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Exclusive Interview: Jim Peterik of 'Ides of March' (Formerly of 'Survivor' and '38 Special' Fame) on His New Projects, Writing for Legends and How That 'Vehicle' Turned Into a Time Machine

Photo: Jim Peterik's Official Facebook

I was first introduced to Jim Peterik's work when I was still in diapers. In the 1970s my dad was music-obsessed and used his gigs in local radio to justify his growing vinyl collection. Growing just as quickly was his literal wall of stereo equipment. He would make several trips to a store called Stereo House before finally plunking down a wad of cash and walking out with a big box of something that he would spend the next several hours agonizing over. The sound had to be just right and one of his favorite songs to use in order to achieve that perfect musical balance was "Vehicle" by The Ides of March, a group co-founded by Peterik 55 years ago.

Aside from playing guitar, keys and being a vocalist, Peterik is also considered to be songwriting royalty. His work with 38 Special, Sammy Hagar, REO Speedwagon, and more has been top-notch, paving the way to a Grammy win for a little ditty called "Eye of the Tiger", a song by Survivor (another blockbuster group that he co-founded).

After more than fifty years in the industry, Peterik still has plenty to do. He is writing for the likes of The Beach Boys, still performing with The Ides of March, and recently released a single, "Proof of Heaven" with Dennis DeYoung off of his latest world Stage release, Winds of ChangeI had a chance to chat with Peterik recently and it was like climbing into a musical time machine that I didn't want to step away from. Check it out below.

Exclusive Interview: Vivian Campbell on Revisiting His Youth Via the Dio-Inspired 'Last In Line' & Enjoying the Evolution of 'Def Leppard'

Photo: Ross Halfin


Vivian Campbell is arguably one of the busiest men on the rock landscape right now. He just wrapped up playing a string of dates with his Dio-inspired bandmates from Last in Line and he will barely have a chance to catch his breath before joining Def Leppard for the European leg of their current tour. His year is booked solid and at least for right now, the iconic guitarist would have it no other way.  It seems that he is quite content to be literally revisiting and honoring his early years with Dio while embracing younger generations of fans that show up night after night to hear the Def Leppard classics.

I caught up with Vivian the other day for a quick chat and discovered a man whose search for inner acceptance seems to have made his current joy that much more palpable. Keep Reading...

Exclusive Interview: Ron Keel on Turning a Difficult Season in His Life Into a Musical Treasure with 'Fight Like a Band'

The Ron Keel Band- Official Photo

When I say "metal cowboy" the first name that springs to mind for veteran rock fans is singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ron Keel.  Not only has he been a constant on the rock scene with bands like Steeler, Alcatrazz and of course, Keel, but he has sold millions of records and had two albums produced by Gene Simmons. While his resume is impressive it's not complete yet. 

The Ron Keel Band released their first album, "Fight Like a Band"

Exclusive Interview: Kip Winger is Dancing Between Symphonic Work and Musical Theater While Laying the Groundwork for the Next 'Winger' Release

Photo: Kip Winger- Official Facebook

There are so many misconceptions that go hand in hand with being a bonafide rockstar. One of the biggest is the notion that once you "make it"  in the music industry and score a platinum record or some other oddly shaped trophy, you're set for life. You know, money just keeps on flowing while difficult doors are magically opened for decades on end. The real truth is that any end of the music industry is a really harsh place to exist, even on the best of days. You can be on the road playing sold-out gigs now and in six months time, you can be back to waiting tables with zero musical options. It's a scenario that Kip Winger knows well, as he went from riding the late 80's hard rock wave with his own band (Winger), to having his career all but buried by MTV- the same network that had made him a household name. The only solid guarantee in music is that you're going to hit bottom far more often than you strike gold and it takes talent, timing and unshakable determination to pull yourself back up again. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Steven Adler Mixes Music with His Newfound 'Appetite' for Art

Photo: Steven Adler's Official Facebook

In case you didn't already realize it by all of the other coverage, we really love rock festivals here at DailyBOOM because they give us a chance to grab a few minutes with legendary artists that have influenced and inspired us, one way or another. Legendary original Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler easily rests near the top of that list. He has years of sobriety under his belt and has tamed some inner demons by tapping into his own artistic creativity. In a quick chat with Steven this weekend we learned that love and gratitude are now
giving him the biggest high of his life. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Ace Von Johnson on Juggling 'L.A, Guns' and 'Faster Pussycat' While Striving for a Balanced Life

Photo: Toxic Love Photography

I think in many ways, Ace Von Johnson has to be one of the busiest guys currently on the rock scene. Aside from playing with a handful of rock and punk bands, you'll also find him currently splitting his guitar duties between two legendary bands, L.A. Guns, and Faster Pussycat. I caught up with him recently, as L.A. Guns swung across the east coast playing dates to promote their new release, "The Devil You Know". I  encountered a clever man that is most definitely in charge of his current life and future destiny. What follows is an excerpt from my interview with Ace. The full podcast will be available on DailyBOOM and Boom Radio soon. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Steve Lynch on All Things Autograph, a New Creative Beginning with Alena Rae & the Importance of Good Energy

