Carsten Steinhausen of MetalAssault.com has uploaded video footage of QUEENSRŸCHE performing the song "Take Hold Of The Flame" on March 27 at House Of Blues in Anaheim, California. You can watch it below.
As previously reported, QUEENSRŸCHE has tapped Chris "Zeuss" Harris (pictured below; ROB ZOMBIE, HATEBREED, SOULFLY, SHADOWS FALL) to produce the band's new album, due later in the year via Century Media. The CD is being recorded at Uberbeatz Studio in Washington.
In an interview with Metal Nation Radio, QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre spoke about what fans can expect to hear on the band's follow-up to 2013's self-titled album. He said: "When you've got five guys that, everyone has different musical backgrounds… I mean, we all have a common likeness for a style and sound… But, you know, I'm always pushing for… It's a fine line, because I'm always pushing for heavy. And it has to be QUEENSRŸCHE; it can't be over-the-top heaviness… I don't wanna change the dynamic. Nobody in the band wants to change the real core sound and dynamic and style of the band. With that being said, QUEENSRŸCHE's never been afraid to try new things."
La Torre added: "The songs that we have right now are, I would say, melodic. There are some heavy tunes on there that are just, like, really rocking. I mean, some of the songs remind me, again, of 'Rage For Order', '[Operation:] Mindcrime'… We'll probably slip in something that's got a commercial… Not that we're trying to… Something with a more commercial appeal, like the song 'In This Light' did on the record that I did before. But, overall, I'm hopeful that, when it's all said and done, this record will have a really good drive, great, melodic choruses, great guitar parts, very dynamic... A little more prog… There's a little more proggy elements…
"When you've got two years [between albums], you don't want [people] to say, 'Wow, that's the best they could come up with?' You never want that. You always want, 'Hell yeah! This is another great QUEENSRŸCHE record.' And that's all that you can really hope for. But it's definitely going to have, again, what I consider all of the elements that the true QUEENSRŸCHE fans will enjoy: great drumming, solid foundation, bass driven, great guitar work and harmony things… Vocally, there's some things where I get into the upper register pretty good.
"I always wanna keep that metal… [Laughs] Sometimes I think [the other guys in the band] get sick of hearing me saying that. I'm, like, 'I wanna melt their fucking faces off.' [Laughs] But I have to do what the music calls for. And, overall, it's been a great process. It's always a learning experience.
"I'm finding, as a songwriter, what my stylistic things are, musically. I love ALICE IN CHAINS harmonies; they always had these interesting harmonies in their music. And I always find myself, when I'm writing and I'm recording, doing new things, I kind of lean on those types of harmonies. So I'm finding out things about myself as a writer that I didn't know before. And so it's a lot of fun."
QUEENSRŸCHE's latest, self-titled album sold around 13,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Century Media Records.
As a member of the legendary rock band RATT, Bobby Blotzer has headlined arenas all over the world, selling over 20 million records worldwide.
In 2015, the acclaimed drummer affectionately known as "The Blotz" plans to introduce the world to his own one-of-a-kind RATT EXPERIENCE live show.
While the members of RATT are currently on hiatus, Blotzer has assembled a group of world-class musicians that will perform not only the RATT hits fans have come to expect, but also several deep album cuts, including many songs that have never been performed live.
Blotzer's RATT EXPERIENCE is rounded out by Josh Alan (SIN CITY SINNERS), Scotty Griffin (ex-L.A. GUNS), Doc Ellis (Jizzy Pearl's LOVE/HATE) and 21-year-old guitar hero Blaze.
Each RATT EXPERIENCE show will include (depending on venue and time slot)
* A performance of RATT's "Invasion Of Your Privacy" album in its entirety to commemorate the record's 30th anniversary
* A never-before-seen video history introduction
* A tribute to late RATT guitarist Robbin "King" Crosby
* Over 20 songs, including some that have never been played live before
* Exclusive VIP meet-and-greet packages and opportunities to hang out with The Blotz!
For more information, visit Facebook.com/TheRattExperience.
Wrote Griffin in a post on his Facebook page: "The RATT EXPERIENCE featuring Bobby Blotzer will be exactly what it sounds like. A night of all RATT songs, featuring rare songs never performed live by RATT as well as the hits everybody knows and loves. Focusing mainly on their first five consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums, this will be a summer tour you don't want to miss. We are even thinking about possibly celebrating the 30th anniversary of the double-platinum album 'Invasion Of Your Privacy' by playing it in its entirety. Whatever we decide to do, we promise it to be more than just an ordinary show of playing the same old songs. Bobby wants this to be an extra-special RATT EXPERIENCE that will take you through the illustrious career of this great band that he has been 100% a part of since its very inception."
He continued: "Along with myself, the band features my fellow SIN CITY SINNERS: Doc Ellis on guitar and Joshua Alan on vocals. Also joining us will be 21-year-old guitar sensation and local Las Vegan Blaze (recently with Brad Paisley) who joined us onstage when Blotzer was our special guest a few weeks ago at Vamp'd. That was the night where this whole idea sprang from. Bobby had been looking for a band to put together while RATT are on indefinite hold, and it was obvious the SINNERS were that band!"
Former RATT singer Stephen Pearcy recently shut down the possibility of working with his former bandmates ever again. He said: "I think it's a permanent vacation. I'm just doing what I'm gonna do, and I still have other interests and enjoying some time. I'm not going out and playing a lot, just playing just to play. And [I'm] working on other things. But it's a permanent vacation, and as far as I'm concerned; the door's shut. The time has passed for a record. But I don't know… It took ten years for the last record, so I can't say. But as far as playing [together again], no. [There is] nothing else [planned], as far as I'm concerned, right now."
During an April 2014 interview with the "Trunk Nation" show, Blotzer slammed Pearcy over the singer's latest exit from the group, saying: "Everything [Stephen] says is delusional and complete lies. He's so destructive… Stephen doesn't know how to play ball, he's not a team player. It's Stephen's way or there's no way at all… He walks on everything. He's walked four times. Again, this year, he's walked… He's tortured us. I mean, he's kept us hostage for years. 'I'm quitting. I'm not going.' He's canceled shows, he's canceled tours."
He continued: "I think the rest of the band has proven — and you can go to YouTube, that we do — we go out there and we kick ass, and we're concise and we fucking play really good."
Blotzer added: "But do I want him in the band? Yes, I do. I want the nice Stephen in the band."
In a recent interview with David "Gus" Griesinger of BackstageAxxess.com, former THE IRON MAIDENS guitarist Nita Strauss, who last year joined Alice Cooper's touring band, spoke about her upcoming solo album.
"I'm really excited about it," she said. "There's not a whole lot to tell. I mean, I'm writing and working on it with some great other musicians and kind of putting the whole thing together."
She continued: "It's weird writing a solo album, 'cause I'm a band person; I've always been a band member. So it's weird writing an album where I don't have anybody to bounce ideas off. This is all… For better or for worse, this is what I've got."
Asked when she expects to release her solo CD, Nita said: "Judging by the way my calendar is looking, it's probably gonna be, like, 2040. [Laughs] But hopefully next year."
Nita previously told NI Rocks about her plans for a solo album: "It's a baby project. I'm just forming the idea in my head and trying to decide if I want it to be all instrumental or have some vocalists. I'm really excited about the concept of adding some vocals, maybe getting some female vocalists, like the girls from the BUTCHER BABIES and maybe get Alissa from ARCH ENEMY. I know I'm going to ask my friend Tina Guo, the cello player, to play on it. I just played on her upcoming album, so she owes me one; she has to play on my album. It's going to be a really interesting album. I'm really excited to see what it sounds like when all is said and done."
Asked if she is going to be playing any other instruments on the CD besides the guitar, Nita told Rock Music Star: "I'm not going to be singing, that's for sure. I want people to like the record. [Laughs] Honestly, I can't really tell you right now. I do have some people out in L.A. that I would like to collaborate with. So we will see what happens."
Strauss, a longtime Ibanez signature series endorsee who made her name with THE IRON MAIDENS, FEMME FATALE and LA Kiss, last year joined the rest of Cooper's band — guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen, plus bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
A banjo cover version of METALLICA's smash song "Enter Sandman" courtesy of Banjo Guy Ollie can be seen below.
Says Ollie about the clip: "Coinciding with the end of my first year on youtube, this one took a while but here's a full version of 'Enter Sandman', the first one in my series of tributes to all the bands I loved from the '80s and '90s.
"I was scratching my head thinking of the most random way to start the video, and as I was cutting down firewood for drying it, [I] thought… perfect !! :) True story!"
"Enter Sandman" was featured as the opening track and lead single from METALLICA's eponymous 1991 album. The song was produced by Bob Rock, and the music was written by Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, and James Hetfield. Vocalist and guitarist Hetfield wrote the lyrics, which deal with the simplest concept of a child's nightmares.
The "Enter Sandman" single was certified gold in the United States for sales in excess of 500,000 copies. Acclaimed by critics, the song is featured on all of METALLICA's live albums and DVDs released after 1991 and has been played live at award ceremonies and benefit concerts. It is considered to be METALLICA's signature song to the general public.
METALLICA's self-titled "black album" has sold more than 16 million copies in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
A short video clip of VAN HALEN rehearsing for its upcoming appearance ABC-TV's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" can be seen below.
VAN HALEN has announced the dates and cities for a summer/fall North American tour that will kick off on July 5 in Seattle, winding down on October 2 in Los Angeles. To promote the tour, the band will perform live on the outdoor stage of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on March 30, with excerpts from the performance to air on the show on March 30 and March 31. This will be VAN HALEN's first national TV appearance since singer David Lee Roth rejoined the band in 2007.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, VAN HALEN is also scheduled to appear on the April 2 edition of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".
This will be VAN HALEN's first full-length tour after the band abruptly canceled a 2012 summer run in support of that year's studio album, "A Different Kind Of Truth".
Tickets for the trek go on sale beginning April 4 at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com, with special pre-sale information being announced locally. The opening act will be KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD.
March 31 will also see the release of "Live: Tokyo Dome: In Concert", the band's first official live album with Roth.
Recorded on June 21, 2013 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, the set features 23 tracks taken from all seven albums the band recorded with Roth on the mic.
A deluxe edition of the album will come with the newly remastered "Van Halen" and "1984" albums, as both a four-CD collection and a six-LP vinyl set in special packaging.
Rehearsal for #Kimmel on Monday! #VanHalen A video posted by Wolf Van Halen (@wolfvanhalen) on Mar 28, 2015 at 4:34pm PDT
Rehearsal for #Kimmel on Monday! #VanHalen
A video posted by Wolf Van Halen (@wolfvanhalen) on Mar 28, 2015 at 4:34pm PDT
RockSverige.se recently met up with guitarist Fredrik Åkesson of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH in the band's rehearsal room to take a closer look at his gear. Check out the footage below.
OPETH's eleventh studio album, "Pale Communion", sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Pale Communion" was released on August 26, 2014 via Roadrunner Records. The cover artwork was once again created by Travis Smith — with art direction by guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt. The CD was produced by Åkerfeldt and mixed by longtime collaborator and PORCUPINE TREE frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson.
