[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Van Halen, That Metal Show, Anthrax, Magnum, Corrosion of Conformity, Sebastian Bach, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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According to The Pulse Of Radio, a source has told MetalTalk.net that the three remaining original members of BLACK SABBATH have recruited Tommy Clufetos, who plays drums in singer Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, to sit behind the SABBATH kit for the foreseeable future. The source added that manager Sharon Osbourne has effectively "fired" founding drummer Bill Ward, who announced last week that he could not participate in the recording sessions or tour plans due to his unhappiness with the contract he was offered.

Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler responded to Ward's February 2 statement by saying, "We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open."

The absence of Ward effectively prevents this from being the full-blown regrouping of the original SABBATH lineup that was first envisioned last year.

A number of SABBATH fans have rallied around Ward and have launched a new Facebook page dubbed "1,000,000 Black Sabbath Fans Say Yes To Bill Ward".

Ward said in his statement that he could not participate in the reunion, which was announced last November, unless presented with what he described as a "fair agreement" and a "signable contract" that financially reflected his contributions to SABBATH's history and his standing as a founding member of the band.

The recording sessions for what was meant to be the original band's first new album in 33 years were recently moved to London so that Iommi, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, could be close to his doctors.

SABBATH is scheduled to release its new album later this year and is confirmed to play the U.K.'s Download festival in June. All other tour plans, however, are up in the air pending Iommi's ability to overcome his illness.
 
SiriusXM Radio announced today that Ozzy's Boneyard, the new classic hard rock and metal music channel, will launch with a full slate of content featuring Ozzy Osbourne, his family members, bandmates and other musicians on Wednesday, February 8 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Hard rock and heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne will, for the first time, discuss the recent news of BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi's lymphoma diagnosis during a one-on-one conversation with SiriusXM host Jose Mangin on Wednesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Ozzy's Boneyard, channel 38.

Ozzy's Boneyard will also present Ozzy himself counting down his personal top 10 rock guitarists of all time.

The channel will also include the regular specials "The Diary Of A Madman", Ozzy's thoughts on everything from music to life itself, and "God Bless The Prince Of Darkness", the special featuring musicians, Osbourne family members and other notables talking about their appreciation of Ozzy. Listeners will also hear guest DJ specials, concerts and classic hard rock and metal music from artists like BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, AC/DC, JIMI HENDRIX, PANTERA and VAN HALEN.

"After everything I've been through in my career I never imagined I'd end up with my own radio channel on SiriusXM. This is fucking amazing! Does this mean I can play whatever I want?" said Ozzy Osbourne.

"No one represents the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal more than Ozzy Osbourne," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "We know Ozzy's Boneyard will be alive and kicking."

Ozzy's Boneyard joins SiriusXM's roster of channels created in partnership with legendary musicians, including Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, Pearl Jam Radio, Eminem's Shade 45, Willie Nelson's Willie's Roadhouse, B.B. King's Bluesville, Elvis Radio, Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville and Siriusly Sinatra.

For more information on SiriusXM, visit www.siriusxm.com.
 
Aron, the son of original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward, has posted the following message on Facebook regarding his father's recent announcement that he could not participate in the group's reunion due to his unhappiness with the contract he was offered:

"The press is spinning this shitstorm to read as if my dad has quit. This is not true. The guys know that. That's why they said the door is ALWAYS open.

"My dad hasn't 'declined' playing with BLACK SABBATH or 'threatened' to pull out of this reunion. As he stated, his bags are packed and he's ready to go. He says it loud and clear, he definitely wants to play on the album and he definitely wants to tour. I know he's been committed to this project from the beginning all the way to the point everyone else flew off to the U.K. When I saw him over the summer, he had this little CD case with him that had all the rehearsals and song ideas. Each CD was Sharpie scrawled with rough titles and ideas they had been working on.

"About a month ago, my dad called me to let me know that Tony [Iommi, guitar] had been diagnosed with cancer. He said they were all flying over in the next couple of weeks to continue recording the album in the U.K. and begin rehearsals for the summer tours. He'd been rehearsing more than I've ever known him to.

"Up 'till about three weeks ago, he was working extremely hard and close with the other three on this album/reunion tour. He was in very good spirits and sounded excited to be writing with Tony, Geezer [Butler, bass] and Ozzy [Osbourne, vocals] again.

"I know if they sort this shit out, you guys won't be disappointed.

"I've always stayed out of my dad's business and would like nothing more than for everything to be worked out swiftly between the guys. Unfortunately, it's become personal with all these idiots slagging off my dad, so this is for the fucking morons saying, 'Get over it, Bill': My dad has 'gotten over it' again and again. He's risen above this bullshit thing called showbiz for the last 30 years. He's respected because he's real and honest, not just because he's a complete bad-ass on the drums. He's been there for other musicians. In all kinds of circles — punk rock, hardcore, metal whatever. He was one of the first to get his head screwed back on after the '70s and get cleaned up. He's given so much support to so many people trying to pull themselves out of the hell called addiction. He tries so hard to stay in touch with the fans. He'll talk your ear off if you get a chance. He is humbled by your support and loves you.

"'Can't believe he needs to make this public' or 'it's not the first time': you're an idiot and have no idea what the hell's really going on. Just shut the fuck up and keep the speculation and lies to yourself. What my dad posted was from his heart, on the level and as usual completely honest. He wants you to know what's really going on. That he has been given a contract that he can't sign. Nothing more to it. No hidden agenda. Disappointingly, someone else is trying to shroud everything in some kind of X factor 'yeah, it's full steam ahead — we have no choice' bullshit. Of course they have a choice.

"'Don't be so greedy': he is by no means greedy, man. If he was, he would have settled with whatever contract given him. It's kind of obvious someone else is greedy. Wake up. He lives in a modest home in Southern California. Pays rent like the rest of us. In case you're still blind, look at it this way — sadly, the current 'SABBATH' statement reads as if someone would rather see the remaining members play in front of thousands of disappointed, confused and resentful fans then give my dad a dignified agreement. Additionally, the record sales will be severely affected because it isn't the promised original lineup. All this because of someone's inability to respect him as the committed founding member he is. This has derailed the fans' hopes of seeing the original lineup and strongly divided the fans. What a way to fuck up such a powerful, influential and inspirational legacy for the rest of time.

"'Who cares? It's just a bunch pensioners': I'm just as cynical about old rock legends getting back on the road 'one more time' as anyone, but this is BLACK SABBATH. They've never been a conventional band. Thing is, I know these guys have been rehearsing loads. Over the last couple months. When I've caught up with my dad, he's been talking about how heavy the jams have been and how hard he's been playing. Do you think people were looking at Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman or Max Roach going, 'Man, these guys are boring and old?' No! It's the music that's important, played by the masters themselves. That's what we want. They're here to teach us, inspire us and make us flip out.

"I saw the (CAPTAIN BEEFHEART) MAGIC BAND recently on tour and they were clearly the definite article. Legends. Completely schooled any new, hip shiny, processed, hyped out mush you've been exposed to in the last couple years. There's no doubt that there are loads of new heavy as fuck bands out there, but to me, BLACK SABBATH are still totally relevant. It's pointless to bitch about their age. They will kick serious fucking ass. Trust.

"To Terry ([a.k.a. Geezer] my godfather), Ozzy (my friend when I was little) and Tony (towering hero), I hope that you will listen to your fans. They want all of you together. As YOU are BLACK SABBATH, so is my Dad. I hope you guys can work it out."

According to The Pulse Of Radio, a source has told MetalTalk.net that the three remaining original members of BLACK SABBATH have recruited Tommy Clufetos, who plays drums in singer Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, to sit behind the SABBATH kit for the foreseeable future. The source added that manager Sharon Osbourne has effectively "fired" Ward, although this has not yet been corroborated by an official source.

Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler responded to Ward's February 2 statement by saying, "We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open."

The absence of Ward effectively prevents this from being the full-blown regrouping of the original SABBATH lineup that was first envisioned last year.

SABBATH is scheduled to release its new album later this year and is confirmed to play the U.K.'s Download festival in June. All other tour plans, however, are up in the air pending Iommi's ability to overcome his illness.
 
BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne has commented on last month's announcement that his SABBATH bandmate, guitarist Tony Iommi, was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell that forms part of the immune system. According to a statement issued by his publicist, the 63-year-old metal legend is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan and remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

"He's gonna beat it," Ozzy said in an interview that will be broadcast later today on Ozzy's Boneyard, the new classic hard rock and metal music channel on SiriusXM Radio. "What it's down to is determination, and believe me, this guy's got more determination than anybody I've ever met. It's gonna be fine. It's just one of those trials in life that happen, you know. . . He's got so much support, not only from each one of us in the band, but the fan base; it's unbelievable. And it's one of them problems you have in life. . . He ain't gonna die, I'm telling you. I told him if he dies, I'm gonna kill him."

A short audio clip of Ozzy talking about Iommi's cancer battle can be streamed below (courtesy of Metal Injection).

Ozzy's one-on-one conversation with SiriusXM host Jose Mangin will air today (Wednesday, February 8) at 7:00 p.m. ET on Ozzy's Boneyard, channel 38.

SABBATH's new album, which is being produced by Rick Rubin, is set for release this fall. SABBATH is scheduled to embark on a world tour this summer, although Iommi's illness could affect those plans.

Iommi's bandmate in SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL, legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio, died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67.

SABBATH drummer Bill Ward announced last week that he will not participate in the reunited band's new album and tour unless he is given a fair contract. The other three members of the group responded by saying that they "have no choice but to continue recording without [Bill]."
 
Laithwaites Wine, the independent wine store, today announces its launch of AC/DC The Wine. AC/DC has teamed up with Laithwaites and one of Australia's favorite wineries, Warburn Estate, to make the critically acclaimed wine and rock the entire wine world.

Following the huge success of the AC/DC The Wine in Australia, Laithwaites today celebrates being able to exclusively bring this top-billing "rocker" wine to U.K. consumers.

Celebrating two classic wine styles — Shiraz and Sauvignon — classic rockers AC/DC and celebrated Australian winery Warburn Estate, have created two high-voltage wines, available to buy today at www.laithwaites.co.uk:

* Back in Black Shiraz 2011 - Barossa (from £9.99 a bottle) and;
* Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Marlborough (from £9.99 a bottle)

Sourced from some of the Southern Hemisphere's most popular and established wine regions, and styled in 100% AC/DC packaging, the wine will delight die-hard classic rock fans — including AC/DC's 13 million Facebook fans — and wine lovers familiar with Laithwaites' top-quality, exclusive wine lines.

