Reunited Norwegian/American hard rockers TNT have resumed work on their new studio album, due later in the year via Frontiers Music Srl. In 2016, singer Tony Harnell and guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø started writing new TNT material together for the first time in over ten years. TNT's current lineup is completed by drummer Diesel Dahl, bassist Ove Husemoen and keyboardist Roger Gilton. Harnell rejoined TNT in May 2016, less than a year and a half after his most recent departure from the group. Speaking about what keeps him coming back to TNT after all these years, Harnell — who spent eight months fronting SKID ROW in 2015 — told Radio Trondheim in January (hear audio below): "It's really funny, because I think that what people think about that is not really correct. So, I think it's really just a matter of there's always been a time where it seemed like a good idea to take a break at times, and I think it's been ultimately good for the band, really, to take breaks and then come back together again. Like right now — we're selling out all the shows. What if we didn't take a break for the past couple of years and we kept going, would this be happening or would people lose interest?" According to Harnell, interpersonal conflicts within TNT "get blown out of proportion." He explained: "There's really not any major problem between any of us. It's just a matter of, we work for a while, and then we say, 'Ah, this isn't really the way we want it to be, exactly, so then we kind of go our separate ways and we come back together. But we always come back together for the music, because we have all these songs we worked on together. Ronni and I wrote all these songs over the last thirty-five years or something, and Diesel was a part of the original lineup and he's been there from the very beginning and actually was one of the people that created the band. And [original TNT frontman] Dag Ingebrigtsen, of course." The singer went on to say that he is once again deriving enjoyment from performing with TNT, something that hasn't always been the case. "I think that's part of it. I think when I'm not having fun anymore, that's the break time," he said. "And when I come back, I think, 'Oh, do I wanna do this again?' But as soon as I get in front of the people and I see how much they love the songs, it makes me like the songs again. If I just listen to them when I'm learning them again for the tour, which I don't prepare very well… but when I do listen through the songs, I think… there's, again, a love-hate thing of going, 'Oh, gosh! I have to sing these again.' But when I get in front of the people, I learn to love the songs again, because I see how happy they get. [That's when I realize] these are actually pretty good songs." Harnell last quit TNT in January 2015 after a fifteen-month stint with the band, explaining that he "had really high hopes that it would last this time and that we would continue for years to come, but it is a very volatile little machine." He later told "The Classic Metal Show" that he "never actually got grooved back in with the band" and that he and his bandmates hadn't come to an agreement about how to "operate as a band." He explained: "We had no plan in place. Was I gonna be a hired gun in my own band? Was I gonna come back into the company? I mean, there were a lot of questions to be answered." He continued: "I wanted to stay in the band for the rest of my music career; that was my goal. I said, 'Okay, this is it. We can make this work.' People wanted the band. There were people all over the world that wanted to book the band and that were excited we were back together… We were all in it for the long haul, and I tried to make it work for that. But when September  came and the touring ended, nobody wanted to talk to me anymore, and my calls were not being returned, and my e-mails were not being returned by the most important people in the band that had the most influence. And the manager that came in to quote 'save the day' actually sunk the ship." British singer Tony Mills appeared on three studio albums from TNT: 2007's "The New Territory", 2008's"Atlantis" and 2010's "A Farewell To Arms".
KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch was recently interviewed on the "Real Talk" talk show by Justin Miller (a.k.a. Pastor J), lead pastor of Real Life Christian Church. You can watch video footage of his appearance below. Welch, who left KORN in 2005 after becoming a Christian and returned to the band eight years later, talked about the criticism he has received from the more conservative members of the Christian community for being a part of the secular rock scene, which many believe is dark and evil. "I went through a religious mindset before too, and I remember I told the bass player in KORN, I was, like, 'How can you go and play those songs, bro? You should come with me. We'll do something else on our own,'" Welch admitted. "So I get that. I wasn't bashing him like people do online, but I get that mindset, so I try not to get too mad. But when they attack you, it gets really discouraging, and it's hard not to get bitter and mad at 'em. But I just try to encourage people to just zip it, man, 'cause if you're not loving, then you're missing it all." He continued: "You know, 'love is patient, love is kind,' Paul says in First Corinthians Thirteen, and not rude. And they're all rude on there doing it. And so I call 'em keyboard gangsters, 'cause they're behind the keyboard computer and they would never talk like that to people's face. But online, they're [vicious]. And so it's just really discouraging." The guitarist added: "I would just say, you guys should just… you've gotta break through that, man. This is all about love, and it's, like, let the Lord teach 'em slowly through scripture and everything what to let go of in their lives and the timing. Maybe it'll take years for some people to let go of things, but we've gotta give 'em patience." Both Welch and KORN bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu have had highly public, though separate, conversion experiences, ones that have been greeted with a certain amount of skepticism. Welch rejoined KORN for a handful of live performances in 2012 before officially becoming part of the lineup again in early 2013. Fieldy's 2009 memoir, "Got The Life: My Journey Of Addiction, Faith, Recovery And Korn", details his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction during KORN's early years and how he became a born-again Christian to help get his life together and get sober.
Kris Engelhart of Backstage Axxess recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD and LAST IN LINE guitarist Vivian Campbell. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On the current state of his health after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013: Vivian: "I am still doing treatment. I've been doing immunotherapy. I've been doing it for almost two years now. It's the latest and greatest in medical science. I'm taking a drug called pembrolizumab, which is a monocle antibody, the same stuff that cured [former president] Jimmy Carter's melanoma. All good. I'm happy to say that's the least of my concerns." On achieving the "DIO-era" feel on LAST IN LINE's debut album, 2016's "Heavy Crown": Vivian: "It came naturally. There was nothing premeditated about it. We approached writing and recording that record in the same way that we had recorded the early DIO records with Ronnie [James Dio]. We just tried to keep it very simple, very organic. When I play that kind of music and when I play with Vinny Appice [drums] and with [deceased original bassist] Jimmy Bain, that's the sound we make. The only difference is the singer. Andrew [Freeman] is very different from Ronnie. He's got a whole different tonality in his voice. But he's a very powerful singer like Ronnie was. He can sing on top of the racket we make. We tried to keep it really simple. We just went in and wrote songs exactly the same way we did for 'Holy Diver'. We just go in and kick around some riffs and Ronnie would come in and sing a melody on top then we'd go record it. It sounds very straightforward because that's how it was. That's exactly the approach we took with the 'Heavy Crown' record. We're very pleased with the results. There is a sound musicians have individually and collectively and when you put the components together, that creates the sound of the band. The original DIO band just had that certain sound." On whether LAST IN LINE will continue playing DIO songs live: Vivian: "Absolutely. We did a bunch of shows in Europe in November and December last year. We really honed the set. We really got it to where the band was really on form. We're happy to say the 'Heavy Crown' songs that we do play and we do like to feature a lot of that record–the band is a new band and it's vital we perform the new music — but it fits in very well with the early DIO classics. It's a seamless transition that way. We obviously really enjoy playing that. It's fun to play it alongside the songs from 'Heavy Crown'." On classic rock and metal bands not releasing new music: Vivian: "I think it's sad on one hand because no matter how good your new music is, it's almost impossible to get it to people's ears. It's never going to have the ubiquity classic rock has. Radio doesn't exist in the same way it used to back in the '80s or even the '90s. That support structure is no longer there to bring new music to people's ears. Rock radio is stuck in a rut of playing classics, mostly terrestrial rock radio and commercial radio. There's not really that support system for new music. I can see how many, many classic rock bands wouldn't be motivated to bother. But I personally believe it's vital for the integrity of the band. It's fun to exercise the muscle. If you don't exercise it, you use it or lose it. I do think it's important, even if it's a personal exercise in futility. That ethos is shared with all the guys in LAST IN LINE and with DEF LEPPARD. It's always been important with Joe [Elliott, vocals] in particular in DEF LEPPARD that we continue to put out new music just because it validates our existence as creative musicians and as creative humans." On DEF LEPPARD's upcoming North American tour with POISON: Vivian: "This is really just an extension of last summer's tour in many ways. We normally do a tour in the summer. The summer is the time that most bands take it on the road in America. We've done that for the past several years. We had significant interest after last summer where promoters wanted to continue the tour but we weren't able to at that time, hence, doing it this way. It's a different kind of approach. We're going indoors on a lot of these shows. Normally in the summer you play the amphitheaters and the outside places. We're going indoors, not on all of these shows, but the majority of them are indoor arena shows. It actually is better for your production when you play indoors. It makes it a little more vibrant. It is different from last summer's tour in as far as we have POISON with us and we still have TESLA, but the middle act has changed, so that will make it a little different." "Heavy Crown" was released on February 19, 2016 via Frontiers Music Srl. The CD was recorded at a Santa Clarita, California studio with producer Jeff Pilson, a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER, DOKKEN and T&N, among others. DEF LEPPARD's co-headlining tour with POISON and special guest TESLA will kick off on April 8 in Manchester, New Hampshire and will wrap on June 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Levi Seth of Australia's Sticks For Stones recently conducted an interview with guitarist Herman Li of multinational metal band DRAGONFORCE. You can listen the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On DRAGONFORCE's forthcoming album, "Reaching Into Infinity": Herman: "I would say it's a continuation of DRAGONFORCE. We're always trying to add new elements to our music while keeping the same sound and, of course, keeping the melodies, the speed, and energy, of what we've built our signature sound on. With the new album, you get all the elements, but we tried to add new stuff in there. We even have a really long, epic 12-minute song now. Fans have been asking for us to make it, so now we've finally done one." On early accusations that the band was speeding up their guitar playing in the studio: Herman: "Yeah, it's kinda funny. I still read it on the Internet these days: 'Do they speed it up? Do they speed it up live and on the stage?' We always say, 'Come to a show to see us do the magic on you.' To be honest, it was weird for me that people thought it was sped up. I heard music that was fast way before our existence. We just do it in a weird way. We run around onstage and jump on trampolines and play fast solos at the same time. It was a fun thing we added to it." On how he developed his guitar skills: Herman: "It's definitely practice, practice, practice, unfortunately. There's no magic formula to getting your fingers up to speed. I'm always trying to find a way to be better at what I'm doing. Be tighter, but more exciting, make it more fun. There's not a limit to do it. Sometimes I think 'I did that solo live while jumping up and down continuously for 60 seconds. How cool is that?' The solo didn't actually get any better, but it was more fun while doing it." On whether he plays other styles of music outside of metal: Herman: "When I'm just at home playing the guitar, I like to put on nice, jazzy, fusion guitar music or that kind of stuff. It's a different kind of music, so I play along and jam along and improvise. I like to do that for fun, but I'm not really that kind of guitar player. Where I can be creative is in metal, that genre, that's my bread and butter, as you would say. Since I'm Chinese, my rice and noodles. [Laughs] But I really do like other guitar music." On whether it's easier to play DRAGONFORCE songs live than it was ten years ago: Herman: "We are definitely better live than ten years ago. I would say ten years ago, sometimes we had a bit too much fun on tour. I got to admit it. We had one too many too many drinks the day or the day before, so we were a bit tired. I also would say we were not as organized back then, we were just having fun, just having a blast. We never thought we would be doing this for a living. We were just going out there 'Oh, we get to tour around the world. Cool. Let's do that.' We're not as prepared as we are now. We've toured the world so many times, now when we play, we can hear what we're playing so we can perform the best we can. In the old days, we had great shows, but certain shows, unfortunately, weren't perfect every time. We're definitely better than we've ever been." On the difficulty of playing their songs live: Herman: "With DRAGONFORCE music, you can't get away from things so easily if the technical part of the setup, to hear ourselves, to play comfortably, isn't at a good level. The music is so fast. If the sound isn't good onstage, it's much more difficult to keep in time and play with the band compared to a slower pace kind of music. Of course, there's other kinds of music like death and black metal who play fast, but we also play very melodically and that's much more challenging sometimes, I would say, if you don't have good sound. Fortunately, now that we have great sound onstage with the equipment and in-ear monitors where we can hear everything wherever we go, there's also the experience now. We're able to get through gigs even when something goes wrong. Sometimes it's hard to control this crazy gear." "Reaching Into Infinity" will be released on May 19 via earMUSIC. The follow-up to 2014's "Maximum Overload" will mark the band's third full-length studio release with singer Marc Hudson, who joined the group in 2011 following the departure of original frontman ZP Theart (now in SKID ROW).
William Richards of Metal Wani recently conducted an interview with former ANTHRAX and current ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether ARMORED SAINT is thinking about a follow-up to 2015's "Win Hands Down": John: "We haven't really collectively started working on anything. Sure, all the guys are accumulating some stuff in their minds. I have a lot of lyrical ideas written down, but we haven't started writing any songs yet. ARMORED SAINT, sometimes, we don't move at the quickest pace. I think it would be a good idea if we wanted to make a new record to move on it a little quicker. I've said numerous times I'd rather have the quality of the material than feeling pressured to put out something in a certain amount of time be the primary motivation for it. That being said, we're no spring chickens, I ain't going to lie. Trying to wait ten years, five years for a new record, it's probably a little bit too long. If we do make a new record and if we can try to make the material be as high quality as 'Win Hands Down', then it would be cool to be able to get something out sooner than later. That being said, we haven't worked on anything yet." On how much album sales and touring income affect the band's future: John: "We never really made a lot of money throughout the history of the band. I wish we did sometimes, obviously, because that's everybody's objective is to do things your way and to earn a living. But the reality is that we never really have. From the very beginning, we've always been just able to make ends meet. I think that's the boat we've been in and that's the boat we're in, and that being said, it's great to still be able to make records and do some shows and be able to be a functioning group 30 years in. When we started out, we were wet behind the ears, 20-year-old kids, we thought we were taking the world by storm, then you have a couple things that happen in your career and it humbles you, then you get a new perspective on things. We've been humbled a lot in our lives, which is fine. It builds character and here we are now. I think we're actually quite closer as a group than we ever were, quite honestly. I think we're more on the level with each other and we deal with things as-is. That being said, we trudge on. We know that we just want to make great music and have some killer performances and demonstrate that we're a pretty unique group. It's all the same guys in ARMORED SAINT who have been here the whole time in the band with the exception of [deceased guitarist] Dave [Prichard]. We use that as a catalyst to go on. We're not sitting here going 'Okay, if we make another record, we can get X amount of money. You can get a boat and you can get a house.' That's not the way it works. I wish it did. Maybe I can get a nice jacket… I don't know, get a nice pair of pants, whatever, a lot of my clothes cost 20 bucks. I think the real reason behind what we do now is to make high-quality music, obviously in our opinion is that what it is and have a lot of fun. You can't emphasize the amount of fun and enjoying this and that's one of the main things that is behind it, quite frankly. Do we want to earn some money? Of course. Who doesn't? But like I said, this isn't something that is enabling me to go and buy a new beach house or live on a beach. That's not the reality of it." On whether the world's current political climate hinders their ability to tour: John: "It hasn't affected us at all at this point. We had a little bit of internal differences that we ironed out. I certainly have a lot of opinions, but I feel like my opinions aren't something that I should express in a soapbox kind of way. I've always been somebody when writing lyrics, I try to write things… I just try to have people read between the lines about what I'm trying to say. I'm not putting anything out there in black and white. I try to make it where you have to figure out what I'm trying to say. Some songs are a little bit more specific than others when it comes to lyrics. Obviously, I'm a big advocate of the environment simply because I have kids and I want to take care of the planet. I want to hand off the planet that I think is better than I was the recipient of getting. It's an important thing. I'm not going to be somebody who says 'This is wrong and that is right' through my music. That's not the kind of band we are. We've never been a big political group in terms of being very specific about what we say. I think we should remain that way. Everybody is inclined to how they feel and not even within the band we all agree, but we don't use it as a way to get our agenda across. That's not the way I want to do it. I surely don't want to alienate any particular possible fan because of a political belief. If you're Ted Nugent and you want to do that, more power to you. Jay-Z, you want to do that, hey, more power to you again. But I don't want to do that. That's not my goal. We probably have fans who are on both sides of the political fence and that's okay. I don't know; nothing's affected us as far as a band and playing and touring and anything like that with the new president and new administration. I doubt it will." After ARMORED SAINT drummer Gonzo Sandoval — who, like his brother and ARMORED SAINT bandmate, Phil Sandoval, is of Mexican descent — publicly came out in support of Donald Trump a few days prior to the presidential election, his bandmates released a statement via the group's Facebook page in which they distanced themselves from his views. ARMORED SAINT released a new live album, "Carpe Noctum", on February 24 via Metal Blade.
DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan paid a surprise visit to a fan in the hospital in Norway on Friday (March 10) after learning the 27-year-old couldn't attend the band's concert in Oslo because he had just undergone a couple of surgeries. Donegan spent a few minutes chatting with Svein Heibø before giving him a DISTURBED "Immortalized" tour t-shirt and a signed drumhead. Said Dan: "A fan private-messaged me the other day to tell me how bummed he was 'cause he planned to see our show in Oslo, Norway but he's been in the hospital for the past three weeks and underwent two surgeries and wouldn't be able to come. I thought I would drop in to surprise him." Video footage of Donegan's hospital visit can be seen below. DISTURBED has just completed a European tour as the support act for AVENEGED SEVENFOLD. DISTURBED is planning to return to the studio later this year to record an acoustic EP before beginning work on the follow-up to 2015's "Immortalized" album. Prior to the arrival of "Immortalized", DISTURBED had been on hiatus since the fall of 2011, after completing the touring cycle for its previous studio effort, "Asylum", and issuing a rarities collection called "The Lost Children".
The first-ever Megadeth Boot Camp — which was described in a press release as "a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the ultimate MEGADETH fan" — officially kicked off on Friday, March 10 on MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's private estate in Fallbrook, California. Several "experience packages" for the event were sold, with prices ranging from $1999 to $5499. As part of the premium boot camp package, guests are camping in a private furnished bell tent with beds and a lounge. Premium ticketholders are also provided breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, gaining priority access to various workshops and exclusive access to an intimate acoustic performance from MEGADETH. Fans opting for the $2000 second-tier package are staying at a hotel fifteen minutes away with shuttle service to the estate each day. Over the weekend, attendees are getting the opportunity to meet members of the band at a question-and-answer session, participate in guitar, bass and drum clinics, drink coffee from bassist David Ellefson's boutique coffee brand Ellefson Coffee Co. with Ellefson himself and go to a wine-tasting session with Mustaine. There is also time allotted for campfire stories with bandmembers. Ellefson, who is a pastor in the Lutheran church, is also conducting a "contemporary non-denominational service" at the event, dubbed "Megadeth Church." Mustaine told Rolling Stone that "Megadeth Church" is a way for David to "feel connected" with the fans. "I was thinking, what's the greatest way for David to feel complete with everyone?" he said. "I figured it would be great if he came and did a twelve-step thing. That way it's a super personal way for people to connect with him, because if I was going to allow someone to connect with me on a more personal level, there really is no better way." Asked what he wants people to take away from this experience, Mustaine said: "Certainly none of the furniture. [Laughs] The thing I'd most like people to take away from this is that we're good people. We want everyone to have fun and enjoy an intimate experience with us and learn a little bit about who we are and what we do." Mustaine put the Fallbrook house on the market in October 2015 for $5.375 million — more than five times what he paid for it three years earlier — but that price came down in June 2016 by almost a million and a half to $3.895 million. The property now sits at an even lower price of $3.195 million, according to public records. Mustaine and his family moved to Nashville in October 2014.
Day 1 Megadeth Boot Camp ☑️ at Dave Mustaine's house!?!Posted by Jose Mangin on Friday, March 10, 2017
Megadeth boot camp day onePosted by David Ellefson on Friday, March 10, 2017
ADRENALINE MOB — the band featuring Russell Allen (vocals; also of SYMPHONY X) and Mike Orlando (guitar) — has announced the addition of 27-year-old drummer Jordan Cannata to the group's ranks. ADRENALINE MOB recently completed work on its new album, due later in the year via Century Media Records. Following 2015's "Dearly Departed", the new disc was recorded by Orlando at his Sonic Stomp Studio. Mike previously said that he and Russell were "both very excited" about the sound and direction of the new ADRENALINE MOB material. ADRENALINE MOB and TWISTED SISTER drummer A.J. Pero died in March 2015 of a heart attack. "Dearly Departed" was released in February 2015 through Century Media. In a departure from "Covertà", "Dearly Departed" featured, in addition to four cover tunes, a previously unreleased track from the sessions for ADRENALINE MOB's second album, 2014's "Men Of Honor", three acoustic renditions of songs from both 2012's debut, "Omertà", and "Men Of Honor", and an edited version of the "Men Of Honor" track "Dearly Departed". ADRENALINE MOB in August 2014 tapped Erik Leonhardt (TANTRIC) as its new bass player following the departure of John Moyer (DISTURBED). Moyer, who had been a member of DISTURBED since 2004, joined ADRENALINE MOB in February 2012 and appeared on the band's "Covertà" EP (2013) and "Men Of Honor" album (2014). "Men Of Honor" sold around 3,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 99 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's full-length debut, 2012's "Omertá", opened with around 6,600 units to enter the chart at No. 70. Drummer Mike Portnoy (FLYING COLORS, THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) quit ADRENALINE MOB in June 2013 due to "scheduling conflicts." ADRENALINE MOB 2017 is: Russell Allen - Vocals Mike Orlando - Guitar Erik Leonhardt - Bass Jordan Cannata - Drums
INTEGRITY has completed recording its highly anticipated twelfth studio album, titled "Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume", for a summer release via Relapse. Known for being one of the most incendiary and influential bands in hardcore and modern metal history, INTEGRITY has almost thirty years under its belt creating dark, occult themed heavy music that stylistically and conceptually transcends any "root" genre. "Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume" is hands down the band's most elaborate and ambitious effort to date and is sure to leave an indelible mark on the listener. The disc contains eleven tracks recorded and mixed at Developing Nations Studio in Baltimore with mastering handled by Brad Boatright (OBITUARY, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, FULL OF HELL). INTEGRITY recently announced a European tour with labelmates SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP. Photo credit: Sheep Tourdog
Fan-filmed video footage of HELLYEAH's March 7 performance at Brewster Street Icehouse in Corpus Christi, Texas can be seen below. HELLYEAH's fifth album, "Unden!able", was released on June 3, 2016 via Eleven Seven Music. The effort marks the first time HELLYEAH's current lineup — vocalist Chad Gray, guitarists Tom Maxwell and Christian Brady, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Kyle Sanders — has recorded together as a unit. "Unden!able" includes some guitar work from late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Dimebag's brother, Vinnie Paul, dug out a recording that the brothers did many years ago of the Phil Collins song "I Don't Care Anymore". The rest of HELLYEAH overdubbed their own parts on to the cover for the album. HELLYEAH's previous album, 2014's "Blood for Blood", was the album metal fans and critics were waiting for HELLYEAH to make, based on the revered metal pedigree of the individual members. Such an artistic achievement — the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hard Rock album chart — meant the band set the bar incredibly high. HELLYEAH does not disappoint with "Unden!able". "We turned a corner with 'Blood For Blood' and we wanted to continue that path," Paul stated. "It's much heavier and darker, and we take it to another extreme."