[Classic_Rock_Forever] Aerosmith, Metallica/Orion Festival, Slayer, Anthrax, Geoff Tate vs. Queensryche, Dream Theater and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry and singer Steven Tyler spoke to Jed Gottlieb of BostonHerald.com about the band's long-awaited 15th studio album, "Music From Another Dimension", which recently had its release date pushed back from August 28 to November 6 (via Columbia Records).

AEROSMITH began work on its first all-new album since 2001 last year, with the rest of the band working on music while singer Steven Tyler made his "American Idol" debut.

"Music From Another Dimension" was helmed by producer Jack Douglas, who previously worked with AEROSMITH on classic early albums like "Toys In The Attic" and "Rocks" as well as on 2004's "Honkin' On Bobo".

"People didn't think we had it in us," Tyler said. "But, by the grace of God, Jack Douglas was available. That first year I was doing 'Idol', Jack happened to be working at a studio, Swinghouse, here in Hollywood, we did four, maybe five months with Jack, just like old times, and it worked."

"There's no doubt he has a vision of how things should sound," Perry said of Douglas. "We fight with Jack and with each other still. But if we didn't, the album would sound like (expletive). We were trying to prove something, we were fighting over songs, but that's how you make a great album."

The first song to be made available from "Music From Another Dimension" is a reworked version of the band's 1991 outtake "Legendary Child", which was originally written during the "Get A Grip" sessions. The track, which can be streamed below, will also be included in the upcoming film "GI Joe: Retaliation", the release of which has now been pushed back to March 2013.

AEROSMITH performed "Legendary Child" on May 23 on the season finale of "American Idol".

"Music From Another Dimension" track listing:

01. What Could Have Been Love
02. Beautiful
03. Street Jesus
04. Legendary Child
05. Oh Yeah
06. We All Fall Down
07. Another Last Goodbye
08. Out Go the Lights
09. Love Three Times a Day (Hello Goodbye)
10. Closer
11. Shakey Ground
12. Lover A Lot
13. Freedom Fighter
14. Up On The Mountain
Liquid Metal (channel 40) recently invaded Atlantic City on the Jersey shore to bring SiriusXM listeners METALLICA's first-ever curated event, Orion Music + More, which featured a broadcast of live performances and interviews with bands and fans. Just in case you missed the on-site coverage and the festival itself, get ready to experience it all over again via Liquid Metal's Orion Music + More Festival Re-Loaded Weekend special!

You'll hear performances and interviews from SEPULTURA, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, KYNG, THY WILL BE DONE, LANDMINE MARATHON, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED, RED FANG and more. Plus, throughout the weekend Liquid Metal will play a song an hour from METALLICA as recorded by the band for their Live Metallica web site.

Orion Music + More Fest Re-Loaded Weekend performance schedule:

Friday, July 6

* 12 p.m. ET - KYNG
* 1 p.m. ET - Jim Breuer Heavy Metal Comedy
* 2 p.m. ET - RED FANG
* 4 p.m. ET - THY WILL BE DONE
* 8 p.m. ET - SEPULTURA

Saturday, July 7

* 4 p.m. ET - Jim Breuer Heavy Metal Comedy
* 6 p.m. ET - RED FANG
* 8 p.m. ET - KYNG

Sunday, July 8

* 12 p.m. ET - THY WILL BE DONE
* 6 p.m. ET - SEPULTURA

Encore interviews:

* James Hetfield (Fri 2 p.m., 7 p.m. & 8 p.m. ET; Sat 5 p.m., 9 p.m. & 11 p.m. ET; Sun 4 p.m., 7 p.m. & 11 p.m. ET)
* VOLBEAT (Fri 5 p.m. ET hour & Sun 8 p.m. ET hour)
* BARONESS (Sat 2 p.m. ET hour & Sun 9 p.m. ET hour)
* Don Jamieson (Sat 6 p.m. ET hour & Sun 2 p.m. ET hour)
* BLACK TUSK (Fri 7 p.m. ET hour & Sun 12 p.m. ET hour)

