Archive for Randy Hall

Show Review: Dinosaur Pile-Up

Posted in Artist Watch, New Music, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by Randy

Stage AE//Pittsburgh, PA//7.10.14

On Thursday, July 10th, three lads from West Yorkshire England by the names of Matt, Mike and Jim came to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to play what is their spin on a very influential music genre: 90’s alternative and grunge. In a brief interview with them we learned many things, but the most important thing we got was where they drew influence(s) from, and after hearing their songs and seeing the live show, it’s easy to tell Nirvana and Foo Fighters shaped what we know as Dinosaur Pile-Up. Now before discussing their live performance and finer details about the band, we will answer the question everyone is asking: “How did they get their name?” Well, from Matt’s mouth to your eyes, here’s how it happened…Prior to the inception of this project Matt said he was watching a shitty Godzilla remake, and at one point in the movie there is a herd, (I think they’d be called a herd) or a group if you will, of dinosaurs running and the lead dinosaur tripped eventually causing… you guessed it, a DINOSAUR PILE-UP! He claims that as soon as he saw that he jokingly thought, “That’d be a unique name for a band.” A few years later when the band was sitting there trying to come up a name he figured, “Why not use it? It’s different! Thus giving birth to Dinosaur Pile-Up.

-Check out photos here!-

Now onto the performance displayed at Stage AE that night…I personally was not fortunate enough to ever witness a Nirvana concert in person but this show may be the closest I’ll ever be able to get to one. It was everything a grunge concert was and is supposed to be; angst, raw emotion, and jam sessions. DPU has two albums to date, Nature Nature and Growing Pains (with Nature Nature being the most recent). Regardless of which is your “favorite” album, their set list won’t disappoint considering they play a beautiful selection from each album respectfully. To take a step back from specifically the Pittsburgh date, I was given testimonials (via social media) from people at two other shows that DPU played, and they too were floored by the performances. One of the individuals went as far as to say “Kurt Cobain has been reincarnated” when describing guitarist/vocalist Matt Bigland’s stage presence. By the way, before it’s forgotten and not mentioned in this article, this was not a headlining show for Dinosaur Pile-Up, even though there is no doubt in my mind that it would be successful if they attempted a North American headlining tour. They were actually one of two opening acts for this band called Brand New that is fronted by a gentleman named Jesse Lacey… maybe you’ve heard of them.

Sadly, with as great as this tour was, it was short lived due to the fact that it was only scheduled to be a small 6-7 city loop in the Northeast region on the United States. However, we can report that sometime in the near future Matt and the rest of the guys in Dinosaur Pile-Up do plan on doing a bigger North American tour, and plan on making Pittsburgh a stop yet again. Be sure to keep a look out and catch their next show in your town. It’s the perfect excuse to bust out your old converse and hole filled jeans!

 

Logan Rendulic © The Rock Tribune 2014

Review: Summerland Tour 2014

Posted in Artist Watch, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by Randy

When the Summerland Tour pulled into Pittsburgh on June 20th it felt just like a spring Seattle day in 1995; not just because of the 90’s alternative that was playing all around, but because of the dreary/rainy day that the city was experiencing. The spring of 2014 marked the 3rd year in a row for the Summerland Tour which features acts from the 90’s that play and still record music such as this year’s participants: Everclear, Eve6, Soul Asylum and Spacehog.

The day’s event in Pittsburgh started off with an English alt rock act that goes by the name of Spacehog. I personally had never heard of these guys, and I think the same goes for most of the people who were in attendance that day, regardless of knowing their music they played a great set from start to finish. Not only did they play well as a group and play some awesome songs they were also very interactive with the crowd and just had a professional presence about them. Next to take the stage was the “great” Eve6. Their performance was kind of bland…so bland that I would suggest using that time to use the restroom and grab you a beer before their last song. Not to knock them as musicians though, they sounded great and tried everything they could to make sure the crowd had a good time. Unfortunately, that night at Stage AE just wasn’t theirs. The only highlight was their last song and possibly the only song from them that everyone knew, “Inside Out.” It seems the fact that no one really knew any of their other songs was the reason the whole performance seemed “flat” to say the least.

Following the disappointing performance by Eve6, was maybe one of the most underrated bands from the 90’s alternative scene, Soul Asylum. One of the first songs they played was their 1995 hit “Misery,” and because they started the set with a big hit like that, the crowd really got into the show and made the rest of the night smooth sailing for them. fter their allotted time was up came the epic performance of the band that most people were there to see and the band who is responsible for putting on the entire tour: Everclear. Art Alexakis, frontman of Everclear, is one of the ones responsible for the idea of this 90’s based music tour and the one who has helped make this tour a yearly event. The band took the stage playing some old school classics and fan favorites like Santa Monica, Heroin Girl, and Wonderful. They even included some new hits like Be Careful What You Ask For, which was off their latest album titled “Invisible Stars.”

Minus the few bumps that may occur during this tour, like not so popular bands and some unknown tunes, the Summerland Tour of 2014 was a very well organized and put together. Hopefully this tour continues to have a long and healthy run and these acts from the 90’s era don’t give up on us quite yet. If you were unable to catch a show during this year’s tour we suggest you keep your eyes open for next year’s dates and make it to a show; certainly a tour that’s worth attending.

 

Logan Rendulic, © The Rock Tribune 2014

Review: Stolen Babies @ Chicago House of Blues 1/28/2014

Posted in All Metal, Artist Watch, New Music, News, Photos, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by Randy

Circulating on rock radio right now is a very intriguing band that goes by the name of Stolen Babies. Their sound is very reminiscent of early Industrial Metal, mixed with a strong Shock Rock influence. Sprinkle a little accordion in there, maybe some 55 gallon drum, then choose either a guitar or bass (never both at the same time), and wa-lah.

Stolen Babies are currently embarked on tour with two power house bands in rock (Stone Sour and Pop Evil), and most dates on this tour have been sold out. We were fortunate to cover the Chicago House of Blues stop, and honestly, we were mind blown. They are the opener for this tour, and with only 3 bands on the bill, they had ample time to melt faces. From the first note, to the last riff, they managed to strangle hold the crowd. Regardless if they’ve never been heard, their arsenal of songs is a crowd mover…exploding with an instant pit, full of elbows and crowd surfers.

The band consists of Dominique Lenore Persi (vocals), Rani Sharone (bassist and guitarist) and Gil Sharone on drums. One interesting thing about the band and their sound is Dominique…and she isn’t just a vocalist. On certain songs she beats away at that 55 gallon barrel hanging from what appears to be an engine hoist, giving a slight percussion that you’d expect to hear in bands like Slipknot and Mushroom Head. But, there’s more: the unique sound doesn’t stop there because she also plays an accordion… YES, AN ACCORDION! This throws a completely different aspect into this band’s sound that has already separated them from traditional rock/metal bands. To say the least, these guys are a true experimental rock band and have certainly found their niche in an industry constantly looking for new sounds.

-Pop Evil highlights included Leigh Kakat coming out and climbing on the crowd to sing
-Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor played Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell” solo, and also the first 2/3 of “Through Glass” before the band erupted
-Within each set, there were some sound issues

Only a few more dates remain on this tour…check them out below. If you aren’t able to make it to a show, definitely get on your computer and check out Stolen Babis online and hear their fascinating sound for yourself.

-Randy Hall and Logan Rendulic © The Rock Tribune, 2014

Feb 6  Thu   Anaheim, CA
Feb 8  Sat     Las Vegas, NV
Feb 9  Sun    Tempe, AZ
Feb 11 Tue   El Paso, TX
Feb 13 Thu  Dallas, TX
Feb 14 Fri    Houston, TX
Feb 15 Sat   San Antonio, TX

Stolen BabiesStolen BabiesStolen BabiesStolen BabiesStolen BabiesStolen Babies
Stolen Babies

Stolen Babies, a set by logan.rocktribune on Flickr.

 

Review: Fall from Grace “The Romance Years”

Posted in News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2012 by Randy

Back in action once again is Fall from Grace, a punk/alternative band hailing from the great Seattle, Washington scene. With the region producing punk/alt acts in the past such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana, it’s almost a given that Fall from Grace will have great success. “The Romance Years” is their second major label album, and given the revamped lineup, it’s clear FFG are ready to hit the road backed by their new record label “Road 2 Hell Rekkids.”  This emotion packed bundle of joy is just a small taste of big things to come, and and getting lost in this album makes it easy to remember how great the music of the early 90’s was, and the impact that was left on bands to come.

The Romance Years opens with “Your Majesty,” a catchy, upbeat, old school underground punk influenced track that sets the tone for this entire album. Remember who the winners of Fuse TV’s Bodog Music Battle of the Bands 2004 was? Ahhh…that’s right…now you remember. There are a few songs that stand above the others and are worthy of recognition. One being a tune titled “Heart Attack Road,” which echoes the ol’ chasing your dreams and achieving success that one wants out of life.  Lyrics PLUS Riffs EQUALS amazing…and arguably the best on the album. “18 and Out,” “A Train Leaves London,” and “The Romance Years” are winners too.

The losers: “Fade 2 Gray,” and “Maybe I’m Outa My Head”

Pick up “The Romance Years”…there’s a little something for everyone.  www.fallfromgrace.us

– Logan Rendulic, Randy Hall TRT

Saving Abel: 2009 Interview with Randy Hall of The Rock Tribune

Posted in Archived Interviews (text only) with tags , , , on November 18, 2011 by Randy

I recently had a chance to interview Jason Null of the up and coming sensation Saving Abel. We talked about how the band came about, the rigorous life of touring, and where he sees the band going from here.

Randy: Can you explain how you guys all came together to form Saving Abel?

Jason: I had several bands in my hometown of Corinth, Mississippi, and I had put out a couple of cd’s…Jared was a fan of one of those bands. I had showed up at a mutual friend’s house one night, it was just a huge jam session; a lot of people in there playing there instruments and stuff. Jared came up to me, and introduced himself and told me he was a fan, and that he liked my music. He asked me if he could sing one of the songs, and if I would play it on guitar, and I agreed. He got up and sang…I just couldn’t believe it…that he was there, and all these musicians were there, and nobody had nabbed him up yet with his voice that he had. So we just pretty much exchanged numbers that night and it was a gradual process…over the next few years he and I got together from time to time and wrote. Once we felt that we had something special with the music, we would be singing it to our selves during the day, and then we thought,

“Why don’t we go track this stuff just to make sure we get them down so that we don’t forget it.” Once we decided to do that I had remembered Skidd Mills, a producer out in Tennessee. I remembered hearing some of his work years ago when I was actually having a record mastered at a studio. So I just called him up, tracked him down and he agreed to do some acoustic demos. So we went up there and did that, and he was interested in what we had. A few weeks later, Skidd called me and said he would like to do a couple of songs with us…a real recording with a full band. That turned into a full record. Actually, Blake’s brother played in some of my earlier bands, and I knew their father was a musician, so I figured Blake was probably on an instrument. So I called up Blake’s brother and asked him if Blake was playing anything, and he said, “Yeah, I’m actually playing drums”…and so I invited Blake out. Scott was actually doing session work in Memphis and Skidd called him in to work on a couple of the songs that we had at the time. I had actually met Scott one time but I didn’t know who he was at that point. I told Jared “He’s great, let’s hire him if he wants to join the band,” so we offered that to him and he took it. Eric is actually our second bass player. He saw an ad on MySpace that we had put out saying that we needed a bass player. Jared and I had scheduled tryouts for the position and Eric was just the right one. And I believe Jared knew Eric previously. Corinth is a real small town and all of its surrounding areas are small as well…so everybody kind of knows everybody in a way.

Randy: So everyone but Scott came from or around Corinth, Mississippi then?

Jason: Right…Scott was living in Memphis for the last 10 or 15 years. He’s actually from Baltimore.

Randy: So prior to hooking up with Skidd, it was only you and Jared who wrote all the music and recorded the demos?

Jason: We actually started out to put a band together when we first started writing. We had all these songs written out for electric guitars, and we were trying out drummers and bass players. We could never find

anybody that was dedicated enough or good enough or just committed enough just to say, “Hey, I will even show up for practice.” So there was about a year that went by where Jared and I really didn’t talk a lot, and then one day I was working and my phone rang. I picked it up and it was him…He asked if I wanted to get together, drink a couple beers, and play some music. I told him yeah, and he told me to bring over my acoustic this time. He said he didn’t want to do the electric stuff this time, and wanted to try the acoustics and see what we get. So I took the acoustic over and we wrote 2 or 3 songs that evening, and it just kept going and going. So that’s where it really started for Jared and I…doing the acoustic stuff and being able to go out and gig without having to have a full band behind us.

Randy: Did any of those early songs make it onto your current album?

Jason: The first song that Skidd heard by us was a song called, “Beautiful Day,” and I think that’s probably what got his attention initially and it made it to the major release. There were a couple of songs on the independent release we did with Skidd that we tracked that turned out really well. But once we recorded “Addicted,” that’s when we really became Saving Abel. That song kind of defined us, so we chopped a lot of the older tracks that were more southern rock, and wrote some heavier tunes like “In God’s Eye’s” and “Get Out Of My Face”.

Randy: Is it possible that we may see some of them older tracks released in the future?

Jason: A couple of the tracks from the EP actually made it as B sides. From what I’m hearing, we have already had T.V. spots. N.C.I.S. had a track called “After All” the other night on their show. I think there have been several things like that going on; it’s just been so much that I haven’t really dug in to see what was actually happening. But, absolutely…I would love to think that some of those other songs would make it to another record some day. Like maybe as bonus material on a record or something.

Randy: How quick did all of this happen? From you and Jared first getting together with Skidd, to actually cutting an album…

Jason: It started in the beginning of 2005, and we tracked our first demo March 15th of that same year.

Randy: When did you guys finish the album and start touring?

Jason: We finished the major release in September of 2007, and we signed the record deal in October of 2007. Then we hit the road in November of 2007 and we’ve been gone since.

Randy: Where did the name Saving Abel come from?

Jason: That was me…it was late one night and I was on the computer…there was nothing to do, and I had already done the MySpace stuff, and answered emails from people that were giving us attention. I had been reading the Bible a lot at that point of my life, and for some reason the story of Cane and Abel was on my mind; I had just gotten into it, and for some reason I just Googled Cane and Abel, and there was a couple of lines that came up and one of them read, “there was no saving Abel from his brother Cane.” And I just read this again and again. It was just stuck in my head, and we actually needed a band name. One of the records was done, and we were working on more stuff. We had gigs booked, and all the players in the band were in place at the time…and we just basically needed a name. It was really easy,…actually, once I ran it by everyone and we all agreed it was a decent name, I tagged it and we went with it.

Randy: Because of the name, do you guys ever get misidentified as a Christian band?

Jason: Yeah, we get that all the time. People ask us if we are a Christian band, and my response is, “we are Christian guys, but we play rock n’ roll.”

Randy: Where is “Addicted” on the charts right now?

Jason: It was #7 on the pop charts last week. That was kind of a defining moment when I opened up the magazine and saw I had passed up Britney Spears.

Randy: How was that? When was your first “Wow, we are actually doing this” moment?

Jason: For me, it was probably our local radio station in Memphis, Tennessee, and I remember it well. We were either gigging up there, or we had been to the studio…I was coming out of Memphis late one night and I didn’t have the radio up…I was talking to a friend of mine that was in the car and I just saw on the LED on the radio “Addicted” by Saving Abel, and I just turned it up. It was really the first time I had heard it on a major station like that. I just turned it up loud, lit up a cigarette, and listened. To get airplay on a major station like that was a big thing. This was just one of the times. Another was playing for about 50 thousand people at a festival in Kansas City. I think Jared also recalls this as being one of his fondest memories. Just looking out and seeing the sea of people and they knew “Addicted” and were singing it back to us.

Randy: What kind of a feeling is that, having thousands of people singing your song back to you?

Jason: Sometimes it’s like any job and you just have a bad day…but for the most part it is really rewarding to see that going on, seeing things progress and the record’s selling more, and they know more of the songs other than “Addicted.” That’s a huge payoff to not have just that one song that people know you by.

Randy: Who wrote the songs for this record?

Jason: For this record, I wrote the majority of the stuff on there. Jared, thank God, came up with the chorus for “Addicted.” It was really just a joint effort from me and Jared, because at the beginning it was just me and him and a lot of that stuff was songs that made it to the record. But we did demos of stuff that our drummer wrote, which turned out great. We just didn’t have enough room on the record for them. Scott wrote some stuff with me as well; in “Out Of My Face,” he was crucial in laying down the guitar parts. Skidd, our producer, has played a major role in that too. But to answer your question, I believe later on everyone will be more involved in the writing process.

Randy: Was a lot of the writing based on real life experiences or kind of tongue in cheek?

Jason: “New Tattoo” was actually based on a true story. I was out of high school and decided to take a road trip with a buddy of mine. There was a young lady stranded on the side of the road not to far from where we were headed in Panama City, and I ended up spending the week with her. She got a new Tattoo and that’s always been in my mind to tell that story. “18 Day’s” we had done a military theme based video for that song. This song was actually written as a Christian song, and when we had decided we weren’t going to go in that direction with we kind of reworded some stuff so it can actually be taken in a couple of different ways. I kind of like that idea that people can listen to something and get different things out of it. For me, I will listen to a song and I will take a wording or a phrase completely different than say, Jared would.

Randy: You guys have both the hard and heavy songs to the more ballad type of songs. Was this intentionally done when writing the songs?

Jason: Absolutely. Yeah it was intentional. We wanted to put something on that record that no matter who you were, whatever type of music you listened to, whoever your favorite band was, there was enough different flavors on this record that there was something that you would want to listen to. For instance, the song “Beautiful Day” was in our head as being a really good song that may even cross over into possibly the Country Genre. Who knows?

Randy: What is your favorite song to play?

Jason: To play live, hands down, it’s “In God’s Eyes.” We do a huge intro with that…we just have fun with it and it’s just a fun song to play. I have heard mixed opinions on this before, but I would think as a whole, it’s probably the band’s favorite song to play as well.

Randy: You mentioned earlier about you and Jared sitting down with the acoustics and writing music. Has there ever been a possibility of you guys either doing a live acoustic set or maybe even an acoustic album?

Jason: We are actually doing our first acoustic gigs this week. We did one last night (12-4-08) and we’re doing another one tonight (12-05-08) in Nashville. I would absolutely love to do that later on. I would love to go back and revisit some of the songs when it was just Jared and I, and we were called Shade of Grace then. I would love to do an acoustic record.

Randy: How long have you guys been touring off this record?

Jason: We have been booked solid since November of last year (2007). We got about a two and a half week break for the holidays. It was about January 15, 2008…we left to go on tour with Days of the New. Then it was just one tour after another. We didn’t even go home in between some

of the tours. We would just meet up with the next band in another city and go on tour again.

Randy: How are you guys coping with making your first major record, to being on the road now for over a year, with shows still booked for at least another four or five months?

Jason: It’s not hard for me, speaking for me personally. I do have a son, Ethan, who just turned 7 this last summer at home that I do miss…and of course I have family that I miss as well. But it’s what I have always wanted to do. It’s what I love doing. I love playing music, and now I’m actually doing it on a professional level to where I can actually pay my bills with what used to be my hobby.

Randy: Do any of the other members have wives?

Jason: Eric is the only one who is married and he has actually a new baby girl that was born in January, and he spent one week with her before he had to hit the road again.

Randy: So with that, how’s the rest of the band coping with rigorous tour schedule?

Jason: As far as I can see everyone doing just fine. Jared’s a diabetic and sometimes that can be hard for him. And sometimes just staying healthy on the road, period, can be hard for us all. That’s probably the only thing that we’re all doing differently now than we used to do. I would work out 5 days a week, ate healthy, and I weighed about 40 pounds heavier than I did when I first went on tour. I mean, you can’t help it when there’s that bottle of Jack Daniel’s sitting there. You have to open it and drink it and then the next thing you know it’s gone. Then you’re waking up at 2 p.m. the next day and its show time. You get off stage and there’s that Jack

Daniel’s staring at you again. M.I.N.: Right now, you guys are on tour with Shinedown and Avenged Sevenfold, getting ready to wrap that up, correct?

Jason: Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, BuckCherry and yes, I do believe we have performed our last show with that tour as a whole for now. And I hear, nothing confirmed yet, that we may go back out on the road with Buckcherry after the first of the year. So that might be why no January dates have been scheduled yet on our site yet.

Randy: Then you guys headline your own shows for about a month, then head out on tour with Nickelback and Seether, correct?

Jason: That is correct. We are totally looking forward to that tour as well.

Randy: Which band do you personally look forward to being able to play with one day?

Jason: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the guys from Seether, and doing gig’s for them. They are great guys and I am definitely looking forward to seeing them again, but I would have to say Nickelback is a dream come true. Getting signed and everything leading up to this is sometimes hard for me to believe…that I am actually going to go on tour with Nickelback. With that even being said when it even came up to Puddle of Mudd and Theory of a Deadman; I remember buying these records 2 years ago. I was standing in line to catch a show for these bands and now I’m playing with them. It’s all been kind of surreal for me at this point, but Nickelback for me. Unless I can tour with Van Halen, at this

point is probably my pick.

Randy: Have you ever been to Chicago?

Jason: Been several times…we used to play the H.O.B. in Chicago and we absolutely love it there, and coming from a musician’s standpoint, the H.O.B. is one of the best venues to play.

Randy: Where do you see yourself in 7 years?

Jason: Hopefully releasing our greatest hits and planning another tour. I just can’t imagine us not out there jamming and rocking hard. I eventually would like to produce and be the man behind the board, but I’m no where near ready to lay down my guitar for that just yet.

Randy: If you could tell your fans one thing, what would you like them to know?

Jason: God bless them for buying the record and supporting rock and roll music. Thank you for coming to the shows and being fans of Saving Abel.

Saving Abel is on tour right now to promote their self-titled debut album, which is available in stores and online. They are a great listen for anyone who appreciates music, and just good old rock and roll. Visit their website here for a list of upcoming shows near you.

Jared Weeks-Vocals

Jason Null-Guitars

Scott Bartlett-Guitars

Eric Taylor-Bass

Blake Dixon-Drums

www.facebook.com/savingabel

Boots of Miclordz & Sauce Funky: The Rock Tribune Interview

Posted in 2011 Interviews, Artist Watch, New Music, News with tags , , , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by Randy

Listen below!

The latest from Miclordz & Sauce Funky, My World, dropped on November 8th, 2011.  Boots (vox) took the time to hit me up to chat about the EP, what it took to make it, and what Miclordz are all about.  Be sure to grab the EP at http://www.MicLordz.com or on iTunes.  2012 better be prepared…the end of the world?  How about the rise of Miclordz & Sauce Funky…

Blue October: October 8, 2011 Chicago’s House of Blues

Posted in Photos with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2011 by Randy

© The Rock Tribune 2011, photos by Taylor Augustson

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