[Classic_Rock_Forever] Slash, Queensryche, Edguy and tons more hard and heavy metal news


During a new interview with RollingStone.com, legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) revealed that he is already looking ahead to recording his next album, to feature the same band with which he made the current "Apocalyptic Love" CD. "We've got the tour that's gonna go into next year, we're starting work on the next record," Slash said.

Slash and his band MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORSMyles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (guitar) — announced a fall headlining tour starting September 4 in San Diego, California and wrapping October 3 in Los Angeles, California.

Slash scored his first-ever No. 1 hit at rock radio as a solo artist with "You're A Lie", the first single from his second solo effort, "Apocalyptic Love". The record came out on May 22 and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart a week later, selling 38,000 copies in its first week of release.

Unlike Slash's solo debut, which featured different vocalists on each track and a number of guest musicians, Slash has recorded all of the new CD with his touring band, MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS.

Slash co-wrote all the material with ALTER BRIDGE singer Myles Kennedy and told The Pulse Of Radio that they never struggled to find a groove together. "There was never any kind of like, 'OK, we need to sit down and focus on writing,'" he said. "Just whenever ideas happened, I would just lay them down, and if I thought it was good enough to send to him, then I'd send it to him. And he miraculously would come up with melodies for everything I came up with, and it just happened like that."

Slash and his band recently completed a month-long tour of Europe.
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.

Tate revealed in a recent interview with RollingStone.com 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.

In his sworn "reply declaration in further support" of his motion for preliminary injunction — which was filed this past Thursday, July 12 in the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington and obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NETTate says, "Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege that they, together with Chris DeGarmo, started the band THE MOB. This is incorrect. They were not a band. They did not have a singer and they did not have a name. When I joined, we became a band and we agreed on a name, THE MOB, after a song released by the band BLACK SABBATH.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton are also incorrect in alleging that I did not contribute to the making of our first record, the EP 'Queensrÿche'. I sang all the songs of the EP and with DeGarmo wrote what became the most popular song on the album, 'Lady Wore Black'. I also helped pay for the cost for the recording studio.

"From then until last month, when I was kicked out of the band, I have been the lead singer and predominant songwriter for the band. I have never quit the band or wanted to quit the band. And contrary to what Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege, I never threatened to quit the band. QUEENSRŸCHE has been my life.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege that I did not want to share songwriting credit with them and that, following DeGarmo's departure, I began rejecting songs they had written choosing, instead, to work with outside musicians. These allegations are not true. I have been happy to share songwriting credit. That is evident from the songwriting splits in the spreadsheet attached as Exhibit A to my initial declaration. I even shared songwriting credit during the later albums, although Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton were not entitled to the credit. I agreed to share songwriting credit equally among all band members for the 'Q2K' release even though Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton did not participate in songwriting. Rockenfield also received 30 percent songwriting credit for two songs on the 'American Soldier' album although he did not contribute to the songwriting process. He merely played the drums on previous recordings of the two songs, when the writers of the songs (who had been hired by QUEENSRŸCHE to write songs for the album) recorded them for demos.

"Also, as stated in my earlier declaration, I began working with outside musicians because Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton were not contributing toward songwriting. I did not want to work with outside musicians. Doing so is not in the band's interests financially, since it costs the band money to hire outside musicians, or collaboratively, since it drives a wedge among the permanent band members. Just like I had done with DeGarmo and Wilton earlier on, I would have preferred to write songs with Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton, and repeatedly asked them for songs, but they did not provide the songs.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton claim that I do not like the older songs in the QUEENSRŸCHE catalog and do not play them at QUEENSRŸCHE shows. That is not true. Those songs are a critical piece of the band's history and, unlike Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton, I contributed to writing those songs. I also like playing those songs at shows. Indeed, I cannot and do not decide by myself what songs get played at shows. As a band, we decide on a particular cross-section of songs to play for shows. Among those songs are always a number of songs from QUEENSRŸCHE's earlier records. Indeed, recent shows have focused exclusively on earlier releases. For a show last year in New York City, for example, we played every song on our second full-length album, 'Rage For Order', which was released in 1986. For a show in 2011, on an ocean cruise called ShipRocked, we played the entire 'Operation: Mindcrime' album. I am also attaching as Exhibits A and B hereto the set lists for two shows we recently did, which show that QUEENSRŸCHE was performing a wide selection of songs that cover its entire catalog.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton also complain about a cabaret tour the band did in 2010. But until recently they had not complained about that tour. The idea for the tour began with Lars Sorensen, a former manager of QUEENSRŸCHE who was head of entertainment for Snoqualmie Casino. He asked us to do two shows for Valentine's Day and asked that they be 'special' or 'different.' He mentioned that another band had recently done a cabaret type show that had been successful. He offered QUEENSRŸCHE $50,000 per show, $100,000 total, which was significant, particularly since there would be no significant travel expenses. I discussed the cabaret idea with the band and they voiced no objections to the idea. Instead, their questions were limited to what they would be paid. The show was a success and the band agreed to do a tour of the cabaret style shows. We performed a total of 24 shows throughout 2010. Given the number of shows, the tour was very lucrative, especially considering that, in 2010, many bands were struggling to get any performances.

"Rockenfield, Jackson; and Wilton accuse of me of telling the audience at a concert that they 'suck.' But they take what I said out of context. I was not insulting the audience. Instead, I was trying to motivate or excite them. The show was the Rocklahoma festival in Oklahoma. It was May and it was very hot and QUEENSRŸCHE played late in the evening, after the fans had watched a number of other bands. QUEENSRŸCHE opened its set with a number of its older songs, including 'Damaged', 'I Don't Believe In Love', and 'Hit The Black'. 1 The fans were unresponsive. This has happened before and, when it occurs, as the singer, I try to motivate them to get more involved in the show. That is what I did here. I was trying to motivate them, inspire them to get more excited about the show.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege that Susan Tate usurped control of the band. That is untrue. She reluctantly agreed to be our manager, and at half the pay of our other managers, only after QUEENSRŸCHE had problems with two other managers.

"In or around 2001, QUEENSRŸCHE was becoming dissatisfied with its manager at the time. QUEENSRŸCHE was interested in touring with two separate metal bands that were very popular at the time. Our manager told us that he had contacted them and, for one band, was waiting to hear back and, for the other, had been told the band was not interested. We contacted these bands directly, however, and were told that the conversations alleged by our manager had not occurred. Based on that, and other disagreements we had with our manager, the band members agreed to terminate its relationship with the manager.

"The next manager we hired, Lars Sorensen, quit. In response, Susan, who, by now, had been working as an assistant manager, was asked by Rockenfield to serve as the lead manager. Rockenfield's only question to Susan was whether she would continue to accept the five-percent fee she previously agreed to accept. This was less than half what other managers charge bands. She agreed. Rockenfield said he would ensure that Susan became QUEENSRŸCHE's manager. He went to the meeting and we all agreed she could be the band's manager. She continued to earn half what other managers get paid until she was fired by Rockenfield, Jackson and Wilton.

"Approximately one year prior to the termination of Susan as band manager, Michael Wilton came to me and the other band members, and said that he wanted to hire Paul Geary as the new manager for QUEENSRŸCHE. The band members all discussed it and we agreed that Susan was doing a good job and that the band did not need a new manager. Rockenfield and I called Paul Geary. During the call, Rockenfield did most of the talking. We told Geary that we were not interested in hiring a new manager and that Wilton had contacted him behind our backs. The decision was not just mine alone, as Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton now allege. The decision not to hire Paul Geary at that time was a band decision.

"I previously discussed the incident in Brazil when I punched Rockenfield and slapped Wilton. I was upset at the time, having been told that my wife and daughter had been fired, and that I was 'next.' I regret losing my temper and my actions are not acceptable. It is also very unlike me to act in this manner. I do not lose my temper, become loud or threatening, or hit people. People who know me describe me as even keeled, mild-mannered and easy-going. And once the incident in Brazil ended, it did not continue. I did not threaten Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton during or after the show in Brazil. I also did not threaten them at any point after that. Although I have no doubt it was upsetting to Rockenfield and Wilton, they were not injured. It was also clear that they were not and are not afraid of me. They did not press charges or request a restraining order or try to commence any other type of legal action. They performed two more shows with me in May 2012. I also do not believe that Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton kicked me out of the band based on what happened in Brazil. I think instead that they had planned on firing me since at least February 2012 and that this incident just gave them an excuse to do it.

"In an attempt to prove that I have been violent before, Rockenfield mentions an incident in 2007. But he does not disclose what caused it. At that time, QUEENSRŸCHE was on tour. When QUEENSRŸCHE is on tour, at every stop, it sets up a booth to sell QUEENSRŸCHE merchandise. The sale of merchandise goes through Queensrÿche Merchandising, Inc. with profits from the sale of merchandise being distributed among the band members. At a show in 2007, Susan noticed hanging from the merchandise booth drum sticks and drum heads signed by Rockenfield for sale. QUEENSRŸCHE didn't sell drum sticks and drum heads. Susan asked the man selling the merchandise about it, and he told her that Rockenfield had told him to sell the drum sticks and the drum heads and to give him the money. Rockenfield had not discussed this with the band first, and we did not know about it. It was unfair to the band because he was using valuable merchandise space and not sharing what he earned from the sales with the rest of the band. When the other band members learned what he had done, we were all upset. I tried to talk about it with Rockenfield. He was in his dressing room, sitting at his laptop. When I asked him about it, he would not even acknowledge that I was talking with him. He just kept staring at his laptop screen, indifferent about what he had done. Unable to get his attention, and becoming more and more upset about what he had done and his disregard for me, I shut the laptop screen down. I did not spit on him or push him, as Rockenfield now claims.

"As I mentioned in my earlier declaration, 'Operation: Mindcrime' was a concept album, a 'rock opera,' based on a story I wrote while I was living in Canada. The story was about a recovering drug addict, Nikki, who leaves mainstream society and joins a revolutionary group. When I first conceived of the story, I mentioned it to the other band members, but they did not like it. They eventually agreed to the idea and the album went on to go platinum, selling more than a million copies.

"In 2011, Zoetifex Studios in Pittsburgh became interested in producing an animated film based on the story of 'Operation: Mindcrime'. As a first step, Zoetifex wanted exclusive rights to option the story into a movie. That way, Zoetifex could begin searching for investors willing to invest in the making of the movie. They approached Neil Sussman, the attorney for QUEENSRŸCHE, and offered QUEENSRŸCHE money for the rights. But I owned the copyright to the story, not the band. I had conceived of the idea and had written the story. It was no different than how songwriting royalties are distributed. If you write the song, you get the songwriting royalties. Similarly, since I wrote the story, I owned the copyright for the story. QUEENSRŸCHE's attorney agreed that the story belonged to me and that I was solely entitled to any money paid by Zoetifex for the option rights. He informed Michael Kadrie of Zoetifex of his position. Mr. Kadrie agreed and Zoetifex paid me $10,000 for the exclusive rights to the 'Operation: Mindcrime' story. Rockenfield, Jackson, and •Wilton's contention that I tried to 'cut them out,' however, is false. In addition, as the contract that they provide to the Court shows, during the negotiation process, which was handled by Susan, Susan negotiated with Zoetifex that, if the movie was made, QUEENSRŸCHE would get $250,000 to write the score for the movie. Susan requested this because, at the time, Rockenfield was interested in writing scores for movies, and he told Susan that he would like to write the score for this movie. As a result, Susan got Zoetifex to agree to hire the band to write the score if the movie was made.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton claim they first learned of the Zoetifex agreement after this litigation was commenced. They were aware of it well before that. It was discussed during our meeting in February 2012.

"In their opposition, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton request a bond of $10 million based on the statements of Paul Geary that he can book five shows a week at $20,000 per show between now and the trial date. That equals $4.8 million a year just on touring for 12 months. Mr. Geary is a band manager. He is not a promoter. The distinction is key since a manager tries to sell the band to promoters and promoters are the ones who decide to book shows for bands. Mr. Geary can only speculate on what the band can do over the next year.

"To my knowledge, QUEENSRŸCHE has never generated nearly that much revenue merely from touring. And I am convinced that, in its current configuration, QUEENSRŸCHE will never generate much interest from promoters, let alone anywhere near the scale stated by Mr. Geary. Furthermore, if QUEENSRŸCHE played five shows a week, every week, between now and the end of the litigation, they will completely burn the market. They will have played every single venue, including the smallest bars and restaurants, which would be remotely interested in booking them. This would be not only in the United States, but around the world. As a result, when the litigation ends, and the Court decides how to distribute the assets of the QUEENSRŸCHE companies, including the band name, the band name will be stripped of almost all its value since the band will be unable to tour."
Longtime hard and heavy metal journalist Paul Gargano, who currently works as a product manager for Century Media Records and InsideOut Music, has submitted a sworn declaration in support of Geoff Tate's motion for preliminary injunction to prevent Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.

Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield and Lundgren announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with 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.

Tate recently signed a worldwide recording contract with InsideOut Music, the label for which Gargano also works as an A&R scout (in addition to his aforementioned product-manager duties).

Tate is currently finishing production on his first InsideOut Music release. The album is planned for release this fall, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

In his declaration, a copy of which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Gargano writes, "I have been in the hard rock and heavy metal music industry my entire career. I started as rock critic for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and spent ten years as editor of Metal Edge magazine, which covers the hard rock and heavy metal music industry. I am now the co-owner and executive editor of that magazine. In addition, I have been in the recording industry for many years, spending more than a decade as an artist manager and public relations and marketing specialist. I am now product manager with related recording companies Century Media Records and InsideOut Music, and handle all day-to-day operations for the InsideOut label in North America. I also do Artists & Repertoire for the entire company, which means that I scout, sign, and guide rock bands signed by the labels.

"Through my experience as a writer and producer of hard rock and heavy metal music, I have become familiar with the band QUEENSRŸCHE. I first got to know the band in the early 1990s. Since then, I have reported on their albums, their tours, and their reputation in the music industry, conducted dozens of interviews with the band, written liner notes, label copy and marketing assets for their albums, interviewed the band on their DVDs, and also spoken as an expert about the band on both VH1 and MTV. Fans and people in the music industry know the role Geoff Tate has played for QUEENSRŸCHE. In addition to lead singer, he is the principal songwriter and voice of the band. It is fair to say that to many fans, recording industry professionals, booking agents, and promoters, Geoff Tate 'is' QUEENSRŸCHE.

"Through my experience, I have also had a number of opportunities to see what happens to bands like QUEENSRŸCHE after those bands attempt to replace their lead singer. Even worse, when they do so in an acrimonious manner. The bands WARRANT, SKID ROW and L.A. GUNS come to mind, but there are many others. The bands always suffer and do considerable damage to their careers and legacy. They lose fans and fewer promoters will be interested in booking their shows. The promoters who are willing to work with them book them to smaller venues, for less money. The sale of the band's merchandise also suffers, with fewer people willing to pay for the band's merchandise after their name and legacy has been damaged.

"I believe that the decision by Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson, and Michael Wilton to issue a press release stating that Geoff Tate is no longer in QUEENSRŸCHE and that QUEENSRŸCHE will tour and record music with a new lead singer, Todd La Torre, will significantly hurt the QUEENSRŸCHE name and brand. QUEENSRŸCHE will lose fans and fewer promoters will take them seriously, causing damage to the band's name, and harming their future potential as both a live and recording act. The fact that Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton canceled remaining shows makes promoters even less likely to book them, and further harms the band's reputation in the music industry — especially since they are passing themselves off as QUEENSRŸCHE, and making decisions that people assume Geoff Tate is a part of.

"In my opinion, based on my experience in the industry, the best course of action to take at this point would be to stop any tours or recordings by anyone in the name of QUEENSRŸCHE until this litigation can be resolved."
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.

Tate revealed in a recent interview with RollingStone.com that he and his wife, Susan, who has been managing the band for the past several years, 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.

In a "reply memorandum in further support" of his motion for preliminary injunction — which was filed this past Thursday, July 12 in the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington and obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET — the Tates' attorney, Benjamin J. Stone of Veris Law Group PLLC, writes, "In their initial motion papers, plaintiffs Geoff and Susan Tate explain why defendants Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, and Eddie Jackson should be enjoined from touring as QUEENSRŸCHE during the pendency of this litigation. Rockenfield, Wilton, and Jackson oppose the motion but, as explained below, their arguments are vague, speculative, and contradictory and fail to overcome the compelling reasons why the preliminary injunction should be issued.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton admit they did the things that the Tates argue were oppressive. They claim that, as owners of 75 percent of the QUEENSRŸCHE companies, they had the right to do what they did and that their actions are protected by the business judgment rule because Geoff and Susan had usurped control of the band. But this argument is flawed and, thus, the business judgment rule does not protect their oppressive actions. Indeed, on its face, the argument makes no sense and is utterly contradictory. Since Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton owned 75 percent of the QUEENSRŸCHE companies, clearly Geoff and Susan (who is not even a shareholder) cannot usurp control of the band. Instead, Geoff wrote the songs and Susan managed the band because Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton agreed with the direction of the band or did not care. Either way, this cannot justify what they have done now. Other reasons — resentment of Geoff and the money he made as the leading songwriter for QUEENSRŸCHE — motivated Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton to oppress Geoff. Their argument that Geoff was taking the band in a different direction against their wishes is also belied by the facts. Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege, for example, that Geoff refused to play the band's older songs at shows. This is untrue and Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton cite no show where this occurred. Like them, Geoff loves the older songs — he helped write them — and enjoys playing them for fans. Within the last two years, for example, the band played the entire second album 'Rage For Order' for one show and, at another show, played the entire 'Operation: Mindcrime' album. Set lists from other recent shows confirm that QUEENSRŸCHE played a cross-section of songs at shows that included a number of the older songs.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton also argue that the later albums were unpopular, but the record sales they cite are not relevant. Record sales are due to a number of factors. Indeed, file sharing, a way fans can share songs over the internet for free, has caused record sales to plummet across the industry since 2006, the year the first album cited by Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton was released. Another reason for falling record sales during these same years is that one record company QUEENSRŸCHE worked with went bankrupt, one went out of business, and another is in the process of going under. As a result, record sale numbers are no longer the benchmark for determining the extent of a band's success. Instead, touring, merchandising, and promotions are more common measures of success. And during this time, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton have each done well, netting between $109,000 and $340,000 each per year, under Geoff's leadership and Susan's management.

"Also false is Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton's contention that Geoff 'installed' Susan as manager. They don't explain how Geoff could do this since they are three quarters of the band and the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Instead, Susan could become the band's manager only with the approval of Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton, which is in fact what happened. Susan became manager after the band fired one manager for failing to do his job and misrepresenting to the band whether he had spoken with the managers of two headlining metal bands (IRON MAIDEN and KISS) regarding a tour with QUEENSRŸCHE, and after the second manager (Lars Sorensen) quit.

"When Susan contacted Rockenfield and informed him that Sorensen had quit, Rockenfield agreed that Susan could be the manager so long as she agreed to accept half of what other managers earn, which she did. Susan also had years of experience managing QUEENSRŸCHE, having served as assistant manager and before that fan club and merchandising director. Equally baseless is Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton's claim that Geoff engaged in 'self dealing' when he was paid for the story for the 'Operation: Mindcrime' animated film. Geoff came up with the idea of 'Operation: Mindcrime', wrote the story and owns the copyright. Indeed, the long-time attorney for the QUEENSRŸCHE companies concluded that 'Geoff Tate was the sole owner of the copyrights in the story and remains the sole owner today' and thus directed the studio interested in the story to pay Geoff for it. Additionally, Rockenfield, Jackson and Wilton were aware of this as early as February 2012, As a further example of how Geoff's leadership and Susan's management of QUEENSRŸCHE benefits the band, as part of the negotiations for the animated film, Susan got the studio to agree that the entire QUEENSRŸCHE band would be paid $250,000 for the score for the movie. Susan knew that Rockenfield was interested in writing scores for movies and he told her he wanted to write the score for this movie.

"The only event raised by Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton that actually occurred was the one in Brazil. But Geoff admitted at the outset that he hit Rockenfield and Wilton so there is no reason to further belabor the point. Moreover, contrary to what Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton allege, Geoff is a mild-mannered and easygoing guy who has not been violent with Rockenfield, Jackson, or Wilton or anyone else. This one isolated event does not justify kicking Geoff out of the band and demanding that he sell back his shares in the companies after 30 years of work. They are simply using it as an excuse; if their allegations were true, why would they play the show in Brazil and then play two more shows with Geoff? The fact that Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton never pursued the matter until now, and began taking control of the band and the companies in February shows that' they intended to fire Geoff before Brazil. The incident provided them with a convenient excuse to justify it.

"Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton claim that they will likely be awarded the band name because they collaborated in songwriting. This is simply not true. Except to a very limited extent, as evidenced by the songwriting royalty spreadsheet, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton did not participate in songwriting. Instead, Geoff has received 81 percent of the songwriting credit and for the past 30 years has been the face and voice of the band. Indeed, in their efforts to prove their other points, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton even admit that, for years, they did not play a role in the creative or business aspects of the band.

"It is also clear that Geoff is the only one who truly cares about QUEENSRŸCHE and its fans. After kicking him out of the band, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton canceled the remaining QUEENSRŸCHE shows, burning the promoters who booked the shows and the fans who bought the tickets. This has clearly alienated promoters and the fans who had bought the tickets to see QUEENSRŸCHE. To prevent this damage from occurring to the show in Utah, Geoff flew to Utah and played with his acoustic band.

"A particularly incredible claim by Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton is that the bond for the preliminary injunction should be at least $10 million. They rely entirely on Paul Geary, their manager, who, in saying what he believes the band will earn, is merely speculating on whether promoters — who are the ones who actually book the band — will be interested in QUEENSRŸCHE without Geoff Tate and, if so, what they are willing to pay for the band to play. Mr. Geary gets paid more the more promoters pay for the band and thus he has an incentive to inflate his figures.

"The letter from Sullivan Bigg cited by Geary is equally irrelevant since. Mr. Bigg is not a promoter, but an agent. Also, Mr. Bigg's statements are not credible since he does not identify the promoters who are allegedly interested in the new QUEENSRŸCHE, where the shows will be held, or how much the band will be paid for each show. Indeed, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton are not even hiring Mr. Bigg or playing the shows he mentions since Geary states that they are hiring another agent. And a third agency not mentioned by GearyParadise Artists — previously claimed to be representing QUEENSRŸCHE.

"In sum, Rockenfield, Jackson and Wilton do not have an agent, and do not have any commitments from promoters for shows. The only thing they appear to be doing is burning bridges with agents who apparently believe they represent the band. In fact, the only promoters to opine in this case confirm the Tates' position that promoters and fans will have no interest in booking QUEENSRŸCHE without Geoff Tate and, if they do, it will be in small venues for less money. As Mr. Elko, who has booked QUEENSRŸCHE shows for 15 years, testified: 'There is no QUEENSRŸCHE without Geoff Tate singing. He is the voice of the band. If the band goes out on tour without Geoff, I would not book the band, and I am unaware of any promoter who would promote that show.' Also, Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton will not be harmed by the injunction because they can make money playing QUEENSRŸCHE songs as the band RISING WEST. RISING WEST played 'two sold-out shows and rave critical and fan reviews.' Wilton testified that, after the show, 'we received offers from management companies and promoters asking us to bring the show to their cities.' Thus, only a nominal bond, in the sum of $5,000, should be required.

"The Tates respectfully request that this Court enjoin Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton from touring, recording, or using the name QUEENSRŸCHE while this litigation is pending."
Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who was involved in a messy split with his former bandmates less than two years ago, has commented further 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.

During an interview that aired on last night's (Friday, July 13) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Portnoy said, "I was there in Brazil when the fireworks went down [between Tate and the other QUEENSRŸCHE guys]. I was filling in, playing drums for [QUEENSRŸCHE's support act] FATES WARNING at that gig [in April 2012] in Sao Paulo, so I've had to kind of keep my mouth shut on [what happened] that [night]. But we witnessed a lot of what went down firsthand, and it was just shocking. But, to be honest, the writing has kind of been on the wall for years. Geoff and I have had our words in the press and all that kind of stuff through the years, and I've seen some of this stuff definitely in the works through the years, so it doesn't come as a surprise to me."

He continued, "I don't wanna say too much, because I think anything I say will probably used against me [chuckles], but I will say that I'm excited to see where Scott [Rockenfield, drums], Michael [Wilton, guitar] and Eddie [Jackson, bass] go. 'Cause I really do like those guys and I've always gotten along with those three guys; I think they're awesome dudes. I think, to a certain extent, they haven't been able to be themselves and have the creative outlet that, I think, all three have wanted to have for all these years. So I will just say I'm excited to see what they come out with musically and I truly support them. I really like those guys."

He added, "I've seen the writing on the all for years, since [QUEENSRŸCHE and DREAM THEATER] toured together, and some of the war of words that went down, it's no surprise to me. I know for a lot of people it's all shocking, but for [me], I've kind of seen some of the behind-the-scenes stuff through the years, so it's not so shocking to me."

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!"
Producer Jason Slater, who worked with QUEENSRŸCHE's on on their last three studio albums, claims that the the band's members Scott Rockenfield (drums), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Eddie Jackson (bass), had very little to no involvement with the band's 2006 CD, "Operation: Mindcrime II", despite the fact that they were credited with having played on the record.

Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield and guitarist 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.

Slater submitted a sworn declaration in support of Tate's motion for preliminary injunction to prevent Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.

Slater said in his declaration: "I first worked with QUEENSRŸCHE on their 'Operation: Mindcrime II' CD.

"When I met the band, everyone seemed enthusiastic about making the CD, but as we began working, none of the band members except for Geoff Tate were interested in contributing, showing up for recording sessions or participating in any fashion. On several occasions, studio time was arranged but none of the band members showed up. This left myself, Geoff Tate, and [then-QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist] Mike Stone to write and record the record the record. Every attempt was made to include the band. They received copies of the songs after they were written and time was set aside for them to come in and record. We scheduled two weeks at a local studio to record Michael Wilton. When he showed up, he hadn't learned any of the songs, so all the time was spent trying to teach him the songs so he could record them. In the end, he wasn't capable of performing any of the songs accurately enough to be used on the record. In the end, we had no guitars from Mike that could be used. The guitars on the record were played by Mike Stone, a session guitarist and myself.

"Scott Rockenfield did not participate in the making of the record at all, and a session drummer was brought in to play on the record. I don't believe [Scott] listened to any of the music until after the record was completed.

"We had Eddie Jackson come to the [San Francisco] Bay Area, where Geoff and I were finishing recording the vocals and mixing the record, with the intent of recording his bass parts. Again, he hadn't learned the songs and we spent 10 days trying to get professional recordings but couldn't get much that could be added to the songs, so I played the majority of the bass on the record.

"The members of the band badmouthed the record to the press and important people in the industry until they saw the record getting favorable reviews. At that point, they started taking credit for all the work that was done in their absence.

"The next full-length record I worked on with them was 'American Soldier'. The band was supposed to submit songs they had written and we were supposed to start recording as songs carne in. It quickly became apparent that they were again going to leave all the work to Geoff as nobody submitted any songs. Geoff and I wrote all but two songs on the record, the other two carne from outside writers. The band did play on this record, but put the minimum amount of effort into it. They did nothing beyond copying the performances Geoff and I recorded on the songwriting demos.

"As the producer of over 20 major label records, countless independent releases and several film scores, my opinion of the process wasn't that of working with a band, but that of working with a solo artist and some mediocre hired musicians."

Slater's account appears to corroborated, at least in part, by guitarist Mitch Doran (a former member of SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY, which also featured Slater), who wrote on the MyLesPaul.com forum, "If you guys read the rest of the [QUEENSRŸCHE] depositions, there are numerous references to the fact that a session guitarist had to be brought in to play on a few QUEENSRŸCHE records post-2005. I am said session guitarist.

"I ended up re-playing 90% of the rhythm guitar on 'Operation: Mindcrime II' record, and also wrote and played most of the guitar solos. I was still in my late teens when I played that stuff. At the point that I wrote the solos and played all of the rythms, we didn't have a lot of time. Geoff Tate kept calling us during the one week we had to mix the record and asking for things to sound 'heavier.' The producer would then have me re-play all of the rythms through a Mesa/Marshall dual head setup we had running. I did this for the song 'Hands' and 'I'm American' probably three times before we settled on a combination of different amp settings/takes.

"Scott Rockenfield isn't even on 'Operation: Mindcrime II'. A session drummer/old friend of mine named Matt Lucich from South San Francisco played all of the drums except for one bridge, which me and the producer simultaneously played on two kits spaced across the room from each other. Then there's the track 'I'm American', which is a bad midi-programmed drum take that I did on a laptop and it ended up getting used for some reason (time constraints, or the producer didn't like the live take).

"After the first guitar recording session, they hired me to engineer for the rest of the record as well.

"They broke the silence (pun intended) about my involvement in their declarations. I spent five long years not talking about this stuff to ANYONE.

"That record, for all intents and purposes, SHOULD carry the following credits:

* Drums: Matt Lucich
* Guitars: Mitch Doran (yours truly), Ashif Hakik, Mike Stone, Michael Wilton
* Bass: Ed Jackson, Jason Slater
* Vocals: Geoff Tate (Miranda Tate, Pamela Moore)
* Orchestration/Keys: Ashif Hakik
* Mixed: Chris Wolfe

"So as you can see, it's a QUEENSRŸCHE-related record, but not exactly a classic or traditonal QUEENSRŸCHE lineup.

"I always had a lot of respect and admiration for that band, from back when 'Mindcrime' and 'Empire' were two great records that I enjoyed.

"When I was asked to play guitar on their record, by Geoff Tate and their then-producer, I had no idea what the rest of their situation was. Ed Jackson showed up and played his ass off. Mike Wilton was never at the studio when I was, and now that I read the deposition that he wrote, he says he was kept away from the studio. I had no idea about any of that, and it was explained to me that Wilton was just not showing up to play. It never made sense to me at all. Neither did Scott not being there. I always thought of Scott as a master drummer. Why then was I programming drums for this record? I was told a lot of stories as to why, but when you are a hungry kid and getting offered good engineer/session guitar work on a tight deadline, you drink the coffee and do the work. Years later I met Scott and worked on some songs with him and Geoff, Scott was always very nice, and indeed the master drummer that I had originally pictured.

"It's really sad that it had to come to this, and I feel like if these guys could have wrote all of those depositions, as heartfelt messages to one another in private, things would be a lot different. Also, Geoff was always a calm and peaceful guy. He'd drive us around the Bay Area to the mastering facilities, he'd offer to bring stuff in, he sent us gifts after the record was done mixing, he sat the engineers down and gave us a talk thanking us for being professionals and apologizing for any toes he could have stepped on during the creative process (which he didn't)

"I will say that there were a few screaming arguments in the lobby between Geoff's manager and the producer, and more than once the producer came in and told me to stop working (while recording ed playing his bass parts) and not to let the hard drive with the Pro Tools files out of my sight.

"I have always had a large black spot in my heart over having played on this record, having it debut at #15 on Billboard, and then not being able to tell anyone about it. I have a lot to say about each song on it. I also completely understand why a QUEENSRŸCHE fan would put it on and say, 'WTF?'"

In his sworn declaration, Wilton stated about the writing and recording process for "Operation: Mindcrime II", "Susan Tate [Geoff's wife and QUEENSRŸCHE's then-manager] 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."
Vocalist Tobias Sammet of German melodic metallers EDGUY slipped off the stage yesterday (Saturday, July 14) during the fifth song of the band's performance at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany. While the rest of the band continued to play, Tobias fell into the photographers' pit, hit the concrete ground and sustained a number of injuries: a fracture of the nose, a severe hip contusion, a severe rib contusion and several abrasions and cuts. Despite the fact that Tobias was in severe pain, EDGUY performed its full set, which went on for another hour.

Commented Tobias:"Thanks for your kind wishes. I am alright. I do not have a clue how it happened. The stage wasn't damp, my shoes were alright, I do not have to mention that I was completely sober as this must have been obvious to everyone. I have no clue how it happened. I just fell and suddenly there was blood and a little pain, which got worse song by song. I didn't know you can squeeze so much blood out of such a little nose (well, it's not exactly little at this point...). The doctor just said the nose will be fine in a few weeks. Anyway, there was too much adrenaline to stop the show. The fans were so great, it just felt wrong to stop the show, so we decided to just go on and have the doctors repair me afterwards. I am okay now, looking terrible and hurting, but who cares... I'll be fine. Thank you for your wishes and for making the show a great show, despite the little incident."

EDGUY's new album, "Age Of The Joker", sold around 1,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD debuted at No. 21 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.

EDGUY's previous CD, "Tinnitus Sanctus", opened with 600 units back in February 2009 to land at No. 88 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.

"Age Of The Joker" was released in Europe on August 29, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Peppermint Park studio (SCORPIONS, PHIL COLLINS) in Hannover, which was previously described by the group as "a recording temple with a tremendously great-sounding room." The album features 11 songs with a total running time of over one hour. The limited-edition digipack contains a bonus disc with six additional songs.
SLIPKNOT co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) recently spoke to Caller.com about the band's plans to enter the studio to begin recording the long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "All Hope is Gone". The forthcoming effort will mark SLIPKNOT's first release since the May 2010 death of bassist and key songwriting contributor Paul Gray.

"[Drummer Joey Jordison] has written 30 songs and recorded them," Crahan said. "That's how he's coping [with Paul's loss]. That's what he does. That's who he is. He's never going to stop thinking about SLIPKNOT or recording his ideas. About three weeks ago [or] four weeks ago, [singer] Corey [Taylor] showed me titles that he's thinking about for the next record. So he's starting that process … But the secret is, how can I predict the future or how we're going to feel when all of us are in a room together and we're dealing with what we're dealing with? I can't predict that. I don't know what that is. But I will tell you, the next record is a concept, and it's pretty obvious to think about. And it's a different evolvement than what we've done before. Each record has a thought process behind it, and this next one definitely has something very serious and unexpected, and that will be the motivation."

Taylor has been ambivalent about working on new material following Gray's death, although Crahan and Jordison have been much more confident about the band recording again.

SLIPKNOT last summer completed a three-week European tour that was the band's first run of dates since Gray's passing.

Taylor told Billboard.com that when SLIPKNOT does eventually make it back into the recording studio, "We know that everything we do on that album is going to be about Paul. It's going to be very melancholy. It's going to be a more saddened form of rage when it does happen, and it'll be a whole path that we've never gone down before." He added that he personally was "not as anxious to make a new album as maybe certain people in the band are, and I know a lot of the guys in the band feel the same way I do, whether they want to admit it or not. It just makes more sense to try and figure things out before we try to get into a studio... I don't want to risk losing what we've built because somebody's trying to prove a point."
Troy Culpan of May The Rock Be With You recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH singer Chad Gray. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

May The Rock Be With You: How pumped are you to get [the new HELLYEAH album, "Band Of Brothers"] out to people?

Chad: Oh, fuckin' I can't wait. I honestly believe that this is probably the record that people have been waiting for us to put out, since they heard that the members were getting together, but unfortunately for us, it was never really possible because of the other band and keeping things separate, you know what I mean? I didn't want to play in both bands the same way, so HELLYEAH was more of a, "Hey, let's get back to songs and music and do shit that we wouldn't normally do in our other heavier bands," you know what I mean? So, with MUDVAYNE being on hiatus and stuff indefinitely and doing back to back HELLYEAH records, it occurred to me that I need that for my life, I'm a metalhead, I need… I've got a killer job because I have a job where I can fuckin' get up there and rage and fuckin' release demons every single day. I need that balance in my life, I was really ready for this record and I wanted to write a heavy, a solely heavy record, my own style and Vinnie's [Paul Abbott, drums] own style and let us let HELLYEAH stand on its own ten legs.

May The Rock Be With You: The album seems to have taken on the best parts of all your past groups, which were, of course, there previously but it seems that you've found your strides now and it's a monster. Was there a realisation of when that actually happened?

Chad: I think that what we did was, we just, we just fuckin' quit being afraid of who we are. This is the first time that we actually went, "Fuck it — we're gonna be ourselves." I'm gonna be Chad Gray, I'm not gonna be Chad from MUDVAYNE, but I'm gonna be Chad Gray, and that was the Chad from MUDVAYNE, on a level, writing songs like "Alcohaulin' Ass", "Pole Ride" and "Hell Of A Time", that shit was fun because I've never done it before, so I didn't know if I could do it. Now I know I can do it, but I like darker imagery, I like deeper darker lyrics, I like more helpless songs and shit like that, that's what I dig, that's what I always did with MUDVAYNE is play heavy music. Vinnie's drum tone has gotten more open over the years, more focused, versus PANTERA where it was just fuckin' in your face and up the middle and the kick beaters just hit you in the head. We said, "I want you to play like you play but I want that sound, too. Be Vinnie Paul, be the dude that fuckin' everybody fell in love with." You know what I mean? We don't have to hide from that, I want to be Chad Gray that people fell in love with, I want Greg Tribbett to be Greg Tribbett. Let's just get out of this exterior metal shit and get back to honest and just really, really, really play music and I think by us doing that, I think that's given HELLYEAH that was kind of like a sidecar to all the other bands, or keeping us tethered to something else, we've kind of cut the cord because we've all come and brought our styles and sounds to the table, it allowed HELLYEAH to be its own thing. It made the people hush with the, "When's MUDVAYNE coming back?" "When's PANTERA gonna do a reunion?" blah blah blah blah, "When's NOTHINGFACE ever coming back out?" "Is DAMAGEPLAN ever going to do anything again?" I mean, these are fuckin' questions we hear every day… There's a little bit of all those bands in what we've done and you can hear it throughout the record and it's cool; we're not plagiarizing anything. It's the honest thing we've ever done. We are the dudes from those bands, we're not stealing anything, we're just bringing what we've done to the table under the umbrella that it's HELLYEAH.

May The Rock Be With You: So, the name speaks for itself, but what was the decision behind calling the album "Band Of Brothers"?

Chad: I think it started with the song. I wrote the song first and the more we started thinking about it, the more we just felt like we were… We'd seen a lot of success in our other bands and the way that we feel in HELLYEAH is that we all kinda feel like underdogs, you know what I mean? And you've gotta be careful when you bag an underdog in to a corner — you know what I mean? — because they come out fuckin' fighting, and I think that was kind of our attitude with this record that we had this underdog kind of vibe to us because we felt feisty, we felt fuckin' we were salty about shit, we just wanted to refocus our anger and fuckin' frustrations and fuckin' helplessness and bring it to the table and do it together and that really is what we are, we are fuckin' bros. I'd lay down in traffic for those guys and they'd do the same for me, you know what I mean? It's like fuckin' militant, it's like going in to battle, there's only five of you facing the world, there's only one way you're going to win that war. That's the fight, that's the first wave, the second wave is you're gonna have each other's backs no matter what you know what I mean? I think that's just the vibe to it, and the more I've even thought about it and we kind of agreed on that as the name of the record, the more that I really thought about it and standing on stage and looking out and playing songs for the kids with their fists in the air and fuckin' whatever, I think that "Band Of Brothers" is more about the metal community than it is, almost even the five of us are a band of brother in itself but really we're just five dudes in a much larger band of brothers and that band of brothers is the metal fuckin' community. We all fight and go to the grave for something that we believe in very, very strongly which is music and it's heavy and it's relevant to our society that we create for ourselves.
During THE ACACIA STRAIN's July 10 concert at Kingdom in Richmond, Virginia, the band's lead vocalist, Vincent Bennett, led the audience in a chant of support for LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic.

"One of my biggest fears in the entire world is being locked up in some weird fucking country for no goddamn reason at all," Vincent said from the stage (see video below). "And that's what's happening right now to Richmond's own Randy Blythe. I don't know if there is anything we can do, but I'll bet you $500 that the Czech Republic government has a Twitter or a Facebook, so you should probably write them and tell them to stop being so stupid and let this man go."

He added, "I've been to the Czech Republic, and it's very nice, but I would never wanna be jailed in it."

According to WTVR-TV — the CBS television affiliate based in Richmond, Virginia — official sources have confirmed that Blythe's next Czech court appearance in connection with the death of a fan at one of LAMB OF GOD's concerts is scheduled for Thursday, July 19.

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

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

Blythe, who has already posted bail of 4 million Czech Koruna (approximately $200,000), will have been imprisoned for three weeks by the time he gets his next day in court.
During a recent interview with Loudwire, drummer and founding member Allen Blickle of the Savannah, Georgia-based quartet BARONESS was asked for his thoughts on LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe's recent arrest in the Czech Republic in connection with the death of a fan at a show more than two years ago.

"It's a huge bummer, man," Allen replied. "We were all really shocked. Our thoughts go out to him and the rest of the guys. We really hope it all gets resolved quickly. We're super close friends with those guys and we're just wishing them the best of luck. We're fully supportive of him.

When asked if Blythe's current ordeal makes him re-think BARONESS' upcoming show in the Czech Republic, Allen replied, "You mean like we wouldn't play because of that situation? I don't know. It's weird, I actually have never thought about it like that. Maybe I should have. I don't think any of us have thought of it in that way. I don't think they're handling it well. It's not his fault. It seems like it got out of hand. It really could've happened to anyone and that's kind of the shitty part about it. They just put it on Randy, that's the bad part. We've been keeping up with it and hope it gets taken care of."
Italy's TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY has inked a deal with Agonia Records. The band's debut album, "Ruralizer", will be released in the fall.

Commented the group: "We're very proud of how the album came out and we strongly believe it's the perfect way to begin our legacy. People into heavy, ballsy southern-tinged hard rock should take note!"

According to a press release, TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY "emerges from the muddy shores of the Po River in Piacenza and draws strong inspiration from the rural and folklore parts of its homeland. Their upcoming debut album is a classic blend of feisty stoner/southern rock and doom metal, with catchy guitar solos and old-school heavy metal parts that may remind of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, CORRISON OF CONFORMITY, PRIDE AND GLORY, DOWN, BLACK SABBATH, or even ZZ TOP riffage. Apart from hard rock instruments, the band uses also a banjo and Hammond organs."
Late last year, Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG) tapped Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) to be the guitarist/vocalist of their new project following the departure of John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY).

Although Portnoy and Sykes demoed a dozen or so songs at a Los Angeles studio last year, their vastly different work ethics and conflicting schedules were solely to blame for the dissolution of their collaboration.

During an interview that aired on this past Friday night's (July 13) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Portnoy said, "I love John personally, and we get along great — he's a sweetheart of a guy — but I need to keep moving. I can't sit still and kind of wait to make an album over the next three years, I need to put things on the calendar and move forward and get them done, and John's kind of just a 'wait, wait, wait' guy. Sadly, it kind of just stopped in its tracks, and Billy and I said, 'Look, let's do something.' And you [Eddie] were the one, actually, that suggested Richie Kotzen and I thought it was a brilliant suggestion, because he's an unbelievably underrated talent, not only [as] a guitar player but a phemonal singer, and just an amazing songwriter and artist. I think people just kind of lump him, or write him off as the guy that was with POISON and MR. BIG. I think they have no idea what he's really capable of."

He continued, "Me and Billy have already done two writing sessions with Richie, with the three of us, and we have about eight songs done and written and we've got another handful that are ready to go, so we're gonna start the album next month."

When asked to describe the musical direction of the project, Portnoy said, "It's a classic-rock kind of power-trio sound. If you picture the classic-rock bands of… the classic ones — [LED] ZEPPELIN, CREAM, [JIMI] HENDRIX, GRAND FUNK [RAILROAD] — if you take that classic-rock power-trio sound of the early '70s, and then you sprinkle it on top with some of the modern kind of sounds of SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS or BLACK CROWES or LENNY KRAVITZ… It's in that vein; it's kind of a [mixture] of all of those bands. But on top of it all you've got the phenomenal playing that Richie and Billy do, and I could play a couple of things on the drums as well [chuckles], so... And all three of us are singing — Richie is the lead vocalist, obviously, but me and Billy are also singing."

As previously reported, Portnoy and Sheehan, guitarist Tony Macalpine and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) will join forces this fall, embarking on an extended tour of Europe and Asia. The virtuoso band will play an all-instrumental set consisting of material from each of their solo records and their previous collaborations as well as classic instrumental covers and extended solo spots.
ASHENVEIL, the new "ambitious" female-fronted metal band out of New Jersey featuring OPERATIKA drummer Yuri Liakhovitch and SYMPHONY X bassist Mike LePond, will release an EP, "Black Of Light", in August. The CD was mixed by Jeremy Krull (DARK EMPIRE) and was mastered at Finnvox studios (NIGHTWISH, CHILDREN OF BODOM) in Helsinki, Finland. The cover artwork was created by Albino-Z and Robert Ladd and can be seen below.

"Black Of Light" track listing:

01. Black Of Light
02. Venomous
03. Naked Smile
04. Lost In Dreams
05. Giordano

Described by LePond as "heavy metal-sounding BLACKMORE'S NIGHT," ASHENVEIL was formed in the summer of 2009 when a group of friends met up for a jamming session. They clicked and the chemistry between the players was obvious to all. At that point, the songwriting process began and the direction of the band was musically defined and established. Eager for great things to happen, after a series of extensive rehearsals, the band — under its former name, TRACE OF EMPTINESS — performed several shows locally to get their foot in the door, gain exposure and start building the fan base. However, it wasn't until singer and songwriter Christine Greenwood joined in March 2010 to take over the vocal duties that the band was able to maximize its potential and reach the point where "only sky was the limit." With Christine's unique voice handling operatic soprano or alto singing styles, modified and tailored for each individual song, the band went on to record its first demo that was completed by the end of April 2010. After a series of lineup changes, Rich Fischer on the guitar joined the band in 2011 and brought much-needed technicality and versatility to complete the band's unique and multidimensional sound.

In the 10-minute video below, LePond talks about ASHENVEIL, the band's upcoming EP and some of the individual songs that will appear on the CD.
Oakland, California death metallers SUFFOKATE have gone public with their vocalist search following the recent departure of Ricky Hoover. More information is available on the band's Facebook page .

Hoover quit SUFFOKATE in May, claiming that it was "in the best interest for everyone" for him to depart. He revealed that he "could no longer continue" to front the band due to reasons he "[wouldn't] get into." He added, "I have no bad feelings or ill will towards the band and will always have love for them and the music I was fortunate enough to help create. I have poured my all and given everything I have into these last two albums and will always be grateful for them and everyone who supported me. No matter what happens, the guys in SUFFOKATE will always be my brothers. I will do whatever i can to help them out. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met and I'm truly thankful I've gotten to do this with them."

SUFFOKATE's latest album, "Return To Despair", was released last September via Mediaskare Records. The CD was recorded at Undercity Studios in North Hollywood, California.
Norwegian black metallers DJEVEL (Norwegian word for "devil") will release a brand new seven-inch vinyl single, "Besatt Av Maane Og Natt", on August 24. This very limited EP features two demo songs from the band's forthcoming album. Mainman T. Ciekals states, "The tracks are, as always, dark and infected with malicious Norwegian melodies."

Pre-orders are being taken at www.aftermath-music.com.

DJEVEL recently announced the addition of drummer Dirge Rep (GEHENNA, ENSLAVED, GORGOROTH, ORCUSTUS) to the group's ranks.

DJEVEL's debut album, "Dødssanger", was released last year via Aftermath Music. The cover artwork was created by DJEVEL's T. Ciekals and Truls Espedal, who has previously worked with ENSLAVED.

DJEVEL was formed in June 2009 when T. Ciekals decided to disband his previous group, LJÅ. With a lot of material already composed for the next LJÅ album, he decided to put all this and more into DJEVEL. Initially DJEVEL was supposed to be a one-man project but it has slowly grown into something resembling a band.

In other news, Dirge Rep and T. Ciekals are also involved in another band, NETTLECARRIER, which entered Caliban Studio on March 23 to record its debut album. According to T. Ciekals, the CD will contain "eight tracks of infernal Norwegian black metal" and will be released later in the year via Indie Recordings.


T.Ciekals (DJEVEL, ex-LJÅ) - Guitar
Mannevond (KOLDBRANN, DJEVEL, ex-URGEHAL) – Bass
The cover artwork for the forthcoming 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 — can be seen below.

The project's mastermind, Steph LeDrew, states 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"

A release date for the effort has not yet been announced.

For more information, go to this location.

Formed in 2002, WOODS OF YPRES has earned critical acclaim for its ever-evolving, envelope-pushing mix of blackened doom metal. Most often compared to bands such as AGALLOCH and TYPE O NEGATIVE, WOODS OF YPRES toes a thin line between the catchy, the artistic and the extreme to create an unmistakable signature sound.

Recent Activity:



Post a Comment