Born of Scars is a female fronted, modern hard rock band based out of Queens, NY. The band is currently releasing their current CD “Circles.” An accomplished musical unit, Born of Scars has performed at The Bamboozle Festival and opened for national acts Fuel, Tantric, and many others. Though many musical comparisons to the band have been drawn they all fall short. Born of Scars mixes melodic vocal lines with soul piercing lyrics and bone crushing rhythms. The result is a unique sound that audiences can immediately relate to yet at the same time feel intrigued by. The band members are truly top notch musicians with musical roots spread across all genres of the musical spectrum. Each member’s mastery of their instrument is evident in “Circles.” Though many opportunities have presented themselves to the band, they have stayed independent to this point, but that may soon be changing. Keep an eye on Born of Scars, 2018 will prove to be a big year for the band.
By Andrew Catania
Young, talented, super human, the next age music sensation, Marc Rizzo, has managed to make himself a household name at the young age of 27, with a myriad of music awards and accolades to his name, and begging in tremendous praise from the critic’s camp. This is a sure sign that he’s going places and adding more on his acclaim and well-established fame as he progresses in his career.
He started off by co-founding Ill Niño, the famous American metal band that comprised of the initial founding squad which included Jorge Rosado from ‘Merauder,’ Marc Rizzo for the guitar, Christian Machado on bass, and Dave Chavarri as the drummer. Since then, he has been a vital part of some bands, groups and joint ventures that include Cavalera Conspiracy, Soulfly, Misfits, Coretez, Committee of Thirteen, coupled with some guest appearances and solo feats.
As much as he cherishes being part of Ill Niño once, he’s equally contented that he moved on for good. And this is evident from his extensive music credentials and career profile as we cast a bird’s eye view of his career, discography, and the rig rundown. The chronology of his career is a strong validation of the mastery and expertise that he holds, with the riffs, shreds, and chords of his signature Flamenco.
Being extremely busy these days with multiple projects in the pipeline and planning future tours, it was quite a feat getting the ‘shirtless guy with a backpack’ for a brief music canvas, but it turned out to be entirely worthwhile as we managed to gain first-hand insights from him about his musical endeavors, the instruments he’s playing, and future aspirations.
Bright, witty and meticulous as he is, we share the quizzy-conversation as it played out as an informative and thrilling treat for the readers and his fan base. Read on.
How would you define yourself as a guitar player?
Marc: I am just a huge fan of all styles of guitar playing. I started playing guitar in 1986 as an 8-year-old kid, so all the 80’s shredders and thrash stuff is my style of playing.
What was your defining point in your musical career?
Marc: I think signing with Shrapnel Records back in 2005 was my biggest achievement. It inspired me to practice more and work harder to become a better guitar player.
How did you get into shredding and how was your learning process?
Marc: I just love guys like Satriani and Malmsteen. I studied with many teachers that were knowledgeable in that style.
You were part of two great acts: Ill Niño and current lead guitar player from Soulfly. Tell us about the effect these experiences have into your playing.
Marc: I think both bands have been cool opportunities for me that I always gave 100% to live and on recordings.
How is Marc Rizzo’s solo music so different from the Soulfly concept and why?
Marc: My solo records are different from Soulfly because I am writing instrumental music where I am trying to make the guitar be the voice and try to be more melodic but at the same time heavy. Then my acoustic songs are much more open to other audiences to enjoy that do not like metal.
Regarding your solo albums: what musical challenges did you face?
Marc: My solo records are fun to make. I record all my guitars and bass. And it is great to be able to have the guitar be the primary focus. The challenge is playing these obscure songs live because it takes much more concentration to perform my solo songs live in concert.
How’s Marc Rizzo’s creative process?
Marc: My creative process is all improvising on the spot. I like my writing to be natural and go with what comes out naturally. I love to improvise.
Regarding your gear: how did it evolve through your career?
My gear has changed to simplifying everything. I just use my Washburn guitar through Peavey 6505. A Boss delay pedal and crybaby wha and that’s it. I am more concentrating on technique than gear.
