FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH announced today that they will finish out their remaining European dates with BAD WOLVES vocalist Tommy Vext filling in for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH frontman Ivan Moody, whose struggles with substance abuse are widely known. Moody said: "I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I have fallen off the wagon again. I was on shaky ground prior to our performance in Tilburg, and although a lot of the events of that show were out of my control, the shame of not delivering pushed me over the edge. It would not be fair to my bandmates or my fans to continue to perform in my current condition. One of the worst parts of addiction is the loneliness you feel, so having the support of my band and all the knuckleheads is what drives me. I am committed to getting better so I can get back out on stage as soon as possible." Zoltan Bathory, guitarist of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, said: "As a band, we are committed to supporting Ivan's road to recovery. We are as baffled and saddened as anyone to watch our brother continue to struggle. Almost everyone in the world knows someone who struggles with addiction, and can relate to how the self-destruction of someone they care about is very difficult to watch. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has every intention of playing the dates we're committed to and beyond. The band is bigger than any one member." Tommy Vext, the vocalist of up-and-coming metal band BAD WOLVES, said: "It is a tremendous honor to share the stage with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on these remaining dates. Today I am blessed with over eight years of sobriety, so I can certainly empathize with Ivan's struggles. Not only do I feel a responsibility to deliver for the fans of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on these remaining dates, but also to deliver for Ivan so he can get back to work as soon as he is healthy." This is not the first time Ivan has been forced to miss FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH shows due to various issues. Moody previously sat our eight concerts during the band's fall 2016 U.S. co-headlining arena tour with SHINEDOWN after he "fell ill" and stepped away from the road to receive treatment. He was replaced at those dates by ALL THAT REMAINS vocalist Phil Labonte. Prior to that, Moody had an onstage meltdown during a May 2015 show in Memphis. The incident was blamed on his abuse of alcohol and drugs. He entered rehab after that. As previously reported, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and IN FLAMES will join forces for a European co-headlining tour in November and December.
Ozzy Osbourne has teamed up with the Midland Metro to celebrate BBC Music Day. BBC Music Day is a U.K.-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music. The theme for this year's BBC Music Day is the power of music — to bring people together, to enhance feelings of well-being and to create unforgettable memories. It will be broadcast across BBC Radio and BBC Local Radio and BBC Television and this year will take place on June 15. On that day, Music Day Ambassador Ozzy Osbourne will provide the passenger announcements for people travelling on the Birmingham-to-Wolverhampton tram. Rebecca Sandiford, the producer of BBC Music Day, said: "BBC Music Day aims to unite generations and communities through their love of music, so we thought we'd give commuters a reason to smile as they make their daily journeys." Ozzy said: "When I was young, music was all that mattered to me. As a teenager, I was caught in the magical spell of THE BEATLES and that was all it took. I was gone. Music is still magic to me. It runs through my head all day long and I would never ever want that to stop. "Being named one of 2017's Music Day Ambassadors was an unexpected and wonderful honour. "Music has given me such an incredible life so a special day that celebrates this, like BBC Music Day, is better than Christmas to me." Colin Saward, general manager of National Express Midland Metro, said: "Ozzy already has a Midland Metro tram named after him, and he launched our Birmingham city centre extension last year. So it's great to have the Prince of Darkness back as the voice of our trams on BBC Music Day." Coun Richard Worrall, chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority transport delivery committee, said: "I am delighted Ozzy Osbourne has agreed to continue his association with the Midland Metro and I am sure passengers will enjoy hearing his voice. "The Metro has seen nearly eight million users in the last twelve months and passenger satisfaction levels are amongst the highest in the country, so Ozzy's star quality is certainly in good company."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, KISS frontman Gene Simmons filed an application Friday (June 9) for a trademark on the so-called "devil's horns" hand gesture. Simmons claims in the filing that the hand gesture was first used in commerce November 14, 1974 — a date that appears to correspond with KISS's "Hotter Than Hell" tour. Gene is attempting to secure the mark for "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist." Back in 2004, Steve Appleford of LA CityBEAT conducted a "survey" of heavy metal musicians regarding the origins of the "devil's horns" hand sign — the horned hand, with index finger and pinkie raised proudly as the sign of the beast, which is being used as the "international greeting to heavy metal ecstasy." "Gene Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography that it was his accidental invention, the inadvertent gesture of a great man, repeated at concerts and picked up by fans," Appleford said. "Not likely. Former BLACK SABBATH shouter Ronnie James Dio also takes the credit, first raising the horns before joining the band in 1978. And he's expressed alarm over the image of Britney Spears fans raising the sign at concerts by the dancing diva of lip-synched pop." When Appleford asked Lemmy about the source of the "devil's horns" hand sign, noting the casual claims of Gene Simmons, Lemmy replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he? He is so eeevilll. Come on, gimme a fucking break." Lars Ulrich of METALLICA had no doubt at all: "That’s got to be Ronnie James Dio. I remember RAINBOW used to play in Denmark about every half hour, so I used to go see it every half hour. And Ronnie James Dio did a lot of that. Back in '75, '76, '77, it was all about RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH and THIN LIZZY." In a separate interview, METALLICA singer-guitarist James Hetfield answered: "I think Dio." Then he went on, with a smile: "I think Spider-Man originally. It's also 'I love you' in sign language. I don't know, I think it's 'Two more songs!' — you know."
Professionally filmed video footage of METALLICA performing the song "Atlas, Rise!" on June 11 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas can be seen below. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", which features the current single "Now That We're Dead". The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" trek will hit stadiums in eighteen more cities before ending in mid-August. METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that the band was genuinely surprised to learn they could still play stadiums, saying, "It was like, 'Holy fuck, people really still care about this band in ways that you stopped taking for granted literally decades ago. It was very inspiring and kind of eye-opening." He added: "Full stadium runs can sometimes be a little intimidating. There's all these things to worry about like, 'You should really try to play maybe only on the weekend,' and, 'Where do you play on Tuesday?' and some of those practicalities can get a little bewildering. We just threw caution to the wind. Doing a stadium run seemed like the perfect thing on the back of how well this record has been received and all the good will that's out there in METALLICA's world right now." The next stop on the tour is San Antonio, Texas on June 14. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 is coming mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows. "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" was certified platinum on April 12 by the RIAA (Recording Association Of America). The platinum certification reflects a million equivalent album units, which blends traditional album sales, tracks sold from an album and on-demand audio and video streams. The recent gain in "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" sales is owed mostly to a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion with the band's stadium tour that went on sale on February 17. Redemptions of albums included with the purchase of a concert ticket register as a sale in the week the customer redeems/receives the album.
STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis, who is widely considered to be one of the most politically conservative musicians in rock, has released a new single, "Folded Flag", across digital retailers. A patriot through and through, Lewis has spent much of his career honoring those who sacrifice their lives every day to protect our nation and the new music is just a small reminder of that mentality. "In today's world, the ultimate sacrifice that our servicemen and women give selflessly in protection of the American Dream is often overlooked," stated Lewis. "The first time I heard this song, I watched three battle-hardened special forces soldiers cry after hearing it. I knew it hit home and I knew it deserved to be heard." Written by Marty Morgan, Luc Nyhus and Yasmine Van Wilt and produced by Ben Kitterman, this is a perfect addition to Lewis's catalog of raw tunes that hit close to the heart. It is hard to miss importance of the sentiment as he sings lyrics like "Two men with starch white gloves / Fold the colors till they touch / It's probably more than I deserve / But I'm proud to get this much / Sendin' all the love I ever had / Inside this folded flag." Fans who have been to his shows in the past know that Lewis opens every performance with a rendition of the The Pledge Of Allegiance. His passion for the strong tradition is something loyal concert-goers have come to expect from the country rocker. Lewis described himself in a recent interview as a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian, constitutionally driven patriot. "Freedom means freedom," he said. "Get out of my business." He added that he wanted "capitalism with a conscience" and after backing Senator Ted Cruz, Trump's closest competitor in the Republican nomination race, in the Massachusetts primary, he "proudly jumped into the basket of deplorables and voted for Trump." The STAIND frontman had been a staunch critic of President Barack Obama, telling a crowd at one of his solo concerts last year: "For the last eight years, I thought our country was going fucking crazy. Barack Obama should have been impeached a long fucking time ago. Every fucking decision he makes is against the Constitution, it's against what's good for our fucking country, and he is truly the worst fucking president that we have ever had in the history of this fucking country. And a hundred years from now, our fucking grandkids will be looking back at this, going, 'What the fuck was going on?' I truly believe that he was elected over three hundred years of guilt… because he is the least qualified, most inept, completely useless president we have ever fucking had." Lewis told Billboard last year that he would support Trump in the U.S. presidential race, even though he was "disappointed" by the real estate mogul "with the bickering and the name-calling."
