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SymbioticFunction 17th May 2019 04:44 AM


Originally Posted by Susan Foreman (Post 603313)
One of the new Vampire songs, 'We Gotta Rise', filmed at the Greek Theatre in LA

People are saying it has an uncanny similarity to the Fat Les song 'Vindaloo'!

It really does sound just like Vindaloo. :)

Susan Foreman 18th May 2019 07:15 PM

Hatchet review of the Vampires in San Francisco

"Review: We Are All Complicit in Hollywood Vampires - May 15, 2019 - SF Weekly

What is the true cost of watching Johnny Depp play guitar?

I came to the Warfield not to praise Johnny Depp, but to bury him.

Ever since Iíd first heard word of Hollywood Vampires ó a ďsuperbandĒ in the loosest of terms that features Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and Depp ó Iíd been struck with a deeply morbid curiosity as to why this group existed. On paper, Hollywood Vampires felt like the music equivalent of a novelty condom machine. One puts in their money with the knowledge that what theyíll receive is likely to be a disappointment ó and also possibly glow-in-the-dark.

Since forming in 2015, Hollywood Vampires have released one album and welcomed scores of cameos at their live performances. On the night prior to their Warfield show, Depp and company invited both Steven Tyler and Marilyn Manson to take part. In San Francisco, the only surprise was how quickly it became apparent that celebrity-driven musical side-projects are simply selfie palaces by another name.

For most of live musicís history, the reason youíd buy a ticket was to hear music. Listening to Hollywood Vampires ó be it their uninspired, original cuts or woefully miscalculated covers of greats like David Bowie and the Who ó was clearly not the point for the lean crowd that showed up to film every second of Deppís impression of a hard rock guitarist. Cooper and Perry got a little love as well, but the majority of the smartphones were focused squarely on Depp from start to finish.

This scenario can be contrasted with another recent show that took place in San Francisco: Maya Rudolphís brilliant Prince cover band, Princess. Whereas the notes and words were wholly irrelevant for the majority of Hollywood Vampiresí 90-minute performance, Rudolphís role was to act as a divine conduit between the crowd and the Purple One. Individuals best known for their acting front both acts, but Princess attendees were there to celebrate Prince, while the fans at Hollywood Vampires were only concerned with capturing Deppís image as many times as possible.

Itís difficult to decide which moment best encapsulates the experience of watching a Hollywood Vampires show. It may have been when Alice Cooper, at the age of 71, bent over at the climax of ďRiseĒ ó from their forthcoming second album, get ready ó to pantomime the flatulence sound effects that apparently serve as that trackís coda. Perhaps it was Deppís take on Bowieís ďHeroes,Ē during which he mumbled out the lyrics with the conviction of roadkill. Maybe it was the bandís visual designer, who apparently was hired straight from an internship with Hot Topic circa 2005.

In fairness, there were a few moments worthy of praise as well ó although not many.

For one, Depp may be a subpar musician but he was certainly kind to fans. Throughout the show, he bumped fists with those in the front rows and even returned following the groupís encore to rain down branded guitar picks. While Alice Cooper must shoulder some of the blame for allowing Hollywood Vampires to exist, the bandís best moments came when they played his material. During ďIím EighteenĒ and ďSchoolís OutĒ there were flashes of vintage Alice ó the one that once gave a nervous Wayne Campbell a Milwaukee history lesson and provided the soundtrack for cinemaís most vicious high-school paddling.

Given Depp is an actor and Perryís heyday with Aerosmith is firmly in the rearview, Cooper is the one with the least enticing motivation to go the ďsuperbandĒ route. Yes, he was born in 1948, but seeing him brandish his evil carnival barkerís cane for the chorus of ďSchoolís Out,Ē thereís no denying that the man still has it. No one wants to see Cooper relegated to county fairs and corporate retreats, but if the choices are to exit gracefully or to continue on as one head of a publicity-driven rock hydra, he may wish to reconsider his options.

In truth, the problem with Hollywood Vampires is us. Thereís no reason to slander Johnny Depp for wanting to be Pete Townshend. The issue is our willingness to pay to see it.

We are the ones who bought this album, purchased tickets to the concert, and shared our good fortune for all our social media followers to see. Every time we decide the spectacle of a Hollywood Vampires is something we simply canít miss, we tell venues like the Warfield not to book an up-and-coming performer. Every time we decide that three white men with plenty of power and wealth (but minimal musical talent) are deserving of our attention and paychecks, we deny those same resources to the kinds of artists who need them most.

I went to see Hollywood Vampires with Depp in my crosshairs, but I left with the somber realization that Iím the one who needs to do better."

Demdike@Cult Labs 18th May 2019 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by Susan Foreman (Post 603657)
Hatchet review of the Vampires in San Francisco

Every time we decide that three white men with plenty of power and wealth (but minimal musical talent) are deserving of our attention and paychecks, we deny those same resources to the kinds of artists who need them most.

So Alice Cooper and Joe Perry have minimal musical talent?

They have more talent at what they do (legends, both) than this ****ing prick could ever have as a journalist.

