Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Eclectic Art's Interview with drummer NIGEL GLOCKLER of SAXON!


Here is my interview with Nigel Glockler of the mighty SAXON!  I've been a long time fan of both the band and Nigel's drumming.  I was super stoked when this opportunity came up to speak with Nigel.

This was conducted just prior to the band heading out on the North American tour with Judas Priest!

Eclectic Arts

Eclectic Arts: Greetings Nigel! This is quite the honor for me having been a fan of Saxon, and specifically, your drumming, for many decades. How are you?

Nigel: I’m doing great thanks – just gearing up to leave for the tour, enjoying some Texas sun, before flying up to Philadelphia to check all the gear and head out on the road.

EA: Thank you for taking the time today to do this interview. As a little background - I saw you perform in Seattle, WA in 1983 (with Maiden), 1984 (as headliners), in 1986 (with Yngwie), and then in 2013 (as headliners) at Studio Seven. Before we dive into your new album, "Thunderbolt", and the upcoming U.S. Tour - can you tell me a bit about your current drum kit? What are you currently bashing on tour? (brands, details, etc)

NG: I’ve got two kits made by Duallist – a British company. One stays here in the US and the other is based in Europe. All the shells are maple and the sizes are as follows –

Rack toms - 2x 8”, 10”,12”,13” plus 15”,16”,and 18” floor toms – the last being mounted
as a gong drum. I use two kick drums, 24”, although the Europe kit has 22”s – our producer at the time preferred that size for recording, but I went back to 24s for the newer US set up. For the upcoming Priest tour I’ve cut out the first 8” and the 18” toms as this is the set up I used on our previous US tour with UFO.

I use Canopus snare drums live – Brass, Zelkova, or an Alphonse Mouzon signature.

All the cymbals are Paiste – 17”, 18”, 19” Rude thin or Wild crashes, Danny Carey heavy ride or the Stewart Copeland one, 13” hats, 14” hats, Wild China, a Rude China, and a Signature series China, plus various bell cymbals, mini chinas, splashes, stackers etc. The set up varies between the US and Europe.

Pedals are Duallist, the hardware is either Gibraltar or DW – depending on which kit, and the sticks are by Wincent. I also use Cympads for under the cymbals and Protection Racket cases.

EA: What, if anything, have you had to change over the years to keep drumming at a high level? With drums being the most physically demanding instrument (outside of vocals), do you work out more to keep your body in shape? Maybe nothing has changed and you just go through your normal warm up routine before going on stage? Walk us through what you do to prepare before recording an album, going on tour, a show, etc.?

NG: I don’t do anything special to be quite honest – I walk a lot, swim, and, if there’s a sauna, hot tub, or pool in a hotel on a day off, that’s where you’ll find me!

Also steam rooms and massages are great too!

As for warming up prior to a show, or recording, I stretch my hands and fingers on a wall, use a practice pad – or a cushion – and that’s it! – that warms up the wrists, tendons, muscles etc. Plenty of rest is essential for a long tour as well.

EA: With the new album, "Thunderbolt", how did you approach your drum parts for the new album? Do you get input from anyone else in the band or are your parts "your" parts so to speak?

NG: We all work together on each others parts – obviously the influence has to come initially from the demo of each song, but, in the end, I put my own slant/style on it drumming-wise.

EA: I remember sitting in my parents basement, putting on "The Eagle Has Landed Live" album back in 1983 (it was the second album of Saxon's I ever bought - "Power and The Glory" being the first), looking at the live pictures on the back of the album and just being taken away to a venue in the UK or Europe as I listened to that album. And your picture was a profile picture behind the kit, sunglasses, and a headband tied on your head if I remember correctly. You had just joined the band for that tour - what can you tell me about your early days of joining Saxon and what those subsequent tours were like in the 80's?

NG: That was taken early on in that first tour – I was playing Pete Gill’s kit – a couple of weeks later I had a Tama kit. Later on I ended up with a Ludwig endorsement.

But back to that first tour – I had come from a very successful New Wave band called Toyah, but I was always and foremost, a rock drummer.

I’d never played live in Europe – usually it was one-off ‘playback’ shows for TV – just doing the singles etc. That first Saxon tour took me all over the place! – Ozzy Osbourne was our support act!- that is until he got pissed off and went home, without telling his band! I think we were on the road for three months. Then my first US tour – we flew to Minneapolis to support Molly Hatchet early in ’82 – there was a lot of snow on the ground!

We toured a lot in those days – it really was the ‘write, record, tour’ cycle!

As regards the headband etc, that was my thing – I’d been doing that since I was in bands at school. Andy Sneap (our producer) and I often have a joke about The Headband!

Later on, when I started wearing contact lenses on stage, it was essential to keep the sweat out of one’s eyes – that’s why I wear headwraps now.

EA: For many U.S. fans, "The Power and The Glory" was their first introduction to Saxon. To this day it's one of my favorite records - period. Your drumming on that album is so fantastic. What can you tell me about writing and recording your drum parts for that album?

NG: Thanks for that! – for me it was an extremely important album insofar as it was my first studio contribution for the band. Pete Gill was well liked by the Saxon fans so I had to impress! No pressure then!!

We had a lot of writing sessions during the course of the year prior to recording and there was a lot of jamming in soundchecks too, especially on the various touring legs in the US.

The album was recorded in Atlanta with Jeff Glixman producing – he was great to work with and brought out the best in me with his encouragement – but the guys in the band were fantastic too – all in all, the vibe on that album was brilliant.

EA: Let's talk about the current tour - you are coming to the U.S. as very special guests of Judas Priest. This bill has been talked about as soon as it was announced over here. I know all the Saxon and Priest metalheads are stoked about this tour! What can we expect from the Saxon set when the tour starts here?

NG: We’re absolutely over the moon to be on this tour – we’ve known the Priest guys for a long time.

With the new album out we’ve obviously got to concentrate on that, but we’ll try and get in as many old favourites as possible. But as I’ve said, it’s the Thunderbolt album we’ll be featuring.

Apart from the Priest gigs we’re doing a lot of headline shows too – that’ll mean we’ll be playing longer and so can fit more songs into the set.

Whichever way you look at it, we’ll be giving 100% every night!!

EA: Will the set be tailored a bit more for a U.S. audience or will it be similar to what you would play if this tour was going on in the UK or Europe?

NG: I think generally it’ll be pretty similar to what we would play in Europe, but every country has its favourite songs so there are bound to be some variations.

EA: I wanted to mention that I noticed on social media that you always have a wide variety of craft beer in your photos. For instance tonight I saw a bottle of Samuel Smith's with your dinner. I am a craft beer geek and I also used to work in the industry for a short spell here in Seattle. What are some of your favorite brands of beer as well as beer styles? Any beers you would recommend to your fans out there? Any plans to make a Saxon beer (ala Maiden and Motorhead)?

NG:Ha ha – now it’s ‘beer talk’!!!

I’m a big IPA fan, particularly the west coast ones, which I’m led to understand have the more citrus/pine/hoppy taste that I like.

More recently I’ve been drinking dark beer – found a great one called Tanilla – I think the brewery is ‘Knee Deep? – they also do a dark IPA!

As for other favourites – More Cowbell, anything by Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, the list goes on and on!

We have a Saxon beer in Sweden – can’t remember what it’s called, sorry!

I think that everyone is now jumping on the bandwagon with beer, wine etc – there’s too much choice!!

I’m perfectly happy trying various brews out from Specs or HEB – that’s going to take me a while!!

EA: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. If you'd like to do a follow up in person (maybe talk shop about beer as we have some of the best craft beer here in Washington state), let me know. The last words are for you:

NG: Yes, lets do an in person follow up! – I’d like to hear some of your recommendations – and talk drums of course!!!

To anyone hesitating about coming to a show on this tour, DON’T!! – its going to be great!!!!

A big thank you to all the Saxon fans out there!!

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview!

Cheers Mark! – hope to see you soon!



Thunderbolt MV

They Played Rock N Roll Lyric MV

Nosferatu The Vampire's Waltz MV

TOUR DATES all dates with Judas Priest those marked *** no Judas Priest, Saxon headline show

3-20-18 in Newark, NJ at Prudential Center
3-21-18 in Newport News, VA at Boathouse Live ***
3-22-18 in Uncasville, CT at Mohegan Sun Arena
3-23-18 in Worcester, MA at Palladium
3-24-18 in Ville De Quebec, QC at Le Bucher ***
3-25-18 in Ottawa, Can at The Arena - Td Place
3-27-18 in London, Can at Budweiser Gardens
3-28-18 in Oshawa, Can at Tribute Communications Centre
3-31-18 in Detroit, MI at Dtroit Masonic Temple
4-01-18 in Chicago, IL at Reggies Rock Club ***
4-02-18 in Minneapolis, MN at The Armory
4-03-18 in Milwaukee, WI at Riverside Theater
4-04-18 in St Louis, MO at Delmar Hall ***
4-05-18 in Green Bay, WI at Resch Center
4-06-18 in Hammond, IN at The Horshoe Casino
4-07-18 in Milwaukee, WI at Potawatomi Casino ***
4-08-18 in Bloomington, IL at Grossinger Motors Arena
4-10-18 in Casper, WY at Casper Events Center
4-11-18 in Loveland, CO at Budweiser Events Center
4-13-18 in Las Vegas, NV at Las Rageous Festival
4-15-18 in Kent, WA at Snoware Center
4-17-18 in Portland, OR at Veterans Memorial Coliseum
4-19-18 in San Francisco, CA at The Warfield
4-20-18 in Anaheim, CA at The Grove ***
4-21-18 in Las Vegas, NV at Las Rageous 2018
4-22-18 in Los Angeles, CA at Microsoft Theater
4-24-18 in Phoenix, AZ at Comerica Theater
4-26-18 in Tulsa, OK at Bok Center
4-28-18 in Dallas, TX at Bomb Factory
4-29-18 in Sugar Land,TX at Smart Financial Center
5-01-18 in San Antonio, TX at Freeman Coliseum



Midnight invade the West Coast in May with Bat! Check out this interview with Athenar conducted in March 2018.

Eclectic Arts: Greetings Athenar! How are things back in the mid west?

Athenar: Things are fantabulous. A bit of snow but I wish it was colder to go ice skating! ha!

EA: I saw you guys on last year's Decibel Tour in March here in Seattle. You guys blasted the shit out of the Neptune Theater and made a lot of new fans. How was the tour over all when you look back on it?

A: That was a cool theatre, great smell! The tour was a lot of fun and did good for me personally just getting out there and doin it ya know!

EA: You will be doing a west coast tour in the spring with HHR label mates Bat. How did this tour come about and what can the fans expect when they see you?

A: I've known ryan from bat for about a decade now and he suggested we go out and do some fuckin gigs so I took him up on the suggestion. I would think people can expect loud noises, hot cramped uncomfortable situations, groping, yelling and grunting for no real good reason - stuff like that.

EA: Midnight has always been your band - writing and recording the songs yourself. Will this continue with future releases or will you record with other members (like those that your with you)?

A: Well you can't really predict the future but i'd say things will probably stay the same. writing and recording is my funtime hobby that keeps me mentally in check. Touring is also a good thing because commador vanik and secret steel are incredible musicians and sweet bros. to boot!

EA: The underground metal scene has changed, as has the music industry over the years - especially when things went digital (MP3) and now streaming. What do you see as positives (if any) of what the underground and the industry are like now compared to the old days when you had to work to find your music?

