NEPA Scene Staff

The Rods’ entire heavy metal catalog will be reissued for 40th anniversary, starting with ‘Crank It Up’

The Rods’ entire heavy metal catalog will be reissued for 40th anniversary, starting with ‘Crank It Up’
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After undergoing some major lineup changes earlier this year, heavy metal band The Rods are going back to their classic roots.

High Roller Records, a German label that specializes in traditional heavy metal, will reissue all their music for the group’s 40th anniversary, starting with a new version of “Crank It Up” mixed by Fred Coury, the longtime drummer for glam metal band Cinderella.

“I am thrilled that High Roller Records are doing official reissues of the entire The Rods catalog from original sources and with high-quality artwork, as well as bonus material. Finally the fans will have the chance to purchase The Rods’ music as it was intended,” drummer Carl Canedy, a Carbondale resident, said in a press release.

“It has been an amazing journey, and after 40 years, we are happy that the fans have this opportunity! There has been various bootleg and low-fi stuff released over the years, so this is very exciting for the band as well!”

“Crank It Up” is available now on all major digital platforms, and all the 40th anniversary reissues will be available in late summer/autumn of 2021. The band has produced eight albums over the past four decades; their latest, “Brotherhood of Metal,” was released in 2019.

Formed in Cortland, New York in 1980 by Canedy, vocalist/guitarist David “Rock” Feinstein, and bassist Steven Starmer, The Rods’ debut album, “Rock Hard,” was released independently in 1980. When they signed to Arista Records in 1981, it was re-released as “The Rods.” After their second album, “Wild Dogs,” Starmer was replaced by Garry Bordonaro. Feinstein is the cousin of legendary singer/songwriter Ronnie James Dio and was the guitarist for their band Elf before founding The Rods.

They continued recording classic albums like “In the Raw” and “Let Them Eat Metal” while touring with the likes of Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, and Motorhead. The trio parted ways in 1986 and didn’t reunite until 2008.

Feinstein, Bordonaro, and Canedy released their comeback record, “Vengeance,” in 2011, which sounded like they never left, and their next album, “Brotherhood of Metal,” aimed to do the same with artwork by Belgian artist Eric Philippe that hearkens back to “Wild Dogs” with a fiery metallic update. The 11 songs recorded at Barncastle Studio and the Nire Studio and released through German label SPV/Steamhammer include the 2015 single “Smoke on the Horizon,” which features Veronica Freeman of heavy metal band Benedictum on guest vocals.

While The Rods remained based in upstate New York, Canedy moved to Carbondale and has resided there for many years, working as a real estate agent while his daughter, Erin Canedy, followed in his footsteps as a singer and music teacher. Recognized as a driving force of The Rods and a producer of classic albums by Anthrax (“Armed and Dangerous” and “Spreading the Disease”), Overkill (“Feel the Fire”), Exciter (“Violence & Force”), and Possessed (“Beyond the Gates”), Canedy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Steamtown Music Awards ceremony at The V-Spot in Scranton.

The Rods have only played select shows in recent years, including a 2016 concert at Thirst T’s in Olyphant as part of the Electric City Music Conference, but Canedy is still an active drummer in the area for groups like the Jeffrey James Band, and his solo project simply called Canedy headlined the Blues on the Bridge festival in Binghamton, New York last year.

Canedy released his first solo album, “Headbanger,” in 2014 and followed it up this year with “Warrior” on May 8, with CD and vinyl versions released on Aug. 7 by Sleaszy Rider Records. The new band for this record is comprised of members of former Scranton hard rock band Totally Lost Cause – lead vocalist Mike Santarsiero, guitarist and synth player Charles Russello (also known for the Russello Project), and bassist, cellist, and vocalist Tony Garuba, who also plays in the Jeffrey James Band with Canedy.

Santarsiero will also play a major role in the future of The Rods. In March, The Rods announced the departure of Bordonaro and Feinstein’s move from vocals and guitar to just guitar. Santarsiero is now the lead singer, and Freddy Villano of Quiet Riot and Dee Snyder’s Widowmaker is on bass.

“Yes, we will miss our friend Garry. We thank him for his ‘years of service’ and friendship,” they posted on Facebook. “Please know that it was Garry’s choice not to go on. We did not – and would never – throw him out. But we must go on.”

Their first album with the new lineup, “Shockwave,” is tentatively set for release in 2021.

“This new version of The Rods happened quite by chance. David and I have both worked with Freddy Villano, both live and in the studio. Freddy and I became a killer rhythm section within two songs of our first gig together. It was surprising how well our styles meshed. We’ve all been friends for several years now, so when it came to choosing a new bass player, there was no other choice – Freddy was the man!” Canedy said in a press release.

“Michael and I have performed live several times, and we recorded the new [upcoming] Canedy album together. I knew that Michael and I worked well together. Since David and I had been discussing adding a lead singer, I brought Michael to a rehearsal to sing a few songs. It was basically to see if we were even interested in adding a singer and, of course, we were a fit for him. David and Michael sat together in one of David’s studio rooms for over an hour while I prepared my kit for rehearsal. I knew when they both walked out of the room smiling that we had a new lead singer.”

“Michael and I spent some time talking together about our approaches to music, where wanted to go with our songwriting and live performances, and our philosophies on life. It became apparent that there would be a strong synergy with this new lineup,” Feinstein added.

“I will be still be contributing to vocals; however, now I can focus totally on playing my guitar – something I love to do… as loudly as I can! I’m excited about this new chapter of The Rods. Carl and I are already writing songs for our new album ‘Shockwave,’ and with the addition of Michael, we can expand our melodies arrangements to fit his amazing range and style!”

The new Rods are hoping to perform live “once the world is no longer under siege.”

“It really feels great to be working on a brand new album with the added energy of Michael and Freddy. ‘Shockwave’ is the perfect working title for our new album,” the band continued.

“Nothing happens by accident, and fortune favors the prepared. For my whole career, I have tried to position myself to be ready should I get ‘the call,’ but I never thought I was going to get this call – the call from some of the veterans who helped shaped the genre I love. I am here to answer that call,” Santarsiero, who is going by Michael San Ciro in The Rods, said.

Villano is also a big fan of The Rods and was eager to join and make the trio a quartet.

“Wow! When something comes full circle, it completes a cycle, returns to its beginnings. I saw The Rods open for Iron Maiden on the Number of the Beast Tour at the North Stage Theater in Glen Cove on Long Island. It was my first concert! I didn’t know who The Rods were before that, but their performance was electrifying,” he recalled.

“The invitation to hold down the bass chair in The Rods is an honor, as I know I’m following in the footsteps of some incredible musicians. I look forward to simultaneously honoring the past and forging the future.”