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ADRIAN VANDENBERG Interviewed On France's 'Une Dose 2 Metal' (Video)
Former VANDENBERG and WHITESNAKE guitarist and current VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS leader Adrian Vandenberg was interviewed on a recent episode of the French show "Une Dose 2 Metal" on L'Enorme TV. You can now watch the entire chat below.VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS' self-titled debut album was released on February 24 via Mascot Label Group. "Vandenberg's Moonkings" is a sensational mix of blistering rock songs and powerful ballads from the Dutch guitar hero Adrian Vandenberg, and includes a newly recorded version of Vandenberg's ex-band WHITESNAKE's classic "Sailing Ships". Special guest David Coverdale adds his unique vocals to the equation, to complement Vandenberg's powerful riffs for a welcome moment of nostalgia. Asked how Coverdale's guest appearance on "Vandenberg's Moonkings" came about, Adrian told Myglobalmind: "Well, David has been pushing me a lot over the last ten years to record a record. Finally, when I told him that I was working on one, David said that 'it would be an honor for me if I could sing a song on your album.' I replied that the honor would be completely mutual. David was then on the road for the whole year, so we didn't have the time to write a new song. "I always wanted to do another version of [WHITESNAKE's] 'Sailing Ships', because I wrote the song and the music for it actually for my mom. She was always saying for me to write another acoustic song for the album. I originally intended it to be a little more understated than it ended up on the 'Slip Of The Tongue' album. I really thought that I could add something to it by making it a little bit more melancholic and more reflective. Bringing in real violins, which I had always pictured with it, so I made it a little slower. I thought it would be great to do a different version and also what I like about how it ends up on the album is that it is like a symbolic nod to my years with WHITESNAKE. I thought that it worked great, because if I had put like a new track somewhere in the middle of the album it would have been strange. David in the middle with a similar song." Multi-talented Adrian Vandenberg— who has designed all of his album sleeves since his very first record with TEASER at the age of 22 — took care of the artwork for this record. VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS is:Adrian Vandenberg (guitar)Jan Hoving (vocals)Sem Christoffel (bass)Mart Nijen Es (drums) For more information, visit www.moonkingsband.com.
SOILWORK's BJÖRN 'SPEED' STRID Speaks To PEEK FROM THE PIT (Video)
On March 13, Nick Azinas of Peek From The Pit conducted an interview with singer Björn "Speed" Strid of Swedish metallers SOILWORK in London, England. You can now watch the chat below. As previously reported, Dutch singer Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH, REVAMP) joined SOILWORK on stage last night (Friday, March 21) at Circus in Helsinki, Finland. The concert was filmed for SOILWORK's first-ever live DVD, to be released later in the year. The choice of location for the shoot of the first-ever SOILWORK audiovisual live document was an easy one since Helsinki has always been a second home to the band. The venue itself, Circus, was just the right one to offer a full-on SOILWORK show. The show marked SOILWORK's only Scandinavian show of the spring. The DVD is being produced by Jouni Markkanen and directed by Ville Lipiäinen, who also helmed the most recent NIGHTWISH DVD, "Showtime, Storytime".SOILWORK's ninth studio and first dual-disc album, "The Living Infinite", sold around 7,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 60. The effort also landed at No. 11 on the Independent Albums chart, and No. 2 on the Hard Music chart. "The Living Infinite" entered the iTunes Metal Top Albums chart at No. 1 and was the No. 1 most added album on the CMJ radio chart."The Living Infinite" was produced by Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH, BLOODBATH) and boasts artwork by MNEMIC's Mircea Gabriel Eftemie. The CD features Justin Sullivan— lead singer of the English band NEW MODEL ARMY— as a guest vocalist on the track "The Windswept Mercy" and also marks the recording debut of longtime SOILWORK touring guitarist David Andersson (also of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA).
HALESTORM Discusses New Song 'Mayhem', Writing Process For Third Album (Video)
