Neal Smith is an American drummer, best known as a member of Alice Cooper group from 1967 to 1974. He performed on the group’s early albums PRETTIES FOR YOU and EASY ACTION, the breakout album LOVE IT TO DEATH and the subsequent successful albums KILLER, SCHOOL’S OUT, BILLION DOLLAR BABIES and MUSCLE OF LOVE. The line-up broke up in 1974, and next Smith founded the Billion Dollar Babies with former Alice Cooper group colleagues Michael Bruce and Dennis Dunaway along with Bob Dolin and Mike Marconi. The band released BATTLE AXE in 1977 before disbanding. Later on Smith has recorded with such bands and artists as Buck Dharma, Plasmatics, Deadringer and Cinematic. Smith and Dunaway formed Bouchard, Dunaway & Smith (BDS) which released two albums in the early 2000. In 2011, Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in the “Performer” category, as a member of the original Alice Cooper band. He also performed on Alice Cooper’s WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE (2011) album. Currently Smith works primarily in real estate business in New England area, but is still active in the music world as well. Among other projects he has an industrial rock project called Killsmith which released its third album KILLSMITH & THE GREENFIRE EMPIRE in late 2014. I met the legend in his office at Connecticut on last November and here’s what he had to tell about his current activities, the past and the future. Read on!
Black Star Riders is a rock band formed in late 2012 from the ashes of the latest line-up of Thin Lizzy . The band released its first album, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, in May of 2013 and the sophomore album, THE KILLER INSTINCT, is scheduled for release in early 2015. The band’s singer / guitarist Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) and guitarist Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper, Brother Cane) arrived in rainy Helsinki in early December to promote the upcoming album and here is what they had to say. Read on!
Motley Crue’s highly anticipated FINAL TOUR arrived in New York on late October. The tour was announced in January and it also feature a very special guest Alice Cooper. The tour has been a great success and so far all the dates have been sold out including this one in the legendary Madison Square Garden.
Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen,
Marko Syrjala, and Patrick Clement
Hell yeah! It’s time to enter the mighty Swedenrock Festival. A fantastic and the most enjoyable rock and metal festival on earth. It has to be pointed out that Metal Rules has covered Sweden Rock since 2001! Therefore, it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2014 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Approximately 80 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past decade as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t an exception as the fest was sold out despite a lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was both rainy and sunny during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there to witness the bands, not for some kinda beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
Following the April premiere of Super Duper Alice Cooper at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the subsequent release of the documentary on DVD, Blu-Ray, Deluxe Editions, and digital formats this month via Eagle Rock Entertainment, rock’s greatest showman, Alice Cooper, heads out on a lengthy North American tour.
The summer trek starts with three shows in Michigan June 26-28 before Cooper joins Motley Crue’s final “All Bad Things Must Come To An End” tour as a Very Special Guest on July 2nd, running through late November.
The tour marks the debut of Alice’s new guitarist Nita Strauss, who was recently ranked #1 on Guitar World’s list of “10 Female Guitar Players You Should Know.” She takes the place of Orianthi, who has toured with Alice for the past few years. Nita, who has made her name in bands including the Iron Maidens, Femme Fatale, and LA Kiss, joins Alice’s band’s three guitar attack, which also features guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen, plus longtime bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
Super Duper Alice Cooper was produced and directed by the Banger Films team of Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Reginald Harkema. Banger previously delivered the award-winning documentaries “Iron Maiden: Flight 666″ and “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage.” Eagle Rock Entertainment released the film in DVD and Blu-Ray on June 3rd, including a deluxe edition with extensive bonus material film footage from a rare 1972 Montreal concert and a full length recent Alice Cooper concert from the 2009 Montreux Festival on CD.
Alice recently marked the tenth anniversary of his radio show “Nights With Alice Cooper,” which airs five days a week across the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as in the UK and Germany, syndicated worldwide by United Stations.
Alice Cooper fans worldwide rejoice! Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity is releasing Alice Cooper’s classic album ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ on Hybrid SACD on February 4, 2014! As a bonus, along with the meticulously reproduced artwork, enclosed in every CD is the very collectible replicated ‘Billion Dollar Bill’
With ‘Billion Dollar Babies’, Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the US and UK album charts. It’s impossible to overstate how popular the band had become by the time their sixth album was released. The album, is brilliant, decadent and encapsulated all the celebrity trashiness of the 70’s only three years into the decade.
Song for song, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ is probably the original Alice Cooper group’s finest and strongest. The album’s singles “Elected”, “Hello Hooray”, “Billion Dollar Babies”,and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” all became hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards – the disturbing necrophilia ditty “I Love the Dead” and the chilling macabre of “Sick Things”.
After the album was released, the band embarked on a tour which broke the US box office records previously held by the Rolling Stones. The show climaxed with a guillotine execution of Alice. The album and the tour made the band into the world’s preeminent pied pipers of teenage trash culture and the most successful rock band ever to be loathed by American parents.
“Other than the original ‘Alice Cooper Band’ being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011, our second biggest achievement was when our album ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ went to Number #1 in all three music trade magazines at the same time in April of 1973. Number #1 in Billboard, Number #1 in Record World and Number #1 in Cash Box. We had hoped it would sell Gold or Platinum as a follow up to the success of our album ‘School’s Out’, but a Number #1 album was something that was totally unexpected. Over the years the title track “Billion Dollar Babies” has become my signature song because of the recognizable drum intro.” – Neal Smith, Alice Cooper drummer and founding member
“I remember we were out on the road when the album finally came out in February 1973. I listened to it in my hotel room and just got this really big smile. I was thinking, ‘It’s amazing, we’re really pulling this off’. The album was very, very unique and very, very different. I was really proud of the songs, especially ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ and ‘Generation Landslide’.” – Michael Bruce, Alice Cooper guitarist/keyboardist and founding member
1. Hello Hooray
2. Raped and Freezin’
4. Billion Dollar Babies
5. Unfinished Sweet
6. No More Mr. Nice Guy
7. Generation Landslide
8. Sick Things
10. I Love the Dead
Produced by Bob Ezrin
Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering
“…it remains one of rock’s quintessential classic albums!”
This afternoon (Tuesday, January 28th) MÖTLEY CRÜE held a press conference in Los Angeles confirming their retirement, as well as a 72-date North American tour alongside ALICE COOPER.
On a stage dressed with headstones donning the names of the band – Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars – the press conference streamed live via the band’s official website.
Tickets for the tour will go on sale tomorrow (January 29th) for VIP fan club members and Friday (January 31st) and Saturday (February 1st) for the general public.
“We want to go out with the four founding members of Motley Crue and go out on top,” said lead singer Vince Neil.
“We want to leave a legacy,” added guitarist Nikki Sixx. “We want to have some dignity.”
The band members have signed a legal agreement promising not to perform as Motley Crue after 2015.
From left, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars, of Motley Crue, are seen in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 2014. The heavy-metal band says it will retire after performing 72 goodbye concerts. (AP Photo/Invision/ Richard Shotwell)
Dates confirmed so far are below, with more to be announced!
2 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
4 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
5 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center
6 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
8 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
9 – Maryland Heights, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
11 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
12 – Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena
13 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
15 – Cedar Park, TX – Cedar Park Center
16 – Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion
18 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
19 – Phoenix, AZ – AK-Chin Pavilion
21 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
22 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amp
23 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
25 – Reno, NV – Reno Events Center
26 – Ridgefield, WA – Sleep County Amphitheater
27 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheater
29 – Wheatland, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheater
30 – Chula Vista, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheater
1 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amp
2 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
3 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
5 – Sturgis, SD – Sturgis Buffalo Chip
6 – Sioux City, IA – Tyson Events Center
8 – Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
9 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
10 – Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amp
12 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
13 – Burgettstown, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
15 – Pelham, AL – Oak Mountain Amp
16 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Encore Park
17 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amp
19 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
20 – Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
22 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
23 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
24 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
26 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing. Arts Center
27 – Allentown, PA – Great Allentown Fair
29 – Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
30 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
31 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Performing. Arts Center
10 – Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Arena
11 – The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia W. Mitchell Pavilion
12 – Bossier City, LA – CenturyLink Center
14 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
15 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
17 – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Live
19 – Jacksonville, FL – Veterans Memorial Arena
21 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
22 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
25 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Events Center Phoenix – AK-Chin Pavilion
Marko Syrjala of Metal-Rules.com recently conducted an interview with ALICE COOPER sticksman Glen Sobel (IMPELLITTERI, ORIANTHI, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, PAUL GILBERT). In the interview, Sobel discusses how he came to tour and record with the legendary shock rocker, working with producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, PINK FLOYD, JANE’S ADDICTION), and the many other records and bands he has been a part of over the years. The Q&A is posted at this location http://www.metal-rules.com/metalnews/2013/11/24/glen-sobel/
Sobel finished drum tracks for the forthcoming Alice Cooper covers record in August. Due out in 2014, the collection of classic tunes will feature a variety of special guests. Alice Cooper and band have just wrapped up the 2013 “Raise The Dead” tour with several dates on the West Coast, with the final show taking place at Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas on November 27. Afterwards, Sobel, along with Cooper band mates Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garric, and Tommy Henriksen, joined local all-stars SIN CITY SINNERS at The Lounge at the Palms to perform several songs, including “20th Century Boy” by T-REX and “Sedated” by THE RAMONES, among others. Video of the jam can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQkLhFdnGcs
Glen Sobel is an American drummer and a native of Los Angeles. Sobel’s professional career got started after he won a large drum-off competition in Los Angeles at the age of 19 and it led him to join guitar virtuoso Tony MacAlphine’s band. Sobel did his recording debut MADNESS with MacAlphine in 1993 and later on he has performed and recorded with several artists from many different genres. Sobel’s credits include such names as Impellitteri, Sixx A.M, Paul Gilbert, Vasco Rossi, Beautiful Creatures, Jennifer Batten, Elliot Yamin, Gary Hoey, Graham Bonnet’s Alcatrazz and Orianthi. Since 2011, Sobel has been the drummer for legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper. The Alice Cooper band is currently on tour in U.S., and in late October I was fortunate to sit down with Glen in Hollywood, FL and discuss about various topics including Alice Cooper, and the past and the future of Glen Sobel. Read on!
There was a time I’d never miss an Alice Cooper show. That time was roughly 1972 to 1998. As I started to drift towards faster, louder, and rawer music, I began to miss a tour here and there, usually regretting it! Well, no more! Time to start all over again!
ALICE COOPER drummer Glen Sobel (whose other credits include Vivian Campbell, Beautiful Creatures, Sixx: A.M., Paul Gilbert and Impellitteri) is the featured guest in the latest episode of “Full On Drums”. Hosted by drummer/engineer Charlie Waymire (SPEAK NO EVIL, JEFF KOLLMAN BAND), “Full On Drums” is an ongoing HD series on playing, recording and mixing drums filmed in Los Angeles, CA at Ultimate Rhythm Studio.
In this episode, in addition to a short interview, Glen solos and also plays along to music he recorded with former Michael Jackson guitarist Jennifer Batten’s for her solo record “Momentum”. The video can be seen at this location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCf6Evmz2fo
+ THIRD ORIANTHI STUDIO ALBUM, ‘HEAVEN IN THIS HELL’, PRIMED FOR RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM / ROBO RECORDS MARCH 11TH 2013
Platinum-selling solo artist and iconic guitarist Orianthi will continue as a key member of Alice Cooper’s band for what is expected to be AC’s sole UK appearance of 2013 – a headline outing at Cropredy Festival in Oxfordshire (Cropredy is an annual event launched by UK folk legends Fairport Convention back in 1980; this year it runs from August 8th – 10th, with Alice topping the bill on the 8th).
Having been a part of Alice’s live set-up since August 2011, completing two world tours in this role, Orianthi is used to trading musical blows with this true master of horror!
Meanwhile, Orianthi is gearing up for the release of her new album, ‘Heaven In This Hell’; produced by Dave Stewart, the record will be released on Spinefarm Records/Robo Records, and is scheduled to drop on March 11th 2013.
‘Heaven In This Hell’ – Orinathi’s third solo outing following ‘Violet Journey’ (2007) & ‘Believe’ (2010) – delivers a mega-dose of rock, weaving in elements of modern country & swampy blues.
“I am so proud of this album because it really showcases my style of riff heavy rock and energetic blues,” Orianthi remarks. “The success of ‘Believe’ helped to give me credibility and afforded me the freedom to create the kind of album I have been wanting to make, with musicians I respect, playing together live in a studio, creatively exchanging ideas… the way I want all my records to be made. My friend, collaborator and producer, Dave Stewart and I just jammed and hashed out a variety of songs and sounds until we found the grooves that inspired us.”
The iTunes version of the album comes complete with two bonus tracks.
Eric Dover is an American vocalist and guitarist, most notably working with Alice Cooper, Slash’s Snakepit and Jellyfish. Dover joined Jellyfish in 1993 but the band disbanded just one year and he then formed a new band called Doverman with Roger Manning. In 1995 Dover joined Slash’s short lived Slash’s Snakepit and recorded album IT’S FIVE O CLOCK SOMEWHERE with the band. Manning and Dover re-grouped in late 1995 and formed another band called Imperial Drag. The band released its self-titled debut in 1996 but broke up one year later. In late 90’s he did join Alice Cooper’s band. Dover stayed altogether over four years in the band and recorded album THE EYES OF ALICE COOPER in 2003. After quitting with Cooper, Dover has been working on various studio sessions, project bands like Starfuckers and his own band Sextus which has released two albums to date. However, it was band Lost Angels which finally bring the man back in Finland, for the first time since 2004. The band is a kind of all-star band featuring past and current members of Cinderella, White Lion and of course Alice Cooper. The band landed in Helsinki on early January and then we had a pleasure to sit down with Eric and discuss about the past, present and future as well.
Arriving at Wembley Park station with the American Football event at the stadium just next door is not something I would like to happen again: walking against the flow of thousand and thousand of sport fans leaving the 90,000 seats capacity of the stadium is quite an experience!