VINNIE VINCENT Recruits Singer JIM CREAN For Next Month's Comeback Concerts
Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent has recruited Jim Crean to handle lead vocals during his two comeback concerts on February 8 and 9 at the Rocketown Entertainment Complex in Nashville, Tennessee. Also appearing with Vincent will be drummer Carmine Appice (VANILLA FUDGE, ROD STEWART, JEFF BECK, BLUE MURDER) and bassist Tony Franklin (DAVID GILMOUR, JIMMY PAGE, THE FIRM). A recording/touring musician for well over 35 years, Crean has released four solo albums on major labels, including his latest effort, "Insatiable", which was issued through Carmine's label Rocker Records. The vocalist for the popular tribute band HAIR NATION, Crean has been rocking bars and nightclubs in the Buffalo area since the eighties. He has opened many a show for such national acts as Bret Michaels, SLAUGHTER and DOKKEN. Crean also makes a guest appearance on "Sinister", the first joint studio album by Carmine and his drumming brother Vinny Appice, which was released in October 2017. Robert Fleischman, a former member of JOURNEY and Vincent's post-KISS band VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, was originally supposed to sing for Vinnie at the Nashville concerts but abruptly pulled out of the project in November, saying that he was unhappy about elements of the production. "I think a lot of you know my history with Mr. Vincent [has] been a rollercoaster or two," he said in a Facebook post. "Things were not feeling good on the business side… The promoter extremely low-balled me to the point of it being insulting… The amount of money he offered and the poor organization and lack of respect." He also criticized the poster advertising the dates, which listed Appice and Franklin as members of Vincent's "all-star band" but only credited Fleischman "in tiny little letters which would take a microscope to read it." He continued: "After that, I said to myself, 'I'm not going down this road again,'" and added: "Unfortunately, some people don't learn from their past. Well, I do. I'm not going to hop on that train ever again." Vincent — who was a member of KISS when the band publicly "unmasked" in 1983 — made several public appearances last year after spending the past two decades out of the public eye. Vinnie joined KISS in 1982, replacing Ace Frehley. As the "Ankh Warrior," he toured with the group in support of "Creatures Of The Night", on which he played lead guitar on six songs prior to becoming an official member of the band. A new promotional video for the Nashville shows can be seen below.
ROB ZOMBIE Clarifies Confusion Regarding '3 From Hell' Film: 'The Movie Is Not Finished Yet'
Rob Zombie took to Instagram earlier today (Thursday, January 17) to correct reports on various web sites that claimed he had completed work on "3 From Hell", the sequel to his earlier films "House Of 1,000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects". The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Zombie's January 14 post on Instagram included photos of him directing all three pictures, under which he wrote: "It took awhile to complete the trilogy but we did it. Top pic is shooting House Of 1000 Corpses in 2001 — shooting The Devil's Rejects in 2004 and finally shooting 3 From Hell in 2018. Quite a fucking journey to say the least." After a number of media outlets took Rob's words to mean that he had finished "3 From Hell", the rocker-turned-filmmaker clarified his remarks, writing: "So folks seem confused by my post saying I completed my Rejects trilogy. I said the trilogy is complete but the movie 3 From Hell is not finished yet. Still got a couple months of work left. It's getting there and it is fucking awesome." Zombie returned to the edit bay after a summer tour with Marilyn Manson to finish work on the film, which will reunite Sid Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley as the members of the psychopathic, sadistic Firefly family. Moseley told Rue-Morgue last fall that the new film was a "crowd-pleaser," adding, "From what I've heard from Rob, he's very happy and excited about what he's got, and it's chockablock with gratuitous violence." During an appearance on "Trunk Nation", Zombie said that he didn't envision the original story being fleshed out over three movies when he first started writing it more than 15 years ago. "Every time I would finish a movie… After the second one, I thought, 'We're done with it,' but I always think that with every movie," he admitted. "And then you kind of live with it for a long time, and the movies sort of take on a life of their own, or they start getting popular and the fans really start embracing them and the characters, and you start thinking, 'Well… Hmmm… What if I did this? What if I did that?' This one, it's 14 years in between the two films, so it's been a long time; it wasn't really a rush to make it, by any means." It's not clear whether Zombie plans to resurrect the Firefly trio from the dead in some kind of supernatural fashion in the new film or has found a way to explain that they survived the original movie's climactic shootout. "The Devil's Rejects" is widely considered Zombie's best film. It's a semi-sequel to his directorial debut, 2003's "House Of 1,000 Corpses", which introduced the Firefly family. "3 From Hell" was shot in California and has yet to nail down a release date. Zombie has also completed work on a new LP, which will be out later this year and will follow up 2016's "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser".
MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Invites You To 'Experience Hendrix' Tour
A short video message from MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine inviting his fans to the upcoming "Experience Hendrix" tour can be seen below. The critically acclaimed multi-artist celebration of Jimi Hendrix's musical genius is returning in 2019 with its biggest ever tour — 30 dates through the East Coast, South and Midwest. What began as a single-show tribute at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2000 has blossomed into a full-fledged concert experience that has thrilled countless fans across the U.S. The tour presents a host of great artists collaborating and interpreting Hendrix's legendary songs as part of a powerhouse, three-hour concert experience. This latest edition of the much-anticipated tour once again emphasizes the influence Hendrix has made on a diverse group of artists. The concerts will bring together artists as disparate as guitar wizard Joe Satriani, blues great Taj Mahal, Ernie Isley and Dweezil Zappa. Mustaine will make his "Experience Hendrix" tour debut while mainstays such as Billy Cox, Jonny Lang, and Eric Johnson will also be on board for the expedition. The "Experience Hendrix" tour offers fans a rare opportunity to see many highly regarded players performing together in a unique setting. 