ICED EARTH’s JON SCHAFFER To Undergo Neck Surgery In September

On May 14, Groovey of Groovey.TV conducted an interview with ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer at Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked what he plans to do during ICED EARTH‘s break following the band’s appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival in August, Schaffer said: “I have to have neck surgery. It’s the second cervical fusion. I had the first one 14 years ago. And, ironically, we did Wacken, like, three and a half weeks after that, and I was in a neck brace and shit. But this time, there is no chance for me to do it and heal up through the summer because of what it takes. So, I mean, basically, early September, I’m going under the blade again and I’m gonna get this fixed. ‘Cause it’s rapidly gotten worse. I would say since the recording of [ICED EARTH‘s new album] ‘Plagues Of Babylon’ is when it really started to get bad. It’s been bothering me for a long time, but now it’s getting to the point where it’s actually affecting my hands and my shoulders and it’s really not good. A little break would be good, because it’s not just the performing of ICED EARTH, it’s the whole thing. It’s a 24-7 job, so it’s just gonna be good to be able to take a few weeks and not hear the words ‘ICED EARTH‘ for awhile or anything and do some stuff with my daughter and have some good quality time. So that alone will recharge the batteries, let alone getting the neck situation fixed up.”

“Plagues Of Babylon” sold around 6,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 49 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band’s previous CD, “Dystopia”, opened with around 6,100 units back in October 2011 to enter the chart at No. 67.

ICED EARTH‘s 2008 effort, “The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)”, registered a first-week tally of 6,700 to debut at No. 79.

“Plagues Of Babylon” was recorded at Principal Studios (KREATOR, IN EXTREMO, GRAVE DIGGER) in Senden, Germany and was mixed at NHow Studios in Berlin, Germany. Guest vocals on “Highwayman” were laid down by VOLBEAT frontman Michael Poulsen and SYMPHONY X/ADRENALINE MOB singer Russell Allen. Guest vocals on “Plagues Of Babylon”, “Among The Living Dead”, “Democide”, “Resistance” and “If I Could See You” are by BLIND GUARDIAN vocalist Hansi Kürsch. The cover and additional artwork was created by Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ATHEIST, HATEBREED).

Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) is sitting behind the drums for ICED EARTH‘s current tour, taking over for Raphael Saini, who filled in during the summer 2013 festivals, the recording of ICED EARTH‘s new album, and the club leg of the VOLBEAT 2013 tour.

Dette made his live debut with ICED EARTH on November 6, 2013 at O2 World in Berlin, Germany.

ICED EARTH last year parted ways with drummer Brent Smedley for “personal family reasons.”

FOZZY’s CHRIS JERICHO Discusses Upcoming Album ‘Do You Wanna Start A War?’ And ‘Sexy’ First Single ‘Lights Go Out’

Nic and Big J of the Boise, Idaho radio station 100.3 The X Rocks conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho at at this year’s Rock On The Range festival, which was held May 16-18 at the Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. You can now watch the chat below.

FOZZY released a new single, “Lights Go Out”, on April 29 across all digital platforms. The release coincided with the track’s impact at Active Rock radio, and was the first single from the band’s upcoming sixth studio album, “Do You Wanna Start A War?”, set to hit stores this summer.

Asked about whether FOZZY‘s upcoming CD will feature any special guests, Jericho said: “I mean, we always have a guest or two on every record, because… It’s interesting when you see… You listen to Top 40 radio — every radio when I drive my kids to school, we listen to it — and you’ll always hear Jay-Z plus Beyonce, or featuring Beyonce, or Rihanna featuring Lil Jon. And we thought, why don’t we do more of that in rock and roll? I man, that’s what we did. The last record, we had ‘Sandpaper’ with M. Shadows [AVENGED SEVENFOLD] and we had ‘She’s My Addiction’ with Phil Campbell of MOTÖRHEAD. So this record we have one collaboration — a song called ‘Tonight’ with Michael Starr from STEEL PANTHER, who we toured with in Australia; a great singer. And we like that vibe. Musicians like jamming with other musicians; it’s kind of what we do.”

Regarding FOZZY‘s musical uproach on “Do You Wanna Start A War?”, Jericho said: “We wanted to do something a little different. We love, obviously, AVENGED SEVENFOLD or FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, we love IRON MAIDEN, we love OZZY [OSBOURNE]. But we also love PINK FLOYD and LED ZEPPELIN and QUEEN and U2 and THE BEATLES, bands that would always broaden their horizons, but still sound… the core of the band’s sound was still there, but they would different things. And when we were listening to a lot of songs on rock radio, we felt that they fit a certain pattern. We wanted to do something that was different from that, and that’s what ‘Lights Go Out’ kind of came from that mindset. So it is a different type of tune, but we wanted to do that and shake things up and take a chance. You know, when you do something like that, sometimes your hardcore fans will go, ‘Well, this isn’t what we’ve heard before,’ but they’ll eventually like it. And you do this to appeal to new fans, and that’s what we’re getting from ‘Lights Go Out’, who’d never heard FOZZY before, who’d never listened to FOZZY. ‘Man, you guys rock! This song is amazing!’ That’s what you want…. This is a song that you can hear in a strip club, you can hear it in a dance club, you can hear it in next to a SLAYER song. It’s kind of got all things to all people. ‘Cause all that matters with music and a good song is the melody and the hook. And this has a great hook; you could catch ‘Jaws’ with this hook, that’s how big it is. But it’s dark, it grooves, it’s sexy, it’s sleek, and the chicks dig it, which is the most important thing. ‘Cause when the chicks like something, that means the guys will follow.”

The band returned to the North American tour circuit in late April, where they are making crowds move on America’s biggest festivals, including appearances alongside AVENGED SEVENFOLD, VOLBEAT, ROB ZOMBIE, SLAYER and more at 98 Rockfest, Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion and Rock On The Range. FOZZY is also playing dates between festivals in support of BUCKCHERRY, co-headlining with KYNG, and sharing their stage with GEMINI SYNDROME, REV THEORY, HEAVEN’S BASEMENT and Century Media Records labelmates EYES SET TO KILL.

Also recently annouced is the October 13, 2014 release of “The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea”, Chris Jericho‘s third autobiography and the sequel to his New York Times bestsellers “A Lion’s Tale” and “Undisputed”.

Still can’t get enough Jericho? Check out the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast, which features the multi-faceted superstar interviewing guests from the all over the world of pop-culture and entertainment twice weekly, every Wednesday and Friday. The podcast has already reached No. 1 in seven countries and is one of the marquee programs on the PodcastOne network, featuring guests as diverse as comedian and TV host Howie Mandel, ghosthunter Jeff Belanger, professional athletes and wrestling superstars, and fellow musicians such as Dave Mustaine, M. Shadows and Ace Frehley.

FOZZY‘s latest album, “Sin And Bones”, sold around 3,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 143 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 1 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

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FLOOR JANSEN On Why She Doesn’t Like To Discuss Her Personal Life In Interviews And Why She Can’t Always Meet Fans After Concerts

The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH and REVAMP singer Floor Jansen. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Great Southern Brainfart: What is a question that you get asked way too frequently during interviews?

Floor: Um, well, no so much in just interviews but particularly here, every freaking day is, “How tall are you?” [laughs] It’s, like, does it matter if I an 6 feet? 6’2″? 5’9″? It’s tall. You have eyes in your head and you see that I’m taller than average. Why do you have to point it out 100 times a day? In general, I also don’t like getting questions that ask about my opinion on things. “What do you think about the singer of…” or “What do you think of this band…” things like that.

The Great Southern Brainfart: I feel like a lot of times people use interviews to spark some sort of controversy, but for me I like to have a conversation, you know? Get to know a person.

