[Classic_Rock_Forever] Lots of Weekend Hard Rock and Heavy Metal News


According to Amazon.co.jp and HMV.co.jp, RUSH's long-awaited new album, "Clockwork Angels", will be released in Japan on May 23 via Warner Music. The band 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." More details will be coming.
METALLICA's four-song EP called "Beyond Magnetic", which was made available digitally in December, and as a physical CD in January, will be released on vinyl to celebrate Record Store Day on April 21. The effort consists of the quartet of previously unheard tracks that the band unveiled in concert in December during its 30th-anniversary celebration. All four tunes — "Hate Train", "Just A Bullet Away", "Hell And Back" and "Rebel Of Babylon" — were recorded during the sessions for the band's 2008 "Death Magnetic" album but left off the final track list. The studio versions of all four songs — all rough mixes — were sent to METALLICA fan club members one at a time, after each song was performed live during each of the band's four shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Commented the band: "We've always been big supporters of our friends at independent retail and the annual event the third Saturday of each April... we even helped kick off the first year in 2008 with an in-store appearance at one of our hometown stores! To add to the fun, this is no ordinary black vinyl release, but instead will be on silver vinyl with an exclusive METALLICA sticker included in the package. Look for the EP on the special Saturday release date at your favorite local record store and on Metallica.com. . . Our international friends should stay tuned for details about a release outside of North America... specifics are still being worked out with our label."

About Record Store Day: Record Store Day is managed by the Music Monitor Network and is organized in partnership with the Alliance Of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition Of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale.

Record Store Day takes place annually on the third Saturday of April.

METALLICA previously stated about the four songs that made up "Beyond Magnetic": "During the 'Death Magnetic' album sessions in 2007 and 2008, we originally recorded 14 songs. When it came time to pick the songs for the final album, we decided on 10 songs that you've all come to know over the last three years. Some of you may have heard bits and pieces of those other songs on 'Mission Metallica' (remember 'Mission Metallica'?!) or heard rumors about them during the recording process, and wondered, 'What ever happened to those other four songs???.' We kept them in the vault and decided to pull them just for this special celebration, so here are the four leftover tracks from the 'Death Magnetic' sessions. They are ROUGH mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March '08. These four songs were released as gift to our closest fans, the members of our fan club, to enjoy. Now they're being made available to you."

"Beyond Magnetic" track listing:

01. Hate Train
02. Just A Bullet Away
03. Hell And Back
04. Rebel Of Babylon

"Beyond Magnetic" has sold 105,000 copies in the United States so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The 30th-anniversary shows featured METALLICA playing songs from deep in their catalog, while welcoming guests like BLACK SABBATH's Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, Kid Rock, Lou Reed, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, ALICE IN CHAINS' Jerry Cantrell, former bassist Jason Newsted and many others to the stage.

The final show on December 10 featured a performance by the very earliest lineup of the group.

"Death Magnetic" was officially certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 28, 2010 for shipments in the United States in excess of two million copies.
Duff McKagan's (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES, DUFF MCKAGAN'S LOADED) has announced via Twitter that his book, "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)", will be released in paperback on March 20.

"It's So Easy (And Other Lies)" landed at position No. 17 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. The book arrived on October 4, 2011 via Touchstone Books (formerly Touchstone Fireside), a division of Simon & Schuster.

The first 80 pages of "It's So Easy (And Other Lies)" can be read at this location.

In this raw, utterly candid memoir, McKagan, the rock legend and founding member of rock supergroups GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER, shares his story of excess, angst, struggle and triumph. "It's So Easy" details Duff's rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety, and his success as a savvy business investor and loving husband and father.

In a voice that is as honest as it is indelibly his own, Duff — one of rock's smartest and most articulate personalities — takes readers on his harrowing journey through the dark heart of one of the most notorious bands in rock-and-roll history and out the other side.

Duff's VELVET REVOLVER/GUNS N' ROSES bandmate Slash has published his own book, as has ex-GUNS drummer Steven Adler, who released his life story, "My Appetite For Destruction: Sex And Drugs And Guns N' Roses", in July 2010.
On March 1, Linda Marigliano of Australia's Triple J radio station conducted an interview with shock rocker Marilyn Manson during this year's Soundwave Festival. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

On his upcoming album, "Born Villain":

Manson: "It's very cinematic in the sense that when you're watching a movie and you feel the tension of the score or what's happening in the film and something violent's gonna happen. You wanna be able to change it when you're watching the movie. It's a very cinematic record in that sense. I think it's my most conceptual record in that it tells a story. And it told a story while I was making it. It was really interesting making it. I really had to reinvent the way I thought by just stripping everything away and then almost living in a place that was almost like this room, which is white walls, black carpet, and I had to fill the room with music and paintings and other things."

On changes in his life and the new era of the Marilyn Manson brand:

Manson: "I believe that you are not stuck with a pre-destiny. I believe that there is ways to see all these things that are laid down in front of you and where you belong and to smack yourself in the face when you realize that you've strayed off your path and get back to where your path is. And sometimes you have to burn it all down and build it from the bottom up. And that's what I think that I really needed to do. Instead of trying to convince myself that I'd done it before, and in different ways — musically, artistically, relationship-wise — I had to literally just strip it down to nothing and go from the bottom up."
Congratulations are in order for DOWN drummer and EYEHATEGOD guitarist Jimmy Bower, who married his girlfriend Dana Kieferle yesterday (Saturday, March 3) in New Orleans, Lousiana.

DOWN entered the studio last October to begin recording the first in a series of four EPs, to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band's sound.

The first six-song EP, which heralds the sound of DOWN going back to its roots, with influences from BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS and WITCHFINDER GENERAL, is described by singer Philip Anselmo as "a very pure doom metal record."
Black Country Communion is the newest rock super-group. Formed from a nucleus of vocalist/bassist, Glenn Hughes and guitarist Joe Bonamassa, the duo was joined by keyboard player, Derek Sherinian, and drummer Jason Bonham. And unlike many so called super-groups, Black Country Communion actually lives up to their billing.

Glenn Hughes is of course a legendary performer known from Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, and a respected artist in his own right. He is the man they call "The Voice of Rock." and there simply is no better name to describe his abilities. Joe Bonamassa is a blues guitar player supreme who's made a great transition to rock as a member of Black Country Communion. Derek Sherinian is a virtuoso keyboard player, excellent side-man, and one time member of Dream Theater. And Jason Bonham is the son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham. As his father, Jason has what it takes to be a great drummer, and over the years his contributions to various bands, including the reformed Led Zeppelin, were very impressive. The resume here of all individual musicians clearly screams rock! And then add producer Kevin Shirley to the mix, and it just smells of perfection!

Black Country Communion released their self-titled debut album in 2010. The album was received enthusiastically by the rock community, and the band quickly followed it with "Black Country Communion 2" a year later. Last Summer, the group took it out on the road in Europe and selected U.S. cities. The result from those shows is a double live CD and a DVD titled "Live Over Europe." Black Country Communion quickly managed to build a solid and dedicated fan base, and this is still at the beginning stages. The band is currently getting ready for a studio album number three.

Glenn Hughes talks about the makings of Black Country Communion, reaffirms his return to rock, and shows a strong will to make this band an absolute success.

How did you get together with Joe Bonamassa in the first place?
Glenn Hughes:
It started about five or six years ago. I met Joe in L.A. and we started to hang out, started to jam secretively. We started just to mess around, and come up with a few ideas. At first, we didn't know what kind of music we were gonna make. We didn't know if it's going to be Americana music, Muscle Shoals type of music, horns. The longer we've played at my house, it became obvious that we started to play 70s rock. Then couple of years ago, Joe was playing in Los Angeles, and I got up and played with him. The audience went crazy. We figured at that time that we would form a band. Rather than make a duet album. We would form a rock and roll band. It was something I really wanted to do. And that's what Black Country Communion is.
How did Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian enter the picture?
Producer, Kevin Shirley suggested these two guys. Joe had never met Jason or Derek before, but I've known Jason since he was a young lad. I knew his father, John, really well. I've known Derek for twenty years, he was in Dream Theater. These are all my friends, you see. So it was little easier for me because I was the one who knew everybody. When we got the band together almost two years ago, we just came together, had a bunch of songs, went in the studio, and it kind of worked.
With you and Joe having impressive careers on your own, did you even need to get into a band situation?
For me, it was kind of important for me because I hadn't been in a band for years. I've been doing solo things, and my music is very varied. It crosses the bridges from rock to funk, soul, and so on. I really truly wanted to form band, a rock and roll band again with sort of a 70s feel. Sort of a celebration of real rock music. That's where I come from, that's where people know me from. I wanted to write songs that would fit that format. And Joe as you know is a blues guitar player, but he also really loves to play rock. So these four guys I play with are the perfect combination for this kind of music.
What compromises needed to be made in order to keep this band going?
It brings me back to you asking me why we didn't play Chicago last summer. It should've been Chicago, Detroit, and many other Midwestern cities. I can't really hide the fact that if you look at Joe's touring schedule, and if you look at what's going on with Joe. I mean, all I have to do is look at that schedule, and realize there isn't too much time left for Black Country Communion to play. He can't really play twice in one city in the same season. Do a show as Black Country Communion, and then two months later come back as Joe Bonamassa, or Glenn Hughes. So what Joe is obviously doing, he's taking the Bonamassa route, and you know, I'm really happy for him. But as I said before, my main concern is getting Black Country Communion off the ground. I mean, we do really well in Europe. But, my main concern is to get this band off the ground, and my hands are little bit tied if you know what I mean. The beauty of it is. What it's done for me is it has shown people that I'm back in a rock'n'roll band again, and it's where I should've been for the last twenty years. I mean, I really should've been doing that, but I'm back now, and it's really great. The world is accepting the fact that I put my rock hat back on, and I really love playing rock music.
How different is Black Country Communion from what you do on your own?
Well, for Joe it's completely different because he plays blues. I think even Joe's next album will be more pure blues. For me it's a little bit different. I may say this to you, that from here on now I've decided I'm going to make rock'n'roll music, so the line between Black Country Communion and Glenn Hughes is very fine really. I've decided I'm gonna be focused on rock'n'roll. Whether it's the 70s rock that Black Country Communion does, or just really straight ahead groovy oriented rock music.
The debut Black Country Communion caught everyone by surprise. The album received very positive reviews and the overall reaction was great. Did it inspire you to work on a follow up quicker?
Well, you know, when we got together, Joe and I. The first song we wrote together was the song "Black Country," and when we wrote that song, I said to Joe "this is gonna signal, and be the blueprint of what the band is. It's gonna show that very distinctive guitar, vocal energy that hasn't been around for a while." That song is obviously very powerful. Songs like "Man in The Middle," Save Me," and "One Last Soul," they're kind of a blueprint for what we are. And the songs that I basically write, and then we finish them in the studio. So I'm very focused writing songs for Black Country Communion.
Isaac Delahaye: Hi Niclas, this is Isaac from Epica. How are you doing?

I´m good. How are you?

ID: Very good.

Where are you calling from?

ID: I´m calling from Home. I´m home at the moment, in Belgium. I live in Belgium. Everyone else in Epica is from Holland, but there are two members from Belgium and Simone lives in Germany.

Right. It´s gotta be kinda hard to just show up for rehearsal?

ID: Yeah exactly. (laughs) That´s why we never rehearse. Basically, for the new album we didn´t even rehearse before going into the studio. We just did everything via e-mail and stuff like that.

The age of technology.

ID: Exactly. If it wouldn´t be like that then basically we wouldn´t have a band.

This new album of yours, when did you start working on it and how long did it take to put it together?

ID: Well, let me just explain how we work. First we work on songs individually where you just write stuff at home and whenever you feel comfortable with what you already have, you put it on the table and then everybody can take that song and wok on it, so the first process of doing something individually… for me personally, I started writing right after "Design your universe". You go on the road and you fiddle around and whenever I´m at home, I record my ideas and basically it´s not like half songs or anything, it´s just riffs and then whenever we´re thinking of making a new album, I just go through all that and you make riffs here and there fit with each other and make songs like that. Mark, who´s the main composer in the band, a part from the intro, he wrote eight songs. We´re basically three band members writing the songs, Mark did the majority and then Coen did two other songs and then I also wrote two songs. After you have the basic stuff, you give it to the other guys. For instance, between Mark and me, we are both guitar players and I really write music from a guitarist´s point of view so I write the technical riffs and the melody and the solo, whereas Mark will start with the orchestra. Just have some basic guitars and then put more emphasis on the orchestration and then he gives his song to me and says "Ok, that´s your job. Make the guitar more interesting!", so that´s how we work and that basically started around June last year. We started sending stuff to each other and during the summer festival season it was mainly weekend shows, so we were just flying out to wherever we were playing and during the week was when you really had time to work. By the end of summer or by the end of August, we were finished with the preproduction and in September we started recording and the whole thing was finished halfway into December. Basically we have everything and then we go into the studio and do it for real.

There´s six of you in the band and the more members, the more opinions and stuff like that. Does it ever get difficult because there´s so many of you?

ID: Yeah, sometimes. But you can have the same thing with only four members, for that matter. The only difficult thing we have is that it´s an even number, so we could end up with three against three and for that case we kinda made a special rule and that rule is that the one who… let´s say that it´s my song and we have different opinions and we don´t agree on something, then basically because it´s my song, I have the final decision. It doesn´t happen that often. Being in band… we´re not old time friends and we don´t live in the same city and we don´t even live in the same country for that matter. It´s like the right people in the right spot. When our old drummer left and we got Arien, I haven´t played with a better drummer than him. You just kinda have to trust each other and if we have these little arguments, it´s never about the song itself but about the smallest details you can think of and sometimes if we send it to Sascha the producer and we can´t agree, he´s like "Guys, come on, you can´t be serious? It´s such a small detail.", but that´s the thing that in the end makes it worthwhile and interesting. There´s quite some stuff going on and maybe you never notice as a listener, but for us it´s super important if it´s this or that note.

Of course. You worked with Sascha Paeth again. What is it that he brings to the table that have made you work with him for such a long time?

ID: Well, basically he´s the Epica judge. We work on stuff and then we go to Sascha and he´s the one who has fresh ears and who hasn´t heard anything about the music and he then says "Well, this song is not even Epica, so don´t waste your time and focus on other songs!", because we always write more songs than what actually ends up on the album. Or he could say "This part is too long." And so on. He can really listen to everything since he´s outside the band and he also has very instant creative moments, like he can come up with a melody on the spot and it´s much better than what we thought of. He thinks differently apparently, than most other people and therefore he is of big value for us and that´s why we keep going back. We had two of these Sascha rounds where we went there and then changed stuff and then went there again and changed stuff and then the eventual recording. Basically it´s the whole Gate Studios team, because it´s not only Sascha. They really have a good team there and Miro Rodenberg is the guy who does all the orchestration for us, so it´s like we have our own studio with our own sound. Miro has so many good sounds and he makes it sound really good and that´s a huge part of the music of course. The whole studio team is very important for a band like Epica, but not only Epica. Epica decided to go there because of Kamelot and they also still go there and then other bands like Rhapsody. There are so many bands going there and it´s because the whole team is really good.

I was reading up on the album and there are five different versions of it. When you record songs do you think that you need extra tracks for bonus songs on different editions?

ID: Yeah, that´s something we think about. As I said, we have more songs than what will fit on the album so we know we´ll need extra songs and that´s not even talking about the songs that didn´t make it to the studio. We make albums and not songs. It could be a brilliant song but if it doesn´t fit on the album, so then we won´t include it on the album and maybe that´s a big mistake. But anyway, then it might end up as a bonus track, but it´s all marketing and part of Nuclear Blast. But of course you need special things for fans out there to get their attention and to make them buy it.

Yeah, especially these days when people don´t buy records anymore.

ID: Exactly and also in the US they always love to have these extra tracks so they feel important or something. (laughs) These are the rules so to speak. After the mix we had doubts… or we disagreed… it was one of the songs, "Deter the tyrant", one of the songs I wrote and we have a version where Simone is doing the verse and we have a version where Mark is grunting the verse. The grunt version was first, but then I said "I wrote this verse with Simone´s vocals in the back of my mind." And when I heard the grunt version I was like "Nah, it´s not what I want.". But then we decided… it´s now what I want, but it also sounds cool, so why would you skip it? The music is the same, you just do it with grunts or with Simone. Then you have "Twin flames" which has two versions. You have the epic one like "Chasing the dragon", how it builds up or you have the very intimate atmosphere. It´s the same song but more intimate and it basically is a love song. It´s with an organ and something Epica´s never done before and it didn´t really fit in with the whole album, so that´s why we decided to not put it on the album and use it as a bonus track and because you have two versions you can do much more with it. For a label like Nuclear Blast, I think they´re really happy with that. They can have all these options like with a t-shirt or with this or that.

You have Simone in the band. Are there different dynamics in the band when there´s a woman, like being on the road and so on? Putting five guys together, there is a certain way of how they express themselves and stuff like that. Does it change having a woman in the band?

