[Classic_Rock_Forever] Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Metallica, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Blind Guardian, Skid Row, Drowning Pool, Children of Bodom, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


It's the stuff rock and roll dreams are made of: one day you're slogging it out in a local bands, and the next you're on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as the newest member of a legendary metal pioneer. Richie Faulkner's story isn't quite so straightforward: prior to joining the mighty Judas Priest he played guitar for Dirty Deeds, Voodoo Six, Ace Mafia and Lauren Harris (daughter of Iron Maiden bass player Steve Harris and a respected artist in her own right). So he'd already developed a reputation as a talented and reliable guitarist, which made him the perfect fit to step into the space left vacant by the departure of K.K. Downing in 2011. Faulkner has an impressive collection of Gibson guitars, as you'll see, and was eager to talk shop with Gibson.com.
Tell us about your guitars! What are your main workhorse guitars, and what pickups do you use?
Well on the last tour I had six guitars and an acoustic out with me; four Les Pauls and two Custom Flying Vs. I prefer older guitars and the heavier in weight the better! I had two 1974 Les Paul Custom Anniversarys in aged white. "Pub ceiling nicotine yellow" as we like to call it! All with gold hardware, speed knobs and pickup selector ring, as a tribute to Randy Rhoads; a 1976 Les Paul Custom, originally black that I had painted white. Again with gold hardware, and a 1981 Les Paul Custom three-pickup in black that weighs a ton! All Les Paul knobs go up to 11 by the way, that's very important! They all have EMG 81 and 85s in, apart from the back up 74. That one has a pair of James Hetfield EMGs that EMG kindly made in vintage gold especially for me.
I also have two Vs that I take out on the road. There is a lot of whammy action in Priest and I felt that the Flying V was perfect for the trem systems. One is an early '90s '67 reissue with EMG 81-85s, Floyd Rose trem and locking nut, ebony fretboard, block inlays and bound neck and headstock.
The other is a Custom Shop V that Gibson made for me. It's the '50s style shape with smaller pickguard and a '60s style neck, also with a Floyd Rose system, bound headstock, neck and body, ebony board, MOP block inlays, EMGs and an input socket that is on the underside of the top fin. This keeps the cable more streamlined and close to the body.
I also took a three-pickup SG '61 re-issue out on the road for half of the tour. I've got some guitars that I keep at home: a 1969 Les Paul custom, another V custom string through body in white, and a Zemaitis metal top. The reason that I take extra Les Pauls out on the road apart from the back-ups is because I wear the frets down so quickly. After two or three shows the frets need to be dressed, so taking extra Pauls helps to spread the wear. Any excuse to pick up new guitars, really!
What was your first Gibson?
My first Gibson was an Epiphone Flying V with locking trem, coincidentally! White with bolt-on neck. I learned a lot on this guitar and I remember coming home from school everyday and playing along to my favourite Maiden, Priest, Metallica and UFO songs to hone my skills! I still have it somewhere and it's a great guitar. Very fast neck and easy to play.
And what amps do you use with Priest?
My amps are ENGL Powerball 2s. Great amps, great tone and unreal reliability. Me and my Tech Adrian Vines carried out a test about six months into the tour to see how well the tubes were holding up in comparison to a spare, fresh head with new tubes. There was absolutely no difference in the tubes that had been used for six months, night after night for two and a half hours a night and the fresh ones. Absolutely amazing!
You worked as an arranger on Christopher Lee's Charlemagne: The Omens of Death. What did this work involve? How does one tackle a project knowing they're going to be answerable to Saruman, Count Dooku and Dracula?
Yeah, that was a really interesting project to work on. Sir Christopher's team sent me some songs that were very orchestral and symphony-based and asked me to arrange them into metal songs.
Most of the songs were already there, but they needed riffs, drum parts and musical parts that reflected what the guys wanted – which was a metal record with an aim to be played live by a band.
The team and Sir Christopher were great and they gave me a free creative reign really for any ideas I felt the songs needed. Some of the tracks didn't have any music at all and were just Sir Christopher singing his melodies. I remember how surreal it was sitting in my place at the time with Saruman blasting out over the speakers! I've no idea what the neighbors thought!
Sir Christopher himself was a diamond. He has a special way of being very commanding yet very down-to-earth. He was a wealth of knowledge, telling stories and cracking jokes. It was great to meet him and the team around him were cool, too. Very professional and great to work with.
You've been in Judas Priest for over a year now and the fans seem to have welcomed you with open arms. How does that feel? Were you worried about how you'd be accepted?
I think that any big change in such a legendary band is going to bring a certain amount of skepticism and when people don't know the outcome, we tend to fear the worst. The band and me were sure that when the fans came to see us live, all fears would be put to bed. It astonishes really how the fans have welcomed me into the family and I feel honored to be accepted in the way that I have been. The great thing is, even though the fans didn't know how it was gonna be at first, they still believed in the band, got their tickets and came to see the show. When the opening song kicked in, all politics and uncertainty seemed to be blown out the door and everyone was just part of a huge family, ya know? Hats off to the fans for that and a massive thank you.
How much lead-up did you have between getting the Priest gig and stepping on stage with them?
It was about a month before rehearsals started for the Epitaph tour that I got the gig. We rehearsed for two weeks and then flew out to L.A. to play on the finale of American Idol. So my first show with the band was in front of nearly 30 million people! No pressure then guys, eh?! We then flew back to England again to continue rehearsing, so I think it was about two months in total before we played the first show of the Epitaph tour.
Are you writing new material with Priest? And are you able to fit in your own musical pursuits at the moment?
We are working on a new album. Glenn and Rob started writing material early 2011 before I joined the band, and I got together with them earlier this year to work on some more tracks with them.
We're getting together again after the summer to do some more writing and if all goes to plan we might have the album out early next year. The ideas we have so far are sounding very strong and very Priest so watch this space!
North American syndicated rock radio show "In The Studio: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands" celebrates the 25th anniversary of DEF LEPPARD's twenty million-seller "Hysteria" album with lead singer Joe Elliott and bassist Rick Savage.

Attempting to follow-up the seven-times-platinum "Pyromania", DEF LEPPARD were hard at work recording their next album by Christmas of 1984 when a tragic car accident would leave drummer Rick Allen without his left arm. It would be another two and a half years of intense work in the studio before "Hysteria" would finally be released to a long-awaiting fanbase.

Joe Elliott tells "In The Studio" host Redbeard about a comical encounter with legendary THE ROLLING STONES singer Mick Jagger that drove home the four-and-ahalf-year gap between albums.

"We had Mick Jagger come in and do two solo albums in the same studio complex when we were doing ['Hysteria']. [Elliott imitating Mick] 'Bloody hell, you guys are still here? Weren't you here doing that album when I was doing 'She's The Boss'? Well, I've done that one, I've toured. I've had two kids, done a STONES album and toured, and now I'm back doing my next solo album and you're still here!"

The DEF LEPPARD "Hysteria" "In The Studio" program will air on radio this weekend on over 50 radio stations across North America.
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett will sign "a few pre-determined cool thingies" pertaining his forthcoming book, "Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection", at the San Diego Comic-Con convention on Friday, July 13 at the Tokyo Toy Booth #5336 in Hall G from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A posting on the METALLICA Facebook page reads: "A word to the wise...this will ONLY be open to those who already have convention credentials and those who have already registered via our 'cryptic' sign-up last week, but if even if you didn't get in the sign-up, if you have your badge, drift on by the Tokyo Toy Booth and eyeball the 'Too Much Horror Business' action, organized by our old friend Pushead who may be lurking around!"

"Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection" will be released in October via Abrams Images. Documenting Hammett's love of all things horror and the legendary collection of horror memorabilia he has amassed over the years, "Too Much Horror Business" is a stunning 228-page, hardback, large-format coffee-table book featuring well over 300 full-color images from Kirk's private collection and exclusive set photography by Mark Leialoha and Joe Gibbs. There will be three extensive conversations with writer Steffan Chirazi covering the importance of collecting in Hammett's life from childhood, plus written captions by Kirk for many of the items displayed in the book.

"It's a book about vintage tour and movie posters, vintage monster toys and artwork," Kirk told Guitar World recently. "It's basically all the stuff I've managed to amass over the last 30 years or so. I have such a huge collection and I just thought now was the right time to share it with everyone. And that's exactly what I'm doing."

"This is my gift to all the other horror nerds out there who are just like me," said Kirk in a new press statement. "It's been made with great love for all the many characters and movies which guided me through childhood, into adulthood and which still keep me on track today."

"Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection" can be pre-ordered here.

In addition to "Too Much Horror Business", Hammett will commence producing collectible items through his Kirk Von Hammett line, specifically toys. Each of the collectibles will be a strictly limited edition, with the first one being available on October 1 at www.kvhtoys.com.

"I've spent my life collecting toys, so what could be more fun than making a series of toys which indulge my childhood fantasies AND which people can collect!" said Hammett. "It's more about fulfilling a huge ambition than anything else, and I hope I get the first one!"
Earlier in the year, MÖTLEY CRÜE entered drummer Tommy Lee's studio called The Atrium in Calabasas, California to begin recording a new song, "Sex", that will be released to coincide with the band's upcoming summer co-headlining tour with KISS.

Written when the band was together during their residency in Las Vegas last February, "Sex" is the first studio track from the CRÜE since their June 2008 release of "Saints Of Los Angeles".

"Sex" will debut on Friday, July 13 on SiriusXM and be available on Tuesday, July 17 — three days before the tour begins.

The "Sex" single artwork can be seen below.

Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner in March, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist and main songwriter Nikki Sixx stated about the band's new track, "It sounds very much like it's off of the first record [1981's 'Too Fast For Love']. And that was definitely on purpose. I've been writing very simple riffs for the last year and focusing on how these riffs would work for Vince [Neil, vocals], basically, and took it in the studio with Tommy and Mick [Mars, guitar] and the thing just came alive."

MÖTLEY CRÜE's latest studio album, 2008's "Saints Of Los Angeles", sold 99,000 copies in the United States during its first week of release. The CD was CRÜE's first studio album since 2000's "New Tattoo", which has sold over 200,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band's previous studio effort with all of its original members was 1997's "Generation Swine", which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, and has sold more than 300,000 units.

"Saints of Los Angeles" was loosely based on the band's memoir, "The Dirt", which was published in 2001.

MÖTLEY CRÜE's "greatest-hits" collection, suitably titled "Greatest Hits", was released on November 17, 2009 via Eleven Seven Music/Mötley Records.

CRÜE performed its classic 1989 album, "Dr. Feelgood", in its entirety on Crüe Fest 2, the sophomore outing of the band's summer festival tour, to celebrate the record's 20th anniversary.

Eleven Seven Music/Mötley Records re-released "Dr. Feelgood" on September 21, 2009.
QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with singer Geoff Tate and recruiting powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY as his replacement. The new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup has already performed live, having played two shows in their home city of Seattle under the name RISING WEST.

In a recent interview with RollingStone.com, Tate revealed that he filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates on June 12 in King County Superior Court in the state of Washington in order to "sort out who is what, and who owns what, and that stuff." Tate is also attempting to get a court injunction against Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield that would prevent them from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.

On Monday, July 9, Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield filed a response to Tate's motion for preliminary injunction and included individual declarations from all of the defendants supporting their position that Tate's motion should be denied. As one would expect, these documents — copies of which have been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET — contain startling details about the circumstances that led to the split between the singer and his one-time friends and longtime bandmates.

Several excerpts from Michael Wilton's declaration follow below.

"After the success of 'Operation: Mindcrime', Q Prime management wanted us in the studio right away to keep the momentum going with our new fan base. So right away we went to work on 'Empire'. Songs were written like they had been in the past, but this time Chris DeGarmo [guitar] took a more active role in not only the musical side, but the lyrical side as well. Chris DeGarmo solely wrote the song 'Silent Lucidity' which went on to become No. 2 on the charts and was nominated for a Grammy.

"'Empire' was our first album to go platinum, garner industry awards and nominations and to date has sold over 3 million copies.

"With the success of 'Empire', we toured for over 18 months and subsequently all of our past albums sold more. The EP, 'The Warning' and 'Rage For Order' went gold and 'Operation: Mindcrime' went platinum.

"The next album was 'Promised Land'. It was during the creative process of this recording that tensions over songwriting credits started to emerge. The sense of playing on an equal balance was gone. It was also at this time that Geoff was letting it be known that he was unhappy with us as band mates and also with the direction of the band as he didn't want to sing in the 'metal/hard rock' style anymore. He also let us know that this would possibly be his last album and he would be quitting.

"During the touring of 'Promised Land', Geoff Tate had started to distance himself from the rest of us. He wanted to bring theatrics into the show and felt he needed to have more to do on stage than sing with a microphone. He was going through a hard and difficult time personally. Everyone understood and gave him the space and creativity he needed. There was a feeling that this could be our last tour.

"At the end of the tour, we came home to let things settle in. The album had not done as great as 'Empire' in album sales, the future of the band was uncertain, the pressure to stay on top was huge, and now the sound of grunge was taking over.

"After many talks, the band decided we would go forward and do another album. Geoff Tate had made a change in his personal life and had decided that he would not be leaving the band. It was also during this time that the writing for 'Hear In The Now Frontier' started. It was a more song-driven and not guitar-driven album for the first time in QUEENSRŸCHE history. The songs were very individualistic. With the now huge phenomenon of the 'grunge' sound, the production for this album was very sparse and raw as we were trying to capture an essence of that sound to make us sound more current.

"During the recording of 'Hear In The Now Frontier', personal things changed. Because of a divorce battle between Geoff Tate and Suzanne Tate, band members were subpoenaed and were now put in the middle of a personal fight that ended up causing a large amount of resentment and hurt amongst the band members. It was at this point that tensions became higher and the resentment over royalties became a big issue. Now the demand to be a writer on future QUEENSRŸCHE songs would start to erode the friendships. The dynamics of the band itself had changed.

