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  FORMER PANTERA AND DOWN BASSIST REX BROWN TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM, 'SMOKE ON THIS...'
31st May 2017



rex brown

Former Pantera and Down bass player Rex Brown has stepped out as frontman for the first time to sing and play lead guitar on his debut solo album, 'Smoke On This...', which is set for release in various formats on July 28th on Steamhammer/SPV.

Rex told us:

"My motto these days is 'Shake some shit up'. I've had my ups and downs, like anybody in this business. I wanted to feel like a true artist again, where I can write and record songs without worrying about any of the bullshit."

'Smoke On This...', , is packed with unfettered, old-school guitar slinging rock with a nod to the seventies and a firm grasp on the future. Rex wields a six-string guitar as confidently on 'Smoke On This...' as he wore the bass in Pantera and Down, while his engaging voice crackles with easygoing spirit and truth-telling power.

It's a crunchy drawl that's down-to-earth, grippingly relatable and gritty; somewhere between the achingly resonant spiritual shamanism of Tom Waits and the radio friendly sound of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers.

The man who joined Pantera in 1982 and helped move thousands of cassettes and LPs from the back of car trunks in the parking lots of smoky clubs, before the rest of the world discovered the Cowboys from Hell, is foremost a good ole' boy from a small town. He was deeply moved by the Beatles, Stones, and Elvis, thanks to his older sister, and happily confesses to being "the biggest Zeppelin fan in the world."

His connection to everything that was killer about the seventies, from Southern-fried Floridian rockers Blackfoot to English slide-guitar masters Foghat, is nothing short of personal and electric. As he'll attest; "I listen to everything from Sinatra to Slayer."



Having hooked up with Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter Lance Harvill, an old friend, to work as his primary collaborator, Rex began putting down lead guitar, bass and vocals in the studio. The song 'Fault Line' helped him find his voice.

"That was the very first one I sang. After I got that one, I knew that I could do it, and Lance was my biggest motivator in finding that voice. Up until that point I just wasn't sure."

Lyrically, the songs are both personal and universally relatable. 'Buried Alive' is a deeply moving and confessional song about the loss of Dimebag Darrell.

"I drowned myself in cases of whiskey after he died. I was drowning in that black water and I had to find me, ya' know? It's one of those songs that really kind of just came out. 'You're on your own now, Jack. What're you gonna do?' The whole record is really cathartic.

"Conversely, 'What Comes Around Goes Around' could be about your mailman, your neighbour, or your wife. It's saying, 'you made your bed, lay in it. I'm clean on my side of the street, how's yours going?'".

Musically, 'Crossing Lines', the first single to be taken from the album, has a monstrous 'In Through The Out Door' vibe, 'The Best Of Me' has echoes of Pink Floyd, while 'Get Yourself Alright', is something of an ode to 'Strawberry Fields Forever', but with a swift-kick of rock'n'roll. Then there's the extremely catchy 'Grace', which is "something you would never expect to hear off a Rex Brown record and that's exactly why I did it. It's just a really great song, period. Bottom line."

'Smoke On This...' was produced by New Yorker turned Nashville transplant Caleb Sherman, a multi-instrumentalist who has worked on records by Little Big Town and Porter Block, among others.

Rex added:

"Caleb produced the project from a musician's standpoint, not just a typical producer's standpoint, which was something I definitely needed. Between Caleb and Lance, we were a force to be reckoned with." Drums were tracked by Christopher Williams, no stranger to diverse tastes, from funk music to punk, whose talent has been utilized by country music star Lee Greenwood, the reconstituted Blackfoot and most recently, power Metal legends Accept.

"We're not going to necessarily cater to Metal fans, but the guys who grew up with Pantera, a lot of them love all the same stuff that I grew up on, too. This is just something else I'm doing for fun, man. And musical Freedom. Fun has to come into it or I'm not going to do it.

"I've had a tremendous career and now I feel like I'm thirty years old again. This has given me that freedom I needed. I've got so much more in me; I'm just getting my feet wet."





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WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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