Week Dec 18-22, 2017

XL
10 YEARS “Novacaine”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Trouble”
FOO FIGHTERS “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
MARILYN MANSON “KILL4ME”
ROYAL BLOOD “I Only Lie When I Love You”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”
SKILLET “The Resistance”

MED
AVENGED SEVENFOLD “Wish You Were Here
A PERFECT CIRCLE “The Doomed”
GRETA VAN FLEET “Safari Song”
METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
STONE SOUR “Rose Red Violent Blue”

SM
A DAY TO REMEMBER “We Got This”
ALL THAT REMAINS “The Thunder Rolls”
ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Into The Fire”
BUSH “This Is War”
FALLING IN REVERSE “Superhero”
I PREVAIL “Lifelines”
IN THIS MOMENT “Roots”
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE ftg JONATHAN DAVIS “Necessary Evil”
RED “Still Alive”
RISE AGAINST “House On Fire”
STONE HORSES “Reckless Ways”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meadow”
TRIVIUM “The Heart From Your Hate”

 

Monday, Dec 18, 2017

Linkin Park co-vocalist Mike Shinoda told Billboard that the healing process for him and his bandmates is ongoing, five months after singer Chester Bennington‘s suicide. Shinoda explained, “Grief is a non-linear process. It doesn’t have ‘stages’ that go in order, it has phases that come and go at random. Some people are having sad days, others are having good days, others are having angry days . . . add the constant stress and fear of things like the news cycle, and you’ve got some exceptional chaos on your hands.”

Shinoda continued, “I’ve tried to make it a point to share how I’m doing, mostly on Instagram and sometimes Twitter, especially when I feel like I’m making progress. Coping with the end of this chapter is obviously devastating, but at the same time, it’s also the beginning of the next story.”

On Friday (Dec 15th), Linkin Park released a concert album titled One More Light Live. Recorded on the band’s last world tour, it features 16 songs, including “Crawling,” “Numb,” “What I’ve Done,” “Heavy” and the title track from the group’s latest studio album, One More Light.

The tour was the band’s last with Bennington, who took his own life at the age of 41 last July.  Linkin Park paid tribute to Bennington on Oct 27th with an emotional three-hour show that featured numerous guests joining the band onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Among the performers were members of KornBushAvenged SevenfoldNo DoubtBlink-182 and Bring Me The Horizon.

Linkin Park has yet to announce whether the band intends to continue without Bennington.  (The Pulse Of Radio and Loudwire reporting.)

Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix admitted in a new interview with Detroit radio station and hardDrive affiliate WRIF he’s faced many of the same issues that might have driven Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington to take his own life last July. Shaddix explained, “The reality is I’ve struggled with a lot of the same demons he’s struggled with and I understand the darkness.

Shaddix continued, “Sometimes it just feels like everything is just way too heavy and you just can’t handle life. And it’s tough sometimes. I’m just glad I’m still breathing because (Bennington’s death) really just hit me hard. It made me go, ‘Ugh. That’s just too heavy.’ We lost some good ones in this last year, for real.”

Shaddix admitted to us a while back that he came close to committing suicide five years ago as he struggled with both marital problems and falling off the wagon:  “Those thoughts were flashing in my head. I’m like, ‘I’m over it. I just can’t deal with this pain.’ You know, I was gutted. And I remember I was in my car, driving to Sausalito to do the deed, you know. I was like, I was done, you know. And like, I just realized, like, I’m not done living. There’s so much more in my life that I want to do and I need to do, you know, just — those moments of clarity are what saved me, you know. I started thinking about those things and what I’m grateful for in my life.”

Shaddix told WRIF that he “knew (Bennington) quite well,” adding, “I went out to dinner with him about a month before all that went down. He just had great advice to give me and was just super friendly and I just thought everything was cool.”

Papa Roach will head out on a spring North American tour next year with guests Nothing More and Escape The Fate. The trek kicks off on Apr 5th in Raleigh, NC and will hit 25 cities before wrapping up in Corpus Christi, TX on May 13th. Papa Roach is touring in support of its ninth LP, Crooked Teeth, which features the singles “Help” and “Born For Greatness.” (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio, Blabbermouth, WRIF)

Skillet has teamed up with former Flyleaf singer Lacey Sturm on a track and video called “Breaking Free.” The song can be found on the deluxe edition of Skillet’s 10th studio album, Unleashed. The set, titled Unleashed Beyond, features five previously unreleased new songs, plus remixes of four tunes including “Feel Invincible,” “The Resistance,” and “Stars.”

Skillet frontman John Cooper told us he’s thrilled with the success Unleashed has had since its August 2016 release: Honestly, I’m so on top of the world, man (laughs). Having a great time. I’m thrilled that fans still care, you know, they’re supporting us and loving the record and I think we’re getting some new fans. The biggest piece is that radio has really embraced this album. That’s what you’ve got to get if you’re gonna get out to people, and radio really embraced it, which I’m really appreciative of.”

Skillet recently earned a Gold sales award for the title track from Unleashed, while the band’s mainstream breakthrough, 2009′s Awake, was certified double platinum for sales of more than two million copies.  Skillet is just one of two Christian artists to receive the latter honor over the last 10 years. They’ve sold a total of 12 million albums worldwide.

Stone Temple Pilots released the lyric video for their new single, “Meadow.” It’s the first track from the group to feature new singer Jeff Gutt.  Guitarist Dean DeLeo told us  “Meadow” was one of the first songs that the band worked on with Gutt: “That was a song we wrote a while back — we had that song tracked with Robert (DeLeo, bass), Eric (Kretz, drums) and myself. And that was one of the songs we threw at Jeff, you know, when he got up behind the mic. We really threw him right into the fire, man. We went right to Robert’s house, had the mic set up, like, ‘Okay, let’s see what you’ve got.’ And that was one of the songs he wrote a melody for that day.”

Gutt, a one-time X Factor contestant, was announced as the third frontman in STP’s history on November 14th, making his live debut with the band that night during a special performance in Los Angeles. Gutt originally auditioned for STP in September 2016 and became an official member of the band last May. He has spent the last year secretly writing and recording new material for STP’s seventh studio LP, due out in early 2018.

STP had been without a vocalist since November 2015, when Chester Bennington – who joined the group in early 2013 — departed to spend more time with his main band Linkin Park. Bennington committed suicide last July. Original singer Scott Weiland, who reunited with the group in 2010 after an eight-year hiatus but was dismissed in 2013, died in December 2015 of a drug overdose. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio and Blabbermouth)

Did you see Foo Fighters on SNL?  I think it’s funny Dave Grohl chews gum while singing.  I also think he had a cold.  And what’s with the new back up singers?  Hmmm, was that just for SNL or will they now be traveling with these singers?   Anyhow, The Pulse Of Radio says organizers of a Foo Fighters concert last Saturday (Dec 9th) in Billings, MT scrambled at the last minute to find a bomb-sniffing dog as per the band’s security requirements. According to local TV station KTVQ, a local dog group fell through and the arena staff made calls nationwide, eventually locating one in Atlanta that would cost the venue $7,500 in additional expenses.

But when bad weather prevented the dogs from leaving Atlanta on time, the search had to start again. This time a group in Missoula, Montana was located. They were able to travel Friday night and be ready for work on Saturday, all for $2,000.

The two grand was on top of the $50,000 spent to install a dozen brand new metal detectors, another request from the Foos. The venue’s general manager, however, said that the metal detectors would be used for all events in the future. MetraPark marketing director Ray Massie told the station, “It really was a team effort. It’s just another thing we do to make sure that shows get to come to Billings and are comfortable coming to Billings.”

The Foo Fighters tour manager called last year for an overhaul of security procedures at venues across the country, arguing that additional measures make sense during an era of increased violence at public events.  Foo Fighters will play in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve (Dec 31st) and will launch a spring 2018 North American tour next April. (The Pulse Of Radio and KTVQ.com)

Celebrating life today:  Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is 74.  Steven Spielberg is 71, Stone Cold Steve Austin is 53 and DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit is 45.

Friday, Dec 15, 2017

Well, end of an era, I keep hearing.  Yes, I guess it will be for me.  After Dec 31, you won’t see this column written by yours truly.  I will be somewhere far far away in retirement mode.   I guess it’s time.  I’ve worked over 40 years in this radio and records business I love dearly.  The announcement was made late yesterday and I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and affection made by folks from all parts of my career and life.   So let’s carry on and keep on rockin’, shall we?

Two albums out today.  First, Linkin Park‘s One More Light Live.

Linkin Park posted a video clip of late singer Chester Bennington and guitarist Brad Delson performing a stripped-down rendition of the song “Sharp Edges.” Bennington handles the vocals and plays electric guitar, while Delson strums an acoustic for the haunting performance.

Vocalist Mike Shinoda told  a while back that Linkin Park has always sought the best way to perform its songs live: “We try to approach how we perform our songs with integrity, and the stuff we write in the studio can be really layered. There can be a lot of stuff in there — lots of tracks of cool sounds and samples and keyboards and multiple guitars and all this. And sometimes it’s a big challenge to bring that to the stage, but we end up just finding a way to make it all work.”

One More Light Live collects 16 performances from Linkin Park’s summer 2017 shows in support of their most recent album, One More Light. The tour also marked the band’s last with Bennington, who died on Jul 20th.

In a statement announcing the record, Linkin Park said, “The shows we played together during the early summer of 2017 were extraordinary. Chester shared with us that he felt this was the best tour we had ever done. The camaraderie and joy we experienced on stage reflected our deep connection with each other, with our fans, and with the music.

The other anticipated release is the self-titled Asking Alexandria album, which marks the return of singer Danny Worsnop.  According to Alternative Press,  the release is  their first in five years.   They spoke to the returning frontman about each of the tracks on the new release and the stories behind them as well as his path to redemption, letting go of his past and starting anew with the band. Worsnop says writing his solo country album, The Long Road Home, helped him confront the demons of his past and set him up for a renewed relationship with his bandmates in Asking Alexandria. “I had to face things,” he shares. “I had to accept things that’d I’d done and things that’d been done to me and find ways to move forward.” It took hitting rock bottom multiple times for Worsnop to come out of these experiences a completely different person. “I was harbouring such resentment and hatred because I wouldn’t take blame, and I’d put it on other people,” he says. “Writing that record helped me to turn that around and all of the sudden, I’m not full of anger anymore.”

Danny has been on a self-improvement course (clean, sober and working out)  and recently moved out of Nashville, where he had been living for a bit.   I know the band and he are extremely excited about this new music, and so am I! Check it out!

Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio say Avenged Sevenfold‘s M. Shadows may be thrilled with his band’s first-ever Grammy nomination, for Best Rock Song, but he’s not happy about the way that heavy metal is represented on the Grammy broadcast: the category is one of 70 that is not televised during the evening. Speaking with Detroit radio station/hardDrive affiliate, WRIF, Shadows said, “If you’re getting the ‘metal’ award, they don’t actually televise it, so no one sees it — it doesn’t move the needle at all. And I think that’s what the Grammys have to get right.”

Shadows continued, “When you look at metal, it’s probably one of the healthiest genres when you look at it in a worldwide perspective — every single country listens to metal. And whether it’s mainstream or not, it’s irrelevant. People will watch your program if you’re giving awards to bands that deserve it and it’s actually on TV, and it helps those bands push the needle forward.

