New ROSS THE BOSS Lineup Announced Feat. Ex-MANOWAR Guitarist

ROSS THE BOSS Feat. Ex-MANOWAR Guitarist: New Lineup Announced

The new lineup of ROSS THE BOSS, the band led by former MANOWAR and current DEATH DEALER guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman, will perform at the Hall Of Heavy Metal History induction ceremony on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the Anaheim Expo Center in Anaheim, California.

Joining Friedman in the group’s incarnation are SYMPHONY X bassist Mike LePond, former MANOWAR drummer Kenny “Rhino” Earl and LET US PREY vocalist Marc Lopes.

ROSS THE BOSS will embark on the “Discipline Of Steel” tour in 2017, with European dates set to be announced soon.

Lopes commented: “So I guess this makes it official. Yup, got myself a most METALLLLLLL singing gig with the legendary Ross FriedmanROSS THE BOSS band, alongside Mike LePond from SYMPHONY X and Kenny ‘Rhino’ Earl, ex-MANOWAR.

“We will be criss-crossing the globe in 2017 on the ‘Discipline Of Steel’ tour. Classic MANOWAR set starting at the Hall Of Heavy Metal History induction event in Anaheim, California on January 18th.

“All dates will be announced soon.

“My gratitude to all involved. I have no words, my friends. The Godz have blessed this dreamer.

“I promise to deliver this classic material with the utmost respect to its source and with pure power and brutality.

“And yes, LET US PREY is still fully functioning and I will have a very metal announcement on that in the coming days as well.”

One of the great metal guitarists, Friedman first made his name with THE DICTATORS, before briefly teaming up with French band SHAKIN’ STREET. But in more recent times, he became renowned for his work with MANOWAR. A founding member, Ross recorded six albums with the band, before leaving after 1988’s “Kings Of Metal”. Since then he’s worked with MANITOBA’S WILD KINGDOM, BRAIN SURGEONS and THE SPINATRAS. Now he’s back doing what he does best — playing loud, true heavy metal with DEATH DEALER and ROSS THE BOSS.

Photo credit: Scott Braun

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AVENGED SEVENFOLD Donates Money To Help Laid-Off Magazine Staff

AVENGED SEVENFOLD Donates Money To Help Laid-Off Magazine Staff

According to The Pulse Of Radio, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has posted a tribute online to long-running heavy metal magazine Metal Hammer, along with its sister publications Classic Rock and Prog magazine, following the news earlier this week that their parent company, Team Rock, had gone into the British equivalent of bankruptcy. Some 73 staffers have lost their jobs just before Christmas with no severance pay, with the future of the 35-year-old Metal Hammer and the other publications in doubt.

After explaining that years ago magazines were the only means through which the members of AVENGED SEVENFOLD, then just fans themselves, could find information about their favorite acts, the band wrote: “Now that [Metal Hammer] is gone, it pushes metal and rock even further away from the average consciousness. Some believe in keeping heavy music underground, we don’t. This music means so much to so many including us. Our music should be inclusive and losing Metal Hammer is a major blow to all of us.”

A crowdfunding site has been set up to raise money for the staffers who lost their jobs, with AVENGED adding: “We have met many great people through the years at Team Rock and we are sure they will find great jobs soon enough. For now though, we hope you can help out the people who have dedicated their lives to promoting our favorite type of music through this crowdfunding site. These are good people that don’t deserve this just before Christmas. We have donated £1000 and hope you can give a little if you can find the means.”

The campaign, started by ORANGE GOBLIN frontman Ben Ward, has raised nearly $77,000 at press time, donated by over 2,700 supporters. The campaign has reached 309 percent of its initial goal of $25,000.

A skeleton crew of just seven remains on duty at Team Rock while a team of administrators make a decision to sell, liquidate or restructure the company.

SCORPIONS, METAL BLADE RECORDS, Rainbow Bar & Grill To Be Inducted Into ‘Hall Of Heavy Metal History’

Metal Blade Records, SCORPIONS and the Rainbow Bar & Grill have joined the list of metal royalty who will be inducted into the 2017 Hall Of Heavy Metal History next month. The all-star induction ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the Anaheim Expo Center in Anaheim, California. Radio personality Eddie Trunk will host the event.

Performing at the ceremony will be DIO DISCIPLES featuring Craig Goldy, Simon Wright, Scott Warren, Bjorn Englen, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Joe Retta. Former MANOWAR guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman will perform with his solo band, which features drummer Rhino (formerly of MANOWAR), vocalist Marc Lopes and bassist Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X). Surprise artists will also take part in the event. Support bands include BUDDERSIDE and L.A. rockers DIAMOND LANE.

