[Classic_Rock_Forever] The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, Alice Cooper, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolvet, Van Halen, Vince Neil and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


The guitarist for the legendary rock group said last night that he and the band just want "to get the feel again"
Art work: Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood holds up one of his pieces
Ronnie Wood says the Rolling Stones will meet in a recording studio later this month "to just throw some ideas around".
The guitarist for the legendary rock group said last night that he and the band just want "to get the feel again".
He also added that the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary was like training for something big.
"It's like working out for the Olympics or something," Wood said. "You've got to go into training. So we're going to go into training."
Wood made the comments in an interview following a press conference for his exhibition, Faces, Time and Places, which features his own paintings.
"It includes pieces of him and his bandmates, as well as Muhammad Ali and Al Pacino.
Wood, 64, who said he first started painting at three, enjoys doing it because it is a reflection of his own ideas, unlike music, which he calls "a group effort".
Wood's week will get busier when he is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday as a member of The Faces, along with Rod Stewart. It will be the second induction for Wood. The Rolling Stones were inducted in 1989.
He will also perform a solo show at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on April 21.
When asked what fans should expect, he said: "Lots of surprises because I'm going to surprise myself. I don't know what the hell is coming next.
"The whole set list is going to be made up. I'm making it up every day now."
Wood says he would love go on a solo tour "if I had enough time, but I have too many commitments".
He also talked about possibly recording another solo album.
"Lots of people don't know I've made seven, 'cause most of my albums escape; they're not released," he said, laughing. "Keith (Richards) says they all skyrocket to oblivion."
The exhibit will close on June 30.
The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood has apologised to his bandmates after he was quoted as saying that the band will start recording new material this month.

The guitarist said last week that he and his bandmates would be hitting the studio to "throw some ideas around" in preparation for their 50th anniversary celebrations, but has now put paid to those reports and revealed he received a phone call from Mick Jagger demanding to know what was going on.

  Wood told Billboard: "I heard from Mick Jagger; he's going, 'What the hell?! We don't know anything yet!' And I said, 'you know what the media are like. I just expressed my personal view; I would love to go into the studio.' Then they took it all wrong".

The axeman then added that he felt compelled to apologise to the rest of the band for his comments, going on to say: "So I have to make a personal apology to the rest of the band. I didn't mean to say things out of line."

The Rolling Stones played their first ever gig in London on July 12, 1962, and had been expected to celebrate the half-century landmark by embarking on a world tour later this year, but last month (March 14) the band revealed that they would be delaying the celebrations until 2013.

Asked about what the band's plans were for their 50th anniversary, Wood replied: "We do have a 50th anniversary. Whatever is going to be done, we will know in the next few months."

The Rolling Stones most recent activity has been to re-release their classic 1978 album 'Some Girls'.
Mick Taylor will be performing live at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on May 9 through May 14, doing two shows each night.

Charlie Watts will be performing with his own band at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on June 29 through July 1. On July 2 he will play with The Les Paul Trio . Each of the four nights at the Iridium will feature two sets at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Presale tickets are on sale now exclusively to the Iridium's Facebook fans.
According to This Is Gloucestershire, Robert Plant and his new band the SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS will make their live debut on May 8 at the Gloucester Guildhall in Gloucester, England.

Commented Gloucester Guildhall programming and marketing manager Joe Schiavon: "It gives me great pleasure to announce LED ZEPPELIN frontman and award-winning solo artist Robert Plant will be performing an exclusive low-key warm-up show at Gloucester Guildhall next month. This is obviously a massive show for us, and we can't wait to host it."

SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS's lineup will include the former LED ZEPPELIN singer alongside members of his former backing band STRANGE SENSATION and regular collaborator Justin Adams.

SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS say they draw inspiration "from the roots music of Mississippi, Appalachia, Gambia, Bristol and the foothills of Wolverhampton."
"World domination"–two simple words that evoke visions of battles and conquest; of smoldering ruins and vanquished enemies; of being able to cut to the front of every line on the planet. Real power.
Whether seen as a goal or a lifestyle, "world domination" has been exhaustively explored in literature, yet never as boldly, crudely and hilariously as by guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde, founder of rock outfit Black Label Society, church-going Catholic boy and all-around inducer of mayhem. Wylde's new book, Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination delivers explicit, often jaw-droppingly graphic instructions for transitioning from fat-fingered guitar novice to flaxen-haired rock god, exploring everything from choosing the music you play to how to avoid being tea-bagged on a tour bus. Yes, tea-bagged.
Co-written by Snake River Conspiracy guitarist Eric Hendrikx, Bringing Metal to the Children delivers a loose and profane primer for succeeding in the music industry. On the practical side, Wylde discusses concerns such as building a home studio, the unique properties of various guitars and strategies for attracting the attention of a major label. This chapter alone is a must-read for any musician looking to score a record deal. For entertainment purposes only, Wylde pens a laughter-inciting sample letter to a record executive for fledgling bands to use, suggesting the following language: "I thought I knew excitement when my wife gave birth to our first child, but it paled in comparison to when I first heard our demo. We are fucking awesome."
Such profane hyperbole is the book's secret ingredient, with Wylde delivering practical insights in terms so blisteringly funny, and often so sexually-explicit, that the lessons cannot help but stick. In addition to Wylde's gut-busting banter, other musicians and recognizable figures populate the book with stories and commentary of their own.  Rob Zombie, Slash, Lars Ulrich and MMA fighter Forrest Griffin contribute war stories and advice columns, often turning on each other and Wylde with cutting barbs and eye-watering one-upsmanship.
Hendrikx plays an unusually prominent role in the literary melee. While most co-authors lurk behind the scenes, Hendrikx emerges in a series of side conversations with Wylde throughout the book, with Wylde regularly stepping out of the narrative to viciously mock Hendrikx via a series of "Notes from Zakk," accusing his co-author of having imaginary girlfriends and a noteworthy collection of Star Wars dolls. Few biographies so perfectly capture the essence of a group of buddies hanging out, swapping jokes and talking shit
Stories about his time playing with Ozzy Osbourne, who hand-picked Wylde as his new guitarist in 1987, stand tall among the highlights. There is also a multiple-choice test to gauge one's ranking in the Black Label Order (Bea Arthur being the highest), a set of mosh pit survival strategies and a ferociously funny section in the book's "Bonus Material" section, where Black Label Society bassist and perennial whipping boy John "JDesus" Deservio brutally skewers Wylde in a series of actual tweets exchanged between the men.
For musicians, rock fans and people who appreciate the fine art of taking the piss out of your friends, Bringing Metal to the Children thoroughly entertains on a number of levels. Beyond the drink-spitting humor, there are incisive discussions of the music industry that any up-and-coming band would be well-advised to read. Ultimately what grounds the book are the undercurrents of heart and sincerity that flow through Wylde's tales and that he summarizes in the Epilogue with disarming eloquence and humility.
I had a chance to talk to Zakk as he prepared for a monstrous week of awards shows, concerts and the release of his book. While I had prepared a series of esoteric and provocative questions about the music industry, songwriting and Zakk's storied career, almost all of them went out the window inside of the first two minutes. Sometimes when a guy picks up a head of steam, you have to just step out of the way and let him do his thing.
In the interests of fairness and of allowing all sides to be heard, we have included a surprise at the end of the interview.*

How's it going?

I'm doing really good, man. We've got the book signing tomorrow, getting ready for Ozzy rehearsals, and then we've got another book signing in New York, and then it's off to Black Label rehearsals over in Poland, and then it's eight weeks of doom trooping (touring) over in Europe.


You're rehearsing in Poland?

Yeah, it makes more sense. We get the Doom Crew over there and the band in the venue we're gonna be playing and then we rehearse there for a couple days. Otherwise we've gotta fly everybody out to L.A., and everybody's from all over the place. The majority of the gear's gonna be in Poland anyway because we've gotta ship it over there. That's why when people ask, "Can we get Black Label to do a one-off show?" I'm going, "Dude, do you have any idea how much it costs for me to do a one-off show?" Just to fly everybody in, get all the guys hotels, pay everybody, and now you're talking about shipping the gear over to somewhere like Chicago? They go, (nasally voice) "Well can't you do it for like five grand?" I go, "Dude, that's not even going to cover the guys' flights, let alone hotel rooms. Are you out of your mind?"

