UAE-based rocker Jay Wud, who has just released his new album False Utopia to critical acclaim, has been chosen to open for legendary rock act Guns N Roses, in Abu Dhabi at the Du Arena on March 28th. We nabbed a quick interview with Jay.
Which Guns N Roses song would you do a duet with Axl on, if you were given the chance? I wouldn’t, it’s the mighty Axl after all! To play guitar next to him though? That would be incredible, it would have to be Sweet Child of Mine.
What is the first Guns N Roses song you remember hearing and how old and where were you? It was Welcome to the Jungle, I was 13 years old when a friend at school passed me Guns’n'roses Apetite For Destruction tape.
I saw your music video for Incomplete Heart on MTV Arabia – did they really blur out your tattoos? ha! Seriously? I didn’t know that.
You have just released your album False Utopia, how has it been received here and across the Middle East? False Utopia’s release has been quite a buzz, with the different sound and band launch. We are hoping the tour will get the record to reach more people.
Will your album be available on the merch stand at the Guns N Roses show? We are still working on those details, hopefully yes.
What is up next for you? Will you be touring or are you back in the studio? Actually the opening for Guns is the start of our tour in the region. Dates will be announced very soon on our site.
This year we will focus our energy on performing as much as possible, we owe it to our fans and we can’t wait to get on the road.
If you could sit down with Axl Rose and ask him two questions about anything, what would they be and why? I’d actually ask one question. Why did it take you so long to release the latest Guns record? After guns fell apart a lot of rumours about the new album not coming together went around, but then ” Chinese Democracy” came out and BAMMM, it was a masterpiece !
You are having a dinner party and you can invite any four famous people in the world whether living or dead, who would they be and why?
I don’t think I need to tell you the reason, what a group to have around the same table!
Friday night at The Music Room saw alternative rockers Kicksound take the stage, and from what we here, they played their best set yet. Crowd feedback included that these guys are poised to take the spotlight from Dubai’s favourite pop-rock act – Juliana Down. Let’s hope someone spots Kicksound and gives them that chance!
We nabbed a quick interview from the band, check it out:
If you guys were stranded on a desert island with no food, who would get eaten first and why?
Definitely not Branislav, our Serbian drummer. He’s a pretty scary guy and you don’t want to mess with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already been in that situation.
Tell us more about your music, who are your influences? I guess you could lump our music under the horrendously vague category of ‘alternative’. You could also call it melodic hard rock. I grew up listening to the likes of Metallica, Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine and Foo Fighters. I think Kicksound’s music is a mixture of those four bands, but obviously not quite as good, otherwise we’d be famous.
Which is your favourite Kicksound song and what is it about? I don’t really have a favourite, but the song that I’m most precious about is Holy Prize as it was the first song I’d ever written. That was finished in late 2010. You could say it’s about ‘cultural’ differences; something that we’re used to in Dubai.
Do you talk about emotions and your lives in your lyrics/songs, do you try and make any kind of political statements, or do you just write fun songs? I have no real interest or knowledge of politics, so I’ll leave that to Zack de la Rocha. I’d say emotions are more of an inspiration. A lot of the songs were written in a very short space of time and inspired by the experience of being in a relationship that was falling apart. Other than that, we have a brand new song called Brain Dead. It describes what happens when you drink one too many hops-based beverages.
If you could define yourself by one line out of any song in the world, what would that line be?
‘I’m a scatman!’
What are you guys up to now musically? Any album/EP/single in the works? We’ve got all the material ready to record an album, and we’ve been speaking to various producers around town to assess our options. If anyone wants to throw their hat into the ring, feel free to get in touch! We have 10 tracks in total, and we be played most of them, plus a surprise classic, at Metal Asylum last Friday. And that classic was…..
One audience member commented “You guys blew me away at the Metal Asylum event! Much impressed! And your interpretation of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is sick beyond reprieve! Respect! Hope to see you guys perform again soon! Cheers!”
Meydan Beach, Matrix AVE, Dream Master ME and The PR Clinic present Fatiniza and her brand new album ‘Nothing Is Impossible’ in a spectacular launch event at Meydan Beach on Thursday 7th March.
Located in the heart of JBR, the Meydan Beach is an opulent oasis superbly set for a night of musical fantasy from one of Dubai’s most stunning performers, Fatiniza.
Fatiniza is the Queen of the Independent Music Industry winning Best Female Act 2012 in the Bite My Music Independent Music Awards and Song of the Year with debut single ‘Out of Control’.
Known for her energetic and explosive live performances, this event is one not to be missed.
What to Expect:
Chill with drinks, sheesha and tunes from ‘DJ Loca’ from 19:00. Getting you in the mood for a show is the multi talented ‘Jeremiah and The Lucky Strikes’ taking the stage at 20:30.
Fatiniza will take the stage at approx 21:00 and perform over 1HR of original music including every song from her new album and past favorites.
The is a free to view non ticketed event – the only requirements are:
That you get there early enough to get a good view.
You have a great time
Hi Blaze, how are you doing?
I am just trying to recover from my trip to Brazil. It was absolutely fantastic we did about 15 shows all over Brazil and we had some great attendance and some really, really good shows, it was one of my favourite tours.
We had Mondays and Tuesdays off to explore and then we did four or five shows in a row, it was really good.
Have you ever played in the Middle East before?
Yes I started my professional career in music in Dubai. When I was in Wolfsbane we were hired as the house band for a hotel and we played in the pub inside the hotel, I think it was called the Red Lion. So yeah, we saved up all the money from that, we were out there for about a month and that is what we made our first demo tape with. We bought studio time and after that we managed to get an agent in the UK. Going and doing that gig in Dubai for that month, that was my first time that I had been away from home for a long time, I had to leave my job, that was the big thing, we said ‘right, we will go professional now’.
I was really excited when the booking came through for Dubai because I have a lot of memories of going there.
Which have been your favourite albums that you have been involved in in Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden or your solo career?
In Wolfsbane one of the albums that we did was called All Hell Breaking Loose and I have great memories of that one because we made it at a studio called Roundhouse near Camden in London and AC/DC had recorded part of their Highway to Hell album, one of the classic DC albums, but also while we were there The Queen had recorded part of Bohemian Rhapsody there. So there was a really great vibe and we had to have a battle with the record company to get the artwork we wanted. We only had like three days to make it, I think we had two whole days rehearsal then we had a days recording and then a day of mixing, so it was really really quick.
Which of the songs that you have written would you say you are most proud of?
I have a couple of highlights, I think one is from my Silicon Messiah album, which is called Stare at the Sun, which one fan said to me once; ‘it is the most perfect heavy metal song ever written’, I think that is quite bold,. I didn’t say that the fan did. I think that song feels really complete, I think if you shortened it or take things out it just didn’t make sense, so it just ended up being as long as it was to tell the story.
On my new CD I have a song called One More Step which I am very proud of as well, which is about trying to find courage when you don’t have anything.
Tell me a bit about your Russian Holiday EP.
It is an acoustic EP and its my vocals obviously, then classical guitar by Thomas Zwijsen and some of the songs I wanted to do again because I feel that my voice now is the best that it has ever sounded and I really wanted to record in a different way and so we decided to go ahead and make this classical EP. One of the songs is a brand new song, which is Russian Holiday and that was inspired by a trip to Russia and I was very homesick at the time and missing my family.
Some of the other ones are ones that I have done again from my career that I really wanted to sing again with the voice that I have now, so one is from the X Factor album called Sign of the Cross – because it is such a long time since I was in Iron Maiden and made the X Factor album that my voice has changed quite a lot and I really wanted to get a version of me singing this song which is really powerful with the voice that I have now.
I hope you enjoy it. If you want to listen to it and I hope the fans out there enjoy the songs that we are going to do. (grab yourself a copy here.)
Do you take any home comforts or family pictures with you on tour?
Well, on my laptop I have a file marked ‘Family’ and I have photos of my family and I put them on my phone as well, so I always have plenty of photos of my family. My daughter is 17 months old now, so what I did, because I missed her, I took a pair of her socks and put them in my bag so if I got a bit desperate I had a pair of my daughters socks as a little remembrance of her. It was a lot easier being away this time because we had Wi-Fi and Skype and we could actually see each other a couple of times, so that was good, but then when I went away to Russia, she was only five months old and I had already been away for a long time for the Kings of Metal album so it was very difficult to be away and that is what the song was about.
It was a horrible, horrible trip, every time I went away then she did not recognise me when I went back and I had to start all over again.
Regarding the song Como Estas Amigo I remember reading about how it is a message to those who lost their lives in the Falklands war, was this event a significant influence on you when you were young and did it spark a desire to become a musician and speak out against politicians?
Really it affected me in later life, my friend from school was in the Marines and he was killed in the Falklands, but it was actually a trip to Argentina that really inspired it because the hotel I was staying in was near the main square where the memorial was for the dead of the Falklands, and the people there were so lovely you couldn’t believe there had been a war with them. so that was what inspired it really, going and seeing the memorial from the soldiers from both sides of the conflict. It was a very political conflict. So that is what inspired the song and we do that in our acoustic set as well and it goes down really well and went down fantastically in Brazil.
Do you see any parallels with unjust conflict as a whole and the way it emboldens people in some cases to turn to music as an outlet for expression?
I am not very political in my music. The message that I am trying to get across is to try and be self-reliant and to help yourself and find the strength in yourself to make the best of your own world and change your own world personally. I am not very political in that way, but I have written several songs about war and about conflicts because it is such a deep emotional thing.
Can you share with us a couple of songs you will be playing on the set list?
We will be playing The Clansman, Como Estas Amigos, and from the X Factor we will be doing Sign of the Cross maybe, and Man on the Edge, and then from my own albums we will be doing Meant to Be and of course Russian Holiday from the EP. Most of the songs we have on the Russian Holiday EP will be played live.
What are you most looking forward to about coming back to Dubai?
I am a proper singer now, the first time I was there I was learning and it has changed so much, you see things on TV about how it has changed so I am really looking forward to seeing it up close and personal myself compared to when I was there the first time at that hotel. I am really excited and I don’t know what the fans are going to be like, I just don’t know, so I am really really excited about meeting the fans and I will be doing a special signing for everyone after the concert so anyone who has any of my Iron Maiden or Wolfsbane or any of my solo albums, they can bring it along and I will sign it after the concert.
I am really excited about coming to Dubai, I cant wait to meet the fans there and am really, really looking forward to the gig.
For more information on the event please click here.
Deep Purple has been called a heavy metal band, a hard rock band, a progressive rock band and much more by media and music industry professionals over the last 40 plus years; but Ian Gillan, Deep Purple vocalist feels that these labels are all wrong.
“Media loves to put a label on you; we have never thought of that, if you need a definition it is a rock band. Calling us heavy metal is just ludicrous, classic rock is like a tombstone around your neck. We went through the phase of dinosaurs and wrinkly rockers. I don’t really know how many more insults they can throw at you. A rock band, that’s what we are,” Gillan states.
The wide range of band influences brought in by the band’s members over the years has ensured that really, Deep Purple remains unclassifiable in terms of genre. When Gillan joined the band in 1969, Jon Lord’s input with jazz, organ and orchestral composition were huge, Richie Blackmore the guitarist at the time, was the Jo Meeks’ music productions guitar player for the first independent rock studio in England, and was also a touring musician with a lot of American rock n’ roll stars. Roger Glover the Deep Purple bass player loves all things folk and the drummer was inspired by big band swing.
“It was a completely mixed bag of influences brought into the band, so it is no wonder it is hard to define,” explains Gillan.
Ian Gillan had his own set of blues and rock n’ roll influences including the young Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. The band that influenced Gillan in terms of singing and vocal tone as opposed to writing was Cliff Bennett and the Rabble Rousers.
