Good morning Radicals! Here’s what’s up in music news today:
Metallica will receive the Polar Music Prize, a musical equivalent to the Nobel Prize, this spring. The award, which recognizes international excellence in music, will bestow the metal legends with a cash prize of one million Swedish kronor, roughly equivalent to $126,000. The band will donate the money to its own All Within My Hands organization, which aids communities in need with workforce education, food-bank donations and other local services.
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said, “It puts us in very distinguished company. It’s a great validation of everything that Metallica has done over the last 35 years. At the same time, we feel like we’re in our prime with a lot of good years ahead of us.” Frontman James Hetfield added, “As myself and as Metallica I’m grateful to have this as part of our legacy, our history.”
A statement on the Polar Music Prize website said, “Not since Wagner‘s emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky‘s cannons has anyone created music that is so physical and furious, and yet still so accessible. Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica’s world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a Valhalla. The strength of the band’s uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower.”
Hetfield told us a while back while receiving a different award that being honored for songwriting is always fulfilling to him: “The part of being in a band that’s most satisfying to me is the creative part, and being able to get your insanities and thoughts and inspirations and everything out, in a song, through lyrics and music, is the greatest communicator for me and it always has been growing up.”
Past Polar Music Prize recipients include Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Björk, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Elton Johnand Quincy Jones. The prize was founded in 1989 by former Abba manager Stig Anderson and named after Anderson’s Polar Music label.
Following a sneak peek at a music video shoot earlier this week, Godsmack has released a short teaser for its upcoming album, tentatively due out this spring. The band’s follow-up to 2014′s 1000 Horsepower will be its seventh studio effort and will arrive to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Godsmack’s self-titled debut LP.
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 frontman Sully Erna told us not long ago that the band’s next studio effort will be an evolution for Godsmack: “I really think the new record is gonna be a reflection of where we’re at in our lives now. I think it’s gonna be a lot more uplifting, a lot more neutral rock music. Not metal, you know, not — it’s not gonna be too classic rock, but it’s certainly not gonna be metal. And I think, you know, I think bands like the Foo Fighters do it great.”
Erna told FaceCulture last 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.” 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.
Three Days Grace singer Matt Walst has weighed in on the debate over whether smartphones and other recording devices have become a nuisance at concerts. Walst told Loudwire, “People want to see it later on, I get it. I also post: ‘I was there, I saw this.’ But after a while, I don’t take a lot of photos . . . I feel the experience at the time and I feel like it’s the moment that’s special. It’s not going to be as special looking as it was from at your pictures in your phone.”
Asked whether Three Days Grace would ever consider banning phones at its shows like A Perfect Circle and Jack White are doing, Walst replied, “I don’t think we’ll ever get to that point.” But he added, “You should experience it in the moment instead of having a little screen in front of your face filming it.”
Drummer Neil Sanderson is our featured artist on hardDrive XL this week, and told us that the new Three Days Grace album, Outsider, tackles the issue of social media: “It’s pretty much impossible to remove yourself from a situation where you’re not being bombarded by information, bombarded by opinions and beliefs and feelings and influences and advertisements and crazy people (laughs). And so I think the record as a whole, there is a common thread that talks about how to navigate your way through modern life without completely going crazy.” Outsider, Three Days Grace’s sixth full-length album, will arrive on March 9th.
Although he’s still on the road with Stone Sour, singer Corey Taylor said that he has already begun working on lyrics for Slipknot‘s next album, adding that the material will see him at his “most autobiographical” that he has “been in years.” Taylor’s latest comments come six months after Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan revealed that the band had “about 27 pieces of work” written for follow-up to 2014′s .5: The Gray Chapter.
Asked by Musik Universe if he has heard any of the music Crahan has been composing with the other instrumental members of Slipknot, Taylor replied, “Yeah, I have. It’s awesome. That’s all I’m gonna say about it. It’s everything I wanted it to be.” As for the lyrics, Taylor explained, “It’s really dark. It’s probably the most autobiographical I’ve been in years. Just for the fact that I’ve been through a lot the last few years and I’ve been sitting on a lot.”
Slipknot’s touring cycle in support of its latest disc ended in November 2016, with Taylor returning to his other band Stone Sour last year. The singer said that the new Slipknot LP will “absolutely” arrive next year. He remarked, “2019, sometime in that year we will definitely be recording it. We’ll finish writing it, record it and be ready to go on the road.”
Taylor and Stone Sour just finished a string of North American dates in support of that band’s sixth studio effort, Hydrograd.
Finally, we’d like to wish a Happy Birthday today to Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Ozzy guitarist Jake E. Lee!