During a brand new interview with RollingStone.com, legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) spoke about what it felt like to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame without singer Axl Rose, who refused to attend the ceremony and be inducted with his former bandmates.
When asked if he ever considered just not going to the induction ceremony, Slash said, "My whole thing was that I really, in my heart of hearts, wanted to have the whole original band get together and actually perform, which I sort of knew was wishful thinking. When the whole thing first came up, that's basically what I wanted to do. It became apparent that that wasn't going to happen. I was like, 'Oh fuck,' and I was sort of disillusioned with the whole thing, but there was that commitment that was sort of made that I was going to go, and I thought Axl was still going to go, and it wasn't until the last minute that I heard that he wasn't coming, and that's when we all decided we were just going to go ahead and play anyway. Early on, when it was probably more confusing than necessary, I have to admit, I was like, 'Oh fuck, I don't really want to go to this if we're not going to play,' though I never said, 'No, I'm not going to go.' But it was sort of a black cloud for a few months there. Before that I thought we were just going to show up and not play, which is what I was resigned to."
In addition to Axl Rose, who announced earlier in the month 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.
For the Rock Hall induction performance, 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".
When asked at which what point they decided to play at the ceremony, Slash told RollingStone.com, "It was literally two days before the actual ceremony. The day that the press release came out and Axl said he wasn't coming, we had the [Revolver] Golden Gods awards, and it was in the dressing room there that Duff and I talked. We said, 'OK, we're just going to fucking get together and play,' and Duff goes, 'We should get Myles [Kennedy from ALTER BRIDGE and Slash's solo band].' I was talking to Duff about who was going to sing, I thought Duff would sing, him and Gilby, but Duff said, 'What about Myles?' It hadn't occurred to me, really. I talked to Myles about it, he was apprehensive about getting put in that position, so at first, he turned it down, but finally he said, 'OK, I'll do it.' We got it all together and we put together a little rehearsal the night before and did our thing."
In a separate interview with RollingStone.com, Adler said that he'd finally given up hopes for a GN'R reunion and wanted to move on with his life. He also said was is the last interview he would ever give about Axl. "He showed his true colors to the world," the drummer said. "I'm done with him, I'm never mentioning him or talking about him again. . . I feel blessed and thankful that he was a part of my life for that chapter of my life, but that's it. That's it. I have no desire to know him or work with him or do anything with him again. Letting go of that was like a huge weight was lifted off my body. I feel fucking free."
Regarding the prospect of a classic GUNS N' ROSES reunion at the Rock Hall induction, Slash said, "I didn't have any illusions or delusions of GN'R getting back together for anything. I maybe tried to see it happen for this one particular event, I didn't have high hopes for that, I didn't feel confident it was going to happen, but having done this one gig, and for the event itself, when it was all said and done, it really felt like closing the book on the whole thing."
Rock 'N' Roll Allstars, an 11-piece supergroup comprised of Gene Simmons of KISS, three former members of GUNS N' ROSES, Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW) and many other big names in rock history, has released the following statement:
"Rock 'N' Roll Allstars regret to inform our fans that the shows we had scheduled in Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Venezuela have been cancelled. An incredible effort was made to work with local promoters to bring our show to the fans but they made it impossible for us to do so. We are saddened that we will not be coming to Central America and will do everything possible to ensure that our fans receive refunds for all tickets purchased. We are in South America and just had amazing shows in Paraguay and Argentina where thousands of fans came to hear the hits of GUNS N' ROSES, KISS, DEF LEPPARD and more. The show in Lima, Peru [on April 27 at Jockey Club] is still on sale and the band is still playing this show. Thank you for your support and we hope to see each and every one of you soon."
Rock 'N' Roll Allstars played a special club show this past Sunday night (April 22) at Teatro Vorterix in Buenos Aires, Argentina as part of its tour of South and Central America. The band blazed through an abbreviated ten-song set that featured the biggest hits from all the musicians involved, including DEF LEPPARD's "Pure Some Sugar on Me", KISS' "Rock and Roll All Nite", SKID ROW's "Youth Gone Wild", along with GUNS N' ROSES' "Welcome To The Jungle", with Sebastian Bach singing.
The setlist was as follows:
01. Welcome To The Jungle (GUNS N' ROSES cover)
02. Youth Gone Wild (SKID ROW cover)
03. Highway Star (DEEP PURPLE cover)
04. Wildflower (THE CULT cover)
05. Rebel Yell (BILLY IDOL cover)
06. Shine (COLLECTIVE SOUL cover)
07. Tie Your Mother Down (QUEEN cover)
08. Pour Some Sugar On Me (DEF LEPPARD cover)
09. I Love It Loud (KISS cover)
10. Rock And Roll All Nite (KISS cover)
Comprised of musicians from some of the biggest bands in recent rock history, the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars is a live show unlike any before. Bandmembers include:
* Gene Simmons (KISS)
* Joe Elliott (DEF LEPPARD)
* Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW)
* Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL)
* Billy Duffy (THE CULT)
Promoter Gabe Reed hosted a press conference on March 1 at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California to officially announce the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars tour. Also attending the press conference were Simmons, Sorum, McKagan, Clarke, Bach and Hughes, among others.
