MikeJamesRockShow.com conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker of British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS at this year’s edition of the Bloodstock Open Air festival, which is being held August 7-10 at Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, West Midlands, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
In a recent interview with AndrewHaug.com, CARCASS guitarist Bill Steer stated about whether he has begun thinking ahead to the band’s follow-up to last year’s “Surgical Steel” album: “There’s plenty of incentive there. Speaking for myself, I would love to do another record. I’ve heard Jeff [Walker, bass/vocals] say similar things, and I know Dan [Wilding, drums] would love to. We’re just gonna take it as it comes, really, ’cause, obviously, we’re still some way into our touring schedule. We’re not really gonna be done with that until… I don’t know… towards the end of November, I think. So we can’t realistically even look at new material until December. We’ll take it from there. All I know is we would the next record to be very strong indeed, so as long as it takes, that’s all I can say. Not that I am anticipating a long time in the studio, but we’ll spend as long writing as we need to. You get very conscious of the passing of time, especially when you’re at the age that Jeff and myself are at, so you don’t wanna waste your time, or the audience’s, with something that is mediocre.”
“Surgical Steel” sold around 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 41 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on September 16, 2013 in the U.K., September 13, 2013 in the rest of Europe and September 17, 2013 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was produced by Colin Richardson (FEAR FACTORY, MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE) and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ACCEPT, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY).
Joining Steer and Walker in CARCASS‘ current incarnation are Wilding (ABORTED, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED) and guitarist Ben Ash (PIG IRON, DESOLATION, LIQUEFIED SKELETON).
CARCASS recently took part in Decibel magazine’s third cross-country domination alongside melodeath powerhouse THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, technical death metal heroes GORGUTS and emerging death/thrash squad NOISEM.
DISTURBED frontman David Draiman has slammed “the mainstream media” for its “biased, libelous, and often erroneous portrayal of Israel” in the current conflict in Gaza and has accused a number of the world’s biggest news organizations of “set[ting] the stage for a new Holocaust.”
Draiman — who has extensive family in Israel, including his brother, Jerusalem-based folk rock and ambient musician Ben Draiman, as well as his grandmother — took to his Twitter account on Friday (August 8) to write: “The mainstream media’s biased, libelous, and often erroneous portrayal of Israel in the current conflict has fueled a wave of anti-Semitism, the likes of which I have not witnessed in my lifetime. Well done, CNN, BBC, Reuters [and] MSNBC, you’ve set the stage for a new Holocaust. Maybe you’d be happy/satisfied when the extremist nutbags you defend so much, who eagerly martyr their own children who chant for the death of all Jews, not just the Israeli’s, and whose ethics, morals and values stand diametrically opposed to your own liberal views of freedom of religion, gay marriage, pro choice, and even democracy itself, strip the region of the only bastion of true liberty that exists in the region. Well, guess what? Never again. Jews aren’t so easy to fuck with anymore.”
The Israel-Gaza conflict that began on July 8 has claimed more than 1,800 Palestinian lives as as well as 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians.
Both of Draiman‘s maternal grandparents were survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while many others on his mother’s side were wiped out by the Nazis.
The DISTURBED song “Never Again”, from 2010’s “Asylum” album, was written about the Holocaust and calls out people who deny it.
The United States Holocaust Museum has featured Draiman in its “Voices On Anti-Semitism” podcasts.
In January 2011, Draiman gave a lengthy interview to the Jerusalem Post in which he spoke in detail about his Jewish upbringing, spending part of his childhood and teen years in Israel, and how he confronts anti-Semitism among rock fans. Draiman recalled, “I came [to Israel] many times as a kid with my family. I think the first time I was six. I used to come here for summer camp a couple times in my childhood, and I spent the year after high school here studying at Neve Zion yeshiva.”
Draiman told The Pulse Of Radio that during his year of religious study, his life could have taken a very different course. “The level of study that I was at, I was probably only about two or three years away from being ordained as a rabbi, so I really needed to figure out in my head where I wanted to go with things,” he said. “And I just couldn’t do it habitually anymore. I grew a very strong dislike for the organized aspect of religion over the course of time.”
Draiman also told the Jerusalem Post that he attended five different Jewish day schools as a teenager, including the Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study in Milwaukee — where he was asked to leave after the first year.
