According to The Pulse Of Radio, PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready is planning to publish a new photo book this spring containing a selection of Polaroid pictures he's snapped over the years. The 240-page book is titled "Of Potato Heads And Polaroids: My Life Inside And Out Of Pearl Jam" and is expected to arrive in May. The book documents McCready's travels both with PEARL JAM and on his own or with friends and family, and includes candid pictures of Neil Young, Questlove, Paul McCartney, Sting, Dave Grohl, Bono, Jack White, Lady Gaga, Dustin Hoffman, Venus Williams and more. The book's title refers to a recurring character that crops up in the pictures — a Mr. Potato Head toy that McCready takes around with him and places in the pictures to get a reaction out of his subjects. Next stop for McCready's Polaroid camera, if not Mr. Potato Head, will be the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony on April 7, where PEARL JAM will be inducted alongside JOURNEY, Joan Baez, ELO, YES and Tupac Shakur. While current drummer Matt Cameron and original drummer Dave Krusen are being inducted with the rest of the band, PEARL JAM has also invited its three other former drummers to the ceremony. PEARL JAM will perform at the ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It's the group's only scheduled 2017 date, although singer Eddie Vedder will play a string of solo shows in Europe this summer.
Lesser Gods has offered a first look at their new book "So Let It Be Written: The Biography of Metallica's James Hetfield". After months of speculation from fans and critics, preview pages of the introduction and chapter 1 are now available for your reading pleasure exclusively on CLRVYNT. With more than thitry years of touring and recording under Hetfield's belt and a live act that remains a must-see to this day, a book chronicling the METALLICA frontman seemed long overdue. In the first biography of a living METALLICA member, the author Mark Eglinton uses exclusive, firsthand interviews with a number of artists and celebrities who have crossed paths with Hetfield including members of METALLICA, Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Jerry Cantrell (ALICE IN CHAINS), Rex Brown (PANTERA), and more to construct the definitive account of Hetfield. Before becoming known as one of the greatest metal guitarists in the world, Hetfield surpassed several barriers throughout his adolescence including his parents’ divorce, his mother’s untimely death and severe alcoholism. "So Let It Be Written: The Biography Of Metallica's James Hetfield" will hit shelves and online stores on April 11 via Lesser Gods. TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy, who wrote the book's foreword, said: "Hopefully this book will rekindle certain special memories about one of metal's most charismatic and important individuals." Lesser Gods is the first U.S. imprint of Amsterdam-based Overamstel Publishers. Based in New York City, Lesser Gods publishes books about and by musicians, across a variety of genre. Recent titles include "A Vulgar Display Of Pantera", "Finding Joseph I: An Oral History Of H.R. From Bad Brains", "George Michael: The Life: 1963–2016" and many more. Eglinton is an author, journalist and film producer currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland who co-authored former PANTERA/DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown's memoir, "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera", and whose first book, titled "James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica's Door", was published in April 2010.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, LINKIN PARK vocalist Chester Bennington has defended the band against the backlash caused by the pop direction of its new album, "One More Light". Speaking with Rock Sound, Bennington said that the group began writing pop songs even before recording its heavy 2014 album, "The Hunting Party". He explained: "We started down a pretty clear path of writing some pretty serious pop music. Mike [Shinoda, co-vocalist] was giving me litmus tests like, 'Hey, what would you say if I said let's do a collaboration with Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson?' and I was like, 'Fuck yeah! I actually really like pop music.'" Bennington continued: "It was just a test to see if I'd go, 'Absolutely not, that makes me want to puke' or if I'd be open to the idea, and I'm pretty much open to anything." Bennington added that the group started taking risks as far as back as its third CD, "Minutes To Midnight", saying: "If the songs are great, that should be all that matters. We feel like we're pushing ourselves creatively… We like to really play with our palette and expand our abilities as songwriters and performers, and that's what we did on this record." The singer also revealed that he went through a number of personal and family issues over the last couple of years that inspired the lyrics on the new disc, saying, "I literally hated life... it was a legitimate breakdown of me as a human being and then going through all of the effort and hard work it takes to rebuild it and reaping the rewards." Bennington told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he has often thrived as an artist on drama and turmoil. "For some reason, I feel comfortable being in uncomfortable situations. I don't like it, I don't like being tormented, so to speak, but for some reason, I'm drawn to… I feel more comfortable as a person being in chaos or being in a crappy situation because I'm used to that. Ever since I was really young, it's always been chaotic and always been crazy, there's always some kind of drama, and so I've just become accustomed to that." "One More Light" is due out May 19. The band has released two songs so far from the record, "Heavy" and "Battle Symphony". "Heavy" features guest vocals from Kiara Saulters, and was co-written with pop songwriter Emily Wright, who has worked with artists like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. LINKIN PARK has already started booking dates in Latin America, Europe and Asia, but has yet to announce North American tour plans. Photo credit: James Minchin