"QUEENSRŸCHE was not, nor had it ever been, a band that had a 'rock star' image. Now our backstage area was filled with people we didn't know, and it was a party atmosphere that we had not had in the past. QUEENSRŸCHE was starting to go in a direction that the band did not like.

"It was at the end of our tour for 'Hear In The Now Frontier' that Chris DeGarmo left the band. Although the songwriting chemistry of Chris DeGarmo and Geoff Tate may have run its course, but more so Geoff Tate's personal demeanor with Chris DeGarmo had terminated the relationship.

"I was saddened to see Chris DeGarmo leave. I have remained a close friend to Chris DeGarmo throughout the years. Also, Q Prime management decided to drop the band due to Chris DeGarmo's departure.

"A decision to move on was agreed upon after a long dinner meeting with band members and wives. We felt we had more to say musically and didn't want QUEENSRŸCHE to end. It was at that time Geoff Tate mentioned bringing Kelly Gray into the mix. Kelly Gray was an old friend of everyone's as well as one of the members of the band MYTH that Geoff Tate left when he joined QUEENSRŸCHE.

"We all worked very hard on the 'Q2K' album with the team of Ray Daniels, RUSH's management. Extensive touring and smart management decisions pushed the sales of that album well over 150,000 units, a worthy start without the key songwriter. We produced the album together with Kelly Gray engineering. However, Susan and Geoff Tate did not trust the management of Ray Daniels, and Susan Tate then teamed up with Lars Sorensen to manage the band. Immediately there was a strong resentment in the rest of the band about firing Ray Daniels. It was not a unanimous decision. But it was the first of many 'my way or the highway' ultimatum's from Geoff Tate.

"Chris DeGarmo did come back for the recording of the next album, 'Tribe', but endless creative wrangling with Geoff Tate caused Chris DeGarmo to leave again and not tour with the band to support the album. This resulted in a year of hard touring with yet another new guitarist that I had to teach all the material to in a short period of time. A co-headline with the band DREAM THEATER was another great concept, but due to a mudslinging press war between Geoff Tate and with the drummer of that band, it ended up being an uncomfortable and trying time for us as a united group.

"In 2005, things got worse. Geoff Tate came to the band and wanted to kick Lars Sorensen out and have his wife Susan Tate manage the band. There was huge resistance from the rest of us, but Geoff Tate said that unless we hired Susan Tate to manage, Geoff Tate would no longer work with us. We were forced to work with her or the band was over. Reluctantly we agreed to this, feeling we had no other choice if we wanted to remain as a band, but we did refuse to sign a binding contract with her. Again, there was more resentment within the band as the feeling of being held hostage by Geoff Tate's 'my way or the highway' theme was becoming apparent.

"Susan Tate brought to the table the idea to record 'Operation: Mindcrime II'. The band was hesitant and did not want to lessen the original. But Susan Tate and Geoff Tate hired a budget producer and took control without really any other input. The manipulation of upfront monies was the Tates' main tool to get what they wanted. Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson and I were squeezed out of having any input in the musical direction or business decisions, thus the project suffered. The rest was an organizational nightmare. The producer was never around when needed; he was constantly asleep on the job or playing games on his media player. He would send emails to the wrong email addresses. During the initial writing phase, I would show up to bring my input to the creative process only to find that the producer, the new guitar player (who were both staying with the Tates at the time), along with Geoff Tate had been up late the night before or up early that morning and had written the songs without me. I was then told my ideas were not needed as the songs were now done. I could, however, 'bring my own style' in during the recording after learning to play what they wrote for me. In frustration, I gave up on the writing process knowing that I would at least get to make changes in the studio to bring back the QUEENSRŸCHE sound into these songs that we were known for. The final straw was when they refused to let me to be a part of the final recordings and mixes. I was shut out and they had the nerve to replace some of my parts on my songs. They denied me flying to San Francisco to be a part of my band, telling me that everything was ready to go and I was not needed. Had the communication been better, and had I been aware that parts needed to be recorded or rewritten, I would have been there. It was not until years later that I even became aware of the issues during the final recording and mixing of 'Operation: Mindcrime II'. It was all under the control of Geoff and Susan Tate. Call it delusions of grandeur, but they were convinced that this was going to sell three times more than the original, and to date (six years later) this album has sold fewer than 150,000 copies. The original album sold over 500,000 copies within a year.

"After this tour, I received a phone call from our guitarist, Mike Stone, letting me know he was being fired from the band. I had no knowledge of this or that we were even considering letting him go. I immediately called Geoff Tate and Susan Tate and requested a band meeting. It was at this meeting that we were told that Mike Stone was being replaced by Miranda Tate's (Geoff Tate's daughter) new boyfriend, Parker Lundgren. They said that Mike Stone was making too many grand demands and we could hire Parker Lundgren for cheap. We would be making more money. I had never heard Parker Lundgren play, nor was I or the rest of the band included in this major decision. Again, there was division in the band as our voice on most band decisions was being stifled.

"The next album was a thematic/conceptual idea based on our military. Again, it was a great idea that was not shared. Many of us also have military families and would have enjoyed being a part of writing this on their behalf. At that time in our career we all had such a backlog of songs that we were astounded that Geoff Tate would not work with our ideas. He had taken upon himself to be the lone voice and face of QUEENSRŸCHE, along with being an A&R person. Only he is to choose with whom he writes his lyrics with. It was obvious that this is not a team anymore. They have manipulated us with money knowing we have families with mortgages. And still, I, being a team player, worked tirelessly to learn and record all the guitars in Eddie Jackson's garage. I worked my hardest at trying to bring the lost common thread of musicianship of the older recordings but you can only do so much to a song which has cemented vocals that cannot be changed. I set up an arsenal of guitar rigs in Eddie Jackson's house. Kelly Gray and I worked for about 6 months to get as much guitar recording done. Kelly had to work long hours and ended up putting a few of his bits in the songs. This was done because of the time restraint. The last song to be recorded was an acoustic that Kelly Gray had written. The song was to feature Geoff Tate's daughter. Her voice was not situated for the key it was in so Kelly had to time stretch and Auto Tune it. This made the song slightly out of tune with concert pitch. If you listen to the CD, you can tell that it is definitely in its own key. There was a difference of opinion on the mix. In fact, Geoff Tate did not even want me there for fear I would make the guitars too loud and make it sound metal.

"Again, a rigorous touring schedule followed. And, it was becoming clear that the majority of fans were constantly screaming for the old standard songs. There were many arguments about set lists but Geoff Tate always got his way. We wanted to play the older songs but Geoff Tate didn't want to sing those songs and refused to sing. He would tell us what songs he would only sing and then we had to pick from this list.

"Next was the QUEENSRŸCHE Cabaret Tour. I was totally not involved in that decision. In fact, I was the only member that stood up for not doing this degrading show. I knew that this would definitely tarnish what was left of the QUEENSRŸCHE brand. I was of the mind that QUEENSRŸCHE was a class act and would never stoop to such a degrading situation with woman on stage, especially the band's own wives and daughters! However, as a majority vote was made to continue with this tour, I felt I had no other option other than being a team player, thinking of my band mates, sucking it up and then giving my best to our fans. And again, Geoff Tate threw a temper tantrum and would not sing requested fan favorites.

"I came home from this tour disgusted. At this time, I was really worried about the future of the band. As this band has made major changes in its career, I felt it was time for another change. I began approaching and talking with different managements to gather possible different scenarios for the band. I asked for copies of the financials and began to do some budget reports. I called a meeting to share my thoughts and brought figures to show my data. I presented a new management company to the guys as an option to think about only. I was open for discussion, but what I got from Geoff Tate was a personal, slanderous attack of emails saying I had no right to question his role and how I lied about the numbers to prove my point, numbers that were taken directly from statements I had from our accountant and were not lies, nor were they manipulated in any way. I thought this was a democracy, but I guess not. The other band members did not want to rock the boat and I was literally being asked to leave my band by the lead singer. What prevailed were more slanderous statements against my family and me. After talking this over with Eddie Jackson, who was shocked that I was being asked to leave the band and asked me to not quit, and then after talking this over with my family, I agreed to stay with the band after we, the band, all agreed that changes would be made regarding how the business was being run and also with the writing process for the next album. I had worked too long and hard to walk away without giving this one more chance. I did find it questionable as to why I was not allowed to voice my opinion or ask any questions regarding the running of our business.

"As the touring began to become scarce, the value of the band was dropping. Secondary markets were diminishing. At a casino show in New Mexico, Geoff Tate said to us that they were at a loss as to what to do next, and the money was disappearing fast. We had burned out and over saturated the market. That is when Scott Rockenfield started to brainstorm on ways to efficiently cut costs. He started to look at our outdated fan club and merchandising company. There were a lot of overhead expenses that could be cut or reduced. We started the next recording and it was to be called a 'rant session of manic music.' It was to be a band effort with everyone contributing and we would write as a band again. Everyone went to town and convened at Scott Rockenfield's studio and dropped all the ideas into his computer. The process of piecing together parts was going good and a few demos were surfacing. Then all of a sudden, without notice, the project was canned and it was back to Geoff Tate calling the shots with outside writers again. The direction was supposed to be more like 'Empire'. What transpired was more unorganized confusion. No one was sure who was producing the album. Again, it was Jason Slater and Kelly Gray trying to figure out who was doing what. I was consumed by rewriting Jason Slater's tunes to make them heavier like he instructed me to do. I recorded with Jason Slater at Scott Rockenfield's house and then Jason Slater disappeared! The album went in a different direction taking the emphasis off of the guitars! My songs were not used. To this date the 'Dedicated To Chaos' album has sold a whopping 20,000 copies. Even after heavy touring!

"Around this time (2011) is when I noticed on our profit and loss documents that expenses were being abused. I started sending copies to Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield of all business expenses and chargebacks that were coming to be. Susan Tate and Geoff Tate were already receiving these so they already had their copies. At the request of Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and myself, we asked for more documents from our accountant and began looking at the upcoming tour budget. We saw that Susan Tate had the income and expenses for her new band, THE VOODOOS, being run through our accounts without ever telling any of us. Since they did not have work visas, they had to run all of their business income through our tax ID and checking accounts! We were told only that they were touring for us as an opening act for a small fee. I was furious about this! This is illegal, and she put our business at risk because she didn't have the right legal paperwork for her band to perform in the States! She had no right to run anything other than QUEENSRŸCHE-related expenses as our manager through our accounts. Geoff Tate was on board with her actions and did not relay this information to us.

"For the fall tour, Scott Rockenfield demanded that we cut the opener and get rid of a bus and get rid of some personnel. This does not sit well with Geoff and Susan Tate as Susan Tate made it known to Scott Rockenfield that this made Geoff Tate uncomfortable and that he was happier having his friends out on the road with him. It was made known by Scott Rockenfield that we have not needed a backup singer or assistants when on other tours and that Geoff Tate can do this tour without having them there. Susan Tate tried to convince Scott Rockenfield that it was a wash when in actuality we ended up saving $35,000 that run. So we voted (all via emails back and forth) to save a substantial amount of money and it all worked out great, except the fact that our lead singer was not happy because he did not get his way. During this time there were more personal expenses being called into question that were being paid out of the QUEENSRŸCHE accounts for Susan Tate and Geoff Tate. There were many email attacks from Geoff Tate and Susan Tate because of our questions and they felt that those were actually QUEENSRŸCHE expenses even though no one else agreed. At the Emerald Queen Casino show, Geoff Tate did not even acknowledge us. He did not even take a bow to the audience!

"Thus, in 2012 the animosity truly began. There was no communication from manager Susan Tate with the rest of the band, no performances were getting booked, non-Geoff Tate posts on website are taken off, and when some shows finally did get booked, one was on an agreed blackout day. We were left to fend for ourselves. We were contracted for only a few shows and money was becoming less for the rest of the band. Geoff was touring with his solo band and was the main focus for management. We decided it was time to really look into moving the merchandise and fan club to a third party and putting this now in a place where we all have control and a say equally. At this time, the merchandise and fan club office had expenses that were way more than we thought they should be. After gathering information from another merchandising company as to what they proposed and costs estimated to make a switch, we demanded a meeting with Geoff Tate to sort some things out and to discuss this new option, but he had to have his wife and daughter and our accountant there with him. The accountant showed basic income for last five years as a gesture to show how much money we have made, but what we wanted to see as well should have included expenditures. We suggested restructuring the merchandise and fan club. We felt we had a good deal that would make everything run more efficiently, and although we were not privy to how things were currently running, we felt this was a good starting point for discussion. During this meeting it is agreed that Susan Tate and our accountant would pull together a list of questions for us to ask other merchandise companies and that we would all be together during a conference call to these companies as a group. This way everyone would be there to ask the questions and to hear the answers. If a decision was to be made, we would make it as a group. However, a few days later, we received the list of questions from our accountant via email. And, then we found out that Geoff Tate, Susan Tate and our accountant made the call to the merchandise company we had spoken to and asked him these questions without us present, even though we had agreed to do this as a group. We then got a distressing call from the merchandise guy who proceeded to tell us how unprofessionally he was treated. After I sent an email saying I was upset that we were not included in this call, we were then attacked personally by Geoff Tate as he felt that since we made the initial calls without him he felt he could do the same. Even though the initial calls were made for research and information gathering, and we had all agreed that the next call would be as a group. He then threatened to bring legal action against us and threatened to cancel all future shows. He even stated in an email 'This is not business. This is personal.' Susan Tate then sent over email communications she had with our current merchandise company, TinMan, and left this for us to look over as an option.

"During this time, I realized I was missing certain profit and loss statements and I requested copies of these from our accountant. Geoff Tate made a motion with our accountant/attorney that he felt that I would give these to a third party and he did not agree to me having these copies and thereby blocking their release to me. I sent a certified letter stating that these were for my personal files only and I stated that they would not be given to a third party. Geoff Tate still refused to let me have them. It is at this point I got legal help and I was instructed to have director meetings to obtain paperwork. I was stunned that I was being blocked from seeing accounting statements from companies I am part owner in. Scott Rockenfield sent out a meeting request via email to all of us asking for a board/shareholder meeting. Timing was of the essence as finances for the band were tight at this point as Geoff Tate is out on his solo tour and there is not much time that we are all in the same city. Scott listed the topics that would be discussed in the email. Out of the four of us, three agreed to the date and time. Geoff Tate replied back to the email that he was not available until the next day. Unfortunately, the next day did not work for everyone else and we stayed with the original time and date requested.

"Many times in the past, others have had to rearrange their schedule to make meetings that a majority has agreed upon. We felt this time was no different and that Geoff Tate would be there. It was at this time, we all received an email and a letter from an attorney who represents Mr. and Mrs. Geoff Tate that states 'they' are not available for that day and could we please reschedule the meeting to a time that works for 'them.' I was shocked first that I had been notified by an attorney regarding this and to also see that our 'band meeting' now has to include Susan Tate. Was this why Geoff Tate was not at the meeting, because Susan Tate was still in Europe and would be home the next day when he said he was available? We were also told in this letter that our email notification of the meeting was invalid, which was another shock as all meeting requests in the past were done either by email or phone text. Not only that, Geoff Tate had replied to the email so we knew he had received ample notification time. During this time, Scott Rockenfield got an email congratulating him on the deal that was made to have 'Operation: Mindcrime' made into a movie. He contacted me and Eddie Jackson to see if we knew anything about this. We were just as shocked as he was! We had no knowledge this was being done, nor had we had any time to look into the deal or even see where or how we would fit into the project. We also noted that Chris DeGarmo was not notified, nor was he aware of this agreement either, and as he was one of the principal songwriters and contributor to the story outline, this was shocking. A check had been sent to our attorney to be held in escrow and at this time, we sent notice that this was to be held and no cash distribution was to be made until this was looked into and we were all in agreement.

"Again, this is another issue how business decisions were being made by Geoff Tate and Susan Tate without our knowledge. Moreover, when I inquired of our attorney if these funds were to be distributed to the band I was informed they were Geoff Tate's alone! 'Operation: Mindcrime' belonged to the entire band. I was astounded.

"The band meeting went on as planned, and in attendance were myself, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson. Geoff Tate was not there. We discussed the option of restructuring the merchandise and fan club, and decide to go with the company TinMan, who we were currently using for the manufacturing of our merchandise products. This agreement with TinMan includes having them run both the fan club and merchandise operations with this being done directly with them, and with this move all of our current expenses for the fan club and merchandise operations in-house would cease.

"At this point in the meeting, we agreed we needed to let go of our fan club and merchandise office staff which included Miranda Tate and Susan Tate as they would no longer be needed. We also agreed that the house rental and day-to-day operating expenses would need to stopped and prepared for the move to TinMan.

"The next topic discussed at this meeting was management. For years there have been arguments and division within the band over decisions that were made by our current management and feelings that Susan Tate was not working on the behalf of the band as a whole, and was, and had been making and agreeing to decisions that we felt were degrading to our brand and who we are as a band. At this time, we voted and agreed to fire our manager, Susan Tate, and agreed to interview and talk to other management teams that had expressed interest in managing the band. We felt that our voting and agreements made during this meeting were legal and that Geoff Tate chose of his own volition to not be in attendance knowing full well what we were discussing. We were a majority in our voting count. The meeting was recorded and transcripts of the meeting's minutes were then sent to Geoff Tate, Susan Tate and Neil Sussman. We left the next day for our show in Brazil.

"On the day of our show in Brazil, Geoff Tate demanded a meeting before the show. We agreed to meet before sound check. We all decided it was best to record the meeting. He asked why we fired Susan Tate and what it was that we wanted. We stated that we were no longer interested in Susan Tate as management and that we wanted different representation. He asked if we had anyone in mind and we told him we were in talks with AGPS (this is the management team that I proposed we talk to in 2010) but that nothing was agreed to. He then asked about our thoughts regarding him selling the rights away to 'Operation: Mindcrime'. He said, 'You have frozen my money.' We stated we felt it was done behind our backs and as we were part of the creation of 'Operation: Mindcrime', we felt it was an intellectual property issue and needed to be reviewed by an attorney. Geoff Tate stated that he had nothing more to say, got up and walked towards the door, and then said, 'Have a nice show.' The meeting was brief. I didn't see Geoff Tate again until we were in the elevator back at the hotel (where he said nothing to me and I said nothing to him), and when we were in the lobby to meet our van to take us to the show. Geoff Tate decided to stay in the bar instead of going with the band and arrived later. The next time I saw him was as we were walked onto the stage by our tour manager.

"Geoff Tate was setting up his station and the three of us walked around his area to our stations. I walked over to the area where my equipment was. I had just put on my guitar in preparation for the show when I heard a loud bang and then an 'uh oh' by our singer, Geoff Tate. I looked over to see that he (Geoff Tate) had knocked over the whole drum kit and was now spitting at our drummer, Scott Rockenfield, and yelling obscenities at him. At this point, I went over behind the drums to help assist pushing the drums back up on the stage when I heard our singer say, 'Hey, Mike, have a nice show,' and then when I looked at him, he spit right in my face and called me a 'motherf**ker.' As I was wiping my face, feeling violated, Geoff Tate came back at me yelling obscenities, 'F**ker,' 'F**k you, you mother f**ker.' I gave him a look from my towel, he approached me and when I was not looking, he punched me on the side of my face. The punch also hit my right eye which had a contact lens in it. My contact jostled and I was trying to get it back in place so I could see. I told him to get away from me, but he kept pushing his chest into me calling me 'Pussy, f**king pussy! What, are you going to cry?' My eye was watering from my contact, I couldn't see clearly, and I pushed him away. Then Scott Rockenfield (our drummer) came down and told him to get away from me. Geoff Tate then threw another punch at me, but I ducked and it hit Scott Rockenfield right in the face (his mouth area). Scott Rockenfield told him to back off and then Geoff Tate punched Scott Rockenfield again in the face. At this point our tour manager, Fozzy O'Hare, pulled Geoff Tate away and one of our guitar technicians, Kenny Bender, helped me by getting a cold water bottle on my face to stop any swelling or redness. Geoff Tate came back over and called me a 'pussy' and a 'crybaby' again. I told everyone I needed a minute until I was able to get my vision back and I was moved to the other side of the stage until the crew felt they could get the situation under control. I then told my guitar technician, Gino Bishop, to get a towel to wipe off all the spit on my guitar that kept coming from Geoff Tate. From this side of the stage, I could see confusion between the security and our crew. Everyone was shocked and completely caught off guard with Geoff Tate's irrational and violent behavior. Geoff Tate was continuing to move about the stage, trying to get around the security and crew who were trying to block him from any further attacks and trying to get him under control. He continued to rant back and forth, spitting at the band members and their equipment. Fozzy O'Hare was finally able to pull Geoff Tate off stage and took him to where his station is during the performance. At this point, we were not sure if we were going to continue the show or if we would have to cancel due to Geoff Tate's antics and violence. There was communication between Gino Bishop and Fozzy O'Hare as to what to do. Fozzy O'Hare then indicated that Geoff Tate had calmed down and he was ready to do the show. Gino Bishop had a security guard stationed right behind Geoff Tate and one right behind Scott Rockenfield just in case Geoff Tate tried to attack the band members and their equipment again.

"Geoff Tate delayed the show by about 20+ minutes and tried to provide a situation for show cancellation. The rest of the band remained professional and committed to the show, even as Geoff Tate spit on Scott Rockenfield throughout the show and threw water at my equipment between songs and tried to mess with not only our equipment but also tried to compromise our performance.

"When I was done performing and the show was over, Gino Bishop grabbed my guitar and Fozzy O'Hare grabbed me and told me to go straight to the van as they were worried that Geoff Tate would try to attack us again. We got in the van with the promoter and a security guard and left for the hotel. The promoter was shocked and disgusted with what had happened and promised that we would have security with us until we left the next day. She also said that travel arrangements would be made to get Geoff Tate on a different flight, and that we would not be placed in that type of situation again. The promoter also thanked us for remaining professional and for continuing to do the show even while we were under such duress.

"The next day, all of the crew, except Kelly Gray, came up to us and said how sorry they were. They vowed to never work with Geoff Tate again. The promoter's assistant was disgusted and shocked as well. The other band that performed with us at this show, FATES WARNING, were all upset the next day and expressed their shock and disgust during the luncheon the promoter had planned for us. Our tour manager had to put Geoff Tate on a different flight from the band as he was still making threats towards us after the show and this was done for our safety. The QUEENSRŸCHE corporations had to pay $2,500 for this last-minute ticket (which was charged back to Geoff Tate for reimbursement). At the airport before his departure, Geoff Tate still showed no remorse and had no apology for his actions. He threatened that we were to 'keep the f**k away from him' and that next time he would go after Eddie Jackson.

"Our next performance was May 12, 2012. Even given the Sao Palo incident, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and I decided we would honor what we knew to be the last two performances with signed contracts and see if working with Geoff Tate longterm really was a possibility. Instead Geoff Tate sent still more threats through our tour manager. He said that we better stay out of his taped off area at the front of the stage or he would attack again. We didn't move on stage knowing that this was being filmed live and we didn't want to risk anything happening in front of a live camera for everyone to see. We played the show all the while knowing that at any time he could go off violently if provoked by us moving in his direction.

"For this show our flights were booked separately from Geoff Tate, our hotels were separate, we were not together for soundcheck and we were not to be in the same vicinity as he was still angry and making threats. During this performance, fans saw his childish antics on stage. He grabbed the camera man from behind and started grinding on him causing filming problems. This was something he had never done before and this compromised the show which was televised. And, again, this hurt the brand of the band. The crew was genuinely disgusted in his performance. Fans start commenting on his behavior and by now the media had picked up on his attack in Brazil. QUEENSRŸCHE was now being talked about in many media markets for these embarrassing antics instead of our music and tours.

"The final performance was Memorial Day weekend in Oklahoma at a large music festival geared towards heavy metal and hard rock. We were the closing act. Again, there was no apology or sign of remorse from Geoff Tate. And again, we didn't move too much on the stage as there was still the risk that Geoff Tate would react violently, and as this, too, was being filmed live we didn't want to take the chance. Our concern that his antics were becoming more and more questionable and erratic were confirmed when Geoff Tate had the nerve to tell the audience 'They suck!' and 'You really suck!' on live television. Immediately, there were boos coming from the audience and a huge portion left to go to the next stage to wait for the band HELLYEAH. Fans flocked in disgust on the Internet chat sites. And Geoff Tate's comments were picked up by many media markets again. Here is another example of how the brand and name of QUEENSRŸCHE was being tarnished.

"After the Rocklahoma show, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and I decide that it is no longer conceivable that we could go on and continue working and touring with Geoff Tate, and since he was already communicating with us through counsel, we instructed our attorney to inform Geoff Tate of the decision to move on without him and to start discussions on how to do this. This was unsuccessful so we scheduled a directors meeting and informed Geoff Tate of this through the attorneys. At the same time, we announced a couple of shows we were performing in Seattle under the name RISING WEST. We were going to perform the songs from our earlier catalog that we had not been allowed to play over the last 15 years. Our fans were asking for this and we felt it would be a fun thing to do. This was to be our first time playing with the new singer, Todd La Torre, and this was a chance for us to get our feet wet as a band and to see if this would be a viable way to make touring income as we didn't have much in the way of income coming in. What happened after this was an explosion of excitement from not only the fans but the media as well. We were happy this was being so well received, but we didn't expect the high level of excitement that came with this. We were doing this for us and the fans and for the first time in years we felt a rejuvenation of happiness playing together as a band. The shows were sold out in a week and a half and it was great playing these songs again and having the fans so happy! The next day we received offers from management companies and promoters asking us to bring the show to their cities. After these shows, we were now being called the 'new QUEENSRŸCHE' by the fans and media.

"Due to the excitement of the initial announcement of RISING WEST, fans start putting posts on the QUEENSRŸCHE Facebook page asking for details on the shows or just voicing their excitement. We were not able to post anything on the QUEENSRŸCHE Facebook page as we still had not received administration passwords from Miranda Tate. Miranda Tate was now working for Susan Tate only, and as they were both fired from QUEENSRŸCHE, it was strange that would have to contact them to post on our page. In short, the Tates hijacked QUEENSRŸCHE's official Internet media outlets for their own use, and with no authority to do so. So, Scott Rockenfield and Misty Rockenfield posted on the QUEENSRŸCHE Facebook page the details and their excitement for the upcoming shows. Almost immediately, their posts were removed. After that, there became a rampant deletion of any negative comment made towards Geoff Tate or any excitement over the news of the RISING WEST shows and future of RISING WEST. Fans started going crazy over being deleted for voicing their opinions on a fan forum. At this time, I made a post on my own personal Facebook page that we were being denied access to the QUEENSRŸCHE Facebook page and website, and asking our fans to start passing along the information regarding the RISING WEST shows via their own social networking pages. This exploded in the media and the fans went wild. The QUEENSRŸCHE Facebook page was now being monitored 24/7 and the deletions of posts/comments were being made constantly. It was also at this time that the Facebook site blocked anyone from posting a comment directly to the page and you could only comment via a thread for a status update that was posted by QUEENSRŸCHE. These comment threads were long and were also being monitored and comments were deleted. While all of this was being done to discourage any excitement over RISING WEST, two new posts were made from 'QUEENSRŸCHE' regarding Geoff Tate solo shows. This angered the fans even more. No news about the other band members but news about Geoff Tate was allowed. It was becoming apparent to the fans how uneven things were within the band and who actually controlled the Facebook page. The same is true of the merchandise not being available online. To run the merchandise, we needed access to Queensryche.com. When the trouble began, our webmaster, Kevin Scurlock wanted out of the middle, so he produced a document with all of the access codes and gave it to the corporate attorney. We requested it, and once again, Geoff refused, so our attorney refused to give us the document as well, citing 'conflict.' Not until our litigation attorney requested the document was it provided. Within minutes of receipt of the access codes we attempted to log in and found they had all been changed. We contacted the hosting service and found out that Susan Tate was the contact. We put in a request for a change of contact so we could obtain the passwords and restart selling merchandise, but Susan Tate would've had to give permission for that to happen. To date, we have not been given access and can only presume that it is being blocked by the Tates. This is yet another example of how the Tates are willing to damage the companies and the QUEENSRŸCHE brand for their own gain.