“It took years and years and years to get my voice into a way that I was happy with it. The bands of the time that I loved, but had no influence whatsoever on me were The Small Faces, and Amen Corner,” says Gillan.
The band has always been slightly eccentric in their approach to fans and publicity, Deep Purple still does not have its own publicist.
“We never really thought about the audience or commerciality because we were just too stupid to figure that out. We still don’t have a publicist, I think sometimes someone from the record label puts one up when we have new products out. Generally speaking we don’t have a publicist so we are not really aware of our worth,” says Gillan.
When he joined the band in 1969, Deep Purple had already had three hit albums and two number one hit singles in America, but they wanted to change their style and they wanted to write their own material, so he and Roger Glover joined, not just as a bass player and singer, but also as a songwriting team.
“I always remember at our first show in the Speakeasy in London with just a few people there mostly consisting of roadies, but when the band cranked up I just looked across and thought, ‘This is it mate, this is what we have been waiting for,’ so that to me was a moment when I realised that we had stumbled into something, maybe stumbled is the wrong word, we had fallen into something that was what we had been dreaming of and that was in 1969,” remembers Gillan. “It has been downhill ever since.”
In 1971, Deep Purple composed their most famous song to date, a song that has been played more times than any other track in the world; Smoke on the Water. The song and its lyrics were born out of an almost tragic event when the band was recording in Montreau, Switzerland.
“`We were in Montreux in Switzerland in 1971 recording the Machine Head album, and the place we were recording was in fact a theatre in a casino, which was made of wood and was a few hundred years old. I was watching the last show of the season and we were moving in the next day. We were watching Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention when someone came in with a flare gun and set fire to the place and it went up blazing and many exciting things happened, lots of dangerous things happened and we went down the coast of Lake Geneva and watched it burn,” Gillan says.
The band then had to find alternative accommodation to record in and at the end of the session the engineer told Deep Purple that he needed one more song. The band was short of time and was leaving Switzerland the next Day.
“We decided to pull out the sound check track from the first day and write a biographical lyric about the making of Machine Head, which started out ‘We all came out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline to make records for the mobile we didn’t have much time’ etc etc , so the lyrics go through and explain the biographical making of this record. Watching that casino burn to the ground was one of the most vivid things I have seen in my life. We were very close to it, so on the last day Roger [Glover] came up with the title ‘Smoke on the Water’, which he had written on a napkin. I don’t know why, but as writers we do this sort of thing, and that was how it ended up,” explains Gillan.
The track then languished unheard on the record as a filler track for a year or more until someone at Warner Bros saw how well the song was going down during the concerts and did an edit from the seven minute version to something that people would play on the radio.
“We never really thought about those things when we made records, we still don’t. Anyway, it got played a lot on the radio and ended up being the most played track in the world ever,” says Gillan.
Deep Purple have a brand new album coming out in April, but Gillan was not able to talk about it.
“I have only just heard the mixes, I have not even heard the masters yet, we can’t do any of the material on stage because of YouTube and the next day it will be out and spoil the surprise. I don’t know how the information got out. I think it was the constant pressure well, when are you going to make a record, so we did one and it will be out in April and it is really too soon at the moment to start talking about it,” he states.
For more information on the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival check out the website www.dubaijazzfest.com
Dubai based rock band Vin Sinners that released its debut album in December 2011 has clinched the top spot in the hard rock category on www.reverbnation.com, the world’s largest music social platform which was most recently used by legendary rock band Motley Crue to launch their new single. The charts that are devised on the basis of fan growth, interactions, music shares have served as an ideal benchmark to the popularity of a band.
Vin Sinners was founded in 2010 by Chennai born vocalist and songwriter Vin Nair who returned to the stage after a 14 year hiatus from music. The band started doing small shows later that year but only started to gain popularity after the launch of their album ‘An Element of Surprise’ in December 2011 on an independent label in the UAE. The album was then released via popular digital music store www.artistaloud.com in July 2012 for the Indian market following which several songs of the band made it to the top of online charts. Songs such as ‘Something to believe in’, ‘Return to Solace’ and even the heavy metal biopic ‘BHO Part 1′ – dedicated to Barack Hussein Obama made waves on the online space within the niche genre.
Earlier this month, Vin Sinners had announced that it was embarking on a tour of India called ‘The Element of Surprise Tour’ in February 2013 which would see the band do shows in Mumbai and Vin’s hometown Chennai.
‘I remember uploading ‘Something to believe in’ on reverbnation.com in 2010 and soon found it had gotten to No.2 on the charts but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I got this notification and I shared it with the rest. Fans are a testament of good work – period. If they are loving the music we dish out, that’s most of our job done…the rest being showing up and delivering it real good’ said Vin about the band’s most recent accolade. ‘This not something that will stay for ever but it is indeed a special moment for us and we will all savour it well’ he added.
Vin Sinners have a busy February that have them playing at Big Boys Toys in the UAE, Metal Asylum’s Metal Ballroom and one more concert before they take off for India.
Vin Sinners are Cmythonika (keyboards), Skinner (Drums), Joe Demon (Bass), Aldo Rock (Guitars), J.B (Guitars) and Vin (Vocals).
The post reads: ‘Metallica will return to Abu Dhabi on Friday, April 19! Tickets go on-sale on January 21 at 12 PM local time at www.thinkflash.ae.’
A post on the news section of the Metallica website reads:
“We had such an amazing time a little over a year ago visiting Abu Dhabi (a Metallica first!) that we couldn’t wait to head back, so we’re very excited to add a date there to the April calendar. We’ll be stopping at the du Arena at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Friday, April 19 on our way to South Africa.
Tickets go on sale today at www.thinkflash.ae or 800FLASH (35274) at noon. Met Club members should log in for details on how to obtain Fan Pit tickets.”
Their sold out debut performance in the UAE attracted some of the best reviews from concert-goers and music critics across the Middle East, and now the world’s most famous hard rock band is back by popular demand.
FLASH Entertainment is bringing Metallica back to the Capital for another breath-taking show, on Friday, 19 April, at the du Arena, Yas Island. Tickets for the concert go on sale today at www.thinkflash.ae and 800FLASH (35274).
In 2011, when die hard Metallica fans first heard the news they were coming to town, thousands snapped up tickets in record time. Almost 20,000 fans packed the du Arena that Tuesday night, and they weren’t disappointed, as the rock quartet of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo blasted out hits, including Enter Sandman, Creeping Death, Nothing Else Matters, Sanitarium and Seek and Destroy. There were tears of joy in the front row as fans from across the region screamed for their heroes. This year’s show on Friday 19 April is set to be even bigger.
The nine-time Grammy Award winning band’s meteoric rise to superstardom saw Metallica emerge from the grungy underground music scene, to eventually becoming the most influential hard rock band in the world. With over 20 million Facebook fans worldwide, and 48,000 in the UAE alone, Metallica are one of the most popular bands in the region, attracting fans of all ages and backgrounds.
The band has received rave reviews throughout the world for their contribution to rock music. Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Greg Prato of Allmusic said: “Metallica expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions.”
The world-renowned music critics called the band “easily the best, most influential hard rock band of the ’80s, responsible for bringing the music back to Earth.”
Tickets for Metallica live at the du Arena on Friday 19 April go on sale today at www.thinkflash.ae or 800FLASH (35274). Tickets start at AED295 for General Admission, AED695 for Fan Pit and AED995 for Fan Pit Early Entry.
Dutch classical guitarist Thomas Zwijsen released his album Nylon Maiden on January 8th. The album contains 11 unique arrangements of Iron Maiden tracks on classical guitar. Additional musicians on the album are Anne Bakker (violin), Nathanael Taekema (drums), Tony Newton (Voodoo Six, bass) and Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane, vocals).
Thomas has worked closely with Blaze Bayley; as composer, co-producer and lead guitarist on Blaze’s most recent “The King Of Metal” album and tour, playing to thousands of fans across all of Europe. Thomas’ ‘Nylon Maiden’ videos have had over 2 million views on YouTube, with his technical and tuneful abilities never failing to impress.
Nylon Maiden will be released on CD and as digital download. Zwijsen released a single with 2 non-album tracks (The Evil That Men Do / Run To The Hills) on red vinyl and as digital download on November 26th.
Supporting this album Thomas already toured with Maiden uniteD, the all-acoustic Maiden tribute project featuring Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace) and Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), on most of their European dates in November and December.
Thomas is currently on tour with Blaze Bayley. This tour will take him to South America, Australia and Europe, playing a double set: first opening the show with a solo Nylon Maiden set, before a full acoustic set with Blaze.
Catch them LIVE at The Music Room – May 31st https://www.facebook.com/events/317324801702378/?fref=ts
Order your copy of Nylon Maiden here: http://www.thomaszwijsen.com/store.html
‘Inside Looking Out’ – a benefit compilation album of punk & hardcore bands from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Bahrain, Algeria and Morocco. All profits from this album go towards the benefit of expatriate labourers in Dubai who are often given unfair wages and unreasonable living & working conditions.
01. Sound Of Ruby – Jane Doe
02. Lipslide – Look At The Bright Side
03. Passive Standouts – Not Today
04. IED – Homogenizer
05. Sandwash – Temper
06. Beirut Scum Society – The More You Know (The Less You Feel)
07. Mazhott – Mazhott
08. W.O.R.M – Nothing
09. Midway – Lights
10 .The Camel – Fadia Hamdi
11. Grand Hotel Paradox – Big Battles / Small Men
12. Detox – Camel
13. Riff Raff – Close Shave
14. Tsinelaz – Incoming
15. Through Sunken Eyes – Porn Addict
16. Fighting Superheroes – Shining Light
17. Demokhratia – El Fahem
18. Dead Shakes – Lucky *
19. Tsinelaz – Teriblé (BONUS TRACK)
20. Grand Hotel Paradox – Dub Battles / Small Men (BONUS TRACK)
21. Detox – Great White Human (BONUS TRACK)
Released January 15 from http://abbreviatedrecords.com worldwide in both digital download format and limited pressing of CDs containing three extra bonus
Anthony Younes, CEO of Chillout productions talks to Metality UAE about the upcoming Emirates Airline Jazz Festival 2013 and what she is most looking forward to this year.
How did you decide on the line-up for this year’s Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival? It wasn’t an easy process, but since we had a kind of decision taken right after the 2012 edition that the theme is going to be rock, then we started contacting all agencies for rock headliners, we were aiming to have a mix of classic rock (Deep Purple), and pop/indie rock (3 doors down + One Republic + The Script)
How do you think the introduction of various genres will benefit the festival?
Well this is more of a music festival, we call it Dubai Jazz Festival, featuring a wide variety of quality live entertainers, mostly is jazz, so basically we have something for everyone’s taste.
Which of the bands are you most excited to see?
Considering my age, I would love to see Deep Purple again, and again.
What is different about this year’s Jazz Fest?
Not so many changes in term of set up, as last year’s was perfect, everyone loved the new venue in Dubai Festival City, but in terms of offerings in the venue, we are working on a wider food and beverage outlets, and more entertainment on the jazz garden stage
What has the audience response been so far to the line-up?
So far it is very positive, I would say 98% of our fan base are excited about it, but we still trying the satisfy the remaining 2%, we want everyone to be happy.
In your time doing event production have you ever had any crazy riders from bands?
All the technical riders of the celebrities have odd requests, we always try to fulfill all their demands, but sometimes they as for things that does not exist in this part of the world. But in general, we don’t believe in the impossible.
What has your favourite Jazz Fest moment been so far?
The day I close the venue after the festival, just kidding.
Can you tell me a bit about the history of the Jazz Fest?
Its started as a 3-day mainstream jazz festival selling the 1st year 1200 tickets, and since the 2nd edition the numbers have double and tripled, in 2012 we had 46,000 visitors.
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EACH TICKET is valid ONLY on the date shown on its front, and cannot be used or re-used on any other night