The new year starts with a really special tribute!
We finally finished the song "None of your business", which was firstly
planned to become part of the KISS album "Destroyer" in 1976, but then became
already sorted out during the recording sessions. Originally sung by Peter
Criss, the new recording is surprisingly performed by a lady, Nina M. from the
famous band FRANTIC, some additional vocal parts are supported by myself, I
Nina M- Vocals
Wax Manson- Bass
Guitar solo I
Marco Wright- Guitar solo II
Erik Stout- Drums
Swisstroyers- Backing vocals
Mike Stone- Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Acoustic
Get a free download of "None of your business" on the belgian Mike
Stone fanpage www.mikestone.tk, on which you are also able to catch the
former Forgotten Song "Baby O" in complete length from now on!
During the preparation of the "Forgotten Songs Part II"
recording sessions, the project partners came to the vision of working on a big
fat rock version of the good old Vinnie Vincent classic song "Back on the
streets". It was very interesting to find four different versions in various
sounds and styles, and finally everybody agreed that there is still a higher
potential in it as it was done by all former performances. You can listen to
"Back on the streets" by following past releases
Vinnie Vincent with WARRIOR (demo recording)
Vinnie Vincent Invasion (official release)
Since some time, Mike Stone and Marco Wright are in process
to overwork arrangements and riffs to create the final killer version of "Back
on the streets". And always, when musicians spend free time to relax together
between working process, they pick up the guitar and relax by strumming some
easy stuff with smiles in their faces, sometimes with amazing results... So,
here it is, the acoustic jam version of Vinnie Vincent's "Back on the streets",
performed during some relaxed evening in june 2005, with Mike on vocals, rhythm
guitar, drums and bass, and Marco Wright on several acoustic lead guitars! Many
guys in the studio asked to get a copy of it, so now we decided to give
everybody the chance to share the fun that we all had.
Just visit the fanpage www.mikestone.tk and head on for your download in "The Music" area.
This version of "Back on the streets" is not planned to
become released as an official CD product, for this you have to wait on "The
Forgotten Songs Part II" with the "real" version.
Maybe not every KISS
fan is open enough to enjoy different music styles than the well known KISS
rock'n'roll sound, that's okay, but thanx god there is a bunch of other human
beings out there, also enjoying the great tribute work of bands like SACK TRICK
and THE HAYSEED DIXIES, so here you are, hope you have fun!
Two weeks of rehearsals and recordings are over... I just start now with recordings of additional songs for "The Forgotten Songs Part II". In view to the live shows in march 2005 I have a bunch of musicians with which I would like to go into studio to record "Back on the streets" in the final version. I made many different versions on demo tape, but the problem was that it usually went to close to the "original" from the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, or it became much to bluesey for my own taste (oh, I like the blues, but this is not what I am looking for in this story here!). Now drummer Eric Stout and me came closer to a "Crying in the rain" spirit of the 1987- album of Whitesnake to check that vibe out. For this we worked on some good riffs and raffs with guitar maniac Marco Wright and had much fun on this! Wastelands singer Marc joins us this time to find out some vocal lines which are not like the ones from the original song- version, and because of his classic- rock vocal- colour we have currently somekind of "Ronnie James Dio sings Crying in the rain of Whitesnake written by Vinnie Vincent with a touch of Thin Lizzy", hahahahahaha! So you see, I am working hard on a very interesting and amazing new structure for the song. Wait and see... and enjoy the new born baby live in march!
In view to "The Forgotten Songs Part I" tour preparation we only made some little recordings in the last weeks. Nik recorded the final vocals for the EP, which will be released on 09.10.2004 in europe, Heinz Dorgarten of the Sound Station Studio is hard working on mastering and production process, while my guitar gently weeps... which means: the "Forgotten Sons" Band (yeah, with the "g" man!!!) and me are in good process to introduce the world some really great shows during the tour.
Nik "Jim Morrisson" Bergenthal, a real vocalist
I will meet Bruce Kulick on 20'th of november in Germany during his KISS Expo in Witten, where the ROCKET RIDE band will perform, so I think there will be a live session then coming up together there. I hope to talk to him about the Forgotten Songs project again and give him a rough mix of "Tiara" which is until then 75 % ready, so he will get a picture what the musicians and me made out of the song, that he, Eric Carr and Adam Mitchell wrote many years ago.