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's new album, "Villains", will be released this summer. The title of the band's first record since 2013's "Like Clockwork" was revealed in an album trailer directed by Liam Lynch. The clip features QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE leader Josh Homme and his bandmates taking a polygraph test where they deny the LP's title; the machine, of course, detects their lies. Also revealed in the trailer is that "Villains" was helmed by Grammy-winning producer, DJ and artist Mark Ronson, who has previously worked with Amy Winehouse, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, DURAN DURAN and Adele, among others. Fans can also hear a snippet of the album's first single, "Feet Don't Fail Me", which is expected to make its online debut in the coming days. Homme recently compared "Villains" to "a panther in the trees leaping out of the darkness" and described it as "uptempo." The frontman also recently revealed that the new record wouldn't feature any special guests. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE has been confirmed for Chicago's Riot Fest in September. They will also play at Montebello Rockfest in Canada (June 22-25) and San Francisco's Outside Lands festival in August.
Greek masters of symphonic death metal SEPTICFLESH will release their tenth full-length album, "Codex Omega", on September 1 via Prosthetic Records. A 360-degree video for the song called "Dante's Inferno", taken from "Codex Omega", can be seen below. The clip was created by Tommy Jones of Videohammer studios. SEPTICFLESH comment: "We are proud to present the first track from the upcoming album 'Codex Omega'. The song is appropriately entitled 'Dante's Inferno', acting as a gateway to hell... As it was inscribed on the top of the Hellgate in the famous poem by Dante Alighieri, 'Through me you pass into the city of woe; Through me you pass into eternal pain; Through me among the people lost for aye'. This is just the first glimpse, the entrance to our new album. Stay tuned as more will gradually be revealed with the release date of our new album getting closer... " The cover artwork for "Codex Omega" was created by Seth Siro Anton and can be seen below. "Codex Omega" will be available as a 2-CD set, on purple wax vinyl as well as a U.S. indie retail store exclusive on white wax vinyl, and on all digital outlets. "Codex Omega" was produced by Jens Bogren (OPETH, DIMMU BORGIR) and features ten tracks of SEPTICFLESH's trademark blend of mystical atmosphere, relentless death guitar riffing and pale melodies. Lyrically and musically, it is by far the most infernal release from SEPTICFLESH to date. As a bonus, the CD and vinyl LP will come with an extra disc comprised of three orchestral tracks, once again featuring the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague. "Codex Omega" track listing: Disc One 01. Dante's Inferno 02. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega) 03. Portrait Of A Headless Man 04. Martyr 05. Enemy Of Truth 06. Dark Art 07. Our Church, Below The Sea 08. Faceless Queen 09. The Gospels Of Fear 10. Trinity Disc Two 01. Martyr Of Truth 02. Dark Testament 03. Portrait Of A Headless Man (Orchestral Version)
The official music video for the song " Save Me" from Swedish metallers IN FLAMES can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's twelfth studio album, "Battles", which was released in November via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S. Speaking about IN FLAMES' experimental approach to songwriting and making albums, guitarist Björn Gelotte told Pop Culture Madness: "We get a bit of flak for that, not doing the same album over and over, but it's never been our thing. It's not what we wanna do. We wanna create music that we think is sort of missing out there or that feels challenging, fun, interesting and that we wanna hear ourselves. And it doesn't please everyone, but that's not why we're here. I can't please everyone; I can't make sure everybody in this audience likes what I'm doing. What I can make sure is that the five of us are happy with it. And when we are, it's gonna be an IN FLAMES tune." 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.
