Rock News

British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS have announced that their new album, "Torn Arteries", has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LP had been previously scheduled to arrive on August 7 via Nuclear Blast. Earlier today, CARCASS took to its social media to write: "Well there's no way our new album is gonna get released in August now, what with the ongoing pandemic, CD & vinyl manufacturers have closed and label distribution has been put on hold for the foreseeable future. There's more pressing things to be concerned with right now, correct? Bunker down, look after yourselves, let's see the next few months through and we'll get the album released as soon as there's some kind of return to 'normality'." Guitarist Bill Steer recently said that the name of the new CARCASS LP stems from a demo tape that the band's founding drummer Ken Owen recorded when he was still a teenager. "He had a fictitious band called TORN ARTERIES and he recorded everything himself in his bedroom — guitar, and he'd actually bang on boxes and kind of scream into the mic," Bill explained to Australia's Heavy. "And the whole thing was so distorted, it kind of sounded super heavy, even though essentially you were listening to a guy with a Spanish guitar and a couple of boxes. I think Jeff [Walker, CARCASS bassist/vocalist] appreciates the connection to the past and the fact that it was another Ken Owen classic. So that was his choice, really, and it stuck." Steer went on to say that the "Torn Arteries" title is an homage of sorts to Owen, who suffered a brain hemorrhage in 1999 and hasn't actively played with CARCASS for more than two decades. "I can't remember when this came up, but we were doing some press conference at a festival, and I think we all kind of agreed that even though Ken isn't playing in the band as such right now, he's kind of involved in everything we do, stylistically, because when he was so unique — when he was playing drums, his approach was just totally different," Steer said. "Also, the riffs he came up with, they were just really far out there. They were loads of fun to learn. I still think, as a guitar player, some of the stuff was very unorthodox and it was quite a challenge. That kind of influence still runs through what we do today. Just as a friendship thing, we're all still in touch regularly, and it's just been great to see Ken's life stabilizing. Basically, he has a good standard of living and he's a happy guy." Asked how long it took to record the new CARCASS album, Bill said: "I couldn't really tell you, because it was done in several chunks, and it was the first time we've really done this. In the past, there'd be one session, or maybe a couple of long sessions, whereas this was a week here and a week there. So it did feel like a long time. I [couldn't tell you] exactly how many days or weeks that was. Obviously, quality control is a huge factor with us, 'cause you want the thing to be as good as it can be. And the fact that we don't record with a click track, the whole thing is not on a grid, so you can't copy and paste a verse or a chorus, like some bands might do. And that's a good thing, but it also means you've gotta spend longer [recording everything]." Steer also confirmed that the new CARCASS song "Under The Scalpel Blade", which was released last December as a digital single, will appear on the group's upcoming seventh LP. "I think it's one of the more conservative tunes off the album," the guitarist said. "There aren't really many elements in that song that are brand new to CARCASS. If you're gonna pick it apart and analyze it, there's definitely things that remind the listener of things we might have done in the past. For various reasons, it appeared to be the best song to put out there first. It's also one of the safer numbers on the album, I would say." Steer also talked about the addition of second guitarist Tom Draper (POUNDER, ex-ANGEL WITCH, PRIMITAI), who made his live debut with CARCASS in March 2018 at the Netherlands Deathfest at 013 in Tilburg. "[Tom] is from Southern England, but for the last few years, he's been living in California," Bill said. "Yeah, he's just been a really great addition to the group. He's incredibly organized and methodical. His attention to detail is very impressive, because it takes a lot of patience and a long attention span to learn this type of stuff and really nail the nuances. But, yeah, that's totally his bag — he's been into that kind of thing. He's just great to have onboard." Asked if Tom has contributed at all to the songwriting on "Torn Arteries", Bill said: "Nah. To be honest, the bulk of the material was written a very long time ago. Once we were up and running, we added to that. Given the history of the band, the fact that it goes back so far, to the '80s, it's kind of a difficult thing to bring in a new guitar player and expect him to be a contributor. 'Cause live is one thing, but the studio is like a microscope kind of situation where everything, stylistically, becomes very, very noticeable. That was the same thing that happened with 'Surgical'. Some people perhaps didn't see the sleeve notes or read the sleeve notes, but they had the impression that there were two guitarists on the record, but there weren't. It's such a lengthy process recording this type of music, or at least with this band — I assume it's probably the same for other bands in our genre — but it's just one thing that makes things move a little bit quicker, if you've got one guitar player doing as much as possible." "Surgical Steel" sold around 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 41 on The Billboard 200 chart. [youtube]

TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. DiGiorgio's test results were revealed by TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy, who was one of the first heavy metal musicians to share his own COVID-19 diagnosis. Billy previously said that he had "been feeling unwell" since returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area last month following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL. Speaking to Joshua Toomey of "Diabolus In Podcastica" about his decision to go public with his and his wife's positive test results, Chuck said (hear audio below): "It was kind of almost our duty to say something. Fortunately, we got home off the road and were isolated right away. So we didn't really see anybody. But it's definitely a nasty sickness and illness. I mean, we're starting to feel better, but I wouldn't say I'm a hundred percent. So I don't know — am I contagious still? I don't know. "Steve, our bass player, just tested on Thursday, he got his results back, and they're positive," Billy continued. "And that's after a couple of weeks of being sick. So it made us think, 'Are we still contagious?', even though the doctors and the CDC [Centers For Disease Control And Prevention] told us that, 'Go ahead and go to the store. Go out. Wear a mask.' But you just don't know. We don't know if we're ill or not." Last weekend, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt also revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll spent almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital but is now said to be on the mend. TESTAMENT, EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL canceled at least two shows on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour due to the fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus: February 25 in Milan, Italy; and March 11 in Hannover, Germany. COVID-19 symptoms vary widely, and undertesting in many countries means that many people may have already had the coronavirus without having received a positive diagnosis. More than one million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 52,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population. Listen to "Chuck Billy (Testament) Interview" on Spreaker.

DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll is on the mend after recently spending almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital. Earlier today, the musician — who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus — checked in from the hospital to thank his friends and family for their support while also expressing his desire to embark on what he described as a "new chapter" of his life. He wrote: "'Rumors of my death have greatly been exaggerated'. I thought I'd start this post with a Mark Twain quote. But in all seriousness I can't over express how everyone's outpouring of love, support and positive energy was so important to me. Without getting too spiritual or sappy I honestly think you saved my life. "When I was in a coma I was for 12 days your positive energy somehow got me through. I know I'm strong and resilient but not that strong. "During my coma the doctors told me they had to pump my lungs of all fluid which was the equivalent of 5 pounds of beer they thought I was a goner for sure. "It's a hell of feeling talking to people who thought you weren't going to make it. It completely blew my mind when I got a message from one of my idols Jay Jay French from [TWISTED SISTER]. A man who I don't even know. Maybe he saw a picture of my TS tattoo. That just shows he's pure class. "You know when I was a kid I used to think TS's lyrics were 'Fuck you, it's us against them' but maybe that's a bit shortsighted I think they're more about the value of life and not squandering it. "As I start this new chapter of my life I look forward to getting my chops back up to speed and getting some new files from Mr. Rob Cavestany which will eventually be DA's 10 record. Until then I have the arguas [sic] task of Learning to walk and eat solid food. "I love you all and thank you." Carroll and the rest of DEATH ANGEL recently spent more than a month on the road in Europe with TESTAMENT and EXODUS as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour. On March 22, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Several days later, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt also said that he was infected with the new coronavirus. DEATH ANGEL has spent the last few months touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out last May via Nuclear Blast. The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance" for the "Humanicide" title track. It was the group's first Grammy nomination. Carroll joined DEATH ANGEL in 2009 as the replacement for the band's original drummer, Andy Galeon. Will can be heard on the last four DEATH ANGEL studio albums: "Relentless Retribution" (2010), "The Dream Calls for Blood" (2013), "The Evil Divide" (2016) and the aforementioned "Humanicide".

SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has floated a couple of conspiracy theories about the origins of the novel coronavirus, including the suggestion that the COVID-19 virus was created in a laboratory. There has been no shortage of conspiracy theories flying around about the how the coronavirus was unleashed, such as that the pandemic is a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party to politically damage President Donald Trump or that it's a secret bioweapon unleashed on the U.S. by China. Dolmayan offered his thoughts on the virus's source during a brand new interview with the "Metal Injection Livecast". Speaking about the coronavirus's impact on the U.S. economy and the U.S. population as a whole, John said (hear audio below): "Honestly, I think there's a lot of positives that can come out of this. But at the end of the day, what I'm really concerned with is that people are financially gonna be hit very hard. I don't wanna see high unemployment levels. I have a business that I run. We have 15 empoyees, and I'm doing the best I can to keep everybody employed. That's the only thing you're really concerned with during times like this. "I guess I'm not quite as afraid as other people are about the virus itself," he continued. "I feel like human beings are made to combat viruses. We have systems in place in our bodies to combat viruses. "It there's one positive thing, to powers that be, it got rid of a lot of people that were protesting really fast. So, I don't know. I question stuff, and I have my own theories on things, and people think I'm an idiot sometimes for it. But I also have a big imagination." When asked to clarify which protesters he was referring to, Dolmayan said: "Well, there were protesters in Hong Kong, there were protesters in France, there were protesters in Italy, Lebanon, Chile — there were protests happening worldwide, people demanding change from their governments, and it's just kind of convenient that there's a coronavirus and all those protests go away. "I write for a hobby, and I actually started writing my own comic book that's gonna come out in a couple of months or so, whenever this thing clears up, so I do have an active imagination and I see depths in things and reasons within reasons and stuff like that," he explained. "Maybe I'm nuts or maybe my philosophies have a ring of truth to them, but I just think that there's interesting coincidences and convenient things that happen to motivate things. World War I started on an assassination attempt. Was that person assassinated by the people that wanted the war? There's just things that happened in history that are interesting that are hard to explain. "What did these viruses pop out of? It's not bats and shit like that," he said. "People in China have been eating that way for thousands of years." Elaborating on his suggestion that the Chinese government has embarked on a campaign to deflect its responsibility and disguise its accountability for the outbreak, John said: "There's nothing China's gonna do in the first few weeks to stop people from buying and consuming Chinese product. This is my theory — they would prefer the entire world economy being bad than just the Chinese economy. Because what happens if we can't get our goods from China because there's a shutdown in China? Then we're gonna get it from other places — their competitors. And once you develop supply chains from other places, then people get used to working with other people, they're not necessarily gonna wanna go back and work with China afterwards. "There's a whole political, global, financial thing you have to understand," he added. "They don't care about a couple of million people dying. And I'm not just talking about China; I'm talking about governments in general. Because they have to look at it kind of like an ant colony. It's more important for the ant colony to survive than members of the ant colony, including the queen. It's understandable, although it's not fun to think about things in those terms." A recent report pubished by Nature Medicine said that the coronavirus pandemic circling the globe was caused by a natural virus, not one made in a lab. An investigation by researchers from the United States, Britain and Australia also found the virus might have made the jump from animal to humans long before the first detection in the central China city of Wuhan. Millions of Americans are facing stay-at-home orders as the coronavirus continues to tear its way through the U.S. More than one million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 52,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.

Rhino has set a July 17 release date for THE STOOGES' 50th-anniversary "Fun House" box set. Featured are all seven tracks from the original album, newly remastered on 2-LP 45 RPM (for highest audio quality), the vinyl debut of "The Complete Funhouse Sessions" and "Have Some Fun: Live At Ungano's", a recording of THE STOOGES performing live in New York City in August 1970, just as "Fun House" was released. Rounding out the music in this deluxe set are two mixes of the single "Down On The Street"/"I Feel Alright". The first is the "Mono Single Edit" released in France, and the other is the unique "Single Mix" that was unreleased until the original 1999 boxed set. Each one is pressed on seven-inch vinyl and presented in a sleeve with reproduction artwork. Beyond the music, the collection also includes a 28-page booklet with rare photos and extensive liner notes, featuring an essay by Henry Rollins and testimonials penned by an extensive list of rock and roll luminaries, including Flea, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, Duff McKagan, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello, Karen O, Mike Watt and Steven Van Zandt, among others, plus posters, prints, a slipmat, and a 45 adapter. Moore said: "From the first hit to the last breath, where the design and the aesthetic are so in focus to both reality and the magic that is the essence of true creative vision, 'Fun House' was the blueprint, the template for what I wanted in rock and roll: direct action rhythm where the bass and drums are informed by urban blues swing, fire-in-the-hole guitar shred that is way too cool to show off, and a singer who is in the fucking moment alive with all the love, rage, guts and glory that his sonic prayers could beseech. Speaking for anyone who was saved by punk-noise-art-hardcore-psyche-folk-no wave foreverness — 'Fun House' is where it begins, where we all come out to play." Flea added: "'Fun House' is the raw and beautiful truth. It is beyond categorization, and I'll be listening to it for the rest of my life." McKagan stated: "'Down On The Street' taught me everything I needed to know about groove to this day. 'T.V. Eye' taught me all I needed to know about how to play a guitar. 'Dirt' killed me… the slow drudge and discord. 'Loose', '1970', 'Fun House' and 'L.A. Blues' remain pure motherfucking classics on how rock 'n' roll should be done. Period. This is THE record to have, if you know what the fuck is up." [youtube]

Zakk Wylde has commenced the songwriting process for BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's new studio album. Earlier today, Ozzy's longtime guitarist took to his Twitter to share a video of him at the piano accompanied by his seven-year-old son, Sabbath Page Wielandt Wylde. He wrote in a caption: "BLACK LABEL SONGWRITING SESSIONS O' DOOM/DESTRUCTION/DEMOLITION & DOUBLE BUBBLE TROUBLE w/SABBATH PAGE" Last month, Zakk told Billboard that he would spend April composing the songs for BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's next disc and that he would record the LP in May and June. He explained: "I don't demo or stockpile shit. Never have. I'm not like Prince, where he's recording stuff all the time. I just like to come up with a riff or an idea and be like, 'Why don't we track that one today?' It's like the beginning of a new season. It's always fun." Wylde added that he expects to take BLACK LABEL SOCIETY back on the road in Europe later this year. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY has spent the last couple of years touring in support of its tenth full-length album, "Grimmest Hits", which was released in January 2018 via Entertainment One (eOne). The band celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first album, "Sonic Brew", last year. Zakk has been the on-again-off-again guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne since 1987, although he does not appear on the legendary heavy metal singer's latest LP, "Ordinary Man". Wylde can be heard on 10 of Ozzy's albums, including "No Rest For The Wicked", "No More Tears" and "Ozzmosis". He has also released two solo LPs, 1996's "Book Of Shadows" and 2016's "Book Of Shadows II". BLACK LABEL SOCIETY is: Zakk Wylde - Vocals/Guitar John DeServio - Bass Dario Lorina - Guitar Jeff Fabb - Drums