15-time Grammy Award nominee Joe Satriani will make his long-awaited return when the tour kicks off March 3 kickoff in Pompano Beach, Florida. Notable for being the biggest-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time, Satriani came to the forefront with the release of his 1987 solo album "Surfing With The Alien". He has worked with Mick Jagger, DEEP PURPLE, Alice Cooper, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and the fabled SPINAL TAP and is a member of rock supergroup CHICKENFOOT. In keeping with the spirit of the "Experience Hendrix" tour, Satriani has formed an all-star trio especially for the occasion, calling upon bassist and vocalist Doug "dUg" Pinnick from KING'S X and prolific sideman Kenny Aronoff on drums to serve as his rhythm section. Originally the lead guitarist for METALLICA, Dave Mustaine next founded MEGADETH in 1983 and the group has earned a loyal, worldwide following. The Southern California native can be considered an architect of the speed metal movement, which is one of many branches on the family tree of heavy, guitar-based music that can be traced back to Jimi Hendrix. With five platinum albums and one multi-platinum album under his belt, Mustaine and his sound are institutions in the rock world. The 2019 "Experience Hendrix" tour will be his first. Mustaine expressed his excitement about being part of the tour. "Jimi Hendrix. The name that comes to my mind as one the 'premier American guitarists of all time,'" he said. "An innovator and legendary musician. I am beyond honored to do my part in this tribute to the immortal Jimi Hendrix, and want to thank ['Experience Hendrix' tour producer] John McDermott for inviting me to play along such mind-blowing guitarists as Joe Satriani, and a personal favorite of mine, Eric Johnson. See you there!" Also hitting the road this time around will be Billy Cox, bassist for both Jimi Hendrix's BAND OF GYPSYS and the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE. Cox has been the backbone of the tour since its inception, providing a spiritual connection between the past and present. Two other artists who enjoyed friendships with Hendrix will also take part. Blues legend Taj Mahal and guitar Ernie Isley each make a welcome return to the tour, as does the dynamic guitar and vocalist Jonny Lang, the legendary Eric Johnson, Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo of LOS LOBOS, drummer and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and DOUBLE TROUBLE fame as well as Calvin Cooke and Chuck Campbell, the "Sacred Steel" slide guitar masters known as The Slide Brothers, Mato Nanji of Indigenous and Henri Brown. "The tour is more than a series of concerts," said Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. "It's a celebration of a man whose amazing gift changed the face of music and informed an entire culture. His influences were varied and diverse. And this year we're shining a light on that diversity with artists who represent it across cultures and who also share a love for Jimi and his music. It's exciting to be able to honor Jimi's enduring legacy in this way." 2019 "Experience Hendrix" tour dates: Mar. 03 - Pompano Beach, FL – Pompano Beach Amphitheater Mar. 04 - Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall Mar. 05 - Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts Mar. 06 - Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre Mar. 08 - North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center Mar. 09 - Atlanta, GA – The Fox Theatre-Atlanta Mar. 10 - Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn Symphony Center Mar. 11 - Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center Mar. 12 - Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theater Mar. 14 - Raleigh, NC – Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Mar. 15 - Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium Mar. 16 - Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre Mar. 17 - Cincinnati, OH – The Taft Theatre Mar. 19 - Louisville, KY – Palace Theatre Mar. 20 - Madison, WI – Overture Center for the Arts Mar. 21 - Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater Mar. 22 - Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre Mar. 23 - Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre Mar. 24 - Charleston, WV – The Clay Center Mar. 26 - Washington, DC – Warner Theatre Mar. 27 - Bensalem, PA – Xcite Center at Parx Casino Mar. 28 - Westbury, NY – Theatre At Westbury Mar. 29 - Newark, NJ – New Jersey Performing Arts Center Mar. 30 - Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino Apr. 01 - Syracuse, NY – Landmark Theatre Apr. 02 - Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre Apr. 03 - Albany, NY – Palace Theatre Apr. 04 - Lowell, MA – Lowell Memorial Auditorium Apr. 05 - New Bedford, MA – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center Apr. 06 - Wallingford, CT – Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theater
Video: BLAZE BAYLEY Performs Acoustic Version Of IRON MAIDEN's 'Futureal' Live On Brazilian TV
British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley (IRON MAIDEN, WOLFSBANE) recently performed acoustic versions of IRON MAIDEN's "Futureal" and his solo song "A Thousand Years" live on the Brazilian TV show "A Hora da Venenosa". Check out video footage below. Bayley will release the "Live In France" live album and DVD on March 1. The set will contain a recording of Blaze's May 25, 2018 and May 26, 2018 concerts at Chez Paulette, near Nancy, France. The 55-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, was the original frontman in WOLFSBANE, but left in 1994 to join IRON MAIDEN. He recorded two studio albums with the Steve Harris-led group — 1995's "The X Factor" and 1998's "Virtual XI" — before Bruce Dickinson returned to the band. In a 2017 interview with Spain's EMP Live, Blaze talked about the obstacles he faced while trying to become accepted by MAIDEN fans as Bruce's replacement. "I think for all of us, if we fall in love with a band and we fall in love with a voice, it is very difficult to make an adjustment to a new voice," he explained. "And for me, I had incredible support from thousands of fans all over the world. But there are some fans that hated me, hated my voice and they still do. And that's okay, because it's not for everyone. "My style is very different to Bruce, and when [IRON MAIDEN] chose me to replace Bruce, I was very surprised because my voice is so different," he continued. "But it is the most incredible job. As a heavy metal singer, it's perhaps the number one job that you can have — to be the singer of IRON MAIDEN. So my passion and my heart was there, and the music that we made on 'The X Factor' and 'Virtual XI', which have been re-released now on vinyl, was incredible. And people that perhaps didn't like the change at the time, now they go back and listen differently, with fresh ears, to the records and the music that we made then, and perhaps that's why now I've become more popular than I ever was after IRON MAIDEN. Now, more than twenty years, people really start to take notice of what Blaze Bayley is doing." According to Blaze, his dismissal from MAIDEN in January 1999 came as a total shock, but he doesn't believe the band was completely to blame for the decision. "The main reason that I was leaving IRON MAIDEN is because of EMI [MAIDEN's record label] and the business," he said. "That is what I believe. At the time, BLACK SABBATH had the reunion with Ozzy [Osbourne], DEEP PURPLE had the original lineup with Ian Gillan reunion, and CD sales worldwire were going down. And I think the record company put a lot of pressure on the band to have a reunion. So, for me, it was a horrible time, but it is still a time I think of very fondly. And Steve Harris [IRON MAIDEN bassist] was really like a mentor to me and taught me so much about songwriting. So those values and the things that he taught me are things that I put into my own work now." Blaze also shot down speculation that there was bad blood between him and Dickinson, insisting that the two singers have always had an amiable relationship. "Bruce Dickinson and I have been friends before [I was in] IRON MAIDEN, and Bruce Dickinson was very supportive of me when I was in IRON MAIDEN and after IRON MAIDEN," Blaze said. "When he had his own radio show, he helped me and played my music on his show. And my newest video, for 'Escape Velocity', was actually filmed at his aircraft simulator. So he had helped me a great deal." The third album in Blaze's "Infinite Entanglement" trilogy was released in March 2018. Titled "The Redemption Of William Black", it was the tenth album of Blaze's solo career.
Watch BEARTOOTH's 'You Never Know' Video
"You Never Know", the new video from BEARTOOTH, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's third album, "Disease", which was released in September via Red Bull Records. The disc was recorded at BlackBird studio in Franklin, Tennessee with producer Nick Raskulinecz (DEFTONES, KORN, FOO FIGHTERS). Vocalist Caleb Shomo told Kerrang! that "You Never Know" was written with with Drew Fulk. "It was the first song we wrote together," he said. "We wrote it about 40 minutes. We just went and got coffee and talked about things going on in our lives and our mental states at the time and just sort of came to a common ground and the song just rolled out from there." "It's a jammer — play it loud!" Shomo advised. Caleb previously called "Disease" "by far the hardest" album to make so far. "This was hands down the most difficult record I've ever made — it's the most depression and anxiety-fuelled album I've ever made" he said. "It was a really, really hard thing to get through. Emotionally, I mean, good Lord! By the end, I was in a really fucking bad place. It was tough to fight through. "Once I've committed to making a record a certain way, there's no fucking backing out," he added. "Say I'm doing a drum track, and a few of the snare hits are off, you just throw a drum sample on and nobody knows any difference. But I couldn't do that, because I chose for it to be real instruments. So I would sit there and do fucking drum take after drum take, and it was this psychotic fucking thing of, 'It probably can't be played any better, but it's not fucking good enough!' And then freaking out and playing it over and over again. There was a whole lot of stress that I felt making this album. It was basically between the fight of: 'Do I really make a fucking true and honest record?' or: 'Do I just cop out and make the singles that I know people are going to want to hear? What do I do?' But I chose to make an honest record, and I'm really glad I made that choice."
JASON BECKER Looks Back On His DAVID LEE ROTH Audition: 'It Was Very Exciting'
Jason Becker, the guitarist/composer who has had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease) for close to 30 years, was recently interviewed by Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's RockSverige. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. RockSverige: You auditioned for [David Lee Roth] at his house in Pasadena. Take us back to that first day when you walked into the house and met him and the band. Jason: "It was very exciting. At that time, I was pretty confident about my guitar playing. Once I met Dave and all the guys in the band, I was totally comfortable. They all made me feel so appreciated and they all took me under their wings and encouraged me and we became friends. They were professionals and they welcomed me and my youthful energy. At a fancy dinner at Dave's house, he made a toast to 'the new gunslinger in town.' My parents were there. The studio was downstairs and it was a very cool place to hang out." RockSverige: Two songs on [your new "Triumphant Hearts"] album, "Taking Me Back" and "Tell Me No Lies", go back to your time with Diamond Dave. Tell me about those two songs. Why didn't they end up on the album and were these songs recorded with vocals? Jason: "'Taking Me Back' was going to be a song on David Lee Roth's 'A Little Ain't Enough' (1991) album. It was recorded at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is from a cassette that [producer] Bob Rock gave me after I recorded my guitar parts. I know I would have redone the solo if Dave had decided to use it. Dave titled this song. I have a scratch track of David Lee Roth singing on this, and I love it, but I understand why he didn't finish it. With 'Tell Me No Lies', David Lee Roth asked me, Brett Tuggle, Gregg and Matt Bissonette to write a bluesy song for 'A Little Ain't Enough'. We all went to Brett's home, and this is what we did that day. It isn't quite what Dave was looking for, but it brings back good memories." RockSverige: After everything you've been through, how would you define true happiness? Jason: "Hmm… that’s a heavy one to ponder. I guess I would say true happiness is to love and be loved. Of course, having enough money for food, shelter, health care and things like that all help, but that is more about security. Generosity and kindness always feel good to give, and it never feels good to give grief or negativity. So, at the risk of sounding 'new age' about it, the answer would be true happiness is about love." Read the entire interview at RockSverige.
Watch JOE SATRIANI And NEAL SCHON Jam The Blues At 'G4 Experience V5.0: Rocks The Desert'
Iron Mike Savoia has uploaded video footage of Neal Schon (JOURNEY) and Joe Satriani (CHICKENFOOT) jamming the blues during Schon's January 6 concert at "Joe Satriani's G4 Experience V5.0: Rocks The Desert" at Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs, California. Check it out below. Satriani's fifth annual event also boasted Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Rick Nielsen (CHEAP TRICK), Carlos Alomar (David Bowie), Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES), Kiko Loreiro (MEGADETH) and Lari Basilio. Prior to this year's event, Satriani said: "The students that have come to the first four 'G4 Experiences' have been as unique and eclectic as you could imagine so for 'G4 Experience V5.0', I've put together a team of instructors that really reflects that diverse nature "The lineup this year is probably our best yet. It's so exciting, getting to be so totally immersed and getting to be so close to these great players. You never know what's going to happen, and at the end of the week, you'll think, I went somewhere beautiful, I had fun, I made some new friends, and I grew as a musician. And there's nothing better than that." Satriani was joined at "G4 Experience V5.0: Rocks The Desert" by his own touring band, Mike Keneally (guitar and keyboards), Bryan Beller (bass), and Joe Travers (drums), all of whom will also served as instructors and accompaniment for each night's all-star concert. Presented annually by Dreamcatcher Events, "Joe Satriani's G4 Experience V5.0: Rocks The Desert" is an all-inclusive event with a jam-packed schedule sure to keep guests involved from morning until the wee hours of the night. "Joe Satriani's G4 Experience V5.0: Rocks The Desert" featured four days and night of activities, including multiple workshops led by each instructor, access to fully loaded jam rooms, meet-and-greets, and exclusive nightly concert performances. Satriani's 16th solo album, "What Happens Next", arrived in January 2018 and is available now via Sony/Legacy Recordings. Neal Schon will embark on his "Journey Through Time" tour next month. Schon will take the stage alongside founding JOURNEY and SANTANA singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie, ex-JOURNEY drummer Deen Castronovo, bassist Marco Mendoza of THE DEAD DAISIES and THIN LIZZY, a musician named Chris Collins (on guitar and keyboards) and super-producer Marti Frederiksen (multi-instrumentalist, vocals).
MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'We've Still Got The Passion For The Music And The Lifestyle And Our Fans'
JZ of Little Falls, Minnesota radio station FM94's "The Dark" recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson about his ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE side project with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On what led to the formation of ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE: David: "In 2010, I came back into MEGADETH, we were out doing the 20th anniversary of 'Rust In Peace'. Along that, was also the 'Big Four' shows with METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX. We were kind of competitors back in the day, then we joined forces to unite for the movement and the fans. We did these big stadium shows around the world. During that process, Frank Bello and I started doing some bass clinics with our amplifier company called Hartke, based out of New York. When we were doing a clinic, I leaned over to him one night in London and I said, 'You and I should write some backing tracks and songs to have something to play at these bass clinics.' It's pretty cool — two well-known thrash metal bassists doing something. That's what led us writing together. What was interesting was when we started throwing ideas at each other, they weren't thrash metal ideas. [Laughs] Frank crafted these songs like 'Late'; it's a song that Frank brought in. I write more on guitar, to be honest with you. My stuff is actually a little more kind of riffy, guitar, hard rock, heavy metal riffy kind of stuff that I write. That was where it started. That was, I guess, five years ago when we started that. We put out that first EP in 2014 and since then, we've been diligently getting together working on this thing in Los Angeles at our producer's studio. We just needed to find the right time to put it out. We kind of thought we might put it out in 2018, but then Frank got busy, ANTHRAX was out doing a lot of the SLAYER farewell tour. We had this sliver of time right now in January and February of 2019 to put this out before we get busy with MEGADETH and ANTHRAX again." On who played bass on the band's forthcoming "Get It Out" full-length album: David: "On the record, I actually played bass on all of it. It was funny. Our roles sort of naturally developed inside of bands. In this case, of course, maybe a little more undecided because we are two bass players. It was funny, when we brought the songs in, we brought them in as guitar players. Frank is a really great singer to his songs. His voice really lends itself well inside of his music. He's a great lyricist. He and I collaborated on a lot of the lyrics on the record as well. He's a great narrator through lyric and through music. I really enjoyed playing bass to the music and songs that Frank brought in because they kind of remind me of this sort of CHEAP TRICK, late '70s kind of early '80s, new wave, Joe Jackson, CHEAP TRICK, THE CARS, that kind of music that was around back in those days that Frank and I grew up on in addition to the heavy metal stuff we both like." On the status of MEGADETH's next studio album: David: "We're working on it now. The whole last year, we've been writing and getting everything pieced together. That's the stage that it's in now, just getting arrangements all put together and we've each been putting parts down and working on that. Yeah, it's definitely coming along. I don't know exactly when the release will be. My thought is mid-to-late 2019. Records do take a while. It could be early 2020, but we'll definitely have some new music and some stuff for people to hear, I'm sure at some point this year. It's cool that we can still create good music. That doesn't happen all the time in groups, and I think with the 'Big Four', it's cool because we've all put out, I think, pretty compelling records here in recent years. That's a pretty good testimony that the juices haven't dried up. We've still got the passion for the music and the lifestyle and our fans." "Get It Out" will be released on January 18 via Megaforce. The follow-up to ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE's 2014 self-titled EP was once again produced by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, STONE SOUR), with Jeff Friedl (A PERFECT CIRCLE, ASHES DIVIDE) returning behind the kit. MEGADETH's next LP will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band nearly three years ago. MEGADETH will support OZZY OSBOURNE on the next North American leg of the BLACK SABBATH singer's "No More Tours 2" in May, June and July. MEGADETH's first-ever Megacruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel will set sail on October 13 from Los Angeles, California and hit ports of San Diego, California and Ensenada, Mexico before returning on October 18.
SOEN Feat. Ex-OPETH Drummer MARTIN LOPEZ: 'Lotus' Video
"Lotus", the new Costin Chioreanu-created video from SOEN, the progressive heavy rock group featuring world-renowned drummer Martin Lopez (formerly of AMON AMARTH and OPETH), can be seen below. The track is the title cut of SOEN's fourth album, which will be released on February 1 via Silver Lining Music. "'Lotus' is a summoning of like-minded people that have reached that turning point in their lives where they have had enough. Enough of meaningless and shallow societies and their expected standards," notes Lopez of the track, "Only once you have liberated yourself from these fake ideals and leave all of that behind, one can be truly free." Having spent the last six months digging deep into the muddy depths of their emotions, the nine songs comprising "Lotus" are intoxicating, addictive aural therapies, questioning much of today's darkness while juxtaposing them with moments of great escape and hope. "We are all very fortunate to have this place where we can go and explore thoughts, perspectives and emotions which everyday life maybe does not have the room for," says Lopez, one of SOEN's founding members. "There are definitely things that we say, and places we go, in SOEN which would be very hard to express without us coming together and creating music." Produced by David Castillo and Iñaki Marconi at Ghostward Studios and Studio 6 between July and October 2018, the album marks the first recorded SOEN work of new Canadian-born guitarist Cody Ford, whilst the center-point of the album remains those trademark, snap-heavy, progressive SOEN riffs. Songs such as "Rival", "Covenant" and "Martyrs" are dissertations on modern societies, fraught with poetic, finitely designed confusion and chaos, yet as the name "Lotus" suggests, there is still strength, beauty, and purity to be extracted from what at times seems like an endless cycle of human regression. "The world right now is undeniably a very strange, tense place," says Lopez. "I think the songs clearly reflect that, but they also reflect that we must now be stronger than ever in challenging, confronting, and dealing with the pandemonium life throws at us all." The lavish "Lotus" artwork features nothing other than an enigmatic and engaging copper-reflective pyramid, offering elements of the sixth sense and greater consciousness before gate-folding open to reveal a girl touched by the copper aura. "We each have our own personal ideas as to what it means," says Lopez, "but we'd much rather discuss what others think, what our audience thinks, what the media thinks... I think it's extremely important that we all communicate with each other and take the time to fully conceive our own meanings and interactions with life and creativity." "Ultimately," concludes vocalist Joel Ekelöf, "'Lotus' is about rising from whatever darkness, or dark places, you might find yourself. And its inspiration comes from a deep motivation to not just settle for the situation you might find yourself in. 'Lotus' is about changing life — both your own and your surroundings for which we must all take responsibility — and make them better rather than letting darkness pacify you and take you down." "Lotus" track listing: 01. Opponent 02. Lascivious 03. Martyrs 04. Lotus 05. Covenant 06. Penance 07. River 08. Rival 09. Lunacy SOEN will bring "Lotus" on the road as it tours Europe starting in March. SOEN is: Joel Ekelöf - vocals Martin Lopez - drums Lars Åhlund - keys, guitar Stefan Stenberg - bass Cody Ford - lead guitar
IMPELLITTERI Releases Music Video For 'Phantom Of The Opera'
IMPELLITTERI's music video for the song "Phantom Of The Opera" can be seen below. The track is taken from IMPELLITTERI's latest album, "The Nature Of The Beast", which was released in October via Frontiers Music Srl. Chris Impellitteri told Guitar World: "'The Phantom of the Opera' is a song I have wanted to remake since I was a kid. Yes, I realize that other bands like NIGHTWISH have also covered it, as well as IRON MAIDEN having a song with the same title, and I respect both artists immensely, but our version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece is very much IMPELLITTERI." "When we created our musical arrangement for this song, our collective band vision was to basically take the phantom on a wild musical ride through Hell! We wanted to turn the song into a speed/power metal type song. I will say our version can seem fairly challenging to play as a guitarist due to the various complex scale sequences, modes and speed at which we are playing. At the same time, the lead vocals are quite brutal on our singer, Rob Rock, as he had to sing both the male tenor part as well as the female vocal part, which resides in the alto and soprano ranges. "I am very pleased with the outcome of this song, especially my solos and tone. I used my Charvel custom shop Stratocaster and various vintage modified Marshall amps, pedals, and speaker cabs, while bassist James Pulli got a great growly bass tone with his Spector bass and vintage Ampeg SVT rigs." 30 years into their musical career, IMPELLITTERI have created a mind-blowing, highly energetic and thrilling new musical adventure with "The Nature Of The Beast". The band is on fire with their musical acrobatics, addictive riffs, shredding guitar solos, speed metal drumming, and screaming power metal vocals that are all ingredients in these killer songs! Like many of their talented peers, IMPELLITTERI continue to carry the torch for guitar driven heavy metal. On "The Nature Of The Beast", the band shines throughout, especially on songs like the power metal driven "Run For Your Life", the highly energetic remake of BLACK SABBATH's "Symptom Of The Universe", the lunacy of "Gates Of Hell", the addictive riff of "Hypocrisy", and the speed metal cover of "Phantom Of The Opera". "The new music was written with passion and a sincere love for heavy metal," states Chris Impellitteri. "I think as a band we grow stronger with each new album. Our artistic abilities seem to get better with age, but at the same time we seem to sound even more energetic, crazy, and youthful with this release. You could say the music on this newest musical child is an extension of our previous record, 'Venom'. I love the 'Venom' record, but I am currently obsessed by 'The Nature Of The Beast'. We are thrilled to share this new music with our FANS and friends around the world and I really hope they like it!" IMPELLITTERI recorded "The Nature Of The Beast" in Los Angeles, California with legendary engineer/producer Mike Plotnikoff (VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH, IN FLAMES), mix engineer Greg Reely (OVERKILL, FEAR FACTORY), and engineers Jun Murakawa and Sean Shannon. Like their childhood musical heroes, including Vivaldi, IRON MAIDEN, QUEEN, BLACK SABBATH, Al DiMeola, Paco de Lucia, John McLaughlin and Pavarotti, IMPELLITTERI strive for greatness — creating, performing and recording this new music with all four band members, Chris Impellitteri (guitars), Rob Rock (vocals), James Pulli (bass), and Jon Dette (drums) contributing stellar performances. The album was recorded in a grand fashion using large tracking rooms and vintage analog equipment to capture the bands live musical energy and performance. "As a guitarist, I challenge myself to conquer my human limitations," continues Chris. "I practice for hours each day to improve my technique. I also spend a lot of time customizing my guitars, amps, and pedals to achieve this crazy guitar sound. On this new record my guitar sound is really me trying to create a tone that sounds a bit like a chainsaw blended with a beautiful Stradivarius violin. It is Beauty and the Beast with lots of pick attack! The guitar solos have lots of technical shredding elements, but at the same time they are very melodic and I think fun for everyone to listen too. The riffs are also exciting for me to play as there is a lot of obvious influences that I brought to this new record." "The Nature Of The Beast" track listing: 01. Hypocrisy 02. Masquerade 03. Run For Your Life 04. Phantom Of The Opera 05. Gates Of Hell 06. Wonder World 07. Man Of War 08. Symptom Of The Universe (BLACK SABBATH cover) 09. Do You Think I'm Mad 10. Fire It Up 11. Kill The Beast 12. Shine On IMPELLITTERI is: Chris Impellitteri - Guitar Rob Rock - Vocals James Pulli - Bass Patrick Johansson - Drums Jon Dette - Drums* * Appears on studio album
PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, the project led by the former PANTERA and current DOWN/SUPERJOINT frontman, has announced the addition of former CATTLE DECAPITATION bassist/current SCOUR guitarist Derek Engemann to the group's ranks. Engemann — who takes the place of bass comrade Walter Howard (GRIEVED, OPPRESSIVE FORCE, VAGINAL BEAR TRAP) — will make his live debut with THE ILLEGALS beginning next week on the band's Latin American tour where the band will perform ILLEGALS tracks alongside a selection of PANTERA hits. Comments Anselmo of the new addition: "Derek is a brother; he's solid, driven, and talented. It's awesome to have him onboard and I look forward to jamming and writing with him. We're lucky to have him." Adds Engemann: "I'm very excited to share the stage with mi hermanos in THE ILLEGALS! It's also truly an honor to pay such a great tribute to Dime and Vinnie!" In March, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS will make its way to Australia and New Zealand on the "Thrash Blast Grind" tour with Australian grind practitioners and Housecore Records labelmates KING PARROT. The journey marks Anselmo's first visit to Australia in over five years and includes a headlining set at Slayfest in Perth on March 23. Additional support will be provided by PALM (Japan) and POTION (Australia). The summer months will find PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS playing a host of European festivals, including Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Hellfest in France, and Metaldays in Slovenia, with more performances to be announced in the weeks to come. PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' sophomore album, "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue", was released in January 2018 via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world. The disc is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews. Asked how his approach on "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue" was different to that on its predecessor, Anselmo told AXS: "Everything down from production on — even the musical direction — is, as it should be, very different. On [the first] record, I wanted to have a herky-jerky, thrash record — to a degree. [Laughs] That's what was on my mind. I think there might have been just brief glimpses of what was to come. But I also want to call attention to the fact that we also recorded a split with WARBEAST, and also we did a 'Housecore Horror' EP that not many people know about, and all of those releases sound different. And romantically, I prefer the sound of this band like an old '80s thrash metal demo more than some polished, produced thing."
SAXON's BIFF BYFORD Begins Recording Debut Solo Album
SAXON frontman Biff Byford has begun recording his debut solo album. The disc, which is tentatively due later in the year, will feature guest appearances by drummer Nicholas Barker (DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH) and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson (OPETH, ARCH ENEMY). Barker took to his Facebook page earlier today to write: "Just finished tracking drums for Biff Byford's upcoming solo album with Fredrik Åkesson of OPETH." Last June, Byford told Finland's Kaaos TV that he was writing a song with Åkesson for his solo LP. Asked which musicians he would like to work with, if he could, on the upcoming record, Biff said: "It'd have to be someone like Tony Iommi [BLACK SABBATH] or Eddie Van Halen [VAN HALEN] or something. I'm a bit of a guitar buff, so I like guitarists." Regarding whether his solo effort will be a musical departure from SAXON, Biff said, "It'll sound like SAXON, 'cause I'm singing — you know, it'll be my voice. But it'll be a more diverse album — not quite so focused on heavy metal, but more diverse." Byford told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" in April 2018 that he had seven songs written for his solo disc, adding that the record will probably feature a number of guest musicians. "I'm gonna ask various people [to appear on the record]," he said. "It's not easy for guitarists to work with you, because they just smack down their signature solo and off you go. Singers, I might do some duets and things. We'll see. I wanna get the songs written first, and then see who wants to work on them. I'll probably have a nucleus of a drummer and a bass player, although I might play bass myself. I've still got my Rickenbacker." Asked why he just doesn't use the extra material for a future SAXON album instead of setting it aside for his solo disc, Biff tod "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon": "Well, I did. Actually, 'Roadie's Song' [off SAXON's 2018 album 'Thunderbolt'] was a solo album project. And I do move them across all the time. And actually, originally, 'They Played Rock And Roll' was a solo-album idea [that also ended up on 'Thunderbolt']. So I do that all the time. And I do have songs that me and Nibbs have written for SAXON that I didn't think were right for SAXON that might end up on my solo album." In addition to Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn, SAXON's current lineup includes bassist Nibbs Carter, guitarist Doug Scarratt and drummer Nigel Glockler.
