Tag Archives: Bumblefoot

Look Hughes Living the Dream Stateside

A few weeks back Newcastle’s now famous session drummer, Kyle Hughes, headed Stateside for the second time this year.

At the turn of the year, along with Micky McCrystal (Tygers of Pan Tan Tang) Hughes attended the NAMM Show in California as the pair began to live the dream.

In Kyle, his began a few before when, as drummer for Twister, they supported Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal at the O2 Academy, Newcastle in 2015 then again at Trillians the following year.

From that day forth he has continued to push himself more than most teens of his tender age would dare dream.

November last year, and with Ron on a UK mini-tour, Kyle would join up with the Art of Anarchy star, along with some old friends – McCrystal, Ed Bell, and Coyote, to push out a couple of cheeky dates.

Kyle would continue working apace with Aurora Dawn and the Screamin’ Skulls which would see him perform at this years Glastonbury. A moment to cherish for the youngster who said: “Playing at Glastonbury is a pretty amazing thing.

“I’m honoured to have played at such an iconic festival at such a young age, and it’s my first time there but I’m just doing what I do best and that’s making music.”

(Above, Hughes and the legendary Jeff Scott Soto)

America though is just, different, and having been to NAMM, Hughes was invited back, to both LA and, once he’d heard of the impending brother of the little drummer boy, Bumblefoot wasted no time in adding him to his NYC/NJ gigs.

The legendary guitarist said of Hughes’ visiting: “KYLE-MANIA coming to the US shores!!

“America finally gets to enjoy what the UK has already witnessed

“I’ll be doing my Bumblefoot shows around NYC in August – wouldn’t want to do them with anyone else on drums.

“Kyle Hughes is a name the music world will be hearing more and more.

(Above – Hughes left, Bumblefoot centre, McCrystal right; Below – Hughes left, Bumblefoot centre, Peter Mann right both in November 2016)

“We met in Newcastle in 2015, his band took on the task of being my band as well, they were a great bunch and put on a great show, and nailed the music!

“Kyle and I have stayed in touch, and I’ve been happy to see continuing  opportunities coming his way, gear endorsements and gigs and recordings…  really, the guy can play anything, and groove with the best of ’em…!  And always with a smile…!

“We played an acoustic show earlier last year, and in November when we did a run of UK shows; and I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

“I just hope he’ll still have time for me when he’s on the cover of every drum mag and every band is knockin’ down his door.”

(Above, Hughes left at Epitaph Records)

Not much can contain the excitement of Hughes, who can already count on endorsements from Regal Tip and Natal moving forward and, with his name very much in the public eye, Bumblefoot’s awareness is with well-tuned nous for the industry.

“I was going out there (to America) anyway,” explained Kyle.

“It’s my first time not only being there but also to be able to perform and experience different types of audiences, as Bumblefoot’s drummer, In New York and New Jersey, is insane.

“Although there are potentially more shows to announce we’ll be doing these shows to promote Ron’s solo music.

“It’s certainly some five week trip!”

Anybody in the New York or New Jersey areas can see Bumblefoot, Kyle and company perform at Iridium (New York) on August 23, and at Mexicali Live (New Jersey) on August 25.

Any media requests for Kyle Hughes should be directed to his PR Management via petermann78@hotmail.com

Glastonbury-bound for Tyneside drummer

Local session drummer, Kyle Hughes, 19, is Glastonbury-bound this summer when he joins up with Aurora Dawn & The Screamin’ Skulls.

The young drummer, who late last year performed on a mini-tour with former Guns n’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal and Tygers of Pan Tang hot shot, Micky McCrystal, is readying himself for what could be a massive few months ahead.

With two dates on The Spike Stage (22 and 24 June) Kyle, who has been with the Skulls for nearly two years, will warm-up for the big one with a gig at London’s Off The Cuff (OTC) Bar on Herne Hill just for good measure (support from Carpet Face and Rachel Darcy).

In an exclusive, and rare interview, Kyle, who has also recently been endorsed by Natal, said: “This really is all pretty amazing right now and I’m honoured to be playing at Glastonbury, more so at my age.

