Dirt - Thursday, Feb 22 2018

Good morning Radicals! Dirt is coming to you from sunny Las Vegas today! (Although it’s a bit cold here, what’s up with that?)

Late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell‘s widow Vicky revealed in a Wednesday morning interview on Good Morning America that her husband fell back into addiction for the first time since 2003 the year before his death. Vicky explained, “Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a benzodiazepine to help him sleep. He had torn his shoulder . . . the pain in the shoulder was waking him up at night and it was keeping him up.”

Vicky said that the medication caused a change in her husband, remarking, “The brain of someone who has a substance use disorder is different from that of . . . someone who doesn’t. He relapsed. He had really delayed speech. He was forgetful.”

Chris himself admitted as much in an email to a friend that he sent last March in which he wrote in part, “Would love to talk, had relapse.” Just two months later, the vocalist hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room after a concert with Soundgarden. A report from the medical examiner found various prescription drugs in Chris’ system but said they did not contribute to his death, which was ruled a suicide.

Vicky Cornell, meanwhile, has joined the Advisory Board at the Addiction Policy Forum, a national nonprofit focused on improving policies related to substance use disorders through a comprehensive response. She said, “While I can’t bring my husband back, I can help the millions of other families struggling with addiction and I hope we can prevent this horrific experience from happening to others.”

Royal Blood singer/bassist Mike Kerr was asked by NME if the duo had started making plans to write and record their third studio LP yet. Kerr replied, “We’ve thought about it. We’re pretty busy at the moment. We’ve written a few bits, but we’re kind of still in the thrust of touring. Until that comes to an end, we won’t be embarking on much as of yet. We’re still living and breathing the one that’s out at the moment.”

As for the sound of the next record, Kerr said, “As long as it’s rock music, and it’s me and him smashing the s**t out of some instruments and having a laugh, then it could be a reggae record for all that we care.”

Royal Blood has been on the road a lot lately with Queens Of The Stone Age, about which Kerr said, “They really looked after us, actually. We just hung out a lot. We went for dinner all the time together, and they’re just really nice people. We got to watch them play every night, and I feel like we’ve become a much better band because of it.” Royal Blood released its second full-length album, How Did We Get So Dark?, last June. The disc contains the Top 10 rock hits “Lights Out” and “I Only Lie When I Love You.”

Foo Fighters performed at the Brit Awards ceremony in London for the first time on Wednesday, February 21st, appearing on top of the roof of a makeshift house to recreate the video for the song they played, “The Sky Is A Neighborhood.” The “hastily constructed ski chalet,” as host Jake Whitehall called it, was set against a moon and starlit sky backdrop.

The band also took home the Best International Group award for the fourth time, having won the category previously in 2008, 2012 and 2015. The Foos have now won a total of six Brits over the years. “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” appears on 2017′s Concrete And Gold, the band’s ninth studio effort.

Frontman Dave Grohl dedicated their International Group award to fellow rockers, saying, “This one goes out to all the musicians who get up on stage and plug in and play. And long live rock and roll.” Foo Fighters will next kick off a new North American run on April 18th in Austin, Texas, with dates throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was asked in a recent interview with the organizers of the Polar Music Prize to describe his “totally unique way of playing drums.” The Danish musician responded, “To me, it’s always about the song and the band first. And the drums, or the guitars, or whatever else is going on, is just part of the big picture. So what you always have to do is you have to check your ego at the door and do what’s best for the song, for the music, for the overall sound.”

Ulrich continued, “I’ve never been very interested in ability. ‘Oh, wow! This guy is so great!’ Yeah, he’s so great, but it doesn’t mean that he can make it swing, or it doesn’t mean that he can make it work within a group or a collective.”

Ulrich admitted that while he “grew up on people like Ian Paice from Deep Purple, who obviously has a lot of ability, I also love people like Phil Rudd (AC/DC) and Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones)” who he says are “not as technical.” Saying he’s “never been very interested in playing drums by myself — you know, sitting down in a basement, practicing drum solos for hours at a time,” Ulrich instead argued that “writing songs, making records, being part of a gang, being part of a band, that’s always fascinated me.” Ulrich admitted in a 2008 interview that he’s “not a particularly accomplished drummer,” a notion that many fans have criticized him for over the years. 

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.

That’s Dirt, have a great day!

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