PRONG Announces North American Tour

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PRONG will embark on a North American tour in April 2016 in support of the band’s new studio album, “X (No Absolutes)”. The CD will be released on January 29, 2016 via Steamhammer/SPV.

The first digital single from the new album, “Ultimate Authority”, was recently made available to coincide with the kick-off of PRONG‘s North American tour as one of the support acts for DANZIG.

Says PRONG mainman Tommy Victor: “PRONG is doing a nice run of shows covering North America starting April 21, 2016 in support of our upcoming release, ‘Prong X – No Absolutes’. If you missed us on the DANZIG/SUPERJOINT tour or if we bypassed your locale, you can then experience a full set packed with all the faves new and old!”

The dates are as follows:

Apr. 21 – West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
Apr. 22 – Ramona, CA @ Ramona Mainstage
Apr. 23 – Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS
Apr. 24 – Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
Apr. 26 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s
Apr. 27 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
Apr. 28 – San Antonio, TX @ Korova
Apr. 29 – McAllen, TX @ Cine El Rey
Apr. 30 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
May 02 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
May 03 – Orlando, FL @ The Haven
May 04 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
May 05 – Louisville, KY @ Diamond Pub and Billiards
May 06 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
May 07 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution Bar & Music Hall
May 08 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
May 09 – Montreal, QC @ Foufones Electriques
May 10 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
May 11 – Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
May 12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock Cafe
May 13 – Battle Creek, MI @ The Music Factory
May 15 – Indianapolis, IN @ The 5th Quarter Lounge
May 16 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
May 17 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
May 18 – Joliet, IL @ The Tree
May 19 – Spring Lake, MN @ POV’s
May 20 – Racine, WI @ Rt 20
May 21 – Ringle, WI @ Q and Z Expo Center
May 22 – Waterloo, IA @ Spicoli’s Grill and the Reverb Rock
May 23 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
May 24 – Merriam, KS @ Aftershock
May 25 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
May 27 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
May 28 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
May 29 – Vancouver, BC @ The Venue
May 31 – Chico, CA @ Lost on Main
Jun. 01 – San Jose, CA @ Rockbar

In addition to Victor, the current lineup of PRONG includes Art Cruz (drums) and Jason Christopher (bass).

PRONG‘s album of covers, “Songs From The Black Hole”, was released in March via SPV/Steamhammer.

PRONG‘s latest all-original release, “Ruining Lives”, came out in 2014.

PRONG last year completed filming a video for the song “Remove, Separate Self”, taken from “Ruining Lives”. Brian Cox and Marcelo Palomino directed the clip.

MEGADETH To Release “The Threat Is Real” Single For Record Store Day

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MEGADETH‘s 12-inch single, “The Threat Is Real”, will be released next month as part of Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday bonanza. The effort will include the title track and a cover of FEAR‘s “Foreign Policy”, both of which are taken from MEGADETH‘s forthcoming fifteenth studio album, “Dystopia”,

Now in its eighth year, Record Store Day is an annual day-long celebration of record store culture taking place on the third Saturday in April, with an annual Black Friday event occurring the day after Thanksgiving. This year, RSD has named Dave Grohl as Record Store Day Ambassador 2015.

For more information, visit www.recordstoreday.com.

“Dystopia” will be released on January 22, 2016. The follow-up to 2013’s “Super Collider” was recorded earlier in the year in Nashville, Tennessee and was produced by MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine and Toby Wright (ALICE IN CHAINS, KORN). The CD was mixed by Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD, ALL THAT REMAINS and GOJIRA.

“Dystopia” marks the recording debut of MEGADETH‘s new lineup, featuring founding members Mustaine (guitar, vocals) and David Ellefson (bass) alongside LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.

“Dystopia” final track listing:

01. The Threat Is Real
02. Dystopia
03. Fatal Illusion
04. Death From Within
05. Bullet To The Brain
06. Post American World
07. Poisonous Shadows
08. Look Who’s Talking (iTunes bonus track)
09. Conquer Or Die
10. Lying In State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish (iTunes bonus track)
13. Foreign Policy (FEAR cover)

The band also recorded a cover version of “Melt The Ice Away” (BUDGIE).

The song “Poisonous Shadows” features piano playing from Kiko as well as orchestration from famed Nashville arranger Ronn Huff, the father of former MEGADETH producer Dann Huff. Mustaine described the track to Rolling Stone as “a really haunting piece” and added that “the part that [Kiko] played is very Chopin-meets-MEGADETH, if that makes sense.”

Former GOD FORBID Guitarist DOC COYLE Launches VAGUS NERVE

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VAGUS NERVE is a brand new hard rock band featuring Doc Coyle, formerly of GOD FORBID. This is his first creative output since leaving GOD FORBID in August 2013.

According to a press release, VAGUS NERVE is “focused solely on artistic integrity, devoid of any commercial ulterior motives. It’s just a few guys who love hanging out, laughing, and making music together: no egos, no bullshit.”

Doc began writing the material that would become VAGUS NERVE with vocalist Ravi Orr in 2011. Doc discovered Ravi through Orr‘s YouTube page and Ravi‘s solo outfit PHYLLOTAXIS. Ravi is an accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right, producing and playing all of the instruments on both PHYLLOTAXIS records.

As the material developed, Ravi and Doc decided to put a full band together. Ravi brought in his good friend Aden Oxenreider to play bass guitar. Aden is a multi-instrumentalist with a bachelor’s degree in music, who specializes in electronic music.

The next member on board was drummer Maurice Watson. Maurice, or “Moe,” got his start playing gospel in church, but would stretch his abilities playing in a multitude of bands and styles from post-hardcore, rock, deathcore, pop, R&B, and is currently touring with metalcore legends SHAI HULUD. Moe is also a professional music instructor with School Of Rock in New Jersey.

The last piece of the puzzle was finding a second guitarist. After sifting through dozens of submissions and several auditions, the band was blown away by Mike Gowen, who also plays for New York rock band MOTHER. Mike’s tone, improvisational adventurousness, penchant for melody, and easy going attitude solidified the band’s chemistry.

VAGUS NERVE has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the mixing and mastering of its forthcoming “Visceral” EP by Forrester Savell (KARNIVOOL, DEAD LETTER CIRCUS).

Despite 3,000 miles separating half the members, releasing this EP is all that matters. They want to share their music in the most organic way possible, with no labels, managers or handlers to muddy the waters.

OVERKILL Is Aiming To Release New Album In October 2016

OVERKILL Is Aiming To Release New Album In October 2016

On October 17, Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com conducted an interview with vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL.

Asked about OVERKILL‘s timeline for the follow-up to 2014’s “White Devil Armory” album, Ellsworth said: “We’re shooting for October of 2016; I mean, that’s our release date time. We’re gonna start demoing stuff come early next year. We’re gonna go to South America first, ’cause we just like doing that; I mean, it’s just fun, it’s off the hook down there. Then we have a tour through the U.K. and one special show we’re gonna do in Germany. But, during that process, stufl will be recorded and written and re-written. So it’s never this distinct timeline process for us. It’s kind of us saying, ‘Okay, let’s start,’ and then all the shit we’ve collected since ‘White Devil Armory’ starts showing itself, starts coming out. We planted the seeds, and now you see the leaves coming out of the ground. So it’s not gonna be that hard process. I mean, it’s not gonna be ever talk. It’s just gonna be action versus reaction, like many OVERKILL records. I can’t tell you it’s gonna be the best thing since canned beer or sliced bread; it’s just gonna be OVERKILL.”

Ellsworth also talked about OVERKILL‘s longevity. He said: “This shit has transcended generation after generation after generation, and not on a large level. You get the masses in here, and the masses pollute it, you know what I’m saying? ‘Who peed in the gene pool?’ kind of a thing, you know? But I do think the idea is that when you can actually have a father, son, grandpa, or father and daughter listening to this stuff and saying, ‘This is what it’s all about,’ for us, that’s something that’s pretty special. ‘Cause we’re metalheads before we’re OVERKILL, you know what I mean? That’s why it kind of works for us; we have the right priority there. So we appreciate, obviously, the support, but we’re also supporters of such. So maybe that’s the key to this — don’t have that identity crisis, and be one of the dudes.”

OVERKILL‘s first worldwide release on Nuclear Blast was a special box set comprised of the band’s entire back catalog, made available on September 18. Titled “Historikill: 1995 – 2007”, it contains 11 OVERKILL albums on 13 CDs and a bonus CD (containing demos, remixes and an unreleased cover song) in digi sleeves.

OVERKILL and SYMPHONY X recently joined forces for a North American tour. The 24-date co-headlining trek launched at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts on September 18, and wrapped with a very special night at Terminal 5 in New York City on October 17 — the first time in the bands’ combined histories that they played a show together in their own backyard.

“White Devil Armory” sold around 8,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 31 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on July 22, 2014 in North America via eOne Music and on July 18, 2014 in Europe through Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was tracked at Gear Recording and was mixed by Greg Reely, who also worked on 2012’s “The Electric Age”.

SLASH, LEMMY, KERRY KING, ZAKK WYLDE, LZZY HALE & More Featured In ‘Father Of Loud’ Documentary

SLASH, LEMMY, KERRY KING, ZAKK WYLDE, LZZY HALE To Be Featured In 'Father Of Loud' Documentary

Slash (GUNS ‘N ROSES), Lemmy Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD), Kerry King (SLAYER), Joe Satriani, Adrian Vandenberg (WHITESNAKE), Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) are among the musicians who have been interviewed for “Father Of Loud”, a new full-length rockumentary about how the Marshall amplifier changed their sound and their perspective on rock and roll.

