despite not having Marty Friedman and the late, great Nick Menza, this album still has little hints of the beautiful artwork of "Rust in Peace" and "Countdown to Extinction". With the addition of Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God's Chris Adler, this album will satisfy not only old school Megadeth fans, but new comers as well.

4.) Killing is my business...and business is good!
The album that started it all. After getting the boot from Metallica, Dace Mustaine formed Megadeth to show that he wasn't giving up. This made a huge impact on the metal community. Which is why  it's still being talked about 34 years later. Megadeth contributed a lot to the metal community starting with this album, and still do to this day.

5.) Peace sells...but who's buying?\
An album that made a statement as far as Dave's political views. Now yes, most Megadeth albums show Dave's political views. But this is the album that started it. The song "Peace Sells" acknowledges the period of time where people were calling Megadeth a anti-religious and anti-political band. How Dave fires back with this song and album is what makes it a masterpiece.

6.) So far, so good...so what!
What makes this album so good is the grittiness of it. It's also what makes it so different. But it has great tunes such as "Set the world afire" and the famous "In my darkest hour".

7.) United Abominations
Named the greatest metal album of 2007, "United Abominations" was the call back to the thrashiness of Megadeth. Dave finally went back to Megadeth's roots, after a long struggle that including the band's short break up.

8.) Cryptic Writings
An album that started to show a little bit of Megadeth's alternative metal side. A little different compared to their albums, which caused it to be not too well received with the fans. But it still worked and did well for the famous thrash metal band.

9.) Youthanasia
Talking about a little different than Megadeth's usual work, "Youthanasia" as I describe it, is a little softer. In the way that's still metal, but not thrashy like "Rust in Peace". But this album changed my life and a lot of other's as well. With it's masterpiece "A Tout le Monde".

10.) The System has Failed
The return album of Megadeth after their short break up. Dave had gotten nerve damage in his hand, and was told he would never play guitar again. Well, eventually it got better. So he was originally going to go solo with this album and his career, but decided to reform Megadeth for this album. It was so well received, that he decided to continue Megadeth.

11.) Thirteen
Megadeth's 13th album. A lot of great songs on this album including "Thirteen"(which has an amazing opening), "Deadly Nightshade", "Public Enemy No 1", among others. This album was a nice return to Megadeth's style after "Endgame" which went in a different direction.

12.) The World Needs a Hero
This album is underrated because it's different. Dave was still trying to find his way after recovering from drugs and also losing Marty Friedman. I think fans were just upset to see the 90's era go, and couldn't accept the change. Though Megadeth got better down the road, and fans started to accept them again.

13.) Super Collider
This album, despite not being thrash metal, is still great. Megadeth was trying different styles with this album and the next two. They are underrated but are still worth listening too. They all have at least a couple great songs.

14.) Endgame
Again, underrated but still good. It's not Megadeth's best. But still has great songs like "The right to go insane" and "The hardest part of letting go../sealed with a kiss".

15. Risk
What most say is Megadeth's worst album, we end the list with "Risk". Now I will admit it's not their best. It should've been a Dave Mustaine solo album. But, it's not as bad as most claim. The band just took a different direction by recommendation of Marty Friedman. I think most people don't like this album because they compare it to "Rust in Peace" and "Countdown to Extinction". Now yes. compared to those two, it's not good. But set those two aside, and it's not that bad.

Honorable Mention: Just wanted to mention Megadeth's EP "Hidden Treasures". It turned 25 today. It includes songs that were from movies and tribute songs. Those include "99 ways to Die", "Paranoid" and "Angry Again".

I hope you enjoyed my ranking. I would love to hear your opinion on this, so leave a comment or hit me up on twitter @MJWesney.
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Struts "One Night Only"




Hey guys.
So today, The Struts released a new song called "One Night Only". If you haven't listened to it yet, I highly recommend it. It literally gave me goosebumps. That's how good it was.
The Struts are literally keeping rock n roll alive with their music, which is a good thing. It's something I've been wanting to see for a long time.
This song also is a great example of the amazing vocals by none other than Luke Spiller. Who is like the new Freddie Mercury. Seriously, this guy doesn't even need auto tune. He's that good.
I never thought someone would ever get on that level, but it happened.

Anyway, if you are fan of Queen, I highly recommend The Struts. Their music will give you a vibe that is a mix of not only Queen, but also The Rolling Stones. I never thought a newer band could sound like an old rock band, but thankfully I was wrong.

So again, you should definitely check this band out and go listen to "One Night Only". You won't be disappointed. I know I wasn't, and now I'm super excited for their new album.
To keep you busy, go check out their first album "Everybody Wants", till their second album comes out. Don't miss out on The Struts. This band is hot right now.

Hope you enjoyed this little review/recommendation. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Top 10 Megadeth guitar solos




Hey guys. So I decided to do a top 10 list for Megadeth Now this list was hard to do, because there are so many great solos. So I just picked ten of the best. Hope you enjoy.

1.) Tornado of Souls- Rust in Peace (1990)

2.) Hangar 18- Rust in Peace (1990)

3.) Wake up dead- Peace Sells...But who's buying? (1986)

4.) Peace Sells- Peace Sells..But who's buying? (1986)

5.) Burnt Ice- United Abominations (2007)

6.) The Emperor- Dystopia (2016)

7.) The Threat is Real- Dystopia (2016)

8.) Dystopia- Dystopia (2016)

9.) The Dread and Fugitive mind- The World Needs a Hero (2001)

10.) Holy Wars...The Punishment Due- Rust in Peace (1990)

Hope you guys enjoyed this list. Let me know what you're top ten is in the comments, or let me know on twitter @MJWesney.
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

General Bastard Interview




Hey guys.
So I got to interview General Bastard. Which if you don't know who he is, I'll provide a link to his bio. You'll also learn a bit about him here too.
Here's the link to his bio on Facebook:     If you click on about, his bio will pop.
Hope you guys enjoy this interview.


First off, thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

''Thank you for having me its my pleasure to do this"

You're welcome. I'm happy to do this. 
So looking at your influences, I've noticed that they range from like old school music to what looks like a little more current stuff. So I wanted to ask if your older influences like Frank Zappa and Alice Cooper were musicians that you grew up listening to?

"The Beatles,  Alice Cooper and Kiss is what got me started.  I didn't discover Zappa until maybe I was thirteen but once I got a good dose of him that pretty much became my model that I based myself on both as a musician and in the business sense as well."

That's cool. Alice Cooper and kiss got me into rock and metal. They're both great. 
What was it about your influences that made you want to be in a band? Was it the style of their playing? Or maybe their attitude? Or was there something else that pulled you into wanting to he a guitarist."

"Well when I was 8 or so I saw the Beatles movie  a Hard Day's Night and saw all those girls chasing them down the street and I said to myself "that's what I want to do"  and never looked back or considered doing anything else"

That's funny, and really cool. 
How have you used your influences to build your playing style? Is there like a piece of everything in the way you play?

"In many ways yes,  but I think if you look  at the overall body of my work see the bits and pieces but alot of the time I think might go unnoticed.  For instance the guitar solo in "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"  I was thinking about it in terms of being a big band horn solo which unless I told you it just sounds like another guitar solo.  But if you listen to it and imagine horns instead of guitar you can picture what I am talking about.  Otherwise though it just sounds like another shredding guitar solo"

Now that you mentioned that, I might go back and listen to it. Just to imagine horns. 

I do want to talk about your style. I like it. It's very unique and very different from what I've seen. From the way you dress to how you play. Did anything influence how you dress, or did you come up with it?

"Originally my plan was to do a band that did only TV theme covers. I figured we'd dress up in ridiculous costumes that were reflections of the TV shows we grew up watching.  Anyways that band never happened but I semi had this character already designed so I just went with it.  It then became a doll act doing originals with dome TV themes mixed in for fun and ridiculousness factor."

That's honestly really cool. It's so different and I'm like in love with it. 

I've noticed you've got quite a fan base. What do you think fans love about you and your band? Do you think it's the unique style you guys have?

"I would like to think it's because of good songs but I think it partly the guitar playing and partly the humor. I think most music today lacks humor and that was one of the things that was great about early rock n roll.  Music should be fun for the listener and there's nothing like that ridiculous song you sing along to while driving down the road.  It makes you feel good"

Exactly. I totally agree with that. I feel that music has more anger than humor these days. 

So how would you describe your journey to get this far in your career?


"There nothing wrong with an angry song but you gave you have balance as well.  I try to turn the things that puss me off in the world into humor much like Zappa did.  But sometimes you need that anger to get your point across.  But I think if that's all you're about is anger your music is probably going to bore me quickly.


Let's see,  the journey has been long, hard,  strenuous but at the same time I've been blessed by being able to travel all over the world doing what I love and gave met so many great friends that I would never have met otherwise including many who are my musical idols and people I look up to and admire."

Yeah like I listen to music that is angry but there's no humor. It would be nice of some musicians were like you and added a little humor to mix with it. 

Last question. Is there anything you are working on and would like to talk about?

"Man I have so many projects in the works tight it's crazy.  There's several full lengths that are almost done that just need the odd guitar or vocal track to be finished . Not to mention some new ventures with some incredible all star musicians who've accomplished quite a bit on their own but I will let them remain nameless for now until the projects are closer to being finished. I am currently completing an EP right now that should be released in August."

Big thanks again to General Bastard for taking the time to do this interview. Go check out his music if you're interested. It's definitely something worth checking  out. You can follow General Bastard on Facebook linked in the intro, and on Twitter @GeneralBastard.
If you enjoyed this interview leave a comment or let me know on Twitter @MJWesney.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Eric Frampton Interview




Hey guys.
So I had the pleasure of getting to interview Eric Frampton. A lot of you might not know him, but he did the piano work on the album "My Kung Fu Is Good", which I've mentioned before. Go check it out if you haven't. It's underrated, but really is a beautiful album. He also didn't just play piano, he did the  synthesizers, hammond, and string arrangements. Along with some keyboard stuff. So he did a lot of cool things on that album.   Hope you enjoy the interview.