So what's the deal with Ozzy? What are you doing with him?

It's the "Ozzy and Friends" thing. (current and former Ozzy band members) Gus G., Blasko and Tommy (Clufetos) are coming out and doing a bunch of tunes, then I come out with Blasko and Tommy and we end up doing a bunch of stuff from the era when I was with The Boss, from No Rest for the Wicked all the way through everything I've ever done with him. Then Geezer (Butler, Black Sabbath bassist) comes out and we do a bunch of Sabbath stuff and at the end, Slash and everybody–Geezer, Slash, Gus–and we all play "Paranoid."

Jesus, there are going to be a lot of wet zippers by the end of that show.

(laughing) Exactly. Yeah, it's gonna be cool.

The way the book reads, it sounds like you,  Eric Hendrikx and all of the other contributors had a great time putting it together.

Oh yeah. It started last New Year's Eve. When we started going through the idea for the book, it was a combination of two things: it's all about my studio and technical stuff like gear, guitars…all I gotta do is add some scales in there. Then me and Eric started cracking up, right from the beginning, about me being like a Soldier of Christ, you know and having morals and caring about people and empowering people–not enslaving them–and you know, wanting other people to succeed, and being caring and sharing, unlike management, who's into Satanism, which is the number-crunching. (laughing) Eric and I were literally rolling on the floor, crying from laughing and just taking the piss out of everything.  Everything would always come back to management, you know, "As I looked out into the crowd, I saw a brotherhood, a gigantic family, a Black Label Family of Doom," whereas management looked at is as "Cash crops with legs," and retirement plans, 401(k)s… we were dying laughing. We realized, "This is the direction the book has to go in, man." Pure ridiculousness. Then me actually putting advice in there, like if I were eighteen years old again, what I would do. Stuff like that.

The stuff that you talk about regarding the music industry, like the letter that bands should write to record companies, is immensely practical, beneath all the humor. Did you intend the book to be just for musicians?

No, I guarantee you that a majority of guys that we know, if they read the book, they'll be crying laughing because they'll know what I'm talking about, but the book, to me, reads more like us sitting in a pub, just talking, you know what I mean? But it's the truth though, you know what I'm saying? I mean, you know this stuff, being in the magazine business, being around music and rock and roll and everything like that. Like I said at the beginning of the book, "Thanks to God and Jesus Christ for not only giving me this life, but for bestowing and blessing upon me the insane cast of characters that make up the music business." Everybody that I roll with, they're like cartoon characters. I mean, any one of us gets up and walks away from the table, you immediately start taking the piss out of them.


The amount of ball-breaking that you guys do might shock some people. I wonder if there will be some people who won't know what to make of how harsh you guys are toward each other.

Without a doubt. The section at the end with JDesus and the tweets, where everyone talks about how wonderful I am– JD's like, "Yeah, wonderful piece of shit!" (laughs) I'd always be sending him those things and he'd tweet back and I'd show you what JD wrote, like, "Here's the rebuttal," and you'd be dying laughing. I told Eric, "Dude, we gotta put JD's rebuttals in the book. These are priceless." We knew we had to print these–they were too good. And that's the way we roll on the road all the time. And the unique thing about Black Label is that everybody's having a good time. Like with GNR–whatever happened with Axl and Slash–that's the million dollar question, really. I mean, guys, just fix it. If you could get along, you could become the biggest band in the world again. But the thing is, I've never been in a band like that. All the guys we rolled with, everybody had a good time and it was what it was. I'm just saying that if Joe doesn't want to be in the band anymore because he wants to have a steady job and he wants to get married and be around his family all the time, I mean, we still keep in touch with Joe and see how he's doing. Just because he's not playing with us anymore, it's like, alright, what are we supposed to be pissed off at him? With Black Label it's a unique thing–everybody can come and go as they please, and everybody has a good time while they're here.  Life's hard enough already.

You make a good point with Guns N' Roses. They have all the reasons in the world to get back together, but they don't. As someone who's been around as long as you have, what's the one thing a musician can do to thoroughly and brilliantly fuck up their career?

Lemme put it this way: it's already enough of an ass-plowing to begin with. It's like I said in the book, if you're in Alice in Chains–if you're Jerry Cantrell–and that's the music you love and that's what naturally comes out of you and you love playing that stuff, that's what you gotta do. It's a long road whether you're in Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Boston or any band. The whole thing is that you might as well be playing what you dig playing, rather than being in some band where you're like, "Dude, I can't stand playing this." Then what are you doing it for, man? You know what I mean? Nothing for nothing, but whether me and you work in a McDonald's, there are still gonna be jerk-offs that are there that we can't stand, you know what I mean? You might as well pick something you really love doing.

Some of the stories are extremely raw and explicit. Did you have any problems being so open on the written page?

No, not at all. To me it's no different than me sitting there with someone, talking about shit that happened. To me, it's no big deal. I mean, there are certain guys I know that would never want to see stuff from their past like the old Ozzy pictures of me with the poufy hair. They'd say, "No way–I ain't signing those." It's like, dude, those things are golden! Are you kidding me, man? Those things are priceless! That's open season on taking the piss out of yourself right there. But were there any embarrassing things that I didn't want to talk about? It's like when we did the roast–anyone talking about my drinking or anything like that. Dude, I know some guys who'd say, "Well, so and so doesn't want to talk about the drugs or the booze," but, you know, it happened. It's kind of funny. I couldn't care less, man. No one's going to say, "Don't show any pictures of Zakk with the flaming hair." Dude, those pictures are hysterical!

You drop a ton of great Ozzy stories. He's always surrounded himself with uncommonly-talented people, from his band to his wife. What do you think is his greatest strength as a musician?

As a musician, hands down, he's the king of the melody. He's hugely influenced and inspired by the Beatles. But Ozzy's melodies–when he's hearing riffs–it's usually the first thing that comes out of his head and he starts singing. You're like, "Wow. That sounds great. That's a great melody." So as a musician, Ozzy always comes up with great melodies.

What about you? Every legendary guitar player has their signature in their playing, whether it's a lick, a tone or a technique. What's yours?

Inspiration, because people can hear me play and go, "Well, if this hack can make a living doing it, I can definitely do it." (massive laughter) What's my inspiration? I give people hope! "If this hack can make it, I certainly can. I thought the dream was over, then somebody played me some of Zakk's playing, and I realized I've got a long way from over. If this moron can make it, I know I can." (still laughing)

Near the beginning of the book, you say that from time-to-time, you pull "douchebag lead singer shit" with the band. What's an example of that?

You always hear guys like Eddie Van Halen say, "Yeah, that guy's got LSD–Lead Singer Disease." Or you hear the stories where the singer's always the biggest douchebag in the band, because without the singer, there's nothing–the show gets cancelled. Now, instead of me saying I'm a guitar player, now I can throw in the lead singer thing and have one of my pissy fits and act like a complete douche. Then JD and the rest of the guys have to say, "Well, he is the singer, if that's what he has to classify it as. He's the guy in the middle of the stage."

This is a personal question that's been on my mind. When you guys rolled through San Diego last fall with Judas Priest, I picked up a Black Label sweatshirt. My girlfriend now wears it–quite often and without permission–all the time. What are the rules on that?

Hah! (mockingly) What'd she do, steal your swag?

Yeah, not only will she steal my sweatshirt, but she'll ask me, "What's the name of this clothing line again?" Are there any rules about this?

(laughing)  No, just as long as she's still giving good food massages and shoulder rubs, peace shall be restored in the king's castle. She should wear whatever Black Label crap she wants to wear!

Any album plans in store for BLS?

Well, after this eight-week crusade (tour) we're going on now, when we get back from that we're doing the Unblackened thing in August, so we're looking forward to that as well. We're gonna film for a DVD.

We end these interviews with five either/ors. I'm going to give you five choices and you pick one and if you want to explain why, have at it.

Alright, cool.

Tom Coughlin or Bill Parcells?

Coughlin or Parcells? I'll stick with Coach Coughlin.

Eric Hendrikx or Mark Twain?

That's a no-brainer. Anything with Eric, you've gotta go the opposite.

Aerosmith in the Sevenites or Guns N' Roses in the Eighties?

