The News-bit

Featuring Updates on KIX, RHINO BUCKET, and TANK!

KIX played their last show September 17th, 2023 at MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION in COLUMBIA, MD after 45 years. Unfournately, I didn’t make it to the show but I have seen KIX live so many times over the years and they never disappointed. BRIAN FORSYTHE summed up the last show by telling me, “I feel we went out with a bang”. What more needs said? Since Brian retired from KIX, he has been enjoying his time off…”I spend my time between working out, cooking and keeping up with my guitar playing”, stated Brian. Brian may have retired from KIX but you can still catch him live with RHINO BUCKET, “The Last Real Rock N’ Roll”. Brian said, “We’re getting ready to do the Monsters of Rock Cruise, Coming up on March 1st”. For more info on Brian and RHINO BUCKET, go to:

Mix together equal parts Nu Metal, Punk, Rock, Electro and you end up with pure originality with a sharp edge which is THEFTUOUS that was formed in 2021. This band is made up of seasoned musicians: Vocals: Marcus Harrington (Relative Ash, etc.), Guitars: Massimo Fiocco (One Minute Silence, Pink Punk, etc.), Bass: John Fahnestock (ex-Snot, Amen) and Drums: Pat Garvey (Ozric Tentacles).  Bassist JOHN FAHNESTOCK who joined in 2023 updated me on a few of the band’s happenings… He stated “We will be releasing one song at a time until all six songs are available completing the EP, ALL I DESERVE”. There are a couple guest musicians on this EP. He says “Response is good” for the songs already released and as of now, there are “No plans for touring”. Contact:

(I interviewed John Fahnestock awile back but it was posted in the wrong column on this site.  It was posted under the column ROCKBOTTOM REMINISCENCE with Marcy Miller.  It’s not an older interview.  The date on it is around the time the interview was done so please check it out and keep in mind, it’s not an older interview from my magazine ROCKBOTTOM.)

UK’s legendary TANK is back up and running.  Bassist GAV GRAY updates us…  “I’d left the TYGERS OF PAN TANG during lockdown due to typical in-band politics and the way it was run.. I started to work alone in my home studio and loved the fact that the pressure of being in that band had been lifted… The phone rang later that year and it was Mick Tucker, ‘How would you like to come and join TANK?’… I was stoked so agreed, I’d been off the scene for a while and thought that 2021 might be a new start for me, I was wrong, Covid yet again destroyed bands for another year so TANK went into hiatus… We started talking again last year and decided that it was time to start the band up again”.  One of the best things for playing bass in TANK for Gav is… “just the whole raw rock and roll attitude of the music and the guys are super cool”.  TANK is coming to the USA to play after nearly forty years.  Gav says, “We’re doing a one off festival in Houston, Texas in March called Hells Heroes but planning on returning spring to early summer. We’re hoping to attract a few new fans with the release of the new album which will feature fantastic new singer Marcus Von Boisman and DIAMOND HEAD drummer, Karl Wilcox”.  Keep up to date with TANK at:

If you’ve read all my interviews, I had posted under the HARD TALK interviews, you’d be familiar with guitarist DEAN CRAMER.  If you didn’t read my interviews, you’re going to want to know more about DEAN CRAMER after he tells us all about being in BRET MICHAELS BAND.  Let’s start with how DEAN hooked up with BRET MICHAELS BAND and go from there….  Imagine DEAN excitingly telling you this story…. “I remember the call and date quite well. Tuesday, May 16, 2023. I was teaching guitar when my phone rang. It was Pete Evick, Bret’s longtime guitarist and a friend of mine for around the same amount of time (I met him when his band, “Evick”, opened for “Funny Money” in VA). He and I, along with “Faster Pussycat” drummer, Chad Stewart, were getting ready to play some shows in the following week so I assumed that what he was calling me about. Instead, he asked me if I was available to fly to Mississippi and play with Bret on Friday. Of course, I said yes! It was entirely out of nowhere… Fast forward to Friday morning in Mississippi and I was asked to join the band. I had yet to even meet Bret, hahaha! However, I assumed that I was asked based off of Pete’s suggestion to Bret on my abilities, having shared stages in the past. Again, I said yes! Just before the show that night (which also had “Everclear” and “Fuel” opening the show), Pete took me to the trailer so that I could meet Bret before we hit the stage shortly after that. Bret was super nice and welcoming immediately. He’s been even nicer since then.  DEAN continues telling me how it feels being in BMB… “I don’t quite know how to describe it, except “exciting” and looking forward to each show and trip. We’ve got a killer crew that makes our show run so well. Of course, playing music is what we do so the people I play with take a lot of pride in giving the best show, every show.”  DEAN was lucky enough to play with some great musicians since his stint in BMB so far.  Let’s let him tell us about the great musicians he got to share the stage with…. “I’m not going lie, there were a bunch of them this past year with even more coming this year. The Parti Gras ’23 tour had us being supported by Jefferson Starship and Night Ranger. Talk about “wow”!! I really don’t want to forget to mention anyone by name, so I’ll simply say that EVERYONE was great and I’ve been blessed to become real friends with many of the musicians and their crews. It’s surreal to go to shows now and be able to walk up and chat with these people without security chasing me away, hahaha! We ended up having other guests join us during our portion of the show to perform their hits for these huge crowds (we’d get to be their band). Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Dee Snider and Mark Mendoza (Twisted Sister), Steve Augeri (Journey), Edwin McCain, The Impractical Jokers, Guy Fieri, Don Jamieson-just tons of guests, with more to come. Bret knows a LOT of people so you don’t always know who might show up at one of our concerts. A personal sidenote: On the first night of the tour, Brad Gillis (from Night Ranger), came up to me and joked if he could play my guitar during our last song of the night, Sweet Home Alabama, which we’d always bring all the bands out on stage for a treat for the audience (and US!). I gave him my guitar and immediately ran over to the photographer (Christopher Carroll) and told him, “Brad Gillis is playing my guitar…please get great shots of that!”, as I knew that I wanted to make a poster of that, hahaha! He got some great ones, I will say. Ah, what memories…”  DEAN is going to have a blast on the PARTI GRAS 2024 tour.  DEAN shares the already announced line-up…  “We’ve already announced the lineup. Joining us will be: Country superstar Chris Janson, Legendary Eagles guitarist Don Felder, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Foreigner’s Lou Gramm. As Bret puts it: “All killer, no filler”! There are VIP packages to get some extras and I have no doubt that the vibe will be amazing and it will be the best musical event you’ll attend this summer”.  DEAN still plays with his band SO LOW when time permits or as DEAN puts it…..  “Honestly, my schedule evolves around whenever Bret is playing, which is fine by me. Of course, I do miss playing with SO LOW as before, but I have and will continue to arrange dates that I’m available for, to go out and play with the band. I love fronting/singing playing guitar with those guys, doing that music. Even more so, I’d LOVE to get another SO LOW record done and out this year! I do have so much stuff that’s been sitting and waiting to see the light of day… As a “big picture” type of comment, I’d like to say that 99% of the people who you’ll see on a stage are there out of the desire to do what they do, be it for those in the audience or perhaps just themselves. Please, show them some respect if you’re in the building with them and acknowledge their efforts in some way”.  Before I let DEAN CRAMER go, I asked him if he’d like to share anything else and being DEAN, he had even more exciting news for us…  The following is what he had to share… “First off, I’m also playing in an acoustic trio with Pete (Evick) and Chad Stewart (the drummer from Faster Pussycat), The Ultimate Acoustic Rock Show. We go through a storytelling style of show, discussing songs that had an impact on us, then playing them. We had sold out shows already and are getting more on the books now, so that will be fun. I try to find dates to play some acoustic shows close to home, whenever possible, teaching guitar while at home too. If anyone’s interested in lessons, please message me on Facebook about them: I want to thank everyone who’s given me so much support over my joining Bret’s band. It’s quite surprising to me, and I really want them to know that it means something to me. Finally, more people, friends and strangers have commented on my efforts to help out animals in need, in any way that I can. Simply sharing info on Facebook can go a long way towards that, so I hope that everyone will make that tiny effort, as well”.

What’s with all these bands being around for 40 years or so???  This one has been around off and on for close 40 years…  It’s none other than UK’s or the world’s first CRUST/GRIND PUNK/METAL band HELLBASTARD.  Frontman MALCOLM “SCRUFF” LEWTY gets us up to date with HELLBASTARD…  “….we’ve had a stable line up now for a number of years with myself (guitars/vocals), Danny (guitars), Nick (Bass) and Josh (Drums). Our last tour was summer 2023 with a support band from Latvia called Pidari. We visited Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic etc… etc… and everything was going really well until the day after playing Vienna, Austria. We were heading for Poland and Austrian cops stopped us and decided to give us a hard time. First, they weighed our van and trailer (the trailer was full of medical equipment and supplies for Guitarist Danny (HELLBASTARD) who was hardcore enough to continue his kidney dialysis whilst on the road. The cops took our driver back to Vienna after giving him a urine test (which was 100% negative) and they took a blood sample and still couldn’t find anything wrong and they stole his driving license also. We sat for hours in baking heat at a truck stop just outside the Czech Republic border. The Austrian cops asked us for a lot of money and said we could leave if we paid, meanwhile the Latvians were on the phone to an ambassador who couldn’t help us. We stayed so long at this truck stop there was no way we were getting to the next show. In the end we just simply drove away and nothing happened. We went to report the police to a bigger police station over the border but they didn’t have any jurisdiction to involve themselves. We stayed the night in Brno Czech Republic and drove to Poland the next day, stayed a night there and flew home the next day.  Sadly, having to cancel the last 3 shows, Poland, Latvia and Estonia. Very frustrating and very stressful and very sad. Shit happens. As we go on after HELLBASTARD’S messed up tour, SCRUFF updates us on what HELLBASTARD is up to now… “We’re still working on the new album but we’ve gotten so fussy that everything has to be perfect or it isn’t included. We’ve played a few local shows in our area of south west England and they were really great shows. One with Discharge and others with local bands.  All new merch can be purchased from us direct or the official HELLBASTARD band camp pages,…… We don’t have enough songs right now for a full album because as I said we’re extremely fussy. We were included on a Type o Negative tribute album released by 783 PUNX label. The track we chose to record is ‘we hate everyone’ from the 1992 ‘Bloody Kisses’ album.”  And last but not least, SCRUFF shares a few of his insights… “The future of this whole music industry is saddening; nothing is the same anymore and it’s a case of being spoilt for choice when compiling protest songs. The world is a scary place to be and it gets worse every year. We’re more than overdue for a revolution”.