The concept of Kings of Chaos is borderline Utopian and is indicative that we are doing something right since the Rock Gods have broadly smiled upon us. It’s almost incomprehensible how bolstered a single stage would have to be to contain such a torrent of metallic awesomeness.
For the less informed, Kings of Chaos are a superlative super group that comprises of some of the most renowned names in rock. The plethora of rock royalty includes Dave Kushner from Velvet Revolver, Guns N’ Roses musicians Slash, Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke, Joe Elliot from Def Leppard, Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple and Ed Roland from Collective Soul, as well as legendary vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. They are currently here for a SA tour and anybody with a fraction of a penchant for rock music would be elated at this news.
They all (except for Slash) took time off from their millimetre-crammed schedule to chat with local media at a press conference and for such rock supremacy, they were superbly casual, laid back and spoke quite candidly.
Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland has performed in South Africa a few times before and like many other times, expressed his love for the motherland. “It is beautiful here and I love the people and their love of music. The last time I was here to perform at the Heineken Symphonic rocks with South African artists. It was an education to hear the different rhythms, we don’t get to hear that in the states.” It was definitely pleasant to hear a heavyweight artist give our local musicians their full kudos set.
With the exception of Elliot and Roland these “lads” have had more than their fair share of hell raising days with enough alcohol (and then some) oozing out of their pores to power many a frat house. Glen Hughes, the colossal bass player zestfully spoke of Motorhead frontman, Lemmy’s “fun-loving” ways, a man who had and probably still has a sturdy diet of copious amounts of drugs and Jack Daniels. “Lemmy is a unique fellow, there’s nobody on this podium that could keep up with that young chap, so long may he reign. I can’t join him at the bar any more, been over-served too many times, been to too many ER rooms, but God bless him.” Hughes is 61 years old but has aged well considering the amount of self-inflicted liquid flogging he has endured. Father Time has been kind to him because he looks much younger than a former alcohol pickled individual should.
On another note, Dave Kushner was actually in high school with Slash. He said, “I was always trying to get him to smoke pot but he would just drink. When I first met him, he already played (guitar) and I did not even play guitar. I was a fan of him from even back then, he had this three piece band and it always seemed that he was always that good.” That is certainly a righteous and fitting homage to the world’s most famous top hatted guitarist. Slash on a Gibson Les Paul can be likened to an Arkham Asylum inmate – insane. He and Guns vocalist, Axl Rose previously had a highly publicised fallout, unfortunate to say the least – this generation of rock fans will have to vicariously experience the greatness of the once power duo.
You would think that it would be a herculean task to get a massive line-up of so many hulking musicians and former wild-men to keeping to schedules in terms of performing and band practice but Gilby Clark said otherwise. He commented, “We are focused. Things are a lot easier, a lot of us gel together without trying. Most of us all played together before.” And if you think you are going to hear lubricated tales of stage occurring power struggles, sorry to disappoint. He continued, “All these guys are frontmen for their own band. Everybody is extremely respectful of each other. They let each other enjoy their moment on stage when it’s their turn.”
Matt Sorum had a stint as a drummer for Guns and later reunited with Slash and Kushner during the formation of alternative act, Velvet Revolver. He is an animal lover and actually adopted lions and tigers in South Africa. “Joe and I went to the Lion Park Sanctuary, outside Cape Town. They rescue lions from circuses all over the world… You pay some money to adopt them to help pay for their food. I’m all about the animal rights.” He is thrilled to be playing with his former band mates. He also mentioned that the last time they played together was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they only found out an hour before the show that they would be performing.
Joe Elliot is the face of Def Leppard a band that definitely made a bold print on the rock stratosphere and has to be one most enduring bands of its generation. The band put out a ton of hits through the ages, including the guiltiest of guilty pleasure pop-rock sing-alongs, Pour some sugar on me – a track that is not unlike a juxtaposition of a cloud of candy floss and a haemorrhage. He is fast witted and has quips for days. In a hilarity soaked moment, another reporter enquired if it was true that he and Nelson Mandela, once went shopping together at a mall in Durban, he playfully retort that they were shopping for Nirvana records together and the former president was looking for Soundgarden albums. He was also very vocal about artists getting unwarranted dues. “…The world seems to be infatuated with people who go on stage and dance for two hours and don’t sing live …Elton summed it up great. When Madonna won best live artist of the year, his immortal comments were, ‘oh f*** off,’ because she does not sing live. Elton John sweats his ass off singing and playing the piano,” he said.
That being said, the common sentiment is that, the Kings of Chaos live is going to be an amazing concert and nothing short of a zombie apocalypse should stop you from seeing them burn up the stage. Tickets are available at Computicket.
Kings of Chaos (Joburg leg) Details
Date: June 15, 16
Price: R375 to R560
Venue: Sun City Superbowl