Thursday, Jan 19

We’re Ghost!  Wanna make something of it?  

Congratulations for one of our favorite mask wearing Swedes!   The Pulse Of Radio and Blabbermouth reporting Ghost‘s “Square Hammer” has topped the Active Rock radio chart and also hit Number One on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs survey, making them the first Swedish band to ever do so. “Square Hammer” is featured on the band’s most recent EP release, Popestar, which has sold 75,000 units in its first four months of release.

In addition to “Square Hammer,” the EP features covers of songs from bands like Echo And The BunnymenEurythmics and others. Ghost’s sound is a mix of classic rock, progressive rock and metal influences, but A Nameless Ghoul told us they don’t consider themselves “retro rock”: “The sound is nostalgic, in a sense, but I think that’s part of our sound, like using our influences up to a certain sum, and then point them forward, like, ‘Let’s take all the ingredients from that time and create something new, instead of just, you know, wanting to mimic what was already there.”

The EP has been streamed over 18 million times globally.  Ghost’s third studio album, Meliora, came out in 2015 and became the band’s breakthrough effort in the U.S., earning Ghost mainstream radio airplay for the first time and turning them into a headlining act.   A fall release is planned for the next Ghost album, which the band was reportedly going to begin working on this month.

My friends in Linkin Park have posted a video with Mike Shinoda filmed from a YouTube Q&A he did recently at a music trade show to take some fan questions and discuss the band’s upcoming seventh album, due out later this year. Speaking about the new disc, Shinoda said, “New Linkin Park is on the way. We are wrapping it up. I can’t tell you when yet. That’s a little bit of a surprise but not too long . . . I can’t tell you what it sounds like. I can tell you you’re going to be surprised. You gotta expect the unexpected. Don’t expect what you’ve heard before.”

After mentioning that he’s gotten back to the gym after working 50-hour weeks in the studio, Shinoda continued, “All the making of the album, and the teasers and all that stuff, it’ll happen when it happens. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen in a week, it could happen in three weeks. You never know. We’re working on the art. We’re working on everything that goes with it.”

Shinoda also hinted that there might be some “featured artists” on the new CD, adding that the band also worked with “other people” during the writing process. But he added, “It’s still us. It’s self-produced . It’s all us, curated by us at the very least. It’s a Linkin Park record.”   No release date has been confirmed yet for the new disc, which will follow up 2014′s The Hunting Party. If you recall, there were guest musicians on their last record, including Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Page Hamilton from Helmet, Daron Malakian from System Of A Down and Rakim of the rap duo, Eric B & Rakim.  Can’t wait to find out more!

Also in the works, new albums from Seether, Mastodon, Papa Roach, Incubus, Five Finger Death Punch and more!  Looking forward to this year of new slamming awesome rock music!

And speaking of releases, Soundgarden has set Mar 10th as the release date for a remixed deluxe version of the band’s 1988 full-length debut album, Ultramega OK. This expanded version of the record is described as a “correction” of the original mix, which the band was never satisfied with. Guitarist Kim Thayil told us the band wanted legendary Seattle producer Jack Endino to remix it almost immediately after it first came out:  We were never happy with the mix, and from day one, the band, the record label — which was Greg Ginn at SST — and Jack Endino all said, ‘Yeah, let’s do this. Let’s remix it.‘”

Although Soundgarden initially intended to remix the disc shortly after its original release, the group signed a major deal with A&M Records and started work on its next album, 1989′s Louder Than Love, abandoning plans to revise Ultramega OK at the time.  Soundgarden reacquired the master tapes of Ultramega OK, which was out of print for years, in 2016.  The band then recruited Endino to finally remix the disc, with guitarist Kim Thayil working in the studio with him.

In addition to the remixed original album, the new edition of Ultramega OK will come with six early versions of songs that wound up on the disc. The tracks were recorded in 1987 in Seattle and mixed by Endino last year. All the songs ended up also being recorded for Ultramega OK.

Since reuniting in 2010 following a 13-year hiatus, Soundgarden has embarked on an extensive restoration of its catalog, including deluxe archival versions of the classic albums Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, along with a three-disc collection of rarities, B-sides and previously unreleased tracks called Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path.

Soundgarden has a number of live shows lined up for later this year and is going to record its seventh studio album.

 

Pulse also reporting Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s youngest son, who performs under the name Jakob Danger, has premiered new songs on Soundcloud. The tracks are the first new music released by Danger since he issued his debut EP in late 2015 through indie label Burger Records. Danger — which is actually his middle name — released those first tunes when he was just 16 years old.

Danger’s older brother, 22-year-old Joey Armstrong, plays drums in a band called SWMRS that was formerly known as Emily’s Army. Their father told us that he’s proud of both sons: Yeah, they’re in great bands. They’re really good. I’m a fan. I wouldn’t be answering this question if I thought they sucked. They’re really good bands — super creative and totally rockin’ and they’re different. And they love music more than anything else.

Billie Joe himself is a film and theater actor in addition to being the frontman of Green Day.  He and his sons performed together at a recent charity gig benefiting victims of the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California. SWMRS and Danger were both on the bill while Billie Joe made a surprise appearance to perform some Green Day deep cuts and Pinhead Gunpowder songs.

Green Day released a politically charged music video earlier this week for the song “Troubled Times,” off the band’s recently released album Revolution Radio.  The trio recently added 24 North American dates in August and September to its tour schedule. Its first swing through the U.S. and Canada takes place in March and April.

Last week RockFest in Cadott, WI was announced.  Today comes news of the line up for Rock USA in Oshkosh!  The RAZOR 94.7 sponsored event will take place Jul 13-15 and as you can see, it’s also really massive with Ozzy, Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Korm, Volbeat, Stone Sour and more!   Be sure to check out Crobot, Citizen Zero, Kyng, Avatar, We Came As Romans and The Color Morale.  Love those bands who need to get more love and recognition out there.   Loving these festivals!  Keep the rock flag waving!

