Tag Archives: blues

Voodoo Blood: ‘Embrace the different, creative, wacky side of yourself!’

We had the chance to sit down with the phenomenal Kim jennett (Solo, Myke Grey, Voodoo Blood) to talk about the return of her breakthrough band, Voodoo Blood. We talk about their return and new single, as well as Kim’s experience on The Voice and her plans or the future!

What promped the return of the band?

I was writing for the Kim Jennett stuff, which is how I’ve released all my music over the last few years. When we started writing we realised it was kinda heavy and just sounded like a Voodoo Blood song. And it inspired me again to do all the creative stuff and do the music videos and lots of other ideas. It just felt right to do it as Voodoo Blood. It just fit.

It’s a lot more fun for me too, to be honest. It opens up a whole world for me to be creative in rather than when it’s Kim Jennett it’s just me. I feel like I can let go of that when I’m doing Voodoo Blood because it’s a character so it’s a lot more fun for me.

You mentioned the earlier writing, was that ‘Black Mirror’ (the recent single)?

It was, yes! That riffy kinda bluesy stuff that we started writing and this one sounded like Voodoo Blood. But then we do have a few other songs in the works that do sound a bit different, which are different from anything I’ve done. My boyfriend has got different influences to me, he plays with Geoff Tate, Queensryche’s old frontman, so he’s got that sort of other influences. But then we’ve got stuff that’s quite different and experimental so I’m quite excited to release that as well!

Check out our last interview, with RXPTRS, here.

Is it a whole new line up aside for yourself?

Yeah, the actual band is just me and my boyfriend. We do all of the writing, he plays guitar and records me and does all of the production. It’s just us two and then depending on where we are in the world we can have different members. The other two are interchangeable for the moment.

Is the plan for an EP or album or are you just focusing on singles for the moment?

We’re doing singles for the minute but we are working towards having a release like an EP or an album down the line, yeah!

How did you come up with the whole Voodoo Woman persona?

It was strange. Voodoo Blood first started around 2018 and we were kinda just playing as much as we could, playing every single gig we could. But I didn’t have the persona yet. We did cover an old blues song by Koko Taylor, ‘Voodoo Woman’. We made it our own. She says ‘I’m the voodoo woman’ in the song and everyone at our shows started calling me the voodoo woman. It kinda developed from there.

My parents do the artwork for us and I wanted to take that idea and create a character for one of the EP artworks. Then I thought for one of the shows I’d dress up as this character and promote the EP and it all gelled together then and I became the voodoo woman!

I didn’t think of it as me playing a character on stage, it was still a band. I was just myself and it naturally turned into the Voodoo Woman. So now a large part of this project is creating a world around her and creating her backstory.

You were on The Voice last year. Why do you think shows like that doesn’t see rock as very positive?

It’s strange actually. The thing the judges said after I’d been on was very much ‘oh but it’s rock’ like that’s a negative thing. I think they said a similar thing to Nathan James (Inglorious) a few years before. I’m not sure, I guess they want music that everyone’s gonna like and I’ve got quite a different voice, I have that rock edge to it. I guess that pushed me into just what I want to do again.

I was going to ask, did that have an impact on your direction and plans after that?

Yeah it definitely did. It was like I did something quite commercial and I was doing my livestreams at the time, singing pop songs and covers. So I was doing the commercial thing and people still put me into that box of the rock one.

And I didn’t get to pick my own song, they picked their song for me. I don’t think it showed off my voice at all. I wanted to do an old blues song, ‘Cry Baby’ by Janis Joplin, which would have been brilliant. So it was like not everyone’s going to like me anyway so what’s the point in trying to please other people, I might as well do music that I enjoy, and I enjoy doing heavy rock music. I’m just going to do my only thing because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. Hopefully it’ll then inspire people who look at it to go ‘well, I’ll be myself too’. A big thing for me is inspiring others to be themselves. Embrace the different, creative, wacky side of yourself!