*all times are approximate
This summer's Mayhem Festival has Slayer back on the road for their first nationwide tour since 2010, and guitarist Kerry King is already plotting the future. The SoCal thrash originators have begun recording a new album that he hopes to have finished by September and ready for an early 2013 release.
Before leaving on Mayhem last weekend, Slayer finished two songs that now await mixing, began two others that still need leads and vocals, and demoed two more with producer Greg Fidelman, who last joined them on 2009's World Painted Blood and is currently working with Rick Rubin and Metallica. King hopes to get back to work as soon as Mayhem ends August 5th in Hartford, Connecticut.
"If I get off my ass and start writing again on the road – since we've been in Europe, I keep trying to work on lyric ideas, maybe some leads, and fixing songs that didn't work correctly – it should be a real quick process," King told Rolling Stone, sitting in a black Metal Mulisha T-shirt and long camo pants, backstage at Mayhem's opening day in San Bernardino.
So far, the band has been working without guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is still recovering from a devastating attack of flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis on his right arm, believed to be caused by a spider bite. At last year's Big 4 Festival in Indio, California, Hanneman joined the band onstage for a two-song encore, but he hasn't yet been able to tour again.
"He's rehearsed with us a number of times. He tried to do the Fun Fun Fun Fest [in Austin]," King said. "That's the last time he tried to get out and do a show, and he's just not there. It's no secret we're very intricate, especially rhythmically. But he can't do that yet."
Other than two domestic Big 4 dates and the current Mayhem tour, Slayer have performed only a handful of U.S. shows since Hanneman was sidelined. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been the main substitute since Hanneman's illness. "Gary's a fucking badass," said King.
Hanneman wasn't at the recent recording sessions. But King explained that he typically records all the basic guitar parts himself anyway, even on songs written by Hanneman, before bringing the other guitarist in to perform his leads. "I do a lot of the bass, too," said King. It's still unknown if Hanneman will be able to return in time to perform solos on the new Slayer album.
"After Mayhem we'll reevaluate and see if he's any closer," King says. "We're planning for him to come back and the door is open, because it's his fucking gig. If he can play, Jeff Hanneman is going to fucking be here, and I'm stoked about that. I love playing with Gary, and he's doing a killer job, but if Jeff came back and said 'I'm ready,' I'll check him out to see that he's ready, and off we go."
With a career that has spanned over thirty years, Anthrax was at the forefront of the thrash metal movement in the early '80s, alongside the rest of the Big 4, Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. While Megadeth was angry with the Ronald Reagan-era politics, Slayer was busy writing music that would scare the hell out of the devil and Metallica was taking over the world, Anthrax was writing party anthems and taking what Aerosmith and Run D.M.C did with "Walk this Way" to the next logical extreme with the help of Public Enemy.
In advance of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at Comfort Dental this weekend, we caught up with Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, who gave us his thoughts on downloading and the resurgence of thrash, discussed his reaction to the response Worship Music received and told us why Anthrax opted to play on the Jägermeister stage. We spoke with Benante before news came down that he's being forced to sit out a few weeks while recovering from a minor hand surgery (Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall will be filling in for Benante). Here's what he had to say:
Westword: How do you view the current state of the music industry, and what do you feel needs to be done in order for new artists to survive it?
Charlie Benante: That's a touchy subject, because there is no music industry. Basically, you're out there on your own, dude. The thing that sucks about the young kids is that they think that music is free, and they shouldn't have to pay for it.
In 2000, when Lars Ulrich went to the Senate over Napster, did you have an inkling that downloading music was going to be so hurtful to artists? Did you support Lars's decision?
Oh yeah I did and I did support Lars.
A lot of these younger kids aren't going to have album artwork or liner notes because bands are not going to be putting out physical CDs. It's become a financial and artistic loss.
Right, but what they don't know won't affect them. Well, think of things like this, people grew up never understanding what a record was, and then a tape came into play. Then, the CD came into play, and some people don't even know what a VHS tape was. It's just so far removed. In just a few years, you probably won't even know what a fuckin' CD is, because it will all be digital downloads. You won't even have a physical copy in your hand to enjoy. It'll just be air [laughs].
Do you think the new era thrash bands like Toxic Holocaust and Havok have the same spirit as bands like Anthrax, and how do you feel about the new resurgence of thrash?
Yeah, I think some of it is really good. We were driving around in Copenhagen, with Michael [Poulsen] from Volbeat, and he was playing some stuff. There was this band called Black Breath, and I thought, "Whoa that's really interesting." I really liked it.
Why do you think thrash metal has such a global appeal, and were you surprised to see places like Brazil and Germany become such a hotbed for it?
Well, let me tell you something about the South American audiences: They are probably some of the best audiences that hard rock and heavy metal bands will ever play to. They are so devoted and so passionate about the music. It's amazing to see that. I love it. I'm not talking bad about other places, like America, or parts of Europe, or whatever, but sometimes they get a little jaded because they get it so often. You go down to South America, where they don't get it so often, and you can just see how much they appreciate it. It's a different vibe, man. They fucking' let it all go.
You popularized the blast beat technique and opened the doors for drummers. Did you ever think you would see blast beat competitions and every drummer trying to outdo one another for beats per minute?
When that certain drumming style was created, it was created because the song "Milk" [S.O.D.] was so extreme. I never really continued with it, if you know what I mean, because, actually, we did two records, and both records were spaced out so much. I remember when "Milk" first hit. People would ask me all the time "What are you doing now? What is that actually?" and I then I would tell them. Certain styles of music just adapted to that style of drumming. In every song, pretty much, they were blasting, which is bombing. It just became a staple. Just like the 2/4 beat, now you've got the blast. To me, the black metal bands do it the best.
This year's Mayhem Tour has some amazing drummers with the likes Dave Lombardo, Mikkey Dee of Motorhead. Are you guys going to be geeking out and talking shop? Will we see any backstage footage of drum competitions on YouTube?
[laughs] Well, I was just with Dave in Europe a bit, and with Mikkey for a couple of shows, and we never really talked about drumming [laughs]. We talked about just about everything else but drumming [laughs]. About a competition, I don't know. Sure, why not? [laughs]
Speaking of Mayhem, Anthrax turned down a slot on the main stage. Why?
Because everyone told us playing the second stage would be better.
Well, you're definitely going to bring the energy. Are you guys sort of going for the punk feel with Scott Ian jumping into the crowds again and inviting the fans on stage, or what?
We're going to do a non-stop set. I mean, it's hard for us to kinda not get up there and just hit every cylinder.
Due to the economy, the U.S. is seeing more and more weekend festivals around the country. Do you think the U.S. is shaping up like the European festival circuit?
I think there are people that do it the right way. So, yeah, I do. I just hope they don't blow it. There are certain people who are organizing good festivals. I think the people who do Mayhem do a really good job. I hope to see this branching out.
When you say, "blow it", what do you mean by that? Do mean over-sponsorship, bad production, what exactly?
By ripping kids off. I just don't agree with certain ways that certain promoters, or whoever, are just wanting to make a lot of money by ripping kids off and not giving them value.
Tell us about the new EP Anthrax has coming out. Is it cuts left over from Worship Music? Is it already recorded? Do you have a release date set?
Well, we're going to put it out in September, a year after the release of the record. So, we're just looking to that release. Basically, it's going to be made up of a bunch of really cool cover tunes and some live songs too.
Are the live songs recordings from the last tour?
What bands are covered?
The covers that we did are basically a collection of bands and songs we love from the '70s. It may consist of Rush, Boston, Journey and Cheap Trick. So, it's a really cool collection of tunes.
Are you guys going to speed some songs up and put an Anthrax twist on them?
We do, but I wouldn't say we speed them up. I would say we stay true to what the songs are, but we give it our little imprint.
Slayer is also releasing an EP. Why not do a split?
Yeah, that would be fun. I don't know if they'll do that [laughs].
Are Anthrax fans going to have to wait another nine years for a full-length Anthrax album?
No (laughs).
Worship Music put you guys over the top again and hit number twelve on Billboard's Top 200. Have you been surprised how receptive people have been?
Something that's was well received, for me, is always such an honor. When something you've put so much time, effort and love into, and when people really get it, it's the greatest thing. It just makes what you do that much better. In this music business, acceptance is fucking killer.
The year 2013 will mark the 30th anniversary of Anthrax's debut album. Do you guys have anything planned for the anniversary?
Not really. [laughs] I mean, it is the anniversary of it, but I don't know, man. We're not looking back right now, just looking ahead.
Out of all the Big 4 debuts, which was your favorite?
Oh, shit. [laughs] I have no idea about that. That's a tough question. [laughs]
Do you still have that same fire you did thirty years ago? After all this time, what keeps you going?
Yeah, that's just it. It's the love of the music that keeps you going. There were some shows we played over in Europe, and we were like on fire.
Anthrax are actually going to be signing autographs on the Mayhem Tour. So, fans can just stop by the tent and say, "What's up!" to you guys, right?
Yeah, come by and say "Hi." I think we're signing CD's and stuff.

