Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser will perform at “Hendrix 70″ a celebration to acknowledge the talent of Jimi Hendrix. The event will take place on February 1-3 at the SESC Vila Mariana in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Guitarhoo.com recently did an interview with the K.K. Downing, founding member and formerly of legendary heavy metal group Judas Priest. You can check out the transcript below.
KK Downing Interview December 5, 2012
Guitarhoo!: Hello K.K. thanks for joining us! At what age did you pick up guitar and do you play any other instruments? K.K. Downing: I was nearly 16. I can only play guitar with any proficiency.
G!: Did you learn by ear or did you take formal lessons? KK: A bit of both but I am mainly self-taught. I’m also more of a music theory man these days, except when I write. Then I usually just pick up the guitar and trust my instincts.
G!: Who were some of the musicians or types of music that inspired you to play? KK: There were many but Jimi Hendrix was the future and I was very quick to recognize it.
G!: What was the first concert you ever attended in your life and how did it affect you? KK: It was probably John Mayall with Mick Taylor. And yes I became addicted to what I was experiencing at that first gig.
G!: At what age did you join your first band and what kind of music was it? KK: Maybe 17-18. It was just me and my second cousin Brian Badhams (now with The Elki Brooks Band) on bass and a lad named Martin Philips who had a couple of drums. We mainly jammed a few Cream songs and a few 12-bar blues. I and my cousin actually tossed a coin in his bedroom to see who would play guitar or bass.
G!: What was the music scene like in your hometown at the time you starting playing in bands? KK: It was excellent although lots of venues would have both a tamla motown act and a blues band; both on the same night. Many people were actually into both genres at the time, though I wasn’t.
G!: What led to the formation of Judas Priest? KK: As I have said many times Judas Priest were a very fine blues band led mainly by Al Atkins but after tragically losing their guitarist they disbanded. I auditioned for the job but I wasn’t a blues player. Later Al was at the rehearsal rooms and saw what me, Ian Hill and drummer John Ellis were doing. Al consented to joining so, Judas Priest #2 was born. Al was excellent as he never tried to push us in the blues direction but instead got right on board with us, going forward to the new direction we were pursuing.
The original Judas Priest circa 1972-73. From left to right: bassist Ian Hill, K.K. Downing, drummer Chris “Congo” Campbell and vocalist Al Atkins.
G!: Who came up with the name for the band and why? KK: I think the original Judas Priest took the name from a Bob Dylan song.
G!: Did Judas Priest play the local bars for very long before their debut album and if so what are some of your memories from that time? KK: We sure did. It was tough but a lot of fun to do. It was also great to get to know our country better by gigging everywhere. Too many memories to quote here, guess I need to write my book.
G!: In the late 60’s, early 70’s other UK rock bands such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were having mainstream success. Did you or Judas Priest use that as a gauge for something to strive for or did you and the band have a distinct vision and focus on creating your own style of metal regardless of what else was happening in the scene at that time? KK: Totally spot on! I was convinced that there was a gap that could be filled.
G!: Did Judas Priest play cover songs initially (if so what were some of the covers) or did you start to write original music right away? KK: We did originals mainly but I can remember us playing “Spanish Castle Magic” a few times and couple of songs by Quartermass.
G!: What led to Judas Priest getting signed and the release of your debut album Rocka Rolla, in 1974? Did the band get a lot of support and promotion from the record label, Gull Records, and how was the album received by music fans at that time? KK: We were progressing with the gig side of things and building quite a fan base so I guess that helped. Gull were ok but were unable to give the support the band needed – although the album was quite well received.
G!: Judas Priest had written so many excellent songs which turned out to be classics to this day. When it came to write for the Judas Priest albums, did the band have so much chemistry that the songs came together fairly effortlessly, or can you recall certain songs that were more laborious, but you were glad you stuck with it? KK: All of the above went on. Sometimes it was easy, other times it was hard and I really don’t know why.
G!: When you record a solo do you spend time with it to develop a theme or do you improvise and get it done in a couple of takes? KK: Both! Although these days I do tend to analyse the backing musically, so that I know what scales I can integrate.
G!: Do you feel the 1983 US festival, in Southern California (sponsored by Steve Wozniak of Apple Computers) was a milestone achievement which established Judas Priest as a household name in the USA? How was the experience playing the US Festival? KK: Yes I am sure that it was. The whole thing was seriously mega, we even got to land backstage in a chopper. Very cool!
Judas Priest performing live at the US festival in 1983.
