DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci has confirmed that the band is using the coronavirus downtime to commence the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to last year's "Distance Over Time" album. "As a band, we did decide to pivot and we entered the studio a couple of weeks ago," he said during an appearance on the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast (hear audio below). "We're working on the new album. Because that's what we do — if we can't play live, let's make music together. That's what we're doing now. We're already off to a great start. It'll be out sometime next year." In a separate chat with "The Everyman Podcast", DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie revealed that he opted to stay home in Canada during the writing sessions for the group's new LP while his bandmates are working together at a studio in New York. "I didn't wanna go down to the States — even though I love the States, because it's brought me everything that I have today," James said. "I'm not saying that and trying to be funny; I'm being sincere when I say that. I've made my career because I met these guys from America and because I'm in an American band. And I've had an incredible career because of it. But I said to the guys, I go, 'Guys, I don't wanna come down there. I don't wanna fly. I don't wanna do anything like that. I wanna stay isolated. Because I'm reading horror stories about people losing their voice box when they get this [COVID-19], and their lungs are compromised. And I'm, like, 'I can't do that.' So I'm coming in every day, when we're writing, by Zoom. So they have this great big monitor TV on the wall with my [face] on it, and then those four guys are in the studio. So those four guys are together at the DREAM THEATER headquarters — it's their own studio, warehouse, whatever — and so that's how we communicate every day." He added: "So we're in the process of writing a new album right now, and I'm always gonna say that, because that's usually the way we always feel, but it's coming together amazing." "Distance Over Time" marked DREAM THEATER's first album for for Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. The group spent the past 25 years recording under various labels in the Warner Music Group system, most recently Roadrunner Records, which released five albums by the band between 2007 and 2016. DREAM THEATER has just released its ninth career live album, "Distant Memories - Live In London". Recorded at DREAM THEATER's sold-out show at the Apollo Theatre in London, the live release documents the band's popular world tour in support of "Distance Over Time" and the 20th anniversary of their seminal concept album "Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory". Petrucci released his second all-instrumental solo album, "Terminal Velocity", on all digital and streaming platforms on August 28 and made it available on CD and vinyl on October 30 through The Orchard Music on his Sound Mind Music record label.
In a new interview with the "Good Company" show hosted by Scott Bowling, Corey Taylor was asked about SLIPKNOT's plans for the coming months once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. He said (see video below): "The plan right now with SLIPKNOT is to try and a) finish up the touring next year, and b) we're thinking about kind of putting another album out maybe next year. But I don't know. I don't know what the plan is yet. I just know that we all kind of feel like there's unfinished business and we wanna finish that out before we do anything. But I know that we were talking about doing it, 'cause we only have one album left on our contract [with our record label]." Last month, SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan confirmed that the band has been using some of the downtime during the pandemic to work on material for the follow-up to last year's "We Are Not Your Kind" album. "Since everybody's taken a lot of time off, we thought we'd utilize it by getting together and do what we probably do best, which is write music," Crahan explained during a bottle-signing session for SLIPKNOT's No. 9 Iowa Whiskey. "So it's been good, because there's no pressure. It's not like we have to. We're doing it 'cause we want to. And it's just been a blessing, because boredom can set in. And I know all of us in the world are going crazy, so we're really lucky to be able to be together and do what we love most." Asked if he thinks the coronavirus crisis will influence the lyrical themes covered on the next SLIPKNOT album, Crahan said: "We don't usually speak for Corey, or whatever, but I can imagine that anything that affects him and affects us and affects you will be included. To the extent, I don't know how blatant it will be, I don't know, but we are all living this, and everybody's involved. I wouldn't really know what what road [Corey] is gonna be going down or information that he wants to spread. I'm not sure. We're not quite there yet." "We Are Not Your Kind" came out in August 2019. The disc sold 118,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Furthermore, the album made an impact worldwide with No. 1 debuts in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and Finland, as well as Top 5 debuts in Germany, France, Norway, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and New Zealand. "We Are Not Your Kind"'s sales in the U.S. were boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with SLIPKNOT's summer 2019 tour. Earlier this year, Crahan said that a set of 11 previously unreleased songs recorded by four members of SLIPKNOT during the sessions for its 2008 LP "All Hope Is Gone" will arrive at some point during the "We Are Not Your Kind" touring cycle. Crahan revealed the existence of the music in 2018, saying that he, Taylor, guitarist Jim Root and DJ Sid Wilson wrote and laid down the more psychedelic-flavored tunes at a separate studio during an impasse in the recording of "All Hope Is Gone". [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTh9zNHlonU]
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of his getting sober in March, was asked in a new interview with "The Chuck Shute Podcast" how he avoids the temptation of alcohol while spending so much time around people who drink on the road. "I'm the alcoholic," Ellefson explained (see video below). "I'm the one that reacts strangely to alcohol and cocaine and heroin and drugs. So it's me — it's when it goes in my body that the problem happens in my life. If you wanna put it in your body, rock on, by all means. "It's not a temptation," he said. "Look, I take the daily measures needed to make sure that I am spiritually fit and mentally and physically fit to not have that come into my body anymore. "Look, we're in the entertainment business. And even if you're not in the entertainment business — you could be a freakin' lawyer or a plumber or roofing houses — there's gonna be booze around. "It's funny, because everything that will kill you is literally within an arm's reach of you — by your own hand," Ellefson added. "No one ever dumps booze and heroin in me — it was never you that got me loaded; it was me that got me loaded. So I think coming to understand that, it's, like, okay, my addiction is not outwardly conditional; it's inwardly conditional. So make sure the inner self is right, and for three decades, that problem seems to have been removed from me." Back in 2014, Ellefson spoke to students at Fountain Hills High School in Fountain Hills, Arizona about his unsuccessful attempts at rehab, as well as his recovery. Ellefson, who became a Lutheran pastor