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JOEY BELLADONNA Didn't Understand Why His Voice Wasn't Right For ANTHRAX During JOHN BUSH Era

July 1, 2015 - 19:09
"Somewhat Legendary" recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether there was ever any competition between ANTHRAX and the other "Big Four" bands (METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH): "Speaking for myself, I don't try to compete with anybody. 'Cause I've come to the conclusion… You do your thing, be good at what you do, and let that be the way it is. That's the cool thing about being in different bands. Everybody's go their own styles and tastes and approaches the songs and sound and all that kind of stuff. So you just kind of follow that. I'm sure bands have their ways of being competitive, and trying to be competitive, but I don't think it was anything that we would really focus on so much." On his unique singing style: "I think there's certain people… They have a knack for a style… That's the hard thing — trying to find your own originality, and I think I have that. I just kind of roll with it that way. It's hard to describe, really. I don't know what it is with vocals. I think it's a feel… You've gotta have a good feel about it, and then approach it with the best intentions. I like to be clear [in my vocal delivery], obviously, at least for me. Sometimes maybe I was a little too clean for everybody. I mean, look at the times where ANTHRAX didn't feel I was right for their band, which was shocking to me, 'cause I thought we had a cool thing. Obviously, you can see we're carrying on now, and [it's] like nothing… So you get confused — what I used to do and how it wasn't right, at one time, for [the other guys in ANTHRAX]… It goes with, 'What the hell?' I just think we had a cool style together. I mean, there was something that was very natural about it. It kind of flows with the system. You can't really write it that way. Unfortunately, it sucks that we had to spend 13 years without ever even having a chance to really take that on. It was a long time [for me to be out of the band]…" On ANTHRAX's decision to fire him in 1992 and replace him with ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush: "I'm gonna go… I don't care what anybody says, what they think, and what their story was, and not to go into it, but I don't think that they… They wanted something different. They wanted something with a little bit more of a growl, a grunt, or whatever you may wanna call it — the '90s thing — and they just pushed aside whatever clean and tenor [vocal style] I had; it just didn't fit. Which, to me… Whatever… What are you gonna do?" On when he first joined ANTHRAX: "Every band has to have some connection and some differentials to flow with the style, and that's kind of what we had. And right off the bat, I wasn't even sure, when I did hear them for the first time, where I'd fit in. And I started hearing the songs come across, and [I thought], 'This works. It's a cool thing.' Plus it was something new for me, 'cause I'd never really been super original at that point yet. I finally got to hear myself be someone that I could be." ANTHRAX is currently working on the follow-up to 2011's "Worship Music" album with producer Jay Ruston (STEEL PANTHER, STONE SOUR) for an early 2016 release.

TESTAMENT's CHUCK BILLY: ERIC PETERSON 'Just Keeps Getting Better And Better' At Coming Up With New Riffs

July 1, 2015 - 16:58
Vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT was interviewed on the June 26-28 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A couple of excerpts follow. On TESTAMENT's forthcoming studio album, tentatively due in early 2016: "I think Eric [Peterson, guitar]… Eric's always… he's been the main songwriter. And he really doesn't follow a lot of bands. He's into his black/death metal stuff, so he puts a little bit of that into TESTAMENT. But he seems to create something different for every record that we do. And that's what keeps our records sounding kind of modern or fresh, 'cause he just does his thing. But with the way that… I don't know… He just keeps getting better and better with coming up with riffs and the songs. So, I think, this one, we consciously thought, what was the record that really stood out to us? Which was, like, [1999's] 'The Gathering', which I think was kind of a turning point for the band, musically, and where we grew. So that thrashier style, that's what we wanna kind of come back with that 'Gathering' vibe. That's where we're at right now. We're about six tracks into the demos right now, we still have a long way to go. The other guys haven't heard a lot of it, 'cause me and Eric have been doing the demos. So, now that we're all together, we'll start going over the music and try to work on the road a little bit. We'll see." On revisiting TESTAMENT's early albums on the current tour: "When we started the tour, we tried to pull off the records exactly the way we recorded them. And it didn't really work. We were, like, 'This doesn't feel right. So let's juggle them and mix them up a little bit.' So that's what we've done and that's really comfortable. Some of those songs that we haven't really played in a long time… 'Cause some of those — 'Over The Wall' and 'Into The Pit' — those ones are classics we always play. Songs like 'A Day Of Reckoning', 'Curse Of The Legion Of Death' and 'First Strike Still Deadly' are some of my all-time favorites. I'm enjoying it because we don't put those in our show, and now that we've really honed in the timing and we're tight on these songs, now we see the ones we didn't think were gonna be the fun ones are the best ones that we enjoy playing. 'A Day Of Reckoning' is probably one of the underdog songs that we didn't think would be what it feels to us now. But it feels really good! So we're having, really, a lot of fun with it. We just wanted to do something different on this tour. We've been touring for two or three years, four years, on two records, doing the same kind of show. So we wanted to do something different before we get in and do the new record. And we're having fun."

