Thursday, Jul 02

Good morning Radicals!

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor spoke with Rolling Stone earlier this week on his involvement with Apple Music, the new streaming service from the maker of iPod and iTunes. Reznor has the position of Chief Creative Director at the new service, and to celebrate the launch, he has released some previously unavailable instrumental versions of the albums “The Fragile” and “With Teeth.” While his involvement with Apple Music has taken up much of his time lately, Reznor admits he has been “messing around with some things,” adding, “It’s not a record I’m trying to finish in a month. It’s more just feeling around in the dark and seeing what sounds interesting. It’s nice to do that every few years to try and reinvent and discover and try to learn about yourself and what feels exciting to you as an artist.” Might we be getting some new NIN next year? I hope so!

In a recent interview with California Rock News, Hellyeah frontman Chad Gray talked about their latest single “Hush“, which Gray wrote about the violence he experienced at home while he was growing up: “I think the whole overall mantra of that song is ‘You’re not alone.’ That’s a very powerful line, because, going through that part of my life, I did feel alone, and I think a lot of people that are in that situation, they see it happening, but a lot of people don’t wanna disrupt the family. So, as fucked up as it is, they keep quiet about it. Or maybe they don’t have anyone to tell. Or if they did have someone to tell, what happens if you tell someone… The way the world works sometimes, you come in, they yank you out, they put you in a foster home, your mom and dad are gone, and it completely breaks the family. So they keep quiet and just deal with it, rather than speaking out about it and telling somebody that they can trust about it, to kind of keep it within the family, and maybe have some sort of an intervention. And I think what I kind of wanna do is just to provoke that, ’cause I’m quite sure that that happens in the metal community. And we’re here to protect each other — I think. I fully believe in metal family and metal community, and I think that we are here to help each other. For every action, there’s a reaction, right?! So, like, some shit goes down and something gets heavy or whatever, if I can provoke to somebody that listens to our music just that second thought. Like, ‘Hold on a second.’ You know what I mean?! Maybe there’s something between here and there that resonates in them and they go, ‘Count to ten. Walk out of the room.’ That song, to me, is part of my story, part of my past…” You can watch the entire interview video here. (thanks to Blabbermouth for the transcript.)

Guitar legend Slash has expressed his dislike of the current state of the music industry. Talking with Radio Nova in Finland, he said: “I think the music business itself sucks. It’s turned into a very corporate, materialistic… I mean, even artists are trying to conform to the record industry now. It used to be the artist was for the artist and there was a conflict of interest between the creative artist and the record company wanting to make a lot of money, and eventually they’d sort of work it out. Because then, they used to develop artists, and now it’s just like Top 40 — everybody’s trying to be Top 40. Even heavy metal bands are trying to be Top 40. So it’s not a big turn-on, like it was for me in the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s where it was exciting and there was a sense of rebellion and whatever. So I just do what I do, which is completely against the grain of what the industry is all about. But, as a whole, it’ll get better eventually. It always has its ups and downs.”

KORN drummer Ray Luzier, THE WINERY DOGS/MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan and former ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin performed a cover version of the DEEP PURPLE classic “Highway Star” last night at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, California. The trio was accompanied during the performance — which was part of the weekly “Jam Night” at the venue — by guitarist Mayuko Okai. Check out the video here. (Thanks Blabbermouth!)

Rockers celebrating birthdays today: Rocky Gray, drummer for Evanescence and We Are The Fallen is 41, former Bush bassist Dave Parsons turns 50! Congrats all!

Wednesday, Jul 01

Oh man, Jul 1st!  Summer is here.   And our English friends are bearing the brunt of our heat.  95 degrees in London today?  That’s CRAZY!   Now the “tube” (subway) riders there will share our joy of standing on a hot summer’s day platform waiting for a train to pull in.  In Times Square here in NYC, it’s like waking into HELL!

Just last night I was waxing poetic about how great rock music is doing right now.   Breaking Benjamin, after a 4 year hiatus, scored the NUMBER ONE SLOT on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts, debuting their new Dark Before Dawn cd with 150,000 copies sold in the first week! New music from Disturbed, Shinedown, Lamb Of God, Pop Evil, among many more, are getting love at radio like mad.   So why are so many artists still unhappy?  There are a few factions within our ranks of influential programmers who, when they don’t play a song, hurt these artists.  Sometimes, it is very unfair and random.  I’ve heard of songs being ripped off the airways of some stations just as they are about to become number one singles.   It just is very exasperating for us passionate music lovers who want everyone who puts out good music to have their day in the spotlight.  I’m just saying.  Spotify had done their report stating rock music is strong.  We are seeing it with the info I’ve shared in the past.  I just can’t wrap my mind around some people who just won’t give certain bands the airplay they deserve.  And so the first news report from Seether shows the frustration on the parts of bands.   (See next story.)  But the bottom line here for you, the fans, is:  if you love a band, buy their album.  Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach said it recently. When you buy an album, you support rock music.  You support the band that you love and thus, you support the future of rock as we know it.  And yes, rock now comes in many different forms now, and we should be open minded and not be so quick to judge. And rock is cyclical.  Over my career, I have seen many ups and downs for harder rock vs alternative. And so has alternative rock seen it’s morphing back and forth. My feeling has always been, if it’s good, play it.  That’s my rant for today. Thank you!

Pulse of Radio reports Seether frontman Shaun Morgan has said in a new interview with Sticks And Stones he is disappointed with the current state of rock radio in the U.S., claiming that guitar-based bands are finding it increasingly difficult to get airplay as more stations switch from rock to alternative formats.

Morgan explained, “Alternative radio stations just don’t want to play songs with guitarists. They play ’90s alternative bands like Alice In Chains and Nirvana, but they don’t play new bands with guitar. They’re, like, ‘That’s not alternative anymore’ . . . If we’re lucky enough to get played on radio, we’ll get played right after a Lorde song, which is fine. I like Lorde, but I don’t think she’s a godd**n rock artist. She’s not alternative; I think she’s more pop.”

Morgan continued: “I think there is a weird sort of gray area about what is rock music and what is alternative music. It’s sort of annoying. It seems like alternative stations think they’re ‘the cool kids of the radio world.’ They can make and break careers, man . . . We used to be one of the five or ten bands they’d play all the time; no questions asked. If we put out a single, they’d play it because we’d done so much for them. But now they’ve switched to ‘alternative,’ and we don’t get played at all.”

The singer and guitarist added, “We went for 10 years playing every single radio station, playing all their events and birthday bashes or whatever the hell you call them, and then they turn around and say, ‘We don’t play you guys anymore because we’re alternative. We don’t play rock bands now.’ It’s, like, ‘Get your head out of your f**king arse, dude.’ It’s bulls**t.”  (OK, I put it a little more mildy in my rant, but you get the picture.  People are frustrated! Do you blame them?)

Meanwhile, Seether has released an interactive  music video for “Nobody Praying For Me.”  The clip consists of five separate videos telling a story from different perspectives, ultimately showing there’s more than one side to a story. Shaun Morgan stated, “Our goal in creating this video is for people to educate themselves and make an informed decision on their own, rather than being told by any media outlet saying, this is what you should be thinking, this is what is right.”  Watch it now!

Bullet For My Valentine is doing a Twitter Q&A tomorrow!   (Thu Jul 2).   See details on Bullet’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the next hardDriveRadio APP chat is hopefully happening live from the Warped Tour stop on Saturday,  Jul 11th from Jones Beach!  Who’s the band?   We’ll reveal soon!

So Apple Music debuted yesterday.  They are giving it to you for 3 months for free.  Here are the 5 songs they played upon launch:
Spring King “City”
Beck “Dreams” (I like Beck)
Jamie XX “Gosh”
Skepta “Shutdown”
AC/DC “For Those About To Rock”

Did you listen to it?  I know many friends who wanted to, but they couldn’t download  it onto their computers.  I haven’t checked my phone or my MacBook to see if it’s there.  Will have to check it out next week while I’m on vacation.

Well,  any moment now we will be announcing our first hardDrive Live Tour for 2015!  Very exciting.  We are waiting for all the dates to be confirmed as well as the line up, but trust me, guitar aficionados, you won’t be disappointed!

Two goddesses celebrating life today:  Deborah Harry of Blondie is, gulp, 70!  Pamela Anderson is 48.  


Tuesday, Jun 30

Wow.  I guess there is something to this acoustic record with a possible country flavor that mastermind Jonathan Davis is working on.  Pulse of Radio reports this morning  Marilyn Manson says he’s working on “Southern-sounding” acoustic blues material — and that it will feature Korn‘s Jonathan Davis. Speaking in a Reddit session with fans, Manson revealed a “completely unexpected” project he hinted at earlier this month was an unplugged record, explaining, “That’s some of the plans of the style of music that I’m working on right now. I don’t know what it’ll turn into. Some of it will be with Jonathan Davis, I think, because he has plans of doing something similar — something that might even cross over the boundaries of being more Southern-sounding.”  Manson added, “I did record (1995 EP) Smells Like Children in Mississippi, which is where the blues came from, so there might be something more acoustic and blues in my future. I like the rawness of it.

Davis recently posted a photo on Instagram showing him working in the studio with country duo Big & Rich on what was dubbed a “country music project.” Manson and Davis last joined forces in 2002 on a song called “Redeemer” for the soundtrack of the movie Queen Of The Damned. The shock rocker also recently said he was working on music with actor Johnny Depp, and added that he wouldn’t be surprised if he and Smashing Pumpkins frontman William Corgan collaborated in the studio as well after their upcoming summer tour together.  The Manson/Pumpkins End Of Times tour begins on July 7th in Concord, CA.  Check out  Manson’s entire Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session here   Went to JD’s Facebook and he confirmed it too.  So this “blues” thing is coming around in a HUGE way, eh?  Oh and speaking of Jonathan, appears from a post on his Facebook that his oldest son, Nathan (Nate) was married on May 30th.  Congrats to Nate and the Davis family!

Shinedown  released a new song called “Cut The Cord,” which will serve as the first single from the band’s upcoming new album. The group’s fifth studio effort will come out in September, although an exact release date and title are yet to be announced. Shinedown singer Brent Smith told us what we can expect from the record:  A lot of bands and a lot of artists take the initiative to say — if they’re lucky enough to get to a fifth album — ‘Yeah, it’s such a different record’ and all these things. And you listen to it and you go, ‘That’s cool, it sounds exactly the same as your last records.’ That’s really not the case with this. It’s a devastating record. It’s a heartbreaking record. It’s a beautiful record, but it’s ferocious.”  Smith said in a statement about “Cut The Cord,” “In your truest moment of weakness . . . When everyone and everything has betrayed you, and evil and hatred has wrapped itself around your mind, body and soul . . . this is the song that you play. This is the statement to the world that you will not give up, you will not give in, and you refuse to fail!!! Now is your time . . . to ‘Cut The Cord.‘” Shinedown will embark on its first major tour in more than two years this summer, visiting theaters and other intimate venues across the country. Nothing More will serve as support on the bulk of the headlining dates. Shinedown returns to the road starting on July 9th in St. Petersburg, FL.

Disturbed singer David Draiman told a Boston radio station that the band’s upcoming album Immortalized contains its first-ever attempt at a love song. The vocalist, known for his dark and often pessimistic lyrics about human nature, said that a track called ”You’re Mine” was written for his wife Lena, adding, “It’s something that I had not done, really, on any record, and it’s probably Disturbed’s first attempt at, dare I say, a pseudo, kind of, love song. It’s lyrically not as dark as you’ve come to expect from us.”

Guitarist Dan Donegan told us the recording sessions for Immortalized were the most open-minded of the band’s career: Everybody at any moment could make a suggestion and we would try it. There was no ideas that weren’t at least tried to be executed. Any suggestions that came up, we tried them, and we’d see if it made it better.”  Draiman said the album’s closing number, “Who Taught You How To Hate,” was inspired by becoming a father, explaining, “Children playing in a playground, they don’t pay attention to the color of skin, or their religion, or what part of the world they come from, or how much money they have. It’s pure, it’s simple, and it’s unbiased and it’s beautiful. And that was definitely one of the things that my son showed me, and it’s definitely reflected in that song.”

Draiman spent a lot of time during Disturbed’s four-year hiatus with Lena and their son Samuel, who was born in September 2013. He took time away only to record and tour briefly with his side project Device.

Immortalized will arrive on Aug  21st and features the single “The Vengeful One,” which is just about to break into the rock radio Top 10.  The album is available for pre-order everywhere and follows 2010′s gold-certified Asylum, Disturbed’s fourth consecutive Number One on the Billboard album chart.

Spoke with Padge (Michael Paget), Bullet For My Valentine guitarist from outside a pub in Cardiff, Wales yesterday!  I would expect him to be no place else!  LOL The band is getting ready to pack up to head to South America on their first leg of their  Venom Tour in support of the album due Aug 14th.  Their tune “No Way Out” is in Smash Or Crash this week, and of course Padge encourages you to vote for them!  And the band also just dropped their first official single “You Want A Battle (Here’s A War).”  It’s very heavy subject matter deals with domestic violence & abuse.  Matt Tuck said it was inspired by his young days when he was severely bullied in school for being different.  Check out the video and stay tuned for the interview to air on hardDrive and hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus!

Blabbermouth reported Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett will appear at next month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA at the Nuclear Blast / Stern Pinball / KVH Toys / JSR Merchandising booth. Fans in attendance who buy one of the new series of limited-edition figures from Hammett’s horror toy line at the booth are guaranteed a ticket on Saturday (July 11th) for either a 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. signing session by Hammett.

Gotta dash. Aranda are coming into the studio today.    More tomorrow!


Monday, Jun 29

Hello people!  It’s Monday and the world is a very different place today.  They caught David Sweat, marriage equality is now law, and Disturbed is back ten-fold!

Their new single “The Vengeful One” made it’s debut on the Neilsen rock singles chart at Number 11.  With 875 spins in the 5 days since it was released.  That is HUGE.   David Draiman posted this message on Facebook which I was tagged in:

All Access/Media Base (Industry chart)

Disturbed Debut Top 15 with “The Vengeful One”
811 Spins in first week
Just under 2 million views on YouTube in 1 week.  ! million+ within first 24 hours
Unprecedented in our own history as Disturbed.  The strongest debut for one of our singles, ever.
Not too shabby gentlemen. (.ok I take umbrage, I am a woman LOL)

I had to remind David the song was only released on Tuesday morning.  So it’s not even a full week YET!   Could go higher by tomorrow!   So my first post was:  They said  Rock Is Dead.   Active Rock bands are over.  Format in jeopardy.  WHO ARE THEY? You Rock and We Rock With You!

OK, so on the heels of that huge news comes this!

Slipknot has announced the lineup for the 2015 edition of Knotfest, which will take place on Oct 24th & 25th at San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, CA. The full main stage lineup for the first day is Judas PriestKornMastodonTrivium and Corrosion Of Conformity, with a special guest yet to be announced, while the second day’s main stage bill includes Bring Me The HorizonClutchGhostface KillahMobb Deep and Slipknot to close out the event.  (Note:  Slipknot are playing Aftershock on Oct 24th in Sacramento.)Acts appearing on the second, third and fourth stages over the course of the two days include All That RemainsDevour The DaySuicidal TendenciesKyngSnotThe SwordGwar and many others.   Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan told us not long ago what he wants fans to get out of the fest: “I want you to smell it, I want you to taste it, I want you to see it, I want you to hear it, I want you to go home and say that your life has been fulfilled and you can’t wait for the next year.”Slipknot headlined two nights of the festival last year, while the more than 50 other bands included VolbeatFive Finger Death PunchIn This MomentKillswitch EngageOf Mice & MenHellyeah and dozens more.   The festival also featured the band-curated Slipknot Museum, the Fire Zone, Ring Of Fire carnival ride, Thunderdome, Fitz Army Freestyle Motocross Show, Junk Car Drum Circle, and more.   Tickets for the 2015 edition will go on sale today (June 29th) at 1:00 p.m. EST.   Slipknot’s Summer’s Last Stand tour, with Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine and Motionless in White,  kicks off on July 24th in West Palm Beach, FL, wrapping up six weeks later on Sept 5th in Dallas, TX.Getting back to  the topic of marriage equality for all, Pulse Of Radio posted  rockers such as Tool frontman Maynard James KeenanRed Hot Chili Peppers bassist FleaPearl Jam and many more took to Twitter and other Internet outlets on Friday (June 26th) to respond to that day’s historic 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Keenan posted an essay in which he blasted some of the more vitriolic responses to the ruling by its opponents, saying, “Maybe this one God of pure light of which they speak put forth a test. And the test was to recognize pure LOVE. I’ll say it again in case you were speed reading. Maybe the entry level test was to recognize pure LOVE aka LIGHT, Infinite and without Judgment. And they all f**king blew it . . . Congratulations to LOVE winning over antiquated archaic judgment.”

Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello wrote, “A great day for human rights & human love.”  Pearl Jam posted a photo of the band standing in front of a stage lit up with rainbow colors and wrote, “Love wins.”  Flea tweeted, “Love love love,” while Garbage posted, “Congratulations to all our beautiful gay friends in the US who can now legally marry if they so wish.Civil rights hard won.Justice for all.”    Smashing Pumpkins frontman William Corgan wrote, “Congrats to all our gay and lesbian fans on today’s Supreme Court ruling. I’ve always believed in my heart that this was a just right 4 all.”

The landmark ruling is the most significant change in laws governing matrimony since the court struck down state bans on interracial marriage nearly 50 years ago.  The majority opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

Breaking Benjamin has posted a new live video on Vevo for “Failure,” the first single from the band’s recently released fifth album, Dark Before Dawn. The song is currently Number One on the rock radio chart and frontman Ben Burnley told us that the fan response is the reason why he’s still playing: “That’s the only reason ‘Failure’ exists, it’s the only reason Dark Before Dawn exists. When you’re doing it for them, to have them accept it and support it is just touching and it’s just the whole reason why I do what I do.”
Dark Before Dawn was released last Tuesday (June 23rd) and is Breaking Benjamin’s first new studio set since 2009′s Dear Agony.  Ben Burnley was plagued by a mysterious illness during the hiatus that kept him off the road for years. He says that he still suffers from flu-like symptoms, exhaustion and occasional dizziness, and that the medical community has been unable to pinpoint what it is.  In addition to Burnley’s health issues, the band’s long period of inactivity also included legal action against two former members. Breaking Benjamin will kick off a new batch of tour dates on July 14th in Big Flats, NY, wrapping up on July 26th in Gilford, NH.  And check out our acoustic performance with Breaking Benjamin on our hardDriveRadio  YouTube Channel, which is getting a hell of a lot of views, I must say!

also posted  Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl told the Washington Post in a new interview he was “terrified” of watching the new documentary on late Nirvana founder Kurt CobainMontage Of Heck, when he and his wife stumbled upon it on HBO recently. Grohl explained, “All the footage of him as a child, I think that might make me sad, and then the dark stuff at the end I think would bum me out.”    Grohl added that he watched for 10 minutes, then rolled over and went to sleep — since he had to be up at six the next morning to take the kids to school.  Although Grohl was interviewed for the film, his footage was not used. Director Brett Morgen told us how he’s explained Grohl’s absence to fans: “What I’ve done and started doing is turning on people and going, ‘Well, what is it you want him to say? Is there something you feel we’re missing about Kurt?’ And there never is an answer. No, we feel like we’ve just got to know Kurt better than we ever have, so why in the world do you want Dave? ‘Because he’s famous.’ And that’s exactly why he shouldn’t be in the movie.” 

Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke with Metal Hammer magazine about his appearance on the upcoming Deftones album, due out Sept 25th. Cantrell explained, “Chino (Moreno, singer) sent over the song file and I thought it was really great, cool and moody, so I worked on it that night and threw something down. He sent me a file of them jamming the song live, I sent it back with the idea I laid down, and Chino thought it was perfect. I waited until they got back in the studio and then came in and laid it down. So, it was pretty easy, and I think it’s going to be a great song.”

It’s with sadness we share the news of the passing of Yes co-founding member, bassist Chris Squire.  Chris was 67 and suffered from acute erythroid leukemia.  Listen to “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” or “Roundabout” or any of the amazing prog rock tunes Chris was a part of.  Maybe now the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will decide to induct the band in their next ceremony.  Shameful they haven’t made it in by now.  And sad Chris will never get to be there for it.

Friday, Jun 26

End of June, ALREADY?!!   What the heck? Slow down, summer, slow down!

Emailed with Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach yesterday.  The band’s over in Europe.  I was happy to see the press release regarding a successful  Rise Above Fest for Seether, which included the efforts of  P-Roach, Godsmack, Slash and others who performed and raised $50,000 from general ticket purchases, T-shirt sales, VIP ticket packages and and beverage sale.  The money will  go to (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).to raise awareness of suicide prevention and mental health issues.   The show was in Bangor, ME back on May 9th.

Meanwhile,  the Papa Roach frontman said in a new interview with Finnish outlet Radio Nova  the best way for rock fans to support new and established artists would be to continue buying albums. Shaddix explained, “The best thing you can do as a fan for your favorite bands is to buy their music. Because what it does is it sends a message to the industry who’s killing it . . . if all the rock kids are, and all the punk kids are, filesharing, the industry looks at it and goes, ‘Oh, rock and metal just doesn’t mean s**t anymore. Only pop does, because the people are buying that.’”

Shaddix added, “They did a study on Spotify, and they found that metal music and rock music are the most popular forms of music on Spotify . . . it’s still a very popular style of music. It’s just the industry doesn’t see it as that, because it’s not the genre that sells the most records. So it’s pretty interesting.”

Papa Roach guitarist Jerry Horton told us he has nothing against pop music as long as it’s done well: You kind of have to look at pop as something that’s, at this point in time it’s kind of just candy, you know. It’s just, okay it might taste good but it’s not good for you and it goes away after a couple of seconds. I would love to see pop stuff like Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall – yeah, it’s pop, but there’s so much musicianship in records like that. At least it’s done in a way that’s not just so simple and bland.”

Speaking of pop rock,  I just can’t get t his song out of my head!  The Struts, “Could Have Been Me.”  I interviewed the lead singer yesterday, Luke Spiller at his home in Bristol, England.  What a cool dude.  The band is super excited to be coming to the states for the first time in August.  They’ve got a bunch of events they’ll be doing including  Jimmy Kimmel Live!  I know, you’re thinking, that is so not a song for hardDrive, but listen to it again.  It’s like Freddie Mercury reincarnated!  He’d be proud of these guys!  Just a great summer song, if  you ask me!  Crank it!

Pulse Of Radio reporting Disturbed singer David Draiman says he’s “done with social media” after battling with Twitter trolls who have harassed and baited him about his sometimes-controversial views regarding Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Draiman has had frequent heated exchanges with followers on Twitter, some of whom believe that Israel is not blameless in the ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Draiman, the son of Israelis and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, spent much of the last few months linking to articles by conservative and pro-Israel blogs and has often used his fame to speak out against anti-Semitism.  This led to frequent heated exchanges with his followers on Twitter, some of whom believe that Israel is not blameless in the ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

But the vocalist has has now deleted his @davidmdraiman Twitter account, explaining to a Minnesota radio station, 93X,  ”I’m done with social media, personally. And it had nothing to do with the (upcoming Disturbed) record. It happened to be coincidental, but it had nothing to do with the record.”   He continued, “Social media has become a playground for trolls, a playground for these people who prey on one another. You can’t get anything decent done on there anymore; you just open yourself up to constant attack. And I’m just done with it. I’m done with it.”

While he has been outspoken on Twitter and elsewhere, Draiman told us a while back that he prefers keeping his views out of his concert performances: When you speak to people, all you can do is speak from your heart. And there’s certain things that will detract from the energy of a concert experience, that you don’t want to speak about in that forum, and there are certain things that will help energize a concert experience, that can certainly be tied to political issues.

In other news, Disturbed’s music video for “The Vengeful One,” already has over one MILLION views!  That’s ONE MILLION views!  In like, what, two days?   Congrats!

Nickelback is still doing it best to keep its latest album in the spotlight even though the band had to quit touring earlier this week. Just out from the band’s 2014 release, No Fixed Address, is the new single and video, “Get ‘Em Up.” The clip follows two friends who plot a bank robbery only for things to not go exactly as planned, The video even has a cliffhanger ending that could be continued in future clips.  Singer Chad Kroeger told Loudwire, “I’ve always wanted to write a song about a bank robbery. If I couldn’t be involved in a bank robbery, I gotta write a good one. My band members still haven’t figured out that this is a metaphor from an instance early on in my life.”

Earlier this week, Nickelback was forced to cancel all the dates on the second leg of the band’s 2015 North American tour, due to frontman Chad Kroeger being diagnosed with an operable cyst on his voice box. Kroeger will undergo surgery in three weeks following vocal rest ordered by doctors. Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase.  If all goes well, Nickelback will return to the road on September 30th to kick off a European tour in Finland. The band is expected to return to North America in 2016.

Aw, come on!  It’s at least worth a PARTY!!!!!  Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said in a new interview he doesn’t think the band is going to commemorate its 35th anniversary in 2016. Speaking with Billboard, Ulrich explained, “In 2011 we celebrated our 30th with a week’s worth of concerts in San Francisco for our fan club. But you’ve got to be careful. You don’t wave the flag continuously for old laurels, things you’ve done way in your past.” He added, “It’s tricky to find the right balance between looking into the future and celebrating the past. As active as we’ve been over the years, you can find a celebration in almost anything. So we kind of shy away from doing too much of that.”  The band’s star-studded 30th anniversary gigs in December 2011 included appearances from former bassist Jason NewstedGary RossingtonRob HalfordJerry CantrellKid Rock,Lou ReedGlenn DanzigOzzy Osbourne and Dave Mustaine.

Metallica currently has 10 dates on its calendar between now and mid-September, including this year’s edition of Lollapalooza, which will take place at Grant Park in Chicago, on Juy 31st, Aug 1st and Aug 2nd.  The band has reportedly been working on its 10th studio album, which will follow up 2008′s Death Magnetic.

Man, I got invited and I didn’t go.  Dang!  Didn’t know Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day  would be there last night!   Norah Jones and Billie Joe did  a show at the Bowery Electric, a tiny venue on the lower East Side (or LES as we New Yorkers call it.)  My friend books the bands there and manages the venue.  The two had recorded a record together, the Everly Brothers tribute album, Foreverly, and performed it in its entirety. The pair released the album, a remake of the Everly Brothers’ 1958 roots record Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, in 2013 but never toured together behind it.  I was also invited to Long Island to see Starset perform at a planetarium out there. Was strapped to my desk til 8 last night. :(  Paulie Walnuts went, so hopefully he got some cool shots for our socials!

And finally today, The Daily Show fans can rejoice!  Jon Stewart will be getting a special send-off from Comedy Central before his final episode of the popular show on world politics. The network will launch “Your Month of Zen” offering a stream of every episode that Jon has hosted. His first broadcast was on Jan 11th, 1999 and his final episode will be on Aug  6th.






Thursday, Jun 25

Ya know, I found it bittersweet James Taylor, an artist who’s been recording for 45+ years, finally got his first Niumber 1 album.  Isn’t that hard to believe?  Congrats to his label and their team!

Well, this is not surprising!  Pulse Of Radio reports Disturbed‘s comeback is off to a roaring start. Guitarist Dan Donegan posted online the video for the group’s new single, “The Vengeful One,” had racked up more than one million views in 24 hours, adding, “Thanks everyone for your support. It’s good to be back.” The song is taken from Disturbed’s first new album since 2011, Immortalized, which is due out Aug 21st.

The band announced its return on Tuesday (June 23rd) and Donegan told us they kept the creation of the new album a secret for the better part of a year: It’s been tough because we haven’t even told like some of our family and friends, so I mean for us to go away for almost four months, it was tricky. I mean, there was some family that I didn’t even tell what I was doing. It was tricky to kind of keep that secret ’cause I’m very bad at lying. I’m not a good liar at all, so to kind of withhold that information from our friends and family, it was tough.

Immortalized is available for pre-order everywhere and follows 2010′s gold-certified Asylum, Disturbed’s fourth consecutive Number One on the Billboard 200 album chart. In addition to 15 new songs — including 12 on the album and three more on the deluxe edition – Immortalized contains a cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “The Sound Of Silence.”  (I can’t wait to hear David’s vocals on that one!)  Disturbed has yet to announce tour plans behind the new record, but you can be sure it will be MAJOR!  Welcome back, DIsturbed!

And thank you to our many online fans!  Seems like since we started streaming hardDrive and hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus on the APP, we have over 1.5 MILLION listens!  Man, you guys are ravenous!  Love it!  And thank you for supporting new rock! Please continue to do so.   And remember, rock is changing all the time.  Continue to be open to new sounds and new bands!

Speaking of new bands, I will be on the hotLine today with the frontman of a new band out of England called The Struts.  They remind me of Queen in their new single, “Could Have Been Me.”  It’s  definitely catchy.  Check it out here. I think it could be a big hit!

Pulse Of Radio also reporting Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody has spoken publicly for the first time about the band’s show on May 1st in Memphis during which the band abandoned the stage after six songs, leaving Moody wandering the stage and rambling into his mic. Moody admitted that he and drummer Jeremy Spencer had been arguing beforehand, saying, “We were both being human. It just sucked that I had my microphone in my hand. The saying is that you should wash your clothes at home. Unfortunately, there were 20,000 people watching while he and I had an argument. I really f**ked up and I was so embarrassed. The fans didn’t have to see that.”

Moody added: “I’ll be honest, it hurt. I love the guy. He’s one of my best friends, and, yeah, we f**ked up. It’s humiliating.”   Spencer chimed in as well, recalling, “Our wireless packs were having all kinds of interference and we started getting a little frustrated with that. Then Ivan lost his cool completely and just started taking it out on everyone, including me. He and I got into a little scrap and it just wasn’t cool. We got through it, but it was pretty ugly and it was unprofessional.”  Both musicians insisted that the band was in no danger of splitting u, with Spencer saying, “We’ve been together 10 years now, so it’s like a marriage — some days are better than others, but we love and respect each other.”

Guitarist Jason Hook said in a recent interview alcohol played a role in the incident as well, revealing, “For whatever reason Ivan decided to get s**tfaced drunk — I’m probably not supposed to be talking about this — but he started to lose his temper onstage towards, basically, the rest of us, being the band . . . Jeremy decided that he had enough and he got up and left. Well, it’s pretty hard to play a concert without the drummer.”

Five Finger Death Punch is currently on the road in Europe and will kick off a North American tour with Papa Roach, In This Moment  and From Ashes To New on Sep 4th in Lexington, Kentucky. The group’s sixth album, Got Your Six, comes out Aug 28th.

Wow!  I always knew these guys were smart cookies, but THIS proves it!  After recently consulting with Harvard business experts and professional investors, Linkin Park has launched its very own venture capital firm called Machine Shop Ventures. According to Consequence Of Sound, the company was quietly founded earlier this year after the band spent time studying the work of entrepreneurs and brands such as Jay ZPharrell WilliamsVice, and Red Bull.

Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda told Mashable, “We did a lot of homework so far. We are trying to make sure that we do our due diligence and we understand the landscape to the best of our ability.

Machine Shop, which started as the band’s boutique label,  is described by the band as an “innovation company” that is focused on engaging with “non-traditional business partnerships” in the worlds of fashion, design, technology and music. The startup has invested so far in companies like Lyft, Shyp and Blue Bottle Coffee.  A marketing consultant to the band explained, “It kind of makes sense at this point in their careers to diversify. When they get a little older and they all have kids now and the touring is probably going to get a little less, having other forms of business and income (is good) and also just things to stimulate their creative outlets.”

Linkin Park is not quitting music, but Machine Shop executive VP Kiel Berry admitted, “Creating and selling music now plays more of a supporting role in our overall business mix . . .today’s Linkin Park is now better positioned to operate in the ever-evolving cultural and business landscape.”  Linkin Park performs in Mexico tonight (Thu, Jun 25th) and has a string of U.S. and European festival dates on its schedule for the summer, along with a five-city tour of China.

I love Bullet For My Valentine.  They just are great guys who play some pretty powerful rock.   Recently, we heard they were taking ashes from a fan who died out on the road (contained in specially designed jewelry) and now this! Pulse reporting  the band has released a new single called “You Want A Battle? (Here’s A War),” from the band’s upcoming album Venom, due out on Aug 14th. Frontman Matt Tuck revealed the song is about being bullied, something he says he and the band had a lot of experience with:  Me and the boys used to be kind of bullied back in school because we had long hair and we smoked cigarettes and we were into rock music and stuff. So all the rugby boys and everyone who were into sports used to give us a real hard time.

Tuck added he wrote the track to reassure fans that bullying “happens to everybody, and it’s not a nice place to be when that happens. It took me a long time to actually pluck up the courage mentally and physically to stand up for myself, so it was kind of momentous moment for me . . . That’s what that song’s about, really. It’s about going through hard times and coming through the other side.”

Tuck recently told Venom is the direct result of fans saying they wanted to hear a more ‘angry, aggressive’ sound from the group. He explained, “People were wanting a pissed-off band, and it’s hard to write stuff like that when I don’t feel like that on a personal level . . . It was just taking that onboard and making a conscious effort to do something that wasn’t very nice.”   Venom is the band’s fifth album and follows up 2013′s Temper, Temper.   Bullet For My Valentine will join Slipknot‘s Summer’s Last Stand tour this summer, along with Lamb Of God and Motionless In White. The trek kicks off on Jul 24th in West Palm Beach, FL.

Foo Fighters
 drummer Taylor Hawkins told NME he’s neighbors with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – and almost drove West from the neighborhood before he moved in. Hawkins explained he rides his bike regularly past the “big gnarly mansion where Kanye and his chick live,” adding, “This estate agent told me that he was showing him the house and he looks round and says, ‘Is this place secure? Can anybody get in or out?’ And then right at that time I came flying down the hill (on my bike) into the neighborhood.” Hawkins said West complained at first but backtracked when he realized who Hawkins was.

The second in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the self-titled debut album from Saint Asonia, the new act featuring ex-Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, is now online. The album is due out on Jul 31st and features the single “Better Place,” which reached the Top 20 at Active Rock radio merely two weeks after its release. (Blabbermouth)

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was asked at the Cannes Lion Festival for his opinion on Apple Music, the new streaming service launched by the tech giant. Ulrich, whose one-time battles with Napster were well-documented, said, “You don’t want to necessarily say yes to (every business partnership) that comes your way. Obviously, in the case of Apple, they’re a bigger brand or company than anybody and they have some very smart people running it. So we’d call (Apple Music) a no-brainer.” (NME)

And finally today, Smashing Pumpkins‘ fans are rejoicing as original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has rejoined the band for their summer tour with Marilyn Manson.   He replaces Brad Wilk, who did their last run of plugged in dates.  Pumpkins are currently on an acoustic run, ending tonight in LA.

Happy 43rd today to Nickelback’s Mike Koreger! Happy 59th to Parts Unknown star and chef Anthony Bourdain.  


Wednesday, Jun 24

Disturbed!  Back and rockin’ your faces off.   That’s a good day!  . The band ended its four-year hiatus yesterday (Tue, Jun 23rd) with the release of the single “The Vengelful One” and video and the news about the Immortalized album, which drops Aug 21st. . Singer David Draiman told us why the break was good not just for Disturbed, but for its fans: “Not only you, but when your fan base as well gets used to seeing you every other year and getting a record from you every other year, it can become a little bit much. I think we wanted to go back to making them events and to making sure we were as hungry as we really should be and as the fans deserved us to be. And this record, and the way we feel about wanting to play, is gonna be very, very obvious to everyone.”

The new album marks the first time Disturbed has not produced itself in 10 years, choosing instead to have Kevin Churko produce the record. Guitarist Dan Donegan told us why the band brought in some new blood: “I think we needed, you know, we wanted that, especially having this time off and being off this long break, to come back with something that sounds a little bit more fresh. You know, it’s been five years between albums, so it was nice to have kind of a new production element to it, and things that kind of pushed us and challenged us to raise the bar.”

Immortalized is available for pre-order everywhere and follows 2010′s gold-certified Asylum, Disturbed’s fourth consecutive Number One on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Meanwhile, has an opportunity arisen for Disturbed?   With yesterday’s announcement that Nickelback was forced to cancel their North America tour due to an operable cyst found on frontman Chad Kroeger‘s vocal cords,  I know one of those dates is at RockFest in Cadott, WI on Jul 17th.  Might Disturbed be able to take that slot?  Wonderers are wondering.  And I bet there were other festival shows they may be able to do as well.  Guess we will have to wait to see what happens.  But you can expect a gigantic bill to come along for Disturbed in the new year.  Those guys have to be itching to get out there!  Watch this space!

Our sister company Pulse Of Radio reporting this morning  Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins told England’s NME in a new interview all future Foos records might revolve around some sort of concept. Hawkins explained, “It’s not enough to just make a f**king record any more. It used to be a simple process of writing a batch of songs, recording them and putting them out. You’d make an album, make three videos. If they were good, MTV would play them, and you’d sell some records. Now, you need to do something else with it.”  (Listen for Taylor on our All-American Band weekend Jul 4th & 5th on hardDrive with Lou Brutus!) 

He continued, “Dave (Grohl) wants the albums to have some other kind of theme or experience linked to them. He wants every record we make from now on to have some sort of concept around it, whether it’s something as large as Sonic Highways or as simple as, ‘Hey, let’s record Wasting Light to tape in my garage.’”  Hopefully, Dave will be ok to perform all their shows set for July.

Slash told us he has been so happy with the band and the music they created for World On Fire, it has sparked new ideas from the boss man and he hopes to start recording new music early next year.  When we spoke to him about the iupcoming live CD/DVD, Live At The Roxy, 25-9-14, he said the band has come so far since the filming of that, it has given him renewed excitement!  Awesome!   Slash will perform at the Food Truck and Rock Carnival in Clark, NJ in Sept.  I can’t wait to see them!

Meanwhile, I just saw this on Blabbermouth!

Photorealistic 3D printed figurines of SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS are now available individually or as a set via Staramba. The set also includes a plain black baseplate and background, an official artwork of the band’s latest album World On Fire. The bundle comes in a lavish gift box that includes a Certificate of Authenticity and Care and Safety Instructions. Conspirator Todd Kerns (bass) commented: “It’s a very strange thing to have a figure of myself available out there. I’m the guy that has Johnny RamoneLemmyIggy Pop and Johnny Rotten jamming together on his dresser in action figure form. Strange times, brothers and sister. Strange and exciting times.”

Spin magazzine says former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, who is interviewed in the new Kurt Cobain murder conspiracy docudrama Soaked In Bleach, has revealed that if he was still police chief today, he would reopen the investigation into Cobain’s April 1994 suicide. Stamper says, “We should in fact have taken steps to study patterns involved, in the behavior of key individuals who had a motif: to see Kurt Cobain dead.” He added, “If in fact Kurt Cobain was murdered, as opposed to having committed suicide, and it was possible to learn that, shame on us for not doing that . . . I would reopen this investigation.” The film points a finger at Cobain’s wife Courtney Love.  She has taken out restraining orders on it and several theaters have agreed not to show the movie.

In other Seattle band related news:  Rolling Stone reports full performances from Soundgarden and Alice In Chains glimpsed briefly in director Cameron Crowe‘s 1992 movie Singles have surfaced online after showing up on the movie’s Blu-ray earlier this year.​ The movie, set against the background of the then-growing Seattle music scene, featured Soundgarden performing “Birth Ritual” and Alice In Chains doing “It Ain’t Like That” at local clubs.

Alternative Nation reports  Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Smashing Pumpkins frontman William Corgan are among the artists who will join Roger Waters for Music Heals, a benefit concert to aid wounded veterans that will take place at Washington D.C.’s DAR on Friday, October 16th. The show will raise money for MusiCorps, a charity supporting injured service men and women and their families.

A second wave of acts have been added to each of this year’s Riot Fest lineups. Newly added to the Denver Riot Fest are System Of A DownThe Prodigy and others, while System and The Prodigy will also appear at the Chicago show. Joining the Toronto Riot Fest will be Weezer, The Prodigy, Bleachers and more. The Denver show takes place in late August, while the other two are set for mid-September. Go to the official site for more info. (




Tuesday, Jun 23

Well, I can finally talk about this secret I’ve had to sit on for weeks!  Disturbed are INDEED back!  On Sunday, they posted a teaser graphic with their mascot, The Guy, strapped down on a table and was stirring.   This morning, they dropped the new single, “Vengeful One,” from their forthcoming album Immortalized due August 21st.  Watch the killer (no pun intended) music video from award-winning filmmaker Phil Mucci here.