Floor: Exactly. I mean, of course there can be a personal interest that can only make a conversation nicer. Like you’re telling a story that other people will read or hear so the questions should interest everyone. I’m here because I’m a musician and an artist. Not because I’m Floor Jansen who wants to talk about my personal life. I mean, it doesn’t matter what my favorite color is for the music that I right. I prefer to really focus on those kinds of conversations, and unfortunately, not all people get that.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Being the singer of both NIGHTWISH and your own band REVAMP, do you consider REVAMP your baby, so to speak, and where you feel like you’d like to put most of your focus?

Floor: No, actually, I consider both NIGHTWISH and REVAMP equal. I mean, of course I started REVAMP, but I connected with NIGHTWISH, so well both musically and personally. I don’t see that as just a project. NIGHTWISH is my band and so is REVAMP. They both get my 100 percent, which is why I also cannot do them both at the same time. They’re both my babies.

The Great Southern Brainfart: I wanted to ask you a bit about your burnout phase that was documented in the REVAMP suite “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown”. As a creative person, I can totally identify with this and I’m sure others can as well. How did you come out of that dark place to emerge as strong as you did?

Floor: For me it felt like, “I’m sick. I’m too sick to do anything.” It wasn’t just a moment of not feeling well or not having energy. It was a complete breakdown. I was literally unable to do anything. I couldn’t even go grocery shopping or to a mall. Any kind of big spaces, loud noises, places like that. This wasn’t something that was there for a month. This is something that happened over a year. I think everyone has this happen in their own way and the only way to come out of it is to acknowledge it. I personally ignored it way too long which is why it took so long to get so deep. It’s a scary thing.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Since then, do you find yourself doing things a bit differently to avoid that from happening again?

Floor: Yes, definitely. It’s not really about the amount of work because, honestly, I’ve never worked as much as I do now, weird enough. It’s more about the way of doing things.

The Great Southern Brainfart: So it’s not so much how hard you’re working but how much you’re mentally and emotionally putting into your work?

Floor: Exactly, and to say, “OK, I’ve pushed enough.” I’ve had to learn that if 10 is the best, a 7 is OK and even a 6 is OK. I don’t always have to be the best. Things don’t always have to be perfect. I just need to be able to let go sometimes. If something isn’t working that way you want it to be, it’s OK.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Floor, you have some pretty diehard and at times fanatic fans. Is it ever too hard or overwhelming to go out and face them after a performance?

Floor: Yes. Very much, and I don’t that a fan should expect that of you either. They are there for your show, and if there is energy left, then sure. On a day like today, when you’re playing 30 minutes, I’ll have some energy left to meet people. Nine out of ten days I do, but when you play for an hour and a half or longer, everything you have goes in and then afterwards I don’t have the energy, because it’s just too much. The people take a little bit of you every time. I really like to meet people, but only when I have the energy for it. If I don’t have the energy for it, it’s nothing personal towards the crowd. It’s not like they weren’t nice enough or friendly enough or supportive enough. It’s just how it is. They want me to be healthy, happy, and a good musician. I’m not someone that you personally have to meet. That’s a luxury and not mandatory.

The Great Southern Brainfart: This is a really interesting thing to hear, Floor. Fans do tend for forget just how much of yourselves you’re giving us from the stage night after night.

Floor: Exactly. And it’s never just meeting someone. It’s always more. It’s one picture, and then, “Can I have another picture, a signature, another signature? I want, I want, I want.” Yeah, I want things too. Can I have a beer? Can I have some personal space? [laughs] I know from the fan’s point of view, it’s, like, “This is the only second in time that I have with my favorite artist.” I understand that they want to make the best of that moment, but I sometimes wish that people would think a little bit more from our point of view. Sometimes people do see it and that’s nice. For instance, somebody brought me drinks and said, “I don’t want you to run out of drinks while meeting people so here.” That was very nice and it’s an interaction. You’re happy to see me, I’m happy to be here, but don’t feel like you can just take take take.

Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.

TWISTED SISTER Celebrates 30th Anniversary Of ‘Stay Hungry’ With Special Sayreville Show (Video)

TWISTED SISTER celebrated the 30th anniversary of its 1984 breakthrough album, “Stay Hungry”, with a show this past Saturday night (May 17) at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. The New York-based band — guitarist Jay Jay French, singer Dee Snider, guitarist Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark Mendoza and drummer A.J. Pero — played the majority of the album’s nine tracks, plus a host of other TWISTED SISTER classics spanning the band’s entire career.

Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.

“Those songs became worldwide anthems,” Jay Jay French told NorthJersey.com about tracks like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”, which are heard in hockey arenas, at political rallies and in countless commercials and movie soundtracks. “They’ve appeared in more than 100 movies, movie trailers, television shows, commercials and video games. It’s extraordinary and something none of us could have imagined.”

He added: “‘Stay Hungry’ became a statement album that everyone had to have. From the album’s release in May 1984 until about November 1985, TWISTED SISTER was being hailed as the biggest band in the world.” To date, “Stay Hungry” has sold 6 million albums worldwide.

“This was our shot to have a big record,” French said. “For all the struggles the band had leading up to ‘Stay Hungry’, it was a confluence of extraordinary timing. MTV had just started and we knew we were going to get really good placement on MTV if we came up with a good video.”

TWISTED SISTER, which reunited in 2001, performs about 12 shows a year, including festivals around the world, holiday-themed performances and occasional local concerts. It has released several live CDs and DVDs over the past decade but has no intention of recording new material.

“We don’t tour regularly and I don’t see any reason to [make a new record],” French told NorthJersey.com. “If I told you we were going to play new songs and take some classics out of the set, you’d kill me.”

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PHILIP ANSELMO: How I Found My Own Identity As A Vocalist

RockScene.com recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. You can now watch the chat below.

Speaking about how he found his own identity as a vocalist, Anselmo said: “I don’t think I started maturing as a vocalist ’till I was 15. And then after I started to mature, everything happened really quickly, and my range grew mightily. And it was quick, it happened quick. By that time, I’d started jamming with older guys, whatnot, and I would come home from school every day and practice JUDAS PRIEST‘s ‘Unleashed In The East’ front to back and do it the way Rob Halford did it. People who think Rob Halford uses falsetto are sadly mistaken; that’s a full-out voice, and that’s how I learned. And I never had falsetto; I’ve always sang full out. Eventually, when I found and wanted and needed to find my own identity, I purposely kind of abandoned that style because, in my mind, it had already been done before and done the best it could be. There’s only one Rob Halford. I know there’s some other guys that could sing very well and whatnot, but that style, I thought, had been done to death, and heavy metal needed a new attitude, I guess, brought to it instead. And it was already there; there was already the first METALLICA record and SLAYER, for sure and whatnot. And don’t get me wrong, Tom [Araya] could hit those high falsetto notes, but that’s not what SLAYER was about; it was more about aggression, especially vocally. So it was all happening around me. I just needed to get that perfect blend, man, of hardcore attitude from bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER… shit… obviously BLACK FLAG and… so many others. It’s unbelievable how many influences I used and incorporated. I even used death metal moments and whatnot, cup the mic, shit like that, for effect. So I always evolved.”

DOWN‘s new EP, “Down IV – Part Two”, was released on May 13 via Down Records/ADA Music. Tracked at Nodferatu’s LairAnselmo‘s home studio — and produced by Michael Thompson, Anselmo and DOWN, the EP is the eagerly anticipated sequel to “Down IV – Part One”.

