Legendary LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant's new album, "Lullaby Andâ¦ The Ceaseless Roar", will be released September 9 on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Plant, the album is his label debut and features 11 new recordings, nine of which are original songs written by Plant with his band, THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS â Justin Adams: bendirs, djembe, guitars, tehardant, background vocals; John Baggott: keyboards, loops, moog bass, piano, tabal, background vocals; Juldeh Camara: kologo, ritti, Fulani vocals; Billy Fuller: bass, drum programming, omnichord, upright bass; Dave Smith: drum set; and Liam "Skin" Tyson: banjo, guitar, background vocals. Pre-orders are available now at RobertPlant.com and include a limited-edition print and an instant download of an album track. The second short film titled "Returning To The Borders", which explores the themes of "Lullaby Andâ¦ The Ceaseless Roar", can be seen below. Plant says: "I've been away a long time from these borders. I spent a lot of time traveling through the south. I was searching to see if I could find out the character of the area from the radio that was on in the car. So I wrote the lyrics against an amazing link to those days, back in the 1930s and '40s, when the south was the centre of the black revolution in music, before the Great Migration up to Chicago." "Lullaby Andâ¦ The Ceaseless Roar" is Plant's first record since 2010's "Band Of Joy", which followed 2007's six-time Grammy Awardâwinning collaboration with Alison Krauss, "Raising Sand". Justin Adams and John Baggott of THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS appeared on Plant's 2002 release "Dreamland", while all but Camara and Smith appeared on 2005's "Mighty Rearranger". The new-album lineup recently toured the world before recording "Lullaby Andâ¦ The Ceaseless Roar" at Helium Studios in Wiltshire and Real World Studios in Bath, U.K. The track "Rainbow" was recorded in Contino Rooms in London. Tchad Blake mixed all but three tracks on the album. "It's really a celebratory record, powerful, gritty, African, trance meets ZEP," Plant says. "The whole impetus of my life as a singer has to be driven by a good brotherhood. "I am very lucky to work with THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS. They come from exciting areas of contemporary musicâ¦ "I have been around awhile and I ask myself, do I have anything to say? Is there a song still inside me? In my heart? "I see life and what's happening to me. Along the trail, there are expectations, disappointments, happiness, questions and strong relationships, and now I'm able to express my feelings through melody, power and trance; together in a kaleidescope of sound, colour, and friendship."
Andrew Epstein of A Journey Of Musical Things conducted an interview with BABYMETAL on August 9 at the Heavy Montreal festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. Established in 2010, BABYMETAL is the offshoot of the Japanese pop idol group SAKURA GAKUIN that performs a distinctly Japanese mix of schoolgirl J-pop and heavy metal. The band played its first-ever U.S. show on July 27 at the sold-out Fonda Theatre (capacity: 1,200) in Los Angeles, California and supported pop superstar Lady Gaga on five American concerts. BABYMETAL's members â Suzuka Nakamoto (a.k.a. Su-Metal, who handles vocals and dancing), Yui Mizuno (a.k.a. Yuimetal) and Moa Kikuchi (a.k.a. Moametal), the latter of whom both scream and dance â admit that they had never listened to metal before joining the group. The girls wear gothy schoolgirl costumes, do choreographed dance routines and bang their heads violently. "I didn't even know what metal was all about before this," says Nakamoto, who, at 16, is the oldest member of the group. "When they told me I'd be doing BABYMETAL, I listened to this music and its heavy drums. I thought it was interesting and I imagined the choreography I would do." BABYMETAL's debut album, which came out in February, received 4.5 stars out of 5 from the Japanese edition of Rolling Stone. Many heavy metal fans have been reluctant to embrace BABYMETAL â which also includes producer Kobametal and a backing band of corpse-painted virtuosos â with some Internet forums calling them "the definition of a gimmick", "awful" and "metal for hipsters." BABYMETAL's first world tour consists of nine concerts in six different countries. Their show in London, England on July 7 was also broadcast live to the band's Japanese fans. "The reaction was so different than in Japan," Nakamoto told MTV about BABYMETAL's first European concerts. "At first I was nervous, because I wasn't sure whether anyone would turn up. And yet, some fans came in cosplay or knew all the dance moves. Some of our lyrics use quite difficult Japanese words, but I think the crowd in England sang along even more than our fans at home. "I think our strongest suit is our live show," she adds. "I hope people can come along to see us perform and be like, 'What the hell is this?' "I think the reason people like us is because we make 'kawaii metal,' and no one else does that," she continues. "The three of us started out with no personal interest in metal; we all just thought the music seemed like fun. And that means that even people who aren't usually interested in metal might be interested in our music in a similar way. "A lot of people also get into us from copying the choreography from our videos on YouTube. Seeing so many comments on our YouTube channel from people all over the world, even if they don't understand Japanese, made me realize that music has worldwide appeal." Interview:
"The Metalheadz" recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. You can now watch the chat below. HELLYEAH's fourth album, "Blood For Blood", sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart. The band's previous effort, 2011's "Band Of Brothers", opened with 19,000 copies back in July 2012 to debut at No. 19. HELLYEAH singer Chad Gray and guitarist Tom Maxwell revealed in a separate interview with Loudwire that the band came close to breaking up before it finally parted ways with guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob "Zilla" Kahaha. Maxwell explained, "They just pretty much had a lot of other stuff going on in their life that just took the focus of the band away, and for us to continue, we had to part ways with them. It was a toxic situation that almost broke the band up. They just couldn't get it together and it was a very painful time for us, it was very emotional, but I think, you know, with the love we have for each other and the band, we needed to kind of do the worst case scenario and part ways with them." Maxwell told The Pulse Of Radio that both Kahaha and Tribbett had their own specific issue that were hurting the group. "I don't think Bob ever really was as passionate about this band," he said. "He never became a full member or anything like that. It just didn't gel, so it was just time just to part ways, you know. And with Greg, I think he had just a lot of stuff that happened to him in his life in recent years that really affected him and became distracting for us and we just couldn't go forward." Gray said that the recording sessions for the band's new album, "Blood For Blood", were emotionally volatile, saying, "This is such a heavy record on so many levels â it's not just the anger, the frustration, the angst, but its also the helplessness that we felt." The new members of HELLYEAH are bassist Kyle Sanders and touring guitarist Christian Brady. HELLYEAH will head out on a North American tour in September as guests of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and VOLBEAT.
Norwegian/American hard rockers TNT will release "30th Anniversary 1982-2012 Live In Concert With Trondheim Symphony Orchestra" on September 8 in Norway and on September 29 in the rest of Europe. This unique document of the band's three-decade career was captured on June 2, 2012 at the Clarion Hotel in Trondheim, Norway. The group performed a special setlist while accompanied by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (Trondheim Symfoniorkester). Also making special appearances with the band were Hank Von Helvete, Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER), TNT's original singer, Dag Ingebrigtsen, and vocalist Tony Harnell, who has since rejoined the group following the departure of Tony Mills. "30th Anniversary 1982-2012 Live In Concert" track listing: 01. Fanfare For The Common Man 02. Invisible Noise 03. Substitute 04. Refugee 05. As Far As The Eye Can See 06. Downhill Racer 07. Intuition 08. Northern Lights 09. Magica Lanterna (TekrÃ¸ Solo) 10. Sabre Dance 11. Harley Davidson 12. USA 13. Eddie 14. June 15. My Religion 16. Everyoneâs A Star 17. 10.000 Lovers (In One) 18. Seven Seas The DVD version includes a documentary Harnell confirmed his reunion with TNT in October 2013, explaining in a statement: "After much discussion and lots of soul searching, I'm happy to officially announce that I'll be back behind the microphone with TNT. "I'm very proud of all we accomplished over the years and proud to have written and recorded all those great songs with my brother from another mother, Ronni Le TekrÃ¸. "Sometimes it's just time to give the fans what they're asking for. "2014 is the 25th anniversary of the successful 'Intuition' album and we thought it would be a good time to get out and relaunch this little machine for you guys!" In August 2013, TNT parted ways with its frontman of the seven years, British vocalist Tony Mills (ex-SHY). He explained in a statement: "Maybe we did 500 shows or something like that, but not many out of Norway. "It has been the most prolific live period in my career, and when I felt the stagnancy and the lack of desire to grow and develop any further, I knew my time was done with the band. "I don't think it's sensible to expect new art from the band after thirty years, just a lot of re-living the past and reconstructions of old albums and performances. "None of us are getting any younger, but I have a great desire to not stop creativity in my life. I hate wasting days and singing songs from the past to satisfy old fans. "Nostalgia wasn't doing it for me. "We were never close as friends or anything like that, so there is no great loss, and I have no doubt they will reform the original lineup and just do the whole thing all over again. I wish them good luck on that. I have other releases to come that excite me much more than that." After leaving TNT in 2006, Harnell was replaced by Mills, who has since appeared on three studio albums from the band: 2007's "The New Territory", 2008's"Atlantis" and 2010's "A Farewell To Arms". Harnell's last release as a member of TNT was the "Live in Madrid" DVD, which came out in September 2006 via MTM Music. The set, which was filmed on April 1, 2006 in Madrid, Spain, was accompanied by an 82-minute audio CD plus booklet liner notes from Harnell about his work with the group as well as an additional tour documentary by Darren Paltrowitz.
Guitarist Thomas Youngblood and keyboardist Oliver Palotai of American / German / Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT are in the Stuttgart area of Germany this week "working on the final parts of the next KAMELOT album," according to Youngblood. He adds: "It's going great and we have lots of music and ideas in store." KAMELOT's follow-up to 2012's "Silverthorn" is tentatively due next spring via an as-yet-undetermined record label. Palotai sat out the band's North American tour last year so he could stay home with longtime girlfriend Simone Simons, (EPICA singer) as they awaited the birth of their first child. Filling in for him was Coen Janssen of EPICA. "Silverthorn" sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 79 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Poetry For The Poisoned", opened with around 6,100 units in September 2010 to enter the chart at No. 74. "Silverthorn" was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, October 26, 2012 in Germany and October 29, 2012 in the rest of Europe via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD marked the band's first release with Tommy Karevik, the Swedish vocalist who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of). In a 2012 interview with Loudwire, Thomas Youngblood stated about what Karevik brings to the band: "I think when we knew we had to bring in a new person on vocals, we wanted the opportunity to grow the band, not just to maintain the band or survive. We wanted to look at this as an opportunity to make the band bigger, [and] I think with Tommy we can do that. Not only is he an exceptional singer, he's a great songwriter and he's way ahead of what I thought he would be in terms of being a frontman. People who come out to shows will see that this guy is a force to be reckoned with. I can't imagine a better choice, honestly. In the beginning, when this whole thing started, we were a little unsure of what the future might be, but now we're really excited about it."
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, the band led by brothers and founding SEPULTURA members Max (also of SOULFLY) and Igor Cavalera, will release its third album, "Pandemonium", on November 4 via Napalm Records. The CD was produced by John Gray, who has previously worked with SOULFLY. The cover artwork can be seen below. A track from the CD, titled "Bonzai Kamakazi", can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below. During an appearance on the "Metal Hammer" magazine show on TeamRock Radio, Max stated about the upcoming effort: "It's called 'Pandemonium' and it's very, very heavy â the heaviest of all the three. I was really possessed to get Igor back to his 'Arise' [SEPULTURA] era of drumming, everything fast." Max recently told HardRockHaven.net about "Pandemonium": "There aren't really any guests on the album. Nate [Newton] from CONVERGE plays bass and he sings one song called 'The Crucible' â it's about the witches of Salem; we did a song about that. Nate's got a great voice, 'cause he sings for DOOMRIDERS and I love his voice, so I got him to sing one song. That's the only guest. The CAVALERA album is really more about me and Igor [Cavalera, drums], the brothers, thrashing. This one is almost grindcore. I was really a dictator in the studio with Igor to try to keep him from going into the groove and tried to keep him playing fast; I wanted him play fast for most of the record. So every time he'd go into the groove, I would be, like, 'Fuck the groove! Get out of the groove! Go back to the fast shit.' And I succeeded, man. It's a really brutal album. I think it's definitely the most brutal of all the CAVALERA albums and it's definitely gonna turn some heads when people hear this one." Gray stated about the "Pandemonium" recording process: "This is by far the fastest and heaviest record I have ever had the pleasure of working on with Max Cavalera. "Max, Igor and Marc [Rizzo, guitar] were on the same page musically from the moment they walked in the door, and recording this album was a very smooth process. "I had never worked with Igor Cavalera before and I was very impressed with his ability to work out the arrangements with Max and get some extremely complex drum parts done live with hardly any re-takes necessary. Marc Rizzo, as always, was spot-on and a true guitar virtuoso. "I love to work with Marc because he always pushes himself to perfection, but he is very down to earth and keeps things light when he's under pressure. "What can I say about Nate Newton â he killed it on the bass tracks with very little back and forth. I'm really impressed with his talent, and I look forward to meeting him some day." Added Newton: "It was a lot of fun to be a part of this record. For me, it was a challenge to learn the songs sight unseen and record them. It was a pretty interesting look into the way Max writes songs and I am glad to have been a part of it." Johny Chow, who had been touring and recording with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY for the past few years, in 2013 joined STONE SOUR as that band's new touring bassist. Joining CAVALERA CONSPIRACY on stage last year for its tour of South America and Mexico was SOULFLY bassist Tony Campos. CAVALERA CONSPIRACY released the critically acclaimed and universally praised albums "Inflikted" and "Blunt Force Trauma" through Roadrunner Records. "Blunt Force Trauma" sold around 5,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 122 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's debut CD, "Inflikted", opened with 9,000 units to enter the chart at No. 72. "Blunt Force Trauma" was tracked with ex-MACHINE HEAD/SOULFLY guitarist Logan Mader, who co-produced the LP with Max. Logan also mixed the effort.
While on yet another successful world tour, this time to support their latest studio album, "Pariah's Child", Finnish melodic metal heroes SONATA ARCTICA swung by the studio to re-record their debut album "Ecliptica", which was released 15 years ago. This new version will be released on October 24 under the title "Ecliptica - Revisited; 15th Anniversary Edition" on Nuclear Blast. The original version of "Ecliptica" was recorded at Tico-Tico studios and mixed at Finnvox by Mikko Karmila (NIGHTWISH, CHILDREN OF BODOM). The album was promoted on tour with STRATOVARIUS and RHAPSODY. Comments SONATA ARCTICA's Henrik "Henkka" Klingenberg: "When it first was suggested to us by our Japanese label that we'd re-record our debut album, 'Ecliptica', it felt a bit weird, but somehow the idea grew on us. Being that only Tony and Tommy played on the original one, we thought that it would be a fun thing to do, to give these great songs another run. "We're definitely not trying to re-write history. The original 'Ecliptica' is the starting point of this band and a very special album with a certain feel of innocence and enthusiasm which cannot be recreated as such since we're not teenagers anymore. Having said that, this new version is more of a tribute and an update on how these songs sound when played by our current lineup. We wanted to stay true to the original album as much as possible and not turn this into some weird re-arranged project where you couldn't tell which song was being played. "So here it is, the 15th anniversary version of 'Ecliptica'. Hope you enjoy it, we certainly had a good time digging into these songs and laying down the tracks." "Ecliptica - Revisited; 15th Anniversary Edition" track listing: 01. Blank File 02. My Land 03. 8th Commandment 04. Replica 05. Kingdom For A Heart 06. Fullmoon 07. Letter To Dana 08. UnOpened 09. Picturing The Past 10. Destruction Preventer Bonus: 11. I Can't Dance (GENESIS cover) The first digital single, "Kingdom For A Heart", will be released on September 12.
2014 has proved itself a landmark year for BLACK STAR RIDERS. The men in black took their acclaimed live show on the road in Europe and then stormed stages in the United States and Japan for the first time; the reactions have been nothing short of amazing! 2014 is also the year BLACK STAR RIDERS returns to the studio to record its as-yet-untitled sophomore album and follow-up to 2013's highly lauded debut release "All Hell Breaks Loose". It was originally announced that DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott would oversee production duties on the new material joined by longtime DEF LEPPARD sound guru Ronan McHugh. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances and schedule conflicts, Joe and Ronan have had to back out of the process. Elliott explains: "It is with great reluctance that I have had to pull out of the production job for the BSR second album. When I agreed to do it after a great meeting with the boys, it was at was at a time when DEF LEPPARD weren't exceptionally busy. Things changed and I found myself in a situation where the amount of time I could allocate to the album would not have done justice to the record or the band. They deserve someone who can do the job without rushing it or having to bail out half way through due to other commitments. I KNOW they're are going to make a great second album and maybe sometime down the road, we can revisit the idea of working together again. Myself, Ricky [Warwick], and Scott [Gorham] have a very long-standing and firm friendship which goes back decades!! I wish them nothing but the best and much success with the new album." "Joe is like a member of the family," shares BLACK STAR RIDERS vocalist Ricky Warwick. "I was very excited by the prospects of Joe working with us on the new record, but sometimes things happen that we cannot control. I know we will work with Joe in the future." The great news is that this change in Joe's schedule has allowed BLACK STAR RIDERS to find someone they are all very excited to work with. Taking over the production duties will be heralded producer Nick Raskulinecz. Nick has been at the desk for a number of incredible releases from such artists as the FOO FIGHTERS, ALICE IN CHAINS, RUSH and MASTODON. "I have been a fan of Nick's work for some time,â Warwick states eagerly. âSo when it became apparent that Nick wanted to work with us, we were all very excited! He has done some amazing work with other artists in the past and I can't wait to hear what we manage to create together in the studio." BLACK STAR RIDERS guitarist Damon Johnson adds: "Nick is an amazing talent and I know he is going to help take BLACK STAR RIDERS to the next level. His rÃ©sumÃ© is staggering, his reputation is stellar, and his enthusiasm for our band and our songs is incredibly exciting." "I was a fan of the first album, and I'm really excited about the songs they've written for their new record," contributes Raskulinecz. "I'm really looking forward to getting into the studio with them to help bring those songs to life." BLACK STAR RIDERS is set to enter the studio in September to begin its recording sessions. A spring 2015 release is expected. BLACK STAR RIDERS were one of the first signings to Nuclear Blast Entertainment by Monte Conner â the A&R guru who signed acts such as SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD, SEPULTURA, and RUSH to Roadrunner. Nuclear Blast Entertainment is a new U.S. partnership co-founded by Conner with Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger.
Earlier this week, AEROSMITH frontman Steve Tyler was interviewed on 94.7's morning show "Breakfast Xpress" in South Africa. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. KINGS OF CHAOS â the touring project featuring former and current members of AEROSMITH, GUNS N' ROSES, ZZ TOP, CHEAP TRICK and EXTREME â will embark on another South African tour this December. Joining returning KINGS OF CHAOS members Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Duff McKagan (all of whom were formerly in GUNS N' ROSES) will be new additions Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP, Robin Zander of CHEAP TRICK and Nuno Bettencourt of EXTREME. KINGS OF CHAOS plays some of the individual bandmembers' greatest hits in a two-hour display of frenzied guitar riffs, pounding drums, resonating bass and trademark raspy vocals. They will perform at Sun City Superbowl on Saturday, November 29 and at Grand West's Grand Arena in Cape Town on Wednesday, December 3. Tickets go on sale at Computicket from Friday, August 22. Regarding why he decided to put together a supergroup after playing in GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER and THE CULT, Sorum told The AU Review in a 2013 interview: "I'm at that stage of my career where I haven't really got the energy to go and try and create a band. I mean, how many bands do I have in my back pocket? I'd rather just get a bunch of great guys together that everybody knows and go and play a bunch of shows to 60,000 people, like, 'Whoa.' Even VELVET REVOLVER, it took us 18 months to build that up, and we were on the road like 20-year-old kids. So my thing was, number one I don't really want to go on the road for 18 months anymore, which will basically kill you, unless you're doing hard drugs and I don't do hard drugs anymore, and I don't drink anymore, and the rest of it's just kind of boring. So I'd rather go and do great festivals and do two- or three-week tours, go out and just have a blast and then go home and then think about the next thing. "This idea that I came up with, this is like a release for all the other guys, because it's fresh for them. Even though we'll be playing all our hits, it's all with all our friends and the buddies that we've met through years and years of rock 'n' roll." Matt also admitted to the difficulties supergroups and conflicting schedules can make, explaining: "Well, you know, everyone's always so busy, so it can be hard with everyone all over the place. But you know, it's really great, I'm really blessed. I look at it like I'm a kid that grew up listening to and wanting to play rock 'n' roll, and now Iâm in this community of all these great musicians. So I said, well, fuck it, why don't I take advantage of that and put a band together and go play?" Image courtesy of KINGS OF CHAOS Facebook page
Germany's EMP Rock Invasion recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. You can now watch the chat below. Elaborating on his previous comment that he would like to see pop superstar Lady Gaga cover an ANTHRAX song, Ian said: "Yeah, why not? She's into metal. She's a genuine metalhead. So why not hear her singâ¦ it doesn't even have to be an ANTHRAX song. I don't careâ¦ I would like to hear her sing in a metal way. [Maybe she could do a cover of] something off the [latest ANTHRAX] album ['Worship Music']. I don't knowâ¦ 'In The End'. That might be kind of cool to hear her sing that. I mean, she's got a great singing voice, so I just think it would be cool to hear her take on a metal song, because she's definitely got the chops for it." Asked why ANTHRAX doesn't ask Lady Gaga to make a guest appearance on the band's next studio album, Ian said: "Maybe we will." ANTHRAX's new concert film, "Chile On Hell", will be released on September 16. The disc was was filmed at the Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile on May 10, 2013 and features ANTHRAX performing an extended set that featured songs from the band's entire catalogue. "Chile On Hell" was produced by Jay Ruston and filmed by City Drive Entertainment Group and DC3 Global. The DVD's cover art was designed by Stephen Thompson, who partnered with Benante to "redesign" the artwork from last year's "Anthems" EP.
Swedish melodic death metallers SCAR SYMMETRY will release their new album, "The Singularity (Phase 1 - Neohumanity)", on October 14 in North America and October 3 in Europe via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2011's "The Unseen Empire" is the first part of a trilogy. The cover artwork for "The Singularity (Phase 1 - Neohumanity)" was created by Mircea Gabriel Eftemie, who will be handling the artwork for the entire trilogy. "The Singularity (Phase 1 - Neohumanity)" track listing: 01. The Shape Of Things To Come 02. Neohuman 03. Limits To Infinity 04. Cryonic Harvest 05. The Spiral Timeshift 06. Children Of The Integrated Circuit 07. Neuromancers 08. Technocalyptic Cybergeddon The official lyric video for the song "Limits To Infinity" can be seen below. Commented guitarist Per Nilsson: "The lyrical concept that Henrik came up with for 'The Singularity' trilogy is huge in scope, complex and awe-inspiring, and naturally the music I wrote needed to follow suit â and it is with great pride that we can now present 'Phase I - Neohumanity', the first part in the most progressive and elaborate project in the history of SCAR SYMMETRY. What an awesome way of celebrating our 10th anniversary!" Guitarist Jonas Kjellgren left SCAR SYMMETRY in August 2013 "due to scheduling conflicts with his studio work and his other bands â RAUBTIER and BOURBON BOYS." SCAR SYMMETRY was forced to cancel its fall 2012 North American headlining tour due to visa issues. The band's's latest album, "The Unseen Empire", sold around 1,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 11 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. "The Unseen Empire" was released on April 15, 2011 in Europe and May 17, 2011 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.
Italy's SpazioRock.it recently conducted an interview with British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE. You can now watch the chat below. DRAGONFORCE's new album, "Maximum Overload", was released on August 19 in North America via Metal Blade and August 18 in Europe through earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group. The CD was recorded at Fascination Street studios in Ãrebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with OPETH, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, AMON AMARTH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK and SYMPHONY X, to name a few. It marks the band's first-ever album involving an outside producer, having historically opted to record themselves in association with Karl Groom. "Maximum Overload" also features an all time first for DRAGONFORCE... a cover version! Guitarist Sam Totman explained: "Just before the last Australian tour, our manager suggested it might be interesting to do a cover for the next album, something we've always refused even to consider. Because we had all had a couple beers, every bandmember wrote down three songs each and we compared them all, just for a laugh. I wrote down 'Ring Of Fire' by Johnny Cash, an idea which the rest of the band loved, so we've DRAGONFORCE-ized it." "Maximum Overload" was released on standard CD, standard digital version, special edition CD with five bonus tracks and a bonus DVD, special edition digital version (same bonus material as special edition CD), and vinyl. The effort features a couple of surprises, notably a guest appearance on some of the songs from TRIVIUM's Matt Heafy. "Maximum Overload" is the follow-up to 2012's "The Power Within", which was the band's first with vocalist Marc Hudson. Since his live debut with the group in July 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with DRAGONFORCE in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with IRON MAIDEN as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the CD. DRAGONFORCE recently parted ways with drummer Dave Mackintosh and replaced him with former BRAINDAMAGE and KILL RITUAL member Gee Anzalone. A native of Turin, Italy, Gee is a drum teacher who graduated from the NAMM Academy of Milan and carries on the well established multi-national mix of musicians that make up DRAGONFORCE. Gee will make his live debut with DRAGONFORCE on the forthcoming "Maximum Overload" U.K. tour, which commences on September 17 in Edinburgh.
On August 16, Sofia Samrad conducted an interview with vocalist Jesse Leach of Massachussets metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE backstage at the Rock al Parque festival in BogotÃ¡, Colombia. You can watch the chat below. Due to a family emergency, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist Joel Stroetzel was forced to sit out the band's tour dates at the end of July. Filling in for him was Ken Susi of UNEARTH. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's fifth studio album, "Disarm The Descent", sold around 48,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 2, 2013 via Roadrunner Records. "Disarm The Descent" is KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first album with original singer Jesse Leach at the vocal helm since 2002's now-classic, genre-defining "Alive or Just Breathing". Leach returned to the band in January 2012 after a decade-long absence. The artwork for the new CD was created by Mike D'Antonio.
