Nuclear Blast Entertainment, via a licensing deal with 20 Buck Spin, has announced the worldwide (excluding North America) signing of Denver, Colorado-based multifarious doomed heavy metal quartet KHEMMIS. KHEMMIS is currently working on new material for its third record, to be released in 2018 via 20 Buck Spin in North America and via Nuclear Blast Entertainment elsewhere globally. KHEMMIS commented on the signing: "We are honored to join the legendary Nuclear Blast roster for the release of our third album. The new songs we've been working on build upon the melodicism of 'Hunted' while also exploring new, heavier, and more aggressive sonic terrain. We plan to enter the studio in early 2018 with a tentative mid-year release date. Thanks to Monte Conner, everyone at NB, and the listeners and fans who have supported us." Formed in 2012, KHEMMIS has released two albums to date. 2015's "Absolution" and 2016's "Hunted" paint a unique portrait; encompassing spiralling progressive doom, fuzz-toned stoner riffs, syrupy sludge and churning classic grooves. They transcend traditional doom forming elegant yet dramatic tracks, conveying their unique sense of melancholy edged with a sense of foreboding. Debut record "Absolution" earned the four-piece outright critical praise from the underground, plus achieving them Decibel's "Top 40 Albums of the Year" list allowing their impact to slowly start seeping into the mainstream consciousness. "Hunted" broke down those final barriers earning KHEMMIS widespread recognition, including a spot in Rolling Stone's "20 Best Metal Albums of 2016" list. Not many bands out there can boast about being compared to the likes of THIN LIZZY and ZZ TOP, to PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE and JUDAS PRIEST.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea has said that talk of the band retiring is premature. Flea was asked by TMZ about recent comments made by CHILI PEPPERS drummer Chad Smith, in which Smith mused about the end of the band, saying that while he still loved recording, "the touring part... I don't know if we can continue." Smith's remarks led to speculation that the band could be thinking of calling it quits. But Flea wasn't having any of it, calling the speculation "silly talk" and adding: "We never really look past the immediate future, but we're on tour right now, we're rocking out, we feel in the spirit, letting the music move us." Flea continued: "To be honest, since we first started this band 35 years ago, I've never ever known what's next or round the corner or anything. I think the power of the band lies in that — just staying in the moment and the energy that's moving." The bassist told The Pulse Of Radio that playing in the band and being creative are two things he can't live without. "Playing in the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and playing bass is a very animal, comfortable, instinctual, intense thing for me and a huge part of who I am," he said. "Every time I am involved in any creative process, it always deepens me as a person, just widens my palette of colors to paint with, you know, and I'm always loving doing it. I like being creative, it's when I'm happy." Smith told podcaster Eddie Trunk that he didn't know how much longer the band could continue, 33 years after releasing their first album. He added: "I mean, three of us are 54 years old — Anthony [Kiedis, singer], me and Flea. Josh [Klinghoffer, guitarist] is 38 or 39, so he's a young man. But I don't know if we can continue to do the long tours — the year, year and a half we normally do. That's a good question." Smith hinted that for their next album cycle, the CHILI PEPPERS could adopt a similar schedule as METALLICA, who limit themselves to around 50 shows a year. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS are currently on the road behind their eleventh studio effort, "The Getaway", which came out in June 2016 and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
JUAN CROUCIER On Possibility Of New RATT Music: ‘I’ve Been Sitting On So Many Songs, It’s Almost Scary’
Juan Croucier says that it is "inevitable" that RATT will eventually return to the studio to record new music. RATT's last studio album, 2010's "Infestation", featured Robbie Crane on bass instead of Croucier, who rejoined the group in 2012. After putting the band on hold for a few years, Juan and two other members of RATT's classic lineup — singer Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini — became embroiled in a highly publicized legal battle with drummer Bobby Blotzer over the rights to the RATT name, with the trio finally emerging victorious several months ago. During a July 10 appearance on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Croucier was asked if there are any plans for RATT to release a follow-up to "Infestation". He responded: "Naturally, what we do is, obviously, like many other rock bands, we write songs, record and perform. And at this juncture, I'm sitting on a lot of songs, and I know that Warren and Stephen also have a a lot of things as well. "We're trying to get our legs under us right now and just kind of take the first step," he continued. "I think it's inevitable, at some point, that we'll record. I'm not sure whether it's gonna be single, or a couple of singles, or EP, LP — that's yet to be determined. But right now, we're kind of dealing with one thing at a time and keeping the focus of the band where it should be, which, at the moment, is playing live and letting people know that this isn't a fluke and we're here to stay. "I can't really get into what's gonna happen in the future as far as releasing records or not, because I can't speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself. But, naturally, we wanna stay creative, and it's sort of a band's lifeblood to keep releasing material. So that's a really important factor. We just have to figure out what the right timing would be for that." Croucier explained that he personally didn't want to "make a record just for [the sake of] making a record. I wanna make a record because we have something to say and we all agree that it's an appropriate thing for us to say, and we all wanna do it as a team collectively," he added. "That's really at the heart of the matter. And the good news is there's certainly no shortage of songs for RATT. I mean, I've been sitting on so many songs, it's almost scary for me. So that's a good thing — we've got a lot of material. So now it's just a question of what's gonna fit, what's gonna be appropriate to do, what's the right move to make. And it's not like you wanna be calculated, but you just wanna take the right steps at the right time to facilitate maximum impact, if you will. Too many records come out, they're promoted before the record's even out, and the day it comes out, it's like, 'Poof!' What happened to that?'" Since 2015, Blotzer had been playing shows under the name RATT with a lineup in which he is the sole member from the band's '80s heyday. He has pitted himself against Croucier, Pearcy and DeMartini, who reunited last October for a surprise performance on a Monsters Of Rock cruise. The trio has since played a series of RATT shows, including high-profile sets at Maryland's M3 Rock festival and Oklahoma's Rocklahoma, and has issued cease-and-desist letters to concert promoters in an attempt to block the Blotzer version of RATT from performing under that name. Back in November, a California judge ruled against Blotzer with respect to whether Croucier had committed trademark infringement by using the RATT name and logo to advertise his band RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER in the fall of 2015. After someone uploaded a short clip of RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER performing in February in San Antonio, Texas, Blotzer took to Facebook to share the video and disparage the bassist's stage presence, writing in a since-deleted post: "I would rather have surgery on my C**K with no anesthesia than to have to ever see this anywhere in my life again. Man, that's really disturbingly horrifying to see. A purgerer [sic] and a spazzorama freak! Seriously, can someone really say, 'Man, that was really great'? Looks like he's riding a broom horsey!" Blotzer previously publicly insulted Croucier's appearance in January, comparing the bassist to "Danny DeVito with a headband on" while repeatedly referring to him as "Crucifer." In the "Trunk Nation" interview, Croucier was asked about Blotzer's comments regarding his stage moves. He responded: "I've known our ex-drummer since he was in middle school. He was in a special-needs class that was called an EH class. And he would come to our school, like on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I got to know him from a really early age, obviously, from that. And I thought I knew him and I thought I knew his temperament and I thought I knew who he was, and obviously I was greatly mistaken. You can know somebody for many, many years and not really know the person until push comes to shove. "A lot of this I'm not surprised about," he continued. "And I really don't have anything to add to it in the sense that… You know, what I think is appropriate to say and not appropriate, there's certain lines, and going beyond that, to me, just isn't very flattering to all parties. And I've never been one to get into kind of the mudpit and sling mud around. "Yeah, it was a great disappointment, and at this juncture, we just wanna move forward," Juan said. "Yes, look, a lot of hurtful things were said, and one never knows what another might do. So I just sucked it up and stayed focused and thought about what was good for the band, the betterment of the team, the group. I fought really hard on behalf of Stephen and Warren and myself. And it wasn't easy, but it had to be done, and it had to be adjudicated and finalized. As of June 7th, the case was closed by the judge, so we are moving forward. And no matter what happens, we're looking out for the fans, we're looking out to just play good music, and that's what it's all about. We're a rock band, so we wanna get out there and play in front of the fans and give the people what they love." Asked if he, Pearcy and DeMartini made a "calculated" decision to not engage in a public war of words with Blotzer while they were involved in a legal dispute, Juan said: "You know, it wasn't so much calculated. It's more like, 'What do you say to that?' When you hear some outrageous statement that's childish or juvenile… We're grown men. We've been doing this a really long time. I've known the RATT guys thirty-five years plus. You realize you're not gonna make things better by throwing rocks back. So it was sort of a natural position to take or, like, 'Hey, we wanna stay above the fray and not add to it.' "This was a matter that was fought in the court," he continued. "And now we have two courts — we have the actual legal court and we have the court of popular opinion. You don't win a legal case in the court of popular opinion necessarily. This is legal thing and the laws apply, so we really wanted to pretty much stay focused on what the bottom line was, and the bottom line was the court case. And that's pretty much how we proceeded. "There are pros and cons to not making statements," Croucier explained. "It leaves a lot of people wondering, and you're not answering a lot of questions. We were never broken up. We stopped working. Stephen had an unfortunate tragedy happen in his family, and, of course, to the members of RATT, at this juncture in our lives, certain things are very, very serious, and we understand that. We were always together; it was just a question of what we were gonna do next. And then when this all started happening, the lawsuits, it didn't mean that we weren't together; we were just figuring out, 'Okay, where's this going? Where's it gonna end?'" According to Juan, the decision to perform an unannounced set at last fall's Monsters Of Rock cruise was well thought out, and it served its purpose. "There was a narrative that was out there, and it was controlled by our ex-drummer," Croucier explained. "And try as he may at the time, a lot of the information that was perpetrated was obviously incorrect. It fit his concept of it and what he wanted reality to be. However, it was not that way. So, without adding too much to it individually, Stephen, Warren and I, we figured that what better way to make a statement than to get out there and play and show people that, 'Here's where it's at. This is what we're doing.' And that's kind of what the idea was behind just making a great show, letting that speak for itself and then moving forward from there. Shortly thereafter, or sometime after that, what's called a summary judgment was done, and we prevailed, and then from there, we knew that, 'Okay, this thing's gonna go well.'" Croucier went on to say that it was at times difficult to keep RATT focused on the big picture while the individual members were having to deal with attorneys and court hearings. "Look, these things are complicated, they're very time consuming," he said. "It really just kind of consumes you. It's really a nuisance. And there are side effects; there's collateral damage, and it's really hard to not come out unscathed or unaffected. But we did the best that we could, under the circumstances, to stay focused, keep the core of the group safe; we protected it. I went forward and did what I had to do in my individual case, and that was very, very helpful to the general cause. It allowed Stephen, Warren and I to move forward, because I won my case, so that was big, big positive for us. So now, you know, we're just moving it forward." One aspect of RATT's comeback that suffered as a result of the drawn-out legal battle was the band's ability to effectively lay out its concert schedule. "Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to really plan the year the way we would have liked to have," Juan admitted. "Normally, when bands play, a lot of the booking is done the previous year. And so this year what we've been doing is we've been trying to salvage what we can and get out there and play as many shows as we can, shows that make sense for us to do. So we're planning a much more vigorous touring schedule for next year. This is just a way to sort of get the ball rolling and get out there and Ratt 'n' roll." Joining Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini in RATT's current lineup are former QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on "Infestation", and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who previously played with Y&T, WHITE LION and MEGADETH, among others.
TERROR UNIVERSAL, the "horror metal" band featuring ILL NIÑO members Dave Chavarri (drums; who also previously played with SOULFLY) and Ahrue Luster (guitar; formerly of MACHINE HEAD), has inked a deal with Minus Head Records. The group will release its debut full-length album, titled "Make Them Bleed", on October 13. "It is both an honor and a pleasure to sign with Minus Head Records," says Chavarri. "Label owner and CEO Brad Hardie has a strong passion for heavy metal and understands the elements needed to break a band like TERROR UNIVERSAL in the marketplace. It is very seldom in this industry that a label cares that much about their bands. We are ready, and we are here to dominate." Hardie adds: "Very excited to add TERROR UNIVERSAL to the roster. Their combination of metal with horror lyrics and imagery is exactly the kind of thing we look for! Can't wait to unleash this beast of a record!" "Make Them Bleed" track listing: 01. Welcome To Hell 02. Passage Of Pain 03. Dig You A Hole 04. Dead On Arrival 05. Through The Mirrors 06. Your Time Has Come 07. Make Them Bleed 08. Into Darkness 09. Spines 10. Piece By Piece TERROR UNIVERSAL are no strangers to being on the road, as they have shared many stages with international acts such as KORN, ASKING ALEXANDRIA, HELLYEAH, PAPA ROACH and FEAR FACTORY. The band is on tour right now in the States with rotating openers and labelmates INCITE. TERROR UNIVERSAL is: Vocals: Plague Drums: Massacre Guitars: Thrax Bass: Diabolus
GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna was interviewed on the July 16 edition of "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below. Speaking about how his songwriting process has evolved over the years, Erna said: "Interestingly enough, if anyone knows anything about GODSMACK, we've always been kind of a tough-edged band — really good music for extreme sports and being in the gym and anything like that: football, motorcross, whatever. We even have a lot of Army and Navy and marines that come to our shows and just tell us stories about how it got them through really tough times when they had to fly over Iraq and Afghanistan and whatever, and do their job… jobs that they didn't really wanna do. They turned up the music and just did what they had to do, and it helped them get through something that would have been naturally pretty difficult to do. But now we're getting to a place where the band has been around for twenty years. We're very blessed and lucky to still have a career and have fans out there that care about us. And we wanna be smart as well. And, by the way, I'm not that young, angry kid that I used to be once. I'm a lot older now, I have a daughter of my own, I'm in a good place in my life. I don't have a whole lot to really be stressed out about or mad. And so the music has to evolve with that. Everything that I've ever done in music was always based on something that affected me on an emotional level — it was never made-up stories; it was always based on my life to some degree. And so now where things are a little bit brighter and a little bit better, we're not gonna write about flowers and ice cream, but I certainly think that it's gonna have a little bit more positive of a message and I definitely think it's even gonna have a little bit more of a commercial edge to it. Because we're older now, and we wanna kind of continue to write and play music that we also enjoy and not always have to be in 'screamo' mode and chugging away." He continued: "Me and my drummer recently just said… We made an agreement, we were, like, 'I think we've come up with every combination of chugging that we can.' We call it the Morse-code effect. I'm, like, 'Dude, I honestly can't think of any more combinations. I'm done with chugging. I think now we're just gonna focus on writing really well-written songs.' And that's what I've been kind of focused on for the last so many years. And due to that, I listen to a lot of great songwriters — Elton John, Michael Jackson… whoever it is that has been legendary and iconic. And I try once again to absorb and learn from them so we can put out the best record we can due to the year and the day and age that we're in." Asked what the hardest part of writing music is for him, Erna said: "I think it's the challenge. It's just the challenge of getting up every day and putting in your time. That's complicated. When the ideas come and everything's flowing, it's almost effortless. And if anybody's out there who's creative, who's an artist, I would highly recommend that you YouTube Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk on 'Your Elusive Creative Genius'. She's the lady who wrote the book 'Eat, Pray, Love'. She does a TED talk, and she does this amazing speech on how to take the pressure off yourself, because, as artists, it's no wonder that we become manic-depressive, alcohol addicts. We're always trying to beat our last thing, we're always wondering if our best days are behind us and if we've already done our best work and how do we top our last record or how do I put on a better performance as an actor or as a book writer. So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And I really think people who are interested in this kind of thing should really watch this talk. It's very, very inspiring; it changed the way I work. But for me, that's what it is — that's the hardest part: just going there and doing your job and hoping that your genius shows up and that brilliant things happen." Sully also confirmed that GODSMACK is hoping to release a new single in the first few weeks of 2018 before following it up with a full-length album by early spring. Erna recently walked back his previous comments that GODSMACK intends to commemorate the band's twentieth anniversary in 2018 with a massive world tour that could feature the group playing its self-titled 1998 debut disc live from start to finish. GODSMACK's last release was a song called "Inside Yourself", which was made available in October 2015 as a free download at the band's official web site. The new GODSMACK CD will be its first effort for BMG, following a split with the band's label home since 1998, Republic/Universal. "Whiplash" 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.
Ex-PANTERA Bassist REX BROWN Says ‘Buried Alive’ Was Written About What He Went Through After DIMEBAG Died
In a brand new interview with Australia's The Rockpit, former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown spoke about the song "Buried Alive" from his debut solo album, "Smoke On This". The track touches on the aftermath of PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's d...
BODY COUNT, the metal band fronted by hip-hop legend, actor and director Ice-T, has released the official music video for its cover of the SLAYER classic "Raining Blood". The clip, which was directed by Ice-T and Treach, also features the end of another SLAYER song, "Postmortem". BODY COUNT's version of "Raining Blood" is featured on the band's latest album, "Bloodlust", which was released at the end of March. The follow-up to 2014's "Manslaughter" includes contributions from MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine, SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's Max Cavalera and LAMB OF GOD's Randy Blythe. BODY COUNT bassist Vincent Price recently spoke about how he approached recording "Raining Blood" in the studio. He said: "I got this phone call from Ice-T at the same time he told me about trying to find people to be on this record. He goes, 'Vince, I want to cover 'Raining Blood'. I'm thinking, 'Wait a minute, 'Raining Blood' starts with the end of 'Postmortem'. I was, like, 'You know what? Let's put a twist on it — start our 'Raining Blood' and then end with 'Postmortem', which I do vocals on." Ice-T previously said of the decision to release a new BODY COUNT album: "Music happens in climates. Groups like RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and KORN were born when the world was in turmoil, then music went into this delusional period where hip-hop became about nothing more than poppin' bottles. Now we have impending doom again, racism is at an all-time high and it's our season again. This is the optimal time for a BODY COUNT record."
A new biography of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, titled "Bon - The Last Highway: The Untold Story Of Bon Scott And AC/DC's Back In Black", is scheduled for publication in November in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The book will be published in 2018 in France and Japan. The author, Jesse Fink, previously wrote the 2015 book "The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC". According to the publisher, the new book revolves around "a special — and unlikely — friendship between an Australian rock star and an alcoholic Texan troublemaker. Jesse Fink reveals its importance in Bon's story for the first time." Fink begins the book at the end of the 1970s, just as AC/DC is about to achieve its first big commercial breakthrough. The publisher states: "With unprecedented access to Bon's lovers, newly unearthed documents, and a trove of never-before-seen photos, Fink divulges startling new information about Bon's last hours to solve the mystery of how he died." On February 19, 1980, the 33-year-old Scott passed out after a night of heavy drinking in a London club and was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by an acquaintance named Alistair Kinnear outside a house in East Dulwich, London. The following morning, Kinnear found Scott lifeless, and alerted the authorities. Scott was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The official cause was listed on the death certificate as "acute alcohol poisoning" and classified as "death by misadventure." Asked by CantonRep.com how difficult it was to put together a book of this magnitude, Fink said: "It kind of touches on the question of why so few writers have gone so deep into the story: it's bloody difficult. You have a man — Bon Scott — who's been dead for 37 years; a band that won't talk; a cast of people who are reluctant to help you or are going to shut you out altogether; a witness [Alistair Kinnear] who has disappeared, presumed dead; Bon's estate, which is very private if not secretive; and, on top of all that, an album that made the Young brothers and their record companies fabulously rich and continues to do so. A lot of people have a stake in protecting its legacy. So from the outset you're pushing [crap] uphill. Then you have to construct a narrative as I did from scant sources. Bon's time in America was a blank part of his biography. How do you find them? Well, you start looking. You travel. You go back to sources that have already been used and see if anything was missed. You talk to people who might have been overlooked. You ask around, and when you get turned away, you ask again. You go through whatever available resource there is to assemble shreds of information, and slowly a vivid picture starts to emerge. The challenge, then, is to turn that nebula of research notes into a story that is going to engage people. I spent three years doing nothing else but researching and writing this book. The manuscript was over 700 pages. It was a lot of work." Regarding what he hoped readers would take away from "Bon - The Last Highway", Fink said: "That Bon was above all else a human being not a god. He had character faults. In some ways, he was unsure who he really was, unsure what he wanted to be doing and unsure where he wanted to be. You have to remember he was only 33 when he died. Some of us don't have clarity on these things until our 40s or beyond. But Bon was also a very good, kind man and an exceptional talent who never got his due when he was alive. It's time the whole world celebrated him as one of the great figures in rock history. I hope this book helps facilitate a greater appreciation of his immense gifts." AC/DC guitarist Angus Young told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the band almost didn't get past Scott's death. "Bon was the big — he was a full-on frontman, plus he had this great character, you know," he said. "I mean, he just lived that rock 'n' roll life. With Bon, what you saw was what you got and, yeah, it was pretty, pretty tough." The band vowed to carry on, recruiting new singer Brian Johnson and recording the classic "Back In Black" album within five months of Scott's death. Worldwide, it would go on to become the biggest-selling rock album of all time.
Ozzy Osbourne played his second solo concert since the completion of BLACK SABBATH's "The End" tour this past Sunday night (July 16) at the Chicago Open Air festival in Bridgeview, Illinois. Ozzy is joined on the current run of dates by guitarist Zakk Wylde, who was the SABBATH frontman's regular axeman from 1988 to 2007, although they've often performed together since then. Osbourne's touring lineup also includes Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, Tommy Clufetos on drums and Adam Wakeman on keyboards. Ozzy currently has only six more dates scheduled between now and early November. Next month will see the singer play Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota, Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnestoa and the Moonstock festival in Cartersville, Illinois. More shows will follow in September and October, with the final date take place at this year's edition of the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest on November 4 in San Bernadino, California. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune about the possibility of collaborating with Ozzy on a new studio album, Zakk said: "My relationship with Ozzy and Mrs. O [Ozzy's wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne] is if they call me up and say, 'Bring eggs and milk over and clean the dog run,' I do it. If Oz wants to do another record, then we knock it out. We haven't spoken yet about a record. Basically, right now it's about the shows." Wylde originally joined Osbourne's band three decades ago and backed the legendary frontman from 1987 to 1995, then again in 1998, from 2001 to 2004 and also from 2006 to 2009. His guitar playing can be heard on Osbourne's studio albums "No Rest For The Wicked", "No More Tears", "Ozzmosis", "Down To Earth", "Under Cover" and "Black Rain". The first album with Wylde went double platinum and "No More Tears" remains Ozzy's most successful album, going four times platinum in the United States with four Top 10 songs on the U.S. Billboard chart. Wylde also appeared with Ozzy on three live albums.
Fans that have seen METAL CHURCH live at their recent shows in the United States and Europe may have noticed a new face on stage. The guy behind the kit has been none other than Stet Howland, and now that the transitionary process is complete, METAL CHURCH is happy to announce the addition of Howland as the band's permanent new drummer. METAL CHURCH vocalist Mike Howe commented: "I am overwhelmed and grateful that Stet has found his way into the fold and I look forward to many successful and joyful performances together." METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof added: "We are extremely happy to have Stet as our new engine. He is a fantastic drummer and a great guy to work with. But the hazing shall continue relentlessly!" Howland shared his excitement about joining METAL CHURCH: "After being home for only a few days from possibly the best tour of my life, I received a conference call from Kurdt and Mike, for a split second I thought to myself 'Oh shit, what did I do?' But my concern quickly turned to an unremovable smile when they asked if I would be interested in being a permanent member of METAL CHURCH. "It's no secret that METAL CHURCH have always been one of my favorite metal bands and that, in my opinion, they are on the strongest ascent of any band in their genre! And given that the band kicks ass live, has an incredible record label, a rabid fan base, relevant new music, recent Billboard chart positions and first-week CD sales that rival multi-platinum acts, my answer was an unwavering 'YES'! "On my maiden journey I was blown away by Mike Howe's consistent crowd destruction, Kurdt's ridiculously heavy riffs, Rick Van Zandt's refusal to make even one mistake and my glue-like bond with Steve (it's a well-known fact that METAL CHURCH bass player Steve Unger is one of my closest friends and it was Steve who initially suggested me to the band). "There is understanding, mutual respect and camaraderie present here that is missing in so many 'famous' acts. I am honoured to be a member of such a group of people and will do my best to deliver strong performances both live and in the studio." METAL CHURCH's latest studio album, "XI", was released on March 25, 2016 via Rat Pak Records. Produced by Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris "The Wizard" Collier, the band's eleventh studio release marked the return of Howe. METAL CHURCH released "Classic Live" via Rat Pak Records on April 28. Produced by Vanderhoof, this special-edition release features nine classic METAL CHURCH songs recorded live on the band's 2016 tour and also includes a special bonus track, a powerful new studio version of "Fake Healer" that features a duet with QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Todd La Torre. Photo credit: Markus Wiedenmann Photography