AVENGED SEVENFOLD will be forced to miss tonight's (Friday, May 12) concert at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the support act for METALLICA after the band's guitarist, Synyster Gates, flew home to be with his wife Michelle who unexpectedly went into early labor with the birth of their first child. AVENGED SEVENFOLD will be back on stage with METALLICA this Sunday, May 14 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. AVENGED SEVENFOLD said in a statement: "Sending love to our brother Synyster Gates, who flew home to be with his wife Michelle, who unexpectedly went into early labor with the birth of their first child. Unfortunately, this also means we won't be able to play tonight's gig with METALLICA. We'll miss seeing you all but know you're in for an incredible show with the mighty METALLICA and VOLBEAT. Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the A7X family and thanks so much for your support and understanding. We'll see you all Sunday in New Jersey." Speaking to Finland's Radio Rock in March, Gates said that he was "really excited" about playing with METALLICA again. "I think it's an absolute honor and a privilege and we're the luckiest band in the world to be taken in by such a legendary act," he said. "During our formative years, it was all about, 'What did METALLICA do?' and 'How do we do that?' and then you try and find an identity of your own, but they're still… They were the pioneers and the trailblazers. And they still do that stuff. We go and do a surprise release and then they do twelve videos for their record and have unbelievable success, and you're, like, 'Damn! That's pretty cool what they did, huh?' So we're always having those moments and it's really cool to see them continue to trailblaze and pioneer, and they're helping us and taking us along for the ride, and we couldn't appreciate it any more." Asked if he still gets starstruck when hanging out with members of METALLICA, Gates said: "Yeah, definitely. I remember in Berlin when we played with METALLICA for the first time, and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] came in. And you see how… He's as crazy and amped as you see on YouTube or whatever, but just the nicest guy. He comes in just full of fucking energy. That's Lars. Lars Ulrich is Lars Ulrich, on camera, off camera, and I had no clue how fucking sweet that guy is. He invited us to sing on stage, sing a RAMONES song that night, and it was just incredible. And that's just the type of guys that they all are — incredible human beings and people. And they inspire you to be better people. You wanna be better to your tour family, your home family… I mean, just because you're fucking rich and really successful doesn't mean that you need to be a dick. You can actually be nicer than everybody, which METALLICA has proven to do." 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.
Joe Hottinger and Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM joined THEE ROCK N' ROLL RESIDENCY on stage this past Tuesday (May 9) at Mercy Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee to perform cover versions of AEROSMITH's "Draw The Line" and RAINBOW's "All Night Long". Video footage of their appearance can be seen below. HALESTORM's third covers EP, "ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP", was released on January 6 via Atlantic. The effort was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, ALICE IN CHAINS, KORN). "ReAniMate 3.0: The CoVeRs eP" follows HALESTORM's previous covers EPs, 2011's "ReAniMate" and 2013's "ReAniMate 2.0". Lzzy recently told Swedish outlet RockSverige that HALESTORM is continuing to write material for its next album, tentatively later this year. Hale revealed: "You have no idea the weird songs I've been writing, subject matter and musically. Musically, it's kinda been a long journey to the beginning, so we're kinda going back to our total roots. We're gonna do a rock record this time. It's like total balls to the wall, but lyrically, it's been a little weird and that's my fault." The new record will follow up 2015's "Into The Wild Life", which was criticized by some fans for veering too far into pop music territory.
