Dirt - Thursday, Mar 01 2018

Good morning Radicals! Here’s the music news goodness for today:

Godsmack has set When Legends Rise as the title of its first album in four years, due out April 27th. The band has also shared the first single from the LP, called “Bulletproof,” posting the track online and sending it to rock radio stations nationwide. An official music video for the track is coming soon.

Asked what inspired the songs on When Legends Rise, frontman Sully Erna explained, “It was just about evolving as a songwriter. I wanted to stretch my wings out even further to use all the experiences I’ve had with writing different types of music over the years and applying that to find a way to introduce a newer, fresher, more mature sound, but still maintaining the power of Godsmack.”

The new disc is Godsmack’s seventh studio effort and follows up to 2014′s 1000 Horsepower. It’s also the band’s first release through BMG after splitting with its longtime home, Republic/Universal Records.

Erna added that the title of the album refers to “the band and our journey,” adding, “It’s been an amazing road we have traveled through all the ups and downs. But being able to conquer those challenging times with alcohol and egos and everything else that can tear a band apart is what we are the most proud of.”

Erna told us a while back that the members of the band are in a good place with each other these days: “You know, I think we’re finally to that place now where everybody just has so much respect for each other and we’ve gotten over the really tough moments and really understand our place as a band now, not only with the fans and in this industry, but amongst each other — you know, getting through all those tough spots and coming back to a place where we really have regained our brotherhood and we’re getting along better now than ever.”

Godsmack will 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. Further tour plans have yet to be announced.

Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo said in a new interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune that the band would have quit if it hadn’t found the right singer to succeed the late Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington. DeLeo explained, “If we didn’t find the person we felt we could move forward with, we ultimately would have put a fork in it.”

But that person turned out to be former X Factor contestant Jeff Gutt, with DeLeo saying, “There was no room for error. That’s why we spent nearly a year together with Jeff before we invited him to join the band. We wanted to make sure it was the right decision. But we did find somebody who could not ony do the catalog of our previous songs justice, but someone we could write new songs with, too.”

Gutt, a Michigan native, was previously a member of the bands Rival City and Dry Cell. Asked whether Gutt not being an established star was an advantage for the group, DeLeo replied, “I wanted a person I knew we could write songs with . . . I didn’t give a s**t if Jeff was well-known or not. I just wanted a guy who could do the gig.” Gutt’s first album with the band, a self-titled effort and STP’s seventh overall, is due out on March 16th.

DeLeo said that the band intends to initially play two new songs on its upcoming tour, which begins this Friday (March 2nd) in Santa Clarita, California.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield and his wife Francesca have turned over 1,000 acres of land as open space to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust in Marin County, California, after the county Board of Supervisors approved the deal on Tuesday (February 27th). The Hetfields first donated 440 acres of their property, known as the Rocking H Ranch, to the county in 2005, then followed that with another 330 acres in 2009. Another 240 acres was given over last fall, totaling just over 1,000 acres that will essentially remain open space in perpetuity.

The donation of the land will help preserve Marin County farmland, as well as provide open space and recreational opportunities, according to planner Craig Richardson. The Hetfields said last November, “Our family is very happy to work . . . on re-establishing agriculture and maintaining the scenic corridor of the ranch. We believe this is a huge community benefit, and one of our goals is to keep agriculture on the ranch for a very long time.”

Hetfield purchased 1,150 acres in Lucas Valley in 1999. The property is in rural, rolling hills about six miles northwest of downtown San Rafael, not far from George Lucas‘ Skywalker Ranch. Although Hetfield filed an application in 2011 to build four single-family residences on the remaining acres that he owns, nothing has come of that since then. A separate application to build up to 34 homes on another parcel of lands he owns east of the ranch was also apparently abandoned by the singer/guitarist. The Hetfields and their three children moved to Vail, Colorado in 2016, with James saying in an interview that he was “sick of the attitudes of the people” in the Bay Area.

Ozzy Osbourne and his guitarist Zakk Wylde have given a helping hand to a Canadian man whose CD collection was stolen out of his car while he was making a pizza delivery. According to CBC NewsJosh Cook of St. John’s, New Brunswick was inside an apartment complex delivering the pizza when he heard his engine rev and ran outside to see his car speed off, with a large collection of music inside.

The car was later returned to the same location, irreparably damaged and missing Cook’s trove of hard rock and metal CDs — all except one disc by Wylde’s band Black Label Society. Somehow Wylde’s son got word of what happened and within a few days, an enormous box of Black Label Society swag arrived on Cook’s doorstep. That was followed a few days later by a box containing Ozzy Osbourne T-shirts, a signed photo and a complete discography of Ozzy’s work, including all his solo CDs and his catalog with Black Sabbath.

Cook said, “These guys, they don’t know who I am, but they set me up with all this stuff. It’s amazing.” Neither Wylde nor Ozzy have issued any comments on the matter.

Finally, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to Nickelback’s Ryan Peake, Rob Affuso of Skid Row, and the incomparable Roger Daltry! Cheers!

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