Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brian May Guitarist of Queen

With a musical career spanning four decades, Queen founding member Brian May is a world-renowned guitarist and songwriter, with production and performance credits on recordings, which have sold in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.

Brian has penned 22 worldwide hits for Queen, among them the anthems “We Will Rock You”, “The Show Must Go On” and “I Want It All”, and powerful ballads, including “Who Wants To Live Forever”, “No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)” and “Save Me”. As a successful and respected solo artist, Brian’s recordings include albums Back To The Light (1992), featuring “Too Much Love Will Kill You” and “Driven By You”, both Ivor Novello Award winners, and 1998's Another World.

His songs continue to influence new generations of performers and have inspired recordings by artists as diverse as Elton John, Def Leppard, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Shirley Bassey and Eminem. Brian has enjoyed collaborations with numerous artists, including Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters, Cliff Richard, Guns N’ Roses, Diana Ross, and Luciano Pavarotti. He was also proud to play feature guitar on the Winter Olympics 2002 opening music, “The Fire Within” for his friend and composer, the late Michael Kamen.

Perhaps the most memorable display of Brian’s unique style and musicianship was his performance of his own arrangement of “God Save the Queen”, live from the roof of Buckingham Palace, to open HM the Queen’s 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations in front of an audience of more than 200 million people around the world.

An interest in film scoring developed when Queen became the first rock group to score a major film, Flash Gordon, featuring the hit “Flash!” penned by Brian, followed by definitive music for Highlander. Brian later contributed a mini-opera for Steve Baron's 1996 Pinocchio, and composed a complete film soundtrack for the 1999 French art film, Furia.

May is, of course, no stranger to the theatrical world, frequently contributing to the live performance work of his wife, Anita Dobson, but in 1990, entering this world in his own right, he wrote and performed the music for the London Riverside Studios production of Macbeth. He returned at full strength to the Theatre in 2002, as one of the principal creative forces behind the ground-breaking ‘Rock Theatrical’, We Will Rock You, which became phenomenally successful, still one of London’s top-selling shows after six years of nightly standing ovations at the Dominion Theatre, London, and the longest running show ever to play at the theatre. Although We Will Rock You is now a global enterprise, Brian remains personally involved in developing new productions and updating those currently playing.

On Freddie’s death, the surviving members of Queen set up a charity to support AIDS relief, the Mercury Phoenix Trust. The MPT has to date channeled more than eight million pounds to over 1,000 AIDS projects around the world. An ongoing commitment to AIDS awareness led Queen to become a driving force in the 46664 campaign for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The first of a series of 46664 concerts, held in Cape Town in November 2003, was broadcast worldwide via TV, Internet and Radio, becoming the most widely distributed media event in history, with an audience of over 2 billion in 166 countries. Brian continues in his role as an ambassador and participant in the 46664 international concert series aimed at promoting AIDS awareness worldwide.

Queen’s musical catalogue consistently tops popularity polls, and their achievements have been recognised with numerous prestigious awards, including being honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (October 2002), being inducted into both the USA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (March 2001) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (June 2003), and being among the first inductees into the UK Music Hall of Fame (November 2004), which was an event that was to change the course of Queen - being the first event at which Paul Rodgers joined Brian and Roger (Taylor) as vocalist. Following a successful world tour in 2005/06, Paul, Brian and Roger have recently returned to the studio to create new material for an eagerly anticipated debut Queen/Paul Rodgers studio album.

In July 2005, Guinness World Records announced that Queen had overtaken The Beatles to become the most successful albums act in UK chart history.

Brian’s further credits are too numerous to list, but they include designing a Planetarium show currently running in Germany and Belgium, appearing in and recording a track for an epic 2003 Pepsi TV advertisement with Brian producing vocal performances from Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Pink, re-mixing classic Queen recordings in 5.1 Surround Sound, writing themes for several TV shows, producing a number 1 hit, “The Stonk”, for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day, as well as lending his inspirational skills to the three top selling volumes of The Best Air Guitar Album in the World… Ever!

Retaining his keen interest in Astronomy, Brian is a regular contributor to The Sky at Night for his long-time friend, Sir Patrick Moore, with whom he co-authored, along with Dr Chris Lintott, an illustrated astrophysics book entitled BANG! The Complete History of the Universe. First published in 2006, it has since been published in 20 languages, and gone to a second updated edition. Brian is currently working on a book on T.R. Williams, seminal stereo photographer of the 1850's, whose work Brian has been researching for 25 years.

In December 2005, Brian was honoured with a CBE, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, by HM the Queen, in recognition of his services to the Music Industry.

In 2007, after a 30-year break pursuing his musical career, Brian returned to Imperial College, London, to sign up to complete his Doctoral Thesis in Astrophysics, and after one year, successfully submitted the new version of his thesis on Interplanetary Dust. Although already the proud holder of Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Hertfordshire, Exeter and John Moore’s, Liverpool, Brian in 2007 finally achieved the award of a full PhD degree and DIC - Diploma of Imperial College. Brian subsequently accepted a post of Visiting Researcher at Imperial College and will be continuing his work in Astronomy.

Source : brianmay

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

James LaBrie vocalist of Dream Theater

Name Kevin James LaBrie
Birthdate May 5, 1963
"Home" Toronto, Canada
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Blue
Favorite Color Blue
Equipment Neuman KMS 105 Wireless Microphone
Books Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Vampire Chronicles, Look For Me On The Mountain, Indian Wars
TV Shows The Simpsons, Star Trek - The Next Generation, Seinfeld, In Search Of...
Movies Dead Poets Society, Scarface, The Dead Zone, Dances with Wolves
Actors Robin Williams, Patrick Stewart, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery
Actresses Linda Hamilton, Meg Ryan, Emma Thompson
Sports Hockey, Football, Basketball, Soccer
Food Pasta dishes, seafood and all vegetables except zucchini
Drinks Fruit and vegetable juices, beer, rum and diet coke

Kevin James Labrie was born on May 5, 1963 in Penetanguishene, a town in Ontario, Canada. James' parents say that when he was three years old, he would walk around the house singing whatever songs were on the radio. Although he didn't get the words right, he could sing the melodies. Inspired by his father, James started singing and playing drums at age 5: "My parents say I was tapping on everything so if they didn't get me a drum set, I'd ruin the house!" When he was six years old, he was very intent on replicating different vocal styles and techniques. It was obvious that his voice was very mature for a six year old. When James was in elementary school, his teacher put him in singing class to further his training. Meanwhile, his father, uncle, and brothers were in a barber shop quartet, which James was made a part of.

Yet James' real love was rock music which he pursued by his early teens. By fourteen, James was singing and playing drums in several bands. However, James knew that drums were secondary to his true passion, singing. At eighteen, James moved to Toronto, Canada.

At age 21, he began vocal training with the renowned vocal coach Rosemary Patricia Burns. After working with several Canadian bands, James became the vocalist for Winter Rose, which almost signed with Atlantic Records. Then Pierre Paradis, who managed the band Voi Vod, approached James regarding a solo project with Aquarius Records. He also told James about a New York based band called Dream Theater who were looking for a vocalist. The rest, as they say, is history.

James' musical tastes are quite varied as he names Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Journey and Judas Priest as well as classical composers Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven as favorites. Influential vocalists include Steve Perry (formerly of Journey), Freddie Mercury, Sting, Paul Rodgers and Nat King Cole. James continues to practice with Ms. Burns and encourages other vocalists to pursue formal training.

Throughout his musical career, James has become one of the most well-respected and admired vocalists in progressive rock. As the voice of Dream Theater and guest performer on numerous side projects, James has helped to define the sound of progressive music for the next millenium. His incredible range and distinctive, intense vocal performances have earned him accolades from fans and critics alike.

In addition to Dream Theater's numerous studio and live releases (Images & Words, Live at the Marquee, Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Once in a LIVEtime, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, Live Scenes From New York, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, Live At Budokan, and Octavarium), James has also appeared on releases by Fates Warning and Shadow Gallery, Trent Gardner's Explorer's Club and Leonardo the Absolute Man, the first Frameshift album (Unweaving the Rainbow), Ayreon's The Human Equation, as well as tribute albums to Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Queen. In 1999, James completed and released the first MullMuzzler cd, Keep it to Yourself to much critical acclaim. The followup, James LaBrie's MullMuzzler 2, was released on September 11th, 2001. In 2005, James dropped the MullMuzzler moniker and released Elements of Persuasion, the third and arguably greatest of his solo efforts. A fourth solo album is already in the works so stay tuned.

When not on the road, James enjoys camping, downhill skiing and reading. His favorite authors include Anne Rice, Dee Brown, Robert Utley and Forest Carter. James currently lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Karen, daughter Chloe, and son Chance Abraham.

Source : jameslabrie

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DAVID ROSENTHAL Keyboardist/Programmer/Producer/Songwriter

Few musicians have achieved the broad-based success that David Rosenthal has earned as a keyboardist, synthesizer programmer, producer, songwriter and touring professional. Since graduating from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, completing a highly rigorous triple-major in Piano Performance, Electronic Music, and Audio Recording, David’s talents are continually in demand for his skilled musical precision, applied creativity and well-utilized gift of perfect pitch.

