BackStory Events, a new series of curated live, feature-length interviews with iconic artists and musicians, announces guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani as an upcoming guest. The event will focus on Satriani's new album, "Shockwave Supernova", and much more, and will take place Friday, July 24 (the album launch date) at the AOL Studios in New York City. Hosted by veteran music journalist Brad Tolinski, the event will allow guests to enjoy a seat at an exclusive, career-spanning live interview, a meet-and-greet with Satriani, an autographed copy of "Shockwave Supernova", plus complimentary beverages. Satriani will be interviewed one-on-one by Tolinski as they discuss the new album and much more. Tickets are available at www.backstoryevents.com. The album sees Satriani once again joining forces with co-producer and engineer John Cuniberti. Satch and Cuniberti share production on "Shockwave Supernova", as they have on numerous albums, including 1986's "Not Of This Earth" and its follow-up, "Surfing With The Alien". Satriani assembled a trio of world-class musicians for the project â keyboardist and guitarist Mike Keneally, drummer Marco Minnemann and bassist Bryan Beller. BackStory Events kicked off in mid-June with guitar and production mastermind Nile Rodgers, who discussed his two-day, all-star event, FreakOut! Let's Dance Festival. Upcoming guests include world-renowned producer Timbaland as he launches his new autobiography, "The Greatest"; among others to be announced soon. The live interview series is produced by Tolinski and partners. Best known as the editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine for 25 years, Tolinski is a respected journalist and the author of "Light And Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page". Throughout his career, Tolinski has skillfully interviewed hundreds of musicians and plays guitar, violin and mandolin himself.
"Metalizer", the new live performance video from German thrash metallers PERZONAL WAR, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's latest studio album, "The Last Sunset", which came out on June 23 via Metalville Records. As the band triumphantly gravitate towards their 20th year together, the long-awaited follow up to 2012's "Captive Breeding" sees the quartet at the top of their game. Recorded at Gernhart Studio in Troisdorf, Germany with drummer Martin Buchwalter at the controls (Buchwalter's credits include working with and recording albums for DESTRUCTION, SUIDAKRA, TANKARD), "The Last Sunset" is the most versatile album of the band's career. Beneath well-known PERZONAL WAR hooks and riffs, for which the band have been highly praised by the press, fans can expect the band exploring new sounds as well. "When compared to previous PERZONAL WAR releases, 'The Last Sunset' goes a bit back to the roots," says vocalist Matthias Zimmer. "We set out to create a good balance of heavy riffing and great melodies and took a more straight-to-the-face approach rather than a technical one." Albums such as "Different But The Same" (2002) and "Faces" (2004) put the group on the map and displayed the big influence that bands like METALLICA had on the PERZONAL WAR sound. PERZONAL WAR have found their own ultimate mixture of staying true to their roots but still evolve and walk through life without blinders, and their fresh, modern style befit fans of IN FLAMES, SOILWORK and MERCENARY. "The Last Sunset" track listing: 01. Salvation 02. Speed Of Time 03. 30 Years 04. Never Look Back 05. Metalizer 06. When Faith Has Gone Forever 07. What Would You Say 08. The Last Sunset 09. Times Of Hate 10. I See Nothing PERZONAL WAR is Matthias Zimmer (vocals), Andreas Ballnus (guitar), BjÃ¶rn Kluth (bass) and Martin Buchwalter (drums).
Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. On flying to Germany to write songs for new album "Haven" with keyboardist Oliver Palotai: "We worked really hard on the core songs. We sent them over to Sweden where our singer Tommy [Karevik] worked on melodies and lyrics, and the final touches were done in Germany at our producer's place. That's sort of the way the songwriting's been for the last two albums. The inspiration, I had a little kick on some of these older post-apocalyptic-type movies. We're really seeing that those things are coming to fruition when it comes to technology, so we kind of wanted to incorporate that into the album â into the lyrics, and some of the themes for the songs." On recording previous album "Silverthorn" with a new vocalist: "I'm the kind of person that whenever there's an issue or any kind of situation, I address it immediately and then I never look back. I think with that situation, that was the perfect and only way to deal with it. We went into the 'Silverthorn' album a hundred percent confident. It took a lot of work and a lot of analysis in terms of what we felt was the right decision, and at the end of the day, we definitely made the right decision with Tommy. I'm never one of those guys who dwells too much on the past. It's a good lesson to never let anybody else sort of determine where you're going in life, whether it be some asshole at work, or whoever it might be, or a boss keeping you down. Take control of the situation, and make things happen." On why previous vocalist Roy Khan parted ways with KAMELOT in 2011: "I don't know. I still don't know the full explanation, and it's not something that I'm even interested in talking about anymore because we've basically moved on from that. We definitely made sure that we kept everything classy when it came to talking about it, though. We wish him hundred percent the best, and I'm totally happy for him because he's happy. That's really all that matters, is the guy's happy. We had to cancel a tour. That was kind of messed up, but other than that, people have to make decisions in their lives. For us, if that's what it takes to be a happy person, then go for it." On past KAMELOT album mixes he likes and