Ryan Hoffman of the Boise State University Pulse student radio station conducted an interview with KORN guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer and drummer Ray Luzier at the July 9 stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Boise, Idaho. You can now watch the chat below.
The deluxe reissue of KORN‘s 2013 album, “The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition” (Prospect Park) was made available at Best Buy stores in North America starting July 15.
For the “World Tour Edition”, the Bakersfield quintet lock and load last year’s critically acclaimed “The Paradigm Shift”, with three brand new songs including their just-released single “Hater”, plus “The Game Is Over” and “So Unfair”. In addition, it’s been beefed up with a bevy of live tracks recorded all over the globe and expanded artwork. It’s the ultimate way to experience “The Paradigm Shift”. Among the other unreleased material, Davis opens up about his young son Zeppelin‘s battle with diabetes on the powerful “So Unfair”, while “The Game Is Over” slams with the intense catharsis fans worldwide expect from these legends.
KORN frontman Jonathan Davis told The Pulse Of Radio that “Hater” is a direct rebuttal to the kind of person described in the title of the song. “Everybody has a hater,” he said. “Everybody has someone that hates on you because you have something they want. And it’s really, like, the first empowering song I’ve ever wrote where it’s just blatantly telling you — I mean, the lyrics are: ‘You can’t bring me down/I’ve already had my life turned upside down/I ride a downward spiral round and round/But I keep flying, I keep fighting/You’ll never bring me down.’ That’s like the most positive shit I’ve ever wrote. And it’s so different. Everyone that’s heard it loves it.”
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is havily involved in U.S. military and veteran communities — avidly promoting programs like Metal Of Honor, in conjunction with The Pathway Home (PTSD rehabilitation facility) and Hope For The Warriors (military family assistance, veteran transition assistance, employment preparedness). In addition to these programs, the festival actively supports another great cause in conjunction with our troops: The Puppy Rescue Mission.
The Puppy Rescue Mission is the brainchild of president and founding member Anna Cannan. Anna‘s idea for TPRM began when her fiancé, Chris, was deployed to and stationed in Afghanistan.
TPRM‘s primary mission is to help bring home the companions to our soldiers serving in a war zone. These companions already have homes waiting for them — they just need help getting there. TPRM believes that these beloved companions have at times not only physically saved our soldiers from harm but have also filled an emotional need for a sense of home and normalcy in a hostile and dangerous environment.
With the help of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, TPRM continues to make loving connections between rescue dogs and their companions! Recently, Los-Angeles based photographer and Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival documenter Strati Hovartos directed a heartfelt public service announcement, starring a cast of active duty and veteran warriors and narrated by Mayhem alumnus and world-renowned rocker Rob Zombie.
Last summer, Rob Zombie donated his incredible truck featured on History‘s “Counting Cars“ to TPRM. At the time, Rob Zombie stated, “Soldiers in Afghanistan would find these dogs and bond with them and sneak them on the bases, even though they weren’t supposed to have them. It was probably the only moment of sanity for these guys, when they spent time with them…. But they weren’t allowed to take them home, and if they could, it was so expensive. That was a cause I could really understand and get behind.”
Saiga, the dog featured in the PSA, is an actual rescue animal from the Afghanistan war zone adopted by festival producer John Reese and his family through TPRM. As a puppy of a dog befriended by a soldier serving in the Middle East, Saiga was brought to the U.S. from Kabul, Afghanistan at four-and-a-half months old.
Reese states: “The sacrifices made by our men and women serving overseas are numerous. Having to leave a dog behind that one may become attached to is just another sacrifice that most of us aren’t aware of. The work The Puppy Rescue Mission does is so important.”
“A sincere thank you goes out to the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival for their support and dedication in making these reunions possible,” states Cannan. “The bond between a soldier and his dog is truly unbreakable. Thousands of miles away from home, it is sometimes the one thing in the world that can bring a smile to their face.”
For more information on, visit www.puppyrescuemission.com.
Grammy Award-winning Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen — who helmed METALLICA‘s “Ride The Lightning“ (1984), “Master Of Puppets” (1986) and “…And Justice For All” (1988) albums — spoke to RockHall.com on the 30th anniversary of “Ride The Lightning”. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockHall.com: How did you first start working with METALLICA?
Flemming Rasmussen: I think what happened was that METALLICA was, they recorded “Kill ‘Em All” in New York on a small independent label. They were looking for a studio in Europe because the dollar was very strong there, and they found out that they could get twice the amount of studio time in Europe compared to what it costs in the States. So what they did was, they listened to a lot of albums because they wanted a studio with a good in-house engineer, and they wanted to hear what different studios sounded like. So they would listen to a lot of different albums. They picked up on the albums I’d done with Ritchie Blackmore — probably mainly “Difficult To Cure” with Ritchie Blackmore‘s RAINBOW — and actually they contacted me. I hadn’t heard about the band before that ever. I didn’t know they existed. And since Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] was from Denmark, it was a good opportunity for him to come back and say “hi” to some of his friends and family. So that’s how that came about.
RockHall.com: Tell us about recording “For Whom The Bell Tolls” from “Ride The Lightning”…
Flemming Rasmussen: That’s probably a bit special because that was one of the only songs that wasn’t written when they came to Copenhagen to do “Ride The Lightning”. We worked at night doing “Ride The Lightning”, in the winter, [and] it was cold. Lars was in a big warehouse building-like room to get the huge ambient sound. So we heated that with gas heaters, but I think they actually wrote that in the studio. I’m not totally sure, but in my recollection, they wrote that in the studio. And that’s the first song ever with METALLICA that’s recorded to a click track, because I wanted it to be that tight.
RockHall.com: Do you have a favorite METALLICA recording, one you’re most proud of?
Flemming Rasmussen: I would say “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” on “Master Of Puppets” is probably one of them. That’s the one with the mono-stereo — and I’m a sucker for that kind of shit, you know, when you sit with headphones and you go, “What the hell was that?” … There’s a lot of those, I think theres a lot of songs on all three albums that I’m really proud of. I think “Creeping Death” on the first one was probably where we really nailed the METALLICA sound. That whole epic kind of thing. It’s also a very, very good song — that, of course, has something to do with it. We all had this feeling where what we were doing, we were going to go a long way. We were going to change music history. And I think that was the project from the beginning. Also, you know, we think about it and they had their own thing going, and they had this tremendous energy, that, kind of, is a trademark for the band. They don’t want to rely on MTV to play their videos, so they didn’t make any videos, because they didn’t care because that wasn’t important to them. It’s been like that with METALLICA always.
Read the entire interview at RockHall.com.
EMIGRATE, the side project of RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe, will release its sophomore album, “Silent So Long”, on October 17. According to Amazon.de, the CD, which was mixed in February/March by Ben Grosse (MARILYN MANSON, DISTURBED), features guest appearances by Lemmy Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD) and Jonathan Davis (KORN).
Says Kruspe: “For me, it was important to reach a new level of songwriting, singing and production, and I can honestly say we made it.”
EMIGRATE‘s current recording lineup includes drummer Mikko Sirén of Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA. Kruspe says: “[Mikko] did a great job laying down the drum tracks in the studio.” The team is rounded out by co-producer and guitarist Olson Involtini and bassist Arnaud Giroux.
“Silent So Long” track listing:
01. Eat You Alive (featuring Frank Dellé)
02. Get Down (featuring Peaches)
03. Rock City (featuring Lemmy Kilmister)
06. Born On My Own
07. Giving Up
08. My Pleasure
09. Happy Times
11. Silent So Long (featuring Jonathan Davis)
A teaser for “Silent So Long” is available below.
In a 2008 interview with All Access Magazine, Kruspe said about EMIGRATE: “It’s not a side project. It’s a new project and it will continue, and will be always a part of me.”
Regarding his decision to launch a band that was different from what he does with RAMMSTEIN, Kruspe said: “It was really important for me to distance myself from what I did with RAMMSTEIN because [several] years I did not feel healthy being in that band. I needed something else. EMIGRATE was formed to balance myself out to cure myself to go back to RAMMSTEIN and be back at the top of my game. Both with RAMMSTEIN and with EMIGRATE.”
Asked in another 2008 interview how long he had been wanting to get his solo project off the ground, Kruspe told Ultimate-Gutar.com : “It actually started a long time ago. I think every guitar player kind of has this thing in their head that they actually want to be a singer, and they’re just afraid or whatever. I think when I’m in RAMMSTEIN, I always thought I’d want to sing. This time I think I had the confidence to do it. I think not getting the attention of the singer, it all comes down to this anyway. I compromised a lot of things in RAMMSTEIN. I didn’t get along with the energy and the rhythm of the other members, and something was wrong. I felt like I wasn’t really happy.”
He continued: “I think to make music, it is something really selfish. You have to do what you’re going to do. That’s the only way you can really make the best music possible. You can’t think in the beginning about anything else besides yourself. So for that, I never really thought about what everybody else was going to think. I had to make myself happy and do what I have to do. I think it’s really important in life in general. We’re here basically to do our own things. One of the reasons why I feel this way is because you learn when you go the unsafe way. It’s really, really important as an artist to explore and to give yourself a challenge, to go the unsafe way. When I did the record, I realized that there was a dangerous part where the fans would basically try to judge me or think that I would break up the band. I would try to let them be a part of it. At the beginning, I would put songs online that they could listen to, showing them what I was doing right now. I tried to be as truthful as possible to let them know that this is something I had to do basically to go back to my old band and be happy again.”
Lloyd Grant, the guitarist who played on the original recording of the METALLICA song “Hit The Lights” in early 1982, joined Ventura, California metallers NIGHT DEMON on stage this past Monday (August 4) at The Five Star Bar in Los Angeles, California to perform “Hit The Lights” and another METALLICA classic, “Seek & Destroy”. Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be seen below.
In his “Metallica Unbound” book, noted hard rock journalist K.J. Doughton wrote about Grant‘s brief time with METALLICA, “Lars [Ulrich, drums] and James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals] decided, with only hours to go before the ‘Hit The Lights’ demo was due for submission [to be included on Metal Blade Records‘ ‘Metal Massacre’ compilation], that a second lead by a second guitarist would be essential! Lars knew a Jamaican guitarist named Lloyd Grant who was available. So, on the way to Hollywood’s Bijou Studio where Brian Slagel [Metal Blade Records head honcho] was already finished mixing the other ‘Metal Massacre’ tracks, the band screeched into Grant‘s driveway, lugged the four-track into his front room, and watched him churn a second lead break. The ‘Hit the Lights’ recipe was now complete.”
“I remember we had this four-track recorder,” explained Hetfield, recalling the last-minute struggle. “It had tracks for drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Because there were no vocals in certain parts of the song, we could punch a lead in on the vocal track. I remember we wanted to get another solo on, so we stopped by Lloyd‘s house and hooked up some little fuckin’ amp and just ripped through a solo. It was the first take. We went into the studio and that solo ended up on the record. It’s a fuckin’ great solo, man!”
Although many stories claim Grant was actually a member of METALLICA, James maintains that this single, slapdash encounter was the only time he was involved with the band. Other associates remember that Grant was a talented Delta blues player who had a knack for tasty leads. “He could play leads like a motherfucker,” said James, “but his rhythm stuff was not very tight.”
The second and third pressings of “Hit The Lights” for “Metal Massacre” included Dave Mustaine and not Grant.
Genre-hopping vocal powerhouse Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM joined classical-rock crossover violinist Lindsey Stirling last night (Wednesday, August 6) to perform the title track of Stirling‘s sophomore album, “Shatter Me”, on “America’s Got Talent” on NBC. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.
The studio version of the “Shatter Me” song — featuring Hale — was released as the first single and video from the CD, which debuted at an impressive No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 56,000 copies.
Stirling, who appeared on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010, told rock journalist Gary Graff it wasn’t a collaboration she envisioned prior to making the album. “I was looking for a singer who’s just a powerhouse singer…women who can belt out those power ballads, “she said. “I started to dig into (HALESTORM) videos and thought, ‘Wow, this girl is powerful,’ almost a perfect mix between a little bit of (EVANESCENCE‘s) Amy Lee‘s style and the power of Hayley Williams from PARAMORE. So I reached out to (HALESTORM‘s management) and immediately they responded.”
She added: “It was funny, because Lzzy had never heard of me and I’d never heard of Lzzy, but we immediately became fans of each other’s music and respectful of each other. We have similar stories; they’re a self-made band that paved their way through touring the world over and over again and working their records, where I did it through YouTube. It’s just cool how we can have this respect for each other as self-made artists who did it their own way. And I absolutely loved Lzzy; she’s one of my favorite people in the world.”
“Shatter Me” video (featuring Lzzy Hale):
Studio footage from “Shatter Me” recording sessions:
ANTHRAX guitarist, author, and television personality Scott Ian had a lot to say on the European and United States legs of his “
Speaking Swearing Words” tour.
After decades-worth of international touring with ANTHRAX, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences — Ian certainly had some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.
“Swearing Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. Now, you can experience Scott‘s “Swearing Words” tour by way of “Swearing Words In Glasgow”, available via Megaforce Records on November 13.
The “Swearing Words In Glasgow” DVD is a full performance recording, filmed towards the end of the tour run in Glasgow, Scotland, and is being funded by a wildly popular PledgeMusic campaign, which surpassed its goal with the help of gracious and dedicated fans.
