[Classic_Rock_Forever] AC/DC, Rush, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Steven Adler, Motley Crue and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


According to The Pulse Of Radio, AC/DC was in danger of being dropped from their label, Atlantic Records, just prior to the release of the band's 1977 album "Let There Be Rock". Phil Carson, the exec who got AC/DC signed to the label, revealed to Classic Rock magazine, "They'd delivered [1976's] 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', which I thought was pretty good. But the Atlantic A&R department [in the U.S.] said, 'We're sorry, but this album doesn't make it. We're not gonna put it out and we're dropping the band.' And everybody was unanimous in this, by the way — everybody."

Carson continued, "I said: 'I think you're making a very big mistake.' . . . So I went to Neshui [Ertegun, co-owner of Atlantic] and showed him the sales figures that we'd got for [1976's] 'High Voltage'. They were not awe-inspiring but considering we'd only paid $25,000 for the album, this was not so bad."

Ertegun agreed with Carson and allowed him to re-sign the band. Three years later, they became one of the biggest bands in the world with the release of 1980's "Back In Black", which has sold 49 million copies worldwide.

Singer Brian Johnson revealed last month that unspecified health issues for a different, unidentified member of AC/DC were delaying the start of work on the band's next album, although he added that a "full recovery" was expected.
According to a posting on the RUSH fan site RushIsABand.com, the first single from RUSH's long-awaited new album, "Clockwork Angels", will be a track called "Headlong Flight". A five-and-a-half-minute edit of the song will be hitting radio on April 19, with the full seven-and-a-half-minute cut set to appear on the full-length CD, which is scheduled to arrive on May 29 in the U.S. via Roadrunner Records and in Canada through Anthem/Universal Music. The CD will be made available in Japan on May 23 via Warner Music.

RUSH started work on the follow-up to 2007's "Snakes & Arrows" in late 2009 with the production team of Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, STONE SOUR) and engineer Richard Chycki (AEROSMITH, DREAM THEATER).

Two songs from "Clockwork Angels" that were previously digitally released, "BU2B" and "Caravan", were reportedly re-recorded for the forthcoming CD due to a record label change in the middle of the making of the album.

As previously reported, "Clockwork Angels" is being turned into a novel by Colorado-based sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote on Facebook, "Most of you are aware of my long-standing friendship with (RUSH drummer) Neil Peart . . . For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening. I'm writing the novelization of RUSH's forthcoming album, 'Clockwork Angels'."

Anderson added that he worked with Peart to "flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music," which involves "lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life."
All 100,000 tickets to METALLICA's five shows at the Sports Palace in Mexico City — scheduled for August 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 — are now officially sold out. As a result, the band has added yet another date in Mexico City: August 9 at the same venue.

Tickets for the sixth show will go on sale on Thursday, March 29 at 11 a.m. CST at Ticketmaster.mx.

METALLICA announced on March 15 that the band will unveil what the group's publicist described as a "mind-blowing new stage" in Mexico "that needs to be seen to be believed." The 140-foot-by-50-foot stage will feature "colossal components and striking visual elements spanning METALLICA's entire 30-year career."

The band itself went further in a post at its official web site, saying, "After years in the making, we are beyond excited to finally unveil the all new, out of control, massive stage and METALLI-show . . . Mexico will be the first to see what will be the cornerstone of our touring escapades for years to come."

It is not clear whether this production is the highly theatrical show that the band first discussed back in 2010, with co-manager Peter Mensch saying it would be METALLICA's "equivalent of [PINK FLOYD's] 'The Wall'" and would "blow your mind."

When The Pulse Of Radio asked drummer Lars Ulrich about that idea recently, he said it was one of many projects METALLICA was considering. "That's still circling also," he said. "None of this stuff goes away. I mean, we just throw these balls up in the air and then we try to tackle them one at a time. That one's still in the air, nothing definitive, but it's still circling. None of these things go away, they just get bigger and costlier and overwhelm us more (laughs)."

METALLICA last appeared in Mexico in 2009, playing to over 150,000 fans during three sold-out nights at Foro Sol Stadium that were captured for a live DVD.

The new stage show is said to be twice the size of the production that METALLICA has been using since 2008 on its "World Magnetic" tour.

Before all this happens, METALLICA will headline its own two-day musical event, the Orion Music + More festival, scheduled for June 23-24 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Over 20 acts are slated to perform.
Orion Music + More — the two-day festival created by METALLICA that will take place on June 23-24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey — has announced the addition of Ktulu's Rock 'N' Roll Emporium.

Check out dozens of vendors hawking their collectibles and vinyl, gig posters and gear.

For more information, go to this location.

An entire stage at Orion Music + More devoted to punk and thrash music — Damage Inc. Stage — will be headlined by SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and SEPULTURA, and will feature up-and-comers TORCHE, RED FANG, KYNG, LANDMINE MARATHON, BLACK TUSK, THY WILL BE DONE, and more.

Orion Music + More will feature multiple live music stages plus a lifestyle element that reflects each of METALLICA's bandmembers' many personal interests. METALLICA will headline both nights of Orion Music + More and play "The Black Album" in its entirety one night and "Ride The Lightning" in its entirety the other. This will be the only time the band will perform these albums in North America in 2012.

Orion Music + More has launched a complete web site where fans are able to explore the full Orion Music + More lineup by clicking any band name for a bio, video, streaming music and more. They will also be able to use the Custom Scheduler to make their own personalized lineup.

Tickets for Orion Music + More are currently on sale for $150 for a two-day pass including all fees. Visit www.orionmusicandmore.com to buy tickets.

Orion Music + More scheduled performers:


Damage Inc. Stage


During an interview aired immediately after the announcement, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich stated about how the bands were selected to perform at Orion Music + More, "Music, to us, is really diverse; it covers all grounds. If you took the four of ours;' iPods and scanned through those, you would find the biggest variety and diversity of music, so we're trying to bring that spirit to this festival."

He added, "A lot of the European festivals, and certainly also Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and so on, in outside lands in America, these festivals are really about diversity and about different experiences. You go there, you go check out bands you don't know a lot about, you go check out bands where it will be the first time you'll experience them. So there's a whole big pile of stuff — from punk to thrash to country to, sort, of alternative, straight-ahead rock, blues. But it's really about diversity."

"We'd love to have people open up their focus. Maybe they come to see us but wind up discovering some blues or country act," METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told USA Today.

Added Ulrich: "It's all about balance, keeping things fresh."

"We've done festivals our whole career," said METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield. "We wondered what made those people come back year after year, and it was because it was someplace you had to be. Maybe we can create something like that."

The METALLICA members explained that Orion was named in honor of the band's late bassist Cliff Burton. "Orion" is also the name of the instrumental song from METALLICA's 1986 album "Master Of Puppets", which is widely considered to be one of the greatest metal LPs of all time.

"We've had the idea of doing our own lifestyle festival with lots of diverse music and fun and games for years," said Ulrich. "Finally this year all the practical ducks lined up in a row, and we are beyond psyched to bring Orion to our fans, friends and the curious. After the most incredible of weeks ever in December 2011 celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California, bringing the spirit of that week, the looseness of that week, the possibilities of that week, the fan interactive elements of that week, and the (fill in your own blank here) of that week to a festival setting is so exciting we can hardly contain ourselves."
ADLER, the new band led by former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler, will release its debut single, "The One That You Hated", via iTunes on April 10.

In addition to Steven, ADLER features Lonny Paul (ADLER'S APPETITE) on guitar and Jacob Bunton (LYNAM, MARS ELECTRIC) on vocals/guitar. The group has been recording its debut album in Los Angeles with producers Jeff Pilson (former DOKKEN and current FOREIGNER/TOOTH AND NAIL bassist) and Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, ADRENALINE MOB).

ADLER's CD will feature guest appearances by ROB ZOMBIE/ex-MARILYN MANSON guitarist John 5 and Steven's former GUNS N' ROSES bandmate Slash (guitar).

"I love the music that we're creating!" states Adler. "I haven't been this excited about my band since the GN'R days. Jacob is exactly the singer I have been searching for. He has an amazing range and is a great writer and frontman. Lonny is an amazing guitarist and songwriter and the vibe is amazing!" He added, "I'm so excited for everyone to hear this record!"

Steven spent the past several years touring and recording with ADLER'S APPETITE, which played original material alongside cover versions of songs from GUNS' classic debut album, "Appetite For Destruction".

In 2010, Adler collaborated with Slash on the latter's self-titled debut solo album. He appeared on the track "Baby Can't Drive", along with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea, Alice Cooper and Nicole Scherzinger. The song was featured on an expanded edition of the album released by Classic Rock magazine.