Photo: Sloane Morrison

It's always fun to get to spend a few minutes with Steve Lynch, lead guitarist/vocalist of Autograph. Since it has been a while I thought I'd check in with him ahead of this year's M3 Rockfest (happening May 3-5 in Columbia, MD). This past year has brought the band new music, a spot on Billboard's classic rock chart and of course, an impressive (and ever-growing) list of tour dates. As if all of those things aren't keeping him busy enough, Lynch is also managing some of Autograph's business details and readying a new creative project with his equally new fiance.  Not only did Lynch grant me a few minutes of his time, but it didn't take long for my subject to also become my teacher. I love when that happens. Keep reading... 

Exclusive Interview: Bill Leverty on FireHouse's Continued Success, New Music & More

Photo: FireHouse Promo

One of the coolest things about music is the way that it provides each and every one of us with the ability to travel through time. You know what I mean, a twenty-second song intro and for just a flash of a moment, you really do feel like it's 1990 all over again. FireHouse always takes me back to the tail end of high school, when graduation was imminent and I still had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my life.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check this band out live then you really owe it to yourself to grab some tickets and just go.  Back in the day MTV really pushed the power ballad side of FireHouse but one of the keys to their continued success decades later is the fact that they really know how to rock a live set.

I recently had an opportunity to speak with one of the driving forces behind the bands' continued success, founder/guitarist Bill Leverty.  He brought me up to speed on all things FireHouse and more!  Keep Reading...

Exclusive Interview: Joel Hoekstra on Whitesnake's Upcoming Tour, More Cher Gigs and an Update on His Solo Project

(Photo: Whitesnake Promo Shot)

If you're a rock fan then Joel Hoekstra is a man who needs precious little introduction. He spent several years onstage in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages and used that experience to launch a career that has him now playing beside some of his childhood favorites. Hoekstra believes that greatness comes from playing as often as he can and working with bands like Foreigner, Night Ranger and of course, Whitesnake (to name only a few) has helped to shape him into the major rock fixture that he is. 

This year finds Hoekstra not only bouncing between gigs but finding a way to make it look pretty effortless. Whitesnake is just days away from launching their Flesh & Blood World Tour and I was able to steal a few minutes of the versatile virtuoso's time this past week. 

Exclusive Interview: Steve Whiteman of KIX Talks Teaching, Touring & New Musical Gems to Come

(Photo: Kix Official Site)

KIX was one of the hardest rocking bands to hit the Baltimore music scene in the late '70s and they eventually had a few solid hits like "Don't Close Your Eyes" and "Cold Blood" that were in heavy rotation on MTV. In the '80s, being on MTV every four hours meant that you were part of the crop of rock bands that sold out huge venues and raked in cash from (actual physical) record sales. A lot of people still believe that once you "make it" in the music industry you're sort of set for life if you handle your money properly. The actual truth is that the music business is at best, a harsh place to try and exist. You could be at the top of the charts and playing sold-out shows now and in six months you're back to waiting tables or washing dishes. The only solid guarantee is that everything changes, rising stars inevitably hit some sort of bottom and then it takes talent, timing and unshakable determination to get back up again. 

KIX (Steve Whiteman, Jimmy Chalfant, Brian Forsythe, Ronnie Younkins, Mark Schenker) had a great initial run before deciding to call it quits in 1995. They took some time apart, enjoyed a little breathing room and eventually reunited with a fresh perspective on how to do things. For the last decade or so KIX has done things their way, playing only by their own rules and the payoff has been pretty sweet. I caught up with lead vocalist Steve Whiteman recently and he told me that they're booking as many gigs as they can juggle and new music may even be on the horizon. Check out the interview below!

Exclusive Interview: Jeff Pilson is Bursting with Excitement Ahead of The End Machine's Album Release & Live Shows

(Photo: The End Machine- Facebook)

Foreigner's bass guitarist, Jeff Pilson,  is undoubtedly one of the busiest guys in the business. Aside from traveling 200+ days a year with that classic rock powerhouse machine, he also juggles a few side projects at a time. If you think that supergroups were a thing of the past then you need to pay closer attention because Jeff has a knack for not only combining established rockers but also bringing them to a higher musical level. Later this week, on March 22nd, The End Machine, his project with ex-Dokken bandmates George Lynch and Mick Brown, plus Warrant's Robert Mason on vocals, will release their first studio album. Jeff is always bursting with excitement (a little more than usual right now) and I had a chance to steal a few minutes of his time ahead of this momentous week.

