Is Rock Dead? SEETHER, BUCKCHERRY Members Weigh In SEETHER's Shaun Morgan and BUCKCHERRY's Josh Todd have responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."Simmonstold Esquire magazine earlier in the month — in an interview conducted by his son Nick— that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."AlternativeNation.net had the chance to sit down with members of SEETHER, BUCKCHERRY and ESCAPE THE FATE at the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar tour stop in Irvine, California on September 16. While the musicians agreed with points Simmons made, they had much more hope for rock than the KISS legend does.
Said Morgan: "I agree that there aren't a lot of good rock bands coming out. I think it's become homogenized and I think that there's too much focus on what people look like and not much on what they sound like. But then again, by the same token, I don't take Gene Simmons as an authority on anything, because the dude's out of touch, man. To come from a guy like that, I guess it's something that's worth listening to, but he also doesn't live in the real rock world like the rest of us; he lives in 'Gene Simmons land.' And KISS' planet is very different to the rest of ours, you know what I mean? He doesn't get on a tour bus and ride around for a year at a time; he flies around, and has flowers and crap put in his dressing room and stuff. So I do agree that there aren't a lot of bands that are inspiring to me, and there aren't a lot of bands that I'm gonna go out and buy their albums. But there are other bands — like there's a band called KYNG that I'm a huge fan of. And those guys are just plugging away by themselves, man, and every single band that they've toured with loves them, and people are starting to come around to them. And that's just because those guys are hard workers and they write good music. So there is still good music out there. It's just that record companies don't have the imagination to find it, I don't think."
Stated Todd: "I read [Gene's] statement and I read some of the details of what he was saying, and some of it is true. And some of it is, like… I don't believe it. I think that if you're passionate about what you're doing and your band, then you're gonna find a way. All that statement means to me is there's a huge void in rock music for a great rock band. So that, to me, is really powerful, and it can be whatever you make it. And you've gotta go for it. What I think is really lacking in rock music are guitar heroes and really great frontmen that really work on their craft of singing and performing, and they're not sitting there playing a guitar, singng into a microphone, standing there being pretty stagnant the whole show. I think that we need more rock and roll heroes, guys that just shred on the guitar and they take their guitar very seriously, like Eddie Van Halen, like Slash, like all the guys… Angus Young, like those type of guys. Because there is a reason for rock and roll solos, there was a reason for it in rock music, and that's to give the singer a break, and also to add a really cool element to the music. So hopefully that's gonna happen again. Because I think a lot of the new rock records are very washed out, they're muddy, they lack melody, they lack groove, they lack songs. They have the same type of models. Like, if you listen to Active Rock radio, it's, like, one band after another and you can't tell who is who, and you can't tell what record a song came off of out of, like, three or four records of one band. You're, like, 'Was that record one or record three?' Not to name names, because I know everybody is out there working hard and being passionate about what they do, but I mean, that's just the way… that's what I feel like when I listen to it. Right now, all my new music is all pop. I just think pop is so interesting right now, 'cause there's so many great artists out there right now — like Bruno Mars, for instance. And stuff like that. That's exciting to me. I can't find anything… I have searched to find some really cool stuff in rock and I just can't find any super-great rock records. So I think there's a real good opportunity for a young band. They're gonna have to hustle and it's gonna be definitely harder than it used to be. But you've just gotta think of new creative ways to market your record."
MACHINE HEAD Postpones North American Tour
San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD have released the following statement:
"It is with great disappointment that MACHINE HEAD must announce the postponement of our North American tour this fall.
"Our new album, 'Bloodstone & Diamonds', has taken longer to complete than expected and we had to make the difficult choice to either delay the album, let it go out as incomplete, or cancel the tour in order to properly finish and promote the album in the caliber it needs to be done. We decided postponing the tour was the best decision for the record.
"We feel this record is a milestone, we have something truly special here, but getting there has been a challenge.
"Our vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn just returned from a press tour where he was playing rough mixes and incomplete versions of songs for the press just to try and keep everything on time for our November release date.
"Refunds will be available for tickets at point of purchase.
"Look out for rescheduled American tour dates for the beginning of the year.
"All [previously announced] European tour dates will remain as scheduled."
MACHINE HEAD will release its new album, "Bloodstone & Diamonds", on November 10 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The CD was recorded in part at GREEN DAY's JingleTown Recording compound in Oakland, California.
Regarding the "Bloodstone & Diamonds" album title, Robb Flynn said: "Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth. It is also a lyric from the opening track of the album, 'Now We Die'.
"In many cultures, the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band."
Speaking about the musical direction of "Bloodstone & Diamonds", Flynn said: "There's definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It's a really heavy record arid there's a dark and evil vibe to a lot of it, but I feel like there's more of a rock vibe in there too. It's stripped down at times, and I like that. I think that sense of urgency has carried over from the demos we did, which were all done very quickly and spontaneously. We tried to keep that spontaneous vibe on the album."
He continued: "At one point we started getting really anal on the tracks and spending tons of time on stuff, and we'd listen back and say, 'You know what? This doesn't have the vibe of the demos.' The demos were so fuckin' frantic, so we changed our mindset and now it's a little bit looser. Some of the guitar takes are basically live. Often, 40 or 50 percent of a song came from a spontaneous, live take and that's killer! It adds energy and makes the songs feel alive."
Reactivated ATREYU Is 'Stoked' About Response To New Song 'So Others May Live' Caliber TV conducted an interview with guitarist Travis Miguel of reactivated Southern California metallers ATREYU on September 14 at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's decision to resurrect ATREYU:Travis: "We never officialy broke up. Prior to us going into hibernation, for 10-12 years, if we weren't writing, we were recording; if we weren't recording, we were touring; if we weren't touring, we were writing. So it was non-stop for that amount of years, and we just kind of needed time to step away from ATREYU, as dumb as it sounds. But yeah, toward the end of that last run that we did, we were all just fried and burnt out; we were all sick. There was no morale left, really. We were just kind of going through the motions. Or I was, anyway. Not that I didn't like playing or anything… [But] I started taking it for granted. I wanted to get reinvigorated. And that's where we're at now. We just played a show the other day [September 11] in our hometown and it was, like, all smiles on the stage. [The show] sold out in less than a minute or something, which… If you told me when I was 15 that I'd sell out Chain Reaction [in Orange County] in less than a minute, I would have laughed in your face."
On what fans can expect from ATREYU's new material following the recent release of a new song, "So Others May Live" (hear audio below):Travis: "I really can't say what to expect, because then, if I say something, somebody's gonna be, like, 'Oh, that's not what you said.' So, I mean, we wrote three or four songs, and it wasn't, like, 'Okay, they have to sound like this,' or, 'They have to sound like that.' We just got in a room and we started writing and whatever came out came out. And so a good gauge of that is the 'So Others May Live' song. And so far, for the most part, I think that the response to that song has been really awesome, so we're stoked."
Vocalist Alex Varkatzas had this to say about "So Others May Live": "'So Others May Live' is inspired by one of my best friends, who is ex-military. The things our troops go through to protect us are pretty unreal. Their treatment after leaves a lot to be desired, as well."
He continued, "The song honors them and condemns our government's constant deployment of these brave souls. The people who fight and die for us often come from a certain socio-economic background — the working class. The people making these decisions to send our nation's children to war come from positions of privilege and wealth; their kids aren't the ones getting deployed and they aren't risking their lives every day at work. Yet they order the working class to go 'keep us safe' at the drop of a hat, it feels like. It's bullshit. It's the politicians and the rich of this country waging war to keep the majority pre-occupied, so they can make money and advance their bullshit political agendas. The expense is 'expendable' working class/poor Americans' lives, never the rich."
ATREYU has a sold-out-within-minutes show scheduled for the Chain Reaction in its native Orange County on September 11 and will also take the stage as one of the most anticipated acts appearing at the 2014 edition of annual Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California on September 14. The band will also appear at Knotfest in Southern California on October 25.
IN FLAMES: 'Siren Charms' Cracks U.S. Top 30 "Siren Charms" the eleventh album from Swedish metallers IN FLAMES, sold around 9,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 26 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band's previous CD, 2011's "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", opened with around 14,000 units to land at No. 27.IN FLAMES' 2008 effort, "A Sense of Purpose" registered a first-week tally of 20,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 28. This was slightly less than the premiere-week performance of "Come Clarity" (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to debut at No. 58."Siren Charms" was released in the U.S. on September 9 via Sony/RED. The CD was recorded at Hansa Tonstudios (DAVID BOWIE, DEPECHE MODE, U2) in Berlin, Germany. The cover artwork was created by Blake Armstrong of Space Boy Comics."Siren Charms" track listing:
01. In Plain View
02. Everything’s Gone
04. Through Oblivion
05. With Eyes Wide Open
06. Siren Charms
07. When The World Explodes
08. Rusted Nail
09. Dead Eyes
10. Monsters In The Ballroom
11. Filtered Truth
The "Through Oblivion" video was once again helmed by Swedish director Patric Ullaeus of the Revolver Film Company AB, who has previously worked with HAMMERFALL, DIMMU BORGIR, EUROPE and LACUNA COIL, among many others.
Speaking about the band's mindset going into the making of "Siren Charms", IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte said: "We changed the scenery from how we normally do records. We've done quite a few in Gothenburg. We've done a few experiments. We went to Uppsala once. We did one record in Denmark. We rented a huge house, built two studios in there, and just winged it. It turned out great. It was an awesome experience. This time around, Anders [Fridén, vocals] fell in love with the Hansa studios in Germany. It's a classic studio in Berlin. So many classic albums have come from there, and so many artists have been there. He felt that maybe he could get inspired from that or something might rub off in the studio. I was like, 'Fuck it. For me, it doesn't really matter. I can record anywhere.' He was absolutely certain it was important for us to do that. I went down there and fell in love with it too. Anders explained the history of the place. David Bowie, U2 and DEPECHE MODE have all recorded there. All of these huge records have come from there. I was pretty sure it wasn't going to change anything. Listening back to it now, it did. Something came in there. There's a certain melancholic vibe to the album that I'm not sure would've happened anywhere else."
He continued: "It was a genius move from Anders. He talked us into it. Basically, we weren't really hard to convince when we saw the studio and heard the history of it. It was an interesting thing to do. It changed things a little bit. We came down there with the same goal to make the eleventh record… We wanted to make something special out of it, and we really did… I think it's a sense of melancholy. It's not something depressing or sad in a bad way. It strikes a certain note — at least in my heart. There's a vibe in it. I could never recreate it just by using the same formula. It's something that just happens. It's a mix of a lot of things. The ideas Anders is talking about in the lyrics all the way until the final mix and the way we put on extra guitars and the effects are all a little sadder in a sort of uplifting and refreshing way. There are so many things that work together in giving it that vibe."
CANNIBAL CORPSE's PAT O'BRIEN Says METALLICA's 'Ride The Lightning' Album 'Still Sounds Crushing' Paul Southwell of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Pat O'Brien of Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Loud: On this album ["A Skeletal Domain"] you've written about five tracks, which is a fair chunk. Did you co-write with Alex [Webster; bass] at all?Pat: It is my own doing. Alex is usually the main writer and how I contribute depends on the album. For "Evisceration Plague", I was going through some stuff with moving and could only do two songs. I might have contributed more on "Torture", but I wrote five songs on "A Skeletal Domain". Alex had some stuff with other projects so he was in and out a lot during the time that we were writing so there was more time for me to be there with Paul to work on things. The opportunity was there and I had the riffs, so I did not stop writing.
Did [producer] Mark Lewis therefore have a lot of impact on the sounds on the latest album? How did he compare to working with producer Erik Rutan [HATE ETERNAL]?Pat: They are both great at what they do. They both do things in their own way so are a bit different. We decided to go with Mark to simply change it up a bit. We don't want to keep making the same album and keep on going through the same routine all the time. We know how Erik works which is great but we wanted to try Mark's methods. We're happy with the end result. You want to make the album sound as vicious as possible but at the same time, you want to make it so that people can hear what is going on. You want to get the clarity in there. For a guitar sound, the more distortion the better because I love those sounds but you have to make it to where people can hear what you're doing.Loud: METALLICA were certainly heavy [when they came out in the early '80s]. Do you think that CANNIBAL CORPSE will ever be considered less extreme as boundaries continue to get pushed in music?Pat: I can put on an old BLACK SABBATH album and it still sounds heavy. [METALLICA's] "Ride The Lightning" still sounds crushing to me too. I guess with CANNIBAL CORPSE, it just depends as times will change and what is cool right now won't be in five or ten years, but then, for some reason, it seems to come back around, just like clothing. Bands are wearing skin-tight jeans now when ten years ago they were all wearing baggy fucking jeans and you couldn't even find a normal pair of jeans. All that nu-metal, LIMP BIZKIT shit is now out so it is hard to say. I think there are people out there that already think that we're not heavy anymore. I imagine it, everyone has their own taste.Loud: Given your guitars, how big an influence was Chuck Schuldiner from DEATH?Pat: Myself and Chuck were about the same age so I wouldn't say he was a huge influence on me. He was more of a big influence on George [Fisher; singer], vocal wise. Touring with him, I used to talk to him and hang out with him. He was a good guy and I think that listening to those DEATH albums there is some great shit. I guess listening to something awesome is going to influence you one way or the other. I don't think there was anything musical I'd really stolen off Chuck, but he definitely had a place though.
Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.
