MORBID ANGEL played a brand new song, "Warped", live for the first time last night (Tuesday, May 23) at the opening show of the band's North American tour at The Beacham in Orlando, Florida. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below. In a recent interview with Orlando Weekly, MORBID ANGEL's current frontman, Steve Tucker, who is back for his third spell with the group, was asked if the band's current trek — which ends on June 27 in New Orleans — will see the band performing any songs from its recently completed new studio album. "Probably one or two new songs; the album's almost done, but we don't want to put out too much with YouTube putting it up the next day," Tucker explained. "The setlist will be different, too — in the past, we've covered all of MORBID ANGEL's discography, but this time we went with the discography between Trey [Azagthoth, guitar] and I. I'm really excited about the fact that every song we play is a song I was a part of. There are some MORBID ANGEL classics that aren't there, but we made our own classics." MORBID ANGEL's new disc was recorded at Mana Recording in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer — and former MORBID ANGEL guitarist — Erik Rutan. Tentatively due in the fall via UDR Music, the LP will mark the band's first release with drummer Scott Fuller (ANNIHILATED, ex-ABYSMAL DAWN) who joined MORBID ANGEL last year following the departure of Tim Yeung. It will also be MORBID ANGEL's first album to feature Tucker since 2003's "Heretic". Tucker told "The Metal Magdalene With Jet" show about MORBID ANGEL's approach on the upcoming album: "It was really just about writing music — it was just about writing a MORBID ANGEL album. Nobody said, 'Hey, we wanna go in this direction,' nobody said anything. I mean, there's obvious things there. I've said it before — I'm a death metal guy, so, for me, it's gonna be a death metal album; if I'm on it, it's death metal. So it was just about making a MORBID ANGEL album. It was really about coming in with something new, something fresh, but yet it still being MORBID ANGEL. Really, honestly, we didn't approach this any differently than any of the other albums I was involved in except for maybe [1998's] 'Formulas Fatal To The Flesh', which 'Formulas', Trey wrote all the music, all the lyrics and things like that. But this was done more similar to maybe [2000's] 'Gateways To Annihilation', where everybody had their contribution. Trey wrote a bunch of songs, I wrote songs, Scotty contributed some ideas. There was a lot of back-and-forth. In the end, it has to become a MORBID ANGEL song. And at this point, I feel that it's very much a MORBID ANGEL album." MORBID ANGEL in January announced the addition of Dan Vadim Von (guitarist/frontman of the American death metal band VADIMVON) to the band's lineup on second guitar. He joined the group as the replacement for Norwegian guitarist Destructhor (a.k.a. Thor Anders Myhren), who left the band a year and a half ago. MORBID ANGEL's first U.S. tour of 2017 features support from SUFFOCATION, REVOCATION and WITHERED. Former MORBID ANGEL frontman David Vincent recently joined forces with several other musicians — including Yeung (drums) — to perform classic MORBID ANGEL songs under the I AM MORBID banner. MORBID ANGEL's controversial 2011 album, "Illud Divinum Insanus", marked the group's first CD to feature Vincent since "Domination".
Kilpop conducted an interview with FEAR FACTORY singer Burton C. Bell when he delivered a special guest DJ set at Hard Rock Live in Las Vegas on May 6. You can now watch the chat below. Asked if the positive reaction to FEAR FACTORY's latest album, 2015's "Genexus", has inspired the band to try to top it with its upcoming effort, Bell said: "Absolutely. It was such a great response. Putting out that record was just positive all the way around, which just makes us drive even further and drive even harder. Now we've been working on a new album. We haven't recorded it yet, but all the new songs, I say, in my opinion, are even stronger than 'Genexus', 'cause it just seems even more tight. We're on a groove, and it's kicking ass." FEAR FACTORY last year completed a U.S. headlining tour on which it performed its classic second album, "Demanufacture", in its entirety. Asked if playing such a classic album from beginning to end every night influences the songwriting process for new material, Bell said: "Sometimes. It takes you back to your roots, that's for sure. Even Max Cavalera and Igor Cavalera are doing [the 'Return To Roots' tour, which sees them celebrating the twentieth anniversary of SEPULTURA's classic album 'Roots' by performing the LP in its entirety]. I didn't have a chance to see it, but apparently it was fucking awesome. And, of course, that record is awesome. And I saw them on that [original 'Roots'] tour, I toured with them on that tour, which is even more awesome. So it's a great record. It takes you back to your roots, like I was saying. So, yeah, it will influence you to move… like, take those sounds and [go], 'Okay. That's how we did it.' Sometimes you have to go back just to remember exactly who you are." He continued: "Recapturing your identity — identity within your band is very important. If you have your sound, that's great. But the motivation to move forward and try different things, that is also part of your identity, and you can make it yours as long as it doesn't lose your identity. We can do like some bands have done… Not to name anybody, but metal bands that moved forward and [done] a [very different-sounding] record… Well, FEAR FACTORY has done it once. We have a record called 'Transgression'; it was our rock record. And we totally just, like, alienated [much of our fanbase]. People were, like, 'That was you? That doesn't sound like FEAR FACTORY.' And I'm, like, 'Well, that's what the title 'Transgression' means.' [Laughs]" FEAR FACTORY was the subject of unfounded breakup rumors earlier this month when the band's former bassist-turned-guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers posted a since-deleted eulogy for FF on his Instagram. He wrote "RIP Fear Factory" and appended that post with the hashtag #GrownAssMenThatCantWorkOutShit.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows has confirmed to Kaytie of the Razor 94.7 radio station that the band will embark on a full North American headlining tour in January and February 2018. The trek, which will be announced after the completion of AVENGED's current stadium run as the support act for METALLICA, was originally "supposed to happen this summer until we got that call from METALLICA, so we decided to put it on hold," the singer explained. According to M. Shadows, AVENGED SEVENFOLD had to make the difficult decision to postpone its own tour so that they could be part of the biggest rock package of the summer. "It was actually a little bit of a tough decision, because we had just paid for the whole stage to get built, and that was a lot of money to build that stage set," he said. "And we were able to use it in Europe and in the U.K., but it is by no means paid off. So the whole idea was to go and take it throughout America, but then we got the call from Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer], and it was, like, 'We can't pass that up.' It's just too big of a tour, it'll be too much fun. It's too good for the rock fan; the rock fans are gonna love that tour. So we basically had to say, 'Okay, we're just gonna put the stage in storage for a year and come back to it.' And hopefully that will all work out for us." AVENGED SEVENFOLD worked with the producers of Cirque Du Soleil on the current show. M. Shadows told Metal Hammer: "The production that [was] built is different for us, different for anyone I've ever seen. The people we've hired don't do tours; they do Cirque Du Soleil." Shadows added that the production may require a different schedule, explaining: "This is gonna be drawn out into different types of touring. We're not going on tour for six months, it'll be two weeks on, two weeks off." Shadows told The Pulse Of Radio that hiring Cirque Du Soleil was part of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's quest to create an entirely new kind of live show. "What we want to do is bring a new element to our stage production," he said. "We don't want to do all the same things that we've been doing. We're looking at a lot of digital image mapping, we're looking at inflatables, we're looking at a show that will be a brand new experience, definitely for rock and metal." Cirque Du Soleil is currently the world's biggest theatrical producer, bringing its unique modern take on the circus concept to more than 90 million people in 271 cities around the world. This marks the first time that the company has collaborated with a touring rock band. AVENGED SEVENFOLD is touring in support of its seventh album, "The Stage", which was released at the end of October with almost no promotion beforehand. The surprise release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED album in 11 years. It sold 76,000 copies in its first week, 73,000 of which were physical.
According to KSNV, SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has just held a grand opening of his high-end comic book store Torpedo Comics in a new Las Vegas location that is double the size of its previous space. Dolmayan has been acquiring rare comics for more than two decades. "I started selling in the early '90s, because at 18 years old, it's tough to go to your parents and say, 'Can I have some money for comic books?'" he told Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Initially, I started off by losing a lot of money trying to sell books at conventions and stuff like that until I figured out how to do it. By the time SYSTEM got signed (in the late '90s), I was making $55,000-$60,000 a year. I took a huge pay cut to join SYSTEM." Dolmayan, who encouraged Heidi Woan, the wife of LINKIN PARK turntablist Joe Hahn, to buy her husband a $10,000 issue of The Incredible Hulk No. 1 that's currently worth more than $40,000, turned his business into an online outlet in 2003, and his physical shop currently stocks 60,000 modern and vintage issues. "I don't want 18 locations, I want the best location," he told Vegas Seven. "The first time I walked into a store, everything came to life. It was like this fantasy world that I walked into. I want to replicate that." Dolmayan, who says that many modern comic shops have become "glorified gaming stores," incorporated his love for comic books into the drum kit that he played during SYSTEM OF A DOWN's 2006 tour. Dolmayan contacted twenty-two of his favorite comic book artists, including Jim Lee, Simon Bisley, Kevin Eastman, Neal Adams and Bill Sienkiewicz, were each sent various pieces of the drum kit onto which they drew original illustrations. Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview with Kerrang! magazine that SYSTEM OF A DOWN had written more than a dozen new songs for what could be its first new studio album in more than a decade. Singer Serj Tankian, however — widely believed to be the one member holding out all this time against recording — was more ambivalent about the group's plans, telling LA Weekly, "We're going to get together and see if that's going to be SYSTEM music or not. And who the fuck knows? If it is, great, and if it's not, then great." SYSTEM OF A DOWN will return to Europe in June/July to play summer festivals and select headline dates. The group's last albums, "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize", both came out in 2005, after which the band started a lengthy hiatus. They reunited in 2011 for a string of European festival shows and have toured intermittently ever since.
QUEEN's Brian May has commented last night's terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England that caused the deaths of twenty-two people, several of them children. Speaking with NME, the guitarist said (see video below): "I woke up this morning and saw the news of Manchester. And the first thing I did was tweet about it, just to say… express my grief and my sympathy with the people. I mean, there were mums there that we're seeing online that didn't even know if their child was alive or dead. It's the most terrible thing. To me, it's almost impossible to imagine the kind of hatred that has to exist in someone if they would bomb children." According to May, however, an appropriate response to such a despicable and horrendous attack is not to immediately strike back against the jihadi terrorists. "I'm afraid I regard everything as an opportunity," he said. "Out of tragedy comes knowledge and realization. And, to me, 9/11 and all these terrible disasters are an opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves, and I think we failed to do that in 9/11, and we went on bombing people. [Prime minister] Tony Blair [and Tory leader] David Cameron still have this attitude that you can solve a violent situation by violence. I don't believe that. I believe we have to sweep all that away and start again. "If we really think that we can solve this kind of violent behavior by being violent ourselves and being racist and reacting in that way, then we are in for the most terrible tragedy for the world now, because this is how it escalates," he continued. "To me, you have to break the cycle of violence and you have to treat horrific events with compassion, strangely enough. And I don't mean compassion for the person who did the bombing. I mean, you have to look at the world and say, 'What part do we play in the world?' Of course we have to tighten up security." QUEEN and "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert are scheduled to perform at the Manchester Arena on December 9, and May said the show will go ahead as planned. "We won't cancel, because life has to go on," he said. "That's what they want, these people — they want to ruin our lives. They wanna stop us making music, dancing, being happy — of course they do — and we have to stick to what we believe in, which is that life is to be lived. So, no, we wouldn't cancel. And, of course, you have to look at security. But what you have to do much more importantly is look at the underlying causes: Why does the world hate us that much? There are reasons. And I believe we should dismantle everything that's gone before and start again." The Manchester Arena attack was carried out by 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Abedi, a British-born son of Libyan refugees, was a lone male suicide bomber who detonated an improvised explosive device.
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has commented on the passing of Chris Cornell, calling it a "sad story" that "makes you realize that there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel." Cornell apparently died on May 17 after SOUNDGARDEN played a show in Detroit. Chris's wife Vicky and an attorney representing the Cornell family have questioned the results of a medical examiner's report that said the 52-year-old musician committed suicide. Speaking to Mistress Carrie of the Worcester/Boston, Massachusetts radio station WAAF, Hetfield stated about Cornell's tragic death (see video below): "Well, it does make you hug those around you, for sure — bandmates, family that's out here, family at home. It makes you realize that, you know, there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel that they're trapped in. And when you're there — and at least I know the depth of my darkness at times — it is difficult when you're in that space to even fathom that there's someone there that can help you or has been through that before. Sometimes you're at such a loss… "I can't… obviously can't explain what he was going through, but we all have our darknesses," he continued. "And check in with each other — check in with each other. Let each other know how you're doing. "Yes, it's a sad story, and there's a lot of sad stories recently, especially in the grunge world, losing a lot of people," Hetfield added. "And for us, [losing] Lemmy and all of the things that have been happening in the last couple of years, it just makes us feel even more grateful to be out here doing what we're doing." Cornell will be laid to rest on Friday, May 26 in Los Angeles. Confirmation came from his attorney Kirk Pasich. Cornell's body was flown from Michigan to Los Angeles on Sunday, and the singer will be buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The funeral will be private. A full autopsy and results of toxicology tests are pending, although Cornell's wife has said he may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed. His family issued a statement Friday questioning whether his death by hanging was intentional and if "substances contributed to his demise." SOUNDGARDEN had been working on material for their seventh studio album and had plans to record it later this year. The band reunited in 2010 after a 13-year hiatus, first touring and then writing and recording "King Animal", their first new studio album in 16 years. In addition to SOUNDGARDEN, Cornell sang with AUDIOSLAVE and TEMPLE OF THE DOG, while also recording four solo studio albums and one live set on his own.
WE START WARS, the new all-female group led by Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, will make its live debut on May 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California. In addition to Nita, WE START WARS features Alicia Vigil (VIGIL OF WAR) on bass, Seana (a.k.a. Shauna Lisse) on vocals, Nicole Papastavrou on guitar, Katt Scarlett (FEMME FATALE) on keyboards and Lindsay Martin on drums. Asked how WE START WARS came together, Strauss told The Front Row Report at this past weekend's Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio (see video below): "WE START WARS, I always say it's the band I've always wanted to be in. When I was a young guitar player starting out, there wasn't really a lot of all-female bands that had a really high level of technique for me to look up to. I love Steve Vai, [Joe] Satriani, DREAM THEATER… That's my stuff, that's what I like to listen to. And the more I started to figure out, there's not a lot of all-female bands that play this kind of stuff, that play technical stuff. There's some incredible all-female bands and I'm not knocking all-girl bands by any stretch of the imagination. But I wanted one that was really technical. I wanted a drummer that plays really fast double bass. I wanted two guitar players that both play solos. I wanted a singer with a big range — which you have… Female bands have great singers. My keyboard player went to Berklee — [she's] an incredible musician. So I really got the full spectrum of great musicianship first and foremost, and that's what I'm really excited to showcase for the fans." According to Nita, part of the reason she didn't launch WE START WARS earlier is the fact that quality female musicians are hard to come by. "A lot of times [when] I do press, I get this sort of snarky [question from interviewers], 'Well, why did it take you so long to put a band together?'" she said. "And I [usually tell them], 'How many female drummers do you know that live in this small area…?' I mean, I wanted to get local people to L.A., where I live. I didn't wanna bring people in from out of town. I've done it, and I always end up paying for their flight, and I just can't do it. So I really wanted to get local people that could be in a room in rehearsal when I'm gone. 'Cause I'm gone most of the year with Alice. So the girls in my band are super dedicated. They've been in the studio every day… a couple of times a week since I've been on this tour, and they're hitting it hard. So we're ready for the show." Regarding the band's sound, Papastavrou told Guitar World: "I'd say it's super-melodic metal but also has a little bit of something for everyone. We wanted to broaden our audience — not do anything too aggressive, but there's still a little bit of heaviness in there." Strauss concurred, adding: "There's a lot of crossover appeal. Nicole and I probably have the heaviest influences in the band, but when it comes down to it, we make music a lot of people can enjoy." WE START WARS' first single, "The Animal Inside", can be streamed below. Strauss said of the band's name: "A phrase I heard years ago has always stuck with me: 'Some of the greatest wars in history were fought over a beautiful woman.' "I've always been fascinated by the idea of the female warrior, someone who fights her own battles and doesn't take shit from anyone, and equally fascinated with the concept that a woman's love or defending her honor would be worth so much that people would actually put their own lives and the lives of others at risk over it. The most famous story everyone thinks of first is, of course, 'The face that launched a thousand ships,' Helen of Troy. But there was also Cleopatra and Marc Antony, Attila the Hun's invasion of Rome, Richard the Lionheart rescuing his sister Joan of England during the crusades, General Wu Sangui's betrayal, which led to the downfall of the Ming Dynasty in the 1600s, and the Celts uprising against the Roman Empire in AD 60. The list goes on and on. "So that's the story behind the name — WE START WARS represents not only the battles that women face in daily life, but also the battles that have followed them throughout history.”
Norwegian progressive metallers ENSLAVED have finished recording their as-yet-untitled fourteenth album for a fall release via Nuclear Blast. The disc is currently being mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren (SOILWORK, OPETH, KATATONIA, AMON AMARTH) at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. According to ENSLAVED, they are "putting the final touches to an epic first leg of a European tour that will be announced shortly." The band adds in a Facebook post: "2017 will be the year we move forward with our sound and aim for more progressive and melodic horizons, adding an organic and old school-ish touch — and several courageous experiments. Exciting, right?" ENSLAVED's new album was recorded at Duper & Solslottet Studios in Bergen. The eye-catching cover and artwork is once again being created by renowned designer and painter Truls Espedal. ENSLAVED mastermind Ivar Bjørnson recently stated about the band's new album: "I have never worked this hard to put together music for an album before. We are a tighter unit than ever before, which is obvious sonically. The concept conjured by myself and old war-brother Grutle is the strongest we have worked with. Finally, I am proud that we have taken more risks than ever before, and one in particular — and it is yielding awesome results. What does that mean? Stay tuned to find out!" ENSLAVED's thirteenth studio album, "In Times", came out in 2015.
AEROSMITH's Joe Perry has vowed to "put on a great show" tonight in Russia "in honor of those killed and injured" in Monday's attack outside an Ariana Grande concert in England. In a Twitter message, the guitarist wrote: "I feel terrible about the news today. We knew this was going to eventually happen at a concert one day. "My first reaction is we shouldn't give concerts because it is putting all the fans in danger, but that's what [the terrorists] want. "If there's one thing I learned touring all these years is you carry on. That is the way you fight back. "Today I feel sorrow and sadness, but tonight we will put on a great show in honor of those killed and injured. We will take every precaution to keep our fans safe, to celebrate our freedom and to strike back in the face of this terror." AEROSMITH is set to perform tonight (Tuesday May 23) at Olympic Stadium in Moscow. Fifty thousand fans attended AEROSMITH's first concert in Israel in twenty years on May 17 in Tel Aviv. Despite some technical issues, highlights included them covering FLEETWOOD MAC's "Oh Well" for the first time in more than ten years, along with "Hangman Jury", which they hadn't done in six years.
Over 400 gardai (Irish police) will be on duty at this weekend's GUNS N' ROSES concert in Meath, Ireland. There will also be an additional 1,200 private security personnel in attendance, as well as a full medical team of doctors, an on-site hospital and five first aid posts. GUNS N' ROSES is scheduled to play at Slane Castle on Saturday, May 27, marking the 25th anniversary of the band performing at the venue in 1992. The sold-out show is expected to be attended by 83,000 fans. A garda statement said: "An Garda Síochána will have over 400 members on duty, including specialist units, who will be supported by an additional 1,200 Security/Stewards provided by licensed security companies together with a full complement of doctors and medical teams, including an on-site hospital along with five first aid posts. "The Event Control Management Team overseeing this event have over 25 years experience within their fields of expertise. "We request that all fans attending the concert are fully aware of the Public Information Notice (in particular the Do and Do Not lists) published on www.garda.ie . "Please co-operate fully with Gardaí and stewards and follow any loudspeaker announcements as this will help ensure the safety and enjoyment for all concerned." Gates will open at 2 p.m. and supporting GUNS N' ROSES on the day will be ROYAL BLOOD, Mark Lanegan and local act OTHERKIN. A number of countries are considering tightening security for major events after the suicide bomb blast at the end of a concert by singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, England on Monday.