They're both slammin', man. But I was there to witness GNR in the Eighties, so I gotta go with GNR, just because I was there. In the Seventies, I was just a little dude, so I didn't realize the greatness, but I'm sure if I'd have witnessed it, who knows?

Captain Kirk or Luke Skywalker?

Dude, that's a no-brainer. You gotta go with Captain Kirk, man.

Last one–shredding or sex?

Shredding or sex? Um… well, I combine both at all times. Like peanut butter and chocolate.

Thanks a million, man.

Thanks, Joe. Been a lotta laughs.
*We thought it only fair to invite co-author Eric Hendrikx, who endures heroic amounts of taunting throughout his own book, to deliver the valedictory comments for this feature. Many thanks to Eric for his time and input.

Commentary by co-author Eric Hendrikx

For the record, I do not walk around with my GI Joe dolls (safely kept in a glass box above my bed) hanging out my back pocket. Why would I chance losing my most valued possession while trekking about with my Black Label brother, Zakk Wylde? Speaking of Zakk, don't let that maniacal hessian fool you with his farcical endearment toward the pen-name that gave us Huckleberry Finn. The absolute truth is that Zakk is a huge fan of mine. FACT- Zakk originally wanted to write a book about me. But once we got a few lines into my story we realized the world wasn't quite ready for such a holy parchment to come forth and equalize all religions, all politics, and high school newsletters worldwide. We also came to the hard realization that such a book would probably only sell about five copies ("Thanks mom!"). So we dismissed the idea, put away Zakk's box of crayons (what few were left that he hadn't eaten), and gave the world what we truly believe is second best… Bringing Metal to the Children.
Over the past two years, Zakk and I got together as often as his touring/recording/American-Idol-performing schedule would allow. And after spending ample time going out to eat, posting photos of guitar legends in the studio, taking naps, drinking coffee, and any other procrastinatory duties we could drum up—we would jump into writing this volume of absurdity. Our goal was to publish something that really has never been done before—a complete ridicule of all that is known as the music industry, a comprehensive mockery of ourselves, and record-setting list of ways to describe Zakk's sexual prowess with his wife ("invading her baby womb with his crotchal mjollnir").
But the end goal was not solely to prove our own idiocy. We wanted to educate young aspiring Berzerkers worldwide to not take the music business too seriously. And to understand that most of the people involved in making music business decisions are not musicians. We suggest a number of alternate ways, in today's musical climate, to carve their own paths and create a career in music. "Play what you love," as Zakk says, "and what moves you."
We really hope everyone enjoys reading this book as much as we enjoyed writing it. Everything inside comes from a place of friendship, joy, passion and creativity—and fueled by enough Valhalla java (Zakk's secret blend of coffee – one heavy cup of brew topped with a couple of shots of freshly ground espresso) to reenact the Industrial Revolution. And if that isn't enough to get you to purchase a copy, then maybe we'll send Zakk over to your house to beat the money out of you. The choice is yours.
Legacy will release "Playlist: The Very Best Of Alice Cooper" on May 29. The collection features remastered tracks from Alice's catalog. No further details are currently available.

As previously reported, a new book spanning the career of Alice Cooper will be published on June 13 in the U.K., and September 1 in the USA via Omnibus Press. Titled "Welcome To My Nightmare: The Story Of Alice Cooper", it is written by Dave Thompson, who has many rock books under his belt.
 METALLICA is among the artists who will headline the 2012 edition of Outside Lands festival, set to take place August 10-12 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Also scheduled to appear are Stevie Wonder, NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE, Skrillex, Jack White, FOO FIGHTERS, Beck, SIGUR RÓS, FUN., JUSTICE, Norah Jones, THE KILLS, OF MONSTERS AND MEN, ALABAMA SHAKES and GRANDADDY.

Billing itself as "the world's only gourmet music festival," Outside Lands pairs music with wine and food. The event's producers will donate a significant portion of every ticket sold will directly benefit San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department. In addition, the festival will offer over 100 food and wine options including organic, kegged wine; food trucks and local vendors from over 50 local restaurants. Likewise, Wine Lands will celebrate over 30 of the region's wineries.

Tickets for Outside Lands go on sale on April 19.

For more information, visit www.sfoutsidelands.com.
"Mission To Lars" is an uplifting documentary feature film about Tom Spicer, a learning-disabled man who, with his siblings help, goes on a transatlantic quest to find his much-obsessed-over hero, Lars Ulrich of METALLICA.

Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, a sort of autism. All he's ever wanted is to meet Lars. After 20 years and 10,000 times of asking his journalist sister, Kate, when he was going to meet Lars, she finally cracked. This is a film that looks beyond disability, and uncovers the soul of a very cool guy.

Kate and filmmaker brother, William, break Tom out of his care home in Exmouth, and hit the road, from Bristol, to Heathrow, to Los Angeles, to Las Vegas and beyond.

"Mission To Lars" was made by William Spicer and James Moore. Both were veterans of music and brand promos, but complete movie novices.

"We had this fantasy of hitting the road with Tom and recreating some of the magic of our teenage years cruising around in £100 cars, eating Burger King and listening to heavy metal on the tape deck," says Kate. "We thought it would be fun, bonding. We wanted to do something good for our brother. We were also sick of him endlessly asking."

It doesn't take long before the hoped for dream becomes a nightmare as Tom's disabilities, the dysfunctional family, and METALLICA's labyrinthine backstage world thwart the Mission at every turn.

At a fingernail destroying screening last summer (the night before METALLICA headlined Sonisphere festival), the Spicer family showed their film to Ulrich. The "Mission To Lars" production team squirmed with anticipation: would he like it? Yes, he liked it.

"Mission To Lars" is already garnering admiration, The Financial Times' Antonia Quirke had this to say: "I loved this film. More of a classic quest film than a documentary. It's so touching and open-hearted, and has so many magical moments. It feels really epic."

The film has three goals: entertainment, awareness raising and fund raising. All profits go to Mencap, and the film has charity status. In raising money for the film, the producers also raised over £25,000 for Mencap. The film's cinema release is being used as an outreach opportunity with talks and events following every screening. Many people, from color graders, sound mixers, Bob Dylan, screening rooms and the production assistant have given their talent and/or time for free. Kasabian donated stuff for them to sell to raise money, Huey from FUN LOVING CRIMINALS put them in touch with some text book tour managers to try out their blagging skills on, although the scary looking dudes backstage at METALLICA's show turn out to be loving pussy cats.

"Mission To Lars" has a small theatrical release through Picturehouse cinemas in the U.K. in June, but profits will continue to be paid to Mencap for as long as the film has a life, DVD, international sales, etc. Mencap have been closely involved in the making of the film. Their belief is that the film, in an entertaining and universally understood way, tells the story of the confusing family dynamics around learning disability, and portrays Tom as a complex and likeable character, and not as someone one sees first as learning disabled and everything else second.

Mike Lindsay from Tunng scores, and the soundtrack includes Bob Dylan, Devendra Banhart and BLUR.

The film is giving all profits to charity and everyone has donated time and music for free.

For more information, go to www.missiontolars.com.
METALLICA, in conjunction with U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, today announced they will be publishing a special edition of METALLICA's So What! magazine called "Metallica The 30th Anniversary Event". This special edition commemorating METALLICA's 30th-anniversary celebration that took place at San Francisco's iconic Fillmore Theatre in December 2011 will hit newsstands nationwide on May 14, will be available on Metallica.com and can be pre-ordered now at this location.

"I couldn't think of a cooler way to round out the first 30 years than how the Fillmore week played out in December," said METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich. "And I can't think of a cooler way to start off the next 30 years than immortalizing that unique, incomparable and unforgettable week in magazine form, our first So What! edition to leave the confines of our fan club."

"This is an incredibly exciting partnership," said Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas. "METALLICA's 30th anniversary shows were history in the making, and the chance to work with So What! — easily one of the metal world's best-loved and respected fanzines — was simply too good to pass up."

"Metallica The 30th Anniversary Event" will be a 132-page magazine featuring exclusive live and behind-the-scenes photos from the four historic nights at the Fillmore Theatre, post-Fillmore interviews with all four members of METALLICA, a few of the fan favorites who joined the band on stage — including Brian Tatler, Sean Harris, King Diamond, Dave Mustaine, and Rob Halford — and a look behind the scenes on how the shows came together. The issue will also feature an exclusive seven-inch vinyl single of "So What!" and "Through The Never", recorded during four shows last year complete with a souvenir picture bag.

