Dirt - Monday, Apr 24, 2017

Good morning, peeps!   This morning is busy around the hardDriveRadio studios!  Paulie Walnuts is interviewing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, who just touched down from across the pond to start their U.S. tour and promo duties!  I will post pix and you should be looking for an acoustic performance from the band in a few weeks!

For those who are new to the band, the frontman used to be in the British punk band, Gallows.  They are set to perform at some of the spring festivals, including  Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion and Rock On The Range.  Read more about the band on their Facebook.

And Ronnie Radke will also be on the hardDrive hotLine.  The new Falling In Reverse is really good.  Pick up Coming Home now!

He’s not leaving!!!!!

You may have heard the hubbub last week with this news that the singer was leaving the band.  Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody has denied reports he is leaving the band, insisting he has no intention of walking away from the group he’s been with for 10 years and six albums. Word spread online he was exiting the group following comments he made in an interview with Denver radio station KBPI, in which he revealed he was forming a side project called Villain. (I hear he’s been working on forming this band for a while now, not something new.)

Moody said in that interview, “To be completely honest with you, Death Punch and I have kind of come to a crossroads, and we’re very proud of what we’ve done — years and years and years and years of work. But it’s time for us to kind of take our way and go do something else. So after this new year, my new band Villain — I’m so excited, man.

After a number of media outlets interpreted Moody’s remarks to mean he was leaving Five Finger Death Punch, the singer issued a statement in which he said in part, “Yesterday I made a statement that was taken out of context by the media — a media always looking to create headlines that will make people click them. The truth is, I want to start a side-project like Corey Taylor has with Stone Sour or Maynard has with A Perfect Circle and I want to do it when Five Finger Death Punch’s deal with Prospect Park is over and we are out of this lawsuit.”  He added, “THIS DOES NOT MEAN I PLAN ON LEAVING FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH!” before continuing, “The great thing about being a musician today is that you can explore your creativity in multiple ways without compromising your primary focus.”

Moody told us a while back that Death Punch was the best project he’s ever been involved with: I love being part of Five Finger, man, it’s just, it’s the best band. Not because I’m in it, I mean, sincerely, watching these guys work together, you know, it’s a unit, man. It’s family. It’s what it’s about. It’s supposed to be honest and I think we take it to that level with each other and, you know, give it back to the people we can.”

Earlier in his statement, Moody said it was “no secret that this has been a tough year for me and for my bandmates,” alluding to the legal battle between the band and its label, Prospect Park, over the release of the group’s next album.  Moody admitted, “The lawsuit by Prospect Park holding our new album hostage has taken a toll on me. I was in a rehabilitation facility when Prospect Park decided to sue the band last year, and that was very difficult for me to handle all at once.

Moody concluded by saying that the new Five Finger Death Punch record — its last for Prospect Park — will arrive soon and will be followed by a world tour. He added, “All of us in the band have worked incredibly hard over the last 10 years to build this band and none of us are going to let that go just because our record company is trying to sabotage us. I am sorry if the media took my statement as a resignation, but I assure you it wasn’t.”

I’m pretty excited because this weekend is my first Fort Rock Festival in Fort Myers, FL.  Of COURSE it’s gonna be 90 degrees in the parking lot of Jet Blue Park.  But thankfully I can duck in and out of some tour buses and radio tents!

Phil Manasala, Aaron Pauly, Valentino Arteaga, Alan Ashby = Of Mice & Men  (Alan, over here!  Alan!)

One of the bands I will be talking to is Of Mice & Men.  And if you think I am not too excited, think again!  I love these guys so much and this morning they dropped the music video and single for “Unbreakable.”

The new song was produced by Howard Benson. Click HERE to purchase it. “Unbreakable” describes not only the band, but I think it also is a shout out to original frontman Austin Carlile.  As you may recall, Austin was forced to leave the band due to on-going complications from Marfan syndrome, a disease that attacks the connective tissues of the body.  After countless broken ribs, collapsed lungs, heart surgery, hearing loss, severe arthritis and other painful effects of the disease, Austin had to do the right thing for himself and leave.   He found God and is leaving his destiny there.  Hopefully he can still be writing music and find a way to record and get it out there.  But his screaming days are over, sadly.  I remember meeting him for the first time, such a cool and loving dude. You’d NEVER know he was suffering and struggling with such a debilitating disease.  My thoughts and prayers go out to him always!

Meanwhile, Aaron Pauley, as you will see in the video, has really stepped up to the mike, now also tackling the screaming vocals as well as the regular singing in the band. I remember how Austin had to push Aaron a couple of records ago to have more of a role in the vocal presentation for Of Mice & Men, which gave them a whole new dimension.  Totally looking forward to see the band and hearing “Unbreakable” live!
No word yet on when the album will be released.  Perhaps they are doing a “wait ‘N see” with fans before jumping into a full record, but I, for one, hope they do!

See the Road Rage page for dates for Of Mice & Men and also for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.

Incubus members Jose Pasillas III, Mike Einziger and Brandon Boyd with Paulie Walnuts and some old lady

The Pulse Of Radio also reporting this morning Incubus released its eighth studio album, titled 8, on Fri (Apr 21st), and the band is also using the occasion to celebrate its 20th anniversary as a major label recording act. Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger told us why the title of the disc is significant to him:  Just in one symbol, it signifies 20 years of making albums, you know, of writing songs and being in studios and traveling around the world and playing concerts, and 20 years of collaboration and hardships and catastrophe and trauma and triumphs and all the things that you can imagine, you know, kinda rolled into one little number.”

Incubus released its first album, Fungus Amongus, independently in 1995, but made its major label debut and first breakthrough in 1997 with S.C.I.E.N.C.E.  The new disc is the band’s first full-length album in six years and follows up 2011’s If Not Now, When? and 2015’s Trust Fall EP.  It includes the single “Nimble Bastard,” a Top 10 hit at rock radio.

Singer Brandon Boyd said about in an interview with Consequence Of Sound, “I honestly believe that each of our albums over all of these years have been accurate reflections of where we are collectively as a band . . . This album didn’t come without it’s challenges; it was a difficult album to write and I challenged myself more deeply than I have, well, since I can ever remember as a lyricist.

Incubus will head out on a six-week summer headlining tour with Jimmy Eat World and Judah And The Lion to support the new CD, beginning on Jul 6th in West Palm Beach, FL.

Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher of Royal Blood 

Finally today,  Royal Blood bassist and singer Mike Kerr has admitted in a new interview with NME the duo’s grueling tour in support of their 2014 self-titled debut album nearly killed them. But Kerr said the pair wanted to keep going, explaining, “The work and the schedule was insane, but there really wasn’t a low moment. We thought, ‘This doesn’t happen to any band ever, so let’s just enjoy it.’ If it ends tomorrow, at least we can look back on it and be like, ‘Well, we took everything we could have possibly squeezed out of this.’”

Kerr added, “We didn’t get any sleep. We all ended up ill and we all got hospitalized twice. Our sound guy lost a testicle . . . What I will say is that he had it surgically removed and that night mixed the show. Drugged out. And I don’t think it ever sounded so good.

Kerr recalled smashing his bass into pieces on the final night of the tour, saying, “It felt like the end of that album. We were ready to close that chapter. I genuinely didn’t smash my bass in a ‘this will be cool’ way; it was more like, ‘I need to destroy this machine and start again.’”

Royal Blood is getting ready to do it all over again, as the duo will release their second full-length album, How Did We Get So Dark?, on Jun 16th. The first single from the set is called “Lights Out.”  The band recently announced a batch of North American tour dates in addition to its previously confirmed festival appearances. The full tour now kicks off on Jun 2nd in Boston, breaks in the middle of the month for a trip to Europe, then resumes at the end of July in Ontario.

Celebrating life today:  Brian Marshall of Alter Bridge and Creed is 44.  Billy Gould of Faith No More is 54. And Jasen Rauch of Breaking Benjamin is 36.  


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