[Classic_Rock_Forever] Ozzy OSbourne and Friend, Def Leppard, Metallica, Slash, Guns N Roses, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Phil Anselmo, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


The original lineup of BLACK SABBATH — who late last year confirmed the recording of their first new album in more than 33 years and a worldwide headlining tour — had to put some plans on hold due to guitarist Tony Iommi's battle with lymphoma. At this time, BLACK SABBATH will perform only one show of this summer's previously scheduled European tour. It will take place Sunday, June 10 at the U.K.'s Download festival.

So as not to let the promoters and fans down, SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne is now performing the majority of the previously scheduled BLACK SABBATH European dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS. These "first-ever" OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS shows are featuring appearances by "special guest" musicians, including Geezer Butler (who is joining Ozzy for a special BLACK SABBATH set as a show of respect and support to their friend, Tony Iommi) and longtime former Ozzy bandmember Zakk Wylde. In addition, Ozzy is being accompanied by longtime collaborator and friend Slash at select shows, with other "special guests" set to join the tour at various stops along the way (full list of dates, appearances below).

The first OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS concert took place last night (Wednesday, May 23) at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.

The setlist for the show was as follows:

Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Gus G. (guitar)
Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (bass)
Tommy Clufetos (drums)

01. Bark At The Moon
02. Mr. Crowley
03. Suicide Solution
04. The Ultimate Sin
05. I Don't Know
06. Killer Of Giants
07. Shot In The Dark
08. Rat Salad

Blasko goes off stage, Geezer Butler comes on

09. Iron Man (BLACK SABBATH)
10. War Pigs (BLACK SABBATH)

Gus G. goes off stage, Zakk Wylde comes on

12. Fairies Wear Boots (BLACK SABBATH)
13. Into The Void (BLACK SABBATH)

Geezer Butler goes off stage, Blasko comes back on

14. I Don't Wanna Change The World
15. Crazy Train


16. Mama I'm Coming Home

Geezer Butler and Gus G. come back on stage

17. Paranoid (BLACK SABBATH)

Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.

In a recent interview with The Nervous Breakdown, Zakk Wylde stated about the setlist for the upcoming OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS shows, "[Current Ozzy bandmembers] 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'."
To celebrate the summer of "Rock Of Ages", DEF LEPPARD has recorded new versions of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Rock Of Ages". The songs will be available worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and all other digital music retailers June 4.

The official cover artwork for the two singles can be seen below.

The soundtrack to the upcoming film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical "Rock Of Ages", which showcases popular rock songs from the '70s and '80s, features the cast — Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand and Julianne Hough — singing some of the greatest hits of the "hair-band" era.

Due to be released June 5 — ten days before the film hits theatres — "Rock Of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" includes Cruise's renditions of DEF LEPPARD's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and GUNS N' ROSES' "Paradise City".

DEF LEPPARD will make a return to the United States this June with a massive summer tour which will include fellow rockers POISON and LITA FORD.

DEF LEPPARD's influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums — including two of the best-selling albums of all time, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria". Most recently, the band released their first live album, "Mirror Ball: Live & More" last summer, which rose to the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album captures the group's legendary concert experience, bringing together live versions of classic LEPPARD hits such as "Rock Of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin'".

With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, DEF LEPPARDJoe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name. For the past thirty years the band's concerts have become must-see events and have quickly made them an institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett candidly admitted in a new interview with Rolling Stone that the band has to tour pretty continuously in order to pay for its huge overhead, which includes their own studio, salaries for their staff and crew, and their live show production. He explained, "The cycles of taking two years off don't exist anymore. We were able to do that because we had record royalties coming in consistently. Now you put out an album, and you have a windfall maybe once or twice but not the way it used to be — a check every three months."

Things were not so different a few years back, when frontman James Hetfield told The Pulse Of Radio that the band would continue to tour extensively despite wanting to dial back on road work. "We've been like a live band, we've had to get out there and play, play, play," he said. "And it's kind of tough, because, you know, nowadays, that was the area we wanted to kind of lay back on a little bit, and kind of enjoy our families and things. But, you know, it is what it is, and we can't change that. We can do our best and that's all we can do."

Asked if the band finances its own recording studio in Northern California with cash earned from touring, Hammett said, "Yeah. The merchandise. We basically take funds from wherever we can. This is a real luxury. But great things come out of this."

Hammett also told Rolling Stone that the band is not staging its upcoming Orion Music + More festival for the money, saying, "Whenever we go on these kinds of endeavors, it's never to make money. We want it to be fun and exciting. Maybe break even. Or lose money. Whatever. It's not a financial thing. We're trying to come up with something cool."

The festival will take place on June 23-24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, with METALLICA headlining both nights over lineups that include AVENGED SEVENFOLD, MODEST MOUSE, VOLBEAT, SEPULTURA and many other acts.

Rolling Stone interviewed all four members of METALLICA separately for a cover story that's on sale now.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has a role in the HBO film "Hemingway & Gellhorn", which is scheduled to premiere on Monday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. After appearing as himself in the 2004 documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster" and the 2010 comedy "Get Him To The Greek", Ulrich plays an actual character in this film, which is a fictionalized account of the relationship between author Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. The couple are played by Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, while Ulrich portrays Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens.

Ulrich told USA Today that while he enjoys appearing in movies, he's not interested in pursuing a full-fledged acting career.

"I don't have big acting career aspirations, but I love dabbling in different processes," he said. "I wasn't chasing this, but I couldn't say no."

He added, "I took it very seriously. I studied the difference between how a Dutch person would say things in English and the way I would as a Dane. Most people couldn't tell the difference, but I can. And it needed to be right."

Ulrich said that he enjoyed his acting foray, but feels more at home with his first love.

"In a movie, you are a tool serving the director's vision, and that's as it should be. But in the world of music, I get to help make the decisions," he said.

METALLICA is also getting into the movie business on its own, producing its own 3D film to be directed by Nimród Antal, best known for the movie "Predators".

The movie, which will be some sort of combination of concert footage and storyline, will begin shooting this August and is tentatively scheduled to arrive in theatres in the summer of 2013.
According to USA Today, METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo is financing a movie about the late Grammy-winning jazz bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius. Tentatively titled "Jaco", the documentary is being directed by Stephen Kijak, who helmed 2010's "Stones In Exile", the 2010 film about the recording of the 1972 THE ROLLING STONES album "Exile On Main St."

"Jaco was my hero growing up," Trujillo tells USA Today. "Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Halen doing 'Eruption' for the first time: You thought, 'What instrument is that?' I loved jazz fusion and branched out from there. But Jaco had an edge that far exceeded his jazz persona. He was funk, he was rock, he was soul. And his whole attitude was punk."

Trujillo added, "The film for me is from the heart."

Pastorius, who was bipolar and had wrestled with substance abuse, died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale bar.

"Jaco" will feature commentaries from Sting, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Flea, Carlos Santana and director Mike Figgis, among others.
Legendary guitarist Slash's (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) second solo album, "Apocalyptic Love", is likely to sell between 30,000 and 35,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on May 22 via Slash's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through EMI.

Slash's self-titled debut album scored the highest new entry on The Billboard 200 chart in April 2010, with first-week U.S. sales of around 60,000 copies.

In the U.K., "Apocalyptic Love" was released on May 21 in exclusive Classic Rock Fan Pack form — providing a unique collectable package containing the studio album with bonus tracks alongside a specially created magazine with unseen behind-the-scenes content put together by Classic Rock. The Fan Pack format also comes with free gifts, including a pin badge and artwork poster and is available to buy via more than 2000 retail outlets on newsstands nationally as well as the traditional high street and online music retailers. Roadrunner Records simultaneously released the record digitally. The standard physical release of the Slash album will follow through Roadrunner Records on June 18.

"Apocalyptic Love" track listing:

01. Apocalyptic Love
02. One Last Thrill
03. Standing In The Sun
04. You're A Lie
05. No More Heroes
06. Halo
07. We Will Roam
08. Anastasia
09. Not For Me
10. Bad Rain
11. Hard & Fast
12. Far And Away
13. Shots Fired

"You're A Lie", the new video from Slash, can be seen below. The clip was filmed in early April at Lot 28 at Universal Studios in California with director Anthony Leonardi III. Leonardi is also helming the first feature film produced by Slash, called "Nothing To Fear", which was recently picked up for distribution by Anchor Bay Entertainment. The movie is the first of a proposed series of horror films produced by Slash's company, called Slasher Films, which he launched last year in partnership with two other producers. The film began shooting in March in Louisiana, with Anne Heche and others confirmed for the cast.

"'You're A Lie' is the second song I brought to the band in 2011 during the last tour," explains Slash. "We worked on it at soundcheck somewhere, I can't remember where. It's gone through some minor changes along the way, mainly the chorus. But for the most part, it's remained true to its original arrangement."
Legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) was interviewed by Piers Morgan on last night's (Wednesday, May 23) edition of CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight". The interview, which aired live at 9 p.m. EDT, touched on Slash's history and his new album, "Apocalyptic Love", and how he has remained a vital artist for almost 20 years after leaving GUNS N' ROSES.

When asked about the drama surrounding GUNS N' ROSES and his departure from the group, Slash said (see video below), "It's a lot of attention put on a lot of negative stuff. And granted, the negative stuff existed, and might still exist or whatever, but dwelling on that stuff…. All things considered, I left the band in 1996, so we're talking a pretty long amount of time that I haven't really even focused on that [band]. [I last spoke to GUNS N' ROSES lead singer Axl Rose] in 1996 [and my last words] were… Basically, it was just that I'm done. And it wasn't even me necessarily leaving the band, it was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was now at the helm of, which was the new GUNS N' ROSES. I was given a contract to basically join his new band, and it took about 24 hours before I decided, 'I think this is the end of the line."

On the topic of the kind of offers the classic GUNS N' ROSES lineup has received to reunite for a show or a tour, Slash said, "I've heard a lot of numbers, but I've never been handed a specific offer. But I'd say it starts off with seven figures and then sometimes it starts to get even more grandiose than that." The guitarist went on to say that no amount of money could possibly bring the band back together. "I don't think it's a matter of that; it really isn't," he said. "I think you've got a situation where nobody involved wants to revisit. It's not just me — it's the whole band. And so I don't think there's a price tag that anybody's put in front of us that's going to make that work."

Rose skipped GUNS N' ROSES's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last month and declined to be inducted along with the rest of the group. The singer also reaffirmed that there is no chance of the original lineup reuniting, and seemed to speak directly to fans still hoping for a reunion when he added in an open letter, "Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense."

In at least a partial nod to his former bandmates, however, Rose wrote, "For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from GUNS their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show, not mine."

Original GN'R members Slash, Steven Adler and Duff McKagan, along with later members Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke, performed three songs at the induction ceremony in Cleveland. They were joined on vocals by Myles Kennedy, who sings in Slash's solo band.
Soundgarden are ready to return on the stage: after announcing their long awaited reunion in 2010, and after playing spare shows in 2010 an a tour 2011, the Seattle music legend are about to embark on their first european tour, eleven dates, starting may 25 in Madrid, and arriving in Italy on June 4th, a the the Arena Fiera Milano Live. Rockol.com interviewed drummer Matt Cameron, a music icon that has also been holding the sticks for Pearl Jam in the last decade. Reached on the phone in Seattle, Camerone spoke about what's it is like to back with old mates Chris Cornell, Kim Tahyil and Ben Sheperd. He spoke about his multitasking between Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, and revelead some plans of this other band.

So, how does it feel to be back in Soundgarden?
It feels great. We're all enjoying playing together. We made a really cool new record we're really proud of. So it feels

You announced the reunion in 2010, but you took it quite slow. A few concerts in 2010, real tours only in 2011 and 2012, but the new album won't be out until this fall.
It just took a little time to get it going, because of scheduling. Chris and I have pretty busy schedules, tours outside of Soundgarden. So it has just taken a long time to get everyone on the same page and make sure we're not double-booking ourselves.

When you first got together again, was the chemistry in Soundgarden still there?
I think the chemystry was good when we split up. We didn't disband as enemies, we always remained friends. When did decide to get back together as a band, it was pretty easy.  I think our favorite part of the band was we four getting together and playing music, writing songs. And that aspect was still great.

What can people expect from your shows, in 2012?
I think that people will come which great expectations when they come to see Soundgarden shows, and I think that hopefully we can live up to that expectations. We're a playing a lot of material from all of our records, we're probably gonna stick with older material that people are very familiar with. It's gonna be a very cool hard rocking show. We're gonna do the song we recorded for "The avengers" movie, "Live To Rise", and we might try one or two off of the new record. But we'll keep them as a surprise.

Was there any Soundgarden music you absolutely wanted to play and was there any music you absolutely didn't want to perform?
My original idea was to do a lot of the original music from the '80s up towards "Badmotorfinger". I wanted the band to play that weird crazy stuff, and we did that for a while. But once we started playing larger shows, and once we got bigger offers, we shifter toward our more classic music. But some of my favourite Soundgarden music was that stuff from the '80s. We now have a core of 40-50 songs ready and maybe we'll learn a few more songs while on tour, and we'll add them to the setlist. But we won't change much our setlists, maybe a little depending on how long we have to play, and the audience.  We did a tour last July in the states. There was a lot of people of our ages, late thirties and middle forties. And there was younger people, in their 20s and tennager. Our music still resonates with young people.

Soundgarden will release a new album in the fall. What can we expect from your new music?
Well, I guess what we wanted to try to do with this reunion is try to make a new album and write new music. That was always one of the top goals for us. We started in January 2011, and it has taken a lot of time but mostly because of scheduling. But once we got into the studio, we had really good time together, and everything came together very easily. It was very good to record new Soundgarden. I think people we'll enjoy what we did in 2012: it's a nice evolution of familiar element of our sounds

You played for Pearl Jam in the last decade. Did you miss Soundgarden?
The most important thing is to stay focused on what I'm doing now. I have such a great work that I don't have time to be nostalgic. Once Soundgarden got together and played some shows, I got back to some of the old stuff we did in the past years. Everything sounded really good.

You are playing at the same time in Soundgarden and in Pearl Jam, that will go on tour immediately after SG. Is it difficult to keep this all together?
It's more difficult to sit down and think about it, actually. I can sort of mentally wrap my mind around it but... As a musician it's not hard for me to do it. But the scheduling can be sometime tough. Both bands will be pretty active in the next couple of years. Sometime my family gets a little upset that I'm gone so much, and I certainly don't want to be gone that much. But the opportunities are really fantastic right now: both groups are in demand for live concerts, new music and there's no reason not to do it. I'm enjoying it.

Chris Cornell is still pursuing his solo career: he will be touring in Europe with his acoustic tour right after Soundgarden.
We put no restriction on anyone in the group. There's no rule on what one can or cannot to. Chris is doing great and I think he's having a good time doing it. 

Looking back to golden years of Seattle music, was everything really "overblown", as Mudhoney once sang?
There was a lot of work to do in the early '90s, and since the late '80s, Soundgarden was on the road pretty much of the time. I never really realized all the hype that surrounded our city, the hysteria that was going on with our city because I was so busy. But it was a very exciting time when Nirvana and Pearl Jam got very popular, and that happened to Soundgarden as well, a little bit later. It was very fun to see crowds getting bigger, see how many people were turned to our type of music. It was a very good time to be in a band. Now it's not a healty place for rock bands anymore. I think people are curious to know what a rock band sounds like, these days. And it sounds like Soundgaden!

