Tod Howarth first surfaced on our rock n roll radar in the mid-80’s, as a member of Frehley’s Comet. Yet Howarth’s time spent working with Ace Frehley is only one chapter – in a lifetime spent producing catchy and memorable rock tunage. Currently with Four By Fate (who recently did some Australian dates) – he has also done time in 707, Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent among others. On show #73 of The Australian Rock Show – we caught up with Tod after a recent gig for a chat – and looked over some of his many career highlights. If there’s a message in the rock and roll you’re gonna find it here ! Play loud.

Check out this episode!

Episode 72 – Dave Tice Interview

Posted: May 25, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized

On episode 72 of the Australian Rock Show, Steven Danno sits down with Dave Tice, front man for Australia’s heavy rock pioneers Buffalo. In an exhaustive interview, Dave digs deep into his rock history and details the stories behind some of the most iconic Buffalo songs. Influential, iconic and rightly revered as one of Australian rock n roll’s greatest vocalists, this is an interview you don’t wanna miss. Play loud !

Music by: Buffalo

Check out this episode!

ARS71.jpgTranscript of interview conducted by the Australian Rock Show podcast (interview conducted 18 May 2017)

Since uploading her first video to YouTube, Juliette Jade (formerly Valduriez) has attracted a huge supporter base online – with 100’000 subscribers and millions of fans viewing her clips. Her covers of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy have been widely acclaimed, helping to launch the career of this gifted French guitarist. After an extended break, Juliette re-appeared late last year with the release of her debut album ‘Terrarium’. Her unique style has generated much excitement amongst guitar players and rock fans the world over – and on show #71, in her first ever interview,  Juliette talks exclusively to The Australian Rock Show about her new album, her amazing musical journey and much more.

Australian Rock Show: Juliette, it’s wonderful to talk with you – welcome to the Australian Rock Show….

Juliette Jade: Thankyou for inviting me

ARS: Firstly, I know that there are many many people who are interested in learning more about you, so thankyou very much for taking time to chat with me…..

JJ: You’re welcome

ARS: Now I must start this interview by congratulating you on the release of ‘Terrarium’ – your debut album which was released late last year. It’s a very impressive debut. How do you feel to have finally released an album’s worth of your original songs ?

JJ: I feel relieved. It was a very ambitious project since from composition to production I did it all by myself in a Do It Yourself kind of way. I also feel relieved because people seem to like my work.

ARS: They do, many people like your work so from start to finish, how long did it take you to write and record the album ?

JJ: Over two years

ARS: We’ll look over the album later – but I do want to start by asking you about your amazing journey which began seven years ago…. you uploaded your first video onto YouTube in 2010, which attracted a huge response online – you now currently have over 100’000 YouTube subscribers – your videos have been viewed by millions – I can only imagine you were astonished by the response you received after uploading those first couple of videos ?

JJ: Yes it’s been quite amazing I didn’t expect that. To me, uploading videos on YouTube was the best way to present my work as a guitarist and as a composer (with ‘Lost Paradise’ and the solo’s I wrote)

ARS:and then there was a long four year period commencing in 2012 – where you seemingly vanished from the world of YouTube and social media. Many of your fans would like to know why you took such a long break ?

JJ: Well I didn’t feel like doing more covers and I needed to start working on my own material – not only guitar solo’s on to well known songs. Plus I didn’t want to be known as a YouTube phenomenon, but as a good musician, that’s all.

ARS: Okay let’s go back a bit – an obvious question is how did your love affair with the guitar begin and how old were you ?

JJ: As a child the music I listened to was centred on the guitar. I always loved the instrument itself and I loved the fact that you can take it everywhere with you. I got my first acoustic guitar when I was about 12, but in the beginning I only played a few chords by myself. I started learning seriously how to play when I was about 14 I guess…

ARS: So 12 years old was when you got your first guitar – I have read comments describing you as a musical prodigy – did you take guitar lessons as a child or are you self-taught ?

JJ: Well that’s a nice comment but I consider myself very far from being a guitar prodigy. I’ve had a few teachers but honestly I mostly learned alone by playing over my CD’s, with my books, videos and with my metronome.

ARS: Are you from a musical family ?

