Dirt - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017

Good morning, y’all!  Here’s the news today:

Godsmack: Robbie Merrill, Tony Rombola, Sully Erna, Shannon Larkin

The Pulse Of Radio via our friends at Blabbermouth says  Godsmack is planning to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary in 2018 with a massive world tour that could feature the group playing its self-titled 1998 debut disc live from start to finish. Lead singer Sully Erna told Houston radio station 94.5 FM about the trek, “We’re gonna do a massive production. We’re gonna kind of base it around the theme of the first record. We’re even talking about coming out and doing the first record front to back to open the show — set up the staging a little bit more old school and stuff like that, and then kind of morph it into the back half of the set, which would be all the hits and the solo and some of the new stuff.”

Erna also said in the radio interview Godsmack originally planned to put out a new album in 2017, but explained why that changed, saying, “We wanted to do something this year, but we were just, like, ‘You know, let’s just wait another second,’ because if we release this at the top of 2018, it will be our 20th-year anniversary of the first record, and we wanna do something special.

Erna told us a while back he was ambivalent for some time about playing albums from front to back in concert: It seems like a lot of bands would come out and do that when they’re celebrating like their 25th anniversary on the record and stuff (laughs) — I’m old, but we’re not that old yet. We’re getting there though. It’s not gonna be but another minute before we go like, ‘Wow, really, 20 years? Okay. . . ‘

The band’s seventh studio album will follow up 2014′s 1000 Horsepower. Erna said, “I have to write a really great record for us, and that’s the tough part.”  The new Godsmack CD will be its first effort for BMG, following a split with the band’s label home since 1998, Republic/Universal.

Meanwhile, the members of Godsmack are no staying idle.  The first release through the new deal was Erna’s second solo album, Hometown Life, which arrived last September. Guitarist Tony Rombola and drummer Shannon Larkin also released a debut album last year from their recently launched side project, the Apocalypse Blues Review.

Nothing More in the studio (Nothing More Facebook Apr 10)

Nothing More seem to have completed work on their next album, according to a post on their Facebook. (They seem to be listening intensely in that photo, eh?)  I asked their label, Eleven Seven Music, if a new single was imminent. So far, no.   But never fear, I will be talking to Johnny Hawkins and the band this weekend, so I plan to get the lowdown!  Maybe they’ll even let me hear a few new ones!

Alternative Press reporting Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and his mother Virginia Hanlon Grohl sat for an interview at the Los Angeles Festival of Books over the weekend, where Grohl recalled his mother forcing him to play onstage in front of people for the first time. According to Alternative Press, the incident took place at a jazz club in Washington D.C. that Grohl and his mom visited often. Guests were always encouraged to jump up and join the house band onstage, so on Virginia’s birthday she decided she wanted her son to do just that.

Dave recalled his mother saying, “You know what I want for my birthday? I want you to get up there and play the drums.” But Dave had only been playing drums for a year, and only had been practicing by hitting his bed and pillows along to punk rock records. Nevertheless, he entered his name and was called up to the stage despite having no idea how to drum with a professional jazz combo. Dave recalled going up onstage but just hitting a cymbal for two minutes or so before his short stint as a jazz drummer was over.

Dave’s mom is the author of a new book titled From Cradle To Stage: Stories From The Mothers Who Rocked And Raised Rock Stars, which features interviews with moms of musicians like Rush‘s Geddy LeeRage Against The Machine‘s Tom MorelloMike D of Beastie BoysAdam LevineMichael Stipe and others. Dave penned the foreword for his mom’s book, which arrived on Apr 18th.  Meanwhile, Foo Fighters have announced a string of summer European dates, along with one U.S. festival gig in California, but have yet to announce a new album.


Blabbermouth  reporting Staind frontman Aaron Lewis will debut a new song called “Folded Flag” on Hallmark’s Home & Family show on tonight (Apr 25th.)  The track, described as “powerful and heartfelt,” pays tribute to the men and women who serve the United States. Lewis said, “It all started with the haunting melody, and the picture of two young lovers. Bringing to mind the realities, and sacrifices that our veterans live every day. Many of us have The Folded Flag in common, and I hope that we can all honor our veterans and their families, forever.”  Aaron described himself in a recent interview as a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian, constitutionally driven patriot, saying, “Freedom means freedom. Get out of my business.” He released his second full-length album as a country artist, Sinner, last Sep, and has been on the road promoting the disc since then. His tour continues this Thursday (Apr 27th) in Westbury, New York, with dates booked throughout the spring, summer and early fall.  The singer made his debut as a country artist with the 2010 EP Town Line, followed in 2012 by his first solo album, The Road.

As a result, Staind has been mostly inactive since 2011, with the exception of a handful of live appearances.  Lewis insisted to Rolling Stone last September Staind had not broken up, but added, “I have no interest or creative need to go there right now.” Staind has released seven studio albums dating back to 1996, with 11 Top 10 rock singles and four Number One tracks to its credit. Staind guitarist Mike Mushok has been working with side projects including Newsted  with Jason Newsted, and more recently with Saint Asonia, who are currently working on their second album due this year.   Saint Asonia is Mushok on guitar, Adam Gontier on vocals, Corey Lowery on bass and Rich Beddoe on drums.

Blabbermouth  says Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell performed three songs on Saturday’s (Apr 22nd) edition of CBS This Morning, including Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” his solo track “Higher Truth” and his recently released theme to the new movie The Promise. Cornell was also interviewed by host Anthony Mason, discussing his and Soundgarden’s many contributions to movies like Casino RoyaleThe Avengers12 Years A Slave and Great Expectations.

Cornell told The Pulse Of Radio why writing the theme to The Promise was more challenging than usual: It had to be out of time a little bit, ’cause this was 1915. And so most of my musical influences didn’t exist. In just constructing the melodies and the arrangements, I needed to kind of use instruments that would’ve existed. I needed the melody to sort of be overarching and not be nailed down or be able to nail it down to any specific pop period, you know. So that was a little tough.

The Promise opened over the weekend and stars Oscar IsaacChristian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon in a love triangle drama set against the Armenian genocide. Sadly, The Promise did not do well in theaters during its opening weekend, earning just $4.1 million against a budget of $90 million — which could result in a loss for its backers of $80 million.

Cornell will donate his proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee, which responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

Soundgarden announced a North American tour that will kick off  this Friday in Tampa, FL at a radio festival, hitting all the spring festivals from Fort Rock, Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion and Rock On The Range,  winding down on May 27th at the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, OK.  The band has been working on material for its seventh studio album, which will follow up 2012′s King Animal. No word on when that will start recording or released.

Speaking of Staind earlier, it reminds me that is where I first met then rock photographer Fran Strine, who was on the road with Staind, as well as Five Finger Death Punch,  for many years as their videographer.  In his spare time, he started to work on a documentary, Hired Gun.   Now The Pulse Of Radio is reporting on Fran’s movie!

Hired Gun: Out Of The Shadows, Into The Spotlight will receive a one-night showing on Jun 29th at several hundred North American locations through Fathom Events. The film chronicles the story of world-renowned musicians who are not household names, but are instead the session and backup musicians who have performed at concerts and on countless recordings with huge stars yet remain largely unknown to the public.

The film goes behind the scenes and explores the personalities and creativity of the best session players and backup musicians in the world. Among the artists interviewed are Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason HookJohn Mellencamp  drummer  Kenny Aronoff, former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo, ex-Metallica   bassist  Jason NewstedKiss drummer Eric Singer, guitarist John 5 from Rob Zombie‘s band, Toto axeman Steve Lukather and many more.

Hook himself came out of that world before joining Five Finger Death Punch, doing stints with Mandy MooreHilary DuffMotley Crue singer Vince Neil and Alice Cooper. He told us a while back he understands what it takes to catch a break with a big act: I went through years of trying to get gigs myself, and so I really understand what it’s like to be the guy reaching out. And I always admired people that gave me a shot, recognizing that it’s an unknown, you don’t know if it’s — the referrals are easy, when somebody says, ‘I’ve got the perfect guy,’ that door has been opened. But for you to open your own doors is very difficult.

Hook teamed with filmmaker Fran Strine and music manager Jamie Talbot (Filter) to raise funds for the film through launching an IndieGogo campaign back in 2014. Tickets for the screenings go on sale via Fathom Events on May 24th. So excited for Fran!

Zippo announced a partnership with Korn to join the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum band at select performances throughout 2017′s highly anticipated “The Serenity Of Summer” tour.

Zippo will bring the Zippo Encore experience to several stops on the summer tour, offering fans an opportunity to purchase a collection of custom Zippo lighters featuring original Korn artwork and showcase their artistic skills by creating their own custom designs. The Zippo wheel will also be spinning, giving fans the chance to win gear and other prizes. Even those unable to attend the tour can get in on the action, as the band’s Zippo lighters will be available on Zippo.com.

Furthermore, Zippo Encore will bring music lovers closer to Korn than ever before. Throughout the summer, fans will have the chance to gain exclusive access to rock out in the photo pit or even attend a private acoustic set from the band at a select performance to be named at a later date. Zippo Encore‘s social channels will also be the home to original band interviews and never-before-seen content.

Korn and Stone Sour‘s summer tour is set to get underway Jun 16 at the USANA Amphi in Salt Lake City, UT and then continue through early Aug.

Joey Duenas on stage with Drowning Pool Apr 21st 

Blabbermouth also reporting on long-time friends of hardDriveRadioTexas heavy rockers Drowning Pool played their first concert with singer Joey Duenas at the Rivers And Spires Festival on Apr 21 in downtown Clarksville, TN. Duenas, formerly of the bands Unloco and ANew Revolution, was apparently filling in for Drowning Pool‘s singer of the past five years, Jasen Moreno, who was unable to make the show.

Drowning Pool has not yet offered an explanation for Moreno’s absence from the Rivers And Spires gig or indicated when he might return to the band.

Moreno, who previously fronted fellow Texas band The Suicide Hook, is Drowning Pool’s fourth singer. Jasen replaced vocalist Ryan McCombs, who exited the group at the end of 2011 after a six-year stint in the lineup.

Original singer, Dave Williams, died on tour in 2002 after singing on the band’s debut, Sinner. He was replaced by Jason “Gong” Jones, who also contributed to one record, Desensitized, before being shown the door in 2004.  Drowning Pool guitarist C.J. Pierce told Metalholic.com in early 2016 that Moreno was “our man, and he’s gonna continue to be our man. The singer switch is over.”

Phil Labonte says that All That Remains has tried to take some chances with its eighth studio album, Madness, which will be released on Friday, Apr 28 via Razor & Tie. “It’s pushing the boundaries,” the singer told ROCKwell UnScene at this past weekend’s Las Rageous festival in Las Vegas, NV. “It’s pushing the boundaries of what people expect from All That Remains, it’s pushing the boundaries of what is ‘acceptable’ for a metal band. We really tried to do something that was different from what we’ve done historically and different from what other bands are doing. A lot of bands throw together a bunch of riffs, and they’re, like, ‘That’s a song.’ And we kind of didn’t wanna look at it like that. We wanted to have some really dynamic stuff in there and some songs that really take you on a journey. And hopefully people feel that way when they listen to it.

Labonte also once again defended All That Remains over “sellout” accusations that have been leveled at the band over the more radio-friendly sound of the new album’s title track and first single, Madness. “There’s definitely some stuff [on the disc] that’s really gonna kick you in the nuts. I mean, the record opens with a song called ’Safe House’, which some people might have heard on the Internet; it’s available now. And there’s no intro, there’s no nothing — right from the get-go, it starts with double-bass [drumming] and riffing and then progresses through the rest of the record, and it takes you on a journey. And every song is a little bit different stylistically, I think, or most of the songs have their own kind of character, as opposed to some bands or records, [where] you’re getting the same song, or a similar song, over and over, staying right in between the lines.”  Read and see more on Blabbermouth.   

Have a groovy day!


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