Speaking of Pearl Jam: how is Eddie Vedder? He had to cancel some shows because of injury to his arm.
Eddie's getting better. He's doing fisyiotherapy. He's getting better all the time.

Why did Pearl Jam leave out Italy of this summer tour?
I think it was a scheduling problem. We came 2 years ago, we played in Venice, it was the Hurricane festival., right? We love playing Italy, Italian fans are some of the best in the world. We can't wait to come back.

What about the new Pearl Jam Album? When can we expect it?
We're going to finish recording this fall. We had half of it done, and then we decided to go back and do some more writing. We're going to do publish it at some point in 2013, but I can't look that far into the future

Beside playing, you write songs. Have you ever considered recording a solo album?
Yes, i would like to do my solo record at some point, but I'm really busy being a drummer right now. I've been talking with my buddy Adam Kasper and with a bunch of people I'd like to record with. It's definitely on the backburner.
Neil Shumate of Out Of The Blue recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Out Of The Blue: Looking back through your life, what seems to have been your biggest setback?

Anselmo: Well, you know, the old back injury wasn't any fun, man. And still there are those days where it is fucking miserable. But I guess there is something inside you that I say builds a callous. And you just get used to it. It's a mental callous and you kind of block it out. You can't let it control everything about the day. So as far as a big setback in my life, getting injured was definitely tops, man. As strong as I did feel, I still feel strong. Don't get me wrong, there's a point in my life my life where, put it this way, hypothetically, I felt like I could just fucking leap off the ground and fly. And I'm talking fly, like strong and eyes straight-forward through the friggin' sky, like Superman. But these days when I fly, I cannot help but keep my eyes on the ground a little bit. Maybe there's a slight hesitation there. I'm not 100 percent, not like I'm in bad shape. I'm not in great shape right now, because I've been in the fucking studio for so long and that totally eats up your fucking time. But, don't fucking injure yourself. Don't ever hurt your fucking back. That's my advice to anyone out there.

Out Of The Blue: Looking the other way, what has been your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

Anselmo: Well, you know when you feel like there is no other alternative and you feel like you're fucking trapped. And do fall into the little painkiller fucking world, which escalates into the big fucking drug-addict mess and you hit rock bottom. To climb out of that particular hole and come back after surgery, and fight back and fight back and fight back. And claim as much "face" back as you possibly can because unlike your average person, I didn't have the opportunity to group up outside of media scrutiny. So no one else can feel the pain I'm feeling and there is a lot of supposition out there. And that's kind of tough, too, but you can only handle as much as you can. So I would think that after coming out of rock bottom, not to mention all of the horrific things that kind of happened and went down, mostly including and especially Dimebag's murder; it's getting on with life. To me, all the platinum records all the number one records. All that stuff. That's great. That's fine. That's nothing I expected ever in my entire life. Whether I was going to be a rock singer or not, I didn't expect it and I still don't expect anything. Those things were and are beautiful, and humbling, and I can't even put into words what that type of stuff means to me. But still, the fact that I'm not laying around in constant pain, constantly blitzed out of my mind on some fucking potion, powder, pill, fucking crap, fucking shit that ends up controlling your life. That, my friend, is a good feeling, to wake up and know that you are you. You have your drawl backs and you still get up, shake it off and get on with the fucking day. Right now in my life, I'll be 44 this year, and to me that's a giant accomplishment right there. It really is. I can't downplay that at all.

Out Of The Blue: Going through that do you feel you have to redeem yourself in the public eye?

