Rebel Soul Tour 2013 feat. Kid Rock w/ Buckcherry & Hellbound GloryPop/Rock
Detroit MI | Rock
"Where I'm going's where I'm at."
So says Kid Rock on the title track of his 9th studio album. And considering everywhere Rock has gone during the past 22 years, we can have faith that we're headed for another fascinating, fornicating, galvanizing, eyebrow-raising, endlessly surprising --- at the very least interesting -- trip on the 14 tracks of REBEL SOUL.
He has, after all, been our Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp, the Devil Without a Cause, the Cowboy, the Bullgod, the Rock N Roll Jesus, the American Bad Ass and, lest we forget, a proud Son Of Detroit -- all while eating some Grits Sandwiches For Breakfast, doing a bit of Yo-Da-Lin In The Valley and getting 3 Sheets To The Wind. Rock has taken us out to the party and into the bedroom, and on contemplative trips through the Midwestern American spirit. Where he's going tends to be a lot of places.
And Rock jots them all on REBEL SOUL, the follow-up to 2010's platinum BORN FREE and the finest, fiercest and funkiest embodiment to date of the punk rock/hip-hop/Southern rock synthesis he described on his 2001 hit "Forever." It is, in his own words, "a greatest hits with all new songs and everything I've touched on in my career at this point -- whether it's the writing style, the singing style, the attitude, the playing...It's all the things I've learned for so many years, on my own and from so many of the people that influenced me.”
"I was talking to somebody the other day, trying to explain the record," he adds, pausing before he lets out a laugh. "I said 'It's really confusing -- so it's a perfect Kid Rock record!"
REBEL SOUL also represents one of the "easiest" albums Rock has made to this point, a mark of the confidence, assuredness and -- dare we say it -- maturity he and his team have developed over time. The evolution has been genuine and organic, over the course of 26 million record sales and a slew of hits -- from "Bawitdaba" to "Born Free" -- that have criss-crossed the rock, pop and country charts. And let's not discount the impact made by his pair of studio facilities, The Warehouse and the Allen Roadhouse, in the Detroit exurbs, which contributed significantly to the almost offhanded manner by which REBEL SOUL came to be earlier this year.
"We had a bunch of songs written and were just learning them to see how they felt," Rock recalls. "Everyone was playing really well, so I said, 'Let's hook this [recording gear] up and take a crack at it. If we don't use it we don't use it, but we're gonna learn something about all these songs as we play 'em. And lo and behold, we got started and just kept going and made a record."
Working with the members of his crack Twisted Brown Trucker band and sprinkling in some choice guests -- guitarists Blake Mills (Jackson Browne, Fiona Apple), Audley Freed (the Black Crowes, the Dixie Chicks, Jakob Dylan), Keith Gattis (Kenny Chesney, Gary Allan, Eli Young Band) and Sponge's Vinnie Dombroski -- and with old friend and former TBT member Uncle Kracker co-writing three tracks, Rock says a balance of feel and arrangement was his musical focus for REBEL SOUL. "I wanted to let people get in there and play and not give them too much direction or try to make it too perfect," he explains.
"But then I took it and added some more parts afterwards. I look at Eagles records and things like that where they have these great guitar lines and great parts, whether it's a keyboard riff or something else. But I was careful not to change the feel."
Rock also deliberately took REBEL SOUL all over the musical map. The gleeful "Chickens In The Pen" kicks things off with Southern grit and tribal vocals, while "Let's Ride," REBEL SOUL's first single and Rock's tribute to troops in service overseas, is heavy, guitar-drenched riff rock. A roadhouse-style blues shuffle drives the politically tinged "3 CATT Boogie," while his Dixie inclinations fortify the title track “Rebel Soul,” "Redneck Paradise," the John Eddie co-write "Happy New Year" and the mournful "Cocaine and Gin." "God Save Rock n Roll," meanwhile, is Rock's version of the classic rise and fall tale that's a kindred spirit to the likes of Bad Company's "Shooting Star" and Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero." "Detroit, Michigan" offers a joyous, Motown-spirited shout out to Rock's beloved home town, while "Celebrate" is a vintage slice of soul-rock that nods to Nutbush, Tenn.
Rock also gets deep into some characters on REBEL SOUL, starting with "Mr. Rock n Roll," a dynamic production piece that doubles as a history lesson, or what Rock calls "a journey through music." "It's just saying how soulless records are now, so how about this -- right in your face," Rock explains. "This guy's dad was a roadie for REO Speedwagon in the 70s and his mom was a high-priced call girl in Hollywood, and he was a product of that. That's why he's got eyeliner on and a big sequined suit. It's a Captain Fantastic, Ziggy Stardust kind of thing." Then there's "Cucci Galore," a return to rap-rock roots with hot tubs, leopard-skinned Lamborghinis, edible bikinis, a slinky guitar line, Public Enemy's Flavor Flav on board for quality control -- and yet another Rock persona, Bobby Shazam.
"I thought there should be this other dude in the song, who's just way out of his fucking gourd," Rock says. "He's that rock 'n' roll who's beyond the 'I don't give a fuck attitude.' I love to get into characters like that and just have fun with them."
Fun, in fact, was crucial for REBEL SOUL, especially after the rich earnestness heard on BORN FREE. "Yeah, it's a fun record," Rock says. You've got a lot of total Kid Rock songs. A lot of this stuff I could just feel how it's going to be when we do it live."
REBEL SOUL packs plenty of gravitas, too. "The Mirror," for instance, is as dark and heart-wrenching a song as Rock has ever put on album, with Auto Tune-laced vocals that give the lyrics an eerie, spectral feel. "Let's Ride" was written as "a theme song for the kids that have to go into the shit and fight," many of whom Rock has met during his many trips into the battle theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan. And the album-closing "Midnight Ferry" is a rootsy, funereal reflection that resolves into handclapping "Hallelujah!" celebration.
"You kind of go in and out of those moods at times -- you dive into them and come out of it," Rock notes. "Sometimes you're sitting around and feeling reflective and thinking about things, and other times you're like, 'Let's get this fuckin' party started!' But they're all human emotions. We all have all of them, and it wouldn't be honest not to reflect them."
The full breadth of the human experience is Rock's palette, of course -- in his music and also beyond. He's become active in humanitarian and philanthropic concerts, working with organizations such as Operation Finally Home, which builds houses for disabled returning veterans, establishing the Kid Rock Foundation to help fund various projects and initiatives around the country, and raising $1 million for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. There was also his pre-election "Americans" video with actor Sean Penn, which delivered the message "Don't let politics divide us. Thinking differently. It's what made this country great."
"I'm fortunate; I have the means and the resources to go beyond the music and all the rock 'n' roll hype and everything and do some good work," Rock notes. "I want to do stuff that does fit me, and I want to do stuff that absolutely doesn't fit -- just do stuff that's different, with the music and with everything that comes along with it."
Los Angeles CA | Rock
"I didn't do it for money, I did it all for free/I did it all to fill the fucking hole inside of me" - 'So Far'
Don't call it a comeback. For BUCKCHERRY founders--lead singer JOSH TODD and his co-writer, guitarist KEITH NELSON--the band has never really been away, and that urgency comes through loud and clear on FIFTEEN, their first album in four years.
"My desire never left," says tattooed frontmanTODD, a whirling dervish onstage with a classic rock & roll yowl that places the band in a unique space at the crossroads of punk energy and metal power. "I'm a musician, a performer and a songwriter, and I'm still really passionateabout entertaining and making records."
You can hear that intensity on the opening salvo of "So Far" and in "Next 2 You," a collaboration between TODD, NELSON, ASHHURST and songwriter Marti Fredrickson (Aerosmith). The album's first single, "Crazy Bitch", was the last song written by TODD and NELSON before Buckcherry's hiatus, so it is fitting that the track has become the anthem of the band's rejuvenation.
"We had to take a break and assess what was important, and that's creating music that fills what we see as a current voidfor classic rock with a modern edge," says NELSON, a self-dubbed "East Coast blues-rock guitar guy" from Beaver Falls, PA. "We were just pulled apart by so many outside forces that took us away from what we set out todo."
Recruiting guitarist STEVIE D, drummer XAVIER MURIEL and bassist JIMMY ASHHURST, BUCKCHERRY was energized enough to record their new album in 15 days (hence the album's title), with NELSON co-producing alongside Mike Plotnikoff and Paul DeCarli. It's a throwback to discs like Led Zeppelin I - made in one week with a barely contained rush of inspiration and spontaneity.
"We're very fortunate to have guys playing with usnow who are true believers in what we want to do," says KEITH. "I never realized how much fun and creatively inspiring this could be. It's been a fuckin' blast."
"BUCKCHERRY is a rock & roll band. We wanted to get that vibe back which made us so explosive," agrees JOSH. "We went out tofind the right guys who had that same mentality. These guys are in for the long haul."
"Think about what you know/Forget about what you're told/See how your story grows and let it come from your own mind/Do all your favorite things/Cover it with all your dreams/Breathe it, and smoke it, and fuck it and make it something" - 'So Far'
The L.A.-based band broke onto the national scene in 1999 with their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, produced by Terry Date and Sex Pistol Steve Jones for DreamWorks Records. They scored with such hit Modern Rock singles as "Lit Up," "Check Your Head" and "For The Movies", and quickly ignited a following of passionate fans craving a return of true rock and roll. "Coming on like the Black Crowes by way of AC/DC," Entertainment Weekly raved, "this L.A.-based band is at its best blasting its way through hard-hitting riff rockers." Melody Maker boasted that BUCKCHERRY is "a band who kicks arse, 'cause that's why God gave us shoes", and Q called the debut "a hugely entertaining record", recognizing the "rumpty-tumpty groove of AC/DC and songs which recall such long-forgotten Sunset Strip bands as Junkyard and Little Caesar". The band "establishes itself in adult Beavis & Butthead country", added Mojo. "It's Riffs R Us."
BUCKCHERRY went on to release the follow-up record Time Bomb in summer 2000, followed by a successful stint opening for one of their longtime heroes, AC/DC. When DreamWorks Records effectively disappeared within the corporate monolith shortly afterwards, however, the group's momentum stalled, band members split, and TODD and NELSON were left trying to right the sinking ship. It placed a tremendous amount of financial and emotional pressure on the band, which forced them to take a break to re-evaluate their future direction.
While on hiatus fromBUCKCHERRY, the duo was recruited by Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum to play a benefit for the late drummer Randy Castillo. Soon afterwards the ensemble began writing material and playing new songs, and although it never panned out, these sessions served as the precursor for the infamous "G&R Project" - now titled Velvet Revolver.
"It made us realize how much fun it was to be in a band again," says JOSH. "We began to focus on what mattered--the music--and what BUCKCHERRY represented and believed in. We were able to turn our disappointment at the label's demise into a new direction."
"By the end, I was just so spent dealing with all the egos, I needed to take some time off," explains KEITH, who ended up with a co-writing credit on "Dirty Little Thing" from Velvet Revolver's hit debut Contraband.
The experience recommitted the pair to workingtogether and reforming the band.
"I missed him as a friend,"says JOSH. "And it came back together so quickly and effortlessly, we felt, 'this is the way it's supposed to be.' The time away ended up working in our favor."
The pairing favorably compares to several prominent lead singer/guitarist duos who have fueled some of the band's major inspirations, a torch that has been handed down from the dawn of rock - which JOSH and KEITH have willingly accepted.
FIFTEEN sports some of the all-out rockers that BUCKCHERRY is known for, like the aggro fury of "Out of Line," the salacious, Stonesy swagger of "Crazy Bitch," the balls-to-the-wall "Onset," the full-tilt Faces rock of "Sunshine" and the anti-war, AC/DC-influenced "Broken Glass." Butthere's also the Bic-flicking, Marti Frederickson co-written power ballad, "Sorry," the minor key Anglo-rock of "Everything" and the bluesy acoustic ode to "Brooklyn."
"We went into the studio and vowed not to come out until we had a successful, ass-kicking, career-defining album," says JOSH.
"We entered this process without an A&R guy or a label behind us," agrees KEITH. "There wasn't a huge payday waiting for us. It was about making a record we were happy with and believed in. At this point, I don't give a fuck about selling records if I'm not getting off on the music and the people I'm making it with. We learned that we can succeed creatively being self-contained and self-directed if we allowed ourselves to follow our instincts."
"I've been trying all night long, cause I want to get next to you" - 'Next 2 You'
With FIFTEEN, BUCKCHERRY hasn't just returned to the scene, they've grabbed it by the throat and are back in your face with renewed vengeance.
"I have a lot of pride in the album, years of experience and knowledge riding on the fact this is an opportunity to do what I do with a band that's awesome and that I enjoy playing with," explains KEITH. "Once you learn where the potholes in the road are, you can go around them. We're really fortunate in being able to get back together, absorb those lessons and move forward."
"That's the best thing about America," adds TODD. "You can get a second chance... and I'm very grateful for it."
On FIFTEEN, BUCKCHERRY have survived the industry to show the world what they've always strived to become - a world-class rock band.
Reno NV | Alternative
Barreling through the gates of country music, HELLBOUND GLORY, is justifying rightful ownership to the band’s declarative namesake. In defining their sound, distilled of equal parts melody and bar-room-thump, this Reno, NV based band is packing the house to a growing legion of fans coast to coast. Front man and songwriter, Leroy Virgil, explains; “We just really dig the challenge of a new audience. We’ll walk into a new room full of folks that haven’t heard our music, play a 4 or 5 hour night, and drive away with more people that consider themselves fans. I’m not a flashy guy but I like showing off.”
The bands formation in 2008 was a graduation of sorts for Virgil who originally hails from Aberdeen, WA. Relocating to Reno in 2002, the singer jumped head-long into the nightlife of the Biggest Little City In The World. This ’nightlife’ had an immediate impact on what would become HELLBOUND GLORY’S material. Virgil explains Reno’s influence, “I grew up in a hick-town by a lot of peoples standards. Reno is just a hick-town with taller buildings and brighter lights. Playing Reno is like playing a 24 hour dive bar. No matter where I play, I’m never too far from home.”
Virgil’s songwriting consistently tests the boundaries of conventional country music’s lyrical playing field. When asked to describe the band’s signature sound, Virgil proclaims, “Country music was a big influence on the rock music I wrote when I was younger and still in Aberdeen. That same rock music echoes a bit in my country western music today. We’re really not afraid to piss off any of either genre’s purists. We’re just out there being ourselves!” In fact, HELLBOUND GLORY songs resound with equal parts wit and humor. An unabbreviated and honest statement of the world we live in today.
Forged through a relentless touring schedule that carries the band cross-country on a regular basis; HELLBOUND GLORY are conquering new stomping ground on the strength of three full length releases; “Scumbag Country (2008),” “Old Highs & New Lows (2010),” and “Damaged Goods (2011).”
HELLBOUND GLORY can count some of music’s most prolific and accomplished artists today among their growing number of supporters. Virgil continues “It’s pretty cool that we can count these folks as fans of our music, but I’ve got to be my own fan first and foremost.”
This is HELLBOUND GLORY, music as honest and reflective in a frantic urban metropolis as it is on lost and desolate byway.
The band is currently in the studio recording a follow-up to the highly acclaimed “Damaged Goods.”