MUSIC NEWS: HEADSPACE to release second album 'All That You Fear Is Gone'

Headspace, the band featuring Damian Wilson (Threshold) & Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne, Snakecharmer), have announced they will release their second album 'All That You Fear Is Gone' on February 26th, 2016. The band, completed by guitarist Pete Rinaldi (Hot Leg) & bassist Lee Pomeroy (It Bites, Steve Hackett), have also announced a new drummer in the shape of Adam Falkner (Babyshambes, Dido, One Eskimo). Adam Wakeman had this to say:

"This album is the first to debut new Drummer Adam Falkner whom Pete Rinaldi and I have toured with a lot in the past. He's a superb player and he really fits with the band's sound and style. He also gets a round in, which is a plus."

Damian Wilson comments on the new album:

"The conforming individual represented in the first album that breaks away, is reflected in All That You Fear Is Gone. Free thinking, fighting against natural grouping, what appears as destructive rebellion is in fact evolution. Written to make the listener think, whilst capturing the ear with complexity and simplicity combined.

Embarking on the second Headspace album I personally had a clear vision, but by the time each band member had thrown in their piece, I thought we had produced an album that was unlistenable to. As it progressed, the rough edges and corners seemed to settle like a good lasagne. Everyone has their own tastes, but I know this is a bloody good lasagne."

The band has previously posted video updates from the studio, and you can view those below.

Studio Diary 1:

Studio Diary 2:

'All That You Fear Is Gone' is the follow-up to 2012's debut album 'I Am Anonymous' which was described by Prog Magazine as 'one terrifically exciting ride' and by Powerplay as 'a feast for both the ears and the mind.'



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Michael Monroe is a rock n roll God. He is probably the most under appreciated rock star in the United States while being Mick Jagger in Finland. Hanoi Rocks was really important for that era of music. Currently Monroe is working as a solo artist, but with a great band behind him. His new album “Blackout State” is as good as anything he’s done. When Michael Monroe releases a new album it’s like being a kid in a candy store…you go and get it.

You can listen to the entire interview on the Nothing Shocking Podcast here (the interview starts at the 13:25 mark)

Bobby Thornton (BT): Hello Michael How are you? 

Michael Monroe (MM): I’m very good thanks.

BT: Thank you so much for calling in I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

MM: No problem. So do you like the new album?

BT: Oh I love the new album, the new album is great. “Blackout States,” “Going Down with the Ship,” “Old King’s Road,” all great stuff.

MM: Thank you. “Going Down with the Ship” is gonna be our next single I think.

BT: Right on well it’s a great song. Can you tell me a little bit about how this album came about and who are some of the guys you’ve got playing with you?

MM: It’s the same band we’ve had since 2010. The guitar player has changed. Dregon left to pursue a solo career now we have Rich Jones. The rest of the guys are the same. We’ve got Sami Yaffa on bass, Karl Rockfish on drums and Steve Conte the other guitar. It’s a great band. Everybody writes too. The last album we got the chance to get together in a rehearsal space and start songs from scratch. This time we didn’t have that opportunity so we wrote a bunch of stuff separately at our homes and then we got together a couple months later. We had a bunch of songs and we went into the studio after that and recorded 18 songs. That’s how it came together.

BT: Your stuff is obviously very consistent. You’re always delivering solid records. You draw a diverse audience, you’ve got the punk, the metal, the glam. What is your writing process behind that music?

MM: Well it varies. Some of the stuff like “Good Old Bad Days” off the new album I write by myself and it comes very easy. Something like “The Bastard’s Bash” I had the music for and I had like seven different titles and lyrics for it. By the time we got to the studio I asked Steven to help me out with it and the next day we finished the lyrics together. It depends a song like “Rock like Fuck,” that song we had just the music for it the working title called “Fuck Shit Up.” We had those three words and we wrote a song called “Rock Like Fuck” finally. So I wrote lyrics for that. That came together like that, it varies. There are a lot of great writers in this band. When Steve writes lyrics, we know each other so well that he can write stuff in my world. I can totally get into singing his lyrics.

BT: Are you ever concerned with any of your solo albums holding up to your previous work? You’re always putting out great albums.

MM: We seem to be doing pretty will. From “Sensory Overdrive,” to “Horns and Halos” to this one. Every album is it’s own thing so I’m not really concerned with the album beating a previous one. I don’t want to recreate the past albums. We always want to move on to the next thing. I think they’re all good records in their own way. I don’t take that kind of pressure.

BT: You play quite a few different instruments. How many different instruments did you play on this last record?

MM: Well I played the Sax and the harmonica. I didn’t have to play guitar since we have great guitar players. The nose flute or the nose whistle that’s on some song…I forgot which one. I’ve always played many instruments, the drums, guitar the piano. I took lessons for classical flute playing for about a year when I was fifteen. The saxophone I learned by myself. I was self taught with that. My mom made me take piano lessons when I was five. I like playing all kinds of instruments but one thing I don’t know how to play is the trumpet. I never learned the mouth positioning. I’ve never had a need to. I’m from a musical family. On the album “Piece of Mind” I play everything myself…well I play everything except the drums, but it still sounds like a band though. It’s great to have the band chemistry with the other guys, to get their input and different points of view. That’s why I prefer my situation now.

