SYMPHONY X Drummer JASON RULLO Launches New Trio

Jason Rullo, drummer for the progressive metal band SYMPHONY X, has put together a new project that will showcase some other aspects of his drumming. The trio's debut release will be an instrumental fusion CD, with elements of rock, jazz, Latin and even some metal. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched, with all funds set to be used for the actual recording and marketing of the music. The plan was for the three-piece — which also includes Ron Sanborn on guitar and Artha Meadors on bass — to start tracking the music in late April, with gigs to follow. The band will also film a "making-of" video, featuring rehearsal footage and behind-the-scenes "stuff." Rullo and his bandmates write on their GoFundMe page: "Getting this support from you would mean a lot to us as so many people think music just happens for free these days. We have dedicated our lives to music and have so much to share, but we need your help to make this happen on the level it deserves. Everyone involved will be able to submit a name for the band and will be thanked on the liner notes as we are forever grateful for your support!" SYMPHONY X singer Russell Allen recently said that there were "no future plans" for the band to work on a new album or tour, explaining that he was "a hundred percent committed" to his other group ADRENALINE MOB. SYMPHONY X released its latest album, "Underworld", in 2015 and completed an extensive tour behind the effort, including a U.S. run of shows with OVERKILL and a pair of headlining performances in Australia last October.

JASON NEWSTED Hangs Out With JON BON JOVI At ‘Art New York’

Art connoisseur Jon Bon Jovi and former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted chatted together about art, music and charity at Art New York, which closed yesterday at Pier 94 in New York City. Jon and his wife Dorothea Hurley spent hours at both Art New York and Context New York with Nick Korniloff (founder of Art Miami LLC) talking with gallerists, artists and taking photos for fans. Newsted, who has gone from playing metal to create modern art, sold a bunch of pieces that helped raise funds for the Perry J. Cohen Foundation. He celebrated his New York art debut with a private acoustic concert for friends at the Soho House on Saturday night. Bon Jovi and Newsted talked art, music and helping with the charity. Rock photographer Bob Gruen also helped raise funds for Perry J. Cohen Foundation and sold a bunch of prints, including one shot that he took of the BON JOVI singer from the 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival. Both Newsted and Gruen donated 50% of all sales to the charity, which was founded in memory of Nick Korniloff's stepson Perry J. Cohen, who disappeared off the coast of Florida in 2015. Jason began painting in 2005, after a series of shoulder injuries and subsequent surgeries left him unable to play his instrument. The work began as a hobby, and it wasn't until a year later that he considered showcasing the results. Some of Newsted's paintings now go for tens of thousands of dollars. "Most of my work is abstract, mixed-media," he said in a 2013 interview. "Giant pictures about five by ten feet; plastic and acrylic. I also do some sculpture. I have eight or nine hundred pieces since 2004 and have studios in three different cities across the country. Some of my pieces go for maybe $150 for a little picture and some are $40,000 for a giant one. So there's something for everyone." Newsted said he was very influenced by Basquiat, Jean Dubuffet and Picasso. "Those guys are my BLACK SABBATH, MOTÖRHEAD and RUSH of painting," he said.

JASON NEWSTED Hangs Out With JON BON JOVI At ‘Art New York’

Art connoisseur Jon Bon Jovi and former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted chatted together about art, music and charity at Art New York, which closed yesterday at Pier 94 in New York City. Jon and his wife Dorothea Hurley spent hours at both Art New York and Context New York with Nick Korniloff (founder of Art Miami LLC) talking with gallerists, artists and taking photos for fans. Newsted, who has gone from playing metal to create modern art, sold a bunch of pieces that helped raise funds for the Perry J. Cohen Foundation. He celebrated his New York art debut with a private acoustic concert for friends at the Soho House on Saturday night. Bon Jovi and Newsted talked art, music and helping with the charity. Rock photographer Bob Gruen also helped raise funds for Perry J. Cohen Foundation and sold a bunch of prints, including one shot that he took of the BON JOVI singer from the 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival. Both Newsted and Gruen donated 50% of all sales to the charity, which was founded in memory of Nick Korniloff's stepson Perry J. Cohen, who disappeared off the coast of Florida in 2015. Jason began painting in 2005, after a series of shoulder injuries and subsequent surgeries left him unable to play his instrument. The work began as a hobby, and it wasn't until a year later that he considered showcasing the results. Some of Newsted's paintings now go for tens of thousands of dollars. "Most of my work is abstract, mixed-media," he said in a 2013 interview. "Giant pictures about five by ten feet; plastic and acrylic. I also do some sculpture. I have eight or nine hundred pieces since 2004 and have studios in three different cities across the country. Some of my pieces go for maybe $150 for a little picture and some are $40,000 for a giant one. So there's something for everyone." Newsted said he was very influenced by Basquiat, Jean Dubuffet and Picasso. "Those guys are my BLACK SABBATH, MOTÖRHEAD and RUSH of painting," he said.

NITA STRAUSS On WE START WARS: ‘I’ve Been Trying To Put This Band Together Since I Started Playing Guitar’

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. The band's lineup is as follows: Nita Strauss (ALICE COOPER) - Guitar Alicia Vigil (VIGIL OF WAR) - Bass Seana (a.k.a. Shauna Lisse) - Vocals Nicole Papastavrou - Guitar Katt Scarlett (FEMME FATALE) - Keyboards Lindsay Martin - Drums Asked how WE START WARS came together, Strauss told Guitar World: "I've been trying to put this band together since I started playing guitar. I've always felt that female musicians were under-represented in the music scene. It's not that they weren't out there, it's just that there wasn't a lot of all-female bands getting notoriety, especially ones with good technique and musicianship. I started out looking for great musicians and great performers that cold elevate the status of the female musician. I met Nicole at a NAMM show a few years ago and after we started talking we realized we had very similar views. It was an instant connection and it's cool that we've finally gotten a chance to work together." Regarding the band's sound, Papastavrou said: "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.” Strauss recently released a brand new solo single titled "Pandemonium". Written, recorded and produced by Nita, the song features the axewoman on all guitar and bass, alongside her boyfriend and manager Josh Villalta on drums and Katt Scarlett on keyboards. Strauss is a longtime Ibanez signature series endorsee who made her name with THE IRON MAIDENS, FEMME FATALE and LA Kiss.
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NITA STRAUSS On WE START WARS: ‘I’ve Been Trying To Put This Band Together Since I Started Playing Guitar’

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. The band's lineup is as follows: Nita Strauss (ALICE COOPER) - Guitar Alicia Vigil (VIGIL OF WAR) - Bass Seana (a.k.a. Shauna Lisse) - Vocals Nicole Papastavrou - Guitar Katt Scarlett (FEMME FATALE) - Keyboards Lindsay Martin - Drums Asked how WE START WARS came together, Strauss told Guitar World: "I've been trying to put this band together since I started playing guitar. I've always felt that female musicians were under-represented in the music scene. It's not that they weren't out there, it's just that there wasn't a lot of all-female bands getting notoriety, especially ones with good technique and musicianship. I started out looking for great musicians and great performers that cold elevate the status of the female musician. I met Nicole at a NAMM show a few years ago and after we started talking we realized we had very similar views. It was an instant connection and it's cool that we've finally gotten a chance to work together." Regarding the band's sound, Papastavrou said: "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.” Strauss recently released a brand new solo single titled "Pandemonium". Written, recorded and produced by Nita, the song features the axewoman on all guitar and bass, alongside her boyfriend and manager Josh Villalta on drums and Katt Scarlett on keyboards. Strauss is a longtime Ibanez signature series endorsee who made her name with THE IRON MAIDENS, FEMME FATALE and LA Kiss.
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Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Reveals His ‘Most Memorable Moment’ (Audio)