Do you have a dream tour in mind?

Of course I’d love to play with my influences like Halestorm, Ghost, Alice Cooper. Someone like that would be amazing! We just saw him on the Monsters of Rock cruise and it was just awesome. The show behind the music and the lineup – the musicians he’s got – are just excellent.

I didn’t really set out with this project thinking ‘I’m going to go and support another band’, this project is me being creative and if I am going to go out there and do a live show, I want it to be perfect. I want it to be a show, not just a gig. I really like the whole theatrical thing, not just a gig, I love that.

And finally, do you have any plans and ideas for the next few years for Voodoo Blood?

My goal is to be creative and to write music. I love writing the music videos and creating that whole world. My dream was to play Download festival and I did that a few years back. After that I just thought I’d play Download and that’d be it, I’d be happy then. Then that night I was still going back to my bedroom sat there thinking ‘fuck, what now? What’s gonna top that?’ and I actually felt quite sad.

So I thought what next? For me, to be able to do the music that I enjoy and to be creatively free, that’s what’s gonna make me happy so that’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve already seen a lot of people really liking the track which is nice to hear. But I’m out to do this to get all of this stuff that’s in my head out of there, it kinda keeps me sane. So that’s my goal really; to be creatively free and enjoy what I’m doing!

And there we have it! If you enjoyed our interview, check out our video ones from our YouTube here.

Everybody Wants the Blues: Committee of Vultures Sure Got That Right!

Everybody Wants the Blues – Committee of Vultures. Written by Javier Zepeda.

Everybody has the blues these days, but we didn’t know that “Everybody Wants The Blues”. At least, that is according to the Committee of Vultures, as they release their newest album. We must say, this band is truly a force to be reckoned with as it has already hit the airwaves and has everyone talking! 

You really should know a little bit about the Committee of Vultures to really appreciate the genius of their music. This is a collection of musicians that all assembled to really put their masteries together and make truly revolutionary material. They are able to capture the true soul of Rock music while utilizing a plethora of genres to their disposal. Let’s just say they are able to jump from Rock and Roll, to swamp boogie, to alternative country, all in one album. 

What’s great is they are not shy when it comes to collaborating with other musicians to create even more everchanging sounds that we haven’t heard of. 

“Everybody Wants The Blues” is really able to capture the range of eclectic sounds that is heavy with lyrics that hit you straight in the face. At the same time, you can get down with the get down and have a good time. What a talent to be able to give listeners this much to absorb and enjoy. 

We’re excited to hear this album and all their true-telling tales that really gives us the Blues, in a good way!

As we get into all the deep cuts of the album, we see that there is no shortage of musicianship that is able to bring gentleness and raw truth to our ears. It’s an inviting record that incorporates everything we know about the blues, and then some. 

We highly encourage you to check out the Committee of Vultures and their new album, “Everybody Wants The Blues”. Check it out from their Spotify here. And if you liked the review, why not head over to Instagram and give us a follow to keep up to date on all of our content!

The Fighter: The Next Great Blues Rock Album?

Blues guitar virtuoso Simon McBride is set to release his first solo record in a decade this week. Somehow we were lucky enough to get an early copy of it to review and couldn’t wait to get started. So, let’s not waste any time, here it is!

‘Don’t Dare’ opens on a great blues riff reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin. It slows up into the verse, Simon’s powerful vocals coming in over the top of his clean guitar chords and a fun bassline. The distortion comes back in for a catchy chorus, it giving off even more blues vibes. The track drops down out of the second chorus, building up as it repeats the song title over and over. It soon crescendos and heads into a typically fantastic guitar solo, dripping with swagger and emotion. It then heads into a final chorus to end a fantastic opening track!

