Re: [Classic_Rock_Forever] The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Uriah Heep, Van Halen and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Will the Stones be playing in the UK?
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Subject: [Classic_Rock_Forever] The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Uriah Heep, Van Halen and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


The Rolling Stones are set to tour later this year after Ronnie Wood revealed he
is "keeping October/November free".
The legendary rockers have long been rumoured to be playing live again
this year to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Earlier this year, it
appeared they would be delaying the celebrations until 2013 after
guitarist Keith Richards suggested the band weren't ready to go back on
the road yet.
However, speaking earlier this week, Wood hinted Mick Jagger and co could tour
before the end of the year, telling The Sun:
It looks like we are going to be doing more stuff. I am keeping
October/November free, that’s what I've been told. I'm just awaiting
more information.
However, the Faces man scotched suggestions the band would be   recording
new material, adding: "New ones? Are you joking? We are familiarising
ourselves with our back catalogue and have only scratched the surface."
Earlier this year, Wood suggested the band were "on the verge" of arranging a
reunion and were simply "tying up loose ends".
The band played their first ever gig in London on July 12, 1962.
However, Richards has suggested playing in 2013 would be a more fitting
half-centenary anniversary. "The Stones always considered '63 to be 50
years, because Charlie [Watts] didn't actually join until January," he
said. "We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the
birth is next year."
Richards also refused to rule out the possibility of former bassist Bill
  Wyman for the tour, claiming that he was "up for   it" and they had
discussed him teaming up again with his former bandmates.
The Rolling Stones will release a new photo album to mark 50 years since
  their first ever gig this year. The tome â€" which is titled The Rolling
Stones: 50 â€" will feature 700 shots and words from the band on their
history, and will hit UK bookshelves on July 12.
BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) have released the following statement:

"We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download."

Ward officially announced on Tuesday (May 15) that he will not be joining BLACK SABBATH for this year's performances. In a long message posted on his web site, Ward explained that he was simply unable to come to terms with his bandmates. The drummer claimed that the group asked him to participate "minimally" at the band's Download festival set in the U.K. in June, then later offered him the chance to play a Birmingham warm-up show on May 19 "for free and see how the first show goes" without any guarantee that he'd get to perform at the other concerts, which he ultimately turned down. He said, "I can't prioritize the SABBATH fans making one show more important than the other. I can't do that. All of you are important. It's all the gigs or none at all. I can't come to Birmingham and 'see what happens' knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it's all or nothing. I didn't want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent."

BLACK SABBATH was supposed to tour the Europe and North America this year as part of a worldwide trek in support of a new album, but Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis put those plans on hold.

Ozzy, Iommi and Butler recently spent time in London recording their first album together in 33 years, although without Ward it is not the original SABBATH reunion announced last November.

The rest of SABBATH's scheduled European summer gigs will be replaced by "Ozzy And Friends", at which the singer will be joined by Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates.
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 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.
EspyRock recently conducted an interview   with GUNS N' ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

EspyRock: This year marks your third year with the band so how has the journey been so far?

Ashba: It's been surreal; it's a dream come true. I would have never believed anyone when I was a kid that one day I would grow up to be the lead guitarist of GUNS N' ROSES. It's just surreal and I'm honored to part of it. I'm super appreciative of the fans out there who have supported it.

EspyRock: Did you have trouble adjusting to begin with, because you were walking into the lion's den with everything that had happened over the years and you also had other aspects such as your on stage time being doubled from what you were used to?

Ashba: Yeah, well I've played a lot of arenas in other big bands before, but nothing ever like GUNS N' ROSES. The fans and the production, everything about it is just first-class and top-notch. Axl [Rose] doesn't do anything in a small way, it's always "go big or go home," and I love that about being in GUNS.

EspyRock: You have been very vocal about the future of GUNS N' ROSES and wanting to work on new material for a new GUNS N' ROSES album but we haven't heard a lot from the other members. Have the band actually had the opportunity to sit down together and discuss it?
Ashba: Yeah, we have and it has become one of our main focuses. We're working on a lot of new stuff, not only for the music but we have surprises on this tour and everyone is looking forward to getting out there and putting on a kick-ass rock 'n' roll show. The most important thing is that I'm really looking forward to the future with this band. Getting in and writing with everybody and that's what I'm excited about the most but when it happens has still to be decided.