BONZ â the new band featuring original STUCK MOJO singer Bonz and former PRIMER 55 guitarist/bassist Curt Taylor â will release its debut album, "Broken Silence", on February 13, 2015 via Eternal Sound Records. The CD features guest appearances by several musicians, including original PRIMER 55 vocalist Jason "J-Sin" Luttrell and guitar virtuoso Mike Martin (ex-STUCK MOJO, FOZZY). "Broken Silence" track listing: 01. Sinister Grin 02. Comes Over Me 03. Godshine 04. Broken Silence 05. 30 Seconds to Swat 06. Take it Personal 07. Sour Diesel 08. Voids 09. Bad News 10. Bad Love Said Curt Taylor in a statement: "Bonz, I and the entire band are so proud and happy to be a part of the Eternal Sound family. It is definitely a match made in heaven. With the staff at Eternal Sounds handling our affairs, both as a label and management, the sky is truly the limit." In 2009, Bonz joined forces with Bobby Burns and Curt Taylor of PRIMER 55 and created KILLER IN THE WORKPLACE. The band would go on to record a full-length album and tour to support it. However, by 2011, it was obvious that it was not in the cards for the group to continue on. Bonz and Curt had developed a bond and musical chemistry that was undeniable, and after KILLER IN THE WORKPLACE, they decided to forge ahead and form the band BONZ. BONZ is: Bonz - Vocals Curt Taylor - Guitar Erin Stagg - Drums Don Leslie - Bass
One of the most anticipated projects in Australian heavy music history has been released. "Metal Down Under" was an epic undertaking, over two years in the making and chronicles over 40 years of Australian metal heritage. Since the late 1970s, a thriving underground scene of extreme music has continued to evolve in Australia. From grindcore, thrash, death metal, black metal, hardcore, doom, melodic metal, sludge, power metal and the many more subgenres that exist, "Metal Down Under" traverses the full spectrum and takes a look at the bands, people and events that shaped this unique slice of Australian history. More than just the music, we meet the characters that make metal in Australia what it is today. From promoters, radio hosts and magazine editors, to band members and extreme fans, "Metal Down Under" introduces you to a world you either didn't want to know existed or have been a part of all your life. Featuring over 40 exclusive interviews as well as rare archive footage and photographs from Metal For The Brain, Metal For Melbourne, Big Day Out, music videos, live concerts and much more, "Metal Down Under" captures the past, present and future of the Australian metal scene and condenses it into three hours of riveting, essential viewing. It is the brainchild of lifelong metal fan and filmmaker Nick Calpakdjian, who spent two long years traveling the country interviewing the who's who of the Australian scene. With massive support, some crowdfunding and donations, the mammoth project has finally been completed and is ready to share with Australian metal fans and people everywhere. Written and directed by Calpakdjian, produced by Animus Industries and with cinematography by Adrian Price, "Metal Down Under" is presented as three 55-minute episodes and comes with a bunch of extras. It is available on DVD and as a stream on iTunes. The cast: * Tony Campo (ALLEGIANCE) * Dave Harrison (ALLEGIANCE) * Andrew Haug (CONTRIVE, AndrewHaug.com) * Robyn Doreian (Hot Metal magazine) * Mat Maurer (MORTAL SIN) * Hoss & Drew (KARNIVOOL) * Matt Young (KING PARROT) * Jason Fuller (BLOOD DUSTER) * Greta Tate (Metal For Melbourne) * Steve Hughes (SLAUGHTER LORD) * Chris Rand (SEGRESSION) * Dave Harrison (ALLEGIANCE) * Adam Agius (ALCHEMIST, Metal For The Brain) * Peter Hobbs (HOBBS ANGEL OF DEATH) * Aaron Butler (FRANKENBOK) * Brad Wesson (Soundworks Touring) * Simon Lukic (Musically Incorrect) * Danny Estrin (VOYAGER) * Leigh Wilson (fan, videographer) * Matt Skitz (DAMAGED) * Brian Giffin (Loud, historian) * Dave Haley (PSYCROPTIC) * Dan McDougall (FRANKENBOK) * Richie & Greg (DREADNAUGHT) * Rodney Holder (ALCHEMIST, Metal For The Brain) * Karl Lean (NOTHING SACRED) * Chris Maric (Maric Media) * Dave Slave (SADISTIK EXEKUTION) * Mark "Sham" Hughes (NOTHING SACRED) * John Gibson (RENEGADE) For more information, visit www.metaldownunder.com.
On October 14, ECW Press will publish "Far And Near: On Days Like These", the new book from RUSH drummer Neil Peart. A description of the 312-page hardcover reads as follows: "Whether navigating the backroads of Louisiana or Thuringia, exploring the snowy Quebec woods, or performing onstage at RUSH concerts, Neil Peart has stories to tell. His first volume in this series, 'Far And Away', combined words and images to form an intimate, insightful narrative that won many readers. Now 'Far And Near' brings together reflections from another three years of an artist's life as he celebrates seasons, landscapes, and characters, travels roads and trails, receives honors, climbs mountains, composes and performs music. With passionate insight, wry humor, and an adventurous spirit, once again Peart offers a collection of open letters that take readers on the road, behind the scenes, and into the inner workings of an ever-inquisitive mind. These popular stories, originally posted on Peart's website, are now collected and contextualized with a new introduction and conclusion in this beautifully designed collector's volume." Asked a few years back how he felt about the fact that he is now, in turn, a great inspiration to others, Peart said: "I don't know about me being a 'great' inspiration, but when younger drummers tell me they were inspired to take up drumming because of me, I usually say something like, 'I apologize to your parents.' But, of course, it's nice to hear that. Personally, I don't think all that highly of my own abilities or accomplishments, but I know that I do try hard â perhaps that's a good enough example to set." Questioned if he is conscious of hearing his influence in other drummers, Peart said: "I really don't hear that myself, but sometimes other people say it is so. Some drummers surprise me when they tell me they were influenced by my playing, because it seems to me they play nothing like I do. But I understand about that, because of course any player with an original voice is filtering his or her influences and experiences through their own personality, their temperament. Thus the music becomes their own. Similarly, I was powerfully influenced by Keith Moon as a youngster, yet my own character dictated a much more deliberate and organized style for me."
