[Classic_Rock_Forever] Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Slayer, Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


To celebrate the May 31 release of the reissues of OZZY OSBOURNE's "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" (Epic Records/Legacy Recordings), Ozzy bassists past and present — Rudy Sarzo (1981–1982) and Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (2003-present) — got together to relive some of the highlights of their time with Ozzy.

Long revered by rock fans around the world, these two albums created a template for hard rock in the 1980s and beyond as they were marked by the groundbreaking and historic union of Ozzy and the late guitar hero Randy Rhoads. These definitive versions of 1980's "Blizzard of Ozz" (with previously unreleased bonus tracks) and 1981's "Diary of a Madman" are available individually on vinyl or CD, or together in a deluxe collector's box. All versions were restored and remastered from the original analog sources by George Marino.

Q: What do you think of when you think of Ozzy Osbourne?

Rudy Sarzo: With Ozzy, I was personally a fan before I joined the band. Once I joined a band, that took it to a whole different level. When I think of Ozzy now, I think of playing with Randy Rhoads. Randy was responsible for me joining the band since he and I played together in QUIET RIOT. When Ozzy was looking for a bass player way back in 1981, Randy recommended me. It was my first arena band. Before then, the most people I'd played to was a full house at the Starwood in Los Angeles which held about 1,000. That was about it. As soon as I started playing with Ozzy, we were doing arenas, stadiums, and so on. Not only was I playing with the most incredible band I've ever had the pleasure and privilege to play with, but it was also virgin territory for me. It was the spark of everything that I've done ever since.

Blasko: Like Rudy, I was clearly a fan first. Ozzy is my boss, but he's my friend as well. It's an honor to be able to get on stage and play all of those songs with him. There's a 40-year lineage of awesome music.

Q: What has Ozzy's impact been on you personally?

Rudy Sarzo: He and Sharon gave me my first break. I went from sleeping on the floor to having a chance to become who I am today. The only reference that they had was Randy recommended me. I could've been a total maniac, but they gave me a shot [Laughs]. I will be forever grateful. I also learned the difference between the real deal and bullshit by being in Ozzy. Once you play with Ozzy, you know what the real deal is.

Blasko: That's true. It's twofold in a way for me. BLACK SABBATH and Ozzy Osbourne are my demographic. The only reason I even play music is because of BLACK SABBATH. Now, here it is, I'm 41 years old and I'm actually playing with the guy who's the reason I play music. It's weird. How often does that happen? You're actually playing with the guy who made you want to play music in the first place.

Rudy Sarzo: We've all started out as fans. I've been a fan of music a lot longer than I've been a professional musician. To actually get to play with our heroes--the people who got us into doing what we do — is an incredible blessing.

Blasko: Growing up, you don't even think you'll meet your heroes, let alone play music with them. The reason why Ozzy is so real is if you ask him the same question, he'll give you the same answer. He grew up worshipping THE BEATLES. The only reason he plays music is because of THE BEATLES. You wouldn't think that Ozzy would be starstruck. He was beside himself when he got to meet Paul McCartney. In his mind, he's in no way the icon that we look at him as. That's why his fans relate to him so much. He doesn't put himself as bigger than they are. He may be the guy on the stage, but he's not out of the spectrum of being a fan as well. He doesn't buy into his own hugeness.

Q: What are your favorite Ozzy songs to play?

Rudy Sarzo: For me, it would be the usual suspects — both albums that were out at the time, "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman". As a band, we enjoyed playing any of the songs.

Blasko: The opportunity to play any of the songs is fine with me. What's better: getting on stage and playing in front of 10,000 people or tarring a hot roof in the San Fernando Valley for a living? [Laughs] It doesn't matter song we play. It's better than doing anything else.

Rudy Sarzo: The crowd will go crazy even before Ozzy goes on stage because they anticipate craziness and the unknown. Every show is completely different. You never know what's going to happen. Even as a member of the band, you don't know what's going to happen. It's amazing to see a crowd reaction that never wavers throughout the whole set. It does climax at the end, but the energy never gets any lower than chaos at the very beginning.

Blasko: That's because Ozzy won't let it happen. If the crowd is sleepy, then Ozzy gets angry about it. He'll throw buckets of water on them. That's his M.O. That's his business. He gets up there, and he kicks ass. He's giving the energy, and the crowd gives it back. Towards the end, you break out "Crazy Train" and "Paranoid" and you get the obvious lift because those are the song everybody in the crowd knows. There is no significant dip over those two hours on stage. It's a consistently energetic audience all the way through. It's pretty intense.

Q: What's the effect that he has on the fans?

Rudy Sarzo: When I first joined the band, it was his crossfade period going from BLACK SABBATH to becoming a solo artist. Most of the people who came out to see us on the "Blizzard of Ozz" tour were SABBATH fans. They seemed to be a little bit more hardcore. Later on, as we evolved, we started getting more of a crossover audience. It was a younger demographic. Also, there were females which I don't really think were a part of the BLACK SABBATH audience [Laughs]. It just has a broader appeal. I think a lot of it has to do with Sharon and her vision of what Ozzy is as a performer. That made a huge impact on what Ozzy has become today. Ozzy is known to the heavy metal community. He's also known to people across the world. Everywhere he goes, people know who he is. It's not just the typical places we tour at either. It's anywhere in the world. Rob, what have been some of the most obscure places you guys have been to where people mob Ozzy?

Blasko: It doesn't matter. Everywhere is the same. On this last run, we went to four countries that he'd never even been to in his career ever, and it was the same. They're huge places sold out with Ozzy fanatics. Ozzy is a cultural icon. In some ways, he surpasses some guy in a rock 'n' roll band and goes into overall icon status to where I almost get the feeling that the majority of people in the audience are only Ozzy Osbourne fans. It's like that's all they listen to and those are the only records in their collection. His are the only t-shirts they have. They're just Ozzy's fanaticals. That's the vibe I get. A lot of heavy metal fans are fans of multiple bands. They've got all the different patches on their jean vests. The Ozzy crowd seems like a mob of fanatical Ozzy fans.

