Dirt - Thursday, Dec 21, 2017

OMG!  I love this!  David & Lena Draiman shared the photo shoot (click the link) for their Christmas card and it’s amazing!  Even though the Disturbed frontman is Jewish, Lena, who had a friendship with photographer Sanjay N. Patel, wanted to have a “bad ass Christmas card”  with their son Sam Bear,  so she enlisted the photographer’s help.

David is apparently a huge Star Wars fan, along with the rest of his family, so the singer went all out in preparing a Star Wars-themed holiday card this season. The Draiman family hired  Patel to come to their former home in Austin, TX for the photo shoot, releasing the video (see first paragraph) highlighting what went down. The video shows  all the shots it took to composite the final picture, ending with a card that stays fairly accurate to Star Wars poster art, which I tried to do a cut n paste on. (sorry, it’s tiny.)

Disturbed has had a fairly quiet 2017. The group announced plans earlier this year to record and release an acoustic EP before starting its next full-length studio album, but has not provided any updates since.  (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio)

Nothing More is in the news.  The band has released a music video for the next single, “Do You Really Want It,” from the band’s Grammy-nominated new album The Stories We Tell Ourselves. The video is comprised mostly of live performance footage, although it also utilizes a visual effect called “Tiny Planet” that creates a spherical panorama around whatever it’s pointing at.

Guitarist Mark Vollelunga told hardDriveRadio at this point he enjoys playing both small and large shows with Nothing More: “They both have their advantages, really. Festivals are awesome ’cause it’s an endless sea of people and you see ‘em all moving as one. And then the smaller, sweaty rock shows is a thing, you know. It’s punk rock. It feels awesome.”

The Stories We Tell Ourselves came out on Sep 15th and debuted at Number 15 on the Billboard 200 album chart, while also landing at Number Three on both the Rock Album chart and the Alternative Album Chart. The disc contains the Top Five rock radio hit “Go To War.”

The new disc follows up Nothing More’s self-titled 2014 LP, which featured the Number One rock radio track “This Is The Time (Ballast).” Nothing More was nominated last month for three Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “Go To War,” as well as Best Rock Album for The Stories We Tell Ourselves.

The band will participate in the annual ShipRocked music cruise in late January before kicking off a new round of North American dates on Feb 3rd in Little Rock, AR. (THanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

Well, this is a bummer.  System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian has confirmed to Rolling Stone the band has been stalled in its attempts to record a follow-up to its Mezmerize and Hypnotize albums, which came out in 2005. Tankian explained, “We’ve discussed it and we’ve played each other songs, but we still haven’t come eye to eye on how things should be done for us to be able to move forward with it. And that’s where it’s been.

Tankian added that ironically the band members are getting along better than ever, saying, “That’s the funny thing. When people don’t see a record, they assume the worst about your internal relationship. But the truth is we’re actually better friends — at least I’m better friends with everyone than I’ve ever been.

Tankian continued, “We have a great time together touring. But sometimes putting together a record, and that creative output and how things should be done, is different in four people’s heads and it doesn’t always come together.”

The singer also said that a recent news story in which he was quoted as saying “screw vocals” and that he was only interested in making instrumental music was taken out of context. He remarked, “Everyone’s looking for headlines. I hate that. I hate when they take something and they just go with it . . . At least check with me. Don’t take an interview that was translated from Russian from five months ago on the set of a film without checking.“   Tankian has two new film scores under his belt. The first, for a movie called Intent To Destroy, was released digitally via iTunes and Apple on Nov 17th, while the second, for a movie titled Furious: The Legend Of Kolovrat, arrived digitally on Dec 8th.  (Thanks The Pulse Of Radio.)

Tankian has toured with System Of A Down over the past few years but the band has not released new music in more than a decade.  Drummer John Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview the group had written music for more than a dozen new songs, but those remain in limbo.

Blabbermouth reports Matt Tuck says Bullet For My Valentine‘s forthcoming sixth album is “a corker” which will “take a lot of people by surprise” when they first hear it.

Due early next year, the follow-up to 2015′s Venom will mark the band’s full-length recording debut with new drummer Jason Bowld (Pitchshifter, Axewound), who has been touring with Bullet For My Valentine for the past two years, and bassist Jamie Mathias(formerly of Revoker), who joined the group after the last disc was completed.

Tuck told NME he “definitely” took the lead in the songwriting department on Bullet For My Valentine’s new album, explaining that he “had a bit more of a vision” than the other guys on what he wanted the record to be like.

The guitarist/vocalist said that he and his bandmates “tried to make [the upcoming disc] a different-sounding record, we’ve tried to approach songwriting differently, and a bunch of stuff. We don’t wanna regurgitate anything we’ve done in the past,” he said. “That’s the past — we wanna look forward to the future. We tried to make things bigger by calming things down on the technical side. So we’ve still got really big, massive heavy groove songs, but instead of being super-thrashy and technical on the guitar, they are far simpler and far more digestible, but it gives you a far bigger sound.

Noting that “every album,” for him, “has a purpose, and every album has its own moment in time,“ Tuck said: “I don’t think anything we’ve ever done sounds like something we’ve done before already. And as a songwriter and a creative person, that’s what excites me and that’s what motivates me — to make things different and to challenge ourselves and to challenge myself as a songwriter and a musician and a lyricist and everything, to not do things that are boring and are stale and I’ve done before. And that is really challenging… That’s what keeps me motivated — the challenge of recreating the band’s sound and pushing myself creatively.”

Consequently, Tuck believes Bullet For My Valentine’s new album will “initially take a lot of people by surprise by the way it sounds and the instrumentation that we’ve incorporated into it this time. But I think as soon as the dust settles and people get to live with it, it’s a corker — it rocks. We’re very happy with it.”

Asked about the lyrical themes covered on the band’s upcoming disc, Tuck said: “There’s a lot of stuff that will be very self-explanatory when people hear it. I don’t wanna say too much about it yet ’cause it is very early days, but it’s a very personal record for me. It’s got highs and it’s got very dark lows. But it’s very real, and I think people will relate to it.”

Bullet For My Valentine’s next effort will be released through the band’s new label home, Search And Destroy, the imprint launched in 2014 by Spinefarm and international artist management company Raw Power Management.

The group made its split with founding drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas permanent earlier this month. Thomas, who took a leave of absence from the group in November 2015, was replaced by Bowld, who has been behind the kit since Moose‘s exit. Moose has said he will be announcing his net endeavor soon.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s reading of “The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas”, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was invited back to the BBC to spread more holiday cheer by telling the mighty tale of “Stick Man”. Lars’s appearance, which originally aired on the Tuesday, Dec 19 edition of Jo Whiley‘s BBC Radio 2 show, can be streamed using the audio player above.

The beloved children’s classic written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, “Stick Man” was recently described by The Salt Lake Tribune as “a sweetly funny tale about the importance of perseverance.” Written in verse, the 2008 book follows the adventures of Stick Man as he’s carried ever further away from his family after going for a morning jog and being snatched by a playful dog. Donaldson told The Telegraph the book is “definitely one of our most poignant. All children can relate to the idea of a family member going missing. A lot of children have gone missing themselves and had to find their way home.

The European leg of Metallica’s “WorldWired” tour kicked off in Copenhagen, DK on Sep 2 and ran through Nov 3. After a break, the trek will pick up again on Feb 1, 2018 in Lisbon, PT, and continue through May, finishing up in Helsinki, FI.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, which came out in November 2016. (Thanks Blabbermouth.)

Happy 46th today to Brett Scallions of Fuel!

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