Thursday, Dec 07, 2017

SLIPKNOT's SHAWN 'CLOWN' CRAHAN To Take Part In 'Underground To Mainstream' Panel At POLLSTAR LIVE!

This should be interesting!  Blabbermouth is reporting Slipknot’s M. Shawn Crahan will be on a panel at the upcoming touring business convention in Los Angeles Feb 06-08, 2018 known as Pollstar Live.   The panel’s topic is ”Underground To Mainstream: What Are Metal And Hip-Hop Doing Right (And Where Does It Go From Here?)” The panel will include Slipknot manager Cory Brennan and hip hop artist Coolio, among others.

also reporting Metal Wani recently conducted an interview with guitarist Ben Bruce of U.K. metalcore outfit Asking Alexandria. You can listen to the entire chat here. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by

On whether Bruce, who is  Asking Alexandria‘s primary songwriter, collaborated with his bandmates on the group’s forthcoming self-titled album:

Ben: “I’m the main writer. I’ve been the main songwriter since our debut album. Then, obviously, I share my ideas with the guys. They come in and record their parts, so it’s not like I keep anyone in the dark and just show them a finished album. Yeah, I get the ball rolling. I write most of the material and I come up with the initial ideas and the main song structures.”

On whether he thinks the band’s self-titled album is all he hoped it was going to be:

 Ben: “I actually think it’s gone above and beyond all my expectations. For me, every time I finish an album, I’m, like, ‘Man, I wish I could have done this differently. I would have changed this. This song’s not that good, it’s kind of an album filler. I wish I had more time to write more hits.’ With this album, we had no limitations, we had no time limits or restrictions and were left to our own devices and we did exactly what we wanted to do. I listen to the final product now and I couldn’t be more proud. There’s no point on the album where I’m, like, ‘Ah, I wish we could have re-recorded this or changed this.’ Or ‘I’m not too fond of this song.’ Every time I listen to the album, I have a different favorite song. I’m definitely more proud of this album than I ever have been of any record before.”

On whether the band had to make any changes to re-acclimate returning vocalist Danny Worsnop:

Ben: “No, not really. It just all felt really natural. I think all the time apart from each other, it just allowed all of us to grow as musicians and individuals. When he came back and we started doing this album, everything just kind, it just kind of clicked, like it was meant to be. We didn’t have to sit down and force anything, like, ‘Okay, Danny’s back, so we need to do this.’ We didn’t need to tell Danny, ‘We need screaming so you have to do this.’ It’s just what it was, so we didn’t have to set any limitations. We were just, like, ‘Let’s all write music that we love and see what happens.’ This album is the result of that. I think everyone, including Danny, I’ve not seen Danny this excited about an Asking Alexandria record, ever. All of us are obsessed with it and it’s because it was such a pleasure to record and it’s us. It’s just us through and through. We weren’t told what to do or when to do it. Every single song, we did for us. Yeah, there was no groaning or changing, it was very natural, very easy.”

On whether Worsnop’s return has prompted the band to go in a different direction:

Ben: “Possibly. It’s hard to sort of know. I feel like with [2016's Denis Stoff-fronted] ‘The Black’, it’s a great album. I’m very proud of it. People always ask ‘Do you regret ‘The Black’? No. That’s a significant time in our career, but we knew it was a tough thing to lose Danny and we wrote a record with that in mind, like, we need to keep our fanbase engaged, we need to write a record that our core, original fanbase that got us to where we are in the beginning are going to love and be excited with it. With this one, it was five friends back in a room that started the band together. It was, like, ‘Let’s write a record for us. We’re back as Asking Alexandria. Let’s celebrate that.’ It was a very different mindset. I can’t see the future and I can’t change the past, so who knows what would have happened if we done anything different, but this is the direction we took with this album. I’m definitely really pleased that we did. It seems to me, that all of our fans are, too.”

Asking Alexandria, the band’s 6th studio album, will be released on Dec 15th via Sumerian. The disc, which was produced by From First To Last‘s Matt Good and mixed by Taylor Larson, will mark the group’s first full-length effort with Worsnop since he rejoined the band in the fall of 2016.

My friend Fieldy aka Reggie Arvizu from Korn has released a three-part documentary about the making of the bassist ‘s jazz fusion album, Bassically, directed by longtime Korn documentarian Sébastien Paquet.

Bassically was be released on Nov 17. The seventeen-track disc was produced by Fieldy’s writing partner Anthony “Q” Quiles” and mixed by Chris Collier. The record features guest appearances by three of Fieldy’s bandmates: drummer Ray Luzier plays drums, bongos, shaker, tambourine and djembe on the songs ”Bass O Rama”, ”Step Right Up”, ”Basque K Cinco”, ”Zibba Zibop” and ”Mr. Bassmen”; guitarist Brian “Head” Welch plays on ”I Wuv Bass Mon”; and singer Jonathan Davis does some beatboxing on ”JD Fresh”.

This is a bass album that encompasses the last nine years of my life on the road recording with a variety of special and unique basses,” Fieldy said. “This project features recordings of mine from dressing rooms, tour buses, hotel rooms and other unique locations playing on basses just as obscure as the locations. It’s a blend of funk, fusion, and rock. I can’t wait to share it with you.“  (Thanks Blabbermouth)

Also from Blabbermouth, Swedish band Ghost has begun teasing a live album called Ceremony And Devotion. The official cover artwork for the disc, which is reviewed in the latest issue of Sweden Rock Magazine is posted above.

An official release date for Ceremony And Devotion has not yet been announced, but rumor has it it could be any time now.  The last-ever Ghost concert to feature frontman Papa Emeritus III took place on Sep 30 in Gothenburg and saw the singer apparently being dismissed from the band.

Papa was forcibly removed from the stage by two men during the band’s closing number, ”Monstrance Clock”, A short time later, a very elderly man wearing a white and gold version of Papa’s robes and his signature make-up took the stage and addressed the crowd, saying in Italian, “I am Papa Emeritus Zero. The party is over and now a new era begins. The Middle Ages begin now.”  The band posted footage of the incident to its official Instagram account but has yet to comment on the matter. It appears, however, that the reign of Papa III has ended.

Forge recently revealed that he’s been working on the group’s fourth studio album for a tentative April 2018 release. The new disc will follow up 2015′s Meliora, which featured the Grammy-winning hit “Cirice”, and last year’s Popestar EP, which included the chart-topping “Square Hammer.”

Forge hired an all-new lineup of the group for touring purposes in the first half of 2017, with the musicians all anonymously performing as Nameless Ghouls.

Celebrating life today:  Happy 4-0 to Dominic Howard, drummer for Muse.




Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017

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 BrutusFeatured 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!



Tuesday, Dec 05, 2017

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 OsbourneGodsmackFive Finger Death PunchStone 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 HalestormBullet For My ValentineTriviumHollywood UndeadSevendustPop EvilRed Sun RisingStone 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, AvatarTremontiIn This MomentQueens Of The Stone AgeIncubusGreta 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, GhostBeartooth, 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!  ;> 



weekEnd Dec 02-03, 2017


Hour 1

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”
Guest:  RISE AGAINST “House On Fire:
METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
SKILLET “The Resistance”

Hour 2

Guest:  BUSH  “This Is War”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”
POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
Guest:  PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
Guest:  FOO FIGHTERS  “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
What’s In Lou’s MP3 Player?  WHILE SHE SLEEPS “Hurricane”

Week of Dec 04-08, 2017

10 YEARS “Novacaine”
FOO FIGHTERS “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
FOZZY “Judas”
ROYAL BLOOD “I Only Lie When I Love You”
SEETHER “Betray And Degrade”

METALLICA “Spit Out The Bone”
PAPA ROACH “Born For Greatness”
POP EVIL “Waking Lions”
STONE SOUR “Rose Red Violent Blue”

ALL THAT REMAINS “The Thunder Rolls”
BUSH “This Is War”-ADD
I PREVAIL “Lifelines”
RED “Still Alive”
SKILLET “The Resistance”
STONE HORSES “Reckless Ways”-ADD
TRIVIUM “The Heart From Your Hate”


Monday, Dec 04, 2017

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 CampbellMalcolm 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.

