[Classic_Rock_Forever] The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Motorhead, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Coheed and Cambria and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


The Rolling Stones are currently in Paris, France, working in a recording studio, preparing for the 50th anniversary gigs to be held later this year.
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The official trailer for AEROSMITH's 15th studio album, titled "Music From Another Dimension!", can be seen below. The CD will arrive on November 6 via Columbia Records.

"Music From Another Dimension!" track listing:

01. What Could Have Been Love
02. Beautiful
03. Street Jesus
04. Legendary Child
05. Oh Yeah
06. We All Fall Down
07. Another Last Goodbye
08. Out Go the Lights
09. Love Three Times a Day (Hello Goodbye)
10. Closer
11. Shakey Ground
12. Lover A Lot
13. Freedom Fighter
14. Up On The Mountain

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

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

"This record is different from the recent past, say the last 20 years, where everybody is getting in the studio and throwing down their songs," guitarist Joe Perry recently told Billboard.com. "This record is a lot more band-written stuff than there has been in the recent past."

The official video for "Legendary Child" can be seen below. The clip was filmed with director Casey Patrick Tebo, who also is helming a new concert film titled "Aerosmith: Rock For The Rising Sun". According to Tebo's official web site, the movie, which will focus on AEROSMITH's relationship with the group's Japanese fans, will be released later this year or in 2013.

"Legendary Child" recently landed on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart at No. 32 and the Hard Rock Digital Songs chart at No. 2. On the former chart, the song was the group's first entry since 2006, when "Devil's Got a New Disguise" reached No. 15.

"Legendary Child" was supposed to be included in the upcoming summer film "G.I. Joe: Retaliation", but that movie was abruptly bumped from its June 29 release date to March 2013.

AEROSMITH premiered "Legendary Child" with a live performance during the season finale of "American Idol". It is a reworked version of a song originally written in 1991 during the sessions for the "Get A Grip" album.
Lead singer of AC/DC and self-confessed car fanatic, Brian Johnson will share the songs and artists that have provided the soundtrack to his life for six weeks on BBC Radio 2.

Drawing from 32 years as the frontman of one of the world's biggest ever rock bands, Brian shares stories of rock 'n' roll loves, laughs and losses, plus anecdotes and pearls of wisdom from a lifetime of tour bus mischief and a devotion to rockin' all night long.

Listeners can expect massive hits from the likes of LED ZEPPELIN, QUEEN, Joe Walsh and ZZ TOP, as well as rare gems from THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND, NASHVILLE TEENS and the PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND.

"Everyone thinks doing radio is just sitting down, you put a mic in front of you and just waffle, but it's not that easy," Brian told Sunday Sun.

"I sat in this studio with a big black mic in front of us and not an idea. Thankfully Ben Jones and Dan Cocker helped me out. I have to thank those two."

He added, "Basically, I wrote a book called 'Rockers And Rollers', not about me, there's enough of them."

"My memory is terrible, but cars always help me remember things. If someone asked, 'What's the name of the girl you went out with when you were 19?' you couldn't remember, but you'd remember having a Mini Cooper. Cars started to get cool and groovy when rock and roll started — when Ike Turner brought out Rocket 88 it was about his car, the thing he loved.

"The thing you wanted when you were a young man was a car because it was freedom!"

"Cars and music, the two of them sort of went together, so I start to marry the two."

Brian Johnson's "Rockers And Rollers" starts this Thursday, August 30 at 10 p.m. on BBC Radio 2.
This fall MOTÖRHEAD will launch a complete assortment of headphones and earphones. The first generation's assortment will consist of nine products in total, three headphones, and six in-ear models. All will be sold under their new brand name Motörheadphönes.

Motörheadphönes will be the first brand name in the headphone segment that globally will focus on the rock/pop audience, a target group who are critical listeners and goes with the attitude that rock stands for. The rock audience is by far the largest group of music listeners, according to surveys on what music the consumers are streaming.

Price range will be between €39.99 and €49.99 for the earphones and between €69.99 and €129.99 for the headphones. Most models will be smartphone-ready, two of the headphones will be equipped with the new developed microphone "Controlizer," which will be one of the most advanced remote controls on the market. The products will be available on the European market in the end of September.

Commented the band: "No weak-kneed, lily-livered, tin-pot and skinny sounding little pieces of garbage, no, that ain't MOTÖRHEAD's style. These are headphönes designed to deliver everything louder than everything else BUT with the sort of range, clarity and TRUE rock reproduction you'd expect from a band of road warriors who have been at the top of the tree year after year. Because, like üs, these don't fuck around... remember, if it's too loud, you're too old."

The products are developed audio- and design-wise together with MOTÖRHEAD and a longtime experienced sound expertise from the hometown of harder rock in Gothenburg, Sweden, led by Anders Nicklasson with 30 years' experience from Audio development. Distribution and marketing is handled worldwide by Krusell International AB.

Motörheadphönes will be officially launched at a press conference on August 31 at 4:00 p.m. at Motörheadphönes booth at IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) hall 9 booth 313 in Berlin, Germany. Attending the event will be Mikkey Dee (MOTÖRHEAD), Ulf Sandberg (Krusell) and Anders Nicklasson (Krusell).

For more information, visit www.motorheadphones.com.
DREAM THEATER's August 19 and August 20 concerts at Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina were professionally filmed and recorded for the band's next live DVD, to be released sometime next year.