Rudy Sarzo: You're definitely right. There are metal fans who are fans of many different bands, but every metal fan is a fan of Ozzy.

Blasko: You have to be.

Q: How has Ozzy evolved? How has he stayed the same?

Rudy Sarzo: When I was in the band from 1981 to 1982, he hadn't quite reached the legendary status that he has today. Even then, you could really sense that Ozzy was going to be as significant as the band he started out with. He is as significant as BLACK SABBATH or even more so. That is a very rare feat because no other lead singer has ever done that. Mick Jagger has never become bigger than THE ROLLING STONES. Roger Daltrey has never become bigger than THE WHO. Robert Plant has never become bigger than LED ZEPPELIN.

Blasko: Rudy and I have joked about this before. He wrote that book, "Off the Rails", about his time in Ozzy and I'd read it. It's funny that I read it 28 years later from his time period, and I'm going, "Not a whole lot has changed." The drug abuse and violence are gone, but the overall daily workings of the Osbourne camp are the same as they've always been. That's just the way it works.

Q: How important is the bass to Ozzy's music? Can you speak to the role of Ozzy's bass player?

Rudy Sarzo: When I was in the band, I played some of the best bass lines I've ever played. Geezer Butler was an iconic bassist. Those parts were not only challenging, but they were fun to play. You were going to go out there and do some significant playing and performing every show.

Blasko: It's unbelievable. The bass lines on "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" are so significant. They're their own animal. They're unlike anything in BLACK SABBATH or any other Ozzy stuff even. It's cool that I live down the street from Rudy because Ozzy just gave us a bunch more songs off of those first two albums to learn. I'm just going to bring my bass to Rudy's house and have him show me how to play "S.A.T.O." and "You Can't Kill Rock 'N' Roll" [Laughs].

Rudy Sarzo: Right before the "Diary of a Madman" tour, we had a lot of time to rehearse. We learned the whole album, and it was fantastic.

Blasko: "Diary of a Madman" is indescribably awesome. There's nothing like it.

Rudy Sarzo: What amazes me is that "Blizzard" was recorded six months before them going in to record "Diary". The musical growth in the band was incredible.

Q: What's Ozzy's place in music history?

Rudy Sarzo: I think Ozzy has got so much more to accomplish that I can't really place him right now. He's not even halfway there. C'mon, he's Ozzy Osbourne! Just saying his name tells you where he is in history. He's way above and beyond any other significant musician or star in the music industry today. Who else compares to him? I can't even come up with anybody.

Blasko: There's no one else. Even those first ten years of BLACK SABBATH history were so crucial. That was the birth of a genre of music that's still going strong. It grows every year into a bigger monster. I'm pretty sure that those four guys from Birmingham didn't plan on this. They just didn't want to work in a steel factory. Creating what they did is a heavy responsibility, and that's historically significant.

Rudy Sarzo: When rock music reinvented itself in the early '90s, I could hear so much of BLACK SABBATH in bands like SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS, and the whole Seattle grunge movement. There was so much SABBATH in there.

Q: Any last thoughts about Ozzy?

Rudy Sarzo: Having been a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band is the thing in my career I'm most proud of. It's been incredible just to be a part of his journey.

Blasko: It's an honor. Without a doubt, it's the greatest experience of my life. There's so much history and respect there. There's no greater honor than to be in a band with such genuine, generous people. Their generosity comes from the heart, and it's a real thing. It's powerful. My life has been changed forever for the better because Ozzy and Sharon are in my life.

Rudy Sarzo: I couldn't have said it any better.
The two-hour-plus Season 10 finale of the Fox singing competition "American Idol", which featured performances by JUDAS PRIEST and AEROSMITH frontman (and "Idol" judge) Steven Tyler, attracted 29.3 million viewers. According to USA Today, that's a 21% increase over last year (24.2 million). The May 25 broadcast also was up 12% in young adults (18-to-49) compared to the Season 9 finale.

It was the first time in three years that the finale has shown year-to-year growth in viewers and the first time in five years that it has seen an increase in young adults.

Speaking to MTV News, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford stated about his band's performance with James Durbin — the 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, California, who was eliminated from " Idol" earlier in the month but who made a return appearance during last week's broadcast — "Because we've lived so long and done so much stuff in heavy metal and we've seen so many crazy things and heard so many crazy things, when we heard this we went, 'Fuck! That's incredible, man. Let's do it, you know? This is insane. That's just amazing.' So as it progressed from 'Another Thing Coming' 'till this point now, when we're on the carpet and we're about to do the show, it's just a dream come true for PRIEST, for metal and, mostly, for James Durbin"

Durbin sang the JUDAS PRIEST classic "You Got Another Thing Coming" on the March 1 edition of "Idol". His rendition marked the first time, according to AEROSMITH singer and "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler, where a JUDAS PRIEST single was performed on the "Idol" stage.

Asked if there was any trepidation about letting Durbin take on their 1982 hit, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton said, "None whatsoever, I mean, if you look at what James has done for heavy metal, you've got to say thank you, you know? It's just bringing metal to the front, making it, metal, accessible for people. It's a good thing."

As for whether there will ever be a collaboration between the fourth-place finalist and the British band, Halford was optimistic, saying,"Yeah, anything's possible."

"We just wish him all the best," he added. "He's got such an extraordinary voice. He's got such a genuine and lovable personality. He's the real deal, James, and we wish him the best. Good for you, James!"

PRIEST and Durbin performed the band's classic songs "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law".

JUDAS PRIEST's appearance on "American Idol" marked the band's first performance with the group's latest addition, 31-year-old guitarist Richie Faulkner (LAUREN HARRIS, DIRTY DEEDS).
MEGADETH has resumed recording its new album at mainman Dave Mustaine's Vic's Garage studio in San Marcos, California after the sessions were briefly "halted" when producer Johnny K (full name: John Karkazis; DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, MACHINE HEAD, STAIND) was "suddenly struck ill." According to Mustaine, Day 29 in the studio was spent working on the arrangements of the 12th and final song that will appear on the CD, with overdubs slated to begin next week.

