Finnish gothic metallers THE 69 EYES have entered the studio with producer Johnny Lee Michaels to begin recording their new album for an early 201 release.
Says THE 69 EYES vocalist Jyrki 69: "Dear Helsinki vampires loyalists, how's your summer been? I've been thinking of you a lot lately. Especially in the nights... in the studio. You see, we are currently in the studio recording our new album here in Helsinki. It's coming out really good; [it] feels like a record I've always wanted us to do. A bit hard to explain, but you will hear it soon! If you happened to like those albums we've made earlier with Johnny, you will love this new one, too. The first single will come out later on this year and the album in early 2016. August moon — where are you...?"
THE 69 EYES released a compilation album, "The Best Of Helsinki Vampires", on November 1, 2013 . The collection included a brand new song, "Lost Without Love", written by Jyrki69 and dealing with situations he and the band's drummer, Jussi69, have both gone through.
THE 69 EYES released a digital EP, "Love Runs Away", via iTunes on February 1, 2013. The effort included two previously unreleased bonus songs, "Rosary Blue" and "Dracula's Castle".
"Love Runs Away" was the third single and opening track of THE 69 EYES' latest album, "X", which came out in September 2012.
JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon has not ruled out a reunion with Steve Perry, saying that the band would happily share the stage with its former lead singer.
"The door has always been open, like I've said a zillion times," Schon told ABC News Radio. "People ask me every day, 'Are you reuniting?' Steve says, 'No,' and I say, 'You never know.'"
Even if JOURNEY does end up working with Perry again, Schon says that the collaboration would not affect the band's current singer, Arnel Pineda. "[We] are always like, 'You ever want to come on and just sing a portion of one song, sing a part of a song with Arnel or sing the whole set, you're welcome anytime you want to come,'" Schon said. "[Arnel is] not threatened. Nobody's on any ego trip. We don't have any bad feelings."
Schon did admit, however, that he doesn't have much communication with Perry anymore. "I mean, he won't allow me to speak to him directly on the phone, and I write to him all the time and just say, 'Hey, what's up? I hope you're doing well,' and that's it, you know?" he said. "And sometimes he writes back and sometimes he doesn't."
The guitarist told ABC News Radio that he looks back fondly on what JOURNEY accomplished while Perry was in the band. "All's we did was create timeless music," he said. "And so for that I'm very grateful. And I'm sure he is too. He said that he is. But, you know, we're grown men and so it's time to take the chips off the shoulder and to grow up and let the kids be kids."
Schon added that he was surprised to see Perry make a series of appearances on stage with alternative rockers EELS last year and expressed hope that Perry would play more shows in the future.
"I was just happy to see him get out there," he laughed. "I thought it was quite ironic the places that he chose to do it. But, you know, I was glad to see him sing and hope that he would do more, actually."
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King joined KING DIAMOND on stage on July 25 at the Mansfield, Massachusetts stop of this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival to perform the MERCYFUL FATE classic "Evil".
Fan-filmed video footage of Kerry's appearance can be seen below.
Kerry King has previously stated that he and fellow original SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman were big fans of MERCYFUL FATE when SLAYER recorded the album "Hell Awaits", so much so that the LP was very influenced by the Danish heavy metal act.
MERCYFUL FATE's last studio album, "9", was released in 1999.
MERCYFUL FATE will be remembered for its unquestionable mark on the history of metal with its innovative sound, complex arrangements, memorable melody, and its influence on bands that later took the genre to new heights.
In 1998, METALLICA paid tribute to MERCYFUL FATE by recording a medley of classic MERCYFUL FATE songs on the album "Garage Inc." Entitled "Mercyful Fate", the medley included parts from "Satan's Fall", "Curse of the Pharaohs", "A Corpse Without Soul", "Into the Coven" and "Evil".
Lars Ulrich of METALLICA (a fellow Dane) played drums on a new version of MERCYFUL FATE's "Return of the Vampire" on the "In the Shadows" album, which came out in 1993.
Asked by Full Metal Jackie if he feels at all uncomfortable when fans share the impact MERCYFUL FATE had on them, King Diamond said: "It's great to hear. I mean, I was very lucky the other day. I went and saw my friends in VOLBEAT play here in Dallas. And ANTHRAX was supporting. I met [ANTHRAX guitarist] Scott Ian before, but I met all of [the ANTHRAX guys] this time around and got to really talk to them. And what an amazing bunch of guys. I mean, really great human beings — nice people. It was amazing. And they just played and put on an amazing show. So it was a very good evening, and it was great to meet [them]. And they also were talking about: 'Hey! Let's do [MERCYFUL FATE's] 'Evil'.' [And I said] 'Okay, I can do 'Evil' in my sleep, so we can do that, if you want to.' And then one of the other guys said: 'Hey, there's a little more to it than just that.' It can quickly go wrong if you have not tested it properly. So some other time we'll do it. But I remember, the drummer [Charlie Benante] said that he could play the entire 'Melissa' album, if need be. So it's nice to hear that people are really that into that old music still."
SLAYER's new album, "Repentless", will be released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast.
DEFTONES kicked off a co-headlining tour with INCUBUS last week, but don't expect to hear any new songs on the trek. Although the band has nearly completed work on its eighth studio release, singer Chino Moreno told The Pulse Of Radio why fans will have to wait a little longer to hear the new material live."We contemplated it a little bit, we talked about it," he said. "But with, you know, YouTube and things like that, it's like, by the time people hear the real recorded version, a live version recorded on someone's camera phone will be people's first idea of what our new record sounds like. I really don't think we wanted to take that step yet. But yeah, it is sort of hard 'cause we're sitting on all this material that we're really excited about and really want to play."
According to Moreno, sixteen songs were written for DEFTONES' new CD, which was once again produced by Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM, MONSTER MAGNET, WINDS OF PLAGUE). The effort, which is is tentatively due on September 25, will feature a guest appearance by Jerry Cantrell (ALICE IN CHAINS).
