- Blabbermouth reports former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed in April 2012 that he is planning to join forces with three other original DIO members to play "some gigs" that will see the musicians performing material from the early DIO records that Campbell appeared on. Dubbed LAST IN LINE, Campbell, Vinny Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards) will be accompanied by singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB. Speaking to David "Gus" Griesinger of BackstageAxxess.com at last month's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, Campbell stated about reuniting with the original DIO band (see video below): "I'm excited about that. We're calling it LAST IN LINE after the second [DIO] album. It's the original DIO band — myself, Vinny Appice on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass, Claude Schnell on keyboards, and we found a terrific singer called Andy Freeman, who can totally do justice to the songs. Actually, he doesn't sound anything like Ronnie [James Dio], which is great, [because] I don't wanna draw that comaprison. Ronnie was a very unique singer, but Andy is a great singer in his own right, and he certainly sings the songs very respectfully. "The original band, we actually wrote the majority of that material as a band, so I feel like we're entitled to go out and play it. I don't think we're a tribute band or a cover band or anything like that. "There's obviously a big legacy of DIO music, and I think I'm right in saying that most people would think that those early DIO albums are the strongest, so we are just chuffed to play it. "Right now we're in the middle of booking a European tour. It looks like we'll start in probably Bulgaria or somewhere like that in July. We'll do a few regional warm-up shows in Southern California and Nevada and Arizona, probably, in June or July. "We just started rehearsing and it sounds fucking amazing." Campbell and Ronnie James Dio worked together on the first three DIO albums 1983's "Holy Diver", 1984's "The Last in Line" and 1985's "Sacred Heart" — before Irishman Campbell left to join WHITESNAKE in 1987. Speaking to Rush On Rock in January 2011, Campbell had this to say about the passing of the iconic singer: “I was numb to the whole thing. I hadn't talked to Ronnie in 25 years, so it wasn't as if we were close. My mother died nine or 10 days before him, so I was preoccupied with that. And my father died nine months before that. It was a really tough year on a personal level, and I had enough to think about." He added, "The news about Ronnie James Dio just bounced off me. It was a difficult relationship on a personal level anyway. I was really proud of the music we made together but it was tough being in a band together. But he died way too young." In a May 2011 interview with Brazil's Roadie Crew magazine, Wendy Dio stated about the controversy surrounding Ronnie's relationship with Campbell (in a 2003 interview Vivian called Ronnie "an awful businessman and, way more importantly, one of the vilest people in the industry."), "[Vivian] always said that he hated all the albums that he played on with Ronnie, and that was very hurtful to Ronnie. Very hurtful. Would you like someone who said something like that about your albums? He said a lot of things in the press that I don't wanna get into, because it really wasn't Ronnie's feud at all. Ronnie didn't fire him. I fired [Vivian]. He wanted as much money as Ronnie wanted. He thought he was as important as Ronniewas, and that was just wrong. But I don't wanna get into that. It's water under the bridge. It doesn't matter." Read more at Classic Rock
- Blabbermouth reports the history of rock 'n' roll will come to life like never before when Raiding The Rock Vault, a one-of-a-kind rock concert experience boasting the ultimate set list, kicks off a year-long run Saturday, March 9 at the LVH — Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Tickets for Raiding The Rock Vault go on sale Saturday, February 9 at 10 a.m. Raiding The Rock Vault performs nightly (dark on Fridays and schedule subject to change) at 9 p.m. in the LVH Theater, the same stage where Elvis Presley performed 858 consecutive sold-out shows, breaking all Vegas attendance records. Narrated, sung and acted along with compelling imagery including historical footage, the show transports the audience back to a magical musical journey from 1948 to 1989, traversing the genre's history chronologically through the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Raiding The Rock Vault features classic anthems from THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO, THE DOORS, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX, THE EAGLES, QUEEN, VAN HALEN, AC/DC, JOURNEY, FREE, BRYAN ADAMS, SUPERTRAMP, TOTO, DEEP PURPLE, and more, truly boasting "The Greatest Set List Ever." These timeless gems are translated on stage live and loud by an all-star band comprised of Howard Leese (guitar; HEART, BAD COMPANY), Tracii Guns (guitar; L.A. GUNS), Robin McAuley (lead vocals; MSG, SURVIVOR), John Payne (lead vocals and bass; ASIA), Paul Shortino (vocals; ROUGH CUTT, QUIET RIOT), Jay Schellen (drums; BADFINGER, ASIA), Andrew Freeman (lead vocals and guitar; LYNCH MOB, THE OFFSPRING), and Michael T. Ross (keyboards; LITA FORD, HARDLINE). In addition, rotating special guests will be confirmed, kicking off with Bobby Kimball (lead vocals; TOTO), followed by Joe Lynn Turner (lead vocals; RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) joining the show at the end of March. Raiding The Rock Vault follows a compelling theatrical narrative told via narration by acclaimed actor Richard Malmos in front of the giant Rock Vault onstage. The music, performance, and visuals come together to tell this unforgettable tale. Written by esteemed Grammy Award-winning record producer David Kershenbaum (JOE JACKSON, SUPERTRAMP) and musician, producer and vocalist John Payne (ASIA), Raiding The Rock Vault was born to give audiences an illuminating look at the history of rock and for those who lived it, an exciting trip down memory lane. It’s a rock-u-mentary you do not want to miss. "The LVH is thrilled to host what promises to become a must-see show for Las Vegas visitors and locals alike," said LVH Vice President of Entertainment Rick White. "Classic rock music…real rock stars…the legendary LVH Theater…the story of the greatest musical genre of all time…it doesn’t get any better than that," added White. The Vault will open and you may never view rock 'n' roll the same way. Ticket prices for Raiding The Rock Vault range from $49 to a special Rock star Package for $100 (which includes tickets in first five rows, t-shirt, signed concert program, signed album, meet and greet and VIP pass) plus fees. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the LVH box office or by logging onto thelvh.com, vegas.com, or ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 702-732-5755 or 1-800-222-5361.