Anselmo: I'll tell you this. When I was all fucked up and injured. In hindsight, and hindsight's a benefiting thing. With the benefit of hindsight now, I knew I said ridiculous things, I felt like a trapped animal, I was trapped. And I lashed out at a lot of different things, said incoherent things, and mumbled my way through fucking interviews. Yeah, all that shit. You look at it and you see it, once again with the benefit of hindsight, and you say to yourself… This is not me… It's embarrassing… And it's ugly. So, yeah, there is a part of me that has always wanted people to see who I really am. Truthfully, I've never really bought into the whole rock star fucking thing. People left a bunch of heavy shit on my shoulders. What I mean by that is, you know when people say that I've benefited their lives and helped their lives out tremendously through the music that I do or something like that. Of course that's good, but once again I'm the only guy that's got to wake up in my body. With every interview and what-not, I'm not going to lie to you and I'm not going to bullshit you. I'm going to shoot straight, tell it like it is and just be a real person. Because, really, that's what I am, I'm just a real dude, man. Rock singer or no rock singer. Take it away and I'll still be me, you know? Fuck it. There is a giant positive Phillip Anselmo personality out there, of course there is. My sense of humor is absurd. I thrive on the absurd. Like we were talking about earlier, the studio situations where you have a room full of uptight guys, it's like, shit, if I come in uptight, then we're really fucked. It's best to come in with that fucking absurd sense of humor. Crack people up a little bit, let them know: "Man, this ain't the end of the world. It's fucking music, man. What would you rather be doing? Swinging a fucking hammer? Let's fucking hammer this shit out music style, you motherfuckers!" (Laughs) And we'll laugh about it. It's good to laugh, man. Keep it light, you know? And going back to your question, in interviews I try and keep it light. Even when things are heavy and serious questions are posed. It doesn't happen often, but it has happened where I'll get another guy on the other end of the line that just wants to wind me up and just see what I'll do or if I'll break the mold, or whatever, or come out of this Mr. Nice Guy routine and turn into this monster again. And it ain't gonna happen, man. It really ain't gonna happen. I don't feel the same and therefore I will not rebut in the same way and they're not gonna get a fucking rise out of me. I'm not stupid, I can fucking hear your probing questions you fucking motherfucker!... just kidding. (Laughs)
On July 10, Versailles Records will release "Two Minutes To Midnight: A Millennium Tribute To Iron Maiden", a two-CD set featuring former JUDAS PRIEST/ICED EARTH and current YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/BEYOND FEAR frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens, ex-IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'Anno, Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Keri Kelli (ALICE COOPER), Derrick LeFevre (LILLIAN AXE), Neil Zaza, Richard Kendrick, and a collection of the Millennium's hottest rising rock/metal groups.
HALFORD guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak will perform tracks from his upcoming solo album, "The Metalworker", during his guitar clinic seminar scheduled for Saturday, June 30 at 3 p.m. at Drome Sound in Schenectady, New York.

Drome Sound Music Store
1875 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12304
(518) 370-3701

Drome Sound, one of upstate New York's leading independent music stores, will host the free clinic in order to celebrate the opening of their new teaching studios that instruct kids and adults in various styles of music on most instruments.

Prior to the main event, a limited number of guitar players will have a chance to take one-on-one guitar lesson with Mike. Mike's clinic will include a live performance, tips, open question-and-answer segment, giveaways courtesy of the sponsors and metal trivia.

Representatives from Jackson and Fender guitars will be on hand to answer further questions and one lucky winner will walk away with a Fender electric guitar.

"I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the clinic. These events are a great, positive way to talk and share ideas regarding guitar, gear and the music that ties it all together. I hope to see many of you there," commented Mike.

Chlasciak's new song "Hell No!" is available for streaming at MetalMike.net. The track, which was released on May 22 via iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other major digital distributors, is the first single from Mike's new album, "The Metalworker", tentatively due this summer.

"Hell No!" features Chlasciak and vocalist Carlos Zema (OUTWORLD, VOUGAN) alongside Kevin Talley (DAATH, CHIMAIRA, HATE ETERNAL, SIX FEET UNDER) on drums and Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X) on bass.

Produced by Mike, "The Metalworker" was mixed by Orlando Villasenor at Dead Room Studio in San Antonio, Texas. Artwork was provided by Guilherme Sevens of Sevens Design Studio (ADAGIO, PAINSIDE).
Virtuoso guitarist and visionary composer Steve Vai will release "The Story Of Light", a new solo album of original material, on August 14. The title comes out on Favored Nations Entertainment, the label Vai founded in 1999. The sprawling and expressive 12-song set continues a conceptual and cosmic narrative arc that began with the artist's most recent studio release, 2005's acclaimed "Real Illusions: Reflections".

Although "The Story Of Light" is largely instrumental, the album does feature guest vocalists, including singer-songwriter Aimee Mann — dueting with Vai on "No More Amsterdam", which she also co-wrote. Beverly McClellan, a season one finalist on "The Voice", appears on "John The Revelator", a track inspired by a vintage recording of blues singer Blind Willie Johnson, whose acid-soaked vocals are in the mix as well. Other highlights include the title track (which opens the album), "Gravity Storm", "The Moon And I", and "Velorum".

Throughout, three-time Grammy-winner Vai's lead guitar is as lyrically resonant as it is technically masterful, his licks and solos bending sounds and in listeners' minds in equal measure. "The Story Of Light" follows the journey of a man driven mad by grief, intertwining tragedy, revelation, enlightenment, and redemption.

"I'm always pursuing knowledge, I'm a seeker of spiritual equilibrium-and music is a big part of that," says Vai. "I've been obsessed with these kinds of ideas for years." Looking ahead, Vai envisions a third set of songs that will unravel the mysteries and reveal truths that swirl through both 'The Story Of Light' and 'Real Illusions: Reflections'. The completed trilogy, intended to be cinematic-even operatic-in scope, will include lyrics and narration.

"The Story Of Light" is available as of today for online pre-sale orders. This special pre-sale selection of bundled packages is offered exclusively through Vai's web site, Vai.com, where complete details on the products and ordering information are available. Each package includes an instant download of a track from the new album personally selected by Vai, "Gravity Storm".

"The Story Of Light" is Vai's 16th solo effort, and the follow up to 2009's live effort, "Where The Wild Things Are". In support of its release, Vai will begin a tour of North America on August 15 in Fort Lauderdale Florida, accompanied by his band — who are also featured on the new album: Dave Weiner (guitar), Jeremy Colson (drums), Philip Bynoe (bass), and Deborah Hensen (harp, vocals, keyboards).
Drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson has quit THE SKULL, the band he formed with fellow original member of Chicago doom legends TROUBLE, vocalist Eric Wagner, and the band's longtime bassist, Ron Holzner. Jeff says in a statement, "Upon much thought, and effective immediately, I will not be participating with THE SKULL. I've decided to wait for a real TROUBLE reunion with original members or not play TROUBLE's music at all. I can not comment further at this time. My apologies to those who have been disappointed."

THE SKULL earlier in the year recruited guitarists Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter of the Chicago, Illinois-based progressive power metallers SACRED DAWN.

Wagner, Olson and original TROUBLE bassist Sean McAllister shared the stage for the first time since 1986 during Olson's RETRO GRAVE set on June 18, 2011 at the Days Of The Doomed Fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head".

Eric was one of the guest singers on Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) heavy metal side project PROBOT, whose 2004 album featured heavy metal vocalists from the '80s and '90s. Wagner also makes a guest appearance in the forthcoming horror film "Jezebeth" (written and directed by Damien Dante of Satania 6 Films), to be released on Blu-ray in early 2012.

Eric Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.
The June 2012 issue of Germany's Rock Hard magazine will feature an exclusive KREATOR live CD which will not be available in stores. "Terror Prevails Part 2 - Live At Rock Hard Festival" is the follow-up to the outstanding recording Rock Hard released with the magazine in December 2010. "It's an awesome, smashing live performance and celebrates 25 years of KREATOR," states Rock Hard publisher Holger Stratmann. "Thanks to the long friendship with Mille [Petrozza, KREATOR guitarist/vocalist], we are very proud to be the first magazine worldwide to have a free covermounted double-live-album for the fans."

Added Petrozza: "After 25 years, I want to give something back to the fans, especially the Rock Hard readers. This CD is meant as a 'thank you' for all their great support."

"Terror Prevails Part 2 - Live At Rock Hard Festival" was recorded only three miles from the KREATOR homebase at the Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Extreme Aggressions
02. Coma of Souls
03. Amok Run
04. Violent Revolution
05. Demon Prince
06. When The Sun Burns Red
07. Flag Of Hate
08. Tormentor

The Rock Hard issue containing the "Terror Prevails Part 2 - Live At Rock Hard Festival" CD can be ordered by writing to versand@rockhard.de.

On May 31, the June issue of Rock Hard will hit newsstands in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with a circulation of 75,000 copies.

KREATOR's new album, "Phantom Antichrist", will be released on June 1 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with renowned producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK, DEVIN TOWNSEND, AMON AMARTH).
San Antonio, Texas classic metal outfit KARION has issued its long-in-the-works CD/DVD retrospective, "Iron Shadows", via the band's own Cameo Fontana imprint. The package includes the group's remastered demos, recorded at Sound Cube Studios in Converse, Texas with engineer Ron Thomas during the band's three-year tenure in the mid-'80s, as well as archival video footage from a show at the legendary Villa Fontana, site of the infamous S.A. SLAYER vs. L.A. SLAYER show in 1984.

"It has taken a lot longer than anticipated to get this release out to the fans but I'm glad it's finally available", states mainman/guitarist Art Villareal. "I regret that we never got to do an album with KARION back when but 'Iron Shadows' is the next best thing and should touch a nerve with old school metalheads, particuarly those that followed the Texas scene and all the great bands that were part of that unique place and time. There is even talk of us getting KARION back together later this year for some local shows, which would be awesome, and maybe head overseas in 2013. Nothing is out of the question at this point."

Contemporaries of such Texas legends as WATCHTOWER, S.A. SLAYER, PANTERA, HELSTAR, and JUGGERNAUT, KARION was formed in the summer of 1983 by guitarist Art Villareal upon his exit from local heroes SLAYER with whom he recorded the classic "Prepare To Die" EP for the Rainforest label. Villareal quickly recruited original SLAYER vocalist Chris Cronk, bassist Pete Perez, and drummer Frank Ferreira. The new band soon garnered a sizeable following gigging around San Antonio and Austin while sharing the stage with the likes of WATCHTOWER, SLAYER, WYZARD, and MILITIA at legendary venues such as the Villa Fontana, Cameo Theater, and The Ritz before calling it a day in 1986.

In the wake of KARION's demise, Cronk would briefly be associated with Colorado's JAG PANZER and later fronted TALISPHERE; Ferreira joined HELSTAR in time for the "A Distant Thunder" album; Villareal collaborated with RIOT rhythm section, Don Van Stavern (S.A. SLAYER, PITBULL DAYCARE, EVIL UNITED) and Bobby Jarzombek (FATES WARNING, SEBASTIAN BACH, HALFORD, RIOT), in JACK RUBY, while Perez would eventually replace Van Stavern in RIOT in 1990 and went on to record with both SPASTIC INK and LEATHERWOLF.

"Iron Shadows" track listing:

Disc 1 - CD:

01. Iron Shadows
02. Against All Flags
03. Panzer
04. We Are The Law
05. The Cat, The Edge And The Nail
06. There For None To See

Disc 2 - DVD:

01. The Cat The Edge And The Nail
02. Silent Fury
03. Against All Flags
04. Iron Shadows
05. We Are The Law
06. There For None To See
07. Blitzkrieg
08. Panzer
09. Prey Of The Game

"Iron Shadows" was digitally re-mastered by Villareal's former BLITZKRIEG and S.A. SLAYER bandmate, guitarist Bob Catlin (JUGGERNAUT, PIGFACE, PSEUDO BUDDHA).
Swedish hard rockers BULLET will release their new album, "Full Pull", on September 14 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Gutterview Recorders in Solna, Sweden with producers Nicke Andersson (HELLACOPTERS, ENTOMBED) and Fred Estby (DISMEMBER). The band states, "We think this is going to be our best album thus far. Expect the hardest-rocking BULLET album yet recorded!"

BULLET's third full-length album "Highway Pirates", entered the official chart in Sweden at position No. 3.

"Highway Pirates" was mixed by Tobias Lindell, who has previously worked with such Swedish rock bands as EUROPE, MUSTASCH and HARDCORE SUPERSTAR.
Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt of Boston hard rockers EXTREME will perform the national anthem this Saturday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Fenway Park during the Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays game.

Most recently, in the celebration of Fenway Park's centennial, Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt and Daniel Bard joined forces and recorded a version of the song "Let The Good Times Roll", available on the "100 Years Of Fenway Park" album. A portion of proceeds benefits the Red Sox Foundation.

Bettencourt's special guest this Saturday will be Darren Parker, who has proclaimed himself one of Nuno's biggest fans. The band and fans know him as NunoFreak. Darren has an inoperable brain tumor, rendering him unable to work as his medical bills are mounting.

A fundraiser is being held on June 23 at Sleep's Bar & Grill in Bluffs, Illinois which will include an auction, donations and freewill. Darren's dream was to have Nuno show up, but, unfortunately, Nuno will be in London on tour with Rihanna. Bettencourt came up with a solution to help.

Last Friday, Nuno surprised Darren by calling him on the phone and invited him to be his special guest with Gary for the Red Sox game. This generous offer includes Darren to be on the field when they perform the national anthem. After the performance, Nuno will gift him one of his Washburn Nuno Bettencourt N4 guitars so Darren can auction it on eBay to help cover his medical expenses. The Red Sox has kindly agreed to let Darren come in the afternoon to watch soundcheck and then stay in the park to watch batting practice. "We are making this real special for him," states Bettencourt. After the phone call with Nuno, Darren sent management an e-mail saying that he "literally had to pull the car over on the side of the road for 20 minutes to just process the conversation he just had with Nuno."
Drummer Mark "Bam Bam" McConnell, who was a member of former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach's touring band from 1997 to 2005, passed away this morning (Thursday, May 24) in a Gainesville, Florida hospital. According to unconfirmed online reports, the musician's liver and kidneys had shut down, which led to partial brain damage.

A relative of Mark's wrote on Facebook, "Mark passed at 9:42 this morning surrounded by family and close friends. We will miss him…he was precious to all of us and touched all our hearts deeply and profoundly. On behalf of our family, thank you to all of you for your prayers and support. We will post more info when we've had a chance to catch our breaths."

Bam Bam's wife Rikki McConnell wrote: "My sweet, beautiful best friend and husband. I miss you SO much and so do Sara and Patch. I'll take good care of them. My time with you was way too short but what an adventure! WOW! I'LL LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND ALWAYS! You'll forever be in my heart!!! XOXOXOXOX."

It was only yesterday that Bach urged everyone to "say a prayer" for Bam Bam, calling McConnell "an amazing drummer and lifelong friend." He added, "We love you, Bam Bam. You can kick this in the ass just like you play your drums!! Fight hard, buddy. We all wanna rock with you. We love ya, dude."

In a 1999 interview, Bach stated about McConnell, "He is on fire. When we toured in '98 with PANTERA, Vinnie Paul was like, 'Man, how many fuckin' pieces does your drummer have?' And for Vinnie Paul to say that. . . And Mark has always been a powerhouse. I am the luckiest guy in the world because I have Anton Fig from David Letterman's band on all of the studio tracks for 'Bring 'Em Bach Alive' and Mark on all of the live stuff, two of the greatest drummers in the world."
Northern California developing life-core act DEFILER has signed new worldwide deals with Razor & Tie and its publishing arm, Razor & Tie Music Publishing.

DEFILER is currently working on its Razor & Tie debut which will be released later this year. The band is self-producing, with mixing duties being handled by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (SUICIDE SILENCE, CHELSEA GRIN, THE ACACIA STRAIN).

The band is making a new track available now for preview. Check out "Lucky 38" below.

"Words cannot describe how excited I am about signing with Razor & Tie. I've always had massive respect for the label, because of the diverse roster and bands I love, and they're just the greatest people ever," explains lead singer Jake Pelzl. He continues, "I feel like the new album is a true showcase to what all of us can do as a band. We're going further with the melody, the brutality; I'm playing around with lots of different lyrical ideas. I hope for it to really make an impression in the world of heavy music."

DEFILER recently toured with WAYNE STATIC and POLKADOT CADAVER. The band will head out on the road in support of the new album this fall.

DEFILER has already earned itself a buzz with "Cryomancer" (which generated over 1.7 million views on YouTube). The song also appeared on last summer's Mayhem Hatewear compilation "For The Headbangers 2". In 2010, DEFILER released its debut album, "Pangaea", and in 2011 Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) reissued the album on his Stillborn Records imprint.

DEFILER is led by 18-year-old frontman Jake Pelzl and is rounded out by Ethan Lewis (guitar), Tony Bigley (guitar), Ian Poole (drums) and Jesse Dhaliwal (bass) and managed by Steve Ross for No Name Worldwide.
ENGEL's new album, "Blood Of Saints", has entered the official chart in Sweden at position No. 60. Released on May 18 via Season Of Mist, the CD was recorded at Antfarm studios in Aabyhøj, Denmark. According to the group, the new album "is going to be a good mixture between both [previous ENGEL efforts] 'Threnody' [2010] and 'Absolute Design' [2007], but with some new angles as well! If you liked 'Threnody', you will LOVE 'Blood Of Saints'!"

"Blood Of Saints" track listing:

01. Question Your Place
02. Frontline
03. Feel Afraid
04. Numb
05. Cash King
06. One Good Thing
07. Blood of Saints
08. Down to Nothing
09. Drama Queen
10. In Darkness
11. Journeys End

The "Question Your Place" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed on February 10 at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg with director Kristofer "Kiggs" Carlsson.

ENGEL features guitarists Marcus Sunesson (THE CROWN) and Niclas Engelin (PASSENGER, GARDENIAN, IN FLAMES), vocalist Mangan Klavborn, drummer Jimmy Olausson (ex-MARIONETTE) and bassist Steve Drennan (LOCUS).

"Threnody" was released in Europe on November 8, 2010 and in the U.S. on January 11, 2011 via Season Of Mist. The CD was issued in Japan on April 20, 2010 via Avex.

The band was previously signed to SPV Records which issued ENGEL's debut album, "Absolute Design", in 2007.
Singer Eduardo "Edu" Falaschi has left the Brazilian metal band ANGRA. He has issued the following statement about his departure:

"Dear friends, fans and partners,

"There comes a moment in a man's life when it is necessary to make a radical decision in order to move forward with dignity and renewed energy.

"I'm in a very happy moment, where now, at age 40, I'm fulfilled and incredibly satisfied to have succeeded in making almost all my personal and professional dreams come true. I have a beautiful family, many wonderful friends and fans who have followed me for over 20 years and a lasting career with more than 15 albums released, several world tours and thousands of copies sold worldwide.

"I am a lucky person to have made it this far, singing heavy metal and been around the planet playing the music I love the most.

"I've been thinking for some time now about the path to follow and finally came to the conclusion that it is time to take the more natural road.

"It is with a mixture of relief, joy and sadness that I have to declare that from today on I am not the voice of ANGRA anymore. I'm leaving the band already missing a lot of what we built together, especially the happy times of 'Rebirth' and 'Temple Of Shadows'. I will never forget everything that we experienced from good to bad times, after all we must always look at the good side of things, even when things are most difficult.

"I am eternally grateful for those 10 years of many victories and for all the opportunities given to me. I wish them luck on their journeys. Whenever they want or need, I will be around and ready to support them!

"I am, and will always be, very proud of our history!

"My life is music and music is the food to my soul.

"I have many plans and projects for the future! Some of them are already well established, strong and generating excellent results and so, they demand and deserve my full dedication, and of all the people involved in it. That's why I also want to announce that Felipe Andreoli is not ALMAH's bass player anymore! He will keep working only with ANGRA and his other projects!

"I will go on with my ideals and my career as a singer, songwriter and producer.

"Thank you all, with love…"

Falaschi joined ANGRA in 2000 and appeared on the band's last four studio albums — 2001's "Rebirth", 2004's "Temple Of Shadows", 2006's "Aurora Consurgens" and 2010's "Aqua".
Swedish death metallers SECTU will release their second album, "Gerra" (ViciSolum Productions), on June 1, only a year after the arrival of their highly acclaimed debut, "Inundate".

SECTU has undergone changes in the lineup with the addition of guitarist Anders Ericson (BEYOND TWILIGHT) and bassist Johan Niemann (EVERGREY, THERION).

"Gerra" track listing:

01. Gerra/Incinerate
02. Nightwraiths
03. Summon the Bringer of Demise
04. Havoc
05. Court of the Sloths
06. Manifest
07. Declaration of War
08. Allured God
09. Divest
10. The All Engorging Furnace
Norwegian black metal outfit KHONSU, which features in its ranks the Gronbech brothers (ex-KEEP OF KALESSIN), has inked a deal with Season Of Mist. The band's debut album, "Anomalia", "blends rock, metal, and electronic elements," according to a press release.

Commented KHONSU founder, songwriter, and visionary S. Gronbech: "I am very pleased to enter a collaboration with Season Of Mist as I've always had a high opinion of them — something I believe the rest of the metal world does as well. I have been working on KHONSU's debut album for some years now and I definitely think that Season Of Mist is a great label to release it through. I am looking forward to joining the ranks with legends like MAYHEM, MORBID ANGEL, SAMAEL and many others."

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