Vocalist Shagrath (real name: Stian Tomt Thoresen) of Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR spoke to Antihero about the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2010's "Abrahadabra" album, tentatively due before the end of the year via Nuclear Blast. He said: "I can't go really into details, but what I can say about it is that we have used now three years to make a new album. It's just finished right now, actually, so the plan is that it will be out during fall. These days we do the preparation in connection with that release. If I can say something about the album, it will be that we are very proud of it, it sounds great, it's very atmospheric, and it also includes a lot of the elements which DIMMU BORGIR are known for, so I think the fans will not be disappointed. It also includes a lot of themes and riff ideas that you can link back to '93. So, it's like a combination of different themes throughout the history of DIMMU BORGIR. It also has a lot of symphonic elements and we are using a big choir on this new record, and it's also darker, more atmospheric, more primitive, more black metal. Yeah, a mixture of different things, basically. Shagrath elaborated on the musical direction of the new DIMMU BORGIR album, saying it's "a mixture of everything, but in DIMMU BORGIR you can expect the unexpected. That's how we like to, when we do something we want to, there is no limits for where we can take it, in which direction, and that's how we want it to be, it needs to be. It's progressive also, the new album, but it also includes a lot of atmosphere, as I said. Elements from like the riff atmospheres from 'Enthrone Darkness Triumphant'  album and the 'For All Tid' , the debut record, and all that stuff. So, it's a good combination of it all, but at the same time, it's also progressive, and that's very important for us as artists to stretch the limits and try out new stuff. We are a band, we have never been afraid of going into new directions and as an artist, it's also important to not try to repeat yourself too much, because then it would be boring. But we are not a band like AC/DC, where you buy an album and you know what to expect. But DIMMU BORGIR are quite different, even though I'm a fan of AC/DC." DIMMU BORGIR's new DVD, "Forces Of The Northern Night", was released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast. The set contains two of the band's live performances: their legendary show in Oslo, presenting DIMMU BORGIR on stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a bombastic choir, as well as their entire performance at Wacken Open Air festival in 2012 in Wacken, Germany with almost a hundred musicians on stage. DIMMU BORGIR's most recent touring lineup included Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERK, THE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. Cyrus; SUSPERIA) on bass.
According to Billboard, the Desert Trip music festival — which last year attracted a cross-country audience, much of it middle aged, of about 150,000 over two weekends — will not be making a return in 2017. "We're not doing Desert Trip this year," L.A.-based concert promoter and Coachella founder Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice told Billboard. "We loved 2016 Desert Trip — that was a special moment in time. Maybe someday in the future we'll do something similar." The lure of last year's Desert Trip — wich was held at the Empire Polo Club in Coachella Valley, Indio, California — was an A list of legacy acts, including Paul McCartney, THE ROLLING STONES and Bob Dylan. It was widely reported that LED ZEPPELIN turned down a whopping $14 million to play last year's two-weekend event, which also featured THE WHO, Roger Waters and Neil Young. A cryptic post on Robert Plant's web site led to uncorroborated fan speculation that ZEPPELIN could return for a Desert Trip performance later this year. LED ZEPPELIN's December 10, 2007 reunion at London's O2 Arena during the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert was chronicled on the band's 2012 "Celebration Day" CD and DVD. The set, which featured Jason Bonham subbing for his late father John Bonham on drums, marked Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones's first full-scale concert together since John Bonham's 1980 death.
Kirk Hammett says that the technical issues METALLICA faced during its collaboration with Lady Gaga at this year's Grammy Awards got the band "way more" media attention than would have been the case if the performance had gone off without a hitch. METALLICA's appearance with Gaga at the 59th annual event in Los Angeles on February 12 turned into something of a disaster when the Grammy sound crew did not turn frontman James Hetfield's mic on, forcing him to share the mic with Gaga after the first verse and chorus. As a further humiliation, presenter Laverne Cox did not even introduce METALLICA by name. At the end of the song, a visibly angry Hetfield hurled his guitar at a road crew member while kicking over his mic stand. When asked what it was like backstage immediately after the mistake seen by millions, Hammett told NJ.com: "Oh, not good! How about everyone screaming and yelling, 'What the fuck?' For me, I kept thinking to myself, 'It doesn't feel like sabotage. It feels like a real, honest mistake on someone's part.' But because we're human, and because we're competitive and want to do our best, sometimes an explanation like 'it's a simple mistake' is just not satisfying enough.' "But the next day I saw all the positive benefits of that chaotic performance," Hammett continued. "We got way more attention for the mic not working than we would have if we just played with Lady Gaga and pulled it off. It was kind of like a throwback to the JETHRO TULL fiasco," he said of the 1989 blunder that saw METALLICA lose to TULL in the "Hard Rock/Metal" category. "We got more publicity back then losing to JETHRO TULL than we did if we would've won that Grammy," he said. "Same thing here: I thought we did a great job and Lady Gaga did a great job. I have the utmost respect for her." Shortly after this year's Grammy Awards, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that Gaga was the "quintessential perfect fifth member of this band," saying, "Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome. [The performance] was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins. It comes really easy for her. There's nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy." METALLICA was up for a Grammy this year for "Best Rock Song" for the track "Hardwired" from its new album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", but lost to the late David Bowie's "Blackstar".
Gene Simmons has confirmed that "some writing" has been going on for a possible new KISS studio album but has once again said that he is "not incentivized" to release another KISS disc unless there are some major changes in the way music is consumed. KISS's last studio effort, 2012's "Monster", sold 56,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous LP, "Sonic Boom", opened with 108,000 units back in October 2009 to enter the chart at No. 2. This marked the KISS's highest-charting LP ever. Asked by Michael Cavacini if KISS is going to record another studio album or not, Simmons said: "There's some writing going on. Not too long ago I wrote a song called 'Your Wish Is My Command'. It sounds anthemic, like something that might have come off 'Love Gun', maybe. But I'm not incentivized. The idea that you work your ass off and then someone with freckles on their face decides they want to download your music and file share — that's not what I work for. How'd you like to be a plumber, come over somebody's house and work all day to fix their plumbing and then when it's time to get paid they say, 'No, I just wanted to say thank you.' No." He continued: "I've heard people say, 'Oh, you have enough money.' That's what I need: an eighteen-year-old kid telling me when enough is enough. It doesn't affect me at all. And it doesn't affect THE [ROLLING] STONES or U2 — a lot of the bands that do well. There's only a handful, actually. The saddest thing of all is that the next great bands, with the talent and the charisma and all that stuff, will never have the chance that we did — because there's no music industry. There's no way for them to pay the rent. They're going to have to give away their music, practically, for free." Simmons added: "It almost makes you say, 'You know what, I'll get a day job.' The saddest part of all is that it's not aliens from another planet, it's not another country that invaded us and did that. No, no, no. Your next-door neighbor, the fans, are killing new music. They're killing the bands that want to create music for them. That's who's killing it. You're killing it, by not paying for it. Imagine how long a supermarket would stay in business if everybody went in, took the food and went away and didn't pay for it. [It] wouldn't last very long at all." Gene's comments were echoed by KISS frontman Paul Stanley, who last year said about the prospect of the band making a new album: "Well, it's a very conflicted subject. In one sense, there's no reason to put out any new music. Because the delivery systems that are available don't pay. We're in a situation now where artists have to take what they can get, as opposed to what they deserve. For me, it's more of a moral issue than anything else, because I don't have to worry about paying the rent, but what about new bands?" Stanley previously that "it's only worth [making a new studio album] if, artistically, you wanna do it. Every time we finish an album, I kind of go, 'Well, that's it.' Whenever we've done an album… When we did 'Sonic Boom', it was because the band was so good that I just thought to not capture the band and do new material would be a shame. But once we did 'Sonic Boom', I said, 'Well, we've made the point.' And then, a few years later, it was, like, 'Wow, why don't we dig deeper and get a little closer to the roots and the people that we loved and kind of do something else,' so we did that, and then I said, 'We're done.' But lately I've been thinking, yeah, we should do another."
