Opeth 17.06.2020

OPETH

Get ready for upcoming Opeth’s world tour. Listen to their new songs, check out dates, explore and have fun!

We will put Opeth’s concerts in unique perspective of Copenhagen’s culture.

Discosure: I use affiliate links and banners. When you buy something using link from this website, price stays exactly the same for you but I receive a small commission which supports Musictivity. Thanks! Full privacy policy: https://musictivity.org/privacy-policy/

Mick Box from Uriah Heep said in interview for Musictivity that Opeth deserves the induction to Rock’N’Roll Hall Of Fame in the future.

https://musictivity.org/2019/11/15/uriah-heep-interview/

Current Opeth’s line-up:

– Mikael Åkerfeldt (guitars, vocals),

– Martín Méndez (bass),

– Martin Axenrot (drums),

– Fredrik Åkesson (guitars, backing vocals),

– Joakim Svalberg (keyboards).

source: Opeth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fc0pbZxlo8

You can buy the newest Opeth’s album “In Cauda Venenum” (2019), other Opeth’s albums and original merchandise in our new Musictivity shop.

https://musictivity.org/2019/11/10/shop/

CONCERTS

Below Opeth’s dates. Find your city on the list below or plan an excellent trip to chosen destination. Further in this article, I will share with you some ideas how you could experience this event in unforgettable way.

30.11.2019 Pune, India

02.12.2019 Shanghai, China

03.12.2019 Beijing, China

05.12.2019 Osaka, Japan

06.12.2019 Tokyo, Japan

08.12.2019 Singapore

10.12.2019 Torrensville, Australia

11.12.2019 Perth, Australia

13.12.2019 Melbourne, Australia

14.12.2019 Sydney, Australia

15.12.2019 Brisbane, Australia

12.01.2020 Oslo, Norway

13.01.2020 Stockholm, Sweden

15.01.2020 Helsinki, Finland

13.02.2020 Cleveland, Ohio, USA

14.02.2020 Chicago, Illinois, USA

15.02.2020 Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

17.02.2020 Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

18.02.2020 Montreal, Canada

19.02.2020 Toronto, Canada

21.02.2020 New York, New York, USA

22.02.2020 New York, New York, USA

23.02.2020 Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

25.02.2020 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

26.02.2020 Nashville, Tennessee, USA

28.02.2020 Houston, Texas, USA

29.02.2020 Irving, Texas, USA

01.03.2020 Kansas City, Missouri, USA

02.03.2020 Denver, Colorado, USA

04.03.2020 Los Angeles, California, USA

06.06.2020 Malakasa (near Athens), Greece

17.06.2020 Copenhagen, Denmark

18.06.2020 Dessel, Belgium

20.08.2020 Compton Martin, England.

BLENDING STYLES

I can notice some similarity between Opeth and Therion. Both bands come from Stockholm and both started making music in the same period. Both are known for their creative death metal style which evolved later on to progressive, more sublime genre without frantic growling. However Therion used to engage more orchestra and opera while Opeth remained a gang of few metalheads. At the same time Therion’s albums are easier to comprehend than Opeth’s masterpieces (Just compare “Sitra Ahra” or “Secret Of The Runes” with “Soreceress” or “Watershed”).

Different formulas but kinda similar way of developing from Swedish death metal. Opeth seems to have little bit less experience with composing non-death metal music but maybe thats even better? They are active on metal scene already 30 years and it’s cool to get still innovative music from Mikael Åkerfeldt & Co in 2019.

TRAVEL

There are Opeth’s fans all over the world so I can understand if somebody feel a need to attend an Opeth’s concert but she/he can not find her/his country on the list above. If thats your case, I would recommend to take an amazing cultural trip to Copenhagen.

First check following video by Jonas Hoholt. I promise that It’s short, dynamic and attractive.

source: Jonas Høholt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oh0ccYabyU

I spent merely three full days in Copenhagen in August 2018. I remember my conversation with Dutch family during bike tour (btw one of the greatest tours which I ever experienced in my vibrant life).

https://www.getyourguide.com/copenhagen-l12/copenhagen-sightseeing-bike-tour-t182204/?partner_id=QL9T477&utm_medium=online_publisher&utm_source=poblak%40europe.com&placement=content-middle ).

I’ve asked them about few details regarding current Dutch politics but soon they told me that they are on tour not only in Denmark but also in Sweden. In their opinion Dutch lifestyle, approach towards world and life in general, is very similar to Danish but totally different than Swedish. What’s up?

Dutch epic boat with the flag of the Netherlands in Copenhagen:

HAPPINESS

How could we describe shortly Danish lifestyle? Hygge. It may appear confusing but Swedish endeavor to feel lagom and Dutchie lekker. We can say “ik ben lekker thuis” what in Nederland means nothing but hygge. While Danes tend to be modest, Dutch love kortings, discounts.

Hygge http://hyggehouse.com/hygge

Lagom https://www.bustle.com/p/what-does-lagom-mean-this-new-swedish-lifestyle-trend-is-being-compared-to-hygge-2701187

Lekker https://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/2012/09/30/no-12-lekker/

Opeth behave modestly on scene. You can listen to Opeth and feel both lekker and hygge. But Opeth’s music isn’t lagom in a sense that they use abundance of musical means of expression and they experiment with standing out ideas. This music isn’t minimalistic but complex.

On the other hand, Denmark has powerful economy and politics. I used to whisper to my best friends: “why Euro (EUR)? Danish krone (DKK) is a save haven!” Do not believe me, I’m not a pro in this field, just check it independently: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-game-of-krones-inside-denmarks-battle-to-defend-its-35-year-old-currency-peg-2017-12-08 We can confidently say that in the world of modern sonic art, Opeth plays rich and powerful music.

Danish monarchy is the oldest continuing line in the world.

Some fascinating history:

http://kongehuset.dk/en/the-monarchy-in-denmark/history

Explore castles:

https://www.getyourguide.com/copenhagen-l12/kings-castles-tour-a-tour-of-royal-north-sealand-t222933/?partner_id=QL9T477&utm_medium=online_publisher&utm_source=poblak%40europe.com&placement=content-middle

Danes love Margrethe II because (as you can see below) she is so close and so open to everybody (change of guards as a perfect example):

You have nothing more to find.
You have nothing more to lose.
The cold season drifts over the land.
They huddle in the brown corners.
Some would settle for less.
The castles were all empty, asleep.
Long awaiting their king.
Beckoning round the bend.
Amidst the forest one would hear that I had been there.

Opeth “Karma”

Me in front of Christiansborg Palace (Danish Parliament, Danish Prime Minister’s Office, Supreme Court of Denmark) with beloved by either Dutchie and Danes bikes:

International mindset is the next thing common for the Netherlands (Amsterdam as the most international city in the world), Denmark and Opeth. “Sorreceress” will be released in two different languages and the band will perform in many lands far away from home. Have you ever heard about Superkilen? Well, I went for two complete tours with local guides and none of them have even mentioned about Superkilen. It’s a surrealistic space dedicated for multi cultural internationalism. Yes, I made following exotic picture in Copenhagen, Scandinavia. More about Superkilen:

https://www.akdn.org/architecture/project/superkilen

In the end, because Opeth doesn’t want to be remembered as “thinking metal”, I would suggest to plan whole day for pure fun and enjoy the second oldest operating amusement park in the world: Tivoli! You just need to get out of central station in Copenhagen and cross the street from my picture displayed below. More about Tivoli:

https://www.getyourguide.com/copenhagen-l12/copenhagen-tivoli-gardens-unlimited-rides-ticket-t127388/?partner_id=QL9T477&utm_medium=online_publisher&utm_source=poblak%40europe.com&placement=content-middle

author: Sam O’Black

song of the day

What fans of good music want to do? They want to listen to good music.

What nobody doesn’t want? To be better versions of themselves.

I invite you to explore good music because it enrich your life and the richer life you have, the better version of yourself you become.

Open your mind for different music genres and try this tune:

24.11.2019

source: Midnight Prey – Topic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR8490MHb3U

23.11.2019 Knightmare – Lake of Rage

22.11.2019 Judas Priest – Never the Heroes

21.11.2019 Ring of Gyges – Andvaka

20.11.2019 Steelwing – Ozymandias

19.11.2019 Banshee – Race Against Time

18.11.2019 Wishbone Ash – Phoenix

 

W.A.S.P.

LEGACY

American hard rockers from W.A.S.P. are celebrating the legacy of their best albums:

– “W.A.S.P.” (1984),

– “The Last Command” (1985),

– “Inside the Electric Circus” (1986),

– “The Headless Children” (1989),

– “The Crimson Idol” (1992).

“ReIdolized” (2018) is an innovative remake of “The Crimson Idol” (1992) because only the leader, vocalist and multi instrumentalist Blackie Lawless performed on both versions (original drummer Frankie Banali have played one song called “The Peace” on both albums). Recently there was also a huge tournee during which W.A.S.P. used to play entire “The Crimson Idol”.

At this moment of time, W.A.S.P. is going for few festivals in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. It is something different, you know, not only W.A.S.P.’s events but festivals.

Disclosure: I use affiliate links and banners. When you buy something using link from this website, price stays exactly the same for you but I receive a small commission which supports Musictivity. Thanks! Full privacy policy: https://musictivity.org/privacy-policy/

After that W.A.S.P. will tour the world with “1984 to HEADLESS” – long concert series dedicated mostly to first four great W.A.S.P.’s albums (list above).

Check out new Musictivity shop with cool stuff related to W.A.S.P. and traveling.

https://musictivity.org/2019/11/10/shop/

source: crackpippi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxHl3gr-WMM

LINE-UP

Blackie Lawless is the sole remaining member of the most prolific W.A.S.P. period but still this tournee can be awesome for all enthusiasts of energetic hard’n’heavy.

Let’s look at the current line-up and details regarding upcoming concerts. You can take a special opportunity to explore amazing European culture in broader sense so keep reading.

W.A.S.P. 2019:

– Blackie Lawless (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards; also executive producer),

– Doug Blair (guitars, backing vocals),

– Mike Duda (bass),

– Aquiles Priester (drums, ex-Angra).

UPCOMING CONCERTS

Tickets: http://www.waspnation.com/tourdates.html

15.09.2020 Malmo, Sweden

16.09.2020 Gothenburg, Sweden

17.09.2020 Oslo, Norway

18.09.2020 Karlstad, Sweden

19.09.2020 Orebro, Sweden

20.09.2020 Huskvarna, Sweden

21.09.2020 Eskilstuna, Sweden

23.09.2020 Tampere, Finland

24.09.2020 Helsinki, Finland

25.09.2020 Oulu, Finland

26.09.2020 Sundsvall, Sweden

27.09.2020 Stockholm, Sweden

29.09.2020 Copenhagen, Denmark

30.09.2020 Eindhoven, Nederland

01.10.2020 Bristol, England

02.10.2020 London, England

03.10.2020 Nottingham, England

04.10.2020 Newcastle, England

05.10.2020 Glasgow, Scotland

07.10.2020 Belfast, North Ireland

08.10.2020 Dublin, Ireland

09.10.2020 Manchester, England

10.10.2020 Wolverhampton, England

11.10.2020 Leeds, England

13.10.2020 Norwich, England

14.10.2020 Cardiff, Wales

15.10.2020 Coventry, England

17.10.2020 Munich, Germany

18.10.2020 Saarbrucken, Germany

20.10.2020 Hamburg, Germany

22.10.2020 Stuttgart, Germany

23.10.2020 Geiselwind, Germany

24.10.2020 Antwerp, Belgium

28.10.2020 Bilbao, Spain

29.10.2020 Murcia, Spain

30.10.2020 Madrid, Spain

31.10.2020 Barcelona, Catalonia

04.11.2020 Padova, Italy

05.11.2020 Milan, Italy

06.11.2020 Launsanne, Switzerland

07.11.2020 Pratteln, Switzerland

SWITZERLAND

Looks like very ambitious plan and new dates may be added anytime so stay tuned.

It seems that they love to rock so let’s scream loud!

The last show from the tour’s list is in Pratteln, Switzerland, albeit I decided to tell you few open minding words about Basel – the capital of its German/French/Swiss region, located in biking distance from village Pratteln.

Helvetia is expensive. And Helvetia is exclusive.

Swiss citizens have sublime tastes. They love glamor – jewelry, watches, homemade chocolate, necklace, art, yachts. Usually very well educated, eco friendly, multi lingual, decent.

When you need to travel with train between two different places in Switzerland, consider to purchase your train tickets on-line. Otherwise, you might pay double price without even noticing that. I’ve learned this in person when I asked customer agent in office of Swiss Central Station in Basel:

– Could you sell me the cheapest ticket to Lucarne for today or tomorrow please?

– Yes, XXX CHF.

– Ugh, is it the cheapest one? Perhaps I should to ask in advance…

– No, no, don’t worry. It is the cheapest anyway. 🙂

Shock.

Well, I wanted to see Lucarne but paying three figures in USD for one way ticket on distance 100km… Even in the most expensive country in the world… Well well well… Then I made a quick on-line research and found much cheaper train tickets 😉

– Excuse me, but my phone shows me tickets on the same route much cheaper?

– That’s right. But this cheaper ticket is not flexible. You would need to take a train exactly in the same time which you would have printed on the ticket. While I am able to sell you, here in the office, only flexible all day tickets.

And that’s the point. That is how to travel in Switzerland for half price than other unaware tourists used to pay!

BASEL

Basel is considered as a cultural capital of entire Switzerland due to dozens of fine art museums and its open international character.

Busy International Airport in Basel (BSL) operates budget flights to many European destinations. Be careful, because one exit from this Airport will lead you to Germany, another to France and another yet to Switzerland. It is located just at the border between these three gorgeous countries!

Usually you are eligible to use public transportation inside Basel for free. You will receive a proper ticket during check-in in your hotel in Basel. Indeed handy and eco friendly solution.

I’ve visited Basel only once so I can not tell you much about available accomodation beside the fact that I didn’t have any problem to book a room in October and I’ve payed around 100 – 120 euro for each night in elegant 3 stars hotel located 20 meters from central station. Generally it’s better for you to check on your own countless offers and gazillion reviews:

https://musictivity.org/2019/11/10/shop/

Starting with official Basel walking tour is a good idea to grasp the cultural and historical aspect of the city. My guide was very informative and professional. I asked perhaps silly question because I wanted to know what is the local cuisine in Basel (I shouldn’t expect local cuisine from city which population is merely 170 000). My guide explained patiently that people in Basel used to eat a lot of fishes and meat (nutritive!) but I need to look into menu in any restaurant around to know more details. I recommend this tour.

https://www.getyourguide.com/basel-l51/2-hour-historical-walking-tour-through-basel-t28992/?partner_id=QL9T477&utm_medium=online_publisher&utm_source=poblak%40europe.com&placement=content-middle

LANDMARKS

Few extra pictures from me. Let’s start with the main square which seems to be empty in my picture. Basel sleeps and doesn’t work each Sunday but the same calm place turns into bustling spot with public events, open air displays, concerts and happenings during the week.

You can see a Basel Cathedral back in the middle, this is actually a city hallmark. What make this place interesting are the tombs of two famous figures related to Basel:

– Jacob Bernoulli (borned in Basel in 1654, died in Basel in 1705; author of the law of large numbers in probability)

Biography: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Jacob_Bernoulli

– the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (borned in Nederland in 1466, died in Basel in 1536; philosopher of freedom)

biography: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Erasmus

Basel Town Hall:

I’ve selected a stylish video which gives you a small glimpse into the city of Basel. I hope that you can appreciate that even W.A.S.P. concert may be a good entry point to the Swiss world. Feel welcome to explore and enrich your life with high quality cultural heritage.

source: Shiso Productions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r10uf87SKpc

There is a time for scream and there is a time for silence. Use it for your advantage.

author: Sam O’Black

Uriah Heep – interview

MICK BOX

Mick Box – rockman, guitarist, sole active founder of Uriah Heep (1970).

His hard rock band was inducted to Hall of Heavy Metal History in 2019 so I went one stop further and asked him about potential induction to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

Uriah Heep is an obvious music feast for fans of Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Nazareth, Wishbone Ash, Led Zeppelin etc as their most popular songs were created in the beginning of ’70-s and perfectly reflects its school of playing heavy rock.

But Uriah Heep is also powerful nowadays – listening to the excellent, 25th album “Living the Dream” (2018) leaves no doubt \m/

source: Frontiers Music srl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHgDPxLlFW4

Do you have an appetite for greatest hard rock legends? Then Mick Box features in the following interview an upcoming tournee: Uriah Heep, Nazareth, Wishbone Ash! It rocks!!!

FAME

How are you around 50th Anniversary of Uriah Heep?

Mick Box: I am fine and rockin’ as hard as ever, thanks! Our 50th is in 2020, so we are not quite there yet, but I am still as passionate about our music as I have always been. Reaching our 50th Anniversary is quite something to celebrate, as well as to be proud of, as it is one hell of an achievement!


What does your anticipated induction to Rock’N’Roll Hall Of Fame means to you?

Mick Box: It would be a fantastic honour to have the recognition of what we have achieved over the years. I would be extremely proud but if it does not come our way for any reason then life continues on as always. We play concerts in over 62 countries, so we are continually working and releasing new albums, our most recent being ‘Living the Dream,’ and long may it last.


Which other hard’n’heavy bands deserve the induction but didn’t get it yet?

Mick Box: To name a few, ‘Vanilla Fudge,’ ‘Free,’ ‘Winery Dogs,’ ‘Richie Kotzen,’ ‘Europe,’ ‘Saxon,’ ‘Graham Nash,’ ‘Joe Walsh,’ ‘Mott the Hoople,’ ‘Opeth,’ ‘Rainbow,’ ‘Rory Gallagher,’ ‘The Kinks,’ ‘Steve Lukather, ‘’Thin Lizzie,‘’ ’The Tubes,’ ‘The Who,’ ‘Jethro Tull,’ ‘Uriah Heep’.

ROCK’N’ROLL LIFESTYLE

The main idea of Musictivity is “upcoming concerts as inspiration to explore unique cities”. It’s kind of contradiction to popular belief that rock’n’roll lifestyle is about alco, drugs and gambling.

How would you relate that to the history of Uriah Heep and its changes in line-ups?

Mick Box: Sex drugs and alcohol is long gone! Well 2 out of the 3 survived anyway, but moderation has been added to that list now. That lifestyle played a part in the creativity of many bands but in the end it was also responsible for the downfall of many bands too.

“Let me tell you how it was so many years ago

When lives were lived in dreams without a care

Those days will always be mine

There to last a lifetime

And take with me anytime, anywhere”

Uriah Heep “Dreams of Yesteryear”


What do you enjoy to do during free time between concerts? Especially when you have like one or two days free in new foreign city during tournee?

Mick Box: Usually it is a time to rest, catch up on e-mails, do my blog.

https://heepster.wordpress.com/

Mick Box: I have a traveling guitar with me, so I write songs ideas and put them down on to my iPhone to work on later. If it is an interesting place I will go out and explore. We usually all end up in an Italian Restaurant together for dinner in the evening.

When and how did you catch this sense of maturity “musicians have to take care well of themselves if they want their band to survive long”?
Was there any specific event or person who taught you this wisdom?

Take care not only for health, chemistry between band members and general well-being but also for a quality of cultural inspirations which can reach far beyond music…

Mick Box: When it was a time of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll it was fun until people start dying, then it was a complete wake up call.

Mick Box: I have always had the ability to listen to my body and stop anything when I liked, but others did not have that ability, plus at the time there was no care for anyone with an addiction problem, so you either took care of it yourself or suffered the consequences.

Mick Box: Health is the most important thing you can have, because without it you cannot do anything, so in my case playing guitar and writing songs are very important elements in my life, and to continue to do that in an international band like Heep which travels the world, you have to look after yourself.

Mick Box: Don’t get me wrong. We have a lot of fun and we have our moments but good health is paramount.

Mick Box: Back in the 80’s I said that I would never work with anyone I cannot smile at, like being around, go and have drink and a laugh with. That included Band members, Crew, Management and our Agent. Having negative people around you is not healthy and the chemistry of the band members is very important to be creative and achieve everything what the band needs and wants to say musically and lyrically.

From your perspective – artist who have traveled everywhere and who have seen everything – what all people should to value more than money to preserve access to their creative power also in XXII century?

Mick Box: Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself is a good start.

Mick Box: I have a passion for what I do on many levels. Money can come and go, but if I am doing something I love then I can be no richer.

source: MUSIC FOR YOU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw1dgS9f6iI

PERFORMANCE

What is your opinion about body language of Bernie Shaw? (I find it pretty expressive.)

Mick Box: It is expressive and shows that he is totally immersed in the music, what is a good thing.


I’d a pleasure to watch your energetic performance before Judas Priest in Dortmund, Germany, 2018. I remember that you played fantastic set of early Uriah Heep songs.

read also: Musictivity interview with Andy Sneap who plays guitars in Judas Priest on stage

https://musictivity.org/2019/10/23/andy-sneap-interview/

My impression that time was that you wanted to play music created before Judas Priest’s debut “Rocka Rolla” (1974) because you have emerged first in rock history. Well it’s a good thing and probably Judas Priest wouldn’t have anything against to tell that Uriah Heep inspires them \m/ How is it?

Mick Box: We decided about the hour set what we want to play. As it was a Judas Priest audience, we wanted to keep it rocky and leave the acoustic and piano numbers alone. From the first note to the last we rocked the house and the response from the fans and the media alike, was terrific.

Early this year we did a 2-month tour with Judas Priest in the USA & Canada and it was just a repeat of that show in Dortmund. We won over a lot of Priests fans which felt pretty good, as they are a hard audience to please, and so pro Priest, but in the end, we made a lot of new friends.

MASTERPIECES


You play often “Between Two Words” from LP “Sonic Origami”, aren’t you? What is the cool point in “Between Two Worlds” from guitar virtuoso point of view?

Mick Box: It has a good powerful chord progressions; an intricate arpeggio (in the middle of the song) picks piece that builds into a crescendo; a long guitar solo on the end that takes it to a climax with strength and power.


I have special affection for the song called “Circle of Hands” (Demons And Wizards, 1972). Could you share with me please circumstances of writing this song? What do you think about “Circle of Hands” today?

Mick Box: This is my version!

Mick Box: It was written by Ken Hensley (our keyboard player at the time).

Mick Box: We had a séance in Italy on a mad drinking night that got a bit out of hand, highlighting the fact that we were messing with things we should not be and Ken wrote the song from that experience.

Mick Box: It is a very powerful song with some almost gospel harmonies and a nice melodic solo part from me, followed by a good slide guitar part from Ken on the end.

Mick Box: It still means the same as from the day we recorded it. This is a powerful number. We have played it on stage quite a few times, but it really does need a slide part on the end to make it complete.

source: Uriah Heep – Topic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_931bHJHPAU


Everybody praise recently Uriah Heep for “Living the Dream” (2018). I don’t want to repeat the same question which everybody ask you so let me ask just about one thing.

What would you answer to opinion that “Living the Dream” is the best Uriah Heep album ever released?

Mick Box: That is very hard to answer because the world was a different place back in the 70’s in comparison to what it is today. There is a change in the way we hear and buy music. Everything is very disposable, whereas back in the 70’s there was only ever Music, Football/Sport and Fashion that people got involved in, so music was a lot more important in people’s lives back then.

This is just my theory, but back to your question, lots of fans and the media have said that ‘Living the Dream’ is one of the strongest album in our career, and as we approach our 50th Anniversary that makes me extremely proud.

I’ve interviewed recently an young band called Ring of Gyges. Could I ask you please for an opinion, what do you think about their song “Andvaka”?

https://musictivity.org/2019/11/11/ring-of-gyges-interview/

Mick Box: I really like it! Very prog rock but sounding good!

UPCOMING CONCERTS

What special are you planning for upcoming Uriah Heep tour in 2020? Where else will you play beside Germany, Luxembourg, Czech and Hungary? Which band(s) will play together with you?

Mick Box: We will start a tour being called ‘Music and Stories’ in Germany on the 10th of January. We are headlining with Nazareth and Wishbone Ash each night. There will be a Q&A with each band hosted by Andy Scott from the band Sweet and then we will all play our sets.

Mick Box: Then we will go on the Rock Legends Cruise for a week sailing from Fort Lauderdale Florida USA to the Cayman Islands and back.

Mick Box: Then a long Russian tour.

Mick Box: I am told that our agent is working on Uriah Heep going to South America which will run us into Festival season.

Mick Box: Then the 50th Anniversary tour will really kicks in with a full Heep tour and production which we will take out on the road to as many countries as possible.


Thank you so much: for your music, for this interview and for making our planet happier!


Mick Box: That is very kind of you and thanks for your support! ‘Appy days! Mick URIAH HEEP

written by: Sam O’Black, Mick Box

Ring of Gyges – interview

PROGRESSIVE ICELANDERS

Straight from the land of fire and ice, beyond the night sky, independent power shaping own second creation from infinite puzzle box.

Five true Vikings play metal in the middle of the storm. They don’t have any ring of gyges but they are the one and only Ring of Gyges.

Welcome to the world of thriving Icelandic progressive rock/metal band.

source: Ring of Gyges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qLgQVBTsgQ

We’ve met with Ring of Gyges in person directly after their show in Dillon at the main Icelandic street Laugavegur (it was off venue part of popular Iceland Airwaves Festival). This concert was OK but such ambitious band needs much more space for performance.

I guess that it’s a matter of time when they will become famous among progressive metal fans although everybody with open mind is able to appreciate and have fun listening to their music.

Indeed, have fun – these artists turn out to be cool, relaxed and friendly, with awesome sense of humor and right understanding that music is an entertainment.

from left to right: Helgi Jónsson (guitars and lead vocals), Guðjón Sveinsson (guitars and vocals), Þorsteinn Ýmir Ásgeirsson (bass), Einar Merlin Cortes (drums), Gísli Þór Ingólfsson (keyboards)

CONCERTS

How are you after your show at Iceland Airwaves? What do you think about this festival?

Ring of Gyges: Very good. We play at unofficial part of Iceland Airwaves so we didn’t have the wristband to watch all of these bands.

I barely was able to hear the lyrics of your songs during your performance here in Dillon. Too small venue for such a progressive music?

Ring of Gyges: Yeah, one of the smallest place to play in Iceland.

Was it your first concert (November, 10th, 2019) this year at all?

Ring of Gyges: No. We made a small Scandinavian trip in January 2019: Sweden, Oslo (Norway) and Copenhagen (Denmark). It was pretty nice.

Ring of Gyges: Today we wanted to play in Iceland because we didn’t perform here for a long time. We had only one rehearsal this morning cause Helgi (vocalist) lives in Norway so it’s hard to meet together. We spent few hours playing two new songs before the show.

Ring of Gyges: During last two years or so we usually meet together couple of times before the show and practice. We don’t have much time for preparation together but of course me make it independently.

Ring of Gyges: We are not at the point yet to make music professionally – it’s not our main source of income, but when we get to this point, we will completely solve it.

What was the most spectacular show which you have ever played and why?

Ring of Gyges: Slottsskogen Festival, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2019. We played pretty well for big audience. Seventh Wonder was the headline of this event – well known Swedish progressive metal band.

PHILOSOPHY

Ring of Gyges is an ancient mythological artefact which makes the owner invisible. How did it become the name of your band?

Helgi: I have a bachelor in philosophy; it was my favorite subject in high school so I wanted to spend few years with something interesting for me.

Helgi: I’ve founded Ring of Gyges when I was on the first year in the University (here in Iceland).

Helgi: Name Ring of Gyges is inspired by an ancient philosophy; there was a guy who gets invisible and he is corrupted by power of this ability. The same concept was depicted by J.R.R. Tolkien. I thought that it’s a cool concept for the name of metal band.

DEVELOPING IDENTITY

Ring of Gyges released two interesting studio albums:

EP “Ramblings of Madmen” (2015)

LP “Beyond the Night Sky” (2017).

What do you like mostly in this music? How would you recommend this albums to somebody who didn’t hear Ring of Gyges yet?

Ring of Gyges: We are still creating our own identity. We explore different styles of music. It’s not completely formed yet and I think we will continue development. We mix different things and I guess that it can be interesting for many people.

Ring of Gyges: We are open minded and create whatever we want. Hopefully other people will enjoy it as well. We are not businessmen to define specific target, so we play for everybody who enjoy that.

Ring of Gyges: Our next album will be different than debut. It’s a mix of more classical and more modern influences; older progressive staff and also newer sounds.

My very first impression about your music when I encountered Rings of Gyges in Internet was that you don’t play progressive metal but progressive rock. Do you consider your band as a metal act?

Þorsteinn: Let’s wait for our next album, it will be more directed towards metal!

Helgi: What was your impression when you heard us live, metal?

Definitely you play metal, and you enjoy headbanging!

Ring of Gyges: (haha) yeah of course.

Ring of Gyges: We started out as a progressive metal group, playing not covers but our own songs from the beginning. Well, we tried to jamming some fragments of songs of other bands but we have never went through all song of another band.

Ring of Gyges: Then we mixed some non-metal elements into it.

Ring of Gyges: Our second full length longplay will sound definitely like progressive metal. Not extreme progressive metal, but more old school progressive heavy, with more beat, more prog, kind of more everything (haha).

Ambitious approach!

source: Ring of Gyges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgS9cW2TU64

There are many impressive instrumental parts on “Beyond the Night Sky”. I appreciate especially “(Instru)mentality” because it’s a true artistic achievement to create interesting and original instrumental piece. Very good technique and excellent ideas! Could you reveal the secret to achieve that please?

Ring of Gyges: (haha) Well, we work hard to develop whatever we really want. It’s important to don’t be afraid to try different things. But that’s probably not a secret. I don’t know what would be our edge over other bands… We always watch and listen how other bands play and try to learn from them. Well, we make things complicated for ourselves, we challenge ourselves, we also try to maintain good level of songwriting, create memorable melodies. We take care about good balance between catchiness and inventiveness.

Ring of Gyges: If we can give one tip for others bands: let’s copy other bands but in such a way that nobody will notice (haha)

BEYOND THE NIGHT SKY

It makes sense to listen to “Beyond the Night Sky” from the beginning to the end – then it sounds like a concept album.

Helgi: It doesn’t have a story but there is one common theme in each song: ways how people can escape from reality. Our listeners can feel better when they listen to our music, what is also a result of some positive sounds.

Guðjón: It depends of what is your definition of concept album. You don’t have to escape from your problems, but maybe you can feel better when you take them on from another perspective, another point of view, another angle.

I need to ask yet about the idea behind the cover of “Beyond the Night Sky”.

Ring of Gyges: The author was an Indian guy? Not Indian… Anyway, we were searching for an artist who could make it for us. We explained him our ideas but I think that he didn’t completety understand it. Albeit the effect is very good.

Ring of Gyges: There are two sides of the world: light and dark; and the human who take a challenge to escape from real to magical world. By the way, many progressive bands shows a guy on cover, aren’t they? This hero from our cover, he is brave enough to reach out to his dreams.

Ring of Gyges: But it can also depends on how you think about this. It’s open for your interpretation. It can be as well a symbol of different points of view to look at our reality.

Icelandic reality or…?

Ring of Gyges: (haha) I think that during the winter Iceland has darkness all day but during the summer – sunlight all day. That’s why we can see a track on our cover because we can escape to warmer countries to catch some light!

source: Iceland Close-Up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-wCrrsq9Lw

NEW ALBUM

However it can be quite difficult to comprehend entire musical complexity of “Beyond the Night Sky” in era of Spotify and short attention span.

Guðjón: This is not a big deal. Our next longplay will be even longer! Anyway, we hope that people who don’t listen everyday to progressive rock/metal will also like Ring of Giges.

Ring of Gyges: Next week will be more challenging for us – we will record drums for upcoming album.

Einar: I was born in challenge (haha)

Helgi: We needed to record drums for “Beyond the Night Sky” in one night, 17h long session.

Guðjón: Now we have whole week to make just drums. Seven days, probably seventeen hours each day.

Will you start working on the second album from drums?

Ring of Gyges: Yes, typically this is the process. We need to start with drums. Bass will come after that and then we will build everything based on drums and bass. However, drums doesn’t need to stay the same as recorded on the beginning, we will be able to change drums until the end of all recordings. Vocals will be made pretty late. Everything will be evolving constantly during entire recordings, you know it’s like: “o, maybe we need to add this harmony over there; but maybe better not!”. When we suddenly get any new idea, we can come back to the previous part.

Ring of Gyges: Nevertheless, the foundation for all second album is ready. Main structure is pretty much done. We made a lot of demos somewhere in the isolation of Eastern Iceland between the period of debut and May 2019. Actually we met all together in May 2019 here in a house in Eastern Iceland where we are able to make complete focus and finish everything. This session gave us a lot of energy!

We are looking forward for the new album!

I listen, I wait, I scream

No reply

Palms trembling

Into the night

I seek the life I conceived

Ring of Gyges “Dusk”

INSPIRATIONS

What are your biggest music inspirations?

Helgi: Haken. This is the one band which inspire us most. Absolutely phenomenal English band.

Ring of Gyges: Beside that, we are quite diverse.

Ring of Gyges: Some inspirations are obvious: Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Rush, some old good staff.

Ring of Gyges: Actually all members of Ring of Gyges are exposed to different stuff: prog, metal, hard rock, funk, blues (all the way back to Robert Leroy Johnson), even punk. Our keyboardist is focused more on old school prog. Our drummer listens a lot of the heaviest and darkest metal.

Þorsteinn: I always want to convince others to listen more bluegrass.

Ring of Gyges: You would need to look into our Spotify playlists: very long and there is everything!

Don’t you argue about this? Somebody wants to play this, somebody else prefer something very different?

Guðjón: Yes, we do. All the time. And it’s healty. It’s really good to make a brainstorm and choose the best solution. Usually when we argue about different visions, something interesting comes out of that.

ICELAND AND SCANDINAVIA

Helgi, I’ve read that you live in Sweden, although recently band told me that you live in Norway. How is it? How would you compare living in the land of fire and ice with living in Scandinavia?

Helgi: I’ve had been living in Sweden two years and I just moved to Norway around six months ago. These countries are definitely very welcoming especially that I can speak Swedish fluently and Norwegian is similar to Icelandic. But I didn’t have the opportunity to speak Swedish while I’d been living in Iceland so it took me few months to switch from English to Swedish after moving to Sweden (I needed to gain confidence). I’m learning Norwegian yet. Norwegian is much simpler to learn than Icelandic.

Helgi: Metal scene in Sweden and Norway is a bit different than in Iceland. There are largest “scenes”. I would say that metal in Iceland belongs to mainstreem much more than in Scandinavia.

Þorsteinn: Especially when it comes to black metal. We have a lot of black / death metal bands in Iceland. Icelandic metal festivals are focused on these genres.

FUTURE

What are your plans for the future?

Ring of Gyges: We are making new album, we are arranging new tournee (summer 2020), we want to promote the new album everywhere in Europe. It depends how much time we will be able to spend on this tour. We want to play in Scandinavia, Germany, perhaps in Eastern Europe and in other countries as well.

Thank you very much for the interview 🙂

Ring of Gyges: Thank you, bless bless!

from left to right: Sam O’Black (eyeglasses and pen), Helgi Jónsson (guitars and lead vocals), Guðjón Sveinsson (guitars and vocals), Þorsteinn Ýmir Ásgeirsson (bass), Einar Merlin Cortes (drums), Gísli Þór Ingólfsson (keyboards)

written by: Sam O’Black

talked: Þorsteinn Ýmir Ásgeirsson (bass), Einar Merlin Cortes (drums), Guðjón Sveinsson (guitars and vocals), Helgi Jónsson (guitars and lead vocals), Sam O’Black (Musictivity), Jonathan Romulo Ompad (from Philippines)

photo: Jonathan Romulo Ompad (from Philippines)

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Cauldron – interview

Chat with Jason Decay – bassist and vocalist of cool and young (founded in XXI century) heavy metal band from Canada. CHECK IT OUT !!!

source: CauldronVEVO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM2pDrtces4

WHAT’S UP

Your band had more and less fortunate events in its long history but can we start with a positive statement that today Cauldron is a strong and powerful heavy metal group?

We’ve been highly inactive as a band since April as we all live far apart now but otherwise as individuals I think we are all doing good! Ian (guitarist Ian Chains) has been busy with his another band Chainbreaker.

Oops, why Cauldron is inactive?

Basically because I have a kid and moved a few hours north. I contributed a good 20 years to music and now my priority is my job and my family.

Did you sell instruments?

I still have all my guitars, amps and drums!

ALBUMS

Cauldron have released five good and creative full length studio albums:

“Chained To The Nite” (2009),

“Burning Fortune” (2011),

“Tomorrow’s Lost” (2012),

“In Ruin” (2016)

“New Gods” (2018).

Did you imagine in 2006 such big achievements?

Did you start playing music with high ambitions to conquer the metal world?

I figured we’d create and play music for a long time but never really knew where it would take us. We are happy with the outcome though; we’ve been to a lot of cool places and made a lot of friends from our endeavours.

What is your opinion about “Burning Fortune” 8 years after release? This one is my favorite!

I love the songs on that record! I think they are very strong but I wish it had the production of the following 3 records…

I would like to ask you few questions about your newest album “New Gods”. Can you talk about this music with distance or is it still too emotional related to one bad event which happened recently?

What would you like to know?! Those songs were conceived during a low point in my life and also during a recovery period for the band. We had some huge setbacks as a band after the In Ruin record came out, most notable our accident in Texas that put Ian in the hospital for a while. There seemed to be a series of negative events that followed. It was a bit of a struggle and a dark period but I think that made for some very strong music.

NEW GODS

Album “New Gods” is consistent. I couldn’t chose which songs I like most but I can tell you that I enjoy to make focus on whole “New Gods” from the beginning to the end.

Thank you. I suppose we are more of an album band than a “hits” band.

Do you get sometimes requests from fans that they want to hear this or another song from “New Gods”?

Obviously I like when people enjoy our music but more importantly is how we feel about it and I am quite satisfied with New Gods. We usually try to balance what people want to hear with what we want to play.

I’m curious if anybody already noticed the bass line in song “Save the Truth – Syracuse”? When I make focus solely on the bass which appears in the second plan directly before guitar solo (but not only there), it seems to be familiar for me… Little bit resembles Rush… I have an impression that I’ve already heard it!

As for the bass part, I assume you mean the bass rumble that follows Save the Truth… I originally thought the song that follows (Never Be Found) started too abruptly so I wanted to have some ambient bass noise to fade in ahead of the tune. I was thinking more about Black Sabbath but I suppose it could subconsciously be Rush too. Either way, I think we got a little carried away with the length of it.

VALUE

What’s interesting, sometimes you don’t even need to have any original notes to sound outstandingly. Whatever you play, I can recognize immediately that this is Cauldron and nobody else. Fantastic!

Is it a matter of feelings which you put into playing? Your total engagement and love to music?

I think you can tell that because we have very distinct characteristics in our playing. I don’t think anybody really sounds like me when they sing. Maybe Brian from Halloween (haha) but my bass playing is pretty nondescript I think. Nobody really plays guitar like Ian either; he is extremely talented and can probably play anything on guitar but really he has his own twist and filter that he is able to drive any style through.

The most happy event in the history of Cauldron?

We had so many happy events! It would be hard to pinpoint one. Anytime we complete an album it is a great sense of accomplishment, especially with New Gods. It is a very satisfying and uplifting feeling.

Also any time we gain the attention or respect from other bands that we look up to that have inspired us like getting to tour or play with Diamond Head, Satan, Metallica, Mantas etc…

What is cool in Diamond Head which Metallica doesn’t have?

All the Diamond Head songs Metallica didn’t cover. Metallica had it all.

CULTURE ART TRAVELING

What makes your Canadian city captivating for visitors?

Toronto? I live out in the bush now but Toronto is a good place to waste your time in traffic and line ups (haha) but there’re also a thousand things to do there, lots of gigs, all the kinds of food and people and concerts etc… I think that people involved in the metal scene like to visit Toronto because there are a lot of bands which they can get to see at once. We’ve had fans visiting from all over the world who wanted just to hit us up and ask if they could come by our jam space and hang out.

source: Michael V. Nguyen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMrY-Ge3ktw

Are you inspired by Canadian bands?

Yes of course! Triumph, Sacrifice, Platinum Blonde, Gowan, Razor, Reckless, Lee Aaron, Slik Toxik, Witchkiller, Exciter, Killer Dwarfs, Thor, April Wine, Honeymoon Suite, Tchort, Rush, Stream, Fist, Voivod, SNFU.

Could you tell me please as regular international traveler, Which city (anywhere in the world) would you point out as underrated?

Sorry I can’t think of one In my opinion, most of them were rated pretty accordingly. I love experiencing foreign cultures when we travel. I really only travel with the band but I get pretty friggin excited anytime we go to new place; its very surreal for me. I’m pretty much a kid with ADD when we travel.

Yeah, it’s perfectly understandable. What are your specific cultural inspirations (movies, books, paintings, castles)?

The movie Halloween 3 which apparently took place in Santa Mira California; not that it seemed any different than anywhere else in North America but I just really liked the concept.

The Rosemary’s Baby book.

No paintings neither castles.

https://musictivity.org/2019/10/19/enjoy-your-favorite-music-in-unique-places/

FUTURE?

What are Cauldron’s plans for the future?

We have no plans at this time.

Would you like to perform in Iceland?

I would love to play in Iceland someday… you never know.

Have you already started composing fresh songs for the next album?

We have no new material at this time, at least I don’t!

Thank you very much for the interview.

Thanks for reaching out and shedding some light on Cauldron!

written by: Sam O’Black and Jason Decay