Tuesday, Feb 21

Love starting the day off with this news!  Seether have announced the fifth annual Rise Above Fest, with some exciting new developments. Due to popular demand, the multi-stage music festival has expanded to two days for the first time in its history.

Rise Above Fest, which supports suicide prevention and mental illness, is the largest suicide awareness music event in the world and has established itself as a “can’t miss” destination festival of the summer for hard rock fans.

This year’s Rise Above Fest is set for Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23. The event returns to Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine.

The 2017 Rise Above fest lineup is a veritable “Who’s Who” of rock music, with Korn set to headline Saturday night, alongside sets from Seether, Stone Sour, Skillet, Falling in Reverse, and more. Shinedown will close Sunday night’s festivities, along with performances from Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Hellyeah, and All That Remains, among others.

In addition to giving rock fans a must-see lineup of bands, the event, which borrows its name from the Seether song “Rise Above This,” brings awareness to suicide as an epidemic and destigmatizes depression and other mental illnesses.

As fans are well aware, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan lost his brother to suicide nearly a decade ago and penned the song as an ode to him. The singer’s personal experience with suicide lead to the creation of Rise Above Fest. Additionally, Morgan was honored last year with the “Artistic Expression” Award from the National Council for Behavioral Health at the Awards of Excellence in Las Vegas for his tireless work as an advocate of suicide prevention.

All proceeds from Rise Above Fest benefit SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), which is one of the leading national not-for-profit organizations dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention in order to SAVE lives.

It’s unbelievable we’re in our fifth year of Rise Above Fest,” Morgan said. “We started this out as a way to give back and raise awareness. To have created something that our friends and fans believe in is really humbling. Every year it’s grown and it’s an honor to bring you a two-day experience. Can’t wait to see you there.

Tickets for the Rise Above Fest go on sale on Friday, Feb. 24 at 10am ET at this location. (NOTE: Link is not live until then.)

The Pulse Of Radio says just a week and a half after Metallica and Lady Gaga  performed together at the Grammy Awards, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is still talking about the event as if it is just the beginning. In a new interview with The A.V. Club, Ulrich explained, “Obviously, we’re not sitting in a recording studio today writing songs for a record or anything. I think that our weekend together was so seamless and so authentic and such a natural fit that the idea of revisiting this at some point down the road . . . As we were walking off one of the soundchecks, she said to me, ‘We gotta do something again together. This is just too good to leave.’ And I said, ‘I agree with you. It’s just too real.’”
Despite the technical snafus with the actual televised performance that left Metallica frontman James Hetfield without a mic for most of the song, Ulrich said, “I knew ths was going to work.”

He continued, “We did one run-through. The way her and James’s voices worked, it jelled so well together we all kind of stood there like, ‘Huh?’ It was really f**king next-level . . . There was no sort of, ‘Oh, my god, what are we doing here?’ This was as natural and organic as you could imagine this type of stuff being.”

The drummer reiterated, “If there was ever an opportunity to revisit something like this, this is about as pure as it could get. So we’ll see.

Metallica recently announced the details of the North American leg of the band’s “WorldWired” 2017 tour in support of its new album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.  The trek kicks off on May 10th in Baltimore and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support will come from Avenged SevenfoldVolbeat and, in the latter portion of the schedule, Gojira.

Corey Taylor….Making America Read Again!  

The Pulse Of Radio also says Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor has set Aug 15th as the release date of his next book, titled America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside The Greatest Country In The World. The book’s title is a play on Area 51, the famously secret Air Force base in Nevada that doesn’t officially exist and which has been the center of UFO lore for decades.

Taylor told the Guardian the book is “going to deal with everything from politics to social commentary. It’s going to piss off a lot of people in my country, but everyone else will love it.

Taylor told us he tries to make his books sound like he’s having a discussion with the reader: ”People who know me, they call me and it’s like, ‘Dude, I can’t get your voice out of my head when I’m reading this book. It’s like I’m talking to you!’ And that, that’s the best compliment I could ever get, you know, because that’s really what it’s supposed to be, is a conversation.”

The official description reads, “Balancing humor, outrage, and disbelief, Taylor examines the rotting core of America, evaluating everything from politics and race relations to family and ‘man buns.’ By continuing the wave of moral outrage begun in You’re Making Me Hate You, Taylor skewers contemporary America in his own signature style.

Taylor published his third book, You’re Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look At The Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left, in July 2015. His previous books include 2011′s Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good and 2013′s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven, both of which made the New York Times “Hardcover Non-Fiction” best sellers list.  The singer is currently in the studio with Stone Sour, who are completing their sixth album, Hydrograd, for release later this year.

Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, posted an emotional tribute to her father online on Monday (Feb 20th), on what would have been his 50th birthday. According to Billboard, Frances wrote on Instagram, “Today would have been your 50th birthday. You are loved and you are missed. Thank you for giving me the gift of life. Forever your daughter, Frances Bean.

Kurt Cobain was just 27 years old when he died in 1994 at from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Frances Bean, who is now 21, was only one year old when her father died.

Later in the day, Frances also posted a text exchange between herself and her grandmother — and Kurt’s mother – Wendy Cobain. Frances wrote, “I love you so much, thank you for being my one and only grams . . . I know he is thankful that you raised me to be as strong & compassionate as you are.”    Wendy replied, “You were such a caring loving little girl and have turned into such a beautiful young woman, he would be so ‘smugly’ proud of you . . . Thank God you were here for me to love and care for.”  Wendy Cobain cared for Frances during a period lasting several years in which Frances was estranged from her mother, Courtney Love.

I remember seeing Frances Bean when Courtney toured with Hole at the NY Academy of Music back in maybe 1993 or early ’94.  She was so cute with her little sound-cancelling headphones as she was seen on the side of the stage watching Mom being held in the arms of Drew Barrymore, who was dating Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson at the time.  Such a sweet moment.  And I remember wondering how she would be when she grew up.  Sigh.

Lou Brutus with Mike Mushok and Adam Gontier

Saint Asonia, the act featuring ex-Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, intends to release its sophomore album before the end of the year, according to Blabbermouth. Gontier told Detroit radio station WRIF, “I would say we’re about halfway done, meaning the writing process is pretty much done. Right now, we’re just in the stages of demoing what we, as a band, believe are four or five of the best tracks that will be on the record, that we feel are the best tracks, that we are most happy with.”  Gontier said in the radio interview the music for the band’s second album was a “big evolution” for Saint Asonia, adding, “I believe it’s gonna be the record that will jumpstart — if we haven’t already — catapult what we’ve been trying to do so far.”

Gontier added that the band has not decided whether it will hire a producer for the record, saying, “Between myself, Mike Mushok and (bassist) Corey Lowery, we’ve all done some producing in our day, and at this point, a producer isn’t 100 percent necessary . . . But as for the songwriting, it’s pretty much done, and we’re having a really good time putting the finishing touches on the music we’ve got so far.”

Saint Asonia was unveiled in early 2015, with Mushok and Gontier joined in the band by Lowery and ex-Finger Eleven drummer Rich Beddoe.

Gontier told us a while back about the moment when they knew Saint Asonia was a band: When we got into the studio to record a couple of songs, we recorded three songs, and when they were done, I think that was probably the moment where we were like, ‘Okay, so we’ve just recorded three songs, they turned out really good, we have another 10, let’s do this.’ Obviously Mike being basically on hiatus from Staind for who knows how long, it just seemed to make sense.”

Gontier had exited Three Days Grace two years earlier, while Staind’s semi-permanent hiatus left Mushok with a lot of free time on his hands.  The group’s self-titled debut album — which came out in July of that same year — contained the Top 10 rock radio hit “Better Place.”

 

Blabbermouth reporting our friends, Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry will film a video for the song ”Cheaper To Drink Alone” tonight (Feb 21) at Spillway Bar And Grill in Bowling Green, KY. Fans are invited to attend the shoot, which will commence at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free but restricted to those 21 years of age and older.

“Cheaper To Drink Alone” is taken from Black Stone Cherry’s fifth studio album, Kentucky, which was released in April 2016 via Mascot Label Group. The CD was recorded at Barrick Recording in Glasgow, KY. Taking a “back-to-the-roots” approach, the effort was produced in the same way and same place as Black Stone Cherry’s eponymous debut album, which broke the band out of the small southern backwater and onto the world stage.

Black Stone Cherry guitarist Ben Wells told Metal Hammer magazine about Kentucky: “This is the first time we [got] to self-produce. And most of the songs, with the exception of maybe two or three out of fifteen, are all written by us, the four of us. Which all of our songs always are — we might co-write with somebody — but this time, the majority of the songs are all written by us. So it feels really good to kind of have that creative freedom. It’s raw, it’s heavy. [We went] back to our hometown to record it, where we did our debut album. So we’re kind of revisiting some of that old mojo that we had, and I think our fans have been wanting that from us for a long time now. These are probably some of the coolest songs we’ve written as far as the music and the melodies.

 
 

weekEnd Feb 18-19, 2017

Dead People Have More New Music Than Tool!
and
SPOTLIGHT ON METALLICA’S WORLD WIRED TOUR!

Hour 1

hardDrive Double Dose: SKILLET
“Back From The Dead” & “Feel Invincible”
Plugged In:  BLEEKER “Highway”
KORN “Take Me”
BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again”
SICK PUPPIES “Where Do I Begin”
THE PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God”
Guest: GOJIRA “Stranded”
LISTENER 3 SONG SEG
HALESTORM “Still Of The Night”
GREEN DAY “Still Breathing”
CHEVELLE “Door To Door Cannibals”
ASK LZZY
POP EVIL “If Only For Now”

Hour 2

BEARTOOTH “Hated”
DIRT
IN FLAMES “The Truth”
Guest:  METALLICA “Atlas, Rise!”
SHINEDOW “How Did You Love”
ART OF ANARCHY “The Madness”
ALL THAT REMAINS “Madness”
Guest: VOLBEAT “Seal The Deal”
NICKELBACK “Feed The Machine”
RED SUN RISING “Amnesia”
Guest: AVENGED SEVENFOLD “God Damn”
What’s In Lou’s MP3 Player?  BLACK MAP “Run Rabbit Run”

Week of Feb 20-24, 2017

XL
BEARTOOTH  “Hated”
BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again”
CHEVELLE “Door to Door Cannibals”
KORN “Take Me”
THE PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God”
SHINEDOWN “How Did You Love”
STARSET “Monster”

MED
ADELITAS WAY “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)”
BLEEKER  “Highway”
IN FLAMES “The Truth”
POP EVIL “If Only For Now”
SICK PUPPIES  “Where Do I Begin”
SKILLET  “Back From The Dead”
THROUGH FIRE “Breathe”

SM 
ALL THAT REMAINS  “Madness”
ALTER BRIDGE “My Champion”
AMITY AFFLICTION “All Messed Up”
ART OF ANARCHY  “The Madness”
AVATAR “New Land”
BADFLOWER “Animal”
CITIZEN ZERO “Lure & Persuade”-ADD
FROM ASHES TO NEW “Breaking Now”
GOODBYE JUNE “Oh No”
HALESTORM “Still Of The Night”
MASTODON “Show Yourself”-ADD
NICKELBACK “Feed The Machine
RADKEY “Dark Black Makeup”-ADD

Monday, Feb 20

Happy President’s Day!  Since I am the president of my own company, I guess I am celebrating in my own way!

(warning: may contain F bombs)

Well, Lou Brutus did it again!   The legendary host of hardDrive and hardDrive XL, collectively known as hardDriveRadio, has once again done it!  He hosted the awards dinner at RadioContraband in Las Vegas last week, and won his 4th award for Syndicated DJ of The Year.  (Warning: Turn the volume down on the intro since he says some words we normally do not say on the radio because we would be thrown off the air!)

Lou Brutus with Papa Roach!  Jerry Horton, Tony Palmero, Jacoby Shaddix and Tobin Esperance

And yours truly also won a very special award as I was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame.   See that at around 45 minutes into the video above.  Very honored to be awarded the top prize.

Alter Bridge: Brian Marshall, Mark Tremonti. Myles Kennedy, some old lady, Scott Phillips  

Meanwhile, we got to attend some pretty awesome panels with our radio and record friends, and interview the bands who were in attendance like Papa Roach, Incubus, All That Remains, Alter Bridge, Scott Stapp and Citizen Zero.   We also met for the first time DED, Shallow Side (who Lou performed with), Rachel Lorin, Radkey and Righteous Vendetta.  We also got to hear brand new music from Papa Roach and Incubus.

Incubus:  Jose Pasillas, Jr, Paulie Walnuts, Mike Einziger, some old lady, Brandon Boyd at RadioContraband

Tool……they are working.   We think. 

 Hold on, wait a minute!  TOOL posted a new message on their website according to the Pulse Of Radio!  The update has indicated progress on the band’s long-awaited fifth album has entered a new phase, with singer Maynard James Keenan finally joining his bandmates to begin working on vocals for some of the group’s new tracks.

 

The band’s webmaster posted. “In speaking with Danny (Carey, drummer) last night, he told me that the band has temporarily MOVED some of their gear into a larger space (across town) where MAYNARD is working on VOCALS for some of the new Tool material. I’m sure that he has already been doing this to some extent, but now he has more room to breathe and a better vocal booth.”

It’s been nearly 11 years since Tool released its last studio effort, 10,000 Days, and while the band has toured since then, the process of making new music has been hindered by unrelated lawsuits, illnesses and the group’s notoriously slow and painstaking method of crafting music.

Keenan told us a while back he has gotten restless in the past with Tool’s slower pace of working: I can’t sit still, so when those guys hesitate, it takes us so long to do stuff, and it’s like a snake eating its own tail situation, ’cause then I get distracted and I go off and do a thing, and then I get blamed for not being around to do the (Tool) thing. But nothing was getting done when I was standing there, so I got bored and left. It’s just an endless cycle.

Keenan, in the meantime, has released and toured behind three albums with his side project, Puscifer, and is also prepping a tour and new music with A Perfect Circle for this year.  I was told by Billy Howerdel that Maynard planned to be in LA to record vocals for their next record.  So perhaps Maynard is working double time on both records at once?  Oh man!

The singer/vintner/restaurant owner/dad/husband/rabble rouser  also went on a book tour last fall to promote his authorized biography, A Perfect Union Of Contrary Things, which made the New York Times best sellers list of hardcover non-fiction releases. I was lucky to be chosen as one of his moderators for 3 stops on that tour.

In one of Keenan’s most recent interviews, he spoke about the process of making music for his various projects, saying, “For some I see a plan and for others, I just see roadblocks.” He did not say which project had the roadblocks out of “respect.”

 

A report at Blabbermouth suggests that Swedish occult rock group Ghost will debut an all-new lineup on its headlining European tour that begins next month. Singer and band leader Papa Emeritus – who is believed to be Swedish rock musician Tobias Forge – is rumored to have fired all five of the instrumental players in the band, who are only known as Nameless Ghouls.

Since none of the musicians in the band are ever identified, personnel changes in the group have gone unannounced since Ghost first began recording and touring. It is believed that the lineup has changed a few times over the years, with the latest overhaul allegedly happening at the end of 2016.

Papa, who writes almost all of the group’s music and does most of the act’s interviews disguised as a Nameless Ghoul, discussed lineup changes in general in a new interview with Metal Wani, saying, “From a practical point of view, you’re interested in, on the one hand, preserving the sound, or the elements that make up the sound, and you still want to progress . . . we don’t necessarily have to have the same six people in the room to make that sound, which helps.”

The Ghost leader added, “Performing Ghost and recording Ghost has never really been the same thing. So that we can preserve our sound; we don’t have to rely on… if some people come and go, which is good.”

Ghost will begin recording its fourth full-length album in August, after the band returns home from a North American tour with Iron Maiden. The leader of the band described the sound of the new material as “darker” than its 2015 album Meliora, adding, “It’s thematically set in a different . . . in a darker setting. Meliora was supposed to reflect some sort of utopia/dystopia in the modern society, whereas this new one is gonna be a little bit more apocalyptic, a little bit more back to the medieval times, which, obviously, is associated with darkness. ”

Meliora was a commercial breakthrough for Ghost, earning the band its first American hit on rock radio with “Cirice,” which also won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. The band also issued the Popestar EP in late 2016, whichatured four cover songs and the Number One rock radio single “Square Hammer.”

Linkin Park has set “One More Light” as the title of its seventh studio album. The disc is due out on May 19 through Warner Bros. The band debuted the first single, “Heavy”, on Los Angeles radio station KROQ Thursday morning (Feb 16), followed by a performance of the track later in the day on Facebook Live. The track features guest vocals from Kiara Saulters, who is best known for recording stop-motion, hip-hop-inspired electro-R&B under the name Kiiara and who performed with the band during the Facebook event.

