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CHRIS ROBINSON Calls THE BLACK CROWES Split 'Sad, Disappointing And Unfortunate'

According to The Pulse Of Radio, THE BLACK CROWES frontman Chris Robinson spoke candidly about the end of the band following his brother Rich Robinson's statement that he's left the group. Earlier this month, Rich Robinson released a statement which said in part: "I love my brother and respect his talent but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to." Chris Robinson explained to Billboard.com that he's upset about the split, but content to "keep my personal, private family business personal and private, and I'll focus on all the other things that are important." He continued: "The ideas, I think, are more important than the drama. I have too much stuff going on that's progressive and positive to dig through sordid family history and stuff. I don't think that's interesting at all — maybe in a tabloid kind of culture we live in, but I've never been part of that. I've never dealt with my personal, private life in a public forum, so I'm not going to drag myself though the mire now." Chris added: "THE BLACK CROWES is so much time and it's so complicated, and then you mix family and whatever that is into it… To me it's just sad and it's disappointing and it's unfortunate that on the 25th anniversary, whether the band is working or not, that it's not about the songs and the good times people had at those concerts." THE BLACK CROWES went on hiatus in 2001, and in 2004, Rich began his solo journey with the release of his first album, "Paper". It would be seven years before his second solo album, "Through A Crooked Sun", and an accompanying EP, "Llama Blues", were released, as the CROWES reunited in 2005 and were actively recording and touring until their second hiatus in 2010. THE BLACK CROWES' final performance took place on December 14, 2013 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.

Authors Of RANDY RHOADS Book Did Not Breach Contract With Late Guitarist's Family, Says California Appeals Court

According to Law360, a California appeals court ruled on Monday (January 26) that the creators of a book on legendary OZZY OSBOURNE/QUIET RIOT guitarist Randy Rhoads did not breach a contract with Rhoads' family by using materials they had agreed only to use in a never-made documentary, saying they had a First Amendment right to publish it. The three-judge panel overturned a lower court's denial of a motion to dismiss the suit under California's law against suits used to curtail First Amendment rights, known as the anti-SLAPP statute. Louis Petrich of Leopold Petrich & Smith APC, who represented the book's creators, argued earlier in the month that the purportedly "proprietary" information contained in the book could have been procured from the late guitarist's family's public tributes to Rhoads or elsewhere. Back in Deccember 2012, Rhoads' estate and family filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers and authors Peter Margolis and Andrew Klein, the publishing company Velocity Publishing Group, Inc., and co-author Steven Rosen in connection with a failed documentary film project on the life of Randy Rhoads and the publication of a book stemming from the defendants' involvement in the project. The complaint accused the defendants of fraud, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, misappropriation of rights of publicity and making extensive and unauthorized use of personal information and photos from the documentary project. In late 2012, Randy Rhoads' mother, Delores Rhoads, along with the late guitarist's siblings Kathryn Rhoads D'Argenzio and Kelle Rhoads, learned that a coffee table book titled "Randy Rhoads" had been released, co-authored by Andrew Klein and rock writer Steven Rosen with the assistance of Peter Margolis and Denny Anderson. The family obtained a copy of the book and was "both astonished and horrified to see that Klein and Margolis are holding themselves out as 'experts' on the life of Randy Rhoads, implying that they had the approval and cooperation of the Rhoads family, which they did not," according to a press release from the Rhoads family's publicist, Nancy B. Sayle of VQPR, LLC. "On April 1, 2007, Margolis entered into an agreement with the Rhoads family to produce a single documentary film on the life of Randy Rhoads," the press release adds. "Margolis assured the family that the film would be completed within three years. From that point on, however, Margolis himself did not own any of the ideas and materials obtained or created in the production of the documentary, or any of the photos, videos or sound recordings collected for use in it, having assigned all of that to Dakota Films, the company financing and producing the documentary. Over the next several years, Margolis, Klein and others, working for Dakota Films, went forward with the project. Although Margolis reportedly claimed, as of early 2012, that the documentary was completed — 'in the can' — it has never been released. Individuals who saw portions of it during production have reported that it was 'edited poorly and unprofessionally,' and that the quality of the film was 'abysmal.' The Rhoads family was frustrated by what they considered the mediocre quality of Margolis' film, and by the fact that the 'official documentary' they had so long hoped for had never come to fruition. This has been especially painful for Randy's mother, Delores Rhoads, who is now in her nineties, and has spent the last three decades carefully preserving and advancing the legacy of her son." The press release continued: "The family contends that Margolis and Klein have stolen the materials; they have no rights or ownership of, from the failed documentary. They used them in the book, in order to try to exploit Randy and the family for their own profit, while trying to establish themselves as 'authorities' on Randy Rhoads. They have falsely implied that they have the Rhoads family's support and cooperation for the unauthorized book. The family emphasizes that in no way did they authorize or participate in publication of the book, nor have they had anything more to do with either Margolis or Klein since the production of the unreleased documentary ended. Moreover, according to the family's complaint, the book contained more than fifty instances in which Klein and Margolis had used, without permission, photos, excerpts from interviews and other personal information that had been provided to them by the Rhoads family solely and exclusively for use in the authorized documentary film and for no other purpose." Randy Rhoads died in a 1982 plane crash at age 25 while on tour with Osbourne.


