Rock News

KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, who is currently promoting the second album from his LOVE AND DEATH side project, has told U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine that he and his bandmates should have some exciting news to announce pretty soon. "I asked the manager, because I'm doing LOVE AND DEATH but I know people are going to ask me about KORN, and he said, 'Just tell them the truth. Tell them that you've been getting together with them, you're working on some stuff, and that we've got some really exciting news coming out,'" Welch said. "I think we're gonna make some kind of announcement pretty soon, and that's pretty much all I can say." Welch went on to say that most musicians have used the coronavirus downtime to get creative. "I think it's no secret that every band is getting together and there's probably going to be a lot of records coming out," he said. "We've been throwing ideas back and forth, but it's been hard because of the pandemic and whatnot because Munky [James Shaffer, guitar] lives in Los Angeles — right in the thick of it. One in five people has it there. Thank god Munky has not got it. He lives with his wife and her family, and his mother-in-law, they've gotta be careful with her. "It's been really crazy, but we managed to get together and we're deciding what we're gonna do, but we're coming up with some cool ideas and are hopefully going to make an announcement pretty soon," he added. Last month, Welch explained to why KORN hasn't taken part in any live streams, like so many other artists have during the coronavirus pandemic. "Well, we actually were talking about it, and we were doing this and that with management," he said. "These [other] guys [in KORN] got young kids running around. And what are they gonna do? Just leave their wives with the home school stuff? I'm impressed with my KORN brothers; they're stepping up and doing school with their kids. "KORN has toured for 25 years," he continued. "I left KORN for eight years and got to chill at home. These guys are taking this time to be family men, to be great fathers. Who's to say we won't do something soon, or early next year? I don't know. But I'm telling you, they are the best fathers, and I'm proud of them. So that's probably the reason — family first." When Welch left KORN in early 2005, he simultaneously announced that he kicked his addictions to drugs and alcohol by becoming a born-again Christian. Both Welch and KORN bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu have had highly public, though separate, conversion experiences, ones that have been greeted with a certain amount of skepticism. In October, KORN and free-to-play video game titan World Of Tanks Blitz launched a special Halloween collaboration, revealing the music video for "Finally Free", a track featured on KORN's latest studio album, "The Nothing". Thee months earlier, KORN released a cover of THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND classic "The Devil Went Down To Georgia", featuring a guest appearance by rapper YelaWolf, exclusively via Bandcamp. All proceeds from the track were donated to Awakening Youth, a nonprofit organization devoted to young people faced with the loss of a parent due to divorce, addiction, death, being surrendered for adoption, or other reasons. "The Nothing" was released in September 2019 via Roadrunner/Elektra. The follow-up to 2016's "The Serenity Of Suffering" was once again produced by Nick Raskulinecz.
"Heavy Trip" has slowly built its following since its initial limited release in fall 2018, but the doors to a larger audience blew open the following year with its wider release on Amazon Prime. If you are a heavy metal fan that has been burned by other comedic movies that lazily treated the genre as a joke, rest assured that "Heavy Trip" not only provides an infectiously uproarious tale, but also treats its musical inspirations with complete reverence. "Heavy Trip" is a tale of two approaches to comedic film writing. The first two-thirds of the film is a relatable tale of a death metal enthusiast (Turo Moilanen, played superbly by Johannes Holopainen) who is rotting away in his tiny Finnish town well into his twenties, forever feeling lovelorn for an old high school classmate (Miia, played very charmingly by Minka Kuustonen), and jealous of the local celebrity, a lounge singer whose audience is lonely divorcees around the region. Turo's only escape from the mundane doldrums is his duty as lead vocalist for a ragtag death metal group populated with fellow misfits of equal stature (or more appropriately, lack of). The band has never left the basement, but a chance encounter with the promoter of a Norwegian heavy metal festival inspires the group — now dubbed IMPALED REKTUM — to take its stab at leaving home. The writing/directing duo of Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren do a fantastic job infusing a potentially clichéd tale with earnest heart and relatable characters. Every member of the band has their own individual charms, while also being united in their quest for something greater than small-town Finnish life. Turo's shy vocalist is complemented by everyman guitarist Lotvonen (Samuli Jaskio), the walking Encyclopedia Metallium that is bassist Pasi a.k.a. Xytrax (Max Ovaska), and slovenly-but-lovable drummer Jynnky (Antti Heikkenen). Laatio and Vidgren showcase the daily rut that all members of the band are trapped in, from the listlessness of day jobs to local townsfolk teasing Turo for being a long-haired pretty boy. This isn't to say that the first sixty minutes of the movie is depressing though, as there is plenty of sharp humor and wicked laughs to be had. But that grounding in reality makes the broadly played closing stretch of the film more hilarious. The second half of the band's journey sees an incredible chain of events occurring, with the band embarking on forays into grave-robbing and run-ins with military police on their quest for heavy metal glory. The transition from the tiny world built during the first part of the movie to the grand sequences of the final act is a bit jarring initially, but the ride is fun once you embrace the insanity that is now occurring. The movie is executed in a way that would please even casual filmgoers, but if you are reading this site, you are probably wondering how the actual music is treated. Laatio and Vidgren do a great job delicately balancing the more humorous aspects of heavy metal fandom with a sincere love for the genre. It's easy to laugh at Pasi describing the band's music as "symphonic post-apocalyptic reindeer-grinding Christ-abusing extreme war pagan Fennoscandian metal," but there is nothing half-assed about the musical approach. The pounding riffs, blastbeats, guttural vocals, and lyrics that drive IMPALED REKTUM's original songs — written by Laatio — are delivered with loving brutality by vocalist Eemeli Bodde (MORS SUBITA) and guitarist Mika Lammassaari (also of MORS SUBITA and WOLFHEART). The movie's sound is given additional metal credibility by incidental music from STRATOVARIUS bassist/composer Lauri Porra. There is very much a sense of authenticity to the music that lends extra weight to the band's cinematic journey. If you have yet to take the journey presented by "Heavy Trip", the film is now readily available on Amazon Prime for you to headbang to and laugh at simultaneously. There is plenty of both to be had. [youtube]
3 DOORS DOWN is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its multi-platinum debut album "The Better Life" with three opportunities to watch the bandmembers from the safety and comfort of your living room performing live from Nashville, Tennessee. The series kicks off February 5 and will feature the band playing their debut album in its entirety for the first time plus three never-before-heard songs from their vault. The February 19 show will feature "Greatest Hits Acoustic", and March 5 "Greatest Hits Live & Electric". The "3 X LIVE" pay-per-view series will be streamed and ticketed by Mandolin. Individual show tickets are $20, and the three-show bundle is $50. The band will be offering limited and exclusive merchandise packages, including show t-shirts, exclusive posters, and more available during each show. All shows will be available to stream on-demand for 48 hours from the original date and time. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. 3 DOORS DOWN frontman and celebrated songwriter Brad Arnold shares: "I think we can all safely say 2020 is a year we all want to get behind us. We jumped when presented with the opportunity to kick-off 2021 with these PPV shows. As a band, we didn't get to play together last year, so we're looking forward to rocking these shows for our fans across the world and looking forward to hitting the road later in 2021." Confirmed appearances: February 5: "The Better Life" 20th Anniversary February 19: "Greatest Hits Acoustic" March 5: "Greatest Hits Live & Electric" All three performances begin at: 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST / 6 p.m. PST Formed in 1995, Grammy Award-nominated multi-platinum Mississippi rock band 3 DOORS DOWN consistently captivates audiences worldwide. The quintet's many accolades include selling 20 million albums globally, receiving a Grammy nomination, two American Music Awards, and five BMI Pop Awards for songwriting, including "Songwriter Of The Year." Their debut, "The Better Life", became certified seven-times RIAA platinum and was fueled by the success of juggernaut hit "Kryptonite". 3 DOORS DOWN's sixth full-length album, "Us And The Night", came out in March 2016 via Republic Records. Back in January 2017, Arnold defended 3 DOORS DOWN's decision to perform at then-President-elect Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration", saying that "it's all about America." The band's manager, Angus Vail, told Vice that 3 DOORS DOWN played the event because they are conservatives. "They come from conservative families," Vail explained. "When Obama got elected, the singer [Brad] said, 'Please don't talk to my father about Obama because he thinks the world has ended.' He was just as horrified and depressed about Obama as many are about Trump. They were, like, 'It's going to be Armageddon, the whole world is going to communism and he's going to give everything away to the welfare state.'" Asked what 3 DOORS DOWN's political beliefs are, Vail said: "3 DOORS have that 'God, guns, and country' black-and-white sort of viewpoint, and they spend a lot of time going to Iraq, doing service, playing for the troops. They believe it, and that's just the way they see America. It's pretty hard to argue with. You say, 'What about the nuances, what about the gray areas?' and they say, 'No, no, God, guns, America is the greatest country on earth.' They stick to that viewpoint."