"As previously discussed, another board meeting was called for June 6, 2012, to discuss where things were within the band. It was to be done via a conference call. At the onset of the call, Geoff Tate's attorney announced that he was on the call. He asked if our attorney was also, and when we said 'no,' he then had to remove himself from the call. At that time, Geoff Tate also removed himself from the call. Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and I felt that we could do this without our attorneys having to be involved and that maybe could get some sort of discussion going. It was at this point we knew that this was not going to happen unless we acted on our own. Geoff Tate made this known to us by not wanting to talk without his attorney talking for him. We needed to move forward. He still had not apologized for his actions in Brazil and the other two shows, and he didn't even want to discuss business matters with us. Now we realized that this was his pattern. If it isn't his way, he won't commit. As a business we had to make a choice if we were to continue. It was not an easy choice to make but by Geoff Tate's actions alone, he proved many times he was not working as part of a group, but as an individual. He was actively damaging the brand by taking us from our roots, ignoring the music that built our fan base, and ultimately attacking us physically and our fans verbally. We realized we would need to remove him from the band and end our 30-year relationship with him as a member of QUEENSRŸCHE, but this was not a decision we made lightly. We voted to remove him as lead singer and explore options of settlement of his 25% shares in the QUEENSRŸCHE entities, be it through a buyout, long term royalties or the like. We also formed an executive committee to carry out management decisions during this crucial and delicate time. The idea of setting a meeting on three days notice, just to have Geoff Tate not participate or simply be voted down in decisions for the launching of a band he is no longer part of makes no sense and would bog down and hurt the corporations. This way Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and I could effectively manage this transition. Regardless of the personal elements of parting ways after so many years, this decision was for the health and survival of QUEENSRŸCHE. And as shown below, it was the right one.

"Prior to the shows of RISING WEST, we had already given notice that we were not comfortable, nor did we feel safe on stage with Geoff Tate any longer. His antics were proving to be erratic and unstable. We sent communication through the RISING WEST management team to the promoter and booking agent that we did not feel safe performing with Geoff Tate at the Salt Lake City show, but that we would love to perform as RISING WEST which we felt would be a better fit for the SCORPIONS crowd as we were performing songs that fit with their catalog of music. We were then told that the promoter said it was either all four original members of QUEENSRŸCHE or nothing. It was not until the day before the Salt Lake City show that we heard that Susan Tate had worked a deal with the promoter to have Geoff Tate perform his solo acoustic set.

"In mid-June, Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson and I flew to Los Angeles and met with Frontline/AGPS Management. They are the largest and most powerful music management company in the industry. We agreed to have them manage us and help us assemble new booking agents, publicists and the like. We have put together a top-notch team and announced the new lineup though the industry leading Billboard.com to enormous reception. Within a week, we booked three shows totally over $72,000 in revenue for the new QUEENSRŸCHE, with many more shows on the horizon. And, this is only the beginning with major bookings throughout the fall, the recording of a new album and a major push in 2013, all of which are in the works.

"Of the last three albums, each one has sold almost half as much as the one before.

"There is a dissention in the band with Geoff Tate at the helm.

"At the beginning of the writing process of each album, and also during the production of each album, we were told things were going one way only to find that they went another way when the albums were finished per the direction of Geoff Tate. When everything was ready to be sent to the record company, we were all told we had to sign off and agree to these albums otherwise we would not receive the upfront money that was promised from the record company. If we stated we were not happy, we were then told that no money would be released for band/family support and that there was no more time or additional money to re-record. Our hands were bound. We had to sign off and agree to the album or not only would we lose the money we needed to support our families, but we would also be taking away money from our friends/band mates who needed the money for the support of their families. Even if I chose to go broke and not sign off, I would not be the one forcing my band mates to go there with me. There is even a clause in the last recording contract for 'Dedicated To Chaos', if one member quits within 6 months, the whole contract would be voided.

"Thus, to any extent Geoff Tate is the band as he claims, it is only the band of the last few years; the band of seriously declining sales, of loss of fans, of a sound and style that has little to no connection to the popular works which built us. Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, and I, as 75% owners, three of four current members, and three of the four original founders, have been treated as little more than studio musicians. After trying to make a go of it and hold on to our band anyways, the assault was the final straw. And, even then, we gave it two more performances to see if that was not the case, but it unfortunately it was. So, we had no choice but to finally move on; not only for us, but for the band, and most of all for the fans.

"Geoff Tate has a successful solo career. He has been touring over the last few years as a solo act and plans to be a solo act for the rest of this year. It has just been announced that he has signed a major, worldwide multi-album deal, so that being known, he will have a successful career as a solo artist. He can continue to do that, making the kind of records he wants to make, working with the musicians he wants to work, and performing only the material he wants to perform. But, that is not QUEENSRŸCHE. It never has been and it never will.

"Geoff Tate has never written an entire song. He only writes lyrics. QUEENSRŸCHE is a sound; a sound that comes from the music and that music comes from us, not Geoff Tate alone. And, Geoff Tate has refused to be a part of that for some time. Instead, he wants QUEENSRŸCHE to be something else, something that's not guitar-driven and sold millions of albums, but something that fits his tastes alone. And, now that the rest of us will no longer go along with that alternative vision anymore, which is so unpopular with the fans and has had such dismal record sales, he wants the name all for himself, or for no one. As seen in the latest interview of Rolling Stone magazine and Billboard.com, he is doing everything in his power to tarnish any QUEENSRŸCHE credibility and to stop any momentum the new lineup has had. Through his lack of remorse towards his physical assault on us (that was not provoked as he alludes to in his interview), he is a detriment to the band. His blatant use of the media for his own agenda with no regard for the integrity of the band as an entity alone is grounds for the remaining band members to own the name. We have always shown respect for the brand and name QUEENSRŸCHE. We want to rebuild the name to the respect of our fans and peers.

"We do not wish to play this out in the media and would like to keep this respectful for all involved. To see Geoff Tate and his family using the Internet and media to play this way is embarrassing to not only us, but to the name QUEENSRŸCHE that at one time garnered respect in the music industry.

"The enthusiasm for the new QUEENSRŸCHE, doing the songs that made us popular, that have not been performed in years due to Geoff Tate's refusal, is tremendous. The critical response to new lead singer Todd La Torre and his chemistry with the band at the RISING WEST shows in early June has been wildly positive as well. Thus, not only has moving on been great for the QUEENSRŸCHE entities, but any injunction would strangle all this potential, as well as the already contracted performances. Thus, it would be damaging to the corporations and damaging to the members, the employees, and their families. And the damage to Geoff Tate would be minimal as he continues to book solo dates, tour, and record new albums.

"QUEENSRŸCHE and Geoff Tate can co-exist; it's simply Geoff Tate that cannot accept that. But, that is not what is best for the band, our companies, or our fans."
QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with singer Geoff Tate and recruiting powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY as his replacement. The new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup has already performed live, having played two shows in their home city of Seattle under the name RISING WEST.

In a recent interview with RollingStone.com, Tate revealed that he filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates on June 12 in King County Superior Court in the state of Washington in order to "sort out who is what, and who owns what, and that stuff." Tate is also attempting to get a court injunction against Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield that would prevent them from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.

On Monday, July 9, Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield filed a response to Tate's motion for preliminary injunction and included individual declarations from all of the defendants supporting their position that Tate's motion should be denied. As one would expect, these documents — copies of which have been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET — contain startling details about the circumstances that led to the split between the singer and his one-time friends and longtime bandmates.

In his sworn declaration, Lundgren — who has been touring with QUEENSRŸCHE since 2009 and who was briefly married to Geoff Tate's stepdaughter Miranda (they have since divorced) — states, "On April 14, 2012, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at approximately 11:00 p.m., I was chatting with Scott Rockenfield while awaiting for our show to start. Geoff Tate came up to Scott Rockenfield from the other side of the drum riser and shoved Scott Rockenfield's drumset over in Scott Rockenfield's direction. Geoff Tate then said, 'You f**king pussy' and spat at him. Our techs immediatelly ran to the drum raiser to fix the drums, drum mice and laptop that had been knocked over. Meanwhile, Geoff Tate walked over to Michael Wilton and hit him open-handed in the face, spit on him and said more obscenities. Michael Wilton tried to walk away as Geoff Tate followed him and continued to spit on him and call him names. Scott Rockenfield ran over to break them up when Geoff Tate then hit Scott Rockenfield twice in the head. Security ran in to separate Geoff Tate from the rest of the band. Geoff Tate walked by Eddie Jackson and said to him, 'You're next.' Orlando Scott 'Fozzy' O'Hare, our tour manager, was able to calm Geoff Tate down enough for us to play the show. We were advised to stay in one place during the show and to avoid going near Geoff Tate. We were also advised to not go near the edge of the stage for fear that Geoff Tate would push someone off stage. During the rest of the show, Geoff Tate repeatedly spit on Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, and Eddie Jackson and continued to call them names. After the show, we were told to head straight to the hotel.

"After we got to the hotel, our tech, Anthony Bender, and I headed out to a bar for drinks, and we were later accompanied by Geoff Tate and Kelly Gray. During a conversation between Geoff Tate and I at the bar, Geoff Tate said, 'I wish that I would have hit Michael harder,' and 'I wish I could get my hands on Scott because I would kill him.'

"It is very apparent that Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson's musical direction in QUEENSRŸCHE has stayed true throughout their 31 years of being a band. Their musical contributions, both in writing and playing live, best resembles the music that they have come to be known for. They listen to what their fans want and continue to be the driving force behind the band.

"While Geoff Tate is the primary lyricist in the band, he has never written the music for a song in QUEENSRŸCHE. All of the music has been written by Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Chris DeGarmo, and recently some outside writers that Geoff Tate worked with.

"It is evident that Geoff Tate's musical tastes have changed over the years which is understandable. He has even stated in recent interviews that he doesn't like metal.

"QUEENSRŸCHE is a brand and fans expect the brand QUEENSRŸCHE, which is a metal band, to maintain their sound, style, and trademark characteristics. Much of the music that Geoff Tate chose to write lyrics to on 'Dedicated To Chaos' sounds like music from his solo project album. There is nothing wrong with the musical direction that Geoff Tate has shifted towards except that it does not fit with QUEENSRŸCHE. It belongs in a different project such as the Geoff Tate solo project.

"Aside from Geoff Tate's recent assault in Brazil, he has also made threats to the band at the M3 and Rocklahoma festivals that if anyone in the band comes near him, he is going to hit them. He has also tarnished the band's name by telling the audience that they sucked during the Rocklahoma festival which was streamed live on television.

"When Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and I performed QUEENSRŸCHE material with Todd La Torre, it was the most positive and enthusiastic response that I have seen in my entire run with the band, both from the crowd and amidst the band. We played the older, heavier material that the fans always ask for and that we are never able to play. The shows sold out both nights and the merchandise sold out immediately. We had nothing but positive reviews and the fans loved it. We had fans fly to Seattle for the shows from all around the world, some even as far as Japan. What was even more uplifting than the crowd's reaction was the band's reaction. I have never seen bigger smiles on the guys' faces while we played the shows. The positivity continued long after the shows as we started hanging out, going to dinners, going to shows, and most importantly writing music together as a band, which I never experienced while Geoff Tate was in the band. Everyone, including the new singer Todd La Torre, is on the same page. We want to play the same kind of music, and stay true to the QUEENSRŸCHE legacy."
QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with singer Geoff Tate and recruiting powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY as his replacement. The new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup has already performed live, having played two shows in their home city of Seattle under the name RISING WEST.

In a recent interview with RollingStone.com, Tate revealed that he filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates on June 12 in King County Superior Court in the state of Washington in order to "sort out who is what, and who owns what, and that stuff." Tate is also attempting to get a court injunction against Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield that would prevent them from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.

On Monday, July 9, Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield filed a response to Tate's motion for preliminary injunction and included individual declarations from all of the defendants supporting their position that Tate's motion should be denied. As one would expect, these documents — copies of which have been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET — contain startling details about the circumstances that led to the split between the singer and his one-time friends and longtime bandmates.

In his sworn declaration, Eddie Jackson writes, in part, "While we were recording the band's fifth album that was released on EMI Records called 'Promised Land', Geoff Tate had been experiencing marital problems. I'm sure he had a very difficult time focusing on both his marriage while also trying to be creative; however, while in the studio, I witnessed something that was a bit disturbing. I was sitting at a table reading some of the band's fan mail and started hearing yelling and cursing. As I turned my head towards the direction it was coming from, that's when I saw Geoff Tate slam through one of the studio doors while screaming at Chris DeGarmo from two feet away, yelling something in the likes of. 'Don't bring any more of your bulls**t here. I don't need any more of your bulls**t!' He was in such rage I thought he was going to physically assault Chris DeGarmo. He continued to yell a couple more expletives and just walked away. Chris DeGarmo, like a true gentleman, just kept his composure and started walking towards the front door. I wanted to share this incident because to this day Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and I have continued to witness this type of random violent behavior from Geoff Tate on several occasions when he gets extremely angry and upset.

"After the album release for 'Hear And The Now Frontier', followed by an extensive tour, it was evident that something wasn't right. Since Geoff Tate didn't write any music, we continued to collectively submit to him various musical compositions to work on. However, Chris DeGarmo had been very quiet with very little communication. Chris DeGarmo finally contacted everyone to schedule a band meeting where he informed us he had made a decision to leave the band.

"Over the course of the next five album releases ('Q2K', 'Tribe', 'Operation: Mindcrime II', 'American Soldier' and 'Dedicated To Chaos') the band had gone through three guitar players, four management firms and five record companies.

"After Chris DeGarmo left, the band he was adamant about hiring Kelly Gray as the next QUEENSRŸCHE guitar player. We had also severed ties with Q-Prime Management that had been managing us for about eight years, and decided to hire Ray Daniels, who at the time was also managing the bands RUSH and VAN HALEN. Once again, since Geoff Tate didn't write any music, and the band continued to collectively submit to him various musical compositions for the next album called 'Q2K'.

"Kelly Gray did not write the whole album with Geoff Tate as he claims. Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, Kelly Gray and I spent many hours writing song ideas collectively and individually.

"After just one album and an extensive tour with Kelly Gray, Geoff Tate refused to continue working with him because of his substance abuse and Kelly Gray was eventually fired. Geoff Tate also decided to fire our manager, Ray Daniels.

"Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I weren't too pleased with the firing of Ray Daniels, but to avoid Geoff Tate's random violent behavior, we decided it would be best to just keep our distance and not start an argument. Lars Sorenson was hired as the new QUEENSRŸCHE band manager. Susan Tate (Geoff's wife) was already working with Lars Sorensen as an assistant.

"After a year later, Geoff Tate decided to fire Lars Sorensen and conveniently hire his wife Susan Tate as manager. Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I knew it was a recipe for disaster and had no choice but to accept the idea if Geoff Tate was to continue working with the band.

"Before recording the album 'Tribe', frustration started to build with Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I towards Geoff Tate in regards to songwriting, the type of direction the band should be taking, along with certain decisions made by Geoff Tate that he did not allow us to take part in. He was creating a negative energy around our work environment. In fact, his wife Susan Tate emailed us and said that 'my husband has a dark side… I'm having a difficult time trying to reach out to him!'

"Geoff Tate spiritually had removed himself from QUEENSRŸCHE and basically stepped away for about a year and decided to record his own album; however, at the same time, causing a serious detriment to the QUEENSRŸCHE brand. Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I, along with Mike Stone, continued to write music and compositions for obvious reasons and eventually submitted them to Geoff Tate. In fact, we even rented a studio room at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA for two weeks to compose. Geoff Tate would on occasion stop in from time to time after riding his motorcycle to hear the various compositions we had written.

"Chris DeGarmo had been invited to participate on the 'Tribe' record. He recorded and composed several songs.

"When Chris DeGarmo was in the band, he used to take part in a lot of Geoff Tate's vocals sessions, and they would work together creating vocal harmony ideas, etc. However, Geoff Tate's demeanor continued and when it was actually his turn to start recording, he rudely told Chris DeGarmo that he wasn't needed. Not a pleasant, 'Hey, thanks for coming back and recording with the band' attitude, especially toward someone who used to be in the band for 15 years and had written arguably the most popular song QUEENSRŸCHE had ever recorded! As usual, Chris DeGarmo, like a true gentleman, just kept his composure and simply got up and left.

"It wasn't long before we started to question some of Geoff and Susan Tate's business decisions. Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and I continued to witness the same disrespectful, controlling negativity from Geoff and Susan Tate and Jason Slater during the writing process for the album 'American Soldier'. The three of us refused to work with Jason Slater again; however, Geoff and Susan Tate paid no attention to us and decided to hire Jason Slater again as co-producer. Once again, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and I had no voice in the decision. Our working environment had become very stressful.

"'American Soldier' sold approximately 60k copies. That's less than half of what the last album 'Operation: Mincrime' sold.

"As usual, the band continued to submit song ideas to Geoff Tate [for what became the album 'Dedicated To Chaos'] without any musical composition or contribution from him. We all worked long hours collectively and individually for several months.

"Geoff and Susan Tate insisted on hiring Jason Slater once again, even though the rest of us disapproved because of the problems we had encountered with him from before. Our stress levels were high and simply could not voice our opinion on the matter since they fell on deaf ears if we were heard at all.

"During the course of recording, Kelly Gray would continue criticizing Geoff Tate's song selections and decisions and simply said, 'This isn't the direction the band should be going.' Kelly Gray had also commented on how he had been underpaid and mistreated by Geoff and Susan Tate.

"Our last album called 'Dedicated To Chaos' was the band's most criticized effort to date. It was not well received. This was a band direction Geoff Tate insisted on taking even though the rest of us had disagreed.

"As you can see by QUEENSRŸCHE's last three album releases, sales have declined significantly during Susan Tate's involvement as band manager, in addition with Jason Slater's and Kelly Gray's involvement. Kelly Gray had also taken notice of the band's decline in records sales and direction and commented several times that 'Susan Tate as band manager has run out of gas, and you should considered seeking new band management.'

"In the 30 years as a band, we have never submitted a hard copy paper form via USPS to schedule corporate officers/shareholders meetings. Every meeting has been scheduled through phone conversations and also, texting and emailing when it had become available as another form of communications.

"While on tour a couple of years ago I remember having an argument with Susan Tate over a tour bus issue and she was quoted as saying… 'I have to do what's in the best interest of MY HUSBAND to keep him happy' instead of saying… 'I have to do what's in the best interest of the BAND!' It obviously shows that she wasn't representing the band as a whole.

"The continuous nepotism from Geoff and Susan during her involvement with the band had caused many arguments, generated more tension and a high level of emotional stress on Michael, Scott and I.

"Since January of 2012 a notice of a shareholder and/or corporate officers meetings (approximately 4-5) were submitted to every band member. Michael, Scott and I were always present at these meetings, however, Geoff refused to take part in any of them without a valid reason.

"Michael, Scott and I constantly tried to find ways to minimize costs, however, at the same time maximize our dollar. Geoff's idea was always… 'Why do we need to worry about cutting costs?… We'll just find a way to just make more money!' Not very good business sense especially with the economic recession we've been experiencing over the last 4 years!

"We had a discussion about the current fan club office situation because it was costing the band so much money monthly, and especially since we weren't performing many shows in 2012 we weren't going to generate a lot of revenue. Basically, more money was going out than was coming in. The idea of hiring an online company to do this was much more cost effective in comparison. Geoff refused to go along with the idea because his wife and daughter were on the payroll. Needless to say, after eliminating the rental office lease payment, employee payroll, utility expenses and accounting fee's the bands accountant Neil Sussman was also in agreement of the amount of money the band would be saving on a yearly basis by switching to an online merchandise company per an email he submitted to all the band members.

"From March 2012 till to this day Scott, Michael and I have been denied access to the band's web site (Facebook, Twitter, PayPal accounts).

"While on tour in 2007, Geoff Tate physically assaulted Scott Rockenfield in the band's dressing room over another disagreement. He grabbed Scott Rockenfield's laptop and shoved it in his face and proceeded to swing at Scott Rockenfield while screaming expletives at him.

"Geoff Tate has made several comments about how he despises the hard
rock/heavy metal genre which is what QUEENSRŸCHE's style has been from the very beginning.

"Twice in the fall of 2011 while on tour, Geoff Tate's irrational, violent behavior surfaced again after a discussion we had regarding songs that fans have been requesting us to perform for quite a few years. While the rest of the band were in agreement with the fans, he screamed in disapproval, 'I don't want to play those stupid songs. I didn't write them!' and stormed out of the dressing room in a violent rage.

"Moments before performing a show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Geoff Tate physically assaulted Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton several times in front of a dozen witnesses including the band crew, the opening act, FATES WARNING, the local promoter, his assistant and among a few others. He even told our tour manager after he physically assaulted Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton that 'I'm going to f**k with Scott throughout the show,' and was repeatedly spitting on Scott Rockenfield's drum kit and Michael Wilton's guitars and amplifiers through the course of the night. At the end of the show, our tour manager told us to not go to our dressing room and go straight to the vans and to our hotel because he was afraid Geoff Tate would try to physically assault one of us again. He even had the hotel place security on each floor next to our hotel rooms that night for our own safety.

"Geoff Tate's claim regarding Scott Rockenfield's comment ('I've fired your wife, your daughter and now you're next!') is completely false, and even our band crew who were present at the time of the incident would testify to that.

"Several weeks following the Sao Paulo incident in Brazil at the M3 Festival in Baltimore MD, Geoff Tate continued to make threats to Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and I if were to get near him while performing on stage.

"Another several weeks later, Geoff Tate's rant 'you guys suck' to the fans while performing a show in Oklahoma was extremely unprofessional and has only continued to damage the QUEENSRŸCHE brand name.

"Geoff Tate's continued random threats and irrational, violent behavior still poses a threat to Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and me, and has caused a significant amount of stress and we therefore cannot continue working with him in the future."
Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who was involved in a messy split with his former bandmates less than two years ago, has taken to Twitter to comment on the legal battle between QUEENSRŸCHE and the Seattle progressive rock band's ex-singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the group's name.

After apparently checking out some of the latest BLABBERMOUTH.NET articles on the ongoing QUEENSRŸCHE saga, Portnoy wrote, "WOW!!! What a read... This QR split makes my DT split look like a walk in the park! Wow..."

Portnoy and Tate engaged in a minor public feud in 2006 over Tate's alleged "bashing" of DREAM THEATER following the two bands' co-headlining tour in the summer of 2003. (See previous BLABBERMOUTH.NET stories: Story#1, Story#2, Story#3.) The two progressive hard rock giants had originally intended to join forces for a package tour in 2000 — a plan that failed to materialize after QUEENSRŸCHE decided to take the middle slot on IRON MAIDEN's "Brave New World" tour instead. This move infuriated Portnoy, who told Metal Sludge several months later, "I have a bone to pick with [QUEENSRŸCHE]... We had a summer tour in the works being booked with them which I think would have been cool for the fans and they backed out in the 11th hour which fucked us over....I think maybe they realized that having to play after us would make their fans realize how much they suck now!"

When a DREAM THEATER fan suggested back in April 2006 in a posting in "The Forum" section of Portnoy's web site that Tate was in New York City doing press for QUEENSRŸCHE's then-new album and that he may join DREAM THEATER on stage at their April 1, 2006 concert at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, Portnoy had the following response: "I'm tired of being politically correct... For the record, Geoff Tate is a two-faced douche bag. Since he has begun doing 'Operation: Mindcrime II' press, he has been consistently bashing DREAM THEATER and even me personally in the press... (why, I have no idea?). But I'm tired of biting my tongue when he obviously can't.

"When he was on Eddie Trunk's show [on Q104.3 FM in March 2006], he was incredibly rude and insultful [sic] when talking about me off the air to Eddie and [FOZZY singer and former WWE wrestler] Chris Jericho (he having no idea they're my bros)... Eddie and Chris were FUMING at him and Chris immediately texted me from the studio saying he was ready to body-slam him on the spot.

"His new name on this board should be Geoff Taint...

"Screw him...he's now on my shitlist..."

During an appearance on Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM in October 2006, Portnoy had the following response when asked by a fan regarding his "war of words" with Tate:

"I've gotta choose my words carefully or else I'm gonna end up on the front page of Blabbermouth tomorrow morning. [Laughs]

"There's no hard feelings. I think that the things that were said between me and Geoff, a lot of it got blown out of propotion, a lot of those feelings and… whatever. When I went and saw them in New York a few weeks ago, they were all totally open arms to me, and Geoff was cool. And the next night when they were here on Eddie's show, they were totally cool about it.

"You know what it is? I think when we toured together with them, it was a co-headlining thing — we were sharing the lights and the video and the sound. We had to work together on a lot of things. And I'm very used to running our band and our organization and our live touring situation a certain way, and I guess Geoff is used to it his way, so inevitably, as much of a great time we had, there was also moments where I wanted something some way and he maybe wanted it the other, so as kind of the two heads of our organizations, inevitably, maybe, he got turned off by my headstrongness and same vice versa. I guess when you're kind of a perfectionist, or a controlling person, and you have to kind of share that situation with another band, it's tough, and maybe some of it rubbed him the wrong way. But I've had nothing but good stuff to say about that tour we did together — it was a lot of fun, every night we jammed together, and I thought it was a great thing for the fans, and we had a good time. There were little things here and there in terms of the whole behind-the-scenes thing, but it was really all a very, very good-spirited tour.

"It's hard in the age of the Internet to keep things cool and not get blown up. After what went down here with Geoff and me, it was all over Blabbermouth the next day and then from there it was on every web site from here to Australia, and the fans get into it with each other, and they blow it up, and every word is dissected. That's the scary part. I know I did a Metal Sludge interview back in 2000 — it was like six years ago — and I still get heat over that. Because everything you say on the Internet gets spread around and people just blow it up into the biggest thing."
Vocalist Hansi Kürsch of German power metallers BLIND GUARDIAN has issued the following update:

"A long (far longer than expected) journey has more or less come to an end.

"After having had great fun with our Greek and German friends some weeks ago, we are now preparing ourselves for the final show here in Germany.

"Even though being on the road is always a very enjoyable experience for everyone in the band, it, on the other hand, demands a lot of time and makes it almost impossible for us to really keep our focus on songwriting. It therefore became more and more obvious to us that there had to be a stop to our touring activities to maintain a proper songwriting cycle.

"It will be a challenging but also a very exciting period for us.