ADAM LAMBERT Says He Has 'Accepted The Responsibility' Of Stepping In For FREDDIE MERCURY In QUEEN

July 1, 2015 - 16:12
For the past few years, "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert has been singing for QUEEN on their tours, filling in for his idol Freddie Mercury. In the interview below, he talks about when he finally got comfortable with the role. Said Adam: "It's interesting, though, because I've heard people say, 'Oh, you're the new lead singer for QUEEN.' And it's, like, well, essentially, yeah. But it's not a permanent position, I don't look at it as. It was billed as QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT, 'cause I feel like it's a collaboration; it's a live collaboration. It's something that we decided to do for three months and… I guess over the course of five months… and we had a great time together. And the audiences ate it up, which was great. And we sold out, which was great. But it's a collaboration." He continued: "The first time we went around and did this in Eastern Europe and the three shows we did in London, they went over well and we did them, but I don't think I was totally comfortable with the idea. I think I was still, really, in my head, kind of, intimidated by the whole concept of singing lead for this amazing band. The second time around, this world tour we just did, something had shifted. And I don't really know why or how, but something had shifted and I felt a lot more… I accepted the responsibility at that point, and it was more a I-can-do-this attitude than I ever had with it. So... confidence makes a big difference." Lambert, May and drummer Roger Taylor first shared the stage during "American Idol" in May 2009 for a performance of "We Are The Champions". They teamed up again in 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland for an electrifying eight-minute finale of "The Show Must Go On", "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" and in the summer of 2012, Lambert performed a series of shows with QUEEN across Europe as well as dates in Russia, Ukraine and Poland. They also performed three sold-out gigs at London's Hammersmith Apollo. QUEEN guitarist Brian May recently said that there are no plans at the moment for the band to record new music with Lambert. Speaking to Gigwise at this past May's Ivor Novello Awards in London, England, QUEEN guitarist Brian May said that there are no plans at the moment for the band to record new music with Lambert. He said: "No, we're not doing that. Not at the moment anyway. We might do [at some point]. But, at the moment, we're watching with interest while Adam pursues his solo career, and it seems to be going very well. I mean, he's an amazing, amazing artist — there's no getting away from that — so it's very interesting to watch him develop. And I think we're conscious that he doesn't wnna be with us all the time, you know?! That would be so wrong, for us to just, sort of, envelop him and never let him go off and do anything else. It's very important that his own career is progressing now. And we're looking forward to being back together in September to do Rock In Rio [in Brazil], and some dates in Argentina and Venezuela, I believe." After completing QUEEN's most recent European tour in January, May described Lambert as the only singer the band had found capable of filling the shoes of iconic frontman Freddie Mercury. "Adam is the first person we've encountered who can do all the QUEEN catalogue without blinking," said May. "He is a gift from God." Taylor echoed the guitarist's sentiments, adding: "[Adam's] incredibly musical, and we certainly take anything he says quite seriously." Lambert, for his part, downplayed the Mercury comparisons, saying: "There's never going to be another, and I'm not replacing him. That's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to keep the memory alive, and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating him. I'm trying to share with the audience how much he inspired me." Lambert released his third studio album, "The Original High", on June 16 through Warner Bros. Recorded in Stockholm, Sweden and Los Angeles, California with Max Martin and Shellback as executive producers, the CD displays a fresh sound for Lambert, and includes collaborations with Tove Lo and May.

DISTURBED: First 'Immortalized' Making-Of Webisode

July 1, 2015 - 15:39
After a four-year hiatus, Grammy Award-nominated, multiplatinum hard rock titans DISTURBED have announced their return with their sixth studio album, titled "Immortalized", to be released August 21 through Reprise Records. Lead single "The Vengeful One" is out now, along with the accompanying animated video from award-winning filmmaker Phil Mucci, and "Immortalized" is available for pre-order everywhere. The upcoming release follows 2010's gold-certified "Asylum", DISTURBED's fourth consecutive #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and the group's subsequent break, which gave members David Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums) and John Moyer (bass) the necessary reprieve to make this imminent and deliberate return. The first in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "Immortalized" can be seen below. "The idea was to leave when we were at our peak, which we were, and to come back when we felt reinvigorated," said Draiman. "Everything was strategic. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to breathe, give the fans a chance to breathe, and give the culture a chance to evolve. Now is the time. The environment feels ready. The musical landscape feels ready. We're ready." "We had basically been going nonstop since 1998," added Wengren. "We got to do our things. It didn't take too long until the itch started coming back." "We wanted to return when we collectively had that fire underneath us," agreed Donegan. "We missed it so much that we could tap into this energy and deliver the right album. We did it on our own terms." "The Vengeful One" has racked up more than two million views in eight days, and Donegan told The Pulse Of Radio they kept the creation of the new album a secret for the better part of a year. "It's been tough, because we haven't even told like some of our family and friends, so, I mean, for us to go away for almost four months, it was tricky," he said. "I mean, there was some family that I didn't even tell what I was doing. It was tricky to kind of keep that secret, 'cause I'm very bad at lying. I'm not a good liar at all, so to kind of withhold that information from our friends and family, it was tough." Regarding the songwriting process for "Immortalized", Draiman told "There's a lot of new and fresh in the mix. We had more input on each other's parts than we probably ever had previously. Everything was really put under the microscope and everybody had an opinion, and, believe me, everyone was voicing them loudly. You get all these very, very alpha type of mentalities all in one room together, all being very, very cocksure about what they want to do and how they want to do it. There were fireworks on an occasion or two, but I must say everyone was very, very decent and open and willing to try anything anyone suggested at any point in time. We were very, very cooperative with one another, very professional the entire time — not that we haven't always been, but especially this time." DISTURBED has yet to announce tour plans behind the new record Band photo credit: Travis Shinn