Chino told RollingStone.com about the new DEFTONES material: "The songs are amazing, and we wrote them in a really cool way. We had all of us in a room together with one person expressing an idea and another person jumping on it. The songs are really built as a collective. We have five guys who have almost completely different takes on music, so when it works, it works great."
"I think it's a little more of a heady record," Moreno said when asked how the DEFTONES' new material compares to that on "Koi No Yokan". "I feel like we've gone into the songs and really dissected them. If something sounded a little straight, we took a left turn and made things a little screwy. We just tried something completely opposite, not to sabotage it, but to challenge ourselves and try new things that we haven't done in the past.
"It definitely feels like we've taken a step from our last record," he continued. "But it's definitely a DEFTONES record, and it has all the elements that make us who we are. We're not going out there to change anything, other than just thinking outside the box."
Los Angeles glam metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER will be the last band ever to perform at the historic House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California before it's demolished. The band will play its greatest hits — including "Community Property", "Glory Hole" and "Asian Hooker" — and will be joined on stage for a song with famed country singer/songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus and other celebrity friends on Monday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m.
"It's an honor and a privilege to play the final show at a venue with so much rock and roll history!" said STEEL PANTHER lead singer Michael Starr. "When they tear the place down, I hope all our sex toys that have gone missing backstage over the years are found," he added.
House Of Blues has become a musical mainstay in Los Angeles, hosting acts such as Prince, Britney Spears, AEROSMITH and Tony Bennett, among many others.
In their early years, STEEL PANTHER performed regularly on Monday nights at House Of Blues, becoming a hit among Hollywood's elite, including Steven Tyler, Vince Vaughn, Tom Morello, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Jessica Simpson and Jeremy Piven, who would join the band on stage to sing, dance, and rock out.
"I'm proud to be part of the final performance ever at the House Of Blues in Hollywood...I expect it to be an epic night!" said Billy Ray Cyrus.
STEEL PANTHER recently returned home after sold-out headlining tours in the U.S., U.K., and South America.
Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with POWERWOLF guitarist Matthew Greywolf. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On writing a follow-up to "Preachers Of The Night":
"'Preachers Of The Night' was not only our most successful album but also an album which we still absolutely love, so it was quite hard to start coming up with new songs that would do justice to the legacy of this album. It took quite a while until we had written the first song, but the first song we finished was the title track in fact — 'Blessed & Possessed'. We realized that we could still do it; when this one was written, the rest of the songwriting started flowing."
On the lyrical content for "Blessed & Possessed":
"A good point to start with is the album title 'Blessed & Possessed', which displays the ambiguity between…. Let's say 'blessed' being a metaphor for a religious life or a life defined by a set of rules and morals, and 'possessed' as the opposite — like instinctive behaviour. We kind of used this concept on a lot of songs, like on 'Sacramental Sister' for example, which is a story about a nun being torn between a pile of lies and sexual desire. Then as well though, you can relate 'Blessed & Possessed' to POWERWOLF because it describes how we are as a band. If you see 'blessed' as the epic element — the classic element within the music — and 'possessed' as the heavy metal side, the wild side of the music, it's a very good way to describe how POWERWOLF are. Especially the 'possessed' kind of thing is a thought that's very important for us, because we are possessed by what we do and heavy metal fans in general are possessed by heavy metal. It's more than just listening to heavy metal; it's living heavy metal, it's being possessed by heavy metal. There are several levels of how this album title relates to the band and the topics on the album."
On his guitar work for "Blessed & Possessed":
"I'm not the kind of guitar player who needs some exposure for my playing abilities or something when writing songs. I don't even consider myself a guitar player. When writing songs, I just feel like I'm a part of the whole thing. When it comes to working out guitars, I try to be as song efficient as possible. I don't need a big solo spot or something in any song. This time, what was very important for me sound-wise was to get a lot of tone. Not distortion per se and not the fattest guitar sound ever, but a very decent tone on it – a tone within the distorted guitar. Something really traceable. I wanted a guitar that sounds musical. Not brutal, but musical.
"Sometimes you get productions where the guitars sound like razors. It's just like cutting, but there's not much of a tone in it. There's no bottom to the guitars, no body. What we tried to achieve is to have guitars that are really heavy; not heavy in terms of starting to hurt your ears, but heavy in terms of the fact that it's got a good body."
On "Blessed & Possessed"'s bonus covers disc:
"It's not just a bonus disc. It's a completely second album. There's actually two digipaks released within a box, and the album is called 'Metallium Nostrum'. We have put ten cover versions on that album, which are cover versions of songs that are influential to us. The idea was not to cover ten big heavy metal hits, but to cover songs that are personally important for us. It was a lot of fun doing this project, definitely. We recorded them after the record. It was actually after we had finished the mix for 'Blessed & Possessed', we realized that we should realize this idea. We had the idea for this covers album in mind for several years, but it never worked. This time it was like we do it now or never, so you could say that right when we came back from Sweden — where we mixed 'Blessed & Possessed' — we just jumped into the studio to record 'Metallium Nostrum'."
Read the entire interview at Metal Forces.
Fan-filmed video footage of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE performing a new song called "Strength Of The Mind" at the July 26 Asbury Park, New Jersey stop of the band's tour with RISE AGAINST can be seen below.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Jesse Leach recently finished laying down vocals on five songs for the band's forthcoming seventh full-length album. The follow-up to 2013's "Disarm The Descent" is tentatively due in early 2016 via Roadrunner.
Leach wrote in a post on Instagram: "[I am] pretty stoked on the song I just finished. It turned out to be quite unique sonically and lyrically. It's an ode to the road, the trials and triumphs, the friendships and long-distance love."
He continued: "So far this record has a little bit of everything, and I couldn't be happier with it. [I am] also pushing my voice to higher registers and allowing the grit to come through, which definitely suits my style as a vocalist.
"The topics are pretty heavy so far on the first four (even though they are all very different from each other,) so this one rounds it out with a more uptempo sing-along feel (almost punk rock meets '80s metal riffs with double bass for good measure)."
