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!
Jake E. Lee’s return to the music scene was one of last year’s biggest news stories from the music world. The former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist has been nowhere to seen for the best part of the past 25 years but now he’s finally back with Red Dragon Cartel. The band released their debut album in January, and since then the band has been touring around the United States. European tour began in Italy in May and early June, the band finally arrived in Finland, where Jake has never previously appeared.
Red Dragon Cartel have been making waves since the band announced the release of their upcoming debut last year. Now, the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley are unveiling their debut video for the song “Deceived.” The song comes from their soon-to-be-released Frontiers Records album Red Dragon Cartel out on January 28th. The video for the song can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/DeceivedVideo and fans that pre-order the album digitally on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/reddragoncartel receive the song as an instant download. The album is also available for pre-order on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1aYjMng.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Sass Jordan, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
Red Dragon Cartel will be hitting the road in the road in March to showcase Jake E Lee’s return to the world. The tour kicks off March 5th in Tempe, AZ and runs all the way through April 6th, where it wraps up in Seneca, NY. The tour will make stops in Oklahoma City, Houston, Raleigh and Philadelphia to name a few. The band will also be heading over to Europe where they are confirmed to perform at this year’s Download Festival in Donnington, England and the famed Sweden Rock Festival. More dates are being added around the world as the band looks to bring the music of Red Dragon Cartel to every corner of the globe.
From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/FeederLyricVideo. Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off.
Brian Tichy, drummer for Whitesnake and guitar player for S.U.N., was interviewed by Tales from the Stage author, Michael Toney in Las Vegas Friday night. Tichy discusses the release of S.U.N.’s new album, leaving the Lynch Mob tour to join the Foreigner tour, confirming that George Lynch wasn’t mad at his departure, and his excitement after getting a private guitar lesson from Jake E. Lee moments prior to the interview.
In the hours following the interview…..
Jake E. Lee is back! Sitting in with the band Something Unto Nothing (S.U.N. Brian Tichy, Sass Jordan), in Las Vegas Friday night, Jake played the Led Zeppelin classic, Rock n’ Roll with the band. It was the bands final number of the night, and Jake proved that rumors of his hiding have been greatly exaggerated! He is currently working on a new CD that is tentatively scheduled to me released first quarter of 2013.
Ex-OZZY OSBOURNE/BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee is back after over a decade in seclusion. In great shape mentally, physically and spiritually, Jake is ready to return and bring his brand of unique playing and music to the world.
In the process of recording his new album at Las Vegas’ The Hideout Studios — owned and operated by Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, IN THIS MOMENT) — Lee’s first new release will feature a combination of legendary rock artists and some of the biggest names of new metal. Already recorded are guest appearances by Robin Zander (CHEAP TRICK), Paul Di’Anno (IRON MAIDEN), Maria Brink (IN THIS MOMENT), with many other big names attached to the project.
Jake has launched search for a new vocalist, who will sing at least one track on the new album and will tour the world starting in late spring 2013.
Criteria: Must be capable of singing a couple of OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS songs, plus tracks from Lee’s new album while still having a strong enough identity to be able carry the band into the future, as Jake will head straight back into the studio after the touring to begin a new album with the new band.
What to do: Send an email to Ronnie@HideoutLV.com containing an MP3, or a link to an MP3 of yourself singing a OZZY OSBOURNE or BADLANDS songs. Then submit one other song or video of your choosing that you feel best represents who you are as an artist. Listen to BADLANDS’ “High Wire” to see the range required for this gig. Only those vocalists that really fit what Lee is looking for will be contacted with further instructions.
Lee’s new solo album is being recorded with the help of guitarist Ronnie Mancuso of BEGGARS & THIEVES, whose 2011 video, “We Come Undone”, featured an appearance by Jake.
According to the All Music Guide, Lee helped Ozzy Osbourne score two of the most commercially successful releases of the singer’s long and illustrious career — 1983’s “Bark at the Moon” and 1986’s “The Ultimate Sin”. Lee eventually joined up with another former BLACK SABBATH singer (albeit briefly), Ray Gillen, and formed the LED ZEPPELIN/classic rock-esque outfit BADLANDS. Subsequently, Lee played briefly with a band called WICKED ALLIANCE before setting off on his own, issuing his solo debut, “A Fine Pink Mist”, in August of 1996.
Jake E. Lee’s “covers” album, “Retraced”, was released in the U.S. in April 2005 via Shrapnel Records. All the songs were recorded in a “power trio” format ala BADLANDS and the tracks for the project were cover songs along that style (bluesy power rock).
Guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde is best known about his long stint in support of former Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne and leading his own band Black Label Society which recently released its 8th studio album ORDER OF THE BLACK. Wylde has gone through many changes during the last two years. His long term run as Osbourne’s guitarist came to an end and he also faced serious health problems in 2009 when he was suddenly hospitalized due to blood cuts. Fortunately, everything seems to be fine in Wylde’s camp now. His health problems are long gone and ORDER OF BLACK is becoming their most successful release to date. Black Label Society’s new tour reached Finland in early March and in Helsinki we had a pleasure to speak with the man himself and hear all the latest news from Wylde’s world. Read on!