[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Edguy and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


A BIRMINGHAM music craftsman is hoping to give cancer-stricken rock legend Tony Iommi a boost – with some guitar therapy.
John Diggins has just delivered a cherry red SG guitar to the Handsworth-born founder of Black Sabbath.
And he's now working on another, which will be ready for Tony – who is battling lymphoma – in two months.
Both are replicas of Tony's famous 'Monkey' SG, crafted by John in 1975. Now in mothballs, the guitar is one of the most famous in the world.
John – head of Jaydee Custom Guitars, a family business he runs with sons Mike and Andy – told the Mail Iommi wants a collection of the instruments, all given a 'fatigued' finish so they look old.
He said: "The guitars keep him occupied, which I think is important. He told me he wants a wall covered with them."
The 67-year-old refused to comment on costs, but admitted it ran into thousands.
John's association with heavy metal legend Iommi stretches back 40 years. The black Jaydee SG became the heavy metal legend's trademark. "Its probably the most photographed guitar in the world," added John. "He used it for 30 years before deciding it was time to wrap it in cotton wool."
To date, John has built from scratch three replicas. He admitted: "News of the illness was clearly a shock, but luckily they have caught it early.
"He's not the kind of person who will just sit back. The guitars will keep him busy."
Left-handed player Iommi lost the tips of two fingers while working in a sheet metal factory as a teenager, but learnt to play with thimble-like devices to extend them.
News he is fighting lymphoma came only months after the original Sabbath line-up – Tony, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – were working on their first album together in 33 years. A worldwide tour is also planned.
Last week, Iommi thanked his legion of fans. He said: "I just want to say how overwhelmed I am with all your messages of support, thank you so much.
"It's really good that the guys are coming over so we can work on the album as things are going great."
Sabbath, renowned for Iommi's powerful riffs, were formed in 1969 and have influenced generations of heavy metal bands. Tony was named greatest metal guitarist of all time by Guitar World in 2004.

Legendary rocker Alice Cooper will be dropping the puck at the Phoenix Coyotes game on February 18. The Coyotes will be giving away Alice Cooper bobbleheads to the first 10,000 fans in the door as part of military appreciation night.

For more information, visit Coyotes.NHL.com.

Alice Cooper's new album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare", sold 18,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart. Cooper's previous CD, 2008's "Along Came A Spider", opened with just under 10,000 copies to land at No. 53.

Recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original multi-platinum "Welcome To My Nightmare" album in 1975, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" picks up right where they left off, with Alice trapped in his own warped mind.
British hard rock legends DEEP PURPLE are very excited by the prospect of making a new and significant album. To that end, they have decided to extend their writing and recording period through the summer of 2012.

Commented DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan: "We know we will disappoint some of our fans this summer. However, we look forward very much to our autumn/winter tour and continuing our worldwide tour with our new album in 2013."

Durung a 2011 interview with U.K.'s Express & Star, Gillan was asked when fans might be able to expect DEEP PURPLE's follow-up to 2005's "Rapture Of The Deep" album.

"The fact is that we've been touring flat out," said Gillan. "We did 48 countries last year. We're getting so much off on that we just don't feel the drive at the moment for writing."

Gillan did reveal, though, that DEEP PURPLE convened for a mini writing session earlier in the year.

"We were in Spain for a little while and we had a week off," he said. "We spent most of the time in the bar, to be honest with you. It was a good session, but nothing absolutely dynamic came out of it.

"I think to get some progress as far as an album's concerned you've got to have a target, you've got to work to a date, and that gives you pressure. If you've got the pressure, you get stuff done. We don't have a plan, to be honest.

"Things have always been chaos, certainly since I joined, and we've never been able to plan anything. If we'd been able to make plans, we'd probably have retired by now!"

"People like to do stuff that they're good at, that they enjoy, that they get something out of. So while it's fun and we're all getting older and bits are dropping off here and there, it's still great. I think there probably will be another album.

"And because we're not doing an album (right now) doesn't mean I don't write every day. It's a day off today and for me it's a full day at the office. This morning is interviews and this afternoon I've got two or three interesting pieces I'm working on at the moment. I write every day and so when I do come round to making an album there's never a shortage of what I call color material."

DEEP PURPLE's 18th studio album, "Rapture of the Deep", was released in November 2005. It was the fourth studio CD from DEEP PURPLE since guitarist Steve Morse joined the band in 1994. It was also the second album to feature veteran keyboardist Don Airey.

"Rapture of the Deep" was produced by Mike Bradford, who also worked on the band's previous release, 2003's "Bananas".
According to the Shropshire Star, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing has revealed plans to build a multi-million hotel and leisure complex in the grounds of his Shropshire, England estate.

Downing said dozens of jobs would be created as a result of the ambitious development at his stately home near Bridgnorth.

The proposals for the 320-acre Astbury Hall estate include a 63-room hotel, indoor swimming pool, spa and a top-class restaurant.

Downing said, "I am speaking to various corporations about investment and I'm optimistic we can start pushing through with the plans for development this year.

"The next step is putting together all the costing of everything, which includes the golf, practice areas and purpose built clubhouse — as well as the hotel, leisure and spa facilities.

"I'm 60 years old now so I really want to get things completed — that's always been the endgame."

In April 2011, Downing revealed that he would be leaving JUDAS PRIEST prior to the band's "Epitaph" world tour. In October, Downing spoke to Valley Radio Online about what happened, although he declined to go into specifics.

"It was a set of circumstances that led me to not go out [on tour with PRIEST] this year," Downing said. "I was kind of geared up for it, but there was a multitude of reasons. It pretty much came down to an unsettlement on my part with working relationships.

"It's like anything else. If anybody out there is thinking it's hard to live with one woman, they should try to live with four guys and hold it together. [Laughs]"

Downing's place in the band was filled by new guitarist Richie Faulkner.

"It was a massive consideration," Downing said. "Obviously, the fans, who I love, and many of them have become very good friends. But I just hoped that they would appreciate that I couldn't continue with the way that I felt inside for reasons which I'll… I mean, certain reasons I will never, ever disclose."
DEF LEPPARD lead guitarist and MANRAZE founder/vocalist/guitarist Phil Collen will return by popular demand to the L.A. Fitness Expo on January 28, 2012 to meet and sign autographs with the public. He will be accompanied by his longtime trainer, Muay Thai martial arts champion and world champion coach Jean Carrillo. Collen and Carrillo together have started a training program, "Physical Mechanics", which will focus on fitness regimens that range from first time workouts to extreme physical muay thai training. A fitness DVD and book are soon to follow.

As a rock and roll guitarist in an internationally successful rock band, Collen, 54, didn't start out as a health and fitness enthusiast. After years of playing hard, partying hard, and leading a self-described "very unhealthy lifestyle," Phil decided to make a change. In his early thirties Collen decided to quit drinking and partying. His live-saving conversion came just before his DEF LEPPARD bandmate and "terror twin" of the party scene, Steve Clark, died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose in early 1991. Inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle, the sober Collen no longer needed to "recover" each day from the previous night's debauchery, and instead found himself with numerous free hours in his day. Collen began exercising, running to start, and later taking up the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing.

Collen has trained with Jean Carrillo for seven years. Jean brings with him a wealth of experience including his personal service in the French Special Forces, and working with the French Foreign Legion in Africa as an instructeur in close combat. He holds black belts in karate, tae kwon do and kick boxing, as well as being a French and European champion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education, on top of his many other awards and accomplishments makes Jean Carrillo the optimal instructor alongside Phil Collen.

As the fathers of young children, both Collen and Carrillo know the importance of teaching our youth about good nutrition and fitness at a young age. They firmly believe it takes educating both parents and school teachers to help children gain the foundation of a healthy lifestyle at a young age and carry it throughout their lives. But, as someone who was himself a late "bloomer" in the exercise field, Collen feels that anyone can achieve a healthy lifestyle, no matter what age they start.

Collen began training in the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing with Carrillo seven years ago and now both men, vegetarians as well, believe in bringing their positive experience to the masses.
Frank did it. Sammy did it. Dean did it. Mötley Crüe? Yes it's true, Crue is invading Las Vegas with a three-week stint in February as the "house band," if you will, at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino ( This first-ever rock residency kicks off  Feb 3-19, four shows a week).
And then there's the motion picture. The band is in negotiations to create a film based on the band's book The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. And in the forefront of  Mötley Crüe's immediate plans include new music, which is great news in the face of most other bands whose careers have spanned 30+ years like Crue's, who are resting, shall we say, on the musical laurels of their past.
I had the chance to catch up with the ever-creative, ever-moving, ever-present bassist and founding member, Nikki Sixx, who opened up to me about love, sex, music, and just about every topic you can think of in a talk full of candor and honest …shall we say, lust for life.
How would you describe today's Mötley Crüe?
Nikki Sixx: I think you'll get a different answer from everybody in the band, that's what I love about our band; it's like four different personalities. But in my opinion, I feel Mötley Crüe is built to insult you. We're here to assault you. I'm not interested in snuggling and a kiss. I just want to get right to fuckin'.
And it's, like, Sixx:AM is seductive, sexually charged, beautiful evening out under the moon that ends up making love. Fortunately in a grave yard.
Mötley Crüe, it's just like fucking a nasty stripper that's probably gonna give you a disease. And I'm proud of that. I don't want us to be tame; I don't ever want us to be rightable. The things that we do and say. And our lyrics, it amazes me to this day that they will play 'Shout at the Devil' on radio. It says 'I'll be the love in your eyes; I'll be the blood between your thighs.' I'm like, 'Are you sure you're listening to the lyrics?' We're not Bon Jovi. It's a miracle; the whole thing's a miracle.
Mötley Crüe, it's just like fucking a nasty stripper that's probably gonna give you a disease. And I'm proud of that.
What keeps you creatively stimulated after all these years?
Nikki Sixx: Well I have plateaus. You know, I push and push and push myself, and I a lot of times watch other people in shock and awe, and they take on the energy of Mötley Crüe or my radio show or clothing and they go 'Oh, we're all about that.'
When I work with pyrotechnic companies, they don't ever come to me anymore and go 'Oh this is our pyro.' They come to me and go 'We designed a new head that shoots fire 30 feet and it will end with an explosion that's never been used before.' Any time I'm involved in anything, everyone is always trying to find something new and exciting because we sort of pull that out of people.
I love your book, and I was particularly moved by chapter four, it really touched me. How would you compare your humility and success?
Nikki Sixx: Thank you. You know that's the greatest compliment I can get. You know I struggle every day. And when I put it on paper it helps me work out what it is I'm doing with my life. And you realize that you're not alone. You know when you write a book and people say 'Man, you know that touched me and I related to that.' I have so many young readers that are like 'Dude, I totally know where you're coming from.' Or fathers that have said 'I totally understand your struggle.' And you know when you keep it to yourself you don't realize. It's kind of like these AA meetings. When you go to an AA meeting you go 'Well, I'm not the only one that's having a hard day.' And I think that's part of the beauty of writing is that you can just write it out, even if it's only for yourself. You sort of start to get it out. And that's what photography is for me, too. You know I see something like You Will Not Grow. And I remember I felt like I was being told by small-minded people that I could not be successful, I could not achieve my dream. And they were my dreams, not their dreams. And they were telling me what I can dream. And when I was doing the You Will Not Grow sessions I wanted to capture that by having a very small person in Selena and having a very large person in George the Giant capturing that. Now whether or not that relates to other people or not, but it like un-corks something in you. You know what I mean?
I don't think we really have an end zone in life. I think a lot of times people think 'I'm gonna work to get that car.' 'I'm gonna really get myself in shape to get that girl.' And 'I'm gonna work really hard to get that promotion.' But that isn't really, that's never really enough. So I'm trying to figure all that out myself, just like everybody else is but if you live in the moment, in the click of the camera, or in just the downbeat of the song, and if you can actually stay in that exact moment, in the moment that you can just smell her perfume, that moment, and don't worry about what's after that. If I can do that, put that on paper, or capture that in a song, or capture that on my radio show, I know so many people relate and I feel so good. Because I don't feel alone.
Speaking of your sobriety and AA, that's inspirational to so many.
Nikki Sixx: I'll tell you; one thing I find about AA is that they're very much like a lot of things that are inspiring to me. It's really about just the moment. Like everybody goes 'they're struggling with the moment.' It's like one day at a time, one minute at a time. And I guess it's all like one thing at a time, like one click of the camera at a time. You know one breath at a time. Like, I'm trying to slow down; I'm trying to capture it all. I know I'm on a clock, you know, I want to maximize my happiness and I want to minimize my drama.
When you write about going to a drug 'shooting gallery' with the harshest of addicts to capture those dark moments, what did you think when they asked you to come back and visit? That to me, was very deep.
Nikki Sixx: It's just such an amazing moment, because it took so much just to get in. First it took a long time to find the place, then to get into the place. And then once I was in, I was not accepted — nor should I be. And then after hours and hours I was let into sort of a sacred society. And then that came in. And it was like, wow, everyone just wants to be loved.
I know, I was telling my friend. 'You know I scare people for a living.' Whether they're little kids in a supermarket or fathers in the front row. That's what I get to do. Every day to me is like seeing what trouble I can get into or what limits I can push. Including speed limits. Whether I'm doing photography or the radio show or designing clothes, that's who I plug into every day. Dude, don't get fuckin' old. It's all in your head.
Speaking of age, the Mötley Crüe summer tour was a huge success, celebrating the band's 30 years in music. How did you pick the bands to go out with after all these years?
Nikki Sixx: We took Poison because that's what the fans wanted, we didn't want 'em. I didn't want them; we never said we wanted to tour with any '80s bands. You know we came from 1981, by '84 or '83 we were gone. And we never looked back. And then there kind of came this movement after us and we got rolled into it. We're about Black Sabbath and The Ramones and AC/DC. To me, it was like we were like NY Dolls juiced up on, you know, Van Halen.
We took Poison because that's what the fans wanted, we didn't want 'em. I didn't want them; we never said we wanted to tour with any '80s bands.
So we never understood the correlation, and have been very vocal about it. It's not that we have anything against a lot of these bands personally; it was just, you know, we didn't want to be associated with it. I don't think that U2 wants to be associated with Flock of Seagulls. They're from the same fucking time. You know, U2, the Go-Go's, Fleetwood Mac, but they said 'No. We are our own band.' And that's what we said, but when we were going out and doing this 'Let's see what the fans want for a tour.'
And you speak of photography as getting you out of the norm. How is that?
Nikki Sixx: I will build you up to tear you down, whatever I need to do to capture what I'm looking for. And it's not always safe, and it's not always sane, and it's not always nice, and it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be real and raw. And when I capture it I'm done, you're gone. I've got what I wanted; I've got what I needed. It's finished something inside of me.
I think its part of me trying to finish out my issues. I was talking to a photographer friend of mine the other day and he said 'What are you working on?, — you know we talk 'What project are you working on?' And songwriters are like 'Hey man, whatcha been writing?' And photographers are like 'What project?' We look at bodies of work in like paragraphs in a story. And I said what I'm working on, something I'm not going to disclose, but something that I'm working on right now which may not be available for quite a few years. But it's nothing that I've shot before. It is nothing like anything I've shot before. And he raised his eyebrow and looked at me and said 'People aren't going to expect that.' And I said, 'Perfect.'
So it's always about trying to get that little bit of fear, feeling something.
What is it you hoped to accomplish with your photography and getting it out to the people?
Nikki Sixx: That people are looking at my photography as if it's real. I've already been accepted as this musician or not excepted, I accept that. This is the layer of something that I never really thought would be exposed.
It's so interesting because I'm so guilty of what I don't want. I, a lot of times, get inundated with so much stuff and I get so entrepreneurial in my head. And the problem with entrepreneurs is that they start a lot of stuff and don't finish a lot of stuff. I get so into a movie that I never finish the movie because I have to check my email. I never finish my email because I want to go read the manual on my new camera. And I never learn the camera because I want to finish the chorus of that song I started. And I have to stop myself and just capture these beautiful moments.
Thanks Nikki!
Nikki Sixx: Thank you, I always love doing an interview with you!
The bad boys of Hard Rock will invade the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a 12 day residency beginning February 2nd running through February 19th. Motley Crue in Vegas is a no brainer, Motley at the Hard Rock in Vegas is a genius idea. The staff of the Hard Rock better be ready as once the Crue descend into town things are going to get wild.
The band has always been one to reinvent themselves and somehow, despite their endless appetite for destruction, they continue to have success in all of their endeavors. No other band has been as hell bent on self destruction and yet been able to stay the course of stardom. No band has suffered more tragedy, albeit a large majority has been brought on by their own insane behavior, but nonetheless they are all four still walking and talking. Motley Crue may not be indestructible but I bet they think they are! And why not, as they have proved you can not only survive years of outlandish behavior, you can actually thrive on it.
Vince Neil wins the award for Most Often In the Police Notes, Tommy Lee gets the award for Rock's Biggest Dick and Nikki Sixx is among the best when it comes to living on the edge and coming out smelling like a rose. Guitarist Mick Mars, the stealth member of Crue when it comes to headlines, doesn't do much press. He is the quiet leader of the band. He writes monstrous riffs and keeps an eye on the business of Motley Crue doing what ever it takes to keep the band relevant going into their 4th decade.
Read on as Mick and I talk about the upcoming Vegas gigs as well as some of the highlights of Crue's past and how he deals with the craziness. We also discuss a possible blues album and if and when the movie version of The Dirt will ever come to light.

Jeb: Crue has found a new way to market themselves once again. You are going to be the Hard Rock Elvis with the residency at the Hard Rock.
Mick: The Elvis Presley of Metal, that's pretty funny. There have been some rock bands – metal and rock bands – that have played a few days in a row in Vegas. I believe that we are the very first metal band that has done a 12 day residency. This will set another milestone for Motley Crue. We are like the metal Rat Pack. Vegas has changed a lot and rock bands are now wanting to play there. We got lucky and we got this residency at the Hard Rock. I have to say, and I am guessing, but I really think we are the first rock band to do that.
Jeb: Crue is the perfect band and the Hard Rock is the perfect place.
Mick: We were actually the last band to play at The Joint at the Hard Rock in Vegas before they remolded the place.
Jeb: When a band can get people to travel across the nation and come to you that is quite a compliment.
Mick: It's all good, isn't it? It really is kind of crazy. We are breaking some new ground.
Jeb: Vince can drink all he wants as you can just get him a cab back and forth each night.
Mick: [laughs] I think he still live there. I am staying there the entire time. We play four days a week and I am just going to hang out there the entire time. I can't do too much gambling.
Jeb: Will you play different sets each night?
Mick: I hope so. We are doing quite a bit of rehearsing, with and without production. We have been rehearsing some really obscure songs like "Bastard." It is going to be a surprise for me to see how this all works out.
Jeb: Do you think Motley Crue will continue to do these kinds of residencies?
Mick: I know it is a cool thing we are doing, and that we are probably going to make this possible for other bands to do the same thing. I don't know if we are planning on doing more of this type of thing or not. We are going to have to check it out and see. For me, personally, I like to jump on the bus every night and go around and see the whole world but we will have to see how this works out.
Jeb: There has been a lot of talk that Motley Crue is working on a new record.
Mick: We have a lot of things in the works. We want to do things like Crue Fest. The music business is really tweaking out and getting weird. I think it is ridiculous what is happening. I think the future will have to see bands put together really cool packages that will be worth it for people to go see. As far as new music goes, I can tell you that I am writing a bunch of new material. Nikki is writing a lot as well. I am hoping that we will have a new record out by 2013.
Jeb: I would love to hear your new stuff. You are one of the best riff writers around.
Mick: I took lessons from Keith Richards [laughter].
Jeb: A lot of fans worry about you because of your health issues. Are you able to survive a tour?
Mick: The thing is, as always, that I am able to keep touring. It is one of those things that I call an inconvenience. Of course I have days that are worse than others and there is always some amount of pain with my hips. There are good days and bad days but it is more of an inconvenience than anything else. I don't feel sick. There are a lot of people that go around that suffer from this type of thing and they go to their doctor and he tells them that they will be in a wheelchair. My advice to them is to go to another doctor because he is wrong. There are some things about this thing that I've got that are not so cool, but there is one thing that is cool – I ended up bent. I can always see my guitar. If I'd been straight then I would not be able to see myself play [laughter].
Jeb: Have you always been the quiet leader of Motley Crue?
Mick: In a way but it is more like being a silent partner. Look, I love music but I do stay on top of the business end because it is a business. I love writing music, traveling and getting paid to see the world but you have to keep your eye on what is going on around you.
Jeb: Were you young and dumb and lucky or did you know music is what you were going to do with your life? You do not even have a high school education.
Mick: I had every intention of being who I am today. It didn't matter how many days, or years, that it took, or how many dues I had to pay.
Jeb: Was there a moment where you knew you were going to be a musician?
Mick: My moment was when I was three years old. I went to a 4H Fair, I grew up in Indiana. I went to the Fair and I saw this country musician play at the Fair, his name was Skeeter Bond and he had on this orange outfit with sequins all over it and he wore this large Stetson hat and he played guitar and sang. I was three years old and I said, "That's what I'm doing with my life." My Mom cut my hair like Elvis Presley and by seven years old I started picking at the guitar. I got into surf music like Dick Dale – I know Dick Dale and he is a really cool guy. I have to tell you that it is really weird to meet the people that you studied growing up. Next came Ed Sullivan with the Beatles and I said, "Oh, this is something different." I keep moving on and studying things and I found the Rolling Stones. I discovered Paul Butterfield and guys like Mike Bloomfield. I just kept moving on and checking out new musicians.
Jeb: A lot of bands that came after Crue saw the guitar player go more the Van Halen route. I think you stuck with the old school pentatonic style. Am I off base with that?
Mick: Not at all, I feel that is very true. Throughout the '80's and '90's guys were lining up to go to GIT and all they did were learn how to play scales and learn how to play them really fast. At the end of the day, all they ended up learning was scales. I could have done that but I stayed true to what I lived. Here is good for instance, Eric Clapton said he was playing with BB King and he was playing this barrage of notes and the crowd was just sitting there. BB King played one note and the crowd went wild. That goes to show that it is not how many notes you play but rather how you play them.
Jeb: You are not afraid to use a slide in a song and you stay you despite the fact that most guys in bands like Crue were more into Steve Vai.
Mick: There are a lot of people that really like to play like that. Steve and I are really good friends. He is the kind of musician that when he plays to a regular crowd, that are not into what he does, he can play over their head. He is on the guitar like Terry Bozzio is on drums. He is so good that he is like rock's version of Picasso. You have to remember that Picasso got so good that he started fucking up his paintings. Steve is one of those guys who can play a million notes but then turn around and play something very melodic too. There are not many players as gifted as he is.
Jeb: Do you feel that Motley Crue changed music? I mean you sold Too Fast for Love out of the trunk of your car and created a genre for yourself. Motley Crue ushered in the whole 1980's Sunset Strip Glam Metal thing. Do you take pride that you're the Godfather of that movement?
Mick: I really don't feel like I am. I don't feel like I did that. A couple of people have said that to me before but I don't think I did anything special. I just did what I did, that's all.
Jeb: You had a vision for Motley Crue and the guys in the band are about ten years younger than you. Did you ever worry that getting with a bunch of young and crazy guys might backfire on you?
Mick: No, and I will tell you why. It is because my age wasn't my age. I was thirty but I wasn't thinking like a thirty year old. I was thinking more like a teenager. I was hungry and I wanted to make it. There were other guys like me, who were thirty at the time, and they would tell me, "I'm happy just playing clubs." Well, now they are happy selling Kentucky Fried Chicken, aren't they?
Jeb: How important was playing the US Festival for Motley Crue?
Mick: It was very important for us. I believe, if I remember correctly, the guy that put that on US Festival actually went around looking for a new band to open the show. I don't know if that is fact, or if it is just a legend, but I heard he went around to high schools and clubs and looked for a great new band and we ended up being that band. The US Festival was the Woodstock of the West Coast; there were over 300,000 people there. It was definitely a huge milestone for us and helped us get noticed.
Jeb: In retrospect, do you feel all of the drinking and drugs and crazy sexual stuff with groupies detracted from the musical legacy of Motley Crue?
Mick: Any kind of publicity is good publicity. I don't care. If we were in the newspaper then I didn't care what it said. Led Zeppelin were the same way. Their reviews were really bad and they had tons of stories about how they behaved offstage. Guess what? Led Zeppelin was in the papers and they became huge. It never bothered me what people thought of me.
Jeb: As stated earlier, you are the quiet leader of the band. How did you deal with things like Vince's car wreck and Nikki's overdose?
Mick: When you first hear about these things it is a really numbing feeling. All you can really do is say what's on your mind. When Nikki overdosed I really didn't know what to say to him. I just said, "Well, Sixx that was a really good move." I will tell you something that sucked about that was that our tour manager told us, "You get to call up the people in Europe and tell them that you have to cancel all of the tour dates because Nikki overdosed." I was like, "Oh my God, what am I going to say to them?" I was already upset because here is my bass player who OD'd and all I could do was tell him, "Dude, don't do this shit. You're going to get really hooked on this shit and it's going to get bad."
Jeb: The fact that you four are still alive and able to perform is a miracle.
Mick: I know. It is really weird. We depend on each other for our livelihood. The guys have all done solo things but nothing has come close to being what Motley Crue is for all of us.
Jeb: I heard you're doing a solo album.
Mick: I am thinking about it. There is word out about it and everybody is saying that I'm doing a blues record. It will be a blues record per se but it will be more like how Edgar Winter interprets the blues. It will have a '70's kind of feeling but I will be writing a more current style of music. I want to mix those two styles together. I'm an old school guy and everything that I write for me I always ask, "Will Motley Crue be able to play this onstage?" If the answer is 'no' then I scrap it for Crue but I put it away. I have to feel really good about what I'm doing or I go back and start from scratch.
Jeb: Are you writing for other artists?
Mick: I have written some stuff with James Durbin from American Idol. I'm the only guitar player that he wanted to play on his record. I am going to go see him at the Roxy. He is a good guy.
Jeb: The other guys in the band usually handle press. You don't do a lot of interviews. Why is that?
Mick: I guess I don't believe in my own hype. I don't need to have a tremendously huge ego and I don't need to thumb my nose at people. That, to me, is total bullshit. I am a guy who loves to write and play music and that is what I have been doing. Some of the music I have been writing may not be good for a live situation but it may be good for movies or commercials. I wouldn't mind getting into some television and movie stuff.
Jeb: Speaking of TV, you were on the TV show Bones. That was pretty cool.
Mick: [laughing] Oh yeah, I remember that, it was fun. I remember we played and the entire cast was like, "What the hell? How do we follow that?"
Jeb: Going way back, you were a guy named Bob Deal and you looked like everyone else who was in a rock band in the 1970's. You had the look of the day so I want to know what made you dye your hair black, go glam and change your name to Mick Mars.
Mick: I was reinventing myself. That particular look for the '70's was a really good look but things were changing and I needed to change too. I either could dye my hair bright orange or black, either one would have worked. The mustache had to go as it was totally out of style. My plan was to quit playing in stupid cover bands. I used a lot of bands as stepping stones. I had a guy that really believed in me that wanted to put money into the cover band that I was in. I said, "No, don't do that. I will find some other people." I put my ad in the paper and it said, "Loud, rude, aggressive guitarist" and Nikki saw it and called me. I was playing with him and then Tommy came in and that is when I told Allen Kovac, "I found a band." He had the money so that we could push everything together really quickly. We were really a bunch of hungry kids.
Jeb: My favorite Crue album is not the most popular. I simply can't get over the rawness of Too Fast for Love. What is the album that is most special to your heart?
Mick: I would have to say Too Fast for Love because it is really raw. We started recording that just a few months after we were together. I think we actually played one time live at the Starwood and then we went in the studio. I found a studio and Michael Wagener was a friend of mine and he recorded it. The guy that was the house engineer screwed everything up so Michael had to go through it and fix it the best he could. Roy Thomas Baker then entered and we had to go back in the studio and redo it again. We didn't do all of it, we just had to do little parts and then Roy would fix it all. Shortly after that, we started recording Shout at the Devil.
For all intents and purposes, Too Fast for Love was just a demo for us to try and get a record deal. Tom Zutat from Elektra, which is the record company that when I was a kid, this is the honest to God truth, that both Joe Cocker and the Paul Butterfield Blues band were on, and I said back then that Elektra was the label that I wanted to be on. Here comes Tom Zutaut and Elektra ended up being the place we signed. Another record company came in and offered us more money but Elektra was the label I wanted to be on.
Jeb: You've had a lot of happy coincidences in your life.
Mick: Yeah but I have paid my dues too.
Jeb: Is The Dirt still going to be a movie and if so, who do you want to play you in the movie?
Mick: if I really had my choice and I could afford the guy then I would pick Gary Oldman. I have seen him in so many movies and he looks different every time. I think he could pull me off. It will be coming out as a movie. I don't know exactly when but we've talked to directors and producers and it is in the works. It will happen.
Due on March 13 via MTV Press, "Megadeth: Another Time, A Different Place" gives the audience a front-row seat into the early days and meteoric rise of this young band who would become one of the most influential groups of all time and, with ANTHRAX, SLAYER, and METALLICA, consistently touted among the best "thrash metal" bands ever to cross the stage. This is the first MEGADETH photography book and only the second book documenting their rise to rock glory, including rare, never-before-seen photographs representing a small but crucial period of time in their career. Author Bill Hale's photographs, from intimate backstage photographs to screaming, kinetic live shots, are the images of a young band prepared to take on the world.

MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine writes in the foreword, "The 'work' that you hold in your hands now is the work of a friend, who is also a 'photo-grrrrrrr-apher,' and who has captured the very essence of my career: hungry, gritty, hard, cold, impersonal, personal, and very personal. Also, the sensitive unseen side of me, which was somewhat of an anomaly with the public and left me an enigma to my peers."

