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 He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).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
Quiet Riot Live at The Cotillion Wichita KS 😃🎶🍻🎉🤘 Tom Lamb Mark SchierholzPosted by Steven Seuferling on Saturday, March 18, 2017
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'?"
BODY COUNT guitarist Ernie Cunnigan, better known by his stage name Ernie C, has weighed in on Donald Trump's presidency based on his first six weeks in the Oval Office. Almost exactly two months after his inauguration, President Trump has seen his approval ratings sag and the political divisions of his election deepen. Speaking to Metal Wani about how the current political climate in the United states has affected the lyrical content of the band's new album, "Bloodlust", Ernie said: "We kind of felt that we would have the president that we would have now — just 'cause of the way the climate of the country felt. It just felt like it was going in the wrong direction. So when he got elected, it wasn't a big surprise, 'cause everything was going in the wrong direction, with him running for office. So he brought up a lot of undercurrent; it came up bubbling up to the top." He continued: "We had Obama for eight years, and everyone got kind of of comfortable. He was a good president, and we got a little comfortable, and we didn't actually notice all the underlying things that were going on. But Trump got here, and in six weeks — it seems like he's been president for a long time, but it's been six weeks — and he kind of tipped over the table, and everyone's kind of looking around, saying, 'What's going on?' But we felt it all along. You know what I mean?" The guitarist added: "Twenty-five years ago, we did 'Cop Killer' as a warning. So now, twenty-five years later, it's still going on. Now we're saying, on this record, 'Watch out.' 'Civil War' and songs like that, it's kind of warnings of what we feel. 'Cause being a musician, you get the opportunity to travel to different places, travel around the world. We've gone around the world, and we felt that America, something was happening and it's not exactly right. And it's happening in a lot of different places now — from France to Italy to… even Sweden. A lot of things are happening." Calling the process of making albums "a way of venting," Ernie praised protesters demonstrating against Trump's executive orders and offered his opinion on why Trump was elected in the first place. He said: "We need for people to get out and about and get out and protest and even vote, but do it in a positive way and have a direction. You can't just say, 'I don't like the president.' You've gotta get out and vote and find something better. 'Cause this last election here in America, we didn't really have a good choice. That's why he won. There's no good choices anymore. People don't want to be in public office — good people. Every once in a while, you get good people in there." He continued: "Obama was a good man. I always say, whether you liked him as a president or not, he was a good man, he had good values. Right now we've lost all our values. We have someone that's lying… He's on television right now lying. He's just lying and you know it's a lie, but there's still 40 percent of people who follow a person that lies, and they know it's a lie, and they're not worrying about it. They're worrying about getting a job and things like that that are more important. That's more important than morals. And morals help out in a lot of different ways." In a recent interview with AllHipHop.com, Ernie's BODY COUNT bandmate Ice-T spoke about the likelihood of Trump being removed from office by Congress. "I think Trump is going to be turned on by his own people," Ice-T said. "I don't know if it will be impeachment, but most of his pain is not going to come from the Democrats or liberals. By the way, this year was the first time I've ever been called a liberal. The people who voted for him will turn on him, because I don't think he's going to be able to bring them the jobs and we've already seen the healthcare replacement plan." He added: "In the gang world, if you want to run things, the other gangsters will only give you, like, six months, and if it doesn't pay out, they're turning on you." "Bloodlust" will be released on March 31 via Century Media Records. The disc was recorded with producer Will Putney (MISS MAY I, UPON A BURNING BODY), who also helmed 2014's "Manslaughter". The new CD features guest appearances by Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, SEPULTURA), MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine and LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe. The effort also contains BODY COUNT's medley of the SLAYER songs "Postmortem" and "Raining Blood".
KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons paid tribute to rock icon Chuck Berry last night (Saturday, March 18) by performing a cover version of "Johnny B. Goode" during his first-ever full solo concert in Cleveland, Ohio. "It's a very sad day today," Simmons said prior to launching into the song (see video below, courtesy of Rob Lovash). "One of the founding fathers of rock and roll has passed on. If it wasn't for Chuck Berry, there wouldn't have been rock and roll." The rest of Simmons's set in Cleveland included two songs from his 1978 solo album, as well as a number of '70s- and '80s-era KISS classics, including "War Machine", "I Love It Loud", "Parasite", "Almost Human", "Got Love For Sale" and "Charisma". Last night's show was one of five performances Simmons is staging in conjunction with his Wizard World Comic Con appearances. He will also perform at conventions in St. Louis (April 8-9), Philadelphia (June 2-3), Chicago (August 26-27) and Austin (November 17-18). Backing Simmons at the shows are guitarist Phil Shouse (Rodney Atkins, John Corabi, LIPSTICK, THEE ROCK N' ROLL RESIDENCY), drummer Jarred Pope (THEE ROCK N' ROLL RESIDENCY), guitarist/bassist Jeremy Asbrock (THE SHAZAM, John Corabi, THEE ROCK N' ROLL RESIDENCY) and guitarist Ryan (HAIR OF THE DOG, THEE ROCK N' ROLL RESIDENCY). "This is gonna be a first for me," Simmons told CantonRep.com about playing his own shows. "Outside of KISS, I've never done a solo tour. I never did anything like that. Every once in a while I'll jump up on stage and do a song with somebody. Johnny Depp and I did a few songs together, a few other knuckleheads, but that's about it. When Wizard World and I agreed to do five events together, the idea of jumping up onstage and gulping it on for an hour or so came up. And I got a great bunch of guys, real rocking guys who are gonna get up with me, and we'll play all the hits and have ourselves a good old time." Simmons said in an interview earlier in the month that he was still working on his box set that will include "150 songs that have never been released. That news is gonna be released soon." Berry, a music pioneer often called "the Father of Rock 'n' Roll," died Saturday at his home outside St. Louis. He was 90 years old. Berry's death was confirmed by the St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri.
This weekend's edition of legendary BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward's radio show "Rock 50" included his tribute to some of the greats of rock and blues including DEEP PURPLE, CREAM, Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Jimi Hendrix and others. Ward recently slammed his ex-bandmates in SABBATH again, accusing them of "selfishness, self-centeredness, dishonesty and disloyalty" over his exclusion from the group's farewell tour. Ward was responding to singer Ozzy Osbourne saying in an interview with Rolling Stone that it would be "great" if "something can be worked out" for Ward to appear at the band's final shows in Birmingham, England in February, although Ozzy added, "Every time I reach out to Bill, I get yelled at for something." Ward wrote at his Facebook page: "Ozzy has never reached out since January 26-27, 2012 when he called to see when I would be arriving in the U.K. to join rehearsals for the '13' CD. Since that last phone call, he has never reached out to me, and I have not reached out to him." Ward again stated that the contract he was offered to join the SABBATH reunion was "impossible to sign," adding, "The group rhetoric of 2012, 2013 and throughout, was fault-finding, condemning and full of dishonest evaluations of me as a person, including my so-called health issues." Answering Ozzy's comment that he was "sad that Bill never came through," Ward said, "In September 2015, we asked a SABBATH representative if there could be an opening to play with the band again. Their representative answered 'no.' It's hard to come through when you receive a 'no.'" The drummer added that Ozzy hinting that Ward could have possibly performed at SABBATH's final shows in Birmingham was "both emotionally heartbreaking for me and spiteful." Ward backed out of the SABBATH reunion in early 2012 after being offered a contract that he called "unsignable." It was rumored that SABBATH wanted to bring a second drummer on the road to share duties with Ward, reportedly because he was unable physically to play full shows. SABBATH's most recent touring drummer was Tommy Clufetos, who is also in Ozzy's solo band.
Video footage of an all-star band consisting of current and former members of SKID ROW, OZZY OSBOURNE, KILL DEVIL HILL and QUIET RIOT performing the OZZY classic "Over The Mountain" on March 5 during the 50th installment of "Soundcheck Live" in Hollywood, California can be seen below. Featured musicians: Vocals: Dewey Bragg (KILL DEVIL HILL) Drums: Brian Tichy (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE) Bass: Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, DIO) Guitar: Scotti Hill (SKID ROW) Keyboards: Steve Ferlazzo "Soundcheck Live" is a weekly live music night that brings together the industry's top musicians alongside emerging talent to create a vibrant social experience driven by the artists. Over the last year, Lucky Strike Live has gone through profound changes in becoming a live music and entertainment venue. The venue is known for the 2016 launch of a weekly Wednesday night series, "Soundcheck Live" where the night is formatted into three riveting acts including Meet The Cast, Guest Curated and ending with an "All Together Now" jam session, completely unrehearsed. The intimate music stage has had special guest performances by the likes of Gene Simmons, Johnny Depp, Sebastian Bach, Linda Perry, Phil X of BON JOVI, Gilby Clarke of GUNS N' ROSES, Robbie Krieger of THE DOORS and Jackson Browne.