a few years ago, ultimately turned to faith as his method of solving his drug addiction. "I was 15 when I started drinking," he told the audience, according to The Fountain Hills Times. "I started smoking pot when I was 16, and just followed that with cocaine and heroin." He continued: "Heroin is an insidious and sneaky drug. And I was completely strung out on it." According to Ellefson, he finally hit rock bottom after he had been in rehab three times. "And I said, 'Lord, please help me,'" he said. "When I finally hit that bottom, I woke up the next day, and I didn't do drugs and I didn't drink," he said. "And I didn't on day two, or on day three." Ellefson did his best to discourage the students from dabbling in drugs and alcohol, saying: "You don't know if you are going to take a drink, then get in the car to drive home and kill somebody, or kill yourself, but it happens. And you don't know if smoking pot one time isn't going to lead to more. But I can tell you this: the best way to be absolutely sure is to just not start. Just don't start." He added: "[Addiction is] kind of a funny thing. Addiction is a lie. It likes to get you alone because when you are alone, that addiction will talk to you and try to take you back to it. And addiction, while it can make you feel unique, completely takes away our uniqueness. We're like any other junkie. Using alcohol and drugs is an equalizer. We just blend in. So the best part of us goes away." Ellefson's eponymously named solo band released its covers album, "No Cover", on November 20 via earMUSIC (Europe) and Ward Records (Japan). The effort was made available in conjunction with Ellefson's revived Combat Records, which issued the album in North America via Amped. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FXNdhsvRhs]
British rock icons MAGNUM have released a new digital single and lyric video for the song "On Christmas Day". The track is taken from the band's forthcoming compilation album "Dance Of The Black Tattoo", which will be released January 8, 2021 through Steamhammer/SPV as CD digipak, 2LP gatefold version, special CD/LP bundle with shirt (only at the Steamhammer shop), download and stream. It's been three years since MAGNUM brought out "The Valley Of Tears - The Ballads", a compilation that focused on the British rock act's quiet, more otherworldly and dreamy side. Three years during which the idea matured to follow this successful release (top 100 of the German album charts) with a companion piece. "Dance Of The Black Tattoo" has turned into exactly that: a collection of songs that present MAGNUM exclusively as tough-as-nails rocking and extremely vibrant musicians. What makes this album so special is the fact that MAGNUM have gone through their impressive archive, looking for rare live cuts and outstanding radio versions and have come up with spirited live recordings and edits that concentrate on the essential components of some of their most accomplished rock numbers. Naturally, guitarist and band mastermind Tony Clarkin has used this opportunity to remaster and update all 14 tracks so that they comply with the state-of-the-art of (sound) technology. Says Clarkin: "There have always been two aspects to MAGNUM: a slightly more tender and lyrical facet, but first and foremost of course our powerful, rocking side. And that's the element that 'Dance Of The Black Tattoo' documents impressively." The album kicks off with live versions of "Black Skies" and "Freedom Day", previously available exclusively as DVD bonus tracks on "Escape From The Shadow Garden". According to Clarkin, they were "the perfect launch of this compilation because they present MAGNUM musically and lyrically from our familiar raw side. The subsequent 'All My Bridges' is a little different in that the music is still heavy, but the lyrics are more poetic," explains Clarkin, whose dynamic guitar style has harmonized perfectly with MAGNUM vocalist Bob Catley's warm and charismatic voice for almost fifty (!) years. "On A Storyteller's Night", the title track of their 1985 masterpiece, and "Dance Of The Black Tattoo' are another two rare live tracks from the bonus section of "Escape From The Shadow Garden", followed by radio edits of their seasonal anti-war number "On Christmas Day" and the fan favorite "Born To Be King" off their classic "Goodnight L.A.", previously only available on vinyl or for digital download, followed by "Phantom Of Paradise Circus" and "No God Or Saviour", both bonus tracks from "Sacred Blood - Divine Lies". Clarkin says: "To be honest, when I started going through those old masters, I didn't even have 'Phantom Of Paradise Circus' on my radar. I usually start working on new material about four weeks after the release of an album, so occasionally a song may sink into oblivion although it has a lot of substance and class. Such as 'Phantom Of Paradise Circus'. I really love that number and am happy that it is getting the attention it deserves at last." "Your Dreams Won't Die" and "Twelve Men Wise And Just" are two live bonus tracks which first featured on "Lost On The Road To Eternity", before "Show Me Your Hands", "Not Forgiven" and "Madman Or Messiah" — three previously unreleased radio edits from the still topical studio recordings "Lost On The Road To Eternity" (2018) and "The Serpent Rings" (2020) — round off the new release. "Sometimes it's not easy to shorten a carefully balanced composition for the radio, but in these three cases it worked really well," reckons Clarkin. Talking of working well: Naturally the artwork of "Dance Of The Black Tattoo" was designed by MAGNUM's tried-and-tested cover artist Rodney Matthews, who always succeeds in translating the special ambience of the British rock group's albums into atmospheric images and colours. Clarkin comments: "This time it was easy really: I called Rodney, told him the album title and he sent me this absolutely fascinating artwork. I bet our fans will love his little masterpiece." Track listing: 01. Black Skies (Live) 02. Freedom Day (Live) 03. All My Bridges (Live) 04. On A Storyteller's Night (Live) 05. Dance Of The Black Tattoo (Live) 06. On Christmas Day (Radio Edit) 07. Born To Be King 08. Phantom Of Paradise Circus 09. No God Or Saviour 10. Your Dreams Won't Die (Live) 11. Twelve Men Wise And Just (Live) 12. Show Me Your Hands (Radio Edit) 13. Not Forgiven (Radio Edit) 14. Madman Or Messiah (Radio Edit) [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfNwHGs_oDE]
SYSTEM OF A DOWN's music video for the song "Chop Suey!" has surpassed one billion views on YouTube. It is the first SYSTEM OF A DOWN track to reach the milestone. SYSTEM OF A DOWN joins a diverse and elite group of artists to surpass the one-billion mark, a list which includes NIRVANA's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", GUNS N' ROSES' "Novemeber Rain", QUEEN's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and LINKIN PARK's "Numb" and "In The End". "Chop Suey!" was the first single from SYSTEM OF A DOWN's second album, "Toxicity". The single was released in August 2001 and earned the band its first Grammy nomination in 2002 for "Best Metal Performance." SYSTEM OF A DOWN guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian stated about "Chop Suey!": "The song is about how we are regarded differently depending on how we pass. Everyone deserves to die. Like, if I were now to die from drug abuse, they might say I deserved it because I abused dangerous drugs. Hence the line, 'I cry when angels deserve to die.'" Earlier this month, SYSTEM OF A DOWN released "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", the band's first new songs in 15 years. The tracks were motivated by the recently erupted conflict between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, the latter aided by Turkey and accountable for the greatest violence the region has endured in 26 years. Produced by Malakian, who also wrote the music and lyrics, both songs are streaming now on all DSPs and are available for purchase on Bandcamp with band royalties earmarked for the Armenia Fund. "Protect The Land" a was originally written by Malakian for the next album by his other group, SCARS ON BROADWAY, while "Genocidal Humanoidz" was penned three or four years ago when Odadjian, Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan and bassist Shavo Odadjian convened for a jam session that produced several songs, only to abandon them when singer Serj Tankian wouldn't commit to an album. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSvFpBOe8eY]
