[Classic_Rock_Forever] Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Guns N Roses, The Cult, Megadeth, Motorhead, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


American Way, the inflight magazine of American Airlines and American Eagle, was named in the 100 Best in Design 2012 by Graphis, the international journal of visual communication. "The Reinventor", a December 15, 2010, article in American Way featuring LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant, won a Graphis Gold award.
"It's an honor to be recognized alongside industry legends such as Gensler, Pentagram, and Sagmeister Inc. ," said American Way Design Director David Radabaugh.
Each year Graphis invites leading professionals across the photography, illustration, and graphic design communities to be considered for inclusion in their annual books in each of those visual arts fields. Among the thousands of submissions, the Graphis panel selects the most compelling work of the year in each category and the winning entries are featured in the hardback annual.
Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack revealed via his Twitter page that the family's beloved bulldog Lola died. He wrote on Tuesday (February 21), "Lola, you were the best friend anyone could ever have. I will love you and miss you always. RIP." He later thanked his followers for their support: "Thank you for all the kind words about [Lola]. It's nice to know she was loved by so many people."
Lola had her own Twitter profile, where the following message was posted last night: "Thank you all for your kind words. I'm in a better place now. Heaven needs a new princess."
Lola was featured prominently on the Osbourne family's reality TV show "The Osbournes" and was described by Ozzy's wife/manager Sharon in the "pets" section of her personal web site as "very much Jack's baby [who] has to go into grief therapy every time Jack leaves town. She takes out her frustrations by PEEING on anything she can — sofas, carpets and beds (usually mine and Ozzy's). When Jack is in town — Lola is at her best! She swims laps of the family pool and delights in barking from her own special rock situated in the pool."
When METALLICA recently confirmed reports that it was working on a 3D movie, the band was vague about what exactly the project would entail or when it come out. The Pulse Of Radio asked drummer Lars Ulrich for more info and he said that film production is new territory for the group which they're taking very slowly. "It's been an idea that's been kind of circling in everybody's heads for about the last two years," he said. "Getting your own 3D movie off the ground is easier said than done, but we're doing our best and we have a window for that later in the year that we're hoping to still make happen. We just want to make sure that we don't throw ourselves out into something that gets so completely overwhelming that the whole thing just blows up in our face."
Ulrich added that the band hopes to get the movie onto screens in late 2013.
Entertainment industry web site Deadline first broke the news in October that METALLICA was looking to self-finance its own 3D feature film, and had hired Hollywood producer Charlotte Huggins to develop the project for them.
Ulrich did hint to Rolling Stone a few months back what the film might be like, saying, "Imagine if you took [LED ZEPPELIN's concert film] 'The Song Remains The Same', which is 75 percent concert, 25 percent other stuff, and flipped it around. And all the non-concert footage, instead of being about the band members, is a story that unfolds, set against the backdrop of the concert."
According to Kevin Kellam of Pro Wrestling Examiner, METALLICA's song "The Memory Remains" is being used to promote this year's Wrestlemania match between The Undertaker and Triple H. The track is expected to be included in WWE "Raw" and WWE "Smackdown" video packages in weeks leading up to the big pay-per-view event on April 1 in Miami, Florida.
A clip of "Memory Remains" was featured on this past Monday night's (February 20) on "Raw" prior to Triple H — who is a heavy metal and hard rock enthusiast — accepting The Undertaker's challenge for a rematch following last year's Wrestlemania.
Triple H previously made his entrance to the METALLICA song "For Whom The Bell Tolls" during last year's WWE Wrestlemania XXVII match against The Undertaker at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
Triple H's regular entrance theme, "The Game", was recorded by MOTÖRHEAD. MOTÖRHEAD also performed additional theme songs "King Of Kings" and "Line In The Sand" for Triple H and his former stable, Evolution.
"The Memory Remains", which originally appeared on METALLICA's 1997 album "Reload", features backing vocals by British singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull.
METALLICA's next major project is its Orion Music + More festival, a band-curated two-day event which will take place in late June in Atlantic City and feature over 20 bands as well as lifestyle attractions and other entertainment.
GUNS N' ROSES guitarist DJ Ashba tells Nancy Dunham of WashingtonExaminer.com that he is looking forward to getting in the studio with his bandmates to begin working on the follow-up to 2008's "Chinese Democracy".
"I have been approached to join many, many big bands throughout my career," he said. "This is the first band that I felt in my heart that I could bring something to the table.
"I have been watching what's been going on over the years. The music has always touched me in a way. It's very inspiring to me, so as a songwriter and producer, it means more than just coming in and playing guitar."
When asked if there's a target date for a new album, Ashba said, "It's a matter of sitting down with Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES lead singer]. He's got a pretty clear vision of where he wants to go, but we've been touring so much [we haven't been able to work on songs]. For me, as a producer and songwriter, it's trying to bring his vision to life. I'll make it mine as well, but really it's up to him to set the direction and then we'll bring that to life. And that's the fun part. . . It's a big challenge for me. . . Like I said, my goal was never to join the band to just play guitar but to sit down and write some songs with Axl and my goal is to put together the next best GUNS N' ROSES record. I think that is everybody's goal in the band."
In addition to sole original member Axl Rose and Ashba, the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES includes guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.
"Chinese Democracy", the 2008 album released by the current edition of GUNS N' ROSES after a 15-year wait, was officially certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009 for shipments in the United States in excess of one million copies.
"Chinese Democracy" was made available exclusively through Best Buy
THE CULT will make its 2012 concert debut when the band plays the South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival next month, headlining the Auditorium Shores Stage on Saturday, March 17. The Auditorium Shores Stage show will be free and open to the public, and THE CULT will take the stage at 8:00 p.m.
"SXSW is thrilled that THE CULT is returning to play our biggest stage at Auditorium Shores," said Darin Klein, SXSW festival producer. "We're excited to hear their new tunes and their classic hits. The show is free and open to the public, so everyone in Austin should get fired up for a great night of music."
THE CULT — Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitar), Chris Wyse (bass) and John Tempesta (drums) — will make the appearance in support of "Choice Of Weapon", the band's first new studio album in five years, due out May 22 (Cooking Vinyl). Written by founding members Astbury and Duffy and produced by Chris Goss (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, U.N.K.L.E. , MASTERS OF REALITY) and Bob Rock (METALLICA, BUSH and THE CULT's platinum-certified "Sonic Temple"), the album reveals the band at its rawest and most visceral, and reflects the current discontent and destruction of our eco systems, the search for individual meaning against a tide of rampant materialism, narcissism and disconnected lives.
"The title of the record reflects the fact that here we are, we have a choice to make right now," Astbury recently told Rolling Stone. "In a metaphorical sense, a weapon can be a camera, a weapon can be a pen, a weapon can be a statement, a verbal statement, a weapon can be an article of clothing. I think what needs to be said is that we have to start looking inward. Our spiritual lives are almost bankrupt. The material systems are not going to fix where we are."
More tour dates for THE CULT will be announced shortly.
You gotta hand it to American thrash metalheads Megadeth. For as rocky as their successful road has been, the band has done great job at keeping things surprising. Just last week, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine made headlines by announcing his endorsement of far-right presidential candidate Rick "Please Don't Google My Last Name" Santorum, then backing off, stating to our sister blog, Seattle Weekly's Reverb, that he wasn't necessarily voting for Santorum, though he does oppose gay marriage. "I'm a Christian," Mustain clarified.
He's not the only guy repping Jesus in the band: Bassist and founder Dave Ellefson is studying to become a pastor. More than 20 years ago, Ellefson shrugged off some of the elements of the rock star lifestyle and reconnected with his faith. He ended up at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, where he started a contemporary worship service -- think Old Testament lyrics -- used as a springboard for praise and worship songs soft rock songs. He also started MEGA Life, a music ministry at the church that helps those new to Christianity or those seeking a new church home a dynamic center for developing faith. And don't think the road keeps him from progressing. Though he's currently on the Gigantour, alongside Motörhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil, Ellefson focuses on online studies at Concordia's Specific Ministry Pastor Program, where he takes such classes as "Preaching I & II" and "Scripture and Faith" from his tour bus.
We spoke with Ellefson about the role of heavy metal in religion (and the other way around), Mustain's "hexing" past, and Alice Cooper as a role model. We didn't get to ask how he felt about the bullshit fact that the band has been nominated for a Grammy 10 times (including this year), and still hasn't brought a golden gramophone home. Maybe next time.
Up On The Sun: How has touring become more comfortable today than when you started in the '80s?
Dave Ellefson: Well, when you start you just get there however you can get there. There was no money, and one thing I've found about tour budgets, is no matter how it looks on paper you always come home spending more than you intended. Our first tours were basically strung together with eating beef stew and a couple hundred books. Now, it's nice to be the headliner and have our own great tour package like this.
Congrats on your MEGA Life organization in Scottsdale. It seems like a unique way to introduce the concept of faith and religion to your fan base. I was wondering if you see any musical collaborations or charity festivals (like Christmas Pudding) in your future with Alice Cooper, since you're both in the Valley and have the same directions with these Valley organizations?
It's funny, you know, my pastor really urged me...it's usually the people on the outside of your realm that actually see an opportunity or a spark of a gift there. He's been a great mentor to me to help me develop that. I've been pretty active with various faith walks during the last couple of decades especially, helping people who are down on their luck and getting off drugs. Usually when you've been through those things yourself you have a real testimony and you can share your experience with people. And I think that goes a lot farther than just reading out of a textbook. You can take your darkest days and parlay those into good for other people. As far as a collaboration, MEGA Life is just one of many seeds that will be planted. I think in this modern day, especially in rock 'n' roll circles, people of my generation and my genre [have] got a way of mistrusting of the church. I think modern day music in church is cool. There's a whole different presentation of it and it's much more cultural relevant today than it ever has been. It doesn't have to be from the Reformation and it doesn't have to be something ancient. We can present it as 2012 faith. And that gets me excited.
In the past and nowadays, heavy metal gets a bad rap in religious circles. So for you being connected with heavy metal for years, has there ever been anything where you found a connection between heavy metal and God? How would you describe that to somebody?
You know it's funny, even in older songs, there was always kind of an almost religious overtone to [to the songs]. To the degree that sometimes when you are questioning something you write about it. That's the thing about music. It doesn't have to be boxed into anything and lyrically you can draw upon anything. I used to think the Bible was this goody two-shoes book where people did all these wonderful things. But now that I've read it a few times, I realize that these people are some of the worst in history. [Laughs] ...[The book features] some of the most heinous events against the Lord. And you read how he just continuously forgave. He was probably hitting himself in the forehead like, "Oh my God, what was I thinking with these humans? The dinosaurs were easier than this." For me, it is a great story and a narrative of how God gives us second chances. That to me is a cool thing. A lot of times when you write music and lyrics...Megadeth has written political things, social things, and personal things. When you dig deep into your soul and pull your own life into the lyrics, that kinda goes into the story of all human beings. The rise, the fall, the resurrection, the rebirth, and hopefully a second chance.
I read an old interview with Dave Mustaine where he said he put hexes on people in the past, and it has taken decades for him to get that satanic energy off of him. Do you have an opinion of that? Do you guys discuss you religion or do Bible studies?
Sure, absolutely. Dave has been real open about that, about early songs on records that he wrote that talked about those situations or referenced that. I mean, we don't even play those songs anymore because of that. I think they're great songs, but Dave is the one who has to sing them, and he doesn't' feel comfortable singing them. So I stand by my brother and...and, [help] him move on to new frontiers. But yeah, it's cool that -- the thing with rock bands -- [is that] you need to grow together and go together. It's cool that me and Dave have a lot of commonalities. Members of Megadeth, musicians, with wives and kids. You get to a certain point in your life - and I think this is true for our entire genre -- at some point you start looking around and thinking "Hmm, is this all there is to this life and this world?" You start to ask some questions. And I think that is just the black box put inside of everyone of us called our soul, hardwired in the factory when we're put on planet Earth, those questions. And it's cool that through music we can work through these things even though you don't have all the answers, a song can help raise questions sometimes for the listener.
What songs won't Megadeth play anymore? Can you name some of them?
Yeah, like "The Conjuring" and "Bad Omen."
So what do you hope to accomplish after completing your ministry studies at Concordia? Are you focusing on worship music or to start any ministry programs?
At this point I'm kinda of the de facto rock and roll chaplain. Every industry seems to have the chaplain, like the military. I think it's cool that I can have this opportunity to go right to the top rack and ask these questions. In fact, I encourage fans to send any questions they have to me, because I can take them to my superiors and ask them for us. I kinda feel like to some degree I've been blessed to be a representative for our entire genre, and people in my generation. You know, once we grew up and left the house at 18, you know, most of us never went to church again. We were very mistrusting of it, and the people, it was culturally irrelevant and did not speak our language. So we all got into rock 'n' roll, so we followed that. But if you look starting in the '80s, there's a whole movement from Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, to what we did in thrash metal, and a lot of the themes were us questioning this stuff.
So I think that pissed the church off. All the sudden they are like, "How dare these people question God, how blasphemous!" But guess what? We did question it. We don't question God, we question how man can take something like this and twist it and manipulate it and use it for such tyrannical control over people. Those were the questions we had. And that's why we didn't want anything to do with it. But now here we are in the middle of our lives and thinking, "Not all of this can be bad." You know, the inspired word of God in the Bible, there's a reason that book is the most read book on the face of the planet. So what is it about that? I think it's a really cool opportunity that I have right now to study that stuff to go look at it, see what it is....You know, Lutheran studies originated from Martin Luther, who was like the Steve Jobs of his day. The guy that taught everyone to think different. [Laughs]
I interviewed Alice Cooper, and he has a very similar mentality. It's great you guys can make such badass music, but be so spiritual at the same time.
Yeah you know, Alice Cooper, of course, is one of the great mentors in rock 'n' roll. He, like a lot of us, crashed and burned years ago. When things are going good you usually don't think about changing. But when they go bad, you think, "Now what are my options?" You can decide to lead by example. So what's great about it, is people will believe what you do more than what you say.
Speaking of great things being done, out of Megadeth's 13 albums which are you most proud of right now?
Well, I certainly like the last one [Note: The record was Ellefson's first with the band since 2001's The World Needs a Hero]. To me, TH1RT3ENrepresents a real coming back together, especially for me and Dave. You know, we've been long-time veterans of this band, business and way of life. It isn't an easy road. And like most bands of that caliber, you go through struggling points. It's nice Dave and I were able to walk together through that. TH1RT3EN represents a real coming full circle as a band and me and Dave. It resonates in the music. Music is a reflection of you; you shouldn't be a reflection of the music. Also, an album that represented a real sense of unity is Countdown to Extinction.
Do you have one that is your least favorite?
You know, there were a couple records that were struggles for us. Our first record, Killing Is Our Business, was a struggle because we had a very small budget. We had big hopes and dreams but very little money and resources. We rose to the challenge, though. The World Needs a Hero was tough, [too] because heavy metal as a genre was going through such a difficult transition between the Seattle music in the '90s. I mean, in the mainstream it was almost a fatal blow to heavy metal. Heavy metal fans will be here no matter what, but it's nice when the media and the people who can either be the wind in your sails or the speed bumps in the road to progress -- when those things almost cause a fatal blow to an entire genre it's difficult. You know, we're going to do what we do regardless of who supports it or not. We're a band for the fans because we're fans ourselves, first and foremost.
Megadeth is scheduled to perform Saturday, February 25, at Comerica Theatre.
Rightfully worshipped by headbangers and punks alike, Motörhead and its iconic founder, bassist and principle songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, have been grinding out their influential brand of balls-out rock for nearly four decades. Founded after Lemmy was fired from British space-rock outfit Hawkwind for getting busted with speed at the Canadian border in 1975 -- or, as he famously put it, for "doing the wrong drugs" -- Motörhead forged a punishing, overdriven sound that has remained virtually unchanged throughout the band's career.
From the classic early lineup featuring "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums through the current long-running power trio with guitarist Phil Campbell (a member since 1984) and drummer Mikkey Dee (who celebrates his 20th year as a member in 2012), Lemmy and company have maintained a standard of quality and ferociousness matched by few bands. Motörhead has been particularly prolific of late, issuing its 20th studio album, The Wörld is Yours in late 2010 and its latest concert document, the new three-disc DVD/CD The World Is Ours Vol. 1: Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else. The honorable Mr. Kilmister recently spoke with All Shook Down about Motörhead's touring plans, last year's acclaimed documentary Lemmy: 49% Motherfucker, 51% Son of a Bitch, and his forthcoming solo effort featuring such collaborators as The Damned, Joan Jett, and Jeff Beck. Motörhead performs at the Gigantour with Megadeth, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil at the Event Center at San Jose State University this Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m.
First off, I wanted to say I've been seeing you perform since I was a teenager and I'm in my forties now. Motörhead has always been one of those bands I could count on to deliver the goods. Thank you for your amazing consistency throughout your career.
Thank you for your amazing consistency [laughs].
To get into the new live DVD/CD package that just came out, I was watching some of the interview footage that's included, and there's a point where you talk about the size and enthusiasm of South American audiences. Did you consider other cities or countries down there for the filming when you came up with the idea of making the DVD?
We just recorded a bundle of concerts and picked out the best bits, you know? The Manchester one was recorded last year and was going to be an album in its own right. And then we got Chile as well, and it was just really so good we had to put that in. It just all came together in bits and bobs, so we ended up with the three-disc package.
There have been a few other Motörhead concert DVDs in the past decade, and the band made got no shortage of live releases over the years. What inspired you to put out another one at this stage?
It was Chile really. I would have sat on it and put another studio one out, and then they said 'Why don't we do another DVD?' And I said 'Well, you have to do Chile then.' Even though it was in black and white. I thought it was a bit weird, you know, but there you go. But the audiences are fantastic down there. They really are. In Brazil and Argentina, too.
I was going to ask why you ended up shooting it in black and white. It's kind of unusual, but it looks great...
It was the guy. The film director. It was his call, basically.
Sam Dunn's production company was involved in this DVD and he's really featured you a lot in his documentary work on metal. It seems you'd be a natural subject for one of his films, but the doc that came out last year was made by first-time directors Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski. Did they just beat him as far as approaching you to make the film?
Well they just showed up and said 'We want to do a documentary because we're fans.' I said 'Come on the road for a couple of days and shoot a pilot.' And they did. We didn't have any other offers at the time. I think they did a really good job though.
Yeah, I appreciated that they went back to the Hawkwind days and actually got Dave Brock to get his input. Some of the stories are pretty well known among Motörhead fans, but it was good to hear them from the horse's mouth.
There were a couple of surprises in there, too [laughs].
Your taste for Jack and Coke is pretty well known, and it's pretty clear from some of your song lyrics you don't have time for organized religion. You're currently touring with Megadeth, a headliner that has a couple of members who are sober born-again Christians.
Well, the great thing about my philosophy is live and let live, you know? I don't mind if you want to worship the Great Poobah in the sky, as long as you don't expect me to do it, too. And nobody has so far preached to me on this tour, so it's alright.
So you don't try to steer clear of certain subjects? You just go about your business?
No, no. We hardly ever see Megadeth anyway. They come late and we leave early after we finish to beat the traffic out of there. So we don't see much of them. I've stayed a couple of times to watch their show, but that's about all.
How long is your set time on the Gigantour?
50 minutes.
Do you foresee any Motörhead headlining dates in the U.S. to promote The World Is Ours, Vol. 1?
Well, we've got festivals in Europe in the summer and then we do the Mayhem Tour in July with Slipknot. But that'll be a short set, too, then I guess.
When I saw you the first couple of times around when you were headlining the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland during the mid-1980s, you were still breaking out the air raid siren at the end of the show that was just punishingly loud. I can remember friends on their knees with hands over their ears, begging for mercy.
Funny enough, the last time we played the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, we fired Megadeth off that tour.
I remember hearing tales of that [Author's note: More accurately, I read it in Lemmy's autobiography White Line Fever, which details the band's firing due to the actions of their douchebag manager at the time]. They played that show, but I guess it didn't last?
No, I guess not [laughs].
You've always had a knack for bringing great support acts bands out on tour. Besides Megadeth, I saw Exodus and The Cro-Mags with you back in the '80s, and since then there have been shows with Zeke, Corrosion of Conformity, The Reverend Horton Heat and Nashville Pussy. Last year you had Clutch and Valient Thorr...
Valient Thorr are brilliant, aren't they? Complete chaos...
How much input do you have on the bands being selected?
Well, we just find out whose available and we just pick them and see if they'll come along. It's a simple as that. It's just a matter of who's not touring already.
Actually, I did want to ask about one of the European festivals that I first saw advertised a few weeks ago. It was for the Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium this June. It's pretty much a metal fan's wet dream, with Black Sabbath at the top of the bill, followed by Motörhead and Slayer as next bands listed. I showed my son and he said 'So, we're going to Belgium, right?' If that was the Sabbath tour in the states, I'd go see it even if they were playing without Bill Ward. Is that something that's playing elsewhere in Europe, or is it only there?
No, it's just that one. I don't know what's happening with Bill at the moment. It looks like it's the Ozzy camp isn't it that put the kibosh on it?
That seems to be the rumblings, despite denials from Sharon Osbourne. She says 'I have nothing to do with Black Sabbath.' It seems really wrong to not go out with him.
Well you can't do a reunion without the originals, can you? How's the reunion [laughs]?
You've stripped things down as Motörhead in the past with "Whorehouse Blues" from Inferno in 2004 and the slower acoustic blues version of "Ace of Spades" you did for the Kronenbourg commercial a couple of years ago. Have you thought about doing an acoustic blues album?
No, not so far. We've thought about doing a covers album, and we've thought about doing an acoustic album of our songs, but not a blues album. I do that rock 'n' roll thing with The Head Cat [his rockabilly group with Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom] in my spare time, when I get any spare time.
I haven't managed to see that band yet. Do you have plans for more Head Cat albums as time allows?
Oh yeah, sure. That's fun. That's not even a job. It's not even work. It's just three guys getting together who like the same kind of music having a blow on the old songs, you know? There's no pressure with that.
Do you have other projects or activities that would allow you to explore avenues you can't really do with Motörhead?
Not so far. Isn't this enough [laughs]?
It's not like you're just sitting around the house. You've been open to working with a lot of people, both contemporaries and younger musicians you've influenced, like Dave Grohl. Is there anyone you'd like to work with in particular?
Janet Jackson [laughs]. I don't know. There are a lot of people out there who are great players. It's just whether the spark arrives. Whether somebody wants to do it and I've got some free time. I'm three quarters of the way though a solo album right now. I've got two tracks with The Damned, two tracks with [German hard-rock band] Skew Siskind, one with Joan Jett, one with Grohl and two with the Reverend Horton Heat. So I've got quite a mixed bag on there. I'm trying to get one with Skin from Skunk Anansie.
That's funny, because I thought about asking the solo album question, but figured as the principle songwriter with Motörhead you might find that enough of an outlet. If you're that far along on the solo album, do you see that coming out this year or next year?
It'll probably be next year, 'cause we're working a lot this year. But maybe it'll be this year. I don't know. It depends on how fast I can get the last few tracks done after we finish this tour.
Who else do you have slated for the album other than Skin that you still need to get tracks from?
Well, the original idea for this solo album I got from Jeff Beck. And he's the only one I haven't been able to nail down to do the fucking track, which is typical of Jeff. He's always the same. He'd rather be under a car covered in gasoline than playing his guitar.
A summit of hard-rock superpowers that wasn't supposed to last beyond a round of tequila shooters at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo joint, Chickenfoot has made it to album No. 2, amusingly titled "Chickenfoot III." The combined virtuoso talents of guitar wizard Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and, of course, the charismatic Hagar produced 2009's self-titled "Chickenfoot" LP, a gold record laden with hooks and boasting several undeniably catchy blasts of full-on rock and roll fun — "My Kinda Girl" and "Sexy Little Thing" to name a few — that could have been born in the '70s.
Chickenfoot features the musical stylings of guitarist Joe Satriani, drummer Chad Smith, bassist Michael Anthony and lead singer Sammy Hagar. Publicity photo/LeAnn Mueller.
Now an assured foursome completely at home in their own skins and feeling like a true band, in every sense of the word, Chickenfoot is back.
(Check out Chickenfoot's spring 2012 tour dates)
On "Chickenfoot III," heavy, riff-filled rockers like "Big Foot" and "Up Next" only set the stage for the riotous guitar free-for-all of "Three and a Half Letters," a scathing, yet heartbreaking, dissection of how the awful state of the U.S. economy is crushing the American Dream. Dynamic, sonically rich and bursting with energy, while also showing a soft side with the ballad "Come Closer," "Chickenfoot III" was informed by the death of Hagar's longtime manager and confidante John Carter. Satriani, Hagar and Anthony discussed all things Chickenfoot with Goldmine.
Is this the most fun you've ever had in music?
Sammy Hagar: Damn near, you know. I didn't have as much fun making this record as I did the first one. Don't take that negatively; I think it's a better record. But I really felt some pressure after the success of "Chickenfoot," because no one cared if that one was going to be successful. No one thought it would be that successful.  I mean, I thought it was going to be successful, but I didn't think it would go gold in every freaking country. And it was on the charts for a year. I haven't had an album on the charts for a year my whole life. So that caused some pressure. It took a little bit of the casual "we don't care" attitude out of it for me. And I thought, "I do care. And I really gotta out-do that last record." The first Chickenfoot record was pretty damn solid. It's like every song, we looked at it and we said, "Nope, throw that out. Throw that out. Put that in. Here's a better bridge. Here's a better chorus." You know, we worked on it. And that work was not fun. I'm having a blast now that it's done. I mean, I cue that sucker up. I get in one of my cars, a convertible, crank it up and shoot down Highway 1 and just f**king sing at the top of my lungs, having the best time I've had in a long time with my own music. It seems kind of narcissistic, but I'm having a good time.
Talk about the recording of "Big Foot."
SH: That was the easiest one. That was the most fun. Out of all the songs on the album, that was the most fun to record and it came the easiest. Some of the other songs we worked real hard on. But "Big Foot," we went in that day, Joe presented us with that riff, and I had the title "Big Foot" in my head because actually Joe called it "Big Foot" before I even had lyrics. So when I first heard the music, I thought, "That is 'Big Foot.'" But what is Big Foot? I don't know, but that is it. So, I didn't want to sing about Sasquatch, about the Abominable Snowman or some shit. So what else are you gonna talk about? My big foot? Where is it going to be? Is it going to be up your ass, or is it going to be on the gas, you know? So the guys thought, well, let's go with the gas on this … I've made a career out of these kinds of songs. And by the time the band had learned the song and recorded it, which took two or three hours, I had the lyrics written and I did the vocal and that song was done. And we all said, "This has to be the first song the fans hear from Chickenfoot III," because this is all-out Chickenfoot.
Chickenfoot IIIThis album strikes me as being a heavier album. Did you feel it was going that direction as you went along?
Michael Anthony: The music seemed a little bit heavier, a little darker at times. I don't really want to say, "Darker." I don't know. I like to think it's meatier than the first record. The first record there was, I think, a little more looseness to it, because we had just gotten together, and a lot of things came out of a lot of jamming in the studio on first record, where [this time] we actually had more ideas when we went in to do the stuff – even though we did do a lot of writing while we were in the studio, too. It just kind of comes out of everyone's influences. We all grew up around the same time and the same era, early '70s, listening to Cream, Zeppelin, Who – all those kinds of bands. Joe said in an interview I heard where he says, "We're like a '70s band, you know."
Joe Satriani: I think we recognized that that's what was happening as we were doing it. We never really plan things out. We record ourselves sort of bouncing off each other. That's kind of like the way we operate, and every time somebody picks up on something like that, you just laugh and smile and say, "Oh, '72 … you know." (laughs) That's just the way we are. That's part of why it stuck together, because we thought it was exciting but curious that it didn't sound like "Satch Boogie," "Give It Away Now," and a whole series of Van Halen songs put together … I think everybody had a couple of things they were trying to get out of each other. It culminated in just a stronger sound. I know Sam kept wanting me to just let loose, and I wanted him to sing in a lower register. I thought it would be more powerful and more intimate at the same time. I definitely wanted to write grooves where Mike, Chad and myself would sound like one big Mack truck coming right at you at a hundred miles per hour.
Michael, talking about how your vocals and Sammy's work together, in Van Halen those harmonies were not pushed to the fore, as they are with Chickenfoot. Was that a conscious decision?
MA: Yeah, actually, Sammy and I did make a conscious decision that, in this band, we were really going to bring that out. And there were a couple of songs, like "Turning Left" from the first album, where it's like a two-part harmony lead vocal part through the song, but we definitely wanted to bring it out more, because it's pretty signature-sounding. But in Van Halen, like you said, the background, my part, was more … not ghosting, but it was a little bit more in the background, where Sammy really wanted to bring it to the front. And on the new album, I think we really took that a lot further.
SH: Singing with him, he's the only guy that I know that could just go above [me]. I don't care if I'm at the peak of my range; he can get up above me, just squeeze his nuts and get on up there – and right on key, he can mimic my phrasing. He's just … he's so fast. That's the thing that people don't understand about Mike. He learns faster than anyone I've ever met in my life. Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen … guys come up with riffs, and come on, I can't f**king play them. I'm sitting here with an acoustic guitar around the house still trying to learn these riffs on this record, and I ain't got 'em down yet … And he's playing his ass off in this band. He never played like this in Van Halen. Eddie [Van Halen] doesn't even realize what a great bass player he had. I think he never realized it, and that is his complete loss. I remember recording in Van Halen, Eddie was always saying, "Just play eighth notes." And he would play all this stuff, and Mike's just going, "boom, boom, boom, boom." Boy, Mike's really capable of playing more than that, and he never found out. So Mike and I, one time, we're in Cabo San Lucas when we were in Van Halen — say probably around '89, '88 or '89, when we were still loving each other, and having a good time — and Mike was in Cabo jamming and doing a live broadcast from the Cabo Wabo for some album network that I think used to be around that would do live broadcasts. And Ed is listening to it on the radio, and we get back and he asked me who was playing bass? He went, "Yeah, yeah, you guys did 'Crossroads' by Cream," and he goes, "Who was playing f**king bass on that?" I'm saying, "That's your brother right over here." That was Michael Anthony on the bass. And Ed goes, "Yeah? Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?" And then he'd smoke a cigarette, take a hit off a beer and go, "Hmmm." But, he didn't get it, you know? But Michael has been tearing it up on this record.
Chickenfoot —comprised of Joe Satriani (from left), Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith and Michael Anthony — is back with its second album, 'Chickenfoot III.' Publicity photo/Jon Hill.
Joe, you approached Sammy about trying something new vocally with this record. What was that conversation like?
JS: Oh, I think he was totally into it, because I related to him this experience I had a few months before I started really writing for this record. We were hanging out, and I'd just come from another local studio. I said, "Sam, you were working on a song that you sang on." It was Sammy and [Journey's] Neil Schon and [Narada] Michael Walden [who made appearances with the Tommy Bolin Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Jeff Beck], and other local musicians doing a Sly Stone song for a local film. And I was totally blown away listening to Sam's vocal performance. He just sounded like a stone-cold R&B singer. And the register was lower and his vibrato was beautiful, his voice was the usual, a thousand feet wide. And so I was saying, "Sam, that was like the greatest vocal I've ever heard. Why aren't we doing that?" So, he was definitely excited about it, because he remembered that session. And he had a good time doing it, and he started telling me about all the soul music that he loves and how he'd love to do it. So I kind of took that back with me, and during my writing period for the band last August, 12 months ago, I just focused on that a couple of times to make sure that I could sort of count of that.
And likewise, Sammy, you had some ideas of what you wanted Joe to do.
SH: Yeah, I wanted Joe to play the meanest, craziest, most belligerently evil, f**king music he's ever played in his life. He's not an evil guy, so it's hard for him.
Michael, what is your favorite track off the new record?
MA: Oh boy, you know, you're actually the first person that has asked me that. I love 'em all … "Up Next" is probably one of my favorite rockers on the album, especially when we rehearsed that yesterday, and when we launch into that, it's like on fire. But then like "Come Closer," where you think there's a lot of production to it, that maybe live it'd be hard to do … of course we're not going to use any kind of tapes or samples or any of that crap – just stripped down raw with the band, and Sammy and I doing the backgrounds, it sounds great. I'm really fired up, because we could pretty much play this entire album live. But "Up Next" is probably one of my favorites right now. It's on fire.
According to StatesmanJournal.com, JOURNEY drummer Deen Castronovo was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and attend anger-management classes as part of a plea deal in connection with a domestic-violence incident last month.
The 47-year-old musician was charged with recklessly endangering another person, interfering with making a police report, second-degree criminal mischief and harassment.
Castronovo was arrested on January 21 for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend. TMZ.com reported that Castronovo "also received additional charges when he took the phone away from the woman while she was trying to call her father."
The woman told police that she and Castronovo had been involved in a three-year relationship, but split up about four weeks prior to the altercation.
A representative of Castronovo's claimed the altercation was "a misunderstanding that should not have been escalated to such a level in the first place."
Over 80 million albums sold worldwide. 12 Top 10 smash hit singles. Thousands of concerts performed. The time has come for the ultimate convergence of rock's finest from the Midwest. REO SPEEDWAGON, STYX and TED NUGENT will join forces for "The Midwest Rock 'N' Roll Express" 30-date U.S. tour. Rolling out May 1 in Hidalgo, Texas, tickets for various cities will go on sale starting February 22.
"Forget all those TV shows with glee clubs singing Rock songs," exclaims STYX guitarist/singer James "JY" Young. "It's time for mega-platinum Illinois bands STYX and REO SPEEDWAGON in a battle to the end of the Mayan Calendar with the Motor City Madman!"
"I am a Midwest boy, born and raised with Midwest values," continues REO SPEEDWAGON singer/guitarist Kevin Cronin. "In the Midwest we work hard, play hard, and rock hard. I am proud to join my brothers in STYX and TED NUGENT to celebrate Midwest rock 'n' roll and represent the greatest rock fans in the world. I am ready to climb aboard the 'Midwest Rock 'N 'Roll Express'! Rock on, baby!"
As STYX singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw proclaims, "It's gonna be a Twang Fest of screaming guitars and big, sing-along choruses that continue to be the soundtrack for the misbehavior of our collective fan base. In other words, a real good time."
Ted Nugent couldn't agree more. "The heart and soul of American R&B&R&R has always gushed forth from the heartland of America. REO, STYX and The Nuge have always celebrated the power of our special music and on the mighty 'Midwest Rock 'N' Roll Express', the energy, attitude and spirit is more intense than ever. This is the soundtrack for the hardcore."
Check out "The Midwest Rock 'N' Roll Express" at any of the following stops. Ted Nugent hits the stage at 7:00 p.m. at every stop unless noted otherwise.
May 01 - Hidalgo, TX - State Farm Arena
May 03 - Albuquerque, NM - Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion
May 04 - Tucson, AZ - Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre (no Ted Nugent)
May 05 - Las Vegas, NV - Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
May 06 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
May 08 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
May 10 - Council Bluffs, IA - Mid America Arena
May 11 - Oklahoma City, OK - Zoo Amphitheatre
May 12 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (no Ted Nugent)
May 13 - Corpus Christi, TX - Concrete Street Amphitheatre
May 17 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
May 19 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live Amphitheatre
May 20 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Jun. 21 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Amphitheatre
Jun. 22 - St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Jun. 23 - Ft. Knox, KY - Godman Army Airfield
Jun. 24 - Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavilion
Jun. 26 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
Jun. 28 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jun. 29 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Jun. 30 - Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center
Jul. 01 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Ctr
Jul. 03 - Verona, NY - Turning Stone Resort Casino
Jul. 05 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
Jul. 06 - Big Flats, NY - Summer Stage
Jul. 07 - Gilford, NY - Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
During an April 2011 interview with High Times, former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo said that that since he underwent surgery in 2005 to repair several damaged disks in his back, he's helped many friends get clean and that he has about a 50 precent success rate in getting them sober. One person that he said he couldn't seem to help was his former PANTERA and DOWN bandmate Rex Brown. "That's the only rift between me and Rex; other than that, we're fucking best friends," Anselmo said. "He just can't stop fucking drinking."
He added, "I've tried. I gave it my all and I love Rex Brown with all of my fucking heart and soul. But, goddamnit, he will not put down that fucking bottle for any of us. He is, and has been told, he is going to die. I'm gonna tell you this: He's not gonna die on my time, because he ain't drinking around 'The Kid.' Straight up. And that means he can't be around right now, 'cause he's fucking drinking. And that's that. That's that fucking story in a nutshell."
Brown, who in 2009 was diagnosed with pancreatitis, a sudden inflammation of the pancreas which can have severe complications and high mortality despite treatment, stated in a late 2011 interview about his health status, "It took them about five years to figure out what was going on. I had polyps on my pancreas, and what they did is they had to open me up. And I've never felt better in the last five years. . . I was in constant pain."
Speaking to Radio Metal on February 7, Brown was asked for an update on his medical condition in light of Anselmo's remarks. "Number one: Phil is not a doctor," he replied. "Don't believe what you read. Phil and I are very good friends. We've made a pact with each other that we wouldn't talk about each other's music. That would be cruel for the fans. I talk to Kirk [Windstein, DOWN guitarist] all the time, I talked to Pepper [Keenan, DOWN guitarist] just last week. There's no animosity going on there. As part of my musical journey, I've moved on [from DOWN and am now playing with KILL DEVIL HILL]." He added, "My health is 300 percent better since I had this operation. I feel fine, I feel like I'm 25 again. I had some problems with my pancreas, that's taken care of now. I went to the doctor two months ago; everything is fine."
Hot off the heels of a successful tour of Spain, THE LAST VEGAS returned home to Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday only to learn that they would be packing up and hitting the road again to travel to Atlantic City, New Jersey to open for GUNS 'N ROSES at the House Of Blues this Friday, February 24.
THE LAST VEGAS — who made history as the first band to win Guitar Center's On-Stage new music program when they were hand selected by MÖTLEY CRÜE at the world-famous Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles — was embraced with open arms by their legions of new fans in Spain and a portion of the video footage from that tour can be seen below. The band officially started debuting new songs live on "The Other Side Tour" in Spain and will do the same in Atlantic City.
After extensive touring with some of rock's biggest acts (MÖTLEY CRÜE, AC/DC, BUCKCHERRY, NEW YORK DOLLS, PAPA ROACH) in support of their last studio release, 2009's "Whatever Gets You Off" (Eleven Seven), THE LAST VEGAS returned to their hometown of Chicago in 2011 to record new tracks for the follow-up album with Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K (DISTURBED, MEGADETH, 3 DOORS DOWN, STAIND, AIRBOURNE) at Groovemaster Studios. The as-yet-untitled CD is finished and will be released through as yet-unannounced label partner in 2012.
THE LAST VEGAS released a new EP, "Other Side", last November, both digitally and on a limited-edition CD. A video for the EP's title track was produced by, and stars, legendary Hollywood scream queen Sybil Danning ("Howling II", "Halloween", "Werewolf Women Of The SS") and can be seen below.
THE LAST VEGAS has released four albums (2004's "Lick 'Em And Leave 'Em", 2005's "Seal The Deal", 2008's "The Last Vegas" and 2009's "Whatever Gets You Off") in the USA and Europe and toured over 19 countries.
For more information, visit www.thelastvegas.com.
Alex Skolnick, guitarist for San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans TESTAMENT, has endorsed President Barack Obama's re-election effort in an official statement released to Gawker.com.
"I endorse Barack Obama," Alex wrote. "[Is he] perfect? No. But after inheriting the remnants of the Bush administration — which was responsible for an illegal, trillion dollar war and a gutted economy — Obama has kept the auto industry alive, worked to improve the middle class and improve education. Now, after several years with an uncooperative Congress, his policies are finally taking hold and things are improving (and incidentally, he's helped take out the most wanted terrorists)."
He added, "I'm not tied to the Democratic party in any way; it's just an honest assessment.
"After eight years of a president (George W. Bush) who could barely formulate a sentence, we now have someone well-spoken, intelligent and who has shown a lot of class and dignity. And in the face of unrelenting, unwarranted personal attacks unseen in the history of the U.S. presidency, Obama has never once stooped down to the level of his haters."
Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH will release "The Crow, The Owl And The Dove", the second single from their latest album, "Imaginaerum", in Finland on February 29 and in the rest of Europe on March 2. The single will feature the title cut in three versions — radio edit, album version and instrumental — and the previously unreleased song "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" (theme from the movie "The Piano") in two different versions.
To pre-order the single, go to the official NIGHTWISH webstore.
"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.
"Imaginaerum" was released in North America on January 10 via Roadrunner Records.
Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND, who feature in their ranks current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G. , will release their new album, "Few Against Many", in Europe on May 21 via Century Media Records. The CD, which will be made available in North America on May 22 through DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution, was mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEATH ANGEL) in Sanford, Florida.
Produced by Gus, "Few Against Many" was recorded with his longtime bandmates, vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis and bassist Petros Christo, at Valve Studio in Greece as well as the Sweetspot Studios in Sweden and sees the band expanding on its signature melodic sound with some of its most aggressive songs to date. The CD also marks the recording debut of new FIREWIND drummer Johan Nunez (NIGHTRAGE). The young Belgian is regarded by Gus as a "phenomenal talent," and anyone that witnessed him on the band's most recent world tour will no doubt agree.
Bob Katsionis - Keyboards, Guitar
Apollo Papathanasio - Vocals
Gus G. - Guitar
Petros Christo - Bass
Jo Nunez - Drums
FIREWIND debuted two brand new songs — "Wall Of Sound" and "Losing My Mind" — during its headlining concert on January 14 at the Fuzz Club in Athens, Greece. Fan-filmed video footage of both tracks can be seen below.
FIREWIND has already announced a few summer festival appearances (including Summer Breeze in Germany and Czech Republic's Masters Of Rock) and will play three shows in China and Taiwan at the end of August.
French power metallers NIGHTMARE have unveiled the cover artwork for their new album, "The Burden Of God" (formerly "Mercury Rain"), to be released on May 18 through AFM Records. The CD was recorded at the Peek studios in the south of France with producer Patrick Liotard.
Commented NIGHTMARE singer Jo Amore: "We entered the studio on Friday [January] 13th, which is surely a sign for such an album that will be the most accomplished of our whole career.
"Everything is going great so far.
"We will surprise many people, I can confirm...
"We will be in the studio until end of February with Patrick, our producer and friend...
"We are really excited about what we did so far and we can already say that this new album will be a total blast!"
"One Night Of Insurrection", the first-ever live DVD/CD from NIGHTMARE, was released in February 2011 via AFM Records. The set was filmed/recorded in Grenoble, France and contains NIGHTMARE's special 30th-anniversary show, including guest appearances by the band's former members. Also included us footage of NIGHTMARE's performance at Summerblast in Israel.
"Insurrection", the seventh album from NIGHTMARE, was released on September 11, 2009 via Germany's AFM Records. The CD was recorded at Peek studio in France with Patrick Liotard and at U3multimedia and Indiscreet Studios in Stuttgart, Germany with Achim Köhler (PRIMAL FEAR, EDGUY, MASTERPLAN). The follow-up to 2007's "Genetic Disorder" contains nine tracks, including a two-part concept song.
The "Insurrection" cover art was created by Swedish artist Pär Olofsson who previously worked on "Genetic Disorder". Special guest vocalist on the album is Fabrice Emmanuelsson from ELLIPSIS.
Jo Amore - Vocals
Franck Milleliri - Guitar
Yves Campion - Bass
David Amore - Drums
German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION will embark on the North American "30th Year Anniversary Tour" in May with support from WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS (who will be alternating each night) and PATHOLOGY.
States DESTRUCTION bassist/vocalist Schmier: "A killer package for old-school thrash and death metal freaks!
"This may be the best setlist we've ever had — the essence of thrash metal history united with our new anthems. We'll have more classics than ever in the set, more from the first records for sure.
"Can't wait to hit the road again!!! Some North American cities have a great audience for this old-school sound again, and it wasn't always like that.
"The main intention for this second North American tour within a year is that we could not play all markets that we wanted to book last time. Now we'll play some new places and return to those cities that gave us a great welcome last year like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Montreal.
"WARBRINGER are a perfect match to a DESTRUCTION bill. They are one of the best new thrash bands and keep our '80s spirit alive. It will be great to have them with us! We've played with VITAL REMAINS before; awesome guys and a brutal band. They bring a good variety into the billing. Thrash/death metal is always the best mix, that's why PATHOLOGY complete the show!"
Confirmed dates and cities thus far for DESTRUCTION's "30th Year Anniversary Tour":
May 04 - Brick By Brick - San Diego, CA
May 08 - Casselman's - Denver, CO
May 10 - Reggie's - Chicago, IL
May 12 - Blackened Moon Concert Hall - Lansing, MI
May 16 - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill - New York, NY
May 17 - The Met - Pawtucket, RI
May 18 - Maverick's - Ottawa, ON
May 19 - Rockpile - Toronto, ON
May 22 - Kim's Pixie Inn - Pueblo, CO
May 24 - The Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA
May 26 - The Metro - Oakland, CA
May 30 - Studio Seven - Seattle, WA
More dates will be announced soon.
DESTRUCTION has commenced work on its 30th-anniversary album. The CD is due later in the year.
Inspired by IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, MOTÖRHEAD and VENOM, DESTRUCTION was formed as KNIGHT OF DEMON in 1982. The band's original lineup included vocalist and bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, drummer Tommy Sandmann, and guitarist Mike Sifringer. They soon changed their name to DESTRUCTION and released a demo titled "Bestial Invasion Of Hell" in 1984.
"Day Of Reckoning", the latest album from DESTRUCTION, sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 58 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.
"Day Of Reckoning" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 95. The CD was released in Europe on February 18, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records. The first limited edition of the album did not feature the band's logo on the booklet while the vinyl version and second pressing of the CD showed a red DESTRUCTION logo on it.
"Day Of Reckoning" was the first album to feature DESTRUCTION's new drummer Vaaver (INDUKTI, ex-UNSUN).
Escape Music has set a March 23 release date for PHENOMENA's "Awakening".
People should learn to expect a little awe and mystery. PHENOMENA take us upon a journey where there is nothing pretty about the protagonists of the story that we shall meet along the way. The subject is good against evil.
The story began in the year 1983, when Tom Galley wrote a couple of short stories with a transcendental background. Backed by record label Bronze, the recordings for the album "Phenomena" started soon which finally hit the stores in 1985. Besides the extra-ordinary concept story both musicianship and the names involved with the project are highlights to mention. Names such as Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), drum legend Cozy Powell (RAINBOW, WHITESNAKE), Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE), Neil Murray (WHITESNAKE) — the elite of the British hard rock scene — had joined the project. "Phenomena" received high critical acclaim in the press and extremely good sales.
The second PHENOMENA album, "Phenomena II - Dream Runner", was released in 1987 and was welcomed with a similarly warm response. The musicians around the Galley brothers had changed slightly, so that this album in the end featured contributions from Ray Gillen (BADLANDS, BLACK SABBATH), John Wetton (ASIA), Scott Gorham (THIN LIZZY) and Max Bacon (GTR), amongst others.
With new label Parachute involved, in 1991 the time was right for "final part" of the conceptional story; "Phenomena III - Inner Visions". Besides Brian May (QUEEN) and Keith Murrell (AIRRACE), you'll here also find performances by Michael Sturgis (A-HA) and Scott Gorham (THIN LIZZY). "The Complete Works" were released in a triple fold-out digipack by Escape Music.
However, the PHENOMENA concept continued in 2006 under the banner "PsychoFantasy", which strictly follows the traditions of its three predecessors. Besides the concept story background, you will once again will find a whole bunch of amazing artists performing on this record: Tony Martin (BLACK SABBATH), Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE), Keith Murrell (MAMA'S BOYS) and Mel Galley (WHITESNAKE, TRAPEZE).
In September 2010 a new chapter began with a whole host of musicians, and "Blind Faith" was born to explosive effect. With new vocalists like Robin Beck, Terry Brock (STRANGEWAYS) and Rob Moratti (SAGA), a whole new world was unveiled and the concept became so fresh again. The rock audience once more were thrilled to hear the latest in this timeless story.
In 2012 we will all hear the new album "Awakening", an album chock-full of new ideas and featuring James Christian (HOUSE OF LORDS), Lee Small (SHY) and Toby Hitchcock (PRIDE OF LIONS) as well as familiar faces like Rob Moratti, Terry Brock and Mike DiMeo. Powerful songs executed by some of the finest rock musicians make this a hugely enjoyable album and it boasts a fine production from Tom Galley and Martin Kronlund. Here you will find straight-ahead rockers with powerful melodies along with up-tempo ballads and beautiful choruses.
* Toby Hitchcock (PRIDE OF LIONS)
* Terry Brock (STRANGEWAYS)
* James Christian (HOUSE OF LORDS)
* Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR)
* Lee Small (SHY)
* Rob Moratti (ex-SAGA)
"Awakening" track listing:
01. Smash It Up
02. Reality
03. Homeland
04. Going Away
05. Gotta Move
06. How Long
07. Shake
08. Fighter
09. Dancing Days
10. Stand Up For Love
SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera is recovering from a bout with Bell's Palsy, a temporary condition that is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side.
Cavalera was diagnosed with a case of Bell's Palsy last week upon his return from Australia. He consulted a doctor and was put on a course of antibiotics, is improving greatly and is expected to make a full recovery imminently. He thanks fans for their concern and well wishes and wanted his supporters to know that he is okay, since the condition manifests in the face and he ultimately didn't want fans to worry.
Of his recent illness, Max said, "I woke up one morning after coming home from Australia and the whole room was spinning. I looked at [Max's wife/manager] Gloria and said, 'There's something wrong here.' She said, 'Your face looks weird.' I went to the mirror and couldn't move half of my face. We thought I was having a stroke, so we rushed to the hospital. I learned my condition was called Bell's Palsy but I'd never heard of that. It's a fucking weird disease. My right eye won't blink, and half of my face feels like I've been punched by Mike Tyson! It hurts like hell. Anyway, I am leaving for Brazil. The show must go on and this Bell's Palsy ain't gonna stop a metalhead from his duties. I hope I'll be OK and thanks to all the fans concerned with me. Stay metal."
SOULFLY's eighth album, "Enslaved", will be released on March 13 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at TallCat Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and was produced by Chris "Zeuss" Harris, the seasoned knob twiddler behind some of the most notable bands in metal today, such as SHADOWS FALL, HATEBREED, THE RED CHORD and more.
POISON singer Bret Michaels' attorney is calling the third-party complaint filed by the defendants in the rocker's Tony Awards lawsuit "a desperate act."
Bret filed a lawsuit against the Tony Awards in March 2011 in conjunction with a mishap that occurred during a production number featuring the "Rock Of Ages" cast, which resulted in a head injury for Michaels.
According to Bret's attorney, Alex Weingarten, the Tonys organization and CBS have filed a third-party cross complaint in U.S. District Court in New York last week against Rock Of Ages Broadway LLC — which he claims is an attempt to deflect blame for the incident.
Weingarten, managing partner of Weingarten Brown LLP, has released the following statement:
"Defendants CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Tony Awards Productions, White Cherry Entertainment, Inc. and others involved in producing the 2009 Tony Awards, where rock star Bret Michaels sustained life-threatening head injuries, filed a Third Party Complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against third-party Rock Of Ages Broadway LLC.
"Michaels was leaving the stage after performing with the 'Rock Of Ages' cast when a set piece was lowered, striking him on the head, throwing him to the ground, and resulting in a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. In their complaint, the third-party plaintiffs do not dispute the extent of Michaels' injuries, but rather simply seek to shift the blame — denying any negligence on their part and alleging that 'Rock Of Ages' is either directly responsible for Michaels' injuries, or must indemnify the defendants if a jury determines they were at fault.
"This is a desperate act. The producers of the Tony Awards and their co-defendants cannot credibly deny that they almost killed Bret while he was performing with the cast of 'Rock Of Ages', so instead they are trying to point the finger elsewhere. CBS and the rest of the defendants are just grasping at straws. It was their negligence that injured Bret, and it was then their decision to try to profit from his injuries by joking about them and playing them for ratings. We did not drag 'Rock Of Ages' into this, and Bret has nothing but the utmost respect for them, their production and the performers who were on stage and in harm's way with him that night.
"After the injury, Michaels repeatedly attempted to resolve the matter amicably and out of court in an effort to avoid adding to the already substantial publicity surrounding the accident. The Tony Awards could have — but did not — take advantage of the standard broadcast delay to prevent the video from being transmitted. The incident became an Internet mainstay, and at one point was one of the 10 most-viewed clips on YouTube. The Tony Awards and its producers have yet to apologize to Michaels, let alone take responsibility for the severe injuries they caused. Instead, defendants have sought to point the blame first at Michaels himself, and now at 'Rock Of Ages'."
A copy of Michaels' March 2011 lawsuit can be viewed as a PDF file at this location.
The suit, originally filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that Michaels was told by the producers that he should simply exit from the stage rear after he was done with his performance. The suit states that Michaels was never told the scenery piece would be descending or given "any warning of the existence of the dangers it presented."
According to the lawsuit, Bret nearly died in April 2010 from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage, which he believes was caused by the injuries he suffered at the Tony Awards. In his suit, Michaels claims, "One of the most common causes of this type of hemorrhage is head trauma — exactly like the one Michaels suffered at the hands of the Tony Awards." Michaels notes, "Through his sheer will to live, to see his children grow up, [he] was able to survive this trauma."
Shortly after the Tony Awards incident, Tonys spokeswoman Christina Stejskal said the rocker "missed his mark," which resulted in him failing to get back to the stage in time (as did the rest of POISON) and trying to jump up, only to have a descending set piece smack him on the head and knock him to the ground.
Back in June 2009, Michaels told People.com that he had no plans to file a lawsuit over the Tony Awards incident, insisting, "I want to make very clear to everybody that — first and foremost — I was honored to be asked to be at the Tonys. I'd never done it before and in all my life it's not something I thought I'd be on. I was really excited. There's no lawsuit. I'm not doing any of that. I'm taking the high road."
Michaels' neurologist Dr. Joseph Zabramski held a press conference for reporters in May 2010 and responded to speculation that the POISON frontman's brain hemorrhage could be related to his onstage injury at the Tony Awards. "I do not believe that that [a connection between the brain hemorrhage and the Tony Awards injury] is a possibility at all," said Zabramski. The doctor added that far too much time had passed for the incidents to be related. "A hit in the head can cause a subacute hemorrhage, but it causes it immediately," Zabramski explained. "If that had caused a problem that led to this hemorrhage, we would have seen a problem with his blood vessels."
Jack Russell is beyond a rock and roll survivor, he's a survivor period.  Sort of like the animal that is his band's namesake he continues to circle the waters and is a predator more by natural design than by choice. 2012 finds Jack once again hitting the road in March and on the hunt via a legal issue over the name of the band he started all those years ago. It's just another hurdle in a life that's never been easy but has been filled with the type of drama that's normally reserved for Hollywood.  Fitting, since the name GREAT WHITE has always been synonymous with California and LaLa land anyway.  We talked with Jack about his new version of Great White, his health, sobriety, the early days and what it's like to wake up every day to the sounds of the ocean.  Read on….
Legendary Rock Interviews:  Hi Jack! Thanks so much for talking to us.  We talked to your old buddy Mark Kendall a while back and it's good to hear from you again.  I had the pleasure of meeting you many moons ago at the World Series of Rock show up here at Alpine Valley back in the day and have always been a fan, you were very cool to us backstage that day in 1991.
Jack Russell:  Alpine Valley!!  That was a helluva show man, a HELLUVA show.  I remember that day, very good times!   I remember Sebastian shoving a mic in my face during "Train Kept a Rolling" while I was mid-conversation with someone (laughs).  Thank god I knew roughly where they were at in the song.  I think I actually ended up on their home video.  Thank you so much for reminding me of that day and for remembering it as fondly as I did.  I owe everything in my career to people like yourselves that care enough to come see us and I never, ever forget that.  This isn't just about me, if it wasn't for all the people like you I would have never achieved any of the cool things like that which have happened in my life.  It's because of the people who love the music and the blessings of God that I am able to do what I do and I will never take that fact for granted and hope I never have.  It's a good life out here living on my boat and I truly appreciate it.
LRI:  What's it like being a Captain?  I wish I could park my house in the middle of friendly waters.
JR:  It's so great to have the birds singing and the waves crashing around me John.  I'm not gonna lie. I have been a Captain for a while now and have had my license for a long, long time which means I can take people out on a 110 ton vessel.  I used to work years ago taking people fishing on charter boats in San Diego, I was actually one of the youngest people ever to get their license so it's something I have always done.  If I was ever to quit singing and wanted to make a living doing it I could but I don't think I'm ever gonna do that.  I enjoy having my own boat and living on it and the only assholes on it are the ones I invite, you know (laughs).
LRI:  Are you loving it out there?
JR:  I am.  I mean, I lived out in the desert for like ten years and I was fucking miserable.  I almost drank myself to death which is pretty well documented and I came back here and I just have peace out here.  I'm living on the ocean and this is where I belong, I get up every morning and sit on the deck in the sun and look around and watch all this life happening and I am just at peace, I don't know how else to describe it.  I can go ashore to take care of business but once that gate slams behind me on dock I just feel totally at home and totally happy.  It's a simple life and that's what I need right now is simplicity.  I have enough aggravation and crap in my life and career but I don't at home.  Some people say you have a hole in the water that you're just throwing money into and I say you have a hole in the earth that you're throwing money into and you can't take yours to Catalina (laughs).  I can drive my money pit anywhere I want (laughs).
LRI:  My condolences on the passing of your mother.  I told Lonn Friend that I always thought that was so cool that RIP magazine ran an advice column written by Mama Russell.  Did she enjoy that?
JR:  Thank you.  She LOVED doing that so much.  That was her Andy Warholian 15 minutes of fame you know, John?  She always helped people anyway because that was just kind of her personality, her nickname was "Bubbles" because she was just this fun, bubbly, lively Lucille Ball-esque kind of person.  It was wonderful having her growing up as a mom and I miss her tremendously but I am really glad that she's gone and is at peace now.  She had to be moved to a home when she got really sick and I hated having her live in a home but luckily had met a wonderful woman at a show in Denver who is now my wife and she's a nurse.  I had asked her if there was any way that she could move out and live with us in our big house out in the desert and I told her she could have her own room and help me and when I went out on the road she could be there to take care of my mother.  She came out was just a godsend, she left her family and everything in Colorado and moved out here to be with us and took really good care of my mom.  My mom got progressively worse and just not herself got aggressive and things like that and we ended up having to move her back into a home unfortunately because by that time I had also gotten hurt and this poor girl, my wife now, was just being worked to death between me and my mom.  My manager then (in Great White) just wasn't getting it.
LRI:  This was when things just had to slow down for you and all the while they were wanting to keep booking dates ??  What actually happened?
JR:  I was like telling him basically "I'm being worked to DEATH.  I need some time off for all these things" and he was like "I understand Jack, as your manager I can definitely pull the tour down and you can get your rest and get healthy, we're 100% behind you man.  As a 'friend" though, as a friend I gotta tell you that while I can do that it will probably ruin or end your career, the promoters will never wanna touch you again so what do you really wanna do?"  So I was in an interesting spot, it was like "Ok, well I can ruin my career or take a bunch more pills and go out on the road and slug through the pain, Ok, I'll take a bunch of pills and go out and work with a health problem."  Consequently, I just beat the living shit out of myself.  I started thinking about it one time when I got home here and was healing up for the next round of shows.  I was like, "Look, I don't wanna go out and do three in a row and shit, let's go slow and do two and all this"  and my manager was like "No, no, we've got a possibility of doing three in a row and it's gonna be great" and I was like "Woah, dude slow down" and he's all like "You're a big boy Jack, you can handle it".  Right around that time was when I sat back and really thought about what I was doing to myself and wondered if I really want to pull that kind of schedule anymore just because that's what he wants to do even though my body is telling me something completely different.  It was like I had no say so whatsoever and I was killing myself for what and for who?  It sure wasn't to put on the best show for the fans because at that point what I needed more than anything was time off.  I wanna go out there and have fun like I always have during the 30 odd years of my career in Great White.  This is important, it's a career and a choice, this is what I do but it's FUN and it's not just a "job".  So on December 10th of 2011 I just had to call them and end it.  I said, "I'm done, I'm taking the name of the band  that I started in 1978  and I'm moving on."  So basically, instead of them firing me, I basically said "You're fired".  I had a band ready to go from my solo project and I said, "You know what guys?  You wanna do GREAT WHITE with me?" and they said "Hell yeah" and that's basically what's brought it to this point.  It gets even better though….(laughs).  I came to find out that on December 7th, three days before I called them, that those guys had gone down and filed for the trademark on the name WITHOUT ME!!!   December 7th, ironically the anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, those guys went and filed to take my own band name away from me.  I was DEVASTATED, just devastated, no matter what was going on with our manager, these guys in the band have always been my friends, more than friends, we were LIKE FAMILY.  I was just like "How could you do that to me, without letting me know?"  I couldn't BELIEVE it.  I thought when I called on the 10th that they were GOING to do that okay, because when I talked to my manager for the last time and told him I was done, he told me "Okay, I'm gonna stay with these guys then Jack and I'm going to make your life miserable".  I thought right then, on December 10th, "Okay, I know the deal, they're gonna go into court and file for the trademark".  I never thought in a million years that they had already DONE it.  I was just devastated and blown out of the water.  I've had my heart broken before but this was different, it was as if my heart was literally ripped right out of my chest.
LRI:  I think some of us fans are confused about the timeline of events there before it got to that point.  Was it always, always a situation where you were the singer of GREAT WHITE?  Was it always the plan that you were going to rejoin Great White when you were able and all these other singers were just kind of getting them by and keeping them on the road until you were able to rejoin?
JR:  Well yeah.  I was always the singer of GREAT WHITE and they even said that with their big statement that I was "slated to return on February 10th and we were blindsided and shocked by Jack and blah blah".  I read an interview with Mark Kendall a few months back where he said he talked to me three times a week and they checked in on me constantly but I am here to tell you John.  I have not talked to Mark Kendall in a freakin YEAR.  The last time I even saw him was at the Jani Lane memorial and he had a panic attack beforehand because he thought he might have to appear onstage and play a song with me.  Does that sound like a band that wanted their singer back?  I mean come on…..does it?  Let me make clear, nobody from that band called me to vent or otherwise say "Hey ma, we're sick of this Jack, come on or it's over".  I was still on the webpage and everything else.
LRI:  I did a couple of interviews during that time with both Terry Ilous and Mark Kendall.  Both of them were very kind and gave me great interviews and I even enjoyed seeing them live but they were very tight-lipped on your status when I asked about you coming back or whether Terry was permanent.  I got a little bit out of Terry who told me he wasn't sure about his status and whether you were coming back but that he talked with you about singing your songs and what an honor it was to perform the catalog.  It was all really confusing from a fan standpoint.
JR:  I know and that's bullshit that they didn't make it clear that I would be coming back.  I did talk to Terry and tell him thank you for doing a great job and everything after the situation with Jani and there was even a point during the shows where Terry was telling people "Jack's getting better and will be back" and all that and that all started to change only recently.  I was on the phone with our manager so much to the point that he was like "Jack, I'm not gonna tell you again…this is your band, you're the singer in Great White, we're here for you, if the guys don't wanna play with you anymore we will FIRE them, Michael's on board, Kendall will just go where the money is and Audie might not like it but once he sees you rehearse and sees you're fine then he will be okay with it."  Again, sneakily and ironically, Michael Lardie sent me a text December 6th which was the day before they filed for the rights to the name and the day after my birthday.  Lardie sent me an email that said "Happy Belated Birthday you old fart…haha, super busy, gotta go, loves Mikey" and then the very next day they filed for the trademark without me.  It was like, "Really Michael???  What the fuck is up with that shit?  Can't you have the balls to call me and say  Look Jack, we're really sick of your shit and we don't wanna play with you anymore so we're gonna call it a day and let's go fight it out in court and see how it goes"  Sending me a text and wishing me a happy birthday the day you take my band away from me was just really sneaky and telling if you ask me.
LRI:  Prior to that point were you completely supportive of their efforts to keep the ship afloat with Terry and Jani and Paul and those guys?
JR:  Yeah!  I told the guys, let's keep this thing together, let's keep this going and I'll call Jani Lane and Jani was like "Well, I really don't wanna do that and I'm really not comfortable with that but for you I will do that" and he even said that in the last interview he ever did on THAT METAL SHOW.  He said, "Jack Russell, my friend, called me and wanted me to fill in for him" and he did.  He did an amazing job too, I was talking to his widow Kimberly and was like "You know Kim, Jani saved my life because I woke up from my last surgery on August 11th and the first thing I heard my wife say to me was 'You know your friend Jani died today of alcohol poisoning'  and I couldn't believe it.  I was in a state of shock that Jani was gone and a few days later Steven Tyler called me and said "Jack, what the hell are you doing?" and I just said "I don't know man" and Steven said "Jack, you gotta get sober buddy" and I did.  I really did.  Yeah, I gotta take pain medication, I probably have to take it for the rest of my life because my back is so screwed up but you can tell from talking to me or watching me sing that I'm lucid, I'm not all fucked up.
LRI:  I saw the NAMM video, the interviews and the performances and was just even more confused by the Great White statements about you because you sounded and looked great.
JR:  Well, thank you, that's very kind.  This is it, this is where I'm at and I am FINE.  I'm not taking pills to get fucked up I'm taking what I need to take to get by and do my best.  This is what I do and I'm not on medications that I abuse or make me confused or falling all over the place, incoherent or whatever.   I've got a new doctor and new medication that works for me and allows me to do this without having me be a mess and I am very thankful.
LRI:  Well, that's another question that's been raised this past year or two.  How much of your problems were addiction related and how much were full-blown health problems?   I do understand that one does sometimes blend into the other.
JR:  Here's the deal I was taking a LOT of meds.  I was taking prednisone which is for inflammation and swelling and I was getting worked too much, my voice was starting to take a beating.  So, the prednisone helped with that but it does all this other bad shit to your body and screws up your bones and ravages your immune system and everything else.
LRI:  The Great White guys were putting it out there in some detail via a press release about your addictions, medical issues and abusing your pain meds which pissed off some of your faithful that they would go public with your problems.  Thoughts?
JR:  I was taking pain pills but they were just making me a mess and all I really needed was time away and time to rest and heal.  I needed to take a break from that schedule that they were so adamant about and it did hurt that they decided to make so much of my problems public but I GET IT.  I was having problems with the medications I was on the last time those guys had worked with me.  I was having issues with a lot of those pills and the oxy contin was making me an IDIOT, I was falling down and forgetting the words to my own songs and shit like that.  I was nodding off and just wasn't the same old Jack, I understanded that is a major problem, I get that.  Do I think that my own band should believe me when I tell them that I have a new doctor and new meds and I'm sober now?  Yes.  Do I think I should have to take a piss test or be off my pain pills in order to be in the band I STARTED???  No.  I have a new doctor who just has a different approach, I have new medications that make the pain TOLERABLE.  Trust me when I say that I am by no means CURED from pain, it's not that I'm not in pain anymore it's just that it's manageable and tolerable now and I'm able to be myself and be coherent and perform the way I expect myself to.
LRI:  Do you find that some of those shows that weren't up to par were following you around or haunting you on youtube?
JR:  (laughs).  You know, it's funny I was telling my new manager Val the other other day that youtube used to be my worst enemy at one point but it's going to end up being my best friend now.  The proof's in the pudding and at the end of the day it will all come to light.  I have always been one to let the music do the talking and as usual I still have a lot to say (laughs).  Don't count me out.
LRI:  I have to ask you about some of the moments in that musical catalog of course.  We just talked to Michael Wagener recently and he told me you guys had a LOT of fun making that first album.  What do you remember about him and those days?
JR:  I LOVE that dude man!  I was just thinking about that album the other day cause I am back here living in Redondo Beach where we recorded that record and now everywhere I go there's memories of that time and that era.  I remember one night Gary Holland (former drummer) and I went out and for some reason we tore this "No Dumping" sign out of the ground and we carried it back to the studio and ended up taking a picture of it with a roll of toilet paper in my hand (laughs).  I don't know why, it was just some stupid idea we had.  I also remember we somehow had a pair of deer antlers that we just stuck up behind Kendall's head and took another hysterical picture.  We had a GREAT time recording that album.  Ask anyone.  That band was SO much fun back in those days.  Mark and I were SUCH good friends back then.  You have to remember I asked Mark to start a band with me back in 1978 when I was 17 years old.  I said "Dude, come join me and let's start a  band" and it just went from there.  We were so close that at one point Audie (Desbrow, drummer) and Mark were both living in my parents house with me.  Mark would help me with chores and purposely set the lawnmower so low that the grass would die and my dad wouldn't ask us to mow the lawn anymore (laughs).
LRI:  SHOT IN THE DARK sounds like the logical stepping stone from that kind of metal feel towards the band that would eventually sell millions.  Is that accurate?
JR:  Yes.  Absolutely, John.  The sound of the band would sure change from that strictly metal sound but it was a natural growth that sort of happened and made sense.  Prior to that point we were all sort of into Judas Priest and sort of developed our own style within that hard rock template.   SHOT IN THE DARK was definitely a departure in that we started incorporating more of the blues and keyboards and that signature GREAT WHITE sound.  The band kind of expanded and we were able to do different stuff as a result of that searching and finding our own sound within the roots of our influences.  We never did anything logically though (laughs).  We never sat down and thought "Ok, we're gonna kind of tweak the sound and get bluesy"  it just sort of happened… I think it started to happen with that album though.  We just wrote songs that we liked and that was the only way we knew, we were like "Yeah, we like that, we like playing that and listening to that so let's put that on the record."  We never had an A&R person come down to the studio and sit with us and listen to the tracks while we working to give their take on things and say "Ok, we want two ballads and two metal songs " or anything like that.  In fact, they never even came down.  To me that SHOT IN THE DARK period may not have been the most successful commercially but it was a hell of a lot of fun making it and touring it.  It was a hit in Los Angeles and to us that was cool.  I remember all those early days so fondly because those were the days where the whole band was holed up and living in a little house that our ROADIE paid for.  We were all surviving on mayonnaise sandwiches and Top Ramen and sleeping on a floor where the cockroaches were so big they'd climb in bed and throw a leg over on you (laughs).  But it WAS fun.  The reason it was so much fun is because you KNEW something was gonna happen, you weren't sure what or when but you knew it was going to happen.  The atmosphere around the entire scene was ELECTRIC.  You could literally feel it down on Sunset and all over Hollywood as we were all hanging our flyers up over each others flyers and all bumping into each other at each other's gigs.  I mean it was amazing to be a band that was on the verge of breaking at that time in the mid eighties in L.A.  Whether it was us or Dokken or Motley or RATT or Quiet Riot we all knew each other and we all hung out together and it was really just a FUN scene.  Once you start really getting big it all happened so fast that it seemed to go by in a flash and it's like, "Wow, where did all the time go".  Those early days of being broke and hungry are what you remember.
LRI:  Was there any pressure or stress from Capitol that let you know they were expecting ONCE BITTEN to be something bigger than a regional hit?
JR:  Never.  Never.  The only thing that did happen during that time was a bit of a disagreement that sprung up over the song "SAVE YOUR LOVE" which almost led to me leaving the band.  I co-wrote that song and our manager who was also our producer didn't like it, the record company thought it was weak and I said "Look, seriously, I'm gonna quit the band if this song doesn't make the album".  It wound up being a major hit along with "Rock Me" which was another one of those songs where we knew we were on the right track, we knew we were really coming into our own sound. I remember Mark and I both listening back to that track and we both had the biggest smiles on our faces and saying "This could be really big" and we just cracked up laughing and saying "Kings to the End" which was our big motto.  Now I guess it's the end you know?  At least the end of an era.
LRI:  By the time you guys were established headliners on TWICE SHY were you approaching the albums differently knowing you were going to be taking them out on the road and pretty much doing your own show rather than opening?
JR:  No, not really man.  We just wrote a lot of songs and had a lot of fun.  I know that a lot of bands in other situations would have a lot more pressure on them in those situations so I really have to tip my hat to our old manager Alan Niven.  God bless him, Alan kept us out of those pressure situations and really did a good job of letting the band do what they needed to do in the studio.  We were a really, really good band and he played a big part in making sure nothing and noone got in the way or derailed us from focusing on the music at that point.  Twice Shy was just another really fun record.  All of the records we made were just us writing songs and having fun, even the last one, RISING in 2009.
LRI:  The HOOKED album had so much pressure from the outside world to live up to TWICE SHY that I think a lot of that record goes unappreciated.  "Call It Rock and Roll" is much better than a lot of band's best material.
JR:  Oh, I love that song.  I open up with that song still and it's still my favorite video of all time directed by the now world-famous Michael Bay.  That's a great song.  I think a lot of the songs we wrote over the years were great songs that just weren't as big of hits as they could've been or for whatever reason the promotion and push didn't happen and they didn't wind up as massive as others.  I agree that there's a lot of good material on that album.
LRI:  Somewhere after HOOKED you started expressing a desire to get out a do some solo work and maybe try some other things while still doing GREAT WHITE.  Was that mostly just a creative venture or was that you sort of wanting to break away from some of the personalities in the band?
JR:  Totally a creative thing.  I just felt like I had another side to me and my writing and singing that was a little different and kept getting the no from our manager, pick a manager (laughs).  It was just a desire to kind of explore some other styles and I eventually got to do that on both of my solo records.  They are a lot different from Great White, a lot less hard rock and more AOR but they were fun and important for me to do.
LRI:  You also started a period of firing and refiring up the Reunion thing with GREAT WHITE for the albums and tours that you've done these last ten or twelve years.  I have to ask you, is it sometimes more difficult than the public thinks to pull of these big reunions?
JR:  You know what man…at first it was a great idea.  It was my idea to begin with because I was like "Ok, I really wanna do a new album but I really want it to be with the original guys".  Like, I could do another GREAT WHITE album without them but I don't wanna bastardize the whole idea of the band.  Even now, I could do a new GREAT WHITE album but it's a difficult thing to wrap your head around.  I would probably be more inclined to do it under my name or something like that at this point but I could wind up eating those words a year from now who knows.  I know I'm not done writing and recording music and I think everyone knows it's not for the money because there's no money any more in recording new music.  It's more for your artistic juices and for the fans than anything else.   I know my former band mates are already talking about doing it and wouldn't hesitate calling it Great White.   I think Terry's a great singer but that's not Great White.  It's just not.  You take the lead singer out of ANY band no matter how good or bad he is and it just changes the entire sound and dynamic of the band.  I think I'm a great singer, one of the best singers in rock and roll and I don't say that to be cocky because I totally think it's not even my doing, it's just a gift from god and I am very grateful.  Having said that, if you kicked Steven out of Aerosmith and put me in there it's not friggin Aerosmith man.  It's not gonna be Aerosmith.  I can sing Zeppelin like nobody's business to the point of Robert Plant saying "God, that guy sounds more like me than I do" but I could never replace him in Led Zeppelin.  You cannot change the singer in a band and have it sound like the same band or have the same feel, it just doesn't work.  You might be able to get away with changing any other element of the band but not the singer.  I don't say that to mean any disrespect to any particular members of any band including the guys in my old band but to me, that's just my personal opinion.  The lead singer is kind of the most recognizable component of any band.  The singer is basically the signature of the band and without that it starts to sound like a cover band.
LRI:  We've seen it before where discussion starts over splintering of the classic lineups.  There were two L.A. Guns for the longest time and it really caused a lot of confusion and chaos for both fans and promoters.   I do think that it's a REALLY hard issue to handle and wrap your head around.   If you and Mark Kendall both started the band then how could you possibly be prevented from  using the name "Great White"?
JR:  Well, exactly.  I do have every right to use the name which is why I am using it. The distinction is I'm not calling it GREAT WHITE, I'm calling it Jack Russell's Great White which is to make sure that NOBODY is confused.  I know what you're talking about and I wanted to make sure that distinction is there so that the fans know exactly who it is they're coming to see when they are coming out to the show.  I don't have a problem with fans supporting Mark and those guys, I have said that from the beginning.  Live and let live, support both bands, who cares?  We could have both gone out and both done well and made money.  That would have been awesome.  We could have simply struck a deal and agreed to both go out as separate camps and do our thing but that's not how my former bandmates and manager saw things.  Like I said, they made clear their intention was to make my life a living hell.  Having said that, I'm not just gonna go away quietly and give up and die when this is the band I started, you know?  They really should have just left me alone, they could've done their thing, I could do my thing and the fans could support us both but no, they have to go out in the press and attack me and drag all my personal life into their press releases.  They went on the offensive and said I have no right to use the name of the band I started, the band I NAMED.  They had to wake up the sleeping giant.  Well, now I'm up and I'm ready to fight for what's mine.  I've got two different legal teams working for me here and helping me out, one of them, ironically or serendipitously is called the Great White, that's his laywer nickname (laughs) because he's like a shark.  I don't want the world John, I just wanna be able to use the name of the band I started.  In 1978 we were called Dante Fox and back in the old days I used to call Mark Kendall the Great White, cause he was really white (laughs).  I used to call him that and then our manager, the one and only Alan Niven was like "Hey, that's great, why don't you change the name of the band and call it Great White".  Mark and I both looked at each other and shook our heads no and said "We"ll lose all our following!!!" (laughs) which at that point was like 300 people or something (laughs).  .   We both thought "Well, that's a STUPID name Alan" but I always liked sharks since I had the boating background and grew up on water and everything and it grew on us and stuck.  Originally, it was just my nickname for Kendall though (laughs).  That's the truth and it's also not boasting that my name happens to be on the writing credits of more of the catalog songs than anyone.  We all split writing equally and we all contributed but the fact is that my name is on more writer's credits than anyone else in the band.  Again, I'm not saying that to negate anyone else's contributions I am just stating the honest to god truth.  I'm the only one who's been in this band through EVERY inception.  I can't imagine me not winning this case or being able to use the name Great White but it COULD happen.  They're going to try to drag me down but guess what?  I'm prepared to fight and you better believe I'm going down swinging.
LRI:  I really was surprised when I read your comments on METAL SLUDGE after they put out their press release.  You DID make it a point to say that you really hold no ill will against them and want the fans to support them.  Do you regret that now that the attacks have gotten more personal?
JR:  No.  I still feel like the fans shouldn't have to take sides.  Why?  That's SOOOO stupid, why divide them and have that controversy?  I didn't LIKE the fact that they made an official press release about how I was a drug addict.  It was like, "Oh, did we mention Jack Russell's a drunk…..and he falls down….and oh yeah, did we mention he's a DRUG addict?? and he wears a COLOSTOMY bag, ewww!!"  I didn't appreciate that, that was pretty unnecessary to the whole matter to drudge all that up.  I guess it was supposed to be shocking or embarrassing or gross the fans into being like "Well, I don't wanna go see some guy with a COLOSTOMY bag".  Whatever.  I don't wear one anymore so I don't care but that's pretty childish of them (laughs).  I just want to go out and play a normal schedule with guys that support me and most of all HAVE FUN. For the record, I know for a fact that those Great White press releases about me weren't written by the guys in the band anyway but by management.  The guys are a lot of things and I love them but they are certainly not intellectuals.  I may have my differences with them at this point but I still have a lot of love for them as people.  As hard as it is for me to say right now John, I will never, ever, ever NOT have love for Mark Kendall.  It's painful knowing that he was a part of what they are trying to do to me but you can't spend that much time and share so much experience in life with someone and cut them out of your heart completely.  At least I can't.
LRI:  One other thing that came out recently and made me think was on the MADMAN radio show.  He was hinting about how it was his theory that some of your recent issues and addictions stemmed from almost a post traumatic stress disorder after the Station Fire in Rhode Island.  Do you think that's a fair assumption?
JR:  Yeah, you think???.  I absolutely think that's valid.  That's something I am still going to counseling for, I recently started again because that experience is something that's never, ever going to go away.  There's not a DAY that I don't wake up and sit out here on this boat and look at this beautiful sunrise and the seals and life and think about the fact that there's 101 people who will NEVER see that again (voice cracking).
LRI:  I'm sorry man.  I just always wondered and had to ask, I can let you go.
JR:  No, I'm sorry.  Pardon me.  It's a totally appropriate question.  It's just hard to this day.  The anniversary isn't the only reminder, every day is.  It's so hard that people who mean the WORLD to me lost their LIVES and I…..  They died for no other reason than the fact that they wanted to come see me sing you know?  That breaks my heart.  All the families that are just DESTROYED because of that night.  They are forever changed and destroyed because of the ripple effect of that.  It's really beyond comprehension to think about and deal with.  All the people who were injured.  One of the last guys who came out of a coma, he came out and realized his hands were all burned off and all this and this guy was a computer guy.  They asked him, "Hey would you ever go see Great White again?" and he was like "Hell yeah, they're my favorite band!".  I heard that and I just started BAWLING like a baby.  I was deeply affected by that night and yeah it definitely started a spiral as far as my addictions went.  I was catatonic for about six months after that fire and would just take anything or drink anything that would numb me or slowly kill me.  I just looked at it and thought "Well, this will help me get outside myself or be oblivious, no matter what it was or what it did I would take it or drink it".  If I knew it would screw me up or knock me out to the point of where I didn't have to think about anything or feel anything I would just put it in my mouth without even thinking.  I went to a very dark place and my addictions followed me and got worse as a result.  I've always had problems with drugs and alcohol though as have most of the guys in my old band.  We've all had our issues and we've all been there for each other at various times. I guess that I get to be ostracized for it because they got sober before I did but I remember a time where we all went through our individual problems and all inconvenienced each other.  Now they're publicly saying I cost them too much embarrassment and too much money these last few years leading up to me getting sober.  apparently money is more important than being brothers or being there for each other anymore so it is what it is.
LRI:  I know you have your lovely wife and a new band to lean on.  Still, you have this upcoming tour starting March 1st and an even bigger tour this summer headlining the America Rocks Tour (Faster Pussycat, Pretty Boy Floyd, Lillian Axe and Bulletboys).  Is it still difficult to put yourself out there on the road and stay clean and sober?
JR:  Not anymore.  Not with these guys and this schedule which I am able to have control over.  The pressure is way less because I don't have to agree to three in a row over and over on the road just to make their ends meet.  I don't want to do that at 51 years old and I'm singing stuff that, like Terry and Jani said, is REALLY tough and challenging to sing.  I'm thinking to myself sometimes like "Why did I write that or sing that??  God….what was I thinking!!" (laughs).  It's pretty intense stuff vocally to sing but I didn't think about  25 years later when I wrote it (laughs).  This band is VERY supportive of my sobriety also.  I was telling one of my guitar players Rob Lochner "Hey man, you should join my Jack Russell Well Wisher's page on Facebook" and he was like "Man, I was a member on that page before I even met you Jack".  I got all warm and fuzzy (laughs).  These guys are the best.  They're very supportive of my sobriety and will be watching me like a hawk, which I don't need but I can appreciate.  If some fan comes up with good intentions and says "Hey man, I heard you're in pain, here's some Vicodin" these guys are the first to swoop in and be like "Nah, nah, Jack's good." (laughs).  That sometimes can be an issue because that bad guy with the horns is always on my shoulder, tapping me and saying "Comon Jack, let's take it.  You deserve it, you're in pain"  That little devil Jack is always going to be there and I know that because he's been there my whole life.  I've gotta keep Jack in the box.  My wife, is a saint.  That sounds so cliché, but in this particular instance it's just a fact.  Without that girl I would not be ALIVE.  I am not exaggerating when I say that she literally saved my life three times.  She's a nurse and thank god she is.  When I had to wear the colostomy bag it was in a place that I couldn't change it and she had to change it every single time.  That's beyond love to do something like that for somebody is just like….come on.  She's a saint.  I know a guy who had a bag and his girlfriend was like "Ok, I'll move out until you can have it removed" and I was like "Ok, that's pretty typical I guess".  I'd be like, "Ok, honey, I'll move out and you know what I'll drop off the last bag for you as a parting gift (laughs).
LRI:  I wanted to ask you about your new bandmates in Jack Russell's Great White.  I had heard they were a bunch of garage band guys and nobodies but then I find out that's just not the case.  These are guys that have played in bands with Rob Halford, Stephen Pearcy, C.C Deville, Oz Fox, Frank from Angel and have recording and writing credits on Firehouse records and even past versions of GREAT WHITE.  Are you having fun with these guys?
JR:  I am so blessed to have this band.  These are truly some of the best guys I have ever played with.  I thought that was pretty funny that the Great White press release called my band a "garage band".  I'm not sure why they would say that since two of the guys are former members of GREAT WHITE (laughs). Derek Pontier (drummer) took Audie's place in Great White for YEARS.  My guitar player Matthew Johnson took over for Kendall when Mark quit the band.  Why would diss on people who you had in your own band (laughs).  Come on.  I honestly laughed cause they were that desperate to say something shitty about us. This is about as far from a garage band as it gets.  If this is a garage band then that's one HELLUVA garage, I'd park my ride there.  The rehearsals are going fantastic and we are sounding tight which you can hear in that good old youtube clip from NAMM (laughs).  It's going really well and I am honestly so excited and happy to get back up onstage and put on an amazing show with an amazing setlist of songs.  We're not just going through the catalog and only playing the obvious songs one after another and then saying goodnite.  I haven't played in a while so I've been saving up.  Get ready for a SHOW.  I've been planning this for a LONG time.  When the guys never contacted me or touched base with me for months upon months I could sort of read the writing on the wall.  I started writing songs and getting my band together and had a contingency plan in place in case of some final falling out with band and management.  I knew something was up when guys I was so close with just fall off the face of the earth and have no contact with me.  I always planned on being able to have a chance to return to Great White but I'm not STUPID, it was in the back of my head that I should have some plan in place if things didn't work out.  All I can say is Jack is back, people love a trainwreck but they love a comeback story even more.