Friday, Dec 01, 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 Forces last 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 NewstedJason‘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 4-0Sarah 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!

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017

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.” 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 SheeranNick JonasRingo 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 WackermanAlso 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 DreamforceSalesforce‘s annual user conference, in San Francisco, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by

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 JakartaThe 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!


Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017

“This has been 15 years in the making.”  That’s how the press release read yesterday on this amazing tour for 2018! A Day To Remember continued, “Celebrate with us and special guests Papa Roach, Falling In Reverse and The Devil Wears Prada in February and March. We’ll be playing our favorite songs from our full catalog so you won’t want to miss it!”  See Road Rage for the complete list of shows!

How cool!   Pearl Jam found an awesome way to promote their new live CD/DVD.   ”Let’s Play Two” is a a live album and concert documentary about their 2016 performances at Wrigley Field. Since the shows were during the Cubs’ championship season, they’ve now created an (8 bit browser) baseball game online. It’s a homerun hitting contest set at Chicago’s Wrigley Field where you can choose animated members of Pearl Jam to play the game.

If you win, you get an autographed Cubs baseball and a customized bat. You can also check out the Pearl Jam’s Twitter feed to play, too.

Rhonda’s Kiss, an organization that helps cancer patients in need, last month announced that Jane’s Addiction will headline the third annual benefit concert on Friday, Dec 8 at the Palladium in Hollywood, CA. The L.A. based collective The Hellcat Saints — Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Josh Freese (Devo, Nine Inch Nails), Billy Duffy (The Cult), Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver), Franky Perez (Apocalyptica), Scott Shriner (Weezer), and many more — will open the show. Proceeds from the concert event will benefit the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and further the mission of Rhonda’s Kiss, supporting programs to assist cancer patients, and helping those who receive a cancer diagnosis make ends meet during treatment.  If you’re in the LA area, tickets for the one-night-only concert are available here.

Blabbermouth reporting Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett recently spoke with Metal Magnitude about his collection of vintage movie posters, many of which were recently on display at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA in an exhibit called “It’s Alive! Classic Horror And Sci-Fi Art From The Kirk Hammett Collection”. The full chat can be streamed above. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On collecting:

Kirk: “There’s a whole field dedicated to restoration and preservation of movie posters, and there’s a complete field of experts that all they do is restore and preserve movie posters for museums, for collectors, for business and whatnot. I’m connected to all the best people, because I want all the best work done on my posters. I don’t do that stuff myself — I was told not even to attempt to do anything like that myself because I’d probably do more harm than good — but knowing that there’s incredible people out there, when I find a movie poster and it’s, like, tattered, and it looks like it’s about to fall apart into a million pieces, I know that I can take it to someone who can put it together and, like a Frankenstein monster, piece it into something that comes alive again.

“There’s posters that when I first started collecting 25 years ago, I only dreamed of having, because there was no known copies of it. I used to dream of having a ‘Frankenstein’ three sheet and a ‘Mummy’ three sheet, and I have them now, and it’s amazing. It just goes to show that if you’re patient enough and you stay in a hobby long enough, good things eventually show up. Good things happen.”

On whether he has plans for similar exhibits elsewhere:

Kirk: “For me, the collection, I’m always looking to expand it. I’m always on the hunt for future stuff, so whenever people ask me about the collection, the very first thing I ever think about is, ‘What are my plans for recent acquisitions?’ That’s what I think about first — ‘How do I contribute to the collection?’ The idea is to bring this collection all over the world in whatever way we can, to get it seen by as many people as possible.”

On Metallica‘s immediate future:

Kirk: “We’re going to be on tour for the next couple years. Hopefully we won’t take eight years to put out another album. Things are moving ahead on that, and right now, our main thing is to make it through the tour in one piece.”

Hammett released a coffee table book in 2012 called “Too Much Horror Business” that featured photos of his extensive collection of monster and horror memorabilia.  He displayed a portion of his collection in the “Kirk’s Crypt” exhibition during the 2012 and 2013 Orion Music + More festivals.  Kirk is also known as the Fear FestEvil horror convention organizer.

In other Metallica news, I absolutely love this story that music is the connection to the world! 

Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen presented Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo with a signed box set of Metallica‘s seminal third album Master Of Puppets during a state visit earlier today (Tuesday, Nov 28) at the Bogor Palace in Indonesia. In return, Jokowi, gave Rasmussen a rencong (traditional dagger from Aceh), according to The Jakarta Post.

“Prime Minister Rasmussen understands my favorite [music],” Jokowi said of the Masters Of Puppets expanded reissue, which was made available earlier in the month.

The LP has been remastered for the most advanced sound quality and was made available in various physical configurations, including Standard LP, Standard CD, three-CD Expanded Edition, and Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set. It was also made available available digitally as a Standard CD, a three-CD Expanded Edition and a Digital Deluxe Box Set.  Bonus content in the set ranges from previously unreleased demos, rough mixes, interviews and live tracks to a 108-page hardcover book, DVDs, handwritten lyrics and more.

Jokowi‘s copy of the Masters Of Puppets box set came with the signature of  drummer Lars Ulrich, who was born in Denmark. The album itself was recorded in Copenhagen between September and December 1985.

The 56-year-old Widodo, who served as governor of Jakarta before being elected president in 2014, attended Metallica‘s August 2013 concert in the city — 25 years to the day after the release of the band’s fourth album, …And Justice For All, and more than 20 years after their tumultuous first show in Indonesia.

“I am happy and satisfied with the concert,” Widodo said after the performance. “No one got out of control. We showed them that Jakarta citizens are all dignified. We could rock the night away in an orderly fashion.”

Back in May 2013, Widodo had to turn over his autographed Metallica bass guitar to the government temporarily, while authorities determined whether the instrument was merely a gift or a violation of ethics rules. Widodo received the bass from bassist Robert Trujillo, but had to give it up to the state within 30 days, according to laws regarding gifts to state officials.  Widodo has professed love for heavy metal bands like MetallicaMegadethLamb Of God and Napalm Death in the past.  Gotta LOVE that!  \mm/ (Thanks Blabbermouth!)



Blabbermouth also says Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy was recently interviewed by James Geiser of Antihero Magazine. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On Alter Bridge‘s recent performances with a 52-piece orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall:

Myles: “You know, why not? We just thought, ‘It’s been 13 years — what haven’t we done?’ We felt that a fair amount of our catalog would work well in that environment, thinking that strings and all of the dynamics you could incorporate… being able to paint a musical canvas with that as well as just guitar, drums and bass would be really fun. I have to say, it far exceeded our expectations. We weren’t really sure how the whole thing would be received or how it would go, but I remember the first day of rehearsals, I had a lot of goosebumps — a lot of hair-raising moments where it was obvious they were bringing something really magical to the entire process, which we loved getting to experience.”

On whether the band plans to do any similar shows in the future:

Myles: “I would love that. After we did those two shows, we definitely got to talking, and I think everybody agreed that we need to find a way to do this again, though there are a lot of things we’d need to do to make that happen. It’s a lot of people to take out. It’s different when you have a four-piece band versus a big orchestra, but if we can make it work logistically, I’m sure we will approach it in the future. There’s just something about hard rock and metal with that very symphonic, orchestrated element that just seems to work. You can’t say that about every genre of music, but I feel like with some things, it’s like chocolate and peanut butter — it just goes together well.”

On how he juggles his various musical commitments:

Myles: “It’s certainly been busy, and that’s a good thing. In 2017, as a musician, if you can stay busy doing this, you’re very fortunate. The traveling part of it, if you ask most any touring musician, it’s probably high on the list as far as what’s difficult — not to be a whiner, but that part of it can kind of, just from a physical side, can beat you up if you’re not sleeping right, not eating right. But with that said, you get to play music; you get to get up on stage; you get to connect with the fans; and hopefully that will refill the well, so to speak. If you’re feeling a little haggard from road life, then that energy will hopefully will fill the tank, so it kind of balances itself out.”

On where he thinks his work ethic comes from:

Myles: “It’s a delicate balance. There are days when I wish I could clone myself, but somehow, I’ve managed to make it work. I think at the end of the day, a lot of it has to do with a love for music, and when I’m not doing music, I’m kind of lost. We just did this tour overseas, and it was fun, and we came back and I told myself since I’d recently finished my solo record, I didn’t have to worry about writing for that or putting a ton of energy into that. I’d been working pretty diligently between touring and writing all year, and I was like, ‘When I get home, I’m going to try to power down — I’m going to try and kind of balance myself out a little bit.’ It was fine for the first few days, but then I discover that I start going a little crazy if I don’t have music in the mix, so that really didn’t last too long. Before I knew it, I had a guitar or was doing something that involved music. It’s my bliss — it’s just me following my bliss.”

On his 2018 plans:

Myles: “The plans are still getting ironed out. I’ve been talking with Slash about seeing what’s going to come next. I definitely have plans to release the solo record next year and tour on that. It will be another busy year.”

On his upcoming solo debut, “Year Of The Tiger”:

Myles: “The solo record is definitely different from pretty much anything I’ve done. That was intentional. I think there was a part of me that was really longing to express music a little differently, and strip things down musically and try some different instrumentation. I really wanted to make a record about the vocal, so with that said, you do things differently. I stripped away the high-gain guitars and the big wall of sound — the bombastic elements so that the vocal would really be featured. Lyrically, it tells a story — the whole record is about 1974, which is the year my father passed away when I was a kid. It basically documents my father dying and then what came after that with my mother and brother and I, and how we kind of had to start over. It’s kind of a concept record, really. There are elements in there where I’m really letting people in, and I think the music was just telling me that that’s what needed to happen. I felt like as I was creating the chord progressions and the instrumentations and thinking about how this was going to sound, I felt like it just had to be a really honest record, and was just not going to try to hide behind anything. It will be interesting — I’m excited to put it out there, but it’s definitely kind of a new frontier for me.”

Kennedy will release Year Of The Tiger via Napalm Records in the spring. The 12-song effort was helmed by Alter Bridge‘s longtime producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette.

Year Of The Tiger will feature a guest appearance by drummer Zia Uddin of The Mayfield Four, a group Myles descries as his “first real national touring band” back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Alter Bridge is continuing to tour in support of its fifth album, The Last Hero, which came out in 2016. The group is expected to take most of 2018 off from the road while the bandmembers focus on other projects. Writing for the follow-up to The Last Hero will begin next year, with tentative plans to release the effort in 2019.

