Love me some Lars Ulrich! The man is a machine. And a genius! Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio reporting the Metallica drummer addressed the wave of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, saying the disgraced Hollywood producer’s case is being used as a valuable starting point for vitally important discussions about Hollywood’s “casting couch” culture, wilful silence in the face of sexual harassment and sexual predators in the working environment.
During an interview this past Sunday (Nov 5th) at the 92Y (92nd Street YMCA) cultural center in New York City, Ulrich was asked if he thought the music business will also face a reckoning similar to that which has occurred in the film industry and dragged down studio executives, producers, actors and talent agents. Ulrich answered, “Everywhere is gonna have a reckoning, and I think the great thing is that we’re in the first inning of this, and, obviously, it’s long overdue.” He added, “I think that it’s a great, great thing that everybody is standing up and that everybody, no matter what gender they are, feels safe in talking about their experiences and that, as a victim in any kind of situation, that you don’t feel that you have to carry it yourself, that you have a platform and that you can feel safe in there.”
But Ulrich also warned, “There will be a point somewhere down the line where somebody’s life is gonna get changed because of a potentially false accusation. And when that happens, I hope that we can find ways to, sort of, navigate as a society, media just through that, and hopefully that we make the best choices.”
Weinstein’s career was brought to a halt after scores of women in the entertainment industry — including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie – accused him of varying degrees of sexual misconduct over the years, ranging from harassment to outright rape.
Other film industry figures who have been accused of sexual assault or harassment include director James Toback and actor Kevin Spacey. In the world of music, major accusations have emerged so far against former Marilyn Manson bassist Jeordie White and Nashville publicist Kirt Webster (Kid Rock recently fired him), although it seems inevitable that more will come.
Oh you go, Foos! Foo Fighters resumed the North American leg of their 2017 Concrete And Gold world tour last night (Nov 7th) in Madison, WI as ticket sales for the trek fast approached 750,000 in North America alone. The tour kicked off on Oct 7th in front of 30,000 fans at the group’s own Cal Jam 17 and has since played to full houses in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Greensboro, NC, Cincinnati and more, with upcoming shows in Houston, Dallas, Tampa, Philadelphia, Toronto and New York sold out well in advance.
Frontman Dave Grohl told us a while back that he’s been thrilled with each stage of the band’s growth as a live attraction: “The first tour we did, we were playing to maybe, I don’t know, 500 people a night or something like that, you know. And then that turned into doing theatres and so you get to that stage where you’re playing to 1,200 people and you’re like, ‘Man, I could do this for the rest of my life, this is great.’ And then you get to the point where you’re playing to like 5,000 people a night, and then you start selling out arenas and you’re like, ‘God, I can’t believe that we’ve gotten to this point.’ And then you start selling out stadiums, and it just keeps on getting better, you know.“
The 2017 leg of the Concrete And Gold tour winds down o New Year’s Eve (Dec 31st) at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The tour’s North American run resumes Apr 18th in Austin, TX and will continue through the summer, including a Jul 29th return to Chicago’s Wrigley Field and a two-night stand at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Concrete And Gold is the Foos’ ninth studio album and debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 album chart the week of Sep 15-21.
A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan has issued a brief response to fans following reports that more than 60 concertgoers were ejected from an APC show over the weekend for taking photos in violation of the band’s stated policy. After a fan complained about the policy on Instagram, Keenan wrote, “No. Recording. Of. Any. Kind. For. 25. Years. Guided experience. Unplug and enjoy the ride.”
Keenan has also enacted a strict ban on photos with his other groups, Tool and Puscifer, but it got renewed scrutiny after the ejections that took place at A Perfect Circle’s show on Saturday night (Nov 4th) in Reading, PA.
As reported yesterday, David Farrar, the General Manager of the Santander Arena & Performing Arts Center where the band performed, said on Instagram after a fan revealed he had snapped some photos, “We tossed over 60 people last night for taking pics.” He later added, “This was 110 percent the band’s policy and has been for Tool, APC, and Puscifer . . . it’s not a new policy.”
Stops on the current APC tour have featured printed warning signs posted around the venue, security guards announcing the policy and a video message displayed on the venue’s video screens.
A Perfect Circle, with openers Beta Machine, continues its fall tour tonight (Nov 8th) in Lowell, MA, just north of Boston, at the Agganis Arena. The band has been playing several new tracks on the road and recently issued a single called “The Doomed.” A new studio album is expected out in early 2018.
Blabbermouth reporting Brooks Wackerman says his current stint as the drummer in Avenged Sevenfold is “very fulfilling,” and he “couldn’t ask for a better gig to express” himself.
In 2015, Wackerman officially replaced Arin Ilejay, who was the group’s first full-time drummer after the death of founding member Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan in 2009.
During an Oct 19th event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Wackerman said A7X‘s musical diversity was one of the things that initially drew him to the band.
“Growing up in a musical family where I was exposed to jazz, reggae, rock, metal, I really gravitated toward what these guys were doing,” he said. “I appreciated the musicality and just where they would go. The deeper I went into their catalog, the more appreciative I became, because I was very familiar with the band, but once I started doing my homework, I’m like, ‘Okay, wow, I want to be a part of this.’ As a drummer, you couldn’t ask for a better gig to express yourself. Everything that I studied growing up, I’m now able to apply in this band, which is very fulfilling as a musician.”
Asked if he feels like part of the band, Brooks responded: “Yes. Not only they were trying to find a drummer, but also a songwriter as well, which was another attraction. And just how democratic this band is. I mean, I’ve worked with amazing songwriters and musicians in my past, but never have I been part of an alliance like this where everyone has your back, and [is] just very encouraging. We would do take after take on [the band's latest album] ‘The Stage‘, and Matt [singer M. Shadows] or Brian [guitarist Synyster Gates] would say, You know, let’s think outside the box. Do something better. You can do better.’ I’ve never been pushed that way before, and that was amazing.”
Gates also praised Wackerman’s contributions, saying: “It’s incredible — it’s so multi-dimensional, what involves ‘success’ in a band. It’s not just being able to write a successful song for that point in time, or that place in time; it’s not about just getting along; it’s about making the right decisions; it’s about family, it’s extended family — we love his wife and his twin boys. Everybody gets along; it’s truly a family. We really did get unbelievably lucky.
“You can say everything has to be perfect across the board, but it never really works out that way, and it actually did for us, so we really lucked out,” he continued. “There’s proof of concept on the record — I mean, what this fucking guy does, from actual pace to the type of groove he’s going to lay down. It’s not just about playing fast and fucking crazy; it’s about complementing the song; it’s about playing the classic Ringo Starr orchestral approach to playing, as well as well as being able to fucking go off when the energy calls for it, and the man can do that and more.”
M. Shadows concurred, saying: “We were very aware of his past records, and we would watch him every day on Warped Tour when we were on the ‘Kevin Says’ stage and Bad Relgion was playing. We were so excited that Bad Religion had picked up Brooks, because we were big fans of his Infectious Grooves records.
“When we made the decision that we needed to move on from Arin, our previous drummer, we had a long talk about it, because we knew it would be hard on the fans, and you know how that kind of stuff goes out into the world: ‘Oh, they can’t keep a drummer; they must be impossible to deal with.’ But we just knew musically it was the right choice. And we’d known him for a long time in passing — through bands, and seeing him at shows — and we knew that the palette he was going to be able to pull from, everything he had grown up doing, we knew we wanted. And we knew that if we brought him in the band, and he wanted to be in the band, that we weren’t going to bring him in and tell him what to do. It was going to be more like, ‘Hey, are we excited about doing something crazy? Let’s do something crazy.’ He was there every day writing with us, and yeah, we were pushing him, because we wanted him to know, like, ‘Do what you do. Be Brooks Wackerman. Be the greatest drummer that we feel [he is] on the planet.’ He’s an amazing drummer; he’s an amazing person; an amazing songwriter. So, we made the right choice. Maybe it was lucky, but it took a long time for us to finally pull the trigger and do it, but [we are] so glad we did.”
Avenged Sevenfold will release a “deluxe edition” of The Stage on Dec 15. The band’s 2018 North American arena headlining tour will kick off Jan 12 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with special guests Breaking Benjamin and Bullet For My Valentine. The trek will be North America’s introduction to the electrifying “Stage” spectacle that drew rave reviews in Europe.
Happy 32nd to Jack Osbourne! God, I remember when he was just a 12 year old boy at the 1997 Ozzfest!