David’s multi-faceted career has taken him to studios and stages across the globe with many of the most prominent artists in the business. Mostly known for his dynamic association with Billy Joel, he has also recorded and/or toured with Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Robert Palmer, Whitesnake, Steve Vai, Ritchie Blackmore and Rainbow, Cyndi Lauper, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Little Steven. His critically acclaimed work with Red Dawn and recent alliance with legendary progressive band Happy the Man also illustrate his talent for composing and producing original music.

His inventive tenure as a tour performer, studio musician and musical force with Billy Joel has led to extensive world tours, including the Face-to-Face Tour with Elton John, which has been widely recognized as one of the most successful tours of all time. Commencing in 1994, encore performances of the tour were produced in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

He has performed in numerous concert videos, documentaries and video clips for major national television networks and shows including: The Disney Channel, PBS, David Letterman, Rosie O'Donnell, VH-1 “Story Tellers” and HBO. Of recent note is his involvement with the Tony-winning Broadway Show, “Movin’ Out”, where he scored and arranged keyboard parts, programmed the synthesizers and produced the classical playback tracks.

David’s discography encompasses a broad range of musical accomplishments yielding top-ten singles, millions of records sales and Grammy® nominations. He’s also engaged his ‘classical side’ with the Czech Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic which both recorded his orchestration of Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra.”

Besides recording and touring, David has shown a strong commitment to educating young musicians by giving lectures at Berklee College of Music, Musician's Institute, Full Sail Recording School, and a number of music industry seminars. His recent DVD, “Building your Music Career” (Berklee Press) furthers his dedication to the next generation of musicians. Accordingly, Berklee has honored David with its Distinguished Alumni Award for "Outstanding Achievements in Contemporary Music." He also earned high honors from Keyboard Magazine, where he was voted "Best Hired Gun" in their reader's poll.

A prolific professional author, he has written for numerous magazines including Keyboard and Electronic Musician, designed recording studios, worked as a software consultant, and still finds time to endorse several product lines including: Yamaha, Kurzweil, and Audio Technica.

His fellow musicians and fans will readily attest: David’s professionalism, creativity and productive collaboration have earned him a notable placement in the chronicles of contemporary and modern music.

Source : davidrosenthal

Derek Sherinian is an American ‎rock and fusion keyboardist

Derek Sherinian is a keyboardist based in Los Angeles, California. His most notable achievements are as a member of the bands Alice Cooper, KISS and Dream Theater. Sherinian has been called the “King of the Keys” and the “Caligula of keyboards” due to his performing style. His influences include Jan Hammer (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer and The Nice), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Elton John, and a variety of guitarists. Sherinian endorses various equipment, including Korg and Clavia keyboards. He is of Armenian and Greek descent.

With Dream Theater, he recorded the albums A Change of Seasons (1995), Falling Into Infinity (1997) and Once in a Livetime (1998) before being replaced in 1999 with Jordan Rudess due to creative differences.

Since 2000, Sherinian has recorded several solo records on which artists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde and Steve Lukather have lent their talents. Most notable of all Planet X, recorded with Australian drummer Virgil Donati, which led to the formation of the group of the same name, as Sherinian and Donati decided to expand on the concept by recruiting guitar virtuoso Tony Macalpine. Since 2002, Sherinian is constantly touring with Billy Idol. Also, he has recorded several tribute records. Sherinian’s fifth solo album, Blood Of The Snake (2006), features Zakk Wylde, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, Billy Idol, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Tony Franklin, Brad Gillis, and Brian Tichy. The latest Planet X album, Quantum, features Allan Holdsworth among others.

Sherinian cites Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing as having a direct influence on his unique approach to keyboards in terms of technique as well as tone; his unique “Monster Lead” lead patch contains numerous elements of guitar sounds such as distortion, harmonics, and palm-muting.

Sherinian’s collaborations with top musicians were featured in a 2007 article in Guitar World magazine, where guitarist Zakk Wylde offered “People want to play with him because he’s that good. He can play everything from the easiest licks on a piano to the most complex Beethoven sonatas with ease.” Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci added “…Derek-considering the fact that he’s heavily into guitarists and rock music, his history, and the range of all the great guitarists he’s worked with—plays with a fire unheard of from most keyboardists.” Sherinian explains that he enlists a variety of guitarists because he “[does not] think there is one guitarist who can cover all the styles featured on [the] albums.” Sherinian often tailors songs for specific guitarists, such as Holdsworth and Wylde for “Day of the Dead” (off Mythology); in this respect, he seeks to take certain aspects of genres and make them “collide in an eloquent way”.

Source :

Monday, March 22, 2010

Privacy Policy

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Jordan Rudess, keyboardist of Dream Theater

Jordan Rudess (born November 4, 1956) is a Julliard trained keyboardist most famously known as a member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater.

Jordan was recognized by his 2nd grade teacher as an exceptional piano player, and was immediately given professional tuition to enhance his prodigious talents. By the age of nine he entered the prestigious Julliard School of Music Pre-College Division for classical piano training, but by his late teens he had grown increasingly interested in synthesizers and progressive rock music. Against the advice and wishes of his parents and tutors, he decided to turn away from classical piano and try his hand as a solo prog rock keyboardist.

After performing in various projects during the 1980s, he gained national attention in 1994 when he was voted “Best New Talent” in the Keyboard Magazine readers’ poll after the release of his Listen solo album.Two of the bands who took notice of the up and coming young star were The Dixie Dregs and Dream Theater, both of whom invited him to join their respective bands. Jordan chose the Dregs primarily because being a part time member of the band would have less of an impact on his young family, a choice he wasn’t given with Dream Theater.

During his time with the Dregs, Jordan formed a so-called “power duo” with drummer Rod Morgenstein. The genesis of this pairing occurred when a power outage caused all of the Dregs’ instruments to fail except Jordan’s, so he and Rod improvised with each other until power was restored and the concert could continue. The chemistry between the two was so strong during this jam that they decided to perform together on a regular basis (under the name Rudess/Morgenstein Project or later RPM) and have since released a studio and a live record.

Jordan encountered Dream Theater once again when he and Morgenstein secured the support slot on one of Dream Theater’s North American tours.

In 1997, when Mike Portnoy was asked to form a supergroup by Magna Carta Records, Jordan was chosen to fill the keyboardist spot in the band, which also consisted of Tony Levin and Mike’s Dream Theater colleague John Petrucci. During the recording of Liquid Tension Experiment’s two albums, it became evident to Mike and John that Jordan was precisely what Dream Theater needed. They asked Jordan to join the band, and when he accepted they released their then-keyboardist Derek Sherinian to make way for Jordan.

Jordan has been the full-time keyboardist in Dream Theater since the recording of 1999’s Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory. He has recorded 5 other studio albums since then; 2002’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2003’s Train of Thought, 2005’s Octavarium, 2007’s Systematic Chaos and 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings. In addition, he has appeared on the live albums Live Scenes From New York , Live at Budokan and Score-20th Anniversary Tour.

While most keyboard players in rock bands tend towards bringing numerous keyboards on stage, Rudess took full advantage of the possibilities offered by the Kurzweil K2600xs during his usage from the 1990’s to 2004. Often sampling sounds from other keyboards, Rudess creates a series of setups, each of which maps different sounds to different layers and key ranges of the keyboard controller; these setups are then arranged in the order they will be required for a gig, and cycled through one at a time with a control pedal.

While Rudess’ physical method of changing live setups will more than likely remain the same, his choice of hardware to implement this changed as of 2005. Citing a need for better tour support and more current technologies (his Kurzweil 2600’s maximum sample memory of 128 MB had become insufficient for his touring needs) Rudess switched keyboard endorsements from Kurzweil to Korg’s new flagship Korg Oasys workstation (which supports up to 1.5gb of sample memory [1]), which he uses on tour with Dream Theater along with a Receptor and a Haken Continuum triggering a Roland V-Synth and a Modular.

Studio Equipment

* Korg Oasys
* Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard
* Muse Research Receptor
* Kurzweil K2600xs fully loaded 88 note weighted keyboard
* Kurzweil K2600 Rack modules
* Kurzweil K2000VP keyboard
* Kurzweil PC2 rack
* Minimoog
* Roland V-Synth
* Modular Synth

Virtual Instruments

* MOTU Mach 5
* MOTU MX4 Soft Synth
* Korg Legacy
* Spectrasonics Atmosphere
* Spectrasonics Trilogy
* Spectrasonics Stylus
* Native Instruments Komplete 2
* Native Instruments Absynth
* Native Instruments B4
* Native Instruments Guitar Rig
* Native Instruments FM7
* Native Instruments Pro 53

Live Rig

* Korg OASYS 88
* Freehand Systems Music Pad Pro
* Muse Receptor
* Custom Modular Synth
* Haken Continuum Fingerboard
* (2)Roland V-Synth XT
* Lap Steel Guitar
* Mackie 1604VLZ Pro Mixer
* APS Power backup
* Glyph and Iomega Hard drives


Solo albums

* Arrival (Cassette) (1988)
* Listen (CD) (1993)
* Secrets of the Muse (CD) (1997)
* Resonance (CD) (1999)
* Feeding the Wheel (CD) (2001)
* 4NYC (CD) (2002)
* Christmas Sky (CD) (2002)
* Rhythm of Time (CD) (2004)
* Notes on a Dream (CD) (2009)

With Dream Theater

* Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory (CD) (1999)
* Live Scenes From New York (DVD/3CD) (2001)
* Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2CD) (2002)
* Train of Thought (CD) (2003)
* Live at Budokan (2DVD/3CD) (2004)
* Octavarium (CD) (2005)
* SCORE (2DVD/3CD) (2006)
* Systematic Chaos (CD) (2007)
* Black Clouds & Silver Linings (CD; 3CD/DVD) (2009)

Project Albums

* Rudess/Morgenstein Project (CD) (1997)
* An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess (CD) (2001)
* Rudess/Morgenstein Project - The Official Bootleg (CD) (2001)

With Liquid Tension Experiment

* Liquid Tension Experiment (CD) (1998)
* Liquid Tension Experiment 2 (CD) (1999)

Guest Appearance

* Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey (1988)
* Noirin Ni Riain - Celtic Soul (1996)
* Explorers Club - Age Of Impact (1998)
* Rhonda Larson - Free as a bird (1999)
* Paul Winter and The Earth Band - Journey With The Sun (2000)
* Scott McGill - Addition by Subtraction (2001)
* Prefab Sprout - The Gunman And Other Stories (2001)
* David Bowie - Heathen (2002)
* Jupiter - Echo and Art (2003)
* Neal Morse - ? (2005)
* Daniel J - Losing Time (2005)
* Steven Wilson - Insurgentes (2008)
* Neil Zaza - When Gravity Fails (Not yet released)


* Speedway Boulevard - Speedway Boulevard (CD) (1981)
* Steinway to Heaven - Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude (Op. 10, No. 12)” (1996)

Source :

John Myung The Basis of Dream Theater

John Myung is the bassist of Dream Theater.

John Myung was born on January 24, 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Long Island, New York, with his family when he was a young boy. John says that his mother always listened to classical music and so at age 5 he began violin lessons.

When John was 15 his next door neighbor approached him to play bass for his band, assuming that since it had four strings like a violin he could learn it easily. Although it turned out to be a totally different instrument, John took to bass very quickly and has never picked up a violin since.

John’s main influences include Chris Squire, Steve Harris and Geddy Lee and their respective bands Yes, Iron Maiden and Rush. He also listens to bands like Jane’s Addiction, King’s X and Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as classical and blues.

Source :

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jeremy Colson is drummer for Steve Vai.

He is a modern musician. Technicality mixed with a punk rock mentality… These words fully describe his musicial taste and his inner flair for music…

When Jeremy was a boy he picked up his first set of drumsticks and started his musical career, it was really a journey into music. At age 15 he heard for the first time about the rock giant Rush and his mad passion for the instrument fully developed itself. He grew older and so did his talent. Two years later young Jeremy was competing in natiomnal drum contest and won third place in the 1995 Guitar Center National Drum-Off.

At the age of 19 he joined the original rock band Dali’s Dilemma and enlarged his musical resume. There he took part in the constructing of the album Manifesto for Futurism and worked with Testament heavy metal guitarist James Murphy.

Jeremy is a great lover of all musical genres and was influenced by the sounds of James Murphy’s music, i.e. by punk rock and heavy metal. In 2001 Jeremy Colson joined Apartment 26 and rocked Ozzfest in the same year. Later Colson joined the Michael Schenker Group and made his contribution into the recording of its album Arachnophobiac. Around the same time Colson began working with the American guitarist Marty Friedman recording the instrumental album Music For Speeding, and all the songs were written by Marty. The album continues the exploration of progressive rock and Japanese pop music.

That fantastic guy worked non-stop, his musical resume grew along with challenges themselves. In 2002 Jeremy got acquainted with Steve Vai through a recommendation from Shrapnel Record’s mastermind Mike Varney. Soon Colson was already working with Vai in the studio, they tracked lots of material some of which took the shape of Real Illusions: Reflections. It is the first part of a multilayered menagerie of vignettes based on the amplified mental exaggerations of a truth-seeking madman who sees the world… Oh, never mind. Vai himself describes it as “one of my favorite finds”. Colson is still in his twenties, he is energetic and full of interest ideas. Currently Jeremy finished tracking drums for the solo album of Marty Friedman.

Source :


Christopher Ridgeway Frazier was born in Bethesda Maryland in 1967. By the time he was three years old he was turning the plastic wastebaskets over and playing along to stones records with wooden spoons he stole from the kitchen. Seeing his propensity towards banging on things his mom gave him his first drum kit at the age of five. Coming from a musically active family he was exposed to many forms of music and began playing professionally at the age of ten. He performed at high school dances, parties and sometimes a club if he could get away with it. His mother was a folk singer in the Massachusetts area so he traveled around with her while she sang in clubs, which primed him for life on the road.
Though junior high and high school he participated in concert band and jazz band as well as playing in his own projects. He went to Colorado University on a partial music scholarship and attended for two years until deciding to try out L.A.
Arriving in Los Angeles and looking for work, he answered adds in the music connection. He scored an audition with Steve Vai who was producing a project and eventually began working with Steve on his projects. Chris recorded on various recordings spanning from 1985 to 2000 including "Flexable", "Passion & warfare", "Firegarden" and "Living in an ultra world". Chris also toured extensively with Steve from 1992-2001 opening for Bon Jovi in 1992 to headlining the White Nights festival in Russia in '93 as well as multiple trips to Japan, South America and Europe.
In 1989 Chris was hired to perform on a record for Warner brothers entitled "Private life", A pet project of Ed VanHalen's and Ted Templeman. The record failed unfortunately but Chris was hired again by Ted for other various recordings like "Wayne's World" soundtrack, "Gremlins2" soundtrack and Tia Carrera's solo effort. The studio work was stimulating and sometimes making ends meet but Chris was more drawn to his dream of being in a band and touring and ultimately being creative without restrictions or boundaries. An opportunity came to work with Tribe after tribe, a South African band based in L.A.
The band had an alternative/world approach to their music requiring a percussive/kinetic drummer.
Chris worked with the band from 90-93,performing on "Love under will" (megaforce/atlantic rec.)
And toured America and Europe opening for Pearl jam and Saigon kick.
As stimulating and musically fulfilling, as the band was it was at odds with the big machine. The record company filed chapter 11 and the management was not far behind. The band wasn't an overnight success and couldn't survive the support team crumbling around it. Such is life.
After the split with Tribe after Tribe, Chris supported himself with studio work such as performing on "That thing you do" soundtrack and various commercials and Japanese projects and demos. He also co-produced and performed on two instrumental CDs with Doug Aldrich. Doug is a fiery guitarist with the same interests in rock and jazz from the 70s. "High centered" produced by Andy Johns is a exploration in soundscapes derivative of zeppelin to Hendrix while "Electrovision" is more Mahavishnu/beck influenced. Both on Pony canyon/Japan.
Most recently Chris played on Sera Masanori's new CD entitled "Twist songs" and performed with Sera for two exclusive Japan shows in October 2003.Also performing in that lineup was Marty Friedman ,Doug Aldrich and Roy Z. Chris also performed on Edgar Winter's latest jazz CD entitled "Jazzin'the blues", recent solo CD by vocalist Michael Sadler(SAGA)and nu-metal band Speak no evil's CDs "welcome to the downside"& debut self titled effort. Chris is also currently touring with Eddie Money and Edgar Winter.

Here is an update: Chris Just finished a very successful tour of Japan with "TMG" which stands for Tak Matsumoto group .The lineup is: Tak Matsumoto guitarist and songwriter of "the Bz, Eric Martin former singer of "Mr. Big",Jack blades bassist and songwriter from "Night Ranger" and Chris on drums.

Source :

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Stereophonics are a rock band who were formed in 1992 in Cwmaman, Wales by friends Kelly Jones (Guitar/Vocals), Stuart Cable (Drums) and Richard Jones (Bass) but no relation to Kelly. Colloquially known to their fans as the ‘Phonics or the Stereos, in the years preceding their popularity, they went through shifting line-ups and were known by a variety of names including “KDR”, “Zephyr”, “Silent Runner”, “Blind Faith” and their most widely known pre-Phonics moniker “Tragic Love Company,” taking one word from each member’s favourite band (The Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone, and Bad Company). The band’s official current line-up is Kelly Jones, Richard Jones, Javier Weyler and Adam Zindani.

Tragic Love Company had started out as a 4-piece band playing covers and original songs that had a blues vibe. After various fourth members, including childhood friend Simon Collier, left, the band decided to stick to being a 3-piece, ditching the blues for an edgier, punk sound which would translate better when played live. The band played up and down the country playing shows which ranged from less than 10 people to packing hundreds into small venues the length of the M4. It wasn’t until John Brand took over as their manager in 1996 that the music industry started to take interest in the band. The name Tragic Love Company was decidely dropped for being too long-winded, and after Stuart saw the lettering on his father’s radiogram, they adopted the name ‘The Stereophonics’, before quickly dropping the ‘The’ to simply Stereophonics. On August 1st, 1996 they became the first band to be signed to Richard Branson’s new label V2.

Kelly, Stuart and Richard grew up in Cwmaman, a former coal mining pit village near Aberdare, South Wales, noted only for having some of the steepest hills in the United Kingdom; a fact eluded to in the BBC Wales documentary ‘The Road Up is the Worst’ aired as part of BBC Wales’ St. David’s day celebrations. Kelly worked locally in a variety of jobs including on a fruit and veg stall where he would observe people as they wandered by or stopped to talk. It was this acute attention to detail that provided the inspiration for all of the early Stereophonics material. Inspired by a modern approach to storytelling a la Paul Weller, the only natural way of songwriting for Kelly, who was and remains the principal lyricist for the band, was to write about what you know. At the time, the young Kelly felt that having as many words in the songs as he had written would mean that they’d be harder to remember and even harder for fans to regurgitate at gigs, but they pursued with writing material that meant something to them on such a personal level. These songs formed the majority of material submitted to tape for their first studio album and also in a wealth of B-sides that accompanied their subsequent singles.

As part of the rising Britpop movement in the late 1990s, and also what would eventually be coined as the ‘cool Cymru’ phase of a dominance of welsh bands charting well on a national level.

Word Gets Around

‘Word Gets Around’ was released on the 25th of August, 1997, with equal credit being given to all three members of the band for writing the songs Jones/Jones/Cable) with credit for the words given to Kelly Jones. It was preceded by singles Local Boy In The Photograph (#51), More Life In A Tramps Vest (#33) and A Thousand Trees (#22) and it charted well at #6 in the UK album charts. Following the success of the album, PlayTraffic (#20) was released in October 1997 and the band capped off an exceptional year by winning the 1998 BRIT award for ‘British Breakthrough Act’. They also re-released Local Boy In The Photograph and it gained a more respectable chart positioning at #14 and played to their biggest crowd in their career to that point by receiving a heroes welcome at their homecoming gig in Cardiff Castle on June 12th, where they played to a 10,000 strong crowd during a 19-song set which included 5 new songs. By this stage, the live setup of the band had grown to include Tony Kirkham as the touring pianist and keyboard player.

The song Local Boy In The Photograph has since become a cult classic and was given a Q Classic Song Award at the Q Awards in 2007. A video was also shot for the song Not Up To You but the track remained unreleased by V2.

Performance and Cocktails

In November 1998, the band moved quickly to start the wheels turning on the release of their second album, ‘Performance And Cocktails’, releasing the song PlayThe Bartender And The Thief to wide commercial success. Despite it’s heavier, archaic sound it charted at #3 - the band’s highest charting up until that point - which would remain the highest ranked single chart position for 7 years along with other songs they would subsequently release. In February, just prior to the album release, another single PlayJust Looking (#4) was released, again to massive commercial and critial acclaim and on March 8th, 1999 V2 released Performance And Cocktails. The songs were variously recorded at Real World Studios in Bath, Parkgate in Sussex and Rockfield in Monmouth, and the album was a major success, hitting the UK album chart #1 instantly. It’s success was only heightened by the following successful single PlayPick A Part That’s New (#4) with it’s promotional video which included the band sending up the film ‘The Italian Job’.

Buoyed by their first #1 album and recent chart success, the band announced they would be playing their biggest ever show at the soon to be demolished Morfa Stadium, Swansea. On July 31, 1999, the band took to the stage in front of 50,000 adoring people. The show, which was one of the largest ever outdoor gatherings to take place in Wales at the time, and was a triumphant success. Two weeks after playing to their mammouth audience in Swansea, the band took home the Kerrang! award for ‘Best British Band’ and ‘Best Album’ for ‘Performance And Cocktails’. On the back of the Morfa Stadium show, they released two more singles. PlayI Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio and PlayHurry Up And Wait, both songs which were a departure for the normally consistant, rockier sound that had come to be expected, but still charted well, both hitting the #11 spot.

The videos for the songs on this album also became more elaborate than that of the singles from ‘Word Gets Around’ and leant heavily on the medium of cinema. The inspiration for four of the singles came directly from the films the band liked and they played out their fantasy roles in their individual promos. By subtely tweaking the narrative to suit the look of the band or feel of the song, the videos for PlayThe Bartender And The Thief, PlayPick A Part That’s New (a track the band performed before the 1999 IRB Rugby World Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff), PlayI Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio and PlayHurry Up And Wait all took their direct inspiration, or as some would say, parodying out of films such as Apocalypse Now, The Italian Job, Easy Rider and M*A*S*H* respectively with PlayJust Looking, though not a direct tribute to any particular film as such, still had a very filmic quality to it. These videos, along with the videos from ‘Word Gets Around’ were released on a compilation DVD in 2000 called ’Call Us What You Want But Don’t Call Us in the Morning’.

In 2000, Stereophonics featured on the Tom Jones comeback album called ‘Reload’, contributing a duet performance of the Three Dog Night cover, Mama Told Me Not To Come, and Kelly was a guest artist on the Jools Holland Hootenanny New Year’s Eve show, where Kelly would accompany Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra in a performance of the Mike d’Abo penned classic PlayHandbags and Gladrags. This song would eventually go on to become a Stereophonics favourite in it’s own right.

Just Enough Education to Perform

Once again teaming up with Bird and Bush to produce their album, the Stereophonics set about recording an album that was a sonic departure for what they had previously amassed as a band. In the years that had taken them away from small town Cwmaman and around the world as the new darlings of the Britpop machine, they had come to experience a lot more of the good and bad sides the music industry had to offer. Preceded by the track PlayMr. Writer, it was a downbeat, acoustic drawl that saw their comeback on the UK chart scene. It charted well at #5, and had an infectious melancholy hook, but the song was a direct response to a journalist that had toured with the band on an American tour. The band claim that he had “lived amongst them, ate their food and drank their drink” (citation needed) but when he left the band to write about them, the review was very negative. This lead to a steely attitude being taken by the band after this. However, this had a knock on effect to the band in general, as the media regarded Jones with a growing discomfort and unease that neither he, or the band have ever really been able to shake.

The second single, the polar opposite of PlayMr. Writer, was Have A Nice Day (also UK#5), a poppy, joyful song about taking a taxi ride in California. The subjects of Jones’ writings have for a long time been put under the microscope, but consistently, you can get a feel for the experience he was having at the time by taking the lyrics as read. Have A Nice Day itself is a clear dividing point for many Stereophonics fan. The success of this song and the album that followed gained the band a wealth of new fans, but older fans felt that the band were moving too far into a new, pop-orientated direction. The album, the appropriately titled ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ went straight in at #1 in the UK. The band had originally wanted to name the album ‘JEEP’, a shortened word which stood for the phrase that apparently Kelly got from his brother after he came home from a stint in the army and wrote the word on his bedroom wall. However, Daimler-Chrysler copyrighted the word this name so it was changed to its current, elongated title. It is commonly referred to by it’s acronym, ‘J.E.E.P.’, with the album itself seeing a departure from the normal 3-piece rock sound, and straying more into dreamy acoustic and indie rock territory.

The album spawned three further other singles, one of which was the country-tinged Step On My Old Size Nines (UK#4). On July 21st, the Stereophonics followed in the footsteps of the Manic Street Preachers and played a full concert at the newly built Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Then in November 2001, the band announced it would release PlayHandbags and Gladrags (UK#4) as an official studio track, though it wasn’t on the current album tracklisting. ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ got a re-release with the song included, and also a hidden bonus track called Surprise, which was originally a b-side on the Have A Nice Day single .

The band performed as part of the lineup for the follow up to the Secret Policeman’s Ball for Amnesty International’s ‘We Know Where You Live’ 2001 at Wembley Arena, where they played an acoustic version of Have A Nice Day and also teamed up with Tom Jones to perform Mama Told Me Not To Come.

2002, saw the release of the DVD, ‘A Day at the Races’, which was a live DVD documenting the gig at the Millennium Stadium the previous July, and to raise the profile of the DVD, the fifth and final single from ‘J.E.E.P.’ was released. Vegas Two Times, the album opener was released on DVD single, and live footage from ‘A Day at the Races’ was overdubbed with the studio track for the video. ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’, and Vegas Two Times (UK#23) as a prime example was also the first time the band moved away from having just one prolific singer or harmoniser. Vegas Two Times opens the album with a minute of female harmonies before the track kicks in. This extended intro was completely cut for the single version, and also when being played live, but by this point in their career, the live 4-piece had once again grown to included second touring guitarist Scott James, and backing singers Aileen McLaughlin and Anna Ross.

The album itself divided fans and critics alike. Most opinions were and still are very cold towards the record, citing the dramatic departure from the band’s signature sound as main reason behind it’s poor critial reception. It is also worth noting the effect that ‘Mr. Writer’ had on the relationship between the media and the increasingly outspoken Jones. Most reviewers refute this claim however, citing a lacklustre performance in songwriting as the principal downfall of the LP. Fans are also split, for some of them were not fans until the release of the album and use of such tracks as Have A Nice Day on TV commercials. Others see the departure in signature sound as a fall from grace the band has yet to recover, whilst the more pragmatic approaches seem to suggest that the giddy days at the time of ‘WGA’ and ‘Performance’ were dizzy heights that will probably never be reached again, if only for the luck of timing and social chords that were struck within the era of these intial albums.

The band themselves were quick to defend the sound of the album, without making any apology for the songs that made the cut, suggesting that the rigours of touring the world as a rock band mean that they were constantly in an environment surrounded by loud music, and when they got back on their tour bus, they wanted to distance themselves from that sound, so they turned to a different type of music. In turn, this music feeds the inspiration for the upcoming songwriting process.

You Gotta Go There to Come Back

In June 2002, the band headlined the Pyramid stage of the prestigious Glastonbury festival, displaying a confident reportoire of songs new and old alike, and for the first time played unreleased songs, the most significant and electrifiying of these performances being that of future lead single PlayMadame Helga. After a summer of festival appearances the band settled in back at their homes to write songs for the album. In the coming months, both Kelly and Richard both decided it would be better if they moved to London, to ease their label pressures and commitments. Stuart declined to do the same. Instead, Cable was given his own TV chat show, Cable TV, by BBC Wales, where he would host lively chat and music, which included an acoustic set by Stereophonics, although curiously without Stuart, obviously wanting to draw clear definitions between his band and his TV persona. They played acoustic versions of songs that would go on to become PlayGetaway and PlayClimbing The Wall.

When it came to the new album, it is widely assumed that Kelly wrote the songs without any input from anyone, except live recording engineer and personal friend Jim Lowe. In the liner notes of the new album, Kelly wrote: “We got together as a band and rehearsed the demos at Stuart’s garage a week before going into the studio…” But demanding schedulings had already begun to put a strain on the working relationship of the band. The studio process also changed for this album. Relying heavily on live engineer Lowe to capture the tracks in as few takes as nessessary added to the very live and raw sound on the album. Kelly also took over the role of producer, and outsourced the mixing of the album to experienced, Grammy Award-winning music engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig (Weezer, Green Day, The Black Crowes, Goo Goo Dolls).

Preceded by the released of lead single PlayMadame Helga (UK#4), the new album, titled ‘You Gotta Go There To Come Back’ again went straight in at the UK#1 spot. The album had more of a bluesy feeling, and with it, a confident swagger of sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll (showcased on songs such as PlayJealousy and PlayHelp Me (She’s Out Of Her Mind)) juxtaposed with the subtle frailties of lost love and innocence (PlayI Miss You Now, PlaySince I Told You It’s Over). The song were on a more personal level, rather than on a narrative, and faced issues like alcohol and drug abuse, sex and procarious living more than had reviously been addressed by the band.

On July 21st, 2003 the band released their biggest international smash song to date, the gorgeous and aching PlayMaybe Tomorrow which charted in the UK at #3, but went on to transcend the band’s status as a restricted UK act. The melotron and rhodes piano sound that gave the song its melancholy charm found it’s way onto quite a few American TV and film soundtracks including ‘Wicker Park’ and later on the 2005 Academy Award-winning film ‘Crash’. The band lined up on last single to be released in the UK prior to finishing their world tour in 2003, the aforementioned PlaySince I Told You It’s Over was scheduled for released in November. However, in September whilst in America touring the album, Stuart Cable was sacked by the two founding members of the band, Kelly and Richard, citing commitment issues as the sole reason for the departure. Reported by the BBC in September 2003, Kelly said on the band’s website: “Me and Stuart started a band when I was 12. Emotionally to me this is heartbreaking, I love him like a brother, but commitment-wise there have been issues since Just Enough Education To Perform.”

Cable had pulled out of imminent and ongoing US tour dates citing ill health and had suspended his own touring regime at the advise of doctors, though the band were set to continue toruing without him, leaving him to return to the UK to recuperate. Cable has always claimed that he knew nothing of his sacking until being confronted with it by the media. The band replaced him on the road with friend and former drummer for The Black Crowes, Steve Gorman. Gorman remained on tour with the band until they had completed every date, and even appeared in the video for bonus single Moviestar, a track that didn’t make the original cut of the album, but was to be released as a single in it’s own right. Stuart Cable provided the drums tracks for the song in studio before his departure, but had already been sacked before the video had been shot. Similarly, Cable had completed the shoot for the previous single PlaySince I Told You It’s Over just before his abrupt exit.

On the 20th December, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium would once again play host as the final gig of the world tour, and end a successful year on the road in which they had played in excess of over 60 gigs and festivals in no less than 14 different countries. They ended a turbulent year on a high.

Language. Sex. Violence. Other?

Work began on the follow up record in January 2004, almost as soon as the ‘YGGTTCB’ tour was completed. A settlement was reached between the remaining members of the band and Cable as compensation for his axing, but the bitterness between the band, both current and former, was apparant, with Cable brandishing Jones a ‘dictator’. The recording process for new record was to take up the entirety of 2004. Writing for the album had taken place on the road between 2003-2004, and the band quickly put the disappointments of the previous year behind them and focused on recapturing the imaginations of their listeners. After writing the bulk of the songs for the new record, which was set to throw back to the days of old, the band went into the studio to record the album demos. In April 2004, Kelly and Richard were assisted in the studio by Javier Weyler, an audio engineer, and former member of Vitriol I.D., who had worked with the band on ‘You Gotta Go There To Come Back’ and provided percussion on a number of songs that made the eventual cut of the finished album. The band felt at this point that this process required a committed drummer. Steve Gorman was not considered as a full time replacement for Stuart Cable and Gorman later rejoined the reformed Black Crowes in 2005.

As Weyler had assisted in recording demos for Stereophonics’ new studio album, later on that year Kelly Jones and Richard Jones wrote to Javier inviting him to drum permanently within the band. Javier accepted the offer and met up with the rest of the band to finish Stereophonics’ fifth studio album ‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other?’. Apart from Weyler, there were no other additions to the Stereophonics line up, but the band decided that the big band sound which had seen their live stage set up rise to a 7-piece band was now a thing of the past. Aileen McLaughlin, Anna Ross and Scott James ceased to be part of both long or short terms plans the band had. Tony Kirkham remains the a part of the live set up, but Kelly Jones played piano parts on the new album, rather than Kirkham.

After a decade of recording studio albums (the last 3 all #1’s) the band scored its first UK#1 single with their seminal track PlayDakota, the first single of the new album. Released on February 28th 2005, the midweek charts had put the track in the favourable situation of being the top selling track at the midway point of the week. The track’s popularity continued throughtout the week, and was eventually crowned the UK’s #1 single on BBC Radio 1 the following Sunday. The track itself heralded a new era for the band, drawing on elements of the rock history that had brought the band to the heights it had achieved, but also pulsed with a new, modern enthusiasm, and also contained an electronic vibe, thanks to it’s intro and outro samples. This single, for a band that had always been more concerned with album sales, rather than single sales, meant a new found sense of acceptance and justification.

Two weeks later, on March 14th, ‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other?’ was released and also went to #1 in the UK charts. The band’s fourth consecutive #1 album, and a new sound to confound the critics that had so easily written them off. The album received critical acclaim in the British music press, including most notably the NME, who had been one of the band’s harshest critics in the past, who called the album “…angry, edgy, dense and intelligent… an excellent modern rock record…” The album was a journey through the rock Americana sounds similar in concept to that of bands like U2, it had a harder, edgier and angrier than we’d seen from the band in a long time. Riding high on the success of their first chart-topping single and another chart-topping album, Stereophonics became the first band to play at Apple’s Regent Street store in London, showcasing 5 tracks from the new album and releasing the first in what eventually became a long line of exclusive EPs put out by Apple iTunes titled ‘Live in London’.

The album also delivered a further three singles, album opener PlaySuperman, PlayDevil, the controversial video for which was banned from television circulation due to it’s content, and PlayRewind.

All the tracks on the album had one word titles, and videos for all the singles, including the banned ‘Devil’ were dirtected by Charles Mehling. The music video for this song shows Kelly Jones in an apartment, tied to a chair. A woman arrives and appears to be the kidnapper. Soon after, he is taken outside and forced into the trunk of a car that she drives to an unknown place. There are shots of the band performing this song occasionally. At the end of the video, the title card “To Be Continued…” appears. The video for ‘Rewind’ subsequently deals with the content in the video for ‘Devil’ and the other videos for the singles taken from this album, by piecing together a common narrative through the four promos. The ‘Rewind’ video picks up where the video for ‘Devil’ left off, with singer Kelly being let out of the trunk of his kidnappers’ car. It is revealed to be a set, and the car is simply driving along in front of a moving screen. Kelly then walks on a treadmill in a studio made up of sets from the previous videos of ‘Dakota’, ‘Superman’ and ‘Devil’.

On Saturday, 2nd July 2005, the world’s focus turned to various events around the world as LIVE8 took place. 20 years after the groundbreaking Live Aid events captured the imagination of the developed world, an estimated 3 billion people watched LIVE 8, called the greatest show on Earth, as artists around the world came together with one message - make poverty history. Stereophonics played a 4 song set at the Hyde Park venue in front of 200,000 people. Around the same time, ‘Dakota’ became the first Stereophonics single to achieve success on alternative rock radio stations in the United States - where it was promoted as “Dakota (You Made Me Feel Like The One)”. Before “Dakota”, no Stereophonics single had charted on any rock charts in the U.S, including the worldwide hit ‘Maybe Tomorrow. After its release in February, the single steadily gained ground on U.S. alternative rock radio, notably on stations such as WFNX, WBCN and KROQ.

‘Dakota’ continued to gain support across the U.S. and eventually become the first Stereophonics song to chart on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. It first charted on July 9, 2005, almost half a year after its original release. The song peaked at #34 on the chart and remained on the chart for six weeks. It was their first and so-far only single to make the chart.

The band once again took off on an extended UK, European and World tour, which ended in 2006. After which, the DVD entitled ‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other?’ was released including tour footage, live shots and the videos for the singles from the album of the same name.

Live From Dakota

In terms of commercial success, the Stereophonics had never had it so good. But weary of the success that had gone before them, they had become a resiliant unit, determined and hardworking to maintain the success they had once again earned, and also displayed a certain amount of level-headedness, keeping their feet firmly on the ground as a forward thinking rock band. In April 2006, they released their first live album, called ‘Live From Dakota’, which despite it’s name was recorded in and around the UK on the ‘L.S.V.O.’ tour.

It included 20 tracks across a double CD, and included the previously unreleased track PlayJayne (Live). The album contained no overdubs, and was inteded to show the real side of the band live, mistakes and all. Though, rather than being a recording of single show, every night of the tour was recorded and the band picked out the best version of each song individually. It charted well for a live album, reaching the #13 spot in the UK album chart. For the American release it was released on the band’s own imprint label, Vox Populi Records.

Pull the Pin

‘Pull The Pin’ became the sixth studio album by Stereophonics, which was released in the UK on 15 October 2007. A Stereophonics newsletter released the “Pull the Pin” album artwork to suscribers. The cover was also shown to MySpace users that had added the band in a bulletin. In 2006, there was speculation that the next Stereophonics album was originally going to be called ‘Cries on Hope Street’. In 2006, Kelly had taken part in ‘The Cool Cymru Collection’ by Terry Morris, which was a collection of photographs designed to make up the first ever Welsh hall of fame. Kelly had his photo taken on the fictional ‘Cries on Hope St’, an anagram of the word ‘Stereophonics’ and when asked about the shot, Kelly quipped that they were going to use the photo as the image for the next album, fueling rumours of the new album title.

In early 2007, Kelly Jones brought out his first solo album, ‘Only The Names Have Been Changed’, as a limited edition release, which managed to reach number 1 on the iTunes download chart, but was made ineligable by Jones to chart so as not to detract attention from the band onto him solely. He explained that; “We were recording the sixth Stereophonics album last year and in-between takes I started doing these songs off the cuff. Three or four tracks in I realised that this could actually be something… strange how it’s always little things that makes big things happen.” This created speculation that Jones would leave Stereophonics to pursue his solo career, however he denied these rumours and the band pushed on with work on the new album. Due to the success and warm reception of the album however, Jones did a small solo tour around the UK playing songs from the album, before returning swiftly to the band, and refocusing on the new album.

During the time Kelly was out on his solo tour, Javier, who had recorded a solo album in his native latin, ‘Lágrima’ (meaning ‘Tear’), under the persona of Capitan Melao, which was released on April 2, 2007. The project includes contributions from Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and Natalia Lafourcade, with Weyler describing it as having “dreamy and poetic” lyrics and Latin rhythms. Weyler’s alter-ego translates as ‘Capitan’ being the Spanish for ‘Captain’ and ‘Melao’ Latin American slang for ‘swing’, ‘rhythm’ or ‘soul’. After the band had reunited, work began on promotion of the sixth studio album.

Also during the period between solo albums and the release of the new studio album, the DVD ‘Rewind’ was released. It was a 2-disc celebration of an entire decade of Stereophonics material. It contains over three hours of live and documentary footage spanning their entire career; from pre-Stereophonics years to their signing to V2 Records in 1996, up until 2006. A booklet was also included with the DVD, featuring several previously unseen photographs of the band, from Kelly Jones’ own personal photo album. The band also reportedly patched up their relationship with estranged drummer, Stuart Cable, although events from the supposed meetings between the childhood friends, Kelly and Stuart did not match up, and the relationship is still reported to be frosty even today. Cable released his autobiography of his time during the Stereophonics in 2009, entitled ‘Demons and Cocktails’, and is a ‘tell all’ book which undoubtably did nothing to ease the strain on his friendship with Kelly.

The taster track Bank Holiday Monday had its world premier on Radio 1’s Chris Moyles Show on Tuesday 1 May 2007 and was made available for digital download on Monday 28 May 2007 from online retailers. The band wanted to released the track as the first proper single off the album, but record company executives declined this, stressing that a different song was more likely to do well in the chart climate they were set to release in. The band’s newsletter on 24 July 2007 confirmed details and artwork of the first ‘proper’ single to be released from the album. PlayIt Means Nothing (UK#12) was released in the UK on 24 September 2007. They previews the track at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Preston, which they headlined. It has also appeared on the soundtrack to US drama, ‘Bones’.

A second proper single was also released in December 2007. The track My Friends was given an official release but charted at UK#32, making it the lowest charting single by the band since “More Life in a Tramps Vest” reached #33 back in 1997.

Decade In The Sun

For the ‘Pull The Pin’ tour, the guitarist and singer Adam Zindani of SpiderSimpson, who later with Zindani reverted back to their old name of Casino joined the band as a touring guitarist, to give the band a fuller sound and to help the band recreate the music that had been displayed on ‘Pull The Pin’. In a Q&A session on the band’s website in 2008, Zindani confirmed that whilst still a full time committed member of Casino, he had officially become a proper member of Stereophonics. This story was corroborated by the band, and Zindani’s own skills as a songwriter were to be utilised by the band on forthcoming songs.

In 2008, with the appointment of Zindani in toe, the band surprised fans by announcing the release of a greatest hits album to be called ‘Decade In The Sun’. In addition to the 18 tracks considered hits for the band, the album also included two new songs, You’re My Star and My Own Worst Enemy which was penned by Jones and Zindani. You’re My Star was released in a limited number of 7” vinyl, but did sell every copy, meaning that the track charted officially in the UK at #170. To mark the release of the single and also the release of the compilation album, the band held a competition for fans to win tickets to a full-circle gig at the Camden Roundhouse, the venue that the band frequently played gigs “with no f*cker watching us…” quipped Kelly, before they were a signed act a full decade previously. They had originally wanted to do the gig in Cardiff Castle, but the castle heritage committee decided against the idea, explaining that the fragile state of the castle was no longer able to stand up to the vigourous demands that a rock concert would put upon it.

The special edition of ‘Decade In The Sun’ contained another 20 songs from the extended collection of the Stereophonics’ back catelogue, and even included some demo tracks and b-sides, which were previously unreleased. A DVD edition of ‘Decade In The Sun’ was also released. The band toured the album and the standard version of the CD charted extremely well, peaking at #2 in the UK charts, a great position for a greatest hits album. Up to and including the point of the release of ‘Decade’, the band had released 6 studio albums, 1 live album, 1 compilation album and had amassed 27 hit singles, including 10 UK top-10 songs, with one UK#1.

Kelly appeared as a guest on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny 2008, once again performing PlayHandbags and Gladrags and a cover of ‘My Girl’ across the New Year’s Eve celebration show. They also headlined the V Festival and Isle of Wight Festivals during that summer.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Aside from finishing the tour triumphantly, selling out venues over the country, 2009 remained a quiet year for the band until August, when via e-mailing list newsletter, the band announced the release date for a new album that was to be called ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’, their first album as an official 4-piece.

In addition to the album, they also announced that they would be playing a special, one-off home-coming show in Cardiff Castle on October 3rd, 2009. The castle committee seemingly overturning their decision less than one year previous, and letting the band play there once again. Tickets for the show were available through the band’s website on September 9th at 9am and had sold out in 40 minutes, crashing the band’s website in the process. Meanwhile, tickets exchanged hands on internet auction site eBay for hundreds of pounds.

New track PlayInnocent was aired on Radio 1 by DJ Chris Moyles a week later, and will be the principal single from the album, due to be released on 9th November 2009. It is going to be included on their 7th studio album, ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’, which is due for release a week later on 16th November 2009.

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Faith No More

Faith No More is an alternative rock group that formed in San Francisco, California in 1982. Their music combines elements of heavy metal, funk, hardcore punk, progressive, soul, hip hop, and jazz, among many others. Their sound is influenced by Eric Burdon, Killing Joke and Frank Zappa, among many others.

Faith No More formed in 1982 out of the ashes of Faith No Man, a band formed and headed by Mike “The Man” Morris. Roddy Bottum, Mike Bordin, and Billy Gould, all ex-Faith No Man members, decided they wanted rid of him, and rather than firing him, all three quit. They changed their name to Faith No More at the suggestion of a friend (as “The Man” was no more). After cycling through a few guitarists, the members recruited Jim Martin. A number of singers passed through, including a brief stint by Courtney Love. Chuck Mosley became the full time singer and appeared on their first two records. Their best known song from this era is probably “We Care a Lot”, which satirized the prevalence of charity-related rock efforts such as Live Aid and “We Are the World”.

The band gained a reputation for infighting and friction that sometimes went way beyond the limits of “creative differences.” In a notorious interview in 1987, Mosley claimed that Martin had hit him with a bottle, and there were frequent rumours of physical confrontations between band members. Indeed, in a short history of the band in one issue, the British music newspaper Melody Maker observed that the band’s internal relationships had descended into “pathological hatred”. Bordin in particular seemed to be very much the “whipping boy” of the band and the butt of numerous cruel pranks and practical jokes. It is doubtful that the band would have stayed together had they not been successful after their second album, Introduce Yourself.

Mosley was fired in 1988, and replaced with singer Mike Patton. Patton would prove a more versatile singer than the monotone Mosley. At the time, he was singing with his high school band Mr. Bungle (and would continue to do so during his Faith No More years), and dropped out of Humboldt State University to join Faith No More. The group’s first record with Patton, The Real Thing, was a major hit, selling over a million copies and earning the group a grammy.

Patton’s astonishing vocal range was, arguably, the salvation of Faith No More. Although never formally trained, the young ex-student was able to veer wildly from a deep, operatic bass through to screeching banshee death metal yowls and all the way up to soulful, almost feminine drawling—usually over the space of one album (as opposed to doing it in a single song as in the band Mr. Bungle). For example, the exuberant rap on “Epic” and the sleazy jazz vocals of “Edge Of the World” (on the 1989 album The Real Thing) are wildly different. This burgeoning singing ability enabled the band to expand and develop far further. Keyboardist Bottum memorably described his new colleague as “a pair of lungs on legs.”

The Real Thing (or TRT for short) has been described as “not quite early Brian Eno joins Led Zeppelin and Funkadelic.” The video for “Epic”, which featured slow motion footage of a fish flopping out of water, received extensive airplay on MTV in the summer of 1990, despite provoking anger from animal rights activists. That same year, Faith No More gave memorable performances at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards (September 6) and on Saturday Night Live (December 1).

Faith No More displayed a distinctly experimental bent on their next album, Angel Dust. One critic writes that the album is “one of the more complex and simply confounding records ever released by a major label,” [2] and another writes that “‘A Small Victory’, which seems to run Madame Butterfly through Metallica and Nile Rodgers … reveals a developing facility for combining unlikely elements into startlingly original concoctions.” [3] Angel Dust featured the singles “Midlife Crisis” and “A Small Victory”, as well as a re-recording of the theme to the film Midnight Cowboy. Later pressings of the album also included their cover of the Commodores classic “Easy”, which in some parts of the world became the band’s biggest hit. Angel Dust, though not as successful as TRT in the U.S., sold 700,000 copies there, and did manage to outsell TRT in many other world charts. In Germany, for example, the record was certified Gold for sales of more than 270,000 copies. Along with heavy airplay of “Easy” and “Midlife Crisis”, the album became a bit of a sleeper hit in the U.K., South America, Europe and Australia.

After touring to support Angel Dust in the summer of 1992, (including tours with Metallica and Guns N’ Roses), longtime guitarist Jim Martin was fired (although he claims he quit) during the early stages of recording their follow-up, King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime in 1995. He was replaced by Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance. However, when the subsequent world tour was about to begin, Spruance jumped ship, leaving the band to recruit their keyboard roadie Dean Menta to handle guitar duties. KFAD/FFAL remains the band’s most heavily criticised album, varying in styles and moods from heavy and slow to spasmodic and jazzy. KFAD/FFAL did however sell acceptably in the U.K., Germany and Australia. In the U.S. the album failed to get any sort of attraction or following, slipping out of the charts quickly. Sales (about 1.5 million) were below that of Angel Dust. The band accordingly decided to cut their world tour short by 4 months, deleted the singles “Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” and “Take This Bottle”, and released a 7 x 7-inch box set of singles that included the B-sides and some interviews between the songs. An automobile accident occurred while in Bearsville, New York for the recording of “King For A Day.” It’s been described as rather bad. Mike Patton, Mike Bordin and Trey Spruance were in it, Patton was driving. They lived…Patton doesn’t drive any more. Patton comments, “Well we saw God. We had a really bad car accident. …We had to look at lot of things in the face…it was nice.”

Album of the Year was released in 1997 and featured yet another new guitarist, Jon Hudson, who was a former roommate of Billy Gould. The album debuted much higher than expected in some countries, for example Germany (#2, later going gold) and Australia (#1, going platinum). In an additional 12 countries in Europe, it went either gold or platinum. In the U.S. the reaction was slow for the album; however, just as interest was picking up on their tours and album they called it a day. Singles “Ashes To Ashes” and “Last Cup Of Sorrow” had minimal success. Electro-tinged ballad “Stripsearch” was released as a single in various countries (excluding the U.S. and U.K.). “She Loves Me Not” was cancelled as a single which was a little indicator of their imminent break-up.

On April 19th 1998, after 16 years as a band, Faith No More dissolved. Although the break-up went by with limited media attention, many rumors had surfaced as to the reason, some which included infighting, disagreement over the amount of side-projects (since the line-up had consistently changed), collective exhaustion of creative energy and even the band’s growing popularity, which had been attributed as a main influence for many nu-metal bands who would ascend to the mainstream at the end of the decade. Despite being extinct for some years, the band still manages to influence and inspire musicians worldwide.

Patton went on to collaborate with John Zorn, and has been active with several other groups, including Tomahawk and Fantômas. Guitarist Jim Martin went on to collaborate with Anand Bhatt. Keyboardist Roddy Bottum formed Imperial Teen, whose sunny pop music seemed very different from Faith No More. Mike Bordin regularly performs as a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band, as well as Black Sabbath and he was also a member of Korn for a tour when their drummer David Silvera had a problem with his wrist. Billy Gould is a member of Brujeria, as well as founder of Kool Arrow Records, and has also overseen the releases of various Faith No More compilations. Jim Martin also now has the 235th largest pumpkin ever measured [4], and has made guest appearances on various records, including Antipop by Primus, as well as having released a solo album titled Milk and Blood (1996).

Faith No More also gained more publicity when their tracks “Falling To Pieces” and “The Perfect Crime” were featured in the films Black Hawk Down and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey respectively.

On the 25th of February 2009 Faith no More announced a reunion tour, to take place in 2009. The band are set to play a series of European festivals, according to a press release from frontman Mike Patton. The official press release for their reunion, written by Bill Gould, was released a day later and can be read on

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Pixies are an American alternative rock band which formed in Boston, Massachusetts, United States in 1986 . They consist of Charles (Black Francis) Thompson IV (vocals, guitar; also known as ‘’Frank Black’‘), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), Joey Santiago (guitar) and David Lovering (drums). The band officially split in 1993 and reunited in 2004. They went on hiatus in 2007, with each band member pursuing projects of their own, only to reunite in 2009, with the announcement of a new tour commencing in Europe that summer.

Although quite popular on alternative rock radio in the United States due to heavy airplay of the singles “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Here Comes Your Man”, they were never widely popular there, but found success in Europe, especially in the UK where they managed three top 40 singles (“Velouria”, “Planet of Sound” and a re-release of “Debaser”).

In 1993, during an interview with BBC Radio 5, Black Francis announced that the band had split - something he had not told his bandmates. After the interview, he called Santiago, who in turn faxed Deal and Lovering the news the next morning. After the split, Black Francis inverted his stage name to Frank Black and embarked on a successful solo career, while Deal resumed her role in The Breeders with her identical twin sister Kelley. In 2004, the band reunited for a tour - documented in the film loudQUIETloud - and released a new single, “Bam Thwok” that summer. In 2007, Black Francis (now going by that name again) stated in an interview that the reunion was “done” even though the members remain in good terms with each other. In later interviews however, he began to mention that he might be willing to record another Pixies album. Nonetheless, Francis has returned to his solo career and Deal to the Breeders, both of which released albums and toured in 2008. Lovering and Santiago, meanwhile, set up their own project, a band called Everybody.

Recently, it has been announced that the band will perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, supporting the main headliner, Neil Young.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

30 Seconds to Mars

Created in 1998, Los Angeles, California, United States by Jared Leto and his brother, Shannon, 30 Seconds to Mars began as a big family project. Matt Wachter later joined the band as bassist and keyboard player. After working with a number of guitarists (as the band’s first two guitarists, Kevin Drake and Solon Bixler, left the band due to issues primarily related to touring), the three auditioned Tomo Miličević to round out the band’s roster.

The band has released three albums so far.

30 Seconds to Mars — 2002
The band’s debut self-titled album, produced by Bob Ezrin, was released in 2002 to mixed reviews and achieved sales of just over 100,000[citation needed]. The album produced two singles, Capricorn (A Brand New Name) and Edge of the Earth. The former peaked at #31 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart.

A Beautiful Lie — 2005
Their sophomore album, A Beautiful Lie, was released on August 30, 2005. Because the album was leaked five months before its release, the band decided to include two bonus tracks: “Battle of One” (an original song that was also set to be the album’s title track when it was first announced) and “Hunter” (a cover of the Björk song). To further promote the album, the band also enclosed “golden tickets” in 12 copies, which granted their owners access to any 30 Seconds to Mars concert free of charge, along with backstage access.

This Is War — 2009
This Is War was released on December 7 in the United Kingdom and December 8th in the United States. This Is War is the first studio album by 30 Seconds To Mars in four years since A Beautiful Lie released in 2005. The album will include the following tracks: “Escape”, “Night of the Hunter”, “Kings and Queens” , “This Is War” “100 Suns”, “Hurricane” , “Closer to the Edge”, “Vox Populi”, “Search & Destroy”, “Alibi”, “Stranger in a Strange Land”, “L490”. The first single from the album was ‘Kings and Queens’, and it was released on 6th October 2009.

The Echelon
The Echelon is a publicity street team for the band 30 Seconds to Mars, which helps in bringing friends to the shows, phoning local radio stations to request the band’s songs, putting up posters, posting to band forums or related bulletin boards online, voting for the band in official award nominations and maintaining magazines or websites dedicated to the band. It is also the name of one of their songs in the album 30 Seconds to Mars.

The band’s phoenix logo.The band’s phoenix logo (which the band named “Mithra”) bears the phrase “Provehito in Altum”, the band’s motto. Roughly translated from Latin, this means “Launch forth into the deep”; but a more stylized version would be “Rocket in(to) High(ness)”. The logo was primarily used for promotion of the band’s debut, whereas for A Beautiful Lie, the new Trinity logo was created consisting of three skulls, along with the band’s name and motto. For This Is War, the band has created a triangle divided into 3 parts.

Band members
Jared Leto – lead vocals, Rhythm guitar, lyrics (1998–present)
Tomo Miličević – lead guitar, Violin, Keyboard/synth, programming (2003–present)
Shannon Leto – drums, Percussion (1998–present)
Tim Kelleher – touring bass guitar, Keyboard/synth (2007–present?)

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Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace is a Canadian rock band, formed under the name Groundswell in Norwood, Ontario, Canada in 1992. After a breakup in 1995, the band reformed in 1997 under its current name and with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. In 2003, Barry Stock was recruited as the band’s lead guitarist.

After signing to Jive Records, Three Days Grace released two studio albums, Three Days Grace in 2003 and One-X in 2006, both of which have been certified platinum and double platinum in the US and Canada, respectively. In 2007, the band was declared number one rock artist of the year by Billboard and was the number four artist in airplay in Canada that same year. The band’s third album, Life Starts Now, was released on September 22, 2009.


Three Days Grace formed in 1992 under the name Groundswell in Norwood, Ontario, Canada. Groundswell’s line-up consisted of five members: Adam Gontier (vocals, guitar), Neil Sanderson (backing vocals, drums), Brad Walst (bass), Phil Crowe (guitar), and Joe Grant (guitar), all of whom were attending high school when the band formed.[1]

In 1997, after being disbanded for two years, the band regrouped in Toronto as a trio consisting of Gontier, Sanderson, and Walst. They also changed their name to “Three Days Grace”. According to Gontier, the name stands for the question: If you had three days to change something in your life, could you do it?[2] Once in Toronto, the band became acquainted with local producer Gavin Brown. The band gave him several years of material that they had created since forming, and he “picked out what he called ‘the golden nuggets’”, according to Gontier.[3] Brown and the band polished the songs into a demo album which they gave to EMI Music Publishing Canada. The record label wanted to hear more material, and with Brown producing, the band created the song, “I Hate Everything About You”, which attracted the interest of several record labels.[3] The band was soon signed to Jive Records after being sought out by the company’s president.[1]
[edit] Three Days Grace (2003 - 2005)

Three Days Grace (2003 - 2005)

After being signed to Jive, the band moved to Long View Farms, a studio in Boston, to record their debut album.[3] The self-titled album was finished in Woodstock, New York and released on July 22, 2003.[1] It was met with generally favorable reviews. Dave Doray of IGN said of the album, “Mistakes? There’s not many.”[4] Allmusic reviewer Heather Phares said that on Three Days Grace, “the band’s focus and adherence to alt-metal’s formulas — coupled with tight songwriting and some unexpectedly pretty choruses — results in a strong tracks that are more memorable than the work of many of their peers”.[5] She did criticize the album for its simplicity, concluding, “Three Days Grace are definitely one of the most accessible alt-metal bands of the 2000s; they just need to add some more distinctiveness to their sound.”[5]

After acquiring lead guitarist Barry Stock in late 2003,[6] Three Days Grace toured continuously and extensively for almost two years in support of their major label debut.[1] The album peaked at number nine on the Canadian Albums Chart[7] and number 69 on the Billboard 200[8] and was certified platinum in the US by the RIAA in December 2004[9] and double platinum in Canada by the CRIA.[10]

One-X (2006 - 2008)

While touring in support of Three Days Grace, Gontier became depressed and addicted to drugs and alcohol. He went into rehab after the band finished touring, and while there, began writing material for the band’s second album.[11] After leaving rehab, he rejoined the band in a cottage in Ontario to finish writing material for the album. In a 2006 interview, Gontier said that the album’s material was more personal to him than the band’s previous release, being based on the despondence, drug abuse, and rehab that constituted the past two years of his life.[12][11] The album, titled One-X, was then released on June 13, 2006,[12] and was guitarist Barry Stock’s recorded debut.[1]

One-X was met with generally favorable reviews. The Toronto Star complimented the album with a review title of “One CD worth buying…” and focused on its lyrics, saying, “The lyrics really speak out to you, especially if you’re going through a tough time in your life.”[14] Allmusic reviewer Corey Apar praised the music, saying it “remains catchy despite its lyrical darkness”.[15] The album did receive some negative criticism. Apar pointed out that Three Days Grace is “hardly innovative” in their approach to writing music and that “further distinctive qualities” would help the band separate itself “from their alt-metal peers”.[15]

One-X peaked at number two on the Canadian album chart[7] and at number five on the Billboard 200,[1] selling 78,000 copies in the US in its first week of release.[16] Its first single, “Animal I Have Become”, was Three Days Grace’s most successful, becoming 2006’s most played rock song in Canada,[14] and the album helped propel Three Days Grace to become the number one rock artist in airplay in the US and Canada in 2007, with Billboard ranking them as the number one rock artist of the year in 2007.[17] One-X was certified platinum by the RIAA in the US on August 30, 2007,[9] and double platinum by the CRIA in Canada in July 2007.[17][18] Three Days Grace toured the US and Canada throughout the second half of 2006 and all of 2007 in support of One-X.[19] In early 2008, they toured alongside Seether and Breaking Benjamin across the US[20][21]

Life Starts Now (since 2009)

From March to August 2009, Three Days Grace recorded their third album at studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Los Angeles, with producer Howard Benson, who had worked with them on their previous releases.[22][17] The album, titled Life Starts Now, was released on September 22, 2009. The first single from the album, “Break”, was released on September 1, 2009.[17]

Three Days Grace have planned a tour of the US and Canada encompassing the latter part of 2009 and supporting Life Starts Now.[22]

Musical style and influences

Three Days Grace’s musical style has generally been described by critics as alternative metal[5][11] and hard rock[23][24] throughout the band’s career. Heather Phares of Allmusic, in a review of the band’s debut album, compared them to rock bands Chevelle and Helmet.[5] Dave Doray of IGN described Three Days Grace as “heavy and catchy, with chewy chunks of assurance and fury thrown in for added measure.”[4] Allmusic’s Corey Apar said One-X brings an “accessible alt-metal attack of blunt lyrics and crunching rhythms” that retains the melodic sound of its predecessor “despite its lyrical darkness”.[15]

The band has listed numerous influences in their music. Gontier has mentioned such bands as Sunny Day Real Estate, Kyuss, Nine Inch Nails, and Tool as influences for the band’s music.[25] According to Gontier, the lyrics for Three Days Grace songs have mostly been influenced by the Seattle music scene. He summarized about the band’s influences in an interview, “Musically there’s a lot of different influences, but lyrically it’s hard to have different influences because you just write.”[26]

Band members

* Adam Gontier – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (since 1997)
* Brad Walst – bass guitar, backing vocals (since 1997)
* Neil Sanderson – drums, backing vocals (since 1997)
* Barry Stock – lead guitar (since 2003)

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