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017

The nominees for the 60th annual Grammy Awards presentation were announced this morning and in the Rock and Metal categories, here you go:

Best Rock Performance:
-Leonard Cohen-”You Want It Darker”
-Chris Cornell-”The Promise”
-Foo Fighters-”Run”
-Kaleo-”No Good”
-Nothing More-”Go To War”

Best Rock Song:
-Metallica-”Atlas, Rise!”
-K Flay-”Blood In The Cut”
-Nothing More-”Go To War”
-Foo Fighters-”Run”
-Avenged Sevenfold-”The Stage”

Best Rock Album:
-Mastodon-”Emperor Of Sand”
-Metallica-”Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”
-Nothing More-”The Stories We Tell Ourselves”
-Queens Of The Stone Age-”Villains”
-The War On Drugs-”A Deeper Understanding”

Best Metal Performance:
-August Burns Red-”Invisible Enemy”
-Body Count-”Black Hoodie”
-Code Orange-”Forever”
-Mastodon-”Sultan’s Curse”

The winners will be announced on Sunday, Jan 28th at a ceremony in NYC at Madison Square Garden.  It will be televised on CBS.

Now here are my comments:   K Flay…what part of that song is ROCK?   Who was on the committee who brought that one to the table and everyone agreed?   So many other contenders for this, it’s ridiculous!   ARGH.     And kudos to Nothing More and their label and manager/producer!   They delivered the goods on their new album!  So excited for them to be in three categories. And Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Metallica, Mastodon (that album is great)  and   Avenged Sevenfold, all deserved!    I mean, look. To some, especially the artists, receiving a Grammy is a big deal.  To fans, not so much.   And even to the Grammys, they disrespect the rock community by not even broadcasting the acceptance speeches from the winners.  But all in all, congrats on your nominations!

Speaking of the Foos, they’ll once again be the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, with the Dave Grohl-led band scheduled to perform on the show on Dec 16th alongside host Kevin Hart. Grohl has appeared as a musical guest on the series more than a dozen times, as a member of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, as well as with Them Crooked Vultures, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Paul McCartney‘s backing band. He’s also appeared in a number of skits.

Grohl told us not long ago that one of his dreams is to actually host Saturday Night Live. A petition was even launched two years ago asking SNL producer Lorne Michaels to have Grohl host the program. ​Although other musicians have hosted the long-running late-night show, none of them have performed and participated in sketches as much as Grohl.

SNL has also announced that U2 will be the musical guests on this Saturday’s (Dec 2nd) edition of the program.

Of Mice & Men: Alan Ashby, Aaron Pauley, Valentino Arteaga, Phil Manansala

Of Mice & Men announced a new tour with Blessthefall, Cane Hill and Fire From the Gods.  See Road Rage for all the info!

AC/DC guitarist and co-founder Malcolm Young was remembered as “quiet, humble and understated” at his funeral in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday (Nov 28th), according to ABC News. Hundreds of people gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the service, including AC/DC guitarist and Malcolm’s brother Angus Young, former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd and ex-AC/DC bassist Mark Evans. Eulogies were read by Bradley Horsburgh and David Albert, who described Young as a “quiet, humble and understated man.”

One of Malcolm Young’s guitars was carried into the church for the service, while guitar picks inscribed with his date of birth and death were handed out with the official funeral programs. After the service, a pipe band played a medley of songs as the funeral procession left St. Mary’s, including the guitar solo from AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Top,” as well as “Waltzing Matilda” and “Road To Gundagai.”

Malcolm, who co-founded AC/DC with Angus in 1973, died on November 18th at the age of 64 after suffering from dementia and failing health for several years.

In other news, a new campaign has been launched to make AC/DC’s 1981 hit “For Those About To Rock” the Number One song on the U.K. chart during Christmas week in honor of Malcolm Young. Topping the holiday chart is often the focus of fan-based campaigns, including one to place Rage Against The Machine‘s “Killing In The Name” at Number One in 2009 above an X Factor contestant’s new song. A post and video announcing the campaign said in part, “Who would be up for having another crack at putting an Acca Dacca classic above an X Factor nobody in tribute to Malcolm, George, and Bon?”  The charting period runs from Friday, Dec 15th to Thursday, Dec 21st this year, and fans can make their impact by purchasing the song via online download services in the U.K. or streaming it 150 times during the charting period.

Malcolm and Angus’ older brother George passed away earlier this month, while original AC/DC singer Bon Scott died in 1980.  The Albert family had managed AC/DC for more than four decades.

Blabbermouth reporting Metallica has partnered with Starbucks and Spotify as part of the “Give Good” charity campaign this holiday season. Starting today (Tuesday, Nov 28th aka “Giving Tuesday”), special limited edition Metallica-branded gift cards will be available at 8,000 Starbucks locations nationwide, with proceeds from the effort being donated to Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation.

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation is “dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services,” acccording to the foundation’s website.  The foundation was launched last February with the goal of “making the world a better place through local community support.”

Metallica played a benefit show earlier this month in San Francisco to raise money for victims of the recent Northern California wildfires. The band will resume its Hardwired…To Self-Destruct world tour in February after the holidays.

Chance the Rapper’s Social Works and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation will also be recipients of donations from Starbucks and Spotify, which will total $1 million.

Hey, we’re famous!  Prophets Of Rage guitarist Tom Morello told hardDrive Radio in a new video interview that he can be friends with musicians like Kid Rock and Ted Nugent – and enjoy their music as well — even if he is at the opposite end of the spectrum from them politically. Morello explained, “I’m a fan of Ted Nugent’s music and Kid Rock’s music and I like both of them as people; I consider them both friends. They’re people I may not agree with, if we had a checklist of stuff, but they’re both good, decent people and I’m proud to be friends with both of them.”

Morello is an outspoken leftist and activist, while Nugent and Rock are both right-wingers who support Donald Trump in the White House. Morello continued, “There’s certainly no litmus test — and neither was there with (former band) Rage Against The Machine and certainly there isn’t with Prophets Of Rage — you don’t have to be down with the message . . . there’s a place for you in the pit.”  The guitarist added, “I was a huge fan of bands like Motley Crue and AC/DC, and the lyrical content was super misogynist on the one hand and sort of quasi-devil-worshipping on the other, and I was neither down with women-hating or the devil, and yet I loved those bands.”

Morello explained a while back how he was initially inspired to get involved in political activism: I grew up in a very conservative town in Illinois, and the politics of my household were in stark contrast to the politics of the community around me. That, and also being one of the only black kids in an all-white community is very politicizing. You know, ever since then my twin passions have been playing guitar and political activism. So I try to find, you know, ways to affect the world around me in a way that at the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror.”

Prophets Of Rage’s self-titled debut LP was released in September. The band, which features members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, will finish the year with a pair of December radio festivals in San Diego and Los Angeles.

For all you out there who still find this of interest ….Blabbermouth reporting musician and director Rob Zombie has narrated “Charles Manson: His Final Words,” a new documentary which will air this Sunday, Dec 3 on the Reelz channel. The documentary focuses on the Manson family murders told from Manson‘s perspective using never-before-seen case files, pictures and exclusive interviews with Manson himself from inside California State Prison.

“Charles Manson: The Final Words” includes Manson’s eerie and disturbing conversations about modern society, justice, his decades behind bars, the Bernard Crowe shooting and the murders along with digitally restored audio recordings from the original investigations to reconstruct a path of events that led to the brutal slayings of movie star Sharon Tate and four of her friends on August 8, 1969 in addition to the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea.

The documentary also includes compelling new interviews with members of the Manson Family which reveal never-before-heard details that help uncover the real story and motives behind the grisly murder spree. Viewers will hear from accused Manson Family members Bobby BeausoleilBarbara Hoyt and Catherine “Cappi” Gillies along with prosecutor Stephen Kay, defense attorney Gary Fleischman, music producer Phil Kaufman as well as other investigators and authors.

Manson, who died earlier in the month at the age of 83, was jailed for life in 1971 for a series of nine vicious murders committed in Los Angeles at four locations in July and August 1969. The murders were carried out on his orders by members of a cult that sprang up around him known as the Manson Family.