Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 4/14/16
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
This week, Hard Rock Music Time Machine features an exclusive interview with Greg Tobin, drummer of a true hidden gem band of the ’90s – Dillinger. In the interview, Tobin discusses the band’s patriotic anthem – “Red White And Blue.”
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
DILLINGER – “Red White And Blue” (1991)
Long before terrorism became a reality in the United States, and when the country was not divided as it is today, a vastly underrated southern rock band released a song dripping with American pride. It’s sad to say, but if this song was released a decade later (after the 9/11 attacks), it most likely would have become the anthem for American fortitude. Instead, this beautiful homage to America went unappreciated by the masses when it was released at the beginning of the grunge movement.
The beginning of grunge is always associated with the demise of ‘80s hair metal, but what gets lost in the shuffle is the collateral damage that it did to southern rock. Another time, another place, Dillinger could have become a household name in the genre, with their unique style of southern hard rock.
“Red White And Blue” may be the song that introduces you to the band, but the entire Horses & Hawgs album is filled with outstanding music, and remains a personal favorite to this day.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Dillinger drummer Greg Tobin reflects back upon “Red White And Blue,” a song that was not only a fan-favorite, but a band favorite as well…
“ ‘Red White And Blue’ was written in the spring of 1990 by (vocalist) Chris Post and (bassist) Buck Bowhall. I don’t think that there was anything specific that inspired the song. Chris just started writing some ideas for a song about the USA. Buck suggested that he write it like he was writing about a woman, hence the lyrics…‘She’s got a name as proud as any…her heart and soul belongs to you.’
I really think that the whole band just wanted to write an homage to the USA. ‘Red White And Blue’ is a salute to the love that we have for the country (which is the home that we all share because we come from completely different parts of the United States). Blake (Bachman) grew up in Malibu, CA; Buck grew up in Detriot, MI; Chris grew up in Boston, MA and I grew up in Clinton, IA, yet, we all had very similar upbringings and family stories. Ultimately, I think that living together day in and day out, and growing as a family, gave us all an appreciation for where each of us were raised. We are four very proud Americans, and I think that this song sums up our feelings.”
On the meaning that ‘Red White And Blue’ had to fans and the band…
“We recorded ‘Red White And Blue’ during the Gulf War. I have great memories of touring the United States and meeting people that have been touched by the song (especially the men and women serving our country that I am in awe of and respect greatly).
One of the absolute highlights of my career is hearing ‘Red White And Blue’ being played at halftime during Super Bowl XXV. We were on tour at the time in Texas. Huddled around a little TV in a motel, we heard the song playing in the background…what an amazing moment!
Over the years, we have been lucky enough to play in each of our hometowns and perform on the radio stations that we grew up listening to. We got to visit each other’s families while on the road, as well as meeting new friends and playing in almost every state. If we had to be known for one song, I would like it to be ‘Red White And Blue’ because of what it represents.”
LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “Red White & Blue” (2003)
Unlike Dillinger’s “Red White And Blue,” the Lynyrd Skynyrd version of a song with the same title is less about patriotism and more about a celebration of a southern culture that is engrained in the members of the band. The brilliance of this song is not only in the music (which is some of the best that the band has put out in recent years), but also the ability to use storytelling lyrics to romanticize a lifestyle that listeners may or may not relate to, but embrace equally. Just as Kid Rock brought you into his world with “All Summer Long,” so to does Skynyrd with “Red White & Blue.”
When you think of Lynyrd Skynyrd, a lot of things come to mind. For the average southern rock music fan, it probably isn’t the music that they’ve made since the turn of the century with Johnny Van Zant at the helm. Though their more modern music may not get the same attention as their undeniable classics, it is just as good in its own way.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
SEPULTURA – “Refuse/Resist” (1993)
From the opening heartbeat to the tribal pounding at the start of the song, Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist” (from their album Chaos A.D.) is sure to bring back the nostalgic times of rebellious youth. Sepultura was one of the bands that I listened to religiously, and got me started playing thrash metal on the drums. The speed, power and aggression of this song makes me air drum to this day (usually when the kids aren’t around). This song is such an iconic symbol of thrash metal, that every classic-to-modern thrash/death/groove metal band will whip out the first few chords of the song to instant recognition from the crowd. Even though Max Cavalera and Igor Cavalera are no longer in the current lineup of Sepultura, this band has definitely left its mark as one of the pioneer thrash bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
OVERKILL – “Elimination” (1989)
Heavy intro guitar riff? Check. Metal screams? Check. Pounding thrash drumbeat? Check. Dark Nihilistic lyrics? Check. What more can you want from Overkill’s “Elimination” off of their album Years of Decay? I remember the days of my youth, banging my head to this tune whenever the video for this song came on Headbanger’s Ball. Although Overkill never had the notoriety or fame as some of their peers, this song stood out as one of the best thrash songs of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. The riff that Bobby Gustafson wrote for this song was heavy as hell and catchy. Add that to Bobby Blitz’s trademark shrieks, the rhythm section of D.D. Verni and Sid Falck, and Terry Date’s production, and it makes for one hell of a heavy, headbanging, awesome song.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
PHIL VINCENT – “Show Me How” (2008)
Vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards. Except for a few guest guitar spots, Rhode Island’s Phil Vincent does it all on his 2008 album, White Noise. And that includes the songwriting and production. He just left Legion (reviewed recently on Music Discovery Monday), only to release a three-CD collection (Unreleased) with the band’s guitarist and his longtime collaborator, Vince O’Regan. On the collection, he handles all the vocals and O’Regan handles all of the instruments.
EVIL MASQUERADE – “The Wind Will Rise” (2004)
This Danish metal band powers up hard with the speeding, screaming guitar of founder Henrik Flyman, matched with a thundering rhythm section. The instruments are tight and the compositions blend some pronounced classical influences. The band is preparing to release their new album, The Outcast Hall Of Fame, on May 19th.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
ANDY TAYLOR – “I Might Lie” (1987)
The time machine goes back almost 30 years for “I Might Lie,” the lead song off the first solo album by British guitarist Andy Taylor (Power Station, Duran Duran) released in 1987. This classic, which featured former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, is a great all-around rock/metal track, both musically and lyrically.
CLOVEN HOOF – “Nightstalker” (1984)
Taking the time machine back even further for some old school metal from the UK’s Cloven Hoof. Low tech and edgy, “Nightstalker” is from the band’s first full-length album of the same name.