Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler  |  Feb 14, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
When the phrase “beast mode” entered the vernacular, it was intended mainly as a descriptor for a singularly focused level of energy and drive as exhibited by certain football players. But it just as easily could have been used to describe the laser focus Def Leppard displayed in the face of innumerable odds while recording the 1987 juggernaut known as Hysteria. It may have taken them 34 months of on/off studio time and a hefty price tag of 2 million pounds to get to the finish line, but the ensuing album sold over 25 million copies worldwide and became the defining sonic template for the scores of pop-metal crossover hybrids that followed.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 07, 2018  |  0 comments
Legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has been a hands-on Monster gear user for decades, ever since he first plugged one of their patch cables into his live rig. At CES, Perry and I sat down together exclusively to discuss why he personally must use anything he puts his name on, why reproducing true bass content is critical, and how he insisted everyone who worked on his new solo album Sweetzerland Manifesto utilize the same Elements headphones to establish a sonic baseline.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 31, 2018  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
No other artist in the rock era has followed his own muse as deliberately and as singularly as Bob Dylan has. Right from the dawning of his career at the outset of the 1960s, Dylan has chosen his own lane and then merged into it full-on, regardless of any external pressures or expectations. Whether the message is parlayed with his voice backed only by an acoustic guitar or translated with full band accompaniment, the foremost poet of our times has known exactly what information he wants to share with us every step of the way, critics and cognoscenti be damned.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 17, 2018  |  2 comments
Photo by Neil Zlozower

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of 1987’s mega-multimillion-selling Whitesnake — the album that spawned such massive FM hits as “Here I Go Again” “Is This Love,” and Still of the Night” — Rhino has uncoiled an exhaustive 4-CD/1-DVD box set featuring a disc of demos titled 87 Evolutions, properly mastered live bootlegs, and four of-era videos remastered in surround sound on DVD. Singer/frontman David Coverdale discusses a critical change in his vocals, how Tina Turner came thisclose to singing “Is This Love,” and why those core Whitesnake songs retain such universal appeal.

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 02, 2018  |  Published: Jan 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Photo: Jim Summaria

British blues-rock pioneers Savoy Brown continue to fly the flag quite mightily on their current album, Witchy Feelin’. Kim Simmonds, their bandleader/guitarist/vocalist for over 52 years and counting, got on the line to discuss the importance of incorporating hooks and riffs together in songs, what he specifically listens for in order to garner creative inspiration, and why he can never relax as an artist.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 20, 2017  |  0 comments
Career songwriters often find themselves on a perpetual quest to add new tools to their creative toolboxes in order to keep things fresh. Such has been the case for Mike Scott, chief architect of British alt-rock stalwarts The Waterboys, who turned to GarageBand and some interesting plug-in choices to fuel the almost two-dozen songs that comprise his band’s expansive new double-disc effort, Out of All This Blue (BMG).
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 06, 2017  |  0 comments
Photo: Joseph Guay

The five men in the fine Atlanta-bred alt-rock collective known as Collective Soul had a very specific mixing rule for Collective Soul – Live: “There are no overdubs here,” confirms Collective Soul frontman, vocalist/guitarist Ed Roland. To further delve into the sheer liveness of Live, Roland and I got on the line to discuss the balance of dynamics in the band’s live mixes, why their biggest hit “Shine” comes across so well in a live setting, and which classic live albums they referred to as inspirations.

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 01, 2017  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
If you do something in your life and there’s no camera around to capture it, did it really happen? In essence, that’s the core conceit of The Circle, director James Ponsoldt’s of-the-moment adaptation of Dave Eggers’ 2013 speculative fiction novel that imagines a fully interconnected world where the life unfilmed is not worth living (well, kinda).
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 29, 2017  |  2 comments
Performance
Sound
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t “get” Marillion when I saw them open for Rush at the Rosemont Horizon just outside of Chicago on March 21, 1986, playing their 1985 breakthrough album Misplaced Childhood in its entirety. While I was properly enamored with the uplifting performance of their touchingly seductive FM hit “Kayleigh,” I just wasn’t able to connect with the rest of the set for some reason. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in that feeling, since I also heard a good bit of the crowd boo/catcall Marillion throughout their performance, the first time I had heard such a thing occur at a live show.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 22, 2017  |  0 comments
Is there a more hallowed Thanksgiving tradition than the annual spinning of Arlo Guthrie's magical 18-minute tale about one fateful Thanksgiving Day encounter that's also celebrating its 50th birthday this year, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”? Guthrie and I discuss the song’s sonic origins, what had to be done to ensure it fit perfectly onto one album side, and the Guthrie family’s storied annual holiday tradition of playing Carnegie Hall in New York.

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