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KING'S X frontman Doug Pinnick spoke to Shawn Ratches of Laughingmonkeymusic about the progress of the recording sessions of the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "XV" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I brought 25 songs in. And Ty [Tabor, guitar] and Jerry [Gaskill, drums] brought a slew of songs in, too. We got 17 songs out of the whole record. We're not gonna put 'em all on the record, but we have a lot to choose from now. And Michael Parnin, who produced it and engineered it, he's mixing it right now." According to Pinnick, "it's gonna take a good while" to complete the album "because of the pandemic and the uncertainty of touring and all that stuff. 'Cause who knows — at our age, this could be our last record," the 70-year-old bassist/vocalist explained. "And we wanna do it right. We don't wanna just put it out there in the middle of the pandemic and hope somebody buys it. We wanna put it out, go on tour and do videos. I mean, do it like we're supposed to do it. So we're telling our fans to just kind of be patient with us, because we really, really are hoping that this is as good as [1994's] 'Dogman' and [1989's] 'Gretchen [Goes To Nebraska]', which is what everybody wants. But it's not a rehash of it. In fact, this record doesn't sound like either one. "I think that we worked really, really hard on this record, like we haven't since the early days — around 'Gretchen' and 'Dogman'," he continued. "I can tell it in the songs, how we're all singing and everybody's contributing to it. They're not just doing my songs, and I'm not just doing Ty's songs. We're really putting ourselves into it." Regarding the musical direction of the new KING'S X material, Pinnick said: "I had some pretty crazy songs, time-change-wise, 'cause I've been listening to a lot of MESHUGGAH and shit like that. It's not KING'S X, but that flavor comes in. Imagine John Bonham playing with MESHUGGAH… But Ty and Jerry are singing a lot too. I tell people, it's like from [THE BEATLES' classic song] 'Penny Lane' to the heaviest MESHUGGAH — it's a blend of something in between there. And one song to another almost sounds different, almost to the point where they're individual pieces themselves, like PINK FLOYD used to do. We've got violins and other things in it. I've got some keyboards and all kinds of things to enhance things — piano. Nothing overboard, but just like [Jimi] Hendrix did and people like that — big things coming in and out that gives it that longevity, I would say. Things that you hear and go, 'Oh, wow. That's cool.' That little thing over there. So it's taken Michael a long time to mix it, 'cause he's got a lot of tracks." KING'S X was sidelined by several health scares in recent years, including Pinnick's two hernia operations and two near-fatal heart attacks suffered by Gaskill. In October 2019, KING'S X canceled all of its previously announced tour dates for the year so that Gaskill could undergo undisclosed heart "procedures." "XV" was KING'S X's highest-charting album since 1996's "Ear Candy". In 2005, VH1 included KING'S X in its list of "100 Greatest Artists In Hard Rock." [youtube]
Biff Byford spoke to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about the progress of the recording sessions for SAXON's next studio album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I just finished the vocals about 20 minutes before I came on the phone with you. It's going off to [producer/mixer] Andy Sneap. And he'll be mixing it sometime before June. And then it'll ready to go." Asked about a possible title for the new SAXON LP, Biff said: "I've got a couple of working titles. I'm not supposed to tell anybody, but seeing as it's America, I'll let you know, okay? We might call it 'Carpe Diem', which is Latin for 'Seize The Day'. Which I quite like. It looks good — SAXON 'Seize The Day'. Or we might call it 'The Pilgrimage', which is another song that we have on the album. So there you go." Byford went on to say that the new SAXON LP won't arrive before February 2022, explaining that the group is holding off on the release so he and his bandmates can hit the road in the support of the effort. "Then we have all year to tour on the album," he said. The first single from SAXON's new album will likely arrive at the end of this year. In March 2020, Biff told The Metal Voice about the musical direction of the new SAXON material: "It's heavy. I would say the direction is the same as 'Thunderbolt' [2018] and 'Battering Ram' [2015] [and] 'Sacrifice' [2013]. It's heavy and it's quite British[-sounding]; we like to retain that. Me and [bassist] Nibbs [Carter] wrote most of the songs again." He continued: "What I do, I have a start time when I want the boys to start writing, and that's how we do albums. And Nibbs is just a fiend with it — he just writes so many ideas down; it's crazy. I'm getting ideas from all the boys, but predominantly most of them are from Nibbs. "So, yeah, it's heavy," he added. "There's some great guitar playing on it from the boys. And Nigel's [Glockler] drumming is up there with much younger drummers, if you know what I mean — he's pushing himself very hard with it." SAXON released a covers album, "Inspirations", on March 19 via Silver Lining Music. The 11-track effort contains some of the classic rock songs that influenced Byford and the rest of the band. Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn are the sole remaining original members in SAXON's current lineup. Originally from South Yorkshire, England, SAXON has gone on to sell about 23 million albums and has produced such classic songs as "Denim And Leather", "Princess Of The Night", "Wheels Of Steel" and "Power And Glory". Biff recently collaborated with his son Seb (NAKED SIX) on a new album, "Red Brick City", to be released in July under the band name HEAVY WATER.
TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider says that he is in favor of some kind of a coronavirus vaccine passport program whereby concert venues can ask patrons to show proof of testing or vaccination before attending certain events. A vaccine passport is a physical or digital document that displays whether someone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Critics say that such passports are a violation of privacy and an example of government overreach. Meanwhile, supporters point out that federal immigration law already requires that immigrants provide proof of vaccination status for several diseases. Snider addressed the hot-button issue in a tweet earlier today (Wednesday, April 21). He wrote: "I get that some people are wary of this, but I want a vaccine passport in the worst fucking way! I wave my vaccination card around like a flag! I've got nothing to hide and if a vaccine passport will let me go places without all these covid protocols sign me the fuck up!" Dee is not the only heavy metal musician to throw his support behind the "vaccine passport" idea. Earlier this month, TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick said that the recent announcement by various clubs and promoters around the country that they will begin staging events for only those guests who show proof of full vaccination is "what we need to do." He explained: "To go to certain countries, we need to get a yellow fever shot, and we carry this card that's put out by the World Health Organization that is proof of vaccination. What's the difference? We've been doing this for years. We wouldn't think otherwise. We don't wanna risk getting somebody else sick. So why would there be an issue here? And then, when people complain about the vaccine — 'I don't know what's in it. I'm suspicious…' Well, are you suspicious of the polio vaccine? 'Cause I think everybody gets that. I don't think you leave the hospital without getting certain vaccines." Alex added: "I'm just amazed how people aren't aware of this. There's measles, mumps, polio… There's vaccines that we've been getting for years, and that's why we're not getting measles or mumps, or why we're not being forced to not be able to walk because of polio — because we get these vaccines. And the same medical and scientific communities that are behind those vaccines are behind these vaccines. "My patience is running thin for these types," Skolnick concluded. So far, roughly 40.1% of the population has gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 26% of the population is fully vaccinated, that data shows. At least 568,532 people have already died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. 49% of Republican men said they would not take the vaccine when it's available to them. Although the COVID-19 vaccine was produced quickly because of the urgency of the health crisis and the number of clinical trial volunteers, scientists say the vaccine was not rushed, and it relies on years of research. The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has estimated that about 70-85% of Americans would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. America's two main vaccines have shown 95% efficacy against the coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which became available in the United States last 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.

I get that some people are wary of this, but I want a vaccine passport in the worst fucking way! I wave my vaccination card around like a flag! I've got nothing to hide and if a vaccine passport will let me go places without all these covid protocols sign me the fuck up!

