Vocalist Nick Tart has quit NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) legends DIAMOND HEAD, admitting that he made it difficult to work with the rest of the band by “moving to the other side of the world” to Brisbane, Australia.
He said in a statement: “After 11 years of being the singer for DIAMOND HEAD, I now feel it’s time for me to move on.
“As most are aware, [DIAMOND HEAD] have already started the October tour with a replacement singer [Danish vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen, who lives in London] and I wish them nothing but the very best.
“I haven’t heard the new guy yet, but I’m sure he will be great; Brian [Tatler, guitar] has good quality control over DIAMOND HEAD and I don’t believe he would continue touring unless he had found a singer who could pull it off. They are a very powerful band to front, so the best of luck to him. No doubt I will be snooping into YouTube to see what they sound like.
“I was hoping to pen a third album [with DIAMOND HEAD], but making new music with the band became limited; Brian mentioned he had no interest in making a new album, he didn’t feel the urge, which I can totally understand. He’s been doing it for a long time, but if there is no urge to make a new album, then an album doesn’t belong. I made things even more difficult by moving to the other side of the world.
“After living in Brisbane for nearly 6 years now, I’ve been very fortunate to still be able to fly to the UK and U.S. for tours, thanks to hard work and determination of Karl Wilcox, our drummer, without him there’s quite a lot that wouldn’t have been possible for DIAMOND HEAD.
“When DIAMOND HEAD get offered work — festivals, for example — they should be in a position to say yes, without worrying about all the hassle it will take to get me involved.
“I’m very proud of the two albums I have written and recorded with DIAMOND HEAD and the touring we have done was way beyond my expectations, especially performing at Knebworth with METALLICA.
“I have had some fantastic times.
“The guys in DIAMOND HEAD are so grounded which made the tours such a joyful ride, and we have had some laughs.
“I now have my own band here in Brisbane; it’s taken me a long time to find someone to connect with musically, but I’m now writing new material and things are shaping up nicely. I’m getting quite excited, so I now need to move forward.
“Love and thanks to those DIAMOND HEAD fans that accepted and encouraged me when I first joined the band and have followed us ever since; you know who you are.
Tart joined DIAMOND HEAD in 2004 as a replacement for Sean Harris.
DIAMOND HEAD was a big influence on METALLICA, which recorded a cover version of the DIAMOND HEAD song “Am I Evil?” in 1984 and released it as a B-side to their “Creeping Death” single (and later on their “Garage, Inc.” album).
KISS members Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer spoke to Artisan News at the September 21 event at the John Varvatos boutique in Hollywood where menswear designer John Varvatos and former BEATLES drummer and music icon Ringo Starr celebrated their #PEACEROCKS initiative. You can watch the report below.
Asked what is next for KISS, Stanley said: “We have a little free time, then we have a residency in Vegas. We’ve got the Kiss Kruise coming up. There’s always something. Yeah, KISS never stops.”
Thayer also reflected on KISS‘ 42-date summer tour with DEF LEPPARD, which kicked off on June 23 at Salt Lake City, Utah’s USANA Amphitheater.
“We did the whole summer [with DEF LEPPARD]. We really got to know them,” he said. “DEF LEPPARD are a great band and great guys, and we really enjoyed the camaraderie, and it made for a great package. It was a big tour for us. A lot of sold-out shows; [it was] very successful.”
KISS will play a nine-show Las Vegas residency this fall at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino beginning November 5.
After weeks of bad-mouthing each other in the press, the four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello, with all four — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivering warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.
Fan-filmed video footage of former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo‘s October 2 clinic at La Hamburguesería Colina in Bogotá, Colombia can be seen below.
In a recent interview with Brazil’s Portal 7, Lombardo was asked if he has any plans to ever get back together with the members of SLAYER. He replied: “I have no plans. I mean, they can knock on my door, but I don’t know if I’ll answer. [Laughs]”
Lombardo continued: “I don’t know. Right now I’m focused on my new band, I’m focusing on my drum clinics, writing music, on staying creative. And I just stay focused and don’t let what happened in the past bother me or in any way inhibit my progress with the future.”
Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band’s Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).
Lombardo told “Let There Be Talk” podcast about the musical chemistry of the original SLAYER lineup: “I appreciate the nucleus of the band. Like [John] Bonham. When Bonham was part of [LED] ZEPPELIN. When his son [Jason] took over, oh my God. C’mon. Really? I have respect for Jason and for what he’s done, but when he put a double-bass pedal on a single bass drum, that just blew it for me. It’s, like, ‘Really, dude? Your dad was about single bass.’
