Tipperary joins music world in mourning legendary guitarist Philip Donnelly

MUSIC ICON HAD MADE TIPPERARY HIS HOME

Tipperary Star reporter

2 Dec 2019

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Tipperary joins music world in mourning legendary guitarist Philip Donnelly

The late Philip Donnelly: made Tipperary his home

The world of music from Tipperary to Nashville was in mourning this week following the death of one of country music’s guitar giants Philip Donnelly.

Mr Donnelly, who was originally from Clontarf in Dublin made the Premier County his home for decades, living outside Clonmel.

Tributes were paid to him this week by musician and councillor Hughie McGrath, who described Philip as “one of the most positive people to be around”.

Cllr McGrath recalled playing an outdoor a gig with Philip in Castletownbere, County Cork, durig with it lashed rain and thundered throughout.

“People were sitting in their cars with the wipers going and about six people covered in oilskins stood at the stage. After the gig one of them came up and said hello to Philip and told him the last time he had seen him was with Nanci Griffin in Madison Square Gardens. I said to myself: ‘Now Hughie, stop complaining about the rain. You are playing with a man who played Madison Square Gardens’,” said Cllr McGrath.

“Philip was always smiling. He was always positive,” he said. “You knew you were around something special when he played.”

A music legend and one of the most sought after session musicians in Nashville, Mr Donnelly played with a veritable who’s who of country music over the past 50 years. Among those he fronted were the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Donovan, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Don Williams, Sara Dee, Ray Lynam, Clannad, Joe Ely, Kathy Mataya, Lyle Lovett and Hal Ketchum.

He also played with Bobby Whitlock, who featured with Eric Clapton’s Derek and the Dominoes on the iconic Layla album, and who lived for a while in Garrykenny outside Nenagh.

Philip, who was dubbed the “Contarf Cowboy” spent many years working with John Prine and can be numbered among those who introduced Irish audiences to Nanci Griffin, who once played a sellout gig in Shinrone.

At home, he played with countless Irish bands, guesting on many occasions with the legendary ensemble Chris Meehan and his Redneck Friends, among others.

At the start of his career in the US he came to the attention of the late Glen Campbell, and recalled at the time of Campbell’s death that Glen had once given his a guitar. Campbell’s mother was originally from Tipperary.

Philip was among the guitar players who pioneered the stereo guitar sound. He was also a songwriter and co-wrote Living in these Troubled Times, which was a huge hit for Crystal Gayle, reaching Number 9 in the Billboard Charts.

Philip passed away on November 28 peacefully in University Hospital, Waterford, surrounded by those who loved him. Remembered by his brother Gerard, son Brian, grandson Matson, Jessica, Fiona, Aegina, Ciaran, Oonagh, Orla, extended family and friends.

He is reposing in Staffords Funeral Home, 60 North Strand Road, Dublin 3, on Monday 2nd December from 4pm to 6pm. Removal on Tuesday, 3rd December, to St. John the Baptist Church, Clontarf, arriving for 10am Funeral Mass, followed by burial in St. Colmcille’s Cemetery, Swords.

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These men just released their first music album — at age 102 and 88

By Hannah Natanson Dec. 2, 2019 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Shortly before he turned 100, Alan R. Tripp wrote a poem.

It was about life, and getting old, and losing friends — and it made Marvin Weisbord, his fellow resident at a Pennsylvania retirement community, want to sing. Weisbord decided to set it to music as a surprise gift for Tripp’s 100th birthday, and pretty soon the two men were listening to their own, original song.

“I was very happy, he was happy,” Weisbord said. “Next thing you know, I have another poem on my desk” — and, two years later, Tripp and Weisbord have teamed up to release an eight-song album, the “Senior Song Book.”

Marvin Weisbord, 88, left, and Alan R. Tripp, 102, teamed up to release an album of songs, the “Senior Song Book,” that pairs 21st-century lyrics with 1940s-style tunes. (Lisa Schaffer )

The album, released Nov. 15 and available for purchase online or as a CD, features modern lyrics set to tunes reminiscent of Cole Porter or Irving Berlin: “the great music of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, [but] the words are looking ahead to the 2020s,” Tripp said. Tripp, 102, served as lyricist and producer; Weisbord, 88, set the lyrics to music, organized the jazz band and played piano on all the songs.AD

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Neither Tripp, who had a career in advertising, nor Weisbord, a former consultant, have ever written and produced music before. They believe they are the oldest songwriting duo in history.

“I’ve never had so much fun in my life, and I never expected to be doing this in my old age,” Weisbord said.

Tripp snorted, interjecting: “He doesn’t know anything about old age.”

As the eight songs reveal, the older balladeers have a wealth of life experience to share. The tunes touch on subjects ranging from the bliss of true, reciprocated love (“Wonder Woman”) to bad breakups (“Goodbye, Goodbye Forever”) to the need for self-reflection (“Looking in the Mirror”).

Every single one, Tripp insisted, is relevant to both older and younger people, reflecting the fact that their target audience is “well, everyone.” That holds true, both men said, even for a number that seems particularly meant for the elderly: “I Just Can’t Remember Your Name.”AD

You’re so engaging, but we’re both aging

What once was on the tip of my tongue

Seems to elude me, so I say crudely

It ain’t like it was when I was young . . .

I know I oughta kiss you, but baby there’s an issue

I just can’t remember your name.

“That turns out to appeal to both younger and older people,” Tripp said. Perhaps “because the lyrics reflect how does a real adult look at life, and what’s going on with life today.”

Alan R. Tripp, 102, sits in the recording studio. (Lisa Schaffer /Lisa Schaffer)
Alan R. Tripp, 102, sits in the recording studio. (Lisa Schaffer /Lisa Schaffer)

Still, the duo admitted, their music — professionally recorded in a Pennsylvania studio over the course of four weeks in September — may have a special draw for people who grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, for people who remain faithful devotees of the Great American Songbook. Weisbord pointed to a theory he read recently in a book (“This is Your Brain on Music): The music you remember your whole life is “the music you heard when you were 14 years old,” he said.AD

“So now we’re giving people who are 64 years old a chance to be 14 again and get new songs in their heads,” Tripp said.

“There’s no new music being written for people in our age bracket,” Weisbord added. “So we’re writing songs that are recognizable, in genres that are recognizable, with lyrics telling stories about what our lives are like now.”

On average over the past two years, Tripp and Weisbord probably spent between 30 and 40 hours every week crafting the lyrics and music for the album, the two men estimated. Each man worked in his own office, set in apartments about 200 yards and a short elevator ride apart — a distance it takes Weisbord “less than two minutes” to traverse on foot, he said.

At age 101, this woman released her first collection of poems

They typically worked in the mornings, given that both are morning people, and the collaboration proved harmonious in all senses of the word.AD

“We had very little in the way of disagreement,” Weisbord said. “Our musical sensibilities and tastes are very parallel. It’s not like I was trying to sing a ballad to someone who likes hip-hop.”

The pair funded the entire album themselves, paying for the use of a studio and relying on the talents of Weisbord’s band, the Wynlyn Jazz Ensemble, as well as five singers recruited both from the band and the two men’s retirement community, Beaumont at Bryn Mawr.

While Tripp said the price tag came to “a lot,” he declined to name the exact figure. Neither man wanted to release the album to earn money, they said, and they don’t especially care whether they recoup the cost. “It was a labor of love, first and foremost,” Weisbord said.

The “Senior Song Book” is available as a CD for $16.95 and is downloadable online for $9.99. Tripp and Weisbord said they haven’t been tracking sales, but, according to CDBaby.com, the CD version is already sold out. Interested buyers can add their names to a waiting list.AD

Though apparently careless about their sales numbers, Tripp and Weisbord have taken an avid interest in more human responses to their album release. Both were pleased by the reaction of fellow Beaumont residents, who began singing along almost immediately (the lyrics are available online) and who sometimes even stood up to dance.

Weisbord heard “positive things” from his children and grandchildren. Tripp, meanwhile, has received roughly two dozen emails and letters from across the country — including from professional musicians — praising the album and asking for a copy of the CD. The duo also earned a feature segment on a local TV station.

“The reception has been far better than I had any dream of expecting,” Tripp said.

“Neither one of us ever anticipated this,” Weisbord agreed.

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As for next steps? Both men would love to see their album used as the soundtrack to a film. Something that would “have the audience crying,” Tripp said. Weisbord added, “Or laughing!”AD

In the immediate, though, they’re content to revel in the album as irrefutable proof that older people can — and should — push themselves to try new things, to accomplish the unexpected. Weisbord said he is overjoyed to find himself “continuing to grow at a time when most of my peers are dead.”

Tripp, though scoffing at the idea of a secret key to his longevity, did offer one piece of advice. Everyone, everywhere is “able to do something,” he said.

“Whether it’s writing, knitting, whatever — it’s wanting to do it well that makes the difference,” Tripp said. “Whatever your skill or hobby is, if you try to do it as best you can, and then a little better than that, that will make you happy.”

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Rock tragedy: Music superstars, small suburb forever linked

Rock tragedy: Music superstars, small suburb forever linked

  • Dan Sewell The Associated Press
  • 2 hrs ago

FINNEYTOWN, Ohio – The concrete bench in a small northern Cincinnati suburb depicts a guitar, with the message “My Generation” just below it.

In the background are plaques with the faces of three teenagers, Jackie Eckerle, Karen Morrison and Stephan Preston, frozen in time 40 years ago. Bricks in the plaza around the bench carry eight other names.

All 11 were killed in a frantic stampede of people trying to get into the British rock band The Who’s concert on Dec. 3, 1979, at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum. The city of Finneytown suffered disproportionately, and its three losses included the two youngest victims, 15-year-olds Eckerle and Morrison. Their schoolmates say well over 100 other people from Finneytown were there.

“Everyone’s connected to it, everywhere you go around here,” said Fred Wittenbaum, who was a freshman at Finneytown High School then but did not attend the concert. “Either they went to the concert, or they had a friend or a family member who was there.”

Since then, the community of around 12,000 people, many living in ranch-style homes built years before the concert, has been inextricably linked with The Who, which was already well on the way to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with such hits as “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Can’t Explain,” and “My Generation,” an anthem of rebellious youth.

Most of the blame afterward focused on the first-come, first-served arrangement for seating that saw thousands of fans line up for hours ready to charge toward the coveted floor spots, and on confusion over and lack of preparation for when the doors were opening. Besides those trampled in the stampede, some two dozen other fans were injured.

Frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, the last survivors of the original band, say they have struggled emotionally over the years with the concert carnage, which they didn’t know about until their show was ending.

“Because there’s always a certain amount, ‘If I hadn’t been doing this, it wouldn’t have happened,’ you know,” Daltrey said during an unpublicized visit last year to the Finneytown memorial site. “That’s just human nature. That’s what we carry with us.”

“It took a long time for us to get a sense that this was not just about the 11 kids, it was about the community,” Townshend told The Associated Press in a recent interview in New York.

The sad stories and traumatic memories among Finneytown alums evolved three decades later into a plan to memorialize their friends.

John Hutchins was playing an acoustic set at a nearby venue in December 2009 and dedicated songs such as The Who’s “Love Ain’t For Keeping” to those who died at the concert. Hutchins was at The Who concert; he skipped school that day, got to the coliseum nearly seven hours early to be among the first in line, and got close enough to the stage to see The Who’s song list.

Fellow Finneytown High alum Steve Bentz, who wasn’t at the concert, approached Hutchins after his performance with a thought, that “we should do something.” The thought soon grew into the memorial bench.

They joined with Wittenbaum and Walt Medlock — who remembers being pressed tightly against Preston before making the possibly life-saving decision to work his way out of the crowd — to create the P.E.M. scholarship fund, using the last-name initials of their three schoolmates.

“We wanted to take what was a terrible tragedy and try and turn it into something that could be looked at as good,” Wittenbaum explained. “We wanted to pay it forward.”

Launched in 2010, the scholarships reward three Finneytown students with $5,000 each for the study of music or any other arts. There have awarded 27 so far.

Auctions and raffles at an annual December show featuring music by alumni at the school’s performing arts centre help pay for the scholarships. The Who became involved in the third year, making an exclusive DVD for showing at that year’s benefit with comments from the band about the tragedy and new concert footage.

More aid from the band followed. Last year, Wittenbaum drove Daltrey from a private airstrip near Dayton to view the Finneytown memorials that include artwork, personal items and photos of the three in a Who-donated display case. Daltrey also met with relatives of those killed and with fans who attended the concert.

“It’s been a really cathartic process for everybody,” Wittenbaum said.

Daltrey-autographed books, albums, guitars and other items have been sold online, including on the band’s official site, to add to the fund. The P.E.M. leaders’ next goal is to see Daltrey and Townshend perform in Cincinnati for the first time since the deadly concert. In the AP interview, Townshend said the band plans to return to Cincinnati.

An announcement is expected Tuesday night, after a 40th anniversary documentary featuring interviews with Daltrey and Townshend airs on WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

Alleson Arnold, 18, among the latest scholarship winners, moved to Finneytown several years ago and soon learned about the pain the community has felt. She said she is “very grateful” for the fund that will help her study fashion and design.

“It’s heartbreaking to know that I’m the same age as many of them,” she said. “I get to do the things that I want to be doing, but all that was taken away from them.”

___

Associated Press writer John Carucci contributed from New York.

___

Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewell

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Rock Music Menu: Mötley Crüe reunites, & not all fans are happy

  • By Michael Christopher rockmusicmenu@gmail com
  • Nov 21, 2019
  • Comments

Motley Crue is planning to head back out on the road. 

There is new vinyl out from Gary Numan.

Another week, another reunion for 2020. This time though, hard core fans of the reunified band aren’t as happy as one might expect. Los Angeles sleaze rockers Mötley Crüe have decided to come back, and there’s a major issue with the situation; their much hyped “Final Tour” came to a close less than four years ago.

Back in 2014, the foursome went over the top theatrical to declare they had signed a legally binding “cessation of touring” agreement, preventing any of them from hitting the road under the Crüe name. At a press conference to announce their “Final Tour,” they signed the documents and assured fans and gathered media that it was going to be the last time ever to hear songs like “Kickstart My Heart,” “Wild Side” and “Home Sweet Home” ever again.

“Legally, we can’t play again,” bassist and de facto leader of the Crüe Nikki Sixx told Rolling Stone in 2014. “The only loophole is if all four band members agreed to do it, we could override our own contract. But we know that will never happen. There are people in this band who will refuse to ever do it again, and you’re talking to one of them. There is no amount of money that would ever make me do it again because I have such pride in how we’re ending it.”

A deeper dive into the alleged legal documents was never possible, because the band’s representatives never made them available to the media. There have been two speculated lines of thought about the contract. One, of course, is that it was all for show and a rather unique way to sell tickets. The other is that there actually was a contract, but its primary function was to ensure none of the members could use the group’s name to tour under, an increasingly common practice these days, especially by the acts that came up on the Sunset Strip in the ’80s. The “cessation of touring” would prevent the world from ever seeing “Tommy Lee’s Mötley Crüe” come to town, and that the only way the band could use it is if all of them agreed to go out again.

That brings us to the announcement this week, promoted with a video of the “cessation of touring” agreement on a desk in an office that exploded, along with the rest of the furniture. Narrated by rapper and actor Machine Gun Kelly, the clip claims that due to unprecedented demand by the public due to the mega-successful Netflix biopic “The Dirt” this year, the band was blowing up the contract and coming back for the fans.

Many of those fans shelled out thousands upon thousands of dollars just a few years ago for pricey meet-and-greets and multiple shows to say farewell to the Crüe on “The Final Tour.” Regionally, the band performed in Camden, Atlantic City, Hershey and at the Wells Fargo Center before closing out with a three-night stand at the Staples Center in Los Angeles that ended on New Year’s Eve 2015.

While there’s no arguing the run was wildly popular, it didn’t sell out everywhere – including in Philadelphia – and now the big rumor is the Crüe has their sights set on stadiums next summer. How they plan to pull that off is by bringing Def Leppard and Poison along for the ride. And with ’80s nostalgia in full-swing, they might just be able to make it happen if the fans forgive them for hoodwinking them in the first place.

Mötley Crüe joins a rapidly growing list of reunited bands set to hit the road in 2020 which includes Rage Against the Machine, My Chemical Romance and The Black Crowes.

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The case for (and agasinst) Soundgarden being added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

HIDE CAPTIONSoundgarden, performing in 2015 at Big Music Fest in Canada. [Tribune News Service]

By Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle TimesPosted at 1:56 PMUpdated at 1:56 PM   

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been good to Seattle. In the last few years, we’ve seen the induction of still-roaring ’70s rockers Heart and grunge titans Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The trio of vaunted hometown rock bands bolstered a Western Washington contingent that already included prolific instrumental surf-rockers The Ventures and music icons Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The Rock Hall’s class of 2020 has a chance to add another set of local stars in first-time nominees Soundgarden and Dave Matthews Band.

The hard-rock heroes and jam-pop troubadour join a roster of 16 nominees, including Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest and Nine Inch Nails.

Each year, a voting body of roughly 1,000 industry personnel and rock historians elects a handful of inductees; fans will also have a say via an online vote, open through Jan. 10 at rockhall.com. Later in January, we’ll learn whether or not Soundgarden and DMB will be among the Rock Hall’s class of 2020.

The Cleveland institution has faced criticism for its secretive nomination process, and at times seems to relish fans’ endless cries over perceived snubs. And really, arguing over the Rock Hall’s picks — or even the legitimacy of the organization — is half the fun. In that quarrelsome spirit, this week and next, we’ll take a look at the arguments for and against our local nominees, and we’ll offer our predictions for their Rock Hall bids. This week, we look at Soundgarden.

THE CASE FOR SOUNDGARDEN

The Rock Hall offers loose criteria for inductees, and the biggest argument for Soundgarden’s inclusion is the band’s impact on “the development, evolution and preservation of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Using building blocks carved by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Stooges, Soundgarden helped build a new breed of metallic, punk-infused rock ‘n’ roll, echoes of which still ring through rock radio. While hardly the first band to meld elements from once-disparate genres (see: fellow nominees Motorhead), Soundgarden did so in a way that transcended underground heroism and infiltrated the mainstream. Credit archetypal frontman Chris Cornell howling like a demonic Robert Plant over Kim Thayil’s menacing, drop-D guitar tuning — and odd time signatures, which pulled Soundgarden up from the underground by the dog tags.

From grunge’s ground floor, Soundgarden was instrumental in laying the foundation for the unlikely movement that radically altered the course of rock history, killing metal’s big-hair era and paving the way for “alternative” rock to become a dominant force in pop culture. Though Nirvana’s and Pearl Jam’s stars brightened faster in the ’90s, Soundgarden became the first grunge band to release a major-label album. And the band earned a Grammy nomination before Nirvana broke out, before Eddie Vedder and the boys had even cut their debut.

Soundgarden wouldn’t reach its commercial zenith until 1994?s chart-topping “Superunknown,” which featured Grammy-winning singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman” — MTV staples now synonymous with a generation of rock music.

THE CASE AGAINST SOUNDGARDEN

Devil’s advocacy here: Despite its pioneering role in grunge’s explosion, Soundgarden was never quite as big as previous inductees Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Will voters feel the Hall’s grunge bases are already covered? (Alice in Chains, too, has not yet received a nom, though it makes sense the Hall would first consider Soundgarden, which has been eligible longer.)

Grunge’s mainstream incursion officially took hold with the 1991 releases of Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” Pearl Jam’s “Ten” and Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger.” Easily the heaviest of the three, “Badmotorfinger” eventually went double platinum, but the album didn’t make the same impact on the charts during that initial blastoff period, peaking at No. 39 on the Billboard 200. It wasn’t until grunge’s later years that Soundgarden would land its only No. 1 album with “Superunknown.” (The follow-up, 1996?s “Down on the Upside,” topped out at No. 2).

For all its success, the band cracked Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart just once (barely, at No. 96) with “Black Rain” — a reworked holdover from the “Badmotorfinger” sessions that was released on the band’s “Telephantasm” compilation and a Guitar Hero video-game soundtrack in 2010. The track earned a Grammy nomination; will that be enough to sway a voting bloc that at times seems to favor commercial success over cultural influence, despite it not being an explicit criterion?

OUR PREDICTION

At the risk of sounding callous, Cornell’s untimely death in 2017 has prompted a wave of reflection from fans and critics on Soundgarden’s legacy and place in the rock canon.

The Rock Hall has a long history of uneven treatment toward heavier bands, which could be a bit of a wild card for Soundgarden, but our gut says they’re in. It can’t hurt that Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate, Tom Morello, is a member of the nomination committee and has waged a crusade to bolster the hall’s hard-rocking ranks — efforts reflected in 2020 nominees like Judas Priest, Motorhead and MC5, a favorite of Thayil’s.

Having been eligible since 2011, and with Nirvana and Pearl Jam already enshrined, it feels like Soundgarden’s time. Come January, we should be one step closer to completing Mount Grungemore in Cleveland.

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DANKO JONES: ‘There Is Definitely A Place For Rock Music Today’

November 24, 2019 8 CommentsFacebookTwitterPinterestRedditMore222

DANKO JONES: 'There Is Definitely A Place For Rock Music Today'

Danko Jones — the guitarist/vocalist of the Canadian hard rock trio DANKO JONES — recently spoke with Loud TV. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the band’s current trajectory:

Danko: “Feedback [for] the last two albums has been pretty good, pretty positive. Everybody seems to be digging in. These albums that we’ve done with Rich Knox on drums, I think they’ve been our best albums. I think they’re just getting better and better. ‘Fire Music’ was out in 2015 [and] was our best album to date, and then I think ‘Wild Cat’ in 2017 bested it, and now ‘A Rock Supreme’ bests both. We started working with Garth Richardson on this album, and we had a great time. The last two albums were with Eric Ratz. We had a blast with Eric as well. We’ve been lucky that we’ve worked with some really cool producers.”

On the title of their latest album, which nods to John Coltrane‘s “A Love Supreme”:

Danko: “We just ripped off his album title, and we did that for ‘Fire Music’ too, but nobody knew that. It’s an Archie Shepp record, but you don’t have to know this stuff. We just do it. ‘A Love Supreme’ is more obvious than ‘Fire Music’ — it’s arguably top three most popular, most successful jazz albums that were ever released. It’s pretty top-shelf. It was just a joke. We were throwing out album titles to each other, and Rich came up with ‘A Rock Supreme’ just as a joke. We thought it was pretty sacrilegious to do that to ‘A Love Supreme’, so that made it cool for us, because it would piss off a lot of jazz purists.”

On his relationship with GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Duff McKagan:

Danko: “We toured with him for a lot of 2013 with different bands. We toured with his band LOADED in Australia, and we toured with his other band WALKING PAPERS in America, both in the same year. We spent a lot of time with Duff, and I put out a book last year called ‘I’ve Got Something To Say’, and Duff wrote the foreword, something he promised me he would do in 2013. It was really nice of him that he did it, even though when I asked him for his piece, that was, like, a week before GUNS N’ ROSES announced they were getting back together, so his world was really busy and he still found the time to write it for me. I thought that was really very cool of him. He’s a punk rocker, and I think a background in punk rock really grounds a person and makes them… There’s a lot of vetting that goes on in punk rock scenes to the point where there’s no place for ego. No one can stand it. It’s one of the tenets, I think, of punk rock. You definitely can tell when someone comes from punk rock and someone who doesn’t. [He’s] a really grounded guy.”

On the continued influence of Lemmy Kilmister:

Danko: “We spent a lot of time with MOTÖRHEAD and we played one-off shows with them numerous times. He was very nice to us. He was very kind to our band — all of them were, including the crew. Mikkey [Dee] and Phil [Campbell] and Lemmy and all the MOTÖRHEAD crew were very kind to us. We learned a lot from them, learned what to do, and also got to sing with the band over a dozen times over the years.”

On choosing cover songs:

Danko: “We have a problem in our band trying to decide what covers to do. It’s really hard for us to decide. We’ve been around for 23 years, but we only have a handful of covers that we’ve ever done. We just put out a single called ‘Fists Up High’. It’s the newest single off ‘A Rock Supreme’, and the b-side of that is a PEACHES cover. We can all agree on PEACHES. We’ve done MISFITS covers, so we can all agree on the MISFITS.”

On VOLBEAT:

Danko: “We [first] toured with VOLBEAT in 2013. They’re definitely unique in the sense that they’re from Denmark and they’re the band that became the number one band in the scene, but it makes sense. They’ve got the best elements and they’ve put it together in the best possible way, and their songs are very catchy and very heavy. Why wouldn’t a kid get into that? If they like the MISFITS and they like SOCIAL [DISTORTION] and they like Johnny Cash and they like METALLICA, it’s elements of all of that in a rock format. It makes total sense.”

On the current state of rock n’ roll:

Danko: “This ridiculous, viral pull-quote from Gene Simmons saying that rock is dead… This follows me in almost every interview I do. They ask me, ‘Oh, do you think rock is dead?’ It’s from what Gene Simmons said. It was uttered by a man who lives in an ivory tower. There’s now way Gene Simmons is connected to the rock scene down below, where all us cretins live. If he was connected to it, he’d know that there’s bands like VOLBEAT. There’s our band. I can name you 20 other new, exciting, original bands who have, like, two or three albums under their belts that are amazing… VOLBEAT are at the top of that heap, and look what they’re doing — they’re playing arenas. There is definitely a place for rock music today. The people who say rock is dead weren’t listening to it to begin with. I will agree that there’s no rock scene anymore. There’s a metal scene and a punk rock scene, but the rock scene, it’s not as connected. I think bands like us and VOLBEAT, we try to make connections with bands because we come from that place of punk rock and metal where we’re all connected by labels and by scenes. There’s just more of a connection.”

“A Rock Supreme” was released on April 26 via M-Theory Audio (U.S.), Rise Above (UK), Indica (Canada, AU, NZ) and AFM (rest of the world). The album was produced by Garth Richardson (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINERED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) and features cover artwork by Ulf Linden (GRAVEYARDEUROPE). The band is currently in the midst of an extensive European with VOLBEAT and BARONESS.

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