MICHAEL MONROE To Release ‘The Best’ Collection In June

In the leather-bound history of heartfelt rock 'n' roll, not only will Michael Monroe have at least one chapter all to himself but his name will be colorfully threaded throughout, such has been his impact, his appeal, and his ongoing never-surrender story; a powerful, inspirational tale told in detail on "The Best" — the first official collection of his (ongoing) solo musical exploits, featuring prime tracks from 1987 right up to 2017. It arrives June 30 via Spinefarm. "This album is a great representation of my 30-year solo career, including four songs from the Little Steven-produced DEMOLITION 23 album, which has been unavailable for over 20 years, plus some special rarities and previously unreleased bonus tracks." Icon, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, media personality, flamboyant force of nature, and one of rock's most celebrated and uber-kinetic frontmen, Michael has been a name and a (much-photographed) face on the scene since 1979, when he played a central role in the formation of HANOI ROCKS — the legendary Finnish glam-punk heroes who came within a rolling paper's width of taking the world by glitter-storm. Were it not for cruel and fickle fate, HANOI — who disbanded for the first time in 1985, then finally in 2009 — might have ended up as an arena act. But whatever obstacles were thrust in their path, they were never less than the real deal, and major names like GUNS N' ROSES were ready to acknowledge their influence and their worth. GN'R would go on to issue the European HANOI catalogue in the U.S. via their Uzi Suicide imprint. Over his three-decades-plus in the spotlight, Monroe has befriended and performed with a whole host of artists and acts, including the aforementioned GUNS N' ROSES and Slash; Lemmy, Alice Cooper, AEROSMITH, Little Steven and Ian Hunter. The frontman has shared stages and studios with them all, but since that first break-up of HANOI in the mid-'80s, he's essentially been pursuing his own path, and it's this solo activity that forms the basis of "The Best". It's almost two hours' worth of career-spanning music, re-mastered by Svante Forsbäck and sequenced by the great man himself. As well as key, high-profile numbers such as "Dead, Jail Or Rock 'N' Roll" (from second solo album, 1989's "Not Fakin' It", the promo clip for which features an onstage cameo from Axl Rose) and "'78" (from 2011's "Sensory Overdrive", voted "Album of the Year" by Classic Rock magazine), this two-CD set also showcases some "from the vaults" moments for collectors and completists, with bonus tracks and previously unreleased songs strategically placed to make the journey both scenic and surprising. "There's a couple of extra special tracks like 'It's A Lie', sung as a duet with Stiv Bators (DEAD BOYS, LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH) back in 1985, and a never-before-released second version of the STEPPENWOLF cover 'Magic Carpet Ride', featuring Slash, left over from the 'Coneheads' soundtrack project that Slash did with me in 1993. And since Slash has the biggest heart of gold in rock 'n' roll, he was kind enough to allow me to use it on this album. God bless him!," said Monroe. Two other previously unreleased songs are "Fist Fulla Dynamite" and "Simpletown", outtakes from the "Blackout States" album (2015); plus there's the new single "One Foot Outta The Grave" — an anthem of pure defiance — to bring things nicely up to date, showing the artist's continued commitment to a genre.

RAVEN Drummer Sidelined Due To ‘Sudden Serious Health Issue’

Due to a "sudden serious health issue," drummer Joe Hasselvander will be unable to join his RAVEN bandmates on their upcoming tour. Says the group: "As you can imagine, the health and well being of our good mate and partner in mayhem is paramount in importance. However, in order to meet our obligations to our fans, we will still be playing all upcoming shows with the assistance of some amazing fill-in drummers who have stepped up to the plate to help the show go on. "[On] Thursday [May 18] in Chicago, Jimmy Mess from TATTOOED MILLIONAIRES will do the honors, and the shows this weekend on the East Coast we are extremely honored to have FEAR FACTORY drummer and all-around metal legend Mike Heller behind the kit. And for the European tour, KILL RITUAL drummer Dave Chedrick will do the honors. "Please join with us in wishing Joe best wishes and a speedy recovery." RAVEN's latest album, "ExtermiNation", was released in April 2015 via SPV/Steamhammer. Considered part of the "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" movement of the early '80s, RAVEN — led by Newcastle natives/brothers John Gallagher (vocals/bass) and Mark Gallagher (guitar) — is perhaps best remembered for its trailblazing tours in America in the early ’80s that gave groups like METALLICA and ANTHRAX their first taste of the road. RAVEN's albums "Rock Until You Drop", "Wiped Out" and "All For One" virtually invented both the speed metal and power metal genres, with the band consistently pushing the envelope while retaining its unique sound and attack — both in the studio and in their true element: onstage.

