[Classic_Rock_Forever] Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Metallica, Queensryche, Anthrax, Triumph, Down and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


BBC press release just out now:

Gimme Shelter tops BBC Radio 6 Music listener poll
of favourite Rolling Stones tracks

A BBC Radio 6 Music online poll has revealed that Gimme Shelter is the listeners' favourite Rolling Stones track.

The vote was launched on Sunday 8th July as part of BBC 6 Music Celebrates 50 Years of The Rolling Stones, giving listeners the opportunity to vote for their all-time favourite Rolling Stones track.

Gimme Shelter, which was never released as a single, first appeared as the opening track on the band's 1969 album Let It Bleed. The Stones first played the song live on a TV special, Pop Go The Sixties, on New Year's Eve in 1969.

BBC Radio 6 Music, which won UK station of the year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in May, compiled a list of 50 tracks and listeners chose their favoured track. The top six tracks were revealed on Steve Lamacq's 6 Music afternoon show (1600-1900). The top ten tracks are:

1. Gimme Shelter.
2. Sympathy for the Devil
3. Paint It Black
4. You Can't Always Get What You Want
5. Jumpin' Jack Flash
6. Brown Sugar
7. Wild Horses
8. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
9. Tumblin' Dice
10. Honky Tonk Women

James Stirling, Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 6 Music says: "It's hard to pick one song from an enormous back catalogue of such quality – but the BBC Radio 6 Music listeners have done a splendid job. Gimme Shelter opens the Rolling Stones' final album of the sixties, but still sounds as emotive and powerful on the radio today."

Hartke has announced the addition of legendary bassist Geezer Butler to its family of artists. Best known as the co-founder of the iconic band BLACK SABBATH, Butler has been a mainstay in the hard rock community for over 40 years. A prolific songwriter, Butler is credited with being the first bassist to experiment with alternate tunings, wrote most of BLACK SABBATH's famous lyrics and was influential in creating the band's now famous sound. He has also served as a major influence playing with HEAVEN & HELL, and his own project, GZR. Geezer joins a stable of Hartke players, including Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Jack Bruce (CREAM), David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Frank Bello (ANTHRAX) and Will Lee ("Late Show With David Letterman").

"It's a true honor to welcome Geezer to the Hartke family," states Director of Marketing for Hartke, Mark Menghi. "Not only is he a pioneer of the bass guitar, but his musical contributions have been instrumental in forming the foundation for what the hard rock and metal genres have become today."

This past April, Butler was a surprise guest at the "Metal Masters 3" clinic at West Hollywood's Key Club. Playing through Hartke's new Kilo Bass Amplifiers, he performed a finale rendition of the BLACK SABBATH fan favorite "Hole In The Sky".

Butler also featured his Hartke setup at the 2012 Download festival in the U.K. on June 10. Over 100,000 fans watched Butler and BLACK SABBATH close the world's premier music festival.
John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH drummer Joey Kramer. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I know that you guys have worked with so many producers over the years, but other than the longtime relationship with Jack [Douglas], there has to be something he brings to the end result. I mean, you can hear it.

Joey: Yeah, Jack is definitely part of the equation. I think the most important thing he does is he makes the entire process of making a record fun. When we have fun as a band, it comes out on the tracks. I think that was the case on "Toys In The Attic" and "Rocks" and I think that holds true on "Music From Another Dimension". We really had a lot of fun working this time around, just singing and playing together. We're lucky in that sense, because when you're doing something you really like and you're having a good time it's not "work" anymore.

Legendary Rock Interviews: You've talked very candidly in your book "Hit Hard" about how sometimes it just wasn't fun anymore or things got in the way of it being fun. Now that you've hit this point in your career and you've played songs like "Draw The Line" or "Livin On The Edge" a million times, is the live show just as much fun as getting down to business and being creative in the studio?

Joey: Yeah, it is just as much fun, at least. It's probably much more fun on the road, because being a live band is what we're all about and what we've always been about. Being in the band for this long, you have to learn to work in the studio, I mean, I've been playing in AEROSMITH since 1970. All those years going into the studio we've all had to learn to make records and we have but what we really enjoy the most is playing live. That's always been the thing with us, we enjoy getting up there and getting that response from the fans in that setting. The live show is what AEROSMITH was based on and it's still what we're all about. To be honest, being a live band is what any band should really be about. If you're not a good live act, then what is the point of it, what good is it all and why do you exist? Unfortunately, there are some bands that aren't good live, but it's something we really pride ourselves on. As long as we can get up there and do, that it makes it so much fun to be in this band with the guys. There is no greater feeling than playing those songs live.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I've also noticed there's been a couple of guest artists who've already been mentioned in terms of being on "Music From Another Dimension". Julian Lennon did some vocal work and Carrie Underwood is featured on a track called "Beautiful". Is that correct, and do you think that song has a tremendous amount of radio appeal?

