All posts by ken

For All I Am Sign with InVogue Records

for_all_i_am_no_home_coverNew Album ‘No Home’ Available For Pre-Order, Out October 14

First Single “Six Souls” Now Streaming

Chicago based For All I Am has signed with InVogue Records. The band will release their sophomore album “No Home” on October 14, 2014.

Label owner Nick Moore says, “I was hooked the moment I heard the mixes of these new songs. The band really stepped it up on this album and I couldn’t be more honored to release it.”

You can stream the first single off of the album titled “Six Souls” at http://youtube.com/invoguerecords — the band also released the tracklisting & CD Art. You can pre-order the album now at http://invogueshop.com.

Vocalist Aria Yava says, “In the last year we’ve worked on evolving our sound and message to form what we think is a truer identity of For All I Am. “No Home,” is for anyone who feels separated from the world, the comfort of home, or their own mind.”

The band will be on the road this fall with Chasing Safety, Kingdom Of Giants + more (see dates below)

September 26th @ Penny Road Pub- Barrington, Illinois
September 27th @ Paycheck’s- Hamtramck, Michigan
September 29th @ LVN Renaissance Center- Jamestown, New York
September 30th @ Amityville Music Hall- Amityville, New York
October 1st @ Championship- Trenton, New Jersey
October 3rd @ Inside-out Venue- Roanoke, Virginia
October 4th @ Empire- Springfield, Virginia
October 5th @ Greene Street- Greensboro, North Carolina
October 7th @ Bombshell’s Tavern- Orlando, Florida
October 8th @ Epic Problem- Tampa, Florida
October 10th @ Cloud Springs Deli- Ringgold, Georgia
October 11th @ Rocketown- Nashville, Tennessee (No CS)
October 12th @ Pop- Sauget, IL
October 13th @ The Vanguard- Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 14th @ Dirty Dog Bar- Austin, Texas
October 15th @ El Rey Theatre- Mcallen, Texas
October 16th @ Walters- Houston, Texas
October 19th @ Tomcats West- Fort Worth, Texas
October 20th @ The Unity Center- Roswell, New Mexico
October 21st @ The Underground- Mesa, Arizona
October 24th @ Cobalt Cafe- Canoga Park, California
October 26th @ Skatuary- Englewood, Colorado

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InVogue Records

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The Glass House News: The Word Alive headlining show – Kitten to support Gary Numan, and more…

stluciagh1Here is the latest news from The Glass House in Pomona!

October 28th – St. Lucia

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Jean-Philip Grobler grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, learning everything from Bach to minimalist opera. St. Lucia was born out of a moment in early 2010 when Grobler was looking to the past for inspiration. Growing frustrated with a rock project that was starting to feel forced, he delved back into the music that had first inspired him: Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Madonna and other songs from his youth. St. Lucia has been wowing audiences everywhere. It’s our turn! Tickets are on sale now!

Official St. Lucia Website: Click Here
Official Ticket Link: Click Here

PrintNovember 2nd – The Fall of Troy

On November 2nd, The Fall of Troy will be heading out to Pomona to perform their ONLY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA date at The Glass House! We are so happy to host them on this special engagement! Support has not yet been announced but keep checking back for updates! Tickets go on sale this Friday at noon!

Official The Fall of Troy Facebook Page: Click Here
Official Ticket Link: Click Here

twagh1November 9th – The Word Alive

The Word Alive is an American metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona. Formed in 2008, the band is signed to Fearless Records. Their 2009 label debut, Empire, reached No. 15 on the Top Heatseekers, meeting a great amount of positive acclaim upon its release in 2009. The following year, the group recorded and released their debut full-length album, Deceiver, on August 31, 2010, which reached No. 97 on the Billboard 200 and 15 on Independent Albums. We’re super psyched to have them back! Tickets are on sale now!

Official The Word Alive Website: Click Here
Official Ticket Link: Click Here

dancegav1December 4th – Dance Gavin Dance

On December 4th get out to Downtown Pomona for some serious action with Dance Gavin Dance and Special Guests: Secrets, Alive Like Me and Defeat the Low supporting! Every time they play here they pack the house and put on a killer show! Make sure to get your tickets in advance. Tickets go on sale this Friday at noon!

Official Dance Gavin Dance Facebook Page: Click Here
Official Ticket Link: Click Here

kittenghSUPPORT ADDED for Gary Numan on 10/23: KITTEN

Finishing work on their first full-length album, Kitten is now gearing up for an early spring tour with The Neighborhood. Like their recorded material, Kitten’s live shows are at turns hypnotic and galvanizing, with Chaidez’s dance-fueled performance intensifying the transcendent power of their songs. “One moment I just want to dance like Beyoncé, and the next I’m ready to crowd-surf or punch a band member—or I’ll go from feeling like Madonna in one song, to thinking I’m Iggy Pop the next,” says front-woman Chloe Chaidez. Get to The Glass House on 10/23 to check it out for yourself! Tickets are on sale now!

Official Kitten Website: Click Here
Official Ticket Link: Click Here

The Glass House App – iTunes/Apple App Store: Click Here
The Glass House App – Android/Amazon App Store: Click Here
The Glass House App – all non-apple/android mobile devices: Click Here

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THE GHOST INSIDE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

10624756_10152725197468234_274467607662629963_n‘DEAR YOUTH’ OUT NOVEMBER 17 ON EPITAPH RECORDS

Los Angeles hardcore band THE GHOST INSIDE will release their fourth album DEAR YOUTH on November 17 on Epitaph Records. The album was co-produced by Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade. Watch the band’s new video for the track “Dear Youth (Day 52)” now, featuring fan-submitted footage: http://found.ee/DearYouthMusicVideo. This is the second track that The Ghost Inside have shared from the new album. The first track “Avalanche” premiered earlier this month and can be heard here: http://youtu.be/cASpchz2npg.

Front man Jonathan Vigil explains the album concept in a letter written to his younger self:

Dear Youth,

I’m writing to you now because it seems I’ve lost my way. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but I know that it’s not like it was before. I’ve realized the more time that passes, the more we lose touch. It’s starting to feel like all I ever do now is lose touch with things. But not you, I never wanted to lose you.

I wish I had something to blame it all on, but I don’t. One day I was there and the next I was here. As if I was dreaming and suddenly woken up. These days I’m always wondering if what I’ve done is enough. It’s getting harder and harder for me to shake this feeling of stagnance.

So old friend I’m writing to ask you what it feels like to have the whole world in your hand? Where we could set out and do anything that we imagined. Endless possibilities way before complacence set in. To be honest with you, I’ve forgotten what that all feels like. There was a wonder about us that has long since faded. That sense of excitement, I miss it.

Dear youth, will you show me again? I need to be reminded of those times, back before this began…

- xx

Dear Youth is available for pre-order now at: http://found.ee/dearyouthpreorder and at iTunes.

After playing the main stage at the Vans Warped Tour all summer, The Ghost Inside will tour the US in November and December for a co-headlining run with label mates Every Time I Die. Architects (UK), Hundredth, and Backtrack join as support.

DEAR YOUTH TRACK LIST
01. Avalanche
02. Move Me
03. Out Of Control
04. With the Wolves
05. Mercy
06. Phoenix Flame
07. Dear Youth (Day 52)
08. Wide Eyed
09. My Endnote
10. The Other Half
11. Blank Pages

TOUR DATES
11/11 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
11/12 Mesa, AZ Club Red
11/13 San Diego, CA SOMA
11/14 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
11/15 Pomona, CA The Glass House
11/17 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
11/18 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
11/19 Seattle, WA El Corazon
11/21 Salt Lake City, UT Club Sound @ In The Venue
11/22 Denver, CO The Summit Music Hall
11/23 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
11/25 Dallas, TX The Prophet Bar
11/26 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
11/28 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
11/29 St. Petersburg, FL The State Theatre
11/30 Fort Lauderdale, FL Revolution
12/1 Jacksonville, FL Underbelly
12/3 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s
12/4 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theatre
12/5 Lawrence, KS The Granada
12/6 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
12/7 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall
12/8 Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection
12/9 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
12/11 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
12/12 New York, NY Webster Hall
12/13 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
12/14 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
12/15 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
12/16 Millvale, PA Mr. Smalls Theatre
12/17 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
12/18 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom

All dates with Every Time I Die, Architects (UK), Hundredth, and Backtrack.

The Ghost Inside is:
Jonathan Vigil (vocals)
Aaron Brooks (guitar)
Zach Johnson (guitar)
Jim Riley (bass)
Andrew Tkaczyk (drums)

Watch the video for “Dear Youth (Day 52)” now: http://found.ee/DearYouthMusicVideo

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/theghostinside.

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ALICE COOPER “Raise The Dead – Live From Wacken” DVD – Out October 21, 2014 in North America via UDR Music

alicecoopernews2Small but fine record label ‘UDR- Home of Legends’ lives up to one’s name again with another new and hot signing and upcoming release of ALICE COOPER, a true icon, a great performer – simply a legend.

With Raise The Dead – Live From Wacken the label is also starting a new live series of legendary Wacken performances. When Alice learned about the purpose behind it, he was very happy to be one the first to participate and support the Wacken Foundation.
The Wacken Foundation is a non-profit organization, supporting the new blood of hard rock / heavy and metal music. For every sold DVD/CD € 1,–will be contributed to the Wacken Foundation.

ALICE COOPER – not much has to be said about this incredible artist whose career spans five decades by now. He has been named one of the world’s most beloved entertainers. He is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal and has been described as the artist who first introduced horror imagery to rock’n’roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre. The ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’ has inspired many other artists due to his theatrical stage performances; e.g.: Kiss, Marilyn Manson and even Ozzy Osbourne – just to name a few.

Raise The Dead will be available as DVD + CD Digipack . The DVD contains 22 songs from the Wacken concert and bonus material shows an interview with the man himself. The double CD has the complete concert. BluRay Amaray (Full HD). FSK 12, running time 75 min plus another 20 min of interview. 22 Songs LIVE…. a phenomenal stage show, all classics in one package + – ALICE COOPER – one the biggest entertainers ever! Just enjoy the show!

Setlist DVD/BR:
1. Hello Hooray
2. House of Fire
3. No More Mr Nice Guy
4. Under My Wheels
5. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
6. Billion Dollar Babies
7. Caffeine
8. Department of Youth
9. Hey Stoopid
10. Dirty Diamonds
11. Welcome To My Nightmare
12. Go To Hell
13. He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)
14. Feed My Frankenstein
15. Ballad Of Dwight Fry
16. Killer
17. I Love The Dead
18. Break On Through
19. My Generation
20. I’m Eighteen
21. Poison
22. Schools Out / Another Brick In The Wall

alice-cooper.udr-music.com
www.alicecooper.com
www.wacken-foundation.com

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Falconer announces final live shows

falconerProgPower USA 2015 appearance confirmed

ProgPower USA has announced the line up for ProgPower XVI, which will include Falconer’s final live performance. A video featuring music from the bands announced so far can be found on facebook.com/ProgPowerUSA. The festival is scheduled to take place in Atlanta, GA September 11-12 next year. Tickets will go on sale on October 4 through Ticketmaster.

Falconer has released the following statement online:
“As the news has been dropped that we won’t continue as a live act we take the opportunity to explain, not that it really differs much from the state the band usually is in. The last show will take place at ProgPower USA in 2015.

“As I (Stefan Weinerhall) started Falconer in 1999 it was meant to be a studio project, I have always looked upon myself as a writer more than an artist, the creative work has been the reason and driving force. We started doing some shows after a while but never really going all in although the shows themselves was really rewarding, fun and filled with fond memories. It is due to conscious decisions that we have built the band up around our obligations, work schedules and family lives so there is no bitterness to this decision although the decisions were harder to make in the early years when everything started rolling. If we’re not a proper live act we’re better of as the studio project we were meant to be.

“The inconsistency of doing very few shows with huge gaps between them has meant that we’ve had to start up the rusty machinery from scratch each time. So now as we all are becoming grumpy old men, we realise that the output don’t match the input although the experiences from the past gigs have been great!

“We owe it to our fans and ourselves to do some more appearances before becoming even more reclusive than we already are, haha! So for 2015 we have looked into our windows of opportunity and seen which festivals we CAN do. Those festivals are now contacted and know of the exclusivity in the offer. So with this I hope that those of you who really want to catch us a last time will succeed, even though we haven’t directly booked a world tour!