Commented METALLICA: "We've always been incredibly proud of our little publication, So What! magazine, that is sent to all fan-club members every three months and is now in its 19th year of existence.

"As we were putting together the first issue of 2012 commemorating our 30th anniversary celebration at the Fillmore Theatre in December of last year, we realized that the upcoming issue was looking so special, so unique and so unprecedented that we really should make it available to share with all our friends around the world.

"Now, we know that we're breaking the rules here — So What! is for fan-club members only — but we figured since we make the rules, we can occasionally break 'em!! So for the first time ever, we are printing a special limited edition newsstand version of the magazine in collaboration with Metal Hammer, who has joined us for our new adventure."
Less than a week after announcing that he would not attend the GUNS N' ROSES' induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland and declining to be inducted along with the rest of the group, the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, has issued a follow-up statement thanking fans for their "overwhelmingly positive response and support" for his decision to sit out the ceremony.

The unedited statement reads:

"To: Cleveland, Ohio, Guns N' Roses Fans and everyone who's shown support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

"I seriously didn't plan on or expect the overwhelmingly positive response and public support for my decision regarding the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. With such a generous outpouring of solidarity from fans, media outlets, writers and other artists, I'm truly humbled, blown away and unbelievably relieved! To be honest, I thought it would go the other way and was just hoping to weather the storm. As I said, I sincerely didn't want to disappoint anyone. It gets old being the outlaw even if 'it's only rock and roll.'

"It took a lot of focus and soul searching to be sincere and informative while making a genuine effort to be somewhat diplomatic. We made, what I feel, are real efforts to learn about the Hall and the Board, spoke as I said with the president and various members, and though I inducted Elton John and Bernie Taupin in '94 saying something to the effect of 'I'm learning what the Hall's about...'

"I still don't exactly know or understand what the Hall is or how or why it makes money, where the money goes, who chooses the voters and why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially 'rock' enough to be in the Hall?

"This isn't an attack. These are genuine issues I don't have enough verified information on to have more than rough ideas. Certainly not enough information to make any judgments about.

"I would like to apologize to Cleveland, Ohio for not apologizing to them beforehand for not attending [the ceremony] in their city. I think they know how much I genuinely love performing there. Cleveland does in fact Rock!!

"Now that the smoke's cleared a little, any desperate, misguided attacks have been just that, a pathetic stab at gossip, some lame vindictiveness, the usual entitlement crap, he's obsessed, crazy, volatile, a hater. I once bought a homeless woman a slice of pizza who yelled at me she wanted soup. We got her the soup. You can get your own.

"Again: HUGE thanks to the fans and to everyone for the incredible public support. My congratulations to the other artists inducted. And my apologies to the city and people of Cleveland, Ohio. I hope you'll forgive me and we hope to see you again soon!

"Keep Rockin',


"Unlike my open letter to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N' Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern this was written for GNR's official website, Facebook account and my personal Twitter account and not intended as a press release. If anyone does choose to pick this up as has been done previously I'd appreciate if you'd run in full including this paragraph so as not to give a partial picture, have things taken out of context or to imply or inadvertently give the impression this was intended for other outlets.

"Thanks in advance. Peace."

For this past Saturday's (April 14) Rock Hall induction performance, GUNS N' ROSES founding guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler were joined by drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke for three songs — "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City" — from the band's classic 1987 debut, "Appetite For Destruction". Providing vocals in the absence of Axl Rose was Myles Kennedy, the singer for ALTER BRIDGE and Slash's current solo band.

Sorum played drums for "Mr. Brownstone", while original drummer Adler took over for the other two songs.

In addition to Rose, who announced last week that he would not attend and was not accepting his induction, other missing members included original guitarist Izzy Stradlin and longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who still plays in the current version of the band.

GUNS N' ROSES were inducted by GREEN DAY, who performed to open the evening's festivities. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in his induction speech, "The first time I saw GUNS N' ROSES on MTV I thought, one of these guys could end up dead or in jail . . . The thing that set them apart from everyone else is guts, heart and soul. And most importantly, they told the truth and painted a picture of the mad world that they lived in."
Eagle Rock has set a May 25 release date for "Let It Roll - Live In Germany", a new concert DVD from VELVET REVOLVER. The disc was filmed at the Palladium in Cologne, Germany in March 2008 for the legendary German TV series "Rockpalast". The concert was near the end of the tour for their second album "Libertad" and came just a few days before the band went on hiatus following the departure of singer Scott Weiland. The set draws heavily on the "Libertad" album but also features tracks from their debut album "Contraband" and covers of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and GUNS N' ROSES tracks.

"Let It Roll - Live In Germany" track listing:

01. Let It Roll
02. She Mine
03. Do It For The Kids
04. Just Sixteen
05. Big Machine
06. American Man
07. Vasoline
08. The Last Fight
09. Interstate Love Song
10. Patience
11. She Builds Quick Machines
12. Get Out The Door
13. Fall To Pieces
14. It's So Easy
15. Set Me Free
16. Mr Brownstone
17. Sex Type Thing
18. Slither

VELVET REVOLVER reunited with Weiland for a one-off performance at the January 12 "Love You Madly: A Concert For John O'Brien" at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. The band played a four-song set — including a cover version of the PINK FLOYD classic "Wish You Were Here" — at the event, which paid tribute to award-winning ASCAP composer John O'Brien, who was found dead in his Chicago hotel room last August.

Weiland reunited with his original band, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, just as his run with VELVET REVOLVER was coming to a close. STP has toured constantly since and recorded a new album in 2010.

VELVET REVOLVER has still not found a replacement vocalist and is more or less on hiatus, although it was revealed that the group recorded an album's worth of material with STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor.
This weekend, former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for his role in the band. He also vowed not to talk to the press about the group again. However, he might be breaking his word at some point in the future if he gets his way. It turns out Matt is working on a movie about GN'R. He told VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner about what's happening.

"I've talked about doing a screenplay and that's actually something that I'm in talks about with a couple of pretty big people," he said. "The only problem with that is figuring out how to work out the music situation. But if you look at rock and roll movies, they've never been done right. The only ones that I actually thought were decent was THE DOORS movie I thought was decent and I liked the Johnny Cash film. If you look at any of those other kind of traditional rock flicks like Mark Wahlberg and 'Rock Star' and all those, they're all kind of dumb, like '80s, butt-rock, Sunset Strip."

Sorum, who joined GUNS N' ROSES in 1990 following the dismissal of Steven Adler, also explained why he thinks a film about his old band would be compelling.

"If there was a film about GUNS N' ROSES, the thing about GUNS N' ROSES that was different than all the butt rock bands in Hollywood was that it was down and dirty and punk rock and real," he said. "As much as anyone wants to say they want to try to lump it in with hair metal, it never was because it was a different kind of energy even though it came out of that hair metal period. The energy was on the undersurface. There was a much sort of more street, dark undercurrent happening that could be great on film."

For the Rock Hall induction performance, GUNS N' ROSES founding guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler were joined by Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke for three songs — "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City" — from the band's classic 1987 debut, "Appetite For Destruction". Providing vocals in the absence of Axl Rose was Myles Kennedy, the singer for ALTER BRIDGE and Slash's current solo band.

Sorum played drums for "Mr. Brownstone", while original drummer Adler took over for the other two songs.
BullyVille.com, the Internet's first anti-bullying social web site and media platform, has announced a partnership with DJ Ashba. Ashba, the lead guitarist for GUNS N' ROSES and SIXX: A.M., who has also worked with other influential artists such as MÖTLEY CRÜE, DROWNING POOL, Marion Raven, Aimee Allen and Neil Diamond, recently used BullyVille.com himself to reveal his struggles coping with being bullied as a child by his own father.

