Category Archives: 10 Questions With…..

10 Questions With…Cory Churko

 

Pretty psyched to share with you all this segment of ’10 Questions With.’

Cory Churko is a Canadian Guitarist/Fiddler who is currently on the road with Shania Twain and as well is Shania’s Musical Director. Not only that but Cory is a multi instrumentalist and  in the past has played with Reba,Kelly Clarkson and Jordan Smith. 

If you think Cory is all Country Music. Think again!

Cory also is the six stringer in the Canadian Rock Band ‘Toque’ who put out a killer release of cover tunes last year of many different Canadian  Classic Rock Acts. He gives us some inside scoop on the next Toque release. As well Cory has his own line of guitars from Prestige Guitars and he’s been making money as a performer at a real young age!! Now that’s impressive! Pretty damn cool stuff for a Fella from Saskatchewan!

I really appreciate Cory getting back to me. Trust me Folks this is a great read!

Take it away Mr Churko!

1- Ok Cory. How does one go from jamming guitar growing up in Western Canada to playing sold out shows as Shania Twain’s Guitar Player/Fiddle Player and Musical Director?

 I literally got a call out of nowhere on my answering machine back in December 97. I had already quit the music business and was enjoying a new life in computer animation. I had played many years in the bar/night club scene across Canada and was burnt out, After 6 months in my new career I got a call from Mercury records in Toronto saying they were looking for a young energetic fiddler for one of the acts they had on their label. I didn’t call him back cuz I thought it was probably for a new artist and I was tired of living hand to mouth. He called a few days later to follow-up and left another message saying it was for Shania Twain. I flipped out ha ha and called him back instantly. A couple of weeks later I was in NYC playing on the David Letterman Show.

2-I don’t know if Guitar for Hire is the appropriate tag but at times in the past were you ever worried about how the hell I’m gonna make my next truck payment when you were starting out? Guess what I’m trying to say is that the stress for that must be enormous at times?

I still have those moments ha ha ha…it really is feast or famine in this business and you can have an amazing year and then nothing the next year. It really is about diversity. I try to make myself as valuable as possible doing many things well rather than being a master of just one. It really makes things more interesting as well to be able to wear different hats. Between my studio skills as a producer and a mix engineer as well as my multi-instrumentalist skills I somehow get by ha ha ha!

3-Toque features yourself, Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz. Between the three of you’s. You guys are constantly working if not with each other but with other acts. How  do you guys make the schedule for Toque work?

It’s definitely the most challenging thing about Toque but also the thing that makes the project special. Everyone fills in a shared google calendar and once we’re done we look for the holes and Target those down times to do Toque related things. This second album was largely recorded after Todd and Brent were finished rehearsing with Slash who has a studio about 2 blocks from my house. What are the chances of that in a city as big as Los Angeles!

4-Speaking of Toque I loved the debut album. Your guys cover of Aldo Nova’s Fantasy/Queen City Kids ‘Dance’ as well as Saga’s ‘On The Loose” are wicked especially your solo on Fantasy. With so much Canadian rock to pick from who decided what tracks made the debut?

Well, each of us made a list of the songs we’d like to do and then we looked at the common denominators and that was the first album! The second album was very similar process. We just throw it out there and vote. All of us are usually on the same page about it.

5- I understand you have a followup to the Toque debut coming out soon. Care to share anything about it? Inside secret scoop kinda stuff?

Well, we included 3 songs with female singers. Obviously you’ve heard our version of Ironic. That was fun to do and is receiving a lot of positive feedback. We managed to convince one of the other female singers to make a cameo on her song and it turned out so good. We have an original song on this new album and can’t wait to share it. It’s written in much the same style as these other classic hits. We have a song by a Canadian band from the 90s too other than the Alanis song.

6-Your Brother Kevin is a successful producer. (Ozzy Osbourne and Five Finger Death Punch to name a few) Have you guys ever counted who has sold more albums with your involvement? Kinda of a brother rivalry thing?

Ha ha ha well if you’re counting involvement then Shania definitely has the edge there but he should get the award because he made, wrote and produced those records whereas I played a part more in the promotion of Shania’s records.

7-First album ever purchased with your own money!