“It’s rather surreal so I’m just looking forward to it more than anything as I’m going to be playing at what is such a prestigious event.; I think I’ll just go and do what I do best and that’s make some noise.”

Kyle first across Ms. Dawn back in early-2015 when his previous band, Twister, were supporting Bumblefoot at Newcastle’s O2 Academy, Aurora being there as a special guest performer of the Art of Anarchy star. The drummer however, well it was the beginning of a rollercoaster ride that, right now, has no end in sight.

“When I first met Aurora I was sat in the hotel lobby in Newcastle waiting for Ron,” explained Kyle.

“Aurora approached me and asked if I’d be interested in working together on a few projects and the next thing you know I’m rehearsing with the Skulls. You could well say that that gig with Ron was my audition.

“Now it’s Glastonbury here we come, first stop the OTC, and I’m buzzing as it’s my first experience of it, in any capacity.

“As for Aurora, she’s amazing, a real talent in her own right and it’s great seeing the support she gets; for me she’s pretty much the real deal and that’s why people turn up and pay to see her.”

Kyle Hughes will be performing with Aurora Dawn & The Screamin’ Skulls at the OTC Bar in London on June 20, then they will rock up to Glastonbury for two dates, June 22 and 24, on The Spike Stage.

Let’s Rock n Roll In 2017

Sponsored by EGH Radio Rocks, the home of unsigned rock music, 24/7 and the home of Anne’s Rock Show, Monday’s from 9pm
North East music, and particularly its rock scene, is positively thriving as we head into 2017 with a number of acts looking at making some incredible noise.
With Twister claiming the Best EP/Album for Designed State of Mind, and Best Band awards at the recent Ubeat Music Awards; Craig Roddam and his band blasting their way through Christmas Live at the Arena; and Black Nevada providing immense support for Dani Filth and Devilment at Think Tank, you’d think the close to 2016 would be hard to top.
Actually, it’s already being set up to do just that as Twister have recently announced that they’ll be headlining the O2 Academy in mid-May for a Refined/Combined State of Mind double release, an opportunity arriving off the back of a hugely successful Academy Two slot were they were more than ably supported by Roddam, Catalyse and Singapore Safehouse.
Black Nevada followed up the release of their excellent EP, Fragments, with that Think Tank performance and go into the New Year talking of a possible new music video release and an early year tour taking in Leeds, Nottingham and parts of bonny Scotland, and that’s before summer festival festivities.
Craig Roddam on the other hand has certainly taken his opportunities the past year, following up supporting Twister to playing in front of thirty thousand plus at the Metro Radio Fireworks in Saltwell Park, to Christmas Live, in a matter of months. His new single, to be released early next year, places emphasis on Where do we go from Here.
“I already have a few things I want to get done next year and I’ll be in the studio soon enough,” said Roddam.
“I’ll look at releasing a single first so I can build some momentum, some hype, towards either an EP or album. There’s also the possibility of a tour along with some big support spots at places like the Academy.
“The band also deserves credit and I can’t believe how good they sound when playing my music, they deserve the big stages.”
Big stages are places the like of Micky McCrystal and Kyle Hughes are getting used to, for differing but similar reasons. The pair, along with Edward Bell, are still coming to terms with a recent mini tour they embarked upon with former Guns n’ Roses guitarist, Bumblefoot.
Beginning at Trillians in Newcastle they also took in the Diamond Live Lounge in Doncaster and a date in Featherstone, leading to the duo being offered an opportunity, amongst others, for a trip to LA next month, ahead of Hughes announcing something pretty special himself.
McCrystal meanwhile been guitarist with local rock gods, Tygers of Pan Tang, since Belgium in June 2013. The band releasing Only the Brave earlier this year before a home, Cluny launch, of their mass-acclaimed, self-titled album, in late October where they were, in turn, supported by…..Twister.
Releasing the album through Mighty Music in Denmark McCrystal said; “I had in my mind tas to what the fans wanted to hear and that’s how we approached it.