ROTTING CHRIST: Lyric Video For New Song 'The Raven'
Greek extreme metal veterans ROTTING CHRIST have unveiled a video for their new song "The Raven". It is the third track to be released from the band's upcoming album, "The Heretics", which will be released on February 15 via Season Of Mist. Frontman Sakis Tolis comments on the new song: "We proudly present to you 'The Raven', the third song from our upcoming new album, 'The Heretics'. It is the epilogue of the album, and one of our most atmospheric and melodic creations. It's a tribute to one of America's most (in)famous writers — Edgar Allan Poe — and more specifically to his influential poem of the same name. Enjoy 'The Raven' and see you soon on our heretical path!" The artwork for "The Heretics" was created by Greek artist Maximos Manolis. "The Heretics" track listing: 01. In The Name of God (04:14) 02. Vetry Zlye (03:13) 03. Heaven And Hell And Fire (04:52) 04. Hallowed Be Thy Name (05:06) 05. Dies Irae (03:46) 06. I Believe (03:42) 07. Fire God And Fear (04:50) 08. The Voice of the Universe (05:23) 09. The New Messiah (03:07) 10. The Raven (05:23) With "The Heretics", ROTTING CHRIST is opening a brand new chapter. Sakis, in collaboration with his brother Themis on drums, achieves a perfect balance of amalgamating the band's classic and unique style of riffing and rhythm with exciting new elements sprinkled in to keep its material exciting and fresh. The experience is enhanced by Jens Bogren's equally clear and transparent yet also massive as well as sombre mix and mastering at his widely renowned Fascination Street Studios (AMORPHIS, BORKNAGAR, MOONSPELL, DEVIN TOWNSEND). With more than 30 years, 13 studio albums, a dozen EPs, singles and split releases, as well as more than 1,250 shows under their belt, 2018 marked the year of ROTTING CHRIST's "Their Greatest Spells", where the band musically revisited its exciting legacy to connect its past with the present. Asked in an interview with Pavillon 666 if he thought ROTTING CHRIST would last 30 years upon the band's 1988 formation, Sakis said: "It's a full life. No, of course [not]…you don't start the band to exist for 30 years or to be famous or rich or whatever the fuck. We just started the band because I wanted to sound like my idols back then. I wanted to play only one show and now I'm in a position where I've played 1,500 shows. And, no, I didn't expect something like this, but the spirit remains the same, even if I'm not that young. I still have the spirit and the hope that if we are in good health to keep playing with the band until our death. If health permits, of course. It's not up to me. If health does not permit, then I will not serve." ROTTING CHRIST is: Sakis Tolis: vocals, guitar, keys Themis Tolis: drums George Emmanouil: lead guitar Van Ace: bass
THE NEAL MORSE BAND: 'Vanity Fair' Lyric Video
THE NEAL MORSE BANDNeal Morse (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards), Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Randy George (bass), Bill Hubauer (keyboards, vocals), Eric Gillette (guitars, vocals) — will take fans on "The Great Adventure" with its latest double concept album, due out January 25 on Radiant Records via Metal Blade worldwide. It will be available in three formats: a two-CD package, two-CD/DVD special edition featuring behind-the-scenes video clips of the making of the album, and three vinyl LPs. The official lyric video for the song "Vanity Fair", taken from "The Great Adventure", can be seen below. The follow-up to 2016's critically acclaimed "The Similitude Of A Dream" will be the ninth studio album with Morse, Portnoy and George, and the third as a true collaboration with this current lineup. Together, Morse and Portnoy have launched four bands, but the one that has endured the longest and thus with the most musical output has been THE NEAL MORSE BAND. "Let the great adventure now begin…" The closing line of "The Similitude Of A Dream" has proved to be strangely prophetic. The new album is exactly that: a perfect companion piece to "The Similitude Of A Dream"'s partial retelling of John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress". It has everything that fans would expect from an album by THE NEAL MORSE BAND, and more: rock, metal, classical and jazz elements appear throughout, as well as some killer melodies, all played faultlessly by some of the greatest rock musicians on the planet. As Neal Morse explains: "This band continues to amaze me! I have to say it was a little daunting to follow up 'The Similitude Of A Dream' as it was such a special album and it delivered every night at our concerts, but I believe that 'The Great Adventure' will have a tremendous impact as well. This new double album is everything that I hoped it would be! I listened through last night and I was in tears at the end!" Mike Portnoy emphatically agrees. He says: "How do you follow an epic double concept album??? Well, create another epic double concept album!! Hahaha. I always knew topping 'The Similitude Of A Dream' was going to be difficult, if not impossible, as I held it in such high regard, but alas, I am absolutely blown away with what we achieved here! We've created what is the ultimate companion to 'The Similitude Of A Dream'." "Sometimes there are things that you just can't mess with," Randy George continues. "On 'The Similitude Of A Dream', we tapped into something special. I was sure that the follow up should be something quite different, but you have to follow your heart and follow the music where it wants to go. 'The Great Adventure' is nothing short of a miracle. It's similar to 'Similitude' in concept and form, but yet it's tougher and deeper in its tone! This is a powerful work and I look forward to playing it live! True to the album's title, the creative process was indeed a "great adventure." Unlike many previous Morse albums, which have often been written and arranged within weeks, this time around these prolific and world-class musicians spent almost a year working on the end result, producing an abundance of top-quality material. This meant some ruthless decision-making: some already completed songs and characters had to go, and — with studio time running out–new links and ideas were being composed and recorded up to the eleventh hour. "A lot of work and re-work has gone into this," says Morse, "but I know that some of the most successful and far-reaching albums I've been involved with have been just like that. 'Sola Scriptura' and SPOCK'S BEARD's 'Snow' album come to mind." Another key question that had to be addressed in the studio was how to pull all the ideas together into a coherent whole. In the end, what unlocked this "adventure" for Morse was the realization that 'The Great Adventure' needed a new voice and perspective. This time, it is that of the Pilgrim's abandoned son, a younger, perhaps angrier, voice than was heard on "The Similitude Of A Dream". THE NEAL MORSE BAND will bring "The Great Adventure" to fans worldwide with a new round of headlining tour dates, which begin February 2 in Nashville at City Winery. Photo credit: Robert Smith
