Posts

Showing posts from April, 2019

A Conversation With Z02 Drummer and Author Joey Cassata

Image
There are a lot of musicians that have multiple careers, very few do them all at once.  Joey Cassata is one of those rare musicians that has also excelled in other fields.  Most know Joey from his days drumming for the amazing ZO2...or you may know him from starring in the series "Z Rock" on IFC...or you may know him from the Broadway smash The Great Comet...or you may know him as the best-selling author of Start With A Dream .  Either way, Joey Cassata is a name you should know. This was a fun, funny and uplifting conversation. Press Play below to listen to the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation With Joey Cassata: On deciding to write a book - It's funny, it really just happened organically. I thought about writing something for my kids...I did a lot of fun stuff in my life and career and i just wanted to have something for them to look back on. 1:00 I said "what the hell?" so I gave it a shot.  I self-published and I hit #1 on Amazon. 2:10 On rememberi

A Conversation with Rolling Stones Vocalist Bernard Fowler

Image
If you've seen or listened to the Rolling Stones over the past 30+ years you're familiar with Bernard Fowler.  Bernard has performed background vocals for the band since Steel Wheels while also being in bands such as Tackhead with Doug Wimbish and Nicklebag with Stevie Salas and touring with A Bowie Celebration.  He recently released his third solo record Inside Out and took some time to talk about it. Please press Play below to listen to the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Bernard Fowler. On how he would describe Inside Out - It's a reconstruction of Rolling Stones songs done in a spoken word format. 1:40  On what made these songs right for this style - The subject matter and the lyrics themselves. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are probably underrated as songwriters. 2:40 On keeping away from the "hits" - It was absolutely conscious. I didn't want to do another covers record. I went digging into the catalog...reading the words, that's h

A Conversation with Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Rocktopia Vocalist Chloe Lowery

Image
Certain voices just transcend genre and are simply epic.  Chloe possesses one of those voices.  After years of singing on projects from artists like Yanni, TSO and Rocktopia she has now released her first solo record, a deeply personal album called The In-Between .  Please press Play below to hear the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation With Chloe: On finally getting her first solo record out - I started out as a solo artist. I got my first record deal when I was twelve years old, I was signed to RCA records. The goal was always to put out my own solo material...the way the world works I just ended up working with other people and it took me away from it at times but it really felt like a home coming. 1:00 On the personal nature of the record - It started out as a form of therapy, a way for me to vent my feelings and process what was happening because I just couldn't figure it out and I was like I'm just going to sit down and write songs and it was the only thing tha

Uli Jon Roth - Infinity Hall, Hartford, CT, April 21, 2019

Image
On Easter night, guitar maestro Uli Jon Roth brought his 2019 Triple Anniversary North American Tour into Hartford, CT.  I spoke with Uli earlier in the tour and he explained the Triple Anniversary - 2018-19 marks the 50th anniversary of his first concert and the 40th anniversaries of both the Scorpions Tokyo Tapes and Earthquake , the first release under the Electric Sun moniker. Photo: Jeff Gaudiosi The evening was a glorious 3-hour celebration of all three of those anniversaries.  The show is broken into two sets, the first set is predominately made up of songs from the three Electric Sun records.  Many of these songs haven't been played live in decades.  The second set was mostly songs from Roth's time in the Scorpions. The musicianship was flawless, Roth on guitar and vocals is flanked by two guitarists, one who also handled the majority of lead vocals, as well as bass, drums and keys.  Photo:Jeff Gaudiosi Being Easter night, the crowd was relatively spars

A Conversation With Former Survivor Vocalist Dave Bickler

Image
Certain voices are legendary.  Every generation knows them and has sung along with them.  Dave Bickler is one of those voices.  Whether it's the iconic vocal on "Eye of the Tiger" or the voice of Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius" campaign it's pretty safe to say everyone knows his voice.  Now, Dave has released his first solo record Darklight and took a few minutes to talk about the new record and career. Please press Play on the photo below to listen to the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Dave Bickler: On why it took so long to release his first solo record: I was doing stuff, I recorded a lot of demos, I was in bands, for one reason or another it didn't get into the public sphere. I finally decided I had a lot of songs. 1:10 On the big guitar sound behind Darklight - I am such a guitar-driven person...I still carry that indelible impression I got when I saw the Beatles when I was just a kid, how cool it was.  There's almost unlimit

Dream Theater, Toyota Oakdale Theater, Wallingford, CT 4/9/19

Image
Photo: Jeff Gaudiosi Sometimes things need to break before you take a look at your past, see what made you great and rebuild.  Arguably, that's what happened to Dream Theater.  Beginning in 1992 when vocalist James LaBrie joined, the band spent the next decade putting out a string of classic records  - Images & Words, Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory and 2002's Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence . Then it seemed like the path became a little clouded.  Always incredible musicians, it felt like the musicianship no longer served the song but rather the song was just an excuse to create elaborate, over the top solos.  It began to feel bloated, culminating in the over two hour sci-fi conceptual album The Astonishing in 2016.  Photo: Jeff Gaudiosi Then something interesting happened.  The band followed their 2016 tour, where only The Astonishing  was played (and a few encores at select shows) with a 2017 tour cel

A Conversation with Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett

Image
Most musicians dream of the resume Steve Hackett possesses...a Hall of Fame inductee from his groundbreaking work in Genesis, inventor of guitar techniques that influenced Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen, a solo artist who just released his 25th record, At The Edge of Light, and is about to embark on a massive world tour.  This tour will see him play not only selections from his new record, but also the classic lps Selling England by the Pound from Genesis and his solo masterpiece Spectral Mornings . Please press Play below to listen to the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Steve Hackett. On collaborating in the studio - I'd like to think that everyone who arrives on the record adds something of their own, a certain amount can be scripted but a certain amount is left to the world of the spontaneous. I like surprises and I encourage people not to just play or sing the ideas I come up with but add ideas of their own as well. 2:00 On his upcoming tour - I had the

A Conversation With Former Scorpions Guitarist Uli Jon Roth

Image
Fifty years is a long time to do anything, especially to be a rock guitar God.  Uli Jon Roth was a teen when he first helped form the Scorpions and created some of that band's most legendary output, including albums like In Trance, Virgin Killer and Tokyo Tapes .  He has gone on to a successful solo career and is currently on a long awaited North American tour.  In our chat Uli talks about his five decades in music, how the Scorpions got their start, his varied solo career, Michael & Rudolph Schenker, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the dogs in the park and so much more. Please press Play below and listen to my Conversation With Uli Jon Roth: On his current tour - We call this the "Triple Anniversary Tour". We celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Tokyo Tapes...(and of) my band Electric Sun and in December of 1968 when I played my first show as a teenager of 13.1:20 We're playing a long, combined show, it's like a 3 hour show. It represents my 50