These days, there is nothing silent about the lucidity of ex- Queesryche frontman Geoff Tate regarding his feelings about his former bandmates.  
On June 20, after weeks of media buzz that the band was experiencing internal conflicts, Billboard.com broke the news that Tate was officially no longer with Queensryche. Two days later, Tate filed a lawsuit in Washington state's King County Superior Court alleging that drummer Scott Rockenfield, guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson wrongfully attempted to expel him from the group so they could continue as Queensryche without him - a move Tate feels would destroy the band's brand value.  
In the claim, Tate states that Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson "chose not to be involved in certain Queensryche albums and songs, and had to be replaced by studio musicians"on "multiple tracks." Tate cites the 2006 album "Operation: Mindcrime II"and the 2009 set "American Soldier" as examples where the three "put minimum effort" into the recordings.  
Tate is listed as having written or co-written 81% of the band's published material - 116 songs of the group's 144-song catalog. The suit states that during the last 15 years, "studio artists, producers and temporary band members" made more songwriting contributions than Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson, and that it was "common practice" to "give small or equal publishing rights"to the trio to satisfy "jealous conflicts" regarding the larger portion of royalties that Tate and former guitarist Chris DeGarmo received. (This timeline coincides with the 1997 departure of DeGarmo, who either wrote or co-wrote a large portion of Queensryche material during his tenure.)  
In addition to seeking court-determined damages, Tate is requesting that the court impose an injunction to stop his former bandmates from touring under the Queensryche banner until the matter is legally resolved and to award Tate the Queensryche name in exchange for him buying out their stake in three band-related companies at fair-market value. If the case makes it to trial, the date is set for Nov. 18, 2013.  
Billboard spoke to Tate after RollingStone.com published an extensive interview where he detailed the events that led to him filing the suit. (Queensryche declined to comment on this story.)
Billboard: From what you knew, were there any tensions between you and the three other principal members before they tried to expel you from the group?  
Geoff Tate: No. Nothing. Just usual band relationships. Typical.  
You said that what seemed to start the whole thing was that the other three members wanted to take the band merchandising to a third party and you were against it. What was their reason for wanting to give it to a third party?  
I think they're not very good business people. And continuously in our career, they had tried to make bad business decisions and this is just another in a long line of ridiculous, bad business decisions that I had to put my foot down and say, "No. This is ridiculous. Can't do this. This is going to end up costing us more. And what's smart about that?"  
Can you think of a specific example of where you've seen this happen before?  
Yeah, I can think of many examples [but] I really don't think it's my place in this kind of setting to air that kind of stuff. There's a legal claim. You can look it up and have all the nasty details if you want to do that. It's out there. It's public realm now.  
You did make it very clear from your side of things that the press release they put out saying that you left because of creative differences was not accurate.
Yeah. Correct.  
It has been said in previous interviews that Chris had taken more of the [conceptual] direction of the "Empire"and the "Here in the Now Frontier" albums. Is that correct?  
Yeah, "… Frontier"was really Chris' [idea]. He had a lot of input in that. Actually, that was the only album title that I didn't come up with.  
But as far as "Empire,"are you saying that that was more your direction?  
I think that Chris and I worked really closely . . . and we were really in sync. Honestly, it's so hurtful to me that this kind of thing is happening. I've worked all my life in creating a positive image for Queensryche, the music and public appearances, the lyrics, and all the press that I do . . . For this whole thing to come unraveling like this and become very public ... is so distasteful for me. I can barely stand it.  
You raised the point that you personally wrote the vast majority of the Queensryche catalog . . .  
I would say, in vague terms, of the 144 songs that Queensryche has published and written, I've been a co-writer on 114, which is something like 81% of all of the music.  
The way it's stated in Rolling Stone is that you wrote them -- as in, you completely wrote them.  
Oh yeah. Well, that's one of those little inaccuracies that get passed along through interpretation [laughs]. But the accurate numbers and all that, it's obviously in the legal claim. 
After Chris left the band in '97, you said the other guys didn't contribute much -- they just came in, they played shows and they got the money. Yet Michael and Scott do solo projects and are clearly writing and creating in that forum. Did you ever go to them and ask them to bring more to the plate inside the band?  
Yes, absolutely. Every album cycle, I'd say, "Please contribute. Please contribute. Let's try to make another album."  
When would you say that that started?  
It started day one of being in a band years and years ago. It's always been a constant conversation.  
To try to get the two of them contribute more?  
Even though the two of them have a fair amount of songwriting credits?  
Did anyone come to you during your tenure with the band and say, "We want to do something different"or "We don't like the direction things are going,"either creatively or in a business sense?  
No. No. This is strictly out of the blue, and it's just shocking. To have creative differences, you have to have multiple parties creating and we don't have that. It's me driving the ship, me organizing everything, me deciding what the songs are, what the album is, artwork … you name it. My fingers are on it and have been since we started the band.  
At a Brazil show in April of this year, you found out that three Queensryche staffers were being let go - including the band's manager, who is also your wife. How long after that incident was it before you got the letter saying that you were being let go?  
I couldn't give the exact date, to be honest. I can't give you the exact date. It was somewhere within a week, two weeks, something like that.  
So, you never told them at that point that you were leaving?  
No. Why would I?  
Considering what had just gone down, it wouldn't have been out line if you just said, "I quit."  
Well, for me it would. I mean, it's my life's work. I can't really walk away from it [chuckles]. It's me, you know.  
Did they say to you at that time, "We're removing these people because we don't like how the business is run"?  
You know, it was all very vague and very under the table without … anybody's input other than the three of them. They hatched this plan and implemented it and carried it out.  
Was there a majority rule when it came to making a decision like this related to the band's business?  
No. That's all covered in our corporate documents. It's very laid-out.  
In June, Queensryche was supposed to open for the Scorpions, but the other band members didn't show up so you had to bring in your personal backup band to do the gig.  
Yes. They weren't playing, that's what I was told by their attorney.  
How soon before the show did you find out?  
A day.  
How rattled were you by that?  
Well, first and foremost, I was thinking of the fans that had paid to see us play and I was very disappointed that they were going to miss it. And then it's a trickle-down effect. The promoters are upset. The Scorpions are upset. Everyone involved was counting on the band to show up to fill their contractual obligations. They're upset because now everybody is thrown into a tizzy trying to figure out, "Well, what we can do about this?"It was horrible. I'm just glad I got to play, and people in the audience were very supportive and gave us a standing ovation. It went really well, even though my [solo band] was incredibly tired [laughs] because they had to drive 12 hours to get there through the night because we had the show in San Francisco the night before. But everybody played quite well and the gig went off pretty well, and the Scorpions' crew was very helpful to us.  
It's very different to expect to see a band play, but the band don't show up [and] the singer does an acoustic set -- that's pretty different for a lot of people and I was a little concerned that people would be very upset about that. But I think they honestly really enjoyed the set and definitely showed their appreciation. It was all good in the end. Just one of those situations where you do your best in and try to make everybody as happy as you possibly can, given the circumstances.  
When you performed at Rocklahoma over Memorial Day weekend, you made a comment that the crowd sucked - and it went viral. Was that at all fueled by what was going on with the band at the time?  
The fact that some people made such a huge deal out of it? Yes. I think definitely, that had a lot to do with it. It's standard showmanship. You rile the crowd up, motivate them, challenge them. That's my job. I've been doing it for 30 years and I think I have a pretty good handle on how to handle the audience.  
I understand what you're saying, but at the time that you made that comment, was there any frustration because of what was going on with you and the band that led you to make that comment?  
No, that was strictly aimed at the lackadaisical nature of the audience, who just needed to be kicked in the ass.  
Is all the talking between you and the other guys in the band just happening through lawyers at this point?  
I understand why you don't think they should be going on and performing without you. But considering that the three of them are original members of Queensryche, don't they also have a leg to stand on?  
I think that if they want to continue going out and playing music, they should do it standing on their own two feet, with music they write and … albums they create. I think that would be the honorable thing to do rather than trying to make a living off what I've done, what I created. Especially if there's a situation where it has to be decided about the name and the legalities. I would think they would have the decorum and the respect for [what was] built over the years to take care of that stuff before they launch into a public arena and claim themselves to be something that they're not.  
Don't you think they feel as well that they've helped create what Queensryche is?  
I don't know what they feel. I'd hate to be one to try to interpret that.  
I guess the last question is, What do you intend to do for the time being?  
Well, I'm releasing my second solo album in a couple of months, and that's pretty much my focus in the moment -- trying to stay in the creative mode for that, finish what I need to do on it. I have another month or so of work on it before it's finished. So, I'm moving ahead. I'm very excited about it.
On June 24, DreamTheater.com.ve conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A short excerpt from the chat can be seen below.

When asked if Ytsejam Records, the label imprint which DREAM THEATER has been using for years to release official bootlegs of live recordings ("Ytsejam" is "Majesty" spelled backwards; MAJESTY was DREAM THEATER's original band name), died with the departure of DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy in 2010, LaBrie replied, "No, it didn't die. Actually, I've got a whole bunch of… I've been taking care of that, so I've got each night's recordings, and I've documented it. There is so much stuff from all around the world from this last tour that I already have documented and put into a master list that rhese particular nights… What I did is I took them from certain areas of the world, and it sounds incredible. It's just a matter of it making sense for us, when we're gonna release the next Ytsejam [recording]. But it will happen. I can guarantee you — it will happen. At this point, it's not a priority because we're shooting a DVD in Buenos Aires for two nights come August 19 and 20 at Luna Park, which is a beautiful venue. So right now, that it is the priority and that will take precedence over any Ytsejam recording. But the stuff is there. Right now we have more than enough that we can release an amazing Ytsejam release right now — definitely. So it's just gonna be when we feel, as a band, 'OK, let's finally put it together and let's get it out there.' I have a few ideas where it could be really… something cool, some added features that would be really cool. And the other guys are involved, too, so it's very collective as to how we want the first Ytsejam [release] — post-Mike's involvement, with all those previous Ytsejam [releases]… We want it to have a really big impact."

As previously reported, DREAM THEATER's August 19 and August 20 concerts at Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina will be professionally filmed and recorded for the band's next live DVD, to be released sometime next year.