Within two weeks of its launch in Australia, sales of the exclusive wine went platinum. Critical acclaim flowed for the wines — including a Winestate Recommended medal for the Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc — produced at world-renowned and medal-winning winery, Warburn Estate.

Laithwaites' on-the-ground Australian wine buyer, Dan Parrott — who travels Australia's vast country seeking out wonderful wines for their customers — comments: "The AC/DC project was music to our ears at Laithwaites. For us, wine is about pleasure, passion and fun and AC/DC The Wine enables our customers to indulge two great passions: great wine and great rock. Our relationships with dynamic wineries, like Warburn Estate, means we can make these fantastic, fun and quality wines available to our customers. And be sure, these wines are no novelty act; we have two signature styles with the Barossa Shiraz and the Marlborough Sauvignon, with the volume turned up!'
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/acdcwineuk.jpg
 
 
VAN HALEN's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", is likely to sell between 180,000 and 200,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on February 7 via Interscope.

The first review of "A Different Kind Of Truth" was posted online last week at Antiquiet — and it was overwhelmingly positive. Critic Johnny Firecloud said that the band's first album with original singer David Lee Roth in 28 years is a "true return" and "screaming triumph," adding, "That old familiar feeling has returned, the unique flare of excitement that comes from a muscle car rhythm section led by a six-string wizard and a singing sexual megalodon with an ego that made Kanye look like a kid flaunting his new Spider-Man underoos — and the pipes to back up the strut."

The review acknowledged that much of the album is made up of material pulled from the band's archives, writing, "Thankfully, these songs do not sound like old men putting on the smelly old spandex and combing over the strays. Fresh is the operative word here, a supremely confident swing for the fences in an understandable progression from the obsessively romanticized pre-Hagar era."

First single and album opener "Tattoo" is described as the "low point for an otherwise fantastic album," which may offer hope to fans who have voiced displeasure with that track. Other songs cited as standout tracks include "She's The Woman", "You And Your Blues", "China Town" and "Stay Frosty".

The review concluded, "'A Different Kind Of Truth' will be remembered as evidence that a band can endure every cliche in the book and return, with the right focus, obsessed dedication and mojo, to a sweet spot of rejuvenation — one that holds the hand of nostalgia but doesn't go for the full embrace, leaning instead, wisely, toward evolution."

"A Different Kind Of Truth" track listing:

01. Tattoo
02. She's The Woman
03. You And Your Blues
04. China Town
05. Blood And Fire
06. Bullethead
07. As Is
08. Honeybabysweetiedoll
09. The Trouble With Never
10. Outta Space
11. Stay Frosty
12. Big River
13. Beats Workin'

VAN HALEN will kick off a North American tour on February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky.
 
 
Season ten of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" kicks off on Saturday, March 31 and featured guests include IRON MAIDEN's Adrian Smith (making his first appearance on the program), METALLICA's Lars Ulrich, MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper and former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted.

"I've known the MAIDEN guys for a long time and been a fan since day one," "That Metal Show" co-host Eddie Trunk told VH1.com's Tuner. "They are easily one of the most requested bands to have a member of on 'That Metal Show'. Because they are such a global band, it's been hard to track them down, but thrilled we were able to catch up with Adrian. It will be cool because we don't hear from him often, he's a great guy, has a huge history with the band, and has a new side project to discuss."

He added, "I'm so excited about the evolution of the show, having rock and metal artists, and first time and returning guests. I love all the variety and am thrilled for a huge 2012!"

Distilling decades of your favorite hard rock and heavy metal into sixty minutes of mayhem; "That Metal Show" will deliver the ever-popular "Stump The Trunk" as well as the triumphant return of "TMS Top 5" to your TV every Saturday night at 11 p.m., only on VH1 Classic.

"That Metal Show" is a production of VH1 Classic. Lee Rolontz and Keshia Williams as executive producers for VH1. Jeff Baumgardner serves as producer for the series for VH1.
 
Anthrax has been on a US headlining tour supporting their latest masterpiece Worship Music.  Unfortunately, the tour has been hit with a series of curve balls.  Scott Ian was forced to sit out to dates of the tour due to being hospitalized for an illness and then both drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello left the tour to be home with a terminally ill family member.  Instead of packing it in, Anthrax moved forward in true "show must go on" fashion by recruiting Testament drummer Gene Hoglan to do double duty (playing for both Testament and Anthrax each night) and Armored Saint bassist and good friend Joey Vera to step in for Bello.  Before their performance in Atlanta, I was happy to have the chance to talk to lead guitarist Rob Caggiano.  I had a great time with Rob as we discussed the shift in dynamics on this tour playing with other guys, his opinion on how the music industry needs to change, and his feelings about the new album Worship Music among other things.  This was a great time for me and I hope you'll enjoy this one as well!
Rob, thanks for taking the time out to do this interview today.
Awesome man. No worries at all.
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This tour has been a bit stressful for you guys. You had Charlie (Benante; drummer) leaving the tour because of a family emergency and now Frank (Bello; bassist) has left as well for the same reasons. With this sudden shift in dynamics having to work with fill in players with little to no notice, how has this affected your playing or the band's playing as a whole?
Well, it first started when Scott got really sick and ended up in the hospital. The first show we played without Scott (January 26th) we had Alex and Eric from Testament and the Death Angel guys helping us out on that show. The next show (January 27th) Charlie left so we had no Charlie and no Scott and that was a little nerve racking. We even put up a sign letting the fans know that Charlie and Scott weren't there and offered refunds. We expected to go out to an empty room, but it was packed and the crowd loved it. For me, it wasn't that big of an adjustment but it's just playing a lot of Scott's intros to songs like "Caught In A Mosh" and "Antisocial" but it was fine.
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So you just kind of shifted roles basically.
Yeah. Pretty much. As a metal guitarist you're playing rhythm guitar 95% of the time regardless so for me it was the exact same show, but when I'd kick into a lead there was no rhythm underneath it so it was kind of like Van Halen style which I don't mind [laughs]. It was cool. I mean obviously it wasn't Anthrax without those guys, but the spirit was still there and I think the crowd respected the fact that we didn't cancel the shows. There was a lot of love in the room.
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Kudos to you guys for keeping it up. I know a lot of bands that have cancelled tours for a lot less. From what I could see, there was a lot of mixed emotions from the fans as to whether you guys should keep touring, but I could see the people in line tonight and they were just as pumped to see this show. It almost makes you want to see it more to see how these other guys do filling in. I mean, you've got Gene Hoglan on drums. Holy fuck man.
[laughs] Gene's amazing. He's a monster and he's doing two sets a night (drummer for Testament and filling in for Anthrax's Charlie Benante) and that's just insane [laughs].
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You guys better hire him a masseuse or something.
[laughs] That's just so crazy. I mean, we're not trying to pull a fast one on anyone. We post a note at the front doors of the venues letting them know what the situation is. If you want to come in and hang and watch a good rock show, come on in, but it's not what you bought a ticket for and we understand that. So far, the rooms have been packed. Scott's now back so it's alright now, but tonight we're missing Frankie (Bello; bassist) tonight [laughs]. Joey Vera's a great bass player and he's played with us before and he rules. It's fucking Anthrax man. You never know who's going to show up on stage. We like to keep it interesting [laughs]. It's fun!
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Worship Music is definitely a return to form for Anthrax. It's without a doubt my favorite Anthrax record since Persistence of Time. You guys were on one hell of a roller coaster ride making this album though. Am I correct?
Thanks man. We're really proud of the album. The recording of this album was definitely a roller coaster. There were moments where everyone was so excited and getting along and then all of the sudden we didn't even know if the band was going to exist anymore. There were some dark moments. We braved the fucking storm and got through it all. I think Joey Belladonna coming back into the band was the best think that could have ever happened. We needed to go through all the stupid shit to get to where we are right now. Lesser bands would've definitely called it a day a long time ago. It's just something that we're really proud of and the reaction from the fans and critics have been so positive. It's a really good feeling.
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You produced this latest masterpiece. Is it hard to remove yourself from the performance aspect of the music to change hats and be a producer?
No, not really. I'm kind of used to it at this point. It's just learning how to let go and keep the spirit intact and not over produce stuff. I hate over produced stuff. One of the things with this album that I tried to capture sonically production wise was that classic Anthrax sound, but I also wanted it to be modern and cutting edge as well. That's kind of the vision we all had and I feel like we definitely hit the mark. It's definitely not over produced. It's loose and it's got that classic Anthrax sound with Joey being back. The band is just in top form at this point I think.
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Anthrax has had its busiest couple of years in a long time. With all the Big 4 shows and the Jaggermeitster tours behind you, do you feel like Anthrax has some new found energy?
Oh yeah. I do. It just feels really good. We did that first Big 4 show in Poland and that was actually my first gig with Joey Belladonna and I didn't know what to expect. I remember half way through the first song we were on stage and we all just looked at each other like, "This is fucking awesome" [laugh].
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Lately we've seen bands playing full albums live like Megadeth's Rust In Peace and Slayer's Seasons In The Abyss. Would you ever like to see Anthrax do a full album live and if so what album would you like to perform?
There are some bands that I would love to see do that kind of thing. I'd love see AC/DC do Back In Black from top to bottom. That would be killer. I never got to see Pink Floyd and I would've loved to have seen them do The Wall but with Anthrax, I don't know. In the Metal world it can either be really cheesy or it could be cool. I guess it depends on the band and the album. I think we have such a blast mixing up the set list that we don't really feel the need to do that right now.
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That's so true. Anthrax has over 20 years worth of material to pull from for a live show. Is there a particular song that didn't make the setlist on this tour that you would love to see?
There's one song that we never played with Joey that I really miss. The John Bush (former Anthrax vocalist) song "Room For One More." I really like that song a lot and it was always such a blast to play. I love everything that we're playing live right now and we try to mix it up from night to night too.
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So I have to ask you Rob. How does it feel to be playing in a band that you were a fan of as a kid? I mean, you're living the dream, man.
[laughs] Man, Anthrax has been one of my favorite bands for as long as I can remember. As a kid did I ever think that I'd be playing on stage with Scott Ian? [laughs] I never thought that. It's a crazy world and anything is possible.
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It seems to be a trend in metal for bands to go out on the road and perform "live" to backing tracks. What's your opinion on bands who do this crap?
I think that to some degree the art of being a good musician is kind of waning at this point. I can talk for days about this shit. I think computers on one hand really helped music progress and on the other hand it completely destroyed the business of music, the making of music, and the writing of music. It's so easy to make somebody sound good but in reality they can't really play or sing [laughs]. You can just click the mouse a few times to finagle it and make someone sound great. I believe that if you can't pull it off live it shouldn't be on your record. I mean there's always bells and whistles that happen on a record that you don't need live.
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You mean like certain sound effects and what not?
Yeah. That or it might be an overdubbed guitar part that's not crucial to the song, but adds something cool on the recording, but you don't miss that live.
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You've expressed in the past that there needs to be a serious change in how the industry is doing things. In your opinion, what needs to change to make things better again?
Well, it's hard to say. This new generation of kids just doesn't seem to respect music. They don't respect it as an art form like they did years ago. To these young kids, they don't understand the concept that this is our lives. This is our career and it costs a lot of money to make a good record. When you go on the computer and hit a fucking button and download something for free you're stealing, but the kids don't realize that. Somehow that needs to change and I think it will. I think musicians need to take the power back at some point soon because it's just getting worse and worse. This is how we make our living and pretty soon bands won't be able to survive and then what? [laughs]
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Do you think that bands have started to take that power back by not going with major labels and starting their own record labels and handling distribution and what not?
Yeah. I just think that everything is going to be different at some point soon. I don't even know what "major labels" are any more [laughs].
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Oh yeah. That's because so many major labels are gone and independent labels are now the new major labels with different names and so on. It's confusing.
[laughs] Major labels these days have like 10 people working for them [laughs]. It's just a huge mess. There just needs to be a way for them to figure out how to make sure the musicians are getting paid properly and this whole Internet piracy thing needs to be controlled.
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We've talked about how you feel about the piracy aspect, but how about buying music online. How do you feel about that? It's like the magic of going to a record store is long gone so this is the only alternative it seems.
There are barely even any record stores left anymore. In New York City, there's Bleeker Bob's and Generation Records. Those are the only two record stores I know of and they're around the corner from each other so that's convenient [laughs]. Other than that, I don't even know where to go. I mean, WalMart carries music, but they don't carry the music I want. Best Buy. Same shit. It's all online. These days I buy most of my shit on iTunes.
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How do you feel that this seems to be the best way to get music these days?
My only problem with downloading music from iTunes is that the music doesn't sound good. The files are not full bandwidth. That to me is just weird. It's like we go through all of this trouble to make an album sound really awesome and then it goes on iTunes and it gets compressed and then it's playing on someone's broken iPod and shit so what's the point [laughs]. Honestly, I have no problem with iTunes, but I do miss going to record stores and picking up the CDs, feeling it in my hands, and seeing the art work.
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OK Rob let's loosen things up a bit here. I've got a few fun "get to know you" type of questions if that's cool.
Of course man. Go for it.
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If Hollywood was to make a movie on your life, who would play you?
[laughs] Wow! Now that's a good question [laughs]. Hm, hopefully it would be De Niro [laughs].
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Man, that would be great. [In my best De Niro] You… want me… to play in Anthrax?
[laughs] That was pretty good [laughs].
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Are there any bands that I would be surprised to hear that you were a fan of?
Oh yeah. I listen to so many different things. There's this guy from the UK named James Blake. He's kind of like a real cutting edge electronica artist. Phenomenal voice with a lot of soul. His record is fucking smoking. I've been listening to that one a lot. It's so not metal that it's not even funny [laughs]. It's a really good album though. I'm really into the new Skinny Puppy album too. I've been rocking out on the bus to that one every night [laughs].
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What was the defining moment for you where you knew you wanted to play music?
When I first heard Eddie Van Halen that sealed the deal for me. When I was a kid I wanted to be a baseball player and that was my dream. My mom took me to the local flea market one day at Yonkers Raceway and they had a little record vendor there. I bought an AC/DC record and I bought a Van Halen record and that was it. I was fucking done [laughs].
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If someone came up to you and asked you to define Heavy Metal, what album would you give them to answer that question?
Oh man. That's another really good question [laughs]. For me, it would have to be Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast [laughs]. That's one of my favorites. That one or Judas Priest's British Steel. That's another awesome record.
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What is your most prized music memorabilia possession?
Man, I don't really have anything cool like that. I don't really collect music stuff although I should [laughs]. I do have something cool but it's not music memorabilia. I was playing somewhere once with The Damned Things and this kid brought us a couple of cells from the actual Star Wars film. I'm a huge Star Wars fan [laughs].
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So am I. So then which movie reigns supreme?
Actually, Empire Strikes Back is probably the best one. Man, Empire's fucking amazing.
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What's next for Anthrax?
This run of the American tour ends on February 8th in New York City. I go home for a night and sleep in my bed and then the next day we fly to South America [laughs]. We're doing the Mayhem tour this summer and I'm really excited about that one.
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Rob, thank you so much for doing this interview man and best of luck tonight and for the rest of the tour.
Thank you Don. This was a lot of fun.
 
