Posts Tagged ‘rock music’

What is rock music? At the core, its history and its origin?
Well, for anyone who has ever done any homework whatsoever into the roots of rock, into its rich background of years past and the groundwork that its early fathers laid down, you’ll know that that the answer lies in rebellion.
Rock has always been the voice of the counter-culture.  It has stood against the widely-accepted norms of the day.  It’s been the voice of dissent in the face of the bullshit propaganda lines of the day. Whether it was the Vietnam War, the televangelist money-mongering of the 1980s or the political agendas to go claim oil from other countries at any expense, rock music has always toted the banner of counter-statement. And so it should, for rock music itself was founded as a voice of rebellion.
Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols. Would they ever have meant a damn thing if they’d been PC?

For decades, rock was exactly that: the inconvenient message that bucked the system and pulled no punches in doing so. It was riding the edge of the razor blade. It was, as Gene Simmons from KISS said it should be… dangerous. Yes, rock HAS to preserve an element of danger to be viable and potent.
All of that was fine and dandy for years upon years. It was what was expected of rock. Everyone knew the name of the game. Hell, many even tried to plagiarize the agenda, making it come off as cheesy and absurd at times. But then came the modern era that we now find ourselves living in and everything… and I mean EVERYTHING changed.
Rock lost its grit, its soul. It lost the spirit of rebellion in the hopes of artists appeasing the social media masses, towing the company line of modern day thought and mass social conditioning, all under the haunting fear of social media backlash. In pandering to the social justice warriors and accepted public opinion and social pressure, musical artists themselves changed with the times. They forgot their roots. They forsook their heritage.
It became more important to get likes and follows and re-posts than stand as a bastion of counter-culture. The fear of getting blackballed and labelled whatever the social justice neophytes of the day like to throw around as easy shame tags created a play-it-safe atmosphere of toothless, soulless, non-confrontational pop. Hell, even the much-ballyhooed black metal acts became redundant, beating on the dead horse of anti-Christian sentiment long after our western world became as secular as anyone could ever hope for. Indeed, rock lost it’s identity.
This all brings me back to something that I recall a lady named Kristen Mulderig telling me back in 2013. Kristen – the manager for Slayer, Bullet For My Valentine and Ghost – told me as we were sitting down for supper one night, that every single rock act that ever made it big understood the day and age they were living in and were able to tap into that day and age through their music and message.
This brings me to 2019 and the return of my much-beloved Stoner Kings, as we stand here on the cusp of releasing our third studio album since 2001. It’ll be on May 17 that Alpha Male is slated to hit the digital airwaves on platforms like iTunes and Spotify.
Stoner Kings, Finland, 2019.

Stoner Kings 2019, photo by Marko Simonen, clockwise from top left: StarBuck (vocals), Rude Rothsten (bass), Joonas Vepsä (guitar), Janne Kontoniemi (drums)

It’s absurd to think that since our inception in the fall of 2000, we’ve only put out two albums up ‘til now — 2001’s Brimstone Blues and 2006’s Fuck The World. We were arguably infamous back in our day, a sore thumb and Ichabod amongst our peers, hated yet a cult phenomenon at the same time. Then, there was an eight-year absence, an exile in limbo, between 2008-2016. We came back from that, determined to make an impression yet again. I had a vision that the guys shared. A vision to re-establish what rock was meant to be. Yes, Stoner Kings’ late, third coming would be a roar of rebellion in and of itself.
So some of you will ask what is this rebellion? What’s the big fuss and big talk about?
Well, it’s in the lyrics. It’s in the message. It’s in the meat of the matter, as I lyrically pillage the socially-accepted dogmas of our times, aiming to dissect and dismantle the myriad lies fed to us in the name of whatever suits the agenda at whatever turn and point in modern days.
Already in name and title alone, Alpha Male bucks the system. We’re not looking to kowtow to the masses. We’re not looking to win brownie points and play nice. Hell, we’re looking to not only rock the boat but turn the whole damn thing over!
So yes, Stoner Kings ARE bringing back the spirit of rebellion to rock. But it’s not the spirit that you’ll recall with familiarity from times past, because times have changed. Now, we’re calling everyone’s bullshit and bluff in the face of modern times. We’re offering the bitchslap that others fear to dish out. We have no fear, because we care not for public sentiment, nor is our house hingent upon social media likes, follows or ass-kissing to buck up our self-worth.
Fuck it, Stoner Kings are coming again with Alpha Male to kick ass, take names and overturn the lies that we’ve all been sold in the name of political correctness.
Get ready. May 17, the Earth rumbles in tribulation once again!
STONER KINGS Alpha Male cover

The album cover for Stoner Kings – Alpha Male (2019)

Hear the first single from our upcoming Alpha Male album, Fucked AD, here!

