The Pretenders Announce Relentless Album and Release "Let The Sun Come In"
The Pretenders are back with today’s premiere of the optimistically charged new single, “Let The Sun Come In,” available now via Rhino Records – the band’s return to Warner Music Group after more than two decades having first been signed to Sire Records in America by the legendary Seymour Stein.
Marked by the electrifying impulsiveness and attitude that has long defined founder Chrissie Hynde’s eternal spirit, “Let The Sun Come In” heralds the eagerly awaited arrival of The Pretenders’ new studio album, Relentless, arriving everywhere on Friday, September 1. Pre-orders – including digital download, baby pink vinyl, black vinyl, and CD – are available now.
“I enjoy seeing the various meanings and origins of a word,” says Chrissie Hynde of the album’s title. “And I liked the definition: ‘showing no abatement of intensity.’ So when it came to an album title, it seemed fitting. You know…to keep doing it. I think anyone in a band is constantly questioning if they should keep going. It starts as a youthful pursuit and eventually, it makes you wonder, why am I doing this? It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless.”
Pretenders - Let The Sun Come In (Official Audio)Official audio for Let The Sun Come In, taken from Pretenders' brand new album 'Relentless'.Pre-order the album 'Relentless' here: https://Pretenders.lnk.to/...
Produced by multiple Grammy Award-nominee David Wrench (Courtney Barnett, David Byrne) at the famed Battery Studios in Willesden, North West London, Relentless marks the second consecutive full-length songwriting collaboration by Hynde and Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne following 2020’s acclaimed Hate For Sale. The two are joined on the album’s twelve tracks by what Hynde has dubbed “The Pretenders Collective,” including Kris Sonne (drums), Chris Hill (double bass), Dave Page (bass), and Carwyn Ellis (keyboards and guitars). In addition, Relentless features a landmark collaboration with Academy Award-nominated composer Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead, The Smile), who provides the string arrangement and conducted the 12 Ensemble for the album’s stunning closing track, “I Think About You Daily.”
“I met Jonny a couple of times and we’re obviously big fans of him because he’s done some incredible music over the years,” Hynde says. “I saw him at the Phantom Thread premiere where the film was running on screen with a live orchestra playing. And we spoke afterward and he expressed an interest in doing something one day. I was thrilled and very surprised. So when we had the idea of getting strings on ‘I Think About You Daily,’ he was first choice. Legend!”
The Pretenders will introduce Relentless to fans around the world with an equally uncompromising international live schedule, including intimate headline dates, top-billed festival appearances, and a massive EU/UK stadium run supporting Guns N’ Roses. Dates begin tomorrow, May 12, with a much-anticipated headline performance at Brighton, England’s The Great Escape followed by a sold-out tour of clubs and small venues across the UK and Ireland. Further highlights include a very special festival appearance as direct support to Foo Fighters at the upcoming Ohana Festival, curated by Eddie Vedder and set for October 1 at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA. Additional dates will be announced. For updates, please visit thepretenders.com.
2020’s Hate For Sale proved yet another triumph for The Pretenders, with Q Magazine hailing the LP as “up there with the best of the early Pretenders albums.” “The New Wave greats haven't sounded this raw and real since the early Eighties,” agreed Rolling Stone, while The Guardian praised the album for “tight songs that prance insouciantly from genre to genre, scattering wisdom and swagger in their wake.”