ID: Well, I have been in a different band with only guys and I´ve been on tour with only guys and no girls what so ever and it is definitely a different scene, but that was more the death metal scene. Let me tell you this, from the outside maybe Simone looks like an angel and that she can´t do anything wrong, but it´s no problem for her to be around dudes who are swearing or whatever we do. She can really keep up with that and sometimes when she says something, everybody turn their head like "Did she really say that?". (laughs) Of course she grew up like that, she was barely 17 when Epica started and it has been a part of her world for a very long time and she just turned 27. For her it´s kinda a normal environment and it is of course different in a way like for instance I quit smoking because I couldn´t smoke on the tour bus anymore or backstage or on stage. I didn´t have that problem before, but now it´s also forbidden everywhere. Apart from that, maybe you have the opportunity to shower a bit more often. (laughs) She´s not a party animal because she can´t because she´s a singer.

What´s the Belgian metal scene like?

ID: Qui, qui. I don´t know how much you know about Belgium, but it´s divided into two parts. You have the Northern part which is Flemish and then Wallonia the Southern part where they speak French, so if there is a scene it´s already divided. Belgium is a very small country. Basically there is not a real metal scene in the South. I live in the North and there you kinda have a scene. Maybe you´ve heard of Channel Zero? They used to be pretty big, especially in Belgium and the surrounding countries in the 90´s and then they quit. They were on the radio almost every day here, but outside of Western Europe there was nothing. They worked really hard to become famous but it didn´t work. Now they have a new album and they´re touring again. Then you have Aborted, but they all live in France and Israel. I don´t know what it is with Belgian musicians? They all go somewhere else. (laughs) Isn´t the drummer in Soilwork from Belgium? (Dirk Verbeuren. Editor´s note)

Yeah, I believe he is.

ID: I think he lives in France. That´s the thing. Everyone lives somewhere else and then it gets mixed up like "Who is from which country?".

As you mentioned, with the technology these days it works. You could be scattered all over the world and still make an album as a band.

ID: Yeah, like for the last two albums during the mixing process, we were on tour and checking mixes in our hotel rooms in South America. Back in the day it wouldn´t have been possible. You couldn´t even go on tour because you had to finish the album. Now everyone have their laptop and there´s internet everywhere, so it´s not a big issue.

The title "Requiem for the indifferent", was that a title that came right away or did it get changed around?

ID: It got changed around, but the idea behind the title or what we wanted to say was clear. Another one was "Serenade of self-destruction", which is a song on the album and we tried "Serenade of indifferent" and "Requiem of indifference" and stuff like that. It was pretty clear from the start what we wanted to say. The song itself is about the financial crisis in general and the album title basically represents the fact that we need to have a wakeup call for people who don´t give a shit. If you´re indifferent then nothing´s gonna change and we live in a kind of society where everyone gives their opinion on Facebook or Twitter or whatever. They sit at home and swear at everyone and everything they see, but they don´t do anything about it. It´s the internet but you can also use it differently like the Arab spring where people put up stuff that you would never see because the governments are hiding everything. They put it online on YouTube for everyone to see. Lately it was these US troops urinating on dead people. You can look at it all in both ways. If you´re killing people all the time and you´re traumatized in a war, then probably urinating on a dead person is not that bad, but for the outside world it´s kinda like "What the fuck are you doing guys?". Every coin has two sides. We wanted to tell people that even if you think that something happening on the other side of the world won´t affect you, it might as well do affect you. Like the financial crisis. And we have stuff about dictators on the album, like Khadaffi and we have a short piece of a speech of his on there. We basically wanna wake people up. Not that we wanna have a perfect world with love, peace and happiness because that´s not possible, but maybe a bit more balance.

Touring wise then? You´ve got a lot of shows in Europe and one in Sweden at Rockstad Falun. Is that gonna be the only show in Sweden?

ID: Well, so far we have our eyes focused on this European tour and we got some offers for festivals and this one in Sweden is one of them. We wanna do a separate Scandinavian run. If you do it in a normal European tour it´s like one place and the same with the UK. You play London and then leave, so that´s why we didn´t include the UK. We wanna do that later on and take our time and play where ever we wanna play. We also have a US and South American tour coming up, so it´s gonna be busy.

Cool. Good for you.

ID: And we won´t forget Sweden. We will be back for the regular club shows, that´s for sure. But as of now there´s nothing confirmed yet.

Alright. Excellent talking to you Isaac. I think it´s the first time I´ve interviewed a Belgian guy.

ID: Oh really? You should drink our beer, man!

Oh yeah! Stella Artois is Belgian, right?

ID: Yeah, so now you only need the chocolate and the waffles. (laughs)

True. There you go. Hope to see you in Sweden soon.

ID: Yeah! Thank you!

Legendary rocker Ted Nugent has announced via Twitter that he is officially endorsing Mitt Romney in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. However, in an interview Friday with The Texas Tribune, Nugent said he would prefer to have endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry entered the Republican presidential campaign with great fanfare in 2011, only to fizzle out after a series of debate gaffes, before finally dropping out in January.

"If the real Rick Perry had been at those debates, he would still be in the race," Nugent said. "It is my firm belief that Rick Perry would have [made] and would make the best president we could choose."

He continued, "Whatever occurred at those early debates that caused the real Rick Perry to take a back seat to whoever that was literally caused my wife to cry. We thought, 'Has he been advised by idiots?' To this day, we still don't know what happened."

Nugent also explained his endorsement of Romney by saying, "Basically, America is in a suicidal tailspin right now. Our government is out of control. The power abuse, the corruption, the insanity of spending money that will never exist... The conclusion based on all the evidence I can find is that Mitt Romney has the best shot at bringing the U.S. Constituion, common sense, and the American way back to the White House."
Legendary American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose died earlier today (Saturday, March 3) after a five-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 64 years old.

Montrose's official web site has been updated with the following message:

"A few months ago, we held a surprise party for Ronnie Montrose's 64th birthday. He gave an impromptu speech, and told us that after a long life, filled with joy and hardship, he didn't take any of our love for granted.

"He passed today. He'd battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough. And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we're glad to have shared with him while we could."

In a September 2011 interview with North County Times, Montrose revealed that he didn't pick up his guitar for two years following his cancer diagnosis. "I had prostate cancer that, for me, was debilitating," he said. "I didn't touch a guitar for two years, but when I realized I was seeing the light at the end of the recovery tunnel and was going to live pain-free, I realized again that it was a fun little instrument to play."

He added, "I've blocked all my health issues out of my mind. That's a portion of my life that I'm done with. Now, I can't wait for every day to come so I can wake up and plug in. I'm up there entertaining myself and my playing is stronger than ever, because my excitement is back."

Ronnie Montrose always followed his heart. Ever anxious to take his music to the next level, in 1979 he founded the trailblazing band GAMMA, a group whose trio of ahead-of-their-time albums were an explosion of guitar and synthesizer pyrotechnics anchored by a bluesy edge.

Between and beyond these band forays, Montrose the player devoted himself to exploring instrumental guitar music on landmark albums like "Open Fire" and "The Speed Of Sound". Fans periodically clamored for another taste of the original MONTROSE power trio format, but he wouldn't revisit MONTROSE — that huge, heavy sound; those rich, pealing riffs — until the time came when he could do it with total conviction.
Several rock and metal musicians have reponded to the news that legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose died after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.

Montrose passed away yesterday (Saturday, March 3) at the age of 64.

Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE, SLASH): "Sad to hear Ronnie Montrose passed away. 'Rock Candy' was one of the first songs I ever learned."

Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES): "Myles just told me Ronnie Montrose passed. Fn' shame. 'Montrose' is one of the all-time great [rock and roll] albums. Major influence. RIP, man."

David Ellefson (MEGADETH): "RIP Ronnie Montrose!!! So sad to hear of this today. I had the pleasure of playing bass for him circa 2005-07. Such a powerhouse human being and ferocious guitarist. I learned a lot from him! God's peace.".

NONPOINT: "Another legend gone, Rest in peace, Ronnie Montrose."

Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE): "R.I.P. Ronnie Montrose."

Glenn Hughes (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE): "Just heard that my good friend Ronnie Montrose has passed away. I'm speechless. RIP, my brother...you will be missed at the Hughes'."

TESLA: "We all loved him."

Kip Winger (WINGER): "I had the pleasure of working with Ronnie not too long ago. He was a real gem, very giving and very talented. A great loss to the world. RIP, Ronnie."

Eddie Trunk (VH1 Classic "That Metal Show" co-host): "Woke to very sad news Ronnie Montrose has passed away from cancer at 64. He created one of the all-time landmark hard rock albums with debut LP… [I] also liked GAMMA, but nothing touches the debut album, a masterpiece that influenced SO many rock and metal bands! RIP, Ronnie Montrose."
Former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT singer Sammy Hagar has commented on the passing of his former bandmate Ronnie Montrose (MONTROSE, GAMMA), who died yesterday (Saturday, March 3) after a five-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 64 years old.

Said Hagar in a statement posted on his official web site: "Ronnie Montrose gave me my first break as a songwriter, as a frontman, as a recording artist, as a touring artist, and for that I will always be grateful.

"I was looking forward to a reunion for my birthday bash in Cabo with Denny [Carnassi, drums], Bill [Church, bass] and Ronnie — one of the few bands from that era where all four original members were still able to do it.

"It's a shame to lose Ronnie and I'm so sorry for his loved ones. Rest in peace."

Born in Denver, Colorado, Montrose's first break when he played Van Morrison's classic 1971 album, "Tupelo Honey". He also appeared on recordings by Boz Scaggs and the EDGAR WINTER GROUP (1972's "They Only Come Out At Night") before going solo under the MONTROSE moniker in 1973 (with a very young Sammy Hagar on vocals). The MONTROSE band released two albums, "Montrose" and "Paper Money", before Hagar left to pursue a solo career. Montrose continued to release albums with the MONTROSE band, but focused his attention mostly on his solo career as well as his other band, GAMMA, which released four albums between 1979 and 2000.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Montrose took some time off from playing and performing to focus on his health.
Antonis "Jey Key" Katsaros of Greece's webzine Rock Overdose had the chance to speak with the famous singer Tony Martin about a lot of subjects, as for Black Sabbath, solo projects, future plans and participation on Arrayan Path's latest album! Enjoy the interview below...
Rock Overdose: We are proud to have Tony Martin, one of the most famous singers of Heavy Metal, in our webzine! Mr. Tony welcome to Greece's Rock Overdose! How are you these days?
Tony Martin: Hey!! .. thank you!!... I am...... fine .. I think!!!...

Rock Overdose: I will start with a kind of "technical" question… You are singing with a lot of passion in your voice. That is one of the reasons that people love to hear you (including me, of course). Except of the talent, what else would you advise to the young singers out there to do?
Tony Martin: For their voice you mean? Well .. I made a terrible mistake when i was younger and just sang without thinking about it... I damaged my voice so many times but when you are young it heals very quickly.... but after a few years it stops repairing so quick and then you have a problem... You see many older singers struggling these days because of age and repair time... the best thing is to look up some vocal exercises and work on them. There are many different ones.... maybe hundreds but as long as you are exercising your full range it will help..... Now its hard work for me... I have to exercise my voice every day or I lose it very quickly... The only thing that was good from the mistake is I found a voice sound that worked. But apart from that it was a mistake!!

 Rock Overdose: Let's go back to the Sabbath days. Which of those albums that you made with Black Sabbath, is your favorite?
Tony Martin: Better to ask which one I don't like...!!!!!!! .............. That would be "Forbidden".... the rest are very cool..!!!

Rock Overdose: Which was your best time with Sabbath?
Tony Martin: I guess the best time was when we seemed to be friends and the band was working well..... After "Eternal Idol" when it was just a session.... "Headless Cross" through "Tyr" and into "Cross Purposes" was the better times.... But the times when I was not chosen for the job was horrible.

Rock Overdose: Unfortunately Iommi's health problems didn't made the famous Sabbath reunion that they planned. How are your relations with Iommi? Have you been spoken lately?
Tony Martin: Sabbath haven't spoken to me for over 15 years ... I met Iommi very briefly in Russia once and he said I was doing a great job with my band. But apart from that i haven't heard from them at all.
 Rock Overdose: You announced your new band, Tony Martin's Headless Cross! Can you introduce us the members of the band?
Tony Martin: Ah... yes.. well there is myself of course ... And Magnus Rosen from the band Hammerfall... VERY nice man and amazing Bass player!!!.... Dario Mollo on Guitar... You may recognize him from the Cage albums that i did. Danny Needham currently works with Venom .. but he has been my drummer for many years and i trust him completely.... Also Geoff Nicholls of Black Sabbath who you will know very well.

Rock Overdose: Are you working an album or this band will be only for lives?
Tony Martin: Right now I need a band for live shows..... I am planning a return to the stage if all the conditions are right.

Rock Overdose: Any plans to pass from Greece with Tony Martin's Headless Cross?
Tony Martin: Yes if I can!!!! ... Just need an Honest hard working promoter that doesn't expect me to work for free and i will be there!!!

Rock Overdose: A lot of guest appearances lately for you. We heard you in Black Widow, in Wolfpakk, but the biggest surprise for me was your participation in Arrayan Path's latest album "Ira Imperium", because I leave in the island of Cyprus as the band is. So, how this happened and are you satisfied from the result of the song with the Cypriots?
Tony Martin: Hahahaha.. Yes.. great fun.... I like the guys .... I was approached via the internet and was quite taken with the song they sent me... I told them i would want to change it slightly and do it Tony Martins way and they agreed so i did it..!!! I had fun creating all the voices for the choir.. hundreds of vocal takes.!! great fun. ....
 Rock Overdose: Finally, what should we wait from Tony Martin for now on?
Tony Martin: I have 5 projects running and The Cage is the first to be released but i also did record another Giuntini album and i have a new project running with a band called Silver Horses a kind of blues Zepplin type sound . very English sound but ANOTHER Italian project..... and there are solo albums and i hope a tour and lots of TM related things happening in the next few years. And i will be happy to talk to you about these as they happen along the way.

Rock Overdose: Mr Tony, it was a real honor to have this interview with you! The last words are yours for the Greek fans who are having difficult times in Greece…
Tony Martin: Thanks ... Yes we see here in the UK that Greece is under quite some pressure.... I have to say its not only Greece of course... the problem is world wide.... i can say you are not alone!!.... Many people feel the same way ... I dont know intimately the Greek system but i "feel"... that the Greek people are strong LONG surviving people.... and i think they will come through the pain and be stronger on the other side..... Greece has given the world so many teachings and language and history it is not possible for it to disappear or fail....... it may change .... possibly???.... but it will keep the affection many of us have for the great country it is.  .. Don't give up!!! Keep Rockin m/ m/
For RockOverdose.gr,
Antonis "Jey Key" Katsaros
Mohsen Fayyazi of Metal Shock Finland recently conducted an interview with British guitarist Graham Oliver (OLIVER DAWSON SAXON, SAXON). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Shock Finland: You're one of those musicians who has had an important role in the NWOBHM movement. How do you feel that genre of metal music is placed in the industry today?

Graham: It is so cool that the music we created in the period of the NWOBHM is regarded as influential 30 years later and we never imagined we could inspire bands like METALLICA, who in turn inspire bands, too, so it goes round and round. The music of today is so diverse and influences of NWOBHM can be heard even in Lady Gaga ["Edge Of Glory"]. Rock has a longevity like no other — just look at AC/DC. Simple, straight and great songs rock will never die.

Metal Shock Finland: The [OLIVER DAWSON SAXON] album seems to be a returning point to the roots of old-school heavy metal, by including issues about drugs, motorcycles, women … Are we going to have some old-school songs produced by new technology?

Graham: The style of writing is the same as we always have done, as all SAXON classics were co-written by myself and Steve Dawson and we will always write the same and sound like us, as we are us and never could try to be a German metal band, for example.

Metal Shock Finland: John Schaffer of ICED EARTH has recently said, "The music industry has changed and everything is different." I'd like to know your opinion as a musician and guitarist who has produced music for the metal industry for a long time.

Graham: Modern times see the decline of sales of CDs and more tickets sold for live shows. It's just the changing times, but I like to own a CD — no downloads for me. Imagine if THE [ROLLING] STONES sold as many CDs as concert tickets; [they] would sell millions.

Metal Shock Finland: You are one of those musicians who had that experience sharing a stage with the legendary Ronnie James Dio. Would you like to tell us more about that experience and share some memories of him? And how did you see Ronnie as a musician and rocker?
Graham: I first saw Ronnie in 1976 with RAINBOW and it was a great show and jumping forwards to SAXON's first tour of the USA in September 1980, we played some shows on the [BLACK SABBATH] "Heaven And Hell" tour where we met Ronnie and our paths crossed a few times. When OLIVER DAWSON SAXON were promoting Angel Air's "It's Alive" CD, we were on the same show as ronnie in Italy and chatted a lot about all things music, etc., and to our delight, Ronnie asked for OLIVER DAWSON SAXON to be the guest band on the U.K. leg of [the DIO] "Killing The Dragon" tour. It started in London and finished in Portsmouth all the shows were great and sellouts and on the last show after our set, I was asked to join the band on stage for "Rainbow In The Dark". How great was that?! Steve Dawson videoed it, thank goodness, and introduced me as a legend. And coming from one of my legends, that was the best. He was always so nice with friends and fans after the shows and was one of the greatest rock singers of all time.
It took them a good 18 years, but Symphony X finally made it to Vancouver.
The New Jersey progressive metal group – joined by Florida metallers Iced Earth – shredded through 12 blistering songs at the Commodore Ballroom on Valentine's Day during their North American co-headlining tour.
View slideshow in full screen for captions and image information.
Both bands performed 90-minute sets, with Iced Earth and its new Vancouverite lead singer, Stu Block, going on first. The denim-clad vocalist stirred up a circle pit and opened the show with the rip-roaring title track of the band's new album, Dystopia.
The band exhausted their 10-album back catalogue, jumping from 1991's "Angels Holocaust" to 1996's "Slave to the Dark" to 2004's "Declaration Day". The raucous crowd responded well to "When the Night Falls" off the band's self-titled 1990 debut album as guitarists Jon Schaffer and Troy Seele soloed through the classic tracks and the energetic Block provoked a synchronous raising of fists.
Their new songs included "V", "Dark City" and "Anthem", as well as the metal ballad "End of Innocence", written about Block's mother who is fighting cancer. The band followed that with its encore, featuring thunderous double-kick in 1995's "Dante's Inferno" and the eponymous "Iced Earth".
After a 30-minute intermission and nearly two decades of anticipation, Symphony X took to the ballroom's stage for a long overdue hour and a half of neo-classical metal at its finest. Lead singer Russell Allen, with a half-empty glass skull of what looked like whiskey in hand, pumped up the crowd for the show they'd been waiting for.
Touring on their 2011 record, the band opened with the title track of Iconoclast, followed by "The End of Innocence" (not to be confused with the song Iced Earth had just played). The enthused fans rocked out to "Dehumanized", "Bastards of the Machine" and the scream-powered "When All is Lost", but were anxious for some older songs to contrast the band's current sound.
Between songs, Allen addressed Symphony X's label of prog metal with an if-you-say-so attitude.
"There are all these subgenres of metal," said Allen, spouting off a few for good measure. "The only thing that matters is metal."
Founding guitarist Michael Romeo intricately finger-tapped the intro to "Inferno (Unleash the Fire)" off 2002's The Odyssey, showcasing his obscenely flawless fretwork and burning through arpeggios up and down his custom Caparison Dellinger II.
There are all these subgenres of metal … The only thing that matters is metal.
Russell Allen
The band returned to their new material, with Allen carrying his brash, smash-mouth vocals through "Electric Messiah" and the anthemic "Children of a Faceless God". The oldest song in their set turned out to be the moshpit-provoking "Of Sins and Shadows" from 1997's The Divine Wings of Tragedy.
Symphony X left the stage momentarily before returning for their last three songs, all of which were from 2007's Paradise Lost. Allen high-fived fans during "Eve of Seduction" and the audience marvelled at Romeo's adept hammer-on and pull-off skills for the "Serpent's Kiss" and the keyboard-heavy "Set the World on Fire (The Lie of Lies)".
By the show's end, the crowd left the Commodore knowing that calibre of symphonic metal was hard to come by. Here's hoping it doesn't take Symphony X another 18 years to show us how it's done.
Interview with Michael Romeo | February 24, 2012
Vancouver, BC
Commodore Ballroom
[ Ranked #91 on Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time, Michael Romeo has accomplished a lot in 18 years since starting the progressive metal group Symphony X. The 43-year-old New Yorker boasts 10 studio albums with the band (the most recent being 2011's Iconoclast) and remains one of only two static members within the world-touring group. He tells The Runner about the band's double-billed North American trek with Iced Earth, recording their new album in his basement and mankind's dependence on technology – but not robots taking over the world or anything like that... ]
Symphony X is one of the more well-known neo-classical metal bands out there. When you founded the band in 1994, did you foresee the progression and evolution of the genre reaching its mainstream popularity today?
You always kind of hope that more people will embrace what you do, but honestly, I never really thought too much about that. It was always just about doing what we like to do. That's really all it was in the beginning, but it's good to see where it's at today.
Last Tuesday's show was Symphony X's first performance in Vancouver. How was your debut performance in our city?
Any place for the first time that we're at is definitely a cool experience. We hadn't ever been there and it was a good show. The fans were really cool, everybody was really cool. It's always a good thing to get to a new place you haven't been, get to see the fans, do the show.
You performed at the Commodore on Valentine's Day. Did the band discuss playing any symphonic power ballads?
Nah. [laughs] We didn't want to do something cheesy, y'know, some silly love song that has no place there. There were a couple couples there that we talked to after the show and they said, "My boyfriend brought me to the show for Valentine's Day," so that was cool enough for us.
Warbringer is opening for you on this tour and you're co-headlining with Iced Earth. How have they been as supporting acts?
Everything's been really great. We've met [Iced Earth] in the past, but this is the first time we've been on a tour with them and we get along great, man, good times. Same with the Warbringer guys. The tour as a package is definitely cool too because we're all metal bands but we're different enough that each band offers something.
You've been trading off on the headlining spot with Iced Earth. Does your set change depending on when you take the stage?
They do 90 minutes, we do 90 minutes, it doesn't matter who's in what slot. No stress, no worries.
After this tour, you're playing a few festivals in Europe. What do North American fans need to do to get these amazing metal festivals on this side of the Atlantic?
I really don't know. Somebody would have to kind of step up and put one together and really organize something like that. We did the Gigantour years back, and actually that was really cool. I think that did a lot for us here. But it's not like Europe where all summer long, there's festivals every time you turn around. The more of these that there are, the better, and we would love to play all of them.
The new album, Iconoclast, has a theme of technology taking over the world. How did this idea come about as inspiration for the album?
With every album we do, we try to find some kind of a theme or an idea, something to kind of guide the lyrics and the music a little bit without maybe telling a story or getting too complicated. One day, I was just in my studio hanging out, listening to some different music. I like a lot of film music – all the big orchestral, Star Wars stuff, Lord of the Rings – the big epic stuff. I think it was The Matrix soundtrack I had playing and it kind of sparked the idea, "What if it was this man and machine and technology kind of thing?" And the next day or two, I just started banging out a couple ideas and some riffs. More textures within the music that kind of had that technology vibe or a sci-fi thing. That's pretty much where it started.
This album, as well as your previous two, was recorded at your home studio named The Dungeon. Where did the name come from and can you describe the atmosphere within it?
Where the hell did that come from? It was probably my family, the wife and kids. "Where's Dad?" "Oh, he's down in his Dungeon." I guess that kind of stuck. It's in my basement and it's a good atmosphere for us to work. I have some really good gear and the rooms sound good. We definitely do take our time with these records and it works well that we can have a place where we can just kind of hang out and experiment a little without freaking out about the time and losing money. There's no real schedule, we'll just go until we need to sleep.
Recently, you've been playing a lot of new songs in your set lists. How have the crowds responded to your latest work?
Really good. When the album came out, all the press that we saw was really positive, and like with every album, we really put a lot into it. There was just so much music that we had, it turned out to be a double record. A lot of times, the fans want to hear some older material or whatever, and we try to get some stuff in there, but usually that first tour right after the release of a new record, we just want to get the new stuff out there. Sometimes we'll take it to an older song that some of the older fans that have been with us for a while, they love it, they go crazy.
You're known for some lengthy orchestral songs like "The Divine Wings of Tragedy" (20:43) and "The Odyssey" (24:14). I take it you don't release your albums on vinyl?
The last two [Iconoclast and Paradise Lost] have been on vinyl, and honestly, I don't even have a record player. I have them at the house and I still haven't even listened to them. I really haven't had a chance to go out and find a turntable. I wouldn't even know where the hell to look.
Do you perform those marathon songs live often, and if so, how have crowds responded to them?
There's been times in the past where we've done "Divine Wings", and "The Odyssey" we've done a pretty good amount. We were in Greece for the first time a couple months back and we just thought that would be the right place, if we were going to play "The Odyssey", to do it in Greece. We actually pulled that out that night. We were even talking about the next album what we could do and maybe this time we'll bring back a long, epic kind of thing.
Guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle of New Brunswick, New Jersey's melodic, thrash-metal warriors GOD FORBID has responded to online criticism that his band has "gone djent" on its new album, "Equilbrium", after the CD's first single, "Don't Tell Me What To Dream", was made available as an online stream last week.

