M3 Rock Festival, Day TWO, Ratt
Tom Keifer, Dokken, Warrant, Jack Russell's Great White, Vixen, Danger Danger, Autograph, Bang Tango, Vain, Mitch Malloy
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Maryland, 21044
Doors 10:30 AM / Show 11:00 AM
Best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Philadelphia-based Blues-Rock band Cinderella, TOM KEIFER is making his debut as a solo artist with the release of his long-awaited and highly-anticipated solo album, THE WAY LIFE GOES, April 30 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group).
The collection of 14 new songs ranges from intimate, organic, acoustic tracks to driving hard rock. It embraces the Blues, Rock and Country roots that have always been present in his unique sound that has generated the sale of over 15 million records worldwide for Cinderella. Rolling Stone praised KEIFER as "a gritty, bluesy (rocker) with enough genuine swagger to draw comparisons to Mick Jagger."
"At a time when the charts were ruled by pop-metal acts, Dokken was a major attraction throughout the 1980s. With vocalist Don Dokken's captivating stage presence and guitarist George Lynch's high-energy style, the band combined rockers such as "Kiss of Death" and power ballads such as "Alone Again" in order to create a number of best-selling albums.
Dokken's roots date back to the late '70s, when Lynch, along with drummer Mick Brown, teamed up with Don Dokken to form the Boyz. In 1981, Don moved to Germany and was signed to Carerre Records. The band, now simply known as Dokken, recorded and released Breaking the Chains, their first studio album, in 1983. While the record failed to retain a decent chart position in the United States, the group was immensely popular in Europe.
After a tour in Germany, Dokken was signed to Elektra Records, and Jeff Pilson became their first official bassist. In 1984, the band released Tooth and Nail, which featured the hit songs "Into the Fire," "Just Got Lucky," and "Alone Again." With heavy MTV and radio airplay, Dokken found themselves topping the charts worldwide, and Tooth and Nail eventually sold over one-million copies in the U.S. alone. Following a tour with the Scorpions, the group recorded Under Lock and Key in 1985, which had a similar success due to the hits "In My Dreams" and "It's Not Love." In 1987, the band released Back for the Attack, which featured a track they had written as the subtitle for the third Nightmare on Elm Street film, "Dream Warriors." The coinciding music video, which included scenes of the band interacting with the movie's characters, was their most popular ever, and Back for the Attack became Dokken's third record to reach platinum status. The album's subsequent tour resulted in a live compilation, Beast From the East, which was released shortly before the band broke up in 1988 due to Don Dokken's and Lynch's creative differences.
After the disbanding of Dokken, Don pursued a solo career with Up from the Ashes, and Lynch formed the Lynch Mob, releasing an album in 1990; both releases failed to chart. In 1992, the band reunited, but it wasn't until 1995 when they signed with Columbia Records and released Dysfunctional, which was met with harsh reviews and poor sales. Tensions once again seemed to hover around the group as they recorded the live acoustic release, One Live Night, in 1996 under the CMC label. In 1997, the band released Shadowlife, which was met with a similar response to their past two recordings. In 1998, Lynch left a second time to reunite Lynch Mob, and was replaced with Winger guitarist Reb Beach for 1999's Erase the Slate. This was followed in 2000 by another concert record, Live from the Sun, which captured the Beach lineup at Anaheim's Sun Theater. Beach left the group and was replaced by John Norum, and the group recorded Long Way Home for release in the spring of 2002. In 2003, ex-Warlock guitarist Jonathan Levin and ex-Ted Nugent and Yngwie Malmsteen bassist Barry Sparks joined the group, resulting in the release of Hell to Pay the following year. The band returned to the studio in 2008 for Lightning Strikes Again." - Barry Weber, AllMusicGuide
Warrant got its fill of cherry pie in the 80s and 90s, but apparently that was not enough to squelch the band's hunger. Warrant will storm back to the stage in 2008, with plans for a tour and new music well into 2009 and beyond. The band, formed in 1984 by LA guitarist Erik Turner and bassist Jerry Dixon, hit the rock scene in February 1989 with the release of its debut album, "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" (Columbia Records). A blistering world tour of 262 shows helped push the 10-track record to double platinum status. The CD spawned three singles -- Down Boys (27 on the Billboard Top 100), Sometimes She Cries (20), and Heaven (2) – Heaven also sold over 750,000 singles. DRFSR live home video certified Platinum.