YES's TREVOR RABIN Recalls How '90125' Touring Plans Were Put In Jeopardy Following Unfortunate Accident
In the latest issue of Rock Candy magazine, YES guitarist Trevor Rabin reveals the unbelievable story of how the band's 1983 tour in support of phenomenally successful comeback album "90125" and No. 1 U.S. hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" was put in jeopardy after an unfortunate accident. "We were in a hotel swimming pool in Miami sipping champagne to celebrate the global success of 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart'," Rabin told Rock Candy writer Malcolm Dome. "There was a water slide very close to me that I hadn't really noticed. Suddenly a very large woman came hurtling down the slide and crashed straight into me. The collision was so bad that it ruptured my spleen and put me in hospital. I needed an operation and was out of action for a few weeks. It sounds so bizarre now — almost laughable — but at the time, it was pretty scary and worrying." In a massive 16-page cover story featuring two exclusive in-depth interviews with Rabin and YES vocalist Jon Anderson, Dome forensically unpicks YES's return to prominence in the '80s "When I was working in the studio on '90125', I definitely knew that what we were doing was taking the band into a new era," says Anderson. "This wasn't the '70s YES. It was a band that was built for the '80s. When the album was released, it became apparent that we were suddenly appealing to the MTV generation. We'd managed to get away from the idea that we were a big name from the previous decade that was no longer relevant — and I loved that. "The whole idea behind '90125' was that no one would be able to say 'heard it all before,' confirms Rabin. "If that had happened, then the entire exercise would have been a creative failure." Rock Candy is a 100-page, full-color bi-monthly rock magazine, created in the U.K. It covers the sights, sounds and smells from the greatest era in hard rock music, the '70s and '80s. Put together by respected U.K. rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome — all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era — Rock Candy is available in print format with a free digital download version for anyone who buys the mag online at www.rockcandymag.com.
Earlier this year, CRO-MAGS released their first album in twenty years with the critically acclaimed "In The Beginning". To close out this year of international turmoil and disease, the band has announced the six-song EP "2020", available worldwide digitally on December 11. CRO-MAGS also released the EP's title track, venting all the frustration and rage, CRO-MAGS style, at the unprecedented chaos of this year. The record itself is unintentionally 20 minutes and 20 seconds, and plays out more like a time-capsule look into the dumpster fire known as the year 2020. CRO-MAGS founder Harley Flanagan explains: "Just by coincidence we recorded 20 minutes and 16 seconds of music, so we simply added a few seconds of real-world chaos. "The album cover is meant to look like a calendar — seven squares across, with one picture from 2020 per day. Inside the booklet there are 12 pictures, one for each month of 2020; and the back is a shot of something I have never seen before in my life — a totally empty New York City. "Coronavirus, quarantine, empty streets, brutality, burning buildings, violence and destruction: 2020 is a year none of us will ever forget.” "2020" track listing: 01. Age Of Quarantine 02. 2020 03. Life On Earth 04. Violence and Destruction 05. Chaos In The Streets 06. Cro-Fusion CRO-MAGS feature Flanagan pulling double duty with bass and lead vocals, guitarists Gabby Abularach, Rocky George (SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, FISHBONE), and drummer Garry "G-Man" Sullivan. The history of the CRO-MAGS is integral to the history of hardcore, its evolution from punk and the development of alternative music genres such as hardcore, cross-over, thrash metal, post punk and grunge, to name a few. Numerous iconic bands from METALLICA to GREEN DAY, and individuals such as Dave Grohl have credited CRO-MAGS with having had a primal influence on their development. Born out of the violence and depravity of the Lower East Side of New York in the late '70s and early '80s, the CRO-MAGS was the brainchild of a very young Flanagan (at the time 14 years old) when still playing with THE STIMULATORS. By 1982/83 he wrote and recorded the very first CRO-MAGS demos consisting of four songs that would become the blueprint for the seminal 1986 "Age Of Quarrel". He wrote all of the music, played each instrument and sang. Before long, he connected with Parris Mayhew and the two started writing music and auditioning band members. Last year, Flanagan reached a settlement with singer John Joseph and drummer Mackie Jayson regarding ownership of the CRO-MAGS name. Flanagan is now performing under the name CRO-MAGS while Joseph and Jayson are performing as CRO-MAGS "JM". [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tboIdiesU4o]
Doug Aldrich has recounted his wife's battle with COVID-19, calling it a "very difficult" experience. The former WHITESNAKE/DIO and current THE DEAD DAISIES guitarist revealed his wife's positive diagnosis during an appearance on a video podcast hosted by Todd Kerns, the bassist of SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS. Doug said (see video below): "My wife got COVID… Basically, she got it from a girlfriend — it was like a mothers' wine hangout Sunday. And she found out later that the girl had been positive. And I was, like, 'Oh, man.' So she went into quarantine. She tested negative twice. And I thought, 'Okay, we're out of the woods. She can come out of her room, and let my daughter go back to school.' And then she started feeling symptoms, and then she got tested and was positive. She went back full lockdown. Fortunately, in this rental place, it's got a bedroom-bathroom situation that's closed off with another door. So it's almost like you've got two doors you've gotta go through to get to her. So I would just leave food out." According to Doug, his wife "came out of jail lockdown" about two weeks ago. "The thing is it's almost like you're a criminal or something," he said. "But we did the right thing, and I'm so proud of her, 'cause she ended it — she didn't pass it to anybody. Me and the kids didn't get sick, and we had been tested now, and she's negative now. But I lost the babysitter, could not take my daughter to preschool. My son was already home. I went into full lockdown dad mode, having my little daughter with me all the time. "It was very difficult, and after a couple of days, I'm, like, 'Okay, I've just gotta deal with this," he added. This past Wednesday, 2,216 coronavirus-related deaths were recorded throughout the U.S. The total U.S. death toll from the coronavirus was at 262,090 as of late Wednesday. The average number of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. has now reached 1,600 per day. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has also more than doubled, with nearly 90,000 Americans currently hospitalized with COVID-19. THE DEAD DAISIES will release their fifth album, "Holy Ground", on January 22, 2021. The LP was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in the south of France with producer Ben Grosse. 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). [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-JHqcUuHGo]
