Man, I was overwhelmed with the birthday greetings from friends and artists! It was a lovely sentiment of love! Much appreciated!
Well, I hadn’t heard about THIS coming out in our recent conversation, but Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio say Avenged Sevenfold will release an acoustic album, Live At The Grammy Museum, this Friday (Dec 8th). The performance was recorded on Oct 19th at the Clive Davis Theater in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds from the digital-only release will benefit the education initiatives of the Grammy Museum, which seek to inspire youth via the enduring qualities and cultural significance of music.
The band members stated that part of the reason for the live set’s release was that they were “excited about (their) Grammy nomination.” The quintet has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song for “The Stage,” the title track from their latest studio LP. It’s the first-ever Grammy nod for the Southern California-based group.
Guitarist Zacky Vengeance told us Avenged Sevenfold is always looking ahead to the next project: “Our sights are always set so far in advance, you know, we’re always looking at what the future holds for us and how to put on an even better show, a bigger show…I want generations of fans. I want fans to someday be bringing their children. We still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go, in our humble opinion.”
The band will release a deluxe edition of The Stage on Dec 22nd. The new version will feature seven additional studio songs plus four previously unreleased live tracks recorded during recent shows at the O2 Arena in London.
Avenged Sevenfold recently confirmed the details of an early 2018 North American headlining tour with Breaking Benjamin and Bullet For My Valentine. The trek will begin on Jan 12th in Nashville with shows booked so far through Feb 11th in Fargo, ND. M Shadows will be Lou Brutus‘ Featured Artist Of The Week on hardDrive XL week of Dec 18.
BFMV 2015: Jamie Mathias, Matt Tuck, Padge, Moose (sorry to see ya go, Moose!)
Speaking of Bullet For My Valentine, I am sorry to hear this news! The Welsh act has made its split with founding drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas permanent. The band has announced that it’s officially parted ways with Thomas, who took a leave of absence from the group in November 2015 when his first chikd was born, and replaced him with Jason Bowld, who has been behind the kit since Thomas’ exit.
The band said in a statement, “We’d like to officially welcome Jason to Bullet For My Valentine as our permanent drummer. Since initially filling in for Moose in 2015, Jase has cemented himself as an integral member of the Bullet family, and you guys are going to be blown away with what he’s brought to the new record.”
The statement added, “We’d like to place on record our thanks for everything that Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas has given to Bullet throughout his time in the band, and we wish him every success in his future endeavors.”
After Bullet made the split official, Thomas tweeted to thank all the fans for their messages of support, writing, “It’s been a weird couple of years for me, but please hear this: I AM NOT QUITTING DRUMS OR MUSIC! I have been hard at work on something and will announce very soon.”
Bullet For My Valentine also said that it’s “99 percent done” recording its sixth studio album for an early 2018 release. The new LP will follow up 2015′s Venom.
Alter Bridge & Slash & The Conspirators singer Myles Kennedy has released a teaser for “Year Of The Tiger,” the first single and video from Kennedy’s debut solo album of the same name. The full video and song will arrive this Friday (Dec 8th), while the LP is set for release on Mar 9th, 2018. The disc is a concept album based on Kennedy’s experiences after the death of his father. (Blabbermouth)
Hollywood Undead has released a video for “Black Cadillac” (not the Shinedown song with the same title) from the masked rap-rock act’s new album, V. The video and track features B-Real from Cypress Hill and Prophets Of Rage. Singer/guitarist J-Dog said, “We haven’t done a straight up hip-hop song like this in a while so this one made sense and we got B-Real on it who we all grew up listening to. It was an honor to have him participate.”
Finally today, I spoke with this new artist recently. Blabbermouth is reporting Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Dorothy has announced tour dates for the 2018 “Freedom Tour”. Dorothy is taking the high-voltage show to major cities across the United States, including Chicago, New York, Boston, Nashville, Los Angeles, Austin, and more. Her band will perform new music from its forthcoming album, produced by Linda Perry, along with tracks from its Rockisdead debut, “Down To The Bottom”, and “Naked Eye” from the “Served Like A Girl” soundtrack.
Taking on an unprecedented interest in local culture, for the 2018 “Freedom Tour”, Dorothy is looking for a hometown favorite band from each city to be the opening act for every show along the way. All genres are welcome. This will be an opportunity to bring the focus of touring back to developing the local music scene.
“Touring sweeps you from city to city,” says singer Dorothy Martin. “Sometimes you don’t even get a chance to venture past a couple blocks of the venue you’re performing in. On this tour, we are doing something different. Instead of letting a band with marketing dollars and guaranteed ticket sales open for me, I thought it would be cool to let the local favorite band in each city have a shot.
“This tour is about taking the time to truly connect with the different communities to get a taste of what the local music scene is like,” she continues. “We want to be inspired. This could be a disaster or it could be complete magic. Who knows? WHO CARES?! It’s rock n’ roll.” For more information on how to submit, go to this location. See all the tour dates on the Road Rage section of the site!
Papa Roach have announced a new tour for 2018. Hot off the news of their run with A Day To Remember, the band has lined up shows for April and May with Nothing More and Escape The Fate. See all the dates in Road Rage!
Meanwhile, Escape The Fate have a new album, their 5th studio record, I Am Human, coming on Feb 16th, 2018.
Stone Temple Pilots have also plotted out the first leg of their 2018 tour with new lead singer Jeff Gutt. This will be around the time the band will probably release their first full length album in quite some time.
The trek will kick off on Mar 2nd in Santa Clarita, CA and conclude on Mar 17th in Billings, MT. The band will also play at three festivals in April and May: at Columbus, Ohio’s Rock On The Range, Jacksonville, FL’s Welcome To Rockville and Fort Lauderdale, FL’s Fort Rock.
Meanwhile Gutt was asked in a new interview with Loudwire about how much he wanted to channel late singer Scott Weiland and how much he wanted to put his own identity into the band. Gutt answered, “I don’t really aim to emulate Scott onstage. But I also can’t be fearful of the comparisons . . . I’m a huge fan of Scott and of course remember how he felt the music onstage. I always just try to be me but sometimes it’s unavoidable.”
Asked if he had any personal favorite songs within the STP catalog, Gutt said, “The great thing about the STP catalog is it’s diversity. While this makes it more tricky going forward I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Gutt also spoke about the band’s next album, which is due out in the spring of 2018. He explained, “This record is full of amazing songs and vibes that I feel are really missing in the spectrum of today’s music. It has that STP feeling even though I’m singing. But I also didn’t come in trying to change everything. It was the most rewarding record I’ve ever been a part of.”
Fozzy, led by Chris Jericho, will continue to rock their fans across America on their Judas Rising Tour with newly added tour dates in 2018. Set to launch Feb 28 in New Orleans, LA, the 25-date trek will take the band (Jericho: vocals, Rich Ward: guitars, vocals, Frank Fontsere: drums, Billy Grey: guitars and Paul DiLeo: bass) from east to west. Through Fire, Santa Cruz and Dark Star Choir will round out the bill for the night of rock. Tickets for these newly announced dates (see below for list) go on sale to the public Friday, Dec 08. Find all the dates in Road Rage!
Blabbermouth & The Pulse Of Radio report System Of A Down fans may have to start accepting the idea that the band is either finished or needs a new frontman. Singer Serj Tankian, who has two new film scores under his belt, was asked in an interview with Russian magazine Expert if he finds it hard to write music without vocals. He replied, “Screw vocals. I’m tired of it . . . I wrote so many lyrics that it stopped to be interesting. Not because there is nothing I want to talk or sing about. Sure, there are topics I don’t want to write lyrics to, but at least I can pull out some new emotions out of it.”
Tankian, who said he was known as a poet before making music, added, “Poetry is always something that opens yourself up and supports self-determination. I just did it for too long. Now I am more interested in writing instrumental pieces of music.”
Tankian told us a while back that even with System, he worked on his music by himself: “Even with System, I always wrote the songs by myself in my own studio. I would write the songs, and have the vocals, have the whole arrangement done, then I’d take it to the band. But I’d still work the song from its inception to full form by myself. This is something I’d been doing for a very long time.”
The first of Tankian’s two new film scores, for a movie called Intent To Destroy, was released digitally on November 17th, while the second, for a movie titled Furious: The Legend Of Kolovrat, will arrive digitally on Friday, Dec 8th. Tankian has composed scores for other films, as well as TV and video games. His other solo work includes three rock albums, a live set, a classical symphony and a jazz recording.
Tankian has toured with System Of A Down over the past few years but the band has not released new music since 2006.
And here’s news from our friends Danny Wimmer Presents! Look at these line-ups, will ya? Pretty exciting stuff. Several major festivals unveiled their lineups on Monday (Dec 4th), starting with Sunrise, FL’s (formerly held in Fort Myers, FL) Fort Rock event. Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin will headline the sixth edition of the festival, which will take place on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at Markham Park in greater Fort Lauderdale. Other acts on the bill include Halestorm, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Hollywood Undead, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Red Sun Rising, Stone Temple Pilots and more. VIP and early tickets are available now, with general ticket sales beginning on Friday (Dec 8th).
Godsmack, Muse and Alice In Chains will headline the three-day Carolina Rebellion event, taking place from May 4th through the 6th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Joining the headliners will be Shinedown, Stone Sour, Stone Temple Pilots, Bullet For My Valentine, Avatar, Tremonti, In This Moment, Queens Of The Stone Age, Incubus, Greta Van Fleet and many others. Godsmack, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Muse are all likely to have new albums either out or close to release by the time the festival rolls around.
All general admission and VIP tickets as well as hotel and camping options are available now at the Carolina Rebellion website.
Finally, Las Rageous returns for its second year on Friday, Apr 20th and Saturday, Apr 21st. The two-day music festival will take over two square blocks in downtown Las Vegas and will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Five Finger Death Punch, Ghost, Beartooth, Pop Evil, Adelitas Way and more. Early bird tickets will be available starting on Wednesday (Dec 6th) at 10:00 a.m. PT, for those who purchased tickets to last year’s event. Presale tickets will be available Thursday (Dec 7th) and general tickets will be available starting on Friday at 10:00 a.m. PT.
Celebrating birthdays today: Little Richard, flamboyant rock star is 85. Comedian Margaret Cho is 49 and yours truly, Queen Producer extraordinaire of hardDriveRadio (at least ’til Dec 31st) is 29! ;>
02: Santa Clarita, CA @ The Canyon
04: San Diego, CA @ The Observatory
08: Pasadena, CA @ The Rose
09: Las Vegas, NV @ HOB
10: Tempe, AZ @ Marquee
12: San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
13: Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
15: Portland, OR @ Roseland
16: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
17: Billings, MT @ Pub Station Ballroom APR
28: Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome To Rockville
29: Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Fort Rock MAY
20: Columbus, OH @ Rock On The Range www.stonetemplepilots.com
hardDrive Double Dose: NOTHING MORE
“Do You Really Want It?” & “Go To War” Plugged In: RED “Still Alive”
ROYAL BLOOD “I Only Lie When I Love You”
10 YEARS “Novacaine”
A PERFECT CIRCLE “The Doomed” Guest: RISE AGAINST “House On Fire: THREE SONG SWEEP
METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
SKILLET “The Resistance”
MARILYN MANSON “Kill4Me” ASK LZZY
AVENGED SEVENFOLD “Wish You Were Here”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH “Trouble” DIRT
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meadow” Guest: BUSH “This Is War”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”
POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Into The Fire” Guest: PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE “Necessary Evil” ftg JONATHAN DAVIS of KORN Guest: FOO FIGHTERS “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” What’s In Lou’s MP3 Player? WHILE SHE SLEEPS “Hurricane”
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”
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”
A DAY TO REMEMBER “We Got This”
ALL THAT REMAINS “The Thunder Rolls”
ASKING ALEXANDRIA “Into The Fire”
BUSH “This Is War”-ADD
FALLING IN REVERSE “Superhero”
I PREVAIL “Lifelines”
IN THIS MOMENT “Roots”
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE ftg JONATHAN DAVIS “Necessary Evil”
RED “Still Alive”
SKILLET “The Resistance”
STONE HORSES “Reckless Ways”-ADD
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS “Meadow”-ADD
TRIVIUM “The Heart From Your Hate”
Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio are reporting Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix said in an interview with @London that he did not like the band’s recent Number One hit “Help” when he started writing it — but finished the song anyway. Shaddix explained, “I think the music is very uplifting. But I didn’t like the song when we wrote it. I was, like, ‘The music is too pop.’ It’s, like, ‘Ehhh.’ And then Tobin [Esperance], our bass player, was, like, ‘Remember when we wrote ‘Scars,’ we felt the same way about that song. Approach this one in the same way — take your darkness that you’re carrying around with you.’“
Shaddix told Billboard magazine he has never been officially diagnosed with depression, but mental health issues run in his family and his mother has said that it might be why the singer had a habit of self-medicating before he got sober several years ago.
Shaddix told us not long ago where “Help” was coming from: “It’s a deep one, man. It’s that old, familiar place I find myself, I guess time and time again, in that dark place and this is for people that struggle, people that have brokenness in their lives, people that struggle with depression, people that struggle with bipolar, people that struggle just with life in general ’cause life keeps on happening, you know, and it’s definitely an anthem for the people walking through the darkness.“
Shaddix said in the @London interview, “Our fans f**king dig that song. So it went from most hated to one of my favorite songs.” “Help” is featured on Papa Roach’s ninth and latest album, Crooked Teeth, which was released last May. The latest single from the disc is called “Born For Greatness.” The band recently confirmed that it has already been in the studio writing and recording material for its next LP.
Bush‘s new single, “This Is War,” is taken from the expanded edition of its latest album, Black And White Rainbows. Frontman Gavin Rossdale told us he was moved to write the track after watching the horrific events in Charlottesville that erupted last summer when a white supremacist protest turned violent and resulted in a woman’s death: “I saw the riots in Charlottesville and was just amazed at all this level of hatred and bigotry and sort of blaming, you know what I mean? Like blaming a race of people, blaming the Jews for whatever your problem is. It just seems like medieval madness. So that song was born.”
The expanded and remastered edition of Black And White Rainbows was released digitally through Bush’s new deal with BMG, with a CD to follow. A second new song on the disc, “Alien Language,’ was inspired by Rossdale’s divorce from singer Gwen Stefani. Rossdale recently participated in Linkin Park‘s Los Angeles memorial concert for late singer Chester Bennington, performing the song “Leave Out All The Rest.”
TUNE IN! Listen for Gavin as our Featured Artist of the Week on hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus next week) Dec 11-15.)
Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio also reporting Mastodon has shared a 75-minute documentary on the making of its latest album, Emperor Of Sand. The film is composed of 12 smaller featurettes released earlier this year, edited together with 30 minutes of additional never-before-seen footage. The band said, “This is a deep look into the making of the album and the inspiration behind the music. With the Grammy nominations Emperor Of Sand has received this week, we thought it was the perfect time to release it. We hope you enjoy the documentary. If you do, feel free to share it!”
Mastodon recorded most of the LP in the band’s hometown of Atlanta, as guitarist Bill Kelliher told us: “There was a studio that was just about to close like a month after we started, so we had like an end date and it just worked out great. The studio was a bit of a drive every morning, but I think we preferred to be home. We went out to the Henson Studios in L.A. for 10 days to do all the, any overdubs that needed to be finished and vocals and mixing, and got it all done.”
Emperor Of Sand was released last March and debuted at Number Seven on the Billboard 200 album chart. The disc contained two rock radio singles, “Show Yourself” and “Steambreather.” The album has also earned two Grammy nominations this year, for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance for the song “Sultan’s Curse.” The 60th annual Grammy Awards will be held on January 28th in New York City. In September, Mastodon released a new EP called Cold Dark Place, featuring four previously unreleased tracks.
Guns N’ Roses said so long to their Not In This Lifetime 2017 tour. The reunion tour ended with a nearly four-hour, 37-song concert at the Forum in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles last Wednesday night (Nov 29th). According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the set featured relatively rare performances of two tracks from the 2008 Chinese Democracy album, “Catcher in the Rye” and “Sorry,” in addition to tributes to Glen Campbell, Malcolm Young and Chris Cornell in the form of “Wichita Lineman,” “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Black Hole Sun.”
Lead singer Axl Rose said near the end of the evening, “We want to take a moment to just thank our crew. We want to thank all the fans everywhere. Thank you for coming out tonight, and all around the world. I want to thank our f**king amazing crew and all of our business team and our sound man. And the band! For putting up with my s**t.”
Lead guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan – the other two original members of the group who reunited with Rose for the tour — later tweeted their own thanks.
Guns N’ Roses will return next June for a seven-week European jaunt, but the band’s plans until then, and beyond that, remain unknown for now. The three original members have not given a single interview together. The reunited trio, along with four backing musicians from latter lineups, have been on the road almost continuously since the tour was launched with a surprise show at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles on April 1st, 2016.
Although some fans have grumbled that two members of the original lineup — guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler, the latter of whom did appear at a handful of stops on the tour — remain on the sidelines, the trek has been wildly successful, reportedly grossing more than $400 million since its launch a year and a half ago.
Finally today, Linkin Park just released a live video of “Crawling” with Chester Bennington from their One More Light Tour 2017.
Five Finger Death Punch releases its greatest hits collection, A Decade Of Destruction,today (Dec 1st), and the band is celebrating the occasion by sharing a new cover song as well. The group has recorded a surprise cover of The Offspring‘s “Gone Away,” which originally appeared on that act’s 1997 LP Ixnay On The Hombre.