Topping their freshman success may have seemed like a daunting task, but the band members proved they were up to the challenge. Just 19 months after D.R.F.S.R. introduced the American rock fan to Warrant, "Cherry Pie" -- the band's second album (Columbia Records) – solidified Warrant's standing in rock history. The band toured again at home and abroad with 200+ shows pushing USA sales of Cherry Pie well into the 2 million mark. The record's title track became perhaps the band's most recognizable hit, and the album peaked at 7 on the charts.
Nearly 20 years and eight albums the later, the buzz surrounding Warrant remains. Since the success in the late 80s and early 90s, the band has seen many changes but has remained a key cog in the ever-changing rock landscape. Warrant has endured death, changes in record label and loss of band members, it appears these hardships have only fueled Warrant's drive.
Jack Russell's Great White
Jack Russell’s Great White represents the next phase of a legacy.
Rather than look backwards and merely attempt to relive the multi-platinum hard rock entity’s storied origins, Jack Russell set his sights on the future. In December 2011, Jack Russell’s Great White first bared its teeth. Since its inception, the frontman welcomed back longtime bassist and friend Tony Montana—this time as a guitar player and keyboardist—lead guitarist Robby Locher, and drummer Dicki Fliszar. Now, this group has a sharp, soaring, and slick new album on the horizon for 2014 boasting the bluesy hard rock stomp that made Russell and Montana icons in the first place.
The vision became clear for the singer once Montana returned to the fold. After experimenting with a various configurations, he reconnected with his old bassist, but in a different role.
“It’s a powerful band,” Russell proclaims. “The music comes across very dynamically. It’s what I always wanted it to be. Tony was a catalyst for moving forward. I was never as close to him as I am now. We never had the opportunity to write music together before. I also never knew he played guitar. When I first heard him, I nearly fell of my chair. He’s my copilot. He’s one of my best friends. I wish we would’ve been this close back in the day.”
“It’s natural for all of us,” adds Montana. “There’s a solid chemistry, and we’re having a lot of fun.” Rounding out the lineup with Locher and Fliszar, these four musicians hit the studio in late 2013 to cut what would eventually become their official full-length debut. It taps into the bluesy bombast and heavy energy of Russell’s celebrated material, but it’s a distinctly modern metallic monster.
“We want the new material to blow people’s ears back,” Russell goes on. “It has the elements of the best Great White music ever written, but there’s an edge. Tony brings that validity, while Robby and Dicki add a new life. It’s going to surprise people.”
Montana agrees, “It’s got the classic sound. The first element is Jack’s voice. No other band sounds like this one ever did or does now. When I was 17-years-old, I remember walking around the UCLA campus listening to the band’s first EP. I was a fan before I ever joined the band. We’re going to maintain that same integrity going forward.”
That integrity became forged over nearly thirty years. In 1984, the band broke out of the Los Angeles scene with its self-titled debut followed by seismic platinum-selling outings such as 1987’s Once Bitten... and 1989’s …Twice Shy. Moving over 8 million copies worldwide, they stood out as tried-and-true rock stalwarts into the 21st century until 2011, when Russell went on to form Jack Russell’s Great White.
Ultimately, the new music is for the millions of fans who stuck by Russell all these years. It’s everything they’ve been waiting for and more. “The band was always a standout from the era it came from,” says Montana. “It was never a hair band. Listen to the music, and that’s evident. Everything was based in blues. We want to add to that legacy with new material preserving those timeless elements.” Russell leaves off, “This is fun, first and foremost. I feel like I’m 27 again. I hope it sounds like Great White—but for 2014.”
For Danger Danger, good things seem to come in twos.
