Had a great time yesterday with Starset and In This Moment dropping in on us at the hardDriveRadio Ranch! First off, I told Maria Brink and Chris Howorth how moved I was listening to Black Widow. I mean, there are songs on there that cut right to the bone, and Maria couldn’t have opened up her heart any deeper! I was actually moved to tears when I listened to the spoken word piece, “Into the Darkness,” that was recorded unbeknownst to Maria. She said Kevin Churko, their producer, likes to push her buttons, but this is uber intense. Meanwhile, I may have given Maria an idea for her next cover song: a Missing Persons track. “Nobody Walks In LA.” Let’s see if that takes shape! And Startset’s Dustin Bates and his band performed three songs in the studio, including “My Demons,” “Halo” and the David Bowie tune “Space Oddity.” It was very sweet to hear Dustin thank us for our support (when we play songs on the air, we help to promote the bands and their songs get airplay impressions which means they advance on the charts. But we are good AND bad. When we DON’T play a song one week, they lose traction, so it’s a weird dichotomy …a yin and yang, if you will.) Anyhow, Dustin said when he’s home in Columbus, or on the road, he listens to hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus! I love hearing that! I reminded him to download the hardDriveRadio APP so he can listen to the weekend show too! …..OK, so Foo Fighters sold 190,000 copies in the first week of their new Sonic Highways album. It’s about 45,000 less than their last album, but that’s the nature of the beast these days. Taylor Swift is still selling buckets of records. Oh well, Foos are still Number One to me!….Soundgarden has already released a deluxe 20th anniversary reissue of its 1994 album Superunknown this year and has a three-CD collection of B-sides and rarities called Echo Of Miles on tap for next week. But the band isn’t done restoring its old catalog yet. Guitarist Kim Thayil told us exclusively he and famed Seattle producer Jack Endino recently turned their attention to the band’s first album, 1988′s Ultramega OK: “Last year, Jack Endino and I spent a number of weeks remixing Ultramega OK and we’re gonna search for a label — it’s no longer on SST — and put it out with a beautiful, heavier, warmer mix from Jack Endino, which is something we always felt we had to correct about that release.” Ultramega OK was released in 1988 on the SST label and was Soundgarden’s first full-length release after recording two EPs for the Seattle-based Sub Pop Records. Thayil told us the band hopes to release the new version of the disc sometime next year. Soundgarden’s long-awaited collection of B-sides, rarities and non-album tracks, titled Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path, comes out next Monday (Nov 24th). The three-disc set will contain seven never-before-released songs, including the newly recorded track “Storm,” along with original B-sides, instrumentals, covers and demos recorded throughout the band’s career. The first disc is subtitled “Originals” and will feature Soundgarden-written B-sides plus the previously unreleased “Storm” and “Kristi.” ”Covers” is the theme of disc two, featuring Soundgarden takes on songs by the Beatles, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, Devo and others. while disc three is called ”Oddities” and includes an assortment of instrumentals, remixes and demos. Soundgarden plans to work on a new studio album sometime in 2015. Be listening for Kim on our annual Cover It Up special edition of hardDrive with Lou Brutus for your Thanksgiving weekend!…Congrats to Kid Rock, who has performed at many military bases over the years and makes it a point to meet with members of the armed forces at all of his shows, who received Operation Troop Aid’s 2014 Patriot Award for his empathic approach to troop support. OTA founder and executive director Mark Woods said, “Kid Rock is one of the most giving entertainers I have ever met. He really gets it… Last year, Kid Rock challenged his fans to help raise money to send care packages to the troops. In one short month, we were able to ship over 500 care packages just in time for the holidays. His art, legacy of family and spirit of patriotism is exactly why this award exists.” Rock told us a while back Americans need to remember the sacrifice that the members of the military make: “I just think that people in general, especially maybe my generation, has really forgotten, or maybe just needs to be reminded somehow or really open a history book and realize how many people fought to keep this country free and well and safe and sound.”….Celebrating life today: Joe Walsh of The Eagles (featured on the new Foo Fighters Sonic Highways) is 67. Mike D of the Beastie Boys and Sen Dog of Cypress Hill are both 49 and Davey Havok of AFI is 39.
Another HUGE day in the hardDriveRadio studios here in NYC! Yesterday with AC/DC, today with Starset and In This Moment! Starset will be performing in the studios as well, so that will be a treat! I haven’t seen them live yet and hopefully I will get a chance to do so tonight when they perform with In This Moment and Twelve Foot Ninja! And the new In This Moment album is out, so it will be cool to see what that band pulls off live from the new tunes. (I love love love the song “Sex Metal Barbie” and was pleasantly surprised about the slower tune featuring Brent Smith of Shinedown! ) Good times! And tomorrow night, I’m attending a big charity event for the TJ Martell Foundation, which raises money for cancer, AIDS and leukemia research. It’s their big Wine Dinner, this year honoring Rush! (Last year was Robin Quivers.) Should be a great night with delicious (and expensive) wine. Remember: drink water between glasses of the fruit of the grape! Less headache! LOL….So let’s get back to AC/DC for a moment. The “surprise” guest was uber-producer Brendan O’Brien, who is the most down to earth guy you’d ever want to meet! We chatted it up for some time in the green room while the band was being interviewed by other outlets (they stationed themselves at our studios, and we even had a satellite truck there for interviews the band did in Australia for TV and radio there.) I wasn’t aware the studio that Brendan always worked out of when he was based in Atlanta had been sold, so Brendan moved to LA and AC/DC loves the studio there in Vancouver so Brendan is now Mr Mobile. I asked Brendan if he was going to be doing Tom Morello‘s next solo record which is supposed to be “heavy.” He said no, since Tom is probably producing himself. He built a studio in the house he moved his mom into next door to his up in the Hollywood Hills. Tom is such an awesome guy! Anyhow, hope to be staying in touch with Brendan. Good peep! Also got to be friends with Angus’ wife Ella. What a sweetheart! We are very similar and it’s so awesome she and Angus have been married for 34 years! Love it!…..As promised, Foo Fighters dates are posted in Road Rage. This upcoming tour is the biggest in their history. At one point, it was speculated they’d do a tour of the same clubs they did as a band 20 years ago, but in reality, they’re playing the biggest venues they’ve ever played in the U.S. starting with RFK Stadium in Washington, DC on Jul 4. Royal Blood will be the support act on the July and August dates, except for Aug 27th in Indianapolis and the first Fenway show on July 18th, which will feature Boston legends Mission Of Burma. Drummer Taylor Hawkins told us America has never necessarily been the Foos’ biggest market: “As a band, we’ve always actually been a little bit bigger outside of America. England, we do really well and Australia we do really well and a lot of parts of Europe we do well. And we do well in America, but mainly in the big cities, you know. We’re not huge necessarily in the Midwest and places like that because, frankly, America’s big.” But you can’t believe everything Taylor says, now can ya? LOL…..Getting back to AC/DC for a second, plan on them hitting the U.S. stadium circuit probably late Spring. The staging will be second to none, I am sure!