Dave Lombardo (SLAYER, PHILM) was joined by Yossi Sassi, Or Lubianiker and Roei Friedman for a jam session during Lombardo's drum clinic on May 1 at the Barby Club (Kibutz Galoyot St. 52) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.
PHILM, the Los Angeles-based experimental post-hardcore triumvirate featuring Lombardo, guitarist/vocalist Gerry Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Pancho Tomaselli (WAR), released its debut album, "Harmonic", on May 15, 2012 via Ipecac Recordings.
Lombardo sat out SLAYER's recent Australian tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Also missing from the shows was the now-deceased guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who, at the time, was still recovering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease which he is believed to have gotten from a spider bite. Filling in for them were Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) and Gary Holt (EXODUS), respectively.
Asked if he will be sitting behind the kit for SLAYER when they return to Europe this summer, Lombardo told Greece's Rock Overdose: "I don't know yet. I hope to be there, but at this point, I don't know if I'm returning or not." He added. "I love my fans so much and they've been so supportive through the years; they've always been there. And their concern and sadness for what happened in Australia is more than I could have ever imagined fans to react. It's unbelievable. I just love my fans and I hope to continue playing for them. This is all I do. This is my life. I don't do anything else. I don't have a snakefarm, I don't have a farm with cows… I'm not like that. Music is my passion and my life, and this is all I do. So for the fans to be this nice and kind and concerned, I just love them."
Marcos Codas of GoetiaMedia.com recently conducted an interview with singer Kobi Farhi of Israeli progressive folk metal masters ORPHANED LAND. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip 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.
"All Is One" track listing:
01. All Is One 02. The Simple Man 03. Brother 04. Let The Truce Be Known 05. Through Fire And Water 06. Fail 07. Freedom 08. Shama'im 09. Ya Benaye 10. Our Own Messiah 11. Children
The official lyric video for the song "Our Own Messiah" can be seen below.
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.
Mario Trevizo of Cosmos Gaming and Fans4Bands conducted an interview with Californian rockers PAPA ROACH at Carolina Rebellion 2013 on May 4 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below.
PAPA ROACH's latest album, "The Connection", was re-released in Europe as a special tour edition on May 6 via Eleven Seven Music. The effort contains a bonus DVD of a concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles featuring performances of new songs as well as the band's biggest hits, including "Still Swingin'", "Give Me Back My Life", "Before I Die", "Last Resort" and "Between Angels & Insects".
"The Connection" was produced by rock veteran James Michael (SIXX: A.M., HALESTORM) and John Feldmann (PANIC AT THE DISCO, THE USED, BLACK VEIL BRIDES). The CD sold 22,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at No. 17 on the Billboard album chart.
PAPA ROACH singer Jacoby Shaddix underwent surgery in September 2012 to remove nodes from his vocal cords. Shaddix's condition forced him to stop singing and led his band to drop off last summer's Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival tour.
Even before his vocal problems started, Shaddix admitted in several new interviews that he came close to committing suicide earlier last year as he struggled with both marital problems and falling off the wagon.
"This record is a snapshot of me at my most desperate," Shaddix told The Aquarian Weekly about "The Connection". "As I was writing this record, [my wife and I] were split, so there was a lot of pain and anger and frustration. As the dust settles in my life, I realize that I'm the orchestrator of all this chaos. I'm the one at fault. I'm the fucking problem. When you go through that stuff, sometimes it's hard to own your own shit, to step up to the plate and own it. I just had to because I wanted to do the right thing."
He added: "I was able to make this record, express myself and get my family back together and get my respect from my band. At the eleventh hour, I pulled it off. I don’t know, man, this is a repeating cycle in my life. I don’t know how many more times I can do this to myself."
Robert Cavuoto of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford and guitarist Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Guitar International: Some of the songs performed on your new DVD, "Epitaph", are 20, 30, and even 40 years old. They really stand the test of time and sound fresh and not dated like so many '80s bands. What's your take on that?
Rob Halford: [laughs] You're right. A pop song from the '60s sounds like a pop song from the '60s, as it should. There are subtle differences, like in the production of "Turbo Lover" is different than the production of "Nostradamus". There are certain rock songs that work well today as they did 20, 30, 40 years ago when you play them live, with the modern guitar and drum sound; there is a fluid connectivity that pulls it altogether and makes it work. Having said that, when you strip a song down to its bare bones, if it's a good song, it should last.
Guitar International: I think PRIEST is one of those rare bands that can go out and play some of the more obscure tracks and diehard fans will go crazy. Is it tough to pick a list that satisfies everyone?
Rob Halford: It's difficult. When you have the good luck and fortune to have a long life in rock 'n' roll, the longer you're in the game, the more difficult it is because your material is backing up behind you. You have to get the right balance and there are always a handful of songs that you've gotta play, like "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight". The fans made you famous for those songs. Once you got those set, we look to bring in songs that offer a different texture and dynamic. That's when you look at the little gems like "Starbreaker", "Blood Red Skies" and "Never Satisfied". You listen to them and play them and start to make sense of the show. Every song is given its moment, with its smoke, fire, video, lighting, and costume changes. It lives for three-plus minutes. It's like you're watching an opera or a musical. You have to think all of that through. Then you go into rehearsal and try it out and you get a hole in one. You don't have to make changes. Maybe part of it is instinct and part of is intuitive. We seem to have it right from the get-go.
Guitar International: When we last spoke, you said you were in the infancy of writing new songs for the next PRIEST CD. What is the status and do you have any working titles?
Richie Faulkner: No working titles that we can share as of yet, but we are working on the CD.
Rob Halford: The overarching structure and statement of this record is full of PRIEST tradition and heritage. It will be as unique in its own life as all the other records we have made in the past. It's the right record we need to make after "Nostradamus". "Nostradamus" was a wonderful achievement but it had a different emotional texture. We need to get back into the groove of metal, heavy riffs, and screaming vocals — all the classic elements of the band. We are not going retro. We know the type of music we need to play. We didn't commit to a timetable; the label is really supportive so we have this tremendous respect for each other. They know we are doing our best to make another great metal record for them. It's coming along great; I think we can optimistically be finished at the end of this year.
Guitar International: Are you writing together in the studio?
Richie Faulkner: Yes, about for two months last year, Rob, Glenn [Tipton, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] and I got together and share ideas to see what sticks. The creative is not being stifled by three-minute song format. There are no confinements or deadlines. We are trying to experiment with some different things.
Rob Halford: It's fun and thrilling when the three of us get together to write. We will be in the studio listening to a take, and then in the background we hear Richie noodling on the guitar. I'll go, "What the fuck is that, Richie? What are you playing?" and he re-creates it. We then send him in to record it. That's the infectious side of how music works. Whenever I hear somebody else from any of the metal bands, I'm instantly inspired. I hear notes and melodies. It's like a trigger; that's what happens in your own world.
An edited version of this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will air tonight (Saturday, May 18) on HBO at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The program will also be available on HBO On Demand after the premiere broadcast, and HBO Signature will present a 24-hour marathon of the special beginning at midnight.
HBO has posted a number of preview clips from the broadcast, including Jann Wenner's (founder and chairman of Rolling Stone and chairman of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation) introductory speech, portions of the FOO FIGHTERS' speech inducting RUSH, RUSH frontman Geddy Lee's acceptance speech and RUSH's performance of "Tom Sawyer". Check out the footage below.
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."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, RUSH drummer Neil Peart, normally the most reclusive member of the band, gave the first and most eloquent of the three members' speeches, followed by bassist/singer Geddy Lee. But it was Lifeson who brought down the house with a speech consisting entirely of "blah blah blahs," changing the tone of his voice to exhibit a range of emotions — with everyone understanding what he meant, especially when he "described" getting the call that the band was being inducted.
Lee was asked on the red carpet if he thought the acclaimed documentary on the band, "Beyond The Lighted Stage", played a role in the groundswell of support for the band's induction into the Hall Of Fame. "Oh, I think it probably did have an effect to a certain degree because of the way the filmmakers put that story together," he said. "I think it really showed what a vast and diverse audience that we do have and what the effect of our music has been on young players. And one of the criteria of the Hall Of Fame is influence, so I think it's easy to see that in that film."
Peart said that the band's fans had a personal stake in seeing the band inducted. "The thing is, with our fans, is that we grew up together," he said. "We always say 'the soundtrack of your life' is a phrase that I love, but it has been that case and we have evolved naturally in our music and our lyrics and our songs and all that, of our experiences from our past and our present as grown-ups, and we've expressed all that through our songs. So a lot of them have grown up with that in a very real, true way, so they share it and they feel like they're part of the team, and our team should win."
Lee thanked "the most passionate, incredible fan base around the globe …for not only supporting and encouraging our musical progress over the years, but for the insistence of their voices, which has most certainly led us to this evening."
Mario Trevizo of Cosmos Gaming and Fans4Bands conducted an interview with singer Phil Labonte of Massachusetts metallers ALL THAT REMAINS backstage at Carolina Rebellion 2013 on May 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below.
In conjunction with Record Store Day, ALL THAT REMAINS released a limited-edition vinyl version of their "The Fall Of Ideals" album (Razor & Tie). Available for the first time ever on vinyl, the LP is ALL THAT REMAINS' 2006 critically acclaimed metalcore classic. The album was produced by Adam Dutkiewicz (KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, UNDEROATH) and features 11 songs, including the hits "This Calling", "The Air I Breathe", "Six" and "Not Alone". The vinyl is pressed in a striking blue/black swirl color.
ALL THAT REMAINS recently wrapped up its tour with HELLYEAH, IN THIS MOMENT and NONPOINT. The band continues to tour in support of its 2012 release, "A War You Cannot Win" (Razor & Tie).
ALL THAT REMAINS' first "Stand Up" single spent three weeks at #1 at Active Rock Radio. This marked ALL THAT REMAINS' first -ever #1 radio single and the group's fifth consecutive Top 10 single at the format.
On May 17, Bob Lester and Mark Colavecchio of Alaska's rock radio station KWHL conducted an interview with singer Lzzy Hale of Pennsylvanian rockers HALESTORM. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
HALESTORM has released a new version of the song "Here's To Us", featuring an all-star lineup of guest performers. Joining the band on this edition of the song are guitarist Slash, SHINEDOWN frontman Brent Smith, ALTER BRIDGE vocalist Myles Kennedy, Tyler Connolly from THEORY OF A DEADMAN, DEVICE/DISTURBED singer David Draiman and IN THIS MOMENT's Maria Brink. HALESTORM is also offering fans a chance to record their own shout-outs for the song, and the band intends to take some of the best ones and work them into a new "fan edit" of the track.
The original version of "Here's To Us" is featured on HALESTORM's 2012 album "The Strange Case Of…"
The song was previously covered on a February 2012 episode of the hit television show "Glee". Lzzy Hale told The Pulse Of Radio at the time why the band let it happen. "It's pretty much the strangest thing we've done so far as a band and also, I think, the most exciting," she said. "There's a little bit of controversy because, obviously, 'Glee' is very pop culture, it's very kind of Broadway, and personally I think it's really good for us, only because here's an outlet for us that it's gonna expose us to so many people that would not normally be seeking us out."
HALESTORM is currently on the HardDrive Live tour with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and YOUNG GUNS. The trek will wrap up on May 22 in Milwaukee.
Jeremy Lafrentz of Backstage Entertainment conducted an interview with the British metalcore act ASKING ALEXANDRIA before the band's May 14 concert at Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska. You can now watch the chat below.
ASKING ALEXANDRIA's new song "The Death Of Me" was recently released digitally via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon MP3. The track comes off the band's third album, "From Death To Destiny", which will be released this summer via Sumerian Records. The CD was recorded with renowned producer Joey Sturgis (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, EMMURE).
In an interview with Billboard.com, ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce revealed that the follow-up to 2011's "Reckless & Relentless" will contain 13-15 songs, six of which will be "radio-friendly" while the rest will be "our usual balls-to-the-wall kind of stuff."
"We spent a long time honing in on song structures and writing techniques and stuff like that, but there are still heavy songs on the record," Bruce said. "We're not just going to throw that away and kick our original fan base in the teeth by getting rid of all that. There will still be a lot of riffing and screaming. But we feel like we did find a happy medium between being heavy and then being light enough to be on radio, but still keeping the balls in the song."
Most of the new CD was recorded at Sturgis' studio in Indiana, while the vocals and strings and choir parts were laid down at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California. "On the last one a lot of that extra stuff was all fake; we did it on computer," Bruce said. "This time we wanted to be more organic, so we got a live orchestra conducted by the brilliant Stevie Black (ALICE IN CHAINS, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) and did all the strings. Then we got a live church gospel choir to come into the studio for a few days to sing over a few tracks. It really sounds special."
ASKING ALEXANDRIA's remix record, "Stepped Up And Scratched", came out in November 2011.
ASKING ALEXANDRIA is:
Danny Worsnop - Vocals Ben Bruce - Guitar Cameron Liddell - Guitar Sam Bettley - Bass James Cassells - Drums
AndrewHaug.com, Australia's first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station launched by Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia's "The Racket" radio show (originally "Full Metal Racket"; 2001-2011), conducted an interview with Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE on March 1 at the Melbourne stop of this year's Soundwave festival in Australia. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE's fourth album, "Temper, Temper", sold 44,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 13 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on February 12 via RCA.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE's previous effort, 2010's "Fever", opened with 71,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at No. 3. It was also a Top 10 release in the U.K., Japan, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany and Switzerland.
The Welsh quartet changed the way they approached making an album this time around, with guitarist/vocalist Matt Tuck and drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas traveling to Thailand to do the initial writing and recording for the album. Tuck told The Pulse Of Radio why they made the trip. "It was just nice being in a studio 24/7, really, you know, with no distractions from home and stuff," he said. "So that was kind of the main reason why we went there and it just worked out well, you know, because we didn't have any pressures from having to travel, having to cook your own food — just all the stuff that is an everyday process obviously takes a lot of time out of the day to be creative. So just being there, being able to write 24/7, was a huge advantage."
The first single from "Temper, Temper" is called "Riot".
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE is currently headlining the fifth edition of the "HardDrive Live" tour, which kicked off on April 12 in Denver. Joining them are main support HALESTORM, plus special guests YOUNG GUNS and openers STARS IN STEREO. The trek is sponsored by "HardDrive".
TheRockRevival.com's Matt Bishop conducted an interview with guitarist Keith Nelson of Californian rockers BUCKCHERRY backstage at Carolina Rebellion 2013 on May 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below.
BUCKCHERRY's sixth studio album, "Confessions", sold 18,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 20 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band's previous CD, "All Night Long", opened with around 28,000 units in August 2010 to debut at No. 10.
BUCKCHERRY's fourth studio effort, titled "Black Butterfly", premiered with around 47,000 copies back in September 2008 to enter the chart at No. 8.
"Confessions" was produced by Keith Nelson and Marti Frederiksen (AEROSMITH, OZZY OSBOURNE) and features eclectic CD artwork by graffiti artist Ewok. The songs on "Confessions" merge punk grit, gutter attitude, honest storytelling, and razor sharp hooks, while the lyrics are tied together by the underlying theme of the Seven Deadly Sins.
In a recent interview with Loudwire.com, Todd elaborated on the album's subject matter. Josh explained, "There was a point in my life when I was a youth when I lost a family member and I acted out in my grieving process through the deadly sins, so that's kind of what the story's about on the record. I think the seven sins are timeless and that everybody struggles with them in their daily lives all the time."
The provocative video for the album's first single, "Gluttony", was directed by Billy Jayne and filmed in a North Hollywood church.
A two-disc deluxe version of the "Confessions" CD is also available and features the bonus tracks "Give 'Em What They Want" and "When The Fire Starts". In addition, a bonus DVD includes the "Gluttony" music video and lyric video, behind-the-scenes footage and band interviews from the set of the "Gluttony" video shoot, and "The Story Behind Confessions" featurette.
AndrewHaug.com, Australia's first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station launched by Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia's "The Racket" radio show (originally "Full Metal Racket"; 2001-2011), conducted an interview with drummer Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, ANIMETAL USA) on March 1 at the Melbourne stop of this year's Soundwave festival in Australia. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Dette played with SLAYER during Soundwave after the band's longtime drummer, Dave Lombardo, sat out the tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group.
Asked how he came to be playing with SLAYER again on the Soundwave festival run, Dette told Tama: "I got a call from Kerry [King, SLAYER guitarist]. And he said, 'Hey, what are you doing next week when you're in Australia when you're not playing for ANTHRAX?' And I said, 'Drinking.' [laughs] He said, 'Well, you might wanna hold off the drinks, if you can, 'cause we might need you to fill in, if you can.' And I said, 'Of course.' I mean, first, I was kind of taken aback, I was a little paused. But they basically called me and asked if I could do the Australia dates for them."
Regarding his history with SLAYER, Dette said: "The SLAYER thing, again, it's been… My God, it's been 16, 17 years now. I joined SLAYER — officially joined SLAYER — in Decemebr of 1995, and I replaced Paul Bostaph. He had just completed the 'Undisputed Attitude' record. So I was with them until early 1997, and then Paul came back into the band and then I actually went back into TESTAMENT. I joined TESTAMENT in '94, replacing John Tempesta just after the 'Low' record. So it was a cool little period of time. Again, I was just extremely fortunate and privileged to be part of their history. And now, to be part of the SLAYER history again is awesome. And again, I'm just really looking forward to seeing what the future brings."
Prior to joining SLAYER, Dette appeared on TESTAMENT's "Live At The Fillmore" album, which came out in 1995.
Performance footage (Sydney, Australia on February 24):
DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, the new musical project from the minds of Rogga Johansson and Dave Ingram, is working on material for its full-length debut, to be released later in the year via Cyclone Empire Records. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include:
* The Epoch * Infernal Nexus * Dead Man’s Switch * Bones Of Contention * The Doomsday Manuscript * As Leeches Gorge (Like Dying Stars)
Dave is well known from his time as vocalist for two of England’s mightiest metal legends, BOLT THROWER and BENEDICTION, along with his Danish band DOWNLORD and his current two online radio shows, "Metal Breakfast Radio" and "Lambert's Basement". Rogga is equally legendary, with multiple bands under his belt, including PAGANIZER, RIBSPREADER, FONDLECORPSE, HUMANITY DELETE and THE GROTESQUERY, to name but a few. Joining them are Rogga's fellow PAGANIZER and RIBSPREADER members, Dennis Blomberg (guitar) and Brynjar Helgetun (drums).
DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN's musical style has been specified as crust-riddled punk with a definite death metal edge.
Former THE GATHERING singer Anneke Van Giersbergen will release a new studio album on September 27. A single will precede the full-length effort on August 27.
Anneke played two exclusive U.S. shows in Chicago at the end of March. Also appearing on the bill both nights were Anneke's "dear friends" NOVEMBERS DOOM.
Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since released four albums on her own and with her AGUA DE ANNIQUE solo project: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009), "In Your Room" (2009) and "Everything Is Changing" (2012).
"Everything Is Changing" was released on January 20, 2012 via PIAS Holland. The CD was recorded at Ultrasound Studios in Braga, Portugal with producer Daniel Cardoso.
A video interview with Anneke conducted in March by Eve's Apple for Femme Metal Webzine can be seen below.
Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers of STRYPER has finished laying down the lead vocals on the band's new studio album, "No More Hell To Pay". The mixing sessions for the CD are set to begin this coming Monday, May 20 for a fall release via Frontiers Records.
Regarding the musical direction of STRYPER's new material, Michael Sweet told Screamer Magazine: "The song 'God', which is on 'The Covering'; if you took that song along with 'Bleeding From Inside Out' and 'Blackened' [from 'Second Coming'], and you put it on the same album, that's a pretty good indication of where we are going and where we are at right now. But at the same time this album is all its own."
He added: "Every song has a hooky guitar riff. Everything is in minor keys, so it's a little darker sounding and a little tougher. It's definitely our heaviest record and I think people will be pleasantly surprised.
"The people who do like the poppier side of STRYPER, like 'Calling On You' and 'Holding On', this record isn't going to really give them that. There are a lot of vocal hooks and melodies going on, but it's a little darker, and a little edgier. To reference, there is less songs like 'Calling On You' and more songs like 'To Hell With The Devil'. It's more in that vein than the poppier vein."
Frontiers Records in January announced the signing of STRYPER to a multi-album deal. The first CD to be made available the agreement was a collection of re-recorded versions of the band's classic songs, released in North America on March 26. Entitled "Second Coming" and produced by Michael Sweet, the album contains a total of 16 cuts — two from "The Yellow And Black Attack", six from "Soldiers Under Command", six from "To Hell With The Devil", as well as two new tracks, "Bleeding From Inside Out" and "Blackened".
Vocalist Mike Muir of the Venice Beach, California thrash/punk band SUICIDAL TENDENCIES was interviewed on the May 3-5 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Full Metal Jackie: We're here to talk about the brand new album, "13". It's been a lot of time coming. Did the 13 songs that wound up on the album go through lots of changes?
Muir: [laughs] When it came all down to it, it probably did, because we were close to 160 songs, but there were a lot of changes in the studio right up until the very end. I think if it hadn't been so long, we probably would still be recording right now, but we actually kind of enjoyed that process. Putting records out isn't very fun, but recording is fun.
Full Metal Jackie: That's a lot of songs.
Muir: Yeah, I think one of the things is the way music is now and doing your own thing. It used to be you put out a record and you went on tour for a year or so, you got back, took a little time off and then you went in the studio and recorded 15 or 20 songs and you picked them and put it out. I don't think that is necessarily the way things are anymore, and the fact that things don't sell or anything like that. Then it gets to the point like, "Why are we putting out something and kind of defend it, in a sense, because all of our records always get attacked when it's something we love." Ten years ago, we got our own studio and we have that ability where it's not like, "Okay, we got three or four weeks, we have to get everything done and then that's it." You're able to go into the studio anytime and write, and when you do that, you're not sitting there going, "How's this song going to fit in on a SUICIDAL record?" You just record and you do what you like and you have a lot of fun. I think it was at the end when it started getting to so many years where we were like, "We need to kind of get this done."
Full Metal Jackie: Mike, does the importance ofSUICIDAL affecting the initial crossover between punk and thrash ever influence your approach to music now?
Muir: Well, I think in the main way, it does. When our first record came out, the punk fans said it sucked and the metal fans said it sucked. Then we did our second one, and they said our first one was great and our second one sucked, then with our third one they said our first two were great and our third one sucked. [laughs] So you sit there and you realize, we're not trying to do a record people will like. I know that so many people over the years are like, "What's it going to sound like?" and we don't try to do records based on genre, we try to do records that we think are great. Having a record that's been out for 30 years and people still listen to it; I think that's the importance. You want to have something that's relevant, that people hear for the first time but still like it rather than it be a record that sounds like it came out in 2013. And 10 or 15 years from now, you're like the FLOCK OF SEAGULLS in an old movie — you want to make it look retro or something. For us, I always said, "It's not how many people hear a record when it first comes out or what they think, it's how many people 20 years from now that aren't even born now, when they hear it they go, 'Wow that's a great record.'" It's easier to fit in and do something that will last the test of time, and time will only tell on that one.
Full Metal Jackie: Musically, what has surprised you most about the way SUICIDAL TENDENCIES has evolved over the years.
Muir: To me, I look at it differently. It's, like, people will say things and I'll go, "Oh, I don't really see it that way." Sometimes people will say, "Why are you always trying to be different?" and I'm like, "I'm not trying to be different, I'm trying to do what I think is great." There's a lot of different definitions of great; one is going back. Like, if I was to go back in a time machine and play this to me when I was 14, 16, 18 or whatever, I know I would love this record, but I wasn't a genre kind of a person. I know a lot of people going back into that genre way and they'll hear something and it's like, "Oh that's not this style," so they don't listen, but that's always happened to us. I've had so many people over the years, just being at some random spot, and someone will see me and go, "Man, I got to tell you I said that one record sucked and seven years later I listened to it and I really like it." [laughs] It's like a confessional, it's like, "Okay, cool, thank you, I appreciate that." Then a lot of times, like I said, people listen for what they think they want or what they expect, but in the long run, it's better to do what we think is great.
Full Metal Jackie: You've always been outspoken in your opinions. Do you consider yourself an activist at all?
Muir: Of course not. My dad always said, "Don't say anything unless you mean it," and when I say things, people know I mean it. You don't have to yell and scream and stuff, but I've never been afraid to stand up for what my beliefs are, but in the same sense, I never try to put forth my beliefs on other people and I think that's where the world gets it wrong. We've got too many people that are trying to get people to follow them. I'm not trying to get people to follow me, but I'm trying to get people to lead themselves to get to the path that they should be on. I think we get very confused and we get very scared, and fear is a very powerful thing that people make even more powerful than it should be rather than making it a motivator or something that makes you put a little more effort in and [makes you] prepare a little more for what you think is going to happen. A lot of the time, it just causes people to shut down. I think, for us, music is just a small part of life, and you do it right, so that it helps motivate you to live a better life. It's one thing to hear songs that make you want to go out in the pit and slam, it's another thing to hear a song and the more you listen to it you go, "Let's take on the day and the real world." That what we try to do — make music for the real world.
Full Metal Jackie: I saw some shows pop up in the fall again for the U.S. Is there going to be another full-fledged tour happening in the fall in the States?
Muir: Yeah, it's kind of crazy, because we have different people doing everything, but we're finishing this tour up in the middle of May, then we go straight to Mexico and play some festivals there. We have a couple weeks off because we're going to do the Orion [Music + More] festival with INFECTIOUS GROOVES; we're excited about that. Robert Trujillo of METALLICA is doing it with me and Dean [Pleasant] and Stephen Perkins, who played on some of the first INFECTIOUS records. Jim Martin of FAITH NO MORE is going to play the other guitar, so we're really excited about that. A lot of people are excited about it and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Then we go to Europe for a month and then to South America for 13 shows and France for 13 shows and we'll be back in the States for the late fall.
Full Metal Jackie: Awesome. Well, you're going to be pretty busy this year.
Muir: Yeah, busy and trying to take a little time off so we can keep our sanity and keep our families and everybody happy and not go crazy, and to be able to make every show matter.