The opening track of a record is probably the most important: the track stands to set the tone for the rest of the album, and a boring first impression may cause the listener to lose interest very quickly. At the same time, if the album’s big gun (lead single) is inserted as the opening track, there’s also the potential for the rest of the album to fall flat in comparison.
For this list, we chose to spotlight twenty opening tracks of the grunge era (in this case, the late 80’s to around 1996) either due to the undeniable cultural impact some of these songs had, or the many non-radio single opening cuts that lay the foundation of the record ahead perfectly. Some may be from bands that aren’t explicitly grunge but existed during that era. So, here for your viewing pleasure/our clickbait pleasure, are our picks presented in alphabetical order.
Alice in Chains – Them Bones (Dirt)
Alice in Chains – Rotten Apple (Jar of Flies)
Bush – Everything Zen (Sixteen Stone)
Butthole Surfers – Who Was In My Room Last Night? (Independent Worm Saloon)
Faith No More – Land Of Sunshine (Angel Dust)
Hole – Violet (Live Through This)
Jane’s Addiction – Stop! (Ritual De Habitual)
Living Colour – Go Away (Stain)
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nevermind)
Nirvana – Serve The Servants (In Utero)
Pearl Jam – Last Exit (Vitalogy)
Pearl Jam – Once (Ten)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Power Of Equality (Blood Sugar Sex Magik)
Silverchair – Israel’s Son (Frogstomp)
The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock (Siamese Dream)
The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (Title Track)
“Excellent drummer. We got along fine, beyond that I don’t know. He’s not an easy person to get to know, as a lot of people are, which is a quality that I’ve grown to appreciate in people as I’ve gotten older. At the time, I was probably a little bit more like an excited puppy, because I was a fan, and I was excited that he was playing on the record. I do remember particularly, we tracked ‘For Martha’ live, the whole band. James, D’arcy, and Matt were in the other room, and I was in a sort of isolated room playing the piano live. I do have very good memories of that, because it’s like a 7 minute song, a really difficult song to get the right emotion to, and it took a lot of focus on his part to get such a great take.”
In Part 3 of Alternative Nation’s interview with Meat Puppets drummer Shandon Sahm, Shandon remembers touring with Stone Temple Pilots, discusses the new documentary Sir Doug & The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove (which features his father), and his influences. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well!
What do you remember about when the Meat Puppets opened for Stone Temple Pilots during their reunion?
That was wild. It was my first time back with the guys in almost 9 years, and it felt like getting back on your bike. Curt was funny, he told me, “You most likely won’t see Scott Weiland” but “the other guys hang out, you’ll see them.” And he was right! They were all sweet, really cool dudes. Eric is a bad ass – it was great watching him play. They even invited me to play a tune but I didn’t know what they wanted to play, so I just chilled. But the first show back was Mobile, Alabama, with thousands of people. I explain a lot of this in your great book, ‘Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets’ [thanks Shandon!], but the DeLeo bros came up and said, “Man, you sound great with the guys.” It’s really amazing and I thanked them for the kind words, but those dudes wouldn’t say that if they didn’t mean it. They are the real deal. I thank Curt to this day for giving me another shot. Like I said, it’s better the second time around, and playing with Cris is a gas. He’s one of my fav bass players for sure. The guy rips it up, like Curt says, “It’s a good fit,” and I agree. Now with Elmo we cant be stopped – full throttle all the way. Nothing can stop us – it’s a well-oiled machine now. Everyone’s in tune with each other and like I said, I love those guys like family. Thanks Curt for believing in me, and I’m still very proud to this day to be the drummer and backing up the Kirkwoods. They know I have their back and won’t let them down.
You have also recorded a few solo albums over the years, right?
Yes, I did two. ‘Good Thoughts Are Better Than Laxatives, which I got the title from a health book called ‘Young Again’ – I thought it had a great ring to it. And the other was ‘Knock Yourself Out,’ and most of those are experimental really. I still don’t know how to write a proper bridge, so most of them are verse/chorus/verse type songs. But it was a great learning experience and taught me a lot. I played most of the instruments here and there, did my own artwork just like the Kirkwood bros did – a lot of it I threw together and I ended up liking the results. They were fun records to make. Curt told me one time, “You have some cool ideas, you should record them.” So that’s what I did. It gave me the push to go for it.
Your dad was Doug Sahm, who played with Sir Douglas Quintet, among other rock bands, and is the subject of a new documentary, ‘Sir Doug & The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove.’ What can people expect from the documentary?
Expect a ride thru Doug Sahm history. It starts with my dad’s brother, Vic Sahm – who’s 81 and still healthy and strong – telling the great story of a prodigy who was great at steel guitar, and would practice on his sound every night after coming home from the clubs in San Antonio. The world revolved around a 7 year old whose parents knew he was special at music, and would bring home the bread. Vic does a really great job at telling the story about him and dad and their parents living in a real small house in San Antonio – he would hear T-Bone Walker and other great blues players by just hanging outside the club, and goes thru “She’s About A Mover” and “Mendocino,” the pot bust in 1966 at the Corpus Christi Airport. If it wasn’t for that, I would have been born in San Antonio too, like my sister and bro. But once that happened, we went to California – just in time for dad to be in San Fran at Summer of Love and be friends with the Dead and play the Fillmore. We went ’cause the probation people were way cooler in Cali than in Texas at the time. And it goes into his Europe career – he had a huge hit in Sweden with a song called “Meet Me in Stockholm.” My favorite part of the film is when they ask Bob Dylan who some of his fav bands are at the moment in 1966, and he says, “Sir Douglas Quintet are probably the best,” and it talks about how they were the first non-English group to have a hit while acting British. They had 2 Mexican guys in the band and it worked for a while, until on Shindig they told the audience they are from Texas! Can’t wait for it to come out on Blu-ray and DVD next year.
Which Doug recordings would you recommend to those who may be just discovering his music?
For starters, I would go to 1968’s ‘Honkey Blues’ album. Just terrific acid drenched blues songs, like “Are In-laws Really Outlaws” or “Dig My Vibrations” or the longest song title ever was “You Never Get Too Big and You Sure Don’t Get Too Heavy, That You Don’t Have To Stop and Pay Some Dues Sometime.” Anything though from the 50’s up till 1981 border wave. The 70’s had a great bunch of records too, like ‘Texas Rock for Country Rollers,’ which had the song “Give Back the Key to my Heart,” which Dwight Yoakum did and Uncle Tupelo. And the other was ‘Groover’s Paradise,’ which had Credence Clearwater’s Doug Cosmo Clifford on drums and Stu Cook on bass – they both produced it too. And the Texas Tornados’ self titled first record with “Que Paso” and “Adios Mexico” is great too. The 1975 Austin City Limits performance is fantastic, with dad playing fiddle on “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”
Who are some of your top drumming influences?
Too many too mention but I’ll try…Charlie Watts, Ringo Starr, John Bohnam, Cedric Sharpley from Gary Numan, Roger Taylor from Duran Duran, Alan Myers from Devo, Peter Criss from 1973 to 1978 era, the drummer for the Cars [Dave Robinson] is amazing, Doug Clifford from CCR, Bun E Carlos from Cheap Trick. George Rains who played with my dad and today plays with Jimmie Vaughan is killer, Ernie Durawa from the Texas Tornados, Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine, Simon Kirke from Bad Company, Bernard Purdie, and Anton Fig – the drummer from ‘David Letterman’ who played on Ace Frehley’s ’78 solo rec. Man, that’s about it. I’m sure I have missed a bunch, but you get what I mean. Really, anybody who “swings,” and I like a good pocket. Oh, and last but for sure not least is Derrick Bostrom, who’s a total bad ass – as the Meat Puppets records progressed, so did he. His most badass drum track to me would have to be “Popskull,” though “Sam” is pretty killer, too. Having learned the old songs, I have a real fondness for his playing. The “Scum” snare drum roll is great, too. His playing on “Up on the Sun” is totally wicked – I truly love it. Derrick was/is the shit man! Thanks Greg for inviting me to do this interview, I had a blast. Meat Puppets rule, and it’s awesome being in the drummer’s seat! Come out and see us on tour in a town near you…
For more Meat Puppets (and for a listing of tour dates), click your clicker here.
The lineup for this year’s Aftershock festival has been announced. The event will be taking place at the Gibson Ranch in Sacramento, CA on October 24th and 25th. Headliners include Slipknot, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Faith No More, Deftones, and Jane’s Addiction. WWE’s NXT will also be featured. You can click here for ticketing and additional info. The full lineup for each day can be viewed below.
