HALESTORM has just posted the second in a series of video clips from the studio where the band is recording its third album. Shot during the quartet’s second week in the studio, the 14-minute clip, which can be seen below, features each of the group’s members discussing their work and hinting at what fans can expect from the follow-up to 2012’s Grammy-winning sophomore effort, “The Strange Case Of…”
Noting that the band members are recording their tracks together instead of individually, frontwoman Lzzy Hale said in a previous update, “It’s very performance-based. It’s very much based on whether or not we can all hit it at the same time or whether or not I can hit a note without having to be auto-tuned or something like that. It’s definitely a challenge.”
Drummer Arejay Hale added: “It’s a way more organic way to record, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that it really captures what we are as a band. It’s not manufactured or super edited or super perfect.”
Lzzy Hale took time out from the recording of the CD to discuss the project with Shor Bazaar, Pakistan’s first international artist management services. Asked if HALESTORM is going in a harder and heavier direction on the upcoming effort or if the group is going back to its rock roots, Hale said: “As always, we’re kind of always chasing whatever gets us excited. And that’s how we’ve done each record. With this one, there’s obviously gonna be some surprises, because we’re using… We’ve discovered… Either we’re growing as musicians or we’re discovering new things to get us excited. But, as always, it’s probably gonna a little bit of both, because we obviously can’t run too far from our heavy roots. Obviously that’s always gonna be there. There’s always gonna be that JUDAS PRIEST album that I’ll listen to when I’m working out, and [I’ll be, like], ‘Oh, we need a song like that.’ So that’s always gonna happen. But there’s definitely gonna be a few surprises on this record. If nothing else, the goal for this next record is to kind of bridge the gap between what people hear on our albums and what they see live. So a lot of it is kind of going to be… There’s gonna be a lot of us [laughs] on this record.”
Hale recently admitted to Gearphoria that there was more pressure this time to follow up the success of 2012’s “The Strange Case Of…” She explained, “We’ve definitely evolved. The one thing that has remained the same is that we’re all perpetually 14 years old inside, so we’re all very immature. That hasn’t changed much. But the animal or monster of HALESTORM has gotten bigger, and obviously there’s more responsibility and also a little more on the line.”
Hale added, “It blows my mind that not only are we making our third record for Atlantic Records, which is a feat in itself because we know so many bands that never make it to this one . . . but also it has been 18 years since my brother and I started HALESTORM, so there are moments of ‘Can you believe we’re still doing this?’ It’s mind-boggling.”
“The Strange Case Of…” yielded two chart-topping rock singles in “Freak Like Me” and the Grammy-winning “Love Bites (So Do I)” .
HALESTORM debuted two new songs — “Heartbreaker” and “Mayhem” — at shows in Tennessee and England this past spring.
The new album will be the first one that HALESTORM has written mostly in the studio. Hale told The Pulse Of Radio that while she enjoys writing songs on tour, they’re often different from what the band does in the studio. “Definitely,” she said. “When everything is kind of more consistently tour-focused and not, you know, writing-focused, I definitely write differently. I explore different subjects without being picky about anything. So as things develop in my life, in either my personal life or professional, it’s nice to explore all those different subjects, you know, without the pressure of being in the studio.”
The band has also been taking time out from the studio to play shows here and there, which Hale has enjoyed, saying, “It’s extremely inspiring to step out of the studio and then step in front of an audience and remind yourself why you’re making these songs. It gives you perspective about what you’re working on in the studio.”
HALESTORM will embark on a U.S. tour later this fall, beginning on November 11 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Drummer Brann Dailor of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON has defended the band’s video for the song “The Motherload” against accusations of sexism, saying that it shouldn’t be “taken so seriously.”
“The Motherload” clip features a crew of women twerking in hypnotic slow motion against a Satanic backdrop, climaxing with a dance-off and a Day-Glo explosion.
“The last thing that I wanted to do was come on and be defensive, because I don’t feel like I should have to defend it,” Dailor tells Pitchfork. “It’s a music video and it’s really not supposed to be something that gets people this upset because this was really a fun thing that doesn’t really mean too much. It’s not to be taken so seriously.”
He continued: “I don’t know, I just don’t see the sexism in it. I know there’s half-naked women that are shaking their butts. For some people it’s titillating, but for me it just looked amazing. I thought the girls were awesome and talented, and I thought it was amazing to watch. I love when it turns into that kaleidoscope effect thing; it brings the video to a whole new level. But it’s gotten people talking obviously, you know. I figured that would happen, you know what I mean. I knew there was going to be some negativity. But we do that; we’re that kind of band. It hadn’t been done before, and we were kind of looking for something that hadn’t been done before because it’s hard to come by these days.”
According to Dailor, the inspiration for the video came from a desire to “make something that was bizarre — that would confuse people.” He revealed the idea began as a sort of parody of ’90s heavy metal videos but admitted that “there wasn’t any high concept” behind the clip.
“We weren’t trying to make fun of hip-hop videos,” he said. “It was a fine line, because I didn’t want it to come off being sexist, so I thought that maybe the females took centre stage and looked powerful and had this dance battle.
“I don’t feel like what we were trying to do was jump on any twerking bandwagon,” he added. “We just wanted to put something into our music video that people would probably think, ‘That shouldn’t be there,’ or, ‘Those two things don’t go together, they shouldn’t be together.’ I wanted to just put them together because we can.”
“The Motherload” is taken from MASTODON‘s sixth album, “Once More ‘Round The Sun”, which sold around 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 24 via Reprise Records.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello has denied that he requested “special treatment” from a Seattle restaurant over the weekend, claiming instead that the eatery’s doorman may have had “underlying motives” that eventually led to a war of words to erupt between the parties over the Internet.
Following his performance Friday night (September 26) at the El Corazon as part of a benefit concert for 15 Now, the grassroots organization that successfully fought for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, Morello and his entourage tried to get into The 5 Point Cafe but were apparently turned away, causing the musician to take to his Twitter and blast the restaurant, writing: “Five Point restaurant in Seattle is the WORST. Super rude & anti-worker. Shittiest doorman in the Northwest. Prick. Spread the word.”
David Meinert, the owner of The 5 Point Cafe, released a response to Tom‘s tweet in which he insisted that his establishment was “totally pro worker” and claimed that Tom and his crew “wanted a special room in the back” even though the restaurant “was at capacity and there was a line” of people waiting to get in. He added that “rock stars don’t get special treatment at The 5 Point. We couldn’t give less of a shit.”
Earlier tonight, Morello released the following statement regarding Friday’s incident:
“I regret that my Twitter salvo about the treatment I received at a Seattle restaurant and the subsequent digital tempest in a tea pot may have taken away from the important work of those organizing for a $15 minimum wage and the Seattle show I played on their behalf.
“When next in Seattle, I would be happy sit down over a beverage — or sooner on the phone — and discuss the matter to conclusion with all concerned. The restaurant, the incident and my bruised feelings don’t matter. What does matter is the hard, tireless work put in by those committed to fighting for a more just world.
“If interested however here is the non-140-character blow by blow of the ‘Encounter At The 5 Point Cafe’:
“Our team of musicians flew to Seattle for a benefit show for 15 Now, the grassroots campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15. I’ve long been a supporter of this particular campaign as well as the national drive for a living wage.
“The show itself at the former Off Ramp went great. I was reunited with former AUDIOSLAVE band mate Chris Cornell for the first time in years, and together with the raucous crowd, it was really a special evening. A good deal of money was raised for the 15 Now cause and we wandered into the Seattle late night happy… and hungry.
“Two of our hosts from 15 Now, a band mate of mine, a woman from management, and my brother from Kenya comprised our party. Someone suggested Five Point, a spot I remember fondly from back in the day. I had some reservations because one of our 15 Now friends said that while the owner was a good guy and treated staff well, the restaurant itself was on ‘the wrong side of the minimum-wage issue’ and had attempted to water down the $15 mininum wage legislation by drawing out the implementation period and adjusting for tips to make it more palatable to small businesses. I am 100% on the side of an undiluted 15 Now initiative which is in my view the only ‘pro worker’ position, but hey, we were hungry, so let’s give it a shot.
“The restaurant was packed and spirited and we asked the doorman ‘party of 6 for dinner?’ He said they were at capacity and it would probably be a 10-minute wait. No problem. Then ten people or so left the restaurant. ‘Can we come in now? Those people just left.’ No. ‘Why?’ I’m not letting anyone in. ‘Wait a second. Are you at capacity or are you not letting anyone in?’ I’m not letting you in. ‘So you’re no longer at capacity but we can’t come in?’ No. ‘Um ok. How about we order take out and sit at one of these 20 empty tables outside?’ No. ‘Ok what’s really going on here dude? Some of us have traveled a long way. He’s from Kenya! I’m from the ’90s!’ I’m not letting you in. ‘Say, is your manager here? Maybe he’s a RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE fan? He might even raise your pay to $15 an hour!’ More people leave the restaurant. It’s clearly under capacity. Then our friends see that inside the restaurant several tables are occupied by friends of ours from 15 Now. ‘Hey look we don’t even need a table. We’ll just join our friends who are already inside?’ No. ‘Really? Why not?” I’m not letting you in. ‘Can we just go TALK to them and see if they have room for us?’ No. It was like a hipster version of a Studio 54 doorman. At that point, my band mate made a flavorful declaration and we decamped to the trusty, attitude-free, IHOP where we enjoyed a drama-free stack of hotcakes.
