GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin spoke to Cryptic Rock about how he joined the Sully Erna-fronted outfit in 2002 after cutting his teeth with WRATHCHILD (later WRATCHILD AMERICA and SOULS AT ZERO) before getting picked up by UGLY KID JOE in time for a taste of their zenith. "I've been in bands: I was very successful personally but I'd never broken through the barrier of commercial success in which I was blessed with gold and platinum records, Grammy nominations and all the stuff that comes with being in a band like GODSMACK that's successful commercially," he said. "When that happened to me… I'll tell you a story. I was in AMEN for, I think it was almost five years, and we signed with Roadrunner at first. We put out a record, toured the world, did whatever. We were punk rock. We got dropped from Roadrunner after the first record and then turned around and signed a deal with Virgin Records, which is a major label. They then did the same thing: world tour, all that stuff. At the end of that, I had gotten married and my wife was pregnant. "AMEN was a very violent band," he continued. "Casey Chaos, the singer, more often than not ended up destroying my drums and half the stage every night, at every show, and it'd be a bloody mess. With my daughter on her way… she actually came into this world and I was still in AMEN. It was at the end of our second record cycle. I made a conscious decision that I've been doing this already for over twenty years, and I didn't feel that it was in my cards to ever achieve the dream of having the success and being a rockstar, per se. "So I quit the band AMEN and resolved myself to enter normalcy, and be a good husband and a good father. I was living in Santa Barbara, California, and I enrolled into a community college there. I figured, you know what, I've had a good run but it's just… success, commercial success and money and fame isn't in my cards. So I quit AMEN. Two weeks after that, after I quit the band [laughs] and enrolled in this community college in Santa Barbara, then I got the call from Sully Erna and my life changed. So that was something that was given to me that I'd already written off. "When things like that happen in life, it's a moment that's hard to eclipse in any way. I'd say besides Sully's phone call that day, the biggest moment in my life was watching my daughter come out of my wife, you know? [Laughs] That's how important it was when I got that call; it was life-changing and an affirmation. "I've never done anything else in my life, by the way. I started playing clubs when I was twelve, and so throughout my whole life I've never worked a job. So GODSMACK was the ultimate reward for my work and dedication over the years." Larkin also talked about his personal friendship with Erna, whom he originally crossed paths with nearly two decades before he joined GODDMACK. "I knew [Sully] twenty years, I met him in 1985. My band WRATHCHILD was doing the club circuit on the East Coast. Sully was a drummer and he was playing in a band… He had moved from Boston down to North Carolina to join this band — LEXX LUTHOR they were called. [Laughs] They ended up opening for WRATHCHILD one night in Carolina, and I met him for the first time. He ended up coming back to my hotel room and partying all night, [with] chicks and all that. We realized, wow, a couple of our tattoos were the same, we were both drummers; we clicked immediately. Through almost twenty years before GODSMACK, we remained friends; buddies that'd call each other up, 'Hey, I'm comin' to Boston,' or, 'I'm comin' to Carolina,' whatever. Over the years, it turned out that when he was still living in Carolina, this band on Epic Records called me — they were called MELIAH RAGE, they were from Boston. They called me looking for a drummer and I said, 'Hey, man, I know this guy Sully that's playing in a cover band. He's from Boston and he's a fucking badass drummer.' Turns out he gets the gig, moves back to Boston to join this band on a major label. So I kind of hooked him up way back in the day in his career. Of course, the band didn't make it or whatever, and he went on to play for several other bands before he dropped the drumsticks. "My point is that we correlated on so many things on personal levels too: we're like brothers from another mother," he continued. "People say that, but for Sully and I it's something that's real. We've always noticed that in small things. Like he'd get a certain drum or whatever and call me and be like, 'Man, I just got this new snare drum.' I'm, like, 'Oh my god, I just got that last week,' or whatever. Tattoos or whatever. 'Yeah, I got this tattoo,' and I'd be like, 'Oh my god, I just got that,' you know? It's just crazy circumstances that… I believe in magic, dude. I believe in karma and I believe in destiny. I think Sully and I were meant to be in a band together; from the first day I met him, I believed that. All these years later, he gave me my dream, man. I'm forever grateful and I love him to this day." GODSMACK is currently writing and recording material for the follow-up to 2014's "1000hp" album. The group's seventh studio disc will arrive in 2018 to coincide with the group's twentieth anniversary.
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal performed Paul McCartney, IRON MAIDEN, KISS and GUNS N' ROSES classics during his September 7 solo acoustic concert at the Twice Café in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan. Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be seen below. Thal recently said that he agonized over his decision to leave GUNS N' ROSES three years ago, explaining that he "wanted it to be something that [he] knew it wasn't ever gonna be." Thal never officially announced his departure from the GN'R, but a source confirmed to Detroit music writer Gary Graff back in 2015 that the guitarist had been out since the end of the band's second Las Vegas residency in 2014. Thal later revealed that he was focusing on his solo career and other projects after spending eight years playing in GUNS. Thal joined GUNS N' ROSES in 2006 and played on 2008's "Chinese Democracy", an album which contained music that had been written before he came into the group. He has also released a number of solo CDs. Thal is currently involved with ART OF ANARCHY alongside CREED singer Scott Stapp and DISTURBED bassist John Moyer. He is also playing in SONS OF APOLLO, in which he is joined by former DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian alongside Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-GUNS N' ROSES), Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE).
Lars Ulrich interviewed FOO FIGHTERS leader Dave Grohl on a recent episode of "It's Electric!", the METALLICA drummer's online radio show on Apple Music's Beats 1. During the chat, which can be heard using the widget below, Grohl told the the story of ...
BLACK SABBATH’s TONY IOMMI Says He Is Getting ‘Loads Of Requests’ To Collaborate With Other Musicians
MetalTalk recently spoke to BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi about "The End Of The End", a upcoming documentary movie of the band's last-ever concert, and "The Ten Year War" limited-edition vinyl box set. You can now watch the chat below. Asked how he felt going into SABBATH's final show this past February, Iommi said: "Well, I think, in all the tour, it didn't feel like we were gonna end — it just didn't hit home at all until the end [laughs], really. The last show, we went on and played and it was a bit emotional, 'cause you're looking out, seeing people crying, which was very sad. You think all these people have been there for us for all these years, that looked to us as their heroes, and it's a lovely feeling. I felt a bit sad for them as well, really, and because we won't be seeing them as such on a regular basis." According to Iommi, once the gig was over, "It still didn't seem like it was the end, because most tours are finished like that, and you all go home, and you think, 'We'll be back in six weeks to do the next tour,'" he said. "But, of course, it didn't happen on this one. But it was the same sort of vibe for a bit. And it still hasn't sunk in yet, because I've been involved with quite a lot of stuff since we finished, dealing the film stuff and the DVD and 'The Ten Year War' and stuff like that. We haven't had time — or I haven't had time time — to really even think about, 'Oh, we've stopped,' 'cause I haven't stopped. I'm still as busy as ever — apart from we're not flying everywhere, which is great." Regarding his plans for the future, Iommi said: "There's a lot coming up; it's just a matter of picking and choosing what I wanna do. It's hard to say at the moment, 'cause I'm still involved with the SABBATH thing as far as putting this to bed." He added: "There's loads of requests to put something together, and even musicians saying, 'Would you like to do something?' So it's great, really. It's really open." The original lineup of SABBATH came together in 1969 with Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums. That lineup recorded and toured through 1978, and periodically reformed through the '90s and 2000s for live work. They regrouped again in late 2011 for a new album and tour, although Ward dropped out after a few months over financial issues. SABBATH has used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on the album "13", which came out in June 2013.
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo performed an instrumental cover of TRUST's "Antisocial" during their band's September 8 concert at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France. You can watch fan-filmed video footage of their renditio...
Wolfgang Van Halen commemorated the fortieth anniversary of the recording of his father's classic instrumental "Eruption" by posting a video of the VAN HALEN bassist playing the song on the original guitar it was tracked with. Check out the clip below. Wolfgang is currently working on his debut solo album, tentatively due next year. The disc reportedly features the VAN HALEN bassist playing all the drums, bass, guitars and keyboards himself, in addition to handling all the vocal tracks. Van Halen News Desk 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." Eddie Van Halen 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.
Jeff Scott Soto has fired back at Yngwie Malmsteen for implying in a recent interview that the singer contributed nothing to the songwriting on the albums that they recorded together. Soto, who sang on Yngwie's first two albums, 1984's "Rising Force" and 1985's "Marching Out", took issue with the fact that Swedish guitarist told Metal Wani this past July that he "always wrote everything," including the lyrics and melodies, and simply hired various vocalists to sing his material. Speaking to the "US American Made Guitars" show, Soto said that "it's false information" to suggest that he contributed nothing to Yngwie's early albums "because we co-wrote [some of] those songs together. I actually authored those songs," he said (hear audio below). "For him to say, 'I wrote every lyric, every melody,' it's absolute falsity. And he's speaking out of whatever anger or whatever throwaway conversation he might be having, but when it's put on text, it comes across as very crude and very arrogant. So, of course, I don't take that kind of stuff too personally." The singer went on to say that faulty memory may be at least partly to blame for Yngwie's comments. "Yngwie's written so much of his own stuff, he's written so much on his own when it comes to lyrics and melodies through the years," he said. "Maybe the past eight albums… I don't even know how many albums he's put out, but for that many albums he's put out, clearly his memory is fogged on the albums that he wasn't doing all of that." He continued: "Joe Lynn [Turner] was a very strong collaborator on the album ['Odyssey'] with he did with Yngwie, as was I, as were some of the other singers that were involved with him. Maybe later on that changed and the other guys were basically just used to sing his words. And I was as well on some songs. I mean, 'I Am A Viking', I didn't write one word or one melody on it. But the stuff that we did together, that's stuff that we did together. And there's some stuff I did on my own that's on there — he didn't add or remove one single thing from it. So, again, it's selective memory. It could be he doesn't wanna talk about me, he's got a bad taste in his mouth about me, so he's gonna do everything in his power to make sure that everybody knows how downplayed my role was in his life and his career." As for why he thinks Malmsteen has been making disparaging comments about him and other former singers in the press, Soto said: "If anybody knows anything about Yngwie's… the business end of things, his wife is managing him. And through the years, she's gotten more control over the people in his life, the people that were in his life, and it's really sad to see that a lot us have been kind of locked out. Slowly but surely, everybody that was in his past, including his band, including myself who actually retained a great friendship and relationship with him, were just dialed out. And we were just kind of pushed to the wayside for whatever reason, whatever paranoias there are. I really don't understand it. I actually had a great relationship with both of them, and I just saw more and more that they were just pushing everybody away. They wanted their inner circle to be so small, and I never did anything to interrupt that circle. But there were others around that I'm very close to, and was very close to, one of them being Marcel Jacob, who was the bass player that was in [Yngwie's] band when I was in the band. We had a band together called TALISMAN for about nineteen years until [Marcel] took his own life back in 2009. But he and Yngwie had a bit of a conflict and they dangled that over my head for a couple of years until Marcel actually passed away in 2009. When that happened, I assumed, like everyone else that knew Marcel, the guys in the band EUROPE, so many people, whether they were big or small, acknowledged Marcel's passing. Everyone expected Yngwie to do the same, and when he didn't, it rubbed everyone the wrong way, including myself. We tried to at least just get a statement or an acknowledgement of it, and when he was not only not doing that but actually hanging up on people, blocking them or changing his number so nobody can reach him anymore about it, to me… I made a statement, and that probably got back to their camp, that said, 'To me, Yngwie is dead.' I don't wanna know or hear from him." Soto added: "Marcel was one of my best friends, and if you can't put water under the bridge when somebody has passed, to me, that's just the weakest, juvenile way of dealing with life. And it must have gotten back to his camp, 'cause all of a sudden I was cut out. "Now, fast forward from 2009 to 2017, more and more, there's been more of a reason to… not necessarily bash me — they don't really care or think about me, so they're not really bashing me — but what he did is, if somebody asks him a question about me, it might rub him the wrong way and he'll give an answer that's perceived as I was never [an important] part of his career, I could have been… I was nothing but a pawn or something that was a vehicle that he needed just to get the songs across." Despite the fact that he no longer has a friendship with Yngwie, Soto — who had a brief stint as the touring singer in JOURNEY more than a decade ago — still looks back fondly on his time with the legendary axeman. "I'm honored and I'm humbled, and everything that I've done, including with Yngwie, including with JOURNEY, those things ended sideways for me, but I still look at them as very pivotal and very important things in my life and my career," he said. "So I can't frown on them and I'm not gonna talk badly about them. I'm gonna be proud of them, I'm gonna say I was proud to work with Yngwie. I look at everything we created with pride, and I'm not gonna go bashing people just because I feel pissy about something he might have done or said." In the days after Yngwie's original interview with Metal Wani was published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, several of the guitarist's former singers — including Soto, Joe Lynn Turner and Tim "Ripper" Owens — responded on social media, with Turner describing Malmsteen's statements as "the rantings of a megalomaniac desperately trying to justify his own insecurity." This was followed by a retort from a member of Yngwie's management team, who wrote on Malmsteen's Facebook page that the three vocalists "came out enraged, spitting insults and profanities" at the guitarist because "Yngwie said something that they didn't like." The management representative added: " It's very unfortunate that these past hired vocalists must resort to mudslinging and insults to elicit any kind of media attention towards them. Such classless, puerile words are ungentlemanly at best and absolutely disgraceful at worst."
"Black Cat Bone", the new video from THE HAXANS, the goth-pop-infused power duo featuring Ash Costello (NEW YEARS DAY) on vocals and Matt Montgomery (ROB ZOMBIE) on vocals and guitar, can be seen below. The song is taken from THE HAXANS' debut album, "...