Exclusive Interview: Robin McAuley Talks Schenker Fest, 'Rock Vault' & That New Side Gig with Jeff Pilson & Reb Beach

Robin McAuley has been a steady fixture on the hard rock scene for close to 40 years now and if you think that he is ready to slow down you'd be completely wrong. He has spent the last five years performing several nights a week on stage in Vegas while also touring the world once again with Michael Schenker (the McAuley Schenker Group- or MSG first shot to fame in the states back in the '80s). Add to that a sweet side project with Jeff Pilson and Reb Beach and you've got an incredibly fruitful career. 

I had an opportunity to chat with Robin this week and listened as he grieved the loss of a bandmate, anticipated the release of new music and reflected on what keeps him centered in that crazy rock and roll world. 

DailyBOOM: So tell me, how are you? What have you been up to?

Robin McAuley: I haven't had new material out myself in a while, but I've been very busy.  I spent nine hours recording just yesterday for the new Michael Schenker Fest cd. The deadline for that has been overshadowed by the fact that we lost our drummer, Ted McKenna, in a freaky routine surgery just a few days ago and it has really devastated everyone. It's the most routine, piece of cake surgery (hernia repair) usually but he hemorrhaged and they couldn't stop the bleeding. He was just the nicest dude, an absolutely gentle, kind man. A powerhouse drummer and a force to be reckoned with up there behind us, just so easy to work with. God rest Ted McKenna. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Queensryche's Michael Wilton is 'Beyond Words' Over Reaction to New Music from 'The Verdict'

(Official Queensryche Promo Shot)

Queensryche's latest release, "Dark Reverie", off of their forthcoming album The Verdict (out March 1) has the band's longtime fans dying to hear more. The buzz on this effort is nothing but positive and the guys are counting down the days until they get to hit the road to support their newest "baby". Steve and I had a chance to chat with Queensryche founder Michael Wilton this week and his excitement is more than a little infectious!

DailyBOOM: The last time we spoke you were finishing up work on the new Queensryche album and you were dying for everyone to hear it. You now have two singles out, "Man The Machine" and "Dark Reverie" and they are just beyond fantastic. How are you feeling now that we're actually hearing the new music?

Exclusive Interview: Jeff Pilson on Foreigner, Reuniting with Ex-Dokken Bandmates & New Music Coming Next Year

(Photo: Bill Berstein)

Jeff Pilson has got to be one of the hardest working men in rock, especially this year. He plays bass guitar and serves as musical director for Foreigner, a band who started the year with a symphonic album debuting at number one on Billboard's Classical Albums chart and then rolled through a grueling Juke Box Heroes Tour for two months with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening. Next, Foreigner will be touring Australia before swinging back to the states for a few very special reunion shows with the surviving original band members.

Foreigner is Jeff's main gig but it's not all that he does. He has recently produced for bands like Warrant and Last in Line and is currently working on a new project with former Dokken bandmates George Lynch and Mick Brown.

His plate is overflowing, the summer has been exhausting, and yet Jeff was bursting with excitement when he spoke about the great things to come during an interview earlier this week. Check it out below!

Exclusive Interview: Marq Torien of BulletBoys Dishes on Upcoming Hair Nation Tour, His Solo Project, and More

When I mention BulletBoys most rock fans will immediately think of a hard-driving band that is known to all but blow the roof off of a venue while leaving absolutely everything that they had to give on the stage. That's a pretty accurate description of any performance that you'll happen to catch by Marq Torien (Vocals & lead guitar), Nick Rozz (Guitar), Chad MacDonald (Bass), and Phil Varone (Drums) these days. Not content to rest on nostalgia, BulletBoys have released a string of albums over the last thirty years that have shown off the band's musicality and ability to evolve with the times.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend a bit of time with the band's loving and gracious founder, Marq Torien this week and he was oozing with excitement and joy over everything that the BulletBoys are, and the things they have planned. Check it out below.

Exclusive Interview: Brian Vollmer of Helix on the 'Controlled Passion' Necessary for Longevity in Music

Sometimes in this life you have to take a risk. That's exactly what Helix founder/lead singer Brian Vollmer did way back in 1974. He walked away from that nine to five drudgery to chase a musical dream that just so happened to turn into his life's work. The faces in Helix may have changed over the years but Volmer and the current lineup, Chris Julke (lead guitars), Kaleb Duck(lead guitars), Daryl Gray(bass guitar), Greg Fritz Hinz (drums), are just as thrilled to be able to perform the classics live as they are to be creating new music.

I had a chance to catch up with Vollmer this week and appreciated his insight on the business side of making music as well the kind of "controlled passion" that it takes to persevere as an artist. Check it out below!

Exclusive Interview: John Schneider's 'Odyssey' is a Healing Inspiration for Everyone it Reaches

(John Schneider Promo Shot- Official Facebook)

When I mention the name John Schneider I'm going to bet that the first image that comes to mind is a flash of the 70's breakout television hit, The Dukes of Hazzard, right? If you're a little younger than me then maybe you're brain races to that dad you wished you had on Smallville. Schneider has made a name for himself by breathing life into characters that are uniquely embedded in our own personal history. He is also a well-established country music veteran that has spent this entire year piecing together a labor of love called, The Odyssey.

The concept is simple enough, one new song is released each week and it is intended to touch on topics that we all feel- death, illness, love and all of the other complications that weave in and out of a life well lived. Actually recording this kind of extensive catalog is not as simple as the concept and Schneider has brought in the big guns to help. Fifty-two songs have been recorded with the help of esteemed songwriters like Paul Overstreet, Chuck Cannon, Keith Stegall, Jenee Fleenor, Mac Davis, Kyle Jacobs and Bill Anderson, to name just a few.

 The Odyssey has unfolded in ways that even Schneider couldn't have anticipated, making this fantastic project a personal awakening even for him. I was able to spend a few minutes with him this week and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to share his excitement while appreciating his depth and keen sense of the things that matter most of all.  Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Jack Russell on 'Great White', His Upcoming Book and Living a Transparent Life

(Jack Russell's Great White Promo Shot)

I have to admit absolutely nothing could have truly prepared me for my lengthy recent conversation with Jack Russell. I mean, technically I came prepared because Great White's "Once Bitten" cassette lived in my Walkman for a nice chunk of my junior year of high school, plus my connection to the music came with a head full of details. As a fan, I am aware of Jack's troubled past which includes things like drugs, comas, death and of course, that horrific fire. If you're a fan then you're likely aware of these things as well. I decided that I needed to learn more about Jack Russell the man, not the headline and so we talked.

What unfolded was well over an hour of kindness, insightfulness and a deep understanding on Jack's part about how hard life can be and then how beautifully it can unfold for you if you hang on long enough. He carries with him a depth that only comes from a life that has been saved at the last minute. He is still here, making music, loving his wife Heather and giving back everything that he can muster to those who have supported him through everything.

Jack's transparency and intelligence are quite beautiful and I can only hope that his words resonate here the way that they did in person. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Queensrÿche's Founder Michael Wilton on Performing and That Much-Anticipated New Album

( Queensrÿche Official Promo Shot)

The name Queensrÿche is instantly familiar to any true heavy metal fan out there. The band has been around since 1982 and it has worked hard to cultivate a progressive sound like no other. They've sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and have spent a good chunk of this year hard at work on their 16th full studio release. Summer also means a full roster of tour dates and on any given weekend you'll be able to catch Queensrÿche performing beside other rock heavyweights like Scorpions, Foreigner, Skid Row, Great White, Lynch Mob and more.

If you haven't caught a live gig in awhile then you need to check out an upcoming show because Queensrÿche seems to be playing tighter than they have in years (at least based on their M3 Rock Festival appearance last May). I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes of founder/guitarist Michael Wilton's time yesterday and he happy to discuss the current batch of live shows and how the recording process has completely changed since the early days of the Ryche.

Exclusive Interview: Foreigner's Tom Gimbel Talks the 'Juke Box Heroes Tour' and More

(Photo Credit: Bill Bernstein)

Chances are that if you're a rock fan you already know who multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel is. He started playing the drums as a young child and eventually that early rhythmic base turned him into the musical virtuoso that he is today. After touring with Aerosmith for several years beginning in the late 80's, Tom joined Foreigner back in 1995 and has loved every minute of it. The band puts his talents to great use and in any given show you'll see him moving effortlessly between guitar, keys and of course that magical saxophone.

Foreigner kicked off their Juke Box Heroes Tour with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening earlier this month and I was fortunate to steal a few minutes of Tom's time before the Jones Beach, NY show. What ensued was a conversation over coffee and blueberry muffins (although miles apart) that was sprinkled with serious laughter. The only thing more entertaining than Tom's playing might just be his personality. He is clearly the guy that makes friends with everyone in the room- but only if he wants to. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Enuff Z'Nuff Returns with New Music and a Spot on the 'SiriusXM Hair Nation Tour'

(Photo: Dave Steckert)

I think that most people believe that once you "make it" in the music industry you're sort of set for life if you handle your money properly. The actual truth is that the music business is at best, a harsh place to try and exist. You could be at the top of the charts and playing sold-out shows now and in six months you're back to waiting tables or washing dishes. The only solid guarantee is that every star eventually falls from the sky and then it takes talent, timing and unshakable determination to get back up again. That's why I love to see an old school band with a plan get another real shot to reclaim their spot amongst those stars.

Enuff Z'Nuff is the latest group to do just that. The band first formed back in 1984 with Chip Z'Nuff leading the way on lead vocals and guitar. They had a few solid hits like "Fly High Michelle" and "New Thing" that were in heavy rotation on MTV. Back in the day, being on MTV every four hours meant that you were part of the crop of headbanger heaven bands that sold out huge venues and raked in tons of cash from (actual physical) record sales. Enuff Z'Nuff may have fit into that mold but their sound has never actually just been straight metal. There also include pop, rock, blues and a touch of soul stylings in their songs and they have a catalog which runs 20 albums deep. Not bad for a band from Blue Island, Illinois. 

While band members have come and gone, Chip Z'Nuff's positive determination to continue writing and performing has not only remained, but it continues to flourish. Enuff Z'Nuff is not only back with a new album, Diamond Boy (due out on August 10), but its' first single from it, "Metalheart" is already catching fire. Last week it was announced that the band (Z'Nuff, Tony Fennell on guitar, Troy Stoffregen on guitar and Dan Hill on drums) will hit the road this fall as part of SiriusXM's Hair Nation 2018 Tour. Keep Reading...

Exclusive Interview: The Doobie Brothers Tom Johnston Talks Touring with Steely Dan and New Music to Come

(Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

When I was growing up in the late seventies The Doobie Brothers were truly a staple in my house. My dad was WAY into classic rock and for two hours each night (like it or not), I was given the kind of musical education that will truly last for my entire lifetime. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I love songs like "Long Train Running" or "China Grove" and it's not just because the bands' four Grammy's and 48 million records sold tell me that I should. I genuinely appreciate the intricacies of their work.

 The Doobie Brothers are spending their summer on the road co-headling a tour with Steely Dan, a combination that sounds like nothing short of perfection to me. While their styles are technically different, they compliment each other fantastically. Somewhere between tour stops in Utah and Colorado, Tom Johnston, founding member/lead vocalist/guitarist, gave me a few minutes of his time to discuss life on the road and new music to come from The Doobies. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Whitesnake's Joel Hoekstra on 'Jukebox Heroes Tour', Playing with Cher & More

If you're a rock fan then Joel Hoekstra is a man who needs precious little introduction. He spent several years onstage in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages and used that experience to launch a career that has him now playing beside some of his childhood heroes. Hoekstra believes that greatness comes from playing as often as he can and working with bands like Foreigner, Night Ranger and of course, Whitesnake (to name only a few) has helped to shape him into a versatile virtuoso. 

Hoekstra has been busy with Whitesnake rehearsal's this week as the band is gearing up to hit the road for the Juke Box Heroes Tour with Jason Bonham and Foreigner, but he was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his timeRead more...

Exclusive Interview: Night Ranger's Kelly Keagy on the Band's 'Rebirth', Touring and New Music to Come

(Photo: Ash Newell)

One of the coolest things about music is the way that it provides each and every one of us with the ability to travel through time. You know what I mean, a twenty-second song intro and for just a flash of a moment, you really do feel like it's 1980-something all over again. Night Ranger always takes me back to the tail end of middle school, when laying in the sun while trying to win albums off of a local radio station was an actual hobby. My first boyfriend was a bit obsessed with the band and so I became a fan as well. That was 35 years ago and while I have no idea where he is today, the Night Ranger on vinyl is still with me.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check this band out live then you really owe it to yourself to grab some tickets and just go. The videos that were so popular way back when really didn't do Night Ranger justice in terms of showing just how capable they are of playing a great rock set. I caught the guys recent gig at M3 Rockfest and was keenly aware of just how much the audience seemed to appreciate their talent.

I also had an opportunity to speak with one of the driving forces behind the band's continued success, drummer/vocalist Kelly Keagy. He considers his return to the stage last year after a health crisis not only a rebirth but also a joyful opportunity to be even better than before. Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Autograph's Steve Lynch on Touring and New Music to Come

It's always fun to get to spend a few minutes with Steve Lynch, lead guitarist, and vocalist for Autograph and since it has been awhile, I thought I would check in with him. This past year has brought the band a new album, a spot on Billboard's classic rock chart, a few new videos and of course, an impressive (and ever-growing) list of tour dates. As if all of those things aren't keeping him busy enough, Lynch is also managing some of Autograph's business details. Still, he took a few minutes to connect with me and Autograph fans will be thrilled to learn that there are plenty of great things in the works!
Keep reading...

Exclusive Interview: Great White's Terry Ilous at M3 Rockfest

My first introduction to Terry Ilous was way back in 1980-something when XYZ (the band he and Pat Fontaine co-founded in 1986) was in heavy rotation on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. Their eponymous debut was always with me, living at thebottom of my school bag beside the likes of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, and Ratt. Why? Because they were often underrated but always worthy of that spot right beside the other classics of that era. 

