Ya know somethin’ creeps there are few things in this world that the ol’ Ouija board kid Daniel XIII digs on more than the ol’ glam rock (well, there’s horror flicks ‘natch…and I like things like eatin’ and sleepin’…fang it, ya know what I mean…)Anyway, I’m a fan of the genre for sure, but it always amazes me when I hear of an artist that I ne’er even knew existed; like the subject of this here film I’m about to review JOBRIATH A.D.
JOBRIATH A.D. is a doc that explores the ups and downs of a musical prodigy by the name of Jobriath (go figure). This was one talented cat; painting, singing, composing…this dude could do it all, and do it well, but there was an area that he excelled at beyond even what he could do artistically, and that was reinventing himself. This proved to be slightly problematic as time wore on.
Ya see, ol Jobraith (or as he was born Bruce Campbell!!!) was never comfortable just being himself. The doc shows that this could have been for any number of reasons; everything from familial strife to being openly gay, but when he stumbled across the character of Jobriath his life changed. Set up to be the biggest thing since Bowie (whom music fans and critics oft times unfairly compare him too…believe me these dudes are apples and oranges albeit they work in a set musical genre) by a Svengali figure named Jerry Brandt whose hype of Jobriath attains such preposterous levels that no one, no matter how talented, could ever hope to live up to. And alas, Jobriath couldn’t. After his fall from the public good graces, Jobriath re-invents and renames himself time after time, but none of these attempts truly stick.
I’m not going to give away the whole story here, because I want you to experience the man’s story for yourself, as well as discovering his incredible music (made easier by the fact that the film comes packaged with an album of Jobriath’s tunes created for a lost musical entitled POPSTAR). I can’t recommend this film highly enough, especially to those that dig glam, tales of the rock n’ roll life, or those that appreciate true artistry created by a master of his craft.
Hey there fiends! Remember a few weeks prior when I turned you on to the latest and greatest glam rock superstars to explode upon the scene in decades; the one and only WICKED? Well, it just so happens I recently had a chance to sit down with the guys; Chad Michael (lead vocals/guitar), Danny Döll (bass guitar/vocals), Scotty V (lead guitar/vocals) and JP Clubs (drums) and discuss all manner of rockin’ n’ rollin’ ruminations!
What led you to take up the mantle of glam rock icons?
Danny Döll: It was kind of one of those things that we were always drawn to. I’m the oldest, so I have always been into that kind of rock n’ roll with showmanship and it kind of wore out on the other guys…and we like sticking out!
So who comprises the calamitous crowds at your amazing live shows?
DD: It’s funny; we all have our own kind of character thing going on, so it’s like we all draw different people…we always have young kids there that are really into it, which is always awesome to see the new generation going, and there’ll be older people who actually lived it; it’s great seeing that kind of range…it’s awesome! It’s funny, there’ll be fans of JP who wouldn’t necessarily be fans of us, and they just love his persona…or vice verse…it’s pretty crazy!
You guys have played some ginormous gigs like Rocklahoma. How has that treated ya?
DD: We’ve done it 2 years, and it just keeps getting bigger! The first year we were down there Guns N’ Roses were there! We just kind of took the stage by storm, and the crowds were huge…it’s like the old days. People are screaming’ and singing along…this year it was even better! We walk around and hand out flyers, but this year people were coming up to us in droves saying “Holy s***, Wicked’s here!” and that was really cool to experience!
Are ya headin’ back next year?
DD: Actually we are probably going to take a twist and change the course. We are thinking of maybe going to the West Coast. We have our new album coming out, and as soon as it hits, we’re going to start booking that; we’re supporting that on our own, so that’ll be awesome!
Have you guys played the West Coast before?
DD: We’ve played from the East Coast to the Mid-West so far, so it’s going to be our first time out there!
Do you dig the larger venues?
DD: Yeah, we’re an arena rock band, I mean we’ll come in and blow through a set anywhere, but we’re really faceted around that big theatrical show like you used to see in the 70’s…you know like Alice Cooper, KISS, you name it! We’ve got the big stage set-up; all the amps, fog machines, lights, drum riser and everything, so it’s a big event; it’s a huge show!
Since this is The Retroist and all, let’s get all warm and cozy with a lil’ nostalgia! What were the first concerts each of you attended?
D.D. My first concert was Van Halen with Sammy Haggar. I still want to see The Scorpions…I would love to see a band like that.
Chad Michael: Danny and I are brothers, and we would always travel to concerts when we were young. I was lucky enough to head out to Jones Beach with him and we saw Cruefest…that was my first concert. We always went to see KISS and all of the 70’s rock bands…that’s my favorite genre.
Scotty V: My first concert was Aerosmith and Motley Crue…obviously that had a little bit of an influence on me [laughs]!
JP: My first was Buckcherry!
Damn, you guys really make a ghoul feel old! But, just thinking about that makes me think back to my misspent youth…a time when like KISS were like…well, almost like super-heroes…and you guys are definitely re-capturing that aesthetic!
D.D.: Yeah, that’s the idea! We love all of that!
JP: We grew up with all of that kind of stuff! That’s what drove us to want to have a “personality” ourselves, but also to want to be a group; like a team of superheroes!
D.D.: Even if you get into a lot of the lyrics, it’s all orientated to that; things about Valhalla and cool s*** like that!
Any plans for a comic series based on WICKED?
D.D.: It’s funny you should say that; we actually do! Right now we have a couple of artists drawing up a comic about us! It’s kind of in that anime style of drawing, and we are really looking forward to that.
Speaking of comic book related things, you guys always have a presence at Scare-A-Con. Any plans on branchin’ out to other conventions?
D.D.: We’re looking to do that in the future…that’s something we really want to ramp up jumping off from Scare-A-Con. We love that kind of stuff, and we have a lot of friends that do cosplay and stuff. We’d really like to be able to put on a show at one of them too. We’ve done Scare-A-Con for a few years, and they have a few after hours party opportunities, but they haven’t gotten us in to play, and that’s the one thing people always ask when they’ve gotten to meet us there; “Man we’d love to see you put on a show”, so hopefully in the near future!
Let’s shift gears a bit and talk about the new album you have coming out!
D.D.: That’s right; LIFE ALIVE! It’s coming out on vinyl and it’s a live album; live recorded. We’ve listened to the test pressing of it, and it’s just unbelievable! We can’t wait for it to come out; it’s coming to be a really big thing for us! We can’t wait for our fans to get it in their hands!
Would you say WICKED is more geared towards being predominately a live band?
D.D.: Absolutely a live band! That’s what we gear everything we do around. Even when we recorded our original demo limited release ORIGINS [which I have had the pleasure of listening to and absolutely love the livin’ crap out of! – DXIII], it was pretty much all live in the studio. We want to show you exactly what we do live; there’s no tricks, no ten back-up singers behind the curtain doing Chad’s lead vocals…it’s all about the rock n’ roll, you know what I mean? Quite honestly, we work hard on our musicianship and we want people to see all of the hard work we put into it!
J.P.: Rock n’ Roll baby!!!rock n’ roll
For more WICKED action, be sure to visit their website and Facebook pages…and tell ’em XIII sent ya!
Hey there fiends! If any of you cats should know anything at all about ol’ XIII it’s that I absolutely love me some Glam Rock! Now, while this genre of 70’s era rambunctious rockin’ may be hard to come by these days as far as new music is concerned, there are indeed folks keepin’ the gla flag a’ wavin’; and no one does it better than the dudes in WICKED!
The fearsome foursome of WICKED; Chad Michael (lead vocals/guitar), Danny Doll (bass guitar/vocals), Scotty V (lead guitar/vocals) and JP Clubs (drums), have played shows far and wide (including legendary festival Rocklahoma for the past two years) as well as releasing a sold-out debut album entitled ORIGINS, and believe you me this is just the beginning of what these lads are going to deliver (and I ain’t kiddin’…check out their website for the details of their upcomin’ live album releasin’ on double vinyl no less)!
But I hear you cry “That’s impressive and all Danny XIII, but a band is only as good as their music. How do I know WICKED is the sonic saccharine that I crave?” To that I say “Click on some of the vids I’ve posted below and let your ear holes get all sorts of filled with the greatest glam this side of The Sweet!” Oh, and when your done gettin’ yer day thoroughly rocked and rolled, head on over to the boys Facebook and give them a like; and don’t forget to tell ’em XIII sent ya!