"This is going to be a great time, a time for us to pay tribute to the fans," Simmons said. "This is an important honor to step on sacred holy ground with a project like this, and all of it is for the fans. It harkens back to the old days of rock and roll, the 'Legends Of Rock' when Chuck Berry, Little Richard, all of them got together to put on the best show possible for the fans. . . We're trying to follow a great trend in rock and roll, and we're going to have a great time. So stay tuned."
Commented Bach: "For me to be the singer in Gene Simmons' first-EVER side project is amazing to me! Dreams come true, indeed. If you would have told me when I was a boy that some day Gene Simmons, Glenn Hughes and myself would be in a band together, my reply would have been, No, we will not,' and I would have been wrong, haha!! We are gonna rock the best of KISS, DEEP PURPLE, GUNS N' ROSES, SKID ROW and DEF LEPPARD!"
Added Hughes: "It's going to be quite a spectacle. For me, this collective of rockers is a fan's dream come true. It's a great lineup with players from a lot of great bands."
"We'll play all the biggest hits from each band," Sorum, who is one of the tour's organizers, said. "It's going to be a good time. The hits will keep coming."
"If you look at who's been doing something a long time, if you look at who is still around, they're usually the best guys to hang with," McKagan said. "I wasn't the easiest one to get into the camp, but this is going to be great."
For more information, visit www.rnrallstars.com.
A limited-edition VAN HALEN seven-inch vinyl single of the song "She's The Woman" will be available for free starting Friday, May 4 with the purchase of the band's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", at participating record stores around the country.
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.
THE CULT's film clip for their new single, "For The Animals", from their forthcoming "Choice Of Weapon" album, reflects the socially and economically divided world that we find ourselves facing.
"'For The Animals' is a metaphor for people existing in a realm outside of structured society and what cultural editors deem to be relevant," explains THE CULT's lead singer Ian Astbury. "It could be the feral punk rock kids squatting in abandoned homes or the spirited individual who has little regard for social conventions. It's for people who choose not to tow the party line or try to fit in. It's for the free-thinkers who are creative and dynamic."
With the film clip, THE CULT has captured the rising tensions and frustration of a growing group of disenfranchised youth. The provocative clip, from visionary director Michelle Peerali and starring hot young actress Hanna Mosqueda as the lead character, portrays the 19-year-old protagonist transforming from a lost and abandoned youth, overwhelmed by the state of the world large and at her own poor economic status and broken family at home, into an empowered strong woman who finds her inner strength in the end.
In the film clip, we see the lead character navigate a chaotic world looking for an answer only to realize in the end that what she was looking for all along was within her the whole time. "She realizes that the only solution for change is actually within her. It's about her self-awareness, inner strength, and waking her internal life, realizing she has to take command of the situation and has the power to break through," says Astbury, who appears in a cameo role along with band mates Billy Duffy (guitar), John Tempesta (drums), and Chris Wyse (bass). "In the end, she finds others who feel the same way. The message being, 'if you feel you don't fit it, it's okay. There are others out there. The tribe is there.'"
As Astbury sings in "For The Animals", the song and film clip is "for all the fucked up children staring down the barrel of a gun," a real and metaphorical image, the social, economic, and environmental cards this generation of youth has been dealt. It's a theme that is put into sharp focus by an aware Astbury on the band's new album, "Choice Of Weapon", due May 22 on Cooking Vinyl.
"Your choice of weapon can be anything you use to deal with your world. It could be self-knowledge. I think we're at a crossroads, as individuals and as a society, to define our intentions in life. What do you choose to do with your life? What do you need to really flourish? How do I not get stuck being a slave to convention? And as the character in the film clip writes on the wall, 'How many more ways will they find to reinvent boredom?'"
These are just some of the observations THE CULT shares in "For The Animals" and on "Choice Of Weapon".
Gibson has introduced the Zakk Wylde Vertigo Les Paul which exhibits a playful new twist on Zakk's trademark "bullseye" graphics, with a vertigo-inducing "twisted bullseye" that creates an optical illusion that's nearly as powerful as the music that you'll make with it. The Zakk Wylde Vertigo Les Paul features all the traditional tonewoods and craftsmanship that have made the Les Paul a legend, along with Zakk's preferred specs for optimum playability, and his choice of kicking EMG active humbucking pickups for unparalleled output and sustain.
To craft the body of the Zakk Wylde Vertigo Les Paul, Gibson USA starts with the timeless pairing of a solid Grade-A maple top and a mahogany back, which work together to blend sonic depth, richness and clarity. The mahogany body uses traditional weight relief which retains resonance while reducing overall weight. A solid one-piece, quarter-sawn Grade-A maple neck is glued in with a traditional mortis & tenon joint, and carved to measure .818" at the 1st fret and .963" at the 12th. It is finished in natural satin for a comfortable, played-in feel, and topped with a Grade-A maple fingerboard with Zakk's preferred custom fret wire. In addition to the striking Vertigo graphic atop a natural finish, and the back's contrasting Ebony Black finish--all in genuine nitrocellulose lacquer — the Zakk Wylde Vertigo Les Paul carries several Custom-style appointments such as 7-ply top binding, 5-ply back binding, multi-bound headstock with acrylic inlays. Furthermore, the back of the headstock displays a black Zakk silhouette decal, and the entire run will have a unique sequential serial numbering from "ZWVTO 001" on up.