EspyRock: The demos that you have been working on, I know Axl has heard a lot of them.

Ashba: Yes, he has.

EspyRock: Has there been anything that he has heard and felt could be on a future album or are you not moving as fast as that yet?

Ashba: I don't want to put words in his mouth and I don't know yet if he feels it is ready for the album. All I know is that he really liked what he heard and I think together, as a band, we're all looking forward to putting together what we feel will be the next best GUNS N' ROSES record.

EspyRock: Are you more eager than the others to get into the studio so you can put your personal stamp on GUNS N' ROSES?

Ashba: I think everyone is so talented in this band and as a band, we're so incredibly tight, like a family, and we play insanely well together. I think if this band does put out a new record, it's obviously going to be a lot different than "Chinese Democracy" or anything you've ever heard because it is a completely new band in that aspect.
Progressive rockers URIAH HEEP will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of their classic fourth album, "Demons And Wizards" by performing the LP in its entity at select U.S. shows this fall.

"Demons And Wizards" is regarded by many fans and critics alike as URIAH HEEP's best album, often ranked against the preceding "Look At Yourself". Even Rolling Stone magazine, which printed an infamously negative review of the band's debut album, ran a positive assessment of "Demons And Wizards". The songs "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'" were released as singles in the United Kingdom and North America, as well as many other markets. "Easy Livin'" entered the U.S. Top 40 at #39, making it HEEP's first and only American hit. "Easy Livin'" was also a mega hit in the Netherlands and Germany, countries which were becoming a strong market for the band. The album itself was certified gold in the U.S. on October 27, 1972.

URIAH HEEP U.S. dates:

Nov. 01 - Jim Thorpe PA - Penn's Peak
Nov. 04 - New York NY - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Nov. 08 - Milwaukee WI - Potawatomi Casino / Northern Lights Theatre *
Nov. 09 - Milwaukee WI - Potawatomi Casino / Northern Lights Theatre *
Nov. 16 - Tulsa OK - River Spirit Casino

* featuring "Demons And Wizards" performance

URIAH HEEP's latest album, "Into The Wild", was released in April 2011 via Frontiers Records. The CD was produced by Mike Paxman (STATUS QUO, ASIA) and features cover artwork (see below) by the renowned Greek-American artist Ioannis (LYNYRD SKYNYRD, STYX, SAGA).
According to, VAN HALEN appears to have postponed over 30 dates on its 2012 North American tour, beginning with the July 7 concert at Uncasville, Connecticut and ending with the September 25 performance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There has been no word yet as to the reason for the postponements.

The official press release from United Concerts, which was the promoter for the VAN HALEN concert at in Salt Lake City, Utah, reads: "The VAN HALEN show at EnergySolutions Arena Tuesday, September 4th has been temporarily postponed. Future dates to be announced. The on-sale for this Friday, May 18th is also postponed. Please hold on to your tickets until further information is available. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Remaining VAN HALEN dates:

May 19 - St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy Center
May 22 - Kansas City, Mo., Sprint Center
May 24 - Denver, Colo., Pepsi Center
May 27 - Las Vegas, Nev., MGM Grand Garden Arena
Jun. 01 - Los Angeles, Calif., Staples Center
Jun. 03 - Oakland, Calif., Oracle Arena
Jun. 05 - San Jose, Calif., HP Pavilion
Jun. 12 - Anaheim, Calif, Honda Center
Jun. 14 - San Diego, Calif – Viejas Arena
Jun. 16 - Phoenix, Ariz., US Airways Center
Jun. 20 - Dallas, Texas, American Airlines Center
Jun. 22 - San Antonio, Texas, AT&T Center
Jun. 24 - Houston, Texas, Toyota Center
Jun. 26 - New Orleans, La., New Orleans Arena

The following shows are no longer being listed on VAN HALEN's official web site:

Jul. 07 - Uncasville, Ct., Mohegan Sun Arena
Jul. 09 - Hampton, Va., Hampton Coliseum
Jul. 11 - Philadelphia, Pa., Wells Fargo Center
Jul. 13 - East Rutherford, N.J., Izod Center
Jul. 15 - Baltimore, Md., 1st Mariner Arena
Jul. 17 - Rochester N.Y., Blue Cross Arena
Jul. 19 - Detroit, Mich., Joe Louis Arena
Jul. 21 - London, Ontario, John Labatt Centre
Jul. 24 - Toledo, Ohio, Huntington Center
Jul. 26 - Grand Rapids, Mich., Van Andel Arena
Jul. 28 - Cleveland, Ohio, Quicken Loans Arena
Jul. 31 - Fort Wayne, Ind., Allen County Memorial Coliseum
Aug. 02 - Columbus, Ohio, Schottenstein Center
Aug. 04 - Knoxville, Tenn., Thompson-Boiling Arena
Aug. 06 - Memphis, Tenn., FedEx Forum
Aug. 08 - Birmingham, Ala., BJCC Arena
Aug. 10 - Greenville, S.C., BI-LO Center
Aug. 12 - Cincinnati, Ohio, US Bank Arena
Aug. 21 - Spokane, Wash., Spokane Arena
Aug. 23 - Portland, Ore., Rose Garden
Aug. 25 - Sacramento, Calif.,Power Balance Pavilion
Aug. 28 - Fresno, Calif., Save Mart Center
Aug. 30 - Reno, Nev., Reno Events Center
Sep. 04 – Salt Lake City, Utah - EnergySolutions Arena
Sep. 08 - Albuquerque, N.M., Tingley Coliseum
Sep. 11 - El Paso, Texas, Don Haskins Center
Sep. 13 - Austin, Texas, Frank Erwin Center
Sep. 15 - Oklahoma City, Okla., Chesapeake Energy Arena
Sep. 17 - Wichita, Kan. – Intrust Bank Arena
Sep. 21 - Moline, Ill., Iwireless Center
Sep. 25 - Milwaukee, Wis., Bradley Center

VAN HALEN's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", has sold 377,000 copies in the United States since its February 7 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The CD 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, "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.

Q&A with John 5 (Rob Zombie)

Guitarist talks about his eclectic musical input and output

anh_3184e 600pix c-1John 5 (Photo: Amy Harris)
John 5 has seen almost everything in Rock music. He's toured with David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie (with whom he's currently rockin') and been credited on songs from a wide range of artists — from Saliva to Salt n Pepa to k.d. lang to an upcoming collaboration with Rod Stewart. The guitarist has gained the reputation as a musical genius and one of the most action-packed guitarists in the world. He has just released his sixth solo album, God Told Me To, which mixes acoustic Spanish guitar along with Metal riffs.
CityBeat caught up with the guitar player to talk about the new album and some of the darker aspects of what goes into his writing, as well as the lighter aspects help put him to sleep every night. John 5 will take the stage with headliner Rob Zombie this Sunday at Rock on the Range in Columbus.
CityBeat: Can you tell us about the name of your album, God Told Me To?
John 5: The name, it is funny because … I am from Michigan, I am from Grosse Pointe. I was upper class growing up there. I was brought up in a really nice environment and home and I remember the night before I was leaving for California to really give it my shot saying, "I am going to try this. I am going to try to be this musician type of thing." I remember I was saying my little prayer. I never wished to be a "rock star." I just wanted to be a working musician. My dreams didn't even go past a session player or a working musician. It was too far beyond my dreams. That's kind of what the title means, that kind of thing, but also you can look at in the negative way, like when someone does a horrific murder, they always say, "Oh, God told me to."
CB: I have read a lot of discussion in your recent interviews about serial killers and even the song "Night Stalker" being written about Richard Ramirez. Do you have an interest in serial killers and the history and stories behind them?
J5: I think it is interesting to me about how the mind works and how someone is wired, how their mind works, how it is completely OK to do these things, which I could never even think of doing something like that. It was always so interesting to read about this or watch documentaries. It is so odd for something like that to happen, so I have always had this little fascination with it — not that I am pro-for that kind of thing or anything but it is just very interesting to see something like that.
CB: I got a copy of the album and have been listening to it today. I love the acoustic Spanish-style versions on some of the songs. I know you are a lifelong learner. Did you take specific lessons around Flamenco or Spanish-style guitar lessons?
J5: Yes, I have always tried to learn, it is what keeps me sane. I love to learn and I started doing a lot of studying of Spanish-style music and really started getting into it and how it is just a completely different form of guitar playing. It is just like if you started speaking in a different language like Japanese or something. It is something that you have to study and work at a lot. That is what I enjoy because I love the guitar so much. Yes, I did a lot of studying and research on that.
CB: What current music is inspiring me right now?
J5: What current music is inspiring? You know what, and this will be a surprise, but I usually am very honest. I have had a little epiphany and this is very shocking. I was watching some movie or something like that and a N.W.A.

