Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 6, 1989 By Steve Newton Some bands grow old gracefully, mellowing with age, but not Aerosmith. On Pump, the follow-up to the band's 1987 comeback album Permanent Vacation, the bad boys from Boston are as rude 'n' rowdy as ever. And nobody does it better. Pump kicks off … Continue reading Album review: Aerosmith, Pump (1989)

That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote a Georgia Straight cover story on Vancouver producer Bob Rock, best known for his work with Metallica, and one of the Big Three of Vancouver hard-rock producers (along with fellow Little Mountain Sound-men Bruce Fairbairn and Mike Fraser). While putting the story together I gave … Continue reading That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of Malcolm Young

By Steve Newton I've interviewed hundreds of rock musicians over the past 35 years, but I've only been interviewed myself a few times--most of those discussions taking place earlier this year when local Tragically Hip fans like Jody Vance and Drex wanted to know about the book I'd just written about Gord Downie. But I was on … Continue reading AC/DC-in-Vancouver news-breaker talks recording rumours, the Warehouse connection, and the magic of 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?

AC/DC exclusive: Angus Young lights up nephew Stevie at the Warehouse in Vancouver

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens and Crystal Lambert (cgrocker18@gmail.com) By Steve Newton Alright, I'm starting to feel a tad guilty now, posting all these candid AC/DC photos. Actually, it's only been two now--the first one being yesterday's rumour-busting shot of Phil Rudd and Brian Johnson yukking it up on the patio deck at Vancouver's Warehouse Studio. … Continue reading AC/DC exclusive: Angus Young lights up nephew Stevie at the Warehouse in Vancouver

AC/DC blockbuster news: Newt’s rumour proven true; Phil Rudd is in Vancouver–and Brian Johnson too!

photo courtesy Glenn Slavens & Crystal Lambert: cgrocker18@gmail.com By Steve Newton For all those AC/DC fans who've been hoping and praying that Brian Johnson would get back in the band--and that Axl Rose would go back to Guns N' Roses, where he's welcome--it appears as if those prayers have been answered. A few days ago … Continue reading AC/DC blockbuster news: Newt’s rumour proven true; Phil Rudd is in Vancouver–and Brian Johnson too!

AC/DC rumours regarding Phil Rudd and Vancouver come from the right place

I don't care how tiny Angus is, the world needs his killer riffs. By Steve Newton There's been a lot of rumour and speculation flying around the music world since yesterday, when I posted a blog on the Georgia Straight website reporting that Phil Rudd and Stevie Young had been spotted in downtown Vancouver. The … Continue reading AC/DC rumours regarding Phil Rudd and Vancouver come from the right place

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”

Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music grew from a cathartic Hendrix experience

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 2002 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani named his latest CD Strange Beautiful Music, although the music on it isn’t much stranger or more beautiful than what the Bay Area guitar wizard has been conjuring over the past few years. The story behind the title has more to … Continue reading Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music grew from a cathartic Hendrix experience

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!

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

AC/DC’s new album will ROCK! It says so right in the song titles!

Yesterday AC/DC released the song titles for its highly anticipated new album, and by all accounts the Aussie blues-metal legends will continue to rock. It's right there in the titles: "Rock the House", "Rock the Blues Away", "Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder", and the title track, "Rock or Bust". It appears that the nasty … Continue reading AC/DC’s new album will ROCK! It says so right in the song titles!

Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

Blues-metal legends AC/DC announced today that they will release a new album, titled Rock or Bust, on December 2. The 11-track disc was recorded right here in Vancouver last spring, with Brendan O’Brien producing and Langley's Mike Fraser mixing. As reported here in July, the new AC/DC disc will be the first one in the band's illustrious career to … Continue reading Will the new AC/DC album rock, or will it be a bust without Malcolm Young?

Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton A concert by Bay Area guitar wizard Joe Satriani is usually all it takes to transport his followers to instrumental-rock heaven, but come Friday (September 26) at the Plaza of Nations, they’ll be getting way more twang for their buck. That’s when Satriani … Continue reading Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 16, 1989 By Steve Newton By now, most every rock fan in Vancouver must be aware that many of North America's best-selling bands--Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Cult to name a few--have been making their latest chart-topping records right here in town. Little Mountain Sound on West 7th … Continue reading Ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes on Blue Murder, Bob Rock, and the Little Mountain sound

An electrifying Lenny Kravitz blows the Cult off the stage in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 16, 1992 When I saw local singing sensation Sarah McLachlan pick up her coat and leave the press box after Lenny Kravitz’s opening slot for the Cult, I thought: “Geez, she could have stuck around for a couple of rockin’ Cult tunes.” But, as it turned out, the … Continue reading An electrifying Lenny Kravitz blows the Cult off the stage in Vancouver

The Cult’s Ian Astbury says touring with Lenny Kravitz is “a spiritual event”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 9, 1992 By Steve Newton Some folks might have been surprised to hear that the Cult is touring with Lenny Kravitz. After all, the straightforward, bluesy hard-rock of the former is quite distinct from the Beatlesque, ’60s pop styles of the latter. Or is it? According to Cult … Continue reading The Cult’s Ian Astbury says touring with Lenny Kravitz is “a spiritual event”

Chrissy Steele hits the perfect volume level for Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 1991 By Steve Newton If you’re a hard-rock kinda person, sometimes it really pays to hang out at Club Soda, along with the folks from Aerosmith and the Scorpions. For local rocker Chrissy Steele, that’s where she first met former Headpins guitarist Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, who … Continue reading Chrissy Steele hits the perfect volume level for Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod

Ballsy blues-metal of AC/DC’s Family Jewels riles the budgie

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 26, 2005 By Steve Newton Some AC/DC fans feel that the band never recovered from the death of original vocalist Bon Scott; others argue that the Aussie earbusters hit their peak when Brian Johnson took over the mike on Back in Black. No matter which side you're on, if you're … Continue reading Ballsy blues-metal of AC/DC’s Family Jewels riles the budgie

AC/DC concert film Live at River Plate released on DVD & Blu-ray

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 10, 2011 By Steve Newton Local AC/DC fans whose hearing has finally returned after the Aussie earbusters' November 2008 show at GM Place might want to check out a new concert DVD/Blu-ray released today. Those who were permanently deafened at that gig can just watch it for the pretty pictures. Shot … Continue reading AC/DC concert film Live at River Plate released on DVD & Blu-ray

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

Bruce Fairbairn: legendary Vancouver rock producer tells all in 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton It’s been a very long time since Kiss performed at a nightclub in Vancouver. Twenty-four years, actually, since Gene Simmons nearly set the Commodore Ballroom’s red velvet curtains ablaze with his fire-breathing antics. But there they were again two months back, the four … Continue reading Bruce Fairbairn: legendary Vancouver rock producer tells all in 1998

The Answer is proud to hoist the riff-rock torch

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 26, 2009 By Steve Newton Bluesy Irish rockers the Answer have been opening for AC/DC for nine months now, living a dream most bands would kill for. As vocalist Cormac Neeson explains during a day off from touring in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it’s all been good—and some of it has … Continue reading The Answer is proud to hoist the riff-rock torch