“There is a certain magic — just like with SLAYER, just like with AC/DC with Bon Scott — there’s a certain magic when you have those musicians and nobody could replace that. Nobody. That’s it. You can’t. Yeah, SLAYER‘s new drummer [Paul Bostaph], yeah, a lot of fans like him. But there’s that magic. It’s chemistry. It’s like when you meet a girl and you two get along really well, and it’s like a chemistry; it’s something special. Same thing with the band: you get these four guys, [and] they may hate each other, but on stage, there’s magic. And that’s what’s missing, I personally believe.”
PHILM released its sophomore album, “Fire From The Evening Sun”, on September 16 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR. The band’s lineup is completed by guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco “Pancho” Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR).
METALLICA served as Artists In Residence at the 37th annual Mill Valley Film Festival, which is taking place between October 2 and October 12 in the northern California city. Each of the band’s four members hosted a screening of a film that they personally selected for the event.
On October 3, guitarist Kirk Hammett — a horror aficionado — presented the 1971 cult film “Dracula Vs. Frankenstein”.
On October 6, bassist Robert Trujillo hosted a screening of “Jaco”, the documentary he helped produce about late bassist Jaco Pastorius.
Drummer Lars Ulrich took over on October 7 for a screening of “Whiplash”, a new indie film about an aspiring drummer and his ruthless teacher that won multiple awards at Sundance this year. Ulrich also interviewed director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle after the film.
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield presented an October 8 screening of the classic spaghetti western “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”. The film’s main theme as served as the opening music for METALLICA‘s live show for decades.
Speaking about his love of all things horror and the parallels between horror movies and heavy metal, Hammett said during his intro question-and-answer session (see video below): “Heavy metal and horror movies come from the same sources, they come from the same seeds, they have a lot of the same imagery and subject matter and whatnot. And for myself, part of the appeal of horror movies is coming in contact with my own mortality but not having to pay the price. Or, like, reliving a death or something without having to go through the actual experience. Bringing yourself to a point where you’re maybe in a state of fear, but for your own pleasure.”
He contonied: “Watching a good horror movie makes my adrenaline go. And for me, it’s great, it’s the ultimate. I mean, some people like action films. Me, [I like] horror movies.”
Eamon O’Neill of Über Rock recently conducted an interview with powerhouse American singer Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN). An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Über Rock: Given Rob Halford‘s indelible mark on [JUDAS PRIEST], was there ever a feeling that it was a thankless task [fronting the band in Rob‘s absence]?
Owens: I knew the reunion would come some day, but I’ve got to be honest, and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it always, I wasn’t upset. I really was ready to be out. Looking back now, if Halford‘s name had have been on “Jugulator” [JUDAS PRIEST‘s 1997 album which marked Owens‘s recorded debut with the band], it would probably have been [hailed as] a masterpiece. I just think that’s how it is. And I understand, it’s a normal situation. I mean, Rob‘s the man, but I just knew that I could do it vocally every night on stage. I wanted to do it, and I knew that as a JUDAS PRIEST fan myself, I knew that what I was doing was something that I would have liked, as somebody who could sing the songs to the same level.
Über Rock: How did you find out that you were out of the band?
Owens: I got an e-mail. It’s funny, because I had just finished recording the ICED EARTH “Glorious Burden” record, and I was coming home, and I told my wife, “Man, I almost wish JUDAS PRIEST would fire me,” because I’d never have quit. And I got home and I had got that e-mail. I had just recorded the ICED EARTH record because PRIEST was just in a down period and I wasn’t getting paid at the time. No one knew what we were doing and we were like at “stall.” Everybody was, like, “It must have really been bad.” I was, like, “No.” The record was done, so joining ICED EARTH was seamless. Every time I keep going on. What I do now, each time I get fired from bands, it’s kind of like been a blessing. But, first of all, joining JUDAS PRIEST was the biggest blessing.
Über Rock: Have you any thoughts on [guitarist] K.K. Downing‘s exit from JUDAS PRIEST?
Owens: I hate it, but, I mean, I like [Downing‘s replacement] Richie [Faulkner]. I love Ken, and, you know, it’s hard. It’s like a family, right?! I hope that if they ever end that he comes back. I think he just hit, kind of, the end of the road.
Über Rock: What do you make of the three albums that they’ve made since Rob came back?
Owens: Yeah, they’re good. I preferred “Jugulator”, but, you know, Rob’s going to prefer what he did, and I’m going to prefer what I did. Rob and I are good friends, as [I am] with the rest of the guys, we’re still all good friends, and we can always joke about that. But the new one [“Redeemer Of Souls”] is getting back to their roots. You know what’s great, though? JUDAS PRIEST are a band that can make an album like “Nostradamus”. When they released “Turbo”, people didn’t like that. They’ve always experimented throughout their whole career. Whether you like it or not, that’s what they’ve always done.
Read the entire interview at Über Rock.
Fan-filmed video footage of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s October 11 performance at Eastside Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada can be seen below.
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).
Asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for QUEENSRŸCHE‘s next studio album following the settlement agreement between the band and its former lead singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name, Michael Wilton told “Totally Driven Radio”: “We’re busy finishing up songs. We’ve got quite an arsenal lined up of tunes, ranging from all different sonic diversity. We’re really happy and having fun doing this one. It’s just a creative birthday of almost some sort… It’s just like, ‘Wow!’ We all five think the same, we’re all cohesively linked. It’s just a great time, and all that underlying tension is gone, and we are ready to bring you the next QUEENSRYCHE album, and it’ll be a step beyond the one we just did.”
He continued: “We’re taking our time now. The record company is, like, ‘Just do the record when you feel it’s done, and then we’ll put it out.’ If you’re looking for a time, it’s gonna be early 2015, maybe spring, or something right in that area. That’s kind of a safe bet. But we’re working really hard, we’re diligent, and we’re really motivated, so… we’ll see what happens. But to get the whole thing going, to get the whole machine going, and get everybody involved that needs to be involved, it’s quite an undertaking and quite a task and it’s all about timing and everybody being available and all that.”
On September 9, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich talked about music and branding at the Billboard studio in New York City. Joining Ulrich for a discussion of the ever-shifting rules of music and brands were Steve Pamon, JPMorgan Chase head of sports and entertainment marketing; Crush Management‘s Jonathan Daniel, who has overseen the careers of SIA, FALL OUT BOY and TRAIN; Atlantic Records‘ Camille Hackney, who has put together brand deals for Janelle Monae (Cover Girl, Sonos, American Express), Hunter Hayes (Pepsi, ConAgra Foods) and Charli XCX (Samsung, JBL); Patience Ramsey, of Translation, the ad agency that helped created the Budweiser Made In America festival; and Jennifer Frommer, who has helped assemble seven-figure deals with T-Mobile and MasterCard at EDM conglomerate SFX. You can watch video footage of the discussion in four parts below.
On METALLICA becoming the first majoract to perform in Antarctica, with a little help from Coke Zero:
Ulrich: “One thing METALLICA loves to do, we love to go to unexplored places. We were in China last year for the first time. Got a chance to go to Malaysia last year for the first time. There are still frontiers that maybe five, 10 years ago there was no infrastructure to support the type of thing we do. When someone said, ‘Antarctica’ — you have to look at Coke Zero and you may feel OK about getting in bed with that. So we did this thing for Coke Zero that helped facilitate that particular [event] in Antarctica, but it was primarily a campaign for Latin America. That doesn’t mean that we would get in bed with Coke Zero in the United States. You have to look at what the scenario is as a one-off.”
On whether U2‘s deal with Apple — estimated at $100 million and considered the biggest brand deal in music history — worked:
Ulrich: “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. To me, 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. We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely.”
Fan-filmed video footage of AMON AMARTH‘s October 11 performance at Metropolis in Montreal, Quebec, Canada can be seen below.
AMON AMARTH and SABATON have joined forces for a North American tour. The trek kicked off on September 25 in Riverside, California and will visit a total of 35 North American cities before coming to an end on November 9 in Tucson, Arizona. Thrash metal band SKELETONWITCH is opening each show, except in New York where fans will be treated to the first-ever, and exclusive North American performance by extreme metal supergroup VALLENFYRE.
AMON AMARTH‘s ninth studio album, “Deceiver Of The Gods”, sold around 17,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record, which arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Metal Blade, was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and was produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (OPETH, MEGADETH, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE).
In a recent interview with ARTE Concert, AMON AMARTH bassist Ted Lundström stated about how difficult it was for the bandmembers to support themselves financially in the earlier years: “We’ve been doing very good the last couple of years, so it’s been very easy. Before we actually made it big enough to do this full time, of course, it [was] a hassle to make the economy work. You know, you have to work [full time at a day job] and then you have to get time off for touring and it’s a lot of work. And you get tired if you work a whole day and then you need to go to the rehearsal room in the evening. You’re tired and you’d rather go home and do something else. So, there’s been tougher days, but nowadays, it’s kind of easy. It’s fun.”