G!: When was the first time you heard the term “Heavy Metal” to describe the genre of loud hard rock distorted guitar driven music? KK: I am guessing but I think it was around 1974-1975. It was, as far as I know, simply one journalist that coined the phrase in a regular music paper. I can’t remember which band he was referencing or if it was actually Priest!
G!: Was Judas Priest referred to as a Heavy Metal band since the beginning, if not what genre title was the band associated with? KK: To start with I think we were known as progressive blues, then progressive, then rock, then hard rock, then heavy rock, then heavy metal. All in a space of about five years.
G!: On a lot of Priest songs you either traded off solo’s with Glenn Tipton, but occasionally one of you would handle the entire solo. How did the two of you work out who does what and where? KK: I think usually Glenn would indicate some of the solos he had a fancy for, and I would then do the remainder. It was all very amicable.
G!: On the last Judas Priest album “Nostradamus”, it’s nothing like anything the band has put out before. The lush textures, epic symphonic arrangements interwoven with the metal groovin’ guitars, and a concept theme about 16th-century writer Nostradamus. Who in the band initiated the concept and direction of this album? KK: After we discussed things, we all felt that it was an opportunity to get a lot more out of our system. I think we were also quite excited to be able to show we were musically more proficient than some people thought.
G!: How long did you work on the album from beginning to end? KK: I think it came together quite quickly considering the size of the project. Not sure how long it took exactly.
Official video for the song, “War” by Judas Priest off the album, “Nostradamus”.
G!: Throughout the years you’ve stayed pretty loyal to playing the Gibson Flying V. What is special to you about that guitar? KK: I’m not sure but the first time I saw one I knew it was for me. I guess it was my first romance.
K.K.’s signature Flying V guitar by KxK Custom Guitars
G!: What do you think were some of the key elements of Judas Priests success and longevity? KK: We were not an overnight success so we had to grind it out year after year, trying to get to where we hoped that we belonged.
G!: What is your favourite Judas Priest track to listen to or perform? KK: There are many but I really liked playing “The Rage” on the 2009 “British Steel” tour.
G!: There have been so many cover versions of Judas Priest songs by other bands as a tribute to the band. Are there any particular covers that you are impressed with? KK: Yes many but to name just two, “Sinner” (Devin Townsend) and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” by Saxon.
G!: Are you a connoisseur of guitar, how many guitars do you have in your collection? KK: Not too many as many guitars have gone to charity. Maybe 25-30.
G!: Do you have a home studio? Can you give us a rundown of some of the gear you prefer to record with? KK: Yes, I do most of my work at home. I think I’m like a lot players who change gear every year as we are all trying to get things better and better. I can’t remember being ecstatic about any of my sounds when recording. Yet, when the album is finished I am often delighted on how good it is.
G!: After being one of the founding members of Priest and having a long successful career with the band, you retired in 2011. What brought about your decision? KK: There had been an on-going breakdown in working relationships between myself, elements of the band and management for some time.
G!: Most recently you performed on the song, “Eminence Front” by the Who for the album, “Who Are You? An All Star Tribute to the Who”. How did your involvement come about and how was the experience? KK: I was simply approached by Cleopatra Records who told me about the great collection of artists who were contributing, and I said yes and feel honoured to pay tribute to such a great band.
G!: Do you have any plans to record new music, perhaps a solo record, or any other creative ventures in the future? KK: Not at the moment!
G!: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of music? KK: Golf, tennis, football, snooker, table tennis, walking, fishing, beer, dining, architecture, history, antiques, interior design, English heritage.
G!: Are there any new bands or artists that you like in the mainstream or indie world presently? KK: Not really. I am still looking and listening.
G!: Looking back at your career so far, what are some of your fondest memories? KK: I can’t really list the highs or lows as there have been too many to mention. Except for getting to where I am and it is all thanks to the loyal fans.
G!: Any Spinal Tap moments that make you chuckle that we should know about? KK: There have been many of course but as you would expect most are still x-rated. Sorry!
G!: Is there any advice you’d like to share with aspiring musicians? KK: My advice is never give up! I could have many times but I never did.
G!: Thanks so much for taking out the time for this K.K., its been an honour. Thanks for the years of great music!
Velocity Publishing Group has released a new book about iconic guitarist Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne). The massive 400 page book retails for $99.00, and if ordered, will be shipped between the last week of July and the first week of August, or possibly sooner.
Before his tragic death at the age of 25, Randy Rhoads was on a fast track to being hailed by critics and public alike as the greatest rock guitar player of all time. Over a short two-year period, Randy recorded two seminal multi-platinum albums with Ozzy Osbourne, which are heralded today as among the most noteworthy recordings in hard rock music history. Through his jaw-dropping six-string work on songs such as Crazy Train, Mr. Crowley, and Flying High Again, Randy Rhoads achieved legendary status as a guitar icon and his artistic legacy continues to grow with each passing year.
With his dynamic six-string wizardry, Randy Rhoads invented an exciting and technically advanced style of explosive hard rock guitar playing that dominated the ‘80s music scene. Decades later, his massive influence continues to shape, educate and inspire first, second and third generation players and music fans that marvel at his extraordinary musicality and stunning instrumental prowess. Today, Randy’s legendary status as a guitar hero is assured, joining the pantheon of rock’s Mt. Olympus where he stands proudly alongside such revered guitar heroes as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Ritchie Blackmore.
Finally, after years of anticipation, comes the release of this biography written by Steven Rosen and Andrew Klein, which vividly documents Randy’s life and career. Teeming with hundreds of rare photographs and memorabilia, the book chronicles an oral history of Randy’s remarkable life through those who knew him best. Packed with countless emotional and poignant stories about the guitar icon, the book weaves a powerful tapestry of colorful memories about his life, which help provide deeper insight into Randy, the man, the myth, the legend. His life is a lasting testament to his supernatural talent and quiet humility.
Hurricane’s first Orange County appearance in over 20 years featuring
Robert Sarzo, Tony Cavazo, Andrew Freeman and Jay Shellen
PLUS OC metal masters
Also in the line up are 4 more killer hard rock/metal bands….
STONZ THRO AVENGING GRACE LORD MARSHALL ROSANNA CENCI BAND
Advanced tickets are only $15 for 6 ass kickin’ bands, cheap booze, and get this….After you’ve downed a few tasty beverages and you need food in between a round…or two…or three, we are proudly featuring “Tits N Tacos”. We know…sounds mouth watering. If you’ve never had a pulled pork taco, or a BLT taco, we strongly recommend checking out our big OC hard rock party this Saturday. This show may have sold out by the time you read this. Inquire about tickets through any of the bands listed below. See you Saturday, and don’t forget to bring your drinking hat, your appetite…and of course, horns
Jim Marshall, who was known as “The Father of Loud” for designing the amplifiers that became famous in the rock world, has died at 88.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall,” reads a notice on Marshall Amplification’s website. “While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.”
Marshall had cancer and had a series of strokes stated his son, Terry Marshall. Marshall died in a London hospice Thursday morning.
“My wife and I were with him when he passed away,” Terry Marshall told the AP. “He got cancer toward the end of last year, and had surgery for that, and it came back. He was in a terrible state the last five or six weeks. He’s in a much better place now.”
Based in England, Jim Marshall said he created his first amp in 1960. Such notible performers such as Pete Townshend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, used stacks of Marshall amps to create their hard rock sounds.
“Sad to hear we have lost dear friend & innovator Jim Marshall,” wrote Peter Frampton on his Twitter account. “Condolences to Paul & Marshall fam. One of a kind & I will miss him. RIP Jim.”
I think that Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue summed it up for most of us on his Tweet:
“R.I.P. Jim Marshall. You were responsible for some of the greatest audio moments in music’s history and 50% of all our hearing loss……”
The company statement captures the spirit of Marshall’s contribution to music, saying, “While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim’s passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!”
So, what does Malone’s have in store for us this Friday? Well, let me look into my crystal ball and see. Okay, I have no crystal ball. But, it IS House of Metal and that only means one thing: metal. You know, that ferocious in-your-face genre of rock and roll that seems to get the blood boiling and make one wanna brawl (please…dont don’t do that at Malone’s, though, okay?) and order as many drinks as possible from the bar. It all boils down to having a good time and releasing some aggression from your god-awful job you have.
What we have here are 7 kick ass bands. How do I know they are kick ass? Seriously, have I steered you wrong yet? With this many bands all on one bill, think of this night as California Jam 2. If you are old like me, you no doubt remember that event. Only difference is, you will actually be able to get right up front to the stage and bang your head and not have a 3-hour wait for the bathrooms. There also won’t be a hellacious nightmare trying to find a parking spot. Best of all, you won’t have to endure Bob Welch.
We have Secret ‘Stache. We have Haster, Avenging Grace, and The Armiger. And all of these bands are pretty much the same. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I am merely implying—they are all hard, heavy, and aggressive. But, that’s what you want in your metal right? Otherwise, you’d be turning on MTV and singing along with the latest slab of crap from Usher.
Rounding out this bill are Ozzmania, Led Zeppie and Motor Gun Hotel. Let’s start with Motor Gun Hotel. A three-piece from Orange County, they are definitely my style of music: sleazy, down and dirty, blues-inspired rock and roll. I hate comparing a band with other better known groups but I must do so. They are definitely a band that would have thrived in the late 70’s, ala Jimi Hendrix. They wouldn’t have been out of place on the Sunset Strip alongside Guns ‘n Roses and would have fit in perfectly during the Seattle onslaught. But yet – and this is what I love – Motor Gun Hotel take these influences and make their music their own. Songwriter/ lead guitarist/vocalist Jimi Craig has obviously tasted a bit of hard times in his life based upon his thought provoking lyrics. Bassist Reed Goodale holds down the fort on bass as Wendy Rose proves there’s no reason a female can’t kick the fuck out of her drum-kit just like Tommy Lee.
Led Zeppie, of course, is yet another tribute to the works of Plant/Bonham/Jones/Page. Considering how many Zepp tribute band are out there, I must remain optimistic that these guys have a different take on the familiar songs we all got high listening to. Finally, we have Ozzmania. I love that name. After all, Ozzy does have this talent for turning us all into maniacs in some regard or other. Besides, everyone loves Ozzy, right? Okay, maybe not the Pope or my mom. But, if either of them show up, trust me, I will definitely buy them a round. And you should do the same for me, considering I got you to go here in the first place.
Ahhhh…there’s nothing better than to wake up, make the coffee, get your pee on and then snuggle in on the couch and get you some Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction”. THE day has arrived and I, for one, will be crankin’ the tunes today while doing the best job in the world – giving you guys the news!
So what’s on the agenda for the day?:
Behind The Music Remastered: Megadethpremieres Friday, November 11 at 9PM ET/PT
They’ve been the champions of thrash metal for nearly thirty years, despite discord, addiction and infighting. Updated to the original episode are Dave Mustaine’s crippling hand injury which threatens the band’s survival, a painful law suit and more walk outs and throw outs of band members. Now they’re in the Big Four and still aiming for the top spot, but even if Dave Mustaine is happy with the new line up he remains unhappy about their ranking in the top ten of heavy metal—still just behind Metallica.
Metal Evolution Chapter 1: Pre-Metal premieres Friday, November 11 at 10PM ET/PT
The premiere episode of Metal Evolution Chapter 1: Pre-Metal will focus on Pre-Metal, the earliest sounds of metal that can be heard in the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix. Subsequent episodes of the series will explore genres ranging from British Heavy Metal to Glam Metal to Thrash Metal, and artists from Iron Maiden to KISS to Metallica and more. Metal Evolution is an 11-episode docu-series produced by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn of Banger Films and is based on the groundbreaking Heavy Metal Family Tree. The Heavy Metal Family Tree is a 26 sub-genre genealogical chart which reveals the vast complex progeny of heavy metal – from Early Metal and Shock Rock to Thrash, from Progressive Metal to Grunge and Nu Metal. Using the chart as his road map, host/producer and metal head turned anthropologist Dunn, crisscrosses the globe exploring the vast history of heavy metal across its 40+ year history and beyond. After the premiere episode on National Metal Day, “Metal Evolution” will move to its regular time slot on Saturdays at 10 PM ET/PT, beginning Saturday, November 19 between new episodes of BTM:Remastered at 9PM ET/PT and That Metal Show at 11PM ET/PT.
That Metal Show: Season Nine premieres Friday, November 11 at 11PM ET/PT
The boys are back and there’s gonna be some trouble! Eddie Trunk, Don Jamison and Jim Florentine are back in LA and bringing the heat with season nine of That Metal Show. An all-star lineup of iconic metal guests grace the stage this season including: Marilyn Manson, Slash, Sully Erna, Jesse James Dupree, Tracii Guns, Brian Johnson, Dave Mustaine and more! Season nine of THAT METAL SHOW will deliver the ever popular “Stump The Trunk” and “TMS TOP 5” segments.
To warm up for the National Metal Day celebration, VH1 Classic has scheduled 11 days worth of legendary metal programming beginning Tuesday, November 1. Every night during the 11 days of metal, VH1 Classic will make an offering to the metal gods with a nightly concert at 11 PM ET/PT. Legends Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Motley Crue, KISS, Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden will be featured.
Vh1 Classic will line up the highlights of its library of classic metal concerts on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 with a relentless line-up including:
6 pm ET/PT: Download Festival 2011 (featuring Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, System of a Down, Alice Cooper, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, Twisted Sister)
10 PM ET/PT: High Voltage 2011 (featuring Slash, Thin Lizzy, Queensryche, Dream Theater, Judas Priest, Black Country Communion)
11 PM ET/PT: MTV World Stage: KISS
By the time National Metal Day finally arrives on Friday, November 11, the line-up will be bolstered with features like The Decline of Western Civilization, Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, and, of course, This is Spinal Tap – the movie that taught metalheads everywhere to take it to 11.
A fixture on the Southern California music scene for over 15 years, Led Zepagain is the West Coast’s most popular & beloved Led Zeppelin tribute act.
If you love the music ofLed Zeppelin, then you won’t want to miss this show !!!
With Special Guests:
A tribute toJimi Hendrix.
This Saturday, October 22nd,2011
Wayward Sons are the premier “Arena Rock” tribute band, performing chart topping songs from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some of the artists covered include Journey, Queen, Styx, Foreigner, Boston, and Kansas. Based in Los Angeles, the band is composed of a group of seasoned musicians who have performed around the world and on national television.
With Special Guests:
SLIPPERY WHEN JERSEY
A tribute toBon Jovi.
MARA & THE BIG ROCKSTARS
Tickets are only $15.00 for each of this incredible nights.
Kenneth Partridge of AOL’s Noisecreep spoke with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton about their new album, The Chosen Few CD and keeping up with new music. Portions of the interview appear below.
NC: What’s the status on the new album. You’ve said in other interviews that you’ve got several songs finished.
GT: Yeah, we started writing in January and February, and we’re going to get together with [new guitarist] Richie [Faulkner] and do some writing now, which is going to be exciting. We just need a little bit of time so we can get back in the studio and do some writing. That’s the difficult thing, because the schedule is so heavy.
RH: Everybody is coming to us now because there’s a sense this is the last world tour. So we’re getting offers we didn’t get before to go back to certain parts of Europe. Russia is a gigantic country, and we’ve been asked to go to certain places we’ve never visited, and that’s exciting for us. We just did Venezuela — Caracas — and we’d never been there before. It was insane. We love that. We love going to a new country for the first time, because some of the fans are in tears when they see us. “I waited 30 years, and you’re finally here. If it wasn’t for the fact you came to me, I would never get a chance to see you play life.” So that’s very emotional, very empowering.
NC: Are there bands that gave you that same feeling when you were growing up in Birmingham?
RH: I think when I saw [Jimi] Hendrix at the Isle of Wight, or the Who at the isle of Wight, in whatever year that was — ’71 or ’72, something like that. I was just [thinking], “God, I wish I could do that.”
NC: Being a veteran band must be sort of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re already well established, so you have nothing to prove. On the other hand, any new album will invariably be compared to your classic work. How do you approach a new record?
GT: We never plan it. We just write what comes naturally. We don’t sit down and contrive it and say, “We’re going to go this way or that way.” We obviously did more of that with Nostradamus, because that was a conceptual album, but we’re just going to let it roll this time and let the dice fall where they will. It will be an album Priest fans want. We know what they want, and that’s what we’re going to give them. Part of the album is a thank-you to the fans. We’ve done a couple of anthems, and Rob has great lyrics saying “thank you” to the fans for all the years. We’re just going to let our instincts drive us on the rest and compose as we go along.
NC: Your new Chosen Few record comprises Priest classics picked by some of your famous fans. Did any of their selections surprise you?
GT: I’m citing Geezer from Sabbath choosing Living After Midnight. I thought he’d go for something really dark and evil. Apparently, when we did the Sabbath-Priest Ozzfest tour some years ago, that was the song he’d come from the dressing room to check out.
NC: People were all over the place with their picks — old stuff, new stuff, etc. That must have been gratifying.
GT: That’s what’s so cool about this release. All of these friends of ours, they listen to music, obviously, when they’re on the tour bus [or wherever]. Who knew that Ozzy likes The Ripper? It’s a funny sense of timing. It’s exciting.
NC: On this tour, you guys are playing with everyone from veterans Thin Lizzy to relative newcomers Hatebreed. Do you still keep tabs on new metal bands?
RH: I check the iTunes charts every few days, and I’m always listening to snippets on there, the top 100 albums. That’s informative, and it gives you a little bit of a cross section of what the world is listening to. It’s cool to see that Anthrax is in the top three with their latest release.
NC: Your last album was a concept record about Nostradamus. Do you think this one will be more personal and maybe incorporate the feelings associated with staging a farewell world tour?
GT: Not really. Part of it is a tribute to the fans, and our way of saying thank you, but the rest of the album can go any way. We’ve got loads of ideas, and we’ll just see how they all turn out.
RH: It’ll be who we are, basically. The subject matter can be anything we choose to go for and go with. The essence of it is turning out to be a really great classic Priest metal record.
Read Noisecreep’s entire interview with Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton by clicking here.