Shadows added that Avenged Sevenfold was “fortunate this year to be in the ‘rock’ category” because Best Rock Song is among the categories that are telecast. He explained, “You wanna get nominated for a Grammy and you wanna get noticed by people and seen on TV . . . So the ‘metal’ award still is a problem because literally no one’s gonna see those bands or know that they’re nominated, and that’s an issue.”

Avenged Sevenfold is nominated for the title track from its seventh studio album, The Stage, which came out in October 2016. The band is up against Foo FightersMetallicaNothing More and K. Flay. (yes, it’s like the Jethro Tull debacle all over again, eh?)

The winners of the 60th Grammy Awards will be revealed on Jan 28th, with the majority of the 84 awards handed out in a non-televised event that afternoon while a dozen or so are doled out on the CBS broadcast that evening.

Avenged Sevenfold has just released a digital-only acoustic album, titled Live At The Grammy Museum, and will issue a deluxe edition of The Stage on Dec 22nd.

In the ongoing fallout from actions over the weekend,  Queens Of The Stone Age‘s appearance on yesterday’s (Dec 14th) edition of The Ellen Show was canceled abruptly, part of the ongoing fallout following an incident last weekend in which frontman Josh Homme kicked a female photographer in the face at a radio festival in Los Angeles. This is the second time this week that Homme or his band have been dropped from a TV spot: the BBC announced earlier that it was not going to air two pre-recorded segments Homme did for a children’s show called Bedtime Stories.

The Queens had been scheduled to appear on The Ellen Show alongside Will Smith, but Smith was the only guest and the band was not mentioned.

As previously reported, Homme has already issued two apologies for the incident, which took place last Saturday night (Dec 9th). In video footage, Homme can be seen walking across the stage past photographer Chelsea Lauren in the photo pit. He stops briefly, then issues a direct kick to her camera which sends it into her face.

While he said in his first response that he was “lost in performance” and hadn’t noticed Lauren had been hurt when he kicked her camera, he posted a more extensive apology on video the next day, saying in part, “I don’t have any excuse or reason to justify what I did. I was a total d**k, and I’m truly sorry, and I hope you’re okay.”  Lauren was treated at a local ER after the concert and said she planned to file a police report.

Queens Of The Stone Age is off the road now but will begin the next leg of its North American tour in late January.

The Pulse Of Radio also reporting with European and South American tours confirmed, it’s rumored Pearl Jam may hit the road in North America next summer as well. According to Alternative Nation, a user posted in a forum at the official website for Pearl Jam’s Ten Club that a “friend” on the ground crew for the Boston Red Sox passed along that Pearl Jam had asked Fenway Park for a hold on three nights next summer.

Pearl Jam last played at Fenway Park on Aug 5th and 7th in 2016. The group took most of 2017 off, getting together only to perform at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last April. A documentary chronicling their two-night August 2016 stand at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, titled Let’s Play Two, came out in September.

Pearl Jam changes its set list for each show, which works especially well for multiple night stands. Bassist Jeff Ament told us a while back that it also keeps things fresh for the band: Probably 30 of the songs, or 20 of the songs that we end up playing, like, maybe we got to rehearse them once or, maybe we were, like, backstage right before the show, like, ‘OK, what’s the bridge to that song?’ Like, that just makes it more exciting, you know? You’re out there going, like, ‘OK (chuckles), that song we haven’t played in three years is coming up,’ you know, and everybody’s kind of excited and on the edge a little bit.

There has also been speculation that Pearl Jam will record a new studio LP in early 2018, the band’s first since 2013′s Lightning Bolt.  Last month, a new Pearl Jam song called “Obey The Law Of The Heart” appeared on the soundtrack of an upcoming film called Basmati Blues, starring Brie Larson.

Oh and this is happening today:

Celebrating life this weekend:  Friday, Paul Simonon of The Clash is 62.  Saturday, my long time friend (we knew each other as children)  Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top is 68 and Sunday, Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace turns 39.

ROCKLAHOMA

Friday, May 25: A Perfect Circle, The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, I Prevail, Sevendust, The Used, Trivium, Yelawolf, Red Sun Rising, SOiL, Adelitas Way, Big Story, Everybody Panic, Cimino, Midnight Devils, Chaotic Resemblance, Firstryke, ASKA, Down For Five, Agnozia, Silent Theory, KillSET, Dead Horse Trauma, Kirra, City of the Weak, Dirty Soul Revival, Dirty Blvd

Saturday, May 26: Godsmack, Ghost, Vince Neil, Clutch, Pop Evil, Underoath, Diamond Head, Shaman’s Harvest, Butcher Babies, Powerman 5000, Like A Storm, Wayland, LA Velvet, Black Tora, Dead Metal Society, Dead Girls Academy, TROY, Heaven Sent, Wild Planes, Maplerun, Hallow Point, The Maension, Renegades, Duel, Kevlar, Stanley’s Revenge

Sunday, May 27: Poison, Cheap Trick, Halestorm, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Candlebox, Machine Gun Kelly, 10 Years, Andrew W.K., Lynch Mob, New Years Day, Well Hung Heart, Mind Of Fury, Maxx Explosion, A Brilliant Lie, War of Thrones, Davey Suicide, Coda Cutlass, Love N Revenge, Shallow Side, Ten Thousand One, The Grizzly Band, Oddfellas, Jenny Wood, Bringer

Thursday Night Campground Party: Screaming for Silence, Dark Avenue, As Above So Below, Save the Hero, Hyperdose, One Step From Falling, Weston Horn and the Hush, Ryder, Honor Amongst Thieves, Wither

www.rocklahoma.com

Thursday, Dec 14, 2017

Well, it’s been all over the news, but ICYMI, Rolling Stone and The Pulse Of Radio say Rage Against The Machine and Radiohead were among the artists who did not make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, along with veteran metal act Judas Priest. All three acts were first-time nominees. The class of 2018 was announced yesterday (Dec 13th) and includes Bon JoviDire StraitsThe Moody BluesThe Cars and Nina Simone, with Sister Rosetta Tharpe being honored with an Early Influence award.

Other nominees who were passed over included first-timers Kate Bush  and  Eurythmics, along with repeat candidates Depeche ModeJ. Geils BandLL Cool J, the MC5, the MetersRufus featuring Chaka KhanLink Wray and the Zombies.

The 33rd annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on Apr 14th, 2018. An edited version will air later on HBO.

The Moody Blues and the surviving members of the Cars are expected to reunite and perform at the event, while Bon Jovi may perform with ex-guitarist Richie Sambora at the induction for the first time since 2013.

The members of Radiohead had indicated that if they were chosen for induction, they would be unable to attend the ceremony due to touring commitments in South America.

Ballots were sent to a voting group of more than 1,000 artists, historians and music-industry professionals. The public was invited to participate again this year in the fan vote. The top five artists made up a fan’s ballot, which counted as a single vote. Bon Jovi topped the fan list. Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible 25 years after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other “criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Kinda scary news about net neutrality coming to an end if this adminstration has their way.   Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda has spoken out in favor of preserving the current rules on net neutrality, which guarantee a free and open internet and level playing field for all websites. The FCC under chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee, plans to vote today (Dec 14th) to end the rules. That would allow corporations like Comcast and Verizon to determine which websites and applications users could access by blocking them and speeding up or slowing the connection speed at will.

Shinoda urged fans in a tweet to text “RESIST” to 50409 to voice support for net neutrality. The non-profit organization Fight For The Future recently sent a letter to Congress in support of net neutrality, which was signed by Prophets Of Rage guitarist Tom Morello, IncubusMichael Stipe and many more.  The letter stated in part, “Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are guaranteed by our Constitution, and we demand that such freedoms continue online. Net Neutrality is essential to our democracy.”

Meanwhile, Linkin Park will release a concert album titled One More Light Live on Friday (Dec 15th). The live set will arrive five months after the passing of singer Chester Bennington, who died on Jul 20th at his Los Angeles area home after committing suicide at the age of 41. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

Jonathan Davis (right) with Fieldy and some old lady-NYC 2016

My friend Jonathan Davis has spoken to me about this for a while now.  It’s no secret he’s always working on music, whether it’s for Korn or his more industrial or techno side projects Killbot or JDevil.   But he has definitely been working on solo music that he describes as more along the line of the stuff he did for his soundtrack music for The Queen Of The Damned.  JD is planning to release a new solo album in 2018 and will also tour in support of it. Davis is already confirmed to appear at Hellfest Open Air in Clisson, France, with more touring in both Europe and North America expected. Further details on the album and Davis’ live plans are yet to come.  Stay tuned!

 

Singer Myles Kennedy of Slash‘s solo band, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, said in a new interview with Eddie Trunk that there are no plans at the moment for the Conspirators to return to the studio and cut a new LP. Kennedy explained, “(Slash and I) connect via text once in a while and just check in. But right now, for me, now that (Alter Bridge) is paring down, it’s just full steam ahead with (my) solo record. And then the plan is to, in 2019, to get (Alter Bridge) rolling again.”

Kennedy added that while there’s been talk of a new Conspirators album, the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour is “doing so well” that “we’ll just see how that all plays out.” He revealed that he and Slash had written about half an album’s worth of material before Slash jumped on board the Guns reunion.

Slash’s last record with the Conspirators was 2014′s World On Fire. The guitarist just completed 18 months of touring with Guns and has a six-month break before that band heads to Europe next summer. His plans during that time are unknown, although there’s been no indication that Guns N’ Roses plans to record a new album.

Slash told us a while back that his partnership with Kennedy seemed natural from the start: We work really well together. I never really thought about how that’s progressing. It’s real natural. So it’s like any kind of sort of close relationship, where I think we established it really, really early on and now we’re just sort of doing our thing, you know. Yeah, I don’t know what else to say — it’s just a really cool kind of synergy that we’ve got.”

Kennedy’s debut solo album, Year Of The Tiger, will be released on Mar 9th, 2018. Alter Bridge is expected to take most of 2018 after touring extensively behind 2016′s The Last Hero.. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio and Blabbermouth)

AEG Live‘s  Rocklahoma was announced yesterday. Tickets on sale at www.rocklahoma.com.

Happy 68th today to my pal and fellow Floridian, Cliff WIlliams of AC/DC! And Happy BELATED to Morgan Rose of Sevendust, who turned 49 yesterday!

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017

 It’s getting to be that time of the year!  Billboard has listed the top hard rock and top rock albums of the year and here are the winners!

Metallica‘s 10th studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, has topped  Billboard  magazine’s year-end Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts. The disc, which came out in November 2016, sold 1.1 million copies in the 2017 chart year, the only rock album to top 800,000 units. Metallica also ranked second on the Mainstream Rock Artists survey for 2017. Five songs from the LP made the list in the chart year, with “Atlas, Rise!” topping it for two weeks in February.

Frontman James Hetfield told us a while back the band wanted to record an album that had something for all Metallica fans on it: “Making any record, you’re trying to get a broad paintstroke of everything that the band is capable of and loves to do. So between the ballady stuff, the extremely fast and extreme stuff, and super-heavy…there’s a bit of everything on this record.”

The Top Rock Artist of 2017 was Imagine Dragons, (who?) with the band earning the title for the second time since 2013. The Las Vegas act was also Number One on the Hot Rock Songs Artists, Rock Streaming Songs Artists, Rock Airplay Artists, Rock Digital Song Sales Artists, Alternative Albums Artists and Alternative Songs Artists rankings.   Its third album, Evolve, topped the Alternative Albums chart and placed at Number Two on Top Rock Albums, while lead single “Believer” lorded over Hot Rock Songs, Rock Streaming Songs, Rock Airplay, Rock Digital Song Sales, Alternative Songs and Alternative Digital Song Sales.

