PHIL COLLEN Explains Why DEF LEPPARD Doesn't Invite Other Musicians Onstage To Jam
Dave Lawrence of Hawaii Public Radio's "All Things Considered" recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether DEP LEPPARD has invited musical guests onstage during their live performances: Phil: "Not really. I mean, usually the songs are pretty complex. We've done a CREDENCE [CLEARWATER REVIVAL] song once and brought Brian May out from QUEEN and [Jon] Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora another time, that was pretty simple. Stuff like 'Photograph' and those songs are very specific and the harmonies and that, we don't want someone messing them up. We traditionally don't do that. Having said that, I just got off the G3 tour with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci and we would have a jam session every night, about half an hour and three songs and we'd invite guitar players. That was amazing, really fun. In DEF LEPPARD, it's a very different structure, if you like. We use backing vocals as an instrument and all of the sudden, you can't just let anyone in on that. It's going to change the dynamic." On whether his MAN RAZE and DELTA DEEP side-projects allow him to satisfy some of the things he can't do while in DEF LEPPARD: Phil: "Absolutely, because it doesn't have this structure. Like I said, we have our instruments and that's the backing vocals: Me, Rick Savage [bass] and Vivian Campbell [guitar], we kind of lock in. It's almost spiritual the way we do things. I love it. It's just a very special thing. Yeah, the other bands don't do it. Me and Debbi Blackwell-Cook [DELTA DEEP] we do harmonies all the time, but a lot of the time, we can do it on the fly. On live radio this morning, we were just breaking out a song acoustically. We naturally can do that. With DEF LEPPARD, we have three-part harmonies, very structured. It is like an instrument. We tend not to do that. Yeah, DELTA DEEP and MAN RAZE, we're able to drift off and do a jam thing. Not necessarily an old blues jam, but literally go off on a tangent like THE POLICE used to do, just that whole three-piece and four-piece in DELTA DEEP's case. It's really fun and you can't do that with DEF LEPPARD because it would be like a house of cards, all come tumbling down. [Laughs]" On drummer Rick Allen still playing drums at a high level with just one arm: Phil: "What's really cool about it is you do get used to it from a sound point of view. But you never take it for granted. You really go, 'Wow, this is amazing what he's doing!' Then I hear other drummers and go, 'My guy can do that with one arm tied behind his back.' Literally, he can. He does this stuff. He's really worked at it to make it. Again, he consistently pushes it out there like we all do. With him, it's obviously a lot more because he has a physical disability, but he's able to keep getting better. He got a brand-new Yamaha acoustic kit the other day and this thing was a monster and it just sounded incredible. He was playing it and you would never have known that's a drummer with one arm. He has his special kit that's got a bunch of different pedals on it, but when you're on a regular kit, he sounds amazing. The dynamics are just all there. The sound of the snare, a lot of the time, it's how you tune it, but also how you play it. That's what I really dug hearing him play an acoustic kit. Hopefully we'll persuade him to do a couple of songs on this thing, but it was like, 'Whoa, this is great!' I love him hearing play like that. He's a hero. He does just amazing stuff." On what made him start playing guitar: Phil: "I thought it was completely out of reach, something like that when you'd hear [LED] ZEPPELIN, [DEEP] PURPLE and all of this stuff, and [Jimi] Hendrix and go 'These guys are gods.' I went to my first show. I was 14, it was DEEP PURPLE, I said 'That's all I want to do.' I pestered my mom and dad, got this guitar. I also got this album, it was called 'The Guitar Album'. It had Roy Buchanan, Jimi Hendrix, Jan Akkerman, Freddie King, Albert King, B.B. King, just everyone on it. There was something about it, it really touched me and I just followed it all the way through, but what was really interesting, I never played slide guitar, but I listened to Joe Walsh, Duane Allman for years. I had an injury, this is about five years ago, my tendon tore off the knuckle. It's kind of like a boxer's knuckle they call it. I was over-training and it just happened, it just went off. I learned to play slide because I was six weeks in a cast and everything, my wrist went all limp, I couldn't do anything, so I learned slide. What was interesting, because of years and years of listening to the stuff, I could pretty much play, when I got the technique I literally went on a Joe Walsh link for ten minutes, he said 'This is how you play slide guitar.' He tuned it up, he put the finger where he said and all of the sudden all the licks were just coming out because I had heard them for years. I was a Ray Cooper fan, Duane Allman and Joe Walsh. The slide stuff almost started immediately, so I think it was something similar with guitar, even the regular guitar. I heard all this stuff; same with singing. You hear all this stuff. I was a huge fan of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Paul Rodgers, just blues, soul-oriented stuff and when I did start, I got a little bit of a singing technique on the go and guitar playing, it almost felt like I had been doing it for years because I had been listening to that stuff for years. It was just locking into the tool of that expression. For me, it was guitar and voice. I was surprised I didn't realize that until way later. I think that absolutely has something to do with it, starting so late, but being able to do all this stuff. Kind of earlier on, it was interesting, but if you intellectualize it, that's really what was going on. I heard this stuff and I knew it in my head and could feel it. It was very soulful and everything. From that point, I got to put it out." DEF LEPPARD recently completed a co-headlining North American tour with JOURNEY. A new DEF LEPPARD greatest-hits collection, "The Story So Far - The Best Of" will arrive in stores and online November 30. It will be available in multiple configurations: a 2-CD set comprised of 35 tracks, 1-CD set comprised of 17 tracks, 2-LP vinyl, and digital.
GARY MOORE Tribute Album: Listen To 'Empty Rooms' Featuring BOB DAISLEY, NEIL CARTER
The song "Empty Rooms" from the upcoming tribute album dedicated to legendary guitarist Gary Moore can be streamed below. The track features Neil Carter on lead vocals and keyboards, Bob Daisley on bass, harmonica and backing vocals, Rob Grosser on drums, Illya Szwec on guitar and Rosanna Daisley on backing vocals. Due on October 26 via earMUSIC, "Moore Blues for Gary - A Tribute To Gary Moore" is the brainchild of Bob Daisley, who had played bass with Gary since the early eighties. The sky was crying when Moore passed away on February 6, 2011. From THIN LIZZY to COLOSSEUM II, together with his solo hits "Parisienne Walkways" and "Out In The Fields", Gary influenced a whole generation of guitar players and guitar playing. Daisley is known for suggesting to Gary that he should make a blues album — the rest is history. "Still Got The Blues" was an immense hit, followed by a series of classic modern blues albums. Bob, also known for his contributions to RAINBOW and OZZY OSBOURNE, was the driving force behind "Moore Blues For Gary". "In my opinion, Gary was one of the best guitarists who ever lived," says Bob Daisley. "It was an honor for me to have worked with him and to have known him so well. "When Gary passed away in 2011, the world lost one of the all-time greats. I don't think that enough was said or done at the time to acknowledge the loss of such a great player so I took it upon myself to pay personal tribute to the man and record some new versions of his music, mostly from his blues catalog. "I asked many members of the Gary Moore family tree, and some other great players, to contribute to the project. The response was not only encouraging but very moving. It seems that the name Gary Moore is also synonymous with the words 'respect', 'honour' and 'greatness.' "I didn't set out to recreate anything that Gary had done, or to compete in any way. These arrangements and performances represent a 'hats off' to Gary and nothing more. "Long live the memory of Robert William Gary Moore. Yes, he was another 'Bob' — something that I wasn't aware of for all of those years that I worked with him. "I feel such gratitude towards the people who contributed to this album and I'm honored to have worked with them all." John Sykes (ex-THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE) makes a triumphant return after a long absence with an uber-emotional rendition of "Still Got The Blues", with the soulful vocals by Daniel Bowes (THUNDER) complementing each other. "Parisienne Walkways" is played by Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE, DIXIE DREGS) and Ricky Warwick (THIN LIZZY, BLACK STAR RIDERS, THE ALMIGHTY), with the unlikely pair resulting in a miraculous chemistry. Gary's friends are here — his rocking keyboard / guitar / vocal sidekick Neil Carter sings "Empty Rooms", which he co-wrote with Gary. Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW) and Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE) had joined forces with Gary on numerous occasions, together with Eric Singer (KISS) and Darrin Mooney (PRIMAL SCREAM). Brush Shiels, the leader of Gary's first professional band SKID ROW, also makes an appearance. Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO), Steve Lukather (TOTO), Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW), Jeff Watson (NIGHT RANGER), Damon Johnson (BLACK STAR RIDERS, ALICE COOPER) and Stan Webb (CHICKEN SHACK) also unsparingly pour all their emotions to show their appreciation to Gary. Gary's sons Jack and Gus are also involved, playing guitar and singing on "This One's For You", showing that the "Blood Of Emeralds" still runs their veins. During his blues days, Gary made two albums to thank the guitarists that made him who he was: "Blues For Greeny" for Peter Green of FLEETWOOD MAC, and "Blues For Jimi" for Jimi Hendrix. Now, this is his turn to be rewarded with an album full of love and respect. We still got the blues for you. "Moore Blues for Gary - A Tribute To Gary Moore" track listing and personnel details: 01. That's Why I Play The Blues Vocals - Jon C. Butler Guitars - Tim Gaze Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Keyboards - Clayton Doley 02. The Blues Just Got Sadder Vocals - Joe Lynn Turner Lead Guitar - Steve Lukather Rhythm Guitar And Slide Guitar - Tim Gaze Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Keyboards - Clayton Doley 03. Empty Rooms Lead Vocal, Keyboards - Neil Carter Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Backing Vocals - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Guitars - Illya Szwec Backing Vocals - Rosanna Daisley 04. Still Got The Blues (For You) Vocals - Danny Bowes Guitars - John Sykes Keyboards - Don Airey Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser 05. Texas Strut Vocals - Brush Shiels Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Guitars - Tim Gaze Drums - Rob Grosser 06. Nothing's The Same Vocals - Glenn Hughes Fretless Acoustic Bass - Bob Daisley Cello - Ana Lenchantin Guitars - Luis Maldonado 07. The Loner Guitars - Doug Aldrich Drums - Eric Singer Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Keyboards - Don Airey 08. Torn Inside Vocals, Lead Guitar - Stan Webb Bass Guitar, Riff Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Darrin Mooney Keyboards - Lachlan Doley 09. Don't Believe A Word Vocals, Lead Guitar - Damon Johnson Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Rhythm Guitar - Illya Szwec 10. Story Of The Blues Lead Vocal - Jon C. Butler Bass Guitar, Riff Guitar, Backing Vocals - Bob Daisley Lead And Rhythm Guitar - Tim Gaze Drums - Rob Grosser Keyboards - Lachlan Doley Backing Vocals - Rosanna Daisley 11. This One's For You Vocals - Gus Moore Lead Guitar - Jack Moore Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Rhythm Guitar - Illya Szwec 12. Power Of The Blues Vocals - Joe Lynn Turner Lead Guitar - Jeff Watson Bass Guitar, Riff Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Darrin Mooney Rhythm Guitar - Illya Szwec 13. Parisienne Walkways Guitars - Steve Morse Vocals - Ricky Warwick Bass Guitar - Bob Daisley Drums - Rob Grosser Keyboards - Clayton Doley
CLUTCH Drummer: 'This Is The Best Job In The World'
Josh Rundquist of That Drummer Guy recently conducted an interview drummer Jean-Paul Gaster of Maryland rockers CLUTCH. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the release of CLUTCH's latest studio album, "Book Of Bad Decisions": Jean-Paul: "It's been great so far. We pretty much hit the road after the release of the record and we've been playing these new songs out live, it's been a blast. Some of them we had to re-learn since we hadn't played them since January when we were in the studio. It's fun getting to know these songs again and playing them live and mixing them up with some of the old stuff. It's been great." On CLUTCH's ability to play with a wide array of bands: Jean-Paul: "That's kind of just been the way we've done stuff since the very beginning of the band. We've been pretty independent, self-reliant. In the '90s, there were a lot of, we were on major labels. We were bouncing around from one label to another. That was frustrating but I think it was a learning experience for us and we realized that you can't depend on anybody to make the band work. It's got to come from the band, so we still subscribe to that to this day." On CLUTCH's independence: Jean-Paul: "We're still learning. There are instances where we make bad decisions. [Laughs] It's a process. So, each time we're confronted with something that we maybe could have done differently, we remember that and try to learn from that." On CLUTCH circa 2018: Jean-Paul: "This is the best job in the world. [Laughs] I love being in this band; I love the guys in this band. We're very fortunate to have an incredible crew, a support staff that really helps us to make the shows happen in a smooth, comfortable way. It's very enjoyable. This is a great job and we don't take it for granted. It can be grueling at times and life on the road can be tedious at times, but at the end of the day, we're out here playing shows. It's the best job in the world." On developing his own playing style as a drummer: Jean-Paul: "I think a lot of that probably comes from having grown up in the Washington D.C. area and having been exposed to go-go music. Go-go music is a very specific kind of funk that happened in Washington D.C. and started in the '70s. Growing up in the Washington D.C. area, I was exposed to these go-go rhythms and this happened even before I was playing drums. This was me being in junior high casually getting into music, trying to figure stuff out. There would be these go-go rhythms that would be all around, whether it was going to a school dance just specifically to hear these go-go records because there was no way I was going to a school dance and dance with girls because I was a dork. I would go to hear these records by the SOUL SEARCHERS and EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED and JUNKYARD BAND. There was also a time when a lot of up-and-coming rap artists would sprinkle in go-go sounds. I'm thinking specifically of SALT-N-PEPA and other east coast hip-hop rap stuff; The Fresh Prince [Will Smith], he was another one. He took some of these go-go rhythms and made them into popular songs. These were rhythms that were around that I heard even before I started playing drums. Really that informed how I heard the drums. Once I got a set of drums when I was 16, these go-go rhythms were one of the things I tried to emulate along with playing to AC/DC and BLACK SABBATH. That would inform me as to how I would create my sound. Later on, I started paying attention to drummers like John Bonham [LED ZEPPELIN] who had incredible foot technique. But for me, really it all started with go-go and all these great drummers. There's Ricky Wellman, Brandon Finley, Ju Ju House. Phenomenal drummers with just beautiful bass drum technique." On his playing on "Book Of Bad Decisions": Jean-Paul: "I often spend time trying to figure out exactly what I might play in the studio. There are other times when I've spent many hours sorting out what exactly I'm going to play in these three and a half bars of a guitar solo. I've learned that no matter how much playing you do, at the end of the day, all that stuff just goes out the window. You play what comes naturally. Then always makes the process fun, too." On his approach to the songs on "Book Of Bad Decisions": Jean-Paul: "It became pretty natural toward the end of the writing process. When we first started, I really made it a point to play as neutrally as possible and by that, when these guys would bring ideas to the table, I would really make it a point not to stamp what I thought the rhythm should be on these particular tunes. I made it a point to find out what the tempo was right away, as soon as I did that, I played to a click and play very neutrally because I really wanted the rhythm to come from those guys as far as how the riffs work, vocally, how that would work. There were even times in the very beginning of the process, I just played the brushes. Even some of the heavier songs, I was playing brushes because I wanted the rhythm to develop naturally. Once I had a hold of how the flow might go or what people's cadence was, then I started to add more ideas and play a little bit more specifically. That was something I had not done on previous records. Just played super simply, super straight, until the song really starts to take shape, then start the specials in and a little bit of ornamentation in the sound." "Book Of Bad Decisions" was released on September 7. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group their third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200. "Book Of Bad Decisions" was recorded at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The album cover was designed by renowned photographer Dan Winters. CLUTCH's fall 2018 "Book Of Bad Decisions" tour with support from SEVENDUST and TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN will wrap up October 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
BRING ME THE HORIZON Releases 'Wonderful Life' Single Feat. DANI FILTH
U.K. rockers BRING ME THE HORIZON have just released a single titled "Wonderful Life" from their highly anticipated album "Amo", which is due on January 25 via Columbia Records. The track, featuring CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani Filth, received its first play on Daniel P. Carter's BBC Radio 1 show. Fans who pre-order the album digitally will receive instant downloads of "Wonderful Life" and previously released track "Mantra". The album tracklisting was also exclusively revealed, along with other special guests on the record, which include Grimes and Rahzel. The single comes hot on the tail of the release of "Mantra", which sat on Radio 1's playlist for eight weeks and has been streamed over 34 million times since its arrival in August. BRING ME THE HORIZON frontman Oli Sykes says of the new track: "The lyrics for 'Wonderful Life' were done freestyle in the studio. It's stream of consciousness-type stuff about getting old and out of touch, being off tour and loving the mundane things in life, I guess because it's so novel when your life is mainly spent on the road. Things like weekly shops and mowing your lawn are quite nice. People who spend most of their lives away from home can surely relate. I guess on top of that there's this inner crisis I have of being a boring person but still having a desire to go wild inside me every now and again… But, yeah, all in all, it's mostly word vomit... but also some of my favorite lyrics. The beginning is 100 percent legit and the irony was just too good, so we left it like that." BRING ME THE HORIZON's North American 16-city "First Love" tour will kick off January 23 and will include stops at The Forum in Los Angeles and Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, where a second show was just added due to overwhelming demand. "Amo" track listing: 01. I Apologise If You Feel Something 02. Mantra 03. Nihilist Blues (feat. Grimes) 04. In The Dark 05. Wonderful Life (feat. Dani Filth) 06. Ouch 07. Medicine 08. Sugar Honey Ice & Tea 09. Why You Gotta Kick Me When I'm Down? 10. Fresh Bruises 11. Mother Tongue 12. Heavy Metal (feat. Rahzel) 13. I Don't Know What To Say
CRAIG GOLDY Says RITCHIE BLACKMORE Had A 'No-Guitar-Solo' Policy For Opening Bands In '80s: 'He Didn't Like Having A Guitar Competition'
According to former DIO guitarist Craig Goldy, legendary DEEP PURPLE axeman Ritchie Blackmore prevented Goldy's then-band GIUFFRIA from having a guitar solo spot during the 1984 "Perfect Strangers" tour because Ritchie feared being upstaged. Goldy, fresh off his gig with ROUGH CUTT and being secretly courted by Ronnie James Dio, said Blackmore was going to pull GIUFFRIA from the tour unless they removed the guitar solo from their set. The band ultimately acquiesced and Goldy and Blackmore became friends at the end of the tour. In a recent interview with Rustyn Rose of Metalholic (audio below), Goldy was asked about his career with GIUFFRIA and the subsequent DEEP PURPLE opening slot that was earned off the back of the band's self-titled debut album. "The first thing that started was, no guitar solo," he said. "At the time [GIUFFRIA vocalist] David Isley was a really good team player. He would come sit on his knees and hold the guitar like a table. I would place the guitar on top of his hands flat and I'd play it like a piano and I would do all sorts of weird things that nobody had seen before at the time and the crowd went crazy. Ritchie didn't dig that. He got us on the tour because he heard 'Call Of The Heart'. He thought we were a JOURNEY band. He didn't like having a guitar competition. Little did he know, he got the biggest Ritchie Blackmore fan in the world opening for him. We had an emergency meeting and we got fired off the first night. They said, 'If Goldy doesn't do his solo, and you guys tone down your set just a little bit, you guys can stay on the tour.' All eyes on me, and I said, 'Sure, of course.' The problem was Gregg Giuffria kind of had an ego, Dave had an ego. Everybody in the band had kind of an ego, except for me. These guys, DEEP PURPLE is royalty. You don't walk into a situation like that where it's hard rock history being made, the reformation of DEEP PURPLE and start making demands. You're supposed to be grateful. When you treat guys like Blackmore and those people who are total gentleman with respect, you get respect back. But when you walk in the door with an attitude, like entitlement and demands, then you're going to get screwed with. That's what brought that on to us." He continued: "When I met Ritchie Blackmore at end of the very last night, what are they going to do? Kick us off the tour? So I did the solo. We were walking down the hallway and Ritchie comes up to me and goes, 'You have to show me how to do that.' I went 'What?' I froze and I panicked. I spent so many years trying to learn his solos and he's asking me how to do something. I really quickly gave him a summary and ran and hid. Then I thought, 'You idiot.' I'm in my dressing room, 'You idiot. There's Ritchie Blackmore asking you.' So, I knocked on his private dressing room door — and that's one of the things Ronnie [James Dio] told me not to do. We sat together, me and Ronnie, and listened to the whole GIUFFRIA record together, and he gave me his opinion, and he gave me the dos and do-nots when you tour with DEEP PURPLE, and one of them was don't go in Ritchie's private dressing room. I knocked on the door and I felt compelled to say something to him. He opened the door and I said, 'I've idolized you for years,' and he kind of rolled his eyes, and I thought, 'Oh no.' But, apparently everybody had done that he toured with, that he said no guitar solos [to]. A bunch of guys like [DOKKEN's] George Lynch said, 'I idolized you for years. F-you.' That's what he was expecting me to say. I said, 'I don't care who comes along with this that or the other thing, I think you're the best and you will always will be.' I said, 'No hard feelings,' and I reached my hand out and he shook my hand and said, 'Come on inside.' Next thing you know, I had an amazing time with an amazing man in his private dressing room. We're kicking the soccer ball to trying break one of his Strats and we're talking and he's trying to stump me with songs that I told him how hard it was for me to learn. He goes, 'You mean such and such title.' I actually had to tell him, 'No, that's not the title of the song. It's this title.' He's testing me; I actually had to tell him no. He knew the only way to get the truth out of me was for him to say the wrong title on purpose and for me to go, 'No. It's not that. It's this one.' He was a total gentleman and we had a blast because I gave him the proper respect that he deserved." Goldy joined DIO in 1986 and appeared on the "Intermission" live album before playing on the following year's "Dream Evil". Goldy left DIO in 1989, but rejoined in 1999 and played on the 2000 "Magica" record, left again, then rejoined in time for DIO's last studio album, 2004's "Master Of The Moon". Goldy is currently a member of the Wendy Dio-approved DIO DISCIPLES project as well as DREAM CHILD, a band whose music is largely in the same vein as classic DIO and RAINBOW. DREAM CHILD's debut album, "Until Death Do We Meet Again" was released September 14 via Frontiers Music Srl.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Frontman On 'Gravity': 'We Knew It Was Going To Be A Slightly More Divisive Album'
Chris Peters of Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with frontman Matt Tuck of Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he's happy with the response to the band's new studio album, "Gravity": Matt: "Absolutely. Yeah, it's been really good. We knew when we were making it, it was going to be a slightly more divisive album than we've done in the past. We were well aware of that. We were well aware of some people not being onboard with it, but it's been business as usual again. We've had some fantastic reviews, we've had some bad reviews, but that's kind of the way it is. We've had that since 'The Poison'. We took a decision to do something different. It's what we wanted to do. We're more than happy with the response we got to the album and being able to tour the world, still. We are here in Los Angeles tonight, so it's all good, man. Absolutely good." On whether it was a gamble for BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE to introduce new elements into their sound: Matt: "No. It's never a gamble; it's just being creative and doing what makes you happy as a songwriter. I think the band's history and success has given the opportunity and the scope to kind of be a little bit more experimental without having to think about whether it's a risk or anything. We're 15, 16 years into our career; this is our sixth album. The band needs to evolve. We've got to do what makes us happy at the end of the day. There's no way we're going to be writing for other people. We've got to do what we want to do and that's how we've done things since day one, really." On showcasing musical advancement while staying true to their roots: Matt: "I think it's just quite obvious. When writing songs in the demo stage, it's very obvious when you've gone too far. I think everything that is on 'Gravity' is everything we've always done in the past. We've just executed it in a far different way and added different elements. The songs are still heavy, they're still dark. The content is what you expect from the band. We just kind of freshened things up. We want every album to be different from each other. Like I said, it's what we've done since day one. We want it to be a standalone record. We don't want it to be an album that could be mistaken for a 2008 release. We want it to be in the here and now and that's what we've done." On the difficulties in trying to recapture their old sound: Matt: "No. It's kind of impossible, you know? If you're a creative person, which me and the boys are, we want to do things which are different from anything we've done in the past. It's kind of pointless revisiting a song formula from 10 years ago because you've know you've got your success then. That doesn't necessarily mean it will work now. You've got to go with what you feel is the right thing to do for you at that point in your musical career. That's the kind of attitude we take with every single writing and recording session." On whether the departures of bassist Jason James and drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas were difficult for BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE: Matt: "No, not really. For us, it was in the works for a long time. When it was made official, it was something that was happening anyway and we were dealing with it on the road and behind the scenes. It's never ideal when that kind of situation happens in a band, especially when it's being with people who you've been in a band with for over a decade. It kind of plays on your head a little bit, but I guess everything happens for a reason. We've always got everyone's best individual interest and the band's best interest at heart at all times. We're not the first band in history that has cut a couple of original members, but I think we've proved we're strong enough and the band is strong enough to continue on by doing the tours that we're doing. It's business as usual. We got along great." On whether BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE was ready for the success that their 2005 debut "The Poison" brought: Matt: "I wouldn't say we weren't, but we worked so hard for six, seven years as an unsigned act just playing pubs, but when the opportunity arose, it was like winning the lottery. We were just rolling with it. It all happened in a bit of blur, really. It's a moment we look back on now with incredible pride." On whether the success of "The Poison" made BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE reassess their career goals: Matt: "I don't think so, no. We were all very ambitious and we shot for the stars and I think even on 'The Poison', we were always saying in interviews that we wanted to this for a long time. We want to be one of the biggest metal bands in the world at some point in our career. We were just very ambitious and very motivated and once we had that opportunity, like I said, it was like winning the lottery. We haven't stopped since. The work ethic has always been quite intense, but we know that's what it takes to get somewhere. It's all good." "Gravity" was released in June. The effort was made available through BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE's new label home, Search And Destroy, the imprint launched in 2014 by Spinefarm and international artist management company Raw Power Management.
BEHEMOTH Frontman: 'Life Is Too Short To Try To Be Liked By Everybody'
Steve Harrison of "The Unchained Rock Show" recently conducted an interview with frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski of Polish black/death overlords BEHEMOTH. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether the title of BEHEMOTH's new album, "I Loved You At Your Darkest", is open to interpretation: Nergal: "When I came across this quote — it comes from the Bible — it just grabbed me. It grabbed me by the heart and I immediately felt a connection with it. Between the emotional background the album carries along — instead of trying to find something simple… 'The Satanist' was just straight-up; this one gives you more room for interpretation. It's a more multi-layered and complex title and so is the record, it seems." On the songwriting approach for "I Loved You At Your Darkest": Nergal: "We just go with the flow and go with what we feel like doing with BEHEMOTH. Then we just do it, we go for what it is sincere and what's honest and what's within our system and then we just spit it out. Then we learn about it. It's not all, I mean, it's a very intuition-driven record. We're not one of those bands who pre-plans everything, like every chord. We're not robots. It's a very human album." On the stylistic changes the band incorporated on the new album: Nergal: "The album is very diverse. We really dug deep into our past and used elements that I can easily call 'ancient' and we then throw them into the future. We not only look back, we look forward and look up and look forward and inside, every possible angle. It makes this album very super-varied. There's a lot of variety there. It's more adventurous as well. It's still very extreme while being adventurous." On the release of pre-album singles "God = Dog", "Bartzabel" and "Wolves Ov Siberia": Nergal: "I really like how much confusion it has caused for a lot of people. There's no single song that is representative for the whole record. Pretty much every single song stands on its own and every song stands out. Even when checking all the comments on the Internet, people see that. There's not an obvious best song or an obvious single because everyone picks up a different song. This proves that on 'The Satanist', everyone just loved 'Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer' or 'O Father O Satan O Sun!', but on this one, there's a group of followers for every song. It's cool, it's different." On making strong political and social statements in his native Poland: Nergal: "I very much like when it's polarized. It just represents the situation — that's what the world is like today, it's very polarized. It's very bipolar, it's very love-and-hate-based and I guess with my music, because it's very extreme, that's what it's meant to be. I'm not really good at politics; I'm not an expert. I'm just pissed off, as far as I'm concerned. It's just not the best time for the world. It's never the best, but it can be pretty good, but it's not. It can be pretty critical sometimes; it can be fatal sometimes. I don't know — I don't like that. I'm just speaking out my thoughts and observations. I'm just being honest with myself and I'm not doing that in order to attract more people. I get more people are going to dislike me, but life is too short to try to be liked by everybody. People are fucked. I don't give a fuck. I just do my own thing." "I Loved You At Your Darkest" was released on October 5 via Metal Blade Records in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe.
TED NUGENT Says 'It's Sacrilege' That He Hasn't Been Inducted Into ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
Ted Nugent says that "it's sacrilege" that he has not been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The conservative rocker, who been eligible for the honor as a solo artist since 2000, has enjoyed a remarkably successful and eventful musical career over the past five decades, but his music is increasingly overshadowed by his political outbursts. Asked in a new interview with Myglobalmind what his thoughts are on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and whether we will ever see him there, Nugent responded: "I have some really clear thoughts. It's sacrilege. It's ultimately disrespectful and cruel to Chuck [Berry], Bo [Diddley] and Little Richard and all the founding fathers in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Because the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame means something, and I don't have to explain to you, because you know, and you don't have to explain it to me. "Abandon egos, bragging and Ted Nugent speaking on behalf of Ted Nugent — is it or is it not vulgar, dishonest, and obscene that Grandmaster Flash, Patti Smith and ABBA are in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame but Ted 'Fucking' Nugent isn't? Is that the most outrageous and disgusting lie you have ever seen? "Joe Walsh nailed it [when] he said, 'It's not music-lover-driven.' He used the word 'fan,' and it's not fan-driven. It's ultra-leftist, liberal-CEO-driven gang who couldn't give a rat's ass about the music. "I'm not taking away from the 90 percent of the people in it. I genuflect at the altar of all those great musicians like my friends in CHEAP TRICK, JOURNEY, ZZ TOP and KISS. They all deserve to be in there. "I would like you to find a human being and walk up to [them], look at them eye to eye and believe them when they say Ted Nugent should not be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I would love to witness that exchange. You would see a person almost melt with guilt because you know they are lying. "At the end of the day, it's not about me it's about the music. James Hetfield said it best when METALLICA was inducted: 'Ted Nugent not being in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is a joke. Ted Nugent is rock and roll.'" In a 2017 interview with the Q103 radio station, Nugent said that the "only reason" he hasn't been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is his involvement with the National Rifle Association. He explained: "Jan Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone [magazine] and the boss hog at Rock And Roll Of Fame, he hates freedom, he hates the Second Amendment, he hates me, because I'm on the board of directors — quite proudly — of the National Rifle Association for, like, twenty-six years with some of the highest votes except for Charlton Heston [NRA's president]. And I couldn't be more proud of that, 'cause the NRA is the ultimate family, grassroots organization that fights for the right to defend ourselves. What kind of numbnut would be against that? And so I'm on the board of directors of the NRA, Jan Wenner hates the Second Amendment, so that's the only reason I'm not in the Rock And Roll Of Fame. And until they get their heads out of their ass, I'm more than happy to do what I do and do it with all the vim and vigor that I do it every night." Nugent went on to reiterate his belief that that rappers and non-rock artists like Madonna don't belong in the Hall Of Fame. "I mean, why don't you just piss on Chuck Berry's grave, you know what I mean?" he said. According to Ted, the fact that both Patti Smith and Grandmaster Flash have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is the result of "political correctness," which he calls "a self-inflicted and embarrassing scourge." He added in a mocking tone: "Yeah, Grandmaster Flash is rock and roll. And I'm a gay pirate."
MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'We've Always Been A Forward-Thinking Band'
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was recently interviewed by Metal A Day. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On the changes he's witnessed over the course of his career: David: "It's interesting in MEGADETH's career and our age, I guess, to see... We started in kind of this old guard. I kind of look at it like we got in just under the wire when you could have a major label deal and actually make a little bit of money and be able to support yourself as a musician, but as the jazz saying goes, you're only as good as your last gig, so you have to keep putting out good, quality stuff. Over the years, Megadeth.com — technically, Megadeth, Arizona [the original incarnation of the band's web site] — that was a game-changing website. We were the first band to ever have a website. Capitol Records built it for us. We've always been a forward-thinking band, with different technology, making records, everything, but that really turned the corner for us. Now to watch the world change... we've got young fans, we've got teenagers again. In 35 years of MEGADETH, we're really in our fourth generation, because about every ten years, a new cycle changes over." On the recently released remixed and remastered reissue of the MEGADETH's debut album, "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!" : David: "'The Final Kill', we're calling it, because we hopefully won't keep remixing it. It's sounds really good. Mark Lewis did an excellent job mixing it. It was definitely necessary. Dave [Mustaine] and Bill Kennedy went in and worked on it when we were working on 'The World Needs A Hero' and remixed it and radically improved it from where it was, but we just decided... there were two albums that always bothered us in our catalog, which was the mix of 'So Far So Good... So What!', which we felt was just too slick, kind of polished – because it was recorded pretty raw, pretty dry — and also 'Killing Is My Business', which we just didn't have any money. It was a little independent label and we didn't have any money and it was our first time in the studio with the band, and it's kind of that maiden voyage. Some records [like] GUNS N' ROSES' 'Appetite For Destruction', as I understood, they took a long time to put that together. They had major-label money; they had real A&R; they had a lot of people guiding [them]. We didn't have that. It's just a tiny little label; they handed us some money — 'Go make a record and give us the master.' We were kind of left to our own devices. We had grand ideas, but we didn't have enough capital and resources to get there until we went to Capitol." On the bass riff he's most proud of: David: "I always liked 'Dawn Patrol', just because it's something I came up with, but another one I like is 'Go To Hell'. I love that. I play it in the jam room all the time. There's other ones like 'Ashes In Your Mouth', '99 Ways To Die'... even 'Angry Again'. The bass kind of just plays the guitar parts, but it's just a really cool movement — [sings riff] — and then puts a nice kind of floor under it, just riding the part. Those are some of my favorites — and 'Five Magics' probably being my all-time favorite." On getting sober: David: "In 1990, I got cleaned up, and that was a really hard corner to turn. I don't fault anybody for it, because I know how hard it is to come out of that and get clean, and in my case, kind of be restored back to this kind of youthful, fun kid that I was when I grew up on the farm in Minnesota who just loved playing the bass. I was kind of mucking the dream up by partying... I'm not going to lie — I enjoyed a lot of it. The ten years I did it, the first seven or eight were certainly a lot of fun. The last couple... when it's hard to leave home because you're strung out on drugs and you can't travel, that's a problem. For me, my getting cleaned up — I needed to for self-preservation, but also because it was getting in the way of my love of music and playing, and getting in the way of what our goals were, what we wanted to accomplish with the band. It was like, 'One of them's going to go — the band or the drugs. The drugs gotta go.'" On MEGADETH's musicality: David: "It's funny — I listen to a lot of music, especially when I'm flying in between shows. MEGADETH, for as heavy as it can be, it's almost like we're not really a metal band. There's so much other musical complexities that are going on in there. The earlier stuff with Gar [Samuelson] and Chris [Poland] — those guys were fusion guys. I had played in jazz band growing up as a kid, so I kind of was familiar with what they were doing, so I made a nice fit in the rhythm section. Dave [Mustaine]. As much as he writes these incredible riffs, he grew up — his sisters listened to Motown. The musical stuff he references — David Bowie, this kind of stuff — it's not metal, so it's funny, MEGADETH being this 'metal' band, has this really wide palette of musical information." "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! - The Final Kill" was released via Century Media/Legacy on June 8.
MARTY FRIEDMAN Says Musical Genres Aren't As 'Strictly Separated' In Japan As They Are In America
Three years after leaving MEGADETH, Marty Friedman moved to Tokyo, Japan, where he's now lived for 15 years. During that time, he's worked with a number of key figures in the domestic Japanese music world while continuing to write and release instrumental rock guitar albums of his own. During an October 15 appearance at the Japan Foundation in Los Angeles, Friedman spoke at length about how heavy metal is perceived in his current home country. "In Japan, I think it's less of a scene," he said. "In America, the genres are strictly separated. That's why you call it a scene — it's a metal scene; it's an underground metal scene; you see all your friends at the metal gigs. It's like a clique. In Japan, it's just kind of like this big music scene, and the sound of heavy metal finds itself in all different kinds of music there. Idol music very often has heavy metal motifs in it. Dance music often has heavy metal motifs in it. Visual kei, if you just took away the image and just played the music, that stuff is really, really, really heavy metal. It's not like you've got to join this 'scene' to play or listen to heavy metal in Japan. "Things that are heavy metal are also mainstream," he continued. "You look at something like MAXIMUM THE HORMONE, which is, like, ultra-, ultra-metal — full-on aggro metal — but a lot of the activities they do are very, very mainstream. [Japanese record stores display] Mariah Carey [next to] MAXIMUM THE HORMONE... and the same people buy both of them. This is one of the things I like about Japan. In America, I grew up, 'Metal or die,' but in my heart, I was like, 'I like all this other stuff, but I can't admit it to my friends.' Over there, there's no stigma." According to Friedman, because metal isn't as marginalized in Japan as it is in other parts of the world, it's no less likely to be heard in public as other genres. "They're playing jazz; they're playing pop; they're playing heavy metal; they're playing rare stuff," he said. "I was just walking down the street, walking by... a totally cheap family restaurant kind of place, and they were blasting this heavy metal. And not only heavy metal — [also] this rare band I like called DAMONE. It's like you have to be a record collector to even know these guys, and you're walking by this totally mainstream restaurant and they're blasting this. I'm like, 'This is why Japan is cool.' Sometimes you'll go to places like Denny's, and they're playing something that's as heavy as SLAYER, and it's totally normal. Of course, sometimes they're playing stuff that just makes you want to puke. It's not always your favorite music." Friedman also spoke about the major difference between performing in Japan and in other countries around the world. "No cell phones," he said. "They don't allow them. I was just at a classical concert, and after the concert was over — it was, like, a curtain call — they said, 'If you want to take a picture, take it now.' People tend to listen to the songs and applaud before and after, which is kind of unnerving, because when you're playing, there's no noise. You've got to be perfect; if you do something wrong, they notice. [Elsewhere], they're just going off the whole time. That's why we recorded our live album in Mexico City." Friedman's 14th solo record, "One Bad M.F. Live!!", was released on October 19. The album was recorded in Mexico City on April 14 during the final concert of Friedman's world tour in support of his 2017 album "Wall Of Sound", which debuted on Billboard's Heatseekers chart at No. 12. Joining Friedman on "One Bad M.F. Live!!" are his bandmates Kiyoshi on bass, Jordan Ziff (RATT) on guitar and Chargeeee on drums.
TESLA Guitarist Thinks Fans Will Be 'Blown Away' By New PHIL COLLEN-Produced Album
TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon recently spoke with Clint Switzer of the "Music Mania" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On his new solo album of cover songs, "From One Place... To Another Vol. 2": Frank: "I went crazy this year. I had a lot of downtime on the road. You can get bored in a hotel room, on the bus, whatever, so I recorded these songs just to keep my sanity. I look back on it with hindsight 20/20 and just go, 'Wow, man, you really did create a lot of music this year.' Even though they're cover tunes, a lot of time and energy went into making it. I think I'm nuts — I don't know what to tell you. [laughs]" On why he decided to start recording covers in the first place: Frank: "The whole premise of this project started off with me wanting to pick some songs to develop my singing voice. Being a fan of guitar playing and music myself, and having been around for a while now, I've got some friends that were willing and eager to jump into the project with me. First up was Paul Jackson from BLACKBERRY SMOKE, [who was] very supportive, and Duane Betts and the Nelson twins, and now on this album, I've got Brad Whitford's son Graham, [who] plays a mean guitar on 'Lord Of The Thighs'. As a guitarist, to have guys that are even better players than me play some killer lead guitar, to have them on my project has really been electrifying. It's cool, and it's allowed me to focus on my vocals. A lot of people, I don't know if they realize, but I'm a closet, frustrated singer who can't sing to save my life, but I'm trying real hard on this project." On why he decided to record a sequel: Frank: "Originally, I was just going to do one album, but I had so many different, diverse ideas and things that I was recording... I was just recording anything and everything on this little portable recorder. When I had all the leftovers from 'Vol. 1', there was a bunch of leftover tracks that tended to be more ballads, and [when] I decided that I wanted to make a 'Vol. 2', I decided that I wanted it to be more rock n' roll and live. I got my band that I play with locally, and we went into a studio and recorded 'Hush', 'Spanish Castle Magic', 'Lord Of The Thighs', all those songs live. There's a great live spirit on the record that I'm really happy with. I do have even more songs left over for 'Vol. 3' that might end up being more of the ballad-side of things — the songs that were mellow that I left off 'Vol. 2'." On TESLA's longevity: Frank: "I'm really, really, truly blown away by the career that TESLA and myself have had. It's a lot of work — we're very dedicated to it — but at the same time, music is a tough industry, and we've managed to keep ourselves going based on our songs and fanbase. People really have a great time at our shows, and we enjoy it so much, so we're very blessed. We never really had a huge mega-hit. We're kind of like an underdog kind of band, but when I do play the intro to 'Love Song' or 'What You Give' or we start 'Modern Day Cowboy' at the shows, the people really react even more now than they did in 1986. It just shows me the loyalty of the fans to the music and the integrity that the songs have. It's all about the songs, and... as long as people are happy and we can bring the happiness, then that's what we're going to keep doing. I feel very lucky to be in a business that brings joy to people and makes people happy. Entertainment and playing music and providing them with an escape, a place to go that's outside of their normal routine, it's a very cool job. I wouldn't trade it for anything." On TESLA's other guitarist, Dave Rude: Frank: "The twin guitar sound is definitely the chemistry that TESLA has had since the beginning. Our original guitarist that started the band with me, Tommy [Skeoch], he and I had a great chemistry with our right hands. The rhythm is the most important thing. When you play your guitar solos, even lead playing comes from the right hand. That's where the sound comes from. That's a quote from Joe Walsh. He's so right. A lot of people think it's all in the left hand, but it's really in the right hand. For a long time, I searched and played with a lot of different guys in my solo band, trying to find the perfect guy from TESLA. It wasn't until I found Dave Rude and his right hand and his timing that I knew he was the right guy... He is an integral part of the band, and was the perfect meant-to-be guy in the band for the next generation of TESLA based on his attitude, number one, and his rhythm in his right hand and the chemistry in our playing, number two. He has been the saving grace for the band. We went through a lot of hard times... people don't realize this, but in the '90s, when Tommy was having his problems and the music industry changed and divorces and all these ups and downs that were going on in that era for TESLA, it was very, very difficult. I think it's why we cherish it so much now more and really take care of it now more than ever, because we've been through the rough times. We've been through the bottom of the barrel, being broke and scraping to find a job. There was a time — people don't know this — but when TESLA broke up in the '90s after we had played arenas and stadiums and I had three little kids and was broke, I got a job just like the rest of the world has to work, hanging sheetrock and picking up trash. I had a job feeding the wood chipper, trimming trees. My friends were going, 'You're crazy, dude. You play guitar. You're going to cut your hand off. What are you doing?' I had to survive, man, and that's just the way life is. But now, we've rebuilt it again, and Dave's been a big part of it. We're very blessed." On TESLA's upcoming Phil Collen-produced album, "Shock": Frank: "Phil Collen taught us a lot. We really learned a lot, and this new TESLA album, it's loaded with TESLA music but multiplied by ten by the stuff we learned from Phil. The guy is just an enigma. He's full of positive energy, and he coached us. You never stop learning [in] anything you do, and TESLA learned a lot production-wise [from Phil]. He took our song ideas and really produced them to the max, and I think people are really going to be blown away by the album. The sound, the production and the songs are taken to a new level for us. He taught us that you can be productive on the road. I'll be honest — TESLA may not have made another album because we were stuck in these ways of thinking that, 'You can't do this. You can't do that. You can't write songs on the road.' Phil proved us wrong and taught us that we can do it, and not only that, I made a solo album on the road too. You can do whatever you set your mind to do in this world and in life, and Phil taught us that, and it was a great experience." "Shock", TESLA's ninth full-length album, is tentatively due in early 2019. Collen previously co-wrote and produced the TESLA song "Save That Goodness", which was released in August 2016 and included on the "Mechanical Resonance Live!" album. TESLA's current lineup includes four of the five original members: Jeff Keith (vocals), Frank Hannon (guitars), Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums). Rude joined in 2006 as the replacement for Tommy Skeoch. Hannon's "From One Place... To Another Vol. 2" was released on May 18, just four months after the initial installment in what is planned to be an ongoing series of solo cover albums.
HALESTORM Guitarist Says Group's New Album Favors 'Big, Fat' Riffs Over 'Fast' Ones
HALESTORM guitarist Joe Hottinger recently spoke with "The Unchained Rock Show". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the group's new album, "Vicious": Joe: "It was a long process getting this record together. We went in there knowing what we didn't want to do. We'd written a whole bunch of songs and were just like, 'Man, I don't know about this,' and we showed them to our producer Nick Raskulinecz, [who said], 'Yeah, this isn't a HALESTORM record I wanted to make.' [We said,] 'Oh, good — then we're on the same page.' Nick's a good buddy and he's always honest with us, which is the true test of a friend... he's just one of those dudes that never played games, and he kind of instilled in us, 'Just trust yourselves. If you're excited about the music, then your fans will be excited,' which is a concept we hadn't really thought about before. It was a process, but it was good for us — we needed to do that and get through it." On how the group's new material is being received live: Joe: "So far, so good. It feels like the new songs — which was by design — they sound bigger live, which is what we were trying to do. Bigger riffs, something that will sound better in bigger rooms. A fast riff, you can barely hear it in bigger auditoriums and arenas, but if you do a big, fat riff, it just bounces off the walls. Writing, we were kind of going for a lot of those. They just sound heavier. We didn't realize we were making such a heavy record. It wasn't the goal — we were just doing riffs and things that got us excited." On why the group likes to change its concert setlists: Joe: "We do new setlists every night. We just switch it up and try out new things, see what works... We always have kind of switched it up a bunch, and then this last summer tour, it was a co-headline tour and we had 75 minutes, and we got a bunch of really good moments together and kind of kept it the same for a few weeks. I think we got bored with it, and the crew seemed bored. We were just like, 'We can't do that — we've got to keep it interesting, keep us on our toes.'" On how he ended up with an obscure Ronnie James Dio collectible: Joe: "We were on the Ronnie James Dio benefit album [2014's 'This Is Your Life']. We played the [listening party], and there was a great silent auction in the foyer. We donated some stuff, and there was a bunch of Dio stuff there too. I found the weirdest thing I could find in there and I bid on it, and I got it — Ronnie's personal bookends with his initials on it. It came with a few books too, and one was this photo book. There are some amazing pictures from early DIO shows." On whether the group plans to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album: Joe: "I haven't even thought about it. We could definitely do something fun with it, but we're promoting 'Vicious' — and those songs are more fun to play anyway. The last few shows, we've been pulling out songs that we haven't played in a few years. We did one off the first album in Dublin, and then we did one from an EP even before the first album in Northern Ireland, and it was, like, 'Oh my God, what we were thinking? Why would you write a song like this? It's terrible.' There's a lot of songs on that first record that are, like, 'Whoa.'" On the band's goals: Joe: "I think the true goal is what it's always been — keep growing, keep getting better. It seems like when we focus on getting better and being better musicians and being better live... the more we focus on that, it seems to just keep building. The same with writing in the studio — just try to get better and write for those moments, and look for new ones. That's the journey... and hopefully it keeps growing." "Vicious" was released in July via Atlantic. The disc was recorded last year at Nashville, Tennesse's Rock Falcon studio.
KAMELOT Keyboardist On 'Fantastic' Touring Drummer ALEX LANDENBURG: 'I Hope He Stays'
KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai recently spoke with Finland's Metalliluola. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the group's latest album, "The Shadow Theory": Oliver: "The creation of the album was not without troubles. Some albums are just born under difficult circumstances, and I was a bit nervous about the reception, but it's going really good. The U.S. has partially doubled in audience. We're going now also to places where we haven't been for many, many years, rebuilding stuff and getting bigger in other places, so obviously, the fans like it, so we're happy about it." On whether he senses an uptick in interest in symphonic metal: Oliver: "I have so little insight into the scene and what's going on, really, that I can't tell. Of course, that's what everybody's hoping for – that their style is getting more popular. I don't have a clue, honestly, how it looks in the scene." On the evolution of the band's music: Oliver: "It's getting much more complex. There's a lot of stuff you basically don't hear. If you put on really good headphones, then you hear it. There's so much going on, but it still is important for the atmosphere. When you take the songs from the first albums like 'The Fourth Legacy', there are some fans requesting songs from there, and we try to play it two or three times — especially 'The Fourth Legacy' itself — and it never really works, because it sounds pretty thin compared the new songs. It's great when you listen to it on the albums, but if you put it live up right beside the new songs, it's not working. The orchestration is so minimal compared to what I'm doing on the newer records. It's a massive difference." On writing the orchestration for the band: Oliver: "It's a lot of work. I work about one year on it, but it's what I do on a daily basis, almost. I'm a producer, and that's what I do, and what I love to do — being in the studio all by myself and working." On whether the group has considered adding a female vocalist on a full-time basis: Oliver: "It could be, maybe, an option, but of course, changing singers from time to time adds new elements for the fans to explore. [It's] always been something like one or two album cycles, and then we look for somebody different. I would be up for a full-time female member, but it's not my decision, honestly." On touring drummer Alex Landenburg (CYHRA, LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY): Oliver: "He's one of the top metal drummers out there. Johan [Nunez] only played two shows with us on the U.S. tour, and then he got these... I don't know, I think it was some health problems, also some family stuff, so Alex was like [an] emergency replacement. He was flying in, learning the songs in an incredibly short time. He played with us when we were supporting IRON MAIDEN, and now he's with all the time. We're still in contact with Johan, seeing what's going on, and then we'll see how it turns out. The drummer is keeping it all together. The drummer is the glue on stage, especially with a metal band. It's so, so crucial. What's also important is the personality, if you have somebody is self-confident, smiling. I often check with Alex; sometimes we're joking on stage. It's so fantastic. Behind the tour, he's a super-funny guy... he's so not afraid of making fun of himself. Really, really cool guy, and I hope he stays." On former vocalist Roy Khan: Oliver: "Honestly, we don't have much contact, with I'm often sorry for, but he withdrew totally from the whole metal scene. It's weird — after being really good friends and touring for so many years, and then suddenly, total change, totally off. Weird story." On whether the band plans to do any special shows to celebrate the upcoming twentieth anniversary of "The Fourth Legacy": Oliver: "Honestly, I doubt it. We are in that lucky position that so many fans, they often don't know the songs from before the Tommy [Karevik] era. Our whole crowd has changed. There are some fans from the old times... but most of the people, they know stuff from 'Silverthorn' on, when Tommy entered the band, which is really cool. I was before in a band who had to play the old songs from 20 years ago over and over and over again, and everything new, we were throwing out the setlist after a few gigs, because the fans were not interested in the new stuff. With KAMELOT, the cool thing is that people know the new songs, so I doubt very much that we're going to [do any anniversary shows]." Prior to joining KAMELOT in 2005, Palotai – the husband of EPICA vocalist Simone Simons – performed with artists including DORO, CIRCLE II CIRCLE and Blaze Bayley's BLAZE. "The Shadow Theory" was released in April via Napalm Records.
FLOOR JANSEN Says NORTHWARD Won't Perform Live: 'Don't Think Of This As A Band'
Prior to NIGHTWISH's performance at the British festival Bloodstock Open Air on August 12, vocalist Floor Jansen spoke with "The Unchained Rock Show" about NORTHWARD, her new side project with PAGAN'S MIND guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the origins of NORTHWARD: Floor: "It had been written ten years ago, back in 2008. It's a rock project, [a] different kind of music as you will know me from — different from NIGHTWISH, different from REVAMP or AFTER FOREVER. It was written in a year where AFTER FOREVER initially had a sabbatical, and I wanted to do something musically, and something I didn't before. When I met Jørn Viggo, the idea came to be, and we wrote the music and even started recording. Everything was sort of ready to go, but then my whole situation changed, because AFTER FOREVER never continued, and we had to put it away for the time being — which became ten years. It was never the plan, of course, but then again, life... you can't plan everything. Things just happen that way. When NIGHTWISH was going to have a year off in 2017, I contacted Jørn Viggo in '16 — 'Hey, I'll have time next year. Shall we go through our material? See if it's still up to date? And if so, shall we finish it and record it and release it? Almost ten years in between actually writing and recording, while developing yourself as a musician, as a person, it could really well be that we had to rewrite everything. But it really felt like this is good music, it's timeless music. Some of the lyrics might be dated, but that doesn't mean that it's less true. There was only one lyrics that was never really it, and I rewrote the whole thing, but the rest really was, apart from small adaptions [sic] here and there, a copy of the demo, but then recorded properly." On going from symphonic metal with NIGHTWISH to the guitar-driven hard rock of NORTHWARD: Floor: "It's not that far away as making an experimental jazz album would have been if we did that, but is rock and it's not metal. It's not prog-metal; it doesn't have the typical prog influences; it doesn't have orchestras, choirs; I'm not singing opera — it wouldn't fit in rock. So it is a rock album, but you can't really say it's typically this or that. It's pretty diverse within its genre, with all the sub-styles you can think of. We really got inspired by different kind of rock and different kinds of bands. Of course, there were two of us who have a different background, different things that we really like, so all that together became what it is. [It's] definitely different than people might expect if you really think, 'This is going to sound like NIGHTWISH or PAGAN'S MIND.'" On the guest appearance by her sister, Irene (AYREON): Floor: "There's one guest singer on the album, and that's my sister. That's really cool, because we've been doing music together [and] we've been singing live together — we are on live DVDs [together] — but never an actual album recording. This was about time, and a lot of people have been asking about it, so one and one really became two on this album. Super-fun, because I actually recorded her myself." On whether the band will perform live: Floor: "I don't see that happening... Don't think of this as a band. It's really Jørn Viggo and me who started this project... It's not a band; it's a gathering of musicians that we found fitting, and who gave their best and enthusiasm on the album... I am on the road back with NIGHTWISH, so when all of that is stopping, we will make a new album with NIGHTWISH. And I am a mother of a young child. That combination, I find plenty. I think this project deserves all its love and attention as we have put into the recording, but live is quite something else to set up and do properly as well. That's a whole new thing, and I don't really see myself [having] proper time for that." NORTHWARD released its self-titled debut album on October 19 via Nuclear Blast. NIGHTWISH's upcoming disc, which is expected in 2020, will mark the band's second full-length release with Jansen, who has been touring with the group since 2012.
ACE FREHLEY Says He's Already Started Recording Sequel To 'Origins' Covers Album
Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was recently interviewed by BUILD Series. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On relocating to America's West Coast: Ace: "New York's kind of a melting pot, and you really meet a lot of interesting people wherever you go — world nationalities, all religions, the whole scheme of things. Southern California, where I live now, I live in an isolated, gated community, so pretty much the only people I hang out with [are] whoever I invited over. Sometimes I hang out with my maid. [Laughs] But I just finished wiring up my recording studio there and [I've] actually started recording 'Origins, Vol. II'. I'm trying to figure out what guest stars I'm going to have on that, but there's a lot out there, so it shouldn't be a problem." On the benefits of having a home studio: Ace: "When I listen to the old records, it just doesn't have the production that the records have today. They're a little drier. When KISS started out, there was no such thing as a digital reverb. It was a spring reverb — it was actually just a spring in a box. The advances in technology and digital recording have really taken me to a different level and allowed me to produce records quicker, faster and more efficiently." On the one song from new album "Spaceman" he didn't record there: Ace: "Every song was recorded at my studio except for 'Quantum Flux', the instrumental. I went up to Los Angeles to work with my mixer, Warren Huart. I said to Warren, 'We have nine songs, and that's the amount of songs I want to put on the record, but none of them are instrumental.' He said, 'Every one of your studio albums has had an instrumental on it. You got any ideas?' I pulled out my guitar and played this instrumental idea I had written about eight years ago, and he said, 'That's great. Let's develop it.' He put the click track on and I started playing the parts, and then I doubled it and tripled it. Actually, Warren played a little lead guitar on it. It just all came together within a matter of three or four hours, and a couple days later, we had Matt Starr come in and play drums to the click track. Done. [Laughs]" On covering "I Wanna Go Back", a 1984 song by Billy Satellite that became a major hit for Eddie Money in 1986: Ace: "Me and [longtime fiancée] Rachael [Gordon] were laying in bed, just watching different YouTubes. Eddie Money's song came on. When I watched the video, I saw him returning to his old high school and driving through his old neighborhood, and I identified with that, because not that long ago, I had done a piece for Village Voice where they asked me to go up to the Bronx, show them the old high school, show them the places I used to hang out in the park. I identified with the whole thing, and the song's great, the melody's great and the lyrics are great, so I just had to Ace-ify it. Eddie Money's version is pretty much keyboards and sax, and my version is pretty much all layered guitars." On new single "Rockin' With The Boys": Ace: "I actually wrote that chorus in the seventies. It really was about KISS, because we were always on tour, and we always left the wives behind for the most part, so that was the sentiment behind that chorus. But I was never happy with the verse or the bridge, so when I was putting songs together for this record, I basically took that chorus and rewrote the verses and the bridge, and it came together all of a sudden. It took me a while — thirty years. [Laughs]" On the origins of the new song "Bronx Boy": Ace: "A friend of mine, Ronnie Mancuso, who co-wrote the song, he brought the song over to my house and it was called 'Green Tea'. [Laughs] It was, like, an anti-drug song, and I really didn't want to go there. I've been sober 12 years, [but] I don't want to preach to anybody. If you want to drink and take drugs, that's your business. I did it for God knows how long, but the reason I called my book 'No Regrets' is I felt I had to go through all that nonsense to get to where I am today, 12 years sober. So Ronnie brought over the song, and I said, 'I like the music but I hate the lyrics,' so pretty much we erased all the lyrics and I re-wrote all the lyrics. It's kind of autobiographical about growing up in the Bronx." On the benefits of sobriety: Ace: "I remember after I did [2009's] 'Anomaly', somebody said to me, 'You know, you haven't done an album in twenty years.' I said, 'Yeah, I know — I was drunk.' It makes you non-productive. Pot makes you lethargic — for me, anyway. Since I got sober, I've become much more creative, a much better producer, a much better songwriter, and I'm much more focused on what I'm doing. I show up on time; I go to bed early, get up early." On producing his own albums: Ace: "I call the shots. When I worked with KISS, it was like fighting with four guys and a producer, and now that I produce my own records, I have complete freedom." "Spaceman" was released on October 19 via eOne.