Djent is a heavy metal music subgenre that emerged as a spin-off from progressive metal. Coined by Swedish experimental extreme metallers MESHUGGAH in the early 2000s, the term was popularized through the Internet by the American band PERIPHERY, specifically guitarist Misha Mansoor.

The word "djent" is an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted guitar sound employed by MESHUGGAH. Typically, the word is used to refer to music that makes use of this sound, to the sound itself, or to the scene that revolves around it.

In a series of messages on his Twitter profile, Coyle said, "I'm gonna rant for a minute so bear with me. I think it's hilarious some people think GOD FORBID went 'djent' on the new album, and that we are trying to cash in on a new style of music. Here's why this isn't true 1.) We aren't that smart. 2.) We actually do a little thing called writing different kinds of songs. Did you know bands could could do that? Have a ballad and a thrasher on the same album? Not have a formula. So for the cheap seats, the new GOD FORBID album is quite diverse. Please don't make your mind up yet. For your information, we started using seven-strings on our last album, 'Earthsblood'. And 'Don't Tell Me What To Dream' was inspired by a song my brother wrote called 'Bat The Angels', which has a doomy section at the end which is tuned to G. I never even thought of djent, but I love a lot of those bands. Just hate when people try to head shrink your songwriting. Sometimes something is just groovy and heavy. No need for labels. Last I looked, GOD FORBID has been that for years. . . I bet if A LIFE ONCE LOST came out today, they would be called a derivative djent band, but they were way ahead of the curve. Get no credit. If every staccato palm mute chunky part that's tuned low is now considered djent, I fucking quit. Can't own stuff after the fact. I don't mind if people call it djent. Just don't say we're plotting some scheme to stay relevant. Ala 'Diabolus In Musica' SLAYER."

"Equilibrium" will be released on March 27 via Victory Records. The bulk of the CD was recorded by Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, TRIVIUM), with Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER) stepping in during the the vocal-tracking stage. The effort was mixed by acclaimed Swedish producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with such acts as KATATONIA, OPETH, PARADISE LOST and AMON AMARTH.

The official release/listening party for "Equilibrium" will be held on Friday, March 16 at Duff's Brooklyn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The address is:

Duff's Brooklyn
168 Marcy Avenue (between S 5th & Broadway)
Williamsburg, New York

For more information, visit www.duffsbrooklyn.com.

"With the new album, we focused on writing tight, hooky metal songs," commented Doc Coyle on the creative process for "Equilibrium", "There are some really fast, super heavy, groovy songs – some of the catchiest, most melodic songs we've ever written. We wanted a modern, but organic-sounding album that was tight but still captured the intensity of the band. The album sounds huge!"

Coyle went on to speak about the overall theme of the album, "The title of the album says it all — it's about finding your way when you're lost. The lyrics come from a very personal, very real place. The recurring lyrical theme is about the everyday struggles of life and what it takes to persevere and follow your dreams."

GOD FORBID's solidified line-up, newly managed under World Entertainment's Alexander Ford and Gunter Ford, includes lead vocalist Byron Davis, guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle, bassist John "Beeker" Outcalt, Corey Pierce on drums and newest member Matt Wicklund on guitar.
Zoiks! Online recently conducted an interview with Clint Lowery (SEVENDUST, DARK NEW DAY, CALL ME NO ONE, HELLO DEMONS MEET SKELETONS). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Zoiks! Online: I'm really excited this new project you're working on with Morgan [Rose, SEVENDUST drummer], CALL ME NO ONE. Can you tell us a little bit about how that's going?

Clint: Yeah, it's crazy, because we're still developing it ourselves. It's not really a heavy record, but it's not a light record like the HDMS (HELLO DEMONS MEET SKELETONS) stuff I do. It's somewhere in the middle. Some of the songs are pretty progressive, some of the songs are just rock. It all has a dark spooky twist to it; kind of NINE INCH NAILS meets FOO FIGHTERS. It's cool. We're still putting it together; we have about eight songs musically right now that we've tracked. We're going to try for about four more. We only have 30 days to do this whole record, to write it, track it and mix it. It's really unheard of to get this much work done. We have an idea of what we want to do, we're under a lot of pressure, but it's coming together nicely.

Zoiks! Online: How did the project come about?

Clint: Morgan and I just, for years, loved talking about different directions and things we couldn't do in SEVENDUST. I hate to say it like this, but there is a ceiling with what we can do as SEVENDUST. We've done so many records; with that particular formula, there is only a certain amount you can do, musically. There is nothing wrong with that. There is a lot fulfillment within SEVENDUST and that whole process. We all love each other, the guys are great, the music is fun and the energy is really good. We felt like it was time to explore a little bit beyond SEVENDUST. I've always wanted to go and do a record and Morgan showed a lot of interest in helping me. We just decided to partner up. We're going to try and make a band out of it and make a go at it while we have some down time in SEVENDUST. We're not trying to set any expectations; we're just trying to make a good record.

Zoiks! Online: I was reading your blog entry last week and I loved the reason behind calling this project CALL ME NO ONE. Could you tell our readers what made you decide to call the project CALL ME NO ONE?

Clint: It's about humility. I've always been the kind of guy that's in the background on things. There's always been a Lajon [Witherspoon, SEVENDUST vocalisst] or a Brett [Hestla, DARK NEW DAYS] or singers like that. I see myself as a pretty regular person and that is basically what the name is, CALL ME NO ONE. At the end of the day, it's about the humility of it and the mystery of it. I'm a very human singer.

Zoiks! Online: SEVENDUST is planning on getting back into the writing mode around June. The rumor is this could be the last album for SEVENDUST. Do you think this will be it for SEVENDUST?

Clint: I don't know; there's always a chance for that. There was a chance for that after the second record. We don't take that lightly. It's a decision we'll want to make as a band and end on our own terms. I think the train of thought is based around that. If we do go out, we want to go out on our own terms. Realistically, looking at stuff like, we'll do another record in June, that's two more years of touring. There's certain guys with families; all of us have kids. It's one of those things we're trying to be realistic about. We don't want to say it's our last one, but there is a chance that it could be. If it is, we want to end it on our own terms. It's not like we'd leave because we have to.
Florida-based, female-fronted power metallers SEVEN KINGDOMS are prering to enter Morrisound studios in Tampa, Florida with producer Jim Morris (ICED EARTH, DEATH) to begin recording their as-yet-untitled 11-song follow-up to their 2010 self-titled sophomore album.

Commented guitarist Camden Cruz: "Fans can expect a more dynamic SEVEN KINGDOMS this time around. We have spent the greater part of a year transposing what we have learned into this new record. It has been since the middle of 2009 since we have written anything together and I really believe that you will hear three more years of experience on this album. It is overall a little bit faster, but not in a thrashy way; it is more in the vein of older-school power metal that sometimes seems to be overlooked nowadays. We have been able to shape something in our 'sound' that will set us apart from our forefathers while still being true to the genre. Expect a twin turbo version of our self-titled release. The record is the most challenging material we have physically played to date and it has a lot of guitar work on it. Sabrina [Valentine, vocals] has even become more herself with this record as we have all grown as musicians. We aim to bring a polished version of what a modern-day power metal band should sound like. This should be a record that everyone can enjoy from the brand new listener to the most diehard power metal fan with more hooks, more shred, more epicness, More in-your-face double bass, more literal bass, Just more POWER."

In other news, SEVEN KINGDOMS has just finished filming its very first official professional video clip for the new record's opener, "After The Fall". The clip's storyline is based on George Martin's "Game Of Thrones", which is also the story which the band's name is based out of). Ironically, the same type of cameras used for filming the HBO show were also used for the band's video.

SEVEN KINGDOMS's sophomore album was released in July 2010 via Nightmare Records.

Formed in Deland, Florida in 2007 by Camden Cruz and Bryan Edwards, SEVEN KINGDOMS entered Morrisound Recording in Tampa in August 2007 to record its debut self-financed independent release, "Brothers of the Night", which was lyrically inspired by the literary works of George R. Martin.

After playing shows throughout the Southeastern region of the United States with such bands as SONATA ARCTICA, THE AGONIST, STEPHEN PEARCY and CIRCLE II CIRCLE, SEVEN KINGDOMS returned to Morrisound in 2009 to begin work on its self-titled sophomore effort.


Sabrina Valentine – Vocals
Camden Cruz – Guitar
Kevin Byrd – Guitar
Aaron Sluss – Bass
Keith Byrd - Drums
Olympia, Washington metallers CHRISTIAN MISTRESS have just released their sophomore album, "Possession", via Relapse Records. The follow-up to 2010's "Agony & Opium" was recorded last summer with Tim Green (MELVINS, THE FUCKING CHAMPS, MONOTONIX).

"We recorded analog," said guitarist Oscar Sparbel, speaking on the band's traditional approach to recording. "It was one of the reasons we chose Tim Green and Louder Studios. We wanted to track on 2-inch tape and not use Pro Tools."

"Possession" track listing:

01. Over And Over
02. Pentagram And Crucifix
03. Conviction
04. The Way Beyond
05. Possession
06. Black To Gold
07. There Is Nowhere
08. Haunted Hunted
09. All Abandon

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS recently filmed a video for the song "Pentagram And Crucifix" in their hometown of Olympia. The clip was directed by Christine Davis and David Hoekje and will see an early March premiere.

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS will perform at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland in April. In addition, they will be on the road in other parts Europe that month, including a string of headlining shows with BLACK BREATH.

CHRISTIAN MISTRESSChristine Davis (vocals), Jonny Wulf (bass), Oscar Sparbel (guitar), Reuben W. Storey (drums) and Ryan McClain (guitar) — has previously toured alongside THRONES, SLOUGH FEG, and more.
It's been 25 years since TUFF hit Sunset Strip in Hollywood California. To celebrate that anniversary (1987-2012), the band has issued "What Comes Around Goes Around... Again!" The CD will hit the street March via the band's own independent label (RLS Records).

The core that remains of the once self-proclaimed "biggest unsigned band in the world" is vocalist Stevie Rachelle and bassist Todd Chaisson. The newly recorded tracks were produced and mixed by Michael Raphael (JAILHOUSE, NEVE) with a laundry list of '80s stars appearing throughout. The group will also adopt a new stage look and persona going forward says Stevie Rachelle — who was "from hell" according to a Hollywood promoter who nicknamed him that in the late '80s. That isn't far off from the new stage name — $tevil. The bassist and founder of the band, will re-assume his old stage identity of Ch@se. Not a new comer as the groups drum throne has been occupied by Tod Burr since 2001. Going forward he will simply be known as T Drums! However, the band does welcome new blood with S'olin on lead guitar. The Swedish-born Staffan Osterlind has played and toured with Paul Di'Anno (ex-IRON MAIDEN) and BLACK ROBOT (featuring former members of BUCKCHERRY).

"What Comes Around Goes Around... Again!" is not just a remake, but also a revisited disc of memories for Ch@se and $tevil. "This disc was a few years in the making, from the idea, to the actual sessions," says Rachelle. "I wanted to remake some of these songs — as our Atlantic Records debut was discontinued years ago. Fans see the YouTube videos, then want a quality copy of these songs but there isn't one out there. Now it's here."

"We had some tunes back in the day that use to be fan favorites, and this time around we added them. 'Put Out Or Get Out' is us putting the metal back in hair metal!" says the youngest Chaisson with a bass. Todd Chaisson comes from a family of bass-playing brothers. All with heavy metal roots. Oldest brother Greg Chaisson played in BADLANDS with Jake E. Lee and Kenny Chaisson with KEEL. "'What Comes Around Goes Around' — the song didn't even make the album with the same name. Not sure why, but it missed the cut yet we kept the title" $tevil says. The title track also features world-renowned shredder Jeff Loomis (ex-NEVERMORE) on lead guitar and Stephen Pearcy (RATT) on some classic backgrounds. Also included are a half dozen of the bands earliest re-mastered demos that feature the "classic hair band" lineup of TUFF: Stevie Rachelle - vocals, Todd Chaisson - bass, Jorge DeSaint - guitar, Michael Lean - drums.

The band is realistic about where they stand, and what will happen says Ch@se. "We're not going to set any records like we did when we sold out all those Hollywood clubs. We played them all, Gazzarri's, The Roxy, Troubadour and the Whisky A-Go-Go. We'll be happy to enjoy the rest of this ride. I am blessed and honored to be a part of this all these years later; that alone makes this a success."

"What Comes Around Goes Around… Again" track listing:

01. Good Guys Wear Black (feat. George Lynch, Jaime St. James)
02. All New Generation (feat. Steve Brown)
03. I Hate Kissing You Goodbye (feat. Keri Kelli)
04. So Many Seasons (feat. Michael Raphael)
05. What Comes Around Goes Around (feat. Jeff Loomis, Stephen Pearcy)
06. Put Out Or Get Out (feat. Howie Simon, Lizzy DeVine)

Remastered Demos

07. Round 'Em Up (1988)
08. Summertime Goodbye (1988)
09. Want Trouble - You Got It (1988)
10. Down On Sinner Street (1989)
11. Forever Yours (1989)
12. Ain't Worth A Dime (1989)

Bonus Tracks

13. Move Along
14. So Many Seasons (piano version)

For more information, visit www.tuffcds.com.
Norway's TRAIL OF TEARS has announced the addition of drummer Bjørn to the group's ranks.

A short introductory video of the band's latest addition can be seen below.

TRAIL OF TEARS' longtime drummer Cato Jensen in January in order to focus on other priorities.

The first teaser for the forthcoming seventh album from TRAIL OF TEARS is available below.

TRAIL OF TEARS in September finished recording its as-yet-untitled new CD at Sound Suite Studio in Marseille, France with producer Terje Refsnes. The band is currently seeking a suitable record label to release the effort.

Commented the band: "Cathrine [Paulsen] came through the extreme schedule with flying colours, putting the finishing vocals on the end result and delivered a performance for the history books!

"We believe that we have created something extraordinary and can't wait to share it with you all. Never before has a recording process involved so much blood, sweat and tears!"

TRAIL OF TEARS in 2010 parted ways with guitarist Pål Olsen and opted to carry on as a five-piece.

TRAIL OF TEARS's sixth album, "Bloodstained Endurance", was recorded and mixed over a six-week period at Sound Suite Studio in Marseille, France with producer Terje Refsnes. Mastering duties were handled by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios in Finland. The cover artwork for the album was designed by acclaimed artist Travis Smith (AMORPHIS, OPETH, NEVERMORE).

In 2007, TRAIL OF TEARS was rejoined by vocalist Cathrine Paulsen, who sang on the group's 2002 album, "A New Dimension of Might".
MetalSerbia.com conducted an interview with drummer Gus Rios of Florida death metal veterans MALEVOLENT CREATION prior to the band's February 28 concert at Gun Klub in Belgrade, Serbia as part of the "Sounds Of Extreme Tour" tour with KRISIUN and VITAL REMAINS. You can now watch the chat below.

When asked how he would describe touring conditions in Europe compared to those in the U.S., Rios said, "We have officially stopped touring the U.S. We hate it. We will only tour Europe, South America — basically, anywhere but the U.S. U.S. sucks. Not the country, but the conditions of touring in the U.S. are nowhere near as good as the conditions in Europe. Less fans, less support, clubs are not great. I imagine SLAYER tours [in the U.S.] are great, because they're playing big places and they're staying in nice hotels, etc., but death metal in the United States is much less popular than it is in Europe. It's tough to come to Europe and get treated like an artist and be respected and then go back to your own country and you get kind of treated like shit."

MALEVOLENT CREATION's eleventh album, "Invidious Dominion", was released in August 2010 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records (in Europe through Massacre). The effort was made available in various territories as a regular CD; digipack with bonus material; and vinyl LP.

MALEVOLENT CREATION's latest CD was recorded at Mana Recording Studios (CANNIBAL CORPSE, VITAL REMAINS, GOATWHORE) in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer Erik Rutan (MORBID ANGEL, HATE ETERNAL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The CD's cover art was created by renowned artist Pär Olofsson (THE FACELESS, IMMORTAL, ABYSMAL DAWN).
Prosthetic Records will reissue "Breathing The Fire" and "Beyond The Permafrost" from American metal masters SKELETONWITCH at the end of March. The deluxe, limited gatefold packages will be made available to coincide with the band's U.S. tour with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, NILE and HOUR OF PENANCE.

Pictured below is the new "Fire Splatter" edition of "Breathing The Fire" vinyl, one of three versions that will be available of the band's 2009 release. Also available is a close-up photo of the LP. The "Fire Splatter" LPs come in a new gatefold Stoughton "tip-on" jacket, and unlike the first and second pressings that sold out long ago, they come with a lyric insert so that Andrei Bouzikov's gatefold artwork appears unobstructed. This version is limited to 500 copies. "Breathing The Fire" will also be available on heavy duty 180-gram black vinyl (also limited to 500 pieces), in addition to a very limited edition red/yellow half-and-half 2-color vinyl that will only be available exclusively through the Prosthetic store.

The LP version of SKELETONWITCH's critically acclaimed 2007 breakthrough "Beyond The Permafrost" will also be available in three variants, all of which come in new gatefold Stoughton "tip-on" jackets as well: 180-gram black vinyl (approximately 500 pieces), "Permafrost splatter" (blue on white, approximately 500 pieces) and limited white/blue half-and-half 2-color wax that will be a Prosthetic store exclusive. The black vinyl versions of both titles will be available in select North American stores on April 10, but pre-orders will begin shipping around the third week of March.

Lastly, there are a limited amount of "Forever Abomination" blue marble pressing of their latest release, "Forever Abomination", still available. This particular release comes with two free posters.
Denver death metallers ENEMY REIGN have completed work on their new album, "Between Hell And Oblivion", at Flatline Audio with producer Dave Otero (CATTLE DECAPITATION, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, MARTRIDEN, COBALT). According to a press release, the CD "offers up 11 tracks of mile-high deathgrind brutality as well as the debut of vocalist, Stevie Boiser who replaced former throat, Sherwood Webber (SKINLESS), last summer."

Commented the band on the output: "'Between Hell And Oblivion' is a huge milestone for ENEMY REIGN both as a band and for us individually. It means we didn't give up even when we were written off, and accomplishing that feels great. Musically, we set out to refine what we feel our style of death metal is. We aren't pretentious people, and this is not a pretentious album. It's a no-nonsense death metal album that pays homage to all the bands we grew up with and love, while keeping an eye on how we can add our own artistic license and create something we could listen to everyday. And we do... so enjoy the reign."

"Between Hell And Oblivion" track listing:

01. Haunted
02. Seven Deadly Sins
03. The Heretics Will
04. Realm Of The Hungry Ghost
05. A Viral Evolution
06. Forged From Suffering
07. Abducted
08. Cidium
09. Bathed In Flames
10. These Cursed Eyes
11. LaLaurie's Chamber
Robert "Kool" Bell, co-founder of the legendary New Jersey jazz, R&B, soul, and funk group KOOL & THE GANG, spoke to The Morning Call about the band's seemingly unlikely support slot on VAN HALEN's North American tour, which kicked off on February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky.

"[VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth] saw our show in London last year for the big Glastonbury Festival and as they were putting together the VAN HALEN reunion tour, he went back to his camp and said, 'Hey, man, I'd like to have KOOL & THE GANG open up for us,'" Bell said.

"They kind of felt it was a little strange in the beginning, but David kind of said, 'Hey, I think it'll work because in the '80s, VAN HALEN was sort of like the rock party band and KOOL & THE GANG was the pop funk party band. He said [VAN HALEN's] audience is 60 percent ladies — and of course, with 'Ladies Night', we wrote a song for them. So it all came together."

When asked whether the combination has been successful so far, Bell said, "The beer-drinking VAN HALEN [fans] at the tour the other night, they came in and by the time KOOL & THE GANG finished 'Ladies Night', they were jumping up and down. So they might have been hardcore fans in the beginning, but it's all kind of working out."
Italian "melodic/math/death" metallers IGNITION CODE, who feature in their ranks members of SAWTHIS and THE JULIET MASSACRE, will release their debut album, "NewTek Lie", later this month through To React Records.

Formed in 2007, IGNITION CODE combines the bandmembers' "deep-rooted passion for complex tempo with sudden and apparently uncontrolled outburst, without setting aside their melodic and sometimes intimist side, all this under the direction of some influences such as MNEMIC, TEXTURE and IN FLAMES," according to the band's official bio. "The distorted idea of music coming out from this, it is melted with the continuous conflict between man and machine in which it is difficult to say who is the winner."


Alessandro Falà - Vocals
Sabatino Fossemò - Guitar
Marco Di Carlo - Guitar
Gaetano Ettorre - Bass
Guido Borraccino – Drums
Elizabeth Schall, the vocalist/guitarist for the Los Angeles-based progressive/melodic death metal act DREAMING DEAD, tells LA Weekly that her gender hasn't limited her despite the fact that comment sections of web sites like BLABBERMOUTH.NET are full of locker-room talk (or worse) whenever an article about a female metal vocalist appears on the site. "I think it's mainly just because I disregard it," she says. "I like to think I live in a world where my gender has nothing to do with what I am capable of doing. You go onto YouTube and see 13-year old girls shredding out on metal songs."

"I like to think we're to the point where your music speaks for yourself," she continues. "Nothing beyond a fad is going to come because you put your vag in a picture. The sincere metal fans can pick that apart."

"The metal scene feels like home to me. It's like when you live with your parents and siblings, you don't think of things like 'I'm a girl and I'm a guy.'"

DREAMING DEAD will release its sophomore album, "Midnightmares", on April 20. The follow-up to 2009's "Within One" "showcases DREAMING DEAD's ability to meld elements of black, death, thrash and Chuck Schuldiner-inspired progressive metal into one thought-provoking and intense sonic assault," according to a press release.

"Midnightmares" was recorded in part at DREAMING DEAD's home studio, with vocals, drums and mixing completed at North Hollywood's Architeuthis Sound. The cover artwork for the CD was created by renowned artist Travis Smith (OPETH, KING DIAMOND, DEVIN TOWNSEND).

DREAMING DEAD is working with directors Thomas Mignone and Peter Leininger (MORBID ANGEL, SEPULTURA, MEGADETH) on a video for the track "Corpse Mtn". Details on the video shoot are forthcoming.

"Midnightmares" track listing:

01. Wake
02. Midnightmares
03. Overlord
04. Corpse Mtn
05. In Memoriam
06. Lapse
07. Into The Abyss
08. Exile
09. Departure


Elizabeth Schall - Vocals/Guitar
Juan Ramirez - Bass
Michael Caffell - Drums/Vocals/Samples
Vocalist Carsten Scholz has left long-running German death metallers RESURRECTED for health reasons and has been replaced by Christoph Mieves (GRIND INC.).

Commented the band: "We all respect and understand [Carsten's] decision, as we know how much he suffered in the past months/years and how long he struggled with the decision to leave the band as a founding member and the distinctive voice of RESURRECTED. But you can for sure hear Carsten on the upcoming EP on the vocals; we're all very sad to lose him as a band member and one of world's best death metal voices. The position on the mic will be taken by our longtime friend Christoph Mieves from GRIND INC. who already did some live shows on the last Portugal tour with us. Chris is well known for his great death metal vocals and outstanding stage performance."

In other news, drummer Hazim Fouad has left RESURRECTED due his move to Bremen "which does not allow us continuous rehearsing with all band members what we're used to and what Hazim either thinks to be necessary for further songwriting and live rehearsing." Hazim will play his "Grindbye" show with RESURRECTED at this year's 10th anniversary of the NRW Deathfest. Going forward, RESURRECTED's drum duties will be handled by Dennis Thiele, who is described by the band as "a good friend and dedicated death metal maniac."


Christoph Mieves - Vocals
Dennis Thiele - Drums
Ben Bays - Bass
Thomas Granzow - Guitar

RESURRECTED released its sixth album, "Fierce", in 2009 via Metal Age Productions. The CD was recorded at Soundlodge studios in Rhauderfehn, Germany with Jörk Uken (GOD DETHRONED, OBSCENITY).
Los Angeles-based progressive death metal titans THE FACELESS have parted ways with guitarist Steve Jones and replaced him with Wes Hauch. Guitarist Michael Keene broke the news via Twitter, stating, "Farewell Steve Jones. We had a long ride, my brother. Welcome the amazing Wes Hauch to THE FACELESS. He is a shredder."

A short video clip of Wes Hauch "shredding" the axe can be seen below.

THE FACELESS parted ways with vocalist Derek Rydquist in May and replaced him with Geoff Ficco (KAMIKABE, ORGONE). Rydquist explained his decision to exit the band by saying that he was "no longer emotionally or artistically fulfilled by being the vocalist for the group."

THE FACELESS last re-signed with Sumerian Records. The band entered Keene's studio in March 2011 to begin recording its third album for a 2012 release. Keene described the band's forthcoming CD as "the most musical and progressive record we've made." He added, "Since recording 'Planetary Duality', the goals of THE FACELESS have changed a bit. You can still expect a fast, technical and blistering record, but I personally am less focused on a musical aesthetic and more on musicality and making an expressive, unique, moody and expansive record. Speed picking, flying double bass and skin melting guitar solos are certainly still in order. However, you can also expect more clean vocals with big harmonies, some unique instrumentation, dark moody passages, interesting keyboards, synth guitars, vocoder and sequenced segments. It's going to be the most focused and depressive FACELESS record to date."

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