Rob Zombie has posted of himself posing backstage with GHOST frontman and founder Tobias Forge, who performs as Papa Emeritus. The picture, which has since been removed from Zombie's Instagram account, was captioned: "Backstage in Argentina after the show with Tobias from @thebandghost" A screen capture of Rob's post is available below. GHOST has been the subject of intense speculation recently following the dismissal of the band's entire lineup last December by Forge and a recent lawsuit filed against Tobias by four ex-members, known previously only as Nameless Ghouls. The musicians have accused Tobias of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the group's album releases and world tours. The four ex-members were offered two separate contract proposals by Forge in 2016, which they rejected as "slave agreements." The new lineup of GHOST, which made its live debut in late March, is rumored to include musicians who have previously played with THE SISTERS OF MERCY, KORN, PENDRAGON and BLOODBATH. Since the musicians wear masks and are only identified as Nameless Ghouls, personnel changes in the group over its seven-year existence have gone unannounced. Forge writes almost all of the group's music and does most of the act's interviews disguised as a Nameless Ghoul. GHOST's most recent release was the "Popestar" EP, which was produced by Tom Dalgety, who has previously worked with PIXIES, ROYAL BLOOD and OPETH, among others.
Fan-filmed video footage of IRON MAIDEN's May 10 concert at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England can be seen below. MAIDEN's European tour consists of a total of sixteen dates, including three shows in Germany, eight in England, two in Scotland and one each in Ireland and Wales. The U.K. leg marks MAIDEN's first full U.K. arena tour in six years. The German leg saw MAIDEN perform in Oberhausen, Frankfurt and Hamburg before dates in Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Dublin. SHINEDOWN is providing support act on all sixteen dates. Prior to the tour, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris said: "As it's been so long since our last full U.K. arena tour, we really wanted to get to our fans in as many cities as possible. We're really looking forward to it, especially visiting places we haven't been to for a very long time, like Leeds, where we haven't played since 2005, and Liverpool, where we haven't played since 1990. "The whole band is really enjoying this tour and although we love playing festivals and stadiums, it is terrific to return to the intimacy and atmosphere of arenas. "The songs from 'The Book Of Souls' album and the new Maya-themed Eddies and stage sets have gone down really well and fan reaction has been amazing. And, of course, we know our fans appreciate us playing a lot of the older songs too, which we will continue to do." "The Book Of Souls" is MAIDEN's first ever double studio album and their most successful chart-wise to date, debuting at the No. 1 spot in over 40 countries around the world and No. 4 in the U.S.A. IRON MAIDEN's "The Book Of Souls" world tour will return to North America for an extensive series of arena and amphitheater shows in June and July. Support on the trek will come from GHOST.
Former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony says that he "can pretty much confirm" that the band's singer David Lee Roth personally donated thousands of dollars to a fundraising campaign launched by Anthony's family after the bassist's two-week-old grandson died of heart disease. Rex Becerra was the son of Anthony's eldest daughter, Elisha. Michael's fundraising page with the Los Angeles Children's Hospital noted that the boy was "quickly diagnosed with heart disease" after his birth on March 20. In a Facebook post announcing his loss, Anthony revealed that he would participate in the hospital's Walk L.A. in June to support the facility. He invited the public to donate to his family's team, "Rex And The Heart Beaters." Anthony was hoping to raise $3,450 for his team, and that goal was easily eclipsed — in large part due to the generosity of the campaign's top donor, a "Dave Roth," who chipped in $10,000 for the cause. During an appearance earlier this week on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Anthony was asked if he confirmed that the "Dave Roth" that donated the money was in fact the VAN HALEN singer. Anthony responded: "I check the donation page every single morning when I wake up, just to see how the team's doing and raising money and people that are donating. And I saw this one morning, 'David Roth,' and I'm, like, 'Oh my God! I can't… What? No, this can't be right.' And then what happens is an e-mail gets sent to me personally saying, 'A donation has been made on your behalf by David Roth. Ten thousand dollars.' And so I can e-mail