[Classic_Rock_Forever] Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, SIXX AM and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


WASHINGTON — The White House is opening its doors in an invitation to the blues.
Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Keb Mo are among an A-list of artists who will perform at the White House Feb. 21 to celebrate blues music and recognize Black History Month.
The program, called "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues," will be live streamed on the White House Web site, www.whitehouse.gov/live . It will also be broadcast at 9 p.m. Feb. 27 on PBS stations. The American Forces Network will broadcast the program later.
President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the event.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, have opened the White House to a number of "In Performance" programs that have showcased Hispanic, Broadway and country music, among others.
Legendary rocker Alice Cooper, who attended yesterday's Revolver Golden Gods Awards press conference in Los Angeles, spoke to Rolling Stone about his upcoming summer tour with IRON MAIDEN, which is scheduled to kick off on June 21 in North Carolina.

"Those guys are really good friends of ours," Cooper said about MAIDEN. "When you've been out for five decades on the road, there's a whole section of the audience out there that have heard of Alice Cooper but never saw Alice Cooper. So an IRON MAIDEN audience is a great opportunity for us to show them what Alice is all about. We do more theatrics now than we did back then."

When asked what he is going to do on this tour with MAIDEN, Alice said, "You have to do the hits. The audience would kill you if you don't do 'Eighteen' and 'School's Out'. But then we've got to do stuff from the new album. And then you have to get what I call the underground hits — the real Alice aficionados want to hear those songs. Once in a while you throw a cover in there. We do a pretty mean 'Brown Sugar'."
Rock band SIXX: A.M., which consists of bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, has announced a rare performance, and its first in four years, set to take place on April 11 at Revolver Golden Gods Awards at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

As each band member has been kept busy with their other careers — Sixx is also the bassist for MÖTLEY CRÜE and a syndicated radio host; Ashba is currently touring with GUNS N' ROSES; James Michael is a famed rock producer who is currently working on new records for PAPA ROACH, HALESTORM and others — this marks the band's first chance to perform in support of their current album, "This Is Gonna Hurt", which has already supplied the #1 rock anthem "Lies Of The Beautiful People".

Michael attended the Golden Gods press conference in Los Angeles yesterday (Wednesday, February 15) to announce the band's involvement in the awards, which coincide with the impact of the band's next single, "Are You With Me Now".

"7", the latest EP from SIXX: A.M., came out in December and sold around 2,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort contains acoustic versions of songs from the group's first two albums — 2007's "The Heroin Diaries" soundtrack and 2011's "This Is Gonna Hurt".

"This Is Gonna Hurt" has sold around 100,000 copies since its May 2011 release. Released on May 3, 2011, the 11-track CD is a companion piece to Sixx's "This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx" book, a follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, "The Heroin Diaries".
Rex Brown: Right on the money Sonny!

Alright! First of all, the name Kill Devil Hill, as far as I can tell that´s where the Wright brothers flew their first plane? Is that something that has to do with the name?

RB: Yeah, that has a lot to do with it! Mike Zavon actually has a pilot license and that was always a cool name to him and the whole bit. Then we found out later that Kill Devil Hills was a place where all the pirates used to stash all their rum and they said that the rum was so strong it could kill the devil. That´s how the Kill Devil Hills were named. It´s got like two connotations to it so it´s kinda cool. We did the home work on it and it just kinda came up in a band discussion and there it was.

Ok. I also found out that there´s a song by Bruce Dickinson where he mentions Kill Devil Hills.

RB: Right, I need to google that song. It´s not where we took it off of by the way. There´s also a band out of Australia that´s named Kill Devil Hills, that we didn´t know about either, so when we came up with this thing it was just lucky passing. Fuck it. Basically what it does, it´s it brands our music. It brands the name with the music. What does Pantera mean? It´s Spanish for panther. What does it really fucking mean? Nothing! It´s just a name that kinda sticks with it. What does Metallica really mean, you know? It just kinda brands the name with the music that you´re actually listening to.

You all played in kinda different bands. Appice in Sabbath and Dio and you´ve been in Pantera and Down and Zavon with Stephen Pearcy and Ratt. It´s quite different kinda music when it comes to metal. How did you all meet?