Adler, Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin will all be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month in Cleveland, along with later GUNS N' ROSES members, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and drummer Matt Sorum.
Original GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler says that he "would love to" perform with the band's classic lineup at GN'R's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The event will take place on April 14 in Cleveland, with all the original members of the band — including singer Axl Rose — expected to attend.

When asked via Twitter if he shared guitarist Slash's sentiments about wanting to play with the original GUNS N' ROSES members at the Rock Hall induction, Adler replied, "I would love to [do it] for the fans."

Although Slash recently confirmed that the original lineup of GUNS N' ROSES would not perform at the Rock Hall induction, the guitarist told The Pulse Of Radio that he's not to blame — and in fact would like to see it happen. "Ideally, I'd love to have the original band actually get up there and play," he said. "But like, from very early on I knew — I got the vibe that that's not gonna happen. Then it's sort of like, well, I hate formals, you know. It's like, it was the only reason to go would be if the original band got up and played, if only for the fans that would want to see that happen."

Slash added that he toyed with the idea of not attending the ceremony at all.

Without naming names, Slash added in an interview with Loudwire that the band not performing at the ceremony "doesn't surprise me. We've been at odds for, well not at odds, but we just haven't had any sort of communication in a long time so . . . that's basically it."
ADLER, the new band led by former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler, will release its debut single, "The One That You Hated", via iTunes on April 10.

The cover for the single, which was created by the band's guitarist, Lonny Paul, can be seen below.

ADLER will film a video for "The One That You Hated" next week in the Los Angeles area.

In addition to Steven and Lonny, ADLER features Jacob Bunton (LYNAM, MARS ELECTRIC) on vocals/guitar. The group has been recording its debut album in Los Angeles with producers Jeff Pilson (former DOKKEN and current FOREIGNER/TOOTH AND NAIL bassist) and Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, ADRENALINE MOB).

ADLER's CD will feature guest appearances by ROB ZOMBIE/ex-MARILYN MANSON guitarist John 5 and Steven's former GUNS N' ROSES bandmate Slash (guitar).

"I love the music that we're creating!" states Adler. "I haven't been this excited about my band since the GN'R days. Jacob is exactly the singer I have been searching for. He has an amazing range and is a great writer and frontman. Lonny is an amazing guitarist and songwriter and the vibe is amazing!" He added, "I'm so excited for everyone to hear this record!"

Steven spent the past several years touring and recording with ADLER'S APPETITE, which played original material alongside cover versions of songs from GUNS' classic debut album, "Appetite For Destruction".

In 2010, Adler collaborated with Slash on the latter's self-titled debut solo album. He appeared on the track "Baby Can't Drive", along with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea, Alice Cooper and Nicole Scherzinger. The song was featured on an expanded edition of the album released by Classic Rock magazine.

Adler, Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin will all be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month in Cleveland, along with later GUNS N' ROSES members, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and drummer Matt Sorum.
On March 22nd, we had the honour of doing a follow up interview with Mick Mars of Motley Crue.  We covered a variety of topics, including Las Vegas, the KISS tour, new music and Mick's love of song writing.  The transcription follows below.
Martell: Hi Mick.  Thank you for joining us at We Love Metal again.  We are you today?
Mick: I'm in California today in my studio actually.
Martell: The last time we talked was about a month ago.  You were in the middle of the Vegas shows.  You must be awfully tired coming off that series of shows.
Mick: Nah.  I wish I could tour all year (laughing).  You do get breaks, days off here and there.  Like you know, two or three is good.  But I like touring.
Martell: The big announcement right now is two of the biggest rock bands in the world taking the stage together.  Motley and KISS together – you must be pretty excited about it.
Mick: Oh yeah, yeah.  We played with them once, more than one time but on a short tour with them, and it was crazy then.  And it's going to be way over the top this time.
Martell: (Laughing) Rumour has it both of you are having your full stage shows.
Mick: Oh yeah, it's a co-headliner.  It's going to be equal length, equal everything.  It's going to be just insanely crazy.  You're going to walk out with your eyeballs in your hands.
Martell: It must be something to be headlining with such an iconic band like KISS, to finally have Motley up there with them.  To finally get that recognition is a great thing.
Mick: Yeah, definitely.
Martell: Are some of the elements from the Vegas shows going to be in there?
Mick: We haven't really discussed everything.  I know that Tommy will most likely have the 360 with him, but as far as the theme and what we're going to have we really have yet to work on that.  We're just getting ready for our Europe tour, then we come back and hit the road with KISS, so we have to think of two things at once.  Production's going to be different in Europe than here so it's like doing two at once.
Martell: We're all talking of Nikki's mention of you guys in the studio.  How's it going?
Mick: Great.  Pretty good.  We're getting some really good stuff out.  We're coming up with some ideas and stuff.  We're just running stuff by the guys and seeing what they think.  We're going to put it in the Motley machine and see what comes out.  That's how we've always done it.
Martell: It must feel like old times for the four of you to get together and record again.
Mick: Yeah.  It's really…I can't even explain it.  It's just great.  It is like old times, just sitting there bouncing ideas off each other and seeing how it works out.
Martell: Are we going to hear any of this new music when you are out this time?
Mick: It's not very likely.  I don't want to say "no" for sure but it's pretty unlikely.  We're trying to put together something that's really amazing so I don't want to give away a lot.  It could be a single or an EP or it could be a full album.  Whatever it is we'll try to give the best we've really recorded for a long time.  It's going to be like a Dr. Feelgood…that kind of quality.  I don't mean like stepping back into the 80's.  It will be very modern.  It will just be good quality music.
Heavy Metal Blogs: Motley Crue
Martell: With you saying that, SOLA was one of my personal favourite albums because it felt like it was for the fans.  At this point in your career, is this how you write?
Mick: Yeah.
Martell: Have you reached a point in your career where that is where you write for the fans more than anything else?
Mick: Yeah.  When you get to a certain point, you grow and you figure out what fans really like.  There's always been songs like Kick Start and Girls, there's always songs like that.  And we want to continue doing that.  On those albums though there might be stuff that might not be so good (laughing).  You know, not up to par with Girls or Feelgood.  Becoming more mature with the music and growing as our audience grows, we just don't limit ourselves by staying at the same level.  It's hard for me sometimes to explain what I mean.
Martell: Well Mick, my time's up.  It's always an honour.  I want to thank you so much for doing this.
Mick: All good.  Take care.
The wait is over, Zombie lovers! Rob Zombie has announced that he and his band of maniacs — John 5, Piggy D and Ginger Fish — will enter the studio on June 1 to begin recording the next chapter in the Zombie musical legacy. This new, as-yet-untitled CD is set for a late 2012 release.

"It has been way, and I mean way too long without any new music. I am dying to get back to it," said Zombie. "I have not felt this much excitement within the band since recording the first 'Hellbilly Deluxe' record almost 15 years ago. We have been working on tons of songs for quite some time and I can safely say this will definitely be our best record yet."

Before Lord Zombie and his band begin recording, they will hit the highway on a co-headline tour with metal legends MEGADETH, marking the first time the two bands have toured together since the early '90s.

"This tour should be a blast," said Zombie. "I haven't shared a bill with MEGADETH since way back in the early days of WHITE ZOMBIE, so this trek is long overdue."

Two new dates have been added to the U.S. trek — May 13 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, and May 19 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in St. Louis, Missouri. The tour, which kicks off Friday, May 11 in Holmdel, New Jersey, will encompass high-profile appearances at several rock festivals, including Rock On The Range (May 20) that Zombie will co-headline with INCUBUS, and Rocklahoma (May 26) that Zombie will headline. Zombie will bring his full, explosive stage show out in full force on these dates, and audiences will get what they expect — a true rock and roll spectacle at its finest. Zombie will close all shows on the MEGADETH dates.

For these ZOMBIE/MEGADETH dates, Rob Zombie has teamed up with The One And Only to make available special VIP Golden Tickets. Two packages have been created to help insure that fans have an unforgettable experience at the show.

Package One includes a GA ticket, priority early entry to help guarantee a great spot for the show, a customized Zombie Bag, limited edition poster, an exclusive-to-the-tour T-shirt, a commemorative VIP laminate, and Golden Ticket Rep Concierge Service. Package Two includes everything in Package One, PLUS a meet-and-greet with Rob Zombie, a high-quality photograph with Rob, and a Rob Zombie autograph.

Zombie's latest film, "The Lords Of Salem", is currently in the final stages of post-production and promises to be Zombie's most insane film yet. "I am enjoying taking my time finishing this film. I hate rushing things at this stage of the process, so it is a luxury to take it slow and really fine-tune every part of the production," stated Zombie. No release date is set yet for the film.
Joe Daly of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Nervous Breakdown: Looking back, some of those [SLAYER] songs are coming up on thirty years. How does it feel to still get that big response when you play them?

Lombardo: Lucky. It feels very lucky. For anybody to last more than five years in this business is rare. You have to count your blessings in this business because you never know when it's gonna end. I'm very fortunate and proud of the fact that I'm part of a band that's legendary.

The Nervous Breakdown: What's happening with you personally? What's on tap for the year ahead?

Lombardo: I have a new album coming out May 15. The band's called PHILM. It's my first production — I actually produced it and I'm really excited. It's very old school. Very reminiscent of the old CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, Jimi Hendrix style of playing. I play a four-piece drum set, instead of the big double bass kit, with a single pedal instead of the double pedal. And it's a trio–bass player and guitar player who sings. It's fifteen songs, there's improvising, there's very moody soundscape stuff, and some very heavy songs but yet very bluesy songs. It's very diverse and very different. And it doesn't have any "Pro Tools paralysis."

The Nervous Breakdown: How did you like producing?

Lombardo: I loved it. It's what I want to continue doing. I asked the other guys — although I am the main person in the band, but it is a band — but I asked them for production of the first three records of this band. And if there's a different reputable producer coming into the picture, then I'll say, "OK," but I don't want some fly-by-night producer coming in and taking over…

The Nervous Breakdown: Are you going to tour behind it?

Lombardo: I'm hoping to pick up some shows in between SLAYER or during SLAYER. If SLAYER's on tour and there's an opportunity to fly PHILM out, it's only two other guys, so it's easy. Or even between SLAYER dates, maybe book a week of special shows, and then when SLAYER's off the road, then I'll maybe set up a tour.

The Nervous Breakdown: So what's happening with SLAYER?

Lombardo: Writing new music. Kerry [King, guitar] and I are writing new material. We have nine songs and everything's moving forward.

The Nervous Breakdown: What does it sound like so far?

Lombardo: SLAYER.

The Nervous Breakdown: So old-school fans will be happy?

Lombardo: Traditional fans will be pacified and non-traditional fans will be like, "Again?"

The Nervous Breakdown: Any estimation when the album could see the light of day?

Lombardo: I don't know, but we're going to do a three- or four-song EP to keep the fans pacified until we come out with the full-length record. Kind of like what we did with "Psycopathy Red", which was like a two-song 45.
According to the Courthouse News Service, GREAT WHITE's lead singer and founding member Jack Russell has filed a lawsuit against his estranged bandmates claiming that they fired him and stole the group's name while he was recovering from surgery to repair a perforated bowel. Named in the complaint were GREAT WHITE lead guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Michael Lardie and talent agency Bigg Time Entertainment.

The March 22 federal lawsuit — which can be downloaded as a PDF file at this location — states: "In August of 2010, plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for a life threatening condition. While he recuperated from this surgery, other singers filled in for him during [GREAT WHITE's] live performances, however, it was undisputed that plaintiff's absence was temporary, and that he retained his position in the band's lineup and would resume singing with the band upon his recuperation.

"By December of 2011, plaintiff had recuperated sufficiently to be able to once again perform as lead singer. However, defendants, who had apparently decided that they would prefer that band continue without plaintiff, stated that he would not be 'permitted' to return to his band until he agreed to a lengthy set of conditions (including, for example, that he agree to no longer take the pain medications or even the anti-inflammatory medicines that had been prescribed by his treating physicians) that was clearly designed to keep him from returning to the band."

Russell recently enlisted former members of FIREHOUSE, FIGHT and GREAT WHITE to perform with him under the name JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE. That band kicked off its "High Seas" tour on March 3 at Route 46 in Sanford, Florida and is scheduled to headline this summer's "America Rocks Tour" with support from FASTER PUSSYCAT, BULLETBOYS, PRETTY BOY FLOYD and LILLIAN AXE.

According to Jack's complaint: "In an attempt to injure the business reputation of plaintiff and interfere with his band's prospective economic advantage, defendants posted defamatory material about him on their website claiming that he was too infirm to perform as a musician. Defendants also claimed to be the true owners of the 'GREAT WHITE' trademark, and posted threats to litigate against any venue or promoter that booked plaintiff's band. Plaintiff has also been informed by various venues that defendants, by and through their agents, contacted bookers that had employed plaintiff's band and threatened litigation."

Kendall, Desbrow, Lardie, bassist Scott Snyder and singer Terry Ilous recently announced plans to release a new GREAT WHITE studio album, "Elation", via Frontiers Records. Due in May, the 12-song CD will mark GREAT WHITE's first effort with Ilous following the band's split with Russell.

According to Jack's lawsuit, "[The] release of the ['Elation'] album [under the GREAT WHITE name] will irretrievably alter the discography of the band 'GREAT WHITE,' tarnishing and diluting the trademark, reputation, and goodwill that plaintiff has developed over 30 years."
Original AC/DC singer Dave Evans will embark on a U.K. tour in June/July. Dave's band, the UK BADDASSES, this time features brothers Chris and Luke Appleton (both from Dave's labelmates FURY UK) on guitar and bass, Martin McNee (FURY UK) on drums and Tom Atkinson (VICE) on guitar.

The dates are as follows:

June 22 - Bury, The Towler
June 23 - Birkenhead, Revolver
June 24 - Blackpool, Uncle Tom's Cabin
June 29 - Ebbw Vale, Odin's Rock Club
June 30 - Chester, Brookers Bar
July 05 - Oldham, Whittles
July 06 - Grimsby, Yardbirds Rock Club
July 07 - Burnley, Sanctuary Bar

Evans was a member of AC/DC from the band's inception in 1973 until 1974. Following his departure from AC/DC, Dave Evans formed the wild hedonistic rock band RABBIT, Melbourne '80s rock outfit DAVE EVANS AND THUNDER DOWN UNDER, and lastly DAVE EVANS AND HOT COCKEREL. Dave Evans has also toured as a solo act, and in 2008 released "Judgement Day" through MGM.

Evans claimed last year that he was dropped from the "Long Live Bon Scott" series of tribute concerts because of pressure from the family of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott.

"To me it is an insult," Dave told Undercover. "Bon would be rolling in his grave."

He added, "I never had a problem with Bon. He had an opportunity to take my place and become the singer for AC/DC. I would have done the same thing."

"Bon was a rock and roller and as hard as me. I left home when I was 16 and was knocking about the Cross. He was quite a few years older than me but we grew up tough and did the hard knocks. My relationship with Bon has nothing to do with this. I have always showed great respect to Bon and the fans will attest to that. My fans are up in arms about this."
Vocalist Joey Tempest of Swedish hard rockers EUROPE has admitted to Classic Rock magazine that he and his badmates have thought about dropping all of their older material from their live set to concentrate solely on songs from the last four studio albums since their reunion in 2003.

"We have seriously talked about it," Tempest told Classic Rock, "and yes, it would include leaving out 'The Final Countdown'. But right now, we don't feel it's the right thing to do. Fans come along to shows expecting to hear certain old favorites, and they wouldn't be happy if we did this. But it is something we could certainly do in the future."

"The Final Countdown" was the first single released from EUROPE's third studio album, "The Final Countdown", in 1986. The band's most recognizable and popular song, it reached No. 1 in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom. In the United States the song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The single was certified gold in the United Kingdom in 1986.

Sweden's Expressen TV (Expressen newspaper's online video channel) in 2009 posted video footage of Joey Tempest commenting on what has been dubbed "the worst cover band ever" performing a disastrous version of the EUROPE mega-smash "The Final Countdown". Also available is the original YouTube clip of "the worst cover band ever"'s performance — which has been viewed nearly 3.5 million times so far — and footage of EUROPE playing the same song live in 1986.

EUROPE's ninth studio album, "Bag Of Bones", will be released on April 27 via earMusic/Edel. The CD, which features a guest appearance by blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), was produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with IRON MAIDEN, JOE BONAMASSA, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK STONE CHERRY and JOURNEY, among others.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH recently returned from a trip to the Middle East, where the band performed for U.S. troops at several military bases across Kuwait. This was the group's second trip in two years, following a 2010 visit to Iraq. Singer Ivan Moody told FMQB, "What a stellar way to start the spring. Playing for the troops is always an honor and seriously humbling. Can't say enough about the experience — everyone was so respectful and warm. I hope we helped morale and it was a privilege to give back to those that give so much for us."

