News

  • Watch VINCE NEIL Perform MÖTLEY CRÜE Classics In Houston
    on September 23, 2018 at 21:37

    MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil performed with his solo band on September 21 at the Proof Rooftop Lounge in Houston, Texas. Video footage of the concert can be seen below (courtesy of The Carlos Melendez Live Metal Channel) Neil is continuing to tour the world with his solo band, which includes Dana Strum and Jeff Blando from SLAUGHTER, along with drummer Zoltan Chaney. Speaking to "Trunk Nation", Eddie Trunk's show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Vince acknowledged that he is currently the only member of MÖTLEY CRÜE who is waving the flag for the band's music by performing CRÜE songs as a solo artist. "It's a cool thing, because I love MÖTLEY CRÜE, I love MÖTLEY CRÜE's music, and I love singing, and I love the fans' reactions when they hear the songs," he said. "Whether we're playing in front of a thousand people or twenty thousand people, I can only see the front row anyway. So I'm happy for me and for the fans to be able to still hear that music after MÖTLEY CRÜE is finished." MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx recently confirmed that the band is recording four new songs for the film adaptation of the group's biography, "The Dirt - Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band". The movie, which is being helmed by "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" director Jeff Tremaine, was picked up by Netflix after being previously developed at Focus Features and before that at Paramount. MÖTLEY CRÜE's last studio album was 2008's "Saints Of Los Angeles", which was followed by a 2009 "Greatest Hits" compilation. A tour film about MÖTLEY CRÜE's final shows, "The End", came out in 2016. In 2015, MÖTLEY CRÜE completed "The Final Tour", closing the book on the band's iconic career after performing a total of 164 shows in 72 markets, grossing over $100 million. To cement the sense of finality, the four members of MÖTLEY CRÜE in 2014 publicly signed a "cessation of touring" contract that prevents any of them from performing under the CRÜE name in the future. Vince Neil, the voice of Motley Crue at PROOF on 9/21... TICKETS: proofrooftoplounge.com. #ProofRooftopPosted by Proof Rooftop Lounge on Friday, August 24, 2018 […]

  • AVENGED SEVENFOLD Releases New Version Of 'Mad Hatter' In Response To Fan Complaints
    on September 23, 2018 at 20:47

    AVENGED SEVENFOLD has released a new version of the song "Mad Hatter" in response to fan complaints over the original version's mix. The track was recorded for the "Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" video game and was first made available online on September 17. "Mad Hatter" is included on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new EP, "Black Reign", which was issued on September 21. The effort contains all four songs the band has written and recorded for the "Call Of Duty: Black Ops" franchise. After a number of AVENGED SEVENFOLD fans raised concerns about the initial "Mad Hatter" mix, singer M. Shadows took to Reddit to address the situation, saying that a corrected version, with "more clarity," will be uploaded to all the streaming services and made available to radio stations on Monday, September 24. M. Shadows wrote: "Hey Guys and Gals - I hope you are all doing well. I just wanted to update you on a situation with 'Mad Hatter'. We saw some complaints about the mix and we totally agree with you! We were pushing the limits in a lot of different ways and once the compression of streaming services and radio got a hold of it the clarity become muddied. I heard it on the radio and was like 'Oh Shit!' The good news is we live in a world were you can quickly fix your mistakes and we have done just that. On Monday all streaming services and radio will switch to this new version with more clarity but we wanted you to get it here first. Check out this link. We hope you enjoy and have a great weekend." "Mad Hatter" was recorded in Los Angeles this past March and co-produced by the band and Joe Barresi, who helmed AVENGED SEVENFOLD's critically acclaimed album "The Stage", including its Grammy-nominated title track. "'Black Ops 4' looks insane and is something completely new for fans, so we felt that we should take a similar leap with the music and go for something bigger, darker and more cerebral," said M. Shadows. About the "Mad Hatter" creative process, Shadows said: "Watching the initial trailers and looking at production sketches reminded me of the 'S-Town' podcast and its main protagonist, John B. McLemore, who was rumored to have suffered from mercury poisoning, or Mad Hatter disease. The idea of Mad Hatter and what it does to the brain is as frightening as the images we were shown. So I decided that the lyrics would shadow McLemore's life. The result is a thick-grooved song that's dynamic and has a weightiness to it." "We have a very deep relationship with the team at Treyarch," he added. "We're proud to be part of the family and extremely excited for people to enjoy this next chapter and our contribution to it." "As fans of the game and as world class musicians, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has demonstrated an innate ability to convey the emotion and raw power of the 'Call Of Duty' Zombies experience," said Jason Blundell, director of Zombies at Treyarch. "We're introducing fans to a new cast of characters in 'Black Ops 4' and delivering the biggest Zombies experience to date. With IX, we knew we needed something epic and A7X delivered." "Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" is published by Activision and developed by Treyarch with additional development support from Raven Software and PC development with Beenox. "Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4" is scheduled to come to PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 12. AVENGED SEVENFOLD contributed music to the previous three installments of the game series, and even appears (virtually) in the second chapter, when they can be seen performing the song "Carry On" in an epilogue after the closing credits. "Mad Hatter" is the first original material AVENGED SEVENFOLD has released since last year's "Dose", which originally surfaced in the Gameloft mobile game "Dungeon Hunter 5". It later appeared on the "deluxe edition" 2017 reissue of the group's 2016 studio album, "The Stage". AVENGED SEVENFOLD will probably start working on its eighth studio LP this fall for a 2019 release. The band recently canceled its summer tour with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE after M. Shadows was struck by a viral infection that left him "voiceless." Photo credit: Kameron Pollock New “Mad Hatter” Mix. from r/avengedsevenfold […]