The singer admitted that the strict religious code at the school led him to rebel, revealing, “I’d set my friends up on dates with girls that I knew, in defiance of the school… Or I’d smoke a little bit of weed here and there, I’d get my buddies high, so I was the drug dealer on campus even though that’s not what I was doing.”
Asked by the Post about running into heavy metal fans who are anti-Semitic or sometimes even neo-Nazis, Draiman replied, “I’m incredibly defiant against neo-Nazis and skinheads,” adding that he convinced one fan who used to come to the band’s early shows in Chicago to get a swastika tattoo removed from his head after he learned that Draiman was Jewish.
DISTURBED went on an open-ended hiatus in 2011, with Draiman saying at the time that all four members wanted some time to pursue other endeavors.
DISTURBED has not indicated when it plans to return, although all four members say they’re likely to come back.
THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA'S BIASED, LIBELOUS, AND OFTEN ERRONEOUS PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL IN THE CURRENT CONFLICT HAS FUELED A WAVE OF -(CONT)
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 8, 2014
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 9, 2014
-A NEW HOLOCAUST. MAYBE YOU'D BE HAPPY/SATISFIED WHEN THE EXTREMIST NUTBAGS YOU DEFEND SO MUCH, WHO EAGERLY MARTYR THEIR OWN CHILDREN-(CONT)
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 9, 2014
-WHO CHANT FOR THE DEATH OF ALL JEWS, NOT JUST THE ISRAELI'S, AND WHO'S ETHICS, MORALS, & VALUES STAND DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED TO YOUR-(CONT)
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 9, 2014
-OWN LIBERAL VIEWS OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION, GAY MARRIAGE, PRO CHOICE, AND EVEN DEMOCRACY ITSELF, STRIP THE REGION OF THE ONLY BASTION-(CONT)
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 9, 2014
-OF TRUE LIBERTY THAT EXISTS IN THE REGION. WELL GUESS WHAT? NEVER AGAIN. JEWS ARENT SO EASY TO FUCK WITH ANYMORE pic.twitter.com/7luU6YQq6w
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) August 9, 2014
In a brand new interview with Pop-Break.com, QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield was asked how the band managed to stay positive and successfully bounce back from spending much of the past two years embroiled in a legal battle with the group’s former singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name. “The conflict started years ago, but prior to it, when we were all still working together in the ‘old band,’ so to speak… we had been in a dark place for a long time,” he said. “It wasn’t going well, the years were stacking up on us, we weren’t making the music that we were passionate about and were being forced to do a lot of things that we didn’t want to do. We weren’t being allowed to play all of the music that we wanted to play live, and to give our fans what we thought was important. The darker the hole we kept falling into, the faster we wanted to get out of it. That’s what happens, you kind of hit the bottom of a hole, and there’s only one way to go: up and out of there. I guess my point with all of that is rolling forward to the present right now and what we’ve had to go through the past couple of years… it was a huge defining moment, you know? In the end, it was exactly what we needed to do and now we just feel so good about where we’re at. It was meant to be; it was the right decision. We’re happier, the fans are happier, they’re certainly enjoying the music we play live, and have certainly given us great feedback on the record we put out last year. So overall, everything worked out really well. The morale, for us, just kind of became perfect. I mean, the second we transitioned and got Todd [La Torre, vocals] in the band, the morale just went through the roof for us, you know? There was no weird dark clouds for us, and we just don’t have that anymore. We’re really close to each other. We have the same common interests, we’re energetic, and we’re happy! We’re all working together as a team, and it’s not just one person saying, ‘you have to do it like this,’ it’s all of us making the decisions together and making the music together. Long story short: the morale is really high, we’re having a great time, and we all really know what we want to do and why we want to do it. I think that’s why the fans like what we’re doing now — they can see that we’re happy and that we’re being honest again.”