VINNIE PAUL Outlines HELLYEAH's Plans For Rest Of 2015

Josh Maloney, who works in artist relations at ddrum, counducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott at this past weekend's NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below. Speaking about HELLYEAH's recent and upcoming activities, Vinnie Paul said: "The [latest HELLYEAH] record ['Blood For Blood'] came out June 17 last year. It's done very, very well. Right now we have the No. 9 single in the United States Of America with 'Moth', which is the first time I've been in the Top 10 in ages, which is a beautiful thing. We just finished doing a huge support tour for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and VOLBEAT, which was amazing, and before that, for AVENGED SEVENFOLD. So we really haven't had a chance to headline and play a lot of the new songs yet. So starting on February 6 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas, we start our headline show. We've got DEVOUR THE DAY, LIKE A STORM and ARCHER with us, which was just added on to it too, also. So, three killer new bands that are coming out, and we get to play a full headline set. A lot of stuff off 'Blood For Blood', and things are going great, man." He added: "We have another run in the United States in April and May. Then we go to Europe in June and July. Then Australia, Japan, the whole Pacific Rim, and then one more trip to Europe before we start thinking about the next record. So you'll definitely have an opportunity to see us on tour, and come and check us out, 'cause we are on fire right now." "Blood For Blood" was HELLYEAH's first album since parting ways with guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob "Zilla" Kahaha in February 2014. The new members of HELLYEAH are bassist Kyle Sanders and touring guitarist Christian Brady. "Blood For Blood" sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart.

SAMMY HAGAR Gets His Own Radio Show

Legendary rocker Sammy Hagar (CHICKENFOOT, VAN HALEN) is joining up with Envisage Radio Group (ERG), which produces other popular radio shows "Rock All Night" and "Nuglife Radio". Hagar's new program, titled "Sammy Hagar's Top Rock Countdown", will start off in the second quarter of 2015 as a weekly countdown where Sammy will count down lists of his favorite party songs, comeback albums, unsung heroes or best tunes from a specific year or decade. Says Sammy: "After more than 40 years in rock and roll, I've got a lot of knowledge, a lot of love, and always a lot to say so this is going to be a blast." Russ Mottla, VP of programming at ERG, says: "We're excited to welcome the legendary Sammy Hagar to the Envisage gang. His commitment to entertainment that's unique, fun and a little crazy fit well with our programming mission." Check out this teaser out on Sammy's SoundCloud below.



DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and KATAKLYSM have been nominated in the "Metal/Hard Music Album Of The Year" category at this year's Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards), set to be held on Sunday, March 15 at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This category is an award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the Canadian recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position. Eligible albums include metal, metalcore, hardcore, heavy rock, thrash metal, death metal and their respective sub-genres including (but not limited to) nu-metal, power metal, grindcore, extreme metal, industrial metal, viking metal, folk metal, doom metal, gothic metal, speed metal, and sludge metal. Artists who released albums between September 1, 2013 and November 13, 2014 were eligible for nominations. "Metal/Hard Music Album Of The Year" nominees: * DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - "Z2" * KATAKLYSM – "Waiting For The End To Come" * SHOOTING GUNS - "Brotherhood Of The Ram" * SINGLE MOTHERS - "Negative Qualities" * SKULL FIST – "Chasing The Dream"

DAVE LOMBARDO: 'It's Been Amazing Being A Part Of Such An Amazing Band Like SLAYER'

Former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo was interviewed by Diane Farris on the December 18, 2014 edition of the WFMU program "Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine". You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. Asked what keeps him motivated to perform and record new music more than three decades into his career, Lombardo said: "The satisfaction of being on stage. I love being on stage. And I love being at the studio. I love being creative. I love listening. So all these factor into my motivation. Every day I wake up excited: 'What can I do? Let me wrap this up.' Of course, my day is also filled with other things. Interviews… You've gotta take care of business. There's other issues involved in daily life. But you try to do as much music as you can, and absorb as much as you can. That kind of keeps me motivated." Regarding whether he "loves" his life, Lombardo said: "Yes, I do. It's been amazing being a part of such an amazing band like SLAYER. The fans that support me, and the musicians I've been able to collaborate with, I couldn't be any happier." Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band. PHILM released its sophomore album, "Fire From The Evening Sun", on September 16, 2014 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR. The band's lineup is completed by guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco "Pancho" Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR).

TWISTED SISTER's DEE SNIDER Says He Is 'Testing The Water' With Three Brand New Solo Songs

TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider will release a career-spanning compilation, "Rock And Roll Ain't Dead - Dee Snider Essentials 1983-2015", in March through Rhino. The collection will feature music from all of Snider's projects over the years — including TWISTED SISTER, WIDOWMAKER, DESPERADO, VAN HELSING'S CURSE and DEE DOES BROADWAY — as well as three brand new songs. Speaking to Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page), Snider said about how the new solo material came together (hear audio below): "My solo guitar player; his name is Nick Perri. He played with a band called SILVERTIDE, he played with SHINEDOWN, [and] he played with Perry Farrell. He's a young gun and he's just a fucking dream. I've known him for a long time, and he's a guitar player that I just marveled at, watching him play. And as life came together, he wound up filling in for a solo show. And after the show, my crew and everybody were blowing my phone up and they said, 'You found your Randy Rhoads.' And I said, 'What?' They go, 'Nick Perri is your Randy Rhoads.' I said, 'At 60, I found my fucking guy?' I'm done, man. I'm fucking done. Now I find my guy?' He goes, 'Dude, it was amazing. The two of you, he complemented you, but he didn't… He worked with you, not against you, he didn't clash with you. He complemented the band. He elevated the entire solo band. It was amazing.' And so I went home. And I love Nick. And I was talking to my wife and my son, and I was telling them about the weekend, and they said, 'Why don't you do it?' I said, 'Do what?' They said, 'Why don't you put out some new music with this guy?' I said, 'Are you fucking nuts?' And my son said, 'I haven't seen you talk like this about anything musical in decades.' My son said, 'Dad, as long as I've lived, I've never heard you talk like this.' And [my wife] Suzette said, 'I haven't seen you have any kind of excitement when it comes to music.' It wasn't something odd, like 'Dee Does Broadway', or something, where it was just like a challenge. And I said, 'Really?' So I call up Nick. I said, 'Nick… You got any…?' 'Cause I haven't written new music in decades. I said, 'You got any songs?' He says, 'Three hundred. They're just missing vocals.' I said, 'You have three hundred songs with no vocals?' he goes, 'I can't write melody.' So he's sending me the stuff, and it just speaks to me. And I call him back. I said, 'Dude, did you strip out vocals?' Because, unlike normally, when guitar players write music, guitar players hate a vacuum; they've gotta fill it with fiddling around. He goes, 'No. I just hear where the vocals should go. I just don't hear what the vocals should be.'" He continued: "There are three new songs on there. One's called 'Rock And Roll Ain't Dead', which my son Jesse wrote. I've always loved the song, and it was my rebuttal to Gene Simmons and when people say the music scene is so dead. Then there's 'Soul Lady', and then there's 'To Hell And Back'. Those are the three new songs that are already recorded, and they will be on the retrospective record, and there may even be a fourth. I'm actually working with a very contemporary writer now, who is on a mission to write me a new anthem that's going to appeal to new generations. And he's approached me about recording a song that he's working on. So there may be a fourth. So there's gonna be new music for the first time." Dee added: "Quite honestly… it's really just testing the water. Because we've talked about doing an album, and I said, 'Nobody's buying albums.' I said, 'Who knows if anybody is even fucking interested?' So [if] we put out this thing, and people react to the new material, and there's a positive reaction, it could lead to a more extensive… 'Cause Nick and I just connect. As a writer, he's very old school, but he's got a lot of new-school influences as well. "Anyway… So you may hear more Dee Snider solo. And that's really the direction, if I'm doing [anything] musically, I'm heading in." Dee then clarified: "I'm not leaving TWISTED SISTER; I wanna be clear. We've got four shows together this year — maybe five or six now this summer — but I'll be doing a lot more solo shows this year." Snider's new solo band includes Perri, guitarist Dan McCafferty (DEE SNIDER'S SMFS, DEE DOES BROADWAY), bassist Nicolai "Nosferatu" Nifoussi (AUTOMATIC 7) and drummer Joe Franco (WIDOWMAKER, VAN HELSING'S CURSE, TWISTED SISTER, GOOD RATS). A new TWISTED SISTER song, "30", appeared on the 25th-anniversary re-release of the band's classic album "Stay Hungry" in 2009. The track was described as an autobiographical take on the New York group's storied history in the world of heavy metal. "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale", starring and written by the iconic rocker, directed by Adam John Hunter and produced by John B. Yonover, played Chicago's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E Chestnut) November 4, 2014 through January 4, 2015.


Metal Wani's Owais "Vitek" Nabi recently conducted an interview with former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. singer Udo Dirkschneider. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. On ACCEPT's latest album, "Blind Rage", the third ACCEPT CD to feature vocalist Mark Tornillo: Udo: "I only know two songs of the new album. Yeah, they're doing quite well. So, I mean, what can I say? I mean, but ACCEPT is so far away from me. It's like a band for me now… like MOTÖRHEAD, SAXON or whatever, you know. It's, like, okay, there's a band called ACCEPT in this business, and that's it for me. We don't talk to each other. Okay, I wish them always good luck. But I have my own thing. U.D.O., after 15 albums, we're doing quite well. And when people ask me, 'Is there maybe a chance to do a reunion?' I say, 'No reunion.' I mean, why? I'm successful with U.D.O. [So] there's no reason to do this." On the previous ACCEPT albums, "Blood Of The Nations" and "Stalingrad", both of which featured Tornillo on vocals: Udo: "I only one song of 'Blood Of The Nations'. 'Teutonic Terror', it's called. And I know from 'Stalingrad' only the song 'Stalingrad'. That's it. Believe me, I don't listen to this ACCEPT music. I don't want to listen to that. There's a reason why I don't wanna listen to that." On ACCEPT's recent split with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann: Udo: "Let's say they have not left the band. They were fired. I know that exactly. I'm very good friends with Herman Frank." U.D.O.'s new studio album, "Decadent", was released in Europe on January 26 via AFM.

STEVEN ADLER On His '50' Art Collection: 'You Could See So Much Deeper Into The Music'

On January 22, Steven Adler, one of the most acclaimed and notorious drummers in rock history, celebrated two important milestones — 30 years behind the drums and 50 years of life. Utilizing the very rhythms that made him a legend, he'll unveil a collection of fine art "built" from the new medium of "Rhythm-On-Canvas." Adler has been working exclusively with art team and publisher SceneFour on the collection titled "50". A project that has quietly been created over the last year in Los Angeles, the collection is scheduled to debut on February 6. Said Steven: "You could see so much deeper into it and into the music. And I never thought it would be possible to get deeper into the song. "I wanted to do the songs from 'Appetite For Destruction'. Each song is all feel, and you get to see it in this art. I was able to see what I was feeling." A new trailer for Adler's "50" collection can be seen below. As the founding drummer for GUNS N' ROSES, Adler is responsible for some of the most celebrated beats in hard rock history. SceneFour is the team responsible for the "Rhythm-On-Canvas" medium, having released blockbuster art collections over the last five years with a highly select group of drumming legends, including Bill Ward (BLACK SABBATH) , Rick Allen (DEF LEPPARD), Mickey Hart (GRATEFUL DEAD), Jose Pasillas (INCUBUS) and Dave Lombardo (SLAYER). The process of creating artwork from rhythm is an extensive one that begins with the drummer utilizing a bevy of drumsticks that light in a variety of ways similar to that of a painter utilizing brushes with different colors. In the creation process, the drummer is crafting rhythms that translate visually to abstract imagery before they are brought into the SceneFour studio, manipulated meticulously, and laid to canvas. For Adler's visual work, SceneFour co-founder Ravi Dosaj states, "Steven's rhythms visually look like the way he sounds...dark, gritty, and they even swing. Inside his abstract work, there are elements that seem to connect to his life." Those interested in learning more about the collection are encouraged to join the interest list at www.stevenadlerart.com. Steven and his critically acclaimed new band ADLER are currently in the studio recording new material as well as confirming 2015 tour dates for both the U.S. and overseas. Steven told Argentinean rock journalist Lucas H. Gordon at the end of October that he was nearly ten months sober and was enrolled in "a nice program" to "take care" of his "problems with alcohol." He added: "I'm looking forward to going out and playing again… And it's just been very exciting. Having a new life is exciting." Steven Adler was the drummer for GUNS N' ROSES from 1985 to 1990. He was eventually fired from the band due to his drug addiction, which caused him to spiral down into depression and more drug use. GUNS N' ROSES was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012. Adler, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan attended the ceremony, while singer Axl Rose and founding guitarist Izzy Stradlin stayed home.

SLASH Reportedly Moves In With New Girlfriend, Gets Matching Tattoo

According to TMZ.com, Slash and his reported new girlfriend Meegan Hodges just moved into a new house in the San Fernando area in Los Angeles. The luxurious home, which the former GUNS N' ROSES axeman is leasing, has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a pool and a rooftop deck. In addition, Slash and Hodges, with whom the guitarist previously had a relationship 25 years ago, appear to have gotten a matching set of tattoos of GPS coordinates. The numbers correspond to addresses in Woodland Hills, California and Chicago, Illinois, although the locations' significance to the couple is unclear. Slash filed for divorce from his wife of 13 years, Perla Hudson, late last month, citing "irreconcilable differences" and is asking for joint custody of their two sons: 12-year-old London and 10-year-old Cash. He lists June 15, 2014 as the date of their separation. The day before Slash filed, Hodges posted a photo of her and the guitarist on Instagram. The photo was captioned: "I love this man! <3 My heart My person. My best friend." This isn't he first time things have been rocky between Slash and his wife. In 2010, Slash (whose real name is Saul Hudson) filed for divorce from Perla, but decided to give their marriage another shot two months later. The following year they renewed their wedding vows. Around the time his second son was born, Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that becoming a family man helped settle him down. "I never actually was one of those guys that said I'm gonna be single forever and never have children," he said. "I just never made plans for it, so when it happened, it was, like, at the perfect time in my life. It's like, if it had happened a second earlier, I couldn't have handled it, 'cause I was too out there. Then when the kids came, it actually sort of secured me, more than anything." Slash has been performing as SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS. Last September the band released the album, "World On Fire". SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS will be on the road from February through June.

Former TNT Singer TONY HARNELL To Record New STARBREAKER Album

Former TNT frontman Tony Harnell will re-team with PRIMAL FEAR guitarist Magnus Karlsson for a brand new STARBREAKER album. Says Tony: "One of my favorite recording projects, STARBREAKER, with Magnus Karlsson will finally release album #3 sometime next year. Other news soon..." STARBREAKER started as Harnell's side project while he was still in TNT. He was initially working on a solo record, but with Karlsson, former TNT drummer John Macaluso, and bassist Fabrizio Grossi, they formed STARBREAKER. STARBREAKER recorded its first self-titled studio album in 2005. After the CD's release, Harnell went back to being the lead vocalist of TNT, but left the band in April 2006 to spend some more time with his family. In late 2007, with STARBREAKER as his main musical project, he flew to Sweden to write the bulk of the songs for the new album with Karlsson, and started recording the new songs at the end of that year. The group's second album, "Love's Dying Wish", and was released in August 2008. It featured new bassist Jonni Lightfoot, who replaced Grossi, and was produced by Harnell and Karlsson, with Tommy Hansen (TNT, PRETTY MAIDS, HELLOWEEN) serving as the CD's mixer. Harnell announced his latest departure from TNT on January 3, a little over a year after he rejoined the group. He said: "It's not possible for me to continue with the band… It's nothing mindblowing and it's certainly nothing new and it's also best to respect the privacy of the band and keep our issues between us. At least that's my goal. What I can tell you all is that I tried very hard once again to make it work for the long haul." He added: "I 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." TNT released "30th Anniversary 1982-2012 Live In Concert With Trondheim Symphony Orchestra" on September 8, 2013 in Norway and on September 29, 2013 in the rest of Europe. This unique document of the band's three-decade career was captured on June 2, 2012 at the Clarion Hotel in Trondheim, Norway. The group performed a special setlist while accompanied by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (Trondheim Symfoniorkester). Also making special appearances with the band were Hank Von Helvete, Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER), TNT's original singer, Dag Ingebrigtsen, and Harnell. 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".

