Rock News

RICHIE KOTZEN On His Collaboration With ADRIAN SMITH: 'It Was All About The Song'
SMITH/KOTZEN, the collaboration between guitarists and vocalists Adrian Smith (IRON MAIDEN) and Richie Kotzen (THE WINERY DOGS), will release its self-titled debut album on March 26 via BMG. Recorded on the Turks & Caicos Islands in February 2020, produced by Richie and Adrian and mixed by Kevin "Caveman" Shirley, this nine-track opus is a consummate collaboration between these two highly respected musicians who co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and trade off on guitar and bass duties throughout the record. Exploding with powerful melodies and harmonies, the album embodies the spirited attitude of 1970s classic rock with a melting-pot of influences ranging from blues, hard rock, traditional R&B and more, blending the pair's backgrounds and life experiences to result in a thoroughly contemporary sound. Speaking to Australia's Subculture Entertainment, Kotzen stated about the songwriting process for the LP (hear audio below): "Both of us come from a point of, 'The song is the most important thing'… So, in other words, different guys have different ideas on how to approach things, but for us, it was all about the song, 'cause without a song, you've got nothing to play. So that was our focus. And that kind of went through every thread of what we were doing. We never got into a thing of worrying about who's gonna play what, or that sort of thing, unless there was a reason for it, as far as, 'Hey, we've got a song that exists. Now let's figure out what we're gonna do with it.' But oftentimes, it would just be dictated by casually saying, 'Hey, I've got an idea. Let me try something.' Or, 'Hey, I've got this idea for a melody for a verse. What do you think?' And then I can remember Adrian wrote a verse for one of the songs, and that led me to an idea for a pre-chorus, playing off of his words. So then I would go with that, and then we'd maybe get stuck somewhere in the middle of the chorus and then throw ideas back and forth and work our way out. So it was almost like a tennis match, like a volley — back and forth, back and forth." Track listing: 01. Taking My Chances 02. Running 03. Scars 04. Some People 05. Glory Road 06. Solar Fire 07. You Don't Know Me 08. I Wanna Stay 09. 'Til Tomorrow The record features special guest performances by Adrian's IRON MAIDEN bandmate Nicko McBrain on drums for the track "Solar Fire", and Richie's longstanding friend and touring partner Tal Bergman on drums for "You Don't Know Me", "I Wanna Stay" and "'Til Tomorrow", with Richie picking up the sticks on the other five songs. The album will be available in these formats: * Digipack CD * 12" black vinyl with embossed sleeve * Digital (streaming and download) * Limited-edition 12" red-and-black-smoke-effect-colored vinyl Smith is best known as one of IRON MAIDEN's principal guitarists, having also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Kotzen is the frontman for THE WINERY DOGS as well as having been the guitarist for both MR. BIG and POISON during his long and acclaimed career, which has to date seen him release more than 20 solo albums. Both artists are also prolific songwriters. [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]
IRON MAIDEN Patches To Be Released This Month
Heavy metal legends and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nominees IRON MAIDEN have teamed up with Pull The Plug Patches to bring you a series of exclusive woven patches, backpatches, and enamel pins arriving this spring. Starting with a backpatch for their acclaimed album "The Number Of The Beast", which will be available from March 15, standard-size patches for the eponymous debut album "Iron Maiden" and enamel pins for "Powerslave" will follow in early April. New patch designs featuring IRON MAIDEN's iconic album art will be introduced throughout the coming year. Founded in 2018 in Newcastle, Australia, Pull The Plug Patches has taken battle vest culture by storm. By introducing unique shapes and colorways into the global patch community, Pull The Plug Patches have given battle vests in every nook and cranny of the planet a shot of adrenaline. With sales extending to all of the word’s inhabited continents, a worldwide community of metalheads have been called to arms! Dedicated to bringing the highest-quality and most unique woven patches to market, over 300 artists have joined the Pull The Plug Patches roster to date, including ARCH ENEMY, ATHEIST, BLOOD INCANTATION, BELPHEGOR, CARCASS, CRADLE OF FILTH, CRYPTOPSY, DEMILICH, DISMEMBER, ENSLAVED, ENTOMBED A.D., EXODUS, GORGUTS, GRAVE, GRUESOME, HAIL OF BULLETS, HATE ETERNAL, INCANTATION, KATATONIA, MASSACRE, MEGADETH, MESHUGGAH, NAPALM DEATH, NECROPHAGIA, NEVERMORE, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, SANCTUARY, SLAYER, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, UNDERGANG, UNLEASHED and many, many more. Pull The Plug Patches is featured prominently in Banger TV's new series "The Fabric Of Metal", which takes viewers on a cultural tour of the mainstays of metal style — from battle vests to bullet belts. For more information, visit the Pull The Plug Patches web site at
MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars has just received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The 69-year-old rocker took to his Instagram to share a photo of him getting the shot, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "One down one to go!!! F**k covid". A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed almost a third of U.S. adults are undecided on whether they'll get the COVID-19 vaccine. The poll, released last month, found that 31 percent of adults are going to "wait until it has been available for a while to see how it is working for other people" before receiving the coronavirus vaccine. America's two main vaccines have shown 95% efficacy against the coronavirus. As of late January, the CDC discovered that only 11 per 1 million people experienced severe reactions from the Pfizer vaccine, and only 2.5 per 1 million people who received the Moderna dose. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which became available in the United States earlier this month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave it emergency use authorization, was tested with new variants of COVID-19, and has shown to be effective against them; Pfizer and Moderna were tested prior to the emergence of these variants. View this post on Instagram

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Ex-GUNS N' ROSES Drummer MATT SORUM's Autobiography, 'Double Talkin' Jive', Is Now Scheduled To Arrive In September
Former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum's long-awaited autobiography, "Double Talkin' Jive: True Rock 'N' Roll Stories From The Drummer Of Guns N' Roses, The Cult, And Velvet Revolver", will now arrive on September 7, 2021 via Rare Bird Books after being delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic. In "Double Talkin' Jive", Sorum takes music lovers behind the scenes of a remarkable life in rock. Sorum, whose albums have sold tens of millions of copies around the world, provides an honest, engaging account of the highs and lows of superstardom. Sorum recounts his childhood years idolizing Ringo Starr and surviving an abusive stepfather. After leaving high school, Sorum sold pot to get by. Over time, his drug dealing escalated to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, a career that came to a halt following a dramatic shoot-out. Sorum fled his old life and settled in Hollywood, where he'd enjoy a rapid ascension to rock 'n' roll immortality. He caught his big break drumming for THE CULT, and only a year later was invited to join GUNS N' ROSES, with whom he'd record two of rock's most iconic albums: "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II". Sorum opens up with forthright honesty, sharing anecdotes from his time touring the globe, battling drug and alcohol addiction, and navigating volatile relationships with Axl Rose, Slash and the rest of the GN'R team. His career with THE CULT, GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER, MOTÖRHEAD, the HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES and KINGS OF CHAOS co-stars an ensemble of rock royalty, from Gene Simmons and Billy Idol to Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper. "Double Talkin' Jive" goes beyond the clichés of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, telling the very human story of what it takes to make it in music, and the toll stardom exacts from those who achieve success. Sorum invites fans to revel in the debauchery of the good times, but also paints a stark portrait of life after the party. Music fans of any generation will find value in the pages of this evocative, thoughtful, and candid autobiography. Sorum's co-authors Leif Erickson and Martin Svensson previously co-wrote Samantha Fox's "Forever". During a recent appearance on the "Stop! Drop & Talk" podcast, Sorum stated about "Double Talkin' Jive": "I named it after a GUNS N' ROSES song, 'Double Talkin' Jive'. [Then-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist] Izzy Stradlin wrote that song. We played it together — on the ['Use Your Illusion I'] album, me and Izzy tracked that in one take. And the premise of the lyric was based around the kind of pitfalls of the music business and success. There's this undercurrent that's not pretty. And I talk very truthfully about things that I went through, from my perspective. "I didn't wanna come off jaded," Matt continued. "I have to tell the story the way it went for me, and I hope that people don't take it as I sound jaded or something. I just wanted to be as truthful and honest as possible, from my perspective, if that makes sense. "I think there's a misconception that maybe, as musicians, we're a bit elitist or privileged, or things are handed to us, and we just automatically appear, and now, all of a sudden, we're famous. So I just look at it, I'm, like, well, yeah, I have a great job. I've got a great life. I'm super grateful for all the things I've been able to do. But in the book, you can see that it was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of bruises along the way. And then, as the career goes and you get successful, stuff happens. There's, of course, the famous drug-and-alcohol shit that is kind of like 'Behind The Music' VH1 — I mean, that all happened to me. You know, the pitfalls of rock and roll stardom and all that shit. "For me, when I was doing it," referring to the rock-star lifestyle, "and when I was at the height [of GUNS N' ROSES' success], I'm, like, 'If I don't do this now, I'll regret it later.' So I just tried to live my life as I thought I would wanna live it as a kid dreaming to be in a rock and roll band." Sorum, who replaced Steven Adler in GUNS N' ROSES, recorded "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" (both 1991) and "The Spaghetti Incident" (1994). He also supported the group on the "Use Your Illusion" tour and can be heard on GUNS N' ROSES' "Live Era: '87-'93" (1999) and "Greatest Hits" (2004). Photo credit: Michael Segal
Clois Odell Wharton, father of MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil, died on Friday, March 5 at the age of 83. Neil announced his father's passing in an Instagram post earlier today (Saturday, March 6). He wrote: "With a broken heart I'm sad to say, we lost a beautiful man last night, my Father Clois Odell Wharton, our beloved 'Odie'. He died peacefully surrounded by loved ones. He was 83 years young. "We are going to miss you, Dad. Have fun with Mom and Cali in heaven, RIP 3-5-2021". Wharton's death comes two and a half years after the passing of Vince's mother. A month before her death, the singer revealed that she was in the hospital "battling stage four cancer." Last June, Vince said that his five-year-old Yorkshire terrier California Wolf Neil was "brutally murdered" on his front door by "two evil neighbor dogs." MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Stadium Tour" with DEF LEPPARD, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS was originally scheduled to take place last summer but ended up being pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. When it happens, "The Stadium Tour" will mark the CRÜE's first live dates since wrapping its 2014/2015 farewell tour. CRÜE toured with POISON back in 2011 and DEF LEPPARD teamed up with POISON for a string of road dates in 2017 — but the upcoming jaunt marks the first time all four acts have hit the road together for an extended tour. MÖTLEY CRÜE's 2019 biopic "The Dirt" depicts his 1984 drunk-driving accident that killed HANOI ROCKS drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley and seriously injured two others. It also shows Neil's firing from MÖTLEY CRÜE in 1992, only for his bandmates to rally behind him in 1995 when his four-year-old daughter, Skylar, died of cancer. (He rejoined the group in 1997.) View this post on Instagram

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Morgan Lander says that it "may not be the right time" for KITTIE to return with new music. After the London, Ontario, Canada-based metallers completed the touring cycle for 2011's "I've Failed You" album, KITTIE entered a long period of inactivity during which the guitarist/vocalist focused on a marketing job for a chain of fitness clubs, while her sister, drummer Mercedes Lander, worked in real estate and more recently at a software company. The group also began work on a career-spanning documentary, "Origins/Evolutions", which finally saw the light of day in 2018 via Lightyear Entertainment in North America. Asked in a new interview with Consequence Of Sound if there are any plans for KITTIE to make new music, Morgan said: "Our bass player and great friend of ours, Trish Doan, passed away a couple of years ago, and so that's made it really difficult to try to feel like it's right to do more when she would have wanted to be the one to be there. So, that's also a tough thing that we grapple with. But, individually, we're all working on new music. Mercedes is in THE WHITE SWAN, which is a band that she actually fronts. She sings and plays guitar. Tara McLeod is playing full-time in an awesome country band. So, that's really cool. I'm fronting a kind of melodic death metal band called KARKAOS. So, we're still all very close as friends and musicians, but it may not be the right time. But we've always said, never say never." Regarding what kind of legacy she hopes KITTIE leaves behind, Morgan said: "To start off with, the word 'KITTIE' and 'legacy' in the same sentence is mindblowing. It's vindicating, in a way, because after all that people said back in the day, there are so many people that love the band and look back and say, 'Wow. You might've paved the way,' or, 'You guys have a legacy,' or, 'You guys were a legendary band.' These are all things that I've heard recently that I don't think we would have ever equated to KITTIE 15 or 20 years ago. So, I think our legacy is that we were the underdogs, and as a band, we didn't think that there were any rules that were made that weren't meant to be broken. There were things that we decided we wanted to accomplish, and just because we were young and women didn't mean that we weren't allowed to do things that people didn't think that young women should do. And, the music still resonates with people today, 21 years later. I think it's a testament to the true heart and soul behind the band." Last October, Mercedes told the "Thunder Underground" podcast that there were no plans for KITTIE to reunite anytime soon. "I know that we're lucky to have the experiences that we have had," she said. And we had a really amazing time when we did that 'Live In London' show a couple of years, where we brought everybody back that wanted to come back. And we did like a 'travel through time' with all the different members and stuff like that. So that was really cool. We had a lot of fun doing that. But at this point, unless we got a really good offer… I don't think we would do anything unless it was a really great offer and we could include everyone, in one fashion or another. And I think because at this point, we're kind of one of those legacy bands, I feel like it would probably really help, or it would be really cool, if we could something with some of the past members as well. 'Cause right now, we don't necessarily have… I mean, besides my sister, myself and Tara, it's just the three of us, technically, in the band. "It's kind of hard for us to continue on without Trish, because it would feel kind of weird not to have her there," she continued. "So there's a lot of stuff going on with that. But you never know what might happen. If somebody decides that they wanna give us a good offer, and it works out for us, and it's feasible for us and we're able to do it, I don't see why not. But at the same time, we wanna make sure that things are good for the fans as well. We wanna make sure that the people that are coming to the show are getting a good experience, 'cause it might be the last time. [Laughs] We don't wanna shortchange anybody and have a 'lesser than' experience, if that makes sense — we wanna make sure that everybody that comes to a show gets blown away. So we kind of have to outdo ourselves. But we'll see what happens. You never know." Doan passed away in February 2017. The KITTIE bassist was only 31 years old at the time of her death. Born in Gwangju, South Korea (about 270 kilometers from the capital Seoul), Doan joined KITTIE in 2005 and was in the band for two years before leaving in 2007 and then rejoining in 2012. She can be heard on KITTIE's 2006 EP "Never Again" and the 2007 full-length album "Funeral For Yesterday". In early 2008, it was reported that Doan originally left KITTIE due to the eating disorder anorexia-athletica-nervosa, which she had been struggling with for almost two years. Doan relocated to Australia in 2009 to get a degree and try to surf before returning to Canada in 2011. She apparently moved back to Australia in 2013 and kept an active Twitter account and Facebook page where she frequently posted about her life struggles and battles with depression. "I've Failed You" sold 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 178 on The Billboard 200 chart. [youtube]
METALLICA was nominated for the very first "Hard Rock/Metal Performance" Grammy in 1989, but famously lost to JETHRO TULL, a band distinguished mainly by its heavy use of flute. Fans — and even some audience members — were rightly outraged, though TULL's record label tried to make light of the faux pas by placing a Billboard ad that read, "The flute is a heavy, metal instrument." Award presenter Alice Cooper, who — along with Lita Ford — announced TULL's win, recalled the experience in a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station. He said (hear audio below): "Well, first of all, when we did the rehearsal, you opened up the thing and they just said, 'Name any band' — you were just practicing naming the band. And it was METALLICA and all these great heavy metal bands, and JETHRO TULL, who's so far away from metal. And I opened up the thing and I went, 'And the winner is JETHRO TULL.' And everybody laughed. And I looked around. I was looking for somebody to say, 'Did you hand me the wrong envelope?' I thought they handed me the rehearsal envelope. And they said, 'No.' And then I realized what it was. In that day and age, at that time, the people that were voting, the judges, METALLICA was a brand new thing, metal was a brand new thing, and the only band they recognized was JETHRO TULL. And even JETHRO TULL went, 'What?'" JETHRO TULL did not attend the event, and Cooper ended up accepting the award on the band's behalf. "I said, 'I'm accept this for [JETHRO TULL], but I think they're gonna probably send it back,'" Alice told WRIF. After METALLICA lost the 1989 "Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Recording" Grammy to JETHRO TULL, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), parent company of the Grammys, separated the two genres in 1990 by creating categories for "Best Hard Rock Performance" and "Best Metal Performance". METALLICA won the "Best Metal Performance" award the next year, for "One", and has earned nearly a dozen so far. When METALLICA's "Black" album won another "Best Metal Performance" Grammy in 1992, drummer Lars Ulrich "thanked" JETHRO TULL for not releasing an album in that year. In a 2012 interview with Powerline, JETHRO TULL vocalist Ian Anderson recounted that historic day when his band was given the award for best hard rock/metal performer. "I probably get [the question] a lot more when I'm talking to American writers than I do [at home in England]," Anderson said. "It's not really a big deal over here. It was in a year where it was a new category for 'hard rock' forward slash 'metal' and that category still exists today … and we were, for some strange reason, nominated. And at the time, no one paid any attention to the fact that we were nominated. There was not a peep out of anyone. Because they thought there's no way JETHRO TULL are gonna win it. Nor IGGY POP, nor JANE'S ADDICTION. It's going to be METALLICA because they were the huge, new, straight-out-of-the-box, enormous, hit talent that year and everybody took it for granted that METALLICA were gonna win the Grammy, including METALLICA themselves. And when it was ordered to JETHRO TULL, to a barrage of boos and hisses and gasps of disbelief, I'd like to think that it wasn't that the six thousand voting members of the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences were voting for JETHRO TULL as a heavy rock band or a heavy metal band. They gave us the award because we were a bunch of nice guys who never won a Grammy before. And sad to relate, even after all these years, there is still no category for best one-legged flute player. Otherwise, I'd be winning it every year." He continued: "And as we said at the time, METALLICA were an exciting new band. and they will be sure to win the Grammy next year and indeed they did. And to prove the point that heavy metal bands do have a sense of humor, they took out a full page ad in Billboard when they won the Grammy, thanking their record producer, their record company, their mums, their dads, their brothers, the family dog and JETHRO TULL for not bringing out a new album that year." Two years ago, on the 30th anniversary of that fateful day, Ulrich took to his Instagram to reflect on his band's first Grammy loss, writing: "Today 30 years ago, February 22 '89, we played the Grammys for the first time and that was quite a mindfuck!! First time we were in front of a mainstream TV audience. First time mainstream America was exposed to whatever the hell it is we do. First time they had a hard rock/metal category on the Grammys. First time we were Grammy losers, since JETHRO TULL, somewhat unexpectedly to most people, walked away with the win. "But all was not lost. The expressions of disgust from most members of the audience (other than Iggy!) is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. And I was rocking some pretty crazy hair that was edging dangerously close to a mullet! Happy days indeed!!" [youtube]
During a March 4 Twitch live chat with "Talkulture", MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson discussed the band's plans for the coming months. He said: "There's a new MEGADETH album being finished up. We have a big tour this summer — MEGADETH, LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES. Live Nation just put out an announcement, I think [on] Tuesday, saying all concerts are a go, 'We're gonna stay open,' 'Everything's gonna be great.' So, per that, hopefully we'll see everybody on tour this summer. So let's hope that happens. [We're staying] optimistic, and hopefully it keeps things going. It was rescheduled from last summer, so it'd be great if we could just get out and get rocking. So, [I'm] looking forward to seeing everybody out there." MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES, dubbed "The Metal Tour Of The Year", is now scheduled to kick off on July 9 in Detroit, Michigan and end on September 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. MEGADETH's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album is likely to arrive in late 2021 or early 2022. The early sessions for the LP took place in 2019 with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia". In addition to Ellefson, MEGADETH's current lineup includes founding guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with ANGRA. Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.
Rising to the top of the modern pantheon of doom, sludge and stoner rock with the ease of champions, SPELLJAMMER are plainly not fucking around. "Abyssal Trip" makes no attempt to subvert a classic formula: within these blitzed-out jams' treacly, floor-splitting levels of heaviness, the sound of pure SABBATH-ian magma ebbing and flowing can be clearly heard, and fans of SLEEP, CONAN and BONGRIPPER will already have plunged in without hesitation. Nonetheless, it's worth stating exactly how brilliant SPELLJAMMER are at this particular strain of bruising but wildly psychedelic, slow-motion doom. With a gift for generating the kind of hideous bottom end that routinely sets ELECTRIC WIZARD apart from their peers, this Swedish trio sound simultaneously brutal and otherworldly; analogue ghouls, battling with the elements and an ever-shifting reality. Plus, of course, this is the perfect soundtrack for smoking ill-advised quantities of weed and tapping into whichever cosmic mainframe pops up in your febrile imagination. All bases covered, if you will. In truth, there is really only so much that one can say about an album that worships The Riff and demonstrates that love from within a swirling vortex of acid rock atmospherics. Opener "Bellwether" is a startling entry point and hurls down the stoner sludge gauntlet with haughty glee. You may find yourself uttering ungrammatical phrases like, "The fucking riffs on this thing!" or simply reaching for the bong, but either way there's no missing the fact that SPELLJAMMER have absolutely nailed the tricky balance between all-out sonic war and psychedelic verité. With vocals that hover somewhere in the sonic mid-ground, as disembodied mantras floating aboard an unstoppable river of riffs, songs like "Lake" and the murderous, ten-minute meanderings of the title track are gently but deliciously unhinged, the mischief of psychedelia coursing through doom's viscous depths. And just like any trip worth the potential psychological aftermath, "Abyssal Trip" sustains its intensity until the end. "Silent Rift" is the most jaw-dropping piece of music SPELLJAMMER have produced to date, with an off-kilter climactic riff, nominally in 11/8 time, that is as hypnotic and undeniable as it gets. As the song slithers and smashes through its ten, immersive minutes, it sounds wholly in thrall to TONY IOMMI's extraordinary blueprint, while instinctively wringing fresh and ever-so-slightly twisted magic from it. Or, to put it more simply: the fucking riffs on this thing!
British musician Andy James, who joined FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH last year as the replacement for the band's longtime guitarist Jason Hook, spoke about how he landed the gig during a recent video chat with Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G. (FIREWIND, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE). "I knew Charlie [Engen], the [current FIVE FINGER] drummer, 'cause we'd toured before with Angel Vivaldi, and he was the drummer for Angel and SCALE THE SUMMIT," Andy recalled (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "We had that one song that we did that we all kind of jammed together at the end, so we got to play together and got to know each other on that. I was really stoked when he was announced as the new drummer for FIVE FINGER. And I guess they just kind of got talking. "Zoltan [Bathory, FIVE FINGER guitarist and founder] is a big fan of guitar players in general — going on Instagram and seeing what's new and who's about," he continued. "I think he's always interested in seeing who's around and what things are out there. And I think I came up in conversation at one point, and Charlie had told him that we knew each other. I think [Zoltan] was working with BUTCHER BABIES, trying to help them to further their career a little bit, and was thinking that maybe they could do with another guitar player. So he contacted me via Instagram, and we got chatting for a bit. I think it was really only a couple of weeks later after that I ended up in Hollywood anyway, in L.A. And then I met the [BUTCHER BABIES] guys and stuff, and then we went in the studio. And at that point, Zoltan came out to the studio and we hung out and stuff like that. So that's pretty much how we met. "I was about to embark on doing some bits and pieces with the BUTCHER BABIES, having done 'Dimebash', and that was kind of our first gig — 'here's our new bass player and new guitar player,' 'cause they got a new bass player at the same time as well," James added. "And then, right before going and actually doing a music video shoot for one of their songs, Zoltan contacted and was just, like, 'Yeah, we might need you to come out and finish up the rest of our tour, 'cause we've had a bit of a kind of issue with Jason Hook' — I think a health issue, stuff like that. So, yeah, 'stand by' kind of thing. And then literally the following day, there was like a fucking ticket waiting for me at LAX [Los Angeles International Airport]. So I was literally playing guitar in first class the whole flight back, because I was still learning the shit on the way to England — 17 songs, something like that. Obviously, I'd been a fan of the band, so I knew the music and everything, so it wasn't a case of having to learn the arrangements — assuming that none of the stuff had been changed that much for live, that part of it was kind of already in my head. But I had to just sit down and work out the physical aspect of doing some of their stuff." Andy went on to say that he was pleased things worked out the way they did. "I'm happy that it happened, but, obviously, it's to the detriment of somebody else's life and career," he said, referring to Hook's dismissal from FIVE FINGER. "But I think things just naturally move on, and this is just one of those things." James made his recording debut with FIVE FINGER on the song "Broken World", which is featured on the second installment of the band's greatest-hits collection, "A Decade Of Destruction - Volume 2". FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's latest album, "F8", was released in February 2020. The follow-up to 2018's "And Justice For None" capped a turbulent period for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in which singer Ivan Moody finally got sober after a near-fatal struggle with addiction, while co-founding drummer Jeremy Spencer bowed out of the band due to physical issues. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's new disc was once again helmed by Kevin Churko, the Canadian record producer/engineer and songwriter who currently lives in Las Vegas, where he works out of his private studio, The Hideout Recording Studio. [youtube] [youtube]
During an appearance on the "No Sleep 'Til Sudbury" podcast, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen revealed that his "favorite all-time band" is THE POLICE, the English rock group formed in London in 1977 by primary songwriter Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). He said (hear audio below): "I think Sting was, and sometimes is, my favorite songwriter. He can walk the line of, actually, great songwriting and pop silliness. He can get a little blasé — he can do anything he wants from a songwriting point of view… 'Every Breath You Take' is one of the classic songs of all time. 