UDR/Warner has set a September 26 release date for the first-ever solo album from SYMPHONY X bassist Mike LePond. "Mike LePond's Silent Assassins" is described in a press release as "a fantastic heavy, power metal album that combines all influences of Mike LePond's favorite bands from the past and present. This album is packed with kick-ass vocals, scorching riffs and epic styling; there's something in there for any style of metalhead!" "Mike LePond's Silent Assassins" features guest performances by guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD, TESTAMENT), lead guitarist and drum producer Michael Romeo (SYMPHONY X), vocalist Alan Tecchio (HADES, WATCHTOWER), and, of course, mainman Mike LePond on bass and rhythm guitar. LePond states: "This CD is all me. I wrote all the music, and all the lyrics. It's one of the most satisfying things I've ever done and I can't wait to share it with my fans. Join me as we celebrate the glory of heavy metal with my first-ever solo release!" Metal Mike adds: "Superbly crafted songs! Highly recommended to fans who like their metal true and hard." Alan Tecchio says: "The themes Mike wrote about lyrically and the energy of full-throttle riffage was a welcome back to my power metal roots." "Mike LePond's Silent Assassins" track listing: 01. Apocalypse Rider 02. Red Death 03. The Quest 04. The Outsider 05. Masada 06. Silent Assassins 07. Ragnarok 08. The Progeny 09. Oath Of Honor
Outspoken punk rock icon Henry Rollins, who writes a weekly column for LA Weekly, has penned a controversial 997-word missive on Robin Williams' recent death in which he said that he "simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves." After beginning the lengthy editorial by recognizing Williams' magnificent career and undisputable talent, Rollins wrote: "It's here where I step off the train. I am sure some will strongly disagree with what I'm about to say. And I also understand that [Williams'] personal struggles were quite real. I can't argue with that." He continued: "How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don't care how well-adjusted your kid might be â choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don't kill yourself. "Many years ago, I lived in Silver Lake with a housemate who suffered from severe bouts of depression. When she wasn't in her small bedroom with the lights off, crying for hours, she was bright and hilarious. Anywhere we went, we laughed our asses off. She fought her depression with everything from bike rides to drugs, prescribed and otherwise. Years after the last time I saw her, I guess she could no longer keep up the battle and killed herself. No one who knew her was surprised. When she was in her deepest misery, she was unrecognizable. "The hardest part about being around her was you knew there was nothing you could do to help." Later in the essay, Rollins noted that "When someone negates their existence, they cancel themselves out in my mind." He added: "I have many records, books and films featuring people who have taken their own lives, and I regard them all with a bit of disdain. When someone commits this act, he or she is out of my analog world. I know they existed, yet they have nullified their existence because they willfully removed themselves from life. They were real but now they are not. "I no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it's impossible to feel bad for them. Their life wasn't cut short â it was purposely abandoned. It's hard to feel bad when the person did what they wanted to. It sucks they are gone, of course, but it's the decision they made. I have to respect it and move on. "Almost 40,000 people a year kill themselves in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In my opinion, that is 40,000 people who blew it. "Fuck suicide. Life isn't anything but what you make it. For all the people who walked from the grocery store back to their house, only to be met by a robber who shot them in the head for nothing â you gotta hang in there." Read the full essay at LAWeekly.com.
**UPDATE #4**: According to TheWrap, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the man they have in jail, who claimed to be former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS frontman Scott Weiland, is not him, despite their earlier assertions that he was. Earlier today, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told TheWrap: "We confirmed that inside the jail is someone booked as Scott Klein Weiland. We confirmed that that person was there inside the jail. So that is what we confirmed. What we are trying to do now is to speak to the Beverly Hills Police Department to find out what the deal is. We are trying to find out what is going on with this." Also earlier on Thursday, the Beverly Hills Police Department told TheWrap that they did have Scott Weiland in custody, identifying him definitively as the "former lead singer of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS." When asked if it was possible they had arrested someone who simply claimed to be Scott Weiland, but was not the Scott Weiland of STP fame, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told TheWrap that it was a possibility. **UPDATE #1**: Scott Weiland has posted a video message on his Facebook page (see below) in which he called the TMZ.com report a "lie" and insisted that he has been "touring, writing and recording" his new album. Weiland said: "I just got reading something very interesting. A nice piece of fiction from TMZ saying that I was in jail and have been for a month. I've actually been touring, writing and recording my new album, at the studio we're in right now, a Los Angeles studio. So all I have to say to our fans is whether you find it funny, or interesting, or whether you're sad, don't worry, don't fret. It's a lie. TMZ, you'll be hearing from my attorneys. Thank you." **UPDATE #2**: According to the web site of The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a 46-year-old male by the name of Scott Klein Weiland, born on October 27, 1967, with a height of 6' 1" and weighing 175 pounds, was arrested on July 26 at 10:13 a.m. and charged with a felony. He is scheduled to appear in court on August 26. You can also find the arrest report at this location. (Note: The former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer was born Scott Richard Kline on October 27, 1967.) **UPDATE #3**: TMZ.com has posted an update on its original report, saying: "We just spoke to a rep for the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. who tells us, 'He is definitely in custody. We did a physical check on that inmate and he is currently in custody.' And ... the Beverly Hills Police Dept. gave us a written statement titled 'Celebrity Arrest' and in the statement it says, 'The suspect, former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS band member Scott Weiland (46 years of age), was taken into custody for burglary and possession of a controlled substance." The original article follows below. According to TMZ.com, former STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and VELVET REVOLVER frontman Scott Weiland has spent the last month in jail after being arrested on a charge of methamphetamine possession. The singer was allegedly picked up in July after stealing razors from the Rite Aid in Beverly Hills, California. Police reportedly found meth, as well as an insulated bag meant to prevent alarm censors from detecting stolen merchandise. Weiland, who penned some of the '90s most iconic songs yet threatened to undermine his career with his frequent and publicized battles with substance abuse, is said to be in jail on $95,000 bond. It was just last month that Scott said in an interview that his days of using drugs are long behind him, despite accusations from his ex-bandmates that his addiction problems continually sidelined the group. Speaking with News1130.com, Weiland said, "Past demons are past demons; that's stuff that I dealt with 14 years ago. I mean, I guess Keith Richards gets asked about (his past drug use), so why shouldn't I? But it's not something that I think about, ever. Those days of my dope abuse, and use, are long since by me." STP fired Weiland in February 2013 after reuniting with him in 2010 for a series of tours and one self-titled album. The band had previously been on hiatus since 2002, primarily due to the singer's struggles with drugs and alcohol. A number of the band's shows since the 2010 reunion were marked by inconsistent performances and late arrivals by the singer. STP recruited LINKIN PARK vocalist Chester Bennington in the spring of 2013 to replace Weiland. The new lineup released an EP titled "High Rise" late last year and is working on songs for a full album. Weiland continues to record and tour with his new band THE WILDABOUTS, with a new album slated to come out in November. Weiland also spoke recently about his interest in doing some reunion shows with VELVET REVOLVER. That band, which also featured members of GUNS N' ROSES, dismissed Weiland in April 2008.
