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Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

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Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Jeu 18 Oct - 5:15

Nous avons parlé du groupe ici http://historum.forumactif.com/t258-castle-blak?highlight=castle+blak suite à la sortie il y a quelques années de leur boxset 3 cds "Glamour & damnation (Greatest hits & dirty little secrets)".

Chronique du coffret écrite en partie par 2Rocks ici : pour qui veut découvrir, il en reste à commander directement auprès de Regent (mp)
http://www.hardrock80.com/groupes/CASTLEBLAK/Castle_Box.htm












Dernière édition par Lilith le Jeu 18 Oct - 6:26, édité 5 fois

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Jeu 18 Oct - 5:17

Six ans plus tard, Regent St. Claire (chant, guitare, compositeur & leader du groupe) sort son premier album solo, "All That Darkness Employs".
En exclusivité, il nous explique le pourquoi du comment de ce cd, dont la distribution sera...différente, tout comme le style musical, qui s'éloigne de son ancien groupe.

Article en plusieurs parties.

part 1/4
What IS this thing?

Well, for starters, sorry, but it’s NOT a Hard Rock or Metal album (*kids, an ‘album’ is what we old people used to call these kinds of song collections). I like to refer to it as my ‘Arena/Glam/Campfire/Sing-Along CD.’ Throughout the recording process, I imagined myself and my Engineer Extraordinaire/Co-Producer, Steve Refling, recording these tracks in a huge, empty, arena, in the middle of an otherwise barren stage, except for a cheap little fan inside a tin, faux log façade blowing red orange and yellow plastic strips to give the impression of an artificial campfire, a bare, low-wattage light bulb blazing forth from within (*See the stage play scene in “Waiting For Guffman”). The only percussion here being the thumping of a big ol’ Salvation Army bass drum (harkening back to Brian May’s ‘39’), a little Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves tambourine, and a splash of castanets here and there. Ok, ok, I did stretch out a bit with the piano and strings on a song or two, and even rocked a little bit of electric lead guitar here and there, but that’s just how I do ‘unplugged.’

But make no mistake: This is a stripped-down, Post-Modern, 70’s/80s’, ultra-Pop CD.

.../...
Regent St. Claire


A suivre : "Why did I make this CD now? "


Dernière édition par Lilith le Jeu 18 Oct - 5:24, édité 2 fois

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Jeu 18 Oct - 5:22

...part 2/4



.../...Why did I make this CD now?

Several reasons:

(1) Most of the songs on this disc, even the one non-unplugged track performed by Blak here, were written by me between 1979 and 1983 (aka when I was 15-19 years old), sort of the end of an era in my life. This was also when I was transitioning from playing drums into guitarring/lead singing, and from Power Pop to Glam & Metal.

Three of the cover songs on this collection, Old Souls from “Phantom Of The Paradise,” Science Fiction, Double Feature from “Rocky Horror,” and Dreaming from Blondie, were all very near and dear to me ever since I was that starry-eyed, kid from the burbs, and the fourth cover, Anthony Perkins’ Can’t Stand the Light, was sort of a ‘lost treasure’ for me, in that it was a great tune by a stellar writer that has rarely ever been heard, and remained sadly unplayed for many years. Until now…

(2) Over the past few years, I’ve finally remembered what a joy it is to just play my damn guitar. That may sound a bit odd, but after so many years of blasting away on my loverly Les Paul, it occurred to me that because of the requisite distortion and volume required by the Metal path, more often than not, people weren’t even able to hear the words or melodies I’d written. So I thought it was about time that I lay these tunes down the same way I wrote them – laying on my bed, alone, in the dark. Simple, clean, and clear.

(3) The originals here were mostly previously unrecorded, or the recordings were lost or had sonically degraded over the years, or they were originally recorded very poorly long ago. The covers were tunes that meant a lot to me and were songs that I’d been playing my own unique versions of in private for many years, but either I’d never tracked them, or they suffered the same fate as the originals in this bunch. I felt it was time to finally record them properly.

Oh yeah, and not to sound like a big dick, but I also think I’m a way better singer, arranger, and guitarist now than I was back when I was a kid, aka back when I wrote these songs.

(4) And the last reason: Make no mistake – no one ever came out of the womb wearing black lipstick. Goths are forged in the glowing embers (and ashes) of their life experiences, and I’m no exception. These songs are sort of the tattered red flag that the search party would find flapping in the bitter breeze at some abandoned base camp, many years after the explorer (me) had disappeared. Songs written back when I was still naïve, in between being a child, and a man. Maybe more importantly, in between the light of innocence… and the darkness of adulthood (dun, dun, dun!).

This collection is the last place I stood on that cliff before jumping off, but next to my muddy sneaker imprints there, if you listen very carefully, you can also hear the faint imprints of my black, patent leather spike heels, right next to them.

.../...
Regent St. CLaire


A suivre : "The cover art & title? "

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Iceman le Jeu 18 Oct - 5:45

Je pourrais peut être lui faire un peu de pub où tu sais .... :p avec cette "interview"?
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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Jeu 8 Nov - 3:37

Pour 2Rocks : I love U


...part 3/4

The cover art & title?

Yep, I do get a lot of grief for my album covers. Seems like it’s always been that way, so much so that over the years it’s become one of my most recognizable ‘signature trademarks.’ Most folks complain that my covers, and hell, even my band names, never seem to match-up with the sound and vibe of the music they create. The funny thing to me is, I can always clearly see the connections between my cover artwork choices, album titles, and the music. But then again, I do tend to favor unusual pairings, and very obscure pop culture references. Guilty!

The artwork here may just be the one image that will, finally, actually make sense to everyone else. It represents a very weird kind of… synchronicity.

On each and every one of my recordings, when I got to the stage of being nearly done with the process, like when I’ve finished rough mixes of the songs, I’d make a “faux” cover, just for my own use. You should see some of the amazing faux sleeves I did for Blak demos like “Serious As A Fucking Heart Attack” that used the awesome ‘shower image’ of Angie Dickenson from “Dressed To Kill,” or an alternate I made for it using a stretched image of Michael Meyers breaking into the closet in the original “Halloween.”

On this one, “All That Darkenss Employs,” I’d already finalized an awesome cover piece utilizing a painting done for me by Marc Sasso, a truly gifted artist who I’ve collaborated with many times, most notably on my CandyAppleBlack comic book covers, but the faux (temp) cover I made was done one, quiet Saturday morning, when an image I was always in love with just popped into my head.

It’s that romantically tragic shot from “Phantom Of The Paradise,” where Winslow, played by the late William Finley, has finally finished re-working his cantata for Phoenix, after days (or weeks?) of drug-fueled all night writing sessions, and he lays, unconscious (or maybe even dead?), face-down on the last page of his masterpiece, a rainbow of pills scattered around the musical tablature, his ghastly, masked face silenced for perhaps the last time.

But beyond the obvious connection to my CD here, it of course being my final one, the eerie thing is, that at the very moment when I was mocking up this cover art, the real life Bill Finley was taking his real life final breaths. In a strange example of life imitating art, “When it was done, he was done.”

What could be more fitting?

It all made perfect sense, at least to me. These arcane connections were always my street signs. My instruction manual. I just took De Plama’s artistic map and followed it into my own creative netherworld.

And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

By the way, as for my aforementioned need to constantly explain myself, I find it amusing that although both the Press and fans of my music have often remarked at how inspired it was for me to borrow imagery from a classic Fellini film for the cover of my second LP, Another Dark Carnival, that image was actually adapted from a scene in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” and the title itself is a nod to the Ray Bradbury story “Something Wicked this Way Comes,” by way of the villain’s, aka Mr. Dark’s, ‘Pandemonium Carnival.’ Funny that, eh? Along those same lines, I’m often accused of lifting a lot of stuff from Kiss that actually came from artists like Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton John. That’s right, Helen and Olivia, and I think even they would be surprised to hear how I’ve taken their pretty, sing-song, flowery melodies, and mutated them into my own dark visions of Pop.

The title of this collection, All That Darkness Employs, speaks to how I witnessed, intimately, the hijacking of my own, innocent, creative talents, by my new, grim, Glam personae. You can hear this same type of thing if you listen carefully to a lot of Alice Cooper’s older music, like No More Mr. Nice Guy, or perhaps most poignantly on his quietly moving How You Gonna See me Now? Of course the other side of that particular artistic coin is that these songs comprise my own sort of Origins Story. Like how Peter Parker eventually learned to use (and not be afraid of) his new, mutant ‘gifts,’ or how Eric Draven came to embrace his ‘walking dead abilities.’ Maybe all Goths have that ‘Draven moment’ – when each of us puts on the makeup for the first time, and the lightning flashes outside the window, and we finally embrace who and what we really are.


.../...
Regent St. Claire




A suivre la dernière partie : "Selling my soul."

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Lun 12 Nov - 8:32

Regent est pote avec Paul Williams...LE Paul Williams de "Phantom of the Paradise" Exclamation love love love

...Merci pour "Old Souls", Regent...

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  2rocks le Dim 18 Nov - 2:19

Un album de Regent St Clair, je n'osais y croire quand Lilith l'a posté.
Même lorsque Regent m'a envoyé un message pour me demander mon adresse, je restais sceptique...

Car c'est assez étrange, mais il y a des albums qui arrivent au bon moment, pour qui la musique est une force et qui nous aide à surmonter certains jours noirs de notre existence.

Cet album est donc arrivé au meilleur moment, un nouvel album donc pour un de mes chanteurs préférés dans le style, la pochette très simple puisqu'il s'agit d'un cd promo mais la cover déjà superbe qui représente une peinture du Phantom de "Phantom of the Paradise".

"Alice" le 1er titre, morceau existant de la période Castle Blak, Regent en parlait déjà comme une ballade sur le livret de la Box, un morceau que j'affectionne particilièrement. Cette version acoustique est magnifique, pas grand chose à dire tant ce morceau est d'une beauté !

"Play our song" est un titre plus dynamique, entrainant, j'aime beaucoup.

"Kiss your tears away" est une ballade sublime, elle me fait penser à "Stone " de Michael Sweet, la voix de Regent est pure, elle me surprend alors que je suis fan depuis tant d'années de Castle Blak, c'est une nouvelle découverte, un réel et grand plaisir.

"Scared" , morceau d'une grande intensité, le son est superbe, la mélodie, la sensibilité de Regent m'emporte tout simplement...

"Can't stand the light" Une gratte, un accordéon, j'adore ce genre de morceaux, si vous êtes de Kyle Vincent ou de Johan Asherton, vous allez adhérer, c'est obligatoire.

"Radio" est sublime, un refrain génial, le titre me fait encore penser à Stryper notamment à la version acoustique de "Always there for you" qui se trouve sur le deuxième album solo de Michael Sweet "Real".

"You don't close your eyes" dans le même style est également superbe, un morceau Glam, une version électrique aurait le mérite d'exister, j'adore, il y a un petit côté "The Ronettes" style Winter Wonderland (encore une référence Stryper décidemment...)

"Old Souls" reprise de Phantom of the paradise chanté par Jessica Harper est de toute beauté !
Combien de fois ai-je pu écouté ce morceau, les larmes coulent sur mon visage, merci Regent...

"The masque of diplomacy", la voix de Regent est toujours aussi superbe, je veux également une version électrique !

"Science Fiction / Double fiction" Quand on touche à l'intouchable et que l'on arrive à transmettre son émotion, une version splendide, il n'y absolument rien à rajouter...

"Tell me" un titre superbe, Glam par excellence ! et "Dreaming" est une superbe ballade, les mots me manquent pour décrire toute mes émotions.

Je regarde la pochette, il reste un dernier morceau "Ambivalence", en pensant à une version acoustique tout comme pour "Alice", c'est une version hautement électrique que Regent nous balance en pleine tronche, sans doute plus speed que l'original, j'adore ce titre mais il est vraiment trop court, mais quelle surprise...

L'album se termine après un petit message...

J'essaye d'écrire cette chronique avant de remettre le cd sur la plage 1 afin de repartir en voyage.

Mais Je comprend maintenant...
Pourquoi Castle Blak et Regent St Claire tenait une place si importante dans mes goûts musicaux, fan de Rocky horror picture show, de Phamtom of the paradise, de Paul Williams (écoutez un jour le titre "Gone forever" pour ceux qui ne connaisse pas), de ballades, il n'y avait pas de hasard, c'était une vraie synergie.
Oui, je comprend maintenant....

Regent, il faut absolument continuer, la route doit être encore longue pour nous enivrer de la sorte avec toutes ces mélodies qui touchent notre coeur.

Un album sublime qui m'accompagnera longtemps, très longtemps..


Dernière édition par 2rocks le Dim 18 Nov - 9:46, édité 1 fois
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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Iceman le Dim 18 Nov - 9:36

Alors là, respect.... MA GNI FI QUE
Je l'agrémente d'un historique du groupe et de son leader et aussitôt en chronique !
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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Iceman le Dim 18 Nov - 22:42

J'espère ne pas avoir trop dénaturé le texte et l'esprit....et ne pas avoir rajouté trop de bétises : http://histozic.free.fr/?p=1537
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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Lilith le Mer 21 Nov - 4:58

Fin.


Selling my soul.

Yes, the Internet has helped me in my various creative endeavors in many ways over the years. It has also driven a big, jagged, wooden stake through any chance I’ll ever have again to make a dime off of my art. Is it good that, at this very moment, my music is being listened to and downloaded all over the world? Well, kind of. Let me rephrase: Is it good that my music is being illegally bought, sold, uploaded and downloaded, all over the world at this very moment? Not so much. So, as you might guess, I have no interest in being a record company ever again, and The Internet has assured that even if I was, I could never make any money trying to legally ‘sell’ my music, because as was so jarringly proven to me by the rampant Internet theft of my box set content, no one is going to pay anything for something that they want but don’t have to pay for.

So you, my friends and fans, are the beneficiaries of this unfortunate situation. This CD will not be available for sale, anywhere. Ever. Or at least ever as far as I know. I’m just going to give them away. For free. Why? Because I have no doubt that within seconds (literally) of some people acquiring this disc, they will upload it to The Internet, and it will then be copied and downloaded uploaded and shared many, many, many times, and unfortunately for me, aka the legal owner (and financier, I might add) of these recordings, I simply won’t be paid for my work. Ever.

So why fight it? If the big record companies can’t stop this kind of thing, how can I? Hear this? This is me waving the white flag. I surrender.

I’ll stand right here on the beach with my digital surfboard, and when that tsunami of piracy hits me this time, I’ll just straddle that wave and enjoy the ride.

You know, there really is a kind of relief that comes with giving yourself over to the inevitable. And who knows, maybe after I let it all go like that, perhaps GM or Starbucks or Nike will accidentally hear it, and decide to use one of my songs for their new national ad campaign, and I’ll magically, finally, get paid for the work I’ve paid so dearly to create.

Yeah (chuckles), and maybe monkeys’ll fly out of my butt.

So please accept this disc as my gift to you. All I ask is that you listen to it, all of it (and I know there’s a lot of music here), at least once, at a very high volume.

This is Regent St. Claire, aka Johnny La Guardia, signing off.


Dernière édition par Lilith le Mer 21 Nov - 21:45, édité 1 fois

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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

Message  Iceman le Mer 21 Nov - 5:44

bon alors, on peut l'écouter où??? Razz
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Re: Regent St. Claire (Castle Blak) : "All That Darkness Employs" solo album

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