Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson is working on the follow-up to his 2013 solo album "Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall", tentatively dubbed "Free Fall II". Guest musicians set to appear on the CD include Tony Martin (ex-BLACK SABBATH), Joe Lynn Turner (ex-RAINBOW, ex-DEEP PURPLE), Jorn Lande (ALLEN/LANDE, ex-MASTERPLAN), Jakob Samuel (THE POODLES), Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM), Rebecca De La Motte and Jaime Salazar (ALLEN/LANDE, LAST TRIBE).
Karlsson started his cooperation with Frontiers Records in the year 2000 when his band LAST TRIBE was signed by the Italian label. After two more records with this group, Magnus was asked by Serafino Perugino, Frontiers Records label president, to write and produce some of their artists. This started a successful journey of collaborations with some of the greatest singers and musicians in the hard rock/metal world. The list includes the successful ALLEN/LANDE trilogy, STARBREAKER, BOB CATLEY, KISKE/SOMERVILLE and the list goes on and on. He finally joined the German heavy metal icons PRIMAL FEAR in 2008 and with them he toured the world and recorded three successful albums that climbed high on the charts in several countries.
"Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall" featured guest appearances by Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR, GAMMA RAY), Tony Harnell (TNT, STARBREAKER), Mark Boals (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THE CODEX), Rick Altzi (MASTERPLAN, AT VANCE), Mike Andersson (STAR ONE, FULL FORCE), Rickard Bengtsson (LAST TRIBE), Herman Saming (A.C.T.), David Readman (PINK CREAM 69, VODOO CIRCLE). Rounding up the lineup on the album was Daniel Flores on drums.
Fan-filmed video footage of ACCEPT's April 23 performance at Vivo Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil can be seen below.
ACCEPT earlier in the month announced the addition of guitarist Uwe Lulis (GRAVE DIGGER, REBELLION) and drummer Christopher Williams to the group's ranks.
ACCEPT parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann last December. The band explained in a statement at the time: "We and the fans all knew that [Herman and Stefan] had their own careers and that eventually we would run into scheduling and other conflicts beyond our control."
Herman joined ACCEPT in 1982 shortly before the release of the band's "Restless And Wild" album and exited the group for the first time after the arrival of 1983's "Balls To The Wall" LP.
When ACCEPT reunited for festival appearances in 2005, Herman handled second-guitar duties alongside founding axeman Wolf Hoffmann, with Schwarzmann sitting behind the kit.
Frank and Schwarzmann were involved in ACCEPT's comeback with new singer Mark Tornillo and have appeared on their last three studio albums: 2010's "Blood of the Nations", 2012's "Stalingrad" and 2014's "Blind Rage".
Frank and Schwarzmann are currently involved in a new project called PANZER, also featuring vocalist and bassist Schmier, best known as frontman of DESTRUCTION.
Fan-filmed video footage of KROKUS's April 20 performance during the Monsters Of Rock cruise can be seen below.
KROKUS's U.S. tour kicked off on Monsters Of Rock cruise and will continue through a series of cities, leading to the legendary Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California on May 6.
KROKUS celebrated its 40th anniversary with a homecoming show where they began in Solothurn, Switzerland, culminating in their sweaty new live album, "Long Stick Goes Boom: Live From Da House of Rust".
"Dirty Dynamite", the 17th studio album from KROKUS, entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 17. This marked the first time in KROKUS' history that the band landed in the Top 20 of the German chart.
"Dirty Dynamite" was released on February 22, 2013 in Europe via Sony Music and in North America on March 5, 2013 via The End Records. The CD marked the return of KROKUS guitarist Mandy Meyer after 30 years. Sound engineer for the recording sessions was again Dennis Ward, who also recorded the band's previous album, "Hoodoo".
Drummer Freddy Steady left KROKUS in May 2011 because he "concluded that he really wanted to play music just for fun in small clubs rather than conquering the world, playing arenas on huge stages with pyro props, etc.," according to guitarist Fernando Von Arb.
KROKUS has since recruited Flavio Mezzodi as the band's new drummer.
Marc Storace - Lead Vocals
Chris Von Rohr - Bass, Vocals
Fernando Von Arb - Guitar, Vocals
Mark Kohler - Guitar
Mandy Meyer - Guitar
Flavio Mezzodi - Drums
MOTÖRHEAD was forced to cancel its performance at the Monsters Of Rock festival in Brazil earlier today (Saturday, April 25) after the band's frontman, Lemmy Kilmister, was taken ill.
According to local media reports and festival organizers, MOTÖRHEAD's appearance was called off a few hours before the band was scheduled to take the stage at Arena Anhembi, São Paulo because Lemmy was suffering from gastric distress and dehydration.
Kilmister is reportedly undergoing tests at a local hospital and is unable to perform at this weekend's event.
As a last-minute replacement for MOTÖRHEAD, the other two members of the band — guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee — will take part in a jam session with Andreas Kisser and Derrick Green of SEPULTURA, along with other guests.
British metal legends JUDAS PRIEST, who were scheduled to play right after MOTÖRHEAD, will add 30 more minutes to their set as a result of MOTÖRHEAD's cancelation.
OZZY OSBOURNE will close the first day of the festival, which concludes tomorrow with performances by KISS, MANOWAR, ACCEPT, UNISONIC, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and STEEL PANTHER.
MOTÖRHEAD is scheduled to play in Curitiba, Brazil, on Tuesday (April 28) and in Porto Alegre, also in Brazil, on Thursday (April 30). It is not yet clear if Lemmy's latest health woes will affect those shows.
Lemmy in 2013 suffered a haematoma (where blood collects outside of a blood vessel), causing the cancelation of a number of the band's European festival shows.
The rocker, who turned 69 years old in December, told Classic Rock he didn't expect to still be here at 30,
"I don't do regrets," he said. "Regrets are pointless. It's too late for regrets. You've already done it, haven't you? You've lived your life. No point wishing you could change it.
"There are a couple of things I might have done differently, but nothing major; nothing that would have made that much of a difference.
"I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I like to think I've brought a lot of joy to a lot of people all over the world. I'm true to myself and I'm straight with people."
Asked if his illness in 2013 has made him more aware of his own mortality, Lemmy said: "Death is an inevitability, isn't it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don't worry about it. I'm ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn't complain. It's been good."
AC/DC drummer Chris Slade has announced details of an exclusive U.K. and Ireland drum clinic at Whelan's on Tuesday, June 30, the day before AC/DC play the Aviva Stadium. Tickets go on sale at 9.00 a.m. on Friday, May 1. Strictly over 18s.
This up-close-and-personal clinic aimed at the hardcore AC/DC fan provides fans the ability to meet, hang and chat with Mr. Thunderstruck himself in a very intimate environment, as capacity is limited to 200.
AC/DC has never, and will never, offer public meet-and-greet packages while touring. This is as good as it gets for Irish fans on what may quite possibly be their final ever concert in Ireland.
What you get with your ticket:
* 1 x event exclusive t-shirt
* 1 x photo with Chris Slade
* 1 x drumhead signed personally to you by Chris Slade
* 1 x 8 x 10 signed photo
* 1 x laminate for the clinic
* 1 x pair of AC/DC branded and Chris Slade signed drumsticks
* Chance to ask Chris a question from the audience while he is on stage
* Fans can bring a maximum of 2-3 items for Chris Slade to sign. (Restriction of 2 items will apply based on final numbers)
Also making an appearance is Dublin AC/DC tribute WHOLE LOTTA VOLTAGE, along with stalls from merch store Asha and others to be announced. Fans are also encouraged to dress up as their favorite AC/DC member and join in on the fun and camaraderie of this very special night.
Tickets for this event — priced at €180.00 plus B/F — go on sale Friday, May 1 will be available online only from www.whelanslive.com and www.sdentertainment.co.uk.
Video footage of ARCH ENEMY drummer Daniel Erlandsson performing the band's song "Avalanche" during this year's Musikmesse trade show in Frankfurt, Germany can be seen below.
ARCH ENEMY in November 2014 parted ways with guitarist Nick Cordle and replaced him with former NEVERMORE axeman Jeff Loomis. Loomis made his live debut with ARCH ENEMY on the band's most recent European tour.
ARCH ENEMY played its first show with singer Alissa White-Gluz in May 2014 in Bucharest, Romania. Angela Gossow, who joined ARCH ENEMY in 2000 and made her debut on the now-classic "Wages Of Sin" (2001), stepped down as frontwoman and is focusing on management, while Alissa is taking her place.
ARCH ENEMY's latest album, "War Eternal", sold around 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 44. The CD was released on June 10, 2014 in North America via Century Media Records. The cover artwork was created by Costin Chioreanu.
SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor says that he was once offered an opportunity to appear in "Rock Of Love", VH1's hit reality dating series in which 25 women would comete to be his girlfriend.
The three seasons of "Rock Of Love" — which aired between 2007 and 2009 — featured POISON singer Bret Michaels as a lothario who searched for the woman of his dreams amid a sea of implants, tattoos and thongs. A fourth season was offered to Michaels, but he turned it down in favor of a family-centric reality show with his longtime girlfriend and their two children.
During an appearance on the April 14 edition of the "STP Cast" on the Seattle radio station KISW 99.9 FM, Taylor said (hear audio below): "I've gotten offered a lot of [non-music-related projects] over the years. I actually got called… I wanna say about seven years ago, I got called about being on 'Rock Of Love'. I think Bret had passed on it, on one of the seasons. And I was, like, 'Don't ever call me again.'"
He continued: "Honestly, I was sitting there… I was, like, [trying to figure out] who in their right mind thought I was the perfect dude for 'Rock of Love 12' or whatever the hell it was. And I was just, like, there's some idiots in this business. I'm just letting you know. I don't know if you got that memo. There's some stupid people [who] were given the keys to the kingdom."
Taylor added: ""I was talking to my manager. I was, like, 'Where the hell…? What conversation were they having where they went from one end to me? How the hell did you get to me and thought that I would be down with that?' At first I was pissed, and then I just started laughing my… I was just, like, 'You've gotta be kidding! Really?!'"
According to Corey, he later had second thoughts about turning down the opportunity to appear on "Rock Of Love", explaining that he could have turned into something different from what would have been expected. He said: "In retrospect, I was, like, 'Man, I should have just done one week and just ruined it.' [I should done] the complete opposite of what could have been and just destroyed these people's dreams. But at the same time, it's, like…I've got a pretty good vibe for what works for me and what doesn't."
He continued: "I've had a lot of people call me about collaborations, and I've turned them down, because it doesn't work for me. I've had a lot of offers in different movies, and I've turned them down, because it doesn't work for me. Either I don't have time [and] I wouldn't be able to give a hundred percent of what I can do creatively to it, or it's just really stupid."
Taylor added: "I'm not gonna be that guy that kind of cashes in my name for a quick paycheck. I would rather do what works for me, and hopefully have people come with me on that journey, than worry about anything like that. Because as long as you stick to your guns and do what works for you, you're gonna keep the lights on, you're gonna be able to pay your rent. And that's all that matters to me, really."
SLIPKNOT's "Summer's Last Stand" tour kicks off on July 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida, wrapping up six weeks later on September 5 in Dallas. Joining SLIPKNOT on the road trip will be LAMB OF GOD, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and MOTIONLESS IN WHITE.
The summer jaunt follows a brief spring run that SLIPKNOT will launch on April 25 at the Fort Rock festival in Fort Myers, Florida, ending on May 16 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The band is supporting its latest album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", which came out in October.
The latest single released from "The Gray Chapter" is called "Custer".
Guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish/American metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT was interviewed on the April 7 edition of the "STP Cast" on the Seattle radio station KISW 99.9 FM. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for VOLBEAT's follow-up to 2013's "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies", Poulsen said: "We are in the writing process right now. I'm writing every day, using a lot of hours to get into the right material. And it's pretty much like the old days: I'm writing most of the material, but then I have certain spots open for Rob [Caggiano, guitar], where he can put in some of his ideas and stuff, and it's working out pretty good."
Polusen also talked about VOLBEAT's overall musical direction, which has been described as a fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal and rockabilly.
"When I sit and write, it's not like I'm locked into one certain style," he said. "I love metal, I love blues, I love gospel, country, punk… whatever it is, as long as it does something to me [and] I get that good feeling. And that's the exact same feeling I need to get when I write my own material. So I don't wanna paint myself into a corner where I say, 'This has to be only a metal song.' That's not what VOLBEAT is all about."
He continued: "I have so much respect for all those great metal bands out there who just found their style, and you really don't want them to change anything, because that's what they do; they do their metal stuff. But when it comes to VOLBEAT, I would not even say that we're metal or rock and roll or anything. I guess we're just something. But we blend a lot of metal, rock and roll, a little bit of blues and country and punk… whatever it is."
Poulsen added: "We were not aware that we had something unique going, because, I think, if we were, we wouldn't have that kind of success that we have, because our songs… they are very honest. So we're not trying to create something very special. We pretty much just became aware of it when people kept on saying to us, 'You've got something going. You've got something special there.' And we were, like, 'We do?' I think that's the magic behind it. We were just playing. So maybe we were there at the right time. But one thing I can say for sure is that we have been sacrificing a lot to be able to tour as much. We quit our day jobs, our girlfriends… and there's been so many sacrifices to being able to do what we do.
"We started like everybody else, going out in a cold nine-seater and just actually paying to play. That's just how it works now.
"We're pretty much aware that we earned our stripes, but we take good care of our stripes. We don't take anything for granted."
VOLBEAT recently signed a North American management agreement with Q Prime, the New York-based music management firm founded and run by Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch.
Since forming in Copenhagen in 2000, VOLBEAT has released five studio albums and two live offerings.
"Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies" has sold almost 300,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The title has been certified platinum in their home country of Denmark, alongside Germany and Austria, with gold sales in Finland and Sweden. The album has also been certified gold in Canada.
VOLBEAT's spring 2015 tour with ANTHRAX serving as direct support and CROBOT opening the show kicked off on April 24 in Denver, Colorado.
Chicago metallers VEIL OF MAYA will release their fifth album, "Matriarch", on May 12 via Sumerian Records.
When VEIL OF MAYA was recording "Matriarch", the group found itself with a lot of new ideas, but no singer. Enter Lukas Magyar.
"I'm from this small town in Wisconsin, where there's not a lot of music and nobody's really as serious about it as I am," says Magyar. "I had followed VEIL for a few years, and was really impressed by them. When I heard they needed a new singer, I got in touch." Magyar, however, had never toured before. Or even been on a plane. Not a problem.
"We flew him out, auditioned him and hired him on the spot," reveals guitarist Marc Okubo. "He was great. He could sing, too, which is something we'd wanted to do for a while. It really opened up some possibilities."
After making his live debut in front of thousands at last year's Knotfest, Magyar quickly joined producer Taylor Larson (PERIPHERY, DARKEST HOUR) and the rest of VEIL OF MAYA (rounded out by Okubo, drummer Sam Applebaum and bassist Dan Hauser) in the studio to record "Matriarch". It's an album that finds Magyar bringing a new addition to VEIL OF MAYA's arsenal; a mix of harsh and clean singing.
"There was controversy when we released the single, 'Mikasa'," Okubo admits. "But for every 10 kids who complained online, we gained hundreds of new fans. I think 'Mikasa' is the most popular song we've ever put out."
You'll definitely hear Lukas's presence and influence on "Matriarch". Yes, VEIL OF MAYA is still, as AllMusic posited, "possessed of a malevolent fury and almost mechanical precision." But there's growth here. The grinding "NYU" slides up against the more atmospheric tracks like "Phoenix" and "Leeloo". The title track gets playful, almost like a Danny Elfman tune.
VEIL OF MAYA has spent the past ten years grinding it out on the road through countless tours and festivals around the world, gaining an enormous following for its evolving blend of progressive metal technical brutality. The band reached a critical peak with 2012's successful "Eclipse", co-produced by PERIPHERY's Misha Mansoor.
VEIL OF MAYA has announced a late spring headlining tour with special guests REVOCATION, OCEANO, GIFT GIVER and ENTHEOS. The "Matriarch" tour begins May 20 in Detroit.
'80s glam rockers BRITNY FOX, featuring bassist Billy Childs, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tommy Paris and drummer Johnny Dee, alongside new lead guitarist Chris Sanders, have returned from a long hiatus fully charged and ready to rock. The band is currently writing material for a new album, with plans to book and perform select dates.
In late 2014, Childs re-established contact with his former manager Wayne "Doobie" Dubay. Childs and Doobie then reconnected with Paris and Dee. Due to commitments, original BRITNY FOX lead guitarist Michael Kelly Smith is unable to take part in the reunion and has been replaced by Sanders.
"How can I tell you how great it is to be back with these guys, and working on a new album? It is fantastic," says Childs.
"Johnny and I basically grew up in this business together and the tightness we have had over the years as a rhythm section is still there.
"Tommy Paris hasn't lost a step, lyrically or vocally.
"Chris is a breath of fresh air for the band, and adds elements that were never there before, but very much in line with us as we prepare to bite down even harder this time around.
"Doobie is the guy that pulled us all together and said, 'Get your heads out of your asses and make another 'Bite Down Hard'.' He's pretty big, so best just to agree with him! For other reasons as well, though, we all agreed it was time."
BRITNY FOX is currently in studio writing and recording the follow-up to 1991's "Bite Down Hard" album, which is described in a press release as "a musical jewel [that] is a definite game changer on the classic BRITNY FOX sound that originally exploded in 1988."
"It's awesome playing with Billy and Johnny again, [and] Chris fits right in perfectly with us freaks," exclaims Paris.
"The new songs are ass-kicking, fun heavy rock!
"It's a great time hanging out with Doobie, writing new tunes and putting a new show together! [I] can't wait to get back out on stage!"
BRITNY FOX 2015 is:
Tommy Paris: Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Chris Sanders: Lead Guitar
Billy Childs: Bass
Johnny Dee: Drums
Guitarist/vocalist "Dizzy" Dean Davidson left BRITNY FOX after the release of the band's second album, 1989's "Boys in Heat".
After Davidson exited BRITNY FOX, he was replaced by Las Vegas native Tommy Paris, who sang on the band's last two studio albums, "Bite Down Hard" and 2003's "Springhead Motorshark".
Original VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (drums) have rejoined forces with ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan in a brand new band called VENOM INC.
VENOM INC. will make its live debut at this weekend's Keep It True festival in Lauda-Königshofen Germany, and will continue with shows in China, Japan and Taiwan in July, followed by a full European tour with Polish death metallers VADER in September.
VENOM INC. will play a full set of VENOM classics, with plans to record a brand new album in the coming months.
Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — "Prime Evil" (1989), "Temples Of Ice" (1991) and "The Waste Lands" (1992).
Dolan and Dunn have spent the last few years collaborating in a new band called M-PIRE OF EVIL, which released its full-length debut, "Hell To The Holy", in March 2012 via Scarlet Records. A follow-up effort, "Crucified", came out in May 2013 via Deadline Music (a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records).
In a March 2015 interview with PowerOfMetal.dk, Dunn revealed that he was writing a book about his life, focusing heavily on VENOM's early years. "I've been asked for a long time to write a book, but I've always avoided it," he said. "But a couple of years ago, I was in Japan and I was speaking to some people who told me I should really write a book to, you know, tell the truth about what happened. What's being said in the press today and what I read on the Internet is complete horseshit."
He continued: "I'm talking to an Italian publisher and there a couple of other publishers who are interested [in releasing the book]. I don't yet know whether it's going to be released by one publisher or whether it's going to be licensed in different countries. Currently I'm roughly halfway through writing the book.
"For me, it's more complicated than putting an album together, because, besides writing it, you've got to check dates and lots of other stuff. There's so much writing involved, one thing leads to another, and your memory gets jogged about certain incidents.
"You know, there's a lot to go into there, and it doesn't just concentrate on the VENOM thing. I'm taking it from Day One, from when I was born, and all the way through my early childhood, influences… It's basically my life story, with the VENOM thing in it as well. It's from the beginning to where we are today."
In an April 2014 statement on his Facebook page, Dunn shot down the possibility of a reunion of VENOM's classic lineup, featuring Conrad "Cronos" Lant on bass/vocals. He explained: "I received a call almost one year ago regarding this matter from the original management who had an enquiry regarding the possibility of a reunion of the original lineup. My response to this was that I was willing to talk, but I did not believe for one minute that there would be any realistic chance of this happening given the past history between the members, I was, however, open to discussion and would await further information.
"In 2005, I had a lengthy telephone conversation with Conrad ['Cronos' Lant; VENOM bassist/vocalist] initially regarding the return of a product licence. It was during this conversation that he asked if I was OK with him continuing as VENOM. I said yes and wished him well with it. At this point in my life, VENOM was of no concern to me as my mother had suffered a serious stroke, and later in that year, after a long battle, she passed away, so my focus had obviously been on her.
"As you are all aware, Conrad has since been actively gigging and recording as VENOM, and as you know, I am continually busy with M-PIRE OF EVIL.
"As time went by and rumours and discussions of a reunion increased, but without any input from Conrad or myself, it became obvious to me that the two people who had to communicate in some way were the two of us, as we both have active and ongoing careers, so I made the decision to contact him to get an answer which would basically come down to a simple 'yes or no.' In my heart of hearts, I already knew and was prepared for the answer, and quite honestly I also had my reservations about the validity and practicality of such a venture.
"As you may have already guessed, the answer came back as 'no,' so I can hereby officially say that there will be no reunion of the original lineup.
"I will include only one line from Conrad's response as these were personal and private communications between him and myself. In his response he stated: 'I've personally got no interest whatsoever in trying to work with the original lineup ever again.'
"This was something that I fully expected and understand."
The classic lineup of VENOM — Lant, Dunn and Bray — is often credited with kickstarting the whole black metal movement, but is more accurately seen an early example of extreme metal.
VENOM's second album, 1982's "Black Metal", was a major influence on on the early Norwegian black metal scene.
Warner Bros. has set a June 23 release date for "Skills In Pills", the debut album from LINDEMANN, the new project featuring vocalist Till Lindemann of German industrial metallers RAMMSTEIN and Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN). The first single from the CD, "Praise Abort", will arrive on May 29.
"Skills In Pills" will be made available in the following formats:
* Standard Edition (2-panel digipack, 28-page booklet)
* Special Edition (Blu-ray-packaging, 28-page booklet, bonus track "That's My Heart")
* Super Deluxe Edition (large-size book, hardcover, 80 pages, telescope-carton, CD+bonus track "That's My Heart")
* Vinyl (gatefold sleeve, 28-page booklet, bonus track, includes album-download code)
Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, Tägtgren stated about how his collaboration with Lindemann came about: "It started around 1999 or 2000, after we got to know each other. Till was helping me put vocals on one of my albums, but it never happened because we were so busy all the time. But we kept in contact, and two summers ago, RAMMSTEIN were in Sweden and Till invited me over; we talked a bit before he went on stage, and he said that RAMMSTEIN were going to have a break for two years and we should do something."
He continued: "I was starting to think of doing another PAIN album, but as soon as Till came in, that's when I really started to work. I figured I'd just keep on writing. I started triggering his ideas and he started triggering mine. All of a sudden there was no PAIN album!"
Regarding the musical direction of LINDEMANN, Till told Metal Hammer: "It's a baby between RAMMSTEIN and PAIN — at least, it's a mix of RAMMSTEIN vocals and PAIN music.
"Peter's a real metalhead and I'm into this gothic thing.
"I know a lot of hardcore RAMMSTEIN fans may not like it, because they'll miss the German language and harsh sounds, but this is a side project and I bring a lot of personality into my half. There's a lot of different colors to this record."
Till added that there are plans for LINDEMANN to play some live shows and record a follow-up album, explaining that making the debut CD "was too much fun to just keep as a singular project."
"Skills In Pills" track listing:
01. Skills In Pills
04. Fish On
05. Children Of The Sun
06. Home Sweet Home
08. Golden Shower
10. Praise Abort
11. That's My Heart
Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS are putting the finishing touches on their new album, "Eternal", for an August 14 release via the earMUSIC label. The CD's arrival will be preceded by a performance at Wacken Open Air festival, and will be followed by a full European tour.
STRATOVARIUS's last three albums — "Polaris", "Elysium" and "Nemesis" — were released close to each other as the consequence of the renewed creative energy the band gained following the arrival of new members, guitarist Mattias Kupianen (prolific songwriter and producer of all the albums, including "Eternal"), virtuoso bass player Lauri Porra, and the young talent Rolf Pilve, one of the best drummer of his generation who had to replace Jörg Michael after the latter decided to move into a new role in STRATOVARIUS management.
STRATOVARIUS's most recent CD, "Nemesis", included the single "Unbreakable", which became one of the most streamed songs ever released by the band.
Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards) proudly carry the torch of the glorious STRATOVARIUS tradition, but now many fans of the band consider the current lineup "classic STRATOVARIUS."
"Since 'Polaris', we have released a new studio album pretty much every two years," reflects Jens Johansson, "but after 'Nemesis', we all decided to take a little bit of time off after we finished the world tour. Now we're all tanned and rested and it's about fucking time to get back into the saddle. Everybody has been busy the last few months writing lots of new songs, and only the best has been recorded for 'Eternal'."
Song details and formats (including a limited deluxe edition as in the STRATOVARIUS tradition) will be revealed in the next weeks, as well as details for a tour in Finland.
THE PRETTY RECKLESS, the band led by actress-turned-singer Taylor Momsen, recently played an acoustic set in the studios of Nashville's Rock Radio 102.9 The Buzz. You can now watch video footage of the performance below.
Momsen told TeamRock that she hasn't really had a chance to begin working on songs for the band's follow-up to last year's breakthrough hit, "Going To Hell", explaining, "I'm always jotting down ideas and things, but it's hard, for me at least, to write on the road, 'cause it requires isolation for me. I need to be alone with my own thoughts, and you're never alone on tour. You live on a bus with twelve people, so you're just constantly around people. And you're constantly working on tour, so there's really never enough time to sit down and actually focus."
Momsen added, "I've got little pieces of things here and there. But it'll be done when it's better than 'Going To Hell'. I always say, I'm not gonna put something out that's not better than the last work that we did, so we have to beat ourselves every time. And that can take forever, or it could magically happen in a week."
Momsen told The Pulse Of Radio that she's never sure when the inspiration for a new song is going to strike. "It's different every time," she said. "There's no real process or anything. I mean, the writing dictates where the song goes and how it comes together, and my joke is that if I knew where inspiration came from, I'd move there."
"Going To Hell" came out in March 2014 and yielded two No. 1 rock hits with "Heaven Knows" and "Messed Up World", making THE PRETTY RECKLESS the first female-fronted act to have its first two singles both hit the top spot.
Before getting to work on an all-new studio effort, the band intends to complete an acoustic set that will feature unplugged versions of the songs on "Going To Hell".
THE PRETTY RECKLESS kicked off a North American tour with HALESTORM on April 22 in Nashville.
Fan-filmed video footage of Lita Ford's performance on this year's Monsters Of Rock cruise, which was held April 18-22, can be seen below.
In other news, Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has set an October 13 release date for "Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir". In this 240-page hardcover book, which was originally expected last year, the former lead guitarist of THE RUNAWAYS opens up about the '70s and '80s music scene, and her extraordinary life and career.
Lita Ford lived her dreams, until her life turned into a nightmare. She left home at age sixteen to join the world's first all-female rock group, THE RUNAWAYS — a band whose legend was sealed by the 2010 hit movie starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning — and went on to become the first woman hard rock guitarist, a platinum-selling star who gave Ozzy Osbourne his first Top Ten hit, a bare-ass, leather-clad sexy babe whose hair was bigger and guitar licks were hotter than any of the guys. She is also the mother of two sons whose harrowing tale of her catastrophic marriage to a metal rocker makes Ike and Tina Turner sound like life at the country club.
But in the end, Lita's story changes from a music story to a woman's story — a wrenching, desperate drama of human bondage and a mother's love, a life-and-death struggle over her own soul. Trapped in an increasingly terrifying marriage, systematically stripped of her connections to the outside world, Lita Ford became a prisoner in her own life, a slave to her husband's demands, living like a captive. She plotted her escape and her freedom cost her the boys she stayed in the marriage to protect. Her graphic, explicit story will terrify and horrify readers, but they won't be able to put it down.
"Living Like A Runaway" will shock people with the candor that Lita Ford shines on her dramatic life story. At ease as a woman in the previously all-male world of rock, Lita shares with her male counterparts an unvarnished directness when it comes to topics such as sex, drugs, money or fame. No female rock star of Lita's stature has ever before told the real story of women in rock. With unprecedented rawness and honesty, "Living Like A Runaway" reminds us that Lita Ford is not only one of music's greatest pioneers, but also one of its fiercest survivors.
In a January 2014 interview with PureGrainAudio.com, Ford stated about her upcoming book: "It's an autobiography about, well, my life, the paths I've taken, all the different musical eras. It's got all my favourite stories in it and we're just working on getting that together. It covers everything really from me growing up to THE RUNAWAYS to Lita and all the things I've been through and experiences I've had."
She added: "The hardest thing was how things kept popping out and I'm going crazy thinking, 'Hell, I've got to include that... oh no... that needs to go in as well and... hey, do you remember that time...' — every time I think I've got everything, one of us remembers something else and we're back where we started. It's never-ending."
Finnish folk metallers KORPIKLAANI will release their new album, "Noita", on May 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Petrax Studio with Aksu Hanttu producing, recording and mixing again, it is the band's first CD to feature new accordion player Sami Perttula, who played a very active role in the folk arrangements along with fiddler Tuomas Rounakari.
The official video for the "Noita" song "Pilli On Pajusta Tehty" can be seen below.
The cover artwork for "Noita" was created by Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove Design, who has created all the KORPIKLAANI covers in recent years.
Commented KORPIKLAANI bass player Jarkko Aaltonen: "'Noita', in the traditional Finnish meaning, is different than what people associate it with nowadays.
"'Noita' is a person with wider knowledge and understanding of the nature and who also was believed to possess paranormal or unnatural abilities. These people were often also referred to as Tietäjä, [which] exactly means someone with wider knowledge and understanding of pretty much everything.
"Native American medicine man is pretty much the same thing or actually all the different types of Shamans of the primitive peoples are the same thing. Noita is someone that you turn to when you need help of some kind.
"Finnish Noita had the ability to heal, just like their North American counterparts. They were very respected members of the society. Only later Christianity changed the word to mean something negative since those people were considered rivals by the church. Even in Finland, this turned into a witchhunt (=noitavaino) every now and then.
"Anyway, most people using Google Translate or similar will find the word 'witch' and will probably get a bit wrong idea of the meaning, since most will probably connect it with the black sabbaths, devil marks and such, when a way more correct translation would probably be medicine man or Shaman."
Added Pertulla: "Previously the KORPIKLAANI albums were played with a piano-accordion and now I play with a traditional button-accordion which was more widely used in Finland anyways. In the arrangements you can hear more tonal harmonies and folky accompaniments combined to the power-chords than before. It actually boosts up the uplifting feel of our music."
KORPIKLAANI violinist Toumas Rounakari commented: "This album has more violin solos than ever before. Violin is more in the role of a lead-guitar now just as Jonne had originally intended it to be."
KORPIKLAANI vocalist Jonne Järvelä concluded: "We have finally managed to create the balance between folk and metal in the way I've always dreamt it to be. Thanks to Sami's arrangements and Tuomas's crazy shredding of the violin."
Italian "cinematic" metallers LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY will release a new album, "Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus", on June 19 in Europe and June 30 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast. The CD was composed and produced once again by Luca Turilli, responsible as always of all the orchestral and choral arrangements. It was recorded and mixed at the Backyard Studios of Sebastian Roeder (BONFIRE) and mastered by Christoph Stickel (MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK) at MSM studios.
The first single, titled "Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)" is now available digitally, and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
Luca Turilli commented the song and the lyrical background as follows: "While trying to understand more about the subject of metaphysics and spiritual evolution, my intention was to discover more about the primordial original spiritual source that, when manipulated more or less wisely later by man, gave birth to all the religions. Many people dedicated all their life and their studies to this subject, like, for example, Helena Blavatsky, who tried to condensate all in her theosophical perspective, or Rudolf Steiner, that tried to improve the society of his time with his anthroposophy. The truth is that, whoever tried to discover more about such spiritual source linked with the primordial photon energy and the immortal secret related with it, sooner or later had to face the myth of Christian Rosenkreuz.