JJ: There are no musicians, although there was always music around. My mother listened to a lot of very cool stuff I must say.

ARS: What kind of artists was she playing ? What French artists ?

JJ: French ? Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy – stuff like that

ARS: Were you in any bands growing up ?

JJ: No unfortunately.

ARS: If you had to choose one or two of your guitar heroes, who would they be and why ?

JJ: Can I choose three ? That would be Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde and James Williamson because I love their sound and their energy, I love them.

ARS: What do you like about Randy Rhoads’ style ?

JJ: Everything, everything. I’m very moved by his playing.

ARS: Are there any French guitar players who influenced you ?

JJ: No, not yet.

ARS: I note that there is a keyboard and also a bass guitar in a couple of your videos – I am assuming you can play those instruments too – besides the guitar ?

JJ: I play the keyboard – mostly in my own compositions, but rarely. In my music I prefer working with the synthesizer and I do play the bass and also the drums. It’s actually my favourite instrument to play besides the guitar.

ARS: Wow, okay the drums.

JJ: Yeah I wish I could practice more, it’s one of my favourite instruments.

ARS: Now in your videos you are playing mostly Gibson guitars (an SG, a Melody Maker) yet also a stunning looking Parker Fly (Deluxe) – do you have a personal favourite ?

JJ: Well, I sold them all along the way, so my favorite guitar is the one I have left and it’s the 1962 Gibson Melody Maker. It’s the one I play on my recent YouTube videos. It’s also the only guitar I used for the recording of ‘Terrarium’ – I really love it. I recently got a Fender that I really like.

ARS: Those Parker Fly’s are very light aren’t they – what do you look for in a guitar when you are buying one ?

JJ: The lightness is definitely something I look for in a guitar, I need to feel comfortable playing it y’know ? and about the Fender, it’s one I really like because it has a short scale with twenty two frets, so it’s really comfortable and I don’t make my fingers bleed anymore so that’s definitely a plus.

ARS: With regards to your YouTube clips – why did you select those particular tracks to cover on guitar – ? (for example Pink Floyd, Stones, Beatles, Hendrix, Ozzy etc)

JJ: They inspire me – they gave me the opportunity to present my guitar work in different ways.

ARS: One thing I learned from your YouTube video’s is that you have a wide taste and good knowledge of music – stuff like Hendrix and the Stones are obvious covers – but taking on songs by The Exploited, Motorhead and The  Stooges – that to me shows you have good taste in rock n roll….

JJ: Thankyou

ARS: The one video of yours which has attracted the most attention is the cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ – and I believe it is because in only two short minutes – you manage to play with so much feel – putting your own touch to a very famous solo – and in some way, you make it your own. I am sure even David Gilmour would appreciate it…

JJ: Thankyou very much. I play this solo with respect but definitely my own way – so I understand why some hardcore David Gilmour fans hate it but that’s okay

ARS: Juliette, let’s look over the album if we may – where was ‘Terrarium’ recorded ? A home studio ?

JJ: Yes, it was recorded at home.

ARS: All of the music – eleven songs – was composed and performed by yourself – which is an amazing achievement – and the reviews and comments online have mostly all been positive. A big endorsement right there, that your hard work and effort in cutting (recording) an album has paid off….

JJ: Thankyou. I’m very grateful for the support of the people who bought my album. If some of them are listening I want to thank them again – and I want to thank you as well for the review of ‘Terrarium’ I really appreciated it.

ARS: I want to touch on the lyrics if I can… they’re wonderful, thought provoking lyrics on Terrarium – some dark and brooding (displayed on the song ‘Killer) – yet the lyrical content overall is very poetic. And these are lyrics that weave themselves around your guitar work so well. Now all lyrics were written by ‘Cati’ – is that your song-writing partner ?

JJ: Yes Cati is my lyricist. She wrote all the lyrics on the album. Except for the lyrics of the song ‘Room 7’ which I wrote myself.

ARS: OK I do want to highlight a couple of these lyrics if I may…..firstly from the song ‘Room 7’: “My limbs are attached, Somehow they do not match. My heart is racing in the chest of another being”. Amazing – can you please explain what the song Room 7 is about ?

JJ: There are several readings I guess, I would rather prefer to let everyone free to find the meaning that the lyrics suggest to them

ARS: ‘Ashes Of Light’ is another stunning tune with some cutting and powerful lyrics – “Night arises In your eyes, Ashes of light Spread over My life, As my heart Falls apart Endlessly” – Wow, that’s impressive stuff, can you tell me the meaning of that particular song ?

JJ: It’s about the dawn of a tremendous sorrow. Everybody can relate to this song because sooner or later we will be confronted by the death of those we love. I think her lyrics are beautiful.

ARS: They are, they’re very very beautiful – Juliette being a rock n roll guy – one of my favourite tracks on the album is the straight forward and infectious song Hellicoptre – one which contains some of your most potent guitar work by the way – it’s sung in french, so I am hoping you can give me the background to that song Hellicoptre please….

JJ: It’s the story of some serialistic and apocalyptic journey on earth and around. it’s a play on rhymes – a play on words

ARS: I love it, one of my favourite tracks on the album – so, having a record contract in today’s modern age is not as crucial as in past years, but I would like to know if any record label have shown interest in you ?

JJ: Not yet.

ARS: Your vocals on Hellicoptre – actually the whole album are easy on the ear and very pleasant – at times a little haunting – but they suit the material on the album so well….. Is singing something you’ve always done or is it new to you ?

JJ: Yeah it’s pretty new – it’s pretty new

ARS: How would you judge your own voice ? You have a good rock voice ?

JJ: Well, I think it’s a good contrast with my guitar playing

ARS: Agreed they work very well together. Now the song that initially got me interested in you online is one called ‘Lost Paradise’ – it clocks in at under two minutes, but displays so much of your style and natural flair so well. Were there any plans to include ‘Lost Paradise’ on the album ?

JJ: Well not really, but maybe in the future I will turn it into a real song I don’t know.

ARS: Please do, I think a lot of people would like to hear that in recorded form

ARS: Are you currently working on new material ?

JJ: Yes, yes I am, I have lots of ideas.

ARS: Personally one aspect I really enjoyed about Terrarium, is that it is not just 11 songs of loud, guitar-shred rock n roll. Yes – the shredding and stunning guitar work – that signature sound of yours is indeed all throughout the album, but that is only one component. And to be honest, I think many people who also bought this album would’ve discovered that fact as well, and if you’ve read the many positive comments online – are enjoying it as much as I am – so again, congratulations.

JJ: Thankyou so much

ARS: Juliette, we should wind this interview up – what are your plans for the remainder of 2017 ? are there any live shows planned ?

JJ: Well not yet, I will do my best to find a record label to work with – unfortunately it’s the only way to produce a decently recorded album – to promote it and then to go on tour – to give live shows..

ARS: If people wish to buy your album and also contact you – is that the best place they should visit ?

JJ: Yes

ARS: Before you go I want to say congratulations once again on releasing your album and I sincerely hope that your career in music continues to grow – your unique style of guitar playing – the flair, feel and emotion you have – creates a sound which is truly all your own…you’ve managed to captivate and generate much excitement among guitar players and music fans the world over. So please continue to do what you do – because it provides many of us with much enjoyment….

JJ: Thankyou for your kind words, for your support and for inviting me to do this interview.

Purchase Terrarium by Juliette Jade at:

Since uploading her first video to YouTube, Juliette Jade (formerly Valduriez) has attracted a huge supporter base online – with 100’000 subscribers and millions of fans viewing her clips. Her covers of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy have been widely acclaimed, helping to launch the career of this gifted French guitarist. After an extended break, Juliette re-appeared late last year with the release of her debut album ‘Terrarium’. Her unique style has generated much excitement amongst guitar players and rock fans the world over ? and on show #71, in her first ever interview,  Juliette talks exclusively to The Australian Rock Show about her new album, her amazing musical journey and much more. Essential listening !

Music by: Juliette Jade

Check out the full interview (including album cuts here)


Halcyon days for rock: Sydney, 1979

I was reading a recent communiqué by Dennis Val, guitar player with one of Sydney’s better rock bands, Love Child, in which he was talking about the lack of Australian artists on radio, and how hard it is to get original Australian guitar rock heard on the airwaves nowadays. It got me thinking not just about that issue, but about the state of the music industry in general – and I’ve come to the conclusion that there needs to be a significant shift, otherwise there exists the very real possibility that there could be no ‘next’ generation of rock fans in this country, and ours could be the last. There was an article in the Daily Review last year that identified the decline of live music in Australia as an art form, and its also a valid read.