On May 25, legendary BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi made a very special visit to Birmingham, England's BIMM Music Institute to announce details of the BIMM Birmingham Scholarship, which will bear his name. As part of the celebrations, BIMM invited a very lucky group of prospective students to give them a taste of life and the fantastic opportunities available at the new state-of-the-art college, which will open its doors in Digbeth this October. Introducing the £20,250 award, BIMM Birmingham's executive principal Dara Kilkenny said: "Tony Iommi has agreed to put his name to a scholarship which will be worth £20,250 for one of the applicants, and it could be one of you in this room. It's available to all disciplines, all degree students. You will not pay any fees." Giving his thoughts on the scholarship and how one lucky BIMM student can utilize it, Tony said: "It's fantastic; I just think that you have to go for it and work as hard as you can. Believe in what you are doing. You have to believe in it, and follow it through. Work as hard as you can. You have to love it and enjoy it." After the announcement, Tony sat down with BIMM's resident BLACK SABBATH aficionado and ORANGE GOBLIN drummer Chris Turner for an exclusive interview about his life in music and his work with BLACK SABBATH, following the band's decision to bid farewell after spending a half century and the forefront of heavy metal. Tony, whose ear-shattering riffs and unique sound provided the blueprint for all metal bands who have followed, shared a wealth of insight and a host of amazing anecdotes about the band's formation. BLACK SABBATH's sound was actually part inspired by horror movies, which explains a lot. "We were fascinated with horror movies," he told the audience. "Geezer [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist] and I used to go to a 'Midnight Horror' night at the cinema. I said to Geezer: 'It would great if we could write music that to give you the same fear as a horror movie,' and that’s what started it off." On the subject of BIMM, Tony spoke of the opportunities now available to aspiring musicians and the ease of which you can make music nowadays thanks to advances in technology but admits his allegiances will always lie with the warm, fuzzy analogue sound that many are still trying to attain years later. So how does he feel about his riffs being an inspiration to so many bands? "We are proud of it," he said. "It feels weird, so many bands of the years recognize us as their influence. It's a great honor."
GHOST lead singer and founder Tobias Forge — who performs as Papa Emeritus — will publicly unmask himself for the first time since the band's formation for an upcoming appearance on "Sommar i P1", Swedish radio channel P1's daily one-man show which has aired every summer since 1959. Each ninety-minute episode of "Sommar i P1" features a well-known Swede talking without interruption about whatever he or she likes, as well as choosing all the music for the program. Forge stated about his August 17 appearance on "Sommar i P1": "I'm going to talk about my background and about how things never quite turn out the way you think they will." Forge recently officially revealed his identity while responding to a lawsuit filed by four former members of GHOST, who accused him of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group's album releases and world tours. In his court documents, Forge — who had previously played in several other rock bands, including REPUGNANT, CRASHDIET, SUBVISION, MAGNA CARTA CARTEL and SUPERIOR — took credit for developing GHOST's image and stage show and blamed his ex-bandmates for "destroying the mystery" surrounding the group by lifting the lid on GHOST's business dealings. GHOST is known for its eccentric performances and is composed of six members easily recognized for their satanic attires. Five men who call themselves as Nameless Ghouls play the instruments while the lead vocalist is known as Papa Emeritus. The Nameless Ghouls who are wearing identical devil masks and costumes represent the five instrumentalities or elements (fire, water, air, earth and aether or quintessence) while their leader Papa Emeritus represents the group's anti-pope symbol. Forge admitted in a 2016 interview with "Big Smash Radio" that the mystery surrounding GHOST has helped make the band more successful. "I think it definitely plays a part," he said. "The thing everybody keeps ranting about is the anonymity, which I have a comment on on the side, but I also think that you don't have to be anonymous or masked in order to have somewhat of a clandestine image. I mean, there are many artists that I know exactly where they are born and what their names are and where they live, which are still very, sort of, hidden. Even Nick Cave, who has a film about himself nowadays, is still someone who I would claim to be utterly enigmatic." He continued: "Even if people would know who we are, or you could click on a Wikipedia page saying my date of birth, it does not necessarily mean that I have to go out on social media and tell you where I'm eating. So, yeah, I think even in the future, when it might not be as hidden, or as secret, I think that you can still uphold some sort of… level of fog around you."