Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s our You Oughta Know artist Aqualung (aka Matt Hales) on school bullies, audience love, and solar-powered calculators.
Ben’s In Charge It would be nice to think that I was a totally self-sufficient creature who could stalk through this world, bending everyone’s will to my own without anyone’s help. But it seems everything goes better when my brother Ben is there. He’s got a special pair of gloves for helping the load-in, and I haven’t got any of those. He’s also quite good at knowing what time it is.
Calculated Dirty Talk A few years ago, we were in a dark backstage area at a club gig, and nothing on our rider had arrived, but there was a solar-powered calculator backstage. Which obviously didn’t work, because it was dark. It struck us as the ultimate luxury. So we thought we’d have that on [our rider] from then on. I just like to do that thing where you type in certain numbers, turn it upside down and it says "boobs."
It was like the Rock U.N. yesterday afternoon, with members of Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday converging on midtown to announce the Projekt Revolution bill and tour dates. Eschewing "the printed up stuff from management," Linkin Park members Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda quickly invited My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way and Taking Back Sunday members Adam Lazzara and Matt Rubano up on stage, uniting the three bands who will form the main stage of Projekt Revolution. "We can’t wait to get out there and destroy everything in our path," said Bennington. Ironically, in the midst of all that destruction, the band announced PR will be a "green" tour. Also, My Chemical Romance will reunite with recently departed guitarist Mikey Way, and for the first time they’ll be switching up their set and playing more than just their latest The Black Parade in its entirety, though MCR do promise to bring as much of their arena show to the tour as possible. "Maybe we’ll get new uniforms," Way said.
Our Tour Survival Guide checks in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s Kings of Leon’s Jared Followill on sweet vermouth, donkey noises and getting lei’d.
Worst Job On Tour: Tour Manager We had a tour manager that we didn’t like, so every show I would make her give me a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist. And she would do it every night. And I never drank one of them, because it was so gross.
The Braying of Donkeys, or Kings of Leon We do this weird extremely country retarded song [before every show]. It kind of sounds like a donkey. One of our uncles used to sing it -— I don’t know why we [started doing] it, but we were kind of superstitious, and now it’s something we do to embarrass ourselves during festival season where everyone can hear us. We say a prayer after, then we go play. [My band is] weird. They think we’re not going to wail unless we do it. And I think we would wail either way. I’m really superstitious, but if it causes me to be embarrassed I could do without it.
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (May 24) always includes revealing chats with the music’s stars. Road Tales focuses on some the silliness that goes down when bands are on tour.
We knew that Motorhead could make the Earth quake. The bedrock metal on Overkill and Orgasmatron explains that talent fairly well. What we didn’t know is that bossman Lemmy could make it rain frogs. See for yourself.
The kindly folk at the Fader point to an online leak from hipster icon M.I.A.‘s new record. The track, called "Hit That," is probably the rudest, sexiest, dirtiest thing recorded in a long while — it’s too bad the slang sort of prevents those not used to a thick British accent from understanding what it is she’s saying. (You’ll get a chance to mull it over better when her record’s released on June 25th.) Note the clever thievery of "all I wanna do is zoom-a zoom zoom." If ever there were a lyric to steal, that, ladies and gentlemen, is the one.
Let’s assume Bob Dylan didn’t play "A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall" when he serenaded his grandson’s kindergarten class during a string of recent school visits. Let’s assume he stuck to "Froggy Went a’Courting," instead. Evidently rock’s still-vital legend is considered just another "weird man" by some of the audience members. They’re proabably not wrong. Who knows? Maybe he tests out new material on their yet-to-be-jaded ears. Here’s what one recent track sounds like.
Tell us: which Dylan tunes would go over best with the six-year-old crowd?
Last night must’ve been exciting for fans of the Young Guns films, as the two American Idolcontestants sent packing—Phil Stacey (the baldie) and Chris Richardson (one of the pseudo Timberlakes)—both re-sang Bon Jovi songs from the kitschy ’80s western.
We also learned that Blake Lewis (the other pseudo JT) and Chris Richardson are totally BFF and are psyched to tour together this summer. It’s too bad that Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell can’t take a cue from these dudes about male friendship, and quit gay-bashing each other. Their claws were out again last night, with Seacrest making a rather confusing insinuation that Simon’s girlfriend is his "beard" by saying she is an ugly "puppet" and that he his the puppet master. Simon got all mad, not about the implication that he has a beard, but that his beard is ugly, and was like, "If you’re going to be obnoxious, I won’t talk to you. Apologize. You’re being rude about my girlfriend." Later on in the show, Seacrest wouldn’t let the awkward exchange drop, saying, "As we’ve heard [Simon] has a girlfriend, and it is very serious. Trust me."
The Beastie Boys have been teasing girls since Licensed to Ill dropped in ’86. But they’ve grown up a little bit. To show how mature they are these days, they’ve allegedly scrapped their plans to reference the love of Jay-Z’s life in the title of their forthcoming instrumental CD. So no, the trio’s next album won’t be calledThick, Like Beyonce’s Leg.
In fact there’s damn good chance that the album is called The Mix-Up. But don’t rule out the idea that it could be Sweet, Like J. Lo’s Rump, Phat, LIke Diddy’s Wallet, or Insane, LIke Phil Spector’s Old Hair.
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (May 24) always includes revealing chats with the heroes themselves. Here’s a recollection of on-stage shenanigans from ZZ Top.
The Texas Trio has earned itself lots of props for getting a big-ass sound. Three guys? With Billy Gibbons’ guitar wailing, sometimes they sound like six. But one thing’s for sure: It ain’t ZZ Top if Dusty Hill isn’t plugged in.