[Classic_Rock_Forever] Dio, Def Leppard, Rob Zombie, Uriah Heep, Clutch, Stratovarius. and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Michele Derrough of GlideMagazine.com recently conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, KILL DEVIL HILL). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

GlideMagazine.com: What would you say was the greatest thing you learned from Ronnie James Dio?

Vinny: Ronnie is an amazing person, just amazing, like no other person you met. You could feel the aura around him and stuff. Very creative, very personable and what Ronnie was all about was his music and his fans. Those were really, really one of the two most important things in his life. And, of course, his family and stuff, but he loved his music and that's what he lived for. And his fans. From the early days to the end, he was out there signing autographs. He was meeting everybody and when you met him, you might see him on the next tour or a year later and he remembered your name. It was incredible. When I joined SABBATH, we used to fly commercial to go to gigs but when we'd get to the airport there were two limos for us. So usually me and Ronnie would load into one and Tony [Iommi] and Geezer [Butler] were in the other so at the end of the show Tony and Geezer would leave and Ronnie and I would hang out. Then when we'd leave, if there were kids out at the gate, Ronnie would go, "Stop the car, stop the car," and he'd get out and go sign through the gate and sign all the autographs. Might take him forty-five minutes or an hour and I was like, wow, this is cool. So then I would come out and do it. People kind of knew me and they got my autograph and after years had gone by I always did it with Ronnie. He'd go out and I'd go out with him and I learned that that is important. The fans appreciate that and if it wasn't for the fans we wouldn't be able to do this and live this life so it's an important thing. And that is what Ronnie was all about. He loved his music and just an intelligent guy. He would get a book and get on the airplane and by the time we'd fly to London, the book would be finished. [laughs] Just an avid reader and very, very smart.

GlideMagazine.com: Who was the first rock star that you ever met and don't name your brother.

Vinny: The first real rock star I met was Jeff Beck and that's because my brother was playing with him. Jeff was a big rock star back then, he still is now, but back then I was a little kid and it was like, "Oh my God." [laughs] One day Carmine called up and said — we lived in Brooklyn and Carmine lived in Long Island — and my Mom makes great Italian food and always cooks for the bands and everything so he's going to bring Jeff Beck over to the house in Brooklyn. I was like, "Oh my God, Jeff Beck is coming here. Holy shit." [laughs] So my mom made great Italian food and he's a vegetarian so she made vegetarian manicotti, not meatballs, but sauce and everything. She made a whole feast and then Jeff came in and it was like, oh my God. So I met Jeff when I was really, really young and he was a real rock star and it was cool. But I was like ashamed of the house 'cause the house was small, we didn't have a big house or anything like that, but it was a rock and roll house. [laughs] And Jeff loved it, you know. We had to put the table in the living room 'cause we had a small kitchen and that kind of thing. We didn't have a dining room. So he came over and it was like amazing, like wow, this is Jeff Beck, holy crap. So that was cool. That was a big one and from there on in, I started meeting everybody.

GlideMagazine.com: Is there anyone left that you haven't met yet but would love to meet and maybe play with?

Vinny: I would love to meet Jimmy Page. I've never met him. I've seen him and I've met Robert Plant; I actually got to play with Robert Plant, got to get up and jam with him one time years ago. But Page I never met. I was influenced a lot by ZEPPELIN so he would be a cool guy to meet.
MTV Hive recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MTV Hive: You recently re-recorded "Rock Of Ages" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me". Did you not get it right the first time?

Elliott: It was, well, let's just say a sensible business decision on our part. How can I put this politely? We were having a major disagreement with our ex-record label about the digital rights for our back catalog. We couldn't come to a mutual understanding that seemed fair for both sides. So we finally just decided to re-record all our hits. We started with "Sugar" and "Rock Of Ages", and I think we did a pretty good job. It's hard work trying to recreate something you did 30 years ago.

MTV Hive: But you can't recreate that '80s magic exactly, can you?

Elliott: We tried to do it as closely as we could. We got the same sounds, the same key, the same tempo. It was a 100% forgery. That was the idea, anyway. It's not like a live version, where everything's a bit looser and you've got the ad-libs and the slightly longer guitar solos and the crowd screaming in the background. We were very conscious of the fact that when people download our songs from iTunes, they want it to sound like they remember it.

MTV Hive: You don't think of yourself as heavy metal?

Elliott: I don't. Talk to Glenn Tipton from JUDAS PRIEST or Scott Ian from ANTHRAX and ask them if DEF LEPPARD is a heavy metal band, they'll laugh at you. And rightfully so. They'll say no, they're a good rock band, but they're not heavy metal.

MTV Hive: So what are you?

Elliott: We're rock. It's a vast difference. AC/DC are metal, VAN HALEN aren't metal. And neither are they a hair band, but they've got hair. If it's the difference between being a hair band and a bald band, yes, we're a hair band. But musically, we're a British rock band, end of story.

MTV Hive: What's the formula for a memorable rock 'n' roll anthem? Walk us through it.

Elliott: Most people would say you have to avoid clichés at all cost. But I would say absolutely not. Embrace clichés like they're your dying breath. Look at a song like "We Are the Champions" by QUEEN. It's one big meaty cliché. "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" is one of the greatest songs ever written and it's a cliché, but it's a cool cliché. Don't avoid clichés, embrace the bloody things.
On August 7, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release Rob Zombie's "Mondo Sex Head", featuring new and unique remixes of Rob Zombie classics by some of today's top DJs, including KORN's Jonathan "JDevil" Davis, Photek, the Bloody Beetroots, Drumcorps and Ki:Theory. "Mondo Sex Head" was curated and executive-produced by Jason Bentley, Music Director at L.A.'s influential KCRW and Electronic Dance Music expert. Richard Bishop, co-executive producer of RE:GENERATION music project and documentary film, supervised the project. Each track was hand-selected by Rob Zombie who road-tested many of the songs in his car, driving the L.A. streets.

Throughout his career, iconic music artist and auteur filmmaker Rob Zombie has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of music, film and publishing. Zombie, who has sold over fifteen million albums worldwide and has earned seven Grammy nominations, is no stranger to repurposing his work, cross-fertilizing his fan base and generally pushing the limits of modern-day art. Over the years he has worked with outside DJs, remixers and producers starting with the 1992 remix of WHITE ZOMBIE's first-ever, MTV-fueled hit "Thunder Kiss '65".

"I like the idea of taking songs and reconfiguring them," says Zombie about the album, who is taking an alternative approach in the digital retail space. The album will be preceded by two separate, digital-only EPs, with tracks taken from "Mondo Sex Head" and exclusive bonus tracks.

Rob Zombie's sound and style have always lent themselves to the dance and DJ culture, and he has previously released two remix albums — including 1996's "Supersexy Swingin Sounds", which featured songs from WHITE ZOMBIE's previous albums as re-envisioned by the Dust Brothers, John Fryer, P.M. Dawn, Mike "Hitman" Wilson and Praga Khan, and others. Another collaborator on that album, Charlie Clouser, evolved into the band's producer. "American Made Music To Strip By" came out in 1999, featuring remixes from Zombie's ground-breaking "Hellbilly Deluxe" by RAMMSTEIN, Oliver Adams, DJ Lethal, NINE INCH NAILS' Chris Vrenna and Clouser.

With Electronic Dance Movement (EDM) and rock rapidly banging heads together, Universal Music Enterprises' "Mondo Sex Head" couldn't arrive at a better time, featuring remixes by the likes of KORN's Jonathan "JDevil" Davis ("Thunder Kiss '65"), Photek ("Living Dead Girl"), Document One ("Let It All Bleed Out"), Ki:Theory ("Foxy Foxy" and "Pussy Liquor"), Big Black Delta ("More Human Than Human"), ††† a.k.a. Chino of DEFTONES ("Dragula"), Das Kapital ("Lords Of Salem"), Drumcorps ("Never Gonna Stop"), former GLITCH MOB member Kraddy ("Superbeast") and the BLOODY BEETROOTS ("Burn"), among others. Zombie credits the idea for the album to a conversation with his manager, Andy Gould, who told him he was constantly hearing DJs incorporate samples of Zombie's music into their performance sets.

Rob Zombie's "Mondo Sex Head" finds its creator returning to claim his legacy in the burgeoning EDM world. By bringing together music and film, rock and dance, arena mosh pits and dance club floors, Rob Zombie is proving a cultural phenomenon, with a fan base that is constantly growing.

"Mondo Sex Head" track listing:

01. White Zombie - Thunder Kiss '65 (JDevil Number Of The Beast Remix)
02. Living Dead Girl (Photek Remix)
03. Let It All Bleed Out (Document One Remix)
04. Foxy Foxy (Ki:Theory Remix)
05. White Zombie - More Human Than Human (Big Black Delta Remix)
06. Dragula (††† Remix)
07. Pussy Liquor (Ki:Theory Remix)
08. Lords of Salem (Das Kaptial)
09. Never Gonna Stop (Drumcorps Acid Remix)
10. Superbeast (Kraddy Remix)
11. Devil's Hole Girls (Tobias Enhus Remix ft. The Jane Cornish String Quartet)
12. Burn (The Bloody Beetroots Motherfucker Remix)
13. Mars Needs Women (Griffin Boice Remix)
A member of RADIOHEAD's crew who was killed on Saturday (June 16) when a stage collapsed before the band's scheduled concert in Toronto that evening. 33-year-old drum technician Scott Johnson died when the top portion of the stage fell on him as he was setting up the band's equipment.

Johnson also worked as a crew member for other British bands, including URIAH HEEP, KEANE and WHITE LIES. URIAH HEEP posted at its web site that they "were all saddened to hear the news from Canada that Scott Johnson has died while working on the RADIOHEAD tour. Scott had previously been a member of the URIAH HEEP technical crew, and we all recognized Scott's consummate professionalism, and cheerful disposition, as he effortlessly dealt with life on the road. We are gutted, and our thoughts are with Scott's friends and family."

Three other people were injured in the incident, which happened just one hour before the gates at Downsview Park were scheduled to open and let concertgoers in. The concert was subsequently canceled.

According to BBC News, a team of inspectors and engineers have begun searching through the still unstable wreckage to try and establish what caused the stage to collapse.

This is the latest in a series of stage collapses that has happened over the past few years at North American concerts, including an August 2011 incident in Indiana where five people were killed while waiting to see SUGARLAND.
Maryland rockers CLUTCH released a new limited-edition picture-disc single, "Pigtown Blues", on June 5 via Weathermaker Music. The A side is "Pigtown Blues" and the B side is an acoustic version of the track "Motherless Child". The disc is available at your favorite record store as well as online at IndierMerchStore.com and Pro-Rock.com. This is the first new studio material from CLUTCH since 2009's "Strange Cousins From the West" and the first simultaneous worldwide release for Weathermaker Music.

CLUTCH will embark on a headlining tour this summer with special guests PRONG and LIONIZE. The run kicks off July 11 in Fayetteville, Arkansas and wraps up July 22 in Richmond, Virginia.

CLUTCH will also be playing select dates in August with LIONIZE. These shows are scheduled for August 9, 10 and 12.

CLUTCH has also rescheduled the two shows that were postponed this May. These dates are now scheduled for November 1 through November 3. LIONIZE will be providing direct support and MONSTRO will open these dates.
Noizz Eater magazine recently conducted an interview with singer Tony Kakko of Finnish metallers SONATA ARCTICA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the musical direction change:

Tony Kakko: "Musical growth never ends, I suppose. This time I really wanted to make the things little bit simpler. We went far enough on that progressive road and it was the time to make another turn. At the moment, it seems to result in a huge turmoil on our set list. I could describe this album as the most live friendly SONATA album to date."

On trends:

Tony Kakko: "I've always written the songs for myself. I think it's a totally wrong approach if you just think, 'This will surely sell,' as it's very popular for the time being. Music has to be written for yourself. If I pour my heart and soul on a song and think that song is the best song I've ever written, and this thing happens with each song and album, I think you're doing something right. There are people on this planet who will think the same way about at least some of those songs. But, of course, it is fine to not like some music or some bands at all. It is OK, kids! [Laughs] I do care about the fans a great deal. I mean, I love them! I would not be able to do what I do without this fantastic bunch of people. It just seems to me we have a tendency to tickle some bones on some people who have never liked our band. And these guys are always the loudest. We're living on a planet full of wonders."

On "Cinderblox", a banjo-metal song:

Tony Kakko: "As you might figure, it started out as a... joke. Me fooling around with this banjo sound I came across. Wrote a riff which turned into a song. And when we then decided it's gonna be recorded for this album all we had to do was to find someone to play the banjo. We did! And also find a talent for fiddle and double-bass. This is the one song that still makes me smile every time I hear it. A worthy song for that alone."

On touring remote corners of the world:

Tony Kakko: "It's somehow so, that the poorer the country and the less money people have, the more they get out of these shows they buy tickets to. So the folk there... they're just wild and all over the place! They really make you feel like a rock star, even if you don't usually think so. The venues and gear might not always be the best ever, but their hearts are warm and the will to be there and make things happen is sincere."
Josh Hart of GuitarWorld.com recently conducted an interview with SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist Serj Tankian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

GuitarWorld.com: Since your last proper solo outing, 2010's "Imperfect Harmonies", a lot has been going on in the world, the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement to name a couple. How much of that fed into the writing of [Serj's new solo album] "Harakiri"?

Serj Tankian: I think everything that was going on in 2011 and prior, based on experience, was probably feeding into everything I was doing from "Harakiri" to all the other projects that I was doing. But because it's probably the most lyrically viable record — because some of the others are instrumental — it probably fed in a good amount. If you listen to "Fuck Let's Figure It Out" — which is now just called "Figure It Out", thanks to iTunes — it kind of comedically tells the story of CEOs being the problem. I say comedically because it focuses on one little aspect of the whole complex problem of inbalance, injustice and inequality, and it does it in a funny way.

GuitarWorld.com: As you mentioned, "Figure It Out" really goes after CEOs, who are taking a lot of the blame for the financial crisis in 2008. A lot of that, from my perspective, stems from a shift in management culture in which CEOs are given incentives to maximize shareholder revenues by any means necessary, including outsourcing, layoffs, cutting corners, etc. I think that's led to a lot of anti-capitalism sentiments, but is capitalism really not a viable system or have we just gotten off track a bit in the U.S.?

Serj Tankian: I think anytime that you go to the extreme of any mode of economics, be it capitalism or communism, you have these feedback mechanisms that make the system turn in on itself. If you allow for a purely capitalistic society, without any type of regulation at all, you will get one monopoly that will eat all of the smaller fish and own everything, and then you'll have zero capitalism, zero competition — it would just be one giant company. So I think we have to be careful how we associate ourselves with different economic structures. You know, to me, as much as we're a capitalistic society, we have to have these built in security nets for the public for the sake of democracy. Capitalism unchecked is not a democratic system. And I think we should be more on the side of democracy, rather than waving the capitalism flag as a nation. I don't think we should be married to an economic system unless it's good for all of our people. It just makes more sense to me.

GuitarWorld.com: You touched on the idea of the "social safety net," which is suffering a bit as there's a push to privatize things like prisons and education, and obviously a push to keep health care private.

Serj Tankian: They've done the experiments with prisons over the years and the results have been horrible. And same with education. There's a lot of private education already, so to a certain point that works, but I don't think they should privatize all public education. They should put more money into it so that we're not number 30 on the educational scale on the planet. You know? As far as medical, I wish that Obama had pushed for the public option even though he couldn't, based on the Republicans. He got whatever he could pass and now they're trying to fight it as a Constitutional thing. I can't believe this country, honestly. It's so fucking backwards sometimes that it pisses me off. I don't get it. I don't understand. You see people that are really suffering and they don't have health care, their kids don't have health care, and they're asked why they don't support Obama's health-care plan and they say, "Well, we want freedom." And I'm like, "Fuck you!" I think that's why education is so important. To have an uneducated democracy ... sometimes it's better to have a benign dictator than a dumb democracy, to be honest with you.
STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor has finished laying down vocals on the band's fourth album, "House Of Gold And Bones", a two-part concept effort which is being recorded at Sound Farm Studios, just outside STONE SOUR's home base of Des Moines, Iowa, with producer David Bottrill (TOOL, MUSE, STAIND). According to Taylor, part 1 will contain 12 songs and will be released in October via Roadrunner Records, with the second 12-track part to follow next year. Each disc will include one half of the story, the lyrics for which fans will have to visit the band's official web site. Taylor says, "These epics kicked my ass. Can't wait 'till they kick YOURS!! Expect the first single in August. Whichever one that happens to be — there's a LOT of prospects." Songtitles set to appear on the album include "Taciturn", "Absolute Zero", "RU486" and "A Rumor Of Skin". A single will precede the album in August.

Taylor played an acoustic version of "Taciturn" at the Download festival on June 9 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom . Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

As previously reported, SKID ROW's Rachel Bolan laid down the bass tracks for the new STONE SOUR CD. He has described the material on the record as "fucking fierce."

