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CHRIS SQUIRE – YES

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - December 1, 2003

Music fans raised  on today’s  radio-friendly three and a half minute pop songs might find it difficult to comprehend the ten and twenty minute music opuses regularly churned out by progressive bands in the 70s. Back then it was always about the music and exceeding boundaries. In an era that…

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BRIAN MAY-WE WILL ROCK YOU

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Uncategorized    //    Post Date - June 28, 2003

June 2003, By Greg Phillips Melbourne has been chosen to host the Australian premiere of “WE WILL ROCK YOU” the futuristic rock musical based on the music of British supergroup Queen and featuring 24 of their biggest hits.  The musical is a huge success in London’s West End with bookings taken through until early 2004. “We Will Rock You” was written by Ben Elton, whose penmanship was responsible for legendary TV shows like ‘Black Adder’ and ‘The Young Ones’. “We Will Rock You”  debuts at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on August 7 this year. Elton, along with Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor were recently in town to audition potential cast members. Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips managed to grab ten minutes with Brian May to talk about the show and that distinctive Queen sound. GP: Your guitar sound is very distinctive and plays a huge part in the sound of Queen, so how much attention is paid to the sound of the band in the stage show? BM: The band is the driving force in the show so a lot of time  was spent with it. We were determined that the band would not sound like your regular pit band in a musical , so they are a real rock band. They play some of my licks but they don’t have to be me. GP: I noticed in the promotional footage of the London show that one of your replica guitars was played, was that one of the guitars that  the Australian luthier, Greg Fryer produced for you? BM: No they’re too precious. It’s a Burns copy. I have a new edition of the Brian May model in England that is made by Burns, who actually made the pickups I used on the original. So those are the ones the guys use in the show. So we go to a lot of trouble to get the sound but the band don’t have to be robots. They have a bit of freedom to play the licks that they want to play in certain parts of the show. The show is very big, very theatrical. GP: If Freddie had been alive, what would Queen be sounding like now? BM: Good question. Bigger, better and louder I’m sure. It’s hard to say really. I know for a fact Freddie would have loved this project  even if we hadn’t been together as a band. This is a great extension of our ouvre, as Ben calls it. I don’t know what the band would  be doing? We’d just be playing and making more music. We’d probably be still doing the individual things that we still do. GP: Is there much material laying around?  Were you the type of band who recorded stuff and shelved it? BM: Yes. At the moment we are still sifting through it but there will be a box set at some point of our unfinished stuff. We put a lot of stuff down on tape. GP: I just wanted to go back to Greg Fryer if I could and discuss the work he did for you with your Red Special guitar… BM: Well Greg is an amazing  craftsman. I have never met anyone like him. He spent  2 years making 3 copies of my guitar, in identical ways I made my original. He went to so much trouble to replicate every single material and  technique.  Every thousandth of an inch was checked.  Those things are masterpieces. I have two of them and he has one. Mine are called John and George and his is called Paul. Those things are stupendous, so whenever I go out and play , they are sitting beside me. I use…

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THE ROLLING STONES’ PIANO MAN-CHUCK LEAVELL

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 26, 2003

June 2003. By Greg Phillips There’s something almost  romantic (in a rock n’roll kind of way) about entering the Rolling Stones lair. It’s a place where  many  a rock n’ roll  legend was born, a place  where you never believe  you’ll ever  find yourself. Of course times have changed, not…

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DAVID HILLIARD- DAVID BYRNE BAND

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 7, 2002

Those fortunate enough to have witnessed any of David Byrne’s shows on his recent Australian tour would have been blown away by the percussive onslaught provided by percussionist Mauro Refosco and drummer David Hilliard. Byrne, the ex-Talking Heads lead vocalist has lost none of  his enthusiasm for contagious rhythms since…

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BEN FOLDS

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 5, 2002

June 2002. By Greg Phillips There aren’t too many performers who can do what US born, Adelaide resident Ben Folds does so incredibly well. On his recent Australian tour it was just Ben, a piano and a few spotlights yet he managed not only to entertain with his ridiculously melodic…

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STEVE VAI – Elusive Light and Sound

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 5, 2002

June 2002. By Joe Matera For sheer breathtaking facility on a guitar, Steve Vai is unmatched in the music world. But the things that fascinate and move Vai as an artist soar a million miles beyond the concerns of most archetypal guitar gods. Through all his solo releases and contributions…

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SILVERCHAIR – Diorama

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 5, 2002

JUNE 2002. By Joe Matera. When SILVERCHAIR unveiled their latest studio effort, entitled “Diorama” in April, it sold more than 50,000 copies in its first week of release. It was officially certified gold, after entering the Australian top 40 charts at position #1, matching the chart-topping feats of all three…

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GENE SIMMONS – KISS

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 5, 2002

June 2002. By Joe Matera Gene Simmons – Kiss’ fire-breathing bass player and founding member –  recently released “Kiss And Make-Up”, his first autobiography. The book is a no holds barred account of his life and times with one of the world’s biggest rock bands. The biggest shock to long…

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ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW – ROGER WATERS BAND

Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 5, 2002

ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW – ROGER WATERS BAND SOUNDCHECK JUNE 2002 By Greg Phillips Roger Waters seems oblivious to the fact that he’s only an hour away from playing to thousands of fans at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. He’s wearing an old grey T shirt  and  still soundchecking after almost an…

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BRIAN WILSON BAND – ‘Smile’ tour backstage exclusive

Posted in Artists, Special Features    //    Post Date - March 1, 2000

March 2005 SMILE-IT’S VINDICATION DAY! By Greg Phillips SHORT MUSIC HISTORY LESSON #1 It’s the early sixties. The Beach Boys’ main songwriter Brian Wilson is enjoying the rewards reaped by million selling surf rock singles like ‘”Fun. Fun, Fun’, and ‘Surfin’ USA’. The Beatles then release their ‘Rubber Soul’ album….

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