[Classic_Rock_Forever] Robert Plant, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Queen, Guns N Roses, Megadeth, Chickenfoot, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


According to The Guardian, Robert Plant and his new band the SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS will make their live debut as headliners of the 30th-anniversary edition of the Womad festival. The group's lineup will include the former LED ZEPPELIN singer alongside members of his former backing band STRANGE SENSATION and regular collaborator Justin Adams.
SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS say they draw inspiration "from the roots music of Mississippi, Appalachia, Gambia, Bristol and the foothills of Wolverhampton."
The inaugural installment of Womad — an acronymn for World of Music, Arts and Dance — was conceived by GENESIS singer Peter Gabriel and took place in 1982 at the Royal Bath & West showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
The original lineup of BLACK SABBATH was set to head out on a reunion tour this year but due to guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer treatment and drummer Bill Ward's contract dispute, it doesn't seem like it is going to happen. Instead, the band will play one date at the U.K.'s Download festival in June. So will SABBATH play in America at all? Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon, tells VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner, "They're gonna be doing one show in America this summer but I can't say yet because we can't announce it, the promoters have to, but they are doing one show in August here together."
When asked if that means Ward will be part of the reunited band's lineup for the U.S. concert, she said, "We don't know yet, we really don't know. It's up to Bill. The door is open for him to join us, so it's up to him."
Meanwhile, SABBATH, without Ward, continues to work on its upcoming album in England. Sharon gave VH1 Radio Network an update on how that is going. "It's going good," she said. "They're doing really well in the studio. Gosh, they must've written 15 new songs already and it's going great."
When Bill Ward announced he wasn't taking part in the reunion until he was presented with a "signable" contract, many fans unjustly blamed Sharon for it all. She told VH1 Radio Network why she has nothing to do with Bill's contract. "It's unbelievable," she said. "Everybody has their own manager in SABBATH. They've been doing this a long time and we have an independent team of people that work for everybody because everybody's got their own manager, so we have an independent group of people that have come in to manage the project, and I don't, and I get the blame because Bill doesn't want to play with the band; he doesn't like his deal and I get the blame. It's like, 'Alright, I'm a big girl, I can take it.'"
The rest of BLACK SABBATH's previously scheduled European summer shows will be replaced by "Ozzy And Friends", at which the singer will be joined by SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates.
Butler will join Ozzy during the shows for a set of SABBATH songs in honor of Iommi. The 64-year-old guitarist continues to make "excellent progress" in his battle with cancer, which was diagnosed earlier this year.
AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry has revealed via Twiter that he has "officially started writing [his] biography this week." More details will be made available soon.
AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler's memoir, "Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?", debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best seller list. The book came out in May 2011 and the outspoken singer made the press rounds to talk about the book. Speaking candidly about his past drug addictions with People.com, Tyler said, "I blew 20 million. I snorted my Porsche, I snorted my plane, I snorted my house in that din of drugs and booze and being lost." He added, "I kept my medicine cabinet on stage, in a 14-inch drum head, the bottom of which contained . . . one Dixie cup (paper cup) with a straw and blow (cocaine) in it and the other with Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels in it."
But Tyler told The Pulse Of Radio that he also wanted to show a different side of himself in the book. "Being in a band with AEROSMITH, you're kind of depicted as Peck's bad boy," he said. "They love the bad boys of Boston. Everybody's intrigued by the badness of it all. And I just thought, why not just share it with the world the way it really is, and tell them my feelings about my cat, and how addicted to Christmas time I am, and hearing my kids laugh — I don't think they know that side. The press tends to put out the greasy, grimy, gopher guts side of AEROSMITH."
Tyler went into detail in the tome about the stage injury that led him back to drugs and eventually another stint in rehab in late 2009, during which AEROSMITH flirted with the idea of hiring a new vocalist.
The singer explained to Billboard, "I wanted America to know that I didn't just go off on my own somewhere and buy some street drugs. There really was a story behind it." Saying he got hooked on painkillers after having long-delayed surgery on both feet, Tyler revealed, "I have an addictive personality and I got in trouble again. I did, and shame on me for that."
On February 17, Ward posted an update in which he said he "remains hopeful" for a positive outcome to the situation and is "prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band." It is not clear whether Ward issued his statement before the news broke about SABBATH's plans being canceled.
QUEEN's Brian May and Roger Taylor have confirmed the band will headline the second day of U.K.'s Sonisphere appearing on the Apollo stage on Saturday, July 7. Knebworth was the setting for QUEEN's final concert with Freddie Mercury, in August 1986.
May and Taylor also confirmed that for this very special event they will be joined by U.S. singer-songwriter, and "American Idol" finalist, Adam Lambert.
The potent chemistry between QUEEN and Lambert broke the surface when at the invitation of Brian May and Roger Taylor, Lambert joined them for the closing showcase at the recent MTV Europe Music Awards where QUEEN were present to collect their "Global Icon" award.
During a brand new interview with NME.com, Lambert insisted that he is not trying to replace the later Freddie Mercury. He said, "The way I look at it is I'm not trying to imitate or outdo him or compete in any way, that's not even in my mind at all, I think it's really an honor to be asked to sing the music that he and the band wrote and get up there and put on a good show. If people are too busy trying to compare, they're not going to enjoy the music."
