King’s X Signs New Record Deal, New Album out Next Year


King’s X has announced a new record deal with Golden Robot Records, to release their new album, expected in 2019. The new KX album will be the follow up to 2008’s XV. The band just finished a brief tour of the USA. Continue reading


King’s X Kicks Off Mini Tour Tonight


Legendary heavy rock band King’s X Will Kick Off A Mini-Tour Of The East Coast Tonight, At Sony Hall, In New York City. The band will have VIP packages at every show and several of their shows will be recorded for fan purchase later via Set.fm and VNUE INC, with the list below. In addition to this handful of dates, the band has tour dates later this fall in Houston and the Midwest, and also have booked the 2019 Monsters of Rock Cruises. The band is said to be plotting a new album, which would be their first new album of originals since 2008’s XV album (InsideOut Music). King’s X celebrated the 30th anniversary of their debut album, Out Of A Silent Planet (Megaforce), this past March. Continue reading


My Favorite Concert Memory: Devin Townsend


Devin Townsend, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Devin Townsend, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography


Devin Townsend shares some of his earliest concert memories and favorite music with Ghost Cult:

Continue reading


The Jelly Jam – Profit


The Jelly Jam profit ghostcultmag

With the likes of Dream Theater’s John Myung and Ty Tabor of King’s X in their ranks (alongside Winger’s Rod Morgenstien), one would expect The Jelly Jam to be an ambitious and challenging progressive band, with a wide range of influences in their arsenal. In contrast, over their lifespan, their sound has been a much more direct, song based affair; and latest album Profit (Mascot).

With a plethora of ambitious works and journeys under their belt, Profit still shows them flexing their impressive creative muscles and offering virtuoso performances, but in a more refined and concise manner. This is more straight-forward grunge infused rock with some shades of AOR and the like, for a more gritty but no less immediate hard rock sound. Album opener ‘Care’ is a particularly heavier moment to kick of proceedings and provides an immediately anthemic chorus, preceding the softer, acoustic ‘Stain On The Sun’, before picking pace again.

Herein lies the album’s problem, of an undefined sound which seems to try and encompass too many tones and paces without flowing all too well. Immediately following one of the album’s heavier points with a complete contrast proves somewhat jarring in a manner such rock shouldn’t do. Fortunately the strength of the songs alone, whilst not groundbreaking by any stretch, do hold up strong enough to return to on numerous occasions.

Those unfamiliar with the band before hand may have expected wildly different when noting the personnel involved, but The Jelly Jam are a chance to prove that these guys are not just one trick ponies and can do short, sharp and catchy just as well as sprawling, complex epics. It does still need some refining in their sound to feel truly wholesome; but they have certainly succeeded in making a straight forward, fun album; and that is most definitely the mission.

6.0/10

CHRIS TIPPELL

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Dimebash Charity Concert During NAMM To Feature Pantera, Slayer, AIC Members


dimebash

The 2016 Monster Energy Ride For Dime Dimebash benefit show will be held at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood, CA on January 22nd. The event, based on the annual Ride for Dime charity events, will feature a tribute to Dimebag Darrell Abbott and the music of Pantera. Members of Pantera, in town for The NAMM Show are expected to perform Pantera classics along side members of Slayer, Alice In Chains, Black Label Society, Machine Head, Hatebreed, Stone Sour, Type O Negative, Danzig, King’s X, Devildriver, Prong, Kyng, Armored Saint and more. Proceeds from the event will go towards Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.

Rita Haney, Dimebag‘s longtime girlfriend commented:

I think the thing that embodies this event and entity is unity; bringing everyone together to celebrate the music played and loved by Darrell and to benefit the foundation of a very beloved man, Mr. Ronnie James Dio. Dimebag Darrell was notorious for giving us all so much, in some way, even to this day. So to be able to give back in his name is such an honor. With all of this amazing talent in one place it makes for a damn good celebration! C’mon out and getcha pull!”

Frequent events and tributes pop up at The NAMM show. Over the years since Dimebag’s murder in 2004 there has been much interest by fans in the music of Pantera, including the recent Change.Org petition calling to reunite the band, dubbed The Pantera Project, which has gained over 7,500 signatures in just a few months.

 


Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 2 – Live in Clark NJ


Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

We arrived at Day Two of the Food Truck and Rock Carnival a bit tired, but amped up for a full day of bands. With more time to explore the fest this day, we checked out the awesome fair food in the main concert area such as corn dogs and deep-fried Oreo’s as well as some of more interesting choices on the Food Truck side too.

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Like A Storm, by Keith Chachkes

Doing a reverse of yesterday, we took in the bands first, followed by some Carnie fun, and then more bands. Up-and-coming New Zealand rockers Like A Storm were the first band we saw and they were insanely good. With several rock hits at satellite radio, they had their own fans in the house. They seemed to make a lot of new converts too with a fiery show. Crobot was next on the other main stage. If you have never seen them, they are a fierce piece of psych rock explosiveness! They whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their over the top antics.

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

Crobot, by Keith Chachkes

 

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

Anthrax, by Keith Chachkes

After I headed back stage to conduct some band interviews we headed back out the now full festival grounds. It was really impressive to see this for a first time fest. Especially after the performance of the next band I caught: Anthrax. The band has been touring like crazy leading up to their new album For All Kings (Megaforce) due this winter. The band had a short set so they dispensed with the pleasantries and commenced the ass-kicking. In addition to their typical hits, they played the rarely-ever-heard live ‘Lone Justice’ as a tribute to Eddie Trunk. The band was on fire too, especially drummer Charlie Benante and singer Joey Belladonna.

 

Nighttime fell on the fest and lights from the stages and the carnival lit up the sky and you just felt everyone’s collective energy was high. Following the model of some European fests the two areas in front of the main stages were cut into a big “Y” shape with an enormous VIP area. This also helped security with crowd control, but at the same time made it a chore to see both stages easily. This was the only weakness of the weekend for me. At the same time the two stages also created an awesome VIP Cabana area between them, that for came with tons of amenities including private wait staff services, a private viewing area of the stage, a private VIP meet and greet sesh, free beers and up close access to the bands and the main stages other fans did not have. The fan in me was a little bit jelly and some of the patrons I talked to were over the moon about the experience.

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

Clutch, by Keith Chachkes

The perfect band to bring in the spirit of rock revivalism to the darkened skies was Clutch who happened to be up next. They played a lot of songs from their new album ‘Psychic Warfare’ (Weathermaker Music) and no one complained. Neil Fallon gesticulated wildly all over the stage, tending to his flock. The band was tight as hell and just jammed it out for an hour straight. Late in the set brought the hits fans wanted to hear like ‘Spacegrass’ and ‘The Mob Goes Wild’.

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Schism, by Keith Chachkes

Tucked away in the far corner of the fest, the carnival area was the last stage, and by all accounts had been decently attended all day with locals and some bands paying tribute to rock and metal heroes. Two of the most prominent tribute bands in the nation closed the stage each night: RATM2, the Rage Against the Machine Tribute, and Schism, the première Tool tribute band. I managed to catch some of Schism’s set, and having been a Tool-o-phile from back n the day and seeing the band as many times as I have, they are the real deal. If you have never seen the enigmatic gods of art rock, Schism is a fair stand in both sonically and visually. Next year this stage ought to be closer to the main stages.

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

Chester Bennington with Stone Temple Pilots, by Keith Chachkes

 

Godsmack and Stone Temple Pilots closed the main stages respectively on this night with a lots of bravado from each. STP featuring Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) for one of the last times, played all the songs that made them of the première alt rock bands of the 90s. Chester is spot on vocally, and a star in every way imaginable. Fans have commented that his copying Scott Weiland is unflattering to the band and off-putting, and I have to say it isn’t necessary at all. Chester can hang with anyone vocally and to me was a great fit with STP, end of story. 

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Crowd at The Rock Carnival, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack opened up with a montage film that recapped their last few years touring and intercut shots of iconic Boston sports people such as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, members of the Boston Bruins, and David Ortiz. Curious choices in New Jersey, the land of many Jets and Yankees fans, but oh well. The band came out fired up and played all their big radio-friendly tracks. They were a worthy closer on this night. Drummer Shannon Larkin always stands out a lot to me. He is one of the most talented drummers you will ever see live and worth watching. Sully Erna flipped back and forth between playing guitar and running around with a wireless microphone and seemed to really relish performing for such an enthusiastic crowd.

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

 

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

Godsmack, by Keith Chachkes

I made it a point each day to hang a lot at the Birch Hill Stage towards the end of each day. It seemed that a lot of industry types were gathering there, and it was awesome to see my brethren from the world of music journalism and publicity. Plus the beer garden was right there. The final band’s trifecta of LA Guns, Lita Ford, and Slaughter was a great way to cap off the weekend. LA Guns was solid, Lita was excellent, but Slaughter was downright special. After all these years it’s amazing how little Slaughter has changed. They were a thing to behold, especially Mark Slaughter’s stratospheric singing voice. Of course, they closed the weekend with ‘Fly To The Angels’ and ‘Up All Night’ performed to a crowd feeling a mix of jubilation and satisfaction that comes from having a great time. I held my BFF tight and raised up those horns one last time for the night. Food Truck and Rock Carnival, do us a solid and come back next year twice as baddass!

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

Slaughter, by Keith Chachkes

 

DAY 1 OF THE FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY KEITH CHACHKES

 

 


Food Truck and Rock Carnival: Day 1 – Live in Clark, NJ


Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 full lineup poster

Throngs of people descended on Southern New Jersey for the first annual Food Truck and Rock Carnival to enjoy the sites, tastes and sounds that they had to offer. Although New Jersey may not be the first place you think of for a destination music festival, to paraphrase a line from the movie Dogma: never underestimate the staggering appeal of “The Garden State”. In the post Hurricane Sandy reality for residents here, including many of the vendors I spoke with, it was great is spend some time and money down here and support this community.

 

The lay of the land was on the vast side: with two main stages, plus several smaller stages, one hosting a lot of glam rock notables and another with local bands and tribute acts. One entire area was scoped out for the free carnival full of rides, traditional attractions, wrestling matches, notable entertainment personalities speaking, music industry lecturers, comedy shows, merch and a bunch of amazing food trucks. The rides and games were non-stop Some had the typical fair food while others were unique and were like catnip to the foodie souls. Although it was impossible to try them all as the formed a perimeter around the entire carnival area, we did sample a few. Among the best were my personal favorites Fork in The Road, followed by The Angry Crab, Amanda Banana, Dark Side of The Moo, Empanada Guy, Nooch’s Mac Truck, and So Jersey.

Then there was the music. Day 1 featured a bevy of cool bands from across the rock and metal world. Early day entrants from the rock world such as Bad Case For Big Mouth, Fit For Rivals, Otherwise and rising superstars Pop Evil were greeted to a large early crowd and enthusiastic fans. Their recent new album Up (eOne) they are supporting, and the bands high-profile tours and car commercials are starting to bear fruit that can be seen in their sizzling live performances.

7d-19

Sevendust, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Skid Row continues to plow ahead with new singer Tony Harnell. They played a set heavy on the hits, and sounded refreshed. It’s been a minute since I heard this many people screaming along to ’18 And Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, and ‘Youth Gone Wild’. The world needs more of this on a regular basis. Puddle Of Mudd has been road tripping themselves ls a lot of late at similar festivals. Choppy at times as a live band, they leaned on their hits like ‘Blurry’ and their closer ‘She Hates Me’. Next Sevendust was bringing the crowd to their feet in praise for their about to be released (out now), album Kill The Flaw (7Bros) They played some heavy hits and one deep cut, ‘Shine’, that had me and other fans besides ourselves. This band always brings live.

BLS-8

Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

As the warm up to the headliners, Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society played a crushing set of heavy tracks. Wylde of course is the main attraction for shred nerds, Ozzy fanatics, MC crew types. Not only was the band tight, and he played his customary extended guitar solo in the set. Highlights for me included ‘The Beginning… At Last’, ‘Funeral Bell’, ‘Bleed For Me’, ‘Suicide Messiah’, and ‘Stillborn’.

KX

Eddie Trunk of That Metal Show introduces King’s X, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

In between bands all day I tried to catch some of the talent at the Birch Hill Stage, named for the old Birch Hill Nightclub, the stuff of Jersey legend and special venue to me. Among the acts we caught some or all of were Gilby Clarke (Gun ‘N Roses), Faster Pussycat, Stephen Percy of Ratt fame and King’s X. We saw all of their set and it was terrific. Hanging out with fans and singing every word in the set from the crowd was LaJon of Sevendust, who also gave the band a shout out earlier in the day too.

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Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

 

3DG-15

Three Days Grace, by OJC Pics/OmarCordy

Back to the main stage, it has been a big year for Three Days Grace and Ghost Cult has been there for a lot of it. Playing the fest in a run of headline dates, the band leaned heavily on their greatest hits and their new album Human (RCA). Lead singer Matt Walst has won over most of the hold out fans who wanted Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia) back and he is a great replacement for Adam.

Slash closed out night one with his mates Miles Kennedy And The Conspirators and just blazed through a set of his own material and of course, a lot of GNR stuff too. It felt like an epic happening, as Slash is a one of a kind showman, beloved blues jammer and icon. Myles and crew are total pros and deliver song after song all night. It was a fine end to a long day of fun.

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FOOD TRUCK AND ROCK CARNIVAL DAY 2 COVERAGE

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY OJC PICS/OMAR CORDYhttp://www.twitter.com/Ojayy666