Portugal. The Man also saw significant chart action thanks to the 15-year-old band’s breakthrough single, “Feel It Still.” The track was Number One on the Adult Alternative Songs chart, Number Two for the year on Rock Airplay and Number Three on the year-end Hot Rock Songs and Alternative Songs surveys.

Also making notable appearances on Billboard‘s year-end tallies were The Revivalists, who were named Top New Rock Artist of 2017, and Linkin Park, who were Number Three on the Top Rock Artist chart and Number Seven on the Top Rock Albums list with One More Light.

Linkin Park also surged on the Hot Rock Songs chart thanks to a sharp uptick in the sales, streaming and airplay for nearly two dozen of their songs following the July suicide of singer Chester Bennington.

Billboard‘s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance between the December 3rd, 2016 and November 25th, 2017-dated charts.

Top Hard Rock Albums Artists Of 2017:

1. Metallica
2. Linkin Park
3. Foo Fighters
4. Queen
5. Guns N’ Roses
6. Nickelback
7. Disturbed
8. Five Finger Death Punch
9. Led Zeppelin
10. Journey

Top Rock Albums Of 2017:

1. Metallica - Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
2. Imagine Dragons - Evolve
3. Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface
4. Soundtrack - Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2
5. Soundtrack - Suicide Squad: The Album
6. Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
7. Linkin Park - One More Light
8. The Lumineers - Cleopatra
9. The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome
10. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits

(Thanks Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio)

Blabbermouth & The Pulse Of Radio also reporting Stone Sour and Slipknot  frontman Corey Taylor will release a full solo performance online at   TheCoreyTaylor.com on Dec 18th. The solo acoustic set took place at Koko in London, England and featured songs from Taylor’s entire catalog, as well as covers of tunes from The CureVan Morrison, the Grateful DeadCreedence Clearwater RevivalKissR.E.M. and others.

Although he’s resisted recording a solo album for years, Taylor told us a while back what he thought a solo album from him might sound like: “For me, the stuff that I write is, it would be like a cross between the Foos, Social D. and the Replacements, you know. I mean, real Midwestern rock. Real, just open chords, good time rock, you know. And damn the critics, basically. That’s the stuff I write and that’s the stuff I’ve always tried to write.”

Taylor said in a 2016 interview with RockSverige it would be “super greedy” of him to launch a solo career, explaining, “I’m in two fantastic bands. Why would I ever? Unless I wanted to get super greedy, why would I try to split off and do something else. I’m very fulfilled by the music that I get to make with both bands. Is there a solo album in me? Yes. But it’s not gonna be for a few more years.

In other news, Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan hinted on the Jamey Jasta Podcast that the next Slipknot album could be his last. Crahan said, “I just spent four months thinking about my life and where I’m at now because I’m at a real honest place of admitting of what I don’t want to be . . . I feel like this could be it for me. We’re all getting older.

Crahan and other members of Slipknot are writing music for their sixth studio LP now, although it’s unclear when they’ll record and release it.

Aw man!   Tom Morello got to do what most of us WISH we could do! He got to hear the instrumental music recorded so far for the next Tool album!  Sigh…..I love that Tom is a fan too!   He is the best!

Morello wrote on Monday (December 11th) at his Instagram page, “Had the honor of being the first outsider to hear new #TOOL music today!! Still just instrumentals but sounded epic, majestic, symphonic, brutal, beautiful, tribal, mysterious, deep, sexy and VERY Tool. Really great. So excited to hear the record when it’s finished.”

Morello and the members of Tool have history together: he and Tool guitarist Adam Jones played together in band called Electric Sheep while they were in high school. And they remained close as they both moved to Los Angeles, and through Tom, met Maynard Keenan, who Tom asked if he wanted to be in the band that would eventually become Rage Against The Machine. (MJK said no.)

But that’s not where it ended.   Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan later sang on the Rage Against The Machine track “Know Your Enemy” from the band’s 1992 self-titled debut.

Speaking of Keenan, he gave a one-word response on Twitter — “Burp” — to the news that Tool drummer Danny Carey said the band’s new LP would “definitely” arrive in 2018 when asked by a fan if the news was true.

Carey revealed to Loudwire last week, “Yes. I’m saying definitely. We’ll probably have it done in the first half (of the year) if things go as planned. There’s setup times and manufacturing — I can never predict all that, it seems like it’s constantly evolving. (What time of year it will be out), I can’t tell you.

Tool has not released new music since 2006, although the band has reportedly been working on a new disc for at least the past year.

MONSTER MAGNET To Release 'Mindf**ker' Album In March

Ya know, this band has always had a special place in my heart.  To most, they’re a one-hit wonder, I guess.  But they’ve not stopped since they formed in 1989 in Red Bank, NJ.  Blabbermouth reporting Monster Magnet will release its 11th album,  Mindf*#ker,   on Mar 23, 2018 via Napalm. According to a press release, the disc “is different, a step forward and a step back at the same time to the almighty roots of hard rock music, kindled by the unpretentious proto-punk era. Up-tempo, savage in both sound and spirit, ‘Mindf*#ker’ is the real deal! The album has the potential to surprise and to whip up the love for the genre, while still giving the sludgies and stoner freaks exactly what they wish for in a new Monster Magnet album.”

Commented Monster Magnet leader Dave Wyndorf: “Mindf*#ker’ is a fuzzed out, headbangin’ celebration of hard rock and 21st Century paranoia. Ten fuel-injected, nitro-burning tracks of fiery rock ‘n’ roll and garage psych madness, all done Monster Magnet style. It’s also an album that gets right to the point: the world is out of its f-ing mind and I’m livin’ it…. for better or worse. It’s simple, really. In these crazy times, I’ve been wanting to just drive my car at 100 miles per hour and howl, you know what I mean? So I wrote songs I can do that with. And with lyrics that don’t deny the times we’re living in. Feels good, feels right. Rock is alive, baby!

