All In A Row

Celebrating thirty plus years, Pretty Maids are achieving legendary status!  Their hard hitting music and lyrical social commentary has been highly anticipated throughout Europe and beyond in an escalating manner in as much time.  The group is now poised for the next thirty years, and “Louder Than Ever” celebrates that attitude!  Here is a brief conversation I had with Ronnie Atkins just a few weeks ago!

Question: I would like to begin, Ronnie, with “Motherland”… To me this was a break-through album for the group. When creating this album, what specifics did you have in mind?

Answer: I guess we just wanted to make a strong follow up to “Pandemonium” who to me was some kind of a second break through for the band or at least seriously did put us back on the heavy metal map, so to speak. But basically every time we record a new album we just want to give it the best we’ve got! However I’ll agree to the fact that Motherland is most likely the best album we’ve done in many many years.

Q: You also embarked upon what became a very successful tour with “Motherland”… Did the response to the record and the tour surprise you at all?

A: Well yeah in a way, I guess, it did! Especially the fact that a lot of new fans have stepped on board, that’s great to see and tells me that we must have done something right in recent years! In fact for the last 4 years it seems that we’ve been on a roll in every sense! You know when the desire to play and the spark is there, it makes things a lot easier.

Q: Within all of this activity, you and the group are celebrating a milestone in your career. Thirty years in creating great music! Now, the new release is just that - a celebration of Pretty Maids music… Please go through this new gem: “Louder Than Ever”!

A: Well “Louder Than Ever” in my eyes are basically an “In between” album before the next studio longplayer! But I think it was fun to take some of these relatively old songs and record them with the lineup and producer we use today and then add some new songs to it! So even though it’s not a completely new album it still has that feel to it, I think. So with the DVD included I think our fans get a lot for their money spent!

Q: When we talk about the cd, we hear some vintage Pretty Maids and then some brand new songs… With the older material, were these songs completely re-recorded?

A: Yeah everything was re-recorded! We recorded all the basic tracks in the weeks leading up to the “Motherland” tour August last year! And the rest was recorded during fall/winter 2013 in between touring!

Q: “Louder Than Ever” starts off with “Deranged”, a brand new song… Now, this is a heavy piece to start off with!

A: Well yeah it kind of has a quite heavy feel to it, but then again we gotta start off with something. Right, and that just felt right. You know we carefully tried to balance things out according the different keys the songs were played in and to mix old and new stuff together in what we thought was a right running order!

Q: This album and DVD is a big thank from all in Pretty Maids…Plus an indication of things to come. Are you planning to go back into the studio or will you be touring some of 2014?

A: We’re heading out for another European tour in late April! And we’ll do quite a lot of festivals during the summer too! After that I think we’ll stay off the road for a while since we’ve been touring quite a lot in recent years. So, we’ll put our efforts into writing and recording a strong follow up to “Motherland” next year! And that’ll probably hit the streets in the beginning of 2016, I’d estimate…

Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator: (Sunday Evenings: ‘Okanagan Spotlight’-with Jimmy LeGuilloux: begins May 4th )           Crosstown Bus:   May 16th & May 17th   Zamboni Bros.: May 22nd    Moni Funk:  May 23rd & May 24th  Young ‘Uns:  May 29th    Zamboni Brothers:  May 30th & 31st

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub:    City Walls:  May 17th

Minstrel Café:   Fighting Orange:  May 17th  Joshua Smith:  May 21st  Jo And The Soul:  May 23rd

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  May 23rd    

Notable Concerts:  

Konquer Motorcycles:  Loverboy:  May 31st 2014

South Okanagan Events Centre (Penticton):     Kenny Rogers:   June 12th   John Fogerty:  November 27th 

Funtastic: (Vernon)  Nazareth:   June 27th 

Prospera Place:  Heart:  June 28th

Kenny Shields & Streetheart:   July 18th at Summer Stomp  (Sicamous)

Attention Musicians:  “Unsigned Only Music Competition”—based out of Nashville—are undertaking “SCREEN SHOT”!  The organisation is looking for Original Music and Songs from Independent unsigned musicians!!  The competition is open now until May 23rd, for all info, please go to www.unsignedonly.com

  …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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