Dirt - Monday, Feb 12 2018

Good morning rock music aficionados! Here’s what’s going on today:

Godsmack filmed a video for its new single last Thursday, February 7th, at a studio in Los Angeles, featuring cameos from country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach in addition to TV personality Chris Jacobs from Overhaulin’. The title of the single has not yet been divulged.

Godsmack’s follow-up to 2014′s 1000 Horsepower album is tentatively due out this spring. The group’s seventh studio disc will arrive to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Godsmack’s debut album.

Frontman Sully Erna told FaceCulture in September that the band’s new songs “have a lot more of a commercial aspect to ‘em. There’s some stuff in there that definitely will service the core fanbase of Godsmack. But we also felt that it’s time to expand a little bit.”

Erna added that the band is “gonna try to reinvent a little bit more of our sound, our look, our stage show, and come out with a brand new Godsmack.”

The singer said last July in an interview with Los Angeles radio station KLOS, “I’m a lot older now, I have a daughter of my own, I’m in a good place in my life. I don’t have a whole lot to really be stressed out about or mad. And so the music has to evolve with that.”

Godsmack is scheduled to perform at several music festivals this spring and summer, including April’s Welcome To Rockville and Fort Rock, May’s Carolina Rebellion and July’s Rock USA.

In This Moment has shared a live video for the song “River Of Fire,” the latest track taken from the band’s current album, Ritual. Guitarist Chris Howorth told BandsInTown about the group’s live show, “Maria (Brink, singer) is usually at the center of this hurricane directing and planning the whole thing. It starts right when the songs are being written and continues right up to the first show . . . We always try to utilize the stage setup to make every song special in its own way. Maria uses the stage design and props to enhance each song and bring the message or story to life for the crowd.”

Maria Brink told us a while back that the stage show has become an integral part of what In This Moment does: “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 — all kinds of cool, really exciting stuff.”

Ritual was released last July. In addition to the singles “Roots” and “Oh Lord,” it includes a cover of Phil Collins‘ “In The Air Tonight” and a duet with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford called “Black Wedding.” In This Moment is currently headlining the Witching Hour Tour with P.O.D.New Years Day and Ded. The trek stops in London, Ontario on Monday, February 12th and closes next Sunday, February 18th in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm at Sonic Boom (photo credit: Lou Brutus)

Halestorm is getting into the homestretch with the recording of its new album, and singer/guitarist Lzzy Hale told us that the band is looking to add the final touches to the record: “We have about two or three weeks left recording just to put like the cherries on top and see what the 11th hour songs have to say, which that’s the big thing in the world of Halestorm. We’ll be writing, writing, writing and then we like think we’ve got the record figured out and then all of a sudden, last minute at the 11th hour, like, there’s one or two songs that kind of come out because you’re already like relieved that you have the record done, and those are the songs that are like, ‘OK, we have to put them on the record somehow.’”

Hale told Billboard that Halestorm favorites such as “Love Bites” and “Dear Daughter” were also late arrivals during the recording process. Hale added about the new disc, “We’re really pumped about having something new, and I just hope everyone likes it — and regardless, we’re stoked on it.” The singer hinted that a first single will be released during April, with the album following shortly thereafter. The new Halestorm set will follow up 2015′s Into The Wild Life, which some fans criticized for veering too far into pop music territory.
Halestorm just completed a tour with Stone Sour on Sunday night in Rochester, New York and will next appear at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Jacksonville, Florida on April 27th.
Disturbed has confirmed that it has returned to The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas with producer Kevin Churko to record its first new music since 2015′s Immortalized album. The band had hinted earlier about returning to the studio and worked with Churko at the Hideout on Immortalized. Although the band alluded last year to making an acoustic EP, it’s not clear if those plans have been abandoned in favor of a full-length effort.

Ozzy Osbourne‘s wife and manager Sharon has claimed that Ozzy is being “blackmailed” by concert agency AEG Live, according to Billboard. Sharon has alleged that AEG is using a practice called “block-booking” to force her husband to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles against his wishes.

Ozzy had tentatively agreed to perform at London’s O2 Arena on February 11th, 2019 as part of his “No More Tours 2″ farewell run, but Sharon claims that AEG attempted to add a provision stating that if Ozzy played an indoor arena within 25 miles of Los Angeles that was promoted by competitor Live Nation during the tour, he would have to play the AEG-owned Staples Center as well.

Sharon wrote in an open letter, “Shame on AEG for bringing artists into a power struggle you’re having with your competitor, Live Nation. I can assure you that Live Nation would never strong-arm an artist into playing a venue they’re not comfortable performing in.”
AEG Live chairman/CEO Jay Maricano responded, “Dear Sharon, Thank you for your note. Please understand this dispute is between The Forum and Staples Center and we couldn’t agree with you more — it should always be the artist’s choice. We long for the days when artists and fans came first. PS — The other guys started this first!”
Sharon responded a day later, saying, “This is a staggering attempt to blackmail Ozzy into playing your venue in Los Angeles. It is also a complete abuse of bargaining power and not conducive to a free market.”
Sharon threatened legal action against AEG if Ozzy’s London date was not confirmed, adding, “I find the way you’re conducting yourself and your company to be no more than childish playground tactics. I cannot be involved in a squabble between two venue owning promoters as my interests only lie 100 percent with Ozzy.”
AEG did not respond to Sharon’s latest remarks. Live Nation has not commented publicly on the matter. Ozzy’s final world tour kicks off this spring with dates in Mexico, South America and Europe, coming to North America in August. It’s slated to last until 2020.

More than a year after 3 Doors Down performed at a pre-inauguration concert for Donald Trump in Washington D.C., frontman Brad Arnold told us he and the band have no regrets about appearing at the event: “That was a great experience. We had a great time doing that. I mean, we were incredibly honored to do it. Honestly, as big of a thrill as it was to do it, I enjoyed it a lot more knowing that we’d done it, ’cause I was so stinkin’ nervous. When it was done, I was like, ‘Okay, this is cool, you know, I’m glad we’ve done that.’ (laughs) You know, we caught a little flack for that for 10 seconds, and after that have heard nothing but positive things.”

Guitarist Chris Henderson told Detroit radio station WRIF that the band was “really proud” to have played at the event, saying, “We stepped up when everyone else was complaining and crying about it. And we took a lot of heat for it, but we still did it, stood up for what we believed in.”

Henderson added that the band’s decision to play in Washington “wasn’t a Trump thing. That’s what people don’t understand. It was the inauguration of a president of the United States of America. Like, this is history-making stuff. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime chance to do something for your country. So that’s why we did it . . . We weren’t out there bashing Hillary Clinton, we weren’t out there bashing Barack Obama, we weren’t out there doing any of that stuff. We were just supporting our country.”
Henderson insisted that 3 Doors Down would have “absolutely” played if it had been Hillary Clinton’s inauguration instead and they were invited.
The Smashing Pumpkins have launched a countdown clock on their website that is set to hit zero on Thursday (February 15th) at noon ET. It’s not known whether this announcement will be about an album, tour or both, but photos have surfaced showing three of the original members – William Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin – in the studio and at a photo shoot. (Thanks to Ultimate Classic Rock)
Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler has revived his Adler’s Appetite band and is planning to embark on a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of Guns’ classic debut album, Appetite For Destruction. He is expected to play the landmark LP in its entirety “plus other GN’R classics.” (Cheers to Blabbermouth for the tip!)
Finally, a belated Happy Birthday to Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda! Make it  great one!
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