So first off, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I really appreciate it. 

"Hi MJ. Thanks for inviting me."


I first wanted to ask, how did you get into music?

"Well, I started playing piano when I was five, and I got into electronic stuff really early on as a kid, so I guess it was just a matter of time before all that came together."


Who were your influences and how have they helped you form your style?


"They’re from kind of all over the place. As a kid it would’ve been The Who, Yes, Rick Wakeman’s solo records, show tunes, and some classical music. Definitely Wendy Carlos’ work in there as well. Then as a teenager I discovered Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, Lyle Mays, and Pat Metheny. My dad’s a concert pianist and arranger, so I’ve certainly picked up bits and pieces from him too. I’m classically trained, so everything inevitably has to filter through that sieve."


What was your mindset when you got into the music business? Did you know exactly want you wanted to do and accomplish?

"I got into it by default. I really don’t know any better, and every time I start looking for a way out of it I seem to get drawn back in. I’m not one of those folks who’s hyper-driven to a specific goal. Things seem to land in my lap, and I make the best of them that I know how."


I want to talk about Rich Ward. What was your relationship like with him? 


"Rich and I met through a mutual friend, Sean Delson, who played with Rich for many years. Sean kept saying we’d get along famously, and sure enough when we finally got in the same room and started working together it seemed really natural. It was a highly creative time, and a fun hang to boot.
Rich and I ran into each other at the airport last year, each headed out on separate transatlantic flights for separate shows, and it felt like we picked right up where we’d left off the last time we’d seen each other. We hadn’t talked in years. We sat there and talked for so long that we almost missed our flights."

How long did you know Sean Delson? Were you friends/partners at all before you both worked with Rich Ward?


"I know Sean through our band Agent Cooper. Sean was already friends with Doug (singer/songwriter/guitarist in Agent Cooper) from childhood, and he’s a brilliant musician, so it made perfect sense for him to jump in and start making proggy noises with us. We hit it off immediately - his sardonic wit is the stuff of legend. My memory is fuzzy on the exact timeline, so I had to go back to my old calendars: it looks like Sean joined us in 2000 or so, and my first notes about my working with Rich are from January, 2005."




I also want to talk about your work on "My Kung Fu Is Good". I really enjoyed it. What was the process for that album like?

"Thank you! I really don’t remember a whole lot of the specifics about it, but the takeaway is that it was fun, positive, and super creative in a sense of batting ideas around a room and not being afraid to run with them, no matter how ridiculous they might be. I’m really proud of the work we did on that record.


Rich tends to do his production work by himself, so he’d bring a hard disk full of song files to my studio, where I had my collection of vintage keyboards set up, and we’d start listening to the various songs or pieces of songs he was working on. Some of it would be fairly complete and he would have pretty specific ideas of what he wanted to hear, and some of it was still kind of early along, so we’d sit there and work out the ideas together. Very often I’d come up with a keyboard part or sound or something for some unfinished bit, then Rich would use his editing magic and come back with that part dropped into some completely different song in some utterly unexpected spot, and make it work even more effectively than what I was hearing in the first place. So he’d bring these new edits back to me with other things he’d added in the meantime, and we’d build up the layers that way."


Did you enjoy working with Rich?

"I had a brilliant time and would love to work with him again someday."


Have you been working on anything lately? 


"Honestly, not really. My wife and I moved to Charleston, South Carolina back in February, and my studio has been in storage since then. Not having all my cool toys at hand has been a little frustrating. But I’ve been out on the road as a keyboard tech (the other hat I wear) for the past month or so, so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think about it."

Looking back on all you've done and accomplished, are you satisfied with how your career has gone? Or is there still stuff you want to accomplish?

"You’re very kind to say that because, in my mind, I’m only trying to earn a living the best way I know how and, on the good days, have some fun while I’m at it. When I took the flying leap in 1996 to quit my day job and attempt to make a living by making music (or by fixing broken things), I didn’t really have a goal except to pay my bills and earn enough to occasionally buy new toys. So if that’s one’s definition of success - meeting your responsibilities and enjoying what you while you’re meeting them - then I’ve succeeded, and I guess I ought to be satisfied.
That said, still to accomplish? Well, I’ve never had a high-profile playing gig, like an arena-level act that could keep me on retainer or something, and that would be nice. And I’d like to think I could co-write or produce a hit song or two, and I’ve never done that. Someday I’d like to make enough to buy my own grand piano for the house, and those don’t come cheap. I could go on, but the bottom line is today, I’m still a musician (or sometimes a technician), and I still get to make a living creating notes out of thin air, one way or another."

Again, big thanks to Eric Frampton for taking the time to do this interview. I really enjoyed it and i hope you did too. Again, if you haven't checked out Eric's work on the album "My Kung Fu Is Good", I highly recommend it. Also you can check out Eric's website at  www.ericframpton.com.
Thanks for reading.