Casper of Silver Tiger Media recently conducted an interview with original KISS drummer Peter Criss. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. Asked if there is a "most memorable moment" in his long career that was "of tremendous, overwhelming significance and importance" for him, Criss said: "Absolutely. And I've been asked this a lot a long time in my career. And it's gotta be the night I played at Madison Square Garden [in New York City with] my mom and my dad [in attendance]. Because when I was 13 years old and I was in New York, my mother and I passed the Madison Square Garden, and I said, 'Hey, ma, I'm gonna play there someday for you and dad. Mark my words.' And sure enough, 1977, there we were, and I remember sitting when the curtain came down, and I looked over and there was my parents crying like children. And so was I, but you didn't see it with the makeup. For me, that was the most amazing, and still is till today, moment of my life — that I got to see my mom and dad see me in one of the biggest arenas in the world. I was, like, 'Holy shit!' I'll always hold that near and dear." Criss is set to say farewell later this year with a pair of convention appearances that are being billed as his final live performances. The drummer first left KISS in 1980. Since then he's worked with other bands and released solo albums. He teamed up with KISS again for a reunion tour in the 1990s and most recently in 2004. He was replaced by Eric Singer. Criss, who was known as "Catman," released his last solo CD, titled "One for All", in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of "Late Night with David Letterman". The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Send in the Clowns". The four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2014 by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello. KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

IN FLAMES Guitarist Says Latest Additions To Band Have Added ‘A Lot Of New Energy’

AntiHero Magazine conducted an interview with guitarist Björn Gelotte of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES at this past weekend's Carolina Rebellion festival at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below. Asked how much longer he thinks IN FLAMES can continue touring and making albums, Gelotte said: "If we have as [much] fun as we have right now, I don't see an end to this at all. I mean, we're healthy — [laughs] sort of — and we love what we do. We had some lineup changes, but we found some really good people that are bringing a lot of new energy into the band. 'Cause it is a sad thing when people leave a band; you've been together for twenty years or whatever, or eighteen or fifteen years, and there's always something gonna be missing. But we've been very, very lucky in finding the new guys that we have in the band, and they bring a lot of positive stuff to the table. And that keeps us going on. And loving what we do." IN FLAMES has recruited Bryce Paul — a member of the Southern California pop-rock outfit IVES — to play bass for the band on their current U.S. tour, which includes a number of headlining shows and festival appearances. Longtime IN FLAMES bassist Peter Iwers quit the band in November saying that he was leaving IN FLAMES "to pursue other endeavors." His replacement for some of the recent European shows was Håkan Skoger, who had previously played with PASSENGER and GARDENIAN. Asked by Metal Express Radio why Iwers chose to depart IN FLAMES after almost twenty years with the band, Gelotte said: "He's always been a very busy man, and I think he was just done with this life. He's still writing music, playing music with friends in different constellations. [Peter and I] have [a] bar together [in Gothenburg, Sweden], 2112, so he's busy doing that. He has a brewery together with the old drummer from IN FLAMES, Daniel [Svensson], so he's a very busy man." According to Gelotte, Iwers first brought up the subject of leaving IN FLAMES before the band's fall 2016 tour with HELLYEAH. "We talked a little bit before the last U.S. run now, and that was, like, November 'till December some time," the guitarist recalled. "We talked a little bit beforehand, and I think he just made the decision early on on that tour. "We're not 18 anymore," he added. "There's different priorities for different people, and it's just how it works. It's super sad — it's our brother — but then again, we have so much together that we do that I will talk and meet him all the time anyway." "Battles", IN FLAMES' twelfth studio album, was released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S.

DEVILDRIVER’s ‘Outlaws Till The End’ Covers Album Will Be ‘Beyond Heavy As Balls,’ Says DEZ FAFARA

California metallers DEVILDRIVER have set "Outlaws Till The End" as the title of their album of outlaw country covers, to be released in early 2018. According to singer Dez Fafara, the effort will include thirteen "insanely heavy, swinging badass outlaw tracks by some of the best outlaw country artists," including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Paycheck. Produced by Steve Evetts, the album will include appearances by nearly two dozen "high-caliber guests," among them Glenn Danzig, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe and guitarists John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE) and Mark Morton (LAMB OF GOD). In a brand new interview with RockRevolt Magazine, Fafara described "Outlaws Till The End" as "so out of the pocket and so different that people are gonna be tripping." He also talked about how the idea for the record first came about, saying: "If you go on a tour bus in the United States with metal bands, you're gonna hear outlaw country — you're gonna hear Johnny Cash, you're gonna hear Willie Nelson, you're gonna Waylon Jennings — you're gonna hear these artists in the back, in the front lounge as much as punk rock. I go from BLACK FLAG to Hank [Williams] Sr. to Hank III to fucking Ozzy [Osbourne] in an instant; like, that's my playlist. I've always heard these songs heavy, so when I hear, say, 'Ghost Riders In The Sky', I'm always in the back listening to that, smoking a joint [and] going, 'What would it be like to fucking hear a heavy version of this?' And we'll start singing it back there heavy, and it feels natural to me." Fafara went on to reveal that "Outlaws Till The End" will contain covers of songs from "only the best of the best and mostly only outlaw country stuff." He added: "The first song that we worked on was 'Ghost Riders In The Sky'. I went to Johnny Cash's cabin in Tennessee. I recorded with John Carter Cash and his wife, did 'Ghost Riders', and now Randy from LAMB OF GOD is gonna jump on the song. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of artists that are on this thing. It's twenty artists, but it's turning more into, like, probably twenty-five by the time… There's people calling me daily that are jumping on this thing. The most recent cat, and he's a hero of mine, and just to pick up the phone and see his number calling me in the morning makes my fourteen-year-old self fucking shake, Lee Ving from FEAR is doing two songs with me as well. So it's just become this intense thing that everyone in the industry is calling me, going, 'Wait a minute? What are you doing? Everybody should have fucking done that.' And I go, 'Well, we're doing a 'volume one,' which means there's a 'volume two' coming, so if we don't have any more songs slotted, I'd love to have you. And I've actually had to turn some people down that were, like, major fucking artists, just saying, 'We don't have room." According to Fafara, DEVILDRIVER's decision to make a country covers album is consistent with the band's overall approach to things, which is to "do different shit. We wanna shake it up. I wanna have the metal purists go, 'Fuck that! I don't love country,' and then hear the record and go, 'Jesus!' 'Cause it's heavy as balls — beyond heavy as balls. Or the person who loves country that hates metal to hear it and go, 'Jesus! You guys did a fantastic job at keeping the fucking song alive.' 'Cause we didn't go in and massacre these songs — we kept them as they are." Despite Fafara's enthusiasm for the project, he admitted that he has "no expectations" for how well it's going to fare once it is released. "I'm not thinking it's gonna come out and outsell everything, it's gonna do this and that," he said. "What it's really go do is shake up shit. What I really want is every other band that's out there on their tour bus to fucking listen to it, 'cause they're gonna, and they're gonna be listening to it in the back lounge before they go on, going, 'Holy fuck! We should have done this.' But you didn't. DEVILDRIVER did." DEVILDRIVER guitarist Neal Tiemann told Guitar World about the band's approach on "Outlaws Till The End": "I think the point is to keep the memorable melodies and lyrics intact while providing and alternate and heavier music bed. It's easy to get carried away in one of our own riffs, so we've been sure to keep refocusing on the essence of the original material." The project started out in early 2016 when Fafara was thinking about remaking punk classics. "I loved the idea of focusing on a single genre, but I felt that country was a better way to go, because the songs would give us more ideas to work with," explained DEVILDRIVER guitarist Mike Spreitzer. Added Tiemann: "While the theme is centered in outlaw country, we're adding some numbers that go against the grain, rather than fit inside those genre barriers." DEVILDRIVER's latest album, "Trust No One", was released in May 2016 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2013's "Winter Kills" was once again produced by Mark Lewis (ARSIS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER) with assistance from Jason Suecof (AUGUST BURNS RED, DEICIDE, DEATH ANGEL).

STEVEN ADLER Joined By LITA FORD, JEFF PILSON For GUNS N’ ROSES Classics At ‘Ride For Ronnie’ (Video)

An all-star jam spearheaded by former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler took place Sunday (May 7) in Los Encinos Park in Encino, California at the conclusion of the third annual Ride For Ronnie motorcycle rally and concert, benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Adler was joined by a number of notable musicians, including Jeff Pilson (bass; DOKKEN, FOREIGNER), Alex Grossi (QUIET RIOT), Robert Sarzo (HURRICANE) on guitar, Patrick Stone (vocals; BUDDERSIDE), Lita Ford (vocals) and Michael Devin (bass; WHITESNAKE) for performances of three GUNS N' ROSES classics: "Welcome To The Jungle", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Rocket Queen". Video footage of the event can be seen below (courtesy of Ravinder Pilson). Adler appeared with GUNS N' ROSES onstage last November in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as on three separate occasions during the U.S. leg of the "Not In This Lifetime" tour last summer. This marked Adler's first appearance with GUNS N' ROSES since 1990, although he performed with members of the band at their 2012 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Speculation about Adler having some sort of involvement in the GUNS N' ROSES reunion has been rampant ever since the band made it official with a surprise April 1, 2016 show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. The regular GUNS N' ROSES drummer for several years has been Frank Ferrer, who is also part of the current lineup that boasts classic-GN'R members Axl Rose, Slash and McKagan. Adler revealed in February that he was originally supposed to appear at more than just a handful of shows on the GUNS N' ROSES reunion trek. He told the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast that he expected to sit behind the drum kit for all the "Appetite For Destruction" material during the entire tour, only to be told he was out after he hurt his back during rehearsals. Adler was thrown out of GUNS N' ROSES in 1990 due to his heavy drug use, a problem he struggled with for years after his dismissal.
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Listen To New SECRET SPHERE Song ‘Faith’

SECRET SPHERE's song "Faith" can be streamed below. The track is taken from the band's ninth studio album, "The Nature Of Time", which will be released on June 2 via Frontiers Music Srl. The new recording celebrates 20 years of hard work that started back in 1997 with the release of the band's widely praised debut album, "Mistress Of The Shadowlight". Since then, SECRET SPHERE has evolved and developed its unique style into what has become a trademark sound, making it one of an elite group of bands putting the Italian metal scene on the global map. The addition of extraordinary singer Michele Luppi (also currently serving as keyboardist and background vocalist for the legendary hard rock act WHITESNAKE) in 2012 brought the band to the next level. This was evidenced by his first release with the band, "Portrait Of A Dying Heart", receiving wide fan and critical acclaim and landing on many metal journalists best releases of 2012 lists. "The Nature Of Time" proves to be the ultimate showcase of the band's skill in composing highly orchestrated songs and introducing their foray into a new age of heavy rock and metal music. High-class songs with amazing choruses, big vocals, majestic orchestral arrangements, and amazing, mind-blowing, guitar heroics are the order of the day. "The Nature Of Time" explores the "back-to-life" concept, an inward looking search of the self that can positively impact everyone's everyday life. States guitarist Aldo Lonobile: "The long writing process of this album has been a constant 're-living' of memories and feelings that started with only instrumental pieces that were put together only in order to vent my then current state of mind: a way to express emotions purely, without any kind of 'holding back,' so to speak. I then talked to Michele and we decided these were the perfect basis for a new SECRET SPHERE record" Adds Luppi: "What can I say about this album? We spent a few months writing songs in a way that opened the doors to our new age of heavy rock... definitely a new beginning for each member of the band, a new approach that got inspired by the concept of the album itself. "It's not easy to open and talk about love and kindness. We chose the most direct way, no masks, only passion, energy and light guided each note leaving any kind of fear behind. Eventually, with time, we became US, not individuals... THIS IS US. Some of these songs earned a very special place in my heart." "The Nature Of Time" track listing: The Nature Of Time Chapter I - Genesis - Intermission - The Calling Chapter II - The Seven Virtues - Love - Courage - Kindness - Honesty - Faith - Reliance - Commitment Chapter III - The New Dawn - The Awakening Chapter IV - The Way - The New Beginning SECRET SPHERE is: Michele Luppi - Vocals Aldo Lonobile - Guitars Andrea Buratto - Bass Gabriele Ciaccia - Keyboards Marco Lazzarini - Drums
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