Legendary IRON MAIDEN Illustrator DEREK RIGGS Interviewed By LITTLE PUNK PEOPLE (Video) Elliott of Little Punk People conducted an interview with legendary IRON MAIDEN illustrator Derek Riggs at the Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio in March 2014. You can now watch the chat below.
Riggs is behind one of the most recognizable characters in all of heavy metal, IRON MAIDEN's mascot Eddie. He has created some of the most complex album covers of all time with precision and a painterly flair.Riggs' art book "Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs", was presented as a 180-page, full-color, large-format, top-quality art book, sporting approximately 200 graphics, some previously unpublished, some unfinished, many pristine originals from the IRON MAIDEN vaults, thanks to the full cooperation of MAIDEN manager Rod Smallwood and his charges. In addition, Riggs painted a stunning new Eddie to grace the cover.
In a 2012 interview with Classic Rock magazine, Riggs was asked where the inspiration for IRON MAIDEN's "The Number Of The Beast" artwork came from.
"The manager phoned me up and said they wanted a picture for a single cover that was about the devil and witchcraft and was called 'Purgatory'," he said. "There was a Doctor Strange comic which had some big villian with Doctor Strange dangling on some strings like a puppet; it was something I read as a child back in the 1960s, I think. The picture came to mind right away. I thought I could do a very effective heaven-and-hell thing using Eddie. Most of those hell backgrounds were taken from my knowledge of medieval European Christian art which was full of such scenes.
"They phoned me up on the Friday night and they wanted the picture by Monday morning, so I only had two days to get the whole thing finished. So I had to work for two days and nights without any sleep to get it done on time. Because of the tight deadline, I had to use a kind of shorthand for all the figures. I had to get them in but I didn't have time to paint them. So I drew layers of black silhouettes with a pen and separated them with layers of airbrushed mist to try to give the picture some depth. It was quite a fast way to do it so I managed to get quite a few in there. I even got an H.R. Giger Alien in there as well."
GOTTHARD: Fan-Filmed Video Footage Of Tour Kick-Off
Swiss hard rock veterans GOTTHARD kicked off their "BANG!" world tour on April 8 at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.GOTTHARD's new album, "BANG!", was released on April 7 through PIAS.GOTTHARD has been at home touring the globe for over 20 years throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia on the back of 14 studio and live albums. They have collected multiple gold and platinum awards on the way, selling almost three million records and appearing at the biggest, most important festivals on the map of rock.
The dynamic boogie groove of the "BANG!" title track is also new ground for the band, reflecting their unbridled energy and pure confidence. Also worthy of mention is a duet with the unknown (so far) American vocalist Melody Tibbits on a ballad entitled "Maybe". As is the blues excursion the band takes in "Spread Your Wings". The final "Thank You" is a veritable epic complete with orchestra and goosebumps, flowing against radio friendly convention to a length of more than ten minutes. Written as a tribute to the departed mother of guitarist Leo Leoni, it serves as a homage to mothers everywhere.
The first single from the new album is "Feel What I Feel", a perfect demonstration of the group's talent for combining melodic vocals with strong guitar hooks. These songs are set against a background of classic GOTTHARD rock tunes like "Get Up 'N' Move On", "Jump The Gun" and "My Belief", which traditionally grace every album by the Swiss combo. All told, "BANG!" presents a compelling mix that is sure to take its rightful place in the proud legend of GOTTHARD.
Recorded and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and GOTTHARD's own Leo Leoni at Yellow House Studios in Lugano in the Swiss canton of Tessin, "BANG!" was then mixed at the Dutch Wisseloord Studios (Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner) by Ronald Prent, who has managed to keep the GOTTHARD sound but transport them into 2014. No wonder, after all Prent has worked in the studio with bands such as the SCORPIONS, 3 DOORS DOWN, DEF LEPPARD and WITHIN TEMPTATION.
Apart from a standard jewel case, the album was made available in digipack version, with two bonus tracks and also on vinyl.
GOTTHARD's last album, "Firebirth", marked the band's first release with singer Nic Maeder, who was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, lived in Melbourne, Australia and grew up between Switzerland and "Down Under."GOTTHARD's previous vocalist, Steve Lee, was killed on October 5, 2010 in what has been described as a freak road accident in Nevada.