back to thank the donors. This e-mail went to a business management agency — that's what the donation came through. And I actually e-mailed back and said, 'Dave, is this you? I hope it is.' And I thanked him for the generous donation from the bottom of my heart. I sent the e-mail and I said, 'Here's my e-mail address. E-mail me back, let me know it's you, 'cause I would really like to talk to you. Anyway, just thank you.' And I got an e-mail back a couple of days later — from the same business management agency. It just said, 'Hi, Michael. It's David. Sorry about your loss. I'll be in touch.' [So] I can pretty much confirm that it was him." Michael was also asked about former VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar's recent comment that he would be open to a VAN HALEN reunion tour, including Roth, with the two frontmen taking turns performing their classic VAN HALEN numbers. "I think now's the time, especially if you listen to some of the interviews [Sammy has been] doing or whatever now," Anthony said. "Right now he's saying the proper way to do a VAN HALEN tour, he's saying, 'Let's do it with Dave and myself.'" The bassist continued: "If we did, like, an hour with one singer and then an hour with another singer, you never know — there might be a lot of people that don't wanna come for the first hour, or don't wanna come for the second singer, or whatever. This way you mix it up and everybody's gotta stay for everything. And believe me, if something like that came to fruition, I guarantee there wouldn't be one person who would leave that show disappointed with anything — with either singer, probably." Anthony went on to say that a VAN HALEN reunion involving all the original members plus Hagar would only happen if "everybody was equally excited to do it. Because you don't wanna go out and have it be work, you don't wanna do it and have people say, 'Well, they're doing it just for the money,'" he explained. "I wanna truly go out there and just kick ass and give the people everything, and that's what it would have to be." Anthony revealed in a 2016 interview that he reconnected with VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen less than a year ago after more than a decade of not speaking to each other. Asked by "Trunk Nation" if he has had any further contact with Alex, Michael said: "No. With Alex, no, actually, I have not. And then people were going, 'Why don't you call him back? Call him back and tell him it was great talking with him or whatever.' And I said, 'You know what? No.' We had a great conversation and I'll just let it lie and see what happens. 'Cause I don't know what his situation is or whatever — I don't know if there is something keeping him from calling me back or whatever. But I'm not gonna speculate." Anthony, Hagar, Alex and Eddie Van Halen last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo. In 2007, the Van Halen brothers, Wolfgang Van Halen and Roth announced they would be hitting the road for a reunion tour. Anthony later told Music Radar that he "found out about that tour like everybody else did — in the press." Anthony has played primarily with Hagar in the thirteen years since he last performed with VAN HALEN, in groups like CHICKENFOOT and THE CIRCLE.
MELVINS will release a double album, "A Walk With Love And Death", on July 7 via Ipecac Recordings. The dual albums find the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald showcasing two distinct sides to the band's music: "Death", a proper MELVINS release, and "Love", the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled "A Walk With Love And Death". A release date for the short has not been announced yet but a trailer has been made available. The song "Christ Hammer", taken from "Death", can be streamed below. "This was a huge undertaking," explained band ringleader Buzz Osborne. "All three things: the album, the soundtrack and the film are benchmarks for us." Drummer Dale Crover added, "'A Walk With Love And Death' is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart. You'll sleep with the lights on after listening." The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (THE PIXIES), Teri Gender Bender (LE BUTCHERETTES, CRYSTAL FAIRY) and Anna Waronker (THAT DOG), were self-produced with engineer Toshi Kosai. "A Walk With Love And Death" track listing: "Love" 01. Aim High 02. Queen Powder Party 03. Street Level St. Paul 04. The Hidden Joice 05. Give It To Me 06. Chicken Butt 07. Eat Yourself Out 08. Scooba 09. Halfway to the Bakersfield Mall 10. Pacoima Normal 11. Park Head 12. T-Burg 13. Track Star 14. The Asshole Bastard "Death" 01. Black Heath 02. Sober-delic (Acid Only) 03. Euthanasia 04. What's Wrong With You 05. Edgar the Elephant 06. Christ Hammer 07. Flaming Creature 08. Cactus Party 09. Cardboro Negro Photo credit: Chris Cassela