Tell us about your musical interest into joining Dead by Wednesday
Marc: DBW is a great project with a great melodic singer. Working with them is great.
What can we expect from your new solo release Downside Up?
Marc: My newest solo record will be I hope this year. It’s my favorite record I ever recorded with my favorite producer Zeus. It has some of my best riffs, solos, and songs I ever wrote. My drummer Anthony Devizio is amazing and shines all over the record. I think I finally made a record that instrumental guitar fans will love and also the Soulfly fans will love. It has tons of catchy melodies and heavy, brutal riffs. I am very excited to release this record and tour for this record. My solos live show will be intense playing my new songs!! It is great to see fans slam dancing to my instrumental music!!
George Lynch and Michael Sweet are back with Sweet & Lynch’s sophomore effort, ‘Unified‘ due out November 10th, 2017 via Frontiers Records. Here’s the first single titled “Promised Land”
By Andrew Catania
Hеrmаn Lі wаѕ bоrn оn October 3, 1976, іn Hоng Kоng аnd moved tо Englаnd durіng hіѕ tееnаgе уеаrѕ. Hе ѕреаkѕ Cаntоnеѕе аnd Englіѕh fluently. Hеrmаn Lі drаwѕ іnfluеnсеѕ frоm rock, аll ѕubgеnrеѕ оf mеtаl аѕ wеll аѕ vіdео gаmе muѕіс аnd оftеn mіmісѕ ѕоundѕ frоm рорulаr rеtrо gаmеѕ frоm the late 80s, еаrlу-90ѕ аrсаdе, аnd PC gаmеѕ. Fоr еxаmрlе, Hеrmаn Lі hаѕ bееn knоwn fоr mаkіng ѕеvеrаl Pас-Mаn-lіkе nоіѕеѕ іn thе ѕоng “Thrоugh thе Fіrе аnd Flаmеѕ” on Inhumаn Rаmраgе. Hіѕ рlауіng ѕtуlе соnѕіѕtѕ оf fаѕt dеѕсеndіng аnd аѕсеndіng lеgаtо and ѕtассаtо lісkѕ, еxоtіс scale runѕ, mаkіng еxtеnѕіvе uѕе оf the hаrmоnіс mіnоr аnd Phrуgіаn dоmіnаnt ѕсаlе, еxtrеmе uѕе оf hіѕ whаmmу bar, ԛuісk full аѕсеndіng and dеѕсеndіng ѕwеер рісkіng аrреggіоѕ, alternate рісkіng аnd tарріng оn the hіghеr frеtѕ аѕ wеll аѕ іnсоrроrаtіng mаnу оthеr ѕhrеd guіtаr ѕtуlе tесhnіԛuеѕ. Hеrmаn Li іѕ lеft-hаndеd but lеаrnеd to рlау right-handed. Rесеntlу, hе hаѕ ѕtаrtеd to uѕе a dеvісе саllеd thе Hоt Hаnd thаt ѕіtѕ оn hіѕ rіght hаnd lіkе a rіng, whісh саuѕеѕ еxtrеmе vіbrаtо whеn ѕhаkеn, gіvіng hіm grеаtеr capacity tо еmulаtе сеrtаіn vіdео gаmе ѕоundѕ. Lі has stated Mісhаеl Rоmео’ѕ fаѕt guіtаr рlауіng hеаvіlу іnѕріrеd hіѕ оwn ѕtуlе.