Bill Hale started photographing rock and roll bands in 1979 at the age of 18. In the '80s, Bill was the chief photographer for Metal Rendezvous international magazine. While on staff, he was able to shoot many of the top bands of the day, including DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, RIOT, and UFO. Bill was fortunate enough to photograph many legends on their last tours of the states, Phil Lynott (THIN LIZZY), Bon Scott (AC/DC), Freddie Mercury (QUEEN), and Rory Gallagher, to name a few. He also photographed METALLICA and published his work on them in a book called "Metallica: The Club Dayz 1982-1984" (ECW Press, 2009). Bill now lives in Hawaii and still works with rock-and-rollers.
 Bassist/songwriter David Ellefson had his first run in the multi-platinum selling metal outfit Megadeth from its 1983 inception through 2002. After reconciling with frontman and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine in 2010 for a 20th anniversary tour of the group's classic album Rust in Peace, Ellefson returned to the band on record in November with TH1RT3EN, a disc containing two Grammy-nominated cuts.
Up next for Megadeth is Gigantour, a metal package that hits the road from Jan. 26 through Feb. 28. Joining them on the bill are Volbeat, Lacuna Coil and the legendary Motörhead. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with Ellefson about his rekindled relationship with Mustaine, Megadeth's plans for the future, and his thoughts about the band's most controversial record, Risk.
This year, Gigantour begins in January. Has it ever started this early before?
No, I think this is the first time. This is actually my first Giantour to go out on; I haven't been out on the other ones. It's interesting; I remember for [Megadeth's album] So Far, So Good… So What!, we did a similar type of tour, and that would have been 1988, I believe—and that was with Ronnie Dio as the headliner and Megadeth as support and Savatage as the opening band.
One thing about it that's cool is that there aren't a whole bunch of other tours out; the summertime can get a little congested. You know, the economy being what it is, people only have so much money to see so many shows, so I think that it's actually a really wise move to put together a really heavy bill like this and take it across North America at this point in time. Metal fans don't care whether it's Christmas or not (laughs) or whether it's summer or not; they want to go see bands and they want to have a metal show. So I think this is really a great time to be doing this.
Is the timing for this tour experimental in a way? Would you be open to doing more of this closer to the beginning of the year as opposed to the summer?
It's funny, even when I came back into the fold back in 2010, what was originally on deck was the American Carnage tour with Slayer and Megadeth, which was supposed to happen starting in late January, so it's almost a similar timeframe. We didn't do [Gigantour] in 2011—ramping up and getting in the studio to start working on a new album—but these things seem to come around every two years, maybe. So I think to go out now, again, I just think the timing is good. A big package tour like this doesn't happen until the summer, and then I think people get a little restless, and metal fans, we like to see shows. Some of my favorite shows that I remember growing up as a teenager, they would come through in the summer. In the summertime, people only have so many resources to see so many shows.
Motörhead is also on this tour. Do you have a Lemmy story?
(Exhales deeply.) We were going to play Graspop in 2001, I guess, and we were on the bill just above Motörhead. And their bus broke down, so the promoter came to us and said, "I have a huge favor to ask: would Megadeth please switch on the bill so that Motörhead can get over here with a new bus and get to the show? You'll save the show for me and allow Motörhead to still play." And I hadn't seen Motörhead in many years; we did some shows with them on the Peace Sells tour with them [in 1986] on the West Coast, and we had not played with them other than that.
Our initial reaction was, of course, we'll do whatever we can. First of all, it's Lemmy (laughs), and Phil and Mikkey, so whatever we need to do. Because in my opinion, without Lemmy there would be no thrash metal. He's really the forefather of all things thrash. And so we played our set, we came offstage, and those guys had just pulled up, and they were looking all beat up from being out on the road for so long. They came in, and I'll tell you what, they were so gracious and so thankful, and you don't picture Motörhead being like that, but it was cool just to see them as three gentlemen coming in, saying, Thank you for doing this. And they changed their clothes and went up and just completely annihilated.
You've been playing bass in metal bands for over 30 years now. What are some of the greatest developments of the bassist's role in the genre that you've observed since then?
Bass playing has really come to the forefront in metal music, especially in the last 15 years or so. Clearly, Steve Harris' presence in Iron Maiden was one of the most identifiable leaps, but then again with thrash and even Faith No More, which was a pinnacle of funk bass work inside of hard rock and metal. Fieldy in Korn had a huge presence in the '90s and then with the resurgence of Black Sabbath, Geezer [Butler] started to really get his due; [he's] really the one who started so much of this for all of us.
What was your personal highlight from last year's Big 4 shows here in the States?
The fact that we did two of them, the East Coast and the West Coast, I think, was really just perfect. I think with the Big 4, as much as I think all of us, fans and band included, would love to just tour—you could almost tour it once around the world, and then every headbanger could just die and go to heaven happy (laughs). You know, at the same time, I like that there's the mindset that we really created our own unique festivals with this. So with festivals, you want to be careful that you don't overplay them and people get sick of them, which I don't think would happen with the Big 4, at least not now.
But to do such monumental types of shows—the Coachella site really worked out perfect because there was no show that week, and to do something in the Los Angeles area but not right in L.A., I think, was the right move. And obviously Yankee Stadium (click here for NY Hard Rock Music Examiner Elliot Levin's review of the show); I mean, one of the most prestigious places where you can play anywhere in the world. And even last year, during the summer when we played over in Europe—I mean, to play Knebworth was great, and that big stadium up in Gothenburg, Sweden—we played there before with AC/DC—so we're hitting some very monumental and nostalgic types of venues and performances with the Big 4. It's the type of stuff that goes down in history as a result.
Has Megadeth ever played Madison Square Garden before? Gigantour will play the Theater at MSG.
We did. We played Madison Square Garden with Clash of the Titans back in 1991. It was probably the equivalent of playing Yankee Stadium now, just because as far as prestige—it was a venue where a lot of our favorite bands played growing up, and there we were on the stage ourselves, and of course it was Anthrax's hometown (laughs) at that time, just like Yankee Stadium was Anthrax's hometown this time around…with the combined effort it just goes to show how alive and well the thrash genre has really thrived in the last 20 years.
TH1RT3EN has earned Megadeth some of its strongest reviews in recent years. How different is it working with Dave compared to the last time around?
I think before, because we all lived in the same town, we would get together, we would start to throw ideas around for a couple of weeks, and then we would start to solidify them; we would make demos of them, and that could be a two- to three-month process. Then we would secure a producer and we would book the studio time to go in and actually record, and by the time the record was mixed and mastered and out the door, that process could be nine to 12 months long. And then, of course, you make a video and you start booking the tour. So that was how things used to roll when I was making records with Dave before.
Now, a lot of things have changed. One, Dave's got his studio, Vic's Garage, close to where he lives in the San Diego area, so when the band works, we work there in the location. [Megadeth drummer] Shawn [Drover] and I live out of town, and Chris [Broderick, guitarist] lives up in the L.A. area, so essentially, we're all kind of in different locations. So when we get together, it's all very focused…in general, I've learned to just let Dave outline a lot of the songs and get the framework of them put together, before too much collaboration starts, and that seems to be a pretty good working process on this album. To some degree, I think Dave and I just kind of learned what works and what we know doesn't, so we try to lead with our strengths and go with the things that work.
Some of the tracks from TH1RT3EN are reworked from the past. Why did the band decide to do that, and did your return to the band play a role in that?
Bands are about a lot more than just the notes and the words, you know? When you listen to an album, that's the connection you make, but there's also kind of a sixth sense involved….And that's, I think, ultimately what people like when Dave and I work together again—there's a synergy, there's a vibe, there's an energy, there's a connectivity. Not just to us and the fans with the past, but even with the current day, there's a comfort there [that people notice]. Obviously, if it didn't look and sound good (laughs) people wouldn't like it. There's an intuitive sense that songwriters and musicians have together, and if they don't have it, there's no magic. But when they do have it, there's magic, and I think that's what happens when Dave and I get together.
How is the attitude and creative chemistry between you and Dave now? Any differences in collaborating?
We got together just after the NAMM Show in January of last year to really start sifting through the first batch of songs. There were a lot of ideas…things like "We the People," musically, were floating around since—geez, I don't know, [Megadeth's 1997 album] Cryptic Writings maybe (laughs), or even [1994's] Youthanasia, some of those riff ideas....I connected [producer] Johnny K and Dave to talk, and they seemed to hit it off. Dave hired him, and off we went….We walked right off the Indio [Big 4] stage and started cutting tracks.
What's the biggest misconception the public has about bands reuniting?
I've seen some reviews of the record, and again, people look at either credits or titles that were put on records. There's so much more that goes into being in a band than just four guys standing on a stage playing the notes. It's the human connection, and that's what people like or dislike (laughs) about bands. There's times when key members are not part of a group anymore, and it affects the overall outcome….In the case of Megadeth, Dave was productive while I was away and he made some really good records, but I think there comes a time when Dave and I coming back together—and I'll use our experience on this—had it happened any sooner, it may not have been the right time, and I'm convinced that it would not have been. So when it did finally happen, I think the fans were longing for it and then were happy about it, and Dave and I were happy about it, you know? We were excited to be working together again.
I think it's nice to know that [Dave] has a right-hand man again, you know? That he doesn't have to do all this by himself. And Shawn Drover is really a fantastic component to Megadeth as far as the stability. Just his personality and the way he plays drums; he understands metal music, he understand Megadeth music, all the way back to the beginning. He really is a great historian of our legacy. I've been there with Dave, you know? We've walked a mile in each other's shoes, and as a result there's just a synergy that happens with that, as opposed to Dave always having to groom other guys to learn about Megadeth—Dave and I are Megadeth (laughs); we've came there from day one.
There's definitely a strong vibe and an enthusiasm that comes across in your description. How much longer will Megadeth continue? Dave said his contract with the current record company has been completed…
What are the plans for the future?
Right now, we are excited, obviously, about the new album to receive a Grammy nomination—we've never won of those things (laughs), but it's a cool acknowledgement, you know? I'm not going to lie; it's nice to get the acknowledgement from within our industry for that kind of stuff. More than that, the fans seems excited about it. And ultimately, we're not a music business band, we're a fan band. And as long as the fans want to see us and hear us—and this is really my attitude coming back into this—we should just keep doing this as long as we can.
Did you read Dave's memoir released last year?
I did. I have not read it cover to cover, because I read it on the [tour] bus, so I pick it up and I start reading (laughs) and we have to go do something so I put it down. So that's basically how I've read the book, piecemeal. But it's a good read, you know. Dave's always been a great storyteller, and I think that the way they authored the book, Dave has as a really genuine voice; it's like Dave sitting down and telling stories. The fondness that I have for it is, that when I first met Dave—after we got our case of Heineken and we went through the apartment and hung out with two of my buddies—that's exactly what it was, Dave started telling stories, you know? So there's a real genuine personality of Dave's that comes out in his book.
You were cool about the way he talked about you in the book?
Yeah. When I came back, he asked me to review it, and I think it's part of writing a book of that nature, that it's best to secure their consent (laughs) before you tell those stories. So I'm glad that he did it, and again, I didn't sit and pick through everything with a fine-toothed comb. In fact, I even said, "Ehh, there's a couple of things maybe we might want to look at," but I said, "Overall, Dave, I don't want to edit out the story of your life," because that's what that is: that's the story of Dave's life, as told by Dave. I mean, look, I'm in the Behind the Music, everyone knows our stories, we lived a crazy life, and we're lucky enough to have survived it and lived through it and looking back on it, to be honest with you, it's actually kind of funny.
I don't think everyone mentioned in the book probably had that same opportunity with Dave.
(Laughs.) Yeah. But it's all part of the story, you know? Warts and all.
In 2004, Dave oversaw new remixes of Megadeth's catalog up until that point. In general, what did you think of those?
To me, I still own the originals, and those are the ones that I listen to.
A lot of people would agree with you on that.
Last month, Dave made headlines by guesting with his old band Metallica for five songs at one of the band's 30th anniversary concerts. Out of curiosity, did Dave ever discuss this with you either before or after he made the decision to play with them again on stage?
Yes, Dave spoke with me about it and I totally encouraged him to go for it. It's huge for thrash, huge for metal, and mostly it was another extension of healing old wounds from the past, healing that started on the Big 4 shows these past couple years.
What did he tell you about the experience the next time you spoke with him after that performance?
We spoke about a week later on the telephone, and when I asked him about it he really lit up. I could tell it was a favorable experience for him, something that was exciting and hopeful. That was good to hear.
Outside of Megadeth, what was your favorite musical project and why?
Initially, the F5 thing was a lot of fun; there was something very spirited and organic about…eventually five guys just forming a band. Believe me, when the Megadeth thing came to an end in 2002 [Mustaine reformed the band two years later without Ellefson—Ed.], I said, "I am never going to put another band together again, ever, ever ever." I was just so—I put my whole life into one band, you know, and one day it ended and I just walked away, not even bitter, just exhausted, quite honesty. And when the F5 thing started to come together, it kind of gave me a new faith and a new hope and really a new love for the whole process for what a band is about. So that served a really good purpose for me during that time.
And then there were some other records I played on. I think the Soulfy Prophecy record [released n 2004] was a season in Max [Cavalera]'s life, where he went through a rebirth of his own band, and I'm thrilled to have been a part of that with him and [the others] who also played on the record. Those are a couple that really stand out big in my mind.
What was your favorite music video that you did with Megadeth?
Here's a funny one: "Foreclosure of a Dream" was fun to make, because it had this whole storyline of this chair (laughs) being taken around the country, and obviously, it was a song that Dave and I co-wrote together, so it was fun to see it being turned into a single. But what was funny about it is, originally, when we started Megadeth, I kind of flip-flopped between stage left and stage right….And I walked into the "Foreclosure of a Dream" video, and the director, Wayne Isham, says, "Okay, we're ready for you upstage." So I walk up, and he goes, "Okay, you stand here"…and we started shooting a couple of takes, and through all this I thought, "I should probably say something to him that this isn't the side of the stage I stand on." (Laughs.) I told him, but by this point we had already done a few takes, and I thought, "Well, now we have to have continuity of the video, so I can't change now." So what happened was, on Countdown to Extinction, I was over on stage right for the rest of the tour (laughs), and so it still is to this day.
What other places do you still want to play?
It's going to be great to go back and play Madison Square Garden again—I've never played down in the other theater, so I'm actually looking forward to it. I think years ago it used to be called the Felt Forum, which was a notorious venue, so in some way it bears a lot of history to that particular venue as well. One venue we never did get to play which I'd love to play at is Budokan in Japan. That, to me, is one that I still yearn for.
I've got my fingers crossed for you.
(Laughs.) Thank you.
I've gone to Budokan itself a couple of times, but they didn't have any shows there at the time. How about other musicians to perform with?
A guy who I've always enjoyed jamming with was Slash. [Megadeth] were coming off So Far, So Good… So What! and Slash had just come home off of the Appetite for Destruction tour, and I think the wave of that success was still coming in—[Guns N' Roses] were about to become the Rolling Stones, you know? But Slash is such a cool guy and such a great guitar player and just has such a great feel to how he plays, and even though he's a bit more of a rock and roll kind of guitar player, he's such a fan of music and he understands metal and he understand music. I just had a good vibe with him; it was fun jamming and playing with him, and together we wrote some stuff and we had some good times hanging out.
Last question: you're being exiled to a desert island and you can only choose one of the three following albums: Risk, St. Anger, or Lulu. Which one do you pick?
Risk (laughs).
Should I ask why?
Well, Risk is still a Megadeth album, number one. It's funny with Risk: that was the one album in Megadeth's history that probably got the softest response, because it was such a departure at that moment. I've now over the years realized that Megadeth has fans that came to know us at many different entry points along the way. And I've met a lot of fans who have said, "Man, Risk was the first Megadeth album that I bought, and that was the album that turned me on to Megadeth, and I love Megadeth." So as much as some of the hardcore thrash fans in that day may have—I don't want to say snubbed it, but it wasn't their favorite Megadeth album—I've come to really appreciate that album, and as I've gone back and listened to it, I always really liked it as an album. That was a very weird time in music, but for me, it's definitely still a Megadeth album.
Gigantour runs from Jan. 26 through Feb. 28. For more information, visit www.gigantour.com and www.megadeth.com. Visit David's homepage at www.davidellefson.com.
San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT have tapped Gene "The Atomic Clock" Hoglan (DARK ANGEL, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, FEAR FACTORY, DETHKLOK) to sit behind the kit for their upcoming tour with ANTHRAX and DEATH ANGEL.