The setlists for the two concerts were as follows:

Sunday, August 19

01. Bridges In The Sky
02. 6:00
03. The Dark Eternal Night
04. This Is The Life
05. The Root Of All Evil
06. Lost Not Forgotten
07. Drum Solo
08. A Fortune In Lies
09. The Silent Man (with a string quartet)
10. Beneath The Surface (with a string quartet)
11. Outcry
12. Surrounded (preceded by Jordan Rudess' keyboard solo)
13. On The Backs Of Angels
14. War Inside My Head
15. The Test That Stumped Them All
16. The Spirit Carries On (preceded by John Petrucci's guitar solo)
17. Breaking All Illusions


18. Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper

Monday, August 20

01. Bridges In The Sky
02. These Walls
03. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
04. This Is The Life
05. Caught In A Web
06. Lost Not Forgotten
07. Drum Solo
08. A Fortune In Lies
09. Wait For Sleep (with a string quartet)
10. Far From Heaven (with a string quartet)
11. Outcry
12. Surrounded (preceded by Jordan Rudess' keyboard solo)
13. On The Backs Of Angels
14. War Inside My Head
15. The Test That Stumped Them All
16. The Spirit Carries On (preceded by John Petrucci's guitar solo)
17. Breaking All Illusions


18. Pull Me Under

Roadrunner Records e-mailed guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess to get their thoughts on these special shows.

Roadrunner Records: You played four songs with a string quartet over the two nights. Who did the arrangements?

Jordan Rudess: All the string parts were written by Eren Basbug, the young and talented Turkish musician that I discovered online through his beautiful orchestrations of DREAM THEATER's music and then his great work orchestrating and conducting the premiere of my own composition, "Explorations For Keyboard And Orchestra". For two of the songs we did live with the quartet ("Beneath The Surface" and "Far From Heaven") I had originally arranged and recorded quartet-like string parts from my keyboard, and that is what you hear on "A Dramatic Turn Of Events". Eren was able to take those two songs and really make sure what I wrote worked for real players, as well as add some nice touches! For the other two songs, "The Silent Man" and "Wait For Sleep", he created original quartet arrangements.

Roadrunner Records: How much rehearsal time did you have with the quartet?

John Petrucci: We played through each song with them a couple of times at soundcheck. We probably spent about an hour in total making sure they were comfortable and that they knew certain cues, etc.

Jordan Rudess: We had one rehearsal before the first show. I had sent all the music to coordinator Luis Gorelik (who is a well known conductor in South America) and he helped organize the players.

Roadrunner Records: How did their presence alter the way you guys in the band played those songs? Obviously they weren't just sawing away in the background; they were integral to the music, so…in what ways?

John Petrucci: Honestly, we played the songs just as we have been and they followed us. On "Beneath The Surface" and "Far From Heaven", they basically played the arrangements that are on the album. Original arrangements were created for "The Silent Man" and "Wait For Sleep".

Jordan Rudess: In our rehearsal, I was literally conducting them and we all worked quickly to get things into shape and make sure the players really understood the music and what was going to happen in the chain of events on stage. The good thing was that these four songs all really are totally suitable for real strings, so it was an easy conceptual/musical addition to our presentation.

Roadrunner Records: Other than the new album (which was played almost in its entirety each night), the albums you played the most material from were "Images And Words", "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" and "Awake". Why those albums, from your perspective?

John Petrucci: We try to create a show that has a certain curve to it. The way that it begins, unfolds and concludes are all carefully thought about. We have so much material at this point that it's difficult to fit in songs from each album. Based on what we played on past tours as well as the flow and arc of the show, we thought these were the strongest choices.

Jordan Rudess: There are so many factors that are in play to create a setlist. Generally, we all felt that we offered a night of music that was a well-balanced mixture of our material that not only spanned a lot of our albums but also flowed really well for the course of the evening.

Roadrunner Records: On the second night, you guys played "Pull Me Under" as the encore, which you've been playing a lot more on tour this year than in the past few years… but only outside the U.S. Is that a song foreign audiences want to hear more than fans at home?

John Petrucci: "Pull Me Under" always goes over, no matter what country we are in. It just has that kind of power and familiarity, I guess. We really thought that it sounded great with [new drummer] Mike Mangini playing it and wanted to share that with our listeners.

Jordan Rudess: I don't know — but I will tell you that they literally were trying to rush the stage in Buenos Aires when we played it. It was nuts!
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION has set "Afterglow" as the title of its third album, due on October 30. The CD cover artwork can be seen below.

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION is the English-American rock band featuring the talents of bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, TRAPEZE, BLACK SABBATH), blues rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN), and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER).

"With this next album, I've had the luxury of being able to write for six months," Hughes recently told GuitarWorld.com. "With the first album I had six weeks, and the second one was about four months. But I've had a lot more time to write this one. If you look at Joe's schedule, he doesn't even have time to wipe his nose. I've been left as the keeper of the keys to write these albums."

In a recent interview with Artisan News, Hughes stated about BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's musical evolution, "We just did two albums back to back, both successful records. And our live DVD is out now.

"We're really, really happy with the progress of where we're going musically. So we're sort of on course now."

Regarding the sound of the forthcoming BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION CD, Hughes said, "It's kind of a continuation… There's gonna be some darker stuff on there, because the lyrics I'm writing are kind of dark. There may be some moments of drama in there — I like drama in the music. So the songs I have ready are definitely a continuation of [the first and the second albums]."

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION released its first concert DVD, "Live Over Europe", on October 24, 2011 (Blu-ray followed on November 15) on the J&R Adventures imprint. The two-DVD live set was filmed with 14 HD cameras and 5.1 Surround Sound during the band's debut tour in the summer of 2011. Over three nights, playing to packed venues in the German cities of Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, the 18-song set list (17 originals and one cover) hits on both of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's albums — 2010's debut and 2011's sophomore release "2".

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION initially came to fruition when producer Kevin Shirley saw Hughes and Bonamassa join forces on stage in Los Angeles in November 2009 for an explosive performance at Guitar Center's King of the Blues event. Shirley then recruited Bonham and Sherinian for the project, which is named after the industrial area in the British Midlands where both Hughes and Bonham were born and raised.
New York progressive rockers COHEED AND CAMBRIA have announced details of their upcoming sixth studio album, a double concept album entitled "The Afterman", to be released in two separate full-length volumes.

The first volume, "The Afterman: Ascension", will be available on both physical and digital platforms in the U.S. on October 9 via Hundred Handed/Everything Evil, and distributed through Fontana/Ingrooves (to be available in Canada via Universal Music Canada). The second volume, "The Afterman: Descension", is due in February 2013.

"The Afterman: Ascension" track listing:

01. The Hollow
02. Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute
03. The Afterman
04. Mothers Of Men
05. Goodnight, Fair Lady
06. Key Entity Extraction II: Hollywood The Cracked
07. Key Entity Extraction III: Vic The Butcher
08. Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria The Faithful
09. Subtraction

A deluxe version of "The Afterman" will include a hardcover coffee-table book with expansive art by Heidi Taillefer and Nathan Spoor with collaborative written work from singer/creator Claudio Sanchez and writer Peter David that will create a song by song experience.

The two records follow-up to 2010's "Year Of The Black Rainbow", and will feature new bassist Zach Cooper and returning drummer Josh Eppard, who have replaced Michael Todd and Chris Pennie, respectively.

The concept albums will continue to be set in the band's alternate universe of "Heaven's Fence", which are part of their series titled "The Amory Wars". "The Amory Wars" is currently being developed by Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson of Leverage Productions for a live-action feature film. It follows the story of a superhuman dictator named Wilhelm Ryan, and a family that may have the ability to free the world from his control.

"The Afterman" albums will focus on a character named Sirius Amory, a scientist who discovers an energy force that can connect the universe's 78 planets together.

COHEED AND CAMBRIA frontman Claudio Sanchez said of the album: "This is, without a doubt, the most honest record I've ever written. Though all the songs can be interpreted through our main character in the story, they were initially written in a very spontaneous manner. In the past, I've always had a predetermined idea of what the story was going to be when I approached the songs. With 'The Afterman' being a new story within 'The Amory Wars' arc, I allowed the events of my life to drive the concept, and therefore opened up the songwriting to a fuller degree."

COHEED AND CAMBRIA is currently touring with IRON MAIDEN and will be hitting the road for a headline run beginning in mid-September.
Irish hard rockers THE ANSWER have inked a deal with Napalm Records. The band is currently working on material for a new album for a 2013 release.

Commented THE ANSWER: "THE ANSWER are thrilled to be working with Napalm. This label knows what it is to develop a band properly and provide their artists with a solid foundation from which they can flourish and achieve real success. We're very excited to be given this opportunity and can't wait to get started. 2013 belongs to THE ANSWER...you heard it here first!"

THE ANSWER will support GOTTHARD on a Swiss tour in late November and early December.

THE ANSWER's latest release, the "Rise" EP, came out on July 2 via the band's own The Answer Productions label. The EP consists of a new 2012 radio edit mix of "Rise", an extended full-length version, a very special acoustic/orchestral version and a brand new mix of another rockin' gem called "Lost".

In a recent interview with Glasswerk, Neeson stated about "Rise", "It's a bit different to anything we've done before. The title track, 'Rise', has a forty-piece orchestra playing on it for a start. It's a great tune that has been kicking around for a while. But we feel that now is the time for people to hear it, so here's hoping our fanbase will enjoy it because we're proud of it!! There's also a belter of a tune on there called 'Lost' which is probably the most Celtic-sounding track in our repertoire. All in all, it's a great EP...but I would say that."
Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing tells Birmingham Post that he bought his home at Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England in 1985 when he swapped his modest semi-detached home in Bloxwich for the 19th century mansion.

"I went and did what they all damn well do when suddenly you come into a bit of money and you go mad," he said.

"The highlight when I came here was to get the keys to the house, but I was also delighted to get the keys to a barn where I could put my new Porsche Turbo.

"Suddenly I went completely mad and wanted everything I had never had.

"When I came here I didn't care if it was big. I just thought I will find a use for every room, though initially it kind of felt like it wasn't mine and was all a bit of a dream. It had an antiquated alarm system that used to keep going off in the night. I used to walk around with my pellet gun. It was a very solemn and desolate place, particularly at night time — I could hear all sorts of things."

Downing last year shot down as "inaccurate" reports that he left JUDAS PRIEST because he chose to concentrate on running the 18- and nine-hole golf courses on his property.

Downing, who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris).
Courtney Bingham, girlfriend of MÖTLEY CRÜE/SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx, joined Jennifer Tapiero on "Planet Love Match Radio" to discuss what it's like dating a rock star. Watch the clip below as Courtney reveals if they have sex to his music, how she handles panty-throwing groupies, and more.

In his autobiography, "Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back with One of Rock's Most Notorious Frontmen", MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil took aim at Sixx for his dating habits, writing, "Just like Tommy [Lee, MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer], [Nikki's] another one of those guys who just love the whole fame thing. He wouldn't have been with the tattoo artist Kat Von D if she wasn't famous. And [former 'Baywatch' actress] Donna D'Errico before her; she was a huge star at the time he married her. He just really likes to see his face in the paper. He likes the press buzz. He likes being that guy from the band with famous girlfriends."

