Dirt - Thursday, Nov 30, 2017

I know that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed….BUT this is a good one!  Brave Words and The Pulse Of Radio say Shinedown singer Brent Smith and bassist Eric Bass performed the song “Second Chance” from a bed in a video they shared on Tuesday (Nov 28th) as part of the Bedstock Challenge on what was labeled “Giving Tuesday.” The band said in a statement, “We are asking everybody to give the healing power of music to those who need it most today. We challenge you to sing a song from bed for sick kids across the country who can’t get out of bed.

Smith told us a while back that music to him was always a means to get through personal struggles: “I’ve always told people that we write songs because it’s cheaper than therapy. You have to talk about the things that drive you crazy, and you have to talk about the things that make you happy. It lets you know that you’re alive. Every day is a gift, it really is. I don’t feel like there’s anything corny about saying that, because you’re not promised tomorrow.”

Bedstock.com is a one-of-a-kind online music festival, where artists play from bed for sick kids stuck in theirs. It helps raise funds and awareness for MyMusicRx, a program that delivers the healing power of music to hospitalized kids across the country. This year marked the fourth Bedstock event and featured in-bed performances from artists like Shinedown, Ed SheeranNick JonasRingo Starr, the Breedersand nearly 100 more.

MyMusicRx is the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association and utilizes bedside and digital music medicine programs to engage hospitalized kids across the country, relieving stress, anxiety, and perception of pain.

Brent Smith and Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers will embark on the “Songs For The Soul: An Intimate Acoustic Evening” tour, billed as Smith & Myers, starting tomorrow, Friday (Dec 1st) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Shinedown has also been working on its sixth studio album. I hear it will be out in April.

Blabbermouth and The Pulse Of Radio reporting Avenged Sevenfold guitarist  Synyster Gates has launched The Synyster Gates School, a completely free online school that offers guitar tutorials, contests, merchandise, concert tickets and unreleased behind-the-scenes footage from Gates and his father, acclaimed session guitarist Brian Haner Sr. The school will offer insight into how father and son practice, write, record and perform, using interactive playthroughs, synced music notations and tablature, audio and video recordings, guided step-by-step instructions and more.

Students who sign up early will get a chance to win a free private guitar lesson with Gates.The guitarist said in a statement, “My dad and I have been working on this for close to four years now and it’s exceeded both of our expectations. This is beyond a school, this is a community where everyone can go to learn and participate with great reward.

Gates told us a while back that the band members’ home and family lives have changed very little over the years: “The cool thing about this band is when we actually do go home, the whole Avenged Sevenfold atmosphere and how big we have gotten doesn’t affect us when we’re at home. We’re just really good friends that just hang out together and see our parents and write at our parents’ houses and stuff like that. Nothing that much has changed.”

Avenged Sevenfold will release a deluxe edition of its latest album, The Stage, on Dec 22nd and will begin a North American headlining tour on Jan 12th, the day the vinyl version will be released, in Nashville with special guests Breaking Benjamin and Bullet For My Valentine.

Before that, Avenged drummer Brooks Wackerman will sit behind the drum kit on Late Night With Seth Meyers from Monday, Dec 4th through Thursday, Dec 7th.

In addition, frontman M. Shadows says that the band’s Grammy nomination for “Best Rock Song” for “The Stage” was “a nice surprise.” It’s the first-ever Grammy nod for the Southern California-based group comprised of Shadows, guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks WackermanAlso nominated in the “Best Rock Song” category were Metallica‘s “Atlas, Rise!”K.Flay‘s “Blood In The Cut”Nothing More‘s “Go To War” and Foo Fighters‘ “Run”.

“Every year the nominations have come out, and we’ve had some pretty big records, and every year we’ve never gotten anything,” the singer told Los Angeles Times. “So we kind of wrote it off as, ‘We’re probably never going to get one, and that’s the way it is.’ So it was a nice surprise.

Asked if the nomination feels like a validation, Shadows said: “It’s coming at a good time for us. I think when we were younger, all these things were, like — we don’t care about the awards, we were just kind of out there. And I think some perspective on our career and perspective on how these things work, we’re just really grateful at this point in our lives to be able to get the nod and show up. and it’s rock song, so it’s a televised award and we’re really grateful for that. And to be in there with Foo Fighters and Metallica and all those bands, we’re just excited. We’re going against some Goliaths, but it’s not about the win. We’re just really happy to be recognized.”

The 60th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and broadcast on CBS at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Slash says goodbye to his Beverly Hills home he once shared with his ex-wife Perla and their sons.  The Guns N’ Roses guitarist sold his mansion in the Mulholland Estates, a guard-gated community in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles, to rapper Big Sean for $8.7 million, according to TMZ. Slash put the house on the market in June 2015 for $11 million, but that price came down in April 2016 to $10.5 million and in August 2016 by another million to $9.5 million.

The 10,971-square-foot, three-story Tuscan Villa-like home on Clerendon Road includes a two-story entry, state-of-the-art theater, massive double center island kitchen, lower level nightclub and entertainment room with an elevated DJ booth and custom LED lighting, and a soundproof recording studio. It also boasts a steam shower and oversized spa tub in the master bedroom suite, a game room, library, family room, French doors and more.

Slash and his then-wife bought the home in 2009 for $7.3 million. Their neighbors at the time reportedly included reality TV queen Paris Hilton, British pop star Robbie Williams and actor Charlie Sheen.

Slash was born in England but moved to Los Angeles when he was five, telling us a while back that he spent his formative years in the Hollywood area: “You know, when I moved to Los Angeles, I was like five, and I’d been raised in that area, sort of Laurel Canyon area and the Sunset Boulevard area. And I’ve always lived there and everything significant that ever happened in my life as far as like putting one step in front of the other all happened in that neighborhood.”

Slash filed for divorce from Perla in December 2014 after 13 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” He has joint custody of their two sons, 15-year-old London and 13-year-old Cash.

The reunited Guns N’ Roses, featuring Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan, completed a North American arena tour on Wednesday (November 29th) with a hometown show in Los Angeles. The band has no other dates on its schedule for now until it launches a European trek next June. There is no word yet on whether future plans include a new album or simply more touring by this semi-classic lineup of the group.

Ah, Lars. It’s good to be in one of  the world’s biggest rock bands! On Nov 9, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was interviewed by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff as part of this year’s DreamforceSalesforce‘s annual user conference, in San Francisco, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by Blabbermouth.net).

On how Metallica’s music has managed to survive and grow, crossing generations:

Lars: “It’s pretty crazy, 35 years in, that people still care at the level that they do. We just played three weeks in Europe. We’re playing on a small in-the-round stage, and every single — and this is not to pat ourselves on the back, but more how dumbfounded we are about this stuff still happening — in every single building we just played in Europe in the last two, three weeks, we set a house attendance record, because we get more people in because our stage is smaller. These are the big indoor arenas in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belgium… They’re all between 18 and 23 thousand — their version of the hockey and basketball arena. But it’s pretty crazy that we continue to set attendance records. We’re having the best year for Metallica in probably a quarter of a century. And it should be no secret that we’re obviously not quite a young as we used to be, but it’s amazing that still at the concerts, half the audience that are down at the front row are 14 years old, 12 years old. They raise their hand when James [Hetfield], our singer, asks who’s seeing Metallica for the first time. And it’s amazing that half the audience are experiencing Metallica literally for the first time live. That is a crazy thing. It’s, like, do they not know that we’re old enough to be their parents? [Laughs] So we’ve had a lot of good fortune, and we’re very appreciative and humbled. And I think the one thing that happens to you as you get older is that as you get older and you raise families yourself and so on, that’s when you can really open your eyes and take it all in, slow down long enough to realize the moments that you’re in, bringing people together, connecting people through music. You know, when we were 22 years old, we never stopped long enough to know what was going on, but now, 30 years later, you can really feel that impact that you’re having on a global scale. So it’s been an amazing, amazing year. And we still have about another year and a half of touring left. So we’re just getting started. [Laughs]”

On the reasons for Metallica‘s enduring success:

Lars: “I think it’s two-fold. Number one is that from a creative point of view, you have to be willing to always look ahead rather than look behind. You have to turn over every rock, every stone and open your eyes, open your ears, be inspired, let those influences and all that great culture — whether it’s music, whether it’s art, whether it’s film; whatever it is — just take you, and you have to be open to letting the process take you where it’s gonna go. It becomes this interesting dichotomy between sort of steering it but also being open to letting… almost like hanging on, letting it kind of go where it’s going and just making sure it doesn’t derail, like a train, kind of. So, for 35 years, we’ve tried to never look back when we were making records, always try to challenge ourselves and see what else was out there that could inspire us to let the music take us some place differently. Secondly, when you’re in a group, when you’re in a collective, you really have to know how to work with other people. You have to learn empathy, you have to learn… when somebody else is steering, when you’re gonna take a backseat and when you… that balance point about it’s really important that this idea solidifies itself to somebody else in the band. Even though I may not personally agree with it a hundred percent, in terms of the balancing points of an internal dynamic that works in a group setting, you have to just know how to work with other people. When you’re 20 years old in a group, in a music group, that’s like being in a gang, and that’s easy. When you’re 50 years old and everybody gets their own patterns, and you talk to anybody — whether they’re in The Rolling Stones or our friends in U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers or any of the great bands that have been through Dreamforce in the last couple of years, being in a collective, being in a group, being in a band in your 50s requires a lot of work. We spend more time internally in Metallica on just making the band function. We spend more resources on making the band function in terms of giving everybody the space they need. You know, somebody needs to take spring break off to go with their kids — we’re not working that week. Somebody needs this, somebody needs that… It’s all an open door, because the minute you do something that’s gonna put a bandmember in a position of doing something where he has something else in his head, that’s the beginning of the end. So you’ve gotta spend a lot of time working on the collective and the group dynamics. We somehow turned a corner maybe 10, 15 years ago — we all grew up a little bit, and we sort of reprioritized our outlook on life. The first 20 years of Metallica, it was the band first and the individual and the family second. And about 10, 15 years ago, we swapped the model, and now it’s the individual and the families first and Metallica second, and that has given us a functioning dynamic that has… We’re in better shape than we’ve ever been, and that’s part of the reason, I think, we’re enjoying the best time we’ve had in 25 years.”

In other Metallica news, yesterday we told you about the gift the Danish Prime Minister gave to the Indonesian President.  Turns out, Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will have to file a report with the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) regarding the METALLICA “Master Of Puppets” box set he received from Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Since the gift technically constitutes a form of gratification, it must legally be reported to the KPK, according to Coconuts JakartaThe law is to prevent politicians from receiving gifts that could be considered a form of bribery. “The President is planning to report the gift of the Metallica vinyl records to the KPK,” presidential spokesperson Johan Budi said.

Um, can you imagine if you had to report every gift you were ever given?   Yikes!

Celebrating life today:  John Moyer of Disturbed is 44 and Billy Idol is 62!


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