— Dee Snider?? (@deesnider) April 21, 2021
Before I tell you exactly how brilliant (and insane) the new FIREWING album is, it's essential to address the Brazilian band's name. Is this a taste of things to come? Will future bands simply change one letter from another band's name and hope that nobody notices? You don't have to be a member of FIREWIND to ask the question, at least. And what next? Exciting new music from Block Sabbath, Nightwash and Limb Of God? The heavy metal mind boggles. But I digress for comic effect. The truth about "Resurrection" is that all cynicism dissolves within a few seconds of opener "Obscure Minds". This is flat-out and faithful power metal, with a generous helping of symphonic elements and a vocalist — Airton Araujo — whose gritty tones could easily strip wallpaper from a distance. On the surface, FIREWING are a traditionally minded band with an obvious debt to the European power metal scene and just enough of their own personality to stand apart. What doesn't come across immediately is exactly how inventive and, to put it mildly, bonkers this band are. "Resurrection" is a concept album of sorts, with a convoluted and largely unfathomable backstory that doesn't need repeating here, but it's also a deeply bizarre and proggy affair, with countless neck-snapping detours and about-turns into a darker and less brightly accessible realm. Because as powerful and uplifting as these songs' core melodies are, almost without exception, there is a density and complexity to FIREWING's sound that reveals more and more layers of intrigue with every listen. You may even hear shades of arch technocrats like WATCHTOWER and CORONER lurking in the album's more bewildering moments, as these avowed students of metal melody subvert their own formula with a gleeful flourish. With its songs linked together with a number of eerie and atmospheric interludes, "Resurrection" is a beautifully paced piece of work. It's also rich with dynamics and moments of elegant restraint, despite the overpowering bluster on display for most of its duration. When they do take their collective paws off the accelerator for a straightforward, mid-paced ballad like "Far In Time", it feels more exception than the norm, as if FIREWING are simply pointing out that they can do delicate and simple too. Similarly, the sumptuous and unashamedly melodramatic "Time Machine" is a gargantuan AOR monolith, replete with a Jim Steinman-worthy (RIP) final crescendo and coda. On the barking-mad flipside of FIREWING's melodic rock tendencies lies their obvious kinship with old-school prog metal, which erupts on "Tales Of Ember & Vishap: The Meaning Of Life". The song's an electrifying slice of MAIDEN meets MEKONG DELTA showboating, with a genuinely astonishing vocal from Araujo. As with most metal subgenres, power metal is overpopulated with bands content to tick a few boxes and go on their merry way. Whether FIREWING's name is a slightly confusing stumbling block remains to be seen (it might just be me being a pedant, after all), but "Resurrection" is a brilliantly idiosyncratic breath of fresh air, with enormous tunes to spare. [youtube]
THE OFFSPRING singer Bryan "Dexter" Holland and guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman spoke to New York's Q104.3 radio station about their decision to encourage fans to receive their COVID-19 vaccines by reworking the chorus of their 1994 classic "Come Out And Play" to say "you gotta go get vaccinated." The new version of the song was shared last month on THE OFFSPRING's Instagram, featuring a snippet from the song's music video with the reworked lyrics. Holland said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We got a lot of suggestions over the years — people have said, 'Hey, I thought of a funny line for 'Keep 'em separated.'' This one actually kind of resonated with me. I was, like, 'If there ever was a time to do it, this would be the time.' Because regardless of what people believe — I certainly don't wanna tell people how to think — I think it's a good thing to get vaccinated, and we wanted to promote it, and so we put that out." Added Wasserman: "There's a lot of people that are skeptic for various reasons. But those of them that aren't, please go get vaccinated. Even if it's not for yourself, if it's for the old lady who lives on the corner. We think vaccinations are a good thing." When THE OFFSPRING first released the new version of "Come Out And Play", the band wrote in an accompanying message: "Every time we get together, we talk about how we can't wait to get out there and play shows again. And we hear from you guys all the time, letting us know that you can't wait to go see concerts again too! But let's face it… live shows aren't gonna happen until you go get vaccinated. So we thought we'd have a little fun with one of our old songs. Check it out!" Holland has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and wrote his thesis on microRNA in HIV genomes. The 175-page research paper, titled "Identification of Human MicroRNA-Like Sequences Embedded within the Protein-Encoding Genes of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus", had been published in PLoS One. Holland had received his Ph.D. from University of Southern California in 2017. Released in 1994, "Come Out And Play" was THE OFFSPRING's alternative radio and MTV breakthrough hit, kicking off a mid-to-late nineties streak of success, including albums "Smash", "Ixnay On The Hombre" and "Americana", which have helped the band shift more than 17 million albums to date, per MRC Data. THE OFFSPRING's tenth studio album, "Let The Bad Times Roll", arrived on April 16 via Concord Records. The follow-up to 2012's "Days Go By" was once again produced by Bob Rock, who also worked on the band's previous two LPs [youtube] View this post on Instagram

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DEF LEPPARD Collaborates With 'Project Presents' On Luxury Merchandise
Project Presents is a new luxury lifestyle and merchandise label pushing boundaries with designs and production techniques. The company brings a high-end, unique twist to band merchandise. Using luxury fabrics and one of the best print houses in the U.K., it creates pieces which transcend genres and captivate the imagination of both lifelong fans and fashion connoisseurs worldwide. Established in 2020 in Sheffield, England, Project Presents, in its first offering, has collaborated with one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, DEF LEPPARD, to produce a bespoke collection. Key to the range is the "Leppard Lyrics" insignia, exclusively licenced to Project Presents and Black Light Project graphics screen-printed in UV ink, paying homage to the black light poster style of the 1980s. Directors Craig Smith and James Holland brought Fraser Rowlin on board as creative director to impart his 20 years' fashion experience to bring together Project Presents. Having worked for labels such as CP Company and Stone Island in London, and owning an award-winning clothing store in Sheffield, which housed brands including Belstaff, Dior, McQ and Marc Jacobs, the knowledge he brings to the brand is invaluable. DEF LEPPARD bassist Rick Savage says: "I've known James for a long time, and his attention to quality, taste and workmanship is second to none. I know this will be reflected in the 'Leppard Lyrics' clothing line. I'm also delighted that they have asked Scott to get on board with promoting this cool and exciting new brand." The launch campaign is to be headed by Savage's son Scott, entering the fashion world for the first time. The campaign is shot within Project Presents's headquarters, housed within a World War I military barracks located in the heart of Sheffield. Scott had already set his sight on a career in modeling when Projects Presents was still in its infancy. It was a serendipitous moment when it became obvious that he should launch his modelling career showcasing clothing that celebrates his father's band. It is a proud father moment for Rick. The Project Presents collaboration with DEF LEPPARD is to be one of many. For the first few seasons, Project Presents will be selling on its own online platform at while growing the brand by introducing other high-profile artists and concepts to move to selling within luxury department stores and independent retailers, as well as through other high-end online retailers.
MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine made an appearance at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennesseee on Saturday, April 17 prior to Nashville SC's kick-off game of its 2021 MLS season against FC Cincinnati. Mustaine performed the Gibson Guitar Riff — a pregame ritual that sees different performers throughout the season get the home fans pumped up by shredding a customized Gibson guitar right before kickoff. Earlier today, Mustaine shared a backstage photo of him taken at the game, and he included the following message :"Thank you @NashvilleSC for a great game and inviting me to perform on the Gibson NSC Riff Guitar to open your first match of the season." In February, Gibson officially announced a new partnership with Mustaine, who joined the company as a Brand Ambassador. The new Dave Mustaine Collection will span acoustic and electric guitars across Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer. Ranked No. 1 by Joel McIver in "The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists" book, Mustaine godfathered fast-heavy-metal guitar generations, first as the original lead guitarist for METALLICA, and then as the founder of legendary MEGADETH. In 1983, Mustaine founded MEGADETH, and the band released its first album two years later, established Dave and his bandmates as pioneers in the thrash metal movement. The band has since sold 38 million albums worldwide, including five consecutive platinum or multi-platinum albums in the U.S., while garnering 12 Grammy nominations. MEGADETH also landed a 2017 Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" for "Dystopia", the title track of the band's 2016 album. Prior to MEGADETH, Mustaine was an early member of METALLICA. Before leaving the band in 1983, he had co-written a half dozen songs that would appear on METALLICA's first two albums. In the video game arena, Mustaine composed the Grammy-nominated MEGADETH track "Sudden Death" for the 2010 release "Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock". The game also featured two other Mustaine-composed MEGADETH songs: 1990's "Holy Wars… The Punishment Due" and 2009's "This Day We Fight!" MEGADETH is currently working on its 16th studio album. [youtube] View this post on Instagram

