SKID ROW’s DAVE ‘SNAKE’ SABO Says Managing DOWN Is ‘One Of The Most Important Things’ In His Life

SKID ROW guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo, who works for the successful management company McGhee Entertainment (KISS, DOWN, TED NUGENT, NIGHT RANGER) headed up by Doc McGhee, spoke to Jacky BamBam of Philadelphia’s 93.3 WMMR radio station about his work with DOWN, the band featuring singer Philip Anselmo of SKID ROW‘s former tour mates PANTERA.

“I manage the band DOWN, and I’ve been doing that for nine years now, and [it’s] something that I absolutely love,” he said. “I get to work with my friends. And I think they feel that they can trust me, that I’ll always be on their side. I’m always on the side of the artist. So if I’m dealing with a record label or other managers or whatever, I’m always going to defend the people that I work with. Phil and I have a 20-year history together, and I have to protect that and I have to protect that band, and it’s one of the most important things in my life. So it’s not a chore, and it’s not a job — it’s something that I cherish.”

In a 2010 interview with Music Consultant, Sabo spoke about how being observant of SKID ROW‘s early business dealings served him in his career. “It served positively and negatively,” he said.

“There’s something great to be said about an artist who is just an artist and goes out and has been able to position themselves with a team. They just go out there and do their gigs, write the songs, go out and perform to the best of their ability, tour and record. In that case, their business would be handled by their team. There are a lot of artists out there like that. I wasn’t one of them.

“For some reason, I always want and need to know how things work. I was always interested in statistics and things of that nature from the time I was really small. When I was playing in bars in New Jerey, I was the one collecting money, going out and booking shows, dealing with the club owners and getting screwed over, getting taken advantage of as a 16-year old kid underage. What legs did I have to stand on? All I could do is stand there and be strong and respectful.

“It’s funny, because even while you’re getting screwed, sometimes as a kid, if you just stand tall and are not a dick, that reputation begins to follow you. People say, ‘He’s a good guy to work with and a good guy to deal with.’

“I always think, regardless of what has happened, I’ve been a pretty stand-up guy doing the right thing and have been good to people and treated people with respect and I have never taken myself too seriously. That fell into every project I worked on from the time I was playing in cover bands to the time I was starting SKID ROW.

“In the beginning it was more of the same; I was dealing with the club owner or dealing with a booking agent on a very local level. You still had to go through the business of it though and I liked doing that. As the business of SKID ROW got bigger, my interest and participation in that also grew. And it was great because I had and have two amazing teachers in Doc McGhee and Scott McGhee. And also learning from Jon Bon Jovi and his work ethic, and the amount of knowledge he amassed and passed on to me. In that aspect, it helped me out immensely in that at least I understood what was going on around me, and I wasn’t in the dark. So I was able to make educated decisions. Whether I was right or wrong, at least I was able to be educated in where my decision came from. I loved all that and still do.

“I think the progression from being in SKID ROW to being in management was a very natural progression. The trick of it was, ‘How do you actually make that leap?’ Luckily for me, the McGhees are my family and have been for the last [27] years.

“No matter what, the one thing I can say is that we’re not a corporate company and are more of a boutique management company — it’s a family atmosphere. I know and have always knows that if anybody is ever in trouble with anything, they can always come to me. And I know if I’m ever in trouble, I can always go to them. Doc and Scott have been there for me many times. There are so many other people that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and get to know in this business who have been able to impart their knowledge and wisdom and experience upon me. I take all this as a gift and a blessing.”

Interview (audio):

OZZY OSBOURNE Says His 9/11 Comments Were ‘Taken Out Of Context’

Ozzy Osbourne has slammed UK’s Mail Online for putting a “sensational slant” on his statements about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, explaining that his comments were “twisted, reprinted and made into another story.”

The Mail Online article quoted Ozzy as telling ShortList magazine that he was in New York when 9/11 happened. Asked if he was fightened, Ozzy replied: “I wasn’t scared, I was excited! It was my kind of craziness, y’know.

“The day after that happened, there was fucking nobody in New York. I remember standing on the steps of the hotel, and — you know when you see an old cowboy film and that tumbleweed rolls past on the ground? There was newspapers just floating around on the streets. It was so fucking weird. Everybody just backed off Manhattan because they didn’t know if it was an all-out thing or what.”

He continued: “But I hope this ISIS lot don’t get going. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s in mankind to try to kill each other for one thing or another. And I think sooner or later one of these crazy fuckers is going to get a nuclear weapon or some fucking thing, and fuck a lot of people up. That’s in our nature. I hope it won’t happen, but it looks like it could happen if they get it.”

Earlier tonight, Ozzy released the following statement regarding the Mail Online article:

“Firstly, I never spoke to the Mail Online. Several quotes were pulled from another interview I did for the ShortList that was posted earlier in the day and were taken out of context to create the Mail Online story [about 9-11].

“I apologize to anyone who may see these quotes and believe this is actually how I feel.

“Please know that I would never want to offend or hurt anyone — that was never or would ever be my intention.

“You would think that at my age I would finally realize that any conversation with a journalist can be twisted, reprinted and made into another story. It’s another life lesson learned.

“My representatives have asked the Mail Online to pull the piece, but of course, they’ve refused and now it has been subsequently picked up worldwide because of the sensational slant the Mail Online put on the story.

“Love and peace to everyone. May your God go with you.”

JUDAS PRIEST’s ROB HALFORD: ‘I Love Getting Old, I Really Do’

JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford who revealed earlier in the year that he was suffering from umbilical hernia, a condition where the belly button pops outwards due to a weakness in the muscles in or around the belly button, tells The Morning Call in a brand new interview that his health is good.

“Yeah, I’m not bad,” he says with a laugh. “I mean, creaking out of bed at 63 is not as easy as leaping out of bed at 16. But I love it. I love getting old, I really do. I just think that I embrace it because I’m a lucky guy. What a joy — a man of my generation being able to do this sort of thing. It’s just remarkable.

“I’ve had a few health hiccups the last few years, but nothing as dramatic as some people go through in life and I’m grateful that I can still get up and do my work. I do it ’cause they keep coming back. I’m more like the Perry Como of heavy metal,” he says, laughing again.

“No! Strike that. I’ll use a living person: I’m the Tony Bennett of heavy metal. There you go — use that. Which means I kind of glide across the stage these days.”

Halford was last year seen hobbling around with the aid of a walking stick. He told RollingStone.com at the time: “I’ve got a bit of a back issue, which is fixable. Thank the lord it’s not happening while we’re touring, because we’d be in a terrible state.

“But apart from that, everything is working fine. My voice… is wailing. It’s strong, it’s powerful… I’m 99.999 per cent working.”

Recalling a meeting with his longtime friends Lemmy and Rob Trujillo at the 2013 edition of the Revolver Golden Gods awards in Los Angeles, Halford said: “I’m in the dressing room… and Lemmy‘s sitting across from me. Lemmy, God bless him, is going through heart difficulties. I’m comparing my ailments with Lemmy, and Rob, the bass player from METALLICA, is doing these stretches… I don’t know, these guys, a guitar is 15 pounds, and when you’ve got that slung around your neck for two and a half hours a day — I think it’s just degenerative. It’s accumulative injuries.

“There’s no difference from some aspects of sports. You think of a golf player just hitting a ball — ‘Well, that can’t be too strenuous.’ But it is. It’s incredibly strenuous when you do that for 40 years. You’re going to have a few nicks and bruises.”

JUDAS PRIEST‘s new album, “Redeemer Of Souls”, was released in North America on July 8 via Epic Records.

IN FLAMES’ ANDERS FRIDÉN: We Never Compare Our Albums Between Each Other

Artisan News conducted an interview with Anders Fridén (vocals), Björn Gelotte (guitar) and Niclas Engelin (guitar) of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES when played an acoustic set for the first time ever on September 4 as part of an invite-only listening party for the band’s new album, “Siren Charms”, at Bowery Electric in New York City. You can watch the chat below.

“Siren Charms” sold around 9,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 26 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band’s previous CD, 2011’s “Sounds Of A Playground Fading”, opened with around 14,000 units to land at No. 27.

IN FLAMES‘ 2008 effort, “A Sense of Purpose” registered a first-week tally of 20,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 28. This was slightly less than the premiere-week performance of “Come Clarity” (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to debut at No. 58.

“Siren Charms” was released in the U.S. on September 9 via Sony/RED. The CD was recorded at Hansa Tonstudios (DAVID BOWIE, DEPECHE MODE, U2) in Berlin, Germany. The cover artwork was created by Blake Armstrong of Space Boy Comics.

XANDRIA’s DIANNE VAN GIERSBERGEN Talks About Her PRECIOUS METAL Line Of Jewelry (Video)

The Age Of Metal recently conducted an interview with Dutch singer Dianne Van Giersbergen of German symphonic metallers XANDRIA. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked about Precious Metal, her line of “on- and off-stage jewelry,” Dianne said: “I’ve been making jewelry for so long now. It actually started as a hobby, but then once you have over 200 pairs of earrings, one might say you have quite enough for yourself, so I started selling them. But then I thought, ‘Well, let’s maybe lift it up one other level,’ and I started to think, ‘How can I combine music and jewelry together?’ and I had the idea to make a necklace out of bass-guitar strings. And then the idea for Precious Metal was born, because I started wearing those necklaces and people would come up to me and say, ‘Hey, where did you buy that? I would wanna have one of those.’ So I thought it might be a good side project for me also — you know, to have something on my mind during all the music activities and being on the road, something that can occupy for which I don’t have to use my voice, because it’s very important that I can also give my voice a rest and still be creative. And there it was.”

XANDRIA‘s sixth album, “Sacrificium”, was released on May 6 (one day earlier internationally) via Napalm Records. According to the band, the follow-up to 2012’s “Neverworld’s End” “continues the musical journey and direction” of the last CD but “brings in even more of everything people liked” about “Neverworld’s End”.

The official video for the song “Nightfall” can be seen below.

XANDRIA last fall parted ways with their singer of three years, Manuela Kraller, and replaced her with Van Giersbergen, who also fronts the progressive metal outfit EX LIBRIS.

Dianne Van Giersbergen made her live debut with XANDRIA at the end of November 2013 on a Spanish tour.

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‘Crazy Tour Stories’ With BROKEN HOPE’s JEREMY WAGNER

Digital Tour Bus, which gives fans “an all-access pass” to the tour buses that their favorite bands travel in, has posted its latest “Crazy Tour Stories” episode, focusing on guitarist Jeremy Wagner of reformed death metallers BROKEN HOPE. The five-minute clip, which was filmed on April 4, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois, can be seen below.

BROKEN HOPE‘s sixth album, “Omen Of Disease”, sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. Issued on October 1, 2013 (September 30, 2013 internationally) via Century Media Records, the CD’s drum tracks were laid down at Belle City Sound in Racine, Wisconsin with engineer Chris Wisco (LAZARUS A.D., JUNGLE ROT, ORIGIN, GORGASM), while the remaining instruments were tracked at Mercenary Digital Studios in Zion, Illinois with engineer Scott Creekmore (DIRGE WITHIN, PUTRID PILE, LIVIDITY).

“Omen Of Disease” features a special guest appearance by Trevor Strnad of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER on the new BROKEN HOPE track “Rendered Into Lard”. The cover painting for the CD was created by world-renowned horror artist Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, CATTLE DECAPITATION, AUTOPSY, KREATOR).

BROKEN HOPE tapped James Murphy (DEATH, OBITUARY, TESTAMENT) to mix and master “Omen Of Disease” at Murphy‘s studio, Safehouse Production.

“Omen Of Disease” — a title conceived by chief lyricist and guitarist Jeremy Wagner — is also a song on the new album, marking the first BROKEN HOPE “title track” since their 1991 debut LP, “Swamped In Gore”.

BROKEN HOPE last fall supported DEICIDE on the “No Salvation Tour 2013”. Also appearing on the bill were DISGORGE and NECRONOMICON.

OZZY OSBOURNE Says U2’s Album Giveway Was ‘Selfish’

Ozzy Osbourne is the latest musician to comment 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.

Speaking to Shortlist, the BLACK SABBATH singer said: “I think it’s good in one way, and bad in another. People got so pissed off with it, it was terrific. Trying to find out how to delete it off their fucking phones, or whatever. But U2 can afford to put an album out for free, whereas other bands can’t, so it makes it difficult for up-and-coming bands. It’s fucking selfish, really. They just got a zillion fucking sales from Apple, I suppose. Not everyone is U2, not everyone can get a fucking deal with Apple. There are a thousand bands out there today that aren’t going to get heard by fucking anybody because they can’t afford to do it.”

33 million of the world’s 500 million iTunes users have reportedly accessed the U2 album, but there have been complaints about it as well. Apple gave an online tutorial on how to remove it, while BUCKCHERRY guitarist Keith Nelson dissed the Irish supergroup for devaluing their own music.

Ozzy‘s wife and manager Sharon Osbourne delivered the most scathing remarks via a Twitter rant in which she wrote, “U2, you are business moguls, not musicians anymore. No wonder you have to give your mediocre music away for free, ’cause no one wants to buy it.” She also called the Irish quartet “just a bunch of middle-age political groupies” and the group, iTunes and record company president Jimmy Iovine “a bunch of megalomaniacs.”

Unlike many who felt that the placement of the “Songs Of Innocence” album was an unwanted intrusion, free or not, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Billboard, “I think U2 are the coolest . . . It’s 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded.”

Ulrich added, “It’s not about whether the endeavor is a success or not. It’s the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at all of us.”

The drummer hinted that METALLICA itself could do something along similar lines when it comes time to release its next album, saying, “We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely.”

While U2 continues to be one of the world’s biggest group, the band’s last effort, 2009’s “No Line On The Horizon”, was considered a commercial failure — although the two-year supporting tour was the highest-grossing in history.

EXODUS: Fan-Filmed Video Footage Of Rio De Janeiro Concert

Fan-filmed video footage of EXODUS‘ October 5 performance at Circo Voador in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil can be seen below.

EXODUS will release its tenth studio album, “Blood In Blood Out”, in North America on October 14 via Nuclear Blast. The CD is EXODUS‘ first album since the departure of the band’s lead singer of the past nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of his predecessor, Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy lends his signature roar to the track “BTK”, one of the first songs recorded by Souza, who recently said: “Chuck and I have known each other forever. We work really well together; we know each other really well. So if I’m doing my vocals and he’s there, I can trust him to go, ‘No way, Zet, [it] doesn’t sound good like that. Do it like this,’ or, ‘Yeah, that’s killer.’ If he says it sounds killer, I know it is.”

Original EXODUS guitarist Kirk Hammett, who has been a member of METALLICA for the past 31 years, contributed a solo to “Salt The Wound”.

“It felt really casual, really cool — just like it did back in 1980 when we were all just hanging out back in the day,” Hammett told RollingStone.com. “Me, recording a solo on their album was a huge thing for me. Other than the EXODUS demo that’s been heard by a lot of people, it’s the only time I ever recorded with EXODUS. It was a huge thing for me.”

He added: “I play a pretty cool solo, and then Gary [Holt] comes in and plays another solo, and you know what? I listened to that and thought, ‘Wow, it’s 1982 all over again and here we are, Gary and I are trying to cut each other’s heads off with our guitar solos.’ Nothing has changed much in the last 30 years. I love it. I love those guys. I’ve only known them for most of my life, so I’m really happy that I finally got to record with them.”

Asked what EXODUS is doing differently on “Blood In Blood Out” compared to the band’s previous efforts, Souza said: “I just think it’s way more brutal now. I think if you look at the production value in the albums, from ‘Bonded By Blood’ [1985] and even ‘Impact Is Imminent’ [1990] and now you look at them, from ‘Tempo Of The Damned’ [2004] and then ‘Shovel Headed Kill Machine’ [2005] and ‘The Atrocity Exhibition… Exhibit A’ [2007] and ‘Exhibit B: The Human Condition’ [2010] and now to ‘Blood In, Blood Out’, I just think the maturity level and knowing what you wanna sound like and knowing what you’re going for and knowing what you do well. Not trying to second-guess yourself and go, ‘Oh, we’ve gotta do this because of this.’ It’s not like that anymore. Now it’s all about, ‘Hey, we’re EXODUS. We’ve been EXODUS for 30 years. And let’s just be EXODUS.'”

EXODUS will embark on a supporting run in November with fellow metal titans SLAYER and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. The Scion-sponsored leg of this U.S. tour launches on November 11 with two shows at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California.

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