Sixx, 53, has been married twice, to Playboy Playmate Brandi Brandt and actress Donna D'Errico, and has five children.

"Planet Love Match Radio" is a weekly, one-hour Internet radio show that covers all facets of love, sex, romance, dating and relationships. Airing on LATalkLive.com on Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time, "Planet Love Match Radio" also aims to help people understand and embrace online dating.
German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION are currently in Gernhart Studios in Troisdorf, Germany with engineer Martin Buchwalter recording their 30th-anniversary album, "Spiritual Genocide", for a November release via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD, which will be mixed by Andy Classen, feature guest appearances by Thomas "Angelripper" Such (SODOM), Andreas "Gerre" Geremia (TANKARD) and Ol Drake (EVILE). In addition, the "Mad Butcher"/"Release From Agony" lineup of DESTRUCTION — featuring guitarist Harry Wilkens and drummer Oliver Kaiser — will reunite for one song.

Commented DESTRUCTION vocalist/bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer: "For this anniversary album we did a really great job. Our new drummer, Vaaver [real name: Wawrzyniec Dramowicz; INDUKTI, ex-UNSUN], opens up new possibilities of course.

"On this album there are no limits.

"So fast, brutal and yet groovy we haven't ever sounded, probably!

"Also the guest musicians are very special this time: with Gerre and Tom Angelripper, our old friends and companions, are with us, the original 'Mad Butcher'/'Release From Agony' lineup is doing one song and with Ol Drake, we got the hottest young thrash guitarist for a few solos on the album!

"Germany's best extreme metal producer Andy Classen will take care for the brutal and raw production!

"The album will destroy even more than [2011's] 'Day Of Reckoning': fast riffs, double bass attacks and brutal groovy songs, I think this time we found the 100% right mix!

"Also the 'Mad Butcher' returns to the cover.

"Cool artworks are very important for us. For the new thrash thunderstorm, our artist Gyula created a real hammer again! The artwork makes clear immediately where to go — FULL THROTTLE — as it has to be."

DESTRUCTION earlier in the year 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" 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.
SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser was honored with a commemorative brick with his name on it, placed in the wall in front of Liverpool, England's legendary Cavern Pub, in a ceremony which took place earlier today (Friday, August 24). He is the first Brazilian artist to have his name eternalized in the Cavern wall that became famous when THE BEATLES made their first lunchtime appearance on Tuesday, February 9, 1961.

Kisser will join the Brazilian THE BEATLES tribute act CLUBE BIG BEATLES during International Beatles Week 2012 at the Mathew Street Music Festival in Liverpool on Monday, August 27 where they will present the "White Album" in its entirety — in a two-hour-long set.

Cavern club owner Bill Heckle said: "Andreas has played here before, including at last year's festival, with the CLUBE BIG BEATLES tribute band. But I just didn't realize who he was and how big a name he is, until I found out he's bringing two Brazilian TV documetary crews with him this time.

"I mentioned it to some other people and they were gobsmacked that I had never heard of SEPULTURA, but that area of music has never been something I've followed properly.

"We thought we'd better give Andreas his own brick, as he is actually so famous. He is like a God among metal fans, but he is a very nice, unassuming guy."

Kisser said: "It's beyond a dream for me to be here. There isn't a bigger possible honor than being here and jamming at the Cavern Club, the most historic place in Liverpool."

Video footage of today's ceremony can be seen at LiverpoolEcho.co.uk.
NIGHTWISH's long-awaited "Imaginaerum" film — based on the band's album of the same name — will be released theatrically in Finland on November 23.

The movie will have its premiere on November 10 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, where the audience will be treated to both a full-scale NIGHTWISH concert and the first-ever public screening of the movie.

Eagerly anticipated around the world, "Imaginaerum" creates a musical fantasy world in the vein of David Lynch, Neil Gaiman, and Cirque du Soleil. The movie is an innovative mixture of story-telling and music, an extraordinary tale of the power of imagination… and what's ultimately important in life.

Shot and post-produced in Canada, the movie was directed by Stobe Harju and produced by Solar Films, and features appearances by all NIGHTWISH members. The screenplay is based on a wild vision that Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind of the band, devised after the album "Dark Passion Play" came out in 2007.

"I though of how we could take our expression that had already became pretty ambitious and grandiose to the next level, and that's when I knew I wanted to tell a story, and to tell it with love and piety," said Tuomas.

According to Holopainen, finishing the movie has been an eventful and challenging journey that has sometimes demanded superhuman dedication from the production crew.

"I want to already thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Together we've managed to create something innovative, strange, and timeless," Holopainen said.

The "Imaginaerum" screening at Hartwall Arena will be preceded by a show by the musicians NIGHTWISH themselves in what will be their last concert in Finland this year.

The official soundtrack of the movie, "Imaginaerum By Nightwish: The Score", will be released on the day before the premiere — Friday, November 9. The album features 13 grandiose, unreleased re-interpretations of "Imaginaerum" tracks by Petri Alanko.

Several new photos from the "Imaginaerum" movie shoot can be found at this location.

"Imaginaerum" is one of the projects which received grants from the Finnish government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation. The movie, directed by Stobe Harju, about an old man on his deathbed who glimpses a childhood dream in which he refuses to grow old, and fights aging with his imagination, reportedly got $575,000 toward its $3.7 million budget.

During a September 2011 interview with Petri Silas of Finland's Soundi magazine, NIGHTWISH mainman/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen explained that all the filming for the "Imaginaerum" movie was done in Canada with mostly Canadian actors/actresses. Post-production took place in Canada and Finland. He aso revealed the names of the actors who have two of the main roles in the film: Marianne Farley and Quinn Lord.

Speaking to Loudwire, Holopainen stated about the plot of the "Imaginaerum" film, "Basically it's about this old guy who used to be a composer and he's really sick; he's lying on his death bed in a hospital and he's going through his life, through his dreams — that's the basic storyline. It's all about praising life and life's beauty, imagination and all the strife and the bad stuff we have to face.

"[The storyline] came from the director; I just had the twelve ideas, the twelve visions. He basically wrote the script and storyline around those originally visions and the only one we had to leave out was the 'Ghost River' part, because we didn't have the finance to realize that vision."

Asked if the band appears in the film at all, Tuomas said, "A little bit, we are seen in two different scenes as a band, playing in the background. That's something that I really emphasized to the director, 'Please don't put the band into the movie,' because we want to do a believable story and we have no idea how to act. We are not actors so if your give us some lines and we tried to act, it would look goofy. He insisted to put us into the movie because it's our brainchild, so we're just playing in there as a band; it's a good compromise."

"Imaginaerum" film cast:

* Francis X. McCarthy
* Quinn Lord
* Marianne Farley
* Joanna Noyes
* Ilkka Villi
* Keyanna Fielding
* Ron Lea
* Victoria Jung
* Hélène Robitaille
* Stefan Demers
* Anette Olzon
* Marco Hietala
* Tuomas Holopainen
* Emppu Vuorinen
* Jukka Nevalainen

The "Imaginaerum" album was released in the U.S. on January 10 via Roadrunner Records.
Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers EPICA recently guested on the Dutch TV show "Niks Te Gek", which gives mentally disabled people the chance to make their dreams come true. Ruurd Woltring's biggest wish was record one of his songs with EPICA, and so the band took his music and lyrics and arranged it into an EPICA track, inviting him into the studio to record with them.

The song they recorded is entitled "Forevermore", and a video clip of the recording can be seen below.

The video will air on "Niks Te Gek" on September 16 on Nederland 2.

Commented Ruurd: "On 14 and 15 August, I've been in the studio with the Dutch symphonic metal group EPICA, to record an official EPICA version of my self-written song 'Forevermore'!

"Now, you all probably want to know how this came to. Well, a couple of months ago, I heard from some sort of Dutch TV program called 'Knoop In Je Zakdoek' (Knot In Your Handkerchief) from NTR, where people from 18 years or older with a mental or physical restriction can send in one favorite wish, to do an activity together with their greatest idol. Anyhow, I signed up for the program, sent in my wish, discussed some details with the editor of the program (who by then told me it would be broadcasted in a different program, called 'Niks Te Gek' ('Nothing Too Weird') from NTR), did a couple of camera shots in my hometown, went to EPICA's concert at the Rock Harz open air festival in Ballenstedt (Germany) on Friday 13 July 2012, exclusively met the band backstage, played an acoustic version of my song on the keyboard of Coen Janssen (the pianist and keyboardist of the band) and guess what... THEY ALL SAD YES! Yahoo! I'm so excited!

"Oh, and for those who live in Belgium and/or the Netherlands, starting from Sunday 2 September, you can see 'Niks Te Gek' on TV (Dutch only), each Sunday around 4:30 (in the afternoon) on Nederland 2. The exact date of my broadcast is Sunday 16 September."
Chicago metallers DIRGE WITHIN have released the following statement:

"As a few of you have been inquiring, we feel the need to be honest with our fans.

"We did have a fill-in singer last night [Thursday, August 23] at the House Of Blues [in] Chicago with STATIC-X.

"There have been many events leading up to our singer's departure from the band, although he has not contacted any of us yet and officially quit.

"Jerms [Jeremy Genske] has been absent from many practices while the rest of the band has been hard at work rehearsing and preparing for shows. He refused to be in certain scenes in our latest video unless his girlfriend could also be in the video, which the rest of the band did not agree with. He has made it very difficult for us to work with him and has not shown interest in being a part of this band.

"We were told by Jerms that he could not play [last night's] show due to personal reasons. As a band, we decided that we wanted to be there for our fans and continue on to play the show last minute using fill-in singer Adam Gilley from PRODUCT OF HATE.

"We were asked personally by [STATIC-X frontman] Wayne Static to play this show and no one in the band wanted to miss out on playing such a killer show with good friends.

"We have had to decline three shows prior due to Jerms' personal schedule and the band did not feel like he has been honest with us.

"This band respects our fans and will continue to put forth are best efforts as we always have, in order to deliver an amazing show and music."

DIRGE WITHIN's "Memories" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed in June with director Peeler.

DIRGE WITHIN's sophomore album, "There Will Be Blood", was released on April 10 via Rocket Science Ventures/THC: Music. The CD was recorded at Mercenary Studios in Zion, Illinois with engineer Scott Creekmore and producer Ari Mihalopoulos and was mixed at Inner Light Studios with Ari and DIRGE WITHIN guitarist Shaun Glass.
PAPA ROACH has been forced to withdraw from the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix has been diagnosed with a nodule on his left vocal cord, and at the advice of his physician he will undergo corrective surgery to remove the nodule and prevent further damage.

"It's no secret that I've been having issues with my voice lately. I was hoping to be able to go out there and kill it on this tour by resting and doing vocal exercises, but my voice has just gone out on me. I hate to let our fans down, but unfortunately surgery is the only way to fix it," Shaddix said. "The last thing we want to do is give our fans less than 100% every night. We know they'll understand and we'll be back better than ever."

"It was amazing having PAPA ROACH on the road with us for the first few Uproar shows. We're disappointed that they can't continue for the rest of the tour, but Jacoby's health is the priority and we wish him a speedy recovery," says Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival co-producer John Oakes.

Beginning Friday, August 24, the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival main stage schedule will be adjusted to allow longer performances from SHINEDOWN, GODSMACK, STAIND and ADELITAS WAY.

PAPA ROACH's new studio set, "The Connection", is due out on October 2. First single "Still Swingin'" arrived late last month.
PAPA ROACH was forced to withdraw from the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival after lead singer Jacoby Shaddix was diagnosed with a nodule on his left vocal cord. At the advice of his physician, Jacoby will undergo corrective surgery to remove the nodule and prevent further damage.

Peaking to RollingStone.com, Shaddix said, "[the] nodule, otherwise known as a node, [is] pretty much like a callus that you get on your hand, but it's like a callus on your vocal cord, so it affects my speaking voice, my singing voice. I first noticed it towards the end of recording of our new record. At the end of the day, I was super hoarse and then the next day, I'd wake up all backed up and I could barely talk. We were in the studio until a few days before we went out on the road and that's when it put a nail in it. We went and did this run in June and I was like, 'Fuck, what's going on with my voice? I'm not smoking cigarettes, I'm not fucking partying, I'm fucking the healthiest I've been and this pops up.' I'm all freaked out."

Asked if it was the combination of everything that caused the problem, Shaddix said, "All the stresses in your life, whether they be emotional, physical, sleep deprivation or just overuse. I got clean and sober and I was getting my life together, [then] me and my wife split up and that just flipped my whole entire world upside down. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, I was wigging out. And all the while I was sober going through this shit... and I was singing six, seven hours a day. That by itself can cause the issue that I have."

Beginning yesterday (Friday, August 24), the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival main stage schedule was adjusted to allow longer performances from SHINEDOWN, GODSMACK, STAIND and ADELITAS WAY.

PAPA ROACH's new studio set, "The Connection", is due out on October 2. First single "Still Swingin'" arrived late last month.
New Jersey/New York's ILL NIÑO has set "Epidemia" as the title of its sixth full-length album, due on October 22 via Victory Records. The recording sessions for the CD took place in Hoboken, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado.

ILL NIÑO drummer Dave Chavarri previously stated about the upcoming album: "This time around, we want to explore Latin and tribal rhythms we have never explored in the past five releases, giving us no musical boundaries at all."

ILL NIÑO's fifth LP, "Dead New World", sold around 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 164 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous effort, "Enigma", opened with 5,000 units to land at No. 145 back in March 2008.

"Dead New World" was released on October 26, 2010 via Victory Records.
THE RESISTANCE, the Sweden-based metal band featuring former members of IN FLAMES, THE HAUNTED and GRAVE, has parted ways with bassist Alex Losbäck Holstad (ex-DESPITE, DECAMERON, CARDINAL SIN).

Commented the group in a statement: "As of today Alex was kicked out of THE RESISTANCE. The reason is not because of personal or musical differences. There was just NO way possible working with one you can't simply trust.

"We do not wish Alex any luck whatsoever in the future.

"From now on, we will focus on the upcoming EP and continue to write songs for the full-length album."

THE RESISTANCE's song "Eye For An Eye" is available for free download at PledgeMusic.com (e-mail sign-up required).

"Eye For An Eye" was originally made available on the sampler CD that was distributed to the subscribers of Sweden's Close-Up Magazine in the August 2011 issue.

THE RESISTANCE made its live debut on October 8, 2011 at Club Distortion in Stockholm, Sweden.

THE RESISTANCE's lineup is as follows:

* Marco Aro (FACE DOWN, ex-THE HAUNTED) - Vocals
* Jesper Strömblad (ex-IN FLAMES, DIMENSION ZERO) - Guitar
* Glenn Ljungström (ex-IN FLAMES, DIMENSION ZERO) - Guitar
* [To Be Announced] - Bass
* Chris Barkensjö (CARNAL FORGE, GODSIC, ex-GRAVE) - Drums

Strömblad quit IN FLAMES in February 2010 in order to continue receiving treatment for his alcohol addiction.

Jesper signed an exclusive songwriter agreement with BMG Germany earlier this year.

Strömblad is also a talented film composer. Together with Daniel Flores, he wrote the score for the film "Isdraken" ("The Ice Dragon"), which was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.
Eric Cook, guitarist for the legendary power/progressive metal band LETHAL, has lost his battle with cancer.

The Kentucky-based LETHAL was founded by Tom Mallicoat and the Cook brothers, Eric and Glen. In 1990, after the arrival of drummer Jerry Hartmann, Metal Blade Records released their debut album, "Programmed", which was instantly proclaimed a progressive/power metal classic the world over.

In 1994, LETHAL independently released "Your Favorite God", a five-song EP (featuring new guitarist David McElfresh) which immediately sold out. "Your Favorite God" showed LETHAL going in a heavier direction, with such outstanding songs as "Waiting On The Kill" and "Hard To Breathe".

LETHAL's last release, the album "Poison Seed" (1995), set new standards for progressive metal bands with its sheer musical brilliance, which featured "Down", "Walking Wounded", and the title track.

LETHAL played its first show in ten years at the Chicago Powerfest in 2007 and also performed at Keep It True and Bang Your Head!!! festivals that same year, as well as at Headbangers Open Air in 2008.

Commented Keep It True festival organizer Oliver Weinsheimer: "I am in a state of shock.

"I got in contact with Eric in 2006 through our mutual friend Martin Brandt and was able to book him and LETHAL for their very first European show at Keep It True in 2007. As expected, it went down triumphant and after that we stayed in touch I tried to help them getting further with new music and more gigs. I met the guys again at the gigs at Headbangers Open Air and Bang Your Head!!! and then it got a bit quiet around them 'till today I got this shocking news.

"Eric was one of the nicest musicians I ever worked with and a real gentleman.

"The whole next Keep It True will be dedicated to his honor and we will try to arrange a final farewell/tribute LETHAL show for Keep It True 2014. This is something he deserves for all the beautiful music and joy he gave to us.

"The whole Keep It True family sends their condolences to his family, friends and his bandmembers, who all go through dark times right now.

"RIP, my friend..."
Finnish metallers KALMAH have issued the following update:

"Last weekend we had massive training session. Velski [new keyboardist Veli-Matti Kananen] and Lede [bassist Timo Lehtinen] travelled up north and we gathered at our rehearsal room. At first we finalized the set for Meh Suff and then concentrated on the new pieces. There is five more or less ready and three that needs to be finalized. So it is 8 all in all. Sounds like we have material for a new album..:)

"We also had a short discussion/planning session with the director of our next music video which will be shot late September. Hopefully we get 'Ruska - autumn colors' time for the video since it will take place among the most beautiful Finnish wilderness. We are really looking forward to it."

Keyboardist Marco Sneck left KALMAH last summer after seven years and three albums with the band.

KALMAH's sixth album, "12 Gauge", entered the official chart in the Finland at position No. 15. The CD was recorded between June and August 2009 at Tico Tico studio in Kemi, Finland and was mastered at the Cutting Room in Sweden.
Multinational metallers RAVEN LORD have announced the addition of guitarist George Karafotis (VERMILLION DAYS, OPERATION X) to the group's ranks.

Born in March 1993, George started taking guitar lessons at the age of 11 from guitar master Laki Ragazas (DEVIL'S TRAIN, MYSTIC PROPHECY).

Commented the band, "We just started working with George and things are running smooth. He is a team player and definitely fits the bill for RAVEN LORD; this guy got music and metal in his blood."

RAVEN LORD recently tapped Fredrik Nordström of Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden to mix their album. Nordström is a well-known producer and sound engineer who has previously worked with such acts as AT THE GATES, ARCH ENEMY, NIGHTRAGE, IN FLAMES, DREAM EVIL and OPETH. The CD mixdown will take place the last week of August.


* Stefan Lindholm (VINDICTIV) - Lead Guitar
* Jamie Mallender (TONY MARTIN) - Bass
* Pontus Larsson (VINDICTIV, FIRECRACKER) - Keyboards
* George Karafotis (VERMILLION DAYS, OPERATION X) – Guitar
Former THE HAUNTED frontman Peter Dolving will release a solo album entitled "Thieves And Liars" on October 24.

Regarding how the effort came together, Dolving said, "Beginning in July 2011, I had come to a place in my life and art where for some reason I knew, this is it. No more adapting to groups, superficial ideas of genres, or styles. I started recording, with no censoring, complete flow of conciousness. Free creation. Finally. Without restraints. And I made a couple of songs every weeks, it just kept pouring out. I realized this was a truly inspired record falling into play.

"As the songs kept coming, I asked Per Möller Jensen, who I'd been playing with in THE HAUNTED for 10 years if he would like to play on the record, and he was completely open for diving into it. He explained he wanted time to really put his heart into and certainly he did. Mixing an amazing classic rock feel and a energetic inspiring jazz influence his drums blew my mind as I heard what he had come up with for the songs.

"I spoke to [producer] Tue Madsen, who I had befriended during hours of work with THE HAUNTED, we share a deep love of music and we decided that he would master. Fredrik Reinedahl who got involved with HOUSE OF DOLVING back when we started recording in 2011 has become a dear friend along the process. We met each other for the first time back in summer of '95 and he kept playing stuff to me that I really love that he had or was mixing. BURST, PASSENGERS, ABANDON and later SOLSTAFIR. The man is a bona fide sound wizard and really one of the smartest, loving people I know.

"And a year after a couple of hundred alone long nights at end, it's all in place. This is 'Thieves And Liars'.

"I really hope you will enjoy it as much we have making it."

"Thieves And Liars" track listing:

01. Meinhof
02. Song For You
03. Hands On
04. One Sweet Moment
05. Ordinary Folk
06. Sunday Mornings
07. Cocksucker Blues
08. My Will To Die
09. No Solicitors
10. So Sick
11. All This Beauty
"The British Invasion", the new concert DVD from Angeles glam-metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER, will be released in Australia and New Zealand on September 28. Fans in North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world can expect their release dates soon. "We know the extra wait sucks, but it will be worth it... trust us," comments the band.

Shot in 2010 at a sold-out show in London, England's famed Brixton Academy, "The British Invasion" brings back the '80s in full force with a blistering set of their greatest hits. This DVD includes such favorite songs as "Asian Hooker", "Death To All But Metal" and "Community Property". The DVD was directed by Daniel E. Catullo III, who has previously worked with RUSH, CREED, GODSMACK, SMASHING PUMPKINS, CHICKENFOOT and ALTER BRIDGE and includes a hysterical behind-the-scenes documentary that is a must-see!

"The British Invasion" track listing:

01. Eyes Of A Panther
02. Eatin' Ain't Cheatin'
03. Fat Girl
04. Hair Solo
05. Party All Day
06. Hell's On Fire
07. Stripper Girl
08. Guitar Solo
09. Asian Hooker
10. Turn Out The Lights
11. Girl From Oklahoma
12. We Want Pussy
13. Community Property
14. The Shocker
15. Death To All But Metal

STEEL PANTHER's sophomore album, "Balls Out", sold nearly 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 40 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on November 1, 2011 via Universal Republic Records, the follow-up to 2009's "Feel The Steel" contains 14 soon-to-be classics such as "Just Like Tiger Woods", "Gold Digging Whore" and "Weenie Ride". The album also features cameos by Dane Cook on the album opener "In The Future" and NICKELBACK frontman Chad Kroeger and EXTREME axeman Nuno Bettencourt show up on an instant classic "It Won't Suck Itself". "Balls Out" was produced by Grammy-nominated producer/mixer Jay Ruston who produced the band's "Feel The Steel" debut and is known for his work with ANTHRAX, MEAT LOAF, THE DONNAS and MORRISSEY, to name a few.
Justin Tedaldi of Examiner.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Minoru Niihara of Japanese metal veterans LOUDNESS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Examiner.com: Many of LOUDNESS's songs are either mostly or totally in English. How did the band make the decision to do this when they were still known only in Japan? Was it a lot of pressure for you to have to learn so much of another language?

Minoru: In the '80s, if you wanted to be successful as a band in the States and Europe, it was crucial to sing in English. When I started singing in English, I was already 23 and past the age to acquire the language, so it was really hard to get the right pronunciation and intonation while recording. It was a long and hard process, but I'm still grateful for the producer and singers who helped me through it.

Examiner.com: Did the band tend to write these songs in Japanese first and then have someone translate them? How difficult was it to sing and memorize these songs in English for live performances?

Minoru: First we have basic concepts and ideas for songs in Japanese and translate them into English. After that, we work with English-speaking songwriters. Then the songwriters will read lyrics and record them for us for pronunciation and intonation. We listen to them over and over to master them. It takes time to master them all, but in the studio I sing them so many times, recording, that I can sing them by heart by the time the recording is done. Memorizing songs for live performances is the same both in English and Japanese.

Examiner.com: What opportunities did that give you and the band when LOUDNESS first toured the U.S. in the mid-'80s? How about for your music career in general?

Minoru: Our first live performance in the States was in California back in 1983. We had several live performances in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lots of people from record companies and musicians came to listen to us and gave us lots of offers. One of them was Atlantic Records and the contract with them was the first step to the band that we are today and a huge turning point for us.

Examiner.com: LOUDNESS has a place in the history books as the first Japanese band to play Madison Square Garden, opening for MÖTLEY CRÜE in 1985. How did this happen, and what are your memories of that experience?

Minoru: They really liked our stage and gave us the opportunities to tour with them. We were extremely lucky. Touring with them made us known in the States and we owe it to them. About the experience in MSG, I remember hearing that musicians who perform in MSG go there by limousines from a hotel as a tradition, and we took the limousine for the first time in our lives and felt like real rock stars riding through the Manhattan area and all! Also in touring through all over the States with them, we learned what the real rock shows were like. Their stage production, sound system, tour management, and just everything was very professional and its scale was amazing. All the venues were very big arenas with the capacities of tens of thousands and it was a super exciting experience!

Examiner.com: Another legendary rock group, X JAPAN, is also planning to break in America with a domestic album deal just like LOUDNESS had in the '80s. What are your thoughts about this, and what advice would you offer to Yoshiki and company for them to succeed here?

Minoru: I know Yoshiki has the American dream and is trying very hard. Compared to the '80s, record labels, media and music industry are totally different now, but rock bands' success has been always written on the stage. I think his touring in the States will lead him to his American dream.

Examiner.com: Sadly, original LOUDNESS drummer Munetaka Higuchi passed away in 2008. What are some of your favorite memories of him?

Minoru: Back in 1981 when I joined LOUDNESS and moved to Tokyo, I stayed at his apartment for about three months. He was the oldest among us and our band leader. He was strict yet always nice and was like my big brother. We wrote lots of songs and performed together all over the world, and all those things are my treasures. I was honored very much to have shared those wonderful moments with a great drummer like him.
Pennsylvania-based extreme metallers INCANTATION have set "Vanquish In Vengeance" as the title of their new conceptual album, due in November via Listenable Records.

Commented INCANATATION mainman John McEntee: "The title track is about the massacre of Saxons in the town of Verdun in 782, called on by order of King Charlemagne.

"As an album title, it has a different meaning to me. 'Vanquish In Vengeance' symbolizes the long history of the band. We have fought many battles over the years to keep things going. We have always stayed true to our original vision and have never caved into trends. After a long wait between albums we are back with a vengeance with some of our darkest and heaviest material to date."

After a very successful tour of Brazil and an amazing European summer festival campaign, INCANTATION is back in the U.S.

Although based in Pennsylvania, INCANTATION has enjoyed a 23-year musical career as one of the leaders the New York death metal scene along with SUFFOCATION, IMMOLATION and MORTICIAN.

INCANTATION and Listenable Records' working relationship resulted in "Decimate Christendom" (2004) and "Primordial Domination" (2006) albums.

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