Exclusive Interview: Alice Cooper Wants To ‘Make America Sick Again’

alice-cooper1(PCM) The legendary Alice Cooper is without a doubt one of the hardest working men in music industry. He is constantly touring either with his solo band or with the Hollywood Vampires featuring Joe Perry and Johnny Depp and of course there is always new music brewing on the horizon.

I have no idea how this man even finds time to sleep these days between touring, writing, recording his radio show, and of course getting in some time to hit the golf course. I suppose the phrase no rest for the wicked could apply here, but not in this particular case because honestly there is not a wicked bone to be found within the “Godfather of Shock Rock”.

Seriously, one of the most honest and humble artists I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with which is why I’m thrilled to share our wonderful Q&A discussing everything from politics and satire to writing and recording the next Alice Cooper record, as well as, his upcoming performance at the Reading Eagle Theater at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

Q: The upcoming election is obviously at the forefront of everyone’s mind currently. Can you talk about how you are having a bit of fun with this while out on the road?

ALICE COOPER: If there ever was an election to have satire on it’s this one and it sure has comedians coming out of retirement. Both of them must keep shooting themselves in the foot. But, it’s funny because I’m not political at all, I am the least political guy ever on the planet and when I did the song “Elected” back in 1972 and every four years now it show back up and really connects with what’s going on.  This year it was so easy to satirize this one and when you come and see the show you’ll see Hillary and Trump on stage.  They’ll both be up there.

Q: Can you talk about the ways in which as song like “Elected” has come full circle?

AC: The song when we did it was almost a tribute to The Who, with power chords and all. We already had “School’s Out” and a bunch of big hits so we felt that this song really kind of lends itself to being a tribute Pete Townsend with the big, big power chords and all that and we never really expected it to do what it did like being the #2 song in England and such a big hit all over. So, it actually accidentally became a hit and now every four years it raises it’s head up because everybody connected up with the election. I’m really surprised that nobody’s ever really used it as an election or campaign song. They keep using things from Fleetwood Mac and bands like that, you would like somebody would rock n’ roll with a song like “Elected”.

Q: You would definitely think that. How would you feel?

AC: I wouldn’t mind that. I’m trying to take the high road on this one. Everyone is so worried that Trump is going to be President and then everybody’s so worried that Hillary’s going to be President, but I’m going to go with a different thing. I’m going to say whoever is the President may be the greatest President we ever had, that’s how I’m going to look at it and then let them prove me wrong.  If they’re going to blow it than let them blow it, but right now I’m going to take the positive route and say they may be the best President ever.

Q: I like that. I know that you have said in previous interviews that rock n’ roll and politics don’t always mix and I always think that music can be used as an escape for a lot of that, what are your thoughts? Can you agree with that?

AC: Really, what I don’t like personally is that it is kind of unfair to treat your fan base like cattle or sheep. Like for example, if you don’t vote for who I’m voting for you’re not my fan. First of all, why would you ever go to a rock star for advice on politics? Seriously, I would go to anybody but a rock star for political advice! I’d go to my dentist, my doctor, the guy that shines my shoes , the guy at the car wash, probably knows more than we do and most rock stars spend all their time writing music or partying or whatever, so why would you ever consider that person to be a political genius.

Q: That is definitely an excellent point.

AC: A rock star writes lyrics and immediately people think well, he knows more than I do. No, no he doesn’t!

Q: You have always been looked at as the ‘Godfather of Shock Rock’, however do you find that anything is rock is truly shocking anymore? Is there anything that stands out to you these days?

AC: I think it’s shocking how boring rock is right now! Rock n’ roll used to be outlaws, if you were a rock star, you were an outlaw and you were not part of the establishment. Now these young rock bands haven’t connected up with that and I would say 90% of the rock bands just want to fit in and I’m going ‘Why?’. The golden age of rock n’ roll you had Bowie, Alice, The Rolling Stones and people like that and the last thing we wanted to do was fit in. We wanted to be the outsiders, but now I look at young bands and I go ‘why do you all want to look alike?’ and it seems like any band can look like any kid, like any kid in the mall could be in a band.

Believe me, when the Alice Cooper Band walked into a room, you knew it was Alice Cooper Band.

Q: Definitely. There is certainly a generation appeal to your music because what certainly used to anger parents has flipped and parents are now introducing their kids to the music and you have fans of various ages coming out to shows.

AC: Oh, of course, our fan base is aged 14 to 70 and we still have a big fan base of kids aged 15 to 25 and are usually the first 50 rows and then the older generation are there because of not just nostalgia, but they love those songs and grew up with those songs and we were their band. It’s the first generation where a guy can take his son and his father to the show and they are all Alice Cooper fans. Classic rock appeals now I think to the 15 year old kid. Could you imagine to be a 15 year old kid and just discovering The Doors or just discovering Jeff Beck or Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix, I think I would be like ‘Are you kidding …who are these guys?’ so, really the music that happened in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s is very timeless.

Q: Absolutely! That’s why I think it is so amazing what you did with both Joe Perry and Johnny Depp with the Hollywood Vampires as a tribute to that era of music.

