Former TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider has offered an update on the much-rumored TWISTED SISTER reunion and the reasons behind the band's decision to hold off on the official reformation until a later date. According to Snider, “although we had some significant offers, they weren't consistent enough to motivate the band to reunite for a tour. So that's why I decided to take a handful of dates myself at festivals this summer instead.
“Why wouldn't I perform with TWISTED just for those few dates? Because have committed to doing TWISTED correctly. To prepare it, costumes, make-up, stage show, rehearsals, crew, all at the level we want it to be, requires an outlay of cash just to get started. So even if they were to come up with the money for those two shows, it's just not cost-effective. It would take the cost of those two shows just to start the process. And what we would go through preparation-wise for two shows, we'd go through the same thing for a dozen shows or a hundred shows. So we just can't justify going through the process until we have a more comprehensive tour set up. We've got to have a tour that makes sense economically, routing, scheduling, before we do it.
“TWISTED did, however, have its first rehearsal together a couple weeks ago, and we've got another one planned this weekend. I emphasize that we have scheduled no concert dates, there aren't any potential dates, or even dates being considered. We're all friends again, and we realize that something will come together sometime. So we figured we'd start now so we wouldn't be caught completely off-guard, completely cold when an offer comes along. We're trying to get together once a month, just to get our chops together.
“There were some real moments in the rehearsal. The best moments were when people stopped thinking about it and just played. At one point I just started shouting out songs: we'd finish one, and then I'd shout out the next one and the next one. I noticed in myself when I first came back to it that if I thought about the words, I couldn't remember any of them. But if I opened my mouth and just went into auto-pilot, the words are like tattooed on my brain.
“A while back we went into the studio and finished two songs from the Stay Hungry era. We thought they would be a great addition to an eventual re-release of Stay Hungry. Atlantic Records, at this point, doesn't think it's worth re-issuing. The album is out there, and it's still selling. But with the cost of re-mastering and re-packaging and whatever else they would do to it, they don't think it's cost-effective at this point.
“We've had a number of offers from different people who want to put those two songs on other things, but I've been telling [guitarist] Jay Jay [French] to fight the urge to release them. Taken out of context, I think those two songs would end up being more of a throw-away kind of thing on something other than the Stay Hungry re-release. So I said, 'What's the rush? When the time is right, we'll put them on the Stay Hungry re-release.' But now with a lot of stuff going on Atlantic may be reconsidering, they may feel that the time is coming. And I don't know personally if I think the time is right, if the demand is high enough yet. It's getting to be. With the Behind the Music [special on VH1] on the way, the Hair Band countdown, etc., the focus on TWISTED is growing. So we'll see about that.
“There was supposed to be another live album cut from the King Biscuit Flower Hour show. At the last minute I believe the deal fell through. So I don't think that's happening. We're saving those tapes for release on another day.”
In related news, Snider also acknowledged that the last six months have been “one of the darkest periods of my life since the late-80s”, since the passing of Dee's wife Suzette's mom. According to Dee, “we're almost completely back on track, and in many ways we're better off for it, for the questions that have been asked, the soul-searching and re-evaluating that comes with a loss like that. We're stronger for it, but it has not been easy… It's been tough. When you're seeing a psychologist, telling them what's going on, and the psychologist starts to get teary-eyed and says, 'I'm so sorry for you,' you can be pretty sure you have some real issues.
“I feel no shame in going and seeing someone. I think you should take time to re-evaluate sometimes. We go through our whole life carrying these crosses, especially the ones we're not aware of. And when you become aware of them, to become better and a stronger person you need to re-evaluate these things, try to get to the bottom of them and understand them better. That's what happened to me: I know that I'll be stronger, wiser, better because of what I've been through. And I definitely encourage people to do this themselves should the need arise. As together as I may seem, we are the people we are because of the crosses we've had to bear, because of our psychoses. One of the things that has helped me most is to know that I'm not the only person going through this shit. When you go through stuff, you FEEL like you're alone. But the truth of the matter is that we're not all that much different, and all of our problems are pretty much the same at some level.”
Sweden's BEWITCHED will be releasing a 7' single entitled Under Satan's Spell during the summer. It will include two new songs, 'Standing Strong (The Devil's Children)' and 'Under Satan's Spell', both of which will be re-recorded for the group's upcoming full-length release.
HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow has laid down a guest guitar solo and vocals on one track on the upcoming album from Argentina's IMPERIO. More information on IMPERIO can be obtained via their official web site: http://imperio.webjump.com
The release date of METALLICA's long-awaited “Black Album” DVD has now been pushed back to May 1st.
Finland's NIGHTWISH have lined up a bunch of appearances in their home country throughout the summer. The confirmed dates so far are as follows:
June 16 – Seinäjoki, FIN @ Provinssirock
June 21 – Kouvola, FIN @ Midnight Party Planet
June 22 – Nummijärvi, FIN @ Nummirock
June 21-23 – Jämsä, FIN @ Himosfestival
July 07 – Turku, FIN @ Ruisrock
July 12 – Tampere, FIN @ Tammerfest
July 15 – Joensuu, FIN @ Ilosaarirock
Aug. 3-4 – Wacken, GER @ Wacken Open Air
Sept. 01 – Helsinki, FIN @ VR -Makasiinit
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES have added more dates to their upcoming European itinerary. This is how the tour is shaping up so far:
June 22 – Leipzig, GER @ With Full Force Festival
June 23 – Dessel, BEL @ Graspop Metal Meeting
June 25 - Esh-Alzette, LUX @ Kulturfabrik
June 27 - Clermont-Ferrand, FRA @ La Cooperative De Mai
June 28 – Strasbourg, FRA @ La Laiterie
June 30 – Burgum, NETH @ Waldrock Festival
July 01 – Bochum, GER @ Matrix Bochum Germany
July 04 – Barcelona, SPA @ Razzmatazz 2
July 05 – Madrid, SPA @ Sala Revolver
July 06 – Oporto, POR @ Rock Feira Festival
Will they or won't they? Less than a week after announcing that they were pulling out of their scheduled appearances at the UK Ozzfest and Holland's Dynamo Open Air Festival, Zakk Wylde and his BLACK LABEL SOCIETY have reversed their decision and will now appear on the bill at the Milton Keynes National Bowl on May 26th. However, it still looks likely that the band will not make it to the Dynamo Open Air Festival due to Wylde's recording commitments related to OZZY OSBOURNE's new solo CD.
YNGWIE MALSMTEEN was forced to perform at The Docks in Toronto on Friday, April 6th as a three-piece band after it was discovered that proper visas and work permits had not been secured for his entire band by the time they got to the Canadian border. Yngwie, drummer John Macaluso, and bassist Randy Coven reportedly performed a full set as a power-trio and, by all accounts, did an admirable job considering the unusual circumstances.
Former VAN HALEN / EXTREME vocalist Gary Cherone joined former EXTREME drummer (and TRIBE OF JUDAH bandmate Mike Mangini) for renditions of EXTREME's 'Hip Today' and 'Cupid's Dead' at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts last night, April 7th. Peter Spellman (guitar), and Craig Spear (bass) helped make this trip down memory lane happen.
THE WILDHEARTS' previously reported touring scheduled has been slightly altered. The Glasgow show will now take place on Friday, June 15th, leaving Saturday 16th free for the Newcastle date, which is still being arranged.
In related news, THE WILDHEARTS mainman Ginger posted a message on his official web site expressing his extreme displeasure over having received a bill from former management company Sanctuary Management “for services rendered for the silly figure of £18,000 (er, did I miss something? I thought they didn't get me signed or earn me a single penny? What a wonderful business!). Now, as you in the real world know full well, this kind of money doesn't exist. It might as well be £18 million - I'm going to jail, y'know?”, Ginger offered.
Ginger went on to reveal that MOTLEY CRUE bassist Nikki Sixx recently called him to let him know how much he loves the SILVERGINGER 5 record and to express an interest in releasing it through his label in the States. Ironically, it appears that Sanctuary America would be involved in closing the deal – “the same people that issued that extortionate bill to me this very morning!!!” stated an irate Ginger.
Former EUROPE guitarist John Norum is reportedly in the studio working on a new solo CD. Meanwhile, the planned EUROPE Convention in Stockholm has been cancelled due to there being no available venue to hold the event. A separate convention in Italy might be held later this spring.
Finnish black metal band FUNERIS NOCTURNUM have completed work on their second full-length album at Jyväskylä's Studio Watercastle. Titled From the Aspect of Darkly Illuminated, the CD will contain the following tracks:
01. The Betrayal, the Betrayed and an Act of
02. From the Aspect of Darkly Illuminated
03. Lucid Dreaming of Withering Lifeforce
04. I Abhor Thee
05. ? (instrumental)
06. Deggial Almighty
07. Profane Angel
08. Embody the Death
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS are currently mixing their fifth album in Atlanta with longtime producer Brendan O'Brien. According to reports, the band are hoping to turn the album into a double-CD release, but they're meeting with resistance from longtime label Atlantic Records, who are said to be less than thrilled with the idea. The as-yet-untitled effort is tentatively scheduled for a late summer release.