In a brand new interview with TheMusicBiz.org, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked how he managed to develop a distinctive bass style at a time when no one quite knew how to be a metal bass player, especially in terms of thrash.
"Well, y'know, for me, I grew up on a farm in a very rural part of the United States, in Minnesota," he responded. "The music bug came on me; it lit me up. I felt alive and like I had a purpose, so I looked for every opportunity and every person I could play with. I would play with the church acoustic guitar player, I'd play with the third-grade band teacher. I was 12 and getting asked to join bands with guys who were 16 years old and knew every LYNYRD SKYNYRD song. I would play with anybody and everybody. Then there came a time when I was in my mid-teen years where I was playing in a jazz band in high school and listening to Jaco Pastorius, WEATHER REPORT, Spyro Gyra, Al DiMeola. Anything I could get my hands on to play. Largely, I went well out of the school of rock and roll to develop my skills. And so by the time I was 18 and I graduated high school and moved to California and met Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman], certainly by this time IRON MAIDEN had come out, and Steve Harris had really opened my eyes to what a bass player could do."
He continued: "I knew of bass players who were singers and songwriters, like Geddy Lee [RUSH] and Gene Simmons [KISS], but for Steve to be the bass player and a songwriter but not a singer was very intriguing to me. And I liked it because I was never a good lead singer. I sang backups in a few bands. I sang lead a little as a kid, but I never had a good lead vocal voice. But I'm the Michael Anthony [VAN HALEN], a good back-up singer guy, y'know? Like the harmony in 'Peace Sells', that was me going for that. I jumped on what I call the Michael Anthony harmony. The high third and fifth. And that's just where I go when I'm singing harmonies usually."
Ellefson added: "So when I met Dave Mustaine, it's funny because the METALLICA stuff he was playing was always pretty complex but it was simpler, and MEGADETH, especially that first year in '83, we lived in Hollywood right by the Musicians Institute. And we were very influenced by this school and the students that were there. There was one guy we'd jam with, this guy Ed who would come over every day after school, and he was really big into Uli [Jon Roth of SCORPIONS], and me and Dave loved the early SCORPIONS stuff, and Dave was a big fan of Uli's guitar playing and Michael Schenker, and it really developed how progressive MEGADETH's early music was. And we took it to a whole other level of complexity. So all those years of growing up playing all these different types of music, playing in the jazz band and stuff, all those experiences were able to be brought together and harnessed basically to a blank canvas called MEGADETH where we created this sound and style. And certainly with Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson in the band, they were hardcore jazz fusion guys so that escalated my playing to another level.
"When people ask me what they should do as a musician is they should play with as many musicians as they can."
Ellefson is heading to Australia in March for a spoken-word tour. "An Evening With David Ellefson" will feature stories from life on the road and about life as a founding member of one of the biggest metal acts in the world, documenting all the trials and tribulations. The night will also feature a bass demonstration and audience question-and-answer session which will allow fans to delve deeper into all things MEGADETH and David's autobiography, "My Life With Deth", a story about the complex history of the band.
From MEGADETH's inception in 1983 until the band's temporary split in 2002, Ellefson was the only constant member other than bandleader Dave Mustaine. David was a pivotal part in MEGADETH's progression from a ferocious jazz infused thrash group to a state-of-the-art speed metal band and into a multiplatinum, chart-topping, global juggernaut.
After MEGADETH disbanded in 2002, Ellefson pursued a variety of projects, including playing with SOULFLY and forming the band F5, amongst other endeavours. In 2010 David rejoined MEGADETH for the 20th-anniversary tour of the band’s seminal, genre-defining classic "Rust In Peace". Since then, he has reclaimed his rightful place within one of heavy metal's most revered bands.
Through highs and lows, Ellefson has experienced the gamut of rock star fame, fortune and excess and lived to tell the tale. This is your only chance to get a personal insight into the history and behind the scenes of one of metal's most iconic bands, MEGADETH.
For more information, visit MetropolisTouring.com.
Banger Films and VH1 Classic present "Rock Icons", an original documentary series profiling the most legendary artists in the history of rock music, premiering Saturday, February 21 on VH1 Classic.
"Rock Icons" is 10 groundbreaking 30-minute episodes that go past the veil of mystery and beyond the velvet ropes with in-depth, intimate portraits revealing who these rock stars really are, and the road that lead them to their iconic status today. Each episode is jam-packed with exclusive interviews, never-before-seen footage with featured artists and key people who helped shape their exemplary careers.
Over the past year, Banger Films' Sam Dunn has been traveling to meet with some of the biggest names in rock and metal music. Some of them will be very familiar, like the metal heroes he’s had the privilege to interview before, people like Rob Halford of JUDAS PRIEST, Joe Elliott of DEF LEPPARD, Geddy Lee of RUSH, and Slash of GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER. He also had the chance to sit down for the first time with such iconic artists as Ann Wilson of HEART and Daryl Hall. He traveled to MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's winery, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx's radio studio, SMASHING PUMPKINS leader Billy Corgan's home and even got invited back to the Texas sanctum of Ted Nugent.
Bringing together elements of celebrated shows such as Classic Albums, Biography, Iconoclasts, and Banger's own hit show "Metal Evolution", "Rock Icons" is a landmark series celebrating the innovative artists who defined the history of rock music.
The first episode features the remarkable Geddy Lee of RUSH.
Future episodes will include:
* Rob Halford (JUDAS PRIEST)
* Ted Nugent
* Ann Wilson (HEART)
* Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH)
* Nikki Sixx (MÖTLEY CRÜE)
* Slash (GUNS N' ROSES)
* Daryl Hall (HALL & OATES)
* Joe Elliott (DEF LEPPARD)
* Billy Corgan (SMASHING PUMPKINS)
Watch a teaser video below.
Pictured below: Sam Dunn with Dave Mustaine
"Behemoth: Devil's Conquistadors" by Lukasz Dunaj serves as the definitive BEHEMOTH biography. The book, officially blessed, or rather damned, by BEHEMOTH, is an in-depth look at the history of the events that materially influenced the band. As Dunaj points out in the intro, this isn't "Poland's response to MOTLEY CRÜE's biography 'The Dirt'." Simply put, "Behemoth: Devil's Conquistadors" is the story of BEHEMOTH, their music, their ultimate rise to the upper echelon of metal and becoming a household name in their native homeland, Poland.
A 490-page, hardcover tome that is being released by Metal Blade in February, "Behemoth: Devil's Conquistadors" includes quotes and anecdotes from current and former members that provide context and details in addition to the author's narrative, plus interviews with Tomas Krajewski, Rob Darken, Graal, Havok, and more. The artistically presented pages are splattered with old photos of the band, flyers, lyric sheets, etc.
Pre-orders are available now at metalblade.com/behemoth, and include a bundle with an exclusive shirt available ONLY with this pre-order. The passages below serve as previews of the book.
From the foreword by Krzysztof Azarewicz: "If, as a cultural anthropologist, I were to point to a single cosmic force which BEHEMOTH's music expresses, I would name it not Satan but Dionysus. A deity that represents not only the intoxicating influence of cosmic energies and earthly benefits, but also their benevolent healing properties. A deity of strength and pride. A deity of creative might."
BEHEMOTH frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski discusses the acquisition of his first electric guitar: "The first communion was a very important moment for me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's true. Of course, not as a religion experience — I didn't understand anything and couldn't care less. Same as all the other kids. We all stood there with our votive candles and waited for one thing. Cash. The first communion must be one moment when you get the most money you're ever going to get as a child. And for this money, I bought myself my first electric guitar. Not a bike, no Legos — a guitar."
In related news, BEHEMOTH is currently leveling stages throughout North America on a mammoth co-headlining tour with legendary death metal practitioners/labelmates CANNIBAL CORPSE. The month-long winter live takeover kicks off today in New Orleans, Louisiana and will wind its way through nearly three-dozen cities, coming to a close on March 7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Support comes from two of Sweden's finest metal exports: AEON and TRIBULATION.
SLIPKNOT percussionist Chris Fehn says that "it's incredibly difficult" for newer bands to get a good record deal nowadays, explaining that "record labels are struggling" because "people don't really care anymore about sound quality."
During a brand new interview with Rock Sins, Fehn was asked how he thinks SLIPKNOT would fare as a new band today compared to how it was when the group released its debut album more than 15 years ago.
"I think it's incredibly difficult, because of the way that record sales and everything have dropped off, to get a good contract; being a new band, [it] is nearly impossible.
