Classic Rock's resident record mogul Jante Ronuttc reports on the next big things
From page 27 of Classic Rock Magazine September 2001
T ' THE GREAT THING ABOUT HAVING A history in The Biz (not that I'm bathing in virgin's blood or anything) is that you get to `go back' with people. I'm writing this having just returned from a Quireboys shindig at the Garage in London, and I have to admit to being (pleasantly) surprised by the number of faces I could put a first name, a nickname, a surname and a past to.
One former bassist I bumped into at the bar is now running a motor racing school down in Brisbane, Australia. I hadn't seen him in more years than either he or I would care to recall, and I doubt if our memory banks will interface again for quite some time. But you know what? There's always the chance. And that's the cool part.
The reason I bring this up is because one of the bands I'll mostly be writing about in this month's column is managed by someone who I worked with for a while back in 1991. His name is Jason Bieler, and at that time he was the longhaired guitar star with a rather fine (and cuttingedge for the era) four-piece called Saigon Kick. If you've never heard this Florida outfit's music, then I suggest you check out their first, self-titled LP released via the Atlantic subsidiary Third Stone without further ado; I'll just pop over the road and see if they've got it at Tower in Piccadilly. Back in a minute or two... No, apparently not. But if you do come across the record, a purchase is heartily recommended.
BUT I DIGRESS. BACK TO TODAY, AND BACK TO the band Nonpoint. Given the fact that Mr Bieler and myself are already on high-fivin' terms, I obviously wanted to like the act, and I'm delighted to say that I do. What's more, any Eurovision overtones suggested by the name ("And now the votes of the French jury: Nonpoint for the United Kingdom...") are entirely not borne out in the 12 tracks that make up their MCA debut, 'Statement: Produced by Bieler and mixed by renowned 'Doctor Of Spank' Tom Lord Alge, `Statement' is packed wall to wall with the kind of no-frills rock'n'rage that US bands seem to do so well. From opening track `Mindtrip' (a brass-knuckle scene - setter 'Set yourself to rant and rave..: ) through to closer 'Tribute' (featuring guest vocals by Grimm, from hot new Miami outfit Darwin's Waiting Room), this record is a sonic rabbit punch to the least protected of the organs, with 'Orgullo', 'Back Up', 'Victim' and current US single 'Endure' hitting the mark with smart-bomb accuracy.
'Orgullo' is especially interesting, as it sees frontman Elias Soriano making full use of his Puerto Rican roots with an impassioned vocal delivered entirely in Spanish ('Orgullo', by the way, means 'pride), but at no point on 'Statement' do the band Andrew Goldman (guitar/vocals), Robb Rivera (drums), KB (bass) and the aforementioned Soriano allow their fully spec'd 16-wheeler to stray far from the outside lane. UK dates, it seems, are being (seriously) discussed for October of this year, and in the meantime the Florida four-piece will be keeping themselves busy with Ozzfest dates in the US, plus the shooting of a video for 'Endure: Nonpoint? They get my vote.
AS INDEED DO SALIVA, A BLACK-THREADED, shades-sporting five-piece from Memphis, Tennessee (y'all), whose major-label debut, 'Every Six Seconds' (Island), continues to hold firm inside the US Top 100, supported by copious amounts of airplay (for the track 'Your Disease') plus a presence on the 'Dracula 2000' soundtrack (ditto).
Produced by Bob Marlette (Ozzy, Alice Cooper) and mixed in part by Steve Thompson (Metallica, GN'R), 'Every Six Seconds' successfully fuses together a host of different elements (rock, pop, rap, grunge, it's all here), but never loses sight of the fact that a chugging riff and a clenched fist are damn difficult ingredients to argue with. Indeed, in 'After Me', the band Josey Scott (vocals), Wayne Swinny (lead guitar), Chris D'abaldo (guitar), Dave Novotny (bass) and Paul Crosby (drums) have come up with a track that is scientifically impossible not to headbang to, even if you're the kind of person who's naturally inclined to keeping your personality in the fridge on an overnight basis.
At the moment, the guys are road-hogging it away over in the US, but a trip to our fair isle is most definitely on the agenda, maybe even as early as August/September. In the meantime, the video for 'My Disease' should be getting primetime exposure on a digital channel near you. And yes, the girl in the promo is also to be seen in the Linkin Park clip for 'I'm Crawling'. And yes, 'Every Six Seconds' does refer to just how often men are reputed to think about sex although Josey and Co claim to be 'three-second men' one an' all.
Rock bands: don'tcha just love it when they behave like, well, rock bands? More power to their ever fertile minds!