With PEARL JAM and fellow Seattle icons NIRVANA now both having been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it would only make sense that SOUNDGARDEN — who have been eligible since 2013 and were on that vaunted scene before either of those other bands — get recognized as well. But SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell said it's not something he thinks about all that much. "To be honest, it doesn't really make any difference to me," he told Den Of Geek, although he himself inducted HEART a few years ago and admitted he's "really proud" of bandmate Matt Cameron, who was inducted as a member of PEARL JAM. "I'm not trying to be negative about it. The one thing about inducting HEART was that I was actually really moved by their fans, and the fans were the people in the cheap seats that were screaming, and they were outside saying hi every time you'd come and go over the course of the two days. That was when it made sense to me, that it matters to the fans, and if it matters to the fans, then I think it matters. But they deserve ownership of it." Asked in a 2013 interview "If SOUNDGARDEN is inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, who would be the presenter?" Cornell replied, "I would hope it is a when, as opposed to an if. How about Gene Simmons?" SOUNDGARDEN last month announced a North American tour that will kick off on May 3 in Atlanta, winding down on May 27 at the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. The band has been working on material for its seventh studio album, which will follow up 2012's "King Animal".
POISON drummer Rikki Rockett spoke to The Aquarian Weekly in a new interview about the possibility of the band ever returning to the studio to write and record a new album of all-original material. "There aren't any immediate plans right now, but I would love that, of course," he said. "I am always the guy that wants to get in the studio. I have a studio at home. I would be the last person anyone would have to talk into doing it, but at this point, there aren't any plans." Rockett also spoke about POISON getting back on stage for its first headlining tour in a decade. "I don't know if it has been ten years exactly but it has been a hot minute, that's for sure," he said. "I am looking forward to having a little more time to play the songs we ordinarily don't get the chance to play. The conundrum you have as a band that has several records and has been around for a while is that fans want deep tracks and you want to play deep tracks but then you also have a chunk of fans that want the hits. Thank God we have enough hits to fill a time slot, but it also makes the situation where it's, like, what do you throw in? You have to get those songs in so it makes it challenging. When we headline, we have more time up there so we can play more songs. I'm looking forward to playing 'Cry Tough' and things we don't ordinarily get to." Rockett recently told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that part of the reason POISON hasn't been motivated to work on new music has been the fact that fans rarely show interest in hearing fresh material performed live when classic rock groups go on tour. "We could write the second coming of 'Talk Dirty To Me', and I don't know if people wanna hear it or not, and that's a frustrating thing; it really is," he said. "AEROSMITH was able to do it, but not everybody is. I mean, even THE ROLLING STONES have had problems with that in the last few years. So… I don't know. But I do think it's important to stay viable. For the 'über fans,' it's always a really, really good thing. And that's what you do it for — you do it for you, you do it for the real fans, the real true fans. Not, like, to really change your popularity at this stage. I don't really think that moves the needle these days. [Laughs]" POISON's last album of new material was 2002's "Hollyweird". Back in 2007, they released "Poison'd", an album of covers. POISON kicked off its North American tour with DEF LEPPARD on April 8 at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The trek will wrap on June 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana. POISON and DEF LEPPARD first hit the road together back in 2009, and then again three years later. Rockett was recently declared cancer free after undergoing an experimental treatment. He was diagnosed with oral cancer back in 2015.
Rock icons CHEAP TRICK are partnering with PledgeMusic on a pre-order campaign for their anticipated forthcoming album, "We're All Alright!" Fans who order the album will not only be among the first to hear brand-new tracks, but will also have access to limited-edition CHEAP TRICK merchandise available exclusively through PledgeMusic. Pledgers can pre-order the album in digital, CD, and vinyl form now on CHEAP TRICK's campaign page. The leaders in direct-to-fan platforms, PledgeMusic allows artists to get more personal with their fans, offering pledgers updates straight from the band and items not available anywhere else. "We're All Alright!" blends past and present material: featuring brand new content written specifically for the album as well as a handful of previously unrecorded tracks written throughout the band's illustrious career. Fans who pre-order the album via PledgeMusic will get the AccessPass, which will give them early access to a digital download; plus recording updates, bonus content, video clips and much more. Pledgers will also be able to pledge on a piece of the band's illustrious history with special limited-edition merchandise. These include: a Signed Drumhead Bundle including a 12-inch drumhead replica from their touring set, deluxe CD, album T-shirt, checkered CHEAP TRICK socks, and "We're All Alright!" guitar picks; Test Pressing Bundle including a signed and numbered original test pressing of the new album and a CHEAP TRICK LP vinyl slip mat; a personalized video message recorded by the band specifically for you; a signed limited-edition lithographic album poster; a signed CHEAP TRICK road case used by the band and crew in the '70s during their tours with AC/DC, KANSAS and KISS, and much more. "We're All Alright!" will be released on June 16 and will be followed by a worldwide tour.
Jasmin St. Claire conducted an interview with guitarists Jens F. Ryland and Øystein G. Brun of Norwegian epic black metal pioneers BORKNAGAR at this year's edition of the Inferno festival, which was held April 12-15 in Oslo, Norway. You can watch the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the band's recent live dates in South America: Øystein: "It's a lot of passion. A lot of love, a lot of intensity. Everything, basically. Amazing. The response from the audience was overwhelming a lot of the times, so to speak." On the lyrical themes found on the band's 2016 "Winter Thrice" album: Øystein: "I don't want to be a traffic sign telling a simple story. To me, it's a little more philosophical, different layers and stuff. 'Winter Thrice' is referring to Norwegian mythology and Fimbulwinter in Northern mythology, warning signs from nature that the world is about to fall apart, so to speak. It's kinda philosophical. Again, we always focus on this life and death, the circle of life, all those things, in a philosophical way. On 'Winter Thrice', we had a different approach than previous albums. We used nature as a scenery for the whole lyrical expression." On collaborating with ex-BORKNAGAR and current ULVER vocalist Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg for two songs on "Winter Thrice": Øystein: "I was actually scrolling back on some old photos from back in the days when we first met up to do the first records. The old pictures, there was always a date imprinted on the photo and I noticed it was exactly 20 years since we met for the first time to do the first album. I just sent him a text message, 'Hey, maybe we should do something. It's been 20 years since we first met and this is the tenth album.' The stars aligned for doing something special. We talked on the phone and yeah, he was really positive about the whole thing. We did it. It turned out great; it was fantastic to be able to work with him again. I love his work in ULVER, I'm a big fan of the band. His contributions on the album was really…made it special in a way. It was really cool." On why BORKNAGAR is playing more live dates recently: Jens: "We had the possibilities, so we're grabbing it with [stand-in vocalist] Pål ['Athera' Mathiesen] being part of the live team. We can agree to more gigs, so we're trying to [play more dates]." On the band's future live plans: Jens: "We've been flirting with a North American idea. A few festivals this summer and then we'll see what happens. There is progress with the new album, so let's see how much time we have." On whether BORKNAGAR has a title for their next studio album: Øystein: "No, it's way too early for that. Yeah, I've started to write some new music. I have a really good feeling about this stuff. It will probably be my main focus for the next year, I guess, to write new music and get the machinery going. Of course, make the best album we've ever done." On the growth of the Inferno festival: Jens: "It keeps maturing. I was thinking about that earlier today when we had some requests for TV interviews and I remember back 17 years or what it is, the first TV interviews I did here was pure… bullshit. When there is a TV reporter coming up to me and asking me if I'm going to church on Saturday, what does that have to do with music? It's calmed a bit since then. Other than that, it's the same people, not the same bands, but the same scene and everything has been matured, calmed down." BORKNAGAR's tenth studio album, "Winter Thrice", was released in 2016 via Century Media. The band recently completed a run of South American tour dates with former SUSPERIA vocalist Pål "Athera" Mathiesen standing in for long-time vocalist Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund.
In a recent interview with WSPN Skidmore College radio host George Burnz, TESTAMENT's Alex Skolnick again discussed the fact that fellow guitarist Eric Peterson shouldered nearly all of the songwriting load for the band's new "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album. He said during the chat (see video below): "Usually, there's a little more of collaborative riffs. We wrote some collaborations together such as the tune 'Neptune's Spear'. But on this one, he just had an abundance of parts working together so we took more of that approach, but I don't think that represents a permanent thing. I'm sure we'll go back to more collaborative ideas in the future." Skolnick was then asked if TESTAMENT had started to write new songs, even though "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was released last October "No, this album is fresh enough. We need to take a period and live with this record. We just started touring for it. We're playing these songs. At this point, to jump into composition, it would probably sound a little too much like this record. We're playing these tunes every night." Skolnick also talked about the band's willingness to incorporate older and lesser-known songs into their live set, including tracks from 1994's "Low", which was the first TESTAMENT album he wasn't a part of. "We're never sure which tunes are going to make the cut live," Alex said. "Some of my favorite recorded tunes have never been played live… After we toured last year, there was a definite decision to radically alter the set and bring back tunes that we haven't done in a long time and play some new ones that people aren't expecting… We did bring back various tunes, like 'Low', which was from a period in the '90s when I wasn't around, but I'm having fun playing the song. 'Electric Crown', which is one of my favorite tunes and the choruses I'm most proud of. That's another one where there's guitar leads throughout the song so it's very different and fun to play. 'Throne Of Thorns' is one off of 'Dark Roots Of Earth'  that we've never done, but fans have requested it, but it also has this very quiet section. 'Souls Of Black', which, even though it's a signature song, we haven't done it forever. At one point, we had been playing it endlessly and we gave it a rest. It's been many years now, so that's back. There's probably more variety in this set than we've ever had. We go from the newer stuff which has its own feel to stuff like 'Electric Crown', which is more solid and almost JUDAS PRIEST-like groove. 'Into The Pit' is still there, so stuff like that. Another new song, 'Centuries Of Suffering', which is a thrasher, but then there's super-melodic tunes like 'Throne Of Thorns' and 'Seven Seals', so it's definitely worth checking out." "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was released last October via Nuclear Blast. The cover was once again created by renowned artist Eliran Kantor, who also handled the art for the TESTAMENT's previous album, 2012's "Dark Roots Of Earth", and worked with bands like HATEBREED, SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM in the past. "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), Peterson and vocalist Chuck Billy and was mixed and mastered by British metal producer Andy Sneap (ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, CRADLE OF FILTH, KREATOR, MACHINE HEAD, MEGADETH). Billy recently told Metal Wani that TESTAMENT's goal is to release the follow-up to "Brotherhood Of The Snake" in 2018.
Mike DiQuinzio of JAM Magazine conducted an interview with ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello prior to the band's April 18 show at the House Of Blues in Dallas, Texas as part of "The Killthrax Tour" with co-headliners KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. You can watch the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the status of drummer Charlie Benante, who has been forced to sit out some recent shows due to his ongoing issues with carpal tunnel syndrome: Frank: "That carpal tunnel, you guys know this at this point, it's been well documented. He had surgery on his hand for the carpal tunnel, on his wrist. He can only play a certain amount of time per tour, so there's certain shows he can make. I've seen it. It goes dead. He loses the grip and that's not an excuse…it is what it is. So Jon Dette [SLAYER, TESTAMENT] comes in when he needs a break and he comes back in when he can. We have to play as we can. We don't want to cancel tours, that's for sure." On whether ANTHRAX is converting younger fans who are there to see KILLSWITCH ENGAGE: Frank: "That's the whole point. I'm proud to say this: We've just about played in front of every crowd. We don't really worry about any crowd we play in front of. We just want to give our all and hopefully they like us at the end of the day. That's all you can do as a musician and band member. Just give it your all and let them know that you're leaving it all on the stage. Hopefully, they'll come back. Look, since this 'Big Four' thing we did way back when, it's been awesome for us. METALLICA were great enough to bring us all out. From that, I think a lot of younger fans also saw ANTHRAX that maybe heard of ANTHRAX, but never really saw them and they got to see them on the 'Big Four,' so we've been seeing — even at our own shows before this thing — a lot of younger people along with our crowd, too. It just so happens there's a bigger crowd showing up now. It's a great mix of younger and older; it doesn't matter. You see that in our crowd, which is really fun to watch. There's an energy you can't describe because it's a lot of fun to watch. With this, I love the fact if there's a KILLSWITCH person who has never seen ANTHRAX and gets to see them and maybe we give them a chance to buy a record or song off of iTunes, then we've done our job. That's the whole idea behind this. It's the same thing for KILLSWITCH. Maybe some ANTHRAX fans have never heard of KILLSWITCH, maybe heard of them and not given them a chance. Open your ears. I love opening my ears to different music; I think it's important. That's what this tour is about. I think it's cool." On lead guitarist Jon Donais, who joined ANTHRAX in 2013: Frank: "I can say this right off the bat: The best thing I can say about Jon, number one, is that we know how great of a guitar player he is, but he's my drinking buddy. [Laughs] Jon is a great addition to ANTHRAX because it's seamless. You have to hang and stuff like that… it's like he's always been here. It's very strange. We've been friends, but it's a lock. You don't have to think about anything. It's just fun and we have a good time." On Donais gradually becoming more comfortable with his role in the band: Frank: "I said, 'Man, imagine coming into this band who has been around forever. Thirty years coming into this band and he's seen them as a fan and all of this stuff and he has to play the leads.' Everybody is expecting those leads on the songs they've heard. It's a lot of pressure. He kills it. He kills it every night. He better pay me for this — he owes me a beer. I think, it's seamless. Now he's really comfortable on the stage. We all have our thing. He's a great addition to the show, too. It's a really good thing that's going on with the nucleus of ANTHRAX right now." On whether ANTHRAX has ever abandoned a cover song idea: Frank: "Believe it or not, you got to realize, when we do covers in the studio, it's literally Scott [Ian, guitar], Charlie and myself going 'Let's just jam.' It's like that: 'Let's record it.' We record it and then Joey [Belladonna, vocals] will do vocals later on. Sometimes we have time to do the vocals and we were going on tour and that stuff, but there's things left we still haven't finished that later on [we finish]. Think about all the stuff we've ever done is all the stuff we're fans of, that made us: KISS, all the CHEAP TRICK, all that great stuff, like this KANSAS thing ['Carry On'], all these radio stations, knock wood, are playing this song because they think it's a great cover. Stations that would have never gave ANTHRAX, the metal stuff, a chance, heard this cover and they're really liking it to the point where we're playing acoustic stuff and learning it acoustically where we might have to do it on radio stations, which is great. It's another extension and it's a tribute, tip your hat, thank you, to these bands, these great bands we want people to hear. Everybody has heard 'Carry On', but maybe the younger generation hasn't heard [it]." ANTHRAX and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE kicked off "The Killthrax Tour" on March 29 at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey.
THE ACACIA STRAIN has dropped another new song from its forthcoming album, "Gravebloom", out June 30 on Rise Records. "Big Sleep" features a guest vocal appearance from KUBLAI KHAN's Matt Honeycutt and can be streamed below. THE ACACIA STRAIN singer Vincent Bennett said: "I didn't even understand what the hell was going on when I first heard this song. Luckily, Matt did guest vocals and saved me the embarrassment." THE ACACIA STRAIN previously released a new song called "Bitter Pill" which has been dominating the "Devil's Dozen" countdown on SiriusXM's Liquid Metal channel. THE ACACIA STRAIN will spend its summer as part of the Vans Warped Tour. "Gravebloom" track listing: 01. Worthless 02. Plague Doctor 03. Bitter Pill 04. Big Sleep 05. Gravebloom 06. Abyssal Depths 07. Model Citizen 08. Calloused Mouth 09. Dark Harvest 10. Walled City 11. Cold Gloom
The song "Sad State Of Affairs" from the Swedish classic/progressive rock supergroup THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA — featuring members of metal frontrunners SOILWORK and ARCH ENEMY — can be streamed below. The track is taken from THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA's third studio album, "Amber Galactic", which will be released on May 19 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was recorded at Handsome Hard Studio in Lund, Sweden. The album follows THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA's two previous releases, 2012's "Internal Affairs" and 2015's "Skyline Whispers". THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA singer Björn Strid states: "'Amber Galactic' is a relationship drama set in space, the first classic rock space opera on double vinyl. "As seasoned musicians, we're taking this project seriously, although we might come across as slightly retrofuturistic at times, there's no irony involved. It's just us trying to shape our future into a place where our race is led by female space commanders with pearl necklaces and a quasar sense of gravity. "'Amber Galactic' is about setting free from genre boundaries and expectations that are put on people like us. We just want to create music that we would like to hear ourselves, but that isn't only for us. "THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is here to set you free, to invite you to enjoy music in whatever form it is presented. "For this particular journey, we'd like you to follow us into space, but who knows where we'll go next! After entering the NFO universe, you won't ever be the same!" "Amber Galactic" will be available as a limited edition digipak CD featuring an alternate cover art (see below), 2LP vinyl (black and violet sparkle) and as digital download and stream via all known platforms. "Amber Galactic" track listing: 01. Midnight Flyer 02. Star Of Rio 03. Gemini 04. Sad State Of Affairs 05. Jennie 06. Domino 07. Josephine 08. Space Whisperer 09. Something Mysterious 10. Saturn In Velvet 11. Just Another Night (bonus track, limited-edition digipak, vinyl) 12. Fly Tonight (Never Rewind) (bonus track, Japan only) Strid previousy stated about the album: "'Amber Galactic' was made during late nights and way too early mornings, when sometimes, in the corner of your eye, you can catch a glimpse of another dimension, where all the women are heartbroken space commanders in evening gowns, the champagne is always free and the drugs won't hurt you. "We wanted to create more than just a listening experience; instead we want it to be an alternative reality. "We hope that after listening to 'Amber Galactic', you'll be wide-eyed, horny and slightly drunk." Guitarist David Andersson added: "Musicianship in itself is not interesting, neither are the technical aspects of creating music. The ideas and visions behind the music are the only things really worthy of in-depth discussions. "We've all reached a point where we can all pretty much play and sing whatever we want. "We didn't talk much about chord changes or amplifiers during the recording sessions. But we spent a lot of time discussing Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety, different vintages of sparkling wine, the psychoacoustic aspects of modulation, the innate superiority of women and why a pearl necklace always look better when whoever wears it has a bored expression on her face." When asked about the direction of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA within the realm of classic rock, Strid explained with a chuckle: "Most other classic rock bands sound like weed or LSD — we sound like cocaine." THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is: Björn Strid - Vocals Sharlee D'Angelo - Bass David Andersson - Guitar Richard Larsson - Keyboards Jonas Källsbäck - Drums Sebastian Forslund - Guitar, PercussionAlternate cover art for limited-edition digipak CD:
The official lyric video for "Raven Wing", a brand new song from ICED EARTH, can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's new album, "Incorruptible", which will be released on June 16 via Century Media. The cover artwork for the disc (as well as additional illustrations to every song) was created by David Newman-Stump from Skeleton Crew Tattoo (pencil illustrations) and Roy Young (colors). "Incorruptible" track listing: 01. Great Heathen Army (5:21) 02. Black Flag (4:56) 03. Raven Wing (6:25) 04. The Veil (4:47) 05. Seven Headed Whore (3:00) 06. The Relic (Part 1) (4:59) 07. Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors) (6:35) 08. Brothers (4:45) 09. Defiance (4:08) 10. Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862) (9:30) "Incorruptible" will be available in the following formats: * Deluxe CD digipak with extensive booklet, fold-out poster and slipcase (only available in Europe) * CD digipak (only available in the USA) * Strictly limited artbook with 36-page booklet with introduction, additional artworks, sketches and comments by Jon Schaffer to each individual song, CD and double 10" vinyl, worldwide limited to only 3000 copies * Deluxe 2LP version in various vinyl colors (see below for exact color split) with gatefold sleeve, 4-page lyric sheet, 180-gram vinyl, black anti-static inner sleeves, etching and 12-page LP-booklet with artworks to each of the 10 songs * Standard CD jewel case * Digital download / stream The 2LP version of "Incorruptible" is offered in the following vinyl colors: * Black vinyl: unlimited and offered through all retail channels * Dark-green vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available in the U.K. * Yellow vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available in France * Clear vinyl: limited to 100 copies, exclusively available at Century Media's European online store * Lilac vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at Nuclear Blast * Silver vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at EMP * Transparent-red vinyl: limited to 500 copies, distributed through RED in the USA * White vinyl: limited to 300 copies, exclusively offered in the USA through F.Y.E. * Transparent-orange vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively sold by ICED EARTH on tour The artbook version of "Incorruptible" will be offered in the following vinyl colors: * Transparent-red vinyl: main version, available through all retail channels * Clear vinyl: limited to 100 copies, exclusively available at Century Media's European online store * Golden vinyl: limited to 200 copies, available at various online stores * Black vinyl: limited to 200 copies, available at various online stores * Silver vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at Nuclear Blast * Transparent-orange vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively sold by ICED EARTH on tour Regarding how "Incorruptible" compares to previous ICED EARTH albums, guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer told Metal Wani: "They're all kind of their own thing, but I have a very strong gut feeling about this, and so does everybody in the band, that this is one of the really special ones. So I put it up there with 'The Dark Saga' , 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' , 'Dystopia'  — it's in that league of records — so