Southern California metallers WINDS OF PLAGUE have completed work on their fourth album for a late 2013 release via Century Media Records. The as-yet-untitled CD was recorded with producer Will Putney, who has previously worked with SHADOWS FALL and SUICIDE SILENCE, among others.
A new two-minute video update on the new WINDS OF PLAGUE effort from the band's lead singer, "Johnny Plague" Cooke, can be seen below.
WINDS OF PLAGUE last year parted ways with drummer Art Cruz due to creative differences. Sitting behind the kit during the studio sessions for the new album was Brandon Gallindo (ex-DEAD IN EXISTENCE).
WINDS OF PLAGUE's third full-length CD, "Against The World", sold 8,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 60 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on April 19, 2011 via Century Media Records, the effort featured guest appearances from members of HATEBREED, TERROR, FOR TODAY, STRAY FROM THE PATH and former world heavyweight wrestling champion and sports entertainment legend Ultimate Warrior (who performs an epic spoken-word track entitled "The Warrior Code").
Thomas Crone of St. Louis magazine recently conducted an interview with KORN drummer Ray Luzier. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
St. Louis: Talk about your role in the creating the new album and your relationship with the producer.
Luzier: With Don Gilmore, we're all really happy. Everyone always says that "this album is our best stuff ever." But this really is the strongest KORN record in quite some time. Having worked with [producer] Ross Robinson a lot, and then many producers on the last one. Don's got a good influence on the sound. He's good at what he does, without pushing you over-the-top. No matter what the material is, a great producer's job is to really get inside the vocals, or make the drummer play something he's not used to playing. He's done a great job of pushing us and we've gone in and tracked 20 songs. The songs are so strong. Sometimes, you hear one or two great songs on a record and know that they're great. But we're getting to songs seven and eight and our jaws are still dropping. There's no filler on the record, no B-sides. We're really stoked about this record.
St. Louis: With the last album, "The Path Of Totality", you worked with quite a few different producers, with a lot of them coming from electronic backgrounds. How did you feel fitting into that recording?
Luzier: I'm an old-school drummer. I love to play as real as possible. But I also love technology and how these DJs are bringing their sounds to life. Jonathan's [Davis, vocals] such a big fan that he turned us onto that style. He had me really checking a lot of those acts out. Initially, I thought that we were working on a side project for him, but it wound up the KORN record. I did play everything live on there, but the programming was so massive that there are times when it's just my live cymbals on the track, or a fill. But that's what that song called for and I'm a team player in that respect. I play everything from that album live. But every records's so vastly different. It's really cool that the band is so adventurous. With this record, especially, when we got back in the studio last July or August, there was no writing session when we weren't all represented. I might be playing a groove and they'll join in, or they'll bring riffs. We're all about the music these days. None of us are 22, none of us are messing around. I was never into the party scene, but now everything's focused on family and music, which is great.
St. Louis: I have to go ahead and ask about Head's [KORN guitarist Brian Welch] rejoining the band. I'm guessing you heard a lot of stories, but hadn't worked with him before. What's your relationship with each other?
Luzier: He's just awesome, I love to have him along. The way he attacks his guitar is amazing. He and James ["Munky" Shaffer, KORN guitarist] have this thing. When they're together, they're able to play off of each other in a way that you generally don't hear from two guitar players. It's a really special thing they have. Since I'd been in KORN, I'd only met him a couple of times. But I always wanted the band, ever since I joined, to be me and the four original members upfront. Which is what we have again. Since he's rejoined, there's been no attitude or issues, from anyone. I can tell him to drop his tunings an octave, or he can say that my fills are getting a little busy. There's never, "Hey, man, that's my part," which is really cool. He and James are two great players with strong personalities. And when they're playing the old songs, the ones that stand out, the rehearsals get really wild. The fans, when they hear these old songs, are going to freak.
Read the entire interview from St. Louis magazine.
Former and current members of JUDAS PRIEST, ALICE COOPER, OZZY OSBOURNE and SCORPIONS are currently taking part in a week-long tour of Russia where they are playing classic songs from their respective bands under the banner ROCKSTAR.
In a video interview, Owens said about the ROCKSTAR project: "We all have such diverse backgrounds in so many different bands that we just want to get there and play WHITESNAKE and ALICE COOPER and DIO and PRIEST and GUNS N' ROSES. So I think this project is just to go play for the fans with this special show with all these songs and all these bands."
ROCKSTAR's tour kicked off on May 18 in Moscow, with stops in Krasnodar, Rostov, Voronej, Penza and Saratov, before the tour ends May 28 in Ufa.
Fan-filmed video footage of the May 18 concert in Moscow can be seen below.
David Ellefson (MEGADETH) conducted an interview with legendary rocker Alice Cooper backstage at the fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods awards on May 2 at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles, California. You can now watch the chat below.
In what is obviously a "dream" pairing, or some might say a "nightmare," Cooper and Marilyn Manson will be teaming up for the "Masters Of Madness" tour June 1 through June 28. Following recent pairings of Alice with Rob Zombie and then Rob Zombie with Manson, this combination of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson has been long-awaited by fans of both artists.
Alice Cooper is a true rock icon, having pioneered the use of theatrics and shocking images onstage in concerts from the earliest days of the original band of the same name. Since going solo, he has continued to produce elaborate stage shows providing fans with both shock and rock of the highest caliber. Inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011, Alice has toured and recorded continuously, with his most recent album being "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" through UMe. Recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original ground breaking, multi-platinum "Welcome To My Nightmare" album in 1975, the album picks up right where they left off, with Alice trapped in his own warped mind.
Currently, Alice's touring band features the three-guitar attack of Orianthi, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie, backed by bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel.
Metalzone Podcast recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Coen Janssen of Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA. You can now watch the chat below.
As previously reported, EPICA singer Simone Simons and her longtime boyfriend, keyboardist Oliver Palotai (KAMELOT, SONS OF SEASONS), are expecting their first child around the end of summer.
To ensure the best possible pregnancy and to protect Simone's and the baby's health, EPICA has decided to take a break from all live activities starting on July 1. This means EPICA will not play this year's Masters Of Rock festival in the Czech Republic.
According to a posting on EPICA's official Facebook page, the band will spend the latter half of 2013 working on material for a new studio album, to be released in 2014. In addition, EPICA will release a DVD containing footage of the group's March 23 10th-anniversary concert, "Retrospect", in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where they were joined on stage by a 70-piece symphonic orchestra and choir, making it the band's most ambitious project ever. People from over 45 countries attended the show, which was also broadcast live online in HD quality via LiveMusicStage.
Says EPICA: "We are looking forward to see you all at the remaining shows this year and will be back next year with a new CD, stronger than ever!"
EPICA's fifth full-length album, "Requiem For The Indifferent", sold 4,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 104 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Requiem For The Indifferent" was released on March 9, 2012 in Europe and four days later in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany under the watchful eye of Sascha Paeth.
Omar Mena conducted an interview with vocalist Greg Puciato of the New Jersey-based "mathcore" act THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN before the band's May 23 concert at Tricky Falls in El Paso, Texas. You can now watch the chat below.
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's fifth full-length album, "One Of Us Is The Killer", sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 25 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on May 14 through the band's own Party Smasher Inc., in partnership with Sumerian Records in North America. Party Smasher's partnership with BMG covers the rest of the world, including licensing deals with Grind House for Japan and Remote Control in Australia.
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN' 2010 CD, "Option Paralysis", opened with around 7,100 units to land at No. 78. This was roughly in line with the opening tally of the band'sprevious album, "Ire Works", which landed at No. 142 on the Billboard chart after premiering with 6,900 units back in November 2007.
"One Of Us Is The Killer" was recorded in Southern California with longtime producer Steve Evetts (GLASSJAW, THE CURE, SUICIDE SILENCE), with additional production at guitarist/co-founder Ben Weinman's studio. Mastering was handled by Tom Baker (DEFTONES, NINE INCH NAILS, BEASTIE BOYS).
The album represents a new holistic pinnacle of the band's constantly evolving and engaging dynamics.
The figure was conceived by Mandy De Vere of Mangry Inc. and sculpted by local Niagara Falls artist Pasquale Ramunno exclusively for the museum.
The "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott wax figure is on display from today (Saturday, May 25) at the Rock Legend Wax Museum.
The Rock Legend Wax Museum features one-of-a-kind life-like wax sculptures of your favourite musical heroes. Designed by Ramunno, these realistic life-size figures will have you posing and pretending to be chums with both classical crooners and modern-day rock deities.
Back in 2007, KnuckleBonz released a limited-edition Dimebag Darrell Rock Iconz figure. The figure was created from the "Far Beyond Driven" era, with Dimebag's tobacco Dean guitar, the cammo shorts and "all the tats." Only 3,333 figures were produced.
Dimebag was co-founder and lead guitarist for PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
Since his brother's murder, Vinnie Paul has released several Dimebag-related items through his Big Vin Records label, including DVDs and the paperback book "He Came to Rock".
Asked about criticisim from people on the Internet, questioning why the proceeds from these various posthumous releases weren't being earmarked for charitable causes, instead going to him, Vinnie Paul told the nationally syndicated radio program "Rockline" in a 2008 interview: "I don't even know where to go with that other than, you know, [my critics are] not in the same position I'm in or had to go through what I've gone through here. It's really none of their business where it goes, so I don't know how else to address it — I really don't even think about it. It doesn't cross my mind."
Vinnie Paul added that the Dimebag-related releases weren't an attempt to cash in on his brother's tragic end but rather a way to keep Dimebag's legacy alive and well.
"I'm doing this for the fans and for them to enjoy what Dime was all about and give them more than what they already had — to increase his legacy and to make him larger than life forever," he said. "And he'll outlive all of us. I'm beyond letting things like that pick at me or irritate me. I just have to look past them and keep rolling."
BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne is doing "incredibly well" after relapsing into drug and alcohol abuse for 18 months, according to his wife and manager, Sharon.
Ozzy admitted that he relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse in a statement posted by the BLACK SABBATH singer on April 15 on his Facebook page. He wrote: "For the last year and a half, I have been drinking and taking drugs. I was in a very dark place and was an aasshole to the people I love most, my family. However, I am happy to say that I am now 44 days sober.
"Just to set the record straight, Sharon and I are not divorcing. I'm just trying to be a better person.
"I would like to apologize to Sharon, my family, my friends and my bandmates for my insane behavior during this period... and my fans. God bless, Ozzy."
In a brand new interview with USAToday.com, Sharon stated about Ozzy's recovery: "He's doing incredibly well. He is. Eighty-plus days clean and sober. He's working his program rigidly."
She added: "It's amazing to see how somebody in just over 80 days can change their life around. You know, miracles happen all the time and he has (gone from) hating himself, from a place of despair, to being a responsible husband and father again and it's amazing to see. I'm very proud of him. He's a great example, too, for people. He's not the only person that suffers from addiction.
"Tomorrow's a new day and you start all over again. You just don't give up, it doesn't matter what you have, or your position in life, you still have those demons in you.
"This problem affects so many people. It doesn't matter what you have. It's the same battle for everyone."
Ozzy has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his entire 40-plus-year career, both with SABBATH and as a solo artist, although in recent years he seemed to have achieved a steady level of sobriety.
Ozzy told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the many years he spent drunk and high took a toll on his relationship with his kids — especially his son Jack. "The one downside about being the crazy guy of rock 'n' roll was the fact that I missed out on my children somewhat and they missed out on me," he said. "I had an argument with my son one time, and I go to him, 'Jack, what are you moaning at me for? You never wanted for a damn thing.' And he goes, 'Oh yeah? What about a father?' And it just kicked me straight between the legs and I was like, 'Good God.'"
Amanda Ferrante Batista of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Aquarian Weekly: This time is really a special celebration for KORN. You've returned to the band to tour and record a new album. What is the experience like for you individually?
Welch: It's so good. It's so meant to be. The timing could not be more perfect. When the timing is perfect, everything just feels smooth. That's exactly how it feels for everybody involved, from managers, producers, the band, of course, to the crew, everybody, it's just so cool. It's exciting. I look forward to it. It keeps getting better because we're chomping along with the album. Jonathan's [Davis] working on vocals right now. It's a new, fresh sound, but also sounds familiar. It's KORN and, I think, it's just another level. It's really exciting.
The Aquarian Weekly: KORN fans obviously are excited for the next record, more so because you are a part of it. What can fans expect of the new music? If you had to compare it with an older KORN record, which one would you point to?
Welch: I really do think it sounds a little different, but maybe along the "Issues" side. The record has got the best choruses I've heard Jonathan do. The lyrics — he's putting words together in a way that I've never seen him do before. It's really cool for me to hear how he has [evolved vocally]. It's really heavy in parts, and really exciting. He's still tracking vocals right now. He's got a couple more songs and bridges to do. So I haven't heard everything. From what I have heard, it's slammin'. It's guitar-driven but it sounds new and fresh, too. So it sounds like 2013, but familiar with the past, too.
The Aquarian Weekly: Earlier this year you told Rolling Stone, "Fans looked up to us like their family. And to see their family split up was hard on them. To get it put back together, there is a joy around the people who care about it." How do you feel knowing that you're making so many fans happy?
Welch: So awesome. That's exactly what I meant. The people that care about it — you care about it — and the fans who are out there, we were there for them at a time in their lives when they were growing up, going through hell. It feels really cool to be able to put that back together and to come back swinging so strong with this music that I'm really proud of. It feels like reconciliation. That's my word. That's the word of the year. It's all restored and reconciled. It's a big part, because everybody gets broken — families get broken. Almost everybody's, except I think my parents — who are still together after 43 years. But it's rare. It's totally rare. So I love when people reconcile stuff. I'm stoked to be a part of a reconciliation story.
Matt Bahan of the 105.7 The X Rocks radio station conducted an interview with STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor before STONE SOUR's appearance at the 105.7 the X Tececig Spring Fling on Thursday, May 16 at Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. You can now watch the chat below.
"House Of Gold & Bones - Part 2", the second part of STONE SOUR's two-album series, "House of Gold & Bones", sold 35,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 10 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on April 9 via Roadrunner.
The "House Of Gold & Bones" albums were recorded at Sound Farm Studios just outside of the band's native Des Moines, Iowa with producer David Bottrill (TOOL, MUSE) at the helm.
STONE SOUR has issued a new music video for "Do Me A Favor", the first official single from "House Of Gold & Bones - Part 2". A four-issue comic book series adapted from singer Corey Taylor's story is coming out this spring, with the first issue having arrived on shelves on April 17 and the second one due later this month.
"Why Should We Say Goodbye?", the new video from the Brazilian female-fronted progressive power metal band VANDROYA, can be seen below. The track comes off the group's debut album, "One", which was released on January 18 via Inner Wound Recordings. The Japanese edition of the album wasmade available on December 19, 2012 through Spiritual Beast and the Brazilian edition followed on February 4 via Voice Music. The CD artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco (BLIND GUARDIAN, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ICED EARTH) and can be seen below.
VANDROYA is one of the best-kept secrets from Brazil, led by the fantastic vocalist Daísa Munhoz (SOULSPELL). According to a press release, the band "should be a perfect fit for fans of KAMELOT, SYMPHONY X, ANGRA and SONATA ARCTICA."
"One" track listing:
01. All Becomes One 02. The Last Free Land 03. No Oblivion For Eternity 04. Within Shadows 05. Anthem (For The Sun) 06. Why Should We Say Goodbye? 07. Change The Tide 08. When Heaven Decides To Call 09. This World Of Yours 10. Solar Night
The cover artwork for "Vincent Price", the new single from DEEP PURPLE, can be seen below. It will be released on June 7 as download, CD single and seven-inch transparent vinyl.
"Vincent Price" will become a PURPLE collector's item, due to the inclusion of the song "First Sign Of Madness", which was recorded during the "Now What?!" sessions and not included in the final selection.
Side A: Vincent Price Side B: First Sign Of Madness
CD single and download
01. Vincent Price 02. First Sign Of Madness 03. The Well Dressed Guitar (from the now-deleted "Rapture Of The Deep" limited-edition CD) 04. Wrong Man (live) (from the now-deleted "Rapture Of The Deep" limited-edition CD) 05. Vincent Price (video)
DEEP PURPLE's first video in over 20 years — for "Vincent Price" — can be seen below. The track comes off the band's latest album, "Now What?!", which sold 4,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 115 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Now What?!", the 19th studio album from DEEP PURPLE, was released in North America on April 30 via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.
"Now What?!" was also released in a limited quantity with a bonus track and a bonus DVD featuring DEEP PURPLE in conversation plus additional audio material. This edition was made available in a digipak with a cut out front cover. "Now What?!" was also released as double vinyl LP containing a bonus track, as in the limited-edition CD.
After various songwriting sessions in Europe, the band recorded and mixed the album in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, PINK FLOYD, PETER GABRIEL, ALICE COOPER, KANSAS). The CD contain 11 tracks, including "Out Of Hand", "Weirdistan", "Uncommon Man" and "Above And Beyond". The latter song references the band's late keyboard player, Jon Lord, in the lyric "Souls having touched are forever entwined."
According to a press release, "Now What?!" was recorded with no musical rules… and it shows a modern and fresh production… to the point that DEEP PURPLE have never sounded so close to the spirit of the '70s in the last 20 years as they do now. The CD has the excellence and elegance of "Perfect Strangers" and the wild freedom of "Made In Japan".
"Awakened" sold around 28,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on September 25 via Metal Blade Records, the CD was produced by Bill Stevenson, who has played drums for both the DESCENDENTS and BLACK FLAG and is one of the most highly renowned producers in rock. His production credits include work on records by RISE AGAINST, NOFX, PROPAGANDHI, THE CASUALTIES, ANTI-FLAG and many more. The album was mixed by Colin Richardson (MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT).
The cover artwork for "Awakened" was created by Metastazis with Tiffanie Uldry.
AS I LAY DYING singer Tim Lambesis was booked at the Vista Detention Facility in Vista, California on May 7 on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder for allegedly hiring someone to kill his estranged wife. He has pleaded not guilty.
Transgender singer Mina Caputo — once known as Keith Caputo, the front-person for the popular rock band LIFE OF AGONY — recently spoke to Artisan News about transitioning from her former self and creating her first album as a female, "As Much Truth as One Can Bear", while having the support of artists like Amanda Palmer and former AGAINST ME! singer Mary Jane Grace. You can watch the chat below.
In an October 2011 interview with Advocate.com, Mina stated about how becoming a "rock star" delayed her transition, "I was very boxed in that metal thing," she said. "The first album I've ever done was released and then it pretty much exploded in Europe and I kind of had no choice but to leave school. I didn't want to sing in a band. That wasn't really what I set out to do. I wanted to go to Julliard. I wanted to play the classics, get good grades… and I pictured myself living more of a feminine life then at 19 when this whole alpha male world just pretty much took over. I was in hell for years. . . It was more of a sense of responsibility and not getting labels down… the management, the band, and the fans. And I mean, we were a really, really really, really big band. We were doing concerts in Europe where 60 to 100 thousand people were showing up."
Asked whether she planned on having bottom surgery any time soon, Caputo said, "The whole penis… I'm OK with that down there, you know. Most people don't realize that there's more to being a woman than just, I guess, putting on dresses and wearing makeup and your genitals. [People think] you have a male body and a penis so that makes you the man. But they can't dig deep enough unless they really want to understand what's going on in the subconscious mind and what I like to call subconscious sex."
On the topic of how she's already faced discrimination Stateside, Caputo said, "I've had run-ins on the train, ignorant people, you know, calling me 'he-she' or 'he-man.' If anyone tries to screw with me, I will not hesitate to cut somebody up like a piece of meat. I will do anything and everything to protect myself. I mean I don't want to hurt anybody but if someone lays their hands on me, I'm going to shank somebody. My father's been in prison his whole life, so just because I'm wearing a skirt doesn't mean I don't got big balls, OK? Because I will not hesitate to do anything and everything to protect myself."
The QUEENSRŸCHE "Icon" compilation was made available on May 14 via Capitol. The collection features "Silent Lucidity" and QUEENSRŸCHE's other top Modern Rock singles, including the Top 5 track "Sign Of The Times", Top 10 songs "Jet City Woman", "I Am I", "Bridge" and "Another Rainy Night", Top 20 cut "You", Top 30 songs "Best I Can" and "Empire" and Top 40 hit "Eyes Of A Stranger".
The aptly named "Icon" series from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) launched in August 31, 2010, with releases from 30 major artists spanning rock, pop, R&B and country. The albums feature "the greatest hits, signature tunes and fan favorites of the most popular artists in music history" and promise to offer "unprecedented value to consumers." Each album, at a "great price," includes roughly a dozen hit tracks.
QUEENSRŸCHE "Icon" compilation track listing:
01. Silent Lucidity 02. Jet City Woman 03. Another Rainy Night 04. Bridge 05. Sign Of The Times 06. I Am I 07. Empire 08. I Don't Believe In Love 09. Best I Can 10. You 11. Eyes Of A Stranger