DREAM THEATERJames LaBrie (vocals), John Myung (bass), John Petrucci (guitar and vocals), Jordan Rudess (keyboards and continuum) and Mike Mangini (drums) — launched a major North American headlining summer tour on June 15 in Rochester, New York. The tour includes stops at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey plus a two-night engagement at the Paramount Theater on Long Island, New York. They are touring behind their 11th studio album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", which had 14 Top 10 debuts around the world. It also produced the band's first-ever Grammy nomination for "On The Backs Of Angels" in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category.
After what seemed like an eternity, the wait is finally over as San Francisco Bay Area thrash giants Testament get ready to unleash their tenth studio album "Dark Roots Of Earth" on July 27th in Europe and July 31st in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. Their 2008 release "The Formation Of Damnation" was highly acclaimed by critics and equally well appreciated by fans, and subsequently, the band took part in the hallowed Metal Masters tour with Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell and Motorhead, completed a successful club headline tour of North America, followed by tours with the likes of Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, and most recently Anthrax & Death Angel. "Dark Roots Of Earth" is the band's follow-up to that glorious album cycle, and it's an exciting time to be a thrash fan. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to guitarist Eric Peterson to discuss the making of the album in detail, along with a few other topics as well, including his black metal side project Dragonlord. Enjoy the conversation below, check out a song off of the new album, and visit the band's facebook page for more info.
Finally, there is a release date for your new album "Dark Roots Of Earth". It must be a relief, considering how long this album has been in the works.
Yeah, it's been a record in the making for quite a while, but it's finally coming out now. There were a lot of hiccups and stuff, because there was a lot of scheduling to take care of. The last time that we pushed it back, we decided to put out some covers and some bonus stuff at the same time as the regular record, so that way the fans can choose what they want to purchase. So it got pushed back again because we wanted to do these covers, which actually turned out really, really awesome. We're really excited about the covers. I think it's worth the wait, and once people hear the record, they'd be like, 'Ok, I don't remember why, but this is killer!' (laughs)
That's good to hear, man. Obviously the main reason for the delay was the lack of time, and also because you got on so many tours, but in terms of the songwriting, was there any big change while the album was being delayed? Or did it stay the same throughout?
No, it had nothing to do with the writing. It was just a lot of scheduling. We kept having tours pop up every four months that we were committed to, and we didn't want to cancel those. So we just kind of kept going in and out of the studio. At one point, we were actually done and the record would have come out in May, but again the record company wanted some covers for the special edition. So we all decided against putting the record out and then put a bonus one out three months later. We didn't the fans to be like, 'Wait, I just bought the record. Now I have to buy it again?' This way you can choose. You got the regular record or the special edition. The one with the bonus material is way better, because it's got three really good cover tracks we did in a way that we actually kind of gave birth to these songs again, I think. And it's got an extended version of a song called "Throne Of Thorns". It's got a DVD on it with the making of the record, it's got some additional live tracks from our last tour, and it's got this really cool guitar thing where me and Alex show all our guitars and the rig that we're using. So it's a lot of fun. That version is really good. And the album is also going to be out on LP, which is perfect for this album because you really have to buy the vinyl to capture the vibe of this artwork.
Yeah, I agree with that. It would look pretty killer on the vinyl, I'm sure. I spoke to Chuck a couple of years back, when you guys were out with Megadeth on the first of their Rust In Peace anniversary tours. He told me that you had set up some kind of portable studio to record stuff on the road. How did that work out for you?
(Laughs) That didn't work out. I bought pro-tools and on days off I'd set up in my hotel room. I got a couple of riffs, but you really need to go away. I was having so much of a mental block being at home, I actually had to go to England last year right before we did the record I went to Andy Sneap [producer] with just a bunch of ideas and no songs put together, and I came back with nine songs. So sometimes you have to step out of your element to get some ideas. After reading a lot of these autobiographies, I was thinking about how bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin would rent castles, they would go away, rent houses in LA, and they did things like that to get the vibe. So I decided that I was going to do that. I ended up going to this place that was built in 1691, haunted and everything, and it was giving me some vibe of the English countryside. It really worked for me, you know. It was a really good way to get started. Then coming back and blocking out time, Alex and I sat down together and vibed it out as guitar players, and made sure that all the guitar stuff makes a lot of sense, and it came out super melodic. And also, this time around, I've done a lot more solos on the record than usual. I'm kind of sharing the duties. It didn't take away from anything, it just added. Not only is Alex shredding better than he's ever done, but then you've got me who's been playing guitar for 30-plus years to finally come in. I've been playing lead for a long time, but I just dabbled here and there on the records, but I think I'm really making my mark on this record.
That's very interesting. At the time of this interview, I haven't been given access to the album, so I have to ask you this. How does it compare to the previous one in terms of the overall sound?
It's in the same vein, definitely. But if I have to compare it to any records, it would be a hybrid of "The Gathering" and "The Ritual". What I mean by that is, musically it's heavy like The Gathering. It's really riff-heavy, it's got a lot of melody to it, and it has the fast brutal stuff. Then it's also got the slow heavy stuff. But vocally, and in terms of the way the songs are arranged, it's like The Ritual. This record is a lot more melodic than anything we've done. The Ritual was like an easy-listening kind of Testament record, but super melodic. We had "Return To Serenity", "Electric Crown" and some really good songwriting, but the drums were kind of … too easy, you know. There were some really good songs on there, but it lacked the heaviness of The Gathering. So, I think with those two ideas put together, the most melodic and the heaviest side of Testament mixed all together, you have "Dark Roots Of Earth".
You talked about the drumming. Do you think Gene Hoglan's return, at least for this record, helped you in that aspect?
Definitely. The songs were all written before Gene came in, and the beats were kind of were what they were already. But Gene came in and just played them better than they were anticipated. Like I said, you can have songs written and the beats all programmed or whatever, and the ideas are there, but it depends on what drummer is going to play them. Like for example, the song "Native Blood" is a catchy, melodic song, but it's got a blast beat in the chorus. So it depends on who's going to do that blast beat. It just happens to be Gene Hoglan doing it, so it's going to sound pretty authentic and pretty brutal.
That's great, man. Now this is something pretty much all fans want to know. What's your permanent drummer situation? I know Gene's been touring with you on this run with Anthrax, but what's going to happen after that?
We're trying to make it such that Gene can stay with the band, and I think Gene wants to stay with Testament, but he's got other things he's doing. Just like Alex, who's doing his jazz stuff and we try to work out scheduling, and I'm also starting Dragonlord again. A new album is being recorded right now and it's going to come out soon. So we all have different stuff that we're trying to do, but when it comes to Testament, when we schedule stuff we all have to stick to the plan. So that's kind of what we're aiming for, to make a schedule that'll work for everybody. We do have the first tour in Europe for three weeks in August, and Gene is not going to be available for that. So that's where we kind of learned our lesson. The communication between the management wasn't spot on, and it kind of got messed up. Gene signed on for our Europe tour, but then he wasn't aware that Dethklok was starting earlier or later, or whatever it was. So from now on we're really trying to nip it in the bud. That's out plan, at least. Drummers in Testament have always been a curse, but they've also always been a blessing (laughs), because the records are coming out better. For me, getting to write with a Dave Lombardo or with John Tempesta or Paul Bostaph, and now me jamming with Hoglan again, it really has inspired me with the music that I've written. Once I found out that I was going to get Gene, I really honed in on everything I wrote and went, 'OK, I can actually get super fast double bass here on this part'. When I wrote with Paul, I was thinking of doing something here and there, but then I would think, 'Oh, he doesn't like to play that kind of beat. So I won't do that.' So I was kind of compromising on stuff, but with Gene, there was no compromise. I just did everything that I wanted to do.
You mentioned Dragonlord. How did you decide to resurrect that band? I think it's been seven years since you did a Dragonlord record.
I've always had big plans for Dragonlord, but it just never seemed to work out. The last record I did [Black Wings Of Destiny] got a lot of great reviews and I was gearing up on doing some touring, but between some of the band members with their life styles and the record company, I think it really got chaotic and messed up. The record company kind of fell off the planet. I was going to put out a Live In Japan DVD in 2006, and that never came out. So there's a lot of stuff that was just left undone, and the whole time I was super busy with Testament with the reunited tour, then we did a record and toured after that. Before I knew it, seven years had passed by. In my head I always wanted to do another Dragonlord album, but I was thinking may be I'm not going to do it, may be I'm done with that band. But on the last Testament tour, a lot of people were asking me about Dragonlord. A lot of magazines were also asking me about it. So finally, I had a demo for a song on the newest record, so I decided to send it out to a couple of labels that were interested. Spinefarm Universal Records was one of those interested, and I sent it to them. I didn't think anything of it. I didn't expect to get a response. But they wrote back the next day, and they were like, 'Yes please!' (laughs) So it kind of got everything fired up again. We're going to try to do it right this time. The new Dragonlord record a lot better than anything we've done, which is why I'm doing it. I wouldn't do it just to do it. There were some really good ideas and some newer ideas, now that we've got together and revisited the black metal community, seeing what's going on. I kind of want to do it my own way. I'm not trying to be like the European style. Even though that's some of my influence, we're trying to do something a little bit different. It has nothing to do with the spirit of black metal. It's more about the sound, more about the music side of it. I know that a lot of people in black metal really live the part and that's a big part of black metal, but to me it's more about the music. It's not about burying my clothes in the earth or getting blood. To me it's about how wicked the string section can get with the guitars, or how melodic can I push it, how far can I go to where it's almost not black metal. Because I don't really think Dragonlord is true black metal. We're just musicians playing a type of music, but we believe in it and we're totally into what we're doing. It's just on a different level, you know. It's a whole different take on the style. So that's going to be happening pretty soon, and I think people are going to be surprised by this record. It's going to be a crossover, but not a bad crossover like I'm mixing some rap with my thrash beat. I'm not doing stupid shit like that. It's going to be true, wicked as hell, and there's some crazy stuff going on. But it's more about entertainment and listening, and people putting on CDs, taking them somewhere else and enjoying that type of music.
That's very interesting. One more thing I wanted to ask about the drumming is, I read that Chris Adler from Lamb Of God was supposed to contribute for the bonus tracks. Which tracks has he exactly worked on?
He ended up doing one track called "A Day In The Death", and it's going to be available on iTunes only. We chose iTunes because it's pretty big and a lot of people listen to their music off of that, specially fans of Chris. They don't have to go and buy the whole record just to hear Chris. They can just buy the song. Or if they like it, they can buy the whole record but we wanted to keep it a little different and this is something we've never done. He tore it up on that track. He did a really, really good job.
Talking of the bonus tracks, there's one Queen cover in there, for the song "Dragon Attack". I kind of expected the Maiden and Scorpions covers because you guys have been influenced by them, but how did the Queen idea come up?
Queen is definitely one of our favorite bands, but it's not a band that influenced our sound. It influenced our way of life, as musicians and respecting how far you can go with hard rock, being melodic, and the guitar tones being different. Actually, Chuck picked that song, and I picked Animal Magnetism. I was trying to think something different as well, but Chuck's pick was so different that at first I didn't agree. I was like, 'I don't get it. How am I going to make that song sound like Testament??' And he goes, 'What would Ministry do to it?' And as soon as he said that, the beat clicked in my head. I didn't think Ministry. I didn't think of the telephone voice with the fucked up samples, but it was such a statement that it made me think way different. Rather than saying what Metallica, Megadeth or Anthrax would do to it, when he said Ministry, I immediately knew what to do. Within five minutes, I had the song rearranged with Gene. Chuck came in, and he just looked at me and went, 'Yeah!!' (Laughs) So we just kind of took that song and made it our own. That one, and Animal Magnetism, they sound like Testament songs now. For Animal Magnetism, we tuned it down to B. It's super low, and we slowed it down. It's already a slow, hypnotic song but we slowed it down a little bit more. That's where the song just sucks you in. It puts you in a trance, which is what I think the Scorpions meant to do with the title Animal Magnetism. It's kind of like a hypnotic beat through the whole song. But ours is like, hypnotic to death or something. It's got a real drone-like sound to it. But then again, the Queen song I can actually picture being a radio hit for us, because it's got such melodic vocals, and the way we play it, each member gets to do a solo. I do a guitar solo with the wah pedal, and it's almost like a rhythm guitar solo. It's really cool. It's kind of like the live version of "Genocide" on Judas Priest's "Unleashed In The East", how it starts off with the drums and the guitar and it goes on a little bit longer than the studio version. It's almost like a rhythm solo. I do something like that with the riff, but I change it up a little bit. And then Greg does a bass solo with the drums, and then the drummer does a solo, and then Alex does the whole end section. He shreds while we change the tempo. We actually have some really mathematical type of structures the way we play the riff. We almost do some stuff like Meshuggah, with the counting. Then it comes into a vocal solo. It doesn't sound like Queen does on 'Bohemian Rhapsody', but it's still melodic like that. It's not like a bunch of drunk sailors singing it. It still sounds pretty melodic. It was a real surprise, even for the band. Animal Magnetism was a surprise too, specially for Chuck. Greg and the other guys were thinking more metal. They were like, let's do "Breaking The Law", and that kind of typical metal songs. Chuck and I didn't want us to sound like karaoke. We really wanted to make these songs sound like Testament songs. Now, the Powerslave song, that's a song you really can't change (laughs), because it's pretty modern and pretty up to date, and it's pretty awesome. But it really fitted in with the rest of the record, and I think what we really do to it is definitely give it justice. It sounds very close to the Maiden version, but it's just got that extra tightness and crunchiness to it. And the way Chuck's singing it, it really puts a good vibe on it. He doesn't sound like Bruce at all. He really just sounds like himself. So yeah, we're really happy with the covers and I'm excited for everyone to hear them.