Slipknot, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Bring Me The Horizon, Black Veil Brides, Clutch, Hollywood Undead, P.O.D., Sevendust, Pop Evil, All That Remains, Helmet, Snot, Beartooth, Turbowolf, Art of Dying, Temperance Movement, Kill It Kid, Devour The Day, September Mourning, Stars In Stereo, Raveneye
Faith No More, Deftones, Jane’s Addiction, Stone Temple Pilots, Coheed and Cambria, All Time Low, Death From Above 1979, Eagles of Death Metal, Sleeping With Sirens, Yelawolf, Failure, Glassjaw, Suicidal Tendencies, Issues, The Sword, Highly Suspect, ’68, Red Fang, One OK Rock, Madchild, Neck Deep, Pink Slips
Smashing Pumpkins members William Patrick Corgan and Jeff Schroeder performed “Drum + Fife” at the Veterans Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC. Corgan also recorded a video message for troops. Watch the message and performance below.
Corgan also met with troops, you can see photos of that below.
Pearl Jam Radio aired a 15th anniversary Binaural retrospective over the weekend, featuring commentary from Mike McCready and Jeff Ament. See quotes below, transcribed by Alternative Nation.
Mike McCready said, “When I think about ‘Light Years,’ I feel like I think about [John] Baker [Saunders] from Mad Season. He comes up in my mind every time we play that song. Certainly, and I see people in the crowd crying, thinking about things, and I feel like it’s turned into a healing thing maybe, I hope. That’s all you can hope for.”
He also discussed “Nothing As It Seems.”
“It was my first kind of insight into Jeff Ament’s dark side of writing. I don’t ever kind of see him that way as a person, I mean I actually just saw him today, but he can go there when he wants to. He can really get in there lyrically about this couple I think screaming at each other, and just the darkness of that. He wrote the lyrics to that. ‘One way ticket tombstone’ was the original one, and then I think Ed put ‘one way ticket headstone,’ to change the one word.”
Jeff Ament discussed why “Nothing As It Seems” was chosen as Binaural’s lead single.
We were still in that mode of sort of trying to shock people with the first single, especially after the first record. I think we trying to show the diversity of the types of songs we were writing, and you know what’s weird, is I think ‘Nothing As It Seems,’ that song, and ‘Sleight of Hand,’ and a couple other ones, kind of represent the Binaural title, [another one is] ‘Thin Air,’ those songs sort of represent that title more than some of the other songs that were on the record that were probably more single type songs. I think that maybe had something to do with it, because I remember when we decided on that single, we were actually working on the art work. So we had these ginormous photos of black holes and stuff sitting around, and we were like: ‘What is going to be the single?’ Somebody said ‘Something As It Seems,’ and [I was like]: ‘Yeah, cool.’ Then two months later I’m going: ‘What the fuck were we thinking.'”
John Frusciante (aka Trickfinger), Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist 1988 to 1992 and again from 1998 to 2009, in a new interview with electronic music resource and website Electronic Beats, gave an in depth interview regarding his recent musical endeavors (his self-titled album Trickfinger was released April 7th), his departure from the public eye (as well as his music) and historical electronic music genres such as jungle beat and acid house.
Known as a recluse, Frusciante very seldom subjects himself to interviews anymore. The interview subsequently covers the course of much of his experiences from the ’90s to the present day. On his initial feelings towards rave music and his place in music in his tenure with the Chili Peppers, Frusciante said:
“I didn’t like it. Before I joined [the Red Hot Chili Peppers], the band used to talk shit about drum machines in interviews—they kept being compared to the Beastie Boys because they were white, and a lot of their beats back then were kind of similar to jungle. They used to play really fast funk, a bit like when jungle producers speed up samples of soul and funk, so I had an ear for it. I heard jungle beats in my head long before that kind of music was ever made, it’s a logical progression from Jimi Hendrix’s Fire, drums and things like that. But during the 90s, I was in such a different world that I didn’t have any awareness of rave culture…I was a drug addict for most of the time, anyway. I had little awareness of what was going on outside of my house and the weird drug culture that I lived in, which wasn’t about ecstasy. When I stopped being a drug addict, I started going out dancing at jungle clubs and meeting people who put on raves. But yeah, I kind of missed the 90s.”
Since his second tenure with the Chili Peppers, his music increasingly moved in a direction away from the rock driven music of the Chili Peppers that initially inspired him and he eventually helped to perpetuate. The band’s 2002 album By the Way, with a noticeable electronic and new wave influence, acts as a prelude to his solo work in many ways, as he took charge of much of the instrumentation of the album, much to Flea’s distress.
Frusciante compared his imaginings of what shows would be like as 10/11 year old listening to punk records by the likes of Black Flag and the Germs to the unity of the rave scene:
“Yeah, you could hear it [the unity of the rave scene] right off the records. You didn’t have to be in the club to imagine what it was like, which is how punk was for me as a little kid. When I was into punk, I was 10 or 11 years old. I wasn’t old enough to go out to the shows, but I really wanted to. At that time in LA, violence was a big thing at punk shows, and that seemed exciting to me. I couldn’t be a part of it, so I just listened to the records and imagined the atmosphere around the music. I still feel that when I listen to old rave records from the 90s. We forget that such a big part of music is what our minds are capable of adding to it. The particular way the human mind creates or hears music is half of what the music is. Music in and of itself doesn’t has any complete value.”
Much of the interview’s dialogue is John Frusciante referencing various jungle beat tracks and tracks from other genres associated with 90’s rave culture. He noted about the differences of ideals from different scenes that, “What the imagination gives to the experience of listening is a big thing. Punk and rave and the original pioneers of rock n’ roll: those periods of music are really important because they were pure energy. The atmosphere around the music was apparent. For me, a lot of the electronic music that’s made today doesn’t seem to be made for people’s imaginations. I don’t hear a lot of atmosphere; I hear a lot of compression. It’s an unfortunate direction.”
In one way shocking and in another way not surprising at all, Frusciante announced later in the interview that he would no longer be releasing his music for the public. He reasons that, “For the last year and a half I made the decision to stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it, which is what I was doing between 2008 and 2012. I felt that if I took the public into consideration at all, I wasn’t going to grow and I wasn’t going to learn. Being an electronic musician meant I had to woodshed for a while, so I have a good few years worth of material from that period that’s never been released…At this point I have no audience. I make tracks and I don’t finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music. The music becomes the atmosphere that I’m living in. I either make really beautiful music that comes from classical, or I make music where the tempo is moving the whole time, and there’s no melodic or rhythmic center.”
John’s debut, Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt, initially was not intended for public release. John’s friends like Johnny Depp, Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell and the Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes eventually convinced him otherwise. John has said “enough” to the one of the world’s most popular rock bands twice. The only outcomes here is that either he breaks his hiatus from releasing music, or he doesn’t. Either way, Frusciante has blessed this world with a cornucopia of music in a variety of groups and as a solo artist, which will keep fans entertained for decades. We at AlternativeNation wish John the best.
The Trickfinger LP, released April 7th, is available on iTunes and Amazon.
Mike Patton discussed Faith No More’s future in a new Billboard interview.
“An old man only looks to the next day,” the 47-year-old Patton said. “We’re old men.
“So what you do is, you look to the next day or the next plan, and, honestly, we don’t have a plan after this tour or this record.”
He also discussed Sol Invictus.
“I didn’t bring any songs or ideas to the record on an elemental level because I didn’t know we were going to make a record. There was one night when (Gould) took me over to his house and goes, ‘Hey, check out this (expletive) I’m working on.’
But he didn’t say it was Faith No More, at least I don’t remember it that way. It wasn’t predetermined. It’s not like we all sat down and went, ‘Let’s make a new Faith No More record.’ When I heard it, I said, ‘You got a great new band. Who’s going to sing?’ He said, ‘No, I want you to sing.’ I’m like, ‘OK, who’s playing on it?’ It turns out it was a Faith No More record.”
The massive success of the Arctic Monkeys’ latest studio album, AM, in overseas markets might have just marked the beginning of a neo-“British invasion” of guitar-based rock and roll music, considering Americans seem to be preoccupied with having banjo in their rock music. Even Britain’s folk crown jewel, Mumford and Sons, have distanced themselves from American bandwagoners like The Lumineers and Imagine Dragons by switching to electric guitar on their latest record.
Seeing the Monkeys at Firefly last year, you would have thought you were at a Beatles concert circa 1965 based on all the screaming women. With Royal Blood (more on them later for the uninitiated) solidifying the potential for British success on American rock radio airwaves, we should expect to see plenty of more fresh blood (no pun intended) coming from the UK in the coming months. Here’s a few guitar-based rock bands from England whose mainstream potentials haven’t quite been achieved as of 2015.
You’ve probably heard of the Brighton two-piece, bass-centric Royal Blood by now, but I’ll throw a bone to those who have been living under a rock: they’re probably the biggest name in mainstream rock at this point, having several rock hits like “Out of the Black”, “Figure It Out”, and “Little Monster” in just the first seven months of their self titled debut’s existence.