“To be clear: at no point did myself or anyone in our party ‘demand special treatment,’ a ‘private room’ or any other ridiculousness. I was, however, pissed at the rudeness of the doorman to my friends and my younger brother — of whom I’m quite protective. I question what underlying motives the doorman may have had. Bad day? Anti-Kenyan? Preferred the SPIN DOCTORS?
“Whatever the cause, it is unfortunate that MY actions in response have diverted attention from the great work done by 15 Now. ‘Twitter bitching’ is counterproductive as it invites grossly misinformed conjecture not easily dispelled in 140 characters. Lesson learned.
“As I’ve said before, Seattle is truly an advanced society with its $15 minimum wage, its legal pot, its gay marriage, its great music and its Seattle Seahawks.
“Next time we’ll call ahead.”
After Morello posted the above message, Meinert himself took to Facebook and offered the following response:
“Maybe he was ‘Anti-Kenyan’?? Ok, enough, Tom. That’s fucked up. Stop trying to portray the doorperson as a racist. That really sucks and is crazy abusive.
“Done with you.
“Maybe you don’t realize you were acting the punk, but you were.
“Just because 10 people leave a place doesn’t mean the place still isn’t over capacity. Ugh.
“You should really STFU.
“I was totally willing to put an end to this but now you’re really actually pissing me off.
And I tried to ‘water down’ the minimum wage by asking for a tip credit with a $10 base with increases tied to the CPI? Get it right, man. You’re looking ignorant.
“Next time, don’t call, IHOP is glad to take your money and donate it to right-wing politicians so keep going there and supporting the very thing you claim to rage against.
Guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER says that he is “deeply puzzled” by the fact that sales of most bands’ albums keep declining even as their social-media presence continues to grow.
STRYPER‘s latest studio album, “No More Hell To Pay”, sold around 9,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart. This was more than double the first-week tally registered by “Second Coming”, a collection of re-recorded versions of STRYPER‘s classic songs, which opened with around 4,400 units back in May 2013 to land at No. 117.
STRYPER‘s covers album, 2011’s “The Covering”, premiered with around 4,600 copies to enter the chart at No. 175, while the band’s previous collection of new material, 2009’s “Murder By Pride”, sold 5,900 copies to debut at No. 73.
While promoting STRYPER‘s latest release, a live CD/DVD combination called “Live At The Whisky”, Sweet told the “Totally Driven Radio” podcast (hear audio below): “The one thing in this world, I think, every band faces — and I know Sebastian Bach has talked about it recently — and that is the album sales don’t equate to the followers on Facebook and Twitter. If you have a million followers on Facebook and you sell ten thousand copies of an album, something’s weird, something’s wrong. I don’t know what it is; I don’t think anybody’s figured it out. I mean, there are all the reasons that play into it, obviously, such as, you know, people just don’t buy music these days, people download, the economy’s bad, people don’t have the money… blah blah blah… you know, it goes on and on and on. But there’s still something puzzling about that — like, deeply puzzling. And it’s very concerning, because it’s, like, ‘What’s going on?’ And it seems to be that the sales keep going down. And, again, [it’s] all relative, but all around the board. I mean, it doesn’t matter what genre in music, sales are just declining. People just, I guess, aren’t buying, or, for whatever reason, don’t wanna buy music anymore.”
Sweet also commented on U2‘s decision to team with Apple to put the Irish rock band’s new album, “Songs Of Innocence”, on every single iTunes account in the world for free regardless of whether it was wanted or not. He said: “I’m not jealous or upset with the guys. They made their business move and made a whole ton of money, and then Apple gave their album away. But I still feel that that was a big blow to bands like us because we can’t afford to give our albums away. And it sets the precedent that everyone’s going to eventually expect for all albums to be given away.”
He added: “”I just feel, though, by U2, one of the biggest bands in the world, [doing this], other big bands are gonna follow — you know, the Lady Gagas and the COLDPLAYs and all these bands that are huge. That’s gonna be the new trend — at least that’s my opinion — of music albums being given away, and then it’s gonna set the trend for everybody. And the next album we release, if we’re not giving it away, or giving it away for practically nothing, people are gonna say, ‘We’re not gonna pick it up,’ or ‘We can’t afford it.’ Or ‘So and so’s album is only $2.99 and yours is $10.99, or $9.99.’ You know what I mean? It just sets the tone. I guess we have to follow.”
After “Totally Driven” host Bay Ragni pointed out to Sweet that the U2 album can be easily removed from the iTunes music library once it has been downloaded, the STRYPER frontman said: “Well, I know. I read a lot of stuff and I heard a lot of concerns, and I understood some of them. I mean, for example, what if you don’t want it? What if you’re not a U2 fan, you don’t like that kind of music, and you wake up and it’s in your inbox. It’s a bit like spam, right? Some people don’t wanna be inconvenienced or hassled to have to delete it. I mean, as silly as it sounds, I get it. I understand. I mean, I get frustrated when I go in and I’ve got a porn in my inbox. Yeah, I just go delete it, but it still frustrates me that I have to.”
AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young‘s family has issued a statement confirming reports that he is afflicted with dementia, a brain disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The statement released to People magazine said, “Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy.”
Dementia can be reversed when it’s caused by dehydration or other treatable conditions. But most forms of dementia worsen gradually over time and can’t be corrected.
According to WebMD, the average survival time for people diagnosed with dementia is about four and a half years. However, those diagnosed before age 70 typically live for a decade or longer.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week that Malcolm is being treated in a nursing home in Sydney, Australia. The facility is believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. A Young family connection told the newspaper, “If you were in the room with [Malcolm] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
The 61-year-old guitarist is believed to have suffered a stroke sometime last year and was moved back to Australia from Europe, where he had been living.
Former AC/DC manager Michael Browning said, “I think [Malcolm‘s illness] came on very suddenly… It’s shocking. It’s terrible. Sadly for AC/DC, they’re losing their creator, their mentor. He’s the genius behind the band.”
Malcolm did not participate in the recording sessions for AC/DC‘s new studio album, “Rock Or Bust”, which is set to arrive on December 2.
His replacement on the album and the band’s upcoming world tour will be Stevie Young, nephew of Malcolm and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.
The band officially announced last week that Malcolm would not be returning to the lineup.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
Legend has it that Stevie resembled his uncle closely enough that many fans reportedly didn’t even know Malcolm had left the tour.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC singer Brian Johnson told TeamRock Radio this past July. “He’s a fighter. He’s in hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again.
“Stevie, Malcolm‘s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure he was rooting for us. He’s such a strong man. He’s a small guy, but he’s very strong. He’s proud and he’s very private, so we can’t say too much.”
AC/DC will embark on a world tour to both promote “Rock Or Bust” and celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary, although details are yet to be confirmed.
Vince Neil, who is known worldwide for being the lead singer of MÖTLEY CRÜE, one of the most successful rock bands in music history, is also the CEO of Rockstar Sports Group, which was officially awarded an expansion team in Las Vegas by the AFL (Arena Football League). AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz made the official announcement during the third quarter of the 2014 Arena Bowl (XXVII), which was broadcast live on ESPN on August 23.
Neil, together with his business partners in Rockstar Sports Group, Bob Hewko, a former Florida Gators and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, aviation businessman Mark Daniels, and technology businessman Sohrob Farudi, will set out to begin building the Las Vegas-based team named the “Las Vegas Outlaws.” Vince and his partners, who had become minority owners of the AFL Jacksonville Sharks in April this year, saw the opportunity to acquire an expansion team for the Las Vegas market and jumped on it. With the award of the Las Vegas team, the minority ownership in the Jacksonville team will be divested in compliance with AFL regulations.
“This has nothing to do with MÖTLEY CRÜE,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week. “I’m the singer for MÖTLEY CRÜE, but you’ve got to remember KISS is owned by two guys: Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons],” he explained, referring to the fact that the KISS leaders are also owners of the LA KISS Arena Football League team. “MÖTLEY‘s four guys, and three guys don’t care about sports. This is my team with my partners.” But he added: “I was thinking to have like MINI KISS and MINI MÖTLEY on either side for a battle of the bands.”
Regarding what made him get involved in football, Neil said: “It’s just a great sport. It’s a lot of fun. Every time you get the ball, you figure it’s going to be a touchdown. It’s a 50-yard game, so the action’s really fast and furious. If you like high-scoring games, this is what you go see.”
Neil said that he and his business partners plan to make attending Outlaws games an exciting and enjoyable experience for everybody.
“We want to make it rock ‘n’ roll and make it a lot of fun for families,” he said. “Everybody is competing for that entertainment dollar Saturday night. You can’t take your kids to the casino on Saturday night, but you can take them to a football game and yell for three hours.”
KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons stands by his recent comment that “rock is dead” and says that declining record sales have made it impossible for newer rock bands to develop into iconic artists.
Simmons told Esquire magazine earlier in the month — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that “rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won’t because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it.”
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, “It’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.”
During a September 28 appearance at Rock & Brews in Kansas City, Simmons was asked by Joel Nichols of KSHB‘s lifestyle show “Kansas City Live” to elaborate on his comments. Simmons said (see video below): “Rock and roll is dead. I’m gonna ask you a question, and you decide, okay? From 1958 until 1988, it’s 30 years, name hundreds and hundreds of classic rock acts. Okay, I’ve got Elvis Presley, THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, Jimi Hendrix, LED ZEPPELIN… on and on and on. Even Motown… Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson. From 1988 until today, just give me five. You can’t name [them]. Iconic [newer artists]? No. Nobody. How about that?”
When Nichols assumed that Simmons was implying “the economics of it all” was responsible for the death of rock, Gene corrected him. “No, I don’t think it’s the economics,” the rocker said. “I think it really comes down to when technology outpaces the laws of the land, it’s the Wild West; people just go and grab territory and don’t pay for it. It devalues new bands. It doesn’t affect me — I make a living — but it’s sad, because the next BEATLES or the next KISS, it does not have a chance.”
Simmons also acknowledged that some of his views tend to be controversial and defended his right to speak his mind. He said: “It’s called America. You’re allowed to say stupid things. You’re allowed to voice your opinion. And I’m not better or worse than anybody else.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Jimmy Page got pretty peeved at the by-now-obligatory LED ZEPPELIN reunion question earlier today (Tuesday, September 30) at London’s Olympic Studios. Page met with a select group of reporters to preview his deluxe remastering job on the band’s fourth and fifth albums, 1971’s “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses Of The Holy”, which are coming on October 28. When asked by a NME.com reporter whether the process of going back to the band’s original tapes made him want to reunite LED ZEPPELIN, he said, “I don’t think it looks as though that’s a possibility or on the cards, so there’s not much more I can say about that. I’m not going to give a detail-by-detail account of what one person says or another person says. All I can say is it doesn’t look likely, does it?” When pressed as to whether the hold out in a ZEP reunion was Robert Plant, a terse Jimmy Page snapped: “I’ve just said it doesn’t look very likely.”
Page — who hasn’t toured as a solo act since 1988 — spoke about his prospects for hitting the road. “If I was to play again it would be with musicians that would be… some of the names might be new to you,” he said. “I haven’t put them together yet but I’m going to do that next year. If I went out to play, I would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with THE YARDBIRDS. There would certainly be some new material in there as well…”
He continued: “I love playing live, I really do. Live concerts are always an interesting challenge because it means you can always change things as you’re playing every night. You can make it even more of an adventure. I would play all of the things I’m known to play — instrumental versions of ‘Dazed And Confused’ etcetera, etcetera…”
Plant, who’s busy promoting his new album, “Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar”, was recently asked by Billboard if he heard anything revelatory in Page‘s archival snapshots in the reissues of “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses Of The Holy”. Plant dismissed the unreleased tracks, saying, “No, not really. Because it’s so long ago. What you’re hearing there is mostly work-in-progress stuff. Things on their way to completion, and maybe there’s some little quirk or something that led to an either/or moment. But it’s nothing relevant, really. Not to me, at least.”
Coming on October 28 will be the Page-remastered editions of 1971’s “Led Zeppelin IV” and 1973’s “Houses Of The Holy”, which will both be released with previously unreleased audio content in a variety of packages — including a limited-edition “Super Deluxe” box set.
Plant spoke about his use of ZEPPELIN material in his current live act, but hinted that it was the modern approach to the material that delivers the point across. “I think it’s a way to enjoy the music,” he said. “We do ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and these other ones, and our approach is driven mostly by trance and psychedelia and the musicians’ relationships to African music. In each case, one of the guys in the band will take dominance, and that kind of determines where it goes.”