“Now we’re gearing up to record another video next month which won’t necessarily be old school Tygers, but more a fun song with a hint of classic Tygers all the same. The record label is keen on releasing more if all goes to plan which will be a combination of that old school, recognisable but new.
“That and, with my filling the boots of John Sykes there’s been a level of expectation for me, I’ve had to put my own stamp onto the position whilst still being respectful.”
An exciting addition to the scene the past few years has been Teesside’s Lisa Kilcar, who parted ways with a rock covers band to produce an array of her own, rock originality. The trodden path of many a rocker, before and after, came as a surprise to friends and loved ones alike.
Pushing boundaries of the blues, rock and ballads, Lisa has already penned material enough to release an album in the New Year alongside her new band.
She added: “Things will happen quite quickly as most of the album is done.
“After leaving the covers band I picked up a guitar and wrote a whole new batch of songs. I’ve always wanted to sing as well and, although people were surprised I took this path it’s always been one I wanted to take.
“I’m hoping to release a varied range of material next year across several genres whilst doing some solo work at the same time.”
With The Firelight Opera, Death to Indie and Serinette also making loud noises there’s a trio of acts to watch in Tyneside all-girl rockers, Scream of Sirens, Sunderland’s indie stars, Social Room, and Durham’s unknown entity, Off Peak.
Firelight Opera are making a transition from covers to original whilst penning an album, something they’ve already begun with Lee Hardy stating: “We’ve been down Liverpool already and began putting material down on a new album and is something we’ll go back to in February.
“There’ll be an official video and single release in March with an album launch come the summer.”
Mark Rayner and Death to Indie are in a similar position album-wise with their heading to the studio late spring.
“We’ve had a great response this year, support-wise, so we’re keeping the early part of the year free in order to refresh social (media) and website presence,” added Mark.
“Then we’ll build towards an album later in the year with a live video performance as a teaser, maybe two to build momentum.”
Social Room successfully released their latest single, Be Forever Mine, at Independent in Sunderland and the new year will be a massive one for the six-piece fronted by vocalist, Matty Smith alongside Adam Jefferson, Adam Potts, Simon Bewick, Chris Leonard and Alex Gunn ; Scream of Sirens followed up an EP with the launch of Get Some which landed them a slot with Wipe Out Publishing.
Off Peak meanwhile are brothers Jamie and Robbie Pick with friends Kier Hutchinson and Jackson Raw from Esh Winning who have been providing indie music for the past three years now.
The past twelve months or so have seen them come into their own following up the release of debut single, Stay the Same, with an Academy launch, in 2015, before an EP and mini tour last year.
“We’ll be releasing a second EP in January with a launch gig at Durham University,” said Jamie.
“Afterwards we’d like to release an album but an EP would be great as we’re enjoying it which is why we do it, doing it all off our own back.”
All of this, and more, will be played out on international radio station, EGH Radio Rocks, with Anne and Stephen Lambert, on Monday nights from 9pm; they themselves are looking at a big year ahead and can followed on Twitter through @EGHRocks whilst the online radio show can be reached via http://mixlr.com/egh-radio/.

FEATURE: Someone’s Gotta Lie ‘Cos This Isn’t Wonderland

Sponsored by EGH Radio Rocks the home of unsigned rock music, 24/7 and the home of Anne’s Rock Show, Monday’s from 9pm

From a little County Durham former pit village of Shotton Colliery stems a musical murmuring that is causing a rather large Twister across the airwaves and beyond as Stevie Stoker and his rock cohorts continue to tear up the music scene.

Having recently celebrated his 25th birthday, band founder and lead singer, Stevie Stoker has suddenly found himself looking back on over a dozen years of musical madness for the band in which he started when at school in early 2004 has this year shared the same stage as Electric Six, Status Quo, and Bumblefoot (Ron Thal of Guns ‘n’ Roses fame).

