Internationally celebrated heavy rock icons MASTODON have announced a run of European headline dates, kicking off in Berlin, Germany on November 10. The tour also includes dates in Austria, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and France, with support from RED FANG and RUSSIAN CIRCLES. Fans will also be treated to a guest appearance by longtime friend and collaborator Scott Kelly of NEUROSIS, who will join the band onstage as part of a special setlist. The band will then return to the U.K. for a full tour, culminating in a date at London’s legendary Brixton Academy on December 10. This will be a special tour — not only does it mark MASTODON's first European headline tour since 2015, but it will also be the first time Scott Kelly has joined the band for a full run of dates. Kelly has lent guest vocals on several MASTODON songs throughout the band's career, featuring on every album since 2004's "Leviathan": "Aqua Dementia", "Blood Mountain"'s "Crystal Skull", the title track from "Crack The Skye", and on "Spectrelight", "Diamond In The Witch House" and "Scorpion Breath" from "The Hunter", "Once More 'Round The Sun" and "Emperor Of Sand", respectively. MASTODON November tour dates: Nov. 10 - Huxley - Berlin, Germany*+ Nov. 11 - Progresja - Warsaw, Poland*+ Nov. 13 - Gasometer - Vienna, Austria* Nov. 14 - Herford-X - Herford, Germany* Nov. 15 - AB - - Brussels, Belgium* Nov. 17 - Melkweg - Amsterdam, Holland* Nov. 19 – Munchenbrewery - Stockholm, Sweden* Nov. 20 - Sentrum Scene - Oslo, Norway* Nov. 22 - Vega Main Hall - Copenhagen, Denmark* Nov. 23 - Haus Auense - Leipzig, Germany* Nov. 24 - Lucerna Music Bar - Prague, Czech Republic* Nov. 25 - Tonhalle - Munich, Germany* Nov. 27 - Live Club - Milan, Italy* Nov. 28 - Komplex - Zurich, Switzerland* Nov. 29 - Elysee Montmatre - Paris, France* Nov. 30 - Rockhall Club - Luxembourg * * indicates dates with Scott Kelly of NEUROSIS + indicates dates with MASTODON and RUSSIAN CIRCLES only U.K. tour dates: Dec. 02 - Great Hall - Cardiff, Wales Dec. 04 - Civic Hall - Wolverhampton, England Dec. 05 - Rock City - Nottingham, England Dec. 06 - Northumbria Uni - Newcastle, England Dec. 07 - Barrowland - Glasgow, Scotland Dec. 09 - Manchester Academy - Manchester, England Dec. 10 - Brixton Academy - London, England "Emperor Of Sand" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it their third Top 10 album. The follow-up to 2014's "Once More 'Round The Sun" was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside MASTODON's hometown of Atlanta, with producer Brendan O'Brien (PEARL JAM, NEIL YOUNG, AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), who first worked with MASTODON on their seminal 2009 album "Crack The Skye". "Emperor Of Sand" finds MASTODON returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass.
Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with MR. BIG guitarist Paul Gilbert. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. On making new album "Defying Gravity": Paul: "Everybody's got their own projects going on, but we really wanted to do a MR. BIG record, and so we had to co-ordinate the schedules of everybody in the band, and also our producer. We wanted to use Kevin Elson this time, who was the producer we used for our classic albums from the '80s and '90s. We found about a six-day period where everybody was free, and we thought 'Is that enough time?' We thought, 'We don't know, but let's just try hard,' and so we all wrote songs and prepared as much as we could, and it was perfect. We got everything done, and got all of the basic tracks. Of course, after we were finished with that and we weren't all together, Eric [Martin] could keep working on his vocals, I did a couple of guitar solo overdubs on the road, and Kevin mixed the album. The majority of the stuff we did while we were together though, and it was nice to have that urgency. We knew that when we were in there, we had to work and we had to get it done. We had to make it great. It was a really enjoyable experience; I really had a great time of it." On whether he is tired of playing signature track "To Be With You": Paul: "Oh, I love it. Like I said, I love singing harmonies. Before I even became a guitar player, I wanted to be a Beatle. [Laughs] That was my first dream as a musician, was to be like a Beatle. They were much more of a band that emphasizes the songwriting and the singing. Occasionally there's a cool guitar riff, but if you listen to the way a BEATLES record is mixed, the vocals are much louder than the guitar. Getting to do that was my original dream, so I love that as well. That's the nice thing about being in MR. BIG, is I'm not only the guitar player. I'm the background singer, and so I get to do both of those things. Sometimes we even switch instruments and I get to be the drummer." On getting more into improvisation: Paul: "Lately, overall, I've been into being a better improviser, and in a way I see improvising as being a combination of two things. One of the things is what your fingers will do on the guitar. Of course, I'm a guitar player, so I'm thinking as a guitarist. I have to work within my physical limitations as to what my hands will do, and also the patterns I'm familiar with, and the places that my fingers are used to going. The other part of it is more pure improvisation though, and that's what I hear in my head, and that's a combination of just what I hear instinctively. I don't know where my instincts come from — probably a lot of listening — but that's a little more mysterious. It also comes from training my ear though, and I think listening to great improvisers and great melodies is a quick way to train that instinct. "I tend to listen to a lot of singers, and actually one of my solo albums — 'Stone Pushing Uphill Man' [August 2014] – was sort of a project in proving my melodic instincts by learning vocal parts on guitar. I just picked all of my favourite singers — everybody from Steven Tyler [AEROSMITH] to James Brown, to Paul McCartney [THE BEATLES], to Eric Carmen… just all kinds of different styles — and tried to play those vocal parts. That's really to me… The part of improvising is the most interesting thing to me at the moment, because I've trained my fingers so much that they can jump around the fretboard and do a lot of things, but it tends to be the same. Like any faster player, we've got our best licks, and they tend to be the same. "I've found that as I've learned to improvise melodically, it seems like I can come up with a bigger variety of stuff. I kind of selfishly enjoy it more, because I'm in the moment so much. When you play something that your fingers do, you're almost kind of living in the past. You play something you've spent a lot of time practising, but when you play something that you hear in your head, it might be inspired by something in the past, although the combination is something that can be brand new. As a player and as an improviser, that's really exciting. I think that's one of the reasons why I listen to a lot of singers, and I think that the singers who came from blues and from soul music are some of the best." On how drummer Pat Torpey, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, contributed to "Defying Gravity": Paul: "Pat was like the drum producer. Him and Matt [Starr] worked as a team to make the drum tracks happen, and that worked so much better than the last album. With the last album, we tried to programme everything. We. of course. wanted Pat to be involved, but with his physical challenges, he wasn't able to play as strongly as he needed to. We thought that maybe he could play on electronic drums and record them with midi, and then he could edit that. It just became complicated. In the end it worked, but it just slowed it down. We never could have done it in six days, that's for sure. For this, we had Matt, who's our touring drummer that comes out and tours, and, of course, Pat tours with us too. He's there every day playing percussion, and he gets up on a song or two. We relied on the both of them to work together to make the drums in the studio though, so Matt was playing the kit. Pat would be the producer and have suggestions; about how the groove should go, and about what kinds of sounds to use. The goal was to make it sound like Pat Torpey, and there were the two of them that could do that. That was fantastic." Read the entire interview at Metal Forces. Photo credit: William Hames
According to The Pulse Of Radio, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea slammed politicians who want to cut music education in public schools, calling the idea "child abuse" and "just wrong." In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Flea recalled giving a ta...
Gibson Brands, the world's leading music lifestyle company, announces it has appointed guitar superstar Slash as Global Brand Ambassador, the first such designation in the company's history. As part of the new role with Gibson, Slash is developing new ...
QUIET RIOT Drummer Isn’t Bothered By Negative Opinions: ‘If The Source Isn’t Credible, Then I Simply Don’t Care’
In a brand new interview with I'm Music Magazine, QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali was asked if the negativity ever gets to him from some of the people who won't give the band's new lineup a chance. Banali responded: "There are a couple of factors; one of the things that I always look at when someone criticizes QUIET RIOT or me personally or the choices that I've made is I look at the source of the criticism. If the source of the criticism isn't valid, then it's a bankrupt opinion. I mean, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it's just that. It doesn't make it the truth, it doesn't make it fact and it's not usually well researched." He continued: "It doesn't really bother me, because I can tell you from day one that, even before we recorded 'Metal Health', everyone put us down. Nobody thought we were any good or were going to make it. Even when we were successful, there were people who still didn't like us. Those kinds of things don't bother me and I look at the source. I look at the source and if the source isn't credible, then I simply don't care. "People have tunnel vision and they get stuck on this thing that the only viable QUIET RIOT to them is the QUIET RIOT that recorded the 'Metal Health' record. The reality of it is that the band went through so many changes; that lineup only did two records with 'Metal Health' and 'Condition Critical'. By the time we did the third record, Rudy [Sarzo, bass] was gone, by the time we did the fourth record, Chuck [Wright, bass] and Kevin [DuBrow, vocals] were gone. The lineup has changed almost record by record with very few exceptions." Banali added: "If you don't want to like it, I'm not going to force you to like it. It doesn't matter and I'm not going to lose any sleep over what the critics have to say as long as I stay true to myself. As long as I do the best possible job that I can do for QUIET RIOT and my team in QUIET RIOT. As long as I continue to respect the fans, and I'm talking about the real fans and not the ones who pretend to be. "I can tell you with little or no reservation that a lot of the people who are now saying 'no Kevin DuBrow, no QUIET RIOT' are the same people that in Kevin's lifetime wouldn't give him the time of day or criticized and literally crucified him time and time again. Those people that say, 'If it isn't the classic QUIET RIOT lineup,' which is impossible without Kevin, but even if Kevin was still with us that lineup got back together in '97 and released two records and nobody cared. Nobody was saying, 'Hey, the classic lineup is back'; they were saying, 'Those old has-beens are trying to relive the past.' When you take all of those things into consideration, how deep do you think it cuts? Not at all." QUIET RIOT's new album, "Road Rage", was released on August 4 via Frontiers Music Srl. In addition to Banali, the band's current lineup included bassist Chuck Wright (who has been in and out of the group since 1982), guitarist Alex Grossi (who has been in the band since 2004), and new vocalist James Durbin. Durbin made his live debut with QUIET RIOT on March 18 at The Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas. Banali revived QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after DuBrow's death, along with Grossi and Wright. The group went through two vocalists — Mark Huff and Scott Vokoun — before settling on Jizzy Pearl in 2013. Pearl announced his exit from QUIET RIOT last October.
JACK RUSSELL On Former Bandmates In GREAT WHITE: ‘I Don’t Really Have Time To Spend Thinking About Them’
ListenIowa recently conducted an interview with former GREAT WHITE and current JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell. An excerpt from the chat follows below. ListenIowa: You played in Des Moines with the original GREAT WHITE a few years ago a...
EonMusic recently conducted an interview with VIXEN frontwoman Janet Gardner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. On whether the change in musical landscape and the arrival of grunge affected VIXEN's decision to split in 1991: Janet: "There were a lot of internal and external factors. Our label had a fight with our manager and we got dropped from our label, so there was a lot of stuff like that going on. Of course, the change in the music landscape; we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our third album. When you get the external turmoil, it also causes some internal turmoil, no matter how tight you are, or how much you love what you're doing; everybody's got their own opinions on how to proceed. Eventually we just threw in the towel and said, 'Let's just take a break, let's just split up.'" On the emotional impact of VIXEN's breakup: Janet: "You're on top of the world one minute and the next you're, like, 'What the hell just happened?!' It all happened fast, and that's the way the music business goes; it has extreme highs, and extreme lows. But you have to roll with it, and you can't base your self-esteem on your success of the moment. You have to say, 'Hey, we're the same band we were six months ago. Nothing has changed — we are no less than we were before,' which is very hard when all of a sudden the phones not ringing anymore, and people have moved on to other bands and other things. So it was a time to reflect on things, and obviously to get caught up on other things in life that had been neglected for the last few years. So that was nice. You try to look at the positives of it." On how the death of VIXEN guitarist Jan Kuehnemund brought the remaining members of the band closer: Janet: "It was very, very devastating. The good thing was that we did all patch everything up; we were united, we were ready to go, and in the end, she ended up bringing us all together again, and I think she was very happy about that. It was a very sad time, and I don't even know what else to say; it was horrible. It was hard to pick back up and continue moving forward, but we knew that we had to, and we figured she would want us to." You can read the entire interview at EonMusic. Gardner will release her self-titled debut solo album on August 18 via Pavement Entertainment in conjunction with Pavement's cohorts Eternal Sound Records for Europe. All songs were written, performed and produced by Gardner and her husband Justin James, a guitarist, songwriter and producer who has previously worked with STAIND, COLLECTIVE SOUL and TYKETTO.
Adam Lambert spoke to ET Canada about having mighty big platform shoes to fill as the lead singer in QUEEN. The 35-year-old began touring with QUEEN co-founders Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2012, three years after they first performed together during a 2009 episode of "American Idol", the hit TV show that propelled Lambert to stardom. Speaking about stepping in for one of the greatest rock singers to ever live, Freddie Mercury — who died in 1991 of AIDS at the age of 45 — Lambert said: "The first time, the first couple of months, actually, were terrifying — because I thought, 'There's no way I should be doing this.' And I had the confidence of the band and they were really lovely about it. And they were, like, 'No, no, no. You're great. We love it. Do what you want.' But in my head, I kept going, 'No, I don't know.' And the audience was the final judge. And the first audience we had was very supportive, and each audience afterwards was supportive, so slowly, little by little, I was, like, 'Okay, all right, okay, I can do this, kind of.' But there's no comparing to Freddie." Lambert said that his goal from the get-go was to make sure that his execution of QUEEN's classic material was more of a tribute to the music of the iconic theatrical rock group than an attempt at imitation. He accomplished this by "asking a lot of questions, checking in with the guys, and sort of focusing more on the song itself as opposed to the recording of it, if that makes sense," he explained. "The intention of the lyrics, the mood of the song, if I kept those things in the forefront of my mind as opposed to, 'How did Freddie do it?', I usually would find my way there." According to Adam, he was "a little older" when he "really, really fell in love" with QUEEN's music. "I was late to the game; I think I was in my early 20s when I really discovered their full power and majesty, if you will," he said. "And I was, like, 'This guy [Freddie] is the coolest guy I've ever seen,' 'cause he's running around on stage doing whatever he wants, he's wearing whatever he wants… I mean, he was so free and didn't care, and that's 'rock star' to me. So he's definitely top three rock stars of all time, in my mind." Asked how performing the songs of QUEEN changed him as an artist, Lambert said: "I think that working with the band has taught me a lot. I think that I've learned a lot about songcraft and about how a song can connect with a mass crowd. I think Brian and Roger, individually, are… they're, like, wealths of information and experience and artistry, and so just being around them, through osmosis, I think I've learned a lot — I've expanded my mind. It's a family now, so, yeah. It's great." When QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT played their first North American tour in 2014, they were crowned "Band Of The Year" at the tenth annual Classic Rock Roll Of Honor awards and "Best Live Band Of The Year" in Ultimate Classic Rock's reader's poll. This year, QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT are playing two gigantic tours, first across North America from June through August, and later in the year they sweep across Europe with twenty-six dates beginning in Prague and winding up in London mid-December.
Bob Buchmann of San Diego's classic rock radio station 101 KGB conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich before the band's August 6 performance at Petco Park in San Diego, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On METALLICA's "out-of-the-box" approach to new projects: Lars: "We're always trying to challenge ourselves and we're always trying to embrace the musical frontiers. We're very curious people by nature — we like to turn over stones and see what's underneath 'em. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. But, to me, that's the journey forward. There are some people in the rock world that want their bands a little more boxed in and playing it safe, and I respect that, but that's not us. We like to kind of run rampant and try to, like I said, go on new adventures. That's just who we are. So we're always up for any kind of musical endeavor, especially when they're, sort of, uncharted territory." On what motivates artists like METALLICA, THE ROLLING STONES, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney to keep touring, even when they "don't need to": Lars: "Why do you pick up a guitar in the first place? It gives you a sense of belonging to something. I understand the whole thing [about] we don't need to be doing it, but… and you don't need to do anything, but at the same time, you have one life [and] if you blink it, you'll miss it. You end up doing what's kind of in your DNA or whatever. METALLICA is the only band I've ever been in, METALLICA is the only thing I know. Obviously, there's lots of other things — family and other [interests] — but in terms of… This is what we always come back to. And the same thing with THE STONES — they're in their mid-70s and they do it 'cause they love it. And we love coming and connecting with people and sharing our time and playing music and doing all that. And we'll do it as long as we can. In our situation, there may be a physical limit for the shoulders and the necks and all that to give out, and that may be earlier — knock on wood — than some of those other bands that you mentioned. But we're gonna keep going [for as long as possible]." The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" trek will hit stadiums in two more cities before ending in mid-August. The next stop on the tour is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on August 14. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", which came out last November.
The official "live" video for the song "Selfish Age" from AS LIONS, the British rock outfit fronted by Austin Dickinson — the son of IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson — can be seen below. The track is the title cut of the band's debut full-length album, which was released on January 20 via Better Noise Records. "Selfish Age" is the follow-up to AS LIONS' debut EP, "Aftermath", released last year. Helmed by award-winning producer David Bendeth (OF MICE & MEN, PARAMORE, BRING ME THE HORIZON) and Kane Churko (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, DISTURBED, IN THIS MOMENT), "Selfish Age" is an illustration of the band's mission to create "the biggest, baddest hard rock we could, and on an almost cinematic scale." The album's eleven dynamic tracks are a study in contrasts, with the epic and evocative "Aftermath", the crushing "Deathless", which targets the Internet culture's obsession with image, "Bury My Dead", a hard-hitting personal statement complemented by stately piano tinklings, and the electro-tinged title track, "Selfish Age". Comprised of Dickinson, guitarist and keyboardist Conor O'Keefe, guitarist Will Homer, bassist Stefan Whiting and drummer Dave Fee, AS LIONS is the evolution of British rock. "Selfish Age" track listing: 01. Aftermath 02. The Suffering 03. Bury My Dead 04. Deathless 05. Selfish Age 06. White Flags 07. Pieces 08. World On Fire 09. One By One 10. The Fall 11. The Great Escape AS LIONS was formed after the breakup of Austin's previous band, RISE TO REMAIN, which released one album, "City Of Vultures", in 2011.