That is indeed exciting. I'll ask you just one more question .. you've been doing this tour with Anthrax and Death Angel. You did two legs already and a third leg has been announced. Would you say the tour has been received much better than you expected? I don't think you would have initially planned for three legs.
Oh, definitely. It was only supposed to be going through a small part of America, to see how it goes. Actually, my first reaction was like, 'Naah. I don't want to tour with Anthrax'. But I hadn't heard their new record at the time. When I heard it, I was like, wow! This is good. I really like how Joey's back in the band and not only is he back in the band, but it sounds like Anthrax now. It reminds me of the good stuff they did, like "Among The Living" and "Spreading The Disease". For me, Anthrax has been a band who either gets it right or they try to be someone else that they're not. Let's be rap, or let's be more trendy, or I don't know what they were trying to do, you know (laughs). It wasn't working for me, but there's an Anthrax that I like, and it's the Anthrax that put out the two albums I just mentioned. I think that's their calling, and I think they hit it right on the nail with the new album. So after we heard the record, we were convinced that this tour could be a cool idea, as we have a new record coming out too. Of course ours got delayed, and then we did some more touring with them. But now it's working out because we'll be doing a Canadian run with them in September, and we'll have our record out by then. I think the Testament camp has really gotten along with Anthrax a lot better than we used to, and this is going to be a lot of fun. There's also talk of us taking this to Europe. So, we'll have to wait and see what happens.
German power metallers PARAGON have completed work on their new album and are currently seeking a suitable record label to release the effort.

Commented PARAGON bassist Jan Bünning: "Since the 20th of June, we have the mastered mix of our new album and I can just say [producer] Piet Sielck has done an awesome job. To me it sounds like a heavier and more 'life' version of 'Revenge' mixed with the guitar sound of 'Law Of The Blade'. Just perfect!

"Our guitar player Wolle [Wolfgang Tewes] wrote a album full of PARAGON classics and our 'newbie' Jan Bertram shredded a whole bunch of great lead guitar parts. And Buschi [Andreas Babuschkin; vocals] seems to be like wine — he's getting better and better and has delievered the best performance he has ever done."

The track listing for the new PARAGON CD is as follows:

01. Last Day On Earth (intro)
02. Iron Will
03. Tornado
04. Gods Of Thunder
05. Bulletstorm
06. Blood & Iron
07. Blades Of Hell
08. Dynasty
09. Rising From The Black
10. Demon's Lair
11. Secrecy

Adds Bünning: "There will also be a tribute song to a very famous metal band which influenced us very much, but we are not sure if it will not only be a bonus song on special limited edition of the album."

The cover artwork will once again be created by Dirk Illing (SCORPIONS, RUNNING WILD), while the photos will be handled by Stefan Malzkorn (GAMMA RAY, SAXON) and the cover layout will be overseen by Claudia von Bihl (Auburn Records, ACCEPT, ANVIL).

Jan Betram previously played with PARAGON's drummer, Chris Gripp. PARAGON bassist Jan Bünning states, "[Jan] is a longtime PARAGON fan and even wanted to join us a long time ago."

PARAGON 2012 is:

Andreas Babuschkin - Vocals
Wolfgang Tewes - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jan Bertram - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jan Bünning - Bass, Backing Vocals
Chris Gripp - Drums, Backing Vocals

PARAGON's last album, "Screenslaves", was released in November 2008 via Massacre Records. The CD was produced by Uwe Lullis (ex-GRAVE DIGGER, REBELLION) at Black Solaris Studio in Frankfurt.

Bünning quit PARAGON after the recording of 2007's "Forgotten Prophecies" because of "musical differences" but rejoined the band in 2009.
A LAMB OF GOD fan from Brandenburg, Kentucky created a petition in an online forum on the White House web site to ease the process of petitioning the government to help the band's frontman, Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic. As of this morning, more than 300 people had signed the petition.

Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal group — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.

Randy has been charged with causing "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan" and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Blythe remains in detention at Pankrác Prison in Prague even after Mazer posted 4 million Czech Koruna bail (approximately $200,000), as set by the court last Saturday. But the bail system in the Czech Republic is not as rapid as in the U.S.

Although bail has been posted, the decision to release the singer is still subject to appeal and so it will take some time for the state prosecutor's office to give approval.
LAMB OF GOD fans have scheduled a vigil for jailed singer Randy Blythe, who is being held on manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic. The informal vigil is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday (July 8) on Brown's Island in Richmond, Virginia. One of the band's guitarists, Willie Adler, is expected to attend.

"It's a sign of unity," organizer Tommy Streat, a friend of Blythe, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "There's been very little mainstream news coverage. Unless there's more awareness, this could be dragged out for a really long time."

Streat told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he initially expected 100 to 150 people to attend, but that based on response to his Facebook post of the event, he now thinks more than 1,000 people could show up.

"I know in my heart of hearts that Randy should not be in jail and the way he helps other people beyond the means most would go," Streat told WWBT, the NBC-affiliated television station for Richmond, Virginia. "I think it's ridiculous that he's in jail and I think we need to get him back on this ground in Richmond. And until he's here, we're gonna be his voice. We're gonna talk. We're gonna get loud. . . Randy's voice has been lost and we're getting it back. If it was Justin Bieber, everybody would be talking about it."

"It's a get-together for all who care to attend to show support for our brother Randy Blythe and to voice our concerns over the travesty of justice that is currently unfolding," Adler wrote on his Facebook page. "I hope to see you all there."

A two-and-a-half-minute video report from WWBT on this weekend's vigil can be seen below.

LAMB OF GOD set up a fund to help pay Blythe's legal expenses. A statement on the band's Facebook page reads, in part, "As many of you know, Randy is being held in Czech jail for a crime we believe he did not commit. We are still learning about the legal system there and the situation is fluid. We have retained local legal counsel, have support from the U.S. embassy and we are flying over additional lawyers to try and assure that Randy has the best representation possible. As many of you have pointed out, the simple fact is that the legal fees are adding up very quickly."
Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD have released the following statement:

"First of all, thanks to everyone who has reached out in support of Randy [Blythe, LAMB OF GOD singer] and each of us in this terrible situation. It's noted and very much appreciated.

"We have been keeping our heads down and not speaking out due to the fluid nature of the situation and the constantly changing information that even we receive daily.
Within an hour things can do endless 180s. It's maddening to try and make heads or tails.

"We're taking the time to speak to you as it has been a significant period of time since this situation began and while nothing is immediately clear to any of us, we are not trying to keep anyone in the dark.

"We have reached out and are making use of the resources we have acquired to help our brother, who is still detained in Czech jail.

"In the two years since, we were never notified of anything related to this incident.

"Randy is our brother and we assure you we are all staying very positive for him, working endlessly behind the scenes to provide any and all assistance possible.

"The best we can do is to stay positive and continue to support our friend that we know is innocent.

"We know that justice will prevail and we will continue to do our part to support our friend."

Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal group — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.

Randy has been charged with causing "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan" and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Blythe remains in detention at Pankrác Prison in Prague even after Mazer posted 4 million Czech Koruna bail (approximately $200,000), as set by the court last Saturday. But the bail system in the Czech Republic is not as rapid as in the U.S.