Hmmmm…. I really can’t recall. I had so many of my Dad’s records around as well as my sibling’s records that it probably wasn’t a big deal to me when I did buy the first. I also started making my own money at 7 years old playing wedding dances so I was probably pretty young when I did buy my first record. I think I was buying 45s before I bought albums. it was probably Meco Empire Strikes Back Theme. I’m gonna go with that one…I played the crap outta that record. Check it out!

8-If you had to go with 5 all time fav albums what would they be?

Queen a Night at the Opera

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon

Radiohead OK computer

Jesus Christ Superstar,

The Darkness Permission To Land,

Def Leppard Hysteria

Oops that’s 6!

9-Arena or stadium gig. What band performer was the best that you watched from the crowd?

Roger Waters – The Wall tour either that Or Queen with Adam Lambert (I never got to see them with Freddie)

10- Feel Free to plug your stuff or whatnot! Thanks so much for doing this!

Thanks for the questions – Follow my band Toque on social media everyone!! @toquerocks on IG, Facebook Toquerocks, Twitter @toquerocks and ToqueRocks on YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Questions With….Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is a top go to  Guitar Guy in the Rock Landscape known as Canada. Guitar for Hire some may say but read on about all the endeavours that Mr Kelly has been in and is currently involved with. Little more to it than the Guitar For Hire aspect I would say. 

Case in point. Sean has released two classical guitar  albums that have both charted in the Billboard Classical Album Charts. Being in and involved(songwriting etc) with various bands such as Crash Kelly/Trapper/Helix/Lee Aaron/ Honeymoon Suite/Carole Pope/Nelly Furtado well…I could keep going! Plus he’s a good buddy with an Guns N Roses guy! 

Just by his resume which you will discover when you read this interview is just how busy Sean is!

I would personally like to thank Sean for hopping on board and being a great sport at answering my fan boy questions…

Take it way Mr Kelly…

1-Hey Sean thanks for doing this! We have a connection and that would be the Long Way To Heaven Tour by Helix back in 1985. You caught the show in North Bay and myself here in Thunder Bay. Was that the show that spurred a young Kelly to pursue a career in music?

Yes it was! It was a double bill with Honeymoon Suite, and it was a total game changer, very inspiring! To think that I would be afforded the chance to work with both of these bands at some point in my life was unimaginable then, but it definitely instilled in me the belief that Canadian bands could compete in every way on the world stage. Both bands were on fire that night!

2-By recording/writing/performing with artists like Honeymoon Suite/Helix/Nelly Furtado and currently Lee Aaron how the hell do you find any downtime?

Haha, well…it helps that my career vocation is also my passion and hobby!  It can be a challenge to balance family life with my music pursuits, but I really try to make sure any time I have is not wasted on frivolous things. I derive my greatest pleasure in life out of the time I spend with my family, and making/enjoying music. Carve in a little time for staying healthy, and a balance can be achieved.

3-Speaking of which. According to Carl Dixon on Brent Jensen’s NSTS podcast your now playing guitar with the Mighty Coney Hatch. Those four Coney albums are classics. When you open those shows for Steve Harris’ British Lion any thought on recording the Coney Stuff live? If so could you please bug em to record it?

Let’s just say I’m all for it, and would love to see that happen. I can’t wait to hit the road with the Hatch, one of my all time fave bands!

4-The book that you wrote from a few years back “Metal On Ice” is great read in all things Canadian Metal/Hard Rock. Many great stories about all kinds of Canadian bands journeys across the Canadian Highways. Is there a followup in the works?

I’ve knocked around a few book ideas, and would love to do another one. However, my immediate future involves writing and recording new music, performing live, and working on some other music related projects. In other words, I’m having too much fun with my guitar to put it down to pick up a pen (or type)!

5- Gilby Clarke is a pal of yours. I know you have played Bass for Gilby and he has worked with you back in the Crash Kelly days as a producer. Any chance on doing some string bending together recording wise which I think would be fantastic! Just Saying!

I recently did a guitar clinic and charity gig with Gilby and Bumblefoot, and it was amazing to reconnect. I always welcome the opportunity to make music with Gilby, and while there is nothing planned, I’d be honoured to record with him at some point in the future.