….Halestorm recently wrapped the recording sessions for its third studio album and is previewing some material on its current fall tour. The band has been playing the track “I Like It Heavy,” which a fan filmed during the band’s November 14th gig in St. Petersburg, Florida. The new Halestorm disc is due out in early 2015. (Brave Words)….Smashing Pumpkins have recruited Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk and Killers bassist Mark Stoermer for a string of upcoming dates in support of their new album,Monuments To An Elegy, due out Dec 9th. Frontman Billy Corgan said, “We’re absolutely thrilled and humbled to have Brad and Mark helping us out with these shows. And if our rehearsals are any indication, they should be one-of-a-kind.” The short run of gigs will stop in Berlin, Paris and London before hitting New York on Dec 8th, the Jimmy Kimmel Live outdoor stage in Los Angeles on the 10th and Los Angeles radio station KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas concert on Dec 14th. (Blabbermouth)….Happy 43rd today to bassist Justin Chancellor of Tool and Happy 54th to drummer Matt Sorum, ex-Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult. (Thanks to Pulse Of Radio for their help today!)
AC/DC Day 2 in the hardDriveRadio studios. Because we care about and love AC/DC, we are even allowing some of our “competition” to drop by to get interviews. Yeah, that’s the kind of people we are. After all, it’s ALL about the ROCK! When Angus and Cliff were in on Friday, we talked a bit about Malcolm, who was forced to retire earlier this year due to being stricken with dementia. His brother told us the whole situation has been heartbreaking: “It is. I’m his brother, but also the rest — his immediate family, his wife and kids and everyone, you know. But he kept going as long as he could, he said, you know. I mean, he was still writing until he couldn’t do that anymore. You were hoping, you know, that he would get better. The physical side of him, he got great treatment for that, so he’s good with all of that. But the mental side has just deteriorated, you know. So he himself said, you know, I won’t be able to do it anymore.” So today, Brian Johnson and Angus will be in and later today, they’ll also be interviewed by 4 Australian TV stations in the hardDrive video studio! I hope to get some extra time today with Brian and Angus, well, just BECAUSE! LOL Hopefully, they’ll allow me 15 minutes more minutes. Meanwhile, the band really doesn’t know if Phil Rudd will be able to join them on their tour in 2015. They’ve basically said if he sorts himself out, he’ll be able to do it. If not, then they will have to decide who, either Chris Slade or Simon Wright will be his replacement. Meanwhile, enjoy the new single and title track, “Rock or Bust”…..Pulse of Radio reports Nickelback‘s eighth studio album, No Fixed Address, arrived in stores yesterday (Nov 17th) and follows up the Canadian act’s 2011 effort Here And Now. With the music industry changing and people finding new ways to deliver and obtain music, we asked frontman Chad Kroeger if he thought releasing a full album of new material was quickly becoming old-fashioned: “Well, we tossed around the idea of just doing an EP, but the manager was dead set against it, and the label wasn’t really too enthused about that idea either. We don’t really subscribe to the theory of ‘Okay, three singles, maybe four, let’s put all our focus and attention into those and then, you know, we’ll just put a bunch of filler on the album and away we go.’ I mean, we’ve never really done that and I think that has really contributed to our success.” And as usual, the critics are panning it, calling it “watered-down grunge” and “calculated to appeal to a wide variety of fans.” But I love what these fans said, Jeff wrote: “Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate, but Nickelback’s just gonna make great music, play incredible live shows, appeal to a wide variety of music tastes and be pretty funny carefree dudes.” J. Cronkhite wrote: “I have never understood all the hatred for Nickleback. Just like ANY other band, they have songs I like, and songs I don’t like. To say they have ‘no talent’, however, is a fallacy. I don’t care how screwed up the Music Industry is, you CAN’T sell 50 million albums worldwide if you have ‘no talent.‘” Touche!….Both Marilyn Manson and Bush have announced new tour dates, and you can find them both in Road Rage. Oddly enough, they were both former Interscope Records recording artists. Manson’s first official single is called “Deep Six” and it is dropping Dec 15th . His tour is called THE HELL NOT HALLELUJAH TOUR…Foo Fighters will be announcing their dates today for 2015, so keep an eye on Road Rage later today for that info! On Friday night in LA, the band performed at the Roxy with Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction and Joe Walsh of The Eagles! Good stuff!…Finally today, Pulse Of Radio confirms Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor will have his third book, titled You’re Making Me Hate You: An Uncommon Guide To Common Sense, published on June 30th, 2015 by Da Capo Press. The book’s description reads: “In the tradition of the late great George Carlin, New York Times bestselling author and lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour Corey Taylor sounds off in hilarious fashion about the many vagaries of modern life that piss him off.” The synopsis adds, “Whether it’s people’s rude behavior in restaurants and malls, the many indignities of air travel, eye-searingly terrible fashion choices, dangerously clueless drivers, and — most of all — the sorry state of much modern music, Taylor’s humor and insight cover civil society’s seeming decline — sparing no one along the way, least of all himself.” Speaking recently on the Nerdist podcast, Taylor said about the book, “It’s f***ing brutal. It’s just me basically trashing everyone.” Taylor said that his original title — which the publisher refused to allow him to use — was You’re Making Me Hate You (Or How Justin Bieber Sucked A Million D***s To Make His Money). Taylor’s last book, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven, was published in the summer of 2013 and landed at Number 23 on the New York Times “Hardcover Non-fiction” best sellers list. His first book, 2011′s Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good, also made the list at Number 26. The singer told me last May his third book would be a collection of columns he’d written over the past decade for U.K. magazine Rock Sound. It is not clear whether this is that book. Taylor also said he plans to write a novel. Taylor is currently on the road with Slipknot, who are touring in support of the band’s latest album, .5: The Gray Chapter. The band plays in Baltimore tomorrow (Nov 19th), just getting back to the states from their Knotfest in Japan with Korn!…..Oh and Metallica did this on the Craig Ferguson show last night. They’re there all week!…Speaking of...Happy 52nd today to Kirk Hammett and Happy 30th to Johnny Christ of Avenged Sevenfold!