— Zakk Wylde (@ZakkWyldeBLS) April 2, 2020

Sebastian Bach says that anybody would make a better president than a reality television show host. The former SKID ROW singer made the comment while sharing a CNN article about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisting that he will never run for president. Sebastian tweeted: "anyone is better than a reality television show host. Got my vote. Maybe he could make it possible for our children to go to school and for Americans to go to work? maybe the United States of America can exist again #MakeAmericaExistAgain" Trump was the host of the NBC reality competition show "The Apprentice" before quitting to run for president. Last August, Bach, who frequently criticizes Trump's policies, lambasted America's 45th president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Vice President Mike Pence and other Republican leaders for their inaction on gun regulation. A month earlier, Bach made headlines when he said that he "would do a better job" running the county than Trump. In a 2018 interview with, Sebastian revealed that he voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "I don't understand how anybody would accept a reality-show host as president instead of a politician," he said. "It's insanity. It's like starting a band and your first show is at Toronto SkyDome. You gotta build up to it." Three years ago, Bach told Music Injection that things had gotten particularly bleak in the first few months after Trump took office. "Well, since Donald Trump became president, Facebook became not fun for me," he said. "Every headline sucks, everything sucks and I get to the point where I can't take it! All of that news, constantly, day after day, week after week, it gets me down and it gets me in a bad mood. "I don't know about everybody else, but when I read about nuclear war, I find it hard to get on with my day," he added. "I thought we got rid of that nuclear war conversation in the '70s! It gets [me] very sad and angry at the same time. Climate change makes me angry. It makes me mad that people deny that when the world is fucked. It makes me furious." Sebastian recently confirmed that he was in the process of making the follow-up to his 2014 album "Give 'Em Hell".

anyone is better than a reality television show host. Got my vote. Maybe he could make it possible for our children to go to school and for Americans to go to work? maybe the United States of America can exist again #MakeAmericaExistAgain

— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) April 2, 2020

Former JUDAS PRIEST members K.K. Downing (guitar), Tim "Ripper" Owens (vocals) and Les Binks (drums) recently joined forced in a new band called KK'S PRIEST. The group, which pays homage to Downing's past, is rounded out by guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE) and bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX). Speaking about Mills, Downing said: "A.J. was just 14 when he saw his first-ever concert at our show in Birmingham England in 2001 with Ripper on vocals. Since then, he has aspired to be a guitarist. Years later, I was introduced to A.J. and his band HOSTILE through his uncle Steve who I went to school with. Needless to say, I became involved and started to help where I could, producing their two albums and writing a song for them. The band went on to support internationally bands such as MEGADETH, MANOWAR and MACHINE HEAD, to name a few. "A.J. is from my hometown, so I feel very comfortable having him as a guitar partner and it's good to keep connected to the origins and the birthplace of the original PRIEST. "A.J. has gone from strength to strength as a guitarist, and please check out A.J. playing 'Beyond The Realms Of Death' with me at our one-off gig at the Steel Mill last November. [See video below.] "We very much appreciate your support and look forward to presenting to you a new album which is well on the way and a world tour as soon as possible." KK'S PRIEST is working on its debut album, to be released via Explorer1 Music Group. It will also play select shows later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of PRIEST and Downing's career as a founding member. KK'S PRIEST's setlist will consist of PRIEST classics and new songs. KK'S PRIEST is represented exclusively by Andy Gould for Explorer1, with Jim Morewood handling the band's global bookings outside the U.S. for the K2 Agency. Downing, Binks and Owens performed a full-length set of PRIEST classics with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson in November in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Joining them on second guitar was Mills. Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Richie Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior. Downing recently said that he reached out to JUDAS PRIEST about taking part in the band's upcoming 50th-anniversary tour but that their response was that they were not interested in including him in the celebrations. In 2018, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties." Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from touring. Binks played drums on PRIEST's "Stained Class", "Hell Bent For Leather" (released as "Killing Machine" in the United Kingdom) and "Unleashed In The East" albums. Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 and recorded two studio albums with the band — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003. MEET THE BAND - KK INTRODUCES AJ MILLS! AJ was just 14 when he saw his first ever concert at our show in Birmingham... Posted by KKsPriest on Thursday, April 2, 2020 [youtube]

WHITESNAKE singer David Coverdale has uploaded a video of him performing a new coronavirus quarantine song called "Vacuum & Dust". Check it out below. As previously reported, all of WHITESNAKE's previously announced touring activities, including this summer's U.S. trek with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER, have been canceled so that Coverdale can undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia. Last month, WHITESNAKE postponed its Japanese tour due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. Coverdale 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 has been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released last May via Frontiers Music Srl. The disc follows the 2011 critically acclaimed studio album "Forevermore" and 2015's "The Purple Album", a reimagining of DEEP PURPLE classics from Coverdale's time in that band. Joining Coverdale on "Flesh & Blood" is the band comprised of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra on guitar, Michael Devin on bass, Tommy Aldridge on drums, and Michele Luppi on keyboards.

