Dirt - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

My pal Sully Erna of Godsmack is back in the news. According to The Pulse Of Radio, he has admitted in a new interview with FaceCulture the band may lose a few fans with the sound of its next album, due for release in 2018. Erna explained, “(The songs) have a lot more of a commercial aspect to ‘em so far. 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 . . . we may lose some (fans) along the way, but hopefully we lose one, we gain 20, and you can do the math at the end.”

Erna added, “We can continue to write the same record, but we’re gonna have the same results . . . from this point forward, we’re gonna try to reinvent a little bit more of our sound, our look, our stage show, and come out with a brand new Godsmack. Because we’ve realized that since we came out 20 years ago, there’s a whole new generation that’s grown up that are now just starting to discover Godsmack.”

Erna told us a while back that he never wanted the band to be pigeonholed: I don’t really wanna be categorized, I don’t think anybody does, but it’s unfortunate that our first record came out during a time when this nu-metal movement was just passing through and it was pretty hot. So I think we just kind of got dumped in that category, but I think as album cycles go by, people are realizing that we’re truly just a hard rock band.”  When I spoke with Sully about this, at the time, we were talking about the fact that Godsmack’s sound defined the sound of active rock radio. 

Godsmack will enter the studio this winter to begin recording its follow-up to 2014′s 1000 Horsepower album. The group’s seventh studio LP will be co-produced by Erna and Erik Ron and will arrive in 2018 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the group’s debut. Godsmack’s self-titled 1998 debut sold four million copies in the U.S. and yielded four Top 10 rock radio hits.

It had to be early in that same year I was the only non-label person to be invited to ride up from NYC with Republic Records execs to see the band perform just after they were signed to the label.  They were so new and exciting to see in Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT.  We hit it off immediately and both Lou Brutus and I have done scores of interviews with the band over the years. See the last one I did with Sully on the hardDriveRadio YouTube Channel.  Subscribe while you’re there.  We’ve got some great new things just posted and coming including Prophets Of Rage, Palaye Royale and Lionize.

Speaking of Prophets Of Rage….

Less than a week after their debut album arrived in stores, Prophets Of Rage have posted a new video for the song “Hail To The Chief.” Not surprisingly, the clip takes a scathing view of the Trump Administration, incorporating photos of Trump hotels, the White House, images of victims hanging from nooses, shots of Donald Trump and Mike Pence glad-handing with Vladimir Putin and more.

MC Chuck D wrote online about the clip, “Pay Attention is what the Prophets Of Rage latest video is saying. Don’t let a new Fascism appear wanted, normal or sane. While TRUMPOTUS appears to be a parody and whipping of mass distraction. The Donald will either be impeached or bow out from his own trumped up reasons. VP Pence is not a clown. He’s dead serious, the heir apparent who knows US governing and the law. The one to watch with the world in his hands.”

As for the band’s self-titled debut LP, Prophets guitarist and former Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello told us that making an album was a natural evolution for the supergroup: You know, it was a great chemistry that we felt onstage during the ‘Make America Rage Again’ tour, and we wrote 10 songs in the first two weeks we were playing together. You know, and then a month in the studio with, at Henson Studios with Brendan O’Brien, and it was so exciting, so fun — it’s the most collaborative and fun band record that I’ve been involved in since the first Rage record.”

Prophets also consists of fellow Rage members Tim Commerford on bass and Brad Wilk on drums, along with Chuck D and Cypress Hill‘s B-Real on the mic. Prophets plays songs from Rage, Public Enemy and Cypress in addition to original material.

The group made their live debut in May 2016 in Los Angeles. They next play at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct 1st.

Meanwhile, Tom Morello is one of the many rock stars who will participate in the third annual Bowl For Ronnie celebrity bowling tournament launched by the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. Joining Morello on the lanes will be Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven AdlerDio drummer  Vinny AppiceCinderella’s Fred Coury and many more. The event will take place on Friday, Oct 6th at the Pinz Bowling Center in Los Angeles.

Metallica, Metallica, Metallica!  You are the gift that keeps on giving!  They released a previously unheard live recording of its classic song “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” The track was recorded at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA on Aug 3rd, 1986 and is taken from the upcoming reissue of the band’s landmark third album, Master Of Puppets. The concert, which was part of Metallica’s U.S. tour as the support act for Ozzy Osbourne, was unusual in that it featured guitar tech John Marshall on rhythm guitar, as frontman James Hetfield had broken his arm earlier that summer.

The deluxe reissue of Master Of Puppets will arrive on Lou Brutus’ birthday,  Nov 10th, via Metallica’s own Blackened Recordings. And make sure you are a hardDriveRadio Radical because we will be offering up a Win It Before It’s Out contest in early November!  We’ll have a box set and 15 runners-up get the CD.

The LP has been remastered for the most advanced sound quality and will be available physically as a Standard LP, Standard CD, three-CD Expanded Edition, and Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set, while the digital options will be a Standard CD, a three-CD Expanded Edition, and a Digital Deluxe Box Set.  The Expanded Edition will include previously unreleased demos, rough mixes, interviews, live tracks, and a 28-page booklet. The Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set will include a 108-page hardcover book containing never-before-seen photos, outtakes and previously unreleased interviews, three LPs, 10 CDs, a cassette, two DVDs, a lithograph, a folder with handwritten lyrics, and a set of six buttons.

The reissue is available for pre-order at Metallica.com, where fans can see the full package details and track listing.  Master Of Puppets was released in February 1986 and reached Number 29 on the Billboard album chart, although it has sold over six million copies in the U.S. since.

Smashing Pumpkins frontman William Patrick Corgan has released a trailer for Pillbox, a silent film set to music from his forthcoming solo album Ogilala, due out Oct 13th. Corgan explained about the film, “I thought it was a different approach to listening to an album, to watch it in essence with a related, albeit non-linear, silent movie. Art is art. And together the two pieces create a work unto itself.”

Pillbox was written and directed by Corgan, who will hold four intimate screenings of the film in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Tickets for the screenings will go on sale tomorow, Friday, (Sep 22nd) at 2:00 p.m. ET. Fans who attend the screenings will receive a limited-edition movie poster. Corgan will appear at all but the Los Angeles screening, along with collaborators and cast members from the film.

The Pillbox screenings are: Oct 5 – London, UK – Royal Society of Arts, Oct 9 – Los Angeles, CA – Los Feliz Theatre, Oct 11 – Chicago, IL – Music Box Theatre, Oct 12 – New York, NY – Tribeca Screening Room

Corgan announced his new solo album last month and released the LP’s first track, “Aeronaut.” The album will be available digitally, on CD and on 180-gram gatefold vinyl.

Corgan will also embark on a solo acoustic North American tour that kicks off on Oct 14th in Brooklyn, New York and wraps up on Nov 11th in Los Angeles. Each night’s show will consist of two sets, with Corgan playing songs from Ogilala in the first and material from across his entire career in the second.

Blabbermouth reporting a previously unreleased Stone Temple Pilots song called ”Only Dying,” taken from the upcoming 25th-anniversary expanded reissue of the band’s debut album, Core, can be heard using the SoundCloud widget. The track was demoed early in STP’s career and the band had planned to re-record in 1994 for The Crow soundtrack. The idea was later scrapped after the star of the film, Brandon Lee, was killed during production.

That song was a little bit of a different direction for us,” bassist Robert DeLeo tells Rolling Stone. “It was based more off jazz-type chordings. As a songwriter, I wanted to spark people into different directions.”

I remember Scott [Weiland, vocals] really wanted to redo the song and quite honestly, the guitar tone we chose on that … I don’t know what I was thinking,” guitarist Dean DeLeo says. “Maybe I was listening to too much Robert Smith or something. It’s a song where I don’t think we reached our full potential as songwriters quite yet. But honestly, it really is a beautiful song.”

“We wrote it maybe nine months after Dean joined the band, and we recorded it in a studio in north Hollywood before we got signed,” drummer Eric Kretz says. “It’s cool to hear it now. You can hear all the STP elements in there. You could tell it needed to be reworked a little bit, but you can really hear Scott’s voice taking on its character and the band delving into the sound of the guitar, the special effects and everything. It’s a great early indicator of where the band was heading. It was trying to dig into our emotions.”

Stone Temple Pilots roared on to the scene 25 years ago with Core. A breakout success, the album peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts, dominated radio waves with hits like ”Sex Type Thing” and ”Wicked Garden,” and has been certified eight times platinum by the RIAA. The band also took home the 1994 Grammy Award for “Best Hard Rock Performance” for their smash single ”Plush.”

To mark the legendary album’s silver anniversary, Rhino will release two versions on Sep 29, which is 25 years to the day of the album’s original debut. The first is the “Core: Super Deluxe Edition” ($79.98), which includes four CDs featuring a newly remastered version of the original album, plus more than two hours of unreleased demos and live performances, including the band’s performance on “MTV Unplugged”. Also included is the original album on vinyl and a DVD that contains a 5.1 Surround Sound Mix of the album along with videos for the album’s four singles. The set, limited to 15,000 copies worldwide, comes packaged in a richly detailed hardcover book (12 x 12) with rare and unseen photographs. The music from the Super Deluxe version will also be available via digital download and streaming services.
Celebrating life today:  Writer Stephen King is 70, Ex-Korn drummer David Silveria is 45.

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