Wow. What a weekend! College and pro football games galore. I don’t think I can even watch Monday Night Football. I need a break! LOL. But I can see why people used to (and probably still) hate the NY Yankees when they’d win the World Series over and over. It’s like watching the Crimson Tide. Don’t get me wrong, they are a great team coached by a manically great coach, but I really dislike them. Call me a disgruntled LSU fan. LOL…..OK, so what’s news today? Well, had a great time on Friday with Angus Young and Cliff Williams from AC/DC who spent the afternoon at our studios. I was surprised to learn Angus’ brother Malcolm, while having early stage dementia back around 6-7 years ago, was also diagnosed with lung cancer. He successfully had surgery for that, but his mental capacity diminished. Very sad. But Mal kept great archives of all the riffs the brothers ever came up with over the decades they’ve been playing. These archived riffs are what are used every time the band begins the songwriting process. BTW: Did you know Angus is from a very large family? There are a total of 7 brothers! I said there’ll be no loss of musicians to help the band out! He laughed on that one! He feels very fortunate they have Stevie Young, the son of his oldest brother. Stevie worked very hard to make sure he was playing in the style of Malcolm, using Mal’s guitars and rig. And on the Phil Rudd situation, well, seems for quite some time, he hasn’t been himself. Can you imagine: You are the drummer for AC/DC and your band finally starts to get into the studio to record. Typically, drums and bass are recorded first. The damn guy showed up 10 DAYS LATE! And he didn’t get fired then and there! I told the guys I know a drummer who would drop everything to play with them. His name is Dave Grohl! (And Taylor Hawkins as back-up drummer!) LOL Anyhow, tomorrow, Angus and Brian Johnson will be by the studios again. They’re setting up shop there to do most of their interviews while they’re in NYC. Nice when you have a long-standing relationship with the band (since the Powerage album, I do!) And I love Angus’ wife, Ella! What a sweetheart she is! Brian was unable to make it Friday due to an auto racing commitment he had made. As Angus said, “I won’t get a word in once he comes around!” LOL. Be listening for the AC/DC interviews on hardDrive XL with Lou Brutus, week of Dec 01-05, as they’ll be our Featured Artist of The Week. Oh BTW: today, if you pre-order AC/DC’s Rock or Bust, you get automatic downloads of “Play Ball” and “Rock or Bust,” which is the new single….. Download Festival is starting to announce next year’s line-up: Slipknot, Judas Priest (who are touring Europe together next year,) Five Finger Death Punch and Black Stone Cherry! More details coming….BTW: Don’t expect AC/DC on any festivals. I was told they only do their own headlining dates. Hmmmm. I was hoping they’d do Rock on the Range this year…..New albums out today: In This Moment releases its fifth studio album, titled Black Widow. Black Widow is the first In This Moment album released through Atlantic Records, with whom the group signed a new record deal last year. Singer Maria Brink told us about the concept behind the disc: “Black Widow is really about kind of the darker sides of me and more of these kind of twisted parts. I kind of used to be ashamed of some of these things in me and the sicker sides of me and some of the mental things that I’ve had to deal with and I was always kind of hiding it. So this album’s kind of embracing those parts of me and really just kind of embracing all of it.” Meanwhile, there’s a new “behind the scenes” video from the “Sick Like Me” video shoot. Watch! And Wednesday night, they are doing a special event here in NYC. I look forward to seeing them! They’ll be stopping by on Thursday as well, along with Starset, so if you have questions for the bands, drop them in an email to me via the interact link on the home page or post them on the Interact Live section of the new hardDriveRadio APP! Come on, DO IT!…..Pulse of Radio reports on these items: The upcoming revival of The Osbournes will reportedly air on VH1. Sharon Osbourne revealed recently that she, Ozzy and their kids will film six to eight new episodes of the groundbreaking reality show, which first aired on MTV a decade ago. Sharon claimed that Ozzy was interested in returning to the show now that he’s sober, which he wasn’t during the original run. (The Hollywood Reporter)…All That Remains has posted a brand new song called “You Found Me” online at YouTube. The track is expected to appear on the band’s next CD, which is set for a tentative January 2015 release. The new disc, produced by Josh Wilbur, will follow up 2012′s A War You Cannot Win, which singer Phil LaBonte said in a recent interview was one of the band’s worst albums. (Blabbermouth) Listen to the tune here. The first single is coming out in late December I’ve heard a couple of tracks: it is HEAVY!…And finally today, Johnny Depp has been a loyal friend of Dr Hunter S Thompson. I think if you watch his presentation of on the Hollywood Film Awards you will agree he has now taken over Hunter’s personae….Celebrating life today: Director/producer Marty Scorcese is 72. SNL creator Lorne Michaels is 70 and Richard Fortus of (the new) Guns ‘N Roses is 48.