(Photo: Terry Ilous Official site)

Flash forward thirty years and Ilous is still deeply entrenched in the rock world, fronting Great White for the better part of the last decade. His voice, with its power and gentle nuances, sounds better than it ever has. If you're fortunate enough to see him perform live then you'll realize that he has to feel each and every song wash over his body before he even sings a single note. 

While the rock world is fantastic, Ilous needs to keep growing as an artist, so last year he released Gypsy Dreams, a flamenco record that puts a new spin on some classic old school songs. It's an absolutely gorgeous collection that shows off his range, in the gentlest of ways. 

Knowing all of this, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Ilous at the tenth-anniversary M3 Rockfest and what unfolded felt like a very connected conversation. Just as I feel his music on a pretty deep level, I also felt his energy before we even sat down. Read more.more

Exclusive Interview: Michael Sweet of Stryper at 10th Anniversary M3 Rock Festival

The Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD was transformed into a bit of headbanger heaven this past weekend when the tenth anniversary M3 Rock Festivalrolled in for two days of fantastic music. Stryper was one of nearly twenty bands to hit the stage and before doing so, I was fortunate enough to chat with vocalist/guitarist/co-founder Michael Sweet.

Cate Meighan: How are you doing? 

Michael Sweet: I've been busy the last six months or so. The new album is doing great, it made some noise, in mostly a positive way. Some people were up in arms about the title, God Damn Evil. It was a little unfortunate to release an album at a time when Best Buy decided not to carry the album because they're not carrying many other albums. They're basically doing away with CD sales. Aside from anything working against us, there's so much that works for us because the buzz and talk have made the album an incredible success. Read more...more

Exclusive: Interview with Warrant's Erik Turner

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing and text

Let me walk you back in time for a minute, back to 1989 when I was months from graduating high school and the only thing bigger than my hair was my collection of hair bands on cassette. I had shoeboxes full, but my favorites lived at the bottom of my denim bag with my Walkman so that I could plug in at any point in time. One of those tapes was Warrant's Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. I loved the 'Down Boys' immediately because even in that sea of glam makeup and leather, they stood out. Sure their early tracks were well produced, but there was something a bit more earthy to them. Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith were early inspirations and I could hear that even on that first album.

It has been almost 30 years since that album brought them to the forefront of rock andWarrant is still out there, doing as they've always done- touring and making new music. They were recently added to the tenth annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion in MD and I was fortunate enough to grab a few minutes of Warrant founder/guitarist Erik Turner's time. Read more...

Daily Boom Exclusive Interview: Betty Dee of Sweet Sensation

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(Photo: Sweet Sensation's Official Facebook)

So, there was this one Saturday WAY back in 1989 that I can remember like it was yesterday, because I had perfect timing (a rarity). I had arrived for a taping of Dance Party USA and the energy was crazy because one of the guests for that days' taping was Sweet Sensation. I loved them. I mean, we ALL loved them. If you were even slightly a freestyle fan than the opening to "Take It While It's Hot" probably made your heart race. Betty Dee put on one hell of a show even then. Sure she was all sparkles, leather, ripped jeans and big hair but even more so, she was a performer.

When DAilyBOOM first launched in the summer of 2015, I had a bucket list of people that I wanted to interview and Betty was on it. At the time Sweet Sensation was on hiatus but as luck would have it, they returned to the stage by summers' end. In the last few years, the ladies have crisscrossed the country, performing for freestyle fans that still know all of the lyrics to their string of hits.

Exclusive Interview: Bananarama's Keren Woodward Hopes Reunion Inspires Others to Chase Their Dreams

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(All Photos: Bananarama's Official Facebook)


Chances are, when I say Bananarama, a particular bit of music instantly runs through your mind before a visual forms.. It might be from "Cruel Summer" or the heavy synth of "Venus", but you've got something already stuck in your head, don't you?  It's the mark of a legendary artist really, when their work is so easily recalled. The ladies of Bananarama  are exactly that- legendary. Iconic. If you could jump back in time to the early 80's you would find Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey kicking down preconceived ideas of what a girl group "should" look like. They were trailblazers that helped to lead the way for other female artists, not because they were trying to, but because they were simply being true to themselves and their own unique creativity.

Their approach was probably one of the main keys to success. Sara, Keren and Siobhan have always  at root, just been three friends doing something that they believed in. That belief has translated into 4 U.S. top tens, 32 top forty UK hits, ten albums and over thirty million records sold. Did you catch that? Thirty MILLION records sold. It's no wonder that when Bananarama announced last spring that they would be reuniting for a real tour, the response was insanely positive.

Siobhan left the group in 1988 and had never actually experienced the live audience love of Bananarama's fan base, until recently. The Original Line-Up Tourcriss-crossed the UK late last year leaving the ladies vacillating between moments of healing tears and pure joy. The experience was so phenomenal that they are now bringing their tour stateside to the U.S. and Canada beginning in late February. Those quirky young girls have aged gracefully but don't let their obvious class completely fool you, there's still a bit of mischief and a whole lot of fun going on behind the scenes.

