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  • Blabbermouth reports on November 22, GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and the drummer of his solo band, Dennis Leeflang, were interviewed on Chile's Radio Futuro prior to their first-ever performance in Santiago the next day.  Speaking about first visit to Chile as a solo artist, Thal said (hear audio below): "It's funny… Before GUNS, Dennis and I would be touring, mostly around Europe, and things were building up — I was putting out more albums and everything was growing. And then I joined that other band… [laughs]  "I didn't want to slow everything down, but every time I tried to book anything [with my solo project], it seems like the running gag was, 'Hey, if you want GUNS N' ROSES to hit the road, all you have to do is book your own tour. And they'll [GUNS N' ROSES] book one at the same exact time and you'll have to cancel yours.' And it reached a point where we got so busy with the [GUNS N' ROSES] touring that I just wasn't able to plan anything.  "Also, the rest of humanity tends to plan things in advance where GUNS N' ROSES tends to plan things the day before. So it's really tough. We could be planning something [for my solo project] for next April, and then GUNS will book something March 31 for April, and all your plans are just… Suddenly you're in this situation where you have to choose. And I'm actually trying to work out something with [the GUNS N' ROSES] management now so I don't have to choose. Because if I do have to choose — and I'm saying it here first — I'm choosing my own life; I have to. If I'm gonna be painted into a corner where I have to choose between being in GUNS N' ROSES and the entire rest of my life, and if they're not willing to help me keep the two functioning well together, then I'm out. So hopefully they're willing to do that. And I've reached out a few days ago and I'm just waiting to hear back.  "We were supposed to tour… We had this tour [booked for my solo project] in January/February that I changed for GUNS stuff in December and January and then that stuff got canceled. And all the changes were for nothing, and the changes came at a very big loss. And it also came at a detriment to my name. It's, like, you book something with booking agents and promoters, and their biggest concern is that you're gonna cancel because GUNS is gonna book something, and then you do that, they're gonna be very reluctant to wanna book again, 'cause they're worried about the same thing happening. So I can't let that happen anymore. So I'm in a situation now…  "I think what happened was, I was doing the solo stuff and everything was growing, and as soon as I joined GUNS, it's, like, everyone just hit 'delete' on my entire life and everything I did and I just became, 'Oh, he's the new guy in GUNS.' Even after 15 years, 20 years of putting out music, people say, 'Oh, I didn't know you sang. Oh, I didn't know you did other things.' And that's not right, that's not good, because I've put out more music than GUNS.  "I just feel like I need to introduce myself to the world as who I am and say, 'Yeah, I'm the guitar player in GUNS N' ROSES, but this is who I am now. And I want you to know me, my music, and it's all starting in South America here, in Chile."  Asked if there are any plans for GUNS N' ROSES to do anything in the near future, Thal said: "Good question. I've been asking them about plans for a couple of weeks now; I'm waiting for answers. I don't know. I'm guessing… If I had to guess, I would think that next year we're gonna do something. But I haven't had any response to my communication, so I don't know."  When pressed to describe GUNS N' ROSES singer and sole original member Axl Rose in one word, Thal said: "I don't think you can describe that guy in one word; he runs so deep. Yeah, he's not a one-word thing."  He continued: "[Axl] absolutely is [a cool guy]. He's very fun and welcoming and a wonderful host when you're hanging out with him and just loves to see everybody enjoy themselves and makes everybody feels comfortable. Unless you don't treat him like a person, and then he's gonna respond like a person that's not been treated like a person.  "That's the thing about him — he doesn't act like a celebrity, he acts like a person. And if you treat him like a normal person, you'll have a great time, like you would with anybody. But if you treat him like he's not human, then, yeah, [it's like it is with] anybody — your guard goes up, because it's just not natural and it's not normal and you don't see yourself that way. You just see yourself as human; the same person that you were born as."  Thal also elaborated on the plans for his solo career, telling Radio Futuro: "I wanna do more shows. I wanna get out and tour more. And I wanna build up what I didn't maintain and let fall to the side. I wanna get back to doing what I do and doing it everywhere I can. I wanted to do a full South American tour in November/December, but when I had to reschedule the European stuff, it kind of squashed everything."  Thal admitted in a recent interview with the "Totally Driven Radio" podcast that he was not pleased with GUNS N' ROSES' shows consistently starting very late due to Axl Rose's tardiness. Although he said "that hasn't happened for a long time," Thal revealed, "I absolutely had the hardest time out of anybody in the band with that stuff… I mean, hell, if I have to wait five minutes longer in a doctor's office, or in traffic or something like that, I'm starting to get annoyed. So imagine, if that's five minutes, imagine two hours. Yeah, I get it; I totally get it. It's not like I don't care, it's just — there's nothing I can do."  Thal continued, "There's been times when I just walked off stage and started throwing a fit on the side… it's not just the waiting, it's the fact that, if you're gonna do that to someone that isn't expecting that and has a babysitter waiting, or you have to be up in four hours for work, or the buses are gonna stop running soon, or whatever it is…"  Thal added, "There's always the fans that are, like, 'Nah, it's a rock concert. They should be three hours late.' Maybe for you, but not for the other 20,000 people… Everyone's got responsibilities. Rent isn't what it was in the '70s. There's a lot more living hand to mouth, and you can't fuck with that."  The guitarist reiterated that the band is doing better with starting its show on time, saying, "I'm really, really happy that we've been going on time, close to on time, sometimes early. And I know the fans are very happy; the people that come to the show are much happier about that."  GUNS N' ROSES does not have any tour dates on its schedule at the moment. The group's last album and first in 15 years, "Chinese Democracy", came out in 2008.  Read more at Ultimate Classic Rock and Classic Rock  Blabbermouth reports Bumblefoot didn't want to "betray" Axl Rose by jamming with Slash  We all want to work it out - we'll work it out... :)

 Radio Futuro interview with Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and Dennis Leeflang(audio):


  • Blabbermouth reports Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine will be a featured soloist with the San Diego Symphony in April 2014 in a program that will include Wagner's "Ride Of The Valkyries" from "Die Walküre", Vivaldi's "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (the "New World" symphony). The classical special concert, billed as "Symphony Interrupted" will take place at Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego, California on Saturday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m. Ticket are on sale now at  In a brand new interview with the Phoenix New Times, Mustaine stated about the upcoming San Diego Symphony concert: "Yeah, that is pretty bizarre." He continued: "When we first started talking about that, it was kind of in passing. I was in England, actually, and someone said they would be interested in seeing my interpretation of the classics, because I'm very classically influenced. It's what I like to listen to, but it's not like I played it. It was tossed around and it went from me being someone who would do a narrative of classical stuff to someone actually playing it. I was pretty excited, but then they sent over their first two songs that they want me to play, which was some Vivaldi stuff, and as I listened to it I was, like, 'This is really difficult stuff.'  "When you're playing out of a guitar, it's a different mentality, and when you play it on a violin, the strings are tuned differently, so it's like going from playing tennis to handball. The same principle still, but a totally different finesse."  Mustaine also spoke about how his involvement with the San Diego Symphony might change perceptions about heavy metal musicians in general. "I think that it helps again, like in 1992, when I covered the Democratic National Convention, it really helps our genre," he said. "Because people don't really think very highly or widely, for another variable on that, when they think about heavy metal people. They think we're limited on the scope of how we are educated and what we're made up like. And I think doing this will be really great, because a lot of metal people are gonna see some really cool music, and a lot of stuffy old classical people will see some great guitar playing. I think it will be really weird seeing people in the audience with monacles and tuxedos and some guy will stand up and yell, 'Fuck yeah, Dave!' [laughs]"


