SIDEBURN

Country Sweden

Style Hard Rock

sideburn

Vocalist Roland Pierrehumbert and rhythm guitarist Fred Gudit first circled the Genocide wagons in 1985… when hair was tall, spandex was tight, and attitudes were high and mighty. The band was ambitious and definitely all heavy metal; after all, the moniker points to a tune from Judas Priest’s pivotal 1976 Sad Wings of Destiny album. The band’s style most certainly fit the times: loud ‘n proud and no holds barred. Roland and Fred, with guitarist Oliver Perdizat, bassist J.D. Aeby, and drummer Patrick Aeby slaved the circuits for five long, hard years before the band’s debut EP, Roots in Rock, appeared. It was followed by the ’92 release, Showtime. With these independent discs, Genocide began forging its name in stone with sharp tunes and a good, old-fashioned work ethic.

Genocide’s sound was unquestionably rooted in Euro-metal with familiar foundations: “The Magic Dust” displayed flairs of Priest’s early gem “Exciter” while “On the Road” echoed transitional-period Accept (a la Restless and Wild). Noteworthy, also, were “King Without a Sword,” “Born to Storm,” and “Breaking the Chains,” all of which reflected a mish-mash of halcyon-era metal. However, this was not the mid-to-late 1980s and it appeared that Genocide, mighty as it was, was in danger of becoming another statistic by the usurpation brought on by the grunge movement.

Change was on the horizon for the band. 1994 saw Genocide hooking up with major distribution, BMG Records, and in the following year it released Stranded. The album marked a bit of a departure from the band’s pure metal approach, branching off into a more traditional rock / boogie direction. The band’s lineup also began to shift with its sound. Oliver, whose guitar work was the main influence behind Genocide’s metal sound, had departed prior to the recording of Stranded, as had (bassist) J.D. Aeby. Their replacements, Stephane Monbaron on lead guitar and bass player J.J. Bozzy, seemed to be more suited to the band’s restructured sound. Stranded featured a guitar sound which focused more toward the power of the riff rather than the resonance of the melody; Roland also began singing with a bit more grit in his voice.

1997 saw the band come full-circle as it began to realize, as it were, its true calling. Tired with trying to pinpoint its sound into the metal niche, the boys in the band retooled into the pubber format which it was obviously most suited for. The self-proclaimed “rebaptism” as Sideburn saw the band’s redirected approach, which resulted in the bare-knuckled Sell Your Soul (For Rock ‘n’ Roll) album. Sideburn seemingly made no apologies for the full-scale change. From the get-go, “Raise Your Hands” paid homage to Rose Tattoo (cited by the band as its major influence) with jack-hammer riffing and slide guitars abound. Other Down-Under influences The Angels and, of course, AC/DC rang prominent on rousers “Knockin’ at the Wrong Door,” “Under My Skin,” “Voodoo Girl,” and “Mr. Fat Cat” while echoes of pub rock’s roots in American blues slither underneath the booze-soaked exterior. The name “Sideburn,” in fact, is also admittedly rooted in rock tradition; it stems from the facial adornment of none other than Elvis Presley and, also, “because it sounded so rock and roll.” Relentless gigging, including a pinnacle supporting slot for KISS at Hallenstadion in Zurich, culminated with the semi-live EP Get That Way the following year.

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The metamorphosis further realized itself when J.J. (bass) and Patrick (drums) left Sideburn. In search of replacements who fully embraced the pub rock style to which the band was headed, drummer Lionel Blanc and bassist Michel Demierre joined the ranks in 1999. Soon after, Stephane packed up his guitar and the vacant slot was filled by David Pariat. The line up now solid (for a while), Sideburn embarked on its quest for pub-rock perfection. Sideburn resurfaced in 2001 with Crocodile and later with Gasoline in 2004 (both on the German label Point). These releases continued to exhibit the band’s progressive dedication to the favored Aussie sound.As a result, they were beginning to carve their own place within the genre rather than fitting themselves into the pocket of any single sound.

Over this period, the band’s reputation as a tight, dedicated outfit both in the studio and live led to an impressive list of supporting tour engagements. Sideburn opened for legends Kiss, Def Leppard, Motorhead, Dio, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, and Doro… and even Meat Loaf. There were, too, the road treks with soulmates Krokus and one memorable gig with Rose Tattoo. Amidst this whirlwind of activity came one more change in personnel. David left the fold in 2005 and Sideburn recruited the well-traveled axman simply known as Boris, who seemed to be the natural choice given his ecclectic past which had crossed paths previously traveled by the band.  2006 marked the 20th anniversary of the Sideburn/Genocide project. The band celebrated the milestone with the career spanning anthology titled Archives. It’s an interesting study where listeners can witness the huge degree of evolution and maturation which the band had undergone in its first two decades (15 as a recording artist).

2008 saw the release of “Cherry Red”, which received some fantastic feedbacks from the press worldwide. This led the Fox’s Studio to choose the song “Six feet under” to be featured in an episode of the last season of the famous show “24” with Kiefer Sutherland. 2010 see the band working on their new release with the Multi-Platinum producer Beau Hill (over 50 millions album sold Ratt, Gary Moore, Winger, Twisted Sister), as co-producer and mixer.

For the fans, since september 2010, they can challenge themself by playing the song “Cherry Red” on the platform of the ultimate music game, Rockband 3 (for XBOX 360). 2011 see the release of the album “Jail”, signed by the german label Metal Heaven (for Europe & Japan). Again the press worldwide is unanimous to mention the quality of this new release and establish the band as a major act in Switzerland. The album reached #88 in the Swiss charts. Unfortunately after a fantastic performance at Rock OZ Arènes in Avenches, a clash in the band led Fred, Michel & Boris to leave the band in September.

The 2 members left, Roland & Lionel, decided to keep on rockin and in January 2012, announced the arrival of some new blood: Mike Riffart (Lead & Rythm Guitar) who had replaced Boris few times already, Lawrence Lina (Lead & Rythm Guitar) who played in Roland’s Blues band and Nick Thornton, australian born bass player (ex Maeder). In February they played their first show already and showed to their fans that the band is more than alive. August see the band to be choosen by Adidas to be the band of the evening during the Adidas Rockstar event that happend on August 11, 2012 at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany.

Sideburn performed during the whole final, playing over 150 minutes of rock’n’roll, and they even wrote and recorded a special theme song with climbing lyrics. The song “Rockstar” has been mixed by Beau Hill and is available in most major digital stores. August 2012 see the song “Knockin at the wrong door” to be featured in the trailer of the new American comedy “Hit & Run”. While in the summer of 2013 their song “Six feet under” was part of the soundtrack of the Blockbuster: “The Wolverine” !

DISCOGRAPHYdiscography

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– Sell Your Soul [1997]
– Crocodile [2002]
– Gasoline [2004]
– Archives [2005]
– Cherry Red [2008]
– Jail [2011]
– Electrify [2013]

notes by (by Thom Copher www.heavymetalhog.com)

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SIDEBURN, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings