That time Mike Fraser told me what it was like recording AC/DC without Malcolm Young

By Steve Newton There’s been a lot of rumours in the past year or so–some started by yours truly–about AC/DC making a new album in Vancouver with Mike Fraser. But nothing has been announced officially by the band, so at this point it’s still possible that 2014’s Rock or Bust could be AC/DC’s last studio … Continue reading That time Mike Fraser told me what it was like recording AC/DC without Malcolm Young

AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com) By Steve Newton Hardcore AC/DC fans and photographic rumour-spreaders Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert are at it again. The dynamic Vancouver duo–he has the camera, she has the pad–have shared another photo with Ear of Newt that furthers the idea that everybody’s fave hard-rock band is working … Continue reading AC/DC in Vancouver: Mike Fraser spotted with Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd, maybe calling Cliff Williams on his phone?

Joe Satriani on the intricacies of amplification and producer Mike Fraser’s “perfect set of ears”

By Steve Newton When Joe Satriani phones from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, he apologizes right away for being a few minutes late with the scheduled call. He explains that he was playing his guitar, composing a song, and lost track of time. That’s when it’s my turn to feel regretful, because … Continue reading Joe Satriani on the intricacies of amplification and producer Mike Fraser’s “perfect set of ears”

Mike Fraser helps AC/DC get back on top, sets his sights on Sabbath

The first time he ever saw AC/DC, Mike Fraser had no idea what band he was seeing. He’d gone to an Aerosmith show at the Pacific Coliseum back in ’78 and showed up early enough to catch the warmup act. “Usually you kinda miss the opening band,” recalls Fraser from his home in Langley, “but … Continue reading Mike Fraser helps AC/DC get back on top, sets his sights on Sabbath

AC/DC studio ace Mike Fraser is happy Phil Rudd doesn’t tickle the drums

Today is the big day for AC/DC fans, when the Aussie blues-metal legends release their new album Rock or Bust. The band has been making a lot of headlines in the past few months, though not the positive kind you’d expect from a group that has, for over 40 years, been giving the world some of … Continue reading AC/DC studio ace Mike Fraser is happy Phil Rudd doesn’t tickle the drums

Rock or Bust mixer Mike Fraser picks his all-time favourite AC/DC song, and it’s a Bon Scott tune!

The new AC/DC album, Rock or Bust, hits stores tomorrow, boasting 11 songs crammed into 35 minutes. Maybe your all-time favourite AC/DC tune will be among them. Maybe not. It’s pretty hard to beat the old AC/DC stuff–just ask Langley’s Mike Fraser, who engineered and mixed Rock or Bust, and has been working with the band since 1990. … Continue reading Rock or Bust mixer Mike Fraser picks his all-time favourite AC/DC song, and it’s a Bon Scott tune!

Ear of Newt exclusive: Mike Fraser says AC/DC was “all business” on Rock or Bust

The anticipation surrounding the impending release of the new AC/DC album, Rock or Bust, has been building for months. The fact that it’s the legendary Aussie hard-rockers’ first release without original rhythm-guitarist and co-songwriter Malcolm Young has been making headlines, and this Tuesday (December 2) the physical product will hit stores. With or without Malcolm, I’m … Continue reading Ear of Newt exclusive: Mike Fraser says AC/DC was “all business” on Rock or Bust

World exclusive: Rock or Bust engineer/mixer Mike Fraser gives Newt the scoop on new AC/DC

Today I got a call from Langley’s own Mike Fraser, who engineered and mixed the new AC/DC album, Rock or Bust, which is currently streaming on iTunes and hits stores this Tuesday (December 2). It was the first interview Fraser has given about the highly anticipated album, the only one ever recorded without original rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young, … Continue reading World exclusive: Rock or Bust engineer/mixer Mike Fraser gives Newt the scoop on new AC/DC

Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 28, 1998 Yesterday I went all nutty and posted the 1998 Georgia Straight cover story I did on famed Vancouver rock producer Bruce Fairbairn. That got me thinkin’ that maybe I should post the cover story I did earlier that same year on Fairbairn’s former protege, Mike Fraser. … Continue reading Mike Fraser: Langley’s master of the hard-rock mix in 1998

That time Robben Ford told me that hearing Mike Bloomfield made him want to be a guitar player

By Steve Newton I did the first of my three interviews with American guitar ace Robben Ford in April of 1993, when he was touring behind the first Robben Ford & the Blue Line album. There was some damn tasty guitar playing on that platter if I recall correctly. At one point in the conversation … Continue reading That time Robben Ford told me that hearing Mike Bloomfield made him want to be a guitar player

That time I asked Mike Campbell if he thought “Refugee” was a hit as soon as he wrote the music for it

By Steve Newton Tom Petty was one helluva songwriter, as we all know, but every once in a while he’d get help composing a tune from his guitarist and mainman Mike Campbell. Like on “Refugee”, the second single from 1980’s Damn the Torpedoes. I love that tune, so when I interviewed Campbell in the summer … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Campbell if he thought “Refugee” was a hit as soon as he wrote the music for it

That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

  mudcrutch photo by red slater By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell back in the summer of 1999 we got to talking about his early days playing with Petty in the Gainesville, Florida band Mudcrutch. At one point Campbell told me about how that band would sometimes … Continue reading That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

By Steve Newton Tom Petty is one of my favourite rockers, and I’m really bummed that I never got to interview him. But I did get to do the next best thing, which was chat with his forever guitarist, Mike Campbell. I interviewed Campbell in August of 1999, before Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played … Continue reading That time Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell told me how he got into Tom Petty’s band

That time I asked Mike Rutherford about the biggest highlights of Genesis’ career

By Steve Newton Way back in December of 1983 I did an interview with Mike Rutherford, who at the time was the guitarist-bassist in Genesis, joined by singer-drummer Phil Collins and keyboardist Tony Banks. Two months earlier the band had released a self-titled album that was a huge success, spawning the hits “Mama”, “That’s All”, … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Rutherford about the biggest highlights of Genesis’ career

That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in ’84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day–September 9, 1988–when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Canadian guitar wizard Jeff Healey three times. Man could that guy wail on the Strat! The first interview took place in June of 1988, when he was just 22, and still three months away from releasing his incredible debut album, See the Light. When I … Continue reading That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse