Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has paid tribute to Chuck Berry, the beloved "father of rock n' roll" who died on Saturday (March 18) at the age of 90. Ward wrote in a Facebook post: "When my grandchildren ask, what was rock 'n' roll? I will open my scrapbook to a time when a guitarist, singer and songwriter played and influenced untold thousands of musicians. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I would hold on to his coattails while he illuminated a reachable path to my wildest dreams. I'll show my grandchildren a picture of this suited up man dancing and playing on one leg and strutting across the stage. I'll play the first 30 seconds or so of 'Johnny B Goode'. That's what rock 'n' roll looks and sounds like, kids. And when they ask who this man is, I'll tell them, smiling, Chuck Berry, kids, Chuck Berry. "Thanks, and RIP, Mr. Berry. "Our condolences to his family and fans." Over the weekend, countless tributes hit the Internet from rock's upper echelon showing their love and heaping praise on Berry, who along with the "Mt. Rushmore" of rock — Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the EVERLY BROTHERS — created the form that all popular music followed from the mid-1950's through today. Bob Dylan famously called Chuck Berry the Shakespeare of rock n' roll." According to The Pulse Of Radio, Berry, who pioneered the rock genre with his unique storytelling and clever use of poetics, will undoubtedly be remembered for his signature two-note, guitar-bending lick, variations of which opened up his classic '50s hits "Johnny B. Goode", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Little Queenie", "Carol" and many more.
Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend played the first of three planned 20th-anniversary shows for his 1997 album "Ocean Machine: Biomech" this past Friday, March 17. The set took place at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, U.K. and fan-filmed footage of the concert can be seen below. Additional performances of the album are scheduled to take place in Spain and Bulgaria this summer. Released in 1997, "Ocean Machine: Biomech" marked the launch of Townsend's own label, Hevy Devy Records, which still runs to this day. It was his first solo work after working with legendary guitarist Steve Vai as vocalist and with his own band at the time, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. A week before the London show, Devin told Louder Than War about performing "Ocean Machine: Biomech" in its entirety: "It [the Hammersmith gig] is a thing in itself. Yes, it is the 'Ocean Machine' show, but we are able to do some special things for it this time. It is another example of the strange ethos of this band in that at the end of an eight-week tour the second-to-last show is a special show that requires a shit-ton of preparation and effort and rehearsal! [Laughs] We have spent the whole tour working on it. Any days off that we had have been working on 'Ocean Machine'. Any time off we even had on the bus has been about learning the parts and making sure it as good as it can be. My hope is that it will be an event that is very special for everybody, specifically at that venue. I have high hopes for it and I think it's going to be awesome." DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT's latest album, "Transcendence", was released last September. The follow-up to 2014's "Z2" double album (half of which was made up of the DTP full-length "Sky Blue"), it saw the award-winning Townsend exploring a relatively new way of working, collaborating with the entire DTP band during the writing stages of the record.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, VAN HALEN bassist Wolfgang Van Halen is reportedly "doing it all" on his upcoming solo album. Van Halen News Desk reported that Eddie Van Halen's son is playing all the drums, bass, guitars and keyboards himself, in addition to handling all the vocal tracks. The web site spoke directly with a pair of people who had heard portions of the record, saying they "totally loved it." Wolfgang has been posting photos and videos from the studio at his Instagram account since early 2015. He told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that his ability to play different instruments gave him the freedom to do what he wanted on a solo project. "I mean, I feel like it's just kind of open-ended," he said. "I feel like since I can play drums, bass, guitar and kind of sing, I guess, I can kind of just decide whatever I want to do. I mean, I've always loved the whole Dave Grohl story of how he started FOO FIGHTERS — just did a whole demo album by himself." His father described the project in 2015 as sounding like "AC/DC meets VAN HALEN meets aggressive pop," adding, "It's a little of everything and sounds like a freight train coming at you. I've never heard anything quite like it. It's so powerful that I'm jealous." There's still no official indication as to when or how the album might see release. Wolfgang first performed live with VAN HALEN on the band's 2007-2008 world tour, which also marked the return of original singer David Lee Roth. He made his recording debut on the band's 2012 album "A Different Kind Of Truth". Wolfgang has also toured as a member of ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti's solo band and played bass on TREMONTI's second album.
ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante will hold down the drum chair on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" from Monday, March 20 through Thursday, March 23. His guest stint in THE 8G BAND, the show's house group led by "Portlandia" star Fred Armisen, follows briefs residencies by other leading rock drummers, including Danny Carey of TOOL, Tim Alexander of PRIMUS, Nicko McBrain of IRON MAIDEN and Abe Cunningham of DEFTONES. "Late Night With Seth Meyers" is home to A-list celebrity guests, memorable comedy and topical monologue jokes. It is hosted by Emmy Award-winning writer Seth Meyers, who was one of 2014's Time 100 Most Influential People and named to Variety's 2016 New Power of New York list. Previously, Meyers served as head writer on "Saturday Night Live" and anchor on the show's wildly popular "Weekend Update". An established comedian, Meyers is known for his perfectly-timed wit and off-the-cuff satire. According to Salon, Meyers is "one of the most important political voices on television" and Vanity Fair called "Late Night" "one of television's most intellectually curious talk shows." Meyers's fellow "Saturday Night Live" cast member and friend Fred Armisen serves as music director/drummer for the house band, THE 8G BAND with Fred Armisen. From Universal Television and Broadway Video, "Late Night With Seth Meyers" is executive-produced by Lorne Michaels ("The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon", "Saturday Night Live") and produced by Michael Shoemaker ("Late Night With Jimmy Fallon", "Saturday Night Live").
Mike Portnoy is rumored to have recruited ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and former DREAM THEATER and current BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION keyboardist Derek Sherinian for his previously announced "progressive metal supergroup." Although the former DREAM THEATER drummer has not yet confirmed Thal and Sherinian's involvement in the new project, he has been actively deleting comments on his official forum from fans who have concluded through various social-media posts that the pair are working with Portnoy in the freshly launched band. Portnoy revealed the new project's existence in a March 1 post on his Facebook page. He shared a photo of himself in the studio and wrote in the accompanying caption: "Hmmmm....what have we here?? I'm in L.A. recording an album with something NEW... Sorry, this is all you're gonna get outta me on this for a while... More will be revealed at a later date... stay tuned! #ProgMetalSupergroup Coming soon..." Asked in a 2014 interview how he goes about handling the changes in playing styles between his many different bands and projects, Portnoy said: "Well, I'm just a big music fan of every style, so it's very natural for me to play different styles with different bands and different musicians, and switch it from day to day, just because I'm a fan. It's very comfortable for me. I'm just such a fan of so many kinds of music that I could change hats from day to day, even from hour to hour. [Laughs]" Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than thirty years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI). Portnoy revealed a few years ago that he tried to rejoin DREAM THEATER, only to be rebuffed. He explained the move in a 2015 interview by saying: "I was doing whatever it would take to keep peace and keep things going smooth. And at that point, they were just only speaking through their lawyer. But it's a 25-year relationship coming to an end, so, obviously, it goes very, very deep, not only personally and emotionally, but also legally, and all the red tape that's involved with something like that. So it was a tough time, a tough period, and, luckily, we all got through it. But, yeah, I don't wish that kind of stuff on anybody in a band. It's tough."
Australia's NORTHLANE has released the official music video for its new song "Citizen". The track was recorded in New Jersey by producer David Bendeth (BRING ME THE HORIZON, A DAY TO REMEMBER, PARAMORE). Speaking about the meaning of the song, NORTHLANE guitarist Josh Smith said: "'Citizen' is a song that was written about the First World police state and our willingness to live under the watch of those in power, for their means, while those who blow the lid on it suffer. “Writing this one was quite a mission. We went through five completely different sets of lyrics and the final incarnation of the song was the eighth revision. It took a lot of work, but we are proud of it and beyond excited to share it with you all." "Citizen" is the first new NORTHLANE song to be released following "Intuition", which received its live debut at UNIFY Gathering 2017. NORTHLANE's last full-length studio release was 2015's "Node". A split three-track "Equinox" EP with IN HEARTS WAKE — featuring all ten members of both bands — came out last year. "Node" was the first NORTHLANE to feature vocalist Marcus Bridge, who joined the band after the departure of longtime frontman Adrian Fitipaldes. Adrian left the band unexpectedly in 2014, citing health issues.
QUIET RIOT made its live debut with the band's seventh lead singer, "American Idol" finalist James Durbin, last night (Saturday, March 18) at The Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas. Video footage of the concert can be seen below (courtesy of Steven Seuferling). Durbin, who became known as the "metal guy" on 2011's season of "American Idol" after performing "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking The Law" with JUDAS PRIEST, joined QUIET RIOT earlier in the month after the dismissal of Seann Nicols (a.k.a. Sheldon Tarsha; formerly of ADLER'S APPETITE). Nicols was with QUIET RIOT for just a few months, but long enough to record the vocals for an early version the band's upcoming album, "Road Rage". Prior to yesterday's show, Durbin — who recently collaborated with QUIET RIOT guitarist Alex Grossi on the "Maps To The Hollywood Scars" EP — explained his decision to join QUIET RIOT, saying that it was partly motivated by his desire to elevate the band's status to levels not seen in the decade following original singer Kevin DuBrow's death. "Me stepping into QUIET RIOT is me wanting to use the attention that I have and the things that I have done to highlight a band that I feel is being forgotten, or is being remembered for the wrong reasons," he said. "[The QUIET RIOT documentary 'Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back' is] a great movie, it's a great story, it's tragic, it happens to every band. Whenever somebody loses a member, you go through this thing where you're trying to find somebody to fill that spot, and in some cases, it's just another guy, but in other cases, it's your best friend or your brother. And you've really gotta find people that you really gel with and really work with and really understand." He added: "Even though I know Alex for the past four months, and two days of rehearsal — the only two times I've ever been in a room together with [QUIET RIOT drummer] Frankie [Banali] and Chuck [Wright, QUIET RIOT bassist] and Alex all together — I feel like we know each other already. I feel like I've known Frankie for years. And so it's this natural progression where I come in, I know the material, I'm prepared. I had two weeks to learn the sixteen-song set — more than other people that have had much longer time. And I come in, and I know it, and I'm happy to be there, I'm grateful to be there, I'm happy to be working with people that wanna work and love to play music. "For me, the whole 'Idol' thing and everything all together, the reason I did was just so that I could be a working musician and play music for a living and support my family. And that's who I'm in a band with. So it's pretty cool. It's come full circle. But nothing in this music industry or the rock and roll world or anything comes without a price to pay, so whatever the ticket price is, I'll pay it. But you can guaran-damn-tee that I will be there every single night banging my head, making you feel the noise, and I will never phone it in, dial it in, make a gimmick of myself or this band, because they deserve it, Kevin DuBrow's legacy and memory deserves it, and QUIET RIOT deserves it." QUIET RIOT announced earlier in the month that it would delay the release of "Road Rage" until this summer so that Durbin could replace all the vocals on the album with new lyrics and melodies. 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.
Quiet Riot at The Cotillion Wichita KS CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE 😃🎶🎉🍻🤘Posted by Steven Seuferling on Sunday, March 19, 2017
Quiet Riot at The Cotillion Wichita KS BANG YOUR HEAD 😃🎶🍻🎉🤘Posted by Steven Seuferling on Sunday, March 19, 2017
Quiet Riot at The Cotillion Wichita KS 😃🎶🍻🎉🤘Posted by Steven Seuferling on Sunday, March 19, 2017
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SEVENDUST celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of its self-titled debut album by performing the record in its entirety at a special hometown show this past Friday, March 17 at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia. Video footage of the concert can be seen below. Originally released in 1997 via TVT Records, "Sevendust" was recorded in Atlanta during the tragic terrorist bombing of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The widespread panic in Atlanta at the time fueled the band to create one of the fiercest albums to date. "Sevendust" was made available as a deluxe reissue in 2010. Produced by Jay Jay French and Mark Mendoza of TWISTED SISTER, the original has sold more than 700,000 copies and was certified gold in 1999. The digitally remastered reissue provided some extra muscle to all of the original hits (including "Black" and "Bitch") and tacked on five bonus tracks and a DVD, which featured the nationally aired TV special "Live And Loud", recorded at The Metro in Chicago, and additional never-before-seen live and behind the scenes footage of the band. The bonus tracks were culled from various releases, making the definitive edition a must-have for any fan. "Breathe" was previously only available on the "Strangeland" film soundtrack, "Terminator (Breathe Remix)" on the MTV "Celebrity Death Match" soundtrack, and live renditions of "Bitch" and "Prayer" were only released on the Japanese edition of the record. "Sevendust (Definitive Edition)" also included a cover of ALICE COOPER's legendary summer anthem "School's Out". Originally known as CRAWLSPACE, the SEVENDUST lineup is made up of singer/frontman Lajon Witherspoon, bassist Vince Hornsby, guitarists John Connolly and Clint Lowery, and drummer Morgan Rose. In a 2016 interview with Myglobalmind, Connolly stated about the band's longevity: "I think it's just a mutual respect we have for each other. When Clint left, that separation period was needed on both sides. He needed to step away, take care of his business. and find his path again and we needed the same. Instead of letting that moment in time define the band, everyone was up for the challenge. Clint went to play with his brother in the band DARK NEW DAY. We put out three records during that time and when he came back it just felt like that original chemistry." He added: "We enjoy making music with each other and we still have that excitement from the first day of rehearsal. We don't look at it as being together for 20 years; we just enjoy jamming with each other. We're brothers and fight like cats and dogs but we have each other backs — we're family."
