GOOOOOOD Morning Radicals! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Me? I saw Infinity War for the second time, then spent Sunday night hanging with Parkway Drive as they blew the roof off of Starland Ballroom! Holy crap, what a show! You know it’s a good one when your voice is gone the next day!
Ghost played the first official show of the “Rats! On The Road” U.S. tour on Saturday night at Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California. In addition to the previously released new single “Rats,” which opened the concert, Ghost played four more songs from the upcoming Prequelle album, including “Faith,” “Dance Macabre,” “Miasma” and “Pro Memoria.” “Miasma” featured a saxophone solo from Papa Nihil, the aged “original” Papa Emeritus.
The band broke its show up into two sets, with the first featuring 12 songs and the second consisting of 11 numbers. The group spread out the new material across both sets, interspersed with fan favorites and hits like “Cirice,” “From The Pinnacle To The Pit,” “He Is,” “If You Have Ghosts” and show closer “Square Hammer.”
The band has expanded its onstage lineup to include at least eight musicians, not including the guest appearance from Papa Nihil. Ghost next performs in Houston, Texas on Tuesday night, May 8th. The Swedish-based act also played a surprise warm-up show on Friday night, May 4th at the Roxy nightclub in Los Angeles, where it aired three new songs during a 45-minute set. The Roxy concert was only announced one day earlier and tickets — priced at $6.66 — were made available starting at noon the day of the show. Prequelle will be released on June 1st, with first single “Rats” already Number Seven on the rock radio chart.
With Shinedown‘s sixth studio album, Attention Attention, just released on Friday, May 4th, frontman Brent Smith discussed 10 albums that changed his life in a new interview with Classic Rock. Although it didn’t make the list, the first LP Smith ever bought was Motley Crue‘s 1987 album Girls, Girls Girls, about which Smith said, “It was the first time I felt like I was doing something dangerous. It was a cassette, I was very young — maybe 10, and I hid it from my parents . . . I had a Walkman tucked away in a closet in my room, and I’d listen to it at night after my parents went to bed.”
Leading the actual list was Soundgarden‘s Superunknown, about which Smith said, “It’s just one of those records. It was an extension of the learning experience I went through in finding my own voice, from the gravel to the high register . . . when you go into that album, it’s just brilliant. The music’s great, the performances are incendiary, but it was the vocals, man. It was effortless.”
Smith told us a while back who his biggest single vocal influence was: ”Probably the biggest influence was when my father came to me when I was about 14 years old and he said if you wanted to listen, if I wanted to listen to music, that I should listen to this. And he gave me an Otis Redding greatest hits cassette. And I put it in, and I was pretty much changed from that day forward, after I heard that man sing.”
Other albums on Smith’s list include Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Guns N’ Roses‘ 1987 debut Appetite For Destruction, Back In Black from AC/DC and Bad Religion‘s Stranger Than Fiction. The bottom half of Smith’s list included Def Leppard‘s Hysteria, Johnny Cash‘s American IV, Nebraska from Bruce Springsteen, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and the soundtrack to the 1994 film The Crow, which featured music from Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Helmet and others.
Attention Attention follows up 2015′s Threat To Survival and features the Number Two rock single “Devil.” Shinedown kicked off a tour with Five Finger Death Punch, Starset and Bad Wolves this past weekend that next stops in Lexington, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 8th.
Godsmack singer Sully Erna went last Thursday, May 3rd to Gilbert H. Hood middle school in Derry, Massachusetts, where he met with 19 eighth graders and one seventh grader from that school and West Running Brook middle school who sang as part of a childrens choir on a new Godsmack track called “Unforgettable.” The song appears on the band’s new LP, When Legends Rise, and Erna turned up to surprise the kids with autographed vinyl copies of the record.
Erna told the local newspaper, the Eagle-Tribune, “I’m extremely proud of this record and (the students) did phenomenal on it. If it helps one of them to pursue their dreams and goals in music and to go for it — I hope this experience helps them achieve that. They’re the future of music and our future, in general.”
Erna told us that he thinks “Unforgettable” and current single “Bulletproof” show real musical growth for Godsmack: ”I think ‘Bulletproof’ and this song ‘Unforgettable’ — I haven’t heard a song like this yet by any band, and I really feel like for me, those two songs really touched on something that, you know, is gonna send this band in a direction in the future that is gonna be a little bit more marketable, I think, for a bigger audience.”
The band brought in the 20 students from the choral groups to sing on the song last December. Erna revealed during his visit that the band is trying to arrange for the students to join them onstage at their upcoming show in Gilford, New Hampshire on August 22nd. West Running Brook eighth grader Lorrie Stevens stated, “It’s insane for the fact that I was 13 at the time and I was getting to record on an album. The fact we might be able to go onstage — it’s unbelievable.”
When Legends Rise arrived on April 27th and entered at Number Eight on the Billboard 200 album chart on Sunday night, May 6th, with sales of 40,000 copies in its first week of release. This marked Godsmack’s seventh Top 10 debut on the Billboard survey. Godsmack is performing at several music festivals this spring and summer, before launching a tour with Shinedown on July 22nd in Clarkston, Michigan.
The Rock vs Pop war enters a new phase: Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was asked in an interview with NME for his feelings on Donald Trump, following the band’s release earlier this year of a song called “Can’t Deny Me” that takes aim at the former reality TV star turned White House occupant. Ament responded, “Oh, man, where do I start? Is this a bad dream? It does seem like a bad dream. I think when he first started talking about running for president, like, six or seven years ago, I remember thinking, like, ‘What a joke.’”
Ament also talked about Kanye West recently coming out in support of Trump, saying, “I love Kanye, I saw the last Kanye tour and I thought it was one of the greatest things ever, but then when he opened his mouth, I swung the other way. I think he’s just, you know, with the Kardashians and that whole thing. All of it is just a big publicity stunt. He’s been out of the news for a few months, so I think he’s looking to generate some.”
Asked if Kanye’s comments affect his enjoyment of the rapper’s music, Ament said, “I have a hard time separating the art from the artist . . . I wish I hadn’t opened that text that had the article about dragon energy and Donald Trump. It’s unfortunate.” Ament will release his third solo album, titled Heaven/Hell, on May 10th. He’s shared a first single and video called “Safe In The Car.” Pearl Jam has been writing its 11th studio LP and is heading out on European and North American tour dates this spring and summer.
Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk told the Let There Be Talk podcast that he would love to see the band get back together again after last performing in 2011. Wilk explained, “Nothing would make me happier than to be able to f**k s**t up right now with Rage Against The Machine,” adding, “It’s just really a matter of getting us all on the same page.”
Rage originally split in 2000, before reuniting in 2007 and performing a string of shows through 2011. The band has not issued any new music in 18 years. Regarding a reunion, Wilk said, “If that will happen again or not, I have no idea, but I know at least the four of us are amicable and can talk to each other, and actually even go hang out on occasion, so I think more we just want to be friends first more than anything.”
Asked why the band hasn’t reunited since 2011, Wilk responded, “It’s always been something different. It’s always been somebody different. It’s always something.”
He continued, “I feel like a politician right now because I’m kind of skipping specifics, but that’s just kind of the best way I can answer it.”
Rage Against The Machine’s last show to date was at the Los Angeles Coliseum in the summer of 2011. Wilk told us a while back that he had accepted the possibility that Rage may never play together again: ”Well, as far as I know, we played our last show in 2011 at the Coliseum, and if that was our last show, that’s a good way to go out. I sort of had to put it in my head that that band is over in order for me to just move on with my life, to be honest with you, so that’s kind of where that lies. The Coliseum — awesome way to go out.”
Of course, Wilk, Rage guitarist Tom Morello and bassist Tim Commerford have continued playing together since Rage first split in 2000 — first in Audioslave, then in Rage again and more recently in Prophets Of Rage. As for Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha, Wilk said the singer is “working on music constantly,” yet he has released very little new music since 2000.
The newly announced Locked N’ Loaded deluxe boxed set of Guns N’ Roses‘ classic 1987 debut album Appetite For Destruction also includes B-sides from the Appetite sessions, the 1986 Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide EP and three of the four songs from the band’s 1988 acoustic EP G N’ R Lies. But one track from Lies has been left out of the new release: “One In A Million,” a song that was controversial at the time for lyrics containing racial and homophobic slurs.
The song contained the words “n***a” and “f****t” as well as anti-immigrant sentiments. Singer Axl Rose said at the time that he based the lyrics on his first impressions of Los Angeles when he arrived from small-town Indiana. In a 1989 Rolling Stone interview, he described “black men selling stolen jewelry, crack, heroin and pot,” as well as having “very bad experiences with homosexuals,” including an attempted rape.
Neither the title of Lies nor the live EP are referenced in a press release announcing the boxed set, with the sessions for Lies only mentioned in passing as the source of another song included in the package. This seems to indicate that “One In A Million” has been deliberately left out of the Appetite reissue.
Rose defended his use of the racial slurs at the time of the EP’s release, saying, “Why can black people go up to each other and say, ‘n***a,’ but when a white guy does it all of a sudden it’s a big put-down. I don’t like boundaries of any kind. I don’t like being told what I can and what I can’t say.”
Guns guitarist Slash, who is half black, later admitted he had mixed emotions about recording the song, telling Rolling Stone in 1991, “I didn’t think it was very cool, but Axl gets very adamant about expressing himself.” He added, “I don’t regret doing ‘One in a Million,’ I just regret what we’ve been through because of it and the way people have perceived our personal feelings.”
The deluxe edition of Appetite For Destruction will arrive on June 29th and include 73 songs — including 49 tracks that never before been released — spread out across four CDs and seven 12-inch 180-gram vinyl LPs. A super deluxe version will also include a 96-page book with unreleased photos from Axl’s personal archive, new lithographs and a plethora of memorabilia.
AC/DC drummer Chris Slade said in a new interview with Duke TV that his “lips are sealed” about whether or not AC/DC plans to record a new studio album with Axl Rose on vocals. Asked about the group’s future recording activities, Slade answered, “My lips are sealed. And if I knew, I couldn’t say a word anyway. What I usually say is if I tell you, I have to kill you.” He added, “Which, perhaps, is not in good taste. I couldn’t even start to answer that, I’m afraid.”
Ever since AC/DC completed the tour cycle for its 2014 album Rock Or Bust nearly two years ago — a turbulent trek that weathered the forced retirement and eventual death of co-founder Malcolm Young, plus the departures of longtime singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams – fans have wondered whether sole founding member Angus Young would keep the band going.
Although Slade decline to elaborate, Rose Tattoo singer Angry Anderson said in a recent interview that Angus told him he is at work on new AC/DC music and intends to have Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose — who took Johnson’s place on the road in 2016 — sing on the LP.
Slade also told Duke TV that it was all due to Axl that AC/DC broke out a number of rare cuts on the two legs of the tour Axl sang on, saying, “I was standing right next to (Axl) when he asked Angus, ‘Can we do these songs?’ And I love playing ‘Riff Raff’, and I always have . . . All those songs were great, and the fans loved them.”
Johnson was forced to leave AC/DC mid-tour due to a dangerous level of hearing loss, while Rudd was dismissed following a drug arrest and Williams decided to retire.
Angus has not said publicly what he has planned for the future of AC/DC.
Finally, we’d like to wish a Happy Birthday to Motorhead guitarist Phill Campbell! Have a great day!