Started back earlier in the spring when a rumor out of Las Vegas surfaced that the members of Disturbed were at Kevin Churko‘s Hideout Studios, giving a new meaning to HIDEOUT!   They had been there for nearly three months.   And oddly enough, while Lou Brutus and I were out at the RadioContraband Convention in late January, Mike Wengren and Dan Donegan were staying IN OUR HOTEL, but they were never spotted by any of us, nor did we see them.  Talk about STEALTHY!   Anyhow, I followed up the rumor that Blabbermouth posted a couple of months ago, and after much prying, I was told YES, it was true but I was SWORN to secrecy!   So to backup for a sec, as soon as I heard the rumor, I reached out to David Draiman and Dan, who, at the time, DENIED everything!  (Those rascals!)   Long story short, I was on the hotLine with Dan and David  last Monday for like 90 minutes, going over everything!  Disturbed will be the hardDrive XL Featured Artist of the Week next week!  Be sure to be listening to the XL tonight, because you never know what could happen on the air with Lou!  Meanwhile, one interesting note on the album, they did a cover of Simon & Garfunkle’s “Sound of Silence.” David said he was a little tipsy when he recorded it and Kevin Churko made him do his takes again and again til he got exactly what he wanted out of David.  I can’t WAIT to hear that.  You know what a freak I am about cover songs! LOVE them!

Tool will play its first confirmed concert of 2015 on Halloween (Oct 31st) at a one-day music festival called Monster Mash. According to Consequence Of Sound, the event will take place in Tempe, AZ and the lineup will also feature Primus and Coheed And Cambria. The show will mark the first time Tool has stepped onto a stage since a brief U.S. tour in April 2014

Guitarist Adam Jones revealed in March that the band had finally settled a complicated lawsuit that had dragged on for eight years and set back the band’s recording and touring plans.   The band is now reportedly working at a faster pace on music for its first new studio set since 2006, with one song finished musically and 10 others in various stages of completion.  Jones told us coming up with music wasn’t hard for Tool: We’ve got lots of material. Our strongest thing is jamming. But grouping stuff together — and that’s kind of how we work, you know, we jam and then you kind of go, ‘Wow, this works with this really well’ — and then you jam those two things and see if you can get ‘em to work. But potential songs that aren’t finished, I mean, we’ve got more than you can count on both hands, you know, and I’m excited about everything.” Jones said about the new music, “Some of it’s really heavy, some of it’s complex and some is more atmospheric, but it’s definitely Tool.”   Tool singer Maynard James Keenan also has a new album on the way from his side act Puscifer, which he plans to release this fall.

Three Days Grace, Black Label Society, Anthrax and Clutch have been added to the Food Truck and Rock Carnival Sep 18-20 in Clark, NJ!   See or #rockcarnival  for more info!

Holy Cow!   I am digging THIS!  A new project from Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen and Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert Deleo called Delta Deep!   Can’t believe Robert didn’t mention this when we saw him a couple of months back!  I will find out more,  Listen to a snippet here.

Hollywood Vampire  is a new side project for Alice Cooper.  I heard Johnny Depp and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry are  also involved and it will be released on Sep 11.   More on that soon!

Another single from Mike Shinoda‘s (Linkin Park)  other project, Fort Minor, was released yesterday.  It’s called “Welcome.”  The video for it  is the among the world’s first 360-degree virtual reality music videos and captures the local community of Venice Beach, CA.  A mural created for the video shoot was broken down and made into record sleeves, which Shinoda signed, for the single’s limited release on vinyl. Watch it here.

I am loving the different flavors of rock these days!  What do you think? Tell me!  Via the Interact Live section of the new hardDriveRadio APP  or email via the home page here.  I would love to know what you think of rock these days.  Who are some of your favorite bands?

Oh man, this is wild,  Pulse of Radio reports the Beverly Hills Police Department had to pay former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland over $250,000 for releasing a press release last year claiming they had arrested him for drug possession and burglary. According to Alternative Nation, the information was revealed via a Facebook post from an acquaintance of Weiland imposter Jason Hurley, who was the person the police actually took into custody.   Hurley was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and theft after attempting to steal razor blades from a drug store in July 2014.  Weiland went online at the time to assure fans he was not in jail, calling the report of his arrest “a nice piece of fiction,”    The Beverly Hills Police Department later admitted they had been fooled by Hurley, despite taking his fingerprints and having them prove his real identity.  Weiland said in a radio interview last January that the incident “tripped me out,” adding, “I realized that the way to probably reach people the quickest was to record a video in the recording studio just to let people know that it was an imposter. I don’t know how that possibly could work.”

Glenn Danzig of Danzig and The Misfits  is 60 today!


Monday, Jun 22

Hope you all had a great Fathers’ Day!

Well, here’s something that’s been swirling around.  Disturbed posted an interesting graphic on their website.  What do you think it means?  What exactly is happening here?

Pulse Of Radio reporting this morning  Slipknot singer Corey Taylor said in a new interview with  (that’s a German website) the band will take a “couple of years off” after completing the tour cycle for its current album, .5: The Gray Chapter. Taylor explained, “We’re gonna finish touring and then we’re gonna take a couple of years off again to let everything chill. I’m gonna go do my thing, (and) everybody else’s gonna go do their thing . . . then, in a couple of years, we’ll get back together and see what happens again.”

Taylor’s “thing” is Stone Sour, which has two more covers EPs in the works following this spring’s Meanwhile In Burbank . . . . Taylor told us his attention next year will turn toward an all-new Stone Sour set: 2016, I’ll probably wrap up touring with Slipknot, you know, around — like somewhere around this summer or whatever, and I’ll take five minutes off and we’ll start working on a new Stone Sour album.  Interesting.  I also know Corey has been working on a novel.  His first fictional tome.  Should be interesting. I enjoy Corey’s ability to tell a story, so it should be interesting. And you know, Corey Taylor isn’t that guy that sits around idle.  Nope, he’s not that guy.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of movie offers don’t come his way.

And if you are in the NYC area on Wednesday, Jul 8, you MUST make a point of heading to Bryant Park at 1:30 PM to watch Corey being interviewed by hardDriveRadio host Lou Brutus about Taylor’s new book, “You’re Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense.” I guarantee it will be fun time!

Meanwhile, Sid WIlson, Slipknot DJ, is entering the EDM world.  He will be releasing his first EDM album, frEnch bEnEfits.  Check out a teaser trailer here. (Warning, explicit!)

I am extremely happy to report Of Mice & Men Austin Carlile seems to be recovering nicely after two rounds of cardiac surgery last week at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.  It is THE hospital where specialists are in-house to treat him for marfan syndrome. Fingers crossed all goes as planned and he can return by the time the band starts out again in October.  Prayers and healing vibes being sent from this writer for sure! Follow Austin on Twitter, @austincarlile.

Pulse Of Radio also reporting our friend Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan was one of 10 Arizona residents who took the stage to speak on Wednesday, June 10th at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix. The occasion was Phoenix Sparks / Arizona Localism In Action, an event hosted by Local First Arizona that aimed to bring these individuals together and discuss what inspires them to enrich and cultivate their communities, and showcase the work they are doing across Arizona.

In his speech, Keenan, who has spent years growing a wine-making business in the state under challenging conditions, said, “Most people spend their entire lives trying to avoid friction. Somewhere along the way, I found in myself a desire, a calling, to embrace friction, tension, transitions, changes . . . to work with them.”  Keenan continued, “(Life is) working with the tension and the friction, because that’s what art is; that’s where the art occurs. And the purest art, the best forms of art are those ones that actually capture that moment, that edge, and that’s kind of what we have in Arizona.”   Last time I sat down with the elusive frontman, he told me making wine in the region was difficult but doable: Back in the ’40s, in this particular area that I’m in, they had geologists and various people come in to study the whole area, ’cause they wanted to know what would be, you know, something that would sustain a community here — what would be the industry? Based on the geology and the scientists and all the stuff that they looked at, they all said vineyards.

This event at which Keenan spoke was in conjunction with the welcome activities for the national BALLE (Business Alliance of Local Living Economies) conference on localism, held this year in Phoenix. The 13th annual BALLE conference was a three-day event that explored how locally rooted economic systems solve environmental, financial, and social problems.   Keenan walked with a cane at the event as he continues to recover from recent hip replacement surgery.   The singer recently revealed that a new disc from his music-and-cabaret act Puscifer is nearing completion for a tentative fall release.  Work has been progressing on the long-awaited new Tool record, its first new studio set since 2006′s 10,000 Days.  Hopefully we will see that either by the end of the year or early 2016.

Consequence Of Sound reports the Smashing Pumpkins are currently on their first-ever acoustic tour, and during a show in Munhall, PA last week, frontman William Corgan performed every song from the Pumpkins’ iconic debut Gish in a three-minute medley. Corgan joked he would perform the band’s entire catalog in the same fashion. The acoustic trek ends later this week in Minneapolis, with the band beginning a full-on co-headlining jaunt with Marilyn Manson on July 7th in Concord, CA. Speaking of Manson, he will be our Featured Artist of the Week on hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus  Jul 27-31.

Have a great day!

Friday, Jun 19

So exciting!  Getting a new laptop today!   WOO HOO!  Goodbye Windows Home Vista!  Hello Windows 8.1!  Is that a good thing?  I wonder…..

OK, so while Ms Hale recovers from exhaustion from the road, she’s obviously still working as the band just announced another new leg of Halestorm‘s  Into The Wild Life tour, this one sponsored by Jagermeister! Lzzy Hale said in a statement, “Here’s what you’re gonna get: a full evening with only Halestorm, in the spirit of our latest record, doing whatever the #%@! we want! We’ll be doing not one but two (maybe more!) crazy sets for you, jam packed with surprises every night.“  I know the band will like that.  They like Jagermeister!  See Road Rage for all the new dates!  Hope you are feeling better, Lzzy!   We love you guys!

Saint Asonia has set July 31st as the release date for the band’s self-titled debut album. Anyone who pre-orders the disc will instantly receive a free download of the first single, “Better Place,” which has climbed to Number 17 on the rock radio chart in just two weeks, making it one of the fastest growing songs of the year at the format. Tour dates should be announced a moment too!

Singer Adam Gontier, formerly of Three Days Grace, told us what inspired “Better Place”:“It’s not really directed at any one person or thing in particular. It’s really just about what I’ve felt like I’ve been dealing with over the last few years, leading up to this point in my life where I started writing new music. It’s about how now, after everything’s changed, you know, so drastically, I’m just in a better place now.”

Via Blabbermouth and Pulse Of Radio, the second film to be produced by Slash, called The Hell Within, has begun casting and is tentatively scheduled to go into production in January 2016, according to Blabbermouth. The Hell Within follows a woman from New York who ventures into the heart of the Brazilian jungle to save a missing girl, only to discover that the child was just the beginning.

The film will be directed by Dennison Ramalho, who contributed to the cult anthology film The ABCs Of Death 2 and written by Jeff Buhler, who penned the script for The Midnight Meat Train.   Slash’s first film as a producer, Nothing Left To Fear, came out in 2013. He told Kerrang! magazine about going from that to his second project, “Nothing Left To Fear was really my first go, and it was a crash course in learning the film business . . . having done that, I’ve amassed a lot of different great people to work with, and so now I’ve got a great crew working on this new movie.”

Slash is waiting to get off the road to start production so that he can be on the set during filming. He told us  producing Nothing Left To Fear while on tour was a difficult experience:  “The production of the film as far as filming had been backed up into my tour, and so I couldn’t actually be on location for the filming, which was really a drag. I managed to show up for one day and one night, and the rest of it was all dailies, and that’s complicated ’cause you get done doing a gig, you take the bus to the next hotel, which is maybe four or five in the morning, get the computer out, download all the dailies, look at them, make comments or whatnot, you know, and that was going on for a while.”

The Hell Within will be released in Barco Escape, a multi-screen, panoramic movie format from Barco, a manufacturer of digital cinema technology. Slash called Barco Escape “a game changer,” adding, “It’s totally immersive and brings the movie going experience to a whole new level.” Slash and his band are currently touring Europe but will return for some U.S. dates in Sep.

Pulse Of Radio  also reporting Ozzy Osbourne has become a grandfather for the sixth time, as his son Jack and Jack’s wife Lisa welcomed their second child into the world over the weekend. According to Hello! magazine, the couple named their new daughter Andy Rose Osbourne and she was born on Saturday, June 13th, weighing in at six pounds, 11 ounces. The couple already has a three-year-old girl named Pearl Clementine.  Jack and Lisa announced the pregnancy back in February and things went smoothly until May, when Pearl was in a car accident and had to be monitored in a hospital for 24 hours.  Ozzy did not comment directly on the news of his new granddaughter, but he did post a link to his song “Mama, I’m Coming Home.”

In other news, Ozzy is confirmed to perform at the end of October in New Orleans for the 2015 edition of the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience and has announced who will join him at the show. Performing alongside Ozzy for his October 31st headlining set will be Slash, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Ozzy and Geezer Butler are also scheduled to reconvene with guitarist Tony Iommi at some point this year to begin work on a final Black Sabbath album, with a farewell tour on tap for 2016.  Hmmm,  may have to find a way to NOLA in October!

Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows and guitarist Synyster Gates have announced that the band will offer three exclusive live songs for people who pre-order Guitar Hero Live. Pre-orders will also include in-game views of the Avenged Sevenfold audience and a playable perspective of what they see from the stage. Guitar Hero Live comes out on October 20th and is the first new game in the series in five years. Watch this!  Lou Brutus will be hanging with the boys at RockFest in Cadott, WI next month!

Pop Evil are posting webisodes on the making of their new forthcoming album, Up, out in Seattle with Adam Kaspar.  Here’s just one of them! More at

Have a great weekend!