Taylor recently told Revolver magazine about STONE SOUR's forthcoming CD, "Picture [PINK FLOYD's] 'The Wall' crossed with ALICE IN CHAINS' 'Dirt' with some good heavy blasts in there," Corey said. "The heaviest song is a total ass-kicker that sounds as if SLAYER and ANTHRAX had a baby. Then, there's a darker bluesy dirge that has the vibe of LED ZEPPELIN's 'In My Time Of Dying'. There's even a little industrial vibe. It's definitely going to blow people's fucking minds.

Taylor added that he came up with a very ambitious concept for the disc.

"The album is a morality play about a man who's standing at the crossroads of his life trying to figure out what to do next," he said. "He's going, 'Do I move foward and evolve? Do I become more responsible or do I run backwards and pilfer the basket of youth?' Sometimes it's romantic to live in the mistakes that you made when you were 20, and condemn yourself to perpetual adolescence."

Guitarist Josh Rand recently said that the CD will be "another progression for the band," adding. "Musically, we have always challenged one another to push things to our limits, and this record is no exception."
U.K. rockers THE BURNING CROWS are about to unveil their lavish musical mayhem with their aptly named "Never Had It So Good" EP.

After spending innumerable hours on the road and playing countless shows to master their craft, the band recently took some time out to record at the world-famous Rockfield Studios. The effort was prooduced and mixed by Nick Brine (THE DARKNESS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, OASIS) and features a guest appearance on keyboards by Keith Weir (THE QUIREBOYS, DEF LEPPARD).

Following the release of their critically acclaimed studio efforts, the hotly tipped rockers set out on their first headline tour of the U.K. Showcasing a sound that lands Britrock firmly back in the contemporary mainstream, the band bring a style and swagger to the stage that has earned them the reputation of being one of the very best live bands on the scene today.

Whippz - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Lance Daniels - Guitar
Will Lockett - Bass
Chris Chapman - Drums
Metal Hangar 18 recently conducted an interview with former EXODUS and current HATRIOT vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Hangar 18: Do you work on material for an album and when we can expect it? Label? Any upcoming tour?

Zetro: Oh yes, HATRIOT is always working on new material. In fact, we haven't been playing a lot of shows lately because we have been so busy writing and revising our material for the album. We have a full record written and are shopping for a good label now. There are two large metal labels that have made offers, so we hope to decide who we are going with, and get started recording the album sometime in the late summer. As soon as we sign the deal, I will be putting out a press release with all the information. I don't want to say who the label is yet. I don't want to jinx anything. Part of what I expect the label to do is get us on the road, so yes, there will definitely be a tour to support the record. It would be easy to capitalize on the EXODUS name and just throw something out there, but we are not going to do that. We are going to have our shit together and put out a really solid album, and definitely tour to support it.

Metal Hangar 18: Don't you think you're a bit late with the new project, because in the past few years we see the old school thrash is coming back and there are already leaders with released albums and stuff?

Zetro: Not at all. I'm not playing the new wave of thrash, nor am I interested in being a part of the new wave of thrash. I'm playing the same style of thrash that I helped invent close to 30 years ago. My name is solidified in the business, so I don't think it will be an issue. I helped create thrash metal and people associate my name with thrash. I feel that HATRIOT is the next natural step from the "Tempo Of The Damned" record that I did with EXODUS. I am in the history books as being part of old-school thrash, so I don't feel like this is starting over. I feel that it is just the next page in the book. If it was a new band that didn't have anybody in the group with notoriety then I could maybe see it, but not with HATRIOT.

Metal Hangar 18: Is there going to be some kind of competition EXODUS vs. HATRIOT?

Zetro: I would never allow that. I think the fans get to enjoy two great bands now, instead of just one band. I know there are a lot of people that say they want me back in EXODUS, but you know, Rob [Dukes, current EXODUS frontman] does a great job and they keep chugging right along. They are doing great with the current lineup and I am very happy for them. When the book is written on EXODUS, my name will be in there and I am great with that. Right now I just want the fans to check out HATRIOT with an open mind. There are a lot of elements of EXODUS and TESTAMENT in the music, so I feel that the fans will take to it. There is no rivalry whatsoever. Maybe in the '80s when we were all battling for the number one spot, but not now. Now we are just happy to see each other, and happy that we are all still able to do music on this level.

Metal Hangar 18: How do you see the current thrash scene, as a person who's on the thrash scene from its "birth?" What has changed through the years? Why is all that interest on this genre again?

Zetro: Well, the biggest change is with the technology that is available now. The Internet is such a double-edged sword with music. On the positive side, you can reach fans around the globe with the click of a button. The downside is there is an overabundance of media now so people don't really absorb music like they used to. There is no mystique to it now. Used to you had to go to the show to see a band. Now you just type their name into YouTube and watch from your house. There used to be shows every night in the Bay Area back in the day. Now there are a lot less clubs and only weekend shows. I think there is a new interest in thrash because it came and went so fast initially. It was born in the mid-'80s and was gone by 1991 when grunge hit the scene. I think the old-school bands still have something to say.

Metal Hangar 18: How do you take the the "Big Four" as a title? Are they really the biggest four in thrash?

Zetro: No. I think TESTAMENT are just as big as ANTHRAX are. That's a hard one. I like the concept of the "Big Four," and the reason I do is it puts thrash on a big stage. I am glad that METALLICA recognizes the other three bands, even though these groups are nowhere near as successful as METALLICA. It is a double-edged sword for me. Do I think they all belong there? Probably three out of the four. What is the definition of "big?" Are they talking record sales? If you are talking innovators, then EXODUS should be in there. If you are looking at the names that have done well in thrash metal and the bands who have carried it on that level, then yes, it is these four bands. I still think TESTAMENT is as big as ANTHRAX, and it's not just because they are my boys and I have a history there. Those guys work constantly at their craft, and their shows are always packed. But, yes, I am in support of the "Big Four." That concert has definitely helped thrash metal.

