Showing posts from February, 2020

A Conversation With Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton

Few musicians have had a career that can match Kasim Sulton.  From his early days with Utopia and Todd Rundgren to playing on such classic records as Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell , Joan Jett's Up Your Ally and Patti Smith's Dream Of Life , Kasim Sulton has left an indelible mark on rock n' roll.  He is about to kick off a US tour under the name Kasim Sulton's Utopia and took some time to talk before hitting the road. Please press PLAY below to listen to the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Kasim Sulton: On who is in this touring version of Utopia - I have a great drummer by the name of Andy Ascolese that I've been working with for the past 3 or 4 years on my solo shows. In 2018 Utopia did a short tour together and unfortunately, though the original member Ralph Schuckett came ill and had health concerns and he wound up not joining us on the road and we had to scramble at the last minute to find a replacement and we found this guy who was absolutely, c

Geoff Tate, Palace Theater, Stafford Springs, CT 2/19/20

Few bands have fostered as loyal and dedicated a fan base as Queensryche.  When that band splintered in 2012, fans were left wondering what would happen to the music that means so much to so many people.  Both sides moved forward with new players and created new music. Since completing his trilogy of records under the Operation: Mindcrime moniker with 2017's The New Reality , however, legendary vocalist Geoff Tate has spent time celebrating the milestones of his past and treating fans to a celebration of those seminal records. As he announced in his MisplacedStraws interview last spring, Tate has embarked on perhaps his most ambitious tour yet to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the incredible Empire record.  He is not only playing that classic album in its entirety, but he begins the night by playing Queensryche's early masterpiece Rage For Order, also in its entirety, for the first time ever.  The two records are separated by four years and bookend Operat

An Exclusive Conversation with Rob Lamothe and Nick Brophy of Riverdogs

Thirty years ago a record was released that flew a bit under the radar at the time but has aged into a true classic.  Fresh from his stint in Whitesnake and before hooking up with Def Leppard, guitarist Vivian Campbell surprised many by putting out a record with an unknown band from Los Angeles called Riverdogs.  I was lucky enough to get both vocalist/guitarist Rob Lamothe and bassist Nick Brophey on the phone together to present sort of an oral history of this hugely underrated band and their classic debut record. There are a few sound/connection issues during the call (including a brief drop around 26:00) but it is more than worth a listen. Please press PLAY below for the Exclusive MisplacedStraws Conversation with Rob & Nick of Riverdogs: On getting to LA and joining the band - Rob  - It took a while you know it took like I said, those multiple tries and lots of disappointments and lots of learning and eventually getting in a position where...I remember Nick and I

A Conversation with Former Enuff Z'nuff Vocalist Donnie Vie

Sometimes you just need to get stuff off your chest and out in the open.  Last summer I spoke with Donnie Vie about his solo record Beautiful Things and his upcoming plans, we purposely didn't talk much about the past.  Lately, Donnie has taken to social media to vent some frustrations over his former band Enuff Z'nuff and its current frontman, Chip Z'nuff.  I reached out to Donnie to see if he wanted to talk about it and he was more than willing.  What you'll hear below isn't as much an interview as it is Donnie telling his side of the story and what triggered this latest round in the ongoing battle. Donnie talks about seeing a screener of a movie where the new lineup of the band, with Chip on vocals, rerecorded the monster hit "Fly High Michelle" and what his thoughts are on it and what he feels the current lineup is doing to his legacy.  I'm not going to pull quotes out of this as I don't want anything to be taken out of context. Listen fo

A Conversation with Dirty Honey Guitarist John Notto

Rock is far from dead.  There are plenty of new, young bands ready to step up and take over where their heroes left off.  One of the best of this new crop of bands is Los Angeles' Dirty Honey.  As they sell out venues across the country, guitarist John Notto took some time to talk about the band, its music and touring. Please press PLAY below to hear the Conversation With John Notto. On the current tour - The tour's going great, it's absolutely a blast! I think we've sold out nearly every show. .53 On whether or not the band feels more pressure headlining a show rather than opening - I feel less (pressure) actually. The fans are there for our music, they're our fans. So when we get on the response is a little more alive, they're right there with us on the first note. A lot of time when you're opening, which was most of the time in the beginning of our career, you're playing for people who haven't heard your music, so

A Conversation With Archon Angel/TSO Vocalist Zak Stevens

Zak Stevens has one of the most recognizable voices in rock.  Stevens first came on the scene as vocalist for Savatage in 1992.  Since then he has fronted bands like Circle II Circle and Machines of Grace and, most notably, recorded and toured with Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  He is now about to release Fallen , the debut record from his new band Archon Angel.  Zak took some time to not only talk about his new band but TSO and much more. Please press PLAY below to listen to the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Zak Stevens. On how he began working with guitarist Aldo Lonobile and formed Archon Angel - We both kind of have the same work style, very relaxed and we just like to get stuff done. I think we worked efficiently together more than anything. Of course, we can't work in the same country so you have to be efficient when you do everything but with technology today sending files and file sharing is no problem.  I basically just was working with him on for the first tim

Sons of Apollo, Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA 2/5/20

There aren't many bands in history with the pedigree of Sons of Apollo.  Made up of powerhouse vocalist Jeff Scott Soto of Talisman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Soto, among others, guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, formerly of Guns N' Roses, bass god Billy Sheehan, known for his work with Talas, Winery Dogs, and Mr. Big, and former Dream Theater bandmates drummer Mike Portnoy and keyboardist Derek Sherinian, the band is stacked with talent.    Sons of Apollo released their second studio record MMXX earlier this year and embarked on a brief North American tour prior to heading to Europe. On Wednesday, February 5 the band brought their show to Boston, MA with main support by legendary guitarist Tony MacAlpine.  This is the second studio album and touring cycle for SOA, the first being for 2018's debut Psychotic Symphony .  The Sons of Apollo that hit the stage in 2020 is a very different live act than what we saw in 2018.  Back then, the band only h