Chris Birkett is an award winning producer, arranger, and composer as well as a talented singer, guitar player and percussionist. His music collaborations with A-list artists like Sinead O’Connor, Alison Moyet, Talking Heads, The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Quincy Jones, Thomas Dolby, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Steve Earle have sold over 100 million records and earned a Grammy, four Junos, the Polaris Music Prize and three international AMPEX Golden Reel Awards for excellence in the music business.  His career began in the 1970s as a guitarist, playing in London clubs before touring with Memphis artists Rufus Thomas, Ann Peebles and King Floyd.

At 23, Chris was performing with the pop group Love Affair, whose song "Everlasting Love" ruled the UK charts. The following year, he joined the band Omaha Sheriff who had just signed a major recording deal with Tony Visconti, manager of Good Earth Records and producer for David Bowie and the Moody Blues. With Visconti as a mentor, Chris expanded his career to include producing, engineering and mixing many UK and international hits including Sinead O'Connor’s #1 hit "Nothing Compares 2 U".

In 1991, his London studio was a beehive of activity that was rated #2 in the world on Billboard’s top studio charts. At the same time, Chris’ own single “Where Do We Go From Here?” was picked by Ed Bicknell (Dire Straits’ manager) to play alongside U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, Tears for Fears and Queen on Polygram’s “One Voice One Love” album with proceeds going to CARE International’s African famine relief fund. In 1993, Chris left the UK for France and built a recording studio inside his chateau near Bordeaux. There he produced albums with the Buena Vista Social Club and other world-class musicians, including Etran Finatawa, whose album received the best world music album by Songlines Magazine in 2006. He then moved his studio to Paris, where he released his second album, “Freedom” and received growing acclaim for his work with world musicians like Algerian sensation Ali Amran.

Although living abroad, Chris was no stranger to Canadian music, having produced three albums for Canadian artist Buffy Sainte-Marie, including her comeback album “Coincidence and Likely Stories in 1991 and the Juno award-winning album “Running for the Drum” in 2009.  In 2012, he moved to Canada, opened a recording studio in Toronto and finished work on his third album "Be Creative" featuring performances from many talented Canadian artists including Glen Milchem (Blue Rodeo) and Rick Emmett (Triumph).  Now a permanent resident of Canada, Chris’ latest credits include Buffy Sainte-Marie’s fourth album “Power in the Blood” (including the title track) with Jon Levine and Michael Wojewoda and “Medicine Songs” which he co-produced with Buffy, both on True North Records. Chris is currently busy performing at venues across Toronto, speaking at industry conferences (including Indie 101 in Manchester and Toronto), and creating new recordings for a range of talented Canadian musicians.

Chris has joined with Shari Tallon, to create The Free Spirits. Together, the duo — Birkett on guitar, drums, bass, and keys, and Tallon on flute, keyboards and vocals — are unlocking sonic synchronicity with a debut album, 11:11, and its premiere single “The Power of Our Love.”

The group prides itself on being more than just what meets the ear; The Free Spirits are a musical collaboration shedding light on life, the world, and how artists can help be a positive force for truth and change, they say. Kasey recently had the chance to pose a few questions to Chris via e mail (safety first) during the CO-VID 19 quarantine.
ABOVE : Chris Birkett rocking the casbah.

First off Chris, given all this pandemic madness, how have you been spending your quaran-time?

Apart from writing a lot of new music, I’ve also been enjoying making Quarantini’s (Martini’s made during isolation).

Well played Mister! Let's talk about your new project The Free Spirits. I got kind of a Peter Gabriel vibe from "The Power Of Our Love". Was he an influence and did anyone else have a profound influence on 11:11?

Although I worked with Peter in the 90’s and have always been influenced by him, the 11:11 album was more influenced by some of my fav bands from the 70’s Yes, Gentle Giant and Jean Luc Ponty to name a few.

I'm up late and I often tend to get a little pensive in such a scenario. In terms of being a free spirit, I feel in a way that because of things such as technology we're less free as a race than we used to be. Yourself?

Well, you can’t use technology to write songs ! Every stick has two ends. Technology has helped me a lot in terms of record production and capturing ideas. I used to spend days editing analogue tape to get singers in time and in tune, but now it’s a piece of cake. If it wasn’t for my voice memo app on my iPhone I would have lost hundreds of song ideas that usually come to me in the middle of the night. I love this about technology. On the other hand the cell phone seems to have separated us socially. I have a song about this called ’Tweet Me Right’ (Video link : ) . It was inspired by a trip to Dublin as a part of Bob Geldof’s ‘You Bloom’ festival. I was in a bar and I looked up at a sign which read “The Wi Fi’s broken. Try talking to someone”. I put this line in the song.

With The Free Spirits, the group prides itself on being more than meets the ear. Can you explain a bit about the group's ethos?

The Free Spirits is a project between myself and Shari Tallon and was born out of my desire to form a Band rather than a solo act. Most of the songs on the album are inspired by my spiritual insights gained through my studies with the Gurdjieff Institute in London and further on the Alice Baily teachings. My time spent in India at The Oneness University and more recently my reading and study of the Urantia Book have expanded this direction.

Certainly, your desire to bring about positive change through music is nothing new for you. Your song “Where Do We Go From Here” was featured alongside Dire Straits, Bob Marley, U2, Peter Gabriel, and Queen, among others, on 1993’s One Voice, One Love compilation album in support of CARE International. How did you come to be involved in the project and what do you remember about the song selection process? Were you asked for something specific?

In 1993 I had just released my first solo album called ‘Men From The Sky’. Dire Straights manager Ed Bicknel heard the album and phoned me saying “This is the best album I’ve heard in 7 years”. He asked me to come for a meeting and during that meeting he phoned the head of Polydor records and got me a release deal on the spot. Polydor were putting together an album to raise money for the  Sudan crisis, working with the charity Care International. They picked the song called ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ as part of that album. All the songs selected on that album had a World Peace message, that’s what they were looking for.

You engineered "Johnny Come Lately" from Steve Earle's Copperhead Road which sees Steve performing with The Pogues. Sounds like quite a wild session! Tell me about being in THAT room.

It was a “wild session” I remember Shane MacGowan coming in to the studio late for the session with a bottle of Whiskey and mixing it 50/50 with coffee before he started playing. There’s a video of this event on youtube. Steve Earle was very emotional because he had always been a fan of The Pogues. (Video of that session here : )

I would be remiss if I didn't ask about your work with Sinead O' Connor, especially her incredible rendition of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U". 30 years later what springs to mind when you think of those sessions?

One of the most remarkable things about Sinead’s version of the Prince song ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ was that it was a “first take” vocal. The track came together rapidly as did most of the ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’ album. The song got to around mid 40’s in the UK charts and then the BBC decided it was not a hit and it started to drop out of the  charts. It was the video that brought the song back to life. Sinead did a very emotional performance on that video and it changed everything.  The unique thing about that track is that there’s no Bass on it. I wonder if anyone noticed that :)

Recording can be stressful. Do you have any tips for keeping things light in the studio?

Yes, you need a ton of patience and a good sense of humor. My philosophy is “Don’t worry about the destination - it’s the journey that is the most rewarding”. I try not to let goals get in the way of performance. Being a producer is being “Middle Man” between the artist and the record label. It’s the artistic version of the classic A&R man. The labels “goal” is to sell records, but the artist’s “Goal” is to express their feelings and ideas. The two things don’t always correlate. That’s why you need the humor. If you get too serious and worried about keeping everyone happy it would kill you.

Of course, sometimes things go wrong. Any studio disasters or comical close calls you'd like to share?

I had many disasters in my early days of studio work. I started as an artist and my first real recording experience was with Tony Visconti (David Bowie), who signed my band ‘Omaha Sheriff’. Tony became my mentor. Through him I got into working as an engineer. When I started on the other side of the glass I had no experience in tape handling. I recorded my first horn session with Dexys Midnight Runners on the wrong side of the tape. I also ripped a huge ‘V’ shaped hole in one of Thomas Dolby’s tracks on ‘The Golden Age of Wireless’. I learned very quickly from these types of mistakes.

Some artists have a tough time producing themselves but you seem to be able to remain objective with your own work. How can an artist help set themselves up for success when it comes to self producing?

I think the best advice I can give to a self producing artist is “don’t take yourself too seriously”. I’ve seen artists destroy their best performances by being too “anal” about stuff that doesn’t really matter. Don’t get hung up on the intricacies of sound, it’s performance and song content that attracts people to your music.

What's next for you?

I have so many projects I want to do, I just hope I can do them all in this lifetime :) Near term: my musical The Age Of Awakening. All the music is ready but I’m waiting to find the right script writer. My next solo album will be called ’Songs from a Hawaiian Hotel Room. I wrote around 15 songs while working in Hawaii with Buffy Sainte-Marie on her latest album ‘Medicine Songs’. After that I have a project called ‘The Happy Campers’ most of the songs are ready to record for this one. Then, another follow up album with The free Spirits called ‘Keep The Party Going’.  Songs for this album are co-written with my band member Shari Tallon who plays Flute, Keys and adds vocals.

Lastly, Your pre show ritual of a shot of Jack Daniels just before taking the stage was part of my ritual too (and probably countless others). You've said this was for your voice and not your nerves. I found that I often guarded my voice a bit without the Jack and it worked well to loosen me up. What does the Jack do for your voice?

It all started with a gig at The Linsmoore Tavern in Toronto. I had caught a rotten bad cold and could hardly talk. I felt that I should cancel the show but my fans were already there waiting. Someone suggested trying a shot of Jack. It worked. My voice came back as clear as a bell (with a few cracks in it). So ever since this experience I like to have just one before I go on. It seems to be the best way to lubricate the vocals chords :)

Thanks so much Chris. Should I find myself in Toronto, the first Jack is on me!

Gratefully accepted :)

The Free Spirits’ “The Power of Our Love” and 11:11 are available now. You can keep up with Chris via his website at
BELOW : Check out The Free Spirits single "The Power Of Love" at
Rapscallions, Bill Moseley is a fascinating specimen. First off, he graduated from Yale and worked as a journalist writing for magazines ranging from the science and science fiction based Omni Magazine to the humorous National Lampoon and medical mag, Psychology Today. At 29 years old he made his film debut in Alan Rudolph's Endangered Species as a taxi driver. After another small part Bill got cast as the now iconic Chop Top in Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. How does the then unknown actor known as Bill Moseley land a role in a sequel to one of the most influential and beloved horror films of all time you ask? He made a parody video called The Texas Chainsaw Manicure. A screenwriter friend named Peter S. Seaman (tee hee) who co wrote Who Framed Roger Rabbit, managed to get the tape to director Tobe Hooper. Tobe liked it. Impressed with Bill's portrayal of  Texas Chainsaw Massacre's maniacal character The Hitchhiker in this parody, Tobe told Bill he would keep him in mind should he ever do a sequel to TCM.

Tobe kept his word and 2 years later there was Bill, meeting the director for the first time on set. Special effects legend Tom Savini was hard at work on Chop Top's signature cranial make up when Tobe approached the men. "What do you think?" asked Savini. Tobe opened his mouth and out came the first words he ever spoke in Bill Moseley's presence...."Needs more puss" replied Hooper. "Clear or amber?" Savini fired back. Without missing a beat, Tobe answered "amber" and walked away. As strange as this meeting and conversation may have been, Bill was nevertheless impressed. This was a director who knew what he wanted...right down to the color of the puss.

While Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2  wasn't revered by many horror fans in the same way as it's legendary predecessor (and what film is?), the sequel nonetheless build a sizable cult following. Some fans expected a more horrific film that was closer to the tone of the original. In fact, Cannon Films themselves who were producing and releasing the movie expected the same. However, Tobe took a brave stand and steered the film in a more satirical and darkly comic direction. Not everyone got the joke (including, once again, Cannon Films) but a good portion of those that did now consider TCM 2 to be an underappreciated and uniquely entertaining film made with an intelligence and wit missing from not just many genre films of the era but also of the genre today.
ABOVE: Bill Moseley as Chop Top in the 1986 film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Bill would reprise his role as Otis in 2 sequels to date (2005's The Devil's Rejects and most recently 2019's 3 From Hell) and also appear in Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween, animated film The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto and fake trailer Werewolf Women Of The S.S. for the Quentin Tarantino/ Robert Rodriguez collaboration, Grindhouse. Moseley also made his return to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise in Texas Chainsaw 3D (this time in the role of Drayton Sawyer, originally played by his friend, the late Jim Siedow in TCM2) and starred in the sci fi, horror musical Repo! The Genetic Opera and the radio related chiller, Dead Air among other things.

But wait, there's more. In the early nineties, Bill met avante-garde guitarist and future Guns N' Roses axeman, Buckethead and the two began a musical collaboration that would last nearly a decade. He contributed vocals to two songs "Onions Unleashed" and "I Come In Peace" from Buckethead's 1994 album , Giant Robot and one track "Jowls" on the masked guitarists most enduring and best selling album , 1999's Monsters And Robots. The two then formed the band Cornbugs with Deli Creeps drummer, Pinchface and later Travis Dickerson on keyboards. Cornbugs released five studio albums and a few compilations along with a pair of DVD's between 1999 and 2007. Then sometime around 2009 Bill received a strange phone call from Buckethead who explained he wouldn't be in touch for a while. He wasn't kidding. Bill hasn't heard from him since.

The beat would go on however and Bill formed another band called Spider Mountain with Rani Sharone from Stolen Babies which released it's debut (and to date only) album called, No Way Down in 2010. Bill's most recent album is 2017's Bill & Phil : Songs of Darkness And Despair which finds him recording and performing with legendary Pantera frontman, Phil Anselmo .

Like I said, Bill is a fascinating specimen.

Leading up to Bill's appearance at Astronomicon 3, Kasey had the opportunity to pose a few questions to the fascinating fellow that is Bill Moseley.
ABOVE : Check out Bill in the trailer to Rob Zombie's, 3 From Hell

Bill there's quite a lineup at this thing and you do a lot of these conventions, is there anyone you are looking forward to meeting for the first time or looking forward to catching up with at the event?

You know, I'm always happy to see Richard Brake, my cast-mate from 3 From Hell. He'll be there and I think we're doing a panel together so it'll be nice to reminisce about working on 3 From Hell with Rob Zombie, with his beautiful wife Sheri, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Pancho Moler . We've got a lot of great stories about the film so that's certainly one of the things that I'll be looking forward to. The other is I'm going to do my Chop Top photo op. I actually still have the original costume which I still fit in, which I think is more about good genes than good diet (laughs). The make up is going to be done by a girl named Nora Hewitt, who actually won one of the seasons of that show Face Off and she is really good at doing the Chop Top make up. I've done a few photo ops with her and she is awesome. I still have my original Chop Top teeth and coat hanger and the whole deal, so that's really going to be one of the highlights of the whole weekend.

I heard that you once signed a bleached cow's hoof, so what are some other fucked up things that fans have had you sign?

You know if I can get a magic marker on it or a Sharpie, I'll sign it. I've signed lots of breasts and butt cheeks. Certainly, the bleached cow's hoof was a one off. I certainly hadn't seen that before and I haven't seen one since and I hope that's not an incentive for people to start going out and bleaching coo hooves and bring to me.

Yeah, you'll be in Detroit or whatever and you'll get 300 of them.

(laughs) Oh, I hope not

Let's say there is a zombie apocalypse. You can take 3 albums with you to quarantine, what are they?

I would take a Fleetwood Mac album called Then Play On, which is old Fleetwood Mac when they were a guitar group before adding Christine Perfect (later Christine McVie)...before, you know it became popular. I would take Sgt. Peppers and I would take....I think the first Led Zeppelin album.

Well played Sir! Now that Fleetwood Mac album, it's  been a little bit but I I definitely love the early stuff and Rumours, post Rumours it gets a bit dicey for me. Was that with Peter Green on that record?

Oh Yeah! Danny Kirwan, Peter Green. Oh man! Absolutely.

Those guys were just fuckin' stellar. Mac is so good. And for anyone out there who hasn't heard anything pre Rumours, by all means, go and check it out because it's an entirely different band. Really a completely different sound.

Yeah I'm talking even pre Kiln House! There is another record that I'd probably even trade in for that first Zeppelin record and that would be Clear Spot by Captain Beefheart.

Kind of a deep cut.

Yeah, so I'm going to have to cut Led Zeppelin loose even though I love them dearly. Let the zombies eat whom they will.

Here's some more info about Astronomicon 3 from it's official press release :

Astronomicon 3, the Detroit area’s newest pop culture convention, has added even more guests to the eclectic lineup of pop culture icons appearing at the convention the weekend of February 7-9 at Wyndham Garden in Sterling Heights, MI.

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the cult-classic Clerks movie franchise, Jeff Anderson (“Randal”), in his first-ever convention appearance, with reunite with fellow actor Brian O’Halloran (“Dante”) for a once-in-a-lifetime fan experience. “I'm really excited to be returning to Astronomicon,” O’Halloran says. “The first year it snowed 10 inches and the fans still came out in record numbers. This year I can only imagine how many people will come out to meet myself and Jeff Anderson for his first ever comic con!”

From inside the squared circle, Astronomicon 3 has announced the appearance of WWE and Total Divas superstar Alexa Bliss, former pro wrestler and animal activist Amy Dumas (aka Lita), WWE Hall of Fame wrestling legend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and WWE superstar The Boogeyman.

As previously announced, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman will make his first Astronomicon appearance at this year’s convention. “I am so excited to get the 2020 convention season started at Astronomicon,” Eastman says. “Team Eastman hopes to see you there! Cowabunga!”

Anthony Michael Hall, the iconic “Brat Pack” actor known for his roles in The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, War Machine and Halloween Kills, has also joined the eclectic roster of guests. Says Hall, “I’m excited and looking forward to coming to Michigan in February. It’s going to be a fun show with lots of great people in attendance. We hope to see you there.”

In addition to Hall, Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie franchise, Rookie of the Year, Halloween Resurrection), RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) and Alex Vincent (Child’s Play franchise, Curse of Chucky, Cult of Chucky) will join previously announced actors James Jude Courtney (Halloween), Tom Atkins (Halloween III, Lethal Weapon), Robert Carradine (Revenge of the Nerds), Bill Moseley (Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devils Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Charles Fleischer (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Nightmare on Elm Street, Back to the Future 2), CJ Graham (“Jason Voorhees” from Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives), Richard Brake (Game of Thrones, Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell, 31), Walter Phelan (House of 1000 Corpses), Nathan Baesel (Leslie Vernon, Cold Case, CSI: Miami) and David Howard Thornton (Terrifier’s “Art the Clown”).
“In the words of Captain Spaulding, if you like blood, violence and freaks of nature, join me at the third annual Astronomicon convention,” says Bill Moseley. “It's one hell of a show, and I'll see you there!”
Astronomicon 3 promises to fulfill the pop culture cravings of fans attending from far and wide, with even more guests, including hockey legend and four-time Stanley Cup champion Darren McCarty; comic book writer Dirk Manning; Comic Book Men star and podcaster Ming Chen; creator of “Art the Clown” and director of horror phenomenon Terrifier Damien Leone; rapper Mickey Avalon; special FX artists Rob Miller (Face Off Season 8), Nora Hewitt (Winner of Face Off Season 9) and Get Dead Crew’s Megan Grant; MTV VJ and Scary Movie franchise actor Simon Rex aka Dirty Nasty; Troma Entertainment co-founder and The Toxic Avenger actor Lloyd Kaufman; James from the Dave & Chuck the Freak radio show; tattoo artists Saint Karlos and Steve Pelkey; speed painter/artist Dave Santia; cosplayers Ginoza Costuming, Ashlee Kalthoff of Disfusional Studios, Envy the Green Fairy and League of Enchantment; Ghostbusters Detroit; and Majik Ninja Entertainment artists AMB, Alla Xul Elu, Blaze Ya Dead Homie; and Astronomicon masterminds Twiztid,

The all ages event will not only feature appearances, signings and photo ops with many additional activities – including live music performances, Q&A panels, cosplay and tattoo contests, a free play video game room and tournaments, a scavenger hunt and trivia. Confirmed in-costume photo opportunities include CJ Graham dressed as Jason Voorhees, Walter Phelan as Dr. Satan, David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown and Bill Moseley as Chop Top.

Astronomicon 3 will take place at the Wyndham Garden in Sterling Heights, MI. Additional information on tickets, lodging, VIP options, full guest information, vendors and more can be located at
ABOVE : Canadian hard rockers, Sven Gali. Lead Vocalist Dave Wanless in ripped denim.

Formed in 1987 with a combination of musicians from Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Sven Gali started out like many bands out there, playing mostly covers with a few originals thrown in.  In 1989, shortly after changing their set list to mostly original material the band replaced drummer Steve Macgregor with Rob MacEachern. On the strength of their original songs and live shows, they were signed to BMG Canada, after playing some key gigs in New York and Los Angeles. They were signed to a seven-album contract, with international release through BMG subsidiary Ariola. As they began recording an album, the band collectively decided to fire MacEachern and hire on drummer Gregg Gerson. Gerson, their third drummer, had previously played with Billy Idol, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, and Mick Jones. With this new lineup intact, they released their debut album in 1992.

Sven Gali's self titled debut was produced by BMG Canada's David Bendeth who would later go on to produce Paramore, Breaking Benjamin and Papa Roach among others. The album included the singles and videos for "Under The Influence", "Tie Dyed Skies", "In My Garden", and the ballad, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore". It also included a cover of the Teenage Head song "Disgusteen" featuring guest vocals by Frankie Venom. The band made four music videos, all of which were on regular rotation on Much Music. The video for "Under the Influence" won the MuchMusic Best Metal Video award in 1993 and Sven Gali eventually went gold in Canada.They spent the next few years on the road delivering their high-energy live show from St. Johns to Victoria, and across the USA, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the UK, headlining and supporting acts including Wolfsbane, Foreigner, Meatloaf, April Wine and Def Leppard.

The 1993 Juno Awards recognized Sven Gali and they were nominated for two awards, “Most Promising Group”, and “Hard Rock Album Of The Year" Shortly after this, the band began to work on the second album. They recorded in Seattle with production duties handled by future Queensrÿche guitarist Kelly Gray. Prior to this, Gerson left the band and was replaced by their fourth drummer, Mike Ferguson. Ferguson and Gray had previous played together in a Seattle band called Dog Daze. The album, called Inwire (1995), featured guest musicians Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon, and Candlebox's Kevin Martin and Scott Mercado. This second album had a distinctly different sound, which the band called an experiment, and which was influenced by Gray. Many old Sven Gali fans did not respond well to their change of sound, and the band were heavily criticized for what was perceived as jumping on the grunge rock bandwagon. The band toured behind Inwire until 1996, when the group disbanded.

On August 11, 2007, Sven Gali reunited and played live for the first time in over 11 years at The Moose N Goose in Thorold, Ontario. Rob MacEachern returned on drums as a member for the first time since being ousted during the recording of the band's debut.
Guitarist Dee Cernile was diagnosed with cancer, and two benefit concerts were held for him on August 1 and August 7, 2009. Originally it was not known if Cernile would be able to play, so his brother Walter was tapped to fill in if need be. Cernile did play guitar on both nights, and according to former Slash Puppet vocalist Mif, "if I didn't know any better I wouldn't know that there was anything wrong with the guy, he was shredding all night!". Dee Cernile died of lung cancer on February 25, 2012,  gone too soon at age 46.

Twenty-five years after their self-titled debut album went Gold (50,000 units) in Canada, they are back with a monster new song called “Kill The Lies” recorded with David Bendeth returning to produce the band for the first time since their 1992 debut. Released on June 10th, 2018 the new track is no throwback to the 90’s, but a heavy, modern rock song that doesn’t look back. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the single will go to support cancer research in the name of founding guitar player Dee Cernile.

The band are also hitting the road and playing some select dates in July and August with the 2018 lineup including all 3 remaining original members: Dave Wanless (vocals), Andy Frank (guitar), Shawn Minden (bass) as well as new members Sean Williamson (guitar) and Dan Fila (drums) from Canadian metal powerhouse and BMG label mates Varga.
ABOVE: Sven Gali's music video for "Under The Influence" which won the Muchmusic Video Award for Best Metal Video in 1993.

With the release of their new single and announcement of these new tour dates Kasey had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Sven Gali's lead vocalist Dave Wanless.

First off, welcome back! The new single is out. Does it feel like you've come full circle with David Bendeth producing as he did with your first record?

 Yes, it was a very different experience; there was no stress at all, just a collective effort to write a song together. Sharing memories and hanging out.

 Response to the new track seems to be pretty positive and it's good to see that part of the proceeds from the sale of the single will go to support cancer research, what was the writing process like with "Kill The Lies"?

We had a song that was never finished, played it for David and he liked the lyric. We went to New York started working thru it and it completely changed into what it is now. It quickly became a totally different song with everyone contributing.

The band is heading out to do some shows for the first time in quite a while. I know you've certainly been on stage over the years with The Betty Ford Band and Dee's benefit etc but definitely there are some challenging vocal parts on those Sven Gali songs, have you had any of those "Oh Shit" moments where you feel a bit like you've painted yourself into a corner?  

My range has changed a little, but I think for the better.. I promised myself if I can’t do it, I don’t wanna go fake it. Leave Sven Gali in the minds of the people the way it was 25 years ago. After some rehearsals it started feeling good, so I prepared by singing often and working out to get into game shape.

Speaking of The Betty Ford Band, I'm from Kingston, home of The Tragically Hip. I think I saw a video of you guys covering a Hip song... "Blow At High Dough" maybe?

Yes we played a few Hip songs, how can you not!!

I've long said that Sven Gali are one of many Canadian bands that are hugely underrated. Who fits that bill for you?

Great question… not so much underrated but I really like Ian Thornley, great voice. I expected him to really take off... not to discount what he has done, very talented.

Dave, I have to ask you about Sven Gali playing Muchmusic's Snow Job '93 in Whistler. I thought that was such a smokin' set and a great example of a band firing on all cylinders. Not only did you guys sound incredible but during "Under The Influence" you did so while dodging snowballs coming from every angle, mooned the crowd, threw drinks into the audience and at one point I think you got hit in the nuts with a snowball. Take me through what you remember about that gig. (Video following article)

 It was funny; the Toronto Star I believe reported the fans did not like the band … far from the truth. We stirred them up and had a blast. We didn’t care if we were on TV. That was a Sven Gali show. During commercial breaks Dee was throwing snowballs into the crowd that our guitar tech was giving him. That erupted, and it was hold on to your hat from there. I could not see a thing till the last second because of the lights. We had a blast, I remember walking off stage. Looking back and seeing the Much Music VJ trying to close out the show hiding behind the gear as snowballs whistled over his head.  We went to the after show party at the pub and when we walked in snowballs started again in the club. My left nut still hurts.

Speaking of "Under The Influence" and Much Music, Sven Gali won MuchMusic's Best Metal Video award in 1993 and it's rotation would have helped the record to go gold. I really miss the live performances from the Much environment and now there aren't really even videos on the channel. We have Youtube and other things these days but I really feel we took a big step back and that void hasn't been filled. What are your thoughts and if Sven Gali were trying to break now...what would you do outside of hitting the road?

I have watched things change over the years; I wonder sometimes how things would have been different if we had social media back then.  Everything is instant… but for me 1 thing will never change and that is the energy of a live show. When the band is giving it and the crowd is immersed in the energy, a great feeling.

Say, in the "Under The Influence" video, any idea what the fuck that chick covered in? Is it just mud or what?

I have no idea. That’s funny, never thought of that before. I got so sick after that video in an old factory, fans blowing shit everywhere and me breathing it in for hour, I’ll never forget that.

You've been on the road with Def Leppard, Meatloaf, April Wine and a whole host of others. A lot has been made of this so of course I've heard you guys were known to get a little wild on the road every now and again. Care to share a great road story?

Uhmmm.. so many….  So we were in England... the bus driver said we will be passing Hadrian’s wall, built in 122 AD, I love history so I told him to wake me up as we would be passing the wall around 6am. So the bus pulled over and it was a beautiful morning, dew in the fields, sun coming up and the sheep were grazing in the pasture. I saw the wall and crouched down to feel the stone. I was having a moment wondering who was the guy that put this rock here and the life they had. I felt a splash on my arm. I looked to my side and Shawn was pissing on the wall right beside me, destroying my moment. As that happened the boys also got off the bus we all had a Sven Gali Jackets on and for what reason I don’t know but we all dropped our pants and ran after the heard of sheep. We thought it would be a great promo.  There is a great picture of the band running thru the meadow, shot from behind with just tour jackets on with sheep running for their lives.  Andy has that shot. Great T shirt! Random fun. Good way to start the day little jog.

Lastly, you've got a lot of fans out there that would like to see you perform and hear more from the band, if all goes well would you cats add more dates or record some more songs?

For sure, we are taking it day by day. We will be playing all over and hope to record another track this fall. We appreciate all the support; it’s been great to get up there again with the boys and our new band mates Dan and Sean. We look forward to the show and promise we will leave nothing in the tank when we leave.

Thanks for taking the time Dave. Kick ass and stay safe out there mate!

Thank you.

Sven Gali Show Dates:
July 20 - London, ON - Norma Jean's - info
July 21 - Hamilton, ON - This Ain't Hollywood - info
July 27 - Oshawa, On - The Music Hall Concert Hall Theatre - info
Aug 9 - Sudbury, ON - The Asylum - info
Aug 10 - Ottawa, ON - The Brass Monkey - info
Sept 14 - Kingston upon Hull, UK - Welly Club Hall - Hair Metal Heaven Festival - info w/ LA Guns, H.E.A.T, Kee Marcello Band Kip Winger, Killer Dwarfs and more!
ABOVE: Sven Gali performs "Under The Influence" live at Whistler, Much Snow Job '93
Jared - Getaway Car - Audioslave
I love singing and playing drums to this song. I performed it at a solo concert once and it always gets me. 
Mike - Red Barchetta by Rush
It's about a car, classic song that's as cool to listen to today as it was when it was first played.The lyrics are masterfully crafted and allow the listener to day dream a bit into the future society Geddy sings about.
Eddie - Wherever I May Roam by Metallica
The slow, quiet intro always puts me in a state of quiet contemplation, which is usually the thing I love most about a long drive.  It picks up and changes moods, almost like changing scenery in the countryside.  It is very meditative for a Metal/Hard Rock piece.
ABOVE: New York's favorite sons, Everest
ABOVE: Check out Everest's video for "Take A Ride"
It started with an idea... to make music that was raw and organic, filled with energy, melody and bite. Veteran rockers Michael Artale (founding member of the band Constricted) and Jared Feldman (founding drummer of the band Dead Superstar) had taken their bar-room chatter and founded a new band with just a name, "Everest" and a mantra: "The Only Way Out Is Up".

Everest was influenced by the sounds that the legends of music left behind. With groovy hooks and an undeniable heaviness it’s no wonder they sought out lead guitarist Eddie Becker to flesh out their new sound. Eddie brought the missing ingredient to the recipe that is Everest. Now with the flash of an old school lead shredder, and Eddie's larger than life stage presence Everest was ready.

 Everest began to rise up, excited by the songs they were crafting in the studio. Their first single "Loaded" was born from the ashes of the emotion, surrounding the band member’s lives. The vibe was heavy, and powerful. Arresting vocals, pounding drums, and wailing guitars over grooving rhythms that catch the listener and take off into an anthemic chorus, “Everybody get Loaded, Everybody be free".

 Then along comes single number two "Take A Ride", a burning rock number with a groove that cooks with dirty rhythms and lead guitars that draw you in. Everest beckons "Come Take A Ride With Me Now" Now is the time for Everest music to be shared with the world. With a team of music industry pros Engineer Dan Leo, Producer Frank “Bones” Laudicina (Down The Drain Productions), Promotional & Marketing Guru Tom 'Smitty' Smith and Video Director Kirk Farrington, Everest is ready to launch a campaign of songs and music videos.

With a release date of 2/13/18 for the single Loaded, Everest is set to take off online, on radio, in video and live. The video and single for Take a Ride will follow in the spring of 2018, along with an EP release. A full collection of songs and a tour scheduled for the summer of 2018.

Like and follow Everest on facebook at :
Windowpane - MilE High Club
The bass line in this song is absolutely incredible. I play air drums during the first fill every, single, time. The video is weird and I love it. The last time I listened to this song in the car, I looked down and I was doing 120 and didn’t even realize it.
Sundown Syndrome - Tame Impala
I had a really hard time picking only one Tame Impala song. The entire “Currents” album is absolutely fantastic, but this song has a Kazoo solo so I felt obligated to pick it.
What Once Was - Her’s
For some reason this song makes me think of Social Distortion in an alternate reality where they’re not a punk rock band.
Uncle Remus - Frank Zappa
This song is definitely one of Zappa’s shorter and more conservative tracks, but that doesn’t mean it rocks any less hard than, say, City of Tiny Lites or Inca Roads (which you should also listen to)
The Death of Rock n’ Roll - Todd Rundgren
You probably know “Bang The Drum All Day” which, frankly, is not my favorite song. But this song absolutely rocks. It only has like 1,500 views on youtube (of which I am probably 500) which is absolutely criminal.
ABOVE : Mike Rubin (pictured jump kicking) is the lead vocalist and guitarist of New York's, The Inoculated Canaries
ABOVE: Check out The Inoculated Canaries video for "Count Me Out".

What do you get when eclectic creativity gets twisted with diverse musical influences and incubates in an atmosphere of unrestrained inspiration?  The hatching of The Inoculated Canaries.  With The Inoculated Canaries you get a full on aural and visual package of brightly intense ingenuity and polished musicianship.

The New York foursome is rounded out by Michael Rubin on guitar and vocals, James Terranova on drums, Dylan Gross on bass and Brian Sweeney on Keys.  With their diverse musical interests spanning from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to Punk Rock sensibility a la Green Day, Blink 182, Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish, mixed with their formal jazz training and performance to the dramatic flair of musical theater, these guys bring a lot more to the table than anything categorizable, and it shows.

“The Canaries has felt like 10 different bands throughout its lifespan,” says Michael, “We keep adding to our style because there are so many great influences we can learn from.  I spend 8 - 9 hours a day with these jerks and it absolutely contributes to how tight our live shows are.  I know what James is going to do before James even knows he’s gonna do it.”

Their debut EP, THE BLUE LAWS, was soon followed by the singles “DON’T BE LATE” and the acoustic version of “JERICHO”.

Our songs come from personal experiences: beginnings and ends, loves and loss.  Ultimately to experience as much as possible and to not take yourself too seriously” - The Inoculated Canaries.

Years of live performances also include opening for The Mowgli’s at Winterfest.

The band most recently announced the release of their long awaited follow up EP, TRYING TIMES with the unveiling of a colorful and irreverent music video for the track “COUNT ME OUT”.

The band’s mission is simple: to bring back ROCK! And while that’s a mission a lot of emerging artists are taking on, its one that this quartet is uniquely suited to addressing.


I chose Game of Thrones characters as my top five. It’s not because I’m some sort of geek or anything, it’s because I love big boobs and lots of killing. On a side note, Long Claw is named after Jon Snow’s sword. Anyway, here goes.

WARNING : Contains Spoilers!
5.) Ned Stark
While it’s true that Ned lost his head and now he’s dead, he still remains one of my favorite characters. Executed in season one, he was the patriarch of the Stark family and Lord Of Winterfell. He was probably the most honorable character (other than perhaps Jon Snow) in the entire series.
4.) Brienne Of Tarth
Very rare in A Song Of Ice And Fire...a female warrior. Since she was so massive and quite unattractive, she could never find a suitable suitor (in fact the boys could be quite cruel at times). So at a young age, she decided she wanted to fight. She went on to become one of the most skilled warriors in all of Westeros. In fact she even beat The Hound in single combat. She is also fiercely loyal to whoever she is protecting.
3. Oberyn Martell AKA The Red Viper
A Prince of Dorne, Oberyn Martel has traveled the known world learning everything and anything that he could. He is an extremely skilled fighter, and a master of poisons. His demise came while representing Tyrion Lannister in a trial by combat. Oberyn was facing off against The Mountain, and he nearly killed this 8 foot giant. But, in the end, “The Red Viper” became too cocky. The Mountain pulled him down to the ground, pushed his thumbs into Oberyn’s eyeballs, and squashed his head like a melon.
Tyrion is a deformed dwarf, a drunk, and one of the most intelligent characters in the show. He loves having sex with prostitutes, and outwitting his foes. Plus, he is just downright hilarious. Tyrion is a member of the Lannister family, one of the richest families in all of the realm. He is despised by most (except for fans of the show), especially his sister Cersei and his father Tywin, who both blame him for killing his mother during childbirth. He was always deeply loved by his brother Jamie however. At one point during the series, Tyrion finds his father sitting on a toilet. He decides to put a couple crossbow bolts through dad and skip town.
The daughter of Ned Stark, Arya grew up a tomboy. After the execution of her father she fled Kings Landing and was attempting to go back north and ultimately...Winterfell. This little girl started devising a kill list, which she would repeat to her self every night before sleep. Fate turned her in many directions however, and she eventually met Jaqen H’jhar, a Faceless Man from the city of Braavos. The Faceless Men are a guild of assassins. They command exorbitant fees, but have a reputation for success that is unparalleled by any comparable organization. Between their fighting skills, and their poisons, they are already very formidable. They also have one other trick... they can steal the faces and identities of the dead. Literally changing into another person, and you would never ever know the difference. Jaqen sees the potential in Arya, so he offered her the opportunity to come with him to Braavo’s and train as a Faceless Man. She declines because she so much wants to get back to Winterfell. They part ways.

Through a series of circumstances, she decides to go to Braavos after all and does indeed train to be a lethal assassin. Arya, a teenage girl at this point, finishes her training and heads out for the north. Before she does, she is able to cross one of the names off of her list. She just leapt on the back of Meryn Trant, stabbed both of his eyes out with her daggers, then continued to stab him all over his body. Ruthless.
Will Price (pictured front and slightly off center) is the bassist and lead vocalist of Atlanta, Georgia's own , Long Claw.
ABOVE : Check out Long Claw's video for the debut single from Disastrophe, "The Land Of Bilk And Money"

Long Claw released their debut album Disastrophe , May 11, 2018, via Pavement Entertainment. The album is out digitally and on the shelves of select independent record stores.

The brothers of Long Claw have been chronicling their efforts in this full-length release. It's a series of tales told through song and anthem. Most of these stories arrive by way of battle hammer, sword, and groove. On occasion, they are with soft sad words...or no words at all.

Their single, "The Land of Bilk and Money," fights tyranny while empowering the less fortunate. The powerful instrumentals will raise the spirits of anyone who feels despondent about the status quo of wealthy politicians.

Long Claw brings out the struggles of the small folk, as well as the privilege of the lords. The foursome offers the following statement: "The night is dark and filled with terrors. The Pavement will sometimes be long and winding, but in the end we will endure and conquer."

The heavy metal band hails from Atlanta, GA, and are here to take a stand for the worker, the weak, and the world. Long Claw throws down the gauntlet against injustice and oligarchy.

LIKE and FOLLOW Long Claw on facebook at
ABOVE : St. Louis' favorite sons , Cavo (Lead Vocalist Casey Walker pictured third to the right).

Cavo were a band firing on all cylinders. They had a Billboard number one hit ("Champagne") . They had successful tours with Shinedown, Halestorm, Chevelle and Daughtry. They made records with top notch producers such as Kato Khandwala (Blondie, Drowning Pool), David Bendeth (Paramore, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin) and Dan Korneff (All That Remains, My Chemical Romance). They had their music placed in Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen. Then....silence. Four years of it.

Four years is not that long, relatively speaking. A ‘blip on the radar’ over a lifetime. But in the case of St. Louis’ Cavo, four years speaks to more of an eternity than some may realize. It doesn’t take much in this day and age for a band to break up. It takes a lot more effort to stay together, not to mention sustaining the want that got them together in the first place. So imagine a band, completely lost and void of the will to keep moving forward. In that reality, four years can seem like forever. And that’s where Cavo’s story really picks up.

As vocalist Casey Walker likes to tell it, at the time “there just wasn’t anything left to give.” They had tried everything. ‘More guitars,’ ‘scream it don’t sing it,’ ‘pick up the pace,’ etc, etc. It didn’t work. Not for Cavo. No one believed it anyway. So they decided to stop. It was time to put this aside. And they did.

But then something happened a while later. The want slowly started creeping back in. Not quickly, but little by little, over time. But the want this time was different. It didn’t feel the same. Something had changed. For once, it wasn’t about what someone else wanted. It was only about the four of them and what they wanted. No label, no producer, no agent, no manager, no one but them. And it felt right. So, they decided to try again, but this time, their way.

Over 50 songs. A sound that truly reflected who they are as musicians. Not what everyone else told them they were supposed to be. No outsiders pushing for ‘more of this’ or ‘less of that.’ It was actually so much easier than they thought it would be. Cutting it down to just 12 songs was the hard part.

They decided to call it “Bridges,” because they felt like they had crossed over to someplace new. A place where Cavo could just… be.

“This record is completely ours,” Walker adds. “If other people like it, great. If they don’t, that’s fine too. The fans will understand this record, and we feel we have to honor their support by creating something that is 100% Cavo. They would see right through it if we didn’t.”

In the music, it’s clear that the want has finally returned. And here it is.

A body of music that takes account of everything they want to say.

In their own words, with no expectations. Just a new beginning.

It seems like a lifetime of work to reach this place. But they want to be here now. And it only took four years.

A ‘blip’ for some. An eternity for Cavo.
ABOVE : Check out the video for Cavo's #1 Billboard hit "Champagne".
On the occasion of the release of the new Deluxe version of the album "Bridges", Kasey checked in with Lead Vocalist Casey Walker. Yes, It's Kasey Vs. Casey....there can only be one.

KFS : Tell me about these new songs that you added to the deluxe version of the album, were they recorded during the Bridges sessions or did you write them after the original version of the album had been released?

CW: These new songs were written while we were writing Bridges, and they were on the list when we went to Austin to record them.  We really ran out of time recording the record.  We only spent three weeks from start to finish recording.  We always knew that they would be revisited somehow.  So when Pavement Records asked us to record a couple new songs for the re-release, we already knew it would be Wreck Me and Hush.  The new version of "Champagne" was something that we had been playing around with in practices for a while.

KFS : I definitely want to touch on "Champagne" but a song that really struck me was “On Your Own”. It has an anthem like "You Can't Always Get What You Want" kind of feel to it that I really enjoy. I'll bet it goes over really well at the live shows.

CW : It's actually one of my favorite songs that we’ve ever written!  We kind of had that mindset for multiple songs on the record.  We wanted to use more of the dynamics of the way the song was written rather than creating it with multiple tracks.  This song is one of the bands favorite to play live!

KFS : The riff from "Get Away" also reminds me of Rage Against The Machine. Would you consider them an influence?

CW : I have always loved RATM.  They’re one of those timeless bands that came out and totally changed the scene.  There really wasn’t anything like them, a perfect storm of musicianship and lyrics.  One of those bands that I hope tours again, so I can see them live.

KFS :  You mentioned the decision to remake " Champagne" came out of fooling with the song at band practices.

CW : It kind of happened organically.  We were playing an acoustic show a year or so ago, and we had a few friends sitting in and playing w/ us.  When we were writing a set for that show, we really dove into the song arrangements.  Champagne kind of came out more R&B sounding than the original.  We really fell in love w/ the version, so we decided to record it for the re-release.

KFS :  I have to ask about Cavo opening for Stone Temple Pilots in 2008. That had to be a trip!

CW : STP has always been a major influence on me and our music.  We all grew up in the era when Grunge was erupting.  So being able to see heroes of ours on stage at such an early stage in our career was amazing.  Wish we could have met them!

KFS :  I've heard mixed reports so I am curious, how was the vibe for you guys on Crue Fest?

CW: At first there were some misunderstandings, but NOT with any of the bands.  When Nikki Sixx heard about them, he actually came over to our stage and cleared everything up!  He was awesome!  It was really our first big tour experience, so we didn’t know what to expect.  We were just worried that we were overstepping our lines, but it was all handled really quickly, and the rest of the tour was great.  We toured with a lot of the bands on Cruefest in the future.

KFS:  I also wanted to ask about the experience of writing with the songwriting team, Espionage (Beyonce , Train, David Cook). Was that something your label at the time insisted on? How different is the writing process now by comparison?

CW: It wasn’t something that WBR insisted on, I always wanted to write with Zac Malloy from the Nixons, and he was working with them at the time.  I was a huge fan of Zac’s.  They were really great guys, they made it easy for us and taught us a lot.  Once again, it was really early in our career, and we really had never written with other people to that extent.  We definitely learned a great deal from them and Zac!

KFS :  You've been through the ringer with record companies of varying size, what advice would you give to a young band on the subject of their first record contract?

CW : Definitely to make sure that you have someone you trust in your corner to steer you through the process.  We were lucky to have our manager there every step of the way.  Because of him we were able to make the right choice, cause honestly, it was all a bit over our heads and very exciting.  Also to make sure to keep control of who you are and where you are going.  After all, the labels all came to you for a reason.  Trust your instincts!

KFS : What is something you would consider a mind altering work of art?

CW : There are SO many works of music that I can answer with, but the first record that changed my whole world was Pearl Jam Ten.  When I heard Eddie’s voice for the first time, it stopped me in my tracks and I was hooked.  That record is like a greatest hits record after 15 years of being a band, and it was their first after only having Eddie for a short time.  It’s moments like that that prove to me that chemistry is key with a band.  Something clicked when those guys got in a room.

KFS : Who do you think would win in a fight, Richard Simmons or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory?

CW : Wow, good question.  I actually had to think more on this one than any of the others, HA!  I would say Richard Simmons, cause he has spent his whole life working on physical fitness, and Sheldon may actually be too scared to fight.  But most likely depends on the day!

KFS : What are the plans for Cavo's 2018?

CW : We definitely plan on playing live a lot more.  We really miss the stage and want to get our new record in front of as many new faces as we can.  We are so proud of Bridges, and know that it’s kind of a polarizing record for core Cavo fans, but we feel like it can open a whole new set of doors for us!

Keep up with Cavo's tour dates and pick up a copy of "Bridges" at
Hank Moody , A writer (played to perfection by X Files star , David Duchovny) tries to juggle his career, his relationship with his daughter and his ex-girlfriend, as well as his appetite for beautiful women and alcohol. What makes it rock? First off, several episodes feature rock related names such as "Turn The Page", "Zoso", "Slip Of The Tongue" and "In Utero". There are plot points such as Hank going on tour with a rock band, writing the biography of a music producer (based on Rick Rubin), helping an up and coming artist write song lyrics and the nod to Slayer in his book titles.

Plenty of real life rock stars show up as well such as Zakk Wylde, Marilyn Manson, Steve Jones, Sebastian Bach, Rick Springfield and Tommy Lee. Californication is a journey through the rock and roll lifestyle that (like the real deal) balances humor and heartbreak, pleasure and pain. It's perhaps one of the funniest shows ever written and while Californication's humor may be crass to some, it's a program with a ton of heart that never loses sight of the fact that comedy and tragedy are inexorably linked.

P.S. Comedian and That Metal Show host Jim Florentine appeared on an episode of Californication and spoke to Kasey about his experiences on set on Episode 32 of The Kasey Ferguson Show (available on the LISTEN page of this site)
ROADIES - 2016
This comedy drama follows the trials and tribulations of the road crew of the fictitious, Staten - House Band over the course of a major tour. Roadies was created by Cameron Crowe (who also wrote and directed a few episodes) and executive produced by J.J. Abrams ( Lost, Star Wars : The Last Jedi). Crowe's influence looms heavily on Roadies and the television show finds him mining similar territory as his much beloved film, Almost Famous. Roadies and Almost Famous are very close in vibe , both capturing the nostalgic longing and the bittersweet nature of it's subject matter brilliantly.

The critics trashed this series but it's likely that they just didn't get it. Roadies is a show that takes a certain love of music to understand completely. A lot of these critics knocked the characters for being under developed but given that the show only lasted one season, it's entirely plausible that time would have fixed this had the show continued to run. Guest appearances and performances from the likes of Eddie Vedder, Lindsay Buckingham, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Reignwolf add some authenticity to the proceedings while Ron White, David Spade, Rainn Wilson and Marc Maron add to the comedic aspect of the show, with all doing something a little bit different from their past work. It's sad this show was cancelled after just one season, it had a lot to offer.
BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD - 1993-1997,- 2011
Most of you are likely familiar with this iconic 90's MTV series but for some of you youngsters who may have missed out, here's the scoop, dumb ass. These two constantly laughing, wisecracking, heavy metal loving teenagers watched music videos and hilariously criticized them long before youtube was a thing (and much funnier than most of what you'll find there by the way). Beavis And Butthead spoke to and for an entire generation raised on MTV. They became a pop culture phenomenon that spawned a feature film, toys, video games and tons of other merchandise. The duo appeared on Late Night With David Letterman and at the MTV Video Awards. They were everywhere. At the height of their powers Beavis And Butthead could (and often did) make or break a band or artist. Just ask Winger.

Whether roasting videos or each other, the results were almost always hilarious. The duo's never ending quest to "score", hysterical pop culture references, zany antics and endless catchphrases may have endeared them to the masses but something that's been forgotten by many is that in an era where hard rock and heavy metal videos were getting less and less play on MTV, Beavis And Butthead gave numerous underground and struggling bands the kind of mainstream exposure that was previously unheard of. Yes, Beavis And Butthead actually helped to shape and shake up the very culture that they loved, hated and laughed at so very much.
Dethklok are a death metal band which enjoys a popularity level unheard of in reality, ranking as the seventh largest economy on Earth by the end of the second season. Series co-creator Brendon Small described them as "like the Beatles, just a thousand times more dangerous and a billion times more stupid". Metalocalypse often portrays dark and macabre content, including such subjects as violence, death, and the drawbacks of fame, with hyperbolic black comedy. The show is widely heralded as both a parody and a pastiche of heavy metal culture.

Guest stars included James Hetfield, Slash, Dave Grohl, Billy Gibbons,Ace Frehley and Jack Black (just to name a few) and in a strange yet savvy marketing manuever Dethklok, the in-show cartoon band, also endorsed several real-world music products, including Marshall Amplification, Gibson guitars and EMG pickups. In something of a case of life imitating art, Dethklok's Dethalbum debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting death metal album ever at that time. Metalocalypse is an unspeakably funny and outrageously entertaining show that (cancellation be damned) will live on as a touchstone for metal fans for a long time to come.

P.S. Check out an interview with Metalocalypse Co-Creator , Executive Producer and the man behind the music of Dethklok, Brendon Small on The Kasey Ferguson Show Amherst Island Radio Episode 18 available in the LISTEN section of this site.
VINYL - 2016
Vinyl is an American period drama television series created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen (Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone Magazine) and Terence Winter (The Sopranos). The series stars Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a record executive in the 1970s hustling to make a career out of the city's diverse music scene.

While Vinyl is a fictional story, several historical musical figures weave in and out of the show including Robert Plant, Alice Cooper, David Bowie and John Lennon. Vinyl's soundtrack kicks ass and the show is full of powerful performances (most notably by lead Bobby Carnavale). Juno Temple is also dynamite in her role as an ambitious A&R assistant and dare I say, looking fine like wine. Most surprisingly perhaps is Ray Romano whom for the first time ever I didn't want to kick in the much.

Much like Roadies the same year, Vinyl got the axe after just one season. How did it go wrong? How does a show with this level of talent involved get cancelled so quickly? While involved as an Executive Producer and as a Creator, Scorsese only directed it's pilot episode. Not to say that the other directors didn't do a fine job but who can compare to Lord Marty? Terence Winter also left his position as showrunner at the end of the first season due to creative differences. The critics were (in my humble opinion) often needlessly harsh on Vinyl and it was an expensive program to produce. Vinyl was also an HBO show seen by few.

To be fair  HBO did announce the renewal of Vinyl for a second season on February 18, 2016, soon after the pilot episode premiered. However, on June 22, 2016, HBO reversed that decision and cancelled the series. HBO head of programming Casey Bloys said of the decision, "It didn't land. With limited resources, we didn't think the retooling was worth the producers' time if it would only move the needle a little bit". It's a shame Vinyl didn't continue because I believe it still had plenty of gas in the tank and though flawed would have evened out in time. Fuck the critics. Give Vinyl the shot in death it never got in life.
ABOVE : Brooklyn, New York's Black Water Rising (Rob Traynor pictured far right)

BLACK WATER RISING is a collection of soul baring, angst ridden, riff heavy material that is proudly anchored in the foundations of traditional hard rock song writing. Giant guitar driven monster riffs served up on a bed of crushing grooves with soaring melodic vocals and big hooks. Basically, NO FRILLS RIFF ROCK! Lyrically the message is socially and politically driven by the dark times we live in. With darkness seemingly growing by the day, BLACK WATER RISING is a name that fits this band like a glove. The philosophy of BWR is simple, they are not looking to reinvent the wheel, they just want to give it a much needed alignment in these musically stale times.

BLACK WATER RISING was formed from the ashes of various national touring acts. After releasing two self produced albums nationwide with a band called DUST TO DUST, singer songwriter Rob Traynor locked himself away in his Brooklyn, New York recording studio, later emerging with a collection of songs that would become the seeds of BLACK WATER RISING’s debut album which they would unleash in 2010. The album would achieve the #1 slot on’s Hard Rock Chart upon release.

BLACK WATER RISING received heavy airplay on Sirius Satellite Radio's Octane channel for the singles "Brother Go On" and "No Halos". The album reached the #6 slot on the Top 20 airplay chart for the channel and "Brother Go On" also cracked the top 40 on the Media Base Active Rock Radio Chart.

BWR has played shows and toured with HELLYEAH, KILL DEVIL HILLl, KING'S X, MONSTER MAGNET, ACE FREHLEY & others. Their tour schedule also brought them to the 2010 South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX performing at High Times Magazine's Doobie Awards show where BWR won the 2010 High Times Doobie Award for “Best Rock/Alternative Artist,” beating out such tough and respected competition as STAIND, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, THE MARS VOLTA and DANKO JONES.

BWR followed up the critically acclaimed self-titled debut with their sophomore effort, Pissed And Driven, released in 2013. It represents what many would describe as another honest, barebones rock album. It received rave reviews and was included on numerous top album lists. The first offering from Pissed and Driven, "Show No Mercy" was #5 most added on the CMJ Loud Rock Chart, top 10 at many college radio stations and in heavy rotation at Nationally Syndicated Cable channel Music Choice reaching #1 on their Metal Chart. The band's video for "Dance With The Devil" spent 15 weeks on Noisecreep's Battle Royale Top 10 Video Countdown.

 Invigorated and eager to capitalize on the success of their first two albums, the band’s new material promises to be more riff heavy song writing with hooks and catchy choruses to pull you in all while retaining a musical identity of their own.
ABOVE : Check out Black Water Rising's killer new video for their song "Payback"!

Kasey recently had the opportunity to shoot the breeze with Black Water Rising's Lead Vocalist and Guitarist, Rob Traynor.

KFS: BWR has played shows and toured with HELLYEAH, Monster Magnet and Ace Frehley among others so I'm guessing you've got a few tales to to share a road story?

RT: I wish I did but being the burnt individual I am it’s hard to recollect one specific event! The bands listed were shows not tours so there really isn’t much to tell. The few tours we did do had their share of tales but honestly we aren’t giving Motley Crue or Led Zeppelin a run for their money anytime soon!

KFS: The band played the Ride for Dime a few months back. I know it's hard to choose just one so what are your three favorite Pantera songs?

RT: Speaking of tours, we did tour with Kill Devil Hill (Rex Brown and Vinnie Appice) and shared Dimes’ tour bus. That was an experience in itself touring the west coast in that bus with those guys, and a awesome time! As for songs by Pantera my favorites are “Five Minutes Alone” “A New Level” and “Becoming.” I have many others but you asked for three.

KFS : You also recently played the New Jersey Taco Festival so what is on your perfect taco?

RT : Chicken or beef with a ice cold beer.

KFS : Back in 2010 BWR won the High Times Doobie Award for “Best Rock/Alternative Artist,” beating out Danko Jones, Staind,The Mars Volta and Eagles Of Death Metal. I think if that happened to me I'd be asking if it was the judges or myself or both who were high...did you find yourself discombobulated by the win?

RT: Yeah, it was a shock. I believe it was probably a mistake, but no one said shit and I got a nice big glass bong trophy out of the deal and it was presented to me by Dug Pinnick of Kings X, a band I’ve always loved, when we were at SXSW in Texas. We were quite honored to say the least....and the bong got lots of use.

KFS : Black Water Rising clearly understands the importance of a good video. Do you feel that a lot of bands are neglecting the video these days even with the popularity of youtube and such?

RT : We are a band of limited finance so touring has unfortunately been at a minimum as everyone knows buy ons and the expenses of a tour can easily break the bank. The next best way to get the band out there would be a great video, it doesn’t end with a tour and it can honestly reach a whole lot more people than a rink dink tour can. I can’t imagine releasing an album today and not investing in a video. We are lucky to have some incredibly talented people like Director Noah Shulman who has done three videos with us.

KFS : Speaking of which, I feel Noah Shulman did a great job directing your latest video for the song "Payback" . Where did you find this guy and who came up with the treatment for the video?

RT : Noah simply likes the band, he is a friend for many years and we work well together. He came up with the concept for all three videos we’ve done with him. It’s his vision, and it’s killer!

KFS : Say, what's the dancer (Tifa) from "Dance With The Devil" video up to? Is she by chance into vertically impaired, over excitable, moderately attractive Canadian podcasters?

RT : Ha! Give her a shout, she’s on Facebook. Good luck.

KFS : Anyhow, back to the task at hand...the new album "Electrified" sounds killer. Did you guys spend a lot of time on pre production or mixing?

RT : I spent what little time I have in my home studio between working a day job and such. I write and record at home. The album was written and recorded between 2014 and 2016.

KFS: Rob, what are you proudest of about the new record?

RT : The fact that it was actually completed! Despite endless discouragement, a horrible business and industry and little time, it was done. I’ve already begun working on album four! I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

KFS :  What's the plan going forward?

RT : Hopefully a tour in the new year, another video and writing, writing, writing!
(ABOVE) Illinois based alt metal rockers Burden Of The Sky

Burden of the Sky is an American Alternative Metal/Rock band based out of Bloomington, Illinois. Influenced by bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Sevendust, and Chevelle; B.O.T.S. was formed by guitarist Josh Appel and Bradford Shaw. The lineup was completed in March of 2015 with the addition of Brian Barry (vocals), Rick Streeter (drums), Dustin Tritsch (bass) and Michael Mahoney (keyboards).

The debut album ‘Cinis Ad Cinis’ was produced, mixed and mastered by award winning Nashville Producer/Engineer Colt Capperrune of Dark River Studios. With an expected release date of early 2017, ‘Cinis Ad Cinis’ will introduce the world to Burden of the Sky. The first single, “Same Old Page” was originally released in April of 2016 to an overwhelming response and a demand for more music.

Burden of The Sky's Debut album 'CINIS AD CINIS' was released July 14th, from Pavement Entertainment.
ABOVE : Check out Burden Of The Sky's video for "Same Old Page"

Congratulations on the album’s release! How’s life since the record came out?

Well first off, thank you very much!  Things have been great since the release of the album.  Our socials have been blowing up with commentary from fans, friends, and people who were incredibly anxious up until the release finally getting their hands on new music.  It’s been surreal, since we’re pretty much isolated in our Midwestern bubble, and yet have people hitting us up from well beyond the Atlantic to say how much they enjoy the record and want a physical copy.  But it never gets old.  We hope it’s the new normal!

Cinis Ad Cinis is latin for Ashes to Ashes.  How and why did this become the album title?

Brian has been exceptionally open to the public about his struggles, whether with substances or with relationships, both romantic and even inter-band working relationships.  Not to speak for him, but I’m certain he’d well agree that much of the theme of this album was redemption (Starting Over), admission (Blame My Creator, Solace), breaking the cycle (Same Old Page), giving thanks to those that didn’t turn their backs (Save My Life), and cutting ties with those who worked against it (Matter Of Fact).  In many ways, the album has been this open book of dirty laundry for all to see.  The way I see it, it strikes me as coming clean, being completely honest with yourself.  Ashes to ashes is in many ways a biblical return to form, a return to that which began life.  You could see it as a necessary step towards rebirth, towards purity of form once again.

You’re based out of Bloomington, Illinois.  I’m from Canada, so what is the music scene like out there, eh?

Haha, honestly…  Bloomington is, in our own humble opinion, a hub of exceptional talent, and we look forward to seeing what else comes forward from the area.  We get some fantastic regional/national acts coming through here in the Castle Theatre and the arena, and the local bands around the area are phenomenal.

Now, honestly, the more accurate basis for Burden of the Sky would be Central Illinois, because we really are a mixed bag of geography, including Rockford, Bloomington, and Peoria.  There are some among us who drive well over 6 hours just to practice, so I never find it fair to just state “We’re from Bloomington” when it’s more honestly just two of us that are.

There’s usually one song on a record that for whatever reason is more difficult to write or record.  Did you have one of those on Cinis Ad Cinis?

To put it simply, yes, but I don’t really know that its fair to say…  When we found that a song was difficult to write, it was often the consensus that we were attempting to ‘force it’ and so we’d often times just leave those ones to the vault to pull out in a time of severe writers block or for future material.  Me and Josh wrote 5 songs together by the time the rest of the band had fully formed, and only the 5th one survived the chopping block and actually found its way onto Cinis Ad Cinis, in the form of Chasing You.  Obviously, everyone adds their own elements to the writing process, so the earliest versions of songs are quite different to the final album version.  Songs were written in batches of 2 at a time, so as not to divert focus, and, honestly, the process became more orderly and easy to go through with each batch.  We honed in on our own songwriting process more and more, and much of it was smooth sailing, thankfully.  

The most difficult material was definitely the earliest stuff.  Chasing You and Matter of Fact specifically.  We weren’t certain of our own sound at that time, we were still feeling out the approach to pitching each other ideas, and to finding ways to state when you aren’t keen on someone’s part.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen too often.  We got much better at the process as time went on.

Videos can also be a pain in the ass and often make for long days. How was the shoot for the album’s first single, Same Old Page?

Honestly, very very quick and painless.  Taylor (the main attraction of the video) was very professional about the whole thing, and she was great to work with.  We managed to finish the whole thing in a matter of about 5-6 hours of shooting.  Probably less than 10 minutes footage shot of each band member, with Brian and Taylor doing the most scene changes throughout.  Not to mention, the owners of the Duncan Manor were exceptionally cool about us shooting in their home.  

There was certainly a bit of anxiety to being on camera.  I get that it’s part of the process, but it’s one hell of a thing to be asked to ‘rock out’ when it’s just you in a room and two dudes circling around you with a close up camera.  But it was worth it in the end.  I couldn’t have been happier with the result.

What are some of your favorite music videos?

I gotta say, the Foo Fighters have always been exceptional at doing videos.  Almost all videos by Linkin Park, specifically the Hybrid Theory/Meteora time frame are fantastic.

I’ll always be colored impressed by those “One take” videos, one specifically being “Typical” by Mute Math.  The logistics that must have gone into setting up that video go beyond my understanding, but they each learned how to play their parts backwards, and perform the entire song in reverse so that when they play it forwards, it all comes out correctly.  Makes for a very interesting video, to say the least.  You can pull off low budget magic with some ingenuity, and this video showcases that concept perfectly.

Lastly, who would win in a wrestling match, Lemmy, or God?

Hahaha!  Come on, now, don’t take me for naïve…  We all know, at this point, that Lemmy is, in fact, God.  ;D
ABOVE : Ottawa prog metal maniacs, Slyde bring the thunder

After a two year hiatus, Canadian melodic proggers Slyde are back with their new EP Back Again. Four tracks of intricate, contrapuntal technical prog-rock, the band’s new release dropped on February 17 2017.
A concept EP, Back Again continues to explore the links between environmentalism and the wider world, with a sci-fi twist. Following 2011’s EP Feed The Machine, which discussed the cyclical pattern of civilization between ‘The Machine’ and ‘The Consciousness’, and 2012’s EP New World Sympathy, which tackled oil industry and the injustices of mining companies, the new EP Back Again traces a similar theme. Lead track ‘Fading’ centers on the idea of extraterrestrial beings observing Earth and its civilization, but drawing back, due to humanity's violent and destructive nature.  Similarly, the title track "Back Again" revolves around the Pale Blue Dot concept and the beauty of our world, which is often overlooked and uncherished by society.  

For fans of Haken, Rush, Dream Theater, Coheed and Cambria and more, Slyde are a beguiling four-piece. Driven by Nathan Da Silva’s elegant vocals and Sarah Westbrook's powering keyboard skills, the band are to catch the ears of any technically minded melodic prog rock fan. From the fast-paced opener through to the cyclical Back Again, this is a highly enjoyable nineteen minutes of interesting modern music.  

Before their hiatus, Slyde played over 150 shows on the Eastern Canadian circuit, including support for Protest The Hero, Ottawa Bluesfest (2010/2011), Canadian Music Week (2013), IndieWeek (2011-2013), and Wacken Metal Battle (2013).

Slyde will be playing in Kingston, Ontario Fri, Aug 18th at The Mansion (with LazerBear and Hallowood) but first, lead vocalist and guitarist, Nathan Da Silva and Kasey are going Behind The Song. The track is "Divide" from Slyde's latest EP Back Again.
Watch Slyde's video for "Divide" above or via youtube at

KASEY : Obviously, the band is no stranger to politically charged lyrics and subject matter, so tell me about where you were coming from lyrically on "Divide".

NATHAN : "Divide" was inspired by the recent political affairs occurring in the Western world over the last year (more notably, what's going on South of the border).  The concept of conflicting ideologies and pitting groups of people against each other is nothing new, but we wanted to emphasize the importance of it, especially after what has been going on in the United States.  Additionally, we've noticed that, lately, it seems there's a resurgence of being openly racist as well, and I think that also has something to do with what we're trying to convey with "Divide".

KASEY : The song features a pretty choice harmonized solo. Who are some of your favorite guitarists/guitar tandems that utilize this approach?

NATHAN : I think a lot of my deeply rooted musical inspiration comes from sitting in front of a TV playing video games when I was a kid, growing up in the late80s/early 90s, and being exposed to this chiptune, Japanese video game music, which has a lot in common with contrapuntal music, and, oddly enough, heavy metal music.  If you're a fan of video game music, I'm sure you can hear the nods to music from the NES period in the middle section of "Divide". 

As far as guitarists/bands, the Swedish metal band In Flames hit me really hard in the late 90s/early 2000s - their guitar harmonies and arrangements that they wrote in their early years was a big inspiration at the time.  It's hard to point the finger at just one or two influences, as we tend to be an eclectic band, but those two jump out at me on this one.

KASEY : Let's talk about the recording process. How long did the record take you and how did you handle pre production?

NATHAN : Although Slyde always controlled pre-production and elements of production, this was the first record that I self-produced and self-engineered, so there were a lot of growing pains involved. We tracked the drums with Mike Bond at Pebble Studios in Ottawa, Canada.  In terms of pre-production, a lot of the songs selected for the album were Slyde songs that have been on the backburner for years, as well as some recently written tunes. 

The music is usually composed, then all the arrangements are given to the band members, and we tweak and modify them to make the songs more musical, and to have more of a personal touch from every member.
Andres Puche, a good friend of ours worked on post-production and mixing, and Matt Glover mastered it.  We then decided to cut the full length of 9 songs into 2 separate EPs, released the first one as "Back Again" in early 2017, and the 2nd EP, "Awakening", will be released soon.

KASEY : The video for "Divide" combines performance footage with protest and riot clips. These sorts of things are typically a symptom and a reflection of problems in our society that are not being adequately dealt with. There is a lot to choose from in this day and age but I guess my question is, what makes you want to riot?

NATHAN : The riot footage in the music video, to me, symbolizes the multitude of problems in our world, some of which can only be dealt with by extreme measures and people coming together to fight the powers that be. The anger and pain, confusion and chaos of a riot parallel my inner personal feelings of staying true to what I believe is right (leaving the smallest footprint behind) and acting in the selfish manner that is powered and encouraged by the mainstream. The problems of living happily and healthily for generations to come is constantly negated by the people in power who only care about money. If we don't have a safe home to exist on, then nothing else matters. Money and greed can't buy off the damaging long term effects, which there is no turning back from now.

 Then people go "what about me?", feeling they are getting shafted and then they send their anger and aggression (protecting themselves) into blaming innocent people. They do not see (or want to see) the actual problem because it is hard to look inside oneself. It could lead them to change their entire beliefs and then everyone could work together to solve the root of the problem. The problem being that the root of how our economy is built is proving to have negative environmental and societal long term effects. The connection between the environment and society is overlooked, and the mainstream society wonders why we see more ramped up racism and bigotry, violent reactions to the violence, and so on. The feeling of wanting to get out of this destructive cycle makes me want to riot!

For tour dates, to buy some of Slyde's music or for more information check out

ABOVE: The lads from Dallas based rockers, Anchored.
ANCHORED comes straight out of Dallas, Texas. The band originally formed in 2009 with vocalist Brandan Narrell, drummer Matt Clark, and guitarist Joel Estes. Later, lead guitarist Michael Thomas and bass player Greg Betsworth completed the band. This gang of five packs a punch and produces loud, hard-hitting rock’n’roll.

ANCHORED’s first album, Listen to This, was released in 2010 and brought much success, spanning all the way to 2014. The album produced three singles, three videos, and five national tours with industry heavy weights, such as Saliva, Black Label Society, and Volbeat. There were also two regional tours in Japan and South Korea.

Joining forces with Pavement Entertainment, ANCHORED will be releasing their new album, Beneath the Surface. The new album will feature the single “Shots ‘n’ Cookies.” Regarding the new single, Narrell says, “‘Shots ‘n’ Cookies’ is such a fun song and captures some of our southern sound. Turn it up, and rock it! It's fun and will put you in a good mood once you hit play! The cookies so damn good!”

Beneath the Surface also includes the contagious party anthem “Throwin’ Down,” which is a collaboration with rap icon Snoop Dogg.

Narrell continues, “When writing and recording Beneath the Surface, we all knew that something very special was happening. As I was writing lyrics, melodies, and harmonies, I literally poured my heart into the words and took a new and different approach with vocals. I was in a series of ups and downs and wrote the album for people out there that are going through the same things.”

ANCHORED Beneath the Surface was released April 14th on Pavement Entertainment.

Kasey recently had the chance to chat with ANCHORED front man, Brandan Narrell.

 KASEY: I hate to lead with such a question because I'm sure you've been getting a lot of this but how  did Snoop Dogg come to guest on "Throwin Down"?

BRANDAN: First off, Thank you for having me! Welcome to the ANCHORED FAMILY brother! It was a really unexpected surprise. He got in touch with my manager and said he'd like to do a part on our debut single "Dirty in Texas" which led to a Dallas Cowboys theme song and I re-wrote and recorded "Rowdy" in Texas with Marshal and Cody from Hinder. So, I didn't want to do 3 versions ya know? So I let them know ANCHORED would write a new song keeping Snoop in mind, style wise but respecting our southern roots. We wrote "Throwin Down" a couple days later, asked what BPM he liked and the rest is history. We had the very talented Terrace Martin throw some stuff down too and with Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Seether, Slipknot), Kyle Hoffman (Rob Zombie, Sebastian Bach, Bush), and Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Ramones) behind the recording and mastering my dreams came true to work with them and were true gifts. That track is such an amazing experience to me. You can feel the our roots, and the Dogg that ryhmes.

KASEY: "Shots N Cookies" seems to be tailor made for a strip club. Any favorites to visit while on tour or during the 3 minutes of downtime you get a year?

BRANDAN: Hahah!! Of course my buddy Vinnie Paul's World Famous Clubhouse. On tour we've been judges at a few. I'm married so I'm normally watchin' UFC. I used to go a lot cause of hangin with Vinnie and Dime and ANCHORED Tour stuff but, I'm a dad, a dad of 3 lil Princesses and my awesome son. I just don't think I, as a dad and a husband I should be in those places anymore. I just would think of my daughter's and lose it. I know, I know, it sounds like I'm a hypocrite saying this and singing that, but a lot has changed in my life and there was time between tracking and the man I am today.

 The song came about from my Head of Security , Rusty Lee and I flyin somewhere and they made us hot, fresh chocolate chip cookies!! I looked down at our trays and they were covered in shots and beers. So, I said to Rusty "Dude, did we make it? We've got shots and cookies!" He laughed, so I knew it was good and put it in my memos as a song title.
Then in rehearsals in LA I had to finish the last 6 tracks. MT called me in my hotel room where I was writing and said, "dude I need you to write the sickest stripper anthem ever!". I said I'd give it a shot, and Cookies;) Our FRANS (friends+ fans= FRANS) actually started showing up to meet and greets and shows with shots of whiskey or whatever and homemade Chocolate cookies!!! Haha. We LOVE OUR FRANS, POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS AND SOLDIERS!!!

KASEY: You've been on several national tours including runs with Black Label Society, Saliva and Volbeat. Do you have a good war story for me, or perhaps some touring advice for the musicians reading?

BRANDAN : Yeah we've been blessed to share the stage with the above mentioned and so so many more but it took ALOT of work, meetings, calls, luck, connections, proving ourselves, payin' dues because we basically debuted as a national band because of our pasts and keep in mind we met and rehearsed 2 weeks before we did a full national with Saliva!!. It was crazy. The music biz is a BIG business but such a SMALL community. We've all been in the game a long time. It takes time y'all , so if someone out there is wanting to make it , remember it takes awhile to develop as an artist, time, and you've gotta be a Lifer. Work hard, surround yourself with good people and you'll do fine!!

KASEY: Anchored have toured in Japan and South Korea as well. Tell me about those experiences.

BRANDAN : We've toured the world and American Military basses as well. We received the "Bronze Eagle Award" from the 4 Star General at Ft. Hood for our "selfless commitment to the US Military". I'm here to tell ya, entertaining those brave souls is my honor, I'm grateful for the award but it's truly my honor. I love you all! We toured all of South Korea in just 13 days and Japan after doing AFE shows. Even though I caught a horrible bug it was a time in my life I will never forget. Changed my life in ways as we were playing shows for our active military every night for free. We gave away merch no charge, as its our duty to give back and at our shows present your Military ID and get 10% off cloth merchandise In honor of your sacrifice. The looks on the troops faces were priceless and made it more than worth it! They love that "taste of home." I ask every band out there to do it if you get the chance as it's a way to give back to the brave people who keep us and our families safe.

KASEY: How did you guys keep things light in the studio during the making of Beneath The Surface?

BRANDAN : Luckily, we had time and Jay put up with our crazy antics. lol. Love ya Jay and Kyle! We had pretty much written all the music at "The Compound" in Texas so like I said earlier , I was writing lyrics, melodies, and harms then would go do it with the band and Jay. Luckily, they all liked what I wrote doing a song a day (6) so we wouldn't waste valuable time in the studio with an icon like Jay. We were there for 4 months. Did scratch vox and guitars to use when recording drums and just went from there. Each member had their own experience as we'd let them track alone and together, but each of us got to do their thing first. I have such an amazing band I wanted them to put their own stuff on wax.

MT and I took the longest as we wrote so much together and we truly write and work like a bullet and a gun. They respected my closed vox sessions. I did it that way with every song. Light candles and pour my heart and soul into the record. Then after we had the meat recorded I had all of them come in and give opinions and it was so cool cause we had the meat, so I'd hop in the Vox Box and sing stuff while they threw in ideas. All for one, one for all ya know?
But our first record was more rock and in some cases poppy. So, with these amazing tracks I wanted to feel the emotion to give it to the people who hear it and in my lyrics and singing styles, literally. If it was a fun one I'd get in a great mood, sad with sad, angry with angry an so on. So when you listen to BTS, my real mood of that day actually got captured. I'd never heard of anyone doing it so I'm so thankful for Jay and Kyle for understanding this kind of creative vocal attack plan.

KASEY: Could Mighty Mouse beat up Superman?

BRANDAN : Haha!! NO WAY!! But I'm a Batman guy, so I'd be going for Mickey!! Haha!

KASEY: Sorry about that, I watched Stand By Me again earlier today. Let's talk vocals. What is your vocal process these days leading up to a show and how does it differ from the past?

BRANDAN: Well mine probably differs with most singers out there. I haven't really talked about what I'm about to say that much cause it was just normal life to me. It took a Frans comment on my FB page not to long ago to make me see what a journey it's been.
When I was 7yrs old I had vocal chord surgery to remove nodules from crying to hard when I as a baby. Needless to say that surgery should've never happened as we now know small nodules can go away with rest and time. Afterwards, I had a huge machine I had to carry around with me that when I hit a button it said what I wanted it to. Bullies are bad today for sure, but to my Generation X and the ones before us, they dont make 'em like they used to. I was bullied, but my idol, my gpa (Grandpa), luckily had shown me a thing or two.

I'm from Anchorage, Alaska hence ANCHORED, THE RED is in my gpa' s honor our fav color Red. But, when I was growing up you had to be tough. So fast forward to today, I've had a couple more. But my Fran said "you weren't even supposed to be able to talk, much less sing, you have proven nothing is impossible". That meant the world to me. So , with that out of the way, nowadays i use my trusty Vicks Steamer with mask for 30 mins to hydrate my vocal chords. You need to be hydrated so if you're not, at least your chords are. haha. Then, for 15 I sound like an idiot with the bdddddrrrrrrr and wa wa wa stuff haha, then finish off with singing what's on the system. You're supposed to sound bad when you're not warm so don't skip it. Get all the crap warmed out lol..then do what you do...destroy.

KASEY: What is something that you feel helped separate Anchored from the pack and land the fabled label deal?

BRANDAN : We are blessed to have good name, work ethic, know a lot of bands, the care that we put into our albums and live shows, and our relationship with our Frans being an open book, I mean ...we're a unit. Anchored and its frans are ONE! Lastly I'd say we're constantly evolving. I mean, were already thinking about the next record ! Haha. We LOVE to work. We LOVE to Rock. We LOVE to Tour! We are an engine that finally found the right car. Regards to separating us from the pack, I love music so we're all in the same pack. But, I think that our past and work ethic help, but I also believe this record showed us open and raw and heavier, and the time spent in the studio and RER "Real Emotion Recording" as I call it haha... I should copyright that, hahaha.

KASEY : Might be a plan. I know there were a lot of ups and downs during the making of Beneath The Surface. Care to comment on the struggle?

BRANDAN : Not so much when we were recording except for my stomach issues. When I was writing, I first and foremost wanted to write a record to help people. I took the party home which you shouldn't do. I was drinking an insane amount. Went down from there, never effected our shows 'cause I could function , but drinkin' every night turned into all waking hours. I went through a very hard time. Almost died twice and hospitalized 13 times 2 of which were ICU due to internal bleeding, LIVER, and a blood clot in my lung. All that I was hospitalised was twice in 4 days haha. So , needless to say I knocked it off. I've got my wife, kids, band, frans, and God. I owe saving my life, sticking with me, and loving to the above people and God. In the and, I owe everything to God. He's made this crazy train get to rock again!

KASEY: I think my favorite track from the album is "Blackout". I was wondering about the writing process of that song.

BRANDAN : That song is all about drinking and it's physical effects. I take anti nausea meds and back when I drank I'd take them and a pint of vodka over a couple hours just to get going. That's where the "I can feel it growing inside me" line came from. When I'd start my day drinkin',  I had to wait for the burn of the alcohol to black out the pain of my stomach and make my nausea go away (throwing up is my only phobia.. lol i know I'm a dweeb) before I could do anything. Worked every time. That's why this album is so special to me by trying to help people!! This album has it all and too many topics to write out. If you're hurting and you feel like nobody cares about you, know this... I DO! Listen to the record and come to a'll be able to meet me ,I assure you as I'm always at the merch booth or in the crowd with ya. Hit us on FB!! Stay strong.

KASEY : Finally, what will be written on your tombstone?

BRANDAN : Husband~Father~Friend~Lifer.
Thanks again for having me! See ya on Tour!
L8. B.

You can purchase Anchored's music and keep up to date with the band via their facebook page HERE

Look at you checking out the new print section here at! Way to go you magnificent motherfucker! Just for being the adventurous, devil may care type I am going to reward you. Simply send the codeword "PRINTED" in a private message to The Kasey Ferguson Show page on facebook and I'll enter you into a draw to win a FREE Bigmotorgasoline CD! Not only can you hear these heard rocking muthatruckas on several episodes of The Kasey Ferguson Show, you can also listen to them via the link below as well.

If your name is drawn I'll reach out via facebook and get your address so I can mail out your FREE CD. I promise I will not send anthrax, napalm, horse genitals , dead babies , snuggies, a bug collection, fingernail clippings, a chiapet, One Direction albums, plague, a swarm of locusts, a murkin, stool samples, Ben Affleck films, a KROCK shirt or anything else that no one would want.
ABOVE : Gabriel And The Apocalypse with Lindy front and center
Hailing from the colorful and music inspired streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota comes the unique blend of Metal/Rock/Industrial that is Gabriel And The Apocalypse. The band delivers a fierce yet beautiful array of female fronted aggression that will give their predecessors a run for their money.

The brainchild of vocalist Lindy Gabriel, Gabriel And The Apocalypse independently put out 2 releases which were backed by numerous national support tours around the United States. Their intense and and professional style videos also paved the way for the group to become an underground sensation.

It was this self produced success that led GATA to ink a deal with Pavement Entertainment to which they immediately began work on their new album "The Ghost Parade". This new release hit the shelves on  October 7, 2016 and is sure to propel the band to new heights with major worldwide distribution and exposure. To kick off the album's release GATA toured with horror rock favorite Wednesday 13 throughout the month of October. The group plans on a heavy and extensive touring cycle to follow.

According to Lindy, "The Ghost Parade" is a concept record that brings you on a music roller coaster ride. From in your face songs like "March of the Dolls" to stripped down emotional songs like" Behind the Sun", this record still maintains a taste of the usual GATA anthems on politics and world issues but as a whole it is more personal.  I feel as a writer and lyricist it is more abstract & poetic. I feel more exposed and vulnerable. It's honest. It flows and twists through different waves and moods from beginning to end.
Kasey recently had the chance to pose a few questions to Lindy.

 KASEY : How was the tour with Wednesday 13?

LINDY: We just finished the tour with Wednesday on the 22nd in Las Vegas, it went great! We really hope to tour with them in the future.

KASEY : Since the album is called "The Ghost Parade", do you believe in ghosts or more so enjoy the imagery and metaphor?

LINDY: Both, I believe that anything is possible.

KASEY : Was it difficult for you to do a song like "Behind The Sun" that shows a little more vulnerability than the heavier songs?

LINDY : Absolutely! Before tracking the vocals no one in the band had heard any of my vocals for it and the song almost got cut from the record. I really fought for that song because I have never been so honest before and I felt it was a valid piece of The Ghost Parade puzzle. In the beginning I was hesitant to be so open but I'm glad a allowed myself to be vulnerable, people seem to identify with it.

KASEY : Tell me about the writing process for this record. Did anything start with loops or did they tend to come later?

LINDY: Usually the songs start out musically with some riffs or loops that we keep adding to and revising.  Then the vocals are layered over the top.  Sometimes the vocal production will influence the arrangement or flow of the song too so we will go back and revise some more.

KASEY : In both "Here Comes The Crash" and your new video "Beauty Under Glass" you have people pawing at you. Where do I sign up?

LINDY : (laughs) I guess I never really noticed that. Come to any show or video shoot and you got it!

KASEY :  You have been known to touch on political and world issues in your lyrics, so what are your thoughts on the current U.S. Election?

LINDY : It's definitely a scary election.  It really seems like no one is focusing on the bigger picture. In my opinion we need to explore renewable energy, cut down on green house gasses, the way things are operating are not sustainable. Big business is destroying our planet, for greed, for money. The song The Ghost Parade is about that. " You poisoned the water in the name of your God" "Collapse inside the imagery, so much more than what you see, suffocate us until we're numb, all is dead, all is gone."

KASEY : You've been quarantined due to a troublesome zombie outbreak and due to overcrowding you can only bring 3 albums with you. What would they be?

LINDY : It's difficult to pick just 3...

Nirvana- Nevermind

Marilyn Manson- Antichrist Superstar

PJ Harvey- Is this Desire?

KASEY : What are you watching and listening to this Halloween?

LINDY: I believe this Halloween I'll be laying low, watching some classics like The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, The Exorcist. I'm not really into gore horror movies, I like the thought provoking realistic stuff. 

You can purchase the new album "The Ghost Parade" and keep up with Gabriel And The Apocalypse at
Gary Noon (pictured above) went from playing guitar in a church orchestra and trying to start a tribute band to making records with his musical heroes from Alter Bridge and Sevendust.
So how did this happen you ask? Well, a mutual friend introduced Gary Noon to Sevendust's guitarist Clint Lowery following a Sevendust show. The two hit it off. They remained friends for a few years while Gary tried in vain to put together a cover band that would play Alter Bridge and Sevendust songs. He eventually decided to do an album of original material and asked Lowery to produce. Not only did Clint agree to produce, he brought in material ("Heavy Hand") and some friends in the form of Scott Phillips and Brian Marshall from Alter Bridge and Morgan Rose from Sevendust to join the party. This ain't no Cinderella story, this is a story about Walking With Giants.

 1. KASEY: "When you approached Clint to produce did you already have some demos recorded to give him an idea of where you were headed" ?
GARY: "Yep.  Most of the tracks existed as Pro Tools sessions that I sent to Clint to review".

 2.  KASEY : "Obviously Morgan plays with Clint in Sevendust but how did Brian Marshall enter the picture" ?
GARY : "I asked Brian to join Clint, Scott Phillips and me for the One By One sessions - the 2nd Walking With Giants EP. During the session, Brian told me he’d love to do it again sometime".

3. KASEY: "I know that due to busy schedules a lot of writing was being done via Pro Tools sessions and e mailing back and forth. Did you have vocals on those sessions? Did you change much arrangement wise or vocally once you got into the studio"?  
  GARY : "A handful of tracks had vocals ideas on them: "Broken Truth", "Different Voice" and "Solid Ground".  Normally, we write the melodies and lyrics in the studio".

4. KASEY : "Describe that moment when Clint presents "Heavy Hand" to you. What are you thinking" ?
GARY : "I was excited out of my mind when Clint offered "Heavy Hand" to me.  It reminded me of the metal tunes I loved during the 80’s" .

5.  KASEY : "Initially you wanted to form a cover band but had a hard time finding committed musicians. Are you finding it a little easier to find some dedicated players now with the kind of talent you attracted to Walking With Giants" ?
GARY : "Right now, I haven’t been pursuing any efforts to get out and play live, so we’ll see what happens when I do".

6. KASEY : "You're a big Metallica fan. What are your thoughts on the St. Anger album"?
 GARY : "I was a Metallica fan through ”... And Justice For All.”  After that, I didn’t like anything that they put out".

7. KASEY : "What about Some Kind Of Monster? I cringed watching it and Metallica has never been the same for me since".
GARY : "I’m guilty of not being too thrilled when A favorite band of mine changes their sound.  Bands work very hard to create their material, so out of respect, I usually don't share my opinion about that sort of thing".

8. KASEY : "Didn't you used to play guitar in a church orchestra"?
GARY : "Yeah.  From ’91 to ‘2000".

9. KASEY : "You're a positive guy and this album reflects that. Do you think there is a little too much whining going on in the genre or just in general these days? I kind of feel like there has been a lot of wallowing going on for quite some time".
GARY : "I just think there is a tremendous influence on people to be offended easily, feel like they’re being cheated or are victims of some evil form of injustice.  It’s like the zeitgeist of this time in history.  It’s in the air.  It’s constantly in the news, TV shows, music, movies, social media. Life can be hard enough on it’s own without that noise trying to steamroller over your attempts to have a healthy self-image and successfully make your way in the world".

10. KASEY : "What's coming up in the foreseeable future for Walking With Giants"?
GARY : "I’m looking forward to see how well Worlds Unknown can do and I’m practicing a lot". 

Walking With Giants latest album is called "World's Unknown". You can purchase the new album and keep up with the band at
KASEY'S CUTS : vol 1
Beth Hart featuring Slash - Sister Heroine
An incredible song from an incredible album by an incredible artist. Beth Hart is perhaps my favorite female vocalist and I don't say that lightly. This song is a must with or without Slash but his involvement just makes this all the more impossible to ignore. This is what bittersweet sounds like.
Peeping Tom - We're Not Alone
Mike Patton has done some great things outside of Faith No More, be it Mr. Bungle , Tomahawk etc, but I would argue that this is one of his finest songs. This is a genre bending tune that manages to mix falsetto vocals and drum loops with thrash metal spasms and Patton's trademark lyricism to take you through some really interesting twists and turns while remaining eminently listenable from start to finish. "We're Not Alone" contains a tremendous chorus that is as catchy as anything Patton has ever penned and with lyrics like " I'm not alone/ Got this microphone and I ain't gonna fool ya" I was bound to be hooked. I never stood a chance.
Jeff Beck - A Day In The Life (Beatles Cover)
Beatles covers are a dodgy lot but this one is spot on. Jeff Beck's sweet singing guitar proves to be a perfect match for the source material.  Beck's incredible command over the instrument seems to be equal parts sorcery and mastery as he truly makes his guitar gently weep on this breathtaking track. Of course , with the building strings and epic arrangement, one can't help but to remember the greatness of Fab Four producer George Martin as well.
Matisyahu - King Without A Crown - Live At Stubb's
Matisyahu fuses the contemporary styles of reggae, rap, beatboxing, and hip-hop in general, with the more traditional vocal disciplines of jazz's scat singing and Judaism's hazzan style of songful prayer. "King Without A Crown" is one of those songs you'd have to try very hard to feel bad listening to. It's a bouncy , positive number that forces you to smile. Matisyahu is a uniquely talented fellow that seems to fall somewhere between Bob Marley and Sublime on this track. Plus, he's rapping away over ACTUAL instruments! What a concept right? The groove and Matisyahu's flow are so deft that you might overlook the fact that the lyrics are really fucking good. Listen and try to fight of a smile. I dare you.
Baptized By Fire - Juggernaut
Twisted Sister's Dee Snider isn't the only one in the Snider clan with a penchant for bombastic rock. Dee's son Jesse Blaze Snider is proof that the apple often doesn't fall far from the tree. This tune from his band Baptized By Fire is an anthemic and thunderous rock song with enough fist pumping grandiosity to make dear ol' dad blush with pride. Of course, neither the song nor the band achieved the success they deserved which is unfortunate for several reasons, one being that I think their best stuff was ahead of them. Too bad they never got the chance.
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