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Kickstarter Spotlight: ‘Star Wars’ Documentary ‘Elstree 1976’
Obi-Dan   |  

Kickstarter Spotlight: Elstree 1976

If I was a betting man I would lay down a few of my hard-earned pennies on the likelihood that you are a Star Wars fan. Not only because you made the excellent choice to read articles on Geeks of Doom, but also because everyone loves Star Wars!

And if, like me, you are still hungry to find out about even the smallest of details about the movies – or the universe – then Elstree 1976, which currently has a Kickstarter campaign, could be the film for you.

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Interview: Rock Biographer Neil Daniels
Obi-Dan   |  

Neil Daniels

From Bon Jovi to Judas Priest and UFO to Pantera, British rock biographer Neil Daniels has written books on some of the biggest and best names in rock and heavy metal.

In only seven years Neil has published close to thirty books including his biographies and also his collections of interviews with fellow rock writers and musicians. In addition to books, Neil has contributed to dozens of websites, magazines and newspapers. Frankly, his workload puts many of us to shame.

2014 is already shaping up to be a busy year with books on Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden and Journey guitarist Neal Schon due for release at the beginning of this year, with many more to come.

Continue reading to check out my chat with Daniels about his work.

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Interview: Dream Theater Keyboardist Jordan Rudess
Obi-Dan   |  

Dream Theater Jordan Rudess

Keyboard player. App developer. Wizard. Jordan Rudess is all of these things. The phenomenal talent behind those sumptuous Dream Theater keyboard tones is a continuously busy man.

Not only is he a member of the progressive metal colossus Dream Theater, who released its twelfth studio album this year, Rudess has been working with King Crimson bass player Tony Levin and drummer and guitarist Marco Minnemann in creating the inspiring Levin Minnemann Rudess album – an instrumental rock masterpiece put together by three incredible musicians.

Away from music he is an innovator, creating new ways of teaching and training musicians in the world of apps. More on that further down.

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Interview: Former Runaways Guitarist and Queen Of Rock Lita Ford
Obi-Dan   |  

Lita Ford live 2013

Since her breakthrough in the 1970s with all-girl hard rockers The Runaways, Lita Ford has become one of the world’s foremost guitar-wielding goddesses. Twice. She managed to come back from a 13-year music hiatus to fight her way back to the top of her game and is still releasing punchy hard rock albums that leave many of her (few) peers in the shadows to prove she is still the first lady of rock.

Last year, Ford released a new solo album, Living Like a Runaway, and this week saw the release of the live album from its tour, The Bitch Is Back…Live.

As well as cranking out albums full of hard rock, Ford has set up a Facebook page dedicated to raising awareness of Parental Alienation, of which she is currently a victim after her divorce from singer Jim Gillette.

Lita Ford is one of America’s greatest living rock stars, but her story did not start in the U.S. We got a chance to talk to her recently about her upbringing, music, touring, and what’s to come for the tattooed queen of rock.

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Interview: Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal
Obi-Dan   |  

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Photo: Aijaz Rahi)

Before joining one of the biggest bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal played with everyone from Lita Ford to Ty Tabor (King’s X) to, erm, Jessica Simpson, as well as having a successful solo career.

Not only that, New York native Bumblefoot has been putting his status as one of the world’s premier rock guitarists to a much more personal affect and runs teaching workshops all over the world (even private ones via Skype if you ask nicely).

More recently he has been involved in A World With Heroes, a KISS tribute album created by rock journalist Mitch Lafon raising money for a Canadian cancer hospice. Along with Rex Brown (ex-Pantera) and Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake), they came together to record the classic “Detroit Rock City” and the band ALIVE was born.

Geeks of Doom: How did you get involved with A World With Heroes?

Bumblefoot: When Mitch Lafon was first considering doing this album, we chatted about it. I think before he even went public I had already recorded my guitar and vocals. Mitch played matchmaker and reached out to Brian Tichy and Rex Brown for drums and bass.

Geeks of Doom: Were you allowed to go in your own direction to record “Detroit Rock City” or did you try and stick closely to the original song?

Bumblefoot: I stuck to the original. It couldn’t ever be improved upon, I’m not going to try and re-write the song. I added a little of my own guitar doodling at the end, but other than that we all kept it traditional.

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Interview: Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian
Obi-Dan   |  

Scott Ian (Photo: Steve Appleford)

“From across the room Lemmy spots me. ‘How you feeling? … we were having a drink then all of a sudden you stopped speaking English and ran screaming from the bar!’”

It was the opening show of Scott Ian’s Speaking Words tour of the UK. The Anthrax guitarist, comic book writer, and now raconteur is in Oxford, England, as he kicks off his latest venture.