Jesse added: "I truly hope KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans of all types will be able to find something they dig on this record. That being said, so far I truly feel I've put my everything into this record."
A KILLSWITCH ENGAGE concert film shot on October 31, 2014 at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts will be included on the band's next DVD release, tentatively due before the end of the year. The performance footage was filmed by the direction team of Ian McFarland and Mike Pecci (FEAR FACTORY, MESHUGGAH) using five Canon C300 cameras outfitted with Zeiss Prime Super Speed Lenses.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE recently finished recording a new song, "Loyalty", that is featured on the mixtape for HBO's hit fantasy series "Game Of Thrones".
"X-Ray Visions", the new video from Maryland rockers CLUTCH, can be seen below. The clip was shot by renowned photographer Dan Winters, who also designed the cover for the band's eleventh studio album, "Psychic Warfare".
Sirius XM's Liquid Metal (Sirius XM channel 40) will premiere the audio track of "X-Ray Visions" throughout its programming from July 29 to July 31.
"X-Ray Visions" is the first single from "Psychic Warfare", which will be released on October 2 via the band's own label Weathermaker Music. The CD was helmed by CLUTCH's longtime producer Machine (LAMB OF GOD, EVERY TIME I DIE) and consists of 12 new tracks.
"The title 'Psychic Warfare' is taken from the track 'X-Ray Visions'," states singer Neil Fallon. "It's a tale about an unnamed protagonist who is forced to seek refuge in a flop house motel. He is hiding from several nefarious psychic forces, the worst of which is his own sleep-deprived paranoia."
According to Fallon, the "X-Ray Visions" lyrical concept was influenced by Philip K. Dick, the science fiction author whose 1968 novel"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" was the basis for "Blade Runner". Neil said: "[Dick's] general philosophy and questions have always crept into my lyrics, because I share an interest in it. On 'Earth Rocker', 'Crucial Velocity' was definitely a Philip K. Dick song for me. On this record, 'X-Ray Visions' certainly is."
Fallon added that the secluded studio location was the inspiration for the song "A Quick Death In Texas". He explained: "I was staying in a kind of unique, maybe 100-year-old property, by myself. I got spooked out because I come from the East Coast and the suburbs and I was out in the woods. That was the environment that brought out 'A Quick Death In Texas' — and the locals."
"Psychic Warfare" track listing:
01. The Affidavit
02. X-Ray Visions
04. A Quick Death in Texas
05. Sucker For The Witch
06. Your Love is Incarceration
07. Doom Saloon
08. Our Lady of Electric Light
09. Noble Savages
10. Behold the Colossus
11. Decapitation Blues
12. Son Of Virginia
Regarding the musical direction of "Psychic Warfare", Fallon said: "It's probably faster than 'Earth Rocker'. We wrote it pretty quickly after 'Earth Rocker', so we were, kind of, still in that headspace."
CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster told The Aquarian Weekly: "There are some similarities in regards to 'Earth Rocker', and there are some songs on it that are sort of familiar, but we did some different stuff, too. There's stuff that is a little funkier, and there's other stuff that's a little more bluesy. So there's more diversity, I think."
Asked about the creative process in CLUTCH, Jean-Paul Gaster said: "The creative process really hasn't changed all that much. It's really just the four of us getting together and banging out jams, so to speak. We work on one or two parts at a time, and often we set those parts aside and work on something new. We'll do that for several months until we have a large pool of ideas to pull from. As we get closer to the recording process, we start to try to fix some of these parts and make them into songs. Sometimes the songs get cannibalized as well, like one song will sort of eat the other, in a way. And even then we have a lot of songs to choose from, so sometimes songs that we have been working on for months won't even end up on the record."
Joel Hoekstra will release "Dying To Live", the new melodic hard rock studio album from his electrifying new side project JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13, on October 16 via Frontiers Srl. The currrent guitarist for WHITESNAKE, Hoekstra is best known for his work with NIGHT RANGER, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and the show "Rock Of Ages".
"Dying To Live" features an all-star cast of rockers, including Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Russell Allen (vocals), Tony Franklin (bass), Vinny Appice (drums), and Derek Sherinian (keyboards).
Hoekstra took charge of the creative process by handling the production, songwriting and arranging (music and lyrics). The end result could best be described as hard, melodic, classic rock that is DIO-ish at its heaviest and FOREIGNER-ish at its lightest.
"Years ago, I released three solo albums that were mainly instrumental guitar music. I wanted to put something out that showcased my production, writing and playing in the genre that I'm known for, which is melodic, hard rock," explains Hoekstra. "That's when I decided to start what I consider to be my rock side project, JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13."
"Dying To Live" focuses on struggles, potential pitfalls and the art of overcoming obstacles in life to finally arrive where we are meant to be. The CD was conceived before Hoekstra joined WHITESNAKE, whose lead singer, David Coverdale, gave the album his full blessing.
"David wants his players to spread their wings and fly, and, of course, be ready to rock when WHITESNAKE needs them, which obviously won't be an issue," says Hoekstra.
Excited how the new album turned out, Hoekstra is looking forward to the overall reaction from fans and media. "I hope everyone will give it a listen," he says. "I feel it showcases my production, writing and playing in essentially the same genre. The lineup of musicians is stellar! I want to thank everyone for any support in advance. Life is good!"
"Dying To Live" track listing:
01. Say Goodbye To The Sun
03. Until I Left You
04. Long For The Days
06. Never Say Never
08. The Only Way To Go
09. Dying To Live
10. Start Again
11. What We Believe
12. Kill or Be Killed (bonus track digital download)
An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for the album is available below.