The Zakk Wylde Vertigo Les Paul is powered by Zakk's choice of an EMG-85 humbucker in the neck and an EMG-81 humbucker in the bridge, partnered by independent volume and tone controls for each, and a three-way selector switch. These active humbuckers are the first choice of many thrash, shred and metal players, and they yield unparalleled output and sustain for utterly demolishing neck pickup tones and incendiery bridge tones, yet with impressive clarity and a frequency response unmatched by any other pickup available. It all stays locked and loaded in the hardware department with the classic pairing of Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, along with a set of high-quality Grover tuners with kidney buttons.
Each guitar comes protected in a plush-lined hardshell case with black exterior, and includes owner's manual and adjustment literature, along with Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 customer service.
* Mahogany body with Vertigo "Bullseye" Maple top
* Mahogany neck with Zakk's rounded profile
* EMG-85™ and EMG-81™ active humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge
* Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece
* Grover™ kidney tuners with 14:1 tuning ratio
* Pricing and availability: $3,799
According to a new Facebook posting by guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER, "writing for the next DT album officially commenced while in Osaka [Japan] the other day." He adds, "Jet lag seems to open up one's creative channels."
When asked why new DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini was not involved in the writing sessions for the band's last album, 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", Petrucci told The Aquarian Weekly, "I decided to do it this way because I wanted to make sure that we were able to focus on DREAM THEATER's core compositional elements and sounds without a new person coming in. Whatever that Mike might have brought to the table, I thought it was too early to kind of bring in somebody that we didn't really know at all, as far as their compositional abilities."
He added, "I've been writing this music forever and just felt comfortable in that kind of environment. When you can focus on just guitar, keyboards, bass and our singer is there, it's just a more intimate environment and you're not trying to integrate somebody else and feel them out. I just kind of wanted to eliminate that whole process. I mean, it could have been great, but I was more comfortable doing it this way for this album at least.
"At this point, [Mangini has] been in the band for [more than] a year, we've already done a [couple of] tour[s] with him, we're gonna have completed another full world tour, we have a chance to jam with him during sound checks and sit with him — we'll know him way better. I think it'll make more sense to bring him into that process for sure."
DREAM THEATER has annouced a second North American leg of a world tour in support of its acclaimed and globally successful album "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" (Roadrunner). The progressive hard rock icons, who've sold in excess of 10 million records and DVDs worldwide, will launch their summer dates June 15 in Rochester, New York and wrap July 21 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The tour includes stops at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey plus a two-night engagement at the Paramount Theater on Long Island, New York.
Joining DREAM THEATER, starting June 16 in Columbus, Ohio and for the rest of the tour, is special guest CRIMSON PROJEKCT featuring Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph. They'll be performing the songs of progressive rock legends KING CRIMSON.
DREAM THEATER's new album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", sold 36,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 8. The band's previous CD, 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", opened with 40,000 units to land at No. 6. This was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by its predecessor, "Systematic Chaos", which shifted 36,000 copies in 2007 to enter the chart at No. 19. 2005's "Octavarium" premiered with 27,000 copies to debut at No. 36.
DREAM THEATER was among the nominees in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category at the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON will take part in a meet-and-greet on May 1 at Scrape Records in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
MASTODON has just released a split seven-inch single with Canadian singer-songwriter Feist to celebrate Record Store Day. This very exclusive and highly anticipated pressing features MASTODON covering the Feist song "A Commotion", while Feist covers MASTODON's "Black Tongue".
MASTODON is currently taking part in a spring North American tour in support of their latest album "The Hunter", which was released by Reprise Records in September. The tour kicked off on April 4 in Portland, Maine, and will visit more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada before wrapping up with a hometown show at Atlanta's Masquerade Music Park on May 12. These shows feature an amazing night of powerful music featuring a dream bill with Swedish metal band OPETH as co-headliners, with special guest GHOST providing support on all dates.
MASTODON was among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band's Grammy nomination was for "Curl Of The Burl", the first single from MASTODON's new album, "The Hunter".
MASTODON received its first Grammy nomination in 2006 for the single "Colony Of Birchmen", from the band's Reprise Records debut album, "Blood Mountain".
"The Power Within", the new album from British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE, sold 5,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 74 on The Billboard 200 chart.
DRAGONFORCE's previous CD, "Ultra Beatdown", opened with 24,000 units back in September 2008 to land at No. 18.
DRAGONFORCE has just returned to North America for a spring tour. This outing marks the band's first trek with brand new singer Marc Hudson, who also makes his recorded debut on "The Power Within".
The tour kicked off April 21 at the annual New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts and will make several stops on the East Coast before winding through Canada and into the Midwest before wrapping out west on May 11 in Anaheim, California.
"The Power Within" was released in the U.K. on April 16 via the band's own Electric Generation Recordings, distributed by Essential Music.
Guitarist Herman Li recently stated about "The Power Within", "The last two years have been the most fun we ever had making an album. Through writing, jamming and touring together, we have built this incredible energy and it has been fully captured on the new album.
"This time around we've really brought our metal side to the surface and made some of the best music of our career. From the fastest song we've ever recorded ['Fallen World'] to the slower songs, and some things you would never expect from us, this is by far the most diverse DRAGONFORCE album yet."
Li added, "This is an exciting new era for DRAGONFORCE with Marc joining the band, so we figured this was an ideal time to take full control of our own destiny and establish our own record label for Europe. It's all hands on deck running it, but a great buzz!"
"The Power Within" track listing:
01. Holding On
02. Fallen World
03. Cry Thunder
04. Give Me The Night
05. Wings of Liberty
06. Seasons
07. Heart Of The Storm
08. Die By The Sword
09. Last Man Stands
10. Seasons (acoustic version)
There is also a digital and vinyl version featuring bonus tracks "Cry Thunder (Live Rehearsal)", "Heart of the Storm (Alternative Chorus Version)" and "Avant La Tempête (Instrumental)", plus an exclusive box set featuring:
* CD Version
* Access Code for Bonus Material plus
* DF Flashlight/Bottle Opener,
* Set of 6 DF Beer Mats featuring band cartoons by bassist Frédéric Leclercq.
BARONESS, the Savannah, Georgia-based quartet whose two prior releases ("Red Album" and "Blue Record") were awarded record of the year honors from both Revolver and Decibel magazines as well as repeatedly placing on year-end best of lists from Pitchfork and Village Voice, return with a new album titled "Yellow & Green" on July 17 via Relapse Records.
"Yellow & Green" reunites BARONESS with "Blue Record" producer John Congleton (EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, ST. VINCENT, XIU XIU) following both the band's busiest period (multiple worldwide tours including stops at Coachella, Bonnaroo and Soundwave) and most luxurious year, having taken nearly all of 2011 off to freely write and demo for the 2CD/LP album.
"Yellow & Green" track listing:
Disc 1:
01. Yellow Theme
02. Take My Bones Away
03. March To The Sea
04. Little Things
05. Twinkler
06. Cocainium
07. Back Where I Belong
08. Sea Lungs
09. Eula
Disc 2:
01. Green Theme
02. Board Up The House
03. Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)
04. Foolsong
05. Collapse
06. Psalms Alive
07. Stretchmarker
08. The Line Between
09. If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry
The cover artwork can be seen below.
"We had been on tour for eight years, and we decided to take a break from our adventure to dig our heels in at home and write a new record," explains John Baizley, frontman for the band and the artist responsible for BARONESS' now-iconic album art. "We spent the entirety of the past year dedicating ourselves to the new album. Without the break from touring and the time we took to rest and reflect, we would have been entirely unable to write this new record. We have become re-inspired. Now it's time to get back out on the road."
Baizley also recently spoke with Alternative Press regarding the recording of "Yellow & Green".
BARONESS will embark on their first tour dates since 2010 as they join MESHUGGAH for a spring trek across North America, previewing material from "Yellow & Green".
BARONESS is John Baizley (guitars, vocals), Pete Adams (guitar, vocals), Allen Blickle (drums) and Matt Maggioni (bass).
Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI have recruited a new drummer following the passing of Tonmi "Otus" Lillman in early February. The new member's character's name will not be revealed yet and he will be simply called "the drummer" for now. The mask and the costume are kept to the minimum, but enough to fit him visually into the band for the upcoming shows.
Commented LORDI mainman Mr. Lordi: "We don´t want to introduce a new character yet, because we feel it is still way too close to the time when our drummer Otus passed away. Making any kind of fuss about a new member would simply be too disrespectful. However, we need a drummer in order to play. And since we are LORDI, no one will ever perform in the band as himself, without a character."
He added, "So, the new drummer does have a mask and his costume is more than a t-shirt and jeans, but this is not the outfit of the actual character yet. We could say he is in disguise. The name and the look of the character will be revealed at the same time when the whole band comes out with new costumes and masks. This happens traditionally before a new album comes out."
There are no official photos of the new drummer yet and there will likely be no pictures released before the character is officially introduced.
LORDI's new drummer will make his live debut with the band on May 5 at the Metalitalia.com festival at the Live Music Club of Trezzo Sull'Adda (Milan), Italy.
Members of LORDI always wear masks at interviews and have declared their desire for their personal identities to remain private. Therefore, Lillman's status as a member of LORDI had never been publicly acknowledged until his death in February.
Lillman joined LORDI in October 2010 as the replacement for Kita, who was fired from the band after he "made a decision to pursue his own career publicly as himself [under his real name], without his alter ego Kita." LORDI explained at the time that revealing a member's true identity was "in direct conflict with one of the cornerstones of LORDI's image. Therefore it is not possible for [Kita] to continue as a member of the band anymore."
GREAT WHITE lead guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow and guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Michael Lardie have fired back at the group's estranged singer, Jack Russell, after Jack filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates claiming that they kicked him out of the band and stole the group's name while he was recovering from surgery to repair a perforated bowel.
Kendall, Desbrow and Lardie filed a 30-page counterclaim yesterday in a federal court in Los Angeles accusing their former frontman of, among other things, "miss[ing] 80 performances in 18 months" before leaving the band; "irreparably damag[ing]" their "market reputation" by putting on performances that "are not up to the standard of GREAT WHITE; and misleading the public by stating that the musicians in Jack's new band — which is performing under the name JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE — "were once full members of GREAT WHITE." They also accuse Russell's new bandmates of "profit[ing] from their wrongful affiliation with the GREAT WHITE brand."
Excerpts from Kendall, Desbrow and Lardie's counterclaim:
"Russell has stated that he was GREAT WHITE's creative director. In fact, [former manager] Alan Niven was the band's creative director from 1982-1995. He got the band signed to major label deals. Between 1985 and 1995, Niven wrote some of the music, most of the lyrics and, with Lardie (and sometimes Kendall), produced all the band's records. During this period, GREAT WHITE achieved its greatest commercial success.
"At the height of his powers, Russell had a strong voice. He was noted for an ability to sing almost exactly like Robert Plant from LED ZEPPELIN. However, Russell never contributed substantially to songs or creative direction. He never learned to play guitar or piano. Sometimes during the final recording process he would suggest changes to vocal phrasing. Russell was often given a songwriting credit if he made any contribution at all, so as to maintain harmony within the band.
"Russell's creative and songwriting contributions to the important albums were minor. For instance, the albums between 'Shot In The Dark' and 'Sail Away', contain 56 recordings. Russell was the sole lyricist on only 2 songs and had no role at all in 25 of them. He contributed almost no musical element. Russell relied on Niven to write the vast majority of the lyrics. The sounds and image of classic GREAT WHITE were created by the core of Kendall, Lardie and Niven.
"By 2000, Russell's voice had deteriorated. Unable to perform adequately for an upcoming European tour, Russell suggested that the band play to pre-recorded music and lip sync entire concerts. Kendall adamantly refused and took a leave of absence from the band. Desbrow was strongly opposed to this idea. Lardie was cajoled into arranging a lip synced performance to avoid lawsuits by European promoters.
"The first show of Russell's lip syncing tour was in Spain. By the third song, the audience realized the band was not playing live and began heckling the band. Most of the crowd left the venue. Russell insisted that the band press on with the tour, but the band members refused and returned to the United States immediately.
"On December 5th, 2006, at Russell's birthday party following a release from the Betty Ford Clinic, [veteran music manager Obi] Steinman arranged a reunion of GREAT WHITE. A reunion tour was orchestrated for 2007, featuring Russell, Kendall, Desbrow, Lardie and bassist Sean McNabb.
"Desbrow, Lardie and McNabb conditioned the reunion on Steinman and Sharon Gilday (the band's business manager) staying in charge of earnings, revenue splits and disbursements. The band would be equal partners and all profits and equity would be split equally.
"All decisions would be made by democratic vote of Russell, Debrow, Kendall and Lardie, with Steinman having the deciding vote to end any disagreements.
"No one member could use the name GREAT WHITE. If anyone was voted out of the band, it had to be by majority, with that member keeping royalties earned prior to termination, with no future rights in the name.
"A European tour started on January 25, 2008 in Copenhagen, and the band was concerned that Russell may be looking for drugs after shows. His performances were substandard, and he appeared to not be sleeping.
"On February 8, 2008 while in Prattlein, Switzerland, Russell went to a physician and received the drug Halcion. Later that day, Desbrow and Lardie found him barely coherent and wandering the street.
"By April of 2008, Russell's personal life began to unravel. His fiancee broke off their engagement. On information and belief, he was told to leave her house because of drug use.
"Beginning in 2009, Russell's health began to decline rapidly. On information and belief, the years of alcohol and drug use were beginning to take a serious toll, and he escalated his use of opiates and painkillers.
"On information and belief, Russell had abused the steroid prednisone, which is often used by singers who have colds or are unable to sing in the upper registers. On information and belief, one of the symptoms of prednisone abuse is a weakening of bone and degeneration of muscle.
"After a series of embarrassing incidents, Steinman, Kendall, Lardie and Desbrow again decided to limit touring. GREAT WHITE would only play a few shows a month. Russell was furious, because, on information and belief, he needed the money. He begged to go back on the road.
"On May 23, 2009, in Parker, Arizona, Russell fell on stage. On information and belief, Russell's pelvis or hip was broken or fractured as a result of the fall.
"On July 12, 2009, at a festival in Oklahoma called 'Rocklahoma,' a physician was called in because Russell was doing poorly. The physician recommended that Russell enter a detox program in California and gave him several Vicodin for the following 24 hours. On information and belief, Russell took all of the Vicodin at once and delivered a very substandard performance that hurt the GREAT WHITE name further.
"A horrible fall took place on or about December 9, 2009 at the Cher-Ae Heights Casino in Northern California. Russell even predicted before the show that he may fall, and he did. On information and belief, his weakened bones resulted in a minor fall becoming a broken femur. On information and belief, Russell had taken such a high dose of pain killers that he did not realize the extent of the injury until after the show.
"He soon required a stool on stage.
"In January 2010, Russell fell asleep while driving and drove under a semi truck. The entire top of his car was shorn off.
"In March, 2010, Russell was cited for driving under the influence. He cannot tour China, Japan or Canada with a DUI conviction.
"Later, in 2010, in an infamous video filmed by a fan in San Antonio, Russell fell from a stool during the opening minutes of a concert. On the video, he was so incapacitated that he was unable to pull himself back up and required the assistance of a stage hand.
"The video of the fall in San Antonio circulated quickly on the Internet. Kendall and the other members of the band were criticized for not helping Russell, even though it was that Russell insisted on taking these dates and performing to make money.
"On or about August 10, 2010, after returning on a flight from Rapid City, South Dakota, Russell went to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had a perforated bowel. He needed immediate surgery. On information and belief, the years of steroid and drug abuse had made Russell's organs thin and vulnerable.
"As of August 28, 2010, Russell was unable to perform. He would go on to spend the entire year of 2011 recuperating.
"Terry Illous of the band XYZ was hired to save dates that were booked. Russell knew about him. He did nine shows, then GREAT WHITE played a few shows with Jani Lane, the former singer of WARRANT. This arrangement was suggested by the band's manager, who also managed Lane and was a friend. It was not suggested by Russell, though Russell had full knowledge that another singer was fronting the GREAT WHITE band, and he encouraged it.
"GREAT WHITE played one show in Sweden with Paul Shortino as the vocalist.
"Most consistently, GREAT WHITE played with Terry Illous, who is now the singer for the band. Illous's voice works very well with the band's music. He engages the crowd and was mobile on stage. Again, Russell knew that another singer was playing with GREAT WHITE for over a year, and that the band continued to bill itself as GREAT WHITE. Russell was not policing the GREAT WHITE brand.
"Russell stated in January 2011 that he wanted to return by April 21, 2011 for some shows in Alaska. He did not make that date.
"The next promised return date was May 12, 2011 in Columbia, Maryland. On information and belief, this date was pushed back because Russell did not maintain sobriety.
"The next possible return date was in June, 2011. Steinman and the booking agent spoke with Russell and his wife. They stated their concern that if Russell could not make June, then September would be best because of a heavy schedule in August and July, including stints of playing three nights in a row.
"In June, 2011, Russell fell and broke his leg, requiring more surgery and rehab. He later admitted to Steinman that he had been drinking and taking Xanax. On information and belief, Russell was supposed to be taking Suboxone to curb his opiate and methadone use. Steinman told Russell he could not support Russell's return to the band if he was not sober.
"For a brief period in the summer of 2011, Russell seemed sober and lucid. Ms. Kendall informed her husband, who called Russell immediately. Kendall could tell that Russell was not impaired. He pushed Russell to call him every day at 9:30 a.m. Kendall vowed to help Russell stay sober, literally one day at a time, if he would make that call. Those calls lasted only three days.
"On or about July 3, 2011, Russell wrote an email to Steinman stating 'If the band does not want me back, don't worry I will not go out with JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE.' He also promised that he was sober.
"On August 11, 2011, Russell had a final abdominal surgery. It was decided he needed 8 weeks of therapy to gain his strength to perform. During meetings in September and October, February, 2012 was picked as the return date for Russell.
"Meanwhile, the band played over 80 shows with Terry Illous. Promoters were instructed to use new photos of the band so that audiences would not believe Russell was performing. The shows were well attended and received positive reviews.
"During this time, the band was not ignoring Russell. Th ey were keeping up on his progress through their manager Steinman, booking agent Sullivan [D. Bigg] and sometimes through Russell's periodic calls to Kendall's wife. Steinman had several text messages from Russell's wife.
"The band had grown tired of the promises for return. They wanted to see results, which meant that Russell would be in the studio strengthening his voice with Lardie, not using a walker and producing clean urine samples. Anything less meant he was unable to return to touring.
"In the fall of 2011, Russell represented that he was off all pain medication except non-narcotic medications and anti-inflammatories. He had Thanksgiving dinner at the home of his booking agent (whom Russell has now sued). He called the other band members and was slurring his words.
"On December 7, Steinman, the booking agent and Russell decided that further physical rehabilitation would be necessary for Russell would return in February, 2012. He would work in the studio with Lardie in January, 2012.
"Sometime in early December, 2011, Russell told Ms. Kendall that he would 'take his band name and leave.' When Kendall found out that Russell intended to use the GREAT WHITE mark without the band, he called an attorney who informed him that he was well within his rights to apply with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark registration on GREAT WHITE.
"On December 7, 2011, Kendall filed for the trademark registration on GREAT WHITE on behalf of himself, Lardie and Desbrow.
"On information and belief, Russell, through his attorney, independently attempted to file for a trademark registration on GREAT WHITE a few days later. On information and belief, Russell was surprised to learn that Kendall had already filed an application.
"On December 8, Russell went to a new physician who said February, 2012 was possible for a return date, but Russell needed to get back into physical therapy. Russell also told Steinman that he was back on methadone. Steinman was concerned and told Russell about other drugs. On information and belief, Russell's wife was also concerned that he was on methadone.
"On or about December 10, 2011, Russell wrote a letter to the band, stating that he would come back drug free and accusing band members of various wrongdoings.
"On or about December 11, 2011, Russell sent a long, bizarre email to the band. He claimed to have had an affair with Kendall's wife and to have smoked crack cocaine with her. Kendall and Ms. Kendall were deeply disturbed by the email. He attacked each member as being talentless. He later retracted the entire message.
"On or about December 21, 2011, Russell gave an interview and announced he was 'leaving and taking my name.'
"Russell then began performing as 'JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE.' His band includes Counterdefendants Johnson, Seixas, Lochner and Pontier, playing before a back drop where 'Jack Russell's' is hardly legible over 'Great White.' Russell began playing with the new band in January, 2012.
"Russell's new band contains members that he had circulated through his solo band or were in GREAT WHITE only briefly. On information and belief, the public is misled by statements that these members were once full members of GREAT WHITE.
"On information and belief, local promoters are confused by Russell's new band name. Some bars are promoting the band as 'GREAT WHITE.' Third party ticket sites are advertising both bands simply as 'GREAT WHITE.'
"Russell's current performances are not up to the standard of GREAT WHITE. His singing is consistently flat, and his performances are damaging the GREAT WHITE mark.
"After Russell left, GREAT WHITE began recording with Terry Illous. They decided to record an entire album, entitled 'Elation'. On information and belief, Russell has submitted new material to various labels, and has received little interest.