RB: Shit, I´ve known Vinnie for some 20 odd years and played festivals with him and getting high with him and Ronnie James Dio. I think Philip (Anselmo) and I first met him in ´92 or something like that. Long story straight, they were looking for a bass player for this project they had and we met Mark Zavon and he did a couple of demos with Dewey Bragg and Vinnie really liked what he heard and they heard that I was looking for a gig, which I at that point kinda was. Philip and I have worked together for so long and we don´t talk about each other's music now. We´ve made a pact that we´re not gonna make a big deal of it, because it´s just nonsense. The more you give to the people that wanna put shit out there, the more you´re susceptible to it. Phil and I get along fine, everything´s cool with Down. I just wanted to play something new. I had another project in between. Down had basically come off the road after two and a half, almost three years and I wanted to do something different and this kinda landed in my lap. They sent me these tracks and my next door neighbor has a full blown studio in his house in this real nice neighborhood. Opened up there and just played bass and put my own thing on it. Once I did that, I got back to them and they were getting calls and moving forward and when the tracks were done it was like "Are you into it? What´s going on?" and in fact he (Vinnie) came down for a week and hung out. Anyway, there´s a big convention every year in LA for the music merchants and about 20000-30000 people…


RB: NAMM, which is huge and I had to go there and do stuff for my endorsements and I hadn´t been there for a couple of years, so I brought a bass with me and went to rehearsal and it´s so cliché to say, but once we started playing these songs it just clicked, man. There´s something about it that just really worked. We had to work at it and I would go fly down every three weeks, four weeks or something like that and stay with Mark and got to know him real well. They´re just great people and it works really well for us. We´re a young band but it seems like we´ve been together for a long time and that´s important. To have that musicianship and the whole bit together, it really makes it special. We took this thing on the road just to see what the crowd reaction was gonna be, after we recorded the record, and the fuckin´ fans were crazy for it! So if that´s any indication on what´s to come in the fall and year, shit I´ll take it! It´s like going back to your past. You got it in front of you every day and then make the best of it. Every night it just got stronger and stronger to the point that it´s kinda scary how killing this band is gonna be.

How did you decide on working with Warren Riker?

RB: You know, Warren and I lived together for about a year in LA. A separation with the wife situation. Anyway, we lived together and I´ve known Warren and we´ve done plenty of records together and everything. He´s the one I called for the job to put this thing out and he knew what time period he had to do it in and he basically… you know, we had to remix this thing like three times and he fell very short of what he said he could do and he was a really good friend, but… he thinks he´s done no wrong… fuck him, he´s out of the picture!

Ok. Who are the main songwriters in the band?

RB: Actually Vinnie started this project and he did a bunch of drum tracks over at his buddy´s and my buddy´s house, Jeff Pilson and he´s got a cool little studio and a drum track room. Vinnie was kinda coming up with all these different beats and he just wanted to jam and he wanted to put his own band together and the whole bit. Pretty much him and Mark wrote a lot of this stuff and then Dewey came into the picture and put his stamp on the vocals and the whole bit with different melodies and I came in and kinda rearranged everything. They pretty much stand true to the demos, but there´s a lot of changes that have come around. The way that we play them deeper and the whole bit from being in the rehearsal studio to pre production to recording them and we still play them different every fuckin´ night! (laughs)

I saw that there´s a bonus track for the vinyl version and for the ITunes version. How much was recorded? Is there more stuff laying around that didn´t make the album?

RB: Well, we got the drums tracked in like three and a half days. Vinnie just fuckin´ killed! Then we had the guitars and bass done in no more than a week later. Getting the vocals down was probably the hardest part, but we have another six songs in the can that we didn´t record, they´re demos, so we almost got half a record as a starting point for the next one, but our focus right now is just on this one and getting this going and trying to hit every possible place we can play, within a comfort level.

The album cover? Is there some symbolism going on there with the book, the chair, the crucifix, the skull? What´s the thought behind it?

RB: I have no idea! I couldn´t tell you the slightest. I think it looks great. I think it looks fuckin´ awesome! On the backside it´s gonna be reversed so you´re gonna have it like black and white and the white version is what I wanted on the front of it. There are so many bands that put black covers out, but anyway, the record company wanted it all black and I don´t know, it just looks super fuckin´ cool! There´s no real meaning behind it or anything like that. It´s kinda like lyrics, it´s up for anybody´s interpretation. We´re not trying to be a political band or a death metal band or anything else. When we see something that looks cool, we dig it like everybody else and that´s basically what it is.

Cool. This book of yours, is it all done?