Speaking about following up 2011's "Heritage" album with "Pale Communion", Fredrik told Rock Made Of Metal: "It would have been strange, in a way, if we would have done a very metal album straight after 'Heritage'. I think this album goes a bit hand in hand [with the last one] even though it's different; 'Pale Communion' is different compared to ['Heritage']. And I know the fans are a bit divided; some people don't like that kind of [less heavy direction] and some [do]. But, I guess, a lot of people that listen to OPETH have a bit of an open mind; they can understand [why we wanted to do this]."
The Age Of Metal recently conducted an interview with drummer Michel "Away" Langevin of Canadian metal innovators VOIVOD. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about about VOIVOD's long-in-the-works official documentary, which is being helmed by Sam Dunn of production company Banger Films ("Metal: A Headbangers Journey", "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage"), Away said: "It's a project that Sam Dunn started around 2006. We have tons of material that needs to be edited, and that's where we're at right now. It's a long process, and also it's self-produced, so… Yeah, as we go along, we do bits. But the [editing] part is the most expensive part… There are interviews with Dave Grohl [FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA] and Jason Newsted [METALLICA, VOIVOD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM]. You can actually see the interview with Dave Grohl on YouTube. It's hilarious. And tons of archive, that I have, footage from all the periods. So there's a lot of stuff that can be editied into a documentary. So hopefully some day it's gonna see the light of day."
Asked how VOIVOD's music has evolved over the years, Away said: "It's not really that different. Let's say the new song ['We Are Connected', which was released in January on a split single with AT THE GATES], it's thrash metal meets punk meets psychedelia and progressive rock and a lot of the alternative music from the '80s, like KILLING JOKE and BAUHAUS as well. It's all a mixture of that. It's just that the first couple of albums were more VENOM and MOTÖRHEAD oriented, but as we moved along, we integrated a lot of different elements, and it's still there today. It's hard for me to judge, but, to me, it just sounds like VOIVOD, the new song."
VOIVOD and NAPALM DEATH recently completed a North American tour, aptly dubbed "Through Space And Grind".
VOIVOD last summer tapped Dominic "Rocky" Laroche to play bass for the band following the departure of Jean-Yves Thériault (a.k.a. Blacky).
Laroche, who previously performed with blues musician Steve Hill, made his live debut with VOIVOD on July 12, 2014 at Festival Jonquière En Musique in the group's former hometown of Jonquière, Quebec, Canada.
VOIVOD on July 11, 2014 released a statement claiming that Blacky "decided to leave the band for his own personal reasons."
SIXX: A.M., the band featuring MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx alongside guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, made its live debut with drummer Dustin Steinke of the Canadian rock band BLEEKER RIDGE on February 19 at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan as part of Vampark Fest hosted by the rock band VAMPS.
Video highlights of the concert can be seen below.
Steinke will sit behind the kit for SIXX: A.M.'s upcoming U.S. tour, which is scheduled to kick off in early April.
Based in Orillia, Ontario, BLEEKER RIDGE was previously signed to the Canadian branch of Roadrunner Records and recently completed work on a new album with Michael at the production helm, due later in the year via the Eleven Seven label.
SIXX: A.M.'s third album, "Modern Vintage", was released on October 7, 2014 via Eleven Seven Music. That same night, SIXX: A.M. played its first full live show since 2009 with the help of drummer Jeff Fabb (IN THIS MOMENT, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, FILTER), who also appeared on "Modern Vintage".
Support on SIXX: A.M.'s first-ever headline tour will come from Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA and Japan's VAMPS.
TREMONTI, the band fronted by ALTER BRIDGE/CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti, has recruited Tanner Keegan to play bass on its upcoming tour.
It was announced last week that bassist Wolfgang Van Halen will not hit the road with TREMONTI due to commitments with his main act, VAN HALEN. Wolfgang said in a statement, "I am still part of TREMONTI and very excited for the release of [new album] 'Cauterize', but unfortunately am unable to participate in the upcoming tour dates, both in the States and overseas due to my prior commitment with VAN HALEN for the upcoming summer tour in support of the 'Tokyo Dome Live In Concert' album. [I] look forward to seeing all the TREMONTI fans on the road as soon as my schedule permits!"
TREMONTI's tour kicks off on April 25 in Orlando and has dates booked through late May so far. The band will be making stops at some of the largest festivals in the world, including Welcome To Rockville, Rock On The Range and Download. TREMONTI will be opening some dates for SEETHER while also headlining shows in the United States.
Wolfgang did play on "Cauterize", which is due out on June 9, and Mark Tremonti told The Pulse Of Radio that the bass player made invaluable contributions to the record. "He's just a super-solid player, he learns stuff in two seconds and there's two key spots where we did the three-part harmonies that Wolfie would sing the very high part and Eric [Friedman, guitarist] would sing the middle part and I'd sing the lower part, and it just really makes a big — you know, it sounds nice," he said. "I love the addition of his voice."
Tremonti told The Pulse Of Radio that "Cauterize" is not the only disc he has coming out in the near future. "We put together two albums," he said. "We have this album that's [coming] out, but in the same recording session we recorded another album called 'Dust'. That's gonna be coming out who knows when, but probably within a year. So I want people to know that that record is part two of this record. It's not necessarily record three, it's just the second disc of this album. So there's two 10-song albums."
Only a world-class orchestra could pull off a project this ambitious, an undertaking so vast that none other than the hallowed halls of Abbey Road Studios could contain and record music of this magnitude. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra proudly presents an epic album of fully orchestrated renditions of progressive rock masterpieces by the likes of PINK FLOYD, YES, ELP, JETHRO TULL and more!
What's more, a stellar group of musical virtuosos from the prog rock stratosphere join the orchestra, lending their talents to these intricately arranged masterworks in a collaborative match made in prog rock heaven. Longtime MOODY BLUES and YES keyboardist Patrick Moraz adds his own unique flare to the orchestrated version of GENTLE GIANT's "Think Of Me With Kindness" while PORCUPINE TREE drummer Gavin Harrison lays down the rhythm on a brilliant version of KING CRIMSON's "21st Century Schizoid Man". This album also contains an electrifying contribution by THREE DOG NIGHT keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon, sadly, one of the final recordings he made before his passing earlier this year.
Adrian Smith of IRON MAIDEN makes a guest appearance on the RUSH cover "Red Barchetta", which was originally made available on the "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music Of Rush", released in November 2012.
"The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Prog Rock Classics" will be issued on both CD and vinyl starting March 31 courtesy of Purple Pyramid Records. Fans of progressive rock and epic symphonic rock will not want to miss this!
"The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Prog Rock Classics" track listing:
01. ELP Suite: Tarkus / From The Beginning / Tarkus (Reprise)
02. Comfortably Numb feat. Ian Bairnson
03. Thick As A Brick feat. Richard Harvey
04. 21st Century Schizoid Man feat. Gavin Harrison and Guthrie Govan
05. Focus II feat. Thijs Van Leer
06. Nights In White Satin feat. Mark Feltham
07. Think Of Me With Kindness feat. Patrick Moraz
08. Roundabout feat. Jimmy Greenspoon
09. Watcher Of The Skies (CD only)
10. Red Barchetta feat. Adrian Smith (CD only)
THE CIRCLE, the combo consisting of legendary rocker Sammy Hagar alongside Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson will release a concert album, "At Your Service", on May 19 in both digital and physical packages.
Recorded live on tour in 2014, this release documents the blistering performance of a band on fire performing hits from Sammy's four decades of rock (MONTROSE, solo, VAN HALEN, THE WABORITAS, CHICKENFOOT) as well as classic tracks from the LED ZEPPELIN catalog.
Available for preorder on iTunes, "At Your Service" will include an instant download of THE CIRCLE's version of VAN HALEN's "Poundcake", which can now be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.
"At Your Service" track listing:
01. There's Only One Way To Rock
02. Rock Candy
03. Good Times Bad Times
05. I Can't Drive 55
06. Mikey Bass Solo
07. When It's Love
08. Whole Lotta Love
09. Little White Lie
10. When The Levee Breaks
01. Moby Dick/Jason Drum Solo
02. Why Can't This Be Love
03. Finish What Ya Started
04. Heavy Metal
05. Vic Guitar Solo
06. Best Of Both Worlds
07. Right Now
08. Rock And Roll
Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock, Hagar stated about THE CIRCLE: "I think THE CIRCLE is the band that I want to play with right now. It's the band that I choose to play with over any band. Even CHICKENFOOT is hard, because we only play CHICKENFOOT. So I miss playing 'When It's Love' and 'Right Now' and 'I Can't Drive 55' and 'One Way To Rock' and 'Heavy Metal' and 'Rock Candy'. I miss doing that, as much as I love CHICKENFOOT."
He continued: "THE CIRCLE is so satisfying that I don't even see a reason to make a record. We have so many great hits that we can choose from our catalog, all of those VAN HALEN hits, all of the Sammy solo, all of those MONTROSE hits, CHICKENFOOT hits, LED ZEPPELIN songs — we have that catalog to choose from for our shows, so to make a record would just be kind of a waste of time. I wouldn't say never, but first I'd like to put together the greatest set list that ever existed in rock 'n' roll, and I think we're pretty close to it right now with the one that we have, but it can even get better. There's a frikkin' goldmine to choose from of songs that I've written and sang in my life."
Hagar's first-ever acoustic album titled "Lite Roast", was released on October 14, 2014 via Mailboat Records. Joining Sammy on the CD was Vic Johnson, longtime guitarist of WABORITAS, Hagar's backup band, on guitar and vocals.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH co-founder and drummer Jeremy Spencer will open the inaugural location of Phaze Laser Tattoo Removal on Friday, April 3 at noon pacific in las Vegas, Nevada. Spencer will be on site most of the day as the business opens its doors at 1131 East Tropicana at Maryland Parkway.
Spencer was sixteen when he got his first ink. A decade later, he came to the realization Yosemite Sam wasn't a tattoo he wanted, so he had his first experience with tattoo laser removal. Even though he had numbing injections, the experience was tedious and painful.
Now covered from fingertip to earlobes with colourful ink, as he prepares to open his new business in his hometown of Las Vegas, Spencer shares: "People sometimes regret having a tattoo with a former lover's name, or one that was poorly executed. It's called tattoo regret. Like me, they may want the old one faded enough to have new ink covering the original or removed completely.
"There are all types of lasers of varying degrees of quality. Poor-quality machines require many sessions and some even lead to damaged skin.
"I searched everywhere until I found the latest and best technology. Others may offer a cheaper fix, but you get what you pay for."
Phaze Laser Tattoo Removal will feature the Astanza Duality laser that combines two advanced specifications — an ultra-short (6000 picoseconds) pulse duration with high-pulse energy for greater ink shattering. Unlike other lasers that can't offer effective treatments beyond the first few treatments, the Duality pushes through barriers to offer complete removal of stubborn ink later in the removal process.
The store will be open seven days a week from noon to 8:00 p.m. Spencer and the tattoo removal technicians will be at the grand opening, available to explain the process, and begin scheduling consultations and appointments. The first hundred people who sign up will receive a 50 percent discount on their first session.
Spencer adds: "Laser technology has come a long way since my first experience. I'm happy to offer the latest and best available."
For more information, go to this location.
Vocalist Cristina Scabbia of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL was interviewed by "Real Nonstop Talent" prior to the band's February 7 concert in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about LACUNA COIL's "secret" to success, Scabbia said: "I have no idea. A lot of people ask us, 'What's the secret?' But I don't think there is a secret, I don't think there is a recipe for success. You just do whatever you want to do with passion and more people will relate to you because they will see the honesty that you're putting in what you're doing. So I really don't know. I always think about it every day, and I feel very blessed. We're coming from Italy; that is not exactly a rock/metal country. We're not English [and] we're not Americans, but somebody believed in us, somebody made [it possible for] us do whatever we want to do, and now we're doing this for a living and we've been doing it for years. And I think it's something magical, something we are really, really blessed with. So I'm just thankful about it. But I cannot tell you what's the secret of it. I have no idea. I wish I knew."
Asked if she can foresee LACUNA COIL ever going back to its early sound on one of the band's future albums, Cristina said: "It would be hard to reproduce the same atmosphere, because we're talking about, like, 17 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, almost. And you're not the same person just because you grew up as a person… It would be like to wear the same style of clothes [as] you were wearing 20 years ago or having the same taste. I mean, that would never happen; every person evolves and kind of changes a little bit. So it might happen, or it might not happen. It depends what happens."
She continued: "We always like to keep a balance between melodies… similarities [to our previous music], but also new influences. Putting something more aggressive, something more melodic, sad, melancholic… We just like to mix up things."
Scabbia added: 'With the [next] record, I don't know. The music I've heard so far is pretty heavy, but, of course, we want to try to put vocals on it and see how it sounds. Because we want something that kind of sounds like LACUNA COIL, but with a new touch to it, something that gives a little bit more compared to the other albums."
LACUNA COIL's latest album, "Broken Crown Halo", sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 1, 2014 via Century Media.
"Broken Crown Halo" was recorded Italy by producer Jay Baumgardner (P.O.D., SEVENDUST, EVANESCENCE, PAPA ROACH) and engineer Kyle Hoffmann (P.O.D., BUSH, ZEBRAHEAD). The effort was mastered by Howie Weinberg, whose credits include RAMMSTEIN, SOUNDGARDEN, NIRVANA, DEFTONES and SHERYL CROW.
Ex-STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland says that the way he was ousted from the band was "a shame" and blames his split with the group on the fact that the other members of STP "got different management."
STP fired Weiland in February 2013, claiming that his own solo activities and erratic behavior were detrimental to the band. The group then teamed up with LINKIN PARK singer Chester Bennington, debuting the new lineup and a new song called "Out Of Time" in 2013 at a California radio festival.
Speaking to QMI Agency, Weiland said about his exit from STONE TEMPLE PILOTS: "It's just a shame how it happened. I said I needed six months off. I felt we needed six months off in order to do a 20th-year-anniversary tour and that 20th-anniversary tour didn't end up happening and I said, 'Okay, then we need to make a new record because we can't go on just playing the greatest-hits set. It's not going to work. We're losing fanbase. Our guarantees are starting to go down.' So I assumed we were all on the same page when we left tour and it turned out not so and they got different management and things just soured."
He continued: "[I've known them] since I was a teenager. Crazy things happen, especially when you end up getting different management. People see things one way and a lot of times how things are portrayed to the bandmembers are through the goggles of the management and filtered through that and that's what you end up hearing."
STP eventually sued Weiland, with the singer firing off a countersuit and claiming that they could not use the band name without his involvement. He also told AZCentral that his former bandmates were "selfish" and "disrespectful."
In a recent interview with iChill.ca, Weiland said about STP's collaboration with Bennington: "They made an album and it sold 35,000 units. That's kind of unbelievable considering STP sold over 40 million and I'm sure Chester's band LINKIN PARK has sold pretty much the same amount. It didn't work, though. People weren't buying into it."
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' last studio album with Weiland on vocals, 2010's "Stone Temple Pilots", sold 62,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD marked the sixth top 10 for the band — its entire output of studio albums with Scott on vocals. Only its greatest hits package "Thank You" missed the top 10 (No. 26 in 2003).
Former DROWNING POOL and current SOIL frontman Ryan McCombs was interviewed last month on the 94.9 K-Rock (WRHK) radio station in Danville, Illinois. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Speaking about his health three months after he suffered a stroke following the completion of SOIL's European tour with (HED)P.E. and AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE, McCombs said: "My health was absolutely horrible. It was bad. I knew it was bad. It was one of those things where you have a bunch of crap that runs in your family and you play that thing, the ostrich game, where if you just ignore it, you think it might go away. But funny enough, that just doesn't work. It was an eye opener for me, and luckily… All the doctors [were] scratching their heads how I sat there having a stroke for the better part of ten hours before I finally [said], 'You know, this ain't right,' and went to the hospital. They really didn't understand why my brain wasn't mush, or why I wasn't a lot more affected, or long term, and I just made such a quick… [I am] still in the process of recovering, but [I am] so blessed in the speed at which I've regained certain functions, and that I'm even sitting here looking at shows next month and then continuing on my career; you know, blessed that way."
Asked if he knew he was suffering a stroke, McCombs said: "I had no idea. I just got done spending… a flight from England to Chicago, and then sitting in Chicago and stuffing my face with Chicago food, which will kill anybody. And then I jumped on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, and I got home, like, at 6-something p.m. I was tired. I don't sleep on flights; I'm afraid I'll miss a Britney Spears movie or something. I got home and I was just exhausted. I went to bed. I probably fell asleep, I think, about 11 p.m. and woke up at 1 a.m. and got out of bed. Then it just wasn't working. My right leg seemed weird; it wasn't really reacting right. My right hand seemed odd. I went back to bed, just 'cause I was exhausted, and woke up maybe one hour later, and this time when I went to stand up, I just fell right into the dresser; stuff just wasn't working at all. But I'm an idiot, and I went back to bed. I convinced myself that things were cool. It wasn't until I woke up at, like, 7 a.m. that things were just numb, and I couldn't feel my right hand and my right leg. I started talking to different people in the medical business that I know, and basically everybody was telling me, 'Go to the hospital.' Eventually, about 10 a.m. I just went, and I was there… They took me right in, bypassed the waiting room, and they just took me right in."
SOIL 's sixth studio album, "Whole", was released on August 20, 2013 via Pavement Entertainment.
"Whole" is the first SOIL album with McCombs since 2004's "Re.De.Fine" (after which he joined DROWNING POOL). It sees SOIL returning to its classic sound that fans have come to admire, with a pres release calling it the CD "that could have come directly after the 'Scars' album in 2001."
When the outspoken Gene Simmons of KISS declared in an interview with Esquire last year that "rock is finally dead," a wave of response followed, both in agreement and dissent. Whether dead or alive, one thing is for certain: backstage at a rock concert is not the same as it used to be.
Authors and photographers Paul Miles and Jason Obrotka went backstage at more than 60 concerts in New York City during 2013 to document what artists do before a rock show these days. What they saw is now released in their long-awaited rock photography book "Before I Hit The Stage: Backstage Rock 'N' Roll Moments in New York City" published by Outskirts Press — and it's the world's first book of rock stars on tour in one city during one year.
No strangers to backstage shenanigans, Miles and Obrotka have both travelled Access All Areas with rock bands before across multiple continents. After assisting on MÖTLEY CRÜE's best-seller "The Dirt", then having his own music entertainment book "Sex Tips from Rock Stars" released in multiple languages worldwide, Australian author and music photographer Miles collaborated with New Jersey fashion photographer and former GUNS N' ROSES tour photographer Obrotka on this contemporary book that takes readers behind the scenes as the stars get ready to rock one of the world's greatest cities.
So what's different backstage these days? Miles says: "The sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll stereotype came about as many record companies stuffed white powder up the nose of their rock stars, who in turn partied backstage with groupies like there was no tomorrow. But I believe it's primarily different these days because touring has mostly replaced recording as the main source of income for artists. Therefore, they just can't keep it up anymore."
A Forbes magazine article earlier this month said: "In the old days, touring was often a loss leader to promote big albums. Michael Jackson's costly 'HIStory' tour, for example, netted him less than his record of the same name. Many arena rock acts of the 1970s and 1980s had similar experiences." And during a panel discussion at the world's leading music industry event South By Southwest last month, professor and superstar economist Paul Krugman concurred that live music is, and will continue to be, where artists make the bulk of their money in the music world. Furthermore, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal noted that as record sales continue to slump, this "makes bands increasingly reliant on live performances to make money." The article also said, "Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll are out; efficiency, tech skills and professionalism are in." Based on what they experienced firsthand during their year backstage, Miles and Obrotka certainly concur, and the images in "Before I Hit The Stage" portray a fresh look at today's inner sanctum of rock'n'roll.
Tour schedules have become quite grueling with multiple shows every week, and such travel and performance rigors can lead artists to easily suffer exhaustion and fatigue. Miles says: "It's not uncommon these days to see artists resting or trying to catch some sleep backstage before getting ready to play. Despite the stereotypes of partying and debauchery from days gone by, more and more touring artists are also choosing to be sober, and will not tolerate an intoxicated band member putting their livelihoods at risk."
Obrotka continues: "Before hitting the stage, many artists choose to spend time on their smartphones and laptops instead, using today's technology to be more connected to family and fans. As show time approaches, artists go through various routines to get ready, which often culminates in a quick group bonding session before walking on stage that helps keep them grounded. Given today's challenges in such a tough industry though, rock musicians are a resilient bunch and certainly still know how to let off steam and have a great time, especially in New York City!"
Along with VIP guests Alice Cooper and Debbie Harry (BLONDIE), the full list of rock bands and solo artists shot by Miles and Obrotka that feature in "Before I Hit The Stage" are:
* Andrew W.K.
* BARB WIRE DOLLS
* Cherie Currie (The Runaways)
* DANKO JONES
* Deniz Tek (RADIO BIRDMAN)
* DINOSAUR JR.
* DROWNING POOL
* Dweezil Zappa (ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA)
* Ed Kowalczyk (LIVE)
* FASTER PUSSYCAT
* FEAR FACTORY
* Glen Matlock (SEX PISTOLS, FACES)
* GUNFIRE & SODOMY (Don Jamieson from VH1's "That Metal Show")
* HEAVEN'S BASEMENT
* IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC
* Jesse Malin (D GENERATION)
* Johnny Winter
* Kid Congo Powers (THE CRAMPS, NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS, GUN CLUB)
* L.A. GUNS
* LACUNA COIL
* Lenny Kaye (PATTI SMITH GROUP)
* Lita Ford (THE RUNAWAYS)
* LOCAL H
* Mike Tramp (WHITE LION)
* Miss Guy (TOILET BOYS)
* NASHVILLE PUSSY
* Orianthi (ALICE COOPER, MICHAEL JACKSON)
* PARKWAY DRIVE
* RED FANG
* REEL BIG FISH
* SAIGON KICK
* SMASH MOUTH
* SPREAD EAGLE
* Sylvain Sylvain (NEW YORK DOLLS)
* THE DANDY WARHOLS
* THE DICTATORS NYC
* THE DIRTY PEARLS
* THE JIM JONES REVUE
* THE ROCKATS
* THE USED
* THE YARDBIRDS
* Tony Harnell (TNT) & Bumblefoot (GUNS N' ROSES)
* VIOLENT FEMMES
* Walter Lure (JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS)
When asked what show stood out as the most special, Miles says: "THE YARDBIRDS are a legendary English band from the sixties, with successive iconic guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page — right before LED ZEPPELIN. Many don't realize that their original guitarist before those three was Anthony 'Top' Topham, who left the band the same year they formed in 1963. Fast-forward to 2013, I was the only photographer shooting Top as he was about to walk on stage with THE YARDBIRDS and play with them again for the very first time in 50 years! That was certainly special."
"Before I Hit The Stage" includes hundreds of candid and insightful images from concert dressing rooms and hallways that capture the artists in the intimate moments before their performance, presented as a unique and compelling collection of pre-show rituals and backstage antics in New York City.
For more information, visit www.BeforeIHitTheStage.com.
On September 25, 2014, shortly after the release of their "World On Fire" album, SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS took the stage at the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
The atmospheric venue, steeped in rock history, gave fans a brilliant opportunity to experience the band up close as they delivered a set packed with more recent solo tracks, including several from the new album, and classics from Slash's earlier career with GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER. The intimate setting inspired the band to deliver a scintillating, dynamic performance, due for release on June 15 on 3LP set, as well as 2CD, DVD and Blu-ray.
"Live At The Roxy 25.9.14" track listing:
03. Back From Cali
04. You Could Be Mine
05. Rocket Queen
06. Bent To Fly
08. You're A Lie
09. World On Fire
11. Sweet Child O' Mine
13. Paradise City
01. Stone Blind
02. You're Crazy
03. Wicked Stone
04. 30 Years To Life
Speaking about his working relationship with his backing band THE CONSPIRATORS — Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (touring guitarist) — Slash told Australia's Moshcam: "It's just something that clicked right from the very beginning. Initially, Myles and I just had that spark, sort of a creative connection, from the very, very beginning. And that's something that's established; it always happens when we work together. And then, with Brent and Todd, it's the same kind of thing where we just have a really great writing and performing and recording chemistry, where everybody just really digs what we are about individually and collectively, and it just works."
Asked if he thinks more in terms of being a solo artist or as a bandmember, Slash said: "I don't think I ever really thought in terms of solo artists, per se. Ever since I first started playing guitar, I've always been drawn to the band dynamic. But being in a position to steer it where I want it to go, and be more of a captain of the ship was how it first started. And at this point, now that we've been working together for a while, it definitely has turned very much into a band. But all if do is spearhead it."
Slash recently told Classic Rock magazine that he has "already started working" on material for the follow-up to "World On Fire".
"On the road is the platform that I find is the easiest for me to work on new material," he said. "It's easier here than it is for me to do when I'm at home. So I just get going. I take my phone and I record ideas on the phone and then we jam stuff at soundchecks; when we have soundchecks. So we compile a bunch of ideas, and then when the tour is over, we go home and, sort of, hash them out."
"World On Fire" sold around 29,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 10 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on September 16, 2014 via Slash's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through Roadrunner Records (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America).
"World On Fire" is the second album to feature Slash's regular backing band, MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, and follows up 2012's "Apocalyptic Love", which sold around 38,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Slash's self-titled debut album scored the highest new entry on The Billboard 200 chart in April 2010, with first-week U.S. sales of around 60,000 copies.
On Slash self-titled solo effort he employed a different vocalist on each track, before settling on ALTER BRIDGE member Kennedy for both touring and eventually recording.
Italy's Blogo.it recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH keyboardist and main composer Tuomas Holopainen. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the fact that NIGHTWISH chose to keep much of the music on its new album, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", shrouded in mystery prior to the CD's release, Tuomas said: "I don't really see the point of giving, like, 30 seconds from each song, because, for me, personally, when a new album of my favorite band is released, it's an event; I don't want to know anything about it in advance."
He continued: "I remember when 'Far Beyond Driven' by PANTERA was released, I was really looking forward to the day when it was released and cycling to the record shop, getting the album, going back, just dedicating a few hours, just listening. That was an event. That sort of things seems to be… well, if not disappearing, but there's something of that mystery is gone — basically because of social media and the Internet.
"Don't get me wrong, I think the Internet is fab; it's the perfect way of spreading information and promoting and all that. But we would like to bring a little bit of mystery back into music and to bands as well. There's a reason why we do our best for keeping our privacy. We enjoy talking about music and the album and the live shows and all that, but personal stuff is personal for a reason."
Tuomas added: "I mean, one of my biggest idols, Vangelis [Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music], for example, nobody knows anything about him. He just comes out with new music every now and then, and that's it. And I really like that sort of image. It's just the music, and that's all that matters. That's the way it should be."
Asked if it was difficult to select a single from the new album, Holopainen said: "If it was up to me, we would never release singles in the first place. It seems so unfair to put one song on a pedestal to represent the whole album. And with this album, 'Élan' doesn't really give you the right impression of what's going on, but it's sort of a necessary evil that you have to do these days, and you just have to pick up that would possibly get some radio play, which would be an easy enough approach. This time, it was 'Élan'. That's it. [But] I wish people would listen to the album from beginning to the end."
"Endless Forms Most Beautiful" will be made available on March 31 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast.
The "Élan" four-track single features the album version of the title cut, a radio edit and an alternate version of "Élan", as well as the non-album bonus track "Sagan".
The cover artwork for "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" was created by the band's longtime collaborator Toxic Angel. Famed evolutionary biologist and atheist writer/leader Richard Dawkins appears as a guest on the effort.