Jim Marshall‘s ascent into the history books as “the Father of Loud” and the man responsible for the “Sound of Rock” is a true rags-to-riches tale.

In 1960, Jim opened a drum shop which soon became a popular haunt for the up-and-coming rock bands of the time. “All the drummers used to bring their groups in with them, which is how I got to meet guitarists like Pete [Townsend] and Ritchie [Blackmore],” Jim recalled. “They kept pestering me to stock guitars and amps so I decided to give it a go.” He quickly became aware of the fact his guitar playing customers were all searching for a sound they just couldn’t get from the amps available at the time.

After five “close but no cigar” attempts, the first Marshall head was built in September 1962. Prototype six became the first Marshall and it was placed in the shop window in September 1962. It was named the JTM45 – JTM being an acronym for Jim and Terry Marshall, Terry being Jim‘s son. This game-changing, all-valve head produced 30 Watts of clean power. The JTM45 was an instant hit due to its aggressive but musical tone. In fact, twenty three orders were taken on the very first day it was put out.

“Father Of Loud” is currently in production for a 2016 release.

POISON Will Do “Something Special” Next Year

BRET MICHAELS Is 'Sure' POISON Will Do 'Something Special' Next Year

POISON frontman Bret Michaels has told the Lancaseter Eagle-Gazette that the band is still together, despite the fact that is focusing on his solo career.

“We have never broken up, even though we all go on and do other things,” he said. “We are brothers. Next year will be the [32nd] anniversary and I’m sure we’ll do something special.”

In a recent interview with Sleaze Roxx, POISON and DEVIL CITY ANGELS drummer Rikki Rockett spoke about the formation of THE SPECIAL GUESTS, the new band featuring Rikki alongside fellow POISON members Bobby Dall (bass) and C.C. DeVille (guitar), plus vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brandon Gibbs (CHEAP THRILL, DEVIL CITY ANGELS).

“When I was out touring with DEVIL CITY ANGELS, Bobby Dall came to one of the shows we played in Florida and jammed with us,” Rikki said. “He got the chance to get to know Brandon a little bit. We got offered some shows that [POISON singer] Bret [Michaels] either really wasn’t interested in doing or if he had shows of his own scheduled — I can’t recall exactly. In any event, Bobby and I looked at each other and said, ‘Why don’t we just get Brandon to do them?’ Now we’d never call it POISON, but we did think it was good to offer the promoters a chance to work with the three of us with Brandon fronting the band. They took it — we did it and the response was amazing. It makes you really think. Is this something that we could do moving forward? I think we could.”

Asked if it’s frustrating for him, Bobby and C.C. to continue waiting for Bret to play the occasional gig with POISON while Michaels continues to tour the U.S. as a solo artist, Rikki said: “It’s very frustrating and that is the main reason that I started DEVIL CITY ANGELS. I like to play and record music. That’s become a little bit of a problem recently.”

According to Rikki, he doesn’t have a clear idea as to why Bret is continuing to avoid any touring and recording activity with POISON, but he makes the following educated guess: “I just think… I don’t know for sure, actually. I haven’t spoken with Bret in months and months. I just think that at this point in time, he just prefers to do his own thing.”

Rikki continued: “Bret has his own way of doing things and I’m getting the feeling that he’d prefer not to deal with the three of us if he can avoid it. Look, I’m making that up in my head. I can’t think of any other reason.”

Asked if he thinks there’s some damage being done to the POISON name with Bret going out performing “watered down” versions of POISON songs, Rikki said: “The number one complaint that I’ve heard about Bret‘s show is that he doesn’t play ‘Bret material’ and he plays ‘POISON material.’ I’ve heard that over and over from fans. I haven’t stepped out of POISON until DEVIL CITY ANGELS — because I believe that a band is more potent when you keep it together. I’m very loyal like that. I’ve been practicing jiu-jitsu for 16 years now and I’m driving to Santa Monica, which is 42 miles from me each way, because I’m that loyal to my team. That’s the kind of person I am. Having said that, there isn’t a whole lot you can do when everyone don’t feel that way. I think we are kind of at that point — if we’re going to continue with POISON, we have to look at other ways that we can do this. Brandon isn’t a bad choice. It’s all I can say.”

POISON appeared at the 2013 Indy 500 Miller Lite Carb Day, but has otherwise been mostly playing private shows, including one this past January. The band’s last major dates were with LITA FORD and DEF LEPPARD as part of the 2012 “Rock Of Ages” tour.