'Walking On The Moon' had actually done something to me as well; it was a goosebump thing. As much as I wish I wrote 'Every Breath You Take', it's 'Walking On The Moon' that sends shivers down my spine. And I think it was the sound of the band — the vibe of the whole thing. Everything about it. They were a true hybrid — they took the reggae thing and the rock thing and it came out in the punk era. It just had a bit more venom in it as well; it had a lot more fire than guys who normally… These guys were jazz guys — they all played in jazz bands before — but there was an absolute fire in the playing. Stewart Copeland is one of my favorite drummers of all time. When you put those three in together, magical things [happen]. Whenever I hear the band, it's — again — goosebump time. I know I keep saying that, but THE POLICE do that every time I hear them play. I got to see them when they reformed, and, again, I thought it was magical. It's my favorite band, so I would say that. But I do think Sting's the most amazing songwriter. He can write a classic or he can write a silly pop song — or both." Back in 2012, Collen released a demo version of his cover of THE POLICE's "Roxanne", originally recorded during sessions for DEF LEPPARD's covers album "Yeah!" The demo was recorded in early 2004 and was one of 24 songs DEF LEPPARD laid down for "Yeah!" The original version by THE POLICE (written by Sting) was released as a single in April 1978 and included on the band's debut album, "Outlandos D'Amour". In a 2015 interview with Music Radar, Collen named 1981's "Ghost In The Machine" as his favorite THE POLICE album, describing is as "a bit quirky, a bit weird and a bit reggae. It was a perfect moment in time. Like Prince, they were true artists — a hybrid of different styles, not stuck to just one thing… really open-minded. "I find the more music you let in, the more you have to let out. THE POLICE were like that, and Sting's definitely one of my favourite songwriters. Okay, he can get a bit ponce-y, especially these days. But he wrote these classic rock songs that were melodically superior. "The rest of the band were great, too; they had this amazing chemistry. 'Synchronicity', their last one, was great, too, but I think 'Ghost In The Machine' is perfect… I loved the hybrid element, introducing reggae into it was killer." DEF LEPPARD's "The Stadium Tour" with MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS was originally scheduled to take place last summer but has been pushed back to this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "The Stadium Tour" is now scheduled to kick off on June 19, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee and conclude on September 12, 2021 in San Diego, California. The last DEF LEPPARD studio album, a self-titled affair, came out in 2015. [youtube]
Former ACCEPT Guitarist HERMAN FRANK To Release New Solo Album, 'Two For A Lie', In May
Former ACCEPT guitarist Herman Frank has released an official lyric video for the song "Eye Of The Storm". The clip, which was created by Hard Media, can be viewed below. "Eye Of The Storm" is taken from Frank's fifth solo album, "Two For A Lie", which is due on May 21 via AFM Records. The disc was once again mixed by Arne Neurand at Horus Sound Studio in Hannover, Germany, while mastering duties were handled by Robin Schmidt at 24-96 Mastering in Karlsruhe, Germany. "Two For A Lie" track listing: 01. Teutonic Order 02. Venom 03. Hate 04. Eye Of The Storm 05. Liar 06. Hail The New Kings 07. Just A Second To Lose 08. Danger 09. Stand Up And Fight 10. Open Your Mind Frank's band lineup is as follows: Rick Altzi (MASTERPLAN, AT VANCE) - Vocals Herman Frank (ex-ACCEPT, VICTORY) - Guitar Mike Pesin (MAGISTARIUM, VICTORY) - Guitar Michael Müller (JADED HEART) - Bass Kevin Kott (AT VANCE, MASTERPLAN, HEAVEN'S TRAIL) - Drums Herman joined ACCEPT in 1982 shortly before the release of the band's "Restless And Wild" album and exited the group for the first time after the arrival of 1983's "Balls To The Wall" LP. When ACCEPT reunited for festival appearances in 2005, Herman handled second-guitar duties alongside founding axeman Wolf Hoffmann, with Stefan Schwarzmann sitting behind the kit. Frank and Schwarzmann were involved in ACCEPT's comeback with Tornillo and appeared on the reunited group's first three studio albums: 2010's "Blood of the Nations", 2012's "Stalingrad" and 2014's "Blind Rage". Frank's fourth solo album, "Fight The Fear", was released in February 2019 via AFM. Two years ago, Herman told All That Shreds about his decision to exit ACCEPT in December 2014: "It was just time to leave the band. Let's put it this way: I wanted to do music the way I started to. I wanted to have my own band. I wanted my own music and just wanted to just play my own leads. Not to follow somebody's guitar. I was getting too old for it. It's fine to be a backup, but after a couple of years, it's time for a different thing." Asked how it was different playing with current ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo after performing with Udo Dirkschneider during the band's early years, Herman said: "Mark is a really nice guy and really promising. It's kind of a different voice and Mark really doubles Udo in his personal way. I prefer the style of Udo's singing. He is original ACCEPT. There is this voice sticking in your head. On the new songs, which Mark sings for the first time in ACCEPT, it's a different character, but it's very good. You can't compare them, really. They are a match for certain things, but they are quite different people. I do like them both. I couldn't have the decision which one I would prefer. It would have been great if they would put a couple of albums with Udo and Mark together. That would be awesome." [youtube]
Former DEEP PURPLE and current WHITESNAKE singer David Coverdale has dropped another $400,000 from the asking price of his Lake Tahoe estate. Coverdale put the home on the market in April 2019 for for $9.85 million, but that price came down in April 2020 to $7.65 million and in November 2020 to $7.20 million. The home now sits at an even lower price of $6.8 million. According to Zillow, the property is now "contingent," which means a potential home buyer has made an offer that has been accepted and it has gone past the inspection phase, but there is still a contingency included in the purchase agreement that has not been cleared. Found in Incline Village, a community on the north shore, the gated residence features high ceilings with exposed beams, wood and stone accents, three fireplaces, four bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. The master suite features a step-up spa tub, multiple walk-in closets and a private deck. "Every day for over 30 years, my family and I have loved and embraced our home," Coverdale said of the property in a statement. "The stunning views from every window, the peace and tranquility, and the privacy…far away from the three-ring circus of the music business, yet a mere hours' flight away from Los Angeles when work calls." Chase International, which holds the listing, has posted a video overview of the home on YouTube. Check it out below. Last October, Coverdale spoke to Darren Paltrowitz about his decision to move out of his longtime home in Incline Village, Nevada and set up base in the Sierra Nevada foothills. "After having 10 years of degenerative arthritis, after 12 years, or whatever the hell, having a really big house — four floors and absolutely impractical for elevators, at 7,000 feet — instead of fighting for it, as I did in my last divorce, I couldn't do it anymore; I couldn't deal with it," David said. "And it's just beautiful — postcards from God on a daily basis. It's one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the world. There's no high-rise buildings. You're not allowed to build above tree level. When people would fly in from Los Angeles, they'd be standing on the deck just biting off chunks of fresh air. But, yeah, it's a glorious, glorious place." Asked what brought him to that area in the first place, the British-born singer, who has lived in America since the mid-1980s, said: "Well, it was tax. I've been a tax exile since I was 21 years old. When the '87 album just started to go batshit, we had a seven-hour meeting in Los Angeles, and they were wooing me to Delaware or Miami. The music business, at that time, of course, was Los Angeles. So I said, 'What the closest place…' And funnily enough, at school, I'd done a school project of the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics. So I had heard of Lake Tahoe, but I was unfamiliar with the geographics of it. And the very first day I woke up — I arrived in the middle of the night. There was no streetlights — it was just pitch black. I think I finished a world tour and had a hive of wasps up my ass about something. And the next day I woke up still kind of pissed and grumpy, making a coffee. And I opened these drapes to this drop-jaw, stunning, gorgeous view, widescreen — just unbelievable. I got my coffee, and I walked down to this boat dock, and I sat there, and I felt like all this rusty armor of all the bullshit and the dramas and the soap operas that go on on tours just drop off and into the water. It was an extraordinary meeting. It was like those Hollywood moments of seeing this woman walking in slo-mo, and you suddenly, your drink's paused, slo-moed halfway to your mouth, and it's love at first sight and time stopped. That was that kind of moment, and it still is." Early last year, WHITESNAKE was forced to cancel its U.S. tour with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER so that Coverdale could undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia. Eventually, all of the shows were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. Coverdale, who turned 69 in September, had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live. WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl. [youtube]
LION'S SHARE Releases New Single And Lyric Video 'Under Attack'
Swedish heavy metal band LION'S SHARE has made a new song, "Under Attack", available on streaming services and digital service providers. LION'S SHARE singer Nils Patrik Johansson commented: "It's about how complex everything is these days. It feels like we're at war all the time and every day — not so much the old fashioned way with guns and bombs. These days we're under virtual attacks with fake news, web criminality, terrorist attacks etc. We also have to deal with this brutal pandemic and the effects of climate change. We're under attack, that's for sure." In late 2018, LION'S SHARE released a new five-track EP, plus its complete catalog — remastered with new artwork — on streaming services and digital service providers for the first time. The band have since released a few more digital singles, some of which will and some of which won't end up on the forthcoming full-length album. LION'S SHARE guitarist Lars Chriss says: "We are aware our fans want a new album and the plan was to release one in 2020, but then COVID-19 came and put a stop to that. We had just started playing live again with a couple of headline shows in Germany in March and were gearing up towards a new album and tour. Since we think it's very important to tour behind a new album, we just have to wait until things go back to 'normal' again. Until then, we plan to release a new single every two-three months and keep building our fan base". Both Johansson and Chriss remark that they have always worked very well together, and at this point it feels the most natural to keep LION'S SHARE as a duo, with friends helping out wherever needed. The LION'S SHARE catalog features appearances by members and ex-members of KISS, MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND, HAMMERFALL, SYMPHONY X, CHIMAIRA, THERION, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, CANDLEMASS, etc. Mixers include top engineers such as Jens Bogren (ARCH ENEMY, OPETH, SYMPHONY X, AMON AMARTH), Niklas Flyckt (one-time Grammy Award winner and four-time nominee) and Ronny Lahti (ROXETTE, EUROPE, Glenn Hughes). LION'S SHARE has toured with bands like MOTÖRHEAD, MANOWAR, DIO, SAXON, ICED EARTH, NEVERMORE, U.D.O., Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER) and has played many of the major rock and metal festivals. "Under Attack" recording lineup: Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals Lars Chriss - guitar Andy Loos - bass Nils Fredrik Johansson - drums [youtube]
KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer has expressed his joy after "creating a close bond" with his newfound daughter. Earlier today, the 60-year-old rocker took to his Instagram to go public with the discovery that he'd fathered a child. "This is a big one," he wrote. "I've been waiting for the right time to tell everyone. My daughter Sierra and I were blessed to find each other last summer. We've already spent a lot of time since getting to know each other and creating a close bond. She's a beautiful, sincere person and I couldn't be happier. I think she feels the same about me." He added: "The most wonderful thing about miracles is that they sometimes happen." Thayer, who married Amber Peek in 2006, was not previously known to have fathered any children. The couple has since split but reportedly remains on good terms. KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "End Of The Road" was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but is now expected to last well into 2022. KISS's current lineup consists of original members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, alongside later band additions, Thayer and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991). Last October, Tommy sold his home in Southern California for $2.7 million. During the question-and-answer portion of "An Evening With Tommy Thayer" in February 2020 at the Outtakes Bar & Grill in New Hope, Minnesota, Thayer was asked what his plans are for after KISS completes its "End Of The Road" farewell tour. He responded: "I get asked that question a lot in interviews these days. I don't really know. I'm sure most people here know we're on the 'End Of The Road' world tour right now. I don't really know exactly what my plans are at the end of this. KISS is not gonna go away, though, either. The band is not gonna tour, but the KISS music, the identities and the characters and the brand and the merchandise, that will all continue on. I think that KISS will continue on in some way. I can't imagine it not." View this post on Instagram

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Eddie Van Halen's widow Janie Van Halen (née Liszewski) says that she is "doing the best" she can, five months after the legendary guitarist's passing. In addition to mourning his loss, Janie has dealt with the deaths of her brother last June and her mother in November. Janie, who is a ballroom dancer, discussed her grieving process while appearing on the "Tony & Dwight" on NewsRadio 840 WHAS this morning (Friday, March 5). She said (hear audio below): "I'm doing the best I can. I have okay days; I have sad, bad days; but you just have to kind of keep moving. And the things that I post [on social media] as inspiration for other people, I actually post for myself as well to kind of keep going, keep moving forward. My dance partner also had two losses almost at the same time — his dad, and then his sister's boyfriend. So we kind of support each other in our loss and our grief. And it helps — it definitely helps. And then, obviously, my family members and friends — close friends. I do the best I can. It's not so easy, though." Last November, Janie said that she would "finally" begin a therapy regimen to provide her with the "emotional support and help" she needed. Eddie died in October at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist passed away at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Janie was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie's brother and VAN HALEN drummer. The following day, Janie took to her social media to write: "My husband, my love, my Peep, "My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces. "I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness. "Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be. "Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I have ever had to do so instead I say so long, I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow. "Please watch over Kody and I. We love you and miss you so very much. "Love, your PooPee". Prior to tying the knot with Liszewski in 2009, Eddie was married for more than two decades to actress Valerie Bertinelli. Janie is also a stuntwoman-turned-publicist who owns her own public relations agency High Profile Media. Eddie died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed. The guitarist was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had tongue surgery. He later battled lung cancer and had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. Things took a turn for the worse in early 2019 when Eddie got in a motorcycle accident. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and received gamma knife radiosurgery to treat the illness. Listen to "Blessings Delivered. Johnny Golf. Janie Van Halen Rocks! Louie, too." on Spreaker.