RB: Oh no. It´s about 75% done. It just needs some work on it. Dude, I´ve just been working nonstop since… you know, we started this book about a year and a half ago and I´ve got about 60 or 70 hours worth of tape. I rented this little beach house. This cozy little place that I got for like 300 bucks a week and all we did was to sit and talk. We got it all on tape, everything that we needed and so we´re writing chapters now and editing the whole bit and all that goes into writing a book. It should be out by the fall and it tells the story of Pantera, from my eyes. Just my interpretation of it, nobody else's. You know, I never really got in the press and talked about anything. Music for me is my main goal, that´s my journey. That´s it for me, but I never talked about it and I was approached by someone and I thought that it´s probably not a bad time to do it, so let´s do it now.

Was the plan from the get go to just focus on Pantera?

RB: I think it has to do with the way I grew up and all that stuff that kinda comes into play with a success story. It´s gonna have its good times and bad times, but it´s not gonna be anything that´s gonna be overwhelming to anybody. Like I said, it´s just my personal interpretation and my story of what went down during those times. There´s a lot of good stories and a lot of funny jokes in it and the whole bit. I don´t wanna make it too serious. That´s all I do, is read all these autobiographies by all these cats that are coming out. It´s not a very easy lifestyle and like I said, I´m just telling my side of the story and maybe it needs to be heard.

There´s a lot of autobiographies out there now, is there anyone that stands out and that you really like? Have you read the Glenn Hughes book?

RB: In fact yes I have and I liked that one. Glenn is a good personal friend of mine, so I can´t say anything about the way it was written and in fact I know the writer that wrote it.

Yeah, Joel, I interviewed him just a few weeks ago.

RB: Yeah and I like it! I think the time period is kinda fucked up in the way it goes back and forth, but the one that really stuck out to me in the last year was Keith Richards´"Life". That is just… Jesus Christ! The years it took to put that fuckin´ thing together, you know! Much less get the old man to remember half of that shit, but it´s an unbelievable read! I would like to… not that I´m Keith Richards or anything, but I would love to have mine read like his does.

I discussed this with Joel McIver, when it comes to you memory, do you really have to work hard remembering stuff?

RB: You know, I´ve got an I-Pad and when certain stuff pops up in my mind, I´ve got it in my backpack, I´ll put down these little things that I can tell my writer and say "Yeah ok, I remember this. Let´s put this in the book and it´ll make a cool chapter for this!" or whatever. I´ve got pages and pages of that and he takes it and puts it into his words. It just takes a lot of time. I want this to be a book that reads like I´m talking instead of some journalist going "Well, he went down to the pub.", so it takes a lot of work, but he´s starting to get a hold of my lingo, language and the whole bit so it´s going well.

Way back pre Pantera when you went by the name Rexx Rocker, were you in a lot of bands before Pantera?

RB: Well, yeah. I started playing when I was 13 or 14 and I did all kinds of stuff. I was just a kid at that point. All my friends in school called me Rocker. You had Sammy Hagar and he was the Red Rocker and everybody just put together Rexx Rocker. It was more of a nickname than anything. I started in Pantera when I was 17.

How come you ended up playing bass?

RB: Because there were too many fuckin´ guitar players out there! I play guitar, but I´m a bass player. I was playing guitar in like jazz bands when I was probably 12. I got my first guitar when I was nine and I´ve been playing it for a long time, but in jazz bands or lap dance here in the States, you had to change the chords every beat and it just seemed like… "This is the craziest fuckin´ shit ever!". I knew the bass very well because I played the tuba and you can read this in the book. There´s a definitive clarity to the reason why I took that on. I joined the high school band that was one of the best in the nation. As far as jazz band, I just happened to be lucky to be living in the same school district as this teacher and in my 11th grade year I think I didn´t pass that because I was too busy getting high and throwing a Frisbee in a fuckin´ park. Rock and roll changed my life with Led Zeppelin and all that. I just took a chance with these other brothers and you can read all about that in the book too!

Do you still listen to jazz?

RB: Dude, I like all kinds of shit. I can go from Sinatra to whatever! Sinatra and put Slayer on behind him, you know.

Final thing, your health Rex? Are you A ok these days?

RB: Ah yeah, man! The whole thing with the health deal was just that I had a bad pancreas after so many years. I couldn´t figure it out. I had these polyps inside my pancreas and I´d go to the doctor and say "Doc, I´m in extreme pain and I have no idea what´s going on!" and we went through cat scans and the whole bit and he goes "Rex, you gotta quit drinking!" and anyway, after about five years of this bullshit, I found some doctors here in Dallas who are cutting edge and they removed all the polyps. They actually cut your pancreas in half and dude I´m telling you, I haven´t felt better in five years. I´m happy as can be. I´ve got a brand new band, I´m recently divorced, I´ve got my kids and every day is just looking up better and better. I don´t think my personal problems has anything to do with the music. I´m just not one of those guys. My personal problems are stuff that I have to deal with. That´s just the way I am. I appreciate everybody´s thoughts and prayers. I didn´t wanna do anything until I had it behind me and show the fact that yes, Rex is back!