Discography: Royal Blood (2014)
Similar artists: Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Jack White
Dinosaur Pile Up
Delivering stadium-ready licks and singalong choruses that echo arena rock bands like Foo Fighters and Queen, Dinosaur Pile Up frontman/guitarist (and only constant member) Matt Bigland has the potential to become a powerhouse in the modern rock scene. Their third studio album is expected to debut over the next year.
A two piece British band rock and a roll band that was ultimately beaten to the punch for international success by another two piece, Royal Blood, Drenge created quite a buzz in 2013 when the band’s music seemed to inspire MP Tom Watson to resign from his post, writing “be that great Labour leader that you can be, but try to have a real life too. And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.”
Discography: Drenge (2013), Undertow (2015)
Similar artists: Royal Blood, The Doors, Clutch
Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes, yet another two piece, are sort of a spiritual successor to the various underground rock bands of the 80’s that you might find scribbled in Kurt Cobain’s journals. The band is already seven years into their recording history and have built up a steady fanbase, yet have not become a household name. They certainly have the pop songwriting chops to do so.
Discography: Box of Secrets (2008), Fire Like This (2010), In Time To Voices (2012), Blood Red Shoes (2014)
Similar artists: Fugazi, Nirvana
Pulled Apart By Horses
Blood Red Shoes’ close friends in Pulled Apart By Horses have the distinction of working with Pixies/Foo Fighters producer Gil Norton. The band is way more frenetic than their friends in BRS; think those Queens of the Stone Age songs featuring Nick Oliveri on vocals.
Discography: Pulled Apart By Horses (2010), Tough Love (2012), Blood (2014)
Similar artists: Blood Red Shoes, Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures
Last but not least are The Heavy, a band that mostly everyone has probably heard at this point yet may not have realized it: the band is one of the most in-demand artists as far as movie, television, and video game soundtracks are concerned, fusing funky vocals with grungy music and, for a lack of a better description, Quentin Tarantino-like sensibilities. Simply put it, they’re the “How You Like Me Now?” band. This is a strange case where the band’s songs transcend the band name itself, and The Heavy have seen little to no radio airplay. The band’s fourth studio album is nearly finished and due for release sometime soon; perhaps this will change.
Discography: Great Vengeance and Furious Fire (2007), The House That Dirt Built (2009), The Glorious Dead (2012)
Similar artists: James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Mighty Joe Young-era Stone Temple Pilots
Art of Anarchy/ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal discussed Scott Weiland’s status in Art of Anarchy in a new interview with Revolver Magazine.
“Wouldn’t call it a departure as of yet. Art of Anarchy hasn’t received any official written communication that Weiland is no longer the lead singer of Art of Anarchy. There are certain legal steps you’d need to take in order to officially leave a band. We’ve been offered great touring opportunities with Scott on board even before the record’s been released. Aside from Scott, all the band members are on board for getting on stage with this. As for with who? Stay tuned.”
He added, “He’s still technically in the band, and that all needs to be addressed. We’re keeping every option and door open.”
Weiland has adamantly claimed that he is not a member of the band and downplayed his involvement in the band.
You likely heard their hit-single “Who Let the Dogs Out?” back in 2000, but the Baha Men are back to release their twelfth album this year. The dance reggae fusion group’s most recent single, “Night & Day” came out last summer and will be included on the upcoming LP, Ride the Day. We spoke to band member Dyson Knight as he discussed the new album, Sony Records, and Baha Men’s future. You can view the interview below.
Baha Men is releasing their first album since 2004’s Holla! Can you discuss the events that lead up to the upcoming album and what the group has been doing in the meantime?
Dyson Knight: We were in the middle of a performance at a musical conference in the Bahamas. And after we did two numbers, the CEO of Sony Latin America stepped in and stopped the show to announce that he wanted to sign us there and then. As for what the Baha Men has been doing since the last record, the guys have mainly been on vacation and concentrating on family or DIY projects. The band mainly needed a break because of so many ups and downs with management.
What can fans expect musically on this record?
Dyson: As I previously mentioned, we initially signed to Sony Latin America, who are very involved in the high percussive nature of junkaroo music. I think this album has the most amount of that style than any other previous Baha Men album. It’s really amazing how far ahead Baha Men was back in the day because when you look at the current top entertainers, people like Pitbull use a lot of tribal sounds and percussion, which has always been the heart of the Baha Men. People can expect this album to carry the same high energy as previous albums and it sounds very relevant.
Can you discuss the writing and recording process of the upcoming Ride the Day album?
Dyson: Originally, it was supposed to be just an EP. We recorded 4-5 songs and the A&R went crazy with what they heard. So, the EP turned into an LP and there was a whole new energy. Sony scrapped the Latin America contract and resigned us for a global Sony Records deal. That’s how strongly they felt about the album. Producer Troyton Rami is with us working on the album and the excitement just keeps building.
Is there a specific lyrical message you were hoping to convey with this single and the upcoming album?
Dyson: Yeah, that was an important part of the album too. The thing about Baha Men and junkaroo is it is all about celebration. The music is used to celebrate life and freedom and appreciating limitless possibilities. Lyrically, you’re not going to hear about jewelry, fancy clothes, or being a blinged out person. The message we have is about the natural and obtainable beauty in life. And we think this is a very good time to put out this sort of message with all the current extreme events going on. The media is glorifying all these negative things and there isn’t any positive music like “Who Let The Dogs Out?” being recorded. We want people to be happy again. It’s not all about worrying about financial issues or things they can’t change. We just want to make people smile again.
What upcoming plans do you have for Baha Men?
Dyson: The focus right now is getting the word out on the band and upcoming album. You can have the best song in the world and no one can hear it. I know we have plans to tour with some big names, but nothing is confirmed yet. We’re looking at OneRepublic, Rihanna, or Shakira.
Do you see more albums in the future of the band?
Dyson: Well, we’re still alive. Some of the members are pretty old though [laughs]. There is going to be a follow-up to this album and in fact we’re already recording for the next album. The band should be around for about another ten years.
Chester Bennington discussed taking over as lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots in a new Columbus Dispatch interview. Bennington question Scott Weiland’s commitment to the band during the reunion era.
“For me, it wasn’t inserting myself in someone’s shoes. I felt that position had been vacant for a long time. Even though Scott was there, honestly, I don’t think he had ‘been there.’
In the initial (Stone Temple Pilots) conversation we had, I said: ‘Why do you guys want to give up your legacy?’ It’s kind of a scary thing, … but the music is too deserving, too good, to not have a chance to continue.
People come to a lot of pre-judgments; a lot of them are going to be mad about it. But the idea of creating something new means you let the other thing go.”
Stone Temple Pilots fired Scott Weiland in February 2013, and Chester Bennington replaced him in May 2013.
In Part 2 of Alternative Nation’s interview with Meat Puppets drummer Shandon Sahm, Shandon discusses performing at the Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premiere, how he bonded with Krist Novoselic over their love of KISS, and opening for Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players. Check out Part 1 here.
How was it playing Sundance at the premiere of the Kurt Cobain doc, ‘Montage of Heck’? Who were some celebs you got to meet and hang out with at the premiere?
That was freaking cool, too. We met Jack Black, who was a huge Meat Puppets fan, and saw Novoselic again – we always talk about Kiss when I see him. Gene Simmons was a huge influence on him, and you can tell by his sound – he uses a 70’s Gibson Punisher or Grabber. Meeting Frances was cool, too. She was very sweet and I thanked her for having us. She was so down to earth. Park City, Utah is very beautiful. Great weather and the place we stayed at was “styling” to say the least. Lots of fun. I guess the only thing was it could have been more of a venue instead of sticking us in a corner and a little more PA. But in the end a good time was had by all, and that’s what really matters. I met Brett Morgen, too – he’s a really nice guy and I’m gonna put him on the list when we play LA on July 20th at the House of Blues! That was really it as far as celebs, but we did see Toby McGuire, but he seemed a little standoffish. Jack was totally freaking cool though.
How was it opening for Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players, and what was the atmosphere like backstage with that with so many legendary musicians?
Man, that was off the hook. It was funny and surreal seeing Dave watch me playing drums. I told him I really liked his playing – he was a busy man that day. But yes, we got to see John Fogerty soundcheck, and seeing all those great drummers like Brad from Rage Against the Machine and Taylor Hawkins was great, too. The sound system was amazing – one of the best sounding gigs I have ever played. Just really dialed in. I got to play on Taylor’s kit too – a Gretsch with concert toms, no bottom heads, like Peter Criss used to use in the 70’s. We only played 30 minutes – we opened up the whole show, but it was an amazing night. Saw Rick Springfield, Daryl Hannah and Rick Nielsen, who I got my pic taken with, I love old Cheap Trick, and Eric Burdon from the Animals was hanging out, too. And me and the Foo Fighters’ guitar player talked about our love for Ace Frehley – he has a sticker of him on one of his Les Pauls. He was a cool dude, too.
For more Meat Puppets (and for a listing of tour dates), click your clicker here.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready conducted interviews with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and St. Vincent at Sasquatch for Pearl Jam Radio. You can view photos from the interviews below.