TED NUGENT Says PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ‘Defies, Denounces And Crushes All Things Status Quo’

During an appearance on "The Rock Brigade" podast, outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent spoke about his surprise appearance last fall's Donald Trump campaign rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The "Motor City Madman" pumped up the crowd before the then-Republican presidential candidate arrived at the event on November 6 — two days before Election Day — at Freedom Hill Amphitheater. "You probably could have closed your eyes at the beginning of the 2016 campaign, for Trump and all the other candidates, and you probably could have predicted that whoever was the GOP nominee, I would be there and I would be there on fire," Nugent told "The Rock Brigade". "And that's what I represented in Michigan, and that's why we turned an embarrassingly reliable 'bue' state into an honest-to-God, ass-kicking 'red' state, and I couldn't be more proud of that." Nugent added that "it was very cool" to have gotten the opportunity to perform at the rally with a short set that included a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as well as his own "Fred Bear" and "Never Stop Believing". "To have candidate Trump reach out to me, with all the controversy that surrounds me, proves why he is the most important guy to become president, and that is that he defies, denounces and crushes all things status quo," Nugent said. "And that is why he got elected, and that is why he invited me, because he knows, especially in the state of Michigan, if you wanna obliterate the status quo, you're gonna have to call Ted Nugent." Nugent and fellow Detroit-bred rocker Kid Rock got to spend some time in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump on April 19. They were joined by Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, who posted photos of the visit on social media the following morning. Nugent later told the Detroit Free Press that he and Kid Rock represent a salt-of-the-earth American demographic that helped Trump land the presidency. "Trump is swinging an American crowbar at all things status quo," Nugent said. "Does that ring any bells? Does that sound like a guitar player from Detroit who was anti-dope, pro-law enforcement, pro-gun, during the hippie days?"

SHAGRATH On Keeping DIMMU BORGIR A Three-Piece: ‘That’s The Best Way For Us To Do It’

Last week, The Age Of Metal conducted an interview with cocalist Shagrath (real name: Stian Tomt Thoresen) of Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether DIMMU BORGIR will continue to be presented as a three-piece band, joined by session musicians for recording and touring purposes, or if the lineup will be officially expanded with the release of the band's upcoming album: Shagrath: "Well, DIMMU BORGIR is three people. That's how it's been for many, many years now, and that's the best way for us to do it. I know that some fans might be disappointed in this solution, but this works best for DIMMU BORGIR. The three of us [Shagrath and guitarists Silenoz and Galder] are the creative ones who make most of the stuff, and then we also have live members to be part of the show. And when it comes to our keyboard player and our drummer, they have been a part of the band now for almost nine years. But the core is the three of us, and that's much better, because it's very chaotic to have six people in a band with strong opinions. And you can only imagine — it's not really easy. And also we are spending a lot of time together. All the changes we have done, we have done for the better for DIMMU BORGIR. We don't fire people because we think it's funny. We do things because it's necessary, for the [betterment of] DIMMU BORGIR. So, yeah, there's three core members and then we have three extra people as well." On DIMMU BORGIR's upcoming album: Shagrath: "We have spent now three months to complete it, in the studio, so it's ready. It's something also we are very, very proud of. I think we have achieved the making of a really great album. I think also the DIMMU BORGIR fans will not be disappointed about this. But I don't want to go into specific details about this record, because it's too early; it's gonna come out in the fall. So I'm not gonna share too much information about it. But what I can say is that we are very proud of it. It includes a lot of elements from the whole history of DIMMU BORGIR. We have atmospheric riffs, which you get the feeling of a connection from even back in '93. We have symphonic elements, we have more primitive black elements — all kinds of different atmosphere in this new record. And then we have spent almost two years putting it together now. So, yeah, we are very chuffed with it." DIMMU BORGIR's new DVD, "Forces Of The Northern Night", was released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast. The set contains two of the band's live performances: their legendary show in Oslo, presenting DIMMU BORGIR on stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a bombastic choir, as well as their entire performance at Wacken Open Air festival in 2012 in Wacken, Germany with almost a hundred musicians on stage. DIMMU BORGIR's most recent touring lineup included Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERK, THE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. Cyrus; SUSPERIA) on bass.

MEGADETH’s DAVID ELLEFSON: ‘Music Is A Gift From Our Creator’

MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson, who began doing MEGA Life Ministries worship services a decade ago at his church in Scottsdale, Arizona and eventually began studies to become a Lutheran pastor, spoke to Metalheads Forever Magazine about how combining his musical abilities and his faith led him to a deeper exploration of Christianity. "Music is a gift from our creator and that's why it connects to people everywhere, despite our humanness, like language, politics, race, creed and so forth," he said. "Those things are what define us as humans, but music is what defines us as creative creatures. "Biblically speaking, the word tells us that god 'created man in his own likeness,'" he coninued. "So, based on that, we are creators because our creator created us! It's all part of the plan here. Even the black metal artists who burned churches were just stuck in sin, trying to make sense of the human condition, the same way I was stuck in sin as a drug addict years ago. But the good lord can deliver us from evil and get us back to doing what he wanted us to do… create!! That was my story when I was getting cleaned up back in 1989 and then went into the studio and recorded 'Rust In Peace' in 1990. We were creating in darkness, but recorded in sober clarity. That's a huge part of the success of that record. "We don't have to go around and make everyone else get sober, but revealing our own journey from darkness into light through that process can provide the necessary inspiration for others to be inspired to try it too," he added. "Heavy metal never caused the problems of the world… it just a reflected the problems already in the world." David has studied at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis and is the founder of MEGA Life Ministries, a satellite of Shepherd Of The Desert Church (LCMS) in Scottsdale, Arizona. In a 2012 interview with Great Falls Tribute, Ellefson talked about how he and MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine renewed their interest in Christianity. "It's pretty funny, isn't it? When you fight [God], you have struggles and it's an uphill battle. When you surrender to it and you embrace it, that becomes like a jet engine that rockets you forward with not just great success but ease," he said. "All of a sudden, you're not operating from a place of always being so competitive and fear-based. You start to go downstream instead of always paddling upstream." Ellefson also shot down speculation that MEGADETH would somehow incorporate their Christianity into their songwriting. He said: "That's the misconception that if you're a metal guy, you only sing about the devil and if you're a church guy you only sing about the Lord. What a lame stereotype that is. "The only reason we talk about [our faith] is because people ask us about it. The MEGADETH tour isn't some crusade. We're not on some mission."

STONE SOUR ‘Wanted To Go Back To The Basics’ On ‘Hydrograd’ Album, Says ‘COREY TAYLOR

Rob Herrera of Front Row Live conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor on the red carpet of the inaugural "Strange 80s" benefit concert, which was held on Sunday, May 14 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, California. You can now watch the chat below. Regarding STONE SOUR's decision to record its new album, "Hydrograd", live in the studio, Taylor said: "We haven't done it since the first album, to be honest. It was awesome, dude. There's an energy to everything that you just can't get when you're staring at a computer screen. And you're vibing on each other, and all those little pieces of ear candy are coming out and you're reacting to different things. Man, it is a whole other beast when you can do it. So, kids, practice, and be able to do it well, I guess. Or better than me anyways." Corey also talked about STONE SOUR's musical approach on "Hydrograd", which STONE SOUR bassist Johny Chow previously described as "a straight rock and roll album." Taylor said: "We just wanted to kind of go back to the basics. There's still elements of the heavy stuff, but at the same time, there's just such a great rock and roll abandon going on that I just feel like nobody's really doing right now. And in a lot of ways, a lot of people are afraid to use the term 'rock,' which is stupid — pull your head out of your ass. And it's, like, they won't say it, they won't feel it, they won't give in to it, so they're not gonna be it. And we're, like, 'Screw that! We're totally a rock band. And if you don't like it, shove it up your ass.' So that's what we do." "Hydrograd" will be released on June 30 via Roadrunner. The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX and STEEL PANTHER. STONE SOUR tracked a total of 18 songs from which 15 will make the CD. The Paul Brown-directed video for "Fabuless" was filmed on April 18 in Los Angeles. STONE SOUR will play the Rock On The Range Kick-Off Party on Thursday, May 18 at Express Live! in Columbus, Ohio. The event will start the Rock On The Range weekend, with METALLICA, SOUNDGARDEN and KORN headlining this year's festival. STONE SOUR will also be special guests of KORN on the latter act's "Serenity Of Summer" trek, which starts on June 16 in Salt Lake City and wraps on August 2 in Cleveland.
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PAPA ROACH ‘Wanted To Get Weird’ On ‘Crooked Teeth’ Album

PAPA ROACH frontman Jacoby Shaddix was interviewed on the April 30 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 PAPA ROACH's decision to revisit some of its "rap-rock" roots on its upcoming album, "Crooked Teeth", Jacoby said: "I think looking at the landscape of rock music right now, we just kind of felt like we were getting too much lumped into the pack. Not that we sound just like every other band, but we just felt like rock has become, for us, just a little bit homogenized. And we were, like, 'All right, we need to break out of this box and do something different.'" He continued: "Back in the day, when we first came in, we were always like the bastard cousin to the scene. When we came up, it was emo bands and punk bands and gutterpunk bands, and then we were like this fun punk/hip-hop band. So we never fit in. And so we were, like, 'All right, let's make music that makes us not fit in anywhere but our own space.' And so that was kind of the M.O. in doing this. And we hooked up with two producers, [Nicholas] RAS [Furlong] and Colin [Brittain], and they really encouraged us to just kind of jump outside the box. 'Cause we know what we can do, but they encouraged us to get weird, and we wanted to get weird. So we got weird." According to Jacoby, part of PAPA ROACH's motivation in changing up the formula was a desire to keep things interesting for not only themselves but also their longtime supporters. "We always wanna challenge ourselves, but then also challenge our fans," he said. "We wanna take our fans on a ride. We look back at QUEEN, LED ZEPPELIN… those type of bands. They had a style, but they always switched it up and came back with something new and fresh. Hopefully we hit the mark on this one, but I feel really positively about this record so far." "Crooked Teeth" will be released on May 19 via Eleven Seven Music. The disc will be available digitally and physically, as a standard (10 tracks) and deluxe (10 tracks + 3 brand new tracks + 16 Live tracks Live at the Fillmore Detroit) editions. Written and recorded in a cramped North Hollywood studio, "Crooked Teeth" was produced by first-timers Nicholas "RAS" Furlong and Colin Brittain, with the exception of "Born For Greatness", which saw the band collaborate with writer/producer Jason Evigan (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Zedd, MAROON 5). Furlong and Brittain, who grew up listening to PAPA ROACH, worked to bring in elements of music from different genres and parts of the world, and pockets of rhythm people associate more with rap or reggae, while still staying true to PAPA ROACH's sound. The moody ballad "Periscope" features a guest appearance by Skylar Grey while the acoustic/ hip-hop rock mashup of "Sunrise Trailer Park" sees Machine Gun Kelly adding a verse to Shaddix's rap.
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PAPA ROACH ‘Wanted To Get Weird’ On ‘Crooked Teeth’ Album

PAPA ROACH frontman Jacoby Shaddix was interviewed on the April 30 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 PAPA ROACH's decision to revisit some of its "rap-rock" roots on its upcoming album, "Crooked Teeth", Jacoby said: "I think looking at the landscape of rock music right now, we just kind of felt like we were getting too much lumped into the pack. Not that we sound just like every other band, but we just felt like rock has become, for us, just a little bit homogenized. And we were, like, 'All right, we need to break out of this box and do something different.'" He continued: "Back in the day, when we first came in, we were always like the bastard cousin to the scene. When we came up, it was emo bands and punk bands and gutterpunk bands, and then we were like this fun punk/hip-hop band. So we never fit in. And so we were, like, 'All right, let's make music that makes us not fit in anywhere but our own space.' And so that was kind of the M.O. in doing this. And we hooked up with two producers, [Nicholas] RAS [Furlong] and Colin [Brittain], and they really encouraged us to just kind of jump outside the box. 'Cause we know what we can do, but they encouraged us to get weird, and we wanted to get weird. So we got weird." According to Jacoby, part of PAPA ROACH's motivation in changing up the formula was a desire to keep things interesting for not only themselves but also their longtime supporters. "We always wanna challenge ourselves, but then also challenge our fans," he said. "We wanna take our fans on a ride. We look back at QUEEN, LED ZEPPELIN… those type of bands. They had a style, but they always switched it up and came back with something new and fresh. Hopefully we hit the mark on this one, but I feel really positively about this record so far." "Crooked Teeth" will be released on May 19 via Eleven Seven Music. The disc will be available digitally and physically, as a standard (10 tracks) and deluxe (10 tracks + 3 brand new tracks + 16 Live tracks Live at the Fillmore Detroit) editions. Written and recorded in a cramped North Hollywood studio, "Crooked Teeth" was produced by first-timers Nicholas "RAS" Furlong and Colin Brittain, with the exception of "Born For Greatness", which saw the band collaborate with writer/producer Jason Evigan (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Zedd, MAROON 5). Furlong and Brittain, who grew up listening to PAPA ROACH, worked to bring in elements of music from different genres and parts of the world, and pockets of rhythm people associate more with rap or reggae, while still staying true to PAPA ROACH's sound. The moody ballad "Periscope" features a guest appearance by Skylar Grey while the acoustic/ hip-hop rock mashup of "Sunrise Trailer Park" sees Machine Gun Kelly adding a verse to Shaddix's rap.
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IN THIS MOMENT’s ‘Blood’ Album Certified Gold In U.S.

IN THIS MOMENT's 2012 album "Blood" was certified gold for sales of half a million units on May 10 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America). In February 2016, the RIAA began including on-demand audio and video streams and a track sale equivalent in determining which releases get the coveted album awards, a change that followed a similar tweak in 2013 to include on-demand streams for its Digital Single Award. As part of the new rules, 1,500 streams count as an album unit. This move came on the heels of its 2013 alteration to its Gold Single award where it announced that 100 streams would count as a single download, and in January 2016 had upped that ratio to 150 streams in recognition of how streaming had grown. "Blood" reached No. 15 on the Billboard album chart, while the title track — which itself was certified gold in March — became IN THIS MOMENT's first-ever Top 10 hit at rock radio. IN THIS MOMENT will release its sixth studio album, "Ritual", on Friday, July 21. The disc will be released by Atlantic Records in partnership with Roadrunner Records. Produced by longtime collaborator — and multiple Grammy Award nominee — Kevin Churko (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, OZZY OSBOURNE), "Ritual" includes a reimagination of the Phil Collins classic "In The Air Tonight" as well as "Black Wedding", which sees lead singer Maria Brink sharing the mic with legendary JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford. IN THIS MOMENT will promote "Ritual" by kicking off a major North American tour on June 20 at Peoria, Illinois's Limelight and featuring support by MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, VIMIC, LITTLE MISS NASTY and STARSET.

REPULSION, EXHUMED Members Join Forces In EXPULSION

Relapse Records has announced the signing of extreme metal act EXPULSION. The newly formed group features members of REPULSION, EXHUMED, PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, GRUESOME and numerous others. EXPULSION's debut album, "Nightmare Future", will be released on July 14 on CD/LP/digital. Hear the track "Altar Of Slaughter" now via YouTube below. "Nightmare Future" was produced by Matt Olivo, mixed by TOXIC HOLOCAUST's Joel Grind and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (MAYHEM, FAITH NO MORE, HALFORD). Physical pre-orders and bundles are available at Relapse.com and digital downloads can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. Spawned from the cerebral mind of grind legend Matt Olivo (REPULSION), EXPULSION combines grind, punk and crust into a caustic musical vomit guaranteed to stack the corpses high. Olivo's partner in grind Matt Harvey (EXHUMED, GRUESOME) was recruited over beers in a sweaty L.A. apartment to bring his classic brand of oratory assault. The additions of veterans Danny Walker (drums; INTRONAUT, EXHUMED, PHOBIA) and bassist Menno Verbaten (LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH) complete the fit-to-burn outfit. Expect nothing but the best of throat-shredding vocals, relentless blast beats, buzzsaw riffs and raw bass tones. EXPULSION will leave you horrified with their vile brand of classic, '80s sickness! "Nightmare Future" track listing: 01. Total Human Genocide 02. Altar Of Slaughter 03. Mask Of Fear 04. Nightmare Future 05. Funeral Bells 06. Compulsions 07. Comatose EXPULSION is: Matt Harvey - Vocals Matt Olivo - Guitar Danny Walker - Drums Menno Verbaten - Bass