Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Tracklist:
1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday

 

No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now

at:

Websitehttp://www.combatrecs.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/combatrecs

\

Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://davidellefson.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ellefson Announces Release Date, Cover Art For Forthcoming Covers Compilation

Courtesy: Combat Records

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s band Ellefson will release a new covers compilation this fall.

The band is scheduled to release its new covers compilation album No Cover Oct. 2 on Combat Records.  The album will feature covers of songs from bands, such as Judas Priest, Queen and Dead Kennedys.  The 13-song record’s track listing will be announced soon.

Pre-orders are open now for No Cover.  The compilation was produced by Ellefson and EMP Label Group Co-founder Thom Hazaert with guitarist Andy Martongelli.  Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred), and John Aquilino co-engineered the record.  Garavello, Ellefson, Randy Burns and others handled mixing duties for the album.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now

at:

Websitehttp://www.combatrecs.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/combatrecs

\

Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://davidellefson.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mark Weiss To Appear Saturday On Latest “Oh Say Can You Stream” Broadcast

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

David Ellefson will welcome a special guest this weekend for the latest installment of the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation’s “Oh Say Can You Stream” series.

Ellefson, EMP Label Group co-founder and Megadeth bassist, will join fellow EMP Label group founder Thom Hazaert Saturday in welcoming famed photographer Mark “Weissguy” Weiss” to the streaming broadcast.

Weiss’ appearance on the latest episode of the “Oh Say Can You Stream” series is in support of his new book The Decade That RockedThe Photography of Mark “Weissguy” Weiss.  Scheduled for publication June 2 through Insight Editions, the nearly 400-page book features more than 700 images captured by Weiss during the course of his career, such as those of Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen and Judas Priest.  Speaking of Judas Priest, the book features a forward penned by famed Judas Priest front man Rob Halford.

Weiss’ accolades are not limited to his photography work.  He is also known for his role in the creation of album art for records from acts, such as W.A.S.P., Bon Jovi and Anthrax.  He also had a hand in some of the exhibits displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Museum.

The first two episodes of the “Oh Say Can You Stream” series generated more than half a million viewers collectively.  Saturday’s edition of the series will feature an eBay auction that itself will feature items, such as signed Weissman prints, and clothing and gear worn and used by Ellefson on stage.  Audiences can see the full list of items up for auction here.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation in its efforts to spread music and music education in schools nationwide.  The foundation is an affiliate of the Grammy Music Education Coalition, which also works toward providing access to music and music education in public schools across America.

A trailer for Saturday’s show is available here.  Saturday’s edition of “Oh Say Can You Stream” will be available to watch at all of the sites listed below.

 

Stream at:
twitch.tv/grammymusiced

facebook.com/davidellefson

youtube.com/davidellefso

facebook.com/grammymusiced

facebook.com/thedeymf

 

 

More information on the David Ellefson Youth Music Foundation is available along with all of the agency’s news at:

 

Website: http://ellefsonyouthmusicfoundation.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theDEYMF

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

American Terror Will Create Lots Of Attention With Its Debut Album

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

The nu-metal world has a new name for everyone to check out.

American Terror officially released is debut album Influence Friday.  The 10-song record is an interesting presentation from the newest addition to Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.  It is a record whose musical arrangements will appeal widely to audiences.  It will be discussed shortly.  While the record’s musical content works to its benefit, the arrangements’ accompanying lyrical content proves to be a slightly detrimental aspect to the album’s presentation.  This will be discussed a little later.  While the lyrical content detracts somewhat from the record’s presentation, they do not make the album a failure.  The album’s sequencing works with its musical content to make up for the setback caused by the lyrical content.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered with the musical and lyrical content, all three elements make Influencer a work that will definitely have a varied influence in audiences.

Independent rock band American Terror’s debut album Influencer is a record that is worth at least one listen by its targeted audiences.  It is a record that will appeal to said listeners in part because of its musical arrangements.  The heavy, guitar-driven arrangements and even scratches in some of the songs fit the band’s sound in with the nu-metal bands that rose to prominence during the late 90s and early 2000s.  That nu-metal sound comes right in the album’s outset in the song ‘Judgement.’  The use of the scratches, the guitars and the drums couples with the vocals of front man Brad Cox to give the song’s arrangement a sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from Limp Bizkit.  The song’s lyrical content adds to that comparison and will be discussed later.  ‘The Threat’ is another example of how the album’s musical content will appeal to American Terror’s focused audiences.  Unlike the album’s opener – but also like that song – this song also presents a distinct nu-metal sound.  In this case, that sound can be somewhat likened to material from the likes of Nonpoint.  That is evident in Cox’s vocal delivery just as much as it is through Pat Valley’s work on guitar and Rob Hammersmith’s work behind the kit.  What audiences will like here is that despite the comparison, the members of American Terror did not just try to duplicate the sound of the noted influence, but rather used said influence to create its own unique sound.  ‘Break Free’ is another example of how the band’s album will appeal to nu-metal fans through its musical arrangements.  This song can be likened to works from Papa Roach.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here, other featured songs, such as ‘People.’ ‘Retribution’ and ‘Prophet For Profit,’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album’s musical content makes the record a work that the noted audiences will enjoy if only for the musical content.

The musical arrangements that make up the body of Influencer do their own part to make the album live up to its title.  It will definitely influence its target audience in a positive way.  As much good as the album’s musical content does for its presentation, its lyrical content tends to detract from that presentation.  That is because, as noted, this record is fueled by so much anger and adrenaline.  Now given, Rage Against The Machine front man Zach De La Rocha is known for his famous line, “Your anger is a gift,” but at the same time, there is such thing as too much of a good thing, and this record is an overload of anger and adrenaline.  There is also a certain amount of divisiveness as the album reaches its finale, ‘PC Me.’ It’s possible that Cox is spoofing perhaps Donald Trump here, but if not then his statements about how America has become too politically correct is certain to ruffle some feathers.  He notes in the song’s lead verse, “I don’t care anymore/I’m tired of catering to everyone’s feelings/I’m sick and tired of complaints/I’m sick and tired of restraints/I’m fed up with all your b****ing and crying/The only one to blame is you/For insecurities that’s eating you/Stop being so soft and sensitive/tired of staying quiet to hide our differences/I don’t wanna be silenced anymore/Go ahead/Cast stones on me.”  He adds in the song’s chorus, “Don’t try to PC me/I have the right to my own opinions/We’re not a PC world/Step up/Be real/Don’t be afraid of how you feel/Don’t you PC me.”  From there, Cox goes on to state in the song’s second verse, “I’m gonna say what I want/I don’t care if my words offend you/Can’t take a joke anymore/Without everyone being so serious/Everyone’s a f***** stereotype/We’re just too afraid to say it, right?/Call it race/Call it class/Call it gender/No one’s superior/But no one’s equal/Sticks and stones/Yeah, they break bones/if words hurt you/You’re a p****/It’s time to grow some thicker skin.”  Again, this song is certain to be divisive and a detriment to the album’s presentation.

It’s just one of the ways in which the album’s lyrical content, which is so full of anger, tends to detract from its presentation.  ‘She’s a B****’ finds the song’s subject ranting about a broken relationship, calling the woman in the broken relationship an outright slur, as well as equating the woman to “a loaded gun.”  Given, some relationships are that way, however, the outright language is another no-holds barred statement from the band that is likely to cause its own share of division.  Cox writes of the woman in the song’s chorus, “She’s a b****/But I couldn’t live without her/She’s f****** me in my brain.”  This is only a portion of the picture.  Cox sings of that woman in the song’s lead verse, “She makes up stories in her head/And go tells everyone/With every game, she breaks the rules/To make sure that I lose/The only knot I want to tie is the one that makes a noose/She’s doing coke and other drugs/That make her dead inside/She’s got me climbing up the walls/Like there’s no place to hide/I’ve tried to leave her/But she’s always threatening suicide/That’s right.”  Now given, the song’s subject has every right to be angry in such a situation.  He is tied to a woman who is a drug addict and extremely controlling.  The thing is though, did the song’s subject ever try to get help for that woman?  By doing nothing but complaining about the situation and the woman and pointing out everything going on, the subject comes across as little more than a whiner.

This is just one more work whose lyrical content proves detrimental to the album.  ‘People’ is another example of the problems posed by the record’s lyrical themes.  This song is another straight forward work, but is just as negative as the rest of the album.  The group sings in the song’s chorus, “People piss me off.”  He goes on in the song’s second verse about his troubled childhood, dropping out of school “because it wasn’t for me” and about “getting my way without kissing you’re a**.”  The rest of the song follows in very similar fashion, lyrically speaking.  It’s just the view of self reliance, true, but the delivery is the problem.  It comes across as coming from someone with a much younger mindset who has not yet found peace with himself.

Staying on that note, there is some strong content that does help the album, such as in ‘Judgement’ in which Cox addresses the so-called Christians who are the first to cast those proverbial stones and the people in general who are so quick to judge.  This is handled well.  ‘Denial,’ the album’s second song, take on someone who is fighting drug addiction and the frustration felt by those addicts who claim they want to get better, but don’t walk the walk.  The thing here is that what is expressed here is not something that someone who cares would ever actually say to an addict in an intervention.  So again, here we have an issue with the content.  It is relatable, but is a bit heavy-handed to say the least.

Getting back to the positive, ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ will definitely prove beneficial to the album’s presentation through it’s no nonsense presentation, taking on the nay sayers and bullies who would try to kick you when you’re down.  ‘Retribution’ meanwhile, seems to take on the matter of the Second Amendment and supports the right to bear arms.  This is sure to bring about its own share of discussion and possibly even division.  ‘The Threat’ is another protest song a la Rage Against The Machine’ while ‘Prophet for Profit’ takes on the religious institution albeit justifiably.  This is one matter in which most listeners will agree.  ‘Break Free’ comes across as taking on the issue of social media, which has been done plenty of times before by other acts.

Looking back through this, yes there is some positive, but there is also a lot of content that is certain to prove detrimental to the record’s presentation.  There is also a lot of pure, unbridled anger from start to end.  That unbridled anger clearly leads to a lack of filter with any of the songs.  That in itself will make the album appealing to a very targeted audience.  Considering this along with the album’s overall musical content, the album proves that its content will help its appeal, but at the same time, will also limit that appeal.  Keeping that in mind, again, the record is a good start for American Terror, but will certainly have a varied influence in itself on audiences.

For all of the mixed impact that Influencer’s lyrical content is sure to create for its presentation, it doesn’t make the album a total failure.  The album’s sequencing couples with its arrangements to add to the album’s enjoyment.  From start to end of its 31-minute run, the album’s arrangements never once let up on the energy.  From the full-on fist-pump-inducement of its opener to the Pennywise-esque sound and energy of ‘People’ to the fiery energy in ‘The Threat’ to the unbridled energy in ‘PC Me,’ every single song boasts its own energy.  Even as one song ends and the next begins, the spacing is just enough to let audiences catch their breath and prepare for the next adrenaline-fueled musical assault.  In other words, the record will keep listeners engaged and entertained from start to end thanks to its combined sequencing and arrangements.  While they take in the record’s musical content, its lyrical content will engage listeners just as much.  However, it might also limit the album’s appeal.  To that end, American Terror’s debut album proves itself to be a work whose own influence will be limited.

American Terror’s debut album Influencer is an interesting first outing for the band, which is the latest addition to David Ellefson’s EMP Label Group.  That is because its musical arrangements and sequencing will keep audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end.  As audiences take in each song, the unbridled anger and aggression expressed through the songs’ lyrical content may leave listeners divided.  Even with that in mind, the album is still worth hearing at least once.  Of course in hearing the album’s lyrical content, the album still proves to be a work whose influence is going to be limited, even despite the positive impact of the album’s musical content.  It proves itself a record that is worth at least an occasional listen.  The album is available now.  More information on Influencer is available along with all of American Terror’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://americanterrorband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/americanterrorband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Opus’ New Covers Collection Will Appeal To A Wide Range Of Rock Fans

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Rock drummer Christian F. Lawrence released a new collection of cover songs titled The Corona Covers Friday through his official Bandcamp page.  Lawrence — who goes by the stage name Opus — works with independent hard rock/metal band Dead By Wednesday and with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson on his solo work.  The eight-song recording features songs that are a far cry from the work for which he has come to be known.  That is due to the songs that make up the body of the new compilation.  They will be discussed shortly.  Lawrence’s performance of said songs plays its own role in the overall presentation of this record.  They will be discussed a little later.  The price point for this covers collection is also important to discuss.  Together with the noted elements of the songs and their performances, all three elements make The Corona Covers a positive display of Lawrence’s talents and potential as a solo artist.

The Corona Covers is a positive new offering for drummer Christian F. Lawrence.  That is because it is a work that puts on display, Lawence’s talents as a singer, guitarist and solo artist.  It does this in part through the songs that make up its body.  The songs are not metal songs.  Rather, they are works that come from a relatively wide range of musical genres.  The collection opens with a cover of Alice in Chains’ hit song ‘Rooster.’  The band, as most audiences know, was part of the Seattle grunge sound back in the early and mid 1990s.  From there, Lawrence takes audiences back in time with his own performance of Pink Floyd’s timeless song ‘Mother.’  ‘Mother’ and ‘Rooster’ could not be any farther apart as two songs can be in terms of genres.  He continues to branch out even more in the collection’s third song, ‘Blackbird.’  ‘Where Do The Children Play?,’ which was the product of Cat Stevens, follows that work.  From there, Lawrence moves to the southern rock realm with a cover of the Marshall Tucker Band’s song ‘Can’t You See.’  He doesn’t stick to that sound for long as the collection continues progressing, offering next, a cover of Phil Collins’ timeless hit ‘In The Air Tonight.’  KISS’ song ‘Beth’ follows that work, again keeping things interesting for listeners.  ‘Itsy Bitsy,’ by Mike and Peggy Seeger, closes out the collection.  Yet again, here is another change of style and pace for listeners.  What’s more, it’s another example of the diversity in Lawrence’s own musical influences.  That far-reaching range of influences in itself will establish respect for Lawrence by listeners while also keeping audiences engaged and entertained.  Keeping that in mind, this collection’s featured songs clearly are important in their own right to the whole of the compilation’s presentation.  As important as they are to the collection’s presentation, Lawrence’s presentation thereof is just as important to address.

Each performance by Lawrence in this collection stays true to its source material as best it can.  That is obvious throughout the compilation. That in itself is noteworthy.  What’s more, Lawrence’s actual performance of each song does its own part to honor each song’s roots.  The most notable of his performances come in his takes on ‘Rooster’ and ‘Mother.’  From the “rubbery” effect of the guitar to the control and balance in the layering of the vocals, this performance is right up there with the best acoustic performances that Alice in Chains held at its MTV Unplugged performance so many years ago.  Lawrence’s performance of ‘Mother’ is just as powerful, as that crafted by Pink Floyd.  That same melancholy is there in the instrumentation and Lawrence’s vocal delivery.  It has that same ethereal vibe of its source material, leading it to tug so strongly at listeners’ emotions.  Lawrence is to be commended for this performance which mirrors almost exactly its source material.  Much the same can be said of his performance of The Marshall Tucker Band’s song ‘Can’t You See’ and The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird.’  Lawrence strives to stay as true as possible to the source material in those performances, as well as those of the other noted songs and those not directly addressed here.  All things considered, Lawence’s performance of the compilation’s featured songs adds even more engagement and entertainment to the set as the songs themselves.  Together with the songs, the two elements give fans plenty of encouragement to purchase the record.

Speaking of buying, the price of Lawrence’s new covers collection is $8.  Considering the breadth of content and the Lawrence’s also already noted performances, that price is actually relatively affordable.  So many records with the same amount of content can range from that price and go up from there, so paying only that price is not bad.  Add in the fact that Lawrence will add new songs to the collection each week without raising the price, and audiences get even more motivation to purchase this compilation.  When this is considered along with the impact of the set’s songs and performances thereof, the set in whole proves to be a work that Lawrence’s fans will appreciate just as much as Dead By Wednesday fans and those of David Ellefson.

Christian F. Lawrence’s new covers collection The Corona Covers is hardly the first covers collection to ever be released by any musical act.  It is however, one that rock fans in general will find entertaining.  That is proven in part through the songs that make up the body of the record.  They show Lawrence’s wide range of musical tastes while also providing a wide range of listeners something to enjoy.  Lawence’s performance of the noted songs adds even more to appreciate here, as does the collection’s law price.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of The Corona Covers.  All things considered, they make The Corona Covers a presentation that will appeal to any rock fan.

More information on The Corona Covers is available online along with all of Lawrence’s latest news and more at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Opusthedopest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OpusTheDopest

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Opus Releases New Covers Collection, ‘The Corona Covers’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Famed rock drummer Opus released a new covers collection Friday.

Opus (a.k.a. Christian F. Lawrence) released his new record The Corona Covers Friday through his official Bandcamp page.  The seven-song collection features Lawrence on guitar and vocals instead of drums, performing covers of songs from acts, such as Pink Floyd, KISS and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Lawrence talked about the compilation’s creation in a recent interview.

“I’ve been so fixed on practicing and playing drums that I moved away from playing acoustic guitar, which I used to do and love so much,” he said.  “In the past I would go through periods where I don’t touch it. This quarantine forced me to find things to do. As soon as I picked it up, it was like clock work…I was writing songs in minutes and learning covers by ear like I usually do. Who doesn’t like cool cover songs done well or differently? It allows you to keep putting out content and stay relevant when none of us can play out live at the moment”

The track listing for The Corona Covers is noted below.  According to Lawrence, he is planning to add more songs to hear and download weekly, so audiences can check back in at his official Bandcamp page weekly to check out those songs.

 

Tracklisting:

Rooster – A.I.C.

Mother – Pink Floyd

Where Do the Children Play? – Cat Stevens

Can’t you see – Marshall Tucker Band

In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins

Jess (Beth) – Kiss

Itsy Bitsy – Mike & Peggy Seeger

Lawrence debuted the video for his performance of ‘Mother‘ April 22 through his official YouTube channel.

More information on The Corona Covers is available online along with all of Lawrence’s latest news and more at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Opusthedopest

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OpusTheDopest

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ellefson Inducted Into Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame

Photo Credit: Melody Myers

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson has received a new honor.

The Grammy Award-winning musician was inducted into the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame over the weekend.  The honor was bestowed on Ellefson by the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Association.  He was inducted under the “Individual Artist” category for his accomplishments as a multi-talented musician and entrepreneur.

Along with receiving a plaque, Ellefson also is honored in the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame with a permanent exhibit that features one of his personal Jackson Kelly Bird signature basses.

Ellefson was humble as he talked about being recognized.

“Growing up in Jackson, which is right on the border with Iowa, I spent as much time in Iowa as I did in Minnesota,” Ellefson said.  “My mom was from Iowa, and really, so much of my life growing up was here.  The Iowa circuit is where I really cut my teeth as a musician before moving to L.A. and joining Megadeth, and it’s such an amazing honor to be recognized with the Iowa RNRHOF Class of 2018.  After the Grammy win for Dystopia it was really a cherry on top, to be recognized by my peers and the great people back home, and to get to come back and participate in this amazing weekend.”

Photo Credit: Melody Myers

The weekend’s evens opened with Ellefson performing one of his BASSTORy master classes on Saturday morning.  As the weekend progressed, he and EMP Label Group partner Thom Hazert judged the finals of the statewide Iowa Rocks Battle of the Bands.

The weekend wrapped with the induction ceremony that included Ellefson and others being inducted into the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.  This year’s full list of inductees is available online here.

Dave Ellefson will launch his BASSTORY tour later this month in Portland, Oregon.  The nearly three-week tour is currently scheduled to run through Oct. 7 in Makato, MN.

After taking time to rest and recharge, he will launch a series of European BASSTORY dates starting Oct. 15 in Bristol, U.K.  That tour is currently scheduled to run through Oct. 23 in Berlin, Germany.  The full schedule for Ellefson’s U.S. and U.K. BASSTORY tour is noted below.

BASSTORY DATES:

9/20 Portland, OR – Dante’s
9/21 Spokane Valley, WA – The Roadhouse
9/22 Fife, WA – Louie G’s
9/28 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s
9/29 Houston, TX – BFE Rock Club
10/3 Bradley, IL – The Looney Bin
10/4 Lombard, IL – Brauer House
10/5 Sturtevant, WI – Route 20 Outhouse

10/6 Ringle, WI – Q and Z Expo Center
10/7 Mankato, MN – What’s Up Lounge

* With Green Death
With Green Death and WRATH

BASSTORY Europe (Presented by METAL CASINO):
10/15 : Bristol, U.K. – BIMM|
10/16 : Guildford, U.K. – ACM
10/17 : ESCH SUR ALZETTE, LUXEMBURG – RockHal
10/18 : Tilburg, Netherlands – O13
10/21 : LES BIOUX, SWITZERLAND – LE RELAIS DES ARTISTES
10/22 : Warsaw, Poland – RIFF MEGASTORE
10/23 : Berlin, Germany – Private Club

More information on Ellefson’s induction into the Iowa Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.davidellefson.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Website: http://

Lamb of God’s Chris Adler Tapped For Megadeth’s New Album

Courtesy:  Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

The rumors have finally been confirmed and one piece of the puzzle is now in place for Megadeth’s album.

Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler has officially confirmed as the drummer for Megadeth’s next album. The confirmation comes after rumors swirled around whether or not Adler would take the place of recently departed drummer Shawn Drover. This is not the first time that Adler has been the center of some major rumors. His name was recently thrown into the mix after former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison was replaced by a then-unnamed drummer. It was widely speculated that Adler was the man responsible for the drums on Slipknot’s new album .5 The Gray Chapter. But it was later revealed that drummer Max Weinberg’s son Jay Weinberg had taken over drumming duties for the band.

Megadeth front man and founder Dave Mustaine released a statement in regards to the announcement noting his outlook for the new album with Adler on board even in a studio-only position saying, “Chris is a tremendous talent, and an amazing person. He is going to bring a new level of excitement and energy to MEGADETH that the fans are going to lose their minds over.” He also noted his respect for Megadeth’s former drummers in the grand scheme of things saying, “I have nothing but respect for my previous drummers, but this is going to absolutely KILL! Along with these sentiments, Mustaine also gave a big thanks to Adler’s band mates in Lamb of God for allowing Adler to lend his talents to Megedeth’s new album noting, “I want to thank the other members of Lamb Of God for allowing this opportunity to take place for all of us in the metal community.”

Mustaine’s band mate, bassist David Ellefson, added his own thoughts on the announcement of Adler helping the band record its next new album saying, “Chris has been an endearing friend to us in MEGADETH for many years now, and he truly appreciates our music and its legacy. His drumming has forged such an innovative and ferocious path for metal music and I’m very proud that he is anchoring our rhythm section with us on this new album. I can clearly see a new dawn of ‘utmost heaviness’ unfolding in MEGADETH’s next chapter.”

In speaking with the media about the announcement, Adler explained Megadeth’s influence on his own decision to follow a path in the music industry. “MEGADETH was the game changer for me. Growing up, there was no other band that meant as much to my musical interest and direction,” he said. “There is no doubt I would not be doing what I have been doing for the past three decades had I not stumbled across ‘Killing Is My Business’ and the bible of all metal, ‘Peace Sells’ in my formative years.” He went on to explain how a tour between Lamb of God and Megadeth roughly a decade ago is what initially might have gotten the wheels rolling on this partnership. “About 10 years ago, LAMB OF GOD toured with MEGADETH and I was able to share that story with Dave and David, and we have kept in touch ever since,” he said. “When Dave called me a while ago and asked if I was interested in making a thrash metal album with him, I felt like I must’ve been on a hidden camera show. “I was trying to play it cool, but I was speechless other than YES! Once I called my wife and my band guys to let everyone know, I had some time to really think about it and how I can best fit into this situation. I’m coming into this on fire. There is an incredible amount of respect, but the goal here is to make the very best thrash album we can. Together, I believe we can do something very special! Get ready for a very exciting chapter in the MEGADETH legacy.”

For all of the optimism and openness in these statements, there was also a slightly cryptic comment in regards to departed Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick from Mustaine. Mustaine noted subtly in his comments that “Back in 1989, MEGADETH originally worked as a three piece – guitar, bass and drums – when we laid down the framework to our GRAMMY® nominated platinum album Rust In Peace.” Whether or not this was meant to leave some discussion, it leaves a question mark as to whether or not there are plans to replace Broderick or keep Megadeth a three-piece. When and if an update on this happens, it will be announced online along with other Megadeth news at:

Website: http://www.megadeth.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Megadeth

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Megadeth

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gus G. Debuts EPK Ahead Of New Single, Album Release

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Firewind front man Gus G. will release his debut solo album this Spring.  I Am The Fire is scheduled to be released March 18th in the United States.  It will be released March 17th in Europe.  It will be released worldwide via Century Media Records.  Before he releases his debut, Gus G. has released a brand new EPK that offers audiences a look inside the making of the album.  Fans can check out the new EPK online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJd38EoTLkA&feature=youtu.be.

The album’s title track is impacting radio now.  It is currently playing on Sirius RadioXM Octane.  It will be added to mainstream radio stations’ playlists beginning next Tuesday, February 18th.  It features the members of hard rock band Devour The Day as special guests.  It will go on sale digitally via iTunes February 25th.  The track listing for I Am The Fire is listed below.

        ‘I AM THE FIRE’ TRACK LISTING:

  1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
  2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
  3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
  4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
  5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
  6. Just Can’t Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
  7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
  8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
  9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
  10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
  11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
  12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

Gus G. handled all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on his solo debut.  Brought along for the record were drummers Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Devo) and, Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Marty O’Brien (Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen), and vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex-Yngwie Malmstein/Therion), Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill),Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jacob Bunton (Adler) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey).  The album was produced by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther).

More information on Gus G., his new album, tour news and more is available online at http://www.gusgofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/officialgusg, and http://twitter.com/gusgofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.