Rock News

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist Says There Was ‘No Satisfaction’ In Being A Replaceable ‘Hired Gun’

The new rock documentary "Hired Gun: Out Of The Shadows, Into The Spotlight" received a one-night showing on June 29 at several hundred North American locations through Fathom Events. The film chronicles the story of world-renowned musicians who are not household names, but are instead the session and backup musicians who have performed at concerts and on countless recordings with huge stars yet remain largely unknown to the public. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook, who came up as a session musician himself through stints with Mandy Moore, Hilary Duff, Vince Neil and Alice Cooper, teamed with filmmaker Fran Strine to make the film happen. During a recent appearance on "The Morning Blend" on Las Vegas ABC affiliate KTNV, Hook stated about "Hired Gun" (see video below): "Basically, the movie focuses on musicians that are hired to play for celebrity artists. I used to do hired-gun work before I got into FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, so I had my own story to tell. But I also know so many musicians myself that I could call up for their story. So right away I knew I could get my hands on some good content." Hook said that he wanted the film to be an accurate depiction of both the glamorous side of being a sideman and the lifestyle's considerable downsides — such as the pay, which can often be minuscule, and the fact that you can be as disposable as toilet paper. "My experience was that, growing up, I was, like, 'I wanna be a rock star. I wanna be famous. I wanna be on the big stage under the lights,'" he said. "So I found myself in that situation playing… I was with Hilary Duff, Alice Cooper — these big gigs — but then I started thinking, 'This really has nothing to do with me, and I'm replaceable.' So I'm, like, 'I get the feeling, but it's shallow. It's not the deep feeling. There's no satisfaction.'" Hook also talked about the "sheer-terror" moment when he realized it could all be taken away from him in an instant. "What happens is you can make some good money being a hired gun," he said. "So you start to see this income. I'm, like, 'Well, I have never had money. So now I wanna have nice things. I wanna have a car and a house, and I'm gonna grow up now.' But the thing is, at any given moment, they can just shut the gig off. And I learned that the hard way. I had these major bills, and all of sudden I read the e-mail that says, 'Nothing personal, but we're taking the artist's career in a different direction, and thank you. Best of luck.' And I'm, like, 'No no no no no. This can't happen. I just bought this place. I have this massive mortgage payment.'" The documentary goes behind the scenes and explores the personalities and creativity of the best session players and backup musicians in the world. Among the artists interviewed are JOHN MELLENCAMP drummer Kenny Aronoff, former OZZY OSBOURNE bassist Rudy Sarzo, ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted, KISS drummer Eric Singer, guitarist John 5 from Rob Zombie's band, TOTO axeman Steve Lukather, ALICE COOPER guitarist Nita Strauss and many more. Hook told The Pulse Of Radio about the common theme that runs through the movie. "Everybody we talked to had like one 'holy cow' story — some good and some horrific — about their experience playing their instrument for some artist," he said. "And so what we found was that if we strung all these 'holy cow' moments together, we ended up with a 'holy cow' movie."


By | 2017-07-19T13:47:15-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist Says There Was ‘No Satisfaction’ In Being A Replaceable ‘Hired Gun’

COREY TAYLOR Is ‘About At 95 Percent’ A Year After Undergoing Spinal Surgery

Cutter of Razor 94.7 conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor prior to the latter band's July 15 performance at the Rock USA festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You can now watch the chat below. Asked how he is doing physically, about thirteen months after he underwent emergency spinal surgery when it was discovered that he had been walking around for years with a broken neck, Taylor said: "I'm doing okay — slowly but surely making progress. I'm about at 95 percent. I had [the surgery] about a month or so after I quit smoking, so that's my grade. It is what it is. When you have a surgery like that, you can't do all the stuff that you usually do physically, so I gained a little bit of weight and stuff, so I've been trying to fight that off, and I'm kind of still trying to find that flexibility. But you'll see tonight — it's still a physical show. I've gotten it back for the most part, but I'm still working on it." Taylor added that performing with STONE SOUR is not necessarily any less demanding than touring with SLIPKNOT. "We're running all over the stage, [doing] a lot of headbanging," the singer said. "I've got my swivel back, which is cool." He continued: "Our goal is to be that crazy-attitude party band, like VAN HALEN. That's what we wanna be — that band that you come to see and have fun, and yet it's still tough, it's still got that attitude. That's what we're into." STONE SOUR is touring in support of its new album, "Hydrograd", which rocketed on to the charts, debuting at No. 1 on three Billboard lists: Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Hard Rock Albums. "Hydrograd" also debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, marking the band’s fifth consecutive Top 10 debut on that chart. Furthermore, "Hydrograd" debuted at No. 5 in the U.K. (the band's highest debut ever in that country), No. 2 in Australia (highest debut ever), and was Top 5 in Germany, Japan and Switzerland. STONE SOUR is currently on an epic summer trek alongside fellow Roadrunner recording group KORN. Dubbed "The Serenity Of Summer Tour", the trek is set to continue through early August.

By | 2017-07-19T12:52:00-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on COREY TAYLOR Is ‘About At 95 Percent’ A Year After Undergoing Spinal Surgery


Former CANDLEMASS singer Messiah Marcolin joined AMON AMARTH on stage at the Gefle Metal Festival in Gävle, Sweden this past Friday, July 14 to perform the AMON AMARTH song "Hel". Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be seen below. The studio version of "Hel" appears on AMON AMARTH's "Deceiver Of The Gods" album, which came out in 2013. Asked by Metal Discovery how the Messiah collaboration came about, now-former AMON AMARTH drummer Fredrik Andersson said: "I think he and our singer [Johan Hegg] met many years ago and just became friends, so he came up to one of our shows in Stockholm and we ended up on the bus, drinking all night and talking about doing a duet with him and Johan. And nothing really happened about it but, when we wrote the music for this song, it has this doomy feeling and we felt that would be the perfect opportunity to call him in. And he was still up for it." AMON AMARTH is continuing to tour in support of its tenth studio album, "Jomsviking", which debuted at No. 19 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 21,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 31, 2016. "Jomsviking" was released on March 25, 2016 via Metal Blade in North America and Sony Music internationally. The first concept record in AMON AMARTH's storied career tells a tragic tale of love and revenge, backed by the Swedes' trademark melodic, anthemic metal, which was produced and mixed once again by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, ACCEPT). The epic original story is set in the world of the Jomsvikings, the legendary order of mercenary Vikings. Jocke Wallgren was named AMON AMARTH's new permanent drummer last September. Jocke had been sitting behind the kit for all shows on the group's current "Jomsviking" world tour.

By | 2017-07-19T12:09:44-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on Former CANDLEMASS Singer MESSIAH MARCOLIN Joins AMON AMARTH On Stage At GEFLE METAL FESTIVAL (Video)

VINNIE MOORE And GUS G. To Join Forces For ‘Gunslingers’ Tour

Guitar wizards Vinnie Moore (UFO) and Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE) will hit the road for some shows together in November and December. This is Moore's first solo tour since 2015, and will mark the first time these two powerhouse players have toured together. The show will feature music from both guitarists' impressive catalogs. Says Vinnie: "Gus and I met years back in Greece. I brought him up onstage to jam a couple tunes with me and we had a great energy together and had a blast. I knew that night that I would like to do some shows with him at some point. He's a very talented guitarist. Am really looking forward to some Gunslingin' with Gus." From his first release, "Mind's Eye", in 1987 through 2015's "Aerial Visions", Vinnie Moore has set the standard for instrumental guitar albums by delivering soulful songs that feature his signature crackling guitar solos along with memorable melodic lines. Gus comments: "Touring with Vinnie Moore is yet another dream come true for me. His album 'Mind's Eye' has had a huge impact on me as I consider it somewhat as a shred guitar 'bible.' I spent countless hours learning his licks as a teenager. We met and got to jam few years ago and have become good buddies since. I'm looking forward to returning to the U.S. and playing guitar for you and sharing the stage with Vinnie! See you soon!" Gus's latest solo album, "Brand New Revolution", was recorded with Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER) and mixed by Mike Fraser (METALLICA, AC/DC, VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH) and featured various vocalists, including Mats Levén (CANDLEMASS), Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE), and Jacob Bunton (ADLER, LYNAM). Tour dates are as follows: Nov. 28 - Derry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall Nov. 30 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom Dec. 01 - Detroit, MI @ Token Lounge Dec. 02 - Joliet. IL @ The Forge Dec. 03 - Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall Dec. 06 - Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater Dec. 07 - Brooklyn, NY @ St Vitus Dec. 08 - Stanhope, NJ @ Stanhope House Dec. 09 - Somerville, MA @ Once Ballroom

By | 2017-07-19T09:52:36-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on VINNIE MOORE And GUS G. To Join Forces For ‘Gunslingers’ Tour

ENSIFERUM To Release ‘Two Paths’ Album In September

Finnish folk metallers ENSIFERUM will release their seventh album, "Two Paths", on September 15 via Metal Blade Records. Produced by Anssi Kippo, the disc was recorded on tape, for a true analog experience. The first single from the album, "For Those...