BT: Another question I had about “Blackout States,” “The Old King’s Road” where did your inspiration come from on that song?

MM: Steve had the idea for “Old King’s Road.” It’s basically about the past and the present. All the stuff that’s about past like “Good Old Bad Days” it’s not about being nostalgic. Obviously there were cool things back then but what I’m saying I’d like to see more of that stuff today. That’s just a celebration. It’s an homage to the old days but we’re still here doing it.

BT: The last Hanoi Rocks record, 2007’s “Street Poetry” are there any future plans at all with the Hanoi Rocks band?

MM: No, that was a rebirth of the band that we had with Andy (Mccoy), the three albums we did. That ran it’s course. I was prepared to do that for the rest of my life when it was fun, but it came to the point where it wasn’t fun any more and it was time to finally put that band to bed in it final resting place with its honor and integrity in tact. It was great a band.

BT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MM: Yeah, anybody who likes rock n roll and good music should check out the “Blackout States” album. For fans in the states that’s for your patience and we hope to get to play that part of the world soon. Enjoy the music and be healthy and be happy.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mike Portnoy of The Winery Dogs

They say never meet your heroes. Unless of course one of your heroes is Mike Portnoy from The Winery Dogs, Flying Colors, The Metal Allegiance, Twisted Sister, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, formerly of Adrenaline Mob and Dream Theater and I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Mike Portnoy is one of the most entertaining yet technical drummers of all time. He’s got he stage presence of Tommy Lee, the business and leadership abilities of Lars Ulrich, the chops of Neil Peart. He demands attention on stage much like his heroes before him: John Bonham and Keith Moon. The guy is the total package. Two of my favorite active bands as we speak are Flying Colors and The Winery Dogs. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Currently Mike is on tour with The Winery Dogs in support of their new album “Hot Streak” which is a phenomenal album that actually gets considerably better after seeing them live.

Recently my podcast partner on The Nothing Shocking Podcast Eric Nesbit and I got the chance to catch up with Mike backstage at The Winery Dog show in St. Charles, IL (might I add that it was the best concert I’ve ever been too…seriously).

Bob Zerull (BZ): I love the new album “Hot Streak.” You guys have been saying this album was more collaborative what do you mean that?

Mike Portnoy (MP): Well this time around we’re actually a band. There’s a trust that’s built up. On the first album it was more of an experiment. We still collaborated on 70% to 80% of the first album but we had that safety net of completed songs that Richie all ready had. This time we came in with nothing and wrote them all together.

BZ: Do you guys share a lot of the same instincts? When you hear a beat in your head but Richie hears something different to go with the melody he’s working on how to you handle those situations? 

MP: Like I said there’s a lot of trust. Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player in the world. I don’t have to worry about him playing a bass line right. He’s going to come up with something better than anything I could tell him to play. Same with Richie.

(Mike walks out the room because he’s got a cold)

BZ: How hard is it to be drummer with a runny nose?

MP: Oh it sucks. That’s why I don’t shake hands on tour I just do fist bumps. Some people take offense to it but if you shake 300 hands a night you’re gonna get sick fast and that’s gonna make for a miserable tour.

Eric Nesbit (EN): Sonically how is “Hot Streak” different than the debut?

MP: Well sonically it’s not different. We used the same mixer, producer etc. We liked what we had sonically with the first album so we used the same people and equipment. Stylistically it’s different. There are songs like “Oblivion” that would fit in perfectly on the first album. But then there’s a song like “Hot Streak” that is a lot more funky, “Spiral” is practically a disco song. So I think stylistically we’re still evolving.

BZ: You’re known for your side projects. Do side projects help prevent getting burnt out.

MP: Definitely. I was in a band for 25 years, granted I did side projects back then as well, but it’s a way to get away and play something different. I’m juggling six side projects now.

BZ: What I find amazing is that all of these side projects are top notch. Not even just your side projects it seems like across the board everybody working on side projects are putting out quality material, do you think is due to the fact that they don’t send these things through the machine? 

MP: At this point in my career I want to do what I want, play with everybody I can play with. Nothing is about a record deal or selling records or making money. It’s about playing the music I want with the people I want. I was in a band for 25 years, that was my primary focus, now I want to focus on as much as I can.

EN: What’s the status of Transatlantic. I know at one point you put it on hiatus so Neal Morse could concentrate on his Christianity, so where is it now?

MP: We were on hiatus for eight or nine years. We reunited in 2009 to make the “Whirlwind” album. Since then we’ve made two albums so yeah we went through that hiatus. But that hiatus is over and we’re now back together and we’ve done two albums since then. We’re just not active at the moment we’re just in between cycles.

BZ: What’s your favorite part, is it the creating or the performing?

MP: Hands down for me it’s the performing. I like the creative process because I’m a creative person. I’m never just the drummer. I’m involved with the producing, I’m involved with the writing and all that stuff. But to me it’s a very tedious process so I get bored very quickly. As much as that’s a nice enjoyable side of what I do I way prefer playing live. I way prefer being on stage connecting with the audience, having that integration with the people out there, getting to ham it up. To me that’s a way more enjoyable side of it. Not everybody agrees with that. Not even everybody in The Winery Dogs would agree with that. I know Richie prefers the studio side.

BZ: With Dream Theater you use to release bootlegs, is that something you’ll do with any of these projects?

MP: With Dream Theater I had years and years and years of archives built up. I didn’t start doing the official bootlegs until about 20 years into the band so there was twenty years of archives built up there. For Dream Theater I would do about four or five official bootlegs each year. I’d like to still do that but obviously The Winery Dogs and Flying Colors don’t have as much of an archive. The stuff I do with Neal Morse, Neal’s good at archiving everything. He’s got his inner circle so most of the stuff Neal and I do together get’s released in a million different forms. Neal’s very much like me in that respect.

BZ: I saw a video with the Metal Allegiance guys talking about Bill Ward and Black Sabbath. Drummers seem to get the least amount of respect in the industry. Chris Adler has said he’s going to be pulling double duty with Lamb of God and Megadeth and that just seems really challenging as a drummer, or a singer but specifically a drummer.

MP: It depends on your work ethic. Different people are different. Chris is gonna do it, I’ve done it before. Shit I’ve done triple duty on my progressive nation cruise. I was playing with Transatlantic, PSMS and Big Elf. I very well may be doing triple duty next summer with The Winery Dogs, Twisted Sister and Metal Allegiance. So yeah I’ve done double duty, I’ve done triple duty. It’s exhausting, but I have that drive and work ethic, but it’s not for everyone. I guess Chris is gonna do it so he can handle it. Dave Grohl is the sort of personality that could handle it. Corey Taylor, Phil Anselmo, Mike Patton. These are the type of personalities that can do it but it’s not for the weak hearted. But I use to play three, three and a half hour shows with Dream Theater and three, three and half hour shows with Transatlantic. What’s the difference if I’m doing an hour and a half with The Winery Dogs and an hour and a half with Twisted Sister. It’s no different than what I’ve done all those years with any of my prog bands.

EN: You’re always looked upon as being the workaholic with all these projects that you’re working on. Do you ever find the point where you just need to step back and take a break or go on vacation? 

MP: No I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I love doing what I do and I get bored so quickly. In the times that I have had a couple weeks at home I get fidgety real quick and I’m really itching to go. Even when I’m home I’m dealing with a million emails having to deal with merchandise or interviews or whatever. It kind of never stops even when I’m home. It’s not a vacation. That’s ok, that’s just the way I’m wired.

BZ: I know the music industry is really struggling right now. It seems like it’s almost a necessity to be in multiple bands at the same time. Do you think this is the perfect era for you or do you kind of wish you were around in the seventies?

MP: No this is perfect for me. I might be partially to blame. I was one of the guys starting multiple projects in the late nineties when many people weren’t. Mike Patton was doing them and Phil Anselmo but not many people were. I started doing them in the late nineties with Transatlantic and Liquid Tension Experiment. It suits me like we already discussed, it suits my personality. I love it. Yeah it’s true it’s hard to find many musicians these days that are only in one band. It’s very common now.

BZ: What does it take for a young band to be able to make it in todays landscape, being able to do it for free? It generally takes three or four albums to build up a name and an archive?

MP: Being willing to do it for free is certainly an attribute that will help you make it because these days it’s really hard to make money from it. I would hate to be starting off in 2015. It’s tough. I see it with my son. He’s in a band, I just produced their debut album. He’s got the head start because he’s got me to get his foot through the door but God I can’t imagine how hard it would be to start from scratch in 2015. It just take a lot of perseverance and a willingness to go and do it no matter how hard it is. That’s the only way you can really make it.

BZ: One thing I feel that’s missing from rock n roll today is the mystery. Nobody knew anything about Zeppelin, the whole Paul is dead thing with the Beatles. Today with social media everybody know everything about everybody. Do you like that part, hate that part?

MP: Once again it’s based on personalities. I personally have always been an open book with my fans. Even from day one before there was the internet. Day one with Dream Theater I was the one answering the fan mail and sending out the merchandise and sending out the demos. I was the one hanging out by the van and drinking shots of Yager with the fans. That was always my personality. The rest of the guys in Dream Theater were kind of never like that. I was always the spokesperson for that band for all those years because that was my personality. It suits me, but now having social media being as important as it is, it works great for me. I like putting everything out there and having that communication with the fans, but it’s not for everyone. A lot of the other bands I’m in not only Dream Theater but like Flying Colors some one like Steve Morse or Dave LaRue those guys don’t really embrace it like I do. You could pretty much point to every band out there and you’re going to find a few members that do and a few that don’t.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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