Tag Archives: glam rock

Shiraz Lane: ‘We promote peace, love and Rock ‘n Roll, what you see is what you get!’

We caught up with the awesome Shiraz Lane at Call of the Wild festival a couple of weeks ago. Join us as we talk about their new music, the scene here compared to Finland, and much more!

P.S the video isn’t up on YouTube as the audio was a little up and down and hard to understand. If y’all ask me enough, though, I’ll happily throw it up on our Patreon for free!

How was it to be invited back after last year?

Last year we actually came here because we were touring with Crashdiet. And since we were in the neighbourhood we told the people here ‘we could come here for free’. Then we played played and we were the talk of the town. And naturally, being me, I like to talk to the organisers and everything. So I was like ‘look at the crowd. Listen to the crowd. I think we both agree that next year we’re gonna be back’. He was like, yeah. So here we are!

And then tonight we did this, and you saw the crowd. So I still haven’t talked to him but I will. So maybe next year! Fingers crossed!

And what’s it like being inducted into this UK NWOCR scene?

It’s great! It’s crazy, literally. In Finland it’s all about metal. We have like two rock bands. So for us to be here, for us to get to play for these people, we’re so grateful. Like I’ve said, hopefully we can be back next year. We need it as much as you need it. So, that’s why we’re here. We don’t have this in Finland.

What is the scene like in Finland?

There is no scene. We don’t have a scene. There used to be a scene but it’s kinda dried out. It’s not as good as it used to be. We just had to make our way through other means, abroad and things.

Also, we’re literally singing in English, or American as Americans call it, which does not have the same effect in Finland. It’s not the native language. So I think we are more appreciated here and abroad in general. It’s just different. It feels like the way the music business works; you’ve got two big bosses that own most of the festivals, most of the radio, most of the TV, so you know exactly what that means. And with them, it’s easier to do everything in Finnish. We do have one song in Finnish as well, though! That was cool, that was for a TV show we did. But that’s for a different time.

Have you managed to do much in America, then?

We actually just got back from the Monsters of Rock cruise! We’ve done two of them, and right now we’re planning a South American tour for this year. Then we’re planning some shows in North America next year. Then there’s a thing that we can’t say about Monsters of Rock but let’s just say that we shall be back!

So you guys put out an album last year, right? Are we working on new music already?

We have a dozen songs ready. So we just moved into our new studio space, which is huge, and it allows us to do everything we want to do. What I’ve realised in this market era, is that you need the right kind of group around you. So you have the music. Then you have someone who does the photos and the videos and all the social media content. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do now. We’ve been very lazy. We’ve come so far with organic growth, but now in this moment we have a rehearsal space where we can shoot things like covers and videos without anything being too serious. We can just do it. And that’s what the fans want. And that’s how the YouTube world will find us.

I must admit that I hate the social media side of it. We struggle with it a lot. I mean personally, I don’t see YouTube as social media, it’s Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, though Twitter is more about fighting. ‘This is my opinion and your opinion is wrong, fuck you!’ But yeah, as a fan I want to do more of the video content stuff.

But yeah, we have a dozen demos ready. But we want to get a load together, like three or four dozen demos, and then we’ll see what we want to do, pick out the best ones. What we want is the right team around us to promote that we are Shiraz Lane, we promote peace, love and Rock ‘n Roll, what you see is what you get. So we need the right kinda team for that! And that’s why we’re doing things like this, to make friends to help out!

Are we looking at next year sort of time for the album, then?

We’ll see! Like I said, the goal is to like what we’re releasing. We’d normally have the songs for an album but do we just want to release an album or do we want to release an album. When we released Vibrations Pt. 1, the only reason we did it was so we could release Pt. 2, Pt. 3 etc. We feel like we have the songs, but right now we want to give something to our fans. We want to record an album and have a video for every single one of them, then put it all out for people to enjoy, and have them enjoy it live as well.

We’re gonna release an album when we have all songs that we’re content with and that fit together well. We’ll see when that time comes. But especially in this modern age as people, they’re all about fast-food music. ‘I want it now!’. They seem to have forgotten what goes into creating the art. What I’d like to do, depending on what happens, is put out an EP, album, whatever comes. But I think we need content right now, and then the album when the time is right. We just want to give our followers something new and cool.

And do you guys have a plan for the next say five years?

Actually we’ve been so fucking bad when it comes to this! So we always go with the flow and last year we realised, this is shit. We all work day jobs, naturally. You don’t make money looking like this and doing this stuff! Not in this age. But I’m hoping everyone finds their passion not just in music, but outside of it. It builds perspective and helps the music. For me, I do vocal coaching. But then we also need a month of us just all in the same room together!

We need the right people around us not just in Europe but in the UK, South America, Japan, everywhere! Step by step. Our goal is to just get in the face of everybody, really.

Are you planning any more gigs over here?

We’re hoping to! I can’t say that we’re planning but we’re hoping today that we’ve made lots of connections. I’m here to have fun but through playing you’re trying to make more connections so you can play more. So we’ll see. I can’t say anything but I’ve made some connections here.

And do you have a dream tour lineup you’d want to be a part of?

Okay, so I’m gonna go with Shiraz Lane headlining, obviously. But I’d want Hardcore Superstar and The Cruel Intentions. And do a co-headline tour where all the bands exchange spots throughout. I love these bands, and I think it’s something that should and would work.

This one is more of a dream, but Guns N Roses, Hanoi Rocks and Shiraz Lane. Original lineup GnR, but if we don’t have it, any lineup. Maybe actually the Use Your Illusion lineup. I’d also add Skid Row from 1990 before Sebastian Bach went a bit rubbish.

Skid Row and then Michael Jackson being the headliner would also be cool. MJ from the Bad era. Toto from the 80s too!

The Top 10 Most Underrated Guitarists

Guitarists are some of the most respected people in rock music. However, there are some that don’t get the credit they deserve. Whether it’s them being more on the unknown side or being associated with bands not universally liked, it has meant that some guitarists don’t always get the praise they should do. So, we thought we’d do a lost of ten of the most underrated guitarists of the rock world. Check it out down below and let us know if you agree!

10: Wes Boreland

Starting out with a slightly more obvious one. I have seen praise for the guy, just nowhere near as much as there should be. Yes, the riffs he writes for Limp Bizkit aren’t the most technical of things. But damn if they aren’t all great. Just have a look at the video below and tell me that this isn’t damn impressive and entertaining. And that isn’t even mentioning his solo stuff, which is just as weird but just as damn impressive. The whole band get far too much hate considering how talented each individual member is.

Check out our review of Still Sucks here

9: Kirk Hammett

I thought I’d get the most hated on guitarist out of the way early. Whether it’s him using too much wah, having to live up to Dave Mustaine or just generally being a part of the worlds most-cool-to-hate metal band, poor Kirk drew the short straw for sure. But the man is far too heavily criticised. He has written some of the best solos in metal history. From the likes of ‘The Unforgiven’, ‘Fade to Black’, ‘One’ and even more recently with stuff like ‘Judas Kiss’, all have been great. Yes, he likes to use the wah peddle a lot, but it does give him his own distinctive sound and honestly it works perfectly. While not being one of the core songwriters of the band, his contributions to the biggest band in metal are still legendary, and he deserves a lot more credit for them.

8: Myles Kennedy

Do I need to say any more than that solo in ‘Blackbird’? The rhythm guitarist of Alter Bridge often gets overshadowed by arguably one of the best guitarists of the current era in Mark Tremonti, but to sleep on Myles is a big mistake. His blues playing is off the charts and makes for a really interesting writing style when it comes to their hard rock/metal music. And he’s show plenty of versatility too, playing with Slash live at most of their shows as well as releasing two completely different solo albums. The man is insanely talented and not talked about enough when talking about great guitarists.