 
 
There's so many layers to Corrosion of Conformity's career that delving into it might take a few days, and we don't want that. Rather, it would be prescient to reminisce about the band's brief flirtation with commercial viability in the mid-90's, a short period of time that popped out '94's Deliverance and '96's Wiseblood. Said albums spawned a radio hit ("Clean My Wounds") and a prime opening slot on Metallica's Load arena tour in '97, so obviously, things were on the up-and-up.. Fronted and guided by singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan, COC's bread-and-butter was fairly accessible Southern metal with a wry lyrical bent, one that eschewed the hard-on political salvos that helped launch the band in the 80's. For a time, it worked like a charm, but the abomination that was the golden-ring-grab of 2000’s America's Volume Dealer ruined everything. From that point, COC was never quite the same.

Not counting 2005's moderately enjoyable "return to form"
In the Arms of God, COC's spark has returned with this year's self-titled album. It's a biting homecoming to the band's punk/metal roots, with the Animosity-era trio of Mike Dean (vocals/bass), Woody Weatherman (guitars) and Reed Mullin (drums) throwing down like it's 1985 all over again. It certainly strikes from all angles, with raw metal riff-action and Dean's spot-on vocals (dude can sing his butt off) holding court on raging jams like "Psychic Vampire," "Your Tomorrow," and "Leeches." And for comparison's sake, the album makes America's Volume Dealer practically irrelevant...without Keenan, COC is infinitely more vicious.

The relaxed and wily Dean phoned Blistering to wax on the band's reformation, life without Keenan, politics, the "glory days" of the mid-90's, and much more. Here's what transpired between us and the now re-acclimated frontman...
 
Hugely influential British melodic hard rock group MAGNUM has issued the following update:

"This week we are back at M2 studios [in the West Midlands] and all set to record the new album due out later this year. We do have a title and will let you know what it is very soon. We have just spent a week putting down guide vocals and some guitar parts and it's sounding really powerful once again. If the early songtitles have anything to go by, the album will tick all the boxes for all the fans."


MAGNUM's last album, "Evolution", came out in November via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD contained partially re-recorded and fully remixed versions of eight songs from MAGNUM's previous albums, including two tracks from MAGNUM's acclaimed "The Visitation" album (which cracked the Top 20 in Germany and made it to No. 3 on the U.K. Rock chart) and two newly recorded songs.

MAGNUM's lineup consists of guitarist/songwriter/producer Tony Clarkin, vocalist Bob Catley, keyboard player Mark Stanway, bassist Al Barrow and drummer Harry James.

Blistering.com: When the touring cycle for In the Arms of God ended, and Pepper went back to Down, did you think that was the end of COC?

Mike Dean:
I wasn’t really sure. It was always in the back of my head that it could be over with, so it wasn’t a shocking possibility. I was hopeful we could get it back together and do something, although we did start another band called Righteous Fool. I just kept the matter open, basically. I wasn’t counting on anything, basically.

Blistering.com: What did you do with your time other than Righteous Fool?

Dean:
Just working, bought a dilapidated house to fix up. Nothing else [laughs].

Blistering.com: Did you stay in touch with Reed and Woody during your time away from COC?

Dean:
I was in touch with Woody quite a bit because originally we were writing songs with Jason Patterson who played a lot of the live dates for In the Arms of God. I really didn’t get back in touch with Reed until about four years ago, and that’s when we started to play again.

Blistering.com: There’s quite a bit of history with the three of you, going back to the mid-80’s. What was the determining factor in moving forward with this incarnation of COC?

Dean:
Who knows, the generic answer is that Pepper mentioned he had some offers from people to get back together and play a couple of festivals in Europe. It sounded like a good idea. It was exciting to get him and Reed back together and it would be a fun thing to do, but then it turned it out we wouldn’t be able to do it because of Down’s schedule. At that point, we thought, “Why don’t we do a three-piece?†We could write some new songs so it won’t be a completely nostalgia-based appeal and we could play some shows, and probably, we could do an album if there was some interest. We had the idea, and two years later, here we are.

Blistering.com: Being that you spent so much time in the 90’s and 00’s as a four-piece, was it hard to get back into “trio-mode?â€

Dean:
It was pretty easy. In terms of the songwriting, it was a little easier. Everyone has more room in which to play, more ideas. We gave everyone more of a chance in which to contribute. We have a lot of material, a lot of ideas so it wasn’t challenging. I guess the challenge is not to go crazy in the studio and manufacture a lot of overdubs you wouldn’t be able to pull off live. You can do it in the studio, but it can’t be the main feature or people are going to be really disappointed. We had to stick with the idea that it would be sparse, but that came part of the fun of it.

Blistering.com: The album definitely has a stripped-down feel to it.

Dean:
It’s raw, but it’s really clear. Part of the idea was to make it really clear by virtue of not making it cluttered. When we started writing the songs, conceptually, we weren’t that calculating. We tapped into a vein of ideas and went to work, fleshing them out a little bit. We didn’t always come up for air for a while to get perspective on things until we had quite a few songs written. Then we were happy to see that they were working pretty well.

Blistering.com: You’re singing once again. How does it feel to be manning the microphone?

Dean:
It’s fun, but a little bit daunting to make sure you can do it every night on tour. It takes a little bit of preparation. I feel like I’m doing it better than I used to, and a lot of that was influenced by watching Pepper in how he approached it and how he had to prepare. Not doing it for a while really helped me and watching someone doing it on a high-level for so long with high expectations. If you’re in the studio, you can do it again if it doesn’t sound good. But live, there you are, there’s your one chance [laughs].

