Episode 253 of the "Iron City Rocks" podcast (web site) features an interview with legendary vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN). You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Asked about the difficulty of getting his new project RATED X (formerly LEGACY X) — which also features drummer Carmine Appice (VANILLA FUDGE, CACTUS, MOTHER'S ARMY), bassist Tony Franklin (THE FIRM, BLUE MURDER) and guitarist Karl Cochran (JOE LYNN TURNER, NUCLEAR ASSAULT) — out on the road, Turner said: "[Touring has become more important] since the revenue stream from CDs has been taken away from us — which it really has; we don't make money on CDs anymore… I mean, not like we used to. Our music, apparently, people have decided should be free. Isn't that nice? So that's really killing art and killing the artist. But we manage to keep our heads above water by playing live and selling merch. And that's really the bottom line. And, of course, to make a new CD is basically a calling card, to say, 'Okay, c'mon, hear these tunes, hear these songs, and hear this sound.' And that's what we're doing with RATED X."
He continued: "We feel we've got a real driving force in this business right now with, I would say, melodic hard rock, and that's what this album is. We didn't try to get too modern on it, except for our sound — I think we used technology to increase our sound, but no production tricks; we can do everything we do on that album live — and we're dying to get out there. And now, here's the paradigm… You run into the promoters… Not only are the schedules [of the individual bandmembers] difficult [to line up], but the promoters will say, 'Well, we know Joe Lynn Turner, Carmine, Tony… individually, but we don't know them together.'"
Turner added: "So now, the record just came out, so to make a long story short, we're up against, now the record's gotta catch fire, and it's gotta go from word of mouth, and journalists and radio and podcasts and everything else, and social media, so here we are. And we're really concentrating on that. They're doing a great job for us as far as the promo — it's getting out there and we're meeting with incredible reviews, the listeners love it. So, fingers crossed, we will be [going out on the road], but it probably won't happen 'till late summer or early fall [next year]."
RATED X was formed at the suggestion of Frontiers president Serafino Perugino, who mentioned to singer Joe Lynn Turner that a band of highest-caliber musicians should be assembled to create an album of classic hard rock music. Turner, the former lead vocalist for both RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE and a solo artist in his own right, agreed, and the search for the right players was on. Carmine Appice, who already had a relationship with Frontiers, was on board immediately. A true percussion icon, Appice's resume is one that rock legends are made of: VANILLA FUDGE, CACTUS, OZZY OSBOURNE, ROD STEWART, BLUE MURDER, KING KOBRA and others.
Appice's former BLUE MURDER bandmate and bassist Tony Franklin (best known for his work with THE FIRM, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, David Gilmour, Kate Bush and WHITESNAKE) signed up next. After a lengthy search for the right guitarist, they settled on longtime Turner collaborator Karl Cochran, who has also worked with Ace Frehley in the past.
"I believe we wanted to keep it a bit retro with a modern edge," says Turner. "The songs are classic rock, but then that's an understatement. They are what they are; and they transformed as we went along recording. So, all in all, we are very happy to finish the record and finally able to get it out to the public. Everyone in this band is a true individual and stylist. When you put it all together, you have RATED X."
The debut album, simply titled "Rated X", is remarkable in that it sounds like a band that has worked together as a unit for years. The songs are powerful and the performances are tight and innovative. Frontiers in-house producer Alessandro del Vecchio not only handled studio production but added keyboards on several tracks. Pat Regan (MR. BIG, DEEP PURPLE, GOTTHARD, KISS, DORO) mixed the album.
Says Appice: "With [Alessandro's] help in coming up with the song ideas and working together with the band, I believe we came up with the sound from the late '70s-'80s. To me, it sounds like BLUE MURDER with Joe Lynn Turner singing. Having Tony and myself as the rhythm section and with the heavy guitars, it gives the record a BLUE MURDER vibe. Then, adding Alessandro on keys gave us a bit of the DEEP PURPLE thing. It all works together and I loved playing each song.”
"Rated X" track listing:
01. Get Back My Crown
02. This Is Who I Am
03. Fire And Ice
04. I Don't Cry No More
06. Devil In Disguise
07. You Are The Music
08. Peace Of Mind
09. Maybe Tonight
10. On The Way To Paradise
11. Our Love Is Not Over
12. Stranger In Us All