The great bearded one is sharing stories from his life, 30-plus years of which have been spent in the heavy metal world. Throw in Meat Loaf as a father-in-law and recording a reality TV show with a heavily armed (and dangerous) Ted Nugent, and there is much to talk about.

The diminutive guitarist (I’m no giant, but there’s clean air between my shoulders and his smooth bald head) has the audience laughing throughout his tales of the perils of playing ‘drunk itunes’, the aforementioned brush with Lemmy – and death – and trying to help Pantera guitarist Dimebag (apparently just Darrell to his friends) in stopping Sebastian Bach from bothering goats and committing suicide. Sort of.

It was the day after Jeff Hanneman’s memorial service. The Slayer guitarist died only days before, an autopsy showing cirrhosis of the liver. Hanneman was only 49 when he died – the same age as Ian is now – and inevitably being part of thrash metal’s ‘Big Four’, their paths had crossed over the years. Ian’s remembers Hanneman’s intelligence and “incisve wit,” a “super nice guy” who, had it been the occasion of one of their other metal brothers passing would be “the first to raise a glass” in their memory.

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Interview: Iced Earth Guitarist Jon Schaffer
Obi-Dan   |  

Jon Schaffer

If aliens came to earth and wanted to know what true heavy metal is, you could do a lot worse than to introduce them to Iced Earth, the Tampa, Florida band of sheer brute force whose near thirty year history has given us ten studio albums. But they’re not done yet.

Overseen from the beginning and at all times by ever-present guitarist and founder Jon Schaffer, Iced Earth’s is a story of a man with a one-track metal mind. Fronted during their history by ex-Judas Priest pipesman Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and long-serving lead singer Matt Barlow, Iced Earth embarked on another new chapter in 2011 by hiring Canadian Stu Block and releasing album number ten, Dystopia.

If those aliens enjoyed Dystopia, which of course they would, what with it being yet another storming heavy metal charge, they may also like to get their hands/tentacles on Iced Earth’s newest live album. Live In Ancient Kourion was recorded and filmed at the beautiful, historic Kourion amphitheatre in Cyprus and boasts close to three hours of Schaffer and his band cranking out their hits to some crazy Cypriots.

Schaffer, as he says, is a man who moves forward all the time, which is why the future of Iced Earth is bright. Now is the time to hear from the leader…

Geeks of Doom: How are you?

Jon Schaffer: Good, man, just busy writing, working, doing a lot of press for the DVD. I’m in the writing process for the next Iced Earth album, so it’s always a time of a lot of pressure and a lot of work but it’s good, very happy with what’s coming out so far.

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Interview: Buckcherry Lead Singer Josh Todd
Obi-Dan   |  

Buckcherry

LA’s hard rockin’, hard partyin’ heroes Buckcherry have survived more band and personal problems than most. Lead singer Josh Todd has lived through them all and barely survived to tell his tales.

Thankfully, though, he has and his band is back with arguably the album of their career. Confessions contains a lifetime of those stories and thoughts based loosely around the seven deadly sins and tied up with Todd’s personal demons. Read the Geeks of Doom review HERE.

Fresh from successful support and headline shows, Josh Todd and Buckcherry are ready for the summer festival season and the chance to share their Confessions with the world.

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Interview: Anvil Drummer Robb Reiner
Obi-Dan   |  

Robb Reiner

Blazing through the slipstream of the Juggernaut Of Justice album and tour success, Canadian metal legends Anvil are back with a new line up and a new album.

Ever-present drummer Robb Reiner is confident that the band’s latest album, Hope In Hell, coming out in May this year, will build upon the success of their recent resurgence and deliver their best release for thirty years. “I can’t say much about it other than it’s fucking awesome!”

Robbo was very relaxed and happy to talk about new bass player Sal Italiano’s input, getting back out on the road, and stepping away from their breakthrough documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil.

Continue reading for the interview!

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Book Review: Machine Head: Inside The Machine
Obi-Dan   |  

Machine Head: Inside the MachineMachine Head: Inside the Machine
By Joel McIver
Omnibus Press
Release Date: April 1, 2013 (U.S. | Kindle Edition)
Available now (UK)

It’s easy to forget Machine Head has been going for over 20 years. The past five years has seen them hit a creative boon with their two finest albums one after the other: Metallica-approved The Blackening and last year’s astonishing Unto The Locust. Many of their contemporaries burst on to the scene in the 1980s then struggled to maintain what they started with. Ten years down the line many of those same acts failed to recapture that early magic and fell into the great metal chasm. Whereas Machine Head only improved with age.

British author Joel McIver has written books about almost every metal icon: from Slipknot to Slayer, Motorhead to Tool, with Metallica and Black Sabbath to boot. His latest work, Machine Head: Inside the Machine, is an interesting, honest and completely open account of the life of Machine Head.

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