“Cheers from the metal minstrels from the north!”
Stefan, Mathias, Karsten, Jimmy and Magnus

Falconer’s most recent album, “Black Moon Rising” was released in June of this year and can be previewed and purchased at metalblade.com/falconer.

http://www.falconermusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/falconermetal

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Down With Webster Announce US Tour With Timeflies

downwithnews1Party For Your Life US Release September 30th

Toronto, ON – September 15, 2014 – Toronto-based rock band, Down With Webster, is excited to announce that their album Party For Your Life, will be released in the U.S. on September 30th. The band is also embarking on an upcoming U.S. tour with Timeflies! The tour will kick off October 1st in Bethlehem, PA and wrap up in NYC on November 22nd. See below for the full routing. For more information on the upcoming album and all other band news, please visit: www.downwithwebster.com

From their first performance at a high school talent show, Down With Webster have created their own flavor of genre-bending sounds, and blown away audiences ever since. After winning the “Best Unsigned Band” recognition from Rogers Mobile, DWW attracted attention from record labels, and musical heavyweights including Sir Richard Branson, Timbaland, and KISS front man Gene Simmons. Today, the group is built of two emcees (Cam Hunter & Bucky), a DJ (Diggy), a charismatic lead singer (Pat Gillett), and one of the most talented rhythm sections in the game (Andrew “Marty” Martino on drums, Tyler Armes on bass/keys). One might describe their sound as hip-hop with a hint of electro-alternative, delivered by a kick ass rock band.

In the few years since practicing in their parents garage, Down With Webster’s songs have charted at Top 40 Radio, amassed more than 500,000 Facebook likes, sold 900,000 downloads and 100,000 albums. Their videos have been streamed over 15 million times, and they’ve rocked hundreds of shows. It’s their tireless pursuit of creating the greatest party on stage that has won them loyal believers coast to coast, and earned them this description from UPVENUE Magazine: “It’s like taking a handful of fireworks, lighting them, then throwing them in to a barrel of fireworks.”

Because their music defies classification, and they’ve been called “the second coming of The Beastie Boys,” Down With Webster has earned the respect of, and both shared the stage with, and performed with, LMFAO, Timbaland, Ludacris, ‘Lil Jon, 3OH!3 and even KISS.

Down With Webster’s new album Party For Your Life debuted as the #1 digital album in Canada (#2 overall on the charts), and enlisted collaborators Ludvin (Childish Gambino), Boi-!da (Drake, Eminem), and have reunited with production duo The Maven Boys (Meek Mill, Childish Gambino) to help them continue their twist of conventional music genres. Songs from the album have already been licensed by NBC’s hit show “The Voice,” as well as CBC for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The band also recently wrapped up a U.S. tour with Hoodie Allen this past spring.

Watch The Video For “One In A Million” Here: http://bit.ly/ZiebV4

Upcoming Tour w/ Timeflies
Oct 1 – Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Oct 3 – Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
Oct 4 – Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Oct 5 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Oct 7 – Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Oct 9 – Columbus, OH The LC Pavilion
Oct 10 – Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre
Oct 11 – Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Oct 13 – Madison, WI Orpheum Theater
Oct 14 – Brookings, SD Swiftel Center
Oct 15 – St. Paul, MN Myth
Oct 17 – Fargo, ND The Venue
Oct 18 – Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium
Oct 19 – Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Oct 21 – Boise, ID Knitting Factory Concert House
Oct 26 – San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
Oct 28 – Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
Nov 22 – New York, NY Best Buy Theater

For more information, please visit:
Websitehttp://bit.ly/ZiebV4
Facebook: www.facebook.com/downwithwebster
Twitter: www.twitter.com/downwithwebster
Instagram: instagram.com/downwithwebster
YouTube: www.youtube.com/downwithwebster

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WHILE HEAVEN WEPT: NEW ALBUM DETAILS + “ICARUS AND I” LYRIC VIDEO

suspendedon1Virginia’s long running epic metal legends are commemorating their 25th year of existence with the release of their sixth studio album, Suspended At Aphelion. The album will be released digitally via Nuclear Blast on November 18th. Ambitious, epic, and progressive, the album is comprised of a single track divided into 11 parts and is performed by the entire Fear Of Infinity line-up as well as several esteemed guests, including two FATES WARNING alumni that unite two eras of the band for the first time ever: drummer Mark Zonder and co-founding guitarist Victor Arduini.

WHILE HEAVEN WEPT guitarist & songwriter Tom Phillips shares more insight on the album:

“While most of our albums have been thematic, this is the first time we’ve released something entirely of a conceptual nature in the grand tradition of PINK FLOYD, GENESIS, RUSH, MARILLION, IRON MAIDEN, KING DIAMOND, QUEENSRYCHE, and of course FATES WARNING. Musically, this album falls somewhere in the middle of all of that with a touch of Viking-era BATHORY as well.”

whwnews6While the signature sound of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT remains fully intact, the band has evolved. Phillips explains:

“We’ve always been characterized by emotional sincerity, bombast, sweeping melodies, and dense orchestration. Suspended At Aphelion is no exception – however, this really is another level for us in that it’s the first album featuring all-new material composed in this decade (as opposed to previous releases which often culled from years of archival material). It’s full of twists, turns, modulations, time changes, harmonic content rarely heard in metal, and tons of counterpoint. This is all augmented by actual cellos, violins, classical guitars, an array of percussion, and genuine analog synths.”

“Over the last few years, we’ve had some audiophiles reaching out to us regarding the ‘loudness wars,’” Phillips continues, “so we were very much committed to delivering an album with a wide dynamic range, with very little peak reduction or compression… ensuring it was as dynamic and organic as possible versus being Pro-Tooled to death or overtly compressed/limited for loudness…not unlike our labelmates SATYRICON, who definitely impacted our approach to Suspended At Aphelion. So you may have to turn it up compared to ‘X album’ from 2014, but we feel like this epic journey is even more gratifying because of this.”

Fans can view the lyric video for the track “Icarus And I” on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxCeC3Mxqxw

‘Icarus And I’ is Part 2 out of 11 and establishes the foundation of Suspended At Aphelion’s plot: The pursuit of the sun with passion and vigor, only to succumb to the reality that it is beyond reach,” explains Philips. “That is really what Suspended At Aphelion is all about: Being instead condemned to the furthest point from the sun… the failure to achieve the dream despite all the faith, hope, spirit, strength, and heart any one of us could muster. And musically, there are so many more twists, turns, modulations, so much more madness that follows this. It’s impossible to represent the totality of this song with any individual part; however, ‘Icarus And I’ was the inception of what we feel is the most gratifying journey in the history of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT.

Over a decade after creating 2003’s classic Of Empires Forlorn and seeking a strong team effort to record the band’s most epic album, WHILE HEAVEN WEPT reunited with producer/engineer Kevin “131″ Gutierrez (RAVEN, DECEASED, DYSRHYTHMIA) at Assembly Line Studios in Vienna, Virginia.

To ensure the highest quality listening experience, three separate audio masters were optimized for LP, CD, and digital download formats.

Album art was once again created by Gustavo Sazes (MORBID ANGEL, ARCH ENEMY, FIREWIND). The track listing for Suspended At Aphelion is:

I: Introspectus
II: Icarus And I
III: Ardor
IV: Heartburst
V: Indifference Turned Paralysis
VI: The Memory Of Bleeding
VII: Souls In Permafrost
VIII: Searching The Stars
IX: Reminiscence Of Strangers
X: Lifelines Lost
XI: Retrospectus

Visit WHILE HEAVEN WEPT online at: WHILEHEAVENWEPT.com.
Like: www.facebook.com/WHILEHEAVENWEPT
Follow: twitter.com/WHILEHEAVENWEPT
Watch: www.youtube.com/user/TomWHW

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SENSES FAIL SIGNS TO PURE NOISE RECORDS

Photo Credit: Matthew Vincent

Photo Credit: Matthew Vincent

NEW ALBUM SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2015 RELEASE

CURRENTLY ON THE LET IT ENFOLD YOU 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR

SENSES FAIL has announced they have signed to Pure Noise Records. The news comes shortly after the band kicked off their nationwide Let It Enfold You 10th Anniversary Tour. Senses Fail will also be entering the studio in November to start recording their next full length which is scheduled to be released in summer 2015. A full list of tour dates can be seen below.

Senses Fail, consists of Buddy Nielsen (lead singer), Zack Roach (guitarist), Matt Smith (guitarist), Gavin Caswell (bass) and current tour drummer Chris Hornbrook of Poison The Well. Since the band’s formation in Ridgewood, NJ over 10 years ago, Senses Fail has released five full lengths and has sold over 1.2 million records worldwide.

For more information on Senses Fail, please visit www.sensesfail.com.

Senses Fail Let It Enfold You 10th Anniversary Remaining Tour Dates:
9/16 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
9/17 – Marlin Room in Webster Hall – New York, NY
9/18 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
9/19 – The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
9/20 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
9/21 – Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
9/23 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
9/24 – Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL
9/25 – The Social – Orlando, FL
9/27 – Walter’s – Houston, TX
9/28 – Index Fest – Dallas, TX
9/29 – Red 7 – Austin, TX
10/1 – Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
10/2 – Club Red – Tempe, AZ
10/3 – The Glass House – Pomona, CA

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

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KALEDON – NEW ALBUM COVER AND TRACKLIST REVEALED

CoverAntilliusPower metallers Kaledon have revealed the front cover and tracklist of their new album ‘Antillius: The King Of The Light‘, out November 18th, 2014 on Scarlet Records.

‘Antillius: The King Of The Light’ tracklisting
1) In Aeternum
2) The Calm Before The Storm
3) Friends Will Be Enemies
4) Elisabeth
5) New Glory For The Kingdom *
6) The Party
7) The Evil Conquest *
8) Light After Darkness
9) The Angry Vengeance
10) My Will
11) The Glorious Blessing *
12) The Fallen King
*Bonus tracks – Digipack Edition

EDVKaledon have also confirmed that talented female singer Angela Di Vincenzo of Secret Rule will appear as a special guest on the song ‘Elisabeth’.

One year and a half after the release of the much celebrated ‘Altor: The King’s Blacksmith‘, Kaledon are back with their new album ‘Antillius: The King Of The Light‘, another powerful, symphonic masterpiece which confirms them as one of the leading forces in Power/Epic metal today. ‘Antillius‘ narrates the life of the King of Kaledon, one of the characters that the band introduced with their previous ‘Legend Of The Forgotten Reign‘ saga. The album was produced by Giuseppe Orlando (Novembre) at Outer Sound Studios in Rome, Italy. Kaledon have also teamed up with renowned artist Felipe Machado Franco (Blind Guardian, Rage, Rhapsody Of Fire, Iron Savior) for the soon to be revealed cover artwork. Follow www.scarletrecords.it and www.kaledon.com for the latest news.

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Midge Ure: Breaking Through Walls of the Past

midgedaze1jlMidge Ure has so much history behind his phenomenal career in music, working with bands such as Ultravox, Visage, and Thin Lizzy – as well as his own distinguished solo artistry.  He’s also known for being the co-author of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, a song written for Band Aid with Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats.  After reading Midge’s blog about how interviewers have only been asking  about “alcohol, Bob, (and) Band Aid 30th anniversary plans,” I decided to surprise Midge and ask questions mostly about his stunning new solo album entitled Fragile.  So from backstage at The Greek Theatre on the Retro Futura tour, we sat down right before the show was to commence, and spoke with Midge Ure about his captivating new album, working with Moby and Stephen Emmer, one single question about the past, and other lively topics of intrigue.  Read on…

How has the Retro Futura tour been going so far, what are some of the highlights?
You know what, the tour’s been fantastic. It’s great because it’s a bit of a no-brainer. A lot of these package tours, you think OK – the artists may be around the same period but musically they’re a million miles apart. This one it’s not. We all came up through the whole electro-pop thing in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s much more compatible. Also, I’ve toured with Howard (Jones) before. We’ve done many shows together, but Tom (Bailey of Thompson Twins) I’ve never met. How weird is that? I met Alannah (Currie) a loads of times in London, she used to hang out in the clubs that we used to hang out at, the clubs we were making Visage music to play at. Alannah used to go there because she was a bit of a party animal. But Tom being the quiet one, I’ve never met him.  It’s great, fantastic. The highlight so far for me is the recognition factor that I’m getting with these songs. I have this self-invented, in the back of my head that Ultravox didn’t make that much of a dent in America. The response I’ve been getting, playing these tunes is just phenomenal. I’m beaming. I’m loving it. I’m having a great time doing this.

fragilealb1Is there any story or concept behind the title, Fragile?
Yeah. I see an album, a new album as a collection of ideas between the last album and the current album. That’s a long period for this record. There’s no real excuse for taking 10, 11 years to make an album. It’s stupid. But my reasoning behind it, was a series of events happened to me. You get the right or wrong events happening in a line and it just shows no matter how strong you think you are as a character, you can be fragile. So I got myself in trouble with some drink, I’m Scottish. You’re supposed to. I had to sort that out, and then coming out the other side of that, it all happened around when my father died. It was a horrible period. Coming out the other side of that, I started to think, can I still write songs? Can I still create interesting music without that? Then when I started writing music, I went through this massive phase of self-doubt, thinking, do I really want to make music anymore? Do I want to be a part of this industry? It’s changed so much in the last 10 years. My savior, I suppose, was doing the Ultravox album. We got together with Ultravox a few years ago and made a new album called Brilliant. That gave me everything I thought I couldn’t do. I thought, I’m back with my friends again. I’m making music that I think is interesting. I can do this. It gave me the strength and ability to get on with finishing the Fragile album. So, Fragile sums up exactly what we think we are in reality, and what we all actually are. We all think we can carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and God, I’ve been doing that for a long time. As I said, it doesn’t take a lot to bring you to your knees and show you just how fragile you are.

What is the inspiration on the opening track “I Survived”?
That was it, really. It was the first song that I attempted to write on my own after stopping drinking. It’s quite simple, looking around me, sitting writing names and ideas, things on a piece of paper thinking I’m not sure this is ever going to connect or make any sense. I’m not sure what I’m saying makes any sense, but the idea is that when you do – when the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place and you start to see the big picture, you realize that you can, and you have, and it’s easy. So the survival part is there. I’ve been through some great lows and some serious lows, but I’m still here. I’m still doing it and I’m still absolutely loving it. That’s the key to it all. There are many out there, and I’m sure you know who I’m talking about, who get together again and they don’t talk to each other. They travel in separate cars, they have different managers. They don’t see each other except for the two hours they’re on stage each night. They’re not doing it for the love of it. I’m still doing it for the love of it. I’m doing this quite happily in the middle of the lineup, quite happy to be here. Coming back in January to do some acoustic shows.

midgedaze2jlGreat to hear!
I will be totally on my own, no tour manager, no nothing. An absolute troubadour. I’ll turn up and I’ll plug my guitar in and I’ll do my thing and I think that is all part of creating music. That to me is just as important to do as playing The Greek.

What was it like working with Moby on the song “Dark Dark Night”?
I’ll tell you tonight, he’s coming to the show and I’ve never met him.

Really!  That’s exciting!
We’ve collaborated and created a baby together, but we’ve never actually met. [laughs] I suppose it’s a modern collaboration. He got in touch with me a few years ago, a mutual respect thing. Asking if I’d be interested in trying to write something together. The modern way of writing, he already had a piece of music and emailed it to me and I took it and adapted it, changed it and put some melody on the top and some vocals and emailed it back to him. By the time I was finished doing what I was doing, it felt so integrated into the Fragile album, because it was in the middle of me working on all the material. It evolved into a major part of the album, I wasn’t willing to let it go. So I emailed him and said, are you OK if I keep this? He said, absolutely! Great! So we’re going to meet tonight for the first time.

midgeurejl1Overall, how do you think Fragile compares to the previous solo albums?
I think any artist will tell you that the latest album is the best thing they’ve ever done. It’s because it’s the newest, the freshest, it’s the one you feel most connected to. Saying that, I think I’m proud of the previous albums. Some of them were a bit too serious, some of them were struggling trying to find out who I was, as opposed to who I was as part of the band. That’s a different thing. As part of a band, everything is “we” and “us” and we think and we collectively – it’s a unit. But when you step outside of that, it takes a while to figure out what “I” think and what I feel and what I want to see. I’m still proud of the previous records but this album I think is grown up. Because I didn’t have a major label breathing down my neck trying to turn me into something that I’m not, which is what they do. I did exactly what I thought was interesting, hence the two instrumental tracks on the record. I’ve always loved instrumental music, I love making instrumental music. So I did exactly what I wanted and strangely people have taken to it, people get it. It’s real and it’s honest, it’s not contrived. I haven’t tried to make something that’s commercial, I’ve tried to make something that tells a story, something that’s a linear album. You put it on in the beginning and you play it right through to the end and it takes you on a little journey. The way albums used to. It’s not a collection of three-minute hit songs. It’s one person’s thoughts and feelings and emotions all put into one piece of music. I’m very proud of it.

Would we have to wait another 20 years for new original material?
[laughs] I’m not sure I’ve got 20 years left. Definitely not. I’ve got the bit between my teeth now. I’m thoroughly enjoying this resurgence, this new energized me. I think once you take that mental block out of the way of thinking “maybe I can’t do this” or “maybe I don’t want to do this anymore.” Once you eliminated that and knock that wall down, there’s nothing but sunshine in front of me. I can see that I want to carry on doing this. I still absolutely adore the idea that I can wake up in the morning, go to the studio and make something. I can stand up on stage and sing a song. It’s the best job in the world. It’s great. Why would I want to give that up? Why would I want to not do that?

intlblue1I promised I’d ask about this. How did you become involved with the International Blue album?
Have you heard that? A bit like the Moby thing. I was approached by a Dutch musician, Stephen Emmer, who’s a magnificent musician. A great, really musical person. I get approached a lot on the internet about doing collaborations on projects. I’m very weary of them, because a lot of them are not very good. But the moment my friend Glenn Gregory from the band Heaven 17 called me and said, have you listened to this stuff? I said, no. He said listen to it, it’s good. It’s really good. I listened to Stephen’s earlier album that he did with Tony Visconti. I chatted to him on Skype and he said he had a track  - I think it’d be great for you, he sent the track, I said just send me the basic backing track I don’t want any melody. I’ll write something on top and I wrote melody and lyrics and recorded on tour in a hotel room in Germany on my laptop, a little mic and headphones. I emailed the vocal track to Stephan, who put it into his multitrack thing and then he emailed the entire thing to Tony Visconti in New York. So it’s a very global album. Tony mixed it within two days, the entire album and then emailed me the master back. Within two days of me singing this, writing this thing. I’m listening to this glorious mix of this fantastic album, which has got all the essence of all the stuff we grew up with. All the singers, the 60s crooners. The Webb Brothers, The Walker Brothers, all of that stuff. Great vocals on fabulously constructed songs. Bacharach and David things, we were brought up listening to that, so the idea of making something that was a nod in that direction, an influence into what kind of influence we had, all the way through to David Bowie, that type of crooning and singing. It was a big influence to us.

midgedaze3jlTwo more questions and then we’re done.  If you would indulge me on one questions from the past – and it has nothing to do with Christmas songs…
(Laughs) Sure!

Has David Bowie heard or commented on your cover of “The Man Who Sold The World?”
I’m not sure. He’s not commented to me, I’m sure he gets to hear a lot of the covers that happen. Publishers usually send material to the artist, or writer. I can tell you one thing, I know David and have met him many times. Two years ago, it was the 40th anniversary of the Ziggy Stardust album. I hosted a program for BBC Radio 4. They did a documentary on the effect the Ziggy Stardust album had on all musicians. Of course, we had to clear it with David Bowie. But everybody, because it was the 40th anniversary was trying to make a program but only one that David gave his acknowledgement to and was OK with was mine. So, maybe because he had heard that track? I don’t know.

Do you have any messages to your fans who are reading this?
Yeah, I’m absolutely stunned that my stuff has been getting over here. Through no fault of my own, I lost connections with promoters and agents in America. So, I’ve been very lax about trying to get back. I’m still desperately trying to get Ultravox back. I’d like Ultravox to come tour America one last time. Maybe more than once, but I’d love to get the band back. I’m working very hard at doing that, so anyone out there who has seen the band in the past, keep your fingers crossed and anyone who has not seen the band in the past, come and see them. They’re a powerhouse of a band. A very powerful group, Ultravox. I’m very pleased to be here and I”m going to keep coming back. I’m not going to disappear.

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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