Now go listen to “Space Lord” and have a nice day!

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017

“Mr. Tony Rombola killin’ it in the studio!!” was the headline of the tweet on the Godsmack Official page.  Godsmack is “almost done” recording its follow-up to 2014′s 1000 Horsepower album. The group’s seventh studio disc will arrive in 2018 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Godsmack’s debut album. The band’s Twitter account was updated on Monday (Dec 11th) with a short video featuring a clip of a new song. The group wrote in a caption, “Mr. Tony Rombola (guitarist) killin’ it in the studio!! The new album is ALMOST done . . . who is ready!? #gs2018.”

Godsmack frontman Sully Erna told FaceCulture in September the band was “hoping to have the first single on the radio by January and the record in everyone’s hands across the world by April.”  The group’s seventh studio disc is being produced by Erik Ron (Panic! At The DiscoSaosin) and will arrive in 2018 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of  Godsmack‘s debut album. (Which I recall well! I was one of the first outside of their label folks to see the band after they were signed up at Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT!)

Sully noted that the band’s new songs have “
a lot more of a commercial aspect to ‘em . . . from this point forward, we’re gonna try to reinvent a little bit more of our sound, our look, our stage show, and come out with a brand new Godsmack.”

Godsmack’s last release was a song called “Inside Yourself”, which was made available in October 2015 as a free download at the band’s official web site.

How’d you like to live here???   You can for $13 million!    And it’s a steal, down from $16 million!   Yep, this house is currently owned by Kirk Hammett of Metallica!  The 4,140-square-foot residence, located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood, is back on the market for a second time. Hammett first put it up for sale last year and got no takers. He also owns the house next door, which has also been on the market for $16 million and for which Hammett paid $5.7 million back in 2005.

The house is a three-story, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom Neo-Classical house built in 1922. The home also offers “majestic” views of China Beach, the Pacific Ocean and the Marin Headlands, according to the listing, as well as a “family room, large kitchen with breakfast nook, bonus room, grand spiral staircase, lovely manicured garden, cliffside ocean view garden and more.”

Metallica recently made Forbes magazine’s Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2017 list, pocketing $66.5 million to land in the 10th position on the survey.  The band will resume touring behind its Hardwired…To Self-Destruct LP in February.

Muse frontman Matt Bellamy has revealed the British trio has nearly finished a new track called “Thought Contagion,” which he expects to surface within the next two months. The song will follow up last May’s “Dig Down,” with Bellamy adding that the band is considering a full LP release in late 2018 or early 2019. Bellamy described “Thought Contagion” as “a great track — rocking, heavy.”

He explained, “I think next year we’ll do like two or three more songs like this, and then the album might be like later next year or early ’19, something like that.” He told us a while back that it’s always difficult to describe what the band’s new music sounds like: It really is difficult to answer, for us, I think, because there’s so many varied, extremely different types of influences that creep in there and I think that’s always been there on all the albums. And it sounds, I suppose, a little over the top to say what the different influences are, ’cause they’re so random.”  (Thanks, The Pulse Of Radio)

A new 17-second clip of a song from Wolfgang Van Halen‘s upcoming debut solo album is available below. The snippet was posted by Eddie Van Halen‘s son earlier this week on his Facebook page.

It was reported earlier this year by Van Halen News Desk that Wolfgang Van Halen was “doing it all” on his upcoming disc. The Van Halen bassist is playing all the drums, bass, guitars and keyboards himself, in addition to handling all the vocal tracks. The web site spoke directly with a pair of people who had heard portions of the record, saying they “totally loved it.”

He told hardDriveRadio a while back that his ability to play different instruments gave him the freedom to do what he wanted on a solo project. “I mean, I feel like it’s just kind of open-ended,” he said. “I feel like since I can play drums, bass, guitar and kind of sing, I guess, I can kind of just decide whatever I want to do. I mean, I’ve always loved the whole Dave Grohl story of how he started Foo Fighters — just did a whole demo album by himself.“  (Thanks Blabbermouth)

Finally today, Korn’s Ray Luzier told Metal Wani  Korn has begun writing music for the follow-up to 2016′s The Serenity Of Suffering album.   ”We’re definitely talking about it. We’re always writing stuff — I mean, it’s a non-stop machine. Even on the road, we have three tour buses that are always in progress. Jonathan [Davis, vocals] always has his studio on his bus; you can’t eat on his table on his bus, because there’s speakers and several laptops and things going on — he’s always creating. So there’s always ideas. I know the beginning of next year, we’re definitely gonna start getting together and [working on new music as a band].

On ’The Serenity Of Suffering’, Head [guitarist Brian  Welch],   Munky  [guitarist James Shaffer] and I got together first and got probably 20 riffs and grooves and ideas going, and then once we start everybody involved, it’s time to get a producer,” he continued.Nick Raskulinecz did such a great job on ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’, and I’d love to use him again, but I’m sure we’ll have that meeting soon, talking about another producer and possibly Nick again.

Korn‘s a really difficult band to mix too, and Josh Wilbur, who mixed ’The Serenity Of Suffering’ is just really on his game. Let’s face it — we can play our balls off and do a great performance, but if it’s not heard in the right way, then it doesn’t really get across to the audience. So it takes a really special guy to mix this band. I think Josh definitely nailed it on our last record.”

Asked if he thinks Korn‘s next album will follow a similar musical direction to “The Serenity Of Suffering”Ray said: “It’s funny, ’cause even the dubstep, kind of experimental record we did [2011's 'The Path Of Totality'], at the end of the day, it still sounds like KORN. It’s funny, ’cause Head and I are always the metalheads of the band — we always want it to be heavier; I think we all do. KORN has such a unique sound that I think that it’s inevitable it’s gonna be towards the heavy side. But there’s been talks about doing different things and that, but I think, depending on who the producer is and where everyone’s heads are at, I think it’s gonna be an even heavier record than ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’ — I’m hoping, anyway.”

 

 

 

weekEnd Dec 09-10, 2017

SANTA PROMISED ME A SISTER

Hour 1

hardDrive Double Dose:  I PREVAIL
“Lifelines”  and “Alone”
Plugged In:  TOOTHGRINDER “Let It Ride”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meadow”
BUSH “This Is War”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”
Guest: POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS “Walk On Water”
THREE SONG SWEEP
STARSET “Satellite”
10 YEARS “Novacaine”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Trouble”
ASK LZZY 
GRETA VAN FLEET “Safari Song”

Hour 2

SKILLET “The Resistance”
DIRT
A PERFECT CIRCLE “The Doomed”
Guest:  NOTHING MORE “Go To War”
MARILYN  MANSON “Kill4Me”
PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
FOO FIGHTERS “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
Guest:  ROYAL BLOOD “I Only Lie When You Love Me”
STONE SOUR “Rose Red, Violent Blue”
ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Into The Fire”
Guest:  METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
What’s In Lou’s MP3 Player?  OF MICE & MEN “Defy”

Week of Dec 11-15, 2017

XL
10 YEARS “Novacaine”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Trouble”
FOO FIGHTERS “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
MARILYN MANSON “KILL4ME”
ROYAL BLOOD “I Only Lie When I Love You”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”
SKILLET “The Resistance”

MED
AVENGED SEVENFOLD “Wish You Were Here
A PERFECT CIRCLE “The Doomed”
GRETA VAN FLEET “Safari Song”
METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
STONE SOUR “Rose Red Violent Blue”

SM
A DAY TO REMEMBER “We Got This”
ALL THAT REMAINS “The Thunder Rolls”
ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Into The Fire”
BUSH “This Is War”
FALLING IN REVERSE “Superhero”
I PREVAIL “Lifelines”
IN THIS MOMENT “Roots”
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE ftg JONATHAN DAVIS “Necessary Evil”
RED “Still Alive”
RISE AGAINST “House On Fire”
STONE HORSES “Reckless Ways”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meadow”
TRIVIUM “The Heart From Your Hate”

 

Monday, Dec 11, 2017

Josh Homme at KROQ show (photo: Chelsea Lauren)W


Whoa!   I just read this in RAMP.  Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was trending over the weekend, and not in that good way — Homme was captured on video kicking a female photographer’s camera into her face on Saturday night during the first night of Los Angeles Alt rock station KROQ‘s Almost Acoustic Christmas show. According to an extensive piece in Variety, Chelsea Lauren, a photographer for Shutterstock says the incident was unprovoked and Homme was even smiling before he struck her. In the video, Homme can be seen walking past Lauren, and then backtracking a step to kick away her camera. This photo was taken by Lauren seconds before the incident.

“I saw him coming over and I was shooting away,” Lauren recounted. “The next thing I know his foot connects with my camera and my camera connects with my face, really hard. He looked straight at me, swung his leg back pretty hard and full-blown kicked me in the face.” Word of the incident spread quickly — back in the press room, Variety says a rep for KROQ received a text from an audience member, asking, “Did the guitarist for Queens Of The Stone Age kick a photographer in the face?”

Photo credit: RexFeatures-Shutterstock

And then things got weirder — minutes after the incident, Lauren said Homme took out what appeared to be a knife and deliberately cut his own forehead, dripping blood for the rest of the performance. The Variety piece said, “It’s unknown if the 44-year-old Homme was under the influence of alcohol or drugs on Saturday. At one point, he called the audience ‘retards’ before insulting the night’s headlining act, Muse. ‘F — Muse!’ he exclaimed. Homme also encouraged the crowd to boo him, and told everyone to take their pants off, saying, ‘I want to give you all a night you’ll never remember.’” Lauren was later treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Yesterday, Homme released a statement that read, “Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage. Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that to happen and I am very sorry. I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology.” Lauren said she was planning to file a police report.

In a follow up piece, Variety did report Homme, weathering a firestorm of criticism for kicking photographer Chelsea Lauren in the face while she shot his band’s performance at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas concert on Dec 9, has posted an emotional video on Instagram apologizing for his actions.

“I would just like to apologize to Chelsea Lauren,” he says in the first of a two-part clip posted on Dec. 10. “I don’t have any excuse or reason to justify what I did. I was a total d— and I’m truly sorry. I hope you’re OK.”

The 44-year-old also apologized to his bandmates, family, wife and kids, adding, “I made a lot of mistakes in my life and last night was definitely one of them. … “I wanna be a good man, but I think last night I definitely failed at that. … I’m gonna have to figure out some stuff, I think.

Sad.

Just got this press release on this festival! Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle and Alice In Chains lead the incredible lineup for the fourth annual Northern Invasion, Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at Somerset Amphitheater  in Somerset, WI, just outside the Twin Cities.

Northern Invasion 2018 will be bigger and better than ever with over 12 hours of music per day from the biggest and best rock bands on three stages, as well as a top tier camping experience. The Northern Invasion Good Eats area includes food offerings from top regional and national restaurants and vendors.

 The music lineup for Northern Invasion 2018 is as follows (subject to change): Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle, Alice In Chains, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Temple Pilots, The Used, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, I Prevail, Parkway Drive, Black Stone Cherry, Red Sun Rising, Andrew W.K., Atreyu, Anti-Flag, 10 Years, We Came As Romans, The Bronx, Dance Gavin Dance, Butcher Babies, Hawthorne Heights, New Years Day, Senses Fail, Stick To Your Guns, Miss May I, Like A Storm, The Fever 333, I See Stars, Wilson, Mutoid Man, Cane Hill, Black Foxxes, Counterfeit., The Blue Stones, Joyous Wolf, Spirit Animal, Stitched Up Heart, and Big Story.

Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle said, “Looking forward to playing material from the new A Perfect Circle release at Northern Invasion. Bringing new songs to life in a live setting is always exciting.”

Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots commented, “Stone Temple Pilots are beyond thrilled to be playing Northern Invasion 2018. We are back! It’s going to be a killer weekend of great music–great fun.

“We spent a lot of time listening to our loyal Invasion fan base over these last several months to create a lineup that celebrates some of the rock legends along with delivering on our reputation for inviting the hottest up-and-comers in the genre,” said Joe Litvag, Executive Producer of Northern Invasion. “Having heroes like Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots matched with new sensations like Parkway Drive, Black Veil Brides, and Red Sun Rising, I think the fans will respond well. It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend!”

Northern Invasion General Admission and VIP tickets (including layaway options), as well as Hotel Packages and All-Inclusive Camping options, and Tent or RV Camping add-ons are on sale now at http://northerninvasion.com/tickets.html. Fans are encouraged to buy early and save. New for Northern Invasion 2018: Each ticket price level has a limited number of tickets available, so attendees can save more by buying earlier. Ticket prices will automatically move to the next price level once a price allotment sells out. The layaway purchase option also allows fans to split the ticket cost into four monthly payments.   

Current ticket pricing levels are as follows while supplies last:

Weekend VIP: $199.50 plus fees
Weekend General Admission: $99.50 plus fees
Monster Energy Weekend General Admission 4-Pack: $319.00 plus fees

Specially priced tickets for Northern Invasion will be available for active military through partner GovX (www.govx.com) while supplies last.

The Northern Invasion campgrounds will be open from Friday, May 11 through Monday, May 14. Festival doors open at 11:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday.

In a related story, The Pulse Of Radio says Tool drummer Danny Carey has confirmed that the band will “definitely” release a new album in 2018. Discussing tour plans for his side project Legend Of The Seagullmen with Loudwire, Carey said, “At this point, it’s tough (to decide when Legend of the Seagullmen will tour) because we’re getting close to going in the studio with Tool, so we kind of have to work around each other’s schedule.

When asked if that meant fans can expect a new Tool album in 2018, Carey revealed, “Yes. I’m saying definitely. We’ll probably have it done in the first half (of the year) if things go as planned. There’s setup times and manufacturing — I can never predict all that, it seems like it’s constantly evolving. (What time of year it will be out), I can’t tell you.”

Tool’s last album, 10,000 Days, came out in May 2006, more than 11 years ago. The instrumental members of the band have been working steadily on music for the past year, according to reports, with singer Maynard James Keenan rumored to be getting more involved in recent months.

Meanwhile, Legend Of The Seagullmen, which also features Mastodon‘s Brent Hinds, will issue their self-titled debut album on Feb 9th. The first single is out now and called “Shipswreck.”

My friends Alice In Chains have announced a new tour for 2018.  See Road Rage for all the details and you can find ticket info here.

The band has been working on their new album with producer Nick Raskulinecz, who also produced their last two albums, Black Gives Way To Blue and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.  A spring release is expected.

Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio reporting Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy has released the official video for the title track of his debut solo album, Year Of The Tiger. The clip is based on a concept created from a discussion between Kennedy and his manager and follows a reflective Kennedy as he travels through the memory of the loss of his father in 1974 a.k.a. the year of the tiger.

Year Of The Tiger
 will be released on Mar 9th, 2018 via Napalm Records. The 12-song concept record, which was inspired by the death of Kennedy’s father when he was a child, taps into influences such as the blues and folk music.

Kennedy, who also fronts Slash‘s solo touring band, played lap steel, mandolin, banjo and bass in addition to the guitar on the record.  He is joined on drums by a member of Myles’ first band, The Mayfield Four.

Year Of The Tiger is actually the second solo album Kennedy recorded, with the singer starting a previous effort in 2009 and completing it over a period of several years, only to decide in 2016 not to release it.

Meanwhile, Kennedy’s bandmate in Alter Bridge, guitarist Mark Tremonti, is gearing up to release a new LP from his self-named solo act in 2018. The band just issued a new trailer and a site where fans can get involved in opportunities surrounding the album’s rollout. The new disc will be the band’s fourth and follow up 2016′s double release, Dust.

On Friday, Avenged Sevenfold released a video of the band performing the song “Roman Sky” acoustically. The track is taken from the group’s new Live At The Grammy Museum album, which arrived digitally on Friday (Dec 8th). The LP was recorded on Oct 19th at the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds from the release will benefit the education initiatives of the Grammy Museum, which seek to inspire youth via the enduring qualities and cultural significance of music. (Loudwire)

Surviving Nirvana members Dave GrohlKrist Novoselic and Pat Smear reunited for a one-song performance during the Foo Fighters show at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, OR on my birthday, Dec 5th. The song they played was “Big Me,” which Grohl said he recorded an early version of with help from Novoselic and Smear before including a version on the Foo’ 1995 self-titled debut. The three last regrouped for Nirvana’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2014. (HenneMusic)

Stone Sour has released a 360-degree performance video of the song “Taipei Person/Allah Tea,” filmed live last June 29th at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. “Taipei Person/Allah Tea” is taken from the band’s latest album, Hydrograd, which was released on Jun 30th. Stone Sour recently announced a new North American tour for 2018 that begins in late Jan and will feature shows with both Halestorm and Red Sun Rising. (Blabbermouth)

Celebrating life today:  Zacky Vengeance is 36, while Nikki Sixx is 59.