"Having an album like 'At the Edge Of Time' in our rearview mirror is a curse and blessing at the same time. No matter if we try to finalize the orchestra project or start the songwriting for the next new 'regular' BLIND GUARDIAN album, it will demand our full attention during the next 24 months or perhaps even more. So, the final chance to see us live will be the Rockharz festival in Ballenstedt, Germany on Friday, July 13th. I am absolutely sure that there will not be any BLIND GUARDIAN shows before autumn 2014. So, do not miss this one!

"Last but not least, some information for those of you that are curious about the collector's box that we've mentioned in some interviews. This box will contain remixed versions of the complete studio album works (based on the original releases) we have done for Virgin. During the next weeks we will provide you with the exact content once it is completely confirmed. There will be tons of material…

"I've found it extremely pleasant to revisit the old albums one more time, but mostly I enjoyed 'Nightfall In Middle-Earth', which, for me, remains the strongest BLIND GUARDIAN release to date. Mostly I was impressed by some of the songs, which we have not played live so far, 'Noldor' and 'The Curse Of Feanor' in particular. I immediately decided that we have to play one or the other in 2014. So, it truly is something to look forward to. Sounds like a (false) promise, I already made some time ago, doesn't it? History repeats itself, some mean people would say, and that life is a constant 'Battlefield' — which reminds me of another great song of ours…"

"Memories Of A Time To Come", the ultimate collection of BLIND GUARDIAN music from 1987 to 2011, was released on January 20 via Virgin/EMI.

"Memories Of A Time To Come" is available as a double CD, three-CD deluxe limited edition, including the band's demo recordings when they were called LUCIFER'S HERITAGE, and as download.

"At The Edge Of Time", the tenth studio album from BLIND GUARDIAN, sold around 4,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 108 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 1 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.

BLIND GUARDIAN's previous CD, "A Twist In The Myth", opened with 3,000 units back in September 2006.

"At The Edge Of Time" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 2 — the band's strongest chart showing ever in its home country.
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has released the following "open letter to SKID ROW and the original SKID ROW fans":

"One of my favorite bands in history is KISS. One of the coolest things I've always loved about Gene Simmons is that he truly lets the fans be the boss. Whatever the fans think is cool, Gene tries to give us what we want. Always. For almost 40 years now, KISS has let the fans be the boss, and the fans love them for it. They really know how to succeed in this business.

"My old band? Is the complete opposite of that.

"Individually, I'm sure we all appreciate the fans for putting us where we are today and giving us a great life. I know I do! But collectively, as a band, we don't care at all about what it is that the fans want.

"Nowhere in the world can you buy a DVD of our original band. Nowhere in the world can you buy a SKID ROW box set with unreleased goodies like every other band in the world. No 'Deluxe Editions' for our fans. Nowhere can you go buy a copy of the '18 & Life' video or 'Roadkill' or 'Oh Say Can You Scream', all platinum releases that do not exist anymore. That's because we, collectively, as a band, put the fans very last on what is important to us. Individually, I'm sure we all love our fans who put us where we are today. But collectively, SKID ROW has treated SKID ROW fans worse than any other band I can think of in history. The name is completely destroyed. For many reasons.

"There is another reason while you may never see the original band reunite. Not just because the band itself could care less about what the fans want. There is a journalist named Jonathan Parks who has gone out of his way to undermine our fragile relationships and pit us against each other online with lies and bullshit. This piece-of-shit 'journalist' makes up whatever he wants to say on his website [Legendary Rock Interviews] and I can guarantee you I never said what ended up in my online 'interview.'

"Every time there is a question in the interview from Jonathan Parks I answer (on his site), 'Well, you know, John,' I can guarantee you I did not know this person's name doing the interview and I never put his name in my answers because I did not know his name! I can guarantee Snake, and everyone else in the band he has interviewed, did not know his name either. I challenge Mr. Jonathan Parks to put up the the audio of what I actually said, so you can hear for yourself what bullshit lies ended up in his online 'interview.' I can guarantee you I never said his name once in my interview, because I did not know his name!

"This guy Jonathan Parks pulls our pants down, sucks our dicks in the interview, rips apart the other members to each one of us behind our backs, and then turns around and does the exact same thing with the other band members. This is why it's futile for me to respond to my replacement's [Johnny Solinger] ridiculous claims. Because I'll bet you Jonathan Parks used more than a little creative license in his interview, as he did in mine.

"But I will address some points. Number one: I can guarantee you it's not 'crap' when I say that four out of five band members would reunite SKID ROW. I can guarantee you it's not 'crap' that we were offered to play two shows at Sonisphere in Europe this year as the original band. I can guarantee you it's not 'crap' they even printed up posters for the show which had us on the bill.
"I talked with Snake [SKID ROW guitarist] years ago with Doc McGhee [former SKID ROW manager] and we even planned a box set with unreleased stuff, going on tour, and all that great stuff. He was the first one to say that he would reunite... for the fans. I have talked to Rob [Affuso, former SKID ROW drummer] many times and he would do it. I talked to Scotti [Hill, SKID ROW guitarist] and he seemed very into putting the band back together for a world tour. I called the bass player [Rachel Bolan] but never heard back. Of course they could change their mind in public, but in private that is the truth, and the one thing the fans know about me is that I am not afraid to say what the truth is. Never have been.

"Another thing I would like to say is that I did not say anything about a SKID ROW reunion to 'get attention for myself.' My little fingernail has forgotten about more attention it has recieved than my replacement will ever receive for his whole life's work. I answered a tweet from someone on my Twitter account with the response 'four out of five of us would reunite.' That was all. My one tweet made news the world over. I cannot help it if news outlets look at my Twitter feed and take one individual tweet and make it into news stories around the world. Believe me, when I send out a tweet I do not expect it to turn into world news. The fact that my replacement thinks I answered a tweet 'to get attention for myself' is as hilarious as his attempt to sing 'I Remember You' accurately. If there is one thing I do not need, and am certainly not looking for, is 'attention.'

"Another comedic factor that I must address is when someone says I have 'wanted back in that band since day one.' Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not want to be in their band even now. All I ever said was that, for the fans, I could get on stage with them and sing 'I Remember You' and 'Youth Gone Wild', even in the right key.

"I am completely happy with my new record 'Kicking & Screaming'. I am the only musician from the original SKID ROW to place anything at all on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, with 'Kicking' reaching #68 and 'Angel Down' reaching #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. My record deal for Frontiers is demanding that I do another solo album right now. I am completely happy playing the main stage at festivals such as M3 while my old band plays second stage. I am completely happy with my band members in my solo band. But for the fans, I do understand their frustration at the fact that all five members of SKID ROW are still alive, but because of ego, and journalists such as Jonathan Parks, we cannot get in the same room together. It's not fair to the fans.

"I do not want anything more in this life than to make great music and play great shows. I do not need my old band to do that. But, for the fans, I would be willing to put my ego aside and do something that would be special for the people who put us where we are today. I do not personally want it myself. But it's not always about 'what I want.' If the fans really want to see us together, I would do it for the fans. Sometimes you can do things for people other than yourself.

"So to my old band members, if you want to try and get out of the Internet bullshit and come together for the sake of the fans, you can give me a call.

"One last gigantic 'fuck you' to Jonathan Parks for being a slimy scumbag and going around starting fights with each one of the members of the band. You are the worst kind of 'music journalist,' one who would put band members against each other, and further jeapordize our already fragile relationships, just for the sake of your own personal 'gain'. One thing is for sure, if we ever do get back together, you will be banned from every single show that we do. Jonathan Parks, the fans have you to thank for completely fucking up this years chances for a reunion, and making it even more of a remote possibility than it already is. Way to go, stupid! Fuck you, and your piece-of-shit website of lies."
Texas heavy rockers DROWNING POOL have tapped Jasen Moreno from fellow Dallas band THE SUICIDE HOOK as their new vocalist.

Moreno made his live debut with DROWNING POOL this past Sunday, July 8 at Outlawz Night Club in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

In a radio interview conducted at this past May's Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio, DROWNING POOL guitarist C.J. Pierce declined to reveal the identity of his band's new singer, but he did offer that the vocalist's first name contained the letter "J."

Regarding DROWNING POOL's plans for the immediate future, Pierce said, "We've been in the studio. DROWNING POOL is recording a new record. We have three weeks left. I've been in the studio all year long and I haven't gone out at all — 12-hour days, seven days a week; I'm not kidding. . . We have our first coming out show with the new [singer], we're gonna be opening up for MÖTLEY CRÜE on July 13 — it's a radio show in Wisconsin, which is great, to get started, again, right where you left off. We were fortunate… Things have been, the last few years… I mean, things are flowing again. It's been great. . . But the new record is heavier, there's more metal on it, there's a lot of double bass, a lot of guitar solos… stepping up a notch."

DROWNING POOL parted ways with vocalist Ryan McCombs late last year, with Pierce telling the 97-1 The Eagle radio station in Dallas, Texas at the time that the singer and his former bandmates simply "grew apart." He explained, "If you're gonna write music together and tour together, you've gotta be hitting on all four cylinders — everybody's gotta be on the same page. . . So instead of going into the studio and trying to force something and just throwing out a record there, [we thought it would be] better if we part ways now while we're still on good terms."

McCombs joined the band in 2005 and provided some stability on the microphone after the group's first two albums featured two different vocalists. Original frontman Dave Williams died on tour in 2002 after singing on the band's debut, "Sinner". He was replaced by Jason "Gong" Jones, who also contributed to one record, "Desensitized", before being shown the door in 2004.

McCombs sang on two studio efforts by DROWNING POOL, 2007's "Full Circle" and 2010's self-titled fourth album.

DROWNING POOL's fifth album is tentatively due in October.
Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM were forced to cancel several shows earlier this month — including those in Oslo, Norway and Malmö, Sweden — after the band's guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho was rushed to the hospital with extreme stomach pain.

After spending the last week and a half receiving treatment in Oslo, Alexi will be released from the hospital tomorrow (Thursday, July 12) and the band will perform at this year's Ilosaarirock festival, which is scheduled to take place July 13-15 in Joensuu, Finland.

CHILDREN OF BODOM recently inked a worldwide deal (excluding Japan) with Nuclear Blast Records. The band, which kicked off a year-long celebration of its 15th anniversary with a successful North American tour alongside labelmates ELUVEITIE, has a new studio album planned for release in 2013.

"Holiday At Lake Bodom (15 Years Of Wasted Youth)", a very special CD+DVD career retrospective in celebration of CHILDREN OF BODOM's 15th anniversary, spotlights specially selected tracks from every one of CHILDREN OF BODOM's critically acclaimed albums (1997's "Something Wild", 1999's "Hatebreeder", 2000's "Follow The Reaper", 2003's "Hate Crew Deathroll", 2005's "Are You Dead Yet?", 2008's "Blooddrunk" and 2011's "Relentless Reckless Forever"), plus two newly recorded (and undeniably fun) cover songs and detailed liner notes penned by the members of CHILDREN OF BODOM themselves. The DVD portion of the package includes "candid touring and backstage footage from around the world", plus the "Shovel Knockout" video.
Metal Army America recently conducted an interview with Michael Gilbert, guitarist and songwriter for American thrash metal legends FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM has set "Ugly Noise" as the title of its new album, which the band is currently writing for a tentative late 2012/early 2013 release.

When asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the new CD, Gilbert said, "I worked with [former METALLICA and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist] Jason Newsted on a few songs, and he's given me some tips about some things and opened my view up towards how I look at my music and how I want the listeners to perceive the points I'm trying to make."

He added, "[Jason] is really passionate about music, so when I called him and talked to him, I just wanted him to help out with some lyrical stuff and hear some of the music I was writing. He's a great songwriter, too. I'm not sure if everything that he got to do in METALLICA, if he was restrained a little bit, I'm not sure about all that sort of stuff, but as far as with me, anytime he wants to write with me, he's got full rein and he's got absolute say-so in everything that happens. It's a 50-50 relationship, as it would be with Eric ['A.K.' Knutson], our singer, writing music with us, or Kelly [David Smith], our drummer."

Regarding the musical direction of the new FLOTSAM AND JETSAM material, Gilbert said, "It's probably the most mature it's ever been, but if you wanna classify it as close to any other record that we've done, it's probably gonna be close to [1995's] 'Drift'. If we were gonna make a record right after 'Drift', which was out fifth record, 'Ugly Noise' would be the next one — with this lineup, you know."

Funding for the next FLOTSAM AND JETSAM album is being aided by the PledgeMusic.com project, which encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM last summer parted ways with drummer Craig Nielsen and was rejoined by Kelly David Smith.

The band's current lineup is the same as the one that recorded the "Cuatro" (1992), "Drift" (1995) and "High" (1997) albums:

Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Ed Carlson - Guitar
Michael Gilbert - Guitar
Jason Ward - Bass
Kelly David Smith – Drums

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's latest album, "The Cold", was released in Europe in February 2011 via Nuclear Blast. The CD's cover artwork was created by Travis Smith, who has previously worked with OPETH, NEVERMORE, AMORPHIS and KING DIAMOND, among others.

"The Cold" was released in North America on September 14, 2010.
Eagle Rock imprint Armoury Records, in conjunction with Hamburg, Germany-based earMUSIC, has announced the release of the first-ever live solo album from Finnish singer Tarja Turunen. Entitled "Act I", the release will be unleashed to North American fans on September 4 in 2-CD, 2-DVD and Blu-ray format.

The first-ever live audio/video offering from the former NIGHTWISH soprano, "Act I" is a mammoth undertaking recorded and filmed with 10 HD cameras at the breathtaking Teatro El Círculo in Rosario, Argentina in March 2012. With an elaborate track listing of solo tunes, NIGHTWISH classics and various covers, including a rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom Of The Opera", Gary Moore's "Over The Hills And Far Away", WHITESNAKE's "Still Of The Night" and a variety of video extras, "Act I" provides a full-fledged bill of fare to every diehard Tarja fan.