‘Vacuum & Dust’

— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) April 2, 2020

WARRANT has uploaded video of singer Robert Mason performing an acoustic version of the band's song "U In My Life". In a statement accompanying the clip's YouTube release, WARRANT wrote: "Our very own rock n roll quarantine brother, Robert Mason playing a song for y'all... from a safe social distance ! U in My Life from our CD. Screaming and streaming everywhere they play kick ass music. Stay Home, Safe and Healthy ! We are #flatteningthecurve" Mason replaced original WARRANT frontman Jani Lane in 2008 and has brought a degree of stability to the band after Lane's unceremonious departure and subsequent 2011 death. Lane recorded several albums with WARRANT in late 1980s and early 1990s but left the group several times. The band's seventh studio LP, "Born Again", was released in 2006 and featured Jaime St. James as the lead singer. In 2008, Lane returned to WARRANT temporarily and toured with the group. In September that year, WARRANT announced that Jani had left again. The band replaced him with Mason and released its eighth studio album, "Rockaholic", in 2011. Lane died in August 2011 at age 47. Paramedics found his body in a Comfort Inn motel room in Woodland Hills, California, which is near Los Angeles. Lane had battled alcohol abuse for years. Asked in an interview with "Thorn Of Rock" how he came to sing for WARRANT, Mason said: "It fell together very organically. When we saw each other, it was kind of one of those 'aha' moments. Like, 'Oh! Hey.' I hadn't seen the guys in a couple of years. Lane and I had stayed in touch, off and on, through the years. But everybody kind of goes their separate ways and does their own thing. "Lane was in a very dark place, and I honestly couldn't reach him and neither could anybody else, to help him," he continued. "And they quickly realized, once they all got back together in '07 to do those original-lineup shows… 'Cause the band had been through a couple of changes — people left and came back; that sort of thing — but when it was all five original guys, I had championed that cause, really, and I had talked to a couple of them, via either text message or phone, about it. And then I bumped into them at Rocklahoma in, I guess, July of '08, and it was pretty clear to see that Jani wasn't doing well on the road. And as talented a guy as he was, it was to his detriment and the band's that he was doing those shows and just not really being able to keep it together. And I felt badly for everybody involved. And I know that they thought it was the smartest thing for his health to not be a touring member of WARRANT. And that's a rough thing, man. That's the elephant in the room. I've talked about it a lot in interviews. "From the band's perspective, I saw four out of five guys that were kind of down in the dumps but really wanted to make it work," Mason added. "And when we bumped into each other, we had that little epiphany moment, like, 'Wow!' And Joey Allen [guitar] came to me and he [said], 'Hey, man, would you ever consider singing for us, or do you wanna at least talk about it?' I think Joey and I talked about it first, as I remember. Like I said, when they had to make that decision, it was not an easy one." Asked if he always feels like he has something to prove to the fans whenever he steps on stage with WARRANT, Mason said: "I don't know. I kind of feel that way every time I walk up on stage at all. You have an obligation to do a good job, but it's mixed with wanting to satisfy yourself, plus a sense of personal pride. Plus I just love what I do. I'm my happiest ever, I think, I've come to realize, when I'm on my side of the microphone and everybody else is on the other side. If I have a willing audience that's willing to like what I do, have fun, and I can kind of be the shiny hood ornament on the car, that just makes me personally drive to work harder and do better. So, I guess so. "Like I said, it's the elephant in the room," he continued. "Obviously, it's four out of five original guys, plus me. And I understand that there's a huge amount of nostalgia based in those songs with Jani as the singer and the frontman of the band. He was amazingly great at it — he was a great frontman, a great singer, a talented songwriter. So, yeah, I feel the obligation, I guess, but I don't look at it like a burden. It's almost like a fun challenge. Plus, we've had fans totally embrace this now. It's very rare that I get anything other than encouragement and acceptance." WARRANT's latest album, "Louder Harder Faster", was released in 2017 via Frontiers Music Srl. The disc was recorded with producer Jeff Pilson — a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER and DOKKEN, among others — and was mixed by Pat Regan, except for the song "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink", which was mixed by Chris "The Wizard" Collier (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, PRONG, LAST IN LINE). WARRANT continues to tour regularly in support of "Louder Harder Faster" and is rounded out by original members Joey Allen (guitar), Jerry Dixon (bass), Erik Turner (guitar) and Steven Sweet (drums). [youtube]

Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has uploaded a short video from his home in Jupiter, Florida, where he is quarantining with his wife, Nicole. He captioned the clip: "Just having some fun during Social Distancing". To date, Newsted has been part of the Jupiter community for nearly 20 years. "For my wife Nicole and I, this is the only place that we've ever found a sense of community in," Newsted told Florida Coast Magazine in a 2017 interview. "We feel strong within our circle of friends, and the close-knit community that we see in businesses and restaurants always shows us great respect. It's an immeasurable, invaluable component that fuels me; it makes me want to increase my contribution to this town. Jupiter has a good-natured center that, if you allow it, will pull you right in." Jason left METALLICA back in 2001, but was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and the man who replaced him, bassist Robert Trujillo, in 2009. Six years ago, Jason shelved NEWSTED, the heavy metal project he operated between 2012 and 2014, saying that it cost him "an awful lot of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars." He later explained: "I couldn't continue because the business is such a harsh thing now and so different than what I had known." This past February, Newsted and his CHOPHOUSE BAND played two separate benefit shows at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, Florida. Named after Jason's four recording studio facilities around the U.S. and featuring a fluid roster of players, THE CHOPHOUSE BAND began in 1992 when Newsted founded The Chophouse Records Studio in San Francisco. THE CHOPHOUSE BAND is led by Newsted, playing acoustic guitars and performing lead vocal, accompanied by 
close friends/musicians of all walks and styles, sharing some great American songs from familiar and unfamiliar heroes. [youtube]

SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian has collaborated with Sebu Simonian, the Armenian-American member of the Los Angeles-based indie pop duo CAPITAL CITIES, and Armenian rapper Misho on a song called "Introvert (Call Me Crazy)". The track, which can be streamed below, will likely appear on Simonian's upcoming album, tentatively titled "Many Faces". Simonian told Billboard the collaboration was "pretty random." Misho came up with the beat and it to Tankian, who wrote two rap verses over it and then sent it on to Simonian, to add vocals and a chorus. "I sent it back to them and they liked it, so we decided to make it a three-way collaboration," Simonian said. "I wanted to call it 'Call Me Crazy', but Misho said, 'It's got to be called 'Introvert'. That's the core topic. So we made it 'Introvert (Call Me Crazy)'." Tankian stated about the track: "Always fun to work with good friends whom you also deeply respect as artists. After hanging out a few times over Armenian Apricot Vodka and food, we decided to do a track together for fun and this song is the result. This is the best of Armenian hip hop Misho coupled with gorgeous pop melodies from Sebu with whatever the fuck I do." Tankian is the grandchild of Armenian Genocide survivors and achieved fame as the frontman of SYSTEM OF A DOWN, which has sold over 40 million records worldwide. While still touring with the hard rock group, Tankian has also recorded success as a solo musician and singer, songwriter, film score composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet and political activist. [youtube] Always fun to work with good friends whom you also deeply respect as artists. After hanging out a few times over... Posted by Serj Tankian on Thursday, April 2, 2020

A one-minute video in which LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton discusses the artwork for the band's upcoming self-titled album can be seen below. "Lamb Of God" will be released on May 8 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band last July as the replacement for the group's founding drummer, Chris Adler. "Lamb Of God" was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT). Regarding LAMB OF GOD's decision to make the new album a self-titled effort, singer Randy Blythe said: "Putting only our name on it is a statement. This is LAMB OF GOD. Here and now." "Lamb Of God" track listing: 01. Memento Mori 02. Checkmate 03. Gears 04. Reality Bath 05. New Colossal Hate 06. Resurrection Man 07. Poison Dream (feat. Jamey Jasta) 08. Routes (feat. Chuck Billy) 09. Bloodshot Eyes 10. On The Hook LAMB OF GOD's previously announced spring 2020 European tour with KREATOR and POWER TRIP has been postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. LAMB OF GOD still hopes to launch a North American tour with MEGADETH, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES on June 12 in Bristow, Virginia, pending the containment of the disease. Dates are scheduled through November 13 in Reno, Nevada. [youtube]

KnuckleBonz, creator of the Rock Iconz music collectible series, has announced the production of a new range of GHOST figures, available for pre-order now at this location. Each of the new GHOST figures — Papa Nihil and two of the band's Nameless Ghoul guitarists — is incredibly detailed and highly exclusive. Each one is hand-painted, numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity on the base. This is a limited-edition collectible; only 3,000 of each statue will be made by hand and sold worldwide. The figures are currently in production and slated to ship in the fall 2020. KnuckleBonz has been creating high-end statues since 2003 and continues to be dedicated to honoring music's greatest performers through master artistry in the limited-edition statue series called Rock Iconz. The company's goal is to capture a "live performance" moment in each limited edition. Each statue sells for $149 and ships worldwide. GHOST mastermind Tobias Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of the band's first three LPs, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of 2018's "Prequelle" album. Last October, Forge confirmed to U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine that there would be a new character fronting GHOST by the time the group's next LP sees the light of day. Back in September, Tobias told Illinois's Herald-Whig that GHOST will do "absolutely zero" touring in 2020 as he turns his attention to the band's next studio album. A couple of months later, he revealed to Finland's Kaaos TV that he would record one new song in January before getting to work on GHOST's fifth album. The new GHOST LP will be out in early 2021. [MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY] [MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY] We wish to inform you Knucklebonz has created Ghost Papa Nihil, Nameless Ghoul Black Guitar & Nameless Ghoul White Guitar Rock Iconz™ Ltd. Edition Statues along with Ghost ON TOUR Stage Set Collectible. These limited editions are all available for pre-order NOW: Highly exclusive each one is hand-painted, numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity on the base of the statue Posted by Ghost on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy, who was one of the first metal musicians to test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, spoke to "The Classic Metal Show" about what he expects the touring circuit to be like after the pandemic starts abating. "We want to travel the world and go away from home and play different venues, and [the aftermath of the pandemic will] make it tougher, but there's always gonna be somewhere, probably, to play," he said (hear audio below). "We've been fortunate in that a lot of the clubs and venues that we play are a lot of the same ones. So, maybe the sign of the times — who knows where it's gonna go? — but maybe they'll just start becoming back down to the more intimate shows, smaller shows, and be more intimate, just so bands could play and get out there and keep working. Because there's gonna be a lot of traffic. There's a lot of bands postponing and canceling that are looking to reschedule, so everybody's agents are gonna be looking at all these venues and trying to book their acts there, so it's gonna get pretty busy and pretty hectic for a minute once it starts back up." He continued: "Right now, we have a tour planned [for] September that we've had in motion, talking about it since last year. Now, we'll continue trying to put that tour together, especially after America had to be postponed. And we'll see what happens in Europe, to the European festivals; we don't know the outcome yet. If that falls through, then America is the next thing in September in our books. So we'll continue with our agents and continue to try to keep booking the tour and secure the dates and the venues and keep moving forward." Asked if he will still continue to meet with fans and handle personal contact with other people the same way he did before the pandemic, Chuck said: "I guess I will. Hopefully we get a grip on this and things kind of get back to the norm. I think people will probably always still be cautious now a little more so than they were in the past. Yeah, we'll still try to be normal, but I think we'll always try to be proactive on trying to do the right thing — either wear gloves or sanitize or [have] no-contact meet-and-greets or something. We'll figure it out. We'll just have to work with what's happening." Last month, the 57-year-old Billy revealed that had been feeling unwell since returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area in early March following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour with EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL. COVID-19 symptoms vary widely, and undertesting in many countries means that many people may have already had the coronavirus without having received a positive diagnosis. EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt, who was also on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour, tested positive for COVID-19 last week. DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll has been in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital since March 18 after being taken "very ill" following the completion of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" trek. TESTAMENT, EXODUS and DEATH ANGEL canceled at least two shows on "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour due to the fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus: February 25 in Milan, Italy; and March 11 in Hannover, Germany. [youtube]

In the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, the most vulnerable people in our communities need help now more than ever. METALLICA's All Within My Hands is reaching out with four grants totaling $350,000 to organizations dedicated to assisting those hit hard by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic: Feeding America, Direct Relief, Crew Nation, USBG National Charity Foundation and One Final Note. METALLICA has commented on each choice below. Feeding America "Earlier this week, we told you about Feeding America's recently launched COVID-19 Response Fund as they continue to work with their network of local food banks reacting to the specific needs of individual communities. As the need continues to grow, our local food banks are suffering from a lack of volunteers, donations and food distribution assistance from their normal channels. AWMH has pledged $100,000 to this fund." Direct Relief "As of last week, Direct Relief has responded to 22 countries, providing more than 40 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the front lines. Direct Relief will continue to expand and diversify its efforts as the secondary effects of this pandemic on the healthcare system become more evident. Direct Relief is in constant collaboration and communication with allies in the battle to manage this outbreak through its relationships across global, international and national agencies such as the WHO, the US Dept of Health and Human Services, the CDC, ASPR, State Offices of emergency management, etc. AWMH has pledged $100,000 to this fund." Crew Nation "As you all know, METALLICA's live shows — all live music in general — would not be possible without the countless crew members working behind the scenes. As COVID-19 puts the entire live music industry on pause, we want to extend a helping hand to the touring and venue crews who make their living show-to-show. Our partners at Live Nation have committed $10 million to their Crew Nation initiative, contributing an initial $5 million to the fund, then matching the next $5 million donated by artists, fans and employees. We're happy to pledge $100,000 to this fund to help those who make it all happen for us year in and year out on the road." USBG National Charity Foundation "In addition to the hard-working crews who support us on tour, we rely heavily on the worldwide hospitality industry. As restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, bars and other food and beverage providers have been forced to close or shift to delivery/pick-up operations, hundreds of thousands of workers are suddenly without jobs. We're pledging $50,000 to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) to assist qualified bartenders, bar backs, and bar servers in need of financial assistance." One Final Note "As the COVID-19 pandemic has sent us retreating to our homes, METALLICA has launched the 'Metallica Mondays' streaming series: Each Monday at 5:00 pm PST they'll broadcast a full concert from the METALLICA video archives directly to your couch via Facebook Live and YouTube. Generous donations to AWMH from fans enjoying the weekly series have already amounted to $15,000 and we'll continue to raise funds during the weekly streams to support those impacted by COVID-19." METALLICA added: "We know this is the hardest of times for many of you, but if you would like to support any of these organizations, please feel free reach out directly to our incredibly dedicated partners as the needs are very wide-ranging; every dollar helps." Millions of Americans are facing stay-at-home orders as the coronavirus continues to tear its way through the U.S. More than 965,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide and more than 49,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.

Veteran touring guitarist Ryan Roxie, best known for his longtime collaboration with the legendary Alice Cooper, has been vocal in recent years about "passing the torch of rock 'n' roll" on to the next generation. Now he's taking all of his experience and passion and putting it into what he calls the "System-12 Guitar Method". Ryan noted: "My team and I have been working on a fresh new approach to learning guitar that differs substantially from the more 'traditional' methods that have been taught in the past. This new 'system' for learning guitar is easy to understand, filled with guitar 'life-hacks,' and focuses on the most important techniques and theories to get one playing songs and riffs faster than any other learning method out there." Originally intended for release during the now-postponed Alice Cooper USA/Canada tour this April, Ryan took the decision to release it early in its "beta testing" form. "We found that the fans were posting social media saying they were stuck inside doing nothing but binging Netflix shows," says Roxie, "and for me there's only so many episodes of 'Tiger King' that you can watch. We brought this project forward so that hopefully anyone who wants to learn the guitar NOW while they have the free time (and no distractions) can, while we finish the final version." For more information, or to support Roxie's project, go to Photo credit: Victor Chalfant

NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert", which aired live from Brooklyn April 1, 2018, will be rebroadcast on the network Easter Sunday: April 12. Alice Cooper stars as King Herod, withOscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy winner John Legend cast as Jesus Christ, and Broadway star and acclaimed recording artist Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene. The production was helmed by esteemed British theatre director David Leveaux. "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert", a staged version of the original rock musical, was executive-produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Alex Rudzinski. The "Jesus Christ Superstar" album hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart and made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus's life. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tonys, including "Best Performance By A Featured Actor In A Musical" for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for "Most Promising Composer". Since then, the musical has been considered a classic and has become a staple of theatre and music organizations throughout the world. It has been performed in nearly 20 countries and translated into 18 different languages. There have been many revivals of "Jesus Christ Superstar" over the 49 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for "Best Revival Of A Musical". The 1973 film was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley.

.@NBC will re-air my performance as King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert this Easter Sunday (April 12). The original show aired live from Brooklyn April 1, 2018.

— Alice Cooper (@alicecooper) April 2, 2020

Las Vegas rockers OTHERWISE have released a Larry Hinson-directed music video for their song "Crossfire". The track is taken from the band's latest studio album, "Defy", which was released last November via Mascot Records, a division of Mascot Label Group. For the "Crossfire" clip, OTHERWISE took to the streets to capture a picture of Las Vegas no one inhabiting the Earth thought they would ever witness. As the entire civilization across planet Earth navigates towards a better day, the band took the path of continuing to create in support of "Defy". Singer Adrian Patrick comments: "One of the hardest things we've ever had to do, as performing artists, was cancel our 'Defy Division' tour [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. It's left us wondering how we'll be able to feed our families, if we'll still even have a career after this. We know that millions of others across the globe are facing the same dire prospect. Yet it's not just jobs and money that we are losing... people are fighting for their lives right now. The whole world has been caught in the Crossfire. We never thought we'd live to see the heartbreaking day when the bright lights and dancing fountains are turned off in the Neon Desert. But we are all in this together so let's keep our heads down low and hopes up high, for humanity. This pandemic doesn't discriminate... and neither does rock and roll. Stay safe, stay home, stay strong." OTHERWISE was formed by Sin City-born brothers Adrian (lead vocals) and Ryan Patrick (guitar, vocals), on a diet of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, THIRD EYE BLIND and FAITH NO MORE, with Tony Carboney (bass, vocals), and Brian Medeiros (drums) completing the lineup. The quartet have also previously enlisted high-profile friends in Ash Costello (NEW YEARS DAY) on "Heaven" from their 2012 label debut and Jonathan Davis (KORN) on 2017's "Sleeping Lions". Adrian Patrick also featured on IN THIS MOMENT's 2010 song "The Promise", the band's highest-charting single to date. On "Defy", they linked up with producer Matt Good (ASKING ALEXANDRIA, HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD) for the first time, commuting from Las Vegas to his Phoenix studio in order to cut these eleven tracks. [youtube]

"Treasure Chest Party Quest", the new video from Scottish pirate metallers ALESTORM, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's upcoming album, "Curse Of The Crystal Coconut", which will be released on May 29 via Napalm Records. Commented ALESTORM: "Oh wow! We tried our very best to make a video that would alienate as many of our fans as possible. I think we succeeded! This song is about giving birth to yourself, selling out, and driving awful Yugoslavian cars. All the classic elements of pirate metal!" Two years after the release of "No Grave But The Sea", the pirate metal drinking crew — led by courageous Captain Christopher Bowes — is proud to present eleven bombastic anthems in its signature unadulterated, chaotic fashion. Breaking from the stereotypical portrayal of pirates as the lone wolves of the sea, on "Curse Of The Crystal Coconut" ALESTORM will be joined by Ally Storch of SUBWAY TO SALLY (violin on the entire album) and Captain Yarrface of RUMAHOY, among others. The variety of tracks featured on the album will satisfy even the pickiest adventure-seeker and become an instant soundtrack for the wildest pirate parties out there. "Chomp Chomp", featuring the vocals of Vreth of FINNTROLL, may make you never want to enter the open waters again, but will definitely invite you to dance along to ravishing melodies. The catchy rhythm of "Pirate Metal Drinking Crew" makes the track yet another foot-stomping anthem in the assortment of these treasure-searching marauders. However, don't take their rage too lightheartedly, as once they unleash the "Pirate's Scorn" and its brutal riffs, there may be no coming back… Of course, it wouldn't be an ALESTORM album without their unique sense of humor — this, and much more, can be found on the party-smashing "Treasure Chest Party Quest" or the surprising "Zombies Ate My Party Ship". "Curse Of The Crystal Coconut" track listing: 01. Treasure Chest Party Quest 02. Fannybaws 03. Chomp Chomp 04. Tortuga 05. Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship 06. Call Of The Waves 07. Pirate's Scorn 08. Shit Boat (No Fans) 09. Pirate Metal Drinking Crew 10. Wooden Leg Pt. 2 (The Woodening) 11. Henry Martin ALESTORM is: Christopher Bowes - vocals, keytar Gareth Murdock - bass Mate Bodor - guitar Peter Alcorn - drums Elliot Vernon - keyboard Photo credit: Elliot Vernon [youtube]

%d bloggers like this: