Dirt - Friday, Dec 22, 2017

“Oh My!”  RIP  Dick Enberg.   To so many, you were the voice of sports.

An endowed fund of more than $1 million to support student scholarships at UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles has been created in the name of late Soundgarden  frontman Chris Cornell, by a coalition led by his widow Vicky Cornell. The Chris Cornell Scholarship honors Cornell’s commitment to justice, human rights and advocacy for those in need. Members of the coalition include several friends and colleagues of Cornell as well as supporters of UCLA Law.

Vicky Cornell said, “My husband and I agreed that given the opportunity of education, people have the power to change the world. UCLA School of Law is an institution known for its academic excellence and we are proud the Chris Cornell Scholarship will provide funding for future students and future leaders of the world.”

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement, “This endowment honors an influential musical artist who cared about human rights and enables others the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.”

The Cornells have become more involved in human rights issues over the years, with Chris writing and recording the title song earlier this year for The Promise, the first feature film to tell the story of the Armenian Genocide.

Chris told us in an interview one month before his death last May why the story was still relevant today: “You know, you can see the warning signs of genocide — they’re pretty much always the same. Not only is it happening now, but there are warning signs that could expose where it’s gonna happen in the future. And my hope would be that as a global community we’re on the lookout for those warning signs, so that we can pre-empt these disasters before they happen.”

All proceeds from the film have gone toward human rights causes, with Chris donating all of his proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee. In November, the track was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. It may also earn an Oscar nomination when those are announced in early 2018. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

Blabbermouth reports Metallica frontman James Hetfield visited the Vail, CO fire and police departments on Wednesday (Dec 20th) to spread some holiday cheer among the city’s firefighters and police officers. Hetfield and his daughter stopped by with his daughter to deliver Starbucks gift cards courtesy of the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation.

Hetfield moved his family to Vail last year after being based in the San Francisco area for 34 years. Hetfield’s wife Francesca grew up in the Vail area, which was also an incentive to move. The two have been married for nearly 20 years and have three teenage children.

Hetfield told podcaster Joe Rogan last year he didn’t feel as if he belonged in the Bay Area anymore, explaining, “They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn’t fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn’t vibe with theirs.”

Although Hetfield sensed an “elitist attitude” in the Bay Area, he was also quick to add that he was “glad there is a place” like San Francisco” that prides itself on being progressive, very moving forward . . . But then there’s a part of me that just maybe is like frontier-style.”

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation is “dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services,” acccording to the foundation’s web site.  Metallica played a benefit show last month in San Francisco to raise money for victims of the recent Northern California wildfires. The band will resume its Hardwired… To Self-Destruct world tour in February after the holidays.

In his Facebook Live chat earlier this week (and shout to yours truly on my retirement), Blabbermouth reporting some news items Jonathan Davis (Korn)  (pictured right with Fieldy and some old lady)  revealed.  I already mentioned you should expect JD’s solo album next year, which he described to me as more along the lines of the music and vocal style he did for the Queen Of The Damned soundtrack.  Davis is already scheduled to appear on his own at several European festivals, with more touring in both Europe and North America expected.

Davis said in a Facebook Live session earlier this week, “I’m finishing my record finally . . . I started it in 2008, so I guess it’ll be 10 years of work.” He added, “I’m really excited. I’ve been working on these songs for 10 years, and it’s turned out amazing. So there’ll be a record coming out next year. I just shot videos yesterday for a couple of songs, and the tour will be next year.”

While it may have changed over the years, Davis told hardDriveRadio some time ago his goals for his solo record: I want the record to be the most amazing record I could possibly put out. I want all songs to be amazing and different. I want it to be really a very artistic, crazy album that no one’s ever heard before. ‘Cause it’s very world music-y and dark, heavy, Peter Gabriel-esque type music and I want all the songs to be different, and nothing like Korn.”

Davis confirmed in the Facebook session the project was started years ago with his touring band, Jonathan Davis and the Simply F**king Amazings, but noted, “J.D. S.F.A. is no longer. Unfortunately, since Shane (Gibson, former Korn touring guitarist and a member of Davis’s solo backing band) passed, that band’s done and it can’t be recreated. So this is J.D. right now.

Davis has recorded and toured on his own intermittently over the years. He has composed music for soundtracks, most notably Queen Of The Damned, and has toured and DJed frequently over the years as his alter ego JDevil. He has also done cameos in a couple of independent films, as well as Queen Of The Damned. Korn’s last album, The Serenity Of Suffering, came out in 2016. The group is expected to work on its 13th studio offering sometime later in 2018. (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio & Blabbermouth)

Blabbermouth  reports Papa Roach‘s Jacoby Shaddix told Borna of our Milwaukee affiliate The Hog that P-Roach plans to return to the studio next summer to resume work on its follow-up to this year’s Crooked Teeth album.  Jacoby told TheRave TV earlier this month (see video above): “In June and July [of 2018], we’re gonna step in the studio and continue working on the next record — we’ve already started work on the next record — and pick up where we left of with ‘Crooked Teeth’ and just keep kicking ass and taking names.

Papa Roach has been previewing a new song called ”Geronimo” at some of the band’s recent shows. Drummer Tony Palermo told Germany’s Metal-Heads.de the track’s lyrics “are basically [about] Jacoby growing up and looking for stuff to do in a small town.”

Regarding the band‘s decision to return to the studio so soon, Palermo said: “We basically finished ‘Crooked Teeth’, and at the beginning of the year, we had a tour cancel on us, so we had to… We couldn’t just go out and book a tour; it takes time. So we thought, ‘What better time to continue the creative process with our producers, Nick [Nicholas 'Ras' Furlong] and Colin ['Doc' Brittain].’ So we went back in the studio right after we finished the last record, ‘Crooked Teeth’, and got about five or six songs down, demoed out.

Palermo also talked about the musical direction of the brand new songs, saying: “They’re definitely more in the bouncy, riffy era of Papa Roach.”

It’s a great start to creating some new music again, even though ['Crooked Teeth'] is still new,” he continued. “So it feels good that we have somewhat half a record already written. But that’s not to say that those are gonna all make the record, because that’s determined at a later time. But we’ve already had fun writing some of the newer stuff — like, new-new.

Five Finger Death Punch has released a video for its surprise cover of The Offspring‘s “Gone Away,” which originally appeared on that act’s 1997 LP Ixnay On The Hombre.

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory stated about the video: “Every song has exactly as many meanings as many people have heard it, but by creating a music video we can crystallize one of the possibilities, our personal interpretation, and share what those words mean to us personally.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and by taking a snapshot of our own perception of something, we are also sharing the impact it had on us.

Gone Away’ is one of those songs that can hit you in the chest, and our interpretation may surprise some… but this is how we heard it.

The track appears on the band’s newly released greatest hits cd, A Decade Of Destruction. You have been hearing it also on hardDrive!    (I love covers!)

The band has just finished a European arena tour with In Flames and Of Mice & Men.

Earlier this month, Five Finger Death Punch celebrated the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) platinum certifications of its American Capitalist (2011) and The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol. 1 (2013) albums.

War Is The Answer, the band’s 2009 album, and its hit single ”Bad Company” previously went platinum in 2016 and 2013, respectively.  The band will have a new album that could be released later in the new year.  Stay tuned!  (Thanks Blabbermouth)

Whoa!   Not so fast Tom DeLonge and your UFO revelations! Famed astrophysicist  Neil DeGrasse Tyson has dismissed a video released by former Blink-182  guitarist that purports to feature shots of an actual UFO in flight. The newly declassified clip, posted to the YouTube channel of DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy, allegedly includes footage of a glowing, rotating aircraft filmed from Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets in 2004.

Speaking on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday morning (Dec 20th), Tyson was dismissive of the video, saying, “Call me when you have a dinner invite from an alien. The evidence is so paltry for aliens to visit Earth, I have no further interest. Let other people who care go ahead, and then when you finally find some aliens bring them into Times Square.”

He continued, “The universe brims with mysteries. Just because you don’t know what it is you’re looking at doesn’t mean it’s intelligent aliens visiting from another planet. Scientists live in mystery every day of our lives … People are uncomfortable not knowing, not the scientists. I’m fine. We don’t know what it is. Keep checking it out.”

The video was reportedly part of a secret Pentagon program investigating reports of UFOs and other threats, which Tyson said he supports in general: “I’m glad the Pentagon was looking at this, because if it posed a threat, I want them on top of it right away. The program is closed down, which said ‘not a threat.’”

DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy made the pages of The New York Times earlier this week when a member of his advisory board, former Pentagon official Luis Elizondo, confirmed the existence of the UFO-related investigative program at the Pentagon, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

The program launched in 2007 and was allegedly shut down by the Defense Department in 2012, but reports indicate that the program has continued to operate clandestinely within the Pentagon. Elizondo resigned from his Pentagon post in October due to what he said was “excessive secrecy and internal opposition.” DeLonge found a role for Elizondo with To The Stars after he quit the Pentagon.  DeLonge told the New York Daily News after the report was published, “There’s a lot more s**t coming.” (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio/Loudwire.) 

Celebrating life this weekend!  Today:  Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen is 71!  Saturday:  Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is 53 and Harry Shearer is 74!  And Christmas Day, Monday, drummer Josh Freese is 45.

Have a wonderful Christmas!  I’ll be driving up to Atlanta to spend the holidays and will be back here on the 28th for my last two reports of the year!

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