July 1, 2015 - 15:16
FIRESPAWN (formerly FIREBORN) — the new Swedish death metal project featuring Lars Göran Petrov (vocals; ENTOMBED) and Victor Brandt (guitar; ENTOMBED), Alex Friberg (bass; NECROPHOBIC), Fredrik Folkare (guitar; UNLEASHED, NECROPHOBIC) and Matte Modin (drums; DARK FUNERAL, DEFLESHED) — has signed a deal with Century Media. Hailing from Stockholm, FIRESPAWN is the unholy union of five death metal veterans with the aim to create blasphemous, sacrilegious and evil death metal, played by sharp minds with ancient souls. Comments Friberg: "We are stoked to be joining forces with Century Media. They are one of the biggest labels out there in extreme music and together we will spread the fire worldwide!" Adds Jens Prüter, head of A&R at Century Media: "Don't call it supergroup but this spawn of Satan combines the best of Stockholm death metal and it's great to see a bunch of old friends coming together for just one goal: to destroy. I know some of the guys for many years and it's an honor to help them spreading fire worldwide. Special thanks from my side to Costin Chioreanu and Paolo Girardi for helping out on the band's visual presentation, and my colleague Philipp Schulte for taking over the torch and bring you... FIRE! I'll see you burn!" FIRESPAWN's debut album will be released in November. A seven-inch EP, "Lucifer Has Spoken', will precede the CD on August 7 and will be limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. Visitors of PartySan Open Air festival: Keep your eyes open for a colored vinyl version of the seven-inch (100 copies only!) that will exclusively be offered at the Cudgel sales stand on the festival site. The cover artwork for "Lucifer Has Spoken" was created by Paolo Girardi who is known from his detailed Hieronymous Bosch-inspired cover artworks for INQUISITION, POWER TRIP and others. The seven-inch artwork just shows a part of a huge piece that will be unveiled when further news on the album is due. FIRESPAWN is: Lars Göran Petrov (ENTOMBED) - Vocals Victor Brandt (ENTOMBED) - Guitar Alex Friberg (NECROPHOBIC) - Bass Fredrik Folkare (UNLEASHED, NECROPHOBIC) - Guitar Matte Modin (DARK FUNERAL, DEFLESHED) - Drums

THE SWORD: 'High Country' Album Cover Unveiled; Title Track Streaming

July 1, 2015 - 14:54
Austin, Texas metal luminaries THE SWORD will release their new album, "High Country", on August 21 via Razor & Tie. Recorded in Austin, the CD was produced by Adrian Quesada and mixed by J. Robbins. "High Country" features 15 new compositions and will be released simultaneously in CD and double vinyl formats. It will be available today for preorder through Razor & Tie as well as the band's merch site. Access to both preorders is at The Razor & Tie preorder includes multiple bundles featuring double colored vinyl, cassettes, three t-shirt designs, a hoodie, as well as a lithograph of the album art. The CD and double vinyl can also be preordered as standalone pieces. The band's preorder features one bundle which includes the CD, an exclusive double colored vinyl with earth and sky printing, a custom engraved and numbered stash box with album art featured on the inside the of the lid, a custom shredder card, a custom packet of rolling papers, and a custom engraved dugout. "High Country" track listing: 01. Unicorn Farm 02. Empty Temples 03. High Country 04. Tears Like Diamonds 05. Mist And Shadow 06. Agartha 07. Seriously Mysterious 08. Suffer No Fools 09. Early Snow 10. The Dreamthieves 11. Buzzards 12. Silver Petals 13. Ghost Eye 14. Turned To Dust 15. The Bees Of Spring The "High Country" title track can be streamed at In conjunction with the release of "High Country", THE SWORD will embark on a 25-show European tour. The trek begins on release day, August 21, at the Pstereo Festival in Trondheim, Norway and ends in Bristol, U.K. on September 19. The band will be touring throughout the remainder of 2015 and 2016. Asked by Radio Cannon in a 2014 interview how he feels the metal scene has evolved since THE SWORD started, the band's guitarist, Kyle Shutt, said: "It's funny, because I think when we started people reacted differently to us because the metal scene was dominated by these macho, wrestler-looking types, screaming at you, etc… And bands like that are dying out. It's becoming a lot more rock 'n' roll. And I also notice that heavy metal journalism in the last ten years is so much more positive compared to when we started. It was so negative back then. And you gotta have haters, you know what I'm saying? It's just that there used to besome serious debates about us on message boards where people would try to figure out what we did and have these crazy theories that we were like, this pre-packaged band. It was so hateful for no reason, and nowadays people are so much more accepting. I think music just got so terrible for a while and so many shitty bands got shoved down people's throats by record labels throwing money at record stations and I think people just started looking past the bullshit and are much more open-minded now, with awesome bands like GRAVEYARD and BOMBUS. Or AMERICAN SHARKS, from Austin. Just cool heavy bands getting exposure."

FRANKIE BANALI: 'I Felt It Was Unfair For Me Not To Be Able To Continue' With QUIET RIOT

July 1, 2015 - 14:23
QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali and the band's former bassist, Rudy Sarzo, were interviewed on a recent episode of "Talk Is Jericho", the podcast of Chris Jericho, the world champion pro wrestler, actor, New York Times best-selling author and lead vocalist of the metal band FOZZY. You can now listen to the chat at A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On late QUIET RIOT singer Kevin DuBrow, who died in November 2007 of an accidental cocaine overdose at the age of 52: "Kevin was always bigger than life — not just on stage. He'd walk into a room and he would literally suck the oxygen out of the room, because he was so dynamic. I mean, Kevin wanted everything out of life, and he got it — both good and bad. He was the complete package… He was animated… If you're a singer, you have to have a certain amount of ego, because you have to go out there, essentially, bare naked — no guitar, no drums, nothing — and sell it. And he had an incredible amount of self-confidence. I always tell people about Kevin — because, with everything, there's the duality of it — and I always tell people that Kevin was my biggest asset and my biggest liability. Because with everything that he did over the top, it was both over-the-top good and over-the-top bad. But I think, once you see the [recently released QUIET RIOT documentary 'Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back'], you will understand not only the personality and the individual that Kevin was, and how dynamic but also how troubled he was, but you'll also see how difficult it is for those shoes to be filled, because he was the complete package. I've told people so many times that Kevin had only two bad shows in his entire career… You know, people have great shows and good shows, but bad ones… he only had two in his entire career. One, because he had an incredibly bad cold, and the other one because he had been partying for two days solid. But beyond that….? And when he got up on stage, that was his happy place; that was where he loved to be most. But because he loved it so much, when the curtain came down, he couldn't turn it off. And that's when those problems would surface. And with success came a situation where Kevin just, basically, did whatever he wanted to do, and nobody could call him on it, because, as long as the band was successful, they didn't wanna rock Kevin's boat. And that just escalated and escalated and escalated until, finally, we had no choice but… In 1987, the label, the management, the American agent, the European agent — everybody across the board — wanted Kevin out, because he had become a liability." On how difficult it was to fire Kevin in 1987: "It was more difficult… Believe me, it's been really difficult, but it was more difficult for me emotionally, because, even though the decision to fire Kevin in '87 was not a decision that was made by one singular person — it was made by everyone — Kevin always held me responsible for it. So that was an emotional aspect of it." On his decision to resurrect QUIET RIOT in 2010 with a new singer: "The idea of getting somebody other than Kevin in the band was unthinkable to me. It was three years before I even considered it… three years. And it was not an easy decision. And when you watch the film, you could see how difficult it was, and how difficult it was to continue, and with all the different dynamics and everything that has happened." "I had three years where I didn't pick up drum sticks, I didn't play, I didn't do anything. I was in mourning for three years. As far as the situation with Kevin's mother, I will accept any criticism — bring it on; as much as you wanna criticize me… The world can criticize me, if they want, for doing QUIET RIOT without Kevin — as long as one of those critics is not Kevin's mother. That is at the heart of it. If she had a problem with it, then I wouldn't have moved forward. That's the only person that I didn't wanna insult or hurt, or, in any stretch of the imagination, be inconsiderate of. Everybody else can say what they want; it makes no difference to me. I want their support, but if they don't offer it, then that's their business. Life goes on." On how difficult it was to bring QUIET RIOT back knowing that Kevin would never be part of it again: "The dynamics of it are so intricate, it wasn't until Regina [Russell, director of 'Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back'] wanted to make the film that I seriously… 'Cause it was in the back of my mind to maybe try it again. Because I'm one of those people, I will always try the most impossible thing, I will always try, to see if I can overcome it. And if I don't, you don't. But it wasn't until I was really forced to look at all this footage that I had, and all the pictures, and all the magazines… 'Cause, remember: it's not just live performances, [it's] home movies, pictures of us backstage… stuff that nobody saw but the people that were in our little party… that I came to realize that I miss Kevin, but I miss being in QUIET RIOT, because I've invested almost my entire adult career in this band. And I felt it was unfair for me not to be able to continue — even though a critical component was now not part of the picture." In addition to Banali, QUIET RIOT's current lineup, which includes singer Jizzy Pearl (LOVE/HATE, L.A. GUNS, ADLER'S APPETITE, RATT), bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex Grossi.

CROWBAR's KIRK WINDSTEIN: 'Bands That Were Once Very Successful Are Literally Falling Off The Map'

July 1, 2015 - 12:56
Howie D. from Hard Edge Radio and National Rock Review recently conducted an interview with Kirk Windstein of New Orleans sludge metal veterans CROWBAR. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. Asked to name his biggest fear as a musician, Kirk responded: "My biggest fear, being a musician, is probably has already come true, which is the way the business is these days, with no one selling records and illegal downloading. I mean, it really, really, really has changed… I mean, bands that were once very successful are literally falling off the map; I mean, they are falling off the face of the earth. It's, like, bands, they'll get popular, and thrn, boom, they're gone. We've been so fortunate to survive that, but I think a lot of the reason we have survived and we continue to thrive and continue to move forward is that we never did have a huge amount of success and we never were the hot flavor-of-the-month thing. We never fit into any genre. We're just CROWBAR. We make our own music. And, for us, it's just about… slow and steady wins the race. You know, the hare-and-the-tortoise mentality: keep doing what you're doing, keep doing it at a high level, be great to your fans, treat them with respect, kick ass every night, and you'll be able to continue doing it." CROWBAR's latest album, "Symmetry In Black", sold around 3,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 68 on The Billboard 200 chart. CROWBAR's previous CD, 2011's "Sever The Wicked Hand", opened with around 3,500 units to land at position No. 4 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. "Symmetry In Black" came out in North America on May 27, 2014 via Entertainment One Music. The CD, which was made available in Europe on May 26, 2014 through Century Media Records, was produced by CROWBAR guitarist/vocalist Kirk Windstein and Duane Simoneaux and was mixed by Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA). Interview (audio):

BUTCHER BABIES' HEIDI SHEPHERD Thanks 'Naysayers' For Giving Her A 'Kick In The Ass'

July 1, 2015 - 12:16
Heavy Metal Artwork conducted an interview with BUTCHER BABIES singer Heidi Shepherd and guitarist Henry Flury at the 2015 edition of the U.K.'s Download festival, which was held last month in Donington Park. You can now watch the chat below. Speaking about the endless amount of online hate that has been directed at the BUTCHER BABIES since the release of the band's debut album, "Goliath", Heidi said: "The naysayers are the ones that push me the hardest. I was always that kid who… I had this teacher in junion high that told my mom that I would never be successful at something. Like, what a jerk! Right?! And so I was, like, 'Yeah. Fuck that!' And I so I got great grades. I was an athlete. Sometimes people are, like, 'Oh, no. You're too short to high jump.'… People who tell me 'no,' I'm going to do it. So thank you to the naysayers." Heidi went on to say that she has used negative motivation to make a positive impact on her life. "You have to," she explained. "As a human, you have to. We all have [negativity] so much around in our lives, and to take it as a kick in the ass, to light a fire under your ass instead of letting it get you down. I think that's great. I think a lot of people should learn to do that. A lot more would be accomplished in the world if people learned to do that." BUTCHER BABIES' sophomore album, "Take It Like A Man", will be released on August 21 via Century Media. The CD was produced by Logan Mader, who has previously worked with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, DEVILDRIVER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and GOJIRA. BUTCHER BABIES kick off a massive European touring run on July 7 and then will join GWAR and BATTLECROSS across North America from August 25 to September 18.

PAPA ROACH Was 'A Little Bit Surpised' By Overwhelmingly Positive Response To New Songs

July 1, 2015 - 10:44
Kaaos TV conducted an interview with PAPA ROACH guitarist Jerry Horton before the band's June 23 performance at at The Circus in Helsinki, Finland. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the fan response to PAPA ROACH's eighth studio album, "F.E.A.R." (Face Everything And Rise), which was released on January 27: "[We've had] lots of good feedback, which is… You know, it's a little bit surprising, because [the album] is different, and it sounds different from the last record. But even people that are not die-hard PAPA ROACH fans — like on the festivals that we've been doing — people are jumping up and down. Just at the end of the song, they're showing that they like that one. And it's good. We're excited about it." On having IN THIS MOMENT's Maria Brink as a guest on "F.E.A.R.": "It seems like with every record that we do, when we talk about doing it and what our goals are, the idea of having a collaboration comes up. And we've talked about having a female vocalist for quite a few years, but we could never agree on anything… on anyone between us. And then we were on tour with SHINEDOWN and IN THIS MOMENT a couple of years ago, and decided that we were gonna work with the producer [Kevin Churko] that did IN THIS MOMENT's previous albums and learned that we would be in the studio at the same time. So we said, 'Okay, are you down for this? Do you wanna do a song with us?' And she said, 'Of course.' So immediately we all said, 'Okay. Cool. We just have to find the right song for her to sing on.'" PAPA ROACH singer Jacoby Shaddix said that "F.E.A.R." was "probably the most positive record we've written" and described it as a "very guitar-heavy record." "F.E.A.R." followed up 2012's "The Connection", which was made as Shaddix was going through personal turmoil, including problems in his marriage and a struggle to stay sober.

Video: IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON Takes Part In Music Therapy Session With Special Needs Children

July 1, 2015 - 10:18
IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson visited music charity Nordoff Robbins's London, England centre on June 22 to celebrate Music Therapy Week. The Nordoff Robbins London Centre in Kentish Town is the world's largest dedicated music therapy centre. It aims to offer a broad range of music therapy and music services to meet the needs of as many different people in as many different circumstances as possible. Ir provides specialist piano, keyboard, singing and songwriting lessons for people with a disability, illness, emotional difficulties or other challenges; music groups for babies, toddlers and their parents; singing groups for children with autism and adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung conditions. During his visit, Bruce took part in a music therapy session with children from the Richard Cloudesley School, a special needs school in London, who have been bringing their children to Nordoff Robbins for music therapy for over 20 years. Bruce said: "I've always thought that music therapy makes sense, because music is a universal language, and it crosses every border, every disability. People just like making a racket and it's very fulfilling, especially if you can make a good racket with somebody. It's sharing, it's communicating, but it doesn't have to be in words." A short film about Bruce's visit to Nordoff Robbins's London, England centre can be seen below. On July 3, IRON MAIDEN will be awarded the prestigious O2 Silver Clef by Nordoff Robbins in recognition of "outstanding contribution to U.K. music." Previous winners include THE ROLLING STONES, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS and QUEEN; last year's Silver Clef winner was Jimmy Page. Dickinson was recently given the all-clear after being diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year.

MASTODON Featured In Amoeba Music's 'What's In My Bag?' Segment (Video)

July 1, 2015 - 09:40
Guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON are featured in Amoeba Music's "What's In My Bag?" segment in which they talks about some of the records they are into. In the clip below, they can be seen shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, where they pick up music by RUSH and MELVINS, among others. MASTODON's latest album, "Once More 'Round The Sun", 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, 2014 via Reprise Records. "Once More 'Round The Sun" was recorded in Nashville with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz, who is known for his work with RUSH, DEFTONES, FOO FIGHTERS and ALICE IN CHAINS.

Video Premiere: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's 'Jekyll And Hyde'

July 1, 2015 - 05:05
"Jekyll And Hyde", the new video from Las Vegas-based metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's sixth album, "Got Your Six", which will be released on August 28 through Prospect Park in North America and Eleven Seven Music outside North America. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's U.S. record label, Prospect Park, got "five finger death punked" when they asked the band for a new music video. Guitarist Zoltan Bathory explains: "Punking the label and trolling the trolls is actually very satisfying… so either we make a video that makes a difference like 'Wrong Side Of Heaven' did or we just fuck it all up and have fun with it... just clown the whole thing as we did with 'Under And Over It'… and now with this one. We didn't even hire a director… We didn't want this to accidentally make sense." Adds Jeremy Summers, president of Prospect Park: "First we were scratching our collective heads, but we never once interfered with [the band's] vision… so ultimately — if that's what the band wants to put out, we are not going to stop them. We were shocked, then cried, then laughed because it's actually funny." "Jekyll And Hyde" has already claimed the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Rock chart upon release, debuted on the Spotify Viral chart and Shazam Future Hits chart. It is also quickly approaching the Top Ten rock radio charts after just two weeks. Regarding the song's inception, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine: "[FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] Ivan [Moody] is a total caveman. In 2015, we have every device known to God for recording yourself or capturing an idea in MP3 and e-mailing it somewhere, but he has no technical savvy at all. He's always, like, 'I had a great idea last night, but I had no way of capturing it.' So one night I told Ivan, 'No matter what, if you have ideas, call me and leave them on my voicemail.' A year later, I'm at home looking through old hard drives and old folders on my computer, and I come across this Pro Tools session that had a bunch of voicemails from Ivan dumped into the computer from my phone. I open this session and I start listening through these voicemail song ideas. He sketches out the lyrics and vibe for this one idea, so I start laying a little riff underneath it, and then I start creating another section where I cut some of his words and made a little chorus. I sent it out to everybody and said, 'I don't know what you think, but this is something that Ivan left on my voicemail a year ago,' and they were, like, 'Ooh! That's pretty cool!' That actual voicemail ended up staying in the song! What you hear in the first verse is all from that voicemail message." Ivan clarified, telling the magazine: "What happened was that it was, like, 4 a.m. and I was up writing, and I looked on the Internet and saw that somebody had posted on my Facebook page — but I don't even have a Facebook page. So that was the start of it. At the very bottom, there was a media release saying that I had died — that I had overdosed in some club in New York. This rhythm popped into my head — this quick 4/4 beat — and I knew that Zoltan [Bathory, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist] would be sleeping and Jeremy [Spencer, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer] hates when I call him late. So I left it on Jason's voicemail, and it was the beginning of 'Jekyll And Hyde'. It ended up being a fantastic fucking song. I think it's one of the best we've ever written." The "Got Your Six" pre-order, as well as several exclusive album pre-order merchandise packages, are live and ready now at Upon purchasing any "Got Your Six" pre-order offer, buyers will be able to instantly download "Jekyll And Hyde". "Got Your Six" is available in various formats to accommodate fans digitally, as well as those who prefer a physical item CD or vinyl alike: * Standard album, digital (11 tracks) * Deluxe album, digital (11 tracks + 3 bonus tracks) * Standard physical CD (11 tracks) * Deluxe physical CD (11 tracks + 3 bonus tracks + redeemable code for an exclusive t-shirt) * Vinyl (11 tracks + 3 bonus tracks + digital download card for the deluxe version of the album) There will also be an exclusive Best Buy edition of the album available (deluxe album and an exclusive, limited-edition FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH merchandise item). "Got Your Six" track listing: 01. Got Your Six 02. Jekyll And Hyde 03. Wash It All Away 04. Ain't My Last Dance 05. My Nemesis 06. No Sudden Movement 07. Question Everything 08. Hell To Pay 09. Digging My Own Grave 10. Meet My Maker 11. Boots And Blood Deluxe-edition bonus tracks: 12. You're Not My Kind 13. This Is My War 14. I Apologize FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will head out on a co-headlining fall tour with PAPA ROACH. The trek kicks off on September 4 in Lexington, Kentucky, winding down on October 9 in Glen Falls, New York. Also along will be IN THIS MOMENT and FROM ASHES TO NEW. The two headliners actively involved their fans in the routing of the tour by giving them the opportunity to request the tour come to their city via a "demand campaign." Some 1.5 million people responded and made their choices known.

VENOM's CRONOS Says 'Black Metal' Is A 'Very Dated' Album

July 1, 2015 - 00:19
British black metal pioneers VENOM were interviewed by Conny Schiffbauer of Germany's WDR "Rockpalast" prior to the band's May 22 performance at the Rock Hard Festival in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. You can now watch the chat below. On VENOM's early days: Cronos (bass, vocals): "People didn't understand it back then. But, in saying that, the album we've just released, 'From The Very Depths' and 'Fallen Angels' [2011], [are] selling a lot more copies than 'Black Metal' [1982], so… Back then, people didn't understand the music, so they didn't really… There wasn't very many people who liked it, who got into it. It was really underground. There was a lot more hype around that album. We've had kids coming up to us and saying, 'I don't like 'Black Metal'.' It's a very dated album, and unless you're from that period, it's difficult to get into. That's why we play some of the songs live — so people can understand it. But I prefer the newer stuff anyway." On VENOM's Satanic imagery: Cronos: "We're not gonna sit back here with candles and crucifixes. I mean, we're normal people. But then we put on a show. So we like to have a divide between that. You know, I mean, actors are the same. Gary Oldman played Dracula in a film, but if you met him for an interview, he wouldn't be sitting there with fangs." "Yes, we have the imagery, but, like, with the music, it's a lot to do with the message of… We sort of grew up in an age where all the jobs and work and everything were all crumbling around us, so you've really gotta dig deep and find out what you wanna do with your life and how you're gonna get on. It's about having your own mind. And that's where the Satanism bit comes in. It's like having your own thoughts — not being told what to do, not being led. You guide your own life. You're here once — you're born, you live, you die, so in that bit in the middle, do your fucking best." On whether it's true VENOM was influenced by QUEEN: Cronos: "Yeah, and T. REX and [DAVID] BOWIE and JETHRO TULL and RUSH. All the stuff that came out in the '70s, that was all the inspiration for what we do today. We like to evolve the ideas. It's what's wrong with a lot of bands — when they are exactly the same as the other bands. And then, who wants two of any one band? There was a lot of bands, especially in the '80s, coming out who were very much like JUDAS PRIEST, or very much like BLACK SABBATH, or very much like DEEP PURPLE. Well, you can't beat those guys, 'cause they are the gods. They are the people we all look up to. So who wants a small version of that? Nobody. So, we tried to create a new image to fit what we did.

Ex-IRON MAIDEN Singer PAUL DI'ANNO: 'I Wasn't Gonna Retire'

June 30, 2015 - 23:26
ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ, the new band featuring former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'Anno alongside members of Paul's longtime German touring backing group THE PHANTOMZ, was interviewed by Germany's WDR "Rockpalast" prior to ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ's May 22 performance at the Rock Hard Festival in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. You can now watch the chat below. Asked why he changed his mind after he announced that he was retiring from the road in 2013, Di'Anno responded: "No, I didn't retire. Everyone got that wrong. I was gonna take some time and I was gonna get my knee fixed, which soon will happen, obviously and unfortunately. I wasn't gonna retire. I wanted to retire the MAIDEN stuff and do what I am now doing [with ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ]. But now, I'm, like, 'Ah, fuck it! I'll do both.'" He continued: "We still play as THE PHANTOMZ every now and again, and around the world, I still do the covers stuff. And then we wanna try the ARCHITECTS out around the world, which it deserves to be there. Let's be honest, you know what I mean?! I haven't heard anything… I'm not being big-headed, but we're different. We're metal, we're hardcore, we're punk… We've got so many different ways we can go. Especially for a German band, outside of RAMMSTEIN, I don't think there's been anything good from Germany… So there you go." ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ will release its debut album, "The League Of Shadows", in North America on July 24 via Metalville Records. Joining Di'Anno in ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ are Joey Siedl (guitar), Andreas Ballnus (guitar), Christoph Lücker (bass) and Dominik Fox (drums). Recorded, mixed and mastered by Martin Buckwalter (DESTRUCTION, PERZONAL WAR, SUIDAKRA), the songs on "The League Of Shadows" follow the tradition of classic New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), including influences of modern power metal. "The League Of Shadows" track listing: 01. Rejected 02. How Many Times 03. Horsemen 04. Switched Off 05. Erase The World 06. Dead Eyes 07. Architects Of Chaoz 08. When Murder Comes To Town 09. Obsidian Black 10. Angel Of Death † 11. Apache Falls 12. Soldier Of Fortune † † Limited-edition bonus tracks ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ is scheduled to perform at the Wacken Open Air festival on July 30. Di'Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

SLAYER's KERRY KING On 'Repentless': 'Some Of These Songs Are Classics Already'

June 30, 2015 - 21:41
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King says that he expects to get some flak from the band's followers for releasing a new studio album without two of SLAYER's founding members, but believes that "the die-hard fans are gonna love it." Due on September 11, SLAYER's new CD, "Repentless", will mark the band's first effort without both co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013, and original drummer Dave Lombardo, who was fired from the group earlier that same year. "I expect some backlash," King admitted to Music Radar. "I expect some people saying, 'It's not SLAYER, Jeff's not in it. Dave's not in it.' But you can't say it's not AC/DC because Bon Scott isn't in the band! I think the die-hard fans are gonna love it." Even though SLAYER has yet to perform most of the "Repentless" songs in front of an audience, King is adamant that the new material stands up to the band's earlier efforts. "Some of these songs are classics already," he says. "One of my favorites is 'Take Control'. That song is Riff City. Just when you think you've heard them all, another one pops up!" Asked if felt a lot of stress and pressure when composing "Repentless" knowing that he had to create it without one of SLAYER's main songwriters there to provide that input and influence he has leaned on for more than thirty years, King told OC Weekly: "I didn't because I started working on it a lot earlier. I started working on this album when Jeff first got hurt. Had I not started working until Jeff passed, yeah, that would've been a whole different story. I started two-plus years before that. I didn't know if he was going to come back, how much he was going to contribute if anything. I took it upon myself to assume he had nothing and went from there." According to Kerry, Hanneman served as the inspiration for the "Repentless" title track. "Once I got the chorus done, I decided to make it kind of a Jeff tribute, kind of like from the perspective of how I saw Jeff's outlook on life," King told The Press Enterprise. "Maybe it helped me get over it, maybe it will help the fans heal a little bit."

TWISTED SISTER's DEE SNIDER: How 'We're Not Gonna Take It' Song And Video Came To Be

June 30, 2015 - 18:50
TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider recently dropped by the studios of the Boom 97.3 FM radio station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to play the band's classic song "We're Not Gonna Take It" on vinyl. Dee talked about how the song was made, how the music video came to be and revealed how the melody of the song happened with "divine intervention." "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "Stay Hungry" were the biggest hit single and album, respectively, in TWISTED SISTER's career. Snider said "We're Not Gonna Take It" is now part of America's cultural fabric. "It's become like a folk song. It's a traditional song now. It has a simple message that's applicable to everything from sports teams to politics. I even once heard about the song being used by people protesting the development of commercial property," he said. The song's lyrics say in part "Oh you're so condescending/Your gall is never ending/We don't want nothin'/Not a thing from you." "We're Not Gonna Take It" has been used in commercials for hotel chain Extended Stay America, Claritin, Walmart, Stanley Steamer and Yaz birth control. A few years ago, Snider slammed Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan for using "We're Not Gonna Take It" at a political rally.

Official ROB ZOMBIE Pinball Game 'Spookshow International' Coming In January

June 30, 2015 - 18:18
Spooky Pinball, LLC will release the Rob Zombie Spookshow International pinball game in January 2016. The production run will be limited to 300 and will include 10 classic Zombie songs and custom speech by the artist himself. "The Devil's Rejects" actor Sid Haig will also lend his voice to the machine. Spooky has outsourced artistic talent to Alex Horley and toy design to Back Alley Creations. In the game you can battle Captain Spaulding to survive the House Of 1,000 Corpses! * $5995 for Pro Model (250 Pro models are going to be built) * $6495 for LE (50 LE models are going to be built) (Different back glass and side armor) Highlights of the pinball machine: * 10 classic Rob Zombie songs - "Dragula" - "Never Gonna Stop (Red Red Kroovy)" - "Living Dead Girl" - "Demonoid Phenominon" - "American Witch" - "What?" - "Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown" - "Feel So Numb" - "Superbeast" - "House Of 1,000 Corpses" * Game speech by Rob Zombie * Art by Alex Horley Check out a trailer below.

New QUEENSRŸCHE Album To Be Released In October

June 30, 2015 - 17:44
Fabio Pugliese conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton on June 24 in Rome, Italy. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the current QUEENSRŸCHE lineup: "Well, there's a new unity. There's a bond between the band, and everyone is on the same level. Everyone is participating as musicians, and things are moving along really great, and the songwriting is very cohesive. And you'll see the energy in the stage show and you'll just see the difference." On whether there has been a change in QUEENSRŸCHE's approach to making music: "As far as the members of the band QUEENSRYCHE, it's always been about pushing the creativity and evolving as a band, and we haven't changed in that aspect of writing. We just kind of more defined it in the last few years." On some people's opinion that current QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre's voice is very similar to that of the band's former frontman, Geoff Tate: "I think Todd [has a style] his own. I think he has nuances of many singers, just as guitar players have nuances of other guitar players. I think he has just been under the microscope, but he does have his own voice." On QUEENSRŸCHE's upcoming studio album: "The next album from QUEENSRYCHE is hopefully coming out the first week of October. We are doing a worldwide release, and very much expected. And the record label, Century Media, is the one that will be putting it out, and they have the demos right now and are very positive and happy about it. I know that a lot of people are really anticipating this, so stay tuned and you won't be disappointed."

METAL CHURCH: Snippet Of New Song 'Suffer Fools' Featuring Vocalist MIKE HOWE

June 30, 2015 - 17:14
A rough audio snippet of returning METAL CHURCH singer Mike Howe working on lyrics for the new song "Suffer Fools" — to be included on the band's forthcoming album — can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below. The track features the lineup of Howe, Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar), Jeff Plate (drums), Steve Unger (bass) and Rick Van Zandt (lead guitar). It was mixed by Chris "The Wizard" Collier. METAL CHURCH's new CD will be released in the fall via Rat Pak Records. Howe, who fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, officially rejoined the band in April. In the summer of 2014, METAL CHURCH suddenly found themselves in need of a new singer. As fate would have it, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof was already in talks with Mike for another project that he was working on with SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler, so he decided to ask Mike to rejoin METAL CHURCH. Mike agreed, but true to form, didn't want to make it official until he knew for sure that the integrity of the new material was there. Said Mike: "I didn't want to come back to METAL CHURCH just for nostalgia. It had to be for the right reasons. It had to be the best stuff we've ever written together or it just wouldn't be worth it to anyone, especially the fans." Soon after, Kurdt and Mike began exchanging ideas and writing new material with the band. The end result sounds like "classic Mike Howe-era METAL CHURCH," according to Vanderhoof. "It's both heavy and melodic. Mike sounds the same as he did 20 years ago. He addws: "This is going to be truly epic!!" Drummer Jeff Plate commentws: "Mike Howe is the ONLY singer for METAL CHURCH. He has a reputation of complete honor and respect. We can now take METAL CHURCH to the next level!" Howe originally joined METAL CHURCH in the late '80s and released three albums with the band: "Blessing In Disguise" (1989), "The Human Factor" (1991) and "Hanging In The Balance" (1994). Mike was also the face of popular music videos "Date With Poverty" and "Badlands" that aired during MTV's heyday. METAL CHURCH 2015 is: Mike Howe (vocals) Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar) Jeff Plate (drums) Steve Unger (bass) Rick VanZandt (guitar)