A fourteen-minute video featuring footage filmed at METALLICA's headquarters in San Rafael, California during the writing and recording of "RIP", the song that later became "Halo On Fire", can be seen below. METALLICA's official video for "Halo On Fire" was directed by the Brooklyn-based high-art photography duo Herring and Herring, who photographed the band for the "Hadwired… To Self-Destruct" album package, and also helmed clips for "Am I Savage?" and "Now That We're Dead". "Halo On Fire" is taken from METALLICA's latest album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", which came out in November. METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told the band's fan-club magazine So What! about the track: "'Halo On Fire', there's a juxtaposition in all of us, good, evil, and when does that come out, when does it show itself? Some people portray themselves as real saints, [and] the more their darkness is, the more they have to portray themselves as saints. So you're basically getting away from the real 'you,' like you're making up for all of this [stuff] that you think is really bad. I think also… what was that one show? 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'? I never saw it, but I saw some highlights of it where it was like, 'Oh, this guy is well accomplished and look at this guy.' And then he's got this basement of torture and horror all for his pleasure, and people [were] falling for it and wanting it. And then at the end of the day, they both bleed. It's not good for anybody." Hetfield recently talked about the evolution of his lyric-writing approach, explaining: "I want to mature, I want to be happier in life — I think everyone kinda does — [and] at some point I had to turn around and embrace that anger that has been with me since youth. What I get to do is use it as a tool; I get to use music as a voice... to get whatever's spinning in my head out." The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" 2017 tour kicks off on May 10 in Baltimore, Maryland and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 will come mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows. Each ticket purchased will come with a copy of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", available as a physical CD or a digital download. Various VIP packages are up for sale as well. METALLICA has also announced the formation of its All Within My Hands Foundation, which will raise funds through ticket sales to support national, local and Bay Area charities selected by the band members, while continuing to donate to music education programs and local food banks.
MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX:A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx says he is worried that Donald Trump could put America at war, doubling down on his previously stated belief that the real estate mogul is not "the right choice" to lead the United States. Speaking to Anneke Ter Veen in an interview that was conducted in Hamburg, Germany last June but only now posted on YouTube, Sixx talked about the U.S. presidential election and how it has affected the lyrical content of SIXX:A.M.'s latest double album, "Prayers For The Blessed" and "Prayers For The Damned", which came out during 2016. "We're not a political band by any stretch of the means, but we are a reflective band and we do feel a responsibility, when we're writing, to write about a lot of stuff — stuff that's going on internally and externally," he said. "Back in America, it's a very volatile time, and it's a bit embarrassing, to be honest with you, mostly coming from one side." He continued: "In general, our belief is that you have the right and you have the responsibility to stand up and rise up — which is what the song 'Rise' is about — and force a chance. "When it becomes so stressful to young people that they say they're not gonna vote, they don't care anymore, they become apathetic, it's a scary time." Asked if he had a favorite candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Sixx said: "Listen, I think it's a really uncomfortable time. I personally don't… My opinion isn't anybody else's opinion. With politics and religion, if you say something, people get very [upset by it]. And it's okay. "My concern is that somebody like Donald Trump could put our country, America, at war, and that is not the answer for anything. We have allies, we've supported each other over the years, different countries have had each other's backs financially, politically and military-wise." Sixx added: "I don't wanna become the only country that's on an island by itself and everybody goes, 'We don't want anything to do [with you], because your leader's crazy.' With that being said, if anybody out there believes the same as I do — obviously, this is German fans, so they can't vote in America — but, just in general, say something, stand up, say something. Go vote against, or if you believe I'm wrong, vote for." SIXX:A.M. singer James Michael told BBC News prior to the election that 2016 was "one of the loudest, most volatile election years I can remember." He explained: "There's a reason for that. There's a reason people like Donald Trump are getting so much traction. Because he's just saying things very loudly, very boldly. He's not being politically correct. And the reason people are reacting to that type of a voice is they're angry. They're scared on a global level and a personal level. It affects them right down to the dinner table." Sixx added: "You have a lot of people rallying behind that campaign, who are clearly fed up, and clearly engaged and activated. But when you really look at the policies being offered to those people, they don't sync up. "A lot of people who say 'I like Donald Trump because he speaks his mind,' are following someone who's not really going to act in their best interests. That's what we're reacting to." He continued: "We are under siege. Politics has become reality television. It is ridiculous. "We have presidential candidates not being presidential at all, saying the most ludicrous stuff and the media regurgitates it, over and over. It is nothing to be proud about. So how can people not stand up and say 'this is BS'?"