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STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand has joined forces with PARALANDRA singer Casandra Carson to form a new band called THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT. The new group's debut single, "The Nothingness", will be released on Friday, April 23 on all streaming services, to be followed by THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT's first EP, due this summer. Last May, Rand told the "Behind The Vinyl" podcast that he was working on a new project. "As of right now, I have 12 songs musically done," he said at the time. "Right now I'm looking at vocalists — different vocalists." Regarding the musical direction of his new material, Josh said: "It definitely is different than what I think most people would expect. I decided if I was gonna do anything that I wanted it not to sound like STONE SOUR 'cause it's going to, to some degree. So, a lot of it, half of these songs… I started playing — I shouldn't say I started playing piano. I know how to edit a mini-piano, so I'm a great piano player now… But a lot of 'em are piano-based, and I'm running with it like that. And I've also started incorporating all these different instruments — all kinds of crazy percussion and stuff. 'Cause I just wanted to have fun and be creative and not try to write the next '30/30-150' or have that pressure of trying to do that. So I'm just kind of running with it, and that's where I'm at." STONE SOUR has been off the road and out of sight since completing the touring cycle for its 2017 LP "Hydrograd". Singer Corey Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, recording and touring behind that group's sixth effort, "We Are Not Your Kind". He also released his debut solo album, CMFT", last October. Rand has been promoting STONE SOUR's new live album, "Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno", which came out in December 2019. Last August, Corey said that he was open to doing more recording and touring with STONE SOUR at some point down the line. Asked if there is "a future" for STONE SOUR or if it's "kind of up in the air," Corey told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation Virtual Invasion": "It's kind of up in the air. I'm certainly not mad at STONE SOUR. [My solo album] is just something that has my attention; this is what I wanna do for a while. "There's been some contention here and there, in the past — nothing that I'm gonna get into too much detail about — but it was just time for me to step away and do [the solo thing] for a while," he continued. "It was time for me to kind of do something different, and do it in a way that doesn't have the connotations of either band, to be honest. "I'm still friends with everybody in STONE SOUR. Everybody in STONE SOUR is doing their own thing, and if the opportunity arose, I would absolutely do something with STONE SOUR. But for right now, this is really where my energy's at; this is where my focus is. "I'll never say never, because, obviously, the best way to make God laugh is to announce your plans out loud," he added. "But this is what my focus is right now." Corey's latest comments echo those he made in June, when he told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk": "Yeah, [STONE SOUR is] kind of [on] the backburner right now. We all kind of felt that we did exactly what we wanted to do on 'Hydrograd' [album] and we're just giving it a minute. I talked to the guys in the band about the solo thing and what I wanted to do, and they were all totally onboard with it. Everybody else has kind of got things going on, so they're all cool. Josh is actually working on a solo thing of his own, which is great. So, yeah, I think STONE SOUR is kind of on hiatus right now, which is fine. If someday we wanna get back together and do some stuff, it'll be bigger than it was. But for right now, we're all kind of focused on kind of doing our own thing. But you never say never in this business."

Josh Rand's new band @LifeProjectBand is releasing their debut single "The Nothingness" on Friday! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date.

— Stone Sour (@stonesour) April 21, 2021

We're pleased to introduce: The L.I.F.E. Project. Our debut single “The Nothingness” will be released Friday, April 23 on all streaming services.

Pre-save/pre-add it now at — The L.I.F.E Project (@LifeProjectBand) April 21, 2021
According to Deadline, Netflix is close to securing a deal for the upcoming KISS biopic "Shout It Out Loud". The film will be directed by Joachim Rønning, the Norwegian filmmaker whose credits include "Kon-Tiki", "Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil" and "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales". The script is written by Ole Sanders. "Shout It Out Loud", which will have close cooperation from bandleaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, will be a co-production of Mark Canton's Atmosphere Entertainment and Universal Music Group. The film will be produced by Canton through his Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton through Opus 7, Courtney Solomon, David Blackman and Jody Gerson through Universal Music Group, KISS's longtime manager Doc McGhee through his McGee Entertainment, Rønning, and Simmons and Stanley. Atmosphere's Dorothy Canton and David Hopwood are the executive producers. More than a year ago,KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer said that the band was also working on a "definitive" documentary which will include "rare and compelling" KISS-related media submitted by the group's fans. 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 Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991). Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup. Netflix previously had rock-biopic success with MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Dirt", which premiered in March 2019. An adaptation of the book of the same name about the iconic rock band, it had been in the works since 2003. It was previously set up at Paramount and Focus Features before Netflix picked it up in 2017. "The Dirt", which reportedly cost more than $20 million to produce, currently has a 38% critic score from 72 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the online review aggregation service that allows both critics and the public to rate movies. The same site has an 94% audience score for "The Dirt" from more than 6,000 reviews.
SLIPKNOT's M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan says that he will "definitely" get the COVID-19 vaccine. The 51-year-old percussionist weighed in on his possible inoculation while interviewing BEHEMOTH frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski for the latest episode of his Internet show, "The Electric Theater With Clown". Crahan, who lives in Iowa, which has had more than two million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I haven't had a flu shot in 20 years, and I haven't had the flu in 20 years. But let me take it a step further. Do I agree with the vaccine? I don't know what I agree with. I know I don't wanna be told to do anything. I've never been told I had to get the flu shot, but I'm being told — and this could have changed… I don't like talking about things unless I know they're facts, but I have heard this from a reliable source, that Canada is gonna make it mandatory, to be able to come into Canada, you're gonna have to have proof of the vaccine. So, I've never had to get a flu shot to go anywhere, but now to do my living, I'm gonna have to have a vaccine — proof of it — to go to Canada. So, normality for me is that now I just need Japan to say that, I need North America to say that, I need South America to say that, Australia, New Zealand… Once everybody jumps on, then I know we're in it together. I don't think we're not in it together now. I think the right people were offered the shot first, and then it opens up as it's created knowledge. "Am I gonna get it? Well, no one can even prove I'm the real Clown anyway," he continued. "So if I don't want it, I can continue that and just play it off and just disappear — like maybe I have already. I mean, this [conversation] could be a simulation. But I believe in it, and I wanna tour. And most importantly, as long as my family gets it and wants me to get it, then I'll get it, because I wanna be able to hug my fans again; I wanna be able to embrace the people that have needed me and that I've needed. And the way that I've been explained by the doctors I go to, they basically say, 'Hey, get the vaccine,' because what we do, we're gonna be around a lot of people that aren't gonna take it, and they're gonna be sick. There's gonna be a lot of healthy people, but there's also gonna be a lot of people that are naysayers that aren't going to [take the vaccine]. "You and I are around great amounts of people very day — tremendous amounts of people," Crahan added. "Meet-and-greets, handshakes, people coughing in our face, blah blah blah. So, I believe in it, and I believe what the doctors say. It's, like, look, the idea is to keep me out of the hospital, and if I'm gonna be around people that choose to make it a conspiracy or they don't believe in it or they just are out, whatever, I risk being in a different country and getting a different strand [of the virus] that I might never leave that country again and not see my family. "So, I'm definitely gonna get it, but we're waiting for everyone to get it. I'm healthy. I feel like those that really need it here in our location should get it. They're already trying to make me get it. One of the guys that's here is, like, 'Oh, I had you signed up.' And I'm, like, 'You didn't even ask me.' But I know that I might not be able to get in anywhere, and I should just do it now." As of this morning, the Iowa Department Of Public Health reported 390,594 total positive tests, 342,409 total recoveries and 5,893 total deaths since the start of the pandemic. So far, roughly 40.1% of the population has gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 26% of the population is fully vaccinated, that data shows. At least 568,532 people have already died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. 49% of Republican men said they would not take the vaccine when it's available to them. Although the COVID-19 vaccine was produced quickly because of the urgency of the health crisis and the number of clinical trial volunteers, scientists say the vaccine was not rushed, and it relies on years of research. The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has estimated that about 70-85% of Americans would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. America's two main vaccines have shown 95% efficacy against the coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which became available in the United States last 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. [youtube]
WEEZER's 'Homage' To Metal World, 'Van Weezer', To Arrive In May
WEEZER's long-awaited homage to metal to the world, "Van Weezer", will be released on May 7 via Crush Music/Atlantic Records. A new song from the album, "I Need Some Of That", can be heard below. "I Need Some Of That" follows the release of last year's "Hero" and "Beginning Of The End", as well as 2019's "The End Of The Game", all of which appear on "Van Weezer". The band also gave fans a sneak peek of "Van Weezer" song "Blue Dream" in last year's "Simpsons" episode, in addition to performing the show's iconic theme song at the episode's end. "Van Weezer", WEEZER's fifteenth studio album, is produced by Suzy Shinn (PANIC! AT THE DISCO, FALL OUT BOY). The inspiration for this album derives from the deepest roots of WEEZER — metal! What has metal got to do with WEEZER, you ask? In his earliest years, guitarist/vocalist Rivers Cuomo was a huge KISS fan; guitarist Brian Bell was a big BLACK SABBATH fan; drummer Patrick Wilson worshipped at the altar of VAN HALEN and RUSH; bassist Scott Shriner loved SLAYER and METALLICA. The last time this vein of harder rock was mined by WEEZER was on their much-loved 2002 album "Maladroit"; "Van Weezer" is primed to take that album's sonics many steps further courtesy of Shinn. "Van Weezer" follows the release of the band's first-ever orchestral album, "OK Human", earlier this year. "OK Human"'s lead single, "All My Favorite Songs", hit #1 at Triple A radio, and is currently top 5 and growing at Alternative. WEEZER has sold over 10 million albums in the U.S., and over 35 million records worldwide since its debut album's release in 1994. The catalogue has included such megahits as "Buddy Holly", "Undone (The Sweater Song)", "Say It Ain't So", "El Scorcho", "Hash Pipe", "Island In The Sun", "Beverly Hills", "Pork And Beans" and more. "Van Weezer" track listing: 01. Hero 02. All The Good Ones 03. The End Of The Game 04. I Need Some Of That 05. Beginning Of The End 06. Blue Dream 07. 1 More Hit 08. Sheila Can Do It 09. She Needs Me 10. Precious Metal Girl [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]
See OZZY OSBOURNE And TONY IOMMI In New Trailer For 'Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm' Documentary
Abramorama announced today that is has acquired U.S. distribution rights to "Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm", the story of the first residential recording studio, told through 40-plus years of behind-the-scenes archival footage of sessions for some of the greatest bands in rock history. Directed by Hannah Berryman ("Miss World 1970: Beauty Queens And Bedlam"), the film features interviews with Rockfield founders, brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward, as well as Chris Martin (COLDPLAY), Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill (SIMPLE MINDS), Robert Plant (LED ZEPPELIN), Ozzy Osbourne (BLACK SABBATH), Liam Gallagher (OASIS) and many more. "Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm" has played around the globe at festivals from SXSW to the Warsaw, Athens, Reykjavik and Barcelona film festivals. Abramorama will make the film available at as a Watch Now @ Home direct-to-consumer release prior to it being available on any other platform. Acquiring "Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm" continues Abramorama's long-standing reign as the leading theatrical distributor for music driven documentaries. BLACK SABBATH, QUEEN, THE STONE ROSES, OASIS, COLDPLAY, SIMPLE MINDS, Robert Plant, MANIC STREET PREACHERS are some of the greatest bands and musicians of our time, but what is the one thing these titans of music have in common besides being from the U.K.? Recording at the first residential studio. 50 years ago, deep in the Welsh countryside, two brothers were milking cows and preparing to take over the family farm — but dreamed of making music. They had the audacious idea to build a studio in their farmhouse attic and record their own tunes. Animals were kicked out of barns and musicians were moved into Nan's spare bedroom. Inadvertently, they'd launched the world's first independent residential recording studio: Rockfield. "In a way the film was about group dynamics, the intensity and ‘make or break' nature of residential recording, something that with technology is on the wane," said Berryman. "That intensity almost broke some bands, but it also produced tracks that have stood the test of time, and maybe you can hear everything that went on this isolated farm in that music, the pleasure and the pain." Abramorama's CEO Richard Abramowitz and head of music Evan Saxon said: "Rockfield has a special place in music history and Hannah has created a delightful, insightful film full of great stories, great music and great fun. We feel lucky to be able to bring it out into the world." In a new trailer for "Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm", BLACK SABBATH's Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi recall how they rehearsed 1970's "Paranoid" at Rockfield. "We didn't realize what we were doing," Osbourne says. "We didn't go, 'I know, let's invent heavy metal!' It just happened." Among the albums that were recorded at Rockfield are QUEEN's "Bohemian Rhapsody", RUSH's "A Farewell To Kings" and "Hemispheres", JUDAS PRIEST's "Sad Wings Of Destiny", MOTÖRHEAD's "On Parole" and BLACK SABBATH's "Dehumanizer". Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, SIMPLE MINDS, THE STONE ROSES, OASIS, COLDPLAY and more have also made music and mayhem at Rockfield over the decades. "Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm" is an extraordinary story of rock and roll dreams intertwined with a family business's struggle for survival in the face of an ever-changing music landscape. Amazingly, Kingsley and his wife Ann, now in their 80s, are still at the helm today, with daughter Lisa "front of house." What is it about this small Welsh farm that made it a major competitor, holding its own against studios such as Abbey Road and Electric Lady? In this film, the bands share with us tales of how they ended up at Rockfield, what it was like, and revisit some of the magical moments of musical genius that resulted in some of the best-known songs of our time. [youtube] [youtube]
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting, who recently started treatment for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach. The campaign, titled "Help Tom Hunting with his cancer battle!," was organized by EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt and created on Tuesday, April 20. In less than 24 hours, the campaign has amassed nearly $4,500 and is now more than $15,000 from hitting the target goal of $20,000. At press time, the campaign has 89 donors, 25 shares and 87 followers. In an introductory message on the GoFundMe page, Holt writes: "After decades dedicated to laying down the most pummeling drums in thrash, Tom Hunting has been diagnosed with cancer. While he fights and defeats this, he will need help with his bills, both medical and home. "During this pandemic Tom, like many of us, works to keep himself going while we await the return of touring, but he is unable to do so while undergoing chemo and more to get past this and back behind his drums with his brothers in EXODUS. Whatever someone can afford to give will go miles to helping Tom continue his fight without the worry of the mounting medical bills and bills to maintain a roof over his head. "Thanks for all your help and support." The 56-year-old Hunting revealed his cancer diagnosis in a statement released on April 13. He said: "Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It's a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February. "I'm making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. "I'm not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I've learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it's a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it's empowering, and you're 1 step closer to killing it! "Ok, you've heard the bad news. The good news is he feels great physically! I'm gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I've had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I'm ready for the fight!" After Hunting went public with his diagnosis, Holt said that EXODUS will "delay" the release of its recently completed new album, "Persona Non Grata", "so that when Tom has defeated this, he will be back to full strength to hit the road and pummel his drums like only he can! When he has kicked cancer's ass like we know he will, we will resume kicking YOUR asses with the sickest record yet!" he said. The squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach is a very uncommon entity, with worldwide incidence of 0.04% to 0.07% of all gastric cancers. "Persona Non Grata" will be the follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out", which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' first release since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004. "Persona Non Grata" was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. View this post on Instagram

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JOE BONAMASSA Announces New Live Album 'Now Serving: Royal Tea - Live From The Ryman'
Last year when COVID-19 put the live touring industry on hold, guitar hero Joe Bonamassa did something unprecedented for his fans — he put together a one-night-only show at the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee to be livestreamed for fans everywhere. That night he united people across 44 countries worldwide for a phenomenal live music presentation of his brand-new album "Royal Tea" before it was even released. The concert was re-mixed and mastered for physical release as "Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman" on June 11 and will be available to own on CD, DVD, Blu-ray and double LP. The DVD will include a film introduction narrated by actor Jeff Daniels. The stellar performance includes 12 incredible live tracks, featuring the best from "Royal Tea", Joe's 24th #1 record on the Billboard Blues chart, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. It also includes three electrifying tracks from his 20th-anniversary album "A New Day Now". Get your serving and relive the excitement time and time again with this once-in-a-lifetime release from one of the most celebrated blues rock entertainers! Recalling the magical night, Bonamassa shares: "I have always wanted to film a show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Our band has had the honor of playing there now 8 1/2 times over the past 10 years. The audience is always alive and electric, hanging on every word and phrase. It feels like the greatest, most intimate gig you will ever do but there are 2,300 people sharing this joy and musical journey. I love the place as it is a national treasure and selfishly close to my house. "Here's where I get to the 1/2 part. We missed you. As great as it is to be on that stage in any capacity, YOU the fans make it special. You are part of the show and a big part of it. As this show was being filmed live, almost 100,000 eyes were on us in various forms around the world in front of TVs and computers alike. But you were not in the room with us." In normal times, the legendary venue typically seats 2,300, but for one night only, the real crowd was the size of a major stadium, and in-house nearly every seat was filled with a custom cardboard cutout of a fan. The event sold over 17,000 tickets, reaching a global audience and bringing people of all different cultures together during a time when it often felt like the world was falling apart. Considering the number of households watching concerts together from home, one ticket could actually account for an entire family, so the true number of viewers would likely skyrocket. Joe continues: "We played as good as we could in front of those 1700 cardboard cutouts of your faces and tried to imagine you there. For split seconds, I would catch a glimpse of the room and it almost felt normal. Then the song would end and there would be dead silence. Only the footsteps of our crew could be heard. With all of that said, this DVD is a snapshot of a concert performance within the confines a vast sea change of the world. A world that had temporarily deemed us unnecessary. Nobody knows when I will ever get back to this stage in front of a full house again, but I sure do know that I do love it and miss you greatly. This show counts as a 1/2." The night at the Ryman should also be celebrated as an event that brought the music industry together. Between ticket sales and donations during his After Party Showcase, the event raised $32,000 for Bonamassa's Fueling Musicians program, presented by his non-profit Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation (KTBA). Supporting artists for over a year amid the pandemic, to date the program has secured $460,000 in funding for qualifying touring musicians who are suffering financial hardship since their careers have been put on hold. The program provides immediate $1,500 cash payments for essential living expenses to help musicians stay afloat until they can get back out on the road. This past weekend, Joe hosted his second annual Stream-A-Thon event, featuring over 35 stunning performances and 3+ hours of music to continue raising money for the cause. The event featured a star-studded lineup including Bonamassa, TOTO, Dion, Ana Popovic, Warren Haynes, Bobby Rush, Jared James Nichols, Emily Wolfe and many more. As for the amazing setlist for "Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman", Bonamassa has made a career out of taking risks and venturing into uncharted territory throughout his wide-ranging career and outstanding live shows, and the delivery at Ryman Auditorium was nothing short of perfection. Bonamassa shines brighter than ever, always adding new genre-bending flavor in his guitar playing and his trademark spin on the vocals. It's no wonder he's often praised for bringing new audiences to the blues rock universe. Bonamassa already has an incredible catalogue of live and studio releases that continue to evolve over the years and catch the ears of music critics far and wide. "Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman" provides much-needed invigoration for live music fans and will give them back the unbelievable feeling of being at a live concert event. With the audio/visual experience they'll get with this release, they'll get front row seats for one of the best touring acts around. Track listing 01. When One Door Opens 02. Royal Tea 03. High Class Girl 04. Lookout Man! 05. Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye 06. A Conversation With Alice 07. I Didn't Think She Would Do It 08. Beyond The Silence 09. Lonely Boy 10. Cradle Rock 11. Walk In My Shadow 12. A New Day Yesterday / Starship Trooper – Wurm [youtube]
DEFTONES have tapped Leigh Whannell, writer of the original "Saw" and "Insidious" movies and writer-director of 2018's "Upgrade", to direct the official music video for their song "Ceremony". Cleopatra Coleman, who co-starred in Fox's "The Last Man On Earth" comedy series, stars in the clip, which can be seen below. Whannell, who more recently wrote and directed a new take on "The Invisible Man", previously expressed his appreciation for DEFTONES' latest album, "Ohms", on social media last November. At the time, he tweeted: "Hello this album is excellent (probably my favourite DEFTONES ever) and you should listen to it if you like music that is heavy and beautiful simultaneously." This past Monday (April 19), after DEFTONES shared a poster for the "Ceremony" video, with Whannell's name listed as the director, he took to his Twitter to write: "One day I wrote on Twitter that I was loving the new @deftones album. The next day their manager sent me a DM asking if I wanted to direct a music video for them. I said yes. The moral of the story is talk about the things you love on Twitter, not the things you hate. Specifically I mean talk about the ART and pop culture you love, not the art and pop culture you hate. When it comes to politicians and their stupidity and insanity, all bets are obviously off." DEFTONES singer Chino Moreno said: "When Leigh tweeted that he was a fan, we immediately thought it would be cool to collaborate with him given the chance. We're fans of his as well, so it made sense that we should reach out. One moment we're DM'ing each other on Twitter, and the next we're on set making 'Ceremony'. This has always been the best way for us to collaborate: organically, collaboratively and in this case, expeditiously. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we had making it." Whannell added: "I've been a huge DEFTONES fan for over 20 years and have always admired the devotion they have dedicated to every aspect of their art — from music videos to album covers to their cryptic and intriguing lyrics. To get a chance to be a part of that art was a dream come true." "Ceremony" is taken from DEFTONES' ninth album, "Ohms", which arrived in September. The LP was recorded at Henson Studios in Los Angeles, California and Trainwreck Studios in Woodinville, Washington with veteran producer and engineer Terry Date, who previously worked on 1995's "Adrenaline", 1997's "Around The Fur" and 2000's "White Pony". Moreno told BBC Radio 1's "Rock Show With Daniel P. Carter" about "Ceremony": "That was one of the first songs that we wrote. But a lot of the stuff kind of comes from jamming. So 'Ceremony' was one of those ones where someone was just playing something, and then everybody just kind of picks up their instrument, like, Oh,' [and] starts reacting to each other, and then it just starts to build. "I feel like I really connected with the song," he continued. "Lyrically, that song is pretty dark. I kind of tether with the true meaning of that song, 'cause it’s really, really, really bad. It's not good. That's a hard one to talk about. But as far as the music and the whole vibe, the whole song, to me, I think that it's a special one on this record, for sure." DEFTONES is Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham, programmer Frank Delgado and bassist Sergio Vega. [youtube]

