San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD will release their ninth full-length album, "Catharsis", on January 26, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds" was recorded with Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. "Catharsis" track listing: 01. Volatile 02. Catharsis 03. Beyond The Pale 04. California Bleeding 05. Triple Beam 06. Kaleidoscope 07. Bastards 08. Hope Begets Hope 09. Screaming At The Sun 10. Behind A Mask 11. Heavy Lies The Crown 12. Psychotic 13. Grind You Down 14. Razorblade Smile 15. Eulogy The album is available for pre-order at this location. The song "Beyond The Pale" can be streamed below. MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn told Poland's Interia.pl that "Beyond The Pale" was "the second song that we wrote for the record. It was just a simple four-minute song that we were, like, 'Fuck, cool!' It came together really fast," he said. "Lyrically, it took me a while to get how I wanted to shape it. That was the one song on the record where I couldn't get a theme for the song, like a lyrical theme. I went through seven different choruses, seven different subjects, seven completely different sets of lyrics. When it finally came to this last one, that's when I knew it was it. 'Kaleidoscope' was the opposite. We literally wrote that in the studio. Me and Dave [McClain, drums] were messing around. It just came super-fast. I ended up going in there and I freestyled a bunch of the lyrics and that whole intro section was the second time I ever sang the song. It just poured out of me. I was really excited." He continued: "I think when you go to capture a record, you go into the studio and sometimes it can be a little bit of a sterile environment. You want to capture lightning in a bottle, but it's hard, it's the hardest thing to do. Many bands don't do it. With ['Kaleidoscope'], we just fucking captured it and it was crazy. You're literally hearing the first day we ever played that song as a band. We captured it. I think you feel that energy. I think there's an urgency there, there's an excitement there. I don't know if it would have been there if we worked on it for eight or nine months and then recorded it later." The North American tour in support of "Catharsis" will kick off on January 25 in Mesa, Arizona.
BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler has told Rolling Stone that he "about 120 riffs written down" for his next musical project, adding that he has "just got to pick a guitarist and sort through them." Butler's last solo album, "Ohmwork", which was rel...
Steve Tucker says that he is "not opposed" to performing material from any of MORBID ANGEL's previous albums, despite the fact that the band's recent U.S. tour did not include any songs from the David Vincent era of the legendary death metal outfit. Tucker, who is back for his third spell with MORBID ANGEL, told "The Classic Metal Show" in a new interview that the group's decision to focus on material that he was involved in writing was a one-time move and it does not mean that future tours will follow the same pattern. "I think that when people come to see MORBID ANGEL, there's people that are MORBID ANGEL fans from day one, man — even before Vincent was involved," he explained (hear audio below). "There's people that cling to the demos with [original MORBID ANGEL drummer/vocalist] Mike Browning on 'em, dude, and they say that's the best MORBID ANGEL ever was. Everybody's got an opinion, and, honestly, it's all part of MORBID ANGEL. "When I was in MORBID ANGEL before, I never had an issue with doing any songs from the catalog, and I still don't," he continued. "It really kind of got blown out of proportion with people. Somewhere it was claimed that we were refusing to do David Vincent-era [songs], which is bullshit, man. That was never said. What was said was this time out we're gonna do pretty much a set that was predominantly songs of albums that I've been a part of. We never said we were never gonna do this again, or we weren't gonna do that… I'm not opposed to doing anything like that. Dude, I love that shit." Tucker also commented on the fact that Vincent is currently involved with a new project called I AM MORBID, which plays material from MORBID ANGEL's "Altars Of Madness" (1989), "Blessed Are The Sick" (1991), "Covenant" (1993) and "Domination" (1995) albums — all records that Vincent originally sang on. "It's absolutely my opinion and a fact, if you wanna look it up yourself, that all those songs are not David's songs, dude — they're Trey's [Azagthoth, MORBID ANGEL guitarist] songs. Trey wrote most of 'em — I mean, almost every single one of 'em, to be honest with you. All those amazing riffs — they were [Trey's]. Yeah, David sang on 'em, but they were MORBID ANGEL riffs, and I guarantee you, in the end, Trey had every bit as much input [as], if not more than, David did. So, honestly, they're MORBID ANGEL songs, man." Vincent recently told Ghost Cult that I AM MORBID is "very different from MORBID ANGEL. If you want to see a MORBID ANGEL show, you know where to go, but this isn't it," he said. "I'm only performing songs that I wrote [with I AM MORBID]. If I didn't write it, we aren't playing it." Vincent added in a separate interview with Canal Metal that he lanched I AM MORBID as a way for him to continue performing classic songs that he was part of creating. "I wrote a lot of songs and there are some very important records and I'm not going to allow disagreements with former [bandmates] to change my ability to perform [MORBID ANGEL songs]," he said. "They're like children. Just because the parents get divorced, doesn't mean the parents don't care about them." Joining Vincent in I AM MORBID is former MORBID ANGEL drummer Tim Yeung alongside guitarists Bill Hudson (CIRCLE II CIRCLE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) and Ira Black (METAL CHURCH, LIZZY BORDEN). The current Tucker-fronted lineup of MORBID ANGEL will release its new album, "Kingdoms Disdained", on December 1 via Silver Lining Music in the U.S. and JVC in Japan.
GENE SIMMONS Explains Decision To Abandon ‘Horns’ Hand Gesture Trademark Application: ‘I Just Didn’t Think It Was Worth It’
Gene Simmons says that he withdrew his application to trademark the so-called "devil's horns" hand gesture because he "didn't think it was worth it." The KISS bassist/vocalist expressly abandoned the application in late June — less than two weeks after filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Most music fans slammed Simmons for the trademark request, saying the symbol has become ubiquitous and means different things to different people. During an appearance on the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, Simmons said that his version of the hand gesture is actually "I love you" in American Sign Language, with the thumb extended, rather than the thumb holding two middle fingers close to the palm as popularized by Ronnie James Dio and used by everyone from rock stars to chefs as a salute of musical inclusiveness and triumph since the '70s. "When [KISS] first started doing photos in 1973, in the last century, I was doing an homage," he explained. "I didn't know what to do with my hands… 'cause I had wings [as part of my costume] and I wanted to show the wings. So you spread your arms, kind of like a Christ-like pose, but I didn't know what to do with my fingers. So I did what an artist named Steve Ditko did with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, both of whom did the hand signal. So when Spider-Man shot the webbing, he would do the two middle fingers. And the eternal Vishanti doing the hoary hosts of Hoggoth, that's Doctor Strange. So I was just giving an homage to Steve Ditko, and it caught on. And so when we were playing live, I wanted to wave back at the fans who were just, like, 'Wow, you guys are kind of hot shit,' but I'm holding the pick in my hand. So I'm trying to hold up both my fingers. And so they all started to do that. To this day, whether you're going to a soccer match in Ukraine or in Africa, or wherever, the fans may not even think about Gene Simmons, but they'll do a version of those outstretched fingers and stick their tongue out without knowing why. It's become the thing. I don't care if you're Rihanna or Chubby Checker, everybody does that stuff, although they may not realize it started with the powerful and attractive Gene Simmons." In his original request, which was filed on June 9, Simmons described the sign as consisting "of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular." He paid $275, seeking to use the hand signal symbol for "Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist." Gene claimed the gesture was first used in commerce on November 14, 1974, which corresponded to KISS's "Hotter Than Hell" tour. He wrote in his signed declaration that he believed "no other person, firm, corporation or association has the right to use said mark in commerce, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance." Asked why he eventually decided to withdraw his application to trademark the gesture, Simmons told "Talk Is Jericho": "The uneducated, the uninformed and the otherwise passionate got so hot under the collar that I just didn't think it was worth it. He continued: "People from the peanut gallery, and I love 'em… But the idea that everybody's opinion is worth the same as everybody else is… I don't wanna say 'bullshit,' but it's uninformed. You know, your car breaks down and some guy walks up and says, 'Here's what's wrong with it.' That's one opinion. The other guy that walks over is a mechanic who works on cars all the time. Both those opinions are not equal. One is more important because it's based on resume and qualification, and the other one is based on popcorn farts — he knows nothing. Well, your opinion is worth nothing, 'cause it's based on nothing and no experience. Mostly people that have opinions express them just because they have no qualification or resume. "So, it just wasn't important enough for me to go do that, 'cause everybody's doing my hand gesture anyway — whether it's the Dalai Lama or the Pope. I win." Simmons added: "But, truly, when somebody criticizes you or whatever, take a moment to think about, 'Gee, I wonder what they've done.' In other words, it's not what somebody says — who's saying it? If I get criticized as a bad person, as an example, by somebody standing next to me, that's not the same as the Pope or my rabbi or somebody in a ethical position of power. I might still object, but that's a qualified opinion." Copyright lawyer Ronald Abrams told Forbes that it's unlikely Simmons would have succeeded in his attempt to trademark the "devil's horns" symbol, explaining that such hand gestures can't be trademarked unless they are part of a logo. Trademark attorney Michael Cohen with Cohen IP Law Group in Beverly Hills, who deals with trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases, concurred, telling the Los Angeles Times that it would have been very difficult for Simmons's application to be approved because the gesture has become "genericized." Gene's KISS bandmate Paul Stanley recently said that he had no idea why Simmons attempted to trademark the hand gesture, telling the Loudwire Podcast: "Well, you know, Gene elicits some very strong reactions from people. And what he does he does for the reasons that only he knows. So I can't really say that I have really any thought about it. It was really something that he wanted to pursue, and the reaction was how people felt about it. So I don't know why he pulled it, and I don't know why he started it. I really have no… I haven't asked him." During an episode of her show "The Talk", Sharon Osbourne slammed Simmons for the trademark request, accusing the rocker of "trying to make money from posters and t-shirts." She said: "He's crazy. He's trying to get money from the merch where you see this [gesture] on merch, but actually this [symbol], in Italian, which has been going for hundreds of years, means 'the devil.' That's what it means. And so kids at concerts have been doing it for years and years and years. And in '74? Where were you in the '60s when they were doing it, kid, because they've been doing it forever." Ronnie James Dio's widow Wendy also criticized Simmons for attempting to trademark the hand sign. She told TheWrap: "To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting. It belongs to everyone — it doesn't belong to anyone. It's a public domain, it shouldn't be trademarked." Photo credit: Mark Weiss
ALTER BRIDGE and SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS singer Myles Kennedy was recently interviewed by Lunchbox and Promo Brady of Tulsa radio station 97.5 KMOD's DOMKcast podcast. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he approaches singing for ALTER BRIDGE and singing with Slash differently: Myles: "They're very different, which has been cool for me, because it allows me to stretch in different directions as opposed to doing the same thing over and over and it becoming redundant. ALTER BRIDGE is more of an aggressive... I don't want to say metal vibe, but Mark [Tremonti]'s riffs are very heavy, and with Slash and THE CONSPIRATORS, it's more of a blues-based, rock and roll vibe, which I love singing over as well." On whether it's intimidating to be in bands with well-established guitar heroes: Myles: "What you do is you just try and go in there and not overthink it. For me, that's just staying in the moment and staying very present, and when I hear something — like if Slash plays me a riff or a chord progression, the idea is to kind of trust my instincts and go with the first thing I that I hear. When we first started playing together, I remember I really did overthink things, but now after years of doing it, I've learned to trust my initial reaction, and it usually turns out for the better that way." On becoming more involved in the ALTER BRIDGE writing process over the years: Myles: "The first record, a lot of that — I'd say over half of that — was done before I even came into the fold. When I flew down in January of 2004, we would basically sit together and collaborate on the other 40 percent of the tunes. By the time we got to the 'Blackbird' record, the writing dynamic had changed, and we were more of a collaboration and kind of established a new chemistry with the four of us. We've kind of run with that approach ever since." On what attracted him to working with the group in the first place: Myles: "I'd toured with [CREED] with THE MAYFIELD FOUR back in '98, and I remember one day watching the three of them during a soundcheck. I remember really liking just the overall... like the rhythm section, Scott [Phillips, drums] and Brian [Marshall, bass], are very underrated to me, because they have a certain feel that is very special. Then you add Mark's ability as a riff writer into the equation, and that's something for me that, where I come from more of a singer/songwriter approach and I'm very focused on melodies and lyrics and a different kind of guitar playing, but when I heard Mark, I was, like, 'He's got something in his musical DNA that I think would be interesting to mix with what I do.' I think that was probably the main draw for me when he called me five years later, giving that some thought and thinking 'This could be cool, because we come from a different place, and if we meet in the middle, it could be something different.' On the positivity of the group's lyrics: Myles: "We're like the Tony Robbins of rock. [Laughs]" On his upcoming solo album: Myles: "Late last year, I started chasing down what would be the second solo record — or, I guess, technically the first solo record, [since] the one I recorded years ago probably won't be released…. There's something to be said about songs and records having a shelf life to artists, and for me, I kind of felt like that might have expired here." ALTER BRIDGE released "Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities" on September 8 via Napalm. The set was recorded at London's famous O2 Arena on November 26, 2016.
Former TROUBLE Vocalist ERIC WAGNER: ‘Working On New Music Is One Of The Only Things That Gets Me High Anymore’
Legendary vocalist Eric Wagner (BLACKFINGER, THE SKULL, ex-TROUBLE) was recently interviewed by Danko Jones on "The Official Danko Jones Podcast". The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On how a phone call from Dave Grohl restarted his career after he left TROUBLE originally: Eric: "I had a family of five to feed, so I went out and actually got a job to try and support and everything. I can't remember exactly when it was, but I came home one day, and there was a message on my machine from — well, it turned out to be Dave Grohl. He's, like, 'I'm doing this project called PROBOT, and I wanted you to write lyrics to one of the songs.' He was getting his favorite singers that he grew up listening to. He was a huge fan of [TROUBLE's] 'The Skull' record when he was a kid in Virginia, or wherever he was from. I thought it was [a joke] — like, 'Yeah, right' — so I didn't even bother with it. Two weeks later, he called back, and I answered. I'm, like, 'I'm going to give it to this guy, whoever the hell this is' — but it was him. I was a little scared at first, because he sent me the track and I didn't know if I could still do it. I swear there was a blank piece of paper for about two weeks sitting there, and I was getting a little bit, like, 'Oh my God, I can't write anymore.' All of a sudden, I did, and we did the record, and it was great. I don't know if I should blame him or thank him, but after that, that's when I called the guys and we kind of kissed and made up, and got back and did a record and a tour again. The PROBOT project got me back." On the origins and evolution of BLACKFINGER: Eric: "I went through two divorces at the same time — one with TROUBLE, one with the ex-wife. I have to admit, I wasn't actually handling it very well, and I thought the only way that I'm going to get through this is if I do what I'm supposed to be doing, and that's to go write and start writing. I was living outside of Chicago at the time. I was kind of doing acoustic, singer/songwriter-type shit, and after a while, I got the little itch again and I put a band together – just friends I grew up with. We ended up working on [BLACKFINGER's debut album], and that came out pretty cool. I ended up moving to Pittsburgh about two and a half years ago, so Dave Snyder, our drummer, he lives here. He actually was the touring drummer during [TROUBLE's] 'Plastic Green Head' tour. He came over and [said], 'Hey man, let's do something.' All right, what? 'We should just do BLACKFINGER. You already did the work for it; why do something new?' I'm thinking, 'That could be pretty cool, where it's a completely different lineup but it's still BLACKFINGER.' It was a challenge to me, which at the time I needed." On what he enjoys about fronting two bands simultaneously: Eric: "Working on new music is my favorite thing about being in a band. Live is fun at first, but then it gets kind of old — it's every day, you get up, go to the next city, blah blah blah. It's the same shit — everybody wants to party with you. It's fun to leave, and just as fun to come home. Working on new music is one of the only things that gets me high anymore. It makes my soul happy. It's the only way I can express my feelings. "It's not easy. I've sang lyrics to the wrong song. I got out of the studio with THE SKULL and I had to do some BLACKFINGER shows — or was it the other way around? I was singing SKULL lyrics and shit. I guess when I got to the TROUBLE stuff, I went on auto-pilot — that's just etched in my brain. It's not easy sometimes, and right now, both of my worlds are in the same room. I have shows coming with BLACKFINGER, and I also have a week or so with THE SKULL coming. I don't remember shit anymore, and I've got three different sets of lyrics to remember now." BLACKFINGER's latest album, "When Colors Fade Away", which was released on September 15 via M-Theory Audio.
PARADISE LOST guitarist Aaron Aedy spoke with Metal-Heads.de prior to the band's November 8 performance at the Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany. The full chat can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the upside of playing "depressing" music: Aaron: "I always describe us as a dark cloud with a silver lining. We're optimistic pessimists. We've always been big fans of doom music. It's what we started with, really. It's good in a way, because when you play miserable music, you seem to be happier in life, whereas if you read an autobiography of a comedian, they have to make people laugh and in their real lives, they're miserable, so I prefer our version — happy in real life. We still have a great life together, even after nearly thirty years. We still enjoy each other's company." On the musical direction of the group's latest album, "Medusa": Aaron: "I think when we did [2015's] 'The Plague Within', the last song that was written for it was 'Beneath Broken Earth', and as we were putting it together in the studio, we were like teenagers, excited about it. Then playing it live, it had a lot of gravitas live, and I think that was probably a lead-in to how this album developed. We just love playing the doom songs live. We wanted to make the album sound very organic — the drums are actually the drums themselves recorded. They're not drum replacements or anything like that. They spent about three days just getting the sound of the kick sounding right to record. When I did my guitars, the drums [had] no compression or anything. It sounded great, because they spent the time first. It's better to get it right first rather than try to fix it later. It's a very good, organic approach on this album." On what's next for the group: Aaron: "We never plan for the future. Every album, we don't sit down at the end of a tour and go, 'Okay, what's the master plan for the next album?' We've never done that, really. It kind of quite organically happens with how everyone feels at the time, really. Even when there's half the album done, you can't really tell what the other half's going to be like. There's no master plan." On whether his perspective has changed over the years: Aaron: "I'm 48 next month, but when I'm on stage, I feel like I'm 16. It doesn't matter, really. It's only when I wake up in the morning and go 'Ooh, ow!' — but when I'm on stage, my brain thinks I'm 13, but my body thinks I'm 80. "After we all turned 40, we began to really appreciate how lucky we are to be in a position where we're doing what we're doing. I think we're enjoying — well, I've always enjoyed it, but people in the band are enjoying it more because they appreciate how lucky we are. We get, like, somebody and their mother and their grandparents coming to signing sessions. It's quite bizarre, but it keeps you young. I don't feel any different to when we started, really." On the impact of modern technology: Aaron: "It's great, because fans can interact with each other worldwide and send each other clips. There's pros and cons to every developing technology, but I think it's made a lot of bands really [say], 'We've got to be good, because if it looks crap on YouTube, nobody's going to come.' It does sort of encourage you to, rather than getting absolutely hammered like people did in the nineties and then go on stage and be okay, but not brilliant, I think it's made everybody up their game, which is a good thing." On the group's new drummer, Waltteri Väyrynen: Aaron: "I think Waltteri will be here as long as he wants to be. He loves PARADISE LOST. He's known the music since he was about five years old, since his mother was into PL. He's a technically amazing, amazing drummer. He'll probably be drumming for someone massive in ten years if he's not with us, but I can't see him going anywhere. He's such a lovely lad." "Medusa" was released on September 1 via Nuclear Blast. The album was recorded in Woburn, England with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano. The artwork was created by Branca Studio and shows the infamous Gorgone Medusa from Greek mythology, carrying venomous snakes as hair and turning anyone into stone who would dare to look into her eyes.
On January 12, Metal Blade Records will reissue two of FATES WARNING's fan-favorite albums, "Perfect Symmetry" (1989) and "Parallels" (1991), as part of the label's "Originals Series". Featuring new vinyl mastering by Patrick W. Engel, both "Perfect Sy...
David Ellefson and Kiko Louriero of MEGADETH took part in a question-and-answer session and performance on October 15 at the Replay Guitar Exchange in Tampa, Florida. Video footage of their appearance can be seen below. Ellefson recently confirmed to "The Right To Rock" podcast that MEGADETH has begun putting together material for the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. "We're actually working on a new record," he said. "Working on it, meaning we're [collecting] ideas and we've been writing some lyrics — just starting to move that next process forward. And now that we're gonna come off the road — we go down to South America and play four shows [in early November] as kind of a final, last big swing down there to see our fans in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. And then we're gonna shut things down through the end of the year and into the New Year for a bit. And there's already some things that are being discussed for some performances next year, in 2018. But a big part of that is also going to be writing a new record." MEGADETH's upcoming effort will mark the band's first release to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who officially joined the group a year and a half ago. "Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first album with guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA. Ellefson told "The Right To Rock": "'Dystopia' has been out two years and we worked on it through all of 2015, and we were even writing it in 2014. So 'Dystopia', parts of this record are already four years old. So just from a creative standpoint, it's fun to be able to now start thinking about writing some music, and especially writing together with this lineup in mind. Songs aren't always written collaboratively, together, with the four of us, but when they're written, it's nice to know, like, 'Hey, we're writing it with this lineup in mind.' And what Dirk can do, what Kiko can do and what I can do, and putting it together with that in mind." MEGADETH picked up its first-ever Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" this past February. It was the tenth time the band had been nominated in its 34-year career. MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine told the Windsor Star in June that he was "pretty happy" with the response to "Dystopia". "When you set out to do a record, you obviously hope for the best," he said. "The peculiar thing about it is we didn't do anything different this time from the last time. It's just a matter of who you're playing with and song selection."
KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor will release his new solo effort, "Alien Beans", on January 12, 2018 via Rat Pak Records. "Alien Beans" is a double-disc album that features 10 new studio tracks and a "best-of" compilation disc. The "best-of" disc is comp...