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August 13, 2014 -- Pre-Tour Blog 



Hi Everybody,

The hot California heat is not stopping me from getting the exercise I need to prepare for the "Karma's A Bitch" North American tour!  A lot is happening, so I'll get to business.

First of all, the tour is shaping up nicely.   Since Hellion had not played for so long, initially the promoters were hesitant about booking us.  The last official Hellion show was the Monsters of Rock in Russia - and that was a long time ago!

The original idea was to do five or so shows over a ten-day period and then see what happened.  In a short period of time, however, five shows turned into ten, and then to twenty at last count.  Ticket scalpers are already re-selling tickets to some of the shows.  

The tour kicks off off at The Whisky in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 2nd.  This will also be Hellion's album release party, too.  For tour dates click here.

Our goal is to make each of the shows on the tour very special.  In this spirit we are pleased to announce that Las Vegas is celebrating Hellion's return with a free Hellion show at Count's Vamp'd on Friday, October 3rd.  From there we go to Mesa, Arizona.  There will be a free meet and greet the day of the show.  We will give you more details about all of the special events as the information is confirmed.  

A few of you asked if Simon will tour with Hellion in October, since he is touring at the moment with our friends in Operation: Mindcrime (formerly known as Geoff Tate's Queensryche).  The answer is yes.  The touring line-up of musicians will include myself, Simon Wright, Scott Warren, Maxxxwell Carlisle, George Dolivo (from Rhino Bucket who is coming with us as a special guest rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist, and a bass player (who many of you know) whose name we will be announcing very soon.  Bjorn Englen is the only person on the Karma's a Bitch CD who won't be with us.  (Bjorn had a prior contract to play with Tony McAlpine).

For those of you who live in cities or countries that are not included in this round of shows, there is some good news.   We have been asked to do more US shows through our booking agency, ATI.   Also, we are in the process of setting up shows in the UK and Europe.  At this moment we do not yet have shows in Japan, Australia, or South America.  But, we'd have not forgotten about our friends there, and are working toward the goal of shows in those countries.

The "Karma's A Bitch" CD will be released in the USA on October 7th and in the UK and Europe on October 8th.  For those of you who have been asking, you can now pre-order the "Karma's A Bitch" CD on Amazon by clicking here.  If you are planning on attending first few Hellion shows and want to get Hellion's new CD in time for those first shows, you can also order a special fan pack that comes with a tee shirt by clicking here.  We will make every effort to ship the fan packs so they are received before the tour starts.

We are also working on a new line of merchandise.  We listed to your suggestions and will be adding hoodies, ladies tank tops, long sleeve t-shirts and other items to our store next month.  We will also have some items that will only be available for sale at the shows.

If you live in one of the cities where Hellion is playing in October and would like to be part of the street team (AKA:  HELLION HELL-pers) please contact Brenda Starr via Facebook.  (She posts often on the Hellion page.)

Thanks again for your support!  

Best Witches,

Ann Boleyn

July 6, 2014 -- More Tour Info & New CD Update 

Photo: Edu Lawless


Hi Friends,

A quick update.  

In late June Hellion announced a North American tour.   The tour kicks off Thursday, October 2nd at The Whisky in Los Angeles.  Not only is this be the first Hellion show in more than a decade, but it is the record release party for the new CD, "Karma's A Bitch."   It will also be the first time the new line-up has played together live.  We will have some special give-aways to commemorate this event.

Hellion will then head to Vamped in Las Vegas on October 3rd.   Other shows have already been announced in Houston, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Ottawa.  And, there are many more shows being added as I type.    Expect announcements this week.

Since Hellion is playing in a number of cities where we have never played before, we need everybody's help to make sure that the local metal community knows about the shows, and that they are packed.   Because most of the shows are being held in relatively small venues, it is especially important that they be sold-out or very close to it.  

While the success of Hellion's 2014 North American Tour is important to Hellion, our success is also important to the metal scene.  I have been personally told that radio and TV programers are monitoring our tour to indicate the level of interest in a possible resurgence of traditional metal.  

One of the reasons that Hellion is being "watched" by the industry is that, even though we are regarded by some as a "legacy band," a majority of our fan base is made up of 18-24 year-olds even though a sizable percentage of older fans (who have followed Hellion for years) remain active.  For this reason, wherever it is possible, we are trying to play in all-ages venues.

A few of you have been asking if Simon Wright will be playing drums on this tour.  I am pleased to announce that the answer is: "Yes!"  We are also planning to bring a "special guest" to serve as the rhythm guitarist.   (PS:  Many of you already know our "special guest.")   

The "Karma's A Bitch" CD will be released late September.  Those who pre-order the CD via Amazon will receive a sneak-preview (download) of the title-track.  We will have more details about the new CD and tour soon.

Thanks again for your support!

Best Witches,

Ann Boleyn
 

Remembering Ronnie James Dio 





The anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death is May 16th.  While his memory is with me every day, I try to avoid posting about him except on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death.  

It probably doesn't make a lot of sense to those of you who are not NBA fans, but since Ronnie passed away, its sometimes tough for me to watch the playoffs.

In 1984, Ronnie learned that I was a basketball fan.  1984 was the first time the Lakers went up against the Celtics in the finals since 1966.  Those were the classic contests between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.  To this day, I can still remember most of the players' names on both teams.

Throughout the 1984 playoffs and beyond, I watched many basketball games with Ronnie and his friends.  Ronnie gave a couple of my friends nicknames based on those games.  Ronnie also gave the members of Hellion portable "watchman" TV's so we could check on the games and scores when we were at rehearsal or away from home.

For many reasons, including law school, I last spoke to Ronnie in about 2005.  By that time the original Hellion line-up was long disbanded and the members were scattered around the US.  I, however, always thought about him during the playoffs.

In 201, ironically the Lakers and Celtics were once again fighting for the championship.  I called many of my friend about getting together to watch the games, but I had lost many peoples' numbers.  And, the friends whose numbers I still had didn't answer my calls or return my messages.  Others weren't interested.

Ronnie passed away during the middle of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.  I didm't renew my season tickets or attend a game for a long time after that.

This year, even though the close friends that I used to watch NBA games with have moved away, passed away, or are no longer interested in the playoffs, I'm watching at home.  And, once in a while when my team wins or does something special, I'll raise a toast to the TV in memory of Ronnie.

-Ann Boleyn-

 

May 4, 2014 -- My Blog 

Dear Friends,

Where do I even start?  

March.  

March was a great month because I had the opportunity to accompany Simon on the Monsters of Rock Cruise.  One of the highlights of the cruise was getting to hang out with so many old friends, and to meet new friends as well.  Another highlight was having the opportunity to sing with Doro and her band on the Monsters of Rock cruise.  (Here is the link to the video).  This was a special event for me because I have never previously sang on stage live with any other performer.  Hopefully I can do this type of thing again since I had so much fun.

April.  

On April 1, 2014, Hellion's 2-CD anthology was released.  The anthology has 26 songs on it and is available on Amazon and The Omega Order for about $12.00.  All of the CDs that are being sold now are autographed by myself.  However, future pressings will not be autographed.  We also have some special fan-packs (with a CD, t-whirt, sticker, and patch) that are available in the Hellion Store.   For a very limited-time, the Hellion store is having a special sale with free shipping in the US and discounted shipping outside of the US.

On April 11, 2014, I had the opportunity to perform at a fund-raiser (which was also Kevin Estrada's birthday party).  Maxxxwell Carlisle, Scott Warren, Matt Duncan, Shawn Duncan, and myself performed three new Hellion songs and an old classic one too.  More than $10,000 was raised for a good cause, which makes things even better.  It was nice to finally meet some of my friends on Facebook, and to see old friends, too.  

May.  

Simon and I escaped to Catalina Island during the last week of April and the beginning of May.  Simon has been working really hard, performing all over the world, had just returned from Russia where he was performing with Project Rock, and it was great to hangout and relax.  Later this month, he'll be off on the road again with Geoff Tate's Queensryche.

The day after we returned to Los Angeles, SImon and I were back at Total Access Studios, to put the final touches on the upcoming "Karma's A Bitch" CD/Mini-Album.  All of the musical parts have been recorded, so now we are just mixing.  We are also still working with the artist on the CD cover.  As soon as the CD cover is finalized, we will schedule a release date and begin promoting it.  

Future Plans.

Hellion is working together with our booking agent to put together a tour to support the "Karma's A Bitch" release.  Also, Max and I are already working on some new songs and are in the early stages of planning some songs to follow up "Karma's A Bitch."  No rest for the wicked!

Thanks

I want to thank everyone who is part of the Hellion team and who's hard work and contributions have made recording the new Hellion tunes the easiest and most rewarding Hellion undertaking ever.  When we started late last summer, Max, Simon and I spent just a couple days together working on the music and the arrangements.  We had only three days to rehearse before we entered the studio.  None of us had ever worked together before. 

Before we began recording, we contacted Ken Scott, for whom I have incredible respect from working with him back in the 1980s.  At the time we first talked, Ken had already made plans to move to Nashville during the summer.  Initially, I'd hoped to finish the entire project in a couple days.  However, once we started, we soon realized that the project was very special and that it deserved to have sufficient time taken to make sure that everything was "just right."    

After Ken Scott moved to Nashville, Wyn Davis stepped up to the plate to help us finish recording the vocals, in sorting out the keyboard parts that were contributed by Scott Warren, and in mixing.  We mixed the fifth and last song yesterday.   In the next few days, I will be listening to the mixes and deciding what (if anything) needs to be changed.

Thanks again to everybody for your support.  I hope you have a rocking Sunday.

Best Witches,

Ann Boleyn
on behalf of Hellion  




 

February 24, 2014 



Hi Friends,

It's 9:30 Monday morning and the day is already underway.  So much is happening, that I have to be fast, so I can get back to work.

The new Hellion 2-CD anthology comes out on April 1, 2014 in the USA and on March 31, 2014, in the UK.  The packaging of both the US and UK editions are great.  Gaetano Di Falco (using the photography of P.G. Brunelli) did a tremendous job on the cover.  Hugh Gilmour did a super job on the layout, which includes either a 16-page full color booklet, or a folder, depending on which country you are in.  These 2-CD sets are being sold at a special low price to encourage people to buy the physical CDs instead of file-sharing.  You can pre-order the 2-CD anthology now through Cherry Red (in the UK).  You can also get the CDs through The Omega Order and/or Amazon.com.  Please note that all the pre-orders of the CDs sold in the US will be autographed.  Here are links to pre-order CDs both in the US and overseas.  The 2-disc CD is being offered on Amazon for only $12.50 for pre-orders.  The Omega Order also has a special deal for a fan-pack which includes the 2-CD anthology, a limited-edition Hellion logo t-shirt, and sticker, for $22.00).

We are also still working on mixing the Mini-LP (CD) which will follow "To Hellion and Back."  Myself and SImon will be returning to Total Access Studios this weekend.

As you know, SImon Wright, is a member of Geoff Tate's "Queensryche" and "Dio Disciples."  He also is playing in "Project Rock."  Because of this, March and April are going to be extra busy for him.  In order to be well rehearsed for our shows this summer, Max, Scott, and myself will be rehearsing and making a couple guest appearances in March and April with the assistance of Shawn Duncan and Matt Duncan from CD-4.  We want to make it clear that these appearances are not "Hellion."  They are intended merely as an excuse to rehearse and to get some time on stage together before Simon returns.  This way, when Simon is back, we will be ready to rehearse with Simon and Bjorn.

Simon and I will also be enjoying some private (and not-so private) time on the Monsters of Rock Cruise in late March and early April.  Simon's band, "Dio Disciples," will be on the cruise.  Hellion is not playing on the Monsters of Rock.  However, there are discussions about having Hellion on the cruise in 2015.   

Simon and I met last week with Rock-n-Roll Gangstar Apparel.  Rock-n-Roll Gangstar Apparel will be a vendor at a number of music festivals.  Hellion is working together with them to bring Hellion to a number of festivals and to make members of the band available at their booth for signings.  We will have more details on that soon.  Check out their line of clothing.

We received new "To Hellion and Back" t-shirts last week.  Until April 1, 2014, people who purchase a Hellion t-shirt from the Hellion store will get a free Hellion sticker.

Got to get back to other work.  Thanks for your support.  More updates soon!

Ann