Before I go further though, let me exalt the praises of Love Child, a Sydney guitar band who play original rock, heavy on the melody, catchy with pop overtones and a ton of hooks. These guys craft great songs, use multi layered harmonies and in a just world – SHOULD be on commercial radio AND playing to sold out venues.  As a comparison – in the 1970’s, a band like Stars were not too dissimilar. Difference is – Stars were playing ‘the circuit’, and would have had Premier or Harbour or some other agency behind them who assured them paid bookings and regular crowds. Fast forward 40 years. Where are the rock crowds in the pubs to support original Australian rock bands ? Where are the young rock fans ? Where are the pubs for these bands to play in ? Where are the radio stations playing original Oz rock music ? I go see and see a lot of bands and the venues are more often than not, never full.

A band like Black Label are another good example of a band who should have hit the heights with their distinctive brand of heavy rock. As I wrote elsewhere, their ‘Blood Money’ CD should have been massive, and seen them on countless festivals across Europe. Love Child  have a contemporary, AOR sound that is super radio friendly, and would do significantly better and be more appreciated in the US, in Nashville, in Vegas. Owen Campbell is another, as are Leadfinger. There’s many examples I could name, these are just a couple that come to mind. A guy like Mitch Grainger (who spent years with The Bondi Cigars) exhausted the same traps around Australia and now bases himself in Nashville to work the West Coast. I’m not saying Australian rock audiences are passé – you be your own judge of that.

indexSince we were kids, seeing live music is and always has been one of Rockbrat and my favourite activities. Its a hobby that as taken us round the world. I loved the big concert experience of the stadiums and arenas, yet I preferred to see bands in pubs.  I couldn’t wait till I was old enough to get in the pubs.  With older siblings into rock n roll, (in the mid 70s they saw Cooper and Quatro and Sweet and Abba to name but a few) I hung on their words about the bands they saw and what venues they went to. I rifled through their records and stared at the album covers – and it was a natural progression that the generational influence continued. Yet objectively, I’m not so sure if the younger generation share the same ethos. Sure, there’s kids into rock, but I mean EN MASSE.  Yes, their are younger people into rock n roll, but in many ways, they are an anomaly amongst their peers.

When I was growing up, in Sydney in the 1970s, (a time before digital technology was around, and aeons before it became the dominant distraction and enter/infotainment 2sm_w320.jpgthat it has become),  there were fewer entertainment options for kids/teens. We were into two things largely – rugby league and rock n roll, (and cricket in the Summer). Except for going to the movies, rock n roll was it. You’d hear an AUSTRALIAN band on an AUSTRALIAN radio station, or you’d see them on Countdown or similar, or you’d read about them in RAM or Juke, you’d go buy the record, you’d go see them in some pub. The clout of Countdown or these other media forms meant that the band may have generated enough interest to see them then play regional and rural towns. Agents /promoters would also be checking the sales figures generated from airplay on the local /regional radio stations. EVERYONE followed the same  mediums – rock shows on TV, music newspapers, rock radio – it was all pretty straight forward. As is commonly known – the advent of technology has seen that there are way more entertainment choices for people. I know some young people in their early 20’s who can’t even name for me all the Rolling Stones for crying out loud! It’s not important to them – the way it was for me and generations before me. Young people head along to Festivals like Groovin The Moo, but the bands are largely incidental to their experiencing of the event. 10 000 people watching some DJ I just simply do not get. The drugs must make it bearable I guess.

Yet you don’t have to have 20/20 vision to see that the halcyon days of Oz rock are now in the history books. That’s a fact. Nostalgia and youth-reliving ensures that the current generation of middle aged people get along to see the bands they grew up with – The Angels, Midnight Oil, Mental As Anything, Dragon, Richard Clapton  etc.  Yet the next generation ? Having an ease of home entertainment options (digital technology again), coupled with a sedentary lifestyle/work options means that more often than not, in the main, people can’t be shifted from their living rooms and sofas – and certainly not to venture out to a pub to see a band playing original music.