AC: Bringing it to a young public and they are sitting there going ‘Wow, did you guys write these songs?’ and it’s like ‘No, Jimi Hendrix wrote this, The Doors wrote this, T. Rex wrote this’ and if any of these songs came out today they would be just as powerful. Now, I look at music from the 90’s and 2000’s on up as almost being disposable. It’s almost too much techno … too much manufactured music.

Q: Are there any plans for the future with Hollywood Vampires

AC: Yeah. I think the Vampires have proved that you can do every song from the 60’s and 70’s and make an entire show of it and make it really exciting. First off, the band never went up there with any sort of indulgence or pride. The band went up there to rock that audience and we went up there to give em’ hell.

Q: My favorite scene in the film “Wayne’s World” is the backstage history lesson with you. I don’t know why I picture a backstage conversation with you and the rest of the band being very similar to that.

AC: It is kind of funny with the juxtaposition of everybody in this band with the long hair and the tattoos, running around backstage and then they are like Jeopardy and are really smart. The funny thing is, that the guys in my band actually are like that!  They look really, really tough, but they could sit there an play Trivial Pursuit with these guys and they are just educated about everything.

Q: Can you tease us with any news about work on a new album and the direction that may be headed?

AC: It’s in the writing stage and right now you never know what an album is going to be until it takes it’s own shape. You start out with an idea and I told them I wanted something that would be like “Killer” part two and I brought that up to the original guys in the original band and I brought it up with my band and other writers that I write with and we have a ton of music coming in. It’s really going to be the best 12 or 13 songs that are going to make the album. We pick the best songs regardless of who wrote them and that’s the way Ezrin and I have always worked. We don’t do filler. So, if the original band wrote three great songs, well, they will be on the album.

Q: We have seen so many changes within the music industry over the years. Which has had the biggest effect on the way you approach writing and recording, as well as promotion for an album.

AC: It’s a different world now only because in our day it was all about the Hollywood publicity stunt. You had album art, where you could actually see album artwork and Warner Bros just gave us the right to do whatever we wanted to do as far as the art went. We designed “School’s Out”, we designed “Billion Dollar Babies”, every single album they said you know this stuff better than we do, so it was really nice to have control over all of that and at the same time have control over the music, the image, everything. I think that is kind of what is missing now and there is not enough bands out there that are really concerned about the whole package. You know, you gotta have the whole package. You can’t just have one thing.

If you’ve got somebody writing your songs all the time, there’s something that’s not right about that. Bands should be writing their own songs.

Q: Absolutely! I think even when you mention things like the album artwork, I am one that truly misses the visual side of things so much because I think we get trapped in a singles market where everyone is just picking one and done. No one is paying attention to things like liner notes and album cover art where so much meaning used to be hidden waiting to reveal itself to the listener.

AC: You know the crazy thing is and this is really interesting. In the last year vinyl sales have jumped 85% and the reason is, at least I think, is the next generation is tired of buying air. You get on the internet and buy a single and you don’t get anything, whereas the younger kids now are buying record players and their buying records. They then sit there and look at the records and they own the record and they can read through who wrote what on the record, meaning who wrote what songs. I sign more records now than CD’s or anything else.  It’s amazing and it’s definitely really cool that the record world is making a comeback.

Q: I love the perfectly imperfect sound of vinyl and I just don’t think it can be matched any other way.

AC: Yeah, it’s great. There is just something organic about vinylwith buying a record, putting it on the turntable and putting the needle down and listening to it, whereas, there is something, I don’t know, almost clinical about putting music on your computer or hitting a button on your phone and hearing a record … it just doesn’t sound good.

Q: Can you talk about your upcoming touring plans. I know we have the show coming up this week at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA to look forward to!

AC: For me, I’ve been on this tour and I’ve been out with the Hollywood Vampires and at the same time writing for multiple bands, doing the radio show and it’s funny because I think I’m busier now, at 68 than I was at 28! But it’s great!  I’m probably healthier now. When I was 28, I was a mess downing a bottle of whiskey a day. Now at 68, I could run a race around Alice Cooper when I was 28.

Q: Alice, thank you so much for speaking with me today! We are very much looking forward to checking out the upcoming live show!

AC: I think you’re going to love the show! The show is really fun and I think that everybody that walks out of that show goes ‘Wow! I wasn’t expecting that!’

Alice Cooper will perform at the Reading Eagle Theater at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA on Thursday, September 29 at 8:00pm.

This post came fromExclusive Interview: Alice Cooper Wants To ‘Make America Sick Again’ - unSkinny Pop

Nina Sidell’s ‘Parenting for Life’ – A Revolutionary New Paradigm for Families

131337-473954-3_320x400(PCM) Many parenting books that are filled with advice for parents with children of all ages seem like a tug-of-war; but now there is a book with an honest, empowering, and extremely positive and helpful approach to parenting

Author Nina Sidell, M.A. has written “Parenting for Life,” an exciting new parenting book focused on strengthening your relationship with your child — starting from the baby and toddler stages, through the teen years, and continuing until they are mature adults. A true visionary, she has found a way for adults to look back to discover and heal the way they were parented.

“Parenting for Life,” received the internationally prestigious “Mom’s Choice Award,” which honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services, and the cutting-edge and thought-provoking book has also been endorsed by Deepak Chopra, MD, who said: “If you are interested in conscious parenting, this book is an excellent guide.”