THE OFFSPRING Guitarist Explains Why It's Taken Nine Years To Release Follow-Up To 'Days Go By'
THE OFFSPRING singer Bryan "Dexter" Holland and guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman spoke to Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA about the band's upcoming tenth studio album, "Let The Bad Times Roll", which will arrive on April 16 via Concord Records. The follow-up to 2012's "Days Go By" was produced by Bob Rock, who also worked on the band's last two LPs. On the topic of the long delay in getting the new album released, Noodles said: "I've been saying this record is gonna come out since 1985. So I figured I'm finally right. This year is the year, finally… And we did take our time doing this, for a couple of reasons. We always go out and tour, and it's hard to record while we're out touring. We tour, like, three or four months out of every year, for sure. My friend Dexter went back and got his PhD [degree in molecular biology]; we're very proud of him. He got that about three years ago. And then the last three years, we really kind of knuckled down and started working on this record. There was a couple of things that were done, but we had a real creative spurt at that point, and we have even more songs than just what are on the record now. So we are already kind of looking ahead at the next record. When the pandemic hit, we looked at what we had for this one and went, 'Well, we don't know if we wanna release it when we can't tour. So let's keep working on it.' And eventually, it was, like, 'It's done. The fans need to hear this. We wanna get it out to the fans.' So we couldn't wait anymore." Holland, Wasserman, drummer Pete Parada and new bassist Todd Morse wrote and recorded "Let The Bad Times Roll" in the last few years at various locations, including the band's studio in Huntington Beach, California. In December, THE OFFSPRING released the official music video for its Rock-produced cover version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", a rock song originally sung by Darlene Love and included on the 1963 seasonal compilation album "A Christmas Gift For You" from Phil Spector. Last April, THE OFFSPRING jumped on the "Tiger King" bandwagon by recording a cover version of THE CLINTON JOHNSON BAND's "Here Kitty Kitty", a song made popular by Joe Schreibvogel — better known as Joe Exotic, the "Tiger King" — through the Netflix docuseries. Two years ago, bassist Gregory "Greg K." Kriesel, who hasn't performed with THE OFFSPRING since 2018, filed a federal lawsuit against Noodles and Dexter alleging trademark infringement and breach of partnership agreement over the rights to THE OFFSPRING name. In response, Holland and Wasserman filed a cross-complaint, denying basically everything Kriesel alleged and asking the court to appoint "three disinterested appraisers to appraise the fair value" of Kriesel's shares of THE OFFSPRING. THE OFFSPRING has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, won countless awards, and has toured consistently, playing more than 500 shows in the last decade alone. Their music has had a lasting impact across film, television, and video games. Photo credit:: Daveed Benito [youtube] [youtube]
Max Cavalera has reflected on the breakup of SEPULTURA's classic lineup, saying that the situation in the band was "rotten from the inside." The Brazilian four-piece fell apart in 1996 with the exit of Max after the rest of the band split with his wife Gloria as their manager. His brother, drummer Igor Cavalera, stuck around with the group for another ten years before leaving SEPULTURA and re-teaming with Max in CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. Although SEPULTURA has maintained a diehard fanbase in all parts of the world throughout the band's nearly four-decade history, Max-era albums "Roots" and "Chaos A.D." were by far SEPULTURA's most commercially successful, having both been certified gold in the U.S. for sales in excess of five hundred thousand copies. Max looked back on his final album with SEPULTURA during a brand new interview with France's Heavy1/Hard Force. He said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "The whole 'Roots' thing is a very confusing time in my life, because I don't think I knew how to deal with the whole fame thing very well — especially in Brazil. We went to Brazil, and the record was massive — like real, real big; like BEATLES big. And I remember I tried to go to the mall with my wife, and we got mobbed. And I knew that 70 percent of the people didn't own a SEPULTURA record; it was just the curiosity of the celebrity thing. And that really bugged me. It was, like, 'Yeah, all these people, they don't give a fuck. They're just there. It's a thing. I don't understand this thing.' So I struggled with that a little bit. At that time, I was drinking heavily and taking drugs. So I was wild. And, of course, it is marked by glory and tragedy. At the same time you're commemorating this big record, there's a big tragedy right in the middle of the thing, which is Dana's [Wells] death," referring to the August 1996 passing of his stepson. "And it's bitter, man. I don't think I ever actually fully enjoyed what 'Roots' brought because of that. It was cut in half, because of that. But that's life, man." Asked if Dana's death was the starting point for many of the disagreements that led to the eventual breakup of SEPULTURA's classic lineup, Max said: "The situation in the band, it had been going bad [even before that]. It wasn't the beginning of that, but it added to it. And one of the main reasons why it added to it — a lot of people don't know the story — we were in England, ready to do the [Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle] Donington with Ozzy [Osbourne]. And we received the news that Dana died. And my wife was in total despair. And I'm her husband; I have to comfort her. So I [flew] back to America to be with her. And I found out later that Andreas's [Kisser, guitar] wife tried to move the body, tried to steal Dana's body and tried to get him buried real quick so we could go back on tour. And that's — c'mon, man. I was, like, 'Who does that?' It seriously made me think about the people I'm making music with. Are those my real friends? It was confusing, man. And then it got worse because, eventually, they ganged up, including my brother — I cannot put him out of that thing; he was part of it — it was like a mutiny. The three guys against me, and against Gloria. So they wouldn't talk to her. That last European tour, it was just pure misery; it was miserable. Of course, it [didn't] show in the music; the music [was] great [and] the shows were great. But the other 23 hours of the day was fucking misery — trying to deal with that. And eventually her contract was done. They always say in the press that she got fired by those guys, but that's not true. Her contract was actually done; she decided not to renew it. In fact, she told me, 'Go with them if you want to. It's your choice. Don't make me hold you back.' And I just couldn't do it because of things like that. There's that kind of stuff going on — heavy stuff." According to Cavalera, there were other differences that contributed to the split, including the rest of the band's aspirations to work with more established and notable figures within the music industry. "They had different ideas," he said. "One of the main ideas was to replace Gloria and a lot of our crew and people with very 'professional,' big people. And to me, that seems a fucked-up thing to do, where the people that helped you get to that was [these] people, and now that you're big and successful, now you can hire anybody. You're just, like, 'All right. Fuck you. You're done. Your shit's done. We're going with [these] successful people.' I didn't agree with that, because I think everything was going good. We were getting all the major festivals; we were supposed to headline Big Day Out in Australia, so she couldn't be that bad of a manager, the way they envisioned. "Honestly, I think the best thing we could have done would have been to take a whole year off, and everybody should go somewhere, clear their heads and come back a year later, and talk about it," he added. "But even with that, there was no remedy. It's broke — the