Longtime NIGHTWISH drummer Jukka Nevalainen sat out the recording sessions for "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" due to health issues. He has since been replaced by Kai Hahto (WINTERSUN, SWALLOW THE SUN, TREES OF ETERNITY).
FAILURE will release "The Heart Is A Monster", the Los Angeles-based trio's follow-up to 1996's "Fantastic Planet", on June 30 via INgrooves Music Group's artist services division, INresidence.
"Trying to follow up 'Fantastic Planet' was a bit daunting," said Ken Andrews, who mixed the 18-song collection with the band acting as producers. "We've pushed the bar upward again, but at the same time, we've kept the signature sound of the band intact."
"Thematically we've moved from the outer space of 'Fantastic Planet' to inner space," explained Greg Edwards. "From the dislocation of one's identity to the complete erasing of it by sleep and dreams. I think we've used instrumentation in the service of mood and emotion to an even greater degree than on our previous records."
"FAILURE is that rare band who define a sound that transcends space and time. They are truly iconic and their time is now. Listen," said Bryan Mead, INgrooves senior vice president of INresidence, about the new partnership.
The band returned from a 17-year hiatus in early 2014 with a single Los Angeles date planned. The show sold out in seconds, which led to a North American tour, including a run of dates with TOOL, and eventually back to the studio. In a recent interview with Noisey, Andrews admitted that by the time the band announced their first live outing, he, Edwards and Kellii Scott were already working on new music. He said: "One thing that Greg and I agreed on very early on is that we did not want to reform for just one or two nostalgia tours. We wanted to come back as a full functioning musical force and creatively pick up where we left off with 'Fantastic Planet'. That meant we needed to start experimenting in the studio first, which we did in late 2013. After a few months, we came to the conclusion that we were having a good time and that we liked the results, and that we thought the results were definitely FAILURE. We've been chipping away at a new album this whole time."
In that same article, Andrews and Edwards explained that their approach to writing and recording "Fantastic Planet" and "The Heart Is A Monster" have been similar, saying "The songs on 'Fantastic Planet' appear more or less in the order that we wrote them… when, we do a song now, we write it and record it soup-to-nuts without moving to another song… It takes longer, but it makes more sense for us artistically to explore a song completely before you move on."
FAILURE's SXSW performance, which was the trio's first live outing since wrapping production on "The Heart Is A Monster", included the new song "Hot Traveler", which Entertainment Weekly said "had every bit the sonic thickness, rhythmic thump, and melodic bite as favorites like 'Another Space Song' and 'Heliotropic'."
FAILURE formed in Los Angeles in the early '90s, releasing "Comfort", their debut album, in 1992 via Slash Records. "Magnified" followed in the spring of 1994 with the band's final offering, "Fantastic Planet", released in 1996. "Fantastic Planet" earned a perfect 5-star score from Alternative Press, with the magazine saying the album was able "to breathe life into the corpse of contemporary, guitar-driven rock," adding that the band was "willing to stretch the definition of both their instruments and their songs." The 17-track album is considered one of the era's most influential and enduring rock records. Over the years, FAILURE has become known as a "band's band" whose songs have been covered by such diverse artists as A PERFECT CIRCLE ("The Nurse Who Loved Me") and PARAMORE ("Stuck On You"). TOOL/A PERFECT CIRCLE singer Maynard James Keenan said, "FAILURE has been a huge inspiration to me. They say amateurs borrow and professionals steal. Well, over the years this pro has robbed those poor saps blind."
The band recently announced the vinyl reissue of "Fantastic Planet", available exclusively via PledgeMusic.
Photo credit: Ken Andrews
By the mid-to-late '80s, IRON MAIDEN was unquestionably one of the biggest heavy metal bands on the planet — regularly headlining arenas and stadiums, each new album rocketing up the charts, and t-shirts sporting their ghastly mascot (Eddie) was one of the most popular fashion statements by metalheads. But by this point of their career, most of the bandmembers were different than the ones that appeared on their classic 1980 self-titled debut album, while musically, they had transformed from a raw "punk metal" sound to a more refined "prog metal" approach.
Written by journalist/author Greg Prato, "Iron Maiden: '80 '81" focuses solely on the early era of the band. Set up in an oral history format, interviews include Paul Di'Anno (IRON MAIDEN singer, 1978-1981), Dennis Stratton (IRON MAIDEN guitarist, 1979-1980), Wil Malone ("Iron Maiden" producer), Biff Byford (SAXON singer), Udo Dirkschneider (former ACCEPT singer), Kim McAuliffe (GIRLSCHOOL singer/guitarist), Brian Tatler (DIAMOND HEAD guitarist), Lips (ANVIL singer/guitarist), Doro Pesch, Scott Ian (ANTHRAX guitarist), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX drummer), David Ellefson (MEGADETH bassist), Dave Lombardo (former SLAYER drummer), Mike Portnoy (former DREAM THEATER drummer), Richard Christy (former DEATH and ICED EARTH drummer), Glenn Tipton (JUDAS PRIEST guitarist), Pete Way (former UFO bassist), and Eddie Trunk ("That Metal Show" co-host, radio DJ), among many others.
Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist, who has written for Rolling Stone, and has authored such books as "MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years Of Music Video", "Overlooked/Underappreciated: 354 Recordings That Demand Your Attention", "Grunge is Dead: The Oral History Of Seattle Rock Music" and "The Eric Carr Story". "Iron Maiden: '80 '81" is his 15th book overall.
Available as a paperback version ($16.99), a Kindle download ($9.99), and a Nook download ($9.99), "Iron Maiden: '80 '81" helps put it all into perspective.
Read an exclusive excerpt at Songfacts.com.