Blistering.com: For a while, COC went away from the political leanings you had in your early days and the Blind album. For this, it seems like you went back to that.

Dean:
I feel like we come around those things in a “long way around†kind of thing. The other thing I feel influenced by working with Pepper is that a lot of his lyrics are very vague, but it’s intriguing and draws the listener in. Everyone’s interpretation is not the same, but sometimes you get an idea what he’s hinting at…you’re not really sure. I like that and I thought that makes for more enduring songwriting that lasts longer than something that’s more direct. There is some political content that could be considered socio-political. A lot of that is trying to keep it interesting and vague, so it’s not disposable. There’s a few exceptions, like “Your Tomorrow†is direct. We’re not trying to be a political band. We’re musicians and I’m not sure our “expert analysis†is really in demand [laughs]. We are opinionated people, but if it does come up, we try to do it in a way that’s interesting and spread it broader so it can be enduring and perhaps resonate at a later time or [about] something we’re not aware of. Plus, there’s some lyrics about the psychology of power and greed, things like that.
Blistering.com: The COC that did Animosity and Technocracy in your punk days in the mid-80’s, how do you think that version of the band would react to what’s going on in the political landscape of today?

Dean:
The main difference is back then, you’re 19 years-old, so you know everything [laughs]. Yeah, that makes me qualified to weigh in. It was a different era, I think that during the 60’s there was a certain increase of political awareness and was motivated by young people being subjected to the draft and being prescripted to go off to this war in a far away land that was Vietnam. There was definitely a lot of activism that brought out a lot of the concepts in which society was based on. It was a really heated time. Then in the 70’s, it evolved into the hedonistic, easy-going approach, then people woke up one day and Reagan was president, so it was pretty reactionary.

What’s funny is that compared to the politicians of today on the right, he’s not even that right-wing. That’s scary. Anyway, there was a sudden rude-awakening, so that generation, we participated in this social thing that was a secondary ripple of the 60’s activism. It wasn’t as strong or informed or strongly motivated since we weren’t facing a life-or-death situation that would make us examine our principles. It was a minor league version of that time. I think Reagan was good for the arts. He fought to de-fund them, but he inspired so much socially-based music like punk rock.

Blistering.com: Do you still have a finger of the political pulse these days?

Dean:
Everyone thinks they do, but these days, there’s so little real journalism that people tune into whatever media outlet supports their pre-determined worldview. It’s really a sad spectacle. I’m not a big fan of the major parties and I don’t have much hope for 3rd party people. I sometimes wish Barack Obama was everything the right wing accused him of. A guy like Ron Paul says some good things on the Libertarian front in terms of personal liberty that I really can get along with, but I feel like there needs to be a strong enough government to take on corporate interest that seek to rule for greed, which is what’s happening. He’s a little weak on that. You get the sense that the people who support him like him because he believes in State’s rights and of course, that’s code for “the government shouldn’t interfere if you want to discriminate against a weaker race.â€

He’s interesting, but I do like his non-intervention of foreign policy and stands on personal liberty, but I think the choices like the market and free-market require strenuous regulation and oversight and I don’t think he’s the guy to do it. I’m kind of a political hybrid. Anyone who sits in the government can be good, but the only component that’s missing is human wisdom and compassion, and that’s what blows it. That’s the curse of politics…people aren’t perfect. We’re fucked [laughs].

Blistering.com: Let’s switch gears and go back to around the time you put out Wiseblood in 1996 and did the Metallica tour and were basically, firing on all cylinders. Do you think you missed the boat in terms of having a real commercial breakthrough?

Dean:
Hard to say. If perhaps, but with different styles that we did, different creative decisions, we might be a step ahead or behind. I don’t know…I think that particular label, Sony, was really…their expectations in what type of sales Corrosion of Conformity weren’t what we would achieve. There were very quarterly earnings-driven and if not’s Celine Dion or whatever…

Blistering.com: [interrupting] They’re not happy.

Dean:
Right. It was an interesting ride, that’s for sure.

Blistering.com: What do you remember most about that point in time?

Dean:
I think we were smart to take the opportunity to go and record in really awesome studios. We always go to record in historic places like Criteria in Miami where Derek and the Dominos and some of the Aretha Franklin albums were done. We did Electric Lady and had both of our Columbia albums mixed there. The whole thing was a little weird. The day that I found out we were signed to Columbia and Relativity dissolved into Sony, that was the day they found Kurt Cobain dead [April 5, 1994].

Blistering.com: That’s pretty weird.

Dean:
Yeah, it was weird. A very weird situation [laughs].

Blistering.com: A lot of people forget you weren’t involved with the Blind [1991] album, and that’s when Pepper joined the band. Any regrets not being on that album?

Dean:
No, I have no regrets. I would have been proud had I taken part in it. I was living in Philadelphia at the time; I was a hell of a bike messenger, living a squat [laughs]. I heard that record and was really impressed. I wasn’t impressed with what they were doing up until that point, and that was my introduction to [longtime COC producer] Jon Custer. Going all the way back, the influences you hear on Blind, those are the influences we were becoming focused on as we did Animosity and Technocracy, driving around in the van on tour, listening to Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. They just got to the point where the vocalist [Karl Agell] was right for it, and they developed their musical chops, and they had Custer to really help them hone in on it. That was an impressive thing to do. Already with the hardcore bands around the time I quit COC, there was a focus on being progressive, while looking back with heavy rock. I think that’s a completion of that journey.

Blistering.com: The big question hanging over COC is if you’ll ever do anything with Pepper again. I know he’s tied up with Down, but have you had discussions about it?

Dean:
There’s no firm plans, but there is a firm desire to make it happen. We had a really good time doing In the Arms of God and I’m really proud of that album. The only thing missing was Reed. I thought Stanton Moore did a great job. If you’re not going to have your original drummer, then it’s novel to get someone who’s flamboyant to do their take on it. I thought that was a good move. I came away from that thinking that if we had this level of creativity and also had Mullin…that would be a bonus. But yeah, I hope we don’t just get that lineup together for shows or Deliverance nostalgia shows, but get it together with the idea of putting out a record. There’s some controversy to doing the three-piece. People are like, “Oh my God, no Pepper!†People haven’t even heard it and complain. I’m like, “Complain on, you’ll see!†There’s a good story behind this version, and there would be a good story behind doing the four-piece again.

 www.coc.com
 
In Set List, we talk to veteran musicians about some of their most famous songs, learning about their lives and careers (and maybe hearing a good backstage anecdote or two) in the process.
The artist: Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach hasn't been with the Jersey metal band since 1996, but that hasn't stopped him from making a name for himself across the entertainment world to this day. He's been on Broadway; shredded in Stars Hollow's heppest band on Gilmore Girls; and appeared on countless reality shows, from VH1's Celebrity Fit Club to CMT's Gone Country. The A.V. Club talked to Bach before his Feb. 8 show at the Cubby Bear about his new solo record, Kicking & Screaming, as well as a few of the other projects he's been involved in over the years.
"Youth Gone Wild" (from Skid Row's 1989 self-titled debut)

Sebastian Bach: What can I say about "Youth Gone Wild"? It's just a classic song that has definitely stood the test of time. You know, they still get played on the radio everyday.
The A.V. Club: Supposedly you joined Skid Row after you heard demos of the "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 And Life." Do you remember hearing them? Did you think they were any good?
SB: I didn't think they were very good when I first heard them. I wasn't impressed too much. The singer they had at the time was a complete Jon Bon Jovi clone. The way he sang was not the way I sang. So I kept listening to them and, the more I listened to the songs, I thought they were good songs. So, I tried out, and they tried out for me, and we made the record and everybody around the world freaked out. I got this tattoo of "Youth Gone Wild" before we did the album.
AVC: Oh, that worked out well, then.
SB: Yeah, [I got the tattoo] before we even had a record deal. I got it because I love the song and I thought it was very autobiographical of my life at the time.
AVC: How so?
SB: Well, because I was a youth and I was wild. [Laughs.] These days it's bittersweet for me to talk about these songs because radio in the United States of America completely fucking sucks. There is nowhere a guy like me can get a new song on the radio, because there's like over 1,700 radio stations in America and only 60 or 70 of them play rock music. And, those stations that do play rock are all classic rock where they'll play "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 [And] Life" from 22, 23 years ago, but my new record, Kicking And Screaming, which debuted at 68 on the Top 200 Billboard chart—which is a respectable-selling album—they won't play a song from that. So, you know, talking about old Skid Row sometimes is not my favorite thing to do, but I know you all love "Youth Gone Wild," even though I'm 43.
"Kicking & Screaming" (from 2011's Kicking & Screaming)

SB: I got a new guitar player in my band who started when he was 19. His name is Nick Sterling, and we made the record starting last year in January. He's 21 now, so he kind of is the "Youth Gone Wild." At least we have one of them on the stage.
We recorded in Hollywood with Bob Marlette and just got the best reviews in my whole career. But, you know, you won't hear it on The Loop in Chicago, but you'll hear "Youth Gone Wild." But yeah, the album came out great. I love it. I hope you get to hear it sometime.
AVC: When fans come out to see you now, are you doing mostly Kicking & Screaming material?
SB: No, I do whatever I feel in my heart. I'll do all the old Skid Row songs because I know that's why people are buying a ticket to come see me play. But, you know, I'm 43 years old. I don't get excited running onstage saying, "We are the youth gone wild," when I'm almost 50. It's kind of silly. I don't get on the tour bus and drive across the country so I can play my 22-year-old song. I'm doing it so that I can play my new song.
AVC: That's respectable. A lot of artists don't feel that way.
SB: I mean, think about what we're talking about. I don't walk around in 2012 thinking about 1989. I don't know who does do that but, that's, I guess, the nature of the business I'm in. But, when I was a kid, we were always excited about the next record that Led Zeppelin was going to put out and the next KISS tour, the new KISS costume, and the new KISS record. We didn't just listen to Rock And Roll All Nite for three decades.
AVC: Yeah, but that's the radio landscape now.
SB: That's what I'm saying. I would like to say to every radio programmer reading this: "You are a fucking pussy. You are not a rock fan. You are hustling nostalgia and you have no balls and you suck." That's what I would like to say.
AVC: Do you worry that, in 20 years, let's say, people won't know music that came out in 2012? They'll just know songs from the '70s and '80s?
SB: I mean, I love the song "Dream On" by Aerosmith, but I'm okay if I never hear it again. I've heard [sings] "Sing with me, sing for the years / Sing for the laughter, sing—." I've heard it so many times. Like, "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd—okay, we've got it [sings] "There is no pain you are receding." I've fucking heard it since my dad played it when I was fucking 5. I don't need to hear it anymore. It drives me nuts.
That's not the kind of rock fan that I am. I collect music; I collect rock 'n' roll. I'm always looking for another record to dump into my iPod. It's like we invent these iPods that have the storage capability to store every song ever recorded by every musician ever in the history of music, but radio only plays shit from 20 years ago. It's like, why do we have all these gigabytes? To store the first two Led Zeppelin records? Holy shit. [Laughs.] Give me something new. I'm so weird. I like Robert Plant with Alison Krauss more than Led Zeppelin. I'm the guy that says, "Let him be Robert Plant. Let him make something that he's proud of that is artistically interesting, instead of having a 70-year-old man squeezing his lemon juice as it's running down his leg." That was '72. People are like, "Why doesn't he get the band back together?" It's like, "Why don't you fucking grow up?"
"This Is The Moment" (from Broadway's Jekyll And Hyde)

