Rip It Out
Bring It On Home
Chris Wyse Bass Solo
New York Groove
2 Young 2 Die
Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
Detroit Rock City
There are great guitarists, great vocalists and great songwriters, but MONTE PITTMAN is one of the elite few who can truly lay claim to all three titles. With his fourth full-length, Inverted Grasp Of Balance, he has once again raised the stakes, delivering a riveting collection of full force metal that showcases his continuing evolution, undoubtedly expanding his devout – and ravenous – fan base. “I knew exactly the album I wanted to make,” he states. “I wanted to make the heaviest and craziest music I ever have. I really feel that it’s an album that will grab you and demand your attention.” The results speak for themselves, and from the explosive thrash of opener “Panic Attack” through to the epic strains of closing track “New Blood Keeps Us Alive”, the quality doesn’t dip once, making this one of the most essential metal releases of 2016.
Today the artwork, track listing and first single from Inverted Grasp of Balance have been unveiled. In addition, an art video for the song “Pride Comes Before the Fall” is available for streaming. Head to www.metalblade.com/montepittman to pre-order the album and listen to “Pride Comes Before the Fall.
To assert that PITTMAN has had a storied career is something of an understatement. His resumé includes an ongoing and fruitful collaboration with multi-platinum selling artist Madonna, having recorded and toured with her extensively over a period of more than fifteen years. Then there’s his first band, Myra Mains, his stint in the metallic behemoth that is Prong, and collaborations with a broad spectrum of international artists. If his time with Prong did not fully communicate just how much metal flowed through his veins, with 2014’s Flemming Rasmussen-produced The Power Of Three – his first release with Metal Blade Records – he compellingly blended killer riffs, blistering leads and gigantic hooks to deliver an album that was equal parts anthemic grandeur and in-your-face attitude, making metalheads around the world sit up and take note.
Having never been inclined to allow his guitars to gather dust, PITTMAN wasted no time in commencing writing for its follow up. “I started pretty much immediately. When I finish an album, I have a window of opportunity where I see the big picture and where it should take me next. There are sections to the songs on ‘Inverted Grasp Of Balance’ that are identical to the way they were when I originally came up with them, all that time ago, and there are parts that I changed at the last minute while recording. It was a real ongoing process.”
Alongside wanting to make a heavier, faster record, PITTMAN also wanted to push the boundaries of his guitar playing, while experimenting more dramatically with song structures and tones. This is made clear by the diversity of the record, which while predominantly a blast of armor-plated adrenaline showcases an admirable range of sounds and styles, features some straight up rockers and truly beautiful moments amidst the metallic attack. “I planned on it all being heads down thrashing, but I’ve always liked a variety of music and sounds. The beautiful, plaintive parts snuck in and gave the album a nice dynamic. I wanted it to be a record that just pulverizes you for an hour, but having a lighter side in places gives it more balance.”
The album title itself comes from a line in album opener “Panic Attack”, and is centered around the idea of feeling in control when that is actually not the case at all – the ground falls out beneath you just when you think you’ve got things dialed. However, PITTMAN views such circumstances as a potential blessing in disguise. “It can mean starting again from scratch but knowing more than you did before. What is balance? It’s never 50/50. Nothing is ever completely perfect. From a music theory perspective, if you take a C Major 7 chord, you have ‘perfect harmony’. None of the notes are altered, and that’s the only time this happens with the numerical value of the tones. But if you take the notes that give you that sound or feeling – which is a C and a B – and you put them just with each other, they’re dissonant. I think the lesson in that is you have to have disharmony to have perfect harmony.”
Of course it would not be a MONTE PITTMAN album without a bevy of killer guitar solos. As such, anyone partial to fleet-fingered shredding will also find plenty to fall in love with on Inverted Grasp Of Balance, for PITTMAN has never sounded better when he lets loose on the fretboard. Again, he continued to push the envelope. “I incorporated some different, odd scales and chords into a lot of it. If I found myself repeating ideas, I knew to go somewhere else with it. As someone who teaches guitar, I also wanted to be able to use the leads as examples for teaching guitar lessons. In ‘Obliterated’, there are several little elements that could be guitar lessons on their own.”
Teamed up with powerhouse drummer Richard Christy of Charred Walls Of The Damned/Iced Earth/Death fame and virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan, famous for his work with a plethora of extremely talented artists – including David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and, more recently, Winery Dogs – the skill of all concerned explodes from the speakers. With such passionate professionals and Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) handling production duties, the record came together quickly and smoothly, Pittman recording his guitar parts wherever he found himself while on the road. With unique artwork provided by Sean K Hughes – who PITTMAN met at a bar called The Black Rabbit in Melbourne, Australia – this really is the proverbial “whole package”: an album that has been lovingly crafted in all aspects, that he hopes reaches as many ears as possible. “Having Metal Blade on board for the entire process of creating this album has been incredible. Many people don’t know, but they came on board much later in the process on ‘The Power of Three’, and working alongside Brian Slagel, Mike Faley and their amazing team has been a real treat. I had a true vision for this record from the start, and I couldn’t imagine a better team to help me realize it. We’re going to make some real noise with ‘Inverted Grasp Of Balance’ – so get ready!”
Inverted Grasp Of Balance Track Listing
1. Panic Attack
2. Arisen in Broad Daylight
3. Guilty Pleasure
4. The Times Are Changing
5. Double Edged Sword
7. Pride Comes Before the Fall
9. Be Very Afraid
11. Skeleton Key
12. New Blood Keeps Us Alive
MONTE PITTMAN online:
Things can get muddled at times when you’re in one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands. Just ask Tom Petersson, who split from Cheap Trick on Aug. 25, 1980, just as the band were set to release their fifth studio album, All Shook Up.
Everything had been on an upward trajectory for the band since first crashing the music scene in 1977. Each album brought more success and bigger crowds, then, after the release of the now legendary live LP, At Budokan in early 1979, the band exploded. The follow-up, Dream Police, came out toward the end of that year and the band were still riding high. In the summer of 1980, Cheap Trick went in to record the next album with producer George Martin, which, on paper at least, seemed like a match made in heaven.
To this day, diehard fans are often divided by the results of that album. While it was a departure, of sorts, it merely expanded on the sound the band had perfected, adding various new ingredients to the stew. During the recording sessions, Petersson grew unhappy with the direction of the band, and became disillusioned with the music business in general.
“That was a tough time for us,” recalled guitarist/band leader Rick Nielsen in the Trick biography Reputation Is A Fragile Thing. “Tom was fighting internally with the band and wanted to pursue a solo career. When we came to England to mix (the album), he didn’t even show up. He went home and stayed in Los Angeles.”
As with many of these situations, there was more to the story. In this case, a woman named Dagmar, Petersson’s wife at the time. “His wife wanted him to sing half the songs, so that record was a real battle,” Nielsen continued. “He had a good rock image, but his problem was always women.” Add to that the stress Petersson felt from the non-stop touring the band had done since before their first album was even released. “With success, you still have as many heartaches and headaches as when you’re struggling,” concedes Nielsen, but not before adding, “But being in a band is what I always wanted to do.”
Petersson left the band before the album was even released, and was replaced by Pete Comita for the tour. Petersson started a new band with Dagmar called Another Language. They released one self-titled EP that owed more to the then current New Wave sounds of bands like Missing Persons than anything related to Cheap Trick. Tom didn’t even get the job of lead singer. That went to Dagmar.
The mini-LP, produced by Peterson (who had dropped one of the s’ from his last name at the time), was released in early 1984 to little, if any, fanfare. But within a few years, Tom and Dagmar split, and fences with the band were on the mend. In 1987, Petersson rejoined the fold. “It was at a birthday party for Julian Lennon in New York City here,” singer Robin Zander told Eddie Trunk earlier this year. “And we were invited, so Rick and I went. We were sitting at a table. Tom came in with a pitcher of beer and tripped and spilled the beer in Rick’s lap. And then, from that point on, we had Tom in the band again.”
Captain America: Civil War didn’t end like its comic book namesake as Steve Rogers is still alive and kicking, but one thing they do have in common is that the titular hero no longer carries that name. Speaking with Huffington Post, co-director Joe Russo confirmed that in those final moments of the film, Steve Rogers has given up on being Captain America.
“I think him dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity, him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making.”
Stever Rogers has done this before in the comics too, shedding his Captain America suit to become the hero Nomad for a brief time, and most recently handing the mantle to Sam Wilson and focusing as a mission coordinator for SHIELD. It remains to be seen what, if any, identity Chris Evans’ character will take on in the films, but the Winter Soldier probably wouldn’t mind suiting up in his costume.
In further Civil War news, EW has a revelation from Anthony Russo about what the third Captain America film almost featured when it wasn’t clear if Robert Downey Jr. would be available for the film.
“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology,” he tells the outlet. “The charm of the Madbomb is that you turn hordes of people into berserkers. That was the physical challenge that Cap and company would have had to face.
“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that,” Joe added. “We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”
Captain America: Civil War will officially be arriving on Digital HD, Digital 3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on Sept. 2 and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on Sept. 13.
THE MISSION will release their new album, “Another Fall From Grace” on October 14th via Eyes Wide Shut/SPV.
Another Fall From Grace was produced by Wayne Hussey and Tim Palmer and features guest backing vocals from Gary Numan, Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Ville Valo (HIM), Julianne Regan (All About Eve) & Evi Vine.
“For me, this new MISSION album is the long lost missing link between the Sisters Of Mercy’s First & Last & Always and The MISSION’s God’s Own Medicine, both albums of course that I was heavily involved in making. I set out this time with the intention of making an album that sounds like 1985. The fact that I feel this has largely been achieved is down to my renewed love for the jingle jangle shimmer of the electric 12 string guitar which featured heavily on those two previously mentioned albums and now the new MISSION album.
This is a dark album although I didn’t set out with that intention; it’s just the way things unfolded. I know I did go a little crazy and even a little paranoid during the recording of this album, certainly my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing all suffered during the course of it. And I think that has informed both the music and the lyrics. So much of this was done in isolation – from the world, from my family, from my friends, and even from my band mates. I can’t say it’s an album I enjoyed making but it is an album I needed to make. It is with huge relief that I can now say it is finished and maybe it’s like an acute pain that you have that once it’s gone you can’t remember how it felt. I hope so as I would like one day to feel the fondness for this record that it maybe deserves.”
On September 2nd THE MISSION will release the gloriously melodramatic “Met-Amor-Phosis,” the first digital single from their forthcoming new album.
1. Another Fall From Grace
3. Within The Deepest Darkness (Fearful)
4. Blood On The Road
5. Can’t See The Ocean For The Rain
6. Tyranny Of Secrets
7. Never’s Longer Than Forever
8. Bullets & Bayonets
11. Only You & You Alone
12. Phantom Pain
For More Info Visit: www.themissionuk.com/wp
A statute of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister was unveiled Wednesday night, August 24 in front of the late MOTÖRHEAD frontman’s favorite haunt, the legendary Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.
Los Angeles-based artist Travis Moore was selected to create a realistic depiction of Lemmy for the life-size cast bronze statue, which stands at just over six feet tall and will be permanently housed in a special shrine that was constructed in the patio bar area at the Rainbow.
Travis initially sculpted the likeness as an 18-inch maquette that was then transferred to a life-size sculpture, which was molded in wax and ultimately poured and cast in bronze.
A native of Texas, Travis did his part for free, but there were considerable costs associated with the actual process that ultimately made the statute a reality. A funding campaign was launched by Katon De Pena from classic underground thrash-metal band HIRAX, who raised about $23,000 to support the building of the statue.
Moore told Loudwire that he and the team behind the campaign tried to find an image that typified Lemmy to base the statue on.
“I know they were searching for that hat-coat combo,” he said. “Photographer Robert John had taken so many good pictures of him and I think that was about the time that they were at the Grammys and ‘Ace Of Spades’ was re-charting. There was really a resurgence for him and you can see that it was a happy time and he looks healthy and good.
“We just wanted to stay away from portraying him in a way that wouldn’t be proper, and he needed to be rocking, a tough-looking dude with a full face and that was the idea.
“There was initially some debate about would he be with a guitar? Would he be sitting at the bar? Would he have a bottle of booze? There were a lot of different options, and coincidentally, even the photo that Robert took, he’s standing there smoking a cigarette. We took that out, more of a liability reason, because someone could break that joker off or get caught on that.
“We don’t need lawsuits or anyone injured or definitely have the statue damaged on top of anything else. But there was a lot of consideration that went into this thing and everyone involved, their number one focus was honoring Lemmy.”
Moore told Sky News about twenty people worked on the statue and it took around five months to build.
“I think it looks a lot like him. It’s a compelling image,” he said.
“I think it will offer some closure. I think Lemmy is finally home.”
Katon said in January: “Lemmy was dedicated to us. Now is our chance to say ‘thank you.’ Travis will create the best Lemmy sculpture on the planet.”
MOTÖRHEAD manager Todd Singerman told LA Weekly that he never interfered in Moore’s design process. “This is for the fans. Nothing corporate,” he said. “Not the label, nothing. This is a fan thing and we tried to stay out of the way.” He added that there are plans to expand the tribute with a “Lemmy Lounge,” which will temporarily live at the Rainbow and possibly become the actual bar inside a separate “Motörhead Bar & Grille,” which Singerman said he’s working on, along with a major Lemmy tribute concert and a MOTÖRHEAD museum that will house some of Lemmy’s musical and military memorabilia.
Lemmy passed away at his home in Los Angeles on December 28, 2015, only four days after his 70th birthday. A memorial in his honor was held on January 9 at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, and it extended across much of the Sunset Strip.