  • METALLICA: Pro-Shot Video Of 'Blackened' Performance From Winnipeg
    on September 23, 2018 at 13:10

    Professionally filmed video footage of METALLICA performing the song "Blackened" on September 13 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada can be seen below. According to CBC News, METALLICA's concert in Winnipeg set an attendance record, with more than 17,000 fans watching the band perform at Bell MTS Place. METALLICA broke its own arena attendance record, previously set in 2009 when 16,130 people bought tickets. The September 13 METALLICA show, promoted by Live Nation, was set up in the round, with the floor open for general admission standing room with no seats. As previously reported, METALLICA's September 6 concert at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska was dubbed the heaviest ever by the Lincoln Journal Star, with a "dynamic weight" of up to 240,000 pounds. Some 15,000 fans attended the record-setting show, with the five-year-old building's roof holding up under the tonnage which hung from the arena's rigging grid and steel beams attached to the major trusses. What made that even more impressive was that the stage was in the middle of the arena, so all the production gear, sound and lighting hung in a circle in the middle of the building. The setup took less than five hours to complete — far less than the nearly 10 hours it took to get everything ready at Minneapolis's Target Center two days earlier. Venue manager Tom Lorenz explained: "That was a desire we had during the design phase, about having the structural capacity to hang the biggest shows and to have the building really fitted for concerts… Not every building will be able to put up all of [METALLICA's] show. We were able to do it well and do it fast." METALLICA is in the back half of its three-year, 134-city "WorldWired" tour in support of its most recent release, 2016's "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct". […]

  • ANDY SNEAP Says Playing Guitar For JUDAS PRIEST Has Been 'A Great Experience'
    on September 23, 2018 at 12:24

    Andy Sneap says that filling in on guitar for an ailing Glenn Tipton on JUDAS PRIEST's current tour has been "a great experience." Taking his first professional steps into the world of metal during his teen years, the U.K.-based Sneap has spent decades as one of the most respected musicians and music producers in heavy music, having worked with such bands as EXODUS, TESTAMENT, KREATOR, ARCH ENEMY, SAXON, MEGADETH and most recently JUDAS PRIEST, whose acclaimed latest album, "Firepower", was co-produced by Andy. Asked by ESPGuitars.com what he would have said if someone had told him at age 15 that he would be onstage with one of the most legendary bands in metal, Andy responded: "Even if someone had told me a year ago, I wouldn't have believed it. It's an odd set of circumstances how it's come about, but in terms of just playing and being on tour and onstage, it's good for me. Working with the band in the studio, producing them for most of last year and now playing live with them — the change is nice. A change is as good as a rest, as they say. It's fun to go out and play again. To be able to go back and do something where my heart is, with guitar playing on this level. It's a great experience." Andy admitted that there was a bit of an intimidation factor when he first began working with JUDAS PRIEST. "It's the highest level, isn't it?" he said. "I'm not usually nervous at all when I meet bands, but it doesn't get any bigger than PRIEST. I'll tell you, it was very surreal. I was sitting there talking to them for the first time, and hearing myself say, 'I think you should do this and that,' or, 'I want to try and get a rougher edge here,' and so on. And in my head, I'm screaming, 'They haven't even employed me yet! Calm down!' But somehow I said the right things, and they got me onboard. They really are some of the easiest-going guys you'll meet in the business." Asked if he felt there was something specific he could bring with him when walking in to produce "Firepower", Sneap said: "The attitude I had was that of a fan. I grew up with this music. A band can be in a bubble. It's a world they create around them and they can be cut off or not quite aware of what the fans want to hear. So you'll have these thoughts… make it more of a live feel, or that it needs more energy, or whatever. There's that side, and then also the music side, with arrangements and key changes and all that. Mostly what I bring with me now is experience. I've been doing this for 25 years now. You draw from all that experience, and I guess I've reached that point where I have something to offer. It's a lot of fun as well. But I'm still a huge fan of this music." Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease four years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". The guitarist, who is now 70 and has performed on every PRIEST record since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live. "Firepower" entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it PRIEST's highest-charting album ever. JUDAS PRIEST's co-headlining North American tour with DEEP PURPLE launched August 21 in Cincinnati and will conclude September 30 in Wheatland, California. […]