NoiseArt Records and Rock The Nation booking have announced the signing of the Hungarian heavy metal band WISDOM.
Commented the group: "WISDOM was formed in 2001 with no real plan or purpose. We threw together a few covers, and soon after our first songs were composed. As we made up our name and kept on writing songs, our goals were also becoming clear. We created Wiseman, whose story continues on our every album, and may raise interesting thoughts in those examining it. We aspire to this especially. Nomen est omen, one could say. Now we are happy to announce the signing with NoiseArt and Rock The Nation; they promised worldwide fame, money and a lot of pretty girls; we were unable to withstand the temptation. Therefore you'll get a cool heavy/power album in August entitled 'Judas' and powerful concerts all over the world. Wiseman is alive and stronger than ever!"
"Judas" will be released on August 24 and will include an exclusive bonus track, taken from the WISDOM EP "At The Gates".
"Judas" track listing:
01. Fallin' Away From Grace
02. Somewhere Alone
03. Age Of Lies
04. Live Forevermore
05. Wander The World
06. Heaven And Hell
07. Silent Hill
08. At The Gates
09. The Prodigal Son
10. Judas
11. All Alone (bonus track)
Gábor Nagy - Vocals
Gábor Kovács - Guitar
Zsolt Galambos - Guitar
Máté Molnár - Bass
Balázs Ágota – Drums
 FOZZY's Frank Fontsere has completed laying down the drum tracks for the follow-up to 2010's "Chasing The Grail", tentatively due before the end of year via the group's new label, Century Media Records.
In a recent posting on his Facebook page, FOZZY guitarist Rich Ward stated about the band's new material, "Based on the songs and the early demos, my gut feeling is that when this album is completed, it will be the best overall album that I have been a part of."
FOZZY last year parted ways with bassist Sean Delson and replaced him with Paul DiLeo (ADRENALINE MOB).
FOZZY released the "Remains Alive & Chasing The Grail" two-CD set on July 18, 2011 via Edel's international rock label earMUSIC.
FOZZY was already on the map as the band with the pro wrestler singer, but "Chasing The Grail" broke them as a proper band. It hit #6 on the U.S. Heatseekers charts and the single "Martyr No More" was a theme song for the WWE Royal Rumble. "Remains Alive" is a 2005 live album (recorded in Australia) that was previously available in digital format only.
"Chasing The Grail" sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 6 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.
"Helvetios", the new album from Swiss folk metallers ELUVEITIE, has entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 4.
"Helvetios" was released in Europe on February 10 via Nuclear Blast RecordsNew Sound Studio in Pfäffikon, a municipality in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland, with producer Tommy Vetterli (a.k.a. Tommy T. Baron; CORONER/ex-KREATOR guitarist). According to the band, Vetterli "record[ed] drums, guitars and vocals and also produc[ed] and mix[ed] the record. Most folk instruments and also vocals [were] recorded by Anna Murphy and Marco Jencarelli at the Soundfarm studios in Lucerne."
"Helvetios" track listing:
01. Prologue
02. Helvetios
03. Luxtos
04. Home
05. Santonian Shores
06. Scorched Earth
07. Meet The Enemy
08. Neverland
09. A Rose For Epona
10. Havoc
11. The Uprising
12. Hope
13. The Siege
14. Alesia
15. Tullianum
16. Uxellodunon
17. Epilogue
The "Havoc" video can be seen below. The clip was produced by the Polish company Grupa13, which previously worked with the band on the videos for "Thousandfold" and "A Rose For Epona" as well as with such other acts as BEHEMOTH and AMON AMARTH.
ELUVEITIE has joined CHILDREN OF BODOM on the Finnish metallers' North American headlining tour in celebration of the band's 15th anniversary. The trek kicked off on January 30 in Rochester, New York and will run through March 4, hitting 26 cities over the course of the five-week jaunt. Boston-based extreme metal band REVOCATION and Canada's THREAT SIGNAL are also on the bill.
Legendary Swedish grinders NASUM have announced a limited number of farewell performances for 2012 including their first-ever tour on North American soil.
NASUM was hit hard by the passing of guitarist and co-founder Mieszko Talarczyk in the 2004 Asian tsunami, but announced the farewell performances to mark the band's 20th anniversary and close the book on the influential act. The group will be bringing total devastation to North America beginning May 18 in Chicago, Illinois with grind-mates BRUTAL TRUTH and seminal hardcore troupe DROPDEAD for a series of Midwest and East Coast dates before co-headlining the 10th annual Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Maryland. Immediately after, NASUM will head out to the West Coast for a series of shows including support from BLACK BREATH, FROM ASHES RISE, MASSGRAVE and more bands. NASUM will wrap up this highly-anticipated run at Chaos In Tejas in Austin, Texas on May 31.
In addition to the North American dates, NASUM has also been confirmed for a dozen festivals in Europe, including Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Graspop Metal Meeting, Obscene Extreme and many more.
The members of NASUM (Anders Jakobson: drums, Jesper Liverod: bass/vocals, Urban Skytt: guitars, Jon Lindqvist: guitars/vocals) have enlisted the help of ROTTEN SOUND vocalist Keijo Niinimaa to handle the screams for the forthcoming dates.
Anders Jakobson and Jesper Liverod commented on the upcoming North American dates: "So, farewell America. We mean it. These are the gigs that will sew our mouths shut. No turning back, no regrets, no apologies — we offer nothing but blastbeats and good times. This is about making grindcore a threat once and for all. This first leg of the last tour is ironically also the first tour NASUM leads in North America. Barring the infamous 'Contamination' tour in 1999, and a bit of chaos at the Milwaukee Metalfest in 2001, North America is untouched by our blasting. Kind of weird, considering NASUM's most dedicated following always came from Canada and the U.S."
NASUM 2012 is:
Anders Jakobson - Drums
Jesper Liveröd - Bass And Low Vocals
Jon Lindqvist - Guitars And Low Vocals
Urban Skytt - Guitars
Keijo Niinimaa – Vocals
"Blood For The Master", the new album from New Orleans, Louisiana's sons of American no-frills-black-metal-meets-death-'n'-roll GOATWHORE, sold around 3,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at No. 4 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. The band's previous albm, 2009's "Carving Out The Eyes Of God", opened with around 2,700 units to land at No. 16 on the Heatseekers chart.
"Blood For The Master" was released in North America on February 14 via Metal Blade Records. The CD was once again recorded at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer with Erik Rutan.
"Blood for the Master" track listing:
01. Collapse In Eternal Worth
02. When Steel And Bone Meet
03. Parasitic Scriptures Of The Sacred Word
04. In Deathless Tradition
05. Judgement Of The Bleeding Crown
06. Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos
07. Beyond The Spell Of Discontent
08. Death To The Architects Of Heaven
09. An End To Nothing
10. My Name Is Frightful Among The Believers
"Blood For The Master" was made available on CD, vinyl, and digitally. Fans of vinyl should note that there are three different versions of the LP; red with black splatter, half red/half black, and standard black.
In a recent interview with Decibel magazine, GOATWHORE guitarist Sammy Duet stated that the band's new CD features "the same exact [guitar] sound I used on 'Carving Out The Eyes Of God'. We're just trying to improve on that sound — make it bigger and fatter. That 'Carving' guitar sound was fucking incredible, and that's why me and Rutan spent half the week trying to get it to sound even better, which I believe we achieved. It's gonna have that growly, sub-nuclear kind of sound, but I think it's gonna be almost more refined in a way — but still very nasty." He added, "The drums are a lot more natural-sounding. A lot of producers today, I don't know; they make the drums sound fake. They sound good, but almost too good. We're just trying to make it sound real and not like a drum machine. . . There's the same amount of solos on 'Carving'; maybe a few more. But there's gonna be a lot of other… I wouldn't exactly call them guitar solos that are gonna be going on underneath the music, but there's gonna be certain things there that will be very different. There's definitely some shit I've never really done before ever that I've just been experimenting with. You have to hear it. It's hard to explain. It's like a solo and not a solo."
The first single off the album, "Collapse In Eternal Worth", along with "In the Studio" video footage, is now available at MetalBlade.com/Goatwhore. Fans can stream or download the single as well as check out the lyric video for the track that incorporates the artwork from both the CD and vinyl versions of the release, each which features different artwork.
San Diego extreme metallers CATTLE DECAPITATION wrapped up recording their new album last week and have returned home for a couple weeks before heading off to their European tour with SUFFOCATION. The highly anticipated follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album "The Harvest Floor" (2009 on Metal Blade Records) was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Dave Otero of Denver's Flatline Audio. According to a press release, "the humans of earth can expect a much more updated production complete with some surprising guest appearances and the kind of musical exploration that gained the band even more fans with 'The Harvest Floor'. Once again CATTLE DECAPITATION gives us more extravagantly intense artwork from artist Wes Benscoter and the CD/LP layout are as over the top as the album's concept itself."
All of the details of the new album including cover art, track list, guest appearances and pre-order info will be revealed in the final week of March, with the first single and music video quickly to follow.
CATTLE DECAPITATION will join forces with ORIGIN, DECREPIT BIRTH, ABORTED, RINGS OF SATURN and BATTLECROSS for the "Occupation Domination" U.S. tour in April/May.
Dutch female-fronted black-death metal band EDGE OF SERENITY will release a new single this spring. The effort will mark the recording debut of the group's new vocalist Nanette V. and will include a guest appearance by Swedish drummer Adrian Erlandsson (PARADISE LOST, AT THE GATES, NEMHAIN, VALLENFYRE, ex-CRADLE OF FILTH).
EDGE OF SERENITY decided at the end of last year to continue as a female-fronted metal band with a darker and sinister sound. Founding member Wietze Halma states, "As I always say, writing music is like living your life — it changes once in a while, and so at this moment, I just have the feeling of writing more darker songs than I did before. And I think with this sound I have found, we will continue, as it's not as friendly as the tracks on our debut album, 'The Chaos Theory', it gives me a more satisfying feeling overall."
EDGE OF SERENITY has finished several new tracks for an upcoming release, which will contain more special guest appearances.
The band's debut album, "The Chaos Theory", came out in May 2009 through Romulus X Records.
Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli of the resurrected late '80s/early '90s death metal outfit PESTILENCE has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"Recently, bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (NUFUTIC, OBSCURA) and drummer Yuma van Eekelen (EXIVIOUS, THE NEW DOMINION) have decided to work more intensively on their main projects.Therefore, bassist Stephan Fimmers (NECROPHAGIST) and drummer Tim Yeung (MORBID ANGEL, DIVINE HERESY, VITAL REMAINS, HATE ETERNAL) will join PESTILENCE for the upcoming new album, 'Obsideo', and live performances."
'[I] would like to thank Jeroen Paul Thesseling and Yuma van Eekelen for their hard work and great musicianship on the 'Doctrine' album and live shows and we (Mameli and PESTILENCE guitarist Patrick Uterwijk) wish them both good luck in the future with their projects."
Commented Fimmer: "I'm looking forward to be part of a great, new PESTILENCE album, 'Obsideo'; I'm sure that [it] is gonna blast!! It's great to join the band and play with these awesome musicians."
Patrick Mameli - Guitar/Vocals
Patrick Uterwijk - Guitar
Stephan Fimmers - Bass
Tim Yeung - Drums
PESTILENCE's latest album, "Doctrine", was released in North America in July 2011 via Mascot Records. The eleven-track CD was recorded and mixed at Woodshed Studio in southern Germany with engineer Victor Bullok (a.k.a. V. Santura; TRIPTYKON, DARK FORTRESS). The artwork was designed by Marko Saarelainen.
Australian death metallers DEFAMER have released their sophomore album, "Decrepit Rituals", via Obsidian Records. The CD was recorded late last year with Ean Redman and mastered by Jason "PC" Fuller at Goatsounds in Melbourne.
After the success of DEFAMER's 2009 debut, "Chasm", and the departure of guitarist Mitchell Rogers, the band made the executive decision to remain with one guitarist.
According to a press release, "Sam Alcock has twisted contemporary death metal with the older schooled sound of the yesteryear. Guitar riffs invert at a bile-evoking pace into fever pitched insanity."
DEFAMER will embark on an eleven-date Japanese and Australian tour in February and March.
Sam Alcock - Guitar
James Geekie - Drums
Kris Sadler - Bass
Tim Smith - Vocals

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