After Eric Stout came quick into the "Baby O" drum recording, Marco Wright did already the guitar work. I always thought that Vinnie Vincent made sometimes completely crazy sounds on his guitar, but Marco did it a damn whatever like him, hahahaha! What a nonsense 80's guitar solo, I love that shit! Some parts are very heavy stuff, I am looking forward to see the result after putting bass and vocals on.
Ted Nugent is a hunter, Marco Wright seems to be a guitar camper...
Coming back to Schiedam, Netherlands, to visit Eric Stout for another recording, "Baby O" from Vinnie Vincent. If the rest of the recording will be as rock'n'roll hellish as Eric's drumming I have a good feeling to create a real piece of music monster...
The song is already published on the first "Vinnie Vincent Invasion" album in 1986, but I was completely surprised to listen to an older demo version which is much more straight and performed with another face than the official version. So I would like to come back to the "original" one, which I think has got much more strenghth and power.
Marco Wright made the guitar work on "Gypsy in her eyes" ready, yeah, I am really happy about the evolution of this song, finally it will be one of the three pre- released songs on the single- cd, so I take care to do a really amazing version out of it, of course.
It seems that the record company will do a "forgotten song" single already in mid october with three songs, before the complete album will be released in early 2005! By that I would like to record additionally another bonus song, which will be only on the single. If everything will work fine on the recordings, "Deadly weapon" will be the single song no.1 , but I don't know now which further two songs will also come to the CD.
Stanis made some biiiiiiiiiiig bass lines on tape! Wow, the puzzle pieces come closer together each day! Anyway it is still a mass of things to do. I also still hold on to the decision to involve many musicians over the continent, and this, of course, takes much time, to coordinate dates and sessions. But the result becomes much better by that than doing all songs on my very own with the usual musicians around my home town.
Ahmin, Istanbul bass man
The new "guy in town" is Ahmin, who created a very interesting intro for "Rotten to the core". You remember that I recorded the big scream of KISS fans last year for that, now he mixed some moslem prayers singings and some catholic choirs together with a bizarre bass line, so it is an exploding noise of everything! His idea was to combine different worlds, views and sounds into one piece of noise. Yeah, beside the point that there is a mix of moselm and catholic sounds, I enjoy the idea, and this is my message: my music and my artist kind of view is absolutely not religious or political, it is ROCK'N'ROLL, so I confirmed to use the intro as it is now. Because it is great. Thanx Ahmin, great job!
First of all: no, I don't tell ya the name of the string-lady ;-)
Next week I will meet Stanis from Poland again. This time it will be somewhere over Gdansk, let's see what will happen there. Good to know bass men all over the continent! Stanis is a very interesting contrast to the rock- fluid- style of Volker, that's what makes the full picture interesting in my eyes!
"Deadly weapon" will be ready this month, many guitars and a good rock- attitude in four minutes, that's what rock'n'roll is about! The song remembers me well on the KISS version of "Is That You" from the "Unmasked" album now.
Had a good and creative meeting with Marco Wright for some guitar solo recordings. Good to see people playing faster and with more "clean" technique than me, it is a nice addition to the current guitar lines of that album from all the other six- string- heroes! Should be more in the next weeks, hopefully, man!
I am looking forward to start with the next two songs very soon during june. Hardest work is currently the string arrangement of "Tiara", which takes a much longer time than I expected ever to make it really happen very well. It makes no sense to write that stuff during some beer and french fries breaks... good to learn about that again!
Because of so many great feedback messages from you all out there, the management will surely prepare gig dates through europe with a "Mike Stone & The Forgotten Sons" (not songs, folk..!) band after the CD release, it is so much fun to work with all these guys and girls, I would love to show everybody later on stage!
Mid june, there will come a trip to Istanbul, Turkey, for some bass recordings of Ahmin- whatever he prepared for me..., he introduced some absolute bizarre lines to me on tape, sounds more than interesting to add some stuff like that into "Rotten to the core".
I had no time yet to tell something about the very nice switzerland trip I made some weeks ago. Now I have a photo CD in my hands, with big thanx to the guys of THE CLUB (www.theclub-info.ch), and it should be the right moment to send some of the pics to you, the audience!
Don Powers with an interesting instrument in his hand...
Dear Don, what a pleasure to work with you on this project! Only five to eight tries, some beers in the middle and the guitar solo was over...! "None of your business" got now a little Stevie Ray Vaughan touch because of your dirty guitar talk, I like it! Some day you will surely meet Eric Stout again and combine your thing with his "Nicko Mac Brain" drumming on stage, what a package!
Lord Susej doing "sax" with Mike Stone!!!
After we heard the first recording of Lord Susej, all musicians gave me the feedback that the sax should do more. And so we did... another recording session and we have now an additional sax- support of the vocals beside the arranged solo. "Tiara" comes a step further away from the drumcomputerkeyboard- atmosphere of the original version. Looking forward to the recording session of the "Tiara" string arrangement, Mike Stone meets Mozart...
Inspired by Whitesnake's "Slide it in" album, where the band spontanously formed a background vocals companionship to sing the "Slow an' easy" chorus, we arranged the same thing for "None of your business", and it was called SWISSTROYER! May Nina forgive us to scream like hell beside her lovely voice...!
Well, I am sure to come back to the switzerland soon...
Good news from the american continent! I got a confirmation message back from former KISS guitar maniac Bruce Kulick to work on an Eric Carr song that he co- wrote with him and Adam Mitchell. This song, named "Just can't wait", is an unfinished instrumental song from Eric Carr's "Rockology" album. I made lyrics and a vocal line on it and prepare now a complete new recording session for the song in the next weeks, together with Rythmick and more friends and guests. I am excited to hear the result, hopefully it will be a hellfire of a good Brian- Adams- like- stadium- rock- song! This kind of song is missing currently on the album...
Thanks to Bruce Kulick for first support
Don Powers and Lord Susej made some amazing spots on tape during my visit in switzerland last week! The songs become more and more concrete, the puzzle goes its own way, and I still like the results. Well, and then there were the wild bunch named SWISSTROYER, a handfull of crazy swiss rockers screaming into the mic!!! Awesome... and I am looking forward to meet you guys again soon!
Just came back from another recording session with Nina, who made the final version of "None of your business", yeah, I have a good feeling that the song becomes a rock'n'roll smash at all! Much rock, much feeling, great lyrics! While I am working on the guitar parts of "Deadly Weapon", guitar maniac Carsten works hard on several solo material.
April is the month of vocals, I am excited to get a first concrete overview on several songs, after they are overworked with voices, screams and much more!
I think it is time to prepare you for another work on the album, which comes to a really hard work and surely some difficulties in organisation...
There is one song called "The unknown force" made by Gene Simmons, which is only based on a simple drum line, a great bass hook and some little electric guitars. It comes out of the pool of the "Music from The Elder" song material in 1981, never finished, but surely the first rough idea for the later performed song "A world without heroes". "The unknown force" is a moderate rock thing, not a ballad- the inspiration on the later "A world without heroes" song is only the guitar chords on the refrain.
Former SIDESHO guitar maniac Rythmick and me agreed some weeks ago to make a complete song out of that material. We know: it is a long way to go, but we have already some basic ideas and some good stuff in preparation.
By the way: if you have a good american slang voice, give me a mail! I would like to have somebody here talking the story- lyrics of the "Music from The Elder" album: "when the earth was young..."
Rythmick and me are in discussion about another song from the Eric Carr fundus, but this is much too early to talk and write about now...
Rythmick, in preparation of "The unknown force"
Had two recording sessions in eastern europe: Moskow with Ivor and Poznan with Stanis. Together with Ivor it was a great time in a very little studio, in which I couldn't read and understand one single word (they use the kyrillic letters...)!!! I hope that the engineer did understand the project and the sound, I explained as good as I was able to do... This will be the only recording thing made by another machine than mine, but it was impossible to take the personal technical stuff to russia! This land is still strange, expensive like hell, but fascinating at all! Spend your holidays there, it is something completely new!