  • YNGWIE MALMSTEEN: Video Of Santander, Spain Concert
    on September 23, 2018 at 12:03

    Fan-filmed video footage of Yngwie Malmsteen's September 21 performance at Escenario Santander in Santander, Spain can be seen below. Yngwie will take part in the 2018 edition of the "Generation Axe" tour alongside Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi. Beginning on November 7 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California, the run will return to markets where the inaugural tour was celebrated and hit several new cities for the first time. Yngwie's latest album, "World On Fire", came out in June 2016 via King Records. He told Seymour Duncan about the CD: "I spent two years [working] on it, touring, recording, touring, recording. And that's much, much better, actually, in a way. Back in the day I would write the songs then rehearse them with some musicians, then go and do a backing track and we'd record it, mix it, learn the songs to go play them on tour, then do it all again. That way isn't necessarily conducive to making the best music, y'know what I mean? So in a very, very backhanded way, this weird twist of fate in the music industry has actually made it a more inspiring environment, for me at least. I can write anytime and record anytime. My recording studio is always open, 24 hours. I can just record when I want and it's a beautiful thing." Asked what his latest record sounds like, Malmsteen said: "It's a Malmsteen record. [Laughs] But I would say it's a little different. First of all, I do all the lead vocals on it. Any time I did lead vocals in the past, I was singing blues stuff. This time I decided to do lead vocals in my style of songwriting, so it's different in that way. It's a very hard-hitting album and some parts are very advanced, very complicated. But it's a broad record. It's definitely a must-listen-to!" […]

  • K.K. DOWNING Says JUDAS PRIEST Should Have Considered Fans' Wishes When Deciding On GLENN TIPTON's Replacement For 'Firepower' Tour
    on September 23, 2018 at 11:47

    Thomas S, Orwat Jr. of Rock Music Star recently conducted an interview with former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Ken "K.K." Downing. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the fact that he wasn't invited to rejoin JUDAS PRIEST following Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from the road due to his battle with Parkinson's disease: Downing: "It just seemed a bit strange that the opportunity wasn't handed over recently when Glenn announced his retirement from touring. That's why I said I was shocked and stunned, really, because not just by my own part; it was just the fact that I thought that, really, a band like JUDAS PRIEST must surely consider the fans and what the majority of the masses of people would want. I don't wanna sound egotistical at all, but I was in the band for 40 years or so and people got used to seeing me as a part of the whole thing. And it gets to a point, surely, where the fans actually become a member of the band as well, really. In so many ways, really, the consideration has to be given not just to what the bandmembers want, but also that ancilliary member, which is the fan." On whether he was on "talking terms" with any of the JUDAS PRIEST members before Glenn made his retirement announcement: Downing: "Yeah, I think I was, yeah, on talking terms with the guys. And then, obviously, I made the announcement that I was shocked and stunned not to be asked back. But basically, I did that press release because people asked me to, and I though it was a good honest… yeah, I was shocked, but it hasn't happened. I said that if that's the way it's gonna be, any PRIEST is better than no PRIEST and wish everyone well. But I did say, you know, commented on Andy Sneap, who I know and like and consider him a mate — we do e-mail. And I had been to Andy's studio here in the U.K. with some younger bands, working with him. And I had nothing but good, positive things to say about Andy in that press release. But I did say that — I can't remember the exact words — that I was sure Andy would be a great contribution and contribute potentially more than an average producer would to the record. But they misconstrued what I said, and they said that I was insiniuating that Glenn didn't play on the record. Well, how the hell do I know? I wasn't there. [Laughs] I mean, I don't know. And to be honest, I didn't really care. [Laughs] 'Cause I was a bit miffed about not having the opportunity to rejoin the band, I didn't really care who played what. I thought I might have been doing the band a favor by telling the fans that Andy is doing the gig and Andy is really proficient at what he does — he's a good guitar player and songwriter, and he's a great producer. And it was kind of me letting everybody know that, hey, Andy is a good guy. I mean, they could have chosen somebody that I particularly didn't like and I didn't think that was any good at anything, but that wasn't the case. Andy is a real, real top man, and he will go out there every single night and play his heart out and do everything he can to bring a good show, and I'm sure that that's what happens. But at the end of the day, Andy hasn't been in the band for 40 years; I was. So I just think that there was just absolutely no consideration given to what people might have wanted and expected. For example, if they had put a poll on the Internet and said, 'Hey, guys, Glenn, unfortunately, can't continue. What do you think we should do?' I just wonder what the poll would have said. [Laughs]" On why he thinks Glenn's playing during JUDAS PRIEST's live concerts had deteriorated toward the end of his tenure with the band: Downing: "Glenn, bless him, obviously. Not as though people would particularly notice, but there were times when it was noticeable. I do say in the book, I think there were times in the '80s Glenn would — I don't know — party too hard. But that's his choice. It's rock and roll, and I'm not one to actually condone how people do it, how they do their show. I mean, it's rock and roll — lots of people go out there with a bottle of Jack Daniel's in their hands, or whatever they do. But there were times before — many times — and it made us all feel nervous, that Glenn was just more of a rock and roll party guy where the rest of us were… I would get nervous about my performance ability. I would wanna play perfectly every single night, and that was me — that was how I do it. Obviously, later on, Glenn [would enjoy his] beers, and that's harmless enough, but, after a point, it starts to affect the show a little bit. And I was getting nervous, the other guys were nervous. When Ripper [singer Tim Owens] was in the band, he was nervous. It's no different… I mean, if you're in a car with a couple of mates, and the driver is the only one that's been drinking, and he's still having a few swigs in the car, do you prefer it not to be happening if he's got your life in his hands? Well, if someone's got the gig in their hands, that's kind of how it feels — [it made us] a bit insecure; that's all. And it just wasn't for me. That was the main thing. And it just didn't help me enjoy the shows. If I'm nervous, it doesn't help me enjoy the show. I wanna listen to the music being absolutely precision — everybody locked into those kick drums and snare — and that's how I liked it… Everybody makes mistakes and everybody can be a bit sloppy at times if they're a bit tired and they're not feeling great. But if it's self-induced, then that's not right — it's what I think. It's a little bit selfish and inconsiderate, and I will say that now. But it's not to say that rock and roll is not rock and roll; it's a difficult one for me. But that, with a lot of other things that were going on, tipped me over the edge. If I had rode through that storm, I would probably still be on stage now. But who knows? It is what it is. If you fall out with your girlfriend, or if she falls out with you, if it's not reconciled fairly quickly, somebody could find a different partner and they get used to that different partner, and that's what happened. So, [it's] sad, really, in a way. I was the one guy… I'd never done a solo career — I never wanted do. I never wanted to have my own web site; never wanted to sell my own merchandise on the back of PRIEST. I was totally dedicated." On JUDAS PRIEST's upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration: Downing: "I have no idea what they mean by [saying that they will have] a big event — I don't know — but it's gonna be 2019, 50 years exactly from 1969. But in 1969, I was in the band, and Ian [Hill, bass] was in the band. I think Rob [Halford, vocals] and Glenn joined in the early '70s. So, really, for it to be justified… It can't be a 50-years celebration — can it? I suppose it could be a 50-years celebration that the band was, obviously, started from, when me and Ian was there. But I don't know… It's a bit weird. I think it's a good song to sing in order to get bums on seats. It is quite commemorative — 50 years is a long time. But we'll see what happens there. I don't know what Rob's got on his mind. I've heard him talk about it [in interviews], but he hasn't said anything to me about it. So I have absolutely no idea. And I've got no reason to believe that I would be included whatsoever." K.K. announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris. Downing's autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", was released on September 18 via Da Capo Press. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton, whose previous collaborations include "Official Truth, 101 Proof" with Rex Brown of PANTERA and "Confessions Of A Heretic" with BEHEMOTH's Adam "Nergal" Darski. […]

  • NICK HOLMES On PARADISE LOST Returning To Its Gothic Doom Roots On 'Medusa': 'It's Like Putting On An Old Jacket'
    on September 23, 2018 at 11:36

    Mark Uricheck of "The Rock Writer's Ramble" podcast recently conducted an interview with frontman Nick Holmes of British gothic doom pioneers PARADISE LOST. You can listen to the entire chat via the Spreaker widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On how he and lead guitarist/primary songwriter Greg Mackintosh still manage to "push the envelope" after 15 studio albums: Nick: "We're just very passionate about it; we always have been. But I think with the latest album ['Medusa'], we hinted at it with the song 'Beneath Broken Earth', on 'The Plague Within' album. We were surprised how good that came out and we thought, 'Let's take this further and do a full album in that style.' Obviously, it's also a style we haven't done for a lot of years as well. Obviously, when you take a break from something and come back to it, it seems quite refreshing to do it again. Over a 30-year span of the band, we've had periods where we have had periods where we haven't done anything like this. We've changed styles quite a few times over the years. It's always nice to come back to it. It's like putting on an old jacket that you find — I always use that analogy. It fits right and it's still comfortable. [Laughs] That's the best way I can put it." On why very few PARADISE LOST albums sound similar to one another: Nick: "As clichéd as it is, it is a natural evolution. I also think life goes in cycles. We kind of always think of the best period of our life, the best period musically was when we were truly passionate about music was when we were kids and we didn't have any responsibilities. Everything from being 15 years old to being 23, that period of music we listened to then will always be with us all of our lives. Most people have a similar kind of thing. When you get older, you look back at things, you think of when before you had responsibilities and kids and all these kinds of things. It's quite refreshing to revisit those times. Like I said, 30 years, there's a lot of cycles going on. You come back to stuff again and again. You take a break and you come back. Yeah, that natural evolution, I guess. [Laughs]" On whether PARADISE LOST finds any inspiration from contemporary bands or metal's various sub-genres: Nick: "Greg is a really big fan of underground death metal stuff. He absolutely loves it. He just listens to it all the time. He loves new bands; he loves the new death metal bands. The noisier the better, he loves it. For me, I'm more like cherry picking. I can listen to 20 bands and I might find one that I quite like. I don't listen to things because just they're popular and I don't care what people listen to; it doesn't bother me. Now and again, I'll hear a band and they'll just strike a chord with me. It's very rare and it's not even that often — it can be every five years. Obviously, we still like the old stuff and still like the bands we liked as kids. I can put on POSSESSED's 'Seven Churches' now and still enjoy it now as much as I did when I was 18 years old. Yeah, I'm pretty fussy with it. I know exactly what I like. It's not always what everybody else likes. I don't really care what everyone else likes." On what it's like having to switch between various vocal styles during a live show: Nick: "I think it just means I've got to look after myself and look after my voice. It's more about when I'm not onstage, if I'm honest. I don't go out partying, I don't go to nightclubs, I keep quiet after the shows. I don't do all the things that everyone thinks that people in bands do. It's just so I can do it onstage and do it effectively. I have to really take care of myself. Like I said, I'm not a young man either. You have to be careful with what you do and don't do and what you eat and how much you sleep. All the boring things like that. I also have a lot of time I can experiment with different styles I can do, because we obviously have our home studios where we can do things like that. It's not like in the old days when you got in the studio and you could find out there and then if you could do it or not. We have more luxury now so you can experiment more." On PARADISE LOST's legacy and whether he sees their sound in other bands: Nick: "Maybe there's a lot of bands now that are classified as older bands that I know were fans of PL. ANATHEMA when they started out; CRADLE OF FILTH was as well. They also, CRADLE OF FILTH, they influenced loads of bands. It sort of carries on down through the years. New bands influence other bands and it carries on like that. The band BATHORY have influenced an entire genre, but maybe a lot of new guys who play in black metal bands, they don't know much about BATHORY even though they might even sound like them and don't realize it. We've been around a long time. It's very flattering that people thought of us as an influence, but at the same time, we keep doing what we do and we keep moving forward." On whether he ever thought PARADISE LOST would turn into his career upon the band's 1988 formation: Nick: "No. I mean, I'm still wondering what I'm going to do for a job after the band, if I'm honest. [Laughs] I'm going to be a postman or something. No, absolutely not — you can never look too far ahead in a band. It's such a frail industry to be in. You can never plan ahead. Just when it's going great, it can just end really quickly. It's a very flimsy industry to be in. So, yeah, you just got to ride while you can and just keep your fingers crossed. There's so much luck involved. There's luck in everything in life, but in music, there's so much luck involved, I think." PARADISE LOST will embark on a North American headlining tour with Iceland's premiere psychedelic post-metal export SÓLSTAFIR, as well as THE ATLAS MOTH. The tour kicks off October 2 in Baltimore, Maryland and wraps October 21 in San Francisco, California. "Medusa" was released in September 2017 via Nuclear Blast. The artwork was created by Branca Studio and shows the infamous Gorgone Medusa from Greek mythology, carrying venomous snakes as hair and turning anyone into stone who would dare to look into her eyes. Listen to "Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost - September 2018 interview" on Spreaker. […]

  • ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Says People Don't 'Make The Same Connection With Albums' That They Used To
    on September 23, 2018 at 11:19