AVC: At this point, you've done Broadway, and TV shows, and records. Is the way you approach music collecting—looking for new material, new sounds—kind of the way you approach working as well?
SB: I just kind of keep my head down and try to make things that are interesting to me. That's what I did on "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 And Life," but I was 18, so I loved "18 And Life" and I will always love that song, but that's a one-time thing. I want to make music that expresses who I am today, just like when I was 18, I made that song.
Jekyll And Hyde was very autobiographical. Even Jesus Christ Superstar, I did that play when my father died because it was about Jesus singing to his father in heaven. I've always picked projects or music that I can fully put 100 percent of my emotion into.
Jekyll And Hyde, the play on Broadway—the plot was Dr. Jekyll trying to save his dying father by inventing medicines and trying them out on himself, and that's what turned him into Mr. Hyde. At the time I was doing that play, my own father was dying of leukemia. So, he would come watch me do the play about me saving my dying father, and he'd be in the third row and people would say, "Sebastian is a good actor," and I'd be like, "I'm not acting at all. There's not one part of me that is acting." I am onstage, saving my dying father, doing anything I can to keep him alive. And, of course, the actor's name that played my father was David—my father's name—and how could it not be? My life has always been like that.
Kicking & Screaming is an album I wrote with my guitar player, Nick, while I was going through a divorce of my wife from 20 years, which was extremely fucked up and painful. I met a new girl, Minnie Gupta, that I am totally in love with, who's on the cover and in two of the videos. So a lot of songs on the record are about finding new love or losing your old love. That's what I was going through in my life, so that's what I'm singing about right now.
Albums are special, and they come along and you have to stand next to them for the rest of your life and put your name on them and believe in them. So, I can only do things that I believe in with my heart, and that's the way I've always done this. That's the way I will always continue to do it.
"Believe It Or Not" (from Gilmore Girls)

AVC: Some readers of The A.V. Club readers will freak if you don't talk about Gilmore Girls.
SB: No, that's cool. That was a fun thing to do. There are very few shows around these days that are like the Gilmore Girls. We actually had to learn dialogue and memorize our lines and dress up like other people and become different characters. Nowadays it's all reality TV or singing contests, which is cool—but there are very few shows like the Gilmore Girls anymore where you're actually acting and stuff. It's all The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, "Celebrity Fuckface," "Donald Trump Comb Over Hour." [Laughs.]
AVC: You've done several of those, though, including VH1's Supergroup and CMT's Gone Country.
SB: Yeah, and I was on Celebrity Fit Club with Kevin Federline, and I was on Celebrity Rap Superstar with Kendra Wilkinson, and I've been on a bunch of Celebrity Douchebag shows. [Laughs.]
AVC: How do you justify hating them, then?
SB: Well, because the reality shows are just the lowest common denominator entertainment. They don't last. Nobody in the world is talking about Celebrity Rap Superstar right now, but you can hear "I Remember You" or "18 and Life" on the radio. I guarantee you'll hear those today if you search around the stations.
I'm just saying music lasts forever and it's a meaningful art form, but I don't consider reality TV anything less than just disposable. People don't talk about it once it's off the air. Nobody says, "Oh, do you remember that show, fucking The Bachelor season six?" Nobody gives a shit. Nobody cares. You don't even remember half the people that were named American Idol. What was the one that looked like a math teacher? Fucking, you know, Ruben Studdard? It's just crazy. That stuff doesn't last. Music lasts. Once it gets into your heart, music doesn't go away; it lasts. Reality TV is forgotten about as soon as the last episode is done.
The ironic thing is how much money they give you to be on these shows. They make it impossible for you to say no. I have a son that goes to Rutgers. I've got to pay mortgage on a condemned home. I got rent, health insurance, and car payments. The way that the music industry is today, I can't support myself just playing rock and roll. That's the way it is. You'll see me on "Celebrity Douchebag," or whatever the fucking latest TV show is, because I got to pay the Rutgers college semester fees. And, anybody that's got a kid in college understands that they got to pay the fucking bills.
If rock fans were like rap fans, then there would be no problem. Then you wouldn't see me on those shows. I don't understand how Chris Brown can give Rihanna a black eye and then sell five million records, I'm like "What the fuck?" [Laughs.] I wish that rock fans supported their artists like rap fans do, or country fans do. Rock fans seem to be pretty cheap. [Laughs.]
AVC: Why do you think that is?
SB: I don't know why. The new rock stars are the DJs, like Deadmau5 and all these DJs. They'll play a club for a hundred grand and have hundreds of thousands of people trying to get in. The crazy thing is that all they're doing is playing albums by guys like me and going "wa-cu-cu-cu," and, like, putting it in a Queen song or a Guns N' Roses song. And, the DJ will get paid more than Guns N' Roses. You know? It's a fucked up world. I don't really get it, but what can I do about that? Not much.
"Sorry" (from Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy)

AVC: You were on the latest Guns N' Roses record, speaking of. You've also sung "My Michelle" with Axl Rose onstage recently.
SB: Axl sang three songs on my last solo album, Angel Down, and I just did five arena shows with Guns across America. They were great, great shows—really a lot of fun.
 
 
DARK DAY SUNDAY, the old-school thrash band featuring FATES WARNING guitarist Frank Aresti and SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner, is giving fans a taste of what they'll be bringing this year by offering a free MP3 of the song "Halfway To Godz". Starting today, fans can visit the DARK DAY SUNDAY's official Facebook page and unlock the free MP3 by clicking to "Like" the band.

Inspired by Bay Area thrash bands like METALLICA, EXODUS, and MEGADETH, DARK DAY SUNDAY brings together old and new elements to create a brand new sound. The result: pure, raw energy.

DARK DAY SUNDAY is composed of four guys with a common love for headbanging fury, wailing guitar solos, melodic vocals that simply won't quit, and a rhythm section so in tune with one another you'd swear they were born of the same insanity.

Frank Aresti started his career with seminal prog-metal band FATES WARNING. As inspiration to many later bands, from DREAM THEATER to SLIPKNOT, Frank's guitar playing helped propel the band to commercial success and critical acclaim.

"I love playing with FATES," comments Frank, "but DARK DAY SUNDAY has a special place in my heart. I grew up listening to late '70s British punk and hardcore, then to early American thrash. I absolutely love this music."

In the drummer's seat is one of the most highly regarded metal drummers today, Jason Bittner of SHADOWS FALL. A Berklee College Of Music alum, "Jason brings a great energy to this band," says Aresti. "He lends an aggressive approach, pushing the beat while completely locking up with the rhythm section. It's a powerful feeling when you hear us live."

Rounding out the rhythm section on bass is Ed Lanouette. Ed earned his bachelor's degree at Berklee College Of Music and graduated with a master's degree in jazz performance from the Boston Conservatory. He cites his main influences as Jaco Pastorius and BLACK SABBATH's Geezer Butler.

Soaring above the ferocious riffs and pounding rhythm section is vocalist Marc Lopes. Marc cites his main influence as Bruce Dickinson of IRON MAIDEN. "Bruce has the ability to be melodic and aggressive at the same time," says Marc. "I love that, and that's what I go for in my singing."

When asked about the future of DARK DAY SUNDAY, Frank replies, "I want to take this band on the road, across the world. I want to continue making and recording music as long as we can. And judging how all four of us love doing this, that's going to be a long time."

DARK DAY SUNDAY expects to release its debut album later this year.

DARK DAY SUNDAY is:

Marc Lopes - Vocals
Frank Aresti (FATES WARNING) - Guitar
Ed Lanouette - Bass
Jason Bittner (SHADOWS FALL) - Drums
 
Chicago doom-metal legends TROUBLE announced earlier today that they have recruited Kyle Thomas as their new singer following the departure of their frontman of the past four years, Kory Clarke (of WARRIOR SOUL fame).

Thomas, former lead vocalist for EXHORDER, FLOODGATE and ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY, is no stranger to TROUBLE as he previously fronted the band for four live shows between 1997 and 1999, including Stoner Hands Of Doom festival in Maryland (see video below) and Expo Of The Extreme in Chicago. Thomas has also collaborated on projects with members of SLIPKNOT, DOWN, OBITUARY and DEICIDE.

In a statement released to BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Thomas stated about his addition to TROUBLE's lineup, "A great honor and opportunity has come back around to me recently as I have been invited to write and record with TROUBLE for their upcoming album. I am proud to say that I accept the invitation, and look forward to rejoining my former colleagues.

"Though I was not an official member of the band before, I treated every performance with them as if I were. This time around I shall continue to do so.

"As a fan first and foremost of TROUBLE, I completely understand that a strong contingent of fans only want to see the band with [original singer] Eric Wagner, and there is nothing wrong with that. If I were on the outside looking in, I might feel the same way.

"Though we've never met, I have the utmost respect for Eric and can only say it is an honor and challenge to step in to his previous spot with the band. It is a challenge that I look forward to, and hope that true fans of TROUBLE will be willing to give it a fair shake.

"As a fan, I can promise you that I will do everything within my power to make an amazing and true to feel album with one of my favorite bands.

"If some cannot accept the change, that is okay as well. Everyone is entitled to their feelings, but all I can say is that BLACK SABBATH remained great with Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan, and DEEP PURPLE was amazing as well with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. I was reluctant to accept the change for both of those bands at one time, and now regret that it took me so long to enjoy the various lineups. Good music is good music.

"If my work with TROUBLE is not up to snuff, it will not be because I did not work my tail off in the process.

"Many thanks to [TROUBLE guitarists] Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin for bringing me back into the picture. Truth is, what is!"

TROUBLE is currently working on its ninth studio album with Thomas on vocals and plans to release the record this spring.

"We are really excited to be working with Kyle again," stated Rick Wartell, TROUBLE co-founder/guitarist. "The shows we played with him in the past were very well-received by the fans and now we'll have an opportunity to work with him in the studio on our new record. His vocals are amazing and a perfect fit for the band."

Bruce Franklin, TROUBLE's other co-founder/guitarist, added, "The history with Kyle and TROUBLE really goes back to his teenage years as he told me that he and Jimmy Bower (of DOWN) would drive around in his old Pinto and listen to TROUBLE. He's an excellent, highly energetic singer and it's great to have him be an official member of the band now."

TROUBLE's current lineup is:

Kyle Thomas (vocals)
Rick Wartell (guitar)
Bruce Franklin (guitar)
Shane Pasqualla (bass)
Mark Lira (drums)

TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head".

Clarke announced his departure from TROUBLE earlier today to start a new project with guitarist Russ Strahan (PENTAGRAM, LAND OF DOOM) called THE BONES OF CHILDREN.

Clarke's predecessor, Eric Wagner, left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.
 
THE SANITY DAYS — the project featuring four former members of legendary Bristol, England thrash metallers ONSLAUGHT who have teamed up to play music from the band's most commercially successful album, "In Search of Sanity" — has recruited ONSLAUGHT's first vocalist, Paul "Mo" Mahoney (who sang on the band's very first record, "Power From Hell", and bass guitar on ONSLAUGHT's second album, "The Force") to play some limited shows in 2012. Paul will make his comeback debut at Hammerfest in March, where THE SANITY DAYS will now play most of the "Power From Hell" album along with Steve Grimmett on vocals playing the entire "In Search of Sanity" LP. This now means THE SANITY DAYS has three of the original four members from "Power From Hell" on stage and four original members in total!

Commented THE SANITY DAYS drummer Steve Grice: "We had our first rehearsal last week, this is the first time Mo has sang these songs for 25 years or so and I have to say they sounded just like they did in 1985. We will be looking to play a handful of festivals and maybe even a few headline shows this year with Mo at the helm alongside Steve Grimmett singing the 'In Search Of Sanity' stuff."

THE SANITY DAYS performed at the Metal Assault II Festival on January 14 at Posthalle in Würzburg, Germany.

The group's setlist was as follows:

01. In Search Of Sanity (ONSLAUGHT song)
02. Shellshock (ONSLAUGHT song)
03. Blood Upon The Ice (ONSLAUGHT song)
04. Welcome To Dying (ONSLAUGHT song)
05. Lightning War (ONSLAUGHT song)
06. Rock You To Hell (GRIM REAPER cover)
07. Atomic Punk (VAN HALEN cover)
08. See You In Hell (GRIM REAPER cover)
09. Let There Be Rock (AC/DC cover)


THE SANITY DAYS is intended as a bit of fun for the musicians and an opportunity for fans to hear music that no longer features in ONSLAUGHT's live repertoire.

THE SANITY DAYS was launched by Steve Grice, former drummer and founding member of the ONSLAUGHT, who played on all ONSLAUGHT albums thus far. He is joined in the new project by former ONSLAUGHT guitarist Alan Jordan (2007's "Killing Peace"), bassist Jase Stallard (1985's "Power From Hell" and 1986's "The Force"), and ex-GRIM REAPER singer Steve Grimmett, who fronted ONSLAUGHT for the 1989 album "In Search Of Sanity".

Released on London Records in 1989, "In Search Of Sanity" was the last album ONSLAUGHT recorded before it disbanded. Despite reaching the U.K. Top 50, its mainstream production proved controversial among bandmembers and fans alike. "We were always pleased with the songs, though," states Grice. "Over the past few years, people have nagged me to play tracks from the 'Sanity' album, but we always struggled to get them sounding right without Steve Grimmett's involvement."

Former GRIM REAPER frontman Grimmett lent his powerful voice to ONSLAUGHT for just this one album and now returns as a member of THE SANITY DAYS. "It's been a long time since I sang any songs from 'In Search of Sanity', but this was an opportunity I couldn't turn down," he says. "I have also been asked to play these songs, but it never seemed the right thing to do after ONSLAUGHT got back together."

"I'm really excited to be involved with Steve Grice again, and playing with Al and Steve Grimmett makes it extra special to me," says Stallard. "For the past six years I have been watching ONSLAUGHT's progress, thinking to myself how much I would love to get out and play again. Now this chance has arisen, I intend to enjoy every second of it."
 
LAMB OF GOD, in conjunction with Epic Records and Appetizer Mobile, bring you the "Vox Of God" iPhone app. "Vox Of God" is a voice-modulating iOS app developed specifically for LAMB OF GOD in support of the band's "Resolution" album and 2012 tour. The app creates a vocal simulation of LAMB OF GOD lead singer Randy Blythe's vocal style by applying advanced audio processing techniques and audio modulation to a voice that is recorded with the app. The results will generate a simulation of Randy's signature scream/growl vocal effect when the user records their voice using the app with their iPhone. The application features a growl level indicator and several different sharing options. Users will be able to record with or without an instrumental version of the "Ghost Walking" single, along with playback recording features, and social network integration where the user can share their resulted recording though email, Facebook and Twitter.

The "Vox Of God" app is now available in the iTunes App Store.

LAMB OF GOD's new album, "Resolution", sold around 52,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Wrath", opened with around 68,000 units back in March 2009 to enter the chart at No. 2. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by 2006's "Sacrament", which shifted around 63,000 units to debut at No. 8. It also represented almost double the amount of records sold by its predecessor, "Ashes Of The Wake", which premiered with 35,000 copies in September 2004.

"Resolution" was released in the U.S. via Epic and internationally through Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at various studios in Virginia and New York with producer Josh Wilbur, who worked on the band's last effort, 2009's "Wrath".

"Resolution" features 14 songs and comes in a digipack with artwork by longtime art director Ken Adams.
 
During a brand new interview with Canada's Exclaim.ca, vocalist Randy Blythe of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD was asked about the persistent comparisons between his band and metal heavyweights PANTERA.

"Phil [Anselmo] is a great vocalist and PANTERA were a great band, but they're PANTERA and we're us," Blythe replied. "Phil wasn't a huge influence on me; when I started singing I was listening to a bunch of really, really brutal death metal and really crazy grindcore, that's what got me into metal and then I had to go back and find PANTERA and a couple of the bigger bands. I was more into the underground shit first.

"The thing is, Phil is not the only dude in the world who has ever screamed and so what?"

He continued, "It's interesting to me. I think we get a lot of PANTERA comparisons for a lot of different reasons; because we're from the South, because we both have some groove and a lot of Southern rock influences that come through. PANTERA were certainly an influence on us as a band, particularly on the guitar players, but some things just sort of happen naturally, it's just the way it is. I always thought we sound more like a SLAYER rip-off than a PANTERA rip-off."

In a 2010 interview, former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo was asked if he had any feelings about some of the modern metal bands such as MASTODON, LAMB OF GOD and AVENGED SEVENFOLD. "I've got respect for MASTODON; I think they play very well for what they do," he replied. "I think the drummer is very, very entertaining to watch; he's a fuckin' excellent drummer. Super-cool guys to hang out with; a lot of fun. I think that music is a wide open world. Of course I know what you're fishin' for. I think PANTERA left a big imprint on them. It's flattering and sometimes if I walk into a room and I hear somethin' playing real, real low that sounds real fuckin' familiar, nine times out of ten it's one of them bands you're mentioning. But that's fine. The biggest argument could be this and I get this: PANTERA doesn't exist anymore. The records exist but we're not creating music anymore so there's a void there. And I guess these bands are filling a void. So you've got to take that into account as well."

When asked if he thought that any of these contemporary bands will have the impact and staying power that PANTERA had, Anselmo said, "PANTERA revolutionized the sound and the approach to heavy metal. It's been regurgitated. Once you up the production on a product and not just the playing but the actual production, then it's going to up the ante. Period. Bands are going to want that sound and Dimebag had a monster fuckin' guitar sound; it was all a matter of getting it on tape right. He always had that great sound."
 
Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have announced that they have filled the singer vacancy in the band and they have done so with a familiar face: original vocalist Jesse Leach.

Leach sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut "Alive Or Just Breathing". Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Howard Jones, but his work on "Alive Or Just Breathing" has always been revered by diehard, longtime KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans. Things have come full circle a decade later, and Leach and the band couldn't be more pleased about this reunion.

The band revealed that Leach auditioned for the job he once held and pretty much blew everyone away and then some. The band stated, "After much deliberation and careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that Jesse Leach has rejoined KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Our job was to find the best person to fill Howard's shoes: a decision based on talent and not familiarity."

The band further said, "Truth be told, Jesse blew us away in auditions. The room seemed charged with electricity. He commanded both new and old material, and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to do this. The choice became very clear and apparent."

The band also is psyched to share the news with fans, saying, "This change is very exciting. We know you're going to love it. This is truly a new era in KILLSWITCH ENGAGE history and it is ready to shred your face off. So, please help us in welcoming Jesse back into the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE family; he is a rare and great talent, a fact that older KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans have known for years. Here is to a killer new record and a bright future. The five of us cannot wait to write this record and play shows together and bring that feeling to our fans. It's been far too long."

The "new" guy himself also commented on his return to the band after a decade-long absence, saying, "It is a great honor to rejoin my brothers after all of these years. After some discussion and much reflection, it was obvious to me this was the path I was meant to take. We got together and jammed on the 'Howard-era songs,' as well as some 'Alive Or Just Breathing'-era songs and we all felt the synergy."

He continued, "I look forward to writing the new record, since the demos sound absolutely amazing, as well as breathing new life and getting comfortable with the soulful songs Howard has written. It is a new chapter of my life filled with new and exciting challenges. I will give all that I can to honor the position I have been given and take nothing for granted. I will sing every note with all of my soul. I am very blessed and very thankful to be back in the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE family! All things happen in their due time and now is the time for this reunion and new direction."

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is hard at work on material for the follow-up to 2009's second self-titled album.

The band will perform at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival on April 22.
 
Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz of Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE spoke to AOL's Noisecreep about the band's decision to reunite with its original vocalist Jesse Leach following the departure of longtime singer Howard Jones.