Check out our review of The Ides of March here

7: Mick Mars

While Motley Crue are another band that are rather unjustly hated on, it can be said that they are not nearly as talented as Metallica. However, Mars is definitely the most talented member of the glam band. I mean heck, just listen to the intro of ‘Live Wire’ and tell me he isn’t fantastic. While he isn’t hated on anywhere near as much as some of the others on this list, he simply isn’t talked about at all, which is a real shame.

6: Michael Paget

A more modern guitarist now, and one from a rather intriguing band. Exploding onto the scene in the early 2000s with some blistering riffs and solos, Bullet for my Valentine were touted as the next big thing. However, after a couple of dud albums (and a couple of great ones) they have cooled off dramatically. However, what has never changed is Page’s incredible playing. Whether it’s the punchy riffs and breakdowns of ‘Scream Aim Fire’ or ‘Knives’ or his amazing soloing on ‘Alone’, ‘Army of Noise’ or their iconic ‘Tears Don’t Fall’, the guy is a massively underappreciated technical player. If only the band hadn’t taken a hit in popularity, he may have had the respect he so sorely deserves.

Check out our review of Bullet For My Valentine here

5: Phil Demmel

Joining Machine Head after the questionable Nu-Metal days of the band was always going to be a hard thing, but to say Demmel made the most of it is a massive understatement. While 2003s Through the Ashes of Empires was already written by the time Demmel joined the band, he sure put on one hell of a performance in the studio. And from there he went to feature on a run of albums that is hard to rival in terms of quality. The praise heaped on The Blackening speaks for itself while Unto the Locust is a worthy follow-up from a songwriting perspective. Meanwhile, Bloodstone and Diamonds remains my favourite album the band have put out, a versatile, underrated gem (pun intended). And I haven’t even mentioned his early work with Vio-lence yet! A true underrated guitar god. The whole track below is a guitarist’s wet dream.

4: The Trivium Guys

Okay so a slight wildcard entry here as it’s a twofer, but it’s hard to say just the one of the Floridian metal titans. Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu complement each-others playing styles perfectly at this point, and Triviums albums prove that. Just go and listen to any of their last three albums, or any of their albums at all in fact, and tell me that they are not both incredible players. We all know The Crusade set them back in popularity in a lot of the fans eyes (I don’t know why, it’s a great album) so much like Bullet they are simply not as popular as they should be. But their guitar work on In The Court of the Dragon alone is some of the best I have heard, and the fact that no one is talking about it is why they make it onto this list.

Check out our review of Court of the Dragon here.

3: Dan Sugarman

The most relative newcomer on this list. He makes it so high up due to the fact that a lot of people I talk to don’t know of him. I have raved that much about Ice Nine Kills recently that I shall spare you another lecture, but their newest guitarist is VERY good. Just check out this video of him shredding to Assault and Batteries. The guy isn’t currently playing live with them but I can already tell he’ll knock it out of the park, if his studio stuff is anything to go by. Everyone go out and listen to Horrorwood now, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out our review of Welcome to Horrorwood here

2: Mick Thomson

Not even being the most appreciated guitarist in your own band must be hard. While Jim Root is a phenomenal guitarist and songwriter who definitely deserves all the praise he gets, his bandmate often gets overlooked. However, just listen to his solo on ‘Psychosocial’ or that BEAST of a riff to open ‘Surfacing’ and you will understand just how good he is. For a guy who seems to be the least appreciated out of EIGHT other band members, he is far too good to not get any credit. The video below of him recording some of the stuff for their 2008 album speaks for itself.

1: Jake Pitts

Yes, I know, but before you go hear me out. Yes, Black Veil Brides get a LOT of hate online, and for some parts rightfully so. The band are forever-pandering radio rock, trying to appeal still to this day to the disenfranchised teenagers of the world, the ones who hate mummy and daddy especially much. However, beneath all the edgy lyrics and makeup is a damn good guitarist, and one who is almost wasted in BVB. Jake and Jinx are both fantastic rhythm players, but Jake’s soloing in the likes of the video below is fantastic. It really goes to show why the band get as much hate as they do. It certainly isn’t because they write bad music. It’s a real shame because it makes the rest of the band underrated, hence why Jake is at the top of our list!

And there we have it, our list of the top ten most underrated guitarists in rock. Did we miss any? I imagine we missed a bunch and can’t wait to be told about it! You can do so on our Facebook here or our Instagram here. And do let us know if you enjoyed this list and want to see more. I enjoyed the hell out of writing and researching this and if you want more I’ll gladly make it a regular feature! Heck, I’ll even do video ones, if you really want…

New Music Mondays: IDLES, L.A. Guns and More!

An interesting week of New Music Mondays this week, with nothing MASSIVE being released but a lot of truly solid bands putting out new albums still. Six bands and six albums in total, ranging from rock to death metal. Without further ado, let’s get on with it!


Indie/alt rock band IDLES return with their fourth studio album this week, CRAWLER. Considering the last one peaked at #1 in the UK, safe to say the expectations were pretty high for their follow-up. I can’t say I’d listened to them at all really up until now, but I definitely enjoyed a fair amount of what I heard. Tracks like ‘The Wheel’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ reminded me of old-school, Ramones era punk stuff, while lead single ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ and ‘Progress’ shows off their more pop side. It definitely got a little boring for me by the end due to their limited range and sound, but it was okay to stick on in the background and tune into when something good happened! 7/10

L.A. Guns: Checkered Past

Former G’n’R founder Tracii Guns returns with his glam metal band, L.A. Guns, and their third new album in three years, Checkered Past (yes, it’s actually spelt that way, I hate it too). The singles have a surprising amount of country twang to them but they definitely let things get a little heavier with their album tracks. It’s a fun album overall, just not necessarily the sort of style I was expecting from the band. Highlights include ‘Get Along’, ‘Bad Luck Charm’ and ‘That Ain’t Why’. 7.5/10


Rammstein axe-man Richard Kruspe brought his industrial side project back for a fourth album this last week. It’s weird, but of course it was going to be. I mean heck, the second track is a metal cover of Willie Nelson’s ‘Always on my Mind’ with his Rammstein friend Till Lindemann, so that alone should give you a scale of the weirdness. In all though, it’s a damn enjoyable album. ‘FREEZE MY MIND’ is another great track on the album, as is ‘HYOTHETICAL’. 7/10

They Might Be Giants: BOOK

There are a lot of capitalised album titles this week… just saying. Now, onto the least rock band we have covered so far… I loved this album. ‘Rock’ duo TMBG released their 22nd album last week and is a 40+ minutes of bouncy, feel good music, even if the lyrics usually aren’t. ‘I Broke my Own Rule’, ‘I Can’t Remember the Dream’ and ‘Super Cool’ are all great tracks if you are into this sort of music. If not, stay tuned for the heavier stuff next, but if you are, you’ll be glad to know I’m giving it a solid 7.5/10

Unleashed: No Sign of Life

Picking up the pace immediately are Swedish death metal titans Unleashed. Now 14 albums deep into their career the band have long since perfected their sound so this was more of the same. If you like this band or death/thrash metal at all, you’ll love this. Highlights include opening track, lead single ‘Where Can You Flee?’ and the track below. 7.5/10

Silent Planet: Iridescent

Last but not least this week we get American metalcore band Silent Planet and their fourth studio album, Iridescent. Coming into this completely blind my first impression was that it’s a lot heavier than most metalcore bands I am familiar with these days. It struck me as more of a hardcore album outside of the clean vocals. It was okay, I guess. I wouldn’t say it was anything special either, though. All the tracks were just kind of there, and very little (if anything) stood out to me. ‘Panopticon’ was maybe the best among them and showcases what this album is about the best, so check it out if you’re interested and see if you enjoy it more than me. If not…. 4.5/10

And there we have it. As I said before, it’s not been the biggest week ever in music and we have a couple of bigger weeks coming up before the end of the year, but it was pretty solid with most albums being at least enjoyable. Good but not ground-breaking, but that’s all one can really ask for!

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