New VOIVOD Song 'We Are Connected' Available For Streaming

Canadian metal innovators VOIVOD recently recorded a new song for a split seven-inch vinyl release with Century Media labelmates AT THE GATES. The collector's item will be available in stores April 7 and you can check out the VOIVOD track, "We Are Connected", in the YouTube clip below. VOIVOD and NAPALM DEATH will join forces for a North American tour, aptly dubbed "Through Space And Grind", in January/February. VOIVOD this past summer tapped Dominic "Rocky" Laroche to play bass for the band following the departure of Jean-Yves Thériault (a.k.a. Blacky). Laroche, who previously performed with blues musician Steve Hill, made his live debut with VOIVOD on July 12, 2014 at Festival Jonquière En Musique in the group's former hometown of Jonquière, Quebec, Canada. VOIVOD on July 11, 2014 released a statement claiming that Blacky "decided to leave the band for his own personal reasons." Thériault played his first show with VOIVOD in 17 years in June 2008 in front of 22,500 fans as part of the Heavy MTL festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He spent the last few years touring with the band in addition to performing on VOIVOD's latest studio album, "Target Earth", which came out on January 22, 2013 via the group's own company, Iron Gang Factory, and Century Media.


DOWN: 'We Knew Him Well' Video Released

DOWN's video for the song "We Knew Him Well" can be seen below. The clip was filmed at Southport Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana by Mike Holderbeast and the Cement Level crew. "We Knew Him Well" ia taken from DOWN's latest EP, "Down IV - Part Two", which sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous EP, "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP", opened with around 12,000 units in September 2012 to land at No. 35. Speaking to Revolver magazine, DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo stated about "We Knew Him Well": "I kinda like people to think for themselves and come up with their own conclusions, because a lot of times I'll have a couple of specifics in mind and then somebody will come along and say to me what their thoughts are on a certain songs is about. And I find it really interesting, because it's something that I haven't even considered before in my life and it makes sense to me the way they explain it. So, 'We Knew Him Well' is about several different people, not just in my life, but the lives of my bands, family life, anybody that is, I guess, very very close to you. That's one I wrote for them." "Down IV - Part Two" was released on May 13, 2014 via Down Records/ADA Music. Tracked at Nodferatu's Lair — Anselmo's home studio — and produced by Michael Thompson, Anselmo and DOWN, the EP was the eagerly anticipated sequel to "Down IV - Part One". The new offering from DOWN is packed with the quintet's signature gargantuan riffs, swamp blues leads, crashing drums and hypnotic howls, upholding a certain tradition that countless fans celebrate, expanding their own musical mythos as they leave its pillars intact and untouched.

Drummer GAS LIPSTICK Quits HIM: 'There Is No Drama, Bad Blood Or Any Negativity'

Mika Kristian Karppinen, better known as drummer Gas Lipstick of Finnish "love" metallers HIM, has released the following statement: "With a heavy heart, I'm announcing my departure from HIM, a magnificent band that I've been part of for the past 16 magical years. It has been a journey that I will remember for the rest of my life. "There is no drama, bad blood or any negativity involved in my departure. I simply feel that it's time for me to move on as a musician. "I have noticed during the final stages of our last tour that my heart was not in it 100% anymore. I've always been a guy who played every note straight from my heart and I feel the music very strongly while I perform. If my heart feels that it's time to let it go, then I have to listen, because otherwise it wouldn't be right towards myself, the rest of the band or you wonderful fans. It would end up being a forced effort and I can't perform or create like that. "Another thing that I've recently started to miss is songwriting. I've always been a songwriter. I didn't feel the need to write after I joined the band in 1999 and noticed that Ville [Valo] is a tremendous songwriter. In my mind, he has never brought a single half-assed song to the practice room. Every song was top notch and I felt that I didn't have the need to stir the mix. All of his songs were amazing as he presented them. But last fall I've started to feel that I'm missing writing again and that I would like to pursue my own musical interests. I started to miss the feeling of being in a band, where I could be one of the songwriters again. "Three years ago, I had a very heavy year with my arm problems and it took a toll on me. It took me 9 stressful months to get back into playing shape, but after recording the 'Tears On Tape' record and performing 100+ live shows following the release of that record, I can safely say that I'm back 100% physically and mentally. Those 9 stressful months were one of the toughest periods I have ever experienced throughout my career and adding everything mentioned above, I feel that I need a change in life. I need a fresh start. "I have nothing but great words to say about my brothers: Ville, Mige, Burton, and Linde, our touring crew Viltsu, Antti, Manne, Sean, Brad and our management Seppo, Taina and Vuokko. I wish them nothing but a great success in the future! They are all amazing people and it has been a pleasure working with them all of these years. "I'd like to as well thank all the record company people, promoters, past crew members, producers and engineers that I've had the privilege to get to know and work with. You rock BIG TIME! "And for the last but not the least important I'd like to thank all of you fabulous fans. Thank you for your never ending support and love. HIM has the best fans in the world! Without you, nothing would've been possible. "I hope that our paths will cross again eventually and you can count on that I'm going to keep you posted about my future endeavours in the crazy world of Musicland. Stay tuned!" HIM's latest album, "Tears On Tape", sold 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on The Billboard 200 chart. "Tears On Tape" was released on April 30, 2013 via Razor & Tie in North America and on April 29, 2013 through DoubleCross (Cooking Vinyl's specialist rock imprint) in the U.K. and Ireland. The "love metal" act's eighth official album was recorded at Helsinki's Finnvox Studios with longtime producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (APOCALYPTICA, AMORPHIS, MOONSPELL) and was mixed in London, England by Tim Palmer, who previously helmed 2005's "Dark Light" and 2007's "Venus Doom". HIM has been a band for 23 years, releasing eight studio albums to date, of which their fifth LP, "Dark Light", was certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America), making them the first Finnish rock band to have a gold album in the United States. They have had five of their studio albums certified platinum in Finland, with "Razorblade Romance" being certified double platinum in Finland and platinum in Germany.

'Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014' Trailer Available

Fathom Events, Cinema 1 and Eagle Rock Entertainment are partnering to present a monthly "Classic Music Series", to be kicked off by legendary Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers AEROSMITH. Fans will be blown away by AEROSMITH on the big screen for a special one-night concert event on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7 p.m. local time. It was captured live at Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK, in June 2014 as part of the band's critically acclaimed 2014 "Let Rock Rule" definitive rock and roll event. Rock's most lethal army — Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford — rocked audiences in 16 countries with electrifying performances. The "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014" 19-song set list includes the band's iconic hits "Love In A Elevator", "Janie's Got A Gun", "Don't Wanna Miss A Thing", "Dude Looks Like A Lady", "Walk This Way", "Dream On", "Sweet Emotion" and many more. A trailer for "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014" is available below. Tickets for "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014" are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The event will be presented in more than 300 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events web site (theaters and participants are subject to change). "It's always an absolute hoot that leaves me howling at the moon, performing at Donington we couldn't have had a better time on stage that night," says Steven Tyler. "I could feel the vibes of all the greats pulsing through the stage like AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, METALLICA and so many more." "We have played Donington many times but this performance was one of our best," said Joe Perry. "Thanks to our fans who were there who helped us make it a night to remember. We are proud to have it be part of this theatrical series and it will give our fans who weren't there around the world a chance to relive an ass kicking night of rock and roll." "We're really proud and grateful to have been chosen to headline the Download festival at Donington for 2014," Tom Hamilton says. "It was an awesome experience and I think this film captures it. Special thanks to the insane fans who stuck with us through mud and rain." "AEROSMITH are rock legends and I am very proud Cinema 1 is a part of bringing this incredible band's live concert performance to theaters across America," said Ray Carolin, CEO of Cinema 1. "I am certain their fans are going to be blown away when they experience 'Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014'." The first event in the "Classic Music Series", "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014" will be followed monthly by a who's who of rock and pop which will be revealed shortly. Expected events include: a singer with a history of hits since the "50s face-to-face with a modern pop mega-star, the beloved progenitors of the jam band genre, one of the UK's greatest and most influential rock acts, a lauded guitar god and many, many more. Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh-Owens said, "AEROSMITH fans won't 'wanna miss a thing' with 'Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014'. Music aficionados across the nation have a year full of great tunes ahead of them as the 'Classic Music Series' is set to bring the best of the best to the big screen all throughout 2015." For a list of theaters that will be showing the film and complete ticket information, visit Fathom's web site. AEROSMITH's latest effort, 2012's "Music From Another Dimension!", debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 63,000 copies in its first week of release. The group's previous collection of new songs, 2001's "Just Push Play", entered the chart at No. 2 with sales of 240,000 copies.


AMON AMARTH Begins Work On New Material

Metal Recusants conducted an interview with bassist Ted Lundström of Swedish death metallers AMON AMARTH on January 22 at Colchester Arts Centre, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below. Asked if AMON AMARTH has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2013's "Deceiver Of The Gods", Ted said: "Yeah, we just started very recently. We have some ideas for songs and lyrics, but we haven't really sat down to put it together yet. But after this tour, that will be our main focus, just to work on the album 24/7. So hopefully we can record it after the summer. That's the plan. But we don't have any finished songs yet." Regarding when fans should expect to see the new AMON AMARTH album, Ted said: "I would hope that we can release it early next year. But it depends on so many factors: record label and release schedule and touring and studio time and all that. But hopefully early next year [we can get it out]. That would be our plan." Ted also made it clear that AMON AMARTH will stay off the touring circuit throughout 2015, and will focus on making the new studio album instead. "The plan is to stay out of shows," he said. "We will see. If something really interesting shows up, we might do something. But our plan is to not do any festivals whatsoever this year." AMON AMARTH's latest album, "Deceiver Of The Gods", sold around 17,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Metal Blade Records. Recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (OPETH, MEGADETH, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), "Deceiver Of The Gods" delivers ten fiery battle hymns made of buzzsaw riffs and epic harmonies all driven by vocalist Johan Hegg's commanding Viking roar and absorbing accounts of Norse crusades and treachery.


Rolling Stone has premiered "Mountain Lion", the electrifying new video from FUTURE USER, the new project from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE/AUDIOSLAVE bassist Tim Commerford. "Mountain Lion" is the fourth video from FUTURE USER, but the first to reveal Commerford as the band's frontman/bassist. Previous videos featured Commerford as a mask-wielding character named S.W.I.M., which stands for Someone Who Isn't Me, an internet acronym often used in online forums. "I wanted this to be more about music than personality," says Commerford, who formed FUTURE USER with collaborator/composer Jordan Tarlow. "That meant launching this project without letting people know it was me. Fair or not, we knew the songs would immediately draw comparisons to my past work, so it was important to let the music begin with a life of its own. We started releasing songs four months ago, so it feels like a good time to now let the cat out of the bag. Hopefully fans will be intrigued and go back and check out the other songs and videos and give them life all over again." About the controversial "Mountain Lion" video, which features a cameo by Lance Armstrong, Commerford says, "Lance is a friend, an awesome person, and, as far as I'm concerned, a punk-rocker. We're 'cycling buddies' and typically go after each other in a trash-talking/'I'll one-up you' kind of way. We'll jokingly leave each other voice messages like, 'Dude, I'm gonna crush you the next time I see you. I'm gonna take you down.' I thought it'd be cool to put one of his voice messages in the song. When it came time to make the video, I asked him to recreate the voice mail and he was totally cool with it." "Mountain Lion" is about the government's attempts to use the controversy surrounding performance-enhancing drugs as a distraction from their own global sins. In the spirit of one-upsmanship that characterizes Commerford's relationship with Armstrong, the latter's taunt becomes the impetus for Commerford to light himself on fire at the video's end. "It was intense," he laughs. "Like, okay, you're gonna kick my ass? Well, let's see if you can do this." Whatever Commerford's take on it may be, you might imagine this as a subject Armstrong would rather avoid than be associated with in a song and video. Yet Commerford says, "He's fearless. He's not locked in his house, hiding from people. If you live in Austin, Texas, he's out there riding his bike and running. Let's not forget, this is a guy who raised $500 million for cancer research and people love him. I love him. I think he's badass." "Mountain Lion" isn't the first unsettling video from FUTURE USER to feature a noted sports figure. The band's first video was "Clockwork", a polarizing clip about police militarization in which tennis great John McEnroe was (literally) waterboarded by Commerford, dressed as the character S.W.I.M. That clip was released in September. Two more FUTURE USER music videos followed — one about the NSA/mass surveillance ("Supernatural") and another about the controversy surrounding genetically modified foods ("Medication Nation"). "Supernatural" featured a cameo by comic book legend Stan Lee, who typically only appears in Marvel film blockbusters. "We put a lot of time and effort into planning the videos," says Tarlow. "Tim and I usually approach topics from different angles, pitting left versus right and libertarian ideas versus spiritual messaging, but eventually," he laughs, "we zero in on a common target." "Mountain Lion", "Clockwork", "Supernatural" and "Medication Nation" will all appear on FUTURE USER's debut album, "#SteroidsOrHeroin", out February 24 through the band's own label, Middle Ring Partnership. Commerford calls the band's sound prog-tronic, a mix of early prog rock and modern electronics. Says Tarlow, "Listen to it and you hear the late '60s prog rock of KING CRIMSON and even SABBATH filtered through the EDM side of the current modular synth resurgence. Fans of Tim's past work will find familiar elements, but we've got a sound all our own.” Commerford, who handles vocals and bass on the album and Tarlow, who does keys and programming, produced the album themselves. They were joined by drummer John Knox and Commerford enlisted a special guest to play guitar: Grammy-winning producer Brendan O'Brien (PEARL JAM, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE). O'Brien plays guitar on every song on the album, but is not officially in the band. The album was mixed by Tom Syrowski (PEARL JAM, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, AC/DC). "We went into it wanting to try to make music without any guitar on it," admits Commerford, "and so the songs that we wrote were more electronic and were meant for programming to take the place of the guitar." But he finally couldn't resist bringing in another friend to add some guitar parts. That pal was O'Brien, the famed producer who helmed RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's landmark albums. O'Brien is lesser known as a guitar hero. "It's insane for me to say this," Commerford acknowledges, "but I've never been in a room with anyone that's more talented on the electric guitar than Brendan O'Brien. You can call out any song from any band from the classic rock era — LED ZEPPELIN, YES — and he will play it note for note, exactly, and not just the chords but the solos. When I asked him if he'd be willing to play guitar, he came right down and started knocking songs off." Throughout the years, one element hasn't changed for Commerford. "I think you still need to use music as a way to say something that's important, and I'm always gonna do that. Always," he says.

CARMINE And VINNY APPICE's 'Drum Wars': Official Fan-Filmed Video

Drumming demi-gods Carmine and Vinny Appice have both had extraordinary careers behind the drum kit, beginning with Carmine's tenure in such legendary classic rock bands as VANILLA FUDGE and CACTUS as well as supporting stints with Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne. Meanwhile, younger brother Vinny made his name as a metal drummer for monster acts such as DIO, BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL. Recently these two virtuosos have been wowing audiences with their own rock show called "Drum Wars", featuring not only the hits of their associated bands but also a thrilling series of solos that pit them against each other like the Gene Krupa/Buddy Rich drum battles of yore. Fortunately for us mere mortals, this unique concert experience was recorded in June 2014 at the Iridium in New York and is now available on CD courtesy of Deadline Music and Rocker Records. Cleopatra has posted a compilation video from Carmine and Vinny Appice's "Drum Wars" performances, shot, edited and directed by fans. Check it out below. Along with Carmine and Vinny, the "Drum Wars Live!" CD features Jim Crean, Ethan Brosh and James Caputo. For those unsure of their ability to withstand the aural assault that the Appice brothers bring, a free downloadable track from the album has been made available on the Rocker Records web site. Check it out below. "When me and Vinny play together, we push each other to our limits," says Carmine. "Either while drum battling or playing great songs from our history on this CD, while backed up with a great band behind us." Adds Vinny: "A CD of great music and drums that punch with power and energy." Coinciding with this exciting release is a series of European shows featuring both Carmine and Vinny performing alongside a jaw-dropping list of metal vocalists and musicians. Dubbed the Metal All Stars, this year's crop includes BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's Zakk Wylde, ANTHRAX's Joey Belladonna, Geoff Tate formerly of QUEENSRŸCHE, Dave Ellefson of MEGADETH, James LaBrie of DREAM THEATER, TESTAMENT's Chuck Billy and lots more. "Drum Wars Live!" track listing: 01. Intro 02. The Mob Rules 03. Drum Wars 04. Holy Diver 05. We Rock 06. The Flintstones 07. Carmine Solo 08. Bark At The Moon 09. Do Ya Think I'm Sexy 10. Drum Wars Part 2 11. Vinny Solo 12. Stand Up And Shout / Heaven And Hell 13. Crazy Train



THE GENTLE STORM, the collaboration between AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen and former THE GATHERING singer Anneke Van Giersbergen, will release its debut album, "The Diary", on March 25 via InsideOut Music. The effort will be "an epic concept double album" and "a combination of classical meets metal and acoustic folk," according to Lucassen. The first behind-the-scenes clip for THE GENTLE STORM can be seen below. "The Diary" cover artwork can be seen below. Arjen said: "I loved the front cover of the last STREAM OF PASSION album, so I tracked down the cover artist, Alexandra V. Bach. I sent her some samples of the THE GENTLE STORM music, and explained the album concept. She made a moodboard that captured the feel of the story and the music. We then gave her the go-ahead to design the cover. She did an amazing job that exceeded our expectations: Alexandra's cover art represents THE GENTLE STORM perfectly!" Lucassen and Van Giersbergen originally crossed paths in 1998 for AYREON's breakthrough third album, "Into The Electric Castle". Ten years later they teamed up again for AYREON's seventh album, "01011001", both having established themselves as world-renowned heavy metal/rock artists in the decade between releases. Although their respective musical styles went in vastly different directions during that time, Arjen and Anneke retained a common ground that ultimately led to the creation of THE GENTLE STORM. THE GENTLE STORM's double album is an epic production of AYREON proportions, divided into two parts as a full-on metal assault (CD1) and lighter folk arrangements (CD2). It also heralds Anneke's return to the realms of heavy guitars and soaring vocals reminiscent of THE GATHERING's breakthrough album "Mandylion". THE GENTLE STORM's album release will be followed by live dates through the spring and summer European festival season. Known for touring extensively year after year, Anneke will take THE GENTLE STORM on the road backed by well known Dutch talents. Arjen, however, will not be part of the live production.



Australian hard rockers AIRBOURNE have signed a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records. The band is tentatively scheduled to release its fourth album later this year. "We're pumped up to have signed on the dotted line to the world's toughest and truest hard rock label, Spinefarm," says AIRBOURNE in a statement. "We have worked with some of the guys on this team in the past, and we're extremely confident about having each other's back in the trenches for many hard rockin' years to come. We're chompin' at the bit to get ROCKIN' and KICKIN' ARSE in 2015 & beyond." Adds Spinefarm general manager Jonas Nachsin, who previously worked with the group as Roadrunner president: "We are so proud to be the new global home for the amazing AIRBOURNE! They are a band who have thrilled audiences around the world with their insanely energetic live shows and wildly anthemic songs, and all of us at Spinefarm are thrilled to be part of their ensuing juggernaut." Daniel Lieberberg, senior vice president, Universal Music Germany, states: "Germany, Austria and Switzerland have always been strong markets for this unique band. We're excited to closely collaborate with Spinefarm Records on our mission to bring AIRBOURNE to a new level in our part of the world." Driven by a formidable work-hard/play-hard ethic, and keen to entertain on the grandest of scales, this award-winning quartet has been proudly walking the rock and roll path since their early teenage years, inspired by the music's great and glorious past, yet determined to move things forward on a wave of blurred limbs & boundless energy. Led into action by brothers Joel and Ryan O'Keeffe (vocalist/lead guitarist and drummer, respectively; the lineup is completed by David Roads on guitar and Justin Street on bass), the four have spent the past 10 years establishing themselves as a true force of nature — living on the road, selling out major venues, charting albums and appearing on bills with some of rock's most legendary names, from IRON MAIDEN to THE ROLLING STONES. With AIRBOURNE, everything is to the hilt, which means that frontman Joel O' Keeffe is as likely to be climbing the lighting rig or going "walkabout" in the venue as positioned behind the mic; it also means that their three studio albums — "Runnin' Wild" (2007), "No Guts. No Glory" (2009) and "Black Dog Barking" (2013) — are home to some of the most rousing rock anthems of the past few years, songs like "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast", "No Way But The Hard Way", "Live it Up" and "Runnin' Wild" itself — a body of work that hasn't escaped the notice of AC/DC's Angus Young, who was recently asked in an interview what he thinks of modern rock music and he said, "I see it as healthy, because there's newer stuff coming through. I really like AIRBOURNE."