SLASH On Returning To GUNS N' ROSES: 'It Turned Out To Be One Of The Greatest Things That I Ever Did'
GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash was recently interviewed by syndicated radio DJ Theresa Rockface. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the music video for "Driving Rain", the first single from his new solo album "Living The Dream": Slash: "The puppets are great. Sort of the origins of this whole thing with the video was, the song itself, it's pretty dark subject matter. They always [say], 'Okay, we've got to do a video,' and I hate videos, but I was, like, 'Okay,' so we went to some different directors, and everybody had this very sort of dark and dramatic live-action kind of concept going, with actors in a relationship and everything. I was, like, 'This is just too serious and too boring,' so I thought if we did something animated, we can keep the sort of dark tone, but we can make it a little more upbeat. I went to this animation house whose stuff you're probably really familiar with and don't even know it — they're called Stoopid Buddy, and they do 'Robot Chicken' and those animated Super Bowl commercials, and they've done a couple movies and whatnot — so I said, 'Okay, we need to do a video for next to nothing in two weeks about this,' and I gave them the song. They came up with this idea of doing these puppets, and it was just awesome. I went down to their headquarters where they were actually putting together the components for the video. There was this little team that they had down there — a guy and three girls — and they put together the puppets, which are actually about [two feet tall]. They had all their different facial expressions that they could change for each frame... they were into it and so enthusiastic and passionate about it, so it was just a fun thing all around." On Myles Kennedy, the vocalist for his solo backing band, THE CONSPIRATORS: Slash: "He's great. To work with him, artistically, he's great, because he's really open-minded. He can find a melody in almost anything, which makes my job easier. I come up with musical stuff, and I'd say eight times out of ten, things I come up with, he'll find a really great melody for, which is pretty awesome and prolific. As a person, he's really laid-back. He's not a 'rock star' at all. He's very sort of soft-spoken, mild-mannered and just really easygoing, so he's a pleasure to work with." On performing: Slash: "The thing is about playing live for me is it's a great platform for me to be able to improvise. I probably get the most practicing in, and the most creative output from coming up with ideas on the fly while we're out there in front of a bunch of people as opposed to sitting around on the couch, trying to think up something." On whether there are any great riffs that have not yet been written: Slash: "That's the journey, right? I'm always keeping a guitar with me for the most part everywhere I go, and just messing around and seeing if something comes up, and if you have an idea, just applying it to the guitar immediately so you can capture it immediately before it disappears." On rock music: Slash: "Rock n' roll, I don't want to be cliché, but that's what turned me on when I started, and it's always going to be the thing for me. I'll always be putting out records that are that. As far as what everybody else is doing, it's struggling as I guess what you would call a genre, but I think because of where it's at right now, it's making a lot of kids sort of rise to the top of the heap as far as doing it for the right reasons. There's no money to be made in it; there's none of those lures that you used to have — cars and money and chicks and Learjets and all that shit. If you want to do this, you've got to be doing it for the passion of it, with really no other real rewards except for making cool music." On Lemmy: Slash: "One thing that always comes to mind is, people have this sort of preconceived image of what a rock star or what a rock personality, what they're supposed to act like or what their image is supposed to be. Lemmy's one of the most hard-ass, on the surface, people in rock n' roll. He definitely looked the part of dangerous. He definitely looked like the drinker and all that. The thing is, he was such a well-spoken, well-read, educated and compassionate [person]. He was very much the gentleman, and he was very conscious of other people's feelings, but he didn't take any shit, so he was a really interesting dichotomy of all these different things that people don't understand when they look at him. They think, 'I'm supposed to act like a bad-ass and act like a dick to be a rock star,' and that's not the case. I think he was a great sort of icon to change that." On GUNS N' ROSES playing the VELVET REVOLVER song "Slither" live: Slash: "It was cool to do it. In a way, I think it was sort of cathartic for Duff [McKagan] and I to be doing it. Scott [Weiland] was always very supportive of the idea of GUNS getting back together, and I was such the anti-GUNS guy. I have to be honest. It was just me being stubborn and whatnot, so it was great being up there performing that song, something that we did with Scott, and [since] he had always thought that we should get back together, it had a combination of little things to it." On why he's continuing to perform with THE CONSPIRATORS: Slash: "I'd been doing this thing with Myles and the guys since 2010. That was basically what I was doing aside from different side projects. That was the main thing, so when GUNS came along, that was huge, and it turned out to be one of the greatest things that I ever did, but at the same time, I didn't want to quit this relationship that I'd established and the chemistry I'd discovered with these guys. Great chemistry with musicians doesn't happen very often. You're lucky to have it happen once, and I'm fortunate enough to have it happen twice. I wasn't going to disband that just so I could focus on GUNS full-time, because GUNS doesn't take up every hour of the day, and I will squeeze in those extra hours to do something working with Myles and those guys." Slash released "Living The Dream", his fourth solo album (and third with Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS), on September 21 via his own label, Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.
DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT On Seeing RICK ALLEN Play Drums With One Arm For The First Time: 'It Was Astonishing'
DEF LEPPARD vocalist Joe Elliott was recently interviewed by "All Things Considered" host Dave Lawrence of HPR/Hawaii Public Radio. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the band's rapid rise during their 1983 in support of "Pyromania": Joe: "It was all a bit of a whirlwind, that whole tour, because you have to remember that it started off for us at The Marquee in London, which was Phil Collen's first-ever show with the band, in front of about 800 people in February. Then by September, a mere [eight] months later, we were doing 55,000 in San Diego. It was like what we used to read about for bands like LED ZEPPELIN — it was just ridiculous." On his lifelong passion for music: Joe: "I think you are born with a vocation, and if you're lucky and born in the right place at the right time, you can maybe fulfill that thing. For people to get to be that one guy that lands on the moon or the guy that can fix your brain if it's broken, it's something you're born with an ability to do should you get the opportunity. I think for me, music's always been that thing." On naming DEF LEPPARD: Joe: "I came up with it in '75 when I was still in school. It was in an art class... the great thing about art is it's subjective, so you can talk to the teacher and go, 'Look, I don't want to do this bowl of fruit. Can I do a rock poster?' I'd do that, and I spent the whole term just making up posters for bands that I'd like to see or wish I've seen. Eventually, I just started making names up because I got bored, and one of them just happened to be DEF LEPPARD. It was spelled correctly at the time. I just thought it sounded good — it had a nice phonetic sound to it, like LED ZEPPELIN or THE BEATLES. It rolled off the tongue well. It was Tony [Kenning], our original drummer, who suggested we change the spelling... It wasn't simply done to copy ZEPPELIN. When we first had it written out on the wall of our rehearsal room, it was spelled correctly. Tony just drew a line through the A and stuck a line down the O so we could still see the original spelling, but he had graffiti on top. It wasn't until maybe a month later when somebody wrote it out again that we noticed, 'Well, it looks like LED ZEPPELIN,' but at the time, we all went, 'We'd rather look like them than THE FLYING LIZARDS, so stick with it.' Silly name, really, but look at racehorses — I don't think I've ever seen one that doesn't have a silly name. They all seem to work. I was probably 14 years old. It was just two words — it could have been anything. It's become iconic now, but at the time, it was like, 'Whatever.' It just grew into itself. Happy accidents are always the best way." On the car accident that cost drummer Rick Allen his arm: Joe: "We were never going to fire him because of an accident. That's just not the British way of doing things... It wasn't a business. It was a cliquey little club that was ours and ours alone, and when one of us gets kind of lost by the wayside, it's a hard thing to bring somebody else in. Even back in the early days, when Tony decided — God bless him — he'd rather go to the movies with his girlfriend than rehearse, we had to get another drummer, because the four of us didn't want to stop just because he did. It was incredibly difficult to get rid Pete Willis, and it was hard to make a choice to replace Steve [Clark], because we all saw a unit in that respect. Obviously, we're not quite as solid as a band like U2 because they've never had to deal with that kind of thing. When you think about they had the same four guys that started about nine months after we did, it's quite an astonishing achievement that they are still as big and as popular as they are. With us, when Steve was struggling with his drinking, we rallied around him. With Pete, when he was struggling with his, we rallied around him as long as we possibly could until he got impossible, which is why we got Phil in. When Rick lost his arm, there was no way we were going to say, 'Okay, you're done, so we're just going to put an advert out for someone else.' I'd be lying if we didn't think as human beings that, gone through what he'd just gone through, he probably wouldn't play the drums again. We all thought that for maybe two or three days until he came out of the coma he was in. Once he was upright, he actually said, 'I think I figured a way around it.' I remember me and Phil kind of looking at each other and [thinking], 'Yeah, that's the drugs talking.' We went back to work on the album, because he'd already played a load of drums on what was the first draft of 'Hysteria', so we had lots of work to be getting on with overdubs and stuff like that where he didn't need to be there. We did all that and let him get on with it, and he was there in the background just chiseling away in his mind about move everything he did with that one limb into his leg. Then he had to put into practice, and he locked himself away with an electronic drum kit. We never went anywhere near him. It would have been wrong to hover over his shoulder, watching him re-learn how to play, so we left him alone until he decided he wanted us to hear it. After about four or five months, I remember he came into the control room in the studio in Holland and said, 'I want you to come and listen to something.' We all went in there not knowing what to expect, and it was quite simple, but he just started playing the beginning of 'When The Levee Breaks' by LED ZEPPELIN, and it was astonishing. It was, like, 'My God — if you shut your eyes, it sounds like a drummer.' That was the beginning. He didn't play his first gig until the summer of '86, so he had a good 18 months to get his head wrapped around it all. The first two or three shows, we took out a second drummer just to give him that confidence, and like most things, another happy accident — the drummer gets fogged in. We were borrowing him from another band and he was flying into Ireland where we were playing some clubs, and he got fogged in in the U.K. and he couldn't make the gig, so Rick had no choice but to play on his own. Because he got three under his belt, he was actually confident to play on his own, and he was brilliant. From that moment on, we were pretty much back to being self-sufficient again. We never had any pressure from the label or the management, because they knew the kind of band we were. We were never going to have any of it. It's a family — we don't necessarily always agree on everything, and we've had a few rough times and fights and disagreements like most marriages do. But for the most part, it's been an astonishing ride. It still is. The fact that Rick is still around all these years later, and he's not just managing — he's actually a much better musician now than he ever was before. He has to think harder, because he doesn't have that natural swing of two arms. He has to plan how he's going to do things with a bit more thought, which suits the songs better. It made everybody reevaluate the way that we arrange songs and play them for the benefit. I'm not suggesting that people lop off an arm to improve their musicianship, but with Rick, it was another happy accident. The actual accident wasn't happy, but the resulting improvement of the band as a structural unit was the happy accident after the very unhappy accident." DEF LEPPARD's American co-headlining tour with JOURNEY wrapped up on October 7 in Inglewood, California. On November 30, the band will release a new greatest-hits compilation, "The Story So Far - The Best Of", as well as "Hysteria: The Singles", a new limited-edition, 10-disc vinyl box set featuring all of the seven-inch singles from the band's multi-platinum 1987 album "Hysteria".
NICKELBACK Bassist Says Band Uses Radio Data As A 'Barometer For What People Want To Hear' During Its Concerts
NICKELBACK bassist Mike Kroeger recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On planning the band's live production: Mike: "It's pretty much an open creative process, and it's not unlike writing songs, because it is creative as well. It is more of a visual creation for the most part, but we're also always trying to find ways to involve the crowd, bring the crowd into the show, and maybe even bring people out of the audience onto the stage." On the difficulties of assembling a setlist: Mike: "It is one of those challenges. It is not easy. It's been really, really hard to do that, because we have had songs that have done very well. That's a really great problem to have when you have a whole bunch of songs that people want to hear you play every night. Inevitably, we end up throwing out at least one or two No. 1 singles that we just don't have time to play, but the way that we do it, and the way that we've been figuring it out, is by using data from radio, et cetera about what played well and what charted well — using that as a barometer for what people want to hear. When you go to Europe is when it's really interesting, because very often, you're playing a different country every night. They all have different radio proclivities that you really have to research. We'll be in one country like Germany where the single 'What Are You Waiting For?' went over huge, and then we'll drive to some place like France where it didn't, and something else did well there, so we do a lot of swapping based on what data we can gather of what works." On his favorite songs to perform live: Mike: "The real thing that kind of spices it up for me is the ones that are a little bit harder to play, that are just a little bit more up, a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more metal — things like 'Feed The Machine', the song itself. You really have to be on your game to play that tightly and make it impactful and effective. That's one I like, just because it's a good challenge. I like it when the challenge is set in front of you." On whether the group writes on the road: Mike: "It has happened, but you never know. It is a writing bug, and it comes and goes. Sometimes on tour, it comes, and other times on tour, it just doesn't. It's momentary — you never know. Being the way that technology is now, you can write pretty much anywhere you can make a sound, [and] you can record that sound and save that idea. That has been used many, many times in the past by us." On why the group asked BAD WOLVES to support their February Australian tour: Mike: "They were brought to us by our agent when we were looking for support. That's always the hardest part — finding support that's going to work, that we're going to like, that's going to also leave a mark and bring in some more people. That's what these guys [offer]. Apparently, they're on their way to something, and they're getting things going and looking really good. That cover [of THE CRANBERRIES' 'Zombie']... I think it's a fantastic choice. I kind of regret that we didn't get to it first, but good on 'em for doing that. It's a fantastic song." Kroeger co-founded NICKELBACK in 1995 in Alberta, Canada with his brother Chad, who fronts the band. They have released nine albums, six of which have gone platinum. With more than 50 million units sold, NICKELBACK is the 11th best-selling music act and second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. in the 21st century behind THE BEATLES. "How You Remind Me" was named Billboard's top rock song of the decade and reached No. 4 on the Top 10 songs of the 2000s list. Besides nine Grammy Award nominations, the band has received three American Music Awards, a World Music Award, a People's Choice Award, twelve JUNO Awards, seven MuchMusic Video Awards and induction into Canada's Walk Of Fame.
THE HEARD Feat. Ex-CRUCIFIED BARBARA, DEATHSTARS Members: 'A Death Supreme' Single Available
THE HEARD, the new Swedish rock band featuring former CRUCIFIED BARBARA guitarist Klara "Force" Rönnqvist Fors, bassist Ida "Evileye" Stenbacka and drummer Nikki Wicked (a.k.a. Jannicke Lindström) alongside DEATHSTARS bassist Jonas "Skinny Disco" Kangur (on lead guitar) and burlesque performer, model and singer Pepper Potemkin, has released a new single, "A Death Supreme". The song is taken from THE HEARD's upcoming debut album, "The Island", which is due on November 2 via Despotz Records. "A Death Supreme" tells the story of a female writer who moves out to the island in hope for a better life. But her past catches on and instead of becoming an ugly corpse she chooses "a death supreme." The music and its harmonies reflect the beautiful but troubled soul. In the deep, dark waters of the Baltic Sea there is an island. A very peculiar island. At first glance, it might seem beautiful and peaceful, idyllic even, but the island's seductive powers are not all they seem. "The Island" revolves around the characters and places on this mysterious island. It is a concept album where the listener becomes acquainted with an island that is located somewhere between dream and reality, a place with room for both the ordinary and the supernatural. An island filled with both love and sorrow, where vitality and death live side by side. Although THE HEARD members' roots are firmly embedded in hard rock, they let their music grow wild and beyond genres. The result is a dynamic album that is not bound by either the heavy and hard, nor the soft and sheer. Says Klara: "'The Island' is a dream project. "Me, Ida and Nicki have been playing music together since our teenage years. Our thoughts about exploring the songwriting has been growing for a while. It was incredible to meet Skinny and Pepper who immediately understood our vision. "THE HEARD is very different musically compared to our previous work, and it's been very exciting to write a concept album. It's also been a pleasant escape from reality while making this album. "We love our intriguing, supernatural island world and hope our listeners will enjoy it as much as we do." "The Island" track listing: 01. The Island 02. A Death Supreme 03. Tower Of Silence 04. Sirens 05. It 06. Caller Of The Storms 07. Revenge Song 08. Queen Scarlet 09. Crystal Lake 10. Leaving The Island THE HEARD made its live debut in February 2018 at the Where's The Music festival in Norrköping, Sweden. THE HEARD is: * Klara Force (CRUCIFIED BARBARA) - Guitar * Ida Evileye (CRUCIFIED BARBARA) - Bass * Nikki Wicked (CRUCIFIED BARBARA) - Drums * Jonas "Skinny Disco" Kangur (DEATHSTARS) - Lead Guitar * Pepper Potemkin - Vocals CRUCIFIED BARBARA announced its breakup in June 2016, two years after the release of the band's fourth album, "In The Red". The group explained at the time that "our lives have parted and we need to move on. The last years have taken its toll on all of us and the joy of playing together got lost somewhere along the way."
ELUVEITIE Begins Recording New Album
Swiss folk metallers ELUVEITIE are working on the follow-up to their highly acclaimed 2017 album "Evocation II - Pantheon". The band is recording the new disc at Tommy Vetterli's Newsound Studio in Switzerland. A year ago, ELUVEITIE released the single "Rebirth", which gave fans a sample of what they can expect to hear on the forthcoming album. The official video for "Rebirth" was produced by Wolfgang Wolman and Oliver Sommer (AVA Studios) and can be seen below. A very special 10th-anniversary edition of ELUVEITIE's second studio album, "Slania", will be released on November 16 via Nuclear Blast. "Slania - 10 Years" contains a number of bonus tracks, including demos and acoustic versions. ELUVEITIE in May 2016 announced the departure of drummer Merlin Sutter, vocalist Anna Murphy and guitarist Ivo Henzi. The band's new lineup made its live debut at the Eluveitie & Friends festival in January 2017 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland. ELUVEITIE is: * Jonas Wolf - guitars * Matteo Sisti - whistles, bagpipes, mandola * Nicole Ansperger - fiddle * Alain Ackermann - drums * Chrigel Glanzmann - vocals, whistles, mandola, bagpipes, bodhran * Fabienne Erni - vocals, celtic harp, mandola * Kay Brem - bass * Michalina Malisz - hurdy gurdy * Rafael Salzmann - guitars

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