RED DRAGON CARTEL featuring guitarist Jake E. Lee (OZZY OSBOURNE, BADLANDS) have checked in with the following update:
“Based on a huge buzz created by the band’s very first show, our agency’s phone rings all the time and we will have tons if gigs in the USA before and after the MOR cruise. Our European tour will start in Italy on May 3rd and end at a major festival in the UK on June 15. After that some more USA and then Japan and Asia in middle of July, then USA again and then Europe again. RDC will be busy!”
Red Dragon Cartel made their live debut on December 12th at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, CA. Reviews poured in following the show and after live clips were posted on YouTube pounding vocalist Darren Smith (HAREM SCAREM) for what hundreds of fans deemed a substandard performance. Take-no-prisoners website Metal Sludge were particularly brutal, claiming Lee’s comeback was “destroyed by the singer’s inabilities and buffoonery.” Following is an excerpt from their review:
“Listening to these clips (found below) is atrocious. The lead singer Darren Smith is horribly out of key but that isn’t the half of it. You expect that from a D-list hairband singer, but not from a guy who is suppose to walk in the shoes of the late and great Ray Gillen. Worse yet, was every stupid cliche’ rock star comment you would NEVER expect to hear at a show featuring a class act like Jake E. Lee. But Smith did them all, said them all and just played himself as a fool like it was his first time on stage.”
Go to this location for the complete review.
Red Dragon Cartel have since piped up in defence of Smith’s performance with the following statement, originally posted here:
“You fly thousands of miles, have 40 possible songs to create a set with, pick and refine 14 of those, rehearse till 4:00 in the morning for only four days with jet jag and strep throat. Then have a reasonably good soundcheck only to return to the stage to find one of the monitors is out and the teleprompter is set up wrong (Yes I said it, teleprompter. It seems to work fine for Obama and Steven Tyler, Elton John) plus it’s said it will be gone within a couple of weeks, mix in some American prescription cough syrup (thanks Nassad) and one too many pre-jitter shots. Result is a sub-standard performance from a great singer.
I have stood in a room while they played together and Darren sings his ass off! Yes, you’re right, there will never be another Ray Gillen (R.I.P.), but the Red Dragon Cartel is about to show the world that they can be great band and that Darren James Smith is a great singer! Reserve your judgment until you watch the videos from tomorrow night’s San Diego gig and Friday’s show at Vamp’d in Las Vegas. In the meantime, go over to iTunes and check out ‘Deceived’ from the Red Dragon Cartel album. Jake E Lee is back, playing better than ever with a great band, album and live show. Wait til they come through your town sometime in the next year and decide for yourself. You wont be disappointed. Peace out!”
The December 12th setlist was as follows:
‘The Ultimate Sin’ (Ozzy Osbourne)
‘High Wire’ (Badlands)
‘Shine On’ (Badlands)
‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Rebel’ (Ozzy Osbourne)
‘Shout It Out’
‘In A Dream’ (Badlands)
‘Rumblin’ Train’ (Badlands)
‘Sun Red Sun’ (Badlands)
‘Bark At The Moon’ (Ozzy Osbourne)
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary CHEAP TRICK vocalist Robin Zander, original IRON MAIDEN vocalist PAUL DI’ANNO, KILL DEVIL HILL, PANTERA bassist Rex Brown, SASS JORDAN, SLASH conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and IN THIS MOMENT front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH).
From the opening riff of ‘Deceived’ to final sustained piano chord of ‘Exquisite Tenderness,’ it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as ‘Shout It Out’, ‘Wasted’ and ‘Slave’ showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies.
Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track ‘Feeder’ and a lyric video for the song can be seen below. Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track ‘Big Mouth’. Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off.
More on Red Dragon Cartel at Facebook.