dislikes: "The 'SiÃ©ge Perilous' mix [August 1998] I've never really liked. That was done in Germany. I don't need to mention the mix guy, but I was never really happy with that mix. I just felt that the balances were kind of unusual. One of my favorite mixes was for 'The Black Halo' [March 2005]; there's something about that one that is unique and special. A lot of the time, it has to do with the songs. The songs are sometimes different, and so we want each record to sound different. Otherwise, it sounds like it's coming out of a factory. What I mean with some bands â their records sounding like they come out of a factory â every record has the same soundâ¦ I don't think that's cool, when the drums always have the same sound on each album. Each song has the same guitar sound. There's a certain sound for guitars, and eighty percent of the bands have this exact same sound â same drum sound, for example â which is safe, but is it really cool? Is it unique? Is it artistic? We want a killer guitar sound and we want a killer drum sound, but we also want it to be unique. I kind of like the old-school way, when bands like QUEEN and even DEEP PURPLE or LED ZEPPELIN were, like, 'This song needs a different snare,' or 'Let's use a different amp on this song than we did on the other song.' That old kind of approach to creating different pictures with the music." On whether he would form a band in today's climate: "I don't think if I was starting now I'd go for it, because it's just really difficult. Luckily, though, we have a foot in the door. We're able to tour, and that's where most bands are able to survive, is touring. With the new bands, you won't see the same growth. I don't think you'll see the same uniqueness that you did before, because there are less labels taking risks with artists and stuff. At the same time though, maybe there are too many bands out there. Too many bands that are just clogging up the whole thing, so maybe that will weed out some of that. I don't know." Read the entire interview at MetalForcesMagazine.com.
Epiphone has announces the all-new Epiphone limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom, designed by the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" himself and featuring Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers, a 24-fret Ebony fingerboard, and a beautiful Ebony gloss color finish. Tony Iommi is every guitar player's hero. He's not just the "lead guitarist" of BLACK SABBATH. He i BLACK SABBATH. BLACK SABBATH was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006 but he's been every shredder's idol since BLACK SABBATH's debut in 1970. For 45 years as the band's heart and soul and the originator of dozens of all-time classic riffs, Tony Iommi has helped to make the "SG" the iconic guitar for hard rock and heavy metal. Now, Epiphone presents a one-of-a-kind SG designed exactly to Tony Iommi's specifications. "This guitar sounds like I want it to sound on stage," said Iommi. "I play it at home in the studio as well. It uses my signature pickups, which we worked on for quite a while over the years. It's got a great fretboard with a really nice feel. And, it's just a really classy looking guitar." Legendary SG Power: The original SG dates back to 1960 when it was first released as a replacement for the Les Paul Standard, which went out of production for most of the 1960s. The SG's smooth frets, lightweight body, distinctive "horns" and long scale made it a must-have for lead guitarists like Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and young Tony Iommi from Birmingham, England. The limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom: The limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom has a classic-styled SG body made from Mahogany with a gloss Ebony color finish and a 3-layer black/white/black pickguard. The 24.75" scale Mahogany neck has white binding and our popular 1960s SlimTaperâ¢ D-profile that's glued into the body with a deep-set neck joint with a smooth transition heel. Tony also introduced another first for his all-new signature SG, an Ebony fingerboard with pearloid "Cross" inlays designed by Tony with 24 medium jumbo frets, an adjustable truss rod, and a black graphite nut. The headstock features the famous Epiphone script logo in pearloid along with a 60s era "pineapple" inlay. On the back of the headstock is Tony's signature reproduced in silver silkscreen as well as an Epiphone limited edition logo in gold. The truss rod cover is bell-shaped like all classic SGs and Les Pauls. Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers: For his new limited-edition signature Epiphone, the "Godfather of Heavy Metal" chose his own Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers for both the lead and rhythm positions. The Tony Iommi Signature Humbucker was Gibson's first Signature Series pickup and features both Alnico II and Ceramic magnets with special windings for an incredible sustain and full-shred tone. Each pickup is fully wax-potted and epoxied for absolute protection against unwanted feedback. Both pickups are powered by SG-style controls with Black "Top Hat" knobs with metal inserts and an Epiphone all-metal 3-way pickup selector with a black toggle cap. Rock Solid Hardware: As with all Epiphones, the limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom comes with rock solid nickel hardware including a rim-mounted Epiphone Heavy-Duty chrome metal jack plate, premium die-cast machine heads with a 14:1 ratio and Metal Tulip Buttons, and a classic LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge Stopbar tailpiece for incredible sustain and reliability. Limited Lifetime Guarantee: Each Epiphone limited-edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom comes with a hand signed Certificate of Authenticity, binder, and photograph. And like every Epiphone, Tony Iommi's Signature SG comes with world famous 24/7/365 Gibson Customer Service and Epiphone's Limited Lifetime Warranty.
TEAM SLEEP, the side project of DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno, has premiered the new version of the "Ever (Foreign Flag)". The track, which can be streamed below, was captured last fall during the band's live/in-studio sessions at the Applehead Recording studio in Woodstock, New York. Due on July 10 via LP/CD, the "Woodstock Sessions" will be the collective's first official release in over 10 years! An experimental and at times unclassifiable amalgamation of styles, TEAM SLEEP's loose roster includes Moreno, Chuck Doom (CROSSES), CrookOne, Rick Verret and Todd Wilkinson. New to the fold and manning the drum throne for the forthcoming album is Gil Sharone (of MARILYN MANSON and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN fame). Since their self-titled debut in 2005, the group has only sporadically reconvened for touring and demo recording. However, in October 2014, TEAM SLEEP descended on Applehead Studios to record "Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4". The album will include powerful reworkings of the band's classic material as well as official versions of songs heretofore only appeared in demo form. As is the format for "Woodstock Sessions" events, a live audience attended the two-day session and watched the band compose, perform and record the album. With this premiere, TEAM SLEEP is also announcing that several other releases are in the works for them. These will include a series of studio and instrumental EPs. Select live shows are also on the itinerary for the near future. The "Woodstock Sessions" produce events that are a hybrid between audience-attended recording sessions and live performance. The products of these sessions are unique recordings and the ultimate fan experience. Sessions have included Rich Robinson (BLACK CROWES) and the BAD BRAINS.
SPIRITUAL BEGGARS â the Swedish band featuring ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, along with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-FIREWIND) â recently wrapped three days of days of rehearsals and writing, which resulted in fifteen new original songs and two covers. Speaking to Kaaos TV, Amott stated about the sessions: "Yeah, I just did three days of rehearsals and writing with the guys. Per [Wiberg], who used to beâ¦ the keyboarder, used to be in OPETH, and my drummer. So, yeah, we had a great time writing and recording some demos and ideas. We're actually going into a real studio in September and we're gonna track and album. I just booked, like, one week in the studio, and that's gonna be it, basically. So we have to be efficient. But it's that kind of music. We're just gonna track it live on the floor and do some overdubs, and that'll be that." He continued: "[We came up with] over fifteen songs. I don't know what's gonna make the album. I think we're just gonna record everything, and if there's anything that doesn't turn out to our liking, we've still got an album's worth of material." Regarding the musical direction of the new SPIRITUAL BEGGARS material, Amott said: "It sounds very lively, a lot of energy, a lot ofâ¦ some good hooks, good melodies. It sounds very rocking. I'm very happy with it." He continued: "It's in [the] vein [of 2013's 'Earth Blues']. We got a lot of good feedback on that album â a lot of people liked that album from us â and it's continuing with that sound." SPIRITUAL BEGGARS reissued two of its classic catalog titles on October 14, 2013: the band's 2005 "Demons" album was made available for the first time ever on vinyl via InsideOut Music; and their acclaimed and hard-to-find debut LP, the self-titled "Spiritual Beggars" from 1994, was re-released with over 70 minutes of unreleased bonus material via Century Media Records. SPIRITUAL BEGGARS is: Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY, CARCASS) - Guitar Ludwig Witt (FIREBIRD) - Drums Per Wiberg (OPETH) - Keyboards Sharlee D'Angelo (ARCH ENEMY, MERCYFUL FATE) - Bass Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND) - Vocals
A snippet of "The Ride Majestic", the title track of the tenth studio album from Sweden-based melodic death metal experts SOILWORK, is available in the YouTube clip below. The CD will be released worldwide on August 28 via Nuclear Blast. Joining the band on tour in support of the effort will be new bassist Markus Wibom, formerly of Helsingborg hardcore group HEARTS ALIVE. Wibom replaces longtime bandmember Ola Flink, who has amicably left the group to focus on other endeavors. Wibom has been a personal friend of the band for many years and has previously toured with SOILWORK as a guitar tech and lighting designer. Wibom made his live debut with SOILWORK in Stockholm on April 30. SOILWORK vocalist BjÃ¶rn "Speed" Strid states: "We all, sooner or later, come to a crossroad in our lives when our focus of being fueled by the past is just as strong as our visions of the future and we have to make that incredibly hard decision. Where do I go now? "Flink will forever be a symbol for SOILWORK and of all we were and still are about. That being said, we all could sense that he eventually would come to the above mentioned crossroad. He understandably and respectfully chose to step down. "So, where do WE go now? Let me introduce you to one of the finest and most stand-up people I know: Markus Wibom. He's been a longtime friend and is an overall multi-instrumental amazing musician. He's been with us before, on past world tours. He's also an amazing character and I couldn't think of a better person to fill Flink's shoes, which indeed are very bigâ¦ literally. (Markus's shoe size is actually even bigger, if anybody wants to know) "Anyway, as much as I will miss Flink, I'm just as excited to tour the world with one of my absolute best friends. "Thank you, Flink; you will forever rule. Thank you, Markus, for taking this on. I know you will blow people's minds, once the world tour of 'The Ride Majestic' commences. "Please give Markus a very warm welcome, everyone!" Wibom adds: "It's a great honor and a true pleasure to play with such skilled musicians and amazing people! It's going to be awesome to share the stage with those guys after all these years on the road together, and with the new record coming up â it absolutely kills!" Catch Wibom out on tour with SOILWORK on the band's upcoming European headline tour, dubbed "The Tour Majestic", with support from HATESPHERE. The European dates will follow SOILWORK's upcoming U.S. tour with SOULFLY, DECAPITATED and SHATTERED SUN, in addition to several European summer festival dates coming up soon.
Montreal-based death metallers KATAKLYSM will release new album, "Of Ghosts And Gods", on July 31 via Nuclear Blast. The cover artwork for the follow-up to "Waiting For The End To Come" was created by up-and-coming dark and macabre artist Art By Surtsey and can be seen below. The song "The Black Sheep", which appears on "Of Ghosts And Gods", can be streamed below. Says KATAKLYSM frontman Maurizio Iacono: "The time has come once again, KATAKLYSM on our twelfth studio album and still going strong. We are very proud of this record. It holds the best elements of the band's career and a completely new vibe and fresh outlook on death metal in 2015." According to KATAKYSM, the "cover art echoes a sinister artwork depicting the reality of humanity's beautifully disturbing existence and its impending death through the mortal and the everlasting. The background shows an ancient Incantation written in Aramaic." "Of Ghosts And Gods" track listing: 01. Breaching The Asylum 02. The Black Sheep 03. Thy Serpents Tongue 04. Soul Destroyer 05. Vindication 06. Marching Through Graveyards 07. Shattered 08. Hate Spirit 09. Carrying Crosses 10. The World Is A Dying Insect Guitarist Jean-FranÃ§ois "JF" Dagenais tracked drums, guitars and bass for the album, while vocals were recorded by producer Mark Lewis (WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The effort was mixed and mastered in the U.K. by British producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, AMON AMARTH). Says the band: "KATAKLYSM has been full of inspiration and are in full determination mode lately; a rejuvenated band that is out to conquer the world with no sign of stopping! "This promises to be the album that will once and for all establish KATAKLYSM as one of the top pioneers of the genre! "The latest material will be touching on some new ground while maintaining the aggressive edge the band has always been known for. "The chemistry with new drummer Oli Beaudoin is incredible, and the four horsemen promise some crushing new material coming your way. Death metal hymns are arriving!" KATAKLYSM had one of the busiest year in its entire career supporting "Waiting For The End To Come". The band launched a successful run in Australia and Japan and made its way to many other countries, including some first-time stops in places like Brazil and South Africa, among others. "Waiting For The End To Come" was released in October 2013 via Nuclear Blast. Band photo credit: Stephanie Cabral
U.K.'s Total Guitar magazine recently met up with KORN's James "Munky" Shaffer to talk about his history with Ibanez and two signature models, the APEX200 and APEX20. Check out the clip below. Shaffer last year spoke to Pop-Break.com about how reconnecting with guitarist Brian "Head" Welch for "The Paradigm Shift" album after an eight-year break might influence KORN's approach on the next CD. He said: "Head and I were talking [earlier today] about how we really want to keep the melodic element of what we captured on last record but really expand on the heavy riffs and get a bit dirtier. Maybe a little longer songs with longer intros, and a little more math rock, not prog-rocky but maybe some slower tempoed grooves that are 7-8 or 3-4s timing and stuff like that." The deluxe reissue of KORN's 2013 album, "The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition" (Prospect Park) was made available at Best Buy stores in North America on July 15, 2014. The set featured three brand new songs, including the single "Hater", plus "The Game Is Over" and "So Unfair". In addition, it's been beefed up with a bevy of live tracks recorded all over the globe and expanded artwork. In honor of the 20th anniversary of its debut album, KORN released a 300-page limited-edition hardcover book that chronicles and celebrates the band's history. "Korn: 1994-2014 Photo Book" contains a bunch of photos from the KORN archives, as well as entries from the band about their 20-year journey.
"Into Mosh Pit", the new video from NERVOSA â the all-female thrash metal act from SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil â can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's debut album, "Victim Of Yourself", which was released in March 2014 in North America via Napalm Records. The production, recording, mixing and mastering were taken care of by Heros Trench and Pompeu, both of the veteran Brazilian metal band KORZUS. The recordings took place at the studio Mr. Som, where NERVOSA recorded its first EP, entitled "Time Of Death", in 2012. According to a press release, "the all-female thrash metal combo pushes the pedal to the metal and offers the listener high-speed riffs, furious drumming and raging leads. The songs have a brutal and raw energy and are crowned by murderous hooks and the aggressive vocals by bassist Fernanda Lira." "Victim Of Yourself" track listing: 01. Intro 02. Twisted Values 03. Justice Be Done 04. Wake Up and Fight 05. Nasty Injury 06. Envious 07. Morbid Courage 08. Death 09. Into Mosh Pit 10. Deep Misery 11. Victim of Yourself 12. Uranio Em Nos NERVOSA is: Fernanda Lira - Vocals, Bass Prika Amaral - Guitar, Backing Vocals Pitchu Ferraz - Drums
Los Angeles, California's ARMORED SAINT will join back up with the legendary SAXON for some additional shows in the U.S. this fall to continue touring in support of the band's highly acclaimed seventh studio album, "Win Hands Down". ARMORED SAINT will also perform one very special headlining date in the U.S. this year and it's in Las Vegas at Count's Vamp'd Rock Bar and Grill on July 11, so don't miss out if you are in the area. ARMORED SAINT bassist Joey Vera states: "We had such a great time playing these dates with SAXON last May, and now they've asked us to join them again in September? We're in! It's an honor sharing the stage with SAXON and we're super glad we get to bring this great package to other parts of the country. See you all soon." ARMORED SAINT vocalist John Bush added: "What can we say? The first six shows with SAXON were so good, we added more! We're playing cities in the Midwest that we haven't played in years: Cleveland, Detroit, D.C. among others. Plus, San Diego! It's been awhile, thanks for your patience! The guys in SAXON are extremely cool. We look forward to kicking ass throughout America with them. Let's do this. Win Hands Down!!!" ARMORED SAINT tour dates with SAXON: Jul. 11 - Las Vegas, NV - Count's Vamp'd (no SAXON) Aug. 20 - San Diego, CA - Brick By Brick Sep. 10 - Atlanta, GA - Centerstage Sep. 12 - Stafford, CT - Palace Theater Sep. 13 - Portland, ME - Asylum Sep. 15 - Washington, DC - Howard Sep. 16 - Westland, MI - Token Lounge Sep. 17 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar Sep. 18 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Ballroom Sep. 20 - St Charles, IL - Arcada Theater
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Slash discusses his love of horror movies in a new video posted online by Fandango Movieclips. The latest episode of the ongoing Fandango series "I Love Movies" features the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist describing how films like "The Exorcist" shaped his life as both a musical performer and, more recently, a movie producer. Slash explains: "The first time I saw 'The Exorcist' was in the back of a Volkswagen in a drive-in theater. Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' theme was so perfectly creepy for 'The Exorcist' itself. A really great score like that one becomes an essential character in the movie." Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that classic monster movies were a big influence on him as well. "I was turned onto anything that Boris Karloff did. You know, I loved 'The Wolf Man', 'Creature From The Black Lagoon', 'The Fly', and then went onto, you know, 'Alien' was a favorite, we talk about 'The Thing' all the timeâ¦ I mean, all the way up until you had Mike Myers and Freddy Krueger and Jason. Then everything started to get very diluted. But up until then, I was pretty much drawn to any monster that looked scary." Production on Slash's second film as a producer, "The Hell Within", is scheduled to begin next January under his Slasher Films banner. Slash's first film as a producer, "Nothing Left To Fear", came out in 2013. Slash and his band are currently touring Europe but will return for some U.S. dates in September.
In a recent interview with Artisan News, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King was asked for his opinion of the Swedish occult rockers GHOST, who share management with SLAYER and have toured with King's band in the past. "Dude, I love the imageryâ¦ I love it," King responded (see video below). "I just hate the fucking music. I like them [as people]. You know, they've been on many tours with us. I justâ¦ I can't [get into their music]. And I tried. I wanna like 'em, and I can't. I got their CD from Brian Slagel from Metal Blade. It was when Gary Holt [EXODUS guitarist] first started playing with us, and I picked up Gary. And I'm, like, 'Brian said this is awesome, man.' So we put it in, going to practice. It wasn't awesome. It wasn't awesome for me. It wasn't awesome for [Gary] either. I'm, like, 'Well, maybe the first song sucks.' [Laughs] And we went to the next one. It's just not for me. I know GHOST is hugely popular, and I'm very happy for their popularity. And, like I said, [they're] the nicest guys you'll ever meet. It's just not my music. And I've tried so hard. [Laughs]" GHOST's third album, "Meliora", will be released on August 21 via Loma Vista Recordings. The follow-up to 2013's "Infestissumam" was helmed by Klas Ã hlund, a prolific songwriter, producer and guitarist who is also a member of the Swedish rock band TEDDYBEARS, and was mixed by Andy Wallace (SLAYER, NIRVANA, SEPULTURA, LINKIN PARK, GUNS N' ROSES). GHOST's June 3 show at at Doom in LinkÃ¶ping, Sweden served as the group's live debut with "new" singer Papa Emeritus III, the three-month-younger brother of GHOST's previous frontman, Papa Emeritus II. GHOST will embark on the "Black To The Future" North American headlining tour in the fall. The procession will begin at The Fillmore in Washington, D.C. on September 22. Due on September 11, SLAYER's new CD, "Repentless", will mark the band's first effort without both co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013, and original drummer Dave Lombardo, who was fired from the group earlier that same year.
KORN drummer Ray Luzier, THE WINERY DOGS/MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan and former ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin performed a cover version of the DEEP PURPLE classic "Highway Star" last night (Wednesday, July 1) at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, California. The trio was accompanied during the performance â which was part of the weekly "Jam Night" at the venue â by guitarist Mayuko Okai. Check out video footage below. Neil co-wrote and sang on ANTHRAX's debut album, "Fistful Of Metal", and co-authored most songs on "Armed And Dangerous", and a couple songs on "Spreading The Disease", which he performed live with ANTHRAX on their first North American tour in 1984. First-call touring and session drummer, Luzier is known for his high-profile gigs with David Lee Roth, Jake E. Lee and ARMY OF ANYONE, and has been a member of KORN since 2007. From movie soundtracks to rock and metal albums, Luzier's playing can currently be found on over 70 recordings. As an educator, he was a Musicians Institute instructor for over 10 years and author of a well-regarded, self-titled instructional DVD. Billy Sheehan rose to cult hero status in the '80s with his Buffalo-based band TALAS, and he was recruited by David Lee Roth to record two platinum-selling albums, "Eat 'Em & Smile" and "Skyscraper". He then launched the band MR. BIG in 1989 with guitarist Paul Gilbert and singer Eric Martin.
In a brand new interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris was asked if singer Bruce Dickinson's cancer diagnosis at the end of 2014 affected the recording of the band's new album, "The Book Of Souls". "Well, it didn't at all, because Bruce didn't know and none of us knew anything aboutâ¦ There was no inkling of any of it," Steve said. "He'd finished all his vocal bits completely anyway, and then there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn't know anything â he didn't show any signs at all. I mean, his singing, when you hear itâ¦ He's singing better than ever." He continued: "It didn't cause any problems in that department at all. He wasn't showing any signs of being ill. I didn't even know until a few weeks afterwards, when he got his results back. It was such a shock to him and everybody else, because it just wasn't expected at all." Harris declined to discuss how the rest of MAIDEN coped with Dickinson's diagnosis, telling the magazine: "It's such a personal matter for Bruce and the band that I don't think now is the time to talk about it. It's Bruce's story to tell when he feels the time is right. The one thing I can say is that Bruce is a trooper and more than ready for the next chapter of IRON MAIDEN. What matters now is that we've got an album coming out that I think our fans are going to love and we're all excited to share with them." Due globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.), "The Book Of Souls" was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from the tumor, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album's launch. Looking ahead to the touring cycle in support of "The Book Of Souls", Harris told Kerrang!: "Whenever we do a new album, we always go out with a new stage show; that's exciting in itself. We always feel like every show is sacred these days anyway, and I suppose even more so now after the scare with what's happened with Bruce. It makes everything more important to us." He continued: "'The Book Of Souls' is a really powerful album, we're really proud of it, and we can't wait to come out and play new songs on the tour. We're really looking forward to it."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, BREAKING BENJAMIN has landed the first No. 1 album of the band's career on The Billboard 200 chart, with its new effort, "Dark Before Dawn", selling 141,000 copies to enter at the top of the survey. The sales number is also the best single-week sales mark of the band's career, with 135,000 of those made for physical CDs. BREAKING BENJAMIN's previous album, 2009's "Dear Agony", entered at No. 4 with first-week sales of 134,000 copies. The outfit's previous chart peak was No. 2 for 2006's "Phobia", although that disc sold less with 125,000 copies moved in the first seven days. "Dark Before Dawn" features original frontman Ben Burnley leading an all-new lineup of the group, which has been expanded from a quartet to a five-piece. Burnley fired two earlier members in 2010 over a legal battle, while a third member departed in 2013. Burnley also struggled with a mysterious illness during the band's six-year hiatus, which he told The Pulse Of Radio might be the result of the excessive drinking he used to do. "I used to drink a lot, and I think it must have something to do with that because back in 2007, I stayed up drinking for three days straight â this is after already months and months of drinking heavily â and I woke up and I just felt really sick, like alcohol poisoned, and I was like, I should've probably gone to the hospital but I didn't, and I went onstage and when I went onstage I almost collapsed from being just so sick. And basically that was 2007 and it hasn't gone away." Burnley unveiled BREAKING BENJAMIN 2.0 last year, with the lineup consisting of drummer Shaun Foist, bassist Aaron Bruch, former RED guitarist Jasen Rauch and ex-ADELITAS WAY guitarist Keith Wallen.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, NINE INCH NAILS mainman Trent Reznor spoke this week with Rolling Stone about his involvement with Apple Music, the new streaming service launched earlier this week by the tech giant. To help celebrate the launch of the service, for which Reznor is chief creative director, he made available previously unreleased instrumental versions of the NINE INCH NAILS albums "The Fragile" and "With Teeth". Reznor admitted that his work on Apple Music took him away from writing new music, but revealed that he has been "messing around with some things," adding, "It's not a record I'm trying to finish in a month. It's more just feeling around in the dark and seeing what sounds interesting. It's nice to do that every few years to try and reinvent and discover and try to learn about yourself and what feels exciting to you as an artist." Resigned to the fact that less and less people are buying CDs, Reznor said he got involved with Apple Music because "my own travels led me to think that subscription [streaming], if it was done right, really would be the best experience for music fans." Reznor added that his own experience with existing streaming services "left me feeling a little lacking," adding, "I want that feeling of walking into an independent record shop, if there are still any that existâ¦ and being delighted by the choices and the way music is presented to you with love and care. It's exciting." Reznor insisted that Apple Music is different from other streaming services because "every song has been chosen by somebodyâ¦ It makes music feel more personal and it raises it up a notch into something what it deserves, rather than a big-box-retailer feel." Reznor's last album under the NINE INCH NAILS banner was 2013's "Hesitation Marks".
All-female metal sextet CONQUER DIVIDE will release its self-titled debut on July 24 via Artery Recordings. The CD was produced by Joey Sturgis (ASKING ALEXANDRIA, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, WE CAME AS ROMANS) and will feature the song " Sink Your Teeth Into This ", featuring a guest appearance by new ASKING ALEXANDRIA singer Denis Shaforostov. The first in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "Conquer Divide" can be seen below. "This record is the culmination of many years of hard work. It's a representation of where we've been and where we are headed musically. It's something we are all proud of," said CONQUER DIVIDE guitarist Kristen. "Conquer Divide" track listing: 01. Sink Your Teeth Into This 02. Self Destruct 03. Eyes Wide Shut 04. Nightmares 05. Lost 06. What's Left Inside 07. At War 08. Despicable You 09. Heavy Lies The Crown 10. Broken Since its formation in late 2012, CONQUER DIVIDE has managed to create a unique, modern and ever-apparent dichotomy of beautiful elegance and intense aggression that intertwines seamlessly with one another. The music certainly doesn't spare any dynamics, with the album taking the listener on a roller coaster ride of divergent stylistic qualities representing each of their musical tastes. It's not exactly a secret that the group is comprised of all girls, but you wouldn't know simply by listening to one of their songs. However, don't let their image fool you. "We are all girls, and you cant hide that, but we want people to focus more on the quality of the music," drummer Tamara reveals. "It wasn't an easy thing finding girls who not only were passionate about this type of music, but could play it well." So after years of looking in the States, they were forced to look all over the world, auditioning over 200 girls. They are subsequently based in two countries, the United States and England, but this hasn't slowed them down any. "Well, these girls have been spending time, you know, a year, maybe two years writing some of these songs, and when you have that much time invested into a project, it's definitely passionate," says Sturgis. "So I knew I had to be involved in some way, because I really like to work with passionate musicians who really care about what they're doing "Joey has really helped bring our songs to life," says vocalist Kiarely. "He has pushed us to the limit and made us think outside the box. He is an amazing producer and we are lucky to have the opportunity to work with him. He definitely brought out the best in all of us." "I'm heavily influenced by bands such as PARKWAY DRIVE and AUGUST BURNS RED," Izzy says, "so melodies and heaviness were essential when I was looking to join a band." "We wanted to stay true to our roots," explains guitarist Kristen. "Everything we've written comes from a real life experience. Music, like any art medium, has always been a form of catharsis for us, it's all about trying to take something negative that happened in your life and turn it into something positive. And we've had a lot of pent up anger to get out on this record. But we did our best to move past those issues and turn them into something for the greater good, because, I think, the whole idea is, if I can't heal from my art, how can you heal from it?" "Yeah, we've poured our hearts into this record and we really hope people can connect with it on some level," Sarah adds. Continues Kristen: "We really wanted to take our time on our first album, and because of that, we've grown tremendously as songwriters. So this album really reflects where we've been, where we are and where we are headed."
In a brand new interview with VH1.com, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was asked if he still feels a need to sing aggressively. He responded: "No. Not at allâ¦ At one point, yes, [I felt that way] but I'm 44 years old. I've been doing this band for 21 years. Now on the new [LAMB OF GOD] record ['VII: Sturm Und Drang'], there's some different stuff on there. There's a song with clean singing. There's a song with Chino [Moreno, DEFTONES] and a song with Greg Puciato [THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN]. There's one song where it's almost clean vocals and it's me doing it. That's the most fun I've had in the studio in a long time. Because, dude, sitting there screaming for 4-6 hours a day, that shit hurts your head." He continued: "You know, I know people say this, but I think this is one of our best records in a long time because Willie [Adler, guitar] and Mark [Morton, guitar] really co-wrote it. Our producer, Josh [Wilbur], really encouraged them to sit down and write together. It's a return to the old way of doing things for us, because for a while Mark would write his songs at home and demo them on the computer, and Willie would do the same, and they would come in and teach each other songs. On this album, it was like old days like when we were first a band and they wrote the songs together in the practice space. Like an actual band, ya knowâ¦ I think it shows on the album, and it's the best album we've done in a long, long time. But to bring that around to the original question, no, it's not something I feel this need to do." Asked if being in LAMB OF GOD ever feels like a job, Blythe said: "Absolutely. Absolutely, dude. Especially since we haven't had enough time off, and we need to make some money. [Laughs] So it is work, you know. It's not that I don't enjoy my job, but it's my job. I don't have a plan... well, I do have a plan B; that's being executed right now: I wrote a book, I did a photography exhibit, all that stuff. But there's no retirement plan in this business. So it's time to make a record, it's time to go on tour, it's time to do what we do in order to make a living and feed our families. And some people don't like that, when you say it like that, and this is before their romantic idea of what being in a band is, but romance doesn't pay your mortgage. [Laughs] No, it doesn't pay the bills." He added: "So no, screaming and stuff is not something I feel the need to do anymore. There's not a burning desire inside." "VII: Sturm Und Drang" will be released on July 24 via Epic in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Entertainment in all territories outside of North America. The CD was once again produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur with engineering by Wilbur, Nick Rowe and Kyle McAulay, and was recorded at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California and Suburban Soul Studios in Torrance, California. LAMB OF GOD has announced the variety of bundle options available for the pre-order of "VII: Sturm Und Drang". They range from the "everything bundle" (including the deluxe CD or LP, a 7" vinyl single of bonus tracks, a signed album art lithography, a t-shirt, hoodie, cassette and sticker set and retails for $175) to the standard digital download (which retails for $11.98). The album's first single, "Still Echoes", was made available on May 18 via all digital retailers and streaming services.
William Richards of Metal Wani recently conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Romeo of New Jersey progressive metal masters SYMPHONY X. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On SYMPHONY X's ninth studio album, titled "Underworld", which will be released on July 24 via Nuclear Blast Records: "Every album, when it's getting released, everybody's pretty pumped up and psyched. And this one especially. I mean, this one is a little different. I mean, every album we do, we always try to make it a little different. The last one was a little more heavy, and maybe one's a little more prog, one's a little more just metal. This one's a little bit of everything, so I'm kind of curious to seeâ¦ But, yeah, man, we're definitely happy about the record and kind of curious and anxious to see what's gonna happen." On whether SYMPHONY X made a conscious effort this time to make an album that retained elements of previous CDs while also charting new musical territory: "I don't know, manâ¦ We definitely talked about a lot of things early on. Every record we do, we try to talk a little bit about, maybe, the music or the lyrical content, or if there's any kind of ideas. And once that starts happening, the album just kind of falls into place. But this one, yeah, there was definitely an effort to do some of the things we've always done. Maybeâ¦ Like, looking back at some of the other records and other things that we've done, little bits and pieces, just like a nod to some of that stuff. We're definitely conscious of the fans. There's fans of the band that like an album like [2011's] 'Iconoclast' that's very heavy, and there's some that like the more progressive and very melodic kind of thing. So, yeah, there definitely was an effort to incorporate all that. And the other big thing, too, was just trying to really make it, listening-wise, cohesive, as a whole record; you know, the dips and the gaps and then the peaks, and really trying to think of the record as a whole too. I mean, of course, you're worried about working on every song and make it fit. But that was another big thing too â just trying to make it seemâ¦ like something you could just listen to the whole thing and it would make sense." On whether it helps that he has his own studio in which to record SYMPHONY X albums: "Well, you know, there's good points and there's bad points. I mean, the good point is you can take your time and you're not looking at the clock; you're not worried about money or any of that bullshit. You can really just do your thing. And it's comfy down here; it's chill. Everybody popping in from time to time. If I'm doing my guitars, [Michael] Pinnella [keyboards] might come down, bring some coffee. It's a cool chill; it's a cool hangout. So it's a great environment for working and being creative. Then, at the same time, you're not looking at the clock, so time kind of goes by. But, to be honest, I think we're pretty good about it now. I mean, the writing is really the thing that takes the longest, I think. Recordingâ¦ Once we're recordingâ¦ This time things went pretty smooth. We started tracking the drums back in September, and I think the mixâ¦ ready for the mix was around March, I'm pretty sure. So that's not too bad, considering that we had all that time to noodle with sounds and everything else. But, yeah, it is good to have your own place and to be able to work at your own pace. And everybody's happy with their performance and what they did; you don't have to rush to get something done. And I think that just helps the stuff. I mean, listening back to some of these tracks, I remember some of us just hanging out and listening. It's, like, yeah, man. It feels really good. It feels like there's an energy there. There's something there." Heavily inspired by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, "Underworld" draws on the themes from "Divine Comedy" most notably the part on "Inferno". As homage to Dante's use of the number 3 and its multiples, the band utilizes this motif in its music either in a lyrical or melodic context. The first song on the album is a three-syllable, three-note melodic phrase, and in the verses there are three references to three songs on the bands third album, "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy". "There's cool shit like this all over the record," Romeo said. For the "Underworld" cover art, SYMPHONY X went with their established illustrator Warren Flanagan (Watchmen", "The Incredible Hulk", "2012") who similarly tapped into the "secret knowledge" vibe Michael and band embedded in the record. "Underworld" track listing: 01. Overture 02. Nevermore 03. Underworld 04. Without You 05. Kiss Of Fire 06. Charon 07. Hell And Back 08. In My Darkest Hour 09. Run With The Devil 10. Swansong 11. Legend