That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

By Steve Newton Jason Newsted is best known as the bassist who played with Metallica for 14 years, during the peak of their popularity, on discs like ...And Justice For All and The Black Album. I interviewed him back in July of 2013, when he was fronting his own group, Newsted, three weeks before it … Continue reading That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark back in June of 1988 his band was flying about as high as it would ever get, touring behind its most popular album, Hysteria. As a group of fun-loving rock 'n' rollers in their twenties, selling millions of albums and packing arenas, Clark and … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Clark what the guys in Def Leppard liked to do to pass time on the road

That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Rob Halford five times between 1984 and 2015--four times when he was in Judas Priest and once when he was in the industrial-metal project Two. This was the first time, on May 14, 1984, four months after Priest had released its platinum Defenders of the Faith album (the one with … Continue reading That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Irish guitar legend Gary Moore on May 11, 1984. Five months earlier the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army had exploded a car bomb outside Harrods department store in central London, killing three police officers and three civilians, and injuring 90 people. (The … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with blues legend Long John Baldry on September 8, 1985, shortly after he'd moved to Vancouver, where he would remain until his death 20 years later. Ten days earlier I'd gone to an incredible Vancouver concert by another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose third … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people's legs. That's why, for the video of his big 1984 hit "I Can Dream About You", he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

anthony pepitone photo By Steve Newton Sean Costello is one of those guitarists who blows you away with his amazing talent and then you look around and he's gone. The fast-rising blues guitarist and singer-songwriter --who suffered from bipolar disorder--died of an overdose 16 months after I interviewed him in December of 2006. He was … Continue reading That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2005

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 2005 By Steve Newton Both young upstarts and grizzled old-timers made my Top 10 this year, proving yet again that good rock 'n' roll transcends generational boundaries. And needs lots of guitars. Audioslave Out of Exile With the help of producer Rick Rubin and mixer Brendan O'Brien, former … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2005

Album review: Aerosmith, Rockin’ the Joint (2005)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 5, 2006 By Steve Newton The shrink-wrap sticker boasts that the new Aerosmith CD includes live versions, recorded at Las Vegas's Hard Rock Hotel, of "No More No More", "Seasons of Wither", and "Draw the Line". Now, if you're a fan of the quintet's earliest (i.e., best) work, … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Rockin’ the Joint (2005)

Album review: Vivian Campbell, Two Sides of If (2005)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 16, 2006 By Steve Newton When Vivian Campbell was a kid he went to see Rory Gallagher at Belfast's Ulster Hall, then rushed home to grab his guitar and imitate the underrated Irish guitar hero. Campbell's still copping those licks, though he doesn't get away with it in … Continue reading Album review: Vivian Campbell, Two Sides of If (2005)

Mudvayne’s Chad Gray says that his fave metal act is Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 2, 2006 By Steve Newton In the CD booklet for his band's latest release, Lost and Found, Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray relays the usual thank-yous to family and friends, musical colleagues, and business associates. Then he adds: "To those who have tried to hurt us in our past, … Continue reading Mudvayne’s Chad Gray says that his fave metal act is Devin Townsend

Train’s Pat Monahan says that whatever sounds like Stevie Wonder is great

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 16, 2006 By Steve Newton It was on the strength of adult-contemporary hits like "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" and "Calling All Angels" that San Francisco's Train managed to score Grammy Awards and multiplatinum sales in recent years. So it's no surprise that, when Train singer-lyricist Pat Monahan … Continue reading Train’s Pat Monahan says that whatever sounds like Stevie Wonder is great

The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. says that the healthier you are, the more fun it is to fuck yourself up

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 11, 2006 By Steve Newton Apparently, no one ever told Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. that you shouldn't speak with your mouth full. When he hooks up with the Straight from his band's management office in Manhattan, the 26-year-old rocker communicates around a bulging mouthful of salad from … Continue reading The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. says that the healthier you are, the more fun it is to fuck yourself up

Tony Rombola says Godsmack has a lot of fans in the military: “Males 18 to 25 like the hard rock”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 22, 2006 By Steve Newton How many big-league metal CDs can you name that have sold more than 3.5 million copies yet cost less than three grand to make? The only one I'm aware of is Godsmack, the 1998 debut by the Boston-based metal quartet of the same … Continue reading Tony Rombola says Godsmack has a lot of fans in the military: “Males 18 to 25 like the hard rock”

The Mahones’ Finny McConnell on seeing the Pogues in Las Vegas and getting into Thin Lizzy anywhere

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 9, 2006 By Steve Newton When the Straight tracks down Mahones singer-songwriter Finny McConnell on his cellphone in Toronto, he’s at the corner of Bloor and Yonge, on his way to pick up a van for some weekend gigs in Quebec. He’s just back from hanging out with … Continue reading The Mahones’ Finny McConnell on seeing the Pogues in Las Vegas and getting into Thin Lizzy anywhere

Toronto’s Kill Cheerleader earns praise from Lemmy and Nikki Sixx

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 21, 2007 By Steve Newton The band photo inside last year's Kill Cheerleader CD, All Hail, shows four sweaty, straggly-haired, apparently shit-faced dudes holding each other up. But a photo sent to the Straight by Spinerazor Records last week includes a fifth member in the group. No biggie, according to … Continue reading Toronto’s Kill Cheerleader earns praise from Lemmy and Nikki Sixx

Anthony Gomes get chills thinking about Stevie Ray Vaughan

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 28, 2007 By Steve Newton Anthony Gomes was born and raised in Toronto, but in his early 20s he pulled a Muddy Waters and moved to Chicago, where he found a sweet home for four years before heading off to his current base of Nashville. As he explains … Continue reading Anthony Gomes get chills thinking about Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

By Steve Newton Like most kids growing up in the seventies who were into prog rock, I liked Supertramp. Probably not as much as my sisters did, though. They were crazy about Supertramp. I interviewed one of the band's two main guys, singer-songwriter-guitarist Roger Hodgson, in March of 1998, long after he'd quit the group … Continue reading That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway