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Judas Priest, Rush, Metallica, Anthrax, Black Label Society, Chris Cornell, Grave Digger and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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  • Robert
    When Judas Priest announced its final world tour last month headbangers far and wide, young and ancient, stained their black-leather pants with a torrent of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2011
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      When Judas Priest announced its final world tour last month headbangers far and wide, young and ancient, stained their black-leather pants with a torrent of tears. The British metal icons had been bringing the noise to its followers—off and (mostly) on—since 1969, traversing the globe and selling huge shiploads of albums. The group’s latest release, The Chosen Few, is a collection of career-spanning tracks that was chosen by such die-hard Priest fans as Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, and Lemmy Kilmister.
      But as guitarist Glenn Tipton explains on the line from a tour stop in Phoenix, there’s no real reason to grieve the band’s passing and finally bury those crusty earplugs from the ’80s.
      “It’s not the end of the band,” he clarifies. “We are gonna do at least one more album, and if the right string of dates were offered to us for the right reasons, we would consider them. But we’re just not gonna schlep around the whole planet again, that’s our thinking.”
      Tipton turned 64 on October 25, so you can understand why he might be feeling the rigours of the long, hard road. Another reason for his band’s toning down of its itinerary could be the fact that original guitarist K.K. Downing—who recruited Tipton back in ’74 for Priest’s debut album Rocka Rolla—quit the group last November.
      “We were all surprised,” relates Tipton of Downing’s departure. “We were shocked. We didn’t do anything for three months in case he changed his mind, but he was adamant. And it was almost the end of the band. If we hadn’t have found Richie I don’t think we’d be out here now.”
      Richie Faulkner is the 31-year-old picker from London who was chosen to fill Downing’s frets last April. A former member of the British bands Deeds, Voodoo Six, and Ace Mafia, he was unknown to the heavy-metal masses at the time of his induction into the Priesthood. Faulkner himself couldn’t believe that a group of its stature was looking to enlist him.
      “We actually tried to get in touch with him for a week,” explains Tipton, “and he didn’t return our emails. He thought that it was a joke; he thought it was spam and he kept deleting it. So we had to try another way to get in touch with him, and then he realized that it was the real thing.”
      Although Faulkner is only half the age of the player he was hired to replace, his relative inexperience hasn’t been an issue. Tipton claims that the new guy has all the necessary chops, and just as importantly blended into the band straightaway.
      “K.K. was such a big part of the band that we just thought he wouldn’t be replaceable,” he says, “but Richie captures the essence of everything that he needs to do. And he puts his own spin on things, too. You have to see it to believe it, really.”
      While Judas Priest has never run short of original material—including ’80s hits like “Living After Midnight”, “Breaking the Law”, and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ ”—it has also drawn praise for its choice of covers. On The Chosen Few, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot picked Priest’s 1977 version of Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust”, while both Whitesnake’s David Coverdale and Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe chose its ’78 rendition of Peter Green’s “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)”.
      “Everybody’s got their own favourite Priest songs for different reasons,” cites Tipton. “It could be a point in your life that was a low point where a Priest song helps you get through, or it could be a happy point in your life when you just enjoy Priest music. Or it could remind you of your college days. I’ve sort of given up being surprised by people’s choices.”
      Besides its vast array of proven ear-busters, Judas Priest is noted for its refusal to wimp out as far as on-stage spectacle is concerned, and the current tour is no exception.
      “It’s a normal Priest extravaganza,” says Tipton, “with lasers, lights, bikes, flames—you name it, we’ve got it. The music’s always been most important, but we like to punctuate it with a lot of showmanship, if you like.”
      And of course that has included the donning of a whole lotta leather over the years as well. So how much longer can a 64-year-old gentleman from Blackheath, England, be expected to decorate himself in the full-on metal regalia?
      “I’m still goin’ strong,” claims Tipton, “but, you know, I don’t know how much life I’ve got left in me in terms of putting leather and studs on and going out there and thrashing out heavy metal. I want to retire before people start saying that I should have retired—I think that’s the best way to put it.”
      Judas Priest plays Rogers Arena on Sunday (October 30).
       
       
      Geddy Lee called into Rolling Stone earlier this week to chat about the new Rush DVD Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland. We previewed "Tom Sawyer" from the package earlier this week, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk to Lee about Rush's new album, the possibility of a 2112 tour, the band's surprising presence in mainstream culture in recent years and what the future holds for the trio. 
      Did you gain a new appreciation for Moving Pictures after playing it so many times on the last tour?
      There were parts of Moving Pictures that we hadn't played in quite some time –particularly "Camera Eye." We felt that it hadn't aged very well. It's also a tough song to learn because it's so long. But we approached the song with the sensibility we have now and we kind of reinterpreted it and made it our own, 30 years later. We really did enjoy playing Moving Pictures every night. I looked forward to that part of the show and I saw how much it meant to fans to hear that song live. That really was the most requested Rush song on all the Rush petition sites.
      Do you pay much attention to what the fans want on the Internet?
      I try not to. I don't like to go on those sites. I think it kind of warps your sense of yourself. But certainly it comes to our attention through people saying, "Well, fans are asking for this." We do try to bring one or two songs back every tour that we haven't played or that are a little obscure. That is fun for us. I think the mainstream fans want to hear the big songs, but the fans that are really dedicated to your entire catalog, they want to hear the obscure stuff. It's fun to pick out a couple of songs that maybe we thought got overlooked or songs that, x number of years later, we thought we could probably do a better version of.
      Do you ever think about doing a tour where the setlist changes a lot from night to night?
      Well, we have talked about that. But it's a three-hour show, and it's really hard to remember as it is. There were a couple of tours where we did multiple days and we would switch off. I think we had three or four songs we were switching from night to night. And it kind of wreaks havoc from show to show, because so much of the lighting rig and choreography and films and everything are computer programmed. It definitely keeps everyone on their toes to switch up from night to night. For us, the amount of work that goes into one of our shows is kind of challenging enough without making it even harder on us. 
      Do you think you guys might perform another album on a future tour?
      I think we would. I would love to try that idea again. I thought it was really fun. And given the fact that we play for almost three hours, you can do that and still have lots of time left over to play other stuff. We had time for our newer songs and we had time for more obscure songs. So it kind of works in the way we present ourselves.
      I'd love to hear 2112 straight through.
      I think that's something that would be fun to try.
      Do you think it's possible?
      Oh yeah, it's definitely possible.
      There are times I watch you onstage and I just can't help but think how taxing it must be to sing all the songs, while playing bass and keyboards.
      Yeah,  it's hard.  But it's fun. I like a challenge every night. And certainly as the tour winds on, you feel the pressure to continually do it as well every night to keep that level up. But I think that's also part of the pressure for me in a way. You don't get bored. You don't have time to get bored, and you feel really good when you've hit all your marks and you've changed all the instruments and everything sounded correct.
      Have you ever thought, "Screw it, we're getting a keyboard player"?
      Well, we've had that discussion many times, believe me. There was a while when we were doing a lot of heavy keyboard-oriented material where it was getting a bit much for me and I would suggest, "Let's bring in a keyboard player and free me up to play bass more." I was getting a little resentful because I consider myself a bass player first, and that was starting to become a problem for me. We talked it through and said, "Well, look at the technology that's available for us. Let's just figure out a way we can bring in more technology into the show." We think our fans would rather see the three of us wrestling with machines rather than adding another member.
      I know people that don't even like Rush that have seen that recent documentary about 10 times. I'd say that it's probably one of the best rock documentaries ever created.
      A lot of people have come up to me, who are unexpected, and have commented that they liked the story. It's hard for me to be objective and it's hard for me to even watch because there's so much of me talking in it.
      What's funny is that it doesn't have the usual rock documentary cliches of drugs, sex, horrible infighting, break-ups, reunions . . .
      We're still young. Give us time [laughs] . . . The one thing I said to the director when they approached us about doing the film was, "I don't want you to come crying to us when you discover how boring we actually are." They said, "Let us worry about that." And I said, "Fine, knock yourself out."
      You guys have seemed more present in the culture these past few years than ever. It sort of feels like Rush are bigger than they've ever been, even around the time of Moving Pictures.
      Yeah, I think that is sort of true. There is certainly more mainstream awareness of us. I think our core fans have always been there, and it's thanks to them that we exist, really, but I think you're right. I think we kind of reached a broader marketplace around the world.
      That's gotta be gratifying.
      Oh, totally. And it keeps us going for sure. It's one thing to say you're in a band and you love to play and you're doing it for the love of it, and you certainly are. But if nobody cares, if nobody is out there waiting for you, it makes it harder to continue. But the fact that we know we have a lot of fans and increasingly our fans are growing and there are more cities that want us to come, I think that helps to spur you on. It makes you want to play your best.
      What's the status of the next album?
      We're almost finished writing. We wound the machine back up about three weeks ago. After a sluggish start, we've had a very fruitful couple of weeks in terms of writing. I'm very pleased with the direction that the material has taken. And I think we have one or two more songs that we'd like to write, and then we'll start recording in earnest. Hopefully we'll have all of the recording done before Christmas. Then we'll mix it some time in the next year, and then get it out.
      Wow. So it'll be out sometime early next year?
      Yeah.  I hope it'll be out by the spring anyway.
      Is the sound of the album similar to Snakes and Arrows?
      I think it's a little different than Snakes and Arrows. It's not finished so it's hard to say exactly what it will sound like in totality, but I think that the direction of "Caravan" and "BU2B" sort of points in the direction that we're going.
      With a new album in the spring, will you be touring in the summer?
      Well, there will be a tour. I can't tell you exactly when. Maybe the summer or maybe the fall. We need some time to organize all that, but we have started to do that at the same time. But yes, there will be a follow-up tour to support the record.
      I think back to the late 1990s and early 2000s when there was essentially no Rush. It would have been hard to imagine that a decade was coming with so much activity.
      I think that it's a good time for us right now. We feel invigorated by the success of the band. We feel invigorated by the quality of the material that we seem to be able to write. Frankly, I think we've come to a point in our lives where we feel like we're playing the best we've ever played as a live band. You don't know how long that's going to go. Rock and Roll does have its limits as far as the aging process. You want to go out there and play while you're at your peak, right? I think that's encouraging us to keep going out on the road - to maximize the playing at the moment. 
      I sometimes check out the fan forums and there's just an incredible amount of activity. Are you ever stunned by the level of fan devotion to your band?
      Yeah, I'm constantly shocked by that, frankly. There is no accounting for taste, I guess. [Laughs]
      Most bands with a cult following can't go our and play arenas and stadiums all over the world. You sort of break the mold that way.
      We're a hard band to explain, I think. Some of our detractors scratch their heads and they don't understand why we were such a success in the first place, let alone 40 years later. I don't try to understand it. I just try to enjoy it, frankly.
      You guys aren't even nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. If I had any say, I'd bring in you guys, Yes, King Crimson, Deep Purple, the New York Dolls, Joy Division, the Smiths, the Replacements, Devo, Peter Gabriel, New Order, Black Flag . . . I could talk about this forever, but it just makes me crazy you aren't even the ballot. 
      [Laughs] I appreciate the good thoughts. Maybe we'll get in one of these days. 
       
      METALLICA's first-ever concert in India, which was scheduled to take place tonight (Friday, October 28), in Gurgaon has been postponed until tomorrow evening as a result of technical issues.

      "Due to some technical problems we are postponing the METALLICA concert to tomorrow," organizers said.

      "The organizers have informed the police that due to technical reasons they are postponing the concert," said Gurgaon police commissioner SS Deshwal.

      "They have to explain why they cancelled it," he added.

      "They have not told anything to us," he said. But he maintained that people who came for the event were dispersing calmly and that "everything was under control."

      "The organisers have to say why they cancelled (the show). They have to explain. They have cancelled it without taking the district administration into confidence."

      According to IBNLive.com, fans had already gathered in large numbers at the Leisure Valley in Gurgaon today for the concert scheduled to begin at 7:30. After the news of postponement was announced on stage, disappointed fans tried to sabotage the venue. They broke barriers, climbed on stage and tore posters.

      "It is so disappointing. I have been standing in the line for two hours and then the organisers just announce that it has been postponed to tomorrow because of some technical difficulties," said Ramnik, a fan at the venue. Another fan Karan, who had come all the way from Mumbai, said, "I am very disappointed that the concert has been cancelled. I came all the way from Mumbai to see the concert. I have been standing for almost 2 hours now and have just been told that it has been postponed. No organizer has made any official statement if our tickets will be reimbursed or not."

      According to RadioAndMusic.com, MTV India will broadcast METALLICA's first-ever concert in India. The channel, in association with F1 Rocks, will telecast the one-hour special of historic METALLICA performance one week after the live event.

      MTV India channel head Aditya Swamy said, "MTV reaches approximately 130 million people across 40 million homes and it’s a huge thing for MTV to broadcast the most awaited concert in India in association with F1 Rocks. METALLICA concert will boost the Indian economy as international acts tend to do well in the live-music circuit in an emerging economy like India."
       
       
      METALLICA's first-ever concert in India, which was scheduled to take place tonight (Friday, October 28), in Gurgaon has been postponed until tomorrow evening as a result of technical issues. According to local media reports, a surge of people caused the barricades at the venue to collapse earlier this evening, with some fans gaining access to the stage area and damaging equipment in the process.

      Approximately 20,000 people turned up for the gig, many of whom travelled to Delhi from across the country and abroad to see the world's biggest metal band perform.

      According to RollingStoneIndia.com, "Things started heating up with a stampede at around 3:30 in the afternoon. The stampede caused the barricades to collapse, with several fans getting hurt in the process. As the crowd entering the venue continued to grow, the barricades in front of the stage also collapsed. At around 6 p.m., the organisers announced that due to 'serious technical difficulties,' the show was postponed and METALLICA would play at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

      "The announcement further fueled the crowd’s frustration, causing fans to go on a rampage. Several fans gained access to the stage area, setting fire to banners and causing damage to the LED screens, monitors and other equipment."

      HidustanTimes.com reports that the METALLICA concert in Gurgaon is likely to be canceled, said TV reports on Friday. The reports also suggest that the stage for the performance is being dismantled. Earlier, the organizers announced that the gig was postponed until Saturday because of security issues. While the organizers initially claimed that it was due to some technical glitch, the band reportedly decided not to play after fans broke through barricades at the venue.

      Vishal Dadlani, vocalist of Mumbai-based electronic band PENTAGRAM, said that the postponement was caused by "Delhi's enthusiasm" and that "there wasn't any technical glitch" as was claimed initially by the organizers. "If the fans ransack barricades, then obviously the band can't play," he added.

      Eyewitnesses suggest that post announcement angry fans were seen trying to damage equipment near the stage and some even tried to set fire to banners near the stage.

      "METALLICA has let us down", said Rahul, a die-hard fan from Lucknow.
       
      METALLICA has released the following statement:

      "We arrived in Delhi on Friday very excited and ready to play our first show ever in India at the F1 Rocks concert. However, immediately at the end of our afternoon press conference at a hotel near the venue, we were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regard to the safety of the concert audience. And our first and foremost concern is always for the safety of you, the fans.

      "Once we, along with DNA, the promoters of the show, determined that there was a failure of a security barricade in front of the stage that could not be adequately repaired, the promoter reluctantly announced the postponement of the show until Saturday. Unfortunately, on such short notice the promoters were unable to secure a permit for a show on Saturday. Therefore, DNA announced that we would not be able to play in Delhi. Within the next 24 hours a notification will be issued by DNA regarding the process for full refunds.

      "We are deeply disappointed with this news as we were looking forward to our first experience in India as much as you guys were. Keep watching here for updates [on the official METALLICA web site] as additional details are determined and confirmed."

      According to NDTV, crowds started lining up at about 3 p.m.today, with 25,000 fans having purchased tickets to tonight's concert. Several announcements were reportedly made throughout the afternoon requesting people to move back because the barrier in front of the stage was giving way. The crowd got increasingly more restive with every such announcement, objecting and booing.

      After the announcement that the concert had been canceled, angry fans tried to damage equipment near the stage; some tried to set fire to banners near the stage. Others hurled plastic 10-litre bottles of water onto the stage.

      Gurgaon police chief hit out at organizers saying they should have told the administration about postponing the show. "They have to explain why they canceled it," he told reporters, soon after it was announced that the concert was postponed. "They have not told anything to us," he said.

      METALLICA is scheduled to perform in Bangalore on Sunday.
       
      New York thrash pioneers Anthrax are back with a highly contagious strain known as Worship Music, Anthrax’s tenth studio album. Worship Music is a record that has been praised as Anthrax’s finest hour since their 1990 groundbreaking album Persistence of Time.  Plagued by lineup changes, many speculated that Worship Music might never see the light of day, but on September 13th, Worship Music was released and hit number 12 on the billboard top 200. Worship Music also marks the triumphant return of longtime vocalist Joey Belladonna
       While on tour throughout the US in support of Worship Music, legendary Anthrax drummer, and arguable father of the blast beat technique, Charlie Benante spoke with Sonic Excess about this labor of love and Anthrax on tour, along with a few other topics.
       "There is no negativity around us, and we want to keep that going."
       
      Sonic Excess: Worship Music has been an album that has been a long time in the making. Were you worried that it might not ever see the light of day?
       
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  Yeah. There were thoughts at some point here and there, with some real concerns about it, but something happened that changed all of those thoughts, and we were on track again.
      SE: What was it like recording with Joey for the first time in 20 years? Did everyone record collectively and did John Bush lay down any tracks before he left again?
      CHARLIE BENANTE: No, he (John Bush) was not involved at all.
      SE: OK, when you were in the studio with Joey, did everyone click like they did back in the day, or did a comfort level need to be reached first?
      CHARLIE BENANTE: Last September, we went on tour with Megadeth and Slayer here in America. Every day we worked on the record, and we would change a bunch of shit. Joey had a good idea of what he was going to bring to it and his approach and when it came time for him to go into the studio. None of us was even there. It was just Joey and Jay Ruston (mixing and additional production), and they worked together really well.
      SE: Critics and fans have been calling Worship Music Anthrax’s strongest release since Persistence of Time. Did everyone have the mindset to out-do Anthrax’s previous releases?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  The reviews for the record have been great. It has been amazing how well received it has been. We knew we had something really good. No one knows how something is going to be received until it’s released. You get the feedback and then you really know it’s good.
      SE: Worship Music is the first record not to feature guests since Sound of White Noise. Why?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  We felt there was really no need for it. The only guest on the album was a cellist, Allison Chelsey and that was it. We felt we were a self-contained band. We really didn’t need any guests on the album.
      SE: Anthrax was in a slump for a few years. Have you been surprised by the reaction and attention you guys have been getting, and, at any point, were you worried that Anthrax might implode?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:   As of right now, there is no negativity near us, and we want to keep that going. We had enough of it.
      SE: On We’ve Come for You All, some tracks were written around your drum riffs.  Was that the same case with Worship Music, and did you take a new approach while tracking?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  The only new approach I took was that some of the songs that were recorded in the studio, like maybe four or five of the songs, some of the guys weren’t even in there, and I was on my own. We would map out the songs, and I would get in there and play it. I would actually record a scratch guitar track just to play off it, because Scott (Ian) was away. We were working on another project, and I just did some of these things on my own.
      SE: How did you draw inspiration while writing Worship Music?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  It really depends.  I could be driving in my car and a thought will come into my head. I usually carry around this little recorder, and I’ll hum the idea into the recorder. When I get home, I’ll work it out on guitar. That’s how it usually happens. I’ll have an idea, and I’ll just go in and record it. Or, I’ll just go play guitar for an hour or two and capture as many ideas as I possibly can. That’s basically the way it happens.
      SE: After this US tour wraps up, where in the world will Anthrax play next?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  We have a tour in Japan booked, and next year, we have some European shows, some South American shows, and another run here in America.
      SE: Any recent discussion about a Storm Troopers of Death reunion?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  I don’t think so.
      SE: What is your opinion on the collaboration of Lou Reed and Metallica?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  I really haven’t heard it yet... but I don’t know. I really can’t comment on it.
      SE: Growing up in the Bronx, the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium must have been a monumental moment for you. Was playing at that ballpark one of your proudest achievements? When can we expect more Big 4 shows?
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  That show was basically a gift in our career. It was one of those things that you can tell your grandkids that you played Yankee Stadium. It such was a huge event for us, and especially myself growing up in the Bronx. It was an amazing feeling to just go and do it. The day itself was just hectic with press, and just everybody there, but I really tried to just savor the moment.
      SE: Any last words?
       
      Back On Black, which specializes in vinyl editions of classic metal albums and is dedicated to providing top-quality releases for record collectors and metal fans worldwide, has reissued the first six albums from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, packaged in deluxe gatefold sleeves. The first 1,000 copies of each title is being made available on limited-edition colored vinyl.

      Featured titles:

      * "Sonic Brew" (1999)
      * "Stronger Than Death" (2000)
      * "1919 Eternal" (2002)
      * "The Blessed Hellride" (2003)
      * "Hangover Music Vol. VI" (2004)
      * "Mafia" (2005)

      For more information, go to www.backonblack.com.

      BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "The Song Remains Not The Same" sold around 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 41 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on May 10 via Entertainment One Music, the offering features unplugged versions of material from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's latest album, "Order Of The Black", as well as additional material recorded during the "Order Of The Black" sessions. "The Song Remains Not The Same" was conceived, created and compiled by BLS mainman Zakk Wylde himself and the title is, of course, a nod to one of Wylde's favorite bands, LED ZEPPELIN.

      "Order Of The Black" was released in North America in August 2010 via E1 Music. The CD featured four unique covers designed by Zakk Wylde himself — one for each territory: North America, Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand.
       
      Grammy-award winning musician Chris Cornell will take part in a "Twitterview" on Monday, October 31 at 3 p.m. CST at AmericanSongwriter.com. Cornell, who fronted ’90s grunge gods SOUNDGARDEN and alt-rock supergroup AUDIOSLAVE, is currently on tour promoting "Songbook", his acoustic solo album, due November 21 via Universal Music Enterprises.

      To take part in the interview, simply log on to Twitter and follow American Songwriter @Amersongwriter and Chris Cornell @ChrisCornell or email Info@... and include your Twitter username.

      Entries must be made by 5 p.m. CST on Friday (October 28). Those who participate will be eligible to win an American Songwriter gift pack, which includes an American Songwriter T-shirt.

      "Songbook" will feature Cornell's own songs as well as a few covers. All fans who purchase their "Songbook" tour tickets online will receive a digital copy of the album with each order.

      "Songbook" track listing:

      01. As Hope And Promise Fade
      02. Scar On The Sky
      03. Call Me A Dog
      04. Ground Zero
      05. Can't Change Me
      06. I Am The Highway
      07. Thank You (LED ZEPPELIN cover)
      08. Cleaning My Gun
      09. Wide Awake
      10. Fell On Black Days
      11. All Night Thing
      12. Doesn't Remind Me
      13. Like A Stone
      14. Black Hole Sun
      15. Imagine (JOHN LENNON cover)
      16. The Keeper

      You can can now preview the song "Cleaning My Gun" on Cornell's Facebook page.

      Cornell's new song, "The Keeper", is the lead single from the soundtrack to the movie "Machine Gun Preacher". The film, which stars Gerard Butler as a former drug dealer who becomes a crusader for hundreds of refugee children in war-torn Sudan, opened on September 23.

      Although Cornell has been recording a new album with SOUNDGARDEN for the first time in 15 years, he continues to work as a solo artist as well. He told Spin.com how it's different from playing with a band. "An acoustic show is all about you, and any little nuance or mistake is amplified," Cornell explained. "I'm very nervous about it, but I love the intimacy. Once you sit in front of people and start playing songs, it's all on you. No matter what happens, it's entirely your responsibility the entire time. I like that intensity."

      Cornell told The Pulse Of Radio that he sees working with SOUNDGARDEN again as having a positive influence on his solo career. "One thing about a solo artist is you can just be in a room way too long with yourself and your own thoughts and your own songs, and it feels really good to be working with Ben (Shepherd, bassist) and Matt (Cameron, drummer) and Kim (Thayil, guitarist) again, and it's actually a really nice reprieve also from just being alone, doing what I do," he said. "It's helping with the balance, I think, too."

      Cornell has issued three solo albums. The last one, 2009's "Scream", was trashed by critics and fans for abandoning Cornell's rock roots for an urban pop sound.
      CHARLIE BENANTE:  For me, I want to really thank the fans for sticking with us, and coming out and supporting us with this record. German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER have extended their contract with Napalm Records.

      Commented the band: "After releasing two very successful CDs and our 'The Clans Are Still Marching' DVD, we are happy to share the good news with our fans: YES, we will continue! Over the past three years, a business cooperation turned into a friendship which can hardly be found in today’s music industry.

      "Napalm is a small and hard-working team that is as effective and productive as a company of 70 people. Always reachable and competent, they work with their artists individually. These are the strengths of Napalm, and that is why we have signed a deal for three more records under the Napalm banner.

      "Long live rock 'n' roll — long live Napalm and GRAVE DIGGER."

      Added Max Riedler, Managing Director of Napalm Records: "Chris Boltendahl and the members of GRAVE DIGGER are an exception in the music business. They are always professional, reliable and furthermore, they find words of appreciation for Napalm. That’s when the hard work turns into joy! We motivate each other and face new challenges as a team. Thanks for your trust; we look forward to the new songs!"

      "The Clans Are Still Marching", the new DVD from GRAVE DIGGER, entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 56 (German chart rules allow music DVDs to enter album charts).

      One cannot think of a better location to loudly celebrate a metal anniversary than the legendary Wacken Open Air festival. GRAVE DIGGER never thought twice than to mark their 30th anniversary with a metal extravaganza that would allow their most loyal fans to celebrate with them at the metal Mecca. This once-in-a-lifetime evening delivered the band's classic "Tunes Of War" in its entirety. Thousands of headbangers shared in the enjoyment of timeless anthems such as "Scotland United", "The Dark Of The Sun", and, of course, "Rebellion". Staying true to the evening's theme, frontman Chris Boltendahl performed in "Braveheart"-inspired garb. Yet he had more surprises up his sleeve, as he welcomed guest artists VAN CANTO, Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN), and metal queen Doro Pesch to join him on stage.

      Released on March 4 via Napalm Records, "The Clans Are Still Marching" DVD captures the energy of this unique evening and delivers it to living rooms everywhere. The DVD also comprises backstage footage, interviews, the video of "Highland Farewell" and its respective "Making of...", as well as all the live tracks on CD.

      GRAVE DIGGER's latest album, "The Clans Will Rise Again", was released in Europe on October 1, 2010 via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded between mid-May 2010 and mid-July 2010 at the Meadow Studios, which is owned by GRAVE DIGGER's new guitarist Axel Ritt, and Principal Studios, where all of GRAVE DIGGER albums since 1995's "Heart Of Darkness" have been tracked. It was produced by Chris Boltendahl and mixed by Jörg Umbreit.ally means a lot to us.
       
      Swedish metallers IN FLAMES will perform in South Africa in March 2012. They will play on Saturday, March 10 in Johannesburg and on Sunday, March 11 in Cape Town as part of next year's Ramfest.

      A short video message from IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén announcing the band's participation in Ramfest can be seen below.

      IN FLAMES will release the second digital single off its new album, "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", next month. Due on November 15, "Where The Dead Ships Dwell" will include three completely different remixes. With versions by German rapper Casper, drum-and-bass act THE QEMISTS and Kristof Bathory, vocalist of the black metal band DAWN OF ASHES, there should be something everyone can enjoy.

      IN FLAMES' tenth album, "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart.

      IN FLAMES' previous CD, "A Sense of Purpose" (Koch) opened with 20,000 units to land at No. 28. This was slightly less than the opening tally of "Come Clarity" (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to enter the chart at position No. 58.
       
      Three classic albums from Canadian metal legends ANVIL"Strength Of Steel" (1987), "Pound For Pound" (1988) and "Worth The Weight" (1991) — will be made available in Europe through SPV/Steamhammer as high-class digipak re-releases with new booklets, including liner notes from Steve "Lips" Kudlow (guitar, vocals) and Robb Reiner (drums). There will also be gatefold LP versions with colored vinyl and printed innersleeves. This will mark the first time "Worth The Weight" will have beenreleased on vinyl.

      Release dates:

      * Germany, Austria, Switzerland: November 25
      * Rest of Europe: November 28

      "Strength Of Steel" track listing:

      Digipak:

      01. Strength Of Steel
      02. Concrete Jungle
      03. 9-2-5
      04. I Dreamed It Was The End Of The World
      05. Flight Of The Bumble Beast
      06. Cut Loose
      07. Mad Dog
      08. Straight Between The Eyes
      09. Wild Eyes
      10. Kiss Of Death
      11. Paper General

      LP, colored red vinyl, printed innersleeves:

      Side 1

      01. Strength Of Steel
      02. Concrete Jungle
      03. 9-2-5
      04. I Dreamed It Was The End Of The World
      05. Flight Of The Bumble Beast
      06. Cut Loose

      Side 2

      01. Mad Dog
      02. Straight Between The Eyes
      03. Wild Eyes
      04. Kiss Of Death
      05. Paper General

      "Pound For Pound" track listing:

      Digipak:

      01. Blood On The Ice
      02. Corporate Preacher
      03. Toe Jam
      04. Safe Sex
      05. Where Does All The Money Go
      06. Brain Burn
      07. Senile King
      08. Machine Gun
      09. Fire In The Night
      10. Cramps

      LP, colored green vinyl, printed innersleeves:

      Side 1

      01. Blood On The Ice
      02. Corporate Preacher
      03. Toe Jam
      04. Safe Sex

      Side 2

      01. Where Does All The Money Go
      02. Brain Burn
      03. Senile King
      04. Machine Gun
      05. Fire In The Night
      06. Cramps

      "Worth The Weight" track listing:

      Digipak:

      01. Infanticide
      02. On The Way To Hell
      03. Bushpig
      04. Embalmer
      05. Pow Wow
      06. Sins Of The Flesh
      07. A.Z. #85
      08. Sadness / Love Me When I'm Dead

      LP, colored orange vinyl, printed innersleeves:

      Side 1

      01. Infanticide
      02. On The Way To Hell
      03. Bushpig
      04. Embalmer

      Side 2

      01. Pow Wow
      02. Sins Of The Flesh
      03. A.Z. #85
      04. Sadness / Love Me When I'm Dead

      The End Records will celebrate ANVIL's career with "Monument Of Metal: The Very Best Of Anvil", a 19-track career retrospective that will earn "must-own" and "must-hear" status for fans both fans new and old.

      Due on September 27, this set collects choice cuts from ANVIL's career and the track listing was hand-selected by the members of ANVIL and spans their three-decade career. It is designed to show you why the aforementioned likes of GUNS 'N ROSES, METALLICA, MOTÖRHEAD, ANTHRAX, SLAYER and more have praised ANVIL as pioneers and way pavers in the heavy metal world. It's a retrospective spanning the band's entire iconic career and a comprehensive heavy metal history lesson captured on record.

      ANVIL's latest album, "Juggernaut Of Justice" was released in Europe on June 20 (three days earlier in Germany) via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort was made available as a limited-edition digipak (including two bonus tracks), double gatefold LP in blue vinyl, standard version and a digital download.

      "Juggernaut Of Justice" sold around 1,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 12 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.
       
      According to The Pulse Of Radio, ex-VAN HALEN vocalist Sammy Hagar has accused the band of using tapes of backing vocals originally done by ex-VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony on its 2007/2008 reunion tour, for which Anthony was replaced by guitarist Eddie Van Halen's teenage son Wolfgang. Hagar told Attention Deficit Delirium, "Those vocal harmonies on the last tour were Mike on tape. Mike should've reamed them for it. Wolfie don't sing like that, and Ed sure as hell don't. Go on the Internet and listen to Ed's voice live from the reunion with me. Hear him sing on 'When It's Love' and some of those songs. Ed can't sing, and his voice is shot if he can, from cigarettes and booze anyway."

      Anthony and Hagar both last played with VAN HALEN on a 2004 reunion tour that ended acrimoniously. Both maintain that Anthony was booted from VAN HALEN for maintaining a friendship and working relationship with Hagar.

      Wolfgang appeared throughout the 2007/2008 tour, which was the band's first with original frontman David Lee Roth in 23 years. This lineup of the group recently completed work on a new album — the band's first with Roth in 27 years — although the project and its release plan are shrouded in mystery.

      Hagar told The Pulse Of Radio that he thinks VAN HALEN made a grave mistake leaving Anthony out of the reunion tour with Roth. "Anyone in their right mind would know if you're gonna get Roth back — finally! — after all these abortions they've had, you get Mikey and you do the reunion tour, what the world really was waiting for. Not just fuck it up again. It's almost like they don't care about their fans. They just want to badger them until -- see how much they'll take."

      Hagar added that he doesn't think the new VAN HALEN album will ever see the light of day, saying, "They've been working on that record for a year and a half or whatever, and they keep postponing and postponing it. I just know that Wolfie, Dave and Ed are not the VAN HALEN that the world wants to see. To do it with David without Mike was a horrible decision, but those guys haven't made a good decision since I left the band."

      Hagar and Anthony now play together in CHICKENFOOT, who released their second album, "Chickenfoot III", last month.
       
      CHICKENFOOT, whose recent music video "Three And A Half Letters (I Need A Job)" is motivated by the dismal economy, has partnered with Feeding America to encourage fans to help alleviate some of the effects of the economy. Putting money where his mouth is, lead singer Sammy Hagar will donate $10,000 from the Hagar Family Foundation to the San Francisco Food Bank during a visit to a local food pantry to distribute food to people who are at risk of hunger. Paul Ash, the Executive Director of the San Francisco Food Bank, will be on hand to accept the donation.

      The "Three And A Half Letters (I Need A Job)" video, which can be seen below, features real life letters received by Hagar and closes with a call to action from the band and Feeding America. The band is inviting fans to post their own letters and stories to its web site in hopes it will help them find employment and continue to shed light on the critical condition in America and will continue additional outreach throughout the Road Test Tour.

      Where:

      Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative
      850 Avenue I, Bldg 597; Treasure Island, CA 94130

      When:

      Tuesday, November 1, 2011
      2:30 p.m.

      "Three And A Half Letters (I Need A Job)" comes off the group's sophomore album, "III", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's self-titled debut opened with 49,000 units back in June 2009 to debut at No. 6.

      In a recent interview with Music Radar, CHICKENFOOT guitarist Joe Satriani stated about "Three And A Half Letters (I Need A Job)", "Carter [the band's manager, John Carter, who died of cancer halfway through the recording the new disc] had been asking Sam [CHICKENFOOT singer Sammy Hagar] to write a topical song about the economic situation. 'I need a job' was the line that was being used. At the same time, Sam started going through letters that he had received from fans, and a lot of them were pretty desperate. He got the idea to put it all together.

      "He called me and said that in the verses he was going to read some of the letters, and in the choruses he was going to scream 'I need a job!' The plan was that at the end of each chorus I would just go nuts on guitar. Sam didn’t want me to sketch out or demo what I would do. Total, gut-reaction spontaneity was what he had in mind.

      "I did write out the main framework for the song, though. The band got together on the last day of recording, and we went for it live in one take — raw, unchecked emotions. For the solo sections, I stepped on the Proctavia and went crazy. We added a second guitar for the chorus chords and moved the live solo guitar to the center and added delays hard left and right.

      "Sam's vocal performance is so heartfelt and real. The last verse is quite dramatic. I have to admit to getting choked up when I hear this song."
       
      I N T E R V I E W S
      Bach in the Saddle - 15 Minutes with Sebastian Bach
      As one of the most talented, revered and misaligned rock stars of the late 80's and early 90's Sebastian Bach has somehow managed to remain front and center –from his early days of putting Skid Row forever on the rock and roll map to his turn as a TV star and his headline grabbing escapades along the way, Bach is never without controversy and despite many setbacks, Back has managed to avoid "skid row" and the red hot spotlight of fame always points in his direction. Of course when you have Norse God good looks, a vocal range that is as broad as it is long, and chameleon talent it's no surprise that Sebastian Bach continues to land on his feet time and time again. This go around, the fourth time is the charm –with his release of "Kicking and Screaming", Bach is in top form and over the top, and the view is looking good.

      We recently had a chance to grab a few minutes with Bach. Surprisingly candid and down to earth, Bach put all monkey business aside and shared his thoughts on his career, life and even love...


      MM: Sebastian, how are you?

      SB: Hey! How are you?

      MM: Good, good... glad we got a few minutes to catch up, so let's get started. I know you have a new album coming out but before we discuss that, let's talk about your career to date. You've fronted one of the most influential and famous rock bands, you've appeared on television, Broadway, what do you think at this point has been the most defining moment of your career so far?

      SB: Well, I have had such different things happening in my career over the years –that I like to think it's been a series of defining moments rather than just one. In Skid Row, the defining moment was probably when we debuted at number one with "Slave to the Grind", that seemed to be the highlight of the band. And then in my solo career when I did Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway, that was a defining moment because I never thought I could pull something like that off. I like to think about all of the work I have done as one big body of work. Kicking and Screaming is a great addition to my catalogue and if you liked Slave to the Grind, Human Race, etc., I think you're really going to dig Kicking and Screaming.

      MM: Awesome. Well, Sebastian that is a great segue way to my next question: Kicking and Screaming is a much anticipated release and you worked with Bob Marlette as a producer- who has been famous for producing hit-records for Saliva, Shinedown, Seether and Filter to bands like Black Stone Cherry, and Alice Cooper. What was that experience like working with him as a solo artist?

      SB: It was great, he's an amazing producer , he has a great bottom low end to his albums...and when I am doing all of my high screams it's good to have the bass and low ends to level everything level out. He's also an incredible songwriter; we wrote two songs together--Dirty Power and the title track, he wrote the music with Mick Sterling and I wrote the melodies.
      I hope after 20 years you know what to expect from me. I'm going to rock your fucking ass off. I just make the stuff I like, I just want to grab you by the collar and say "Listen to this"!
      He laid down a lot of the songs a lot better than they were originally, plus he let me sing as many times as I wanted--I can be very picky and finicky in the studio but Bob, let me do as many tracks as I wanted. I would love to work with him again.

      MM: That's awesome, so he gave you a lot of freedom?

      SB: Well I demand it many ways--nobody ever tells me what to do. I make whatever the hell I want to make and if I like it then it's good enough for me.

      MM: Well that's the way to go about it. Speaking of vocals, you have mentioned that you feel your vocals are the best on this record which is not always easy to accomplish or maintain by someone with your vocal range; many singers blow out their vocal chords when you have the pitch and level that you have, yet you have dodged that particular bullet--tell us how you stay in shape vocally?

      SB: I do scales--Bel Canto which is 100's of years old were taught to me by Don Lawrence in NY City. Bon Jovi sent me to him in 1987 and everybody from Tony Bennett to Lady Gaga to Dee Snyder, we all use his technique. And I also sing along to old Journey and Judas Priest to get my high screams going and that seems to work. I have just been doing it for so long and I think if you do it properly and sing from the diaphragm your voice will get better. I'm 43 now and I can control my voice even better now and hit higher notes than I could when I was a kid, and I'm happy with that. Like Steven Tyler, he can still do it; James Brown when he was living could hit those high notes and was still screaming--I can still do it and I hope I don't lose that ability.

      MM: Going back to your earlier point about the sound of the new album being like Slave To The Grind, was that an intentional process for you, were you trying to revisit that sound or did it happen organically?

      SB: Not at all, my favorite artists, you know, I know what to expect when I buy their albums, like Ozzy, Neil Young, AC/DC...guys that just keep making albums. I want to give the same to my fans. I love when Neil Young puts out an album; I know I'm gonna like it. I don't have to hear a sample or anything, I go buy it. Rush--I know they aren't going to let me down. I know what to expect and I know it isn't going to suck. I hope after 20 years you know what to expect from me. I'm going to rock your fucking ass off. I just make the stuff I like, I just want to grab you by the collar and say "Listen to this"! ...and I want to do that to the whole world; it is so heavy.

      MM: Well your fans have definitely been looking forward to it. So, you have obviously influenced a lot of people--as a front man and as someone with a diverse career—who has influenced you?

      SB: When I was a little kid of course I loved KISS, Motley Crue, and all those bands, Ted Nugent, a

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