The drum tracking for the CD — which is tentatively due this fall via Roadrunner Records — began earlier this month, with the entire recording process expected to be completed by the time the group hits the road this summer as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with DISTURBED and GODSMACK.

Speaking to U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine, Mustaine stated about the band's upcoming album, "This is our 13th studio record, and we've already had a bunch of weird things happen. Car problems, stuff disappearing, a guy who worked for me that was the most white-laced guy you could imagine falling out on drugs and disappearing...but this one's got me excited!"

MEGADETH's platinum-certified 1986 masterpiece, "Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?", has been digitally remastered for the first time and expanded for a special 25th-anniversary release in multiple configurations. It will be released July 12 by Capitol/EMI.

All of the versions, including a 2CD lift-top box, digital album and a deluxe 5Disc+3LP box set, contain a previously unreleased 1987 concert from the band's first world tour and new liner notes written by Mustaine and METALLICA's Lars Ulrich.
Jon Wiederhorn of Guitar World magazine recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Guitar World: How do you see the new album as a development from "Endgame"? Will it be heavier, more technical, more melodic?

Mustaine: It's gonna be heavy and not slow heavy like BLACK SABBATH or TROUBLE. It's very, very fast heavy.

Guitar World: How many songs did you write for the new one?

Mustaine: We have 12 songs that we're contracted for this record, and that's all we're doing.

Guitar World: You've been pretty busy touring. When did you have time to write?

Mustaine: Some of the songs are old, some are new. Some were written this morning. Some back in the early stages of my career — songs that weren't previously recorded. It's just a variety of stuff.

Guitar World: This will be your second record with Chris Broderick. You've said in the past his playing reminds you of [ex-MEGADETH guitarist] Marty Friedman, with whom you recorded some of your best albums.

Mustaine: Chris and Marty both have their strengths and weaknesses. We've had great guitar players over the years with MEGADETH, and that's been one constant with us. The guitar-playing ability has been consistently good to excellent. We've had some drummers who are average, and the bass playing has always been good. But Chris and Marty are on a level all their own.

Guitar World: Is it satisfying to be working again with bassist David Ellefson again?

Mustaine: Are you kidding? The guy's great. He doesn't make any mistakes. He's just a well-rounded, mature individual. There were several times during the tour where I looked at him and said, "Who are you?" And I know he thought that was kind of funny, but truth was I really didn't know who he was because he has turned into this amazing person and a smoking bass player. It's the greatest thing ever and now we're all getting along really well.

For more of Guitar World's interview with Dave Mustaine — plus a preview of the upcoming MEGADETH album — check out the August issue of Guitar World magazine, which goes on sale June 28.
Slayer continues to play live while ailing guitarist Jeff Hanneman remains on the sidelines. But singer-bassist Tom Araya says the group will not consider any recording projects without him.

"There's no way we'd go into a studio without him," Araya assures Billboard.com. "As a band we're not going to do something without him. He's an integral part of the band. We require his musical skills, his writing skills. He's an integral part of the band. So we're going to hold off until he's at 100 percent and can join that process and be part of it."

Hanneman is battling necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria syndrome that was likely contracted from a spider bite. Slayer has continued to book dates, with Exodus' Gary Holt subbing for most of them -- including the Australian Soundwave Festival tour, the Big Four show on April 23 in Indio, Calif., and the upcoming Hell On Earth Tour with Rob Zombie. Hanneman did play two songs, "South of Heaven" and "Angel of Death," at the Big Four concert, which Araya says was "very emotional" for all concerned.

"It was a big deal for him to play -- for us it was, too," the bassist, who's had his own health issues with his neck, says. "We thought that would be a nice surprise for everybody and also make everybody aware that he's still there. It's pretty severe what he's going through. He's had skin grafts, and he's got to rehabilitate his arm and get it back in shape again. It's going to require a lot of time."

Slayer heads to South America in June, then to Europe in early July to support Metallica before kicking off the tour with Zombie on July 20 in Reading, Pa. "It's a show that the people want to see, that I know they're going to be anxious to see," Araya says. "I know some people think it's an awkward bill, but I think it works. We've been building a really good reputation as far as our (live) performances, and Zombie is very visual and theatrical and provides some good entertainment. I think people are going to get their money's worth from both bands."

Zombie previously said that he might still be doing some casting for his upcoming film, "The Lords of Salem." Might Araya and his bandmates angle for a part? "Oh, if he approaches and says, 'Hey, I got a role for you,' I'd give it a try. Why not?" Araya says. "What's it gonna hurt? Let's face it; everybody wants to be in a movie. It's worth a shot. All they can tell you is that you're no good -- and they've said that since we started our band, but that didn't stop us from doing what we do."
SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, who was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, will return to his birthplace this week receive the key to the city from Mayor Virginia Reginato. This will be Chile's first official recognition of the musician, who left the country when he was five years old and moved to the U.S. with his family.

Viña del Mar is located 74 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of Santiago and 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Valparaiso on the Pacific Ocean.

This Friday (June 3), SLAYER will play Viña del Mar for the first time.

Araya reportedly remembers very little of his birthplace which he has only visited a couple of times and for a few days. Therefore, he has decided to use his opportunity to spend more time in Viña del Mar and will stay there for several days with his wife and children. He will also celebrate his 50th birthday at Friday's concert, having already ordered a birthday cake which he plans to share with the fans at the show. (Araya officially turns 50 on June 6.)

In a 2005 interview, Araya was asked about the Internet rumors that he and his family left Chile due to political unrest. "No. Actually, it was like '66 when we came over to the States, so that was way before any of that shit started; that happened in '71 and we were already in the Unites States by that time," Tom said.

When asked if he has ever gone back to visit Chile, Araya said, "Yeah, yeah — we went back there around the time right after that happened, like 2 or 3 years later. We flew out to go as a family, and it wasn't bad. It was under a kind of dictatorship, I guess, but I didn't witness anything stupid going on. Everybody obeyed the laws, and that's about it. They have police; they've got riot police just like they do here. And at shows in areas outside the U.S. sometimes the kids get crazy outside the venue, so different countries use different types of… force [laughs] to discipline people. You know, different countries do different things. I saw some of it but it's like, 'Okay, that's how they do stuff here. I don't want to get involved and be in the middle of something I know no business of. [Laughs]"
Wylde Interview: The Song Remains Not the Same

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By: Brady Lavin
Zakk Wylde, instantly recognizable with his long blond locks, gnarly beard, and iconic black-and-white bulls-eye Les Paul and Flying V, is most widely known as the lead guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne's band, a position he held until recently. He electrified Ozzy's tracks with freight train riffs, screaming bends and flying finger-work, and has been doing the same while handling singing duties in his own band, Black Label Society, since 1998.
Although he's had some health problems over the years, causing him to cancel tours, Wylde is back in ship shape right now, touring in support of the most recent Black Label Society albums, Order of the Black and The Song Remains Not The Same, an acoustic album of Order Of The Black songs and covers.
Zakk recently sat down with Guitar International to discuss the new album and tour, future plans and pissing where he wants to piss.

Zakk Wylde Photo: Clay Patrick McBride
Brady Lavin: How's the Uranium tour going?
Zakk Wylde: It's cool man, we're having a blast. We've been doing some of these outdoor festivals and we go back to the Uranium thing and it's like… what was it, the other night in Canada. I think it was a 1,200 seater and it was jam packed, and the day before it was like 55,000.
Some of those sardine can [shows] are the most insane, killer gigs 'cause everything sounds killer, you're tight up on the stage and the crowds surging like everyone's on 'contin. Everything's been going good, all the bands are super cool, and everybody's just having a good time. All the crews and everybody like that, everybody's havin' a blast.
Brady: What do you think of your tourmates, All That Remains and Hail the Villian?
Zakk Wylde: They're killer, man. They're all younger dudes, and like you said, they're the next generation.
Brady: Do you hand pick the bands you tour with?
Zakk Wylde: When we did the Berserkers Tour, I called Alexi Laiho [guitarist of Children of Bodom] up and I said, "Dude, do you want to do a tour?" Because Alexi is awesome and a super cool dude. And the Clutch guys, we always talk about them, 'cause they're a killer band, man. We were able to get all of us together at one place and one time, and it was a lot of fun on the Berserkers tour.
But for this one, Miss Juliya [of Fuse TV], who I'm friends with and I've known for years now, this is her baby. She actually picked the bands. She goes, "Zakk, I wanted to bring out some of the younger bands and bring an established act like you guys out. Do you want to do the tour I'm putting together?" and I said, "Yeah, sure. No problem."
Brady: The Song Remains Not The Same is an obvious nod to rock legends Led Zeppelin, but what is the significance of the additional "Not" in the album title?
Zakk Wylde: Actually, I've gotta be honest with you. I've never heard of Led Zeppelin. I know Kingdom Come, but I don't know Led Zeppelin. Who is this Led Zeppelin band? I have no idea. [Laughs]
What was I gonna say? Oh, we were all just sitting around, and obviously we're all Zeppelin freakos, and I think we might've been listening to The Song Remains The Same. We were talking about releasing the record, and I was like "You can't say it's an unplugged or an 'unblackened' type of record, because the only song that's similar to the original riff or melody is 'Overlord,' you know?"
The other songs are completely reworked. For "Riders of the Damned," the only thing that makes the song similar is the song title and the lyrics, because the music's different and so is the melody. So that's why I said the song remains not the same. The song's still there, but it's completely different.
I mean, it's got the whole Zep factor in there with the coolness. So, you know, keep the Fonzi level in there to wipe out the Richie Cunningham. [Laughs] To make it an even playing field.

Zakk Wylde Photo: Clay Patrick McBride
Brady: How did the idea to do a version of "The First Noel" to close out the album come about?
Zakk Wylde: I ended up doing that right around Christmas time, and all the money went to St. Jude's [Children's Hospital]. But I just had a whole bunch of people telling me, "Dude, I can't find that song." A bunch of our Black Label fans and everybody kept going, "Where is that song?" It wasn't on iTunes or anything, so that's why we tossed that on the record.
Brady: The Song Remains Not The Same finds you playing most of the instruments yourself, like the earlier Black Label Society albums. What was the recording process like, and did the acoustic nature of the album change how you approached it?
Zakk Wylde: JD did all the bass work, and obviously JD mixes. The way we got it down to a system, it's just like preparing a meal. It's just like, "JD, I'll leave you to mix the record." This way there's not too many cooks in the kitchen, and then at the end of the night, I'll come in and just listen to it. Then I'll go, "Dude, bring up the kick drum a little bit and we're gonna need a little bit more of my guitar," you know what I mean? This way you guys can get attached to it. You really get your hands dirty with the thing, and then I can come in with fresh ears at the end of the day. It worked out great that way. JD can do his thing and not be bothered by anybody.
Mind you, I do like coming in and pouring… like if he asks for a cup of coffee, I'll just come in and pour it scalding hot right into his crotchal area. Just to liven things up. [Laughs]
Brady: The soulfulness of your voice is really showcased on the covers of classic songs on this album, especially "Helpless." How did you choose which songs you wanted to cover?
Zakk Wylde: We probably heard 'em on the radio that day, it was that easy. I mean all we gotta do is like, me and you just going up and hit Starbuck's to get coffee for the guys, or if we're going out to get some grub, me and you will be listening in the car. I always listen to classic rock anyway.
Yeah, usually it's just whatever's on the radio for probably the majority of the songs, whether it's "Can't Find My Way Home," "Helpless"–I love Neil Young, anyway, I just love all his stuff.
The majority of the time we're not on stage, and we gotta drive another nineteen, twenty hours. Back when I was drinkin', we would be sitting up front and I'd be like, "Brady, what do you want?" and you're like "Zakk, get me a Crown and ginger and a Beck's" or whatever. We'd just be sittin up there listening to all the mellow stuff, whether it's Elton John or it's Neil Young, the Eagles, Allman Brothers or Greg Allman's solo records and stuff like that. Or listening to Motown, Marvin Gaye. It's my love for all the mellow stuff, too.
Brady: Not many people are aware of your skills on the 88 keys. How did it come about that this album would feature so much of your piano playing?
Zakk Wylde: I don't know, I mean I'll always play the piano when I'm sittin' at the house if I'm not jamming. I mean I'm not crankin' it up when I'm at the house, I got a little practice amp. I'll stick an octave pedal on it.
With the piano, it's just another great tool to write tunes on. Whenever you're sitting down with the piano or an acoustic guitar, you're not gonna start writing Sabbath riffs or any Zeppelin, you know?
I remember watching [VH1's] Storytellers with Billy Joel, he's hysterical. He was saying he's a huge Cream fan and he goes, "It's a weird thing, the way my music turns out. When I was growing up I loved the Beatles and everything, and then all of a sudden Cream came out, and I fell in love with them. But for some reason it doesn't translate to the piano." And he starts playing "Sunshine of Your Love" on the piano. [Laughs] And the whole band starts kickin' in and he's like, "No, stop. Please, stop."
When you sit at the piano it definitely puts you in a different frame of mind. That's when you start writing "Helpless"es and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and stuff like that.

Zakk Wylde
Brady: Zakk, you have a dedicated army of fans, affectionately known as the Berserkers, who are used to BLS rocking out and melting faces. What has been their reaction to this much more toned down sound on The Song Remains Not The Same?
Zakk Wylde: Well, on every Black Label album, we've always had mellow stuff on there. You know just like Zeppelin had "Black Dog," and then they'll do "Going to California." Then we did Hangover Music. That was the only Black Label that we had the intention of going in and making a mellow record from beginning to end.
And I did that Book of Shadows record 'cause I had a bunch of mellow songs laying around. A lot of people are always asking, "When are you gonna do another one of those types of records?" like a road trip record. This is definitely one of those mellow records that you could just kick back to.
When we were just over in England, I listened to that Beck album, "Sea Change" or whatever. That album is amazing, but it's mellow from beginning to end. So I'll just be chillin' out and put that on and pass out.
Brady: It's funny you mention that people are always asking when you'll be going another Book of Shadows kind of thing, because that was literally my next question. What are the chances of something similar to that, an acoustic album of all original material, happening in the future?
Zakk Wylde: Definitely, without a doubt. Musically, with Black Label, we just piss where we want to piss, we're the Rolling Stones. With Zeppelin, they just pissed where they wanted to piss, musically. People were like, "Well you can't do that," and they were like, "We can do whatever we want, man."
That's the beauty of the band. And like I said, I love Neil Young, and you don't even know what kind of record he's gonna be putting out next, whether he's doing the electric thing or he's gonna do the "Harvest Moon" thing. That's what's always awesome about Father Young up there, and the same thing with Zep, they were always mixing it up.
As far as a whole other record, I'm sure we'll definitely do one in the future. The Song Remains Not The Same is out right now, and probably in December we're gonna go in and do a DVD, a Live Un-Blackened DVD. It's gonna be the band and bunch of guests, with some of my friends like Slash, a pedal steel guy, some background singers, a four-piece string section and stuff like that to really blow it up.

Zakk Wylde Photo: Clay Patrick McBride
Brady: Sounds awesome! What can we expect from your upcoming appearance with hip hop legends the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?
Zakk Wylde: Yeah, I think that's gonna be the 6th or something like that.
Brady: Yeah, June 6th.
Zakk Wylde: Ever since I did the American Idol thing, my kids actually talk to me, my wife actually makes me coffee in the morning, the dogs don't bite me. [Laughs] I was on George Lopez, I'm gonna be on Jimmy's show, so it's cool man.
It'll be like sitting in with the band, like I did with Lopez's band over there on George's show. They're super cool guys. We had a blast down there.
Brady: So will you just get there and rehearse the day of?
Zakk Wylde: We'll probably do just a couple of tunes, 'cause they said, "Zakk, just give us about six tunes you really want to do. So if you want to do some raunchy stuff, some classic rock stuff, whatever you want to do." So I came up with a wish list and we'll knock it out.
Brady: What's been playing on your iPod as of late?
Zakk Wylde: I got some Bill Withers I just bought. I bought Crowded House. What else did I just buy…I got a Sarah McLaughlin record, her last record. I think I'm gonna get that chick, what's her name? Adele? Really good, she's friggin amazing. Her voice is sick. So I'm probably gonna get that thing.
On my iPod, I've been listening to a lot of Robin Trower lately. I've been in a Trower phase.
Brady: What do you think about the direction metal is taking in the future?
Zakk Wylde: The great thing about it is it's always changing, all music is, which is cool.
You gotta figure, from where the Beatles and the Stones started, in '62 to around '67 and '68 when Cream started, and all the psychedelic stuff and Jimi Hendrix, and then Zep came along and Sabbath. The '70s were amazing for music, all great musicians and you had such a wide spectrum of styles and all good, you know what I mean? Even disco, I don't care what anybody says, they were all great songs. Not only that, but all the musicians are playing their own instruments and they're all badass.
Then you had the punk rock thing coming around. If you really think about it, it was a true revolution, revolting against everything. I remember one of my buddies who was all up in the punk rock thing, he goes, "Zeppelin were definitely top on the list of bands that we fuckin' hated." And you know, I love Zeppelin. "The Song Remains the Same? We used to call that pile of shit All the Songs Sound the Same." [Laughs]
You know, when you read anything about Zep at that point, Jimmy Page was saying that the Clash were really good. My friend said, "Too bad the punk rock scene wasn't too kind to Zeppelin. One of the guys in the Clash goes, 'Zeppelin? Listen. Just the mere sight of one of their shitty album covers makes me wanna fuckin' puke!'" [Laughs] Oh, fuck man.
I mean, that was almost the same thing when Nirvana came out to backlash against Guns N' Roses, know what I mean? Guns really was the modern day Zeppelin, and Stones, for that matter, with the supermodels and the jet airplanes, the fuckin' parties. That's Stones and Zep, man. And the Nirvana comes out and their like, "Go fuck yourselves, assholes." Music's just changing, you know?
But with the metal thing, I would be out at Ozzfest and it's just so amazing how much of an influence Dimebag Darrell was on that generation, that genre of guitar playing. It's amazing. It's not just in a guitar style, like the solos sound like Dime. I'm saying the whole sound of the songwriting. The songwriting and the sound, the whole style of music is what Dime influenced. Even the guys that are out with us right now, I can always tell. They're definitely influenced by Dime's guitar work, hands down.
Brady: How well do you think Gus G has filled your shoes in Ozzy Osbourne's band?
Zakk Wylde: Gus is doing awesome man. Anyone that goes to their show is just like, "Gus is amazing, man." He is. And he's super cool.
Gus is in Firewind, which is ridiculously slammin', too. I think Gus is doin' awesome. And everybody in the Black Label family is behind Gus, anyway. We're all rooting for him.
THE co-founder of rock group Deep Purple is to compose a piece of music for the Henley Festival Youth Orchestra.

Jon Lord is a patron of the festival where the 70-piece orchestra will perform his work on Saturday, July 9.

The keyboard player visited Trinity Primary School in Henley at the weekend to see some of the young musicians rehearsing.

Mr Lord, 69, who lives in Fawley, has enjoyed a successful career as a classical composer since retiring from Deep Purple in 2002.

He said: "I was asked to write a little piece for the young performers and I thought that seemed like a great idea."

He wanted to watch them perform so he could see the level his composition should be aimed at.

"I very much liked what I saw," said Mr Lord. "To play together in an orchestra well takes many years of practice and these guys are just the first few steps along that road. Some are a little further ahead than others but they will all get there and it's great to see.

"It's the collaborative side of things that is so important. Everyone is playing their part and it's only when they all work together that the best music is made. That's what it's all about really."

Stewart Collins, the festival's artistic director, said: "As a not-for-profit arts festival, we are able to invest money in the community and provide opportunities that simply wouldn't be possible otherwise.

"We feel very honoured that Jon has agreed to compose an original piece for the orchestra and are excited about working with him as well as hearing the final result." Meanwhile, the festival has announced that this year's nightly fireworks displays will include an appearance by a Heliosphere in which an acrobat-cum-aerialist swoops down over the heads of the audience while suspended from a specially lit helium-filled globe.

The performance, called Fire In The Night, will be provided by specialist company Dream Engine.

This year's festival runs from July 6 to 10. For more information, visit www.henley-festival.co.uk
"Juggernaut Of Justice", the new album from Canadian heavy metal legends ANVIL, will be released in Europe on June 20 (three days earlier in Germany) via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort will be made available as a limited-edition digipak (including two bonus tracks), double gatefold LP in blue vinyl, standard version and a digital download.

Limited-edition digipak including two bonus tracks:

01. Juggernaut Of Justice (3:40)
02. When All Hell Breaks Loose (3:11)
03. New Orleans Voodoo (4:25)
04. On Fire (3:23)
05. Fukeneh! (4:08)
06. Turn It Up (2:57)
07. The Ride (3:12)
08. Not Afraid (3:44)
09. Conspiracy (3:20)
10. Running (2:54)
11. Paranomal (7:04)
12. Swing Thing (3:00)
13. The Station (bonus track)
14. Tonight Is Coming (bonus track)

Jewel case version:

01. Juggernaut Of Justice (3:40)
02. When All Hell Breaks Loose (3:11)
03. New Orleans Voodoo (4:25)
04. On Fire (3:23)
05. Fukeneh! (4:08)
06. Turn It Up (2:57)
07. The Ride (3:12)
08. Not Afraid (3:44)
09. Conspiracy (3:20)
10. Running (2:54)
11. Paranomal (7:04)
12. Swing Thing (3:00)

Double gatefold LP, colored blue vinyl:

LP 1

Side 1

01. Juggernaut Of Justice (3:40)
02. When All Hell Breaks Loose (3:11)
03. New Orleans Voodoo (4:25)

Side 2

01. On Fire (3:23)
02. Fukeneh! (4:08)
03. Turn It Up (2:57)

LP 2

Side 1

01. The Ride (3:12)
02. Not Afraid (3:44)
03. Conspiracy (3:20)

Side 2

01. Running (2:54)
02. Paranomal (7:04)
03. Swing Thing (3:00)

"Juggernaut Of Justice" sold around 1,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 12 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

ANVIL's previous album, "This is Thirteen", opened with 1,400 units to enter the Top New Artist Albums chart at No. 19.

"Juggernaut Of Justice" was released on May 10 via The End Records. The CD was recorded at Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) Studio 606 in Northridge, California with famed producer Bob Marlette (BLACK SABBATH, AIRBOURNE, FILTER, ATREYU, ALICE COOPER). A special-edition two-song single featuring the tracks "Juggernaut Of Justice" and "FukenEh!" was made available on April 19 at select indie retail stores.
The iTunes version of "Juggernaut Of Justice" contains a bonus track, "What I Want To Be".
"Rev-Raptor", the new album from U.D.O., the German metal band led by former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, has registered the following first-week chart positions:

Germany: #20
Sweden: #26

"Rev-Raptor" was released on May 20 via AFM Records. The effort was made available in the following formats:

* CD (Jewel Case)
* CD (Digipak)
* CD (Japan)
* Vinyl black
* Vinyl green
* Limited Box (more details below)

The digipak contains the two bonus tracks "Time Dilator" and "Heavy Metal W:O:A" plus the videos for "Leatherhead" and the second single, "I Give As Good As I Get".

The Japanese version of "Rev-Raptor" includes the bonus tracks "Stormbreaker" and "Bodyworld".

The green-vinyl edition of "Rev-Raptor" is limited to 200 copies and available exclusively via Nuclear Blast mailorder.

Here are the details of the different "Rev-Raptor" versions:

CD Jewel Case:

01. Rev-Raptor
02. Leatherhead
03. Renegade
04. I Give As Good As I Get
05. Dr. Death
06. Rock'N'Roll Soldiers
07. Terrorvision
08. Underworld
09. Pain Man
10. Fairy Tales Of Victory
11. Motor-Borg
12. True Born Winners
13. Days Of Hope And Glory

CD DigiPak:

01. Rev-Raptor
02. Leatherhead
03. Renegade
04. I Give As Good As I Get
05. Dr. Death
06. Rock'N'Roll Soldiers
07. Terrorvision
08. Underworld
09. Pain Man
10. Fairy Tales Of Victory
11. Motor-Borg
12. True Born Winners
13. Time Dilator (Bonus)
14. Days Of Hope And Glory
15. Heavy Metal W:O:A (Bonus)
16. I Give As Good As I Get (Video)
17. Leatherhead (Video)

CD Japan:

01. Rev-Raptor
02. Leatherhead
03. Renegade
04. I Give As Good As I Get
05. Dr. Death
06. Rock'N'Roll Soldiers
07. Terrorvision
08. Underworld
09. Pain Man
10. Fairy Tales Of Victory
11. Motor-Borg
12. True Born Winners
13. Stormbreaker (Bonus)
14. Bodyworld (Bonus)
15. Days Of Hope And Glory


01. Rev-Raptor
02. Leatherhead
03. Renegade
04. I Give As Good As I Get
05. Rock'N'Roll Soldiers
06. Terrorvision
07. Underworld
08. Pain Man
09. Motor-Borg
10. True Born Winners
11. Days Of Hope And Glory

There will also be a "Limited Box" edition (1,000 copies only) with the following content:

* "Rev-Raptor" digipak
* U.D.O. belt
* U.D.O. buckle
* U.D.O. flask with lasered logo

The recordings for "Rev-Raptor" took place between June 2010 and February 2011 at Roxx studios (owned by U.D.O. guitarist and ex-ACCEPT drummer Stefan Kaufmann) in Pulheim, Germany. The CD was mastered by Manfred Melchior at MM Sound Digital studios in Steinhagen, Germany. The album's cover artwork is once again a comic-like motif: but the "Dominator" character is this time "a lot more effectual and colorful," according to a press release.

"Rev-Raptor" was originally scheduled for release in January but was delayed by the back problems experienced by Kaufmann, the same issue that forced him to quit playing drums for ACCEPT back in the day. Stefan recently received medical treatment for this condition and had recovered enough to have played with the band on November 6, 2010 at the Rock Antenne festival at Schwabenhalle in Augsburg.

U.D.O. released a new single, "Leatherhead", on April 8 via AFM Records.

U.D.O.'s last album, "Dominator", entered the official chart in Germany at position No. 27.
TESLA, Y&T, and BLACK 'N BLUE are the first confirmed bands for the new metal cruise Monsters Of Rock - The Voyage, which is set to sail on February 25 and return three days later via Ft. Lauderdale / Bahamas / Key West.

Commented the organizers: "The inaugural Monsters Of Rock cruise will be nothing short of epic! Think of it as one big backstage party… Talk about getting up close and personal with some of your favorite bands! This will indeed be the rock 'n roll vacation that people will chatter about for years to come... and we invite you to be a part of it."

For more information, go to http://www.themonstersofrock.com/html/announcement_of_the_first_annu.html
Swedish hard rockers EUROPE will release a special edition 140-page coffee-table book in August. Entitled "Live Look At Eden", it will feature pictures following the EUROPE bandmembers on their latest continental tour, as seen through the lens of legendary rock photographer Denis O'Regan.

The book will be offered in two sizes: a large "earbook" and an "earbook mini." The large format book will include the studio album "Last Look At Eden", a live CD recorded in London, Warsaw and Stockholm, and also a DVD with footage shot live at the iTunes festival in London. The mini book will include the live audio CD and DVD only. A very limited number of large books will also be offered personally signed by all bandmembers.

EUROPE's latest album, "Last Look At Eden", was certified gold in Sweden for sales in excess of 20,000 copies.

Note: The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Sweden has revised the sales requirements for albums to reach gold status in the country twice in the last eight years — from the pre-2002 level of 40,000 to the current 20,000.

"Last Look At Eden" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 31. It also topped the Swedish chart in its first week of release.

"Last Look At Eden" was released in Germany on September 18, 2009 via earMUSIC/Edel Germany GmbH. The CD was issued in the U.K. on September 14. 2009.

From the epic title track to the melodic ballad "New Love in Town", this album is on another level, less extreme than previous offering, 2006's "Secret Society", and with matured sound, "Last Look at Eden" is a mix of all the elements that have made EUROPE famous the world over.
Reunited Swiss thrash trio CORONER — made up of bassist Ron Royce, drummer Marquis Marky (a.k.a. Marky Edelmann) and guitarist Tommy T. Baron — has been confirmed for next year's edition of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which will set sail from Miami, Florida to Cayman Islands on January 23, 2012 and return four days later. A total of 40 acts will perform on the cruise.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:


Tickets are on sale now, with prices starting at $666 plus $289 taxes and fees per person, which includes all on-board entertainment, all meals, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and 24-room service.

CORONER played its first U.S. comeback concert during the Maryland Deathfest this past Sunday night (May 29) in Baltimore, Maryland. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be viewed below.

Originally part of the road crew for fellow countrymen CELTIC FROST, CORONER went on to become one of the most progressive extreme metal acts of the Eighties.

The connection between the Zurich band and CELTIC FROST was so strong, in fact, that CELTIC FROST frontman Tom G. Warrior offered to handle vocals for the emerging band's demo. Warrior and CORONER entered Switzerland's Magnetix studio on October 10, 1985, and nine days later they walked out with the impressive four-song 1986 release, "Death Cult".

While subsequent bootlegged CDs included the bonus tracks of "Arrogance in Uniform" and "Hate, Fire, Blood", the original four-track demo consisted of the following tracks: "Spectators of Sin", "Spiral Dream", "Aerial Combat" and "The Invincible". (Only "Spiral Dream" would make it onto CORONER's 1987 debut LP, "R.I.P.")

According to The BNR Metal Pages, CORONER "progressed from the raw speed of 'R.I.P.' to the more laidback style of 'Grin', releasing five albums (not counting the semi-compilation 'Coroner' album) that are all different and yet all are undeniably related, and undeniably CORONER. The band called it a day in 1994, actually before the release of 'Coroner', with Marky Edelmann joining APOLLYON SUN and Tommy T. Baron going to KREATOR, though neither is still with those bands."
Finland's progressive death/doom maestros BARREN EARTH have entered Helsinki's Sonic Pump Studios to record the follow-up to last year's highly acclaimed debut album, "Curse Of The Red River". The band has written 12 new songs, and is currently laying them down with engineer/co-producer Jukka Varmo. Dan Swanö (KATATONIA, OPETH) will once again be at the mixing helm. The tracks mainly continue in the vein of the previous record, having perhaps even more '70s prog influences, but maintaining the basic heaviness and brutality one has come to associate with BARREN EARTH.

The album is due for release in autumn 2011 on Peaceville Records, and the artwork will be made by Paul Romano (MASTODON). Studio reports will be updated at BARREN EARTH's Facebook page.

BARREN EARTH recently completed a successful U.S. tour with fellow Finns FINNTROLL and ENSIFERUM, and received the accolades of "Newcomer Of The Year' at the Finnish Metal Awards and "Best Debut Album" at the Metal Storm Awards 2010 for "Curse Of The Red River".
"Acts Of The Unspeakable", the classic third album from Californian gore metallers AUTOPSY, will be made available on limited-edition yellow vinyl with gatefold sleeve (numbered to 2000 copies) on June 20 via Peaceville.

"Acts Of The Unspeakable" surfaced in October 1992 to widespread delight and fury. The press and fans adored the album, with artwork and lyrics loosely mirroring concepts similar to Hieronymous Bosch. The authorities didn't quite see things in the same way as copies of the album and T-shirts (based on album artwork) were seized the world over. This only added to the reputation of the band, with "Acts" being lauded as the definitive AUTOPSY album.

Side 1:

01. Meat
02. Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium
03. Your Rotting Face
04. Blackness Within
05. An Act Of The Unspeakable
06. Frozen With Fear
07. Spinal Extractions
08. Death Twitch
09. Skullptures

Side 2:

01. Pus / Rot
02. Battery Acid Enema
03. Lobotomized
04. Funereality
05. Tortured Moans Of Agony
06. Ugliness & Secretions
07. Orgy In Excrements
08. Voices
09. Walls Of The Coffin
The cover artwork for "Tactical", the long-awaited debut album from WORLD UNDER BLOOD — the melodic death metal side project featuring CKY guitarist/vocalist Deron Miller alongside Tim Yeung (MORBID ANGEL, DIVINE HERESY, VITAL REMAINS, HATE ETERNAL) on drums, Risha Eryavec (DECREPIT BIRTH) on bass, and Luke Jaeger on guitar — can be seen below. The artwork was brought to life by the twisted mind of Pär Olofsson (IMMORTAL, THE FACELESS, ABYSMAL DAWN).

"A God Among The Waste", a brand new song from WORLD UNDER BLOOD, is available for streaming at this location. The track comes off "Tactical", which is scheduled for release on July 26 in North America and July 29 in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records.

Commented Miller: "'A God Among The Waste', to me, is an instant classic because it melts your face right at the start and then concludes with an opposing mellow ending. I'm told it has a great chorus and it's the first time I've recorded a guitar solo in 15 years. The first eight or so seconds are the fastest the album ever gets and because of that, I made it the album opener so people are brutalized as soon as they press play. No bullshit intros or scary gothic synths; it just gets going faster than you can probably handle it."

In an early 2010 online posting, Miller stated about the WORLD UNDER BLOOD debut, "The goal for the eight original tunes that ended up on this album was that they would all be super-fast, extremely brutal and harsh, catchy, melodic, and occasionally offensive and disturbing. I also had to make sure that the entire band was satisfied with their work.

"Tim Yeung is easily the most impressive drummer in the world. He thinks that some kid is going to come along and dethrone him speed-wise, but as far as writing, arrangements, creative input and immediate knowledge of song structure, he will never be beat. It's like the guy can read my mind. I present a somewhat intricate song to him and 50 minutes later we're demoed and done."

"Tactical" tentative track listing (not final sequence):

* Dead And Still In Pain
* Under The Autumn Low
* A God Among The Waste
* Pyro-Compulsive
* I Can't Stand His Name
* Into The Arms Of Cruelty
* Revere's Tears
* Purgatory Dormitory
* Wake Up Dead (MEGADETH cover; bonus track)
* Alliance Or War (MALEVOLENT CREATION cover; bonus track)

Guitarist-turned-producer James Murphy, who worked on "Tactical", previously stated about the project, "WORLD UNDER BLOOD bridge a gap between genres that has never been bridged.... a few have tried with mixed results, but this is the first real resounding success of fusing brutal, blasting death metal with a melodic American rock vibe and it opens a door that will turn into a floodgate... I'm very happy to have been picked by Deron to mix this project ... he really pulls it together on this one musically and Tim's performance is stellar as well."


* Deron Miller (CKY) - Guitar/Vocals
* Risha Eryavec (DECREPIT BIRTH) - Bass
* Luke Jaeger - Guitar

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/worldunderblood.

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