"Stars", a brand new song from SIXX: A.M., the band featuring MÃTLEY CRÃE bassist Nikki Sixx alongside guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael, can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The track is taken from SIXX: A.M.'s third album, "Modern Vintage", which will be released on October 7 via Eleven Seven Music. James Michael called "Stars" "a quintessential SIXX: A.M. song," adding, "I think 'Stars' might be one of the best songs we've ever written. It does everything SIXX: A.M. does on a heightened level." Michael continued: "It's one of the most aggressive rock songs we have â the tempo is a lot faster than we usually write. It's one of those moments you always hope for as a songwriter, where the melody line, lyric and the track all marry. That chorus explodes â it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and I've heard it thousands of times. â¦ I really hope that it ends up being a single at some point, because I think SIXX: A.M. fans will really relate to it on a lyrical level, and they'll also feel very comfortable that they're hearing a SIXX: A.M. song." "Modern Vintage" track listing: 01. Stars 02. Gotta Get It Right 03. Relief 04. Get Ya Some 05. Let's Go 06. Drive 07. Give Me A Love 08. Hyperventilate 09. High On The Music 10. Miracle 11. Before It's Over The "Gotta Get It Right" video can be seen below. The clip was directed by Paul Brown in mid-June. Said Sixx: "Like our favorite bands from the 1970s, SIXX: A.M. is rooted in songwriting, musicianship and lyrics â three core elements that helped to define that era. SIXX: A.M. has taken even more pages from this book on 'Gotta Get It Right' and the rest of 'Modern Vintage', having hopefully created a record that demands to be discovered again and again." Added Michael, who also produced "Modern Vintage": "On the first two albums, SIXX: A.M. established a musical freedom that few bands get to enjoy. 'Gotta Get It Right' is clearly a birth child of that creative freedom and an exciting next step for us as our goal was to create something which confounds both expectation and categorization." Ashba adds: "'Gotta Get it Right' is a great example of how SIXX: A.M. has set out to celebrate the music that has influenced us over the years and we truly feel we've made a genre-defying album with 'Modern Vintage'." Sixx spoke to Revolver magazine last year about how the new SIXX: A.M. CD is different than its predecessors. "When we did [our 2007 debut] 'The Heroin Diaries', it was the soundtrack to a book," he said. "And when we did 'This Is Gonna Hurt', there was a lot of inspiration that drew from the photography in my book 'This Is Gonna Hurt' as well as the bandmembers' personal experiences and how they related not only to the characters in the book, but what they'd gone through growing up. Without meaning to, it hinted at this whole concept of bullying. If you're different than other people you're made fun of and you're made to believe you'll never achieve your dreams. Loosely, that's what 'This is Gonna Hurt' was about. We feel like between 'The Heroin Diaries' and 'This is Gonna Hurt', we've exposed a lot of wounds and we've talked about how to recover from them, but we haven't had a chance to really celebrate. I think this album is a celebration." Asked if SIXX: A.M. took a different approach to writing the songs this time around, Sixx said: "We put a lot fewer restrictions on ourselves. We went into genres that you wouldn't expect us to possibly be influenced by, but unless you know the bandmembers, you don't know that there are all kinds of influences, especially from the '70s and some of the great bands that came out of that era. So when we started writing, it was almost ridiculous. The songs were so left of center that you're like, 'These could never be on a record.' We were creating something so different, and once we got the songs written, people said, 'God, it reminds me of QUEEN's 'Night At The Opera' at times. It reminds me of EDGAR WINTER GROUP 'Free Ride' and these amazing things off of 'They Only Come Out At Night'. There was still the drama and the texture that SIXX: A.M. brings, but there was this celebration happening. Then as we started layering in the guitars, bass, drums and vocals, you started to go, 'Wow, this is a SIXX: A.M. album!' But it started out as not." Sixx also spoke about whether he is concerned that the musical diversions won't appeal to fans of the first two SIXX: A.M. albums. "I think SIXX: A.M. fans are going to love this record and I think new people will come in and be really surprised by it and become fans as well," he said. "I don't think our first two records sound like the same type of record, but I do think there's a sound with the band and I think we're going to continue on that tradition."