TONY MACALPINE To Release ‘Concrete Gardens’ Album Next Month

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In his 29-year career, Tony MacAlpine has redefined instrumental hard rock, jazz-fusion and heavy metal for a generation of progressive-minded music fanatics. Whether it’s been as a solo artist, or with the progressive supergroup PSMS (with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian); the mind-bending metal fusion band PLANET X (with Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati); the Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group CAB; or in the band of another guitar hero Steve Vai, MacAlpine has continued to evolve and set the bar exceedingly high.

On April 21, Tony will release his highly anticipated opus “Concrete Gardens” (SunDog Records), featuring 12 tracks of complex, intricate, yet hook-laden melodies, blinding solos and crushing 7- and 8-string guitar riffs, complemented by his own equally exceptional keyboards. This is built atop a formidable rhythmic foundation laid down by Brazilian drum sensation Aquiles Priester (PRIMAL FEAR, HANGAR, ex-ANGRA).

Aquiles is an incredibly gifted and dynamic drummer,” says MacAlpine. “I truly enjoyed recording ‘Concrete Gardens’ with him, and of course touring with him since 2012.”

Rounding out the rhythm section is bassist Pete Griffin (SHINING, GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA, ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA), along with guest appearances by bassists Sean Delson (FOZZY, STUCK MOJO), Lucky Islam and MacAlpine himself. Guitar virtuoso Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY, CONQUERING DYSTOPIA, ex-NEVERMORE) guests for an extended guitar solo trade.

Jeff has inspired so many of us over the years with his brilliant and unique style,” enthuses Tony. “The solo trade with him on ‘Square Circles’ was purely magical, both in the studio and live on EMGtv.”

“Concrete Gardens” was mixed by Brazilian producer and engineer Adair Daufembach, and mastered by Seva David Ball.

“It was a great experience to work with an engineer who knows exactly what I want, and exactly how to get it done — and Adair did it effortlessly,” says MacAlpine, “and Seva is a warm, kind, perfectionist who masters in a very organic way. He was my number one choice for mastering my new music.”

Written and recorded in his Pasadena, California home studio (with drums recorded in Brazil), MacAlpine has blended metal, prog, jazz-fusion and rock into a tightly wound trip that is reflected in the album’s title — both brutal and beautiful.

“My music is instrumental guitar-oriented heavy rock with a fusion flair,” he explains. “Having started with classical piano since the age of five, I’ve been exposed to many genres and styles from contemporary to the romantic and classical periods. This early development helped me define my writing and improvisation which is evident in my sound today. My guitar playing encompasses many different styles, with an emphasis on composition and theater.”

As with any true artist, change is the only constant. As he says, “I’m 29 years into my career as a musician, and my sound and artistic output has continually evolved, because I’m always striving to discover new ways to express myself through the music.”

“Concrete Gardens” will be available in both standard and special edition versions — the special edition version includes a bonus DVD of Tony and band performing the album live at EMGtv. Featured is Aquiles Priester (drums), Pete Griffin (bass) and Nili Brosh (guitar), plus a special appearance by Jeff Loomis.

“Concrete Gardens” track listing:

01. Exhibitionist Blvd. (4:28)
02. The King’s Rhapsody (4:45)
03. Man In A Metal Cage (4:20)
04. Poison Cookies (5:06)
05. Epic (5:00)
06. Napoleon’s Puppet (5:13)
07. Sierra Morena (4:52)
08. Square Circles (5:12)
09. Red Giant (5:10)
10. Confessions of a Medieval Monument (5:43)
11. Concrete Gardens (5:03)
12. Maiden’s Wish (4:19)

Tony will hit the road for dates in the U.S. in late May through June, before heading to Asia in July, and Europe in October.

VAN HALEN Performs On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

In celebration of its 2015 summer/fall North American tour, VAN HALEN performed a special concert for ABC-TV‘s Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last night (Monday, March 30) on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Featuring some of the band’s essential rock and roll classics, the show is being broadcast over two nights, March 30 and March 31, on the late night talk show and marks VAN HALEN‘s first U.S. television performance with original lead singer David Lee Roth since he rejoined the band in 2007.

A portion of Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange was closed yesterday gearing up for the special event.

Roth cut himself on the nose with the microphone early in the performance, forcing VAN HALEN to stop the show for a few minutes so that he could step to the side and get it taped up. “I fucked my nose up with the microphone here,” Roth told the crowd. “So we’re gonna start the whole thing over, and give you a little extra for your patience.”

Video footage of VAN HALEN performing the songs “Panama” and “Runnin’ With The Devil” during Monday’s concert can be seen below.

Jimmy Kimmel Live!” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. / 10:35 p.m. Central Time on ABC.

VAN HALEN has announced the dates and cities for a summer/fall North American tour that will kick off on July 5 in Seattle, winding down on October 2 in Los Angeles.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, VAN HALEN is also scheduled to appear on the April 2 edition of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

This will be VAN HALEN‘s first full-length tour after the band abruptly canceled a 2012 summer run in support of that year’s studio album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”.

Tickets for the trek go on sale beginning April 4 at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com, with special pre-sale information being announced locally. The opening act will be KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD.

March 31 will also see the release of “Live: Tokyo Dome: In Concert, the band’s first official live album with Roth.

Recorded on June 21, 2013 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, the set features 23 tracks taken from all seven albums the band recorded with Roth on the mic.

A deluxe edition of the album will come with the newly remastered “Van Halen” and “1984” albums, as both a four-CD collection and a six-LP vinyl set in special packaging.

MARILYN MANSON & SMASHING PUMPKINS To Join Forces For ‘The End Times’ Tour

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MARILYN MANSON will team up with SMASHING PUMPKINS for “The End Times” co-headlining tour. They will hit the road together starting July 7 in Concord, California, and ending on August 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tickets go on sale starting April 3.

“The End Times” tour dates:

Jul. 07 – Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion
Jul. 09 – Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Jul. 10 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel& Casino
Jul. 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
Jul. 13 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Jul. 15 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
Jul. 16 – Houston, TX @ NRG Arena
Jul. 18 – San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum
Jul. 19 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live
Jul. 20 – New Orleans, LA @ Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square
Jul. 22 – Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Amphitheatre
Jul. 24 – Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds
Jul. 25 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Jul. 26 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
Jul. 28 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Jul. 29 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
Jul. 31 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Aug. 01 – Mashantucket, CT @ Foxwoods Resort Casino
Aug. 02 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
Aug. 04 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Aug. 05 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug. 07 – Chicago, IL @ FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Aug. 08 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

Manson recently buried the hatchet with one-time friend, SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan.

Back in December, Manson joined the SMASHING PUMPKINS onstage for a performance of “Ava Adore” in London. Manson said, “I hadn’t seen him in 15 years. I had forgotten how close we were, having not seen him in so long. He’s the one who taught me how to play guitar, so if it sucks or it’s good, it’s his fault.”

Manson released his ninth studio album, “The Pale Emperor”, on January 20.

SMASHING PUMPKINS has been touring behind “Monuments To An Elegy”, the band’s ninth studio effort and the follow-up to 2012’s “Oceania”.

A second disc, titled Day For Night, is scheduled to come out later this year.

BOBBY BLOTZER Is Unleashing His Ultimate ‘RATT EXPERIENCE’

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As a member of the legendary rock band RATT, Bobby Blotzer has headlined arenas all over the world, selling over 20 million records worldwide.

In 2015, the acclaimed drummer affectionately known as “The Blotz” plans to introduce the world to his own one-of-a-kind RATT EXPERIENCE live show.

While the members of RATT are currently on hiatus, Blotzer has assembled a group of world-class musicians that will perform not only the RATT hits fans have come to expect, but also several deep album cuts, including many songs that have never been performed live.

Blotzer‘s RATT EXPERIENCE is rounded out by Josh Alan (SIN CITY SINNERS), Scotty Griffin (ex-L.A. GUNS), Doc Ellis (Jizzy Pearl‘s LOVE/HATE) and 21-year-old guitar hero Blaze.

Each RATT EXPERIENCE show will include (depending on venue and time slot)

* A performance of RATT‘s “Invasion Of Your Privacy” album in its entirety to commemorate the record’s 30th anniversary

* A never-before-seen video history introduction

* A tribute to late RATT guitarist Robbin “King” Crosby

* Over 20 songs, including some that have never been played live before

* Exclusive VIP meet-and-greet packages and opportunities to hang out with The Blotz!

For more information, visit Facebook.com/TheRattExperience.

Wrote Griffin in a post on his Facebook page: “The RATT EXPERIENCE featuring Bobby Blotzer will be exactly what it sounds like. A night of all RATT songs, featuring rare songs never performed live by RATT as well as the hits everybody knows and loves. Focusing mainly on their first five consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums, this will be a summer tour you don’t want to miss. We are even thinking about possibly celebrating the 30th anniversary of the double-platinum album ‘Invasion Of Your Privacy’ by playing it in its entirety. Whatever we decide to do, we promise it to be more than just an ordinary show of playing the same old songs. Bobby wants this to be an extra-special RATT EXPERIENCE that will take you through the illustrious career of this great band that he has been 100% a part of since its very inception.”

He continued: “Along with myself, the band features my fellow SIN CITY SINNERS: Doc Ellis on guitar and Joshua Alan on vocals. Also joining us will be 21-year-old guitar sensation and local Las Vegan Blaze (recently with Brad Paisley) who joined us onstage when Blotzer was our special guest a few weeks ago at Vamp’d. That was the night where this whole idea sprang from. Bobby had been looking for a band to put together while RATT are on indefinite hold, and it was obvious the SINNERS were that band!”

Former RATT singer Stephen Pearcy recently shut down the possibility of working with his former bandmates ever again. He said: “I think it’s a permanent vacation. I’m just doing what I’m gonna do, and I still have other interests and enjoying some time. I’m not going out and playing a lot, just playing just to play. And [I’m] working on other things. But it’s a permanent vacation, and as far as I’m concerned; the door’s shut. The time has passed for a record. But I don’t know… It took ten years for the last record, so I can’t say. But as far as playing [together again], no. [There is] nothing else [planned], as far as I’m concerned, right now.”

During an April 2014 interview with the “Trunk Nation” show, Blotzer slammed Pearcy over the singer’s latest exit from the group, saying: “Everything [Stephen] says is delusional and complete lies. He’s so destructive… Stephen doesn’t know how to play ball, he’s not a team player. It’s Stephen‘s way or there’s no way at all… He walks on everything. He’s walked four times. Again, this year, he’s walked… He’s tortured us. I mean, he’s kept us hostage for years. ‘I’m quitting. I’m not going.’ He’s canceled shows, he’s canceled tours.”

He continued: “I think the rest of the band has proven — and you can go to YouTube, that we do — we go out there and we kick ass, and we’re concise and we fucking play really good.”

Blotzer added: “But do I want him in the band? Yes, I do. I want the nice Stephen in the band.”

TREMONTI Recruits Bassist TANNER KEEGAN For Upcoming Tour

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TREMONTI, the band fronted by ALTER BRIDGE/CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti, has recruited Tanner Keegan to play bass on its upcoming tour.

It was announced last week that bassist Wolfgang Van Halen will not hit the road with TREMONTI due to commitments with his main act, VAN HALEN. Wolfgang said in a statement, “I am still part of TREMONTI and very excited for the release of [new album] ‘Cauterize’, but unfortunately am unable to participate in the upcoming tour dates, both in the States and overseas due to my prior commitment with VAN HALEN for the upcoming summer tour in support of the ‘Tokyo Dome Live In Concert’ album. [I] look forward to seeing all the TREMONTI fans on the road as soon as my schedule permits!”

TREMONTI‘s tour kicks off on April 25 in Orlando and has dates booked through late May so far. The band will be making stops at some of the largest festivals in the world, including Welcome To Rockville, Rock On The Range and Download. TREMONTI will be opening some dates for SEETHER while also headlining shows in the United States.

Wolfgang did play on “Cauterize”, which is due out on June 9, and Mark Tremonti told The Pulse Of Radio that the bass player made invaluable contributions to the record. “He’s just a super-solid player, he learns stuff in two seconds and there’s two key spots where we did the three-part harmonies that Wolfie would sing the very high part and Eric [Friedman, guitarist] would sing the middle part and I’d sing the lower part, and it just really makes a big — you know, it sounds nice,” he said. “I love the addition of his voice.”

Tremonti told The Pulse Of Radio that “Cauterize” is not the only disc he has coming out in the near future. “We put together two albums,” he said. “We have this album that’s [coming] out, but in the same recording session we recorded another album called ‘Dust’. That’s gonna be coming out who knows when, but probably within a year. So I want people to know that that record is part two of this record. It’s not necessarily record three, it’s just the second disc of this album. So there’s two 10-song albums.”

SLASH FEAT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS To Release ‘Live At The Roxy 25.9.14’ DVD/Blu-Ray

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On September 25, 2014, shortly after the release of their “World On Fire” album, SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS took the stage at the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

The atmospheric venue, steeped in rock history, gave fans a brilliant opportunity to experience the band up close as they delivered a set packed with more recent solo tracks, including several from the new album, and classics from Slash‘s earlier career with GUNS N’ ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER. The intimate setting inspired the band to deliver a scintillating, dynamic performance, due for release on June 15 on 3LP set, as well as 2CD, DVD and Blu-ray.

“Live At The Roxy 25.9.14” track listing:

01. Ghost
02. Nightrain
03. Back From Cali
04. You Could Be Mine
05. Rocket Queen
06. Bent To Fly
07. Starlight
08. You’re A Lie
09. World On Fire
10. Anastasia
11. Sweet Child O’ Mine
12. Slither
13. Paradise City

Additional tracks:

01. Stone Blind
02. You’re Crazy
03. Wicked Stone
04. 30 Years To Life

Speaking about his working relationship with his backing band THE CONSPIRATORSMyles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (touring guitarist) — Slash told Australia’s Moshcam: “It’s just something that clicked right from the very beginning. Initially, Myles and I just had that spark, sort of a creative connection, from the very, very beginning. And that’s something that’s established; it always happens when we work together. And then, with Brent and Todd, it’s the same kind of thing where we just have a really great writing and performing and recording chemistry, where everybody just really digs what we are about individually and collectively, and it just works.”

Asked if he thinks more in terms of being a solo artist or as a bandmember, Slash said: “I don’t think I ever really thought in terms of solo artists, per se. Ever since I first started playing guitar, I’ve always been drawn to the band dynamic. But being in a position to steer it where I want it to go, and be more of a captain of the ship was how it first started. And at this point, now that we’ve been working together for a while, it definitely has turned very much into a band. But all if do is spearhead it.”

Slash recently told Classic Rock magazine that he has “already started working” on material for the follow-up to “World On Fire”.

“On the road is the platform that I find is the easiest for me to work on new material,” he said. “It’s easier here than it is for me to do when I’m at home. So I just get going. I take my phone and I record ideas on the phone and then we jam stuff at soundchecks; when we have soundchecks. So we compile a bunch of ideas, and then when the tour is over, we go home and, sort of, hash them out.”

“World On Fire” sold around 29,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 10 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on September 16, 2014 via Slash‘s own label Dik Hayd International distributed through Roadrunner Records (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America).

“World On Fire” is the second album to feature Slash‘s regular backing band, MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, and follows up 2012’s “Apocalyptic Love”, which sold around 38,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Slash‘s self-titled debut album scored the highest new entry on The Billboard 200 chart in April 2010, with first-week U.S. sales of around 60,000 copies.

On Slash self-titled solo effort he employed a different vocalist on each track, before settling on ALTER BRIDGE member Kennedy for both touring and eventually recording.

Exclusive: AJ PERO — THE TWISTED, DRUMMING, MOVIE STAR

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On March 20, 2015 the music world lost AJ Pero, drummer of the iconic band Twisted Sister and most recently Adrenaline Mob. One week later I interviewed Antonio Saillant of Angel Light Pictures Entertainment Group and asked him to share the story of how AJ Pero not only loved music but also acting.

Jay Scorpion: How did you meet/get to know AJ Pero?
Antonio Saillant: I met AJ Pero through a mutual friend who invited me to the premiere of AJ‘s first film, ‘Priceless’, directed by André Joseph. 
A short time later AJ was hosting a radio show, Celebrity Spotlight. He invited me to be on the show to be interviewed.
JS: When did AJ seem interested in acting/did he pursue a part in one of your films or was he ‘the guy’?
AS: AJ told me that it was always a dream of his to become an actor. The problem was finding time because of his demanding schedule with Twist and other commitments.
I had been developing a film, ‘Red Right Wrong’, with Robert Stock, an independent filmmaker. AJ seemed like a perfect fit for one of the lead roles so I contacted him about participating.
JS: Tell me about ‘Red Right Wrong’
AS: ‘RRW’ is about Russian Roulette in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Billy, played by AJ, is a thug who kills two henchman – shooting them in the back. But, was he set up? Billy calls on Nico, the local crime boss, to put things right. A game of Russian roulette ensues between Billy and his arch rival, Kirk.
JS: How was AJ on set? Comfortable? Nervous?
AS: AJ was a consummate professional. He took direction quite well, and worked hard to project the image we were looking for. He was also totally cool on the set, and even offered to sleep on the couch at our studio when space was tight.
JS: Did AJ get to see any of the final project?
AS: Yes, AJ received a DVD copy of the film. He was very satisfied and excited with the final piece. ‘RRW’ was very dear to him. His dream was to one day expand his talent into the Art of Acting.
JS: AJ never really was open on wanting to act, why do you think that was?
AS: I believe he was open to us and most likely his family. I think that AJ believed that every great dream begins with a dreamer. AJ had the strength within himself and the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars. I think AJ just wanted to separate the music and the acting. It is actually two different worlds.
I should also point out that AJ penned a couple of scripts and stories. We found one of his scripts, ‘Three Strikes’, so compelling that we optioned it and put it on our development docket.
JS: Will ‘Red Right Wrong’ get to be seen by the world?
AS: We had our premiere screening at The Bing Arts Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, toward the end of last year. Currently, I am submitting to film festivals to continue to get the film out into the world.

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