Joey: No, no, she's not on a track called "Beautiful". I'm not sure where all of these reports are coming from. but that's dead wrong. Carrie actually appears on a track called "Can't Stop Loving You" and it absolutely has a lot of radio appeal in it. It's a great, great song.

Legendary Rock Interviews: How are the new songs going over and how soon before you start working in different tracks from the album live?

Joey: They're going over great! So far we've done a song called "Oh Yeah!" and, of course, "Legendary Child", but they're both a lot of fun in the set. As soon as this tour is over and we get set to go back out again when this album comes out in November we will start working more of it into the shows.
On Wednesday, July 25, Todd Hancock of the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada radio station 99.3 The Fox conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich. You can now listen to the entire 20-minute chat using the SoundCloud player below.

When asked how close METALLICA fans are to seeing a new studio album from the band, Ulrich said, "I wouldn't use the word 'close.' I mean, obviously, in the context of, say, the age of planet Earth, we're pretty close. But in the context of, say, other things, there may be one or two football seasons, or one or two baseball seasons, or one or two hockey seasons… We've gotta do this movie, and we're gonna get back to writing when we've done this movie. I would say late '13 or early '14. It's difficult to imagine… I think even late '13 may be a bit optimistic. I would say hopefully we can realistically get a record out probably about a year and half from now, so maybe early '14."

METALLICA's 3D movie begins filming later this summer and will mix concert footage with a storyline.

The band is financing the project itself and has hired "Predators" director Nimród Antal to get behind the camera. Antal will film METALLICA's August 24-25 concerts at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada for use in the movie. "The rest of the film will be shot the next two or three weeks after the shows in Vancouver, into the middle to the third week of September," Ulrich said.

The Vancouver show will feature a brand new 140-foot-by-50-foot stage that will include what a post at the band's web site called "colossal components and striking visual elements spanning METALLICA's entire 30-year career."

When asked if METALLICA's movie will contain any "The Song Remains The Same"-style fantasy sequences from the group, Ulrich told Billboard.com, "Yeah, I've got my horse and my sword and my battle armor. Not quite that, but the are stranger references than 'The Song Remains The Same'. I certainly don't mean to be disrespectful in that way; I have nothing but love for LED ZEPPELIN and 'The Song Remains The Same'. [The film] is a narrative, and the rest of the stuff that goes on outside of the concert is not going to feature members of METALLICA... in any way, shape or form. It's a split narrative that kind of runs parallel to the concert."
The legal wrangling between QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield and their former frontman Geoff Tate is continuing to play out in King County Superior Court in the state of Washington, with the musicians accusing the singer of refusing to relinquish control of their web site and other Internet and social media accounts.

Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield defeated Tate's motion for a preliminary injunction on July 13 that would have kept them from touring and operating under the band name,

Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE's former manager, filed a lawsuit against Geoff's ex-bandmates on June 22 in King County Superior Court over whether he should be awarded the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being dismissed from the group in June. Their complaint states Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson wrongfully fired the singer and are tarnishing the group's brand by attempting to move forward without him.

In a July 25 filing in response to Tate's motion to disqualify his ex-bandmates' attorney from representing them due to a conflict of interest in violation of Washington's Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs), Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield wrote, "Since the defeat of the preliminary injunction, Plaintiff Geoff Tate has continued to interfere with Defendants' forward progress to tour under the QUEENSRŸCHE name. This includes refusal to relinquish control of Queensryche.com and other Internet and social media accounts, challenging the Defendants from taking control from the registering entity of Queensryche.com, and announcing to the national press through a surrogate of Mr. Tate's 'encouragement by the judge' to tour as his own QUEENSRŸCHE. Mr. Tate has also announced on his website his apparent intention to release an album this fall under the moniker 'Voice of QUEENSRŸCHE' and utilizing a stylized version of the QUEENSRŸCHE entity-owned Tri-Ryche symbol. There is no authority in the articles or bylaws of Tri-Ryche Corporation [which controls all QUEENSRŸCHE name and trademark rights] allowing a minority shareholder to use these corporate assets without authorization from the directors. All parties expressly agree as stated in prior pleadings and submissions that the name QUEENSRŸCHE and associated marks belong to the Tri-Ryche Corporation."

Paul Gargano, A&R/product manager for InsideOut Music, which recently signed a deal with Tate to release the singer's upcoming solo album, wrote in an email to Billboard.com, "I would like to clarify something extremely important that is being overlooked by everyone, including Billboard: The injunction [would] not [have] just prevent the three defendants from touring as QUEENSRŸCHE until the claim is settled — it [would have] prevented both parties from touring as QUEENSRŸCHE until the claim is settled. This is critical, because the intention of the injunction was not to prevent Scott, Michael and Eddie from making a living. The intention of both was to protect the future value of the QUEENSRŸCHE brand by eliminating the possibility of there being multiple versions of QUEENSRŸCHE. Not only did the judge deny the injunction on [July 13], she also urged and encouraged that there should be two QUEENSRŸCHE bands moving forward — which is precisely what the injunction was intended to avoid."

Asked if he had any comment about the nature of Tate's claim, or the nature of the defendants' response to it, Gargano wrote to Billboard.com, "Bands of QUEENSRŸCHE's stature are businesses, not weekend hobbies. What is overlooked in the emotion surrounding this case is that the lawsuit has been filed because of a dispute over the band's bylaws. The case will ultimately be decided by a judge, based on nothing more than how the law and legal precedent can be applied to the band's corporate structure. Sadly, no matter the outcome, the only real winners are going to be the lawyers that get to charge by the hour."

If the case goes to trial, the date is set for November 18, 2013.

In the meantime, Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield, along with QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Parker Lundgren and new lead singer Todd La Torre (also of CRIMSON GLORY) have launched a new web site at QueensrycheOfficial.com.

The new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup will make its official live debut as the headliner of the last day of this year's Halfway Jam, which is taking place July 26-28 in Royalton, Minnesota. Also scheduled to appear at the three-day event are ENUFF Z'NUFF, LYNCH MOB, STRYPER, BANG TANGO, TRIXTER, JACKYL, BLACKFOOT, MOLLY HATCHET and .38 SPECIAL.

Lundgren was briefly married to Geoff's stepdaughter Miranda; they have since divorced.
Carla Harvey of the BUTCHER BABIES and Revolver TV conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna at a recent stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You can now watch the chat below.

Last month, it was reported that ANTHRAX was recording several cover songs, to be issued in September to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the release of the band's latest album, "Worship Music". While the band does have plans to release an EP of covers that they've done, guitarist Scott Ian made it clear to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner that they are "not working on a covers album." He said, "It's not at all what we're doing. [laughs] We just always record cover songs. They just happen when we're in the studio or when we're touring, we get bored of jamming on our own songs at soundcheck, so you end up jamming on cover songs and eventually we'll end up recording them and eventually, somehow, they end up getting released in some way, shape or form as B-sides, but we're definitely not working on a covers album."

Regarding ANTHRAX's plans to write and record new music, Ian told VH1 Radio Network, "We do already have two or three things kind of in the works as far as new music goes, so it's just a case of if you can get into that mode to start working on them. I can't even explain why or how it happens, but sometimes you'll just get into a mode and you're able to create and you're able to work on stuff and move stuff forward, new stuff, but sometimes you just can't. Sometimes you're on tour and there's just no spark, it's just not there, it's just all about what you're doing in the moment, playing those shows."

ANTHRAX has reportedly started recording the following cover songs for possible release:

* AC/DC - "T.N.T."
* BOSTON - "Smokin'"
* JOURNEY - "Keep On Runnin'"
* RUSH - "Anthem"

ANTHRAX also recorded a cover version of BLACK SABBATH's classic song "Neon Knights" for inclusion on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album which is being assembled by the singer's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio.
Canadian rock legends TRIUMPH will guest on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline" with host Bob Coburn on Wednesday, JuAugust 29 at 8:30 p.m. PT / 11:30 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to speak with TRIUMPH by calling 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). The show will be streamed on the "Rockline" web site for two weeks beginning the afternoon after the live broadcast.

For more information, visit RocklineRadio.com.

The fans demanded it, and the fans finally got it. After 20 years apart, the long-awaited TRIUMPH reunion of vocalist/guitarist Rik Emmett, bassist/keyboardist Mike Levine, and vocalist/drummer Gil Moore took place at Sweden Rock Festival, on June 7, 2008. And now, the band is putting the finishing touches on the DVD of that historic performance.

Due on August 28, the "Live At Sweden Rock Festival" set consists of a DVD and CD (both featuring identical track listings), and features all of the TRIUMPH classics fans could hope for, including "When the Lights Go Down", "Lay It On the Line", "Never Surrender", "Magic Power" and "Fight The Good Fight". Additionally, there are several bonus features, including the on-site TRIUMPH press conference, a cool "behind-the-scenes" segment and a photo gallery.

"It's great to finally be able show the world TRIUMPH's reunion show at the Sweden Rock Festival," says Mike Levine. "It certainly is one of the most memorable performances of our entire career! And they said it would never happen…"

"Live At Sweden Rock Festival" will be released on the TML label, distributed by UMG in Canada and ADA in the U.S. The set will be made available throughout Europe on Frontiers Records.


01. When The Lights Go Down
02. Lay It On The Line
03. Allied Forces
04. Never Surrender
05. I Live For The Weekend
06. Blinding Light Show
07. Rocky Mountain Way
08. Magic Power
09. Rock And Roll Machine
10. Fight The Good Fight


01. When The Lights Go Down
02. Lay It On The Line
03. Allied Forces
04. Never Surrender
05. I Live For The Weekend
06. Blinding Light Show
07. Rocky Mountain Way
08. Magic Power
09. Rock And Roll Machine
10. Fight The Good Fight
DOWN entered the studio last October to begin recording the first in a series of four EPs, to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band's sound.

The first six-song EP, "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP", which heralds the sound of DOWN going back to its roots, with influences from BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS and WITCHFINDER GENERAL, will be released on September 18. It will be followed by the second collection of songs early next year, around the time of a planned U.S. tour. EPs three and four are scheduled for later in 2013.

The cover artwork for "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP" can be seen below.

"I have not really put too much pressure on myself with DOWN, and I think that's the best approach," vocalist Philip Anselmo tells RollingStone.com. "Right now I'm looking forward to the public's consumption and letting them hear it. I'm not sure if it's gonna break any ground. I never put any expectation on any friggin' record I do. We didn't overanalyze anything. We just let the songs kind of unfold, and once it felt right, there was no reason to go back."

"I do believe that we have delivered a record that will be accepted and hopefully enjoyed by the DOWN horde — if you will," says Anselmo. "If you're looking for a DOWN record, it's very pure and real."

Lyrically, the EP goes beyond just personal experiences, and explores themes that include the faith of mankind, the imperfection of mankind and cultural belief systems.

"DOWN gives me the platform to be poetic and paint imagery with lyrics," says Anselmo. "That's the approach I took. They complement the music and create an ominous feeling. Ultimately, when people consume the words, it's always their interpretation that matters. I could be image-conscious though when I wrote. It's not so gut level or street. The darker shit is some of my favorite."

When asked about DOWN's plans to release four separate EPs, Anselmo recently said, "That's the idea right now, but I think that after you work on a body of music, you need to reload, you need to refresh, you need to clear your head. Get that, digest it, get it out of your system, and then decide what direction you're going to go. It's a good idea and I think we should see it through. But there's no way we can rush it. Because I think if it is a series of four, each one should be unique, and that… We've shown flexibility — we have songs like 'Bury Me In Smoke' and then we have songs like 'Stone The Crow'… acoustic pieces and what-not… We have all that. So we've touched on many, I guess, dynamics, so… I would expect each EP to have its own life."

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

"Down IV Part I - The Purple EP" track listing:

01. Levitation
02. Witchtripper
03. Open Coffins
04. The Curse Is A Lie
05. This Work Is Timeless
06. Misfortune Teller
Former STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE and SYMFONIA mainman Timo Tolkki, who recently launched a PledgeMusic.com campaign to support the release of his fourth solo album, "Classical Variations 2: Credo", has issued the following update:

"While I have been working on the new 'Credo' album, I have started to speak with several friends in the music business to exchange creative ideas.

"A lot of musicians and people I talked to were really impressed with how the material is coming along. This brought me in contact with some people that offered me a really interesting and better situation on both artistic and personal level. However, this new incredible opportunity that I have is not compatible with the PledgeMusic project which I have started with you.

"Considering that I am looking at a way more interesting and exciting project which will ultimately make you happier, dear friends and fans, I have decided to cancel the work done so far on the 'Credo' album. Everybody will be contacted and reimbursed from the pledges I have received. In the case of questions, please turn to PledgeMusic.

"Again, there is no reason to be disappointed, you will hear and see very soon (probably in the first quarter of 2013) the outcome of what is happening behind the curtain.

"Needless to say, this is an exciting and creative period in my life and it has been very uplifting to see that you are out there supporting my music and work.
Please know that this is important for me and has given me strength to create and look to the the future in a brighter and more exciting way. Stay tuned for more great news soon!"

A double album, "Classical Variations 2: Credo" had a tentative release date of October 29, 2012 and was supposed to include over two hours of music with guest appearances by Michael Kiske (<unisonic< b="">, HELLOWEEN), Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS), Derek Sherinian (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, DREAM THEATER), Tuomo Lassila (the founder of STRATOVARIUS) on drums, Michael Vescera (OBSESSSION, LOUDNESS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) on vocals and Michele Luppi (THAUROROD, ex-VISION DIVINE) on vocals.

PledgeMusic.com encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising.

Tolkki recently made his "Loneliness Of A Thousand Years" book available for free download at this location.

Tolkki is most well-known for his music and thought-provoking lyrics. In many of his songs lies just a hint of the pain he has suffered that has shaped him into the artist he has become.

In the spring of 2004, Timo was overtaken by a nervous breakdown that caused him to be hospitalized. The next few years would completely engulf his life and leave him on the brink of suicide. "Loneliness Of A Thousand Years" candidly describes his heart-breaking journey through life and gives his fans just a glimpse into the intricate psyche of Timo Tolkki.

With a touching honesty, he describes his tumultuous childhood, his battle with a debilitating psychosis, and the philosophies that shape much of his deep thinking and views on the world. His story reveals the other side of the man that most people know only as the mastermind of STRATOVARIUS. It is an intimate portrait of his agony, as well as a probing look at an illness that affects millions, yet is widely misunderstood.

Written in a clear and compelling prose, "Loneliness Of A Thousand Years" is a bold, honest and ultimately uplifting look at the life of a man and his childhood, growing up as Timo Tolkki.

"Loneliness Of A Thousand Years" was originally published in October 2010 via Goldenworks.

Tolkki drew up and signed an official waiver on May 20, 2008 giving up all rights to the STRATOVARIUS name. The remaining STRATOVARIUS members — Timo Kotipelto (vocals), Jens Johansson (keyboards) and Lauri Porra (bass) — have since recorded and released two additional STRATOVARIUS albums with guitarist Matias Kupiainen.
Amy Harris of CityBeat recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

CityBeat: You guys have different uniforms every tour. What is the process to go about designing them or picking them?

Crahan: I am kind of the visionary, so to speak. That doesn't mean visionary of the overall whole thing. I take a lot of responsibility in evolving everything. Right now, since our bass player [Paul Gray] passed away [in 2010], we are reminiscing a life spent. We toured last summer, and we re-made our very first coveralls and brought out our first masks in remembrance to remember where we came from and celebrate his life. The current ones are a mixture of our first album and our second album. His number was number two and he had a really big part in that record as he did all records. We thought we'd give the American kids something special. Usually right now if Paul wouldn't have passed, we would almost be getting done with our fifth record album cycle, getting ready to go home from it. This kind of stuff is all kind of inspired by him a little bit because we don't have a new album and we just are kind of sharing in this thought process with our fans together. We don't see him on stage; they don't see him on stage. We go through it together. We are getting ready to end that thought process of sharing that loss together. It doesn't mean there is an ending to something and a new beginning. There will never be a new beginning. There will always only be nine. But we have toured Europe, we have toured South America, Australia, and now America with this thought process of sharing this loss together. We will end that, that sporadic touring of understanding that he is no longer with us. Then we will take some time off, write a record, record a record, pre-prep tour, go out on tour, drop a record and then support that record. But there will always be nine. I don't know if there will ever be another person on stage. There probably could be a bass player behind us. I don't know and I don't have to think about it because it's a long way off.

CityBeat: Do you get hot in the masks on days like today?

Crahan: No one but the nine will understand that sort of submission. The only way I can explain it is when it is all done and you take it off and look at the mirror and you look at yourself you know that as you walked into the church of the KNOT, onto the altar of the KNOT, giving the sermon of the KNOT to the congregation of the KNOT, and when you are done and the doors are shut and you came back and you take off the attire, you look at yourself and you know that you gave 190 percent of your life lived today and there is nothing more than that. Even if I don't have time to call my wife, even if I don't have time to be creative on my computer, or I am lazy, or I am not getting anything done. One thing I know is I give 190 percent on stage and when I take it off and look at myself and know that I am alive and that I did it and I pulled through that, it is not even a good feeling, for me it is like salvation. I only do this because I am looking for peace. With peace comes war, and I am at war with myself. I have been since I was born. I love music, and I can't imagine life without music. My wife is always there for me. My kids are there for me, but they are their own people. The one thing that has always been there for me is music. Before I met my wife there was music. If my wife were to pass or something there would be music to help me through that. That's not going to happen but I am saying music has always been my life. I owe everything to it.

CityBeat: In the beginning, you guys wanted to remain anonymous by using the masks. You have liked being anonymous through the years, but now people know who you are. Do you still feel like it is necessary?

Crahan: It was kind of a trick because so many people in the beginning wanted us to fail because we are so great. We have been blowing up since day one because a good idea is a good idea and a good song is a good song and a good band is a good band with a performance. So, part of the vision was everyone wanted to know who was behind the mask and that was probably the least most important thing ever. Why ask that? Why not ask how that came about or why this came about or what is behind this? Not what is behind the mask? It is music people are into and music the kids are buying. Rarely do they even get to spend a night with us. It is usually in the car or in their headphones. So why ask that question? So slowly, it wasn't until the third record, I did a documentary called "Voliminal: Inside The Nine" where when I showed behind the scenes footage, I blurred out people's faces, but when I did interviews, I would do nothing but faces. By our third record, people didn't care what we looked like anymore. They liked us better with the mask on. I always knew that would happen. There was never a conscious decision of trying to be out of the limelight without knowing who I am. Let's talk about the music, let's talk about the lyrics, let's talk about the why's not who is behind the mask, because I don't wear a mask. I don't wear a mask at all.
Steve Dallaire of the Canadian blog Boulevard Brutal recently conducted an interview with SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On how the SYSTEM OF A DOWN "reunion" came about:

Shavo: "Well, it was not really a reunion. We never said we were broken up; we were on a hiatus. We shouldn't have even said anything [about taking a break]. There's a lot of bands that don't release an album every year. There's a lot of bands that take three, four or five years off here and there, but they don't say 'hiatus,' so no one really notices it. They just anticipate the next record. Well, we just mentioned it, we said it, so it seemed like a breakup, but it really wasn't. It was just that we wanted to do something different for awhile and then come back and hang out again and be friends again. And that's all it was, really. There's a lot of misconception. That's why I get tired of the 'come-back-together' Twitters I get and messages I get. Because we are together. Like, enough with it. We're just not making an album right now — that's all. That doesn't mean we're broken up. Just because we're making other albums with other people doesn't mean that we're broken up. We've been a band since 1993. I don't think we're ever gonna be broken up. [laughs] Whatever happens, we're always gonna be together. We can go [for five years without doing anything with the band] and then come back and play shows and maybe make a record, maybe not — who knows? Maybe make ten records. Maybe tour for five years. I don't know. I'm just saying we're just good friends that are in a band together, and we've grown to a level where we now wanna do whatever we wanna do. And I hope everybody understands that. But we'll never break up. . . I'm one of the most, like, 'wanting-to-tour' guys in the band. Actually, the three of us [Shavo, guitarist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan] really wanna tour a lot more and do a lot more. [But] Serj [Tankian, vocals] has got a lot on his plate right now, which is cool."

On the criticism that has been leveled at SYSTEM OF A DOWN producer Rick Rubin by some other bands for allegedly not spending enough time with the artists in the studio and letting the engineer do all the work:

Shavo: "Whoever talks shit and says bad things about [Rick Rubin] needs help [in the studio], needs someone who's gonna be there telling them what to do. But if a band is good and they already have the material, all a producer [has to do] is get more out of them or give them a little bit of a recharge or give them a little hint of, like, 'Do this eight times, do that four times, rearrange a couple of things' — not really have to write songs for the group. Rick Rubin has ears, so when he hears this part, he says 'Double that part.' That's a real producer — someone that is listening to the music and making it better. That's what a producer does — make it better; help make the song better and make the band better. Not write music for the band or tell a band what to do. And Rick Rubin doesn't tell you what to do; that's why some people don't like him. They think that a producer has to come in and be like, 'Do this, do that.' If you've already got it, why have someone come and tell you that? That's my view it. I think he's a great producer, since he doesn't tell you what to do. He hears things and we'll talk about it and we'll try it, of course — all of us could have ideas — and try it. And if it works, beautiful; and if it doesn't, then we don't do it. Period."

On whether he would consider using Rick Rubin again for the next SYSTEM OF A DOWN album:

Shavo: "I definitely think so, but I couldn't say that, 'cause [I can't speak for] every bandmember. But, of course, I would. And I don't see how we wouldn't. He's produced every record, you know. He's part of the whole SYSTEM OF A DOWN recording adventure. Rick has always been there, so I don't see us being really comfortable without Rick there."
French progressive metallers GOJIRA will perform at Santos Party House in New York City on Thursday August 9. More information is available at TicketWeb.com.

GOJIRA was originally scheduled to take part in a North American tour co-headlined by LAMB OF GOD and DETHKLOK, but that trek has since been canceled due to the continued incarceration of LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe in the Czech Republic.

GOJIRA's fifth album, "L'Enfant Sauvage", sold almost 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 34 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "The Way Of All Flesh", opened with 4,200 units back in 2008 to land at No. 138.

"L'Enfant Sauvage" entered the official chart in France at position No. 7 (No. 17 on the digital chart).

"L'Enfant Sauvage" (which translates to "The Wild Child") features 11 tracks of mind-bending, thunderous metal. The CD was recorded at Spin Recording Studios in Long Island City, New York with co-producer Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD).

A special collector's package of "L'Enfant Sauvage" features two bonus tracks and a double-colored vinyl version of the record, along with an exclusive t-shirt.

GOJIRA will release a new DVD/Blu-ray, "The Flesh Alive", in the U.S. on July 31 via Mascot. The set will be made available in the following formats:

* 2-DVD+CD
* Blu-ray+CD with free poster

The three-disc "The Flesh Alive" chronicles the making of GOJIRA's 2008 album, "The Way Of All Flesh", and the touring activity that followed the CD's release.
SKY OF RAGE, the Swedish metal band featuring ASTRAL DOORS guitarist Joachim Nordlund, will release its self-titled debut album in Europe on July 27 and in North America on August 28 via Metalville. The group's current lineup also includes former ASTRAL DOORS member Mika Itäranta on bass, former THALAMUS member Jan J. Cederlund on the second guitar, Tomas Friberg on drums and Stiff on vocals.

SKY OF RAGE was the idea of ASTRAL DOORS guitar player Joachim Nordllund. Supported by former members of his main band, Joachim brings a new interpretation of classic hard rock.

In the autumn of 2009, the two old friends Tomas Friberg and Joachim Nordlund were listening to old school heavy metal. After that, they decided to write some songs together. A couple of hours (and beers) later the first song had seen its light.

After a couple of months, a few songs were written and the duo decided that they needed a singer for the project. Both wanted a singer that could both growl and sing with a more clean voice because they thought the songs needed that kind of approach. His name is Staffan Carlsson. Staffan worked with some of the already written songs and started to work with the vocals and lyrics right away. It took a while for Staffan to feel comfortable with this kind of heavy metal, but when he had nailed two or three songs they all knew that they had found a unique sound.

As the songwriting process continued, guitarist Janne Cederlund (ex-THALAMUS), an ambitious was the next to join the band. Finding a bass player seemed to be a bit harder for the band, until one night in the spring of 2011 when Joachim was out he met Mika Itäranta. Mika had left ASTRAL DOORS two years ago and now he had the drive to get back into rock and roll again. The band was now complete.

The debut album was recorded in Joachim's Big Turn Studio in the beginning of 2012. Martin Haglund, the former guitarist of ASTRAL DOORS, and a great friend, handled mixing duties on the album. He did an amazing job and the eleven songs that the guys had chosen for the CD created what was to be the band's self-titled debut.

"Sky Of Rage" track listing:

01. Stardust
02. Countdown
03. Sky of Rage
04. Reclaim Your Rights
05. Soldiers in a Line
06. Speed of Light
07. Sacrifice
08. Liar
09. Shape of a Giant
10. If There Was a God
11. Slave


Staffan Carlsson - Vocals
Joachim Nordlund - Lead Guitar
Janne Cederlung - Rhythm Guitar
Mika Itäranta - Bass
Tomas Friberg - Drums
KITTIE drummer Mercedes Lander and former KITTIE bassist Tanya Candler laid down backing vocals this week on a new recording from Orianna, a 14-year-old singer/songwriter and entertainer from London, Ontario, Canada.

Orianna, whose real name is Nikki Whitehead, is working on her first CD with producers Moe Berg (a founding member of Canada's THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) and Matt Grady.

For more information, go to this location.

Mercedes occasionally sits behind the kit for Candler's current band ALCOHOLLYS.

KITTIE announced in March that it was contemplating playing some reunion shows with its original lineup — featuring Candler, Mercedes, her sister Morgan Lander (guitar, vocals) and Fallon Bowman (guitar).
Canadian heavy metallers CAULDRON have announced the addition of drummer Myles Deck to the group's ranks.

Myles spent much of his life living and playing in bands in Halifax, Nova Scotia, including blackened thrashers HELLACAUST, as well as fronting a Detroit-style punk rock outfit called MYLES DECK AND THE FUZZ. He replaces CAULDRON's former drummer, Chris Steve.

The drums for the band's new album, "Tomorrow's Lost", were recorded by Chris Rites (CRYSTAL CASTLES).

Commented CAULDRON bassist and vocalist Jason Decay: "Rather than just grab the next available drummer, we wanted to take our time this time and make sure we found the right guy, which we're pleased to announce is Myles Deck. Myles moved halfway across the country from Moncton, New Brunswick, which shows his dedication. He's also into a lot of the same bands as us and understands our vision and goals. He's also tall so we won't have to prop him up on a stool for band photos! We wish Chris Steve all the best with his new band OLD JAMES (heavy SKYNYRD), and would like to thank Chris Rites for helping us out again with the new record."

Added Myles Deck: "I was vacationing in Moncton, New Brunswick, catching some rays on the shore of the Petitcodiac when I got 'the call.' I love the kind of music that makes you wanna bang your head or thrust your hips. I'd seen CAULDRON a handful of times and they made me wanna do both. So I sold most of my belongings and moved up to Toronto to play drums for this great band. I'm absolutely chuffed to be playing with CAULDRON and look forward to spending many gruelling hours in the van and studio together."

"Tomorrow's Lost" was recorded in Parkdale, Toronto with producer Jameson Elliott, who also recorded the band's 2010 album, "Burning Fortune". The artwork for the album was created by Todd Kowalski (SACRIFICE, PROPAGANDHI).
POISON singer Bret Michaels revealed in a new interview with The Columbus Dispatch that he is planning to make a movie about his life, starting with his youth in Pittsburgh, where he overcame his childhood health issues, first picked up a guitar and formed his first bands.

"I want to tell the story," he said. "Mostly, when you see rock movies, it has to be this over-the-top thing. I want to give people a Bret Michaels movie where they see that my life is a comedy of errors. I also want to show my fans how to get through the kind of troubles that would leave most people flat on the floor."

Michaels recently told RollingStone.com that he hopes to get Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) to come in and redo "Go That Far", the theme from Bret's "Rock Of Love" reality-TV show, for the POISON singer's forthcoming solo album, "Bret Michaels And Friends: Get Your Rock On". Bret also wants CHEAP TRICK's Rick Nielsen to come in to play on a reworked version of POISON's hit "Talk Dirty To Me", Michaels says. "I think that'd be great to have him come in and put his style on a song that I remade in an over-the-top, punk-metal fashion."

Due in September, "Bret Michaels And Friends: Get Your Rock On" will feature guest appearances by Loretta Lynn and Joe Perry (who play on a reworking of the POISON smash ballad "Every Rose Has Its Thorn") and Jimmy Buffett, Lil Jon, Michael Anthony (VAN HALEN, CHICKENFOOT), Ace Frehley (KISS), all the LYNYRD SKYNYRD guys, members of .38 SPECIAL and BLACKFOOT and RASCAL FLATTS' Jay DeMarcus.

According to Bret, his new version of POISON's "Nothin' But a Good Time" will feature Frehley, Anthony and Lil Jon. "Ace Frehley is the real deal," says Michaels. "He laid down this amazing solo and then Michael Anthony came in, he did the backups, and I was like, 'Just play some Michael Anthony licks.' He did, and that's what made magic on the song."
Guitarist/vocalist Adam "Nergal" Darski of Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH has been named one of the most valuable Polish stars by the Polish edition of Forbes magazine.

Commented Nergal: "That's quite unexpected, I must say. Excuse my ignorance, but to be honest I've never been a Forbes reader, and I'm not sure what this is all about… I reckon it's quite an awarding affair, though. Anyway, I really hope I'm the first extreme metal musician that has ever appeared in the pages of this elite magazine. Am I?"

Darski is putting the finishing touches on his autobiography, "Sacrum Profanum", for an October release. The book, whicih was previously described by Nergal as "a really long in-depth interview," will initially only be made available in Polish, but "depending on interest, we might be translating this into English," he says.

The "Sacrum Profanum" cover photo was taken by Ivo Ledwozyw, with post-production by Seth Siro Anton (PARADISE LOST, KAMELOT, MOONSPELL, SOILWORK, EXODUS, JOB FOR A COWBOY, DECAPITATED, VADER).

In addition to publishing the book, Nergal will be working with Polish producers Grupa 13, with whom he had previously collaborated on the BEHEMOTH videos "At The Left Hand Ov God" and "Ov Fire And The Void", on several promotional clips.

"We're shooting some trailers to support it," Nergal told Terrorizer magazine. "The episodes will be little portraits of certain chapters of the book."

In December 2010, Darski underwent a bone marrow transplant procedure after being diagnosed with a life-threatening form of leukemia.
Virginia-based melodic tech-death metal masters ARSIS have set "Unwelcome" as the title of their fifth full-length album, due in the fall via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER). The cover artwork is being created by Riddickart's Mark Riddick.

An image of the "digipak CD layout and artwork in progress" for the new ARSIS album can be seen on Riddick's Facebook page.

"I am so pleased with the way this album is coming together," commented founding guitarist and vocalist James Malone. "I know we all have put ourselves into this recording and I am sure this will be reflected in the end product. Noah [Martin, bass] and I did more pre-production for the album than any other ARSIS recording."

ARSIS's 2010 album, "Starve For The Devil" (Nuclear Blast Records), sold 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, landing at No. 13 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.
A tribute album to David Gold — a founding member of the Ontario, Canada-based black and doom metal band WOODS OF YPRES, who was killed in December in a car accident near Barrie, Ontario — will tentatively be released in late August or early September. The CD's cover artwork was created by Jason Hicks and can be seen below.

The project's mastermind, Steph LeDrew, previously stated about the collection: "On December 21, the world lost WOODS OF YPRES founder/frontman David Gold. Not only was the entire local metal community but the international metal family mourned the loss of such a brilliant soul. As a thank you and farewell to WOODS OF YPRES, I reached out to those who were influenced by WOODS and David, so join me in creating a musical salute to one of the greatest doom metal bands to unleash onto the underground metal scene."

Arists and songs featured on the album are as follows:

* NOVEMBERS DOOM - "Wet Leather"
* GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH - "Suicide Cargoload"
* ECLIPSE ETERNAL - "Crossing The 45th Parallel"
* EMPYREAN PLAGUE - "Shedding The Deadwood"
* PANZERFAUST - "A Meeting Place And Time"
* PAGAN RITUAL - "The Shams Of Optimism"
* AMARANTH - "Allure Of The Earth"
* ALBIREON - "Retrosleep In The Morning Calm"
* ANEMIC - "The Sun Was In My Eyes: Part Doom"
* BEGOTTEN - "The Sea Of Immeasureable Loss"
* RELIQUIS - "Career Suicide"
* CANOPY - "Falling Apart"
* UNBOWED - "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground"
* DEATHMARCH - "Northern Cold"
* KUHRZARTH - "Finality"
* THE GOV' AND FRIENDS - "Intro: The Looming Of Dust In The Dark"
* THE BEAR HUNTERS - "Thrill Of The Struggle"
* SVARTE KRAKE - "You Were The Light"
* JUSTIN BENDER (INTO ETERNITY) - "Trillium: The 3rd Of Three Winters"

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