Metal Hangar 18: Is there anything about your second time leaving EXODUS that the fans must know?

Zetro: It is all my fault. I left. It was none of their faults. I take full blame. I was in a different mindset at that point. Everybody comes up to me and expresses their opinions of how they want me back in the band or how they dislike the new singer. I think Rob Dukes has done a fine job. He's not even new anymore. He's been in the band over seven years now, and those are big shoes to fill — me and [Paul] Baloff — so let's move on. So the fans need to know that it was my fault. That is part of what HATRIOT is all about. It is my apology to the fans. Here is my new thrash band for you all to enjoy. I am back and my mind is full-on. I can't be in EXODUS right now because they have a full lineup that is ticking like a machine, so I am going to give you another group of my own… and kick your ass!
After the monster "Razorback Killers" album and tour of 2011, San Francisco Bay Area metallers VICIOUS RUMORS took some much-needed time off the road to work on new material. Two new albums are in the works, with more details to be made available soon.

VICIOUS RUMORS will hit the road in Europe this summer starting on August 2 in Eindhoven, Holland.

"Razorback Killers" was released in Europe in March 2011 and in the U.S. in April 2011 via SPV/Steamhammer. The CD was recorded at Trident Studios in Pacheco, California with producers Juan Urteaga and Geoff Thorpe.


Larry Howe - Drums
Kiyoshi Morgan - Guitar
Stephen Goodwin - Bass
Geoff Thorpe – Guitar
Canadian "metal queen" Lee Aaron will release a DVD of his performance at the 2011 edition of the Sweden Rock Festival, which was held June 8-11, 2011 in Sölvesborg.

Due on June 20, "Live In Sweden" features the following track listing:

* Powerline
* Concrete And Ice
* Hands On
* Baby Go Round
* Handcuffed To A Fence In Mississippi
* Sweet Talk
* Some Girls Do
* Odds Of Love
* Barely Holdin' On
* Whatcha Do To My Body
* Metal Queen
* Do I Move You
* Bad Boyfriend

Bonus features include press conference, backstage interview, Lee Aaron's special message to Sweden Rock fans and tons of pictures.

For more information, go to this location.

Aaron (born Karen Lynn Greening on July 21, 1962, in Belleville, Ontario) is a Canadian rock and jazz singer. She had several hits in the 1980s and early 1990s such as "Metal Queen", "Whatcha Do to My Body" and "Sex with Love".

In 2000, she released "Slick Chick", on her own imprint, Barking Dog Music (with distribution by Fusion 3). Aaron played extensively for this release, showcasing at The Top of the Senator in Toronto and numerous jazz festivals across Canada and Europe.

In 2002, Aaron was approached to audition with the Modern Baroque Opera Company. She was cast and appeared that year in an ALCAN Performing Arts award-winning production called "101 Songs For The Marquis De Sade".

Her eleventh album, "Beautiful Things", a pop-jazz hybrid, was released in 2004.

Aaron and husband John Cody have two children: Angella, born June 7, 2004 and Jett, born January 7, 2006.

Aaron continues to play both rock and selected jazz shows.
Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with Mark Tremonti about the ALTER BRIDGE/CREED guitarist's debut solo album, "All I Was". A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: Why did you decide it was now the right time to release "All I Was"?

Mark Tremonti: It was just a perfect opportunity for me to get all those ideas that didn't necessarily fit the other two bands. I had a three-month window where Myles [Kennedy, ALTER BRIDGE singer] was out with Slash and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get those things taken care of and get those songs out there.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: So these songs were never meant in any form or fashion for ALTER BRIDGE or CREED?

Mark Tremonti: The way I write is I write parts. I've got just a ton of parts and when the time comes to write an album, I'll throw all the parts at the guys and we'll choose our favorites and put 'em together. It's a musical puzzle. With this all my favorite parts that I had continuously played for the guys and just never turned into a real song, I decided to take all my favorites and use 'em on this album.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: Why do you think the other bands didn't want to use these songs?

Mark Tremonti: I think a lot of 'em didn't work because some of it was a little bit more metal-based because that's what my roots really were. I really wanted to get that stuff out on this record because some of my favorite parts have always had my roots in it. But at the same time melodies are the most important thing to me as a songwriter. So to try and pack the record and trying to get my favorite melodies as well as my favorite kind of riffage and musical ideas out there as well.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: "All I Was" is heavier than CREED or ALTER BRIDGE. Do you feel more comfortable in this style?

Mark Tremonti: Well, since I was a kid I've always joked about wanting to be in a speed metal band. That's what I was listening to when I was growing up but at the same time I spend most of my time writing melodies and not the speed metal thing. So I think this band was just an attempt to kind of incorporate both of those things in the same project. And just get that all out of my system or just work on it for the future. I think this initially was just gonna be this little fun side project to release without a record label and just on the side on the Internet. But as it started forming, we were very happy with it and decided to really make a go of it.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: You knew specifically that you wanted to be the singer of your songs?

Mark Tremonti: Yeah, I thought it was the perfect time to do that. I didn't have as much pressure as a singer because people know I didn't put myself out there as a singer obviously. 'Cause I've been touring professionally now for about 16 years with two other bands where I wasn't the singer. I've always been a writer all these years and I really love writing vocal melodies and I thought it would be very liberating to be able to just sing 'em exactly how you hear 'em in your head. Because I've spent most of my career playing my parts for other people and trying to get them to like them and see them through. And with this you're just a one-stop shop for all that stuff and you can make sure it's exactly how you envisioned it. It's not to say it's any better or worse working like that; it's just easier. Working with other people they help put a spin on things that make it better a lot of times. With this it was just very easy and very quick.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: Did it take you any time finding your true voice and feeling comfortable as the main singer?

Mark Tremonti: I loved it and thought it was a blast. It was the first time I really got to sing at full volume with a band behind me. At first I didn't know how it was gonna turn out then once we got practicing for a few weeks, I noticed getting more confident with my voice and having more control and learning new tricks naturally as I was practicing. In that three or four weeks that we got the initial arrangements down, my voice came a long way. I had no idea what was gonna happen but I think just practicing and doing it day in and day out and really focusing on your voice, I knew it was the only way to get good at singing. You don't wake up one day and know how to sing. You've got to get out there and do it at full volume and not just in the shower or in the car but really where you're applying yourself.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: You brought in Michael "Elvis" Baskette to produce the album who had worked on the last two ALTER BRIDGE albums.

Mark Tremonti: I just know when I work with Elvis, it's gonna sound great and I don't have to worry about that. I know I feel comfortable working with him. He's an easy guy to work with. He's not the kind of guy who's gonna miss any small detail that's gonna stand out to anybody. He's gonna make sure everything is taken care of and he controls the singing. Every time we had done albums in the past and I'd be singing my backups he'd say, "Wow, I really love your voice." You have to feel confident about that and you need a producer who kind of works your confidence in there. It makes a difference.
Get your pet entourage ready. PetSmart and POISON singer Bret Michaels are prepping pets for the limelight with the new Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection. Available exclusively at PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and online at PetSmart.com, the collection includes toys, beds, apparel, collars, leashes, and bowls — everything your pet needs to go from the backyard to backstage and beyond.

"I know there are other pet parents like me who want to show off their pets in rock-star style," said Michaels. "I've been a pet lover since I was a child so I created this line for everyone who wants something unique to rock their pets' world."

Michaels' most recent reality show, "Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It", gave fans a glimpse into his family life, which includes two German Shepherds (among other pets). He designed the new collection with his very own pets in mind and in his signature rock-star style, complete with tattoos, skulls, thorns and faux-leather trim decorations. The collection includes his trademark doo-rag made for dogs with guitar and flame prints. Pets will have "Nothin' But A Good Time" with these unique products, including the:

* Bret Michaels Pets Rock Tour Bus with Hide And Seek Toys: This plush tour bus is rock-worthy with a bold flame design and holds hide-and-seek plush figures so pets can have fun looking for Bret's entourage.

* Bret Michaels Pets Rock Cuddler Bed: It's soft for snuggling yet edgy with its faux grommet trim and a skull patch "tattoo."

* Bret Michaels Pets Rock Thorn-Embossed Leather Collar And Leash: This tough-looking collar and leash (sold separately) have embossed thorn and vine detailing with red stitching.

* Bret Michaels Pets Rock Skull Sundress and Bret Michaels Pets Rock Outlaw Tee: Designed for your canine's inner rock star, your pet will have style and swagger to spare in either a skull-patterned sundress — a fun, party-style outfit decked out with a belt accessory and silver studs — or a tee that shows a dog's wild side with a "Rebel American Outlaw" slogan printed over a faded American-flag backdrop.

"Partnering with Bret Michaels allows us to offer pet parents unique products that are reflective of their pets' personalities," said Laurie Taylor, vice president of hardgoods merchandising for PetSmart. "The rocker vibe of the Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection extends PetSmart's assortment of exclusive products, adding yet another one-of-a-kind option for pet parents."

For more information on the Bret Michaels Pets Rock collection, go to this location.
Swiss folk metallers ELUVEITIE will release "The Early Years" on August 17. The 2-CD digipak bundle that consists of the band's sought-after debut album, "Spirit", plus a completely re-recorded version of their very first EP, "Vên", which is currently being laid down with producer Tommy Vetterli (CORONER, KREATOR) at his Newsound Studio.

Comented ELUVIETIE vocalist Christian "Chrigel" Glanzmann: "'The Early Years' will give both old and new fans access to the very first steps in ELUVEITIE's history. I can't believe it's been 10 years already! Speaking of that, to celebrate our 10-year anniversary (2002-2012) we wanted to offer you something special. Therefore we have decided to re-record the tracks of our first EP, 'Vên'! We had a lot of fun putting those songs on tape again — some of which we have been playing live to this day and that have developed together with us over all these years."

ELUVEITIE's latest album, "Helvetios", sold 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 143 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 3 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"Helvetios" was released in Europe on February 10 via Nuclear Blast RecordsNew Sound Studio in Pfäffikon, a municipality in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland, with producer Tommy Vetterli (a.k.a. Tommy T. Baron; CORONER/ex-KREATOR guitarist). According to the band, Vetterli "record[ed] drums, guitars and vocals and also produc[ed] and mix[ed] the record. Most folk instruments and also vocals [were] recorded by Anna Murphy and Marco Jencarelli at the Soundfarm studios in Lucerne."
Chicago's Mortal Music has announced the second in its DR (digital release) series, "Man: Instincts", from expansionist U.K. metallers MONSTERWORKS on July 10. As was done with Mortal Music's first DR release, ION VEIN's "IV v1.0", the MONSTERWORKS DR will also be available as a free download for a limited time.

"Man: Instincts" track listing:

01. The Creation Dream
02. All Suns Die
03. Freewill

In the course of its existence, MONSTERWORKS has been responsible for albums as farfetched as a metal space adventure concept album in two parts (2007's "Spacial Operations" and 2009's "Singularity"), but more recently has explored philosophical territory (2011's "The God Album") and an approach to recording that mostly relies on "old-school" technology, i.e. 24 track, 2-inch tape, like the classic albums the band grew up with. It was time to take a step back and rediscover the grit that made metal great, rather than the over-polished mechanical production that is often evident in modern releases.

Stylistically the band has always been difficult to pin down, at one moment death metal, in another stoner rock, then back to thrash; but the challenge to the listener is intentional and somehow in the end it works (in the context of heavy metal, which is the only essential influence). What is important is that the music does not switch between styles for the sake of it, nor to show off; it is just what feels right in the moment.
"Disclosure", the tenth studio album from Dutch/Norwegian rockers THE GATHERING, will be mastered on Friday, June 22. A 10-inch EP, "Afterlights", will be released on colored vinyl (limited to 1,000 copies) and digitally via the band's Bandcamp page.

"Disclosure" is scheduled for release on September 12 via Psychonaut Records.

In a recent interview with Greece's RockOverdose.gr web site, THE GATHERING drummer Hans Rutten stated about "Disclosure", "On and off, we worked two years on the album, and I'm really very, very happy with it. We've tried a lot of new things, but it's still THE GATHERING sound, and I think we've evolved, and I'm really happy. We had some ideas with this record. We wanted to make an album with more epic songs, longer songs, songs with dynamics, and also changes, like we did in the past, which we didn't do on 'Home' and 'The West Pole'. It just happened. We had some ideas lying around, we felt it would be cool to combine the parts we had. We had an urge to make a very atmospheric album. 'The West Pole' is more rock-orientated, it has some atmospheric parts, of course. This time, it's way more dreamy; it's not ambient, because there's a lot of rhythms involved, it's more dream rock! We already used the term trip rock, it's perfect for it. It's still THE GATHERING, you can really hear it, but we tried, of course, a lot of new elements on it. You can also hear it on the last single we have released, 'Meltdown'. . . We have some songs which are six, seven minutes and there's one other very long song which is almost nine minutes, so yes, we have a lot of long songs. Also some small songs, but especially long songs. It's one of the strongest points of THE GATHERING. Of course, we look at the past, and a lot of people really like the long songs, because we're quite good at making atmospheres; it's our strongest point. This is what we tried to achieve on this album. . . 'The West Pole', it was quite harsh, maybe. Rock songs now and then, it was really in the now. Right now, it's much more dreamy. It's the thing we wanted to do. It's a starting point with writing songs. We had a lot of ideas lying around, and we just picked up the atmospheric ones. But there's a lot of diversity in these songs, there's one song that's really industrial, kind of strange, a very slow, doomy, one song that's up-tempo - it's not happy, but there's a positive feeling going around. There's a very heavy ending of a song — of course, I can't talk a lot about it, but it also has a bit of surprise for listeners also. But it's a very diverse album. I think it's a good album, organic and electronic sounds. We worked a bit more with electronics, like we did with 'Souvenirs', and a bit with 'Home'. It's a bit back again, it just happens."

The "Disclosure" cover artwork was created by the Chilean artist Carlos Vergara Rivera. THE GATHERING keyboardist Frank Boeijen says, "The handcrafted cover art is inspired by our track 'Heroes For Ghosts', which we released last year."

"Disclosure" track listing:

01. Paper Waves
02. Meltdown
03. Gemini I
04. Heroes For Ghosts
05. Missing Seasons
06. See For Miles
07. Paralyzed
08. Gemini II

The new song "Meltdown" can be streamed below. According to the band, it is "an epic song with emotional atmosphere and a typical THE GATHERING touch. This time, though, the band also has a brand new voice coloring the song: Frank Boeijen!"

THE GATHERING's new CD includes the song "Heroes For Ghosts", which was made available for free download last year at the group's Bandcamp page. A video for the track was shot in Norway by the band's "dear friend" Marcus Moonen and can be seen below.

THE GATHERING's previous album, "The West Pole", was released in North America on June 2, 2009 via Season of Mist. The CD was issued in most of Europe on May 4, 2009 via the group's own label, Psychonaut Records.

"The West Pole" marked the recording debut of new THE GATHERING singer Silje Wergeland, who was previously in the Norwegian band OCTAVIA SPERATI. It also included two very talented guest vocalists, Anne van den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION), along with other guest musicians.

Singer Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since released four albums on her own and with her AGUA DE ANNIQUE solo project: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009), "In Your Room" (2009) and "Everything Is Changing" (2012).
Fresno, California's prominent classical violinist Patrick Contreras who has created and recorded melodies for HATEFX's forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album which is expected to be released later this summer.

Comments Patrick: "I am excited to work with a talented metal band such as HATEFX. I think people are going to like how the violin sounds in the recording and I'm definitely looking forward to more in the future."

Adds HATEFX's Chilean frontman G, who was previously a member of DOGMA: "We have a diverse range of songs for this new recording and continue to experiment with additional sonic layers; this one song just screamed for a classical melody so we asked Patrick to come in. He did a terrific job and it was great to hear how he took the song to a different place with an amazing performance. He is a really talented musician with much versatility who we have thought of inviting to perform live at our CD release party as well!"

States HATEFX guitarist Glen Alvelais (FORBIDDEN, TESTAMENT, LD/50): "I've always been into other styles of music and it's great to be able to mix the sound of violins and guitars. I could see working with Patrick on future recording."

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/hatefx.
Roxx Records has announced the signing of JOIN THE DEAD, the Northern California-based thrash metal outfit featuring Michael Phillips (DELIVERANCE, THE SACRIFICED, FASEDOWN), Paul White (DECADENCE) and Tim Kronyak (DELIVERANCE). The band's self-titled four-song EP will be available at all of your favorite digital distribution outlets on August 7. The EP will also be available in a very limited-edition CD pressing that will include 13 bonus tracks, featuring many previously unreleased demos and live recordings from some of the bands where the members of JOIN THE DEAD got their start, such as DECADENCE, TESTIMONY, FASEDOWN and DELIVERANCE. The CD release will include a full-color booklet telling the story and history of many of these unreleased gems. This musical journey can only be told by reading the story written by Michael Phillips and listening to the music on this limited-edition CD.

"Join The Dead" EP track listing:

01. Mask Of Fear
02. Out Of Breath
03. Self-Inflicted Pain
04. Idol Faith

According to a press release, "JOIN THE DEAD are the start of what is looking to prove that 2012 will see a resurgence of the thrash scene! Taking lessons from EXODUS, FORBIDDEN, VIO-LENCE and early METALLICA, JOIN THE DEAD wear their heart (or sound) on their sleeve proudly!"

For more information, visit www.roxxproductions.com.
Reunited seminal '90s post-hardcore metal-tinged band QUICKSAND has been confirmed for the FYF Fest, set to take place September 1-2 at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles, California. Also scheduled to appears are REFUSED, M83, BEIRUT, JAMES BLAKE, YEASAYER, SLEIGH BELLS, DESAPARECIDOS, DINOSAUR JR, AGAINST ME!, HOT SNAKES, TWIN SHADOW, CHROMATICS, DJ HARVEY, LIARS, Paul Banks from INTERPOL, and many more.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 22 via Ticketfly.com and start at $77 for a weekend pass. The festival is all ages and will run from noon until midnight each day. Tickets will also be available at local Los Angeles record stores and select Chilli Beans store locations.

For more information, visit www.fyffest.com.

QUICKSAND made a surprise appearance on June 10 as the "special guest" on the final night of Revelation Records' four-night 25th-anniversary celebration at the Glass House in Pomona, California. The short, one-off reunion performance included a cover version of THE SMITHS classic "How Soon Is Now?" which was released as a B-side to QUICKSAND's "Dine Alone" single.

Video footage of the concert can be seen below.

QUICKSAND was formed as a side project of GORILLA BISCUITS' Walter Schreifels, who was joined by Tom Capone, Sergio Vega (now in DEFTONES) and Alan Cage. QUICKSAND initially broke up following the the first Warped Tour in 1995, only to reunite in 1997 for a short run ending in 1999.
The cover artwork of "Hubris Inc.", the forthcoming fourth album from Los Angeles-based thrashers ANGER AS ART, can be seen below. The CD will be released later in the year via OSM Records.

Songtitles set to appear on the album:

* Hubris Inc. (intro)
* This Is Why I Hate
* Pieces Of Red
* Divided We Fall
* As The Exalted Seethe
* Time Devours Life
* The Evil You Create
* Gods Of Hate
* Pearls Before Swine
* Anger Is the Reason
* Never Forgive, Never Forget
* Head Of The Snake
* Rage And Retribution
* Speed Kills

ANGER AS ART earlier in the year announced the addition of bassist Henry De La Cruz (MANIACAL GENOCIDE, STIGMATA, REVMATIX) to the group's ranks. Henry replaces Angelo Espino, who departed in October.

ANGER AS ART's concert DVD, "Live Dissent", was released last year. The disc features footage from the February 21, 2010 concert at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California, clips of the band on tour in Europe and in the USA, and a segment of the recording process for the "Disfigure" album.

ANGER AS ART's third album, "Disfigure", was released in November 2009 via Old School Metal Records. The bulk of the tracking was done at Trench Studio in Corona, California with John Haddad, while the vocals and "extra stuff" was overseen by Chris Trent at CT Audio.

ANGER AS ART's current lineup:

Steve Gaines - Vocals, Guitar
Henry De La Cruz - Bass
Rob Alaniz - Drums
Daniel Oliverio - Guitar, Vocals
New York cult metal band BLACKSMITH, featuring guitarist David Smith, vocalist Malcolm "Mania" Lovegrove, drummer Chris Caglione, and new bassist John Dodge, recently entered the studio to begin work on what will be the band's third full-length album. Tentatively untitled, the CD will contain the first new BLACKSMITH material since 1990's "Time Out Of Mind" for Tropical Records, which at the time was shelved and not released until this month through Heaven And Hell Records. The new album will consist of several new tracks, a planned cover of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Electric Funeral", and a re-recorded version of the song "Broken Bastard" (now titled "Broken Master") recorded for a Dean Guitars tribute to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.
Brutal death metallers DEVOURMENT have entered the studio to record their new album for an early 2013 release via their new label, Relapse Records. The band is tracking at Mana Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, Florida with legendary death metal icon Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL). The CD promises to be DEVOURMENT's heaviest, most crushing release to date. Tentative songtitles set to appear on the album include "Fucked With Rats" and "Fifty Ton War Machine".

Commented DEVOURMENT frontman Mike Majewski: "This will be the deepest album we have done for sure. Definitely expect the intensity, but also more thought-out song structures. I would say abit of a throwback to old school brutal bands, but with the signature DEVOURMENT elements."

DEVOURMENT's calling card is absolute brutality, and the band's three previous albums and international touring and festival appearance have made them one of the more-talked-about acts in the worldwide death metal underground.
Former DEATH and current CYNIC drummer Sean Reinert has agreed to lay down the drum tracks for ex-FROM ZERO singer Jett Weiner's new band FATE ACCOMPLIS. FATE ACCOMPLIS is currently trying to raise enough money via Kickstarter.com to finish the five-song EP entitled "Illusion Of Reprieve". The band has also enlisted Warren Riker to mix the effort. Riker is a Grammy Award-winning producer mixer who has recorded albums for DOWN, CYNIC, SUBLIME and FROM ZERO.

FATE ACCOMPLIS is collaboration between Weiner and his writing partner Aaron Bright. Weiner states, "Bright lives in Anaheim, California, but we have been writing music back and forth over the Internet for FATE ACCOMPLIS for the last two years and overall together for over 25 years in various bands. Aaron Bright is one of the most talented writers/guitar players I have ever had the pleasure to play with. He too, has been in several incredible bands/projects, including DEMENTED TED and ANCILLARY THEOREM."

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