It’s AC/DC Day in the hardDriveRadio studios! Excitement abounds as Cliff WIlliams and Angus Young drop by today and next week, Brian Johnson and Angus will also return to do even more chatting! Looking forward to this! I am trying to remember last time I was able to talk to Angus. It was back when they were still on Elektra Records, and that was some time ago. Although I did see them on the opening night of the Black Ice tour, they did not see people backstage after the show (and we even went all the way down to Scranton, PA for that show as I recall!) Anyhow, make up time today! Meanwhile, Pulse of Radio reported this morning on a story on the band that ran in yesterday’s USA Today. Angus Young and Cliff Williams addressed the legal problems of drummer Phil Rudd in a new interview with USA Today, saying that the drummer is ”not the Phil we’ve known from the past.” Rudd was arrested on Nov 6th and charged with attempting to arrange a murder, threatening to kill and possession of meth and marijuana. Although the first charge was dropped, he still faces seven years behind bars for the others. Williams said getting Rudd to the studio for the recording sessions of the new AC/DC album, Rock Or Bust, was “tough,” with Young adding, “It put us in a difficult situation. It put us in a spot where we couldn’t move forward. Does the guy show up? Is he reliable to do his job in good shape? We’ve always been a solid, reliable unit.” Young continued, “Phil created his own situation. It’s a hard thing to say about the guy. He’s a great drummer, and he’s done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He’s not the Phil we’ve known from the past.” The guitarist did not want to delve into whether drugs were involved in Rudd’s seeming decline, adding, “I don’t know the exact situation . . . I can only say, from our perspective, that the guy needs to sort himself out.” AC/DC issued a statement last week on Rudd’s arrest, saying that this absence will not affect the Dec 2nd release of Rock Or Bust and the band’s upcoming tour. Drummer Bob Richards sat behind the kit for the filming of the videos for singles “Play Ball” and the title track, but it is not known whether he will join the band on tour if Rudd cannot. Hey, I know someone who’d gladly take up the slot. His name is Dave Grohl!!!!…..Speaking of, Foo Fighters FINALLY are announcing their U.S. tour on Tuesday. They’ve already announced dates for Australia and New Zealand, and late spring dates in England, Scotland, as well as Rock Im Park & Rock Am Ring in Germany in June. We hear Dave wants to recreate his band Foo Fighters’ first ever tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year! The band first performed publicly in February 1995, before heading out on a tour of tiny U.S. venues supporting rocker Mike Watt. Now frontman Grohl tells Q magazine his next planned project for the band is to recreate their first trip out on the road by performing at the same venues in 2015. He adds, “We still like each other. Still, to this day, if the band needs to be somewhere and three vans show up to drive us, we all get in the one van.”….Pulse also posted this. Nickelback‘s new album, No Fixed Address, apparently contains some surprising new sounds from the Canadian rock radio kings. According to a review from Canada’s QMI Agency, the group’s eighth studio offering features a heavy dose of electronics, some dance rhythms, a more extensive use of keyboards than before and a guest appearance from rapper Flo Rida on the song “Got Me Running Around,” which also features a horn section and a Latin flavor. The review also hints that frontman Chad Kroeger‘s wife, pop singer Avril Lavigne, makes an appearance on “She Keeps Me Up,” writing, “If that isn’t the missus on backup vocals, it’s close enough for rock ’n’ roll.” Kroeger told us making each new record different is what keeps things interesting for the band: “When we get in the studio to take on the daunting task of making a Nickelback record, all the band members have such diverse tastes in music that it’s a lot about keeping us happy. We don’t want to get onstage and play the same kind of music for two hours. We like to make sure that everybody in the band is happy and that seems to be keeping the fans happy.”….News on my friend from Florida, Creed and Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti. In a new interview with Classic Rock, he said bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips – who all play in both bands — have not spoken with Creed singer Scott Stapp since the end of the band’s 2012 tour. Tremonti explained, “We haven’t spoken with Scott since the last tour years ago. Me, Flip and Brian haven’t talked about doing it, we’re just content with doing Alter Bridge and we’re busy as hell doing the Tremonti stuff.” Tremonti continued, “I’ve got a full plate at the moment and I’m perfectly happy with where I’m at. There’s no plans (for Creed) right now.” The guitarist is currently at work on the second album from his solo band Tremonti, which will follow up 2012′s All I Was….Kid Rock has announced that he will release a new album titled First Kiss on February 24th, 2015, with an extensive summer tour to follow. The new disc follows up 2012′s Rebel Soul and is the second in a row that Rock has produced himself, with the recording done at his own home studio in Michigan. Rock told us a while back his secret to writing great songs: he told us that the best way to do that was to keep things simple: “Listen to Steve Miller, ‘Keep On Rockin’ Me Baby.’ It’s the simplest song on Earth. Go try and write one. It’s the most difficult thing to do. You know, it’s easy to, you know, make a crazy, have a two-piece band with a guitar player and a drummer and make something wacky that sounds crazy and it’s a new sound, this, that and the other — go write a song that’s gonna resonate forever and ever. It’s the most difficult thing to do.” Fans can look for a new single hitting the airwaves at the beginning of 2015. Rock’s 10th studio disc is his first for Warner Bros. Records after his last six records appeared on the Atlantic label. Both are part of Warner Music Group. According to a press release, Rock went into the studio immediately after completing a round of spring festivals to harness some of the energy from playing those shows as well as his 2013 $20 Best Night Ever Tour, on which all seats were just $20….And finally today, Slipknot singer Corey Taylor weighed in on the recent “rock is dead” statements made by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons during a recent interview with a Texas radio station. Taylor said, “I love the fact that we had the highest sales in a first week for a metal band (with new album .5: The Gray Chapter) the whole year. To be honest, I’m proud of that . . . You don’t always need a platinum album to relate that to success so, with all due respect to Mr. Simmons, he needs to get out more.”…Celebrating birthdays! Today: Tobin Esperance of Papa Roach is 35, Blink 182′s Travis Barker is 39, Josh Silver of Type O Negative is 52. Saturday: Chad Kroeger of Nickelback is the Big 4-0!
Hello! Welcome. Willkommen. Here’s the latest! Pulse Of Radio says Nickelback is streaming its entire new album, titled No Fixed Address, in full at iTunes less than a week ahead of the record’s Monday, Nov 17th release date. Frontman Chad Kroeger told us title of the record was inspired by the way it was recorded: “We kind of did it all over the place. I mean, we were in Vancouver, we were in L.A., we were in Maui, we had a portable rig with us on a European tour and we were recording stuff there. So I mean, that’s why we’ve titled the album No Fixed Address.” The 11-song set is the first through the Canadian act’s new deal with Republic Records. The first single from the album, “Edge Of A Revolution,” has already topped the rock radio airplay chart. The new set will follow up 2011′s platinum-selling Here And Now. That album included the singles “Bottoms Up” and “This Means War.” The band will launch a six-month North American tour on February 14th in Allentown, PA…..Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament recently spoke with Rolling Stone about his involvement with the funding and construction of new skate parks throughout his home state of Montana, saying, “It started for me like three or four years ago, when actually I made out a living will. There’s an organization called the Montana Skatepark Association, and I was planning out that I wanted ‘X’ amount of money to go to future skateparks in the state, and then I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I just do that now? Why wait until I’m dead, you know?’” Ament, an avid skater, continued, “I sat down with a map and sort of mapped out about 10 towns that I thought made sense and started putting feelers out. And from there it just sort of snowballed.” Ament added the parks that have been built so far “aren’t rinky-dink little ramps,” explaining, “I’ve seen pictures; it’s pro stuff. It’s dream-gig stuff. Growing up in North Central Montana the only thing we had was my parents letting me build a little ramp in my yard.” The bassist admitted that donating money to skate parks is “not an obvious thing like giving to a food bank, which obviously is a place that’s in need. We need to get kids outdoors and we need to get kids active. And some of these places like the Blackfeet Reservation where diabetes is kinda high you need to get kids out doing things.” Ament also said that as a result of the skate parks being built, “I’ve seen kids turn their lives around. It’s usually a kid who’s outside of the team-sport world, or maybe has a darker personality or doesn’t fit in . . . It sounds hokey, but finding a focus on something — whether its skateboard or playing your guitar — can be life changing.“…Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is continuing to pursue a side career in acting. According to Variety, the singer/guitarist will star in an upcoming movie called Geezer. The film is described as a comedy about a musician and father who, in the midst of a mid-life crisis, holds a lavish 40th birthday party for himself. It is there, however, that he encounters his beautiful ex-girlfriend and former bandmates who have since moved on to bigger and better things. Armstrong also wrote and is performing new songs for the movie, which also stars Judy Greer, Fred Armisen, Selma Blair, Dallas Roberts and Chris Messina. Filming is just underway in New York City under the direction of Lee Kirk, who said, “The initial seeds for Geezer were planted a couple of years ago, when my son was born within weeks of my 40th birthday. Billie Joe Armstrong brings an exciting authenticity to the film. He’s a dad, he’s a musician and he’s an incredible talent.” Armstrong previously appeared in the movie This Is 40 and the TV shows Nurse Jackie and Haunted, while also starring in the Broadway production of American Idiot, the stage musical based on Green Day’s 2004 album. Green Day has been on hiatus after releasing three albums, Uno!, Dos! and Tre! in late 2012 and touring behind them in 2013. The band is among the list of nominees for the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, along with Nine Inch Nails, Joan Jett and more. The inductees will be announced in Dec….Blabbermouth reports Dave Grohl did an interview with Esquire Magazine and was asked if the “Sonic Highways” series makes him think about his own legacy and where he fits fit into that, even if he is not supposed to look back. “No. First of all, I’m so goddamn busy I can’t spend time thinking about anything outside of what I have to do today. There are times where I will sit down, take a deep breath, drop my shoulders, and I just kind of breathe and deflate. But I’m not kidding — that happens about once a year for three and a half minutes. In that time, I can really appreciate it.” He continued: “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished. But I still don’t think I’ve done my best thing yet. I’ve always felt like that. I’ve always felt like the next record is going to be the last record. You have to say, ‘This next one is going to be the last one, so we have to make it good.’ We’ve said that eight times in the Foo Fighters across 20 years, every record. Just keep moving.” Grohl added: “There’s so much more to look forward to. That’s something I learned after Nirvana was over. When Kurt [Cobain] died, I had this whole new outlook at life, that we’re all so lucky to be here. “You can’t take life for granted. It’s short. It’s fragile. And you don’t know when it’s going to be taken away from you. So the short time that you’re here? You just have to kick ass the whole time and not look back. That’s basically what I try to do. “I’m not ready to stop, but if it all ended today, I’d be the happiest person in the world.” He also said, says that he is “very proud” of what he has accomplished, but insists that he still doesn’t think he “[has] done [his] best thing yet.”… Blabbermouth also posted AFI’s Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget have released a single, “Conformist,” from their forthcoming project XTRMST. The music video for the clip can be seen here. “Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight-edge hardcore band for years,” says Havok. “We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight-edge movement is not one of moderation. It’s based in undeniable objective truths.” “The straight-edge philosophy is something that Davey and I gravitated towards at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society,” says Puget. “Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. Being sXe for over 20 years and being musicians, it seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression.” The 14-track Xtrmst album was produced and mixed by Puget at his home studio and at The Treehouse in Los Angeles, and its release will come via Dim Mak Records, the indie label founded by DJ/producer (and former member of hardcore band This Machine Kills) Steve Aoki. Although Aoki and Dim Mak are most often seen as leaders in the electronic dance music space, the release of the XTRMST album marks a return to Aoki and Dim Mak‘s hardcore roots….Check out this behind the scenes video from the recent Papa Roach video shoot for “Face Everything And Rise.” Jacoby Shaddix directed the clip and Jerry Horton shot a lot of the still shots, including, BTW, the album cover for the upcoming F.E.A.R. album, due Jan 27th…..KISS will perform in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. OK, reason to get up early and watch! Hope it’s not too cold that day! Can you just see it? A giant balloon of Gene Simmons’ head with a huge tongue hanging out floating down Sixth Avenue! Now that’s something I would want to see! LOL Have a great day!