thing is broke. It's rotten, man, from the inside. It needed something, and eventually what it needed was separation." Last year, SEPULTURA bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. said that he has had "zero" contact with Max, adding that a reunion with the band's original frontman would have to happen "naturally." Back in 2017, Igor Cavalera told The Salt Lake Tribune that he and Max "believe SEPULTURA doesn't really make sense nowadays, to do what they're doing." The drummer also downplayed the possibility of a reunion of SEPULTURA's classic lineup, saying: "Unless it's something really solid — and we haven't seen that from their part — of doing something totally professional and coming together, trying to do something like that. At the end of the day, it would be special for the fans, so it's not like a closed door, but at the same time, we have no time to spend energy with this kind of thing. So we just move forward." Max echoed his brother's sentiments, telling The Salt Lake Tribune that he doesn't even think about his former bandmates much. "For a time — for a long time — there was a war in the press, like, 'He'll talk this, I'll talk that,'" he explained. "I got really tired of it, honestly. I'm not gonna do that anymore. So let them go their way and do their thing, and we're gonna do our thing, and I think that's the best for everybody." While stopping short of completely ruling out a reunion of SEPULTURA's classic lineup, Max said: "Right now, we don't even need it. It's been so much of that kind of bad vibes through the years that I don't even know how that would even really work out. I think what [Igor and I] are doing is the closest thing to that, and it works great, it works like a charm. It's amazing." Igor and Max have spent much of the last six years celebrating the 20th anniversary of SEPULTURA's "Roots" and 30th anniversary of "Beneath The Remains" and "Arise", respectively, on tour all over the world. SEPULTURA's current lineup — vocalist Derrick Green, guitarist Andreas Kisser, bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande — released its latest album, "Quadra", in February 2020 via Nuclear Blast Records. [youtube]
During an appearance on Kylie Olsson's YouTube show "Life In Six Strings", EXTREME guitarist Nuno Bettencourt confirmed that the band's first new album since 2008's "Saudades De Rock" has been "done for a year now." He explained: "We were gonna release it last March, and the fucking pandemic came along. We debated and debated, and fans are still busting my balls every fucking day [on social media], 'Where is that album?' And it's hard to explain that it's, like, we can easily put it out — easily. Just, 'There it is. It's on iTunes. Go get it.', Or, 'It's on Spotify. Go get it.' But we're a touring band. And it might be a little old-school thinking — we wanna come and play this thing for you, and we wanna release it when we come and play it for you — not at the same time; it'll be soon. But we wanna be able to put it out and then have you be excited about it, live with it, come see the shows, come here, come there and do it. Now, if the pandemic keeps going the way it is, then we're not gonna be able to have that fucking cake and eat it too." According to Nuno, EXTREME doesn't yet have a new label home, which is part of the reason the band has been reluctant to release any fresh music during the pandemic. "We were gonna start going to new labels, but labels were shutting down," he said. "People weren't making deals. Yeah, there were Zoom meetings and stuff, but they didn't even know what the fuck was happening with them. People aren't even going back to offices yet and shit like that. So we didn't wanna shop the EXTREME album as well in a time where people are going, 'Really? You wanna talk about doing a record contract when people are fucking dying and we don't even know what's happening and the world is shut down?' So we said, 'Hit pause.' And now we're starting to have meetings again. Over the last few weeks, we started putting deals in place so we can get this thing out. And I'm really, really excited about it, as a guitar player, to share that with you and everybody." Nuno previously discussed EXTREME's new album during a February 2020 appearance on "Trunk Nation: L.A. Invasion" on SiriusXM. Asked why it took EXTREME more than 12 years to release a follow-up to "Saudades De Rock", Nuno said: "To be honest with you, we didn't wait that long. We probably have about three to four albums done. Not 'done done,' but we did an album pretty quickly. "One thing I always said to Gary [Cherone, EXTREME singer], ever since we started this band, is I never wanna release anything that I can't wait to play people, that I just can't wait to share," he continued. "I don't wanna put out albums just for the sake of putting out albums. I loved the stuff we were doing, but then I started writing some other stuff that I liked better. And then we kind of scrapped that. Then I latched on to something where we thought we had an album done about two years ago, and then I just tapped into these three or four songs. It was a 'stop the presses' kind of moment for me, and I went, 'That's it.' It reminded me of when we kind of tapped into [1990's] 'Pornograffitti' back then, to me, where it was a big kind of uppercut. Gary refers to this album as 'Porno 2.0' every time he jokes about it, but it's very much like that kind of excitement for us." A live package celebrating EXTREME's "Pornograffitti" album was made available in October 2016. Titled "Pornograffitti Live 25 / Metal Meltdown", it included a DVD, Blu-ray and audio CD recorded at the band's show at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino on May 30, 2015, where they performed the record in full. [youtube] [youtube]
SLIPKNOT's Jay Weinberg spoke to Sweetwater about how he was influenced and inspired by his father Max, who has been a member of Bruce Springsteen's E STREET BAND since 1974. "A piece of advice that my dad passed down to me that I'm always grateful for, that's kind of key information for any drummer to have, is you're always gonna be best served with whatever practice you're doing is to a metronome," he said (see video below). "And to me, playing along to a metronome, doing exercises and just playing beats and stuff while keeping myself accountable, learning how to play with it as an instrument, to me, that's been what serves the music that I love to play. It kind of adds that frenetic energy where it feels like a freight train that's about come off the tracks, but the important thing to me is that it's gotta never come off the tracks. Being tight is, to me, above all. Any band that's impressive to me has always just been tight together." He continued: "As I apply that to a band like SLIPKNOT, we don't play live to a metronome or anything like that; we just do what we do because we listen to each other. And the practice of hearing that metronome in my head allows me to feel the space in between notes and how I'm filling that, and that helps inform how I'm speaking musically to the guitar players and the vocalist and stuff like that. It's got that energy to it, but it always has that invisible swing that's super important to this kind of music." Jay was asked to fill in for his dad as the touring drummer for BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND more than a decade ago. Last year, he described the experience as "completely insane. And I didn't expect for that to happen, but the stars aligned in that way that just like it was one of those 'right places at the right time' kind of things," he said. Jay discovered SLIPKNOT when he was a pre-teen, through his father. He was hooked immediately and was a huge fan of SLIPKNOT by the time he was invited to Los Angeles to try out as replacement for Joey Jordison in 2014. SLIPKNOT announced its split with Jordison in December 2013 but did not disclose the reasons for his exit. The drummer subsequently issued a statement saying that he did not quit the group. SLIPKNOT spent most of last year touring in support of its sixth studio album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which was released in August 2019 via Roadrunner Records. [youtube]
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