Hope you had a great weekend! I know the gang in Disturbed and my radio friends did! The band did their first show in 4 years at the House of Blues in Chicago Friday night with many of our hardDriveRadio station PDs, MDs, friends and fans in attendance. I got to stay in the action with posts from some of the wives of the band members on Facebook. And you can watch a couple of performances here: “Land of Confusion” and “Down with the Sickness.”
Meanwhile, singer David Draiman has weighed in on the recent debate over the state of hard rock festival tours, telling me in our video interview part of the reason for the poor attendance at this summer’s Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival was due to tour organizer Kevin Lyman “having too big of a mouth.” Lyman blamed the low ticket sales for the tour, which starred Slayer, Hellyeah and King Diamond, on heavy metal failing to produce new and younger headlining bands, also saying that “metal got gray, bald and fat” and “chased girls away.” His comments initiated a war of words with Slayer’s Kerry King and resulted in Lyman calling this Mayhem festival the last one.
Draiman said Lyman “went ahead and said a whole bunch of things which were not completely grounded in reality. I don’t buy any of it . . . There’s no doubt that hard rock and heavy metal is as vibrant as it’s ever been.” With Mayhem finished and the annual Uproar Tour also not happening, Draiman did admit to us the pool of talent to draw from is smaller these days: “There are fewer of us in terms of those who are festival draws, and the new generation is still getting stronger and they’re still coming up, and so we’re kind of in a state of flux. So it’s tough. I think that, being that the community has shrunk, that one large festival like Mayhem is definitely sufficient.”
Draiman added about the feud between Lyman and Slayer, “It’s not that the demand has gone anywhere, but you tarnish people’s impression of it.” Disturbed’s sixth studio album, Immortalized, arrived in stores on Friday (Aug 21). The group will hit the road next spring in support of Immortalized. The trek kicks off on March 11th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wrapping up on April 10th in Memphis, TN.
The Pulse Of Radio reports former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has confirmed he has rekindled his friendship with the band’s lead singer, Axl Rose, after a 19-year estrangement that started when Slash left the band in 1996 and included Rose calling his ex-bandmate a “cancer” in an interview done six years ago.
During an appearance on Aftonbladet TV in Sweden in Friday (Aug 21st), the host said, “I heard that you’ve made friends with Axl Rose again,” to which Slash replied, “It was probably way overdue, you know. But it’s . . . you know, it’s very cool at this point. You know, let some of that, sort of, negative . . . dispel some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long.” (Note: for YEARS, we radio journalists were warned to say away from that question when interviewing Slash. So for him to have revealed this new info is pretty awesome!)
Asked if the thawing of his friendship with Axl could lead to a reunion of the band’s classic lineup, Slash said: “Oh, I couldn’t answer that one, though . . . All right, let’s get off the subject, ’cause, you know, that’s an old one.” Slash was asked about the possibility of a reunion last May on CBS This Morning and said, “Never say never,” a surprising response given that he had been saying for some time that such an event was unlikely to happen. Slash elaborated on the program, “I’ve got to be careful what I say there. I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that.”
When Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Slash, fellow original members Duff McKagan andSteven Adler, and later drummer Matt Sorum attended, while Axl and founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin did not. The current lineup of Guns N’ Roses, meanwhile, recently parted ways with guitarists Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba and has not been active at all in 2015.
A great honor for our friends Pop Evil was surprised by Grand Rapids, MI Mayor George Heartwell on Friday (Aug 21st) when he declared it “Pop Evil Day” in honor of what he called the band’s “commitment to their fans and to our West Michigan community.” The group was honored in their hometown on the same day that their new album Up was released.
Mayor Heartwell also said, ”The City of Grand Rapids appreciates the universal and timeless qualities that identify all forms of visual and performing art. We have built a reputation of celebrating and encouraging artistic freedom, creativity and self expression. I appreciate the music that Grand Rapids’ own Pop Evil creates for that same reason.”
The announcement came as a complete surprise to the band during a live TV interview on FOX 17 in Grand Rapids. Frontman Leigh Kakaty said, “Wow, what an incredible honor this is, and honestly we didn’t see it coming . . . We take a lot of pride in where we come from and this will never be forgotten.” Kakaty told us Up reflects a new attitude in the band: “This album really felt like we wanted to do things more appreciative. We wanted to have more fun this time around. Onyx was written from a dark place, our last record, and you know, we were just sick of being angry all the time. You know, we wanted to live life. I mean, all of us stopped drinking, we’re all kind of being more healthier onstage and living life better offstage, and you know, we wanted to take that to this album and really let our audiences know that we got into rock ‘n’ roll to have fun.”
The first single from Up, “Footsteps,” is currently Number Three on the rock radio airplay chart.
Deftones have pushed back the projected release date of their eighth studio album from late September to late November, according to Blabbermouth. Frontman Chino Moreno told a New Jersey radio station, “Once the music’s turned in — which should be hopefully in the next couple of weeks — there is still some mixing and mastering to be done. But the recording’s all done, the songs are there, they’re written and recorded, and they’re awesome. We’re excited about it. We’re just dealing with the stuff now, putting all the artwork and everything together. And then, (it will take) a few months for them — the powers that be — to prepare it to be released.”
Speaking about the new album’s musical direction, Moreno said: “Every time we make a record, our main focus, with anything, is to try different things, and try things maybe outside our comfort zone a little bit.” Moreno pointed out one thing that will sound different sonically is that bassist Sergio Vega is playing a six-string bass on most of the album, explaining, “(It’s) more like a baritone guitar . . . it kind of (gave) it a different sound.”
The band wrote 16 songs for the album, although the final track list has yet to be unveiled. The disc features a guest appearance from Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell. Deftones are currently on a co-headlining tour with Incubus that stops in Morrison, CO tonight (Aug 24th.)
On Friday, P.O.D. also released their new album The Awakening. Hard to believe it is their 9th album!!! The concept record follows the good and bad choices of a central character, exploring the consequences of his decisions. Bassist Traa Daniels told us the band doesn’t want to spell out the story too much: “There is a specific storyline, but I think the whole thing is that we don’t want to kind of let that cat out of the bag. I think that we really want people to like dig into the record and kind of figure out. I mean, I think that’s the fun part of having a conceptual record is not really giving away the whole thing, you know what I’m saying? There definitely is a character and there’s a specific storyline that, you know, was the inspiration for the songs and the writing and everything.”
P.O.D.‘s current single is “This Goes Out To You” and you can watch the video here. As mentioned previously, Maria Brink of In This Moment and Lou Koller of Sick Of It All are special guests on the record. Definitely check it out!
More news from Pulse Of Radio includes:
Foo Fighters fought back against the toxic members of the Westboro Baptist Church (what is with those idiots, anyhow?) before the band’s concert on Friday (Aug 21st) at the Kansas City Sprint Center. Hearing that the church were going to protest outside their show, the Foos rolled outside on the back of a truck blasting Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up” as the band’s drum tech danced in a speedo holding a sign that said “Keep It Clean” and drummer Taylor Hawkins sported a sign saying, “You Got Rick Roll’d, Again.” This is the second time the Foos have pulled such a stunt against this collection of bigots while in Kansas City. Watch that here! (Alternative Nation)
AC/DC kicked off the North American leg of its Rock Or Bust world tour on Saturday night (Aug 22nd) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. The band’s 20-song set was not much different from the one it played earlier this year in Europe, incorporating three songs from the new album alongside well-worn classics like “Shoot To Thrill,” “Dirty Deeds,” “Back In Black,” “Thunderstruck,” “Hell’s Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” plus a few deeper cuts such as “High Voltage” and “Have A Drink On Me.” The band next plays in East Rutherford, NJ on Wednesday night (Aug 26th). (Blabbermouth)
Got an email from Eddie’s wife Janie, informing us Van Halen was forced to cancel Sunday night’s (Aug 23rd) scheduled concert in Hershey, PA after lead singer David Lee Roth was advised by doctors not to perform due to a bout with the flu. The band’s official statement reads as follows: “Due to David Lee Roth suffering from the flu and the doctor recommending he rest his throat, Van Halen’s concert tonight at Hersheypark Stadium has been canceled. Refunds will be available at point of purchase.“ Van Halen’s next performance is scheduled for tomorrow night (Aug 25th) in Darien Center, NY.
Ghost frontman Papa Emeritus III and two Nameless Ghouls will be hitting the hardDriveRadio studios today! They will also do a two-song acoustic performance and audio and video interviews, so stay tuned for our next artist interview. And we will also be announcing the next AMA on the hardDriveRadio APP very soon, so if you haven’t already downloaded the app, you can get it for free in the app store and Google Play!
hardDrive Live Tour with Trivium, Tremonti and Wilson tickets are on sale! Check out the tour site for more info.