Leach sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut "Alive Or Just Breathing". Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Jones, but his work on "Alive Or Just Breathing" has always been revered by diehard, longtime KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans.

"Honestly, we didn't want to jump into anything too quickly," Adam said. "We were in a position where we could take our time and try out as many singers as we wanted. There are a lot of talented singers out there, and we didn't want to rush everything. We ended up mulling it over a bit, and we tried out a few different people.

"When we got back in the rehearsal room with Jesse, it just felt right. He's one of my good friends, and the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time, and all of that stuff, was gone when he jammed with us again. We also knew what Jesse is capable of, so it just took all of us getting in a room together again to remember how cool it once was. He blew us away."

Regarding the reasons for Leach's original departure from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE ten years ago and whether those same issues will come into play now, Adam said, "He was feeling a lot of frustration [back in 2002]. He didn't know how to take care of his voice, and he would blow it out every couple of shows. We had to cancel a lot of shows because of that. He was also a newlywed, and they didn't know how tough it would be to be in a relationship when the other person is a road dog. It was a lot of pressure on him. All of those things piled up, and it put him in that bad place. But these days he's really learned how to take care of himself on the road. His marriage is also going great, and they've figured out how to make it work, even though one of them is a touring musician. Jesse's in a much better place now, that's for sure."

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is hard at work on material for the follow-up to 2009's second self-titled album.

The band will perform at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival on April 22.

Leach last performed with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in March 2010 in New York City, Clifford Park, New York and Wallingford, Connecticut
 
EspyRock recently conducted an interview with bassist Peter Iwers of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

EspyRock: How do you find touring these days? Are you seeing anything different these days when on the road?

Peter: I think the problem is, basically, that since people stopped buying records, bands are now touring more and more so there are more tours going on at the same time now and it is hard for people to decide how they will spend their money. We need to work to live, and it's a shame that we all have to clash but because of how we tour now, you know that it is likely you will see that band back in seven/eight months. I went holiday to the U.S. with my wife a year ago and we went to New York, I was so looking forward to going to Tower Records and HMV, but they weren't around anymore, they had shut them all down. How is that ever going to help people buy CDs and continue to support music legally if they have no stores? I'm a big fan of the physical product and here in the U.K. it is ok, you still have stores like HMV and some independent stores which keep everything going. It is important that we teach the younger generation that the physical product is a great thing to have and that these stores exist. You get a lot more for your money with the artwork, booklets, lyrics and bonus discs. When I grew up, it was LPs that I bought and for me, it was a magical experience to go home and study the cover from front to back, see all of the details as you sang along to the songs. These days people don't do that, and it sucks because it means that in the future, ticket prices for gigs are going to be really high and people will then go to less shows. Bands will be touring even more than what we are now and it will just collapse. We're all just shooting ourselves in the foot because eventually music will stop, there will no money to be made from it therefore there will be no reason for any of us to do it. People can say they do it because they love it, but how can you love and dedicate your time to something that doesn't pay your bills and doesn't allow you to eat. So yeah, that is my extra-long, extended answer to that question you asked. [laughs] Keep buying records or music will die.

EspyRock: How do you take the criticism of people stating you're not the band you once were and you've lost your edge from the older material that you had released?

Peter: It's always going to be the same. People will always find something to criticize you for and while we may lose fans because they don't like where we are now, we've probably gained an equal amount of fans or more just based on the new album alone. Older fans come and go depending on their mood but you shouldn't pay too much attention to it because eventually you will change the way that you write music and that will be very damaging. We've never cared about what people think when it comes to the writing process; we just do it for ourselves and so far so good. Obviously, if someone tells me that my bass playing sucks or the records sucks, then I'm going to ask them why. I'm not going to abuse them or rip them to shreds like people do to bands online, I want constructive criticism that I can take on board and use in the future. If you really think it is that bad, then tell us why, we'll not forget and we'll make sure that we take it on board for the future. Maybe. [laughs] At the end of the day, I need to look at myself in the mirror and be able to say that I did this from the best of my ability.

EspyRock: How has [guitarist] Niclas [Engelin] settled into his new full time role within the band?

Peter: He is amazing. He came in with lots of energy and a really positive attitude which we needed after the divorce with Jesper. The stuff he [former IN FLAMES guitarist Jesper Strömblad] went through was horrifying for all of us and to see one of my closest friends have to deal with the nasty disease of alcoholism, it just beat us all down. So when Niclas came in with such a positive attitude, it really lifted us and it really put us back on track again. He fits like a glove and he is an amazing guitar player, I don't think I've ever met someone who loves to play guitar as much as he does. He is very productive, so he is always trying to kick out new ideas. He was writing with [his other band] ENGEL at the time for their new album, so he was taking all of the energy he had for that and putting it into IN FLAMES, which was great. That energy he has took us to the next level and without him being part of the band, I'm not sure how well we would have come back from the slump we were in.

EspyRock: Was the album written and recorded before he came in and was declared the new full-time guitarist?

Peter: He was there during the thinking period because he has joined a little earlier when Jesper couldn't continue the tours. We asked him if he wanted to join, and he told us that he would have to think about it because it was a big decision to become a full-time musician. While he was thinking about it, we decided that we would go ahead and do the album because we weren't sure how long it would take him.

EspyRock: It was a big change with Jesper leaving but at the same time you chose to leave Nuclear Blast for Century Media. What happened there?

Peter: A lot of things that I can't talk about. At the end of the day, we needed to be somewhere that really worked for us and while Nuclear Blast had been that place for many years, it was time for us to move on to something new. Century Media showed us the best plan and they had the best ideas to get the record out there, plus they seemed motivated. There is no bad blood with Nuclear Blast, we weren't with them for so long for no reason, they did do well for us and we're still friends with the people there, but things that I can't really talk about made it time to move on and work with someone new.
 
EspyRock recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy of Florida metallers TRIVIUM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

EspyRock: Did you ever worry in the early days, as you set yourself out to be a career band, that the statements you released about being the biggest band who come back to haunt you?

Heafy: No. I think it was a good thing because all of these bands who came out and said, "We're just happy to be playing in front of fifty people," are gone now. We were the only band who had the balls to say that we were going to be the biggest band in the world and that's why we're still around. We are still working our way towards that goal and we don't aim to slow down. All of the other bands who hated on that and weren't happy with us saying stuff like that are all gone now.

EspyRock: As you had that statement following you, and people used it to criticize you and what you were doing, do you feel you that forced you to look at yourself and think, "I have to grow up, I need to mature," so you could handle what was to come?

Heafy: We're the only band that had to come out and grow up in the public eye. There were no other bands progressing in the way we were at the age of eighteen with our first record, they were all in their thirties, so we just had a little more time than everyone else. Nowadays the only time I will ever read anything about our band is if I know it is 100 percent positive because there is no need to read anything negative; it doesn't matter.

EspyRock: I was going to ask you if you read the comments online and what people were currently saying about yourself or the band.

Heafy: It's a waste of time and really it doesn't matter. We're doing exactly what we want to do for a living, so there is no reason to ever think about or doubt it or let someone's negativity cloud your mind around that. There are people who love what we do, so even if ticket sales are not good or there aren't as many people as there should be, there will still be people there, people who love it and want to have a good time, and that is all a band needs to concentrate on.

EspyRock: Have you thought about how you want to capitalize on your current mental state and if you may look to start recording sooner than later to build upon the momentum of what you already have, or will you follow the process of a normal two-, three-year album cycle?

Heafy: Good question. I think this will be sooner than later, the next album will come out sooner than later. I don't know if we will start recording [later this] year. Who knows? I've got around eight to ten drafts of songs started, Paolo [Gregoletto, bass] has a bunch, Corey [Beaulieu, guitar] has a bunch and Nick [Augusto, drums] has some ideas. I have a bunch of visual ideas already but those visual ideas could change within a month. Even before "Shogun" came out, we had already begun to start writing "In Waves", so right when "In Waves" was coming out, we started to think about the next record. We're always thinking about the next thing. There is a strong possibility, depending on our touring schedule, that we could start to record [later this] year, likely late [this] year, but at this time I couldn't tell you if we would be recording the album or just recording demos that we will go back to as soon as we are ready.
 
Virginia crossover thrash metal band MUNICIPAL WASTE will release its fifth studio album, "The Fatal Feast", on April 10 in North America and April 13 in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork for the cD was created by Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design and can be seen below.

Osbourn recently answered a few questions about the artistic process for his masterpiece.

Q: Did you hear any new music before you created this bad boy?

Osbourn: Nope, I wasn't given any of the new song demos beforehand. Ryan [Waste, guitarist] kinda gave me an overall theme and certain elements that they wanted to see in the artwork. Being a fan of the band, I just took that and added what I thought would enhance it further.

Q: Why does the guy being eaten resemble Captain James Tiberius Kirk?

Osbourn: It's kinda weird that you say that... I happen to be quite the fan of the original "Star Trek" series. It would have totally made sense for that to be Captain Kirk being devoured, but unfortunately, that was never my intent. Perhaps it was subconsciously, though? How 'bout we just tell everyone it is.

Q: Anything hidden in the artwork (a la Derek Riggs/IRON MAIDEN covers) that fans should keep an eye out for?

Osbourn: Sorta. The number of cheap beer cans/bottles laying around on the cover are just about the right number I would drink on a night I would call a Pretty Damn Good Night. Oh, and there's an empty half pint of Viaka Vodka in there as well; it's just that it's laying behind The Waste-oids devouring Captain Kirk. Ha ha.

"The Fatal Feast" features guest appearances by John Connelly (guitarist and vocalist for NUCLEAR ASSAULT), Steve Moore (who plays bass and synthesizers for ZOMBI), and vocalist Tim Barry (ex-AVAIL).

"Massive Aggressive", the last album from MUNICIPAL WASTE, landed at No. 10 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.

"Massive Aggressive" was released on August 25, 2009 via Earache Records.
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/mwastefatal.jpg
 
 
ADRENALINE MOB — the band featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD), SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen and guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP) — has announced the addition of DISTURBED bassist John Moyer to the group's ranks.

Moyer will make his live debut with ADRENALINE MOB on March 12 at Hiro Ballroom in New York City.

Said Moyer in a statement: "Mike Portnoy called me about auditioning for his new band ADRENALINE MOB. He had heard through the grapevine that I was looking to stay busy while DISTURBED is on hiatus. After jamming with Russ, Mike Orlando, and Portnoy, the chemistry as musicians was undeniable. I am super stoked about joining 'The Family' and I can't wait to hit the road with these guys and see what kind of musical mayhem we can create!"

ADRENALINE MOB's debut album, "Omertá", will be released in Europe on March 19 in Europe via Century Media Records. The CD will be made available in the U.S> on March 13 through the newly formed Elm City Music in conjunction with EMI Label Services.

The 11-song effort — which was produced by ADRENALINE MOB and mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked on ANTHRAX's "Worship Music" and STEEL PANTHER's "Balls Out" — includes a blistering reinterpretation of DURAN DURAN's classic "Come Undone" featuring guest vocals by Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM.

"Omertá" track listing:

01. Undaunted
02. Psychosane
03. Indifferent
04. All On The Line
05. Hit The Wall
06. Feelin' Me
07. Come Undone (feat. Lzzy Hale)
08. Believe Me
09. Down To The Floor
10. Angel Sky
11. Freight Train

Audio samples of the songs "Indifferent" and "All On The Line" can be found on the ADRENALINE MOB Facebook page.

The "Undaunted" video can be seen below.

ADRENALINE MOB will perform at several European festivals this summer, including Graspop Metal Meeting (June 22-24 in Dessel, Belgium) and Gods Of Metal (June 21-24 in Milan, Italy).

ADRENALINE MOB's first-ever headline tour made stops in various markets, including Chicago, Denver and San Francisco. ADRENALINE MOB also opened for GODSMACK on select dates of the Massachusetts act's headlining tour.

ADRENALINE MOB formed in early 2011 when Orlando approached Allen with some material the guitarist had written. Allen and Orlando refined those ideas, at which time Allen reached out to longtime friend Portnoy to see if he had any interest in playing with them. Portnoy jumped on board and soon thereafter DiLeo and Ward were recruited to join the family. From the very first note, the chemistry was apparent and the beast that is known as ADRENALINE MOB was born.

Guitarist Rich Ward (STUCK MOJO, FOZZY) and bassist Paul DiLeo (FOZZY) announced their departures from ADRENALINE MOB last month due to scheduling conflicts with their other projects.
 
"The Great Fire", the new album from Orange County, California's BLEEDING THROUGH, sold around 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 193 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band's previous, self-titled CD opened with around 3,700 copies to land at No. 143.

BLEEDING THROUGH's 2008 effort, "Declaration", registered a first-week tally of 6,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 101.

"The Great Fire" track listing:

01. March
02. Faith In Fire
03. Goodbye To Death
04. Final Hours
05. Starving Vultures
06. Everything You Love Is Gone
07. Walking Dead
08. Devil And Self Doubt
09. Step Back In Line
10. Trail Of Seclusion
11. Deaf Ears
12. One By One
13. Entrenched
14. Back To Life

In a recent interview with AOL's Noisecreep, BLEEDING THROUGH vocalist Brandan Schieppati stated about the current state of the underground music industry, "When BLEEDING THROUGH first starting doing this, you would hear people gloat about stuff like selling 400,000 albums, or selling out huge venues, but it's so different now. Now you'll hear bands say, 'We made it! We sold $700 in merch tonight!' It's a joke.

"I think people are too busy celebrating the short term, rather than the long term — and that's [disconcerting]. I've never wanted to be in a band that had a few fantastic years and then went away. We've definitely had years that were better than others. It's never been the kind of thing where we would break up as soon as we stopped drawing 1000 people at our shows. We've always done this to please ourselves, and not as some delusion of grandeur."

He added, "I hear about bands dropping out of high school because someone told them they had to do that so they can tour full time and become rich. It's scary. This stuff — hardcore, metal, punk — it has a short shelf life. So you're going to throw your education away so someone else can make money off of you? It's just wrong.

"No one is buying records anymore. So these newer bands need to know that there won't be another METALLICA. Those level bands are just not going to pop up anymore. You have to play this kind of music because you love it. Playing hardcore and metal is not a career move."
 
"The Cage", the first video from RED LAMB, the new Palm Beach, Florida-based rock trio led by former ANTHRAX guitarist Dan Spitz, can be seen below. The song comes off the band's self-titled debut album, which was released earlier this week via iTunes. The 12-song effort was co-produced by Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH) and Spitz and is described in a press release as "explosive hard rock, pop punk, alternative rock, with a taste of thrash." The CD was mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K (DISTURBED, 3 DOORS DOWN, DROWNING POOL, MEGADETH) and it features cover artwork by John Lorenzi, who worked on the last three MEGADETH studio albums — 2007's "United Abominations", 2009's "Endgame" and 2011's "TH1RT3EN" — as well as the band's 2007 box set, "Warchest". Grammy Award winner Chris Vrenna (NINE INCH NAILS, MARILYN MANSON) handled all synths and additional programming on the entire CD.

RED LAMB features Spitz (lead guitar, guitar, bass guitar, programming, background vocals, engineering,co-producer), Patrick Johansson (drums; YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, W.A.S.P.) and Don Chaffin (vocals and video productions).

"Red Lamb" track listing:

01. Watchman
02. The Cage
03. Get Up
04. Runaway Train
05. Angels Of War
06. Puzzle Box
07
. Keep Pushing Me

08. Warpaint
09. One Shell (In The Chamber)
10. Standby Passenger
11. Temptation
12. Don't Threaten To Love Me

In a December 2010 interview, Mustaine revealed that he helped fine-tune the songs on RED LAMB's debut album after hearing some of the material in its early stages of development.

"[Dan] was working on a little side project, and I'd heard it a while ago and it kind of went by in passing 'cause he was just starting it," Mustaine said. "And I heard it about three weeks ago; he was almost done. And I said, 'Man, I love this record.' I said, 'And do you think it's done?' And he goes, 'Yeah.' And he goes, 'Why? What do you think?' And I said, 'Well, I would kind of do this and that.' And he goes, 'Really? Go ahead.' And I went, 'Really?' So I rolled up my sleeves and I completely dedicated myself to Danny's record for the last three weeks, working tirelessly in my studio on this record with him. And it's that good. I heard it and I just went, 'Oh my God!' It's like a cross between, say, DISTURBED, SOUNDGARDEN and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE kind of thing. Little bit of some smatterings of ANTHRAX because of the speed stuff, but it's much more modern and much more heavy sounding."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KEl-takDvHM
According to The Pulse Of Radio, DEFTONES bassist Chi Cheng is showing more signs of emerging from a semi-comatose state to a semi-conscious state, over three years since he was gravely injured in a November 2008 car crash. Cheng is now able to move his leg on command (see video below), but is still otherwise unable to move or speak aside from grunting noises that he began making in October.

Cheng required surgery after the car accident to remove part of his brain, but his recovery was strong enough that he was taken off life support seven months later.
Over the course of the past two years, Cheng has emerged from his coma for brief intervals. He opens his eyes and apparently can see and hear things going on around him, but cannot respond verbally.

Nevertheless, Cheng's family is running out of money. He is staying in a special facility in New Jersey and lost his insurance just months after the accident.

His family reportedly has just $17,000 out of the total $250,000 needed for his full course of treatment and recovery.

DEFTONES have held several benefit concerts and continue to donate money from the band's tours. Singer Chino Moreno said that the group's fans have continued to help as well. "Whatever people can do, it's all appreciated, and it's all just in the hopes that there will be one day where he can talk back and have a conversation and see his kids and, you know, continue on living, you know," he said. "That's what we pray and hope for, you know what I mean, that's all we can do."

DEFTONES are in the studio working on a follow-up to 2010's "Diamond Eyes", one of the band's most successful outings yet.

Sergio Vega continues to play bass for the band. Vega stepped in for touring purposes after Cheng's accident, and stayed on to record "Diamond Eyes" with the group.
 
Swedish metallers REVENGIA have issued the following update:

"We're proud to announce that we've finalized the work on our new record. It has been hard work sometimes and sometimes we've been forced to take breaks, hence the long time to record the record. It's a proud number of 11 new heavy tunes and two extras for other stuff that was recorded on various locations, using the ZerOonE recording unit. It was produced by Matti Almsenius and REVENGIA. The album was mixed by Matti as well. It still has to be mastered and we already been in contact with a studio for that.

"There is still some artwork to do, photos to shoot a record title to be set and we will do our first REVENGIA video! The band has already a publishing contract, but will start looking for a suitable company to work with for a proper release. Any interested parties can contact the band at our website, www.revengia.se.'
 
Marseille, France-based female-fronted metalcore band ETHS has finished filming a video for the track "Adonai". The clip was shot in the Frioul Islands and the band's hometown with director Louis Vignat of Scandale Productions.

"Adonai" comes off ETHS' third album, "III", which will be released on April 6 via Season Of Mist. The CD was recorded at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordström, who has previously worked with AT THE GATES, IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILLITY, ARCH ENEMY, SOILWORK and BRING ME THE HORIZON, among others.

The track listing for the album is as follows:

01. Voragine
02. Harmaguedon
03. Adonaï
04. Gravis Venter
05. Inanis Venter
06. Sidus
07. Proserpina
08. Hercolubus
09. Praedator
10. Anatemnein

On February 24, ETHS fans living in the south of France will have the opportunity to meet the band and purchase "III" before everybody else during a special evening at the Maison Hantée in Marseilles, France.

ETHS has announced the first leg of its upcoming tour in support of "III". Joining the band on most of the dates inMarch, April and May 2012 will be fellow French metallers KELLS, who released their new album, "Anachromie", on January 20.

As previously reported, ETHS was recently rejoined by the band's original drummer, Guillaume Dupré.

ETHS' sophomore album, "Tératologie", was released in France in October 2007 and was made available in other parts of Europe in April 2008 via Season of Mist. The band's sound is described in a press release as "dark and powerful metal with tortured atmospheres, led by charismatic female singer Candice Clot, who with her amazing voice sings, talks, whispers and growls."

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2 comments:

Kamran said...

Really interesting and amazing post that is thanks for sharing.


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dabotcher said...

can´t wait for sabbath man, i just didn´t see this coming. hopefully iommi will recover from his illness and they won´t be forced to cancel the tour. shame that apparently ward won´t be with them, that kind of casts a bad light on this reunion. but it´s still friggin´ sabbath!!!! my favorite band ever, i even got a ringback of snowblind on my phone (perfect when you get business calls or your girlfriend´s parents on the phone hahah)!!!
stoked about VH too, new song sounds good. the old-timers still do it better than anyone else!!

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