Scott also spoke about what fans can expect to hear on QUEENSRŸCHE‘s follow-up to last year’s self-titled album, tentatively due in early 2015 via Century Media. “Our old sound was kind of our thing, and I think we just found what QUEENSRŸCHE was good at, and we really wanted to do that [on ‘Queensrÿche’]. I think it really bought us back to the essence of some of that old material that we did together. It was honest material, and I think that record was one of the most honest records we’ve made. It really shows just ‘us’ all around, and our fans’ response and the press’s response… people all over the world listened was happy, and it was quite overwhelming! So, I think it’s a great thing, for us to find that. As for what’s coming next, I don’t really have a defined answer for you because we never really know. We tend to not really define it until it’s done, but we’ve been working on it quite a bit, so it will soon kind of lay itself out. But it’s going to be us… it’s just going to be us. It’s gonna be what we do in the best fashion possible. I think you can say that there will be a lot of the elements from the last record in it. The energy and the chemistry and the honesty and the unity… all of that stuff will be in it, and hopefully the icing on the cake will be that we wrote really great songs and people enjoy what they listen to. I don’t think they’re not going to, to be honest. We’re really good salesmen now because we feel so good about it! [laughs] Now we just have to do it! I think we’ll have it done within the next four to six months, after we get through putting it all together and stuff. It’s a great blessing, and it’s really a lot of fun for us.”
QUEENSRŸCHE‘s self-titled album sold around 13,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Century Media Records.
“Queensrÿche” marked the debut release from the lineup comprised of La Torre (vocals; ex-CRIMSON GLORY), Michael Wilton (guitar), Parker Lundgren (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums).
Ozzy Osbourne headlined the Hyundai Card Citybreak music festival in Seoul, South Korea earlier tonight. The two-day event, which is being held August 9-10 at Seoul World Cup Stadium, also includes performances by the alternative rock band HOOBASTANK, former BON JOVI guitarist Richie Sambora, Japanese signature rock band LOCOFRANK, groove metal band COCOBAT and local punk rock band YELLOW MONSTERS.
Fan-filmed video footage of Ozzy‘s performance at Hyundai Card Citybreak can be seen below.
The first edition of the Hyundai Card Citybreak rock festival took place in 2013 and was attended by over 75,000 rock fans. It featured a lineup that included headliners MUSE and METALLICA, IGGY AND THE STOOGES, LIMP BIZKIT, ASH, THE USED and WHITE LIES.
For more information, visit citybreak.superseries.kr.
Ozzy will release a solo career retrospective titled “Memoirs Of A Madman” on October 7.
While it remains unclear whether BLACK SABBATH will record another studio album, Osbourne appears certain to continue with his solo career. Ozzy‘s touring guitarist, Gus G., told Noisefull in a recent interview, “Ozzy wants to do another solo album, that’s for sure. As far as I know, he has a contract for three more solo albums, so I don’t know when he will finish them, if he’ll do them and if I’m going to be a part in it, but I certainly know that he wants to do one more solo album.”
Ozzy‘s last solo studio effort was 2010’s “Scream”.
His first album under the SABBATH banner in 35 years, “13”, came out in June 2013 and topped both the U.S. and U.K. album charts, later winning a Grammy Award as well.
There’s no timeline on when Ozzy might record his next solo effort. Ozzy has indicated that he would also like to record a new SABBATH album.
Clear Channel hosted an exclusive performance featuring GODSMACK as part of the iHeartRadio Live series, a Clear Channel entertainment production that features performances from today’s top artists. The event consisted of a live performance by GODSMACK as well as an intimate question-and-answer session with members of the band, discussing their new album, “1000hp” (One Thousand Horsepower), which was released the following day.
Professionally filmed video footage of GODSMACK performing the “1000hp” title track during the iHeartRadio Live concert can be seen below.
“1000hp” is likely to sell between 45,000 and 50,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release, according to Hits Daily Double. The estimated sales figure is based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on July 8. The first-week sales figure should be good enough to land GODSMACK in the Top 5 of The Billboard 200 album chart when the final numbers and chart positions are revealed next week.
The band’s fifth studio album, “The Oracle”, opened with 117,000 copies back in May 2010 to land at No. 1.
The title track from “1000hp” is currently topping the rock radio chart.
Frontman Sully Erna told The Pulse Of Radio it will be up to the public to decide how well the album does and what future singles may be. “We don’t want to look too far ahead because, you know, obviously it’s gonna be up to the public to dictate, you know, what they like,” he said. “That’s it. It’s off and running and we have no more control. All we can do is get out there, support it, play the songs that we think are gonna have the biggest impact… This record, you know, it’s pretty packed with a lot of material and every song was a quality song. We didn’t let anything go on this record that wasn’t like a really great song that could possibly be on the radio.”
Erna told The Pulse Of Radio recently that the sound of the new disc was “a little bit more raw, a little bit more open… The production is really kind of raw and in your face.”
GODSMACK is among the confirmed bands for the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, set to kick off on August 15 in Clarkston, Michigan and run through September 21.
Having appeared twice before at Wacken Open Air in Germany, Taiwanese metal band CHTHONIC performed for the third time at this year’s edition of the music festival — and for the very first time, it played on the main stage Blackstage on August 1.
The works of CHTHONIC stand out in the ring of metal bands around the world as “Orient metal.” This time, to completely present such enchanting music style to European fans, CHTHONIC shared the stage with the Chai Found Oriental Orchestra, which performs with a variety of traditional instruments including hena, ruan, box zither, pipa, yangqin, flute, and sheng. The collaboration definitely brought a unique musical feast to fans in Europe.
CHTHONIC is one of the most outstanding East Asian metal bands in the world that has participated the Ozzfest in the U.S., Download and Bloodstock in the U.K., as well as Fuji Rock and Loud Park in Japan. CHTHONIC is the best-known metal band in its own country Taiwan, and has performed at more than 500 concerts around the world in nearly a decade.
Chai Found Oriental Orchestra is an award-winning orchestra of traditional instruments and had performed four songs in CHTHONIC concerts in Taiwan, which were recorded on the “Ián-bú” DVD as classic examples of cooperation between metal rock and traditional music. This time, CHTHONIC shared it with fans at Wacken Open Air and expanded the four-member mini-orchestra to a 10-member full orchestra, giving European audience something they have never experienced before.
Professionally filmed video footage of CHTHONIC‘s performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air festival can be seen below.
After more than 70 concerts in its European and U.S. tours last year, CHTHONIC will perform at many internationally renowned music festivals, including the Brutal Assault in Czech Republic, and Summer Sonic in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.
After tours in Europe and in Asia in the summer, CHTHONIC will return to Taiwan for its new movie project, and will switch into a full-gear mode to prepare for its new album at the beginning of the next year.
The fourth in a series of webisodes featuring footage of the recording sessions for “First Of The Five Elements”, the fifth studio album from WARMEN, the brainchild of CHILDREN OF BODOM keyboardist Janne Wirman, can be seen below.
“First Of The Five Elements” will be released later in the year.
The track listing for the CD is as follows:
02. The Race (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
03. The Red Letter (feat. Jonna Geagea)
04. Ruler Of Your World (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
05. Suck My Attitude (feat. Alexi Laiho)
06. When Worlds Collide (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
07. First Of The Five Elements
08. Devil In Disguise (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
09. Like A Virgin (MADONNA cover) (feat. Jonna Geagea)
10. Anger (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
11. Human Race (feat. Pasi Rantanen)
12. Man Behind The Mask (ALICE COOPER cover) (feat. Alexi Laiho)
WARMEN started out in 2000 as Wirman‘s solo project with a bunch of hired guns helping him to put his musical inspiration to life. The band’s debut album, “Unknown Soldier” (2000) was exactly that, but already on the group’s second effort, “Beyond Abilities” (2002), WARMEN was becoming more like a real band.
Now after a five-year gap, Janne and WARMEN have completed work on a slamming fifth studio album, “First Of The Five Elements”, which takes the listener from the potent vibrating rock of “The Race” to a straight punch in the face with “Suck My Attitude”. Also included is a visit to some traditional WARMEN instrumental fury in he shape of the title track, “First Of The Five Elements”, and, as always, they have managed to squeeze in a couple signature WARMEN-styled covers, ALICE COOPER‘s “Man Behind The Mask” and MADONNA‘s “Like A Virgin”.
The song “The Race” from “First Of The Five Elements” can be streamed at PledgeMusic.com.
WARMEN celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a concert during the Helsinki Metal Meeting weekend in February 2010 at Dante’s Highlight in Helsinki, Finland. The band’s third live performance ever included guest appearances by Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM) on a cover version of ROCKWELL‘s “Somebody’s Watching Me”, Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS), Finnish pop/rock queen Jonna Kosonen (JONNA’S PROBLEM) and Pasi Rantanen (ex-THUNDERSTONE).
Spinefarm Records released a WARMEN compilation album entitled “The Evil That Warmen Do” on January 27, 2010.
WARMEN‘s fourth album, “Japanese Hospitality”, entered the Finnish chart at position No. 36. The 10-song effort included two cover versions — “Separate Ways”, originally recorded by JOURNEY, and “Black Cat” by JANET JACKSON, featuring a guest appearance by Jonna Kosonen. Other guest musicians that appear on the CD include Laiho, Rantanen, Kotipelto and Marko Vaara.
BackstageAxxess.com recently conducted an interview with TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
TESLA‘s new studio album, “Simplicity”, sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 24 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 10 via Tesla Electric Company Recording‘s arrangement with Entertainment One Music and distribution.
The Sacramento rockers are back with 14 new songs offering a ride of energy that doesn’t come easy for a band of rookies much less a band whose been doing this for over 20 years. “Simplicity” is TESLA‘s seventh all-original studio album which follows a six-year creative break from the release of the previous album, “Forever More”.
After a string of shows in the USA in 2013, the band went back into the studio in early 2014 and came out with a new album, which goes straight back to the TESLA roots. The bandmembers produced it themselves, as they did with “Into The Now”, their successful comeback effort from 2004. Helped by the legendary Tom Zutaut, who was the man behind the best TESLA albums, this new CD rocks from start to finish, showing a variety of emotions where each song has its own twist — not sounding like another.
In a recent interview with NI Rocks, TESLA singer Jeff Keith stated about the band’s approach while writing and recording the new album: “We wanted to keep it simple. With so much of today’s technology, Pro Tools and all that stuff, it’s very easy to overdo it and oversaturate the record, because there is an endless amount of tracks you can do and there are so many ways you can cheat and stuff. We like to make records that we can keep simple and reproduce live you know.” He continued: “‘Simplicity’, we thought, was a great name for the record because we wanted to keep it simple and we’re a simple blue-collar rock ‘n’ roll band. We always like to make records, like I said, that we can play live.”
“Simplicity” was mixed by legendary producer Michael Wagener (SKID ROW, OZZY OSBOURNE, METALLICA, DOKKEN, ACCEPT, MÖTLEY CRÜE, WHITE LION, EXTREME, POISON, MEGADETH, OVERKILL, TESTAMENT).
Jeff Keith: Lead Vocals
Frank Hannon: Guitars, Vocals, Piano, Bass
Brian Wheat: Bass, Vocals, Piano
Troy Luccketta: Drums and Percussion
Dave Rude: Guitars, Vocals, Bass
“Two Faces Of Evil”, the new video from BLUE CROSS BAND, the blues-rock act featuring GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin and guitarist Tony Rombola, can be seen below.
BLUE CROSS BAND formed the group with frontman Ray Cerbone and bassist Brian Carpenter. Larkin told News-Press.com, “I see myself doing the BLUE CROSS BAND after GODSMACK. This is a style of music I can see myself playing well into my 60s.”
Larkin added that his style of playing in the new band will enable him to extend his career, explaining, “When I hit the drums in GODSMACK, I’m trying to kill ’em. In THE CROSS, I shut my eyes and I’m into the lyrics and the song and Tony‘s guitar playing and Brian‘s bass. It’s a band thing, whereas in GODSMACK, it’s like a gang thing. We’re out to pummel.”
Rombola said about the project, “I’ve spent my life playing different styles . . . (with the BLUE CROSS BAND), I get to play all the stuff I’ve learned with the blues and apply it to these songs. It’s a lot of fun.”
BLUE CROSS BAND made its live debut in June, with plans to record and release an album after the current GODSMACK album and touring cycle is over.
Although the GODSMACK offshoot ANOTHER ANIMAL did not sit well with frontman Sully Erna when his bandmates launched that project a few years ago, Erna told The Pulse Of Radio that the members of GODSMACK are in a much better place with each other these days. “You know, I think we’re finally to that place now where everybody just has so much respect for each other and we’ve gotten over the really tough moments and really understand our place as a band now, not only with the fans and in this industry, but amongst each other — you know, getting through all those tough spots and coming back to a place where we really have regained our brotherhood and we’re getting along better now than ever, ” he said.
GODSMACK‘s new album, “1000hp” (One Thousand Horsepower), was released on August 5 via Republic Records. The band’s sixth studio effort will follow up 2010’s “The Oracle” and follows a two-year hiatus.
GODSMACK will lead the lineup of the fifth annual Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, which kicks off on August 15 in Clarkston, Michigan. Also on the bill are SEETHER, SKILLET, BUCKCHERRY, POP EVIL, ESCAPE THE FATE, REDLIGHT KING and others.
Jägermeister U.K. conducted an interview with vocalist Cristina Scabbia of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL at this year’s edition of the Bloodstock Open Air festival, which is being held August 7-10 at Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, West Midlands, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked how she got her start as a vocalist, Scabbia said: “I always loved to sing. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been singing, like in the family, like recording stuff. Even when I was a little girl, I have tapes of when I was four and I was just humming everything I could. But I didn’t want to be in the spot, so I was not the kid that wanted to be the center of attention, with all the parents, like, ‘Hey, look at me.’ I just loved to sing. So if I think about all my life, it’s like life put me in the musical path in the way that friends asked me to sing for them, because they had projects, because they knew that I loved to sing. Or DJs were, like, ‘Hey, why don’t you come to the studio and record something and we can pick some parts up and we can play with them?’ And then I met the guys in LACUNA COIL and they asked me to be in the band. And I was enjoying it, I was enjoying it.”
She continued: “I don’t really need to be in the spot, I don’t really care about it, but I love to be in the band, I love to be in a musical project. And that’s how it happened. But I didn’t have the dream of, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a rock star one day.’ I didn’t really think about that. I just started to enjoy it along the way. And I’m really happy because now it’s my life, I love it, I couldn’t think my life to be different than that.
“I was not a shy kid. I loved to interact with people, I loved to play with other kids, and when I became, like, an adolescent, I was loving to go out, and I wasn’t shy. But to perform in front of people is completely different. Even now, if I have to perform in front of a hundred thousand people, I have no problem, but if friends ask me, ‘Hey, why don’t you sing us this song?’ I [will be] like, ‘No, I don’t want to.’ It’s kind of weird, but I heard that it happens to a lot of people, a lot of other artists. I do remember that the first gigs that we played, I was literally hiding behind the microphone stands ’cause I didn’t really want to be in the spot. Now I’m more comfortable with it, but I’m still, like, ‘OK, I’ve gotta do it.’ I mean, I love to interact with people, but I really wish we could do it in front of a coffee and not from a stage.”
LACUNA COIL‘s latest studio album, “Broken Crown Halo”, sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 1 via Century Media.
“Broken Crown Halo” was recorded Italy by producer Jay Baumgardner (P.O.D., SEVENDUST, EVANESCENCE, PAPA ROACH) and engineer Kyle Hoffmann (P.O.D., BUSH, ZEBRAHEAD). The effort was mastered by Howie Weinberg, whose credits include RAMMSTEIN, SOUNDGARDEN, NIRVANA, DEFTONES and SHERYL CROW.
LACUNA COIL in February hit the road as a quintet as part of “The Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Tour” following the departures of guitarist Cris “Pizza” Migliore and drummer Cristiano “Criz” Mozzati. Marco “Maus” Biazzi handled all guitar duties on the trek while drummer Ryan Blake Folden once again sat behind the kit.
In a brand new interview with the “Talking Metal” podcast, former EXODUS singer Rob Dukes was asked if, looking back now, he thought it was the right decision to re-record the band’s classic 1985 debut album, “Bonded By Blood”, in 2008 and release the new version under the title “Let There Be Blood”. “I mean, not really,” he said (hear audio below), “but I thought that… Our original plan was to do it live — record a live concert and have it as kind of just a live concert and have those songs part of it. ‘Cause Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist and main songwriter] was, like, ‘Well, we play [the songs] differently. I want the fans to hear how we play them now.’ And whatever. But it’s always about money, dude. You know what I mean?! They were gonna make money, so they re-did it. So that’s the way it went.”
Shortly after the “Let There Be Blood” release, Holt told About.com Heavy Metal about EXODUS‘ decision to make the album: “It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time. Ever since we did the first live album [‘Another Lesson In Violence’], we always thought how cool it would be to give the album the benefits of modern technology. ‘Bonded By Blood’ is a classic, it’s always going to be the greatest album we do, but we just wanted to record these songs, put this out on our own and share how relevant these songs still sound today. If you listen to the re-recording, they sound as up to date and current as anything anybody is putting out there now. That’s a testament to how great the songs are.”
Asked if EXODUS was pretty faithful to the original arrangements of the songs on the re-recording, Holt said: “Yes. I went off subject on the leads a little bit, but we recorded the songs the way we play them now. Arrangement-wise, everything’s the same. We didn’t change anything. We tune lower now, but we have since 1993. Everything’s faithful to the original, it’s just updated in the production.”
In a separate interview with Metal-Rules.com, Holt stated about “Let There Be Blood”: “We talked about it a long time ago. Paul [Baloff, EXODUS‘ singer at the time of the ‘Bonded By Blood’ recording] even wanted to go in a redo some of the songs he wasn’t on. He’s like, ‘We should do ‘Pleasures Of The Flesh’ and ‘Seeds Of Hate’ and ‘Brain Dead’ too.’
“I think it all started when we worked on the live album, which was our first time with Andy as well, Mr. Sneap. It sounded so huge, even for, like, a one-gig live record. Paul was like the bandwagon leader of doing that [re-recording ‘Bonded By Blood’]; he would be, like, ‘Oh we could make it so much heavier now!’
“We weren’t out to reinvent the wheel on this and we did not want to do like a disservice to the original. I love the original, that’s why I’m doing this.
“There is always going to be purists that will be like, ‘Oh you can’t do that.’ But it’s funny, a lot of the people who say that are, like, 19, and weren’t even around when the original came out. But I don’t look at it as a bad thing when people get defensive about it. That means they love the original, and they love it so much that they don’t think we should touch it. But I always tell them ‘Look, this doesn’t make your copy of ‘Bonded By Blood’ burst into flames and disappear; it’s always going to be there.’ I hope it’s always going to be there. This here is a companion record and homage record and it’s a tribute to the times.
“I love ‘Bonded By Blood’ and will always listen to it. It’s, like, one of the only albums of ours I listen to, because I am, like, the king of once something is done I put it behind me. I’ll listen to ‘Bonded’ and listen to Paul because there is, you know, a lifelong connection there.”
EXODUS parted ways with Dukes in early June and replaced him with his predecessor, Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
Dukes joined EXODUS in January 2005 and appeared on four of the band’s studio albums — “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” (2005), “The Atrocity Exhibition… Exhibit A” (2007), “Let There Be Blood” (2008, a re-recording of EXODUS‘ classic 1985 LP, “Bonded By Blood”) and “Exhibit B: The Human Condition” (2010).
EXODUS will release its new album, “Blood In, Blood Out”, on October 14 via Nuclear Blast.
ARTE Concert conducted an interview with Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan) of reunited Norwegian black metallers EMPEROR at this year’s Wacken Open Air festival, which was held July 31 – August 2 in Wacken, Germany. You can now watch the chat below.
On celebrating the 20th anniversary of EMPEROR‘s “In The Nightside Eclipse” album:
Ihsahn: “This is kind of a special set, because these are, basically, very old songs, because this is the celebration of the 20th anniversary of our first album. So we’re kind of doing that whole album as a whole. And these are songs that we wrote when I was, like, 16 or 17. So at first I thought it would kind of be hard to connect with those songs, since it’s such a long time ago, but for some reason, I think it’s kind of in your spine. So I think it’s important just to try and link back to that feeling you had when you wrote them and had those songs in the first place and try to connect with that and just do that thing and not think too much about it.”
On where the appeal lies in EMPEROR‘s music:
Ihsahn: “It’s not music for everyone. [laughs] But I think [that goes] for all kinds of music that are not typical radio-hit music. I think even classical music and opera, you kind of have to understand the format before you can actually enjoy it. I think it’s very hard for people to actually connect with the rhythm of everything and find that underlying pulse of the music. Maybe that’s why metal fans are so dedicated as well, because this is kind of a demanding genre of music; you kind of have to invest the time and undertand it. You kind of have to build a relationship to it; it’s not the kind of quick-fix music that much radio music is supposed to be.”
On why he thinks EMPEROR‘s music has connected with so many people over the years:
Ihsahn: “I think the reason we’re in the position that we can come here and play to such a big crowd with this old material and that EMPEROR is a phenomenon, almost, and kind of regardless of us, has a life of its own, is that we were very uncompromising, we never compromised, we never tried to fit into anything. Quit the contrary, I would say, especially in the beginning. We thought our music was very extreme and exclusive for a limited audience, and we never aspired to make it anything big. So it’s kind of a paradox that we actually ended up doing something like this. We’re just enjoying ourselves and kind of sharing this experience together. We think back when we were teenagers, and this was unimaginable. And now we get to do it. [laughs]”