"Hit So Hard: A Memoir" — the first book by drummer Patty Schemel, best known for her work with HOLE in the '90s — will be published in hardcover by Da Capo Press on October 31. "Hit So Hard" follows, and expands upon, the acclaimed documentary film of the same name about Schemel released in 2011. A drummer who was at the epicenter of the Seattle music scene in the early '90s, Schemel was an integral member of HOLE (suggested to frontwoman Courtney Love by her husband, Kurt Cobain, an avid fan of Schemel's drumming), and helped to create the seminal album "Live Through This". "Hit So Hard" chronicles the coming of age of a musician and an addict, on and off the road, in a band plagued by tragedy during the last great era of rock 'n' roll excess. While never losing her sense of humor, Schemel — one of the first female drummers to make it big in the music world, as well as one of the first women in rock to come out publicly as gay (in the pages of Rolling Stone, no less!) — intimately documents the events surrounding her dramatic descent from festival headliner into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles, and her difficult but rewarding path to sobriety after more than twenty serious attempts to get clean. "Hit So Hard" is a first-hand account of everything that happened behind the curtain. It sheds light on Cobain's final, fateful drug intervention; the backstage antics of HOLE while they defied expectation following the sudden deaths of Cobain and bassist Kristen Pfaff and toured in support of "Live Through This"; Schemel's writing of, and subsequent dramatic exit from, the recording of the band's celebrated third album, "Celebrity Skin"; and countless encounters with some of rock 'n' roll's biggest names of the early '90s. But at its core, "Hit So Hard" is a survival story, told in witty detail by a woman who literally saw and experienced it all. Whether it was coming out in small town Washington state in the '80s, weathering all variety of sexism as one of the only famous female drummers of her time, or battling the intense drug addiction that threatened to take everything she had — including her life — many times, Schemel still managed to come out the other side. A testament to the enduring power of the music Schemel helped create, as well as an important documentation of the drug culture that threatened to destroy it, "Hit So Hard" is ultimately the story of one amazing woman's ability to prevail against all odds, even when she herself believed she wouldn't make it out alive. Schemel is on the board of the Rock 'N' Roll Camp For Girls, a non-profit organization that teaches girls all over the world that it's okay to be loud. She continues to perform, teach, and tour, currently with the band UPSET, and lives in Los Angeles with her wife and daughter. Photo credit: Darcy Hemley
QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and still lives in the area, has posted a video message expressing his concern for the well being of his family as Hurricane Irma approaches his hometown. La Torre, who performed with QUEENSRŸCHE Saturday night at the Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater in Hinckley, Minnesota, was checking in from his hotel room, unable to get a full night of sleep as he knew his loved ones were facing the danger of wind gusts, storm surge and flooding. In the video, which can be seen below, La Torre said: "It's 4:11 here in Minnesota, and we had a really great show tonight. But the most important thing is Florida where Casey [Grillo, QUEENSRŸCHE's stand-in drummer] and I live. And we are stuck here indefinitely until we can fly home. So our wives and families are staying put, and I'm kind of trying not to freak out, but I'm kind of freaking out. "What an ordeal! My head is so fucked up right now, I don't even know what to think," he continued. "So many friends and people in Florida. My mom had to evacuate. She lives in a stilt house on the water, so she's going to my place with my wife. And there's no telling what hundred-and-twenty-five-, hundred-and-thirty-mile-an-hour winds are gonna do. So part of me is just completely fearful that not just myself and my mom, that we're not gonna have a house to come home to. And, of course, their safety is my number one concern — not so much the house, but… This just sucks. "Casey and I are here till we can fly back to Florida. And I think shit's supposed to get real today in a matter of hours." The singer added: "My mom's gonna be at my house about eight in the morning, so as long as she can drive there and get situated… She was in an evacuation. Luckily, my house is in the highest area of St. Pete, so it's not the storm surge that's concerning me where I live, it's the wind. "See, I did insurance adjusting for several years, and I've seen tree limbs the size of my arm — not big — pierce right through roofs like a needle in a pin cushion, and I've seen lives devastated. "Texas just went through some serious shit, and now Florida's getting whacked. So for all of my Florida friends, I wish you all the best. I've seen a few updates of people now getting on the highway, which I hope that they can get gas and I hope that they can get out. "I know you guys [in Florida] are gonna lose power — I mean, that's just a given — but hopefully their cell phone service signal… I imagine it's gonna sound like a freight train for ten to twelve hours or longer. So I can't imagine that I'm not there with my mom and my wife and Vader, our little dog." Grillo, a member of KAMELOT, made his live debut with with QUEENSRŸCHE on April 1 at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California. He is filling in for regular QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield, who is taking time off from the band's touring activities to spend time with his newborn son, appropriately named Rockson. QUEENSRŸCHE is expected to enter the studio this fall to begin recording its new album for an early 2018 release. Helming the disc once again will be Chris "Zeuss" Harris, who previously worked on 2015's "Condition Hüman".
Helpless....Posted by Todd La Torre on Sunday, September 10, 2017