ALICE COOPER "BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I'M ONE OF VERY FEW ROCKERS WHO DON'T TRASH HOTEL ROOM
Alice Cooper is one of several celebrities taking part in Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts' first national television advertising campaign. Slated to debut April 12, the multi-million dollar TV and online campaign features national golf commentator/journalist David Feherty attempting to moderate an entirely unscripted conversation amongst TV personality and golf fanatic George Lopez, shock-rocker and avid golfer Alice Cooper, golf-great Lee Trevino, LPGA star Natalie Gulbis, and outspoken golf scribe Dan Jenkins.
Branded as "The Place to Meet," Crowne Plaza assembled these six seemingly disparate personalities in a Crowne Plaza meeting room to showcase the brand's new golf affinity marketing program, the cornerstone of which is the title sponsorship of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial PGA Tour golf tournament.
In a series of six 30-second spots, the group of golf professionals and aficionados — who share a love for the game — imparts insights and witticisms on golf-related topics ranging from game secrets and superstitions and changing the rules to playing golf with spouses and banning "belly putters." Feherty also appears in three 15-second spots that show him consulting with a Crowne Plaza Meetings Director to prepare for his meeting with the aforementioned personalities. These spots will highlight Priority Club Rewards and the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage program. Additional exclusive web clips will be shown online at Crowne Plaza's new golf portal at http://www.crowneplaza.com/golf.
"Believe it or not, I'm one of very few rockers who don't trash hotel rooms," said Alice Cooper. "When I'm traveling to a pro-am golf tournament or on a concert tour, I look for a hotel that feels as much like home as possible so I can relax. Crowne Plaza definitely meets that need, so collaborating with them on this ad campaign was a natural fit for me."
BLACK SABBATH, SHADOWS FALL FIRST-WEEK SALES REVEALED
SHADOWS FALL's Atlantic Records debut, "Threads of Life", sold just over 24,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 46 on The Billboard 200 chart. This is substantially less than the 39,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, "The War Within" (Century Media), which came out in September 2004 and debuted at No. 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. SHADOWS FALL's "Fallout from the War" CD — featuring songs that didn't make it onto "The War Within", B-sides from Japan releases and a few cover songs — opened with just under 13,000 copies in June 2006 to land at No. 83 on The Billboard 200 chart.
In other news, STATIC-X's latest CD, "Cannibal", shifted more than 30,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release to debut at No. 36. This represent a slight drop from the 35,000 tally registered by the band's "Start a War" album, which came out in June 2005 and landed at No. 29.
The following are notable heavy metal/hard rock U.S. sales debuts for the week ending April 9, 2007, as reported by Nielsen SoundScan (all CD figures are rounded to the nearest thousand, except numbers under 2,000, which are rounded to the nearest hundred; The Billboard 200 chart position included, where applicable):
CHEVELLE - "Vena Sera": 62,000 (#12) STATIC-X - "Cannibal": 30,000 (#36) SHADOWS FALL - "Threads of Life": 24,000 (#46) BLACK SABBATH - "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years": 21,000 (#54) POISON THE WELL - "Versions": 8,000 (#147) THE CHARIOT - "The Fiancee": 7,000 (#169) MANOWAR - "Gods of War": 2,000 AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE – "Can't Stop The Machine": 1,900 SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY - "Parasite": 1,300 DEW-SCENTED – "Incinerate": 200 ONSLAUGHT - "Killing Peace": 100
KROKUS's MARC STORACE LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT NORTH AMERICA TOUR
Recently, Blasting-Zone.com conducted an in-depth interview with KROKUS frontman Marc Storace. Few excerpts are follows:
Blasting-Zone.com: How did you originally become involved with KROKUS?
Marc: "I had my own thing going in London after my time with TEA…which was my first professional band. After TEA, I returned to London, got EAZY MONEY going and then KROKUS called me. I had known KROKUS already because they had opened for TEA (laughs). …I had just done an audition with RAINBOW with Ritchie (Blackmore), Roger Glover, Cozy Powell and Don Airey, so I was really at a kind of crossroads because I was slightly insecure about EAZY MONEY due to certain politics. I was searching to see if there was anything else that might grab me. It didn't work out with RAINBOW and when KROKUS called me about a month later, I said I'd fly down to Switzerland so we could have a jam. I had also bumped into, coincidently, Harry Springer. Harry was KROKUS's manager at that time. I gave him my number and about three weeks later, I got a call from the band. So we decided to make a date for one weekend so we could see what would happen… It went fantastically and I came home to London with a great feeling and was really excited. They had played me a couple of demos of songs they wanted to put on 'Metal Rendez-Vous'…and they got me excited (laughs). We soon got a nice friendship going and the people around us were infected by our positive energy. 'Metal Rendez-Vous' immediately went straight to the top. It took off like a bushfire in Europe and a spark from that blew over to the United States. We were contacted by Mike Bone at Arista Records, who was A&R then. He arranged for us to fly over and we met at the Chicago Festival and he showed up with John Kalodner and Butch Stone was there, who later took over our management. From then on, it was history."
Blasting-Zone.com: What led to the group breaking up following the "Heart Attack" tour?
Marc: "Well, it was obvious. I mean, c'mon…let's look at the human side. Take five guys, put them in a bus…whether it's a luxury one or not, it's still five guys…and add in all the hours and the parties. Plus, we did seven studio albums and plus one live album in eight years. This is above human…I guess it must be illegal. It goes into slavery, ya know? We were partying, getting up and doing soundchecks and interviews and because I was the lead singer, I had to do all the interviews. The rest of the band was sitting by the pool, hangin' out with blondes and smokin' joints. But it was my duty and I enjoyed talking with our fans, ya know? It was a nice way to connect with everyone… From 1979 when we started out 'till 1988 when 'Heart Attack' came out, we went from recording in the studio, to promotions and touring and the tours increased over the years. Year in and year out, we had to write songs and also be creative, make demos, go back into the studio and in the meantime, we had a carousel of changing musicians, which was also very stressing…because you have to teach the new guys everything. Plus, with all of the record company and promotion people changing…we're luck we always had the same tour manager and the same manager. It was really to be expected. The band really should have been sent on holiday, ya know? Our manager should have come forward and said, 'Hey guys, you go take a break…' It was time for that, but nobody told us to do it, so in the end, it just fell apart..."
Blasting-Zone.com: What was the main motivation behind reforming the group?
Marc: "I had been preparing and writing for my second solo album and it was headed in the rock direction…very melodic and stuff. I had enough songs ready to go in and look for a deal and go for it. And I knew that once I reached that decision, I would never look back and not consider KROKUS. I had all the cards on my table and… I was aware through the internet that there were all these revival bands coming back. I thought it could be a great time to reform KROKUS because when we did 'To Rock Or Not To Be' in 1995, that was wrong timing. So I thought maybe (original lead guitarist) Fernando (Von Arb) would go for the idea of a reunion and I… had nothing to lose by seeing where his mind was at. I called Fern and he sounded interested, but he said, 'Let me sleep on it and I'll get back to you…' It took a whole month (laughs), which is typical, but he got back to me. He said, 'Let's team up again and get the ball rolling…' He had Tony Castell playing bass with him. And this is how we recorded 'Rock The Block'. It went to prove that we were very right when 'Rock The Block' went straight to number one after one week. It was a great decision and I'm glad I didn't do the solo album. I'll find another time to did it anyway (laughs)."
Blasting-Zone.com: What ultimately led to Fernando leaving the group prior to the recording of "Hellraiser"?
Marc: "I guess he'd had enough and didn't want to tour. The rest is… I don't know (laughs). It's up to him. It wasn't so funny when he said he was gonna quit, but I quickly regained my balance and called (current lead guitarist) Mandy that night. He was an ex-member and a great guy… We were lucky that we could take him on at the time. He turned up for the first rehearsal and everybody felt the energy. He was so positive… it was like day and night compared to Fernando's attitude before leaving. In the end, when we went on tour, we were able to return to the USA and did even more gigs than before. We started the pre-production for 'Hellraiser' and everything came out good and the album is doing well. It sounds fantastic, so what more could you want?"
Blasting-Zone.com: How well has the "Hellraiser" tour gone thus far? Has it been as successful as you'd hoped?
Marc: "We toured Scandinavia for the first time ever. We played the Sweden Rock festival in front of thirty five thousand people…screaming fans singing along to KROKUS songs… it was sensational. It's one of the best festivals in Europe at the moment that's happening every year. So we returned to start rebuilding our fan community in Scandinavia… to actually take care and meet and greet. Then we came down through Germany and went back through Switzerland and played a gig in Solothurn, which is like the birthplace of this band. The fans turned out and packed The Rock Palace... It also proved that the people of Solothurn have nothing against the new formation of the band. On the contrary, they packed up the place and there were people standing outside with no room to come in. So we ended on a great note and now we have a little break so everyone can tend to some personal stuff. …We're looking forward to hearing our American friends' comments on the new album. A lot of them have been asking if we're going to tour there again, and I'm sure we will before the end of 2007. We're looking forward to that and we have people out there that are looking for a package tour for us so that we can reach the most amount of people in a shorter time. That means we'll play bigger venues and also that we'll play our strongholds and not just the East Coast alone. The East Coast has never been a stronghold of KROKUS, but we took a dive in the cold water so we could shape up... But we had a good time anyway…and life goes on. It's great to see that KROKUS is blooming and we're looking forward."