In a statement to the press upon signing his partnership deal in Las Vegas, Ashba, who was raised in rural Fairbury, Illinois, said, "I've had my fair share of struggles growing up in a small town trying to make it as a musician, but I want other kids and teenagers to know that they are not alone and that anyone can do, and more importantly, be anything they want... I'm living proof!"
BullyVille founder James McGibney said, "I know for an unequivocal fact that with DJ Ashba's voice and passion, he will help spread the important message of anti-bullying and make it a more prevalent issue within communities around the world. BullyVille is the first anti-bullying website bringing individuals and celebrities together online to share their bullying stories and offer support."

BullyVille.com's mission statement: "BullyVille has only one purpose: to help you get past your past. Our team of professionals and celebrities can help you recover from the negativity that has been inflicted upon you, even if you've buried it. We can provide the tools to help you heal, and give you the confidence to leave your anger behind. And it doesn't cost a penny. Haven't you already paid enough? If you came to BullyVille because you're being bullied, you've come to the right place.

"For starters, you are not alone; almost every person on this planet has been bullied at one time or another. Whether the damage has been physical or emotional, it has probably left you with indelible scars that need healing. This is the first web site of its kind, where people like you can turn these experiences around, learn from each other and heed advice from the experts who can give you the help you need to put the pieces of your life back together. Check out the 'bullied celebrities' section of our web site, and see how those making headlines have used their horrific experiences to put out the fires burning inside them. Let their inspirational stories of help and healing motivate you to move your own life forward. Your story might even be able to help someone else going through it."
The Hon. Gary A. Feess, Judge of the United States District Court sitting in Los Angeles, California, has entered a default judgment against Rick and John Brewster of the seminal Australian rock band THE ANGELS for their wrongful appropriation of eleven songs written by Alan Niven, a songwriter and the former manager of GUNS N' ROSES and GREAT WHITE. Niven had also briefly managed THE ANGELS, securing them their last major label deal in the United States. The Court found that the duo's acoustic side project, the BREWSTER BROTHERS, had wrongfully used Niven's compositions, some of which were released in three different versions. The judgment also applies against Flashpoint Music Pty Ltd., a music publisher associated with Harry Vanda, the famed producer of AC/DC's early work.

The Court awarded damages for sales through Apple's iTunes service and issued an injunction against any further sales of the compositions in the United States by the Brewsters. The Court further ordered that Rick Brewster return to Niven two guitars wrongfully in his possession, one of which was used in the GREAT WHITE video "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". Finally, the Court ordered that the Brewsters and Flashpoint pay attorneys' fees and costs to Niven's attorneys, Karish & Bjorgum, of Pasadena, California.

Niven, who originally hails from New Zealand and now resides in Arizona, said: "I am delighted that the United States courts have seen fit to recognize and uphold my rights in my songs, and that the Judge has sent the message that it is not acceptable to appropriate the intellectual property of others, or wrongly profit thereby.

"I sincerely hope the Court's judgment stands as a warning to the Brewsters as regards their business practices. Dealing with them has caused me, for over ten years, much unpleasantness, stress and strain. I look forward to moving forward and putting them permanently well behind me in the rear view mirror."

Niven's attorney Eric Bjorgum said: "I am very happy that Mr. Niven can put a stop to the distribution of these recordings in the United States and that he can move forward with this unique body of work. The Court's ruling required that it grapple with some esoteric issues of international law, and we feel the Court struck the appropriate balance between respect for the Defendants' Australian domicile and protection of Mr. Niven's property."
Former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum has released the following statement:

"Dear friends and fans of GUNS N' ROSES,

"I am releasing this statement to bring closure to the night's events at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and to all things GUNS N' ROSES. This will alleviate numerous press statements and interviews about the subject, which I have already addressed on my Twitter.

"In these last few months since getting notice about being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, many emotions and feelings have gone through my head and heart, as well as the original five members of GN'R: Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steven. I was also chosen to be inducted, along with Dizzy Reed.

"It was slightly awkward for me in some ways knowing some fans have the original five in their hearts for a reunion. I chose to say to Slash and Duff, 'Please have Steven play, and let me know what you would like me to do.'

"Two days before the event. Axl made his statement known. And it was apparent he wouldn't be attending. In respect to him, that is his decision and should be honored. Also, Izzy declined. So I suggested Slash call Gilby, who was left out of the proceedings. Gilby was a member of the band and contributing to the 'Use Your Illusions' world tour, which took us around the globe for three years, as well as playing guitar on 'Spaghetti Incident' and 'The Live Era' albums. It felt like the right thing to do.

"In fairness to the rest of the original lineup and myself, we decided to go ahead and attend. This is an honor that is once in a lifetime and couldn't be missed, especially for fans of the band. To us, it was honoring them as well. Regarding playing live, we agreed that we would share the stage together, joined by Myles Kennedy as guest singer, who did a fine job filling big shoes. Steven graciously offered 'Brownstone' and played two other 'Appetite' tracks, and I sang and joined him near the kit on 'Paradise City'.

"It felt perfect for all involved.

"In my speech, I made references to drugs and Steven being dismissed from the band, in which I referred to, 'How could someone be fired from GUNS N' ROSES for doing too many drugs??'

"It was meant to be light-hearted. But knowing the struggles Steven has endured all these years. I felt I needed to clarify that Steven was onstage, healthy, and ready to rock.

"It is well known that the rest of the band has endured addiction and alcoholism and at this point in our lives, we are all healthy and sober.

"Not to make light of drugs and alcohol… we were all full-blown addicts when the band split. What started out as a party and what we believed was part of the makeup of the band turned on all of us in the end.

"Many years of soul searching and reconnecting with our inner selves have brought glorious gifts: VELVET REVOLVER with millions of records sold and a Grammy, Steven with his new band, and more. We are now all playing music and making records on our own that is truly what we love, before any of the business of music came into play. The music has always been the passion, before anything else.

"Steven's passion for GN'R is something that no one can explain but him: it's a true love gone, but never forgotten. How many people have felt that in their lifetime?

"I told Steven and the rest of the guys the night of the induction that night was for them and what they created on the streets of Hollywood, and it can never be taken away. The music will live on. And that's what counts. Not about who was there at the induction. That the music will always be theirs and no can ever take that away.

"Also, I have much respect for my former band, THE CULT. And all the musicians I have played with over the years. They have all taught me so much.

"I also need to thank my dearest and closest confidante, Ace Harper, who is my fiancée and has made me a better man. She has walked beside in times of darkness, and has been there for me when all the stage lights and backstage parties were over.

"This is where life is for all of us now survivors of a rock and roll era you will never see the likes of again: Married men Slash with two wonderful boys, Duff with two beautiful girls, Steven happy with a beautiful wife.

"Life is good, my friends…we are alive! God bless the fans of GN'R.

"Long live rock and roll."

For the Rock Hall induction performance, GUNS N' ROSES founding guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler were joined by Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke for three songs — "Mr. Brownstone", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City" — from the band's classic 1987 debut, "Appetite For Destruction". Providing vocals in the absence of Axl Rose was Myles Kennedy, the singer for ALTER BRIDGE and Slash's current solo band.

Sorum played drums for "Mr. Brownstone", while original drummer Adler took over for the other two songs.

In addition to Rose, who announced last week that he would not attend and was not accepting his induction, other missing members included original guitarist Izzy Stradlin and longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who still plays in the current version of the band.

GUNS N' ROSES were inducted by GREEN DAY, who performed to open the evening's festivities. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in his induction speech, "The first time I saw GUNS N' ROSES on MTV I thought, one of these guys could end up dead or in jail . . . The thing that set them apart from everyone else is guts, heart and soul. And most importantly, they told the truth and painted a picture of the mad world that they lived in."
According to Greg Prato of RollingStone.com, VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Dave Kushner has launched an "animated" rock band called PUSHERJONES, featuring "The Simpsons" creative director Dave Warren, singer Frankie Perez (CAMP FREDDY, SCARS ON BROADWAY), bassist Scott Shriner (WEEZER) and drummer Joey Castillo (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE). The group's first single, "Count Me Out", will be released on May 1. The song, which is included on "Avengers Assemble", a 14-track compilation of music from and inspired by the film "Marvel's The Avengers", is currently available for streaming at RollingStone.com.

