Fantoons is both, a comic strip and an animated series that combines classic rock, crazy humor and cutting-edge animation parodying the world’s greatest rock bands.
David Calcano created the series independently to showcase his passion for music and animation. He released comic strips every week and the series’ Facebook fanbase started to grow (now close to 40,000 fans). It slowly became one of the most popular comics amongst Rush fans in particular, and other rock bands including Mr. Big (Eric Martin, Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert and Pat Torpey).
Calcano approached Mr. Big – one of his favorite rock bands – with Fantoons under his arm and a dream to feature them in one of the series of animated shorts. The band loved the concept and immediately green-lit the project. After seeing the completed animated short, “Fantoons: Chasing Mr. Big,” the band not only selected the short to open their 2014 shows in Japan, but also hired Calcano and his team to produce six additional animated pieces to be used throughout the show.
“Chasing Mr. Big” (featuring the voice of Eric Martin) was shown before the band’s concert at the legendary Budokan venue on November 10 in front of 20,000 people.
Today, the feature is available on the web at Fantoons.tv and on the site’s official YouTube page. The clip has been garnering rave feedback from the likes of radio DJ Eddie Trunk, members of the animation industry media such as CartoonBrew.com, whose founder Jerry Beck called it, “completely crazy and very cool.”
Check out the complete “Chasing Mr. Big” animated short here:
Calcano is now preparing his next Fantoons animated short and is already getting offers to work with other bands to continue his creative path combining rock music and animation. His ultimate goal is to create a new revenue stream for the music industry using the boundless world of animation as a medium.
Fantoons gets featured constantly at comic conventions around the U.K. and the United States, where the critically acclaimed cartoon book, Fantoons: Rock, Sweat and Strips, is sold. Throughout Fantoons’ history, the animated shorts have earned more than 40 film festival nominations around the world, including screenings at San Diego Comic-Con and winning the “Best Animation Short” at London’s Portobello Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the world. The future is bright for this young series that is all about the comedy and passion for the world’s greatest rock bands.
SEBASTIEN proudly presents a brand new live-video from this year’s MASTERS OF ROCK festival!!! It’s an exclusive version of one of BLACK SABBATH highlights, “Headless Cross”, which was performed with an unforgettable line-up:
Tony Martin (ex-BLACK SABBATH) – vocal
Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN, ex-HELLOWEEN) – guitar, backing vocal
George Rain (SEBASTIEN) – guitar
Petri Kallio (SEBASTIEN) – bass
Pavel Dvořák (SEBASTIEN, WARHAWK) – keyboards
Martin ‘Marthus’ Skaroupka (CRADLE OF FILTH, MASTERPLAN) – drums
…the mix and mastering of the live recording was made by Roland Grapow himself in GRAPOW STUDIOS! That’s also where final mixing-works of SEBASTIEN’s second album, “Dark Chambers of Déja vu”, are made nowadays. The long promised new album – including some great guest-appearances – is going to be released in 2015…
Featuring Doug Aldrich (ex-Whitesnake), Jack Blades (Night Ranger) Deen Castronovo (Journey) and with special guests Alessandro Del Vecchio, Journey’s Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda Released on CD, Deluxe Edition w/ bonus DVD, Digital Download and 180 gram black vinyl European release by Frontiers Records – Friday 20 February 2015 US release: Tuesday 24 February 2015
Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich. Put these three rock titans together in a band and you have the exciting new hard rock/melodic rock supergroup REVOLUTION SAINTS.
Superbly handling drums and lead vocals is Deen Castronovo. Already renowned for his drum talents and backing vocals in Journey, Bad English and more, Deen’s excellent vocal talents are in the spotlight on this release. On bass, and co-lead vocals on a few tracks, Jack Blades is well known for his melodic, yet hard rocking approach to songwriting and playing via multiple classic albums by his main band Night Ranger, as well as with the Damn Yankees and the Shaw/Blades releases. On guitar, Doug Aldrich was excited to lend his fiery blues guitar attack to such a unique and melodic band. Doug, who just left Whitesnake after a fruitful 12 year run (including co-writing 2010s critically acclaimed “Forevermore” release) and also of Burning Rain and formerly of DIO, has a deep pedigree and is one of today’s most respected guitarists.
You can tell by the name – and the names involved – that REVOLUTION SAINTS isn’t your average rock ‘n roll band. The new album brings back the classic melodic rock style to where it should be: inspiring, uplifting vocals, soaring melodies and musicianship to die for. It’s completely badass.
The project is the vision of Frontiers’ President Serafino Perugino, who for years had hoped to work on a project where Deen would be the lead vocalist. Having previously worked with all three artists on different projects on Frontiers, having Deen, Jack and Doug on board together was a dream come true for Perugino.
With production overseen by in-house Frontiers man, Alessandro Del Vecchio (who also contributed to the songwriting and played keyboards on the album), the recording process took place in Portland, Oregon during the summer of 2014.
REVOLUTION SAINTS’ music is played with a heart and soul and that highlights the passion and the enthusiasm of three of the best rock and all-around musicians in the game today. Truly, this will be a release that you cannot afford to miss. Lovers of melodic rock will fall in love all over again with REVOLUTION SAINTS.
Deen Castronovo: lead vocals, drums
Jack Blades: bass, vocals on Turn Back Time and Way To The Sun
Doug Aldrich: guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio: keyboards, backing vocals, vocals on Way To The Sun
Arnel Pineda – co-lead vocals on You’re Not Alone
Neal Schon – guitar solo on Way To The Sun
Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio
1. Back On My Trail
2. Turn Back Time
3. You’re Not Alone (Feat. Arnel Pineda)
4. Locked Out Of Paradise
5. Way To The Sun (Feat. Neal Schon)
6. Dream On
7. Don’t Walk Away
8. Here Forever;
9. Strangers To This Life
10. Better World;
11. How To Mend A Broken Heart
12. In The Name Of The Father (Fernando’s Song)
Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Edition only)
1. You Are Not Alone (Arnel Pineda version)
2. Way To The Sun (Doug Aldrich version)
3. You Are Not Alone (Deen Castronovo Version)
DVD Content (Deluxe Edition only)
1. Making of the Album documentary
2. Turn Back Time (promo video)
3. Back On My Trail (promo video)
4. Here Forever (promo video)
5. Way to the Sun (lyric video)
Deep in the autumnal gloom (read: rain) in the heart of Belfast, the last thing one would expect was a gig featuring not one, but THREE languages other than English. Right? Well, that was exactly what punters got when they ventured out on a rather meh Friday night in November.
First off the bat were Icelandic metallers Skálmöld. With their new album ‘Með Vættum’ released this very day, the band were in pugnacious form, rattling through their set of muscular Amon Amarth-esque Viking metal with barely a pause for breath. The rapidly filling room responded with roars of approval, as well as an (hilarious) impromptu performance of ‘happy birthday dear drummer’ on being informed of sticksman Jón Geir Jóhannsson’s big day – much to the band’s amusement.
Fist-pumping anthems such as Gleipnir, Med Fuglum and Kvaðning were fired out, giving their set a sort of ‘Viking movie soundtrack’ feel – if said soundtrack were heavily on steroids, that is. No airy-fairy pagan wispiness here tonight, no sir!
Vocalist Björgvin Sigurösson’s gruff, guttural tones were rather reminiscent of Rammstein’s Til Lindemann, with keyboardist Gunnar Ben adding a classy touch with his surprisingly melodic voice.
It’s clear from the roar of the crowd that greets Sigurösson’s grateful “it’s our first time in Belfast, so thank you for showing up” that this will undoubtedly be the first of many visits to this corner of the globe for Skálmöld.
Continuing the evening’s international theme, second support act Arkona featured Mongolian throat singing as their intro music and then strode onstage clad in traditional Russian garb – most startlingly, frontwoman Masha ‘Scream’ was draped in what appeared to be an entire husky skin.
Describing themselves as ‘Slavic pagan metal’ proves to be slightly misleading as they launched into a pummelling and surprisingly brutal beat – and proceeded to simply blow the crowd away.
Vocalist Masha was frankly mesmerising, switching from heartfelt clean vocals to a deep fearsome growl effortlessly. She resembled a fur-clad Axl Rose, all frantic energy and Joplin-esque intensity. The band themselves put in a spellbinding performance. Watching them is a completely immersive experience: they were raw and powerful, as well as being clearly talented musicians. And hey – it’s not every day that you see a mountainous, headbanging bagpiper! They must stand out like aliens in their native Russia…
The crowd responded with instinctive awe and joy, falling silent during brief a cappella moments from Masha (goosebumpy), clapping gleefully during snippets of traditional Russian music, and dutifully fulfilling Masha’s demand for a wall of death towards the end.
Their stunning hour-long set featured songs both old and new (particularly tracks from recent release ‘Reality’), with their bruising metal might accentuated by traditional Russian wind instruments. Set highlights were Serbia, Zakliate and a breathtaking Slav’sja, Rus’! In a word: extraordinary.
Such a stonking set prompted the obvious question: can Eluveitie top that? There wasn’t long to wait to find out: with a swirl of stormy sound effects overlaid with poetry, the Swiss natives trooped onstage with their various instruments and kicked off their set with confidence and aplomb.
With its bold lighting, special effects and the sheer number of members, it quickly becomes clear that this wasn’t merely a gig – this was a show, a spectacle.
The aforementioned instruments? How about a hurdygurdy, fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin and bagpipes, for starters? This assortment, when combined with the more traditional metal instruments (guitar, bass etc) brought Eluveitie’s sound excitingly to life tonight.
Singer Chrigel Glanzmann hit his stride immediately, giving a terrific ‘proper metal’ performance, with hurdygurdy player and co-vocalist Anna Murphy providing the vocal beauty to his brawn. Musically the band were quite clearly as tight as the proverbial drum, polished yet enthusiastic. It’s very obvious that they are a talented bunch individually – together, they are a force of nature. There were moments of almost ethereal elegance mixed in amongst the heaviness – a fact which could account for the almost fifty fifty split of males to females in the crowd.
Glanzmann interacted well with the crowd throughout. He delighted in telling them that “it’s so good to finally be back in Belfast!”, which elicited roars of approval. He described Eluveitie as simply a band that “sing songs about the ancient Celts” in ancient languages – in fact, when introducing new track The Call of the Mountains, Murphy gave five different languages to choose from as they have sung it in all of them!
Unsurprisingly, their set heavily featured songs from latest album ‘Origins’, including The Nameless, King, and the (literally) epic Vianna. These new numbers mixed well with older tracks such as the powerhouse of Dominion and a colossal Yarmuk which rounded out their set, to the air-punching elation of the crowd.
But wait! It aint over til it’s over! Reappearing onstage to a heroes welcome, they recruited Vladimir from Arkona to cover bagpiping duties (as their piper Päde Kistler had to leave the tour unexpectedly) and swung into a spirited version of fan favourite Helvetios, followed by the inevitable climax of Inis Mona, whose tribal beat and rare guitar solo resulted in pandemonium/en masse headbanging from the crowd. A brilliant ending to an exciting and dynamic set.
Tonight proved, if nothing else, that a metal gig doesn’t have to feature the local language to be thrilling and rousing. From Vikings to Russian pagans to Celts, tonight in Belfast punters witnessed a wealth of talent and legendary stories, as well as a plethora of traditional instruments in both the metal and classical sense. And hey. It’s not often that you see a beautiful hurdygurdy-playing brunette headbanging…
1/ Origins – Intro 2/ The Nameless
7/ Carry the Torch
8/ The Call of the Mountains
10/ Grey Sublime Archon
13/ The Silver Sister
Time to start planning a tropical vacation with rock legend OZZY OSBOURNE at next May’s Cool Breeze Concerts and Sharon Osbourne Present OZZFIESTA. This all-inclusive (all food, beverage, resort fees included, along with room credits to use towards a variety of onsite amenities), five-day event is set for Wednesday, May 27-Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the beautiful Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico (http://www.hrhrivieramaya.com/).
Beginning December 1, anyone who purchases an OZZFIESTA ticket during the month of December is automatically eligible for daily online giveaways. Each week’s giveaway will be Osbourne-themed with a week to honor OZZFIESTA headliner Ozzy Osbourne, OZZFIESTA presenter Sharon Osbourne, The Osbourne’s TV week and and OZZFest week. Beyond the daily giveaways, each week will include one grand prize, with one special OZZFIESTA grand prize to be given to a random winner.
OZZFIESTA will conclude with an intimate beachside closing night performance from OZZY with full sets from Black Label Society and a special TBA guest, along with a variety of additional performances. Other OZZFIESTA highlights include a dinner party hosted by Sharon Osbourne (included in select room packages), an opening night “Welcome Party” featuring a special acoustic set by Zakk Wylde, a Q&A session with OZZY OSBOURNE and his band, a Charity Golf Tournament benefitting The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, a hilarious Comedy Club Night featuring renowned stand-up comedians Jim Norton (Opie and Jim Norton Show) and Jim Florentine (That Metal Show), OZZFIESTA Karaoke night, Osbourne movie night, games (including Boozeicle chairs) and much more. Beyond Ozzy and Sharon, look for additional appearances and events throughout the weekend from other Osbourne family members.
Tickets for OZZFIESTA are available now at www.ozzfiesta.com. A just announced payment plan requires only a $199 deposit at time of purchase, with another $199 payment due January 16, another payment for the remaining 50% balance due February 15 with the remaining balance due March 15.
Ticket prices start at $1,899 per adult, $499 for children (4-17) and $100 for toddlers (newborn-3) and the first 500 rooms sold include a meet & greet with OZZY. All prices include room taxes and gratuities.
OZZFIESTA will take place at an all-inclusive five-star resort with all high-level amenities. The resort boasts Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya a “resort within the resort” exclusive to adult guests, which features three adults-only pools and a private beach on the serene waters of the Caribbean Sea surrounded by the natural sea cove. The luxurious location also offers two family pools and a private white sand beach nestled along the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, a world-class 18-hole Robert von Hagge-designed golf course, nine on-site restaurants (ranging from casual to international gourmet selections) and 24-hour room service, top-shelf alcoholic beverages in six bars, a teen “backstage” lounge, the Little Big Club™ Experience children’s area with interactive play rooms and activities and playrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi in rooms and throughout the resort property, unlimited phone calls to the continental U.S. and Canada. In addition, each room booked includes a $750 resort credit (which can be used for spa treatments, massages, golf and much more).
More information about tickets, the resort and travel options can be found at WWW.OZZFIESTA.COM.
The rumors have been doing the rounds for months, now it’s official at last: 23 February 2015 will see the European release (Germany: 20 February 2015 / US: 3 March 2015) of the latest studio recording by British rock legend UFO, their 22nd to date. The album will be called A Conspiracy Of Stars, and the band consisting of Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar), Andy Parker (drums) and Rob De Luca (bass) have recorded almost a dozen fantastic new songs, produced and mixed in the Kentish town of Deal by Chris Tsangarides, renowned for his work with acts such as Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore. A Conspiracy Of Stars will be available as a Digipak (including poster and bonus track), jewel case, vinyl double LP and for download.
More or less simultaneously with the release, UFO are scheduled to go on tour in February and March 2015, playing Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Switzerland, and more, followed by a tour of Britain and Ireland in Apriland May.
The band is already looking forward to the reactions to their latest release: “A Conspiracy Of Stars is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas. We’re confident that not only our longstanding supporters will get their money’s worth, but that younger rock fans will also enjoy the album. We look forward to seeing you on tour!”
TOUR DATES 2015
Fri 20 Germany, Barby – Rautenkranz
Sat 21 Germany, Berlin – K17
Sun 22 Germany, Hagen/Osnabrück – Saal Stock
Mon 23 Germany, Hamburg – Downtown Blues Club
Wed 25 Germany, Mannheim – Alte Seilerei
Thu 26 Germany, Bochum – Zeche
Fri 27 Germany, Siegburg – Kubana
Sat 28 Germany, Affalter – Zur Linde
Mon 02 Germany, Rostock – Mau Club
Wed 04 Poland, Warsaw – Stodola
Thu 05 Lithuania, Vilnius – Forum Palace
Fri 06 Poland, Krakow – Kwadrat
Sat 07 Czech Rep., Zlin – Masters of Rock Café
Mon 09 Germany, Burgrieden/Ulm – Riffelhof
Tue 10 Germany, Osterode – Dorster Festhalle
Wed 11 Germany, Freiburg – Jazzhaus
Thu 12 Switzerland, Zug – Choller Halle
Thu 16 England, Norwich – Waterfront
Fri 17 England, Cambridge – Junction
Sat 18 England, Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall
Sun 19 England, Manchester – Ritz
Tue 21 Ireland, Dublin – The Academy
Wed 22 N. Ireland, Belfast – The Limelight
Fri 24 England, Glasgow – O2 ABC
Sat 25 England, Newcastle – O2 Academy
Sun 26 England, Leeds – O2 Academy
Tue 28 England, Nottingham – Rock City
Thu 30 England, Bristol – O2 Academy
Fri 01 England, Falmouth – Pavilion
Sat 02 England, Exeter – Phoenix
Sun 03 England, Salisbury – City Hall
Tue 05 England, Brighton – Concorde 2
Wed 06 England, Oxford – O2 Academy
Thu 07 England, London – HMV Forum
Author & Punisher, the San Diego-based, one man doom outfit that uses machinery to create music, is currently in the studio recording their Housecore Records’ debut album.
The currently untitled album is being recorded at Nodferatu’s Lair in North Shore, La. With Housecore Records’ founder Philip H. Anselmo and Author & Punisher serving as producers.
As Author & Punisher, Tristan Shone builds and manipulates machinery to create music in an entirely new manner. A recent Wired Magazine feature, citing the lack of live instruments said, “What you’ll find instead is lots and lots of actual metal — a hefty helping of aluminum, steel, and copper, to be precise.” Shone started working on what would become Author & Punisher as part of his master’s thesis, dubbing his “instruments” the Drone Machines. NPR said of Author & Punisher’s live performance, “It’s a thrill to watch this musical cyborg at work, as he literally fires on all cylinders and pulls levers like an executioner.”
“I went into the writing process with a new setup of both old Drone Machines, newer Dub Machines and synth, as I have found combinations that work effectively together,” explains Shone. “From day one of our session and throughout, Phil Anselmo and his long time crew of Mike Thompson and Big Fella have nurtured the heaviness and dissonance in my songs and the machines with a very interesting focus on vocals. The experience at Housecore has been so positive because, yes we are making a record, but we are together 24 hours a day and the welcome has made me feel relaxed so I can produce the art. This is the first time I have really worked with anyone on an A&P recording and to be fully engrossed in your songs for more than three weeks with Phil has really allowed us to find.”
“Tristan Shone is a genius,” said Anselmo. “I’ve seen him do his thing for a few years now and toured with him. We set up a recording session for early November 2014, and his crushing of most things common in music ensued. But lo and behold, I heard him SING. And it blew me away. What now separates him from other Noise-type bands is his voice! It is an art to make excellent Noise, and it’s an art to be able to use one’s voice to its full potential. The songs we’re recording are Noisy, dismal and beautiful — an excellent combination. To not maximize his talents would be a slight to Tristan’s art. This is what we intend to do through his songs, and I’m proud to be a part of this alliance.”
Author & Punisher tour dates:
Dec. 3 San Diego, CA The Casbah
Dec. 4 San Francisco, CA DNA
Dec. 5 San Luis Obispo, CA Lee Golde
Dec. 6 Sacramento, CA Press Club
Dec. 8 Eugene, OR Wow Hall
Dec. 9 Portland, OR Tonic
Dec. 10 Seattle, WA Highline
Dec. 11 Vancouver, BC Hindenburg
Dec. 12 Bellingham, WA Shakedown
Dec. 13 Boise, ID Crazy Horse
Yet another early start see a pretty sparse crowd for openers Diesel King from London. Orginially the support for Entombed AD was to be Hang the Bastard and Corrupt Moral Altar but due to a serious back injury, Tomas Hubbard from Hang the Bastard was unable to play, and illness similarly plagued Corrupt Moral Altar which meant the departure of both bands. Read the rest of this entry »
The legendary Brazilian band VULCANO is hitting North American shores through PRC MUSIC in 2015! The 2014 album “Wholly Wicked” will be available in Canadian and American stores through UNIVERSAL and MVD in May 2015, right on time for the band’s first appearance at the highly popular Maryland Deathfest alongside bands like RAZOR, BULLDOZER, METAL CHURCH and OBITUARY to name but a few!
VULCANO, the first known South American Extreme Metal band,was formed in 1981, has released 9 studio albums, 2 live albums and did 4 full blown highly successful European tour.
Danish Thrashers IMPALERS just released a new music video from their coming releases, the EP “Prepare For War”.
The video is for the song “The Hammer” – IMPALERS cover version of theMotörhead song from the masterpiece “Ace of Spades” from 1980. “The Hammer” is one of two cover songs to appear on the EP, which will also feature two brand new songs.
I’m happy to announce our New Drummer James Payne from the band Hour Of Penance!!! He will be joining us in Jan 2015 to work on new material for our new album. We feel that James brings the speed,brutality,control,endurance and good technique playing that VR warrants. We look forward to working with him soon!
Fans can expect to see us in South America/North America Tour,starting Spring of 2015.
AGAINST THE PLAGUES – BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTO FROM MAKING OF “TERRORFORM” VIDEO
AGAINST THE PLAGUES is currently working on new video for song “TerrorForm” as a first single for upcoming release. Directed and filmed by Brad Scott of Bradley M Scott Cinematography and produced by Kake Multimedia. Video was recorded on November 10th at abandoned Methodist church located in downtown Gary, Indiana.
Commented Varyen Chylinski (drummer/founder of the band):
“This abandoned church located in Gary is one of the best known and most popular Midwest location for Urban Explorers, movie crews, indie films and photographers. This structure has been abandoned since 1975! When we arrived at the location with our filming crew we met bunch of city workers installed the fence around the building…. Looks like our video will be the last footage ever made at this beautiful place…
During the work we felt some paranormal activities around us…. It’s one of the most impressive gothic church I’ve ever seen in my life! Its so inspiring and unusual and its been in many movies like “Transformers” or “Pearl Harbor”…. Absolutely amazing place!”
A New York native Joe Franco is a professional drummer and best known for his work with the band The Good Rats in the 70’s and later as a member of Twisted Sister. He has been a part of many Dee Snider’s post Twisted Sister projects including Widowmaker and a horror rock band Van Helsing’s Curse and has also toured and recorded with acts like Jack Bruce, Leslie West, Vinnie Moore, Blues Saraceno and Fiona. During the years he has played on numerous albums as a session musician and in 1984 he released a book “Double Bass Drumming”. Currently Franco is mainly working as a music producer in his own recording and post-production company called Beatstreet Productions in New York City. I visited him in New York in early November and had a chance to visit Beatstreet studio and discuss with the man himself about his current activities and of course about the old days including his Twisted Sister days. Read on…!