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  1. #1
    On Fire mr.jimbo's Avatar
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    09.21.16 @ 01:38 AM
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    From the Boston Herald

    ``It was a real good punch in the face,'' Gary Cherone says.

    The Malden native is talking about ``Left for Dead,'' the bruising rocker that opens ``Exit Elvis,'' the debut album from his new band, Tribe of Judah.

    Cherone, who has jokingly described himself as ``the third Van Halen guy and the `More Than Words' guy,'' wants to make clear that ``Left for Dead'' - with its lyrics about an ``unsuspecting sacrifice'' - is not about his departure from Van Halen in 2000.

    ``People interpreted that it might be a subtle jab at VH,'' said Cherone, during a recent interview with his bandmates at the House of Blues. ``Actually I wrote the lyrics while I was still in VH.''

    When it's pointed out that fans tend to enjoy that kind of musical melodrama subtext and that it might help sell records, he jokingly changes his tune, proclaiming mock pretentiously, ``It's art man, whatever you get out of it.''

    Whatever its subtext - and it has plenty, more on that later - the song does boisterously announce that Tribe of Judah will ape neither the meat-and-potatoes hard rock of Van Halen nor the funk-pop-metal of Cerone's other previous band, Extreme.

    ``Exit Elvis'' finds Cherone indulging his progressive, electronic and industrial tendencies with the help of two new band mates. Revere native Leo Mellace contributes fiery guitar parts that are equally informed by classic metal wizardry and jazz inventiveness. Steve Ferlazzo, a Schenectady-bred keyboardist, adds all manner of programming, effects and noise to the proceedings. Pounding out the Tribe's propulsive grooves is Cherone's former Extreme rhythm section, bassist Pat Badger and drummer Mike Mangini. (For touring purposes Mangini, an assistant professor at Berklee, will be replaced by ex-Godsmack drummer Tommy Stewart.)

    As usual, Cherone, a veteran of the Boston Rock Opera, unleashes his famed lung power with elan, emphasizing melody and dark moods.

    What some fans might miss in those shadows, however, is the meaning of the dense lyrical passages. Cherone says it is not a concept album, exactly, but that the songs do have common themes including man's struggle with free will and belief in a higher power.

    The title track, a caustic epic with multiple personality disorder careening from regimented rock song to gypsy jazz passages to thrash metal, is about the death of art. Yikes!

    Cherone is aware that some listeners and critics will lustily take the opportunity to call this oft-bombastic album the death of art.

    ``I don't mind saying those things or even setting myself up for that,'' says Cherone, ``because that song ends the record and it's over the top on purpose, and it does what it says, it sounds like what I'm trying to say - overindulgence is a good thing.''

    The band is also prepared for a little controversy over the album's cover, a triptych of Cherone pointing a gun to his head, which ties in to theme of ``man being the measure of his own fate.''

    ``To me, if you're going to look at the cover just for the surface of it you don't get it, you don't get Tribe and I don't want you to get Tribe, you're not our audience,'' says Cherone. ``Because there's more to it than just the image, it would hopefully invite you into the lyrics and some of the themes going on there.''

    Luckily, Cherone believes that listeners don't have to understand any of the above to enjoy the album. He thinks the music holds its own visceral pleasures, and the lyrics are general enough for anyone to identify with.

    ``People could apply `Left for Dead' to a boy-girl relationship, to a mother-daughter relationship and that's the point; it's the same story, it just happens that it could be God and man. I wrote it in a general sense; it's not naming names.''

    A few names Cherone will discuss include Sammy Hagar, his predecessor in Van Halen, whom he recently joined onstage at the Tweeter Center. Cherone calls him ``very engaging'' and says he had a blast singing with him. He also notes that former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt recently had a baby. Both the Extreme and Van Halen experiences were good for Cherone and he thinks there may be a future in both.

    ``I would never rule out an Extreme reunion. I wouldn't even rule out someday hooking up with Eddie (Van Halen) again,'' he says.

    In the meantime he and Tribe of Judah plan to tour this fall and see what becomes of the record. Mellace is realistic enough to admit, ``the record could be over in two weeks.'' But they all have high hopes. Cherone points out that while his tenure with VH might not have resulted in the veteran band hitting its creative apex, it did spawn a sold-out concert tour and a gold album. If that's failure, Cherone will take it.

    ``If we could have that kind of failure with Tribe of Judah, I'd be thrilled.''
    VAN HALEN...ROCK ON

  2. #2
    Unchained
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Thanks for the post. The ideal situation for me would be for Eddie to do some side projects with Gary. They wouldn't have to call it Van Halen or even tour behind it but I think that they could do stuff that was better than III. If VH reunites with Sammy Hagar and he wants to do a Waboritas project between VH albums then I think Eddie should hook up with Gary for some more experimental music.
    "Right Now.....Mike is thinking about a solo project."<br /><br />"Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan."

  3. #3
    On Fire mr.jimbo's Avatar
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    I'd like to see Sammy front VH again and have TOJ open the shows.
    VAN HALEN...ROCK ON

 

 

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