Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.
This week, in a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, legendary frontman Graham Bonnet shares the story behind two songs from his recently-released double album, The Book.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
GRAHAM BONNET BAND – “Into The Night”
Graham Bonnet’s most well-known songs date all the way back to 1979. Two songs from his lone album with Rainbow – “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “All Night Long” – have stood the test of time, and still get played on classic rock stations to this day.
In 1983, Bonnet joined forces with (a then unknown) Yngwie Malmsteen to form Alcatrazz. Like the relationship with Ritchie Blackmore, his stint with Yngwie only lasted for one album, but there were some moments of pure magic created together.
Bonnet has remained active (albeit under-the-radar) with stints fronting MSG and Impellitteri. The voice that captivated fans back in the day has remained incredibly powerful. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear that “Into The Night” was a lost track from the late-‘70s or early-‘80s. It’s that good!
The legendary frontman has plenty of solo experience under his belt, sprinkled in between his work with other bands. Though his latest project bears his name, Bonnet has put together an outstanding lineup for Graham Bonnet Band (Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and backing vocals, Conrado Pesinato on guitar and Chase Manhattan on drums). There is an undeniable chemistry between this impressive foursome that comes shining through on “Into The Night,” a song that blends the best of Rainbow, Yngwie and symphonic power metal, and gets better with each listen.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview, Graham Bonnet discussed the true story that inspired the lyrics for “Into The Night”…
“This is kind of like a true story. In fact, in the song, I’m singing as though it’s about someone else, but it’s actually about me. It’s about a guy who goes away on a long tour to Australia, and comes back home to find that he can’t get in the door, and starts to wonder why. The key doesn’t seem to fit, but it must, because it’s the key that he brought with him on tour. The story goes on to say that the girl that he was married to (my ex), comes to the door without a smile on her face.
In the song, the guy had just come back from a long trip to Australia (after a month’s tour), and when he walked into the house, found that all of his bags were packed to move out that day.
It’s kind of about divorce and being sent away from the ones you love. That’s what happened to me. So, in the song, I’m singing about somebody else, but the main protagonist is actually me. It’s a real story that goes on to tell how the guy ends up alone. This happened about seven or eight years ago, but it’s stuck with me.
I’m a little happier now than I was back then. I have a new life now, but having no life (so to speak) back then, I thought that it was kind of important to write about it. It got the damn monkey off my back. It seems like when you write things down or talk about them, it gets a lot easier after a while.”
GRAHAM BONNET BAND – “California Air (Better Here Than There)”
Like “Into The Night,” “California Air (Better Here Than There)” comes from Graham Bonnet Band’s latest release, The Book (an epic double album that features remakes of some of Bonnet’s most well-known work).
Bonnet’s amazing vocals are complemented by his gregarious personality and sense of humor, both of which take center stage on this feel-good rock anthem.
You can take the boy out of the arena, but you can’t take the arena out of the boy. Ok, I realize that is not really a saying, but just the same, there’s something extremely nostalgic about hearing songs that feel like they were meant to be played in front of thousands.
In a perfect world, Bonnet fans would get the opportunity to see him perform his latest songs and classics alike in an arena setting. Unfortunately, the state of rock music (especially in the U.S.) makes that an unlikely scenario. However, “California Air (Better Here Than There)” will electrify a crowd of any size. This song is a timeless, instant classic that deserves much more attention than it is likely to get in the current climate.
During the exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Bonnet also shared the story behind “California Air (Better Here Than There)” and a shocking revelation as well…
“It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek song, because we all know what the California air is like. It’s awful; it’s terrible; it’s really, really bad (especially in Los Angeles). But at the same time, we also try to be healthy here. Everybody’s out there jogging in this awful air, and thinking that they’re becoming healthier. The shape of their bodies may be ok, but when the air that you’re breathing isn’t that good, what’s in the body? And, me being asthmatic as I am, I can tell if the smog is really heavy. It’s very hard for me to breathe.
The song is meant to be sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, not literal. One of the lines in the song is ‘it’s better here than there.’ I’m talking about being in the cold by the North Sea in England. I would trade England any day to be here in California. I go back to England quite a bit, and it’s always nice to come back to here. It’s a little bit of a joke and a little bit of a dig. Is this an angel’s town or is it a lipsticked pig?”
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DESTRAGE – “Don’t Stare at the Edge”
Italian progressive metalcore act Destrage is back with their fourth album, A Means to No End. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed with the opening riff and the weird syncopated drum intro. The melody in the catchy chorus begs the listener to scream along with singer Paolo, as the rest of the band chugs along in odd time. This band is so good, that calling them progressive metalcore doesn’t do them justice.
KHEMMIS – “Three Gates”
Doom metal is difficult to do right. There has to be the right amount of sludge, melody and heaviness. Khemmis (from Denver, Colorado) did it right with their new album, Hunted. Their single, “Three Gates,” has great melodies with doom-laden growling verses, the guitars are heavy and slow with interludes of clean undistorted guitars adding to the eeriness of the song. Couple that with the rhythm section’s sludgy feel, and you have a great doom metal tune.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
THE ANSWER – “Beautiful World”
From the intense groove to vocals often reminiscent of Robert Plant, there is an undeniable Led Zeppelin influence coursing through this Northern Irish hard rock band’s sixth album. It combines poignantly with the Gaelic and Celtic influences of the band’s roots. This haunting selection stands out as an early personal favorite.
WILD SOULS – “Dirty Mind”
Wild Souls is a melodic rock band out of Greece, founded in 2010 by guitarist Kostis Tsiligiris. This is the first single from their recently released album, Game of Love. It nicely captures that classic late-‘80s sound, with some modern touches.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com