Formed in 1987 by Bruno Ravel and Steve West, and rounded out by Ted Poley, Andy Timmons and Kasey Smith, it didn't take long for the band to be noticed by Epic Records' Lennie Petze. Petze, who had earlier discovered Boston, Cyndi Lauper and Aldo Nova, to name a few, made Danger Danger the first signing to his newly minted Imagine Records. Released in 1989, the self-titled Imagine/Epic release struck gold. While touring with Kiss, Alice Cooper, Warrant and Extreme, the band smashed out two hit singles at both radio and MTV - the classic Naughty Naughty, and highly infectious Bang Bang. Good things for Danger Danger did indeed, come in twos.
1991 saw the release of Screw It! With extensive touring and overwhelming press coverage, Screw It! actualized two hits, Monkey Business and I Still Think About You. Another tour with Kiss, this time in Europe, and a second sold out headlining tour of Japan, solidified Danger Danger’s place in the rock world.
Now a hot commodity, success could be seen night after sold-out night, whether they were opening for the biggest rock acts or headlining venues on their own.
In 1993, Danger Danger recorded their 3rd disc for Sony titled Cockroach, however, due to legal wrangling, the album wouldn’t see the light of day until eight years later.
Upon completion of the album, the band parted ways with lead singer Ted Poley. Needing a replacement, friend and former Elektra recording artist, Canadian Paul Laine stepped in. The lead vocals were re-recorded with Laine and the album
was back on the release schedule. The band and Sony were both soon hit with lawsuits from the departed singer, thus causing Sony to decide it was in their best interest to
shelve the record. Eventually the band amicably parted ways with the label.
In 1995, Bruno Ravel and Steve West formed Low Dice Records, and released their first album for the label - Dawn. Conceived during this dark chapter for the band, the record was somewhat of a departure from their earlier work, reflecting
a somber and introspective tone, both musically and lyrically.
1998 saw the release of Four The Hard Way, a return to the band’s original melodic rock roots. The album was heralded as a classic in the genre, receiving rave reviews throughout the world.
The Return Of The Great Gildersleeves followed in 2000. It too, was greeted with stellar reviews from critics and fans the world over, further helping cement the band's reputation.
In 2001, the long awaited, and eagerly anticipated Cockroach was finally released. In a joint venture with Sony Music, Low Dice Records issued a 2 CD set featuring both versions of the album. Disc one features then current vocalist Paul Laine,
while disc two features original lead vocalist Ted Poley.
The response was overwhelming. The album consistently landed on top ten lists everywhere. It has been hailed as Danger Danger’s finest album to date.
In 2002, VH1 voted the group one of the “Top 40 Hairbands Of All Time,” landing at number 25, and featuring them in their hit special VH1’s “Top 40 Hairbands Of All Time.” Later that year, the band scored another coup when their song Naughty Naughty Xmas was featured in the #1 movie in America – Disney’s "The Santa Clause 2."
2003 was filled with many highlights, beginning with the release of Rare Cuts, a collection of unreleased and rare tracks. Following the success of the album, the band triumphantly returned to the UK (after a ten year absence) and Spain, wowing fans and critics alike. The end of the year also saw the release of the critically acclaimed We Wish You A Hairy Christmas, a collection of Christmas songs featuring some of the biggest “hair bands” of all time. Singling out the band,
Rolling Stone had this to say: “Danger Danger’s Naughty Naughty Xmas affirms that beneath all the hair spray, the Eighties-metal boom included a bunch of totally rocking Cheap Trick tribute bands.” More praise came as Guitar For The Practicing Musician magazine declared Danger Danger’s
self-titled debut one of the “50 Greatest Guitar Albums Of The ‘80s.”
2004, looks to be an even more exciting year with the return of original vocalist Ted Poley after an eleven-year absence. The band will return to the road this summer with an extensive tour. Sweden Rock will be one of their first shows in Scandinavia, with many dates to follow throughout Europe, Brazil, Canada and the USA.
Autograph left an everlasting imprint on rock 'n' roll. The platinum-selling Southern California hard rock juggernauts gave the world the ubiquitous hit "Turn Up the Radio", seminal albums such as Sign In Please , That's The Stuff , and Loud and Clear  as well as unforgettable sold out shows alongside everybody from Mötley Crüe and Ronnie James Dio to Van Halen and Aerosmith. Given those accolades, when they disbanded in 1989, they never left the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the globe. Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential.
In 2011, founding guitarist Steve Lynch and bassist Randy Rand decided to meet up at the NAMM show in Anaheim. They rekindled their friendship first, opening up the lines of communication and bonding more than ever before. Almost two years after that encounter, Rand contacted drummer Keni Richards on Facebook, attending the skinsman's art gallery. With the relationship rebuilt, they made a collective decision to jam again. However, there was just one missing link.
"We approached our original singer Steve Plunkett about a reunion," recalls Lynch. "Unfortunately, he didn't have the time to join the band again due to how busy his business is. He did give us his blessing to move forward though, and that was important. There are so many eighties bands out there touring and having fun with it. We were one of the few that hadn't been out there. We missed our fans. This is for them."
Fully embracing the future, the remaining members caught some videos of singer Simon Daniels of Jailhouse on YouTube. Instantly, they sensed a connection and knew that he was meant for the open spot in the center stage.
"He has big shoes to fill," smiles Rand. "Nevertheless, he was born to front Autograph. His hard-edged, bluesy voice and massive riffing sharpen our edge. He's given us a new energy, and he impressed us immediately."
"We all had a euphoric feeling after the first rehearsal," Lynch adds. "These songs hadn't been played in 25 years, and it was indescribable. It was great to be making music with my friends again."
With the lineup solidified, Autorgraph stand poised to shake rock 'n' roll up yet again. It's as if every element has been enhanced from the guitars and drums to the bass and vocals.
Lynch puts it best, "We're much heavier than before. We're not using keyboards and we're tuning down for a much fatter sound. That strengthens everything. At the same time, the melodic vocals and catchy hooks are still an integral part of our sound."
Right now, they're gearing up for 2014's Monsters of Rock cruise and a host of touring worldwide. In addition, Autograph's imprint expands yet again with new music looming on the horizon. Get ready to "Turn Up the Radio" all over again.
"Although Bang Tango was often lumped in with the whole '80s glam metal movement (perhaps due to their pretty-boy looks and the fact that they hailed from Los Angeles, CA), the hard-rockin' quintet was one of the few L.A. glam groups to incorporate funk into its sound -- around the same time as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More made it acceptable to do so. Their lineup consisted of Joe Lesté (vocals), Kyle Stevens (guitar), Mark Knight (guitar), Kyle Kyle (bass), and Tigg Ketler (drums), and gained the interest of Mechanic/MCA shortly after the quintet issued the in-concert recording Live Injection in 1987. Their major-label debut, Psycho Cafe, was issued in 1989, and despite MTV's Headbanger's Ball program giving some air time to their single/video "Someone Like You," the album failed to break the band into the big time.
The group continued to issue albums during the early part of the '90s -- 1991's Dancin' on Coals, 1992's Ain't No Jive...Live!, and 1994's Love After Death -- but with the emergence of the Seattle movement, bands like Bang Tango became passé with most of the metal community. The band broke up shortly thereafter, with bassist Kyle joining former Faster Pussycat frontman Taime Downe's industrial project, the Newlydeads, while Lesté did some time as a stand-in for L.A. Guns (Ketler and Knight also resurfaced in the group the Worry Beads). In 1998, Kyle and Lesté resurrected the Bang Tango name for the 1998 release Live (on the Cleopatra label). A best-of compilation, Greatest Tricks, saw the light of day in 1999, as did United and Live the same year. In 2001, Lesté formed a more modern-sounding alt-metal outfit, Beautiful Creatures, issuing a self-titled debut the same year on Warner Bros., and toured as part of Ozzfest. Mark Knight also formed a new band, Gravy." - Greg Prato, AllMusicGuide
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