This week, Canadian rock legends RUSH will kick off the European leg of their 2013 "Clockwork Angels" tour. In June, the trek brings them to Sweden for the Sweden Rock Festival, marking the trio's first appearance at a European festival in 34 years. RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee told VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner what the group has against festivals.
"The way festivals used to be, we were always prevented from bringing our full show to them, so things changed in the last couple of years," he said. "We've started playing a couple of outdoor venues that allow us to do our full show. We did a few in Canada that are multiple-day festivals, where you have a stage to yourself that can accommodate, so that started to turn us around a little bit about playing festivals.
Geddy went on to say if he thinks they'll play more festivals in the future.
"We'll see how this one," he said. "This one in Sweden is kind of a test case for the European festivals, and if we like the end result, then I think we might start doing more of those, because we can play to more people and shorten the show a little bit and just hit more countries that way. That's kind of what's at the back of our minds — if this goes well, maybe we can go to some countries we haven't visited yet."
RUSH's performance at Sweden Rock Festival is scheduled for June 8 in Sölvesborg.
Singer Kobi Farhi of Israeli progressive folk metal masters ORPHANED LAND was interviewed on the latest episode of MSRcast. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
ORPHANED LAND will release its sixth full-length album, "All Is One", in North America on June 25 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media Records. The cover artwork for the follow-up to 2010's "The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR" was created by the French artist Metastazis (PARADISE LOST, AS I LAY DYING, SONNE ADAM, WATAIN) by perfectly incorporating the three biggest religious symbols into one piece of art.
Commented ORPHANED LAND singer Kobi Farhi: "I'll say it plain and simple — 'All Is One' is ORPHANED LAND's best album so far. I feel that we took all aspects to a new level — the way we write, arrange, play and produce.
"We recorded the album in three countries (Turkey, Sweden and Israel) and it turned out so strong, we can't stop listening to it.
"The album is very rich in sound, with more than 40 people participating (choirs, violins, and many traditional instruments, too).
"Our secret recipe was always the fact that unlike many other bands, ORPHANED LAND doesn't follow ONE master mind that writes everything; we work in a way that 'all is one.' We create our music in a perfect blend of synergy and harmony and all the band members are a part of this process. We translate the album's title and message exactly in the way we work, and we always hope we could give a bit of an inspiration to the people in the tragic Middle Eastern lands.
"We have fans all over the Middle East. We live in a place where huge amounts of people who consider themselves enemies still share one thing in common, they are all fans of ORPHANED LAND, and in these lands of orphans and bloody holy wars, our only weapon is music, and hopefully we will grow to understand that 'all is one.'"
ORPHANED LAND's forthcoming effort will be the band's first to feature guitarist Chen Balbus following the departure of Matty Svatizky in June 2012 due to "personal" and "professional" issues.
From September to November, ORPHANED LAND will play stages all over Europe in support of "All Is One" — but before heading out on this headlining tour, ORPHANED LAND will play a few festivals and shows in South America and Europe.
"The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR" sold around 600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at No. 80 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.
"The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR" was released in Europe on January 25, 2010.
ORPHANED LAND's concert DVD, "The Road To OR-Shalem", was released in October 2011 in Europe and November 2011 in the U.S. via Century Media Records.
Pop-Break's Bill Bodkin recently conducted an interview with former METALLICA, VOIVOD and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist and current NEWSTED frontman Jason Newsted. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Pop-Break: What is different about Jason Newsted — the musician, the man — since you last did a full tour or played with METALLICA.
Newsted: I'm in much better shape than I was at 37 and I'm about to turn 50. When I left METALLICA in 2001, I was on pills, James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] was drinking, the others were doing things they shouldn't … We were all mentally fucked. But it was "let's plow on and not take time to assess our mental health." With this band, we're taking the old avenue of taking the music to the people. I don't care if there's 5,000 people in the audience or 30 people, they are all getting their asses kicked! I've always felt that way to go bring the music to the people. But there's many new avenues I haven't been down or it's been a long time. I mean, I haven't been on a tour bus in 10 years since I was on the road with Ozzy. But there's also the technology, the social networking … I've tried to repel all of this for as long as I could. I've tried and still try to remain as analog as possible. But then I learn and discover that social networking is the way to connect with the people and rekindle my relationship with the fans. Change has made me adapt. Mike [Mushok, STAIND/NEWSTED guitarist] just came off the road with STAIND in October so he's been a big blessing in this, because he's helping me so much. I need that help, because with this band, it's all me. I'm the manager, the bassist, the investor, the singer, I'm micro-managing things, booking flights, hotels … all things I never had to undertake before. I was conditioned to have people handle this for me when I was in METALLICA. Now it's a humbling thing, but it's also exciting because I'm calling all the shots and I have more control and there's lots of new things to learn.
Pop-Break: Is it odd touring without a big production like Ozzy or METALLICA and doing a more club-centric tour?
Newsted: The idea behind this first tour is to get warmed up because in June we're hitting 15 different countries playing with IRON MAIDEN and SLAYER. So that's a pretty big deal. This is the next phase of the band … we'll be second on the bill and we're there to take care of business. We don't have the LP out yet so we just have the EP and the live show, some video is getting out there on YouTube. It's a challenge to get people to respond to the new stuff, but they are definitely responding.
Pop-Break: Then you hit the road with Gigantour this summer. How do you feel about hooking up with [MEGADETH's Dave] Mustaine and this now-epic and popular tour?
Newsted: Dave and Dave [Mustaine and Ellefson] gave my old band FLOTSAM AND JETSAM their first shows outside of Arizona when we opened for them back in 1985. So there's a definite camaraderie there with them. We're going to be on the bill early, but we'll be taking it to the people, for sure. It kinda reminds me of when METALLICA went on the Monsters Of Rock tour in 1988 and we played second before DOKKEN. [laughs] Man, he got pelted with a lot of shit on that tour. I mean, we were playing a take-no-prisoners 30-45-minute set each night. We weren't playing no fucking ballads and we didn't care who was headlining, we were bringing the show to the people.
On April 26, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE took part in an acoustic performance of two songs — "Eyes Of A Stranger" and "Silent Lucidity" — inside "Bjorn's Audio Video Live Music Lounge" on WOAI (1200 AM), a San Antonio, Texas, news/talk formatted radio station. You can watch video footage of their appearance below.
"Frequency Unknown", the new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart.
As previously reported, Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records is making available the "new and improved" mixes of "Frequency Unknown" to any customers who have purchased the original mix version and are dissatisfied with the audio. Simply e-mail the label a scan of your actual receipt for the physical CD to Queensryche@cleorecs.com and they will happily send you a replacement disc — at no charge whatsoever. No questions asked!
"Frequency Unknown" was released on April 23. The CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.
Asked about the decision to remix "Frequency Unknown" shortly before the album's release, Tate told "The Continental Breakfast With James & Raina": "We were a little rushed on the mixing end of it, so after listening to it back, we're having some of the songs remixed now before the album comes out. But that's typical with records — you have to have them in on time. So sometimes you compromise in areas. Luckily, with this situation, we get to go back and correct some areas in the sound where we thought it was kind of lacking. So that's fine. I've done that on… gosh… probably three quarters of the records I've ever made. It's no new thing, but it's a luxury when you get to fix it."
"Frequency Unknown" is packaged with bonus tracks — four QUEENSRŸCHE classics, newly recorded, including the smash hit single "Silent Lucidity". Guest musicians on the CD include K.K. Downing (JUDAS PRIEST), Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS), Lita Ford, Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN).
Although a lineup for Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE was originally announced in the fall of 2012, things have changed. The band now features Tate along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT), guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and new additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).
KING DIAMOND kicked off its European tour this past Sunday, May 19 at the Rock Hard Festival at Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
KING DIAMOND's setlist was as follows:
01. The Candle 02. Welcome Home 03. At The Graves 04. Up From The Grave 05. Voodoo 06. Dreams 07. Sleepless Nights 08. Drum Solo (by Matt Thompson) 09. Shapes Of Black 10. Come To The Sabbath (MERCYFUL FATE cover) 11. Evil (MERCYFUL FATE cover) 12. Eye Of The Witch
13. The Family Ghost
15. Black Horsemen
KING DIAMOND in December signed a new three-album worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records.
Commented the band's vocalist and namesake: "This is gonna be awesome! Another perfect piece of the puzzle. We have the full backup of Metal Blade, and there's an understanding between us that goes much, much deeper than before.
"Our new business setup will noticeably benefit the fans in so many ways. You must have already noticed some of all the cool new stuff that is happening. Now we can't wait to get out there and start touring again!"
After a six-year touring hiatus, KING DIAMOND triumphantly returned to the stage in 2012 for European festivals Hellfest and Sweden Rock.
In a March 2012 interview with the Swedish metal blog Bara Metal, King Diamond stated about what he did during his year-long break, "Well, we did keep up with people. A lot. We started a thing where… it's a Skype web site where people will sign up. And now and then I will call up fans and we talk. We have done that several times. We will call up three fans through that way, 'King Diamond is calling you,' and it could be one from Puerto Rico, one from Sweden, one from Scotland. We pick them randomly, but not the same person twice. Then we sit and talk for an hour. They can ask anything. They usually have a lot of question that are the same as the fans ask in the fan club, the Coven. So we get a lot of info out that way, and we upload it so other can listen to it. We are certainly in touch with our fans."
When asked if there are plans to release new music in 2013, King replied, "That is absolutely the plan. Something has to go totally wrong for us not to do that. We will write material this fall. Hopefully during the autumn, we might do something here in the U.S., after the festivals. But we will not be doing a long tour, it is still a test, we will see what happens. We do not want to take stupid chances, it has to be done properly. And we have a lot to do still, but things are looking good."
King, 56, underwent open-heart triple-bypass surgery in November 2010. He has since completed his cardiac rehabilitation program and has stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and is getting regular exercise.
King Diamond made his long-anticipated return to the stage with his MERCYFUL FATE bandmates Hank Shermann, Timi Hansen and Michael Denner on December 7, 2011 at the second of four intimate shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of METALLICA's week-long celebration of its 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only.
KING DIAMOND received a Grammy nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the track "Never Ending Hill" off the group's latest album, "Give Me Your Soul … Please".
"Give Me Your Soul ... Please" entered the Swedish national chart at position No. 28. The CD also landed at No. 58 on the Danish chart (the second highest new entry on the chart behind VELVET REVOLVER).
"Give Me Your Soul ... Please" sold 4,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 174 on The Billboard 200 chart.
RED FANG return this fall with their as-yet-untitled third studio album on Relapse Records. The Portland-based group is currently in the studio finishing the disc with the producer Chris Funk (DECEMBERISTS) and mixer Vance Powell (THE WHITE STRIPES, RACONTEURS, KINGS OF LEON). This same team worked on RED FANG's last album, "Murder The Mountains", tagged by NPR as "a sleeker style of riff-heavy metal" (April 2011) and Alternative Press magazine as "a near masterpiece of tangled tar pit riffs and whisky-and-bong-hit vocals" (April 2011).
Comments the band: "We're hyper excited about this new album. The basic tracks are like rabid monkeys we're wrangling at Type Foundry in our hometown of Portland. Producer Chris Funk has almost been amputated twice. Surprise guests abound! We're in the final moments before all systems are go on this sucker. Dig people!"
On Friday, May 24, RED FANG will head to the picturesque Gorge Amphitheater outside Seattle for their first festival appearance this year at Sasquatch! The band will then hit the road for European trek through mid-July with festival stops at Sonisphere, Download, Hellfest, Reload, With Full Force and Eistenaflug, among others. Expect the group to announce a full U.S. run for late summer.
Formed in 2005, RED FANG — Bryan Giles (guitar/vocals), Aaron Beam (bass/vocals), David Sullivan (guitar), John Sherman (drums) — has two albums under their belts: their 2009 self-titled debut on Sargent House and 2011's "Murder The Mountains" on Relapse Records.
RED FANG quickly became known for its series of hilarious videos directed by Whitey McConnaughy (BAND OF HORSES, FLOGGING MOLLY, TURBONEGRO). Each clip was picked up by Reddit and went viral, garnering over 1 million+ views.
Swedish female-fronted heavy rockers SISTER SIN will have a newly remastered version of their first studio album, "Dance Of The Wicked", released as a CD+DVD package on June 25 via Victory Records.
The CD includes:
* All eight tracks from the original album "Dance Of The Wicked", released in 2003 * Three bonus previously unreleased demo tracks * Two cover songs, one of which features a guest appearance by Doro Pesch * All-new artwork in a digipack * Full-color foldout gig poster
The DVD includes:
* All 10 music videos on one DVD * Additional bonus material
SISTER SIN's third album, "Now And Forever", entered the official chart in the band's home country of Sweden at position No. 44. Released on October 23, 2012 via Victory Records, the CD was recorded at Standstraight Studios in Stockholm with producer Chris Snyder and was mixed by Cameron Webb (MOTÖRHEAD, SOCIAL DISTORTION, DANZIG).
In a 2012 interview with Loudwire, SISTER SIN singer Liv Jagrell stated about the new album title: "The title 'Now And Forever' is kind of a statement for us as a band. As a band and as individuals, we have been through quite a lot of things, a lot of troubles and things that might break up bands but we're so dedicated to this band. So that's the title — we are here now and hopefully forever. We won't give up even if something goes wrong."
Asked what keeps the band going after all these years, Liv said: "Yes, it's been almost a decade — at least for me and Dave [Sunberg], the drummer — because we started the band from the beginning, and yeah, it's kind of a decade now; that's a long time. It's really hard today with the business, there's so many bands, so much competition out there, no money whatsoever and all the things with downloads. I mean, it could be good but also bad, depending on how you look at it. When I started to play music at 15, the music business and scene was totally different and you could actually make money from it. When I was 15, I just decided, 'I'm going to play music my whole life and I'm going to be a rock star' — that kind of attitude. So I spent all 15 years to convince myself that that's the only thing I will ever, ever do, so that's why I can't give up because I programmed my brain to believe that I will do this forever. I think that's why we don't give up and why sometimes other bands do — they find other opportunities and other things they love, too, they have something else you actually can do and you'll probably do that because that will make you money and a better living. If you just prepare your whole life to be in the music business and tell yourself, 'This is what I'm going to do, I'm not going to do anything else,' it's kind of foolish and childish, but in that way you just can't give up. People, of course, give up and I'm not saying I'm not going to do it years from now, but right now I still feel like I have to fight for that dream that I had as a teenager. Obviously, we all have gained a lot and experienced so much, but we're still a little bit far away that whole kind of — living with the music or for the music thing — close but still far away. [laughs] I think that's what drives us."
METALLICA's James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo joined "SFG Live" on May 3 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of baseball's San Francisco Giants, to discuss Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito jamming with them at the band's headquarters in San Rafael, California and their connection to baseball and the Bay Area. You can watch the chat below starting at around the 30-minute mark.
As preiously reported, members of METALLICA participated in pre-game festivities which included drummer Lars Ulrich throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performing the National Anthem. The custom Giants-themed guitars that were played by the pair were signed immediately following the National Anthem and auctioned off at the Giants Community Clubhouse, with proceeds being shared by the Giants Community Fund and the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation.
Following recent live dates in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, METALLICA performed on May 2 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles, where the group was also honored as "Golden Gods."
The band is also gearing up to headline its second annual Orion Music + More festival, scheduled for June 8-9 in Detroit.
ANTHRAX's Frank Bello took part in a bass clinic on May 13 in San Isidro, a residential suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. More video footage of his appearance can be seen below.
Asked about his increased number of clinic tour dates in recent years, Bello told Legendary Rock Interviews: "Man, I just love doing those things. Man, I don't know why, but it really appeals to me to get out there and talk and show some things to kids or adults or anyone who's just really interested in learning bass or getting into music. It honestly feels good to go and do stuff like that and I can't emphasize that enough."
ANTHRAX's May 10 concert at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile was professionally filmed for a live DVD. The show consisted of a special extended set featuring tracks from the band's whole catalog.
SHADOWS FALL guitarist Jon Donais, who has been touring with ANTHRAX since Rob Caggiano's departure in January, handled the lead-guitar parts at the Santiago show.
ANTHRAX has just completed the "Metal Alliance Tour", which also featured EXODUS, HIGH ON FIRE, MUNICIPAL WASTE and HOLY GRAIL.
"Anthems", ANTHRAX's long-awaited, eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of the band's favorite acts from the 1970s, sold around 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 52 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released in North America on March 19 (MRI/Megaforce), and on March 22 in Europe (Nuclear Blast).
Fuse conducted an interview with KORN vocalist Jonathan Davis and guitarist Brian "Head" Welch at this year's Rock On The Range festival, which took place May 17-19 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. You can now watch the chat below.
KORN recently completed work on its 11th studio CD and first with founding guitarist Brian "Head" Welch back in the fold since 2003's "Take A Look In The Mirror".
Speaking to Loudwire, Welch stated about the songwriting process for the new KORN album, "It was effortless. It just kind of fell into place and it was better than before."
Asked how much involvement Welch has had in the creative process so far, KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer said: "He had a huge role in everything. This guy is the melody-chorus master. He's the best. He can come up with melodies and choruses all day long and that was a huge help for me, 'cause for a long time I was trying to come up with choruses and verses and wrangle the whole thing. It's been so much work and for him to come in and have these fresh ideas, it's just been so refreshing."
Added Welch: "And it goes both ways, because I came in and then we started, but it was… Like, my favorite song on the album is one that [Munky] came up with. I'm a fan of his writing, he's a fan of my writing, and it all just works great."
Welch left KORN in 2005 to pursue a solo career and devote more of his life to Christianity, but rejoined them for one gig last year and several more in 2013, leading to plans to record together again.
Welch told Rolling Stone, "We knew we would have a blast playing together, because we love each other so much, but we really wanted to make sure the music felt right before we committed to making a whole album together. But since we got in the studio, everything just started pouring out, now I can't wait until our fans hear this stuff!"
The new KORN set is due out in late summer and will follow up 2011's "The Path Of Totality", which found the group experimenting with dubstep.
The new record will feature four-fifths of the original KORN lineup, with only founding drummer David Silveria not on board.
KORN played its first full show in eight years with Welch on May 15 at Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. Welch first appeared onstage with them for one song at last year's Carolina Rebellion festival.
Longtime URIAH HEEP bassist Trevor Bolder has died of cancer at the age of 62.
Bolder joined HEEP in 1976 as the replacement for John Wetton and made his recording debut with the band on 1977's "Firefly" LP. He played on three more albums before joining WISHBONE ASH. In 1983, he returned to URIAH HEEP and has appeared on all of the band's studio albums since then, including their most recent outing, 2011's "Into The Wild".
Said URIAH HEEP in a statement: "It is with great sadness that URIAH HEEP announce the passing of our friend the amazing Trevor Bolder, who has passed away after his long fight with cancer. Trevor was an all time great, one of the outstanding musicians of his generation, and one of the finest and most influential bass players that Britain ever produced. His longtime membership of URIAH HEEP brought the band's music, and Trevor's virtuosity and enthusiasm, to hundreds of thousands of fans across the world. He joined the band in 1976 and, barring one short break, was a fixture until his ill health forced him to take a step back early this year. Prior to joining HEEP, he was a founder and ever-present member of David Bowie's legendary SPIDERS FROM MARS band, performing on all of their key albums and at countless shows. He also performed with WISHBONE ASH, CYBERNAUTS and THE RATS."
Added URIAH HEEP guitarist Mick Box: "Trevor was a world-class bass player, singer and songwriter, and more importantly a world-class friend. He will be sadly missed by family, friends and rock fans all over the world. We are all numb to the core."
"Strike The Iron", a brand new song from Los Angeles metallers WHITE WIZZARD, can be streamed below. The track comes off the band's third full-length album, "The Devils Cut", which will be released on June 3 in Europe via Earache Records and June 25 in the USA through Century Media/Earache. The CD features artwork by Cameron Davis, who is known for as the lead character designer and illustrator for the Guitar Hero video game series.
Comments WHITE WIZZARD bassist and mainman Jon Leon: "'Strike The Iron' is my favorite WHITE WIZZARD song I have ever written, along with 'The Sun Also Rises', which closes the new record. I am very proud of the arrangement. I had the verse melody in my head and chorus line before I even picked up the guitar and started writing it. It has stunning leads by Jake and Will, and Joseph interpreted the vocal melody fantastically and gave so much character to it. This song really exemplifies everything this lineup is capable of and everyone's talents really came through on it. It never lets up and we are very excited to get this one out there live...I expect it to be our opening song for the next couple of years."
"The Devils Cut" was once again produced by Ralph Patlan (MEGADETH, UFO, MICHAEL SCHENKER) at Phase Four Studios in Tempe, Arizona.
Regarding the cover artwork for the new CD, Leon aid: "It was great to work with the amazing artist Cameron Davis again, who also did the art for our album 'Over The Top'. Cameron and I live in the same building here in L.A. and he is a really talented guy. When he presented me the piece for the album cover, I knew right away it was the one. It has amazing imagery and depth and is very artful, while making a tongue-in-cheek statement poking some fun at organized religion, which is something I feel strongly about.
"Some of my lyrics on this album and previous albums focus on not letting religion and the cult of group belief blind you from the preservation of thinking for yourself and being an individual, so it ties into that very well, as the statement of the piece is how religion is imprisonment for the soul and how, even within its own confines, it forces its believers into blind group submission. I think any of us that went to catholic school as a child can relate to that nun!!! It has 'classic metal cover' all over it and it just blew my mind.
"I look forward to this imagery being out there and am proud to have it be a part of WHITE WIZZARD. To have art of this quality to convey the visual aspects of the band is just fantastic."
In the lead-up to RUSH's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction last month, the Toronto Star published an e-dispatch story on RUSH titled "Rush: An Oral History". Toronto Star journalist Vinay Menon conducted separate and lengthy interviews with all three bandmembers, their parents and wives, record executives, producers, management and more.
John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the entire feature and made it available online. The feature covers the entire history of the band as told by the people who lived it. You can read it at this location.
The 28th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was held on April 18 at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of FOO FIGHTERS inducted RUSH at the event. Grohl said in his induction speech, "From day one, the band built its following the right way. No hype, no (baloney), they did it from the ground up without any help from the mainstream press… Their influence is undeniable and their devoted fan base is only rivaled by the GRATEFUL DEAD. Look at you people, all of you people, right here! And their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone."
The ceremony was broadcast this past Saturday (May 18) on HBO.
Audio samples of all the tracks that are set to appear on ALICE IN CHAINS' new album, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", can be found on iTunes.
"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is ALICE IN CHAINS' second album with William DuVall on board as co-lead singer and guitarist, following 2009's comeback effort, "Black Gives Way To Blue".
Original singer Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, although the band's last full-length set before "Black Gives Way To Blue" was a 1995 self-titled effort.
"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is due out May 28 and features the singles "Stone" and the chart-topping "Hollow".
ALICE IN CHAINS kicked off a tour to promote the new disc on April 25 in Miami Beach. The band will also headline the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival later this summer.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell reassured fans that the band is not breaking up following the release of "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here". After Cantrell told Fuse that he looks at every new record "like it's your last" and that he could "rest happily with this being the last record, if that's what it was," the usual onslaught of hysterical "is this the end of ALICE" headlines erupted online. But Cantrell has cleared the air, telling Billboard. "What I said was, I approach every record as if it were my last, trying to make it the best record it can be. That's what I meant."
Although there are fans who are not interested in hearing anything by this version of ALICE IN CHAINS, Cantrell said, "I don't do this for what people tell me I should do with my life, or my band. I do what I want to do and what my band wants to do. And we continue to do that."
Philip Anselmo, legendary frontman of PANTERA and DOWN, will take to the road for his first-ever solo tour, dubbed "Technicians Of Distortion", which will kick off July 31 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On this tour, Anselmo will be joined by his backup band THE ILLEGALS — guitarist Marzi Montazeri (ex-SUPERJOINT RITUAL), drummer José Manuel Gonzales (WARBEAST) and bassist Steve Taylor. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 23.
Jul. 31 - Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK Aug. 02 - Wooly's - Des Moines, IA Aug. 03 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN Aug. 04 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL Aug. 06 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH Aug. 07 - The Intersection - Grand Rapids, MI Aug. 09 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Royal Oak, MI Aug. 10 - Danforth Music Hall - Toronto, ON Aug. 11 - Heavy MTL Festival - Montreal, QC Aug. 13 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA Aug. 14 - Upstate Concert Hall - Clifton Park, NY Aug. 16 - Best Buy Theatre - New York, NY Aug. 17 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA Aug. 18 - The Fillmore - Silver Spring, MD Aug. 20 - The Masquerade - Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA
Anselmo will release his career-first solo album, "Walk Through Exits Only", on July 16 via his own Housecore Records (MRI/Megaforce). "Walk Through Exits Only" will be available digitally, on CD and on vinyl.
Produced by Anselmo and Michael Thompson, and recorded over the past couple of years at Philip's New Orleans studio, Nodferatu's Lair, with his band THE ILLEGALS — guitarist Marzi Montazeri (ex-SUPERJOINT RITUAL) and drummer José Manuel Gonzales (WARBEAST) — "Walk Through Exits Only" is abrasive, aggressive, anthemic and 100% Anselmo. The album's eight songs are as unstrained as it gets, from "Battalion Of Zero" to "Usurper's Bastard Rant", to the album's title track that goes against the grain and right through the exits. Brash, brutal guitars cut through punishing percussion as Anselmo screams with uncompromising ferocity and uncontainable fire.
The track "Usurper's Bastard Rant" is now available for streaming using the SoundCloud widget below (courtesy of RollingStone.com).
"It wasn't about doing a paint-by-numbers thrash or heavy metal record," Anselmo explained about the project. "It's an angry album that only I could do. I don't see anybody else out there screaming about the same shit I'm screaming about. On this album, there isn't any wordplay, there isn't any hidden message, it's all right there in front of you."
The genesis of "Walk Through Exits Only" proved both comfortable and natural for its architect. In fact, everything began to slowly come together in the frontman's New Orleans home back in 2010.
"It started right there in the fucking black bedroom where I haunt," he smiles. "When I get an itch, I've got to scratch it. The sole idea at the beginning was to be unorthodox. It wasn't about doing a paint-by-numbers thrash or heavy metal record. I've always believed there are different elements of groove. It's definitely not a cemented science. It's an angry album that only I could do. I don't see anybody else out there screaming about the same shit I'm screaming about. I tried to portray it as personally as I possibly could."
Gonzales puts it best. "I think it's going to put the rock 'n' roll back in extreme music," he says. "That combination is very different. For as extreme as it is, it's controlled chaos."
"It's meant to be very unpredictable," Anselmo affirms. "When I hear enough of the same thing, I want to rebel. That was a key factor. Right when you think you've got it pegged, it goes in a different direction. That's what keeps things interesting."
In order to harness that unpredictability and realize his vision, he enlisted the talents of longtime friend Houston-based shredder Montazeri. Filling the seat behind the kit is Gonzales, who entered the fold at the tender age of 19. Back at Anselmo's studio Nodferatu's Lair, they recorded in spurts between DOWN's own rigorous recording and touring schedule. In the process of those intense sessions alongside engineer Stephen "The Big Fella" Berrigan, the record was born.
"There's nobody like Philip," says Montazeri. "For years, I've always wanted to do something completely original and meaningful with him. I'm just trying to bring something pure to this. Nothing gets in the way of this band's purity. When all of us get together, it's automatic. If I have an idea, Philip always welcomes it. We share a love for extreme music, and I feel like we've got an unbreakable bond."
Gonzales agrees, "These guys pushed me to limits I didn't even know I could be pushed to. We've been able to create something really special together."
The world's proper introduction to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS came on the "War Of The Gargantuas" split with WARBEAST at the top of 2013. The two songs included on the split — "Conflict" and "Family, Friends, and Associates" — were only a separate and small taste of what was come to come on the full-length though.
In many ways, "Walk Through Exits Only" embodies the same underground spirit and ethos that Anselmo has proudly possessed for his whole life. Since his career began, he consistently shined light on what was happening beneath the typical "surface" of music, whether by inviting MORBID ANGEL, EYEHATEGOD, CROWBAR, or NEUROSIS onto a PANTERA tour or donning a DARKTHRONE or MAYHEM t-shirt on television or in a major publication. He's gone against the grain, past the tides, and right through the exits. Now, that sentiment pipes through loud and clear on the record's viciously vital title track.
"It does create an unorthodox approach to things," Anselmo continues. "The hook is a powerful line. Why make music the 'right' way? There really aren't any fucking rules. You've got to simply take what’s there and make it your own."
The opener "Music Media Is My Whore" lays all speculation to rest with its focused pummeling. About the title, he laughs, "I've gotten my share of fucking licks from the media over the years. I figured I'd give them one back. Lyrically, there was always something driving me though. I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time, but it's very reality-based. I didn't mince any words."
"The message comes across in a crazy way," adds Montazeri. "That goes for the entire record though. There's no similarity between this and any other band. It breaks from tradition."
Not only does "Walk Through Exits Only" break from tradition, it lays the groundwork for a new road.
"Fuck another chapter," concludes Anselmo. "This is a whole new book. Some might call it ambitious. I say it's natural. I can do anything I want with this, and I will. I want people to take that unpredictability with them. If you're in a younger band, I want you to realize you don't have to play by the fucking rules. I want everyone to see that there's a lot more to the story than they'd ever realized when it comes to me. You can't and won't be able to tell what comes next from the kid. You can't pin me down unless it's in my own fucking corner which will be painted black and say, 'Reserved for Philip H. Anselmo.' You're very welcome to do that."