Is there cause to celebrate?? At least for me, there is! The unbearable noisy neighbors have decided to sell their apartment just a week before we were to appear before a lawyer to mediate our problem! Well, that saves me three or four hours I can never get back and possibly the chance a good night’s sleep sometime soon! HURRAH!…..Did you catch any of the 4- plus hour HBO presentation of The Concert For Valor last night? It looked amazing from the portions I got to see, which luckily included all of Metallica‘s set, the Dave Grohl songs and the ones with Dave, the Zac Brown Band and Brrrruuuuuuuccccee Springsteen. (Watch them do “Fortunate Son” here. Doesn’t Dave look like he’s going to explode in the opening verses?) And really, Eminem, was it so important for you to scream out the F-bombs, even including it in a “Happy F-ing Veterans Day“? Are you THAT uncouth? I mean, come on! There was a time and place for that in your own concerts, but on in front of this audience? Come on! Sorry! Anyhow, I hope tons of money and job opportunities and awareness have been raised for the vets, especially our Wounded Warriors….AC/DC have posted the music video for “Play Ball.” Check it out here….I love this! I know this photographer and he’s a great guy! Am so happy for this project! Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Fran Strine and music manager Jamie Talbot to chronicle the story of world-renowned musicians who are not household names, but are instead the session and backup musicians who have performed at concerts and on countless recordings with huge stars yet remain largely unknown to the public. The film, called Hired Gun, goes behind the scenes and explores the personalities and creativity of the best session players and backup musicians in the world, ranging from pianist/harpist Corky Hale, who has played with Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, to rock guitarist John 5 who has played with Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. A synopsis of the film described these musicians as “a group that possesses uncommon musical ability and an uncanny knack for being able to deliver a great performance time and again..” Hook himself came out of that world before joining Five Finger Death Punch, doing stints with Mandy Moore, Hilary Duff, Motley Crue singer Vince Neil and Alice Cooper. He told us he understands what it takes to catch a break with a big artist: “I went through years of trying to get gigs myself, and so I really understand what it’s like to be the guy reaching out. And I always admired people that gave me a shot, recognizing that it’s an unknown, you don’t know if it’s — the referrals are easy, when somebody says, ‘I’ve got the perfect guy,’ that door has been opened. But for you to open your own doors is very difficult.” Hired Gun features interviews with Hook, Cooper, Jason Newsted, Aaron Lewis, Richard Patrick, former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo, Kiss drummer Eric Singer, John 5, Chickenfoot drummer Kenny Aronoff, Whitesnake guitarist Steve Vai and others. There is currently an Indiegogo campaign set up to help offset the costs of the film. You can donate and receive a number of incentives from many of the musicians seen in the film. The goal is to raise $35,000 and the campaign runs until December 19th. Strine, who made films about Staind, Dolly Parton and others, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fully finance the movie. Very happy for Fran! Met him eons ago when he worked with Staind. Saw him back in July with Five Finger. Hope to see him again real soon.. Watch the trailer here….Pulse of Radio also reports on this. In This Moment is now streaming its entire new album, Black Widow, here. The band’s fifth studio set is due Monday (Nov 17th) and follows up 2012′s Blood, which was a commercial breakthrough for the group and featured the hit singles “Blood,” “Adrenalize” and “Whore.” Singer Maria Brink said about the disc, “Black Widow is a metaphor for this innocent young girl who gets infected with life, traumas, experiences, and the balance of light and darkness. She becomes this poised and powerful creature. That’s the album.” The first single, “Sick Like Me,” is Number 16 on the rock radio airplay chart. In This Moment is already on the road to promote the record and Brink told us they’re going out with their biggest show yet: “The visual show to me has become so important. The music is the heartbeat of everything and I like the visuals to be just as large and just as big, and we’re really trying to create this show that nobody is bringing — almost a theatrical show and almost like a Vegas show where it turns scenes almost every song and performers and huge spiderwebs that I crawl and hang on. All kinds of cool, really exciting stuff.” In This Moment next plays in Milwaukee, WI on tonight (Nov 12th.) Maria & Chris Howorth will be in the hardDriveRadio studios next week! Oh, got a question? Send it along to me!…..Also that day, Starset is dropping by to perform in our studios!….Celebrating life today: Sportscaster Al Michaels is 70, Neil Young is 69, Dave Ellefson of Megadeth is 50 and Charles Manson is 80!
hardDriveRadio salutes the Men and Women of the Armed Forces…past and present! Thank you for serving us so bravely! hardDrive XL listeners! Don’t forget to DVR the Concert For Valor on HBO tonight…..AC/DC have posted a “behind the scenes” making of their music video for “Play Ball.” Legendary English director, David Mallett, who has directed a bazillion amazing videos for mostly British bands like Queen, David Bowie, Def Leppard, Jethro Tull, U2, and also for Madonna, Joan Jett , Kiss and Blondie, did the music video and behind the scenes …I could go on and on about him. Watch the short clip here. (Cliff Williams, your hair never looked more awesome!) Looking forward to Angus Young and Cliff in the hardDriveRadio studios on Friday! OH MAN OH MAN! Send your questions in to me TODAY and I will be happy to ask the boys! Thanks to Shawnerz98 for being the first one in on the hardDriveRadio APP!….. Congrats to Shinedown! The band has just notched its fourth gold album in a row — indicating sales of more than 500,000 copies — for 2012′s Amaryllis, the Florida-based group’s fourth studio effort. All four Shinedown albums are now either gold or platinum, with the latter certification awarded for sales of more than one million copies. Frontman Brent Smith said in a statement, “Going gold on Amaryllis is a true testament to our ‘family’ of fans. In a time where music and the music industry is an ever-changing enigma, we as artists and performers must always remember that there is only one boss that we all truly answer to . . . and it’s everyone out in the audience. We are honored beyond belief to have such an amazing fanbase to get us to the next chapter.” Shinedown is already at work on its next studio album, and is also making a feature film to accompany it with video director Darren Doane. Smith told us earlier this year the film would not be a documentary in the usual sense: “It’s a little bit of a difficult thing to describe, because it’s such a unique concept, the way that we’re shooting it and the way that we’re putting together the life of the band over the past 15 years. But we’re doing it in a very impactful way, especially with how we’re gonna edit it and how we’re gonna release it.” Don’t expect the album til waaaaay later next year…..Working on getting Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil as a guest this week. He’s going to be doing most of the press behind Soundgarden’s B-sides compilation, the eagerly anticipated 3-CD rarities collection Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, which is scheduled to drop Nov 24th. Kim has spent decades (seriously) on this labor of love and it is finally seeing the light of day! (The band posted this new track called “Twin Towers.” ) One entire disc is devoted to cover tunes, and you know that that means??!!! It will be on this year’s COVER IT UP special edition of hardDrive for Thanksgiving weekend! Oh yes indeed! The problem I am having is choosing WHICH of the songs we should play! They cover the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, even Sly and the freakin’ Family Stone (one of my favorite bands to see in the late 60′s. Those guys and Parliament/Funkadelic were something else, lemme tell ya!) So be listening weekend Nov 29th for some pretty special new tunes on the World Famous hardDrive!!!!….J. Loren of Hurt texted me this morning to tell me he is BACK and ready to start making new music! See the Hurt Facebook page for more! Welcome back Hurt!….Sorry to hear the news Mike Kerr of Royal Blood has contracted tonsillitis and has been instructed by doctors to go on complete vocal rest. Therefore, the band’s next three shows in the UK are affected. See RoyalBloodband.com for more….And finally today, Marilyn Manson has posted his new song, “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” and a track listing for his forthcoming album, The Pale Emperor, set for release in the states Jan 20th, and Europe Jan 19th. I like the artwork that apparently is the cover. Track listing:
Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge
The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles
Warship My Wreck
Slave Only Dreams To Be King
The Devil Beneath My Feet
Birds Of Hell Awaiting
Cupid Carries A Gun
Odds Of Even
Let’s start the day by wishing our amazing host, Lou Brutus, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (Don’t drink too much, Lou! You have to be on the air at 7!)….And today, Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways album hits stores! If you’ve been watching the Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highwayson HBO, you know last Friday’s show was the Austin, TX one. They debuted the new tune, “What Did I Do?/As God Is My Witness.” And what the band does, once the show airs, they hop on a stage in the city of the night’s special (in this case, they were to play Austin City Limits) and play their hearts out. But unfortunately, due to a “family matter,” the show was postponed til Thursday night, Nov 13 (Aw, Nov 13th, would’ve been my parents 65th wedding anniversary!) Hope all is well in the Foos’ camp! Meanwhile, there are only 4 more shows on HBO to go with spotlights on LA, NY, Seattle and New Orleans to go with these associated songs: ”Outside,” “In The Clear,” ”Subterranean,” and “I Am A River.” (BTW: Pulse Of Radio said Foo Fighters are favored by bookmakers to headline England’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival next year. The band’s odds to headline the show were cut last Friday from outside chance at 14/1 to favorites at 8/11. Other rumored headliners, all with considerably longer odds, include Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Swift, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and U2.)….Pulse also reported on this. Chad Kroeger of Nickelback has addressed reports he and wife Avril Lavigne are divorcing after 16 months of marriage. People reports that Kroeger said in an interview with Canada’s eTalk, ”Sometimes (the rumors are) funny. When you’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store and you look over and it’s your face on there. Not the . . .Kardashians . . . and Brangelinas . . it’s ‘Chavril.’ You’re like, ‘Can I buy all these? So that no one can see?‘” Kroeger added he doesn’t pay attention to tabloid rumors, but hears about them from his family, explaining, “My family members hear this stuff . . . and then they call me up very concerned.” The singer and guitarist told ET Canada, “You know, my dad calls me up and he’s just like, ‘I haven’t slept in 2 days, what’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘Dad you’re not buying all this crap are you?’ You know, I get to hear all the rumor mill stuff. I find it very amusing.” Us Weekly and E! News both reported on alleged trouble in the marriage this past September, with inside sources claiming that “they’re not seeing eye to eye on a lot of things” and that Kroeger “has been going around L.A. telling people that they are divorcing.” Kroeger, who turns 40 on November 15th, proposed to the 30-year-old Lavigne in August 2012 after dating for just a few months. The couple were married in July 2013 at a ceremony in the South of France. Nickelback’s next studio album, No Fixed Address, is slated for release next Monday (November 17th). The band will launch a six-month North American tour on February 15th in Allentown, PA….Knowing people close to the Soundgarden camp, for YEARS (when the band was still on “hiatus”) we were told guitarist Kim Thayil was compiling a B-sides compilation. Well, finally, it is seeing the light of day! Pulse reports the band has released a sneak peek of its eagerly anticipated 3-CD rarities collection Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, which is scheduled to drop Nov 24th. The newly released song is a cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s ”Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” and it was recorded during the taping their John Peel BBC Session. The cover is an interesting mix with Chris Cornell’s trademark guttural growl, over Sly’s trademark funky baseline. Echo Of Miles includes unreleased songs, covers and demos taken over the span of the band’s 26-year career, providing a picture of their evolution and changing sounds. The collection was hand-selected by Thayil, who said about the project: “As album sets go, this one has been fun to collect and compile over the decades. I personally may have referenced this project a number of times over the years, going back almost twenty of them to the mid-Nineties!”….Mississippi band Saving Abel is making their new album, Blood Stained Revolution, available early online for just $5 via Rokbiz. 10% of the proceeds will go to charities benefiting military veterans. The official release date, Tuesday, Nov. 11th, was timed to coincide with Veteran’s Day. Guitarist Scott Bartlett said “We’ve always supported the troops. They remind us every night on our tour that our music has helped them through some of their darkest hours away from home and family.” The band is currently touring in North America, through December 21st, when Saving Abel will close its 2014 leg at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL. Plans for a 2015 tour are currently underway and should be announced soon. Guitarist Jason Null adds, “Some of our most memorable shows were played for our troops. This year was basically ‘back to the drawing board’ for Saving Abel so we missed out on being able to go visit them. Donating a percentage of these proceeds was just the right thing for us to do.”…Hinder are releasing a new tune and drummer Cody Hanson sent me an email this morning saying he was sending it to me. The band had parted ways late last year with original singer Austin Winkler, who is dealing with substance abuse. (Hope he’s getting better!) It is rumored their new singer is Nolan Neal, a Nashville based singer songwriter who has written music for Saliva. Neal performed with Hinder when they performed at the CA State Fair back in July…..And in closing, how can Robert Plant be so dead set against performing with Led Zeppelin that he would turn down the chance to take a three-way split of $800 MILLION DOLLARS!????!!!!! I mean, come ON, dude!…..Happy 42nd to DJ Ashba of G ‘N R/Sixx AM and Happy 46th to comedian Tracy Morgan!