Comments Turunen of the offering: "Those two nights in Rosario were a huge emotional drive to me personally," adding that she was many times "ready to burst into tears."

"Act I" track listing:

CD 1

01. Anteroom Of Death
02. My Little Phoenix
03. Dark Star
04. Naiad
05. Falling Awake
06. I Walk Alone
07. Little Lies
08. Into The Sun (previously unreleased)
09. Nemo (NIGHWISH)
10. Never Enough (previously unreleased)
11. Still Of The Night (WHITESNAKE)
12. In For A Kill

CD 2

01. Boy And The Ghost
02. Lost Northern Star
03. Ciaran's Well
04. Tired Of Being Alone (written with Schiller)
05. Where Were You Last Night / Heaven Is A Place On Earth / Livin' On A Prayer (Medley)
06. Underneath
07. Oasis / The Archive Of Lost Dreams
08. Crimson Deep
09. The Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
10. Die Alive
11. Until My Last Breath
12. Over The Hills And Far Away (Gary Moore)


01. If You Believe
02. Anteroom Of Death
03. My Little Phoenix
04. Dark Star
05. Naiad
06. Falling Awake
07. I Walk Alone
08. Orpheus Hallucination / Orpheus In The Underworld
09. Little Lies (band jam)
10. Little Lies
11. Into The Sun (previously unreleased)
12. Nemo
13. Rivers Of Lust
14. Minor Heaven
15. Montañas De Silencio
16. Sing For Me
17. I Feel Immortal
18. Never Enough (previously unreleased)
19. In For A Kill
20. Toccata And Fugue D-minor (BWV 565) (Johann Sebastian Bach)
21. The Phantom Of The Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
22. Die Alive
23. Until My Last Breath
24. Over The Hills And Far Away (Gary Moore)


01. Boy And The Ghost
02. Lost Northern Star
03. Ciaran's Well
04. Tired Of Being Alone (written with Schiller)
05. Where Were You Last Night / Heaven Is A Place On Earth / Livin' On A Prayer (Medley)
06. Underneath
07. The Reign
08. Oasis/The Archive Of Lost Dreams
09. Still Of The Night (WHITESNAKE)

Blu-ray track listing is the same as DVD 1 and 2.

The "Into The Sun" single will be released via iTunes on Friday, July 13.

A teaser trailer for "Act I" can be seen below.

In other news, Tarja is in pre-production for her third solo album, which is expected to be released sometime next year. She says, "I have 25 songs where to choose the best ones for the album. Some of the musicians are already working on them with me."

Tarja's sophomore solo album, "What Lies Beneath", sold around 1,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 24 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.

"What Lies Beneath" was released in North America on September 14, 2010 via The End Records.
To celebrate the North American release of their debut album, "This Might Hurt", on July 17, U.K. rockers THE TREATMENT will make an exclusive iTunes bundle available — a five-song covers EP originally released exclusively in the U.K. as a 300-copy limited edition.

The covers EP features THE TREATMENT's interpretations of:

* Run Run Run (JO JO GUNNE)
* Take Me Bake 'Ome (SLADE)
* Motorbikin' (CHRIS SPEDDING)
* Let's Work Together (CANNED HEAT

The covers EP was produced by Laurie Mansworth, who also helmed "This Might Hurt".

Since the release of the album outside of North America, THE TREATMENT has done extensive touring in Europe — supporting ALICE COOPER, MOTÖRHEAD, STEEL PANTHER and THIN LIZZY.

THE TREATMENT will support KISS and MÖTLEY CRÜE on their upcoming North American co-headlining tour, simply dubbed "The Tour", which will kick off on July 20 in Bristow, Virginia and run through September 23 in Hartford, Connecticut.
U.K.-based modern thrash heroes SYLOSIS recently completed work on their new album, "Monolith", with Romesh Dodangoda at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales. The CD will be released on October 5 via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork was created by Dan Goldsworthy and can be seen below.

Commented SYLOSIS vocalist and guitarist Josh Middleton: "We're beyond pleased with the artwork for 'Monolith'. It needed to be something to accentuate the dark, gloomy vibe of the album without going for anything too cliché or stereotypically metal.

"We listen to a lot of '70s progressive music and with the Art Nouveau style was quite popular at that time.

"At this point, we don't want to reveal too much about the concept but one of the figures on the cover loosely represents the devil in disguise or a satyr. Some of the inspiration behind the concept came from Greek mythology.

"Working with Dan again was awesome. He's very patient, eager to please and can very quickly tap into what we're trying to put across.

"We always like to pay as much attention to the artwork as possible and it's never been an afterthought for us. It's about creating a complete piece of work so the music and the packaging really go hand in hand."

Added Goldsworthy: "Visually, the cover artwork for 'Monolith' has taken notable inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement. Diverting from the usual flowery aesthetic of the style, 'Monolith' has a significantly darker vein running thoughout, as fitting with the sonic nihilism of SYLOSIS' music. As far as the concept goes, it is merely my interpretation of the band's vision. Much like their previous album, 'Edge Of The Earth', the artwork is completely related to certain themes running throughout the songs, so if you wish to extract any deeper meaning, I would recommend studying the lyrics as well.

"Josh and I kept a very close working relationship throughout the entire design process, such was the importance of having the artwork represent his lyrics and the story they tell. However, the cover art and illustrations throughout the packaging are only small snapshots of the bigger picture so open the booklet, press play and enjoy the journey."

Middleton recently stated about "Monolith": "'Monolith' is the best representation of us as a band in terms of our diverse influences and stylistically it's what we've always been aiming for. A mixture of thrash, big doomy riffs and dark atmospherics and ambience.

"Overall, 'Monolith' has a darker vibe to anything we've done in the past, both lyrically and musically. It's a concept album which is just something I like to help guide me writing the lyrics. I like the fact that I can write about personal issues but dress them up in a way that people might not know exactly how they relate to me (if at all in some instances).

"The idea for the concept was very loosely inspired by the Greek tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. It's quite far fetched but it's about this guy who loses his wife and tries to bring her back from underworld. This giant monolith starts to grow out of her tomb. The most prevalent theme beneath it all is sort of accepting that you might not be as nice a person as you once thought. It sounds really cheesy but everyone has a darker side to their personality in terms of being selfish, manipulative or dishonest.

"A lot of metal lyrics are always 'you're this, you're that, you suck' and in a lot of cases it's probably really hypocritical. Some of the lyrics on this album are about owning up to those flaws and almost reveling in it.

"Some parts of the album is us covering new ground but everything that people have come to love about our band is still present. It's not necessarily a change in direction or something we're moving more towards, it was just about making a unique vibe for this album as a whole. There's a real urgency to a lot of this material and the really natural and honest production helps mirror that. We really wanted more of a 'live session' feel. Both Romesh and Jens [Bogren; mastering] have done a great job in giving this album a unique sound. Too many bands these days rely on technology and it can just suck all the life and personality out of the music."
Veteran Wisconsin thrash kings MORBID SAINT have reunited for a number of shows throughout the States and abroad, including this past May's Maryland Deathfest X, Metal On The Rocks in Mexico City, The Barbary in Philadelphia in support of WHIPLASH, and a headlining concert at Club Europa in Brooklyn, New York. In 2013, the band will travel to Germany and play the Keep It True festival.

MORBID SAINT's next scheduled appearance is on July 27 at Reggie's in Chicago, Illinois in support of DIAMOND PLATE.

Relapse Records recently reissued MORBID SAINT's seminal debut album, "Spectrum Of Death", on vinyl. Originally released in 1988, this death/thrash cult classic, produced by Eric Greif, was light years ahead of its peers, leaving posers crushed in a heap of destruction!

Amateur fan footage of MORBID SAINT's live performance of the classic thrash masterpiece "Assassin" from Maryland Deathfest X can be seen below:
California rockers PAPA ROACH will release their new album, "The Connection", on October 2 via Eleven Seven Music. The CD was recorded at the band's hometown studio, The Red House in Sacramento, California, and was produced by rock veteran James Michael (SIXX: A.M., HALESTORM) and John Feldmann (PANIC AT THE DISCO, THE USED, ESCAPE THE FATE).

The first single from "The Connection" is a track called "Still Swinging", which many fans may have heard during last night's Major League Baseball All Stars Home Run Derby on ESPN. The track will be featured by ESPN/MLB in select games/events for the next few weeks.

"Still Swinging" officially impacts at radio on July 24.

A snippet of the track and behind-the-scenes footage of the band filming its video in New York City with David Brodsky of Brooklyn, New York's MyGoodEye Music Visuals (HELLYEAH, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, GOATWHORE, MUNICIPAL WASTE, SUFFOCATION) is available below.

Commented PAPA ROACH vocalist Jacoby Shaddix: "We wanted to make a dynamic and explosive record that captures the raw emotions of life. We also wanted to incorporate the biological sounds of rock with a digital edge to have a fresh sound. This is our own version of what we think the radio should sound like. This is the soundtrack to my life and once again I went through some dark shit and came through thanks to the music."

Shaddix recently told American Forces Network Europe that he thinks the band has "topped ourselves again" with the new album.

PAPA ROACH's last full-length studio effort, "Metamorphosis", arrived in spring 2009, while half of 2010's "Time for Annihilation: On the Record & On the Road" consisted of fresh studio material as well.

Shaddix told The Pulse Of Radio last year what the group's goal was for its next effort. "You know, we've got to go back and write a record that just flips people out," he said. "That's the goal. We kind of want to switch up the vibe again and progress with the sound and really just make a record that's a bit more adventurous, so we kind of want to make a record that's got a bit more of ebb and flow to it, and a bit more of a musical journey type record."

Fans might get to hear some of the new songs this summer when PAPA ROACH goes out on the Rockstar Energy Uproar Tour this August, alongside STAIND, SHINEDOWN, P.O.D., GODSMACK and more.
Canadian heavy metal trio CAULDRON will release its third full-length album, "Tomorrow's Lost", in October via Earache Records. The CD was recorded in Parkdale, Toronto with producer Jameson Elliott, who also recorded the band's 2010 album, "Burning Fortune". The artwork for the effort was created by Todd Kowalski (SACRIFICE, PROPAGANDHI).

Commented CAULDRON vocalist/bassist Jason Decay: "The artwork was done by Todd Kowalski based on an idea we gave him surrounding the title, 'Tomorrow's Lost'.

"The title is open to interpretation, really, but I suppose it's about how the future could be written off, either for us, the world, or for someone else, depending on how they interpret it. Like how, more than likely, tomorrow has already been spoken for and is a lost cause, no matter what."

Added CAULDRON guitarist Ian Chains: "It's not a concept album or anything and doesn't mean any one specific thing. As an album title, it refers to varying degrees of hopelessness that we can somehow relate to. It means striving hard to achieve something that may never see the light of day, or making poor decisions that come back to ruin everything for you."
"Left For You", a brand new song from NONPOINT, has been released via iTunes. The track comes off the band's self-titled seventh album, which is scheduled for release in the fall via NONPOINT's new label home, Razor & Tie. The CD was produced and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K (DISTURBED, STAIND, MEGADETH) and features additional production and mixing by Brian Virtue (30 SECONDS TO MARS, CHEVELLE). Virtue produced and mixed the first single, "Left For You".

Another new NONPOINT track, "I Said It", is available for streaming using the SoundCloud player below.

Founding NONPOINT members Elias Soriano (vocals) and Robb Rivera (drums) last year welcomed three new members to the family: Dave Lizzio (guitar), Adam Wolosyzn (bass), and Rasheed Thomas (guitar). All three musicians come from the Chicago-based rock act INN CINEMA.

NONPOINT's current lineup:

Elias Soriano - Vocals
Robb Rivera - Drums
Rasheed Thomas - Guitar
Dave Lizzio - Guitar
Adam Woloszyn - Bass

NONPOINT will hit the road this summer with CALL ME NO ONE.

NONPOINT's last album, "Miracle", sold around 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 60 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Australian metalcore band PARKWAY DRIVE is currently bunkered down in a Los Angeles studio hard at work on its fourth album. The recording is due to take seven weeks, which is the longest time the band has spent on any album. Production is being overseen by Matt Hyde, whose vast resume includes SLAYER, SUM 41, ALKALINE TRIO, HATEBREED and CHILDREN OF BODOM.

The as-yet-untitled effort is the follow-up to 2010's phenomenally successful "Deep Blue", which debuted No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart, and No. 2 in Australia, where it reached solid gold status and won the ARIA Award for "Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album". PARKWAY DRIVE also just released a visually stunning Blu-ray and DVD, "Home Is For The Heartless", which can be found by going to the Epitaph store.

PARKWAY DRIVE vocalist Winston McCall says new material flowed easily in the wake of "Deep Blue", which saw the group tap a rich vein of creativity.

"When we finished 'Deep Blue', I was, like, 'I don't know where we go from here.' But if there was ever a way to step up from the last record, this is the way to do it," McCall says. "We're expanding in every way we can. But at the same time — and I say this with every new record — it still sounds like PARKWAY."

"Home Is For The Heartless" was shot in 42 countries on 5 continents. The 75-minute DVD is both a rare travelogue and an in-depth look at PARKWAY DRIVE on stage and off. In addition to footage of some of the craziest shows the band has ever played, it also captures some of their greatest adventures and most poignant shared moments. Traveling to many obscure destinations, including some third-world cities that had never been visited by an international heavy band, PARKWAY DRIVE embrace the local peoples and cultures as a vital part of their experience.
Robert Cavuota of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with ANIMETAL USA guitarist Chris Impellitteri. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Guitar International: Tell me how ANIMETAL USA was formed?

Chris Impellitteri: It was put together by our record label, Sony. They really had the vision for this band. They thought it would be an interesting mutation if they took the metal world and the anime audience and permeated them together. They would help us find a market, an identity, and people who would listen and come to the shows. Basically, they had looked at a band out of Japan that had done this, around 1991, it was called ANIMETAL. It was very popular only in Japan. They were said to have great success. Sony thought, and I hate this word, what if we put a "supergroup" together and made it an international band? Rudy Sarzo said I was the only choice for guitar, and I was flattered. When I got the call from our now-manager, I asked, "Can put my own spin on this?" considering it's actually half an original song and half a cover. Lyrically it's the cover part as well as the main song theme, especially if it's a really well-known anime song. Basically, we put together the original music that I write with the anime lyrics.

Guitar International: So, the music is original but the lyrics are anime songs?

Chris Impellitteri: Absolutely. If you listen to the opening song of the record called "Touch", the riff of that song is the cover. It sounds a lot like BLACK SABBATH's "Children Of The Grave" and goes into this really insane guitar solo that plays really fast, really orchestrated. All of that is where we start doing our own entire thing. It's all original music. It's metal on steroids.

Guitar International: All the Japanese lyrics need to be translated to English?

Chris Impellitteri: Exactly. Mike Vescera [vocals] will get the rough outline of the lyric. Of course, it's in Japanese, so if you have 12 bars of a certain phrase and a verse, and you translate to English and it only makes it to 3 bars, that's 9 bars of a big hole. Mike has to come up with ways to say exactly the same thing in English. He's got probably the most challenging job.

Guitar International: Mike sounds like he's pretty fluent in Japanese.

Chris Impellitteri: Yeah, he's not. [laughs] But, there were certain phrases that he had to do because you've got to stick to the original lyric. That was the caveat. Even though we're doing a lot of original music, you've still got to use or at the very least the meaning of every word in the song so it doesn't change, because it's a storyline. Every song is a story.

Guitar International: Did each member design their own makeup and come up with their own name?

Chris Impellitteri: I did my own face completely. I think the Sony team worked with the other guys quite a bit, just to find out who they felt like, because everybody wanted to express themselves in a different way. Sony called me Speed King. We have Rudy as Storm Bringer, Mike's Metal-Rider and drummer Jon Dette is Tank. We do take this music really seriously. At the end of the day, we're trying to make this really fun.
"Periphery II: This Time It's Personal", the sophomore album from Maryland-based experimental, progressive metallers PERIPHERY, sold nearly 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 44 on The Billboard 200 chart.

"Periphery II: This Time It's Personal" was released in North America on July 3 via Sumerian Records and will be made available in Europe on July 16 through Century Media Records. The CD features guest appearances by John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER), Guthrie Govan (THE ARISTOCRATS) and Wes Hauch (THE FACELESS).

In a recent interview with Metal Assault, PERIPHERY guitarist Misha Mansoor stated about the band's musical progression since its debut record, "Our first album was pretty diverse, and with that we created a framework so that we could kind of experiment and push in any one of those directions, and not have it be something weird or something that sounds forced, you know. There's always been an aspect of that sound and we're just expanding on it further. And I think very true to that, that's what we did on this album. We're still kind of going in all of those directions, but a little bit further, and with a little bit more experience, you know."

He added, "This album is PERIPHERY the band as opposed to my project with a bunch of dudes. This is really the first time we've been able to work together as a band and write an album together. I think that's really cool because it's not just me. You're hearing so much more, you're hearing something that's greater than the sum of its parts."

When asked about the bonus material that will be included with special editions of "Periphery II: This Time It's Personal", Misha said, "That's going for the European release only, and it's something we'll release in other territories a little bit later. We did this track, it was Spencer's [Sotelo, vocals] idea. He really likes SLIPKNOT, and we were so tired in the studio that we wanted to break the pace and do something different. Spencer wanted to do this cover of 'The Heretic Anthem' by SLIPKNOT, and I actually played drums on it. I wanted to do it so differently that the engineer played guitar, and it was just a fun little thing. But we decided to put it up as a bonus track and I think it actually came out really cool. I'm really happy with the way it came out. And the other one is this instrumental track that I had to put together at the last minute. It's a track we've been wanting to put out for a while now, and it worked out well. This is a good way to put it out. It's an instrumental that we used to play live, called 'Far Out'. So that's how we compiled the bonus material for some of the territories."

"Periphery II: This Time It's Personal" track listing:

01. Muramasa
02. Have A Blast (feat. Guthrie Govan)
03. Facepalm Mute
04. Ji
05. Scarlet
06. Luck As A Constant
07. Ragnarok
08. The Gods Must Be Crazy!
09. Make Total Destroy
10. Erised (feat. John Petrucci)
11. Epoch
12. Froggin' Bullfish
13. Mile Zero (feat. Wes Hauch)
14. Masamune
Pre-sales for the new self-titled album from Canadian extreme metallers CRYPTOPSY will begin on Friday, July 13 via the band's new web site Cryptopsy.ca (which goes live on Friday). As special thanks to you, the pre-sale participants, the band has decided to give some digital goodies. First, on August 14, one month before the digital release and official street date, you will receive two songs from the new CD. Then on September 11, you will receive the "Making Of Cryptopsy" (a 30-minute documentary) alongside your completed album.

All pre-sale participants will be placed in a draw to win the following grand prize:

* Autographed limited edition vinyls of "Ungental Exhumation", "Blasphemy Made Flesh" and "None So Vile".
* Autographed CD "Cryptopsy".
* Full merch package, guy shirt, girly and zip up hoody of "Cryptopsy".

The official "Cryptopsy" trailer, a three-minute musical and video medley, will be released on Friday to give you a taste of the new CRYPTOPSY album.

Commented the band: "We hope that you enjoy the sneak peek of the new CRYPTOPSY. We greatly appreciate your dedication and support. It is thanks to your help alone that we can continue doing this!!!"

The cover artwork for "Cryptopsy" was created by Mircea Gabriel Eftemie (MNEMIC) and can be seen below.

"Cryptopsy" track listing:

01. Two-Pound Torch
02. Shag Harbour's Visitors
03. Red-Skinned Scapegoat
04. Damned Draft Dodgers
05. Amputated Enigma
06. The Golden Square Mile
07. Ominous
08. Cleansing The Hosts

CRYPTOPSY debuted a brand new song, "Amputated Enigma", during their April 29 concert at The Dominion House in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

CRYPTOPSY in January tapped bassist Olivier Pinard (NEURAXIS, VENGEFUL) as the replacement for guitarist-turned-bassist Youri Raymond.

Raymond left CRYPTOPSY in December, explaining in a statement that "it's in the best interest of both the band and I to part ways." He added, "As a musician, moving from guitar to bass was a great challenge, but honestly, I never really felt comfortable in that position and my motivation in general was stagnating."

Lead guitarist and songwriter Jon Levasseur rejoined CRYPTOPSY in May 2011.

"The Unspoken King", CRYPTOPSY's sixth full-length and first to feature new vocalist Matt McGachy, was released June 24, 2008 to a wide array of reactions. Drummer Flo Mounier explained his intention in reshaping the dynamics of the band to Decibel magazine: "I'm a fan of different sorts of music, and I think it's most fun when a band puts out an album that has elements of everything; you get this thing called diversity, not boredom. That's what we're trying to do. Still, I think people are going to be surprised how brutal this album is."


Flo Mounier: Drums/Vocals
Jon Levasseur: Lead, Rythm guitar
Chris Donaldson: Lead Guitar
Matt McGachy: Lead Vocals
Olivier Pinard: Bass Guitar
After 12 years, a sleeping death-metal monster praised by the likes of SLIPKNOT, DEVILDRIVER, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, DYING FETUS, JOB FOR A COWBOY and more, has awoken from the bowels of Chicago. BROKEN HOPE is thrilled to announce not only their highly-anticipated comeback, but also their direct support position on the upcoming Carnival Of Death tour, brought to you by Rock The Nation and sponsored by Fender. The new tour features headliners OBITUARY, as well as additional support from DECREPIT BIRTH, JUNGLE ROT and ENCRUST. Tour dates are scheduled to be announced very soon.

In a recent statement, BROKEN HOPE guitarists Jeremy Wagner and Shaun Glass said, "For over a decade, we've listened to fans worldwide who've asked us to return. We've listened to our peers in bands who seen us at shows and said, 'When is BROKEN HOPE coming back?' Well, you have finally been heard, and frankly, we just miss it too goddamn much — the clubs, the metal, but especially you: the diehards, the most.

"We decided as a first step to return back to the place that always felt like home: the road! So we are proud to announce that this fall, BROKEN HOPE will join forces with OBITUARY and join the Carnival Of Death tour! This tour will solidify that extreme music is still alive and well, we are ready, focused, and hungry to show you what we have in stored for you all! Moreover, we cherish and promote the legacy of our fallen brother, vocalist Joe Ptacek, as we travel from show to show and honor him, he will not be forgotten. With this being said, we would like to introduce Damian Leski of GORGASM on vocal duties, who will handle the tough task for the upcoming tours. Be ready to be 'Swamped in Gore'!!!!"

BROKEN HOPE was formed in 1988 by guitarist/chief-lyricist Jeremy Wagner while he was in high school. In 1991, after releasing two demo tapes, BROKEN HOPE secured a recording contract with an independent record label which released "Swamped In Gore" worldwide. "Swamped In Gore" was the first death-metal album to ever be recorded digitally. By 1993, BROKEN HOPE quickly signed to Metal Blade Records and released four albums: "The Bowels of Repugnance", "Repulsive Conception", "Loathing", and the Metal Blade re-release of "Swamped In Gore". The band's third album, 1995's "Repulsive Conception", reached CMJ New Music Monthly's Metal Top 25 chart, as did the follow-up, 1997's "Loathing".

The first four albums during the Metal Blade years are great examples of BROKEN HOPE's original fury and they are the albums that etched BROKEN HOPE's place in death-metal history. The first ten years of BROKEN HOPE's existence were filled with non-stop writing, touring, and constant visibility with these albums. By the end of the '90s, BROKEN HOPE parted ways with Metal Blade and went through lineup changes. The band produced one last album before the decade closed, the 1999 release, "Grotesque Blessings". After North American and European tours for the album and a few unsatisfactory lineup changes, the band went on hiatus in 2000.

On January 20, 2010, original BROKEN HOPE vocalist Joe Ptacek committed suicide. Before his death, Ptacek met with Jeremy Wagner and Shaun Glass to discuss the resurrection of BROKEN HOPE. A plan was in motion with these three members to make the band a functioning reality. After taking some time off after Ptacek's death to reconsider their next moves, BROKEN HOPE signed with Hard Impact Management And Booking with the intention to make the band a full-time monster again. Now, BROKEN HOPE continues onward with main songwriters Jeremy Wagner and Shaun Glass keeping the beast alive… brutal as ever… and with live tour dates worldwide.
Prosthetic Records haso announced the signing of Italian death metallers EYECONOCLAST. The band will enter the studio on July 21 to record its new album — its first with new singer Giuseppe Di Giorgio.

Formed in 2003 in Rome, EYECONOCLAST has developed into a crushing force of blasting death-thrash metal, with former members of HOUR OF PENANCE and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE in their ranks and several underground releases under their belts.

Commented EYECONOCLAST: "We are very proud to announce a worldwide deal with Prosthetic Records. This is the right boost to spread EYECONOCLAST music throughout planet Earth, and we feel very excited for this achievement after years of death metal training within the underground.

"We are back with a new label and a new singer, so, guys, say welcome to Giuseppe Di Giorgio, a killer vocalist and great frontman that you'll see in our next shows!

"We are going to start recording our next full-length on July 21, in our guitar player Stefano Morabito's 16th Cellar Studio (HOUR OF PENANCE, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, INHERIT DISEASE). Stay tuned for more album details, but know this: it will be faster, heavier and louder than anything else you've listened before! Headbang is the law."
"At The Gate Of Sethu", the seventh full-length album from South Carolina-based extreme technical death metallers NILE, sold 3,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 131 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 2 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.

NILE's previous album, "Those Whom The Gods Detest", opened with 3,500 units back in 2009 to enter The Billboard 200 chart at No. 160.

Other "At The Gate Of Sethu" first-week chart positions:

Germany: #27
Austria: #61
Switzerland: #61
Finland: #37

"At The Gate Of Sethu" was released in Europe on June 29 and in the U.S. on July 3 via Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2009's "Those Whom The Gods Detest" was once again produced and mixed by Neil Kernon, who has previously worked with NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, QUEENSRŸCHE and DEICIDE, among many others. The CD artwork was handled by a true genius of darkened visuals, Seth Siro Anton (SOILWORK, PARADISE LOST, SEPTICFLESH).

In a recent interview with CobraMetal.net, Sanders stated about "At The Gate Of Sethu", "Well, we started [working on it] in May of last year (2011) after we finished our European tour. We worked on that fucking record for 10 months straight, to the exclusion of all else. (Laughs) Long hours, every day."

Regarding the new album's concept, Karl said, "It's in similar territory to other NILE records in that a lot of it stems from Ancient Egyptology and sort of has underlying modern themes tied in. We haven't abandoned our identity and I don't believe you should fuck over your fans. If your fans like what you do, and you change too much of what you do, fans don't like it. What matters to me is when I'm out on tour and I meet the actual fans and they share their thoughts…those are the people that I listen to. There's a lot of new ideas within the realm of what we do that we tried to incorporate. We studied real hard on the guitar and have lots of new riffs and musical ideas. There are a lot of surprises on the record."

When asked if fans can expect any guest appearances on the new NILE CD, Karl said, "Jon Vesano is all over this record. (Our former singer and bass guitarist who we're still good friends with.) Jon did some guest vocals on "Those Whom The Gods Detest" and it made us realize all over again all the things we really liked about Jon's vocals. We wanted to incorporate some of his insanity. [laughs] He's wicked, man. He knows how to channel that inner possession. He finds a way to summon it. It's great stuff."

Recent Activity:



Post a Comment