Getting closer to packing up my little NYC nest to head to the mountains. Been in this apartment for over 20 years (I like to call it “The House That hardDrive Bought”) and this has been home. I feel like the Obama’s leaving the White House. Elated, but sad. If one more neighbor says to me, “We’re really going to miss you,” I don’t think I can keep smiling and saying, “I’ll miss you, too!” without bursting out in tears! :(
Had a great day yesterday in the hardDrive studios talking to Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle on the hotLine and Phil Labonte of All That Remains, who paid a visit. First, Billy told me the band is still working away on music, talking to labels, and planning on getting serious next month when Maynard James Keenan will go to LA to start recording vocals. So far, no producer, if any, has been chosen. Billy has done a lot of the work on his own. The band will also put aside 3 or 4 days for rehearsals before they hit the road this spring. In the meantime, Billy did a score for an independent film directed and produced by some friends of his called “D Love.” He’s stoked to have finally cracked the seal on that type of work and hopes this can also open the door to doing more of the same. I really enjoy talking to him and look forward to seeing the band this spring.
We also talked about being the moderator for Maynard’s book tour stops. (Billy did the LA show, and I did NYC and Washington, DC.) We both shared the same reaction when I said, “When ‘Kashmir,” (the song written about in Maynard’s book that when he and his friend Kjiirt Jensen would hear it, they knew something great was about to happen, and also the song that was played before we would step out on to the stage) was playing the first night in NYC, I was pacing back and forth, I was so nervous!” Billy laughed and said “That’s exactly how if feels before I go on stage when I’m on tour!” And then he said things fall into place and everything is fine. And that was the same thing that happened for me. Interesting. You never really imagine musicians feel that way, but apparently they do!
Paulie Walnuts, some old chick and Phil Labonte
Then Phil Labonte and Kurt from Razor & Tie dropped by and we talked for about an hour (be listening for an upcoming hardDrive DL podcast) about the band’s new album, politics, LA and more! I am not lying when I say this is their best record of their career! It is different, so get ready to have your minds blown when you hear it! Very happy for Phil and the band, Oli Herbert, Mike Martin, Jason Costa and Aaron Patrick, and producer Howard Benson. Great job!
The Pulse Of Radio says our friends Metallica gave two more songs from the new Hardwired…To Self-Destruct album their concert debut yesterday (Jan 11th), when the band performed at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. “Now That We’re Dead” and “Halo On Fire” were introduced into the show, making them the fourth and fifth songs from the new record that the band has tried out live.
The band opened the show with two newer songs that have already been played live, the title track from Hardwired and “Atlas, Rise!” while also airing out the previously performed “Moth Into Flame” a little later in the set. The rest of the 18-song show was focused on older cuts like “Sad But True,” “The Unforgiven,” “One,” “Fade To Black,” “Harvester of Sorrow” and other Metallica staples.
Metallica began changing its set list nightly in 2003, with drummer Lars Ulrich telling us a while back it keeps the show fresh: “When we started the St. Anger touring cycle, we started just changing the set every night. Up through the Nineties, we got a little stuck, and it got a little rigid, and we would go out and play the same set list for six months every night. So we’re really trying to just play different stuff every night. It’s pretty cool.”
The show in Seoul was the band’s first date of 2017. The group will continue this week with a pair of shows in China and has plans to hit Europe, South America and North America in the months ahead, including its first proper U.S. trek in eight years.
Frontman James Hetfield recently revealed in an interview that the quartet intends to play around 50 shows a year, which he has determined is the most that his body can handle at this stage. See, I’m not the only one feeling the burn….. ;>
Pulse also says Pop Evil is wrapping up the touring and promotional cycle for its fourth album Up, with one last headlining tour and one more single before heading home to Michigan to take some time off and then start work on album number five. We asked frontman Leigh Kakaty if the group had some ideas for the record already in place: “Yeah, there’s a lot of ideas and concepts. I know we’ve got a lot of ideas that we dialed in for the Up album that didn’t make the album. So we’ve got a good starting block, but I’m gonna go all fresh and, you know, see where my head’s at, see where the energy of the band is — it’s gonna be interesting to see what happens.”
Kakaty told Loudwire in a new interview about the band’s schedule, “We’re going to take some time off in March when this tour wraps . . . Let’s just get away from each other for a minute and let everyone kind of soak in some ideas individually first and then be back up.”
The current and likely final single from Up is “If Only For Now.” It follows the Top Three hits ”Footsteps,” “Take It All” and “Ways To Get High.” The new run of headlining tour dates started this week and will finish up on Feb 26th in Sault Sainte Marie in the band’s home state of Michigan. The Rock ’N’ Roll Now Tour: Right Now will also feature support from Red Sun Rising and Badflower. The trek stops next on Friday (Jan 13th) in Orlando, FL.
So long and best of everything to you, Josh Balz!
Was surprised to see the news come across in an email blast from Alternative Press keyboardist Josh Balz is leaving Motionless In White, just as the band are getting ready to release new music and tour. It’s reported the departure is after 10 years of being in the group. The band issued this statement, ”After many discussions and time spent searching within himself over the past year, Josh has come upon many discoveries of who he now is as a person, and what is truly important to him regarding his future.” The band will not miss any tour dates nor alter any plans regarding the upcoming release of its new album, Graveyard Shift.
Josh posted this on his Twitter page:
My pal Danny Worsnop (man, he is tall!) released another new song from his solo country-flavored album, The Long Road Home. The album will be released Feb 17th. Worsnop — who recently rejoined Asking Alexandria after a year apart — called the new song “a very introspective look at my past failed relationships, where I ask myself if it was something I was capable of trying again.” (Metal Sucks)
Chino Moreno of The Deftones has discussed his love of surfing, the ocean and Australia in a new video shot by Maniacs. He also provided the site with a handwritten surfing playlist as well. Deftones have been on the road behind last year’s album Gore and will launch a new round of European dates in April. (The PRP)
Finally today, The Pulse Of Radio reporting Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan is going on a tour of a different kind: he’s traveling around the country for the next month as part of a documentary project called 30 Days. The project will involve, in Corgan’s words, “new musical pieces, interviews with people, and we’re gonna try to document this journey and try to come up with some sort of collective vision.” He added that he’ll have “no destination, just going to wander around and talk to a lot of people.”
Corgan also announced via a Facebook Live he has three other projects that he will assemble within the main one. The first is “50 By 50,” which will celebrate his upcoming 50th birthday with a collection of 50 of Corgan’s favorite songs that he’s written — with feedback from fans — all culminating in a recorded compilation at the end of the year.
The second mini-project will be an album of cover songs, and the third is a new collection of original material. It is not clear whether the last item will be a Smashing Pumpkins album or is related to new music that Corgan was reportedly working on with producer Rick Rubin.
Corgan confirmed last summer that he had repaired his long-estranged friendships with original Pumpkins bassist D’Arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha, and hinted that the original band could possibly get together for a reunion tour — which reports said he had already begun shopping around. A month later, Corgan said on Facebook that he was “getting a hankering to starting writing rock and roll music again” and that a new record might involve “some other people who used to be in the band.” OOOH Melissa Auf der Maur perhaps???
Celebrating life today: King of All Media, Howard Stern, is 63. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is 53, Rob Zombie is 52 and Zack de la Rocha is 47.