* Joel Hoekstra (WHITESNAKE) - Guitar, Backing Vocals
* Jeff Scott Soto (JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
* Russell Allen (ADRENALINE MOB, SYMPHONY X) - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
* Vinny Appice (Black SABBATH, DIO) - Drums
* Tony Franklin (THE FIRM, BLUE MURDER) - Bass
Special Guest Musicians:
* Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) - Keyboards
* Chloe Lowery (TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) - Vocals
* Toby Hitchcock (PRIDE OF LIONS) - Additional Backing Vocals
* Charlie Zeleny (JOE LYNN TURNER) - Percussion
* Dave Eggar (AMY LEE, COLDPLAY) – Cello
Having recently stormed U.K.'s Download festival with a secret set backed with a crowd of barbarians (and a 30-row-strong crowd outside the tent!), British rockers THE DARKNESS unleash a new single on August 21. "Last of Our Kind" is the title track of the band's recent fourth album, which entered the U.K. chart at No. 12 on its release in June. The song has been described as "part VAN HALEN, part WATERBOYS, ALL THE DARKNESS." It features a record-smashing choir of several thousand DARKNESS enthusiasts (The Darkness Army) who each contributed their individual performances using the Internet service. The single, described by one reviewer as "[the track's] effortlessly catchy hooks and righteous leads deliver pure rock perfection," is a stomping rocker which demands hands be thrown in the air (when not playing air guitar on the excellent solo).
For the video, the band decided to go back to the fans and 15 were chosen to come to the video shoot and asked to get "freaky on camera." The result is a very entertaining film which shows THE DARKNESS's audience are as wonderful as the band. Singer Justin Hawkins explained: "Where would we be without our fans? Well, we wouldn't have a video for a start. Or at least, we wouldn't have a video with quite so many brilliant people in it. I'm so proud of them; they never disappoint us."
The album "Last of Our Kind" has received some of the best reviews of THE DARKNESS's career to date, with Classic Rock proclaiming it "a glorious return to form for the flamboyant rockers … They've only gone and made their finest album since 'Permission To Land'" while Total Guitar said: "Their very British blend of battle rock and classy ballads still hits the spot."
THE DARKNESS has announced a U.K. tour for November/December where they will entertain and astonish fans all over the country with their marvelous tunes and killer riffs. A few UK festival spots will also warm them up nicely.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, FOO FIGHTERS mainman Dave Grohl told Q magazine that he is doing his own physical therapy for his broken leg along with what the doctors ordered. Grohl said: "Ever since I started playing the drums, my right calf muscle has been twice the size of my left from stomping the hell out of my kick drum pedal. Now it looks like a sad little chicken wing, so I've been doing a little bit of my own rehab therapy lately, which is air drumming along to LED ZEPPELIN three times a day."
One thing that Grohl told The Pulse Of Radio he is not doing during his recovery is writing any new songs. "Gus, our tour manager, said, 'Did you want me to put your guitar in the room with you?'" he said. "I was like, 'Yeah, sure.' And I sat there staring at it like, that's the last thing I want to do right now. If I were to write a record right now, it would be a frustrated, depressing mess. No way! I want to write songs that make people boogie — I couldn't even walk! So no, I have not hit some creative stride."
Grohl broke the leg in a fall from a stage in Sweden, causing the band to cancel several European and U.K. shows.
The band has managed to not miss any dates on its current North American tour, with Grohl playing the gigs while seated on a large light-up throne.
Grohl said in a recent interview that he initially envisioned the throne flying above the crowd, saying: "At one point, that chair, we thought about putting these cables on that chair, and like flying around the stadium on one of those spider cam things. I was like, 'You know what, I already have one fucking broken leg. Maybe I'll just stay put.'"
The frontman also hinted at FOO FIGHTERS taking a break at the end of 2015, saying: "The hardest part about touring is being away from home. At this point, we have families, we have kids… This year is maybe one of the biggest years of touring we've ever done. Right now we go up to I think November, after that, we might take a little bit of a break, no pun intended."
The FOO FIGHTERS next play in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on August 12.
Bob Suehs of Rock N Roll Experience conducted an interview with new RED DRAGON CARTEL singer Shawn Crosby (ex-JONES STREET) on July 23 at Fish Head Cantina in Halethorpe, Maryland. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he got the singer gig in RED DRAGON CARTEL:
"Well, it's a long story. I thought I was retiring. I was in L.A. for thirty years, and I moved back to my hometown in Virginia. Anthony Esposito, the bass player for LYNCH MOB [and RED DRAGON CARTEL], called me up and said [RED DRAGON CARTEL] got rid of their singer and they needed somebody quick. So, I opened a skateboard shop in Alexandria, Virginia and closed it up and came out on tour, and I've been on tour since. So… I've known him since way before he was in LYNCH MOB back in the day."
On whether he is RED DRAGON CARTEL's permanent singer now:
"I don't know. We'll see. They say, 'Fifth time's the charm,' you know. I was really good friends with Ray Gillen [late BADLANDS and BLACK SABBATH singer]. I helped him… We used to write lyrics together a lot and stuff, and it's really just good to be able to walk in his footsteps now. It's very spiritual for me, and I'm having a great time doing it. My favorite stuff to sing is all the BADLANDS stuff. It's my gig. I love that stuff. Yeah, if it goes all well… you know."
On how he got to know Ray Gillen:
"I was one of the first guys he met when he moved out to L.A. from New York, and we just became hardcore friends. I used to work on Melrose, and I used to make guitar straps for John Sykes and all the heavy hitters back then. And Ray came in one day, and we just hit it off as singers together. We'd just write every day. He'd bring a notebook to work, and we'd sit and park and write stuff on my break and stuff, and that's how we became friends. Nd I would go to the rehearsals. And my band JONES STREET back then opened for them a bunch of times — BADLANDS — so we just always stayed tight."
On whether he has a handwritten letter from Ray Gillen that carries with him on the road:
"I do. It's… One day he came in and I wasn't there — I was on a lunch break — and he [wrote], 'Hey, Shawn. I don't know if you've checked out the new CD. If not, I'll bring one by for ya. I hope your singing's going great.' And it said, 'Ray Gillen.' And I found it in my storage literally a week — exactly a week — before these guys [RED DRAGON CARTEL] called me. And I just said, 'Ah, this is cool. I forgot I had this. I'm gonna bring it to the house.' And then Anthony called me [about the RED DRAGON CARTEL gig]. And I keep it with me on the road. So…. it's very cool."
