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  • Feature: Shiprocked

    Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:38:03

    Feature: Shiprocked - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    Alright, so what's better than seeing Godsmack, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, and a host of other bands on the same bill?

    Seeing them on the high seas!

    Shiprocked is the ultimate hard rock experience. The cruise brings together a phenomenal lineup of the best and brightest bands in the genre within the atmosphere of pretty much the best vacation imaginable. Fans get the opportunity to see multiple performances from their favorite acts and then hang out with them on a beautiful ship complete with all the necessities for a great time.

    The ship sets sail November 27 through December 1 from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Key West, FL, and Nassau, Bahamas. For the complete lineup, reservations, and more info visit the official site getshoprocked.com!

    In this exclusive interview, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino talked to the brains behind the operation Alan Koenig about putting together Shiprocked, fan memories, and so much more.

    Shiprocked is one of the coolest things to happen to hard rock in a while…

    Thanks! I can't take credit for the concept of a music cruise, but I like to think that Shiprocked is the ultimate rock music cruise experience.

    How do you up the ante each year?

    This is our fourth sailing, and it’s definitely grown from year to year. We make a concerted effort to build a truly amazing lineup that would be worthy of any larger land-based fest. My talent buyer and I talk about the lineup daily. We spend hours on the phone discussing scenarios, artists, and what works and doesn't work. I have a mantra that Shiprocked is not beholden to genre or generation. So every year, we try to achieve a mix of styles, sounds, and eras. Last year, we had bands spanning three decades. We do this year as well. We have everybody from Geoff Tate and Gilby Clarke to Filter, Lit, and Fuel to In This Moment, Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch. It's a process I love. It can sometimes be challenging, but we end up putting together a really cool lineup every year somehow.

    You've got the biggest bands out there.

    We had a band called Another Animal onboard last year's cruise, which happens to include Tony, Robbie and Shannon from Godsmack. They all had a really great time doing it. Godsmack's manager is a friend, so I reached out for this year. Robbie was here in Nashville recently, and was telling me where they want to play on the ship and all of the things they want to do. They're really excited about doing it! Five Finger Death Punch was one of the most requested bands from our post-cruise survey last year. We always look to the surveys to find out who our guests want to see on future cruises, and target as many of them as we can. I happen to know Jason Hook, so I asked if they'd be interested. He talked it over with the guys, and they were down. We're really excited to bring them on for the fans.

    It's a diverse bill at the same time.

    Every year, there are one or two bands I book for me, that I think other people will dig. In This Moment was that band for me last year. Dead Sara is one of them this year. I'm a huge Dead Sara fan. They have something really cool and interesting happening. Emily has such an amazing passion when she performs. I think when our guests have an opportunity to see them perform, they'll be blown away. One of the great things about booking artists this far out is we can spend some time introducing them to our guests who may not have heard of them.

    Most bands don't repeat though.

    We try to mix it up and keep the lineup fresh from year to year, bringing new artists into the Shiprocked family. This year, we have three repeating - In This Moment, Filter, and Sevendust. Somebody joked that Sevendust is our house band, this being their third cruise. They just put on an amazing show. I think they're one of the most underrated bands out there. Frankly, they should be headlining festivals. And all five of those guys are amazing people. They really go out of their way to meet the guests and hang out. It's a unique atmosphere onboard. The walls come down between artists and fans. Some lasting friendships have even been made throughout the history of the cruise.

    Is fostering that closer connection between the fans and the bands your favorite part of this experience?

    There are a handful of artists I'm a huge fan of. Peter Gabriel is one of them. In 2003, my wife and I won a contest to go to London for a private concert at his Real World studios for around 100 people from countries all over the world. During a meet-n-greet before the performance, there were all of these excited fans meeting him, talking to him, and taking pictures. My wife is a giant fan. She was tearing up as she was meeting him. She even gave him a big kiss on the cheek. It was a real fan meets artist moment. But after working as an artist manager for about 14 years, I'd become a bit jaded. I didn't feel that same passion and excitement that she did. I hated that! So a few years later, when the opportunity arose to produce an event where fans could come together and spend some quality time with their favorite artists, sharing all of these amazing moments and experiences, I jumped at the chance.

    Rick Florino

    Will you be setting sail on Shiprocked?

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    Tags: Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Sevendust, P.O.D., Filter, Fuel, Geoff Tate, Gilby Clarke

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