: Vince Neil - Ac/Dc

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On the Friday NI Rocks Show on 6th June we had an interview with Richie Sambora ahead of his show in the Ulster Hall on 1st July. (http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/1560-rock-radio-ni-interview-with-richie-sambora.html ) As I’ve been a fan of his touring partner Orianthi for some time it was a great privilege to record an interview with her just before she went on stage in Belfast. We believe this may have been the only interview whilst in Belfast and Rock Radio NI are delighted to have managed to get interviews with both Richie and Orianthi who have been touring together for a few months and are currently working on a new album together. We talked about the tour, writing and recording the new material, being involved in the Alice Cooper Band, Twitter and future plans amongst other things.

The interview with Orianthi was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show that broadcast on Friday 4th July and was then available for 8 weeks via the On Demand Player. The show from 4th July which includes the interview can be heard at http://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/

A transcript of the interview is provided below.






Playlist for the show

ALICE COOPER – The Congregation



ORIANTHI – You Don’t Wanna Know

Interview Part 1


ORIANTHI – Heaven In This Hell

Interview Part 2

RICHIE SAMBORA – Every Road Leads Home To You

AJENDA – Unrecognisable

DEAD END HEROES – Dead End Heroes

DIESEL – Into The Fire

TESLA – So Divine

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NI ROCKS – Ori thanks very much for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. You’re about to play The Ulster Hall in Belfast. Apparently the first place that Led Zeppelin played “Stairway To Heaven”.

ORIANTHI Yeah, that is awesome.

NI ROCKS – Do you get much time to take places in as you’re on tour or is it literally in and out? Did you get to see much of Belfast?

ORIANTHI – Tomorrow we have a day off and we’re going to have a look around. And I’m going to enjoy doing that because the weather outside is beautiful and the architecture is really impressive. It’s always great to have a day off and go walk-about.


NI ROCKS – You’ve been on tour now with Richie for a few months, how did you feel stepping in to play Bon Jovi Tracks in front of what can be a fiercely loyal fan base.

ORIANTHI – Yeah, I’m just doing my thing you know. I always just do that. You know I used to play Bon Jovi songs when I was in a covers band. It’s just great to get up there with an amazing musician, singer and performer like Richie. He does he own versions that are completely different from what it was like. He takes on a new life - he's more blues based. He just sings and plays his arse off every night. It’s awesome to be up there and inspiring because I’m up there because he’s on fire. When you watch like Stevie Ray get up live at El Mocambo and he plays and he’s got that fire. We could jam until the cows come home.


NI ROCKS – There’s lot of videos of you both now on YouTube and you just seem to be having so much fun with it all.

ORIANTHI – Yeah, definitely. I think there’s like a 12 or 13 minute version of Voodoo Child. We could just jam for about 30 minutes. It’s just so much fun. That’s what is missing in music these days, that freedom. I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Carlos Santana and watching Woodstock. Watching those festivals where you didn’t have time to play 20 songs, everything like Stairway to Heaven went on forever, so orchestrators got big guitar parts soloed and everything. It’s more interesting. Music should get back to that.

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NI ROCKS – We spoke to Richie on the radio a few weeks ago about the music you were writing together. He referred to it as “Fleetwood Mac on steroids”. Do you think that sums it up?

ORIANTHI – Yeah. I think Stevie Nicks is amazing, the harmonies and everything. And also a lot of songs I’ll be singing and a lot Richie will be singing and I’ll be backing him up singing harmonies and playing guitar. It’s got that kinda vibe to it, it really does. We have acoustic tracks and then others that are a bit Hendrix, kind of commercial and there’s a bit of country there too. It’s not too out of the box though. We’ve written thirty plus songs and they all go together. They don’t all sound the same, but they’ve got this thread to them. The dynamic between his playing and singing and mine, it’s just got this real soul to it that I really dig.


NI ROCKS – How do you find writing with Richie compared to writing your own stuff or writing with others you’ve worked with?

ORIANTHI – I love writing with him. He’s very much about the lyric. We’ll come up with a title or something in a conversation and jot it down – my phones full of them and there are all these pads lying around the place. Then someone will come up with a riff and we’ll have that title and start writing a song. We’re really digging deep to get the right lyric, for it to be something that we are both really proud of, not just a throw away. Sometimes you write with people, and I’ve been on those writing trips where you write with a bunch of people and they don’t focus too much on it being personal. All the songs are really personal to us.