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song was on and I am no fan of Rap music, I really am not because I like the guitar. So I heard this N.W.A. song, I think it was "Gangsta Gangsta," and I was like, "This is really, really, really good." It was eye-opening to me and I appreciate it now. I was pretty taken back by it. I would have to say N.W.A. (is a current inspiration), which I can't believe I am saying but it is the truth.
CB: There are a lot of bands right now collaborating outside their genres. Korn has collaborated with Skrillex and trying to create a lot of different sounds which would traditionally maybe not be in Metal music.
J5: Sure, and I think it is very important for that to happen because of the fact music has to always evolve and if it doesn't, it has failed. It is good that it is evolving.
CB: I know that you are always writing constantly. How did you narrow the songs for the album?
J5: I kind of would write a certain thing and I would say, "It would be really cool if I had something like this next…" because I like a nice flow to the record and a lot of people don't like the shredding thing all the time — I don't even. This is coming from me. I like a nice even flow to everything and the acoustic stuff is a nice breather to everything that is going on.
CB: I know you have worked with Country music in the past. Is there any chance you would get involved with Country music more than just writing?
J5: I don't know because I love Country music … maybe. Maybe when I am too old to jump around stage like a monkey, (then) maybe I will because I really love Country music. I love Loretta Lynn and I love Roy Clark and Johnny Cash, everybody. I just really appreciate it a lot, for sure.
CB: Every year you play the Dimebag Bash tribute (to late guitarist Dimebag Darrell) out in L.A. Did you do that this year and why is that important to you?
J5: I did do that (this year) and it is important because we are celebrating a great talent and a great human being. He was a friend of mine. It gives me a good feeling. I knew Dimebag and I loved him. It gives me a good feeling to do that so why not.
CB: Getting back to the new album, my favorite song was "The Lust Killer." Can you tell me a little bit of the story behind that song?
J5: The Lust Killer, that was, I forget where he was from, but he was this serial killer and that was his nickname, the Lust Killer. I love that song. It was a lot of fun, great production in that one. That one took a lot of time writing, I took a lot of time and attention to it, harmonies and melodies. It was one of my favorites, too.
CB: Last week was the anniversary of Columbine and I know that you and the band went through a hard time when you were with Marilyn Manson following that event. Does that affect you in any way every year when the anniversary rolls around?
J5: Well, whenever I hear about it, it does affect me and it is just (that) I think it was so traumatic to the parents and the loved ones of the people that perished and it must be the worst thing in the world. They live with this every day. When we hear about Columbine, we always hang our heads a little bit, it is an awful travesty but these people that have lost their children and they deal with this agonizing loss every single day. It must be the worst thing in the world.
CB: I know you are playing the same day as Marilyn Manson this time at Rock on the Range. When was the last time that you saw him? I'm sure you will run into each other that day.
J5: I saw him at the Golden God Awards and I didn't say, "Hi." Ginger, his old drummer is playing with us in Rob Zombie. It's fine. We don't have any bad blood. We are adults; it's fine. We have no problems with each other whatsoever. I know it would make a great story if we did, but we don't.
CB: I do have a few fun questions, just the first thing that comes to your head as we finish up. What was your worst job you have ever had?
J5: Worst job I have ever had, I know, I was cleaning carpets. It was terrible.
CB: Do you have any scars?
J5: I was bit by a dog when I was little and I have a scar on my right arm, but my arm is so tattooed I haven't seen it. I guess it is still there, it has to be there.
CB: What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
J5: That is a great question. Great question. Some people say brush their teeth or masturbate, whatever they say, but what I do, this is great. I watch horror movies, the Frankensteins, Dracula, The Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Wolf Man. I watch those Universal old horror movies, every night, every night before I go to bed. So I watch 20 minutes when I am really tired, I turn it off and go to bed. That is exactly what I do before I go to bed.
CB: Do you do that with (Rob Zombie bassist) Piggy D, because I interviewed him last year and he said he loved the horror movies as well.
J5: I know he watches movies but I don't think they are horror movies. They have to be the Universal horror movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, Creature of the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man. It has to be that series.
CB: What is the best guitar solo of all time?
J5: Maybe (Eddie Van Halen's) "Eruption."
CB: "Beat It" did make me smile on the new album.
J5: "Beat It" is a close second.
CB: Are you planning any solo touring on the new album or are you going to use the Zombie dates to promote it?
J5: I'm so busy, maybe, I don't know. We are so busy. We are going to start making a Zombie record after the tour. I don't know but if I get some time I am definitely going to do it.
CB: Are you going to be playing any new stuff at Rock on the Range?
J5: No, we want to keep that under wraps. I have been also doing that Lords of Salem soundtrack, but we have a ton of ideas for the new album.
Jason P. Woodbury of the Phoenix New Times' "Up On The Sun" blog recently conducted an interview with TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Up On The Sun: You've got a book and a new album out at the same time. I assume you're pretty busy these days.

Dee Snider: It seemed like a good idea two months ago when they said, "Hey, why don't we release the book and the CD at the same time?" [Laughs] It's kind of like having twins in a way. Instead of being able to savor each child unto themselves, you get two. It's almost like I have two kids and I'm splitting my attention and enjoying both, but you can't focus on the one. But it's okay, I'm not complaining. The '90s were long and hard on me. I sat doing nothing for a long time, so it's okay.

Up On The Sun: Neither project really fits people's minds regarding tropes or traps. The album is all showtunes, and the book, well, it's not a typical rock autobiography about you being strung-out or a sex maniac.

Dee Snider: Like I said in the book, who isn't? [Laughs] But neither the book nor the album are typical. It's obvious, but it's nice to hear it stated. Both kind of have people scratching their head a little bit going, "What?" What was important to me with the book was that I told the story I wanted to tell. They said, "What story do you want to tell?" I said, "My rise and fall." And they said 'fall'? I said, "Yeah." I want to let people know you may be a rock star, but people fall all the time. You've got to keep trying to do the right thing. I think [there's some universal themes] going back to the lyrics [of TWISTED SISTER]. There were kids all over America and the world being yelled at by their dads, and feeling put upon, and not understood. I was just writing a personal story — in the "We're Not Going to Take It" video — and I was like "Oh, shit, that's going on?" I thought I was telling my story, but so many people identified with it. But right now, especially, with people are losing their jobs . . . I'm telling the odyssey of my life ... you can pick yourself up. Really, at the end of the day, that's all it takes.
Original RATT bassist Juan Croucier rejoined the Californian rockers for their show at the M3 Rock Festival on Saturday, May 12 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. This marked his first appearance with the band since 1991.

Commented guitarist Warren DeMartini, "I happened to see Juan after a signing at Charvel guitars last January at NAMM. This guy walks up with RATT's 'Out Of The Cellar' LP and it had every bandmember's autograph except his and mine. Juan said in disbelief, 'Do you know what the odds are of this happening in a crowd of 100,000 people? Another couple minutes and this wouldn't be possible!' I think that says it all. Rehearsing with Juan [the week before the M3 Rock Festival] was like going back in time to our last performance together in RATT at Irvine Meadows two decades ago — [it felt] like it was yesterday."

Frontman Stephen Pearcy added, "After all these years, regrouping with the original band members is like riding a bike — you never forget. The first day in rehearsal was like years ago. Amazing, to say the least."

Guitarist Carlos Cavazo commented, "I'm sure this could create yet another successful page in the band's history."

Drummer Bobby Blotzer said, "Juan and I go way back, playing in bands together since age 16. Having him back in fold with us for the M3 festival after being gone so many years is intriguing. We've been rehearsing for several weeks and it sounds like RATT 'n' Roll."

Croucier himself declared, "It's hard to believe that it's been almost 20 years since we last played together. I'm personally looking forward to reconnecting with RATT fans worldwide and I'm hopeful this will last far into the future."

In an October 2011 interview with Legendary Rock Interviews, Croucier stated about the possibility of him returning to RATT, "I never say never, because I can't predict the future but there have been some very nasty things said and done to me by my former bandmates in RATT. It has destroyed the trust, bond and respect we once had among each other."

He added, "I have had many offers to go back to RATT (ironically, sometimes while they were deriding me in the press at the same time) and the main reason I have not gone back to the band is because we had a very problematic situation in the first place, and nothing had (or has) changed — we don't get along, it's not fun and things that should be easy are hard. . . Some people like being in tumultuous relationships; I don't. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work in my recording studio, still play in bands and be a father that is present in my children's lives at the same time. It's not 'all about Juan.'"

Bassist Robbie Crane, who had played with RATT since 1997, quit the band in March to focus on LYNCH MOB. During an appearance on the March 22 edition of the "Headbangers At 11" show on the 93.3 KDKB radio station with host Mike Gaube, Crane stated about his decision to leave RATT, "I've been playing in LYNCH MOB since October of 2010. It's a thing that I've always loved doing, and I love playing with the band. . I'd been with RATT for 15 years and it was time to move on. I love being in LYNCH MOB and this is where my heart's at."
DOWN guitarist Kirk Windstein has revealed to that the band will "probably play one or two new" songs on their upcoming tour, which is scheduled to kick off tomorrow night (Friday, May 18) at The Station in Broussard, Louisiana.

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

The first six-song EP, which heralds the sound of DOWN going back to its roots, with influences from BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS and WITCHFINDER GENERAL, will be released "late summer," according to Windstein. "[It's] kind of a throwback to what we were doing at the very beginning, on the 'Nola' record [DOWN's 1995 debut]," he said. "I think the fans are going to love it."

DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo recently described the band's new EP as "very stripped down. Nothing flashy. Straight to the point… really just DOWN music. If you liked the first record, the demos… something like that… This record, we're pretty dead straight and honest and on the money as far as making it as simple and direct as possible and I think we did that. . . It has that practice-room vibe to it. We didn't really try and fucking slick it out and anything. We went the more raw route, as far as an approach."for yourselves and you guys will be better judges than myself at this point."

The track listing for the effort is as follows (in no particular order):

01. Levitation
02. Witchtripper
03. The Misfortune Teller
04. The Curse Is A Lie
05. Open Coffins
06. This Work Is Timeless
Californian blues-rockers RIVAL SONS have finished recording and mixing their eagerly anticipated new album in Nashville, Tennessee. The as-yet untitled follow-up to 2011's "Pressure & Time" was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb and Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell. A late August release via Earache Records is expected.

Commented RIVAL SONS guitarist Scott Holiday: "We have officially completed and turned in our next full-length record. We thought we might give ourselves a bit more time to work this time around, as opposed to the 20 days for 'Pressure & Time'... BUT, it was even MORE crazy this time. Everything was finished in about the same amount of time (22 days), but this time we are giving much more music (a much longer record) — nearly twice that of 'Pressure & Time'.

"Done in Nashville this time — amazing people, music, music scene, countryside, and some cool record shops. We re-enlisted our long-time producer and friend, Dave Cobb (Jamie Johnson, SECRET SISTERS, Shooter Jennings, and uh... RIVAL SONS), and this time we brought in the engineering and mix wizardry of one Mr. Vance Powell (Jack White, DEAD WEATHER, KINGS OF LEON).

"Songs were once again written and recorded on the spot, allowing the listener to really peer in and catch a snapshot of the moment, and our immediate instincts. Most songs were captured in a few takes, not to mention plenty of first-takers. Pretty off the cuff and unadulterated. We have never had a wish to be predictable or sedentary with our music, and this record explores and supports that ethos pretty well. In other words, this record is not 'Pressure & Time', but delves into a bunch of other musical ideas and sounds. Much more of a 'long-form' record as a whole. Fist-pumpers, ass-shakers, foot-stompers, air guitaring/bassing/drummers, tear-jerkers, heart-string-pullers, and a few straight up freak outs. That's all I'll say for now."

RIVAL SONS has been confirmed as the main support act for GUNS N' ROSES for two shows in Europe this summer.

RIVAL SONS will be joining GUNS N' ROSES at Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands on June 4, and then at the Warsteiner Hockey Park in Mönchengladbach, Germany on June 8.
Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of recently conducted an interview with guitarist Dino Cazares of Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Your new album, "The Industrialist", is coming out June 5, and it's supposed to be a concept album. What's that all about, and how did you guys decide to do a concept album?

Dino: Well, we've always been doing concept records ever since the early days, from "Demanufacture", "Obselete", "Digimortal" and so on, but this time we decided to take it a little bit further. We've always been presenting the concept of man versus technology and man versus machine. The past records have been about the perspective of the human, but this one is about the automaton, which is a robot. The concept is about his perception, what the automaton sees, what he feels and what he learns. He's basically a robot that collects memories and stores them. He's fighting for his life, and for other automatons. We as humans built the automaton to help us for everyday life, but he basically turns against humans. And that's what the story is about. You programmed the drums on the album, but what's the situation when you're on tour. Who's your live drummer?

Dino: It's called a Mac computer. He's our drummer. [laughs] No, but seriously, we have a live drummer. His name is Mike Heller, and he is in a band called MALIGNANCY. He is playing all the songs and doing a great job. I think right now we are tighter. We feel like a really tight unit right now. We've got Matt DeVries on bass. He was the guitar player in CHIMAIRA, but he's playing bass for us. For FEAR FACTORY, we always wanted our bassist to be like a second guitar player. So Matt pretty much does everything I do, and it definitely makes us really tight on the low-end part. Then you've got Mike Heller on drums who's a very tight drummer, very technical and just super solid. I think our band right now, me, Matt and Mike are very tight with each other. Very locked. Speaking of these changes, obviously Byron Stroud was the bassist and Gene [Hoglan] was with you guys. You did so many shows after "Mechanize" was released. You toured everywhere, on your own and with METALLICA as well. So do you feel like it's a big change for you with these two guys now not in the band?

Dino: No, not at all. I didn't feel like it was a big change at all. I mean, of course, we miss them as friends, because we toured with them for the last three years, but everybody does their thing. Byron is playing in 3 INCHES OF BLOOD now and Gene is playing in .. every band. [laughs] Gene is one of those drummers that everybody needs. You're lucky if you get him, you know what I mean? Right now he's doing TESTAMENT, he's doing DETHKLOK, he's doing a lot of stuff. But I do believe we have really good, solid players in Mike Heller and Matt DeVries. The band sounds really tight and solid, and I'm really happy about it. I wouldn't pick shitty musicians.
Hardcore/metal veterans VISION OF DISORDER (a.k.a. V.O.D.) have set "The Cursed Remain Cursed" as the title of their new album, due later in the year via Candlelight Records. The CD was produced by Will Putney (SHADOWS FALL, SUICIDE SILENCE, FOUR YEAR STRONG) and was mixed by Cameron Webb (MOTÖRHEAD, SOCIAL DISTORTION, IGNITE, PENNYWISE).

In a recent interview with Terrorizer magazine, VISION OF DISORDER frontman Tim Williams stated about the band's new CD, "This record is vintage V.O.D., but we've all grown as musicians and individuals since the last stuff we released. It's pretty diverse. You've got songs like 'Blood Red Sun' that are among the most forward-thinking, progressive things we've ever done, while still being real vicious — but there are some straight-up numbers too, like 'Hard Times' and 'Loveless'. Lyrically, it's coming from a pretty dark place, falling into the pits of one's own personal hell, and having to crawl out or die down there, plus there's some more political stuff, too. This has been a long time in the making and we just went with what felt right."

VISION OF DISORDER recently filmed a video for the song "Set To Fail", which is expected to be the first single from "The Cursed Remain Cursed".

In a recent press release, VISION OF DISORDER stated about its plans for the forthcoming album, "Before the word 'metalcore' existed… VISION OF DISORDER did. We did what we did because we loved it, not because we thought others might. 20 years later, we're once again at work with the same approach. . . We are bringing all the elements of what made us unique and ferocious to the table."

Regarding the musical direction of VISION OF DISORDER's new material, bassist Mike Fleischmann previously told Greg Prato of UGO, "The songs are what you would expect from V.O.D. — very aggressive and melodic. We really feel that on these new songs we have kind of mixed up all of our past efforts into a blender with a dash of new flavor, and we are excited to see what V.O.D. fans will think of it."

VISION OF DISORDER's current lineup includes singer Tim Williams, guitarists Matt Baumbach and Mike Kennedy, Fleischmann and drummer Brendon Cohen.

The band's last studio album, "From Bliss to Devastation", came out in 2001 via TVT Records.

VISION OF DISORDER toured with some of metal's biggest names during the late 1990s — including PANTERA, BLACK SABBATH, TYPE O NEGATIVE, ANTHRAX and BAD BRAINS — before calling it quits in 2001, and then reuniting in 2008.
The Times Of India recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Times Of India: What do you think attracts people to heavy metal? The sound or the hard-hitting lyrics?

Chris: Heavy metal represents a way to let your feelings out in a positive way. It's aggressive, but it's fun. It breaks away from your normal life and helps you see things in different ways. Though it's hard-hitting and addictive, it's healthy, drugs ain't. Genres like hard rock or heavy metal offer a home knowing that you are not alone.

The Times Of India: Tell us about your new record "Resolution". How different is it from "Wrath"?

Chris: This is our seventh record and is way different from what we've done before. The best thing about "Resolution" is that it includes a style of everything that we've done before. So it's like a collaborative album of all our previous records. We've been quite explorative in this and had more of songwriting. A couple of people said it's much more aggressive than "Wrath". I think it's important for us to reinvent ourselves.

The Times Of India: A couple of reports said that this will be your last album. Is it true?

Chris: I haven't hinted at anything like that and I hope this is not our last album. But yes, we aren't getting younger either. Though we haven't planned our next, we still love to write songs and make music.

The Times Of India: Where is the direction of metal music in the global scene? What will be the next big thing in heavy metal?

Chris: The focus should be on the player and not the machine. It's not the sound that matters; how you connect with the song is what that matters the most. People have realized the value of song writing and are getting back to it. We've seen several bands copying different styles from other bands. There will be no room for copycat bands. Though I really can't predict what will be the next big thing in heavy metal, the focus will be more on lead guitar and drums.
Former DEFIANCE guitarist Shawn Bozarth unveiled his new band ONE LESS ENEMY on April 19 at the Fat Cat club in Modesto, California. Sharing the bill was WARBRINGER and headliner FORBIDDEN. ONE LESS ENEMY tore through its ferocious five-song set with a mix of technical and melodic thrash . The urgency of the material was not lost on the crowd, who exhibited an enthusiastic response to the band.

"It was an honor to open for such luminaries as FORBIDDEN," said Shawn. "They were a huge influence to me when I was younger. Now that DEFIANCE is over, I'm focusing 100 percent on ONE LESS ENEMY and we are armed and ready! We're gearing up to hit the studio and shop our project to various interested labels."

After undergoing several lineup changes, ONE LESS ENEMY solidified its assembly, consisting of Shawn Bozarth (guitar), Gary Jones (vocals), Kris Olson (bass), Harley Maxwell (guitars) and Chuck Beale (drums).

Look for ONE LESS ENEMY to be doing a string of live Bay Area shows throughout the summer and fall of 2012 while they finish their debut offering.
Chicago, Illinois gothic/folk metallers URN are working on their new album, "A Hard Winter's Journey", at Bombshelter Studios in Chicago with producer Dan Precision (RISE AGAINST, NAKED RAYGUN) and at Studio 101 in Melbourne, Florida with Dominic St. Charles (ELECTRIC HELLFIRE CLUB). The band is also in talks with Brian Ferraro of Moondog Entertainment to shoot a video for their upcoming single, "Black Widow", in late summer/early fall.

"A Hard Winter's Journey" marks the recording debut of URN's new composer/keyboardist Drake Mefessta (DIAMORTE, EARTHEN).

URN has announced more than half a dozen tour dates kicking off at the end of May in Texas followed quickly by the band's first trip across the Mexican border. After this initial run of dates, the band will return to the road at the end of July for a tour of the Midwestern United States. The band plans on playing a mix of songs both new and old, including some early versions of songs off the upcoming CD.
German folk metallers NACHTGESCHREI have announced the addition of singer Martin LeMar (TOMORROW'S EVE, MEKONG DELTA) to the group's ranks.

Says the band: "After a long search, the decision was made quickly: we rehearsed and did test recordings with a lot of great singers, but one guy just blew us away... Martin LeMar will be the new voice of NACHTGESCHREI! And what a voice — Martin just convinced us with his voice and personality. We are absolutely sure that he is the right guy to kick off once again with. We are confident that the best is yet to come: currently we are working on new songs, planning the first shows and have a little surprise for you up our sleeves — so stay tuned."

NACHTGESCHREI will release a digital-only best-of album, "Eine Erste Kerbe", on May 18 via Massacre Records.

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