All that has gone between then and now has never wavered Stevie’s spirits and, as an only child, has had the full backing of his parents, Steve and Shirley Stoker, as well as partner Rebecca Rawlinson. It’s the kind of support network you could only dream about but for the Stoker’s, life on the road is their son’s life, and they encourage it with open arms.

Since that original formation back at school, Stevie included, there has been some eighteen members go through the doors, but the music has remained very much the same, and that is what keeps their loyal band of followers pretty much onside, so much so that they’ll travel any and everywhere around the country to support the lads, irrespective of incarnation.

“You have to think though, we had a steady line-up for five of those years but, if you want to be in a band, be in this band, then you have to stay grounded for nobody gives you a leg up, you have to work yourselves in order to get somewhere and that’s what we’ve all done,” began Stevie.

“When we first began, back in 2004, we were already doing bits of our own material and then, when Someone’s Gotta Lie was released we knew that doing that (originals) was the way forward, knew what the tracks we did, and would do, sounded like, and things would be made going forward.

“Now, when I listen back to the first album, I love it. Some of those tracks actually rock. It was all different though when we first began, we were just 13-years-old and although we set little goals, nobody wanted to be the lead singer, so I did it myself.”

From then until now Stevie hasn’t looked back with anger or regret. Far from. He is very much aware that everything happens for a reason whether it’s playing outside of school as a child entering his teenage years, those early gigs at the band’s long-term home at ‘The Fleming’ in Shotton, right through to being a full-time, gigging band who are pretty much always on the road, whether it be here in their native north-east or further afield.

“That first, proper gig we did, was at a place called Breathless at Blackhall and we but mere kids then,” continued Stevie.

“It was an amazing gig though and still one of the biggest buzzes I’ve ever had. From that moment on we all knew wanted more, much more. The Fleming, until it was knocked down, was a family haunt and where my parents met so everything was done there so it was upsetting, the end of an era, when that place went.

“Everything that we have done though has continued to build up to where we want to be and we know that we can give a lot to both the music industry, and to the people. That’s how we want to be and will always look to connect with them. We have fans who follow us everywhere, people like Jemma Henderson and Joyce Barugh, so we’ll always look to give something back.”

Over the years their many members have included that of Louis Sera, Niall Whittaker and Johnny Kell, the latter whom, other than Stevie, has had the longest individual run in the band stretching over eight years.

By the time they played alongside, and as chief support to, Bumblefoot at the O2 Academy in April this year the quartet, which included Kyle Hughes, Edward Bell and Karl Scott, where coming to the end of that particular band incarnation.

That was a special night in its own right and since then, the new quartet consisting of Matt Whitaker, Jake Grimes and Joe Major, have continued to go from strength-to-strength.  Firstly, the new awesome foursome went onto play at Lechlade within two months of melding, Quo legend Francis Rossi saying afterwards that their “songs are great,” “Pink Floyd cover was great,” and that they “were loud,” – tribute indeed.

“Although the Bumblefoot gig was the best we’ve played together as a band and served a purpose from which a lot of good came out of it,” added Stevie.

“Now it’s all been about a fresh start, a clean slate with three, hardworking people who want this as much as I do. Famous Last Words was a closure piece for me, a closure and launching a new beginning and to be able to move forward – we want people to know that we are still about, to know what we are doing, and that we care about our fans.”

With a new, short-play EP due for release in early 2016 the only other thing that Twister promise is festivals, more gigs, a double tour date of which one will be of their own making, and a New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Bowburn Community Centre.

It will pretty much be the same as they have been before, on a ‘Feeding Frenzy.’

You can follow the progress of Twister on Facebook or Twitter @wearetwister.

 

FEATURE: Global Rock Star Returns To Tyneside

Last year rock legend, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, appeared at Newcastle’s O2 Academy where he was ably supported by Twister; the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist appearing onstage wearing a Newcastle United jersey, playing ‘Local Hero.’

Twister’s then drummer, Kyle Hughes, made that much an impression that he parted ways (on good terms it needs saying) with the band, becoming a session drummer working with Aurora Dawn and the Screamin Skulls whilst keeping in touch with, and having occasional dates with destiny, with Ron – it is a friendship that sees the duo re-unite in Newcastle as part of a mini-tour.