Los Angeles-based metal trio ATHANASIA — featuring former members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, SEBASTIAN BACH and MURDERDOLLS — will release a full-length album, "The Order Of The Silver Compass", on March 15 via Seeing Red Records and Rock of Angels Records. One might not expect the former members of such bands to be playing extreme metal, but ATHANASIA is more than your average power trio. Questioning the moral fabric of man amidst complex narratives tackling power, corruption and greed, the band's unique amalgamation of melodic metal is enough to satisfy the desires of casual listeners and extreme metal fans alike. Recorded and produced by Bingham at Nightmare Sound, "The Order Of The Silver Compass" embodies all things heavy, dark and stylish. The album's eight tracks were mixed by Chris Collier (PRONG, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, METAL CHURCH) at Mission:Black Studios and mastered by Joe Bozzi (MASTODON, L.A. GUNS) at Bernie Grundman Mastering, while Jorden Haley (DÅÅTH, DEICIDE, MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE) handled the cover art and design. ATHANASIA was founded in California by guitarist Caleb Bingham under the band's original name ASCENSION. As a result of passing the band's early demos around L.A.'s Sunset Strip, the young guitarist landed a gig with newly formed FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in 2005. Upon being released from the group in 2007, Bingham continued to write under the name ASCENSION, recording several more unreleased demos (and one EP) at the behest of veteran Roadrunner Records A&R Monte Conner. Largely due to the label's merger with WMG, negotiations broke down and the band was once again shelved while Bingham played with Swedish death metal act ZONARIA from 2010 to 2014. After parting ways with ZONARIA due to a leg injury sustained while playing with the group, Bingham decided to put all his efforts back into what he worked so hard to create. Joined by bassist Brandon Miller and veteran drummer Jason West (MURDERDOLLS, WEDNESDAY 13, SEBASTIAN BACH), Bingham resurrected the project under a new moniker, ATHANASIA, diligently recording its first full-length release over the span of several years. "I'm very proud to announce that after years of literal blood, sweat, tears and countless hours of hard work, ATHANASIA's debut LP, 'The Order Of The Silver Compass', is finally about to see the light of day," says Bingham. "Blast it in the car and you’ll notice your gas pedal hitting the floor in a matter of seconds!" ATHANASIA is: Caleb Bingham - guitar, vocals Brandon Miller - bass, vocals Jason West - drums "The Order Of The Silver Compass" track listing: 01. Read Between The Lines 02. Spoils Of War 03. The Order Of The Silver Compass 04. Cyclops Lord (My Will Is Done) 05. The Bohemian 06. Mechanized Assault 07. Nightmare Sound 08. White Horse
Tim "Ripper" Owens has responded to Andrew Freeman's recent comment that "a couple of guys" in the DIO DISCIPLES camp are "dicks." DIO DISCIPLES is made up of former members of DIO, along with a rotating lineup of singers, including Owens. Freeman, who formed LAST IN LINE in 2012 with original DIO members Vivian Campbell (guitar), Vinny Appice (drums) and Jimmy Bain (bass), told the "Music Mania" podcast in an interview that while he is on friendly terms with several members of DIO DISCIPLES, "there's a couple of guys in that camp that are dicks — to put it bluntly. And personally, I've been affected by it, because I've been told, 'We can't use you [for shows] because you're playing with Vivian,'" he said. "But that doesn't come from the band guys — that comes from other places… They told me I wasn't gonna be able to do a gig because I played with Vivian. I was just, like, 'Okay.'" When a fan asked Owens on Twitter if he has seen the BLABBERMOUTH.NET article containing Freeman's inflammatory comments about DIO DISCIPLES, the former JUDAS PRIEST singer replied, " Yea. It is what it is!! I am a dick", followed by several crying-with-laughter and a devil-horns emojis. In a 2016 interview, Vivian slammed DIO DISCIPLES, saying that the band has "zero credibility" as a Ronnie James Dio tribute project despite the fact that it is fully supported by the late singer's wife and manager, Wendy. "I don't think [LAST IN LINE is] even in the same league as the DIO DISCIPLES," Campbell said. "None of those guys were original members of the band DIO. We're the original band. We're the guys who formed the band with Ronnie. Not only were in the band, but we wrote all the songs with Ronnie. If you look at the writing credits on the first three records, it was very, very much a collaborative creative venture. That's what made the early DIO records so strong." In December 2017, DIO DISCIPLES guitarist Craig Goldy said in a Facebook post that "certain members" of the original DIO band became motivated by "money" because they "didn't have the same heart for the fans" as Ronnie James Dio did.
ILL NIÑO Announces New Lineup, Releases 'Sangre' Single
ILL NIÑO has parted ways with vocalist Cristian Machado, lead guitarist Ahrue Luster and rhythm guitarist Diego Verduzco and has replaced them with Marcos Leal (SHATTERED SUN), Jes DeHoyos (SONS OF TEXAS) and Sal Dominguez (UPON A BURNING BODY), respectively. ILL NIÑO founder and drummer Dave Chavarri said in a statement: "Being in a band is much like being married, and sometimes people grow apart, and no longer see eye to eye, and a separation becomes inevitable. "We wish our former members the best in their musical careers. "Our new members were chosen carefully, as they're very respected, seasoned musicians. "We ask everyone that you please respect our privacy, as we all move forward in our careers." Leal, who will remain a member of SHATTERED SUN, commented: "Anyone who knows me knows the love I have for this band. I got my start singing ILL NIÑO covers in my younger years and this band has always held a special place in my heart. When the opportunity arose to front one of my favorite bands of all time, it was something I needed to consider." A new ILL NIÑO song — its first in nearly five years — called "Sangre" was released earlier today via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon and can be streamed below. ILL NIÑO will announce two full international tours, as well as a new label home and new official video shortly. The first confirmed dates with the new lineup include appearances at the Reload and Neuborn festivals in Germany in August. ILL NIÑO is: Marcos Leal - Lead Vocals Laz Pina - Bass Dave Chavarri - Drums Daniel Couto - Percussion Sal Dominguez - Rhythm Guitar Jes DeHoyos - Lead Guitar ILL NIÑO hasn't released a full-length record since 2014's "Till Death, La Familia". In 2016 and 2017, the band celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of its debut LP, "Revolution Revolución", with European and Australian tour dates.