Although bail has been posted, the decision to release the singer is still subject to appeal and so it will take some time for the state prosecutor's office to give approval.
LAMB OF GOD guitarist Willie Adler has responded to a wave of criticism that has been leveled at the band after they set up a fund to help pay for their singer Randy Blythe's legal expenses.

Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal group — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.

Randy has been charged with causing "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan" and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Blythe remains in detention at Pankrác Prison in Prague even after Mazer posted 4 million Czech Koruna bail (approximately $200,000), as set by the court last Saturday. But the bail system in the Czech Republic is not as rapid as in the U.S.

Although bail has been posted, the decision to release the singer is still subject to appeal and so it will take some time for the state prosecutor's office to give approval.

Writing on his Facebook page, Willie said, "I want to thank all of you again for your unwavering support in all of this. It's greatly appreciated and does not go without notice. I'd also feel remiss by not mentioning something else. As you all know, a legal fund has been set up in regards to our current situation. We've received quite a bit of backlash which I'd like to respond to. We are by no means requesting charity, nor are we demanding money from our fans. We have received dozens upon dozens of requests from supporters wanting to help in any way possible. This was a direct response to that in order to give fans a voice in all of this if they choose to do so. By no means are we trying to make a dime off of this. Trust me, we live for our fans and would never attempt to profit off of them. This is purely a response to those that reached out wanting to extend any and all help. Which we couldn't be more thankful for. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this just thinking about the outpouring of support we've received. Collectively, we will bring Randy home. He is my brother, your brother, and more importantly, an innocent man being wrongfully detained. I thank you all again, for everything. I love you all."
Finland's Kaaos TV conducted an interview with vocalist Mitch Lucker of California deathcore masters SUICIDE SILENCE at this year's edition of the Tuska open-air metal festival, which was held June 29 - July 1 in Helsinki, Finland. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.

On LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe's arrest in the Czech Republic on manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a fan two years ago:

Mitch: "There's been times times where members of our own band — I'm not gonna name anybody — or even crew members, while were on tour, have been detained or taken somewhere where it's like, 'Oh, we don't know if we're gonna be able to play tomorrow.' 'We don't know if the bus is gonna have to pick them up in prison.' And stuff like that happens. Not only is it scary, but then it's like, well, how many shows do you have miss? And when you're a musician, you're playing shows. CDs sell 10 times, 20 times less [than they used to]. You have to be on tour when stuff like that happens, situations like that do pop up, and they do all the time. Sometimes you're in Canada and you can't get out or you can't get in. Even going overseas, lots and lots and lots of weird shit can happen. It's a very, very scary thing. It's like, 'Fingers crossed. I hope nothing happens.' And that's not a good feeling. I wish him the best of luck. Randy is a very intelligent, very badass dude and I know he'll get out of it. It definitely did cost the band a lot of money. And not only missing shows and stuff like that but having to actually physically pay to get yourself out. It's a bumout. But I wish [Randy] the best of luck and I hope that everything works out for the positive for those guys."

On the progress of the songwriting sessions for SUICIDE SILENCE's next album:

Mitch: "We've only pre-productioned the riffs, we haven't done pre-production with vocals, it's just programmed drums and guitars and bass so far, and then what we do with that, we take that into pre-production mode where we all go into a studio that we have at our drummer's house and write it, record it, track it with real drums so it's not programmed drums. Do all the click tracks out to make sure everyony's happy with how fast this is or how slow that is, and then bass tracks and then vocals, and then we start talking about sampling. And once that's done and we'll do 15 to 20 songs, then we take that to the studo and actually do it 100 percent and record it and then pick between those 20 songs which 12 or 13 we're gonna put on the record and what we're gonna do with the rest. So right now we're in phase, like, two of the new record, which is actually really far. We've never taken this much time to write a record. We wrote 'The Cleansing' [2007] and recorded it live in two weeks. 'No Time To Bleed' [2009] took five weeks, 'The Black Crown' [2011] took three months. And this new one we're working on, we've been working on it for a longer amount of time than we've worked on any other record, so it should be by far another step up. I don't think we've ever gone back or retracted in the writing and the recording of our records. From 'The Cleansing' being live in two weeks to 'No Time To Bleed' to now where 'The Black Crown''s at, I think we're just gonna keep moving forward and never hitting a plateau. We always wanna incorporate new things, do new things, improve the quality of the sound, improve the quality of the songwriting, improve everything. And if we're not doing that, then we're just being fucking lazy, and we're not a lazy band; we work our asses off."

On the lyrical inspiration for the next SUICIDE SILENCE album:

Mitch: "I write all the time; I write, like, 24/7. 'Cause just beng alive and everything inspires you day to day. Even being on a flight looking at the people that are two rows over from you, something they do can inspire an entire song. I'll write fucking 10 pages about it and then just decipher that and break that down into a song that means something to someone else. A lot of it is [being] homesick, missing my daughter. But not just like, 'Ahh, I'm homesick, I miss my daughter.' It's more along the lines of being put in the position where you need to fulfill something and you have people that want you to be there to fulfill their needs and also there's people back at home that need you there to fulfill what they need and desire. So it's definitely a lot deeper, a lot more personal. I think as each record goes, it gets a lot deeper and a lot more personal."

SUICIDE SILENCE's latest album, "The Black Crown", sold around 14,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 28 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band's previous CD, "No Time To Bleed", opened with 14,000 units in July 2009 to land at No. 32 on The Billboard 200 chart.

"The Black Crown" was released in North America on July 12, 2010 via Century Media Records. The CD was recorded with heavyweight producer Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, HATEBREED) and features guest appearances by KORN singer Jonathan Davis and SUFFOCATION frontman Frank Mullen.

The cover artwork for "The Black Crown" was created by the Delaware-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator Ken "K3N" Adams, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD.
Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with vocalist Sharon Den Adel of Dutch symphonic metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Radio Metal: Will Robert Westerholt [WITHIN TEMPTATION guitarist and father of Sharon's three children] play again live in a few years, when your kids are older?

Sharon Den Adel: Yes, maybe. But talking about Robert, we have a big show in Belgium, on November the 13th, and we'll celebrate 15 years of WITHIN TEMPTATION. Robert will be there, obviously! [laughs] Older members will come, too. We'll show some movies we've made, some parts of the show will be symphonic. We've been around for such a long time, thanks to the fans, of course, so we'll remember with the them all the highlights of these past 15 years.

Radio Metal: Do you think that as Robert writes music at home, this situation can have an impact on the way he writes music?

Sharon Den Adel: No, because he has always been involved in writing songs since the beginning. After the festivals we're doing now, I'll have some time for writing songs for the new album. The same people who have been working on the previous albums will be involved too, like Martijn [Spierenburg, keyboards]. I must say that we've already written six songs, so we're working fast. These six songs will be on the album and are very good. It surprises me, because sometimes it's a real struggle to write new songs, but apparently "The Unforgiving" album is quite inspiring and we'll continue in that direction.

Radio Metal: "The Unforgiving" is a concept album that develops a story based on a comic book. The video clips and your live show is linked to that story. Do you intend to go further in that way of writing albums? For example, have you thought of making a movie, like NIGHTWISH did for "Imaginaerum"?

Sharon Den Adel: We've already made three short movies for our last album and a year ago, we started to write a script for a full-length movie, but we're not sure when we'll release it, because we do not want our album to suffer from this project. Once ready, everybody will know.
Portland, Oregon's RED FANG kicked off its highly anticipated European tour yesterday in Gävle, Sweden at the Getaway Rock festival. The trek, which includes numerous festival appearances, runs through August 4 at the Porifestival in Pori, Finland.

RED FANG is completing work on a documentary that was shot by the band's resident director Whitey McConnaghy. Whitey followed the band while they were on the road in Europe with Relapse labelmates BLACK TUSK. This short film is being sponsored by Converse and will be released in the coming months.

Commented RED FANG drummer John Sherman: "Our first European headlining tour was completely amazing. We were totally overwhelmed by the crowd response, sleep deprived, exhausted and stoked. Luckily, our man Whitey was there with his trusty camera to capture it all."

RED FANG performed as part of the inaugural Orion Music + More Festival curated by METALLICA on June 23 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Their entire set was recorded and will be broadcast by SiriusXM's Liquid Metal (Channel 40) tomorrow (Saturday, July 7) at 7:00 p.m. EST.

RED FANG's "Murder The Mountains" CD was recorded with THE DECEMBERISTS' Chris Funk and was mixed by three-time Grammy Award winner Vance Powell (THE WHITE STRIPES, THE RACONTEURS).
IN DYING ARMS is the latest addition to join the Artery Recordings roster, the joint venture between The Artery Foundation and Razor & Tie.

The Baltimore, Maryland-based melodic metal band will hit the road this summer with labelmates ATTILA as well as CROWN THE EMPIRE and FOR ALL I AM.

"We are very excited to be signing to Artery! We know they know exactly what to do to push to the next level," said IN DYING ARMS vocalist Orion Stephen. "We've been fond of Artery for years now, and this is quote the honor and privilege to us."

"IN DYING ARMS instantly hit me hard from the numerous songs and videos being shared by their fans across the Internet," said Artery Recordings label manager Mike Milford. "I heard one song, was hooked and needed more. They are a young band with a very strong cult style following already. I'm very, very excited to see what we can do together."

IN DYING ARMS has already toured extensively, including stints with DR. ACULA and VOLUMES.

IN DYING ARMS is Orion Stephens (vocals), Justin Enriquez (guitar), John "Walter" Myers (guitar), Terence Bright (bass) and Alvin Richardson (drums). The band is managed by Mike Milford of The Artery Foundation.
Polish extreme metallers HATE have entered Sound Division Studio in Warsaw with Filip "Heinrich" Halucha (VESANIA, DECAPITATED) and Arek "Malta" Malczewski (BEHEMOTH's sound guy) to begin recording their new album, "Solarflesh", for a January 2013 release via Napalm Records.

Commented HATE guitarist/vocalist Adam "ATF Sinner" Buszko: "We are aware that 'Solarflesh' is going to be our sickest, most hypnotic and diverse album up to date — the biggest challenge and definitely new chapter in our career. It's not just like recording another album… it's a real transition!

"On this album we definitely explore new territories and push the boundaries of this beautiful and sick genre to its absolute limits! The material contains 12 collages. Most of them are insanely fast (270 bpm). Others are groovy, trance-like mantras that seem to haunt you forever. They all have rich background of samples and other elements that make them sound multidimensional. We also have several dark, ambient compositions that seem like complete avantgarde. I've been working on them with Michal Staczkun, the guy who did excellent job on our previous album, 'Erebos'. We are also working on a few songs with Androniki Skoula, a singer from Greece, known for her involvement in the band CHAOSTAR, as well as collaboration with SEPTICFLESH and ROTTING CHRIST. She's adding some 'Hellenic' flair to the songs that makes them even more elaborate."
Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with former EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Radio Metal: The album is called "Eremita", which is Latin for "hermit." That's quite an obvious question, but do you see yourself as a hermit?

Ihsahn: I guess artistically, yes, I would say that. In a more mundane way, it relates to me working very much alone. I follow my own path, I don't really need to merge and mingle. But the title reflects the album on more important levels, I think. Nietzsche has been a huge influence on me. He was like a philosophical hermit himself. He wrote about Zarathustra, about the hermit existence. Throughout my career, I've always come back to these mythological figures, if you will. Prometheus, Icarus or Lucifer, all those outsiders who chose to go apart from conformity and the collective to make up their own mind about stuff. It reflects the concept of the album, with this protagonist escaping into the forest. It was very natural to have that title.

Radio Metal: You said about this album, "I really feel this is some of my most inspired work yet," which is a classic thing for an artist to say when they release an album. But I don't remember you making that kind of statement in the past. What is so special about this album?

Ihsahn: I guess there are many reasons. Having finished the first three albums, the trilogy, I ended up in a place I really enjoyed musically. I have the foundation of music, the roots are extreme metal, but I have a new playground to experiment with it. I think I took on this new album with more confidence. I'm feeling more in control regarding the extent to which I can push the album. With this confidence came the thought that I could dig into some of the earlier influences of my career. I could go back to black metal, which I guessed I steered away from for a long time. I'm feel like I'm talking bull right now! Basically, it's just a feeling. When I listen to the album, I feel it goes deeper than my earlier work. Not that I'm not happy about the earlier things, but there's just something about this album. I guess I came very close to what I had planned to make. That's how I try to evaluate my success: how close did I get this time? [laughs]

Radio Metal: You said in an interview, about the trilogy you concluded with "After", that your initial decision to do a trilogy first was kind of to reinvent or rebuild a musical platform for yourself. Can we say that you needed those three albums to find out who you are musically?

Ihsahn: Yes and no. I wanted to give myself the time span of those three albums to kind of explore the potential of what I could do alone, without anyone mixing in and putting their thoughts into it. [laughs] But it was also to sort of regroup and not make it an extension of my work in EMPEROR. I wanted to make something solid for myself, that could stand well on its own two feet. On these levels, it was very important. Now that I've come this far, that distance doesn't really matter that much to me anymore. I'm more at ease with my relationship to the early part of my career. On a more practical level, I also didn't want to go and play live shows with just one or two albums, play five songs from the first album and then do EMPEROR covers for the rest of the night. I didn't want this to be a spin-off of EMPEROR. I wanted this to be something real.

Radio Metal: Last time we spoke, two years ago, for the release of After, you said, "Nowadays, people tend to see black metal as a more traditional type of metal because everyone knows what it is about and it is often defined by what it should or should not be. This goes completely against what I always believed black metal to be. For me, black metal always represented the idea of musical freedom. Now that there are so many rules, it is no longer black metal." Could we say that what killed the spirit of black metal is that someone decided to name it black metal?

Ihsahn: Not necessarily. It's just a label — and it's very subjective. I can only understand it in my own way. Basically, no one has the blueprint of what black metal is, and what it's not. For me, black metal is a feeling, you know? How I feel that and how I express that is no one else's business. I don't make a big show of calling my music this or that, because for me, it's beside the point. But if there's something that I associate with being black metal, it's a certain feeling. If the music makes me feel like that, to me, it's black metal. I don't care what they say or do, what they initially thought or what roots they followed; it just makes me feel that way or not. I don't care if people tell me what I do is not black metal, because there's a saxophone, and that's not allowed. Why should I care? In my own interpretation, one of the most black metal songs I ever did is "The Grave", from this record. If there's one song in my career that I would call very much the essence of black metal, it would be that song.

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