A: I'm trying to adjust to the modern world! I don't have a smartphone or mp3 or whatever it is that your supposed to listen to music on now but I do understand it's a different time and some things change for some people. me, not so much for now.

EA: I saw online an interview where some of your massive record and music collection was shown. Is there any genre of music that you don't have in your collection? What would surprise Midnight fans that you have in your collection (non-metal)?

A: There's not much past the year 1990. Yeah there's plenty of non-metal, mostly non-metal. That's something i may do in the future is a talk show or music show where you jam some records of non-metal that metalheads would like. For a quick example: Graham Central Station- Earthquake. Check it out!

EA: There are more and more underground bands wearing large hoods or masks that cover their identities. Why did you choose to do this back in the day with Midnight?

A: It was an easy way to have an identity without having an identity. Also it worked for the mentors so what the hell?!

EA: Of the instruments played on the various Midnight recordings (guitar, bass, drums, vocals), which do you consider your main instrument? What's your background on said instrument (how long have you been playing, did you take lessons, etc)?

A: Bass was the one I started on first because of Gene Simmons and Steve Harris. Then after a year or 2 I started to play guitar because it was better to make up tunes on. I wanted to play drums as a kid but it was too much noise for around the house.

EA: Do you make a living from Midnight or do you have a day job that pays the bills?

A: I guess I could make a living at it if I enjoyed living in squalor and eating nothing but macaroni and cheese but i do have an additional job as well. It's at an irish restaurant called McDonalds. Ever hear of it?

EA: What's one of the best bands you've heard recently that Midnight fans should check out?

A: Current heavy metal? I'd say the Hammr lp is really darn good.

EA: What's one of the most underrated bands in music?

A: Starz. Great 70's poppish/hm/hr. They really get overlooked because their records aren't really rare, you seem ‘em in the dollar bin all the time. So do yourself a favor and pick up coliseum rock or the self titled one next time you see it in the buck bin.

EA: What's one of the most overrated bands in music?

A: Overrated? There's plenty of bands that are popular that I don't like but that's just a matter of opinion. I won't name any names so nobody gets butthurt!

EA: What was the last concert you attended as a fan?

A: I saw Y&T last week. They're always awesome. Bummer that 75 percent of the orig band is not with us anymore. But Dave Meniketti stills tears it up! Weird story: the son of orig Y&T bass player Phil Kennemore emailed me a few years back just to see if we were gonna be playing the west coast anytime soon. I saw the last name Kennemore in his email address and half jokingly asked if he was related to Phil from Y&T? He said yeah that was his dad. I couldn't believe it! I told him sorry to hear of his dad’s passing and let him know Y&T was one of the first bands i got into as a kid. Small world!

EA: What does the future hold for Midnight?

A: Who the fuck knows?! If i'm alive and well I'll probably doing something!

Eclectic Arts


The Woo Woo Boys Destroy Seattle - DOYLE Gig Review! 3/14/18


El Corazon
Seattle, WA


It had been nearly a three-year wait for Doyle to return to the Seattle area. Having played Studio Seven in 2014 and El Corazon in April of 2015, it was with great anticipation that the band returned to abominate El Corazon as a headlining act.

Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, Alex "Dick Solid" Story, Brandon Strate, and Wade Murff hit the stage for an hour long set of songs from both the first album, "Abominator" and the second album, "Doyle II - As We Die".

Kicking the night off with the song, "Abominator", Murff took to the stage to play the drums as the rest of the band played the heavy intro off stage, eventually stomping their way onto the stage to launch into the fast riffing before Alex started the vocals.

Doyle beat the shit out of his guitars all night - business as usual for his style of playing. He has really grown into a riff heavy metallic monster. His sound is a very distorted razor blade grinding type of sonic assault, which to these ears makes the band very metal. Always associated with the Misfits and rightfully so, Doyle the band is more metallic in their sound but also punk in their approach.

Dancing the night away to many a love song, the Wolfman (Alex) does what he does best - give 110% and not give a fuck about anything. He's from the old school of punk and just goes for it. No half steps, no considerations, just full on take no prisoners kind of front man performance.

Brandon and Murff keep the beast pounding away as the rhythm section - the band as a whole punches you in the face - the way a band like this should be.

A good mix of songs from both albums, "Witchcraft" and "Kiss Me As We Die" from the new album sounded particularly gnarly. "Valley Of Shadows" from the first album sounded fresh and hit the spot as well as the set ender, "Hope Hell Is Warm".

The crowd in Seattle was ready to dance and a rarity of stage diving was "allowed" - something I've never seen El Corazon allow before.

Seattle was crushed like Godzilla stomping all over Tokyo; the return of Doyle was well worth the wait. Hopefully, the band will return soon before another three years passes.

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Tom for the credentials, Darron for making everything smooth and easy. Doyle and Dr. Solid for taking the time to do the video interview! SCR!

Video Interview with Doyle and Alex!

Click On Any Photo for a Larger Image

Saturday, March 17, 2018

WATAIN Bring The Swedish Black Metal To Seattle! 3/13/18


Destroyer 666

Studio Seven
Seattle, WA


Black metal has been around for more than 25 years. Some would argue it's been around longer than 30 years. Watain have been around for 20 years now. The Swedish black metal outfit, fronted by Erik Danielsson, continues to bring the pain everywhere they go.

Opening the show was the Swedish death metal band Degial. The four-piece played a chaotic death-black hybrid of metal - leaning more toward the death side of things. Watain has been picking respected underground metal acts for this tour to open various cities (Revenge and Ares Kingdom are two others notable acts). Degial's wall of metal got things going in the right direction.

Australia's Destroyer 666 are veterans of the metal underground. KK Warslut (guitar/vocals) being the lone original member. Many at Studio Seven were there to see Destroyer 666 play their brand of black n thrash n roll. No bullshit metal Destroyer 666 ripped through their set with power and might. The only downside was that the set seemed way too short (45-minutes).

With the stage bathed in red with the usual tridents all over the stage as well as animal skulls and other assorted items, Sweden's Watain took to the stage and blasted through their twelve-song set. Bathing the audience in blood from his chalice, Erik and company played a lot of songs off the newest album, "Trident Wolf Eclipse". Their sound has evolved over the years - from black metal to more of a black-death metal hybrid at times. The Studio Seven crowd was massively appreciative of the set Watain put on.

The three-band bill with no local openers was strong - no weak links. The crowd was contained to the floor of Studio Seven (the balcony was closed) so it seemed like there was a lot of fans there (compared to when the balcony is open and the crowd is both upstairs and downstairs).

Watain left their trident mark on Seattle. They're heading down the coast on this run - catch them if you dare.

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Kelly for the credentials. Studio Seven staff for being cool about the guest list issue. Much appreciated!





Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Celebrating DAVID BOWIE - Event Review from Seattle, WA! 3/10/18

Celebrating David Bowie

Benaroya Hall
Seattle, WA


I was fortunate enough to have seen David Bowie live - once. It was many years ago so my memories of that particular show are somewhat faded. After his passing in 2016, it was with warm regard when it was announced that a group of Bowie alumni and professional musicians were going to play a few shows to celebrate the legacy of Bowie's music -spanning the vast catalog of releases.

A few shows turned into a lot of shows in 2017 and in 2018 the show was coming to North America. Dubbed "Celebrating David Bowie" the tour made a stop at Benaroya Hall (home to the Seattle Symphony) on March 10th.

Mike Garson, Gerry Leonard, Earl Slick, Carmine Rojas - all Bowie alumni were joined by vocalists/musicians Bernard Fowler, Mr. Hudson, and Joe Sumner.

When I arrived at the venue, the foyer was filled with people. I had just covered two shows there recently so I knew, based on the crowd; this would be the most popular of the three shows based on attendance.

At 8pm Mike Garson came out and received a loud applause. Having been integral in Bowie's career both at the beginning and at the end, Mike addressed the crowd before launching into, "Bring Me The Disco King" with Bernard Fowler on lead vocals. Bernard is most known for his long time work with the Rolling Stones (since 1988). Bernard handled I'd say the bulk of the vocal duties for the Seattle show (some cities special guests have augmented the lineup). He was in fine vocal form as was the band. By the time Bernard asked the crowd if they were ready for a party, the crowd leapt to their feet (well, most of them) and, "Rebel, Rebel" blasted through the hall. I was glad to see the crowd up and dancing, as I wasn't sure what to expect at Benaroya Hall. The previous two shows everyone sat for the duration of the shows. Saturday night people were up for 80% of the songs - minus the slower numbers.

Mr. Hudson took over vocals on, "Changes" as well as other songs during the night. Joe Sumner, Sting's son, debuted vocally on, "Space Oddity". Both men were great vocal choices for the tour.

Earl Slick looked and sounded the part of a rock n roll star. Even in his 60's the guy still has "it". Gerry was no slouch either on the guitar. Having played with Bowie and acted as his musical director toward the end of Bowie's career, he had the band sounding spectacular.

The main set was a total of 19 songs (!) - ending with the one two punch of, "Suffragette City" and, "All The Young Dudes".

After a very brief break, the band came on for an encore of a few more songs, starting with Gerry playing and singing, "Andy Warhol".

The evening was a perfect way for the Bowie fan to hear and relive the concert experience without David here. The intent came through as it didn't come across as a way to capitalize on his fame but truly as a celebration of his music. What a wonderful celebration indeed!

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Bari for the credentials - I appreciate it! The Benaroya Hall staff for solving the guest list issue in an efficient and professional manner. I would expect nothing less from such a well-known venue. Thank you!

(click on any image for a larger photo)

Walk Into Seattle - THE LONE BELLOW Gig Review! 3/9/18

The Lone Bellow

The Wild Reeds

Neptune Theater
Seattle, WA


I arrived at the Neptune Theater on Friday night feeling like it had been a long time since I had reviewed a show. This wasn't true as I had just been to a show on Monday and Tuesday but for whatever reason it felt like it had been longer. What does this all mean? It means I was ready for a night of music!

The Neptune was getting filled up when The Wild Reeds took the stage around 8:30pm. A five piece from L.A., they were a perfect compliment to The Lone Bellow - both in their musical style and their presentation. The quintet played a 40-minute set of tunes that went over well with the Seattle audience.

After a very short break, the capacity crowd roared as the lights dimmed and The Lone Bellow took the stage. Touring as a five piece, Zach, Kanene, and Brian were out in front and they just sat in the musical pocket and off to the races they went.

I am always in awe of performers that can get in the pocket so quickly at a show. Normally it takes a few numbers, sometimes even more than a few numbers to find that sweet spot, but The Lone Bellow hit it right out of the gate.

This is nothing new to their hardcore fans. The trio can harmonize and the drop of a hat and they work their tails off live, especially Zach. There are times he reminds me just a bit of James Brown and Joe Cocker in his live sensibilities - working up a sweat in an instant as he plays and engages the crowd.

Touring for their latest effort, "Walk Into A Storm", the crowd ate up every tune the band played.

Mid way through the set - the trio moved to the front of the stage left area where a single mic was placed. They ran through three songs - acoustic - with each member taking a turn at the lead vocals. This showed just how truly gifted they are as musicians. The whole theater quieted down so they could hear every note performed. I happened to be by that side of the stage, it was magical listening to them sing their hearts out.

Playing a selection of songs from all their releases, with almost 20 songs in total for the night, The Lone Bellow left everything on the stage and showed why they are such an amazing live act.

This was my first time seeing them but it for sure won't be the last. They are in the middle of their U.S. tour. Check them out when they come to your town. You'll have an amazing time just like I did!

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Maddie for the credentials - thank you very much!

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The Wild Reeds