‘Show Me How to Love’ opens at a slower, more plodding pace. Again, it’s so very blues. The driving bassline and simple drums sound great with the clean guitar chords come in over the top. It heads into another big chorus, the backing vocals adding a hell of a lot to it and making it even catchier. We get another awesome cheeky little solo between the chorus and verse too. The leads have been a definite highlight of the album already. The main solo is even better, Simon channeling his inner Slash as he builds it up faster and faster from a slow, fantastic beginning. The anthemic chorus is doubled before yet another awesome solo takes us home. An amazing track and one that definitely makes the playlist!

Check out our interview with the man of the hour here.

We get some jazzy chords to open ‘Kingdom’. It almost feels like RHCP or Lenny Kravitz, especially when the distorted guitar comes in behind it. The track stays stripped back a little, simple bass and drums leading behind Simon’s vocals. It almost gives off Extreme vibes with the fun funk rock. The chorus unfortunately disappears just as fast as it arrived, buyt the verses are so catchy that isn’t really an issue. There’s a high harmony in the second verse which is absolutely incredible and fits perfectly. It drops down into a low drum part that feels very Genesis, building things up more and more again through Simon’s fantastic guitar solos. This was always going to make the playlist from the moment that opening riff came in, but damn if it all wasn’t fantastic. One of my favourite songs of the year so far!

The title track has more of a southern riff running through it, it all having a fun country twang. However, outside of that and some more fun harmonised vocals, it felt a fair bit like the opening two songs. The same could be said for ‘High Stakes’. It’s a good song with a fun riff and chorus, but doesn’t bring anything new so I’m struggling to say much about it!

‘Don’t Let Me Go’, however, heads into beautiful ballad territory, and I am all for it! The clean guitar chords and powerful vocals to open it up sound great, and it continues to be the focal point throughout. The addition of the drums and other guitars and vocals for the second chorus makes it feel even more epic and beautiful. It feels almost redundant to say there’s some awesome lead guitar work in the track, but I again LOVED the guitar solo. Also, the lyrics here are fantastic, packed full of emotion and are my favourite on the album. Playlisted!

‘King of the Hill’ opens on a fun, quick blues riff and the pace stays pretty bouncy throughout. The drop down to clapping behind the solo was a nice touch. So was the organised chaos that came after it. ‘Trouble’., meanwhile, opens on a slower but equally awesome riff. It leads into another slow song but it’s less ballady than ‘Don’t Let…’. More great lyrics and backing vocals accompany the slower guitars and make for a fantastic song overall.

The final two tracks close the album on a heavier note, giving us two more great riffs and huge choruses to enjoy. I loved both tracks. However, again, I couldn’t find much to talk about as they are simply good blues rock tracks.

Overall: The was fantastic. I’m a big fan of the bluesier side of rock and this hit all the right spots for me. It was full of fun tracks and moments, good riffs and fantastic solos, and a couple of deep, beautiful slower tracks. I couldn’t ask for anything more, a damn fine album from one hell of a songwriter!

The Score: 8.5/10

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New Music Mondays: Malevolence, Static Dress and More!

Sorry for all you rock lovers, but this week’s new music is all about the metal. There is a rock band tucked away in here, but outside of that this week is for the heavy fans!

Malevolence: Malicious Intent

A band that have a massive buzz about them this year, just coming off a huge arena tour supporting Architects. So, safe to say the hype for this album, including with me, is pretty high.

Safe to say, their new music doesn’t disappoint. Whether it’s the crushing heaviness of the opener or ‘Karma’ or the melody of ‘On Broken Glass’ there is a surprising amount of range for the hardcore punk/beatdown metal band. Heck, ‘Higher Place’ is practically a FFDP (but good)-esque ballad, and not only is it excellent but fits the album perfectly. My only slight gripe is that ‘Salvation’ features one of the best names in metal today, Matt Heafy, but uses him incredibly sparingly. At least, vocally they do. Still, the track and album as a whole are very good. 8.5/10

Static Dress: Rogue Carpet Disaster

Another British hardcore punk band with a new album, it must have been the week for it! A band that I had never actually heard of, Static Dress also put out a pretty decent album! Opening with a heavy bang with ‘Fleahouse’ and ‘Sweet.’, the band also show their versatility on ‘Attempt 8’ and ‘Such.a.shame’. While not quite as good as their heavier brothers above, it’s still a fun album that I’ll find myself listening to a fair bit over the next few weeks. 7/10

Weird Nightmare: Self-Titled

The pop-rock/punk band are the new project of Metz guitarist Alex Edkins. The debut album is a fun, upbeat album that is a breath of fresh air this week, let me tell you. Having this on on the drive home from Call of the Wild festival, it faded into the background in the best way, a good album to just sit and chill out to. Tracks like ‘Sunday Driver’ and ‘Oh No’ are particular highlights. 6/10

Cave In: Heavy Pendulum

The American rock band seem to have confused either me or Wikipedia, or quite possibly both. Wiki has the band down as rock, metalcore and post hardcore, yet I wouldn’t say what I heard here was any of that. This new music feels closer to sludge/doom/stoner metal than anything else. But then again, I haven’t heard their previous stuff, so this may be a bit of a departure of their sound!

Whatever the case, it’s a good album! The band are all clearly very competent players and are fantastic, interesting songwriters. However, 14 tracks may have been a little much. I like this style of music, but I personally got a bit bored during the second half as it was a lot of the same. Highlights include ‘Blood Spiller’ and the epic ‘Nightmare Eyes’. 7/10

Septicflesh: Modern Primitive

The Greek death metal band put out their 11th album last week. I’ve seen the name floating about a lot before and assumed they’d not be my sort of thing, but this was actually great. The melodic and symphonic elements contrast perfectly with the death parts and makes for a fun, interesting listen. Tracks like ‘Hierophant’ and ‘Coming Storm’ are perfect examples of what I’m on about, and are both definite highlights of the album! Straight up good symphonic death metal music ! 8/10

Geezer: Stoned Blues Machine

The stoner/blues metal band are hard to find much information on, given that Google immediately brings up Geezer Butler at every chance instead. As a result, I am going into this album relatively blind. Thanks to Spotify at least, i can see that this is the bands fourth studio album.

The album is fun, packed full of great, groovy riffs and some surprisingly big, catchy choruses. The three pre-release tracks are of course the highlights, the band doing a good job picking the singles. However, the whole album is damn enjoyable if you like this sort of style. It’s not too dissimilar to the Cave In album, just a little lighter and more accessible. 7.5/10

INFLUENCE: Conspiracy

A band that I am rather familiar with due to covering their first album at my old place, I have been a fan of INFLUENCE for a while. Because of this, of course I shall be listening to the new album and giving it a more in depth review, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for that later in the week if you’re interested! Just as a little spoiler though… it’s good!

Assumption: Hadean Tides

What to say about this album that isn’t going to make me come across like a dick. I don’t know if it was my speakers, but the mix wasn’t great at all. I struggled to hear the vocals much throughout while the bass drums and lead guitar were about the loudest things on the album. What they were doing sounded good, as much as I’m not too into the style, but it was hard to get past the odd mix. Maybe this is exactly how they wanted it and it’s just me not ‘getting’ it, but it was a weird choice. Because of that, I can’t give it much higher than a 4.5/10

Did you enjoy the article? Check out our longer reviews from the link here and make sure to follow us on all of our social media!

New Music Mondays: Scorpions, Bad Omens and More!

Eight more rock and metal albums graced the scene this week, from all over the world. A lot of it is from some amazing newer bands too, while a few of the older ones still holding down the fort. It’s an exciting week for new music, so let’s get right to it!

Scorpions: Rock Believer

The German hard rock/heavy metal group are the oldest band on this list by a fair stretch, and with the release of this double album it takes them up to a whopping 19. It’s long, over an hour spread across 16 tracks, but it proves the band very much still have it. The opening track, ‘Gas in the Tank’ outlines my sentiments perfectly. The album is full of highlights but standout tracks include ‘Peacemaker’, ‘Seventh Sun’ and ‘Call of the Wild’. 8/10

Bad Omens: THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND

Another band to hop on the capitalise the album title trend are American metalcore band Bad Omens. The bands third album, much like their previous two, is on the lighter end of the metalcore spectrum, clearly inspired by Sempiternal-era BMTH. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave the album with a feel of ‘this has been done before’. Not every album needs to be ground-breaking, but I was hoping to get something a little heavier when I read ‘metalcore’. What a diverse, wide-spread sub-genre it is these days. Still, tracks like the opener and ‘Like a Villain’ are definite highlights. 6.5/10

Avril Lavigne: Love Sux

While primarily pop music, Avril‘s first album or two were definitely pop-punk, and with a promise of going back to that style with this album (alongside a fairly promising lead single), I thought it was at least worth checking out. I can confirm it is at least pop-punk. Whether it’s good or not… I’m not sure. It definitely has the same energy and feel as Let Go, but the issue I have, much like some of the other older pop-punk bands’ most recent albums is exactly that. She’s going on 40 now, and writing music like you are still 18, alongside spelling things like ‘bois’ and ‘Sux’, feels cringy. Plus, both MGK and Blackbear ruin their respective tracks. But Mark Hoppus kills it on ‘All I Wanted’, it being the best track he’s done since before Blink-182’s reunion over a decade ago. Plus, after his recent health issues, it’s really heart-warming to hear him back in music again.

However, despite all of the negativity, I cannot help but enjoy the album. Avril has definitely retained the ability to write one hell of a pop-punk chorus, and I’m going to again have3 ‘Bite Me’ stuck in my head for days now. An up and down album, but I think I can settle on a solid 7.5/10

Elles Bailey: Shining in the Half Light

Blues/NWOCR forerunner Elles Bailey released her third album on Friday, and it’s really good. It’s a Dorothy, American pop-rock sound but with enough blues and country edginess and twang to add some grit and darkness to it. Heck, opening track ‘Cheats and Liars’ perfectly encapsulates the sound, I would say, and is a damn good intro to her as an artist. Honestly though, if you are into the slower blues style, this whole album is one big highlight. It’s steady, chilled and full of great vocals and lyrics. Oh, and the guitars are enough for me to geek out over so they must be good! I would happily and highly recommend this album to anyone. Give it a list, you won’t be disappointed! 9/10

Corpsegrinder: Self-Titled

The Cannibal Corpse frontman finally released his much anticipated debut album over the weekend. To put it simply, it’s about exactly what you’d expect. I have become a rather medium fan of George Fisher due to the sheer amount of awesome guest slots he’s done on awesome tracks by other bands over the last couple of years. However, this didn’t quite measure up to ‘Take Your Pick’ or ‘Parpaing’. That’s not to say it’s bad by any stretch, though. It’s death metal through and through, and damn good death metal at that. Tracks like ‘On Wings of Carnage’ and ‘Crimson Proof’ were definite highlights for me, having me headbanging along from start to finish. And, I have to add, what an album cover! 7.5/10

Black Lakes: For All We’ve Left Behind

An awesome Welsh alt metal band, we had the pleasure of reviewing this album last week before it was released. It was good. How good? Read our review of it to find out for yourself!

Blood Incarnation: Timewave Zero

What the fuck was that? Am I being pranked here? I was expecting some death metal, not 40 minutes of ambient sounds. This is Devin Townsend’s wet dream and not my sort of thing at all. 1/10, I’m sorry.

Just a Ride: Self-Titled

Another band we reviewed ahead of time (we are on FIRE this week) is the debut from NWOCR’s newest band, Just a Ride. It’s good, and if you want to find out the score, you’ll have to check out the review for yourself here.