"Russell has also stated that he will seek a preliminary injunction to stop the release of 'Elation', currently set for May 18, 2012, on Italian label Frontiers Records. His attorney has written a letter to Frontiers Records, claiming that Russell will 'most certainly' win this case."
Former QUIET RIOT lead singer Mark Huff tells SleazeRoxx.com's Ruben Mosqueda that he found out he was fired from the band via the Internet while he was in the hospital waiting for a brain surgery.
"I've never had any problems like this in my life," Mark said. "I woke up on January 1st (2012) and I had a seizure. I woke up in the hospital actually. I was told that I had an AVM, which is arteriovenous malformation, in my brain. I was told that it was something that needed to be taken care of right away, but I would make a full recovery. I contacted the guys in QUIET RIOT and let them know. In the coming days no one from QUIET RIOT came down to see me. I had to find out through the Internet that I had been fired from the band."
Regarding the reasons for his dismissal from the band, Huff said, "I had been signed on for the year (2012). I had dates, I had flight itineraries, and I was ready to go. This was something that came out of nowhere. I understand people need to get back to work but I'm not happy at how they went about it. I'm past that now, but I don't like when people go out of their way to stifle my mouth about the truth. I'm an honest, hard-working person and a skilled musician. I deserve respect — that's the bottom line. . . . I think I was doing one hell of a job. Sure my feelings were hurt, but I'm moving past that, although it would be fake and untruthful to wish them well — I just don't care anymore. I don't wish them anything."
On the topic of his future plans, Huff said, "I have been given a clean bill of health by my surgeon. I'm going to be doing some singing with a band called 69 ANGELS. I have a friend in San Francisco who was bothering me about singing on a record before I had my seizure. I plan on heading over to San Francisco to record with 69 ANGELS. I'm also really looking forward to doing live dates with (VAN HALEN tribute band) 5150 in July. I'm not going shy away from any opportunity to sing if my voice fits it. I'm looking forward to getting back to work."
QUIET RIOT played several shows in early February with ex-MONTROSE vocalist Keith St. John following the departure of Mark Huff. They have since recruited Scott Vokoun as their new singer.
Long-running Arizona metallers FLOTSAM AND JETSAM are "four songs into pre-production" for their new album, tentatively due in late 2012/early 2013. The band is hoping to complete all songs by the middle of the summer.
Funding for the next FLOTSAM AND JETSAM album is being aided by the PledgeMusic.com project, which encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM last summer parted ways with drummer Craig Nielsen and was rejoined by Kelly David Smith.
The band's current lineup is the same as the one that recorded the "Cuatro" (1992), "Drift" (1995) and "High" (1997) albums:
Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Ed Carlson - Guitar
Michael Gilbert - Guitar
Jason Ward - Bass
Kelly David Smith – Drums
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's latest album, "The Cold", was released in Europe in February 2011 via Nuclear Blast. The CD's cover artwork was created by Travis Smith, who has previously worked with OPETH, NEVERMORE, AMORPHIS and KING DIAMOND, among others.
"The Cold" was released in North America on September 14, 2010.
PALMS is the newly formed Los Angeles-based quartet featuring three former members of ISIS (Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide) with DEFTONES vocalist Chino Moreno (pictured below).
"Clifford, Jeff and I started PALMS a little over a year ago out of a desire to continue making music together after ISIS ended," explained Harris. "Chino joined shortly after and our sound took shape from there. We've worked really hard on this first release and are excited for people to hear it. It's nice to be back behind the drum kit, and with this lineup."
"Being a huge ISIS fan I've always dug the moods these dudes convey with their sound," added Moreno. "I am excited to combine my sense of creativity with theirs, and to have fun doing so."
PALMS' debut album will be issued by ISIS' former label, Ipecac Recordings, and is slated for a 2012 release. The CD was recorded and mixed by Harris, and produced by PALMS.
PALMS is Jeff Caxide (bass/keyboards), Aaron Harris (drums), Clifford Meyer (guitar/keyboards) and Chino Moreno (vocals).
Dutch/Norwegian rockers THE GATHERING are putting the finishing touches on their 10th studio album for a late summer release via the band's own Psychonaut Records label. A single will precede the full-length CD at the end of May.
THE GATHERING's new CD will include the song "Heroes For Ghosts", which was made available for free download last year at the group's Bandcamp page. A video for the track was shot in Norway by the band's "dear friend" Marcus Moonen and can be seen below.
THE GATHERING's latest album, "The West Pole", was released in North America on June 2, 2009 via Season of Mist. The CD was issued in most of Europe on May 4, 2009 via the group's own label, Psychonaut Records.
"The West Pole" marks the recording debut of new THE GATHERING singer Silje Wergeland, who was previously in the Norwegian band OCTAVIA SPERATI. It also includes two very talented guest vocalists, Anne van den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION), along with other guest musicians.
Singer Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since released four albums on her own and with her AGUA DE ANNIQUE solo project: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009), "In Your Room" (2009) and "Everything Is Changing" (2012).
Swedish industrial hardcore terrorists MASS MURDER AGENDA — who feature in their ranks former members of GRAVE and FACE DOWN — have inked a deal with Black Lodge Records. The band's debut album, "Bring The Violence", will be released on May 25.
MASS MURDER AGENDA was formed in the summer of 2009 by bass player Joakim Hedestedt (FACE DOWN, NATION BEYOND, ex-CONSTRUCDEAD) who wanted to "mix thrash and industrial metal with no intention at all of being original; [he] just [wanted the band to sound] aggressive enough to play live. After writing four "bone-crushing" songs, he joined forces with vocalist Tristan Agdler (ex-NIL), programmer Henrik Blomqvist (ex-FACE DOWN), drummer Christoffer Barkensjö (CARNAL FORGE, CONSTRUCDEAD, FACE DOWN, KAAMOS) and guitarist Martin Sundberg (ex-SEXY DEATH).
According to a press release, MASS MURDER AGENDA "combines influences from such legendary acts as MINISTRY, SLAYER, COMBICHRIST, NINE INCH NAILS and KILLING JOKE whilst, of course, generating a sound of [its] own, a sound that is sadly missing in today's metal scene."
Barkensjö recently decided to reunite with MASS MURDER AGENDA as a permanent member. He will still continue his work with Jesper Strömblad's (ex-IN FLAMES) new band THE RESISTANCE as a side project to MASS MURDER AGENDA.
Tristan Agdler - Vocals
Joakim Hedestedt - Bass
Martin Sundberg - Guitar
Henrik Blomqvist - Audio Warfare
Chris Barkensjö – Drums
Massachusetts metallers THE ACACIA STRAIN have released a new song, "Servant In The Place Of Truth", via iTunes and Amazon.
Having recently signed a new deal with Rise Records, the band wanted to put out something new in between labels for fans to enjoy.
"As you can see, we aren't changing at all, only working harder to write the best tunes that we are proud of that the fans enjoy," states THE ACACIA STRAIN guitarist Daniel "DL" Laskiewicz. "We are really stoked on this song and are glad people are liking it."
THE ACACIA STRAIN will record its next album over the next few months for an October release via Rise Records. Laskiewicz will produce, engineer and mix the effort in his studio in Western Massachusetts.
Commented vocalist Vincent Bennett: "You all love DL, so it makes sense for us to go ahead and do the album this way and keep it heavy right from the source of where this all comes from. We are still here, talking to you, doing what we have always done. This is such a great time for this band, you have no idea."
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, "The Most Known Unknown", in June 2011 via Prosthetic Records.
Progressive/psychedelic Norwegian black metallers ENSLAVED have inked a new worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band's new album will be released in the fall.
ENSLAVED's last two CDs — "Vertebrae" (2008) and "Axioma Ethica Odini" (2010) — were released via Indie Recordings in Europe and Nuclear Blast in North America.
Commented ENSLAVED: "We're very, very (yes, very) pleased and proud to sign this deal with Nuclear Blast worldwide. We've already worked with Nuclear Blast U.S. through our two latest albums; and our personal friendships with Nuclear Blast guys and gals on both sides of the Atlantic are even older. There's no drama — we take great pride in the fact that there seldom is with us — it is simply a matter of one contract ending, and us going for what seems to be our best option at this point in time and space. This time the best choice for ENSLAVED is changing things up somewhat. We're excited to see what the mixture of passion and professionalism at Nuclear Blast can do with the ENSLAVED name in the years to come. There is no doubt that the level of ambition, the experience and seriousness about what we do, form perfect common ground for ENSLAVED and Nuclear Blast. We're in the process of making a new album that will initiate our new partnership, watch out for the approaching wave of news about that. For now, let's just say that the album will be an absolute (Nuclear) blast!"
Added Gerardo Martínez, label manager of Nuclear Blast USA: "ENSLAVED is one of the most amazing bands to ever come from Norway. We've had the pleasure of working with them on their last two albums in North America, and from this day forth worldwide. Looking forward their new masterpiece to be unleashed to the masses later in the year!"
ENSLAVED were the recepients of last year's Norwegian Artists And Songwriters Association honorary award. The award was presented to the band by the Norwegian minister of culture Anniken Huitfeldt on October 31, 2011.
ENSLAVED last year released "The Sleeping Gods" via Scion A/V as a free downloadable five-song EP. Following up on 2010's near-universally praised "Axioma Ethica Odini", the EP found the quintet once again expanding the boundaries of what metal can be, deftly incorporating influences from across the musical spectrum. Mainly recorded in Solslottet Studio in Bergen, and partly in the band's own home studio, the effort finds the group sounding leaner and more confident than ever, part and parcel of maintaining a presence at the foreground of the international metal movement for 20 years.
In a brand new interview with LA Weekly, guitarist/vocalist Adam "Nergal" Darski of Polish extreme metal veterans BEHEMOTH says that he's quite confused how a metal musician — particularly someone like MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine — or fan can identify as Christian.
"Everyone has their reasons for getting involved with metal music," Nergal says. "To me, it was the rebellious spirit, attitude, and life philosophy of this music. Being Christian in this genre just seems against that. There are religious people in metal that we deal with. That's fucked up and crazy to me. But I'm sure when you talk to Dave Mustaine, he'll give you the opposite angle of the situation."
In the end though, Nergal still welcomes fans and colleagues of all faiths and beliefs.
"There are people that are huge BEHEMOTH fans, but when you look at their life code and their philosophies, they stand on the other side of the barricade yet they like the music that we do," Nergal says. "The biggest compliment I can get is from people that see us and have no clue of what we do, or have opposite opinions to us, but they'll talk about how our energy was undeniable."

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