Dirt - Thursday, Oct 10, 2019

Good morning Radicals! Here’s what’s up with music news today:

Skillet frontman John Cooper said in a recent interview with My Global Mind that the “gatekeepers” at commercial rock radio in the U.S. have prevented his band from getting airplay and wider exposure to fans — even though the Christian rock act has sold more than 12 million albums. Cooper explained, “If the only place people hear rock music is on a local rock station, they will not know Skillet. I find it strange because we sold so many records.”

The band’s current single, “Legendary,” sits at Number 12 on the rock radio chart, but Cooper apparently feels the track has been stopped from going any further. He remarked, “We are on tour with Alter Bridge and the band Dirty Honey is opening the shows. They have the Number One Active Rock song on the radio right now (note: it’s now Number Three). We released a song at the same time as them, being a veteran rock act that has sold a lot of records, and we cannot get radio to play our song. We haven’t broken Top 10.”

He continued, “At the same time, Dirty Honey is Number One, and they have 90,000 streams this week. Our song has almost 400,000 streams. I go into radio stations and ask, ‘Why don’t you play us?’ and they say they don’t think fans will like it. I mention to them that we have four times as many streams as the Number One artist. They turn around and say, ‘Yeah, but those aren’t really rock fans.’”

Cooper added, “The rock market is dying, and it’s the gatekeepers’ fault. They don’t want to change or try anything new. They play bands that sell to young people, then tell you they’re really not rock fans. I reminded them who was listening to Guns N’ RosesNirvana or Linkin Park when they first came out — young people. It wasn’t a bunch of old folks like us. They will put themselves out of business.”

Although the band emerged from the Christian music circuit, Cooper told us a while back that he always wanted to appeal to a diverse audience: ”I don’t want to be known as a band who writes songs for Christians. I don’t always know what someone else means when they say that. It’s a little bit like saying, ‘Hey, are you a Republican or a Democrat?’ and you’re a little scared to say these days because it might mean something different to one person than it does to someone else. So I basically say, ‘Absolutely, we are Christians, not ashamed of that, not looking to hide that, but we don’t write songs for Christian people. We write songs for people.’”

Skillet is currently on the road in support of its tenth full-length album, Victorious, which was released in August. Skillet’s previous four releases — from 2006′s Comatose to 2016′s Unleashed – have been certified at least gold, while 2009′s Awake is double platinum.

Green Day and the National Hockey League (NHL) teamed up on Wednesday (October 9th) to debut the band’s new single, “Fire, Ready, Aim,” during that night’s game between the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers.

The track, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming album, Father of All…, will serve as the opening song for Wednesday Night Hockey broadcasts throughout the 2019-2020 NHL season. The opening video features shots of Green Day performing on the ice interspersed with hockey teams hitting the ice, facing off and battling for the puck.

Green Day posted about the track on Twitter, “How many trolls does it take to screw in a lightbulb? The answer is Fire Ready Aim! A new tune for the loons! This song is about our daily outrage. Attack without thought . . . hyperbole. Anyway stick a hammer in your mouth. Shut up and dance!”

Green Day and the NHL have apparently inked a two-year cross-platform partnership. In addition to the opening song, Green Day will perform at the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri on January 25th at 8 p.m. ET, which will be broadcast via NBC, Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports. Future singles from Father Of All… will also be released during Wednesday Night Hockey.

The trio’s upcoming 13th LP is due out February 7th, and the group has already shared the title track and video. Green Day will embark on their Hella Mega Tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy in summer 2020, with the first U.S. date taking place on July 17th in Seattle.

Ozzy Osbourne has once again postponed his European tour, marking the second time the Black Sabbath singer has done so following a series of health issues.

Ozzy initially scrapped his entire 2019 schedule earlier this year, as he recovered from surgery to repair an injury sustained while dealing with his recent bout of pneumonia. The European leg of his “No More Tours 2″ trek was then rescheduled for January through March 2020, with the North American dates set to follow in May 2020.

Ozzy posted a video on his social media accounts on Wednesday (October 9th) in which he announced the postponement of the 2020 European tour and addressed his health status.

He said in part, “I can’t wait to get off my ass and get going again. But you’re just gonna have to be a little bit more patient. I’m postponing the European tour because I’m not ready . . . when I do come back on an American tour, I wanna be one hundred percent ready to come out and knock your f**king socks off.”

Ozzy told us a while back that the demand to see him live actually got bigger as the years went on: ”As we get older, we get more work. In the old days, you’d do, like, a three week tour, and take six months off, you know? It was a luxury. Now, it’s like a job.”

According to Live Nation Sweden, the new European tour dates will now take place “in the first half of 2021.” The American dates remain in place for now.

Former Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn has encouraged fans not to hate on the still unnamed man who replaced him. Following his return to social media after a six-month hiatus, Fehn responded to a fan’s comment in defense of the so-called Tortilla Man.

The fan, who is apparently located in Bulgaria, wrote, “Pls back to Slipknot Tortilla Guy sucks at everything i hate his vocals your vocals are the best back vocals please join Slipknot again.” Fehn simply wrote back, “Don’t hate man.”

Fehn also seems to want a break from fans asking about Slipknot. When another user posted, “Stop commenting about Slipknot let the man live in his life in peace,” Fehn responded, “Thank you.”

Fehn sued Slipknot in March, claiming he hadn’t been properly compensated for his years of touring and recording with the group. A member since 1998 who participated in all the band’s albums through 2014, Fehn was officially dismissed from the band earlier this year.

The identity of Fehn’s replacement, nicknamed Tortilla Man because of his odd mask, has been a closely kept secret that the band is apparently in no rush to reveal. Slipknot is touring behind its latest album, We Are Not Your Kind.

The iconic green cardigan sweater worn by late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain for the band’s 1994 MTV Unplugged performance is going on the auction block for a second time — and it reportedly still hasn’t been washed.

Julien’s Auctions announced Wednesday (October 10th) that the sweater and a custom Fender guitar built in 1993 that Cobain used during Nirvana’s In Utero tour will both be auctioned this month. Julien’s spokesperson Darren Julien said about the sweater, “It’s very important that we don’t wash it. The stains are still there. There’s even cigarette burns that you can see on the sweater.”

The cardigan first sold at auction in 2015 for $137,000. The current owner of the sweater is apparently a businessman who prefers to remain anonymous. He kept the piece of unwashed clothing stored in acid-free tissue in a safe. The auction house now has it housed in similar tissue and a plastic case.

The cardigan will hit the auction block on October 25th with a pre-auction minimum bid of $200,000. It’s expected to sell for upwards of $300,000. Earlier this year, another Cobain cardigan from the In Utero era also sold for $75,000 USD.

As for the guitar, it is a turquoise-bodied left-handed Fender Mustang that was on display for several years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is expected to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000.

Finally, we want to wish a Happy Birthday to the amazing Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Matt Brandyberry of From Ashes to New! Have a wonderful day!

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