If a musician grew up in the South during the '70s, it was almost impossible for him or her to avoid falling under the spell of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Such was the case for bassist Johnny Colt, who was born in North Carolina and spent his early years in Georgia.
Guitarist Laura Wilde grew up 8,000 miles from the US in Melbourne, Australia. At 19, she followed her dream to make her living as a musician and moved to Los Angeles. Not even four years later, Wilde has released her debut album, Sold My Sold, and is touring the US as Ted Nugent's opening act.
As one half of the guitar duo in Tesla, Dave Rude is a busy man. It seems hardly a month goes by without Tesla taking their blues-driven rock to concert venues around the world. Somehow amid the demands of Tesla, Rude has managed to keep the Dave Rude Band intact — and produce new material. The Key marks the band’s first full-length album and displays Rude’s vast array of influences.
Musician, producer, music publisher and impresario Mike Varney has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the finest rock guitarists of the last 30 years. Varney, who founded Shrapnel Records in 1980, was responsible for the success for some of the biggest names in shred, including Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker — to name just a few.
Since joining Judas Priest in 2010, Richie Faulkner has been no stranger to the big stage. He made his live debut with the band on American Idol, played countless shows on Priest’s Epitaph tour and witnessed the debut of Priest’s Epitaph concert film on the big screen. Along the way, the guitarist has earned the respect and support of the band's loyal fan base.
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted walked away from one of the world's biggest bands to explore his own music. In the process, he worked with the progressive metal veterans Voivod and played with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and many others.
Individually, members of '70s band Dust have produced some of the biggest acts in the world, played with some of the biggest names in rock and even gone on to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Collectively, Richie Wise, Kenny Aaronson and Marc Bell (now Marky Ramone) may have been ahead of their time.
The year is shaping up to be a impressive one for Andy Biersack and Black Veil Brides. They've already released The Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, which debuted at No. 7 in the US; they've unveiled a motion picture, Legion of the Black, done two North American legs and one European leg of the Church of the Wild Ones tour — and they're up for two Golden God awards.
It's hard to imagine that 10 years have gone by since Tommy Thayer officially took over as the “Spaceman” in Kiss. It seemed only fitting that the Spaceman should don the Les Paul. However, as fate would have it, Thayer has been a longtime Les Paul player, even back in his days in Black and Blue.
Last year, Godsmack’s Sully Erna took a creative leap of faith and released Avalon. Godsmack has shown glimpses of Erna’s world and tribal influences most notably with tracks like “Voodoo." Avalon fully immersed the artist into a word of musicians and collaborators that resulted in an album that shows the depth and breadth of Sully’s talents.