Posts Tagged ‘heavy rock’

This past late autumn, we hit the studio with Stoner Kings in preparation for our forthcoming third studio album, which, granted, has been a long time coming. It was last in 2006 that we released our sophomore album, Fuck The World, and back in 2001 we released our debut, Brimstone Blues. Now, after making our comeback to gigging and recording in late 2016, we have orienteered ourselves, looking to make album number three come to fruition.
Stoner Kings gang vocals

Gang vocals for chorus lines (l-to-r): Joonas Vepsä, StarBuck, Hannu Leiden, Mikko Metsäruusi

Truth be told, I had written almost all of the songs for our forthcoming album already back in the first half of the 2000s, between Brimstone Blues and Fuck The World. A few of our newer numbers, such as Cro-Magnon and Bray With The Damned, are newer compositions of the past few years, but overall, most of the material that will make it’s way onto our third LP has its roots fifteen or so years back! These songs have been sitting on the drawer, packed away, unused and waiting for the right moment. If the wheel ain’t broke to begin with, there ain’t no use in fixing it, and therefore we’ve worked on honing these previously written, unreleased songs to resound with the Stoner Kings sound as it stands in 2018.
Joonas Vepsä Stoner Kings studio

Joonas lays down some mean and ornery guitar leads

Just this past week, we once again hit the studio under the auspices of producer Hannu Leiden and sound engineer Eero Kaukomies at both Sonic Pump Studios (where we laid down drums, bass and rhythm guitar tracks) and Content Union Studios (where we performed guitar leads and vocals) in Helsinki. We previously recorded with these fellas at the same studios in late 2017, the aftermath of which saw us release singles Cro-Magnon, Bray With The Damned, Universal and a remake of 2001’s Brimstone Blues favorite, Limbonic Void.
Rude Rothsten Stoner Kings studio

Rude pulls off some groovy bass lines

The new songs this time around that we recorded are entitled Bigger Louder Harder, Fucked A.D., Bringing Out The Dead and Damnation’s Own, the last of which we demoed with the third incarnation of Stoner Kings back in 2007 at Samu Oittinen’s FANTOM STUDIO in Tampere, Finland (here below).
I’m sure our followers and fans will be thrilled with the results of our new material, as some of it is more brutal than ever before, whereas select songs have melodic hooks and commercial appeal that will surprise you. Overall, however, you can expect the best Stoner Kings album to date, complete with the promise that we are bringing the roots of rebellion and counter-culture back to world of rock. Whereas everyone is so afraid of rocking the boat and kowtowing to the liberal ideology of modern day society, we are bringing in the counter-strike.
Stoner Kings in the studio

JJ and I listen like hawks to make sure everything goes down by the book

Rock music initially was dangerous, defiant and very much counter-culture oriented. It spoke out against the political undercurrents and popular ideologies of its time. Sadly, rock music has become nothing more than a corporate mule in our modern times, toting the ideocracy of the ruling class, extolling mass social sentiment and offering little more than cheap, lightweight chants to entertain indoctrinated neophytes. Rock has lost its soul. The danger is gone, the spirit is dead.
Stoner Kings are bringing in a revolution in this sense. It’s time. It’s damn time.
Our next gig will be on August 3 at Semifinaali in Helsinki with black metal legends Barathrum and punk rockers Blueintheface in a real mixed salad of a night, and at this gig we’ll have two session musicians filling on on bass and drums, as Rude and JJ are unable to attend due to summer engagements overseas in the USA.  Our original bassist Perttu “Gonzo” Sutinen will be making a one night comeback at Semifinaali and Mikko Metsäruusi from Black.44, with whom we played last year in Tampere, Finland at Jack The Rooster, will be filling in on the skins.  This is going to be a truly interesting night… come on out!!!
Advertisements

Check out the brand spanking new Stoner Kings mini-documentary and music video for our song Limbonic Void, shot by our good friends, pro video team Marko Simonen and Jarmo Katila.  Marko edited the video together, doing a helluva job!

This feature was filmed on March 3 this year at Helsinki’s Nosturi, as we opened for the legendary Fu Manchu from California, USA.  This gig was one of our definitive career highlights over the past 18 years since our inception, and we wanted to record it for posterity.

You can catch Stoner Kings LIVE next tonight, May 3, at Helsinki’s Bar Loose, as we play the prelim round of this year’s Tuska-Torstai band contest.  There are six bands in total on the bill – Stoner Kings, Grin, Saints For Mass Production, Licuation, The Nomad and Torchia – each showcasing their best wares, with the first act hitting the stage at 20:00 and us finishing last at 22:30.  Come on out and cast your live votes and help usher Stoner Kings to the main stage of this summer’s Tuska Open Air metal festival in Helsinki!

Stoner comic frame TEXT ALT

Drawn and inked by Yours Truly, digital colors by Crystal Hughes (www.jenired.deviantart.com)

Just over a week ago, I had the express pleasure of playing alongside one of the godfathers of the stoner rock genre and one of my personal groove/riff rock favorites: Fu Manchu.

_DSC1022_preview

We lit that Helsinki stage on fire the night of March 10. (photo: Marko Simonen)

I remember when I started my own stoner rock band, Stoner Kings, in the year 2000. I still vividly recall the backlash that we got from especially the Finnish stoner rock scene at the time. All the hate mail and criticisms over our name. “Who the hell do these guys think they are, calling themselves the Stoner Kings?”, that was pretty much the adverse sentiment of our detractors.

I recall clubs that refused to book us because their bookers disliked our name and image. I recall certain bands in the same genre not wanting anything to do with us (which I’ll refrain from naming, as there’s no need to go so low), refusing to play with us even, due to our name. There was so much spite from a small, but influential, sector of the music industry toward Stoner Kings, that it was baffling.

Stoner Kings StarBuck Michael and Joonas

It ain’t supposed to be pretty! (photo: Saara Planting)

Alas, we persevered, regardless. I personally put out our debut album back in 2001 as a self-released title, and I sent 300 physical copies out to the various hard music medias worldwide. We got a ton of press, most of it good to very good to excellent for Brimstone Blues. They likened us to a mix of Skid Row meets Monster Magnet with the energy and intonation of Guns ‘n Roses. Some said we were like a sludged down Mötley Crüe. Others said we were like a potent mix of stoner rock and 70’s glam with a very distinct LA vibe.

Once we put out our second album, Fuck The World in 2006, the music business had changed considerably and stoner rock in general had gone back underground. Our sophomore album title reflected our backlash at the haters that we’d amassed after our debut. It was a big, fat middle finger to every detractor that chose to stand against Stoner Kings just for us being ourselves.

Stoner Kings Rude bassist

It was never my intention to imply by our name (as our most vehement detractors claimed) that we were somehow “better” than Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu — the big three of the stoner rock genre. I chose Stoner Kings as a name since it embodied the kind of bravado that I had become familiar with over my time and career in pro wrestling. Everything was over-the-top, larger than life and bold beyond belief. Who the hell wants to be low-key and hide in the bushes when you’re out to make an imprint and make your own mark on the world? Go for broke or go home, that’s what I believe.

Stoner Kings JJ Crash drummer

J-J “Crash” Kontoniemi lays down the rhythms like a monster. (photo: Marko Simonen)

So we went all-out with Stoner Kings from day one. Just like Alice Cooper did. Just like Motley Crue did. Just like WASP did. Just like all of the greats before us did. If you want to become the best, then learn from the best. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, then take Arnold Schwarzenegger’s word:

And so it is, that we come to 2018, two years into the comeback of Stoner Kings after an eight-year AWOL absence (2008-2016), and to the date of March 10 in Helsinki, Finland. That was the day that Stoner Kings got the chance to play with one of the three greats of the stoner rock genre. That was the day that we got to share the stage with Fu Manchu, and it’s a day that I’ll fondly remember for the rest of my life.

Stoner Kings Fu Manchu Helsinki March 10 2018

I personally take great pride in this opportunity and moment. It was a milestone for me personally. Chatting with the boys in Fu Manchu showed how cool they were with Stoner Kings, as they warmly accepted us opening up for them at Helsinki’s Nosturi. Fu Manchu frontman Scott Hill even dedicated their song California Crossing to us at the event, upon hearing that it was my personal favorite album (and title track) from their band.

So thank you, Fu Manchu, for giving Stoner Kings the opportunity to play alongside you guys. Thank you to Zachris at Live Nation Finland, who made it possible for us to play with these fellas. And thank you to the stellar 800-strong audience on hand at Nosturi the night of March 10 in Helsinki and the rousing, heartfelt ovation that they gave Stoner Kings, also. 

FU

Fu Manchu’s vocalist Scott Hill and I share a few words. (photo: Marko Simonen)

Catch Stoner Kings next in concert on May 3 at Bar Loose in Helsinki as part of the Tuska-Torstai band contest, where the overall winner gets the opportunity to play Finland’s premiere, annual metal festival, Tuska Open Air this summer.

Hey folks, it’s been awhile since I last blogged, but things have been hectic!

I have huge news: this Thursday, on November 3 in Helsinki at On The Rocks, my infamous Stoner Kings band makes a return comeback to live gig action!

It’s been eight long years since we last played, and incidentally, our final gig was at On The Rocks then, too!  Since our inception in 2000, Stoner Kings recorded two studio albums, Brimstone Blues (2001) and Fuck The World (2006), going through a few line-up changes in the process, before calling it quits in late 2008.

Now, in late 2016, Stoner Kings are back with a new line-up, consisting of myself on vocals (as always), co-founding member Janne “Crash” Kontoniemi back on drums, Rude Rothstén from the 2007-2008 incarnation of Stoner Kings on bass, and Joonas Vespä on guitar.

Don’t be unfortunate and miss out on this monumental comeback gig!  Come on out tomorrow night at On The Rocks in Helsinki for the dawning of the new Stone Age!!!

sk-on-the-rocks-gig-advert

 

Take a look folks, I just opened my personal YouTube channel and one of the many musical offerings on tap is this stellar Stoner Kings gig from Helsinki’s legendary Tavastia club in March of 2006, when we released our sophomore album, Fuck the World:

I also just added a plethora of songs from my various bands over the years to my Music page here at StarBuck.fi, so be sure to check out all the cool tuneage to be heard!