McCready will also be featured on the High in the Clouds soundtrack with Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney, tentatively set for release in 2016. The film is about two competing ways of life, Animalia and Megatropolis. The children’s film will be directed by Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 director Cody Cameron.
Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl performed “I Saw Her Standing There” at McCartney’s concert at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday. Grohl and McCartney have plenty of history, with McCartney having fronted a Nirvana reunion in December 2012 at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert in New York.
McCartney recorded the Grammy winning “Cut Me Some Slack” with Nirvana’s surviving members (Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear) for the Sound City soundtrack. The trio later joined McCartney again at Safeco Field in Seattle in July 2013, performing “Cut Me Some Slack” and Beatles classics.
The Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner have posted Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts guitarist Jeremy Brown’s cause of death, a fan on the BelowEmpty.com forum reports. The report states that Brown’s death was accidental, with the cause of death being multiple drug intoxication. Coronary atherosclerosis and cardiomegaly are listed as other significant causes.
Brown tragically passed away on March 30, 2015 at the age of 34, the day before the release of Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts’ Blaster. Brown had worked with Weiland since 2008’s Happy in Galoshes, and had become the band’s lead guitarist after Doug Grean’s firing last year. Brown’s work was acclaimed on Blaster, with Alternative Nation’s February review of the album stating: “Weiland’s backing band, the Wildabouts, sound solid, especially guitarist Jeremy Brown, who shines with his solo on ‘Amethyst.'” Brown was also regarded as being very friendly to fans.
Brown’s family mentioned on the GoFundMe for his funeral that he supported the Venice Symphony Orchestra, which provides musical awareness and education to the local community as well as the global village that embodies the artistic spirit of Venice, CA. You can donate to the charity by clicking here. Below you can view the full case description from The Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, and our ‘Jeremy Brown’s 5 Best Moments on Blaster’ article written by Doug McCausland last month.
It’s tough to write an article about something like this that is so tragic and personal. I can’t even imagine what Jeremy’s family is going through right now, and send my best wishes to his family on behalf of AlternativeNation.net.
This past week marked a bittersweet occasion for Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts, releasing their first album under the moniker, Blaster, and losing a brother, guitarist Jeremy Brown, who died young at the age of 34.
“It is a terrible loss that goes beyond words, said Weiland on his official Facebook of the Los Angeles-based guitarist. “He is one of my best friends, a truest friend and one of the most gifted guitar players that I’ve ever known.”
Jeremy was 12 to 13 years old at the height of Stone Temple Pilots’ fame in 1993 and 1994, and while not much is known about the quiet guitarist’s history to the masses, Brown probably never could have foreseen himself performing with the iconic STP frontman, 13 years his senior, who was dominating MTV and radio airwaves at the time.
Many fans noted how much the unknown guitarist improved The Wildabouts upon his move to the forefront of the band in 2014 upon the departure of Doug Grean, and despite many outlets crediting Brown as “Scott Weiland’s guitarist”, Jeremy was an integral component of The Wildabouts as a full fledged band unit. Weiland noted Brown would bring his own guitar riffs into the studio, around which Weiland would craft vocal melodies, leading to the final songs on the record. “The process was the same on most of the songs—Jeremy bringing in these great pieces and all of us really collaborating,” Scott told Entertainment Weekly.
Most were sadly introduced to Brown’s studio work posthumously with Blaster, released the day after his death.
Alternative Nation wishes Jeremy’s friends, family, and bandmates the best during this difficult time. To his family; keep in mind Blaster‘s been the soundtrack to my life for the past two months or so since receiving an advance review copy in January, helping keep me sane through the brutal Northeast winter and a day job washing trucks in between writing and radio gigs. As a listener, you can help them by giving Blaster a listen. Here are some of Jeremy’s best moments on the disc.
A quiet intro leads into soaring and hook laden verses and chorus that leads into a triumphant, airy Jeremy Brown guitar solo.
The Way She Moves
Jeremy Brown’s slinky glam rock guitar licks, culminating in a piercing solo bolstered by chanting from Weiland, elevate “The Way She Moves”, the second track and current radio single which is Weiland’s anthem to his wife, Jamie.
One of the most uplifting songs on Blaster, and possibly the most acclaimed in fan circles, the ethereal Parachute is a psychedelic blend of Bob Dylan lyricism and Nirvana-cum-Beatles instrumentation. Brown’s guitar work during the chorus and bridge, in conjunction with Weiland’s layered, heartfelt vocals, creates sort of a seafaring/sailor vibe that just strikes a certain chord. Above is the live version featuring Joey Castillo on drums, though the intricately crafted studio version is where Jeremy and Scott’s layered creativity really shines.
Songs with no YouTube presence at the moment:
Brown is reinforced by guest guitarist James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins on the anthemic “Blue Eyes” (as indicated in the liner notes of the physical album).
“Bleed Out” features an old fashioned grunge riff in the vein of Kurt Cobain from Jeremy.
Summer Slaughter is a North American metal traveling tour that began in 2007. Acts such as The Faceless, Dying Fetus, As Blood Runs Black, Necrophagist, Beneath the Massacre, Decrepit Birth, Rings of Saturn, and Whitechapel have commonly been featured. But just recently, the main lineup for this year’s festival was announced. Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After The Burial, Cattle Decapitation, and Beyond Creation will be performing across the country from July to August.
As for recent or upcoming albums, Arch Enemy released War Eternal via Century Media Records last year, Born of Osiris will release their fourth LP this year, Veil of Maya’s Matriarch came out earlier this month via Sumerian Records, The Acacia Strain released Coma Witch last year via Rise Records, Obscura will likely come out with a fourth album this year, After the Burial’s Wolves Within was released in 2013 via Sumerian Records, Cattle Decapitation will release The Anthropocene Extinction in August via Metal Blade Records, and Beyond Creation’s Earthborn Evolution came out last year via Season Of Mist. You can check out all tour dates below.
Summer Slaughter tour dates:
7/28 – Denver, CO – The Summit Music Hall
7/30 – Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
7/31 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater
8/01 – Joliet, IL – Mojoes
8/02 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora Theatre
8/03 – Columbus, OH – The Northland Performing Arts Center
8/05 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
8/07 – Montreal, QC – Heavy Montreal (without Born of Osiris)
8/08 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
8/09 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
8/12 – New York, NY – Webster Hall (with The All Stars Tour)
8/13 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
8/15 – Knoxville, TN – The International
8/17 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live!
8/18 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room & Garage
8/20 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
8/21 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
8/22 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove Of Anaheim
8/23 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell discussed Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “Look, they’re scraping together things,” he says. “He’s gone now, so you can’t very well ask him to do another take, can you? He’s very high. And if it was me, I would have said, ‘I need a change of clothing.’ But I thought he was a very gentle soul and who knows what would have become of him had he lived.”
Farell discussed meeting Cobain. “I met him briefly,” he says. “I must admit, I got high with him in the basement of the Palace when he came to Los Angeles, and I hung out with him at one of the MTV awards shows… We had a mutual respect.
“I think the cat had the right idea, he had the right attitude, ” Farrell continues. “Except only one thing: I love life. You have to kill me. I will never kill myself. That’s the only difference.”
Revocation released their fifth studio album, Deathless, last year via Metal Blade Records. You can preview/purchase the LP on iTunes by clicking here. The technical death metal group has just unveiled the music video for the fourth track on the record. You can watch the video for “Madness Opus, ” directed and animated by Nick Hipa, below. Revocation will also be joining Veil of Maya during ‘The Matriarch Tour’ with the likes of Oceano, Gift Giver, and Entheos. All upcoming tour dates can be viewed below.
Revocation tour dates:
5/22 – Rochester, NY – Waterstreet Music Hall (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/23 – Long Island, NY – Revolution (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/24 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/25 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/26 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/27 – Birmingham, AL – Zydeco (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/28 – Jacksonville, FL – Underbelly (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/29 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
5/30 – Tampa, FL – State Theater (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/2 – El Paso, TX – Mesa Music Hall (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/3 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/4 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/6 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/7 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/8 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven (with Veil of Maya, Oceano, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/9 – Vancouver, Canada – Rickshaw (with Veil of Maya, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/11 – Calgary, Canada – The Republik (with Veil of Maya, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/12 – Edmonton, Canada – The Pawn Shop (with Veil of Maya, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/13 – Regina, Canada – The Exchange (with Veil of Maya, Gift Giver, Entheos)
6/14 – Winnepeg, Canada – Pyramid Cabaret (with Veil of Maya, Gift Giver, Entheos)
7/9 – Cuahtemoc, Mexico – Foro Alicia
7/10 – Leon, Mexico – Instalaciones de la Feria
7/11 – Queretaro, Mexico – Blackdog
7/12 – Chihuahua, Mexico – House of Blues