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Today marks my 42nd birthday.  I don’t feel so young anymore, nor do I feel very old.  I’m somewhere in between.

Like most folks out there, I don’t fancy the limitations and slowing down process that age brings with it.  I’ve strived to reach the upper echelon in all things that my heart has burned after, and I have held nothing back.  I’ve been all around the world, reached pinnacles that many only dream of, becoming a star player in my chosen sport far and wide.  I’ve toured many lands with my various rock bands, been here, there and a little bit of everywhere.

StarBuck birthday

So here at 42, on April 24, I look back on what has been and ahead to what lies in wait.  As a lone wolf, not part of any clique out there, I’ve done a hell of a lot in my 42 years.  Everything I’ve achieved, I’ve earned with hard work, honesty and reputation.  Not by kissing ass, playing politics or stabbing other people in the back.  For that, I am proud.

I achieved my dream of superstardom in Japan as a wrestler in 2010-2011, which was my career goal, and everything from here on out is a bonus.  I garnered three European wresting championships during my career so far, and I am happy with that number.  It’s a magical number; three.  Anything above that is also just a bonus.  I’ve wrestled in 19 countries over the past 21 years, and I’d like to add a few more before I hang the boots up one day, so that is something to still strive towards.

My old arch-rival and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder wrote a powerful blog about me to commemorate my birthday.  Take a look: http://starkadderkomorebi.blogspot.fi/2015/04/the-mightiest-adversary.html

I have no idea how long my saga on this Earth will be, but I can honestly say, that I have lived the life of a journeyman, the life of a wayfarer, the life of legend.  If all of this were to end tomorrow, I would have to be happy, content that I went out there and actualized my dreams.  I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk.

So today, for me, 42 is an inverted 24.

Well, I’ve been back for a few days following our Crossfyre “Iron Horse” album release tour through Estonia, Poland and Germany, and I’m still recouping!  Erradic hours, irregular and short sleep, and 5,995 kilometers of road later, it tends to build up and wear on you.

But whose complaining?!  We had a great time, life on the road, like a band of gypsies, rocking and rolling.  Dreaming it and living it are two different things.  We got to take in some great experiences and meet some fantastic new people along the way.

Morning scenery from the Super Rally grounds

Morning scenery from the Super Rally grounds

First of all, The Harley-Davidson 2014 Super Rally in Tallinn, Estonia (which I chronicled in and of itself earlier HERE) was off the charts.  15,000 bikers from all around Europe ventured to Estonia’s capital for some boozin’ and cruisin’ June 5-7.  We played the main stage at the Super Rally on Saturday evening, right after Mr. Bill Davidson, CEO of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, raffled off a brand new bike to a lucky Finn in the audience, who was dumbfounded when his number got called.  All in all, the Super Rally was a sight to behold, but the food was somewhat overpriced for the serving sizes offered.  As an added bonus, I was able to hit the fantastic Sparta sports club in Tallinn the day after the show with a big fan of mine from many years back named Keio, getting in a blasting compete body workout before moving forward on our journey.

As Hulk Hogan would say, "Hangin' and bangin'" at Sparta gym

As Hulk Hogan would say, “Hangin’ and bangin'” at Sparta gym!

Driving through Latvia, we got to see some of the finest beaches that there are to be found in Europe.  Riga was ridiculously overpriced, and I wondered what industry fuels their economy to justify the extravagant prices that we saw everywhere.  Riga was also the place where we picked up our regular bassist Dan Rönnbacka, as Sami Salminen (of The Slidemobile) filled in on bass in Tallinn and left the day after the Super Rally to go back to Finland.

Lithuania was up next, with a stop in God knows what town, and a hotel right next to the railroad tracks.  Damn.  That was a bad move.  The Latvian two-star vs. Estonian four-star hotel were quite different from the other, let me assure you!  Pretty much everywhere we travelled in Latvia and Lithuania, we had to use bottled water, as purportedly the tap water is questionable to drink.

The stage at Alchemia in Bialystok, Poland

The stage at Alchemia in Bialystok, Poland

Poland was a blast!  Our first gig in Bialystok on June 10 saw girls dancing on tables and the audience shucking and jiving in front of the stage.  Small venue.  Alchemia by name, the place was very intimate with William Blake-like artwork and interior design.  There were even a few wrestling fans at the show, who came  out to see StarBuck, which was a nice thing.

The next stop was 5 Sztuk in Siedlce, a student town, of which 25% of the population account for students.  Once again, just the night prior, the people on hand were going bananas by the end of it all when our rendition of ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man closed things off.  After the gig, we got invited to the local Gryf MC headquarters for a drink, as we presented a rebel Confederate flag for their clubhouse also.

Next up was the Alligator music club in Poznan, which was a big city and we found ourselves smack-dab in the center of the marketplace.  Let me say this about Poland: if you are a bachelor, then plan a trip there, as the women will be sure to catch your eye!  Alligator was a very cool club, with some of the niftiest interior design that I have seen so far in any club.  Very high-scale environment.

Getting the mood right at Alligator music bar (photo by Gozia Czek)

Getting the mood right at Alligator music bar (photo by Gozia Czek)

Our last gig in Poland was in the city of Szczecin at the Free Blues Club.  I know I keep sounding pretty high on Poland, but I have to expressly note that the stage sound at Free Blues Club was in the top five of any stage that I have performed on in the past 15-years.  It was pure pleasure to play the this place, as I could make every instrument out crystal clear and I didn’t have to push my voice at all.

Best stage sound around at Free Blues Club (photo by Ryszard Pakieser)

Best stage sound around at Free Blues Club (photo by Ryszard Pakieser)

Then it was off to Barnaby’s Blues Bar in Braunschweig, Germany.  Barnaby’s is like our home away from home, an establishment that we have now played about five times.  Local Radio Okerwelle DJ Florian Damm is always up for having us appear on his show for an hour-long interview every time we are in town the day of the show.  We rocked Barnaby’s in familiar fashion, leaving the folks screaming for more…were it not for the soccer game that was just starting 10-minutes after we finished our set.  It should be noted, that soccer takes precedence to anything and everything in Germany.  People would probably skip their grandparents’ funeral to watch the soccer championships!

Hanging with some fine folks on the Reeperbahn

Hanging with some fine folks on the Reeperbahn

Our last gig of the tour was in Hamburg, Germany, right on the infamous Reeperbahn.  The place was called Cowboy und Indianer, like cowboys and Indians, and it was frequented by folks who knew their rock and blues.  Older musicians, rock police if they chose to be, had filled the bar by the end of the night.  I saw people taking out their cell phones, calling their friends, like “get your ass here right away, you have GOT to see this band!”  People just kept filing in throughout the set to see what the commotion was all about.  Let me say this: we did something right that night.  To turn the heads of musicians with 40+ years of experience, you have got to have your shizzat together.  I am proud to say that our gig on Hamburg on June 15 was one of the finest performances that we have ever pulled off!

From Hamburg we drove straight through the night to catch my plane from Copenhagen back to Helsinki in time to make my WWE Eurosport broadcast on Monday night.  I didn’t get a wink of sleep after leaving Hamburg, and let me tell you, I was knackered right out of my boots on air that evening.

Next up, the Rockin’ by the River festival in Iisalmi, Finland on June 27, followed by a gig for Kolisewa MC in Karkkilaon June 28.  The Crossfyre Iron Horse keeps on rolling!

Rockin by the River

 

Today I will have a photoshoot with Harley-Davidson of Finland at their Hoghaus headquarters in Vantaa, Finland.  The shoot is for a 2014 calendar release, with proceeds going to charity.

Crossfyre Born to be Free music video shoot (photo by Danny Cross)

Crossfyre Born to be Free music video shoot (photo by Danny Cross)

This week I will also be filming a music video for my southern rock band Crossfyre’s Born to be Free single off of our upcoming Iron Horse album.

On Wednesday, August 28 this week, I will be playing the Liberte Club in Helsinki at 20:00 sharp with my hard rock act Overnight Sensation.  If you are in the vicinity, drop by for a set of kickass originals and a couple of covers.  With Overnight Sensation, we will be releasing our debut album Life’s a Bitch on September 3 online via Muve Music, VerveLife, MySpace Music, Rhapsody, MediaNet, Xbox Music, Rdio, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Spotify, Sony Music Unlimited, Wimp, Google Play, Gracenote, Shazam, simfy, Nokia, eMusic and Deezer.

Album cover for Overnight Sensation's Life's a Bitch debut album -- look for it!

Album cover for Overnight Sensation’s Life’s a Bitch debut album — look for it!

Check out the title track from the upcoming Life’s a Bitch album here: