Rock News

In an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts for "Good Morning America", Ozzy Osbourne, his children and his wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, are shedding light on the private health battle he experienced after a fall and Parkinson's diagnosis last February. "It's been terribly challenging for us all," Ozzy told Roberts. "I did my last show New Year's Eve at The Forum. Then I had a bad fall. I had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed all my nerves." To complicate the matters further, Osbourne revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that progresses slowly in most people, and has no cure. "It's PRKN 2," said his wife, Sharon. "There's so many different types of Parkinson's; it's not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it's — it's like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day." While it was difficult for the rock star to address what he's gone through in the past year, his fans have also been a source of support. "They're my air, you know," said Ozzy of his fans. "I feel better. I've owned up to the fact that I have — a case of Parkinson's. And I just hope they hang on and they're there for me because I need them." The singer is now taking medication for Parkinson's and nerve pain. "I got a numbness down this arm for the surgery; my legs keep going cold," he said. "I don't know if that's the Parkinson's or what, you know, but that's — see, that's the problem. Because they cut nerves when they did the surgery. I'd never heard of nerve pain, and it's a weird feeling." Ozzy said that he wanted to come clean and let his fans know about what's been going on. "I'm no good with secrets," he said. "I cannot walk around with it anymore 'cause it's like I'm running out of excuses, you know?" In early 2019, Ozzy fell at his Los Angeles home, aggravating years-old injuries from his 2003 ATV accident that required new surgery. As a result, Ozzy scrapped all his 2019 tour dates, both in North America and Europe, as he recovered. Ozzy's new solo album, "Ordinary Man", will arrive on February 21 via Epic Records. [youtube]

Former SCORPIONS and current KINGDOM COME drummer James Kottak has slammed several of the leading Democratic presidential hopefuls, saying that they are "hypocrites" who are doing their best to please African American voters. On Monday (January 20), Kottak took to his Twitter to write: "[Bernie] Sanders, [Elizabeth] Warren, [Joe] Biden, and all are hypocrites ...pandering to the blacks. It has not worked unless you want everything for free...I work for a living and pay a fortune in taxes...any Q's?" Last November, Kottak stirred up controversy when he said that blacks in American ads and commercials were way overrepresented relative to their population share. This was the second time Kottak publicly called out what he saw as disproportionate representation of certain races in advertising. Last October, he tweeted that he was "sick" of seeing commercials featuring "interracial couples," insisting that "this is not reality. It is Hollywood shoving it down our throat," he added. "I don't have one friend or friends who live in this category...just saying" In recent months, Kottak has repeatedly used Twitter as a way to voice his controversial views. In early November, he opined that "all law enforcement should be men." In September, he raised eyebrows when he questioned whether climate change is real, writing in a series of since-deleted tweets: "Tell me when one time you have seen 'killed from climate change' or 'death from second hand smoke' appeared on a gravestone....and I am a total anti smoker... it's all b s" Back in July, he angered some people on the social media platform when he wrote that "anyone against America is a socialist communist asshole." The unusual Independence Day greetings came after the musician wished his 18 thousand followers a happy holiday on Twitter. "Happy Fourth.... Trump rules!" the 57-year-old musician wrote, adding in a separate tweet: "Any one against America is a socialist communist a hole ." In June, Kottak, who calls himself a "news political junkie" on Twitter, made BLABBERMOUTH.NET headlines when he said that America should take care of its "homeless problem" before accepting any more "outsiders." Kottak has spent much of the last year and a half touring with the reunited KINGDOM COME, also featuring guitarists Danny Stag and Rick Steier, bassist Johnny B. Frank and singer Keith St. John (formerly of MONTROSE and LYNCH MOB). In September 2016, Kottak was dismissed from SCORPIONS during his well-publicized battle with alcoholism and was replaced by former MOTÖRHEAD member Mikkey Dee. SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs later said that he and his bandmates "had to make" the decision to fire Kottak, explaining that they gave the drummer "all the chances" to get better. "We reached the point — or he reached the point — where it was just not worth it," Jabs said.

Sanders, Warren, Biden, and all are hypocrites ...pandering to the blacks. It has not worked unless you want everything for free...I work for a living and pay a fortune in taxes...any Q’s?

— James Kottak (@JKottak) January 21, 2020

GREY DAZE, the '90s-era band helmed by Chester Bennington and featuring drummer Sean Dowdell, bass player Mace Beyers and guitarist Cristin Davis, recently fans an early listen to its as-yet-untitled Loma Vista Recordings debut album with the release of the single "What's In The Eye". In the clip below, Sean goes through the writing process for the song. Before he sang, screamed, and serenaded audiences of millions throughout his storied career in LINKIN PARK and a host of other projects, Chester cut his teeth in GREY DAZE. The mid-'90s band released a pair of albums ("Wake Me" and "No Sun Today") but unsurprisingly the young Phoenix-based band was lacking the expertise and financial resources to fulfill their vision. In 2017, Chester announced a GREY DAZE reunion which would see the band members, now with those previously lacking resources, re-working and re-recording a collection of songs from those early releases. The resulting music represents an important, yet unheard chapter — the origin story of one of modern rock's most recognizable voices, and also a full circle moment among friends. Prior to his untimely passing, Chester personally announced a 2017 GREY DAZE reunion on social media. As he never got the chance to launch the reunion himself, his bandmates, friends, family, and various collaborators stepped up to give the music the second chance it deserved, finishing what the late singer started. "Over the years we'd become more knowledgeable, more experienced, and had more resources, so we decided to pick a selection of songs from our previously released albums and re-record them the way they deserved to have been treated back in the '90s when we initially wrote and released them," explained the band in an open letter posted to their social media channels in December. "By February 2017 we started recording and in June, Chester and Sean announced the reunion, with a live performance planned for that fall. Unfortunately, as we all know, that never happened." Originally recorded in 1993 and 1996, "What's In The Eye" was re-written and modernized by GREY DAZE under the guidance of producers Chris Traynor (BUSH, HELMET, ORANGE 9MM), Kyle Hoffman and Jay Baumgardner. Using Chester's original vocals, the song showcases that, even at the age of 17, Chester was already "delivering intense, almost physically palpable emotion" (New York Times). "What's In The Eye" was written lyrically in different phases by both Sean and Chester collaboratively. The song focuses on a friend's premature death in a car accident and trying to understand the loss, relaying an emotional intensity that every listener will not only understand, but instantly connect with. The beauty of Chester's gifts were that he made others able to understand and cope with their own emotional pain, simply by listening to Chester's vocal expression. "As a teenager, when these recordings were done, he had this incredible raw and somewhat undeveloped voice that had an incredible tone. He had this ability to sing great rock melodies punctuated by that unmistakable guttural scream. Chester's voice had a personality that made you a believer," said Loma Vista Recordings founder and president Tom Whalley. "Listening to the new versions of these tracks, I think it represents everything that the band members and the family told me that Chester wanted to achieve with re-recording this body of work." Additional details about the album will be revealed in the coming weeks. A series of letters about the project and passion behind its release were posted on various social media channels in December. Aside from his GREY DAZE bandmates, Chester's widow, Talinda Bennington, his mother, Susan Eubanks, and his son Jamie Bennington, shared their thoughts about the forthcoming release. Among the guest musicians set to appear on the recordings are Chester's 23-year-old son Jaime Bennington, KORN's Brian "Head" Welch and James "Munky" Shaffer, P.O.D.'s Marcos Curiel, BUSH's Chris Traynor, as well as Ryan Shuck, Chester's bandmate in DEAD BY SUNRISE. In a 2001 interview with Revolver magazine, Chester described GREY DAZE's musical style as "early-'90s -style rock. It wasn't pop rock, it wasn't heavy metal. It was in between grunge and good rock. We didn't know what we were doing. We were just writing songs and singing. It was a four-piece band. Some of our songs were more rock. Others were more, I don't know, alternative? I've always been into punk and classic rock. The first few years of being a musician, it was all cover band stuff, and we'd throw in a few originals. The last band I was in, I was in it for almost eight years. We made two albums, and tried really hard." He added: "I definitely know why it didn't go anywhere: We all wanted to make it, but we all wanted to make it for different reasons. It wasn't all about making good songs, where anything else that comes from that is a fringe benefit." Bennington was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home in July 2017 after hanging himself. LINKIN PARK headlined an all-star tribute concert for Bennington in October 2017 in Los Angeles but has not announced any future plans for recording or touring. Photo credit: Tom Preston [youtube] [youtube]

According to Rolling Stone, THE BLACK CROWES' Chris and Rich Robinson are among the artists who will perform at the fourth annual "Love Rocks NYC" concert, set to take place March 12 at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Also scheduled to appear are Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Warren Haynes, Leon Bridges, Macy Gray, Jimmi Vaughan and Ivan Neville. "Love Rocks" raises money for God's Love We Deliver, an organization that cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. The concert, which has become one of the premiere benefit concerts in the country, is known for hosting riveting performances, and unique artist collaborations from many of the world's most talented and revered artists. Each year, on the stage at the historic Beacon Theatre, artists, actors and the audience are brought together for one common goal: to help feed New Yorkers who are too sick to cook or shop for themselves, and do it through the healing power of live music. "It's been amazing to see the public's incredible response to 'Love Rocks NYC' and to our beneficiary, God's Love We Deliver," the event's co-executive producer, Greg Williams, said in a statement. "There is no roadmap for putting on a concert of this kind. It comes down to a terrific team, a wonderful charity, very hard work and everyone being in it for the right reasons. It's been an honor, a privilege and a game changer for me to be involved in this project on an annual basis." "When we started 'Love Rocks NYC' four years ago, there was never a thought that it would become one of the most anticipated concerts of the year," added co-executive producer John Varvatos. "All of these incredible artists give their time, talent, passion, and hearts for this amazing cause. Music is a connecter that brings the artists, fans, and people in need together." Tickets go on sale on Friday, January 24 at 10 a.m. ET. Photo credit: Josh Cheuse

Wymer Publishing has set a May 29 publication date for "Blue Öyster Cult: A Visual Biography" by Martin Popoff. If any band deserves to have homage paid to them with a lavish, limited-edition photographic book, look no further than BLUE ÖYSTER CULT. With their origins going back to the late sixties, by 1972 with the first album release, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's journey really began. Five decades on and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT is still touring to its devoted following, both in North America and Europe. Incredibly no one has published a visual biography before, but now that has been rectified. Drawing on several thousand images and items of memorabilia this large format 240-page book is a treasure trove for the CULT devotees — crammed full of live and off-stage shots that portray the band's journey through the decades. It also includes loads of super cool memorabilia, including backstage passes, gig posters, media adverts and much more, all reproduced on high quality art paper. This is one future collector's item that every self-respecting BÖC fan will want to own. Rounding it off, "Blue Öyster Cult: A Visual Biography" is topped and tailed with 15,000 words by CULT biographer and world-renowned rock author Martin Popoff. With a new record deal and the first album of new material for two decades touted as being released in 2020, "Blue Öyster Cult: A Visual Biography" will prove to be the perfect companion and a valuable addition to any fan's collection. Customers who order by March 1 can also have their names printed on a dedicated fan page.

Greece's "TV War" recently conducted an interview with frontman John Baizley of Savannah, Georgia rockers BARONESS. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On BARONESS's songwriting approach to their latest studio album, "Gold & Grey": John: "The way that we ended up working on that record was based very frequently on intuition and improvisation. We jam a lot. A lot. The interesting thing is by virtue of the fact that we play technical music, but energetic music and there's a great deal of balance between melody, harmony and sort of something more chaotic and nasty. We sort of trusted the ideas that we got that were interesting to us were good ideas. We did not overthink it. We weren't too analytical. We wrote all this music, this crazy music that was mostly based on us jamming and then some mistake would be made or some funny thing would happen and we'd keep that. There's quite a few songs on this album where the ending part or the beginning part is just improvised entirely, or, the last song on the record, 'Pale Sun', is a hundred percent improvised song. That was the difference between this and 'Purple', which was all written and cataloged. We did 'Purple' very scientifically. We had all the music, we had all the lyrics, we had all the songs. The idea in the studio with 'Purple' was to play them right and to put soul and energy and atmosphere into them. With this, it was just all soul, atmosphere and chaos and we somehow managed to turn that into songs which is a very different way of approaching it." On the input of new guitarist Gina Gleason on "Gold & Grey": John: "The way that I approached that as the bandleader over the years, while I may be in charge or responsible for the beginnings of the songs or for the content of the songs, everybody in the band knows that they are putting in a quarter of the song, or 25 percent of what's there. It's become more and more apparent to me as we've aged as a band that the special thing about the band has nothing has to do with me particularly, it has to do with what we do as a group. I've gone back and forth between thinking that things have to be very democratic — it's a collective thing, there just needs to be a vision. What's important in this modern era of music is that character shines through, is that the idiosyncrasies, the things that are unique to me that are audible, and the things are unique to Gina, and Nick [Jost, bass] and Sebastian [Thomson, drums] come through, so it never sounds like one person writing everything and everybody else executing those things. I don't know what Gina is doing; I don't know what Nick is doing; I don't know Seb is doing. It's a mystery to me." On whether "Gold & Grey" is the most "introverted" BARONESS album to date: John: "Yes. And that's something that I had to become more comfortable with over the years, realizing, I think, somewhere around after the time 'Yellow And Gold' had been released and I had gone through this whole [2012 bus] accident thing, I started to come to the realization that the more fragile, the more vulnerable the more intimate our songs were, the more effective they were on stage, even the big rock songs and the ballads and everything in between, it always felt like the songs that were most effective, the songs we enjoyed the most and the songs the crowd enjoyed the most were the songs that had the most exposed theme. This record, at this point, I realize the struggles that I go through and my experience in my life and this sort of bitter moments or melancholic moments or the sadness or the anger, the pain, those are what make our songs good. Sort of in a backward way, I focus on all the negative stuff. Through this music, I've been able to take all of those experiences and turn them into something that is dear to me and uplifting and positive." On whether he will feel "free" now that "Gold & Grey" is the last BARONESS album to use a color in its title: John: "I think so. I think at this point, we don't — trust me, when I say that it's nice to have some freedom ahead, it's not to say we ever felt confined before. That's only to say that if we continue this same progression, it would feel a bit like we have become a singular direction when what we chose to do and what our goal is through our music, we chose to stand against linearity, we want to radiate out from the center. We have a core sound and all these different, diverse sorts of styles and textures that we use, revolve around that central thing as opposed to 'We want to get bigger and go up.' It's different than that. It's more 'Let's involve everybody. Let's be more open to our audience. Let's share more with them. Let's let them share more with us.' That's sort of the philosophy at this point." "Gold & Grey" was released last June via Abraxan Hymns. BARONESS released its Grammy-nominated fourth album, "Purple", in 2015. [youtube]

Norwegian metal avant-gardists ENSLAVED filmed a new music video earlier this month at the South Coast of Iceland and Reykjanes. For the new clip, frontman Grutle Kjellson spent five days in Iceland with video producer Gaui H from Gaui H Pic, his production assistant Marita Joensen and the actors Striga and Kolbeinn. Kjellson stated: "Having the time of my life on the Saga Island. Working with some of the most talented people I have ever met, and in surroundings that would make every human totally speechless. Shooting a music video here seems like an easy task, as ENSLAVED and Iceland are truly meant for each other. Alu Alu Laukar!!" ENSLAVED recently entered the studio to record its new album for a tentative May 2020 release via Nuclear Blast Records. The disc was tracked in Bergen in Duper Studio and next door at drummer Iver Sandøy's Solslottet Studio before it was mixed at Fascination Street in Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren. ENSLAVED founding member and guitarist Ivar Bjørnson stated about the upcoming LP: "The new material I feel is very powerful. The ENSLAVED signature is there, but there is a wild drive and a level of energy that makes me extremely excited. All five members have poured their dedication and souls into the preparations, and there are new sides to the band shown that will elevate this album." ENSLAVED's latest album, "E", came out in 2017.

MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has commented on the band's first show since frontman Dave Mustaine's throat cancer diagnosis. Monday night's (January 20) concert in Helsinki, Finland as the support act for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH marked MEGADETH's first live appearance in 15 months. Earlier today, Ellefson shared a picture of the Hartwell Arena show on Facebook and included the following message: "This is a photo from tonight's tour kick off show in Helsinki, one filled with overwhelming gratitude from the four of us for the return of Dave's health, and the privilege for us to perform for you again. The reality and weight of what hung in the balance during Dave's cancer treatments these last months really shone through during the Q&A at the pre-show VIP meet n greet and in each song we performed on that stage. Life is a gift & our health is precious. Thank you for all the prayers and support to Dave and the @megadeth camp these past months....they surely worked! We are blessed to celebrate this new decade on a sold out tour across Europe! Hope to see you there. Godspeed.... #5fdp #megadeth #badwolves (Photo by @rockaroundtblog)" Mustaine and his bandmates played an 11-song set which included such favorites as "Hangar 18", "Peace Sells" and "Symphony Of Destruction". MEGADETH's tour with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and BAD WOLVES will visit 13 more European countries before ending on February 20 at the Budapest Sportarena in Budapest, Hungary. The 58-year-old MEGADETH leader revealed his cancer diagnosis last June on social media. Five months later, he gave an interview to Rolling Stone in which he said that he wasn't officially in remission but that he had finished the necessary treatment and had started rehabilitation. He also credited his faith for getting him through the ordeal. "I've been praying for a long time, and when this whole thing went down, I prayed a lot," he said. "I don't force it on anybody; I never would do that. But I prayed about it, and I believe that that was the whole reason I got healed so fast. A lot of people's asses are probably going to grow together right now that I said this, but the truth of the matter is, everybody has their own things that they believe. And I believe that taking good care of myself and being physically fit, as well as spiritually fit, got me back to this point." Mustaine said that his positive mindset also helped him through this most testing of journeys. "I'm not letting the cancer get me down," he said. "I have to thank the fans and obviously my family and God but there was no way I was going to let this take me down. When [BLACK SABBATH guitarist] Tony Iommi got cancer, I thought, 'Oh, my God, he's gonna die.' And I actually cried. I wept, because they had said it was stage 4 cancer. And then, when I got it, I thought, 'Oh, my God. I'm gonna die.' Because I didn't know how bad it was. I thought of the fans and how sad everybody was gonna be. And I thought, 'I have to beat this.' No matter what, there's no way I'm gonna act like I can't do this. I can do anything if I set my mind to it." MEGADETH has been working on its 16th album, which Ellefson said is due out early next year. This is a photo from tonight's tour kick off show in Helsinki, one filled with overwhelming gratitude from the four of... Posted by David Ellefson on Monday, January 20, 2020 [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]

Illinois's STABBING WESTWARD was a mainstay on terrestrial rock radio at the turn of the century due to memorable hits like "Save Yourself". The industrial rockers were off everyone's radar for years before reuniting in 2016 for shows and tours. That period of rebirth has led to their first batch of newly recorded material in nearly two decades in the form of the recently released EP, "Dead and Gone", which follows last year's re-release of their 1992 "Iwo Jesus" EP. Fortunately for longtime fans, and in spite of its brevity, the EP serves to remind listeners why they are regarded as one of the catchiest industrial rock outfits of the last quarter century. The band formed in the Midwest in 1986 before eventually migrating to the city of angels years later, and they were prolific primarily through the nineties prior to disbanding in 2002. Since the ensemble's reboot in 2016, founding members Christopher Hall (vocals/multi-instrumentalist) and Walter Flakus (keyboardist) have moved forward with a new rhythm section in the form of drummer Bobby Amaro (ex-ORGY) and bassist Carlton Bost (DEADSY/ORGY) through to their long-awaited, brand new offering. "Dead and Gone" is a collection of three new tracks accompanied by two remixes of those songs. The EP is short and sweet, but it offers enough to tide over longtime fans until their next full-length release. The title track is driven by an enveloping synth drive that meshes perfectly with Hall's emotive lyrical and vocal outpouring. The track's thematic sense of struggle is mirrored appropriately with the musical energy that travels through peaks and valleys. The "Dead and Gone (Stoneburner Remix)" reinterpretation steers clear of the source material's more aggressive tendencies, but maintains enough of the ebb and flow qualities to keep it interesting, however, it's far from exceptional. An unmistakable Middle Eastern quality underlies "Cold"'s synths in a seductive manner that's captivating and memorable. The song's contextual references to romantic love that has morphed into unrequited love, where the object of one's desire has become ice cold is powerfully conveyed and interestingly captured within the form of a pop song crafted by an industrial rock band. The partnering remix track propels an equal degree of groove, yet it proves to be just as unremarkable as the EP's other remix track. Rounding out the EP, "Crawl" builds momentum with simplicity toward a provocative, massive, dense sound mass. Yet again, romantic love establishes itself as the release's motif, cemented with Hall's signature vocal stylings and passionate delivery. The "Dead and Gone" EP ultimately proves how memorable STABBING WESTWARD's industrial rock can be, and it serves as a teaser for a looming full-length album that many are anticipating. STABBING WESTWARD may not sound as fresh and new as they did in the nineties, but they sound just as passionate and exciting as ever.

There are times in life, particularly when the world appears to be circling the cosmic plughole, that only a large, jolting dose of massive riffs and Satan will do. VESSEL OF LIGHT peddle a gloriously gritty and filth-ridden strain of oh-so-New-Jersey doom that exhibits a laudable disregard for straying from the left-hand path. If you like BLACK SABBATH and hate the world, "Thy Serpent Rise" already has your card marked. Band mastermind and guitarist Dan Lorenzo is one of those players with a seemingly direct neurological connection to the Iommian mothership: it's obvious from the tsunami of irresistible riffs that is "Abandon Life" that this is both more of the same winning formula that made 2018's "Woodshed" album such a riotous cult hit and a huge step up in confidence and muscle. Liberated from the artful rituals of ANCIENT VVISDOM, vocalist Nathan Opposition sounds reborn as some infernal blues druid, with an authoritative rasp that makes these nefarious and often sexually charged lyrics bristle with believability. He deserves particular credit for singing the chorus to, erm, "Meet and Bone" with a straight face. Fortunately, the riffs underpinning the whole thing are unquestionably as serious as Hell. Elsewhere, VESSEL OF LIGHT deliver plenty of malevolent money shots, from the crippling, Southern fried slurry of "Rush of Blood" to the swaggering, priapic shuffle of "Save My Soul". The latter, in particular, swings like a megalodon's man-bag and delivers such a rush of Sabbathian goodness that you may find yourself laughing out loud. It's all delivered with a scowl and a sneer, of course, and Lorenzo's riffs are so consistently strong that any slight hints of goofiness vanish in a boozy, THC-soiled and fervently unholy haze. And if that all sounds like too much fun for a doom record, the utterly crushing "Decomposing Mental Health" will whip the emotional rug from underneath your feet. Arguably the most powerful moment here, it's a somnambulant slither through anguished cerebral wastes, Lorenzo's riff-machine set to eviscerate and Nathan Opposition, possessed and assailed, growling his dismay. Put simply, it's heavy as shit. Substantial nourishment for fans of heavy metal's slow-motion essence, VESSEL OF LIGHT have unleashed a serpent with the sharpest of teeth. Once bitten, infernally smitten.

THE DEAD DAISIES — the hard rock "collective" founded by Australian musician and businessman David Lowy — is mixing its fifth album for an April 24 release. Recorded at La Fabrique Studios in the south of France, the follow-up to 2018's "Burn It Down", will be the band's first to feature Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), who joined the group last year as its new bassist and vocalist, replacing John Corabi (MÖTLEY CRÜE) and Marco Mendoza (THIN LIZZY). In an interview with "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" at this past weekend's NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, Hughes spoke about how he came to be involved with THE DEAD DAISIES. He said (see video below): "They wanted someone in, and they were asking me about a year ago if I would be interested in doing this. And I've been doing the 'Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple' [shows] for a couple of years, and I thought it would be appropriate for me to take a break from that and do something other than [that]. And I got together with the guys and we had a play. I've known Doug [Aldrich, THE DEAD DAISIES guitarist] a long time, as you know. And it just fell together beautifully. It's a beautiful piece of music. I can't wait for people to hear it." Asked what the new DEAD DAISIES material sounds like, Glenn said: "It's classic rock and it's a groovy album. It's got a lot of melodies to it. It's what you can imagine with me joining them — what could have happened and what has happened. It's a very interesting piece of music." According to Glenn, "the ability to be in a wonderful place in the south of France" to make the new DEAD DAISIES album made for "a wonderful atmosphere. Spooky and haunted, but I've been in a lot of those places," he explained. "It was a great moment to make this record with those guys in that genre of a castle — château, if you will. I don't know if you've seen any footage of it. It's grand and glorious. … "When you get a band together, especially with me coming in as the 'new guy,' and then you actually live together — you have breakfast, lunch and dinner — and you're in the same place," he continued. "And you wake up, and it's work, work, work. And I thought it was a great process to be, for six weeks, doing that, to make it really jell. And it worked wonderful." Hughes went on to praise Lowy, saying that collaborating with THE DEAD DAISIES leader — who is also the son of billionaire Frank Lowy, the founder of one of the biggest retail groups in the world, Westfield — was a "wonderful" experience. "He's a studious guitar player," Glenn said. "He works his socks off. With Doug playing lead, David plays rhythm, it's a good combination with me playing the way I play. "Listen, I love Marco Mendoza — a dear friend of mine — and I love John Corabi, but they left the band," Glenn said. "And here I am. But people need to know that they're my friends and I love them dearly. And they are still part of THE DEAD DAISIES family, and that's the way it is. The love factor is very high with all of us." Asked about THE DEAD DAISIES' touring plans, Glenn said: "We start end of April. There'll be something [which] will be announced very soon. And we may do a couple of soft openings somewhere in America. But the first thing we do on the touring schedule is festivals in Europe." Last August, THE DEAD DAISIES released "Righteous Days", the band's first song to feature Hughes. According to Wikipedia, since the band's formation in 2012, THE DEAD DAISIES has featured two dozen different members (including "session" players and "temporary substitutes"), including drummer Brian Tichy (FOREIGNER, WHITESNAKE), GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Richard Fortus and GN'R keyboardist Dizzy Reed. The group has toured with the likes of AEROSMITH, KISS and BLACK STAR RIDERS. Known as the "voice of rock," the 67-year-old Hughes is best known for fronting the Mk. III and Mk. IV lineups of DEEP PURPLE in the mid-1970s and for singing on BLACK SABBATH's 1986 album "Seventh Star". He was replaced by Ray Gillen after only six live performances with the band. In 2009, Hughes formed BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION with blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, SONS OF APOLLO) and drummer Jason Bonham (BONHAM, FOREIGNER). Hughes recently told Midlands Metalheads Radio that the group will reunite to record its fifth album in January of 2021. Photo courtesy of THE DEAD DAISIES Facebook page [youtube]

The popular vinyl collectible company Funko — best known for its big-headed Pop! figures — has been revealing new products all day today at London Toy Fair, including several new artist collaborations. Among the bands that Funko has partnered with are SLIPKNOT, SLAYER, GHOST, MOTÖRHEAD and ZZ TOP. Check out the new collaborations below. The London Toy Fair takes place at Olympia on January 21-23. Other artists who have gotten the Pop! Rocks treatment in the past include KISS, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, GUNS N' ROSES, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, DEF LEPPARD and Rob Zombie. A Funko vinyl Pop! figure, or popularly known as a "Pop!", is packaged carefully inside a box with a transparent front. The figurine is made out of vinyl and may come as a bobblehead. Funko reported that these figurines increased its sales by 38 percent in the second quarter of 2019. International sales spiked 65 percent to $68.5 million, while U.S. revenue grew 26 percent to $122.7 million. Headquartered in Everett, Washington, Funko is a leading pop culture consumer products company. Funko designs, sources and distributes licensed pop culture products across multiple categories, including vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares and accessories for consumers who seek tangible ways to connect with their favorite pop culture brands and characters. View this post on Instagram

2020 London Toy Fair Reveals: Slipknot! @bravadousa #bravadousa @slipknot #slipknot #FunkoLTF #Funko #ToyFair

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2020 London Toy Fair Reveals: Slayer! @globalmerchservices #globalmerch @slayerbandofficial #slayer #FunkoLTF #Funko #ToyFair

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2020 London Toy Fair Reveals: Motörhead! @globalmerchservices #globalmerch @officialmotorhead #motorhead #FunkoLTF #Funko #ToyFair

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2020 London Toy Fair Reveals: Ghost - Papa Nihil! #FunkoLTF #Funko #ToyFair #PapaNihil

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2020 London Toy Fair Reveals: ZZ Top! @epicrights #epicrights @zztop #zztop #FunkoLTF #Funko #ToyFair

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In a brand new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens was asked for his opinion on musicians expressing their political views, either through their music or via social media. Owens responded: "If you don't like somebody, or you don't like an angle, or you don't like whatever, to wish death upon people and hatred — I watch these people post that. I'm, like, 'Man, you are absolutely crazy.' But it's what it is. Everybody can have their opinion; I don't have to agree with it. "Listen, if anybody thinks stuff about me — I'm like a middle-of-the-road guy in politics," he continued. "I don't really talk too much about it. My Facebook page and my Instagram and Twitter pages aren't filled with it. I don't post about it — I might like something, but I don't post it. I kind of call it common sense — I think whatever is right, I kind of think is right. But, man, when someone thinks you're one way… I'm not joking about it. This never happened in the past. Eight years ago, four years ago, ten years ago, this stuff didn't happen — I get messages wishing death upon my family if I don't believe in their political views. And it's the craziest thing I've ever seen. I've never done that in my life. "If I have someone in music or an artist that just constantly posts crap — that I think is crap — all the time, that doesn't agree with me, I just don't follow them. I don't unfriend them — I just don't [wanna] look at it. Or if there's a song [with political lyrics], I don't have to listen to it anymore, if I don't agree with it. Or I still might like the song and still listen to it — I don't have to agree with it. "It's so strange nowadays," Owens added. "I've never seen anything like this. It's weird — [people] don't even give things a chance, and they just kind of go off one way or the other — left, right [or] the middle. But the hatred that they do, you never would have gotten away with that years ago — period. Period. I mean, you wouldn't get away with half the stuff that people do, and it's kind of crazy." According to Owens, the widespread use of social media has reshaped and redefined the ways in which we communicate and express ourselves, including facilitating an explosion in bullying and shaming. "People can do what they want," he said. "If it's your opinion, but you're using hate to spew it, or wishing bad things upon other people because they don't agree, that's what I don't like it. "It's been done in music and TV for years — forever — but when you didn't agree with it, you didn't say, 'I hope you die,'" he continued. "That's what's changed. You used to listen to [somebody], 'Yeah, I don't agree with that. But I'll still listen to John Lennon, even though I agree with him. I don't agree with what THE BEATLES are saying, but I'll still listen to 'em.' But now it's kind of weird." "Social media has been around for 10 years now, but it's just really happened in the last couple of years where people feel like hatred is okay. Political parties didn't use to spew as much hatred as what happens in the world now. They might have thought it, but you didn't post pictures of people getting their throats slit. … But that's what people do now. It's a weird world now. And social media did it. Now people slowly can realize, 'You know what? I'm probably pretty safe by telling Tim I hope his family dies, because I don't like what he agrees with.' So that's just the way it is. That shows you the mentality of some people." Owens, who frequently "likes" tweets that support President Donald Trump's policies and that are derogatory to Democrats, weighed in on the U.S. presidential race back in 2016, saying that Trump was perhaps what America needed to move the country forward. Claiming that he wasn't a Democrat or a Republican ("I'm in the middle," he said), Owens explained that he couldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because of "the way they tax people." He went on to say that America "had eight years of really bad" under President Barack Obama and opined that "a lot of American people" were "just trying to figure out something other than what [Obama] was doing." Back in 2012, Owens revealed in an interview that he was voting for Mitt Romney in that year's election.

IN THIS MOMENT has released a teaser for the official music video for a new song apparently called "The In-Between". The full track is expected make its online debut on Wednesday, January 22. Last fall, IN THIS MOMENT began playing another new song called "Legacy" during its concerts. Both tracks are expected to appear on the band's upcoming album, "Mother". The disc was once again recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with producer Kevin Churko. Guitarist Chris Howorth told the 99.7 The Blitz radio station about "Mother": "It's kind of an extension of [2017's] 'Ritual'. And the reason we thought of 'Mother'… It's a lot of different things, but a lot of the fans call Maria [Brink, IN THIS MOMENT singer] 'mom,' for one. They're always, like, 'Maria's my mom' and 'Mother Maria' and all this. That was always kind of there. We were actually even talking about it for the last album, but I felt like maybe we weren't ready for it yet. But it's also 'mother' in the sense of 'Mother Earth,' the creation of life — all these things that mother has such significance for. Mother is kind of connected to everything. So, in all that sense, it's really cool and it gives us a lot to pool from. And Maria's a mom; she was raised by her mom; everybody has a mom, in some sense. So, that whole concept is kind of what we were going for. With the extension of 'Ritual', the album before, and some of the imagery with that, the ritualistic, pagan kind of feel." IN THIS MOMENT recently announced a spring 2020 headlining tour, dubbed "The In-Between Tour". Support on the trek will come from BLACK VEIL BRIDES, DED and RAVEN BLACK. Originally formed by Brink and Howorth in 2005, IN THIS MOMENT released its debut album, "Beautiful Tragedy", in 2007. Their 2014 album "Black Widow" landed at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the Hard Rock Albums chart.

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— ➕?? ???? ??????➕ (@OfficialITM) January 20, 2020

German industrial veterans RAMMSTEIN have revealed more details of their 2020 North American tour. After sharing a graphic of the continent with various states and provinces highlighted, RAMMSTEIN has now posted a video (see below) featuring rapid-fire flashes of 10 cities, each with a corresponding graphic of a stadium or arena. The official RAMMSTEIN North American tour announcement is expected in the next day or two, with tickets going on sale at the end of the week. RAMMSTEIN 2020 tour cities: * Philadelphia, Pennsylvania * Mexico City, Mexico * Minneapolis, Minnesota * Los Angeles, California * San Antonio, Texas * Chicago, Illinois * Montreal, Quebec, Canada * Foxborough, Massachusetts * Washington D.C. * East Rutherford, New Jersey RAMMSTEIN's seventh, untitled album came out last May via UME/Spinefarm in Europe and Caroline Records in the U.S. The band's first studio disc since 2009's "Liebe Ist Für Alle Da" was produced by Olsen Involtini with RAMMSTEIN and was mixed at a Santa Monica, California studio with Rich Costey, an American producer who has previously worked with MUSE, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and FRANZ FERDINAND, among others. RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Kruspe told Metal Wani about the making of the band's new album: "Well, when I thought to do another RAMMSTEIN record, I was like, 'No, I'm going to do that. I'm not going through more suffering.' That was four years ago. But what we did in the beginning is we said 'Let's get together and try to come up with three or four songs.' We didn't really put any pressure on us, which was very important at this time. While we were starting to rehearse and stuff and getting ideas, I thought, 'Wow, it's actually very good. Things have changed.' All of a sudden, there's a certain kind of respect that I always missed a little bit. We just had good chemistry, which reminded me of the first time when we started. Then I felt, like, 'What would interest me on a new RAMMSTEIN record?' I thought, 'Every time people talk RAMMSTEIN, it's about fire. It's all about the show.' Nobody talks about the music anymore for RAMMSTEIN, and it kind of bothered me. I was thinking, 'I want to do another record. It has to be musical in a way that can really stand out from other records.' That was my goal, or our goal." RAMMSTEIN will embark on a European stadium tour this spring. The trek will kick off in May and include shows in Germany, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Photo credit: Jens Koch View this post on Instagram


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BLACK VEIL BRIDES' longtime bassist Ashley Purdy spoke to Sonic Perspectives about his surprise departure from the band last November. His exit from the group took place not long after he spent time in a psychiatric hospital to undergo intensive grief counseling and therapy from a few recent deaths and tragedies. "What sucks was the timing of it all," Ashley said. "They didn't have anything to do with each other. There are legal aspects of what I can say about the departure. "Fans of the band are continually coming up to me, asking why did I leave the band. Technically, I didn't leave; I'm just not in the band anymore. I have to talk in those terms right now. "BLACK VEIL BRIDES is a corporate business, and there are legal rules," he explained. "It's like a divorce, and we are working it all out. "People can make their own assessments about things, but when you make a record, don't tour for two years, only to make another record, don't tour for two more years, the morale of the band starts to go away. The band is a job, and it's how you pay your bills and put food on the table. When it doesn't happen, you have to start looking for other things to do." Purdy also offered an update on his emotional and physical well-being, saying: "It just had to take its course, but at least I was strong enough to know I needed to seek help. I was trying to be a tough guy and deal with it on my own until one day I broke. I went to a physician to get some meds after telling him my story, and he was, like, 'No, you need more treatment.' I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a week to get medicine, therapy, and grief counseling. At the group sessions, I heard other people's stories and knew I wasn't alone. The oddest thing was a psychic medium who I didn't know, reached out to me through a friend of a friend to give me a message from the people who passed into the afterlife. What the medium told me was very believable, as nobody would have known the level of details they shared. Strangely, hearing that they were okay helped me. This whole thing changed my perspective and I'm living a different way. I'm an open book now. There is nothing I won't say or do or help someone. It's part of life, and I'm accepting of it." Just one week after his split with BLACK VEIL BRIDES, Purdy was reportedly arrested by Nashville police after being found unresponsive behind the wheel of his vehicle, with the engine running. He was eventually awakened by the officers, who placed him in the rear of their patrol vehicle where he "urinated all over the back seat of the patrol vehicle" on the way to the hospital, and threatened officers when they discovered it, according to Scoop Nashville. Purdy recently released a new solo song called "Nowhere". Another single will be made available in the coming weeks. In November, BLACK VEIL BRIDES announced the addition of bassist Lonny Eagleton to the group's ranks. Eagleton previously played with BLACK VEIL BRIDES singer Andy Biersack (a.k.a. Andy Black) on his solo tour. Photo courtesy of Ashley Purdy's Facebook page [youtube]

MEGADETH played its first show since frontman Dave Mustaine's throat cancer diagnosis earlier tonight (Monday, January 20) in Helsinki, Finland. It marked the band's first live appearance in 15 months. Mustaine and his bandmates opened for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH at the Hartwell Arena with an 11-song set which included such favorites as "Hangar 18", "Peace Sells" and "Symphony Of Destruction". MEGADETH's setlist was as follows: 01. Hangar 18 02. Wake Up Dead 03. Sweating Bullets 04. Dawn Patrol 05. Trust 06. A Tout Le Monde 07. She-Wolf 08. Dystopia 09. Symphony Of Destruction 10. Peace Sells Encore: 11. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due Fan-filmed video footage of the show can be seen below. MEGADETH's tour with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and BAD WOLVES will visit 13 more European countries before ending on February 20 at the Budapest Sportarena in Budapest, Hungary. The 58-year-old MEGADETH leader revealed his cancer diagnosis last June on social media. Five months later, he gave an interview to Rolling Stone in which he said that he wasn't officially in remission but that he had finished the necessary treatment and had started rehabilitation. He also credited his faith for getting him through the ordeal. "I've been praying for a long time, and when this whole thing went down, I prayed a lot," he said. "I don't force it on anybody; I never would do that. But I prayed about it, and I believe that that was the whole reason I got healed so fast. A lot of people's asses are probably going to grow together right now that I said this, but the truth of the matter is, everybody has their own things that they believe. And I believe that taking good care of myself and being physically fit, as well as spiritually fit, got me back to this point." Mustaine said that his positive mindset also helped him through this most testing of journeys. "I'm not letting the cancer get me down," he said. "I have to thank the fans and obviously my family and God but there was no way I was going to let this take me down. When [BLACK SABBATH guitarist] Tony Iommi got cancer, I thought, 'Oh, my God, he's gonna die.' And I actually cried. I wept, because they had said it was stage 4 cancer. And then, when I got it, I thought, 'Oh, my God. I'm gonna die.' Because I didn't know how bad it was. I thought of the fans and how sad everybody was gonna be. And I thought, 'I have to beat this.' No matter what, there's no way I'm gonna act like I can't do this. I can do anything if I set my mind to it." Although most of MEGADETH's 2019 tour dates were canceled as Mustaine battled the disease, the MEGADETH-curated Megacruise — which took place in October — still departed as scheduled, with Dave absent from the ship. MEGADETH has been working on its 16th album, which bassist David Ellefson said is due out early next year. [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] Megadeth takaisin keikkalavoilla! ?? Posted by Kaaoszine on Monday, January 20, 2020

Original ALCATRAZZ bassist Gary Shea has rejoined the band. The group's current lineup is rounded out by fellow founding members Graham Bonnet (vocals) and Jimmy Waldo (keyboards), along with guitarist Joe "Shredlord" Stump and drummer Mark Benquechea. ALCATRAZZ's new studio album is nearly complete and will be released mid-2020. The disc was mixed by Andy Haller. Bonnet says: "This album is for fans of the first two ALCATRAZZ records, in particular the one with Yngwie [Malmsteen]. We are not messing around here. This is going to be heavy and guitar-driven — plenty of that neo-classical guitar style, along with heavy riffs and over-the-top vocals … We are ready to take ALCATRAZZ up to the next level with this, our first studio album since 1986." ALCATRAZZ's upcoming LP will also feature contributions from Chris Impellitteri, Steve Vai, Bob Kulick, Dario Mollo and Japan shredder Nozomu Wakai in what is being described in a press release as "a 'Bonnet-Shred-Fest' of some of the guitarists from his past." ALCATRAZZ will tour extensively in 2020/2021 and beyond. Bonnet, Waldo and Shea previously reunited after 33 years for a unique series of shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan in March 2017. For the special occasion, the band was rounded out by Mark Benquechea (drums) and Conrado Pesinato (guitars), both from the GRAHAM BONNET BAND. ALCATRAZZ was formed in 1983 by former RAINBOW and MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP vocalist Graham Bonnet along with Waldo and Shea and they would go on to make three studio albums in the 1980s. The band's debut album included a young Swedish guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen, and their second album featured guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. ALCATRAZZ split up in 1987 after the release of their third album, "Dangerous Games".

IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris has commented on the passing of Neil Peart, who died on January 7 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The iconic RUSH drummer was 67 years old. Speaking to Rob Rush Radio, Harris said (head audio below): "I never met Neil. I met the other two guys [from RUSH]. I played tennis with the other two. A good friend of mine, Andy Curran from CONEY HATCH up in Canada, we played doubles [with them]. "Yeah, it's a sad loss with Neil passing — just awful, really," Steve continued. "But [IRON MAIDEN] never played any gigs with [RUSH]." He then repeated: "Yeah, awful." In a 2018 interview with The Metal Voice, Harris was asked how much of an influence on his bass playing RUSH's Geddy Lee was. He responded: "Not very much, really, if I'm honest, because I was really influenced by more British players. I did love RUSH as well, [and] I still do — the '2112' album and 'A Farewell To Kings' and all that, of course. … But Geddy is a fantastic player — of course he is." Harris went on to recount the experience of playing tennis with Lee and RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson. He said: "It was quite funny, because me and Andy [Curran] were supposed to play tennis against them two, and Geddy said, 'No, actually…' So, basically, me and Geddy ended up playing them two first and then we switched around afterwards. Nobody was there to watch it, but I thought it would be quite funny if people had seen me and him playing tennis together." Harris's side project BRITISH LION released its second album, "The Burning", on January 17 in digipack CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital download formats via Explorer1 Music (E1). BRITISH LION comprises vocalist Richard Taylor, guitarists David Hawkins and Grahame Leslie, Harris on bass and keyboards and drummer Simon Dawson. [soundcloud url="" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine spoke to the "Talking Pictures" TV show about the band's plans for a new studio album. The upcoming disc will mark the German hard rock legends' first release since 2017's "Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best Of Rock Ballads", which was an anthology of SCORPIONS' new and classic material. Klaus said (see video below): "We go to Australia in February, and Southeast Asia, and when we come back, we go into the studio here in Germany, [in our] hometown of Hannover, for pre-production. And then in May, it looks like we come to Los Angeles and start working in the studio, start recording, until the residency in Vegas. And hopefully we're done by then. If not, we keep going and finish the album, which hopefully will come out at the end of the year." Last fall, SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs revealed to New Zealand's "The Metal Bar" that the band will be working with METALLICA and SLIPKNOT producer Greg Fidelman on the upcoming disc. SCORPIONS' last full-length collection of new recordings was 2015's "Return To Forever", partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the '80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD. Earlier this month, SCORPIONS announced that they will be taking over the Las Vegas Strip later this year with their exclusive headlining residency show. Promoted by Live Nation and Caesars Entertainment, SCORPIONS "Sin City Nights" kicks off Saturday, July 4 at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. SCORPIONS will be joined by special guests QUEENSRŸCHE. SCORPIONS previously played a Las Vegas mini-residency in May 2016, consisting of five shows at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Support on those dates also came from QUEENSRŸCHE. [youtube]

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