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  • MIKE PORTNOY On METALLICA: Never Has Such A Huge Band Also Had So Many 'Incredible Misses'
    on April 25, 2018 at 14:49

    Former DREAM THEATER and current SONS OF APOLLO drummer Mike Portnoy was recently interviewed on "Speak N' Destroy", a podcast about all things METALLICA, hosted by longtime journalist and METALLICA fan Ryan J. Downey. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. Speaking about METALLICA's inconsistent catalogue of music, which has included "Lulu", the critically panned and commercially unsuccessful 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed, Portnoy said: "That's the incredible thing about METALLICA. As much as they are the biggest metal band of all time and they've made some of the… I mean, the 'Black Album' and 'Master Of Puppets' and 'Kill 'Em All', these are the greatest metal albums of all time, but they've also had such incredible misses as well. It's crazy. Never has such a huge, huge band also had so many [critically panned releases]. I mean, 'Lulu' — oh my God! The fact that they made an album like that, or what they did with 'St. Anger', or, in my opinion, with 'Load' and 'Reload' albums. So they're not invincible. They're not like THE BEATLES where everything they touched was perfect and classic and is gold. They've had these missteps as well, but it just never seemed to stop them." Portnoy also talked about METALLICA's controversial 2003 LP "St. Anger", which was criticized by many fans for its lack of guitar solos, extended riffs, its raw production and the thin drum sound. "There's no question, it's an incredibly weird album," Mike said. "As much as I liked a lot of those elements of what they were going for [on that record], I also remember sitting… DREAM THEATER was making the 'Train Of Thought' album at that time, and we had just [played] the whole 'Master Of Puppets' [LP in concert] and put that out. And I remember while we were making the 'Train Of Thought' album, 'St. Anger' came out, and I remember sitting in my car outside the studio and I called [DREAM THEATER guitarist] John Petrucci into my car to play him some of the songs. And it was… I can't remember… maybe the middle of 'Invisible Kid' or 'Dirty Window', this weird middle section with just screaming and moaning, and James's [Hetfield] vocals are… [I was, like], 'What is going on?' And the sound of the snare drum. "As much as I appreciated that album and it got me back because of the spirit and the intention and I really got that, there's no question there's some really hard-to-listen-to stuff on that album," Portnoy added. "There were moments where I was, like, 'Oh my God! What are they fucking thinking?' But then there were other moments [where I was], like, 'Oh, man! This is fucking great!' It was a really mixed album for me." In previous interviews, Portnoy has been vocal in his praise of METALLICA, going so far as to talk up Lars Ulrich's contributions to the band despite the fact that it's become fashionable to dump on the METALLICA drummer's skills. In a 2015 chat with Sticks For Stones, Mike said that Ulrich's "value is not necessarily in drumming, but it has to do with him being a part of a musical revolution that he was a huge, huge part of starting. He's been a tremendous asset to METALLICA, not only as a writer, but as a businessman and his abilities to market things and his ability to arrange music and his performance on stage — he's a very animated player on stage… What Lars brings to the music of METALLICA is absolutely invaluable. So I could care less if his meter might be slightly up and down, or if his fills are slightly sloppy; I don't care about that. To me, there's way more to being a good drummer than precision and technique." […]

  • VINNIE VINCENT's Upcoming Autobiography Will Contain 'In-Depth Answers To Everything'
    on April 25, 2018 at 13:58

    Vinnie Vincent has confirmed plans to write and publish his autobiography. Speaking to the "Talking Metal" podcast, the former KISS guitarist said the book will contain "all the real answers — the in-depth answers to everything… everything, everything, everything. Because when I give interviews, I give part of the answer, but there's no way you're gonna be able to hear everything — 'cause it's too deep, it's too dark, and it's places that I'm gonna go only once, and when I do, it's not gonna be in front of an audience until the book actually does come out," he said (hear audio below). According to Vincent, no stone will be left unturned in an effort to provide a true account of his life so far. "I've been away 20 years, not by choosing, but because of events that happened," he said. "So those events will be really talked about in uncomfortable depth — because it's cathartic, number one; number two, the fans deserve to know; and I deserve to tell it. And it's nice to be back, but you can only be back unless… The meaning of being back, the reason and the meaningfulness of being back can only depend on the resolve of the past. So the future has to be dependent on how the past is resolved; otherwise, the future is never really… [it never] sets its pace in firm ground. So, in order for me to feel like I'm moving forward, I cannot look back anymore. So it has to have some resolve, and that book is my resolve." Vinnie says that he has already found "a book writer" help him put together the autobiography and has vowed to speak with him "on very deep levels" about all the things he has experienced during his life. "It's gonna be a very interesting read and something that will be not a one-time picking it up and never reading it again," Vincent promised. "If I have my way — which I will — it will be something that I wanna read a few times. Even though whatever happened to me happened, I wanna make sure that it's compelling enough where I get to pick it up and not put it down for a while. And if I can do that… It's almost like a record. If I could listen to my own recordings, which a lot of times is difficult, but if I can listen to my own recordings and actually enjoy them, then I know I've done something that is satisfying to me. So I want the book to be that way. And there's a lot to tell." Vincent hopes to complete his autobiography "within a year." Vinnie joined KISS in 1982, replacing Ace Frehley. As the "Ankh Warrior," he toured with the group in support of "Creatures Of The Night", on which he played lead guitar on six songs prior to becoming an official member of the band. From there, KISS wrote and released "Lick It Up" — their first album without makeup — in 1983, a recording on which Vincent co-wrote eight of 10 songs, including the title track, which remains a staple of the group's live performances to this day. Despite the album's success, Vincent was fired by KISS after the "Lick It Up" touring cycle came to an end, allegedly due to a dispute over both the terms of his employment contract with the band and royalties. From there, Vincent founded VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, which recorded two albums. In 1992, Vincent re-teamed with KISS principals Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley to write three songs for their acclaimed album "Revenge", including the record's first two singles, "Unholy" and "I Just Wanna". Their relationship quickly soured once again, however. Four years later, Vincent released a solo EP, "Euphoria", which featured vocals by former VVI singer Fleischman and included material from sessions recorded around 1990. Soon after that, Vincent vanished from the public eye and remained off the grid for more than two decades. In recent years, Vincent has been the subject of a number of rumors about his gender identity, including that he has been cross-dressing and that he has undergone a sex change. Listen to "TM 745 Vinnie Vincent" on Spreaker. […]

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