NI ROCKS – Any rough idea yet of a release date for the album?

ORIANTHI – I think by January 1st. We want something out by then.


NI ROCKS – You were in the Alice Cooper Band for almost three years. I’ve interviewed both Ryan Roxie and Chuck Garric over the past year and both rate Alice as one of the best people to work with. What were your experiences over those three years working with Alice?

ORIANTHI – Alice is amazing and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He’s an incredible performer and I’ve learnt so much from him. They’re like family to me and forever will be. He’s like my dad out on tour, he really was and the guys in the band are like my brothers. Being the only girl, coming into a situation like that and learning all these songs is another thing. And they’re not like straight forward rock songs. You learn. And there’s a lot of theatrics going on and I loved it. Like celebrating Halloween every night. Then you learn how orchestrated the songs are and all the different guitar parts. I think he says that all the guitarists that he was working with were all on different drugs at the same time and then the producer pulls them in. All these talents, very much Frank Zappa almost, and then it’s got that real old school classic rock feel to it. It’s out of the box, completely. I loved it. Covering myself in blood, having the best time with it all. A great, great guy for sure.

NI ROCKS – You announced obviously that you wouldn’t be joining Alice on his current tour as you’re here with Richie. Will that be a permanent break?

ORIANTHI – I’ve been writing with Richie and making a record. We’re not out on the road for three or four months solid, we’re doing sporadic shows and going back to the studio. So I told Alice that I really needed to take this time to do another record. It just felt like the right time for me artistically to do that. It just wouldn’t work doing sporadic shows with Alice, it didn’t make sense. I so made the decision to do this record. But as I said I love them all.

NI ROCKS – You’re not ruling out going back again. Would you go back again?

ORIANTHI – Oh definitely yeah. I’ll always love Alice. Anytime Alice calls me up to come do a show with him, or whatever he wants me to do, I’m there. He is one of those people that you don’t meet very many of. I got to work with Michael Jackson and he had the same dedication to his art. He was very much about the show and being the way that he looked. He was a performer and that is the way Alice is. He very infectious and when he gets up on stage he doesn’t break character. He’s pretty amazing at what he does.

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NI ROCKS – You’re not even 30 yet and you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the business already. Is it possible to pick out a highlight from that career? You started off early and played on stage with Stevie Vai and Carlos Santana.

ORIANTHI – I’ve been very blessed. All these people I’ve got to work with that I used to play their songs in a covers band. I quit school at 15, played until I was 21. Santana is the reason I played guitar and he’s a friend and to be able to call him that! Wow. The last thing I did for Carlos was to play at the Kennedy honours which was in front of Obama, Santana and Billy Joel. Playing his solos with Steve Winwood and Sheila E. I mean seriously, I had to hit myself afterwards thinking was that real life. For real! You pick up a guitar, that’s my idol and he inspired me so much. I was chosen. They asked me to come and play the solo. It was really really weird. I never take any of that stuff for granted. It doesn’t sink in for a while.

NI ROCKS – Is there someone you haven’t worked with who would be on your “bucket list” so to speak?

ORIANTHI – There are so many new artists that come out and you hear and think bloody hell that voice is great. I’m a big fan of the Kings of Leon. I cover “Use Somebody” a lot. I love that song and I’d like to work with them and do something. I’m a big country fan and there are so many different artists that if they called me up and said do want to do a solo for me, or appear on a record I’d say yeah. Who else is there? I think Ed Sheeran is really great. Pharrell Williams, I just heard his new song. Kanye West and Jay-Z. I’m a big rap fan as well.

NI ROCKS – You’re very active on Twitter and Instagram and have a huge on-line following.

ORIANTHI – Twitter monster!

NI ROCKS – Yes, you are! Big time. Is that something you try to find time for everyday or does it just come naturally to be tweeting?

ORIANTHI – I think it’s more like an addiction. I can’t bite my nails now unfortunately. The good thing about Twitter is that it’s immediate and connects you to your fans. I’ve got so much support from Twitter and Facebook and it only takes a few seconds to respond. I try to do as many as I can every day or I read them all. If there’s no wi-fi connection or I’m stuck in a rural area driving past cows. After shows you get on a bus, sit around, eat and I’m tweeting!


NI ROCKS – Finally, for all the guitarists out there. Can you tell us what guitars you’re using on the current tour?

ORIANTHI – I’m using a Santana PRS. I love that. It gives incredible tone. I’m using a Manos which is a PRS that I’ve had for about ten years - a custom 22 and I’m also using a Gibson J100. I’ve just got that, it’s really cool. And I’m also using another PRS, the custom 24. They’re completely different guitars than what I use with Alice Cooper. They’re all set with Floyd Rose Tremelo and everything and are all covered in blood (laughs).


NI ROCKS – That’s all the questions that I have for you, I didn’t want to keep you too long. Thanks very much for talking to us. Good luck with the show and I hope you enjoy your day off in Belfast.

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Last Updated (Saturday, 06 September 2014 20:50)

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stagi: great band great tuneeeeeeeee
Raythebass: Just to let you rockers know. 'Fa Joes' in Lurgan (AKA The central bar) is throwing together a battle of the bands competition in a few weeks, Tel: 028 3834 2335 if you're keen.
stagi: cheers for the rock show \m/
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bcarey1952: Hi...anyone heard of a gig in Ardboe in the next couple of weeks...triggerman among others supposed to be playing?
Doccardy: Mike Jeffrey had actually selected a decent few songs in that lot. Perhaps he should be given a permanent slot or get him in as a guest to talk shite between tracks....now that would be interesting.
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Doccardy: Some decent shiy at last.
Doccardy: :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P
Doccardy: 3====> ~~~
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rocketship92: Great show!
Alice15: My name is Becky Baxter and I am a 15 year old lead singer with a rock and blues band called Riff Diamond. We are so excited to be appearing at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast on 15th December 2015 and we were wondering if you could give us some publicity for our upcoming gig. All proceeds are in aid of The National Autistic Society. This is a subject close to my heart as my sister Hannah is diagnosed with Asphergers.
Hannah is a gifted and prolific writer and we, as a band, are honoured to give her a platform to express her views and her perspective on a society with which she can feel out of sync. Such songs as "Masquerade", " Count Me Out"and "Welcome to the End of Forever" encapsulate this.

These songs are among many of Riff Diamond's original material, the bulk of which capture the essence of classic rock and blues artists like Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and Led Zeppelin and combine them with an original, vibrant and contemporary creativity. Added to this, the band showcases the great guitar skills of Conal O' Donoghue, our 17 year old lead guitarist who made it through to the last 60 auditions out of 1000 entries to Sky Arts Guitar Star. Together with John Mc Nulty rocking it on drums and Shauna Mc Garrity acing it on bass, we are Riff Diamond, a new exciting band which would welcome all your support.
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Doccardy: Just about to listen to this weeks offering......Big Country you say......Stay Alive.
Doccardy: Not many people around here today
tunehead: Good evening to you all in NI. I'm in Parksville B.C. Canada,on Vancouver Island. Checking out your show. Is there a current playlist on this page somewhere that shows what you are playing and what was just played?
tunehead: I'm 8 hours behind you guys here @ 2:16 pm Saturday 23rd
tunehead: Can you please play..Judas Priest Dawn Of Creation/Prophecy
NI Rocks: Hi Tunehead. Thanks for tuning in from Canada. Sorry, just reading your message now. There are a few hosts on the station - the playlists for my weekly shows are published on www.facebook.com/NIRocks
NI Rocks: Other playlists are on the RRNI facebook for which there is a link below.
NI Rocks: I publish my playlists monthly on the website - «link»
NI Rocks: When none of the recorded shows are playing the playlist is just randomly generated. I'll see if we can get that Judas Priest track played for you.
tunehead: Great, thanks. I stumbled upon RRNI when my regular stn. went off. If i'm not sitting in front of computer I put in on in the morning then go about the day rockin' on Man!
NI Rocks: Thanks Tunehead. Glad you enjoy the station.
djtony: Hi guys, are you looking for shows?
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