Hеrmаn Lі uѕеѕ Ibаnеz E-Gеn guіtаrѕ, his ѕіgnаturе Ibаnеz mоdеlѕ bаѕеd оn hіѕ оld Ibаnеz S Sеrіеѕ, whісh wаѕ rеtіrеd frоm ѕtаgе аt thе еnd оf the Inhumаn Rampage tоur. Thе EGEN18 hаѕ a ‘Trаnѕраrеnt Vіоlеt Flаt’ fіnіѕh (trаnѕраrеnt рurрlе оn a flаmеd-mарlе tор), аnd the EGEN8 hаѕ a ‘Platinum Blоndе’ fіnіѕh (nаturаl wооd fіnіѕh wіth a flаmеd-mарlе tор). Bоth hаvе a rоѕеwооd fіngеrbоаrd аnd gоld hardware. Thе E-Gеn mоdеl hаѕ many unіԛuе fеаturеѕ аnd іmрrоvеmеntѕ оvеr a standard S, including іtѕ vеrѕаtіlе tоnе selection with соіl tap ѕwіtсhіng fоr both thе bridge аnd nесk рісkuрѕ, Edgе Zеrо brіdgе (thе EGEN8 has Edgе III), сuѕtоm DіMаrzіо HLM рісkuрѕ (thе EGEN8 hаѕ Ibаnеz рісkuрѕ) аnd аn еxtеndеd ѕсоор оn thе lоwеr hоrn оf thе bоdу, as wеll аѕ a ‘Kung-Fu grip’ оn thе uрреr hоrn ѕhареd bу Hеrmаn Lі’ѕ hаnd. It іѕ Ibаnеz’ѕ flаgѕhір model fоr S bоdу ѕtуlе guіtаrѕ currently.
On May 9th,2010, Hеrmаn Lі аnnоunсеd via Fасеbооk thаt hе hаd received a сuѕtоm-mаdе Ibаnеz 7-ѕtrіng guіtаr. Nо details аrе known уеt аbоut thіѕ guitar, оthеr than іt hаѕ ѕеvеn ѕtrіngѕ, аnd іt іѕ unknоwn whеthеr іt wіll bе mаѕѕ-рrоduсеd for hіѕ E-Gеn ѕіgnаturе lіnе.
Bеfоrе thе E-Gеn, hе hаd bееn knоwn tо рlау Ibanez S Prestige guіtаrѕ. An Ibаnеz S470SOL (Jараnеѕе buіld 1995), a ѕеvеn ѕtrіng Ibanez 540S7 (Jараnеѕе buіld 1991) (uѕеd іn Rеvоlutіоn Dеаthѕԛuаd, Stоrmіng thе Burnіng Fіеldѕ, bеfоrе thе ѕесоnd vеrѕе аnd іn thе оutrо оf Heartbreak Armаgеddоn аnd thе brіdgе ѕесtіоn оf Oреrаtіоn Grоund аnd Pоund), аnd аn Ibenеz S540FMTTS (Jараnеѕе buіld 1995). Hе hаѕ аlѕо bееn ѕееn рlауіng аn Ibаnеz S2170FB аnd аn Ibаnеz S2170FW. Hе аlѕо оwnѕ an Ibаnеz Jеm7BSB, whісh hаѕ been uѕеd оn еvеrу DrаgоnFоrсе аlbum fоr rесоrdіng rhythm guіtаr раrtѕ, аn Ibаnеz J Custom RG, an Ibenеz RG2228 (8-ѕtrіng mоdеl), аnd a PRS Mоdеrn Eаglе, whісh hе rесеіvеd аѕ a gіft frоm Pаul Rееd Smіth аnd саn bе ѕееn іn thе ѕtudіо.
I sat down with Herman at the Beacon Theater before their show in Orlando, Florida.
So how’s the tour going?
HL: Yeah we started this part, I mean we have begun actually in April, and we went to Indonesia, we went to China and all that, and the Philippines. We started this part in June, and we started in Japan and made our way to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the US West Coast, and now we’re here, we’re at the final part of it.
How is the new album being received?
HL: It’s been great. We played a few new songs, and they’ve been as welcomed as the old songs, so it’ been a good run for us. It’s better than I expected to be honest.
How do you guys collaborate on song writing?
HL: On this album, Fred and Sam, pretty much did the writing on this one. They worked well on the last album, so on this one, they were going to do it together, but they didn’t, they separated them, did the songs in their separate ways. And then we put it together and had the band worked on it.
Did you do anything extra besides the song arrangement, did you do anything on the production?
HL: I was working on the release of Killer Elite at that time actually, and I was working on some other stuff. So I came in a bit later.
Did you guys record for a long time or did you take your time recording this?