One day I wrote on Twitter that I was loving the new @deftones album. The next day their manager sent me a DM asking if I wanted to direct a music video for them. I said yes. The moral of the story is talk about the things you love on Twitter, not the things you hate.

— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) April 19, 2021

Specifically I mean talk about the ART and pop culture you love, not the art and pop culture you hate. When it comes to politicians and their stupidity and insanity, all bets are obviously off.

— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) April 19, 2021

Hello this album is excellent (probably my favourite Deftones ever) and you should listen to it if you like music that is heavy and beautiful simultaneously. this tweet has been brought to you by screenwriters procrastination x

— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) November 24, 2020
HELMET Releases First New Song In Five Years, A Cover Of GANG OF FOUR's 'In The Ditch'
The fourth single to be taken from the album "The Problem Of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four" is a new interpretation of "In The Ditch" by the American alternative rock band HELMET. "The Problem Of Leisure" is set for release on June 4. It's a double album of tracks written by Andy Gill and GANG OF FOUR, all newly reinterpreted and recorded by artists whose own unique contributions to music were enriched by listening to GANG OF FOUR. The album features songs from across GANG OF FOUR's 40-plus year career, each individually chosen by the artists who covered them. Andy Gill was a fan of HELMET from their early days and had hoped to collaborate with them on a future music project. "In The Ditch" is the first new track from HELMET since 2016. Speaking about HELMET's involvement in "The Problem Of Leisure", band founder Page Hamilton explains: "My old pal Henry Rollins reissued 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold' back in the '90s and asked me to do liner notes for 'Solid Gold'. I don't remember what I wrote, but I know it was glowing, corny and fanboy. Their songs, feel, energy, inventiveness made an indelible imprint on my musical soul. All of our peers that formed bands in the late '80s were influenced by GANG OF FOUR. "I chose 'In The Ditch' for this tribute 'cause it's a great song even though it was challenging (thank you to my band!). It feels improvised and random at times but holds together as a composition. The guitar part feels like spontaneous scratchy funk, the angular bass and drum groove grooves hard but sounds like there's a spoke missing. The vocal is somehow beautiful but scary, urgent and dangerous. "There's no room for limp dick, mail-it-in, non-musical moments in any of these songs. How the hell did they put this together? We could only try to capture the intensity of the original. "This band changed me. Thank you, Andy, Dave, Hugo & Jon." Andy's widow Catherine Mayer says: "HELMET has recorded a superb version of 'In The Ditch', such a powerful song for these paranoid times. "Andy and the other members of the original lineup came of age during an era of public information films issued by the U.K. government in case of nuclear attack. Even then, it was clear that the instructions given in these films, such as taking shelter under tables or diving into ditches, were designed not to save lives but to quieten public nerves. It was propaganda, and as such grist to GANG OF FOUR's preoccupations. How eerily relevant the lyrics seem, recalling prepper ideologies and also the claustrophobia of our locked-down world. Of course, I also stumble over the lyrics about 'beyond the cares of the world' and 'six feet under,' things that apply to Andy, metaphorically, if not, in the second case, literally. His ashes are at home with me, high on a shelf where he can observe, with pleasure, preparations for this wonderful album." After Andy's death in February 2020, Catherine assembled a small team to complete "The Problem Of Leisure". The record had originally been conceived by Andy himself not as a post-mortem tribute, but to mark the 40th anniversary in 2019 of GANG OF FOUR's extraordinary 1979 debut long player "Entertainment!", an album widely heralded as a classic ("the fifth best punk album of all time," according to Rolling Stone magazine). Andy had already revised that vision in the months before his death, after some artists chose tracks from different albums and periods. Every musician who committed to the project was given the freedom to create new versions of whichever GANG OF FOUR songs they wanted to cover, with Andy overseeing some of the earlier productions but largely leaving artists to create their own interpretations. When Andy died, obituarists struggled to sum up his profound impact on music. He had co-founded GANG OF FOUR and remained at the time of his death its only original member. As co-writer or writer of all the band's songs and through his unmistakable and much emulated guitar style, Andy influenced generation after generation of musicians, and that effect was amplified by his work as a composer and producer. This album speaks to that impact and influence. The final 20-track double album features an extraordinary roll call of global talent, with artists from seven different countries and four continents, and demonstrates the breadth and scale of Andy and GANG OF FOUR's influence. The album's brilliant artwork was created by Damien Hirst, a long-term GANG OF FOUR aficionado. Andy chose the cover art from a selection of options provided by the artist. The album campaign started with the release of a blistering new version of "Natural's Not In It" by Tom Morello and Serj Tankian on January 8. This was followed by 3D's updated (redux) version of "Where The Nightingale Sings" on February 12, which featured vocals from alt rock duo NOVA TWINS and was co-produced by Robert Del Naja from MASSIVE ATTACK (as 3D) and Andy Gill. WARPAINT's dreamy re-interpretation of "Paralysed", released on March 19, was the third single. Following the HELMET single release on April 21, further singles will be released in May, ahead of the album release in June. The album is available to pre-order now in a variety of double vinyl, two CD and cassette formats from all usual retail outlets worldwide. The deluxe vinyl format, "Dogluxe", is only available from the GANG OF FOUR web site. All formats feature different versions of the artwork from Damien Hirst. The album will be released on the Gill Music label on June 4 and is distributed by Ingrooves. "The Problem Of Leisure": CD One Vinyl One, Side A 01. IDLES - Damaged Goods (UK) 02. TOM MORELLO & SERJ TANKIAN - Natural's Not In It (USA) 03. HELMET - In The Ditch (USA) 04. 3D* X GANG OF FOUR FEAT. NOVA TWINS - Where the Nightingale Sings (UK) 05. HOTEI - To Hell With Poverty (Japan) Vinyl One, Side B 01. GARY NUMAN - Love Like Anthrax (UK) 02. GAIL ANN DORSEY - We Live as We Dream, Alone (USA) 03. HERBERT GRÖNEMEYER FEAT. ALEX SILVA - I Love a Man in a Uniform (Germany) 04. LONELADY - Not Great Men (UK) 05. JJ STERRY - 5.45 (UK) "The Problem Of Leisure": CD Two Vinyl Two, Side C 01. LA ROUX - Damaged Goods (UK) 02. EVERYTHING EVERYTHING - Natural's Not in It (UK) 03. DADO VILLA-LOBOS - Return the Gift (Brazil) 04. THE DANDY WARHOLS - What We All Want (USA) 05. WARPAINT - Paralysed (USA) Vinyl Two, Side D 01. FLEA & JOHN FRUSCIANTE – Not Great Men (USA) 02. THE SOUNDS - I Love a Man in a Uniform (Sweden) 03. HARDCORE RAVER IN TEARS - Last Mile** (China) 04. KILLING JOKE X GANG OF FOUR - Forever Starts Now (Killing Joke Dub) (UK) 05. SEKAR MELATI - Not Great Men (live version) (Japan) * 3D is the remix name of Robert Del Naja from MASSIVE ATTACK ** "Last Mile" is the new title for this cover of "Broken Talk", reflecting new lyrics sung in Mandarin by HARDCORE RAVER IN TEARS Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff [soundcloud url="" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /] [youtube]
MONSTER MAGNET Drops Lyric Video For Cover Of DUST's 'Learning To Die'
When psychedelic rock icons MONSTER MAGNET got off the plane in the USA after their "Powertrip" tour of Europe in February 2020, they already realized that they'd dodged a bullet. The band members were all healthy, despite having spent the last week of the month-long excursion gigging overseas, and at that point, many of those countries were in total lockdown. Part two of that tour, North America, was scheduled to begin three weeks later, but the rest is history… no live music, anywhere. So, what's a band that's been touring regularly for 30 years to do with this newfound downtime? Frontman Dave Wyndorf tells the inspired tale below, but without further ado — Napalm Records is pleased to present the next chapter of MONSTER MAGNET's rabbit hole deep dive, "A Better Dystopia" (out May 21, 2021): a delightfully (and psychotically) curated collection of '60s and '70s proto-metal and late-era psych obscurities covered by the heavy New Jersey legends themselves. While the album marks a new frontier for MONSTER MAGNET as their first covers record, this is not your typical set of standards released to pass time. "A Better Dystopia" sees the band pay homage to some of their favorite songs of all time, while reflecting on the paranoia, dystopia and revolution of both now — and then. Fans can experience another taste of "A Better Dystopia" via a lyric video for MONSTER MAGNET's cover of classic DUST track "Learning To Die". Of the song selection, Wyndorf says: "'Learning To Die' blew me away when I was 15 and it still blows me away. Man, do I LOVE to sing this song. DUST was one of the greats." Wyndorf says about the birth of "A Better Dystopia": "We all agreed that we would be bored out of our minds within a month of lockdown. MONSTER MAGNET loves the road. It's a lifestyle. So, I considered our options. Rather than panhandle on the Internet, hawking masks and Zoom-rocking practice sessions for dollars, I suggested we record a 'bunker record.' A total DIY affair (band only) recorded and mixed in Bob Pantella's small-but-potent Freak Shop Studios/rehearsal space right here in New Jersey. But what to record? "I didn't feel much like writing, but working on anything was better than watching the news as hospitals filled up, people died, and American politics went bat-shit crazy. The world roared 'Dystopia! Apocalypse! Revolution!' I'd heard those words before, and they brought to mind my childhood in the late '60s/early '70s… and the music… and short playlist of songs (just one of many) that I'd been carrying around with me on my whatever device to listen to before shows. Of course, these tunes have also been in my head for more or less my whole life. These were not the popular hits of the time. This was like a playlist from the fourth dimension… strange bits of musical obscurity, mostly dredged up from that inglorious and freaky 'twilight zone' time that preceded arena rock, heavy metal, reggae and disco. A no-man's land of hard rock that still had remnants of psychedelia and garage punk but had abandoned any notion of 'flower power' or frat house fun. And of course, they rocked. "Yeah, these songs were it." Wyndorf is at the top of his game on "A Better Dystopia", delivering each lyric in his own inimitable style, and musicians Phil Caivano, Bob Pantella, Garrett Sweeney and Alec Morton own the sound — vintage and old school, dense and heavy, with searing fuzz leads and pounding bass and drums all played in a deft style that's almost been lost in modern music. The album opens with "The Diamond Mine", as Dave Wyndorf recites a classic monologue by Dave Diamond, an American radio DJ whose programs in the late '60s and early '70s helped popularize many psychedelic and acid rock bands. At this point the real trip begins, as the opening chords of the HAWKWIND classic "Born To Go" gear up for launch. Tracks like standout "Mr. Destroyer" (POO-BAH) spur visions of some untold freak revolution — or perhaps dinosaurs battling on a burning planet at the end of time — creating a perfect blend of hard rock and psychedelia. Feverish "Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)" (TABLE SCRAPS) is pure punk fury of the old school tradition, evoking a cross between Iggy Pop and MOTÖRHEAD as Wyndorf wails "I'm gonna drive it straight to HELL!" Falling even further down the mind-bending rabbit hole, MAGNET offers their stunning, whirlwind take on the often-overlooked hard rock classic "Learning To Die" (DUST) and a masterful version of the STOOGES-meets-goth epic "Solid Gold Hell" (THE SCIENTISTS). The album closes with a bonus nuclear cover of MORGEN's "Welcome To The Void", inviting you to restart the ride again and again. Wyndorf concludes: "The great bands whose music we lovingly interpret here were (and some still are) on the fringe, underrated, and in our opinion, really, really cool. I think that's reason enough for us to do this album. Furthermore, 'A Better Dystopia' is a collection of songs that I think reflect (knowingly or unknowingly) a paranoid time in history, but also deflect that same paranoia by owning it, fully. And of course, it ROCKS." "A Better Dystopia" track listing: 01. The Diamond Mine 02. Born To Go 03. Epitaph For A Head 04. Solid Gold Hell 05. Be Forewarned 06. Mr. Destroyer 07. When The Wolf Sits 08. Death 09. Situation 10. It's Trash 11. Motorcycle (Straight To Hell) 12. Learning To Die 13. Welcome To The Void (bonus track) MONSTER MAGNET is: Dave Wyndorf - Vocals, Guitar Phil Caivano - Guitar Garret Sweeny - Guitar Alec Morton - Bass Bob Pantella - Drums Photo credit: Gonzales Photo / Per-Otto Oppi / Alamy Live News [youtube] [youtube]
HEADLESS Feat. Former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Singer GÖRAN EDMAN: 'Square One' Album Due Later In The Year
The European hard rock group HEADLESS — composed of members who have performed alongside the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Geoff Tate (ex-QUEENSRŸCHE) and ELEGY — has signed with M-Theory Audio. Their new record, "Square One", which blends classic rock catchiness with heavier progressive metal influences, will be released later this year. First single "Woman In White" — an energetic rocker with a melodic power metal vibe includes lyrics inspired by the works of classic American poet Emily Dickinson — is available for streaming and download now on all digital music platforms. A video in which the ghost of the death-obsessed poetess is projected in a typical video game setting, was directed by Dimitar Stamenov (SABATON, MOTÖRHEAD) and can be viewed below. The signing and new album is the latest chapter in the saga of a band whose members have amassed an impressive array of credits throughout their respective careers. Göran Edman has been the group's lead vocalist since 2011. The two HEADLESS albums to which he has lent his melodic croons so far — 2013's "Growing Apart" and 2016's "Melt The Ice Away" — join a lengthy resume that began during the 1980s as a part of Swedish hard rockers MADISON and SWEDISH EROTICA; included stints during the 1990s as a vocalist for Yngwie Malmsteen and John Norum (EUROPE); and continued with multiple groups into the 21st Century, most notably alongside members of THE FLOWER KINGS in the progressive metal band KARMAKANIC. "We are so proud of this new agreement with M-Theory. We finally landed in the U.S. with a proper distribution network," states Walter Cianciusi, founding member of the band. "Can't wait to play these new songs in a city near you!" HEADLESS was founded in 1996 by cousins Walter (guitars) and Enrico Cianciusi (drums). The original incarnation of the band released the 1996 EP "Future To Past" and the 1998 full-length "Inside You" before disbanding in 2000. Walter and Dario Parente (who, along with Walter, is part of Geoff Tate's band, and recently guested on Tate's SWEET OBLIVION project) revived the name in 2011 with an entirely new lineup, centering the new music around catchy rock choruses, progressive metal technicality and Edman's powerful vocals. That formula — aided by drummer Scott Rockenfield (QUEENSRŸCHE) — formed the basis of their 2013 comeback record "Growing Apart". Enrico rejoined HEADLESS in 2014, and subsequently contributed drumming duties on 2016's "Melt The Ice Away", which also featured a guest appearance from guitarist Jim Matheos (FATES WARNING). In addition to the two full-length records that HEADLESS has recorded since their 2011 revival, the band has been a consistent live presence on European stages, performing alongside FATES WARNING, QUEENSRŸCHE, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, ANGRA, SKID ROW, BONFIRE, D.A.D., CANDLEMASS, THE DEAD DAISIES and more. The group took their veteran presence back into the studio in 2020 for the recording of their upcoming full-length, "Square One". Their existing mastery of rock-solid AOR anthems is bolstered on the new record by new bassist Martin Helmantel, whose playing helped provide the backbone for a decade's worth of stellar progressive metal from Dutch rockers ELEGY from 1992 through 2002. "I've long followed Göran Edman's career, finding him to be one of the more underrated voices of hard rock who consistently delivers," states label head Marco Barbieri. "When Walter shopped the new HEADLESS material, I immediately knew I wanted us to be involved. Not just for the opportunity to finally work with Göran, but also due to the strength of the new material with its ability to tread the lines between classic hard rock and into more adventurous realms. Plus, the addition of Martin from ELEGY made this one a no-brainer." More information on HEADLESS and "Square One" will be released in the weeks to come. HEADLESS is: Göran Edman – vocals Walter Cianciusi – guitars Dario Parente – guitars Martin Helmantel – bass guitar Enrico Cianciusi – drums [youtube]
MR. BUNGLE's 'The Night They Came Home' To Arrive In June
MR. BUNGLE, whose Halloween 2020 streaming special, "The Night They Came Home", captured the Northern California-born band performing songs from their freshly released album, "The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo", interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage, surprise cameos and a few surprise covers, release the nearly two-hour film on June 11 via Ipecac Recordings. "The Night They Came Home", which was directed by Jack Bennett, is available as a CD, Blu-ray, CD + DVD, VHS and digitally. The CD portion features remastered audio, while the film features MR. BUNGLE's performance, Neil Hamburger's opening set, three official music videos ("Raping Your Mind", "Eracist", and "Sudden Death"), as well as extended behind-the-scenes footage. The VHS release, limited to 1000 collectible copies, is an edited, performance-only portion of the film. "The Night They Came Home" track listing: 01. Won't You Be My Neighbor (Fred Rogers cover) 02. Anarchy Up Your Anus 03. Raping Your Mind 04. Bungle Grind 05. Methematics 06. Hell Awaits/Summer Breeze (SLAYER/SEALS & CROFT medley/cover) 07. Eracist 08. World Up My Ass (CIRCLE JERKS cover) 09. Glutton For Punishment 10. Hypocrites/Habla Español O Muere (S.O.D. cover) 11. Spreading The Thighs Of Death 12. Loss For Words 13. Sudden Death 14. Loss Of Control (VAN HALEN cover) News of "The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo" arrival, the band's first new music in over 20 years, was received with great fanfare. The album news followed a spate of sold out 2020 live performances, which saw MR. BUNGLE playing to some of its biggest audiences ever. The album, which is a proper recording of MR. BUNGLE's much-traded-yet-unreleased 1986 demo cassette of the same name, was declared "one of the best thrash albums of the year" by Decibel, Rolling Stone said "their reboot is a feast of ingenious riffs, unexpected tempo shifts, and pure manic energy…," and Stereogum offered "MR. BUNGLE are reliving their very earliest days and kicking a whole lot of ass in the process." Revolver featured Mike Patton on its fall cover, saying "After 15 years of inactivity and 21 since their last album, avant-metal weirdos MR. BUNGLE reappeared from the mists of time to re-record their 1986 demo. Not content to merely rehash their high school days, core trio Mike Patton, Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn enlisted help from ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. The result is — in the words of super fan Eric Andre — pure, awesome 'carve 666 into your desk and get in detention' metal." MR. BUNGLE was formed in an impoverished lumber and fishing town by a trio of curious, volatile teenagers. Trey Spruance, Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn beget the amorphous "band" in 1985 up in Humboldt County, California, sifting through a variety of members until around 1989 when they settled on a lineup that managed to get signed to Warner Bros. Records. No one really knows how this happened and it remains a complete mystery that even the algorithms of the Internet can't decode. Up until 2000, they released three albums ("Mr. Bungle" in 1991, "Disco Volante" in 1995 and "California" in 1999), toured a good portion of the Western hemisphere and avoided any sort of critical acclaim. Some argue that the band subsequently broke up but there is also no proof of this. What is true is that they took 20 years off from performing under said moniker while they pursued various other musics that, in contrast, paid the rent. [youtube]
Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted's official YouTube channel has just shared a video of him and his THE CHOPHOUSE BAND performing a cover version of the Johnny Cash classic "Folsom Prison Blues" in March 2019 at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, Florida. Check it out below. Also available are previously released performances of the Jason Isbell song "Cover Me Up", Johnny Cash's "Big River", the blues classic "Cocaine Blues", Tom Waits's "Jockey Full Of Bourbon", Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World", "I've Been Everywhere" (originally written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack and later recorded by Johnny Cash) and the John Anderson song "Seminole Wind". 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. Jason told the Palm Beach Florida Weekly about THE CHOPHOUSE BAND: "We all get along great because there's not money involved. They've got their own bands, their own families, their own gigs. We do benefit gigs, six a year, and that's it. I record and write and play songs the whole rest of the time. They could all run circles around me musical theory-wise. They could tell you everything they're playing, and all the relating chords. I surround myself with the bad-asses, and they make me look really good. I'm playing cowboy chords the whole time, and they're doing their fancy shit to make me look good. I just concentrate on singing, and getting across the things I want people to hear." Asked by Boca magazine how deep his song archive is with THE CHOPHOUSE BAND, Newsted said: "I keep two bibles — heroes, and my songs. I try to stay at about 100 in the bible of heroes — everything from [LED] ZEPPELIN to John Prine to Dolly Parton. My [personal] song bible is probably between 24 and 32, most of them in the last 10 months. The band's favorite band collectively is JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT. I've become friends with [Isbell] over the past couple of years, and taken time to learn 20 of his songs. We always perform at least one in the set, trying to make it my own — kind of the idea with all of them." 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. Seven 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 added: "I couldn't continue because the business is such a harsh thing now and so different than what I had known." [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]
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