AVENUE OF ALLIES BACK WITH NEXT SONIC STATION:
On May 23rd Avenue Of Allies
will release “Next Stop”
, the much anticipated second album by the Swedish AOR band Sonic Station
. One month before the album the digital single “Amelia”
will be available on April 18, accompanied by a music video for the track. While perfect arrangements and production values of the highest order are still a trademark of the songs of guitarist, composer and producer Alexander Kronbrink
and his band, the music is now focusing on the AOR side of Sonic Station. The powerful tunes have a more upbeat feeling and give more room to the guitars and with most of the musicians performing on all songs, the recordings carry the spirit of a real band performance rather than having the nature of a high profile studio project like the self-titled debut from 2012.
Alexander was brought up in a musical home in Stockholm, Sweden, where one of his friends in the neighborhood was Jonathan Fritzйn, who played keyboards and the piano. Together they had jam sessions fooling around with jazz harmonies and even trying out some of their own compositions. Today Jonathan is a star in the Smooth Jazz genre with several number 1 hits on the US Billboard charts to his name. Jonathan appears on all Sonic Station albums, as does Alexander on Jonathan’s solo records.
Like most teenagers Alexander was venturing into several musical genres, before a friend of his father’s introduced him to the music of American guitarist Lee Ritenour, this listening experience paved the way for Alexander’s own playing. Subsequently he discovered the music of some of the most influential artists of the US AOR and Westcoast genres like Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins and Toto, as well as songwriter and producer David Foster and listened to guitarists like Jay Graydon, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and Dann Huff.
Eventually in his early twenties Alexander decided to dedicate himself completely to music. While studying music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, he met his now long time musical partner in crime, singer and piano player Marika Willstedt. In her home country Sweden, Marika became a household name after appearing for several seasons on a popular national TV show during prime time. In addition to her work with Sonic Station as a singer and song writer, she is also a renowned session musician and artist in her own right. Marika recommended the most significant new addition regarding the album’s personal, lead vocalist Johan Boding. After she and Johan toured together with the legendary Swedish session guitarist Janne Schaffer in 2012, Marika immediately saw Johan as the perfect lead singer for Sonic Station and he gladly accepted the invitation. When he and Alexander started doing demos for the new album they were both very excited by the magical mix of Johan’s marvelous voice and Alexander’s music. As a result Johan is singing eight of eleven songs on the new album “Next Stop”, while Marika took over the lead vocals on the remaining three songs.
Next Stop was recorded between February and November 2013, with Alexander playing guitar and synthesizers and taking over the production duties and handling the mix. The drums on all tracks are played by Thorleif Robertsson and the keyboards by Jonathan Fritzйn. Erik Metall laid down the bass on all songs, except on “Catch Me If You Can” and “Fool For Your Love”, where Mathias Garnеs, who also co-wrote these songs together with Alexander, took over the bass parts.
Musical guest contributions come from Arvid Svenungsson with additional synthesizers on “Stopped Beating”, Andreas Ekstedt added another component that makes the album come alive by playing percussions and violinist Conny Lindgren wrote and performed, the violin arrangements for the three ballads “Fool For Your Love”, “Broken Man” and “Hide And Seek”. The co-writers Matilda Bеdagеrd, Mathias Garnеs, Morgan Lydemo, Anders von Hofsten, Rebecca Petersson, Emma Essinger and Matilda Lindell added a variety of moods and feelings to the AOR tunes of “Next stop”.
Following the album release Sonic Station will treat fans of prime AOR in the vein of Work Of Art, Lionville, The Theander Expression and Mecca with several live performances during the coming months.
Track Listing: 1) Amelia 2) Catch Me If You Can 3) Brighter After Dark 4) Fool For Your Love 5) Stopped Beating 6) Where Are You Now? 7) Half Of My Heart 8) Broken Man 9) Love Clash 10) Last Goodbye 11) Hide And Seek.
musicians on all songs except as noted: Johan Boding: Lead vocals on tracks 1,2,4,5,7,8,9,10 and background vocals; Marika Willstedt: Lead vocals on tracks 3,6,11 and background vocals; Alexander Kronbrink: Guitar, synthesizers, drum programming on track 4 and background vocals; Jonathan Fritzйn: Keyboards; Erik Metall: Bass (except tracks 2,4); Thorleif Robertsson: Drums (except track 4); Additional musicians: Mathias Garnеs: Bass on tracks 2,4 and background vocals; Arvid Svenungsson: Additional synthesizers on track 5; Andreas Ekstedt: Percussion on tracks 4,5,6,7,8,10,11; Conny Lindgren: Strings on tracks 4,8,11; Matilda Bеdagеrd: Background vocals; Matilda Lindell: Background vocals; Rebecca Petersson: Background vocals; Uffe Sцderberg: Background vocals.
RICK SPRINGFIELD – BACK TO ROCK OZ IN OCTOBER:
Australia’s Rick Springfield, the Grammy award-winning musician, actor and New York Times best-selling author is returning to rock Oz in October, with a national tour opening in Perth on 7 October.
It has been a while since Australian audiences have seen Rick Springfield in concert with his own band, although he was the headliner for the Countdown Spectacular tour of 2007 and a very privileged few witnessed him live in a wine bar in a Melbourne suburb one Sunday afternoon in July 2012 while he was on holiday visiting family. Link: youtu.be/4iJGy0-VzNs
Rick stunned Australian audience’s during The Countdown Spectacular tour when he delivered a full on rock show with hit after hit. And there is a lot of reminding to remember!
With 25 million records sold, multiple top-40 hits, including Don’t Talk to Strangers, An Affair of the Heart, I’ve Done Everything for You, Love Somebody and Speak To The Sky, as well as a 1981 Grammy® for Best Male Rock Vocal for his No. 1 hit single “Jessie’s Girl,” He also introduced and had his own hit with the Mondo Rock classic ‘State Of The Heart’ in America. Rick Springfield’s shows are legendary for their rock, high energy, full band sets and classic song lists. According to many, Springfield live is more aligned to Springsteen because of his rock’n’roll style performances. He even once recorded the song Bruce in recognition of this. Touring Australia with his band has been something Rick has been eager to do for a long time “I am and will always be an Aussie. My best memories of my early career are all centred around Australia. It will forever be my home. I cant believe I have never done a full tour in Oz as a solo performer. I am a F***ing Aussie boy.”
Rick Springfield started his celebrated career in Australia in the 60’s as one of the original members of Mike Brady’s MPD Ltd. In 1969 he joined the band Zoot, with Beeb Birtles (pre-Little River Band), Rick Brewer (pre-The Ferrets) and Darryl Cotton (who would go on to have his own solo career and become a children’s TV host). Zoot was where Rick developed his rock and roll grounding, co-writing two of their singles ‘Hey Pinky’ and ‘Freak’. The band is best remembered for their top 10 chart with a hard rock cover version of the Beatles ‘Eleanor Rigby’. Rick reformed the band in November 2011 with Darryl’s passing the following year more shows were not possible.
Following the breakup of Zoot in 1970, Rick was Russell Morris’ bass player for a few months before he released his debut single ‘Speak To The Sky’ which made the top 10 in Australia and the US Top 20. In 1972 he released his first solo album, Beginnings before he relocated to the US later the same year. 40 years later, he is a special guest on Russell’s new album ‘Van Dieman’s Land’.
Once in the US, Springfield continued to record and perform live before beginning a new career as a TV actor appearing in ‘The Rockford Files’ and ‘Wonder Woman’, before landing the lead, as Dr. Noah Drake, in ‘General Hospital’ a role that won him a legion of fans.
Rick’s star was well and truly on the rise when he released his album, ‘Working Class Dog’, which became a smash hit in 1980 and spawned the number one hit ‘Jessie’s Girl’. In the following years he continued to record and perform live along with appearances in films and TV shows and on Broadway in the musical ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’. His role as Dr Noah in General Hospital was reprised following a 23-year absence. He was recently the centrepiece of the plot of David Duchovny’s Californication third season playing a very lovable but degenerate character named …Rick Springfield. Rick has also appeared in an episode of Hawaii Five-0, and Drop Dead Diva. Jessie’s Girl is featured in Laryngitis, the eighteenth episode of Season one of Glee and was also performed at the 2011 Glee Live! Concert and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.
In 2010, Rick released his autobiography, Late, Late at Night. It entered The New York Times best-seller list at No. 13 and hit the Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly lists as well. Rolling Stone named it one of the top-25 rock autobiographies of all time. In 2012 Springfield’s documentary An Affair of the Heart, which captured the close ties between Springfield and his fans, debuted at numerous film festivals and won special jury awards at the Nashville, Florida, Boston, and Daytona Film Festivals. In 2013 Springfield teamed up with Dave Grohl on Grohl’s multi-faceted passion project, Sound City, which encompassed a documentary (Sound City), an album (Sound City: Real to Reel), and the Sound City Players tour, a string of critically acclaimed shows with fellow documentary subjects including Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, John Fogerty, and Sir Paul McCartney among others. Each artist’s set was backed by Grohl’s hand-picked all-star band. Springfield and Grohl co-wrote The Man That Never Was, which has been widely recognized by critics as one of the best songs on the Sound City album.
In 2014 Rick Springfield’s first novel, Magnificent Vibration will be released and in addition he will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He will hit the road with Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo for a multi-city tour of the States – and of course we will see him for his October tour of Australia. With all this and more, Springfield shows no signs of slowing down.
Australian Tour Dates:
Perth Tue-7Oct Crown Theatre Ticketek 132 849
Brisbane Thu-9Oct Eatons Hill Hotel Oz Tix 1300-762 545
Tweed Heads Fri-10Oct Twin Towns Services Inhouse 1800-014 014
Sydney Sat-11Oct Revesby Workers – Whitlam Theatre, Inhouse 02-9772 2100
Canberra Mon 13Oct Royal Theatre Ticketek 132 849
Sydney Tue-14Oct Enmore Theatre, Ticketek 132 849
Hobart Thu 16Oct Wrest Point entertainment Centre TixTas 1300 795 257
Melbourne Fri-17-Oct Palais Theatre, Ticketmaster 136 100
Adelaide Sat-18Oct Thebarton Theatre, Venue Tix 08-8225 8888
SEBASTIAN BACH’S NEW VIDEO “ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD” HAS EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE PREMIERE:
In honor of the release of iconic rock vocalist Sebastian Bach’s new album, Give ‘Em Hell, fans globally can click here to check out the exclusive worldwide premiere of the new video for “All My Friends Are Dead” on USAToday.com. The hard-rocking performance video features longtime Bach friend and fellow rock icon, Duff McKagan, who plays bass on the track. “All My Friends Are Dead” appears on Give ‘Em Hell, which is in stores now on Frontiers Records.
Give ‘Em Hell has already rave reviews from the media with Screamer Magazine declaring, “Bach’s signature voice is unmistakable and as always almost indescribable, hard to compare with anything else. His vocals are gritty, powerful…” while Loudwire avowed, “Bach sounds better than ever…” Produced, mixed and recorded by Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Alice Cooper) and mastered by Tom Baker (Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Seether), GIVE ‘EM HELL features writing and playing by very special friends and guest stars: Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver, Guns N’ Roses), John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie) and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol). Rounding up the lineup on the album are Devin Bronson on guitars and Bobby Jarzombek on drums.
In other news, Sebastian Bach will appear on the new ABC reality competition show, Sing Your Face Off, which premieres with two back-to-back episodes on Saturday, May 31 at 9:00PM. “Sing Your Face Off” is a talent variety competition featuring celebrities who are transformed and trained to perform as a legendary musical icon. Bach is one of five celebrities competing who will take on the identity of an iconic musical performer. Based on Endemol’s global hit “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” “Sing Your Face Off” is produced by Endemol USA. Georgie Hurford-Jones (“America’s Got Talent,” “Britain’s Got Talent”) is Executive Producer.
Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide as lead singer with his former band, Skid Row and as a solo artist. Far from just being a multi-platinum recording artist, the singer/songwriter/actor/entertainer has expanded his career over the past decade to include episodic television with a 5-season recurring role on the CW’s hit series “Gilmore Girls”, starring roles on Broadway (“Jekyll & Hyde”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) and national touring companies (“Jesus Christ Superstar”), and has appeared regularly on MTV and VH1.
Bach on the web: www.sebastianbach.com / www.facebook.com/sebastianbach / www.frontiers.it.
CALIFORNIA BREED PREMIERE MAKING OF THE ALBUM SERIES TODAY, APRIL 22 ON GUITAR WORLD.COM:
California Breed, the powerful new rock trio featuring legendary vocalist-bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer extraordinaire Jason Bonham and 23-year-old newcomer guitarist-singer-songwriter Andrew Watt, have premiered the first in a series of “making of” clips from the recording of their self-titled debut album, out May 19 on Frontiers Records. Watch the first clip today, April 22 exclusively on guitarworld.com, here: tinyurl.com/mh5uycb. Tune into guitarworld.com every Tuesday for the next five weeks for another interview with the band.
Mixing massive riffs, gutsy vocals and gale force rhythms, the hard-hitting trio’s first single “Sweet Tea” has hit #7 on the Classic Rock chart and continues to climb. View the video for the explosive track which premiered on USA Today, here: tinyurl.com/mmp7mxq. Recently, the group debuted an animated lyric video for the new song “Midnight Oil” on Classic Rock. The video was created by Nev Todorovi who spearheads the interactive media production company The Young Astronauts. Check out the clip here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF_pm7mLqXs.
California Breed was produced by Dave Cobb (Jamey Johnson, Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings), recorded at his Nashville studio and features equal co-writing credits among the three-man lineup. The album features 23-year-old guitarist Andrew Watt, who was originally introduced to Glenn Hughes by Julian Lennon at a party in Los Angeles in 2013. Expect California Breed to announce a U.K., European and U.S. tour soon.
California Breed will be available as a CD, digital download and a Deluxe Edition CD + DVD featuring the bonus song “Solo,” two video clips and a documentary. Fans that pre-order the digital download on iTunes will receive an instant download of the first single, “Sweet Tea” upon ordering.
WebLinks: www.californiabreed.com / www.facebook.com/CaliforniaBreed.
“ROCKERS AGAINST TRAFFICKING” BENEFIT RAISES OVER $10,000 TO BATTLE HUMAN TRAFFICKING:
Veteran photographer Kevin Estrada’s Rockers Against Trafficking benefit to help raise awareness of human trafficking this past April 11th at Paladino’s in Tarzana, CA (sponsored by Monster Energy) was an amazing success. All of the proceeds from the show will be used to rebuild the lives of these young victims with housing, medical assistance, legal aid, and job placement, and the donations will also be used to build and set up border monitoring stations between countries that are known for human trafficking. All proceeds will be divided between CAST LA (www.castla.org) and Tiny Hands International (www.tinyhandsinternational.org).
A completely packed venue witnessed a silent auction and raffle, with highlights including a Schecter guitar signed by all the musicians (for which a bidding war broke out!), a DW Collectors Series snare signed by all the musicians, a signed Motley Crue ‘Greatest Hits’ 2-LP Set and a signed drum cymbal by the Cult. There were also a few impromptu live auctions on stage offering a very rare guitar pick owned and used by Dimebag Darrell, and a pair of drumsticks – signed on stage by a sweaty DDave Lombardo just as he finished his set.
Performance highlights included a blistering set by Helmet, a gritty and fire fueled debut performance by Randy Piper’s F-4, and a mind-blowing all star set by Chris Broderick (Megadeth), Dave Lombardo (Slayer/Philm), Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), and Keith St. John (Montrose). The heaviness was balanced out with touching acoustic moments by Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory and an uplifting acoustic set by Gonzo and Phil Sandoval of Armored Saint. To Humans, Spiders and Snakes and Edge Of Paradise and Ann Boleyn’s Hellion set helped round out the night and kept the crowd energized.
While the music was outstanding, the audience continued to be educated throughout the evening about the dangers of the human trafficking epidemic. One portion of the evening that really hit home was an eye opening and heart breaking speech by a Burbank, CA mother whose daughter was kidnapped and forced into the world of human trafficking. The show was also dedicated to two missing girls, Ali and Savannah. The loudest audience cheer of the entire event was when Estrada announced from the stage, “Hopefully the next Rockers Against Trafficking concert will be to celebrate Ali and Savannah as they are rescued and reunited with their families.”
“Besides being a photographer, I am a dad – that is my top priority in life,” adds Estrada. “I am so thankful to all the artists that donated their time and talents. The event was a huge success, I am very happy with the outcome. We have so many great supporters behind us and we gained many more that evening. Rockers Against Trafficking is here to stay.”
For more information or to make a donation, please visit: www.RockersAgainstTrafficking.org / www.facebook.com/RockersAgainstTrafficking.
STRANGE KARMA SET TO ISSUE NEW SINGLE, “DEVIL FROM THE MOON”:
Led by the Australian brother duo of Martin and Paul Strange (who supply vocals and guitar, respectively), Strange Karma is set to unleash a brand new single, “Devil from the Moon, via iTunes on Tuesday, April 22nd (on Flexitone Records). For fans that simply cannot wait until that day, you can get a sneak peak of the song via this purchase link: itunes.apple.com/album/devil-from-the-moon-single/id853946945.
“Devil from the Moon” also serves as a prelude to the group’s upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album, which was produced and engineered by Grammy nominated David Ivory. “Working on the new album with David was an unforgettable experience,” the brothers recall. “He instinctively recognized what was necessary to manifest the essence of Strange Karma and mould it into something that appeals to a worldwide audience. During our collaboration, David connected with us both on a musical and personal level. His intrinsic ability as a producer to bring out the best in us as musicians has led to the creation of an authentic live performance experience and an honest representation of the Strange Karma sound.”
Martin also discussed how the new song came to be: “Devil From The Moon emerged from a guitar riff my brother Paul (Strange) created. We kicked it around the studio for some time and out of the blue, the line ‘devil from the moon’ just came to me. From there, the lyric manifested seamlessly into a song – an entity that demands allegiance from its audience! For us, lyric and melody are of equal importance – neither takes precedence in our songwriting and each is imperative in the telling of the story. People who have seen us perform already know that Strange Karma has always strived to create music that also incorporates a theatrical element – we want our audiences not only to be moved by our music, but to ‘live’ the experience created with every note, every drum beat, every word. As the lead single from our new album, we believe ‘Devil from the Moon’ delivers the high-voltage energy and excitement the fans have come to expect from Strange Karma. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re confident the collaboration of haunting guitar riffs and menacing lyrics on ‘Devil from the Moon’ makes this track a compelling listen.”
Strange Karma’s first album, Volume 1, was issued in 2011 and racked up countless accolades from the music press, perhaps most flattering of all being WeLoveMetal.com, who said, “I’m going to start this is a big way. Who in the hell needs a Led Zeppelin reunion when we have a band with the sound of Strange Karma? These guys are the second coming of the music that started it all.”ќ Additionally, Matt O’Shaughnessy from WVOX Metal Mayhem said “Strange Karma is one of the most refreshing and highly innovative bands I have ever had the pleasure of spinning on air.”
Judging from “Devil from the Moon,” Strange Karma’s upcoming sophomore disc will expand on the promise of their debut effort. Go ahead and start setting your “expectation meters” high!
For More Info, Visit: www.strangekarma.net / www.facebook.com/pages/Strange-Karma/157783670932214.
ROBIN TROWER REDEFINES R&B POWER TRIO ON 1974 BRIDGE OF SIGHS:
North American syndicated Rock radio show and website InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands celebrates the 40th anniversary of Bridge of Sighs, the breakthrough solo effort from former Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower.
Robin Trower got his musical career start with The Paramounts, an early sixties British rhythm’n’blues band, who were a favorite opening act for fledgling up & comers The Rolling Stones. Paramounts singer Gary Brooker would leave and form Procol Harum producing the international hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, and that initial success would lead to the addition of Trower’s services in Procol Harum for the next several albums.
Robin Trower would leave the security of Procol Harum to embark on a solo career fashioned around an R&B trio that in April of 1974 would produce their second album, the monster effort Bridge of Sighs. A Top 10 album in the U.S., Bridge of Sighs opened with the galloping “Day of the Eagle”, transporting listeners into an almost alien world in the title track “Bridge of Sighs”, seducing them with the late Jimmy Dewar’s voice on “In This Place” and “About to Begin” , while rocking out again on “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Fool and Me”, “Lady Love”, and “Little Bit of Sympathy”.
On Bridge of Sighs 40th anniversary, Robin reflects on his role in the evolution of blues rock guitar in popular music with InTheStudio host Redbeard.
“I always saw myself as a Rock and Roll player influenced by Blues/Rhythm and Blues rather than trying to think of myself as a blues or rhythm and blues player, because it can only ever be an imitation for a white guy to do that stuff.”
Robin Trower ‘Bridge of Sighs’ / InTheStudio interview is available now to stream at: www.inthestudio.net/redbeards-blog/robin-trower-bridge-sighs-40th-anniversary