In support of the new record, DOWN is taking its renowned live show on the road this spring, joining BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and DEVIL YOU KNOW on a North American tour. The tour, which also includes DOWN headlining shows and festival appearances, began at Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama on May 2, and will end at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma on May 25. The run also includes an appearance on May 24 at Emo’s in Austin at the “Rock the Heart” concert, a benefit for the late Mike Scaccia‘s (RIGOR MORTIS, MINISTRY) “Heart Rock” foundation, with the goal of raising awareness about heart disease.

BLACK STATE HIGHWAY Signs With HNE RECORDINGS

U.K. rockers BLACK STATE HIGHWAY have inked a deal with HNE Recordings for the release of their self-titled debut album.

BLACK STATE HIGHWAY is a five-piece, multinational, female-fronted hard rock band on a mission. Equal parts filthy blues riffs, monster rhythm and raw, melodic hooks, these young guns have set a determined foot on the road to glory.

Formed at Brighton Institute of Modern Music, BLACK STATE HIGHWAY includes Latvian singer Liva Steinberga (22), English guitarist Olie Trethewey (23), Scottish bassist Gordon Duncan (23), Swedish guitarist Jon “Yonnis” Crampton (24) and Ginger drummer Harry Bland (22).

BLACK STATE HIGHWAY has been honing its skills around London, tearing up venues like O2 Academy Islington, The Big Red and the Intrepid Fox. With its self-titled debut album recorded and poised to drop, the band is ready to step it up a notch. You’ll hear shreds of AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH in the music, but it’s their bone-crunching riffs and bottle-shattering vocals that set them apart from the rest of the pack. With a respectful nod at the musical pedigree that influenced them, the band stamp their own authority on the scene by stepping outside the boundaries of classic rock traditions with their own original brand of heavy, riff-based rock.

For more information, visit www.blackstatehighway.co.uk.

Former MEGADETH Drummer NICK MENZA Says He Was Forced To Change Title Of His Forthcoming Book

Former MEGADETH drummer Nick Menza was interviewed on the May 15 edition of “Rock ‘N’ SeXXXy UnCensored”, the Internet radio show hosted by adult film star Amber Lynn (real name Laura Lynn Allen). You can now listen to the program at this location.

Speaking about his forthcoming book, which is being written with J. Marshall Craig best known for his critically acclaimed work as a writer for Eric Burdon‘s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, THE ROLLING STONES keyboardist Chuck Leavell‘s “Between Rock And A Home Place” and the West Coast hip-hop history “Guilty By Association”, Menza said: “My book is about me and my life. It includes all kinds of stuff, from my childhood up until just as of recently. And I’m actually adding another chapter to it, probably, because it’s taking so long to finalize everything — legal stuff, the cover artwork, the picture that’s gonna be used… we’re not really sure yet.”

He continued: “I don’t know what I can tell you about it. There’s a lot of funny things in it. It’s all true stuff. There’s some government conspiracies and alien coverups and all kinds of stuff in there. Now that I’m into space exploration and research stuff — that’s kind of what I’m into right now. I’ve always been into aliens and stuff like that. We are are the aliens and that’s why we’re here. All the evolution of everything is from alien technology.

“Before, back in the Stone Ages, like when we were just regular humans, we didn’t have brains in us and then the aliens came down and they intervened and they put brains in our heads and now we’re all smart and we’re starting to figure things out, ascending to the next level and a higher level of conscious awareness and that sort of stuff.

“If you listen to your brain, your brain’s always gonna get you in trouble. If you listen to your heart and you follow the path of your heart, it will lead you and it will never lead you down the wrong path. So always follow your heart. That’s what I tell people. Follow your heart, go with your heart. Don’t listen to your brain, ’cause your brain’s gonna kill you.

“You know what’s weird? When people that don’t even know each other, they get into a room, the hearts are already communicating with each other before you even speak words. When you feel something from another person or something like that. That’s why I say I can’t just be with a girl that I don’t have a connection with. You know right away when you meet someone: ‘Yes, I would’ or ‘No, I wouldn’t.’ And that’s how that works. If you’re emanating a lot of love out of your body, you’ll attract people that love, and that’s how that works. With any job, or any place you go, people communicate. It’s, like, the heart’s code. They’re, like, all talking to each other. There’s a book out called ‘The Heart’s Code’. It’s really interesting. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out.”

Originally announced as “Megalife”, Nick‘s book will now be titled “Menzalife”. He explained: “It got changed just as of recently, because I can’t use ‘Megalife’; someone’s already using that name and it’s trademarked. No big deal. It’s still the same content inside. It’s gonna be for sale at the stores and stuff like that. A publisher is gonna put it out. I don’t have a deal as of yet, but the book is really cool.”

Menza‘s first performance was at the age of two on stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival when legendary jazz percussionist Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson) placed Nick on his kit. Thirty years later, he was stepping out on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans every night.

Menza, son of legendary jazz saxophonist Don Menza, was at the top of his game when MEGADETH started a world tour in support of its album, “Cryptic Writings”, but began to suffer knee problems and escalating pain. Doctors diagnosed him with a tumor. Surgery waylaid the drummer briefly, but he was relieved to learn the tumor was benign and was eager to rejoin his bandmates, who had continued their tour with a replacement drummer. But deteriorating relations within the band exploded and Menza was replaced permanently.

“Rock ‘N’ SeXXXy UnCensored” airs every Thursday night at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on LATalkRadio.com and Stitcher.com.

MAX CAVALERA Talks About Music He Has Written For ESPN’s World Cup Coverage

David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, KILLER BE KILLED, SEPULTURA). A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

DeadRhetoric.com: In working with Greg [Puciato] and doing KILLER BE KILLED, did you have any NAILBOMB flashbacks?

Max Cavalera: It started like that. It was very similar, especially how Greg [Puciato] approached me and how he sold me on the idea of KILLER BE KILLED. I wasn’t interested at first because I already had SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and I was really busy. I was, like, “Nah, I’m really busy, I don’t know if I can do this.” And he was like, “You gotta do this man! It’s going to be like NAILBOMB, remember? You had fun with that shit!” He convinced me. I said to him, “Come over to Phoenix and hang out. It’s gotta be like NAILBOMB — you have to come over here.” He came for a whole week. We wrote riffs, sang on a bunch shit, wrote the first two songs which was “Illuminati” and “Chloroform”. None of them made it to the record; they’re pretty punk rock and dirty and more raw-sounding, but it had a start. Then Greg said he knew this great drummer, who was Dave Elitch who used be in THE MARS VOLTA and he sent me a link. I watched him play and I was blown away — this guy is fucking amazing. I came to L.A. to jam with them and Greg was playing guitar at the time, which he doesn’t do in DILLINGER, which is killer. He’s a pretty good guitar player. Lots of cool riffs came out of him. At the beginning, it was two guitars, me and Greg singing, and Dave on drums, but we needed one more guy, and we thought the best guy would be Troy [Sanders] because he can play bass and sing, and that’s when this became a supergroup. When Troy joined the band, we kicked to a whole new level. It became super-cool and super-serious. I realized when Troy joined the band that this is moving away from NAILBOMB and become something different.

DeadRhetoric.com: The World Cup is coming up, and you were asked by ESPN to write some music for them. Any hints as to how it’s going to sound?

Cavalera: I was so nervous to do this because it was a big request from ESPN. The guy is a fan in ESPN; he’s a big-wig. He called me. When [Max‘s wife/manager] Gloria told me the news, she was like, “You’re going to like this one! This is one going to be close to your heart: ESPN wants you to write ten two-minute songs with riffs so they can use it for the World Cup.” And I was, like, “No way!” At first, it was excitement, but then the nerves kicked in. It’s a big order. What am I going to write? I jammed with my son Zyon, and we prepared some of the material and they loved it. They’re going to use a lot of it, even for stuff outside of the World Cup. I can’t wait to hear that shit. It was definitely weird, off-the-wall stuff I don’t do all the time. I was also asked a few years ago to do the voice of the mummy on “Mummy Returns” with The Rock. I did a lot growls for that, and I can totally hear some of my screams. They put my name at the end of the movie, and I went to the premier. It was really fun, and again, it was a fan working the movie. From time-to-time, you get to do out of the ordinary shit like the ESPN thing, which was really cool. I was really happy. Marty Friedman did one for hockey for ESPN, and I was, like, “It’s the World Cup, it’s Brazil.” I took it seriously and I did my best. In fact, some of the riffs could be used for killer SOULFLY songs. I was like, “Ugh! I should have saved those!”

DeadRhetoric.com: Wrapping up, what can you tell us about the new CAVALERA CONSPIRACY?

Cavalera: It’s crazy shit. Igor [Max‘s son], I want him to play fast like he was 18 years old again. I was on his case; I was his tormentor, and I think I drove him nuts, but it was for the good of the record. I was like, “Treat it like it’s ‘Reign In Blood’ or ‘Beneath The Remains’. And fuck the groove.” It’s almost like we’re going to call it that, “Fuck The Groove”. Every time Igor went into a groove, I was, like, “Fuck the groove. Get out of it and go into a fast part.” This shit is fast and brutal.

Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.

AEROSMITH’s JOEY KRAMER Unveils New PEARL Drum Kit

AEROSMITH‘s Joey Kramer finally unveiled his Pearl drum kit this week as the band kicked off the first dates of the “Let Rock Rule” world tour. For the remainder of AEROSMITH‘s 2014 touring cycle, Joey will be relying on the proven tones of Pearl‘s Masters MCX Series shells, with a jaw-dropping custom lacquer that perfectly complements the drum’s beautiful tones.

The ideal sound for rock, Pearl‘s Masters MCX Series features 6-ply, North American Maple shells, which emit warm mid-range tones with a thunderous punch. The high-end quality of the Masters MCX Series is complimented by the highly durable MasterCast hardware and is offered in a wide range of gorgeous Artisan II exotic lacquer finishes.

AEROSMITH was foced to cancel the May 14 concert at the İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) Stadium in İstanbul after Turkey declared a three-day mourning for the victims of Tuesday’s coal mine disaster in Soma.

As previously reported, tickets for AEROSMITH and Slash‘s upcoming summer trek, dubbed the “Let Rock Rule” tour, are among the most expensive of the season. According to The Street, the average ticket price for the road trip is a whopping $275.85. The most expensive show on the trek comes in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, with an average price of $385.24 — nearly 40 percent above the tour average.

The “Let Rock Rule” tour kicks off on Thursday, July 10 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York.

The bill will also stop in cities like Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas and others before coming to a close on September 12 in Canada.

AEROSMITH released its first set of all-original material in 11 years, “Music From Another Dimension!”, in 2012, and toured for much of the year after its release.

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ALICE IN CHAINS Taps Director ROBOSHOBO For ‘Phantom Limb’ Video

ALICE IN CHAINS has once again tapped director Roboshobo (a.k.a. Robert Schober; METALLICA, MASTODON, GREEN DAY) to helm the video for the band’s song “Phantom Limb”. The group previously worked with Roboshobo on the “Hollow” and “Stone” clips. All three songs appear on ALICE IN CHAINS‘ fifth studio album, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”, which was released in May 2013.

In a November 2013 interview with Drowned In Sound, ALICE IN CHAINS singer William DuVall stated about “Phantom Limb”: “‘Phantom Limb’ was a musical demo that was sent to me, which I immediately reacted to, and within a day or so had written all the words for it. Within the first few minutes, I had a couple of lines for it, and over the next day or so, I refined it. All that stuff happened pretty quickly. Basically within 48 hours of them sending the musical demo, I sent them back a fully formed vocal track, pretty much what you here on the record. The actual recording was reproducing what I did at home. It never had a solo, so at one point where we were at Hanson, deep into recording, Cantrell asked me, ‘Do you wanna play the solo on that, ‘Cause I don’t have anything.'”

“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” sold 62,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The disc follows up 2009’s “Black Gives Way To Blue”, which was the group’s first all-new collection of material in 14 years. That CD opened with 126,000 units back in October 2009 to debut at No. 5.

ALICE IN CHAINS was last in the Top Two with its self-titled 1995 set, which debuted at No. 1 on that year’s November 25 chart, according to Billboard.com. It would be their final studio release with singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002.

“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” is ALICE IN CHAINS‘ second album with William DuVall on vocals.

Asked how he would characterize his guitar role in ALICE IN CHAINS, DuVall told GuitarPlayer.com in a 2013 interview: “It’s everything from writing riffs to providing counterpoint to what [Jerry] Cantrell is doing to doubling what he’s doing to playing solos. I do the solo on ‘Phantom Limb’ on this new album. So, it’s really everything that you would expect from a two-guitar band. My being in the group also gives the band another guitar player who can write things, and we’ve also turned into a bit more of a jamming outfit when we rehearse. I’m told they didn’t really do a whole lot of that before. But that’s sort of where I come from: a jamming background. I’ll start up something and see where it goes in rehearsal. That’s a different way of interacting, which is cool.”

PAUL STANLEY Guests On Arizona’s 93.3 KDKB (Video)

KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley was recently interviewed by Paul “Neanderpaul” Marshall of the Phoenix, Arizona radio station 93.3 KDKB. You can now watch video footage of Stanley‘s appearance below.

Stanley‘s revealing life spanning memoir, “Face The Music: A Life Exposed”, debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times‘ Best Sellers list for Print Hardcover Non-Fiction. On top of that, “Face The Music” debuted on the Times‘ Combined Print and E-Book best seller list and E-Book best sellers list at No. 3 and No. 13, respectively.

In “Face The Music”, Stanley talks frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

Stanley, who grew up half-deaf and scarred with a deformed right ear, eventually had reconstructive surgery in 1982 to create an ear using a piece of his rib cage. The Pulse Of Radio asked Stanley why he kept his ear a secret for so long. “Oh, it was painful,” he said. “It was too painful. Y’know, you can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you’re ready to. And my experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive, that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to — at least on the surface — ignore what was going on; although when something is invisible to others doesn’t mean it’s not visible and very much a part of your life.”

Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

There are four grades of Microtia, ranging from a small ear, to a complete absence of the external ear and ear canal.

The lack of ear canal leads to conductive hearing loss. Microtia occurs in every one out of 8,000 to 10,000 births.

It usually occurs on only one side (more commonly on the right side) and this can lead to single-sided deafness.

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MEGADETH Bassist DAVID ELLEFSON’s 51-Year-Old Brother Loses Battle With Cancer

Eliot Gordon Ellefson, the 51-year-old brother of MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson, died earlier today after a two-year battle with cancer.

In his memoir, “My Life With Deth”, David Ellefson wrote about his early family life, “I loved the farm [where I was raised, about six miles north of Jackson, Minnesota], but I didn’t love farming quite so much, so my brother, Eliot, was always the one who was going to take it over from my father when the time came. He showed an aptitude for farming from a very young age. When I started getting into music at eleven or twelve, Eliot was focusing on being disciplined and working around the farm.”

“My Life With Deth” was made available on October 29, 2013 via Howard Books. It chronicles the story of Ellefson‘s fall into addiction during the band’s early years, followed by his subsequent recovery and the return to faith which championed the band’s rise to fame over the past several decades. The book features contributions from Kerry King (SLAYER), Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), Ellefson‘s current bandmate in MEGADETH Shawn Drover and also former colleagues Chris Poland and Marty Friedman.

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