Listen To New TORA TORA Song 'Silence The Sirens'
In 2017, Memphis rockers TORA TORA were approached by Frontiers Music Srl about recording a proper new studio album and they enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity. The resulting LP, "Bastards Of Beale", set for release on February 22, brings back the magic of the band's blues-rooted hard rock sound that gained them a loyal following upon their debut in the late '80s. Always a far cry from their more polished mainstream peers and more spiritually connected to blue collar hard rock, the band's return picks up where they left off, while not sounding even the slightest bit dated. The second single from "Bastards Of Beale", a song called "Silence The Sirens", can be streamed below. Guitarist Keith Douglas stated about the band getting back together and recording a proper studio album: "The last studio album we did was 'Revolution Day' which was recorded in '94. It's hard to believe that was almost 25 years ago! Music in general was in kind of a weird place at that point and our fit within our label was questionable, so we just kind of stepped away to do other things for a while. We played one show together in 2001 for a special occasion, but it was 2008 before we started playing together again semi-regularly. We had always talked about trying to do a new project and just happened to come into contact with Frontiers at the right time to make that happen. So why not now?" "The band recorded the new album at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, Tennessee," continues Corder. "Sam is, of course, recognized for his work with Sun Studios and Elvis, arguably being responsible for creating rock and roll. But after Sun Studios, he moved right down the street to create Sam Phillips Recording. He wanted to be on the cutting edge of technology with recording, while having room to expand. This building has hosted too many icons to name, but a few would be Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan and Robert Plant. While we were there, William Bell (Stax) was visiting. We were really inspired while recording there." TORA TORA started in 1985 in the garage of then high school students Antony Corder, Keith Douglas, John Patterson and Patrick Francis. They beat out sixty other groups in a local Battle Of The Bands contest and received some free studio time at Ardent Studios. They cut one track before using the prize money they had won to record an entire independent EP called "To Rock To Roll". Ardent was so impressed with the recordings that they offered to help shop the demo and gave them even more free recording time. TORA TORA eventually singed with A&M. That debut album made the Billboard Top 100 and hovered on the brink of breaking wide open as songs such as "Walking Shoes", "Riverside Drive" and "Phantom Rider" became local anthems. They followed up with "Wild America", which produced two more singles. A third album, "Revolution Day", was recorded but never released due to label restructuring. Due to the onset of the grunge era, TORA TORA, much like many other bands of their genre, called it quits in 1994. In 2008, all four original members reunited for some performances. One was a sold-out performance at Newby's, a local club in Memphis, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of receiving their major label recording contract. The second appearance occurred during Rocklahoma 2008 before the band played another reunion show at The New Daisy Theatre on March 7, 2009 in Memphis. Since the reunion, TORA TORA has issued three albums of previously unreleased material — "Before & After", "Bombs Away: The Unreleased Surprise Attack Recordings" and "Miss B. Haven': The Unreleased Wild America Recordings". But fans were clamoring for new music from the band, and that is just what they will get with the release of "Bastards Of Beale". "Bastards Of Beale" track listing: 01. Sons Of Zebedee 02. Giants Fall 03. Everbright 04. Silence The Sirens 05. Son Of A Prodigal Son 06. Lights Up The River 07. Let Us Be One 08. All Good Things 09. Rose Of Jericho 10. Vertigo 11. Bastards Of Beale TORA TORA is: Anthony Corder: Vocals, Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitars Keith Douglas: Lead And Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar Patrick Francis: Bass John Patterson: Drums, Percussion
GUS G. To Release Art Collection Built From Guitar Performance
Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, is gearing up to unveil a career first, a series of art pieces he has crafted from guitar performance. A new medium in art that utilizes time, space, light and finger movement, the collection is one of the first of its kind. The fine artwork was created in collaboration with Los Angeles art team SceneFour. Says Gus: "Coming very soon... Artwork project I've been creating with SceneFour using light and my hands on the fretboard. The artwork is really unique!" Get more details on the upcoming release and the opportunity to see the artwork before the release when you join the interest list. Gus's latest solo album, "Fearless", was released in April 2018 via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Brand New Revolution" marks his first release since exiting Osbourne's band in 2017. On "Fearless", Gus joins forces with vocalist/bassist Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69, UNISONIC) and drummer Will Hunt (EVANESCENCE). Asked how he keeps "shred guitar" interesting for the listener, Gus told Guitar World magazine: "If it's not done with a musical meaning or in some sort of musical context, it's pretty boring. That's why I admire guys like Joe Satriani who are able to basically make the guitar take on the role of a voice. But I hate guys who put out stuff that just sounds like backing tracks for them to solo over. That's why I always try to write songs. Then having a kickass solo is kind of like the cherry on top, so to speak. But you need to have a good song first." Gus also said that he has no issues with being replaced in Ozzy's band by a returning Zakk Wylde. "Well, there's obviously a long history between those two, so given the fact that Ozzy announced his farewell tour, I think it's cool," he said. "And after Randy Rhoads, Zakk is the most iconic guitar player he's had in his band. So it's good that Zakk is coming back. It's totally fine with me — it's not like I have a fucking choice! [Laughs] But I'm a big fan. And what can I say? I have no complaints because it's been a hell of a ride for me just playing in Ozzy's band for seven years. It was never a gig I took for granted. You just have to enjoy it while it lasts. And I'm happy it lasted as long as it did."
Watch LAST IN LINE Rehearse For Upcoming Tour
Video footage of LAST IN LINE rehearsing for its upcoming tour can be seen below. The trek is scheduled to kick off tonight (Thursday, January 17) in San Jose, California. LAST IN LINE's sophomore album, "II", will be released on February 22 via Frontiers Music Srl. As with 2016's "Heavy Crown", the new disc was produced by DOKKEN and FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson. LAST IN LINE was formed in 2012, when Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain and Vivian CampbellRonnie James Dio's co-conspirators and co-writers on the "Holy Diver", "Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart" albums — teamed up with esteemed vocalist Andrew Freeman. The debut album "Heavy Crown" was released in February 2016, landing at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Initially, the release had been preceded by tragedy when bassist Jimmy Bain unexpectedly passed away at the age of 68 on January 23, 2016. LAST IN LINE, honoring what they knew would be Bain's wish to keep the band moving, brought in renowned bassist Phil Soussan (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE) and committed to sustained touring in support of the album, hitting festivals, headlining clubs, and sharing the stage with metal luminaries such as SAXON and MEGADETH. "The musical style of 'II' is different from 'Heavy Crown', but it wasn't something that we planned to do," explains Campbell. "Phil is a more intricate player than Jimmy was and that, together with the natural growth and development of the band led us to the songs on the album. As always, we simply started to jam on ideas and see where they led us. But it's fair to say that the songs on this album sound more developed, with more parts and more experimentation than the songs on 'Heavy Crown'. The first album set a tone, but on 'II' we developed that idea and took it to the next logical stage." Appice, on the sound of the new record and songwriting process, says: "I always sound like me. Viv and I have been playing together for years and have the same feel and pulse and attitude. Now with Phil on bass, he allows a more melodic approach on the bass parts making the songs even more interesting. He fits in perfectly being from the same musical family and time as me and Viv. Mr. Freeman sings from his soul and completes the band's sound with his melodies and amazing range." He continues: "The songwriting process was the same as DIO's 'Holy Diver'. First, we have fun writing together. We get in a room and jam on riffs and chords until we hit on something good, then continue to build it into a song. Andy puts his magic on it and it all works out very well."