"The RHAPSODY song 'Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)' tells about the legendary origin of the Rosicrucian Order and tells about the 12 wise men, keepers of the spiritual wisdom of the Ancients and of the highest intellectual knowledge of their time that, willing to react against the corrupted and amoral society of their time, found in the '13th one' the personified synthesis of such immortal secret reflected in the absolute and purest essence of light and love.."
The creation of "Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus" involved seven months of composition, three months of production, over 50 days of mixing, working with two choirs, several special guests, including Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), Dan Lucas (KARO) and David Readman (PINK CREAM 69).
Containing 70 minutes of epic music, sounding cinematic, bombastic and dramatic as never before, the new RHAPSODY masterwork will lead the listener to an emotional and memorable journey between quantum gates, parallel dimensions, myths and legends hiding cosmic truths, ancestral secrets and spiritual revelations.
And this time it was not enough for the band to simply sound cinematic — RHAPSODY needed to finally "look" cinematic as well. Therefore, the new cover artwork and the album booklet, introducing the new cinematic graphic style of the band, were created by the well-known artist Stefan "Heile" Heilemann (EPICA, LINDEMANN).
The digipak version of the album will include a cinematic version of the RIOT classic "Thundersteel", performed by RHAPSODY singer Alessandro Conti as a duet with Ralf Scheepers.
"Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus" track listing:
01. Nova Genesis (Ad Splendorem Angeli Triumphantis)
02. Il Cigno Nero
03. Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)
05. Il Tempo Degli Dei
06. One Ring To Rule Them All
09. King Solomon And The 72 Names Of God
11. Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer's Fall Part II: Codex Nemesis
I. Codex Nemesis Alpha Omega
II. Symphonia Ignis Divinus (The Quantum Gate Revealed)
III. The Astral Convergence
IV. The Divine Fire Of The Archangel
V. Of Psyche And Archetypes (System Overloaded)
12. Thundersteel (cinematic version)
In August 2011, RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Staropoli announced their decision to go their separate ways.
Due to legal reasons, Staropoli is continuing under the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name. Turilli, on the other hand, is making his efforts available under the RHAPSODY moniker (RHAPSODY OF FIRE's original name), in which he is joined by guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, singer Alessandro Conti (TRICK OR TREAT) and drummer Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA, STRATOVARIUS).
LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY's last album, "Ascending To Infinity", entered the German Media Control chart at the position No. 32.
"Lost In America", a brand new song from German power metallers HELLOWEEN, can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The track is taken from the band's 15th studio album, "My God-Given Right", which will be released on May 29 via Nuclear Blast. The CD was recorded between October 2014 and February 2015 at the band's MiSueno Studio on the isle of Tenerife with producer Charlie Bauerfeind (GOTTHARD, HAMMERFALL).
HELLOWEEN has just released the first single from "My God-Given Right", the speed metal hymn "Battle's Won". In addition to the digital download, a limited-edition two-track vinyl single was made available on April 24, also featuring the album cut "Lost In America".
"My God-Given Right" track listing:
02. Battle's Won
03. My God-Given Right
04. Stay Crazy
05. Lost In America
06. Russian Roulé
07. The Swing Of A Fallen World
08. Like Everybody Else
09. Creatures In Heaven
10. If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll
11. Living On The Edge
13. You, Still Of War
The limited digipak (with special 3D cover) and the vinyl version will feature two bonus tracks:
14. I Wish I Were There
15. Wicked Game
The digital version contains three bonus tracks:
14. I Wish I Were There
15. Wicked Game
16. Free World
The limited earbook will feature a bonus CD with four bonus tracks:
01. I Wish I Were There
02. Wicked Game
04. More Than A Lifetime
The "My God-Given Right" artwork was once again created by graphic guru Martin Häusler (BON JOVI, QUEEN, GOTTHARD) and will also be available as a 3D lenticular print.
Says Häusler: "We tried to build a world of ideas, keeping the 'classic HELLOWEEN' elements, like the pumpkins on the one hand and a complete new look on the other, just like we did it the years before, working on a HELLOWEEN artwork.
"A first inspiration came from the album title, 'My God-Given Right', and some of the song titles, like 'Swing Of A Fallen World', 'Lost In America', 'Battle's Won', etc.
"During my research, I stumbled upon the blockbuster 'Day After Tomorrow' and the idea of just leaving the world to the 'pumpkins' was born.
"The most challenging part of this artwork was to have both the limited edition and the 11-inch earbook provided with a 3D lenticular cover (a full 3D cover, visible without 3D glasses). That's the reason the entire artwork was done 'in one piece,' using a 3D program…
We did not want one of those 'cheap' lenticular covers, done by converting a 2D version, but the best possible real 3D result. So don’t get any other versions — this will be a true collector's item!"
Adds HELLOWEEN frontman Andi Deris: "I never know how, but somehow we did it once again… The album really rocks and kicks some major asses!!! We had the best folks with us to make this possible: producer Charlie Bauerfeind and Martin Häusler, who made a massive 3D artwork this time WITHOUT stressing the whole color range."
States HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael Weikath: "This proves what a bit of snow not only is able to but really causes! I personally hate snow and the cover shows that too much of everything is never good. Just like Andi Deris, I'm very happy about the new album."
Despite MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx's recent claim that if his band was ever honored into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he would decline the nomination, CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee seems a little more receptive to the idea of being inducted as part of the organization's annually held ceremony.
"I do give a shit about it, because it's a time-stamp," Lee tells RollingStone.com. "It's the acknowledgement of your peers and fans and the music industry. But then again, there's a part of me that goes, 'If we don't, that's fucking cool, too.'"
He continues: "In my heart, I know that we came, we saw, we kicked its fucking ass; I don't need a pat on the back, or an induction, or another platinum album or two. Maybe I'm just not good with compliments."
For his part, MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars seems mostly indifferent to the idea of getting the Rock Hall nod. He tells the magazine: "Honestly, I don't think it'll happen. We were there when the thing was being built; we had to wear hard hats while we were walking around the building site. They were like, 'One of these days, you guys will be in here!' Right. [Laughs]"
He continues: "I'd have to say, 80 percent no, 20 percent yeah. But it's like when you're a kid in kindergarten, and you take a nap and get a gold star as a reward. I don't need a few handful of people to say that I got a gold star, because I already got it from my fans. I see the crowds, I see the enthusiasm, I see all that stuff, and that's already satisfying enough for me."
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
Iconic hard rock and metal bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE (which has been eligible since 2006), DEEP PURPLE, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST have yet to be recognized by the Rock Hall, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility.
"I'm not one of these cranky guys about it," Sixx tells RollingStone.com. "But I think if they got it a little bit righter, people would respect it a little bit more. Honestly, there are a lot of bands previous to MÖTLEY CRÜE that deserve to be in, if it's actually about influencing other musicians and making an impact on the planet. You know, the bands that have gotten in the last few years, it's cool; but let's go back and look at the people who curated this great music a little bit more. I mean, I'm a huge MOTT THE HOOPLE fan; if MÖTLEY CRÜE got in before MOTT THE HOOPLE, I'd snap! [Laughs] I'd be like, 'I'm sorry, but Ian Hunter, this is for you!'"
DEEP PURPLE, which has been eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for two decades now , was denied entry to the Rock Hall in 2013 — losing out to such artists as American pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman and R&B singer Donna Summer.
KISS, which was passed over by the Hall since 1998 before finally getting the nod last April, took its long-overdue induction with a grain of salt, with frontman Paul Stanley telling Classic Rock that it felt like a case of a little too little and a little too late to mean anything for him.
During an appearance on the latest installment of the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, producer Bob Rock (pictured) defended his work on METALLICA's controversial 2003 LP "St. Anger" by saying that both LED ZEPPELIN legend Jimmy Page and former THE WHITE STRIPES frontman Jack White "took the time to say how much they like that album."
According to Rock, Page expressed his appreciation for the CD when the produced ran into the guitarist while they were both eating breakfast at hotel. "I know Jimmy," Bob said. "He got up and walked over to me, gave me a big hug, and said, 'It's great to see you,' blah blah, 'I love the 'St. Anger' album.'"
White's praise came at a screening of the documentary "It Might Get Loud", which co-starred Page. "I was at the premiere, and Jack White came over," Bob recalled. "He says, 'I'm Jack White.' I said, 'I know.' He says, 'That's my favorite METALLICA album.' So," laughed Rock, "I'm okay with those two."
Rock did acknowledge that "St. Anger" wasn't embraced by many METALLICA fans, who criticized it for its lack of guitar solos, extended riffs, its raw production and the thin drum sound.
"It's a very odd record," he conceded. "But it is… It's the truth. It's the raw truth about them at that time."
Rock also addressed the drum-sound controversy, explaining: "People comment about the sound, but when we went in, I said to them, 'I can't set up the drums exactly the same way. I can't do that.' It's like, why does metal music have to have this certain sound before it's metal? So I kicked the can a bit in that way."
He continued: "We could talk about this for a long time, but, really, the sound of the drums on that, I got the first set that [Lars Ulrich] ever used when they rehearsed in the house in Oakland, when they first got together. I set it up and Lars stared at it, right? For, like, months. And then one day he sat down and played, and it was ringing and it was raw, and he said, 'This is it.'"
Rock also discussed the lack of solos on the album. According to the producer, "Lars said, 'No guitar solos.' And [James Hetfield] and I are going, 'But … that's what [Kirk Hammett] does.' So every song, Kirk comes in and plays a solo, and if it doesn't make the song better, we're not using it — and we went through the whole album like that."
Ulrich admitted to The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the band was surprised by the hostile reaction to "St. Anger" by many fans. "It threw us a little bit, sure, 'cause the whole thing was to just keep it as raw as possible," he said. "And I'd like to think that we accomplished that [laughs], to the point of obviously a little too raw for some people, and that's okay. I mean, it is what it is. I have not one regret about it. I'm proud of it, proud that we had the balls to see it through."
Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, Ulrich defended the drum sound on "St. Anger". He said: "That was on purpose. It wasn't like we put it out and somebody went, "Whoa! Whoops!" I view 'St. Anger' as an isolated experiment. I'm the biggest METALLICA fan, you've got to remember that. Once again, as we've been known to do, once in a while these boundaries have to be fucked with. We'd already done 'Ride The Lightning', which I believe is a fine record. It didn't need to be re-done."
He continued: "When we heard the record from beginning to end, I felt — and it was mostly me — that the experience was so pummeling, it became almost about hurting the listener, about challenging the listener, so we left the songs unedited. I can understand that people felt it was too long."
"St. Anger" was released in June 2003 at the end of a turbulent two-year period in which bassist Jason Newsted left the group, James Hetfield went for a lengthy stay in rehab, and the entire band threatened to break apart. The album's raw, lo-fi production, lack of guitar solos and unorthodox sound were not well-received by many of the group's fans, who still often cite it as METALLICA's worst record. "St. Anger" has nevertheless sold more than six million copies worldwide, although fans have generally not warmed up to it in the 12 years since its release.