Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the 80s and 90s, the band’s mesmerising soundscapes and compelling lyrics seduced audiences hungry for originality. It was a sound rooted deeply within the wild landscape of the Pacific North West – an atmosphere which still resonates strongly for Cornell. “The band is dripping with it”, he says. “that indescribable longing. It’s not about the society, it’s not about the people, it’s not about the city. It’s some other thing.”
That elusive ‘other thing’ pervades Soundgarden’s brand new album ‘King Animal’, recorded close to their roots in Seattle and due for release November 13. Over a year in the making, it promises to continue the musical evolution we anticipate from one of the world’s most groundbreaking bands. One song, the yearning ‘Taree’, is a hymn to the wilderness – “my love song to the natural side of the north west where I grew up,” as Cornell explains. “It was easy to feel like we were growing up in this strange, mystical place.” By contrast, riotous album opener ‘Been Away Too Long’ is a doubled-edged blast of homecoming celebration and urban angst.
Soundgarden had been away since 1997, when its four members amicably agreed to put the band to rest while they pursued other projects. But by 2009 they’d decided to work together again. Rehearsals for a world tour swiftly turned into songwriting sessions. “It isn’t really a matter of reinventing ourselves for a new chapter,” says Cornell. “There’s quite a bit of natural progression in just living life for 15 years….our lives progressed as they would have done if we’d still been together. We were just catching up.”
The band’s unique alchemy reasserted itself and ideas flowed freely, with some songs still under construction while others were already being mixed. “There’s a certain amount of trust…that things are going to work out, and that songs are going to appear out of nowhere. The first day we started, everybody just would play a part or an idea or a song arrangement that they had, and it started going from there,” recalls Cornell. “We had a studio engineer recording all our rehearsals and a few songs actually came out of that. The song ‘Rowing’ – Ben [Shepherd] played this incredible bass ad-lib part and because it was recorded, I went home and looped it and wrote a whole song to it. I’ve learned over the years that following Ben — or Matt, or Kim – down these moments of creative brilliance is always a good idea.”
‘King Animal’ can be explosive, as in ‘Blood On The Valley Floor’ (“the quintessential, perfect, heavy Soundgarden song”), nightmarish (‘Worse Dreams’) or wistful (‘Halfway There’), leading us through changing sonic landscapes that can embrace both the jazz inflections of ‘Black Saturday’ and the driving simplicity of feral rocker ‘Attrition’. The subject matter is broad – Kim Thayil’s lyrics for ‘Non-State Actor’ are an incisive and cynical take on the powers behind political thrones, while Cornell’s bruised and introspective ‘Bones of Birds’ explores the terrors and vulnerabilities of parenthood. “Having children forces you to look past your own mortality,” says Cornell. “How loss is going to affect them, even long after I’m gone.”
Soundgarden remain a truly ‘alternative’ band in an age when the word has been devalued to just another genre label. Though firmly rooted in their shared sense of place, they continue to be instinctive pathfinders. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to find a compass and redirect ourselves to the north,” says Cornell. That’s never happened to us, and it certainly didn’t happen to us this time.”
Volbeat. One word. One band. One inimitable sound. One matchless approach tomusic.
Yet the possibilities are endless.
And why shouldn’t they be? When you have a band that is more than willing to break musical boundaries and the world’s preconceived notions about musical styles you have a rarity-one that is anchored by a heady mix of rockabilly, early rock and roll and metal held together by a handful of pomade and nine gauge super slinky strings. .. A Danish wonder that has the metal world standing up, taking out their ear plugs and removing their blinders.
What you hear and what you see leaves you with a musical tattoo – indelible, signiﬁcant and most importantly, long lasting.
Formed in Copenhagen in 2001,and comprised of vocalist and guitarist Michael Poulsen, guitarist Thomas Bredahl, bassist Anders Kjølholm and drummer Jon Larsen, Volbeat has released four studio albums and one live DVD all chart toppers and/or certiﬁed gold in Europe, with their seminal release “Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil” certiﬁed Platinum.
Steadily increasing their fan base with their unique blend and style of music and uncompromising stage shows, Volbeat continues to marry Heavy Metal and Rockabilly, smear it with a kiss of crunchy guitars and drive away in a vintage Cadillac stuffed with Marshall plexis and ﬁlled with leaded gas.
Their arrival on the Metal scene brought about a colossal explosion in Europe heralded by “Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil”. Entering the Danish music charts at number one this bottle rocket landed Volbeat on nearly every musical radar screen. Proving that they were no ﬂash in the pan aberration – the album stayed in the top 5 ranking for ﬁve months. Propelled by this reception, Volbeat went out on their second European tour pushing even further into the pages of Metal’s history.
However, Volbeat’s sound is more than just an amalgam, or even a fusion, it is the sonic antithesis to current trends in Metal and Rock. It’s a musical rebellious hot rod chugging out heavy guitars, pounding bass and a relentless drum backbeat that grabs you in the gut and with a wink, says, “now listen to this!”
How did it all start? Well legend has it that it is what could have happened if Elvis’s third cousin had gotten out of juvenile detention, started hanging out with Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent and the ﬁrst thing they got their hands on was a Slayer album. He would be singing metal a la Volbeat and vis a vis Michael Poulsen.
And if you ask Michael about his roots you may just begin to believe the legend.
“I think it all has something to do with the fact that since I was a child I was really interested in old rock and roll music. My parents were playing Elvis, Johnny Cash and Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, all the music from the 50′s – they were playing it all of the time, and generally my family were all interested in music but no one was writing or playing – they were just listeners. I remember listening to some of the old records that belonged to my sister’s boyfriend. He had old vinyl from Black Sabbath, Dio and bands like that and early Metallica – I got really hooked into the metal scene. In school, I gathered some friends and tried to form a metal band but it seemed like I was the only guy that was 100% dedicated and serious. So I had to seek out something different.”
That ﬁrst break with average was the formation of the death metal band Dominus in 1991. For almost a decade the band earned a solid respect and a dedicated following releasing one single, two demos and four albums, each differing in style – foreshadowing things to come.
Doors: 6:00 p.m.
(Please plan to arrive early to avoid lines)
Event: Saturday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $25, $40.50
(Facility Fee included in price. Additional fees may apply.)
Camera Policy: Small point and shoot cameras only. No 35MM or detachable lens cameras. No audio or video recording devices.
(Subject to change)
In a pairing of hit-making rock acts, Three Days Grace and Shinedown are teaming up for a co-headlining U.S. arena tour kicking off in February 2013. Adding more firepower to the bill will be opening act P.O.D.
Three Days Grace, who recently released the album ‘Transit of Venus,’ issued this band statement regarding the tour: “We can’t wait to get back out on the road to play live for our fans; that’s the best part of doing what we do.” The band’s current single ‘Chalk Outline’ spent several weeks at No. 1 on the active rock chart.
Meanwhile, Shinedown will be out in support of their latest album, ‘Amaryllis,’ and singer Brent Smith says of the trek: “Shinedown prides itself on always taking our live shows to the next level and giving our fans everything they want – honest, emotional, and incendiary performances. This tour is no exception. In fact, we’re raising the bar.”
This past summer, P.O.D. released ‘Murdered Love,’ which has yielded the No. 1 rock hit ‘Lost in Forever.’
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its Eggs and Issues Legislative Coffee on Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30 am at the Historic Union Pacific Depot featuring our local state legislators. All sessions will be open to the general public and media. Free coffee will be served.
Interested in finding out more about Strasser Village located at the corner of 4th and Leavenworth? The Seniors’ Center, 301 N 4th Street is hosting a tour on Friday, February 22nd at 1:00 pm. Find out about these new one and two bedroom apartments with amenities. Please sign up for the tour, 537-4040. Tour space is limited. If the tour fills up, they will schedule a future tour.
The First United Methodist Church, 6th & Poyntz, will have a Chili/Vegetable Soup supper on Wednesday, February 20th, from 5:15 – 7:15 pm. Adults – $7.00 – Children Under 10 soup or hot dog $2.00.
Geary County Blood Drive will be Tuesday, February 19th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at Warrior Transition Battalion Clam Shell Building, Warrior Road in Fort Riley. Simply call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.
The Manhattan Area Garden Show at Pottorf Hall in Cico Park is Saturday, February 16th from 9:00 to 5:00 and Sunday, February 17th from Noon to 4:00. Join one of the many seminars on topics such as: Growing Kansas Fruit, Beautiful Roses You Could Grow, Spectacular Shrubs, and much more. Gardening experts will be on site with helpful material, free rain gauges, door prizes, and more.