That time Tal Wilkenfeld told me about her switching from guitar to bass

By Steve Newton Anyone who’s aware of the monstrous talent of Tal Wilkenfeld only knows her for her skills on the bass guitar, which she’s used to showcase her abilities with the likes of Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and scores of other famous players. But when she first came over to the States from … Continue reading That time Tal Wilkenfeld told me about her switching from guitar to bass

That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld what her career highlight was and she thought about it really…really…hard

By Steve Newton Last month I interviewed bass-guitar superstar Tal Wilkenfeld on the phone before going to see her gig at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver–which was wicked, by the way. What a band she’s got! At one point in the conversation I asked Tal–realizing that she’d already accomplished a helluva lot for someone still … Continue reading That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld what her career highlight was and she thought about it really…really…hard

Bass virtuoso Tal Wilkenfeld raves about her band before they blow Vancouver away

By Steve Newton Tal Wilkenfeld played the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver a couple nights ago, and man, did she impress. Aside from the stunning bass playing she’s best known for, the 29-year-old showed great promise as a singer-songwriter as well. My wife kept raving about the poetry in her original tunes, and I had to … Continue reading Bass virtuoso Tal Wilkenfeld raves about her band before they blow Vancouver away

Tal Wilkenfeld on life’s defining points, like auditioning for Jeff Beck in an altered state

By Steve Newton Tal Wilkenfeld has accomplished an awful lot since emigrating to the U.S. from Australia in 2002 as a teen. She’s performed with jazz greats Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, and at the age of 20 recorded her 2007 debut album, the all-instrumental Transformation, which she composed, produced, arranged, and played … Continue reading Tal Wilkenfeld on life’s defining points, like auditioning for Jeff Beck in an altered state

Bass superstar Tal Wilkenfeld only had three CDs to her name as a kid, but Hendrix was one of them

By Steve Newton When I interviewed bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld last week–in advance of her Vancouver show at the Biltmore this Thursday–I asked her what kind of music she was first drawn to in her life. Considering what an amazing musician she’s become, I figured her childhood would have been overflowing with music. But apart … Continue reading Bass superstar Tal Wilkenfeld only had three CDs to her name as a kid, but Hendrix was one of them

That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld how she got so goddamn good

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I listen to a musician perform I wonder to myself, “How did they get so goddamn good?” And sometimes–if I meet said musician in my capacity as a music writer–I’ll just flat out ask them how they got so goddamn good. I did it with guitarist Guthrie Govan in 2015, and … Continue reading That time I asked bass goddess Tal Wilkenfeld how she got so goddamn good

That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

By Steve Newton Bob Rock is the famed producer best known for helming several Metallica albums, including their hugely popular Black Album of 1991. I’ve interviewed Rock a few times, both for his role as a producer and as a rockin’ guitarist in bands like the Payola$, Rock and Hyde, and Rockhead. Back in February of … Continue reading That time Bob Rock told me that Metallica never have and never will sell out

That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich four times because, hey, the guy likes to talk. The last time was back in August of 1998, when his band was touring behind its Reload album. Two years earlier Metallica had headlined Lollapalooza, sharing the stage with the likes of Soundgarden, the Ramones, Rancid, and … Continue reading That time Lars Ulrich told me that Metallica just wasn’t a let’s-sit-around-and-drink-beers-all-day-with-the-support-act type of band

Rik Emmett ponders the pros and cons of heavy metal while Triumph tours behind Thunder Seven

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 15, 1985 By Steve Newton Canadian power trio Triumph will be headlining at the Pacific Coliseum tomorrow (Saturday) night with Australia’s Angel City, in what promises to be an evening of intense, thundering rock and roll. Mssrs. Rik Emmett (guitar), Mike Levine (bass), and Gil Moore (drums) are … Continue reading Rik Emmett ponders the pros and cons of heavy metal while Triumph tours behind Thunder Seven

It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

By Steve Newton Back in early 1984 I did an interview with Mark Hollis of British synth-pop band Talk Talk.  I wasn’t really into synth-pop–I was more into Iron Maiden, Scorpions, and Van Halen–but I took the assignment because Talk Talk was promoting its new album, It’s My Life, and was planning to visit my … Continue reading It’s My Life, and it’s my unpublished 1984 interview with Mark Hollis of Talk Talk

That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I did my one and only interview with guitar legend Gary Moore, while he was on tour with Rush. That was five months after the release of his fourth album, Victims of the Future, which was still during his pre-blues, hard rock/heavy metal phase. At one … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore why he thought metal was so big in Britain

Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1983 By Steve Newton Bonnie Tyler? You mean that Welsh girl who used to sing about heartaches in a gravelly, Rod Stewart-type voice. She still around? After her four years absence from the charts, there must be a lot of people who’ve written Bonnie Tyler off as … Continue reading Bonnie Tyler skips the heartache and goes straight for the glory with “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

That time I photobombed Armored Saint backstage when they were opening for Metallica on the Ride the Lightning Tour

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Legendary Vancouver punk and metal photographer Bev Davies just sent me a photo from 1985 that I never knew existed. It’s a backstage shot of American metal band Armored Saint getting all wild ‘n’ crazy, but if you look close you can see me in the background, chuckling at … Continue reading That time I photobombed Armored Saint backstage when they were opening for Metallica on the Ride the Lightning Tour

That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

By Steve Newton I interviewed Megadeth bassist David Ellefson back in November of 1992. when he was 27. That was four months after the band released its most popular album, Countdown to Extinction, the one with “Symphony of Destruction” on it. Man I love that tune. (As you may have heard, founding member Ellefson recently … Continue reading That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

By Steve Newton I interviewed Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed on August 5, 1992, while his band was in the midst of a coheadlining stadium tour with Metallica. The tour was scheduled to hit Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium on August 17–with openers Faith No More–but three days after this chat James Hetfield got badly … Continue reading That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

By Steve Newton Back in September of 2012 I interviewed Scott Ian. He’s the fourth Anthrax member I’ve chatted with, having hooked up with Joey Belladonna in ’91, John Bush in ’93, and Frank Bello in 2005. That band likes to talk. Anyway, two years before my chat with Ian, Anthrax had hooked up with … Continue reading That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

By Steve Newton Few award presentations in the history of rock music have caused as much controversy as the one that took place at the Grammys back on February 6, 1989. That was when Jethro Tull’s Crest of a Knave album won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, shockingly beating out the odds-on favourite, … Continue reading That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

Joey Belladonna talks rap/metal crossover while Anthrax and Public Enemy bring the noise on tour

By Steve Newton Back in the eighties there was a thing called “The Big Four” which meant the top four American thrash-metal bands, including Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. I never interviewed anybody in Slayer, but I have interviewed two members of Metallica (James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich), three members of Megadeth (Dave Mustaine, Marty … Continue reading Joey Belladonna talks rap/metal crossover while Anthrax and Public Enemy bring the noise on tour