it's really gonna be something special, man. I know musicians always say that, but there is something going on here, so it's cool. We're all very excited about it." On the topic of the concept for the lyrics on "Incorruptible", Schaffer said: "There is no concept on this record; it's just ten individual tracks not related to each other. Actually, on 'Plagues Of Babylon' , it was only the first six that were related to the 'Something Wicked' story; it was like a zombie apocalypse within the 'Something Wicked' framework. But this album, it's just ten individual songs. We have one called 'Clear The Way', which is about the Irish Brigade at the Battle Of Fredericksburg — very tragic, actually — but that's a big epic, like ten minutes; and then we have one called 'Black Flag', which is a pirate song. It's quite a… I think I pulled it off pretty well with the lyrics, to be able to tell such a big story in a very short amount of time. I think it's gonna be a highlight of the record. And then on [the last European] tour, [we opened] the show with a new song that will be the opener on the album — it's called 'Great Heathen Army' — that's got a Viking kind of a vibe to it. So there's a lot of different things, and none of it's really related. There's one called 'Raven Wing'… I can't really think of all of them righ now… 'Seven Headed Whore' — that's one that's actually pretty brutal; it's like a total kick in the balls. But, you know, there's a lot of varied emotions on this, and it's cool stuff, man." Asked about singer Stu Block's contribution to "Incorruptible", Schaffer said: "Well, he came at the end of… for about the last month or so of pre-production… maybe a little bit more… five weeks… and we worked on his vocal parts. We do it like Stu and I normally do it. Some of the stuff we write together. I mean, I write the musical arrangements and do all that — he doesn't play any instruments — but he comes in… At the end of the writing process is when we focus on his parts. And the lyrics that we worked on together, on a song called 'Brother', which is about our brotherhood, [between] Stu and I and within the band… We've gone through a lot of shit together and we've had a lot of great times together, but the bond is very strong, and that's clear. So it's just a song, really, for us. And then he wrote the lyrics for 'The Great Heathen Army'. I'm trying to think… I can't think of 'em, man; I have to look at the list [of songs]. But usually, he goes to an area and works, and I go in my area and work. And, like I said, on some songs we collaborate sometimes. On this one, the only we did was 'Brother'… We work in the way we always work. And it's a very cool chemistry." ICED EARTH took a break from touring in 2015, primarily due to Schaffer's second cervical fusion surgery. Longtime ICED EARTH drummer Brent Smedley returned to the band for the current recording and touring cycle. Smedley had to step down due to personal family reasons in 2013 shortly before the recording of "Plagues Of Babylon".
"Paris", the new concert DVD and Blu-ray from German industrial metallers RAMMSTEIN, will be released on May 19. The set was recorded in March 2012 at the then-named Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris (now AccorHotels Arena) during RAMMSTEIN's "Made In Germany" tour, and was helmed by the band's longtime collaborator, Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund. Åkerlund has also worked with METALLICA, SATYRICON, MADONNA and THE PRODIGY, among others. A performance clip of the song "Links 2 3 4", taken from "Paris", can be seen below. 21 years down the line, with the original lineup, the six East Berliners stand at the very apex of the rock world, achieving album and DVD sales in the millions, headlining festivals and major venues around the world and selling out shows in record time (the band's bill-topping appearance at New York's Madison Square Garden saw the 20,000 seats snapped up in just 20 minutes!) Trafalgar Releasing had worldwide rights to "Paris" excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland (which were distributed by NFP). The top-performing territories for Trafalgar Releasing were Russia, Latin America and Poland, helping to achieve over $1 million for the outfit. NFP's territories saw a grossing of almost $1.2 million across two screening dates, coming in second on Germany's weekend box office. "Paris" has become one of Trafalgar Releasing's top music events following the worldwide screenings of "Roger Waters: The Wall" (which made almost $5 million at the global box office with top performing territories including Italy, Latin America, Czech Republic, France and Germany) and "One More Time With Feeling With Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds" (from acclaimed director Andrew Dominik, which achieved over $2.2 million). 2017 has also seen Trafalgar Releasing (in partnership with CinEvents) screen across the U.K. and selected European territories, a targeted release of "Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" (alongside a new interview with the drummer from David Bowie's band produced by MOJO magazine), which made an impressive $240,000 from just 200 screens. Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing, has said on the success: "It was great to work so closely with RAMMSTEIN's management team on the release of 'Paris' — they helped us talk directly to the passionate fan base of the band, who came out to celebrate this truly unique event. We look forward to working on similar kinds of projects in the future and bringing music events to the big screen around the world."