I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes of Keren's time earlier today and she was quite happy to reflect on Bananarama's past while being incredibly grateful for their current success. Read More

Exclusive Interview: Pretty Poison's Jade Starling Celebrates a Year of Deep Healing While Readying New Music for 2018

(All photos via Jade Starling's Official Facebook)

Some songs just stay with you. No matter how many years have passed since the first time that you remember hearing it on the radio, four seconds in and you recognize it as YOUR jam. Sure, it might be one of a handful of songs that you classify that way, but it's still YOUR jam. Pretty Poison's "Catch Me I'm Falling" has always registered as one of mine. It was just the right song at the right time for me, one that to this day leaves me dancing. It has worked that same kind of magic on a lot of people. I say that because, in between heating up dance floors worldwide, "Catch Me" has also found its' way onto the soundtrack of at least a dozen movies, as well as television shows like Breaking Bad.

I recently had an opportunity to catch up with Jade Starling, who has had a roller coaster ride of a year. She has helped to love and rally her bandmate through cancer, hit the stage on numerous occasions and has found an enormous amount of personal healing in the #metoo movement. Every step of the way Jade has remained grateful, gracious and infectiously positive. Keep reading and you'll find her just as endearing as I did. Read more.

Jeanette Jurado of Exposé  Grateful to Share the Stage with Her 'Sisters' Thirty Years After 'Exposure'

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(Photo: Robert Valesco)

There are very few albums in my life that I've liked from start to finish Exposure, the debut effort from legendary girl group Exposé is still near the very top of my short list of favorites. 1987 was a year of firsts for me- first job slinging fish in a fast food restaurant. First summer of freedom thanks to turning sixteen and having a bestie with a car. First taste of heartbreak courtesy of a boy that I didn't honestly even like.Exposé was there with me every step of the way. Whether they were blaring from a boombox while my friends and I laid in the sun covered in baby oil or were whispering through my Walkman headphones about seasons changing while tears rolled down my cheeks at 2am, they were there. And I was grateful.

Perhaps the best thing about the 80's being so hot right now is hearing my kids walk around the house singing the exact same songs that I was singing at their age. Why? Because the music is fun and it holds up and that's precisely the reason why you can catch acts like Exposé (Jeanette Jurado, Gioia Bruno and Ann Curless) still lighting up the stage. Over the last few years I've had a few opportunities to catch the ladies live and to connect with both Gioia and Ann, both of whom I adore.

Jeanette has been a bit more elusive. I'd liken it to catching a unicorn, you just know that if somehow you can make it happen it'll be totally worth the time and effort. This week I was finally able to chat with her one-on-one and was not disappointed. She is deeply devoted to her family, including her Exposé sisters, and has a sense of humor and sarcastic streak that I really appreciate. Most of all, Jeanette was totally present in this interview and really dug deeper than even I expected. Check it out below. Click the links and if you have an opportunity, go and see Exposé live. I promise you'll love every minute! Keep reading...

Autograph-  Still 'Turning Up' Fans with Old Classics and Brand New Music

I recently spent a jam-packed weekend at the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, MD. rocking out to a lineup that easily took me back to 1980-something over and over again. It really was heaven for this only occasionally reformed  head banger and if my sixteen-year-old self only had half a clue of where she would eventually find herself many moons later... yeah, not in a million years. Along the way I had an opportunity to interview Autograph, thirty-some odd years after winning their first album by being the tenth caller on a radio request line. The lyrics and melodies from  Sign In Please will forever be imprinted in my brain but absolutely nothing prepared me for the four guys that came through the door.

Steve Lynch, Randy Rand, Simon Daniels and Marc Wieland had left the stage just minutes earlier and within a minute or two of meeting became one of my highlights of this whole festival. They are talented, tight, connected enough to finish each others' sentences and they are really hilarious. Positive energy, gratitude and a connection to the fans is what keeps Autograph playing nearly thirty-five years after first finding (turn up the) radio success. Check out my chat with the band below! Keep reading...

Jody Watley Finds Joy in 'Shalamar Reloaded' and Peace in Addressing Her Nay Sayers 

(Jody Watley Video Still 2016)

(ICYMI- Jody Watley is just about as iconic as they come and she's also loaded with peace, love and positivity. She'll be the first to tell you that "it's in the music" and so you need to check out this recent interview about her brand new project- SRL- Shalamar Reloaded.)

When I say the name Jody Watley a number of things may rush to the forefront of your mind. Grammy winner. Fashion icon. Soul Train and Shalamar. Eighties dance diva and of course, those hoop earrings. Even now, if you happen to catch her onstage during an energetic Freestyle Explosion set she's all sass and class. Seeing Watley perform live this past summer left me feeling like I had been handed a gift, that it was a real privilege to see her do her thing onstage. Offstage Watley exudes a peaceful, Zen-like energy that you feel even before you see that she has entered the room. It was an honor to be able to grab a few minutes of her time this past week to discuss her excitement over Shalamar Reloaded, her love for her kids and the need for people to lift each other up rather than bullying from behind a computer screen. Keep reading...

