90s News: Snow is back, East 17 singer storms parliament, when 5ive become 3ree, Papa Roach


Your latest dose of ’90s news. Home taping is ruining the music industry.


East 17 have long been a political force to be reckoned with. On their debut album Walthamstow, they tackled the fallacy of equating financial wealth with personal wealth (“Gold, we don’t need it, do we?” – Gold); highlighted a need for organised activism (“Yeah, we gotta do sumpin” – We Gotta Do Something); and raised the importance of shared domestic roles, especially in the kitchen (“Yeah I’ll butter toast, if you lick the knife” – Deep). But never had a member of the popular boy group stormed parliament house until lead singer Brian Harvey turned up at 10 Downing Street with a ring-binder in hand, demanding to speak to the PM. The Daily Star quotes witnesses who claim he was ranting about having evidence the government had stolen money from him – clearly something the PM sees to in his day-to-day. He also apparently yelled, “You’ll all be dancing to my number one single at Christmas”, which is an exciting prospect.

The police, or “a right pair of bobbies, innit?” came to move Harvey along and possibly to get their ‘Paws On The Floor’ remix discs signed. The po-po told The Independent it was a “minor disturbance outside the gates. Officers spoke to a man there – there were no arrests.” Not to start a feud or anything Brian, but Noel Gallagher got past the gates. Nice to see Harvey is still rocking the high beanie, too.



Proof the line between The Stone Roses and East 17 is thinner than most realise


It’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, the guy selling battered-pigeon-on-a-stick is nowhere to be seen, and Aaron Lewis is sitting in the dug-out: dejected. “Don’t worry, kid”, the coach says softly. He’d been around the block once or twice. “Even ol’ Lefty Grove had his off-days.” Lewis had no idea who Lefty Grove was, or why this old man was talking to him while he was trying to watch the game, but he felt a weight lifted. “Thanks, coach”, he beamed.

Aaron Lewis, lead singer from Staind, had earlier found himself being booed for reasons that had nothing at all to do with hit single ‘Been Awhile’, after fumbling the national anthem at game five of the World Series.

For his part, Lewis blamed nerves in an official (and wholly unnecessary) apology, although we’d gently remind him of his 15 million album sales, twenty years of live appearances in front of millions of people around the world, and the fact that nerves are simply a byproduct of feeling under-prepared: a direct result of his own failure to act, so he shouldn’t go blaming external factors for a state he had complete dominion over. Having said that, who would take on the job of singing the national anthem in front of millions of viewers who really care about the national anthem? He had to literally ask “for the nation’s forgiveness”, saying he was “completely torn up.”

And before you laugh at how badly he fucked up, here’s a video of Aaron Lewis cursing out a bunch of “fucking arseholes” for feeling up a teenage girl crowd-surfing – proving he is actually the man.

Staind, alongside Korn and Limp Bizkit, introduced a wave of purposely mis-spelled band names in the late ’90s, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since those swingin’ Monkees/Beatles/Byrds days.



They laughed at you back in the day when you got your Papa Roach tattoo, didn’t they? Well, you can dig out your old school diary, find all their phone numbers, type in the area code, then the 6 or so other numbers, ask their mum if they are home, then tell them you were right and they were wrong – because Papa Roach are still going, and still relevant, and the yellow ink has faded a bit, but that happens to all tattoos, and in fact here’s Papa Roach’s blistering new single which still sounds like the soundtrack to a Playstation 2 demo disc.

The song is called ‘Face Everything And Rise’, which means nothing and was therefore clearly chosen for its awesome acronym power. To further your case with the tattoo (are you still going on about that – you won, let it rest) they are heading out on a US co-headlining tour with Seether early next year, and even hitting Soundwave 2015.

Fun fact: their 1997 debut album contains tracks named ‘Peewagon’ and ‘iSEDuFuknDie’ – make sure you start the ‘PEEEEEEWAGON’ chat during their set.

Snow season is back

So, the success of ‘Rude’ by Magic! proves that it somehow still isn’t deemed racist as all fuck when a Canadian sings in a mock reggae accent over a mock reggae musical bed. Phew.

No doubt Snow – who invented this extremely specific genre back in 1993 with his huge hit ‘Informer’ – noticed someone using his one trick, and decided now’s the perfect time for a comeback.

Yes, Snow has a new single, called ‘Shame’ because irony is dead.

He really hammers home that this is, in fact, Snow by opening with the exact same opening line as ‘Informer’. If you’ve ever listened to Snow’s debut album 12 Inches Of Snow (triple entendre; Snow was operating on a different level back in ’93), you’ll be aware that it is the perfect study in how to stretch one lightning-in-a-bottle idea as thinly as possible.

L.V., who sang the hook on ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, did a similar thing: his debut album features songs named: ‘The G Within’, ‘Gangsta’s Boogie’, ‘Crazy Little G’s (Part 1)’, ‘Crazy Little G (Part 2)’, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ and ‘Gangsta’s Boogie (Projee version)’. Can you see the theme? (Hint: it’s not synergy). One would assume that Lou Bega’s album follows similar lines, but time is a finite resource and I’m yet to check.

On his album, Snow simply lifts the exact same rap cadence, tempo and melody – as heard in Informer – and uses it on every song. ‘Lonely Monday Morning’ literally contains the exactly same verses (lyrics, melody, everything) from ‘Informer’, and it was released as the third single.

There is an experiment where scientists severed the corpus callosum of a monkey – the bundle of fibers that facilitates communication between the two hemispheres of the brain – and it actually fought itself for a peanut. The two songs below are proof that a similar situation would occur if Snow ever had this operation and decided to sue himself for plagiarism.

While it’s easy to laugh at a white dude from Toronto singing in a mock reggae style about being locked up, ‘Informer’ actually became a hit while Snow was in prison for assault. He first saw the clip on television while in prison. Thug life.


5ive carrying on as 3ree

As previously reported in this column, Abz recently walked out on 5ive, flaming members Scott and Ritchie in the process. Member Jay became ‘previous member Jay’ a while ago, bringing the team’s number down to three. But the lads assure us they’ll keep going on, and that they’ll be following the path of previous trailblazers.

“We’ll do this forever”, Scott told OK!, brazenly ignoring the average human lifespan. “If people want to come and see us and they want to get up or get down, then we’ll do it. We’re like Take That aren’t we? We’re following in their tracks.”

Get up or get down. Props on dropping 5ive references in an interview, Scott.

Ritchie’s talking the power trio up too, saying, “We’ve done quite a few gigs as just the three of us and they’ve genuinely been some of the best gigs we’ve done.”

Other examples of bands/natural wonders blindly going on despite the numeric value in their name no longer applying: S Club 7, the twelve apostles, Baskin Robbins 31 flavors, and Sum 41, who bravely carried on after their 37-piece orchestra abruptly quit midway through the ‘Does This Look Infected’ tour.

’90s News: 5ive vs. 98 Degrees, Courtney vs. Corgan, Slash vs. Axl



Abz has abruptly quit 5ive, leading countless commentators to ask, “What next for the boy band?” but mostly to ask, “Were 5ive still together, and do you say it ‘five-ive’?”  He made the announcement on Twitter, writing: “As of today I am no longer a member of @Official5ive Thank you to all the fans who supported, I love you all…”

Abz gave no reasons, but luckily, the excellent Australian pop site Auspop interviewed the lad just days before he quit, and in the chat he really lets loose: on members of the group, record labels, 98 Degrees, everyone. Read, as he slays Scott and Ritchie’s songs: “The other two guys would write stuff and it would come back and it was like ‘that’s a bit rubbish’, but it got put on the album anyway. That said, we never released any of their songs as singles. It was the stuff Sean, J and I did that really set what 5ive was about. I think if we had gone with the other two’s stuff, 5ive would have been a lesser band.”

Who knew 5ive wrote their own material, East 17-style?

The best reveal is that Abz once put one of his video clip costumes on eBay… and couldn’t sell it. “At one point, I had this ‘We Will Rock You’ denim thing with all these studs on it and I tried to sell it on eBay, but no one wanted it. That was probably about three years ago when I was broke and I was going through some of my shit. I nearly sold my BRIT Award”

Broke? Nearly sold his BRIT Award? Sorry, we should have warned you that got a little dark.

He is awesomely honest throughout the rather lengthy chat; the entire thing makes for an interesting read.



Three awesome things about Ash’s debut record 1977: It begins with the sound of an X-Wing fighter; it is named after the year the first Star Wars movie came out; there’s a song about Jackie Chan on it. With all this in mind, there’s a lot of expectation for frontman Tim Wheeler debut solo record, Lost Domain, which is due November 3.

Wheeler played pretty much all the instruments himself, which is always a nice thing (see also: Ben Kweller’s third album, the first Foo Fighters record) and if you pre-order the record, you’ll also be donating to the Alzheimer’s Society, which is another nice thing.

Listen to lead single ‘First Signs Of Spring’ below.



If there were any doubts that Courtney Love could still command an audience, and front a world-class rock band, her recent appearances in Australia will have put paid to those. Excitingly, she’s announced plans are in the works to reform the classic lineup of Hole (Melissa, Patty, Eric, Courtney) with the four having already rehearsed a few times.

“In order to pull that off, we’d have to make some music that’s relevant to now, and we’d have to get a modern producer”, she told New York-based Paper Magazine (we recommend Drake’s producer, 40). “I’m not going to do the oldies circuit. My relationships with Melissa, Patty and Eric are all great. At this point in my life, no one is my enemy. Any grudges or issues with that past? I’m done with it.”

No grudges or issues with that past. All’s well that ends well, then.

“The only person I’m concerned about is Corgan. I’m like, what is your problem? I just wish he’d mellow out. That’s all. We’re older. Get over it.”


Think about how long ago ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ seems? In Loser, the film that song soundtracked, there’s a scene where a teenage Mena Suvari winces at the idea of having a Gunners poster. “Axl Rose, eww” she says.

Yet, in 2014, Axl is still dragging a version of Guns ‘n’ Roses around the world, and despite the band name still being active, Slash has again denied that he will ever rejoin the group, or work with Axl, telling Guitar World: “People have been speculating about it for years, but I really have a hard time picturing it. “There hasn’t been any communication along those lines between he [Rose] and I. I have a hard time picturing it, because I’m always focused on the next show. I’m one of those people who lives in the moment. I don’t look too far into the future and I don’t dwell too much on the past.”

Considering he told the same publication two years that Axl “hates my guts”, we won’t hold our breath. Nor will we hold it for the two new Gunners records that Axl claimed in June are near completion. Sing a new song, Axl.

’90s News: Aqua, N*Sync, 5ive, Oasis, Atomic Kitten and more


N*Sync Best Of Released, But Nobody Told Lance Bass…

When you are a key member of one of the most popular musical groups of all time, you expect that when your label compiles and releases your finest work, you’ll at least be informed of the plans.

Not at all surprisingly, N*Sync’s Lance Bass was quite miffed when he found out, via Twitter, that the group’s Essential collection was slated for release – the very next day. “I love when the record label doesn’t even tell you they are releasing a new ‘NSYNC album tomorrow ! #TheyCare”, the pop star wrote, linking to a pre-purchase page.

The two-disc collection came out today in Australia, and although the cover artwork doesn’t feature JT’s frosted tips, the compilation does feature the Pokemon soundtrack classic ‘Somewhere, Someday’. 

AQUA are coming to Australia

’90s pop nostalgia shows no signs of slowing, and Danish bubblegum superstars Aqua are taking full advantage of this, bringing their Greatest Hits tour to Australia.

Although strained personal relations forced the group to split in 2001, less than four years after they first found success with the double-entendre-laden hit ‘Barbie Girl’, they still managed to shift a staggering 33 million records worldwide.

Pre-sale tickets for the tour are available now, with general tickets on sale from next Thursday, September 2.

Did Blink’s Tom DeLonge See A UFO?

First things first, Tom DeLonge is not mucking around when he claims to be a fanatical follower of extra terrestrial life-forms – this indepth TV interview suggests he has been studying this stuff for decades, with numerous high-ranking CIA officials in his conspiracy corner.

Now, DeLonge himself claims to have seen a UFO, posting the following excited Insta-rant, and this less-than-definitive video proof. Do aliens exist, as the Enema Of The State track suggests? Say it ain’t so!

“LAST NIGHT UFO IN SAN DIEGO!! Hahaah yes!! My wife and I followed it for 30 min, a fleet of cars were pulled over watching it with us. Some said they were watching it for an hour. It was 2 sets of lights, going in and out and popping up in different locations. Standard shit if you read about this stuff… HAHHA YES I WAS THERE. Does anyone know how happy I am!!??”


Ritchie ‘5ive’ and Natasha ‘Atomic Kitten’ Are Having A Child!

While this happy pop coupling is enough on its own to conjure thoughts of perfectly choreographed birthing classes, Natasha Hamilton’s fourth child – and first with 5ive’s Ritchie Neville – made the news recently due to Hamilton’s declaration that she plans on eating her own placenta after giving birth.

While this sounds like little more than a Daily Mail beat up, there are supposed health benefits in doing so, such as warding off post-natal depression. Whatever gets you though, Tash.

Happy 20th, Definitely Maybe

Oasis’ majestic debut record Definitely Maybe came out twenty years ago today, helping to kickstart the Britpop revolution that claimed the airwaves from the mopey grunge happening over the pond (which made its definitive closing statement with Cobain’s suicide that April).

It is undeniably one of the finest, and most feted albums to ever be released, and although thousands of column inches have dealt with its might over the past twenty years, the best way of celebrating this musical milestone is to crank sleeper classic ‘Slide Away’, and swagger back to the days when anything seemed possible. Enjoy.