The dates are as follows:

Jan. 22 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
Jan. 23 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
Jan. 24 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
Jan. 26 - Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theater
Jan. 27 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
Jan. 28 - Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere's
Jan. 29 - Louisville, KY @ Expo 5
Jan. 30 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
Feb. 02 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
Feb. 03 - Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
Feb. 04 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
Feb. 06 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock
Feb. 07 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live!
Feb. 08 - New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Feb. 10 - Libertyville, IL @ Austin's Fuel Room
Feb. 11 - Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero
Feb. 13 - Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Feb. 15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot (SLC)
Feb. 17 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Feb. 18 - Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
Feb. 19 - San Jose, CA @ The Avalon

TESTAMENT's new album, "The Dark Roots Of Earth", is tentatively due in late April/early May 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. Due to a "serious injury," TESTAMENT drummer Paul Bostaph was unable to take part in the recording sessions for the CD and was replaced by Hoglan. Bostaph has since announced his departure from the group.
New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL will release their new album, "The Electric Age", in North America on March 27 via eOne Music. The CD will be made available in Europe on March 30 through Nuclear Blast Records.

"The Electric Age" was recorded and mixed at Gain Studios in New Jersey, owned and operated by OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni.

OVERKILL will embark on the "Killfest 2" headlining tour in April/May. Support on the trek will come from BELPHEGOR, ABORTED, BLACKGUARD, SYSTEM DIVIDE and DIAMOND PLATE.

OVERKILL's latest CD, "Ironbound", sold 4,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 192 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort landed at No. 4 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.

OVERKILL's previous album, "Immortalis", opened with 2,800 units back in October 2007.

"Ironbound" was released on February 9, 2010 via E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records). The CD, which was issued in Europe on January 29, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records, was mixed by PAIN/HYPOCRISY mainman Peter Tägtgren and is described in a press release as "a true thrasher-piece."

OVERKILL is Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals), D.D. Verni (bass, backing vocals), Derek "The Skull" Tailer (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Dave Linsk (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Ron Lipnicki (drums).
According to RecordOnline.com, TWISTED SISTER and Y&T will play in the John Falcone Memorial Concert on March 3 in Poughkeepsie, New York at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Falcone, a City of Poughkeepsie police officer, was killed in the line of duty February 18. All proceeds will go toward the John Falcone PBA Fund, the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund and Fallen Blue. Tickets are $35.

TWISTED SISTER drummer A.J. Pero was last year named the national spokesperson for Fallen Blue, which was created as a means to provide support, both emotional and financial, for the families of police officers who are killed outside the line of duty.

Pero has spent his life entertaining rock music fans as the drummer for TWISTED SISTER. He has also dedicated his life to helping others less fortunate with his charity work.

Commented Pero: "I have been asked by John and Rachael from Fallen Blue to be a part of the brotherhood. I jumped at the opportunity.

"I am honored to be a part of this family, this vital organization. I will help out 150 percent so we can achieve our goals.

"Our goals are to help the families of these brave men and women who die outside the line of duty.

"When a police officer is killed outside the line of duty — whether accidentally or by their own hand due to job related stress — they don't receive the benefits. Some families can't even afford to have a funeral, never mind future bills. I've experienced that years ago when a friend on the job, stressed out and emotionally fried, shot himself. Our neighborhood stood together to help the wife and children. We had benefits and cookouts to raise money, but it just wasn't enough.

"This organization can and will become vital nationwide if we all recognize this is a reality and pull together our resources for all law enforcement officers.

"Even though there are many different branches, we are all the same underneath and need to be treated as such. We would also like to eventually erect a physical memorial where we can go and honor those killed outside the line of duty."

For more information, visit FallenBlue.org.
German melodic metallers EDGUY will support DEEP PURPLE on their German tour in November/December. The dates are as follows:

Nov. 15 - Köln, Germany - Lanxess Arena
Nov. 16 - Bremen, Germany - Halle 7
Nov. 17 - Hannover, Germany - Awd Hall
Nov. 20 - Kiel, Germany - Sparkassen Arena
Nov. 22 - Frankfurt, Germany - Festhalle
Nov. 23 - Oberhausen, Germany - Königspilsner Arena
Nov. 24 - Hamburg, Germany - O2 World
Nov. 26 - Leipzig, Germany - Arena
Nov. 27 - Berlin, Germany - O2 World
Nov. 29 - Augsburg, Germany - Schwabenhalle
Nov. 30 - München, Germany - Olympiahalle
Dec. 12 - Stuttgart, Germany – Schleyerhalle

EDGUY's new album, "Age Of The Joker", sold around 1,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD debuted at No. 21 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.

EDGUY's previous CD, "Tinnitus Sanctus", opened with 600 units back in February 2009 to land at No. 88 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.

"Age Of The Joker" was released in Europe on August 29, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Peppermint Park studio (SCORPIONS, PHIL COLLINS) in Hannover, which was previously described by the group as "a recording temple with a tremendously great-sounding room." The album features 11 songs with a total running time of over one hour. The limited-edition digipack contains a bonus disc with six additional songs.
GODSMACK, STAIND and HALESTORM will hit the road together this spring. The trek, dubbed the "Mass Chaos Tour", kicks off April 13 in Augusta, Georgia and wraps on May 18 in Bangor, Maine.

"We're very excited to get back out with our Massachusetts brothers again," says GODSMACK singer Sully Erna about hitting the road with STAIND. "It's been a pinch too long, and all hell is about to break loose!"

Adds STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis, "Going on tour with GODSMACK was a no-brainer. Our fans are in for one hell of a rock show."

Meanwhile, HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale declares, "I am stoked to be supporting GODSMACK and STAIND on this tour! To be touring with the two bands of my generation that paved the way for modern rock is an honor! This lineup will crush your skulls!"

The name of the tour was selected by a fan vote, and a contest has been set up for fans to design the tour poster.

"Mass Chaos Tour" featuring GODSMACK, STAIND and HALESTORM:

May 13 - Augusta, GA @ James Brown Arena
May 15 - Estero, FL @ Germain Arena
May 17 - New Orleans, LA @ UNO Lakefront Arena
May 18 - Lafayette, LA @ Cajundome
May 19 - Bossier City, LA CenturyLink Center 99 X Fest
May 21 - Lubbock, TX @ Lone Star Amphitheater
May 22 - Belton, TX @ Bell County Expo Center
May 24 - Beaumont, TX @ Ford Pavilion
May 25 - Laredo, TX @ Laredo Energy Center
May 27 - Phoenix, AZ @ Quail Run Park 98 KUPD UFEST
May 01 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheater
May 02 - San Antonio, TX @ Illusions Theater
May 04 - Lexington, KY @ Rupp Arena
May 06 - Evansville, IN @ Ford Center
May 09 - Battle Creek, MI @ Kellogg Arena
May 11 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
May 12 - Huntington, WV @ The Big Sandy Superstore Arena
May 15 - Syracuse, NY @ Oncenter
May 16 - Manchester, NH @ Verizon Wireless Arena
May 18 - Bangor, ME @ [to be announced]

GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna told BostonHerald.com last month that the band was heading back to the studio in January to mix a live disc and record a handful of cover songs that Erna says "inspired us along the way."

STAIND's latest, self-titled album sold 47,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No, 5 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "The Illusion Of Progress", opened with 92,000 units to debut at No. 3.

HALESTORM is gearing up to issue its sophomore album sometime in early 2012.

Released last year, HALESTORM's "ReAnimate" EP featured covers of songs by SKID ROW, GUNS N' ROSES, LADY GAGA and THE BEATLES.
Pollstar recently conducted an interview with guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Pollstar: The new album seems to be a hit with your fans. Are you ever worried about how new material will go over?

Petrucci: You know what, when we toured we did some open-air shows over the summer and we played one of the songs, the song that's nominated, "On The Backs of Angels", and that went over really well. And we just finished a North American tour and the response to the new songs is so great that we actually added one or two [to the set], because we were getting reactions from people who were really liking the new songs and upset sometimes that we weren't playing some of them. We have so much experience at this point that, even as we're writing and recording and the mix is going on, you're sort of generating premonitions of how stuff will go over live. Even the song that we open our set with called "Bridges in the Sky", as soon as we wrote that, you know it's like, "That is the show opener" — you can just tell. Fast-forward a few months later and there it is and it works perfectly. So I certainly hope that people enjoy the new songs and, based on the reactions that we got here in the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, I have a positive feeling about it. I'm looking forward to the tour. Europe is always great because it's so diverse. The different areas we go to, the people react different, and you know you're kind of really quickly experiencing all these different cultures while playing in those different environments. It's pretty amazing.

Pollstar: You guys are huge overseas, maybe bigger internationally than in the U.S. Have you pinpointed a reason for that?

Petrucci: It's a very good question. I'm not 100 percent sure why. It could be a cultural thing. When we tour in America, the shows are great, and the fans are just as passionate and excited as anywhere else in the world, but in other parts of the world, in parts of South America and in parts of Europe and Asia, the size of the venues and the amount of people we get at concerts is considerably more. Differences of playing to 20,000 people as a headliner as opposed to 5,000 or 6,000. Yeah, there's a significant difference. In some cases it's something that we've built. Like the U.K., for example. The first time we played in London we played a club. We built to the point where we were able to now headline and sell out the Wembley Arena. So sometimes it's a matter of working hard and going back and building it. And in some countries you're going for the first time, and there's an amazing amount of people because there's an anticipation possibly. Further into our career, if we hit a country for a first time, like a couple years ago going to Moscow in Russia for the first time, or wherever it may be, then having a developed career backing up it, then those initial shows are very big. We've built from the beginning. I do remember the first couple of times coming to Europe, and we played clubs and smaller places. In Europe, they do have the festival opportunities that we take advantage of, which we don't really do in the U.S. So maybe we're hitting a lot more people that maybe never heard of us in that sense. So that might be a reason as well. The other thing in the U.S, is that — while we're thankful to have a great fanbase no matter what — maybe radio and TV and stuff like that plays a bigger role in expanding a band, their level of recognition. Whereas in other countries, in South America and Brazil and places, maybe it's just that a lot of people really love metal and hard rock and really want to go to concerts and they don't care if it's on TV or the radio, maybe it doesn't matter as much. There is a built-in cultural thing where people enjoy metal music and they enjoy progressive rock music, progressive metal, where it's this big thing where it might not be as much in the U.S.

Pollstar: How are things going with new drummer Mike Mangini?

Petrucci: We debuted him live at an open-air festival in Rome … in July. And the response and the reaction to him has been incredible. I really have a lot of respect for our fans and listeners of our music because they're just very, very gracious about how they've accepted Mike and we couldn't have anticipated a more positive reaction. We have a whole bunch of dates under our belts with him and he's doing great. He's a great performer and great to play with. Our fans have welcomed him with open arms, so that makes it all even better.

Pollstar: Following the departure of longtime drummer Mike Portnoy, you guys decided to film the auditions for a new drummer and post them on YouTube to reveal the selection. How did that go?

Petrucci: I think it was something that was very helpful, because when Mike left the band, there was a lot of speculation, a lot of people were concerned about our future, or concerned about who we would get. It took us a while from the time that Mike quit to the time that we made the announcement. The reason was that we wanted to bring all of our fans into the process. Having all the auditions filmed and releasing it on the Web in the three-part series — where in the final one you found out who the drummer was — it definitely generated awareness. It also made everyone feel included — to see exactly what we went through and how we made our decision. I think it really brought people together. I think it was a very positive thing and I'm so happy that we did it. It's been a successful year and album since then, so I think that started things off in just the right way, the way that we needed to do things.
Petter Pettersson of the Swedish web magazine CriticalMass.se recently conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

CriticalMass.se: So, James... you have recently released a new album that has been surrounded by a lot of turmoil, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events". Are you happy about it?

James: I am ecstatic about it! Seriously, I think that it's probably one of the strongest albums, song-wise, that we've ever written, as far as I'm concerned. It forced us to look much deeper inside of ourselves in order to pull out the best that we could do, due to the circumstances. People would be much more scrutinizing and maybe have more room for criticism than for other albums due to the change. So it was up to us to prove that we're still the same band, and we had to write one of the best albums and I think we succeeded. We are all extremely pleased with the outcome.

CriticalMass.se: You must be sick to death answering questions about [former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike] Portnoy...

James: You know what? The fact is that, the truth is that people want to know what we're thinking, how we feel about it. It doesn't bother me if you put it in the correct perspective. It doesn't become a nuisance, it's just the reality.

CriticalMass.se: Have you talked to him since his departure?

James: No. No, I haven't spoken with him. I mean, the fact is that we've been very busy doing this, getting ready. Just the setup for this release has been extremely time-consuming, and then it was setting up the promotion and it was all about the tour so really, no. None of us have spoken with Mike. And I wouldn't say I'll never speak with him again, but right now, the way things are going, it just hasn't happened. And he's extremely busy doing his stuff.

CriticalMass.se: Do you look at Mike [Mangini] as a full member of the band?

James: Absolutely! He was a full member when he was asked to join the band. He's involved. He's very passionate of what he's doing, and he's looking forward to this tour, in support of the new album, but he's also extremely stoked and excited about getting in to the work for the next album, and showing to the world that it's a deep well of untapped Mike Mangini talent.

CriticalMass.se: Are you going to focus on the newer stuff [on the upcoming tour], now with Mangini and all?

James: You'll hear everything, I mean, the way we want to present the show is that obviously we have to give a big nod to our catalouge so obviously we are going to play the older material as well as the new material. And we have created what we think is a good balance between the old and the new. And the light show and video show we have going on is really phenomenal. Wherever we've played, the fans has been absolutely loving it, the whole new visuals that we have implemented. The whole stage setup and everything, it's really cool! A great evening, both visually and sonically.
Russ Rosenfeld, a longtime representative for Hoshino, the Japanese trading company that owns the Ibanez brand name, appears to have confirmed rumors that SLIPKNOT will headline this year's edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Rosenfeld's slip of the tongue was captured in the short video clip below while he was introducing the new line of Mick Thomson (SLIPKNOT) Ibanez signature guitars at this past weekend's NAMM show in Anaheim, California.

The official Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival lineup is expected to be announced on Wednesday, January 25.

Last July, SLIPKNOT completed a three-week European tour that was the band's first run of dates since the death of bassist Paul Gray a year earlier. A one-off appearance at the Rock In Rio festival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil followed in September.

SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor and percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan confirmed that the band will tour the U.S. this summer.

Taylor has repeatedly stated in interviews that it's "still too soon" for the band to be thinking about recording a new studio album following Gray's death.

The singer has been touring with his other band STONE SOUR and has indicated that he would like to return to the studio with that group next.

SLIPKNOT's last record, "All Hope Is Gone", was released in 2008.

LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler plays on one track on "The Dark Roots Of Earth", which was helmed by veteran British producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, NEVERMORE, MACHINE HEAD, ARCH ENEMY).

Gene Hoglan recently released his long-awaited instructional DVD, "The Atomic Clock". Available on Hoglan Industries in the U.S. and on Reversed Records in Canada, the disc showcases Hoglan's three decades of experience of performing and recording with the world's most well-known metal bands such as DEVIN TOWNSEND, DARK ANGEL, DEATH, DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, TESTAMENT, ZIMMER'S HOLE, and most recently FEAR FACTORY, along with many others on his resume.
Southern California's vaunted heavy metal "triple axe attack" LEATHERWOLF will have its January 28 headlining concert at the Ramona Mainstage in Ramona, California professionally filmed for an upcoming DVD.

Featuring original members Michael Olivieri (vocals, guitar), Carey Howe (guitar), and Dean Roberts (drums) along with bassist Patrick Guyton and new guitarist Rob Math, LEATHERWOLF is celebrating both its 30th band anniversary as well as the 25th anniversary of its highly acclaimed major label debut album for Island Records which spawned the MTV single "The Calling".

"We had originally planned to release the 'Live At The Galaxy' DVD but with Rob in the fold we've decided to re-shoot everything. Rob is a killer player who has brought a lot of new energy to the band and we wanted to capture the new and improved LEATHERWOLF for prosperity", states drummer Dean Roberts. "We've already talked to Roy Z (HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON) about mixing and should have everything completed in another couple of months in time for a tentative summer release."

LEATHERWOLF emerged in the early '80s as part of the burgeoning Orange County metal scene, playing shows with contemporaries such as METALLICA, SLAYER and STRYPER before signing with local indie label Tropical/Enigma for the release of their Randy Burns-produced (MEGADETH, KREATOR) eponymous debut in 1984. The band soon caught the attention of Island Records resulting in two further, highly acclaimed releases, "Leatherwolf" (1987) and "Street Ready" (1989). After a lenghty hiatus, LEATHERWOLF re-grouped for a number of shows and issued the "Wide Open" live album in 1999. A new studio album, "World Asylum", followed in 2006, reissued in 2008 as "New World Asylum" with returning frontman Michael Oliveri re-cutting all lead vocals.
American power metal band STEEL PROPHET is recording its long-awaited follow-up to 2004's "Beware".

Commented guitarist Steve Kachinsky: "We finished all drum tracks for 13 songs. Rhythm guitars are done on eight songs. Seven songs have bass guitar. Leads and orchestrations are being worked on for all. Lyrics are complete for 10 songs. Vocal melody lines have been constructed for six songs (includes new version of 'Oleander' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody').

"We are continuing to make constant progress! It's coming out very well so far. We are certainly trying to make it the best album of our careers, and we won't rush it. We know as fans what it's like to get a subpar album from a group after much anticipation. Definitely want to avoid that!"

Songtitles set to appear on the new STEEL PROPHET CD:

* Funeral For Art
* Tree Of Knowledge
* When I Remake The World (A Key Flaw)
* Aliens
* Spaceships And Richard M. Nixon
* Through Time And Space
* 666 Is Everywhere

The recording lineup for the new STEEL PROPHET album is as follows:

Rick Mythiasin - Vocals
Vince Dennis - Bass
Chris Schleyer - Guitar
Jimmy Schultz - Drums
Steve Kachinsky - Guitar

STEEL PROPHET will perform at the Keep it True festival in April 2013 at Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen.
Keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has released the following statement:

"It's with great sadness that I share the news that my mom, Rita Rudess, has passed away at the age of 86. She dedicated so much of her life to taking care of my musical spirit. Driving me back and forth to Juilliard and both encouraging and enjoying my talent. Her passing was not a surprise as she was quite ill for a while. I'll miss her very much."

DREAM THEATER's European headlining tour is scheduled to kick off this coming Monday, January 23 at the Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland.

Jordan Rudess' video message from tour rehearsals in Finland — recorded on January 21, 2012 prior to the announcement of his mother's passing — can be seen below.

