Van Halen

All posts tagged Van Halen

By Carl Begai

Picture 7

Long before Extreme wrapped their Pornograffitti Live! World Tour celebrating the album’s 25th Anniversary this year, vocalist Gary Cherone was well into the second album from his other band, Hurtsmile. Entitled Retrogrenade, it’s the follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut from 2011 which was, by comparison, much harder to get into even though it does boast some memorable songs. It’s no accident Retrogrenade plays out as it does, being that Cherone and his brother Mark (guitars), Joe Pessia (bass) and Dan Spellman (drums) have finally hit their stride as a unit and no longer worry about people saying they sound like that “other” band on occasion.

“I think this is a better record than our first one,” says Cherone. “There were a couple songs on the first record that stuck in your head, but Retrogrenade is more melodic and I think the subject matter is more universal. There were more contributing elements on this record and everyone was more involved in the songwriting. The first album was mainly me and Mark. It’s a case of the band developing as a group, so thank you for saying that because it’s very encouraging.” Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

“Take these words home and think them through,
‘Cuz the next song I write might be about you.”

Project Wyze – ‘Only Time Will Tell’

Nobody in their right mind wants the publicity Tiefdruck Musik label boss Daniel Heerdmann is getting these days. Granted, it’s small scale recognition that likely won’t make it to a CNN news reel, but his so-called business practices have been yanked out into the open by My Ruin. A tale of band vs label conflict turning ugly is hardly unique, but My Ruin’s recent test of will is one for the books; or in this case, an album. Their new outing, A Southern Revelation, is a response to a record deal gone painfully awry, which saw the band’s 2010 album Ghosts And Good Stories die a premature death at the hands of Tiefdruck Musik. Not ones to go meekly into the night, vocalist/founder Tairrie B. Murphy and guitarist-turned-multi-intrumentalist/husband Mick Murphy chose to call Heerdmann out directly in response, first in a press release, and then in the lyrics on the new album. The attack is direct and leaves no question as to who’s leaving the ring with a bloody nose, metaphors be damned, and Tairrie is quite content being the one doing the damage.

Tairrie: “At this point I really don’t give a fuck. This man conned us; he snowed us big time. Calling him ‘The Soulless Beast’… it’s really true. He led us to believe that he was going to do all these things for us. When he approached us about the record deal – and we had a lot of conversations with him on Skype – he was cool. He told us that the reason we weren’t bigger is because nobody had ever promoted us properly because they didn’t know what to do with the band, but he could do the job. We were thinking ‘Wow, this guy really gets it.’ He told me that he’d been a fan since my Manhole days, that he saw me on tour supporting Fear Factory on the Demanufacture tour in 1996. I felt that we had a connection with this guy, which was amazing.”

“We got the deal going, and it was almost like a friend thing with this guy. We announced the signing while we were in the studio recording Ghosts And Good Stories, and soon after we got this really weird email from an old friend, Shaun Glass from Soil, who is now with Dirge Within. He told us we had to be really fucking careful because Daniel Heerdmann is a lying sack of shit. We wanted to know where that was coming from, and we told Shaun we were going to confront Daniel about it. I’m very open and forward when I want to know something.”

“So, I went to Daniel right after that and told him what Shaun had said, and Daniel had a comeback for everything, which was fine. At this point we’d signed the deal; what were we going to do? Daniel tried to really explain himself, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt because God knows people have had run-ins with My Ruin. There have been altercations, and I know some people out there talk shit about me and my husband. It did worry me a little in the back of my mind, but we decided to walk our own path, and as we got deeper into the record Daniel became even more supportive. He wanted to hear what we were doing and how the songs were coming along, and we’d never had that experience before. It was great. But, as soon as we got done with the record and we delivered it – and it was something we were so proud of – this guy did the Jeckyll and Hyde thing overnight.” Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

When a band releases an album for free, the knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss it as a collection of odds and bits that aren’t worthy of an official “real world” physical release. A Southern Revelation is available at no cost to friend and foe alike (details below), featuring brand new material written and recorded in the wake of a label-instigated shitsorm that would have ripped a lesser band to shreds. Call it nine shots of venom capped off with a chaser celebrating the good old days, served up as a middle finger dedicated to Tiefdruck Musik boss Daniel Heerdman following the botched release of My Ruin’s previous record, Ghosts And Good Stories.

A bloodletting rather than an exorcism, vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy tears down Heerdmann, false promises, industry politics and the posers it spawns, ever the elegant wordsmith whether she’s a raging scream or calculated spoken word. Always a treat to listen to – “listen” being the operative word – lyrical violence abounds, with Tairrie venting in her trademark no-bull fashion on ‘Walk Of Shame’, ‘Middle Finger’, ‘Seventh Sacrament’, ‘Deconsecrated’, and the killing blow, ‘The Soulless Beast’. And while certain folks may feel that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, being compared in song to the devil and stamped as “The Great Pretender” by name should be food for change of thought. Continue Reading