Well, I, for one, am happy to see this. Pulse Of Radio reports the charge against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd of attempting to arrange a murder has been dropped, according toStuff.co.nz. Rudd’s attorney, Paul Mabey, said today (Nov 7th) the Crown Solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones withdrew the murder-plot charge after a meeting with Mabey and police. Mabey said Hollister-Jones reviewed the case and concluded “there was insufficient evidence to justify that charge. He has now withdrawn the charge.” Rudd must return to court on Nov 27th, where he still faces one charge of threatening to kill as well as possession of meth and marijuana, which his lawyer described as “minor.” Mabey added Rudd had ”suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified.” Meanwhile AC/DC issued a statement earlier in the day on Rudd’s Thursday (Nov 6th) arrest, saying, “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album, ‘Rock Or Bust,’ and upcoming tour next year.” The 60-year-old drummer was alleged to have tried to hire a hit-man to kill two men in late September. Rudd was missing from AC/DC’s new publicity photo and was also a no-show at the group’s video shoot on Oct 3 and 4 for its two new singles, “Play Ball” and “Rock Or Bust.” Rudd’s arrest was the second major blow to AC/DC in 2014. Founding guitarist Malcolm Young was forced to leave the band earlier this year because he is afflicted with dementia.SIDE NOTES: The man who Phil Rudd reportedly approached about killing two people told the Bay Of Plenty Times that Rudd was a “good fella” with a “big heart” who often took the man for rides in his cars or helicopter. But the man added Rudd had recently become irritable and was doing harm to his long-term friendships, saying, “He’s burning the ones who care about him. The joys of being a rock star, always in the spotlight. You’ve got to feel sorry for him — just the expectations everyone has of him.“ When asked about the murder-plot allegations, the man replied, ”I don’t know what you’re talking about.” AC/DC’s Angus Young and Brian Johnson did an interview with BBC News. Check it out here. (Thanks Blabbermouth.) Meanwhile, Angus and Cliff Williams will be in the hardDriveRadio studios next week! I can’t WAIT to see them! It’s been too long! I have to try to comb the closets for a picture taken with them way back in the day with Bon Scott (1979.)….Yesterday I mentioned Foo Fighters are throwing a big ole party in DC at RFK Stadium on July 4th. It will not only include a massive concert (Foo Fighters are known to play almost 3 hour shows!), but will also have a motorcycle rally, BBQ and fireworks! The special guests include Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Heart, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark, Jr, LL Cool J, Trouble Funk and Trombone Shorty. What?!!! No Cheap Trick??? Tix on sale Saturday Nov 08 and all seats are general admission. Whoa, that’s nutty. Meanwhile, drummer Taylor Hawkins told me why Joan Jett didn’t make it onto the session they recorded in NYC. “We wanted Joan to sing backgrounds on that song too, but the session just went really, really late, and at some point she was like, ‘I just, I have to go.’ It just — it never got there. We tried to get her in there, you know. Oh well, you know, there’s always another record.”…. According to Pulse Of Radio, Slipknot singer Corey Taylor said in a new interview with Dread Central he recently completed his first screenplay, which he described as a horror film. Taylor explained, “It’s exciting. It doesn’t have a title yet. The script is done . . . we’re gonna try to break ground on it next year. ‘Cause it’s been a long time coming. The thing I learned about the movie industry (is) it takes a long time (for things to happen). Snail pace is actually fast for this industry.” Taylor also said he’s about 80 pages into another script, a “horror-comedy,” which he might try to direct himself. He said, “It’s almost like Halloween meets the movie Clue. So there’s a lot of dialogue . . . But it’s surrounded in this crazy thing that’s going on. And it’s completely out of the realm of reality, but I just love the idea of it. I showed it to my wife, and she just kind of stared at me for a second.” Ya know, this man is a workaholic. I don’t know when he sleeps or eats. Honestly. ….Here’s an update on Sick Puppies, who’ve responded to comments from ex-frontman Shimon Moore, claiming he was fired from the band by bassist Emma Anzai and drummer Mark Goodwin. In a statement given to Loudwire, the pair wrote, “We have always wanted to be professional and respectful to everyone involved, but unfortunately Shim has taken a different approach and has been distorting the facts to make himself out to be the victim of a surprise ‘ousting.‘” The band added, “The truth is Shim engaged a lawyer against US . . . for the second time. He notified us through his lawyer that he wanted to dissolve the band. All our hard work and dedication was now in jeopardy, not to mention all YOUR years of love and support of the band. We couldn’t let that happen so we made the difficult decision to move forward without him.” Anzai and Goodwin said they still wished Moore the best, adding, “If you know us at all then you know that we would not casually throw away 15 years of hard work. We trust you understand and each of you should know that moving forward we only want, and have always wanted — to keep the focus on the music.” In his comments, Moore had said that there was “tension in the band” and that he “had hoped that some time apart would resolve these issues.” Instead, he said his dismissal came as a complete surprise. Meanwhile Emma and Mark are looking for a new guitar/singer….Finally today, Noisey interviewed Ozzy and Jack Osbourne for their series “Back & Forth.” Watch it here. I love Ozzy!….Folks who have birthdays: Today: Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne & ex-Hellyeah is 46. Robin Finck of Guns ‘N Roses and Nine Inch Nails is 43. Saturday, speak of the devil, Jack Osbourne is 29 and the co-founder of MySpace, Tom Anderson is 44. Enjoy your weekend!