HL: I think medium if it exists. We went into recording I think around, not last year, the year before, around the summer, just before that season started and we finished it in, I think six months; it took us about six months. Which shows, we did a tour for the Killer Elite, which is a compilation of the old songs and best of whatever. We are doing that around Europe, and I think in Japan and running the US.
Did you do any different improvising on guitar for this, for the song like you did on the last one?
HL: We’re always trying to get better at it, so I don’t know how different it is, it depends on how you look at. We try to improve so that the album is more dynamic than previous. I compare DragonForce to like, technology or a car or a computer; we’re always making an improvement to it slowly. It’s not like a crazy, dramatic sudden change, with a different band.
When people say you’re one of the best metal guitarists out there, how do you take that?[
HL: I’d never see myself as such a great guitar player, I mean, I just do what I like to do, have fun and you know, who am I to judge? I mean I have my favorite players that I like. I think with the guitar the great thing is, it’s not like a competition, it’s not a sport where you have to score and then see who won at the end it’s so subjective. So that’s the right thing about it, it’s not meant to be competitive. I know a certain culture and certain people are brought up to compete on every single level. I don’t make more money than them, I don’t sell more records than them, we’ve got to do this, and we’ve got to fix our face because people are looking them, whatever. For me, at least for us in the band, the way we are brought up, we are not brought up to look at art and music that way, definitely not. So we don’t have that ‘kill or be killed attitude’ you know.
That’s a very different view.
HL: Yeah I know. I mean the way we look at it is this, you’ve got to be true to yourself and come and act in a way that you’re brought up to, our family, that’s what they taught us, and that’s how we reflect. I mean, we make music, seriously the best we could. But when we’re on stage we’re ourselves, we have fun, we’re not angry people, we’re not too serious and intense people, we have a real good time, and we try to reflect that on stage and even in our music videos and stuff like that.
Talk about your guitar rig; I know you have your signature Ibanez, are you using anything special on this tour that you haven’t used on the previous?
HL: I have a 7-string custom Ibanez guitar. How many guitars do I have in this part of the tour? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; I’ve got about 5 or 6 guitars, different colors. The guitars I use are the same one you can play in the shop.
You’re not doing anything custom or different, I can just go into wherever and just pick one up, and that’s the same one you’re using.
HL: Well, it’s not a signature model if it’s not the same guitar I’m playing. So I mean obviously, the Ibanez, you could do the original model which, the one I played on Saturday, there’s a new cheaper one which is not made in Japan, because Japan is expensive to get it done there. The pickups are not the DiMarzio USA ones; they’re like cheaper yeah. So I mean, actually the high-end one is the same as mine, same setup, it’s got to be the same. And that’s one of my things, when I talk about the way ‘I believe in things and try to stick to it’ and not get moved around by the ‘kill or be killed’ attitude or the commercialism of music and music business, I try to keep it as much as possible. I said to Ibanez when they made the guitar I said look ‘I’m not going to customize the guitar if you cannot release the same guitar I’m playing on stage. So it’s got to be the same.
Wow, that’s awesome! I was going to say that is awesome because when you look at some of the other players, they might have their guitar all specced out and the public can’t get it like that
HL: My own is pretty much, I mean if there is a difference, I would say I have this one little screw at the back, and that’s it. I glued the neck, you know the neck is put together by 4 bolts right, I added extra glue inside it and the 4 bolts just to give it extra strength and travelling and kicking the guitar in the air all the time, but the rest, the wood, and pickups, everything is the same.
Are you a ‘bolt on’ or a ‘neck through’ fan?
HL: Bolt on. I think bolt on is great Rock, heavy metal guitar sound. I know people are skeptical and would even say ‘neck through’ because it cost more on the neck [of course] but that hacks if the dynamics are different, so it’s almost like ‘oh my way is better than yours,’ but it doesn’t work that way in music. I mean there’s always a compromise where you get the ‘bolt on’ you get a bit less sustain, but you’ve got a more direct attack sound, and the locking bridge can give you a bit less sustain, but you’ve got more flexibility and better tuning. So there are so many things.
People on the inside talk too much when they don’t know enough information about different things they want to just side on one thing and forget about the balance of all the things that compromise, each thing, the music or stuff like that. Like a car, you know a stocked car is fast, but you can’t put more than two people in there. It’s almost like kind of the same thing.
Do you have the same rig you had on the last tour?
HL: I have a Kemper, which is profiling system, so it copies what I’m using is, I use the Profile to copy my old sound into the Profiler, to use the new up-to-date effects like the harmonizer, that I don’t have on my older system. I’m just kind of an old school, shredder, rock solid pre-amp. So I know everyone is always putting new technology and putting new sounds, but I’m just sticking to those sounds that I liked when I first started playing guitar when I was listening to the 80’s shredders. So I’ve kind of got that, and I copied it into the new system, the Kemper and I use the new effects; because the effects will be bold right. Computers, however, an amp is always an amp, and there’s this tone of an amp, like an old Marshall, people still write it, and I feel like that rock hard sound. So I’m just using modern technology with the old sound.
If it works, sometimes you’ve just got to stick with it, why change it up if it already works?
HL: Exactly! Because I remember about 20 years ago there was the piece of gear that came out, and everyone said, “Oh my God, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve heard, ” and then no one is even playing it now. So they’ll even forget the acknowledgment that you can use it, and I think, “oh my God, it sounds terrible, listen to this stuff.” So it’s like, who is right and who is wrong? You know what? If you’ve got a piece of gear that you love, and it’s been making for 20 years, that means it got through the test of time, apart from this kind of like consumed, quick gear that comes in and out then throw away, you see them at the used store, and no one wants them.
Sometimes less is better than more.Yeah exactly! Unfortunately, I got burned like the CPU power mode so.]
HL: Yeah exactly!
What picks are you using these days?
HL: I use Planet Waves picks, I use something of a matte finish, so it doesn’t slip out of my hand.
Are you a 2.0 guy, 1.5?
So you’re a Jazz mini guy.
HL: Yeah the problem is the Jazz picks are too small, and when I first started touring I used to use the Jazz free and Stubbies. The problem is you can’t do any fun things with them, and they’re just too little. You can’t do a strum, and you just fire up your finger, and you can’t throw it, and you can’t put a signature on that, so I stopped using them, and I got into big picks once I started to tour. It’s a compromise.
In the studio, if I’m sitting down playing or recording, a Jazz III pick is great. If you’re just chilling, you’re not out on stage running around and jumping around and having fun.
I was going to say, the Jazz minis, I just can’t see how people are using them. Some people swear by them and others, usually like 1.5s or 2.0s, I guess it just depends on what you’re doing.
If you’re holding a pick and you switch it and keep it somewhere else, you grab the whammy bar, a bigger pick has more room to hold, and you’re not going to drop it. With a little pick, if you slip, it comes out of your hand, done. You have to grab the whammy bar. You’ve got to do something; you’ve got to slide, move the microphone. So you’ve got to move the mic, and you’ve got to put your pick here, adjust your chin move the microphone, you need to attach a ring and adjust your pack I would have to have like ten lining up] you’re going to keep dropping this small pick. So it all comes from being tested on tour. [Trial and error] Yeah and the reason why I started playing the Ibanez guitar in the first place is that my favorite guitar players were playing Ibanez. So I thought, they must know something. Steve Vai, Satriani, they must know something. These guys are such high level, touring around the world, they’re not just sitting in a bedroom playing, you know.
Like the YouTube generation.
HL: Exactly. They are testing the gear, telling you what stays in tune, what works, what sounds good and not just in their bedroom, but also on stage, on the P.A. loud, along with the pickup. So just like you wouldn’t buy a sports car, you would take around the race track, you would never be testing it on the race somewhere if the engine was never in some test or guys don’t know what they’re doing. They say ‘oh this what it is.’ I would say that is how I would end up using what I’m using.
How did you take up the guitar? Is there something back home that got you interested in it?
HL: Not really. I guess I just needed something new like a new hobby. I think everyone gets a new hobby. Somebody would get into gardening, bird watching or cars, I don’t know. So at 16, I got into guitars.
Were you self-taught or did you have lessons? Did you have lessons and self-taught?
HL: Just self-taught really. I mean learning from books is almost like a lesson. Or you’re watching videos; watching videos; those were my lessons, VHS videos. I learned this watching instructional videos, but live videos are so important. To see how someone performs, and so I was watching a lot of live videos from Guns ‘N Roses, Metallica, playing it frame by frame by frame, Watching it again I thought ‘Oh, that guy looked cool doing that.’ I didn’t like the guy putting the guitar up here, I’ve watched apparently Chris Impellitteri, he’s one of the best on the guitar. Beautiful and some insane styles, I mean like ‘God how did he even do that?’ I saw that, and I thought ‘well that’s impossible to play anyway.’ There’s a friend of mine who had a bootleg of him playing in Japan for that Stand in Line Tour, and I thought ‘God this guy is so good.’
What was your first band that you got into? Was that in your early 20s or late teens?
HL: Early teens, I discovered Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora, yeah and I found Europe and they play finer times on the radio (Overlapping of music and voices) The Soul Glows, Miracle, that’s where I first and [John Levin and Key Marcel] yeah, that’s when I first discovered actual music that I liked. I like music but the guitar kind of grabbed me and then, later on, I got into, what was popular then, Bryan Adams, ‘Wake up the Neighbors’ that was a cool album I thought, great solos. Then I got in all the Hard Rock stuff and of course Metallica,
Do you think YouTube is a useful tool for people trying to learn the guitar or do you say it has hallowed the instrument from playing with teachers in person?
HL: I think everything you can get, is useful, but you shouldn’t just learn from one resource. You need to learn from multiple resources, go out and see a show, play in a band, play with friends, play live, see what it’s like and learn things. Maybe you would get some culture if you’d rather sit at home and not go out and thinking ‘I’m listening to YouTube.’ But hearing something live is a whole different thing than someone listening compress in a computer lab, probably having terrible speakers at home. Then they learn because you’re allowed to (talk in the studio) I made a mistake, or I deleted this, I mean, these people never even played under pressure you know.
To know what’s like when the lights are flickering, your ears are blasting You screw up for one second, and you’ve got 400 or 500 people down there retweeting on Instagram “oh, he screwed this up” so it’s a lot of stress. And the confidence of pressure, when to show it and bring it. You know it’s like you’re playing in competitive sports when you’re playing on stage. You get a bit nervous, you cope, but you don’t know what to do. So I think the culture got to the point where people always have their opinion but before thinking about it or learning about enough, people rather say something than trying to learn enough solve information.
So if I was starting to play the guitar now, I think I would be fortunate because there is so much information out there so I would just shut up learn before complaining about it to other people.
Have you ever thought about doing a solo album?
HL: I’ve thought about it, I’ve thought ‘if I’m going to go out I’m going to go out, I’m going to collaborate with somebody.” I don’t want to do it by myself; it isn’t exactly fun when you have to do it by yourself. I’m going to finish up the European leg of the tour this year, and we’ll see what happens.
You can learn more about Herman Li and DragonForce at http://www.dragonforce.com/
PIck up DragonForce’s acclaimed new release, “Reaching into Infinity” via their website and other retail outlets.
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(Hollywood, California) Ultimate Jam Night will honor David Zablidowsky, bassist for Adrenaline Mob who died in a recent tour accident, at its long-standing show in residency at Hollywood’s Whisky A Go Go on Tuesday, August 1, 2017. The event will feature some of rock music’s biggest names. Doors open at 8 PM. The event is free of charge and will be broadcast worldwide on Zinna.TV.
Guest appearances and performances include Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal, Mike Portnoy of The Winery Dogs, Rikki Rockett of Poison, Dug Pinnick of King’s X, Jeff Scott Soto, Bruce Kulick of Grand Funk and Kiss, Marq Torien of the BulletBoys, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal formerly of Guns N Roses, The Wood family and Roddy Chong from Trans Siberian Orchestra. More guest artists will be named right up until show time.
Also in appearance will be long-standing Ultimate Jam Night House band members including Ultimate Jam Night creator Chuck Wright of Quiet Riot, Matt Starr of Mr. Big, Walter Ino of Survivor, Mitch Perry of MSG, along with Joe Travers of Duran Duran, and Sean McNabb of Lynch Mob.
The night will center around long-time Ultimate Jam Night show host Paul Zablidowsky, who is the brother of the deceased Adrenaline Mob bassist.
David Zablidowsky, better known as “David Z.” was a highly regarded musician based on the east coast. Before joining Adrenaline Mob, he had been a part of the famous Trans Siberian Orchestra. Along with his brother Paul the two had been a part of the band Z02 featured in the IFC TV series “Z Rock”.
Although lesser known than his contemporaries, David Zablidowsky, was an active in developing young people through music. To continue his legacy, the David Z Scholarship Fund has been created for the music school at Brooklyn College. Contributions can be made at the event or via the following secure web address:
Please mark all funds with the designation “David Z”.
For Tuesday’s tribute show updates, please visit facebook.com/ultimatejamnight.
ABOUT ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT
Ultimate Jam Night is a long-running free weekly show currently in residence at L.A.’s famed Whisky A Go Go. Founded in 2015 by Quiet Riot’s Chuck Wright, the show features a rotating cast of the world’s finest musicians assembled in an entirely unrehearsed setting. The show features live music, built alongside community and charitable giving. Past tributes have honored the passing of Prince, Motorhead’s Lemmy, and David Bowie. More information can be found by visiting www.ultimatejamnight.com
ABOUT ZINNA MEDIA
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Black Label Society Guitarist Dario Lorina just released a video of the guitar playthrough of the song Guardian. Taking from his Shrapnel Records Album, Death Grip Tribulations.
By Andrew Catania
Herman Li and DragonForce rocked The Beacham last night in Orlando. DragonForce is on the last leg of their tour in support of their latest album, Reaching into Infinity.
DragonForce has been driving up the power metal real estate market for over a decade. You love them or hate them, but you know them; their unique guitar solos’ sound is recognized by all and has earned guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li much-coveted places in the shrine of shred.
In 2011, from the ashes of ex-vocalist ZP Theart’s legacy rose Marc Hudson and DragonForce was reborn with a new voice. Reaching Into Infinity is Hudson’s 3rd album with the band, and the quality of what they put out with the singer has been consistent since The Power Within, his first contribution. Reaching Into Infinity is also the band’s first studio album with their new drummer, Gee Anzalone, who is doing a stellar job at keeping the band tight and at top speed.
This new record, Reaching Into Infinity, storms in with epic anthems typical of DragonForce, but also a few surprising elements, which makes it well worth a listen for hardened old schoolers who so far found no room for the English band in their hearts.
Their show was no different. You have five musicians that put on a high energy, highly interactive show with their fans that lasted about an hour and forty-five minutes,
The dual guitar attack of Herman Li and Sam Totman are one of the best in the business. They proved it last night.
This band has a legacy to uphold, and with every album comes the challenge of outdoing themselves and keeping ravenous fans satisfied. Their talent is undeniable – their spirit apparently unbreakable. Yet again they proved their worth and showed that no matter what you throw at DragonForce, through the fire and the flames they’ll carry on.
By Andrew Catania
John William Lowery, aka John 5, is an American metal guitarist best known for his versatility that has evolved from a gradual transition from one genre to another. Having tested his mettle with a number of instruments and in different genres, John 5 celebrates the uniqueness of his style that makes him stand out and outshine, successfully making it through multiple eras since 1987.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, it was a kid’s TV show that sparked his passion for music. Having gained the support and encouragement from his family, little John started playing at a local bar at the young age of 7. This focus helped him polish his natural strengths and acquire an elementary knowledge that later provided a sound ground for him to experiment and improvise on. While his initial aptitude was heavily inclined towards the country and bluegrass genres, his style was also influenced by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, The Monkeys, Jimi Hendrix, and Yngwie Malmsteen.
By the time he turned 17, John 5 formally started his music career by joining Alligator Soup, an underground band in Los Angeles. Although the band was still in its incubation phase and did not have a significant feat on its part aside from a couple of performances, the style and technique of John 5 were bold enough to catch the interest of Rudy Sarzo. After a small series of consultations and meetings with him, he officially offered John 5 to join Sun King.
The association brought him into the limelight and opened up doors for many future associations, the most promising of which turned out to be the one he had with producer Bob Marlette. After a couple of meetings, he assigned him a couple of his projects, including movie scores and television commercials. Meanwhile, he also expanded his domain of collaboration and partnered with Lita Ford, Paul Stanley, Randy Castillo and other members of Kiss.
In the later part of 1996, John 5 became a part of a temporary band setting formed by Rob Halford, Ray Riendeau, James Wooley, and Sid Riggs which was called 2wo. Although their first release titled ‘Voyeurs’ did not fare well, it did not revoke or decelerate the pace of prominence John 5 had started achieving due to his unique techniques. His next milestone made him meet his childhood dream in the face of David Lee Roth. After contributing a couple of lyrics for his songs, Lowery moved on to partner with Marilyn Manson and was later recalled by David Lee Roth to write lyrics for his upcoming album ‘Diamond Dave’.
John 5’s career is entailed with many notable associations with numerous bands and music virtuosos. Aside from David Lee Roth and Marilyn Manson, John 5 has teamed up with an impressive array of bands and groups such as Rob Zombie, Loser, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Red Square Black and Meat Loaf. He has also focused on establishing his solo profile since 2004 and has added a significant number of studio albums, single tracks, and DVDs to his profile.
John 5 continues to rule his forte and has been raising the bar through his smooth and fluid tones that transition from the country and bluegrass to the metal and industrial genres. Fusing the essence of a variety of genres, John 5 still has a long way to go to amaze and enthrall the music enthusiasts through his innovative and groundbreaking techniques.
By Contributing Writer Debbie Acenas
A lot of heavy riffs and high energy coming through the speakers with the super group “Projected’s” new two disc album “Ignite my Insanity,” the band’s second album since the release of their 2012 debut album “Human.” The band’s frontman John Connolly returns with Sevendust band mate Vince Hornsby on bass, Scott “Flip” Phillips of Creed and Alter Bridge on drums and Tremonti guitarist Eric Friedman.
The album features 21 tracks of pure gold with featured tracks such as the albums two singles “Reload” and “Ignite.” Album offers more heaviness with tracks such as “Vain” and “Gomorrah” while taking an acoustic turn with “Faith.” “Reload” and “Ignite,” the albums featured singles highlight the album with articulate and dynamic drums provided by Scott Phillips and carried by lead vocalist John Connolly who takes us through the album with well-written lyrics and strong performance. The band delivers a solid performance as they sync well with one another such as in songs like “Only” which pumps you up with double pedaling drums and heavy guitar riffs.
The album starts with the opening track strike which builds anticipation with its fourth coming vibe setting the mood for the rest of the album. This track seems to tie in the album cover bringing to mind a slow motion explosion of the mind into madness as the rise of the character depicted on the albums cover commences. “Reload” kicks it off with chest pounding drumming, heavy riffs and high energy that carries us through the first few songs until coming to “Faith.” Here we slow it down with some acoustic guitar playing which sets an uplifting vibe that draws us into every word from Connolly. The track offers a moment of reflection and allows the listener to stop and reflect on whatever they may be faced with in their own lives. We transition into the next track following “Faith” with “Gomorrah” and continue through with the gratifying vocals and heavy drums and guitar displayed on the rest of the album. The album concludes with its most massive track “Battlestar” on a site that takes us on a story which seems to reflect broken promises and about facing and tackling the problems head on.
The band’s second album delivers a high powered performance with a trip through insanity as it gazes into love and all the chaos and madness in and through it. This album offers plenty of head banging and rock horns in the air. A must have this summer! 8/10 Stars.