  • Blabbermouth reports U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine spoke to guitarist Bill Kelliher of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON about the progress of the writing and recording sessions for the band's next studio album, tentatively due in early 2014.  "I'm in Death Valley [California] and Thanksgiving is in two days, I fly back to Atlanta on Friday [November 29] and on Saturday or Sunday we start tracking," he said.  "We've got 21 or 22 songs that are candidates for the new record, though obviously we can't use all of those. We'll have to strip a few off, though they can be used elsewhere.  "I'm really not sure if there will be [a concept] or not. I know we had some ideas for a concept, but we've been so busy…"  Asked what it's been like working with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS, GHOST) on the new album, Bill said: "It's something that we totally need — a cheerleader to get our asses in gear. There he is saying, 'Come on, you're MASTODON… you're one of the biggest bands in metal… Smash that hammer down and write some heavy shit. It's time to do or die!' He's that kind of a guy."  MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor recently told about the band's forthcoming CD: "It's gonna be massive and insane, lots of epic greatness. There will be lots of huge riffs and new directions. It's real weird, real math-y, real straightforward. It's up, down and all around. It's a culmination of everything for the band. The snowball keeps rolling and collecting snow."  On December 10, Warner Bros. Records will digitally release "Mastodon Live At Brixton", a recording of MASTODON's February 11, 2012 performance at London, England's O2 Academy in Brixton. This sold-out performance was MASTODON's first show at the legendary venue. An audio-only version and a live video version directed by Ryan Mackfall (Crashburn Media) (both featuring the full 97-minute performance) will be available from all digital retailers, including iTunes and Amazon.  In addition to performing "Curl of the Burl", "Black Tongue" and "Dry Bone Valley" from "The Hunter", the band dug into their catalog, unearthing such scorching tracks as "Colony of Birchmen", "Capillarian Crest" and "Iron Tusk".  Loudwire reports Mastodon defend Thanksgiving shirt depicting Pilgrim pointing a gun at Native American woman Rolling Stone reports Mastodon slam into "Dry Bone Valley"


  • Blabbermouth reports on the margins of Cuba, an isolated country better known for cigars and Castro, a vibrant heavy metal cene flourishes.  Flocking to concerts around the communist-controlled island, tattooed fans wearing black METALLICA t-shirts listen to the screaming shouts of the country's metal bands.  The celebrities in this scene are the members of ZEUS, the country's oldest heavy metal band. They've performed in Havana since the 1980s, when this American-influenced music was officially banned by the Castro government. The long-haired rockers — called "freakies" — were thrown in jail and concerts were broken up by state police.  Thirty years later, rock music is tolerated, but barely. A government bureaucracy called the Agency Of Rock controls Cuba's heavy metal scene. Every concert and every record must be cleared with the Agency's director of rock.  It's a sign of the changing situation in Cuba, but it's also an absurd position for the country's heavy metal musicians. To play their music, ZEUS and their diehard fans must fight to be true to themselves within the confines set by the Cuban government.  "People always listen to the hardest music because it is a way of reaffirming their passion and liberty against everything that is imposed on them," says Ivan Vera, the guitarist for ZEUS. "That, I believe, is the reason for heavy metal."  American filmmaker Nicholas Brennan has spent the past four years capturing ZEUS's story and the broader history of heavy metal in Cuba in the feature-length documentary film "Hard Rock Havana".  With over 120 hours of footage filmed in Cuba, Brennan has launched a Kickstarter campaign to edit the film and share this band's story. The campaign runs through December 18.  The film is executive produced by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, with Dave Lombardo, Cuban-born former drummer of SLAYER, serving as the music advisor.


  • Blabbermouth reports  ANIMETAL USA, the American counterpart to ANIMETAL, the Japanese heavy metal band which specialized in metal covers of popular Japanese anime/tokusatsu theme songs, has inked a deal with Warner Bros.for the release of the band's third album, tentatively due in late 2014.


    * Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT) - Drums
    * Chris Impellitteri (IMPELLITTERI) - Guitar

    The drums on ANIMETAL USA's debut album were laid down by JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis. He has since been forced to leave the group due to his touring commitments with PRIEST.  In a post on his official web site, Impellitteri writes: "For those of you that are unfamiliar with ANIMETAL, please use caution when judging... ha ha!  "Please note, ANIMETAL is a project that features me on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass, Mike Vescera on vocals, and Jon Dette on drums (the great Scott Travis from JUDAS PRIEST recorded the drums on our first ANIMETAL record).  "For those of you that are unfamiliar with ANIMETAL, here is a quick overview:  "ANIMETAL blends famous anime themes with both original and cover versions of well-known heavy metal songs. This project is a lot of fun and hopefully will continue to bring metal influences to a new generation of anime fans and kids around the world.  "Here is a link [see below] I found on youtube that has one of our ANIMETAL songs where we blend the riff of BLACK SABBATH's 'The Mob Rules' with the famous animation song titled 'Cats Eye'.  "Of course, most of the music features original metal riffs mixed with anime story line lyrics, and I get to totally shred during the guitar solo which is always a lot of fun for us guitar players!"  ANIMETAL USA's second album, "Animetal USA W", was released in Japan in June 2012. The CD includes ANIMETAL USA's collaboration with Hironobu Kageyama, "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee". The song is the OP theme for Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, the anime adaptation of Kenji Taira's younger audience Saikyou Jump spin-off to NarutoANIMETAL USA made its U.S. live debut on June 29, 2012 at the Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the Main Events/Hall G.  ANIMETAL USA released its self-titled debut album in the U.S. on June 26, 2012 via Century Media Records.  The track listing of "Animetal USA" is the same as that of the album that was issued in Japan, but also includes four bonus songs — "Touch", "JAM Project Medley", "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" (Japanese single version) and "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" (English version). "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" is already familiar to anime fans, as it is the opening song to the "Naruto" spin-off, "Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals".



  • Blabbermouth reports Paige Montgomery of the LA Music Blog recently conducted an interview with STATIC-X frontman Wayne Static. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.  LA Music Blog: Tell me about the new lineup. Is this group going to stick for the long run or is this just who is going out with you for this upcoming two-week run?  Wayne: Well, I love all my guys. I had a few changes in 2012. One of my bass players, Brent [Ashley] — he left. Then Frankie came in, then Frankie left. I've got this guy Andrew Cole right now, who's awesome. He plays in a band right now in L.A. with the COAL CHAMBER guys, with Meegs and MikeyLA Music Blog: WE ARE THE RIOT…  Wayne: Yeah, yeah. So the bass player from those guys jams with me. And then Ashes, he's been my guitar player since day one, so he's my guy. And then drums, I'm bringing back Bevan Davies, who did the last two STATIC-X tours. He lives in Atlanta. I've already toured with him, so I'm not worried about him. He's really solid. He's got that real old-school STATIC-X feel, ya know? The first STATIC-X drummer, Kenny Lacey, had this basic kind of style and that's what Bevan does — just real solid and basic. It's really cool playing the old shit with him because he really nails it.  LA Music Blog: Do you like going out on the smaller club runs? This tour is mostly 500-2,000 seat venues I see…  Wayne: Yeah. Ya know, we're starting slow, and I don't have the STATIC-X name anymore. I made a deal with Tony [Campos], my old bass player, last year. He's the only legal STATIC-X member besides me. I paid him a bunch of money last year to use the name, and he's just a greedy motherfucker, man. He just hates me to death. He's trying to gouge the shit out of me. I made him an offer to give him 25 percent of my net profits and he refused it. He wants this outrageous number. [laughs] He wants more money than I make in a year, and he's just doing it on purpose because he hates me for whatever reason. But he doesn't want to play in STATIC-X, though. I gave him the opportunity, like, "Do you want to tour with us?" He's like, "No." Okay, well, "Will you let me use the name?" "No." [laughs] He's basically just telling me, like, "Fuck you." Ya know? [laughs] I'm like well, at least my name is Wayne Static and people know who I am. I'm not just some jack-off bass player that used to play in a band called STATIC-X. I'm like, "Fuck you," ya know? I'm still playing in a band called WAYNE STATIC. It's a little bit smaller because not everyone knows the name WAYNE STATIC, and everyone knows the name STATIC-X, but we're gonna build it up. I basically made the choice that STATIC-X is done, unless Tony changes his mind at some point, which I doubt he will. We're just going to build on STATIC-X. The funny thing is that it's still the same guys that played with STATIC-X last year, the same songs basically…we just can't call it STATIC-XLA Music Blog: Has there been any communication at all with Tony since last November?  Wayne: I tried to reach out to him. I reached out to him at the end of 2012 when I had to cancel the end of the tour because my hernia was so bad, I just couldn't play anymore. I said, "Dude, this is a good deal we've got going. If you give me some time off, I can get my surgery and I'll heal up, then when I'm ready to go, we'll start the deal up again." And he basically told me to go fuck off. He said, "Keep paying me or the deal is done." So I'm like alright…I guess I'm fucking off then. Like who doesn't want free money? I'm paying the dude to do nothing, and he told me to fuck off. Whatever.  LA Music Blog: I just caught Tony a couple weeks ago in L.A. with SOULFLY…  Wayne: I don't know what his deal is, man. I just don't know. I know he's happy playing with SOULFLY, and it's a cool band and whatever, but I don't know why he's gotta be such a dick to me. I don't understand it.  LA Music Blog: So with all of that going on over the past year and the issues with STATIC-X, how important is 2014 for Wayne StaticWayne: Well, I plan on having a big-ass year. It's the fifteenth anniversary of "Wisconsin Death Trip". I'm doing the "Wisconsin Death Tour". I'm planning a world tour. We're gonna hit Europe, Australia, we're going to China. We're fucking doing Japan. I'm going to do two runs around the U.S. We're going to be on tour most of next year. We're going to play the first album front to back, then we're going to do an eight-song encore, which will be different songs each night. That will allow us to do multiple nights in big towns like L.A. and Chicago. I think it's going to be really cool, and I think fans are going to dig it. There are songs on "Wisconsin Death Trip" that we've never even played live, so it should be interesting. [laughs]  Read the entire interview at LA Music Blog.


  • Blabbermouth reports Los Angeles-based heavy metal instrumental trio STORK is instrumental no more! Founding STORK members, super drummer Thomas Lang (PAUL GILBERT) and guitarist Shane Gibson (KORN) have announced their new album, "Broken Pieces" (Muso Entertainment), will feature lead singer VK Lynne (VITA NOVA, Eve's Apple) and bassist Kelly LeMieux (BUCKCHERRY, GOLDFINGER). Lang and Gibson have also launched an IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign for their second studio release. The campaign offers fans one-of-a-kind offerings, including Skype drum and guitar lessons as well as signed CDs, signed drumheads, dinner with the band and more. 
    "Broken Pieces" is a marked departure from the band's 2010 self-titled release, which offered up mega-doses of Lang's power, drumming and Gibson's seven-string shredding skills on instrumental tracks like "Loki" and "Dooosh".  "This is easily some of the best prog metal I've heard all year… which is an incredibly grand statement in a year when SCALE THE SUMMIT, PROTEST THE HERO, DEVIN TOWNSEND, MASTODON, DREAM THEATER, OPETH and MESHUGGAH all have albums coming out or already out," Vince Neilstein of Metal Sucks wrote at the time. 
    Mixed by Dan Monte (METALLICA, GUNS N' ROSES) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, SEPULTURA) and featuring artwork from famed dark artist Sam "Mr. Sam" Shearon, "Broken Pieces" pairs Lynne's soulful vocals and intense lyrics with ultra-heavy guitar riffs, virtuoso drumming and rock solid bass on tracks like "Overflow" and "Chainsaw Serenade", evoking a sound that can be best described as "GARBAGE meets MESHUGGAH."  "Broken Pieces" is slated for release in early 2014.


  • Loudwire posts kid band rocks Alice Cooper’s "School’s Out" – Best of YouTube


  • Ultimate Classic Rock posts an album review of Eric Clapton, "Give Me Strength: The 1974 / 1975 Recordings"







  • Ultimate Classic Rock reports Garth Brooks covers Eagles, Queen and many more classic rockers on new "Roots" collection




  • NME reports The Gaslight Anthem to release b-sides collection


  • NME reports Morrissey announces b-sides for "Satellite Of Love"


  • NME reports Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett remixes Alt-J's "Dissolve Me"


  • NME reports Arcade Fire perform "Afterlife" on "The Graham Norton Show"



  • Blabbermouth posts performance footage of Lita Ford "Thanksgiving-Day Jam", Lacuna Coil at Metal Female Voices Fest and In Solitude in Oakland, California

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