The  hypocrisies and double standards that exist in the mainstream media are never more obvious. They couldn’t give a rats arse about certain Australian bands, (TMG for example), but they never fail to sing the virtues of others (Paul Kelly for example. Even Shannon Noll gets press. Why ? He paid NO DUES). Why the distinction ? BOTH Kelly and TMG have made a significant contribution, cultural or otherwise, and are deserving of equal media time. Part of the problem lies in the fact that there are few legitimate music journalists anymore in the mainstream press who have any concept of, or place significance on Australia’s rock past – their memories extend as far back as Killing Heidi, The Living End and Grinspoon. Incidentally, it was much easier in the days when there was ONE music newspaper/gig guide for each city. The absence of those said publications has made it increasingly difficult for people to know when gigs are on – particularly for those who don’t use the internet.  How many web sites does one need to subscribe to in order to stay aware of upcoming gigs nowadays? Yes – I know there’s also a shortage of venues prepared to give original music a go and that is also a well-known issue best left for another time.

Rockbrat and The Australian Rock Show are the two main platforms that my brother and I use to write about, interview and promote Australian rock n roll – past and present.  For over 30 years we have more than embraced the entire DIY ethos in support of the bands and rock n roll we love – with the fundamental goal of getting people to hear rock n roll they haven’t before. Thousands of hours and thousands of dollars thrown in to any number of projects – from our own record label to fanzines, to management and all points in between.  It’s a labour of love that is a constant in our lives  – yet some context here. We were FANS, we are not journalists. It’s always a struggle to get your stuff heard – as people like Craig Regan and his I-94 Bar Records for example will attest. It’s a slog. Yet what’s the alternative? Who else gives a voice to guitar based rock n roll ? I ask you, where are the journalists coming through writing about Australian rock ‘n’ roll? Why does the mainstream media not get behind rock artists on the rise anymore, or give due press to guitar rock bands in general?  Recent example: Dan Baird and Homemade Sin tour Australia. A guy who had a top ten hit in America. NOT ONE write up in any mainstream media publication to support the tour. Why ? Are the music journalists too young to remember ? Guitar based rock not hip anymore? You tell me cos’ then we will both know.  I guess Lady GaGa and the dubiously talented  Jay-Z are more worthy of the attention.

YouTube is in many ways a double edged sword. Same goes for Facebook. These platforms provide a presence for artists – yet just cos someone gives an artist a ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’ does not equate to people through the turnstiles and the ching of the cash register. I’m wholly aware that a rock scene exists on the internet without people actually leaving their houses. You can be a rock fan and even a ‘friend’ of an artist – without ever purchasing their music or venturing out to see them live.


Four By Fate: Arena rock to 40 people. Not good enough Canberra.  

Earlier this week I saw a show by Four By Fate – a high profiled American band with the collective band members possessing a pedigree as long as your arm.  The bass player spent several years with Peter Frampton, Billy Idol and Ace Frehley (amongst others), the drummer was with Skid Row when they were at their peak, the singer, Todd Howarth – spent years with Ace Frehley and as a sideman with Cheap Trick. Howarth has that rock star edge – a great front man with a fine rock voice who in many ways could have been as big as Robin Zander had destiny played a different hand – he even resembles Zander. These guys are a slick, professional outfit, who have a new album out of all original material. 25-30 years ago – these guys would have been playing stadiums, arenas or to thousands of people. Yet wait – after their set, Bruce Kulick (a guy who spent years with Meatloaf, KISS, Grand Funk Railroad etc), comes out and does a set of KISS tunes. Staggeringly, there are approximately 40 people in attendance to witness this event!  I feel for the promoter who has invested to bring artists of this calibre to Australia – to an audience whose size is nothing short of pathetic.

It disheartens me to see artists on Facebook drumming up their upcoming events – to have only 40 or 50 people turn up. I grew up when people like Todd Howarth were stars – not your sensitive Ed Sheeran’s of the world.  And please don’t tell me that all this has more to do with the type of rock ‘n’ roll that I dig as not being popular anymore – as I won’t buy it. Dinosaur rock, fossil rock, Dad rock – whatever. Guns N Roses still sell out right? As do AC/DC, Metallica etc. Yet others are destined to play the clubs.

In summary – there are more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that my generation is not the last rock generation – yet over my shoulder, I do not see the next wave of rock fans coming up behind me.  What I do know is that doing small things make a difference. Here’s three things that everyone can do to help.

1) BUY music from artists, be they Australian or not, be it digital, CD or whatever. Buy it – don’t take it, just because you can.

2) Get off your sofas, put the damn phone down, and go and see original live music in a pub. Support venue operators, promoters etc by turning up to gigs. Tell your friends about it- spread the word. Your positivity can influence them to also attend a gig.

3) The band selling merchandise at their gig ? Buy it too. The money goes directly into the pockets of the artist.  

Share this article as a starting point. It might resonate with some and raise the consciousness of others.


Ed Sheeran: The new McCartney? Not even on the same playing field

We live in a strange time. YouTube can lift the profile of certain artists (PsY, Ed Sheeran) into the stratosphere. I fail to comprehend, even slightly, the frenzy associated with Ed Sheeran, irrespective of whether his music resonates with me or not. Six billion YouTube views, 70 million online followers. His 2018 Australian Tour is fast shaping up to be one of the biggest in Australasian touring history. A 14 date run. This announcement sees Sheeran becoming the joint title-holder of the most stadium shows on a single Australian and New Zealand tour, sharing the record with AC/DC’s 2010 tour. Whilst Tour Promoter Michael Gudinski is rubbing his hands with glee and can hear the deafening ‘ca ching’ of the cash register, the fact that Sheeran is breaking box office records set by Australia’s much loved rock icons leaves me somewhat bewildered.

In June 2015, Forbes Magazine listed Sheeran’s earnings at $57 million for the previous 12 months, and ranked him the 27th-highest-earning celebrity in the world.  On 19 October 2015, Sheeran received an honorary degree from the University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich for his “outstanding contribution to music”. Really ? Is he really THAT talented to warrant such astronomical success and associated accolades ? Let’s look at that question a bit further.

Ed Sheeran is who kids dig nowadays. One reviewer called him the ‘Paul McCartney of his generation’. Really? The Beatles aside, do people forget how big Wings were ? Or McCartney’s solo career?

Here is my take on why he is so big. The frenzy has more to do with social media overload than quality of the material. The hype surrounding this guy is like an avalanche. People get swept up along the way. People think they are missing out on something if they don’t follow along. Have you not considered that Sheeran could be nothing more than the result of a social media tsunami that has concertedly pushed him along at a unprecedented rate, and elevated him to a level that does not in any way equate to his talent? He is really, in many ways, one of the handful of crossovers who have transcended social media (YouTube/Facebook/Spotify) to mainstream traditional forms of media (radio, TV) and then into stadiums/arenas. If he had of come up before YouTube, it is arguable that he would have had the same amount of success. Objectively, chew on that thought for a while.

His appearance also draws people. With his average kid next door looks – red hair, freckles, cherubic – he’s a composite of Ginger Meggs and Ron Weasley, the antithesis of the predictable chisel-jawed stereotypes of Ricky Martin or Robbie Williams etc. The everyday look has broad appeal. Susan Boyle is a good example of this.

I’ve listened to the songs, ‘Thinking Out Loud, The A Team’. Is this a good representation of the guy’s work? They are OK. Listenable even. But they ain’t classics in the sense of ‘Hey Jude’, ‘You’ve’ Got A Friend’, ‘Heart Of Gold’ or ‘Rocket Man’ even. He sings clean pop with quirky lyrics, broken hearted themes, but my God, McCartney he ain’t.  Time will tell if he will be around for as long as McCartney, and have as big an impact on the western world’s social culture as McCartney has.

Episode 70 – Larry Attard Interview

Posted: May 8, 2017 by rockbrat in Uncategorized

For over four decades, Larry Attard has been a mainstay on the Australian hard rock scene – firstly, with his outfit Snake, then later with the internationally acclaimed AC/DC tribute show Acca Dacca. Tune in to episode 70 of The Australian Rock Show when we chat with Larry about his life of loud rock n roll – his love of AC/DC and much more. Rock n roll ain’t no sin – let the music begin !

Check out this episode!