SLIPKNOT: Closer Look At New Masks
As with every album cycle, the members of SLIPKNOT have unveiled brand-new masks to coincide with the release of their fifth studio CD, ".5: The Gray Chapter", which will arrive on October 21 via Roadrunner.Buzzfeed has premiered a two-minute "closer look" at the new SLIPKNOT "identities." Check it out in the YouTube clip below.SLIPKNOT revealed its new masks and its new members — at least what they look like — in the video for "The Devil In I", the first single from ".5: The Gray Chapter". The clip, directed by percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, shows off the new headgear worn by the seven original members, while giving us brief glimpses of the band's new drummer and bassist, who are both wearing the same mask.
The band has not revealed the identity of either new member, but now new evidence has surfaced online that the man replacing late SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray is named Alessandro "Vman" Venturella. Venturella has served as a guitar tech for MASTODON, COHEED AND CAMBRIA and others, while also playing in the band KROKODIL.
A side-by-side comparison of Venturella's distinctive hand tattoo and that from the person playing bass in the "The Devil In I" video reveals that they appear to be the same.SLIPKNOT's new drummer is widely believed to be Jay Weinberg, son of longtime Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg.
Singer Corey Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio that SLIPKNOT wants to honor its past while also moving forward: "It's respect, but at the same time it's about healing the wounds, you know, and starting to take those steps forward, and it's about time for that."".5: The Gray Chapter" is SLIPKNOT's first album without Gray, who passed away in 2010, and drummer Joey Jordison, who was dismissed last year.
The band will stage a two-day Knotfest event in San Bernardino, California in late October before kicking off its "Prepare For Hell" tour on October 29 in El Paso, Texas.
SLASH To Partner With IFAW For 'Beneath The Savage Sun' Video
This week, Slash released "World On Fire", his latest solo album with his backing band MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS. He has already put out a pretty intense lyric video for the title track, so VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner asked him if fans can expect more visuals for songs on the record.
"We have a concept for a song called 'Beneath The Savage Sun', which we're going to partner up with IFAW [International Fund for Animal Welfare], which is an animal conservation organization, and the song is all about poaching, so we're going to compile a lot of footage together about that particular subject — elephant poaching and rhino poaching and all that — and make a really great, informative video and put it to that song which is like seven minutes long so hopefully raise some awareness for what's going on out there."
That's not the only clip Slash has planned though. The former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist, who isn't a fan of appearing in videos, told VH1 Radio Network what else he is considering. "You know, maybe doing a video where the concept is so engaging the band doesn't have to fake it and try to be in it, and just have the music back up the video," he said. "So there's a couple different ideas. Anything but just the standard fare."Slash released his first self-titled solo effort in 2010. On that album he employed a different vocalist on each track, before settling on ALTER BRIDGE member Kennedy for both touring and eventually recording."Apocalyptic Love" earned Slash his two first-ever No. 1 U.S. rock radio hits with "You're A Lie" and "Standing In The Sun".
The former GUNS N' ROSES member and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee just wrapped up a summer tour with AEROSMITH and will play three shows in West Hollywood next week before heading out to Europe.
The shows will take place at three legendary Hollywood music venues: the Troubadour on September 23, the Roxy on September 25 and the Whisky on September 26.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist Says Heavy Metal Bands And Fans 'Stick Together'
In a brand new interview with Out Of The Blue, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory was asked what he thinks his band's extraordinary commercial success says about FIVE FINGER's music and heavy metal in general.
"Well, we are here to stay. That's what that really means," he said. "I mean, look at this genre, you know. People who are into rock music, there are a couple of characteristics of rock and heavy metal music fans. One of them is loyalty.
"When you get into this, it's not just the flavor of the month. It's almost like you're committed, you know what I mean? This is something like this is a lifestyle thing. It's a lifelong thing.
"I don't know anybody — personally, I don't know anybody — who would say, 'Yeah, man, when I was younger, I used to listen to these crazy bands, but not anymore.' You know, "I used to listen to SLAYER, man but now I'm a big Eminem fan.' Which, I love Eminem, but my point is people who got into this style of music, people who got into the scene they don't really ever leave. It's more than that. It's not just the music. Because these bands are banding together [on the road] and more and more of these [package] tours [are taking place], everybody's grouping together. When the genre is not the most popular, that's when it's really tested and when you are being really tested, that's when brotherhood happens. That's what bonds people together: hardship and suffering. When you have to accomplish something together, those are the real bonding elements of everything in life. And when it comes to a musical genre, when it's hard, when it's not, you know, and hard rock is not the most popular thing in the world, the believers, the bands, look at us, HELLYEAH and VOLBEAT, we stick together and do this together and form friendships and brotherhoods. And that's the only way.
"Calm seas don't make great sailors. It's always the hardship, it's always the difficult times that forge these things. Look at the soldier— the reason that soldiers have such a connection [is] because they really depend on each other, their lives depends on each other. And so they forge brotherships and friendships that are lifelong and an almost unbreakable bond. And I know it's maybe a little bit an offshoot example, but that's kind of what happens, in my opinion, with rock music today — these bands are sticking together. And when anybody gets successful for anything, we are actually happy for each other, you know.
"I'm just happy that I'm part of this scene that I got addicted to this when I was a little kid and I'm proud to be a member of that heavy metal community, especially in times when we are sticking together and doing something great."
Each one of the first three FIVE FINGER albums has been certified gold in the U.S. for sales of 500,000 copies or more.
Despite releasing two CDs' worth of material last year, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is already looking toward its next studio project. Drummer Jeremy Spencer told Artisan News, "We're at the studio right now, and we're recording some new material. And after we finish the [fall North American co-headlining] tour with VOLBEAT, we're gonna go back in and try to finish up everything in the winter and then get something out late spring [or] early summer."Spencer added that the band has demoed four songs so far, saying, "I'm liking what I'm hearing, but there's a long way to go… We'll judge the body of work when it's done."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH released "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell" in two parts last year, with the first arriving in July 2013 and the second following last November. The first half alone has sold more than 415,000 copies in the U.S.
GODFLESH: New Song 'Imperator' Available For Streaming
Reformed U.K. industrial metal pioneers GODFLESH will release their new album, "A World Lit Only By Fire", on October 7 via GODFLESH frontman Justin K. Broadrick's Avalanche Recordings.
The track listing for the CD is as follows:
01. New Dark Ages
03. Shut Me Down
04. Life Giver Life Taker
06. Curse Us All
09. Towers Of Emptiness
10. Forgive Our Fathers
The song "Imperator" can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.
In an interview with the French radio station Le 106, Justin K. Broadrick stated about the band's forthcoming album: "It will be [musically] similar to the first two or three [GODFLESH albums]. I just think, like we're playing these shows, we feel very pure about we're doing and honoring the initial intentions with what we originally set out to do. Which, I think, like most bands and musicians and all the rest of it, by the time you get on to your fourth album, it's somewhat of a dilution going on to what you initially tried to achieve. It will definitely sound aggressive and it probably won't sound like any of the other records we've made, but it will have the minimalism of the first few records."
Added GODFLESH bassist G.C. Green: "It won't sound like the first two record; it will be more the spirit… When you make records over the years, you change as people, you change as musicians, you progress, you develop and you take other styles on, but I think, having had a break from it and come back to it, it seems that we've gone straight back into what the essence of it was originally, and that's why it feels good."
Continued Justin: "It's getting straight back to the core of what this is all about. And I think having a break from it has probably even more inspired… It's like refocusing and obviously, we're somewhat older and wiser. It's gonna be a really interesting record. It's extremely minimal and very, very brutal — a fairly unforgiving record, really, I think."
GODFLESH's "Decline & Fall" EP was released on June 26 in the U.S. via Avalanche Recordings. The Japanese version of the EP includes two bonus songs.GODFLESH released its first new recording in over 12 years through Decibel magazine's Flexi Series. A cover of the track "F.O.D. (Fuck of Death)" by legendary death thrashers SLAUGHTER (Canada) was included in the subscriber version of the magazine's November 2013 issue.
Monterrey (Mexico) (AFP) - US pop star Miley Cyrus has caused a stir in Mexico after getting whipped on a giant fake buttocks with the country's flag during a concert, prompting an official investigation.
TV show helps spur arrest in 1997 Arizona killing
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A television show that featured the nearly two-decade-old killing of an Arizona teenager and her unborn baby helped lead to the arrest of her ex-boyfriend, police said Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) — Nik Wallenda is all about spectacle, a showman who crossed Niagara Falls and an Arizona gorge on a high wire and now has his sights on Chicago's iconic skyscrapers — partly because of the city's reputation for being windy.
If you see one film about walled-in males this fall, it should be the savage and powerful British prison drama "Starred Up," a superlatively acted father-son story played out behind bars and starring up-and-coming Jack O'Connell.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story Sept. 15 about Bill Cosby loaning African-American art to the Smithsonian Institution, The Associated Press, relying on information from the National Museum of African Art, reported erroneously that Cosby and his wife would lend their entire collection to the museum. They will lend 62 works, not the entire collection of more than 300, according to new information from the museum.