On whether RED DRAGON CARTEL mainman Jake E. Lee (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, BADLANDS) is easy to work with:
"Jake is amazing. He's a quiet guy; he keeps to himself. [He's] an amazing person. The whole band's almost like a family. I just feel like… I've known Anthony forever. I didn't know the other guys, but it just all has meshed really well together. You know, 'cause you do have to spend 23 more hours off stage with these people. And that's the hardest thing to do — to be able to not get in anybody's face and everything. On a tour bus, it can get that way, but… we're having a great time.'
On whether he intentionally tries to look like Ray Gillen on stage:
"It's funny, 'cause I've been a blond almost my whole life, even though my hair is dark. And when I got divorced, I said, 'I'm gonna [make] a change.' That was, like, five years ago. I've always worn heavy shirts, like Ray did, and the jeans. That's just [my look]. I did not fathom at all — 'cause I'm five-seven; Ray was, like six-two — so… I did not fathom at all that I would be getting the 'He's channeling Ray.' 'Cause that's not it at all. Ray and I were great friends. I had blond hair the whole time. I just went black when I got divorced and said, 'I wanna do a new look.' And it's funny, because the new look… The black hair… I've got quarter Navajo in me, so I've got very dark hair. And once I got older, I just said, 'I don't wanna keep doing the blond thing. It's, like, a midlife crisis.' So I went black, and I've been getting great stuff ever since. So I should have done that a long time ago. But, yeah… [I'm] nowhere near trying to channel Ray whatsoever. I've been channeling him, but not on purpose. It just happened to fall that way. And the way that photographs have caught me is kind of cool that they caught me that way, but it wasn't intentional… I love Ray. He was one of my… He's still my favorite singer of all time. So to be able to… like I said, to be able to sing his music, as well as being with Jake, it's just great. I personally wish we could do all BADLANDS material, 'cause I can sing that all day long."
RED DRAGON CARTEL most recently played several shows with Canadian singer Paul D'Eath (CITIZENS UNITE, MUSHROOM TRAIL). Prior to that, the band was fronted by Chas West (Jason Bonham, LYNCH MOB, 3 LEGGED DOGG), Michael Beck and Darren James Smith, the latter of whom handled lead vocals on RED DRAGON CARTEL's self-titled debut album.
Beck made headlines in April when he sang the lyrics to Osbourne's "Now You See It (Now You Don't)" while the rest of RED DRAGON CARTEL played "The Ultimate Sin" at their first show together in Miami, Florida. Beck later blamed the mixup on the fact that he "had no monitors at all" and he "couldn't hear anything."
RED DRAGON CARTEL in March announced the departure of bassist Greg Chaisson, who exited the group because he could "no longer take any more time away from [his] regular job."
RED DRAGON CARTEL's debut CD sold around 5,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 69 on The Billboard 200 chart.
RED DRAGON CARTEL's setlist includes new material like the singles "Feeder" and "Deceived", as well as major hits from Jake E. Lee's glorious past: "Bark At The Moon", "The Ultimate Sin" and "Rock 'N' Roll Rebel" (all originally recorded by OZZY OSBOURNE), as well as "Shine On" and "High Wire" (BADLANDS).
Fan-filmed video footage of CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer and his wife, Nashville singer-songwriter Savannah Snow, performing the CINDERELLA classic "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" on July 24 at the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville, Pennsylvania can be seen below (footage filmed and uploaded by Randy Gill).
Savannah wrote and co-produced some of Keifer's debut solo album, "The Way Life Goes", which sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on in April 2013 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group).
In a 2013 interview with Daily News, Tom stated about his wife: "She is a very talented singer/songwriter in her own right, probably one of the best songwriters I've ever met. She is the co-producer [on 'The Way Life Goes'], and she wrote a lot of the songs on the record."
"The Way Life Goes" was described in a press release as "a raw, introspective look at the roller coaster ride" that has been Keifer's life for the past 25 years. From being told that he would never sing again as a result of a partially paralyzed left vocal cord, to the emotional and personal battles that followed, his solo debut is a story of perseverance, a testament to the power of passion and will, when combined with a true love of music.
Howie D. from Hard Edge Radio and National Rock Review recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH and MUDVAYNE singer Chad Gray. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what he would still like to accomplish with HELLYEAH:
"I just wanna fucking… I wanna do my thing, and I wanna fucking… I wanna continue this legacy that I'm talking about that's been going on for so long. It's really fucking important to me. There's a lot of shit out there and a lot of things out there that are trying to dumb music down. And it's frustrating as an artist, it's frustrating as a metal kid, it's frustrating as a metal fan. You know what I mean? I think people have intentions and I don't think that the business people's intentions are the best. They certainly don't support the listener as much. The business and the fast-food world is fucking dumbing music down, and it's fucking sad, and people need to stand up and kind of reel themselves in. I know I have. But I'm a fan of buying records, I'm a fan of whole albums, I'm a fan of bodies of work. A single is just one single. It's like looking at a puzzle, and the puzzle is made up of ten or eleven pieces, or twelve pieces, and you're trying to look at the picture that the puzzle creates by looking at one piece. It's not the way music is supposed to be listened to. It's certainly not the way metal music has been made to listen to. Metal music is not easy. It moves and it flows and it ebbs and fucking… If you look at a landscape painting, it's, like, 'Ah, that's easy' and shit. You look at a Jackson Pollock [painting], and it's, like, 'What the fuck?' You've gotta wrap your head around it a little bit. That fucking vanilla music that's just completely safe, that's not metal. You know what I mean? And that's what I love about metal: metal is not safe; it's nonconformist. And that's why I think… My goal right now is to just remind metal kids: don't just follow suit. Stay on your path and continue to fucking support heavy metal — however that is. You know what I mean? Don't let people dumb it down to where it doesn't mean anything."
On taking part in this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour alongside SLAYER and KING DIAMOND:
"[It's been] fucking great. We heard this was bad [with a turnout of] four thousand people, and it's, like, 'Fuck!' If we play in front of four thousand people, [it's] a win. It's a fucking victory. When we go out on our own, we can play [to] anywhere between nine hundred and thirteen hundred people, so, to me, this is a goddamn gift. And, like I said, this is 'Big Four' shit. We're playing in front of fucking metalheads that have been listening to metal for thirty fucking years, that wouldn't go to a HELLYEAH show, or wouldn't go to a fucking MUDVAYNE show, or any of the current fucking heavy bands. They're here to see fucking SLAYER. I have the opportunity to play in front of those people. And we come to impress. We come to fucking… We bring everything we've got, we give every bit of fucking energy we have. I'll lay it out there as hard as I can, and I wanna create that fucking family aesthetic that I believe that we are, as a community of fucking heavy metal fucking people."
On what he thinks about the idea of having a classic metal band like JUDAS PRIEST headline a future edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival:
"I think that'd be great — to keep those fucking legacy bands fucking a part of this; like, th people that created it: the MAIDENs of the world, and PRIEST, and stuff like that. I mean, that's the history. As long as those dudes can still do it, which they can absolutely fucking do it. They still have validity; I mean, they're still real. They should definitely be a part of this. That's what this festival really is: it's, like, the old versus new. Your younger up-and-comers, second-stage bands, the WHITECHAPELs and stuff like that — fucking great bands, you know what I mean? Those are the guys that the torch gets passed to. And it's the evolution. And that's the thing. It's, like, you start at the beginning. And everybody can have that argument: who was the first metal band? I mean, you can ask ten different people, and ten different people will tell you ten different bands. But it doesn't matter, because heavy metal evolves by people taking… People take their influences, they process them in such a way and it comes out something different."
HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott recently revealed that the band will enter the studio in October with "Blood For Blood" producer Kevin Churko to begin recording its new album for an early 2016 release.
"Blood For Blood", was the band's first release since parting ways with guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob "Zilla" Kahaha in 2013.
The new members of HELLYEAH are bassist Kyle Sanders and guitarist Christian Brady.
"Blood For Blood" sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart.
StormFront Media announced today the release of a biography featuring the original heavy metal band, METALLICA, titled Orbit: Metallica.
Few bands have achieved the success and status afforded the heavy metal pioneers known simply as METALLICA. METALLICA's sound, a raw fury few can match, has stood the test of time and placed members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine, Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett in an exclusive club of artists. Read about the formation of the band in this special issue of Orbit.
Since 2008, StormFront Media (formerly Bluewater Productions) has been publishing comic books featuring current events, entertaining biographies of the famous and the infamous, and a burgeoning fiction line featuring the character Insane Jane (which was just optioned for a television show), Bettie Page, and more, a fact that makes publisher and president Darren G. Davis proud.
"Growing up, I was a reluctant reader. I want to reach kids in similar situations that may be more apt to read a comic book instead of a chapter book," said Davis. "I have guest taught in schools and found comic books to be an excellent way to reach children and young adults." Davis added that his biographical lines are meant to both entertain and inform. "It's my hope that these books teach readers about the people behind the hype," he said. "You'll find our comics to be enticing a well as engaging. Comic books have grown up; they're not just for kids anymore." Past subjects have included everyone from Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie to Miley Cyrus and Michael Jackson.
Writer Michael L. Frizell agrees with Davis's assertion that comic books can be used to reach a wider audience. "Writing for StormFront is fascinating," said Frizell. "Crafting a book like this is also daunting, but worth it. I learned to read due to my love for comics. I was an avid reader of writer Bill Mantlo (who wrote titles like Rom: Spaceknight, The Micronauts, Spectacular Spider-Man and many more for industry leader Marvel Comics in the 1980s). I hope to instill my love for the form in StormFront's readers while perhaps giving them something they didn't expect: A peek behind the curtain.'
Frizell has written many titles for StormFront, a fact of which he is quite proud.
"As an educator myself — I run the Writing Center at Missouri State University — I like the idea of blending a popular form of entertainment with relevant, biographical information to create something unique," he said. However, Frizell admits that his knowledge of music was a bit lacking at the beginning of this journey. "I'd written biographical comics about Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Miley Cyrus and Prince and even crafted audiobooks about Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Michael Jackson and Big Time Rush (all available through StormFront Media), but never a group with such a rabid fan base as METALLICA," he said.
Interior artist Jayfri Hashim was instrumental in assisting with much of the research necessary to craft the book. Hashim could be listed among the band's most ardent fans.
"METALLICA's formation marks the beginning of metal, breeding thrash metal which progresses to heavy metal during the glam rock era," said Hashim. "Many people get it wrong when they say METALLICA is a rock band. They're not. They are the very definition of a metal band. They were daring, innovative, and the story of their beginning fascinates me."
Writer Frizell agrees. "Hashim's artwork adds a sketchy darkness to the book," he said. "His power as an artist is making us feel his adoration for his subjects. Creating a comic book is a collaborative business, and Jayfri's style informed a large portion of this book."
David Frizell (yes, he's the younger brother of the writer) is a rock artist famous for his work with AVENGED SEVENFOLD and WEDNESDAY 13, jumped at the chance to illustrate the cover for the comic book.
"It's METALLICA!" he said. "What rock artist wouldn't jump at the chance to draw them? I've followed them their entire career. They are the most influential metal band ever."
Much care went into the concept for the cover.
"I spoke with my brother, brainstorming ideas until I came up with this," he said. "I wanted the cover to be iconic and to look like it could be their next album cover."
Print copies of Orbit: Metallica start at $3.99 and can be ordered at Comic Flea Market via the web site www.comicfleamarket.com.
Bluewater's vast catalog of titles can also be downloaded on Wowio, ComiXology, DriveThru Comics, Google Play, My Digital Comics, Overdrive, Iverse, iTunes, Kindle, Biblioboard, ComicBin, Nook, Kobo and wherever eBooks are sold.
In a brand new interview with MLive, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about how the heavy metal scene of today compares to the way it was in the mid '80s, when metal was enjoying its heyday on both sides of the Atlantic.