BUTCHER BABIES have released the official music video for their latest single, "Sleeping With The Enemy". The song is the second taste of the band's forthcoming EP, tentatively due later this year via an as-yet-undisclosed record label. BUTCHER BABIES vocalist Carla Harvey comments: "'Sleeping With The Enemy' is one of the most vulnerable songs we've ever written. The song is the ultimate 'own your own bullshit' song… because the first step in change is always admitting there's a problem, right?" Singer Heidi Shepherd adds: "When face to face with what you presume as your enemy; who is it? Is it you? In 'Sleeping With The Enemy', the devil and angel on my shoulders met. This song is about hypocrisy and self realization. We can get so caught up in the rat race of life, as humans we tend to lose track of ourselves and our core values along the way. There comes a point where you look at the perceived problems in your life and realize there is one common denominator; yourself! Whether it's in the lens you look at life through or an overall attitude, there comes a point where we must turn a negative into a positive. This song is that for me." Guitarist Henry Flury expresses: "And just when you thought we weren't going to be heavy anymore… BOOM! This is definitely a song for the stage. Can you sing and circle pit at the same time?" Asked in a recent interview with Syfy Wire's "Metal Crush" how BUTCHER BABIES' new material differs from 2017's "Lilith", Shepherd said: "It differs a lot. You still have the classic BUTCHER BABIES metal behind us, but I found myself wanting to sing more. "When I first started BUTCHER BABIES, I was an angry young girl, and I had a lot to scream about. I'm a happy 35-year-old woman now, so I have a lot that I wanna sing about." BUTCHER BABIES next album will be the band's first since its split with Century Media over a year ago. Last April, Shepherd told ELUVEITIE's "Corona Talk" that "it was a hard decision to part ways with Century Media." She explained: "Here in the U.S., the label doesn't exactly exist much here anymore. And so it was a really difficult decision. We were with them for our entire career; we've been a band for 10 years. It just wasn't working here in the States. But we do love our Century Media family." "Lilith" was produced by Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SEPULTURA, SUICIDE SILENCE) and marked BUTCHER BABIES' recording debut with drummer Chase Brickenden, who replaced Chris Warner in 2016. In July 2019, longtime BUTCHER BABIES bassist Jason Klein announced his departure from the band. He has since been replaced by Ricky Bonazza. [youtube] [youtube]
FOO FIGHTERS and SiriusXM are launching Foo Fighters Radio, a limited-engagement channel handcrafted by the the 12-time Grammy-winning rock band. The channel features a new, exclusive live concert performance, as well as unrivaled programming and special commentary from Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee, beginning February 3 at 12 p.m. ET on Channel 105. To coincide with the release of the band's tenth studio album, "Medicine At Midnight", Foo Fighters Radio will debut an exclusive performance from the band, "Foo Fighters LIVE From The SiriusXM Garage" in Los Angeles, on February 5 at 5 p.m. ET and PT. The event will be attended by a live virtual audience of SiriusXM subscribers and hosted by SiriusXM's Kat Corbett. Additionally, as soon as "Medicine At Midnight" drops at the stroke of midnight on February 5, the channel will broadcast the album in its entirety as a part of a track-by-track album special, hosted by the band. Also, beginning February 5 on Pandora, FOO FIGHTERS will take over three stations: Today's Alternative, Today's Hard Rock, and Foo Fighters radio with a new listening Mode, Backstage With Foo Fighters. Curated and hosted by the band, the Mode will take listeners behind the scenes with new songs from "Medicine At Midnight", other key tracks from the band, and handpicked favorites. Backstage With Foo Fighters is part of Pandora's ongoing artist takeover series to give Pandora listeners access to their favorite artists, their music, and the music that inspires them. "From their inception in mid-'90s to their recent performance at the 2021 presidential inauguration celebration, FOO FIGHTERS remain one of America's biggest rock bands," SiriusXM's Scott Greenstein said. "They have achieved critical acclaim for their music and onstage energy, all while building a large and loyal audience. This special extended channel will draw new listeners, and as part of it we are very proud to present a FOO FIGHTERS concert from our L.A. studios next week. They are a rock band that grabs you and won't let go, and we love to bring their music and passion to our listeners." Foo Fighters Radio will feature the band sharing insight into their new album and the stories behind some of their biggest songs, demos, b-sides, and rarities throughout their more than two-decade career. The channel will feature exclusive encores of Dave Grohl Presents Sound City, nine radio shows that feature Grohl discussing the music recorded at the iconic Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, including NIRVANA's "Nevermind", which served as Grohl's introduction to the iconic studio in 1991 when he was NIRVANA's drummer. Foo Fighters Radio will feature a weekly series of live concerts from the band's vaults, beginning with their 2018 performance from the "Concrete And Gold" tour at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. Other artists and celebrities will also be showcased on the channel as they guest DJ, spinning their favorite FOO FIGHTERS music. Listeners can also expect to hear music from other artists, handpicked by the band, on the channel. SiriusXM subscribers will have the opportunity to (virtually) watch "Foo Fighters LIVE From The SiriusXM Garage", that will be promoted via an exclusive e-mail invitation to qualified subscribers who have registered their music interests at For additional chances to win, fans can follow SiriusXM's social channels.
