Archive for March, 2018

Faultless Priest

Posted: March 14, 2018 in Classic Rock, Cool stuff, General

I have been listening to the new Judas Priest album “Firepower” now for a few days and it is a top notch product. You have to go back to the 1980s to find them in this kind of shape. Rob Halford sings like a dream, the guitars are melodic and fierce and then there is the drums. Never been better. Is it the production then? Could be, but the songs are all good too, there are no filler tracks here. I have to say that listening to this record is easy, joyful and delightful. This is perfect Priest, cruising into the sunset like champions. Even the cover (by Claudio Bergamin) is right up there.

Buy it now!

I blogged about this 2013 Sakura Gakuin book a couple of weeks ago. Pretty sure now that the “Graduation” book was signed by Suzuka Nakamoto herself although I still need details. Here is a snapshot of that particular page. Now this could be in print, but it looks real to me. Also, I have heard talk about these Sakura Gakuin books having autographs within them, making them just a little more special. Or in this case, incredibly special. Well Su, if you see this, know that this copy is safe in Östersund, Sweden.

Babymetal rules.

(My image from said book, cover inserted)

Babymetal_CR215

Today is the first Anniversary of me being a devoted fan of Babymetal. I added the first blog post about them on March 9 last year and you can watch the sudden interest blossom on the blog – today you will find many blog posts about them here. It has been a wonderful journey to have experienced their music (and especially the live DVDs), not to mention their superb history. One that can never be replicated. In the last few days I dived into the old collection some more and found an additional four magazines with Babymetal content from before I took notice of them. The worst example of me missing the boat was the two page article I found inside the pages of Classic Rock (issue) 215 (published in October 2015). I do recall reading this article back in the day, but for some reason I did not check them out on YouTube. I kick myself for this now but there you go. At least it has been a wonderful ride for the last year and that is something to be grateful for. And I am. Also, the reason I checked them out on YouTube on March 9 last year was the fact that the “Gimme Chocolate!!” video I saw listed had some 68,000,000 views. Well, now it is closing in on 85,000,000. Imagine that!

(My image of Classic Rock 215 spread)

Here is a snapshot (thank you Kalle) with yours truly and Arne Johansson. He paid me a visit this evening and shot an interview about my life as a freelance journalist and magazine publisher. He is putting together a massive project in which he is talking with musicians etc from these parts and it will all be stashed away for safe keeping at the Jamtli museum archives some day. I know he has put together one film and I guess a minute or two from this meeting might pop up somewhere at some time in the future. Always happy to help good people that do interesting projects out.

Good luck.

(Spot the Babymetal t-shirt!)

It was five years ago now that I published the 28 page Tornado Blaze novel magazine. The novel itself went out in two parts and ended in RETROFUTURE 6 roughly six months later. The model is the very wonderful Ellinor Nordbakk. Good days.

(My images)

I hear discruntled voices about the fact that Babymetal will only play 13 dates across the US and Europe (including four major festivals) this summer and in your average rockers world that is not much. But it reflects what is going on at the moment and we have to remember that they lost a member of the Kami Band recently and I also hear that Yuimetal and Moametal are still in school. It would seem that their manager, Kobametal, is keen on not wearing them out, which could easily have happened since they were all very young when this journey started. You have to view this from the perspective that the success took them by surprise and that very few Japanese artists ever tour outside of the home market. Seeing how young they still are, they have in fact done really well.

Selling out Wembley alone in 2016 was a huge deal. Meanwhile, they have worked hard in Japan and have conquered that market completely. Also, Babymetal is not the kind of band that you could send out for a year on the road, they would never survive it. I think they are clever to tour in short bursts and I think this will continue. What they have done, and what they are doing now, is testing the waters. By the looks of it they are selling out 3,000-4,000 seaters very quickly everywhere they go. Even now with no new product in sight. My guess is that they will start to book bigger venues, like Radio City Music Hall and Long Beach Arena – bring a huge production (think Wembley) – and let the people travel to see them. In other words, I think we may see them take that leap within a year or two. Until then, they will play it safe and build this thing up. By the time of the third album, they should be able to play in 7,000-12,000 capacity venues across the world. They have the loyalty of a hard core audience as well as the curiosity of a growing fan base of all ages and I think they may well end up in a universe of their own creation. Having said that, doing festivals is always a good thing. So a mix of these (and possibly opening for huge bands on arena tours for some time yet) and a few big concerts every year in select markets may be the ultimate goal. The big bucks will probably still be Japan, but I can see a certain logic, and pride, in going to classic venues around the world. Think DVDs. Also, I think they should avoid having opening acts, they should do what Led Zeppelin did back in the day.

No compromise.

Spinroad Vinyl Factory

Posted: March 2, 2018 in General

A Vinyl Record Plant called Spinroad Vinyl Factory is opening up for business in Gothenburg (Sweden). A clear sign that the demand for Vinyls are on the rise. Good to see.