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Exclusive: Snew Premieres ‘Acetylene Queen’ Video

We caught up with frontman Curtis Don Vito to talk about the new album, working in the studio with legends of the industry, and his motivations and influences as an entertainer.

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Snew 'Acetylene Queen' Video Premiere

Photo by Neil Zlozower

Hard-hitting rockers Snew released their latest album You’ve Got Some Nerve this past September. The album kicks off with the ultra catchy “UR Freaking Me Out,” a rockin’ track that sets the tone for the entire album. From rock anthems like “Holy Hell” to the trippy “Revolution Is A Closed Loop,” You’ve Got Some Nerve is the most ambitious record of the band’s career.

Rock Confidential has partnered with Snew to premiere their new video, “Acetylene Queen.”

Speaking exclusively to Rock Confidential, frontman Curtis Don Vito comments about the video: “It’s track three on the album. It just might be the heaviest song Snew ever recorded. Big and metallic. The video was all shot live at the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Wales on November 9, 2018. Some of the scenes in-between are us at various places along the way in England. It was the first time we played the UK and it was amazing. We made a lot of friends over there. The Brits are awesome and LOVE their Hard Rock and Metal.”

We caught up with Curtis Don Vito to talk about the new album, working in the studio with legends of the industry, and his motivations and influences as an entertainer.

Thank you for taking time out for this! How are things going?

Snewingly.

Please tell me about how much time you spent putting your new record together, who was involved and your expectations for You’ve Got Some Nerve.

We spent a good year writing, working on the arrangements, doing pre-production and recording. We worked once again with our long time producer Bobby Owsinski, he’s been with us from the beginning. Grammy winner J.J. Blair turned the knobs and got us the sound on this record at his studio in the Hollywood Hills. It was an amazing experience I really enjoy myself. We all had a blast recording this one.

When you first started working on You’ve Got Some Nerve, did you approach songwriting differently than previous records? How would you explain your writing process?

We approached the songs the way we always do. Write songs we want to listen to for years to come. It’s as simple as that. After playing and listening back to the songs 50 times or so, if we still dig it it’s a keeper, if not we toss it. We hold ourselves to the standard of the music fans we are. If we bought this album from some other band are there any tracks we’d hit the skip button on. If there are any of those we don’t put them on the record.

What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?

Get to the studio whenever “downbeat” is (downbeat is our producers term for when we are supposed to start that day), the guys tune their guitars and drums while I get some coffee. If it’s a new track with different guitars and amps or a different drum kit we spend an hour or two or three just getting the sounds right, selecting mics and experimenting with mic placement. Then we get to play. We run down the song a couple of times just to get warmed up then we do takes. We take each song three times in a row then listen back. If one grabs us as “the” one we move on if not we take it again. It’s all done live as a band at this point and add overdubs later. I usually do my “real” lead vocal after all the band’s tracks are laid and just do “scratch” vocals with the band during basic tracks but sometimes we keep some of the “scratch” vocals. It all depends. I could go on with every excruciating detail but that’s a pretty good outline of our days in the recording studio.

Four albums and a decade later, Snew has worked with several some amazing production personnel. As a music fan, what was it like working with people like Bobby Owsinski, Ed Cherney, and Ken Scott? How did they inspire you as an artist?

Those guys, all of them are the real deal music legends. Those dudes have recorded and/or produced some of the biggest albums in rock history. I could go on and on about each one individually but just look them up and you’ll see what I’m talking about. So just having their interest in the first place meant they approve of having Snew on their resume. For me it means somehow I’ve crossed the divide from being just a musician with the dream of being a recording artist to truly being one. As an artist, it’s not about popularity so much as creating something that matters, recording albums that stand up next to all those others I’ve spent my life in awe listening to. Working with Bobby, Ed and Ken means somehow I achieved that. Let me tell you, those guys didn’t do it for the money either, we didn’t have much. About all we gave them was enough to pay for gas and lunch and not much else. They each got involved because they liked what we were doing. There’s no bigger complement I could ever receive. How’s that for inspiration?

What keeps you motivated?

My love of music and performing and singing. It’s what I do and I’m addicted to it. To stop doing it would be like asking me to stop breathing.

Who are some of your influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?

Growing up my parents were jazz musicians so I heard lots of Wes Montgomery, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett and people like that. It definitely had an impact on my sense of melody and musical arrangement. Once I got a little older I found Rock, Hard Rock, Metal. Bands like Sabbath, Priest, UFO, ZZ Top, Motorhead, Dio and all those bands. But Kiss was the one that made me imagine being on stage and electrifying a crowd. They’re so big and loud and over the top. Something inside me said “I want to do THAT.”

Snew Video Premiere

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?