"The way that the new deals are structured, you know, [the record companies] own everything. So it's like…"
He continued: "It's really sad that record labels are struggling, because they can't… they're just… It's all the Internet. People don't really care anymore about sound quality. It's just eaten up so fast and it's so easy. You know, I'm guilty of it too. I'll buy records off iTunes just because I'm in my car and I want it right now and I do it. I do also have a huge CD collection. I still do buy CDs, but I think…"
Fehn added: "Man, that's a good question. I think that we would still be different than what's out today, and we would still make an impact. So, yeah, I don't know… I think if it started today as versus '99, we would still wanna be seen, I guess."
Asked if he personally gets influenced by newer bands that are out there, Fehn said: "I don't, personally. There's not too many things out that are new that I like. I'm still an old metalhead, I guess. So I continue to listen to that stuff. Once in a while, I'll hear something new that catches my eye, but it's usually something obscure. But other than that, everything's just kind of stale."
He continued: "I appreciate any band that puts out a record and goes on tour and does what we do for a living. It's amazingly hard, you know, and it's difficult to continue to have passion for it on a night-to-night basis, depending on what's going on in your personal life and within the band, within everything. But as far as being a music fan, there hasn't been that next PANTERA to me, there hasn't been that type of band… there hasn't been another KORN. There hasn't been another SLIPKNOT to where I was like, 'Wow, man. I'm totally into it. I would go see the show.' It just hasn't affected me yet like that…. I don't look too hard though either, I really don't. I'm pretty into what I'm in to and it's probably my loss… I'm probably missing out on some things but… it's just I got a lot of other things to do, too."
SLIPKNOT's first major headlining tour in support of its new album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", dubbed "Prepare For Hell", also featured KORN and KING 810.
The trek kicked off on October 29, 2014 in El Paso, Texas and wrapped up on December 7, 2014 in Boston.
".5: The Gray Chapter" sold around 132,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on October 21, 2014 via Roadrunner.
On Tuesday January 27, POISON singer Bret Michaels returned to Detroit, Michigan to perform at a sold-out NBA halftime concert during the Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Palace Of Auburn Hills. Video footage of his appearance can be seen below.
"The Pistons Concert Series halftime performances are another opportunity to thrill our fans and add value to the overall game night experience," said Harlan Hendrickson, Vice President of Marketing for Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Pistons.
A sports fanatic since birth, Michaels was honored to bring his rock and roll party to the NBA, this pair of storied basketball franchises and their fans.
"Around the NBA, both Pistons and Cavs teams in particular have an amazing amount of talent with a passionate, sports-minded fan base," Michaels said prior to the game. "The showdown between Pistons star Brandon Jennings vs Cavs star and MVP LeBron James is one for the ages and we are bringing the right mixture of rock and roll to help set the vibe."
Michaels released a new solo single, "A Beautiful Soul", in April 2014. He also performed the track on "Oprah's Lifeclass".
His last CD, "Bret Michaels: Jammin With Friends", was released in June 2013 and featured a myriad of legendary guests, including Joe Perry (AEROSMITH), Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Buffett, Ace Frehley (KISS), Michael Anthony (VAN HALEN) and members of LYNYRD SKYNYRD.
Iconic guitarist Slash received the prestigious Les Paul Award during the 30th annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards on Saturday, January 24 in Anaheim, California. Comedian Sinbad provided the laughs as the evening's host. The NAMM TEC Awards honors individuals and companies across 30 categories, for outstanding achievement in professional audio technology and production.
The Les Paul Award named for the revolutionary inventor and esteemed musician, honors individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio and music technology. Instituted in 1991, the honor has been granted to luminaries, including Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Todd Rundgren and Peter Gabriel.
Video footage of Slash's acceptance speech and performance at the NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards can be seen below.
As a critically acclaimed British-American musician and songwriter, Slash has amassed album sales topping 100 million copies, garnered a Grammy Award, seven nominations and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Time magazine named Slash second, behind only Jimi Hendrix, on its "Ten Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time" list. His famous guitar solos in songs, including "November Rain" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" are adored by rock fans worldwide. In 2003 he helped form the rock Grammy-winning supergroup VELVET REVOLVER, releasing two successful imprints with Scott Weiland and former GUNS N' ROSES bandmates.
Slash now enjoys a thriving solo career with his new band SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS. On September 16, 2014 the band unleashed their top ten new album, "World On Fire", to worldwide acclaim. The CD marks Slash's third straight album to debut in the Top Ten. The title track, "World On Fire", ascended to No. 1 at U.S. rock radio. "World On Fire" features Slash with Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass). The album was released on Slash's label Dik Hayd International, which is distributed through Caroline.
SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS are on a world tour.
Slash supports efforts to revitalize music education programs in public schools, as an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock.
Gary Holt, the respected guitar player who started with EXODUS in 1981 and joined SLAYER in 2011, is now part of ESP Guitars' acclaimed artist endorsement roster.
During an appearance at this past weekend's NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Holt unveiled his new signature model based on the ESP Eclipse. The Gary Holt signature models come in a high-end ESP version (ESP Gary Holt) and two LTD versions, the GH-600 and GH-200. All come with Floyd Rose tremolo system and dual humbucker pickups.
"We have three price-point models," Gary told "In The Vault With Shanda Golden" (web site) about his new signature guitars (see video below). "In the center, you have the top-of-the-line, most badass guitar I've ever seen and ever been associated with. And then you have, over there, you have the black-and-red one, which I think is as stunning as anything. It's affordable and it plays amazing — an incredible guitar. And here you have your starter guitar, which is still better than anything I started out with as a kid. It's, like, awesome."
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, an early bandmate and decades-long friend of Holt, commented, "Gary has influenced a whole generation of metal guitarists with his wicked riffs and leads in EXODUS. I'm happy that he's jumped on for the ESP ride!"
In a June 2012 interview with Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show, SLAYER's Kerry King stated about Holt: "I always regard Gary as the Glenn Tipton of our era — really good, really polished and nobody talks about him. To this day, nobody really references [JUDAS] PRIEST and Tipton that much as guitar players and I feel the same way about Gary. EXODUS have a huge following but a little more overlooked than METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER, ANTHRAX — the 'Big Four,' so to speak, so [it is great] to be able to bring him to the forefront and shove him down people's throats and say, 'Hey, this motherfucker kicks ass. Pay attention.'"
Holt joined EXODUS in 1981 shortly after their formation, and has been the band's main songwriter ever since. Holt has performed on every EXODUS album, and is considered highly influential in the world of thrash metal. In 2011, he began filling in for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman at live shows, and became the band's full-time co-guitarist as of 2013, while remaining a member of EXODUS. In October, EXODUS released its tenth studio album, "Blood In Blood Out", on the Nuclear Blast label.
Californian rockers PAPA ROACH recently stopped by YouTube Space in New York to put on an acoustic performance of a few songs, including tracks from their eighth full-length album, "F.E.A.R.", which was released on January 27 via Eleven Seven Music. They also took some time to answer questions from their fans. Check out video footage of the event below.
"F.E.A.R." was recorded in Las Vegas, taking the band out of their Sacramento, California home base for the first time since 2006. PAPA ROACH worked with the father-and-son producing team of Kevin and Kane Churko on the new CD.
Frontman Jacoby Shaddix told The Pulse Of Radio that he wasn't very happy at first about going to Sin City to record. "I ended up in this city where I've had some of my greatest failures and worst decision making, and some of my biggest debacles of my life happened in Vegas, you know," he said. "And I believe I was sent back to that city to go do right this time, and we went there and I just faced that fear of living in this city that I felt was gonna eat me alive. But really and truly I just gave myself to this music 100 percent, and that's what pulled me through."
Shaddix admitted that the band went into the studio this time with almost no new material prepared, explaining, "Usually when we begin working, we'll have a bunch of demos, and I'll have a bag of lyrics ready to go. We didn't have those things this time."
Guitarist Jerry Horton added, "We walked into the studio with nothing. It was frightening since it was so different, but it was also liberating. Once the ball started rolling, it was a snowball effect."
PAPA ROACH and SEETHER teamed up for a co-headlining North American tour that kicked off on January 9 in Orlando, Florida and winds down on February 7 in Las Vegas.
HALESTORM has just released the official video for its new single, "Apocalyptic", and singer Lzzy Hale told The Pulse Of Radio that the song strikes a middle ground between the band's older material and the new directions it's exploring on its next record. "I didn't want to scare you guys too much with the first single [laughs], so we decided to go with this one. But there's a lot on this record that… I don't know, you just kind of throw caution to the wind, and there's a certain freedom that comes with that. But then there's also this kind of, there's a nervousness. But, you know, bottom line is that we came out with a record that we're really proud of."
"Apocalyptic" is taken from HALESTORM's third studio album, "Into The Wild Life", which will be released in Europe on April 3 and North America on April 7.
"Into The Wild Life" follows up HALESTORM's Grammy-winning 2012 sophomore effort, "The Strange Case Of…"
The new disc was recorded last year in Nashville and features 13 new songs.
HALESTORM is currently touring with Eric Church and has announced a series of live dates with THE PRETTY RECKLESS that will begin in late April.
Hale told The Pulse Of Radio that "I've been wanting to tour with [Taylor] for a long time. I don't know what it is about her, but she's a freakin' rock star, and I really enjoy listening and seeing the way that she carries herself. She's carrying that rock 'n' roll torch. We're gonna have a blast and it's gonna be awesome."
Hale said she was asked the same questions about rivalry when HALESTORM toured with EVANESCENCE, explaining, "Amy Lee is one of the coolest chicks I've met in this world. Everybody said the same thing to me beforehand: 'I don't know, man.' I'm like, 'Don't knock it until you try it, baby!' And we had so much fun."
Hale was asked in the same interview if she finds it difficult to maintain a relationship while on the road. Hale replied, "In a relationship, you have to literally have everything out there to this other person, and they have to do the same thing with you, or it's not gonna work. I've never been a jealous person either, and as of right now, I'm dating someone who is the same way. So we have a very amazing trust thing going on."
She added, "I think you have to work hard, no matter what, at a relationship, but, really, the first couple of steps — laying everything out there — has been total saving graces for me and my relationship."
Hale has been rumored as recently as 2013 to have dated HALESTORM guitarist Joe Hottinger, but the singer has not revealed who she is in a relationship with now.
"My Witness, Your Victim", the new video from Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers THE AGONIST, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's new album, "Eye Of Providence", which will be released on February 24 in North America (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media. The band's first CD with singer Vicky Psarakis was recorded at The Grid studio in their hometown with producer Chris Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY). Vicky joined THE AGONIST as the replacement for Alissa White-Gluz, who left the band to focus on her new gig as the frontwoman of ARCH ENEMY.
Guitarist Danny Marino had this to say about the "My Witness, Your Victim" video: "We're thrilled to release the 'My Witness, Your Victim' video!
"This is the first video we are releasing that was directed and edited by our very own bassist Chris Kells. Chris shoots music videos for other bands when he is not touring with us and it was really cool to finally do one for THE AGONIST.
"Lyrically, this song dives into the album theme of the 'Eye Of Providence'.
"We live in a world where everything is being tracked and the more we interface with technology the more we lose our humanity.
"We're really happy with how the video turned out and believe it or not the actor was not harmed (too much) during the shoot!"
"Eye Of Providence" track listing:
01. Gates Of Horn And Ivory
02. My Witness, Your Victim
03. Danse Macabre
04. I Endeavor
05. Faceless Messenger
06. Perpetual Notion
07. A Necessary Evil
08. Architects Hallucinate
09. Disconnect Me
10. The Perfect Embodiment
11. A Gentle Disease
12. Follow The Crossed Line
13. As Above, So Below
THE AGONIST released a two-song digital single on April 29, 2014 via Century Media. These tracks were the first to feature Psarakis.
Commented Marino: "Creating this album has been an amazing experience.
"Vicky has breathed new life into the songwriting process.
"The songs on this album represent a culmination of the past 10 years, as well as a new beginning for THE AGONIST.
"We can't thank our fans enough for their ongoing support in this new and exciting chapter of THE AGONIST!"
THE AGONIST 2015 is:
Vicky Psarakis - Vocals
Danny Marino - Guitar
Chris Kells - Bass
Simon McKay - Drums
Pascal "Paco" Jobin - Guitar
In a brand new interview with The Jakarta Post, AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows spoke about the band's musical evolution and the group's connection to the metalcore genre, which AVENGED SEVENFOLD is often credited with pioneering.
Asked if fans can expect a comeback of the "metalcore" elemens of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's sound, Shadows said: "The metalcore has been left behind. It's not something that any of us find enjoyment in listening to, so it's obviously that the direction we would write songs in. I wouldn't hold my breath for a comeback. We are ever evolving and never repeat ourselves."
Regarding how he would like to see AVENGED SEVENFOLD develop as a band, Shadows said: "I want to stay away from trends and do what we want to do musically.
"We write music because we have to — it's a part of our very being. As we develop, I just see us following our heart on this musical journey."
Asked if the resurgence of metal heroes such as BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA affected AVENGED SEVENFOLD as a band, Shadows said: "It has been good for us, because there are some big bands to play with.
"People think this is a competition between bands, when the reality is the more successful bands the better. It really does help everyone when there are some big bands leading the charge."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Hail To The King", was certified gold in July 2014 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies. Released in 2013, it was the band's second straight CD to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, following 2010's "Nightmare".
The special edition reissue of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's second album, "Waking The Fallen", sold around 22,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 10 on The Billboard 200 chart. The 2003 disc was the first to feature guitarist Synyster Gates and bassist Johnny Christ as full-fledged members, and its last independent release before signing a major deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Although the record sold just 3,000 copies in its initial week of release, it was eventually certified gold for sales of more than half a million copies in 2009.
ddrum conducted an interview with drummer Tim Yeung (MORBID ANGEL, DIVINE HERESY, VITAL REMAINS, HATE ETERNAL) at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention that took place January 22-25 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about MORBID ANGEL's upcoming activities, Tim said: "I've been in MORBID ANGEL for freakin' five years — half a decade — and we're working on some material to do a new album hopefully sometime… Maybe start it at the end of this year."
MORBID ANGEL frontman David Vincent told Planet Mosh TV last month that the band is "done [touring] for awhile" and that "it's time to write" material for the follow-up to the band's 2011 album "Illud Divinum Insanus".
David also addressed the mixed fan reaction to "Illud Divinum Insanus", explaining: "Listen, I thought a lot of that stuff [that ended up being on the record], it was really interesting to me as well. Trey [Azagthoth, guitar] came in and he had some crazy ideas. And I [said], 'Great. Let's have fun with it.'"
He continued: "We're not really a traditional band; we sort of follow our own path. And it is what it is. I mean, it's always been that way with this band. Most of our records sound different than everything that's ever been out there, [and I think that's] good. I don't wanna sound like everybody else."
Vincent added: "Listen, I've said it before. I'm not very good at being anybody else, but I'm pretty good at being me. So I'll stick with what I know."
"Illud Divinum Insanus" sold around 3,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 141. The effort marked MORBID ANGEL's first CD to feature Vincent since 1995's "Domination".
ANNIHILATOR mastermind Jeff Waters invited the band's former vocalist, Coburn Pharr, to feature in their performances when the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise sailed to Jamaica last week. Pharr was lead vocalist on ANNIHILATOR's critically acclaimed and best-selling 1990 release "Never, Neverland", which includes classics such as "Road To Ruin", "I Am In Command", "Reduced To Ash" and "Phantasmagoria".
Fan-filmed video footage of Pharr's appearance with ANNIHILATOR on 70000 Tons Of Metal can be seen below.
Waters commented: "Seeing as how it is the 25th anniversary of my favorite ANNIHILATOR album, I thought it would be a lot of fun to invite Coburn with us to perform some of the songs he was a part of."
Waters also hosted the Jamming With Waters In International Waters All-Star Jam which featured members from the 60 bands on board 70000 Tons Of Metal, including ARCH ENEMY, APOCALYPTICA, BEHEMOTH, BLIND GUARDIAN, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DESTRUCTION, MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK, NAPALM DEATH, THERION, VENOM and many more.
Adam "Nergal" Darski of BEHEMOTH joined VENOM frontman Conrad "Cronos" Lant, Jeff Waters of ANNIHILATOR, Mike Sifringer of DESTRUCTION and Florian "Specki T.D." Speckardt of IN EXTREMO on stage to perform a cover version of the MOTÖRHEAD classic "Ace Of Spades" during the infamous all-star jam aboard the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which set sail Thursday, January 22 ofrom Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and returned to the real world on Monday, January 26.
Said Nergal: "Out of all the bullshit preaching by Christians, one is true: miracles DO happen!
"I remember when I was 8-9 year old kid, I'd be coming back home and instead of reading books, I would crank up [VENOM's] 'Bloodlust' real loud and do air guitar in front of the mirror.
"It took me 30 years to stand next to Cronos on the same stage covering MOTÖRHEAD!
"Yes, I am living my dream… And these words sooo defining my whole life: 'if you like to gamble, I'm your man, you win some, you lose some, it's all the same to me…"
Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen will speak at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square in Washington D.C. on February 12. The event will be broadcast online, so fans will be able to watch video of Eddie's speech the very next day.
The Dutch immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen will discuss his American journey, his role in creating one of the biggest American rock bands of all time, how he has reinvented the way the guitar is played and designed, and he will answer the question, "Is rock 'n' roll about reinvention?" Entertainment journalist Denise Quan will moderate the sold-out event.
Best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of VAN HALEN, Eddie Van Halen is recognized for his innovative performance and recording styles, two-hand tapping, scorching solos and energetic concerts. Van Halen has invented guitar technology, technique and instruments that have redefined how the guitar is played and heard.
For the event, Van Halen and Fender will donate a master-built replica of Van Halen's infamous white-with-black-stripe Stratocaster. This is the guitar that changed the guitar world in 1978 when Van Halen cross-pollinated Gibson electronics with Fender body and neck designs. To represent the path of progressions in his instrument designs, a Stealth finished EVH Brand Wolfgang will also be included to represent his modern-day workhorse.
In addition to the guitars, Van Halen and Fender Musical Instruments Corp. will donate an EVH Brand 5150-III amplifier and speaker cabinet to embody the journey and progression of his amplifier designs from the early '70s through the modern day.
The February 12 event is sold out, and no public tickets are available.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum Of American History explores the richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
Zocalo Public Square, a proud affiliate of Arizona State University, is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. Zocalo partners with educational, cultural and philanthropic institutions, as well as public agencies, to present free events and conferences in cities across the U.S. and beyond and to publish original daily journalism that is syndicated to more than 160 media outlets.
Video footage of IN THIS MOMENT performing an instrumental version of the PANTERA classic "Cowboys From Hell" on January 24 at The Grove Of Anaheim in Anaheim, California can be seen below.
IN THIS MOMENT's new album, "Black Widow", sold around 36,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 8 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on November 17, 2014.
IN THIS MOMENT's previous CD, "Blood", opened with around 20,000 copies back in August 2012 to debut at No. 15.
The band's 2010 effort, "A Star-Crossed Wasteland", registered a first-week tally of 10,500 to enter the chart at No. 40.
IN THIS MOMENT's sophomore effort, "The Dream", sold more than 8,000 copies back in its first week of release in October 2008 to land at No. 70.
"Black Widow" was once again helmed by Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, HELLYEAH, PAPA ROACH) at his The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada.
IN THIS MOMENT in 2013 inked a new deal with Atlantic Records, a division of Warner Music Group, following the completion of its contract with Century Media Records.
IN THIS MOMENT released all four of its previous studio efforts through Century Media, including "Blood".
Polish extreme metallers HATE will release their new album, "Crusade: Zero", on February 10 in North America via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2013's "Solarflesh" was recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski brothers.
"Crusade: Zero" track listing:
01. Vox Dei (A Call From Beyond)
02. Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Wrath
03. Death Liberator
05. Doomsday Celebrities
06. Hate Is The Law
07. Valley Of Darkness
08. Crusade Zero
09. The Omnipresence
10. Rise Omega The Consequence!
11. Dawn Of War
12. Black Aura Debris
13. The Reaping (bonus track)
The official lyric video for the song "Leviathan" can be seen below. Also available is the clip for the track "Valley Of Darkness".
Commented HATE guitarist/vocalist Adam "ATF Sinner" Buszko: "While you wait for 'Crusade:Zero' to attack your senses quite soon, we give you this blasphemous and haunting picture for the song 'Valley of Darkness'.
"I chose this song as a first glimpse into 'Crusade' because of its morbid seriousness and blasphemous atmosphere which, I believe, constitues a main foundation for the album.
"The song is a requiem for the civilization as we know it. All you do is 'following a death cult caravan through valley of darkness...'"
HATE in March 2014 announced the addition of drummer Pawel "Pavulon" Jaroszewicz to the group's ranks.
IRON MAIDEN guitarist Dave Murray has teamed up with Fender for a new signature model, dubbed the Dave Murray California Series Stratocaster.
The Dave Murray California Series Stratocaster is inspired by Murray's longtime onstage go-to guitar, combining time-honored Strat tradition with the modern roar of three Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups, the fast feel of a compound-radius fingerboard, and the high-performance reliability of a Floyd Rose bridge and nut.
According to Fender, the new guitar should hit retailers' shelves in mid-February.
For more information, go to www.fender.com.
IRON MAIDEN is believed to be putting the finishing touches on its new studio album with longtime producer Kevin Shirley for a 2015 release.
MAIDEN's 15th studio album, "The Final Frontier", sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.
In the most unexpected guitar news of this year's NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) has launched his own range of guitars and amps under his new brand Wylde Audio, with more products to follow. Gear Gods got a private viewing of what Zakk's been up to. Check out the clip below.
Wylde, who was previously sponsored by such companies as Gibson, Marshall, Dunlop and Electro-Voice, tells Billboard.com: "It's beyond an honor to have a signature anything. I still have great relationships with those companies, just like with Ozzy and [Osbourne's wife/manager] Sharon. I still love them, and you still talk to your folks, and you still hook up with them on the holidays."
Wylde says that there are plans for Wylde Audio to include "everything down to studio plug-ins with ProTools. Headphones. Anything you can think of audio: cable, strings; we'll be involved in that."
For more information, visit www.wyldeaudio.com.
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's latest studio album, "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican", sold around 26,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 5 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" was released in Europe on April 7, 2014 via Mascot Label Group and one day later in North America through eOne Music.
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY amicably parted ways with longtime guitarist Nick Catanese and replaced him with Dario Lorina (LIZZY BORDEN).
BLACK LABEL SOCIETYs' "Angel Of Mercy" video was directed by longtime collaborator Justin Reich of the Antimatter Studio. The clip depicts a stripped down version of the wall of sound that is widely associated with the band.
German power metallers BLIND GUARDIAN have announced the addition of Dutch bassist Barend Courbois to the group's ranks.
Courbois has played over 4,000 shows and recorded over 60 albums. He has worked with such musicians as Adrian Vandenberg (WHITESNAKE), Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE) and Atma Anur (JOURNEY). In 2004 he was voted best metal and all-around bass player by Guitar Player magazine.
Speaking about the new BLIND GUARDIAN album, "Beyond The Red Mirror", which is due on on January 30, Courbois said: "This was the longest production I have ever been involved in. As we all know, the recordings took a total of two years. The music is so versatile, which is just what makes the style of BLIND GUARDIAN so unique."
Regarding his style, Courbois said: "I play in a very powerful, but also melodic way. You could compare me to John Deacon. Something that QUEEN fans [and fellow BLIND GUARDIAN members] Hansi Kürsch and André Olbrich really like."
Kürsch says: "Barend is top. He is the ideal bass player for us and has a lot of musical understanding. He is variable and multifaceted, but still able to create all the power we need. And the fact that Krefeld is so close to the Dutch border makes our liaison really easy."
Music has always been in Barend's blood. His father Pierre (74) is a world-famous jazz drummer who has played alongside such superstars as Jean-Luc Ponty and Ben Webster. At the age of four, Barend started playing drums, and at age eight he picked up the bass and for quite a while enjoyed bagpipes as well.
The way he got in touch with BLIND GUARDIAN is not as spectacular as one might think. "One day I got an unexpected phone call from producer Charlie Bauerfeind, whom I had met at a project we both were involved in the early '90s," the bass player recalls. "He asked me if I was available during the next six months to tour with a major metal band. He wouldn't tell me the band's name at first though."
Just one day after agreeing to this new engagement, Courbois met BLIND GUARDIAN in Krefeld, only to find himself on tour two weeks later. "I was a total wreck before my first gig. It's a real challenge to play BLIND GUARDIAN songs, but I love it!"
Four and a half years in the making, the follow-up to 2010's "At The Edge Of Time", "Beyond The Red Mirror", was recorded at Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind (SAXON, HAMMERFALL, HELLOWEEN). The CD showcases BLIND GUARDIAN's collaborative work with three different classical choirs: one from the Czech Republic (Prague), one from Hungary (Budapest), and one from the United States (Boston). Two grand orchestras — each featuring 90 musicians — also lend their brilliant talents to the new recordings with absolutely spellbinding results.