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Exclusive Q and A: Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr Talks ‘The Whippoorwill,’ Songwriting, and Zac Brown

Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke‘s recent release of The Whippoorwill has fans and critics calling the Georgia-based band the next generation of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, Kid Rock, and other legendary southern rockers with a foot planted in the country. Since signing with Southern Ground Artists, the label founded by Zac Brown, the band have been on the road with Eric Church, the Zac Brown Band, and many other high-profile performers. It seems only a matter of time before Blackberry Smoke become headlining powerhouses themselves.

Charlie Starr, leader and main songwriter of the band, took time out from his schedule to talk about writing The Whippoorwill, how the songs were selected, and just what he hopes fans hear in the band’s latest release:

OS: You must feel great about having The Whippoorwill released.

CS: Yes, it was such a long time between making this album and the last album (Little Piece of Dixie from 2010). I had a lot of songs written that we had been playing live already. We were were excited to record those even though they weren’t new to us and our fans anymore. We definitely had those down!

OS: I’m always curious about the songwriting process. Are you the kind of writer who works on the road or do you have a certain place you prefer to write? Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr Talks ‘The Whippoorwill,’ Songwriting, and Zac Brown’

Deftones Announce Fall Tour In Support Of Upcoming Album “Koi No Yokan”

Despite having been a band for over two decades, Deftones show no signs of slowing down. The pioneering metal outfit will be headlining a string of October dates running up to the release of their seventh studio album Koi No Yokan. With support from Scars On Broadway, the October tour sees the group taking an intercontinental trip across the US with stops throughout the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest. Hell, they even threw some Canadian dates in there too.

Continue reading ‘Deftones Announce Fall Tour In Support Of Upcoming Album “Koi No Yokan”’

New Found Glory Takes ‘Sticks and Stones’ On The Road

Break out your Etnies and your nautical star wristbands because we’re going back to 2002. This fall, pop punk stalwarts New Found Glory will be hitting the road to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their ’02 album Sticks and Stones by playing the record live in its entirety. In contrast with recent gigs, the dates for the Sticks and Stones 10 Year Anniversary Tour will be primarily at smaller, more intimate venues. Ticket pre-sales begin this Thursday, September 6. In addition, Epitaph is offering a limited edition Sticks and Stones vinyl that includes “Anniversary,” a previously unreleased song. Supporting New Found Glory will be Seahaven (November 24 to December 3), Candy Hearts (December 5 to December 16), and The Story So Far (full tour), who take their name from the hidden track at the end of Sticks and Stones.


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Green Day Release New Video, Singer Loses Voice

Green Day have released another new music video. This one is for their explicit single “Kill The DJ” off their upcoming album ¡Uno!, the first of three albums to come within the next five months (the others respectively titled ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!). The video features all three band members riding motorcycles in the desert and then walking apathetically through a dance club, never breaking character. There’s also a pretty brutal cat fight, which ends with everyone at the club covered in either blood or chocolate syrup. It’s hard to tell. Anyway, tell nearby children to put on their earmuffs, and enjoy!

UPDATE: On that note, Billie Joe Armstrong has lost his voice. According to TMZ, Green Day’s singer was recently rushed to the hospital for a medical problem regarding his throat and/or vocal chords. Because of his condition, the band had to cancel their show in Italy and possibly more, depending on his recovery. Perhaps someone heard their message wrong and tried to kill the Green Day. Zing.

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Is Bruce Willis Suing Apple Over Music Ownership?

The tech-blog rumor mill was in high gear over the weekend when a number of outlets reported that action movie star Bruce Willis was planning on bringing suit against Apple over the ownership of his music.

The story went that Willis – who, believe it or not, is made of flesh and blood much like you or me – was preparing his estate and wished to pass on his vast music collection to his daughter. It seemed that Willis is also a fan of iTunes, frequently purchasing and downloading tracks from Apple’s online music storefront. But in the process of bequeathing his earthly possessions to his kin he found that he couldn’t transfer ownership of his collection of songs to his daughter.

So, is Apple about to be on the receiving end of Willis’ particular brand of rootin’ tootin’, shoot-first-ask-questions-later style of ass kicking, legally speaking?

Short answer: no. Long answer: awwwww but come on, that would be awesome.

Continue reading ‘Is Bruce Willis Suing Apple Over Music Ownership?’

Modern Rock, A Battlefield – Enter To Compete!

Man your battle stations and arm yourselves well because it’s time for the Ernie Ball Modern Rock Competition! We want rock ‘n’ roll that takes listeners back to the future, so if your weapon of choice is somwhere between an axe and a laser pistol, then this is your chance to become ruler of the modern world. One Grand Prize Winner will receive a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings and accessories, so leave the past behind and enter now for ultimate modern rock glory!

Metal Monday: Metal Podcast Round 2

Welcome to the second installment of OurStage’s Metal Monday podcast. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether the first installment was a resounding success or not (it was, right?). We covered some news, we played some great songs, and we had fun. I also featured three OurStage metal jams, and for those that need a refresher, those songs were:
Before we move on, did anyone recognize the song that was used as the intro track? If you guessed “Pirates“ by one of my all-time favorite OurStage metal bands, Derelict, then congratulations are in order. But enough with the shenanigans, it’s time for the second installment of the Metal Monday podcast to smash you in the eardrums.
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  • Spotify Reveals The UK’s Songs Of The Summer

    Spotify just put out a playlist the top 10 most streamed tracks – on their service, anyways – in the UK from this summer. Ok, so it’s not quite America’s Songs of The Summer or The World’s Songs of The Summer. But keep in mind that our friends across the pond have pretty good taste.

    The list itself is interesting purely as a piece of sociomusicology study. Sure, there are the obvious toppers like the undeniable “We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monáe (which has probably gotten a bit played out by this point in the season) to “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “Whistle” by Flo Rida.

    But then there are the more anglo selections. That’s where things get interesting.

    Continue reading ‘Spotify Reveals The UK’s Songs Of The Summer’

    “Crossfire Hurricane” Tour Doc To Shine A New Light On The Rolling Stones

    Storied british rock band The Rolling Stones announced a new band doc, Crossfire Hurricane, earlier today. The tour doc, commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Stones as a performing unit, marks another authorized entry into the already deep documentary videography that The Stones have amassed over the years. Classic rock nerds will also note that the film pulls its title from a lyric in “Jumpin Jack Flash.”

    Crossfire Hurricane appears to be pretty broad in focus, covering the trajectory of the group from their earliest touring days in 1962 to the band as we know them as today.

    Continue reading ‘“Crossfire Hurricane” Tour Doc To Shine A New Light On The Rolling Stones’

    Ben Gibbard Releases New Single: “Teardrop Windows”

    Death Cab For Cutie singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard has a solo album coming out on October 16th called Former Lives. Head to to hear the single ”Teardrop Windows.” As one would expect, it sounds pretty much like Death Cab, but with a little more of a folky twang and, in contrast to the title and lyrics, it has a nice upbeat and easy-going feel, which is a good fit for the indie/shoegaze singer.


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