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. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gene Simmons trademarking devil horns?

Yes you read the title right. Rock legend Gene Simmons of Kiss is wanting to trademark the devil horns. The one thing I have to say is, has he not heard of Ronnie James Dio? Because Ronnie is the one that made the devil horns famous. It's his thing. I like Gene and respect him, but sometimes. Also, he's not even doing the gesture right. Instead of doing the devil horns, he's doing the sign for love. Which is the devil horns, but with your thumb sticking out.

Another thing is, why is he wanting to trademark it? He didn't come up with it. He also doesn't do it right, like I mentioned before. From what I've heard, The Beatles are credited with using the devil horns first. All I know is that Ronnie James Dio made them famous, and to me that's all that matters.

What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments, or send me a tweet @MJWesney.
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Why Dean Ambrose is underrated, and why it needs to change

Hey guys.
So I wanted to talk about why WWE superstar Dean Ambrose is underrated. He is underrated because a lot of people don't see his true talent. But that isn't his fault. He just isn't being booked right. But I want to talk about why he should at least get some respect.

First off; there are 3 things that make a wrestler. Those 3 things are: The look, the in ring skill, and the entertainment value. Now Dean has two of these. He's great in the ring, and he is very entertaining. But he doesn't have the look of a wrestler. Now to me, this doesn't matter. I believe that you don't always have to look the part to play the part. But, I think Vince looks for guys that have that wrestler look, and that's how they get a push. Take for example, guys like Roman Reigns and John Cena. Both aren't really that good in the ring, but they have the look. Now this isn't always true. Some guys that don't have the look or physique, get a push. Take Kevin Owens as an example. But hopefully you get my point.

Now I'm not trying to say that Dean should be overrated. He doesn't need all your love and praise. I just think that like him or not, he should at least get some respect. The guy cares about wrestling and is willing to work really hard to get to the top. He doesn't kiss butt to get championships. He works towards them. Which I honestly think that's why a lot of old school wrestling fans, including me, like Dean so much. Because some wrestlers use shortcuts to get to the top. Whereas Dean works to prove he should get a  title shot. I'm not trying to shoot down any of the other talent on the roster. Because believe me, there are a lot of hardworking guys. I'm just trying to prove my point of why Dean should get some respect, and shouldn't be underrated.

I'm not trying to start a debate or anything. You can like or hate Dean, because it's your opinion. I just wanted to share mine, and maybe get people thinking. But I would love to hear your take on this, so leave a comment if you wish. Or you can send me a tweet @MJWesney.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why Chris Jericho is the G.O.A.T

Hey guys.
So I wanted to tell you guys why I think WWE wrestler Chris Jericho is one of the Great of all time, or G.O.A.T.

I think he is one of the greatest of all time because he has been able to adapt and change over the years. Back when he debuted, he had long hair, with a ponytail on the top of his head. He then had short curly hair around 2005. then finally settled for his famous faux hawk that he is still rocking. He's also been able to change the look of his character and how he approaches being a heel or face. In my opinion, not a lot of wrestlers can do this and make it work. Sometimes when a wrestler does a makeover, whether it be their look or personality, it doesn't always go well. But Jericho was always able to make it work.

Another thing about Jericho is, he can still put on great matches. He's currently 46, but is putting on great matches like he's till in his prime. This is because he takes good care of himself. He does DDP yoga, which has helped him out a lot. But the way he takes care of himself shows you that he is still passionate about wrestling. He wants to do his best and be entertaining. His last run proves that.

He'll be known for his great matches from over the years, but also his catchphrases. Ranging from old ones like "Armbar!", to "I'm from Winnipeg you idiot!", to new ones like "Stupid Idiot!" and "You just made the list!"

So there you go. These are my reasons as to why I think Chris Jericho is the G.O.A.T. What do you guys think? Do you agree or no? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Aeternus Prophet Interview

 Hey guys.
So yesterday I interviewed the death metal band Aeternus Prophet. They are from the Ukraine, so they are not that well known over here in the US. But I listened to their music, and it's really good. So I hope you enjoy this interview, and if you are interested in checking out their music, then you can check out the links to get you started.

When did you first get into music?

"Our band was founded by drummer Dessident and Sergey «Oberon» Voitenko 

in 2010 year.The date of creation Aeternus Prophet is August 14, 2010 (that 

was first perfomance) which were played early versions of songs included in 

the album "ruthlessness".Band's image was first used on the second gig ( called «Black Winter Day», 

same name of Amorphis song ), where the mantle were gray-black, later on 

was changed to black."

What is it about music that made you want to form a band?

"Definitely heavy music, mainly extreme styles."

Were there any specific bands or musicians that you used as an influence?

 "Dessident (drums) started listening to Russian heavy metal and 

Ukrainian alternative stage, thrash metal, but his the biggest impact was 

in teenage years, it was Slipknot, Kreator, but today his inspirations is 

Deathspell Omega, Marduk, Mayhem, Svartidau├░i. Oberon started listening to 

heavy metal music from the band Rammstein, Korn. Today his inspiration is

Black metal and Pagan metal - Marduk, Emperor, Nokturnal Mortum, Ufomamut, 

P.H.O.B.O.S., Crowbar.

Veritas was inspired at an early age by the following bands - Led Zeppelin, 

Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple. Now he listen Belphegor, Behemoth, 

Fear Factory, Entroned."

Do you have any goals?

"Today we have two albums (first was self-released, second on 

"MetalScrap Records"), many gigs in our country (Ukraine), and perfomance 

in Romania at RITES OF THE BLACK MASS in 2016. In future we want to make 

tour in Europe, record third album, and maybe some split with other band."

What can people expect from your music?

 "People can expect a lot of motivation, philosophy in our lyrics, 

powerful drums and guitar parts. We thanks to our fans for support."

Big thanks to Aeternus Prophet for taking the time to do this interview. If you want to check out some of their music, then here are a couple of links. 
Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh0zl6Hbxto

Hope you guys enjoy the music, and I hope you enjoyed the interview. 
Thanks for reading. Be forever metal.