Ville Vallo of HIM Takes A Trip Through Time With New Box Set

Categories: Interview

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HIM is scheduled to play Marquee Theatre tonight.

Generally, when a band releases a box set, it means one of two things. Either they've broken up years ago and are looking for a cash grab, or they are about to go on an extended break. In the case of Finnish rock band HIM, who are about to release Lashes to Ashes, Lust to Dust: A Vinyl Retrospective '96-'03 next week, they are going to take some time off from touring. We caught up with singer Ville Vallo, who spoke about the past, present, and future of the band that invented "Love Metal."


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Is There Anything Better Than a Sad Clown Singing Pop Songs?

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David Stuart Photography
Puddles, the sad clown

Now's the chance to use that old-fashioned monogrammed hanky that's burning a hole in your dresser drawer or just grab a cheap box of tissues - - whatever suits you best for sopping up tears mixed of both laughter and desolation - - and spend the evening with Puddles Pity Party. Known as the "sad clown with the golden voice," Puddles is the stage name of Big Mike Geier, a multi-talented singer, actor and performance artist whose 6-foot, 8-inch stature, appropriately twisted sense of humor and majestic baritone voice command a room.

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Inside the Alternate Realities of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

Categories: Interview

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Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull

Could erupting Icelandic volcanoes be the premise for Ian Anderson's next concept album?

"It could well be," Anderson says with a laugh from his London home, noting that he must fly over Iceland on its way to the United States for the group's upcoming tour. "We do have to pray that volcano doesn't do any more than it's doing now. It's very realistic for us to have to consider the reality of what would happen if there's another major eruption of the sort we had back in 2011. It shut down airspace for a week . . . It's lingering in the back of our minds."

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New Dragonforce Record Features Johnny Cash Cover, Guitar Solos Recorded on a Yacht

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Dragonforce website
Dragonforce in action

Dragonforce is a gateway drug to heavy metal for video game nerds. No, really -- I've seen it happen.

In the British band's 15-year span, they've been able to develop a sound that truly stands a part from any other band within the genres they're constantly rotated between. It's as if some festival organizer is scratching their head somewhere, saying "Well, they fit in with speed and power metal... but they've also got that hard rock ballad sound down... the fast-as-hell guitar arrangements are on par with technical death metal... and, uh, they also sound like the soundtrack to a retro video game. What's that called again; 'Nintendo metal'?"

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Blessed Be This Heavy Metal Union in the Valley of the Sun

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Stellar photography/Rudy Reilly Facebook
Rudy and Lori

When I saw this viral video the other week of the "most metal first dance at a wedding," I couldn't help but feel a little warm and fuzzy. The goth couple created a playlist that included song snippets from Grave Digger, Pantera, Devil Drive, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God and Rammstein.

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Kim Shattuck on How Getting Fired by the Pixies Named Her Album

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Kim Shattuck
The Muffs

The Muffs (Kim Shattuck, Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald) have been writing and performing spirited, clever and fierce pop-punk tunes since they formed in the very early 1990s. Their first full-length release in 10 years, Whoop Dee Doo, hit the streets this week and both fans and critics are eating it up like candy, rightfully so. The 12-song recording is loaded with exciting, dynamic and catchy songs delivered with all the punch and spunk these longtime rockers have made us expect. Kim Shattuck, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist, was in the garage rock band The Pandoras, prior to The Muffs, and most recently did some time with the Pixies. Shattuck, whose voice can whip from snarl to sweet before you can blink an eye, got chatty with us about all that and more.

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DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: "The Earth Knows How to Purge Itself of Brush and People"

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Dean Karr
DevilDriver wants to drive you to the brink.

"We play more shows a year than any band out there right now, unless you have a residency in Vegas." --Dez Fafara, vocalist of DevilDriver.

Upon reading that, there are probably a dozen bands most people would list off the top of their heads -- and probably none would be heavy metal acts.

But as we all know, metal is a genre where most bands have to work twice as hard to get recognition, which includes touring. And nowadays, DevilDriver has been carrying that reputation on their shoulders.

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Chicago Power Pop Trio The Safes Provide Anthemic Ass-Shakers

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Andrew Ballantyne
The Safes

Chips off the block, The Safes -- three brothers from Chicago -- credit their dad, a working musician and record collector for laying down a rich musical foundation that inspired them to naturally progress from siblings into a power pop trio. Their new release, Record Heat, is loaded with muscle-y, driving guitar riffs and catchy vocal melodies. Tracks like "Change the Game" are anthemic ass-shakers whose tambourine-tinged stomp easily make you reach for the repeat button. The boys promise some rollicking, rock 'n' roll fun when the hit Scottsdale's Rogue Bar on May 16, with local openers The Rebel Set. We caught up with guitarist/singer Patrick O'Malley between shows.

Up on the Sun: So, it's three brothers O'Malley that make up this trio. Who does what?

Patrick O'Malley: For our live show, Frankie and I have vocal and guitar duties and Michael is on the drums and some vocals, too. Frankie and I will do bass work in the studio but we have a touring bassist for these live shows.

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Motörhead's Mikkey Dee on Lemmy's Health, the Motörhead Cruise, and the Key to Success

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Courtesy of Mongrel Media

There's something fascinating about Motörhead's longevity. Nearly 40 years ago, the English band fused together heavy metal and punk -- fueled by healthy doses of whiskey -- to become one of the early pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


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Blue Öyster Cult's Eric Bloom on Video Games and Lady Gaga

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Courtesy of Blue Öyster Cult

Creatures of habit are often seen as boring, but that isn't the case with Blue Öyster Cult. The band has made a career out of a particular routine: forging new paths and experimenting with the unknown. Since their self-titled debut album in 1972, the band has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide. Their music videos, particularly 1981's "Burnin' for You," helped develop and spur the popularity of music videos in pop culture. The lyrical content of countless songs circle around science fiction and the supernatural, and nowadays, vocalist/guitarist Eric Bloom admits to dabbling in video gaming.

And even though Blue Öyster Cult hasn't released a new album since 2001, Bloom recently replied "you can never say never" when asked if there's new music in the band's future. Plus, anything can happen. Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken gave the band's 1976 single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" new life in the famous "More Cowbell" Saturday Night Live sketch, which remains a treasured pop culture staple. And in celebration of the band's 40th anniversary of their debut album, the band released a 17-disc boxed set in 2012 that featured the band's first 11 studio albums, remastered, along with several other audio treats.

We talked with Bloom, a music enthusiast since the late 1950s. In 2006, he partnered with artist Philippe Renaudin to create and sell six painted custom-made guitars, each one interpreting a different Blue Öyster Cult song and played in different performances. Up On The Sun talked with Bloom about the band's longevity, liking Lady GaGa, and Alice Cooper's inventions.

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