- Blabbermouth reports Sammy Hagar (CHICKENFOOT, VAN HALEN, MONTROSE) has revealed in a new holiday video message that CHICKENFOOT will take 2013 off to focus on other projects. He said: "Joe's [Satriani, CHICKENFOOT guitarist] doing his thing and Chad's [Smith, CHICKENFOOT drummer] just coming off a [RED HOT] CHILI PEPPERS tour and he's not gonna wanna go into the studio. So I think Mikey [CHICKENFOOT/ex-VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony] and I and the WABOS, we'll just go out and do some stuff." That "stuff" will likely include "more shows, maybe a proper tour" and possibly even a new record." In other news, Hagar will perform at the third-anniversary party of the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 9,. Wristbands free on a first-come-first-served basis. CHICKENFOOT recently reissued its gold-selling 2009 self-titled debut as a double-disc set. The new version features bonus live tracks recorded on the group's tour behind its sophomore studio effort, "III" CHICKENFOOT's most recent touring lineup included legendary drummer/musician Kenny Aronoff, who was filling in for Smith while Chad was on the road with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.
- Blabbermouth reports Guitar Center, the world's largest retailer of musical instruments and equipment, and DirecTV, one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services, will spotlight PAPA ROACH in a new episode of the award-winning music series Guitar Center Sessions on Friday, December 28. Guitar Center Sessions features exclusive performances and intimate, enlightening conversations conducted by revered musical tastemaker Nic Harcourt. A preview clip of PAPA ROACH performing the song "Getting Away With Murder" from the Guitar Center Sessions episode can be seen below. Continuing its commitment to inspiring musicians, each episode of Guitar Center Sessions is filmed live in front of a studio audience in the world-famous Guitar Center Hollywood Vintage Room. The show gives real music fans a rare peek inside the minds of their idols, with Harcourt's thoughtful, conversational questions drawing out new and intimate details from their storied careers. Audiences hear first-hand accounts from each artist about their personal and musical journeys and the influences that molded them into the icons they have become. After its series debut, featuring episodes with artists including Peter Gabriel, WEEZER, JANE'S ADDICTION, THE CULT, CAKE and Jakob Dylan, Guitar Center Sessions was the recipient of the International 3D Society's award for Best Music Television Series in 2010.
- Blabbermouth reports Philadelphia rock band MACH22 has been selected by legendary guitarist Slash as grand prize winners in Guitar Center On-Stage: Slash Contest following submission of their original song "Don't You Give Me" and a live performance opening for Slash at House Of Blues in Atlantic City on September 14. Over 3000 unsigned bands competed nationwide in the contest launched late April 2012. Bands were judged by Slash on presentation, originality and creativity, melody, vocal ability and music, lyrics, and entertainment value, hoping to be awarded a grand prize tour support package valued at more than $30,000. With solid reviews in each contest phase, MACH22 secured the top prize. "Winning a contest of this caliber is something most bands dream of and we have it in the palm of our hands," said Lamont Caldwell, lead singer of MACH22. "We won't waste this opportunity and we'll work hard to make great things come from it." MACH22 is comprised of Lamont Caldwell, vocalist; Ty Asoudegan, guitarist; Sebastian LaBar, guitarist; Frank Day, bassist; and Damian MonteCarlo, drummer. "We can't thank Guitar Center, Slash, and all the sponsors, enough for the grand prize package," said Caldwell. "The new equipment, accessories, and apparel, will no doubt enhance our creativity and better our performance. We're ready to rock!" "Don't You Give Me" is MACH22's first single off their upcoming EP, "American Swagger". Watch the music video of their original winning song below.
- Blabbermouth reports MEGADETH has resumed work on its fourteenth studio album with producer Johnny K (full name: John Karkazis), who has previously worked with DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, MACHINE HEAD and STAIND. The CD is currently being recorded at MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's Vic's Garage studio in San Marcos, California for an early 2013 release via an as-yet-undisclosed label following the band's recent split with Roadrunner Records. In a tweet earlier today, Mustaine wrote: "Three songs tracked and almost done. New MEGADETH music is coming to getcha!" Mustaine previously told NME about the direction of MEGADETH's new material, "Some of it's a little darker, some of it's a littlefaster. Being in this position right now, not knowing where we're gonna go or what we're gonna do, it's kind of like the world's ours to do what we want. Are we gonna go back to the speed and thrash metal roots that made us who we are? Are we gonna experiment and rely on the melody that we've discovered in MEGADETH songs?" Mustaine also spoke about how he likes to keep MEGADETH's music more melodic than that of most thrash bands. "We've tried to do that in MEGADETH, have a little melody so that it's not just the same old grinding music like everybody else has," he said. "We're just happy to get going and get to the studio." Johnny K produced MEGADETH's last album, 2011's "TH1RT3EN", which was also recorded at Vic's Garage. Mustaine previously stated about the recording process for "TH1RT3EN", "We've got a great new partner with Johnny K. I mean, I was satisfied with our last co-producer, with Andy Sneap, and Andy really took us — and he even admits — as far as he could take us, and it was great because we wanted to go back to the big leagues where we were, and we feel that Johnny is, obviously, a big-league producer; not that Andy isn't — don't get me wrong. But we feel that this record is definitely one of our best. It's a great feeling, because, you know, finishing some of the last record, I can honestly say, in my heart I knew that it wouldn't contend with some of the great records in the past, just because of the timing, the label that we were on and stuff like that. Lineup changes and stuff… But I really think that everything just lined up for this record." "TH1RT3EN", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD marked the recorded return of bassist David Ellefson who was part of the band's classic lineup from 1983 to 2002. In a move that delighted the band's legion of diehards, Ellefson returned to performing live with MEGADETH in early 2010 and has remained a fixture on the stage ever since. This was the first time Ellefson has played on a MEGADETH record since 2002's "Rude Awakening".
- Blabbermouth reports Rock Revolt Magazine recently conducted an interview with bassist John Campbell of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. On LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe's arrest and incarceration in Prague for over five weeks which resulted in the cancelation of the band's tour this past summer: John: "The experience had such a profound effect on us as people, as his friends, as a band as a whole. We were seriously just so worried about him that all we really did was sit around in shock with our friends and families most of the time, waiting for word from his attorneys. It was excruciating, emotionally, and to say that it was a difficult and trying time is an understatement." On the support shown for Randy by many fellow musicians in raising funds for his legal representation: John: "We've had so many staunch supporters. It was great the way everyone donated some amazing items for an eBay auction we held to help with the legal fees. I mean, so many of our long time friends like Chris Kael and all the guys from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD), Dave Ellefson (MEGADETH) and Slash all came through. So many friends have been supportive within the industry and beyond that if I named them all here it would take up your whole magazine and then some!" On the fan support over the course of the last few months: John: "There have been so many people that have helped us in so many different ways. Our fans have been amazing! They've formed petitions, started letter writing campaigns, all kinds of things to show Randy and all of us that they are there. We all feel very lucky to have people that take time out of their day to write something cool on Facebook or on the 'Congregation' members section on our web site. Stuff like that goes a long way on a bad day, ya know?" On how, ever since a fan gunned down PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott during a performance, it simply is not OK for fans to jump on stage anymore: John: "It can get scary sometimes. You just don't know anymore. We're just trying to work. Granted, we are a hardcore metal band, so people are going to mosh and jump around and stuff, but there has to be a limit. We don't want to get hurt and we don't want anyone else to get hurt either." Read the entire interview from Rock Revolt Magazine (PDF file).
- Blabbermouth reports MURDERDOLLS frontman Wednesday 13 will release his fifth solo album, "The Dixie Dead", on February 18 in The UK and on February 19 in North America. "The Dixie Dead" limited-edition packing with expanded artwork is available only in the U.S. or througn a U.S. source for initial orders. Retail limited edition will have a pullout poster and expanded artwork, which comes in DVD packaging. The version ordered during the web site pre-orders comes with the above and an exclusive patch and an exclusive sticker.
"The Dixie Dead" track listing:
01. Death Arise (intro)
03. Get Your Grave On
04. Curse The Living
05. Too Fast For Blood
06. Hail Ming
07. Coming Attractions
08. The Dixie Dead
09. Ghost Stories
10. Fuck You (In Memory Of...)
11. Carol Anne... They're Here
12. Hands Of The Ripper
13. Death Arise (overture)
In a recent interview with Metalkrant, Wednesday 13 stated about "The Dixie Dead": "I think it's the best CD I have ever made. It's a great combination of everything I have done over the years. It's heavy, it's still catchy and singalong songs, it's a full horror record." He continued: "The album is going to look like a 1980s horror movie. It's a special way we did it. I'm more excited about that than everything I can remember that I put out. We have some different sounds, too, that we've tried. There's some really heavy stuff. Heavy for me — I don't mean like SLAYER heavy. [laughs] But for me, it's heavy. There's a track on the record that reminds me of BLACK SABBATH and there's one that reminds me of MINISTRY and METALLICA. There are a lot of influences in there and it showcases my lineup that I have now. I didn't play anything on the record, but vocals and keyboards. It's the first time I haven't played guitar on a record. I wrote everything, but I let the band play it. So to me, that definitely added something to it. I think I have a great band and my guitar player is amazing. The things he does and what he brought to the table… It's the perfect record for me. I feel like it's taken me 10 years to… Not that I didn't like what I did before, but I feel like this is finally the one that we got where I wanted it to be. I'm super excited and I hope people will embrace it the same way." 2013 is a special year for Wednesday 13 as it marks 20 years of him releasing recorded music and 10 years of the band WEDNESDAY 13.
- Blabbermouth reports TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick's book, "Geek To Guitar Hero", will be available on paperback via Amazon on January 15. Commented Skolnick: "A quick flashback of all that has happened during the few years of writing this book leaves me dizzy. Some of my most definitive recordings — 'Veritas' (ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO), '11/11' (RODRIGO Y GABRIELA), 'Dark Roots Of Earth' (TESTAMENT) — didn't exist when typing began. Over two hundred tour dates and incalculable miles of travel have taken place. People I hadn't met when the book started now feel as though I've known them since the beginning of time while a few friendships, including some that seemed as though they'd last a lifetime, have faded away like the closing credits of a film. Seemingly immortal cultural icons, not to mention folks I've known personally, are no longer living and breathing while few very young ones — offspring of friends and acquaintances — weren't yet on this planet when the first chapter was written. "The book itself has gone through a lot of evolution. For a time, it was 'Escape From Berkeley', a title that made sense to me personally, but didn't fully convey the essence of the story. 'Escape From Berkeley' became relegated to a chapter title and running theme throughout as I leaned towards a different title, one that came to mind in the very beginning: 'The Guitar Chronicles'. By then, books and TV shows were using similar titles (example: 'Man Vs. Food - The Carnivore Chronicles'). Further pondering resulted in a title that seemed to fit the story best of all, a play on 'From Here To Eternity: From Geek To Guitar Hero'. This evolved into a leaner version, the title that has felt just right ever since: 'Geek To Guitar Hero'. "There was one more detour with the title: a respected literary agency came on board and suggested (code word for 'insisted') a one word name to appeal to potential publishers. The reason given was to tailor it to fit the recent genre of the 'rock memoir,' those numerous musician books with such titles, i.e. 'Life' (Keith Richards), 'Red' (Sammy Hagar), 'Slash' (Slash). With total respect to these books — they're all great reads — mine is not a 'musician sits down with journalist, hashes out life story' book. Those are co-written, full autobiographies while mine is a self-penned, literary memoir that reads like a novel and is influenced by writers such as Philip Roth, Hiruki Murikami and John Updike (to name a few). Still, I begrudgingly tried to be a team player, before letting it be known that I could no longer live with the generic, one word title that had been chosen for me: 'Progressions'. "The experience of working with this agency — not to mention attending book expos, meetings and other research — shed light upon a publishing industry going through a tumultuous process not unlike what the music business – still in a tailspin — went through few years ago. As with music, a global shift from traditional units to electronic mediums has affected everyone on all levels of the industry; book publishers and agencies have been cutting rosters, downsizing and in some cases, shutting down completely. Just as the loss of music retail giants like Tower Records and Virgin Megastores was once unimaginable, the recent termination of Borders and closing of many Barnes & Noble locations is indicative of a similar process. As with major record labels (what's left of them), not to mention Hollywood studios, there is an unwillingness to support creative, original projects and a disproportionate emphasis on replicating past successes. This results in products that are more predictable, less interesting and increasingly formulaic. "Given all this, not to mention my stubborn determination to do this book my way, I wasn't all that surprised when the agency stopped returning my correspondence. "Weighing options, I decided that rather than soliciting a new agent and continuing to shop a book in a Hurricane Katrina-like environment, I would self-publish. Friends in the know confirmed that my book should have been a 'no-brainer' to publishers, but as things stand, it would be best to just go it on my own. And that's exactly what I've decided to do." A synopsis of the book and a few quotes from "some very discriminating and respected early readers" can be found below. Alex Skolnick is a true guitar hero. At sixteen years old, he joined a group of twenty-somethings who'd formed a thrash metal band called TESTAMENT. Alex stayed with the band through five critically acclaimed albums and countless tours with, among others, SLAYER, MEGADETH, JUDAS PRIEST and WHITE ZOMBIE. After hearing and seeing one of Miles Davis' electric bands on TV, Alex relocated to New York City to play and study jazz. ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO (AST) was formed while Alex was earning his BFA in jazz from New School University in Manhattan. AST has been lauded by critics, fans and musical heroes alike ranging from Downbeat to Jazziz to the Village Voice to Kirk Hammett of METALLICA.
- Blabbermouth reports two of the four members of New York City hardcore/speed metal legends STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH have set out to forge a new path of punishment in 2013. UNITED FORCES unites S.O.D.'s bassist Danny Lilker (BRUTAL TRUTH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, NUNFUCKRITUAL, LOCK UP, ex-ANTHRAX) and notorious frontman Billy Milano (METHOD OF DESTRUCTION), the longtime cohorts taking their mayhem to new turf. Milano and Lilker recruited two additional henchmen to help carry out their forthcoming disorder, with the thunderous Nick Barker (LOCK UP, ANCIENT, ex-CRADLE OF FILTH, ex-DIMMU BORGIR) on percussive duties, and Anton Reisenegger (CRIMINAL, PENTAGRAM (Chile), EXTREME NOISE TERROR, LOCK UP) handling guitars. With Lilker located in upstate New York, Milano in central Texas, Barker in England and Reisenegger in Spain, details on the outfit's plans concerning touring or recording remain unknown, but UNITED FORCES is, without question, a pending force with which to be dealt. Notes Milano on the eclectic union of metal soldiers: "I'm not out to reinvent myself at my age. I just want to have a lot of fun with this. We called it UNITED FORCES because we're located all over the place, in different countries, but this is something we're going to come together for." Adds Lilker: "It's gonna be really fun to get together with some good friends — who are also great musicians — and play some earsplitting, hardcore-tinged thrash metal! And obviously, we know how to do just that." At this year's installment of the Fun Fun Fun fest in Austin, Texas, modern thrash heavyweights MUNICIPAL WASTE were joined by Lilker and Milano onstage to help unleash the S.O.D. staple "United Forces". Check out the carnage below. Future UNITED FORCESplans will be revealed in the coming weeks.
- Blabbermouth reports according to drummer Jaska Raatikainen of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM, thsongwriting process for the band's next album has been completed. He states: "Next step after holidays is that I'm gonna start sweating my ass off in the studio." CHILDREN OF BODOM's new CD is tentatively due in late spring/early summer 2013 via Marquee Inc. in Japan and Nuclear Blast in other parts of the world. Raatikainen recently described the band's new material as "very inspiring, dark and also little 'black' [metal]-ish." CHILDREN OF BODOM in November canceled its appearance at next year's edition of the Tuska festival, set to take place June 28-30, 2013 in Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland, "in order to be able to be part of a big tour in USA," according to the group's bassist, Henkka Seppälä (a.k.a. Henkka T. Blacksmith). CHILDREN OF BODOM released a photo book, "Roadkill", on August 8 via Hatecrew.com. The first 666 copies are numbered and personally signed by the band. Photography for "Roadkill" started in 2007. It includes exclusive material of life on the road, shows, promo shoots, recording sessions, album cover production and the worldwide "hate crew," as the band's fans are affectionately known. The book also contains comments and diary entries by the band and the photographer, Jussi Hyttinen of FLC415. CHILDREN OF BODOM's most recent release was "Holiday At Lake Bodom (15 Years Of Wasted Youth)" , a very special CD+DVD career retrospective in celebration of the band's 15th anniversary.
- Blabbermouth reports Greek/German heavy metallers MYSTIC PROPHECY are preparing to enter the studio to begin recording their eighth album for an early 2013 release. The recording process will once again take place at the Prophecy & Music Factory Studios in Germany, with singer Roberto Dimitri Liapakis (SUICIDAL ANGELS, VALLEY'S EVE, INSIDEAD) in the producer's chair. The set will also contain a bonus live DVD from MYSTIC PROPHECY's ProgPower USA performance, and will be made available in various limited-edition formats. Commented Liapakis: "After a successful tour last spring, summer festivals and an amazing trip to ProgPower USA, the time has come for us to enter the studio for our next album. The band is even stronger and united, with more versatility and depth in our new compositions, and with even more power, we couldn't imagine it any better." MYSTIC PROPHECY is already scheduling its 2013 concerts. The band's seventh album, "Ravenlord", was released in November 2011 via Massacre Records.
- Blabbermouth reports Austrian death/ black metal metallers BELPHEGOR have commissioned Greek artist Anthon Siro Seth to create the artwork for the band's new album. Seth has already started working on the cover art and some magical images. He says in a statement: "It will be a great challenge creating the artwork for BELPHEGOR's new masterpiece. My mission is clear: creating the most disturbing artwork I have ever made!" Commented BELPHEGOR mainman Helmuth: "It’s good to have Seth recruited again. He did the 'Pestapokalypse VI' graphics back in 2006. "The lyrical content deals with blasphemy, exorcism, and blackest romantic. He's the perfect choice for the atmosphere we are looking for." BELPHEGOR's new album is tentatively due in August 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records. The third and last recording session for the CD took place from November 29 through December 14, with Helmuth laying down the final vocals, overdubs and the guitar solos. The follow-up to 2011's "Blood Magick Necromance" was recorded at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with producer Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). Commented Helmuth: "This album is gonna be brutal, way more death metal blasphemy than the last records. The nine sound collages will reveal a new dimension of chaos, with the uttermost aggressive soundwall possible." He added, "It's fantastic to work with Erik; this dude is really challenging, to give the best... 'cause you demons deserve it."
- Blabbermouth reports Swedish death metallers DEMONICAL have issued the following update: "Due to a few non-interesting reasons, we have postponed the recordings of our upcoming full-length attack until late January. "As expected, our new material is clearly the best DEMONICAL stuff ever written and the next album will be a hellish journey into the world of Swedish death metal darkness and beyond. "Street date in late May/early June through Cyclone Empire." The recording sessions for DEMONICAL's new CD are expected to take place at Necromorbus Studio (WATAIN, UNANIMATED, DESTRÖYER 666) in Alvik, Sweden. DEMONICAL recently announced the addition of guitarist Daniel Gustavsson to the group's ranks. The band stated, "Daniel has been touring with us as session member since early spring, and as all admission tests executed on the road turned out nothing but excellent, he therefore became the obvious choice for our vacant axe position." DEMONICAL's third album, "Death Infernal", was released in April 2011 via Cyclone Empire.
- Loudwire posts an interview Black Veil Brides singer Andy Biersack reflects on "Worst" and best Christmas gifts
- Loudwire reports Henry Rollins says "Metal and Heavy Music Is Never, Ever Going to Die"
- Loudwire posts the 10 best Motorhead songs
- Loudwire posts a review of Eluveitie with Wintersun and Varg in New York
- Loudwire posts an interview with Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta on Christmas gifts and love for "Game of Thrones"
- Noisecreep posts Roots of Heavy Metal Vol. 3: Incredible Hog
- Spinner posts the music video for "The Season Is Upon Us" by Dropkick Murphys
- Blabbermouth posts the tenth "The Taking" episode from Duff McKagan Loaded
- Blabbermouth posts a video of Sepultura's drummer getting tattoed
- Blabbermouth posts performance footage of the Scorpions in Marseille, Death Angel at Holland's Distortion Festival, Mercenary doing "Black Bridge" from Czech Republic's Basinfire Festival,