“Gone Away” is included on Five Finger Death Punch’s greatest hits set, along with a new original tune called “Trouble.” Guitarist Jason Hook told us not long ago that Five Finger Death Punch are driven to keep working: “We’re kind of overachievers by nature. We can’t sit still. I think we have a problem. Even when we have time off, there’s no time off. We’re just doing stuff all the time, and so I think that’s one of the things I really love about this band is that we’re just motivated to keep grinding and it’s not work, it’s just kind of what you do.”
Drummer Jeremy Spencer told Razor 94.7 he was unsure about doing a greatest hits LP at first, saying, ““I was like ‘Do we even have enough hits?’ And then we looked and we have like 13 or 15 radio hits.” The hits collection and an already completed new studio album are part of a deal to settle a legal dispute and close out the band’s contract with its label, Prospect Park.
Five Finger Death Punch’s seventh full-length LP, which was finished nearly a year ago, will follow up 2015′s Got Your Six and will be released in spring 2018. The band is currently on a European arena tour with In Flames and Of Mice & Men.
Blabbermouth reporting a dispute over songwriting credits may have contributed to the cancellation of the previously announced expanded version of Metallica‘s 1982 demo tape, No Life ‘Til Leather. A limited edition cassette version of the legendary recording was made available exclusively in independent record stores for Record Store Day in April 2015, with the band promising that expanded editions of the demo, which had never before been commercially available, would arrive on CD, vinyl and in a collector’s set.
But Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Metal Forceslast year that “unexpected difficulties on the legal side . . . prevented the No Life ‘Til Leather box set and our vision for how we were going to kick this whole reissue series off. We spent some time doing that dance, but then James (Hetfield, frontman) and I decided that it wasn’t worth it getting bogged down in all the unpleasantries, because this was supposed to be a celebration and not end up being a tug of war.”
Ulrich did not go into the details of the exact issues preventing the box set from happening, only saying that it was “something that we hadn’t expected.” But now former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, who played on that demo, revealed on Thursday (Nov 30th) that he was contacted by Hetfield two years ago about “officially” releasing No Life ‘Til Leather with “27 tracks, pics, the whole enchilada,” adding, “The talks broke down because Lars wanted credit on two songs I wrote every note and word to. I have the texts. I passed.”
The seven-song tape was recorded with the first lineup of the band that appeared live as Metallica, including Ulrich, Hetfield, Mustaine and bassist Ron McGovney. Neither Mustaine nor McGovney were still in the band by the time it released its debut LP, 1983′s Kill ‘Em All.
The relationship between Metallica and Mustaine since he was dismissed 34 years ago has always been portrayed as a testy one, although Ulrich told us that all the reports of animosity over the years have been overblown: “I mean, so much has been made of these relationships, and certainly speaking for myself, Dave and I have two separate relationships — one that exists between Dave and I, and one that exists in the press and with everybody else. And I always know that, you know, my and Dave’s private relationship is always fine, and it’s always one that’s rooted in love and respect.”
Ulrich told Metal Forces that he was still hopeful the issues could be worked out and that No Life ‘Til Leather could be released, saying, “We haven’t shut the door on it.”
Metallica is currently on a break from its Hardwired…To Self-Destruct world tour, which will resume in Europe this coming February.
In other ‘tallica news via Blabbermouth, former bassist-turned artist Jason Newsted has an art exhibition, “Rawk – The Art of Jason Newsted”, underway at the Cultural Council in Lake Worth, FL.
The exhibition was co-curated by Nick Korniloff, executive vice president, founder and director of Art Miami and founder of the prestigious Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair, and Nichole Hickey, manager of artist services at the Cultural Council.
Korniloff told InJupiter: “Entering year two of our Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair, we look forward to the kickoff of another exciting cultural season in Palm Beach County by supporting and celebrating the Cultural Council’s 40th anniversary.
“When provided the opportunity to work with Rena Blades and her team to co-curate an exhibition with Nichole Hickey of the Council, I jumped at the opportunity. There was only one artist in mind — and that was Palm Beach County resident, six-time Grammy winner, Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer and multitalented musical, lyrical and visual artist Jason Newsted. Jason‘s immersive show represents all of the mediums of the arts that the Cultural Council has worked so hard to support over the years. The ‘Rawk’ exhibition will be an event and art show that our community will never forget.”
Beginning to make visual art seriously in 2004, Newsted manipulates canvases and upcycles ordinary materials. He imagines landscapes and figures that come to light froman unlimited color palate. His figures seem otherworldly and evoke a sense of frenetic emotion and in some of his work he has been influenced by Outsider Art. Newsted also works with words and layers. Using both hands, he scrawls out names or phrases and then layers paint to cleverly disguise them from the viewer. At times he twists and turns the canvas repeatedly, painting and painting, until he obtains his desired effect. Heavily influenced later by the great masters of modern art, Newsted has found his niche and an expressionistic awareness of contemporary art.
“Rawk – The Art Of Jason Newsted” will be on display at the Cultural Council galleries Dec 01 – Feb 03.
In the “what Ever Happened to…” files comes this from Blabbermouth. Andrew W.K. has revealed the title, cover art, and track listing of his upcoming LP, You’re Not Alone. The album is scheduled for release on March 2, 2018 via RED Music/Sony Music worldwide, with its front cover image painted by legendary artists Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. These two masters of fantasy worked closely with Andrew over a six-month period, crafting the painting based on their unique vision.
It’s safe to say, nobody has partied harder, longer, or more fervently than the undisputed King of Partying himself, Andrew W.K. A one-man music machine possessed of a single-minded, monomaniacal focus to spread a singular message: That to party is to exist. And to exist is to party.
On You’re Not Alone, Andrew W.K.’s first album of new rock songs in nearly twelve years, the party is reborn, delivering everything one would want and expect from an Andrew W.K. record — high-octane, full throttle rock ‘n’ roll powered by buoyant, infectious, and triumphant melodies. His music, always a music of extremes, is relentlessly upbeat and celebratory, while also exploring contradiction and confusion.
The songs on this album follow a surprising path to self-actualization. They give the listener permission to admit their vulnerabilities, and the encouragement to feel empowered. They’re reflections on the push and pull between freedom and restriction. It’s a confirmation of everything you are, rejection of all you are not, and at times, a blurring of the difference between the two. Doubt becomes certainty, confusion becomes clarity, and the fear of life becomes the courage to live it completely. The album reveals itself through double meanings, mirrored views, each ringing equally true, even at their most severely discordant.
Andrew W.K. has lived a life built on a belief that to reach a state of grace and acceptance, one must embrace both the shadow and the light, the pain and the joy, all that is known and unknown, the stability as well as the chaos, its speed and torpor. Understanding this, Andrew W.K. suggests, is the foundation of what partying eventually transmits to us. And by harnessing the revelatory power of partying — by celebrating the puzzles and pressures of life – we find the key to change and evolution comes from both inside and out, when we’re together and on our own.
That inner voice, the music of our consciousness, becomes our guide. Trust it. Follow it. Through good times and bad, ups and downs, highs and lows. Realize that just being able to hear it conveys something fundamental to your being… you’re not alone.
Celebrating life this weekend: Today: Brad Delson of Linkin Park is the Big 4-0. Sarah Silverman is 47. Saturday: Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel is 49 and Muse bassist Chris Wolstenholme is 39. Sunday, The Prince Of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne is 69 and feelin’ fine!
I know that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed….BUT this is a good one! Brave Words and The Pulse Of Radio say Shinedown singer Brent Smith and bassist Eric Bass performed the song “Second Chance” from a bed in a video they shared on Tuesday (Nov 28th) as part of the Bedstock Challenge on what was labeled “Giving Tuesday.” The band said in a statement, “We are asking everybody to give the healing power of music to those who need it most today. We challenge you to sing a song from bed for sick kids across the country who can’t get out of bed.“
Smith told us a while back that music to him was always a means to get through personal struggles: “I’ve always told people that we write songs because it’s cheaper than therapy. You have to talk about the things that drive you crazy, and you have to talk about the things that make you happy. It lets you know that you’re alive. Every day is a gift, it really is. I don’t feel like there’s anything corny about saying that, because you’re not promised tomorrow.”
Bedstock.com is a one-of-a-kind online music festival, where artists play from bed for sick kids stuck in theirs. It helps raise funds and awareness for MyMusicRx, a program that delivers the healing power of music to hospitalized kids across the country. This year marked the fourth Bedstock event and featured in-bed performances from artists like Shinedown, Ed Sheeran, Nick Jonas, Ringo Starr, the Breedersand nearly 100 more.
MyMusicRx is the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association and utilizes bedside and digital music medicine programs to engage hospitalized kids across the country, relieving stress, anxiety, and perception of pain.
Brent Smith and Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers will embark on the “Songs For The Soul: An Intimate Acoustic Evening” tour, billed as Smith & Myers, starting tomorrow, Friday (Dec 1st) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Shinedown has also been working on its sixth studio album. I hear it will be out in April.
Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio reporting Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates has launched The Synyster Gates School, a completely free online school that offers guitar tutorials, contests, merchandise, concert tickets and unreleased behind-the-scenes footage from Gates and his father, acclaimed session guitarist Brian Haner Sr. The school will offer insight into how father and son practice, write, record and perform, using interactive playthroughs, synced music notations and tablature, audio and video recordings, guided step-by-step instructions and more.
Students who sign up early will get a chance to win a free private guitar lesson with Gates.The guitarist said in a statement, “My dad and I have been working on this for close to four years now and it’s exceeded both of our expectations. This is beyond a school, this is a community where everyone can go to learn and participate with great reward.”
Gates told us a while back that the band members’ home and family lives have changed very little over the years: “The cool thing about this band is when we actually do go home, the whole Avenged Sevenfold atmosphere and how big we have gotten doesn’t affect us when we’re at home. We’re just really good friends that just hang out together and see our parents and write at our parents’ houses and stuff like that. Nothing that much has changed.”
Avenged Sevenfold will release a deluxe edition of its latest album, The Stage, on Dec 22nd and will begin a North American headlining tour on Jan 12th, the day the vinyl version will be released, in Nashville with special guests Breaking Benjamin and Bullet For My Valentine.
Before that, Avenged drummer Brooks Wackerman will sit behind the drum kit on Late Night With Seth Meyers from Monday, Dec 4th through Thursday, Dec 7th.
In addition, frontman M. Shadows says that the band’s Grammy nomination for “Best Rock Song” for “The Stage” was “a nice surprise.” It’s the first-ever Grammy nod for the Southern California-based group comprised of Shadows, guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks Wackerman. Also nominated in the “Best Rock Song” category were Metallica‘s “Atlas, Rise!”, K.Flay‘s “Blood In The Cut”, Nothing More‘s “Go To War” and Foo Fighters‘ “Run”.
“Every year the nominations have come out, and we’ve had some pretty big records, and every year we’ve never gotten anything,” the singer told Los Angeles Times. “So we kind of wrote it off as, ‘We’re probably never going to get one, and that’s the way it is.’ So it was a nice surprise.”
Asked if the nomination feels like a validation, Shadows said: “It’s coming at a good time for us. I think when we were younger, all these things were, like — we don’t care about the awards, we were just kind of out there. And I think some perspective on our career and perspective on how these things work, we’re just really grateful at this point in our lives to be able to get the nod and show up. and it’s rock song, so it’s a televised award and we’re really grateful for that. And to be in there with Foo Fighters and Metallica and all those bands, we’re just excited. We’re going against some Goliaths, but it’s not about the win. We’re just really happy to be recognized.”
The 60th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and broadcast on CBS at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Slash says goodbye to his Beverly Hills home he once shared with his ex-wife Perla and their sons. The Guns N’ Roses guitarist sold his mansion in the Mulholland Estates, a guard-gated community in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles, to rapper Big Sean for $8.7 million, according to TMZ. Slash put the house on the market in June 2015 for $11 million, but that price came down in April 2016 to $10.5 million and in August 2016 by another million to $9.5 million.
The 10,971-square-foot, three-story Tuscan Villa-like home on Clerendon Road includes a two-story entry, state-of-the-art theater, massive double center island kitchen, lower level nightclub and entertainment room with an elevated DJ booth and custom LED lighting, and a soundproof recording studio. It also boasts a steam shower and oversized spa tub in the master bedroom suite, a game room, library, family room, French doors and more.
Slash and his then-wife bought the home in 2009 for $7.3 million. Their neighbors at the time reportedly included reality TV queen Paris Hilton, British pop star Robbie Williams and actor Charlie Sheen.
Slash was born in England but moved to Los Angeles when he was five, telling us a while back that he spent his formative years in the Hollywood area: “You know, when I moved to Los Angeles, I was like five, and I’d been raised in that area, sort of Laurel Canyon area and the Sunset Boulevard area. And I’ve always lived there and everything significant that ever happened in my life as far as like putting one step in front of the other all happened in that neighborhood.”
Slash filed for divorce from Perla in December 2014 after 13 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He has joint custody of their two sons, 15-year-old London and 13-year-old Cash.
The reunited Guns N’ Roses, featuring Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan, completed a North American arena tour on Wednesday (November 29th) with a hometown show in Los Angeles. The band has no other dates on its schedule for now until it launches a European trek next June. There is no word yet on whether future plans include a new album or simply more touring by this semi-classic lineup of the group.
Ah, Lars. It’s good to be in one of the world’s biggest rock bands! On Nov 9, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was interviewed by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff as part of this year’s Dreamforce, Salesforce‘s annual user conference, in San Francisco, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by Blabbermouth.net).
On how Metallica’s music has managed to survive and grow, crossing generations:
Lars: “It’s pretty crazy, 35 years in, that people still care at the level that they do. We just played three weeks in Europe. We’re playing on a small in-the-round stage, and every single — and this is not to pat ourselves on the back, but more how dumbfounded we are about this stuff still happening — in every single building we just played in Europe in the last two, three weeks, we set a house attendance record, because we get more people in because our stage is smaller. These are the big indoor arenas in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belgium… They’re all between 18 and 23 thousand — their version of the hockey and basketball arena. But it’s pretty crazy that we continue to set attendance records. We’re having the best year for Metallica in probably a quarter of a century. And it should be no secret that we’re obviously not quite a young as we used to be, but it’s amazing that still at the concerts, half the audience that are down at the front row are 14 years old, 12 years old. They raise their hand when James [Hetfield], our singer, asks who’s seeing Metallica for the first time. And it’s amazing that half the audience are experiencing Metallica literally for the first time live. That is a crazy thing. It’s, like, do they not know that we’re old enough to be their parents? [Laughs] So we’ve had a lot of good fortune, and we’re very appreciative and humbled. And I think the one thing that happens to you as you get older is that as you get older and you raise families yourself and so on, that’s when you can really open your eyes and take it all in, slow down long enough to realize the moments that you’re in, bringing people together, connecting people through music. You know, when we were 22 years old, we never stopped long enough to know what was going on, but now, 30 years later, you can really feel that impact that you’re having on a global scale. So it’s been an amazing, amazing year. And we still have about another year and a half of touring left. So we’re just getting started. [Laughs]”
On the reasons for Metallica‘s enduring success:
Lars: “I think it’s two-fold. Number one is that from a creative point of view, you have to be willing to always look ahead rather than look behind. You have to turn over every rock, every stone and open your eyes, open your ears, be inspired, let those influences and all that great culture — whether it’s music, whether it’s art, whether it’s film; whatever it is — just take you, and you have to be open to letting the process take you where it’s gonna go. It becomes this interesting dichotomy between sort of steering it but also being open to letting… almost like hanging on, letting it kind of go where it’s going and just making sure it doesn’t derail, like a train, kind of. So, for 35 years, we’ve tried to never look back when we were making records, always try to challenge ourselves and see what else was out there that could inspire us to let the music take us some place differently. Secondly, when you’re in a group, when you’re in a collective, you really have to know how to work with other people. You have to learn empathy, you have to learn… when somebody else is steering, when you’re gonna take a backseat and when you… that balance point about it’s really important that this idea solidifies itself to somebody else in the band. Even though I may not personally agree with it a hundred percent, in terms of the balancing points of an internal dynamic that works in a group setting, you have to just know how to work with other people. When you’re 20 years old in a group, in a music group, that’s like being in a gang, and that’s easy. When you’re 50 years old and everybody gets their own patterns, and you talk to anybody — whether they’re in The Rolling Stones or our friends in U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers or any of the great bands that have been through Dreamforce in the last couple of years, being in a collective, being in a group, being in a band in your 50s requires a lot of work. We spend more time internally in Metallica on just making the band function. We spend more resources on making the band function in terms of giving everybody the space they need. You know, somebody needs to take spring break off to go with their kids — we’re not working that week. Somebody needs this, somebody needs that… It’s all an open door, because the minute you do something that’s gonna put a bandmember in a position of doing something where he has something else in his head, that’s the beginning of the end. So you’ve gotta spend a lot of time working on the collective and the group dynamics. We somehow turned a corner maybe 10, 15 years ago — we all grew up a little bit, and we sort of reprioritized our outlook on life. The first 20 years of Metallica, it was the band first and the individual and the family second. And about 10, 15 years ago, we swapped the model, and now it’s the individual and the families first and Metallica second, and that has given us a functioning dynamic that has… We’re in better shape than we’ve ever been, and that’s part of the reason, I think, we’re enjoying the best time we’ve had in 25 years.”
In other Metallica news, yesterday we told you about the gift the Danish Prime Minister gave to the Indonesian President. Turns out, Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will have to file a report with the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding the METALLICA “Master Of Puppets” box set he received from Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Since the gift technically constitutes a form of gratification, it must legally be reported to the KPK, according to Coconuts Jakarta. The law is to prevent politicians from receiving gifts that could be considered a form of bribery. “The President is planning to report the gift of the Metallica vinyl records to the KPK,” presidential spokesperson Johan Budi said.
Um, can you imagine if you had to report every gift you were ever given? Yikes!
Celebrating life today: John Moyer of Disturbed is 44 and Billy Idol is 62!