Rudess, 55, has been the full-time keyboardist for DREAM THEATER since the recording of 1999's "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory". He has recorded six other studio albums with the group: 2002's "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", 2003's "Train Of Thought", 2005's "Octavarium", 2007's "Systematic Chaos", 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" and 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events". In addition, he has appeared on the live albums "Live Scenes From New York", "Live At Budokan", "Score" and "Chaos In Motion".

DREAM THEATER is among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
French progressive metallers GOJIRA will open for METALLICA on May 12 at Stade de France in Paris, France. They will also support METALLICA on May 13 at Stadio Friuli in Udine, Italy.

GOJIRA previously opened for METALLICA — along with LAMB OF GOD — on a North American tour in September/October 2009.

In a 2009 interview, GOJIRA frontman Joe Duplantier stated about sharing the stage with METALLICA, "It's like a dream come true. We are a band because of METALLICA. We owe so much to [the METALLICA guys]. When I saw them, the only thing I [wanted] to tell them is, 'Thank you very much,' and what [METALLICA guitarist/vocalist] James Hetfield answered is, 'You're welcome.'"

GOJIRA's new album will be released later in the year via the band's new record label, Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at Spin Recording Studios in Long Island City, New York with co-producer Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD).

GOJIRA is comprised of Joe Duplantier, who has a previous relationship with Roadrunner, having played bass on CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's debut "Inflikted", along with guitarist Christian Andreu, bassist Jean-Michel Labadie and drummer Mario Duplantier, who is also Joe's brother.

The band's Roadrunner debut will be its fifth album overall. It was 2005's "From Mars to Sirius" and 2008's "The Way of All Flesh" which established GOJIRA as a metal force of nature and a key player in the scene.
CHILDREN OF BODOM was honored in the "Metal Album Of The Year" category at this year's Emma Gaala (Finnish Grammy equivalent), which was held last night (Friday, January 20) at Barona Areena in Espoo, Finland. Meanwhile, MICHAEL MONROE walked away with the "Rock Album Of The Year" (for "Sensory Overdrive") and "Band Of The Year" awards at the annual event, which was televised on Finnish TV channel YLE TV2. NIGHTWISH's "Imaginaerum" disc, which has only been out since late November, was named "Best-Selling Album Of The Year".

"Metal Album Of The Year" nominees were as follows:

* KOTITEOLLISUUS - "Kotiteollisuus"
* CHILDREN OF BODOM - "Relentless Reckless Forever"
* AMORPHIS - "The Beginning Of Times"
* MOONSORROW - "Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa"

A photo of CHILDREN OF BODOM keyboardist Janne Wirman accepting the "Metal Album Of The Year" award at last night's Emma Gaala can be seen below.

For a complete list of winners (in Finnish), visit www.emmagaala.fi.
Canadian thrash metal veterans SACRIFICE will play their first-ever shows in Japan as the headliners of the True Thrash Fest 2012 in Osaka. The two-day festival will take place on February 18-19 at the Osaka Esaka Muse and will feature additional performances by WITCHBURNER, JURASSIC JADE, REMAINS, RIVERGE, DORAID, WARGASMATRON, FASTKILL, VAULT, ABIGAIL and IMPALER.

SACRIFICE release a vinyl-only demo anthology titled "198666" on October 28, 2011 through Canadian label War On Music Records. The limited double vinyl release includes the legendary "Exorcism" demo tape (featuring tracks which would later be included on "Torment In Fire"), the 1986 "Forward To Termination" demo sessions (including a rare cover of DISCHARGE's "Possibility Of Life's Destruction"), and the full 1989 "Soldiers Of Misfortune" demo sessions. This is some of the best early recordings of any classic thrash act; the tapes sum up the raw power that was early SACRIFICE and showcase the bands evolution from album to album through the '80s. The double LP release was strictly limited to 666 hand-numbered copies on blood-red vinyl in a gatefold jacket featuring the stunning artwork of Hans Memling.

For more information, visit www.waronmusic.com.

War on Music Records released SACRIFICE's latest work "The Ones I Condemn" on vinyl in 2010, as well as a limited split seven-inch with PROPAGANDHI featuring a timeless cover of RUSH's "Anthem".

SACRIFICE is currently working on new material which has been described by drummer Gus Pynn as "VERY RUSH-influenced."
Regina, Saskatchewan-based Canadian extreme progressive metallers INTO ETERNITY have recruited Amanda Kiernan of the Edmonton, Alberta-based metal band THE ORDER OF CHAOS as their new touring singer.

States Amanda: "This is a wonderful opportunity for me that I couldn't pass up. I look forward to this experience. However, THE ORDER OF CHAOS will remain my number one priority."

INTO ETERNITY vocalist Stu Block was recently recruited by power metal giants ICED EARTH, with whom he recorded the band's latest CD, "Dystopia".

INTO ETERNITY earlier in the month posted studio and rehearsal footage of their new song "Fukushima", written about the Fukushima Daiichi, Japan nuclear disaster (a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011). You can now watch the one-and-a-half-minute clip below.

As previously reported, Canadian label War On Music Records will issue several albums by INTO ETERNITY for the first time ever on vinyl. "Dead Or Dreaming" (2001), "Buried In Oblivion" (2004) and "Scattering Of The Ashes" (2006) will be made available, each as a limited LP release, starting in early spring 2012.

INTO ETERNITY's signature sound has often been described as a hybrid of latter-day DEATH and CONTROL DENIED, combined with the technical stylings of DREAM THEATER.

Commented INTO ETERNITY singer/guitarist Tim Roth: "The new songs are coming along quite well and we'll have two new songs finished and mixed in the upcoming weeks. So far five songs have been recorded (30 minutes) and we are looking forward to get working on the next batch of new INTO ETERNITY songs.

"2012 also brings some great news for vinyl-loving fans. Century Media contacted us about releasing our albums on vinyl. It has always been a dream of ours to have our collection put out on vinyl. Thanks to Charley at War On Music Records for finally making this dream a reality. I know a lot of fans have asked us over the years for vinyl, so this is really great news!"

INTO ETERNITY is among the confirmed bands for the 11th edition of the Manitoba Metalfest, set to take place February 24-25 at The Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Watch www.waronmusic.com for details and pre-orders for the the upcoming vinyl releases.

INTO ETERNITY last year released its first new material since 2008 in the form of a new song called "Sandstorm". The track, which is available on iTunes and Bandcamp, features guest death vocals by Rob Doherty and marks the recording debut of Newbury, who was previously known in the western Canadian metal scene as a member of Edmonton, Alberta-based group DEATH TOLL RISING.

"Sandstorm" was written the day the USA took out Osama Bin Laden, and is inspired by the events that transpired.

INTO ETERNITY's last album, "The Incurable Tragedy", came out in 2008 via Century Media.
INMORIA — the Swedish project featuring Christer Andersson (TAD MOROSE) on guitar, Dan Eriksson (ex-TAD MOROSE) on keyboards, Tommi Karppanen (MORGANA LEFAY, TAD MOROSE), and Peter Moren (TAD MOROSE, STEEL ATTACK) on drums — has recruited Ronny Hemlin (STEEL ATTACK, TAD MOROSE) as its new singer following the departure of Danish vocalist Søren "Nico" Adamsen (ARTILLERY).

Ronny sang for INMORIA on their U.K. tour in October 2011 and recently laid down his vocals on a number of songs from the band's latest album, "A Farewell To Nothing - The Diary Part I".
Massachusetts-based hardcore/metal band CONVERGE will enter guitarist Kurt Ballou's Godcity studios in Salem, Massachusetts today (Monday, January 23) to begin recording its new album, tentatively titled "All We Love We Leave Behind", for a late spring/early summer release via Epitaph.

CONVERGE's latest CD, "Axe To Fall", sold 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 163 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort was released on October 20, 2009 through Epitaph Records.

Produced by guitarist Kurt Ballou at Godcity, "Axe To Fall" featured guest appearances from Steve Brodsky (CAVE IN), Adam McGrath (CAVE IN), J.R. Connors (CAVE IN, DOOMRIDERS), Uffe Cederlund (DISFEAR, ex-ENTOMBED), John Pettibone (THE VOWS, HIMSA), Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS) and Mookie Singerman (GENGHIS TRON).
"Fire Make Thunder" marks the fourth undertaking for the collaborative duo known as OSI. The CD is slated for a March 27 release via Metal Blade Records.

Formed in 2002 by Jim Matheos (FATES WARNING, ARCH/MATHEOS) and Kevin Moore (CHROMA KEY, former DREAM THEATER keyboardist), OSI is a long-distance partnership, both musicians typically writing and recording alone and sending song ideas back and forth for further elaboration.

Written and recorded throughout most of 2011, this latest release once again reflects the eclectic influences of both Matheos and Moore.

Returning as OSI's session drummer is Gavin Harrison of PORCUPINE TREE, this time co-writing one of the tracks with the band. All other instruments and programming were performed by both Matheos and Moore, while vocals and lyrics were handled exclusively by Moore.

All of the recording for "Fire Make Thunder", with the exception of drums, was done by Moore and Matheos at each musician's respective home studio with drums being recorded at Harrison's home in London. Final overdubs as well as some additional writing/arranging was completed in July 2011 in Jamaica, Iowa, where the band mixed alongside engineer Matt Sepanic at Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment. Mastering was handled by renowned engineer Roger Siebel. The record was produced by both Moore and Matheos.

"Fire Make Thunder" track listing:

01. Cold Call
02. Guards
03. Indian Curse
04. Enemy Prayer
05. Wind Won't Howl
06. Big Chief II
07. For Nothing
08. Invisible Men
British vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva — who has toured and/or recorded with CRADLE OF FILTH, THERION, MORTIIS and ANGTORIA — has entered Legacy studios in London with her solo band to begin recording a new three-song digital EP called "Malediction". She states, "These three tracks will be released prior to our May U.K. tour, to help promote our shows but to also further promote our last album, 'The Corruption Of Mercy', which was released June 2011 on Listenable Records. We plan of having a special guest on one of the songs which could in turn, end up being our second music video IF our bass player successfully sells one of his limbs to fund it."

Sarah Jezebel Deva's solo album, "The Corruption Of Mercy", was released in the U.S. on August 30, 2011. The CD was released in Europe on June 27, 2011 via Listenable Records. The cover art for the effort was created by CRADLE OF FILTH artist Matt Lombard and comes in a slipcase due to its slightly "dark/close-to-the-mark" nature.
Swedish melodic death metallers AMON AMARTH will celebrate their 20th anniversary with five special shows which will take place this August in Germany, Poland and Holland. The band states, "We will perform two whole sets containing songs from our entire career and we will also arrange a meet-and-greet on all shows."

"An Evening With – 20th Anniversary Shows":

Aug. 05 - Chemnitz, Germany - Südbahnhof
Aug. 07 - Warsaw, Poland - Progresja Club
Aug. 14 - Saarbrucken, Germany - Garage
Aug. 16 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli
Aug. 17 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle

AMON AMARTH's eighth studio album, "Surtur Rising", sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 34 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Twilight of the Thunder God", opened with more than 11,000 copies back in 2008 to land at No. 48.

Named in tribute to Surtur, leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim ("flame land") and the oldest being in the nine worlds of Norse mythology, "Surtur Rising", which came out in North America on March 29, 2011 via Metal Blade Records, features 10 tracks of sword-wielding, fist-pumping, hyper climactic battle anthems. The album was once again recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren and features strikingly brutal cover art by Tom Thiel.
BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Scott Roberts was rushed to the hospital prior to the kick-off concert of the band's "Persistence Tour 2012" on Friday, January 20 in Deinze, Belgium. The group says, "After spending the whole day getting tests done to no avail, he checks himself out of the hospital to make the show just in time to KICK FUCKING ASS and help us blow the roof off of Deinze [see video below]! That's the crazy vegetarian hardcore dude he is! After the show, he's rushed back to the hospital! Anyone else would had canceled the tour! SCOTT ROCKS!" The band adds, "Scott is still in the hospital, but judging by his hardcore spirit and having BIOHAZARD blood in his veins, he'll beat this shit! Get ready, Oberhausen!!"

"Persistence Tour 2012", which also includes SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, TERROR, WALLS OF JERICHO, LIONHEART and CRUSHING CASPARS, will play Oberhausen, Germany tonight before moving to Hamburg on Sunday.

BIOHAZARD's new album, "Reborn In Defiance", was released in Europe yesterday (Friday, January 20) via Nuclear Blast Records.

Not only is "Reborn In Defiance" BIOHAZARD's first original lineup album in 18 years, but it also marks the last album recorded by the band before the departure of bassist and co-vocalist Evan Seinfeld. The effort remains a testament to the four founding members (Billy Graziadei, Bobby Hambel, Evan Seinfeld and Danny Schuler) and their unique chemistry.

Having last recorded and toured as the fundamental lineup with the release of "State Of The World Address" back in 1994, BIOHAZARD reformed with all four original members back in 2008 to commemorate the band's 20th anniversary. They went back out on the road together over the next two years, during which time inspiration struck.

The legendary Toby Wright (ALICE IN CHAINS, METALLICA, SEVENDUST, KORN) was brought in to produce the 13-track "Reborn In Defiance", which was recorded in Los Angeles.

BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld left the band in June 2011 after the band's new CD was completed and was replaced by Roberts, who played on the band's 2005 "Means To An End" album and has been part of the BIOHAZARD extended family since.
BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Scott Roberts was rushed to the hospital prior to the kick-off concert of the band's "Persistence Tour 2012" on Friday, January 20 in Deinze, Belgium.

"Persistence Tour 2012", which also includes SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, TERROR, WALLS OF JERICHO, LIONHEART and CRUSHING CASPARS, played Oberhausen, Germany last night before moving to Hamburg on Sunday.

Commented the group: "Great news. Scott's alive and well! [He] made it out of the hospital with all new blood and fluids in his system, 100% BIOHAZARD! He never missed a step! Mad props to him for being a hardcore/metal trooper and sticking it out, anyone else would had quit the tour! We just rocked Oberhausen, Germany. Hamburg, here we come!"

The first in a series of video clips featuring footage from the road can be seen below.

BIOHAZARD's new album, "Reborn In Defiance", was released in Europe on Friday (January 20) via Nuclear Blast Records.

Not only is "Reborn In Defiance" BIOHAZARD's first original lineup album in 18 years, but it also marks the last album recorded by the band before the departure of bassist and co-vocalist Evan Seinfeld. The effort remains a testament to the four founding members (Billy Graziadei, Bobby Hambel, Evan Seinfeld and Danny Schuler) and their unique chemistry.

Having last recorded and toured as the fundamental lineup with the release of "State Of The World Address" back in 1994, BIOHAZARD reformed with all four original members back in 2008 to commemorate the band's 20th anniversary. They went back out on the road together over the next two years, during which time inspiration struck.

The legendary Toby Wright (ALICE IN CHAINS, METALLICA, SEVENDUST, KORN) was brought in to produce the 13-track "Reborn In Defiance", which was recorded in Los Angeles.

BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld left the band in June 2011 after the band's new CD was completed and was replaced by Roberts, who played on the band's 2005 "Means To An End" album and has been part of the BIOHAZARD extended family since.
Drummer Danny Schuler of New York hardcore/metal veterans BIOHAZARD has left the band's current European tour in order to be at home with his wife and family for the birth of their baby. Danny Lamagna of SWORN ENEMY will sit behind the kit for BIOHAZARD at all upcoming shows until Danny returns.

Remaining dates on the Persistence Tour 2012 — which also includes SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, TERROR, WALLS OF JERICHO, LIONHEART and CRUSHING CASPARS — are as follows:

Jan. 23 - Berlin, Germany - Astra
Jan. 24 - Munchen, Germany - Werk
Jan. 25 - Wien, Austria - Gasometer
Jan. 26 - Stuttgart, Germany - LKA Longhorn
Jan. 27 - Saarbrucken, Germany - Garage
Jan. 28 - Dresden, Germany - Eventwerk
Jan. 29 - Tilburg, Netherlands - O13
Jan. 30 - Paris, France – Bataclan

BIOHAZARD's new album, "Reborn In Defiance", was released in Europe on Friday (January 20) via Nuclear Blast Records.

Not only is "Reborn In Defiance" BIOHAZARD's first original lineup album in 18 years, but it also marks the last album recorded by the band before the departure of bassist and co-vocalist Evan Seinfeld. The effort remains a testament to the four founding members (Billy Graziadei, Bobby Hambel, Evan Seinfeld and Danny Schuler) and their unique chemistry.

Having last recorded and toured as the fundamental lineup with the release of "State Of The World Address" back in 1994, BIOHAZARD reformed with all four original members back in 2008 to commemorate the band's 20th anniversary. They went back out on the road together over the next two years, during which time inspiration struck.

The legendary Toby Wright (ALICE IN CHAINS, METALLICA, SEVENDUST, KORN) was brought in to produce the 13-track "Reborn In Defiance", which was recorded in Los Angeles.

BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld left the band in June 2011 after the band's new CD was completed and was replaced by Roberts, who played on the band's 2005 "Means To An End" album and has been part of the BIOHAZARD extended family since.
Guitarist Danny Tunker (GOD DETHRONED, ex-PROSTITUTE DISFIGUREMENT) will fill in for Christian Muenzner during SPAWN OF POSSESSION's upcoming Europe tour with OBSCURA, GOROD and EXIVIOUS.

Commented Christian: "I would have loved to play with SPAWN OF POSSESSION myself on the upcoming European tour. Unfortunately I've been diagnosed with Focal Dystonia (a task specific movement disorder which manifests itself as a loss of voluntary motor control in extensively trained muscles) on my left hand last year, affecting the independence of my index finger and middle finger. I've been dealing with that problem for quite a while now by adapting and changing my playing technique. I've started treatment for this some months ago. Right now I'm taking therapy classes and doing a medication therapy. For the first time ever since I have it, I'm feeling a little progress on it and I have a feeling I can overcome this with time. I have to be careful not to put too much pressure on my hand though in order not to risk any further damage or the progress of the therapy.

"Since I have to play a 70+ minutes set with OBSCURA every night, a 45-minute SPAWN OF POSSESSION set before would be too much for my condition at this point, which is why I decided to play with OBSCURA only on this tour.

"I am very thankful and happy that my good friend Danny Tunker agreed to step in for me on this tour.

"Danny, who is a former student of guitar masters Rusty Cooley (OUTWORLD), Terry Syrek and Derryl Gabel, is the perfect choice to play with SPAWN OF POSSESSION; his rhythm and lead chops are beyond anyone I know.

"I'm sorry if some fans expected to see me play with SPAWN OF POSSESSION on this tour, but that way it is guaranteed that both OBSCURA and SPAWN OF POSSESSION can deliver 100% and the best show possible!"

A video clip of Tunker playing "Lash By Lash" by SPAWN OF POSSESSION can be seen below.

SPAWN OF POSSESSION's tour with OBSCURA, GOROD and EXIVIOUS is scheduled to kick off on March 9 in Stuttgart, Germany.

SPAWN OF POSSESSION will release its third full-length album, "Incurso", in North America on March 13 via Relapse Records. The CD, which contains nine tracks plus an instrumental intro, was recorded at Pama Studios in Kristianopel, Sweden with engineer Magnus "Mankan" Sedenberg.

According to a press release, "devastating riffs, jaw-dropping time-signatures and improbably complex songwriting coalesce to create an opus of next-level death metal on 'Incurso', which the band promises to be their most supreme work to date, and more devastating than ever."

The "Incurso" cover art was created by graphic artist Pär Olofsson (IMMORTAL, IMMOLATION, DYING FETUS).
"Dark Domains", a collection of tracks recorded by long-defunct Swedish death metallers ALTAR during their six-year existence from 1989 to 1995, has been made available through Konqueror Records. The 17-track compilation was remastered by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio in Sweden and features a brand new exclusive album cover artwork and layout by Poland's Kontamination Design.

This "Dark Domains" compilation CD is dedicated in loving memory of the late Mieszko Talarczyk (NASUM, ex-ALTAR).

"Dark Domains" track listing:

01. Nothing Human (1992 CD)
02. Lifeless Passion (1992 CD)
03. Daymare / A Message From The Grave (1992 CD)
04. Decapitated (1992 CD)
05. Ex Oblivione (1992 CD)
06. Sleeping Prophet (1993 Demo)
07. Floodgates Of Emotions (1993 Demo)
08. Darklight (1993 Demo)
09. Violent Acts (1994 Demo)
10. Days Forever Grey (1994 Demo)
11. Severed On The Attic (1991 Demo)
12. Decapitated (1991 Demo)
13. Hallucinations (1991 Demo)
14. No Flesh… (1991 Demo)
15. Instrumental (1995 Demo)
16. Severed On The Attic (1992 CD)
17. No Flesh… (1992 CD)

Featuring never-before-seen photos carefully hand-picked by ALTAR, "Dark Domains" is the ultimate collector's gem that every old-school death metal fan will ever need to possess.
Belgian black metallers ENTHRONED will release their new album, "Obsidium", on March 20 in Europe and on April 10 in North America via Agonia Records.

The cover artwork, which was created by Olve J. W.l., can be seen below.

As previously reported, ENTHRONED's touring guitarist Tzelmoth has quit playing and performing in order to focus on his private life.

ENTHRONED released its eighth album, "Pentagrammaton", on March 22, 2010 via Regain Records.

ENTHRONED in 2010 parted ways with Nguaroth (guitar) and Ahephaim (drums) and replaced them with Neraath and Garghuf (ex-GORGOROTH), respectively.


Nornagest - Vocals, Guitar
Neraath - Guitar, Effects
Phorgath - Bass, Vocals
Garghuf - Drums
Noens - Live Guitar

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