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal says that he doesn't regret his time with the band despite the fact that he didn't get to write any new music with the Axl Rose-fronted outfit. Thal never officially announced his departure from the GN'R, but a source confirmed to Detroit music writer Gary Graff back in 2015 that the guitarist had been out since the end of the band's second Las Vegas residency in 2014. Thal later revealed that he was focusing on his solo career after spending eight years playing in GUNS. During an appearance earlier this week on "Trunk Nation", Eddie Trunk's show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Thal was asked if he had any regret about his nearly decade-long stint with GUNS. He responded: "You could look at anything and say, 'What if I took a different path?' 'What if I did different things?' 'What if I said no and did this instead?' 'What if I just focused on my solo stuff or producing or whatever else or film and TV music?' Ugh… nah. Your life is your life, and whatever decisions you made, they were based on who you were, who you are and what was supposed to happen and what's meant to be and who you are today and what you learned from it and all of that mumbo-jumbo crap. So, yeah. Do I regret it? No. Absolutely not. If you'd asked me three years ago, I would have [given a] different [answer]. But, no. Absolutely not. I got to be part of making millions of people cheer and enjoy themselves. It's wonderful." Asked what his personal highlight was from his time with GUNS N' ROSES, Thal said: "The first thing that always comes to mind is playing the Bridge School Benefit [organized by musicians Neil Young and Pegi Young], when we got to play a show… It was a benefit for [the Bridge School, which assists children with severe physical impairments and complex communication needs]… And having the kids and their families right on stage with us on this big platform behind us. I remember just almost ignoring the audience in front of us and just going back to them and just taking a kid's hand and helping him strum the guitar. Things like that. That's always the first thing that comes to mind." Thal joined GUNS N' ROSES in 2006 and played on 2008's "Chinese Democracy", an album which contained music that had been written before he came into the group. He has also released a number of solo CDs. Thal is currently involved with ART OF ANARCHY alongside CREED singer Scott Stapp and DISTURBED bassist John Moyer. Thal didn't publicly address his exit until last year when he told Loudwire: "All I could say is you reach a time when you just know it's time to move on and you just know that what you've seen for your life, what you see the future of your life and what that is, it's not what you pictured for yourself." He continued: "When I started playing music, I was six years old, and when I thought about what I wanted and what my goals were, and what makes me alive inside making music, and I just… I was looking at what I was doing, and it didn't match up. And I just needed to… I needed to go."
"End Of Earth", the new video from Richie Kotzen, can be seen below. The song is taken from the ever-adventurous triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist 21st solo album, "Salting Earth", which will be released on April 14 via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc. Kotzen tossed convention on its ear by actually taking one step back in order to move two steps forward. "It's something I really needed to do in order to reset myself," he explains. Kotzen's "charge to recharge" was officially put into play following the mega-success of the 2015–16 tour behind his band THE WINERY DOGS' sophomore effort, the oh-so-appropriately named "Hot Streak". And the man's reset manifesto wound up hitting all the right buttons too. The proof is on display deep within the grooves of "Salting Earth", which veers from the balls-out, heads-up declaration of the opening track and first single, "End Of Earth", to the burning-sky harmonic thrust of "Thunder" to the Prince-like funk-jazz swing of "This Is Life" to the acoustified take-me-as-I-am self-reflection of the album's final song, "Grammy". The majority of "Salting Earth" is the result of Kotzen's one-man production machine, with the exception of Julia Lage adding background vocals to "Make It Easy", a tasty, sing-along groove stew. "It's really not deliberate when the record is finished and suddenly I'm the only performer on it," Kotzen admits. "It actually comes out of my process of writing and documenting my ideas. It started back in the late '80s when I had a makeshift studio in my parents' barn. I grew up fairly isolated, and I soon realized in order to get this music out of my head and onto a format where I could listen to it, I'd have to figure out how to do it alone." Kotzen's previous solo release, 2015's diverse, far-reaching "Cannibals", was a well-received hit among his core fan base, and "Salting Earth" cuts like the aforementioned "End Of Earth", "Thunder" and "Divine Power" all showcase the scorching guitar solos and soaring vocals that one would expect from a Kotzen solo album. That said, there's also quite a vulnerable side on display here that's perhaps best demonstrated in the stripped-down approach to the album's closing salvo, "Grammy". "That song came to me in the oddest way at the most inconvenient time," he reveals of the track that can be filed in the "first thought, best thought" category. One night when he was home alone, "I basically woke myself up with the chorus melody in my head, and in my haze, I knew that if I didn't at least record the idea, it would be forever lost. I ended up programming a simple drum beat, and then recorded the acoustic guitar. The lyrics pretty much wrote themselves. By 6 in the morning, the song was finished. I was going to do more overdubs, but I kept playing it over and over, and I just felt like there was something so personal coming out of the speakers. By messing with it, I'd likely destroy the magic — so I left it as it is." Bringing "Salting Earth" live to the people is Kotzen's next holy mission. "My real outlet is touring — playing live as much as I can, wherever I can, whenever I can," he says enthusiastically. "It's one of the few things you can't copy, steal, or download. It's an engaging human experience that's a give-and-take between both the performer and the audience, and there is nothing else like it on this earth." Kotzen will launch his "Salting Earth" tour on April 21 at The Canyon club in Agoura Hills, California. He and his band are planning to tour extensively throughout the U.S. and continue their journey into Mexico, South America, and Europe. "Salting Earth" track listing: 01. End Of Earth 02. Thunder 03. Divine Power 04. I've Got You 05. My Rock 06. This Is Life 07. Make It Easy 08. Meds 09. Cannon Ball 10. Grammy Photo credit: Julia Lage
DEATH ANGEL singer Mark Osegueda was interviewed on the March 10-12 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A few excerpts follow. Full Metal Jackie: The latest DEATH ANGEL album, "The Evil Divide", is a very angry album. It's funny [to say the record is angry] because you're such a happy and giggly dude. How much do you rely on music as a way to purge anger and other emotions from yourself? Mark: "I think more than ever, more than ever. That is my thing. You're not, ironically, the first person to bring that up that: 'You're always in such a good mood. You're always laughing. You find a joy in everything.' And I think the reason being is because I have this outlet that I think a lot of people that aren't musicians don't necessarily have that, or, you know, do some sort of truly strenuous physical activity. But when we're on tour and night after night I get to yell out my aggressions and see the release that it's giving to other people, there's no better therapy out there — there really isn't. And I thrive off that feeling, I do, and I get it out every night and it drains me, but, at the same time, it just fills me with an abundance of energy for the next night." Full Metal Jackie: What changes about the way metal invigorates you when you've been playing it most of your life? Mark: "Well, I removed myself from it for quite a few years, as far as when DEATH ANGEL had a hiatus. So I think the first time around, as magical as that time was, now I look back on it with a greater appreciation. And when I took that downtime off, I thought if I ever have the opportunity to do this once again, I'm gonna savor every second of it. And so now I have this appreciation for metal that I wish I had the first time around. I mean, I loved it as a teenager — I just loved it, playing it as a teenager, and I ate it and breathed it — but now just the appreciation is much more just… I don't know… just all-encompassing. And while I'm onstage to while I'm recording, I'm enjoying every bit. And even if there's a time I get pissed off, so to speak, I'm just thinking, you know, if I'm lucky enough in my life to be complaining for one moment about music or performing music or creating music, I'm very far ahead of the ball, I'm very far ahead in the game. If you're lucky enough to get to complain about your passion, keep it to yourself. [Laughs]" Full Metal Jackie: The current lineup has been together coming up on eight years now. What are the significant things that have really bonded you together, both musically and personally? Mark: "I think with the first album since we came back with this particular lineup, [which] was 'Relentless Retribution', we were really definitely getting to learn each other and each other's strong points and just kind of figure out each other as people. And so I am very proud of that record, that was a very aggressive record and our first step in this kind of newer reborn aggressive side of the band. And I think now we've done so much touring, as a matter of fact, with this lineup — more touring than the original Mach One lineup did or the Mach Two lineup has done. This is the most touring we have ever done as a band, with this lineup, and it's just made us stronger players individually, stronger players as a unit, stronger performers for sure, not just our musical ability but just how we are onstage. And it's just… we really feel that bond of 'it's us against the world' when we're on stage. You know, there's that friendly competition with any band we're playing with, touring with, on a festival with, and we just wanna make it... If we're playing last, we wanna make it be known why we're last. And if we're not playing last, we want to make it so people who have to play after us go, 'Wow! We've gotta follow that.' We do it now with a confidence that we might not have had the first few shows with this lineup, or the first even few tours with this lineup. But now we definitely feel like we're on to something, 'cause of the reactions of the crowd and the popularity of each album that comes prior to the last getting more popular. I think we're on the right track, for sure." Full Metal Jackie: DEATH ANGEL are a band that's been around for a long time at this point. In the music business, it has changed so much since the big budget days of major labels. What makes the way you record and tour today a better fit for your life? Mark: "With technology, it's come so far that it kind of expedites the recording process. It really does. And for us, it's been wonderful, 'cause we can turn around and get product out faster than we woud have, say, in the '80s without quality being affected. The digital technology has come so far. And also with the songwriting process, Rob [Cavestany, guitar] can just fly files over to me of stuff he's recorded and I can just start writing from home, whereas before there was always some big recording device or your little portable mini studios. And now you don't necessarily need that, and it's been wonderful. When you go into a recording studio now, how they look nowadays versus how they looked in the '80s has transformed immensely as well. I mean, just the sound quality you're getting for the budgets you're working with, whether you're a band of our level or a band larger than us or a band smaller than us, I think it helps bands smaller than us immensely. As far as on the road, that's a whole different story. Because record sales don't add up to what they used to, now when we're on the road, a day off is money burning. So there's very few days off on the road; you're playing almost every night, and you're almost relying on that adrenaline that the crowd gives you, because sometimes it's inhuman, borderline inhumane, some of the many nights we have to play in a row. [Laughs] But we do it because for our love of the music, and it keeps the band alive, and it keeps the fans hungry for more." To see a full list of stations carrying Full Metal Jackie's program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com. Full Metal Jackie also hosts "Whiplash", which airs every Sunday night from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the Los Angeles radio station 95.5 KLOS. The show can be heard on the KLOS web site at 955klos.com or you can listen in on the KLOS channel on iHeartRadio.
Metal-Heads.de conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American metallers SEPULTURA before the band's March 4 concert in Essen, Germany as the support act for KREATOR. You can now watch the chat below. Asked if there are plans for SEPULTURA to return to Europe in the near future for a headlining tour, Kisser said: "We have a plan to come back to Europe at the end of the year, doing our own tour. And pretty soon we're gonna have news about it. We're preparing something very special, very different — something we never did before — and hopefully it will work great. So be aware that we will be back." Kisser also offered an update on the official SEPULTURA documentary which has been in the works for several years. He said: "It's finally done, actually. The director is following the band the last seven, eight years almost. He went on different tours — he went to Indonesia, Europe, States, everywhere with us — and also [collected] interviews with a lot of different people, musicians and roadies, and I think it will be very interesting to show how it is to be a part of a band like SEPULTURA and to have a family. Not only for the metal crowd, but for the normal crowd, to see the trajectory of a band from Brazil and thirty-three years of a career and stuff. I'm very excited about it. It took a while, but there's no other way to do something like that. But hopefully now in May or in April, we're gonna have more news and a date for the specific official release." SEPULTURA's latest album, "Machine Messiah", was released on January 13 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by the band and Jens Bogren (SOILWORK, OPETH, KATATONIA, AMON AMARTH) of Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. The CD's cover artwork was created by Filipino artist Camille Della Rosa. SEPULTURA will join veteran San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT on a North American tour in April. Additional support on the trek will come from PRONG.
Singer, poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya shook things up at SXSW this past weekend by dropping her latest artistic protest of mounting regressive political actions. She took a further stand for equal rights with the world premiere of her band's empowering new music video for the heavy, rap-influenced track "Equal Rights Equal Lefts". Fans at Colours Couture's SXSW fashion showcase presented by 3Thirteen Entertainment Group this weekend were treated to the video (directed by Aleks Rastovic) for the first time during OTEP's headlining set. After the premiere, OTEP posted the video on her YouTube channel for the world to see. Watch it below (**Warning: Portions of this video are NSFW**). The "Equal Rights Equal Lefts" video and track further solidify OTEP's diligent quest for equality. "I wrote this song to celebrate and empower all people to live their authentic selves, to live their truth, and to fight for their right to exist," Otep says. "Every day the LGBTQ community faces bigotry, bullying, ridicule and legislative attacks. We are not 'the other.' We are your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, your doctors, nurses, soldiers and fellow Americans. Simply put, this song and this video are about love and equality." OTEP will wrap up the first leg of its "The Resistance" world headline tour this week. The band is touring in support of its most recent full-length release, "Generation Doom", which hit stores in April 2016 via Napalm Records.
Ted Nugent has announced the first batch of dates for his "Make America Rock Again" tour. He'll be bringing heart-thumping, all-American rock and roll soul music to a city near you. Along with a ticket to the show, the Dangerzone VIP Packages include a pre-show meet-and-greet with Ted, a photo of the Nuge for autographing, a VIP laminate and more. For those who have purchased their tickets already, a Dangerzone VIP Package Upgrade option is also available. "It is my moral, physical, patriotic and spiritual obligation to take the best rock and roll to the masses every summer, so here we go again," said Ted in a statement. "50+ years and running to MAKE AMERICA ROCK AGAIN, like I do every year!" Tour dates: Jun. 23 - Wendover, NV - Peppermill Concert Hall Jun. 24 - Sparks, NV - Nugget Casino Resort Jun. 27 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre Jun. 28 - Agoura Hills, CA - The Canyon Jun. 29 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - The Coach House Jun. 30 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - The Coach House Jul. 02 - Pasadena, CA - The Rose Jul. 03 - Big Bear Lake, CA - The Cave Big Bear Jul. 13 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre Jul. 20 - Merrillville, IN - Star Plaza Theatre Jul. 21 - Hillsboro, MO - Jefferson County Fair Jul. 22 - Fond du Lac, WI - Fond du Lac County Fair Jul. 23 - Lexington, MI - Lexington Village Theatre Jul. 24 - Lexington, MI - Lexington Village Theatre Jul. 27 - Effingham, IL - Effingham Performance Center Jul. 29 - Camdenton, MO - Ozarks Amphitheater Jul. 30 - St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre Jul. 31 - St. Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre Aug. 25 - Sterling Heights, MI - Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
Kelly Hansen says that it no longer makes sense for FOREIGNER to make full-length albums, explaining that the band will instead focus on creating a steady stream of short, immediately available works. Hansen, who joined FOREIGNER in 2004, shortly after the departure of singer Lou Gramm, the guy whose voice you hear on all the band's biggest hits, made his comments during a recent appearance on the "Nights With Alice Cooper" radio show. Asked if there are any plans for FOREIGNER to release a full-length album of new material as the follow-up to 2009's "Can't Slow Down", Hansen said (see video below): "Personally, I don't think that making full albums is the way to go anymore; I just don't think that makes any sense. Because we could put a lot of time and energy and money into creating a full, old-school CD-style album, and then the day it's released it'll be free on the Internet. That's the way the world wants to do it, so we're gonna say, 'Well, that's not what we're gonna do.' I think that doing a song or two at a time, doing a mini-campaign behind it, working your social media angle on that, that's a little bit more in tune with what's happening now. And there are several tunes that are in different states of completion, so there'll be stuff coming out down the road." Hansen's bandmate, bassist Jeff Pilson, also confirmed that there have been discussions about members of the original FOREIGNER lineup, including Gramm, rejoining the group for select dates on FOREIGNER's upcoming tour to celebrate the band's debut album's 40th anniversary. "It's very possible," Jeff said. "There's the hope that at some point Lou could join us for a couple of songs at some of the shows." "There have been discussions," added Hansen. "There's nothing set in stone. We're throwing around some things that could happen, so definitely it's something that has been put out into the atmosphere." To coincide with the tour, FOREIGNER — Hansen, Pilson, Mick Jones (lead guitar), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums) — will release a celebratory 40th-anniversary album, titled "40 - Forty Hits From Forty Years" (Rhino), that features forty FOREIGNER tracks throughout the years. This album is a comprehensive compilation of original hits and several tracks from the current lineup with Hansen on vocals, including "Can't Slow Down", "Too Late" and the Top 20 AC hit "When It Comes To Love". The album also features two new songs, "The Flame Still Burns" and "Give My Life For Love", a brand new song by Jones. "A Foreigner's Tale", the band's first-ever official biography, will be made available in various formats, including a limited edition. Produced in conjunction with Rocket 88 Books, it tells the story of FOREIGNER in the words of Jones.