- Losing My Sense Of Taste
- A Love
- Domestic Silence
- The Copa
- Promise Of Love
- Merry Widow
- Let The Sun Come In
- Look Away
- Your House Is On Fire
- Just Let It Go
- I Think About You Daily
The Pretenders 2023 Tour Dates
12 – Brighton, UK – The Great Escape *
13 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms (SOLD OUT)
14 – Cambridge, UK – MASH (SOLD OUT)
16 – Frome, UK – Cheese & Grain (SOLD OUT)
17 – Stoke, UK – The Sugarmill (SOLD OUT)
19 – Limerick, Ireland – Dolans (SOLD OUT)
20 – Core, Ireland – Cypress Avenue (SOLD OUT)
21 – Dublin, Ireland - Olympia Theatre
23 – Belfast, UK – Limelight (SOLD OUT)
25 – Stornoway, UK – Midnight Sun Weekender *
28 – Derbyshire, UK – Bearded Theory *
30- Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma
31- Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma
9 – Madrid, Spain - Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano †
11 – Oxfordshire, UK – KITE Festival *
12 – Vigo, Spain - Estadio Abanca Balaídos †
16 – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain – Azkena Festival *
17 – Kent, UK – Black Deer Festival of Americana *
27 – Glasgow, UK – Bellahouston Park †
30 – London, UK – BST Hyde Park †
3 – Frankfurt, Germany – Deutsche Bank Park †
5 – Bern, Switzerland – BERNEXPO †
8 – Rome, Italy – Circo Massimo †
11 – Weert, Netherlands - Evenemententerrein †
1 – Dana Point, CA – OHANA Festival *
* Festival Appearance
† w/ Guns N’ Roses
Making a living doing the thing you love is great—in fact, it’s something that so many players aspire to. But it changes the relationship between player and instrument when the instrument is a source of work. How do they stay excited about their work? And how do they get excited when they’re in a lull? What keeps their creativity flowing? These are big questions, but our hosts are both having their own renaissances with their guitars. And—surprise!—it’s because they’ve both come into some new key pieces of gear.
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On this episode, Rhett and Zach discuss the relationship that they each have with the guitar at this point in their careers. Making a living doing the thing you love is great—in fact, it’s something that so many players aspire to. But it changes the relationship between player and instrument when the instrument is a source of work. How do they stay excited about their work? And how do they get excited when they’re in a lull? What keeps their creativity flowing? These are big questions, but our hosts are both having their own renaissances with their guitars. And—surprise!—it’s because they’ve both come into some new key pieces of gear.
Zach reports that he has been rippin’ totally sweet Metallica licks on his sick new ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Signature Series KH-602. He’s a longtime fan of the band—and has conveniently fallen back in love with Kill ’Em All and Ride the Lightning—and says he’s wanted a Hammett signature guitar for his entire guitar-playing life. When he saw this one at Nashville’s Guitars To Be Played, he fell in love with everything, from the skull and crossbones fret markers to the Floyd Rose. And you know what? The Floyd Rose isn’t hard to set up. This guitar, Zach says, is kickstarting his “love of the guitar again.”
Meanwhile, Rhett has been enjoying his new Soldano SLO-100head and matching 4x12 cabinet, even if he does keep the cab a few flights below his control room. He’s stoked about the story of Soldano, who he admires for being one of the early boutique amp builders, and has been playing this new 100-watter all week.When it’s time to dip a rig, it’s hard to find any faults. No spoilers, but it’s a nice one (and an easy gig load).And in the shill zone, Zach talks about the importance of running a brown box for owners of older amps and talks briefly about the difference between the Brown Box and a Variac.
Queens of the Stone Age Announces In Times New Roman… Album and Releases Single "Emotion Sickness"
QOTSA's first new music in six years proves they still have a penchant for acerbic lyrics, hypnotic choruses and off kilter grooves.
Queens of the Stone Age have announced their long-awaited 8th studio album, In Times New Roman… out June 16th on Matador.
In Times New Roman... is raw, at times brutal and not recommended for the faint of heart. And yet, it’s perhaps the most beautiful and definitely the most rewarding album in their epic discography. Founder Joshua Homme's most acerbic lyrics to date are buoyed by the instantly identifiable QOTSA sonic signature, expanded and embellished with new and unprecedented twists in virtually every song.With In Times New Roman… we see that sometimes one needs to look beneath scars and scabs to see beauty, and sometimes the scabs and scars are the beauty.
Feeling a bit out of place, and having difficulty finding music they could relate to, the members of QOTSA did as they are wont to do: In Times New Roman… is the sound of a band creating the music its own members want to hear, while giving the rest of us a sonic forum in which to congregate. “The world’s gonna end in a month or two," sings Homme, begging the question: What do you want to do with the time you’ve got left? Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, Michael Shuman and Jon Theodore may not be able to save us, but they’re giving us a place to ride it out.
Queens of the Stone Age - Emotion Sickness (Official Audio)The first offering from In Times New Roman… available June 16th. Pre-save and pre-order here: https://qotsa.ffm.to/itnrStream "Emotion Sickness": https://qot...
In Times New Roman… was recorded and mixed at Homme’s own Pink Duck (RIP), with additional recording at Shangri-La. The album was produced by Queens of the Stone Age and mixed by Mark Rankin. The album will be available across all digital platforms and on vinyl and CD on June 16th. Artwork and double LP gatefold packaging designed by long time collaborator Boneface. LP vinyl will be available globally in black, green, red, silver and blue. All formats are available for pre-order here. The track list is as follows:
- Paper Machete
- Negative Space
- Time & Place
- Made to Parade
- What the Peephole Say
- Emotion Sickness
- Straight Jacket Fitting
Wolf Van Halen & company drop their second single off Mammoth II and add some polyrhythm spice to their formula.
With the recent excitement around the announcement of Mammoth II and the success of the current single “Another Celebration at the End of the World,” Mammoth WVH – the brainchild of Wolfgang Van Halen - is releasing another song to fans. “Like a Pastime” is the second song on the upcoming sophomore album slated for release on August 4th via BMG. The song is available via all digital service providers and anyone that pre-orders the album digitally will receive the track as an instant download. A lyric video for the new song can be seen here:
“It centers around a 4/4-time signature, but with a polyrhythm on top. I was teaching my fiancé what a polyrhythm is, and I stumbled upon this idea. The kick drums are accentuating it. It’s certainly one of my favorites and a completely different vibe than anything on the first album,” explains Wolfgang.
Continuing the tradition of writing all of the songs and performing all of the instrumentation and vocals himself, GRAMMY® Award nominee Wolfgang Van Halen set out to challenge himself to expand his sound beyond what people had already come to know him for. From the rocking opener “Right?” to Beatles-esque fade on closer “Better Than You” Mammoth II showcases the growth of Wolfgang as a songwriter, musician and especially vocalist. Songs like “Miles Above Me,” “Take a Bow” and “Waiting” are all sonically different from each other but unique to what Mammoth WVH is. The debut single from Mammoth II is the upbeat rocker “Another Celebration at the End of the World” that is currently in the Top 15 at Active Rock radio. The video is an 8:25 introduction to the Mammoth WVH live band that was directed by Gordy De St. Jeor and can be seen here: https://youtu.be/yIQH0HcdQnE. Recorded at the legendary 5150 studio, Mammoth II was produced by friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette and is available for pre-order in multiple configurations here: https://MammothWVH.lnk.to/MammothIIPR.
The track listing for Mammoth II is:
2. Like a Pastime
3. Another Celebration at the End of the World
4. Miles Above Me
5. Take a Bow
7. I’m Alright
8. Erase Me
10. Better Than You
Mammoth WVH is planning to tour around the globe in support of Mammoth II. The live band – comprised of Wolfgang Van Halen (vocals/guitars/keyboards), Frank Sidoris (guitars), Jon Jourdan (guitars), Ronnie Ficarro (Bass) and Garrett Whitlock (drums) - is getting ready to head over to Europe in support of Metallica on their M72 World tour and other dates with Alter Bridge along with select headline dates and various festival appearances overseas. Mammoth WVH will return to the US and Canada for more touring in August alongside friends Alter Bridge and Sevendust as well as dates with Metallica and Pantera. More dates will be announced in the near future tickets for all Mammoth WVH appearances can be found here: https://www.mammothwvh.com.
Mammoth WVH 2023 Tour Dates
Mission of Burma’s Roger Clark Miller: Guitar Dreamscapes
The post-punk 6-string hero takes a deep dive into sonic surrealism with his new album, a loop-driven collection of riveting soundscapes called Eight Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble.
If you ever find the opening to ask a composer or producer what it means to “paint with sound,” be prepared to frame the question in as many different ways as there are colors in the visible spectrum. Inspired by synaesthesis? Could be. Maybe a deep dive into abstract free-form improv? Sure, always worth a shot. What if you commit to exotic tunings or unconventional music theory? Or how about a mash-up of prepared instruments with some radical effects processing and tape manipulation?
We can do this all day, but before we lean into an “all of the above” approach, consider this: The only limit, really, is your imagination—or, more suggestively, your dreams. “There’s a way to get to that psychedelic state without actually taking psychedelics, which is useful,” Roger Clark Miller explains, with just a glint of conspiratorial humor. Given his illustrious history as a post-rock guitar guru and multi-instrumentalist with influences that range from ’60s acid rock to avant-shred to modern classical, Miller is intimately familiar with what it takes to push any and all boundaries in search of the music he hears in his head.
“The first time that I actually did something interesting with it was back in art school,” he recalls, paying tribute to his teacher Denman Maroney, a legendary jazz outsider known for his work with prepared piano. “He saw my interests and thought I’d probably like surrealism. Up until then, my idea of surrealism was taking acid [laughs].”
After reading André Breton’s surrealist manifestos (the second one, in particular, which touches on dreams as a creative reservoir), he set about applying the techniques to making music—and ran into a roadblock. “Breton actually said because music isn’t so specific, it can’t be surrealistic. And that kind of pissed me off. I was looking for a way to compose, and I didn’t want to use what had come before. I thought, well, if I make music based on dreams, then I can create a surrealistic music, and bypass Breton’s megalomania—as much as I respect him! This gave me access to a very organic structure. Everybody dreams, and there are forms to it.”
Miller’s jauntily titled Eight Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble, released earlier this year on the Cuneiform label, is in many ways the culmination of the technique he started developing back in 1975, when he created his first piece for solo violin. Miller has kept dream journals for decades, and uses them primarily as a non-linear source for ideas that he fleshes out into musical compositions. (“I don’t actually hear music unless it was part of the dream,” he points out.)
“This kind of music rewards attentive listening because it’s really composed and thought-out, so you’re not gonna be bored.”
If all that sounds a bit abstract and even esoteric, keep in mind this is the very same guy who co-founded Mission of Burma, one of the most viscerally immediate post-punk bands to come out of Boston’s raucous underground scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Back then, Miller adopted the much reviled Fender Lead I as his axe of choice, figuring he could put his personal stamp on it. As it turned out, the guitar’s cheaper construction and single split humbucker was perfect for sculpting an angular, aggressively jagged, but still bluesy sound through a vintage Marshall JMP-50 combo.
Miller was also a founding member of the somewhat kinder and gentler group Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, in which he played piano. (Due to his early struggles with tinnitus, he had to bow out of Burma in 1983, but the band reunited in 2002 for four more albums.) All this history and plenty more feeds back into the making of the Dream Interpretations, for reasons that Miller loves to elucidate.
Miller’s goal for his new album was to bring his surrealistic dreams in sound to life. His most recent tools for this task include three Rogue RLS-1 lap steel guitars and a Boomerang III looping system, which he uses in tandem with the Side Car controller footswitch.
“With my friend Martin Swope,” he says, name-checking Mission of Burma’s resident sound technician and live-tape-looping scientist, “like everybody, we were pretty fascinated with Brian Eno’s work at that time. Martin wanted to do a Robert Fripp and Eno style thing, so he had me play this amorphic, modal piano piece that I wrote, and he made these guitar loops going around and around. That was for Birdsongs, but he and I had worked like that on the song ‘New Disco’ [for Burma]. That’s how he became part of the band.”
Over the years, Miller folded what he learned from Swope into the sound he was chasing. In the early ’80s, he acquired an Electro-Harmonix 16-second digital delay. “It’s truly one of the most unique devices ever made,” he says. “It’s so unique that I used it as my pivot for quite a few years. I still have it, but its biggest drawback is the memory. If you make something longer than a two-second loop, the fidelity degrades. Back in 1983, memory was not cheap.”
“With looping, you can hear a sound and you don’t know when it happened or what instrument did it.”
The effect figured prominently in the making of his 1995 solo slab, Elemental Guitar, which he tracked using what was then a recently acquired ’62 Strat reissue. The album also features two pieces, “Dream Interpretation No. 7” and “Dream Interpretation No. 8,” that Miller considers to be successful precursors to his current album.
More than 25 years later, Eight Dream Interpretations opens with “Dream Interpretation No. 16,” a chilling excursion that suggests a serpentine path being resumed, although much has changed in the interim. For starters, Miller has added three Rogue RLS-1 lap steel guitars to his arsenal: one tuned to unison E and used exclusively for slide parts, and the other two prepared with alligator clips and strung with different gauges to capture a wider palette of tones. He’s also mothballed the Electro-Harmonix in favor of a Boomerang III looping system, which he uses in tandem with the Side Car controller footswitch.
Roger Clark Miller’s Gear
Besides looping and other effects, plus his trusty Stratocaster, Miller relies on a trio of lap steels to create his celestial soundscapes—in three different tunings.
Photo by Roger Clark Miller
- 1990 Fender Stratocaster ST62 reissue (made in Japan)
- Rogue RLS-1 lap steel (three: one tuned to unison E and used as a slide guitar, two others prepared with alligator clips)
- Fender Deluxe Reverb (two)
- Sunn bass head with 610L cabinet
- Peavey Classic 50 410 combo
- Walrus Audio MAKO Series ACS1 Amp and Cab Simulator
- Electro-Harmonix 16-Second Digital Delay
- Boomerang III Phrase Sampler with Side Car controller
- TC Electronic Brainwaves Pitch Shifter
- TC Electronics Rush Booster
- Electro-Harmonix East River Drive
- Source Audio Kingmaker Fuzz
- Ernie Ball stereo volume pedal
Strings & Picks
- Ernie Ball Regular Slinky (.010–.46; Strat)
- D’Addario EXL 157 (.014–.069; lap steel)
- D’Addario Medium EXL 160 (.050–.105; lap steel)
- Dunlop Max-Grip .73 mm
Along with his trusty Strat, when Miller seats himself behind the Rogues it’s as though he’s strapping in for an interstellar journey at the helm of a homemade time machine. And the music comes across that way, from the dueling dive-bombing waves and high-pitched jet washes of “No. 19” to the softly percussive melodies and clean, pitch-shifted guitar lines of “No. 18.” (The tracks are sequenced as any album would be, not in numerical order, but according to the listening experience Miller wants to establish.) Outfitted with various effects that he dials in with the precision of a surgeon, Miller literally choreographs each move he makes to create the music. It’s mesmerizing to watch him in the video, directed by filmmaker Jesse Kreitzer, that accompanies “No. 17”—a wildly cinematic and soundscape-y piece that’s driven by a persistent, pulsating rhythm and a haunting sci-fi melody straight out of vintage Doctor Who.
When asked about influential recordings that have inspired him, Miller’s tastes run eclectic, to say the least. Fred Frith’s groundbreaking Guitar Solos album, an experimental classic, is “just an amazing work. I learned about using alligator clips from that album.” And then there’s the 1982 minimalist epic Descending Moonshine Dervishes by Terry Riley (“the first honest looper,” he says). But when it comes to specific guitar players, there are two in particular who move him to rapture.
The reunited Mission of Burma—guitarist Roger Miller, drummer Peter Prescott, and bassist Clint Conley—at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in London, England, in 2004.
Photo by Neonwar/Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
“See, I’m a little older than some of your readers here,” he warns, “but I came to my creative start during psychedelia and the British Invasion, so my heroes were Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix. I mean, Jimi was like a bolt of electricity from who knows where. He embraced the electric guitar as an instrument that could explain all sorts of alternate realities, and he wasn’t the first to use feedback, but he walked into it with complete conviction and cut a path for others to follow.
“And whereas Hendrix was a true guitar master, Barrett was considerably less skilled, but his vision, when operating on all cylinders, just transcended the limitations. For him, sound and vision were more important than technique. He was also a painter, and that may well have had something to do with it—painting with sound indeed! His solo on ‘Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk’ was once described to me as the ugliest guitar playing anyone had ever heard. Not for me!”
“I came to my creative start during psychedelia and the British Invasion, so my heroes were Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix.”
With ears wide open, Miller is constantly exploring new directions. His most recent composition, the nearly self-explanatory Music for String Quartet and Two Turntables, has just been recorded with members of Boston’s Ludovico Ensemble. He also has a new album in the can with Trinary System, the rock trio he founded in 2013, planned for release next year. Whether he’s painting with sound or testing the very elasticity of time, his multidisciplinary method of mining his dreams and looping the sonic events of his waking life continues to yield dividends.
“I don’t really think about it per se,” he clarifies, “but certainly with looping, you can hear a sound and you don’t know when it happened or what instrument did it. That’s when looping messes with time. And then in dreams, time is elastic, too. So perhaps it’s a mixture of those things. To me, this kind of music rewards attentive listening because it’s really composed and thought-out, so you’re not gonna be bored. But it does also work for me as an atmospheric, swirling clouds-in-the-room kind of thing. That makes me happy.”