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES: 'Slam City' Video Released "Slam City", the new video from the long-running Venice Beach, California thrash/punk band SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, can be seen below. The Luke Sorensen-diretced clip was filmed on location in France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands during the 2013 and 2014 "Slam City" and "Persistence" tours. Additional footage was taken from Madrid and Budapest."Slam City" comes off SUICIDAL TENDENCIES' latest album, "13", which sold around 3,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 187 on The Billboard 200 chart. The first studio album in 13 years from SUICIDAL TENDENCIES was produced by vocalist Mike Muir and Grammy-nominated engineer/mixer Paul Northfield (DREAM THEATER, HOLE, RUSH).
In a May 2013 interview with Loudwire, Muir stated about the making of "13": "We were close to [having] 160 songs, but there were a lot of changes in the studio right up until the very end. I think if it hadn't been so long we probably would still be recording right now, but we actually kind of enjoyed that process. Putting records out isn't very fun, but recording is fun."
He continued: "I think one of the things is the way music is now and doing your own thing. It used to be you put out a record and you went on tour for a year or so, you got back, took a little time off and then you went in the studio and recorded 15 or 20 songs and you picked them and put it out. I don't think that is necessarily the way things are anymore and the fact that things don't sell or anything like that. Then it gets to the point, like, 'Why are we putting out something and kind of defend it in a sense because all of our records always get attacked when it's something we love?'
"Ten years ago, we got our own studio and we have that ability where it's not, like, 'Okay, we got three or four weeks, we have to get everything done and then that's it.' You're able to go into the studio anytime and write and when you do that you're not sitting there going, 'How's this song going to fit in on a SUICIDAL record?' You just record and you do what you like and you have a lot of fun. I think it was at the end when it started getting to so many years where we were, like, 'We need to kind of get this done.'"
No 'Mom Jeans' For MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE
Fan-filmed video footage of MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine introducing the song "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" during the band's April 19 concert in Tucson, Arizona can be seen below.
Said Mustaine: "If I was your president…. [Chuckles] Oh, boy… I'll tell you what… There would be no fucking 'mom jeans' on this guy. [Editors' note: Mustaine was referring to an old joke about how President Obama wears mom jeans.]"
He added: "Don't forget to vote.
"This song is called 'Holy Wars'."
President Barack Obama last month responded to critics of his "mom jeans," telling radio host Ryan Seacrest in an interview: "I've been unfairly maligned about my jeans. The truth is, generally, I look very sharp in jeans. There was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans, mainly because I was out on the pitcher's mound and I didn't want to feel confined while I was pitching, and I think I've paid my penance for that. I got whacked pretty good. Since that time, my jeans fit very well."Mustaine in 2012 revealed his "birther" opinions on a Canadian talk show, saying he doubted President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Mustaine also made headlines in August 2012 when he said on stage during a concert in Singapore that Obama was behind the shooting rampages near Denver and Milwaukee. He continued his diatribe by wondering where he was going to live "if America keeps going the way it's going, because it looks like it's turning into Nazi America."
REVAMP: Fan-Filmed Footage Of Philadelphia Concert
Fan-filmed video footage of REVAMP— the Dutch band led by former AFTER FOREVER frontwoman and current NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen— performing on April 17 at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can be seen below.
REVAMP is currently touring North America as the support act for ICED EARTH and SABATON.REVAMP's second album, "Wild Card", was released in Europe on August 23, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at SandLane Studio in Rijen, The Netherlands with Joost van den Broek (ex-AFTER FOREVER) and features guest choir parts by Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniël de Jongh (TEXTURES)."Wild Card" track listing:
01. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline
02. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
03. Wild Card
06. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia
07. Distorted Lullabies
09. I Can Become
10. Misery's No Crime
11. Wolf and Dog
12. Sins (bonus track)
The CD features additional guest appearances by Mark Jansen (EPICA), Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) and Devin Townsend.Jansen told About.com Heavy Metal about the songwriting process for "Wild Card": "When AFTER FOREVER stopped, I didn't want to first find a band, then see if I could write with them, figure that whole thing out, then record an album. Instead I worked with people I knew would be good songwriters out of an idea how I thought it would sound like. So I worked with a German guitar player (Waldemar Sorychta) and Joost van den Broek from AFTER FOREVER. We wrote the album and played on it and hired a drummer. That's basically how it was done. Then I formed a band with the current lineup. The ambition was to continue as a band and start writing. The cool thing is that it worked. Mainly the guitarist Jord (Otto), keyboardist Ruben (Wijga) and myself came up with all the ideas. Joost became the supervisor of the whole songwriting process and producer of the album."REVAMP last year announced the addition of bassist Henk Vonk to the group's ranks. He replaced Jaap Melman, who left REVAMP before the band entered the studio to begin recording its second album. The CD was eventually completed with the help of STREAM OF PASSION bassist Johan van Stratum, who filled in on short notice and "did an amazing job to record and edit the bass parts," according to a press release.REVAMP's self-titled debut album was released in Europe on May 28, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.
DEVILDRIVER's DEZ FAFARA: 'I'm Just A Bricklayer That Got Lucky' MetalMouth.net recently conducted an interview with vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.MetalMouth.net: DEVILDRIVER is a touring machine; you are literally always on the road. Is this still as important to you as your early days with COAL CHAMBER? Is it still as important to see the fans go crazy for your music? Dez: Yeah! And these shows, particularly where it's been just mental, we've only had one or two nights that haven't sold out. I feed off the crowd. There was a guy interviewing me a couple of days ago and he said, "You command the crowd and you tell 'em what to do," and actually, no, it's the other way around. If the crowd are going off, they're gonna command my reaction, so it's not my actions, but my reaction to what is going on. It's a cool thing, man, when you can play music and move people, when you don't just wanna stand their with a beer in your hand, you wanna drop that and your girlfriend's hand and get in the pit. That's kinda something special, and I feel we've got that right now.MetalMouth.net: You've been in two bands now that have defined their respective genres: DEVILDRIVER and groove metal and COAL CHAMBER was a whole beast of its own. What do you think the secret was to the success of these bands? Timing? Dez: Well, everything in life is timing. There are no coincidences, it's always timing. But also it goes back to your previous question, if you make art for yourself or if you don't,just go for it where the scene is. When COAL CHAMBER first started, there was no scene around us. Eventually we got labelled into a scene, and there was a scene after years. I think if you just do what you do, people will see the honesty in it. And I'm a hardworking cat, so people know I'm just out there playing three shows and having five days off. I'm out there playing shows and I love music and I love playing shows. You can see it on my face when I go on stage, you know. My microphone, to me, is everything!MetalMouth.net: Dez, you've personally embraced social media, especially Twitter and Instagram. Do you believe social media is important in connecting with your fans? Dez: It's important to me, for me. I'm a real recluse, man! I'm a hermit. I don't go out afterwards. You will rarely find me out at a bar and I don't do the strip club or the backstage thing. I like to hang with a very close group of friends that I know in each town. It's hard. People don't really get to meet me unless they catch me from the bus to the stage or there's a meet-and-greet. So the way you can connect is social media. I would have loved that when I was younger. Ozzy [Osbourne] posting stuff or whatever and if you go on my Instagram you can see how I live… my home and my dogs and different esoteric things I'm into. I post Freemasonry stuff and all sorts of things and I think it's important that people get some more of you than just the stage and just the music then they can tie into you a little more. They can see that, "Oh, this guy is just like me." And I've said it a million times: I'm just a bricklayer that got lucky.
MetalMouth.net: It's good for people to see the life you have and where you live…
Dez: All of it, man, all of it. Me and my kids hanging out, or my dogs. And I'm a very normal cat at home. I live in a very normal environment, I have a very normal life at home and people need to see that, and on the road as well, I keep to myself. If it's not the shows, I'm on the bus. MetalMouth.net: The future of the music industry looks somewhat bleak, I can't deny it. Metal always seems to get the raw end of the deal. With things like piracy rife, where do you see the industry going from here and in your mind how can it evolve?Dez: Anything underground gets a raw deal. Punk rock, blues and metal suffers because there's a lot of pop. Well, I don't know. You do need a machine to get to a certain level, and that machine is a record label that hires other people. Or gets people like you here for interviews and such. Should we be able to replace that with the artist doing that then maybe the labels will go away, I've no idea. As of now, I don't make money off of records, we make our money off of touring and you guys coming to buy a t-shirt. Everything else is put into the studio and making a quality record. So you don't get a piece of shit that we made in our garage. So we can hire a producer and that is what the music from the label quantifies into. I guess the short answer — no one knows what is gonna happen. Until it does. When I was coming up, I have gold records because people bought records. Now if you sell 100,000 records, then you're like a superstar, you know? Well, I'm like, cool, change the plaque then, 'cause I want the plaque!
MetalMouth.net: The record sales are counted against what music was selling in the Eighties, it seems.. Dez: Right on, man! It's not all about the album sales though. Are people coming to the shows? Are they digging what you're doing? Is the Internet lighting up with people who have gratitude in their hearts for the music that you make? OK, cool. You're doing your job.
Read the entire interview at MetalMouth.net.
JEFF LOOMIS Talks To METAL NATION RADIO About CONQUERING DYSTOPIA (Audio)
On Monday, April 14, former NEVERMORE guitarist Jeff Loomis and Cynfully Luscious (Cynthia Paulson) of Metal Nation Radio sat down to talk about Jeff's new project called CONQUERING DYSTOPIA, also featuring Portland, Oregon studio musician Keith Merrow. You can now listen to the chat using the PodOmatic widget below.
The self-titled debut album from CONQUERING DYSTOPIA was mixed at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with Mark Lewis (ARSIS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER).
The recording lineup for "Conquering Dystopia" is completed by Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE) on bass and Alex Rudinger (THE FACELESS) on drums.
Said CONQUERING DYSTOPIA: "We feel that we have a very cool and unique band lineup, which will make for a memorable album for the listener."Loomis previously contributed a guest guitar solo to Keith's second full-length instrumental album, "Awaken The Stone King", which came out in January 2011.
According to his official bio, Merrow's extreme style of guitar playing is a unique blend of traditional metal with a dash of obscurity. In May 2009, he released a self-produced EP titled "Lonestar Transcend". The six-song instrumental effort was a compilation of songs that were first heard on Merrow's YouTube page, where he posted play-through videos of the songs. Just six months later, in November 2009 came "The Arrival", which marked Merrow's first album that he wrote from start to finish.Loomis and drummer Van Williams announced their departure from NEVERMORE in April 2011 due to personal differences with singer Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard. Their replacements have not yet been announced.The Age Of Metal spoke with Loomis and Merrow prior to CONQUERING DYSTOPIA's debut performance at this year's NAMM show in Anaheim, California. Check out the chat below.
"Conquering Dystopia" teaser:
Four People Stabbed, 20 People Arrested Outside FIREFEST In Lakewood, Ohio
According to 19 Action News, four people were stabbed and 20 people were arrested in connection with a fight that took place Saturday evening (April 19) outside The Foundry concert hall in Lakewood, Ohio where Firefest 2014 was being held.
Saturday marked the second night of Firefest 2014. 13 hardcore and metal bands — including RINGWORM and DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR— were set to play at The Foundry.
Police responded to reports of shots being fired around 7:15 p.m. Witnesses also reported seeing a gang of men walking down the street, some holding machetes and other weapons.
Another witness said as many as 50 people were involved in the fight.
One witness told 19 Action News that she saw at least three men wearing hoodies and covered in tattoos who looked like they were there to cause trouble.
"They slammed into my car because they were fighting. There's blood all over my car and dents. I just ran. There were guys everywhere fighting. I heard four gunshots," said the 16-year-old witness.
Police say there is evidence that shots were fired but no one was hit.
Three victims were transported to MetroHealth Medical Center and one to Fairview and another to Lakewood Hospital.
A nurse from Fairview Hospital told 19 Action News that the victims came in with machete and stab wounds — some even on their face.
None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.
It is not presently clear why the fight was started but an online posting from The Foundry's general manager Mark Witherspoon and reports on LakewoodObserver.com say the incident was linked to "beef" between two "crews" — one from Boston, Friends Stand United (FSU), and the other, Swing On Sight Family (SOSF), out of Youngstown, Ohio.
GODSMACK Completes Recording New Album GODSMACK has completed tracking its sixth album for a late 2014 release. The band's frontman, Sully Erna, took to his personal Facebook page earlier today (Sunday, April 20) to say: "We are officially DONE recording! And this record is BADASS! Haven't been this excited in awhile! Hope you all love it! First single out soon!"
Last week, Erna revealed that the band had laid down 15 songs and was in the process of "picking the best 10" for the actual album. He said: "New record is gonna crush!!"GODSMACK's follow-up to 2010's "The Oracle" is once again being helmed by Dave Fortman, how previously worked with SLIPKNOT and EVANESCENCE, among others.GODSMACK drummer Shannon Larkin recently said about the band's forthcoming CD: "So many cool new tunes that I can tell ya it's gonna be hard to narrow these down to the best ones! I know it's been awhile since you've heard from us, but we will make it worth your wait!"