Moody told The Pulse Of Radio that bringing music to American soldiers stationed far from home is is something he takes very seriously. "They're just so grateful, and so many of them are just sitting around right now and just want to come home and be with their family and friends, so just to sit there and have that connection with them, man — it made this whole year, whatever happens, you know, down the road or whatever's happened in the past, it made it all worthwhile," he said.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is now on the road in North America for a headlining run that brings the group to Redding, California on Wednesday (March 28).

The group is touring in support of its third studio album, 2011's "American Capitalist". The set's latest single, "Remember Everything", is at No. 2 on the Active Rock radio chart.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has shows booked into mid-May, ending with an appearance at Columbus, Ohio's Rock On The Range festival on May 19.
Not in the mood for a quiet holiday season? This December, 40 of the most extreme metal bands and 2,000 headbangers from around the world will go to the Caribbean to take over a luxury cruise ship for a five-day and four-night trip to the undead!

Make no mistake, this is not one of the cruises where you share the ship with regular cruise guests... It's like everyone has a backstage pass and you can mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison.

See every band play two live shows on our three stages, each with its own unique atmosphere: The luxurious "A Chorus Line" theater, the cozy "Spectrum" club and the jewel: the open-air stage on the pool deck. Get all your memorabilia signed at the meet-and-greet sessions. Be part of the infamous "metal karaoke" and many other very special activities with the artists on board. Last but not least: Don't forget that there will be bars on board that never close! What are you waiting for? You might even need a vacation from this vacation when all is said and done!

So far, 16 out of a total of 40 bands have been confirmed for Barge To Hell, the world's most extreme metal cruise:


Barge To Hell will sail Monday, December 3, 2012 from Miami, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas and will not return you to the real world for five days until Friday, December 7.

Ticket prices start at $666 plus $289 taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages, all meals at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and even 24-room service!

Go to www.bargetohell.com for more information and register now to book before the general public.
Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT, ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO), one of the most legendary and influential thras metal guitarists, will serve as a special guest judge for Round 4 of Heavy MTL's Battle Of The Bands, where the cities heaviest and loudest bands take to the stage for a chance to win one of two prized spots on the Heavy MTL 2012 lineup at Parc Jean-Drapeau this August.

Round 4 will take place at Les Katacombes (1635 St. Laurent) on Wednesday, April 11, with the bands ERIMHA, HOLLOW, MAGNUM STALLION and VALFREYA competing for the symphonic metal night.

For more information, go to link textthis location.

Heavy MTL will take place on August 11-12 at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal. Weekend passes are on sale via HeavyMTL.com, by phone at (514) 790-2525 or 1-877-668-8269 in person at the Bell Centre box office.
German thrash metal veterans KREATOR will release their new album, "Phantom Antichrist", on June 1 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with renowned producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK, DEVIN TOWNSEND, AMON AMARTH).

The cover artwork for the standard edition of "Phantom Antichrist" was created by Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, DIO, BLACK SABBATH) and can be seen below.

The limited edition of "Phantom Antichrist" will be made available as two-disc digipack, including a bonus DVD.

Commented KREATOR guitarist/vocalist Mille Petrozza: "Jan Meininghaus, who did this one, is a cover artist from my hometown, Essen, Germany. I really love the artwork he came up with for the limited edition. It's pure mayhem, powerful and dark!"

"Phantom Antichrist" track listing:


01. Mars Mantra
02. Phantom Antichrist
03. Death To The World
04. From Flood Into Fire
05. Civilisation Collapse
06. United In Hate
07. The Few, The Proud, The Broken
08. Your Heaven In My Hell
09. Victory Will Come
10. Until Our Paths Cross Again
11. Iron Destiny (Japan exclusive)

Limited-edition bonus DVD:

* Conquerers Of The Ice – The Making Of Phanom Antichrist
* Harvesting The Grapes Of Horror
* Live at Wacken Open Air in 2011 and 2008 (mixed by Klaus Scheuermann, edited by Marcel Schleif and Stephan Lier)

Wacken Open Air 2011:

01. Choir Of The Damned
02. Hordes Of Chaos
03. War Curse
04. Coma Of Souls / Endless Pain
05. Pleasure To Kill
06. Destroy What Destroys You
07. Phobia
08. Terrible Certainity / Reconquering The Throne
09. Flag Of Hate / Tormentor

Wacken Open Air 2008:

10. The Patriarch
11. Violent Revolution
12. People Of The Lie
13. Europe After The Pain

KREATOR will release a seven-inch single containing the "Phantom Antichrist" title track on April 20. The collector's item will be available in colored red vinyl (limited to 250 pieces) as well as in clear vinyl (limited to 250 pieces, exclusively available at the Nuclear Blast mailorder).

A brand new promotional photo of KREATOR can be seen below (photo by Stefan Heilemann of Stuttgart, Germany's Heilemania).

When asked about the musical direction of KREATOR's new material, the band's guitarist/vocalist Miland "Mille" Petrozza stated in a recent interview, "I think it's OK to say that this will be our most epic album so far. There's some classical, a lot of traditional metal, and, of course, a huge dose of thrash metal influences in the new stuff."

Speaking to Aftonbladet journalist Mattias Kling, Petrozza stated about KREATOR's collaboration with Jens Bogren, "He's really good; I like him. I like the sounds that he gets. And I think the combination — Jens Bogren and KREATOR — it will be pretty heavy."

On the topic of how the new material is different from KREATOR's previous output, Mille said, "It will definitely have all the KREATOR trademarks. The lyrics will talk about nowadays stuff, as usual, so it will be like a photography of the year 2012. Also the lyrics will deal a lot of things that are actually happening at this point in time. It will be like reading a newspaper or something [laughs], with all the stuff happening. And, of course, the music will be typical KREATOR, and we also wanna expand the sound and progress as musicians. I mean, this lineup has been the strongest lineup KREATOR ever had since ten years, and now I think we're ready to come out with an album that blows everyone away."

KREATOR has selected Poland's Grupa 13 (BEHEMOTH, ELUVEITIE, SONATA ARCTICA, DECAPITATED) to helm the video for the title track of their forthcoming album, "Phantom Antichrist".

Commented <Petrozza: "The clips produced by Grupa 13 are groundbreaking visual trips that justify the existence of music videos in this day and age. In support of the lyrical concept of our new album, I could not think of a better creative solution than a collaboration with these great visionaries."


Miland "Mille" Petrozza – Vocals, Guitrar
Sami Yli-Sirniö - Guitar
Christian "Speesy" Giesler - Bass
Jürgen "Ventor" Reil – Drums
Icons don't come much bigger in metal than Kai Hansen. Seen by many as the founding father of the power metal genre Kai has spent the last 28 years enjoying the kind of success most can only dream of, first as a founder member of Helloween and then again after splitting from them at the tail end of the eighties and forming Gamma Ray. In 2012 though he hopes to make it third time lucky with new band Unisonic. Featuring legendary ex Helloween frontman Michael Kiske on the vocals it's the first time since the pumpkin lovin' heyday of the late eighties that the two have worked together in a full band rather than just the odd projects. Being a lifelong fan of both Kiske and Hansen I couldn't miss the opportunity to talk with Kai about this much anticipated reunion, how it finally came to be and what we can expect from Unisonic.