"It's a different landscape today vs. the past," he said. "There's only one IRON MAIDEN, and only one BLACK SABBATH, of sorts. What we crafted in the '70s and '80s was our feeling. I think it's natural for new metal bands to strive to find their own direction. I personally could look around and see acts like [Jimi] Hendrix, DEEP PURPLE, etc. ... the beginnings of the metal scene, to an extent. We learned from the masters in some respect."
He continued: "To me, it's always been about quality, not quality. I'm in this to make quality music that's going to stick, where you can look back 5-10 years from now and say it still sounds pretty darn good. I'm not dismissing the incredible talent out there now. People are in a band to make their dreams come true, and it's really tough."
JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton recently said that he was proud to have had an influence on the current crop of up-and-coming artists, many of whom in turn have an impact on PRIEST's work.
He said: "I think there's still some great young bands around. We've got a lot of respect for the younger bands. You can still learn from them, because they're creating new parts of heavy metal. Every year, every decade it changes, but the backbone is still heavy metal."
He added: "If we've inspired some young bands, that's great, and it makes us proud. We're not stupid, we listen to the young bands as well, and we learn from them. We don't copy them, but we get inspired."
JUDAS PRIEST is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Redeemer Of Souls", which was released in July 2014. The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus" was billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots.
"Redeemer Of Souls" sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Fairy Tale", a brand new song from SAINT ASONIA, the new act featuring ex-THREE DAYS GRACE frontman Adam Gontier and STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok, can be streamed below. The track is taken from SAINT ASONIA's self-titled debut album, which will be released on July 31 via RCA. The album is available now for pre-order here; fans who pre-order the album will receive "Fairy Tale", "Live My Life", the band's debut single, "Better Place" and "Blow Me Wide Open", immediately.
SAINT ASONIA recently filmed a video for the song "Better Place" in Los Angeles with director Paul Brown, who has previously worked with MARILYN MANSON, THREE DAYS GRACE, EVANESCENCE, SLIPKNOT, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and MÖTLEY CRÜE, among others.
Speaking about the video shoot, Gontier told Styles and Kaytie of the 92.7 QLZ radio station: "It was a great experience. I'm pretty proud of it myself. I co-directed the video with the director Paul Brown. And Paul is someone that I've worked with in the past, and he does great, great stuff. I wrote the treatment and got a chance to co-direct the video, which is something I have always wanted to do. I'm really, really proud of it."
Gontier also spoke about his decision to take on directorial duties for the video himself. He explained: "When you put a single out, you get treatments from a lot of different directors, and we had a few treatments come in, but at the same time, I felt like, just being so close to the song and what it means to me, I felt like maybe I could write something that works best for the song, and it turned out that we gave that a shot and it worked. So it was a really, really cool experience. I learned a lot and hopefully I'll get a chance to do it again in the future."
Regarding the "Better Place" video concept, Gontier said: "It's basically looking out at a few different people in different situations in their lives where they just finally, sort of, stop getting stepped on and end up in a better place. There's a few different ways that people will interpret the video, but it's a really, really cool idea and it's something that I don't think has really ever been done. So, yeah, I'm excited for people to see it and [to see] their reaction, for sure."
The "Better Place" video is expected to be released on July 31.
Produced by Johnny K. (SEVENDUST, DISTURBED, MEGADETH), the majority of "Saint Asonia" was co-written by Gontier and Mushok.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, SAINT ASONIA started out as just Gontier and Mushok writing music together with no plans beyond that. But Gontier told The Pulse Of Radio that the moment arrived when they knew SAINT ASONIA could be a band. "When we got into the studio to record a couple of songs, we recorded three songs, and when they were done, I think that was probably the moment where we were like, 'Okay, so we've just recorded three songs, they turned out really good, we have another 10, let's do this,'" he said. "Obviously, Mike being basically on hiatus from STAIND for who knows how long, it just seemed to make sense."
SAINT ASONIA also includes STUCK MOJO and DARK NEW DAY bassist Corey Lowery and FINGER ELEVEN drummer Rich Beddoe.
The group played its first live show at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio in May.
Gontier has kept a low profile since leaving THREE DAYS GRACE in December 2012. The band replaced him with Matt Walst and recently released a new album called "Human".
Mushok's band, STAIND, has not released new music since 2011 and has no plans to return to the studio. Mushok played briefly in 2013 with ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted in his self-named band.
Beddoe exited FINGER ELEVEN in late 2013.
Lowery's resume includes stints with STUCK MOJO, SWITCHED, STEREOMUD, DARK NEW DAY and most recently EYE EMPIRE.
Photo credit: Travis Shinn
Former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and VELVET REVOLVER singer Scott Weiland has told Simcoe.com that he quit using drugs 13 years ago and that he hasn't looked back since.
"When I stopped doing drugs, I knew it was the end of that phase of my life," he said. "I was miserable. I went and detoxed and I knew from that point on I would never go back to it. It's not a way to live."
He added: "The drug culture of rock and roll isn't quite so prevalent as it was in the 1990s."
Weiland's current band THE WILDABOUTS has had several lineup changes since last year. Weiland fired his longtime guitarist and business partner Doug Grean in early 2014, while drummer Danny Thompson left to focus on his work with the ALAN PARSONS LIVE PROJECT. Meanwhile, guitarist Jeremy Brown stepped up to take a bigger role following Grean's dismissal, but Brown's sudden passing in March forced the band to hire Nick Maybury.
The cause of Brown's death was released in May by the Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. The report states that Brown's death was an accident, and the result of intoxication from multiple drugs.
THE WILDABOUTS' debut album, "Blaster", arrived on March 31, one day after Brown's death on March 30, and followed up Weiland's 2008 solo effort, "'Happy' In Galoshes".
DEFTONES are completing the mixing process for their as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2012's "Koi No Yokan" album for a tentative September 25 release. The band's keyboardist/DJ Frank Delgado told Diffuser last week about the songwriting process for the new CD: "This one was different. This one was a lot of starting and stopping, which I think is something we would've been scared of before."
He continued: "For the last couple of records, we went in and we started writing and we didn't stop until we finished the record. This one we took our time and it was a good pace. Everyone needed that break to breathe, to go home to family. Now we're ready to be able to work like this. It allowed us to think about things longer as opposed to get something done by a deadline."
Delgado added: "We're actually really good when we get together and find something that's cool. It's just a matter of hanging out long enough and waiting for it to happen. You can't really force it, know what I mean? You can make your environment as comfortable as possible. Sometimes a lot of things come fast and sometimes it doesn't."
DEFTONES drummer Abe Cunningham concurred, telling Diffuser: "As long as the goal is there with everyone to complete something. Before, it's kind of typical with any band where you have your allotted time — here's a month or a month and a half — to be creative even if you're not. This was a nice way to just have breathers with family and just be normal."
Asked how the new DEFTONES album represents an evolution for the band, or if it calls back to previous CDs, Cunningham said: "I don't think you can help sounding like yourself, and there's nothing wrong with sounding like yourself. We love sonics and we love the whole spectrum of it. From the very get-go, our first album had little bits and these things became more prevalent later on in our records, you know? It's a heavy guitar-based band but with so much more."
Added Delgado: "If the songs come out heavy or if they come out softer, there's never been any set precedence of what we need to do or what we think is lacking, or what we think people want. It's literally just trying to make stuff that we like. It's selfish but that's kind of what's been happening."
As previously reported, DEFTONES has tapped Jerry Cantrell (ALICE IN CHAINS) to lay down a guest guitar solo on the band's new album. Cantrell told Metal Hammer about how his contribution came together: "DEFTONES and I have known each other for years, and we're also under the same management. Chino [Moreno, DEFTONES singer] sent over the song file and I thought it was really great, cool and moody, so I worked on it that night and threw something down. He sent me a file of them jamming the song live, I sent it back with the idea I laid down, and Chino thought it was perfect. I waited until they got back in the studio and then came in and laid it down. So, it was pretty easy, and I think it's going to be a great song."
He added: "Chino's a really talented guy and an amazing frontman, and they're a band that has a sound that's uniquely their own."
According to Moreno, sixteen songs were written for DEFTONES' new CD, which was once again produced by Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM, MONSTER MAGNET, WINDS OF PLAGUE).
Los Angeles-based metallers BUTCHER BABIES will release their sophomore album, "Take It Like A Man", on August 21 via Century Media. The CD was produced by Logan Mader, who has previously worked with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, DEVILDRIVER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and GOJIRA.
"Take It Like A Man" track listing:
01. Monsters Ball
03. The Cleansing
04. The Butcher
06. Thrown Away
07. Never Go Back
09. Blood Soaked Hero
10. Dead Man Walking
11. For The Fight
12. Blonde Girls All Look The Same
Regarding the musical direction of BUTCHER BABIES' forthcoming CD, vocalist Carla Harvey said: "The majority of the album is very aggressive thrash metal. On this album, we wanted to go back to our roots, which were aggressive thrash, and ninety percent of the album is that."
Added co-vocalist Heidi Shepherd: "But the thing is we're not ever gonna sacrifice who we are for that. What we're attempting with this is to bring back the metal and the aggression into radio. So we kind of… We merged the two worlds. And radio stations who have heard it so far are impressed and we're very excited for that."
On the topic of the "Take It Like A Man" album title, Carla said: "We all come from different places and backgrounds, but every member of this band had to fight to be the person he or she is today. That's the whole basis for the record. It's not a gender thing. It's the inner strength you have to find in order to pull your boots up and keep moving forward, whatever the situation may be."
While penning lyrics, Harvey and Shepherd also opened up like never before. Blatant, brutal, and (sometimes) belligerent honesty was the only rule.
"You have to dig to get that emotion out," explained Harvey. "Metalheads can sense authenticity. They know when you're real. Everything we write comes straight from the heart and our own experiences. It's not cookie-cutter bullshit."
That openness has already turned countless fans into believers. "Take It Like A Man" espouses an inspiring final word.
"We want to coerce feeling," Shepherd said. "If you're a musician who does that, you've succeeded. We just want to inspire anyone who listens to us — and melt their faces off."
Shepherd stated about the "Monsters Ball" clip: "The moment I spoke with director, Dan Dobi, about the ideas we had for a literal Monsters Ball, he jumped at them and began tossing even more great ideas into the melting pot.
"We wanted to use the swingy feel of the song to create a jazz-type club scene. A Monsters Ball is how we describe the pit.
"Being an adult who always has and STILL thrives in the pit, I've always seen it as a carnival of monsters. Where it doesn't matter what you look like, where you came from, what you do for a living, your sexual orientation, etc. We're all the same monsters there for the same reason; to rock the fuck out!
"This song is about the beautiful, positive energy at a metal show. Too many times, mainstream media makes these shows out to be dangerous and evil, but what they don't know is that we are a big family who in that moment will do anything for each other. A family who rocks together, inevitably stays together. That's our Monsters Ball."
Added Harvey: "I always felt that metal music was something that brought all of us misfit kids together. With the lyrics to 'Monsters Ball', we wanted to celebrate that and really paint a picture of the moments that we spend together side by side in the mosh pit, letting the music course through our veins and move us."
Stated guitarist Henry Flury: "Musically, the song has a very swingy, fun and energetic feel to it. It's almost something you can dance to. The ballroom vibe seemed perfect for this song and Dan Dobi knocked it out of the park! We had such a blast making this video with all our friends!"
Said bassist Jason Klein: "This was by far the most fun I have had making a music video. Everyone got express their inner 'monster.' Felt very comfortable working with Dan Dobi and his team, and I believe he really understood what we were all aiming for with this one."
BUTCHER BABIES will join GWAR and BATTLECROSS across North America from August 25 to September 18.
BUTCHER BABIES are:
Heidi Shepherd - Vocals
Carla Harvey - Vocals
Henry Flury - Guitar
Jason Klein - Bass
Chrissy Warner - Drums