Five Quick Q’s with…

A series of email interviews with bands and I enjoy. Make sure you check out their websites as well 🙂

STEVE WILLIAMS of melodic power metal band POWER QUEST…if you have not heard anything by this band grab their new album ‘Master Of Illusion’  and then get the rest of their excellent back catalogue.  Streets ahead of bands like DRAGONBORE err FORCE.

moi

1. 2008 was a great year for PQ…new label in Napalm, new album in Master of Illusion and a new guitarist in Bill Hudson! Ended the year with a successful Uk tour as well including an appearance at Hard Rock Hell….so all in all a good year for sure!

2009 will begin with the writing of the new album and hopefully some more UK dates in April after which we intend to hit the studio as soon as possible to record the new material. After which we play Progpower USA in September along with Metalfest UK too.

2. Yeah, with Napalm behind us we have had way more interviews, reviews and promotion in general for this record and the reaction has been extremely positive. the challenge now is to keep things going upwards with the next album

3. To be honest it’s always been difficult for us to tour as all our touring in the past has been self financed. Hopefully this will change a little with Napalm behind us. I agree it is going to get tougher in general and it’s particular hard to get poeple out to shows in this day and age as well….but that won’t stop us from trying! lol!

Yeah, I’d like to thank you and the Get Ready tio Rock community for your continued support. If you don’t know Power Quest, check us out at

http://www.myspace.com/powerquest
http://www.power-quest.co.uk

Merry Christmas!

=======================================================================

PHIL VINCENT is one of the busiest men in rock with a cracking solo album ‘White Noise’ and bands like TRAGIK…if you like well crafted melodic hard rock check his albums out pronto.

pv

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)

Awesome Jason. My “White Noise” CD has outsold all my Cds so far and it continues to grow. Thanks in part to you and your reviews which are so appreciated. This year has been so busy.  I co-wrote a few songs on the new China Blue CD with Eric Ragno. What a great guy he is. A real pro. I feel very fortunate to have met so many great people.

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?

I just finished my next solo Cd called “Passion & Pain”. I will release it in February 2009 and my next Tragik CD is also completed. It’s a double disc titled “Transition of Power”. I’m also singing backing vocals on the new Solna-Eurameric release with Pamela Moore on lead vocals. Very heavy tunes but still melodic. I think a lot of people are really going to dig it.

Have you been pleased with the reaction (reviews and sales wise) to your new album ‘White Noise’ and how have you gone about promoting it?

TWO SIDE MOON Productions has really done a great job with the promotional aspect. I highly recommend them especially if you’re releasing the album independently. Nicky & Sonia cover all the bases. The reviews have been awesome. Of course I don’t expect everyone to like it. I’m not that delusional!!! 🙂 But if you like Boston, Foreigner, The Beatles, Dokken, The Scorpions & Winger then you should dig my stuff.

You are a very active musician. How do you find the time to write and compose so much music? Have you done much writing for other artists?

I am self employed so time is not an issue. I love making music and I make that my priority before anything else because I truly believe if I work hard enough a big break will come and I certainly work very hard at my craft. I also want to write for other artists because I think some of my songs fit certain bands really well. And the second part of your question is answered above!! 🙂 

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the rock music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour overseas or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?

I would absolutely love to tour and I plan on it very soon. I think the recession is making more people spend their money more wisely which means they’re selecting their music more carefully which is very good for the scene because the music industry has destroyed almost all the unique things that go along with the bands and solo acts. They see one thing that sells and then they mass produce all these sound-a-like bands. They made music very disposable and it’s only the true creative musicians like Foreigner, Styx, Night Ranger, Winger, Journey and a few others that are showing people that the music can last. They’re playing songs that are 30 years old and kids are getting into them now. You can’t tell me anyone will be listening to Theory of a Deadman in 30 years!!!! See my point?

Anything else to you would like to add…

Thank you for including me in this Q & A and please feel free to pick my brain anytime!! Thank you also for helping to exposing my music to the world. It is deeply appreciated.

Please feel free to add any website links as I am firm believer in promoting music I like and getting it out there!

Thanks for your time & best wishes,

http://www.myspace.com/philvincentrox new songs from my new “Passion & Pain” solo CD

http://www.myspace.com/tragikrox FREE song to download from the new Tragik CD “Transition of Power”

http://www.philvincent.com

==============================================

Keyboards player to the stars ERIC RAGNO is officially the busiest man in rock! This year alon he has appeared on albums by EDEN’S CURSE, FROM THE INSIDE, HUGO/RAMOS plus the excellent CHINA BLUE album. The latter features TONY MILLS (TNT/SHY) on vocals and is an album full of melodic rock with a slight progressive edge.

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)  

It was a pretty amazing year.  I got to make some new friends and revisit some old ones.  I had six new albums come out this year, including three that I wrote heavily for – From the Inside with Danny Vaughn, Ramos/Hugo with Josh Ramos and China Blue with Tony Mills & Josh.  I got to tour eastern Europe with Graham Bonnet, and becoming friends with Graham was very special.  The rest of the guys however, ripped us off and treated us horribly!  So it was a highlight and lowlight for me, but it was great meeting all those European fans. 

cb 

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?  

Well Mario Parga has me working on the Savage Paradise album, along with Tim Luce (Alcatrazz), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath) and Kevin Valentine.  Mario, Tim & I will be doing an acoustic performance at  NAMM next month with Graham Bonnet for Fishman Transducers, which we’re all really looking forward to!  Look for me on upcoming albums from Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Stolen Mirror, and the new Los Angeles record.  Oh yeah, and a little thing called Pushking that should surprise everybody…   Have you been pleased with the reaction (reviews and sales wise) to the China Blue album?    The vendors tell me that they can’t keep it on the shelves, which is good news!  And the press has been overwhelmingly positive!  I read one review that was entirely devoted to how they didn’t care for the cover art, which bummed me out – but you can’t judge a record by its cover, whether you like it or not.  It’s a real album, not a corporate or contrived thing but something that me & my friends did from our hearts, for fun.   And people are responding to that.    

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour overseas or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?  

Touring for anyone in this genre has always been a gamble, even in good conditions.  It’s tough, I mean people will always spend money on entertainment.  The U.S. has higher unemployment now than in decades, but concerts and movies are still doing great!  I do think it would help if people could restrain themselves from downloading music illegally.  When the record company doesn’t see sales, they pull the plug on the artist and he can no longer afford to tour OR make records.  Before you know it the genre is gone and everyone is wondering why hip hop is all over the radio!    That being said, if someone would like to bring us out to do some shows, we would love to go.  All of the guys are committed to playing live!  The setlist for a China Blue show would be pretty amazing with the history of these band members.  

Anything else to you would like to add… 
 

Thanks to everyone that has been so good to me this year!  Let’s really try to blow the lid off this genre in 2009!  Check out my new album China Blue – Twilight of Destiny at www.chinabluemusic.com, and keep up with my ongoing saga at www.keyboardplayer.net.   Thanks and Happy New Year!   E

=============================================

LEC ZORN released an AOR-tastic CD earlier this year and one for lovers of all things AOR.

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)  

2008 was uncharted territory for me as a musician. For many years, my focus had been ahead to releasing my first album. That having happened on June 16, 2007, I dedicated most of the remainder of that year to promoting the album. By the beginning of this year, my promotional blitz had largely subsided and for the first time in my career, I began to focus on recording a follow-up album. One thing that I’ve learned is that having an album out makes a difference in the way people perceive you. They take you a lot more seriously. That’s a great feeling but a lot of responsibility goes with it. Now you’re under pressure to live up to people’s expectations and that’s a great motivational tool. In my musical career, I didn’t have any major musical lowlights in 2008 except being very so busy with non-musical things that I didn’t have as much time to work on music as I hoped. But I had some musical highlights. I played a festival show for Kendall Phillips, who made it to Hollywood on “American Idol” in 2006, I wrote some songs that I’m very happy about and I got selected to perform at Z Rock 2009 in Dudley, West Midlands, UK. I’m mega-excited about visiting the UK for the first time and sharing the stage with so many melodic rock icons.   I own CDs by many of the other scheduled artists and have been listening to some of them since I was a kid growing up in the ’80s and just starting to dream of being a melodic rocker.

The only downside is that I was looking forward to seeing football/soccer in person for the first time but learned it’s out of season in the UK at that time of year! Of course, I could attend a match here in America, but it wouldn’t be as much fun, because the fans are extremely mild by your standards!  

lzp

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?  

I’m planning on releasing my second album, “The Test of Time.” It’s an album that I’m very excited about. I think it starts where “It Began in the Underground” left off and takes the next step. My second album, like my first, is total, uncompromising melodic rock, but it branches out a little further in several different directions. I play to release the new album on May 30, the day of my Z Rock 2009 performance. Similarly, I released my first album the day of my performance at Rock-It Fest and, anticipating much higher attendance, made sure I got it released by that day. So maybe the key to my continuing to release albums at a fast pace is to keep getting selected to perform at melodic rock festivals!  

Have you been pleased with the reaction (reviews and sales wise) to your album?   

I’ve been very pleased with the reaction from critics and consumers. All those years that I was working on that material and was very shy about letting others hear it, I felt that it was great but I wondered if I was fooling myself. So to get so much positive reinforcement about my music from melodic rock die-hards all over the world gave me a large boost of confidence. I’ve seen about 25 reviews of the album and all have been positive, many of them extremely so. And I’ve gotten some very nice e-mail messages from fans and have even built some great friendships with some of them. Over the last few years, I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to personally know some of my favorite musicians and I’m equally enjoying being on the other side of that table now.   And I’m moderately pleased with the sales of my album. I’ve sold 996 copies so far. That’s of course not an extraordinary number, but several people have told me that it’s very high for an indie debut. And keep in mind that I performed only one show to promote the album – at the mega-disastrous Rock-It Fest. And I think my performance on Z Rock 2009 will give the album, as well as my second one, a big sales push.  

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour overseas or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?  

There’s no question that anytime we have a recession, the first industries to take a hit are those dependent on discretionary spending. So until the economy improves significantly, it’s likely that music sales will be down. But on the bright side, hopefully that will result in a reduction of the outrageous concert ticket prices that have become prevalent in the last few years. But many musical artists, including me, do some of their best work in response to tough times, so maybe a lot of great melodic rock will be written in the near future! And hopefully I’ll write a lot of it! Right now it’s tough for almost all new melodic rock artists to tour anywhere in the world, so I do expect that concerts from The Lec Zorn Project will be sparse barring a major explosion in my popularity. But I do plan to perform several concerts to promote my second album, both in Europe and here in America.  

Anything else to you would like to add… 
 

I think that one of the biggest plagues in the world is ingratitude, which is something that negatively affects all areas of life. I try very hard to never be ungrateful to anyone. So many recording artists don’t understand how extremely thankful they should be to their fans. Anytime someone spends 45 minutes listening to your album, he/she chose to do that over literally millions of other things. Thinking from that perspective, I’m overwhelmed and feel deeply indebted to all those who have taken the time to listen to my music. So to all who have done so, or will in the future, thank you. I hope that my music means as much as you as my favorite music means to me, but even if not, thanks for at least giving it a listen. Besides that, I look forward to rocking you with “The Test of Time” and at Z Rock 2009 and any of my other performances! See you soon, somewhere in the world!  

Please feel free to add any website links as I am firm believer in promoting authors/books I like and letting other people know!
Hi, Jason, thanks so much for the message! It’s good to hear from you again and here are my answers! Let me know if you need anything else! Let me know when it’s up and I’ll post a link to it on my media coverage page as well as in MySpace bulletins!   Keep rocking and I hope to see you in May! Besides Z Rock 2009, I’ll probably be doing at least one other UK show as well, most likely in the Cardiff area, since two members of my live band are based there.

===============================================

Guitarist BERNIE TORME of GMT whose excellent new album ‘Evil Twin’ is out now…

gmt

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)
well it was a bit of a wierd one for us really,  we (Guy McCoy Torme – GMT)  didn’t play live half as often as we wanted to, lots of varied reasons for that, all far too boring to go into, but all of us wish we had done more live this year. Lowlights? well if you’d asked me a few days ago I’d have said it was the rock and blues 2008 not happening, which was a big downer for us, not that its exactly in proportion to the reason why it didn’t happen of course. But then again for us the RBCS debacle pales into insignificance because as of two days ago our distributor, Pinnacle, is no more. Interesting times! we spend most of the year recording and getting the new Evil twin album out, and two weeks after release the distributor goes under with most of our stock! Hey its a collectors item! The highlight? Undoubtedly finishing and releasing Guy McCoy torme’s slamming and rocking new album, Evil Twin!! It rocks! And despite dodgy vanishing distributors, you can still get it at our ebay shop, amazon and play.com as well as itunes and the other main downloaders.

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?
Me personally, a holiday! And we hope to play live lots more next year. We also have a big bunch of tracks in the can for the next album, only a few more to do, so we will have another album next year. Just to finish the job and make you all permanently deaf!

Have you been pleased with the reaction (reviews and sales wise) to the new GMT album ‘Evil Twin’. How have the band gone about promoting it?
yeah, so far so very good! you know promotion wise we are obviously the little guys up against some very biggies, acdc, guns n roses, metallica, they promote hugely, in a way that we obviously can’t. Ours is more low level, its more like our own personalised GMT version of  chinese torture,  no big bang, just an incessant irritating  drip!  Give us time, we’ll make you all crack!  We keep at it man!

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the rock music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour overseas or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?
Well I think rock and roll in the UK been bouncing along the bottom for a while really, obviously apart from the huge stadium acts: 2008 was very difficult for touring bands because of the fuel prices for example.  i think the problem is probably more in terms of playing in the UK, its difficult to get people to go out in the UK at the best of times, if they are short of cash thats going to be even harder. But because the pound is low and going lower that makes UK bands cheaper for promoters in europe and elsewhere, so thats probably where it will be better live next year. Most European countries seem to have more of a go out see a band culture than we have here anyway. And they also still have good venues! Everything here got decimated because of the property boom, who knows maybe it will mean a few good places open up again here, that would be very cool. And surprising

Anything else to you would like to add…
Huge thanks to everybody who has helped us to keep the rock rolling over the last few years: especially to all the people we forgot to credit on  Evil Twin, including yourself! Typical band, only nice to you when they need you! Make sure to come and check Evil Twin out at http://www.gmtrocks.com  or at http://www.myspace.com/gmtrocks, also http://www.iacmusic.com/gmt. Evil twin Rocks!

=======================================================================

Singer/songwriter ROBB JOHNSON has just released his new album ‘Love & Death & Politics’ which is well worth your money! If you like folk rock and a little bit of punk attitude then Robb’s music will suit you down to the ground.

rj

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)

…..erm….. probably, ok actually. much of it was taken up with recording the album (see below), & although I didn’t intend for it to take so long, & wasn’t expecting it to go quite so pear-shaped in the middle, I think it was worth pretty much all the aggravation in the end because at the end of it all, we have a really fine album, & a really fine band. other highlights… I got to see Lou Reed do Berlin at the Royal Albert Hall, the remains of the MC5 at the South bank, Springsteen at Arsenal (though the sound was crap), & Leonard Cohen at Brighton – plus I’m going to see Francis Cabrel in Paris in December. Started running a folk club again in Hove, which is great fun, & bought my first ebay item, a very noisy Fender Hotrod Deluxe amp, so the rest of the band won’t be ashamed of me any more, plus my first guitar mail order, Deryck, a Fender Squier signature black tele deluxe. Oh, also saw Sum 41, & they were fun too. & ok, I was pretty pleased that Barack Obama got elected, & depressed that that twat Cameron might well get elected here next time. But we had a great time in September & October gigging with the band, even if some of the gigs were a bit dodgy…We ended up at the 100 Club, too. Brentford had a great start to the season too…

so – generally, ok….

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?

Not a lot really. Open to offers. Have very fine band, will travel/make huge amount of noise. Probably hope to start sorting out songs for next album – I’m trying to have at least one new song per monthly folk club, & we I’m excited about the artists I’ve got coming so far (including Peters Sarstedt & Atkin!!!). I keep thinking about reissuing the back catalogue, &/0r doing the next songbook, but it all takes loadsa time & money.

Have you been pleased with the reaction (reviews and sales wise) to your new album ‘Love & Death & Politics’?

Blimey, yes indeed – well, reviews anyway – a 3 star one in the Guardian, no less, oo-er. But not sure how this is reflected in sales. Due to the various tribulations, we released it later in the year than we wanted to, perilously close to the Xmould crap avalanche – but it sold out on Amazon on the day it was released, which was lovely. If anybody needs a last minute Xmould present, can’t think of what to but Mrs Crevatt next door, all sales gratefully appreciated….

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour overseas or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?

Dunno… all the euphoria about the end of capitalism now seems – unsurprisingly – to have been somewhat premature, & it’s business as usual – rich bastards get their golden handshakes, the rest of us get sacked/higher bills/generally buggered about…haven’t been playing abroad much lately due to the hateful full time dayjob, but whenever I have, even before the latest belch of bad wind from the world’s bankers, the pound was peanuts compared to the Euro (ah, thank you thank you thank, all you Daily Mail Sun reading xenophobes, so keen to keep “our pound”).  so… possibly going to Belgium in the spring, so we’ll know a bit more about it then!

Anything else to you would like to add…

no, except to thank you for your interest in my work, & say thanks to the people who come to the gigs & support this sort of thing. see you in the new year, somewhere down the great river.

uptheworkers!

www.robbjohnson.co.uk

www.myspace.com-irregularrobbjohnson

salud

robb

====================================================

PAUL STEAD of SACRED HEART, a cracking UK based melodic hard rock…

How was 2008 for you…(highlights/lowlights)

It’s been a great year for music – not just rock, Pompey won the FA cup & I’ve had a lot of fun in the studio recording. So, it’s not been the worst year, ever.

 

In all honesty, although those sadder things in life do pop up I try not to dwell on them but the only thing that amazes, disgusts & angers me is all the fighting & needless deaths going on. It’s just not right.

…and what have you got lined-up for 2009?

Well, we’ll (SACRED HEART) have a brand new album ready by Christmas, so we’ll test the waters with interested labels early in 2009. If we don’t get anywhere or if we’re not offered what we think the CD deserves we’ll release it ourselves.

So, hopefully we’ll be back gigging again by the Summer, which is always fun.

Also, there’s another album already written, so we’ll start on that in the early new year as well!

Obviously a big shock having guitarist Mark Stephenson leave the band after so many years. Will he appear on the new album and have you managed to line-up a replacement yet?

It wasn’t a shock to us, Mark hadn’t pulled his weight, chipped in or shown an interest for a long time.

He is a magnificent musician, his solos added a great deal of flair to the songs – so from that point of view he will be missed. From a “team” perspective it’s a relief he’s gone. He didn’t contribute in the slightest this last year, so the strain, stress & friction isn’t there & it’s fun again.

He will be on around 7 of the tracks, but only in a lead capacity, I performed 95% of the guitar on this CD, much like “Shake” & “Lay” – so there’s nothing different there. As for replacing Mark, we’re going to a 3 piece for the moment, but that doesn’t mean we’re not open to a 2nd guitarist again.

Alex Burke, who has performed the drums on the new album will join us live next year as a live session player.

How do you think the global financial downturn could affect the rock music scene? Would it still be viable for you to tour  or could it be a case of the odd festival appearances?

I think that as long as you have a big enough fan base & you don’t abuse their loyalty by organising too many shows that there will always be a need to gig – and a desire for them to come & see you.

Festivals & support slots with established bands would do us nicely, but we’ll have to see where the new CD takes us.

Anything else to you would like to add…

Would like to wish Jason, his readers & our friends/fans a very Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year. Thank you for your continued support, we’ll see you in ’09!

www.sacredheartband.com – official site

www.myspace.com/sacredheartshakes – official myspace

www.youtube.com/sacredheartband – live videos

www.reverbnation.com/sacredheart – music player with FREE SACRED HEART downloads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: