JOE STUMP – Give Us This Day Our Daily Shred

By Carl Begai

For guitarist Joe Stump the term “class is now in session” goes a lot further than sitting down with his axe and his reputation and giving six-string wannabes a schooling. At the time of this interview he was in fact getting ready for another year of teaching his craft to bonafide music students at the Boston-based Berklee College Of Music. Asked how his new crop of eager minds was shaping up, Stump addressed the situation with the same enthusiastic yet low-key approach he uses when discussing his music.

“I’m listening to a lot of guitar being played badly (laughs). It runs the gamut. You get some guys that are somewhat promising, but it depends. Younger guys nowadays… let’s just say they’re disciplined but their dedication is questionable. I’m very old school, so for me it’s still all about guitar, but as an example of what I just said, if I’m out in the hallway by my office I might see a couple guys practicing, but most of them are on their fucking smartphones, fucking around on Facebook. I purposely have a shitty flip-phone because if I wanted to type I’d get into another line of work.”

Revenge Of The Shredlord is Stump’s 11th official solo album but his old school approach to writing and recording has changed very little beyond the technology being used in the studio. Even then, he kept things at a basic meat-and-potatoes level for the new one.

“I did all the guitars at home this time, and I’m very low tech,” says Stump. “I like to play, I don’t like to fuck around, so it’s not like I have an elaborate studio set-up. I just have a small digital 8-track machine that I could never make a full record with, but for tracking guitars it works great. I did most of the guitars last summer and fall (2011), and by the time I finished tracking the bass, drums and keys the record was mixed by Christmas and mastered in January.” Continue reading JOE STUMP – Give Us This Day Our Daily Shred

BW&BK Interview: WILLIAM SHATNER – “I Had No Idea About The Energy, The Purity And The Excitement Of Heavy Metal Until I Worked With ZAKK WYLDE”

As much as I enjoy making the world a more dangerous place with BW&BK, I have one major issue with our little empire; it moves too damn fast. Case in point with The Boss’ recent interview with William Shatner, which was pinned as a top headline before being moved to the regular Features section on the site and subsequently buried by a gazillion other metallic stories and news bits. Yes, THAT William Shatner… the rock star’s rock star, out supporting his new spoken word rock album Seeking Major Tom, which is worth more than a cursory glance. Assuming, of course, you have a sense of humour.

That said, following is an excerpt from ye olde CEO Tim Henderson’s exclusive chat with a living legend…

By Metal Tim Henderson

With one listen to Seeking Major Tom, you either get it or you don’t. And Shatner gets it.

“Let me tell you about hard rock,” he begins on the phone from somewhere in outer-space. “Everyone is asking me the same question – what the fuck are you doing? I had no idea about the energy, the purity and the excitement of heavy metal until I worked with Zakk Wylde. I laid down my tracks to (Black Sabbath’s) ‘Iron Man’ first and then I went to Zakk Wylde’s house a couple of weeks later and the sound of Zakk Wylde’s guitar and voice taught me the meaning of heavy metal. And I have nothing but deep respect for it.”

You’ve got some heavy-weights of the scene. To actually get Ritchie Blackmore (Blackmore’s Night, ex-Deep Purple) out of his tights and Renaissance garb is quite the feat!

“Yes, it’s incredible. There’s some 20 of the greatest musicians alive today are on this record, it’s phenomenal! And how it happened is a little bit beyond me. Most of the people we asked jumped on board.”

Which artist had you awestruck or even starstruck?

“All of them. I know that’s a cop-out, but I mean, how do you choose between Brad Paisely playing that guitar, or Ritchie Blackmore, or Peter Frampton. And Sheryl Crow? Singing that song (‘Mrs. Major Tom’) a capella with bell-like tones. What an incredible voice. So how do you choose? I’m awestruck by the generosity of these people that gave me their time and their talent. And I’m filled with that tentative sort of offering like when a kitten comes in with a bundle from outside and offers it. I’m offering this record and as I see the reaction I’m braver about it. I didn’t know how it was going to be taken. I mean, the people who were in on the making of it were saying ‘awesome’ and ‘great’, but I’ve been in a lot of productions where you think you’re great. Or in the horse business it’s called being barn-blind. And I didn’t know we were being barn-blind or not. I felt great about it, but I didn’t know if it was going to be accepted or not. And it’s becoming quite popular.” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: WILLIAM SHATNER – “I Had No Idea About The Energy, The Purity And The Excitement Of Heavy Metal Until I Worked With ZAKK WYLDE”