With 20 Top 10 hits on the rock radio charts in 16 years, Erna told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he's proud of GODSMACK's track record. "You know, it is nice to know that we're creating stuff that's just kind of living on and that does really well in the active rock stations and the hard rock world and that kind of stuff," he said. "So we're in that middle ground. We're not quite as poppy as like AEROSMITH, but yet we're not as dark and metal as, you know, the SLIPKNOTs or the METALLICAs or whatever. So we're kind of like that in-between band."Erna spent the last few years pursuing projects outside the band, including the release of his first solo album, "Avalon", as well as a starring role in a new horror film called "Army Of The Damned", now out on DVD.
MACHINE HEAD: New Song 'Killers & Kings' Available For Streaming
As part of this year's Record Store Day on April 19, San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD released a 10-inch vinyl single, with the A-side containing the "demo" version of a new song, "Killers & Kings". The B-side is a cover version of the track "Our Darkest Days" from one of MACHINE HEAD's favorite bands, IGNITE.
Says MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn: "I remember growing up in the thrash scene and always wanting to hear the demo version of songs. You searched them out. Thankfully, my buddy Jim was a big 'tape trader,' and through trading, we had both METALLICA demos, EXODUS demos, bootlegs of songs sometimes 'years' before they came out.
"I knew how to play every note of 'Pleasure Of The Flesh' by EXODUS easily two years before the record was out. I had SLAYER's 'Reign In Blood' three months before it came out. I remember it still had the hi-hat counts starting the songs!!
"My friends and I would debate the merits of each (the demo was always better, LOL!).
"It's so much cooler to hear it BEFORE the album is out!
"So [we decided to] do that for you.
"I can't wait for you guys to hear this stuff. Then you can debate it, haha!"
This limited-edition 10-inch single features four alternate covers with two specific colors, each limited to 1,000 copies each.
"Killers & Kings" 10-inch single track listing:
Side One: Killers & Kings (demo version)
Side Two: Our Darkest Days / Bleeding (IGNITE cover)
The entire "Killers & Kings" song can now be streamed in the YouTube clip below.MACHINE HEAD entered GREEN DAY's Oakland, California's JingleTown Recording compound on February 9 to begin recording its new album for a late 2014 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Other songtitles set to appear on the new MACHINE HEAD album include "Beneath The Silt", "Eyes Of The Dead" (formerly "Ojos De La Muerte"), "Sail Into The Black", "How We Die" and "Night Of The Long Knives".
Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn stated about the band's new material: "It sounds like MACHINE HEAD! It's definitely moving forward, which I feel like we're probably always gonna do.
"We're not a band that ever looks back. We do our thing and try to take the life experiences that we have and the musicianship that we've evolved and try to use it. Obviously, we have our sound and we have the MACHINE HEAD patented harmonics, the downtuned riffs and I sing the way I sing.
"I think Bob Dylan said it best: 'You just find new ways to say the same thing.'"
Speaking about some of the specific tracks and the lyrical themes covered on the new album, Flynn said: "I've got some pretty cool lyrics ready. There's a song called 'Night Of The Long Knives', and it's pretty fucked! It's about the Manson murders, and the lyrics are really dark and vicious.
"We've found some new twists to give to the MACHINE HEAD sound and some new fire and excitement."
Asked what the band's main aims were when they started composing music for the new CD, Flynn said: "Well, it's nice to try and have a plan, but music has a way of unravelling over time! [Laughs] You've just got to roll with it.
"With [2007's] 'The Blackening', I'd love to say I had this grand vision of nine- and 10-minute songs, but the first four songs we wrote were the four shorter songs on the record. For months, there was no indication whatsoever that we'd have 10-minute songs. That stuff came later.
"Human nature wants to control and dictate where things will go, but you can't. It won't let you! The more you try, the more it goes, 'Fuck you.' It's going some other way!"
NEW YORK (AP) — Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.
Discovery network cancels Everest jump
NEW YORK (AP) — The Discovery Network is canceling a daredevil's planned jump off the summit of Mount Everest in a wing suit next month following the avalanche that killed at least 13 people on Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirty years after failing to convince the Supreme Court of the threat posed by home video recordings, big media companies are back and now trying to rein in another technological innovation they say threatens their financial well-being.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the decade that "Touched by an Angel" executive producer Martha Williamson has been away from series TV, much has changed. A new golden age has brought more daring shows, from "Mad Men" to "House of Cards" to "Breaking Bad," and more ways to see them.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jack White played his new single "Lazaretto" for a couple of hundred fans on Record Store Day and four hours later a copy of the performance was available on a limited run of vinyl.