6-Who would be on your bucket list to work/record with?

Oh man, so many! First off my head would be Alice Cooper, Heart, and Paul Rodgers…I’d love to write with Nikki Sixx…I recently did a few songs with Lita Ford and Dee Snider at Rock n Con in London, would love to write with both of them…The list is endless really! I just love working with people passionate about rock n roll music!

7-First album ever purchased?

Thriller by Michael Jackson….this was followed by Metal Health by Quiet Riot, Pyromania by Def Leppard, Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister and Shout at the Devil by Mötley Crüe…but yes, Thriller was the first!

8-If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums(studio/live) what would they be?

This is an almost impossible question, and my list is ever changing….today,  let’s go with

1984 – Van Halen

Hysteria – Def Leppard

Appetite for Destruction – Guns N Roses

Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper

Live and Dangerous – Thin Lizzy

*this could change in the next hour….haha!

9-Arena/Stadium show? What is hands down the best show you ever saw as a member of the audience?

It would have to be Van Halen, August 1986, 5150 tour at CNE Stadium with Loverboy and BTO….first time I ever heard the power of Eddie Van Halen live, life changing experience.

10-Feel Free to plug whatever you’re doing here currently! Thanks so much for doing this!

Still performing with the amazing Lee Aaron in support of the Diamond Baby Blues album (so proud to be a member of this incredible band,a real blessing in my life) heading out on the road this fall for some dates with the legendary Coney Hatch, Alan Frew from Glass Tiger, and also working on some brand new music from Crash Kelly (single to be released before Christmas!). I am working on some very cool projects with my pal Steve Gillis at Guitars for Vets, and am also writing with Brian Vollmer from Helix (we have some kicking new songs in the works!)….along with that I am teaching Vocal Music with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and still doing workshops/mentoring for Canada’s Music Incubator.

Thanks for the great questions, all the best Derek!

Photo of Mr Kelly taken by Alan Zilkowsky.

 

10 Questions With…Fred Coury

 

Fred Coury needs no introduction. Fred drummed in Cinderella from 1986-1992 (and at other Cinderella shows since than) Fred also formed the brilliant ‘Arcade’ with RATT frontman Stephen Pearcy back in 1993. Fred has also  somewhat changed careers as well( persistence pays off!). Keep reading and thanks to Fred  for doing this! When I had sent him an email asking him if he would be willing to participate! He replied with  “Anything for a Canadian!’ LOL!

I should have asked him 20 Questions! Damn…maybe next time!

I remember flipping through the pages of Circus Magazine in the late 80’s and there you were playing drums with Guns N Roses! I know it was for a short period of time but how did that all come about?

I got a call on my answering machine that simply said “learn the song on your outgoing message, I’ll call back in an hour”. (I had Welcome ToThe Jungle on my machine) it was GNR’s manager. 3 hrs later I was on a flight to Minneapolis to play a show that night with them. Steven had broken his hand and they asked me to fill in for the remainder of the tour.

Everyone of course knows that you handled the drums in Cinderella. I will go on record and say that 1990’s “Heartbreak Station” was a phenomenal album! The band went in a whole opposite direction of what everyone else was doing in Hard Rock at the time. What was your line of thinking at the time? Were you happy with the outcome of it?

I just listened to that record a few days ago at the gym. I hadn’t heard it in years. Love that record and I’m very proud of it. It was definitely a different direction for us. I don’t know if it was the right record to make at the time but it’s a great record.

After Cinderella stopped recording and touring in the early 90’s you formed ‘Arcade’ with Stephen Pearcy. Speaking of phenomenal. That debut album is brilliant. Whose call was it to write tracks with Jim Vallance?

My two fave artists of all time are Billy Joel and Bryan Adams. I think Stephen worked with Jim in the past. As soon as he mentioned Jim’s name I was 100% for it.

 One of the things that I admired most about the debut Arcade album was that you and Stephen were able to score a Major Record Deal in 1993 when the whole rock sound had changed! Pretty impressive as many were losing deals or breaking up at the time. How did you feel about those 2 Arcade albums?

I loved the first record and liked the second very much. The first one was “the one” though.

When Arcade stopped what did you do?

Moved to Nashville and eventually went back to Cinderella.

Now I know you are a fan of Hockey(so you are an honorary Canuck) Years ago I seen an interview with you and Stephen on MuchMusic and you were wearing a Kings Jersey! Now I see you work for them in some capacity. How did that gig come about?

I’ve always been a hockey fan. I wrote a song that I thought would be perfect for the team. I kept submitting it every 6 months for 3 years. Finally Luc heard it and offered me a 3 year contract. My first assignment was a new goal song and a theme. I’m entering my 10th year with the team this season and just signed a multi-year deal. I do all of their sonic branding.

First album ever purchased?

Chicago X

If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums. What would they be?

Wow. Too tough. I get tired of things easily. Maybe Star Wars soundtrack would be in there. Tears for Fears Songs from the Big Chair, Journey Captured, Bryan Adams So Far So Good, Billy Joel, The Stranger.

Arena/Stadium show. What was your favourite live performance as an audience member?

Too many to name but Journey, P!nk and Mötley are up there. #1 would have to be The Who, Heart and J Giles at CNE Stadium in Toronto (that show changed my life)

Feel Free to Plug whatever it is your currently up to! Thanks again for doing this!

Now I’m a composer for tv and film. We recently wrapped a 4 season stint on NBC with my first drama The Night Shift, and I just finished my first full length film with live orchestra called Full Count. I’m doing a cartoon with John 5 at the moment and continue with the sonic branding of the Kings and Portland Trailblazers.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Questions With…Jonathan Valen

Gotta say it was a pleasure asking Jonathan Valen these ’10 Questions With…’ In the past Jonathan has worked with artists such as Andy Taylor/Judas Priest amongst others.  I contacted Jonathan and he was totally up for it and responded  with his answers in the matter of hours after I had sent them! Jonathan gives a lot of great insight  in regards to Andy Taylor and especially Priest! Check out Mr Valen’s stuff here..http://jonathanvalen.com

Enjoy this one Folk’s!

I always like to hear about how one decides to make a career out of being a full-time musician. For those who don’t know and I’m one of them. When did you decide to make a go of it as a Drummer

My mother recognized my potential at an early age and started me off with lessons, little did I know that I could read music well and In junior high school I was teaching in summer school classes. I knew I would become a professional drummer after High school when I was in Papa John Creach’s band, we were on the road with Marshall Tucker, from there I kept getting session work.

Andy Taylor(ex-Duran Duran) released a real good rock record in ‘Thunder’ and as well as a tour that you drummed on. Since you were part of the band why did that record really not take off as it should have?

Not sure what happened with the Thunder record, when it comes to writing songs Andy has a gift he wrote most of the Duran songs as well, we are not sure who played on the record because we were rehearsing at the Record Plant in Hollywood with Rod Stewart and most of the time they would be recording the songs.

As well you opened for some big names in rock at the time with Andy like Heart and David Lee Roth! Which tours were the best?

I liked the guys from Night Ranger they were a class act on tours you rarely mix it up with the other bands and Andy always had something going on with Management.

Rewinding a bit. Your story with Judas Priest is fascinating as the period from 1979 to 1986 is my favourite period of the band.You drummed on Judas Priests 1986’s ‘Fuel For Life Tour” along with Priests current drummer at the time Dave Holland. How did that all come about?

I was playing with a band called Leggs Diamond and a band that had David Sikes (Boston bass player) when I got a call from a David that the band Priest was at SIR rehearsing and they wanted to talk with me, I was really in to electric drums and had made an investment in the equipment there were very few manufactures at that time so I made my own pads with triggers in them for sensitivity and used practice pad rubber in my quest I met a guy who was making pedals for Terry Bozzio who had a spare set.

I have listened to the reissue of Turbo from 2017 and the live show included from Kansas City is a great show.It’s amazing how in synch the drums are between you and Dave. How many rehearsals did it take to get you two guys playing a whole 90 minute set down?