The song “Heavy” sees the band teaming up with pop songwriter Emily Wright, who has worked with artists like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Flo Rida. Vocalist Mike Shinoda told The Pulse Of Radio about the concept behind the song and its very different sound: “The question popped into my head, what would it be like, first of all, to write with people outside the band? What would it be like to really approach things with our arms kind of wide open, wrapped around a larger audience? And still make it a hundred percent LINKIN PARK and a hundred percent true to what we do. Almost a year and a half later, this is the first taste of what that sounds like.”

Asked what the rest of “One More Light” is like, Shinoda told Billboard: “One of the reasons why we chose ‘Heavy’ as the first single is because it is really the core sound of the album. This wasn’t a scenario where the whole album sounds one way and the single sounds different. This is how the album sounds. So we wanted to go out with a song like that, where everybody can get a sense of the direction of this body of work.”

Shinoda also talked about the band’s decision to collaborate with other writers this time around.  The thing that really drove this album was we kind of flipped our writing process backwards,” he said. “Historically for us the (instrumental) track usually comes first, like we’ll make a body of music and the music will inspire the lyrics. In this case, we actually flipped that around and the very first thing we’d do each day is we’d get into the studio and say, ‘What’s on my mind? What do I want to sing about and write about?’ and that defined a whole different kind of writing. It builds a wonderful foundation to put everything else on top of. And the soundmaking is actually one of the most fun parts for me, so then it’s like icing on the cake. I know I’ve got a strong song, a strong foundation and then it’s just icing to put on top of it.”

Other tunes on the new CD include “Nobody Can Save Me”, “Good Goodbye”, “Talking To Myself”, “Battle Symphony”, “Invisible”, “Sorry For Now”, “Halfway Right”, “Sharp Edges” and the title track.

Linkin Park has already started booking dates in Latin America, Europe and Asia, but has yet to announce North American dates.  (Thanks, Blabbermouth)

Wednesday, Feb 15

Today’s report will be brief.  Heading to the airport to go to Las Vegas where what happens in Vegas, won’t stay there because I’ll be back on Monday to tell you all about it!  LOL

The Pulse of Radio says Linkin Park has confirmed that its new single “Heavy” will debut online this Thursday (February 16th), according to The PRP. The band confirmed the premiere in a new video filmed in the studio, the seventh of eight clips the group has released showing them at work on their seventh album. The new video shows singer Chester Bennington laying down lead vocals for the track. It is speculated that the eighth and final clip will arrive at the same time as the song.

Although the band has remained vague about the direction of the new album, guitarist Brad Delson told us not long ago that Linkin Park has always followed its own creative impulses: “We have to do artistically and creatively what we’re driven to do, irrespective of, like, the advice everyone’s giving us or the commercial ramifications of it, and ultimately I think if you chase what you love and you chase great art, then everything else follows. I think where people get into trouble is when they’re chasing what they think people want to hear and it becomes flat and derivative and disingenuous, and that’s the last thing we wanted to do.”

“Heavy” features guest vocals from Kiara Saulters, who is best known for recording stop-motion, hip-hop-inspired electro-R&B under the name Kiiara.  Linkin Park unveiled the cover art for the new album earlier this week, although the title and release date of the set still remain under wraps.

The Pulse Of Radio also sharing Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone the band’s collaboration with pop giant Lady Gaga at this past weekend’s Grammy Awards may end up being just the beginning for the unlikely combo. Ulrich explained, “We already started fast-forwarding to the next chapter when we can do more of this. It’s not one of those ’20 lawyers, strategists and managers trying to force two people from two different worlds to figure out how to spend four minutes together on a national telecast.’ Of any of these undertakings, this is about as organic and authentic as there’s ever been one. We’re just getting started.” Watch it here
Must be a lot of scotch tape there.  

Ulrich added Gaga was the “quintessential perfect fifth member of this band,” saying, “Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome. (The performance) was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins. It comes really easy for her. There’s nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy.”

As for the technical problems that left frontman James Hetfield without a mic for the bulk of the song, Ulrich remarked, “There was a slight technical snafu, but that’s not really something you can do much about. You just learn to live with that side of it. It happened to Adele last year; I guess this year it was our turn.” The performance on Sunday night’s (February 12th) awards show was marred by the incident, which was reportedly caused by a stagehand accidentally unplugging Hetfield’s mic. That forced the frontman to share Gaga’s mic for almost the rest of the song. A visibly angry Hetfield knocked down his mic stand at the end of the performance and threw his guitar offstage.

Metallica and Gaga may not be able to get together for an encore anytime soon, as both are heading out on world tours. Metallica announced on Monday (Feb 13th) the details of the North American leg of its “WorldWired” 2017 tour in support of the band’s new album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.  The trek kicks off on May 10th in Baltimore, Maryland and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support will come mainly from Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat, with Gojira taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.

Celebrating life today, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, who I’ll see on Friday, is 41 today!  And Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, is 63.   See ya Monday!

Tuesday, <3 Valentines Day, Feb 14

Happy Valentines Day, you lovebirds out there!   Got my dozen roses early because I head out to Las Vegas tomorrow for the RadioContraband Convention!  Looking forward to seeing my peers, friends and rock stars.  And perhaps a winning slot machine for a change!

According to The Pulse Of RadioLinkin Park has unveiled the cover art for its seventh studio album, although the title and release date of the set still remain under wraps. According to The PRP, the cover art was revealed via a digital puzzle that was sourced through various “ambassadors” of the band across social media.

Reportedly the Linkin Park CD cover.  Source: Linkin Park Twitter

The band has also announced that the first single from the upcoming disc is titled “Heavy” and features guest vocals from Kiara Saulters, who is best known for recording stop-motion, hip-hop-inspired electro-R&B under the name Kiiara.

The group also shared another in-studio video for the new album online, along with the lyrics to “Heavy.”  The latest clip is the sixth of eight planned videos shot inside the recording studio, and it’s rumored that the arrival of the final clip will coincide with the single release.

In a previous video, singer Chester Bennington said that the band is “trying to make a record that has f**king stellar songs that people wanna listen to all the time.”

Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor has told BBC Radio 1 that the band is “almost done” recording its new album, Hydrograd, saying, “We hit the ground and just started basically finishing a song a day — like, 97 percent done every day. We started in the studio January 7th (and) we have sixteen songs done already. We only have three left. It’s unbelievable. We’ve only really taken time off because we needed to. It was bizarre, dude. We just destroyed it. And it sounds incredible.”

He added, “Everyone is saying the same thing — not only are the songs good but the energy is incredible, because it has that live vibe. This is not beat detected, Auto-Tuned, pitch-corrected — nothing. It is so badass, it’s not even funny.

Taylor said Stone Sour is “probably going to leak” a “heavier anthem tune” from the album soon, adding, “The heavy stuff is heavy, but not in a typically mediocre, normal heavy way.

The singer told us a while back that he recalled a time when album releases were “events”: It used to be albums were something you looked forward to. You counted down those days. And now kids can just hit a button and it’s like, ‘I have it.’ You know, there’s nothing special about it anymore.

Taylor also told BBC Radio the musical direction of the new disc “is great because it’s got elements of everything. It’s got the heavy energy of the ’80s, there’s punk moments, there’s hard rock moments, all the great amalgam of music. There’s even jazz and hip-hop moments. It’s really, really cool. It’s probably the coolest album I’ve made since the first Slipknot album.”

Hydrograd is due out sometime this summer. The band will hit the road with Korn in support of the new record.

Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor has told BBC Radio 1 that the band is “almost done” recording its new album, Hydrograd, saying, “We hit the ground and just started basically finishing a song a day — like, 97 percent done every day. We started in the studio January 7th (and) we have sixteen songs done already. We only have three left. It’s unbelievable. We’ve only really taken time off because we needed to. It was bizarre, dude. We just destroyed it. And it sounds incredible.”

He added, “Everyone is saying the same thing — not only are the songs good but the energy is incredible, because it has that live vibe. This is not beat detected, Auto-Tuned, pitch-corrected — nothing. It is so badass, it’s not even funny.”

Taylor said Stone Sour is “probably going to leak” a “heavier anthem tune” from the album soon, adding, “The heavy stuff is heavy, but not in a typically mediocre, normal heavy way.”

The singer told us a while back that he recalled a time when album releases were “events”: ["It used to be albums were something you looked forward to. You counted down those days. And now kids can just hit a button and it's like, 'I have it.' You know, there's nothing special about it anymore."] SOUNDCUE (:09 OC: . . . about it anymore.)

Taylor also told BBC Radio the musical direction of the new disc “is great because it’s got elements of everything. It’s got the heavy energy of the ’80s, there’s punk moments, there’s hard rock moments, all the great amalgam of music. There’s even jazz and hip-hop moments. It’s really, really cool. It’s probably the coolest album I’ve made since the first Slipknot album.

Hydrograd is due out sometime this summer. The band will hit the road with Korn in support of the new record.

ICYMI:  Yesterday, Metallica announced the details of the North American leg of its “WorldWired” 2017 tour in support of the band’s new album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. The quartet’s first North American trek since 2009 kicks off on May 10th in Baltimore, MD and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-Aug. Support will come mainly from Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat, with Gojira taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo told us with the new tour the band feels like it’s proving itself all over again:  It feels like there’s a new beginning, and in a way we’re challenged ’cause we’re winning people over with new music and new production, you know, new show. You know, we’re blessed and we understand that and we work hard to hopefully provide the best concert experience we can.

Presale tickets will be available to “legacy” fan club members beginning today (Feb 14th) at 9:00 a.m. local time, with tickets available to all Met Club members the same day at 11:00 a.m. local time. General sales start Friday (Feb 17th) at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Each ticket purchased will come with a copy of the new album, available as a physical CD or a digital download. Various VIP packages are up for sale as well.

Metallica has also announced the formation of its All Within My Hands Foundation, which will raise funds through ticket sales to support national, local and Bay Area charities selected by the band members, while continuing to donate to music education programs and local food banks.

Blabbermouth reporting Danny Worsnop, the newly returned frontman for U.K. metalcore pioneers Asking Alexandria, teamed up with YouTube to host an exclusive live stream Monday night (Feb 13) ahead of the release of his debut solo album, The Long Road Home, on Friday, Feb 17. The event featured Danny performing live renditions of songs from The Long Road Home, as well as taking part in a revealing interview with Terry “Beez” Bezer.

The Long Road Home, will be released via the U.K.-based independent label Earache Records. The effort marks a slight musical departure from his previous work with Asking, now forging a deeper and often darker path through the British-born, Nashville-based musician’s mind and displaying a truly stunning singing voice only hinted at in his previous work.

Longtime fans will see a much more personal and reflective side of Danny’s, with brutally honest lyrical themes ranging from loss and heartache to Danny’s past (and often public) struggles with drugs and alcohol. Backed by authentic, blues-soaked outlaw country, the album is also interspersed with a few more upbeat tracks, showing that Danny’s ability to craft catchy melodies which will have listeners singing along in no time is still very much alive and well.

Worsnop comments: “It has been an emotional roller-coaster creating these songs, but the end result has left me humbled, proud, and more excited about a project than I ever have been in my life.

Writing as deep and personal as I have on this record brought up a lot inside me from my years, allowing me to grow and move on from demons I didn’t even acknowledge having.

“I’ve done everything in my power to keep this album honest and pure, and it gives me chills every time I hear it. I’m beyond proud of what I’ve made and cannot wait to share it with the world. These songs are a reflection of my soul, and I hope you all enjoy them. See you on the other side!”

The Long Road Home is available to pre-order now on limited-edition signed CD and colored vinyl, along with a range of merch bundles.
Blabbermouth also says  Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach has resumed work on material for the long-awaited new release from Times Of Grace, his collaboration with KSe guitarist Adam DutkiewiczJesse wrote on Instagram: “Listening to new Times Of Grace demos. This is on some whole other level. This stuff is quite different than the first record! I got a whole lot of writing to do! Adam has been busy… It begins, again.”

Leach told Lithium Magazine last summer that “the cool thing about Times Of Grace is that it’s another outlet for us, and moving forward with that project, it’s gonna be even more different from Killswitch. There’s gonna be no quote-unquote metalcore sound going on. As a matter of fact, I’m planning on not doing much aggressive vocals at all.”

Times Of Grace‘s debut album, The Hymn Of A Broken Man, was released in Jan 2011 via Roadrunner Records. The CD sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 44 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Dutkiewicz and Leach originally worked together on KSe‘s benchmark album, 2002′s Alive Or Just Breathing. That record has become definitive for an entire generation of American metal, with Leach’s voice and uplifting lyrics serving as one of the key elements that propelled the album to “modern classic” status. Leach left KSe shortly after Alive Or Just Breathing‘s release but rejoined the group in early 2012 following the departure of his replacement, Howard Jones.

Have a great day!

Monday, Feb 13

Moth Into Flame indeed!  (Photo courtesy CBS)

Wow.  Despite not being introduced and James Hetfield‘s mic troubles, I thought Metallica-Lady Gaga‘s performance last night was, in a word, hot ‘n crazy! (ok, 3 words.)

 On a better note, it’s official! This summer,  North America is getting WorldWired and Metallica want you to be there! Visit Metallica.com for more information on Fan Club presales, Enhanced Experiences brought to you by CID Entertainment, and how you can enter to win prizes through donations to our new All Within My Hands Foundation thanks to our collaboration with Crowdrise. (Check the dates in Road Rage to get direct ticket links.)  

May 10 – Baltimore, MD – M&T Bank Stadium
May 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field
May 14 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium
May 17 – Uniondale, NY – The New Coliseum Presented by NYCB
May 19 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium
May 21 – Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range @ MAPFRE Stadium
June 4 – St. Louis, MO – Busch Stadium
June 7 – Denver, CO – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
June 11 – Houston, TX – NRG Stadium
June 14 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome
June 16 – Dallas, TX – AT&T Stadium
June 18 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field
July 5 – Orlando, FL – Camping World Stadium
July 7 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium
July 9 – Atlanta, GA – SunTrust Park
June 12 – Detroit, MI – Comerica Park
July 14 – Quebec City, QC – Festival D’Ete de Quebec
June 16 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre
July 19 – Montreal, QC – Parc Jean-Drapeau
July 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl
August 4 – Phoenix, AZ – University of Phoenix Stadium
August 6 – San Diego, CA – Petco Park
August 9 – Seattle, WA – CenturyLink Field
August 14 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place
August 16 – Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium

Help!  We’re stuck in the elevator!  

Speaking of Avenged Sevenfold, The Pulse Of Radio & Blabbermouth are reporting  bassist Johnny Christ has missed a handful of shows on the band’s current European tour in order to be with his wife as they welcomed a new baby. Christ said in a statement, “I wanted to share the news with you all that my wife and I recently added a new addition to the A7X family, Franklin James. Unfortunately, because of this exciting announcement, I have had to stay back and miss a couple of shows in one of my favorite countries, Germany. We have one of our amazing techs filling in so the shows can go on.”  Christ added that he would rejoin the tour on Feb 15th in Berlin.

Singer M. Shadows told us that Avenged Sevenfold tries to make touring a family affair as much as possible: Yeah, it’s a double-edged sword, you know. It was our dream to do this, and you don’t ever — when you’re 21 or 19, you don’t ever think, ‘Well, I shouldn’t go down this path because someday when I’m 33, I’m gonna have two kids.’ For us, we bring the family out as much as possible, it’s our number one priority, and you just have to find the balance. You have to do what makes you happy. And I think the balance is taking time off, really re-energizing, letting your kids know you’re there, calling them every day, Facetime, and then you bring ‘em out when you can.”

Avenged Sevenfold will be on the road in Europe through early March and will play a string of North American festivals in late April and early May. The band is rumored to be opening for Metallica on that group’s upcoming North American stadium tour, which is expected to be unveiled on Monday (Feb 13th).

Avenged Sevenfold is touring in support of its seventh album, The Stage, which was given a surprise release at the end of October with almost no promotion beforehand. The band filmed a music video last week in the Los Angeles area for the new single   “God Damn” from the new disc.

Meanwhile, Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows got the chance to interview Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne for a cover story in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer magazine. Ozzy said in the piece, “People always say we invented heavy metal. But I like the KinksLed Zeppelin and the Who – and I think we spawned from that. But I do think that (Sabbath guitarist) Tony Iommi, for what it’s worth, is the king of all demonic riffs. There’s just no one to f**king touch him.” The full interview between Shadows and Ozzy can be found in the new issue of Metal Hammer, on sale now.
This is too funny!  Disturbed‘s massively successful cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “The Sound Of Silence” has been given a new spin by remix specialist Andy Rehfeldt. According to Loudwire, Rehfeldt has taken the band’s powerfully somber version of the track and turned it into a polka jam. Rehfeldt isolated David Draiman’s vocals, stripped the song’s orchestration and popped in some accordion and tuba for a very different take on the tune.

Draiman told us a while back that the choice of covering the folk-rock classic was an unexpected one even for the band: I think it was shocking to everyone, including myself. We left that cover and choosing that cover for the very tail end of the whole recording process. We had no idea what song we were going to do. We were looking at the ’80s initially again, and I suggested, you know, let’s go back further, let’s go ’60s, ’70s, and it was actually Mike (Wengren, drummer) that made the suggestion for ‘Sound Of Silence’ and when he made it, we all were like, ‘Whoa.‘”

The official video for “The Sound Of Silence” has had more than 183,000,000 plays on YouTube, while the band’s Grammy-nominated live performance of the track on Conan racked up another 46,305,000 views. The song also has more than 100 million streams on Spotify and was the second most played track at Active Rock radio in 2016.

Proud to have helped them get 4 Number 1′s!  

“The Sound Of Silence” was certified platinum last June for sales or downloads of more than one million copies, while Immortalized, Disturbed’s fifth Number One album in a row, hit gold in September for 500,000 copies sold.  The extensive touring the group did in 2016 also helped re-introduce fans to Disturbed after they went on an extended hiatus in 2011. The quartet is currently on tour in Europe with Avenged Sevenfold through mid-March, which wraps up their tour cycle behind  Immortalized.

I wish I knew how to post Instagram videos.  When I get schooled on that, you’ll be able to see Foo Fighters honoring Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Friday night in LA at the MusiCares event.  Foos were joined by Cage The Elephant, Gary Clark, Jr and Stevie Nicks, among others, who were at the event.  Sigh.



The Pulse Of Radio
says as rumored, AC/DC guitarist Angus Young made not one but two guest appearances with Guns N’ Roses over the weekend when the band played in Sydney, Australia on Friday (Feb 10th) and Saturday (Feb 11th). Young, who gave a rare live appearance in T-shirt and jeans instead of his trademark schoolboy uniform, showed up both nights to play the AC/DC songs “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Riff Raff.”

Guns frontman Axl Rose said on Friday night, “We’re gonna bring out a friend of ours…ladies and gentlemen, Angus Young!” Noting that Young was dressed in street clothes, Rose joked, “Here’s something you never see. He didn’t have his school uniform, but I’m wearing a school jacket.”   Young previously joined Guns N’ Roses onstage in April 2016 at the Coachella Festival in California, where they also performed “Riff Raff” and “Whole Lotta Rosie.”

That was just around the time that Rose replaced Brian Johnson for AC/DC shows in Europe and the U.S. after hearing issues forced the longtime AC/DC singer off the road.

Guns bassist Duff McKagan tweeted last Wednesday (Feb 8th) that Young greeted the band at the airport in Sydney after arranging for them to be kept on their plane for a “security check.”  Guns N’ Roses next plays in Melbourne on Tuesday night (Feb 14th).

And in rock briefs:

    • Linkin Park has previewed another new song in a brief video taken during the studio sessions for the band’s upcoming seventh album. The clip is the fifth of eight that the group will reportedly unveil. More details on the disc, including its title, release date and possible guest contributors, are still under wraps. (The PRP)

    • Evanescence singer Amy Lee has released a new solo single called “Love Exists.” The song is now available for purchase on Amazon, Google Play and Apple Music. Lee stated about the inspiration for the track, “When I was in Italy . . . I fell in love with a song I heard on the radio there, ‘L’amore Esiste’ by Francesca Michielin. It seemed to follow me everywhere, got under my skin and just wouldn’t leave. I couldn’t stop listening to it, over and over the whole way home. I started piecing together what the lyrics meant and wrote my own twist on them in English.” Lee recently unveiled a solo album of children’s music called Dream Too Much but has not indicated if and when Evanescence will  record a new album. (Blabbermouth)
    • Chevelle‘s platinum-selling 2002 album Wonder What’s Next is set to be released on a new “milky white” vinyl pressing. It will arrive on Mar 10th and feature the four bonus tracks from the deluxe edition of the album, which include covers of Helmet, Sinéad O’Connor and Depeche ModeWonder What’s Next was Chevelle’s breakthrough sophomore release, selling more than one million copies and featuring the massive hits “The Red” and “Send The Pain Below.” (The PRP)

    • Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined original Kiss axeman Ace Frehley on stage Saturday night (Feb 11th) at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle to perform the Kiss classic “Cold Gin.” McCready, who guested on Frehley’s all-star covers LP Origins Vol. 1, told Rolling Stone in a 2014 interview that Kiss was a major influence on him when he was growing up, adding, “Ace was their firecracker, their dynamite. He’s what took them over the top with the feel he put into his leads.” (Blabbermouth)

  • Theory Of A Deadman has released a cover of Sting‘s “Shape Of My Heart.” The track, which originally appeared on Sting’s 1993 album Ten Summoner’s Tales, is streaming on the band’s official YouTube channel. It follows Theory Of A Deadman’s previously released cover of the late Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah.” The Canadian band is currently in London, England working on its sixth full-length album and the follow-up to 2014′s Savages. (Blabbermouth)Celebrating life today:  Todd Harrell, formerly of 3 Doors Down, is 45.  Henry Rollins is 56 and Peter Gabriel is 67.

 

 

METALLICA-AVENGED SEVENFOLD-VOLBEAT


May 10 – Baltimore, MD – M&T Bank Stadium
May 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field
May 14 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium
May 17 – Uniondale, NY – The New Coliseum Presented by NYCB
May 19 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium
May 21 – Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range @ MAPFRE Stadium
June 4 – St. Louis, MO – Busch Stadium
June 7 – Denver, CO – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
June 11 – Houston, TX – NRG Stadium
June 14 – San Antonio, TX – Alamodome
June 16 – Dallas, TX – AT&T Stadium
June 18 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field
July 5 – Orlando, FL – Camping World Stadium
July 7 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium
July 9 – Atlanta, GA – SunTrust Park
June 12 – Detroit, MI – Comerica Park
July 14 – Quebec City, QC – Festival D’Ete de Quebec
June 16 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre
July 19 – Montreal, QC – Parc Jean-Drapeau
July 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl
August 4 – Phoenix, AZ – University of Phoenix Stadium
August 6 – San Diego, CA – Petco Park
August 9 – Seattle, WA – CenturyLink Field
August 14 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place
August 16 – Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium
www.metallica.com
www.avengedsevenfold.com
www.volbeat.dk 

Friday, Feb 10

I love when things like this happen.  According to a post on The Pulse Of Radio and Rolling Stone, Green Day made a fan’s day by bringing her on stage, playing guitar next to her and giving her the guitar!!!!!   Yep, that’s exactly what happened during the band’s London gig the other night. Rachel, who is disabled, was in the audience when Billie Joe Armstrong spotted her and asked if she wanted to come up on stage. She was ushered in by a helper and Billie seated her on the riser in front of Tre Cool.  When the song was over, he handed her the guitar to keep.  How awesome!

The Pretty Reckless posted the video for their second music video, “Oh My God.” As you can see, it’s rad.  According to Blabbermouth, when asked by Team Rock what she meant by the line “I wish I was black” in the song, singer Taylor Momsen replied, “I don’t wanna get too specific; it’s not that simple. It’s not just as simple as ‘I wish I was black,’ it’s ‘I wish had soul and my music attacked.’ It’s going, ‘I wish I had more to me than I feel like I do.’” She added that asking specific questions about the track “kind of rips away the whole point of the song, which is desperation.”  Yeah, she’s deep like that. You go, grrrrlll! The band is touring Europe currently.

Oh yeah, they’re baaad ass!  Blabbermouth shared news from  Billboard.com our friends  Metallica earned their ninth No. 1 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart with its latest single, “Atlas, Rise!”

The band previously scored chart toppers with “Hardwired” (also from the band’s latest album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct); ”The Day That Never Comes” and ”Cyanide” (from 2008′s Death Magnetic); and ”Until It Sleeps” and ”Hero Of The Day” (from 1996′s Load).

This latest accomplishment puts the band in a tie for fifth place among all acts for the most No. 1s since the chart launched in 1981. The new No. 1 ties the quartet with Aerosmith, while Van Halen leads with 13 toppers.

In the song ”Atlas, Rise!,”  frontman James Hetfield calls out Atlas, the Greek mythological figure which was responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders, a burden given to him as punishment by Zeus.

Hetfield told Rolling Stone Australia he had his bandmate Lars Ulrich in mind when he wrote the lyrics to the track. “Lars is, ‘I have to do everything, or else it’s wrong,’” he explained. “He’s got the weight of so much on him. And ’Atlas, Rise!’ started out as a, ‘Here, let me help you with that. You don’t need to carry all that, brother.’ And then it morphed into more — and this is not specifically him, but I’m plugging him into this — I think he likes that. There’s a drama that makes him work, and we all have a bit of that. He wants the control but he doesn’t really have control. The illusion of control, and then the ability to complain about how you have to do everything yourself, and then you still do it.”

Monday, there will be a huge annnouncement.  Stay tuned!

BackstageAxxess.com conducted an interview with Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson at last month’s NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. You can now watch the chat above.

Asked about the band‘s current status, Thomson said: “We just finished… We spent a long time… well, a couple of years touring, but then there was a whole year before that of writing and recording and all that shit. So we have a little break right now. I think Corey‘s out doing his own stuff. Or if he isn’t, he’s about to be. So we’re gonna work on writing some shit, and we’ll be probably back out on the road after we do another record.”  (Thanks Blabbermouth!)

 

Shinedown has officially started working on its sixth studio album and frontman Brent Smith told Grand Rapids, MI radio station WGRD that the project may take a surprising turn. He explained, “(Bassist Eric Bass) actually has 22 pieces that I actually just heard five of them for the very first time.” He added, “What he has written — and it’s not lip service, man — what he has tapped into here, it’s quite remarkable. I think people might be looking at the first legitimate concept record from the band.”

Asked whether Shinedown could end up with a 22-song double album, Smith replied, “I can’t guarantee that all of (the song ideas) will make the record. ‘Cause we haven’t done that in a while, where I come in and I actually have a lot of music already ready for me to listen to . . . it’s inspiring. And it’s cool, because (Eric) was inspired every day, and you can hear it in the music.”

Even if the band doesn’t end up doing a double concept album, Smith told us a while back that Shinedown never wants to rest on its laurels:  “We’re never really a band that’s gonna ever be satisfied. We’re never gonna be complacent with ‘Oh, well, that’ll do.’ We’re the band that’s looking for the doors that everyone is afraid to find, because we like that. We like pushing the envelope constantly. It keeps us on our toes.”

Shinedown recently booked a 12-date West Coast tour for this spring that will kick off on March 31st in Albuquerque, New Mexico, coming to a close on April 17th in Anaheim, California. Shortly after this trek concludes, Shinedown will head to Europe for a month in support of Iron Maiden.

 

Celebrating life this weekend: Saturday, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is 4-0.  Craig Jones # 5 of Slipknot is 45 and H.R. from Bad Brains is 61.  Have a great weekend, y’all!  Stay warm and dry!