- Blabbermouth reports Leslie Michele Derrough of GlideMagazine.com recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. GlideMagazine.com: When did you realize that you wanted to become a business person behind what you wanted to do? Ashba: A couple different things. When people ask me who were my influences. It was never guitar players, it was never, so to speak, musicians. I've always looked up to certain people, but my true influences in life were people like Walt Disney, people like Steve Jobs, people that really came and changed the world in a much bigger way than just a dream. They've changed the world in a massive way. And I always felt like I was put here to do something great, like really beyond music. I still, to this day, don't think I've found the real reason why I'm here, you know. People are like, "But you're in the biggest band in the world," and I go, "Yeah, but there is something inside that I keep searching for," and I think before I go there is going to be something, I'm pretty confident, that is going to be kind of the reason I'm known for. And I don't think it's going to be music-related, which is weird. GlideMagazine.com: You've always been very artistic to begin with, and then you took that and made it into something. Ashba: Ever since I was young, I would draw on everything there was: paper plates, blah, blah, blah. I started working for a newspaper when I was really young, like in seventh grade, I believe, seventh or eighth grade, and I noticed they didn't have a cartoon in the newspaper. And I worked down in the crappy, folding the papers that come out of the press, and our boss was scary, like this old, scary guy that everyone was afraid of. So I remember going up to the third floor of this small, little, tiny town rickety building and knocking on the big boss's door and walking in and he looked at me like, what balls do you have? [laughs] And I tried to tell him, "I know how to make your paper better." And he was just like, "What?" And I'm in like seventh or eighth grade and I go, "Your paper doesn't have a cartoon and everybody loves cartoons. I would love to do a cartoon for the newspaper." And he kicked me out of his office but about a week later he came down and everybody got all tense and he goes, "I need to see you in my office," and I was like, crap, he's going to fire me. And it went from that to him going, "I thought about what you were saying, bring me in some ideas." I actually stayed up all night drawing and drawing. And I went from that to he gave me my own office. So I think that kind of showed me something from an early age. It's like, wow, I believed in something I really strongly believed in and I, as hard as it was, approached it and it worked out. And I think that's kind of what was the start of everything else. GlideMagazine.com: What was your biggest challenge into the business world? Ashba: I think, in a big way, it's the clothing. The clothing I've been trying to do for fifteen years and I could never get it right, 'cause clothing is a really tough thing to get into. You've got to really know what you're doing and I've made a lot of mistakes and I learned from them, but I never gave up. And I think that's half of it, you know. I've always said it's never hard to do anything you wanted to achieve your dreams; it's hard not to give up. So if you don't give up on your dream, you will succeed and you will get to your ultimate goal. I come from a place where it's, like, you can have anything in life you wanted as long as you wanted it bad enough and you're willing to work as hard as it takes to get it. And I'm a hard worker and when I get focused on a goal, no one can detour me from it. And I love it. It's fun. Read the entire interview from GlideMagazine.com. Read more at Classic Rock
- Blabbermouth reports ARTISTdirect.com editor-in-chief Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. ARTISTdirect.com: "Carry On" has this intense thrash energy, but it's definitely an evolution for AVENGED SEVENFOLD. What's the story behind the song? M. Shadows: Well, it came together by listening to way too much Ozzy's Boneyard on SiriusXM radio. [laughs] They play a lot of classic metal and thrash on there. It's everything from JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN to HELLOWEEN and RUSH. There's all sorts of fun stuff. When we got called about this song, we basically had three days to write it, a couple of days to record it, and we had to be in there doing motion capture. We were like, "Let's do something that's a bit of a throwback." It's a little more compact as a song. They needed it to be under four minutes because of animation. We wanted to make a song that punched you in the gut and left you there. We made an up-tempo song with some chord modulations and fun chorus tricks. We had a great time doing it. We wanted to make an uplifting song that was fun and entertaining at the end of the game. I think it came out really well. ARTISTdirect.com: Where were you coming from lyrically? M. Shadows: I wanted to be more vague. Sometimes, I feel like my lyrics meander a little bit, and our songs are so big I need to write more words than are necessary. I wanted to leave these lyrics more open-ended. I felt that the term "Carry On" was perfect not only for the characters but for AVENGED SEVENFOLD moving forward. I stuck with that. I just wanted to write some epic lyrics you could think about when you were driving down the street or on your horse. [laughs] It's a classic, vast, up-tempo metal song. "Carry On" worked with that. ARTISTdirect.com: Were you a big fan of "Call of Duty: Black Ops"? M. Shadows: Yeah, we actually did a song for them. It was an Easter egg called "Not Ready to Die". I was a fan of "Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2", and I got into "Call Of Duty: Black Ops", which was my favorite "Call Of Duty" game of all time. I actually kept playing it all the way through until this game. Now, I play "Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2", and I love it! We've been friends with Treyarch and Activision for a long time. I talk to Mark Lamia, president of Treyarch, all the time. We got to Lakers games together. It's a great friendship. When he said he wanted to put us in the game, we were like, "Hell yeah! We'd love to be in it. This is awesome!" ARTISTdirect.com: What was it like seeing yourselves in the game? M. Shadows: It's funny. It's like hearing yourself on a voice recorder. You cringe a little bit, but you're excited and it's fun. I didn't know how it would go over with everybody. I'm really happy and proud of how it came out. We're trying to have fun and doing an entertaining little thing at the end of the game. It's not meant to be taken too seriously. ARTISTdirect.com: How does the motion capture work? M. Shadows: We went into the same place they did "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and "Iron Man". We got in those funny little suits, played the song with wooden guitars, and basically pretended in a white room with 500 cameras [Laughs]. We had to act in that first scene with Woods and Menendez with the suits on. It was a full-on two or three days of motion capture. It was crazy. Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.com.
- Blabbermouth reports SOIL singer Ryan McCombs has defended the band's decision to launch an interactive pre-sale campaign on Kickstarter to enable fans to participate in the release of the band's forthcoming album. Fans will receive exclusive shirts, a chance to have dinner with the band, autographed merchandise, attend studio sessions, an exclusive new MP3 download of the first studio song with McCombs since 2004's "Redefine" album and more. They also will be the first to receive the new album when it's released. After a SOIL fan posted a message on the band's Facebook page calling the musicians "cheap motherfuckers" and telling them to "use [their] own money to record [their] music and not ask the fans like him, who have " always paid top price" for their CDs, McCombs responded in the following way: "I hope that, before assuming we were asking for handouts, you went to the Kickstarter site where you can see that we are actually offering opportunities to people to do things and recieve things they normally wouldn't. And, in fact, the most basic package is only asking you to pay for the CD beforehand, allowing the money to go to making an pushing the hell out of this CD the right way instead of lining a disk jockeys' pockets. "Please understand if we had the money that our music has made others over the years instead of being on the bottom of the food chain within the business we've been in, we would gladly fund it. Without question. The industry is a mess. "Here is one of many simple facts that would leave you scratching your head: I personally have NEVER recieved a dime for the sales of any CD I have been a part of. The contracts you sign are set up to make that so. But you sign it 'cause if you don't, there are a million bands that will. "I am sure that the music I have been a part of has bought plenty of cars and made plenty of house payments for many managers and the types over the years. "Because your CD is on the same shelf as METALLICA's doesn't mean you're making METALLICA money. "The industry is fucked. For every METALLICA, there are hundreds of bands such as ourselves counting on the shows we play to pay the monthly bills at home. "I didn't like this option, but it is a possible answer that allows a band to control their fate, and again, offers special things to the fans that allow us to do what we do. I'm sorry this pisses you off so much, as I realize you don't know the financial facts of most bands in the industry. What we are doing here is risking taking the unpaved road in hopes of finding a way for bands like ourselves to survive. The paved road has led to the utter destruction of so many bands that deserved so much more. If taking the unpaved road leads to success, then perhaps it opens the door for others to follow and survive as well." "For a band that is signed to a label, they HAVE to sell CDs. Do they get royally screwed? HELL YES!!! But if they do not sell enough CDs to be viewed as worthwhile by the label, they will get dropped. "I had a conversation with a teenage fan once that just couldn't see what was wrong with illegally downloading a CD. Until, that is, I asked him what his Dad did for a living. He happened to be an auto worker. I then asked him, 'What if tomorrow EVERYONE in the world could come to your Dad's auto plant and drive off with any car they wanted, free of charge? How long will your Dad have a job if the product he creates doesn't make the owner of the company money?' It took a quick second but the light came on and he got it. "If a band you like is employed by a label, buying the CD is absolutely supporting them... It's buying that product that they create. "If I meet a band on the road and I like the people in the band, I go out and buy the CD. If friends within the industry release a new CD, I go buy the CD. It keeps them being able to do what they do, employment-wise. They aren't making shit off of it, but their boss is and that will keep them employed. "What is happening more and more frequently is that even if a band can stay employed, eventually they, or members of the band, will reach a point that their cut isn't taking care of the bills at home and they have to choose between family/obligation and a dream that has ended up being very different then the one they had as an aspiring musician. "We have survived as long as we have because of the support that people like yourself have given us for 12 years. I could never thank people enough for that. But because of the state of things in the industry through those years, we are where we are but we're not ready to fold our cards yet. There needs to be change. "Like I stated before, this path is unpaved and a bit scary, but we have made a lot of connections over the years and we know a lot about the steps needed to hopefully be successful in this venture. If we are, perhaps we will give an alternative method to those kick-ass bands that fall though the cracks year after year after year. "Hopefully you went and looked at the Kickstarter site and saw that we aren't asking for handouts. I couldn't be a part of that. We are simply offering the CD and packages to anyone interested. People like you that have always went out and bought that CD to help that band. We're just actually using that help to make the CD and not buy an executive's new car. We are trying to raise the funding for the recording and mixing of the CD. Anything else from the Kickstarter above and beyond will go towards helping out with the marketing, radio, publicity, etc. It's going to be tough, but for once in our careers, we'll be calling the shots, making the calls. I, too, have paid for many, many demos in my day.. but there is a large budget difference between a demo or shopping quality CD and the type you have to have for a chance at radio, movies, TV, etc. I know those are outlets that by us being allowed to be us musically may not have wide open doors to us, but I also think people are a little tired of the cookie cutter. "We ran through a door in Chicago that DISTURBED kicked open years ago.. No ego here,.. it's the truth. If another door isn't kicked open soon, the rock/metal genre is going to be the way of the dinosaur." SOIL will hit the road with FOZZY on a nine-date U.K. tour launching November 27 in Stoke, England and wrapping up December 6 in Brighton, England. The trek marks both bands' first return to the United Kingdom since highly successful appearances at this year's Download festival. The tour will also feature the U.K.'s own BREED 77. SOIL released its first-ever DVD, entitled "Re-LIVE-Ing The Scars", on May 8 via Bieler Bros. Records. The two-disc set, which was recorded live on October 14, 2011 at Electric Ballroom in London, England, contains an audio CD version of the same concert. Also included is over one hour of backstage and behind-the-scenes bonus footage and photos. SOIL's recording lineup for "Re-LIVE-Ing The Scars" consisted of founding members Ryan McCombs (vocals; ex-DROWNING POOL), Tim King (bass) and Adam Zadel (guitar) alongside former STAIND drummer Jon Wysocki.
- Blabbermouth reports Swedish singer Angelica Rylin of THE MURDER OF MY SWEET has decided to pursue her childhood dream and has begun recording a melodic rock solo album with the help of producer — and her THE MURDER OF MY SWEET bandmate — Daniel Flores. "I always wanted to record an album like this," says Angelica. My childhood heroes were Robin Beck, Ann Wilson of HEART, Leigh Matty of ROMEO'S DAUGHTER." Several melodic rock songwriting luminaries worked hard to create the magic harmonies and music that will be displayed on Angelica's solo debut, including Harry Hess, Daniel Flores, Robert Sall and Anders Wigelius. Making guest appearances on the CD are guitarists Jesper Strömblad (IN FLAMES), Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR) and Per Berquist (SMASH INTO PIECES); and keyboardist Matt Guillory (JAMES LABRIE). "This being my first solo record, I now have the chance to show you another side of me," says Angelica. "This is the next chapter. I hope you'll follow!"
A one-and-a-half-minute video clip of Angelicalaying down vocal tracks in the studio can be seen below.
- Blabbermouth reports the tour manager of German/Finnish thrash metal veterans KREATOR has released the following statement:
"Unfortunately, due to Greek customs officers, we were not able to leave Greece on time to make it to Istanbul. We would like to mention that the promoters, Mood Productions, did everything to help save the show. Please check their website (Mood-Pro.com) to see information on ticket refunds. Announcement will be made soon." Added KREATOR frontman Mille Petrozza: "We tried all efforts to make it happen. However, in the end this was not possible. We are working to reschedule a date for the summertime. Thanks for your support." KREATOR has unveiled a "huge 3D show" during its current European headlining tour with MORBID ANGEL, NILE and FUELED BY FIRE, which kicked off on November 1 in Antwerp, Belgium. KREATOR's new album, "Phantom Antichrist", which sold 3,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at No. 1 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. Released on June 1 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records, "Phantom Antichrist" was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with renowned producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK, DEVIN TOWNSEND, AMON AMARTH). KREATOR recently completed the "North American Teutonic Terror Attack" tour with ACCEPT.
- Blabbermouth reports "Hubris Inc.", the fourth album from Los Angeles-based thrashers ANGER AS ART, will be released on February 5 , 2013 via Old School Metal Records. According to ANGER OF ART founder Steve Gaines (ABATTOIR, BLOODLUST, TACTICS, BITCH, DREAMS OF DAMNATION, PAGAN WAR MACHINE), the follow-up to 2009's "Disfigure" offers the kind of vicious, memorably penned thrash/speed metal that fans have come to expect without simply retracing the steps taken on previous albums. "Hubris Inc." includes several guest appearances: "Rage And Retribution" features Betsy Bitch on vocals, Jim Durkin (DARK ANGEL) on lead guitar and Timothy Gaines (STRYPER) on bass; Steve Nelson (EVIL DEAD) contributes backing vocals on "The Evil You Create"; and "Speed Kills" features Mark Caro (ABATTOIR) on lead guitar. The latter track was actually written for ABATTOIR back in 1984 and is performed by all ABATTOIR members. It's the last opportunity to ever hear a new ABATTOIR song!
"Hubris Inc." track listing:
01. Hubris Inc. 02. Time Devours Life 03. Gods Of Hate 04. Anger Is The Reason 05. Speed Kills 06. This Is Why I Hate 07. As The Exalted Seethe 08. Pearls Before The Swine 09. Divided We Fall 10. Head Of The Snake 11. The Evil You Create 12. Pieces Of Red 13. Rage And Retribution 14. Never Forgive Never Forget
ANGER AS ART earlier in the year announced the addition of bassist Henry De La Cruz (MANIACAL GENOCIDE, STIGMATA, REVMATIX) to the group's ranks. Henry replaces Angelo Espino, who departed in October 2011.
ANGER AS ART's concert DVD, "Live Dissent", was released last year. The disc features footage from the February 21, 2010 concert at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California, clips of the band on tour in Europe and in the USA, and a segment of the recording process for the "Disfigure" album.
ANGER AS ART's current lineup:
Steve Gaines - Vocals, Guitar Henry De La Cruz - Bass Rob Alaniz - Drums Daniel Oliverio- Guitar, Vocals
- Blabbermouth reports former EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn will play keyboards on the forthcoming debut album from GOD OF ATHEISTS, the Norwegian extreme metal project led by Asgeir Mickelson (SARKE, SPIRAL ARCHITECT, BORKNAGAR, TESTAMENT). The CD will also feature Trym (EMPEROR, ZYKLON, ENSLAVED) on drums, Mickelson on rhythm guitar, ICS Vortex (DIMMU BORGIR, BORKNAGAR) on vocals, and Carl A. Tidemann (ARCTURUS, WINDS) on lead guitar. Says Mickelson: "[Ihsahn's] contribution adds a new dimension to the music without making GOD OF ATHEISTS symphonic extreme metal — just as intended! Stoked!" Asgeir previously described GOD OF ATHEISTS as "the extreme metal project which I wrote most of the music for in 2008. One song was originally written for BORKNAGAR back in 2004, but was never finished, so I rewrote it and it's now way too brutal for BORKNAGAR's style. The overall style is kind of 'Norwegian black metal done death metal.' It's brutal but also very melodic."
- Loudwire posts the 10 awesome Kirk Hammett guitar solos
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- Blabbermouth posts a new Europian tour webisode from Kamelot
- Blabbermouth posts new music videos from Saille: "Haunter Of The Dark" (Lyric Video)
- Blabbermouth posts performance footage of Zakk Wylde jams with Slash in Buenos Aires, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and fromer TNT singer in Las Vegas