That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Todd Kerns a few times, because he’s one of my favourite Canadian rockers. A few years ago I actually dubbed him “The Rockingest Canadian Bass Player of the 21st Century,” partly because of his unwavering enthusiasm on stage. The title didn’t really catch on in the media, but I stand … Continue reading That time Todd Kerns told me that AC/DC replacing Brian Johnson with Axl Rose was the most surreal thing he’d heard in a long time

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 I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1985 I interviewed Alain Caron, the phenomenal bassist for Quebec jazz-fusion band UZEB. His group was touring behind its second studio album, You, Be Easy, and headed to Vancouver for a two-night stand at the Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked Caron about … Continue reading That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1989 I interviewed American bass god Billy Sheehan, who was promoting the new, self-titled debut album by his latest band, Mr. Big. The previous year Sheehan had been playing with Steve Vai in David Lee Roth‘s band, so as the conversation was winding down I asked him whether–if … Continue reading That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1993 I interviewed Phish bassist Mike Gordon, whose band was touring behind its fourth album, Rift, and heading to Vancouver for a club show. The previous year Phish had taken part in the first annual H.O.R.D.E. festival, which also included the Spin Doctors. So at one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

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 Cinderella’s Tom Keifer told me that, if you were in a hard-rock band, Philadelphia sucked

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1991 I interviewed Tom Keifer, frontman and main songwriter for Philadelphia hard-rock band Cinderella. That was less than four months after the release of the group’s third album, Heartbreak Station, which spawned the hit single “Shelter Me”. At one point in the conversation I asked Keifer what sort … Continue reading That time Cinderella’s Tom Keifer told me that, if you were in a hard-rock band, Philadelphia sucked

That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1997 I did my first interview with NRBQ keyboardist-vocalist Terry Adams. His quartet–one of the world’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands–was headed to Vancouver for a gig at a short-lived venue called The Gate. As the conversation was winding down I asked Adams about his penchant for … Continue reading That time NRBQ’s Terry Adams told me that the music is always best when it’s surprising

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

That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t fly the rebel flag in concert anymore, from what I’ve heard. But back in 1997 they sure did. So when I interviewed guitarist Rickey Medlocke before a ’97 show in Vancouver I asked him if, from his Native American perspective, he found there to an intolerance among southern-rock fans … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1992 I interviewed Joan Jett while she was promoting her latest album, Notorious. At one point in the conversation we started talking about potential singles on the album, which led to her explaining the inspiration for her latest video/single, “Don’t Surrender”. Turns out it was inspired by British … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me how she was inspired to write “Don’t Surrender” by actress Jill Ireland

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