Another fantastic week, with the smaller bands really bring it this time round! Black Lakes and Elles Bailey in particular put out fantastic albums that are up there in the running for top of the year so far. The British music scene is really thriving right now! As always stay tuned for next week’s NMM and for the big one… Stereophonics!

Simon McBride: This is my evolution

Photo courtesy of Franz Schepers.

After the success of Hard Rock Hell’s ABC Weekender, Simon McBride is back with an explosive 13 date tour of his own in 2022 covering the UK and Ireland and a brand new album released on the 11th March.

Simon McBride tour

The northern Ireland guitarist has played for Ian Gillan from Deep Purple and played guitarist/co-wrote on Don Airey’s albums as well as toured with Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa and Grammy nominee Derek Trucks.

Simon enthuses about the tour, “I can’t wait! After such a long time off, I’m ready and all fired up to perform again doing the one thing I love. It’s going to be great to be back on the road again with two great musicians and my good friends, Dave Marks and Marty McCloskey…these two are an unstoppable force of nature when it comes to delivering a show. Get ready for the fireworks!”

What inspired your latest single, ‘The Fighter’? Was it inspired by the pandemic at all?

“To be honest that song was written before the pandemic. That song is really about having a goal in life and never giving up till you get there. Never stop fighting, keep believing in what it is you want to do in life and never give up and that’s really what it is. 

“It’s kind of like a little inside to my whole life. I never stopped fighting and never stopped searching for that ultimate end, whatever that is. I suppose from my point of view it’s just being in the music industry and keep getting more and more successful. That’s my goal. I say to people that I’ve been in this industry for say what, 30 years or a bit less? I was only a kid when I started, I was like 13. And I only signed to a major record label 4 years ago you know after 26, 27 years. It took me 26, 27 years to get there. Some people give up after 5. You’ve got to keep fighting for what you believe in and what you want to do you know. From my point of view, I’m just thinking that this is what I do and I don’t know how to do anything else. It doesn’t matter what I have to do, I’ll do it. So that’s primarily what it’s about. 

“I understand people are writing songs about the pandemic and stuff but I didn’t really want to do that. Not to belittle anybody else, but I always found that a little bit cheesy. There’s a lot more to life than talking about covid. It’s a bad memory and for a lot of people it’s something they’ll want to forget. Hopefully we’re on the right track to getting there.”

‘The Fighter’ has a slightly heavier sound compared to your previous singles and album – leaning more towards hard rock riffs than bluesy rock. Is that something you’re building on with your upcoming album?

“I’m at the age in my life and stage in my career where I just say to myself I’m going to play what I want to play and that’s it. Years ago when I first started with the guitar scene in England, the blues rock scene was the scene to be on because of the likes of Bonomassa. I don’t class myself as a blues artist or a blues rock artist. I’m an 80s child so I grew up in the 80’s hard rock, hair metal and all that stuff so that’s me through and through. That’s what I still listen to. The likes of ‘The Fighter’ they are a lot more hard rock than anything. I’m just playing what I want to play. 

“There always will be an element of blues no matter what you play in a rock sense because rock basically comes from blues anyway. You think early Led Zeppelin, they’re just basically you know alterations of old blues guitar riffs. Everything evolves into something so this is my evolution. I do like playing other stuff but rock, hard rock is probably my home. And plus everybody else that I’ve played with, Ian Gillan or Snakecharmer, it’s all hard rock. 

“People put people in categories of blues rock or rock blues. I did see that once, blues rock and rock blues, and I thought, ‘what’s the difference?’ I like the days when it was just rock, pop, classical, jazz, blues. Done! People put a title around me and I think that’s fine, whatever! People can listen to my music and make their own determination on what it is to them. Hard rock is what I do and probably what I know the best.”

Simon McBride

The last album you released was in 2012. After a gap, you released a string of singles in 2019 and 2020, followed by this upcoming album. What happened during your time away and why have you decided to release an album now?

“The funny thing is, people think that I haven’t been around because I haven’t been releasing my own stuff which is kind of true but there’s been a lot of things happening. I’ve done three albums with Ian Gillan, I’ve done three albums with Don Airey, one album with Snakechamer – so seven albums, I have done stuff! It’s just not Simon McBride at the front. I had a family and kids. I’ve been busy doing stuff. 

“This album was ready to go three years ago, so I wrote these songs four or five years ago, but then covid hit so we had to pull the reins. We had a chat about it and I talked about the idea of releasing it over lockdown and basically they said ‘you might as well drive down the road and throw it out the window.’ The only way to promote an album these days is to tour and if the tour’s not there then what’s the point. There’s a lot of people worse off than me within the music industry. I’ve been fortunate enough, I have my own line which keeps me busy so I do that a lot of the time and now with touring coming back hopefully things will be busier than ever.”

Are there any venues you’re looking forward to playing again on your tour this March are are they all new venues for you?

“I think I’ve played maybe one or two of the venues before. There’s not really one jumping out at me thinking ‘I can’t wait to play at that place’ because I’ve no clue what they’re going to be like so it’s always a new experience. I think over the years because I haven’t really done a UK tour in three years, I think some of the venues have fell by the wayside a little bit during the pandemic and stuff like that. But I like trying new places and new venues. I’m excited to play them all.”

You can see Simon McBride on his UK and Ireland 2022 tour this February and March.

Fabrizio Grossi: ‘Hopefully next year it gets really busy for both bands!’

Fabrizio Grossi has been a part of the rock and blues music scene for well over two decades now, through his solo projects and bands like Starbreaker and Supersonic Blues Machine to even working with the likes of Steve Vai and Chad Smith, both playing and producing. Earlier this year he released the debut album for his latest solo venture, Soul Garage Experience. We managed to sit down and speak to him after this release about how the album went and his plans on touring with it! Give it a read or check out the video down at the bottom!

You put out the debut album of Soul Garage Experience in September; it seems to have gone down pretty well?

So far so good! We’re getting a lot of very good reviews and it seems to be working quite well on the radio so let’s see what happens! Just keeping my fingers crossed!

Did you write or record any of it during the lockdowns and COVID and all that kind of thing?

Well yeah, the whole thing started earlier, some of the songs are ones I’ve been collecting over the last 10, 12 years or so. I’ve collected enough material to do a couple of different records, that’s why it’s volume one! But some songs were started and really finished… because I always wanted to do a record like this but always ended up with an excuse to not do it, something else always came around. In addition there were a bunch of songs that I was preparing for the next Supersonic Blues Machine record that, after all the demos and the writing was done, I didn’t think it was appropriate for Blues Machine as it was starting to sound more like me and all my funk stuff more than Machine. Especially now with Kris Barras in it. So I decided to pull these tracks aside, which was a good thing as we were able to finish the Machine record and we’re now really happy with what we’ve got for that, it’s consistent.

So, I ended up with this bunch of songs and then in addition I ended up writing a couple of things during the pandemic. My idea was I already had a band that I was playing around town with a bunch of different friends, Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) on drums and Alex on guitar as well as a couple of other cats. We always kind of ended up in the jam nights or doing private events or whatever and we’re having good fun! So my idea was to put all these things together and then either use Garrett Holbrook as the singer or some other friends to be the singer. Some of these last tracks that I wrote during COVID I did what I always do and lay down some vocals and a bunch of idea. I’ve never really seen myself as a singer, I never really pursue it, but more just to document the song. But then I end up playing it for friends and family, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and my wife both said “well, why don’t you sing?” And I’m saying “well, I put this thing down waiting for the real singers!” But everyone was saying that I delivered the message so what else did I want to do and so after listening under that new light from the Reverend I figured he might be right! So I ended up re-singing a couple of the tracks better and all of that and the feedback that I got was really good so it’s one less thing to worry about!

Everyone in the band is a singer though, so we all decided that in putting this thing together we wanted it almost like a variety show in that everyone is going to have their own time. Like Kiss or ELO or Fleetwood Mac, that kind of vibe where a lot of people sing. Everyone is going to have their own songs, which is just going to make it fun and we can always move things around!

We put out a single about nine/ten months ago to start seeing what the feedback was and the first feedback I got was really good. It was followed up by another single before I got wrapped up in another project, a short film tribute to a friend of mine who was one of the first COVID victims (find it here). Then I got back into it and we decided to release it now and hopefully we can get a few shows in this year and at the start of the next before all the madness with Supersonic kicks off again.

Is there lyrically a theme through the album or is it more on a song to song basis?

I wouldn’t exactly call it a concept in terms of like, The Wall. But there is a concept thread throughout all the songs. Sure, you might find the funny one or one that sounds happy, but if you listen to what the lyrics are and what they are talking about, I think they’re what connect all the songs.

For anyone who’s familiar with what I do with Supersonic, it’s very hippy, 70s; that kind of mentality with the lyrics. More Bob Marley, John Lennon type. Everyone in the band agrees with those messages and we have the same view about the world. But there are multiple people in the project and not everyone has the same thoughts on how they want to deliver that message, and you always have to be respectful of that. I cannot just start talking the way I want to talk if someone else doesn’t like to use my specific choice of words.

Here, it’s different. I don’t have to ask permission of anybody. I have a lot of friends and a bunch of people helping and singing and all of it, but they’ve decided to help me this time deliver my message the way I want to deliver it. So, I would say this is my unfiltered version of myself and it’s closer to early Little Stephens or Tom Morello or even Bob Marley or Peter Tosh. I don’t want to claim because of the guys I work with that I’m a blues man, I don’t have that background and cannot claim it, I was born in Millan and was raised the majority in Europe before coming to the US at a young age. I always loved funk and soul and reggae but eventually hard rock took over. But I would say what I bring is a combination of all of those styles. But yeah, it’s insane that after 50/60 years that these sorts of lyrics are still relevant!

I assume you produce your own albums too then? You don’t bring someone else in?

I guess that’s one of the perks of doing it for so long. It’s not that I do not like other producers or anything like that, but ever since I started playing back in Italy I always had a pile of records to show to the house engineer where we wanted to go, sound-wise. Those guys were probably great at doing what they were usually doing, that kind of Mediterranean pop sound, but when it came down to rock’n’roll, no fricking clue! So I had to start to get my hands dirty on it and had to learn a few things so I developed that passion for producing. I think I’m a good mixer and I like what I do with the productions of course, and I can definitely record several instruments. That helped me do what I needed to do and it became part of my package, it comes along with me. I can’t think of letting someone else change my song, I’m not that kind of songwriter, that I’m preparing stuff to give to other people. It just comes natural.

To be honest with you I wanted to do this record independently too, not with a record company. I had opportunities but I was tired, more because of COVID than necessarily the labels themselves, to take a number to fit someone else’s schedule. I had a good team around me so I decided to go out now instead of in a year, year and a half, because that’s what would have happened.

Are you planning a wider tour for the album, then?

We’ve been working behind the scenes on both projects; with Supersonic we’re up to rescheduling our tour for the fourth time in the last year and a half! And also I’m just trying to find a new pathway for Soul Garage. I don’t know how much we’ll be able to do this year because we’re almost at the end, but hopefully next year it gets really busy for both bands! Probably Soul Garage more in the early parts of the year and then Supersonic heading into the summer.

And there we have it, our interview with Fab! Make sure to check out both Soul Garage and Supersonic if you are in any way into rock or blues or funk music and keep an eye out for them touring, they will not be ones to miss!

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