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Three-quarters of the original BLACK SABBATH lineup performed last night as the headliner of this year's edition of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, with founding drummer Bill Ward sitting out the reunion due to a contract dispute. His fill-in is Ozzy Osbourne touring drummer Tommy Clufetos.

This was SABBATH's only North American performance of 2012 as guitarist Tony Iommi continues his treatment for cancer. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates were played by Ozzy Osbourne and billed as "Ozzy & Friends."

BLACK SABBATH's Lollapalooza setlist was as follows:

01. Black Sabbath
02. The Wizard
03. Beyond The Wall Of Sleep
04. N.I.B.
05. Into The Void
06. Under The Sun
07. Snow Blind
08. War Pigs
09. Electric Funeral
10. Sweet Leaf
11. Symptom Of The Universe / Drum Solo
12. Iron Man
13. Faries Wear Boots
14. Dirty Women
15. Children Of The Grave


16. Paranoid

Drummer Chad Smith of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS — who are performing at Lollapalooza tonight — told The Pulse Of Radio that he was looking forward to seeing BLACK SABBATH, but added a disclaimer. "I'm little disappointed that — I mean, I'm happy for my hometown boy Tommy on drums, but no Bill Ward," he said. "Disappointing. It's like the VAN HALEN thing — you get back together and then you don't have the guy that's the original guy? [groans]"

Ward in May announced again that he was declining to join his former bandmates for its scheduled 2012 dates, as well as the recording of a new album, due to a contractual dispute.

He also allegedly had his lawyers direct SABBATH to remove him from photos of the band posted at the official BLACK SABBATH web site "so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current BLACK SABBATH lineup," according to a statement issued by the band's publicist.

Bassist Geezer Butler issued a lengthy retort at his own web site, writing that Ward "hadn't told any one of us he was having contractual problems, and frankly those things are worked out between our representatives, and never between the four of us, let alone in public."

Until now, Iommi told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the members of SABBATH stayed friendly even when there were legal or other issues going on. "We've always been talking. We've always been in touch with each other," he said. "There might be a lawsuit in the thing between us, but we still talk to each other like nothing's happened, you know."

The members of SABBATH will play at Lollapalooza this August in Chicago, their only scheduled U.S. gig. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates were played by Ozzy and billed as "Ozzy & Friends."

Ozzy, Iommi and Butler are working on their first new album together in 33 years. Clufetos is a member of Ozzy's solo touring band.
Longtime Chicago radio personality Cara Carriveau of "Cara's Basement" conducted an interview with keyboardist Adam Wakeman (BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, HEADSPACE) prior to BLACK SABBATH's August 3 headlining concert at this year's edition of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Illinois. You can watch the chat below.

Born March 11, 1974 into a musical family, Adam started playing classical piano at the age of 8. By 17, he had obtained grade 8 from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and had recorded the first, of what was to become eight albums with father Rick Wakeman.

Much of the early touring history was with his father Rick and encompassed the U.K., Europe, Russia, South America, the U.S., and Canada varying from the two of them sitting at grand pianos to full scale rock performances with orchestra and choir.

At 24 years of age, Adam won the "Best New Talent" award in America's Keyboard magazine, which saw the beginning of his involvement on the London session scene.

As a highly sought after keyboard player and musical director, Adam's career has seen him tour, write and record with some of the biggest-selling artists in the recording industry. Currently, he is in his ninth year as member of Ozzy Osbourne's band on keyboards and guitar, also having co-written five tracks on the 2010 Grammy-nominated album "Scream".
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a 39-year-old woman suffered a severe cervical neck sprain after hundreds of gate-crashers rushed the fence at Lollapalooza Friday afternoon (August 3), just hours before BLACK SABBATH took the stage in Chicago's Grant Park.

Cindy Glaser and her husband — who counts SABBATH as his "favorite band of all time" — were injured at around 5:30 p.m. Friday while they were sitting on a grove just east of the Bud Light main stage.

"They knocked the fence over. I heard the crash. The kids started running. And we were hit from behind. A kid bent me in half. His head hit my husband's head and he hit me in the back of the neck and bent my head forward. I couldn't see anything until the kids hit us," Glaser told the Chicago Sun-Times.

"One of the kids who fell over us laid there and tried to get off. By then, police came and peeled him off and put handcuffs on him. Some people said it was about 50. Police were only able to catch three of them."

Despite Lollapalooza's first-ever suspension and evacuation due to inclement weather, the 2012 festival drew a staggering 270,000 fans to a jam-packed Grant Park this weekend.

Lollapalooza was suspended for several hours on Saturday (August 4) and the festival grounds were evacuated due to warnings that a severe thunderstorm was going to hit the area. Every stage was shut down at 3:30 p.m. CT, with concertgoers cleared from the park and sent into three shelters set up underground in the surrounding streets. The storm, reported to have caused heavy damage west of Chicago, included hail, heavy rain, lightning and wind gusts up to 75 mph.

Lollapalooza was SABBATH's only North American performance of 2012 as guitarist Tony Iommi continues his treatment for cancer. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates were played by Ozzy Osbourne and billed as "Ozzy & Friends."
Steven Tyler admits he's still amazed how AEROSMITH has managed to keep it together over the past 40 years. The singer, whose decision to take the job as a judge on Fox's "American Idol" caused a major rift between him and AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry, explained to LA Weekly in a new interview that somehow when it came time to craft the material on the band's upcoming album, "Music From Another Dimension", they were willing to put all of their personal differences aside for the benefit of the music. "I think at the end of the day the knowledge that holding onto anger is like grabbing something really hot with the intent to throw it at someone else, but you're the one that gets burned," he said. "Short of everyone's egos, there's never really anything that was wrong. I was writing songs and I wrote a book. When I took 'Idol', it kind of shook the apple cart. Instead of being happy for me, there was a lot of jealousy, but it worked out. It was a risk for me, too, but I just wanted to sit next to J.Lo and Randy [Jackson]. I never watched 'Idol'."

"Music From Another Dimension", will arrive on November 6 via Columbia Records. The CD was helmed by producer Jack Douglas, who previously worked with AEROSMITH on classic early albums like "Toys In The Attic" and "Rocks" as well as on 2004's "Honkin' On Bobo".

Asked if AEROSMITH was more interested in keeping the older fans or attracting new ones with the new album, Perry told LA Weekly, "I don't really know who this record is going to appeal to. I don't think the record company knows for sure even how to market it. Certainly there are classic rock stations for classic rock bands to play their classic songs. These are brand-new songs. Will they be classics in 20 years? I don't know. I guess we'll find out in 20 years. They feel like those songs to me but they certainly haven't been played 50 times or 100 times in front of crowds all over the world. All I know is that when I listen back to them, they sound like AEROSMITH songs."
According to the official homepage of the United States Army, AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry visited the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado on August 1 before performing in Denver.

While visiting, Perry received an overview brief of the command's Friendly Force Tracking Mission Management Center (MMC) from Joe Piscitelli, an SMDC employee.

"This is the real deal," Perry said during the briefing. "It's really amazing what you are doing here."

Piscitelli, who works MMC operations support training and security for SMDC, is credited with naming Perry's album, "Have Guitar, Will Travel", during a 2009 contest that included nearly 2,000 suggested titles.

Check out more pictures from the official homepage of the United States Army.
JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford recently spoke to Billboard.com about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to their 2008 concept album "Nostradamus".

According to Halford, "a tremendous amount of material" has already been accumulated for the new CD, with the band currently "ramping things up to get back into full writing and recording mode" in England.

PRIEST's forthcoming album will mark the recording and songwriting debut of the band's new guitarist, Richie Faulkner, who replaced co-founder K.K. Downing in 2011.

"As we were proceeding on this world tour, [Richie] was taking this little mini-studio into his dressing room and we could hear him riffing away," Halford said. "It's going to be really thrilling moment to get together in a new writing dimension, Glenn [Tipton] and myself and Richie, putting all of these ideas together. We'll see what we can do over the next couple of months, look at everything, lay it all out and then start the hard work of picking out the best material."

Although Halford is hopeful that PRIEST will release some of its new music next year, "I'm of the attitude it'll be ready when it's ready," he explained. "I don't think we're going to slack off. We're determined to do a lot of work and be just as dedicated as we've always been and take a lot of care and attention with all the songs. We're not going to just bang this one out, so to speak."

In a November 2011 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Halford stated about PRIEST's plans for the upcoming album, "Glenn and I started to write in the early part of January [of 2011]. We just went to it from the heart really, there was no specific agenda or idea, as opposed to what we had to do with 'Nostradamus', which was very focused and a real anchor of a project. This one has just been some straight-forward, classic British heavy metal. Some of it feels a bit like 'Painkiller', some of it feels like 'Sad Wings Of Destiny', some like 'British Steel'. We didn't do much research, we didn't bother checking some of our previous releases, we didn't do any homework, we just sat down and played, you know? Glenn came up with riffs and I came up with vocal melodies. There was no outside influence or interference in the writing sessions. We just started the day, plugged in some amps, got the mic up and made the metal that way. It's a very pure record, in that respect."
JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford has weighed in on the Chick-fil-A controversy, insisting that both the supporters and the critics of the chicken eatery's chief executive and his views on gay marriage are perfectly within their rights to make their opinions known.

When asked about his thoughts on gay marriage in a radio interview in late July, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stated: "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

Speaking to AOL's Noisecreep, the openly gay Halford was asked about his thoughts on the Chick-fil-A scandal that is all over the media right now.

"Before I get into this, I just want to say that I love America. I love the American Constitution and the First Amendment," Halford said. "I'm actually watching a PBS documentary that I got on DVD about the life of John Adams. If you really get into the heart and soul of this great country, it's all about the constitution and the First Amendment and freedom of speech."

He continued, "Everybody in this country has the right to say what they think and feel and what best represents them. The people at Chick-fil-A have the absolute right to say and do what they want. It doesn't matter that all of these people disagree with their opinion. The question was how would the people that agree with what that man said do to support the company and how would the ones against his anti-gay remarks protest.

"The supporters have been showing up in droves, to spend money at the restaurants and peacefully assemble. But there has obviously been so many people who have gone out and boycotted the company. I think it's great. That's our right here. What you're seeing here are the elements of the American Constitution in all of their glory. It's a wonderful thing to see happening and talk about and the fact that everyone is discussing the gay-rights issue is great."

Halford concluded: "I don't think that man thought too much about the business consequences of what he said, but I think he was standing for what he believes in. I don't agree with him at all, but God bless the man. It's as simple as that."
The Owl Mag recently conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Owl Mag: You know, Orion was your festival. You guys played some four albums and it was really centered around you guys, and people that were friends of yours within relatively similar music. So, with that in mind, how do you approach something like Outside Lands where there's so many different types of music, so many different types of fans you know, how do you approach it with the mentality that is going to draw other people in that are unlikely fans or maybe new fans vs. a festival that's totally yours?

Lars: I, a lot of times, you know, write the set list 30 minutes before we go on stage, but obviously with these types of situations, when you're playing to 50- 75,000 people it becomes a mixture. Obviously there are some songs that you should play in those types of settings, so you try to put a few of those. I hate to use the word hits, but what you know, two of those songs, and then there are some songs that work great in live situations. I think that we're always at our best when we're just in the moment.

The Owl Mag: It seemed like backstage at festivals like these with bigger more established groups, like METALLICA, and sort of smaller bands all kind of in their same general area…I was wondering if you relish the experience to give advice or intermingle with a lot of younger bands?

Lars: I'll tell you. I give as little advice as possible, man. We always try to go and kind of hang out, but we definitely had the days of hiding behind the big walls and we may have been guilty of doing some of that stuff in the '90s, but we really try to put ourselves out there because it's more fun for us and it's great to meet other people and immerse yourself in some of that energy that's out there. If somebody asks me, I'll try to just answer their sincere questions, but we don't walk around like some sort of elder statesmen. I'm 48 going on 16, but, I have a tendency, I mean, when I'm around Jack White or when I'm around Dave Grohl or when I'm around people like Neil Young or whatever, I'm like a fucking kid in the candy store myself. When I went down last year to see, you know, MUSE and THE ARCTIC MONKEYS and BLACK KEYS and whatever else, I mean, these are great experiences for me too.
Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Boston Phoenix: People go on about the volatility of rock and roll, its importance. And your stuff has always come together really quickly: this [solo] band, VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES. How important is it to you to have projects that come together quickly, would you say that that's your M.O.?

Slash: Umm, well, I mean, sometimes you can really sit down and work on something and plan it out. VELVET REVOLVER was something that started from a very quick, uh, sudden and spontaneous thing with Duff [McKagan] and Matt [Sorum] and I, but then it became… um, trying to think of the right word. And then there became a lot of work with the whole vocalist thing. But this new band was very spontaneous. GUNS, actually, there were a lot of different versions or versions of GUNS N' ROSES before the "Appetite" lineup fell into place. This [solo band] wasn't like that;, it really just came out of nowhere.

The Boston Phoenix: Do you find that, with each project, there are a lot of expectations, that people expect all sorts of fireworks for anything that you do, especially to match the insanity of GN'R?

Slash: I'm not really dictated by other people's expectations. It's really about my own, and that's pretty much where all the work is. You know, trying to do something that I A) like and B) enjoy doing. And trying to find something that I agree with, and that's pretty much the biggest pressure; it doesn't really come from the outside.

The Boston Phoenix: On a certain level, as a guitarist, you need a singer, but you're always trying to push your voice through the music. Is that what you angle for, to get your melodic voice in there no matter what group of people you're playing with?

Slash: I'm constantly looking to be turned on. I can do music that is fine, but that doesn't, umm, it doesn't satisfy my musical sensibility, personally. So in other words, I'm looking for things that turn me on melodically, or whatever else turns me on: energy, a groove, emotion. And that's what I'm looking to achieve, so I write stuff every day, come up with ideas every day, and when I start to expand on those ideas, working with the band, I'm trying to achieve something of almost orgasmic proportions. And that's what I do, that's basically it! I'm looking for something that feels right to me, because everything I'm doing is to satisfy me, musically. And it's true when I'm working with people, I'm looking for the right combination of people to achieve that. So that's why I'm really happy now, I love the singer and the drummer and the bass player is fucking fantastic. And they bring me that much closer to doing that which excites me.
Last month, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine once again sat down with noted right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for a face-to-face interview for Infowars.com. The entire 43-minute chat has now been posted online and can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the USA becoming a "police state":

Mustaine: "I'm 50 years old now and I've lived a great life and I've been around for a long time.

"Most of our fans, or most of the people who are against me, are very young and are very impressionable, which is part of being young.

"That saying that youth is wasted on young people, that's totally true.

"I remember when I was really young, I was very impressionable and I believed a lot of things before I checked it out. And if I would have been told the things that I do now are gonna affect me later on in life, I would have probably said something like, 'Well, I don't know that I'm gonna live that long.' But now that I'm 50 and I've watched so many administrations come and go and I'm watching my children grow up, which is an awesome part of when a man and a woman marry and have children, to watch them grow up, that you have concerns about stuff like that.

"Sometimes our fans that are younger, they look to me as a big brother, or even a father figure, because I really care a lot about them. But I have never been more terrified in my life about what's happening to our country.

"I believe that if we continue on the same path that we're on right now that America will never be the same.

"I freaked out the other day because I was looking at some investment stuff, and just reading it, and one of the things that it said was that if you get a second passport and you plan on moving out of the country, if you denounce your citizenship because of the taxes that are going on here or any of the things that are going on in the police state we've become, if you wanna get your passport back, you have to know things like, where did you mom live before you were born all the way up to now? Where did she go for prenatal care? Who was in the operating room when you were born? All these ridiculous [things].

"A friend of ours, it's a wonderful lady that's friends with my wife, and her husband, who is Canadian, they wanted to go back into Canada and they wouldn't let them go because there was a tax lien on their house because of a contractor who had done some shady work and they didn't wanna pay him. So the guy put a lien on their house and they're in court right now. But they couldn't even go up to Canada to go visit their relatives.

"But again… looking at these financial things. Because I'm filling out my will and everything right now, because I'm nearing the end of my life. Hopefully I'll live a long, long time, but I have to face reality. I'm getting at that age where a lot of men make that journey either to heaven — which I think I'm going to — or some to hell. And I was looking at this thing that it said that you cannot open a bank account out of the United States Of America anymore. If I move to England and say I live there for the rest of my life, if I open a bank account there, they have to notify the United States, so that the United States can continue to tax me, even if I don't live in the United States anymore. And I thought, 'This is crazy.'"

"When we're travelling through all the different checkpoints over through Europe, before all the globalization was taking place and each country had its own border and they had their own language and stuff like that, you'd come up to the customs, you'd go to the border, you'd have to stop and hand in your passport and stuff like that and now you just kind of roll through there. But when you come to your own country, it's harder to come home, it's harder to go through an airport here in the United States Of America than it was for us to even go to Moscow. We just got back from Moscow and we rolled through there so fast, I was laughing about it. Because we got out of the plane, through customs, got our luggage and were in the vans, rolling to the hotel for the show faster than we get through customs when I come home to the U.S."

"It's amazing how our liberties are being taken away from us. It's like the frog in a pot of boiling water. If it was boiling water when he jumped in, he'd jump back out. But if they slowly turned the temperature up, the frog will stay in there until he boils to death. And that's what's happening to us right here. We don't know what's going on. A lot of the American people are so busy working their asses off to make ends meet right now, they don't have time to sit in front of the news, and the news is such pablum, it's opiate for the masses and it's stuff that you wanna feel good."

"For me, the way that I get any kind of solace out of what's going on right now. Because I've been playing for a long time and I don't plan on playing another 30 years. Although I would like to be able to be able to play music for the rest of my life, I don't know that I'll be doing it on the road. The pleasure I get out of that is being on stage, looking at people's faces, smiling and stuff like that. And the screeching reality is when you travel and you go back through the airports. When we left here last time, my 14-year-old [daughter] was groped by the TSA [Transportation Security Administration]. And I was so mad, I was swearing. And the one very large woman said, 'What's that?' And I said, 'You heard what I said.' And Pam, my wife, grabbed me and she said, 'Don't say anything.' Because she knows that these guys are power-drunk and that they probably would have arrested me for just saying something about them groping my 14-year-old.

"The thing that really is blowing me away is this molecular scanner, this [Picosecond Programmable Laser], whatever they're talking about, and it's not only here, the Russians have one too, so it's something that's very real. And I read up on that and it says it's about gun powder and explosives and that's what the primary purpose of it is, but it also says that it can read inside your system and say what kind of medication you're on. So I imagine that what they're gonna do is they're gonna have a database to cross-reference whether the person that shows up that's got narcotics in their system is under doctor's care or not. For example, for me, when we're on tour, we're around people who do pyro, and pyro is gun powder and explosives for the fireworks. So if I shake hands with my pyrotechnician, I'm gonna get arrested for being a terrorist because I've got trace elements of gun powder and explosives on me, because there's fireworks going on. On top of the fact that because of the cocaine use and people using dollar bills rolled up, there's traces of cocaine on all money, so anybody touching currency is gonna have remnants of cocaine on their hands, that's gonna show up, and it's just madness. To think that it's getting to this point. I mean, I can handle us having security, but not like this."

On President Obama's misinterpreted comment from a campaign speech in Roanoke, Virginia, in which he said, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else did that.":

Mustaine: "See, the thing that I laugh about when I hear Obama say, 'Give the folks a chance. Give everybody a chance. Take away from the rich people.' Well, what happens when the folks that he's giving a chance gets a chance, becomes successful, is rich. Well, then all of a sudden, you're Obama's enemy now. And the thing for me is that I'm in that 1 percent that he's talking about. MEGADETH won't be able to tour anymore once all these things that he's planning on doing to me happen. And the fact that he would say that I did not build my own business offends me tremendously. I'm disgusted with this guy. He's my president, I respect the office of the presidency, but I think as a person and the things that he says, I've never heard anything this offensive ever come out of the mouth of a president. And I'm 50 — I've heard a lot of presidents talk in my life.

"Listeners out there can say what they want about me or be mad at what I'm saying right now. And I'm saying this out of love for you guys. You may not have love in your heart for me, but I have love in my heart for you. And that's why I'm a public figure and I play music, I try and educate people through lyrics. Some of the songs can be construed as being a little bit unrealistic, some of the songs are a little bit fun — they're make-believe topics and stuff like that — but songs like 'Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?!' are still relevant today, songs like 'Holy Wars' are still relevant today. And that wasn't because I was clever and I came up with the lyrics. I paid attention. I watched what happened through the Carter years, through the Ford years and watched what Jimmy Carter did to our country, taxes at 70 percent when I was growing up and thinking, 'How on earth did anybody survive back then?' For me, when you take out 5 percent for the business manager, 15 percent for the personal manager, 10 percent for the agent and 45 percent for taxes, what's left for Dave? And people think, 'Oh, Dave is a millionaire.' No, Dave isn't. Dave's an American that's getting plowed by the government."

"The funny thing was many years ago, when Obama first got in office, I said something, I was in Australia, and I was on the radio and a lot of people took exception to what I said. I said that he was the most divisive president that I've ever seen. And look what's happening right now — there's race wars, there's class wars, there's sexual wars now, there's religious wars. Don't we remember how smooth this guy was when he was saying that we're gonna bring together and he was for change and hope?"

"Why hasn't somebody moved to impeach this man? With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake. And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.' Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now? I guess the best revenge is when you look back in history at what Michelle [Obama] wore at his inauguration and she had a black dress on with two red triangles, so she looked like a black widow turned upside down. So there's gotta be some symbology there. You just don't wear something like that to some event like that without there being some kind of future message being told."

On who he is and what he stands for:

Mustaine: "I'm a Christian man who loves his family, loves his country and, most importantly, loves God, and I'm willing to fight for those things. And I'm willing to share those things with the people who would like to know about it. I'm not willing to get into it with people who don't care about it. I'm not gonna defend myself or explain myself; it is what it is."

On MEGADETH's plans for the immediate future:

Mustaine: "Well, we're really excited about what's going on. We're getting ready to do a new record. We're leaving in a couple of days for Asia, and we'll be coming back and continuing work on this new record. And we'll go to South America in September and come back and continue to do work on the new record. We're looking for a new release the beginning of next spring, hopefully.

"We're super, super excited about what's going on for us. We've continued to congeal as a band, with [bassist] David Ellefson coming back and he and [drummer] Shawn Drover as our rhythm section. It's very important that the bass player and the drummer are tight. And David is such an excellent bassist and Shawn is such a great drummer, the two of them just needed to be familiar with one another. They spend time together all day long when we're on tour, travelling and doing things — mostly seeking out Starbucks around the world. [laughs]

"I'm excited about the music that we're gonna be writing. We just changed agencies; we're with the prestigious CAA agency in Beverly Hills. We're gonna be going to sign a new contract for our recording career. Our contract with Roadrunner's up. We haven't really notified anybody what our decision is; we're still kind of deciding. But for the most part, we're getting ready to record this next record and I'm sure it's gonna be chock-full of all kinds of subject matter that our Class Of 2008 has given us."

On MEGADETH experiencing a resurgence in popularity:

Mustaine: "Music is cyclical, and heavy metal , in general, is more popular when times are tough, which is a terrible dynamic; it you look at the paradigm. Heavy metal music should not be successful when people are struggling. But they don't wanna hear a bunch of vapid, anorexic, alternative, androgynous guys that are singing about love and flowers and these kind of ecstacy trips and stuff. They wanna know what's going on, they wanna know what's happening in their world and they wanna have people they can look to who are rugged individuals who don't look like they could very easily be your sister. [laughs] And they want to have somebody that they can believe in, somebody who's been successful."
Former THE RUNAWAYS vocalist Cherie Currie has revealed via her Facebook page that she spent time in the studio last week with Glenn Danzig recording a duet for his new album, due out this fall. "Great guy," she wrote.

Danzig is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on the as-yet-untitled covers record.

A song from the CD, "Devil's Angels", was recently premiered the former SAMHAIN and MISFITS frontman's official web site. It was originaly the theme song for the late '60s biker film of the same title.

Commented Glenn: "I've wanted to record this song since 1979 and this is exactly the same arrangement I had for it back then, so it pretty much sounds like that late '70s style of mine. I'm really happy with the way it turned out; it actually came out much better than I had hoped it would. We're going to be playing it live on these upcoming shows."

In a 2011 interview, Danzig stated about his upcoming collection of covers, "It's [got] lots of different stuff [on it]. Of course there's an Elvis [Presley] song on there, there's a BLACK SABBATH cover… Then I took some old biker-movie theme songs and made them all old punk-sounding or whatever… Just fucking around, really — just having a good time taking songs and giving them a different life or a different dimension. I just do what I feel like doing, as long as I don't just cover it, because that's boring to me. I wanna take it and change it and give it some other kind of thing. Otherwise just leave it alone."
QUEENSRŸCHE, ACCEPT, DOKKEN and MICHAEL SCHENKER have been confirmed for this year's edition of the South Texas Rock Fest, set to take place Saturday, October 13 at Sunken Gardens in San Antonio, Texas.

Tickets will go on sale on August 10 at 10 a.m.

For more information, go to this location.
On July 27, Artisan News spoke to ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Frank Bello at the Camden, New Jersey stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival about the band's trip recent to the studio to lay down several cover versions of some of their favorite rock classics.

"By studio, you mean the back lounge of the tour bus, with Rob's [Caggiano, guitar] laptop," Scott quipped. "Yeah, the drums are done and some of the guitars are done, but we're trying to finish off these last two songs — 'Smokin'' from BOSTON and 'Anthem' from RUSH — for this re-release thing of [ANTHRAX's latest album] 'Worship Music' that will hopefully come out in time for the fall tour with a bunch of these bonus tracks on it."

Asked how the band selected which songs to cover, Ian said, "Like everything else, it's kind of like someone says a song and everyone else is like, 'Yeah, that's a good one.' It's really as simple as that. It's songs that in some shape or form we've been playing or jamming on for our whole lives. Because you really don't wanna have to work too hard on these things, although the RUSH song is a bit of a bitch; I can't say that's an easy one. But it's a song we all know and we're all familiar with, so then, of course, you take on the challenge of just really trying to nail it and do it justice."

According to ANTHRAX, they're paying particular attention to the cover of RUSH's "Anthem" in order to recreate the nuances of the original song.

"I have to get every little part of Geddy [Lee, RUSH bassist/vocalist] down, 'cause I'm a fanatic with that stuff, and I have to," Bello said. "I'm still working on little bits. It's great. I love it."

Added Scott: "Charlie [Benante, ANTHRAX drummer] bumped into [RUSH drummer] Neil Peart at the [Revolver] Golden Gods Awards a few months ago, and Neil actually said to Charlie, 'Yeah, we heard you guys are covering 'Anthem'. That's so cool. We put the clip of you playing drums [to the song] up on our web site.' And Charlie, I swear to God, he was like, the light, the glow that was coming off him after that was… I'd never seen anything quite like it."

In addition to the RUSH and BOSTON covers, ANTHRAX is also recording its versions of AC/DC's "T.N.T.", JOURNEY's "Keep On Runnin'" and BLACK SABBATH's "Neon Knights". The latter song is expected to appear on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album which is being assembled by the singer's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio.
JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE will perform at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on August 16 as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival. This will mark Russell's first appearance at the legendary venue in over 30 years, and to celebrate the homecoming, the show will be recorded and given away to the fans as a free download. As part of this very special occasion, original GREAT WHITE drummer Gary Holland, and former GREAT WHITE bass player (from the "Twice Shy" era) Tony Montana, will each join the band on stage for a song. Other surprise guests are planned as well. Along with the performance, there will be backstage footage of the group, exclusive interviews, soundcheck footage, etc.

JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE's performance at Whisky A Go Go is part of the America Rocks tour, which featured JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE as the headliner, with special guest FASTER PUSSYCAT, BULLETBOYS, PRETTY BOY FLOYD and LILLIAN AXE. The trek crossed the country throughout June and July, and will wrap up on August 18 in Fresno, California. This final leg of the tour does not include PRETTY BOY FLOYD or LILLIAN AXE.

The free download of the Whisky show will be available through the band's web site later in the year.

JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with the other touring and recording version of GREAT WHITE, which features Mark Kendall, Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards) and Terry Ilous (lead vocals).


Jack Russell - Vocals
Robby Lochner (FIGHT) - Guitar
Matthew Johnson (DOCTOR M, JACK RUSSELL) - Guitar
Derrick Pontier (GREAT WHITE, SAMANTHA 7) - Drums

Russell filed a lawsuit against his estranged bandmates in March claiming that they fired him and stole the group's name while he was recovering from surgery to repair a perforated bowel. Named in the complaint were Kendall, Desbrow, Lardie and talent agency Bigg Time Entertainment. Kendall, Desbrow and Lardie responded with a 30-page counterclaim, filed on April 24 in a federal court in Los Angeles, accusing their former frontman of, among other things, "miss[ing] 80 performances in 18 months" before leaving the band; "irreparably damag[ing]" their "market reputation" by putting on performances that "are not up to the standard of GREAT WHITE; and misleading the public by stating that the musicians in Jack's new band "were once full members of GREAT WHITE." They also accuse Russell's new bandmates of "profit[ing] from their wrongful affiliation with the GREAT WHITE brand."
German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION have set "Spiritual Genocide" as the title of their 30th-anniversary album, to be released in November via Nuclear Blast Records.

Commented the band: "The drum recording for the upcoming DESTRUCTION album, 'Spiritual Genocide', is finished! Vaaver [real name: Wawrzyniec Dramowicz] did an amazing job on the fastest DESTRUCTION album in history!"

DESTRUCTION vocalist/bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer previously said that the band's new CD would be "much more intense than 'Day Of Reckoning'! And that wasn't a blues album ...haha!"

DESTRUCTION recently completed the North American "30th Year Anniversary Tour" with support from WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS (who were alternating each night) and PATHOLOGY.

Inspired by IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, MOTÖRHEAD and VENOM, DESTRUCTION was formed as KNIGHT OF DEMON in 1982. The band's original lineup included vocalist and bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, drummer Tommy Sandmann, and guitarist Mike Sifringer. They soon changed their name to DESTRUCTION and released a demo titled "Bestial Invasion Of Hell" in 1984.

"Day Of Reckoning", the latest album from DESTRUCTION, sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 58 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.

"Day Of Reckoning" was the first album to feature Vaaver (INDUKTI, ex-UNSUN).
On September 24, Steamhammer/SPV will re-release three albums from the legendary Canadian metal band ANVIL, all featuring new booklets containing new liner notes from guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner plus new photos.

"Back To Basics" (2004) and "Still Going Strong" (2002) will be available again as a high-class "2 in 1" double digipak CD, while 2007's "This Is Thirteen" opus will be re-released as a digipak CD, as well as a double gatefold LP, both with an exclusive bonus track.

"Back To Basics / Still Going Strong" track listing:

CD1 - Back To Basics

01. Fuel For The Fire
02. Keep It Up
03. Song Of Pain
04. You Get What You Pay For
05. The Chainsaw
06. Can't Catch Me
07. Go Away
08. Bottom Feeder
09. Cruel World
10. Fast Driver

CD2 - Still Going Strong

01. Race Against Time
02. In Hell
03. Holy Wood
04. Still Going Strong
05. Don't Ask Me
06. Waiting
07. White Rhino
08. What I'm About
09. Sativa
10. Defiant

"This Is Thirteen" track listing:


01. This Is Thirteen
02. Bombs Away
03. Burning Bridges
04. Ready To Fight
05. Flying Blind
06. Room #9
07. Axe To Grind
08. Feed The Greed
09. Big Business
10. Should'A Would'A Could'A
11. Worry
12. Game Over
13. American Refugee
14. Thumb Hang (bonus track)

ANVIL's latest album, "Juggernaut Of Justice", was released in Europe on June 20, 2011 (three days earlier in Germany) via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort was made available as a limited-edition digipak (including two bonus tracks), double gatefold LP in blue vinyl, standard version and a digital download.

In an interview with MusicFrenzy.net, Lips stated about the departure of the band's longtime bassist Glenn Gyorffy (a.k.a. Glenn Five or G5) and the addition of Sal Italiano, "It's so much more a relaxed, comfortable feeling on the stage. Sal steps back for me to do the front thing rather than trying to compete with it, or be a distraction to it. It's comfortable — it makes it very comfortable when everybody realizes what it all is and there's no bad vibes, which is… I mean, vibes between the members is everything and the ill feelings that we had around us are gone."

Italiano is a member of the Long Island, New York IRON MAIDEN tribute band LIVE AFTER DEATH and original progressive metal act THE NIGHTMARE STAGE, as well as a former member of the acclaimed '80s heavy metal group CITIES.

Glenn Five joined ANVIL in 1996 and has appeared on seven of the band's albums, including "This Is Thirteen" and the group's latest release, "Juggernaut Of Justice", on which he wrote and sang the song "This Ride".
UNIDA, the American stoner band featuring former KYUSS and current KYUSS LIVES! vocalist John Garcia, will perform at The Hood Bar & Pizza in Palm Desert, California on Friday, August 10.

For more information, go to

UNIDA originally consisted of Garcia , Arthur Seay (guitar), Miguel Cancino (drums) and Dave Dinsmore (bass). Dinsmore was later replaced by Scott Reeder, who was in turn replaced by Owen Seay. Paul Gray of SLIPKNOT fame also played with the band as a touring bassist.

In 1999, UNIDA appeared on a split CD release with Swedish band DOZER. The UNIDA portion was titled "The Best Of Wayne-Gro" EP. Later that year, they released their debut full-length album entitled "Coping With The Urban Coyote" on Man's Ruin Records.

UNIDA appeared on the High Times Records' "High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection", contributing the track "Left Us To Mold". The band's song "Black Woman" was featured on the soundtrack to the skateboarding video game "Tony Hawk's Underground".
DEEP PURPLE, NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, ARCH ENEMY, SABATON, DORO, ANTHRAX and SUBWAY TO SALLY are the first confirmed bands for next year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 1-3, 2013. AMORPHIS will perform an acoustic set, while Doro will celebrate her 30th anniversary in the music business. More acts will be announced soon.

Wacken Open Air was first held in 1990 as a small event for local German bands. By 1998 the event had become the major festival on the European metal calendar and has included over 70 bands from all over Europe, North America and Australia.

Wacken Open Air is usually held at the beginning of August and lasts three days, during which the festival-goers camp on several large camping grounds surrounding the actual festival area. The 70 or more bands perform across four separate stages over the course of the event.

Wacken Open Air, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, was honored with a Live Entertainment Award in 2008 in the "Festival Of The Year" category. This award recognizes distinguished achievements in live entertainment and is given out by Live Entertainment Award (LEA) committee.
ICS Festival Service GmbH, which organizes the Wacken Open Air festival, has released the following statement:

"Unfortunately, we have sad news: We were informed by the German Red Cross that there has been a death at the Wacken Open Air 2012.

"We are shocked and send our condolences to family and friends of the deceased.

"Final details are not known at this point.

"You will find the official press release from the emergency medical service below."

Statement from the emergency medical service:

"At this year's Wacken Open Air festival, a tragic accident took place on the camping ground. As far as is known now, a festival guest laid down on canvas-covered trailer, where he fell asleep. A power generator was also located underneath the cover and running, filling the space between trailer and canvas with poisonous carbon monoxide. As it appears, the person on the trailer was breathing in this gas and consequently died. After approximately two hours, the friends of the deceased went looking and discovered the lifeless body under the canvas on the trailer. Emergency services and doctor were called immediately, but couldn't successfully resuscitate the person.

"The State Attorney has started investigations."
EDGUY mainman Tobias Sammet is working on a new CD from his AVANTASIA project for a spring 2013 release. According to a post on Sammet's web site, "Concept-wise, the album will be a classic rock opera/metal opera. It's going to be a timeless fairytale that despite its fantasy appeal was inspired by happenings of our modern age and society."

Tobias originally wanted to put AVANTASIA to rest after the release of the "The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days" concert DVD in April 2011, but he has since had a change of heart. He explains, "Even though I love to record and tour with EDGUY, I didn't foresee how much I need AVANTASIA when I decided to finish this chapter of my life in 2011. I didn't know if there would be another AVANTASIA album one day, but I didn't feel like doing it. After the worldwide success of the latest studio releases, an arena world tour that was sold out pretty much everywhere, collaborations with childhood heroes like Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Eric Singer of KISS, etc. I 'knew' that I had said everything I could possibly say in the name of AVANTASIA. But that's not what AVANTASIA is all about. I wanna create more great music, I wanna create more fantasy worlds, the bigger and the more epic, the better. And listening to the material that I have created for this forthcoming chapter in the history of AVANTASIA, I know there is no way I am not going to do it! I have got the feeling and the certainty that this is absolutely meant to happen and to be!"

Professionally filmed video footage of AVANTASIA's August 6, 2011 performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany can be seen below.

In addition to Sammet, AVANTASIA's lineup for the Wacken performance included the following ten musicians:

* Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN, UNISONIC) - Vocals
* Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN) - Vocals
* Bob Catley (MAGNUM) - Vocals
* Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN) - Guitar, Vocals
* Sascha Paeth (EDGUY, RHAPSODY OF FIRE) - Guitar
* Oliver Hartmann (EDGUY, RHAPSODY OF FIRE) - Guitar
* Miro Rodenberg (KAMELOT, EPICA, AFTER FOREVER) - Keyboards
* Robert Hunecke (AINA) - Bass
* Felix Bohnke (EDGUY) - Drums

The AVANTASIA four-disc box, "The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days", entered the official Austrian chart at position No. 1. In Germany, the double DVD that came with the double CD landed on the official album chart at No. 18.

According to a press release, the "The Flying Opera - Around The World In 20 Days" DVD is "a documentary of the legendary 2008 world tour of AVANTASIA, when the band hit the road for the first time to write a new chapter in metal history; traveling around the world with a giant all-star ensemble to bring the metal opera on stage and play on three continents within a few days, crossing the dateline and eventually playing to a total of 400,000 people within only a few weeks. The first DVD contains a live concert with a running time of almost two hours featuring footage filmed at the headlining shows of Wacken Open Air (Germany) and Masters Of Rock (Czech Republic). On the second DVD there [is] a movie, 'Around The World In 20 Days', that gives fans the opportunity to join AVANTASIA backstage and take a look at the surroundings and the thrill behind the scenes that go along with an extensive undertaking such as this. The DVD set portray[s] AVANTASIA 2008 when it all started."
British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley (IRON MAIDEN, WOLFSBANE) has canceled his previously announced North American tour.

Commented Blaze: "It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that my planned tour of the U.S. and Canada in September is cancelled.

"I am so sorry. Due to circumstances beyond my control the tour could not go ahead. I can't go into too many details because of possible litigation but I can say that the agent that booked my last U.S. tour will not be booking the next one. Work will now start on plans to tour U.S. and Canada in 2013 and beyond. I will try to play more towns and cities than ever before and announce the venue details as soon as they are confirmed.

"If there is a venue near you that puts on live music and you would like to see me play there, please send details and contact info. I will pass them on to my new agent so he can try to include your venue on the tour.

"Thank you for you understanding and thank you for your belief and the support you have given me. I will see you all in 2013."

Bayley's new studio album, "The King Of Metal", was released in March. The CD was recorded at Fear Studio in Ravenna, Italy.

The 49-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, was the original frontman in WOLFSBANE, but left in 1994 to replace Bruce Dickinson as the lead singer of IRON MAIDEN.
Nick Sterling, who played guitar, and co-wrote many of the songs, on Sebastian Bach's latest album, "Kicking & Screaming", has chosen to sit out the last couple of shows on Bach's current North American tour due to an apparent business disagreement.

"Unfortunately, I will not be performing tonight at Nokia Live," the 22-year-old Sterling wrote on his Facebook page late Thursday night (August 2) before Sebastian's Los Angeles concert. "There were some contractual issues that we just couldn't work out. No hard feelings," the guitarist added.

Bach was joined at the Club Nokia concert by a couple of guest guitarists, including Jinxx (BLACK VEIL BRIDES) and Brent Woods (WILDSIDE, VINCE NEIL). The following night's show at the Pacific Ampitheatre in Costa Mesa, California, where Sebastian played as the support act for CINDERELLA, featured Woods on second guitar (see video below).

Shortly after joining forces with Sterling in 2009, Bach stated about the young guitarist, "After searching for 'my Randy Rhoads' for the last couple of decades, I am very excited to introduce to you a guitar player whom I feel has what it takes to take on the world of rock n' roll and beyond...

"After flipping through an issue of Guitar World magazine (good place to find guitar players, it turns out!), I saw an ad for an amplifier that featured Nick Sterling. After I found Nick's web sites, I could not believe how talented this guy was... He sings, plays all guitars and basses, and all the drums on his recordings! Now that's something I know very few people are capable of. His songs rock, he plays great... I was very interested in making some music with this dude. I contacted him through his MySpace page, and soon we were emailing song ideas back and forth.

"Nick is younger than I am. The reason I dig his tunes is that, to me, rock 'n' roll is all about the spirit of the 'youth gone wild,' and honestly, some musicians, as they get older, tend to 'write older.' I am simply far too in love with rock n' roll, still, to change my 'musical direction' right now. I just want to keep making albums that have tons of energy, are melodic, cool, groovin' and fit into the catalog of what I have put out so far. Nick's songs and vibe fit perfectly alongside such tracks as 'Youth Gone Wild', '18 & Life', etc."
WARBEAST, the Texas-based band featuring RIGOR MORTIS vocalist Bruce Corbitt, guitarist Scott Shelby, GAMMACIDE/DEVILFIST bassist Alan Bovee, DEMONSEED drummer Joe Gonzalez, guitarist Bobby Tillotson (a.k.a. "J.R."), and bassist Dré Karst (ENEMIES OF INERTIA, INFERNAL AGGRESSION, DIRTNAP), will support DOWN on their upcoming U.S. tour. The trek will launch on September 18 in WARBEAST's hometown of Fort Worth and will include a rotating lineup of HAARP, PENTAGRAM, and others until October 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"This is a huge opportunity for WARBEAST," states Corbitt. "Not only are we thrilled to unleash our sound on DOWN's enormous fanbase night after night, but we also get to witness DOWN performing some of their incredible new material live several times in a row. We are seriously honored to be able to tour with a band that we are all fans of and actually friends with, too. I have no doubts that this will be an unforgettable tour for those that are lucky enough to see it."

The dates are as follows:

Sep. 18 - Fort Worth, TX - Ridglea Theater (w/ BIG OKIE DOOM)
Sep. 19 - Tulsa, OK – Cain's Ballroom (w/ BIG OKIE DOOM)
Sep. 21 - Sauget, IL - Pops Nightclub (w/ HAARP)
Sep. 22 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues (w/ HAARP)
Sep. 23 - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot (w/ HAARP)
Sep. 25 - Boston, MA - House of Blues (w/ HAARP)
Sep. 26 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory (w/ HAARP, PENTAGRAM)
Sep. 28 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater (w/ HAARP, ST. VITUS)
Sep. 29 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom (w/ HAARP)
Sep. 30 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore (w/ MOUNT CARMEL and PENTAGRAM)
Oct. 02 - Charlotte, NC - Tremont Music Hall (w/ MOUNT CARMEL)

Bassist Alan Bovee recently left WARBEAST for family reasons.

WARBEAST's debut album, "Krush The Enemy", was released in the U.S. on April 27, 2010 via Housecore Records.
GUNS N' ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba recently started a company called AAG (Ashba Automotive Group) with the Ryan Friedlinghaus, the CEO of the California-based car remodeling company West Coast Customs.

Ashba Automotive Group has just launched the limited-edition Ashba Challenger by Dodge. Ashba says, "It is the sickest muscle car on the market."

For more information, visit www.ashbaauto.com.

Ashba joined GUNS N' ROSES in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck.
Kim Thore of Über Röck recently conducted an interview with '80s hard rock queen Lita Ford. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Über Röck: It's been reported that prior to this new album ["Living Like A Runaway"], a lot of your fans said they wanted a "real" Lita album. What do you think they meant by that? In my opinion, I believe the new CD is the best you have put out. The guitars and vocals are really tight... from beginning to end it is a powerhouse.

Lita: Thank you! Well, this was an album I wrote during one of the darkest times of my life. I was going through this divorce and I needed somewhere to channel my feelings. My hurt, my pain, my aggression, my sadness, my happiness...all of these feelings are in this record. When you listen to the tracks, they are believable because they are real. Songs like "Mother", for example... when we wrote it, I thought it's either going to come across really cheesy or really amazing. I remember thinking that if we can capture the true meaning of this song, it will work and we were able to. It just came together; it was like a gift from God, this album. It took a year to write, it was a slow process, seeming like two years, and it came to me a piece at a time. Gary Hoey, who produced the album, offered me the use of his studio and I took him up on the offer. I was looking for a record producer anyway and Gary and I ended up locking ourselves up in his studio for a year and recording this wonderful album. Along with his help and my wonderful songwriting partner, Michael Dan Ehmig — who's from Florida, by the way. He is a lyricist, and he is brilliant. The three of us wrote this record...and we kept it amongst ourselves — we really didn't reach out to many people for help. Gary ended up playing the bass, I played the guitars, Gary played some of the guitars, me and Gary plus a couple of his nieces did the backup vocals.... We kept it real close. Sometimes, as they say, too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the stew and I think it's true. So for this record, by keeping it in our hands we were able to keep it focused.

Über Röck: Obviously you've had a tough couple of years personally. A lot of songwriters claim that when life is kicking them in the teeth, so to speak, that's when some of their best songwriting comes to light. Did you find that to be the case with "Living Like a Runaway"? Or was it just right time, right place?

Lita: Well, it's definitely the turmoil... Also, I have had a lot of rock and roll built up in me as I haven't made a record in a while. I had a lot of built up riffs in my head and songtitles. Just going through the drama I went through with the divorce was like throwing fuel on the fire. It really ignited when I started writing — it was like one song after another... boom ...boom ...boom. We kept the original vocals on the songs — we didn't redo it, redo it again, then redo it another time... It's like the first time you make love to someone, it's like the most amazing sex you've ever had...you know what I mean? [laughs] So, we went with it.

Über Röck: I thought Gary Hoey was an interesting choice as a producer. Can you tell our readers what it was like to work with him?

Lita: Well, first of all, Gary and his family, his wife and kids, are just wonderful people and so easy to be around.....hospitable and welcoming... so they really made me feel good while I was there. Gary takes your songs and brings the best out of you and that is what a good producer does. He takes the artist and the music and brings out the best in both — we were all able to really connect on a lot of levels. I would take an idea and give it to Gary and he would take it to the next level. And then he would throw it back to me and I would take it to the next level. Sometimes we would get stuck... We had a third songwriting partner, Michael, and we would get him on the phone. We would say, "Michael, we're stuck," and he'd reply, "What have you got so far?" We'd only a title! He'd go away for eight hours and come back with five pages of lyrics. So at the end of three or four days, we had a complete song — it was just amazing and a great way to work. As a result, we were able to live with the songs for a while to make sure we were in love with them.
During a brand new interview with The Montreal Gazette, SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan was asked when fans can expect to hear a new studio album from the reunited band. "We don't know what will happen next," he said, "but I'd like to be in the studio at this time next year … possibly making an album by 2014."

As for whether he is concerned that SYSTEM OF A DOWN's continued eclectic experimentation will result in a possible backlash from the group's fans, Dolmayan said, "If we were concerned about what people think, SYSTEM wouldn't exist. I have no concerns about what the album will sound like. I just worry about when it will come out."

