Bruce Dickinson Reveals Plans For New IRON MAIDEN Record

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Recently, IRON MAIDEN’s captain Bruce Dickinson revealed during an interview with the Swedish web site Talarforum (translation: Speakers’ Forum) that his band is planning to enter the studio to record a NEW album sometime in 2014. What is to be the bands 16th album, will be the follow up to ‘The Final Frontier’, which was released in 2010 and sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, enough units for it to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.

Don’t forget that Maiden will be taking over Deutschland during the summer of 2014. The band will be headlining one of the nights at the massive Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park Festivals in Germany between Thursday June 5 and Monday June 9. The other headliners are METALLICA, Kings of Leon and Linkin Park. Tickets are on sale now!

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OZZY OSBOURNE/FIREWIND Guitarist GUS G. Signs Solo Deal With CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS

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Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G. has signed a worldwide solo deal with Century Media Records. Well known in rock and metal circles for his work as OZZY OSBOURNE‘s guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWINDGus G. will make his solo debut with the release of “I Am The Fire” in spring 2014.

Says Gus G. of the signing: “Loyalty is a very important thing in the music business, and for me it just felt natural to trust my first solo effort to the hands of the record company that has been loyal, supportive, and has helped build my career for more than 11 years now — a label that I truly feel as a family. Thank you, Robert KampfLeif JensenAntje LangeDon RobertsonSteve JohJens PrueterNasrin VahdaniPaul Gargano and the rest of the Century family! I truly feel blessed to be a part of CM history and look forward to exploring new territories with this new album!”

Century Media founder and owner Robert Kampf adds: “‘I Am The Fire’ is going to be another display of the amazing talent Gus G. possesses. We at Century Media are proud to work with a player and songwriter of his class and status, as well as the fantastic new album that Gus has crafted. Horns up!”

“I Am The Fire” was mixed by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAXSTONE SOURSTEEL PANTHER) and was recorded between Los Angeles and Gus‘ home country of Greece through the latter half of 2013. A few of the album’s tracks include “Eyes Wide Open”“Redemption”“End Of The Line” and “Blame It On Me”. The album showcases a well-balanced mix of active rock, classic hard rock, traditional metal and guitar-driven instrumentals, taking listeners on a diverse journey and opening doors to Gus G.‘s soulful playing. Guest musicians and vocalists will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Gus G. has had an amazing rise within the worldwide rock and metal scenes and has amassed an impressive body of work, both in studio and touring. He emerged as an up-and-coming talent with the groups DREAM EVILMYSTIC PROPHECY and NIGHTRAGE, but it is his work with his own band FIREWIND (who have released seven studio albums and two live releases) and as a member of Ozzy Osbourne‘s band that have helped him emerge as one of the world’s top metal and rock guitarists. His work on Ozzy‘s “Scream” album led to a Grammy nomination in 2010, and his list of accolades includes Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Metal Guitarist,” the “Dimebag Darrell Shredder” award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, and Metal Hammer Greece “Best Guitarist” on three separate occasions.

 

 

MOTÖRHEAD’s LEMMY Says His Long-Awaited Solo Album Is Coming Out Next

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In the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Revolver magazine, MOTÖRHEAD‘s Lemmy Kilmister was asked about the band’s performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Germany, which was cut short after six songs due to his health issues.

“It was strange,” Lemmy explained. “The Wacken date was going really good and it sounded really good, too. And then I got this pain in my back that came out of nowhere and it was crippling. When you get to this age, stuff starts going on, y’know? There’s nothing you can do about it. At this stage, things would be going wrong anyway, even without my history.”

Asked if he has any plans to retire, Lemmy, who turns 68 years old in December, said: “No, I ain’t done yet with the music. After I get better, we’re gonna try to tour again, and if I can’t do that full-on, I want to do another album with [the rockabilly band] HEAD CAT, and, of course, I want to do a couple more MOTÖRHEAD records. But the next thing I’ve got coming out is my solo album, which is almost done. I still want to do a track with [SKUNK ANANSIE vocalist] Skin before I put it out. There are two tracks with the REVEREND HORTON HEAT, two with THE DAMNED, a track with Dave Grohl [FOO FIGHTERSNIRVANA], and a track with Joan Jett. Right now we’re thinking of calling it ‘False Teeth For The Deaf’. It’s all just great rock and roll, that’s the only way to describe it. Some of it is bluesy and some isn’t. It’s not MOTÖRHEAD, but obviously there are elements in common.”

In a 2004 interview with Metal Maniacs magazine, Lemmy stated about his solo CD, “I’ve got two [songs recorded] with [German hard-rock band] SKEW SISKIN [reportedly titled ‘Stand Upon The Mountain’ and ‘Don’t Matter To Me’ Ed.], which are fucking great! And I’ve got two with the REVEREND HORTON HEAT, some good psycho-metal-billy! I’ve got a track from Dave Grohl that I’m still sorting out and two tracks from THE DAMNED [including a cover of THE DAMNED‘s ‘Neat Neat Neat’]. That’s with Dave and The Captain! Some good stuff.”

It was previously reported that guitarist Jim Voxx of SKEW SISKIN, who own Berlin’s Monongo studios, was producing/recording and mixing two of the songs for the project. A full horn section was recorded, a saxophone player, a blues piano player and a lot more.

Lemmy‘s health issues caused the band to cancel a number of European festival appearances this past summer — including shows in France, Germany and Russia. The dates were called off when doctors discovered an unspecified haematoma, a pool of leaked blood gathered in Lemmy‘s muscles. The legendary rocker is also suffering from Type 2 diabetes, diagnosed more than a decade ago, and has had a defibrillator fitted earlier this year to iron out the uneven bumps in his heart.

Lemmy takes two pills every day for his diabetes, which has affected the circulation in his legs. As a result, his legs stiffen and ache if he walks too far and his back hurts if he stands for too long.

ANTHRAX Guitarist SCOTT IAN To Write Memoir For Fall 2014 Release

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Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group, announced today that it has acquired world rights to publish a book by musician Scott Ian, co-founder of the iconic thrash metal band ANTHRAX, entitled “I’m The Man”Da Capo executive editor Ben Schafer made the deal with Jim Fitzgerald at the James Fitzgerald Agency.

“Why a book? Because I think my story can connect with anyone and, if I was able to make the life I wanted for myself happen, then anyone can,” Ian says. “I’m really excited to be writing a book because the idea of getting forty-something years of stuff out of my brain and onto the page seems very therapeutic. Plus if I didn’t do it now, I’d start forgetting and wouldn’t be able to share all these killer stories with you, my friends!”

In this fast-paced, humorous, and revealing memoir from the leader of a band that proved to the masses that brutality and fun didn’t have to be mutually exclusive, Ian will tell his life story, starting with his upbringing as a nerdy Jewish boy in Queens, New York, and evolving through his first musical epiphany when he saw THE WHO on television and decided he wanted to play guitar. Not long after, Ian saw KISS at Madison Square Garden and realized what he wanted to do with his life. The book will chronicle his adolescence in a dysfunctional home, his escapism through the turbulent world of heavy metal, and the complete history of ANTHRAX, starting with the band’s formation through the present day reinvigoration with the return of vocalist Joey Belladonna, the release of “Worship Music”, and their triumphant performance at Yankee Stadium with the Big Four of thrash: METALLICASLAYER, and MEGADETH. The book will also feature eye-popping full-color autobiographical comic book inserts.

For “I’m The Man”Ian will be working with Jon Wiederhorn, co-author of the books “Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal” and “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen”Wiederhorn is a senior writer at Revolver and a regular contributor to Guitar WorldNoisey.comeMusic.com, and Yahoo Music! He has also worked on staff at Rolling StoneGuitarGuitar.com, and MusicPlayer.com.

Ben Schafer, executive editor at Da Capo Press, says: “We’re thrilled to be working with Scott Ian, whose dedication to his legendary band ANTHRAX has assured their place in the pantheon, and whose upbeat nature and sense of humor are infectious.”

KING’S X Frontman To Undergo Second Hernia Surgery

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KING’S X frontman Doug “Dug” Pinnick had to be rushed to the hospital last night after the band’s show in North Carolina and is going to require further surgery and recovery from his hernia. As a result, the group will be unable to play the concert tonight in Springfield, Virginia.

Says Pinnick: “Last night in Charlotte, something happened relating to my recent operation. The pain was so bad I went into shock so they rushed me to the ER. We barely finished the show, but it was an awesome crowd and we had fun.

“I was disappointed that I had to leave the meet-and-greet; it’s one of my favorite things at a KING’S X show, meeting all the people.

“I’m better today, but have to get another operation to fix the problem. The doctor said it could be life-threatening if I don’t get this taken care of. So I have to get another operation.

“I’m so sorry we had to cancel D.C.! But we will be back.”

Pinnick underwent hernia surgery on July 3 after avoidning it due to the fact that he didn’t have health insurance. He had toured, recorded and rehearsed regardless of his painful condition.

GiveForward campaign to help raise funds for Pinnick‘s surgery was launched this past spring and it raised more than $26,000 from 599 donations.

Pinnick released his new solo album, “Naked”, on May 7 via RockArmy Records. The CD is described in a press release as “deeply personal and overflowing with [Pinnick‘s] unmistakable tone, groove, and heart-wrenching vocals. PEARL JAM‘s Jeff Ament said that ‘heavy music didn’t start in Seattle, it started in Katy, Texas with KING’S X‘ and ‘Naked’ is proof that Pinnick remains at the top of his game.”

RIOT To Carry On As RIOT V; New Singer Announced

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RIOT‘s classic “Thundersteel” and “Privilege Of Power” lineup reunited in 2009 and delivered a critically acclaimed album, “Immortal Soul”, via major metal heavyweights SPVSteamhammer and AvalonMarquee. A successful tour with performances on the prestigious 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and appearances at Sweden Rock and Metalway festivals solidified RIOT‘s long-sought-after return a success, but success doesn’t come without tragedy.

The band’s journey has never been easy, with personnel changes and the untimely deaths of frontmen Guy SperanzaRhett Forrester as well as the passing of long-time founding guitarist Mark Reale who finally lost his lifelong battle with Crohn’s disease early last year, and with Tony Moore battling his own demons and health issues, RIOT, like Johnny, are back again!

Through the storm of life’s obstacles, Mike FlyntzBobby Jarzombek and Don Van Stavern are joined by powerhouse vocalist extraordinaire Todd Michael Hall (JACK STARR’S BURNING STARRREVERENCE) and are ready to raise the flag in honor of the RIOT legacy of music and our fallen bandmates and heroes, as well as the fans who have been demanding RIOT for years and years to come! With the blessing of Mark‘s father Tony Reale, the remaining members prepare for the next phase, the fifth phase if you will, of RIOT.

Mark always used to say that there were always different phases of RIOT throughout the years continuing on with a new singer, sound, logo as well and each having a few records under their belt, Phase One: Guy Speranza, Phase Two: Rhett Forrester, Phase Three: Tony Moore, Phase Four: Mike DiMeo and now Phase Five: Todd Michael Hall! A new album is in the works for a summer 2014 release and reissues are due on SonyEMI and Metal Blade.

According to a press release, “MikeDonBobby and Todd are inspired as never before and still at the top of their game, and the new CD promises to be a true successor to the legacy of ‘Thundersteel’‘Privilege Of Power’ and ‘Immortal Soul’Mark and the RIOT legacy will forever shine on and as long as the people demand it we will keep coming back with great music for years to come.

“Please welcome Todd Michael Hall and RIOT V!”

RIOT V is:

Todd Michael Hall – Vocals
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Don Van Stavern – Bass
Mike Flyntz – Guitar

APOCALYPTICA To Release ‘Ass-Kicking’ New Studio Album In 2014

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APOCALYPTICA — the groundbreaking Finnish orchestral rock group — has just released “Wagner Reloaded – Live In Leipzig” (BMG), an epic live collaboration with the acclaimed MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra. The album’s release is perfectly timed since 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of iconic German composer Richard Wagner.

For “Wagner Reloaded – Live In Leipzig”APOCALYPTICA created new compositions based on Wagner‘s body of work and his life, teaming with award-winning choreographer and dancer Gregor Seyffert to stage a brilliant and magical, cross-genre event featuring a live concert and theatrical production.

Since its inception, the Finnish cello-based heavy rock group APOCALYPTICA has been mining the classical form and structure creating compositions that are both unpredictable and unforgettable. From the METALLICA covers that turned the music scene on its ear to 2007’s “Worlds Collide” — which saw the group collaborate with everyone from SLIPKNOT‘s Corey Taylor to RAMMSTEIN‘s Till Lindemann and LACUNA COIL‘s Cristina Scabbia — APOCALYPTICA have released seven studio albums featuring numerous cello-based instrumentals and vocal-based songs. They’ve explored styles from atmospheric interludes to fast, battering rhythms–their music has always been gripping, dynamic and full of melody.

Here’s a question-and-answer session with APOCALYPTICA‘s Eicca Toppinen and Mikko Sirén where they discuss the controversial character of composer Richard Wagner, performing inside metal dragons with pyro as well as the creation of the music and production for “Wagner Reloaded”.

Q: What role did Wagner play in the decision for this project?

EiccaWagner was both the whole starting point and the glue. “Wagner Reloaded” is not just an homage to Wagner and performance of his music, it’s more about showing Wagner‘s life and character and personality in a new way.

MikkoWagner‘s whole career was an inspiring element for the creator Gregor, he wanted to make a movie out of it and for APOCALYPTICA to make a score for it, so, it was a new approach to his life and I think his life was more interesting for Gregor than his music even. That’s the contradiction.

Eicca: Yes, that’s very true and it turned out to be so bombastic and massive, which is “Wagnerian,” it’s really in the spirit of Wagner, because he was famous for being over the top. Wagner wanted to make a 12-hour opera, opera trilogies, and he wanted to build his own opera house — his visions were crazy. Wagner‘s craziness was driving this project from the very beginning.

Q: In Germany, there are controversies regarding Wagner‘s life and personal political choices. How is that looked at in Finland?

Mikko: In general, at least in Finland, people don’t look at Wagner as a political character or a person; his music is well-known, and people, who follow the scene, which in truth is a minority of people, might know more of his history.

Eicca: Yeah, it doesn’t stir up such emotions in Finland as it seems to in Germany, of course. It’s a complicated issue, because nobody knows exactly how to think about people, who have already passed away long, long, long time ago. Whether their music or art was used for certain purposes — it’s complex territory. But in Finland, people listen to Wagner just as Wagner music and don’t think so much about possible political relations, or anti-Semitic writings. It’s not really at the top of the conversation in Finland. But in Germany it seems to be a hot topic.

Q: Musically speaking, what were the greatest challenges?

Eicca: The greatest challenge of doing this project was the way we worked. Gregor Seyffert, who was also dancing one of the main roles, had a very clear script for how all the scenes would follow each other, how Wagner was born, was a kid, and I got a length for every scene. Like, for example: This scene is four to five minutes long, and this is what’s going to happen on stage, and this is what the energy of the music should be like. And sometimes Gregor wanted to have a specific composition by Wagner and therefore maybe the biggest challenge was to combine Wagner‘s music with new music, because Wagner, of course, was a great composer and a lot of his music is perfect and there is nothing to add to it. So it was a combination of what is APOCALYPTICA‘s role in the Wagner pieces, and how we could create music, which is as exciting in the performance as Wagner‘s original music. Because all of APOCALYPTICA‘s music was newly composed for this project, no one had ever heard it before — and everybody knows all of Wagner. The biggest Wagner songs were in the piece. So the biggest challenge was to write the score for a “movie” that didn’t exist. Like coloring a picture you can only imagine in your head, without seeing it.

Q: In what way is APOCALYPTICA‘s performance in “Wagner Reloaded” different from a regular concert?

Eicca: The difference between “Wagner Reloaded” and a regular APOCALYPTICA performance is, of course, that we were part of “Wagner Reloaded”. It’s not completely our show, we are part of a bigger structure, and we needed to follow the choreography and need to fulfill a certain role given to us. A scary moment was when we played on the top of the tower, ten to twelve meters high and it was narrow. It was only two meters deep and there was no fence in the front, and many times, we had to run from downstage up to the tower with the cellos, fast. It was four floors of narrow, dark stairs with only thirty seconds to be up there and start to play. Also, playing in the moving vehicles — was tricky for us. In the beginning, we were playing on top of a very high bed and people were pushing it fast, then we were playing inside of a metal dragon, which was massive. The dragon was moving with pyro, and us cello players were in the metal head of the dragon — all these specials were really fun to do, but something totally different compared to our regular shows.

Q: How did the contact with Gregor Seyffert come about?

EiccaGregor Seyffert contacted us through our management, because he definitely wanted to have APOCALYPTICA‘s music in his project. He had used some of our songs in the past in his piece “Marquis de Sade”. I went to Germany to meet him and to talk about the project. I was so overwhelmed with his vision — this was three years ago — even then, he had a very clear vision of: the drama, the scenes, the script. Luckily, we were able to produce this in Leipzig.

Q: How close was the working process with Gregor Seyffert?

Eicca: The working process with Gregor was close. We had several meetings to talk about the script, and then I started to write the music and sent him demos of the songs. Then he gave feedback, you know: “Okay, this is great, this works …” Or he wanted different kind of endings for the scenes. Musically, many times I would have done different. If I would think about the music just as music, I would have done different solutions for some songs, but if you are writing music for such a piece, you need to be a servant for the full action, and it needs to fit with the choreography and the drama of the story. So, he was involved — I had to get an okay for every song in the end, and I had to re-write many of the songs. [laughs] But that’s how it is.

Q: Any especially surprising experiences?

Mikko: We were surprised about how big the production was, and we were also surprised of how well it all worked out. There were a billion of different elements that needed to match-up to make the event run. And even up to the last minute, things were still kind of floating and weren’t locked, and still it somehow worked out.

Eicca: Surprising in a positive way, was the passion, which everybody working in the project showed. Everybody — not only the people on stage, you know, people carrying stuff and preparing — worked their asses off for weeks and months to get it done. When we came to Leipzig for the first time, we were like: “Wow, this is cool.” We liked the people’s motivation to do things.

Q: If you had to describe “Wagner Reloaded” to someone without the musical background — how would that sound?

Eicca“Wagner Reloaded” sounds like a modern symphony, because the orchestra parts are symphonic, but the other half is a full metal blast. Then suddenly, it’s very fragile with just a few instruments, beautiful acoustical, classical music, so it’s a modern symphony. You can’t describe it, you have to listen to it. You have to experience it.

Q: Did the visual aspects of the production influence the compositional aspects of “Wagner Reloaded – Live In Leipzig”?

Eicca: Once I visited the warehouse in Leipzig, where all the dragons and mechanical things were built, I got a vision of the roughness and the visuals. So, of course, if you know: “Okay, there’s a big scene, where there is a dragon and somebody’s fighting with dragons and giants …” — that’s quite a strong visual image. Even if you don’t see it for real–you can imagine, and of course that influences the writing of the music very much, because you go: “Okay, this needs to be on the scene where the dragons are, so what can I do? I need to do dragon music.” [laughs]

Q: What was the most interesting part of working with the MDR symphony orchestra?

Mikko: I come from the more strict rock and pop world so working with classical musicians is interesting, because the state of mind, approach, culture, and everything comes from a different angle. Every time you’re in contact with another musician, who thinks differently, that’s a place for you to learn, if you keep your mind open, and if you try to hear what they are trying to express.

Eicca: Yes, it was a big challenge, because we had to work with time codes, which is something that orchestras don’t like to do normally. The conductor gets the tempo all the time, and needs to follow the right tempo, because everything was built and rehearsed in certain tempos. So, we had to follow that timeline and that could be a challenge. There are always little mistakes in a timeline, and fixing those, when you have the full orchestra waiting in the room — trying to get things sorted out and trying to keep the orchestra in a good mood so that they won’t be totally pissed off, can be challenging. But, we succeeded pretty well at that, and I thought the orchestra had a very good attitude.

Mikko: And working with Kristjan Järvi, who was the conductor, was great — he is an open-minded guy, has great ears and can hear the music, no matter what style it is, so that was cool.

Eicca: Yeah, that was really cool. Kristjan was relaxed, and he was able to conduct the orchestra and keep the orchestra together, building a bridge between the two worlds.

Q: How did the recording affect the live performance?

Eicca: We had so many other things to be scared of, and had to be focused on the performance — I think nobody even thought about it while the performance was going on, and that it was going to be recorded.

MikkoAlex Silva, who is the musical producer together with Eicca, sort of took part of the burden from our shoulders by staying with the recording engineers.

Eicca: We were more worried about the sound that ended up in the TV performance, because the MDR broadcasted the show live on TV, and we weren’t able to remix it. We had to trust in the sound guys and the sound car. We knew that when we did our live album, we can go back to the studio and mix it, and mix every sound. I think that was the main thing we were worried about when the performance was coming up — that we they could fuck it up in the broadcasting car.

Q: Is there something you are especially proud of regarding the live album?

Eicca: I’m proud of the fact that on the live album there is a powerful energy with APOCALYPTICA playing. We were able to fully capture the live energy on the album and that’s something we have to learn more about when we do the next studio album. And the sound of the cellos — it’s more cello-ish. You can really hear the cello, but it still has a lot of power and edge from the amps and distortion. So, there are a lot of cool things, and I think the music itself is unique and exciting.

Q: Which song is the most important one for you–and why?

Mikko: My personal favorite of all the tracks has been “Birth Pain” from the very beginning. That is a new approach to our music, it’s brutally intense and beautiful-there’s something, as a poor drummer, that I find to be very touching about the song.

Q: As “Wagner Reloaded” is not only a unique, but universal project – are there plans to bring the event to other parts of the world?

Eicca: We are actually working on it. “Wagner Reloaded” was made for this big arena, which had an even bigger room for the stage than most arenas. Ice hockey arenas are much smaller. We can’t bring this production exactly like this to those places. We are working on a plan how to get “Wagner Reloaded” on tour, and what the changes will be. We would like to bring this to as many places as we can, but, we can’t have the full orchestra, we can’t have the full choir, we can’t have this … We can’t, you know, have a U2 production, but we’re working on keeping it as massive, powerful and effective while making it possible to pack it into trucks. Hopefully, in autumn 2014, we will be able to have many, many more shows in as many places as possible with this project. We would like to keep this for the long run, as a side project beside APOCALYPTICA‘s own shows, to have extra performances from time to time with “Wagner Reloaded”. That’s what we hope.

Q: The last studio album came out in 2010 and was followed by massive touring. What are the upcoming projects for APOCALYPTICA in 2014?

Eicca: We are aiming to get into the studio in late spring. We can hopefully get the stuff together, mix the album in April/May, and then release it at the best possible time. But, yeah, there will be a new, ass-kicking studio album by APOCALYPTICA in 2014. It’s no. 8 already.