Perry Farrell's "The Glitz; The Glamour" is a 35-year retrospective of his life, music and art that looks into his world outside the works of JANE'S ADDICTION and PORNO FOR PYROS — focusing on 68 tracks worth of Perry's alt rock rarities and innovative artistic explorations. The retrospective is served up in the form of a vinyl and collectible box-set and will be an art piece in its own right — in collaboration with fine artist Zoltar, this offering firmly puts Farrell's stake in the ground as the "godfather of alternative rock." In addition to the deep groove vinyl recordings, the box-set includes a Blu-ray featuring 12 uncompressed Dolby Atmos mixes from "Kind Heaven" and three previously unreleased Atmos mixes, a photographic memoir hardcover book, a bandana, plus two exclusive Zoltar prints. "The Glitz; The Glamour" is out now via Last Man Music. Visit for more information. Across nine 180-gram vinyls, "The Glitz; The Glamour" takes fans through his expansive solo career starting with his first band PSI COM and their five song self-titled EP. Recorded in 1985, just prior to the formation of JANE'S ADDICTION, the PSI COM sound was inspired by artists like JOY DIVISION and SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES — setting forth the template of what would become alternative rock. The band was featured in the documentary "Desolation Center", the previously untold story of '80s guerilla music, art and culture in Southern California, and is available now on all streaming video platforms. Perry has shared one of PSI COM's tracks off the EP, "Ho Ka Hey". 2001's "Song Yet To Be Sung" was inspired by and recorded after a life-changing experience in Sudan helping free thousands of slaves from human bondage. This experience and album set forth Perry as a humanitarian and his commitment to equality. The 12-song EP was written and produced by Perry Farrell and is joined on the album by lifelong friends including Dave Navarro (JANE'S ADDICTION), Martyn LeNoble (PORNO FOR PYROS), and Stephen Perkins (JANE'S ADDICTION and PORNO FOR PYROS). SATELLITE PARTY's 2007 album "Ultra Payloaded" was co-produced by Perry, Steve Lillywhite and Nuno Bettencourt and featured Perry's wife and muse Etty Lau Farrell. The 12-song LP also included collaborations with John Frusciante, Flea, Fergie, NEW ORDER's Peter Hook, Peter DiStefano (PORNO FOR PYROS), THIEVERY CORPORATION and Mad Professor. 2018's "Kind Heaven" was described by Rolling Stone as "a mind-bending audio hallucination." For the recording of the album, the alt-rock icon assembled a dynamic group of artists who together realized the new collaborative musical venture known as the KIND HEAVEN ORCHESTRA. The record, co-produced by Farrell and Tony Visconti, features contributions from Elliot Easton (THE CARS), Taylor Hawkins (FOO FIGHTERS), Mike Garson (David Bowie), Chris Chaney (JANE'S ADDICTION), Etty Lau Farrell, Dhani Harrison as well as Tommy Lee, THE BLOODY BEETROOTS, Kascade and Joachim Garraud. It featured singles "Pirate Punk Politician", a searing indictment of the current state of our planet under a rising tide of autocratic regimes, and the soaring song of hope "Let's all Pray For This World", plus two exciting new tracks from the KIND HEAVEN ORCHESTRA. There is also an unearthed recording of Jim Morrison's (THE DOORS) that Farrell has composed, and to complete the circle, he has written and recorded new music with L.A.'s next-gen rockers STARCRAWLER. The box-set also features 11 specially commissioned remixes and collaborations spanning two exclusive vinyl albums. These feature luminaries from the electronic dance music (EDM) world, including Maceo Plex, Groove Armada, UNKLE, Solomun, Booka Shade, Richard Norris, Francois K and THE AVALANCHES. [youtube]
Grammy-nominated band CODE ORANGE has shared the official music video for "Autumn And Carbine". The animated clip, which was directed and animated by the band's own Eric "Shade" Balderose and Jami Morgan (NOWHERE2RUN Productions), follows CODE ORANGE into a dystopian wasteland as they confront the thieving overlords of a ruined future society. The band also utilized DIY motion capture techniques to animate the various performance scenes in the video which is streaming now on their official YouTube channel. Furthermore, CODE ORANGE has launched a limited-edition "Autumn And Carbine" shirt in its webstore, featuring 3D incarnates of each member as seen in the animated video. CODE ORANGE's latest album, "Underneath", was released in March 2020 via Roadrunner Records. Produced by Morgan and Nick Raskulinecz with co-producer Will Yip, the LP features additional programming from Chris Vrenna, and was mixed by Yip and Balderose. "Underneath" is available on all streaming platforms, and features the singles "Swallowing The Rabbit Whole", "Underneath" and "Sulfur Surrounding". In its wake, the band performed multiple livestream experiences, including "Back Inside The Glass" an all-immersive environmental experience placing CODE ORANGE's live show at the center of awe-inspiring virtual landscapes. It marked CODE ORANGE's third livestream of 2020, following their empty-venue record-release show "Last Ones Left: In Fear Of The End" and "Under The Skin", their first-ever stripped down performance, which is available now as a digital album on all streaming platforms. Additionally, CODE ORANGE has continued to reach fans across the globe through its "You And You Alone" livestream series, which features collaborative performances, playthroughs, and in-depth discussions and fan question-and-answer sessions broadcasting regularly on the band's official Twitch channel. In 2019, CODE ORANGE made headlines in the professional wrestling world with the release of "Let Me In", their official entrance theme for WWE superstar "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. CODE ORANGE previously featured at WWE's NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III performing a rendition of wrestler Aleister Black's entrance theme alongside Incendiary's Brendan Garrone. "Let Me In" followed CODE ORANGE's 2018 release of "The Hurt Will Go On", a digital EP featuring "3 Knives" and "The Hunt" featuring Corey Taylor, as well as "The Hurt Will Go On" (Shade Remix), an official remix of CODE ORANGE's "Hurt Goes On" helmed by the band's guitarist and vocalist Shade. In 2017, CODE ORANGE flipped the heavy music world on its head with their breakthrough album "Forever", a collection that masterfully mixed hardcore aggression with urgent industrial textures, earning the band a breakthrough Grammy nomination and top placement on several "Best of 2017" lists, including Rolling Stone's "20 Best Metal Albums of 2017", Revolver's "20 Best Albums of 2017" and The Independent's "Top 20 Rock & Metal Albums of 2017." [youtube]
Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum alt-rock band SYSTEM OF A DOWN has revealed the details of a very special livestream fundraising event on Saturday, January 30, culminating with the music video premiere of the band's "Genocidal Humanoidz" single. The group once again steps up to support humanitarian efforts in their ancestral homeland of Armenia when needed most. The livestream will be broadcast exclusively on the band’s official YouTube channel. In the tragic aftermath of the most egregious violence to affect the area since 1994, soldiers for the Defense Army of Artsakh and Armenia (many of them volunteers) suffered war crimes at the hands of the invaders- Azerbaijan abetted by Turkey and their Syrian mercenaries. These young men, wounded in the conflict, remain in dire need of prosthetics, advanced treatment, and medical care. SYSTEM OF A DOWN is hosting the livestream in order to raise money to rehabilitate and outfit soldiers who have lost arms and legs with life-changing prosthetic limbs. Additionally, funding will benefit the introduction of groundbreaking laser therapy for the treatment of chemical burns from banned white phosphorous weapons. All proceeds from the livestream will be donated to this noble cause. The livestream launches at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET. The band will welcome a roster of guests to join them for interviews. These include representative for Armenia Fund USA Maria Mehranian, Armenian-American musician Sebu Simonian, "Good Day LA"'s Araksya Karapetyan, Harvard clinician Dr. Lilit Garibyan (who leads the charity Face Of Angel which has established medical laser treatments in Armenia and now aims to provide medical scar laser treatments to soldiers with burn and trauma scars), Armenian parliamentarian Narek Mkrtchyan (who is leading the development of a new prosthetic hand lab and initiative with Homeland Defenders Rehabilitation Center), and director Adam Mason of Deep Sky Animation, who helped create the "Genocidal Humanoidz" music video. A special video from Lt. Colonel Sargis Stepanyan from Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund and additional videos of support from VIP friends of the band will be showcased throughout the livestream. Wrapping up the event, the video debuts worldwide at 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET. Viewers may donate throughout the entire stream on the band's YouTube channel. In November 2020, SYSTEM OF A DOWN made new music available for the first time since 2005 in order to rally for Armenia. They released "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz" and pledged royalties earned, including from purchases on Bandcamp, to the major non-profit, Armenia Fund. Along with other donations from fans on their social pages, they have raised over $600,000 so far. "Genocidal Humanoidz" and "Protect The Land" were both produced by guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian, who also wrote the music and lyrics. The music video for "Protect The Land" incorporated recent footage of the protests and on-the-ground fighting in Artsakh, but in a very personal and aesthetic way. As he did for all previous SYSTEM OF A DOWN releases, bassist Shavo Odadjian executive-produced the music video and curated the cover and brand art for the project. On the recording of "Protect The Land" and "Genocidal Humanoidz", Odadjian added: "It was such a pleasure for us to be together in the studio again, very comforting and natural, like no time had passed at all." "Protect The Land" a was originally written by Malakian for the next album by his other group, SCARS ON BROADWAY, while "Genocidal Humanoidz" was penned three or four years ago when Odadjian, Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan convened for a jam session that produced several songs, only to abandon them when singer Serj Tankian wouldn't commit to an album. Photo credit: Clemente Ruiz
Nuclear Blast Records has announced the signing of SILVER LAKE, the solo project of AMORPHIS guitarist Esa Holopainen. Esa made good use of his coronavirus downtime in 2020 and fulfilled an old dream of his by recording his first solo album at the Sonic Pump studios. "As some of you might have noticed, I've been working on my first solo album," he says. "Well, actually, I'd rather call this a project which I'm leading as it includes different musicians and vocalists that I've had great privilege to meet during these years. "I've had this idea in the back of my head for years and now that COVID-19 hit hard on all of us, it was time to be creative and start this project. "The project is titled SILVER LAKE by Esa Holopainen and I am really happy to announce that SILVER LAKE is now signed to Nuclear Blast, which was a very obvious choice as NB is also AMORPHIS's record label and I know all the label personnel super well. Another natural move is that Grey Beard Concerts & Management is managing my solo stuff as well. "I look forward to revealing more news about the artists who are collaborating with me in SILVER LAKE." Markus Staiger, owner and CEO of Nuclear Blast Tonträger Produktion und Vertriebs GmbH, adds: "An old friendship of almost three decades that goes back to the very beginnings of AMORPHIS connects me to Esa Holopainen. Back then we just licenced the band from Relapse for the European market. "Esa Holopainen is a remarkable guitarist, whose innovative way of playing is super recognizable. You can hear it right away if he's involved, and it was just natural for us to work together in releasing his solo album. "I was so surprised of how diverse the final product sounded and how Esa keeps revealing hidden sides of his music. The fact that many friends worked on the album as guests just makes this fantastic record complete and I'm convinced that not only fans of AMORPHIS will love it. "I want to thank Esa for his loyalty and this truly beautiful jewel of an album." AMORPHIS's latest album, "Queen Of Time", was released in May 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2015's "Under The Red Cloud" included the use of real strings, flutes, orchestral arrangements and even choirs. In addition, this was the first time that people were able to hear AMORPHIS lyricist Pekka Kainulainen on the album, as he contributed a speech in Finnish.
Drumtalk, the video podcast by German drummer and videographer Philipp Koch, has released a one-hour video tribute to late CYNIC drummer Sean Reinert, who passed away a year ago. Included in the tribute are interviews with some of Reinert's colleagues and bandmates, among them Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DARK ANGEL, DEATH), Tomas Haake (MESHUGGAH), Dirk Verbeuren (MEGADETH) and Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, DEATH), as well as a lot of previously unreleased footage. Reinert was found unresponsive at his San Bernardino, California home on January 24, 2020. According to TMZ, he was transported to a hospital, but after life-saving measures proved ineffective, he was pronounced dead upon arriving. Reinert was a founding member of CYNIC, along with guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, and he remained in the group until September 2015. In 1991, Reinert and Masvidal joined the legendary Florida band DEATH to record the "Human" album. After touring with DEATH, they returned to CYNIC. 1993 saw the release of CYNIC's debut album, "Focus", which is regarded as a landmark LP in the field of technical/progressive metal. After CYNIC's initial split, Reinert and Masvidal relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued working with music by writing and performing for television shows and motion pictures. In 1999, Reinert helped Masvidal form ÆON SPOKE, which was described as an "ethereal rock" band. In 2007, CYNIC reformed for a tour and recorded a new album, "Traced In Air", which was released in 2008 and followed by more touring. After "Traced In Air", CYNIC issued two conceptual EPs, "Re-Traced" (2010) and "Carbon-Based Anatomy" (2011). Sean's final recorded appearance with CYNIC was "Kindly Bent To Free Us", which came out in February 2014 via Season Of Mist. Reinert played his last shows with CYNIC in September 2015 in Japan. He later said that the "performances were not up to par" and blamed the band's lack of preparation on "the accumulation of differences in musical directions and business practices." After his exit from CYNIC, Sean was involved with the Los Angeles progressive rock group PERFECT BEINGS, whose latest album, "Vier", was released in January 2018 via InsideOut Music. [youtube]
Finnish heavy metal sextet BATTLE BEAST has re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records. Bassist Eero Sipilä states: "We are thrilled to announce our continued co-operation with the metal titans Nuclear Blast Records. With 200+ million plays on the various streaming services and high chartings around the world, there's absolutely no questioning the fruit our long partnership has borne. The work for the next BATTLE BEAST opus is well under way, and we can't wait to hit the stages around the world once this disease has blown over! Here's to many more great years to come! Cheers!" Marcus Hammer, managing director of Nuclear Blast Europe, comments: "I am very happy and proud that we were able to extend the partnership with BATTLE BEAST and can continue this success story! As we can see there are still Hollywood Endings to some stories. We are stoked to open together the next chapter for this remarkable career." Since its 2011 debut album "Steel", BATTLE BEAST achieved over 200 million streams on digital streaming platforms. Alongside the No. 1 success of their last three albums in the album charts of their home country, Finland, 2019's "No More Hollywood Endings" reached a remarkable No. 11 in the German album chart. After conquering Europe on several tours and all major festivals, BATTLE BEAST first toured North America in 2017, supporting SABATON. The band also inked a deal with Artist Group International (METALLICA, GHOST, SABATON) for their North American booking and their European joint venture partner K2 for the European booking (excluding Finland). BATTLE BEAST singer Noora Louhimo singer recently completed work on her debut solo album, "Eternal Wheel Of Time And Space", under the NOORA LOUHIMO EXPERIENCE banner. The LP will be released in March, to be preceded by a single on January 29. Louhimo joined BATTLE BEAST in 2012, with no previous experience as a metal vocalist but quickly acclimated herself as the replacement for Nitte Valo. "No More Hollywood Endings" was released in March 2019. The album was recorded by Janne Björkroth, Viktor Gullichsen and Joona Björkroth at JKB Studio. The production and mixing duties were handled by Janne. The cover artwork was created by Jan Yrlund (KORPIKLAANI, MANOWAR), who previously worked with BATTLE BEAST on 2017's "Bringer Of Pain".
SLAUGHTER frontman Mark Slaughter recently spoke to 80's Metal Recycle Bin about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting. "The grunge thing, I think, was a natural course of many events," he explained (see video below). "A lot of people are, like, 'Grunge killed this.' It wasn't that. I think there was a lot of bands that became a lot of industry that was creating these bands that was not what the bands were. I mean, it was, like, they'd sign the band, then they'd get get a writer, a producer, and these people, and those songwriters and those people, and those hair stylists and those people, and by the time they were done, the band they signed was not even the band that they really signed. They had created a whole different monster, which is the monster of music business. And I think that a lot of bands lost their way and really were not able to do that. "In the grunge scene, they say that grunge killed our style of music. No — it was people in the business that killed this music," Mark insisted. "What happened is the largest radio station in the world, MTV, had a new president, who was a programmer of KROQ in California, and he said to Billboard magazine, 'I will never play MÖTLEY CRÜE, SLAUGHTER, POISON…' — he named all the bands that were right on top at the time. And the next week, we were off all the playlists. It's, like, the tide just completely turned. And everybody was, like, 'What happened?' Well, the industry made a change. "In mid-'90s, we were running around on a tour bus barely keeping the gas going. It was a very rough time. But the thing is for us, music is art, music is life, and that's what we did." Slaughter's second solo album, "Halfway There", was released in 2017 via EMP Label Group. SLAUGHTER has not released a studio album since 1999's "Back To Reality". [youtube]
QUIET RIOT guitarist Alex Grossi spoke to Talking Metal about the band's decision to carry on after drummer Frankie Banali's death. The group, which now features drummer Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), played a couple of shows in October and has a string of dates booked in 2021. Banali, who joined QUIET RIOT in 1982 and played on its breakthrough album, 1983's "Metal Health", died in August after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Asked if QUIET RIOT's continuation was something that he and his bandmates discussed with Banali before the drummer's passing, Alex said: "It was never flat-out discussed, but he just kept accepting dates. And he told me, 'Look, when I can't play, you have the trademark sewn up,' this and that. It was always just business as usual, like it's gonna keep going. Let me put it to you this way: one of the last conversations we had, he e-mailed me about a show that was booked for August of 2021. He said something like, 'I won't be there, but you're playing in Wyoming on the 21st of August' — something like that; kind of making a little joke about it. "He handled it so bravely and so well," Grossi said about Frankie's cancer battle. "I don't know too many guys who could have fought the way he fought that thing. The kind of cancer he had was gnarly. Stage four pancreatic is no joke. And he was given three to six months to live, and he did 18 months. And he was still playing drums after 12 months — still banging on the drums. Amazing." Alex also confirmed that there are plans for QUIET RIOT to release new music featuring Banali on drums. He said: "We were always recording, we were always working on new music. And, yeah, there's a lot of tracks in the vault that were being worked on. We're a rock band — we always have stuff going on. And yes, there will definitely be new music by QUIET RIOT, and it will have Frankie on drums. And it wasn't like we planned it or anything. "Most of the time, you're always working and recording ideas, and Frankie loved to play drums — he was always recording stuff," Grossi explained. "We're trying to figure out exactly what to do. I mean, it's such a weird time with the pandemic right now, and we do have some tour dates coming up to kind of wipe the cobwebs off, but in the next two months, there'll probably be some more solid news on that front, for sure." Regarding how Kelly came to join QUIET RIOT as Banali's replacement, Alex said: "I met John in New York. We were doing a HOOKERS & BLOW run, and we needed a drummer on the East Coast. And Dizzy [Reed, HOOKERS & BLOW frontman] recommended him. He's been in the band, with HOOKERS & BLOW, for, like, eight years. "When Frankie first got sick, the very first show he was unable to do 'cause of his health was in Dallas, Texas. Johnny had just moved to Dallas. So the show's on a Friday. I get a call from Frankie on Monday, going, 'We have a show on Friday.' And at this point, we didn't know how sick he was. He goes, 'I don't think I can make it. Do you know any drummers that can get to Texas and know the set by Friday?' And I go, 'John Kelly.' And Frankie loved Johnny; they were friends. They play a lot the same. And he goes, 'That's perfect.' So I call Johnny. I go, 'Can you learn 10 QUIET RIOT songs in a week and be there on Friday with no soundcheck and no rehearsal and go and play in front of 10 thousand people?' And Johnny goes, 'Okay.' That was it. He really saved our us. "Johnny is such a pro, and he's definitely the right guy for a lot of reasons," Grossi said. "He's East Coast, he hits hard. He's not one of those guys that's in a gazillion bands, mercenary drummer that will play in any band. Even though he's been in a lot of bands, he's not one of those guys. And we all know who we're talking about. And he's a great friend. He's a hard-working guy. He's family to me, and Frankie said that's the guy, if he wants to do it. And he hasn't left yet." QUIET RIOT played its first concert after Banali's death on October 9 at at the Grand Stage Amphitheater near Urich, Missouri. At some of QUIET RIOT's 2019 and 2020 shows, Banali was replaced by Kelly or Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.), depending on each musician's availability. QUIET RIOT's shows in 2019 with Kelly and Dupke marked the first time ever that the band performed without any of the members from its classic lineup: Banali, singer Kevin DuBrow, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Rudy Sarzo. QUIET RIOT initially featured the late guitar legend Randy Rhoads and went through some early lineup shifts before securing the musicians that recorded "Metal Health". Bassist Chuck Wright has been a part of QUIET RIOT, on and off, since 1982, having initially been involved in the "Metal Health" recordings (he played bass on the tracks "Metal Health" and "Don't Wanna Let You Go"). Grossi was in the last version of the band, from 2004 through 2007, before Kevin passed away, and was asked by Banali to return in 2010. QUIET RIOT went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before settling on Jizzy Pearl in 2013. Pearl announced his exit from QUIET RIOT in October 2016 and was briefly replaced by Seann Nichols, who played only five shows with the group before the March 2017 arrival of "American Idol" finalist James Durbin. Pearl returned to QUIET RIOT in September 2019. [youtube]
Mike Mangini has finished laying down his drum tracks for DREAM THEATER's new album. The follow-up to 2019's "Distance Over Time" is tentatively due later this year. Earlier today, Mike took to his Facebook page to write: "My drums for DT15 are complete. "This is a long post, but for those of you just like me who need positive inspiration more than ever, this is for you: "I've not played on an album this energetically unrelenting start to finish since ANNIHILATOR. But the wild thing is the amount of vintage DT melody weaved on to that kind of energy. I've never tapped into more advanced uses of my old and new chops in musical ways because of a monumentally collaborative effort of 5 like-minded, organic/evolving individuals. Is it from the forced lockdown like other music I've heard released? Maybe. Is it from nobody individually or collectively trying to do anything specific musically except just play and be a daring 19-year-old again? Probably. "I never say that any new album is better than another. It never seems to be to me after reading, 'this is our best blah blah blah.' What I'm communicating is exactly what it is about DT15 that sticks out as being significant and important to me. Better? That's pointless given so many different tastes. Who cares. However, it's really cool that the band and individuals can keep progressing at this career stage. But we're supposed to given how we're defined. Accordingly, there's all the 'familiarity' one needs in this new music, but it's definitely not the same old fills/chords/beats. Besides, what could be more boring than a defined 'progressive' musician not being creative, dynamic, and growing physically and creatively from album to album? That would be kinda like a poker machine spitting out the same hands game after game, year after year. "Earning good mechanics is a great thing as it pertains to consistency and avoiding playing poorly. But A TRUE machine is a thing that doesn't grow. That's OK unless your thing, your claim, is to be a 'progressive' musician. We strive to 'complete' who we are even though nobody can fully 'complete' everything. No creative growth truly defines and = a 'BOT' so to speak. DT15 is no such thing and I'm excited to report back with so much joy." "Distance Over Time" marked DREAM THEATER's first album for for Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. The group spent the past 25 years recording under various labels in the Warner Music Group system, most recently Roadrunner Records, which released five albums by the band between 2007 and 2016. DREAM THEATER recently released its ninth career live album, "Distant Memories - Live In London". Recorded at DREAM THEATER's sold-out show at the Apollo Theatre in London, the live release documents the band's popular world tour in support of "Distance Over Time" and the 20th anniversary of their seminal concept album "Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory". My drums for DT15 are complete. This is a long post, but for those of you just like me who need positive inspiration... Posted by Mike Mangini on Saturday, January 23, 2021
In a new interview with Spain's Metal Journal, legendary German guitarist Michael Shenker was asked if he thought about approaching his former SCORPIONS bandmate Klaus Meine to contribute his vocals to a reworked version of the SCORPIONS song "In Search Of The Peace Of Mind", which appears on "Immortal", the upcoming album from MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP). Michael responded (hear audio below): "Because Klaus and I, we started COPERNICUS before we joined the SCORPIONS, I always tried to [entertain] the idea of doing something with Klaus [again]. But over the years, my brother Rudolf [Schenker, SCORPIONS guitarist] has become — he's just simply a bully." He continued: "I'm 66; [Rudolf is] seven years older. By him not giving me the musical credit for 'In Search Of The Peace Of Mind', and then also tricking me with the 'Lovedrive' album, which I was helping them to open the doors for America for them… In 2015, when they approached me for the SCORPIONS box and I found out so many lies, I got very disappointed in Rudolf. I always supported Rudolf and said more power to him — I was so happy that he was successful. And I was happy that I was very successful in fulfilling myself as an artist. So we all got what we wanted. "I love Rudolf as a brother, but social distance is needed, so I don't get tricked into any further inconvenient situation," Michael explained. "Rudolf is a bully, and I don't connect with bullies. It creates turbulence, and it's inconvenient… I don't wanna open another can of worms. The moment I would team up with Klaus, automatically me and Rudolf would be involved some way or another. "I don't wanna be controlled by them," Michael said. "I have established myself in a way that I don't wanna be tricked into more inconvenient situations. The moment I connect with Rudolf — you have to understand — it will carry on just the way it did when I was 15, and it will never stop. He's a trickster. And Klaus and Rudolf, of course, they are very, very close together. And there is no point. I, actually, in the end, I cannot do anything with Phil Mogg [UFO singer] anymore or with Klaus Meine, because it just opens another can of worms. "I don't wanna be controlled by control freaks that are chasing fame just for the sake of fame, losing respect [of] the fans, et cetera, et cetera, making a last album and then another last album and another last album and another last album. It never stops. I mean, these people have no sensitivity and respect for their fans. And so, I don't wanna be involved. I'm not like that. I'm true to myself, and I enjoy being pure as an artist. "Rudolf and I, we have been separated for 50 years," Michael said. "We have never actually spent any time together except for the tour dates in the [SCORPIONS] 'Lonesome Crow' period, but that's it. So we're used to that anyway. "I hope for Rudolf to find his way back to understanding what true life is about. [He's] chasing something that gives you something that in the end is not gonna make you happy, which is fame and money, et cetera, et cetera. It rarely makes anybody happy. I mean, sometimes it kills people — too much fame, it kills people; they just die. And so I don't wanna be involved in that world. And I know by connecting to Phil and to Klaus [and] Rudolf, it will just be more of the same. They're always chasing the same thing, and they're addicted to it. And when you're addicted, you don't know how to stop." Michael gave a number of interviews in the last few years in which he said that he was "disappointed" in Rudolf over the narrative he and SCORPIONS had created about the writing and recording of 1979 album "Lovedrive". Michael added that SCORPIONS took advantage of him and took credit for his songwriting efforts, particularly as it relates to the tracks "Holiday" and "Coast To Coast". In 2019, Rudolf dismissed Michael's criticism, telling Classic Rock magazine: "Look, I love my brother. He's a fantastic guitar player but he knows nothing about business. When we made 'Lovedrive', the band was under contract to Dieter Dierks [producer and manager]. When I asked Michael to play a solo to my composition 'Coast To Coast', we agreed a half-and-half credit, but Dieter wouldn't allow it — this related to publishing and studio costs. Michael had a signed contract with Dieter that gave him one point on the song. And we agreed to pay Michael… he had the money." He continued: "But in 1985, when [Michael] was completely smashed and had a new MSG with Robin McAuley, Michael lived with me in my house. We flew in musicians, I did all of that for nothing on the understanding that Michael would pay me when a record label came in. But he didn't pay me anything. So I took his half to cover the bills he hadn't paid. Everything is clear. All Michael has to do is ask: 'What's happening here?' But he doesn't; instead, he gives these stupid interviews." Rudolf added: "I still love my brother but he has always hated business matters and the only person that's to blame here is himself." Michael Schenker first appeared on SCORPIONS' 1972 album "Lonesome Crow", earned acclaim in the 1970s on classic UFO albums such as "Phenomenon" and "Lights Out" before rejoining SCORPIONS for 1979's "Lovedrive". He departed soon thereafter to launch MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. And while his sometimes-erratic behavior have derailed parts of his career, Schenker remains one of hard rock and metal's most influential axemen. [youtube]
Outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent has painted a bleak picture of the United States' immediate future, predicting that the Joe Biden presidency will result in a rise in unemployment and "manufactured fake racism" becoming "the #1 issue in America." Nugent — a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump — took to his Facebook page on Friday (January 22) to write: "Nuge Predictions on Impacts of Biden presidency: unemployment rises, energy and food costs soar, real wages shrink, freedoms are severely restricted or lost, membership in the NRA & GOA rises, gun & ammo sales soar, gangsters continue to slay other gangsters in Chicago, America becomes much more dependent on foreign energy, the Chinese and Russians play chess against America while Biden's team plays tiddlywinks, a malaise smothers the country, interest rates rise, the select rich get richer while the poor become poorer, excuse-making and blaming others is standard operating procedure, manufactured fake racism is the #1 issue in America, illegals become U.S. citizens, bloodsuckers outnumber producers, Hunter Biden isn't investigated, and yours truly turns up my We The People freedom hellraising to allnew hieghts. welcome to Zimbabwe". Nugent has repeatedly claimed that "there is no such thing in America as systemic racism," and has dismissed suggestions that a now-former Minneapolis police officer was responsible for killing George Floyd last May by holding his knee to the 46-year-old black man's neck for more than nine minutes. "George Floyd killed himself with fentanyl," Ted said during an appearance on the "Joe Pags Show". "The cops were trying to subdue a violent, arrest-resisting thug who was dying because of his fentanyl lifestyle." A board member of the National Rifle Association, Nugent has drawn intense criticism for his controversial past remarks, including telling then-president Barack Obama to "suck on my machine gun." He also made inflammatory remarks about Hillary Clinton, calling her a "devilbitch" who "hates everything good about America." In a lengthy Facebook post in 2016, Nugent said Obama and Clinton should be tried for treason and hanged over their handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. In 2019, Nugent defended Donald Trump after the U.S. president was accused of making racist remarks about Democratic congresswomen from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Leading up to the 2020 election, Nugent teamed up with Donald Trump Jr. on the campaign trail. Ted has called Trump "the greatest president in our lifetime," and believes the billionaire real estate mogul represents "the heart and soul of the best American families out there." Nuge Predictions on Impacts of Biden presidency: unemployment rises, energy and food costs soar, real wages shrink,... Posted by Ted Nugent on Friday, January 22, 2021
KISS frontman Paul Stanley was a recent guest on "Dennis Miller +1", an interview show hosted by American actor, comedian, talk show host and five-time Emmy award winner Dennis Miller. You can now listen to the chat below. Speaking about rock stars who make self-destructive behavior a part of their brand, Stanley said (hear audio below): "Unfortunately, I think that the press, the media, critics are responsible for some of that, because somehow not caring about business, not caring about your health, living this rock and roll caricature is what credibility is based on for some. And it's unfortunate, because it kills the rock star, but the critic continues. So it just never made sense to me. I wanna enjoy the hard work, I wanna enjoy the fruits of the labor, so to speak, and I'm living a great life. And I'm a product of a certain philosophy that some may think is corny. But, to me, life is a miracle on its worst day, so I just wake up every day and figure what can I do today to reaffirm that." Stanley's R&B band SOUL STATION will release its debut album, "Now And Then", on March 5 via Universal Music Enterprises. The first single, "O-O-H Child" (THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS), came out last week. The members of the 15-piece ensemble include Rafael "Hoffa" Moreira (guitar and backing vocals), Sean Hurley (bass), Alex Alessandroni (musical director, keyboards), Ely Rise (keyboards), Eric Singer (drums and backing vocals), RayYslas (percussion), Gavyn Rhone (backing vocals), Crystal Starr (backing vocals) and Laurhan Beato (backing vocals) and Jon Pappenbrook (lead trumpet). 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 Gene Simmons (bass, vocals), alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991). Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, Peter Criss (drums) and Ace Frehley (guitar), KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup. In its 48-year career, KISS has accumulated 23 gold and platinum albums — more than any other U.S. band. [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] [youtube] [youtube]
THE PRETTY RECKLESS frontwoman Taylor Momsen has once again reflected on how the deaths of SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell and longtime producer Kato Khandwala affected the making of THE PRETTY RECKLESS's new LP, "Death By Rock And Roll". Momsen, whose band was the opening act for SOUNDGARDEN's spring 2017 run of dates, told "Elliot In The Morning" (hear audio below): "It was traumatic. We were there that night in Detroit [when Chris died]. We played the show with [SOUNDGARDEN]; we were opening for them. I said goodbye To Chris, gave him a hug. We stayed in the parking lot hanging out with the rest of the band — with Matt [Cameron] and Kim [Thayil] and Ben [Shepherd] — all night long, till bus call, and drove off to the next city. And we woke up the next morning to the news. And the weight on the bus was so unbelievably heavy. I woke up to just everyone in the front lounge crying and in utter shock." She continued: "We played a few shows after that, but I got to a place where I was not okay — I was not emotionally prepared to handle that. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't in a good place to be public, and touring was not doing it for me at the time. I couldn't get on stage every night and pretend that I was okay when I really wasn't. So I canceled everything, which was maybe not the best business decision, 'cause we were in the middle of a record cycle at the time. But I went home and tried to kind of regroup and process everything and get my feet back on the ground. And as soon as I started to kind of do that and come to terms with what had happened, I was calling Kato, our producer, and I had written some songs, and I said, 'Let's get in the studio. I don't know if this is for a record or what, but we've gotta start to move forward. Let's start recording some stuff.' And as soon as we started to kind of put those plans in motion, I got the call that Kato died in a motorcycle accident. And that was really the nail in the coffin for me where I just kind of spiraled downward, to put it lightly." According to Taylor, "it took a lot" of effort for her to pull herself out of that dark place that she was in. "I'll say it again — as cliché as it sounds, it really was music that was the thing that I turned to," she said. "I say it's my best friend, because when you've lost everything, music has always been the thing that supported me and it's always been there for me and it's never let me down. And I think this was certainly a time in my life where I was testing those boundaries. I had to kind of make a conscious decision whether it was death or move forward, and I chose to move forward and start working on this album." "Death By Rock And Roll" will be made available on February 12 via Fearless Records in the U.S. and Century Media Records in the rest of the world. THE PRETTY RECKLESS's latest single "And So It Went". features a guest appearance by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello. In addition to Morello, "Death By Rock And Roll" features Thayil and Cameron on a song called "Only Love Can Save Me Now". The track was recorded at Seattle's legendary London Bridge Studios, where seminal LPs like PEARL JAM's "Ten" and SOUNDGARDEN's "Louder Than Love" were laid down. [youtube]
During an appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn's "No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn" podcast, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann was asked if there was ever a rivalry between his band and legendary German hard rockers SCORPIONS, especially in the early 1980s when both ACCEPT and SCORPIONS were still on the rise. He responded (see video below): "The SCORPIONS were already up. When we got started, the SCORPIONS were already big. They had already released 'Tokyo Tapes' and then it was 'Lovedrive', and they were huge in our minds. They were touring America, and they were always way ahead of us. So we always looked at them as our goal or our hero — maybe one day we could be half as good as they are. And they never mentioned us, oddly enough, and they never talked about us, they never acknowledged us in a way, or so it felt. And we always felt it a little odd that they almost were a little afraid of our competition. It almost felt like they maybe wanted to be the only German successful band, and they resented the fact that we were even recording at the same studio with the same producer. We always had this idea that they were thinking, like, 'Who's this other band? Who do they think they are?' They wanna be the only ones… I don't know. This might be total speculating on my part, but it felt a little bit, like, why are they so…? They don't have to be afraid of us. We're doing something completely [different]. And they are huge. Why are they afraid of this little other German band in their footsteps?" Asked if he ever got a chance to meet the SCORPIONS and question them personally about the perceived animosity between the two bands, Wolf said: "I tried to at one point, because eventually we played one show with them, and this is only recently — I'd say four or five years ago. We played one show with them. And I never got a clear answer out of them, because they are always very friendly on the surface and they're great guys, and I like them, but there's never any deep conversations like that. They always stick to themselves, and they never hang around and open up and have a beer or two. They're always a little bit distant, and they're the stars, and they're in their own little world. I have probably the best connection to [guitarist] Matthias Jabs, and, of course, I admire [guitarist] Rudolf [Schenker] — he's my hero; he's amazing. But they never come down to our level — or so it seems. [Laughs]" He continued: "The cool thing is now we're all a little bit older and we can chuckle about it and have a good laugh about this stuff. They probably might open up a little bit more — if we ever had a little bit of a sitdown or whatever, they might tell me a little more of the truth. But they always kept their distance, and they never spilled the beans. They never were the talking kind. I don't know why. It's always been that way." ACCEPT's new album, "Too Mean To Die", will be released on January 29 via Nuclear Blast. The LP will be the group's first without bassist Peter Baltes, who exited ACCEPT in November 2018. He has since been replaced by Martin Motnik. ACCEPT's lineup has also been expanded with the addition of a third guitarist, Philip Shouse, who originally filled in for Uwe Lulis during 2019's "Symphonic Terror" tour, before being asked to join the band permanently. "Too Mean To Die" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with British producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH), who has been responsible for the studio sound of ACCEPT since 2010. ACCEPT's last album, 2017's "The Rise Of Chaos", marked the band's first release with Lulis and drummer Christopher Williams, replacing Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann, respectively. [youtube]
Live sound, mixing and recording engineer James "Jimmy T" Meslin has spent the better part of the past decade working with renowned progressive metal pioneers DREAM THEATER, both on tour and on the band's most recent records — including "Distance Over Time", the band's most successful album on the charts to date, using Mojave Audio. Meslin got his start at Cove City Sound Studios, where he was introduced to DREAM THEATER. Working as the assistant engineer on both their self-titled record (2013) and their 2016 double record "The Astonishing", Meslin eventually pivoted roles and went to work on the band's touring crew. "They needed a playback technician because they were going to be running pretty in-depth sessions and expanding on the way they do personalized clicks to ensure lock with a bigger scale live production," Meslin said. "I had the advantage of knowing the ins and outs of that record ['The Astonishing'], which made for a streamlined experience in building the live show. "Eventually, my studio foundation began to spill over into the approach of how their live show was captured and mixed. I had knowledge and resources to replicate FX achieved on the record, and capturing approaches used in the studio that could be utilized on the road. "The big introduction, for me, with Mojave was the MA-301fet, when we used it on [John] Petrucci's guitar rig in 2012," Meslin said. "For their self titled record, lead engineer Richard Chycki was auditioning microphones on Petrucci's guitar cabinets but only had one FET47 available. He was referred by Dusty [Wakeman, president of Mojave Audio] to try the MA-301, as we sought a second large diaphragm FET microphone. "We put the 301 on the cab and it was one of those moments for everyone in the room, where we had expected it to be a great emulation of its ancestor — but it was almost a sad moment when we realized the MA-301 blew the original out of the water. The 301 sounded like this huge glorious representation of the original, and there really was no reason to look any further. "We did because that's DREAM THEATER's style 'go big, or go home' — but the MA-301 gives a true representation of John's rig in one microphone. It's just really full range, very realistic and three-dimensional. The MA-301 eventually made its way on to Pertrucci's cabinets on the road as I began touring with them and brought some of the studio approaches to capturing DREAM THEATER with me. "Flash forward to 2018, I was asked to engineer their new record, which would eventually become 'Distance Over Time'. It was a unique experience. We recorded in upstate New York on a property called Yonderbarn, an old barn-turned-studio, but, unfortunately, gutted of all recording equipment years before our time there. It has a big open floor, beautiful views and acoustics and was intended to be where the band wrote the record. The plan was to eventually migrate to a formal recording studio, but the band fell in love with the place. Petrucci asked if we could pull off recording there and I said 'absolutely…' which unfolded into a huge to-do list of outfitting preamps, computers, monitors, wiring, microphones, cue systems — everything. "Of the many decisions to be made and challenges to overcome while preparing Yonderbarn to handle a DREAM THEATER recording session, myself and Matthew Schieferstein, DT's production coordinator — worked on a gear list to outfit the band's needs. Running 40 inputs and using up every bit of it, I relied heavily on Mojave's 301s to capture some of the most important elements of the record. It lived on Petrucci's guitar cabinet, blended with a Royer 121 and a Shure SM7B — although the 301 sat in the forefront. It captured the resonant head of [Mike] Mangini's kick drum, and was the sole microphone on [John] Myung's bass cabinet." Vocals for James LaBrie were recorded by Richard Chycki in Canada, who used a Mojave MA-1000 on Labrie's voice. "It's such a brilliant mic" said Labrie. "The response to the natural organic acoustics is unparalleled." After recording their "Distant Memories - Live In London" DVD, DREAM THEATER ended their European tour just before the world was put to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the live industry at a complete stop, conversation of new music and records being expedited came forth. "In March of 2020, Petrucci and I agreed to keep a small bubble and work together on his second solo record — 'Terminal Velocity'," Meslin commented. "The entire record was captured using the 301 on his guitar cabinet, and in addition utilized the 301s as overheads to capture Mike Portnoy's drums." "The 301s gave unbelievable clarity and top end to the kit, but never became harsh. The low-end response was clear and accurate, but never muddy," Meslin attested. Mid-summer 2020 led to the continuation of the Petrucci/Portnoy reunion with the resurrection of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT and the making of the band's third record after over 20 years apart. With the success of the 301s function as overheads in an A/B configuration for "Terminal Velocity", Meslin recycled the same approach; however this time he upgraded to the sleek vintage gray body colors and added the Mojave MA-300 in the center, functioning as a mono overhead source. "The MA-300 is a smooth and powerful microphone, giving reinforcement to the snare and filling the hole an A/B stereo image can create. It can easily be used as the sole overhead source in the right production," said Meslin. Now working on the upcoming DREAM THEATER record, their 15th studio album, Meslin continues to rely on Mojave as a crucial resource in his recordings. "Mojave microphones have provided me with an easy access path to dial in sounds with confidence. I have yet to come across a situation their microphones can't handle. "As of 2012, the 301s have been a top choice to put on John's rig," Meslin continued. "They have remained crucial to the recordings and live work I do and will continue to be my go-to pick for larger-than-life guitar sounds." For more information about Mojave Audio, visit
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