Tiffany Returns with Phenomenal Vocals on 'A Million Miles'

If you came of age in the '80s and I say "Tiffany" a visual instantly comes to mind doesn't it? You're seeing the red hair, the jean jacket and the lyrics to "I Think We're Alone Now" are probably about to be stuck in your head (you're welcome) for the rest of the day. That stunning teenager has evolved into a phenomenal female vocalist and fortunately for all of us, she has just released a brand new album. Tiffany has taken some deeply personal issues and used them to pour her heart and soul into each and every track on A Million Miles. The end result is an album that we can all connect with via one song or another (mine is "Fall Again") and there is always extra emotional comfort in numbers, right?

I recently had a chance to chat with Tiffany about A Million Miles and what it's like to still be performing after all of these years. Keep reading...

80's Musical Icons Nu Shooz Return with 'BagTown'

(Photo: Mike Hipple)

Some songs just have a way of dragging you back, way back to that moment when you heard them for the very first time. Those same songs are often some of the most recognizable ones in pop culture's musical history. "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz likely falls into this category for many of you out there, as it does for me as well. Atlantic Records actually first released the song thirty years ago this month and my memory of it is still pretty crystal clear. Back in 1986 you were at the mercy of radio and DJ's to play new music and so I had caught the tail end of it a few times but my 15-year-old self was dying to hear the whole song. I ended up driving somewhere with my dad and when the opening notes of "I Can't Wait"started, HE cranked up the volume. Keep Reading...

Exclusive Interview: Ann Curless of 'Expose`'

So many great girl groups have come and gone over the years, but long before Fifth Harmony, Destiny's Child and even En Vogue took their turn as Billboard's hottest acts, there was Exposé. While Gioia Bruno, Ann Curless and Jeanette Jurado may have been first put together by a producer way back in 1985, they cemented their place in the record books pretty quickly. Their debut album Exposure first dropped in 1987, and they became the very first group in history to have four top ten singles from a debut effort, beating out legendary acts like The Supremes and even The Beatles. Exposé also became the first girl group in history to have seven back-to-back top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100Keep Reading...

Boom Exclusive Interview: Sabrina Nieves of 'The Cover Girls'

After catching a recent freestyle show in Westchester County, NY where The Cover Girls performed, I had the privilege of chatting with Nieves for a few minutes and I quickly realized that while my teenage self loved the originals, my grown up self is far more in tune with the class act that blew me away onstage a bit earlier. While Nieves readily admits that there is often "noise" that surrounds them, she is completely humbled by the love that they do receive. The connection that these women actually share is pretty intense too. Keep Reading...

Boom's 'Ladies of The 80's' Exclusive- 5 Minutes With Debbie Deb
Last weekend I had the cool opportunity to attend a Freestyle show in White Plains, NY. Many jokes were made about the "real housewives of Westchester county" coming out in full force to attend this event and who could blame them? The roster was jammed with 12 back-to-back acts, including Debbie Deb, who needs absolutely no introduction to true freestyle fans. Here's the thing, if you haven't a clue what freestyle music is, you're still very likely to know Deb's music. Her songs "Lookout Weekend" and "When I Hear Music" are still played in clubs across the country and they've been revisited and covered by the likes of Gwen Stefani. I was able to grab the bubbly performer's attention for a few minutes and she was thrilled to have a chance to connect with her fans via a quick Q&A session. Read More...

Boom's Ladies of the 80's Exclusive Interview- Catching Up With Lil Suzy

Fans of freestyle music really don't need much of an introduction when it comes to Suzanne Casale Melone, who is better known in these circles as Lil Suzy. Music has been in her blood since birth and by age five, Suzy was already discovered, thanks to her dead-on covers of Madonnaand Tina Turner classics, and opening for the likes of The Village People. Suzy had her first record contract with Fever Records by the age of eight and was peddling her first song, "Randy" like a pro.

"Take Me In Your Arms". Suzy's most popular single was released from her very first studio album, Love Can't Wait, more than 20 years ago and it remains a freestyle classic. 

Aris Ziagos Helps Us to Find Our Musical 'Pulse' on Upcoming Album

"A love of poetry as a teen eventually helped when it came time for Aris to really get in touch with who he wanted to be musically. While nearly every track that he has released up to this point has an underlying dance beat,Aris is quick to not only see the color and texture of different musical styles, but also integrate them into his own tracks. He doesn't see the boundaries between different musical genres. Everything in life alternates between light and dark and if you listen closely you'll also pick up on this in Aris' songs."

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