    Stefan from Australia's "The Moshpit Backstage" podcast recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On doing spoken-word shows: Scott: "I pretty much get to stand in a room and just relate my experiences over the last three or four decades, whatever it is. I've had a very privileged life in that I've gotten to be in a band for so long and traveled the planet and met all the people that I've met and done all the things I've done and seen the things I've seen and participated in a lot of insane things and witnessed a lot of insane things. Over the years, I've got a lot of stories. [Laughs] About five years ago, I got asked to do a show in London to get onstage and tell stories. Out of just curiosity, I did it just to see if I could because I just kinda took it as a challenge. Yeah, I just easily could have failed and hated the experience, but, I loved it. I really, really enjoyed it. I told my agent immediately 'We got to do more of these.' Over the last five years, whenever I can, if I can find a window, I go out. I've toured the U.K., I've toured Europe, I've toured the States. It's something I really enjoy doing. I think I could safely say the audiences enjoy it as well because I can judge it by the fact that everybody laughs in the right places. I kind of think people are getting it." On whether ANTHRAX will be working on the follow-up to 2016's "For All Kings" in 2019: Scott: "That's the plan, yeah, for sure. We finish [touring] with SLAYER this year in Europe before Christmas and then we'll take some time off and then probably not long after the new year, I think we'll get in a room and start arranging some new music." On whether he'd be interested in taking part in more "Big Four" shows alongside METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH: Scott: "Of course. Yes. Everybody would. We're all hoping it happens again, but that's way above all our heads." On the bands he thinks are worthy to step into the spot occupied by SLAYER and other big metal bands: Scott: "I don't know. If you're asking me if anyone will be ever as big as METALLICA, I would say no. I would also have said in 1983, I wouldn't have thought METALLICA was going to be the biggest heavy metal band in the world, so who the hell knows? I don't know. I'm not the mayor of heavy metal. I don't have these responsibilities; I don't have to think about this stuff. It's hard to say. The world is such a different place than it was in the '80s and the breeding ground for bands and how bands become big and how bands, you know, bands used to sell records. Bands don't sell albums anymore. It's all touring. It's a different thing. It doesn't mean that bands can't be big. Sure, there are bands from the last ten years that have gotten big, but will they ever be like IRON MAIDEN or METALLICA? Because I feel so much of the success of the biggest metal bands, a lot of that success, I mean, I'll include my own band in it, the reason why we can still go out and tour whenever we want and do things the way we want to do them and call our own shots is because people have such a connection to the records we made. I think part of that is lost now. Even the people that stream music, however you get your music, it's great. Truthfully, I don't give a shit how people listen to music these days, as long as they listen. But I just don't feel like in the last ten years that people make the same connection with albums, even my albums, or IRON MAIDEN albums, or METALLICA albums, because it's been so diminished, the fact that basically people are listening for free. The whole experience of going to a record store and buying a record and saving your money for that and living with that, the experience meant a lot more. There's a bit of passion that has been lost because of the death of the record, so, I don't know. I don't know if anyone is going to ever get that big. Twenty years from now, maybe five bands will prove me wrong, but it's hard for me to imagine, let's put it that way." On whether STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH, his crossover band with Billy Milano (M.O.D.), Danny Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT, bass) and Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX, drums) will possibly reunite: Scott: "Whatever it says on the Internet is true. I'm going to leave it at that." Ian's "One Man Riot" spoken-word trek will kick off on September 24 and will include stops in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. "For All Kings" was released in February 2016. Its arrival followed a five-year period during which the band experienced a rebirth of sorts, beginning with ANTHRAX's inclusion on the 2010 "Big Four" tour with METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH, and continuing with the 2011 release of comeback LP "Worship Music". […]

  • NERGAL On BEHEMOTH's Anti-Religious Imagery: 'It's My Art And My Temple, And If You Don't Want It, Stay Away'
    on September 23, 2018 at 11:07

    Finland's Kaaos TV recently conducted an interview with frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski of Polish black/death overlords BEHEMOTH about their forthcoming "I Loved You At Your Darkest" studio album. You can watch the entire chat in two parts below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he felt any pressure during the writing process for "I Loved You At Your Darkest": Nergal: "Honestly, no, because we took our time to write the record and to get the record to grow on us. When I was saying around 'The Satanist' release, I was saying it might be the last BEHEMOTH album. What I meant was there was no music left in me. I emptied my stock. There was nothing left. I was, like, 'I'm not sure if I can do another record like that. It cost me so much in energy and effort and everything.' I was, like, 'There's no more extreme metal within.' So, I decided to take my time. In the meantime, I went away to do the ME AND THAT MAN [folk side project], which was the opposite, style-wise, like a whole new world for me. But, all this and the time that we took and my musical adventures, they got me inspired, very much again. When I came back to my black metal 'cave,' so to say, I was bursting out with ideas. I couldn't stop writing. Every new rehearsal I brought ideas for a new song, a new song, a new song. We ended up making too many songs, but we recorded more material than we needed that will eventually see the light of day." On using a children's choir for album opener "Solve": Nergal: "The initial idea, I didn't include the kids in the intro. The intro was just standing alone, so to say. The kids were meant to be only in 'God = Dog', which is the third song on the record. When I did that, I told my engineer, 'You know what? Before the intro comes and we do the tour, I want just to take the kids and I want kids to be chanting this verse. Then I want the intro to pop up.' Saying that, I was, like, 'Why won't we try to squeeze this in? Incorporate the kids' choir into the intro?' He was like, 'Okay, let's try it.' And we did, then the tempo and everything, it was perfect. We put it together and I was, like, 'Holy fuck. It does work. Let's leave it like that.' It wasn't really planned. It was one of the spontaneous moments where you work on your music. There's something that's planned and something strictly arranged and mathematically put together and there's a whole world where you're working spontaneously where you let yourself drift away. This was one of those moments. I'm happy it turned out that way. People dig it." On whether he's trying to "piss people off" with BEHEMOTH's anti-religious imagery and lyrics: Nergal: "I don't need to try. [Laughs] Some people think that I just sit there in my house and I'm just thinking how to fucking poke Catholics and stuff. No. Everything I do, honestly, I do it with a huge fucking smile on my face and I'm inspired and passionate about what I do. I'm, like, 'Hey, guys, what about this and that idea? It's going to be awesome.' Then they look at me, like, 'Seriously. You want to do it?' It puts me back on the ground. 'What?' 'We're going to get a shitstorm for that.' 'But it's in my system and I need to get it out.' I cannot take any responsibility for the system because if the system and other people's emotions have problems with what I do, let them work on it. Because it's not my deal. My deal, in the first place, I'm not hurting people. I'm not molesting kids. I'm not stealing money. Fuck off. Other than that, it's my art and my temple and if you don't want it, stay away. If you don't want to get offended or whatever you call it, don't click on Instagram, don't click on Facebook, unfollow me, don't buy the record. There is no rule or nothing that forces you to do so. The show, you're entering with your free will and you must buy a ticket, so don't buy a ticket to get offended. Just be smart. Even if you're Catholic, be a little intelligent, okay? Don't do it. If you're an intelligent Catholic, you're going to come and enjoy the show and appreciate it regardless because I know people like that too. There's a lot of people on Instagram and social media who have different views, but they still understand what metaphor is, you know what I mean? I'm playing with metaphors. This is all metaphors. I've always underlined the fact that offstage, I'm a very friendly animal." On whether "I Loved You At Your Darkest" is more layered and diverse than "The Satanist": Nergal: "I started with not really a plan, but with the idea of the record being more rock-based. Keeping the rock, the ancient rock and roll formula of verse and chorus, but approaching it with intricate ways of playing things so it's not cheesy, so it's not easy. You can have an easy structure, but there's got to be something to it, like something in the beat. I call it a 'nerve.' Something extra. It's like the last MASTODON record ['Emperor Of Sand']. There's a lot of songs there. There are songs, but it's not easy listening. There are still songs, it's still catchy, but it's not easy listening. That's how I like to approach what we do. You can even hum some of the songs. You can go with the rhythm. It's rock and roll, but it's something extra to it, something more and something unpredictable, something against the current, I hope. I might be wrong. It's just my idea of what I want the record to be. But I'm super-proud and very happy of what it turned into. Honestly, I think I still haven't processed that yet. I'm in the middle of processing the record and until the record is not in my hands and I go through it, like through the final product, I can give you a final perspective on it. Then, some time ago, I stopped listening to it because I've been over-listening to it. I would really like to take a break now. I'll get away for a couple of weeks soon just to rest from all this media diarrhea and all that stuff. It's a lot of headache; it's a very intense time and touring and stuff. I just want to go back and hopefully the product is going to be on my desk in my apartment and I'm just going to go back into it and process it again more from the outsider point of view. Because, I'm still so much immersed by the record. I'm still in there, in the process. It's very difficult to distance yourself, but I know how to do it and I'd like to do it, so I'll do it. I know for a fact there's a lot of musicians and artists, musicians, especially, they never listen to their own music. They're always looking forward. I look forward, but I always look back and put on 'The Satanist' when I want to work out and shit like that. I really hope 'I Loved You At Your Darkest' is going to be another soundtrack to my life. For years, I still go back to 'The Satanist'. 'The Satanist' is my most-listened to record I've done. But, then I pick up other songs sometimes from the back catalog, but 'The Satanist' is still on, it's still spinning in my iPhone." "I Loved You At Your Darkest" will be released on October 5 via Metal Blade Records in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe. […]

  • HELLOWEEN Bassist: 'You Can Only Do The Best Thing If You're In Love With What You're Doing'
    on September 23, 2018 at 10:41

    Sam Saltman of Heavy Metal Television conducted an interview with bassist Markus Grosskopf of German power metal legends HELLOWEEN prior to the band's September 7 concert at House Of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of their "Pumpkins United" tour. The trek features returning vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist Kai Hansen alongside current vocalist Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, Grosskopf and drummer Dani Löble. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether HELLOWEEN has any new material written in preparation for their recently-announced reunion studio album which is due in 2020: Markus: "No. Since we've been busy with touring, everybody, each individual member, of course, has ideas. For example, me, if I have a melody in my head, I put it directly on my mobile [phone]. I collect ideas and before we start writing, I will listen to it and 80 percent goes directly to the [trash] bin and the other 20 percent I will take bits and pieces and make songs out of it. I'm sure everybody has ideas individually, but we didn't start to write songs yet. We are coming up with ideas then everybody starts writing songs, lyrics and riffs, then just parts, then we're going to sit together, listen to it and decide what's good, what's worth working on, what's worth checking it out and all that stuff. Now we have two more members. We've never done a record like this. This process may be a little bit different when they bring in their influences. It can be very interesting. It can be very refreshing." On putting together the setlist for the "Pumpkins United" tour: Markus: "We've been struggling all the time. We have so many songs and there's still so many songs that we could squeeze in. You cannot really do four hours, which is interesting because knowing there is a record coming out next year or whenever, at least starting next year, there will be another tour. Another tour means you can squeeze in songs that you didn't play on this one. There's still a lot to do." On the band's 1985 "Walls Of Jericho" debut studio album: Markus: "We wanted to impress people, you know? If you do only being melodic, tons of bands are doing it, some are really, really good, of course. Only doing thrash, a lot of bands are doing this. Some of them are really, really good, but then, nobody would listen to something that's already there. You do it in a very, very good way. We wanted to combine all those. We found it's much more interesting if you kind of mix and be open to a lot of melodies and harmonies and still playing, still giving it that thrash. We're not a thrash band, but giving it that speed and approach. Then, on the 'Keeper [Of The Seven Keys Part] I', some people were already about to kill us when we came out with the songs, but we just loved it. We just loved to do it. We just said, 'It was the right move.' We never doubted because we liked it. You can only do the best thing if you're in love with what you're doing. Then there's nothing wrong with it. Some people kind of don't like it, but you can't satisfy everybody. Yeah, some said 'You betrayed metal!' So what? Life's long. You got to do something [different]. [Laughs]" On the impact Gerstner and Löble have had on HELLOWEEN since they joined in 2002 and 2005 respectively: Markus: "Of course. You got another guy in. You got two new guys coming in. Of course, they bring their influences. First, you have to find how you fit together, but then you're writing material, you play together and you can see it growing together. That's a very fun thing if you can get new people. You see them play, then you play some old songs together which is actually there already, but, still, you have a different guitar player or different drummer. You have to stick a little to what's there already on the songs, but then it gets very interesting when it comes to new songs. They can free their minds and they can bring some new stuff by the way they play. Then, you create new songs with people sounding different." On whether he thinks the current formation of HELLOWEEN, including Kiske and Hansen, will continue for years to come: Markus: "Yes. I don't think we need anymore singers. I think we have enough of them. [Laughs] We have enough guitar players. I would never ever let a bass player come in. [Laughs]" On the success of fellow power metal bands such as BLIND GUARDIAN and STRATOVARIUS: Markus: "We got a good scene in Germany. That's what I really like, in Europe, we have loads of festivals. We played the whole season from April, May, up until September in Wacken. We had even more after Wacken. Almost each weekend, we have one or two festival shows and that's when you see all these people. Otherwise, they're touring over there, everybody's touring in some different places. But in a festival, they come out together and share a beer and go 'Haven't seen you for a while!' I like that atmosphere with all the other bands who are really good friends. I see them and we celebrate sometimes. I like that." HELLOWEEN recently completed a run of North American shows that will be followed by additional dates in Latin America. The final "Pumpkins United" concert of 2018 will take place in Hamburg, right where all the madness started in 1984, at the legendary Sporthalle on December 22. The "Pumpkins United" tour marks the first time Kiske has played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, has been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set features several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sings a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)". […]

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