Rocksverige.se recently conducted an interview with the four members of HALESTORM. You can now watch the chat below. As previously reported, HALESTORM has debuted two new songs at two separate shows recently. The first tune, "Heartbreaker", was performed on March 28 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Tennessee, while the second track, "Mayhem", made its debut earlier this month in England. Asked if "Mayhem" is a good indicator of what HALESTORM fans can expect to hear on the band's next album, singer Lzzy Hale said: "Definitely. Especially since that one was the one that we felt like it needed a little bit of work, and we weren't really considering it one of our best songs. So we wanted to see how we could develop it on tour, and I think that the crowd has really gotten us excited about it now. So it might actually have a shot at being on the record." Added drummer Arejay Hale: "It definitely will help the writing process for the rest of the songs. Now we have an idea of, kind of, how the crowd reacts to certain things. So it kind ofgives you a good guideline, I guess." The group began writing its third album in January, after completing more than 20 months of touring behind 2012's "The Strange Case Of…"Lzzy Hale told The Pulse Of Radio one thing the band might do differently this time. "We're probably gonna record it in Nashville instead of L.A. this time," she said. "It's a quieter vibe and a little less distractions. I think we can kind of lock ourselves into a studio [laughs] and become intimate with our inner crazy [laughs] and hopefully not kill each other in the process. [laughs]"HALESTORM last year issued its second covers EP, "ReAniMate 2.0", which featured renditions of songs from JUDAS PRIEST, AC/DC, PAT BENATAR, MARILYN MANSON, DAFT PUNK and FLEETWOOD MAC.
DAVE MUSTAINE Talks About Flying Born-Deaf YouTube Sensation To MEGADETH's Las Vegas Concert (Video)
Sarah Churman, who was born deaf, became an Internet sensation when her husband posted a YouTube video of her hearing for the first time at 29 years of age. Now, she's a huge MEGADETH fan, and the band's frontman, Dave Mustaine, flew her to Las Vegas to see MEGADETH perform this past Thursday (April 17). During a joint interview with Sarah ahead of the Las Vegas concert, Mustaine spoke to KTNV-TV about how the band across Sarah's story (see video below). "It was such a heart-touching story to watch her… I consider myself to be pretty rugged, but I got a little teary eyed when I watched her be able to experience what we all take for granted," Mustaine said. "And then somebody had said, 'You know, she actually likes your music.' And it was just great. You never know what you're gonna hear nowadays on the 'Net or what you're gonna see." He added: "I can't really remember how her video came across my computer, but like I said, when I saw it, I was instantly compelled, and when we found out that she was a fan, it was, like, this is a no-brainer. We wanna meet and just say how fortunate we are to be a part of her life and this new phase." Unlike a lot of deaf people, Churman's speech is nearly impeccable despite never clearly hearing herself while growing up. It's something she attributes to deaf school and her love for the English language and grammar. In addition, she grew up with music her whole life because her dad was a songwriter and played in a band. "Even though I couldn't understand lyrics or different instruments, there was always a way to enjoy it," Churman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "In my world, that was turning it up as loud as possible and feeling the vibrations." While in Las Vegas, Sarah was also going to interview Mustaine for an undisclosed MEGADETH project.Churman's book, released by Indigo River Publishing, is called "Powered On: The Sounds I Choose To Hear & The Noise I Don't", and in it she details her life's journey and offers unique insights from the perspective of a woman who has experienced both sides of a disability.Churman is still adjusting to her new sensory experience, and she claims to have felt a variety of "mixed emotions" during the process. Many sounds are still jarring for her, but others bring her "so much joy," she says, most notably the voices of her husband and two daughters and, not surprisingly, music: "I get the full spectrum of it now, and it's amazing."
MICHAEL SCHENKER Says Songwriting Is 'Like Putting A Puzzle Together And Never Really Knowing What Comes Out At The End'
Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Michael Schenker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Songfacts: How do you find that you write your best songs? Michael: I just do it the same way over and over. I love to play. I play and discover on a regular basis, so when I bump into a great piece of something that I think, "Wow, I should capture that" — and it's usually just 5 seconds, 10 seconds long — I'll put it on the cassette recorder in its raw form and I'll just leave it there. When it's time to make a new record, I listen to what I have selected, and then that inspires me to write the additional parts to it. So I never really know what the song is going to be until the album's finished. On this album in particular, I was looking for more of a balance: Not too many mid tempos, but enough fast songs and many different elements in it that keep it going and keep it interesting. It's like putting a puzzle together and never really knowing what comes out at the end. Songfacts: How did the songwriting work in the band UFO? Was it more of a collaboration?Michael: Well, when I joined UFO, they were a psychedelic band. They were playing very different music. But I was attracted to them being British, since that's where the music that I fell in love with came from: [LED] ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH and Johnny Winter. Well, Johnny Winter was American, but a lot of the music that we were listening to at that point in time when I was 15 years old was coming from there. When I toured with UFO and SCORPIONS, the guitarist from UFO lost his passport, so in order to continue the tour, I had to play for both bands. That was when I was 16 years old. I opened up with the Scorpions and then I played with UFO for a couple of days. And that's when they asked me to join them. I always told the SCORPIONS that if a British band would ever ask me, I would go just to get to a country where there was the interest for rock and roll. In Germany, it was dead. It was disco music and it wasn't very interesting what I was doing. So I was more than happy to go over there. They invited me over and I took the offer. When I got there I just laid down a riff and another one and another one, and Phil [Mogg] did his vocals to it and it just became a totally different band based on the pieces that I gave them, which every song was built on. I wrote that way right from the beginning, and it's still how I write today. But because I had just joined them, we were more in the mode of making a record, touring, making a record, touring, making a record, touring. Because we were doing everything in the short amount of time, we spent a lot of time at the rehearsal studio. Some very early songs, like "Rock Bottom", were very spontaneous. We were just sitting there looking for an additional song, and when I played "Rock Bottom", the riff, that's when Phil jumped up and said, "That's it! That's it!" So we started putting it together and putting it into form. But in general, I would always come up with some riffs, give it to the singer and he would find something, too. Then we'd go into the rehearsal studio and work on it. That's basically how we used to write.Songfacts: How close did you come to joining Ozzy Osbourne's band after Randy Rhoads' death?Michael: That was around '81. Graham Bonnet just came over and we started writing and doing things, and then I get a phone call in the middle of the night from a very devastated Ozzy Osbourne telling me what happened [Rhoads was killed in an airplane accident, on March 19, 1982]. I said, "Okay, it's the middle of the night. I'll let you know, but I have to speak to Peter Mensch" and so on. And then I had to look... I was tempted to do that, but at the same time I was in the middle of doing "Assault Attack" and it was going to be the second album with Cozy Powell. We were getting ready, and I had to look at my situation. Then I heard some crazy stories about Ozzy dragging people across the stage by their hair and stuff like that. And then some other horror stories that didn't sound too good. I was tempted to do that, but something tells me, you know what, Michael, first of all, the SCORPIONS, my own brother, he asked me to play, to help the SCORPIONS and to join them and tour with them. And I couldn't do it because I'm not made for copying people. I love to invent things, to express myself, and so my vision is a different vision. Sometimes you have to battle a little bit with your true vision and temptation. Same with AEROSMITH: It was a good thing it didn't work out, because again, I would have not enjoyed myself. I know that. At the end of the day, I said, "I can't do that." It came to the point when I stretched it for so long that I think Cozy Powell took it over and told them, "He's not going to do it." And that was that. It was a very strange situation. Read the entire interview at Songfacts.
METALLICA's ROBERT TRUJILLO Talks To GEORGIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING About JACO PASTORIUS Documentary (Audio)
METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo recently spoke to Georgia Public Broadcasting about the upcoming documentary he's producing about his musical hero, Jaco Pastorius. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. According to BaltimoreMagazine.net, Trujillo will celebrate Record Store Day at Sound Garden in Baltimore, Maryland later today (Saturday, April 19). From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Trujillo will meet fans, sign records, and talk about the Pastorius documentary. Hand in hand with Omnivore Recordings' impending "Record Store Day" release of eleven staggering tracks unearthed from Jaco Pastorius' Criteria Studios sessions in 1976 on "Modern American Music… Period!" comes word that a documentary film about the life of the undisputed late bass genius, simply titled "Jaco", is set to make its debut. Directed by Stephen Kijak and Paul Marchand and produced by Robert Trujillo and John Battsek, the documentary has been chosen be the official film of "Record Store Day" 2014. Trujillo couldn't be more enthusiastic about the association with the event. "Record Store Day is a celebration of our youth, and beyond," he says. "It's the power of memories fueled by this magic (usually) black vinyl disc. "There's a reason why Record Store Day is making people headbang, rock out, relax, and simply smile. It's all about the joy and power of words, music and sound, not to mention the dynamic range of visual art that goes hand in hand with a record cover, jacket, or sleeve; and you might even get a poster. (Trust me, I still have most of my original vinyl)" (He was right about the poster — the image below will become the official Record Store Day poster of 2014, and will be given away as part of the celebration at select stores, while supplies last.) And Mary Pastorius, Jaco's daughter, shares: "I ended up becoming a music/record/record store addict, as a teen in the '80s — and it all started with my dad's record collection back in the early '70s. At three and four years old, I would fall asleep inches away from the record player — wearing those big-ass back-in-the-day headphones on my head — listening to stuff like Stevie Wonder's 'Talking Book', EARTH, WIND & FIRE's 'That's The Way Of The World', or the SUPREMES'Greatest Hits'. (All of which I still have). Then I have the memories of being at Peaches (which was THE record store in South Florida) with him for the 'Jaco Pastorius' (the first solo album) record release party. They had a 'walk of fame' there and we put our handprints in cement, Hollywood style. They also put a huge painting of that album with that iconic picture of him, up on the outside of the building, where it stayed for many years- which I drove by many times, and was greeted by the many times when I would go in to buy records myself." "Record Store Day"'s Michael Kurtz adds: "I fell in love with Jaco Pastorius in 1976 when I heard WEATHER REPORT's 'Black Market' being played in my local record store. In 1977 I caught the band on its 'Heavy Weather' tour and heard Jaco perform live. It was like I had been exposed to a force bigger than life. Performing on the Fender bass he'd personally stripped of frets, Jaco propelled the band with ferocity and finesse. He was shirtless, with an axe bold as love." The Omnivore release, produced in conjunction with the Pastorius estate and Trujillo, contains eleven tracks from the studio sessions a 22-year-old Pastorius and friends used to jam and experiment. Some of the tracks made it on to his 1976 debut, but some remained unreleased until now. In addition, "Modern American Music…Period!" will include essays from Trujillo and Pastorius biographer Bill Milkowski. Kurtz effuses: "It is a dream come true to be a part of helping Omnivore unearth and release the recording of a very young Jaco performing with his own band in Miami's Criteria Studios." According to Trujillo: "Omnivore's release of Jaco Pastorius' 'Criteria Sessions' is a raw unique statement — a statement that lets you know you are experiencing a powerful historical musical moment. Jaco's sound, and facility alone, takes you on a trip that is totally new and fresh! This is punk at its best, and the attitude and edge is pure."Pastorius, who was bipolar and had wrestled with substance abuse, died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale bar. "Jaco" will feature commentaries from Sting, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Flea, Carlos Santana and director Mike Figgis, among others. Interview (audio):
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TRIPTYKON's TOM GABRIEL FISCHER: 'I Was Really Close To Losing Everything'
J. Bennett of Noisey recently conducted an interview with former HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST and current TRIPTYKON singer, guitarist, and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior) in Paris, France. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Noisey: The English translation of the new [TRIPTYKON] album title ["Melana Chasmata"] is something along the lines of "Deep Depressions." Is that right?Tom: Yes, it's difficult to translate exactly, but that's an approximate translation. Of course, depressions can be a geological feature or a psychological feature. In this instance, both. Parts of the album sound melancholy, but mostly it sounds angry. I think the first one is much angrier. It was fueled by hatred and frustration over the very unpleasant termination of CELTIC FROST. This new album is far more introspective and based on personal experiences — not just my own, but [those] of several of the band members. We chose the album title years ago, but since that time, certain things have happened that have made the title even more appropriate. On a personal level, it was an exceedingly difficult album to complete, and we're all very happy that it's done. Noisey: Why was it difficult?Tom: The four years since the last album have been very difficult for some of us in the band, including myself. Nothing in my own life resembles the way it was four years ago. My life has drastically changed, and most of those changes have been outside any spectrum of choice. And I'm not the only one in the band who has had dramatic changes to their private lives. We didn't know that when we started the album, of course.Noisey: It sounds like these personal changes you're talking about have been largely negative. Are the members of TRIPTYKON, yourself included, worse off today than they were on the last record?Tom: I think at this point everyone is well into the recovery phase, so to speak. Everybody is on their own path with their own issues. But I'm not trying to bring up tragedy here or anything pathetic. None of us wanted to be in this situation, and none of us had any idea that the others were going through something similar. It's a complete coincidence. We envisioned the time writing this album completely differently. But like so many things in life, we have no control. That's why the album took four years to write instead of two. In the meantime, we've accepted that at least three members have completely different lives now, and that's beyond their choice. But one of the things that has helped us through this is that we have a band and we honestly love the music we are playing and we know we are friends. I know that sounds cliché, like some kind of hippie family, but that's the way it is. Noisey: How bad did it get?Tom: I was really close to losing everything — much closer than anyone reading this can probably imagine. But if it got to the most extreme, I'm sure I could've called our bass player [Vanja Šlajh] and she would have taken care of me as good as possible. And that's the main difference between TRIPTYKON and CELTIC FROST. At the end of CELTIC FROST, I sometimes got the feeling that if I was lying on the floor bleeding, someone would still stick a knife in my back. But in this band it's the opposite. Read the entire interview at Noisey.
AC/DC's BRIAN JOHNSON: Pro-Shot Footage Of 'You Shook Me' Performance With BILLY JOEL
AC/DC singer Brian Johnson joined Billy Joel on stage on March 21 at Madison Square Garden in New York City to perform the AC/DC classic "You Shook Me All Night Long". Professionally filmed video footage of Johnson's appearance can be seen below.Brian came up on stage about midway through Billy's concert, which was one of a series of shows by Joel at the Garden. After Billy said Johnson was a member of one of the best bands he'd ever seen live, Joel and his band began playing the AC/DC song with Johnson handling all lead vocals.Joel has been known to cover AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" during his concerts, and has sung the track live with Johnson before, but this was the first time the two have performed "You Shook Me All Night Long" together. AC/DC has issued a statement confirming widespread reports that founding guitarist Malcolm Young was stepping away from the band due to illness. The statement, however, refuted rumors that the group was breaking up as a result, saying that the legendary Australian act will "continue to make music." The statement did not indicate the nature or extent of Malcolm's condition, but several Australian reports indicated that he may have had a stroke last month that left him unable to perform, either live or in the studio. One source told The Age that the Young family was mulling full-time care for the guitarist, who was said to be having difficulty remembering familiar faces and communicating. While plans for a tour to mark the group's 40th anniversary remain unclear, singer Brian Johnson told the U.K.'s Telegraph that the band was "definitely getting together in May in Vancouver" to begin work on its 16th studio album. Without naming Malcolm, Johnson also said in the interview, "One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don't want to say too much about it. He is very proud and private, a wonderful chap. We've been pals for 35 years and I look up to him very much."AC/DC's last album was 2008's "Black Ice", one of the group's most successful later albums, which was followed by a nearly two-year world tour.
PAUL STANLEY's 'Face the Music: A Life Exposed' Lands On NEW YORK TIMES Best Sellers List
KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley's memoir, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed", landed at No. 2 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" was released on April 8 via HarperOne The 432-page hardcover features rare photographs of the legendary rocker and details his hard-partying lifestyle as one of the co-founders of the heavy rock band who has sold over eighty million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world. Well known for his onstage persona, the "Starchild", Paul Stanley has written a memoir with a gripping blend of personal revelations and gritty war stories about the highs and lows both inside and outside of KISS. Born with a condition called microtia (an ear deformity rendering him deaf on the right side), Stanley's traumatic childhood experiences produced an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of places: music. Taking readers through the series of events that led to the founding of KISS, the personal relationships that helped shape his life, and the turbulent dynamics among his bandmates over the past forty years, this book leaves no one unscathed — including Stanley himself. With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, "Face The Music" is a colorful portrait of a man and the band he helped create, define, and sustain — made larger than life in artfully told stories that are shocking, funny, inspirational, and honest. Stanley explained to The Pulse Of Radio that if his book was going to follow the pattern of some of the other books he's read, he would've passed on writing it all together. "I think I took a tact different than a lot of these books," he said. "Y'know, rock n' roll autobiographies tend to be a love letter — to the author. And they tend to be about how smart and creative and how this person was responsible for the creation of the world. And if that were the tact for the book, I never would've written the book." In "Face The Music", Stanley talks frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing. Stanley, who grew up half-deaf and scarred with a deformed right ear, explained to The Pulse Of Radio that by touching upon the more difficult episodes in his life, he's not seeking sympathy from the reader, but simply highlighting the path into who he became. "Y'know, my book is about my life starting from the very beginning and certainly a certain amount of adversity and having a birth defect and being deaf on one side and the family that I came from," he said. "Certainly people have had more adversity in their lives — and some less — but I, I would think some people would get a certain amount of inspiration and a sense that positivity and belief in yourself will ultimately lead you to a great place." paulstanleyfacethemusicbookcover
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's ZAKK WYLDE, DARIO LORINA Perform Acoustically At 100.3 THE X ROCKS Studios (Video)
Video footage of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY members Zakk Wylde and Dario Lorina performing an acoustic version of the song "Scars" on Friday, April 18 in the studios of the 100.3 The X Rocks radio station in Boise, Idaho can be seen below."Scars" comes off the new BLACK LABEL SOCIETY studio album, "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican", which sold around 26,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 5 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous studio CD, "Order Of The Black", opened with around 33,000 units to enter the chart at No. 4.BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's 2006 album, "Shot to Hell", registered a first-week tally of 32,000 to land at No. 21. This was less than the 45,000 copies shifted by BLS's "Mafia" (Artemis) back in March 2005 to debut at No. 15.BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "The Song Remains Not The Same" opened with around 12,000 copies to land at No. 41. Released on May 10, 2011 via Entertainment One Music, the offering featured unplugged versions of material from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "Order Of The Black" album as well as additional material recorded during the "Order Of The Black" sessions. "Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" was released in Europe on April 7 via Mascot Label Group and one day later in North America through eOne Music."Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" track listing: 01. Fields Of Unforgiveness 02. My Dying Time 03. Believe 04. Angel Of Mercy 05. Heart Of Darkness 06. Beyond The Down 07. Scars 08. Damn The Flood 09. I've Gone Away 10. Empty Promises 11. Shades Of Gray 12. Dark Side Of The Sun (bonus track) 13. The Nomad (bonus track)BLACK LABEL SOCIETY recently amicably parted ways with longtime guitarist Nick Catanese and replaced him with Dario Lorina (LIZZY BORDEN).BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde recently told Guitar World magazine about Catanese's departure: "I had called Nick to tell him about the album and he told me that he was already knees deep into doing his own thing and wanted to stick 1,000 percent into it. I told him it was cool and that we loved him and that he'd always have a home here." He continued: "The thing is no one ever gets kicked out or fired. If you want to go, you're always able. Now we've got [guitarist] Dario Lorina in the band, and not only is he a kick-ass guitar player who can shred, but he's also a really cool dude." Asked how he hooked up with Dario, Zakk said: "We never do a cattle call or anything like that. With the amount of awesome players I know, it's more of a word-of-mouth kind of thing. I had him come out to the Vatican [Zakk's home studio] to meet him, and afterwards I said, 'Cool. If you want to do it, you're in.' It was as simple as that."
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Entertainment
'Touched by an Angel' producer back in series TV

This photo provided by Hallmark Channel shows, from left, Geoff Gustafson (“Norman Dorman”), Crystal Lowe (“Rita Haywith”), Eric Mabius (“Oliver O’Toole) and Kristin Booth (“Shane McInerny”), on the set of the TV series, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." The writer-producer Martha Williamson, who produced “Touched by an Angel,” returns to TV with the new Hallmark Channel show, debuting Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Hallmark Channel, Katie Yu) **MANDATORY CREDIT**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.


Carriage horse foes picket Liam Neeson's NYC home

Dressed as a horse, Lisa Jablow, center, a member of NYCLASS which opposes use of carriage horses in New York City, joins other animal rights activists outside actor Liam Neeson's home on Saturday, April 19, 2014 to protest his stance on the continued use of carriage horses in Central Park and certain roads around the city. The 61-year-old actor is a vocal supporter of the city's carriage horse industry. Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to ban the horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric vintage-style cars, commissioned by NYCLASS. (AP Photo/Verena Dobnik)NEW YORK (AP) — Animal welfare activists picketing Liam Neeson's home on Saturday said they don't agree with him that the city's carriage horses should keep working.


Cyrus ill, postpones US tour, resumes in August

FILE - In this Saturday, April 5, 2014 file photo, singer Miley Cyrus performs at the Barclays Center in New York. Cyrus is postponing her U.S. tour while she recovers from an allergic reaction to antibiotics, but will resume her performances in August 2014. Cyrus’ representative tells The Associated Press on Friday, April 18, 2014, that the singer will resume the U.S. tour Aug. 1 in Uniondale, N.Y. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, file)NEW YORK (AP) — Miley Cyrus is postponing her U.S. tour while she recovers from an allergic reaction to antibiotics, but will resume her performances in August.


Mrs. Obama to appear on May episode of 'Nashville'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama is going a little bit country.
Fox executive fired over Flight 370 charity email
NEW YORK (AP) — A veteran Fox executive who used her company email account to plan aid for loved ones of the missing Malaysian airplane's passengers has been fired.
Lawyer: Director not in Hawaii during alleged acts

Plaintiff Michael Egan, left, with his attorney, Jeff Herman take questions from to the media during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, April 17, 2014. A sex abuse lawsuit by Egan, a former child model and aspiring actor is accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii. Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that the claims are absurd and defamatory. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)HONOLULU (AP) — Credit card receipts, telephone records and production schedules show that "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer was not in Hawaii when a lawsuit claims he sexually abused a 17-year-old on the islands, a defense attorney said Friday.


Mixed feelings for Garcia Marquez in hometown

A table with flowers stands on the street as part of Good Friday celebrations in Aracataca, the hometown of late Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Colombia's Caribbean coast, Friday, April 18, 2014. Since the author died Thursday at the age of 87, residents and holiday makers have been flocking to the home where he was born and raised by his maternal grandparents until the age of 8, paying their final respects to a man who was a symbol of pride for a country long torn by violence. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)ARACATACA, Colombia (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his homeland had a relationship as conflicted as any in the Nobel laureate's twisting and impassioned novels.


Egypt's el-Sissi visits Coptic pope before Easter

Egypt's former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, shakes hands with Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, April 19, 2014. El-Sissi on Monday took the final formal step to run in next month's presidential election, submitting to the election commission eight times the number of signatures required. He is widely expected to win. (AP Photo/Girgis Mahboub, Office of the Coptic Pope)CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's former military chief and presumed presidential front-runner visited the Coptic pope Saturday ahead of Orthodox Easter, making his first public appearance since he formally made his bid for the presidency.


Prince reaches agreement with music label

FILE - In this Aug. 6 2011 file photo, American singer and songwriter Prince performs on the Isle of Amager in Copenhagen, Denmark. Prince now owns the rights of the music he recorded on Warner Bros. Records after years of disputes and battles with the record label. Warner Bros. announced Friday, April 18, 2014, that it reached an agreement with the pop icon. Prince was signed to label from 1978 to mid-1990s, during which he released key projects like “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Around the World In a Day.” The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Jakob Joergensen, File) DENMARK OUTNEW YORK (AP) — Prince now owns the rights to the music he recorded on Warner Bros. Records after years of disputes and battles with the record label.


A nutty finale for 'Scandal,' TV's craziest show

This image released by ABC shows Tony Goldwyn, left, and Bellamy Young in a scene from the third season finale of "Scandal," which aired on Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/ABC, Ron Tom)NEW YORK (AP) — "Scandal" is arguably the nuttiest show on the air. But there's a method to its madness, demonstrated every week with OMG intensity.


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