Stanis from Poland was a 15 minutes job. He made a gig in poznan in the evening and I recorded his bass sometime in the afternoon in the Mercure Hotel. Fitted like a glove... although his style is usually a little punkish, he made a great bass monster rocker sound during the recording work! I was sorry not to have more time, but the flight back was already coming soon... Cheers to you guys, a big thank you and see you hopefully soon again!
So, now I have the bass lines for "Deadly weapon" and "Tiara"... the next chapter is done!
I forgot to introduce Pierre Denglois to you: I met this guy from France some years ago in belgium, where I had a little gig on an open air, where Pierre's band COURVOISIER PROJET BALSAC made also a performance. So, here we come together again, next week in Paris, to record some background vocal lines for "None of your business" and perhaps some more songs. I enjoy the main vocals of Nina very much on that song, now it is the matter of finding the perfect background voice to fullfill the dream... I checked my own one, but it was not "raspy" enough, that's why I did remember Pierre with his "who the fuck is Rod Steward" attitude. Torpedo Girl Volker will also start with the recording of the bass lines in the next days, so that I will then be ready to start with the next songs.
Stanley Sparrow found some more unreleased Ace Frehley songs somewhere, we all should be a little sad that these wonderful songs didn't come out ever officially. Millions of bands would have been happy to get those songs for themselves. We have to wait and see, if Ace will come out someday with his compositions, it would be worth while!
Wow, I got a phone call last weekend from an agency in russia. Ivor Rozhkov (Russia) and Stanis Sojka (Poland) would like to record some bass lines on the album! Frankly speaking: I never heard of them, but I am surprised already now about the professional management behind them, I have already the invitation and time schedule to come to Moskow and Wroclaw in march for recording sessions! Well, let's wait and see. The demo's of both musicians are really fast, rocky and heavy, so I have to find out now the right songs for them. Shouldn't be the biggest problem... by the way: Stanis and Ivor are big KISS fans, as I found already out by some mail- contacts.
While working on the basic tracks for "Deadly Weapon", I am also mixing and arranging the current results of the first recorded songs on tape to get a deeper impression on the result. I remember David Lee Roth working with a "committee" in studio: a walkman, a cheap stereo, a good stereo and the biiiiiiiiiig console boxes in studio were used for listening to the final mix. I also found out that it is sometimes a great sound in the professional studio house, but deeply awful on walkman or a ghetto blaster! But finally the mix should work on every medium, of course, incl. mp3 formats out of low fidelity computer monitor boxes at home...! Now I will listen to the mix in my car by driving many hours on the german highway. I had a good feeling on the home stereo, now it's time to check the rest of the "committee"...
In two weeks there will be a trip to Basel, switzerland, to meet Don Powers for the first "None of your business" solo. Torpedo Girls Carsten made already the second one almost perfect, so it should be ready until that day. I also hope to meet Lord Susej there, because Eric and me had some few ideas for additional sax input into the "Tiara" song.
Don Powers, solo no.1 on "None of your business"
Sad news first: I got mail from Carol Kaye, she's doing management business for Ace Frehley:
"Thank you for your recent email. I'm sorry it's taken me a while to respond. I have discussed with Ace the possibility of your band recording "Back In my Arms Again" and "Cherokee Boogie" for inclusion on "The Forgotten Songs."
He has asked that you please not record these. "Back In My Arms Again" was a demo, that he never quite finished (it's very disturbing how these things get out).
We hope that you will respect his wishes. We wish you the best of luck with this project.
Kayos Productions Inc.
Well, that's life and that's business. I was looking forward especially to the new recording of "Back into my arms", but one thing is clear: the artist and the songwriter is the final boss and the owner of the song, not me, not us. So, no discussion from my side to go on about these two songs. I can work and live with that and we all should. And there are, thanx god, some other ones to be discovered!
During the last recording session with drummer Eric from the netherrlands we also decided to go on a song called "Baby-Oh-I", written by Vinnie Vincent. It is a great song that I really like very much. Now I was confused and surprised to find a reworked version of that one on Vinnie Vincent's first Invasion album under the Name "Baby Oh". I knew this album, of course, it is since many years in my collection, but it is so far away from the demo version that I hold in my hand that I didn't recognize the little similarities... damn me. No matter at all, we will do the song into its "older" version, and you can decide, which one you enjoy more.
"Baby-Oh-I": "Prior to joining KISS
, Vincent (a.k.a. Vincent Cusano) had been working with the former NEW ENGLAND
trio of bassist Gary Shea, keyboard player Jimmy Waldo and drummer Hirsh Gardner in the Los Angeles based Metal band WARRIOR
, recording some impressive demo material, e.g. "Baby Oh I" (www.rockdetector.com
Made the next recordings with Eric Stout ready. Again a big time, with big fun and big work. It is always good to feel that there is someone else intending to give everything for this project! We still worked hard in the middle of the night, while Wendy gave us the food to survive, hahaha! Thank you for this- and by the way: your dogs made also some shit on the studio- cables... ;-) bon appetit!
Because of the really good relationship we agreed to work together on one more song of the project:
"Back into my arms": written by Frehley/Kramer, an old demo recording with the following line up: Ace Frehley (lead guitars and lead vocals), Richie Scarlet (rhythm guitar and vocals), Anton Fig (drums), John Regan (bass), Rob Sabino (keyboards). Produced by Tony Bongiovi, recorded at Powerstation studios N.Y.C. September 1985. There should have been a release of a complete album, I guess, because there were around 10 more songs ready recorded from that time- some of them, like "Stranger in a strange land" or "Into the night", made it finally to the debut album "Frehley's Comet" from 1987. The other songs, and some million more from Ace..., are unofficially released in strange sound qualities, on also strange compilations and bootlegs... I still search for a good one with an acceptable quality. This is more or less the only ballad from him that I know so far. A really nice one, which remembers me sometimes on Tom Petty songs...
Later on last week, I came back to Germany to record the first vocals on "None of your business". Nina from the band FRANTIC made her first tries, and it sounds great! We only checked some few hours on sound and accentuations, and it worked fine early from the beginning. I am now listening to the rough mix some thousand times to get a picture of the song now. It changed its face very much, as I expected. If you ever listen to the original from 1976, there is only the vocal line and the basic riff still existing in the new version. Rhythm, instrumentation and arrangement is totally overworked, so it became more a "new song" as it perhaps should be. But: why not? That's rock'n'roll.
Nina, vocals on "None of your business"
This week is guitar week! Torpedo Girls Carsten will check out some guitar solo ideas in studio and I will start with the basic guitar recording for "Deadly weapon". Looking also forward to meet Don Powers in Switzerland and Rythmick in Germany soon to go on with the project and more songs! It is hard work, but still much fun at all!
Preparation for a second recording session with Eric in the netherlands. We found some disturbing beside- effects on the "Tiara" version, additionally we decided to work together on the next two songs:
"Gypsy in her eyes": Vinnie Vincent & Jeff Scott Soto in 1988. Vinnie Vincent – Guitars, Jeff Scott Soto – Lead Vocals, Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards, Notes: Recorded on a 12-track recorder at Vinnie’s house. The song is much older and was recorded many times by several bands like Warrior, but didn't really hit the road of success. For me, it is one of the best songs that Vinnie Vincent ever made! I asked Jeff Scott Soto to re- record that one with me, but he gave me a very friendly "not yet". I will ask him again, believe me, hahaha!
"Deadly weapon": "This song was recorded during a session at Ace's home studio shortly after the Unmasked tour. So far, this is the only finished track to surface from the album that Kiss had intended to be the follow-up to UNMASKED (this album was left unfinished when the band decided to write and record their concept album: (MUSIC FROM) THE ELDER). This is also the earliest known Kiss studio track on which Eric Carr plays drums; Paul sings lead vocals. The chorus is similer to that of the ASYLUM track "Love's a Deadly Weapon" but the rest of the lyrics are completely different" (KISS online). This should be the signature work of Torpedo Girls guitar maniac Carsten, after Eric is ready with the drum tracks.