David Holland and I got along well and we worked out our parts prior to the tour. He had his drum sounds going through my Emulater SP 12 so no one would hear the difference, and like many bands with two drummers we both knew our strength’s and weaknesses. there is a show on that tour where they let me cut loose, Irvine meadows. but when this reporter Derick Oliver from Kerrang magazine got back stage and reported the news about my participation the band GT got spooked and thought that I had purposely put out an article about myself, It was not true. We rehearsed for a week in New Mexico before the tour started to work out the kinks.

I think it’s sad that Priest has buried your story and have no given credit where credit is due. Your website has letters from actual musicians who support you which is awesome. After Priest and Andy Taylor what did you decide to do?

After Priest and Andy Taylor tours I went on tour with Patrick O’Hearn and played on his Grammy nominated record Rivers Gonna Rise record. I’m one of very few drummers that have played on a record with Terry Bozzio. It was a different style of music than I was a custom to but I was more of a jazz progressive drummer anyway and Peter Manu was playing guitar on the live shows and I loved his playing. I was also getting a lot of session work from the late Paul Rothchild’s (Doors and Janis Joplin).

Who would be on your bucket list to drum with?

Ann Wilson I love her voice and she always surround’s herself with great musicians.

First ever album purchased?

First album was Led Zeppelin One.

If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums(as a listener) what would they be?

Chick Coria Romantic Warrors, UK with Bill Bruford and Allen Holdsworth 801 live, any Zeppelin record, Missing Persons Rhyme and Reason.

Arena/Stadium show. What was the best show you have seen as a member in the audience.

Styx I have worked with most of the guys in that band and they are such pros about the way they present themselves and their musicianship.

Feel Free to Plug wherever it is that you are up to! Thanks so much again Jonathan for answering my ’10 Questions With…’

I hope this helps you in your quest and thank you for your interest in my career, God Bless my brother.

 

 

10 Questions With….Billy Sheehan

 

So I sent out a couple of these ’10 Questions with…’ One of the replies came from Billy Sheehan whom I have followed  since about 1983. Billy has been in Talas/UFO/David Lee Roth/Mr Big amongst others. 

Here’s Billy’s answer’s to my Questions….

Billy! Thanks so much for doing this for me! The first time I came across Billy Sheehan was back in 1983 when I was flipping through Kerrang Magazine. There you were playing bass for UFO on there “Making Contact’ tour! Can you explain how all that came about as back than there was no social media and you’re in Buffalo New York and then you are in UFO?

Back THEN you mean. And on THEIR Making Contact record. These words are important. They have meaning. Please use them correctly. I’m hesitant to continue after seeing this, but I will try. Talas opened for UFO in Buffalo and they all saw me play. Michael Schenker used me on his first solo record ( though I ended up not recording ), and UFO called me to do this tour.

 

From there I picked up on import here in Thunder Bay a copy of “Talas’ Live Speed On Ice’. Up until that point I time I had never heard a Bass solo! Your ” 7718 (3A17)” is one the of the best. That live album is a great document of a band on the move. It was hard for me back than to find anything about Talas in magazines. What made you guys call it day?

I joined David Lee Roth. I thought that was pretty obvious.

One thing I know for certain is “unemployed’ is not used in your vocabulary. From the demise of Talas you join David Lee Roth which I know you have heard a million times over how good that band was! I will add that sentiment as well. ”Eat Em And Smile” is a fine display of musicianship as you guys set the bar very high on that album! What memories of that time standout the most?

No–there was no demise of Talas resulting in me going to join Dave. Wrong sequence of events. I left the band when Dave called me. I was never “unemployed”. You are the first person in 33 years to assume such a thing.

One song that I would like to finally hear your answer on is that I have read over the years that the DLR band covered Kim Mitchells ‘Kids In Action’. Was that song recorded? If so why was it not released?

The entire story is in Guitar Worlds article about the DLR band by Greg Renoff. That’s the first time it was ever written about.

Keeping with a Canadian Connection here. Were you ever in Kim’s band ‘Max Webster?

Yes. Common knowledge.

On Roth’s ‘Skyscraper’ album I really love your bass lines on “Two Fools A Minute” You and Steve Vai are a dynamite together. Any chance of doing any recording at all together? If so I guessed I missed it! My apologies …

Steve and I have recorded since then many times.

From Roth you formed Mr Big and that is a band that has done real well right out of gate. My condolences on Drummer Pat Torpey passing away as well. I think its great that you guys are still out there playing Mr Big music as its timeless! How did Mr Big decide to pack it in was that due to Grunge sweeping North America back in 92-93 even though you guys were and still are huge in Japan?

It was due to nothing other than us being burnt out.

First ever album  that you purchased?

Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds

If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums as a music fan what would they be?

Too hard to choose.

Feel free to plug whatever it is that you are currently up to! On a side note. Thanks so much for answering my 10 “Fanboy’ Questions. I should have asked 30! Continued success Billy!

Thanks very much! My pleasure!

 

10 Questions With….Greg Fraser

 

Greg Fraser is a founding member of Canadian Rockers ‘Brighton Rock’ who first formed in 1982 and basically hit the bars all across in Canada by 1984. From there it was a record deal with WEA records which resulted in 3 albums being released all with three big time producers for each album which was mighty impressive!

Like many an act back than once the early 90’s rolled around Brighton went there separate ways but in recent times Brighton has been active with selective shows with the Original Lineup! Now in this day and age of rotating lineups its cool to see a band that started out so many years ago still playing together at certain select dates…

Do check out the live Brighton Rock album “Room For 5 Live” in which Greg plays some brilliant riffs of rock. It’s basically a Greatest Hits album but LIVE! All the hits plus some of the heavier stuff from the much ignored ‘Love Machine’ album!

Thanks to Fraze for doing this…

Take it away…

1-Greg! Thanks for doing this. Looking at the Brighton Rock website you guys were playing a ton of shows even appearing at the old Sleeping Giant Hotel here in Thunder Bay back on Aug 4th 1986! I think its safe too say by looking at those early tour dates Brighton Rock played every nook and cranny in Canada! Any thoughts on those early Cross Canadian Tours?

We played Thunder Bay quite a bit back in the day actually and always had a blast. Those early tours were exciting but some of those long drives were brutal. Back then there was no cell phones or anything so we had each other to entertain ourselves. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as I did on some of those drives with all the ball busting and stories. The crowds were always killer across Canada too.

2- Your first full length album after the 85 release(EP) came in the form of 1986’s “Young Wild and Free” release which was produced by Micheal Wagner. Wagner has done some huge albums. Must have been a huge score for you guys to snag him on the debut?

Michael was a lot of fun and brought a lot to the table. He was very encouraging and was a total team player. He really was one of the guys and I learned a lot from him. Going to be seeing him once again early 2019 on the ‘Monsters Of Rock Cruise’ that BR are playing and it’s going to be great to reconnect after all these years.

3- From there a ton of shows played and in 88 comes “Take A Deep Breath” produced by Jack Richardson. The most success you guys had been with this album. A more commercial slant on the sound. Was that the main reason was to get current with the sound of the day?

Jack was actually involved with some of the pre-production of the first record and when Michael was not available for the second record Jack was a natural choice to take the helm. I’ve learned a lot of the art of songwriting from Jack and will be forever grateful for the guidance and knowledge he taught me. It was never our intention to try to be current. We wanted to sound a little different from the rest so we would stand out a bit. Jack helped us a lot with that. He is a legend and will be forever missed.

4- “Hangin High N Dry’ is a great song. That chorus is so catchy it will ring around in your noggin for hours after. How did that song come about?

Nothing out of the ordinary. I used to have a little mini studio that we would demo new ideas with and that was just one of the songs that stood out. We would demo lots of things but we strived to sound a little different. If something was great but sounded a little cliché or generic it was tossed. Hanging sounds like BR and no one else. Extremely proud of that one and it still sounds great today.

5- More shows followed in 88  which is crazy as you guys were in that tour album cycle for a few years. In 91 you guys put out the serious rockin ‘Love Machine’ album produced by Toby Wright. You guys ramp it up and it didn’t do what the previous album did sales wise. Was that do in fact of Grungemania sweeping North America at the time?

There was numerous factors. A lot of our supporters at the record company were gone and the new breed that came in did not care as much for us and would not promote the record. And we were in transition with getting new management which was quite difficult as no one was banging down doors for us like before. The grunge thing was just starting to take hold and our music was becoming out of fashion, so the writing was on the wall. Looking back I think we ended at just the right time, although at the time I refused to believe it.

6- After Brighton Split for a bit you joined Helix in which I caught you guys here back in 1993. That was a great band as it was you along with the Classic lineup with Dr Doerner on Guitar, I know Brian released the ‘It’s a Pleasure doing Business with You” Even though you guys were pictured in the album if my memory serves me correct none of you guys were on the album. Guess what I’m trying to say is was their any recording done with that line up?

You are correct. Even though we are credited, we did not play on that record. That record was written recorded and produced by Mark Ribler out of New York I believe. The plan for the next record was to use the same guy and process of which once again excluded the rest of the Helix band. It’s a shame because it was potent band and we never got to record together.

7-First album ever purchased?

I think it was ‘Meet The Beatles’ or maybe ‘The Partridge Family’ both of which I still have. I still have all my old vinyl from day one.

8-If You had to go with 5 all time favourite albums what would they be?

1. UFO – ‘Lights Out’
2. UFO ‘Obsession’
3. UFO ‘Strangers In The Night’
4. Led Zeppelin ‘Song Remains The Same’
5. Liona Boyd ‘with Andrew Davis and the English Chamber Orchestra’

9-Arena/Stadium show. What was the best gig you ever witnessed?

It’s a tie:
1. Van Halen opening & blowing Black Sabbath off the stage on their first tour in Niagara Falls NY 1978
2. Judas Priest with Whitesnake & Iron Maiden in Buffalo NY 1981

10-Feel Free to Plug whatever your currently up to! Thanks again!

You can check out all things Brighton Rock at:
https://www.facebook.com/officialbrightonrock/
www.brightonrock.ca

Be sure to check out Brighton Rock in the UK in September at ‘Hull Metal Heaven’ & also on the ‘Monsters Of Rock Cruise’ in Feb.2019

It was great chatting with you.
Cheers!

Greg

10 Questions With….Brent Jensen

Folks! Welcome to something new here that I’m calling 10 Questions With… I’m asking Fanboy stuff here(nothing to personal) and I hope you all Dig it! No one will be safe from my “10 Questions With’. Hell I may even ask you! 

As many of you already know by reading my blog. Brent Jensen is easily my favourite  writer as he has written three excellent books (No Sleep Til Sudbury/Leftover People/All My Favourite People Are Broken) which  are all standouts!  Brent is a real cool guy plain and simple! Support local independent writers! Not only that, but Brent is kicking ass with a podcast over at iTunes! Please check it out…

Take it away Mr Jensen.. and thanks a ton for doing this!

 

  • When did you decide to write the book No Sleep ‘til Sudbury? Was that the plan from the get go? Or were you just jotting done stuff and realized you were sitting on a book?

I decided to write the full book in 2010 after really giving some thought to the emotional investment I had made in music as an isolated small-town kid growing up in the 80s. I had been writing articles for magazines at the time about bands like Guns N Roses and Motley Crue – edgier, more critical stuff about the bands that compelled me as a kid, not just the retelling of music history. I figured it may be a good idea to weave these critical pieces together using a very personal, conversational narrative that focused on what it was like to grow up in the middle of nowhere really depending on music to pull me through the time.

 

  • No Sleep is such a great read as any music fan can relate to it, even if you’re living in Bangkok! I have to ask – were you surprised by the reaction you got from it?

Initially I was, yes. But I did figure that someone else out there in the world could relate to my story, and my primary intention was to ‘speak’ to those people through the book – the kids who spent hours in record stores, the kids who studied liner notes with laser focus, the kids who were interested in how music FELT as a result of its sound and look.

 

  • I like in No Sleep how you tell the story of seeing iron Maiden in 1984 and then bookending it with the Maiden tour in 2006. In between you saw Maiden with Blaze Bayley after Bruce Dickinson left in 93. I don’t want to give away the full story about it, but how long after the Bayley show was it that you listened to Maiden again?

It was depressing for me to see that Bayley show, and I say that with absolutely no disrespect intended toward Bayley nor Maiden. It was a real low point for the band, after they had ruled the world for years and years. I said in the book that it was almost like visiting a friend in the hospital, because they seemed so vulnerable and exposed in comparison to how I ever seen them at any other time. I had witnessed the band live at the height of their powers in 1984, and I had felt a kinship with them almost as absent friends because I was such a rabid fan. It wasn’t until that Powerslave-themed tour in the late 2000s that I took up with them again, because I felt like it would bring me full circle.

 

4-Your second novel “Leftover People” documents your journey on a book promotional tour of the United States. It must have been a surreal moment when of all people Jack Starr(Virgin Steele) was sitting there at one of your tour stops. Who else have you come across in your travels that has surprised you?

Yeah, that was bizarre. There were a lot of metal-looking types there that day, but I kept looking at Starr from the podium trying to figure out where I knew him from. It came to me just before the Q&A portion of the book signing ended, and we shook hands and chatted afterwards. Great guy.

Since then I’ve been lucky to have a few other musicians drop by in-store signings, but no one too crazy. Someone in the industry did tell me once that Axl Rose read No Sleep ‘til Sudbury, and so did Nikki Sixx. But they haven’t turned up to have their copies signed yet J

 

5-Following “Leftover People” you wrote  “All My Favourite People are Broken”. How did that idea come up? I mean let’s face it, we have all had conversations about music with our friends but you took it one step further and documented it. What spurred that on?

My old friend from high school Garvey and I had been talking for decades about those songs that really move us, the ones that really make your skin vibrate. We talked about it so much that I finally proposed the idea of gathering up all of these songs and secluding ourselves for a while to really go through all of them once and for all. I figured it would be interesting and lots of fun, but I learned so much more about myself than I had imagined that I actually developed the idea into a podcast, a professional speaking gig, and a group team-building exercise I do with companies now. Music can tell us so much about ourselves, if we have the guts to ask the hard questions.

 

6- Now you’re doing podcasts as well. NSTS podcasts are pretty diverse, as you have everyday 9-5 working folk but you also have snagged rock dudes like Phil Collen (Def Leppard) and now Rik Emmett(Triumph). It’s amazing how you get some of these artists. Just wondering who would be on the Brent Jensen Bucket List?

It’s a long list, man. Axl and Metallica’s James Hetfield would be up there near the top along with some other musicians, and there are so many others I’ve considered beyond the realm of music – pro athletes, actors, and other people who have intrigued me over the course of my life for whatever reason. But in a guest, all I really ever want is for them to be engaging, open, and real. That’s when the magic happens. Rik Emmett was a perfect guest in that regard, as you’ll hear this week in the episode we taped at his home. He was just outstanding. And I played some of his guitars – that’s some bucket list stuff right there!

 

7- First album ever purchased with your own money?

Hmmmm…I believe it was either KISS’ Creatures of the Night on vinyl, or a cassette of Loverboy’s Get Lucky. One of those two.

 

8- I know you’re not big on lists. BUT if you had to go with 5 albums that would make your skin vibrate, what would they be?

I really do hate lists. But five albums that make my skin vibrate (in no order) would be The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, Ryan Adams’ Gold, David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark, and Metallica’s Ride The Lightning. But there are soooo many more. Do I only get to name five?!?!?!

 

9-Arena or Stadium Show? What band or performer was the best?

Sheesh. That’s a tough question. I don’t know if there was a best, but the ones that come to mind right now as being really outstanding have been seeing Metallica at the Sudbury Arena in 1986, Bruce Springsteen at The Pyramid in Memphis in the late 90s, that Maiden show you mentioned earlier in the late 2000s, Paul McCartney in Toronto mid 2000s, and seeing Axl fill in for Brian Johnson with AC/DC at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in London in 2016. That was truly life-enriching.

 

10- Plug away your stuff or whatever it is you’re currently up to? Thanks for participating!

Well, the books and the podcast keep me busy, and late last year I co-founded The Firefly Group of Companies to facilitate the speaking engagements and team-building exercise I mentioned earlier, coupled with an insights and research consulting component that my business partner oversees along with a presentation skills training program she also spearheads. AND….book #4 is being talked about. I’m working with a new publisher, and it’s going to be quite an adventure. More on that towards the end of this year.