Good to hear. Any touring plans what so ever? Any plans for Europe?

RB: We´re gonna tour every god damned place as much as we can! There are a lot of places in the world where you can go and play gigs now. I wanna play every place I´ve never gotten to play and then some. We like playing about four or five weeks and then take a little break and have fun with this thing. Instead of bands that just go out and fuckin´ tour 200 days straight and they basically break up at the end of the fuckin´ thing. Going to places that we´ve never seen before. It´s amazing. Down did some of that, like going to places like… Tel Aviv. Phil was so scared about going to Tel Aviv we had to cancel the first time and then they offered it to us a second time and we went over and dude, it was the coolest fuckin´ place I think I´ve ever been to! I wanna go to Dubai, I wanna go to Taiwan and Hong Kong. I wanna go see some places.

You gotta come to Stockholm!

RB: We´ll definitely hit Stockholm and every place where we possibly can get a gig, which I don´t think is gonna be too hard after this record comes out. What do you think of it by the way?

It sounds really good and there´s this song called "Gates of hell" and the first thought that came to mind was that there´s a bit of Alice In Chains in there and then I read your bio where it says it´s a mix of Led Zeppelin and Alice In Chains and some other stuff. It´s a really cool song!

RB: It came to the obvious. Look, we´ve got heavy shit on the bottom and then we have this incredible melody and hooks on top. Why not incorporated, man? Nobody´s doing that. Let´s have somebody sing on the record and not fuckin´ spit and gargle shit up. Phil did that in the 90´s and he was really, really good at it. He was a pioneer in that department and he´s got so many people wanna be like him. It´s flattering and at the same time kinda disgusting, you know. (laughs)

Well, I really hope I get to see you guys live somewhere.

RB: Dude, you gotta see us live because it´s a powerhouse. We´re doing three part harmonies and the whole fuckin´ bit, but we´re stying focused on the heavy parts of it. Me and Vinnie playing together… I mean, I´ve been blessed with great drummers and how many times do people get that opportunity, so that´s where I´m at. I´m just as happy as can fuckin´ be… to be playing, a new love life. It´s a great thing.

Excellent talking to you Rex and good luck with everything!

RB: Ok man, I´ll see you!

This package is offered at an economical routed price, and the bands will be travelling with their own shared backline — none needed to be provided by promoters. Additionally, dates are available now in two legs — June followed by July-August.

For booking information, contact Chuck Bernal at Artists Worldwide.
Sonic Violence recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the departure of drummer Jean Dolabella, who played in SEPULTURA for five years (2006-2011):

Kisser: "[Before he made the made the decision to leave] he didn't know what he wanted, really. I guess he didn't have too much support from his house and family, so he decided to stay closer to them and do something else in music. Too bad he left the band with an unfinished job. We are still touring for [the latest SEPULTURA album] 'Kairos' and we have a lot to do this year. But he is an amazing musician, brought a lot of good stuff for SEPULTURA and I wish the best of luck in his new career… [It] was all good, we talked a lot, since the beginning of 2011 and after the MACHINE HEAD tour in South America he left. We had time to prepare the change without too much hassle."

On SEPULTURA's new drummer, 21-year-old São Paulo native Eloy Casagrande:

Kisser: "Eloy was a suggestion from many friends. I knew him for a while, saw him playing with André Matos [ANGRA] and with his last band, GLÓRIA, but didn't know how he would be playing SEPULTURA stuff, so we did an audition and he was amazing — really powerful with great technique. He is a young guy, but with some experience. He did a great tour with us last year and we are glad he's with us now . . [He adds] lots of energy and motivation. Soon we will start writing some new material and let's see what kind of ideas he can bring to the band."

On how the Internet has affected how SEPULTURA and other bands promote their music:

Kisser: "I do not download music from the Net, I have no patience, but the Internet is here to stay and we have to deal with that. The good thing about it is that today you have more chances to show your music without being dependent on a label; the channel is open for anyone, and this is awesome — more freedom and less power to the labels. I think we are still on a transition phase; everything happened too fast, so we are still trying to adapt to this new scenario."

On his relationship with his former SEPULTURA bandmates Max and Igor Cavalera:

Kisser: "I have an open channel to contact them, which is really cool, something that was totally closed some years ago. It's nice to talk to them again without the pressure of working together."

On whether Derrick Green will ever take up Max Cavalera's rhythm guitar position:

Kisser: "No, not really and why? Just because Max played guitar? I think is stupid to try to copy something that is not there anymore. We have to respect what we have, work with that, and not be a slave from the past. Derrick is not a thrash guitar player. He can play guitar, but not SEPULTURA's music. He's using his abilities on percussion and he's developing a really cool style on it."
Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with KORN singer Jonathan Davis. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Radio Metal: How do you make such two different musical worlds, metal and dubstep, work together? I guess a metal band such as KORN has a very different way of working compared to dubstep artists such as Skrillex?

Jonathan: No, there's a lot of similarities there; there really is. Dubstep music is really heavy. Some of those sounds were just so heavy that we thought it would work so we wanted to experiment. We didn't know if we were going to make an album or what we were going to do, but when we got with Skrillex, we did a few soungs, and once we got there, [we were like] "Fuck the EP. Let's do a whole album. I guess we'll work with all these different amazing producers."

Radio Metal: Was it difficult to mix these two different musical worlds?

Jonathan: Yeah, it was tough. We had no clue about what we were doing. That was something that hadn't been done before. It was a big huge learning curve. That's why we had asked the producer to mix the album with our engineer and he taught Bud [engineer Jim "Bud" Monti] all kind of stuff and Bud taught him all kinds of stuff so we were exchanging information and getting together and making the thing work. Of course it was a hard record to make, but it was the funnest record I've ever made.

Radio Metal: In the Roadrunner Records biography you were quoted defining the mixture found on "The Path Of Totality" as "future metal." So do we have to expect KORN to further explore that direction in the future or do you think you've been as far as there was to explore with combining metal and dubstep?

Jonathan: I think that since we did this record, it wouldn't be necessary to do another dubstep album, so it's on to the next thing. Our records are always kind of different, so I think we'll take what we've learned from this, and there might be subtle influences here and there, but I think overall the next KORN album will be different from the last one.

Radio Metal: You said that people were going to be pissed about "The Path Of Totality" and that made you even more excited about it. Why does it excite you so much? What satisfies you in pissing people off?

Jonathan: What made me excited about it? There's a lot of closed-minded metal purists that would hate something because it's not true to metal or whatever, but KORN has never been a metal band, dude. We're not a metal band. We've always been looked as as what they called the nu-metal thing. But we've always been the black sheep and we never fitted into that kind of thing, so… We're always ever-evolving, and we always piss fans off and we're gaining other fans, and it is how it is. And I love them all, I even love the ones that hate on us, because if they take the time out to go and say that they hate us; it means that they care. [laughs] You can't make everybody happy, but I've been around for 18 years, so I'm like, "I don't give a fuck, I really don't!" I wanna do what makes me happy and makes the band happy. But that doesn't bother us at all. There will always be people who are going to hate, no matter what the hell we do.

Radio Metal: Do you think that people need to have their convictions and habits shaken sometimes?

Jonathan: Yeah, man, that's what keeps everything sweet. You just do one thing and then change and do another thing… It trips them out and in the end they come around. Yeah, and they like that. I like being surprised. It's all about not being closed-minded and enjoy all kinds of music. And, fortunately, there are people like that.
Maryland rockers CLUTCH will team up with HELLYEAH for a North American co-headlining tour this spring. Both bands will play full headlining sets. The trek kicks off April 13 in Providence, Rhode Island and runs through May 11 in Joliet, Illinooi. Throughout the tour, there will also be dates that feature CLUTCH only and HELLYEAH only as well as radio festivals and shows.

The dates are as follows:

Apr. 10 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva (CLUTCH only)
Apr. 11 - Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club (CLUTCH only)
Apr. 12 - Albany, NY @ Northern Lights Ground (CLUTCH only)
Apr. 13 - Providence, RI @ Lupos
Apr. 14 - Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues
Apr. 15 - Long Island, NY @ Paramount Theater
Apr. 17 - Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Apr. 18 - Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
Apr. 20 - Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero
Apr. 21 - Ft. Wayne, IN @ Pierre's
Apr. 22 - Toledo, OH @ Headliner's
Apr. 23 - Dayton, OH @ McGuffy's House of Rock (CLUTCH only)
Apr. 24 - Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
Apr. 25 - Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom
Apr. 28 - Lincoln, NE @ Box Awesome's Bourbon Lounge
Apr. 29 - Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
May 01 - Springfield, MO @ Gillioz Theater
May 02 - Wichita, KS @ Cotillion
May 03 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom (CLUTCH only)
May 04 - Sauget, IL @ Pops
May 05 - Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
May 06 - Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theater (CLUTCH only)
May 06 - Atlanta, GA @ WLKS Project Cinco Party (HELLYEAH only)
May 08 - Libertyville, IL @ Austins
May 10 - Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewery (CLUTCH only)
May 11 - Joilet, IL @ Mojoes
May 12 - Detroit, MI @ St Andrews Hall (CLUTCH only)
May 13 - Flint, MI @ Machine Shop (CLUTCH only)
May 19 - Hartford, CT @ WCCC Big Gig (HELLYEAH only)
May 27 - Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma (HELLYEAH only)

HELLYEAH — featuring Vinnie Paul Abbott (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN), Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett (MUDVAYNE), Tom Maxwell (NOTHINGFACE) and Bob "Zilla" Kakaha (DAMAGEPLAN) — will release its third album, "Band Of Brothers", on June 5 via the group's new label home, Eleven Seven Music. The CD was recorded in Dallas, Texas at Vinnie Paul's home studio, VP's Upstairs Studio, and was produced by the band and Jeremy Parker (GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE), who also served as engineer.

Weathermaker Music has set a February 28 release date for the CLUTCH double vinyl edition of "Blast Tyrant". This 180-gram expanded vinyl contains 16 songs and includes six mini-posters taken straight from "Blast Tyrant"'s "Atlas Of The Invisible World". Each illustrated poster is sized 8.5" x 11" and depicts one of the various characters featured within the "Blast Tyrant" storyline. Prior to February 28, the double vinyl edition of "Blast Tyrant" is exclusively available via www.clutchmerch.com.
American metalcore crew In This Moment are making their inaugural trip to Australia as part of this year's Soundwave Festival. Vocalist Maria Brink spoke to Loud about the progress of their next album, recent lineup shifts, the festival and more.

Q: You're one of a number of bands making their first trek to Australia as part of Soundwave. What are you expecting from the Australian shows?
A: I'm so excited to go there; I've actually always wanted to go to Australia. I just expect to have a good time, have the crowds be awesome and I feel like we've never been there, so we have to go there and like win everybody over. 'Cause we've never been there, and a lot of people probably won't even know who we are, so we have to go there and kick some ass, so people will remember us the next time. I know that we're going to like a place where we get to hold koala bears and we're trying to line up on off-days some special things that we can do. 'Cause I want to make sure I get to see stuff; I don't just want to be at shows the whole time, I want to see Australia as much as I can.

Q: Good to hear. Who are you excited to see at the festival?
A: Oh man, so many bands, but I've never seen System of a Down or Slipknot. I've toured for years with so many bands, and I've just never been able to. So I'll definitely be going to watch both of them for sure. I'm excited to see if Dez (Fafara), he's playing with Coal Chamber and he's been playing with DevilDriver all these years, I'm excited to see if he puts his thing back on for Coal Chamber, his look (laughs). I'll be interested in that too, I'll have to watch.

Q: Will the band be playing any material from your forthcoming album while you're in Australia?
A: No, because we're in the album right now, in the middle of recording, so we took a break to go to Australia. So we're not going to play any new songs 'till next time. So next summer, we'll be playing the new songs from the new album.

Q: How is the new material shaping up then?
A: It's so exciting, I'm so like… I know for a fact that we're in the most powerful place we've ever been, like artistically. I know everyone is going to be so surprised with what we're doing, it's going to be pretty amazing; it's real exciting. I'm really happy and I know 2012 is going to be very special.

Q: When you say surprising, can you elaborate on that?
A: I can't explain, we brought some stuff to the table that we've never done before and it really sounds like something special, something new. I can't explain it; I mean, if you know our old music, when you hear the new stuff you're going to go, "holy shit, okay, I totally get it". But I don't want to give away anything either, it's just unique; it's something new we've brought to the table. We found something special within us; we found this certain thing, so I'm excited for it.