DIY baby. It’s not only do-able but the only serious choice for an artist with a vision and is motivated enough to see it through. It used to be that you needed a major label to accomplish anything. That’s not true anymore. It also used to be that there were hundreds if not thousands of labels. Now there’s like five. Five mega corporations that control all of the musical mainstream and they want to keep competition to a minimum. So guess what? The decision has been made to eliminate Rock music from the landscape because we bands and fans are too hard to control. People these days think Rock is dying but we are far from dead. From what I can see there are more Rock fans than ever. The MSM is just ignoring us deliberately. If you’re in a Rock band you gotta go DIY.

What was the first album you bought with your own money growing up?

The Beatles, Revolver. I has like seven or eight and my parents were taking us on a camping trip and I was tired of listening to their music all the time on the tape player in the camper. I knew I wanted to get a Rock album but at that time the only Rock band I knew by name was The Beatles so I went to the record store and asked the guy behind the counter to recommend a Beatles album. He sold me Revolver.

What will SNEW be up to in 2019?

Writing more songs and playing more shows. I hope!

Thanks again Curtis! What would you like to say to wrap up?

Thanks for talking to me and letting me go on a tangent or two. And thanks for premiering our new video. To everyone reading this, find me and message me. I love meeting new people. There’s lots to talk about. The band and myself are all over the web so it should be easy to find me.

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Albums

Static-X Releases “Hollow” Video, Details ‘Project Regeneration’ Albums

The band’s long-awaited, seventh studio album will now consist of more than 20 tracks and appear over two volumes, to be released separately.

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Static-X has released the official music video for their new single “Hollow.” The band’s long-awaited, seventh studio album, Project Regeneration, will now consist of more than 20 tracks and appear over two volumes, to be released separately.

Project Regeneration Volume 1 will feature 12 brand new Static-X tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of late Static-X frontman Wayne Static, along with the original Wisconsin Death Trip lineup of bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda.

Both volumes are being mixed by longtime Static-X producer Ulrich Wild.

“Today is a very exciting day, as we are finely releasing the first Static-X single and video in more than 10 years,” says Campos. “The band, our producers, and most importantly Wayne’s family are incredibly happy with the way that the album is turning out and we know that Wayne is looking down on us all with a big smile, as we begin sharing his final works with the world.”

“We have been working on a lot of material over the last year and a half and while selecting the songs to move into the final mix phase, it became clear that there is just too much material and too little time for this to be a single album,” says Jay.

“The last thing that we wanted to do was make the fans wait any longer,” adds Campos. “We also didn’t want to abandon the remaining material, because it is very close to being complete and we know that the fans are going to want to be able to hear and experience all of it. We also recognize that all of this music is part of the same body of work, which marks this very important chapter of Static-X, so it is only logical to release all of the music under the same banner, Project Regeneration.”

The vocals for the song “Hollow” were originally recorded in 2005 for the Static-X album Start A War, but Wayne and I never felt like the music on the original ‘Hollow’ demo was fully realized,” Tony explains. “That is why it didn’t appear on Start A War or any Static-X album that followed. The vocals sounded great, but some of the musical compositions from that time period felt a bit experimental. The band was going through a lot of changes at that time and, in retrospect, it felt like we’d strayed away from that authentic Static-X sound that really defined us.”

Jay adds: “When we began working on Project Regeneration, our producers advised us to ignore any of the old demo music, so we opted for the original band to re-enter the studio with nothing more than Wayne’s isolated vocal tracks and to just be ourselves, to be Static-X, and to make Evil Disco. The vocals sound really great and I think that Wayne would be extremely happy with what we’ve done with the music and to know that these tracks have finally realized their full potential.”

In total, Project Regeneration volumes one and two will consist of more than 20 brand new or previously unreleased Static-X songs and will feature all of the remaining works left behind by Wayne Static, along with the original Wisconsin Death Trip band lineup. The individual albums are expected to contain creative packaging elements that will allow fans to marry the two volumes together.

“Right now we are finalizing the mixes for the first batch of songs, which will appear on Volume 1, while we continue to finish up the tracking for the rest of the music, which will appear on Volume 2. Volume 1 will be released at the end of May and the goal is to release Volume 2 as soon as possible.” says Jay.

Static-X is including the names of all fans who pre-order Project Regeneration Volume 1 in the liner notes of the album art. The cut-off date for names to appear in the liner notes is March 1.

“This is a very unique album” adds Fukuda. “Usually when someone passes away and leaves unfinished material behind, the end result will still sound incomplete. That is not the case with this. We have really taken the necessary steps and committed the time and resources for this to become a legitimate Static-X album.”

“2019 was absolutely incredible for Static-X. The whole 20th-anniversary touring process was a very unique and healing experience for the band, the fans, and also for Wayne’s family,” adds Tony. “Wayne’s family has been involved with every decision that we have made. They came out to see us on multiple shows last year and having there blessing and support was something that was essential throughout the process. We wouldn’t be doing any of this without their full support and consent.”

“We are so grateful to the fans who have made 2019 such an incredible year for Static-X,” adds Jay. “We have toured the world and celebrated the life and work of our dear friend Wayne, while playing our platinum selling debut album front to back every night. The fans have really exceeded our expectations and again, we are just so grateful! We can’t wait to share all of this music with you!”

Static-X Hollow

Static-X Project Regenration Volume 1

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Music Videos

Burning Witches Premiere “Dance With The Devil” Video

“The song has this cool 80s vibe – so we had the idea to visualize the Devil artistically in the clip,” the Swiss metal ladies explained.

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Swiss heavy metal band Burning Witches has released the official music video for the title track of its third studio album, Dance With The Devil.

Due on March 6 via Nuclear Blast, Dance With The Devil was recorded at Little Creek Studio and produced once again by V.O. Pulver and German thrash titan Schmier. The magnificent cover artwork was created by Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák and Destruction guitarist Damir Eskic.

Burning Witches Dance With The Devil

Dance With The Devil track listing:

01. The Incantation
02. Lucid Nightmare
03. Dance With The Devil
04. Wings Of Steel
05. Six Feet Underground
06. Black Magic
07. Sea Of Lies
08. The Sisters Of Fate
09. Necronomicon
10. The Final Fight
11. Threefold Return
12. Battle Hymn (feat. Ross The Boss and Michael Lepond)

Bonus CD (digipack only)

01. Mansion In Darkness (also available on the 2LP version)
02. Black Magic (acoustic) (also available on the 2LP version)
03. Executed (live)
04. Open Your Mind (live)
05. Hexenhammer (live)

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Music Videos

Richie Kotzen Premieres “Devil’s Hand” Video

The track is taken from ’50 For 50,’ a collection of 50 previously unreleased songs produced, performed and written by Kotzen in honor of his 50th birthday.

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“Devil’s Hand,” the new video from singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Richie Kotzen, is taken from his 22nd solo album, 50 For 50 — which is now available via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc. The three-disc collection is just what the title implies: a collection of 50 previously unreleased compositions produced, performed and written by Kotzen in honor of his birthday. It’s the follow-up to his critically acclaimed Salting Earth album, which was released April 14, 2017 via Headroom-Inc.

Kotzen says about “Devil’s Hand”: “The song touches on loss and regret while romanticizing a past that may or may not have been as it is being remembered in the present.”

When a person turns 50, they usually spend that entire year celebrating in as large of a way as possible to make it their biggest and most memorable birthday yet. Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Richie Kotzen is taking the concept literally, as he gears up for the release of his most ambitious album to date, and he wants to share this big birthday present to himself with his fans around the world.

Although Kotzen has been hailed as a guitar virtuoso since the release of his first album, it is his emotional lead vocal delivery and diverse songwriting style that separates him from his peers thanks in large part to artists that influenced him in the Philly soul R&B to jazz, rock, funk, and fusion guitar genres. 50 For 50 captures the full artistic scope of what makes Kotzen such a unique artist.

“The idea of a 50-song album came to me while I was on tour sometime last year,” Kotzen explains. “I had completed what would have been your typical 10-to-12-song album and was anticipating a 2020 release. Somewhere along the line, I discovered a few completed songs that for whatever reason were never released. Along with that, I found a massive collection of material that was in various forms of completion. Some songs had drums bass and piano with no vocal, other songs were nothing more than a bass line and a vocal melody and so on. I decided to take that summer and fall, stay in the studio, and see how many of these ideas I could bring to completion. The concept was to include the already completed works and finish the other ideas and then stop once I reached 50 songs. Reality is we’ve got way more sitting on the hard drives waiting for attention. I figured if I can walk out of the studio with 50 songs (that I like) mixed and mastered, I can release a 50-song package on my 50th birthday.”

Kotzen will continue to celebrate his big birthday with fans all over the world starting with an appearance at the Monsters Of Rock cruise kick-off party on February 7 in Miami, Florida at the Magic City Casino. His North American tour will commence with a three-night engagement in New York City at the Iridium Jazz Club on June 23, 24 and 25. The worldwide tour will take the birthday celebration to Mexico, Europe, Latin America, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Richie Kotzen

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Music Videos

Sixx:A.M. Releases “Talk To Me” Music Video

The song premiered last year at an Advertising Week NY panel on the critical role brands can play to help combat the opioid crisis.

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“Talk To Me,” the new video from Sixx:A.M., invites each of us to take the first step toward mutual understanding and healing using the power of conversation.

“Talk To Me,” written by Motley Crue founding member and Global Recovery Initiative Foundation board member Nikki Sixx with his band Sixx:A.M., received its premiere on at an Advertising Week NY panel on the critical role brands can play to help combat the opioid crisis. Celebrity influencers, government agency and global business leaders armed Advertising Week NY attendees with creative assets and tools to help fight the stigma associated with this epidemic in their communities. The song was created by Sixx:A.M. in support of the #TalkToMe campaign.

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