RESIST & BITE, the new band featuring former TESLA guitarist Tommy Skeoch, has released the official music video for its first single, "The Myth I'm Livin'". Joining him in the group are ex-LYNCH MOB lead vocalist Nathan Utz, guitarist Steve Stokes, drummer David Parks and bassist Brian Powell. During an appearance this past March on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" radio show, Skeoch spoke about his departure from TESLA nearly a decade a half ago. Asked if he exited the group of his own accord or if he was asked to leave, Tommy said: "I was fired. I was getting fucked up and I was definitely in the wrong about a lot of stuff, and they put up with it for a long time. But at the same time, none of us were angels, and we put up with a lot of stuff from the other guys for a long time too, and they're still there. So I felt like a little scapegoated by the thing. And the other thing is they didn't want people — I guess for the benefit of my family, so it wouldn't look bad — they said, 'Tommy's just gonna spend time [with his family].' That's why nobody knows, and that's why you're asking this question. Everyone's confused on even what happened. Basically, I was fired. I was getting fucked up, and I kept fucking up, and I kept telling 'em I wouldn't, and I just couldn't stop." Skeoch added that he accepts responsibility for the circumstances that led to his departure from TESLA. "I do, of course," he said. "But I also believe we put up with a lot of shit for a long time from almost every other guy in the band, and they're still there. So I don't know what's up with that; that's a little weird to me." Skeoch was dismissed from TESLA in 2006 and went on to receive treatment for substance-abuse issues. He has since been replaced by Dave Rude. This past September, TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon was asked by Detroit's WRIF radio station if the band will ever work with Skeoch again. Hannon said: "When we were kids, Tommy Skeoch and myself, I was 16 and he was about 19 or 20. I used to really look up to him — I was a huge fan of his style, and still am, a great fan of his guitar playing. We were like best buds. And then we would collaborate and write songs like 'Modern Day Cowboy' or any of those TESLA songs, we'd write 'em together. But as time went on, man, the egos and the problems — myself included — throughout the years, the competition, it really drove a wedge between us. And the drugs and alcohol just really destroyed our relationship, I've just gotta be honest. We weren't supposed to talk about this stuff, but now I figure it's been long enough. "I don't see that TESLA will ever go back, because we love Dave Rude, and Dave has really been a great addition to the band. And it would be disrespectful to him to go backwards to a toxic thing, a relationship that really got very toxic. "Unfortunately, I don't think that TESLA will work with Tommy again — ever," Frank reiterated. "But I will say that myself, personally, I have always loved Tommy and I just wish him the best. I'm so glad that he's still alive, and I know he's got a new band out [RESIST & BITE] that put a song out called 'The Myth I'm Livin''. It was kick-ass; it had Tommy's guitar. Look, I'm getting goosebumps right now. Every time I hear Tommy Skeoch play, it brings a smile to my face, 'cause he's freakin' awesome. As a musician, I have nothing but love and respect for the guy. But I don't think TESLA will ever work with him again. But I do wish him the best." In a 2011 interview with Noisecreep, TESLA singer Jeff Keith stated about Skeoch: "Look, everyone in TESLA has been through their own substance-abuse issues. But Tommy got in too deep again. So the band told him that the only way we would be able to make this work is if he was clean and sober. I felt like we couldn't ask him to do that if we weren't going to commit to it too. So I was the first one to say that I wouldn't drink, or do anything else, on the tour. The next thing you know, the other guys did the same thing. Troy [Luccketta, drums] has been clean and sober for over 20 years, so it wasn't even an issue for him... Tommy couldn't stay off the stuff he was doing. It broke my heart to see it, but we knew we had to replace him." Last year, Skeoch announced the formation of a new project called SKIN SUIT. That band, which also features vocalist Rob McManus, released its self-titled debut album this past March. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORrytBoFQLk] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DzHdGtOihs]
Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA will release their new album, "Omega", on February 26, 2021 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2016's "The Holographic Principle" was once again produced by Joost Van Den Broek (POWERWOLF, AYREON) in part at Sandlane Recording Facilities in Rijen, Netherlands. EPICA has released the official music video for the second single from the album, titled "Freedom - The Wolves Within". The clip, which was created by Bram Knol, can be seen below. Guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen comments: "This song is based on an old story of a fight between two wolves. A wise Cherokee is discussing life with his grandson: He tells the boy, 'There is a fight going on inside of me between two wolves.' One wolf is evil, he embodies anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf is good, joyful, peaceful, and embodies love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. We all have the same fight going on inside of us and the outcome of this battle will reflect on the outer world. The boy gets curious and asks his grandfather which wolf will win? The old Cherokee simply answers, 'The one you feed the most.' What we want to be and what we want to reflect on the world around us depends on which wolf we feed and also the degree of control we have over our inner wolves. Will we manage to control them or will they control us?" Jansen previously stated about "Omega": "I am very proud of this album, as I am convinced we have written a very refreshing and well-balanced album even after so many years of existence. "Our strength is that we have many great songwriters in one band. We have managed to combine each other's strongest qualities and select the best songs. It was a fruitful period of spending time together to work as one team on those tracks. I think this has made the biggest difference compared to our previous albums. Still using the advantages of comfortably sending files by the Internet to each other but combining that with coming physically together again to work on all the tracks. "I think I have listened to 'Omega' about 50 times already and still can't get enough of it!" "Omega" track listing: 01. Alpha - Anteludium 02. Abyss Of Time - Countdown To Singularity 03. The Skeleton Key 04. Seal of Solomon 05. Gaia 06. Code Of Life 07. Freedom - The Wolves Within 08. Kingdom Of Heaven, Part 3 - The Antediluvian Universe 09. Rivers 10. Synergize - Manic Manifest 11. Twilight Reverie - The Hypnagogic State 12. Omega - Sovereign Of The Sun Spheres Last fall, EPICA celebrated the 10th anniversary of its milestone album "Design Your Universe". To mark this special occasion, EPICA re-released this fan-favorite LP as a "gold edition" through Nuclear Blast. This edition contains the album remixed and remastered by Joost Van Den Broek with updated artwork and a second disc containing newly recorded acoustic versions of "Design Your Universe" songs. November 2019 saw the release of "The Essence Of Epica", a lavishly designed and fully illustrated, high-quality hardback which tells the story of EPICA in bandmembers' own words. The book is available in two distinct editions: the Classic is a 208-page, hardback with foil detailing, filled with over 200 images; the Signature hardback is signed by the band and comes in a deluxe clamshell box with three exclusive, original art prints created by Stefan Heilemann. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWNdykQY6yQ] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbk3SfUq9Q]
The 30th-anniversary edition of ICED EARTH's self-titled debut album will arrive on December 18 via Century Media Records. The new version of the 1990 LP features a remix by Chris "Zeuss" Harris, who previously worked with ICED EARTH on the group's latest effort, 2017's "Incorruptible", and brand new artwork. ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer comments: "This 30-year-old debut classic has been remixed and remastered from the original 2 inch tapes by Zeuss, and it sounds fantastic. It has a modern touch and still retains the dynamics of the original release. This is a big step forward sonically and visually. We're excited to have our exclusive artwork and blood red vinyl version at icedearthmerch.com." The remixed and remastered version of the song "Funeral" can be streamed below. "Iced Earth (30th Anniversary Edition)" is available as 180-gram vinyl, limited CD digipak and digital album. Track listing: 01. Iced Earth (Remaster 2020) 01. Written On The Walls (Remaster 2020) 01. Colors (Remaster 2020) 01. Curse The Sky (Remaster 2020) 01. Life And Death (Remaster 2020) 01. Solitude (Remaster 2020) 01. Funeral (Remaster 2020) 01. When The Night Falls (Remaster 2020) Recording lineup: Jon Schaffer - Rhythm And Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals Gene Adam - Lead Vocals Dave Abell - Bass Guitars Mike McGill - Drums Randy Shawver - Lead Guitar This past July, Schaffer said that there were no plans for ICED EARTH to work on the follow-up to "Incorruptible". "There is no way we can plan," he said during a Facebook Live chat. "You guys should be able to understand that, if you watch the news. I have an international band, and I can't even travel to Europe right now [because of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions]. There's no point in trying to put together a plan, because I guarantee you they're gonna launch the second wave of this shit and lock us all down again. To what degree, nobody really knows yet, but they were fielding that as soon as all this nonsense started, so it's definitely expected to be the case. So making plans for touring and putting all that together just to have it all derailed is costly and naïve at best. So I don't know. "I'm gonna definitely plan on working on some new material later this year, early next year," he explained. "But again, that depends on how things roll out. So that's the way it is. We're just gonna have to see what happens with the global situation. There are several things that could take place. Hopefully some good things will happen to turn this mess around, but I'm not feeling super confident about that at the moment." Less than two years ago, Schaffer teamed up with his old pals in PURGATORY, the band that he originally founded in 1985, then later became ICED EARTH, to record five tracks that were written between 1985 and 1987. The resulting "Purgatory" EP was released in December 2018 through Century Media. The EP includes liner notes and comments by Schaffer, Gene Adam, Greg Seymour and Bill Owen, and fitting cover artwork by David Newman Stump and Roy Young, known from their excellent work on "Incorruptible". [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlUVVeEsJwg] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6UD3VoqiAo]
In a new interview with the "That Metal Interview", Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL spoke about how he and his bandmates came up with the speed/thrash blueprint which paved the way for groups like METALLICA, ANTHRAX and SLAYER. Asked how ANVIL managed to create that sound first, Lips said: "We're older. What else am I gonna say? I'm two or three years older than those guys. End of story. I was in line first. [Laughs] Somebody had to do it. And let's face it, it's a different kind of situation. "Our drummer, Robb Reiner, is a very, very spectacular, special drummer and inventive and innovative," he continued. "So when I came up with speed riffs that I thought were like DEEP PURPLE and he's playing double-bass drums to these kind of riffs, that was the invention of speed metal; people never heard that done before. And that's an innovation that's created between a guitar player and a drummer. Only a combination of that could do that — not a guitar player and a vocalist, but a guitar player and a drummer. That's who's gonna create that kind of music, because the faster you play and the more parts you put in, the less important vocals are, and that's basically the direction which speed metal took, and that's why there's virtually no melody in speed metal, because you can't — there's no time to create a melody in the spaces that you make in the songs. And so it all goes hand in hand. So some of our stuff like '666' is almost void of melody, but that's the style. That's the stuff that everything — SLAYER listened to that and said, 'Okay, let's make a band around that sound.' The syncopation and the ideas that were expressed in songs like 'Jackhammer' or even 'March Of The Crabs' became METALLICA. It's actually quite interesting." ANVIL, a Toronto-based group, was formed in 1978 by childhood friends Kudlow and Reiner. Both came from Jewish families and had been playing music together since their teens. Though initially a four-piece band, ANVIL's current lineup includes Kudlow, Reiner and bassist Chris Robertson. ANVIL gained popularity and new fans since the 2008 theatrical documentary, "Anvil: The Story Of Anvil", which is currently available on Netflix. The film focused on how ANVIL got together, and stayed together, through decades of hard work and setbacks. ANVIL's latest album, "Legal At Last", was released in February via AFM Records. The disc was recorded at Soundlodge studios in Rhauderfehn in the northwest of Germany. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRQVTt051io]
JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'A Lot Of The Music Has Gotten Safer But The World Has Gotten So Much Scarier'
In a new interview with Greg Gutfeld of Fox News Radio's "The One" podcast, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked if he thinks rock artists today are more reticent about taking risks than they used to be several decades ago. He responded (hear audio below): "For me, it does seem as though a lot of the music has gotten safer but the world has gotten so much scarier, whereas back a few decades — back even maybe less than a decade — it was the flipside. There was a lot of controversial artists, there was a lot of controversy in the music. But that seems to have dissipated now. It's almost as though we've been shocked and stunned into kind of an emotionless state to some extent, which is a real shame, because music plays on your hearts, it plays on your emotions. "If you wanna find some dangerous music, sometimes with dangerous messages, you can find it in different genres of heavy metal," he continued. "The most beautiful thing about heavy metal music, like most music, is that it's uplifting — it pulls you through things, as it's pulling us through right now with this pandemic. We're using music to help us heal and to help us get through whatever difficulties there may be in life." Rob is continuing to promote his recently released autobiography, "Confess". In the book, Halford discusses in detail what it was like becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview, despite knowing about his sexuality since he was 10. Although his bandmates and their management knew he was gay and were accepting, he was advised to be discreet given the macho hetero nature of the metal world. He also opens up about surviving sexual abuse, as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, sobriety, and the suicide of one of his former partners. He also talks about how his own suicide attempt in 1986 led him to the rehab program that saved his life. "Confess" arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. It was written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx. In the book, Halford revealed that he knew he was gay during a time when gay men were "full-on persecuted" in his native United Kingdom. He came out to his parents three years later. In September, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band's extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled "Judas Priest - 50 Heavy Metal Years", the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews. Prior to being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, JUDAS PRIEST's spring/summer 2020 European tour was scheduled to kick off on May 30 in Helsinki, Finland and conclude on July 28 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The band was also slated to headline the U.K.'s Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire. The U.S. leg of PRIEST's "50 Heavy Metal Years" tour was due to launch September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland and wrap up on October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
GUNS N' ROSES has released video footage of the band's October 7, 2019 performance from at InTrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The 27-minute clip is part of the GN'R web series dubbed "Not In This Lifetime Selects" featuring highlights from the four-year "Not In This Lifetime" tour. Featured songs: 00:00 "Estranged" 09:20 "Civil War" 16:58 "Wichita Lineman" (Glen Campbell cover) 21:00 "Nightrain" In July, GUNS N' ROSES announced the rescheduled dates for its North American stadium tour. GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" tour, which began four years ago, recently became the No. 3 highest-grossing tour in the history of Billboard Boxscore. Launched in April 2016, "Not in This Lifetime" featured classic-lineup members Slash, Duff McKagan and singer Axl Rose backed by guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and second keyboardist Melissa Reese. GUNS kicked off its long-rumored and long-awaited reunion tour with a club show in Hollywood and appearances in Las Vegas and at California's Coachella festival. The band is now reportedly working on a new studio album — the first under the GUNS banner since 2008's "Chinese Democracy" and the first to feature Rose, Slash and McKagan since 1993. Photo credit: Katarina Benzova [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ2mmV1b93Y]
Ozzy Osbourne has told GQ magazine that he suffers from a respiratory disease which puts him at an increased risk of severe pneumonia and poor outcomes if he was to develop COVID-19. "I've got emphysema, so if I get this virus, I'm fucked," he said, referring to the type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) lung disease that makes it hard to breathe and gets worse over time. Asked how his health is at the moment, Ozzy said: "The surgery I had knocked the crap out of me. But I broke my neck in a quad bike accident [in 2003] and when that healed it squeezed my spinal column, so I was getting all kinds of weird things happening to me. I'd be on stage and I'd suddenly get a sharp shock down one side of my body. Then one night 18 months ago I went to the bathroom in the dark and just hit the ground. I said [to my wife], 'Sharon, I'm on the floor,' and she said, 'Well, get up then!' But I couldn't. Once you're 70, the floodgates open and everything goes downhill. Mind you, I've got away with it for a long time." Ozzy went on to say that he is trying his "hardest" to stay shielded at the moment. "If I go out, I wear a mask, but I don't like wearing a mask, so I don't go out much," he said. "The producer on my album [Andrew Watt] got the virus. I'd phone him up every day and he said he couldn't sleep, because as soon as he went to sleep, he'd stop breathing. He's not the same person now... It's like anyone who's had a near-death experience: he's become a bit careful with life. But my two granddaughters caught it and you wouldn't think they had anything wrong with them. It just bounced off them." In September, Ozzy said he won't have a coronavirus vaccine despite his Parkinson's disease putting him at greater risk. Speaking on Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits, he said: "I'm trying to recover so I can get... The only good thing about this pandemic, I couldn't work anyway because of my injuries. I'm hoping that I'll be booking 2022, I think. "To be honest with you, I don't think it's gonna get ship shape until the end of next year. I think this winter is gonna be fucking bad, because you're gonna have the flu. People are, 'I'm not taking the flu shot.' You know what? "You can give me anything, but I'm not gonna be number one on that fucking new vaccine. I don't know want to be the first one to wake up with a set of fucking antlers in the morning." This past July, Ozzy said that he was still "not back to 100 percent" after suffering from several medical issues last year, including a fall, neck surgery and hospitalization for the flu. Ozzy also said that he was looking forward to performing again once he has regained his health and the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. In August, Ozzy blasted Donald Trump's coronavirus response, saying that America's 45th president is "acting like a fool." In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ozzy said: "In my lifetime, I've never known anything like this. It's getting worse, not better. And this guy's acting like a fool. I don't really like to talk politics that much, but I've got to say what I feel with this guy. There's not much hope left. Maybe he's got a trick up his sleeve and he's going to surprise us all, and I hope he has. [Recently], over a thousand more people died in one day [in America]. That's fucking crazy. People got to get with this social distancing and mask-wearing or else it's never gonna go away." When the pandemic struck, Ozzy had just released his first solo album in a decade, "Ordinary Man", which he recorded late last year while recovering from surgery and related illnesses. The BLACK SABBATH singer had previously canceled all his 2019 tour plans, and the rescheduled 2020 shows have also been scrapped.
