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Exclusive Q and A: Bucky Covington Proves 'I'm Alright,' with New Album, Sold Out Tour, and More

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsBucky Covington was riding high in 2007 when his self-titled debut album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Top 75 chart, the biggest unit debut from a country artist that year. Covington’s album also had the best first week sales and was the highest Top 200 debut from any new country artist in 15 years. Several singles from that album hit the Top 10 on the charts. But the finalist from the fifth season of American Idol hit bumps early in his career when his label Lyric Street Records closed and he was unsigned for more than a year.

Now signed with E One Entertainment, he is touring behind his new single “I Wanna Be That Feeling,” from his next album I’m Alright that will be released later this year. Fans can hear the new songs and his hits this summer as he travels the U.S. on his Hometown Tour.

Covington recently chatted about his new record label, his album, and just why he’s such a great guy to his fans.

OS: Life on the road has to be so different. I think I’d be exhausted all of the time!

BC: Yes, it was when I first went on the road. It was weird to be moving [on a tour bus] when I was sleeping!

OS: Carrie Underwood is just one of the country stars that has made her way into the major leagues after being on American Idol. But I know some people still think that’s an easy way to get into the music industry. What’s your response when people say that?

BC: When you come off a show like American Idol, they say you don’t pay any dues. But that isn’t true! My [first] label [Lyric Street Records] closed and I was unsigned for about 1 1/2 years. Now I’m with eOne [Entertainment One, a Nashville label].  It was a difficult time [when I was unsigned]. Hey, dues paid. The way I see it, coming off a great show like American Idol, has been fantastic. It was great to have my [2007 debut] album do so well and I was as happy as a lark. But it’s not as open and shut as people think. It  took me about 1 1/2 years [before I signed with another record label]. Once we got the contracts and all those things signed and behind us, I was very happy. The biggest thing is that I enjoy the label but there was a lot of stuff I skipped. So I didn’t know anything about the business [when I first entered it]. I’ve had to catch up. When you trade anything for money, it becomes a business. And there are a lot of different levels in the business. When my [first] label shut down, all I could think was “Now what the hell do I do? Where do I turn?” I didn’t know which way to turn, but I was sitting back and learning a lot. Now I’ve got a new record label, a business management company and am very, very happy.

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Metal Monday: What If Ozzy Never Left Sabbath?

Many years ago in a galaxy known as metal, some stuff happened that would change the course of the genre forever (but you probably knew that already). We’re here to ponder things like “what if that never happened” in regard to some of metal’s most momentous events and happenings – What might the metal world be like today?

1979. What a year, right? Metal was really starting to gain some traction with breakout bands like Judas Priest, Motí¶rhead, etc. and all seemed well, except over in the Black Sabbath camp. For lack of a better description, the Sabbath camp was a drunken, dysfunctional mess by 1979, and that atmosphere ultimately led to Ozzy Osbourne being kicked out of the band. Ten years into the band’s legendary career, they cut ties with their vocalist. End of the road, right? WRONG. Instead, Sabbath hooked up with equally legendary voice Ronnie James Dio, and cranked out one of the most legendary metal albums of all time: Heaven & Hell.

The rest, as they say, is history. But what if Ozzy never left? Just imagine how different things from 1979 through 1980 could have been!
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What Is Ozzy Thinking?

Black Sabbath’s reunion tour was originally planned as a celebratory retrospective of the career of these heavy metal pioneers. However, it has recently been announced that Black Sabbath will not be honoring its legacy, instead touring under the name “Ozzy and Friends.”

Currently, one Black Sabbath concert will be happening under the original name (at Download Festival in June), with a lineup of Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Iommi, and Geezer Bulter. In total, there have been five gig cancellations under the “Ozzy and Friends” name, but the group has made up for their losses, booking performances at Norway’s Bergen Calling and Italy’s Gods of Metal festival. Evidently, these performances will include “friends” such as Zakk Wylde and Slash, however, there is still ongoing controversy regarding the name change.

 

Metal Monday: Electric Wizard – Black Masses [Review]

Revivalist trends, such as the rise of the classic thrash sound, have permeated the metal scene in recent years.  The bands associated with these trends are often criticized for not being entirely authentic (and in many cases, rightfully so). Some bands, however, just understand what it is to be a band with a classic and authentic throwback sound. Electric Wizard is one of these bands. Though they’ve recorded six albums previous to Black Masses, the band only recently locked in a bona fide sound. As heavy, doomy and stonerific as ever, Black Masses has a very specific feel to it that hasn’t existed in modern music for quite some time”a guitar sound reminiscent of a thick Tony Iommi power chord circa the early 1970s, despair-ridden vocals that fit right between an Ozzy-led Black Sabbath and Diamond Head.

Acquiring the classic heavy and doom metal sound in today’s age is quite a special thing. Bands need to sound as though they’re playing live and haven’t cut and pasted the record together. The balance and reverb on all tracks need to mesh; if your vocalist sounds like he’s in a giant cathedral but your guitarists sound like they’re standing outside, then  you’re missing the mark. Though Electric Wizard perfect the classic recording sound on this record, it’s nothing like the classic heavy metal in terms of songwriting, it takes more cues from the band’s roots in 1990’s stoner metal in this regard. The difference, however, is that Electric Wizard have gotten less aggressive and more doomy with every release”Black Masses included.

Though Black Masses is a great album, it is one with niche appeal. There are no immediate hooks, catchy choruses or even memorable lines to pick out of the crowd. From the very first riff, Black Masses bludgeons your ears with an extremely forceful and heavy sound, and does so for sixty straight minutes. If you’re looking for a droning, lumbering and extremely heavy listen”it doesn’t get much better than this (certainly not in 2010). Black Masses might just be Electric Wizard’s best release to date, an unlikely feat for a stoner/doom band these days.

Black Masses can be ordered from the Rise Above Records Webstore, Newbury Comics (including online) and iTunes Store.