- Blabbermouth reports CHIMAIRA has entered the studio to begin recording its new album for a tentative summer release via eOne Music. The follow-up to 2011's "The Age Of Hell" is expected to include the track "I Despise", which the band debuted during the 13th annual Chimaira Christmas concert on December 29, 2012 at Cleveland, Ohio's House Of Blues. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below (courtesy of Brian DiMaria from Jamestown, New York). In a recent interview with Metal Insider, CHIMAIRA frontman Mark Hunter stated about the progress of the songwriting session for the new CD: "We have twelve demos written and we've actually gone into the studio and demoed it professionally instead of just a standard computer/Pro Tools kind of thing," he said. "We're getting ready to enter the studio in February and make a new album." He added: "2011 sucked. [laughs] This year's been all about rebuilding and we got a chance to do overseas. Our first show with the new line-up was at Soundwave in Australia in front of 10,000 people. It was really nice to have to go through such a terrible year and just kind of stand on top of a mountain and go, 'Wow, OK, we got out of it, and we're here, we got a band, we sound great, and we can move forward.' So this year has been restructuring the entire business from the ground up, realigning ourselves with new teams; be it management, agent, merchandise companies, everything from the whole ground up. In my opinion, the only way to move forward was to rebuild the whole thing from the bottom up. "We want to come out with an album that not only captures the essence of what the fans have grown to know over the years, but we want to do something not only for the scene that's special, but for musicians out there, too. The musicianship in this band now is definitely on the next level. Everyone's pretty much a virtuoso at their instrument. Some of the stuff Emil [Werstler, guitar] was writing yesterday on this new song, I'm watching him play and I'm like, 'There are only going to be about a handful of people that'll able to play this!' [laughs] I'm imagining like a kid getting home, getting our new record and maybe they have the guitar, and they go sit down and try play along to it. And it's going to take them a very long time. [laughs] "We couldn't be happier moving forward. It sucks that we had to go through hell — no pun intended — to get to where we are now. But I think all of us, coming from lessons of life, lessons of bands, lessons of the industry, we've lived and learned and now we have something completely different to prove."
CHIMAIRA's current lineup is as follows:
Mark Hunter - Vocals
Matt Szlachta (DIRGE WITHIN) - Guitar
Jeremy Creamer (DAATH) - Bass
Emil Werstler (DAATH) - Guitar
Sean Zatorsky (DAATH) - Keyboards
Austin D'Amond (BLEED THE SKY, THE ELITE) - Drums
"The Age Of Hell" sold more than 7,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 54 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "The Infection", opened with 15,000 units back in April 2009 to land at No. 30. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by CHIMAIRA's 2007 album, "Resurrection", which shifted 16,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 42. "The Age Of Hell" was released in the U.S. on August 16, 2011 via eOne Music; in Germany on August 26; and in the United Kingdom, Australia and the rest of Europe on August 29 through Long Branch Records.
- Blabbermouth reports American rock veterans Jean Beauvoir and Micki Free, the duo who shook the bones of the rock world in the early '90s with their debut CROWN OF THORNS album, are back together, reuniting for just a handful of acoustic dates across the U.K. in April. Their last performance together was in 2009 at Hard Rock Calling (London) with Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews, but fans of Beauvoir and Free can rejoice for their first joint U.K. club appearance since 1994. Outside of CROWN OF THORNS, their collective credits read like a "who's-who", rock'n'roll hall of fame since Beauvoir and Free parted ways. Famed for his blond mohawk whilst an original member of THE PLASMATICS, Beauvoir also played bass and guitar with Steve Van Zandt's LITTLE STEVEN & THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL. He was then signed by Richard Branson to Virgin and went on to pursue an international platinum solo career, including the worldwide hit "Feel The Heat", the featured song for Sylvester Stallone's "Cobra" film. He later formed and fronted VOODOO X and recorded a further five albums with CROWN OF THORNS. Beauvoir has produced and written for THE RAMONES, KISS, Debbie Harry, THE PRETENDERS, John Waite, Lionel Richie, N'SYNC; appeared on over 100 albums over the past two decades and his film music credits are endless, with "Cobra", "Pet Semetary", "Flawless", "Christmas With The Kranks", "Rock'n'Roll High School Forever" and "School of Rock"; not to mention tours and live performances with BON JOVI, VAN HALEN, Tina Turner, AEROSMITH, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and more! Grammy Award winner and international multi-platinum recording artist Micki Free continued to tour the world and record and perform with his own projects after CROWN OF THORNS. Famously discovered by none other than Gene Simmons of KISS, Free was a member of the R super group SHALAMAR who spawned countless top ten hits, including the "Dancing In The Sheets" from "Footloose". Original founding member of CROWN OF THORNS and principal co-writer of the debut album, along with partner Beauvoir, Micki Free has since performed, written and/or recorded with Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP, Bill Wyman, Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, and Prince, to name but a few. "We both coincidentally moved back to L.A. 2003 and met up, letting bygones be bygones," says Beauvoir. "We talked of joining forces again for a new project, but due to commitments, only some demo recording sessions and a one-off show at Hard Rock Calling was all we had time to do, so this is the first chance for us to get together and tour the U.K. as Beauvoir and Free. I look forward to this exciting new chapter in our careers!" This short U.K. acoustic run in April will be the first official tour of any kind for the duo with recording plans in the making. "Performing with my longtime friend and partner Jean brings a certain magic that we create together," says Free. "We think as one with classic hard rock riffs and melodic hooks that we do so well as a team. I am looking forward to unleashing this magic again performing acoustically with Jean in my favourite part of the world, the U.K.!" Tickets for Beauvoir - Free are on sale now from Ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000.
April 08 - Glasgow, UK @ O2 ABC2
April 09 - Sheffield, UK @ O2 Academy2
April 10 - Wolverhampton, UK @ Little Civic
April 11 - London, UK @ O2 Academy 2 Islington
- Blabbermouth reports London, England-based metallers NEONFLY have tapped Dennis Ward (UNISONIC, PINK CREAM 69, ANGRA) to produce their as-yet-untitled sophomore album. Dennis has been at the forefront of the metal scene since the late '80s as the bass player and producer of the mighty PINK CREAM 69, and more recently of UNISONIC. As well as his own bands, Dennis has produced albums for ANGRA, KROKUS, BOB CATLEY, SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR, VANDEN PLAS, AXXIS, ADAGIO, ROBIN BECK… the list goes on! His track record, needless to say, speaks for itself. Production on the follow-up to NEONFLY's 2011 debut, "Outshine The Sun", is set to start on April 1 at Hofa studios in Karlsdorf, Germany. Excitement is high within the band as to the new sonic possibilities presented by working with Dennis Ward. New musical horizons surely beckon and a major leap in the band’s profile is assured. Comments NEONFLY guitarist and main songwriter Frederick Thunder: "The material we have for this album is the best we’ve ever written, I have no doubt about that. The arrangements are bigger and more bombastic, the riffs are killer, the songs are even more hook-laden, and following extensive touring with heroes like MAGNUM and FREEDOM CALL, we feel our playing has reached fever pitch… we're just more together and inspired as a band. "With this record, we want the fans to get some sense of the energy and ferocity we present in our live shows, whilst at the same time melting their brains with what we aim to be a massively ramped up orchestral scale to our sound. That's why it was really important to choose the right producer for this album, to make sure that the scale of the production could match our ambitions, and Dennis is the right man for the job. We just can't wait to get started, and I know once we do, we won't want to stop!" As previously announced however, the band will take a break in the production to fly back to the U.K. for their tour in support of SONATA ARCTICA.
The dates are as follows:
April 14 - Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
April 15 - Manchester, UK - Club Academy
April 16 - Birmingham, UK - HMV Institute Library
April 17 - London, UK - The Garage
Chapter two of the NEONFLY story is about to commence and the bandmembers look forward to presenting the fruits of their labors to the metal masses later in 2013.
- Loudwire reports Black Veil Brides and Bring Me the Horizon join 2013 Vans Warped Tour lineup
- Loudwire reports Avenged Sevenfold members participate in 2013 "Duffing for Dollars" charity golf event
- Classic Rock posts a new music video from New York's The Deafening
- Spinner posts an MP3 download of Deathfix "Transmissions"
- NME reports The Flaming Lips share NSFW cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
- NME reports Noel Gallagher and Rod Stewart voted among wittiest British celebrities
- Blabbermouth posts the trailers for Bret Michaels hosting Travel Channel's "Rock My RV"
- Blabbermouth posts more video footage of Testament guitarist's Alex Skolnick demonstrating signature amp
- Blabbermouth posts video of Dethklock's Brendon Small launches Thunderhorse Explorer guitar at NAMM
- Blabbermouth posts performance footage from Staratovarius stripped down and Bonz in Raleigh