classic rock


JD & The Straight Shot’s founder and frontman Jim Dolan sat down with PureGrainAudio’s Mitch Lafon moments before their November 7th, 2012 show in Montreal (opening for the legendary ZZ Top). Dolan, who is President and CEO of Cablevision and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden, Inc., also oversees New York sports teams the NBA’s Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers. In this exclusive audio interview, the extremely busy rocker discussed his love for music, the music business itself and the band’s latest album, Midnight Run.

Long before the mutiny in Queensrÿche that ended with his ouster from the band, Geoff Tate had locked himself away in a studio working on Kings & Thieves (his second solo album). The first album stretched Tate’s creative boundaries, but left many fans confused. This time out, Tate had to prove that he can still rock and further needed to make an album that would ensure Queensrÿche fans stuck around for the party. Tate sat down with PureGrainAudio’s Mitch Lafon to discuss his very tumultuous 2012 and his plans for the future.

Aerosmith is a band divided into three very specific fan bases. Those who loved the gritty dirty rock n’ roll of their ’70s albums (Toys In The Attic, Rocks), the ‘hair metal’ crowd of the ’80s (Permanent Vacation, Pump) and the Top 40/American Idol faithful who think “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” is sheer brilliance. So, how does the band keep everyone happy? Simple, release an album with twenty songs that has a little something for everyone.

Aerosmith’s Music From Another Dimension was eleven years in the making and was originally slated to be released in August 2012. Prior to that time, I was given the opportunity to sit down with bassist, Tom Hamilton. At the time we discussed the 25th anniversary of their landmark album, Permanent Vacation, upcoming tour plans and much more. With the album delayed however, the interview was more window dressing than promo for the new disc. At the time it was promised that a second interview would happen and as we approached the release date and Aerosmith’s team came through without hesitation. In this, my second interview with Tom this year, he addresses the band’s duet with Carrie Underwood, working with Jack Douglas and whether or not he thinks KISS is a “comic book” band (as his bandmate, Steven Tyler, recently suggested).

Foreigner brought their hits and classic rock sensibilities to Montreal’s newest venue, Maddie’s Place on August 11th 2012. Torrential rains lit up the skies before the band hit the stage, but despite puddles and mud Foreigner delivered an high-energy show wrapped around years of classic songs. Say what you will, but the true test of any band’s worth are songs… timeless songs.

Current Foreigner and TNN bass guitarist Jeff Pilson, sat down with PureGrainAudio’s Mitch Lafon in Montreal before the band’s gig at Maddie’s Place on August 11th, 2012. The pair discussed Jeff’s new band, TNN, with former Dokken bandmates “Wild” Mick Brown and George Lynch, his work on Steven Adler’s (ex-Guns N’ Roses) new album as well as Jeff’s duties with Foreigner. Ag reat discussion, so enjoy!

This Might Hurt is the debut record from The Treatment, a Cambridge UK based rock and roll band. While these guys may be extremely young, they are writing and playing music that is well beyond their years. Their sound is reminiscent of the late 70’s and early ’80s raw, gritty rock sound that dominated the charts and This Might Hurt is packed to the gills with lots of extremely fun, hook-laden and catchy tracks that will have you singing and swaying along in no time at all.

As the band very clearly and simply states, Venomous Maximus plays Metal! The group came together as recently as early 2010 and almost instantly was opening for well-known bands the likes of: Torche, Pentagram, High On Fire and Eyehategod. Since that time Venomous Maximus has put out two releases – the 7 inch single Give Up the Witch and the 12 inch EP The Mission. According to their bio, the band’s headspace lands: “somewhere between a Alejandro Jodorowsky film and a New Orleans voodoo den. Hail Satan and pass the chicken feet!”

Very few people have had such a prolific and storied career as Carlos Santana. For decades this guitar great has created music that crosses genres and entertains fans of all ages, and this Blu-ray disc is no different. The 23 songs included in this set are extremely entertaining and at times off the cuff. As you would expect many of his wildly popular, crowd-pleasing tunes (“Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” to name but a couple) are present and accounted for.

Based in the city of all cities, New York, the talented and charismatic front man Casey Shea is currently fronting a good old rock band of the same name. With a strong group of five never far from his side, Casey has slowly taken his solo career to all new heights. By gigging in and around NYC, Casey’s solid and captivating live performances have earned him a positive reputation and growing slew of fans.

I recently had a chance to speak with guitarist Robby Rigsbee about his band Zach Williams and The Reformation and their new disc, A Southern Offering. The moment you pop this album into your player you’ll immediately be transported back to the mid-Seventies when southern rock ruled the airwaves. Not only do Zach Williams and The Reformation pay homage to the masters of the genre, (Lynyrd Skynrd, Molly Hatchet, Joe Cocker), they also add their own sound to the mix, making this an interesting and enjoyable release.

Hey Sugar are a Montreal-based band that bring back that old-school rock n’ roll, but with a mix of modern hardcore. The first time I heard the group I instantly fell in love with their classic rock n’ roll soul and spirit as it’s something that most current, popular bands are lacking. The band recently finished recording their Matt Ray and Oli Jean-produced debut album and have filmed their first music video for the track “All That I Need.” I got a chance to talk to bassist Marc Astolfi about what the band, what it was like shooting their first music video and what 2011 has in store for the guys.

Ricky Phillips, bassist for the classic and renowned rock band Styx took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with me about the band’s new release, Regeneration Volume 1. Since the 70’s Styx has been a mainstay on the musical landscape. They have released numerous hit singles that have flooded the airwaves, defined generations and withstood the test of time. The band is once again back together and on Regeneration Volume 1 they have rerecorded some…

Though interviewer Spencer Matulaitis had barely heard of Simon Dawes, it was obvious that he was stoked on seeing them open for Incubus. Check out how the meet and greet with this up and coming band went when they hit up Toronto late Summer 2007, at the Molson Amphitheatre.