Although Lambert did not rule out another collaboration with QUEEN in the future, he insisted that for now the Knebworth show is simply a one-off. He told NME.com, "One of the things [people have said] was, 'He's gonna be the permanent frontman of QUEEN.' And although that would be a beautiful experience, the tricky thing this year for me is I also have my album coming out, 'Trespassing', and that's gonna take a lot of work and time and energy. So it's really a one-off experience with the band, and I'm really excited for it. But I'm not joining the band and touring with them."
GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has produced "Rock N Roll Baby", the debut single from the Mexican rock singer Poc. Drums on the track were laid down by GUNS N' ROSES' Frank Ferrer.
Poc's story begins as a young ballet dancer in Mexico City, on the morning of her audition to enter professional dance school. On her way to the performance, she had an accident and broke her ankle, a pivotal moment that shifted her future toward her other passion, music. Poc started to sing, write songs, play piano and guitar, started recording demos and performing around Mexico City. Now in her early 20s, her musical career is taking off — teaming up with Thal and opening shows for GUNS N' ROSES in Mexico (October 2011), Poc is ready to release her debut album, "Rise Above", starting with the arena-rock inspired anthem "Rock N Roll Baby".
About the recording process, Thal says, "Poc flew up to to my studio in New Jersey and lived there for two months while we wrote, recorded, and kept a livestream going to have fans watch, and participate. We had them Skype their backing vocals to us to include in the song 'Rock N Roll Baby', something I don't think has ever been done on an album. We'd spend hours late at night listening to the past 50 years of rock music, JANIS JOPLIN, LED ZEPPELIN, AEROSMITH, getting inspiration. And in the end you can hear that real singer/guitarist team in the songs, that duo of personalities, we captured that."
He added, "I've never experienced so much making an album as I have with Poc. In those two months, we had a heatwave, an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood that left three feet of water in the studio, and lots of personal challenges to deal with from family tragedies to extortion threats, all this while I was in rehabilitation from a car accident that had left me unable to play and in constant pain. It was one challenge after another. But instead of it stopping us, it added intensity and spirit to the album. That's where the album title came from — every time an obstacle would stand in our way, we'd rise above.
​Dave Mustaine is intense. His band Megadeth pairs oppositional forces -- aggressive, machine-gun rhythms with near-pop melodies -- and similarly Mustaine's personality seems a yin-yang contradiction of simmering rage and family values.
On the road with the fourth Gigantour, which hits Gibson Amphitheatre tomorrow, February 24, Mustaine remains characteristically outspoken about, well, pretty much everything. Topics discussed include Rick Santorum and birth control in Africa.
How's the tour going?
Fabulous. Best Gigantour yet...The talent, I believe, has just congealed into this really great package.
Last night, somebody came into our dressing room, and he says to us, "I've been coming here for years, and that's the quietest I've ever heard anybody mix a band, but you could hear every single note you guys played." And I felt like saying, "Well, duh, we're going on after Motörhead, who plays very, very, very loud." We're a finesse band. We don't need volume to make our point...
I just love my freedom out here right now. It's so neat. My wife's been out here with me the whole time. We've just been having fun watching TV -- watching cooking shows and crap. And watching those dudes that bust open storage lockers...Wish my whole family was out here, but one of them's in school, and the other one works now. [My son] Justis actually has two jobs and goes to college now. That's a great thing to hear as a dad when you've got a 20-year-old. Instead of, "Yeah, Dad, I just pierced my eye, and I have an STD, and I've got a record now at the police station."
Said the former hell-raiser.
Yeah, but as bad as I was, I'm able to share that with Justis...Instead of saying, "Don't do this," say, "This is what I did, and this is what happened, and here's an alternative to do for that."
There's so many houses without a dad that it's just terrible. I mean, you know how they used to say there should be a license to have a baby? Well, as far-fetched as that sounds, I really think that, if the parents aren't going to stick together, they shouldn't make that kind of commitment to life. I watch some of these shows from over in Africa, and you've got starving women with six kids. Well, how about, you know, put a plug in it? It's like, you shouldn't be having children if you can't feed them.
You're very open about your Christian faith. Often, that seems like a topic that's off-limits in everyday conversation.
Yeah, that's because most people don't really have a belief. They kind of are wading in the kiddie pool. I don't push it on anybody. I never have. I think that's one of the reasons that people don't mind talking to me about it.
Even if you don't believe in God and you don't believe in faith, you've got to understand, when Israel became a country again, that was a prophecy in the Bible that came true, and the Bible was written so many hundreds of years ago. Also, any of the stuff that it says in there about the end times -- that stuff's really happening right now. Look what's happening over in the Middle East. It's crazy.
You seem to have embraced the idea of Megadeth being a political band. What are your thoughts on the upcoming Presidential election?
I wouldn't vote for Obama. I didn't vote for him last time, thank God, so I have no responsibility for this disaster that's happening to our country. And watching the primaries with the Republicans, I think probably the classiest guy out of all of them is Rick Santorum.
I didn't know who Rick Santorum was, and I kind of thought he was the quiet guy, but he was just kind of waiting his turn. And when he did talk, he was very eloquent. I think the thing that sold me on him was when he opted to miss something to go back and be with his daughter, who was very sick. That showed me that family is so important to him, and it showed his integrity. So, that's the guy that -- if he makes it -- that's the guy I want to vote for.
[Editor's Note: Subsequent to this interview, Mustaine clarified that he has not endorsed any Presidential candidate.]
Gigantour, featuring Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil arrives at the Gibson Amphitheatre tomorrow night. It is sold out.
CHICKENFOOT will perform on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Thursday, March 1.
"The Tonight Show" airs on NBC TV at 11:35 p.m. EST. Check local listings for details.
CHICKENFOOT will embark on the "Different Devil Tour" in the spring. Support on the trek will come from BLACK STONE CHERRY.
The dates are as follows:
May 04 - Lake Tahoe, NV @ Harrah's Hotel & Casino
May 05 - Lake Tahoe, NV @ Harrah's Hotel & Casino
May 09 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Aud.
May 11 - Minneapolis, MN @ The Brick
May 12 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theater
May 14 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
May 16 - Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
May 18 - Atlantic City, NJ @ House Of Blues
May 19 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
May 21 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theater
May 23 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theater
May 25 - Thackerville, OK @ Winstar Casino
May 27 - Pryor, OK @ Catch the Fever Festival Grounds (Rocklahoma)
May 29 - Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
May 31 - Tucson, AZ @ Anselmo Valencia Amphetheater
Jun. 01 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
Jun. 03 - Portland, OR @ Schnitzer Hall
Jun. 05 - Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theater
Jun. 06 - Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
Jun. 10 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theater
CHICKENFOOT's sophomore album, "III", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's self-titled debut opened with 49,000 units back in June 2009 to debut at No. 6.
"III" was produced by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, METALLICA) and is the much-anticipated follow-up album to the successful eponymous debut of a rock band packed with successful veterans.
Featuring guitar hero Joe Satriani and former VAN HALEN members Michael Anthony (bass) and Sammy Hagar (vocals), CHICKENFOOT's touring lineup includes legendary drummer/musician Kenny Aronoff, who is filling in for Chad Smith while Smith hits the road with his main band, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.
Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY have confirmed their first tour for 2012. Set to begin in San Antonio on May 1, the trek will include stops in Dallas, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and Denver. Joining FEAR FACTORY for the tour is Boston's SHADOWS FALL, Kansas City-based THE BROWNING, Riverside, California's THE DEVASTATED, and LEGACY OF DISORDER from New Zealand.
Confirmed dates so far:
May 01 - Backstage Live - San Antonio, TX
May 02 - Trees – Dallas, TX
May 03 - Scout Bar – Houston, TX
May 05 - State Theater - St. Petersburg, FL
May 06 - Culture Room - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
May 09 - Ziggy's - Winston-Salem, NC
May 10 - Theater of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
May 11 - Wally's Pub - Hampton Beach, NH
May 12 - Gramercy Theatre - New York, NY
May 13 - Sonar – Baltimore, MD
May 16 - The Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
May 20 - Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
FEAR FACTORY recently finished mixing its new album, "The Industrialist", with Greg Reely (PARADISE LOST, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, SKINNY PUPPY) at a studio in Canada. Due this summer in Europe via AFM Records and in the U.S. through Candlelight, the CD was once again co-produced by the band with Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, PARADISE LOST), with additional tracking by Logan Mader (DEVILDRIVER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SOULFLY).
Commented FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell: "This album perfectly captures the true nature of FEAR FACTORY. The industrial/metal blend is a strong return to our original concept for FEAR FACTORY."
FEAR FACTORY recently enlisted Matt DeVries as the band's new bass player. DeVries, previously of CHIMAIRA (where he played guitar) and most recently SIX FEET UNDER, joined FEAR FACTORY as the replacement for Byron Stroud (now with 3 INCHES OF BLOOD).
Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell commented: "We are very excited to have Matt playing bass for FEAR FACTORY. We feel he is a great addition to our touring lineup. He has been a friend for a very long time and he is a great musician who will be a perfect instrument in the FF machine."
DeVries added: "I have been asked by Dino and Burton to join one of my favorite bands. I have been a fan of FEAR FACTORY since 1992 and I could not be more excited to be part of this incredible band. We have shared the stage many times together and now I'm beyond stoked to be on the same stage playing together. Thank you to all my fans worldwide for sticking by me and I will be seeing you all on the road very soon."
FEAR FACTORY's most recent touring lineup featured original FF members Dino Cazares (guitar) and Burton C. Bell (vocals) alongside Stroud (who was credited on the last three FEAR FACTORY albums in addition to touring and recording with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and ZIMMERS HOLE) and legendary drummer Gene Hoglan (DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DEATH, TESTAMENT).
Despite the fact that legendary Swedish doomsters CANDLEMASS have just completed work on their final studio album, the band's bassist/leader Leif Edling tells Terrorizer magazine that the group is not planning on hanging it up anytime soon.