Ron has played music since his school days and now, forty years on, he’s still touring, as a soloist and with his own band, Art of Anarchy, playing with some of the biggest names on the planet (he’s just finished a tour with the ‘Platinum Rock All-Stars,’ with Carmine Appice (drums), Rudy Sarzo (bass), Geoff Downes (keys), Gene Cornish (guitar) and vocalist Phil Naro), as well as nine years with ‘the most dangerous band in the world.’

“I started playing very young and if you go by my first original song demos and gigs at the age of seven, it’s nearly forty years,” began Ron.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’ve found that the roads to get from point A to point B have changed due to technology and business economy, but points A and B haven’t changed. It’s still about giving people something a real piece of yourself and giving people an experience that juices up their spirit.

“In those first gigs forty years ago, I’d cut up pieces of paper into home-made confetti and give out cups of it to the audience to throw in the air at the end of the show. Thirty years later and I’m standing on a stage in an arena with ‘confetti cannons’ spraying confetti it high in the air, colours raining down on a cheering audience of tens of thousands. And I think to myself, ‘Man, I’m glad I didn’t have to cut up all THAT confetti before the show.’”

The more things change, the more they stay the same, words which relate to all within an ever changing music industry, whether locally, nationally or internationally.

The same can be said of ‘that’ band, relationships Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Richard Fortus et al had en masse, Ron joining guitar greats with Guns like Tracii Guns, Robin Finck, Tommy Stinson, Buckethead, and DJ Ashba.

He joined as an experienced guitarist following recommendation by virtuoso performer Joe Satriani, officially to fill Buckethead’s previously vacated slot, making his ‘debut’ at the Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC, in May 2006.

Staying until 2014, Thal was involved with the Chinese Democracy album in 2008 and the video release of Appetite for Democracy 3D, along with numerous high profile tours, also partaking several solo projects before announcing in late 2014 that he would be leaving to focus on his solo career.

It was a solo career that had seen ‘The Adventures of Bumblefoot’ released in 1995, re-release as a 15-year anniversary issue in 2010, garner lots of reviews, and had Thal on the newcomer lists in many magazines.

He added: “That album got a good reception when first released in the mid-’90s, making ‘Best Newcomer’ lists in guitar mags, lots of positive reviews.

“The good thing about the re-release is that I had a transcription book of the album that I was able to release, 200 pages of extreme detail of every track played on every song, including music notation, tablature notation, including fingers used and picking details.

“I did all the transcribing and type-setting myself, it was 12 months of work. Early next year will be the 20th Anniversary of the follow-up album “Hermit”, which I’ve re-mixed and re-mastered this past Summer.”

It adds to what has been a rollercoaster ride that’s not only seen solo performances and a spell with Axl, but also release Art of Anarchy onto an unsuspecting, ultimately pleasing world, a band set up with John Moyer (Disturbed) with Jon and Vince Votta.

Five years on and they’re as strong as ever, and on the verge of releasing their second studio album after their self-titled album, ‘Art of Anarchy’ was released last year. The new album will be done with former Creed vocalist, Scott Stapp providing extra kick.

“Art of Anarchy was born out of a long-time friendship with Jon & Vince as I used to produce their bands in the late ’90s and we remained friends throughout.

“In 2011 they wanted to record ‘the album they always wanted to make’ ad we started doing that. Over time it grew wings and became something more, it became a real band, and despite many challenges it’s made it to the recording of its 2nd album and the beginning of live shows.

“Things have definitely fallen into place now though and you can hear the personalities of the band members in each song.

“Scott’s distinct vocals, Moyer’s grooves, the Votta’s metal sound, and I bring in some eccentricity. Put us all together and it balances into songs that wouldn’t happen the way they do with anyone else.

“We’ve all been busy with our own touring but it’s getting there, we plan to have the full-length album out in March 2017.  Our first single and video “The Madness” from the upcoming album was released October 7.”