Michaels is continuing to focus on his solo career and recently released the video for “Girls On Bars”, his new rock-and-country-crossover track which was written with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Luke Laird.

ZAKK WYLDE To Take Part In 2016 ‘Experience Hendrix Tour’

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Hailed by critics and fans alike as the “Guitar Event Of The Year,” the multi-artist celebration known as the Experience Hendrix Tour is set to return in 2016. These special concert performances present legendary artists who join together to pay homage to Jimi Hendrix. This next edition of the Experience Hendrix Tour will encompass twenty seven performances this coming February and March, stopping in more than two dozen cities along the East Coast, Midwest and southern states. Now in its second decade, the tour celebrates the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix by bringing together a diverse array of extraordinary musicians, ranging from blues legend Buddy Guy to BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and former OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Zakk Wylde, as well as Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa and many others. Billy Cox, bassist for both the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and BAND OF GYPSYS, anchors a rhythm section that provides the foundation for exciting renditions of such signature Hendrix favorites as “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”.

Jimi Hendrix was a pioneer in both rock and blues, and expanded the possibilities of what could be achieved with the electric guitar, forever altering the course of music history. Likewise, the Experience Hendrix Tour is developing a rich history of its own. By 2004, the first Experience Hendrix Tour came to fruition with a three-date string of shows on the west coast, starting in Hendrix‘s hometown of Seattle. By 2008, the Experience Hendrix Tour had become a full-fledged, coast-to-coast expedition that continues to date, without showing any signs of slowing down Audiences are presented the opportunity to see great artists paying homage to Hendrix and collaborating with each other in ways they’d never do in their own live shows.

“It is such an honor to be asked back for another run,” says blues/gospel/rock guitar prodigy Jonny Lang, who has played every tour since 2008. “The music of Jimi Hendrix speaks to each of us in indelible ways. It’s another chance to celebrate his legacy.”

Multiple Grammy winner and 2015 Kennedy Center honoree Buddy Guy, who was both an inspiration to as well as a personal friend of Jimi‘s, is also ecstatic to partake in his sixth Experience Hendrix Tour. The stance he takes is akin to that of a missionary: “Jimi Hendrix was one of the greatest guitar players ever and we all need to keep his music alive.”

“It’s an honor to celebrate Jimi Hendrix‘s legacy and greatness with so many other amazing players, who have become great friends and family to me,” echoes Zakk Wylde. “His influence and inspiration will forever be undeniable!”

Platinum-selling solo artist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has been on every Experience Hendrix Tour since the beginning. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve been listening to Jimi Hendrix,” said Shepherd. “He has had an enormous influence on me as both a guitar player and a songwriter. He was always trying new things and pushing musical boundaries, which enabled and encouraged me to push the boundaries in my music. The Experience Hendrix Tour is an amazing tribute to the greatest guitar player of all time, featuring some of the greatest musicians in the world today.”

Dweezil Zappa returns for his third Experience Hendrix Tour. “I’ve always been a great admirer of Jimi Hendrix,” he details. “My dad told me some great stories about playing with him. Jimi‘s ability to express himself so completely with an electric guitar is very inspiring to me. There was an authentic expression of his personality in the music. And that rings true to every generation. He wasn’t following trends. His playing was soulful and exciting and surprising.”

The 2016 Experience Hendrix Tour also includes guitarist Mato Nanji of INDIGENOUS, vocalists Henri Brown and Noah Hunt, and drummer Chris Layton, who was recently inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN AND DOUBLE TROUBLE. Additionally, special guests will include the likes of Keb’ Mo’, Doyle Bramhall II, Ana Popovic and the SLIDE BROTHERS. More special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tour dates:

Feb. 24 – Hollywood, FL – Hard Rock Live
Feb. 25 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
Feb. 26 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theater
Feb. 27 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theater
Feb. 28 – Charleston, SC – Gaillard Center
Feb. 29 – Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn
Mar. 02 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
Mar. 03 – Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre
Mar. 04 – San Antonio, TX – Majestic Theater
Mar. 05 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Mar. 06 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theater
Mar. 08 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theater
Mar. 09 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Mar. 10 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Mar. 11 – Detroit, MI – The Fox Theater
Mar. 12 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theater
Mar. 13 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theater
Mar. 15 – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Casino
Mar. 16 – Syracuse, NY – Landmark Theatre
Mar. 17 – Wallingford, CT – Oakdale Theater
Mar. 18 – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theater
Mar. 19 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Casino
Mar. 20 – Poughkeepsie, NY – Mid Hudson Civic Center
Mar. 22 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theater
Mar. 23 – Worcester, MA – Hanover Theatre
Mar. 24 – New Bedford, MA – Zeiterion
Mar. 25 – Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino