While 2016 saw the death of many music icons, many other musicians continued to put out new music and perform. Music Life Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing many great musicians including members and ex-members of such bands as Def Leppard, Genesis, Marillion, Motley Crue, The Dead Daisies, Extreme, Saga, Honeymoon Suite, DOA, Styx, Filter, The Darkness, Stryper, The Winery Dogs, Foreigner, The Ramones, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Cat Empire, Deep Purple, Supertramp, Yes and many more!
The following is a compilation over 60 quotes we put together from various interviews we published in 2016. Enjoy!
“I remember that gig very well because Phil was very nervous. Yeah, that was difficult for him. There was a guy dressed up exactly like Peter Gabriel right in front of the stage, dressed up exactly like Pete was, first row – dressed the same as Pete was for Watcher of the Skies, batwings on the head and everything, and for the whole gig this guy just stood in front of him, the implication being that “You are the imposter and Gabriel is king!” and that was a very difficult one for him to weather. But, you know, such is the nature of first gigs. Phil was great and he proved to be very accomplished.”
– Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett talking about Phil Collins’ first show as lead vocalist for Genesis after the departure of Peter Gabriel. This show happened in London, Ontario on March 31, 1976. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Brand X) played drums. Full interview here.
“I wrote that song right after my dad literally passed away before my eyes. I looked at him and he opened his eyes for just a second and looked right at me and acknowledged that I was there. He seemed to have this grateful look in his eyes and then they glazed over and he died. And I was like, wow, was he happy to see me? Was it the meds? Was he seeing Heaven and if so, take me with you. That’s what the song is about.”
– Filter vocalist Richard Patrick explaining what the first single, Take Me to Heaven, is about on the band’s latest album Crazy Eyes. Full interview here.
“I have talked to other musicians from that era and they are saying, ‘oh things aren’t what they used to be. The music business has changed and there used to be guys who cared at the record companies and the record companies don’t exist anymore and any kid can write a song, put it on the internet and two minutes later become a star, blah blah blah.’ And I am thinking to myself, ‘yeah, what’s your point?’”
– Saga vocalist Michael Sadler explaining how the music business is nothing like it was when Saga launched itself into the world in 1977. The band is preparing for their 40th Anniversary in 2017. Full interview here.
“It’s not about coming to see each guy do their full show. It’s for people who are curious to see what Yngwie (Malsteem) is going to do with Zakk (Wylde), and what (Steve) Vai is going to do with me. That’s what makes it exciting and what turned me on about it. It wasn’t about us as individuals; it was about coming together and unifying and what we can do in harmony and do something that is so unpredictable that nobody would expect it.”
– Extreme‘s Nuno Bettencourt on why he wanted to be a part of Generation Axe after being asked by Steve Vai to join. Full interview here.
“Rufus (Taylor) was suggested to us by [Queen guitarist} Brian May’s guitar technician Pete Malandrone. I phoned Rufus and told him that there was a space ‘round the back of The Darkness that needed filling, to which he replied ‘that’s my speciality.’ I knew straight away we had found our man. He is an incredibly intuitive drummer; he can read the game so well. The only thing is he’s twice as loud as any of our previous drummers, so I’ve just started to wear earplugs live. Bastard.”
– Dan Hawkins, co-founder and guitarist of The Darkness, talking about bandmate Rufus Taylor, son of legendary drummer Roger Taylor of Queen. Full interview here.
“I have never really been driven, career-wise, by album sales. And now we’re part of an era where there has been an implosion of the business anyways, where people aren’t buying music, they’re just buying subscriptions to iTunes or streaming services, where they can get it for nearly free. But I still like to create, and I still like to release full albums of material. It’s nice to be able to put out a collection of 10 to 14 songs that represent where I was at a point in time, what my creative head space was.”
– Canadian blues rocker Colin James on why he still likes to record albums. Full interview here.
“Marti (Frederiksen) has known Steven (Tyler) for years, they’re great friends. Marti has written a lot of Aerosmith songs with Steven, including the hit Jaded. When Steven started this new solo country project he asked Marti if he knew any musicians he could hire for a show and Marti said “well… I actually started a band…” and we’ve been playing with him ever since!”
– Loving Mary‘s Suzie McNeil (Rockstar: INXS) on how they became Steven Tyler’s band for his solo career. Loving Mary also includes two-time Grammy winner Rebecca Lynn Howard and her husband Elisha Hoffman (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain), McNeil’s husband Andrew Mactaggart (Tim Hicks) and drummer Sarah Tomek. Full interview here.
“(Sir George Martin is) one of our heroes just like The Beatles themselves are. Without him, I don’t think we would have had The Beatles the way we remember them; so much of their sound, so many of the ideas and arrangements were because of him. I know The Beatles were a big part of Mick (Jones’) existence and his inspiration. One of his first gigs when he was living and playing in France was opening for The Beatles.”
– Foreigner‘s Tom Gimbel who, at the time of this interview on March 8, 2016, had not heard about the death of legendary producer Sir George Martin, also known as the fifth Beatle. Gimbel heard the news from Music Life Magazine music journalist Jim Barber, who informed Gimbel that Martin passed away that same day at the age of 90. Full interview here.
“Let’s be honest, why would I make a record that sounded like the Ramones? There’s only one of them and they can never be duplicated. You know, I make Richie Ramone records. It’s harder music with maybe more of a metal tinge.”
– Former Ramones‘ Richie Ramone when asked if, for his sound, if he had to consciously stay away from the Ramones style. Full interview here.
“We don’t try to categorize our music. We just play whatever music we are into and what ever gets people dancing. If I had to label our music, I’d say it is party music. We are all into different styles and each band member brings something different to the melting pot that is The Cat Empire.”
– The Cat Empire‘s keyboardist Ollie McGill when asked how he would describe the band’s sound to someone who has never heard them before. Full interview here.
“I actually ordered a wig because my first thought was I don’t want people to know I have this and I am going to do chemo and my hair is going to fall out. There’s no way I can go onstage bald. I was afraid, you know, so I spent $2,000 having a custom wig made and I wore it for 10 minutes and have never worn it since. It’s in my closet somewhere, and it’s pretty creepy looking.”
– Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard, Last In Line) talking about his chemotherapy when he had cancer and how at first he didn’t want people to know what he was going through but then decided to be open about it. This story was picked up by Blabbermouth, who linked us to their site. Full interview here.
“It’s completely nuts. We couldn’t believe it at first because it wasn’t something we expected at all. When our name was submitted our agent was saying, ‘hey, they’re looking for an acoustic opener, do you want me to throw you guys into the pile just to see?’ And even though we’re a band and mostly play as a full band, we said sure, go ahead, what have we got to lose? And then we ended up getting it, which is just crazy! It’s so unbelievable!”
– Singer Serena Pryne of Niagara band The Mandevilles on being selected as the openers for Joan Jett and Heart‘s cross-Canada tour earlier this year. Full interview here.
“The album (Relentless) has sort of become a tribute to (A.J. Pero) because I think it was one of the last things he ever did in the studio. A.J. blended in so well with what we were trying to accomplish, and he played on the first six songs that we recorded before his passing. We were so excited because we thought of how great the next six songs were going to be. He came in with three days’ notice and I basically taught him the tracks in the studio and he got them down so quickly. He was such a pro. We were hoping down the road to maybe make him the permanent part of the project.”
– Tod Howarth of Four By Fate talking about recording with the late A.J. Pero (drummer, Twisted Sister) who passed away suddenly in the spring of 2015 while touring with Adrenaline Mob. Full interview here.
“We could go out and just play the circuit and do the old songs because, for the most part, that’s what people are coming to the shows for. And that’s fine, because that’s our legacy and that’s what keeps this band going. We’re pretty lucky to be doing this for more than 30 years and still headlining and still doing so many cool things. I don’t take that for granted and I don’t look on that negatively. It’s so awesome.”
– Derry Grehan, Honeymoon Suite guitarist and co-founder. Full interview here.
“I am the worst songwriter because I just write about me and my feelings and my experiences, my emotions, my relationships, my drugs, my inner spirituality, my pain – it’s all about me. So it’s kind of like therapy.”
– London, Ontario based singer/songwriter Sarah Smith (The Joys) half-jokingly referring to herself as a ‘selfish’ songwriter, as her music tends to be self-revelatory, deeply personal and quite confessional. Full interview here.
“Tommy Shaw [longtime Styx vocalist/guitarist/songwriter] has mentioned every single time that I come back from doing a string of Gowan shows in Canada…it seems like I have upped my game in some way. So I guess it benefits Styx and it benefits me, and it’s one more way of reinforcing that I am pursuing the only thing that I am any bloody good at.”
– Canada’s own Lawrence Gowan talking about doing solo tours aside from his longtime gig with classic rock band Styx. Full interview here.
“I am truly blessed to be doing what I do. I love music. This path was chosen for me to do as a child. I was supposed to be an athlete and I was training to be an athlete when all of a sudden I heard the Beatles and it was like, okay, this is what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to be a musician. I am really so grateful to still be here and doing what I truly believe is my purpose.”
– Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Kings of Chaos) talking how The Beatles changed his mind and career path at an early stage in his life. Full interview here.
“Jesus man, what a sweet guy. We wrote a song together about 10 years ago but it was never released, but I have it on a drive somewhere at home. He rode his bike over and we spent the afternoon writing a tune together. And the funny, sweet part is we decided to go for a coffee and I had to buy him a coffee because he didn’t have any money on him. He was on his bike and you don’t often bring a wallet or money when you’re out for a bike ride. I joked to him, ‘you’re twice as famous as me and you don’t have a cent?’ That was the memory that popped into my heard when I woke up to the news this morning, and what a f***ing thing to wake up to.”
– Canadian music icon Kim Mitchell (Max Webster) sharing about a memory of his longtime pal Gord Downie (Tragically Hip) on the day it was announced (May 24, 2016) that Downie has terminal brain cancer. Full interview here.
“I have been celebrating 50 years as a professional musician and as a keyboard player I would say (Keith Emerson was) the best that I have ever worked with. When I was young, I played with some great jazz piano players in my hometown of Birmingham and later some amazing keyboardists, but as for as a Hammond organ player, a piano player, a synthesizer player, he was Mr. First Take every time. He could write and play classical music although that wasn’t his forte. Greg (Lake) and I knew that he was going to be the greatest rock Hammond keyboard player and he was.”
– Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy) paying tribute to his long-time friend and band mate Keith Emerson. Sadly, Emerson committed suicide a few months before this interview (March 10, 2016) and Greg Lake passed away on December 7, 2016. Full interview here.
“A lot of times, I have to be by myself or be around people that I am very comfortable with. I can be on the back of the tour bus and write and make a fool of myself and not worry about it. For me, a lot of what comprises songwriting is allowing yourself to sound bad and make mistakes and try to catch lightning in a bottle by not playing traditional stuff all the time. I try to come up with awkward tunings and try to make myself make mistakes because sometimes those become beautiful disasters turn into something really good.”
– Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter Bridge, Tremonti) talking about how his songwriting process and tone has changed substantially over the years. Full interview here.
“When it comes down to it, creating music is about getting rid of all the shit we carry and bring into the writing and recording process – all the baggage and all the things that you’ve lived through and all the things that you wished you were living through. I hope that it’s not just us, but other bands as well that feel the same way about making music. I think that’s how all of my favourite records have been made.”
– Sam Roberts (The Sam Roberts Band). Full interview here.
“If our first record came out three to five years earlier than 1991, it would have been a completely different career, because once Grunge hit, it was completely over for our style of music commercially. The only reason (Harem Scarem) survived as an underground band is people were still selling that style of music, but in different parts of the world.”
– Vocalist Harry Hess (Harem Scarem, First Signal). Full interview here.
“The funny thing is this song was originally written and released for Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s, but now Trump is making Reagan look like a moderate. I thought I would never say that in my life but there, I just said it. And that’s not to exonerate Reagan and his administration for all the crappy things that they did but, wow, that guy was nothing compared to what Trump is proposing.”
– DOA frontman Joe Keithley talking about the band’s single and video F**ked Up Donald. Full interview here.
“Ronnie (Dio) launched my whole career. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now if it wasn’t for playing with Ronnie. He gave me my break.”
– Guitarist Chuck Garric (Alice Cooper Band, Beasto Blanco). Full interview here.
“[Grammy winner] Tom Hambridge and I were sitting on the back porch of the studio sipping on some bourbon, Maker’s Mark I believe it was. And I probably had a bit too much, and we were talking about the title track and what ‘Under the Influence’ would be about. The next morning Tom came in with all the lyrics. And I am reading them and there are references to Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, and everything that influenced us: cars, girls and rock and roll. So that’s really what the song and the whole album is about – the inspirational things that got us into music.”
– Foghat co-founder and drummer Roger Earl, talking about working on the band’s 19th and latest studio album with Hambridge, whose credits include Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, BB King and the American Idol TV show. Full interview here.
“I think that the music “scene” has never been more open to different genres. There really isn’t one thing that’s driving the ship at this point, which I see as a good thing. So in other words, I think there’s room in there for us somewhere.”
– Mike Trebilcock, singer of The Killjoys, when asked if he sees The Killjoys fitting in with today’s music and what’s out there now. Full interview here.
“Who doesn’t love opening up a big 12-inch record and dropping the needle? People are desperately looking for something authentic, after being inundated with so much that feels false. The kids have just discovered that the richness of sound they get from vinyl can’t be replicated on a download or a CD. I recently got a new turntable and have been going through tons of my records and rebuilding my long lost library.”
– Eric Burdon of Eric Burdon & the Animals talking about the resurgence of vinyl. Full interview here.
“I am now 58 and my recovery is not what it used to be and it’s getting harder to perform. I can’t do four shows in a row anymore so it’s three then a day or two off. Every time we take a day off the band still have to be paid, the crew still have to be paid, the bus has to be paid for and so on. The reality is I am never going to get two or three thousand people each night coming to my shows, which is what I need to tour comfortably. Also, I’ve got to have fun, I have to be up there because I want to be. I decided I needed to put an end game in place and I made the decision two years ago that I would step down in 2018.”
– Fish, original Marillion singer talking about retiring from music. Full interview here.
“Nikki Sixx [Motley Crue, Sixx A.M.) and I had a little thing a while back and then Sebastien Bach got into it with me as well. I actually should say that Nikki Sixx had a thing a while back – I really didn’t have a thing. I made some comments and they didn’t like them and there you go. But that’s the whole point of the song One Sided War. It’s these guys who start a war, or feel the need to comment on something and then this ‘war’ ensues and eventually you realize that it’s a one-sided war because you’re not really participating in it.”
– Michael Sweet (Stryper) talking about the meaning behind the song One Sided War – the title track off his latest solo album. Full interview here.
“It’s going to be a giant celebration. It’s going to be a great day, but of course there is a bit of sadness too. What he is going through kind of makes you realize how small your own problems are. But you know I think for The Hip and for Gord and for the city, the best thing we can all do is go out there and watch the show and have an amazing time.”
– Brett Emmons (The Glorious Sons‘ vocalist) talking about Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip‘s last show in Kingston, Ontario on August 20, 2016. The show was being billed as The Hip’s last show because of Downie’s terminal brain cancer. The Glorious Sons are from Kingston as well. Full interview here.
“I haven’t been back to doing deliveries since before the movie. I am now making a living from Anvil again. What did the movie do? Well it made it possible for me and Robb (Reiner) to do that. It hasn’t stopped and it hasn’t slowed down since the movie came out on any level. There are still lots of people who haven’t seen this band and who want to, so that means I am pretty much set as far as demand goes. I am 60 years old and I hope to be touring 10 years from now. I pretty confidently say that I will be if I physically can.”
– Anvil singer Steve “Lips” Kudlow on his band’s continued success since the release of their documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil in 2008. Full interview here.
“We sat around Dave’s basement and hung out a lot, which I learned is a big factor in any band – can you hang? Some members of a band can’t just hang out, which is the beginning of the end. But we hung out and Dave would tell stories of the early years of Van Halen and all his adventures and we would tell our stories and we just had a riot together. He was generous to us and gave us big showcase moments onstage.”
– Billy Sheehan (Talas, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth Band, The Winery Dogs) talking about his time with Van Halen‘s David Lee Roth. This interview took place the day after the 30th Anniversary of Roth’s first solo album, Eat ‘Em and Smile, which included Sheehan, Steve Vai and Greg Bissonette. Full interview here.
“I am not sure if either Mick (Jones) or I could do a bigger tour but maybe a one-off show would be fine. That we could do I think, and it would be great if we could bring together all the other remaining original members too.”
– Lou Gramm, original Foreigner vocalist, talking about possibly getting original lineup back together to celebrate Foreigner‘s 40th anniversary of their debut album in 2017. Full interview here.
“It’s probably one of the biggest jolts I have had in my life since my father died. It just rocked my world in quite a profound way and it took a lot to recover from it mentally and actually be able to start studying the Yes music because every time I would look at it, I would just lose it. But I knew in my heart that this is what he wanted me to do, and I am doing it.”
– Bassist Billy Sherwood (Yes, Circa) talking about the death of his good friend Chris Squire (Yes) and his return to Yes. Full interview here.
“I did music for a living for more than 15 years and I was done with it. I was getting sick of playing Brown Eyed Girl night after night for people who didn’t really care. I actually asked my wife if she could get me an interview where she worked.”
– Canadian country singer Tim Hicks talking about how he almost gave up on music after years of playing cover songs in local clubs in the Niagara Falls area. Full interview here.
“I think they knew my history as far as what I had recorded, and I know that the tag ‘formerly of Motley Crue’ would be an important draw for the band, but I think they really wanted me to go to Cuba to see what I was like to work with and just see what I was like onstage doing the material. So I guess it was kind of an audition.”
– John Corabi (Motley Crue, The Dead Daisies) talking about joining The Dead Daisies in 2015. Full interview here.
“We weren’t totally 100 per cent jazzed about having it; we still think we’re too young to have a greatest hits album. But it was a contractual thing and we tried to make it fun for us and for the fans by putting some new songs on there.”
– The Trews vocalist Colin MacDonald talking about the band’s latest release, Time Capsule. Full interview here.
“I think a lot of people think just because you’re a musician and a professional that writing songs is easy and that you can just do it. But it’s not. You’ve got to be inspired and at least for me and most of the musicians I know, that’s how it is.”
– Jim Crean (Hair Nation, Jim Crean Band, Appice Brothers) from Buffalo, NY whose latest album, Insatiable, features a veritable who’s who of rock and rollers including Vinny and Carmine Appice, the late Jimmy Bain (Dio, Rainbow, Last In Line), Mike Tramp (White Lion) and many more! Full interview here.
“When I was younger, I got a lot of bullying. I dealt with being different, dealt with being kind of small, but I always felt that a lot of people that are around us, family, friends and fans that are almost a character from, what is that place called, oh my gosh, ‘Island of the Misfit Toys.'”
– Marq Torien of The Bulletboys talking about anti-bullying. Full interview here.
“After my divorce was final one of the things I wanted to do was put out a memoir to my life and because I’m really a unique artist, almost one of a kind. I wanted to put out a book so people could see what I had to do in my life and the hurdles I had to jump to become Lita Ford.”
– Lita Ford on why she wrote and published her book Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir. Full interview here.
“We really connected as a group and had amazing chemistry. We all wanted the same thing – to work hard and take our best shot to play rock and roll as our way of making a living. Risky business these days but that is what we all want to do.”
– Nathan McNevin (Nathan McNevin & The Silence Factory) talking about the band’s determination to be successful. Their first show as a band was on October 30, 2015 and less than year later the band won the annual 97.7 HTZ-FM Rocksearch contest, previously won by Finger Eleven and The Glorious Sons. Full interview here.
“It was just a weird way that it happened. We had a mutual friend between us and Ed and his name popped up and it was just at the right time in our lives where it was like, ‘okay, enough of the bullshit, we just want to play.’ And I think Ed was feeling the same way. Someone said give him a call and initially I thought of involving him in the little documentary I was working on for the anniversary. The idea of doing shows wasn’t really on the radar.”
– Jag Tanna (I Mother Earth) talking about getting back together with original vocalist Edwin after 18 years. Full interview here.
“For as long as we have been around we have been called all sorts of things: modern rock, Emo, alt rock, pop rock. We just keep it simple – we’re a rock band and I think that’s how most people perceive us. We’re not light but we’re not heavy; we’re somewhere in between. We’re a rock band in the way the Beatles were a rock band and the Stones were a rock band. You could break them down into all sorts of genres but it’s easier just to call them rock.”
– Vocalist Chris Brodbeck (See Spot Run). Full interview here.
“I was wondering when I started playing on my own how long it would take before I had sort of new people, because I was hoping that, fingers crossed, many if not all of the Great Big Sea fans would follow me eventually. And thankfully they have, but much earlier than I imagined people are showing up and discovering Great Big Sea through me, especially folks in the United States.”
– Alan Doyle (ex-Great Big Sea). Full interview here.
“We wanted to go on and make our own mark on music and we did that. So for years we never did any of our dad’s tunes at all just out of respect. Our generation of Nelsons have been pretty committed to going out and doing our own thing. But music journalists and critics were always asking us about our dad’s music, even though the kids buying our records have no idea. Eventually it was starting to wear us down.”
– Gunnar Nelson (Nelson) talking about how the multimedia tribute show called Ricky Nelson Remembered began with his brother Matthew over 10 years ago paying tribute to their late father, Ricky Nelson. Full interview here.
“There is this crazy workaholic side to us that I don’t know if people realize or understand. We want to present what you know: If you like Styx, we want to give you the Styx that you grew up listening to. We don’t want to reinvent it and say this is the way we do it now – deal with it.”
– Styx bassist Ricky Phillips. Full interview here.
“Basically, we’re the three ex-singers of famous bands so we’re going to each do a set of our music that we did with those famous bands and then we will kind of harmonize with each other on some songs and trade off vocals on some songs. And we’re sharing one band, so it’s going to be very tight and solid.”
– Ex-Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate talking about his new project, Trinity, with Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest) and Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden). Full interview here.
“If we do our job, people will leave our show fulfilled. When they go to see Twisted Sister they never say, ‘well that was an okay show.’ It’s more like, ‘Twisted Sister rocked the shit out of us.’ “
– bassist Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza (Twisted Sister). NOTE: with the death of long-time drummer A.J. Pero in 2015, Twisted Sister has announced they will no longer be playing shows unless it’s for a special cause. Full interview here.
“One of my most cherished accomplishments is keeping 30 people continuously, and steadily, and gainfully employed for 30 years or longer. That’s very important to me. I have some people who have been with me for 40 years.”
– Charlie Daniels, legendary country singer best known for his song The Devil Went Down To Georgia, talks about how significant his musical family is, people he has worked with for many years. Daniels turned 80 in October. Full interview here.
“We had pretty small aspirations for it. It was part of a gradual process of becoming a band again. We were even wondering, ‘are we going to tour this record, are we going to be a band?’ We eventually decided that we would be a band again and jumped back in with both feet.”
– Sloan‘s Chris Murphy, talking about the band’s comeback album One Chord To Another, released 20 years ago in 1996. Full interview here.
“I know you’re going to ask me what I’m doing now. I call it a secret project and I am very proud of this. We’ve already got three songs in the can, but I can’t tell you much other than I am working with a Swedish artist and producer and it’s bridging between a classic rock sound and an industrial metal sound which I don’t think has ever been done before. We’re coming up with this hybrid and it’s really sounding incredible because it’s so interesting and so creative and artistic. I can’t wait for it to come out, hopefully sometime in 2017.”
– Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Dio). Full interview here.
“I know from spending so much time with Todd (Kerns – Slash, Age of Electric) that he is a musical powerhouse of a guy. He and Brent (Fitz – Slash, Alice Cooper, Union, Vince Neil) are two of the finest musicians I know. There’s just something about Canada and musicianship. Ian Thornley is a friend of mine and he’s another example of someone with an insane amount of talent. I met him about 18 years ago. We did a tour with my old band The Mayfield Four along with Big Wreck and The Watchmen, and it was really something else to watch Ian play night after night. Just wow.”
– Myles Kennedy (Slash, Alter Bridge) talking about how he is he is continually dazzled by the high quality of musicianship he experiences with players hailing from Canada. Full interview here.
“He came to Montreal earlier this year and he was with us on the eve of the Grammys and RUN DMC was set to get a lifetime achievement award. It wasn’t going to be given out on the show, but RUN was there in the front row during the show. People asked DMC when he was here why he wasn’t there in the front row too and he said ‘it’s more important for me to be in Montreal creating new music with Slaves on Dope than to be at the Grammys.’ “
– Slaves On Dope‘s Jason Rockman talking about his collaboration with Darryl McDaniels – the legendary DMC portion of hip hop icons Run DMC, who appears on the track Script Writer. Full interview here.
“It was bizarre and amazing at the same time. Rik (Emmett) and Alex Lifeson (of Rush) were two of my very first influences and here I am working with them on the same album. That’s just another example of how you really don’t know how things are going to take shape in your life.”
– Dave Dunlop, a long-time collaborator with Rik Emmett (ex-Triumph), on recording Emmett’s RES 9 album with two of his musical idols. Full interview here.
“Some people forget that it wasn’t just ‘More Than Words’. That song was followed by ‘Hole Hearted’, which gave us another hit. It was a nice transition because it was also acoustic based, but it was more upbeat. That song made the top five, reaching number four. So in a span of six months, we had two top five hit songs. When ‘More Than Words’ came out, the album was actually kind of dead in the water and we were writing the third record and playing clubs and stuff.”
– Extreme singer Gary Cherone talking about how the band’s album Pornograffitti suddenly put them on the charts 25 years ago with two top five singles forcing them to postpone their third album. Full interview here.
“… when we played the Round House in London with Enter Shikari, Rou [Reynolds] came on and sung ‘I Like Not Knowing’ with us. We sort of grew up listening to these guys, they were like our heroes and now they were on stage singing one of our songs with us. That was incredible!”
– drummer Greg Walkinshaw of Scottish band Fatherson when asked what his most surreal stage moment was. Full interview here.
“When it comes to my style, I have never really thought about it, really. I am a meat and potatoes guy. I am a big ginger bastard. Vocally I want to be more like Sam Cooke or John Fogerty – like the guys who belt it out in the way Otis Redding did.”
– Hamilton singer/songwriter Tomi Swick. Full interview here.
“Number four on the album charts, number one in the rock charts. We still don’t get that much radio support because radio is very much geared towards top forty – the same old stuff that you would expect pop radio to play.”
– Marillion‘s guitarist and founding member Steve Rothery talking about the band’s most recent album, 2016’s FEAR (Fuck Everyone and Run). Full interview here.
“I had a ukulele at nine years old and by 11 the first song I ever learned was Guy Mitchell’s ‘Singing the Blues’. And that’s a funny story because one of my dearest friends is Tommy James of the Shondells [Crimson and Clover] and it was also the first song he ever learned, and it was also on an Arthur Godfrey model ukulele.”
– Ottawa-born singer Gene Cornish (The Rascals, The Platinum Rock All Stars). Full interview here.
“We were playing at this venue in Quebec one night and Ronnie (Hawkins) and his entourage showed up and I was invited over to meet him. He said, ‘you know kid, I think you’re real good. Give me a call’ and this and that. I was only 19 at the time but knew Ronnie was a legend at the time. He had John Lennon and Yoko Ono over at his house and had all these amazing stories, and was just this bigger than life character.”
– Toronto-born Pat Travers (The Pat Travers Band) talking about his first meeting with Ronnie Hawkins. Full interview here.
“This album for me has been a joy because it’s a Glenn album from start to finish. It’s a Glenn written album.”
– Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) talking about his latest album Resonate. Full interview here.
“I have always been someone who believes that ideas come up for a reason, and I sort of travel with them in my head for a bit and see how they stick. A spark sits in your brain for a little while and if it continues to linger you start to explore it and as you explore it, it starts to grow. That’s the nature of every project I go into.”
– Singer/songwriter Davd Usher (Moist). Full interview here.
“I think our biggest thing that keeps us going and our biggest downfall sometimes is that we actually like our music. You know what I mean? We write the stuff and I listen Flotsam stuff all day in my truck.”
– Vocalist Eric ˈAKˈ Knutson (Flotsam and Jetsam). Full interview here.
“Canada has always been a special place for me. Canada discovered Supertramp before America did, actually. The history of my relationship with Canada spans from the Crime of the Century album [released in 1974] and goes right through beyond Breakfast In America  and into my solo career.”
– Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp vocalist). Full interview here.
“This album is going to be a good re-introduction of me to everybody in North America because people have either forgotten or don’t know me and don’t know what the hell I am doing.”
– Graham Bonnet (The Graham Bonnet Band, Rainbow) talking about his latest album, The Book. Bonnet is best known for the song Since You’ve Been Gone (Rainbow). Full interview here.
“We were working with Gary Numan [Cars] in the studio, I was good friends with him back then, and he pulled me aside and said, ‘I know you’re a good bass player, but you should sing because you’ve got a really nice voice.’ So that’s when I also started singing more. And now that’s all I do onstage.”
– Coldjack‘s John Fraser on why he went from being a bassist to lead vocals. Full interview here.
“I think for the longest time people didn’t think of us as a ‘polished’ band, which seemed to be what has been popular for the last number of years in both pop and heavy rock music. I think for years we were kind of overlooked by the mainstream because we’ve always been trudging our own trails and we’re not really the type of band that conforms with what is popular at the time.”
– Toronto-born vocalist Brian Frank of Swedish band Killer Bee. Full interview here.
“…playing with Ozzy (Osbourne) is like the Holy Grail for guitarists. Just think of the people who have come before me, like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk (Wylde). And you look at Zakk and how when he left Ozzy he forged his own path and is doing great.”
– guitarist Gus G. (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne). Full interview here.
“He lives only a few miles from me and he is an exceptional drummer. It’s very rare you can find a drummer that has power and technical ability at the same time. He also has tremendous feel. And he came in cold as well, which was pretty difficult because, as you have heard on the record, these songs are not necessarily straightforward. Some of it is very progressive, so God bless him for not having a heart attack when he realized what he signed on for.”
– guitarist Chris Green (Tyketto) talking about working with drummer Garrett Whitlock (Creed, Alter Bridge, Tremonti) for his debut instrumental EP, Unveil. Full interview here.
And that concludes our compilation for 2016. Let’s hope for continued success in 2017.
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