On Saturday, May 23, an event was held at the Hard Rock Cafe at the Seminole Casino in Tampa, Florida in connection with the new reality series in production called "Golf Rocks".
IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain, along with DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini, and former MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover, all sat in on a huge jam with members of AC/DC tribute HIGHWAY TO HELL and members of McBrain's MCBRAINIACS. HIGHWAY TO HELL last opened for Nicko's former side band MCBRAIN DAMAGE on their last short tour in 2006.
Some of the songs performed were "Wrathchild" and "Two Minutes To Midnight" (with Nicko), "Highway To Hell" (with Drover) and "War Pigs" (with Mangini).
A short clip of the "The Trooper" performance can be seen below.
On May 15, Sofa King Cool conducted an interview with with vocalist Anders Fridén of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if IN FLAMES' ever-evolving sound is the result of the changes in the musical climate around the band, Anders said: "Honestly, I don't give a flying fuck what's happening around, really. 'Cause we do this, truly, for ourselves. And then, obviously, it's great that people like what we do and we can travel the world and play. Otherwise, we'd be stuck in a cellar back home in Gothenburg. But, for us, it's just… IN FLAMES has always been about creating good melodies, and that's what we still try to do. But we don't wanna do the same thing again and again and again. I want to challenge our listeners a little bit. I want them to be a little bit unsure of what they're gonna get. But it's, style-wise… I mean ,we play metal. It's our way of heavy metal. It's not the right [way] or the wrong [way] — it's the IN FLAMES way — and that's how we feel and think about music. And there's no conscious decision going in this direction… We don't really care what's happening around us. Trends come and go. And if you're trying to chase what's happening right now, you'll be very late on the ball, because the trend passed already when you're in the middle of it. So, fuck that. We just do what we do, and hopefully people like it. If you don't, then…"
IN FLAMES' latest album, "Siren Charms", sold around 9,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 26 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Siren Charms" was released in the U.S. on September 9, 2014 via Sony/RED. The CD was recorded at Hansa Tonstudios (DAVID BOWIE, DEPECHE MODE, U2) in Berlin, Germany. The cover artwork was created by Blake Armstrong of Space Boy Comics.
IN FLAMES filmed a new concert DVD/Blu-ray on November 6, 2014 at Hovet in Stockholm and November 7, 2014 at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne recently took over Ozzy's Boneyard channel on SiriusXM satellite radio to play songs from their definitive list of "Ultimate Guitar Gods". Before playing the METALLICA song "Battery", Sharon said: "I feel like we're their parents. We've known them from when they were so young, and seeing them all grow up, have their own families… And since Robert [Trujillo, former OZZY OSBOURNE and current METALLICA bassist], who is, like… he is part of the Osbourne family. [Since] Robert Trujillo joined them, we're even more connected with them. It's family. You know, they are family. And [we have] so much respect for METALLICA. And [I] just personally love each and every one of 'em."
She added: "[METALLICA drummer] Lars [Ulrich] is a bit of a bigmouth — he needs a good slap sometimes — but we love him."
METALLICA toured as an opening act for Ozzy in 1986 while supporting its breakthrough album, "Master Of Puppets".
Back in 2008, Ulrich stated about Osbourne: "In 1986, Ozzy gave us our first break by taking us out on tour here in America, so whenever we get the call to play or hang together, of course, our response is, 'Fuck yeah! Just tell us when and where, and we'll be there."
Speaking to MTV, Trujillo said about leaving Ozzy's band to join METALLICA: "I was ecstatic about being offered the [METALLICA] job. But at the same time, in the back of my mind, there were also those feelings for Ozzy and Sharon that are so strong because they've been so important to me all these years. I have so much respect for them and they've changed my life. So as soon as I got into L.A. I called Sharon and we met later that evening and it was pretty emotional. About three or four days after that, Ozzy called me and gave me his blessings and he was very positive. He said, 'You've done well by me, lad. You've got my blessings. I'm not mad at you, Rob. You've been great, you're one of the best bass players I've ever had."
After the life of Paul Gray, co-founder and bassist of SLIPKNOT, was tragically cut short, a void was left in the lives of his family, friends and fans. As the fifth anniversary of his passing comes upon us, local artists have joined forces to create an installation titled "2 Minutes Wasn't Long Enough" that will be featured inside the Kum & Go Theater at the Des Moines Social Club, June 19-20.
Following Paul's passing, a SLIPKNOT performance observed two minutes of silence in his honor, to which fans wrote to his family expressing more was needed to pay tribute to his contributions to their lives. The messages of hope and beautiful sentiment have been gathered to create a commemorative photo book where the words are written by the fans themselves. Images of his costumes, guitars, and personal moments from his life will be featured throughout, and it will be available for the first time at the installation event and later online. All proceeds will benefit Paul's daughter, October.
"I still to this day receive an overwhelming amount of correspondence from those who felt passionately that Paul and his music had a direct impact on their lives," said Brenna Gray, Paul's widow. "I knew we owed it to them and to my daughter, who never had the chance to meet her father, to showcase what a special and unique talent he offered to the world."
The exhibit will launch in Des Moines, where SLIPKNOT was founded and Paul's family still resides today. Memorabilia from Paul's personal collection including guitars, masks, costumes, photographs and more will be showcased within the installation. Admission is free to attend, and doors will open at 6 p.m. Opening night, Friday, June 19, will include music by BROTHER TRUCKER, an Americana roots rock band, featuring original and cover songs during the performance.
The Des Moines event is the only currently planned, but the family is looking into touring opportunities in the future, especially in Los Angeles, Paul's hometown.
For more information, visit ForeverSic.com.
Gray passed away in May 2010 from an accidental overdose of drugs, leaving behind Brenna and October, who was born the following August.
A lawsuit filed by Brenna against Paul's former doctor was dismissed last August. A judge ruled that Brenna Gray waited until after the two-year statute of limitations had run out before filing the lawsuit against Dr. Daniel Baldi.
Brenna testified in court that she tried reaching out to some of Paul's bandmates in SLIPKNOT just days prior to the bassist's death but that none of them wanted to get involved. She revealed, "One was playing golf two minutes away from our house but couldn't come. Nobody else cared, nobody was involved. They told me it was my problem."
Brenna said in a 2011 interview with Revolver that her husband had agreed to get help for his drug problem just one day before he died.
Paul was 38 years old at the time of his death.
Although the identity of Gray's replacement in SLIPKNOT has not been officially revealed, he is believed to be Alessandro "Vman" Venturella.
On May 21, Mike Bax of Lithium Magazine conducted an interview with drummer Jean-Paul Gaster of Maryland rockers CLUTCH in London, Ontario, Canada. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked how CLUTCH's forthcoming album, "Psychic Warfare", compares to the band's previous efforts, Gaster responded: "It's hard to say, because we are so close to it at this point and it's so very new to us. It's easier for me to make comparisons, or contrast to, [2013's] 'Earth Rocker', just because that was the one that preceded it. And I feel like, compared to that record, I think there's a little more dynamic range happening on this album. I think the tempo of the songs is a little bit more far-reaching. 'Earth Rocker' had a very specific energy to it, it was a very upbeat record, and this record also has some of those kinds of songs, but I think some of the feels are a little different — maybe a little more reminiscent of stuff that we've done even before 'Earth Rocker'. So it's definitely a departure from what we did last time."
Gaster also spoke about the songwriting process for "Psychic Warfare" and how it was different from the way CLUTCH approached its previous releases. He said: "The writing dynamic really stays the same. It really just boils down to the four of us getting in a room and jamming. That's really where most of the songs start. Rarely does somebody come to the table with something that sounds like a completed song. It does happen from time to time, but, really, for the most part, it's a pretty organic thing. I think probably the change in the style of songs also happens naturally. We don't really sit around and think what we need to do something different than last time. We just tend to always do that; we sort of just react to whatever we did. Sometimes I think we do that even on a very subconscious level."
"Psychic Warfare" is tentatively due in September via CLUTCH's own label, Weathermaker Music. Songtitles set to appear on the follow-up to "Earth Rocker" include "X-Ray Visions", "Firebird", "Quick Death In Texas", "Our Lady Of Electric Lights", "Monsters", "Decapitation Blues" and "Son Of Virginia".
The basic tracks and most of the guitars for "Psychic Warfare" were laid down at producer Machine's studio in Dripping Springs, Texas, while the remainder was recorded at CLUTCH's studio in Maryland.
In a recent interview with Pollstar.com, vocalist Neil Fallon stated about CLUTCH's forthcoming album: "There's nothing out of the ordinary of the CLUTCH canon [on the new CD]." He continued: "I think these songs were written so soon after 'Earth Rocker' that they have a lot in common. It's a faster record. It think it shares a bit of the sense of humor, lyrically, with 'Earth Rocker'. There are a lot of hooks on this record."
Fan-filmed video footage of TRIPTYKON performing the song "Tree Of Suffocating Souls" on May 23 at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Marylan can be seen below.
TRIPTYKON's second album, "Melana Chasmata", was released on April 15, 2014 (one day earlier internationally). The CD was made available through a collaboration between TRIPTYKON's own label, Prowling Death Records Ltd., and renowned metal giant Century Media Records. This is the same label partnership responsible for CELTIC FROST's final album, "Monotheist" (2006), HELLHAMMER's "Demon Entrails" demo compendium (2008), and TRIPTYKON's debut album, "Eparistera Daimones", and "Shatter" EP (2010).
Like its predecessor "Eparistera Daimones", the album was produced by Warrior and guitarist V. Santura and recorded and mixed at V. Santura's own Woodshed Studio in southern Germany as well as at TRIPTYKON's rehearsal facilities in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2013 and 2014.
TRIPTYKON consists of V. Santura (guitar, vocals), Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion), Vanja Slajh (bass, vocals), and Tom Gabriel Warrior (voice, guitars).
Video footage of GIRLSCHOOL's May 22 performance at Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California can be seen below.
GIRLSCHOOL is touring North America for the first time in 20 years, reclaiming its rightful place as the hardest-rocking bunch of females to ever destroy a stage. Support on the trek is coming from CRUCIFIED BARBARA, OLD JAMES and VELVET BLACK.
GIRLSCHOOL is previewing tracks from its new album, "Guilty As Sin", set for release later this summer via UDR Music and, as a special treat, is selling a special-edition EP, "Propaganda!", featuring two songs from the new album ("Take It Like A Band" and "Come, The Revolution"), as well as revisiting two tracks from their classic "Hit And Run" album in the form of re-recorded versions of "Kick It Down" and "Watch Your Step". Rounding out the EP, which is limited to 300 copies, is the girls' blistering cover of the BEE GEES classic "Staying Alive".
Both "Propaganda!" and "Guilty As Sin" were helmed by legendary producer Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY, ANVIL).
Tsangarides previously had a brief cooperation with GIRLSCHOOL on the 1983 "1-2-3-4 Rock And Roll" EP.
GIRLSCHOOL's current lineup consists of singer/guitarist Kim McAuliffe, guitarist Jackie Chambers, bassist Enid Williams and drummer Denise Dufort.
The new SKID ROW lineup — featuring former TNT singer Tony Harnell — made its live debut this past Friday, May 22 at Living Sky Casino in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Fan-filmed video footage of the second show of the tour — which took place Saturday night (May 23) at Dakota Dunes Casino in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada — can be seen below.
As previously reported, SKID ROW has re-recorded its classic song "18 And Life" with Harnell. The new version of the track can now be streamed and downloaded for free using the ReverbNation widget below.
In a recent interview with Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan stated about the band's split with singer Johnny Solinger after fifteen years: "It was evident [that it was time for us to go our separate ways]. There were certain things going on out on the road that kind of set us thinking… Things had been going on for a little bit."
He continued: "At certain times, you just get the feeling someone isn't putting a hundred percent into things. And SKID ROW is very important to the rest of us. And we wanted to carry on with quality performances and quality songs, so we decided to make a change."
Regarding how Tony Harnell came to be SKID ROW's new singer, Rachel said: "We've known Tony for years — literally, probably since the beginning of our career. And although I wasn't a big TNT fan, I was a Tony Harnell fan, as [were SKID ROW guitarists] Snake [Dave Sabo] and Scott [Scotti Hill]."
He continued: "When we made the decision to ourselves that we were gonna start looking, Tony's name came up. And I was, like, man, it's so funny, 'cause a couple of years ago, I was up in New Jersey for Christmas and I met with Tony in New York and I had dinner with him and another friend. And we just started talking. And he's, like… He goes… We'd known each for a long time, but at that point we hadn't spoken for a while. He's, like, 'I hear you guys are doing good things. How's it going?' I said, 'It's going pretty cool.' He goes, 'Man, you guys should have called me when you got a new singer [back in 1999].' And I guess that kind of popped up in the back of my head when we knew we were gonna make a change. And we immediately got in touch with Tony."
Asked if SKID ROW is working with Harnell on a "trial" basis or if Tony is "the guy" for the long haul, Rachel said: "He's the guy. I mean, that's where we're at in our heads. It's not a temporary thing. But, you know… [laughs] if get gets sick of us and leaves, then that'll be a different situation. But things are going really well now. And we're very excited. We're very excited about our future, very excited about getting on the road."
Greg RaMar of AntiHero Magazine conducted an interview with former SEPULTURA and current CAVALERA CONSPIRACY drummer Igor Cavalera on May 3 at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if he is happy with how the SEPULTURA "book" is gonna end if the "final chapter" on the band has been written, Igor responded: "I'm not sure, man. I mean, things could change as far as… I don't know if, in the future, we're eventually gonna do the reunion [of the classic SEPULTURA lineup]. Right now, what I can say is me and [former SEPULTURA and current CAVALERA CONSPIRACY guitarist/vocalist] Max [Cavalera] are having a blast doing what we do with CAVALERA and also playing [songs] that we wrote when we were kids, like 'Troops Of Doom' and stuff like that, so I don't really see that [we] really, really need the reunion thing, where I know fans really wanna see that. But, for me, my personal reunion is me and Max; that's the core of the whole thing. That's how we started this whole thing and how we're gonna finish."
Regarding what he would personally like the SEPULTURA legacy to be, Igor said: "It's tough, because, of course, we're super proud of everything we've done with SEPULTURA. But I also… The little thing that bugs me is that I think they're [the current members of SEPULTURA] deteriorating the brand itself of SEPULTURA with fans by doing the tours and continue doing [it] without me and Max being there. So it's tough. But at the same time, [there's] nothing that we can do about it. We've gotta do what we do and keep playing."
Igor left SEPULTURA in June 2006 due to "artistic differences." His departure from the band came five months after he announced that he was taking a break from SEPULTURA's touring activities to spend time with his second wife and their new son (who was born in January 2006).
In 1996, Max exited SEPULTURA after the rest of the band fired Max's wife Gloria as their manager.
Speaking about the prospect of a reunion of SEPULTURA's classic lineup, SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser told Capital Chaos TV on May 12: "I respect our past, but I'm not locked there; I'm not a prisoner of my past. I live the present very strongly, very intensively… But I respect the past and live the present intensively so we have a future, and not really be there trying to replicate or reproduce or copy stuff that it doesn't happen anymore.'
He continued: "I have great memories working with [Max and Igor], and we really did something really special, but they chose to leave a long time ago — Max in 1996, Igor ten years later, in 2006 — and I guess they're happy with their choice, and we had to deal with the good and the bad stuff of that choice. Max, when he left, he took the management, he took all the structure that SEPULTURA took ten years to build he took all the structure that SEPULTURA took ten years to build — the bridges of trust and confidence with the label and booking agent and the press. And it really showed us the bad guys of the situation, and Max took advantage [playing] the victim and stuff. But we passed over that. It's something that was really healthy for us, because we learned so much about business and management, and how to take care of your own stuff. And we are in a much better place now; I mean, there's no doubt about it. At the same time we were playing arenas and selling lots of albums [at the end of our time with Max], our situation backstage was pathetic; it was like a kindergarten, [like] kids fighting for candy. It was a very stupid situation. But, like I said, we are in a much better place, and now we can enjoy ourselves and go on stage and look to each other's face and really respect each other on stage. We're not doing it for money only."
Kisser added: "People [who are pushing for] a reunion, whatever, have this concept of SEPULTURA playing for money, and it's not gonna happen. I'm not gonna be a part of something that's gonna cheat our fans and that's gonna cheat myself. I'm not leaving my house, my family and my kids just to be a clown on stage. I'd rather be what I am, and if you like it, fine; if you don't like it, fine as well. I mean, you're free to do whatever you want; we're not forcing anyone to like or hate us.
"But I think that's art in general. We dealt with that throughout our whole career, regardless of the formation. I think SEPULTURA is moved by challenges, and we still have so many. We just came from Rock In Rio [USA] in Las Vegas, playing with Steve Vai. It was an amazing challenge that we grew up so much, as people, as musicians and as a band. It's an amazing thing that we still have this kind of opportunities after thirty years and we're still doing something new instead of trying to reproduce that stuff, just for a few people that think they know more about SEPULTURA than ourselves."
According to the Chicago Tribune, a 24-year-old man fell to his death from a catwalk at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Friday during a CHEVELLE concert.
Kyle Kirchhoff was killed around 10:20 p.m. when he and two friends made their way through a door on the Aragon's second-floor balcony and came across a catwalk from which they were able to watch the show. A short time later, Kirchhoff's friends noticed he wasn't with them and went to look for him. They found his body after he apparently fell about 6 to 8 feet onto two metal rods. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:54 p.m.
CHEVELLE addressed the tragedy via a post on the band's Facebook page. The group wrote: "To our fans, as you may or may not have heard, an extremely unfortunate event occurred at our show in Chicago Friday night.
"We were asked by police to stop our set so that the authorities could tend to an injured fan. Once the severity of the accident was determined, the authorities cleared out the venue to give them time to investigate.
"We want to thank our Chicago fans for their respect of the authorities and for understanding that these decisions made by the authorities were out of our control.
"We love our fans in Chicago, and while there was no question that the show would be cut short in light of this tragic event, we will be sure to play for you all again as soon as possible.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of CHEVELLE fan Kyle Kirchhoff and at this time we ask that you all keep Kyle and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Alice Roques of RockRevoltMagazine.com conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, KILLER BE KILLED, SEPULTURA) before CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's April 23 concert at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about SOULFLY's tenth studio album, "Archangel", which is due on August 14 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, Max said: "It's a very biblical, very mystic, very exotic kind of a album. This is a totally different vibe [from 2013's 'Savages']. There's songs like 'Sodomites', about the destruction of Sodom; there's songs like 'Shamash', about the Akkadian god of the sun; 'Ishtar' (since retitled 'Ishtar Rising'), which is the Babylonian queen; 'Titanomachy' (since retitled 'Titans'), which is about the war of the titans. So there's really more mystic, exotic sounds and songs and lyrics. So it's really cool. It's really artistic, the new SOULFLY, which I like about it."
"Archangel" was produced by Matt Hyde, who has previously worked with SLAYER and CHILDREN OF BODOM. Max told Groovey.TV about the new CD's music direction: "It's very influenced by the stuff I listen to right now — 1349 and BELPHEGOR, BEHEMOTH… I've been listening to a lot of death metal. Don't ask me why. I don't know why. I just fucking love the extremity of it. So, yeah, it's gonna be a really cool record. It's our tenth record. And I'm very excited for this album. And then I will tour for 'Archangel' probably for the next year and a half, two years, non-stop."
In a separate interview with Metal Wani, Max called "Archangel" "an interesting record." He ecxplained: "It's one of those [records] that come out once in a lifetime, an album like that comes out — really crazy sounds and very different dimensions. It's more experimental than the other stuff. It's still heavy as hell, and it's still fast. And Zyon's [Cavalera, Max's son] playing drums on it. He's actually playing really good. He reminds me of a young Dave Lombardo [SLAYER]. The fills that he's doing [are] really amazing; he surprised everybody in the studio. Matt Hyde is producing; he worked with SLAYER before. So it's really cool; a really good team."
Max also talked about the new SOULFLY song "We Sold Our Souls To Metal", which he previously described as a "metal anthem." Asked about the mindset that is required to write a track like that, Max said: "It just happens. You can't explain it. It's one of those things… [When] you play it, it has an instant reaction on the listener."
He continued: "I was very curious about that, so I was playing around with the song, playing it for people, to see what kind of reaction it gets. And almost everybody, the reaction was, like, 'This is so crazy. I can't wait 'till you guys play this live.' It's got this kind of New York hardcore chant that we do in the chorus — like, gang vocals. It's really, really fun, and everybody gets to sing together. That's why I was thinking that it's gonna become an anthem — the chorus, all the fans are gonna sing it together, and it's saying something. 'Cause, 'we sold our souls to metal,' I think every metalhead feels like that — that we did kind of a pact and we sold our souls for this music that we love so much. So it's something that I think [they'll] sing that with some kind of pride. I think it's gonna happen when that song comes out, at least. And then it ends [in a] very PINK FLOYD [-like way], which is really strange; I don't know why we did that. I still don't know if it was the right thing, but it came out like that. Marc [Rizzo] just did some really crazy guitars at the end of it that is just, like… It goes from total metal into crazy PINK FLOYD, but it works. I mean, it's really wild. And we like wild stuff. I always was drawn to weird, weird stuff, and that's definitely weird, in a good way."
SOULFLY will embark on a North American headlining tour at the end of September. Joining them on this epic campaign are Swedish melodic death metal visionaries SOILWORK, Polish technical death metallers DECAPITATED, and hot newcomers SHATTERED SUN.
FeMetal TV's fiery redhead Mercedes recently conducted an interview with bassist Pär Sundström of Swedish metallers SABATON. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if SABATON has begun working on material for its eight album and when fans can expect the follow-up to 2014's "Heroes", Sundström said: "The next album's gonna come out at the end of next summer, if everything goes well. We have topics for it, we have plans for it, but we can't tell it yet, because it's still a secret, and also, we don't wanna tell things which might change. Because until it's recorded, you never know if it's gonna change."
He continued: "We have some good topics [for the lyrics]. We haven't really written any songs yet. We've got ideas for some songs, some good ideas. Because we are touring so much, and it's really complicated to write music on tour; for us, it's really complicated. And so, we're gonna start in the autumn writing songs. We still have some few ideas. But, really, in the autumn, we're gonna start writing [properly for the next album]."
SABATON released a special, three-disc limited-edition deluxe version of its 2014 album, "Heroes", in the U.S. and Canada on April 7 via Nuclear Blast.
Limited to 5,000 copies, this deluxe edition includes two discs of live audio recorded on the 2014 Sabaton Cruise in addition to the original ten "Heroes" album tracks.
"Heroes" was certified gold in the group's home country for sales in excess of 20,000 copies.
Note: The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Sweden has revised the sales requirements for albums to reach gold status in the country twice in the last seven years — from the pre-2002 level of 40,000 to the current 20,000.
"Heroes" sold around 3,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 99 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Released on May 16, 2014 via Nuclear Blast Records, the "Heroes" cover artwork was created by Péter Sallai. A number of bonus tracks were made available, including cover versions of songs originally written and recorded by METALLICA, BATTLE BEAST and RAUBTIER.
"Heroes" was tracked at The Abyss, the recording studio in Pärlby outside Ludvika, Sweden owned and operated by record producer and musician Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN).
Ramon of Dutch webzine Lords Of Metal conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM during this year's Musikmesse trade show, which was held April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Lords Of Metal: [Your] live DVD showed you guys having lots of fun. There was quite some partying going on on there…
Alexi: That was in the good old days. [Laughs]
Lords Of Metal: You do not do that anymore?
Alexi: We do, but it's just, we are not 25 anymore. The thing is, things change, we still have a lot of fun, but it was pretty insane back in the day, man. But…
Lords Of Metal: Wait, you mellowed down? Why is that?
Alexi: It's just… when you get older, your body can't take as much as it did like when you were a twenty-something, you know. Hangovers get so [laughs] violently brutal, I just can't fucking deal with it anymore, man. I started to feel, in the middle of the tour, I didn't wanna go out on the stage anymore. I always did my fucking job, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I should. So when something like that happens, I just feel so fucking bad about myself that I just had to take it easier and take better care of myself and make sure I feel 110 percent when I am out on the stage, because that is what I do, that's my job, that's my life. So I can't let anything or anybody get in the way with that, especially not drinking, or anything like that. So I don't really drink when I am out on the road anymore.
Lords Of Metal: Not at all?
Alexi: Hardly. I might have a couple of beers, but that's it.
Lords Of Metal: And you can keep it down? There is no urge for you to keep going?
Alexi: No, no, no. Not at all. It was kind of weird at first. The first tour I did after I decided to do it sober and it was really weird. I always was the craziest [one] on the tour. And all of the sudden I am not a part of it and to me it was quite of getting settled in just let them do their thing and not be a part of it. But once you had done a couple of tours sober, you kind of get used to it and before you know it… I am actually enjoying it. Being out on the stage is just so much more fun. Right before you are hitting the stage, you are not puking your brains out [laughs], or have to do a couple of whiskey shots to get an even kill. It kind of got to that point. I never got drunk before the show, I just needed to level. It works for me, everybody does what he does. I have always been a road dog and I always will be. Whether I drink or not has nothing to do with it.
Read the entire interview from Lords Of Metal.
Jack Antonio conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metallers ANVIL on March 25 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud player below.
Speaking about the recent passing of TWISTED SISTER drummer A.J. Pero, Lips said: "Well, A.J.'s, of course, an old acquaintance. We met the TWISTED SISTER guys going back to 1982… Yeah, it's, like, '82. I've known those guys for decades now. [It's] very sad. I think the saddest part is not going for checkups to the doctor, and that's what really… That would have made a world of difference. We wouldn't be talking about it today if he had. That's what the problem was; he didn't go to the doctor. He had long-term heart damage from heart disease and never went and had it looked after, and he died of a massive heart attack. [It's] very, very sad."
He continued: "Going to the doctor is everything. And a lot of men are very, very, very proud. If I'm not sick and if I can get out of bed, it's a good day; who cares? And until they take me away on a gurney, I'm fine. Most men feel that way. But it's probably not the smartest of options — to ignore what your body is telling you. If you've got some problems, go to a doctor."
ANVIL's latest album, "Hope In Hell", sold a little under 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The disc followed up "Juggernaut Of Justice", which opened with around 1,600 units back in May 2011. The 2009 re-release of the band's 2007 CD, "This is Thirteen", registered a first-week tally of 1,400 to enter the Top New Artist Albums chart at No. 19.
Lips told Horns Up Rocks! in a recent interview that the band will spend most of 2015 on the road, but will return to the studio at the end of the year to record the follow-up to 2013's "Hope In Hell". He said: "We have a new album pretty much all written, but we're gonna be busy probably 'till next September. So that's when we plan to go in and record again."
ANVIL last year parted ways with bassist Sal Italiano and replaced him with Chris Robertson. Lips told M.E.A.T.'s Drew Masters that Chris has actually been part of the ANVIL camp for some time now, having been both their rehearsal bassist as well as a member of their road crew. Lips also stated that he's glad the band is, once again, "all Canadian — that is the heart and soul of ANVIL."
IN THIS MOMENT's Maria Brink joined PAPA ROACH on stage once again on May 22 at the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma to recreate her duet with Jacoby Shaddix on the new PAPA ROACH single, "Gravity". Fan-filmed video footage of her appearance can be seen below.
PAPA ROACH recently released an official video for the song, which appears on the group's latest album, "F.E.A.R." Shaddix said about the inspiration for "Gravity": "'Gravity' is my testament to show other couples who may be going through a damaged relationship that they really can get through it. My wife is my gravity… straight up." He added in a separate interview with Loudwire: "I always want to put myself out there in the music and this song just more so than really ever. It doesn't really necessary paint me in the best picture as far as the cliché rock guy gives himself to the rock and roll excesses story. But we went through that in our relationship. I failed as a husband, as a father, as a lover, as a friend to her and I just wanted to write a song about that brokenness and how somehow she sees something in me that I didn't see in myself at times. She loved me when I couldn't love myself."
PAPA ROACH bassist Tobin Esperance told Billboard.com that Brink appeared on the track since she happened to be in the same studio while PAPA ROACH was recording "F.E.A.R." "It just worked out that we had this song," he said. "The idea came around when we got to the chorus about having a guest vocalist, and man, Maria was just perfect."
Shaddix told Loudwire: "We went into the record knowing that we wanted to have Maria on a song, we just had to decide what song it was, and we decided, band and producers, that we didn't want to have her on a song that was traditional, heavy hard rock. I think it would be cool to have her on something different. So 'Gravity' revealed itself. She came over, checked the track out, really liked it and lyrically understood the track, gets the track and wrote lyrics from my wife's perspective. She laid it down. She killed it."
PAPA ROACH and Brink will have more opportunities to perform the song when the two groups hit the road together, along with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and FROM ASHES TO NEW, starting September 4 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Due to the continued inclement weather in Pryor, Oklahoma, the organizers of this weekend's Rocklahoma festival have canceled the rest of the performances scheduled for Saturday night (May 23), including those by LINKIN PARK and VOLBEAT. The organizers say in a statement: "We want all our patrons to stay safe, so if you are on-site camping, we encourage you to stay at your campground. We will continue to monitor the weather and will have more information regarding tomorrow's performances in the morning."
Tornadic storms with heavy rainfall pushing through eastern Oklahoma on Saturday evening have caused widespread flash flooding in the area.
Mayes County Emergency Management director Johnny Janzen told PryorDailyTimes.com: "In a tornado situation, they typically tell you not to get in your vehicle. However, there are no substantial structures at Rocklahoma that will house everyone. Metal poles make tents an unsafe option in the presence of lightning. So, really, your vehicle may be the safest option."
There are an estimated 30,000 people attending the festivities on each day of the three-day event.
This year's Rocklahoma was scheduled to feature about 80 current and classic rock acts, including TESLA, GODSMACK, SLAYER, BREAKING BENJAMIN, PAPA ROACH, HALESTORM, QUEENSRŸCHE and ANTHRAX.
Photo: #Rocklahoma weather delay. #TheHuntingPartyTour pic.twitter.com/C0KAb6QtvI— LPLive (@lplive) May 24, 2015
Photo: #Rocklahoma weather delay. #TheHuntingPartyTour pic.twitter.com/C0KAb6QtvI
According to People, Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon, is recovering from exhaustion after collapsing "from mental and physical fatigue" following a trip to New York and Toronto. The 62-year-old, who was hospitalized earlier this year for pneumonia, is now taking a break from her co-hosting duties at on the CBS show "The Talk" to focus on her health.
"Sharon has been advised and has agreed to take a month hiatus to recover fully from these recent events," her representative told People. "Sharon would like to thank everyone at 'The Talk' for granting her this time off and to all friends, family and others for their incredible support."
Sharon was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2002 and underwent a double mastectomy ten years later when she learned she carried a gene for breast cancer.
Sharon has released two autobiographies, 2006's "Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography" and the 2009 follow-up memoir "Sharon Osbourne Survivor: My Story – The Next Chapter".
Ozzy Osbourne has often credited Sharon for saving his life.
"I'm alive because I've got a strong wife, I think," he said in a 2013 interview. "I didn't expect to live past 30; I remember when I was 21 saying I would be dead by 40. That was all right until I was 39½."
Jeb Wright of Goldmine magazine recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford about the 30th anniversary of the band's "Defenders Of The Faith" album. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Goldmine: "Defenders…" has a lot of anthems. PRIEST has always had a few anthems on each album, but on this one, most of the songs were anthems.
Halford: Yeah, I don't know if that is particular to metal. I am just thinking about it as we're talking, if that happens in any other kind of music. I think the anthem idea, whether it's your countries "Stars And Stripes" or our "God Save The Queen", it really unites everybody in the moment to something they truly love, they cherish and they believe in, whether it is your country, family, or your song, or your band. There is just a wonderful emotion that really speaks volumes through the song you're listening to. In this case, it is that refrain, "We are defenders of the faith." That's all it is, "We are defenders of the faith" and it's going around and around. It is a beautiful moment of what we strive to be in metal.
Goldmine: You're one of my favorite metal lyricists of all time. I really like Geezer Butler of BLACK SABBATH as well, but I really like what you do. When you hit on something like "In the dead of night, love bites" do you realize how good that is?
Halford: It is not about a mosquito, that's for sure, although I have my share of those in Miami! Thank you for saying those nice words. I love Geezer's words, as he is a tremendous lyricist. Another example of what make PRIEST a special band are these little mini-movies that we put into your head when you are singing the words along with the band. "The Sentinel", for example, it says, "Along deserted avenues, the steam begins to rise," and you're immediately drawn into the visual. I've always felt that it is my role in PRIEST to have a message, whether it be of any great value, or if it is just entertaining. Because I am an avid book reader and I love movies, I just love every aspect of the arts… visually, I find them very stimulating as a lyricist. I had a blast on that record writing about vampires and sentinels and then jawbreakers.
Goldmine: As we look back at 30 years of "Defenders Of The Faith", where do you think that fits into the history of the PRIEST catalog?
Halford: Looking through the rich history of the back catalog of PRIEST, I think it is important for many reasons. Mostly that it really reinforces everything that we've tried to be in PRIEST, as a classic heavy metal band, including all of the songs that we've talked about and I've described to you. It is vital for it to be recognized right now. The fans love that record so much. We played some of the songs [recently] in Brisbane and the Aussies were going mental for it. A lot of young metal fans were there as well. I was looking out into the crowd and there were a lot of metalheads in their teens going crazy for a record that was there long before they were. That, to me, is one of the heartwarming aspects of this album by PRIEST. Even though this record is 30 years old, it is still able to touch people all these years later, and I hope people will be doing that in the future as well.
Read the entire interview at Goldmine.
Crazy G of NewEnglandConcertReviews.com conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul (pictured) when HELLYEAH played at DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts on May 8. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the making of HELLYEAH's fourth album, 2014's "Blood For Blood":
"It was a really trying CD at first. We knew we had a couple of bandmembers that really had lost their focus and were becoming a detriment to the band, so we parted company with [bassist] Bob ['Zilla' Kahaha] and [guitarist] Greg [Tribbett]. And myself, Tom [Maxwell, guitar] and Chad [Gray, vocals] wrote the record. I think we made the most intense HELLYEAH record ever. I think we made the ultimate HELLYEAH sound — what we had been looking for from the start. And we brought Kyle [Sanders, bass] and Christian [Brady, guitar] in to complete the band, and it's never felt better; it's truly a brotherhood. And we've been out slamming it on the road, man. So sometimes it takes a little bit of time for certain things to fall into place, and everything kind of fell into place with this record."
On HELLYEAH's continued success:
"We've worked very hard from Day One, [since] this band started, and we haven't slowed down, we haven't stopped, and we don't intend on it. We're not 25 years old anymore, so we don't have any time to waste. We really enjoy what we're doing, and luckily, all of us are in great health right now, happy and loving what we're doing. And the stage is what we live for, man."
On HELLYEAH's upcoming activities:
"We really, from the start of this record ['Blood For Blood'], wanted to do a complete two-year touring cylcle, which we really haven't had the opportunity to do with any of the previous HELLYEAH records. We would put a record out, tour for a year and go right back and start working on another one. And so we're finally getting into the second year of touring for this record, and it's just starting. After this tour, we go straight to Europe, where [we'll be] for a month, and as soon as we get back from there, we do [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] all summer with SLAYER and the mighty KING DIAMOND, which is gonna be an absolutely amazing tour; I'm really looking forward to that. And as soon as that's done, we go to Australia and New Zealand, Japan and Indonesia, and then we come back and we do another run here early next year, which will be our final run, and then we start working on a new record."
"Blood For Blood" sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart. The band's previous effort, "Band Of Brothers", opened with 19,000 copies back in July 2012 to debut at No. 19.
In a recent interview with The Columbus Dispatch, LINKIN PARK singer Chester Bennington was asked if he hesitated to take on Scott Weiland's role in STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. He responded: "For me, it wasn't inserting myself in someone's shoes. I felt that position had been vacant for a long time. Even though Scott was there, honestly, I don't think he had 'been there.'"
He continued: "In the initial [STONE TEMPLE PILOTS] conversation we had, I said: 'Why do you guys want to give up your legacy?' It's kind of a scary thing … but the music is too deserving, too good, to not have a chance to continue."
Chester added: "People come to a lot of pre-judgments; a lot of them are going to be mad about it. But the idea of creating something new means you let the other thing go."
Asked how balances demands of two major bands, Bennington replied: "I do not have the answer to that. I don't know how to make it work; I have no idea. This sounds ridiculous, but as a creative person, I kind of go where my creative pointer points me."
Bennington was asked in an interview with ArtistDirect.com about the progress of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS' next full-length album, which is due out this fall. He replied, "We're really trying to take the musicality to a different level and to bring a lot of energy. We got super funky. This thing is as raw and real as it gets... It's fun to be a part of that and do it on that level this way. It's really interesting. I'm having a great time doing it."
Bennington also said that the band's new music is "pretty fucking insane, dude. We're rocking over here."
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS recently dropped the added "With Chester Bennington" from their name after settling their legal issues with Weiland.
The band began working with Bennington in May 2013 after firing Weiland three months earlier, claiming that his erratic behavior held back the band's career. So far it has released one EP called "High Rise" with Bennington on vocals.