Thanks for talking to me today Kai. There's plenty of things we can talk about regarding Unisonic but since you've already got some dates announced for shows around the world the first and most important thing I want to know is when are we going to see you live in the UK?
Hopefully soon, there's nothing fixed yet, but there's some planning, some pre-planning to do something here later maybe in autumn when we plan to do another tour. It's pretty much too early to say anything. We have to wait and see but things can happen pretty quickly, we just did two days of press in France and the day after we left we got a message saying we were kiskehansenbooked for Hellfest. So sometimes it goes quickly and we hope that when the album comes out and it really goes down well with the fans and there's a good response that quite a few festival promoters might jump on this and say we want this band. So maybe the UK is a chance.
I spoke to Michael a couple of years ago and that was when Unisonic were just forming and you weren't part of the band then. I believe it was being on the Avantasia tour that brought you back closer together so can you tell us a bit about that?
Absolutely, I only just knew that he (Michael) had this new band and was ready and willing to come out of his secluded life and join the rock world again and go on stages and all that. I felt very happy for him because I always thought what a waste of talent with him creeping around and not really doing something big because he actually should deserve it, his voice deserves it. Anyhow, when we did that Avantasia tour it was the first time for him on a stage again with me and immediately we felt there was still a strong chemistry and it was so much fun and went really well plus we got a great response from the audience. It was pretty amazing and the strong bond that we have connected and that led to a situation where we talked about doing something together. There were three options, a project, him join Gamma Ray or me Unisonic. Since the first two didn't really make sense we chose the third one and it feels really good.
You did work together though a couple times over the years.
Yeah, I mean we never lost our connection completely. He was on 'To The Metal' and 'Land Of The Free' and I worked on his first two albums 'Instant Clarity' and um... the other one. So we never lost each other.
So how did approaching the other Unisonic guys about you joining go?
When we said that me joining Unisonic would be the only option that made sense I was still really doubtful because I didn't really know what Unisonic would be about, if it would be something I could really contribute too. I didn't know the other guys so a lot of things had to be sorted out first. So Michael talked to the others and told them that he thought it would be a great thing if I joined the band, and they liked the idea. So we got together and got to know each other. Mandy (Meyer) was not present at that time, it was Kosta (Zafiriou), me, Michi and Dennis (Ward) and we just went out and had dinner to get to know each other and it was fun and full of good spirit. We talked about things and I said that there were a few things I wanted to make clear up front because if I join something and I devote myself to it I can be pretty strict and pretty choosy when it comes down to saying what I like and don't like. If I think a song is crap I say it, you know? And they were all cool, we were all happy and it felt good. Then the final test was to make a date and just do jamming for a few days, see how it works out and see how it feels because sometimes you could be put together with the best musicians in the world and the outcome would be zero because you just don't fit together. You never know. So we did that test and it went brilliantly so in the end there was no reason for me to say no to joining.
But that's not the end of Gamma Ray though is it?
No no no. That's not the end of Gamma Ray. This is just like a temporary holiday from the stuff I do with Gamma Ray. We will switch back and forth. We'll work it so that one year's a Gamma Ray year and one year's a Unisonic year and that we we can work without leaving the other band cold.
Those jamming sessions then. I take it you maybe ran through a Helloween song together. How did it feel looking across and seeing Michael singing 'I Want Out' again after so many years?
Well we did that already with Gamma Ray. Michael joined me on the Skeletons and Majesties tour and we did it. We played it with Gamma Ray for a few shows, played some songs that we hadn't had on the set list for years and Michael joined in for two shows and we played 'I Want Out' so I knew that feeling. But it was different now with Unisonic when we took the line up to Japan because it was more like a band for people to focus on. Especially in Japan where we haven't been since maybe Keeper 1. So that was really great, really big time we got an amazing response.
Looking at the EP everybody turns up on the writing credits so it looks like it's real group effort when it come to turning in material, would you say that?
Absolutely. There's lot's of co-writing, co-working going on on the album and everybody contributed. Maybe Dennis and me did the larger share just because composing wise and creative wise we're a very good team together and it's working really well. But everyone in the band is capable of contributing and there's no ego things going on. Nobody says "Oh I wrote KiskeHansen300this song and it's mine, I want to keep it being mine!" If it happens that way and there's nothing to be changed and nobody adds an idea then fine but we all work with no problem.
The set list that you might be playing on the future tour, you've got a hell of a lot of material to choose from, Michael's solo stuff and Place Vendome. I doubt Gamma Ray...
What's gonna happen is we'll focus on Unisonic and maybe throw in some old Helloween stuff. I think with that we have a pool big enough to fill even a headline show and I don't think we should go to diverse. If we add Place Vendome and whatever we all did we're gonna make it confusing so we'll keep it limited to certain things.
Could you take us through a couple of the songs on the album then? We've heard 'Unisonic' and 'My Sanctuary' so can you tell us a bit about some of the others, 'Never Too Late' and 'No One Ever Sees Me'?
'Never Too Late' has a bit of a punk approach to it. It's a bit like the song 'Time To Break Free' in that direction. 'No One Ever Sees Me' is Michael's and that one's a ballad and the theme of that was inspired by something he saw about a girl in India that had no rights, her life was completely dominated by her parents and she had to marry someone she didn't want and all that kind of stuff. I think he got the idea from that and it has a lot of classical instrumentation.
There's another one, I believe it's 'I've Tried', that has been mentioned as having a bit of an "experimental" direction. How does that one differ from the others?
Well when I heard the demo first I had to think of Frankie Goes To Hollywood in a way, or maybe something like U2. It's a little bit like that. We actually managed to keep it heavy though, added some more heavy guitars and all that. It's a really good song, it was really sticking out from the demos that I heard up front, very interesting, very cool.
One of the things that you didn't like about Helloween was moving into more of a pop culture place, not so much the music maybe but the image or at least perception of the band...
Yeah it was not really the pop thing because even some of the songs I wrote like 'Future World' and 'I Want Out' had poppy elements. They were catchy and poppy as hell but they still had heavy guitars so I never minded that. What I didn't really like at that time and what I couldn't really dig was we were a heavy metal band and heavy metal is underground and doesn't belong in girly pop magazines and that's where we ended up. I felt uncomfortable wiUnisonic-500x500th that, I didn't want to do any silly home reports with me sitting on a bed with little cuddly animals and stuff like that (laughs). So that was my problem.
How did you feel walking away from it all then? It must've been a quite a rip.
Actually it took me over a year from the initial thought to the final leaving. At the moment that I had the initial thought that I may have to be leaving I almost couldn't believe myself. So I had enough time to get settled with the thought and think it over, let it really settle in. So when I left of course it was a sad thing but at the same time I was very relieved to be breaking out of something.
Getting back with Michael again must feel like a second chance then? Since you say that leaving Helloween was more to do with outside stuff rather than a unhappiness with the band themselves and the music. That brought a premature stop to what you could've gone on to create together...
Yeah, we've matured and we're much more open these days. I'm comfortable and settled now and we can just carry on where we stopped in some ways, you know? That doesn't mean that there was no time inbetween but it's like a new start starting from where we came from. We just had a break inbetween and now go on.
Following that original break though it didn't take you long to come back with Gamma Ray, did you ever think it would enjoy the longevity that it has?
No, not at all. I was of course hoping for some but when I started Gamma Ray it couldn't have been more than a project in some ways but I wanted it to have the chance to develop into a band. I just knew that I had to go on but I didn't know what the outcome would be. Looking back though history there's only a few people who have left a well known band, formed a new one and had success with that too. There's only a few I can imagine like Ritchie Blackmore. Rainbow after Deep Purple is one of the only real examples of where that really worked so even today I sit here really happy that I got the chance and the opportunity to build up a band that has lasted for such a long time with a reasonable amount of success. .When the first Gamma Ray album was about to be released the guys from the distribution and the record company they were already seeing gold discs but I was being more realistic and thinking that I had a good feeling about the songs and that people would be interested but we didn't have the name tag Helloween and the big budget. Of course Helloween sold on much more than just me, it was a working band, we were all part of it together so with Gamma Ray I was being realistic. I thought it would work well and thankfully it did, I think I was right with my estimate (laughs)
Unisonic's debut album is out on April 2nd.
Guitarist Roland Grapow of German/Norwegian melodic metallers MASTERPLAN has issued the following update:

"I will finally just work from April on only on the next MASTERPLAN album! I am looking for an album release in January 2013. That means no work for other bands in my studio anymore for the rest of this year! Only MASTERPLAN! We have 15 songs written already! Maybe we write some more! We are looking for a more powerful album this time... still with great melodies and feelings, but also with more orchestration and faster stuff again… just more metal. Right now I am close to finish mixing SARATOGA from Spain and BLACK MAJESTY from Australia 'till April. More news about MASTERPLAN is coming soon!"

In an August 2011 interview with the Czech web portal Kultura21.cz, Grapow stated about the status of the songwriting sessions for the next MASTERPLAN album, "This time we tried not to make demo productions, which have a poor sound — so we wanted to make really nice pre-production [recordings] which sound very close to the album sound, which is very easy [to do] in my studio now. I think we have many, many new ideas which, I guess, are a little bit more modern and more aggressive as well. So we try not to follow any trends of MASTERPLAN — I'm not saying we're reproducing the first album or the third one or the fifth one. I think we always have to try to make some surprises for the people. The 'Time To Be King' album is great, but this new album sounds a bit different again. I always want to do this, because I'm not that kind of guy who wants to make every year the same album."

On the topic of MASTERPLAN's numerous lineup changes, Grapow said, "I think it's always difficult in this band, I guess. If you see, the first album just came out after a big turbulence — leaving HELLOWEEN, Uli [Kusch, drums] and me. I think this band always needs some very bad moments to some great songs. [Laughs] And it looks like MASTERPLAN, basically, is my main band, and whoever will sing and whoever will play in the band, I'm happy with, or if Jorn [Lande, vocals] will stay as long as possible. But, basically, at the moment, I'm thinking the main songwriters are Axel [Mackenrott, keyboards] now and me. Also Jan [S. Eckert], the bass player, who was very involved in different in projects and has a great job now, just called me one week ago. He's happy to continue with MASTERPLAN and he's looking forward to the next album and the next tour. So whatever happens, this band will continue. I'm still very positive. I'm a little bit tired of producing bands the last three years in my studio and I want to continue now with my career in MASTERPLAN. It's very important for me to show that we still have the power and the ability to write beautiful melodies and some aggression and rock and metal songs. Whatever we do, we want just to make good-quality stuff."

MASTERPLAN's last CD, "Time To Be King", was released on May 21, 2010 through AFM Records. The CD's first single, "Far From The End Of The World", was issued on April 16, 2010.

MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande told Germany's Rock Hard magazine in 2009 about his renewed collaboration with MASTERPLAN, "We never had problems with each other, but professionally, we decided to go separate ways for a while. . . I am happy that we are . . . working together again — mainly because the combination of MASTERPLAN's music and my singing [is] truly something special."

Vocalist Mike DiMeo (RIOT, THE LIZARDS) announced his departure from MASTERPLAN in January 2009 after recording just one studio album with the group — 2007's "MK II".
Robb Chavez of "Robb's MetalWorks" conducted an interview with Larry Barragan, guitarist and co-founding member of the pioneering Houston, Texas metal band HELSTAR, on March 24 at the band's 30-year-anniversary hometown show at Warehouse Live. The chat, which can be seen below, covers a variety of topics, including the significance of the 30-year milestone, that evening's 20-song set list, the history of Texas metal and Jackson guitars.

To commemorate the anniverary, HELSTAR plans to release a DVD/CD package in the fall, featuring video footage of the band performing songs spanning its entire career, including material from the often-overlooked "Multiples Of Black" release. The package will also include interviews with each bandmember, as well as with the entire group, conducted by "Robb's MetalWorks" and focusing specifically on this milestone.

HELSTAR released its latest album, "Glory Of Chaos", in November 2010 via Germany's AFM Records.

Formed in Houston in the early '80s, HELSTAR cut its teeth playing backyard parties and small club gigs. It soon became apparent that HELSTAR had much more to offer then its contemporaries. Combat Records snapped up the band and released HELSTAR's debut, "Burning Star", in 1984. Next came "Remnants of War", followed by HELSTAR's breakthrough album, "A Distant Thunder", in 1988. The success of "A Distant Thunder" ultimately set up HELSTAR's most critically acclaimed album, 1989's "Nosferatu".
Swedish heavy rockers GRAND MAGUS will release their new album, "The Hunt", in Europe on May 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD's cover artwork was created by Arik Roper (CATHEDRAL, HIGH ON FIRE, SLEEP), who also handled the art on GRAND MAGUS' "Iron Will" LP.

Commented GRAND MAGUS frontman Janne "J.B." Christoffersson: "Arik Roper is a super-talented artist and we've had the pleasure of working with him before when he did the cover art for our album 'Iron Will'. This time around with the overall feel and lyrical themes of our new album 'The Hunt', Arik was the perfect choice once again. We basicallly just gave him the title and he created one of the most haunting and suggestive images ever seen. He totally nailed what the album is all about. To say we are pleased is a gigantic understatement! This piece of art will stand the test of time and become classic."

Nuclear Blast label manager Andy Siry recently stated about GRAND MAGUS' addition to the label's roster: "We're delighted to welcome GRAND MAGUS to the Nuclear Blast family. These guys class among the best today's heavy metal scene has to offer, though GRAND MAGUS are much more than just that. Both live and on their albums, GRAND MAGUS are terrific, plus they indicate a continuous development. This is why we're happy to turn over a new leaf in the history of band and label."

GRAND MAGUS's last album, "Hammer Of The North", was released digitally in North America in January 2011 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at 301 studios outside of Stockholm and features artwork by Necrolord.

During the band's 10-year history, GRAND MAGUS released two demos, one split EP and five full-length albums, and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews throughout. Their fourth opus, "Iron Will", was voted "Album of The Month" in the German Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines.

Drawing hefty influences from the hand-on-heart grandeur of the NWOBHM and the inspirational mythology of their forbears, GRAND MAGUS is steeped in pre-Christian tales of triumph, vengeance, betrayal, wisdom and death. But GRAND MAGUS also stands for energetic live performances, as seen at European festivals such as Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Wacken, Summer Breeze and on tour in Europe with bands like AT THE GATES, CATHEDRAL, CANDLEMASS, TYRANT, SERPENTCULT and ELECTRIC WIZARD.
Vocalist Jakob Samuel of Swedish hard rockers THE POODLES will release his debut solo album, "Pastpresent", on June 6. A single, "Stars And Grace", preceded the full-length effort on February 20.

THE POODLES' fourth album, "Performocracy", entered the official chart in Sweden at position No. 1. Released on April 15, 2011 in Europe (May 5 in North America) via Frontiers Records, the CD was again produced by Mats Valentin, but this time Tobias Lindell (EUROPE, MUSTASCH) mixed the 12 outstanding tracks that make up the effort.
U.K. rockers THE TREATMENT will support KISS and MÖTLEY CRÜE on their upcoming North American co-headlining tour, simply dubbed "The Tour", which will kick off on July 20 in Bristow, Virginia and run through September 23 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Commented MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx: "I am very happy for them. We played them nine months ago on 'Sixx Sense' [Nikki's radio show] and fans really loved what they are about. Give them a warm welcome."

THE TREATMENT is currently touring the U.K. as the support act for STEEL PANTHER and will next hit the road with legendary rockers THIN LIZZY in May.

In other news, THE TREATMENT was recently in the studio laying down tracks for a brand new EP; as with the band's debut album, "This Might Hurt", released by Spinefarm Records last year, production has been overseen by Laurie Mansworth at IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris' Barnyard Studios, with Tony Newton taking care of the mix.

The track listing for the EP — a choice selection of '70s covers — is as follows:-

01. Run Run Run (JO JO GUNNE)
02. Take Me Bake 'Ome (SLADE)
04. Motorbikin' (CHRIS SPEDDING)
05. Let's Work Together (CANNED HEAT)
Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM recently made a guest appearance on ADRENALINE MOB's blistering reinterpretation of DURAN DURAN's classic "Come Undone", which is featured on the MOB's debut album, "Omertá".

Commented Hale: "After touring together last summer [as part of the Uproar tour], I was approached by legendary drummer and equally as legendary great guy... Mike Portnoy. He was kind enough to ask me if I'd like to join them to remake the DURAN DURAN hit 'Come Undone'. Of course, I said yes, and ran to Mike Plotnikoff's home studio to do it! Now, coming from someone who has lived and played with her own zany drummer all her life, I must say, it was next to orgasmic to sing against Mr. Portnoy's stylings. Truly an honor! Thank you so much to all the guys in ADRENALINE MOB for including me on their record, 'Omertà'. Go get it!"

ADRENALINE MOB is the band featuring featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD), SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP) and DISTURBED bassist John Moyer.

"Omertá" sold around 6,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 70 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released in Europe on March 19 in Europe via Century Media Records and in the U.S. on March 13 through the newly formed Elm City Music in conjunction with EMI Label Services. The 11-song effort was produced by ADRENALINE MOB and mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked on ANTHRAX's "Worship Music" and STEEL PANTHER's "Balls Out".

ADRENALINE MOB travelled to Los Angeles earlier in the month to film a video for the song "Indifferent". The clip, which was directed by Scott Hansen (A DAY TO REMEMBER, UNEARTH, WILLIE NELSON), was shot in the desert in California and throughout Los Angeles and should be making its debut in the next few weeks.
Welsh rockers TIGERTAILZ have parted ways with singer Kim Hooker.

The band's remaining original members, Jay Pepper and Ace Finchum, have released the following statement on the matter:

"[We are] relieved, to be honest. We're obviously disappointed that Kim's gone, but things have deteriorated to such a point that the band looked like it would never play or record again. So something had to give. And we'd just reached a point where we couldn't agree on anything anymore — and one of the biggest issues being Sarah's [Firebrand, bass] departure. Since then, things have just gone from bad to worse and we've all had enough, so time to move on.

"But this isn't life or death.. This is just a band trying to have some fun making music and playing some great live shows.

"So if anyone out there thinks they have the right credentials to be the new TIGERTAILZ frontman, then we'd love to hear from you.

"Please send your info to management@tigertailz.co.uk.

"Let's hope this isn't the end of the 'TAILZ journey and we see you all soon. Keep the faith."

TIGERTAILZ last year announced the return of drummer Ace Finchum to the band. The addition of Ace, who last played with TIGERTAILZ in the early 1990s, reunited all surviving members of the group's "classic" lineup.

Shooting to fame in 1990 on the back of big-selling second album "Bezerk" and a string of hit singles, magazine covers and videos, the band won all the plaudits going for their bombastic, lion-hearted rock anthems — songs that are still played and loved all over the world today.

Getting back together in 2005, they were struck by tragedy when bassist and co-founder Pepsi Tate died from cancer in 2007. Fighting back with the usual 'TAILZ spirit, the band regrouped with bass player Sarah Firebrand and drummer Robin Guy in 2010, and headlined the opening night of the U.K.'s Hard Rock Hell, a performance that sold out months in advance.

TIGERTAILZ released a new live album, "Bezerk Live - Burnin' Fuel", in January 2011 via TT/Cargo Records.
SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) will undergo knee surgery tomorrow (Thursday, March 29). He writes on Facebook, "Knee surgery on Thursday. I cannot jump like Sid [Wilson, SLIPKNOT DJ]. When I do, I have to get knee surgery." He adds, "I am going to have a lot of weird questions that my wife and friends make up so they can ask them to me right when I wake up from my surgery. They will film my responses and I will post them. Should be frightening. Filming the surgery as well. Should be fun to watch them manipulate my knee. I get strange when they put me under."

Crahan's photo book, "Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey", which will be published by MTV Books in June, is a collection of explorations in darkness and light from Shawn's experimental photography, his second and equally powerful artistic outlet which he has honed for over a decade. Weird, wired, paranoid, endlessly imaginative and cancerously prolific, he's created thousands of dangerous representations of reality through eye-gouging Polaroids in numerous styles in this hand-picked collection.

M. Shawn Crahan, better known as Clown, is the percussionist and founding member of the Grammy Award-winning hard rock band SLIPKNOT. Crahan is also the art director for SLIPKNOT and directed their DVDs, "Disasterpieces", "Voliminal: Inside The Nine", "Of The (sic)", and "(sic)nesses: Live at Download". He has been the creative vision behind the band since their inception.

Outside of SLIPKNOT, Crahan has had a few other projects of note: TO MY SURPRISE, who released one album (executive-produced by Rick Rubin) on Roadrunner Records in 2004, as well as the alternative group DIRTY LITTLE RABBITS. Crahan produced, played drums, and wrote in both groups. In 2009, DIRTY LITTLE RABBITS released the EP "Simon" on The End Records, which was followed by their self-titled full length in 2010. Recently, Crahan has been focusing his musical energy on his newest band, THE BLACK DOTS OF DEATH. In this latest project, Crahan can once again be found behind the drum kit in addition to writing, recording, and producing the band, whose debut album, "Ever Since We Were Children", hit stores in the spring of 2011.

In addition to producing his own work, Crahan has also worked as a producer for several bands, including GIZMACHI and DIRTFEDD, as well as serving as an executive producer to bands such as MUDVAYNE. Crahan has also remixed several songs for artists, including MARILYN MANSON, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE and SUICIDE SILENCE.
INFINIKA, the new band featuring former KORN drummer David Silveria alongside ANYONE members Riz Story and Miki Black, has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding reports that Silveria was arrested for DUI in Huntington Beach, California this past weekend:

"The recent incident will not interfere with the release of the INFINIKA debut single on April 2nd, 2012, nor will it interfere with the band's plan to tour this summer."

INFINIKA, whose lineup is completed by former TRAK 13 bassist Cory Tarallo, recently released a six-and-a-half-minute promotional clip featuring music from the upcoming release "Echoes And Traces". Check it out below.


Riz Story (ANYONE): Lead Vocals, Guitars
Miki Black (ANYONE): Guitar, Keyboards
Cory Tarallo (TRAK 13): Bass
David Silveria (KORN): Drums

David left KORN in late 2006 in order to focus on family life along with running his steak house and sushi restaurant. In December 2009, David changed his steak house into the rock and sports-themed bar Silvera's Rockbar and was said to be no longer 50 percent owner of his sushi restaurant, having agreed to sell his half of ownership over to his ex-wife after a year-long court battle.
Former KORN drummer David Silveria tells TMZ.com that he had no alcohol in his system when he was arrested for DUI Sunday morning, claiming that he was taken into custody over a sleeping pill he took the night before.

The 39-year-old musician — who played with KORN for 13 years — says that he took a sleeping pill Saturday night to help him with insomnia. When he woke up Sunday morning, he accidentally rear-ended another car on his way to breakfast in Huntington Beach, California.

Although Silveria says he blew a 0.0 on the breathalyzer at the scene of the accident, the cops decided to arrest him for DUI after being told about the sleeping pill.

Silveria tells TMZ.com he plans to take responsibility for his actions, insisting, "It was an honest mistake."

Silveria recently joined forces with ANYONE members Riz Story and Miki Black in a brand new project called INFINIKA.

David left KORN in late 2006 in order to focus on family life along with running his steak house and sushi restaurant.
Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, guitarist Chris Bickley will release his first solo album, "Tapestry Of Souls", on May 1 via Shredguy Records. The CD was produced by Vic Steffens and mastered by 10-time Emmy Award winner and two-time Grammy Award nominee Jim Chapdelaine. Written and recorded over a two-year period, the album's initial sessions came together after a friend — drummer Gaetano Nicolosi — inspired Chris by laying down the drum tracks for what became the first two songs.

Commented Chris, "Creatively, I just pick up the guitar and I become inspired. I don't consider myself an enigma, but when I pick up the guitar it just flows out of me."

Guest vocalists on "Tapestry Of Souls":

* Chandler Mogel (OUTLOUD, TALON)

Bickley's backing band also includes members from OBSESSION, HOUSE OF LORDS, JOHNNY WINTER, TROUBLE TRIBE and many more. Chris himself has played with Ron Keel, Joe Stump, THUNDERHEAD, "Saturday Night Live" singer Christine Ohlman, and Teri Lane.

While recording this CD, Chris says everything went very smoothly. "I think the magic comes in the fact that I gave the vocalists free rein and they were able to be themselves when it comes to singing up against my compositions."

Chris plans to be on the road by year's end.
AHOLA, the new "vital rock act" launched by Jarkko Ahola of the Finnish metal groups TERÄSBETONI and NORTHERN KINGS, will release its debut album, "Stoneface", on April 25. The CD was recorded at Headline Studio in Tampere.

Commented Ahola: "AHOLA is a band that strives from the foundation of rock giving the listeners those vibes that the songs made people feel during the golden era of rock and heavy music. We write our music boldly and by experimenting new stuff, bringing the good stuff to this day, with a modern and unique twist and sound."

A CD-release party will be held on May 4 at Tavastia in Helsinki .

"Stoneface" track listing:

01. Donwana
02. Beerland
03. As Long As I Live (Rock 'N' Roll Is Not Dead)
04. Hurricane
05. Restless
06. The Spell
07. I Walk Alone
08. We Want Out
09. Eat Me Alive
10. Livin' The Dream
11. Stoneface
12. I Want You
13. Does It Matter What I Wear
14. Hurt You
15. Cold'n'Lonely

The song "Hurricane" can be streamed in the YouTube clip below.

AHOLA in August 2011 announced the addition of guitarist Antti Karhumaa to the group's ranks.

According to a press release, AHOLA "has a suitable mix of past and present — which is always an essential part of rock music. The band's musical core consists of hit tunes, feeling and of course the skill to write and play true and powerful rock music, wherein the authenticity and emotion are relevant, leaving the vain posing to others."

Commented Ahola: "AHOLA is something I've been working on for a long time.

"From the beginning I've written rock songs in English, but since being a musician, you find yourself doing something you did never expect like singing and playing in a huge act called TERÄSBETONI or participating a cool project called NORTHERN KINGS. I guess that's part of the fascination!

"Anyway, still riff-based rock being the heart of my musical world, I wanted to add some spice to the soup and do something that I wasn't so familiar with: super tightness, speed… a flavor of punk rock, you might say."

He continued, "The way I want to see AHOLA's music is: songs are, I dare say, approachable with catchy choruses but when giving the songs a deeper thought, loaded with layers you can dig into. You can hear echoes from classic rock of the '70s, alternative rock and metal of the '90s and last decade, pop music in general, that punk rock I mentioned and… well, listen to yourselves."


Jari "Jamo" Laitinen: Bass
Jarkko Ahola: Vocals, Guitar
Antti Mäkelä: Drums
Antti Karhumaa: Guitar

For more information, visit the AHOLA Facebook page.
"Feed 'Em With A Brick", the latest album from reunited Belgian metallers CHANNEL ZERO, will receive a wider European release on June 1 via Graviton Music Services. The CD, which was originally made available last June in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg through Roadrunner Records, was recorded at a Los Angeles-area studio with producer Logan Mader (MACHINE HEAD, SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, DEVILDRIVER, GOJIRA).

CHANNEL ZERO's current lineup includes original members Franky DSVD on vocals, Phil B on drums and Tino De Martino on bass along with internationally acclaimed guitarist Mikey Doling (ex-SOULFLY, SNOT).

Doling first played with CHANNEL ZERO in 2010 as the replacement for guitarist Xavier Carion, who was forced to sit out the band's reunion concerts because of an injured ear.

Without Doling's injection of enthusiasm, this album might not have come to fruition.

"When I came out to play with CHANNEL ZERO in 2010, we had some concerts but no plan to make a record," Mikey recalls. "I began playing riffs for Franky while I stayed with him and he recorded them. He then went to our manager and said, 'Remember I said I didn't want to make a record? I do now...'"

Like a real a kick in the teeth, "Feed 'Em With A Brick" doesn't ignore the band's past influences but its sounds, song topics and the sheer energy oozing from every song are a breath of fresh air.

"As CHANNEL ZERO, we certainly write songs about issues that touch us all," explains Franky. "So, if we write a song about the global economy collapse, George Bush going to the electric chair or the environmental vibe, it is because we are aware of what goes on in the world these days." "It's hard not to at our age," quips Mikey. "When you're a kid, you're going to write about pussy, alcohol and cocaine. At our age you're writing about what's going on (in the world) cos you're seeing it with older eyes..."

CHANNEL ZERO's "In The City" video can be viewed below. The Pascal Baillien-directed clip was filmed in Los Angeles and features a guest appearance by adult-film actress Angie Savage.


Franky DSVD - Vocals
Phil B - Drums
Tino De Martino - Bass
Mikey Doling - Guitar

CHANNEL ZERO's third album, "Unsafe" (1995), was the band's first effort to be released internationally. The group followed it up by touring with MEGADETH, DANZIG, SPUDMONSTERS and BIOHAZARD, and embarking on an Australian headlining run. A fourth album, "Black Fuel", followed in 1996 but it failed to make a dent on international charts, leading to the band's split in 1997.

CHANNEL ZERO was one of the most popular homegrown metal acts in Belgium, where the band's albums reportedly sold upwards of 20,000 copies each.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based thrash/death metallers THE CATALYST have parted ways with vocalist Matt Bailie due to "musical differences" and have replaced him with Matt McGachy (CRYPTOPSY, 3 MILE SCREAM, THE ERA OF).

McGachy previously filled in for Bailie during THE CATALYST's summer 2011 touring cycle after medical problems forced Bailie to sit out the dates. McGachy is also a founding member of Montreal metal outfit 3 MILE SCREAM alongside THE CATALYST bassist Mike Marino.

Commenting on the transition, THE CATALYST guitarist Graham "G" McDonagh said: "We had reached somewhat of a crossroads, and it had become obvious to everyone in the band the there were two distinct directions forming. The separation with Matt Bailie was amicable and we will remain dear friends, but was necessary for the continuation and growth of the band. Having known and played with Matt McGachy previously and being very familiar with his vocal style and skill, it was clear to us that we are on the same wave length with him and that he is the perfect fit for THE CATALYST both musically, personally and professionally at this crucial point in the band's history. We are extremely excited to continue writing brand new material, performing live and taking the next steps with Matt McGachy onboard!"

McGachy joins THE CATALYST during the writing process of the band's follow-up to their 2011 debut, independently released album, "Origins", and one week after the release of their debut video for "When The Sun Shall Rise" (see clip below).

THE CATALYST will shortly be announcing a string of tour dates for the summer to debut some new material and the new lineup.

THE CATALYST's next gig with McGachy on vocals will take place on Friday, May 25 at Coop les Katacombes in Montreal as direct support to THE EMPIRE SHALL FALL.

Look for THE CATALYST's sophomore release to drop in early 2013.
Legendary San Francisco Bay Area gore grind act AUTOPSY will release a new DVD, "Born Undead", on May 28 in Europe and June 5 in the U.S. via Peaceville Records.

The "Born Undead" DVD charters AUTOPSY's birth, death and rebirth with an extensive documentary conducted with the bandmembers themselves, as they describe how the beast came to be, and the impact their music has had on the metal world over a span of more than 20 years. The film also documents the band's long-awaited return to the studio and stage, and includes rehearsal footage of both new tracks and old classics for their live comeback assault. The trio of 2010 reunion shows are all featured here, with all the best classic tracks from Maryland Deathfest, Party.San Open Air festival and Hole In The Sky in Norway, where the trio of Chris Reifert, Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles was joined by Dan Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT, BRUTAL TRUTH) on bass.

With hours of footage as well as extras, including the band's promotional video for the song "All Tomorrow's Funerals", "My Corpse Shall Rise" and more, "Born Undead" is the ultimate set for all AUTOPSY and metal maniacs alike. The DVD also contains artwork from Kent Mattieu, who had collaborated with the band on their early classic (and often controversial) album covers.

AUTOPSY is currently working on all new material for its next album, due out late 2012/early 2013. The band states, "We can definitely promise more of what you would expect from AUTOPSY. There will be no compromise and no holding back. If you want 100% pure death metal brutality, you will certainly get it."

"Macabre Eternal", the first full-length album from AUTOPSY since 1995's "Shitfun", sold around 600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 67 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.

"Macabre Eternal" was recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California and includes AUTOPSY's first 10-plus minute song "Sadistic Gratification".

AUTOPSY had previously decided to make an official comeback after working together on two songs for the special 20th-anniversary edition of debut album, "Severed Survival", in late 2008; the band having originally split before the release of its fourth album, "Shitfun", in 1995. A five-song EP, "The Tomb Within", came out last September and saw the original trio of Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler joined on bass by Joe Trevisano (ex-ABSCESS).
GOD SEED, the Norwegian band featuring former GORGOROTH members King (bass; real name: Tom Cato Visnes) and Gaahl (vocals; real name: Kristian Espedal), has announced its new lineup. It is as follows:

* Tom Cato Visnes (a.k.a. King) (TEMPLE OF THE BLACK MOON, OV HELL, GORGOROTH) - Bass
* Kristian Espedal (a.k.a. Gaahl) (GORGOROTH, TRELLDOM, WARDRUNA) - Vocals
* Stian "Sir" Kårstad (TRELLDOM, DJERV) - Guitar
* Kenneth Kapstad (MOTORPSYCHO) - Drums
* Geir Bratland (DIMMU BORGIR) – Keyboards, Noise
* Lust Kilman (THE BATALLION, GRIMFIST) - Guitar

Commented King: "All members of GOD SEED have been carefully picked for their musical skills and devoted personalities. We aim to release an album which will sound different than what we have done in the past. The new members have been very important for creating a sound that hopefully will come across as unique and defining the new GOD SEED sound. From this moment, GOD SEED should not be viewed as a duo anymore, but as a band with six members."

GOD SEED has spent the past several months working on the material for its debut album at various locations in Norway. The group is laying down ten new songs which "will show the band from a different side but well-rooted in what Gaahl and King are known for in the past," according to a press release. All the music has already been recorded and Gaahl is currently working on lyrics and vocal arrangements. No release date has yet been set.

GOD SEED's "Live At Wacken" DVD and CD was released on January 27 in Europe and January 31 in North America via Indie Recordings.

"Live At Wacken" includes footage of the group's infamous live show from the 2008 edition of the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany where they performed on the main stage in front of 75,000 screaming fans. The effort features session players Nick Barker (drums) and Ice Dale (guitar) alongside King and Gaahl.

GOD SEED came to life after Gaahl and King lost a court battle in early 2009 against guitarist Infernus (real name: Roger Tiegs) over the rights to the GORGOROTH band name.

Commented King: "GOD SEED represents a more spiritual side to us than what GORGOROTH did. GOD SEED represents the will to grow; the will to be the super man, so to speak. I think it's a suitable name for what we will represent in the future. I am also aware of the fact that we use the word 'God' in the name. It will challenge the weak-minded in the respect that we in the past used the word Satan a lot, but it's all about the same thing. The God within man, and the God within nature. I never believed in a Christian force named Satan. I believe in the God within man."

Gaahl left GOD SEED in 2009 because he chose to retire from metal music, but has since rejoined the group.

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