Kushner describes PUSHERJONES' sound to RollingStone.com as "a cool riff-rock thing. We're all influenced by everything from ZEPPELIN and SABBATH to newer bands," he says. "A lot of it has been based on different stuff that has happened to me or stuff I've heard being in VELVET REVOLVER for eight years. It's basically about a big, notorious rock band, and there's a new guy that's coming into the band. You're basically seeing all of the dysfunction and insanity, and the things that make for great rock bands through the eyes of the new guy."

Co-creators Kushner and Warren currently have a TV pilot for the "PusherJones" animated series and a music video in development while the band is putting the finishing touches on an as-yet-untitled five-song EP, to be released in early summer 2012. "

"Dave and I had a mutual love of music and animation and wanted to mash up the two," explains Kushner. "We asked ourselves, what if the GORILLAZ were more like GUNS N' ROSES? We took it a step further and merged a real band and music with a fictional storyline and characters that are entertaining, relatable and funny. The music, art and the story has to co-exist in the same world while being able to kick ass on their own."

Co-creator Warren adds, "Kushner has all these amazing, crazy stories about growing up in Hollywood, working at Tower Records and eventually touring the world with VELVET REVOLVER. We'd get together and swap stories about the music and television worlds and laugh our asses off. We realized this is our own life story, our experiences in the crazy world of show biz and we started to imagine this 'South Park On The Sunset Strip' idea which became this imaginary band from Hollywood called PUSHERJONES."
A rare interview with VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen is featured in the May 2012 issue of Esquire magazine, out on newsstands now. You can also check out the magazine's online feature on Eddie at Esquire.com.

Speaking about "the whole alcoholism thing," Eddie said, "It wasn't really the partying. It was like — I don't mean to blame my dad, but when I started playing in front of people, I'd get so damn nervous. I asked him, 'Dad, how do you do it?' That's when he handed me the cigarette and the drink. And I go, 'Oh, this is good! It works!' For so long, it really did work. And I certainly didn't do it to party. I would do blow and I would drink, and then I would go to my room and write music."

He added, "You know, people say with that twelve-step program you will succeed. I disagree. When they say, 'You can't say, I will never drink again,' I can honestly say I will never drink again. It's a whole new world. I'm fifty-seven years old and I know I'm not going to live to be 114, so I can't say I'm halfway done. It's a sullen truth, but this is the first record I've made sober. There's a certain place that you have to get to where things just flow, and I have to say that when I drank and did blow, it might have created a false sense of getting there easier. I'm not comparing myself to all these famous artists in history, but you know, everybody, guys like Mozart, they were all alcoholics. And it does somehow enable you to lower your inhibitions. At the same time, it also gives you a false sense that what you're doing is great. Now I'm so aware of everything that sometimes I'm afraid to pick up my guitar."

VAN HALEN's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", is the band's first full-length offering with original singer David Lee Roth since "1984" was released in January 1984.

Roth exited the group in 1985, a year after its "1984" album was released.
VAN HALEN has added 18 concerts to its highly successful 2012 North American tour. The newly added dates begin July 7 with an encore performance at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Second shows have also been added in the Detroit and New York/New Jersey areas, as well as Philadelphia. Ky-mani Marley is the opening act for all added concerts. The full itinerary can be found below.

Tickets for the newly announced shows go on sale beginning April 20 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com. Tickets for all other shows are available now.

VAN HALEN's 2012 North American tour, produced by Live Nation, has confirmed a total of 61 stops throughout North America thus far with additional dates to be announced.

VIP packages will also be available through VIP Nation, including premium seats, exclusive merchandise and more.

For more information, visit www.VIPNation.com.

Newly added VAN HALEN tour dates:

Jul. 07 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
Jul. 09 - Hampton, VA - Hampton Coliseum
Jul. 11 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
Jul. 13 - E. Rutherford, NJ - IZOD Center
Jul. 15 - Baltimore, MD - 1st Mariner Arena
Jul. 17 - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena
Jul. 19 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
Jul. 21 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
Jul. 24 - Toledo, OH - Huntington Center
Jul. 26 - Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena
Jul. 28 - Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena
Jul. 31 - Fort Wayne, IN - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Aug. 02 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
Aug. 04 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson Boling Arena
Aug. 06 - Memphis, TN - FedExForum
Aug. 08 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Arena
Aug. 10 - Greenville, SC - BI-LO Center
Aug. 12 - Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena

VAN HALEN's video for the song "She's The Woman" can be seen below. The track comes off the band's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", which sold 187,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart.

"A Different Kind Of Truth" is the band's first full-length offering with original singer David Lee Roth since "1984" was released in January 1984.

Roth exited the group in 1985, a year after its "1984" album was released. According to Billboard.com, "1984" spent five weeks at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 — VAN HALEN's highest charting set with Roth. (1996's "Best Of Volume 1" hits album, which included two new songs with Roth, debuted at No. 1 with 233,000 sold in its first week.)

VAN HALEN's other four other No. 1s were their four studio albums with Roth's replacement, Sammy Hagar: "5150" (1986), "OU812" (1988), "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (1991) and "Balance" (1995).

VAN HALEN's previous all-new album, 1998's "Van Halen III", debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard chart and was certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies, a disappointment compared to their previous platinum efforts.

"She's The Woman" originally appeared on the 1976 demo, produced by KISS bassist Gene Simmons, that got VAN HALEN their record deal with Warner Bros. It was left off the group's 1978 debut but has been resurrected for the new disc.
Hard rock zealots threw up the horns in a major fashion last month. The announcement of this summer's co-headlining tour by KISS and Mötley Crüe made the ground quake for a moment or two. The iconic bands have been in cahoots on and off for about 30 years, and their 2012 concert connection is an event that has rockers everywhere scrambling for tickets.
The Mötley men – Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee - recently enjoyed accolades for their extended stint at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel. Singer Neil is a resident of the city; he also recently opened a strip club named Girls, Girls Girls in town. We connected with Vince for a chat about how KISS – these days consisting of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer – and the Crüe have had a mutual admiration society going on for awhile now.
VEVO: So it's been a while since the two bands worked together.
VINCE NEIL: Yeah, in 1982, actually. It was Mötley Crüe's very first tour.
Do those days remain vivid for you?
We only did like five shows, but for us that was the first time we got a tour bus, first time we all traveled like that together, the first time we played big places, first time opening up for a big band – it was a lot of firsts for us.
Now that you have so much experience, do you look back at that time in a romantic way? Young men storming America with some high-powered rock 'n' roll?
It was great. You know it was KISS's "Creatures Of The Night" tour, when they had that big tank as the drum riser. We had no money back then; we were just young and our set was a drum riser that me and Tommy built, and we put up a bunch of sticks and placed skulls on them, ha ha! It was cool, but very low budget. We were absolutely thrilled though, because we had looked up to KISS for years.
That's actually my next question. They were one generation in front of you guys. Do recall being a teen, and first coming across them? What did you think?
Just like any other kid in high school I wore the KISS tee-shirts, the whole thing. I happened to live in Southern California, and they were putting out a movie [KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park]. I think I was 16, and they wanted extras, so I stood in line for hours to try to be in that movie. But they got enough people, and I wasn't able to do it; I got turned away with about two thousand other people. But yeah, we've been KISS fans right from the start. Last year Mötley was playing Philadelphia, and we had a night off, and KISS was playing in Jersey, so I took my tour bus over and watched them. It was a great show.
What did you think of their make-up as a kid?
It was definitely cool. It wasn't scary, it was something different. Plus they had great music, they had great songs.
Tell me a couple of KISS songs that hit you at first, and still stay with you these days.
When I was in my very first band, Rock Candy, we did covers. "Strutter" was one of them, and "Rock and Roll All Night," too. But "Strutter, I loved that. Still love it, actually.
How did the two-band tour idea come about?
Well, I saw Gene and Paul recently, and we talked about it; I don't even know where the idea came from, but it was just a great idea. We all said "Absolutely, this is cool, and it was good to see everyone together at the press conference the other day. A couple nights before, Nikki and Paul went out to dinner, too. Yeah we've been friends for 30 years.
Okay, let's talk Mötley. You guys are coming off an extended run in Vegas, which is where you live. Was it everything that you hoped it would be?
You know for me it was really awesome, because I got to go home at night. Just being in a situation where you didn't move the band at the end of the show was fun. The crew didn't have to set everything up and tear everything down. The first night was a little rough because things didn't work perfectly, but it was good by the third show, and everything worked perfectly, everybody hit their cues after that. Hopefully we do it again sometime.
There are parallels between Mötley's image and the Sin City vibe of Vegas, of course. You guys fit right in there. Do you think they resonate together?
Well, Vegas is all about shows, it's all about extremes, and extreme entertainment, and that's what Mötley Crüe has  always been known for.  People from all over loved it. It was great because it was like touring, because it was such a transient city; I always asked the crowd who was from out of town, and two thirds of the place would always yell and raise their hands… (laughs) You can basically tour the world while staying in that city!
What Mötley songs does the audience react strongest to?
All of them, because they're all hits, you know? We've got 30 years of songs. People love the old stuff, and the hits. They know all the songs.
You guys may be trendsetters with this.  There have been news pieces where journalists say you're kind of breaking the mold, because traditionally we associate Vegas entertainment with an old guard version of entertainment. But you guys are opening the door for other artists of your generation.
You'd hope so. The thing is that the bands that do it would have to be a visually oriented; you can't just put some band from the 90s that just sits there and wears their jeans and a fucking sweatshirt on stage. You know it's gotta be more to it. It can't just be a band there, there has to be a band that goes up there and puts on a huge show – or else it's not going to work. And there's only a few bands that could do that… KISS would be one of them, and maybe Ozzy, too.
If you don't arrive with a spectacle, don't even bother showing up.
Tell me a little bit about your new club, Girls, Girls, Girls.
I've been going to strip clubs all my life, and Motley is associated with strip clubs, so it kinda made sense to get involved. We're having a grand opening on April 13th. We had a little soft launch the other night. It's just girls and rock music, you know? Most strip clubs have house music, hip-hop and stuff like that. We just don't do that. This place is rock and roll, period. I tell the DJ, "This I what I want," and we're rolling. Kind of a no-brainer.
Frontiers Records has set a June 5 North American release date four days earlier in Europe) for "Nine", the third album from Norwegian progressive metallers CIRCUS MAXIMUS.

Five years after the release of the concept album "Isolate", CIRCUS MAXIMUS is back with what is described in a press release as "a strong and mature CD."

"A lot happened in our personal lives during the past few years," explains drummer Truls Haugen. "Three of us had kids, plus we also had a several bumps in the road with the production. So it has not exactly been a joyride, but it feels great to finally be done, and after all this time we are ready to unleash our new monster!"

CIRCUS MAXIMUS worked hard to further refine its sound. The band's musical formula is not easy to accomplish — take jaw-dropping musicianship, add a singer like Michael Eriksen with a voice from heaven and toss it together with hooks, anthemic melodies and enough groove and heavy riffing that really gets into your head.

For this new record, CIRCUS MAXIMUS presents the best of both worlds — offering their most melodic and at the same time heaviest moments of their repertoire, with class and maturity which is really from another world.

"The majority of the material on the new record was written by Mats Haugen and he has taken the music to a kind of simpler and more accessible approach, yet kept the progressive elements and the 'nerve' that is CIRCUS MAXIMUS," says Truls. "We're actually more melodic and heavier on this new record than we've ever been."

"Nine" track listing:

01. Forging
02. Architect Of Fortune
03. Namaste
04. Game Of Life
05. Reach Within
06. I Am
07. Used
09. The One
10. Burn After Reading
11. Last Goodbye

"Reach Within" will be released as a digital single on April 27. A video for the song is also in the works.
EMPIRES OF EDEN — the brainchild of PAINDIVISION/ex-DUNGEON guitarist Stu Marshall — will release its third album, "Channelling The Infinite", on June 1 in Japan through Rubicon, and on June 6 in rest of the world June 6 through Music Buy Mail. The CD features guest appearances by some of the most influential voices in metal, including:

* Udo Dirkschneider (ACCEPT, U.D.O.)
* Sean Peck (CAGE)
* Carlos Zema (OUTWORLD, VOUGAN)
* Danny Cecati (EYEFEAR, PEGAZUS)
* Louie Gorgievski (CRIMSONFIRE)
* Vo Simpson (DARKER HALF)

Loaded with 12 tracks of brain-blasting power metal, "Channelling The Infinite" features killer production and powerful, hook-laden music that will appeal to any aficionado. Each song is carefully crafted specifically to suit the singer involved, and designed to best complement their range and style. From there, the vocalists have complete freedom to write the lyrics and melodies, providing a unique insight into what truly inspires these artists. It is also available as a limited-edition digipak that includes bonus tracks for each territory.

In addition to the spectacular vocals, face-melting lead breaks and riffs that could take on a nuclear arsenal. EMPIRES OF EDEN once again showcases the incredible cover art by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Ruiz.

Commented Marshall: "I am overwhelmed by the power and emotion of the vocal performances that these amazing singers have brought to the album. It's pushed my playing to levels I never thought possible and has created the most well-rounded release I have ever been involved with. Writing for these incredible artists is a dream come true and the finished product has actually exceeded my expectations. Every song is filled with a passion and spirit that immediately grabs the listener; I am very excited for people to hear this album."

"Channelling The Infinite" track listing:

01. Cry Out (feat. Rob Rock)
02. Hammer Down (feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
03. This Time (feat. Steve Grimmett)
04. Channelling the Infinite (feat. Sean Peck)
05. Lions For Lambs (feat. Alessandro Del Vecchio)
06. Cyborg (feat. Carlos Zema)
07. World On Fire (feat. Louie Gorgievksi)
08. Your Eyes (feat. Mike Dimeo)
09. Born A King (feat. Danny Cecati)
10. As Flames Scorch The Ground (feat. Vo Simpson)
11. White Wings (feat. Ronny Munroe)
12. Hammer Down (all-star version) (feat. Udo Dirkschneider, Rob Rock, Sean Peck, Carlos Zema, Vo Simpson, Ronny Munroe) (bonus track)
13. Born a King (feat. Sean Peck) (bonus track)
Drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD), bassist Billy Sheehan (STEVE VAI, DAVID LEE ROTH), guitarist Tony MacAlpine (neo classical-metal style, STEVE VAI) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) will join forces this fall, embarking on an extended tour of Europe and Asia. The virtuoso band will play an all-instrumental set consisting of material from each of their solo records and their previous collaborations as well as classic instrumental covers and extended solo spots.

Portnoy formed the lineup to perfom at two drum events at the NAMM show last January (footage below). Due to overwhelming response, that band has decided to take their show on the road.

"I knew when assembling this lineup that it would be a magical musical experience that would be a blast for us as well as the fans! I can't wait to play again with these tremendous musicians and share the experience with you all at these special shows!" says Portnoy.

The dates are as follows:

Oct. 17 - [to be announced] - Opole, Poland
Oct. 18 - [to be announced] - Wroclaw, Poland
Oct. 20 - Jukebox Club - Bucarest, Romania
Oct. 21 - Boerderij - Zoetermeer, Holland
Oct. 25 - Reading 3 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Oct. 26 - Bingo Club - Kiev, Ukraine
Oct. 27 - Izvestia Hall - Moscow, Russia
Oct. 28 - Glav Club - St. Petersburg, Russia
Oct. 31 - [to be announced] - Beijing, China
Nov. 02 - [to be announced] - Shanghai, China
Nov. 04 - [to be announced] - Taipei, Taiwan
Nov. 06 - [to be announced] - Manila, Philippines
Nov. 08 - [to be announced] - Bangkok, Thailand
Nov. 10 - [to be announced] - Fort Gate, Singapore
InsideOut Music has set a September 24 tentative release date for "Epicloud", the next album from Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend to be released under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT banner.

"Epicloud" is a "poppy, proggy" record which will feature a guest appearance by former THE GATHERING frontwoman and previous Devin collaborator Anneke Van Giersbergen.

Anneke, who recently recorded her vocals for "Epicloud" at Devin's studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wrote in a Facebook posting, "Mister Devin Townsend is a genius. I cannot tell you how awesomely fantastic his album will be. Epic! Epic! Epic! And he made me do 20 hours of the loudest and most gorgeous vocals I've ever done."

Townsend debuted a song from "Epicloud" called "Back Where We Belong" during an acoustic performance this on March 31 at Club Saw in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as part of this year's Junofest.

The idea for "Epicloud" came about while Devin was attempting to write material for the follow-up to his 2007 "Ziltoid The Omniscient" concept album about a fictional extraterrestrial being named Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9.

In a recent interview with Soundwave TV, Devin stated about how "Epicloud" was conceived, "In this sort of process of writing that I've discovered that I guess I'm capable of now, with a sober frame of mind, part of that is just not second-guessing it, so if I write something like that, I just do it, and just finish it."

He continued, "Over the past couple of years, I thought, 'OK, I've gotta write this next 'Ziltoid' thing; I'm inspired to make this epic space opera and, like, really overdo it, and [make it] really dark. And so I sat down to write, but every time I went to write, I'd write some poppy hard rock thing. And I was like, 'OK, we'll get that one out of the way and then I'll write 'Ziltoid'.' And I got it out of the way and I'd go write 'Ziltoid'. And I'd write another one. So I'm thinking, 'OK, it's pretty obvious to me that I've got this that wants to come out before that.'"

Regarding the musical direction of "Epicloud", Devin told Noisecreep, "Over the course of the full record, there's sort of new agey stuff, jazzy stuff, really heavy stuff. We basically cover the gamut. 'Epicloud' is the first record that I felt confident enough to include all those things on one record so it goes between melodic hard rock to schizophrenic heavy metal to country to really ambient stuff and it's all in one place. I'm using a gospel choir, a string section and a horn section for this one as well. On [the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT album] 'Deconstruction', I got to use the Prague Philharmonic [orchestra] and really go far into making an absurd album as over the top as possible and on 'Epicloud' I'm trying to take the same advantages to make some things musically very pleasing, as opposed to just claustrophobic."

"Epicloud" will contain the following tracks:

* Taurus
* Animals
* Liberation
* Back Where We Belong
* Save Our Now
* Kingdom (re-recording of PHYSICIST song)
* Divine
* Grace
* More!
* Heatwave
* Hold On
* Angels

On the topic of his decision to re-record "Kingdom", a song from his PHYSICIST album, which came out in 2000 on Townsend's label, HevyDevy Records, Devin said, "We re-did 'Kingdom' because it's a live set staple, and so much better now than the PHYSICIST recording."
Poly-instrumentist Ettore Rigotti and screamer Claudio Ravinale from DISARMONIA MUNDI (the Italian death metal act known for the presence of Björn "Speed" Strid from SOILWORK on its ranks) have joined forces with guitarist Elliot Sloan (also known for being a professional skater in the Tony Hawk team) in a brand new band called THE STRANDED. Keyboard player Alessio NeroArgento was subsequently added to the lineup.

THE STRANDED's debut album, "Survivalism Boulevard", is scheduled for release on July 2 via Coroner Records, while the Japanese version, featuring an exclusive bonus track, will hit the stores via Media Factory.

"Survivalism Boulevard" is described in a press release as "a modern combination of powerful extreme elements such as feral vocals and fast riffing mixed with more melodic and catchy moments provided by emphatic choruses and industrial keys."

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Blood Like Gasoline
02. Only Death Can Save Us Now
03. Blackout Season
04. Ill Will Future
05. Sulphur Crown
06. Eclipse
07. Carnival Shroud
08. Post-Human Archetype
09. National Breakdown
10. Survivalism Boulevard
Massachusetts metallers THE ACACIA STRAIN have inked a deal with Rise Records. The band's new album will be released in October.

THE ACACIA STRAIN's "The Impaler" video can be viewed below. The song comes off the band's latest CD, "Wormwood", which sold around 6,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 67 on The Billboard 200 chart.

THE ACACIA STRAIN's previous effort, "Continent", opened with 5,600 units to land at No. 107.

"Wormwood" was recorded at Planet Z Studios in Hadley, Massachusetts with Chris "Zeuss" Harris (HATEBREED, CHIMAIRA, SHADOWS FALL) handling producing, mixing and mastering. The CD features three guest vocalists — HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta, 100 DEMONS' Bruce LePage and Kyle Chard of BORN LOW.

THE ACACIA STRAIN released its first live album in June 2011 via Prosthetic Records. "The Most Known Unknown" is a double-disc set, limited to 5,000 copies, which came out just in time for the band's first appearance on the long-running Vans Warped Tour. The music on the album comes from two separate shows — a sold-out concert at the Worcester Palladium in December 2008 and a gig at the much smaller and more intimate Waterfront on the band's home turf of Holyoke, Massachusetts — which were documented on 2009's "The Most Known Unknown" DVD.
Norwegian metallers PURIFIED IN BLOOD have inked a deal with Indie Recordings. The band's new album, "Flight Of A Dying Sun", will be released in Europe on June 15.

Commented the group: "Needless to say, we are extremely proud to be a part of the Indie family. We play metal and why not release our heaviest album on the finest metal label around which happens to be a Norwegian one. This is the beginning of a new era for PURIFIED IN BLOOD."

In Norway, the "Flight Of A Dying Sun" digital release of will happen through a unique cooperation between Indie Recordings and Universal Music.

PURIFIED IN BLOOD's "Under Den Svarte Himmel" video can be viewed below. The song comes off the group's sophomore full-length album, "Under Black Skies", which was released in June 2010 via Spinefarm Records. The CD was produced by Ashley Stubbert (a U.S. producer/engineer/mixer who moved to Norway two years ago) in the band's hometown of Stavanger, and mixed by Matt Bayles (MASTODON, ISIS, BOTCH) in Seattle.

Since first coming together in 2003, PURIFIED IN BLOOD has toured throughout Europe and the U.S., shared stages with the likes of SLAYER, MASTODON and IN FLAMES, and picked up the occasional award along the way (i.e. the Alarm award for "Best Live Act" in 2006).
Brazilian metallers ALMAH have announced the addition of 34-year-old guitarist Gustavo Di Padua to the group's ranks.

Di Padua (pictured below) is a professional guitarist and music producer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started his musical career playing with various local bands when he was 14.

Gustavo released his first solo CD, "The Stairs", in 2008 and was a member of such metal bands as GLORY OPERA, AQUARIA and ENDLESS. He was also one of the finalists in the worldwide Guitar Idol 2008 contest.

Di Padua will make his live debut with ALMAH on April 20 at the Metal Open Air festival in São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil.

Guitarist Paulo Schroeber recently left ALMAH"due to health problems."

Schroeber recorded two studio albums with ALMAH, "Fragile Equality" (2008) and "Motion" (2011).

<"Motion" was released in Europe in October 2011 via AFM Records. The CD was recorded in May-June 2011 at Norcal Studios in São Paulo, Brazil and was mixed and mastered in July at Split Second Sound Studios in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES).
httTHE BLACK LOCUST PROJECT, the Norwegian band featuring former THEATRE OF TRAGEDY drummer Hein Frode Hansen, ex-THE CREST guitarist Kristian Sigland, and TO CAST A SHADOW guitarist Marcus Granlien, has made its debut demo available to the general public. There are two versions available: a limited-edition hand-numbered physical CD (limited to only 50 copies), and a free digital copy with MP3s and printable cover artwork (not handnumbered).

THE BLACK LOCUST PROJECT's demo features the following four tracks: "Gallows", "We Remain Strangers", "Funeral Pyre" and "Wounded Sky".

THE BLACK LOCUST PROJECT was formed in late 2010 after the demise of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. The music can be described as a mix of progressive rock, industrial, doom, death and thrash metal with melodies.
Norwegian avant-garde black metal outfit VULTURE INDUSTRIES has inked a deal with Season Of Mist. The band is currently writing and recording demos for its forthcoming album.

Commented vocalist Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen: "We have sold our collective souls to the record company known as Season Of Mist... we are sure Season Of Mist has the musical integrity for a thriving relationship and we have pledged them the release of our next album."

Based in Bergen, and with two critically acclaimed releases on Dark Essence Records under their belts, VULTURE INDUSTRIES' lineup is composed of Bjornar Nilsen (BLACK HOLE GENERATOR) on vocals, keyboards and programming, Øyvind Madsen (SULPHUR, ex-ENSLAVED) and Eivind Huse (SULPHUR) on guitar, Kyrre Teigen on bass and Tor Helge Gjengedal (ex-TAAKE) on drums.

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