By | 2017-07-19T09:38:20-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on ENSIFERUM To Release ‘Two Paths’ Album In September

ACCEPT: Third Trailer For ‘The Rise Of Chaos’ Album

The third trailer for "The Rise Of Chaos", the new album from German/American metallers ACCEPT, can be seen below. The disc will be released on August 4 via Nuclear Blast. ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann told Spain's MariskalRock TV about "The Rise Of Chaos": "It was recorded by the same team as the last three albums — it was Andy Sneap producing and Mark Tornillo on vocals and Peter Baltes [bass] and myself in the band. We have two new members, but other than that, it was recorded and written exactly the same way as all the other previous three albums. [It was] recorded mainly in Nashville, mixed in England. And, yeah, we took all of last year to write the songs, and I think it sounds [like] typical ACCEPT." Regarding the "The Rise Of Chaos" title, Wolf said: "The title just seemed to come out of nowhere. It really seems to fit the times that we live in. It really means the world is getting more and more chaotic, and that's what we feel like. So when we had the [title track], it seemed to just fit the times that we live in. It's not really about any chaos in particular, but if you look at politics nowadays, there's chaos; if you look at the global warming or the climate change, that's chaotic; or a lot of the Syrian crisis and the refugees in the world, there's so much chaos around us. So that's what it is about." Hoffmann told Finland's Kaaos TV that ACCEPT's goal is to continue writing music as if it sounded like it was created thirty years ago. "Absolutely, and if you want it to sound like it sounded back then, you've gotta use what you know worked back then," he said. "That's how we've been doing it back then, so we're doing it still the exact same way. I want it to sound somewhat old-school and '80s, only with a modern touch and modern sound, fresh ideas and all of that. But, really, the core of the music should be like back in the '80s." The cover artwork for "The Rise Of Chaos" was created by the Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák and can be seen below. The follow-up to 2014's "Blind Rage" is the first ACCEPT album to feature the band's latest additions, guitarist Uwe Lulis (GRAVE DIGGER, REBELLION) and drummer Christopher Williams. ACCEPT parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann in December 2014.

By | 2017-07-19T09:21:54-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on ACCEPT: Third Trailer For ‘The Rise Of Chaos’ Album

JUDAS PRIEST’s New Mobile Game, ‘Road To Valhalla’, Is Available Today

Sony Music Entertainment and legendary heavy metal band JUDAS PRIEST have announced that "Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla", a new mobile game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is now available in the App Store. The app features stunning new visuals and ...

By | 2017-07-19T09:13:21-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on JUDAS PRIEST’s New Mobile Game, ‘Road To Valhalla’, Is Available Today

THE AGONIST: ‘The Raven Eyes’ Video Released

"The Raven Eyes", the new video from Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers THE AGONIST, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's latest album, "Five", which was released last September via Napalm Records. The CD was recorde...

By | 2017-07-19T08:50:23-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on THE AGONIST: ‘The Raven Eyes’ Video Released

NIKKI SIXX And HEAVY METAL Announce ‘The Heroin Diaries’ Graphic Novel

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of Nikki Sixx's drug-soaked New York Times best-selling memoir, "The Heroin Diaries". Chronicling the year of decadence and depravity that almost cost Sixx his life during the recording and tour for MÖTLEY CRÜE's seminal 1987 album "Girls Girls Girls", the book not only became a worldwide bestseller but also spawned the band SIXX:A.M., Sixx's nationally syndicated daily iHeart Media rock radio show "Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx" and soon, tenth-anniversary editions of "The Heroin Diaries" book and SIXX:A.M.'s soundtrack by the same name (to be announced next month and coming out this fall), as well as the forthcoming "The Heroin Diaries" play, among many other ventures. Now, Nikki Sixx and Heavy Metal are proud to announce a graphic novel adaptation of this powerful book that gives both insight and understanding to the deadly trap and temptation of addiction. "The Heroin Diaries" graphic novel will be the first release under Heavy Metal's new 12 X 12 imprint, a new line of music-themed art books and graphic novels that will explore the songs and experiences of the most exciting musical artists. Fans visiting Comic-Con San Diego can get an exclusive first preview of the interior pages when visiting the Heavy Metal booth #1529 at the convention between today and Sunday, July 23. Jeff Krelitz, CEO of Heavy Metal, said: "I've been the biggest fan of MÖTLEY CRÜE since the release of 'Too Fast for Love', and have nothing but the greatest respect for Nikki and his songwriting, so for us to be able to collaborate with him on bringing this tragedy-to-triumph to a new audience in a powerful way is a dream come true." Says Nikki: "'The Heroin Diaries' has always been deeply personal to me. So when the idea came up for a graphic novel based on the story, who better to partner with than the iconic Heavy Metal brand? I grew up reading their magazine as a kid. This is really a passion project and I've been intimately involved in every step along the way, from the storyline to the look and feel of the art. Working with Jeff, Rantz and their team has been an inspiring experience and I think we came up with a really unique spin on 'The Heroin Diaries' that tells the story from a different angle. It is meant to be a treat for fans of 'The Heroin Diaries', old and new, and I hope everyone will enjoy the graphic novel as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you." Working in close collaboration with Sixx, "The Heroin Diaries" is being adapted by Rantz Hoseley, known for his award-winning work with Tori Amos on the graphic novel "Comic Book Tattoo", along with acclaimed artists Danijel Zezelj, Andy Kuhn and Kieron Dwyer. Hoseley summed up the development experience by saying: "Getting to work with Nikki and his team at 10th Street Entertainment to bring this story to life in a new way has been incredible. It's been a fantastic collaboration focused on the sole goal that when the fans pick it up, it blows their hair back like a power chord through a stack of Marshalls." The 150-page graphic novel will be presented in a 12"x12" prestige "album" format and come in different collector's editions, details of which will be revealed in the near future. Those interested should sign up now at Pledge Music to guarantee the opportunity to purchase a copy, receive an exclusive 10% discount on their order when the graphic novel becomes available for purchase next month and also, to get exclusive news about the the forthcoming tenth-anniversary editions of the book and soundtrack first.

By | 2017-07-19T08:29:23-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on NIKKI SIXX And HEAVY METAL Announce ‘The Heroin Diaries’ Graphic Novel

VENOM To Release New EP This Year; Full-Length Album To Follow In 2018

VENOM mainman Conrad "Cronos" Lant has confirmed the band's plans to release the follow-up to 2015's "From The Very Depths" album next year. "We've already put three songs together for the EP, which was only delayed because there is a backload of vinyl now," he told Metal Rules in a new interview. "Everybody is buying fucking vinyl, and it's really hard to get the pressings. The label was doing one, but we couldn't get in. So, we kind of just put it back a bit. But the EP will get released this year, and then the album gets released in 2018. So, you'll hear from the EP the direction, about is pretty much where we are now." Cronos also talked about the evolution of VENOM's songwriting, explaining: "The thing is we, as a band, we are evolving the black metal thing. Because, for me, it has to be exciting, it has to be new, it has to be dangerous. It has to stay in motion. It has to make me excited to do it. I couldn't just do the 'Welcome To Hell' night after night; it would be too boring. So, they know I like to be challenged. I need to create new shit, and I like to twist VENOM a lot and cut and pull it. I like to create an album that people kind of go, 'That wasn't expected.' "For a band that's been going this long, if we're not going to continue to evolve, I think we're dead. But you don't want to forget where you came from. [You want] to be able to play songs from back in the day, so that the people in the audience can hear them and hear the song that they love — played the way that it was played. I think it is special. "These guys [guitarist Rage, a.k.a. Stuart Dixon, and drummer Danté, a.k.a. Danny Needham] have got two [VENOM] albums under the belt now, that they can call their own. So, when they play their songs up on that stage, they can push and pull the bits they want, and they can play them in their style. But when we play the old songs, we kind of try to play them as near to the original we possibly can so, that the people in the audience hear a great version of the song rather than a changed version of the song. Because why change a great song?" VENOM is not to be confused with VENOM INC., the band featuring original VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (drums) alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan. "From The Very Depths" was released in January 2015 via Spinefarm.

By | 2017-07-19T08:12:57-05:00 July 19th, 2017|Rock News|Comments Off on VENOM To Release New EP This Year; Full-Length Album To Follow In 2018