Coming up: The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #3 – A Black Sabbath Special

The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #3: A Black Sabbath Special with Diamond Head’s Rasmus Bom Andersen and Venom Inc’s Tony Dolan

Thursday 15th April at 8 pm Tokyo time / 12 noon London time

Rasmus Bom Andersen of Diamond Head

Roppongi Rocks is back on Clubhouse for more sweaty rock talk on your iPhone. Join us on the Clubhouse audio app for a lively and unruly discussion about Black Sabbath, the godfathers of heavy metal and the things they have influenced. This time Diamond Head frontman Rasmus Bom Andersen will join the usual Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse gang: British metal legend Tony Dolan of Venom Inc, Mack Suzuki of UDO Artists, Matt Ketchum of Kaala, music industry executive Kana Nagumo and Roppongi Rocks boss Stefan Nilsson. Both Tony and Rasmus are currently involved in Sabbatonero, an international tribute to Black Sabbath. The proceeds from Sabbatonero’s all-star album “L’Uomo Di Ferro” will go to COVID workers in Italy.

Tony Dolan in Tokyo in 2018. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

In this Clubhouse session we will get really nerdy and discuss facts and opinions as well as personal anecdotes about the mighty Black Sabbath. It will get out of control and be live and uncensored. Join us live or miss out on all the juicy stuff.


Event details here:

Report: The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #2: Rock star tour life

Matt Ketchum, Kana Nagumo, Stefan Nilsson and Tony Dolan

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

When the Roppongi Rocks gang returned to Clubhouse for another session of sweaty rock talk on your iPhone, the listeners got treated to more than an hour of inside stories of the good, the bad and the ugly of the rock star tour life.

Oh, my! The second episode of The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions – sweaty rock talk on your iPhone – was as fun as the first one. On Friday 26th March, Mack Suzuki of UDO Artists, Tony Dolan of Venom Inc, Matt Ketchum of Kaala, Kana Nagumo and Roppongi Rocks boss Stefan Nilsson shared first-hand stories from what happens on tour. They say that FOMO, or fear of missing out, is one of the strong driving forces behind the initial success of the audio app Clubhouse. It’s live, audio-only, no recording, by invitation only and only available on iPhone. Well, if you weren’t tuned in to the second episode of The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, you did miss out. The focus of the discussion was on what’s going on during tours. Crazy things tend to happen when international rock stars come to Japan. They say that what happens on tour stays on tour. Well, not necessarily. We sure did cover some great stories and, no they won’t be repeated here (FOMO, remember?), but just to tease you, there were anecdotes about Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Queen, Warrant, Venom Inc, Elton John and many more. Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll? Yes (including several stories taking place on shinkansen bullet trains), but also stories about panic buying new underwear, finding a Godzilla-shaped cigarette lighter, vinyl shopping and much more.

The Roppongi Rocks gang will be back on Clubhouse for more off-the-record stories from the music industry. Tune in or miss out!

Mack Suzuki

Coming up: The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #2

Mack Suzuki

The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #2: The Inside Scoop on International Rock Stars Touring Japan with Mack Suzuki of UDO Artists

Friday 26th March at 8 pm Tokyo time / 11 am London time

Matt Ketchum, Kana Nagumo, Stefan Nilsson, Tony Dolan

Yay! Roppongi Rocks is back on Clubhouse for more sweaty rock talk on your iPhone. Join us on the Clubhouse iPhone audio app on Friday 26th March for an informal discussion about rock-star life on the road in Japan. Japanese music industry executive Mack Suzuki (of UDO Artists) has been working with many international and Japanese rock acts over the years. Join us for a casual and informal chat about what happens with rock stars on tour in Japan. The good, the bad and the ugly of the rock star tour life! British metal legend Tony Dolan of Venom Inc. will add some stories from his Japan tours. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson and Kana Nagumo will also be joined by Matt Ketchum of Kaala. What happens on tour, stays on tour. Or? Join us or forever live in fear of missing out. Audio only. Live only. No recording. Tune in or miss out. Sweaty rock talk on your iPhone.

Swedish death metal legend LG Petrov dead

LG Petrov (centre, holding the hammer) with Entombed A.D.

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Swedish singer LG Petrov has died at the age of 49. The legendary death metal artist passed away on Sunday 7th March after having battled an incurable form of cancer since last year.

In his few years on Earth, LG Petrov managed to make a big impression. Already as a teenager, he was playing the drums with legendary cult act Morbid, which also featured future Mayhem vocalist Dead and Uffe Cederlund (later in Nihilist and Entombed). After Morbid, LG fronted Nihilist, a band that eventually morphed into Entombed. Entombed’s 1990 debut album “Left Hand Path” established them as one of the leading Scandinavian death metal acts. The band’s signature buzz-saw guitar sound combined with LG’s brutal vocals put them on the map. During his career, LG sang on an album with Comecon and was also a member of Firespawn. In 2014, he formed Entombed A.D. together with fellow ex-Entombed members Nico Elgstrand, Victor Brandt and Olle Dahlstedt.

RIP, LG Petrov.

Report: The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions with Tony Dolan of Venom Inc

Stefan Nilsson and Tony Dolan backstage in Tokyo during Venom Inc’s 2018 Japan tour.

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #1: The Future of Heavy Metal with Tony Dolan of Venom Inc was a good-fun, intimate and relaxed discussion among metalheads. Here’s some of what you missed.

On Thursday 4th March, we had a ton of fun and plenty of laughs during the first edition of the Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions. Joining from London, England, British metal legend Tony Dolan (Venom Inc, Venom, Atomkraft, M-Pire of Evil) was as chatty as ever and shared some great stories and opinions in this up close and personal talk session. Here in Japan, Roppongi Rocks boss Stefan Nilsson, who moderated the intimate session, was joined by Matt Ketchum (goat-worthy guitarist of Retch and Worship Pain fame) who is one of the driving forces behind the Kaala crew that is active in the Japanese underground extreme scene. The speaker line-up was rounded off by Japanese music and entertainment industry executive Kana Nagumo.

The 70-minute discussion on the Clubhouse audio app covered a lot of ground. There were updates on the forthcoming second Venom Inc album and the creative process involved in writing and recording it. What it is like to be a metal trio with members spread out across England, Portugal and the US. What the future of international tours might look like. When can normal gigs be held again and will the audience still be there? How vital gigs are for actually selling physical records and band merchandise. How local Japanese underground bands are dealing with the pandemic and soldiering on, not least to help venues and other non-artists in the scene. The importance of new, and sometimes unexpected, musical collaborations and tributes, such as Venom Inc’s Mantas doing a The Dead Daisies cover and Tony Dolan doing a Black Sabbath tribute with members of Raven, Snowy Shaw, Marty Friedman and many more. The emergence of online performances and other virtual fan happenings during the pandemic and the likelihood that this trend is here to stay. We talked about evolving business models and sources of revenue for rock music and much more. We all agreed that we dearly miss the smell and atmosphere of sweaty and beer-soaked basement music venues, And we had a laugh about the perceived dangers of Elvis Presley’s hips and Tony’s missing hip (now safely replaced with a fake one).

Clubhouse is an interesting new platform for discussions. It is audio only, live only with no editing and no recording. If you don’t listen when it’s on, you miss out. The first Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse session was good fun. Thank you to all who participated. We will soon be back with details on the next edition of The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions. Sweaty rock talk on your iPhone.

If you’re on Clubhouse and you’re insecure and suffering from fear of missing out (FOMO), you’d better follow @roppongirocks and never switch off your iPhone notifications.

Introducing: Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions

Stefan Nilsson and Tony Dolan in Tokyo in 2018.

Yes, the rumours are true! Roppongi Rocks will host a series of exclusive talk sessions on the iPhone audio app Clubhouse. It’s one of those new apps that are so exclusive that barely anyone’s on it yet. These sessions are audio-only and are not recorded. Eiter you listen when they are on or you miss out.

Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions – #1: The Future of Heavy Metal with Venom legend Tony Dolan on Thursday 4th March at 8:00pm Tokyo time / 11:00am London time

Tony Dolan in Tokyo in August 2018. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Join us on the Clubhouse iPhone audio app for an informal discussion on the future of the heavy metal music industry. British heavy metal legend Tony Dolan of Venom Inc talks with Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson and Kana Nagumo and Matt Ketchum of Kaala, Japan’s extreme music underground scene. We will discuss business models, revenue streams, the return of live shows and tours, recorded music vs live music, brand extensions and much more.

News: Marty Friedman to stream live concert on New Year’s Day

Marty Friedman and his notorious Japanese band (Marty Friedman and Naoki Morioka on guitars, Toshiki Oomomo on bass and Chargeeeeee!! on drums) will roar through his most fiery material, from his concert staples to the explosive tunes from his new “Tokyo Jukebox 3” album. The live concert will take place in a daring new multi-dimensional visual atmosphere designed specifically for this one show, by legendary motion graphics creator, Nobuyuki Hanabusa. Start 2021 off on New Year’s Day with this inspiring live performance, which is sure to overflow with aggressive energy and exceedingly positive vibes!

元旦に配信ライブ開催!ももクロのスーパーアリーナ飛び入り参加の時ぶり、画像アーティスト/演出家の花房伸行さんと再会して強烈な環境でゴリゴリ元旦ライブを行います。TOKYO JUKEBOXシリーズの曲がメインで皆知ってる曲ばっかりをやりますが、楽しいサプライズが多い。絶対元気が出る。ぜひ参加してください。

More info and tickets can be found here!

Preview: サンダー/ Thunder to mark 30th anniversary with special shows in Japan

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Thunder will combine acoustic and electric sets to celebrate 30 years of rock at two special shows at Club Citta in Kawasaki in June. Thunder always deliver!

サンダー、結成30周年記念特別公演、日本初の2セット・ショー! Sit DownアコースティックとStand Upエレクトリックの盛りだくさん豪華2部構成! 6/8(土),9(日) CLUB CITTA’/川崎

On 8th and 9th June, British rockers Thunder will once again rock Club Citta in Kawasaki to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s formation. I first saw Thunder perform in 1997 and all these years later they are still one of the best British rock bands out there. Japanese fans have been lucky enough to see Thunder tour Japan several times, most recently at Club Citta in January 2018. Formed in 1989, the band released its debut album “Backstreet Symphony” in 1990. Thunder, a reliable rock band that always delivers, is a rock-solid and tight band with one of Britain’s best-ever vocalists. The band line-up is still Danny Bowes (vocals), Luke Morley (guitars/keyboards), Ben Matthews (guitars/keyboards), Chris Childs (bass) and former Magnum drummer Harry James.

1990年にアルバム『バックストリート・シンフォニー』でデビュー。 ルークのプロデュース能力と作詞作曲能力、ダニーの哀愁のある歌声と最終決定するセンス、個々の演奏能力とコーラスワークで人気を博している英国のグループ。特に詞とタイトルは、言葉の組み合わせが絶妙でリアリティ溢れる特色がある。 バンドのメンバー: ダニー・ボウズ (Vo), ルーク・モーリー (G), ベン・マシューズ (G), クリス・チャイルズ (B), ハリー・ジェイムズ (Ds).

The Club Citta shows will be two special shows called Sit Down/Stand Up. The “Sit Down” part is an acoustic set which is followed by a short interval and then a “Stand Up” set when the band will plug in their guitars and switch on the electricity. The setlists will be slightly different on the two days.

2019 6/8(),9() CLUB CITTA’/川崎
OPEN 17:00 / START 18:00
前売り 【全席指定】¥9,000(税込)

チケット/ Get your tickets here:

ハロー、ハロー、~、私達はThunder です。イエス、そうです。 どれほど6月に来日できるのを、私達が楽しみにしているのか、クイックメッセージを贈りたいと思います。 とてもスペシャルなショーを2つ、皆さんのために演奏します。私達にとっては30周年記念になります。 そのショーはとても違ったタイプのショーになるのですよね?とっても違います、とっても違いますよ。どんな感じに違うの? まず、1セットはアコースティックで、もう1セットはジャンプ&ダウンのエレクトリックなショーになります。 すばらしいです!そして、ミュージック(曲)、は毎晩(何曲か)変えますので、2公演とも来る価値あり、だよ。そうですよね? イエース。サンキュー。うれしいですね。 シー・ユー・スーン。サンキュー・ベリーマッチ。バーイ!

The Roppongi Rocks Music Awards – What rocked our world in 2018

The Crown on stage in Tokyo. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

2018 gave us some fab rock music. There were too many great concerts, artists and records to mention them all. But here’s Roppongi Rocks shot at mentioning some of the music that stood out as exceptional during the year.

Ace Frehley on stage at Billboard Live in Tokyo. Photo: Masanori Naruse

Gig of the Year: Legendary KISS guitarist Ace Frehley did a flawless set at Billboard Live in Roppongi. It was such a great experience to see him back on top of his game. Other exceptional gigs in Tokyo included Venom Inc, Machine Head, Death Angel, At The Gates and Marty Friedman.

Song of the Year: The Crown‘s “In the Name of Death”. Brilliant, brutal and yet catchy death metal. Other favourite tracks included “Rain” by Loudness, “Take Away My Soul” by Uriah Heep, “Tattooed on My Brain” by Nazareth and “To Drink from the Night Itself” by At The Gates.

The Crown on stage in Tokyo. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Extreme Metal Album of the Year: Sweden’s The Crown back in fine form with furious new album “Cobra Speed Venom”. They also backed it up with a great Japan tour. Other favourites included “TerrorVision” by Aborted, “To Drink From The Night Itself” by At The Gates and Watain’s “Trident Wolf Eclipse”.

Heavy Metal Album of the Year: When it comes to heavy metal, Finland and its top bands are always contenders. Top of the heap was Amorphis whose new album “Queen of Time” is based on the by now well-established Amorphis sound which combines heavy metal with great melodies, heavy guitar riffing with dreamy keyboard soundscapes and clean singing with growling. Other favourites included Nervosa’s “Downfall of Mankind”, Riot V’s “Armor of Light” and Loudness’ “Rise To Glory” as well as Thundermother who bounced back with an exquisite self-titled new album.

Melodic Metal Album of the Year: Sweden’s modern melodic metal band Amaranthe returned with “Helix” and proved that they once again could top their previous albums. Fast-paced and catchy modern metal bursting with energy and with some great new twists.

Classic Rock Album of the Year: Swedish groove masters Electric Boys are now all grown up and play a more mature, classic-sounding rock on fab new album “The Ghost Ward Diaries”. Other favourites included Graham Bonnet Band’s “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage” and The Night Flight Orchestra’s “Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough”.

Live Album of the Year: “Anywhere Loud” by Sweden’s Imperial State Electric is a fab live album in the old tradition. It doesn’t hurt that parts of it were recorded in Tokyo with Fred Estby at the soundboard. Other strong contenders included “Live at the Apollo” by Yes featuring Jon Anderson – Trevor Rabin – Rick Wakeman, Alcatrazz’s “Live in Japan 1984”, Overkill’s “Live in Overhausen”, Anthrax’s “Kings Among Scotland”, John Corabi’s “Live 94 (One Night In Nashville)” and, of course, Marty Friedman’s “One Bad M.F. Live”.

Tony Dolan in Tokyo in August 2018. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Big Love Award: Tony Dolan! The legendary British metal man (Venom Inc, M-Pire of Evil, Venom, Atomkraft) visited his Japanese fans three times during the year – first with Venom Inc and then twice on his own. He is a terrific artist and one of the nicest blokes in metal. He always takes time to personally meet and connect with his fans.

Video of the Year: Ghost released “Rats”, a terrific video (think Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” meets “Lick It Up” by KISS) for a splendid song.

Randy Black of Destruction on stage in Tokyo. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Energy Injection of the Year: Canadian drummer Randy Black (Primal Fear, Annihilator, W.A.S.P.) who gave German thrash veterans Destruction a new life when he joined the band.

Newcomers of the Year: Some of our favourites among the newcomers were Electric Feel Good (rural Swedish rockers playing blues-rock like it’s nobody’s business), Detraktor (hard-hitting and groovy German crossover thrash metal), Carchosa (one-man thrash/death metal band from Sweden), Japan’s Hell Freezes Over who finally released their terrific debut EP and Nightstage whose debut album is full of classic-sounding American rock.

Congrats to the winners and apologies for all the great music from 2018 that we’ve forgotten to mention here. Now on to 2019! Cheers!

Preview: Slash to return to Japan in January

Slash in Tokyo in 2015. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash will return to play in Japan in January, this time together with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

It’s been four years since Slash last played Japan as a solo artist. Since then he has rejoined Guns N’ Roses and their multi-year world tour has kept Slash busy. But a few months ago, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators released a new album, “Living the Dream”.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Roppongi Rocks’ recent album review: “Here he gets to do what he wants to do without too much pressure or too high expectations. Because of this, we get quality rock’n’roll by a terrific band of rock brothers who play well together, seemingly without too much drama. / As is the case with many of the world’s truly great guitarists, Slash never goes too far. Sure, he shows off his guitar-playing skills, but he makes sure he is part of the songs. His guitar never overstays its welcome. It never overshadows the songs. ‘Living the Dream’ offers us straightforward and catchy rock’n’roll built around Slash’s guitar and Myles Kennedy’s characteristic voice. / The album ‘Living the Dream’ is great fun. This is a band playing melodic rock’n’roll, music that they love and have produced without overthinking things. That laidback, casual feeling is what makes this rock album a good one.” 

The Conspirators has a world-class line-up that is the same as the band that toured Japan in 2015 – in addition to Slash there is vocalist Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), bassist Todd Kerns (Bob Kulick, Hookers & Blow, Sin City Sinners), drummer Brent Fitz (Union, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper, Bruce Kulick) and guitarist Frank Sidoris (The Cab).

Slash’s Japan tour will include a show in Osaka on 15th January and one at Shinkiba Studio Coast in Tokyo on 17th January. Get your tickets via Creativeman here: