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Interview with Toby Rand of AshenMoon

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One  of the great things I enjoy about Rock Lives Here is discovering new bands and AshenMoon are easily one of the  most exciting new bands I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

New band by name, however with some familiar band members….  Gary Beers, bass player of INXS, Toby Rand, the voice of Juke Kartel and Jimmy Khoury, the secret weapon guitarist from Beth Hart’s band amongst others.

AshenMoon have just released the double A-side single Dustbowl/Mosquito and  I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Toby Rand about all things AshenMoon, current life in lockdown over in Los Angeles where Toby is based.

AshenMoon: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

 

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Don Airey chats new album Whoosh! + memories of working with Gary Moore & Jimmy Barnes!

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Deep Purple have just recently released their 21st studio album ‘Whoosh’ and I’ve got to say, definitely one of the best rock albums released so far in 2020.  Have you heard it yet?

I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with keyboard legend Don Airey about the album, his role in the band since joining 18 years ago, memories of working with guitar great Gary Moore, as well as his couple of gigs playing with the loudest singer on earth, Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes.

Be sure to check out Whoosh, which sees the band putting the Deep back into Deep Purple and enjoy my chat with Don Airey.

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THUNDERMOTHER Release New Album Heat Wave + Interview with Filippa Nässil

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One of the best hard rock albums you’ll hear in 2020 is Heat Wave from Sweden rockers Thundermother! An album that has it all, balls to the wall rock ‘n’ roll, bluesy jams, soaring ballads and hard rock anthems that will have you cranking them loud and proud all the way to 11!

I recently chatted to guitarist and founding member FILIPPA NÄSSIL, which you can check out below.

ABOUT HEAT WAVE

“Heat Wave”, the title of the fourth Thundermother album is as succinct as the message from the Swedish high voltage rock’n’rollers:

“Be ready, Thundermother will come over you like a sound heat wave! We sweep you away with our sound energy. And our goal is nothing less than Rock ‘n’ Roll World Domination!”


Thundermother have big plans with a solid foundation. The Thundermother sound on the new album “Heat Wave” is even groovier, fatter and presents 13 tracks with an absolute catchy tune. “Heat Wave” that reveals the full potential of the four exceptional musicians. The special mix that Thundermother create on this album appeals to fans of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, punk and heavy metal alike.

In 2017 the band reformed completely. Founder and guitar goddess Filippa Nässil achieved a real stroke of luck with this line up. Front woman Guernica Mancini gives the songs a unique touch with her blues-soaked voice. The band is completed by the hard rhythms of drummer Emlee Johansson and Majsan Lindberg on bass. The new band formation found its line within rock ‘n’ roll.

For the first time since the band was founded in 2010 all four band members now contribute to the new songs. Whether in the lyrics or the arrangements – Thundermother’s heart and brain are in the music. The fine tuning was provided by the Danish hard rock hitmaker Soren Andersen, an experienced producer and gifted guitarist who has worked for Glenn Hughes, Mike Tramp, Dave Mustaine, Tommy Aldrige, etc.

In the space of three weeks the rockers created a top-class album in his Copenhagen Medley recording studio. Thundermother and Soren Andersen: According to the producer, a “match made in heaven”. You can hear the emotional and creative harmony that has existed from the beginning between the producer and the band in the songs.

The result: A more sophisticated version of an AC/DC-Motörhead-Sound, with fresh modern hard rock elements and a rich 70s groove. The songs cover the entire spectrum of life, everything from love ballads, blues songs to party hits.

Filippas Nässil’s favorite track on the album is called “Free Ourselves”. An energetic song with a stunning AC/DC-like sound and a political message: Don’t let laws regulate you that way. Rock’n Roll needs space, we humans need space to develop.

Emlee Johannsson prefers the song “Driving in style”. A cool mix of heavy metal riffs with a chorus that sounds like a skate punk song.

“Heat Wave” is the musical expression of the lifestyle of the hard rockers: Thundermother don’t just play rock’n’roll. Thundermother are rock’n’roll!

FOLLOW THUNDERMOTHER: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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RED CIRCLE set to release ‘All We Are’ the album that almost never saw the light of day

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In the early 2000’s, Melbourne’s RED CIRCLE seemed poised to bring anthemic and epic rock back from the shadows in which it had been lurking.  Riding the wave out of Nu-Metal, in an era when discovering new music via Myspace was becoming a thing and bands such as Marvelous3, SR-71 and American Hi-Fi were bringing back the guitar solo, anthemic choruses and a touch of that 80’s hard rock attitude.  Locally, Motor Ace were delivering monster riffs, Jet were on the runaway about to take off and Electric Mary were just kicking into gear.  In the midst of this was RED CIRCLE.

Says Zakk Zedras, front-man and guitarist:

“It was a strange time. I guess that era of “hair metal” was dead and really un-cool. So a lot of musicians were re-inventing themselves in this style of melodic / power-pop / rock”.

If you were lucky enough to see RED CIRCLE in those early 2000’s, then there’s no doubt even here today there’s many still remembering the electric energy, the stage presence and an arsenal of monster anthems. 

“We were getting great crowds at cool venues like The Duke, The Espy, Evelyn, Revolver, we played Mercury Lounge and the Corner Hotel. We did really well and had great crowds. It was such a good scene and really great vibe, so many people would come out and see live bands back in those days”

But the thing that was missing from that picture, was an album release.  One of those rock ‘n’ roll hard luck stories, All We Are now gets it’s long awaited release, soon to be available on all digital platforms.

As someone who received a promo copy of All We Are back in the day, it’s been an album that has always been on regular rotation over the years.  Rest assured, this album absolutely has it’s place in the rock world of the 2020’s and essentially, is a must listen for anyone who loves anthemic rock with an electric edge.  Just as it was poised to buck the local trends in 2003, even here in 2020 there’s just an indescribable presence, an aura if you will, that elevates these songs into a place of their own. 

No better example than ‘The World That I See’ . Despite being written 20 years ago, lyrically it’s as though it was a premonition of what we are dealing with in 2020. For Zakk reflecting back on these songs, many have taken on additional meaning and significance.

 “Listening back to the album all these years later the lyrics are obviously very autobiographical. They go from being totally broken down, to rebirth. Coincidentally and sadly, there’s two songs about friends I was very close to at the time, who have both passed away.”

Whilst RED CIRCLE disappeared off the scene, Zakk himself has been no stranger to stages around Australia, currently as guitarist in Chocolate Starfish.  When asked of the prospect of getting together with RED CIRCLE song-writing partner in crime Clint Quan, to write new RED CIRCLE music, Zakk had this to say…

“I’d love to write with Clint again, but we both live on the other side of town and have kids, so time is an issue right now. But who knows what might happen next year and even if we did one gig next year, it would be really cool. The idea is certainly very romantic”.

Never say never, I will say, but for now, be sure to check out All We Are and revel in what might just be one of the best local rock albums your ears have never heard.

Check out my full 30 minute chat with Zakk below, including a preview of one of the album tracks The World That I See.

Follow RED CIRCLE: Facebook

RED CIRCLE – ALL WE ARE

Zakk Zedras: Vocals & Guitars
Clint Quan: Bass
James Bunney: Drums

Produced by: RED CIRCLE
Recorded at: Indent and Primal Studios 2002

Available on all Digital Platforms: Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, YouTube etc.

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