To pre-order the DVD or for more information, visit the PledgeMusic campaign page here.
Scott Ian previously stated about the “Speaking Words” tour: “I’m calling it ‘Speaking Words’ because the pretension of saying I am doing a ‘spoken-word’ tour is too much to bear. This ain’t no poetry reading. This isn’t an evening of sensitive discourse.
“It’s an evening of ridiculous truth. It’s me talking (swearing) about this insane life I’ve led over the last 31 years, the people I’ve met and the shit that’s happened. And when I’m done swearing, you can ask me anything you want, the floor is yours.”
In an interview with Decibel magazine, Ian stated about the “Speaking Words” tour: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve always been trying to figure out how can I do this, how would I ever make this possible. I’ve seen [Henry] Rollins do it all these years; I saw Rollins, maybe on the first time he ever did a tour I went to see what it was going to be about. I mean, I am a huge fan of Rollins’ music and I had read all his books at the time, so I really knew that he had a point of view and something he needed to express and he did it really well. It’s something that I always wanted to do and I finally had the opportunity this year; doing this one-off show in London. I was approached by the band’s agent, who basically put it together, and asked, ‘Are you interested in doing this?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely. I’ve been kinda waiting for this to happen but I didn’t know how to kick-start it.’ I did the one show in London and I enjoyed myself so much, I had such a good time with it that I was like, ‘Can I do more of this? How do we do more of this?’ They came back and said, ‘There’s a lot of interest in it, do you wanna do a tour?’ I was like, ‘Sign me up! Let’s find a window when it works and go and do it.'”
Asked where he got the material from and whether it was something that he had sketched out in advance, Scott said: “No! I did absolutely zero rehearsal. I didn’t even know how to prepare for it, truthfully. The show was booked months in advance, and I had all these months to think about it, and think, ‘Okay, I’m going to put a whole show together… ‘ Because I am friends with a lot of stand-up comedians and a lot of writers, and I am a big fan of comedy and certainly live stand-up comedy. I’ve seen my friends do it and I think that it’s the most challenging thing in the world just to sit down, write jokes, get on stage and make people laugh. I mean, I think that’s the hardest thing in the entertainment industry. It doesn’t get any more raw than that, and I am certainly not a joke writer nor am I a stand-up comedian, but I just feel that my life is, in so many ways, ridiculous. The last 32 years of my life spent in a metal band; I’ve got so many stories, whether it’s shit that I’ve done, people that I’ve met, stories that I know from other people … I’ve kinda been in this bubble for so long. I sit around in bars with my friends and I’ll get around to telling stories, as we all do, and most of my friends are in this industry or connected to it somehow, so we all have stories and we all sit down and tell stories to each other and crack each other up. I always felt that people need to hear this stuff. This shit is hilarious. It’s just a really fun thing for me to do, to relate to people on that level. That’s what it is. That’s what the material is; it’s shit that I have been through in my life.”
Journalist and musician Barbara Caserta of Italy’s Linearock conducted an interview with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan when the band played at Circolo Magnolia in Milan, Italy on August 4. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if he ever gets tired of having to constantly answer questions about the possibility of a reunion of SKID ROW‘s classic lineup — featuring Sebastian Bach on vocals — Bolan said: “It’s just one of those things. Whenever there’s change, people always want the original, however it was. It’s like anything. When a car changes its style a little bit, they’re, like, ‘Ah, I don’t like these anymore.’ But it’s the same car, and it does all the same stuff. So it doesn’t really bother me. And it gets less and less. And people are very accepting. And Johnny‘s [Solinger, current SKID ROW singer] been in the band for 14 years, so it’s working out good. [laughs]”
Speaking to the Dallas Obsever back in May, Bolan was asked whether people still ask about Sebastian Bach almost 15 years since Solinger joined SKID ROW. “Yes, you’ll get them occasionally from the purists, the people who can’t deal with change,” Bolan replied. “The majority love Johnny and they know he is all about SKID ROW. When people bring it up, you have to kind of shrug your shoulders and say that it is really a dated question.”
Regarding whether the hatchet has been buried with Sebastian, Bolan said: “No. He does his thing and we do ours. We don’t speak and that’s that.”
Bolan was full of praise for Solinger, telling the Dallas Observer: “When he came to the audition, we were half way through the second song and we knew he was the guy. He came in so well prepared. We threw him a couple curve balls with a couple of deep tracks and he absolutely blew us away. And after 15 years, we are still having fun.”
Asked if the fans initially give Johnny a hard time, Rachel said: “A couple here and there, but not really. The majority of SKID ROW fans are very open-minded and they were cool with it. As long as they got to hear their favorite songs being sung the way Johnny does and they are down.”
In an April 2014 interview with RockRevolt Magazine, Bach spoke about the friction between him and his former bandmates, saying, “When I read interviews with [members of] my old band [SKID ROW] and they say, ‘We get along great with our new singer. We have barbeques and drink tequila together.’ You know what? I don’t give a fuck about barbeques.
“You don’t hear [THE ROLLING STONES singer] Mick Jagger saying that he loves working with Keith Richards and that they have barbeques together. You hear Mick saying that he hates working with Richards!
“Newsflash: Rachel Bolan doesn’t like me for what we’ve been talking about, but I would work with him anytime, because the result of that dynamic is really good music.
“I don’t think you have to be best friends with everybody to work with them.”
Bach in July 2012 posted a letter on his Facebook page in which he said he was willing to reunite with SKID ROW. “For the fans, I would be willing to put my ego aside and do something that would be special for the people who put us where we are today,” he wrote. “I do not personally want it myself. But it’s not always about ‘what I want.’ If the fans really want to see us together, I would do it for the fans. Sometimes you can do things for people other than yourself.”
Bach said he wanted to write the letter in response to Solinger‘s interview in which Johnny said a tweet by Bach about a possible SKID ROW reunion was an attempt to “get attention.”
Speaking to SCTimes.com, Bolan stated about Sebastian‘s departure from SKID ROW, “We thought we were disbanded and that we’d never do it again. Then we kept getting e-mails and the management office was getting lots of letters about people wanting to see SKID ROW on stage and we really started to miss it. We knew if we got back together, we were going to do things different.”
He added, “When Johnny joined the band [in 1999], that really gave us a kick in the ass. It was a different guy there and everything that came out of that guy was positive.”
On the topic of the persistent rumors of a reunion with Sebastian, Bolan said, “Actually, there were never any talks. Ever. That was all just total rumor. We got rid of him in the ’90s and never looked back. . . After the first tour [with Solinger on vocals], it seemed like this is the way it’s always been. It’s so weird, I’ll hear an old song on the radio and it just sounds so bizarre to me because I’m so used to Johnny singing it.”
SKID ROW — Johnny Solinger (vocals), Scotti Hill (guitar), Rachel Bolan (bass), Dave “Snake” Sabo (guitar) and Rob Hammersmith (drums) — has just released a new seven-song EP, “Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two”, via Megaforce Records. The CD contains covers of QUEEN and AEROSMITH classics as bonus tracks.
Legendary LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant‘s new album, “Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar”, will be released September 9 on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Plant, the album is his label debut and features 11 new recordings, nine of which are original songs written by Plant with his band, THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS — Justin Adams: bendirs, djembe, guitars, tehardant, background vocals; John Baggott: keyboards, loops, moog bass, piano, tabal, background vocals; Juldeh Camara: kologo, ritti, Fulani vocals; Billy Fuller: bass, drum programming, omnichord, upright bass; Dave Smith: drum set; and Liam “Skin” Tyson: banjo, guitar, background vocals. Pre-orders are available now at RobertPlant.com and include a limited-edition print and an instant download of an album track.
A performance clip of the song Rainbow” from “Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar” can be seen below.
“Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar” is Plant‘s first record since 2010’s “Band Of Joy”, which followed 2007’s six-time Grammy Award–winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, “Raising Sand”. Justin Adams and John Baggott of THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS appeared on Plant‘s 2002 release “Dreamland”, while all but Camara and Smith appeared on 2005’s “Mighty Rearranger”. The new-album lineup recently toured the world before recording “Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar” at Helium Studios in Wiltshire and Real World Studios in Bath, U.K. The track “Rainbow” was recorded in Contino Rooms in London. Tchad Blake mixed all but three tracks on the album.
“It’s really a celebratory record, powerful, gritty, African, trance meets ZEP,” Plant says.
“The whole impetus of my life as a singer has to be driven by a good brotherhood.
“I am very lucky to work with THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS. They come from exciting areas of contemporary music…
“I have been around awhile and I ask myself, do I have anything to say? Is there a song still inside me? In my heart?
“I see life and what’s happening to me. Along the trail, there are expectations, disappointments, happiness, questions and strong relationships, and now I’m able to express my feelings through melody, power and trance; together in a kaleidescope of sound, colour, and friendship.”