Susan Foreman 24th May 2019 12:28 PM

Kerrang has a new interview with Nita Strauss where she talks about Alice and fitness

"Nita Strauss Is The Hard-Working Guitar Hero That Rock Needs

What most musicians do, Nita Strauss does twice as hard. Between playing for Alice Cooperís band, working on her solo material, appearing at guitar clinics, and writing and promoting her e-book about rock star fitness, the 32-year-old guitarist is a ****ing machine, focusing all her energy and talent into working nonstop in the name of rock and metal. Add to that the fact that sheís a role model for millions of women who want to play heavy music in what theyíre constantly told is a ďmale-dominated genre,Ē and youíve got a human being whose life should inspire all performers to do a little more, a little better. Simply put, if Nita Strauss is out there in the world, youíve got your work cut out for you.

Currently on tour supporting her crowdfunded solo album Controlled Chaos while simultaneously launching her own fitness challenge, Nita doesnít have a minute to herself, and has every right to be exhausted and humorless. But when she stops by Kerrang!ís Brooklyn offices to chat and take some photos, she genuinely seems just happy to be here. When we ask her what itís like to play with Alice Cooper, she breaks into the kind of grin that would make one think she was a fangirl who just met Alice backstage, rather than a vital part of his backing band.

ďItís amazing,Ē she says gleefully. ďIíve played with a bunch of bands that were kind of styled from 80s acts, and we used to cover [Alice Cooperís track] Poison. Now Iím actually performing the song with the man!Ē

With your solo album, is there something you feel like you can accomplish musically that you canít as part of Aliceís band?

Definitely. The common perception of instrumental guitar music is that itís nothing but shredding. I think the thing we really hit on the head with Controlled Chaos is that for people who wouldnít normally listen to instrumental guitar music, itís a lot more than that. Iíve had people tell me that after they listened to my album, they went out to buy an album from Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, that they would have never listened to. Just to get to expose people to these records that meant so much to me has really been awesome.

Is there a way youíve found to grab someoneís attention with guitar front and center, the way a singer does with a bandís lyrics?

It all comes down to emotion. If youíre writing songs about something, it makes a big difference to a listener. The beauty of instrumental music is that thereís no definitive meaning to the track. With lyrics, itís much more apparent what the song is about. If itís about a breakup, the lyrics are there to tell you that. With instrumental music, the songwriter can write one thing, and it can hit the listener in a completely different way. Itís all subjective.

When youíre playing with other people, whether as a guest guitarist or with Alice Cooper, are there moments where you wish you could blast out your full emotion, but you canít because you might overwhelm the vocalist?

Absolutely. Especially with Alice Cooper. Weíre a supporting act to Alice. Thereís this invisible line on stage that we donít cross. If Alice wants us to take the front stage, we will run with it, but itís his show, and weíre conscious of that. Weíre there to make the Alice Cooper show as great as it can be, but not to be, like, Alice Cooper featuring Nita Strauss. There are three lead guitar players in Alice Cooperís band: myself, Ryan Roxie, and Tommy Henriksen. There isnít any room for the three of us to do that, especially with Alice there. We have to give the crowd that guitar hero experience while also not taking anything away from Alice.

Iíve interviewed Alice twice for Kerrang!, and he always takes a moment to talk about you and your bandmatesí other projects. Thereís this stereotype of the frontman who thinks, ďIím in charge, know your role,Ē but he was quick to say he wouldnít be here if it wasnít for you guys.

Thatís kind of him, because he would totally be here. Letís not kid ourselves, he could have anybody in his band! For him to not only choose us, but give us that spotlight and mention our names, itís so amazing. Any rockstar can learn a thing or two from Alice Cooper.

Is there something that youíve learned from working with Alice that youíve taken with you, whether itís about being a musician or just something like how to get fake blood out of a shirt?

The real thing Iíve taken with me is appreciation. Alice could be a jerk. You always hear about the rockstars that arenít even on Aliceís level who are just jerks. Then thereís Alice, who could be enjoying his dinner, and when a fan comes up to him to tell them their stories about having their records taken away from their parents, heíll put the fork down, look at them, and then start a conversation, asking if they ever got the records back. He really knows that without those fans, none of us would be here.

Working with Alice, have you ever gotten your head chopped off, or swung for the gallows?

Thatís strictly Alice territory! I donít think theyíd offer it, because I totally would! Iíd do all the dangerous thing. I remember on the first date with MŲtley CrŁe, the pyro technician warned me that there would be a lot of pyro and not to use too much hairspray, and I was totally into it. She said, ĎI like your attitude!í

Today is the last day to sign up for your Body Shred challenge. Does fitness and staying healthy help with your performance?

It has made a huge difference. Just purely on the physical side, Iím less winded and not sore all the time. I do my cardio, take my supplements, eat clean. I have a meal prep company called Trifecta Nutrition that sends out my meals when I am on tour. Your body is a Ferrari ó donít give it the regular gas, give it the premium! All this was the inspiration for Body Shred. I made this change for myself. First I wrote a book about it, ďBody Shred: Your Guide To Feeling And Looking Like A Rock Star,Ē and thatís basically motivation and making good choices. Thatís not to say you need to be sober or you shouldnít eat pizza, but you should be more conscious and make better decisions.

Then I thought of a way that I could get more people involved, which is where this challenge came about. You have to get people involved somehow, and what better way than to give a rad guitar and amp? So weíre giving away an Ibanez Jiva, my signature guitar, and a Marshall amp, and Trifecta is giving away some great food. We got all these companies to get involved in it, and itís really exciting.

Letís say Iím a metal musician. Iím going out on my first couple of tours, and looking for a way to be healthier. What are some basic ways to start?

The first thing you want to do is set yourself up for success. Already have the healthy food. Bring stuff you can use on the road, and getting yourself into it mentally. Tour isnít a vacation, itís work. Treat your tour like your day job, and set yourself up for success.

As an outsider, I definitely think of tour like a blank space, where you could do whatever you want.

Yeah, and you canít. That only works when itís a shorter tour. For me, Iíve been touring consistently for 17 years, and that just didnít work for me. I gained a ton of weight, and even when I got sober that approach just didnít work. You canít say that calories donít count when youíre on the road, because they do.
Nita Strauss Ethan Fixell 5

I saw is that you recently played a live guest spot with Evanescence at the 2019 Epicenter Festival. How was that? Have you known the band for a long time?

Itís always fun. My own music is kind of non-collaborative, being self-produced and self-engineered. My boyfriend Josh [Villalta, also Nitaís drummer] has known the other guys in the band for a very long time, and Iíve known [rhythm guitarist] Jen Majura very well, and they were kind enough to invite me up to play. Also, as a female growing up in the Evanescence era, there werenít a lot of girls to look up to, but there was Amy Lee, proudly carrying the torch for girls in rock and metal. To be on stage with her and hear her voice through the monitors, I thought back to my childhood and how excited I wouldíve been to even just see that.

Itís awesome that you still have those moments. Iím sure with this as your day job, itís sometimes easy to overlook how cool this all is.

Iím still very much that person. Josh always reminds me that. I started playing guitar after hearing Steve Vai for the first time. I recently got an award called the Inspire Award, and the company She Rocks surprised me by having Steve Vai present the award to me. I was just standing on the side of the stage trying not to cry because I had to play, and I was hearing from my hero how Iíve inspired people. I tried not listening, because I knew I would take it to heart, so I decided to just relax and Iíd watch it later. Then Josh put his hands on my shoulders, and said, ĎThink back when I first started playing guitar.í Then I started crying on the side of the stage, and then I had to go out and cry and play! You can never lose that sense of enchantment. If you do, you need to go out and work at a bank, and see how enchanting that is.

Thatís an amazing story. Have you ever played a set while crying?

Oh my God, so many times! The first time I played Poison with Alice Cooper, I cried so many times. When I was recording the album, there are these two ballad tracks that are just super personal to me, and I was just crying. Not even cute, movie tears, like actual bawling! [Nita does a hacking, open-mouthed sob] Iíve cried during guitar clinics. Iím a very emotional guitar player, so itís not uncommon for me to cry. I just let it flow through me."

Susan Foreman 25th May 2019 06:32 AM

May 25th, 1969

The first pre-release review for the debut album, 'Pretties For You', is published in the Arizona Republic

The final paragraph mentions the trouble that was had with the cover image. When the album was originally released, the painting featured a woman showing off her underwear...

...Due to this, some copies were 'censored' by putting a sticker over the offending garment! Later copies reverted to the uncensored version.

Susan Foreman 26th May 2019 07:13 PM

The rumour machine is starting up!

People are suggesting that this is going to be back in the new tour set list.

With a band that has three guitarists and no keyboard player, presumably the long and atmospheric intro will be cut

Susan Foreman 28th May 2019 06:07 PM

Video: Watch Alice Cooper attempt rubber chicken Guinness World Record | Planet Rock

"Alice Cooper has attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the number of rubber chickens thrown in the air at the same time.

The Planet Rock DJ made an appearance on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at the BottleRock Napa Valley festival on Sunday (26th May), where he tried to enter the record books.

The official Guinness World Record for the largest rubber chicken toss was set by Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California on 29th April 2017 when 1,013 people took part.

Alice took to the stage at BottleRock Napa Valley to lead the world record attempt where he and attendees launched over 1,014 chickens skywards in unison.

An official from the Guinness Book of World Records was present on Sunday, however the Mercury News reports that they couldnít verify that the chickens were thrown in the air at the same time so the attempt was unsuccessful."

Susan Foreman 29th May 2019 07:31 PM

Alice joins covers band Chevy Metal, featuring Taylor Hawkins from The Foo Fighters on drums, for a run through of 'Schools Out'

Susan Foreman 6th June 2019 06:36 AM

June 6th, 1977 - Alice's snake died when she was bitten by a rat during dinner time!

Never one to miss out on a bit of publicity, an open audition to find a reptile to replace her was held in Century City, Los Angeles the following week on June 13th

This was covered in the Long Beach Press Telegraph].jpg

Demdike@Cult Labs 8th June 2019 11:59 AM

Hollywood Vampires - Heroes

Obviously it's a great song anyway and the Vampires do it justice.

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