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

By Steve Newton There were a lot of rumours in the past couple years–some started by yours truly–about AC/DC making a new album in Vancouver with Mike Fraser. And those rumours were proven true with the release in November 2020 of Power Up. The band’s previous album, 2014’s Rock or Bust, was the first one … 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: “We were there to get it done.”

By Steve Newton 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 … Continue reading Ear of Newt exclusive: Mike Fraser says AC/DC was all business on Rock or Bust: “We were there to get it done.”

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 future Trailer Park Boy Mike Smith told me about his band Sandbox snubbing Bon Jovi

By Steve Newton Before he became famous for his role as googley-eyed goofball “Bubbles” on The Trailer Park Boys, Mike Smith was a member of Canadian ’90s alt-rock band Sandbox. One day back in March of 1996 I interviewed him in advance of a Sandbox show at a Vancouver bar called the Starfish Room. At … Continue reading That time future Trailer Park Boy Mike Smith told me about his band Sandbox snubbing Bon Jovi

That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

By Steve Newton I like Pearl Jam a lot. And I really love Neil Young. So when those two got together for the Mirror Ball album back in 1995 I was in hog heaven. I would listen to my favourite track, “I’m the Ocean”, over and over again. When I interviewed Pearl Jam guitarist Mike … Continue reading That time I asked Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready what he thought was so great about Neil Young

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

Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 9, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve seen Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform in Vancouver four times now. The first time—one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life—was at the Commodore Ballroom in ’78, just after the release of the band’s sophomore album, You’re Gonna Get … Continue reading Mike Campbell’s instro-rock medley steals the show from Tom Petty in Vancouver

Mike Rutherford looks at his watch and says Genesis will probably make it through tonight’s show

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 6, 1984 By Steve Newton British supergroup Genesis–lead vocalist-drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford–will be appearing at the Pacific Coliseum this Monday, January 9. They will be joined in concert by touring members Daryl Stuermer on guitar and Chester Thompson on drums.  I spoke … Continue reading Mike Rutherford looks at his watch and says Genesis will probably make it through tonight’s show