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 Bunnymen, Eurythmics 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!