Metal Injection recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST members Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Richie Faulkner (guitar). You can now watch the chat below.
Halford, who revealed he was homosexual during a 1998 appearance on MTV, commended former DEATH and current CYNIC members Paul Masvidal (guitar, vocals) and Sean Reinert (drums), who are both gay, for speaking out for the first time about their sexuality in the context of their music.
Asked if he ever gets approached by any gay metal fans, Halford told Metal Injection: "They never do. And I know there were gay metalheads at the Times Square signing [for the new JUDAS PRIEST album, 'Redeemer Of Souls']. I know it. I know it. And it's a real shame, but…"
He continued: "We could talk forever about this, we could have our own show on this, because it's something very meaningful, I would like to feel. But [it's an issue] that still exists in our world. I don't think it'll ever go away. We've come through it in however we choose to display ourselves. [We have to] respect each other if we wanna stay in the background on that issue. At the heart of it all, it don't really fucking matter, because metal is all that matters.
"But I really applaud the guys from CYNIC for standing forward and just telling… They didn't need to do that. I didn't need to do that. They did it for themselves, like I did for myself. It might appear to be a bit selfish, but it's not.
"I always quickly say: you set yourself free, you stop all the lying, you stop all the innuendo, you stop all the damaging, attacking comments, because they bounce off you. Because [you go], 'That's who I am. That's what I am. What are you trying to say? You can't attack me anymore, because I'm now bulletproof because of this honesty.'
"So I applaud them. I think it's really, really cool. And I can't wait to see them."
Halford stated in 1998 about his decision to publicly discuss his sexuality: "I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality. It's something that I've been comfortable with forever, something that I feel has a moment, and this is the moment to discuss it and to go into the reasons, and the whys and the wherefores as to the statement, the so-called coming out phase."
He continued: "A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music. I wouldn't say it's any more phobic in metal or rap or whatever this music is that I'm doing now, but that's just something that I think we all have to address in our own lives. If we have a problem with it, I think we should seek help and find out why we do have a problem with it."
In openly discussing his sexuality, Halford said that he hoped he would be helping others to do the same.
"I think it's difficult for everybody, you know, in making the decision to come forward and be who you are, based on peer pressure, especially if you're a teenager," Halford said. "That's where a lot of the anxiety begins, and so maybe people like myself and others that do step in front of a camera and let the world know, maybe it's of some help, where there's an individual that's been successful, that's been able to achieve dreams and visions and goals in life and not let the issue of sexuality be something to hold them back, so I think it's an important thing."
FATES WARNING and ARMORED SAINT bassist Joey Vera has posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"So, I'm not looking for ANY sympathy or well wishes here, but wanted to share this in hopes of any similar experiences.
"First off, I realize there are FAR worse situations for some of us in every part of the world and this little sitch of mine is but a small wart on the universal being.
"A year ago I was snorkeling on vacation and upon exiting the ocean, I sprained the tendons in my right rotator cuff (shoulder). In September, I went through four weeks of physical therapy and then did two tours with FATES WARNING. This past January, the pain came back in a big way. This led to two MRIs and thankfully they ruled out a tear. But after doing the two tours, a gig in January, played on a record in February and another tour with FATES in April, it was ruled I acquired frozen shoulder. By May, I lost most of my range of motion and was in severe pain. I'd gotten two cortisone shots right in the joint (fun) but all it did was dissolve my muscles in the area.
"So, since then, I've been in therapy twice a week and have to stretch and ice daily.
"Happy to report I've gotten about 90% motion back and the pain is tolerable for the most part.
"I know this will take some time but has anyone had this problem? Show me some light, please.
"I haven't been able to play bass for three months, but picked it up this week. Felt good.
"No sympathy but share if you dare."
Vera started out his 30-year career as the bassist and founding member of Los Angeles-based heavy metal band ARMORED SAINT, of which he is still a member. Joey recorded six records with ARMORED SAINT before they disbanded in 1992. Shortly thereafter, Joey joined the legendary prog-metal outfit FATES WARNING, of which he is also still a member, and recorded four studio albums with them. In 2004, Joey replaced Frank Bello in ANTHRAX for a year and has since been Frank's sub whenever duty calls. Joey has spent the last couple of years touring with FATES WARNING and ARMORED SAINT and appearing on the debut ARCH/MATHEOS album.
British/American grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH have begun tracking guitars for their follow-up to 2012's "Utilitarian" at Parlour Studios in Kettering, England with producer Russ Russell. An early 2015 release via Century Media Records is expected.
The band performed a brand new song, "Dear Slum Landlord", on April 10 at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
"Utilitarian" sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 14 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.
NAPALM DEATH's previous album, 2009's "Time Waits For No Slave", opened with around 1,800 units to land at No. 19 on the Heatseekers chart.
"Utilitarian" was released on February 27, 2012 in Europe and February 28, 2012 in North America via the band's longtime partner, Century Media Records.
Asked in a recent interview with MetalPR.com about what it's been like to work with various different record labels over the years, NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway said: "You've gotta remember, with NAPALM, it was always on our own terms. Because the problem is, bands… Sometimes if you're a newer band, they go, perhaps, into an arrangement with a label thinking that, 'Oh, we can't upset things, because we're only a new band and they'll just disown us.' But if you can't be happy knowing that you're doing what was your creative plan to do, then there's surely something wrong with that; there has to be. So at any stage, NAPALM was always, like, with the labels, if we felt something was fundamentally wrong, we would say, 'No. It's not happening. We're not doing it. Forget it. It's not gonna happen.' So we always maintained that and we've always set that precedent. Every time we've walked into a record label, we've always said, 'Look, we know what we're doing, and we know how we need to do things. Sure, you've got your things that you need to do, but creatively and stuff, we know best. And that's what we're gonna do. And if there's anything that's ethically not right, or doesn't feel right, then we just won't do it.' And we don't do it in a threatening way; it just becomes a common understanding. And it works for us. But bands have gotta realize that… If I was in a new band, I would rather be in a band and be cut away from a record label than having to be in a situation where I wasn't happy with how they were putting the band forward, if they tried to interfere with the sound of the band. It's not worth it. It's not worth being unhappy in your situation. You may as well cut loose and start again."
@dbmagazine @Terrorizermag @BLABBERMOUTHNET guitar tracking on Napalm Death album number 15 commences #parlourstudios pic.twitter.com/Qlrn3vAO4g— Napalm Death (@officialND) July 24, 2014
@dbmagazine @Terrorizermag @BLABBERMOUTHNET guitar tracking on Napalm Death album number 15 commences #parlourstudios pic.twitter.com/Qlrn3vAO4g
The official lyric video for the song "Watch You Bleed" from Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's fourth studio album, "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1", which sold around 112,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on July 30, 2013 via Prospect Park.
"The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1" was the first half of a two-record set, with the second half arriving last November. Guitarist Zoltan Bathory told The Pulse Of Radio that the idea for a two-record set surfaced after the band finished its writing sessions for the project with around 25 songs. "Generally you pick your best 12 and the rest of them become bonus tracks and this and that, or you keep it for next record, whatever," he said. "But you know, when we tried to take away songs, we realized, no, no, no, we don't want to take this one or that one. And when we went to the label, they said the same thing: 'Well, keep 11.' And so we were like, 'OK, well, here's 25, you pick it,' and they couldn't pick it either. So we were like, 'OK, now this is gonna be a double record.' That's how pretty much that happened."
The deluxe edition of "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1" came with a bonus 15-track live CD titled "Purgatory (Tales From The Pit)", plus a redeemable limited-edition T-shirt.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and VOLBEAT will embark on a co-headlining tour, which kicks off on September 16 in Salt Lake City and runs through October 24 in Las Vegas. Support on the trek will come from HELLYEAH and NOTHING MORE.
Bathory told Billboard that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH already has "five, six ideas" for songs for its next album, which he would like to see released by the summer of 2015. Bathory explained, "In this environment I don't think that bands can allow themselves to stay in a studio for two, three, four years and wait and try to write some masterpiece."
"Cry Of Achilles", the new video from ALTER BRIDGE, can be seen below. The animated clip was directed by SiLee Films via Genero.
ALTER BRIDGE will hit the road for a U.S. headlining trek this fall, beginning on October 4 in Louisville, Kentucky and winding down on October 26 in Los Angeles. This is likely to be the band's final run in support of 2013's "Fortress" album. Tickets for the tour are available at AlterBridge.com.
ALTER BRIDGE drummer Scott Phillips told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that playing live is what it's all about for the quartet. "That's the reason that all of us initially got in a band, was to play," he said. "It's not about the recording process, it's not about, you know, what we're doing now, interviews and all that kind of stuff, it's about jamming."
ALTER BRIDGE is offering VIP packages on the fall tour that include a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the band, an autograph session, the chance to check out an ALTER BRIDGE soundcheck, priority VIP check-in, crowd-free merchandise shopping, an on-site VIP host and exclusive VIP merchandise.
Singer Myles Kennedy is currently on the road as part of Slash's band, MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS.
Massachusetts metallers ALL THAT REMAINS entered the studio on July 12 to begin recording their new album. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2012's "A War You Cannot Win" is being helmed by producer Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD and GOJIRA. A late 2014/early 2015 release via Razor & Tie is expected.
A short clip of a new ALL THAT REMAINS song, as posted by the band's lead singer, Phil LaBonte, on his Instagram account, can be seen below.
LaBonte told The Pulse Of Radio a while back how the band approaches a new record. "There's a lot of bands out there that are like, 'Oh, we went and we took a bunch of time and we were thinking about this and we were thinking about that,' and blah blah blah," he said. "ALL THAT REMAINS has never been that band. We've always been the band that's like, 'You know what? We've got to write a record, why don't we all just get together and come up with some ideas, and the stuff we like, we'll use, and the stuff we don't like, we'll throw away.' There's so many bands out there that are like, 'Oh, we want to change the world and we want to…' And it's like, 'Okay.'"
ALL THAT REMAINS had a No. 2 single on the rock radio chart earlier this year with "What If I Was Nothing", which marked a stylistic departure for the band. The song's accompanying video was directed by Rasa Acharya and Dan Kennedy of Little Sky Film (SAY ANYTHING, WE CAME AS ROMANS).
A previous single from "A War You Cannot Win", "Stand Up", spent three weeks at No. 1, making it the band's first -ever chart-topper fifth consecutive Top 10 rock single.
"A War You Cannot Win" debuted at Number 13 on the Billboard album chart and has sold over 115,000 copies to date.
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to The Rock Pit about the planned sequel to his autobiography "No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir", which came out in 2011.
"I have a couple of chapters written," he said. "It'll be along the same lines as the first one."
He continued: "I don't believe in bashing people. I don't believe in a lot of negativity, so most of the stories in the book are going to be about me: funny stories and funny situations on the road, all stories about me in the Bronx growing up, and so on and so forth.
"There wasn't much in the first book about the FREHLEY'S COMET years, and there's plenty of stories along those lines, there's still plenty of KISS stories, and plenty of stories of me growing up. I probably have enough stories for five books."
Asked if he puts aside time to write or if something just comes to mind and he jots it down as he goes, Frehley said: "Every day I wake up and I remember something else that I completely forgot about.
"You know, I just turned 63; I've lived a lot in my life.
"The latest thing was I was just talking to my fiancée, Rachel, about the time I went over to John McEnroe's house, the famous tennis player, and I remembered something. I'll have to give John a call and document it for my next book… It's going to be as good [as], if not better than, the first book."
"No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir" landed at position No. 10 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. The book, which was described as a look back at Ace's "life of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll," arrived on November 1, 2011 via Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
"No Regrets" was co-written by New York Times journalist Joe Layden who also authored "The Last Great Fight" about what is considered by many to be the biggest upset in the history of boxing: James "Buster" Douglas' tenth-round knockout win over Mike Tyson in 1990.
Frehley performed with KISS from its inception in 1973 until his first departure in 1982 before rejoining KISS in 1996 for a very successful reunion tour. Frehley's second stint lasted until 2002.
The four members of GODSMACK answered a number of fans-submitted questions during a live Google+ Hangout session earlier today (Thursday, July 24). You can now watch the question-and-answer session below.
GODSMACK has released a second new song from the band's upcoming album, "1000hp" (One Thousand Horsepower), called "Generation Day". Singer Sully Erna told Grammy.com that the tune is one of his favorites from the new disc, saying, "'Generation Day' is really unique for me because not only is it this six-and-a-half minute epic, but it has these really cool textures and colors in it. The middle section has this cool, ZEPPELIN-y kind of breakdown, drifty and trippy. The song has this really fat, cool opening riff, and it's something I almost think we want to open the live show with."
Erna added that the song was inspired by the idea that his generation will be possibly the last to experience "analog" music and not just digital recordings and copies. He explained, "'Generation Day' is about realizing that this new era is taking over… when I think about that whole world, I feel sad and wish my daughter and the people (who) are younger could have had that experience of putting on an album and pulling out the lyrics and looking at the artwork. It was such an experience back then."
"1000hp" is due out on August 5 and follows up 2010's "The Oracle".
Erna told The Pulse Of Radio how he thinks the sound of "1000hp" compares to earlier GODSMACK records. "This one just became a little bit more raw, a little bit more open," he said. "The writing was a little freer, the production was really kind of raw and in your face, and the songs, man — I'm really, really excited about these songs."
GODSMACK, SEETHER, SKILLET and BUCKCHERRY will lead the lineup of the fifth annual Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, which kicks off on August 15 in Clarkston, Michigan and runs through September 21.
Former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen has released a video for her track "Neverlight", filmed earlier this year at Teleclub in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The clip, which was directed and edited by Ivan Batenyov, can be seen below.
Turunen followed her most recent rock album, "Colours In The Dark", with the exclusive tour CD "Left In The Dark", which was previously only available bundled with a ticket for the "Colours In The Road Tour 2014". "Left In The Dark" was released on July 4 via earMUSIC.
It all started with the success of the multi-platinum and gold awarded previous records "My Winterstorm" (2007) and "What Lies Beneath" (2010), followed up by the Top 5 live project "Act 1".
"Colours In The Dark" charted in 12 countries, with four Top 10 entries, and was praised by the media and, more importantly, by the fans. Precisely for those people, a very special fan item was created.
Following the original track listing of "Colours In The Dark", its counterpart, "Left In The Dark", contains rarities, B-Sides as well as demos, instrumental versions, including five previously unreleased versions, among them two live radio acoustic recordings of "500 Letters" and "Until Silence". Furthermore, the high-quality digipak includes exclusive liner notes written by Tarja herself, which give a personal insight behind the scenes of Tarja's work.
Not only is the track selection of "Left In The Dark" one of a kind, the story behind the creation of the album artwork is as well.
In February 2014, Tarja fans were called for creating the cover artwork for her exclusive tour item "Left In The Dark". With over 1,000 great and creative submissions, Tarja had a hard time choosing five winner artworks. In the end, this left her with no other choice than to decide on ten lucky winners.
Veteran radio personality Jenn Marino, who recently joined MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx as co-host of "Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx" and "The Side Show Countdown With Nikki Sixx", conducted an interview with THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now listen to the chat below.
Kotzen was asked by GetYourRockOut earlier in the month whether he feels any pressure trying to follow up the success of THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut album as the group prepares to begin work on its sophomore CD. "Personally, no," Richie said. "With music, I'm one of those people that, like… I don't think about anything other that doing what feels right to me. I mean, I probably could have put myself in situations where a lot more people would know about me, but I don't, because I don't wanna play music that I don't wanna play. I learned that in the past. And so either, personally, I'll play music that I wanna play, that I believe in, or I won't play music at all. And I've done that; that's me. And I think the other guys [in THE WINERY DOGS], I won't speak for them, but making a record with them, and knowing them as well as I do now, I don't think THE WINERY DOGS would make a record that the three of us would put out that we all didn't love.
"Once you start looking at music like a math equation and you start making choices that are outside the realm of creativity, you put yourself in a situation for a lot of emotional failure. And when you are there, then the music is meaningless and everything suffers and then things fall apart. So, I think, whatever we do, we'll do what feels natural and what the three of us can get behind. Even in the decision-making process, if I make a suggestion and one of the other guys loves it, but the other guy doesn't, we don't do it. We don't move unless all three of us agree to move. And then that way, once you're in a position, at least you know all three of us decided to go here; it's not like we were drug here by… you know what I'm trying to say?! By someone that didn't wanna go there."
Asked if THE WINERY DOGS will make a conscious effort to create a second album that will be stylistically similar to the debut, Richie said: "I don't think in those terms. We're gonna write what we we're gonna write. We're gonna get in a room and we're gonna do what we did last time. Mike's gonna play a drum beat, I'm gonna sing a chorus idea and Billy's gonna play a bass thing, and we're gonna jam on it and manipulate it and write to it. And it's gonna be what it's gonna be, because, like I said, music isn't math to me; music is something that you feel, that comes from creativity.
"As someone that writes lyrics, I personally need to take a break. I feel like writing music is output, so you're constantly putting things out. You've gotta have input, and so to have input, you've gotta separate yourself and get away from it. So we're gonna do this last tour, and then we're gonna take a break, and then we're gonna reconvene. In that break, we're gonna do some other things, do a little living, live a little bit, and come back and we'll be fresh, and then we'll be able to write."
SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan told LehighValleyLive.com in a new interview that his band enjoys playing more intimate venues instead of having time off while on tour.
"We choose to play small places," he said. "It beats a day off. It's memorable for us and memorable for the fans who come see us."
He added: "Bands should be kissing fans' asses. We play everywhere."
Bolan also spoke about SKID ROW's decision to release a trilogy of EPs. The first, "United World Rebellion: Chapter One", came out in 2013, while the second, "Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two", is due on August 5.
"In this day and age, it's not easy for some SKID ROW fans to go out and throw down 10 or 15 bucks for a new (full-length album)," Bolan said. "(Releasing the EPs) makes it easier on them. ... There's also a lot less pressure to write 10 songs and pick five."
According to Rachel, SKID ROW approached the songwriting process for its new material the same way that it did its classic albums — by doing what came naturally.
"For about a year, I only listened to the music that influenced me growing up," Bolan said. "Granted, there is a lot of great stuff out there but it's not us. ... At first it was kind of tough. We kept coming up with these riffs, great riffs, but they weren't our signature (sound). We could write songs all day but it's not a SKID ROW song until it gets to the band and gets their feeling and creativity. Then the floodgates just opened from a creative standpoint."
"Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two" will contain covers of QUEEN and AEROSMITH classics as bonus tracks.
In a recent interview with Icon Vs. Icon, SKID ROW guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo spoke about the band's mindset while writing the new material. "I think we have also gotten to the point that we are so appreciative of what we have and are so thankful," he said. "We are really humbled by it all. I think with that comes a respect for the audience and what the band has been able to do over the course of the past 28 years. There is a respect for the songwriting, along with a respect for each other.
"Rachel and I really became conscious of how fortunate we are. To still be songwriting partners, band members and best buds after all this time is really something. That doesn't get lost on us through this whole process. We are keenly aware of being present and in the moment. It sounds cliché, but when it really does happen, it is something truly incredible. I think we are just going to take that philosophy and presence of mind into the next release and create from there. It is a great sampling and a great place to be in when you are both on the same page with one and other. The results are something to behold."
Resident Rock Star conducted an interview with ILL NIÑO vocalist Cristian Machado at the July 13 stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below.
ILL NIÑO's new album, "Till Death, La Familia", was released on July 22 via Victory Records. The band's lead singer, Cristian Machado, told Arena.com that "Till Death, La Familia" "will absolutely surprise a lot of people." He continued: "I don't think we're the kind of band that releases the same album over and over. We always attempt to challenge ourselves musically in order to grow as artists and friends.
"The new album will have its surprises and all I will say is that it is very catchy and very groove-oriented. The lyrics, I feel, are by far the best lyrics I've ever written, and I really do give the guys in the band so much credit for writing such amazing songs for this new album."
Speaking to 100% Rock Magazine, ILL NIÑO bassist Lazaro Pina stated about "Till Death, La Familia": "We try to do something different every record. I can tell you for sure that this one is going to demonstrate a whole new ILL NIÑO style. At first, it took a lot of courage, but I'm feeling so much better about it now that the vocal tracks are beginning to come in. It's turning out to be everything I think most of us envisioned it and kind of wanted in a new record. We're definitely taking ILL NIÑO to a new… an additional style. We're definitely bringing it up to 2014 and kind of creating our own thing. Hearing Cristian singing like he's never sung before and even innovating a new heavy style of singing and a new melodic style of singing. It's going to be interesting. I think that the fans'll appreciate it and hopefully some new ones will come on board and say, 'Hey. I really dig this band; I like what they've been doing throughout the years.' It is… I think it's a courageous record. It definitely does not sound like any other previous record. It's definitely ILL NIÑO demonstrating an additional style.
"You've got to keep innovating yourself, and if you don't innovate yourself, you're playing the same thing. We've been doing this for a long time, we're entitled to get a little crazy and experiment with different ideas."
Voyageur Press has set an August 15 release date for "The Big Book Of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History Of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade".
In this ultimate guide to the subgenre, acclaimed heavy-metal journalist Martin Popoff examines hair metal in an all-encompassing oral history jacked up by a kaleidoscope of outrageous and previously unpublished quotes, anecdotes, photos, and memorabilia. "The Big Book Of Hair Metal" features the observations of dozens of musicians, producers, promoters, label execs, and hanger-ons in examining hair metal's rise and fall as well as all the bands that kept Aqua Net in business through the Reagan recession: TWISTED SISTER, BON JOVI, POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE, RATT, WARRANT, GREAT WHITE, WHITESNAKE, CINDERELLA, VIXEN, SKID ROW, L.A. GUNS, GUNS N' ROSES, and dozens more. In crafting a narrative of hair metal, Popoff also examines the factors that contributed to the movement's rise (including MTV, Reagan's "morning in America," and a general move toward prudish morals); the bands that inspired it (THE SWEET, NEW YORK DOLLS, ALICE COOPER, and KISS, for a start); and the scenes that nurtured it (the Sunset Strip, anyone?). The ride finally ended circa 1991, when hair metal was replaced by grunge, but what a ride it was. Here it is in all of its primped-up glory.
"The Big Book Of Hair Metal" features more than the obvious and usual suspects.. The superstars and also-rans are included, and with 580 (!) photos, the depth and the number of bands and musicians featured is staggering. Nothing is left out — it's big, bold and loud like the music, telling the complete history of the music you know you STILL love.
About the author: Martin Popoff has been described as the world's most famous heavy-metal journalist. He has penned more than 40 books on hard rock, heavy metal, and record collecting, including Voyageur Press' "Rush: The Illustrated History". He has also worked in film and television, his most recent projects being "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage" and VH1's "Metal Evolution". He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.
Chad Bowar of About.com Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com Heavy Metal: What has the reality of being in JUDAS PRIEST been like compared to what your initial thoughts and expectations were going in?
Faulkner: You never quite know what to expect going into any situation. You have an idea or expectations. It's been pretty close. I always expected JUDAS PRIEST to be a proper old-school family unit in the sense that they're a band and it's a band of brothers. I always had the expectation that it wasn't a dictatorship, or it wasn't one guy ruling it. It wasn't that sort of situation. That was my expectation. Going into it, it just surpassed my expectations. It's such a family unit. It's really creative. It's that situation where everyone's opinion is valued and asked for. It benefits the whole group. I think that really superseded and surpassed my expectations. Obviously, all the traveling and the seeing different places around the world, you're meeting new people and all that sort of stuff. It's just been everything you would ever dream it to be and then some.
About.com Heavy Metal: How long was the songwriting process for [the new JUDAS PRIEST album] "Redeemer Of Souls" before you guys finally went into the studio to lay everything down?
Faulkner: It was stretched out over a couple of years. I think Glenn (Tipton, guitar) and Rob (Halford, vocals) had a couple of ideas kicking around at the start of 2011 before I joined the band. They had about three ideas roughly panned out. Then I came into the band. We embarked on the "Epitaph" tour. I was writing riffs and ideas and melodies on the road, which I don't think I've ever done before. Even then, ideas were being created. Me, Rob and Glenn then went into the studio in early 2012 for a month and pulled all those ideas in a heavy metal cauldron, put stuff together. Then we went out again to Asia and Europe and finished off the "Epitaph" tour, came back and did some more writing, and then commenced recording in 2013. I think if you condense the writing together, for my part anyway, it was probably two months worth of writing. Actually, we just kept coming out with material, and we got to a point where we said we've got to stop and start putting the stuff down properly because otherwise, we're just going to keep writing forever and we'll never get it done. We got to a point where we said that's enough. We had 19 songs. Let's get them all down. We left one off. It wasn't quite what we wanted it to be. We just put the other 18 songs down and we released those on the "Redeemer Of Souls" release,
About.com Heavy Metal: Now that it's out into the world, and the reviews seems to be almost universally positive, what's your reaction to that?
Faulkner: I'm incredibly proud personally. I think I could speak for everyone in the band. We worked hard at it, proved the conceptions of it, the writing process, the recording. We've been promoting it. We've been involved in the whole machine of the whole press side of things. We're very proud of it. I think it's hard to promote something you're not proud about. We're so proud about it, so we're out there pushing it out into the metal world, into the world in general. It's just been incredible affirmation. We're getting good reviews. It's number six on the Billboard chart. It's great to see these great reviews, and exceeding expectations and all that sort of lovely stuff. It's not what you set out to do. You set out to do what you feel is right. Just to get that affirmation from everyone around the globe, it's just an incredibly proud moment. I couldn't be happier.
Read the entire interview at About.com Heavy Metal.
In celebration of their astounding thirty-year career, Brazilian/American metallers SEPULTURA will unleash a new live offering titled "Sepultura And Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins - Alive At Rock In Rio" in North America on September 14 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
In a spectacular performance that finds SEPULTURA accompanied throughout by the French industrial percussion group LES TAMBOURS DU BRONX, notorious for beating 225-liter barrels with beech wood bats or even axe handles, the show was recorded from the band's main stage appearance at the legendary Rock In Rio festival in 2013. Featuring SEPULTURA's most revered tunes — including "Refuse/Resist", "Territory" and "Roots Bloody Roots", the latter of which sees the audience chanting the entire cut from beginning to end — the sheer volume of sound, percussive enormity and powerful presentation sets this release apart from any previous SEPULTURA concert offering to date.
With a one-hour run time divided into thirteen cuts, the album also features a cover of THE PRODIGY's "Firestarter", the fan-chanted "Sepulnation" and music from the band's "Kairos" full-length.
"Metal Veins - Alive At Rock In Rio" will come available on CD, DVD and for the first time in the band's history, Blu-ray via a partnership with Rock In Rio, MZA Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition, the DVD includes an exclusive documentary of behind-the-scenes preparation with interviews, rehearsal and soundcheck footage and clips of the band just seconds before they hit the stage.
"Metal Veins - Alive At Rock In Rio" track listing:
07. We've Lost You
08. Firestarter (THE PRODIGY cover)
10. Structure Violence
12. Big Hands
13. Roots Bloody Roots
SEPULTURA's new album, "The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart", sold around 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD came out on October 29, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Although it was inspired by Fritz Lang's classic 1927 movie "Metropolis", "The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart" is not a concept album or a soundtrack like its precedessors "Dante XXI" (based on "The Divine Comedy") and "A-Lex" (based on "A Clockwork Orange").
"The Mediator Between The Head And Hands Must Be The Heart" was tracked over a 40-day period at producer Ross Robinson's (KORN, LIMP BIZKIT, SLIPKNOT) studio in Venice, California and was mixed and mastered by co-producer Steve Evetts, who previously worked with SEPULTURA on the "Nation" (2001), "Revolusongs" (2002) and "Roorback" (2003) albums, in addition to having collaborated with Ross on a number of other projects in the past.
MR. BIG drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and will be unable to perform all of his normal drumming duties on the band's upcoming world tour in support of the group's new album, "...The Stories We Could Tell".
"I've been dealing with Parkinson's symptoms for the past couple of years and only recently received a confirmed diagnosis as symptoms worsened," Torpey said. "I intend to fight the disease with same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability."
MR. BIG will announce a replacement drummer who will sit behind the kit for the band's fall 2014 tour.
Torpey, 54, is expected to join his MR. BIG bandmates for select tracks as well as participate in the group's acoustic set.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.
There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but medications, surgery and multidisciplinary management can provide relief from the symptoms.
Asked in a 2011 interview with OnlineDrummer.com what influenced him to pick up a pair of sticks and start drumming, Torpey said: "I was about 7 or 8 years old, and my family used to go to this local picnic event with a live polka band. I was able to sit behind them and look down on the drummer, right on the top of him, and so from that vantage point I could see what he was doing, and I thought, 'Wow, that looks like fun!' That was my first memory of when I can remember wanting to play the drums. I went to my mother and said, 'I wanna play the drums,' and she gave me that look that parents give you, you know the 'Oh, yeah, sure you do… you're 7 years old.' So from there I kind of held on to that dream. I'd fashioned some drum sticks from a couple of sticks out of the yard. I carved them and drew my name on them with a magic marker, you know, the kind of thing an aspiring kid would do."
"...The Stories We Could Tell" will be released in September via Frontiers Records. The CD's first single will be made available later this summer.
MR. BIG's last album, "What If…", was released in Europe in January 2011 via Frontiers Records. The North American release, also on Frontiers Records, followed in February 2011.
"What If…" was MR. BIG's first "all-original" album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey, back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of "Hey Man", the new recording was produced by Kevin Shirley (AEROSMITH, RUSH, IRON MAIDEN).
Formed in 1988, MR. BIG forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark "shredding" musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original lineup produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres, be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included "To Be With You" (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), "Wild World", "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind", "Just Take My Heart", and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy", "Addicted to that Rush", "Colorado Bulldog", and "Take Cover".
TheRave.tv conducted an interview with guitarist Mark Heylmun of California deathcore masters SUICIDE SILENCE before the band's July 18 concert at The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can now watch the chat below.
SUICIDE SILENCE's new album, "You Can't Stop Me", sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 16 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band's previous album, "The Black Crown", opened with 14,400 units back in July 2010 to land at No. 28.
SUICIDE SILENCE's 2009 CD, "No Time To Bleed", registered a first-week tally of 14,000 to enter the chart at No. 32.
"You Can't Stop Me" is SUICIDE SILENCE's first album to feature new vocalist Hernan "Eddie" Hermida (ex-ALL SHALL PERISH) and their first since the tragic loss of singer Mitch Lucker. The CD was produced and mixed by Steve Evetts (SEPULTURA, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN), who worked with the band not only on "The Black Crown", but also on some instrumental demos for the new effort just prior to Lucker's death in the fall of 2012.
The video for the "You Can't Stop Me" title track can be seen below. The clip was directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox, who has previously worked with LINKIN PARK, BLACK VEIL BRIDES and MARILYN MANSON, among many others.
Mitch Lucker died November 1, 2012 after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle crash in Huntington Beach that Halloween night.
Regarding the decision to enlist Hermida, Heylmun told Metalholic.com: "There was really nobody else — we didn't want to try anybody out. We didn't want to call people and be, like, 'You wanna come and jam with us?' That's not how this situation seemed like it would work for us. Eddie was just a friend. Somebody that we know is extremely talented, and someone that could put the passion behind the job that it is. To not replace Mitch or be the singer of this band, but to treat the gig that it is. He's replacing an idol to so many people and he's also coming into a band that preexists, which is the other four members of it. We just knew he would be able to handle it with respect and knock it out of the park."
The first of three trailers for "Blind Rage", the new album from German/American metallers ACCEPT, can be seen below. The CD will be released on August 15 (postponed from the previously announced July 18) via Nuclear Blast. Like its two predecessors, 2010's "Blood Of The Nations" and 2012's "Stalingrad", the new effort was helmed by British producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The cover artwork was created by Daniel Goldsworthy.
"Blind Rage" standard version track listing:
02. Dying Breed
03. Dark Side Of My Heart
04. Fall Of The Empire
05. Trail Of Tears
06. Wanna Be Free
07. 200 Years
08. Bloodbath Mastermind
09. From The Ashes We Rise
10. The Curse
11. Final Journey
The limited-edition digipak will include either a bonus DVD or Blu-ray disc. It features ACCEPT's complete April 12, 2013 concert at Teatro Caupolicán in Santiago, Chile during the "Stalingrad" tour.
Bonus DVD / Blu-ray disc track listing:
02. Hung, Drawn & Quartered
04. Restless & Wild
05. Losers & Winners
08. Bucket Full Of Hate
10. Shadow Soldier
11. Amamos La Vida
12. Guitar Solo Wolf
13. Neon Nights
15. Aiming High
16. Princess Of The Dawn
17. Up To The Limit
18. No Shelter
20. Fast As A Shark
21. Metal Heart
22. Teutonic Terror
23. Balls To The Wall
A single, "Stampede", preceded the full-length album on July 11, available digitally and as a limited vinyl edition.
The "Stampede" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed on location in the high desert of California at the Devil's Punchbowl (a rock formation that looks like it's from another world) with director Greg Aronowitz ("Batman & Robin", "A.I. Artificial Intelligence", "The Lost World: Jurassic Park").
You can pre-order "Blind Rage" from the Nuclear Blast webshop.
ACCEPT will promote "Blind Rage" with a European headlining tour which will kick off on September 19 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In a recent interview with Metal Assault, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann stated about the musical direction of "Blind Rage": "I think what we have here is really a collection of totally typical ACCEPT songs with the classic feel, and, of course, as always, there's an overriding theme of aggression and rage in all our music. I mean, otherwise it wouldn't be metal.
"People call our music at this point 'classic metal,' I believe, and we just fell in love with the title 'Blind Rage' and the artwork. Interestingly enough, we don't even have a song called 'Blind Rage'. We just have a collection of songs that to me all feel totally 100 percent classic ACCEPT."
Regarding the songwriting and recording process for "Blind Rage", Wolf said: "Andy is such a good partner now, we couldn't even imagine working without him on this album. He's such a natural fit and he did a great job on the last two albums. The only thing that we did way different this time from 'Stalingrad' is, we really took our time. 'Stalingrad' was really made almost in a rush, to be honest, because we had so many commitments right before we went to the studio to do the album and right after. Basically, by the time we started working on that album, we already knew when it had to be finished and what gigs we had booked. So that put us under enormous pressure, but this time, we really made sure it's right before it's ever released. We didn't work excessively long, we just took a little more time to make sure that we were in a little more comfortable place. These last few weeks we've just refined and tweaked little things that we normally wouldn't have the time to do."
Speaking to Metal Wani ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo stated about what fans can expect to hear on "Blind Rage": "You can expect more of the same, but you can also expect, on this album, a little more diversity, I think. And the way I see it, some of the songs sound more classic than the stuff that we've done. I mean, there are songs, I think, when I hear the opening riff, I go, 'Wow! That could be on 'Balls To The Wall'.' So you're gonna get a few different… I mean, we're not searching for a direction at this point. We're writing to please ourselves and to please our fans… We're not changing horses in the middle of a stream. I mean, if something works for us, we're gonna stick with it. We're certainly not gonna change direction, but I think we're not afraid to step out a little bit. We're also not afraid to go back and be what the band was in the '80s, which is what we've really strived for."
On the topic of the vibe in ACCEPT during the songwriting process for "Blind Rage", compared to how it was for its two predecessors, 2010's "Blood Of The Nations" and 2012's "Stalingrad", Tornillo said: "The vibe is good. We're, I think, more relaxed at this point. 'Blood Of The Nations' was… We really had no idea where we were going at that point; we didn't even have a record deal when we wrote that record. We had no idea what was gonna happen and where it was gonna go, and we had a lot of time to do it. And then the response came, and we set the bar pretty darn high with that record. And then when we went back to do 'Stalingrad', we didn't have that luxury of time; they gave us a deadline, that they wanted the record by such and such a time, and it was a little more hectic. There was a lot more pressure than [there was on 'Blood Of The Nations']. Plus we had 'Blood Of The Nations' out there, and we had to try to top it, if possible, or at least try to get to where that record was. This one, we've had a little more time. This past year, all we did was festivals, which was nice, which gave us time to write on the road. And when we were done touring, we had a good three or four months to complete everything, which is a nice time frame."
Coastal.com, which is said to be "the largest online contact lenses and prescription glasses retailer," is now selling the official Steven Tyler (AEROSMITH) glasses.
Priced at $89, Steven Tyler 401 Gunmetal eyeglasses are boldly modest. This sophisticated semi-rimless style boasts a dark satin gunmetal metal construction, paired with distinguished rectangular shaped lenses. The temples are a rich tortoise acetate, embedded with a Steven Tyler logo by the hinges and at the tips.
Tyler is best known as the frontman of the iconic rock band AEROSMITH and for his distinctively outrageous sense of style. His look has inspired fashion trends and clothing lines, and gradually expanded into eyewear. Steven Tyler collaborated with Modo Eyewear to come out with a collection of eyeglasses featuring his eclectic personality that is both accessible and fearless.
Total Guitar magazine met with ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 at the U.K.'s Download festival in June and asked him what the worst thing was that has ever happened to him while playing a show. Check out his response below.
John 5 digitally released a new solo single, "This Is My Rifle", on June 17. The track is taken from his eighth solo album, "Careful With That Axe", to be made available on August 12 through 60 Cycle Hum. The effort features Rodger Carter on drums and Matt Bissonette on bass.
Zombie's first-ever concert film, "The Zombie Horror Picture Show", came out on May 20. The set features Zombie leading his band through longtime favorites like "Living Dead Girl", "More Human Than Human" and "Dragula". The movie was filmed during stops on last year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour in Houston on August 3, 2013 and Dallas on August 4.
A photo book by photographer Rob Fenn is being published as a companion to the Blu-ray and DVD.
Zombie has also been working on a new studio album, telling Billboard, "It sounds fuckin' weird man. That's a really good thing… It's going good. I'll work on that for about a month and get as far as I can get. Then in July we have a little bit of a break where I'll probably finish the record, and then we have some more touring."
Zombie's fifth solo album, "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor", came out in April 2013.