SYSTEM OF A DOWN went on a five-year on hiatus in 2006 while its members pursued various personal projects. The band announced in late 2010 that it was reuniting "simply because we want to play together again."

"It was time," Dolmayan told The Montreal Gazette. "While I do think the hiatus was good for the band, I wish it wasn't so long."

SYSTEM OF A DOWN is fronted by Serj Tankian, who is not afraid to share his political views both on and off the stage. In addition to co-founding (with RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Tom Morello) the non-profit political activist organization Axis Of Justice, Serj is an activist for such causes as anti-globalism anti-militarism, and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Although SYSTEM OF A DOWN's lyrical themes often cover progressive politics and social-justice causes, Dolmayan told The Montreal Gazette that the band isn't interested in preaching. "That's not what people pay for," he said. "They pay to come see us play live, create magic on stage, not to be told how to live their lives. … If someone takes something positive out of our music, or what we say on stage, that's great. But we don't ever want to force them."
DISTURBED frontman David Draiman has weighed in on the Chick-fil-A controversy, claiming that both the "left" and the "right" are wrong in their treatment of the chicken eatery's chief executive and his views on gay marriage.

In a recent interview with Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A chief executive Dan Cathy said that although he doesn't consider Chick-fil-A a "Christian business," he does operate on "biblical principles."

"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," Cathy said.

Draiman, who has never been afraid to voice his opinion on controversial topics, took to Twitlonger.com (a related Twitter site that allows one to send tweets that require more than 140 characters) to write, "What happened to the Land Of The Free? What happened to freedom of expression, speech, and religion? It's my humble opinion that both the left and the right are wrong on this one.

"The rest of the world is watching us and laughing (again) while the right rallies in support of the Chick-fil-A CEO and chain (whom I may not agree with, but whose freedom of speech is protected by the consistution), once again trying to shove their ideas and values down the rest of the country's throat; and the left, holding a kiss in, shoving their way of life (a life I completely support and which they are entitled to) in the country's face as well.

"Grow up, people. Let people live their own lives. Worry about your own lives.

"Everyone calm down and shut the fuck up.

"Can't we all just get along? Jeez."
LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was released from a prison in Prague, the Czech Republic, last Thursday (August 2), more than a month after he was arrested and incarcerated on charges of alleged manslaughter. Blythe was facing the possibility of conviction and a long-term jail sentence after a 2010 incident in which a fan attending a LAMB OF GOD show died two weeks later, allegedly from injuries sustained when he was thrown off the stage. Blythe's predicament galvanized the heavy rock community, with artists across the hard rock genre pledging their support.

Although Blythe paid $200,000 bail shortly after his arrest, prosecutors challenged the bail action and forced Blythe to remain behind bars.

A judge doubled the bail to $400,000 and this time ordered that Blythe go free once it was paid.

Blythe was set free Thursday afternoon and boarded a flight home to the U.S. on Friday (August 3).

Earlier today (Monday, August 5), Blythe released the following statement:

"Greetings. This is D. Randall Blythe, checking in from my beloved hometown of Richmond, Virginia, United States of America.

"I was recently released on bail from Pankrác Prison in Prague, Czech Republic, after over a month of incarceration. Now that I am out for the moment, I would like to say a few things.

"While in prison, I had minimal knowledge of how my case was viewed anywhere but the Czech Republic. I was told by my attorney that I had a lot support from peers in the music industry, my hometown, fans, and, of course, my family.

"I cannot express how emotional it made me upon my release to read about even a fraction of the voices that were raised on my behalf. From legends in my music community, to fans across the world, and even people who were previously unaware of my existence but sympathized with my plight — I am truly humbled. I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers. I would especially like to thank the people of Richmond, Virginia, for standing by me.

"In the 48 hours I have been home, many people I have never met before have stopped me on the street, waved and smiled as I passed by, or said hello in a restaurant. All have said, 'We are glad you are home, Randy.' You all make me proud and grateful that I call Richmond home.

"I would like state that I suffered no abuse, from either authorities or inmates, during my incarceration in Pankrác. I received no special treatment, and was in general population with everyone else. Make no mistake, it was prison, not some celebrity-rehab TV show. But I was treated fairly by the guards and kindly by my fellow inmates.

"People are dying of starvation all over the world. Men and women are losing their lives daily in the Middle East and other war-torn regions. I had food, clothes, shelter, and no one was trying to kill me. I cannot complain over a short stay in prison while many people elsewhere fight to survive on a daily basis.

"If it is deemed necessary for me to do so, I WILL return to Prague to stand trial. While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution.

"As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains.

"It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer.

"I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child.

"I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N. will receive the closure they undoubtably need to facilitate healing.

"I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned.

"This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter.

"Thank you for reading this, and I wish you all peace."

Blythe and his bandmates will now appear at Knotfest later this month and are already rescheduling a canceled U.S. tour for October.
Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM will release their photo book, "Roadkill", on Wednesday, August 8 via Hatecrew.com. The first 666 copies of the book have been personally signed by the band.

CHILDREN OF BODOM previously stated about the book, "It's dedicated to the whole worldwide Hate Crew [COB fans]. We've been shooting life on the road, the Hate Crew and all kinds of crazy shit for over two years."

A trailer for the book can be seen below.

CHILDREN OF BODOM was forced to cancel several shows last month — including those in Oslo, Norway and Malmö, Sweden — after guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho was rushed to the hospital with extreme stomach pain.

After spending a week and a half receiving treatment in Oslo, Alexi was released from the hospital and the band performed at this year's Ilosaarirock festival, which was held July 13-15 in Joensuu, Finland.

CHILDREN OF BODOM recently inked a worldwide deal (excluding Japan) with Nuclear Blast Records.
Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE have revealed via Twitter that they are scheduled to finish recording their new album today.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE guitarist/vocalist Matt Tuck previously said that those have heard some of the group's new music say it sounds like "a very confident, focused rock band."

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE released a deluxe CD/DVD edition of its third full-length album, "Fever", titled "Fever Tour Edition", in February 2011. The set featured three new songs recorded live at Xfm radio in the U.K. ("Fever", "The Last Fight" and "Bittersweet Memories") and a DVD of "Your Betrayal", "Fever" and "Waking the Demon", recorded live from Graspop Metal Meeting 2010 in Dessel, Belgium. The DVD also included videos for "Your Betrayal", "The Last Fight" and "The Making of The Last Fight" as well as a BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE track-by-track commentary of "Fever".

"Fever" sold 71,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. "Fever" also landed in the Top Five in Australia, the U.K., Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
According to the Daily News, the man who shot six people to death and wounded three others during a rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb played guitar and sang for the hardcore band END APATHY.

Based in Nashville, North Carolina, the group — which released music on the white supremacist Label 56 — describes its message on its MySpace page as "a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress."

In a 2010 interview for the Label 56 web site, Wade Michael Page, 40, said his lyrics focused on "sociological issues, religion, and how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy that we are subjugated to."

Page is suspected of ambushing the temple in Oak Creek with a semiautomatic 9mm handgun, dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants with pockets to store ammunition. He allegedly shot people inside and outside the temple, including a police officer. A police officer with a rifle then shot Page, who died at the scene.
Californian blues rockers RIVAL SONS have confirmed dates for a European headlining tour in support of their forthcoming album, "Head Down", which is due to be released on September 17 via Earache Records. The trek kicks off on September 21 with nine shows in the U.K. before moving on to continental Europe. It follows a massively successful run through Europe earlier this summer, where the band performed numerous headlining club shows and huge rock festivals, as well as shows with the likes of GUNS N' ROSES and EVANESCENCE.

Commented RIVAL SONS guitarist Scott Holiday: "This last tour was definitely our most successful yet. All the headline shows were at capacity, support shows with kick-ass bands and the festivals were extremely great to us... Great slots, huge crowds, and got to connect and play with some of our favorite bands as well as meet a ton of new great ones. Making lots of new friends. We also got to play some unbelievable new places. The whole tour was basically a complete onslaught of radicalness. Looking forward to coming back through to all these places in support of the new record this next year.

"People are always graciously telling us these amazing things like, 'you guys have made me believe rock 'n' roll isn't dead'... 'You guys are the future of rock 'n' roll' etc. But I can wholeheartedly say, the reaction we got from the crowd on this tour reinstated my firm belief that people really want, even NEED rock 'n' roll in their lives."

RIVAL SONS tour dates:

Sep. 21 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
Sep. 22 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
Sep. 23 - Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
Sep. 24 - Sheffield, UK - Corporation
Sep. 26 - Newcastle, UK - Academy 2
Sep. 27 - Glasgow, UK - Garage
Sep. 28 - Manchester, UK - Ritz
Sep. 29 - Wolverhampton, UK - Wulfrun Hall
Oct. 01 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
Oct. 02 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
Oct. 03 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
Oct. 04 - Frankfurt, Germany - Zoom
Oct. 05 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
Oct. 07 - Warsaw, Poland - Hydrozagadka
Oct. 08 - Vilnius, Lithuania - New York Club
Oct. 09 - Tallin, Estonia - Rock Cafe
Oct. 11 - Helsinki, Finland - Club Circus
Oct. 12 - Tampere, Finland - Pakkaguane Club
Oct. 13 - Oulu, Finland - Club Teatria
Oct. 15 - Stockholm Sweden - Tyrol
Oct. 16 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
Oct. 17 - Stavanger, Norway - Folken
Oct. 18 - Bergen, Norway - Hulen
Oct. 20 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Pustervik
Oct. 21 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
Oct. 22 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
Oct. 23 - Munich, Germany - 59:1
Oct. 24 - Vienna, Austria - B72
Oct. 26 - Bern, Switzerland - Bierhubeli
Oct. 27 - Milan, Italy - Magazzini Generali
Oct. 28 - Zurich, Switzerland - Plaza
Oct. 29 - Paris, France - Nouveau Casino

Due in the U.S. in November, "Head Down" was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb (JAMIE JOHNSON, SHOOTER JENNINGS) and Grammy-wining engineer Vance Powell (JACK WHITE, THE WHITE STRIPES, KINGS OF LEON). The artwork was created by Jason Holley (JOSH RITTER, RAY LAMONTAGNE).
Pure Steel Records has set a September 28 release date for "Saved From The Truth", the third studio album from Iranian power metallers ANGBAND. As was the case with 2010's "Visions Of The Seeker", the mixing and mastering for the new CD was handled by Achim Köhler (PRIMAL FEAR, AMON AMARTH, BRAINSTORM).

ANGBAND promises that the new album is "no less heavy but more melodic" than its predecessor.

"Saved From The Truth" track listing:

01. Seasons Of My Pain
02. Fight For Life
03. Man Of The New Time
04. Saved From The Truth
05. Angel
06. Persia
07. Kill The Hatred
08. Fearless Dream
09. Bitter Truth

ANGBAND released its debut album, "Rising from Apadana", in August 2008.

The band is believed to be the first Iranian metal act to release its work intenationally through a European label.


Mahyar Dean (Guitars)
Ashkan Yazdani (Vocals)
Ramin Rahimi (Drums)
Farshad Shokuhfar (Bass)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania quintet THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE will release its third album, "Dead Years", in Europe on September 24 via Lifeforce Records. The CD will be made available in North America through eOne Music.

According to a press release, "troubled, heavy and emotive songs in between metal and melodic hardcore . . . is exactly what you can expect from 'Dead Years', but this time singer Ricky is truly pissed and you can hear that! [THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE] combines agile catchiness, striking technical ability and a good amount of metalcore ingredients along with dense rock grooves." Produced by Andreas Magnusson (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, HASTE THE DAY), "Dead Years" "consists of ten hymns exploring the fields of metal, hardcore and rock in their own way. The quintet does not think too much. The guys just play what feels right and follow their gut instinct. This is the way THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE succeeds."

THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE's forthcoming CD will be the band's first release since "Haunt What's Left", produced by Josh Wilbur and LAMB OF GOD's own Chris Adler in 2010.

Having originally released its debut record, "Monuments", in 2007 the band has not slowed down since. With a few dozen tours under their belt with bands like WE CAME AS ROMANS, PERIPHERY and BORN OF OSIRIS, the band is hardly new to the hands-on approach. Things like giving lessons while on tour and actively taking a role in their day to day is what sets THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE apart.

THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE is: Rick Armellino (vocals), Jack Esbenshade (guitar), Matthew Marcellus (bass, vocals) and Rodney Phillips (guitar, vocals).
Swedish hard rockers IMPERA will release their debut album, "Legacy Of Life", in October through the U.K. label Escape Music. The CD was produced by Lars Chriss of LION'S SHARE.

According to a press release, IMPERA "consists of solid musicians who have earned their wings through hard work with an impressive number of world-class stars over the years. Their combined CV reads as a who's who in today's rock."



IMPERA is described as "the perfect amalgamation of everything that makes rock 'n' roll with the punches. A guitar player who, seemingly effortlessly, delivers stunning solos and riffs of that classic, timeless grit you thought were killed off by grunge. Pounding bass that will put you through the wall. Blistering drumming that's as solid as it is technically challenging. And on top of all that, add a vocalist that sings circles around the competition."

IMPERA's style "lies firmly on a classic hard rock ground with a dose of strong melodies collected from the AOR world."

For more information, visit www.impera.org.
According to Groovey of Hollywood Music, former FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Matt Snell has joined forces with guitarists Zach Broderick (NONPOINT, ATTIKA 7) and Darrell Roberts (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, W.A.S.P.), and drummer Jeff Fabb (IN THIS MOMENT, JAMES DURBIN) in a brand new band called MY ACUMEN. The group is currently seeking a "world-class singer" and is accepting submissions from interested parties at skylynemedia@gmail.com.

Regarding how MY ACUMEN came together, Snell said, "I basically took a year off after DEATH PUNCH and just kicked it and took a break. Then, I wanted to start another project so I contacted Zach Broderick from NONPOINT. He's an old friend of mine and he's a Chicago boy like me, and it turned out that when I was ready to start working on new music, he was available, so he came out and we started writing. We were writing like crazy and we wrote like 20 songs all together. I have a studio in the house; I used to be an engineer instructor, so I did all that work in house. Then we wanted to get some more people in on the project, so we got Darrell Roberts, the original guitarist for DEATH PUNCH, coming in to play some stuff on it and Jeff Fabb, the drummer from IN THIS MOMENT."

Asked to describe the vibe and the sound of the new band, Snell said, "It's the end result of all the bands we've all been in. There's a lot of DEATH PUNCH in there, there's a lot of the other bands I was in before, there's NONPOINT influences in there, stuff from Darrell and W.A.S.P., and Jeff's drumming and there's also everything that we're into. So there's a SOULFLY vibe on the heavier end to DISTURBED and plus all the bands we've been in so it's heavy but by no means a death metal album. It's real good, it's rockin' and we really like it and we're really proud of it."

On the topic of what MY ACUMEN is looking for in a singer, Snell said, "We have discussed several times, wouldn't it be amazing to find some fresh new talent that you're not going to discover unless you find a way to get in contact with them? There's so many talented people out there, but how are you going to meet them? We talked a long time ago about what we are looking for and all we're really concerned with is someone who can sing their ass off. We don't care if you're tall, short, fat, skinny, black, white I don't care. There's no list I would put up that are requirements that you have to meet to be in my band. It's not like that. We want someone who wants to be in the project and will be very positive about it. Everyone is in a very good place in their life right now and everyone is happy and it's a good environment to be in. . . We're looking for the person who is hungry and they want to do it. That's what we are looking for. This isn't a side project for us this is the band we are putting together. We're very open so show us how you sing. We're not looking for a screamer. I can handle all the screaming. Can you sing like Chris Cornell or SHINEDOWN or that type of thing?"
Vocalist Michele Madden (MELDRUM, TOURETTES) is currently in the running to be named Miss Inked Australia 2013.

Australia and New Zealand's leading tattoo/culture magazine Inked is hosting its annual Miss Inked Australia contest that features the model/singer and other "inked" beauties vying for the honor.

For more information on voting, go to blog.inkedaustralia.com. Votes will be counted based on comments/likes on the blog and likes on Facebook.

Contest runs until August 20.

"A Toast To Romance", the new single from MELDRUM, the multinational hard rock/metal band formed by late ex-PHANTOM BLUE guitarist Michelle Meldrum, is available now as a digital download at this location. The song comes off MELDRUM's long-awaited third album, "Lifer", which will be released this fall via Reversed Records. The CD was produced by Rob Shallcross (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, GWAR, ZIMMERS HOLE, WEST OF HELL) and Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DEATH, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK).

Michelle Meldrum died in May 2008 as a result of a cystic growth that had restricted oxygen and blood flow to her brain, rendering her braindead. Since she passed away before any of her guitar tracks for "Lifer" were laid down, Laura Christine played the majority of the rhythm and bass guitars, as well as all the leads, on the album as a tribute to Michelle and her vision.

"Lifer" stands as a proud tribute to Michelle, who wrote the material for the CD with Hoglan, along with Laura Christine (bass) and Michele Madden (vocals).

Commented Michele: "I stand behind 'Lifer' as not only one of the best projects that I have ever had the honor to be involved with but also as a testament to Michelle Meldrum's incredible and much-missed talent. I hope that this album reaches a lot of people and shows the world how amazing she was. Knowing that it is coming out at last is not only a victory but a relief. I know that Gene and Laura feel the same. Being a part of this band is and shall remain a game-changer for me. I carry it into everything that I do."

Michele's new band SAINT CECILIA is in the process of recording its debut album. Madden describes the group as "THE FLEETWOOD MAC of doom, seasoned by SOUNDGARDEN."

A live performance of a new track from Madden's soon-to-be-recorded acoustic album, "False Sense Of Security", can be seen below. The clip was filmed at the May 23, 2012 benefit concert for legendary HARD-ONS guitarist Peter "Blackie" Black.
JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford says that LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe's five-week incarceration in the Czech Republic will result in a "colossal" new album from the Richmond, Virginia metal band.

Blythe returned to the United States yesterday (Friday, August 3) after spending more than a month in a Prague prison in connection with the 2010 death of a fan at one of LAMB OF GOD's shows. The singer was was accused of shoving a local fan off the stage during the group's May 2010 concert in the city. The man, who is said to have stormed the stage three times during the show, reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that resulted in his death nearly a month later.

"I don't think anybody has the full story, only Randy does, and I'm sure he'll be bombarded by press soon to talk about what exactly happened," Halford told Loudwire. "My heart was with him, just like everyone else. It's very hard to be in a jail, especially in a foreign country. He was in there for over a month, right? It's very difficult. I'm just happy he's out now."

Halford added, "I can't wait to hear him channel this into the music. Man, that next LAMB OF GOD record is going to be like a nuclear bomb, because he's going to be venting. He needs to get this out of his system."

The JUDAS PRIEST frontman, who is currently on a break while the band prepares to return to the studio to resume work on a new album, also offered the following suggestion to Randy: "Go home, see all your loved ones and your family, do all the hugging and kissing and crying, and then get on the fucking road and just explode. Vent. Vent it all out. I know that as musicians that's what we do. I have a feeling that the next LAMB OF GOD album is going to be colossal from an emotional point of view."

In 1990, JUDAS PRIEST became the focus of a high-profile lawsuit that charged the band with hiding subliminal messages in its music that led to the deaths of two fans.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, other lawsuits at that time sought damages because of violent lyrics in music, but the JUDAS PRIEST case was one of the first to claim that subliminal messages hidden behind those lyrics caused the deaths of two young men.
British vocalist Martin Walkyier (SABBAT, SKYCLAD, THE CLAN DESTINED) will host a free all-day heathen music and performing arts festival called Viking Funeral on Saturday, September 22 at The Nottingham Irish Centre.

Martin will play a headline set of classic SKYCLAD folk metal tunes with Emilio Souto and Matias Pena (SKILTRON), plus Simon Gimli Cliffe, Elizabeth Prendergast, Pete Hawthorne and Jacqueline Taylor.

Says Martin: "Admission to this event is absolutely FREE of charge; All we ask in return is that you each kindly make a small, or large as you like, charitable contribution to Cancer Research UK on the day."

The Viking Funeral lineup includes EIBON LA FURIES, BULL-RIFF STAMPEDE, SEVERED HEAVEN, REZINWOLF, CYNEGETICS, A VULGAR PICTURE and KHYTHON; plus "stand-up misery" from Grim Rita, a vast plethora of varied pagan artistes and very special guest performers to be confirmed.
Multi-national thrashers NIGHTRAGE have tapped Snowy Shaw (THERION, KING DIAMOND, DREAM EVIL, DIMMU BORGIR) to sit behind the kit for their August 26 concert in South Korea. Snowy will be filling in for regular NIGHTRAGE drummer Johan Nunez, who has been busy touring and recording with FIREWIND. NIGHTRAGE states, "We are honored to have [Snowy] behind the drums!"

NIGHTRAGE's fifth album, "Insidious", was released last September via Lifeforce Records. The CD featured guest appearances by Gus G. (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIREWIND), Tomas S. Englund (EVERGREY), Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS), John K (BIOMECHANICAL) and the band's former frontman Tomas Lindberg (also known for his work with AT THE GATES, THE CROWN and LOCK UP). Lindberg appeared on the band's first two albums — 2003's "Sweet Vengeance" and 2005's "Descent Into Chaos" — before being replaced by Jimmie Strimell, who sang on 2007's "A New Disease Is Born".
German death metallers FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING have completed work on their fifth album, "The Art Of Coming Apart", for a late 2012 release via Cyclone Empire. According to the band, the CD "will contain eight brutal Swedish death metal songs and two instrumentals."

The group adds, "The songs sound awesome after being mixed in Soundtunnel Studio by Ingo Maier and mastered by Dan Swanö."

"The Art Of Coming Apart" track listing:

01. The Art Of Coming Apart
02. Barren And Bleak
03. Four Winters
04. Hours Of Suffering
05. Memorial Stone
06. A Silence Dressed In Black
07. Sundown (instrumental)
08. Trapping The Unseen
09. Seasons Of Tranquillity
10. Fathomless (Epilogue)

FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING's fourth album, "The Everhaunting Past / Chapter IV - A Splendid Retrospection", came out in October 2009 via Cyclone Empire. The CD's cover artwork was once again created by Sascha Ehrich.

FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING in 2009 announced the addition of bassist Christopher Körtgen (SMILODON, CHAOS HD) to the group's ranks.

The band's third album, "Sterling Black Icon", was released in March 2006 via Metal Blade.
MetalSickness.com conducted an interview with Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven, renowned vocalist/guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band SATYRICON, at this year's edition of the Hellfest festival, which was held June 15-17 in Clisson, France. You can now watch the chat below.

When asked what he has been doing since SATYRICON announced in 2009 that it was planning to take a long break, Satyr said, "Personally, I spent a lot of time pursuing my interest in wine. I've been working on making wine with three differernt winemakers. I made two wines together with a winemaker in Italy. With a champagne house, I made an organic champage. And I made a white wine from the southwest of France. And I went and visited a winemaker friend of mine in Burgundy, and I did a wine harvest there. I've also been working a little bit on a small wine-book project. So again I went back to Burgundy and visited many, many producers to talk about organic and biodynamic winemaking. And I've been working on my wine education. So it's a very, very different world."

He continued, "I am the person, I can be really obsessive about my work. So, for me, to do something which didn't have any sort of target or big goals, but was very sort of… pleasure only, was very important for me on a personal level. But most importantly, I felt that the cycle of SATYRICON had become very something different from what I wanted it to be. It became like this: write, rehearse, record, promote, tour, finish. [Then again] write, rehearse, record, promote, tour, finish. And again and again and again. And I came to a point in 2009 where I went, like, 'What's the point of this?' Is this why I started [playing music]? Definitely not.' This was never my goal to come in a situation like this. It's not like I dreamt about living on a bus. It was not my goal in life. Or to live my life in a suitcase. Or in a backstage. It was never my plan. My plan was to write music, record music and release music and then do the occasional show and tour, but this became like a clusterfuck of events — all the time something going on and all this pressure all the time, especially from everyone around us. Plus, I also think that when you're working so intensely, there's sort of this tear-and-wear to people on a personal level. And also, as the leader of a company or a sports team or a metal band, you also have a responsibility to make some decisions that might be popular but unnecessary. And for those who just want to go on the road and play all the time, they don't want to have a break, and our agent and record company, they certainly didn't want any break. But for me, it became almost like a choice between quitting as a band or taking a break. And I think that if we continue now, we can push ourselves for two or three more years, and then we will quit. Or we can take a break… It just goes to show how right I was, because I was thinking that one year was more than enough, and after one year, I still felt that, 'I'm not ready. I want to have a longer break.' So we had one and a half year… We started working on the new album last summer. So it was very necessary."

He added, "Put it in a different way… Let's say you're a 40-year-old guy and you're dating a 20-year-old girl. It could be difficult talking to a 20-year-old girl, because she wouldn't even know who was the president of America during your youth, because she wasn't born… You know what I'm saying?! But what a 20-year-old girl could do to a 40-year-old guy is make him rediscover a young man inside of him. And for me, I'm using that parallel, because I think I needed to step outside to find back the same feeling as when we were challengers. 'Cause where we were at, we were sort of one of the big guns. But I wanted to find back the feeling inside of me when going to rehearsal was a lot of fun because it was an opportunity to play music. And after 20 years, going to rehearsal is more like a duty because you have to be prepared for the next tour or something like that. But now, it's more like going to rehearsal is going to rehearsal because it's fun to play. It's as simple as that."

SATYRICON's latest album, "The Age Of Nero" (2008), entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 73. It also landed on the national chart in Norway at position No. 5. This was SATYRICON's lowest chart entry in the band's home country since "Rebel Extravaganza", which premiered at No. 32 in 1999. "Volcano" (2002) entered the chart at No. 4, while 2006's "Now, Diabolical" came in at No. 2.
Norwegian grindcore metallers BEATEN TO DEATH, who feature in their ranks members of INSENSE, SHE SAID DESTROY and TSJUDER, will release their first official live DVD on October 26 via Mas-Kina Recordings.

Entitled "At Rockefeller", the DVD will include footage of the band's performance at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway on June 17, 2012, as the support act for KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The setlist sees the band playing all the songs from their acclaimed debut album, "Xes And Strokes", as well as new tracks that will appear on their forthcoming second effort. According to the band, the DVD will include the entire show, unedited and uncut, so that fans can experience the raw energy of BEATEN TO DEATH's live performance.

Commented guitarist Tommy Hjelm: "The only rule we have is that we're not going to follow the set trends. So the idea to make a live album came up and we figured, why not? Record the whole thing from beginning to end, without brushing out all the mistakes? Why not? With new songs not yet released? Why not? And really! Why not? We are so tired of the perfect-pitch, soulless stuff that overruns the market these days. This is the exact opposite of that. It's gritty, dirty, it follows no metronome, it hides no evidence and it abides by no rules. The mixing should reflect that, and I think it does."

A brief teaser for the DVD release can be seen below.

BEATEN TO DEATH's setlist for the Rockfeller show was as follows:

01. Intro
02. Pointless Testament
03. Winston Churchill
04. On Running
05. Vinni Butterfly
06. Soulless Alarm
07. Krepsekamp
08. 3-2-1, It's On
09. Obliteration Of Nekromantheon
10. Cat Olympics
11. A Word To The Wise
12. Groundhog Day
13. Xes And Strokes
14. Erik Og Skrik

In addition, an audio version of "At Rockefeller" will also available for download via Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, WiMP, etc.

BEATEN TO DEATH is working on its as-yet-untitled second album, due later this year.

On the topic of the musical direction of the new CD, bassist Mika Martinussen said: "We already have, like, 15 songs, but the next album will probably be more or less just as short and intense as the last one. It looks like the songs will be more varied on this release than on 'Xes', with weird ideas, stronger elements of other genres than grind/death metal, more melodic stuff, arrangements that are both simpler and more complex."
Anders Björler of AT THE GATES and THE HAUNTED has recorded a guest solo for a song called "Ocean" from Gothenburg, Sweden-based metallers COLDTEARS. The track, which will be released via iTunes in a few weeks, will appear on the new COLDTEARS album, "Silence Them All", along with 20 other cuts.

COLDTEARS guitarist David Johansson wrote the music for the chorus of the title track of the latest THE HAUNTED album, "Unseen". In addition, former THE HAUNTED frontman Peter Dolving was a guest vocalist on the first COLDTEARS EP, "Warning", in the song "No Ordinary Ghost", which he also wrote the lyrics for.

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