Q: You've had a few long-time members leave the band since the completion of the last album. Did that strengthen the bond between those of you still there and motivate you to make a better record?
A: Yeah, that's kinda what I think… You know how sometimes, you don't realise sometimes something happening (that's) traumatic, that it can be the most beautiful thing that could have happened to you? It's like one of those situations. It got really stripped back down to me and Chris (Howorth, guitars), and me and Chris started this band together, just me and him and then it was like everybody came to the table, everybody brings their own influence. I believe it was all meant to be, all of those albums with them. I love them, I wish them the best. But it was almost like this new, with just me and Chris, this new fire, this new strength within me that I just… magical things started happening between what we started creating. And it's just so meant to be; it's meant to be that they moved on and some other things in my life, it's so cool 'cause it's just like this brand new everything and it feels really awesome. And you're going to be able to hear it.

Q: Some bands seem to find that even if they don't realise it at the time, a change in the personnel or dynamic of a band can be the best thing to reenergise them.
A: Yeah, exactly. It's like, I love them and wish them the best, but it's almost like you're married for a bunch of years and all of a sudden you have this new kind of freedom. You're like, you feel more alive than you've ever been; that's what it feels like (laughs).

Q: What other details can you reveal about the album – do you have a tentative release date, for instance?
A: Yeah, I think it's going to be late August, so that's what I think's gonna happen. That gives us time to set it up right, set up the work system, the photo shoots, video shoots, all of that stuff. We didn't want to rush it; we wanted to make sure everything was strategically done, in the right way. So August seemed to make sense. I wish I could reveal the album title (laughs), we have to hold it for like three more weeks, but I wish I could tell you. I guess I can say this is definitely the darkest album In This Moment has ever done. There's a lot more dark, kind of, if you had to pick colours, just dark, crimson reds and blacks. It has this whole new thing, so I guess I could say that (laughs).

Q: Have you approached your vocals any differently on this record?
A: I've brought a lot of new vocal stuff in that I've never done before. It's definitely going to be the most vocal styles anyone's ever heard from me, all in one.

Q: Who are some of your main inspirations as a vocalist?
A: I have so many people… I think I'm inspired by so many different singers, because they all kinda have this unique thing that they bring, you know? I try to look at some of my favourite singers and just be inspired by them, for the reasons that I love what they do. Like Chino's (Moreno) one of my favourite singers, Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance is my favourite female singer ever. But you know, I just try to learn from great artists and I think that learning how to be a better singer and use as much vocal technique as I can is really important. And then really making sure that I feel what I'm singing, because I think that's a really important part of the magic of a singer. That they feel what they sing, whether or not it's heart-wrenching or they're pissed off or it's beautiful, it's gotta be real. I think that's the people that give us goose-bumps. For me, I've never been more… It's raw for me (on the new album), I guess you would say. It's definitely a raw emotion coming from me on this album. I'm trying a lot of new vocal things and I think it's a side no one has seen of me, that's for sure.

Q: Aside from the new In This Moment record, what albums are you excited to hear in 2012?
A: I don't even know; I've been so out of the loop musically, I have no idea. I don't even know what's coming out. I've been so consumed with writing our album (laughs); I'm so out of it. I don't even go on Facebook, I don't do anything. I'm just so disconnected. So I don't even know what's coming out. I'll have to check and see what is coming out. Usually what happens is it will come out and then I'll see it somewhere, or somebody will tell me, "oh, the new Deftones is out, the new this or that is out". And then I'm like, "oh shit, I've gotta go get that". That's how it usually works for me.

Q: Any famous last words?
A: Just thank you so much for interviewing us and we are so excited to come there and have a good time, meet all the new people and make you guys want us to come back, so that's our plan. I'm sure we're gonna fall in love with it and then we're going to have to be on Soundwave every year (laughs), that's my new plan.

In This Moment will be touring with Soundwave 2012 on the following dates-
25/2: Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD (SOLD OUT)
26/2: Sydney Showground, Sydney NSW (SOLD OUT)
2/3: Melbourne Showground, Melbourne VIC (SOLD OUT)
3/3: Bonython Park, Adelaide SA
5/3: Claremont Showgrounds, Perth WA

You can also catch them with Unearth, Kittie and Heaven Shall Burn on the following dates-
28/2: Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne
4/3: Amplifier Bar, Perth
Quebec, Canada-based metallers AETERNAM will enter Badass Studios with engineer Jean-François "Jef" Fortin this spring to begin recording their new album, "Moongod", for a late 2012 release via Galy Records.

Commented the band, "The album will contain nine songs plus a short and wicked intro. As far as it goes, there's still a lot of blast beats and brutal stuff, but the music is way more epic and melodic, really more groovy and let's say... dangerous? Lyrics deal a lot with religions (again), but the focus is more on pre-Islamic rites and actual stuff that is going on right now in the Middle East. Nevertheless, there's still some new ideas and conceptsL we do even have a song that talks about Mayan culture! Crazy stuff!"

"Moongod" track listing:

01. Moongod
02. Invading Jerusalem
03. Cosmogony
04. Iram Of The Pillars
05. Rise Of Arabia
06. Xibalba
07. Descent Of Gods
08. Idol Of The Sun
09. Hubal, Profaner Of Light
Portuguese/Finnish heavy rock/ melancholy metal/ progressive ambient project VERTIGO STEPS has inked a record deal with the Portuguese label Ethereal Sound Works. An EP/single entitled "Sublight" will be released in March, featuring three tracks from the forthcoming "Surface/Light" full-length album, plus three video clips.

"Sublight" will include the brand new video for "Someone (Like You)", directed by Norwegian artist and VERTIGO STEPS fan Sigurd Svidal Randal, and featuring experimental and stunning Bergen-area landscape and timelapses.

"Surface/Light" will be made available in April, along with a highly limited special digipack edition including all three VERTIGO STEPS albums ("Vertigo Steps", "The Melancholy Hour", "Surface/Light"). The CD was recorded in late 2011 at UltraSound Studios with producer Daniel Cardoso — who also handled bass and drum duties — and features, in addition to the core duo Bruno A and Niko Mankinen, special guest vocals by Jan Transit, Stein R Sordal, Patrik Karlsson and Sophie.

"Sublight" track listing:


01. Silent Bliss
02. Someone (Like You)
03. Nothing At All (ROB DOUGAN cover)


01. Someone (Like You)
02. Fire Eaters
03. Inhale

Surface/Light recording lineup:

* Bruno A - Music, Guitars, Keys, Ambiences, Samples
* Niko Mankinen - Lead Vocals

Vocal guests:

* Jan Transit (IN THE WOODS..., TRANSIT)
* Patrik Karlsson (THIS HAVEN)
* Sophie (UGARIT)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based technical death metallers DERELICT will release their new album, "Perpetuation", on April 20. Vocalist Eric Burnet states, "The date coincides with our Montreal CD-release show, which will kick off a run of similar events around Quebec and Ontario, followed by some tours in the summer and fall."

"Perpetuation" track listing:

01. Perpetuation
02. Spoils Of War
03. Expiry
04. Digital Birthright
05. Intricate Decay
06. Olympic
07. Ergogenic
08. Recreated
09. Yours To Surpass
10. Shackles Of Indoctrination
11. The Iridium Layer
12. Emergence

For more information, visit www.derelictmetal.com.
Las Vegas "djent-core" outfit AECHOES will release its debut album, "The Human Condition", this spring via Swimming With Sharks Records. The CD boasts an all-star cast of contributors, including Daniel Braunstein, guitarist for the band VOLUMES, heading up vocal tracking, mixing and mastering at DB Studios. All instrument tracking was done by Diego Farias, also a guitar player from VOLUMES, who also provided a piano composition for the album. Other notable contributions include a guitar solo from Chris Storey (ex-ALL SHALL PERISH) and guitar work from Travis Montgomery (THREAT SIGNAL). The CD is described in a press release as "a complex and creative blend of the best elements of progressive deathcore, hardcore, metalcore, and djent."

Commented AECHOES vocalist Kiernan McArdle: "We are very pleased to announce our new partnership with Swimming With Sharks Records. Noah Robertson works harder than most label owners, and understands the trials and tribulations that bands go through. He shares the same exhausting work ethic that we see daily with the record label and his band THE BROWNING. We have complete confidence that AECHOES, and Swimming With Sharks will grow together and do great things. We are excited that our long-awaited debut album, 'The Human Condition', is being released by such an awesome, artist-friendly label. We look forward to hitting the road this spring and summer in support of the album."

AECHOES recently inked a publishing deal with band management and publishing company Salem Rose Music (ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, PATHOLOGY, BONDED BY BLOOD). "We are very excited to be signing with Salem Rose. We've wanted to work with Marco [Barbieri] for a long time now. We've seen his success with Metal Blade and Century Media, and are glad to have his support," explained McArdle. "We've worked hard, and we have accomplished a lot within our first year of being AECHOES. We have a lot in store for the future, and this milestone is just the beginning."

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/aechoes.

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