VLADIMIR 'JAMIR' GARCIA, Singer Of Legendary Filipino Metal Band SLAPSHOCK, Dies In Apparent Suicide
According to CNN Philippines, Vladimir "Jamir" Garcia, the frontman of the legendary Filipino heavy metal band SLAPSHOCK, has died at the age of 42. Garcia's lifeless body was found by his aunt in their residence at Barangay Sangadaan at around 9:20 a.m. He was rushed to the Metro North Medical Center but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician at 10:20 a.m. Garcia's sister had waived the family's rights to investigate the singer's death as they are convinced that he took his own life. Music channel Myx, which first launched in the Philippines in 2000 and then stateside in 2007, said in a statement: "The MYX Philippines team extends our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of SLAPSHOCK frontman Jamir Garcia. A fierce performer on stage, Jamir was one of the nicest and humblest rockstars we've had the pleasure of working with. He will truly be missed in the OPM band scene." Formed in 1997, SLAPSHOCK was credited with popularizing heavy metal in the Philippines. Among its most popular songs are "Cariño Brutal", "Anino Mo" and "Agent Orange". SLAPSHOCK was forged in the musically rich landscape of the University of the Philippines. The band emerged during the heyday of rap-metal in the USA and in the Philippines, becoming a pioneer of the movement and responsible for its rise. SLAPSHOCK was signed by EMI Music Philippines in 1998, which resulted in its first platinum-selling album, "4th Degree Burn". This LP birthed many cult-favorite tracks like "Agent Orange", which became the rock anthem of the youth during that time and introduced SLAPSHOCK to the underground and commercial scene. A second platinum album, "Headtrip", followed in 2001, with "Project 11-41" arriving one year later. The gold-selling "Novena" came out in 2004 and was followed by 2006's "Silence". A greatest-hits disc, "Recollection", was released in 2008 and paved the way for "Cariño Brutal" in 2009. The latter's single of the same name went on to become 2010's biggest rock hit. The group's seventh album, "Kinse Kalibre", came out in 2011. SLAPSHOCK's latest album, "Atake", was issued in May 2017 via the band's own label Alley Road Records. The group called it quits in October after 23 years. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr9xuDv4om4]
It's been 300 days since the KISS stage went dark. Roaring back to life and proving that KISS never does anything small, the iconic Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, multi-platinum selling band has announced the biggest concert event of the year, sending off 2020 in KISS style on New Year's Eve at iconic destination, Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. In a year when stages have been dark globally and fans have been craving a true live music experience, Landmarks Live Presents is set to deliver the largest KISS show of the band's storied career live from The Royal Beach at Atlantis Dubai with numerous world record attempts for largest ever pyro display. Filmed with more than 50 cameras and 360-degree views, the show will be produced by Landmarks Live Presents will be filmed in 4K and can be seen globally with a 1080p Livestream and ticketing powered by Tixr and available on any computer, mobile, and Apple TV. Putting nearly 400 crew members back to work for the first time in 8 months, the production will take extraordinary on-site COVID protocols including daily testing and biometric crew wristbands to ensure highest safety standards for the entire event. Performed in front of a live COVID-screened and safe audience in Dubai, this will be a first of its kind hybrid live-ticketed and live streamed event. KISS said: "After nine months of this pandemic darkness the world may finally be seeing light of day. On New Year's Eve KISS will rock the heavens, shake the earth and blaze the way out of 2020 with the largest and most bombastic celebration in our and anyone else's history. We all need it. We all deserve it. Here's to 2021." Daniel E Catullo III, creator, director and executive producer of Landmarks Live, said: "Working with KISS is an honor and dream come true for me. To be able to capture them in such an explosive and record-breaking way will certainly be a highlight of my career. This show will be unlike any other show or live stream of 2020. Logistically, this was the largest undertaking and production I've ever done and during a pandemic made it all the more challenging. Our crew is comprised of over 400 people from all over the world. It has been a very complex show to put together, but we are happy to bring the world something of this size at a time when it is needed the most. It's a perfect way to say goodbye to 2020 or KISS 2020 goodbye. "Almost five months of planning, hundreds of working crew, coordination with the Dubai government, major logistics and coordination with the band, and putting on a rock show during a global pandemic, this show will go down in the record books," Catullo added. "We are incredibly excited that KISS and Landmarks Live has chosen Atlantis Dubai for this first-of-its-kind initiative," said Timothy Kelly, executive vice president and managing director, Atlantis Dubai. "Atlantis has a reputation as being a trailblazer in the world of entertainment and we know that this event which will be watched by millions across the world will provide electrifying, ever-lasting memories for all who join in the celebrations." The show will also feature a live pre-show that can be streamed for free. The KISS concert and pyro show will feature numerous price points to accommodate all New Year's Eve celebrators safely from home. While the show will be broadcast live timed to midnight in Dubai, ALL of the streaming packages allow a replay option so that fans can re-watch timed to their own midnight festivities. Price tiering: * $39.99 - Live Stream and 24 hours of unlimited replays * $49.99 - Live Stream and 72 hours of unlimited replays * $249.99 - Gold VIP package - Live Stream, 30 days of unlimited replays, Limited Edition DVD w/ 16-page book, Limited edition T-shirt, limited edition poster * $999.999 - Platinum VIP Package - Live Stream, 30 days of unlimited replays, Limited edition DVD w/ 16-page book, name in DVD credits and in book, Limited edition T-shirt, limited edition poster (autographed), limited edition Hoodie, metal engraved limited edition commemorative ticket, limited edition vinyl record of the show Tickets are available now at www.KISS2020Goodbye.com. Landmarks Live is the brainchild of Emmy Award-winning documentary and live television producer/director Daniel E Catullo III. The initial version of Landmarks Live, the award winning PBS series "Landmarks Live In Concert", featured a lineup of global music superstars performing season one episodes, including "Foo Fighters Live From The Acropolis", "Alicia Keys Live From New York", "Andrea Bocelli Live From The Palazzo Vecchio", "Brad Paisley Live From WVU", "Prophets Of Rage From Sunset Strip And The Stone Pony", "Kings Of Leon Live From Memphis", "K.D. Lang Live From San Antonio" and the "Black Eyed Peas From Royal Albert Hall". [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpeMspNArdw]
In the latest episode of "Tatler's Tales", DIAMOND HEAD guitarist Brian Tatler was asked for his opinion of METALLICA's cover versions of his band's classic songs. "They're great," he said (see video below). "They're always more powerful and a little faster than the DIAMOND HEAD versions. I mean, they're a great band. They [have] their own sound. Of course, it was very flattering. The first song they covered was 'Am I Evil' They were the first band that ever covered a DIAMOND HEAD song. And it came out in 1984; it was on the 'Creeping Death' 12-inch single, which was on Music For Nations. And I was just really flattered that 'Lars's [Ulrich] band' had covered one of our songs and done such a respectful job and worked out the guitar solo. Everything was really good — really close to our version, but a bit more modern, a bit tougher, [with] more attitude." He added: "More power to them. Fantastic. It's done the band a huge favor." DIAMOND HEAD influenced a slew of early '80s thrash metal bands, in particular METALLICA, which recorded "Am I Evil" as a B-side to their 1984 "Creeping Death" single and again included on the band's multi-platinum 1998 covers album "Garage Inc." METALLICA would record three additional DIAMOND HEAD songs: "Helpless" ("Garage Days", 1987), "The Prince" ("One" single B-side, 1989) and "It's Electric" ("Garage Inc." , 1998). According to Brian, the royalties that he receives from the DIAMOND HEAD back catalog, including the METALLICA recordings of his songs, are enough for him to live on. "It's my biggest source of income," he revealed in a 2019 interview. "It's great and I don't know what I would do without it. It gives me the freedom to do what I like. I'm very grateful." A reimagined and re-recorded version of DIAMOND HEAD's "Lightning To The Nations" album has just been released via Silver Lining Music. "Lightning To The Nations 2020" includes four cover tracks, including METALLICA's "No Remorse". "I wanted to cover a song from METALLICA's debut album, 'Kill 'Em All'," Tatler explained, "partly because METALLICA covered songs from DIAMOND HEAD's debut album 'Lightning To The Nations' and it felt like things have come full circle to me. None of the band members knew how to play any of the songs from 'Kill 'Em All', and I eventually decided we should all learn 'No Remorse'. Then when we got into the rehearsal room, we played 'No Remorse' and immediately it just sounded great; it was very 'DIAMOND HEAD' and it really suited us as a band. Of the four covers we ended up doing, 'No Remorse' sounded the best straight away. I've seen METALLICA live over twenty times and they don't play 'No Remorse' very often, but it's always great when they do!" DIAMOND HEAD's latest collection of all-new material, "The Coffin Train", was released in May 2019 via Silver Lining Music. The album was recorded at Vigo Studios in Walsall, Circle Studios in Birmingham and Raw Sound Studio in London. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WI6oRX_yqY]
MAX CAVALERA: I Want To Make A 'SOULFLY Record That Feels A Little Bit Like A Compilation Of My Whole Career'
Max Cavalera and his son Zyon have commenced the songwriting process for the next SOULFLY album, tentatively due in 2021. "This record, we're actually working more together than ever," Max told Pete Bailey of Primordial Radio (see video below). "And it's really great, because I get to really explore the strengths that [Zyon] has as a drummer. He's a very unique drummer — he has a lot of energy, and he's mostly not really a technical drummer, but a very powerful, energetic drummer. And I want to really embrace that side of it. "My wish would be to make a SOULFLY record that feels a little bit like a compilation of my whole career, that goes through all the stages and showcases a little bit of everything," he revealed. "So you have a really full, diverse record that has everything and encapsulates everything from the early days to the thrash days to the tribal stuff — it has everything." Max also talked about his plans for the next in an ongoing series of self-titled SOULFLY tracks. "I was thinking about even experimenting more with those, maybe record them in a different country," he said. "There's always a possibility of getting different instruments involved, so I've been thinking about maybe record something in Northern Africa, have something really exotic for the album — very tribal and exotic and different, that a lot of people don't do these days. "On [2018's] 'Ritual', I did a thing with the [Native American] Navajos here in Arizona, so they were involved in the record. But I have a lot of connections in really cool countries like Egypt and Tunisia. It would be kind of cool to maybe expand more of that — maybe in a SOULFLY instrumental song, have one that's very much influenced by that… And then I always am very keen on the collaborations too. I'm looking forward to the next SOULFLY collaboration. I haven't thought about who I'm gonna ask to be on the record." Max's side project KILLER BE KILLED has just released its sophomore album, "Reluctant Hero", via Nuclear Blast. He is joined in the supergroup by Troy Sanders (MASTODON), Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN), and Ben Koller (CONVERGE, ALL PIGS MUST DIE, MUTOID MAN). This past June, SOULFLY released a new digital EP, "Live Ritual NYC MMXIX". The effort was recorded at The Gramercy in New York City on February 11, 2019 while SOULFLY was on tour in support of its most recent full-length album, "Ritual". The audio for the EP was mixed and mastered by Charles Elliott (ABYSMAL DAWN) from Tastemaker Audio. Cover artwork was comprised of live photos taken by Rodrigo Fredes. "Ritual" was released in October 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2015's "Archangel" was produced, recorded and mixed by Josh Wilbur (KILLER BE KILLED, LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA).
During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Official Danko Jones Podcast", OBITUARY drummer Donald Tardy confirmed that the band is working on material for a new studio album. "I'm super stoked on some of these new songs that we've got," he said (hear audio below). "And 2021 would be fabulous if we had a release date, but just like everybody, especially nowadays where physical copies are very tough to sell and talk people into buying, the new album is really just that bait on the hook to really keep people happy to where when you need to get on tour, you can get out there and give them some new music and give them a new album to get their hands on, but also to obviously support you and buy a piece of merchandise and come to the show. "Once these [pandemic-related] handcuffs are off of all of us musicians, the new OBITUARY album will be ready and it will be a worldwide release," he continued. "But in the meantime, we are working our asses off to just make a monster album." Regarding OBITUARY's songwriting approach this time around, Donald said: "We've never been a band to worry, to put pressure on ourselves to even look back in the past, or even just the last album, and put pressure on ourselves, like, 'Oh my God! The last album really went over well. We really have to make a great album.' And, 'Oh my God! What are we gonna do? The last one we had this kind of groove, and people liked this song, so maybe we need to think about a song like that.' We don't ever do anything like that. When Trevor [Peres, guitar] and I enter the studio, or the jam room, there is nothing on our mind except, 'Let's just turn the amp on,' and within the first 15, 20 minutes, if something comes out, and that's usually about the time frame that the good shit comes out, then we roll with it. If not, we don't panic. We just then jam a little bit and keep the thing recording, and maybe some riffs come out of it. But we're not the band to sit there and grind for a seven-hour day on one song just to try and make it spectacular. Obviously, some people have extreme success doing it that way, but we are that kind of band where we write entire songs, entire albums without knowing really what my brother's gonna do. He'll obviously give us some insight on what raises his eyebrow, and then we move forward that way. But we are the band to be the first to say, 'You know what? It's music. It's fun as hell. And we have the best jobs in the world.' It's the most fun. "I don't do anything — I don't do roller coasters; I don't jump out of airplanes; I don't do any of that — because being behind a drum set is the most fun — and it's been this way since I was nine years old — it is the most excited I can ever be on this planet," he explained. "I don't know what it is, but just sitting down behind a drum kit and grabbing drum sticks, that is my roller coaster. "So we don't put pressure on ourselves as in, 'Oh my God! The last album went well.' Instead we're just, like, 'Let's just get in there and go for it, man. Let's write what we love,' and we know our fans are gonna love that." Last month, OBITUARY completed a three-part "live stream concert series", featuring full-album performances of "Slowly We Rot", "Cause Of Death" and rare classics. The first two streams — a "Slowly We Rot" took place on Saturday, October 17; and a "Cause Of Death" set on Saturday, October 24 — were live from the ESI Streaming Studio in Tampa, Florida. The third stream, featuring rare classics and special tracks, was broadcasted live from OBITUARY's recording studio in Gibsonton, Florida. OBITUARY's latest, self-titled studio album was released in 2017 via Relapse. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/934088896" 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" /]