"We're not splitting up," he said. "Yes, this is to be our last album, but we don't plan to disappear from the scene for quite awhile. We will tour this year, hopefully the next one as well, and then there's our upcoming 30th anniversary. So plenty more doom to come! It's just that we want to stop before we get too old and start putting out half-lame albums. Instead, we'll slowly fade away into the sunset with our dignity intact. We're not young anymore. Actually, some of the stuff I've been writing for this album ism in fact, about saying goodbye. It's a bit psalm-like in parts and has got a big epic vibe."
He added, "I have got a very good feeling about this album. It's so metal, so heavy, so doomy, so epic.. It's fucking colossal! I think this will turn out as good as [2009's] 'Death Magic Doom', something I thought would be impossible."
CANDLEMASS's final CD is tentatively due in April via Napalm Records. Songtitles set to appear on the effort include "Prophet", "Sadness Run Deep" and "Water Witch".
CANDLEMASS celebrated its 25-year anniversary by performing an extra-long, two-and-a-half-hour set at Debaser Medis in Stockholm on December 18, 2010. The band's classic debut album, "Epicus Doomicus Metalicus", was played in its entirety for the first time with the original singer Johan Längqvist.
CANDLEMASS released a new DVD, "Ashes To Ashes - Live", in North America on June 29, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records (April 23, 2010 in Europe). The set contains footage of the band's performance at Sweden Rock Festival in front of 30,000 people as well as CANDLEMASS' entire October 2009 concert in Athens, Greece. It also includes a 30-minute interview and two photo galleries. The DVD was released as a CD+DVD, with the Sweden Rock show as the audio CD.
"Death Magic Doom", the latest album from CANDLEMASS, debuted at No. 79 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.
"Death Magic Doom" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 52. The group's previous CD, "King of the Grey Islands", debuted at No. 83 back in June 2007.
Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH will release a special "tour edition" of their latest album, "Imaginaerum", on April 13 via Nuclear Blast Records. It will be a 2CD+DVD digibook in slipcase.
The track listing:
CD1 - The Album
01. Taikatalvi
02. Storytime
03. Ghost River
04. Slow, Love, Slow
05. I Want My Tears Back
06. Scaretale
07. Arabesque
08. Turn Loose The Mermaids
09. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11. Last Ride Of The Day
12. Song Of Myself
Song 1: From A Dusty Bookshelf
Song 2: All That Great Heart Lying Still
Song 3: Piano Black
Song 4: Love
13. Imaginaerum
CD2 - Orchestral Version
01. Taikatalvi
02. Storytime
03. Ghost River
04. Slow, Love, Slow
05. Scaretale
06. Arabesque
07. Turn Loose The Mermaids
08. Rest Calm
09. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
10. Last Ride Of The Day
11. Song Of Myself
Song 1: From A Dusty Bookshelf
Song 2: All That Great Heart Lying Still
Song 3: Piano Black
Song 4: Love
12. Imaginaerum
* Making Of "Imaginaerum"
* Storytime (video clip)
(16:9 anamorph / PCM Stereo / DVD-5 / region all / approx 90. min)
You can order it at the Nuclear Blast webshop.
In addition, there will be a two-LP version in black or clear vinyl with the orchestral version of the record in gatefold.
Track listing:
Side A
01. Taikatalvi
02. Storytime
03. Ghost River
04. Slow, Love, Slow
Side B
01. Scaretale
02. Arabesque
03. Turn Loose The Mermaids
Side C
01. Rest Calm
02. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
03. Last Ride Of The Day
Side D
01. Song Of Myself
Song 1: From A Dusty Bookshelf
Song 2: All That Great Heart Lying Still
Song 3: Piano Black
Song 4: Love
02. Imaginaerum
"Imaginaerum" has been certified gold in Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.
The effort entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 1 and has already been certifield triple platinum in the country after shifting more than 60,000 units.
"Imaginaerum" sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, 2007's "Dark Passion Play", opened with 11,000 units to land at No. 84.
"Dark Passion Play" has sold more than 130,000 copies in the U.S. so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Imaginaerum" was released in North America on January 10 via Roadrunner Records.
Oakland, California hard rock band HIGH ON FIRE will release its new studio album, "De Vermis Mysteriis", on April 3 via eOne Music. Recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou, the 10-song effort — touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" — is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow-up to 2010's "Snakes For The Divine" which debuted at No. 62 on The Billboard 200 chart and has been called "wonderful" by The New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by the Chicago Tribune.
"De Vermis Mysteriis" (or "Mysteries Of The Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by "Psycho" author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the "Cthulhu Mythos" (Lovecraft mentioned "De Vermis Mysteriis" as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man"). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes." And that's just scratching the surface!
Musically, "De Vermis Mysteriis" is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. HIGH ON FIRE construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, HIGH ON FIRE have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. HIGH ON FIRE is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.
When asked for comment on "De Vermis Mysteriis", Pike somewhat cryptically replied, "Prepare for your dark journey."
"De Vermis Mysteriis" track listing:
01. Serums Of Liao
02. Bloody Knuckles
03. Fertile Green
04. Madness Of An Architect
05. Interlude
06. Spiritual Rites
07. King Of Days
08. De Vermis Mysteriis
09. Romulus And Remus
10. Warhorn
In advance of the new album's release, HIGH ON FIRE will perform a number of live dates as part of the 2012 SXSW (South By Southwest) in Austin, Texas. The band is expected to preview new material at the shows.
Slipknot return with a promise to deliver full-on energy, writes Martin Boulton.
SLIPKNOT founding member Shawn Crahan, aka Clown or No.6, not only prides himself on the group's work ethic but challenges anyone to deliver the same amount of on-stage energy.
''We give you everything,'' he says. ''We're the greatest band in the world as far as I'm concerned.
''I always laugh when bands say, 'You know, without the masks they'd be nothing.' OK, try playing one of our songs, try playing my drummer's parts, try playing my guitar player's parts. Now put on a mask and all this other shit and run around like you're in a rugby game - then I might start listening.
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''Otherwise, why don't you take your shirt off and tell everybody how hot you are and how you've gotta slow things down for a minute. We have never had to pretend what we are - what we are is intense.''
Crahan is 42, the oldest member of the heavy metal band that formed in 1995, released its debut album in 1998 and earned enormous popularity around the world with the release of 2001's follow-up album, Iowa.
Speaking to EG from his home in Des Moines, Iowa, Crahan may sound like an egotistical, self-promoting rock star with millions of record sales but his comments about the band he formed with bass player Paul Gray mask a well-grounded family man, who says he's doing what he always wanted.
Gray's sudden death in a hotel room in 2010 shattered his bandmates but Crahan says the strength of people within and around the band pulled them together tighter than they'd ever been.
''We're not a band, we're a culture and it's only going to get bigger,'' he says. ''When we're on tour, all I want to do is see all of them … we're a special thing, we're our own entity.''
The same humour he's used to get through tough times surfaces when Crahan talks about the difference between being on tour and being home in Des Moines, where it all started.
''Don't get me wrong, when I get home from tour I don't want to see any of them,'' he says with a laugh.
''I don't want to brag but I have duality, I have yin and yang, and I'm very proud to be able to go out and work hard to support my family. I got married three years before I started the band. I already had two kids and as we were getting closer to getting [the band] signed, we got pregnant with our third.
''I remember bandmates thinking, 'Oh f---, Clown's going to have another kid, he's not going to be in the band.' I'm like, none of you guys understand me. I'm the oldest so you think I'm out because of that, I'm married and have three kids so I'm just out - this is all I ever wanted to do and it's only getting bigger.''
Returning to Australia for Soundwave, Slipknot have gathered an increasing number of fans here and around the world on the back of a rigorous touring schedule.
Two albums have followed Iowa: 2004's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Versus) and 2008's All Hope Is Gone.
In between recording and touring, Crahan - who was the band's drummer before switching to percussion, including belting kegs with baseball bats- is a family guy who indulges his other artistic outlets.
Painting and photography are just two of the ways he occupies his time ''down in the laboratory in my basement'', he says, again cackling.
''I'm a pro at it now, I really do enjoy coming off the road and just doing nothing and being with my kids and my family. I'm a Renaissance man.''
Slipknot play at Rod Laver Arena on March 1 and Soundwave, Melbourne Showgrounds, on March 2.
Swedish progressive metallers OPETH have been invited to play the legendary main stage at the famed Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm. The show will take place on September 14 and will be the final performance before they close down for the autumn/winter season. OPETH will be prog/psych/metal rocking out on the same stage where artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, ABBA, Tina Turner, Elton John, KISS, BEACH BOYS, DIRE STRAITS, Eric Clapton, THE WHO and Janis Joplin delivered some classic performances. This will be one of the very biggest achievements for the band to date.
Commented OPETH guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt: "Tremendous honour for us! Unbelievable. You can't book a stage like this as they are based on being invited to play. I've been there a million times throughout my life, mainly just getting sick in some roller coaster. Never did I think that my little band would be on that fucking stage. So humbled by this. I rarely get worked up for anything, but I am actually excited about this. I think it will be a magic night. We'll do our best to make it so anyways."
OPETH will team up with MASTODON for a spring North American co-headlining tour. The trek kicks off on April 4 in Portland, Maine, and visits more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada before wrapping up at Atlanta's Masquerade Music Park on May 12.
OPETH's new album, "Heritage", sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous studio CD, 2008's "Watershed", opened with more than 19,000 units to land at No. 23.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada traditional metallers 3 INCHES OF BLOOD will embark on a European headlining tour in May. Support on the trek will come from ANGELUS APATRIDA, GOATWHORE and HAVOK.
Commented 3 INCHES OF BLOOD vocalist Cam Pipes: "We are extremely excited and proud to announce our first full headlining European tour. It has been far too long since our last time over there, so we feel it is our duty to bring a mighty strong package with us to help bring heavy metal power to the fans across the continent. This will be a tour not to be missed. Long live heavy metal in Europe."
The dates are as follows:
May 05 - Essen, Germany - Turock
May 06 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Baroeg
May 07 - Nottingham, UK - The Rescue Rooms
May 08 - Aberdeen, UK - The Tunnels
May 09 - Manchester, UK - Moho
May 10 - Belfast, Ireland - Limelight
May 11 - Dublin, Ireland - The Pint
May 12 - Plymouth, UK - White Rabbit
May 13 - London, UK - Underworld
May 14 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
May 15 - Stuttgart, Germany - 1210
May 16 - Winterthur, Switzerland - Gaswerk
May 17 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
May 18 - Massa, Italy - Swamp Club
May 19 - Misano Adriatico (RN), Italy - Boulevard Club
May 20 - Vienna, Austria - Viper Room
May 21 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Gala Hala
May 22 - Prague, Czech Republic - Hoodoo Club
May 23 - Dresden, Germany - Chemiefabrik
May 24 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
May 25 - Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset
3 INCHES OF BLOOD will release its fifth studio album, "Long Live Heavy Metal", on March 27 via Century Media Records. According to a press release, "fans can expect a blast of pure metal assured to leave no face unmelted."
"'Long Live Heavy Metal' is the fifth chapter in the book of 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, and we couldn't be more pleased and proud of our new onslaught of honest heavy metal," says guitarist Justin Hagberg.
For "Long Live Heavy Metal", 3 INCHES OF BLOOD reunited with producer and engineer Terry "Sho" Murray (CITY OF FIRE, EXHIBITIONISTS), who worked with the band on their seven-inch single, "Anthems For The Victorious".
"When a band is releasing a new record, they often speak about it being their most important work or best album to date," explains vocalist Cam Pipes. "Regardless of how clichéd either statement may sound, I think we would say both apply to this album. All of us have a special feeling about this one. We're more committed than ever to the cause of real, honest, no-bullshit heavy metal. No trends, no fucking around!"
3 INCHES OF BLOOD teamed up with Kim Thiessen to perfect their artistic vision for the album, which will be released as a digipack and when opened, lays out similar to that of a book.
"Long Live Heavy Metal" track listing:
01. Metal Woman
02. My Sword Will Not Sleep
03. Leather Lord
04. Chief And The Blade
05. Dark Messenger
06. Look Out
07. 4000 Torches
08. Leave It On The Ice
09. Die For Gold (Upon The Boiling Sea IV)
10. Storming Juno
11. Men Of Fortune
12. One For The Ditch
German thrashers EXUMER will join forces with Danish thrash masters ARTILLERY for a series of shows in South America in May and June. This is EXUMER's first appearance in South America in 24 years, where the band last played in Brazil in 1988.
Commented EXUMER vocalist Mem V. Stein: "We have been waiting for this moment for a long, long time! It's a huge milestone in our career to return to Brazil after 24 years, where there are numerous online communities that wholeheartedly embrace EXUMER and where our fans have been loyally following us since our first appearances in the 1980s. There could hardly be a more cult tour package, between EXUMER and ARTILLERY, to hit South America and the timing could not be better for us to return there shortly after the release of our new album."
Added ARTILLERY's Michael Stützer: "ARTILLERY are looking forward to come to South America to play for some of the most dedicated thrashers in the world. It has been one of our main goals from the start of ARTILLERY and we are so excited to play for the headbangers, who has supported us through all these years!"
The dates are as follows:
May 30 - Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Astbury Argentina
May 31 - Santiago, Chile @ Teatro Teleton
Jun. 01 - Belo Horizonte, Brazil @ Music Hall
Jun. 02 - São Paulo, Brazil @ Hangar 110
Jun. 03 - Recife, Brazil @ Teatro Mauricio de Nassau
Jun. 04 - Porto Alegre, Brazil @ Bar Opinião
EXUMER's first album in 24 years, "Fire & Damnation", will be released in North America on April 10 via Metal Blade Records. The 10-track CD, which was recorded with renowned producer Waldemar Sorychta (GRIP INC., THERION, SODOM, MOONSPELL), "combines a punishing production with aggressive songwriting," according to a press release. "EXUMER manages to capture the intensity and feel of the 1980s thrash metal gems and yet sound up to date on their latest output."
Paper + Plastick Records has announced the release of the biography of veteran heavy metal bassist Dan Lilker. Entitled "Perpetual Conversion: 30 Years & Counting In The Life Of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker", the book follows Lilker's career from his pre-ANTHRAX band WHITE HEAT in 1980, through BRUTAL TRUTH's latest 2011 release, "End Time". It traces Lilker's time spent in seminal metal bands NUCLEAR ASSAULT, BRUTAL TRUTH, ANTHRAX, STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH (S.O.D.) and HEMLOCK, and also includes his lesser-known projects THE RAVENOUS, CRAB SOCIETY, CRAB SOCIETY NORTH, EXIT-13, EXTRA HOT SAUCE, CRUCIFIST, NOKTURNAL HELLSTORM, NUNFUCKRITUAL, LAST SATANIC DANCE, OVERLORD EXTERMINATOR and more.
"Perpetual Conversion: 30 Years & Counting In The Life Of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker" was written by Dave Hofer, a Chicago-based music fan, record store employee and sporadic freelance writer.
Although not classically trained in long-form writing, Hofer spent years interviewing Lilker, his friends and his family to present what Hofer calls "the most comprehensive interview Lilker has ever done."
"After spending a decent amount of time with Danny, I decided that this book would function best mostly from his perspective, as his tone and sense of humor are right on point," Hofer says. "The transcriptions were providing too much good material to pick and choose pull quotes."
Featuring input from Scott Ian and Charlie Benante of ANTHRAX, John Connelly and Glenn Evans of NUCLEAR ASSAULT, Kevin Sharp and Rich Hoak from BRUTAL TRUTH, Barney Greenway and Shane Embury of NAPALM DEATH, Fenriz, Faust, Craig Setari, Gene Hoglan, Gloria Cavalera, Howie Abrams, Jim Welch and others, "Perpetual Conversion" will detail Lilker's life in an unparalleled way.
"Anyone who's enjoyed anything I've done over the last 30 years will also enjoy this book," Lilker says, "And endless thanks to Dave Hofer for having the inspiration and patience to pry all the memories out of my brain."
Due this summer, "Perpetual Conversion" will be accompanied by a multitude of unreleased pictures and other types of memorabilia that Lilker has had in storage for years. There is also a plan in the works to bring a very special music-related accompaniment to the project, but it is unconfirmed so far.
Former NEVERMORE guitarist Jeff Loomis has recorded a guest appearance on the forthcoming debut album from LEANDER, the Hungarian metal band featuring NEVERMORE guitarist Attila Vörös. The CD, which features Loomis in the song called "Six Feet Under", is being mixed and mastered by acclaimed Swedish producer Jens Bogren (KATATONIA, OPETH, PARADISE LOST, AMON AMARTH) at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. The cover art for the album is being designed by Robert Borbas (SOILWORK, CALIBAN, ALL SHALL PERISH, METALLICA, SUICIDE SILENCE).
Vörös makes a guest appearance on Loomis' forthcoming sophomore solo album, "Plains Of Oblivion", to be released on April 10 in North America (one day earlier in Europe) via Century Media Records.
"Intersections", a collection of re-recorded classics by the legendary German progressive thrash outfit MEKONG DELTA, will be released in Germany on April 20, in the rest of Europe on April 23 and in the U.S./Canada in early May via SPV/Steamhammer.
MEKONG DELTA — founded in the '80s by producer and bass player Ralf Hubert — plays unconventional and technical thrash metal whose list of former members includes Jörg Michael (STRATOVARIUS) and Uli Kusch (ex-HELLOWEEN). Outstanding and critically acclaimed albums like "The Music of Erich Zann", "Dances Of Death" and their latest effort, "Wanderer On The Edge of Time", were said to be milestones of the genre.
"Intersections" track listing:
01. Prophecy
02. The Cure
03. Memories Of Tomorrow
04. Heroes Grief
05. Shades Of Doom
06. The Healer
07. Transgressor
08. Sphere Eclipse
09. Heartbeat
10. Innocent
MEKONG DELTA in 2008 announced the addition of vocalist Martin LeMar (TOMORROW'S EVE) and drummer Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR) to the group's ranks.
MEKONG DELTA's current lineup:
Ralf Hubert - Bass
Benedikt Zimniak - guitar
Erik Grösch - guitar
Martin LeMar - vocals
Alex Landenburg – drums
The musical sensation RUSSKAJA has inked a deal with Napalm Records. The band plays a mix of heavy polka beats, thrash metal, world jazz, and rock in the vein of FRANK ZAPPA. This results in the highly explosive genre known as Russian turbo polka rock.
Commented the band: "After such a successful year, we are very happy to start our cooperation with the well-respected label Napalm Records in order to take the next steps as a unit."
For more information, visit www.russkaja.com.
"Private Sessions", the fourth album from Kentucky rockers HYDROGYN, will be released in Europe on April 20 through Music Buy Mail. The CD will be made available in the U.S. on April 17. 13 songs were recorded for the CD at guitarist Jeff Westlake's Ridgeline Studio in Ashland, Kentucky and Patrick Liotard's Peek Studio in Boisseron, France.
The U.S. version of "Private Sessions" will feature the following track listing:
01. Something To Say
02. Forbidden Kind
03. Scream
04. I Don't Know
05. Heated Nights
06. Creeper
07. Don'tcha Walk Away
08. Roseline's Song
09. Feeling
10. Un Monde Perdu
11. It Doesn't Matter
Several audio samples can be streamed using the ReverbNation TuneWidget below (click on "Songs" tab)
After months of uncertainty surrounding the band because of singer Julie Westlake's health, the green light was given to Julie and the rest of the band last year to proceed ahead with the new album recordings.
Commented Julie: "This is the quickest we have ever completed a project to date.
"We decided in June that we were going to do another CD after I got clearance from my doctors to get back to work and by August we were in the studio."
For "Private Sessions", things changed up a bit as far as production. For the past two albums, Jeff Westlake handled the production, engineering, mixing, etc., to go along with the writing and song prep. Jeff said he wanted a chance to just worry about the songs on this release with limited production going on from his end. Enter the team of Anthony Dura and Patrick Liotard (who co-wrote the song "Alone" on HYDROGYN's last album, "Judgement"). Anthony and Patrick stepped in and teamed up with Julie and Jeff for this project, not only from a production standpoint but also in the creation of the project itself.
"I love these guys and what they bring to the table," said Julie. "To be able to turn to them and have a new team in the mix for the entire process with fresh ideas and a great perspective as well is just priceless. We were all introduced by our French team at Musiconlights (Mike Jublin) back in 2007 and as time has gone on, we have gotten to know each other. The working part of the relationship is just a natural progression for us all and takes some pressure off Jeff for a change."
A HYDROGYN live CD and a digital-only best-of release called "Phase 1" are also in the works.
Sully Erna's upcoming live DVD, "Avalon Live", which features the GODSMACK frontman performing songs from his debut solo album, "Avalon", on December 16, 2011 at The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, will be released as a box set this spring (probably late April) and then in 3D and as a single disc (Blue -ray 2D and in 3D) in the fall. The box set will contain three DVDs (the show, the "Journey To Avalon" documentary and a behind-the-scenes documentary), two CDs, a book, T-shirt, guitar pick, poster, incense, etc and a custom metal Sully Erna engraved metal box with a suede lining. Only 5,000 copies will be available.
The Pulse Of Radio asked Erna how he was able to balance his solo work with the demands of being in a band as big as GODSMACK. "The way I balance GODSMACK and anything I do on the side is just waiting for GODSMACK to have downtime," he said. "You know, I mean, I think as artists are, we constantly write music and just sometimes you recognize that some stuff works for your main band and then other things feel like something that's not gonna quite work for that band, but it's a great song and you may not want to throw it away, so you figure out where its home is."
"Avalon" was released in October 2010 and Erna supported it with a tour featuring an eight-piece musical backing group. The ambient, world music vibe of the record was a far cry from his usual hard-hitting material with GODSMACK.
GODSMACK is currently recording an EP of cover songs that will accompany the release of the band's first live album later this spring. The group will hit the road on a co-headlining run with STAIND in April.
LIMP BIZKIT has inked a new record deal with Cash Money Records, the American hip hop label founded in 1991 by the brothers Bryan "Baby" Williams (a.k.a. Birdman) and Ronald "Slim" Williams.
LIMP BIZKIT last year parted ways with Interscope, the label that released all of the band's records thus far through its subsidiaries Flip, Geffen and Suretone Records.
Even though LIMP BIZKIT's latest album, "Gold Cobra", was the band's first CD to feature the original lineup of Fred Durst (vocals), Wes Borland (guitar), Sam Rivers (bass), John Otto (drums), and DJ Lethal since 2000's "Chocolate Starfish And Hot Dog Flavored Water", it has sold less than 75,000 copies in the United States since its June 2011 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
During an appearance on the November 21, 2011 edition of the "Poolside With Dean Delray" podcast, Durst stated about the band's current status, "One of the things with 'Gold Cobra' was that that was a record, for us, to do for ourselves, for the core fans, for some of the people that we know in the industry — its wasn't our step forward to make a big pop, smash radio record; we just didn't wanna make that record at that time. We have been working for awhile now to renavigate where we are going to take LIMP BIZKIT, and finally we have been able to get off our label and become independent. . . We do very, very good on our touring, and we mainly tour outside the United States, because we wanna make sure that when we push something to our homeland that it kind of catches their attention in a way that they're used to it catching their attention. It seems like in the United States, man, they're waiting on a song, they're waiting on a hit, and the rest of the world doesn't necessarily operate that way; they're, sort of, career people. So I'm waiting until we can really give them something they can sink their teeth into and then they can be reminded about how ill LIMP BIZKIT is live, 'cause we're having a lot of fun doing what we do, and if it's not fun anymore, we don't wanna do it. We don't wanna go out in the United States without it being a lot of fun, so we're just waiting until that song happens . . . without forcing it. We're not gonna go in the studio and try to write a mega-hit song that people in America are gonna like; when it happens, we'll know."
Formed in 1995, LIMP BIZKIT achieved massive success with its studio album "Significant Other", which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and went on to sell over 16 million copies worldwide. In 2000, the band's third studio album, "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water", continued the band's success by selling approximately 1.5 million copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling rock album of all time.
Polish extreme metal veterans BEHEMOTH are twelve shows into their European tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE, LEGION OF THE DAMNED, MISERY INDEX, SUICIDE SILENCE and NEXUS INFERI.
Commented BEHEMOTH guitarist/vocalist Adam "Nergal" Darski: "We are in the middle of this tour and on behalf of the band I must state that's probably the best European run we've done ever! And it's not just courtesy but a fact. Never seen European venues so crowded and enthusiastically reacting to our show. I know, we've been away for a while, the band's future was a big question mark and if you ask me, I have to say I was seriously worried if I can pull it off at all. Now I can finally admit: Fuck yes! I can still get my ass on stage and give my blood, sweat and heart to the people who truly deserve that. These 'return' shows have some transcendental touch to it and I can't get rid of the feeling, it's a new life injected in band's veins. I am proud. Of my band, myself and all the fans coming to the shows. Thank you. Stay strong and see you soon!"
BEHEMOTH, WATAIN, THE DEVIL'S BLOOD and IN SOLITUDE will join forces for the inaugural Decibel Magazine Tour in April/May.
BEHEMOTH's "Evangelia Heretika - The New Gospel Three" DVD (2010) — a three-disc set featuring two full shows ("Live In Paris 2008" and "Live In Warsaw 2009"); every BEHEMOTH music video ever made; "Evangelion" tour documentary featuring band interviews plus tons of backstage footage; and a bonus "Live in Warsaw" audio CD — was certified platinum in the Poland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies.

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