Sidell explains in her powerful 288-page book, that other typical parenting books most often explore what is wrong with a child, where the child gets stuck, or how to remedy behavior problems.

Although these books are well meaning, Sidell says that they leave out “the essential opportunities for mutual learning and growth present within the parent-child relationship, and what the parent brings to the table.”

Many parenting books are filled with advice for parents with children of all ages yet miss the importance of the parent-child relationship across a lifetime. Now there is a book with a positive and revolutionary approach that holds parents accountable and propels healthy family relating; ideal for the times we are living in today.

There are many personalized aspects and developmental stages to deal with when raising and relating to children and young adults. “We now have a parenting manual that is designed to help parents, children, and families navigate their lifetime relationship better.”

“Parenting for Life,” Sidell explains, “Is a guide book for parents who are contemplating, expecting, raising, or relating to their children. The manual is designed to educate, encourage, and inspire individual and coupled parents.” Sidell’s award-winning new book, “Parenting for Life,” provides vital tools to help you connect with your growing and grown kids in new and powerful ways.

Sidell is a skilled, highly intuitive therapist in private practice. She has a B.A. in psychology, and her Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. She works as a therapist and life coach with children, families, teens, women and couples; as well as writes, lectures and facilitates workshops on parenting, relationships and personal development. The mother of two sons, who resides in Suburban Philadelphia, has also written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines.

There are three sections in the book and her hands-on approach provides “homework assignments” at the end of each chapter for parents to follow.

One major piece of advice from Sidell is that “the best approach is to “view and enjoy our children for who they are from the get-go,” she explains in her book. “Our expectations are best managed when we look at ourselves, our histories, our attitudes, and our children as they are. It is most effective to be unconditionally loving, respectful, realistic, and supportive of your child in each moment.”

Sidell, who has worked as a therapist with children, couples and families for more than 25 years, goes to explain that “we must value children’s feelings, opinions, wishes, and limits as the lifetime relationship grows.”

Sidell said that families are no longer the picture of the popular ’50s TV show “Father Knows Best.” She explains while the meaning of family has remained relatively the same; the configuration and needs of today’s family has changed in modern times.

Her book on formulating successful lifetime parenting also encourages readers to create a Parenting Journal to work on each of the 20 homework assignments in the chapters of the book. “By applying the principles and practices of the book, you can personalize your own inspirational parenting journey.”

mca_book_coverHere is a close-up look at Nina Sidell’s vital lessons from “Parenting for Life.”

Q: Please tell me about your book.

NINA SIDELL: “Parenting for Life,” Creates a new niche’ and paradigm in parenting. The sub-title for Parenting for Life is “Consciously Creating Your Lifetime Relationship with Your Child.” This book helps readers connect with their children at all stages in their lifetime relationship. It holds parents accountable, discusses the importance of mutual love, respect, and empathy as well as healthy roles and limits. There is homework at the end of each chapter to support the parent on their journey. Practical and powerful, “Parenting for Life,” offers parents of all ages tools to strengthen and heal relationships with their children.

Q: Overall, how do you see your book, “Parenting for Life?”

NS: I feel that my book is a socially relevant and revolutionary guidebook for individuals and couples, both before and after they become parents. This new approach heals lives. It can also help heal adult children who need to better understand and forgive their parents.

Q: What is important to understand about your approach to parenting?

NS: We must tune into where our expectations as parents come from. With this orientation, we can better accept and allow for our children’s individual process. Development cannot be rushed; nor can individuality. Your responsibility is to try to understand what your child is both saying and showing to you, all the days of your lives.

Q: How important is being a role model for our children?

NS: Being the best role model possible is always the goal, since children follow their parent’s lead. I advise parents with children of all ages that the consistent messages they send and model to their children will take hold in some way. A parent models strength and vulnerability as the family leader and how to navigate their inner and outer worlds.

Q: What do you feel is a good path for a healthy parent-child relationship?

NS: It is helpful when a parent identifies their parental feelings and goals around being a parent and welcomes the development of this lifetime relationship. See and love your children as individuals with unique gifts and needs to be valued, cherished, and encouraged. Keep your child safe and grow alongside him or her as you both evolve. Beyond trying to be a friend to your child, a parent’s job is to be the team leader, primarily to be a protector, guide, safe role model, and consistently loving and responsive caregiver to your child. The process of learning and relating lasts a lifetime between parent and child. The relationship starts from the beginning of your time together until the end of your time together. Keep your mind and heart open every step of the way as you both learn and grow.

Q: Why did you write your book?

NS: After a near-death experience I realized that I wanted to expand my work as a practicing psychotherapist to reach more people. I found that the practices and tools that were effective for me as a mother and clinician working with families, couples, and children provided a powerful and practical set of tools — valuable information to share with the world. “Parenting for Life” creates a new parenting paradigm that heals lives.

Q: Please tell me more.

NS: Well, as parents we often learn while in the throes of the parenting experience. We hope to do the best for our children, with the love, skills and knowledge we have at the time. Sometimes parents behave as their parents did, which may or may not have worked then or be effective now. Children need the best start in life that they can have while parents need to take responsibility for their parenting style, history, and role in co-creating this unique lifetime relationship.

Q: Do you have advice for parents just starting out?

NS: I feel that the best approach is to view and enjoy your children for who they are from the get-go. Your feelings and expectations are best managed when you look at yourself and your attitudes about your children. Managing your time and self-care are very important to fortify your energy as life with a child unfolds. Educate yourself and seek support when need be as you learn about your child and how to best parent them.

Q: What does ‘effective conscious parenting’ mean?

NS: Effective conscious parenting is described when a parent is self-aware of their intentions, feelings, attitudes, words and actions toward their child, applying this awareness for the benefit of the child and the relationship. It is utilizing tools and practices that offer growth-focused parenting.

Q: What are some primary roles of an effective parent?

NS: An effective parent’s job is to provide the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual anchor that stabilizes your child’s sense of safety and security, and the wings that give him or her freedom to explore the environment and his or her identity. Another key, aside from keeping children feeling loved and safe, is supporting individuality. This includes accepting and supporting a child’s individual personality, gifts, self-expression, and needs.

Q: What else would you like to say about this?

NS: No two children are alike and each one must be treated as uniquely special. For every family there is typically some dysfunction and up’s and down’s. A parent who can be heart-centered ensures the importance of unconditional love and respect. Inviting appropriate, open dialogue, creating healthy routines and boundaries, and learning experiences are key. An open learning environment, such as welcoming “insight moments” and “lifetime insights” are practices that help the family focus on growth as opposed to challenges- which builds life skills for all.

Q: What is another key to keep in mind?

NS: A home that is filled with love fills up the giver and the receiver… one major key to successful parenting is that love and respect go together, and that they are valued as mutual practices between parent and child. Knowing home is a safe harbor provides shelter from the storms of life, reassuring your child that he or she is not alone. Living in a home that is treated like a sacred place is the best way to start the day and the most reassuring way to end the night.

For further information about Author, Speaker, Life Coach and Therapist Nina Sidell, M.A. and “Parenting for Life,” please go to: www.LiveInspiredwithNina.com. The book is available from Amazon, Create Space, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.

The post Nina Sidell’s ‘Parenting for Life’ – A Revolutionary New Paradigm for Families also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Rock Allegiance Reveals Daily Band Line-ups, Gourmet Man Food, Craft Beer And Experiences! Interview With Executive Vice President Of Danny Wimmer Presents, Gary Spivack!

(PCM) The Gourmet Man Food lineup, craft beer selections and daily band lineups have been announced for the second annual Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, September 17 & 18 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA, just outside Philadelphia.


Monster Energy Rock Allegiance will feature a lineup of over 35 bands on three stages, led by rock heavyweights Avenged Sevenfold and Alice In Chains, along with Slayer, The Offspring, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat and many more. Last year’s single-day debut shattered Talen Energy Stadium’s previous attendance high by nearly 10,000 people, with over 26,000 total in attendance, prompting festival organizers to expand to two days.

Weekend General Admission and VIP tickets–as well as a limited number of single day tickets—for Monster Energy Rock Allegiance are available at www.RockAllegiance.com.

The current daily band lineup for Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is as follows (subject to change):

Saturday, September 17: Alice In Chains, Breaking Benjamin, The Offspring, The Cult, Motionless In White, Baroness, Chevy Metal, Trivium, Buckcherry, Avatar, Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Sick Puppies, Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, letlive., The Apocalypse Blues Revue, Skindred, Young Guns, The Word Alive, Dinosaur Pile-Up

Sunday, September 18: Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Volbeat, Chevelle, Pierce The Veil, Ghost, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Of Mice & Men, Sevendust, Hellyeah, The Amity Affliction, Neck Deep, Crobot, Twelve Foot Ninja, KYNG, Death Angel, Devour The Day, Hundredth

Festival doors open at 11:00 AM each day.

We caught up with Executive Vice President of Danny Wimmer Presents Gary Spivack to give us some details about this year’s expansion of Rock Allegiance from a single day festival to a multi-day experience.  He tells us “It’s such a crowded landscape with the festival craze in America and Philadelphia is no stranger to multiple shows.  We felt that Philadelphia and that whole surrounding area was such a great rock n’ roll town and region that we wanted to do a festival and we wanted to play it right and kind of put our foot in the water so to speak. We tried a one day and it connected big time and completely sold-out. It had a lot to do with the music and rock n’ roll , but it also had to do with the secondary entertainment that is very key for us that includes our gourmet man food, beverages and our craft beer and all the exciting sponsor and vendor installations that goes along with the festival.

These days if you just kind of throw together a festival by throwing up a couple of stages and have bad beer and corn dogs, people are not going to enjoy it.  People need the overall experience and rightfully so. They want to be entertained musically, but they also want to have a great meal, have some great brews with some great company to make a whole weekend out of it. We put our foot in the water and it connected and it was our goal from all along to have a whole weekend festival for Rock Allegiance.”

Spivack also went on to explain to us how challenging it can be to craft the festival experiences around multiple cities. He comments” It is challenging because America has gone festival crazy and we do our very best job which is painstakingly detailed to make it as global and regional as possible. Sure there are going to be bands that are duplicated at various rock festivals around America, but as long as the experience regionally is separate at each festival that is important to us. The food and the overall experience will be a little different at each festival, some of the bands will have a style that is a little different. Louder Than Life could have a little more of a classic rock lean at times, while Carolina Rebellion could have more of a southern rock element and then Rock On The Range could be a little more alternative, while Rock Allegiance in Philadelphia is more honed in on modern rock or hard rock n’ roll.

Spivack also spoke with us about the challenging of curating these rock festivals saying “We are always raising the bar. We are never going to be satisfied. We are extremely stoked about the [Rock Allegiance] line-up this year and yes, having Avenged Sevenfold with their first appearance in a couple years there and Alice In Chains, Slayer and Offspring and Breaking Benjamin supporting. We are all about bulk and making sure the entertainment value is there all day from entering the venue at noon all the way through to Avenged Sevenfold. We curate it so that if we throw bands like letlive or Crobot or Chevy Metal with Taylor Hawkins they are all very important to the overall festival.

While explaining more about the curating process and band who submit to play these festivals, Spivack comments, “It’s a daily siege! We take submissions and we go after band’s we covet, so we never say no to anybody, we listen to everything. We are always looking for diamonds in the rough and like I said, it’s important to have an Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains and Slayer up on top, but we also look for discoveries whether it’s a band like Crobot or Kyng. We look for future stars of tomorrow and are on the hunt for great new music too.

Spivack also spoke about the genre diversity that is present at many of these festivals and commented on the overall growth saying, ” We started this because we felt we wanted to serve the underserved. There were so many great festivals out there with Coachella and Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, but no one was really serving the rock fan. I’m not talking about the metal fan or the punk fan or the alternative fan, but just rock n’ roll. We didn’t want to do it in New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta, but where there was the underserved, where a festival hasn’t been. That’s why we did Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH or Carolina Rebellion in Charlotte or Rock Allegiance because there really wasn’t a  hard rock festival in  the Philadelphia area.”

We commented to Spivack that anyone that feels rock is dead needs to come out to one of these festivals and see the massive crowds of everyone gathered together for the love of rock n’ roll.  He says ” I don’t even know what “rock is dead” means. You come out to our shows, for example Rock Allegiance which sells out and what does that tell you? It tells you that yeah, we might be the most popular kid in the classroom or the sexiest girl at the dance, but you don’t have to be. You just have to put together a ton of great bands at a good ticket price and offer great entertainment value and people will certainly come.”

PCM is proud to be offering up TWO pairs of GA Weekend Passes for Rock Allegiance….click here to enter for your chance to win!

Here’s a preliminary list of Monster Energy Rock Allegiance onsite experiences, including Gourmet Man Food and craft beer, as well as nonprofit organizations with a presence at the festival:

Gourmet Man Food: Monster Energy Rock Allegiance features a Gourmet Man Food experience celebrating what makes Philadelphia cuisine famous, unique and delicious. The current Gourmet Man Food lineup includes: Angry Bird Grill • Baby Blues BBQ • BrazBQ • Cheese E. Wagon • Chef Donte’s Delicious Dishes • Chickie’s & Pete’s • Dos Hermanos Tacos • Dump-N-Roll • Lil Trent’s • M.A.T.T.’s Food Truck • Mama’s Meatballs • Philly Delicias • Seoulfull Philly • Stella Jeanne’s Festival Foods • Sum Pig • The Cow And The Curd • The Tot Cart • Tilted Kilt • What’s the Catch

Craft Beer: Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is proud to support beer entrepreneurship with a celebration of local breweries and specialty drafts hailing from throughout the nation. The roster of regional and national craft beers is as follows: Evolution Craft Brewing Co (Salisbury, MD – Lot Nº 3 IPA, Jacques Au Lantern) • Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company (Dover, DE – Rams Head IPA, Oak Barrel Stout) • New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO – Fat Tire Amber Ale, Snapshot Wheat) • Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, VA – Grateful Pale Ale, Northern Lights IPA) • Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA – Perpetual IPA, DreamWeaver Wheat) • Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA – Festbier, Headwaters Pale Ale).

Monster Energy Experience/Sampling: Monster Energy will be keeping all fans fueled up and ready to rock by offering free sampling on their Monster Energy viewing deck. Enjoy Monster Energy drinks from one of the best seats in the house. Make sure to check back throughout the festival for a schedule of Monster Energy’s interactive artist experiences.
Facebook: facebook.com/monsterenergy
#monsterenergy #monstermusic

Jack Daniel’s Experience: “Taste of Tennessee” invites visitors to come out and tour the nation’s oldest registered distillery from outside the Jack Daniel’s Hollow. Visitors get to see (and smell) whiskey dripping slowly through charcoal and the new oak barrels used in maturing Tennessee’s finest whiskey. The Jack Daniel’s Experience is open to all fans, 21 years old and up, for tours free of charge. Stop by the Jack Daniel’s Experience for interactive engagements throughout the weekend.
Facebook: facebook.com/jackdaniels
Instagram: @jackdaniels_us
#jackdaniels #BornToMakeWhiskey

Zippo: Zippo Encore will offer a full stock of Zippo lighters, including the limited edition festival designs. Come by and check out their contests and giveaways or get a free lighter fill or tune-up. Be sure to bring your Zippo lighter to the festival, it could be your ticket to special experiences.
Facebook: facebook.com/zippoencore
Instagram: @zippoencore
#zippo #zippoencore

The Music Experience: The Music Experience features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional band setting. The interactive exhibit features guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards and electronic gear that are used by today’s most popular bands. The Music Experience has autograph signings and artist interactions throughout the day. Check Facebook and Instagram for the latest info on who will be hanging out at The Music Experience.
Facebook: facebook.com/themusicexp
Instagram: @tmexp

f.y.e. Fan Experience: f.y.e. will be hosting the ultimate fan and artist interactive experiences throughout the festival. f.y.e. is the only place at the festival to get all your favorite band’s music – and maybe even get to meet your favorite Monster Energy Rock Allegiance performers. Check back for updates on artist meet and greet and autograph signing sessions as well as unique experiences and offers thanks to Razor & Tie Records and Roadrunner Records.
Facebook: facebook.com/FYE
Instagram: @officalFYEmusic

Philadelphia Union – Rock N Jock Experience: Philadelphia Union will be hosting the ultimate Rock N Jock experience at Monster Energy Rock Allegiance. One winner plus a guest each day will receive prizes from the Philadelphia Union, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance and a private Meet & Greet with Pierce The Veil (Saturday) or Breaking Benjamin (Sunday), along with the ultimate fan experience at both the festival and a 2017 Philadelphia Union game of their choice. To enter, visit http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/rock-enter. No purchase necessary.
Facebook: facebook.com/philadelphiaunion
Twitter: twitter.com/PhilaUnion
Website: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/

yin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer: The F C Cancer Foundation’s mission is to fight cancer by raising awareness and to educate about early cancer detection, ultimately putting an end to late stage cancer diagnosis. The Dyin 2 Live wish granting program looks to enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them an experience that will bring joy, hope, inspiration, and courage into their lives. In doing this, the program hopes it can help give the cancer fighter a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day, what they are battling. The hope is that it can be used as a source of inspiration to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.
Facebook: facebook.com/Dyin2LiveDREAMS or facebook.com/FxckCancerUSA
Instagram: @FxckCancer and @Dyin2LiveDreams

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Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation, and Spectra at Talen Energy Stadium.

Talen Energy Stadium is a state-of-the-art Major League Soccer stadium that serves as the home to Philadelphia Union and is located at 1 Stadium Drive in Chester, PA, just outside Philadelphia.

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This post came fromRock Allegiance Reveals Daily Band Line-ups, Gourmet Man Food, Craft Beer And Experiences! Interview With Executive Vice President Of Danny Wimmer Presents, Gary Spivack! - unSkinny Pop

‘The Killing Joke’ Director, Sam Liu, Talks How it’s Like Working with Bruce Timm

Welcome back to another one of our series of interviews from this year’s San Diego Comic-con, where we sat with the cast and crew of  DC Animated’s latest film, Batman: The Killing Joke. In this interview, we spoke with Sam Liu, the director of the film and discussed how it was like working with the legendary Bruce Timm.


Sam Liu

Q: Were you a fan of the original [Killing Joke], did it sort of resinate with you in a way?

Sam Liu: I appreciate the story for what it was. I was really young when it came out and I read it. When the people at Warner Bros. weren’t sure if this was an interesting enough, in itself, to tell because it’s almost like a philosophical psychological debate between two legendary nemesis and unless you are a fan, you’re not going to get the impact. And so with them writing a prologue, I kind of feel like, coverage wise as far as the audience is concerned, it helps ease people into their world a little bit. It defines Barbra [Gordon] a little bit more. He get to see her relationship with Batman and what she’s going through. I think the added stuff even though it may be…I’m curious to see how people react to it. It’s hard to please fans but I think it was a smart move and a good move.

Q: How did you approach co-directing with Bruce [Timm]?

Sam Liu: The directing thing is kind of a strange thing because I’m more like a studio director in the sense of an old school kind of way. It’s like I work on multiple projects and the producer is the one that sort of comes with the idea of what they want. And I work with the producer but I build it for the first time. The top of the panel you go through it together and help shape the pre-stuff but I go away and work with a team of people and I show him what I’ve come up with and he basically likes it or doesn’t like it. We’ve worked together for quite some time that I think we know each other pretty well that he trusts me to build it to a certain point, then he just goes in and tweaks it. So again, that’s where the titles come into view because he’s more of the producer but it’s not like we sat together and put it all together. It’s like he came with the idea. As far as this is the blueprint of how we are going to do it and then I go in and build it, basically. And then he kind of comes in later and sort of looks at it, we sort of massage together. Obviously him giving me like ‘I think this works, I don’t think this works or oh, that’s great or that totally sucks’.

Q: So when you say you’ve built it, did you do the storyboarding for this particular project?

Sam Liu: I worked with a team of assorted artists and depending on talent level, I either do a lot of re-boarding or little re-boarding.

Q: Did that work out as intended, when you look back on the project?

Sam Liu: It depends on – it’s like a casting of actors. Some people are better at certain things, there’s some people that are better at fighting, there’s some people better at acting, there’s some people that are really great at drawing. Recently in my crew of people, they are a little bit young and I sort of have to re-do a lot of their work. But again, it comes in circles. There’s times where it’s great and easy, there’s other times where it’s just – I wish I can clone me cause I don’t have enough time.

Q: Working with Bruce Timm, were you a fan of DC Animated beforehand? And how has it influenced you as a director and an artist?

Sam Liu: Bruce was maybe the person that made me like DC. I was never a DC guy when I collected comics, I was always a Marvel guy. Watching ‘Batman: The Animated Series’, that sort of was what made me interested in the DC stuff. – I’m very cerebral so this can go in a long kind of way, which no one would be interested in but it’s stranger because I think when you do stuff, you’re either very cerebral or you’re very intuitive, so I’m very cerebral and Bruce is very intuitive. So in the beginning it was difficult, our communication, because I was trying to quantify why he would do things or why he wouldn’t do things, but he does things not necessarily out of reason. He does things just because it feels a certain way. I’ve worked at Marvel before and different studios and Bruce is really super-talented. When I was working with Marvel, I was using the exact same team as I’m working with now, as far as storyboard artists and stuff like that, but the product that comes out under Bruce is way more polished than Marvel is. I’ve learned a lot from especially with directing and stuff like that. But we fight a little bit, he’s a little more old school, I’m a little bit more new school in certain ways. It’s a collaborative. I’ve seen him evolve as well. He talks about ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and how slow it is, he can’t even look at it now because he thinks it’s too slow.


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Bruce Timm Explains Barbra Gordon’s Role in ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’

During this year’s San Diego Comic-con, we had the chance to sit down with some of the people responsible for bringing The Killing Joke to the screen. One of those responsible for the animated adaptation of the controversial graphic novel was none other than Bruce Timm. Bruce Timm is known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series, an animated series that changed the animated world for the better. In this interview, Timm explains the need for more Barbra Gordon in the animated adaptation, what he did not like about the graphic novel and why he originally didn’t want to do this project.


Bruce Timm

Q: It took a long time to get this one off the ground, what slowed this project down and how did it happen now?

Bruce Timm: Our first iteration of the movie was (I didn’t even know exactly what year, Brian [Azzarello] seems to think it was 2007), whatever year ‘The Watchmen’ came out, that’s the jest of it. When we first started talking about doing it, Brian wrote the script, we let the home video people know that this is kind of a special case, a famous comic, it’s a very notorious comic, if we do it is there a chance that it might be R-rated, are they going to be okay with that? The home video people said yes, reluctantly we are okay with that. Later that year, the ‘Watchmen‘ movie came out and kind of under performed and everyone kind of took a second look at it and thought ‘well maybe this is not the time to do an R-rated superhero movie.’ So we put it on the shelf. A couple of years later we revisited it, home video people said ‘yeah, let’s do it this time, go.’ We started designing it, storyboarding it and then the shooting in Aurora happened, which was a horrible tragedy. And everyone looked at it and said ‘Okay…Batman and gun violence is kind of hitting to close to home right now. This is not the time.’ So we shelved it again. And both times I kind of – honestly, I sighed in relief ’cause I was dreading doing this movie. So a couple of years later, we said ‘Let’s do ‘The Killing Joke’ again.’ Initially, the comic is so short, it’s not really long enough to make a feature film out of and Brian’s script wasn’t feature length. The home video people said ‘Yeah, we’ll just do it as a short movie and adjust the price point so people don’t feel ripped off.’ But this last time we put it out on the floor, we said you know what, let’s expand it to feature film length and we’ll use that screen time to kind of fix one of the things about the comic that’s kind of always bothered me, in that Barbra [Gordon] is kind of just a victim. She’s basically there to be wounded so that Commissioner Gordon and Batman  can be all pissed off and swear revenge. Not that this completely mitigates that but to me it made the movie more palatable to spend more time with Barbra in the story before ‘The Killing Joke’ happens.

Q: You mentioned the fact that it’s a little bit more of a mature story, how do you feel that fits in as far as fleshing out what comics can do that are going to be at different levels for all people, different styles of adaptation?

Bruce Timm: I’m kind of at two minds about it. I felt a little weird when we got the r rating and then the home video people said ‘Okay let’s do it’, on one hand it was like okay cool, we kind of crossed that threshold, the other part of me was kind of like oh, man that’s kind of sad, I kind of finally made a Batman movie that little kids should not see. But in a way it’s kind of okay because they do have alternatives, there are other things that are more age appropriate Batman in the comics, the movies , cartoons, tv shows, the toys but it did feel a bit weird.

Age of the Nerd: As far as adding more Barbra Gordon to the story, how tough was that to add this bigger layer onto something that everybody read and grew up with?

Bruce Timm: Well what’s interesting about it is that knowing that would be a possibly issue for certain people, we designed the movie in such a way that if you really are only interested in seeing ‘The Killing Joke’. if you’re really that much of a purest, the movie is designed in such a way that you can go to chapter five and hit play and you’ll skip the entire first half of the movie, just watch ‘The Killing Joke’ part and you’re good. It’s a clear break. It’s not completely integrated, it’s almost like literally two different movies sandwiched together, so having said that, I hope people do watch the first part of it because I’m very proud of it, I really enjoy the first half of the movie, weirdly enough, almost as much as that I enjoy the second half of the movie. I think Tara [Strong] is great in it, I think Kevin [Conroy] is awesome in it and Brian wrote a really great script. I’m very proud of it, so we will see.

Q: Were Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill always in the cards for this movie?

Bruce Timm: Well Mark has very publicly said many times that he would only come back and play the Joker if it was ‘The Killing Joke’ and I think that was just his way in sending a message to us that if we would ever do ‘The Killing Joke’ that we would be in a lot of trouble if we didn’t hire him. So…mission accomplished, Mark! It was great. He would obviously be our first choice anyways. Him having said that, chances are if we offered him that part, he would probably say yes. Once he was signed on, it was like well it would be really weird if we have him as Joker if we didn’t have Kevin as Batman, so that made that an easy sell. Then it was like okay, who’s going to play Batgirl? I guess it better be Tara Strong then shouldn’t it? So everything just kind of fell into place. I’m always delighted anytime I can work with any of those guys. Kevin is always my number one choice for any Batman project.

Q: At the core of it, why did you pick out this story? Is there something that particularly about the story that drew you in?

Bruce Timm: I have not always wanted to do it. I have always kind of not wanted to do it. I admire the comic enormously, I respect it. I don’t really loved it, I never loved it. It’s not my favorite Alan Moore comic. I think Brian Bolland’s artwork is phenomenal, that to me, still holds up. There’s even things that Alan wrote in the story that I think are amazing as well but there are certain things about it that have always just rubbed me the wrong way for weirdly personal reasons, specifically the way that Batgirl is treated. I think even Alan Moore himself said that he kind of regrets those aspects of ‘The Killing Joke’. But when it came down to doing it, it was just kind of like well, I could say no and somebody else would do it. That would probably be okay but at the same time, it’s just kind of a challenge. It’s kind of like can I take this mature material that I don’t love but can I turn it into a movie that I love without putting my own stamp on it and that was my own personal challenge. You guys would be the judge if I pulled it off.



Be sure to check out our review of Batman: The Killing Joke and our interview with Kevin Conroy.


The post Bruce Timm Explains Barbra Gordon’s Role in ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ appeared first on Age of The Nerd.

Kevin Conroy Talks ‘The Killing Joke’ and ‘Batman: The Animated Series’

At San Diego Comic-con 2016, we had the honor to sit down and talk with some of the faces and voices behind the newest DC Animated film, Batman: The Killing Joke. One of those voices we talked to were none other than the man behind the voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman, Kevin Conroy. Take a look at the interview below as Kevin Conroy talks about Batman: The Animated Series, The Killing Joke and how it felt to make Batman laugh for the first time.


Kevin Conroy

Q: How was it approaching something like this where it’s R-rated?

Kevin Conroy: Well remember the original show that was on Fox was on primetime. It was really geared toward an adult audience to begin with. It was never geared towards kids to begin with. I think that kind of evolved over time with ‘The Adventures of Batman and Robin’ and ‘The Justice League’, ‘Batman: Beyond’, those were intended to be for a younger audience but ‘Batman: The Animated Series”, what made it so wonderful was that it was a primetime show. They were going for an adult audience. Our biggest audience for that show was I think college age. To answer your question, this is a much darker version, a much more adult story but when you approach the character, you’re being true to the character, regardless of the situation he’s in. The situations change, the character doesn’t change. The thing I found about Batman is that the audience is so passionate with this character. They’re so passionate. They know more about him than I do, in terms of his background. If I was ever to be inauthentic or to lie, or to take a shortcut, I would hear about it in about five seconds. They would just tune it out! And I have too much respect for them. I know that I can’t get away with it, I’m not gonna try. So for me, it’s always getting to the character from the inside out. And I know that’s the way Mark [Hamill] approaches the Joker. He always comes at it from the inside out. These are both really complicated twisted characters. Each twist in their own way. Batman is not square-jawed Superman, he is dark and complex and struggling with inner demons, which is why he’s most comfortable in a cave with bats. Joker is equally damaged. They just go in different directions. Sometimes complete opposites end up in the same place, you know what I mean. I often thought that we define each other (Batman and Joker). One wouldn’t exist without the other.

Q: As a longtime animation veteran, what do you think it means to have a more mature type of entry into the field?

Kevin Conroy: As an art form, I think it’s been being done for awhile with shows like ‘Family Guy’, you got a lot of very adult content animation going on. So for this show we do it with Batman, it makes all the sense in the world. There’s a huge adult audience for animation. It’s appropriate that it happened now. I certainly see it when I go to comic-con, ninety percent of people who come to see me are adults, occasionally, there’s some kids. I’m a very adult character.

Age of the Nerd: How important was it to you to comeback and do the voice of Batman for The Killing Joke, especially when you heard that Mark Hamill really wanted to do it? Did you want to do it as much as Mark did?

Kevin Conroy: Oh, absolutely. I would fly across country to be able to work with Mark [Hamill]. I love working with Mark Hamill. He’s like a brother to me. We get together and there’s (?) we both trust each other. I know Mark [Hamill] wants me to be good and I know he knows that I want him to be good. We want the best out of each other – that’s like a wonderful relationship. I mean it’s like a great, great brother that you just trust.

Q: How was it like to have Batman laughing for the first time?

Kevin Conroy: Isn’t that wild?! I’ve never done that before. We’ve never done that sort of thing, like wait a minute…how do I laugh? I’ve never explored that quality to him. Where does that come from?

Q: Can you do it now by any chance?

Kevin Conroy: No! [Laughs] Because it’s not just putting on a laugh. You’ll see when you see it, Mark [Hamill] said it was wild listening to it. It’s interesting.




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