Snakes In Paradise, a Swedish band with an unhealthy Whitesnake obsession, released two rather fine albums back in the early-mid 90s. A self-titled/self released disc in 1993 set the bands bluesy AOR stall out for all to see, before a follow up ‘Garden of Eden’ [released on the now defunct MTM Music label] offered much more of the same a couple of years on, with a slightly bigger budget and increased confidence. The band were great at what they did and a good proportion of that greatness laid in the hands of vocalist Stefan Berggren, a man with a confident and natural delivery carrying more than a hint of Europe’s Joey Tempest in his style. SIP were never going to make the world think differently about big eighties rock sounds, but they gained a loyal fan base. Berggren’s talent had not gone unnoticed: after the demise of his own band, he was invited to become vocalist with Company of Snakes, a classic hard rock vehicle for ex-Whitesnake men Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden.
British rock band Slam Cartel released their debut album ‘Handful of Dreams’ in 2011. Since then, the band have gone through a few changes and played a seemingly endless stream of gigs. REAL GONE caught up with guitarist Damo Fawsett to discuss his influences, as well as the band’s past, present and future. Bringing a few insights into the world of a hard-working band – as well as Zeppelin-y tangent – a lengthy chat ensued…
Spearheaded by unknown guitarist Jeremy Brunner, X-Drive is a hard rock project that celebrates 80s melodic rock in a particularly unashamed and brazen fashion. Joining Brunner on this particular journey are ex-White Lion bassist James Lomenzo, Montrose vocalist Keith St. John and Midline drummer Fred Fischer. They say you can’t always judge a book by the cover, but this band’s general style should be obvious after one look at their dubious choice of album sleeve. It’s not as bad as Montrose’s staggeringly awful ‘Jump On It’ – a sleeve that clearly inspired the end result – but it’s pretty unnecessary.
Taking time off from touring with Journey, guitarist Neal Schon released his seventh solo album in October 2012. His first release for Frontiers Records, ‘The Calling’ showcased the more indulgent elements within his repertoire and while the heavy jazz-rock leanings may not have been in keeping with what most Journey fans were looking for, most of the results were spectacular. An album so good, in fact, he mightn’t top it if he attempted something similar so soon…and so, with ‘So U’ Schon looks far more towards song based material to ensure it isn’t just a retread of its predecessor.