Happiest of Birthdays to a lady I had the great fortune of working with a long time ago!  Ms Dolly Parton is 71 today!   I hope I look as good at that age!

Wednesday, Jan 18

Well lookie here!  The Pulse Of Radio says Audioslave will reunite for its first performance in more than a decade when the band appears this Friday (Jan 20th) at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles. The group will perform at the “Anti-Inaugural Ball,” protesting the inauguration that day of Donald Trump as POTUS. The show, billed as “Prophets Of Rage and Friends,” will also feature sets from Vic Mensa, Jackson Browne, Jack Black and the Los Angeles Freedom Choir in addition to the headliners.

Audioslave consisted of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and the instrumental members of Rage Against The Machine: guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk.

The group came together in 2001 following the then-dissolution of both Soundgarden and Rage, releasing three studio albums and a historic concert set recorded in Cuba before Cornell exited in 2007, ending the band.

Morello was recently asked about the chances of an Audioslave reunion in an interview with Music Radar, to which he replied, “That door has certainly never closed in any way, but right now, it’s looking like we’re pretty busy . . . whatever happens in the future, Chris is one of the greatest singers of all time, and there’s no way I couldn’t be proud of the shows and music we played together.”

Morello, Commerford and Wilk are currently in Prophets Of Rage with Public Enemy MC Chuck D and Cypress Hill MC B-Real. That outfit formed last year and toured, with plans to release an album in 2017.

A Perfect Circle is starting work on its first new studio album since 2004′s eMOTIVe and guitarist Billy Howerdel says the band has “every intention” of making new music available to fans in 2017 as it heads out on tour. Speaking with Billboard, Howerdel said, “We’re not promising anything, but I have every intention of doing my best to have us playing some new tracks during this run — with the idea that new music is coming very soon after.”

The band’s tour — its first full-fledged trek since 2011 — kicks off in Las Vegas on April 7th and 8th. The schedule will include appearances at the Welcome To RockvilleFort Rock and Carolina Rebellion festivals in late April and early May, along with a closing night stop at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on May 7th.

A Perfect Circle has been largely inactive on the recording front for the past 13 years, with only a new song titled “By And Down” surfacing on a hits collection in 2013. The group was an instant success when it first came on the scene in 2000 with its debut album, Mer De Noms, and Howerdel told us a while back how he felt about the band’s early success:  I was appreciative then, I’m certainly appreciative now of how everything came together — how all the forces came together and made it happen, and all the timing worked out, with the Nine Inch Nails tour, opening for them, and, you know, having key people at Virgin Records believe in us and ferociously campaign to market the band in the right way, and Maynard (James Keenan, singer)‘s reputation with Tool in place. . . everything just came together.

During the time that the band has been mostly on hiatus, Howerdel launched an act called Ashes Divide, while Maynard James Keenan toured and recorded with Tool and Puscifer while also running a winery, as well as promoting his autobiography recently.

Howerdel said, “To be honest, I thought (a comeback) would be a few years earlier . . . it felt like a few years ago it was going to happen, but this is just the way the schedules lined up. But I’m always excited to get the machine back up and going.

Meanwhile, Billy to me he also was working on the score for an independent film his friends did called “D Love.”  He also has some other irons in the fire to do more scoring work.  Good fellow, that Howerdel dude.  Did you know he was once the guitar tech for Tool?

M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold in Germany

Blabbermouth  reporting Live Nation Germany recently conducted an interview with Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates and vocalist M. Shadows. You can now watch the chat here.

Asked to name the best current rock and/or metal band around, M. Shadows said: “Gojira, for me. They’re awesome.”

Pressed about whether A7X still gets inspired by other bands and incorporates that influence into its own music, M. Shadows said: “If they do something cool. I don’t go out there and go, ‘Oh, this is more of the same,’ but if something’s, like, really badass and cool.”

He continued: “I was listening to Wolfmother the other day, and I was listening to Gojira, and I was thinking, ‘Man, both these bands probably had the same influences, but they both have done something completely different with them.’ It’s probably the (Black) Sabbath, the [LedZeppelin influences, but both bands [put] their own twist on what their interpretation of the old rock is.’

M. Shadows added: “For me, a band like Gojira brings something really cool and new to the table. And the latest David Bowie record, to me, is really innovative; ‘Blackstar’ is amazing. There’s a lot of stuff that’s very cool that is very influential.”

The band made The Stage album available at midnight on Oct 27 with almost no promotion beforehand, save for the arrival of a new song one week earlier.

Fieldy, open your eyes!  It’s JD’s birthday, dammit!  

Happiest of birthdays to my friend Jonathan Davis of Kornwho turns 46 today!  Hard to believe I’ve known him since 1994!  Love ya, JD!   

Tuesday, Jan 17

Two weeks from today I close on the sale of my sweet little apartment in NYC.  Leaving with some regrets.  Blessed to have gained so much!

Chicago Open Air festival has been announced. The second annual Chicago Open Air will bring together an all-star lineup of rock’s top artists on Friday, Jul 14, Saturday, Jul 15 and Sunday, Jul 16 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, just outside Chicago. The three-day music, craft beer and Gourmet Man Food festival will feature over 40 performances, including legendary rock artists Ozzy Osbourne, KISS and Korn, along with Rob Zombie, Slayer, Godsmack, Stone Sour, Megadeth, Lamb Of God, Seether, Meshuggah, Anthrax, Clutch, Body Count and many more.

Tickets for Chicago Open Air go on sale Friday, January 20 at Noon CT at www.ChicagoOpenAir.com.

 

Green Day has released a music video for the song “Troubled Times,” off the band’s recently released album Revolution Radio. The clip, posted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 16th), pays tribute to the slain civil rights leader while unleashing a barrage of criticism against the President-elect. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in a statement about the video, “Today we celebrate love and compassion more than ever.”

The video contrasts famed protests and historic moments such as the fight for women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement with images of a Trump-like figure wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat spouting hate-filled messages to the masses. It also juxtaposes images of the MLK-led March on Washington with footage of KKK rallies, ending with mushroom clouds and the threat of nuclear war. Green Day has made their feelings on Trump clear since last year, with the group chanting “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” during their performance of “Bang Bang” at the American Music Awards in November.

Bassist Mike Dirnt told us anyone who listens to Green Day should have a pretty good idea of where the band stands on the issues: “If you look at our discography, you can draw a line from any single one of our records directly to any of the other records. Pretty much our first album had a song called ‘Road To Acceptance’ which is a song against racism. You can snap that line directly to American Idiot or to Revolution Radio. I just think it’s part of who we are that we, you know, we’re not afraid to say what we mean and mean what we say.”

Armstrong also wrote on Instagram shortly after the election, “The dark side of our better angels have spoken…They gloat…They cheer…I pity them. I pity them because they have no clue what they’ve gotten our country into. Or the world for that matter.” Armstrong also said, “One thing is for sure. Racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobes have no place around Green Day and/or any Green Day event.

Green Day recently added 24 new North American dates in Aug and Sep to its tour schedule, with its first swing through the U.S. and Canada taking place in March and April. See all the dates in Road Rage.

 


Smashing Pumpkins frontman and sole founding member Billy Corgan told Chicago radio station “The Loop”  a reunion of the band’s original lineup seems more and more likely. Corgan revealed, “I just talked to [guitarist James Iha] the other day, things look good for us getting together to play. We’re talking about it, we’ll see.” But Corgan added, “The reunion thing is always a bit weird, because then people come in with their expectations. So my whole thing is if we’re going to do it, I think we do it to make people happy, and not go against the tide of what people would want to hear and that type of stuff, but my interest in it is sort of limited. I’m not going to do it for 14 years of my life.” Corgan has been touring under the Smashing Pumpkins name for several years with a newer lineup of musicians, although original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin rejoined the band last year.  More significantly, Corgan confirmed last summer that he had repaired his friendship with original bassist D’arcy Wretzky, after not speaking for nearly two decades. With Chamberlin back in the band already and guitarist James Iha joining them onstage at two gigs last spring, a reunion of the group’s original lineup seemed imminent. As for that possibility, Corgan said, “We’re not rushing to something, we have to repair some things between us, and see what’s out there for us, if those opportunities are even there.”  An “industry source” told Consequence Of Sound last August that Corgan had begun shopping an reunion of the original quartet for headlining shows and festival slots next summer.

 

Korn did a live performance at Maida Vale Studios for the BBC Radio 1‘s “The Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter.”  Warning: this is uncensored material.  Hope your brain doesn’t explode. The band toured the UK last month.
Joey Jordison

More than three years after he was dismissed from the band he co-founded in 1995, ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison says he still doesn’t know why the rest of the group parted ways with him in 2013. In a new interview with AXS, Jordison recalled the time leading up to his firing, explaining, “During the end of a Slipknot tour, I was getting really ill, and I didn’t know what it was. My legs were starting to fail on me as I was playing, and it was scary, sitting up on stage with thousands and thousands of people right in front of me looking at me. And everyone thought I might be under the influence of something, and that was absolutely not the case whatsoever.”

Jordison said he was diagnosed with Acute Transverse Myelitis and, while in the hospital, was visited by only one member of Slipknot. It was shortly after that when he learned via email that he was no longer part of the group. He remarked, “They all knew I was in there . . . and next thing you know, I got exited from the band. And I don’t know why. I don’t understand what the deal was. There’s been a bunch of rumors and stuff like, you know, why it was, and it is absolutely untrue.”   Jordison added, “I didn’t quit Slipknot. I would never have quit Slipknot, ever. I just want the fans to know that. It’s important for everyone to know that.”

Slipknot announced in December 2013 it had parted ways with Jordison,with singer Corey Taylor telling us at the time: I mean, the only way I can say it is that his life and our lives were going in two separate areas, and it was hard. You know, we were trying to put something together and it just seemed like he was going down a path that wasn’t the way we were going. And unfortunately we had to do what was best for the band.Slipknot has to this day never explained the full reasons for Jordison’s dismissal, although rumors about his drug use surfaced after he was let go. He was replaced in the band by Jay Weinberg, son of E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg. Jay made his debut with the group on the 2014 album .5: The Gray Chapter.

Jordison has gone on to form a new band called Vimic, who have released three songs so far and intend to issue a full-length debut album this year. Slipknot is on hiatus for the moment, with Corey Taylor gearing up to release a new record with Stone Sour and some of the Slipknot lineup planning to begin writing new music next month.  (The Pulse Of Radio)

 

In other news from our pals at The Pulse Of Radio:

 

    • Metallica has shared official pro-shot footage of the band opening its show in Seoul, South Korea last Wednesday (January 11th). The footage also shows the band just before they go onstage as they gather in their pre-concert huddle. Metallica continues the first leg of its “Worldwired” 2017 tour on Wednesday night (January 18th) in Beijing. (Blabbermouth)

 

    • Incubus has finished recording its new album and has now begun mixing it. Guitarist Michael Einziger shared the news on Twitter, writing, “Ahhhhhh so close! We finished recording and now mixing….you’ll hear new songs very soon!!” Incubus’s last release was theTrust Fall (Side A) EP in early 2015, but its last full-length studio effort, If Not Now, When? came out in 2011. (The PRP)

 

  • Invidia, which features In This Moment member Travis Johnson and ex-Five Finger Death Punch bassist Matt Snell, has signed with SPV/Steamhammer and will release its debut album, As The Sun Sleeps, on March 31st. The first single release, “Feed The Fire,” will be available for digital download and as a video starting February 3rd. (Brave Words)Folks celebrating life today:  FLOTUS Michelle Obama is 53, Kid Rock is 46, Betty White is 95! (I <3 her), and actor and voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones is 86.  

weekEnd Jan 14-15, 2017

hardDrive IS OVER 20 YEARS YOUNG!

Hour 1

hardDrive Double Dose:  Highly Suspect
“My Name Is Human” & “Lydia”
Plugged In:   Sylar “Dark Daze”
Green Day “Still Breathing”
Five Finger Death Punch “I Apologize”
Starset “Monster”
Guest:  Beartooth “Hated”
Listener 3 Song Seg
Dinosaur Pile Up “11:11″
Hellyeah “I Don’t Care Anymore”
Shinedown “How Did You Love”
ASK LZZY
Gemini Syndrome “Remember We Die”

Hour 2

Breaking Benjamin “Never Again”
DIRT
Chevelle “Door To Door Cannibals”
Amity Affliction “All Messed Up”
Avenged Sevenfold “The Stage”
A Day To Remember “Naivety”
Guest:  Korn “Take Me”
The Pretty Reckless “Oh My God”
From Ashes To New “Breaking Now”
Guest:  Metallica “Atlas, Rise!”
What’s In Lou’s MP3 Player?  Gojira “Stranded”

Week of Jan 16-20, 2017

XL
AVENGED SEVENFOLD “The Stage”
BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again”
GHOST  “Square Hammer
GREEN DAY “Still Breathing”
METALLICA “Atlas, Rise!”
SHINEDOWN “How Did You Love”
VOLBEAT “Seal The Deal”

MED
ALTER BRIDGE “Show Me A Leader”
BEARTOOTH  “Hated”
CHEVELLE “Door to Door Cannibals”
A DAY TO REMEMBER “Naivety”
DINOSAUR PILE-UP “11:11”
KORN “Take Me”
RED SUN RISING “Amnesia”

SM 
ADELITAS WAY “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)”
AFI  “White Offerings”
AVATAR “Night Never Ending”
DEVOUR THE DAY “The Bottom”
FROM ASHES TO NEW “Breaking Now”
GEMINI SYNDROME “Remember We Die”
IN FLAMES “The Truth”
LIKE A STORM “Pure Evil”
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE “This Light I Hold” ftg Jacoby Shaddix
POP EVIL “If Only For Now”
THE PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God”
STARSET “Monster”
THROUGH FIRE “Breathe”

Friday the 13th of Jan

YIKES!   Friday The 13th!  Actually, I LOVE it!   Don’t let a black cat cross your path! (Aren’t black cats the most popular cats for owners?)  Step on a crack, you break your mother’s back! (It’s okay, she’s no longer with us.)   Don’t walk under a ladder! (I wouldn’t fit under most ladders I own.)  Ok, so all these things are myths anyway!  And I love numbers with 666.  So there you go!

Blabbermouth reporting Metallica will be joined by Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang during the band’s January 18 concert at LeSports Center in Beijing.  According to promoter AEG ChinaLang Lang will play Metallica‘s classic song “One” from the
…And Justice For All album.  Metallica previously performed the track with Lang Lang in Jan 2014 at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

Says the band: “Three years ago, we were honored to share the stage with Lang Lang at the Grammy Awards as we performed ‘One’ together. It was one of the most creative, unique performances of our career. And we’re thrilled to announce that Lang Lang will join us again, this time in Beijing on January 18, 2017 when we take over Le Sports Center for a sold-out stop on the first leg of the ’WorldWired’ tour this year.”
Noticed yesterday that Tool has booked another tour.  This time weekend May 26-28 in Boston (well, Cambridge, really), MA called Boston Calling.  It’s being held at the Harvard Athletic Complex.    So call it Cambridge Calling.  Among the mostly alternative acts performing with Tool, Mumford & SonsChance The RapperWeezer, Cage The Elephant, Bon Iver, The xx, Major Lazer, The 1975, Tegan and Sara and many others. Boston Calling will have a film experience curated by Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman.  www.bostoncalling.com.   This date is along with Tool’s appearance at Governor’s Ball on Randalls Island along the East River bay in upper Manhattan Jun 02-04.  Exact dates will be announced soon.  I suspect more Tool dates will pop up in and around these shows, but who the hell knows when it comes to this band, eh?

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor as Nine Inch Nails  (photo credit John Crawford) 

News about Nine Inch Nails also surfaced yesterday.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are creating music to be used in the upcoming Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary, The Vietnam War.   According to Spin, the film, titled The Vietnam War, will feature more than two hours of original music by Reznor and Ross, as well as new versions of NIN material and work from their scores for the films The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network.

Burns is known for his iconic documentaries The Civil War and Baseball.  Some of Reznor and Ross’ score can be heard in a new promo for The Vietnam War. The clip examines the notorious Christmas Bombings, which leveled areas around Hanoi and Haiphong in Dec 1972.

Here’s a first look at the trailer:

Reznor and Ross said in a statement, “The sheer scale of the project combined with the magnitude of the subject matter was initially daunting for us, but the commitment, care and reverence (the filmmakers) displayed made the experience deeply satisfying on many levels.”    The soundtrack will also feature a number of songs from the era, including tracks by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and others.  The 10 part, 18 hour series will debut in Sep on your local PBS station.

Hi, we’re Bleeker!  No really, we are Bleeker. 

Spoke with Taylor Perkins yesterday from Bleeker.  Fine fellow from Ontario, Canada who, along with his brother, guitarist, Cole and bassist Mike Van Dyk, have a new album called Erase You.  Check them out when you have some time.

Have a great weekend!   With or without snow and ice.

Thursday, Jan 12

Getting closer to packing up my little NYC nest to head to the mountains.  Been in this apartment for over 20 years (I like to call it “The House That hardDrive Bought”) and this has been home.  I feel like the Obama’s leaving the White House.  Elated, but sad. If one more neighbor says to me, “We’re really going to miss you,” I don’t think I can keep smiling and saying, “I’ll miss you, too!”  without bursting out in tears!  :(

Had a great day yesterday in the hardDrive studios talking to Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle on the hotLine and Phil Labonte of All That Remains, who paid a visit.  First, Billy told me the band is still working away on music, talking to labels, and planning on getting serious next month when Maynard James Keenan will go to LA to start recording vocals.  So far, no producer, if any, has been chosen.  Billy has done a lot of the work on his own.   The band will also put aside 3 or 4 days for rehearsals before they hit the road this spring. In the meantime, Billy did a score for an independent film directed and produced by some friends of his called “D Love.”  He’s stoked to have finally cracked the seal on that type of work and hopes this can also open the door to doing more of the same. I really enjoy talking to him and look forward to seeing the band this spring.

We also talked about being the moderator for Maynard’s book tour stops. (Billy did the LA show, and I did NYC and Washington, DC.)  We both shared the same reaction when I said, “When ‘Kashmir,” (the song written about in Maynard’s book that when he and his friend Kjiirt Jensen would hear it, they knew something great was about to happen, and also the song that was played before we would step out on to the stage) was playing the first night in NYC, I was pacing back and forth, I was so nervous!”  Billy laughed and said “That’s exactly how if feels before I go on stage when I’m on tour!” And then he said things fall into place and everything is fine.  And that was the same thing that happened for me.  Interesting. You never really imagine musicians feel that way, but apparently they do!

Paulie Walnuts, some old chick and Phil Labonte

Then Phil Labonte and Kurt from Razor & Tie dropped by and we talked for about an hour (be listening for an upcoming hardDrive DL podcast) about the band’s new album, politics, LA and more!  I am not lying when I say this is their best record of their career!  It is different, so get ready to have your minds blown when you hear it!  Very happy for Phil and the band, Oli Herbert, Mike Martin, Jason Costa and Aaron Patrick, and producer Howard Benson.  Great job!

The Pulse Of Radio says our friends Metallica gave two more songs from the new Hardwired…To Self-Destruct album their concert debut yesterday (Jan 11th), when the band performed at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. “Now That We’re Dead” and “Halo On Fire” were introduced into the show, making them the fourth and fifth songs from the new record that the band has tried out live.

The band opened the show with two newer songs that have already been played live, the title track from Hardwired and “Atlas, Rise!” while also airing out the previously performed “Moth Into Flame” a little later in the set. The rest of the 18-song show was focused on older cuts like “Sad But True,” “The Unforgiven,” “One,” “Fade To Black,” “Harvester of Sorrow” and other Metallica staples.

Metallica began changing its set list nightly in 2003, with drummer Lars Ulrich telling us a while back it keeps the show fresh: When we started the St. Anger touring cycle, we started just changing the set every night. Up through the Nineties, we got a little stuck, and it got a little rigid, and we would go out and play the same set list for six months every night. So we’re really trying to just play different stuff every night. It’s pretty cool.”

The show in Seoul was the band’s first date of 2017. The group will continue this week with a pair of shows in China and has plans to hit Europe, South America and North America in the months ahead, including its first proper U.S. trek in eight years.

Frontman James Hetfield recently revealed in an interview that the quartet intends to play around 50 shows a year, which he has determined is the most that his body can handle at this stage. See, I’m not the only one feeling the burn….. ;>

Pulse also says Pop Evil is wrapping up the touring and promotional cycle for its fourth album Up, with one last headlining tour and one more single before heading home to Michigan to take some time off and then start work on album number five. We asked frontman Leigh Kakaty if the group had some ideas for the record already in place: Yeah, there’s a lot of ideas and concepts. I know we’ve got a lot of ideas that we dialed in for the Up album that didn’t make the album. So we’ve got a good starting block, but I’m gonna go all fresh and, you know, see where my head’s at, see where the energy of the band is — it’s gonna be interesting to see what happens.”

Kakaty told Loudwire in a new interview about the band’s schedule, “We’re going to take some time off in March when this tour wraps . . . Let’s just get away from each other for a minute and let everyone kind of soak in some ideas individually first and then be back up.”

The current and likely final single from Up is “If Only For Now.” It follows the Top Three hits ”Footsteps,” “Take It All” and “Ways To Get High.”  The new run of headlining tour dates started this week and will finish up on Feb 26th in Sault Sainte Marie in the band’s home state of Michigan. The Rock ’N’ Roll Now Tour: Right Now will also feature support from Red Sun Rising and Badflower. The trek stops next on Friday (Jan 13th) in Orlando, FL.

So long and best of everything to you, Josh Balz!  

Was surprised to see the news come across in an email blast from Alternative Press  keyboardist Josh Balz is leaving Motionless In White, just as the band are getting ready to release new music and tour.  It’s reported the departure is after 10 years of being in the group.  The band issued this statement,  ”After many discussions and time spent searching within himself over the past year, Josh has come upon many discoveries of who he now is as a person, and what is truly important to him regarding his future.” The band will not miss any tour dates nor alter any plans regarding the upcoming release of its new album, Graveyard Shift.

Josh posted this on his Twitter page:

My pal Danny Worsnop (man, he is tall!) released another new song from his solo country-flavored album, The Long Road Home.   The album will be released Feb 17th.  Worsnop — who recently rejoined Asking Alexandria after a year apart — called the new song “a very introspective look at my past failed relationships, where I ask myself if it was something I was capable of trying again.” (Metal Sucks)

Chino Moreno of The Deftones  has discussed his love of surfing, the ocean and Australia in a new video shot by Maniacs. He also provided the site with a handwritten surfing playlist as well. Deftones have been on the road behind last year’s album Gore and will launch a new round of European dates in April. (The PRP)

Finally today, The Pulse Of Radio reporting Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan is going on a tour of a different kind: he’s traveling around the country for the next month as part of a documentary project called 30 Days. The project will involve, in Corgan’s words, “new musical pieces, interviews with people, and we’re gonna try to document this journey and try to come up with some sort of collective vision.” He added that he’ll have “no destination, just going to wander around and talk to a lot of people.”

Corgan also announced via a Facebook Live he has three other projects that he will assemble within the main one. The first is “50 By 50,” which will celebrate his upcoming 50th birthday with a collection of 50 of Corgan’s favorite songs that he’s written — with feedback from fans — all culminating in a recorded compilation at the end of the year.

The second mini-project will be an album of cover songs, and the third is a new collection of original material.  It is not clear whether the last item will be a Smashing Pumpkins album or is related to new music that Corgan was reportedly working on with producer Rick Rubin.

Corgan confirmed last summer that he had repaired his long-estranged friendships with original Pumpkins bassist D’Arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha, and hinted that the original band could possibly get together for a reunion tour — which reports said he had already begun shopping around.  A month later, Corgan said on Facebook that he was “getting a hankering to starting writing rock and roll music again” and that a new record might involve “some other people who used to be in the band.” OOOH  Melissa Auf der Maur perhaps???

Celebrating life today:  King of All Media, Howard Stern, is 63.  Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is 53, Rob Zombie is 52 and Zack de la Rocha is 47.

 

Wednesday, Jan 11

BIIIIZZZZYYYYYY  day around the hardDriveRadio studios today!    Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle calling in around lunchtime and then a visit from Phil Labonte of All That Remains. I’ve heard their new music and it is great!  Very happy for the band!  So gonna be short ‘n sweet this morning.

First off, I got home last night from the office just in time to watch our President Barack Obama‘s final speech to the American public.  I cried.  Say what you will about him, but his class, eloquency, smarts and demeanor, and the things he and his team have accomplished, his family, all are going to be sorely missed by this gal. And The Pulse Of Radio reporting Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder performed at President’s farewell address to the nation in Chicago. Joined by members of the Chicago Children’s Choir, Vedder performed his own “Rise,” Patti Smith‘s “People Have The Power,” Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ In The Free World” and the anti-apartheid anthem “(Something Inside) So Strong.” Vedder was also later shown on television watching Obama’s speech.  Sadly, I have yet to master posting Twitter videos so if you go here, you can watch them yourself.  And if you missed the farewell speech, it’s here.

Both men spent much of their formative years in the Windy City. Vedder also attended the Obamas’ farewell party at the White House on Friday night (Jan 6th), which was attended by dozens of luminaries from the worlds of film, TV and music.  Vedder, along with the rest of Pearl Jam, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April. The band made the cut after being placed on the ballot for the first time since it became eligible.

Pearl Jam also recently donated $70,000 to help a man with his medical costs some 15 years after the man himself actually rescued Vedder in a boating mishap.

Yes, we don’t like to wear shirts, we’re the Chili Peppers after all!  

Blabbermouth reporting  Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd and U2 will headline the 2017 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival. This year’s edition of the world-renowned four-day multi-stage camping festival will take place June 8-11, held as always at Great Stage Park (aka “The Farm”), the spectacular 700-acre farm and event space located just 60 miles south of Nashville in Manchester, Tennessee. Tickets — including General Admission, VIP, and the brand new Platinum Pass — are on sale now, exclusively via www.bonnaroo.com.

The 2017 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival will once again feature the wide-ranging scope of diverse artistry that fans have come to expect, with a spectacular array of musicians, bands, and comedians performing around the clock across 13 unique stages over the four-day event.

 

Ok, this happened!  Blabbermouth also reporting Foo Fighters Dave GrohlTaylor Hawkins and Pat Smear were the in-studio guests on the Jan 10 edition of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones‘s radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox,” on 95.5 KLOS

The Foos will be one of the headliners of the 2017 BottleRock Napa Valley music festival. The three-day music, wine, food and craft-brew event, which is held over Memorial Day weekend (May 26 through May 28), will take place at the Napa Valley Expo in the heart of Wine Country.

In addition to a few low-key solo gigs by Dave Grohl, the band played a private benefit concert in Los Angeles in Oct and are scheduled to perform at an all-star benefit concert honoring Tom Petty as the 2017 MusiCares Person Of The Year on Feb 10 in Los Angeles. A string of European dates in the summer have also been announced.

Foo Fighters have been on hiatus since Nov 2015, but rumors about a new record and a second season of the road documentary series, “Sonic Highways,” have been circulating.

OK, gotta dash.  Enjoy your day!   Peace and love!

Tuesday, Jan 10

First off, I have a football hangover today from staying up well past my bedtime to watch the CFB showdown between The Crimson Tide and the Tigers.   As an LSU fan, I am elated for Clemson.  And they played such a dynamic, never-say-die display to courage and comradery!  Congrats to the team!

In the news, Green Day have announced a new string of dates for the U.S. for Aug & Sep, and we have posted them in Road Rage.

As Crown The Empire are in Smash or Crash this week, I was surprised to see the news from Alternative Press yesterday that Crown’s vocalist Dave Escamilla, who took a hiatus from the band in Nov,  publically left the band with a cryptic message on his Twitter feed saying “Really looking forward to this year. A new perspective is all I needed” with a picture of his desktop recording gear.  Meanwhile, yesterday,  the band posted on their Facebook:

“Bands are a lot like a relationship; you’ve all heard this. Sometimes when shit goes south, it’s hard to tell who broke up with whom, if you’re ever going to get back together, when to give them back their things – it’s messy, and it takes a while to figure out how to get back to focusing on just yourself, when all you’ve known for a good part of your life is sharing it with this other person.
Dave isn’t in Crown The Empire anymore. That’s how the chips have landed after the smoke has cleared. Everyone will try and make it out like it’s a big corporate thing, and say we’re “very excited about the future of what both he and ourselves make as we all continue to pursue music” but we all know that when you see your girl or guy with someone else it sucks. The difference is that we turned to each other during this time. The four of us found solace, respect, friendship renewed, and our purpose within this band, and stopped letting our selfishness divide us. Instead we’ve come together, bonded more than ever to help build each other up.
We’ve never heard or seen Dave make anything, artistically or musically in the 4 years he was in our band, so we’re just as excited to see what he does make as you are. We’ve had enough time to lick our wounds and can truly say we wish him the best, but we don’t want any of our fans to think he was at the heart of what made Crown – Crown. I don’t think you’ll see him say anything different. Yes, – the “members” as you know it of Crown The Empire were not the primary song writers, but to us, our best friend Brendan, has basically always been in our band, and wrote with us from the very first song. An architect can’t say he’s made a house without someone to actually build it. It’s not like some random person that we pay and say “hey make us famüs” he’s literally a brother of the band, and that has not changed. We will continue on as we have, together, tighter, more creative, and more excited, amicable and finally free of negativity than we’ve ever been. Dave is an incredible talent that we’ll never be able to replace in our sound, but we’re excited to build an identity around Andy as the singer of this band once more, and we can’t wait to bring our creations to you.
Because at the end of the day, anything we create is ultimately not for us. It’s for a point in time in the world and the people in it. Thank you all for being participants in our fucked up little universe so far, and we hope that you all will stick around to see how it evolves.
With Love,
Andy, Brandon, Taddie, Tree

And now back to regular programming….

Say hello to Gone Is Gone:  From left:  Troy Van Leeuwen, some old gal, Mike Zarin, Troy Sanders  They were cold.  I made them tea. 

Gone Is Gone was in the hardDriveRadio Studios here in freezing cold NYC yesterday.  Did a great interview with vocalist/bassist Troy Sanders (know and love him from Mastodon), guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens Of The Stone Age)  and multi-instrumentalist Mike Zarin.  (Absent was drummer Tony Hajjar, who was back in LA making the new At The Drive In album.)  The new album, Echolocation, dropped Friday and I have to tell you, it is great. Check out the single “Gift.”  Shades of David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd.  Awesome heavy riffs, seductive melodies.  Interesting instrumentation.  I loved it.  Check them out.  There won’t be a tour in sight, but they are planning some special events when their schedules allow.  Zarin’s name is new.  He has spent his time creating music for movie trailers, with Hajjar, for things like Star Wars: Rogue One, Ghostbusters, Inception (scoring), Game Of Thrones and video games.   They also released an EP Gone Is Gone back in Jul.  From that, watch the video for “Violescent.”  It’s cool.  Meanwhile, both Troys are working on new music for their respective bands. More on that. Read on…..

Those Atlanta-based heavy rock icons  MASTODON have confirmed a spring U.S. headline tour which will kick off on Apr 14th in Missoula, MT, with support from Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. The tour also includes stops at several festivals, including the Carolina Rebellion on May 5th. Tickets go on sale this Friday,  Jan 13th at 10 am local time, except Nashville, TN, which goes on sale at 12 pm local time. Every pair of tickets purchased online for Mastodon (excluding festival dates and the May 6th Philadelphia date) includes your choice of a physical or digital copy of their new, soon-to-be released album. Ticket purchasers will receive instructions via e-mail on how to redeem the album once it is released (date yet to be confirmed). Tickets can be purchased at MASTODONROCKS.COM/TOUR.

Mastodon says of the tour, “Hey! Good news everybody, we are hitting the road this spring with some great friends of ours Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. We couldn’t be more excited to pour majestic rock sauce all over your town.  Come on down and help us celebrate the season of new beginnings where fresh buds bloom, animals awaken, the earth comes to life and there’s a new Mastodon album to melt your face off! See you there!

As previously announced, Mastodon completed the follow-up to their universally praised 2014 album Once More ‘Round The Sun.  Details regarding their new studio album will be announced soon.

Yeah, we can only do this once a week.  Or less.  

Hmmmm.  The Pulse Of Radio says Metallica frontman James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett revealed in an interview with the Nerdist podcast the band will cap its live schedule starting in 2017 at around 50 shows a year. Hetfield explained, “My body has told me to tell these guys that 50 shows a year is kind of what we can do, so make the best of those. And I think we all kind of agree in that. But 50 shows a year, that’s pretty good. My body can handle that. Body, mind and spirit all need to kind of revitalize themselves at home, and days off for voices — things like that — so 50 shows a year, it goes pretty quick, I’m sure.”

Hammett remarked that the band used to tour “for 10 out of 12 months in the past,” playing five shows a week for 12, 15, 16 weeks in a row,” to which Hetfield added, “And we came home, and we were divorced, girlfriends were gone, and we were addicted to a few substances, and we were fighting.”

Hetfield recalled Metallica toured constantly in the first 10 or 15 years of its existence, saying, “We would go and play where no one else would play. We’re the working man’s band. We’d go to the C, D and E markets, you know, and people would be so appreciative.”

Hammett candidly admitted in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone Metallica has to tour pretty continuously in order to pay for the band’s huge overhead, which includes their own studio, salaries for their staff and crew, and their live show production.

Metallica has shows booked in South Korea, China, Singapore, Denmark, Mexico and South America over the next three months, but has yet to unveil its full 2017 tour plans, including its first North American tour in eight years.  The band’s sole North American date so far is May 21st at the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, OH. Metallica will be on the road behind its recently released 10th studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

News Briefs From Around The Net:

  • Nine Inch Nails will return to the stage for the first time in three years at the Panorama Festival on Randall’s Island in New York City on Sunday, Jul 30th. Other acts at the three-day event, which starts on the 28th, include Frank Ocean, Solange, Tame Impala, Alt-J, A Tribe Called Quest, MGMT, Justice and more. (Metal Sucks) From Roy Mayorga’s Twitter.   
  • Stone Sour has entered Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, CA to begin recording its new album for a tentative summer 2017 release date. Frontman Corey Taylor has said in recent interviews that the band had written and demoed 18 songs for its sixth studio effort, which will follow up 2013′s two-part House Of Gold And Bones concept album. (Blabbermouth)

  • Beartooth recently hit London’s iconic Maida Vale Studios for an epic live session as part of BBC Radio 1′s Rock Show With Daniel P. Carter. Beartooth performed four songs from their newest album Aggressive, including its Number 14 rock radio single “Hated.” The band will head out on tour with Bring Me The Horizon beginning March 10th in Houston. (Alternative Press) Soundgarden, the Offspring and Def Leppard lead the massive lineup for the 11th year of Rocklahoma, set to take place May 26th through the 28th at “Catch the Fever” Festival Grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma, just outside Tulsa. Other acts appearing on the event’s three stages include Three Days GraceStone SourSeetherSkilletThe Pretty RecklessNothing MoreRed Sun RisingIn FlamesBuckcherry and more.  www.rocklahoma.com for tickets and more!  (Blabbermouth) 
     

    Speaking earlier of the Thin White Duke, it was one year ago today (Jan 10th, 2016) that the world lost David Bowie, just two days after his 69th birthday. Bowie’s death followed a private 18-month battle with cancer, and according to reports from insiders in the Bowie camp, the music legend died from liver cancer, after suffering from a handful heart attacks in recent years. Bowie was survived by his wife of 23 years, supermodel Iman, his son, movie director Duncan Jones, and his daughter with Iman, Alexandria.

    This past Jan 8th — on what would’ve been his 70th birthday — a clutch of Bowie’s final songs were released as a four-track EP, called No Plan. The songs, which were recorded during Bowie’s final sessions for his 2016 Blackstar album, had previously seen release last year on the cast album for Bowie’s 2016 musical Lazarus. Bowie’s last album, Blackstar – released on his 69th birthday — scored the rock legend his first chart-topping album in the U.S.

    • Although tributes were literally non-stop in the days and weeks following Bowie’s death, perhaps the most touching tribute was in July when Bowie’s 1974 classic “Rebel Rebel” took on Herculean proportions when it was played in unison by over 1,000 musicians. A professionally filmed clip of the volunteer-based rock band dubbed Rockin’ 1000 performed the song in Cesena, Italy’s Orogel Stadium
    • September saw the release of the critically acclaimed David Bowie: Who Can I Be Now? the 12-CD box, 13-LP vinyl set, and digital download, which features all of Bowie’s officially released material between 1974 to 1976. The collection, which spotlights Bowie’s mid-’70s’ “American” phase, is the followup to 2015′s critically acclaimed box set, Five Years, and is named after a track recorded in 1974 but not officially released until the 1990′s.
    • The new box includes Diamond DogsDavid Live (in both its original 1974 and 2005 mixes), Young AmericansStation To Station (in original 1976 and 2010 mixes) — as well as The GousterLive Nassau Coliseum ’76, “and a new compilation entitled Re:Call 2, which is a collection of single versions and non-album B-sides.”

Celebrating life today:  Shinedown’s Brent Smith is 39.  Pat Benatar is 63, Rod The Mod Stewart is 72 and Michael Schenker is 62.  Have a great day!

MASTODON


with EAGLES OF DEATH METAL and RUSSIAN CIRCLES

APR
14: Missoula, MT  @ Wilma Theater
15: Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater
16:  Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
18:  San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
20:  Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium
21:  Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
23: Salt Lake City, UT  @ Complex
24: Denver, CO  @ Fillmore
26:  Kansas City, KS @ Uptown Theater
27:  St. Louis, MO @ Pageant
28:  Birmingham, AL @  Iron City
29:  Jacksonville, FL  @   Welcome to Rockville Festival
30:  Ft. Myers, FL@  Fort Rock Festival
MAY
02:   Silver Spring, MD @  Fillmore
03:  Toronto, ON  @ Rebel
04:  Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
05:  Concord, NC @  Caroline Rebellion
06:  Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
08:  Boston, MA  @ HOB
09:  Portland, ME @ State Theater
11:  New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
12:  Pittsburgh, PA  @ Stage AE
13: Chicago, IL  @ Aragon Ballroom
14:  Cincinnati, OH @  Taft Theatre
16:  Detroit, MI @  Royal Oak Theater
17: Nashville, TN  @ Ryman Auditorium
18:  Memphis, TN @  Minglewood Hall
19:  Dallas, TX @  Gas Monkey Live
20:  Austin, TX @  ACL Live
www.mastodonrocks.com