The 2017 Hall Of Heavy Metal History inductees are:

* Ronnie James Dio (RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, DIO) (with Wendy Dio accepting the induction)
* Metal Blade Records (with Brian Slagel accepting the induction)
* SCORPIONS (with drummer Mikkey Dee accepting the induction)
* Rainbow Bar & Grill (With Rainbow Bar & Grill owner Mikael Maglieri accepting the induction)
* Lemmy Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD) (With manager Todd Singerman accepting the induction)
* Ross “The Boss” Friedman (MANOWAR)
* Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT, DIO)
* Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT) (along with a special 33rd anniversary induction of QUIET RIOT, as the first heavy metal band to achieve the No. 1 album status on the Billboard chart).
* Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL)
* Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE)
* Andy Zildjian (president/CEO of Sabian Cymbals)
* Randy Rhoads (OZZY OSBOURNE) (with the Rhoads family members accepting the induction)

“The induction of Ronnie into the annual Hall Of Heavy Metal History is indeed an honor and I know Ronnie would have been very proud,” says Wendy Dio. “On behalf of the board of directors of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, we thank you for your support and donation. Every penny will go to cancer research and education, to hopefully one day find a cure for this horrible disease that takes the lives of so many of our loved ones.”

“We are totally honored to be inducted into such a great organization,” says Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel. “I am awestruck at the names that stand beside us, and so thankful for everyone who has helped us along the way. Huge thanks to all at the Hall Of Heavy Metal History for this great honor.”

“Our family is so deeply honored to have Randy inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History,” say Kathy and Kelle Rhoads. “To think that after all these years since he has passed, he is still remembered and respected is totally awesome. His passion for music continues to inspire so many. It was always about the music for him. He would be speechless about this award, and so would our mom!!”

A press conference and general admission entrance will commence at 6:30 p.m. The induction ceremony will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
A VIP meet-and-greet with the celebrity inductees will take place after the induction ceremony. Ross The Boss, BUDDERSIDE, DIAMOND LANE, and surprise guests will perform throughout the night.

Music fans can be a part of the most important night in heavy metal! Tickets are $25.00 for general admission, and $100.00 for combined general admission and VIP meet-and-greet with the celebrity inductees. VIP ticket includes special VIP seating, pictures and autographs with the celebrity inductees, gift bag with an official VIP pass, an official event poster, an official event t-shirt, an official event program, and additional sponsor items.

For tickets, go to www.thehallofheavymetalhistory.org/store.

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Lyric Video For New OVERKILL Song ‘Mean, Green, Killing Machine’

OVERKILL: Lyric Video For New Song 'Mean, Green, Killing Machine'

The official lyric video for the song “Mean, Green, Killing Machine” from legendary New Jersey thrashers OVERKILL can be seen below. The track is taken from the band’s eighteenth album, “The Grinding Wheel”, which will be released on February 10, 2017 via Nuclear Blast.

Commented OVERKILL lead vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth: “Let’s keep this rolling. ‘Mean, Green, Killing Machine’, the opening track — brand new, from us to you! Bang thy head.”

“The Grinding Wheel” was produced by OVERKILL and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, ACCEPT). The artwork was created again by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH).

Pre-order “The Grinding Wheel” digitally and receive “Mean, Green Killing Machine” and “Our Finest Hour” as instant-grat tracks.

“The Grinding Wheel” track listing:

01. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
02. Goddamn Trouble
03. Our Finest Hour
04. Shine On
05. The Long Road
06. Let’s All Go To Hades
07. Come Heavy
08. Red White And Blue
09. The Wheel
10. The Grinding Wheel

Ellsworth recently told the Croatian metal portal NoiseEyes.com about the delay in getting “The Grinding Wheel” released: “It was simplicity. It was a matter of internal mix-ups. We thought we had the entire month of August to mix, when we really had none of the month of August to mix. When Nuclear Blast [OVERKILL‘s record label] called us, and said, ‘Where’s the music?’ We said, ‘Fifteen more days.’ We were really close with the mix, but this was our first time working with [producer/mixer] Andy Sneap and he told us, ‘Hey, man, it’s close, it’s 90 percent, but let’s do another twelve days when I get back from a business trip. D.D. [Verni, bass], Dave [Linsk, guitars] and I discussed it, and asked: Do you take the great product? Or do you take the money? That’s the way we thought about it. We took the dignity over the money with regard to pushing the release back. I always think of every record as your best opportunity to prove yourselves. If you go out pushing that record out, thinking it’s 90 percent, then it fucking is 90 percent. It was a real simple mix-up with regard to time. We blame ourselves for 50 percent and Nuclear for the other 50 percent. No, 51 percent for them, 49 percent for us. [Laughs]”

Regarding the musical direction of the new album, Bobby said: “First and foremost, production. Andy has done some great work with different bands in the genre from ACCEPT to ARCH ENEMY. He’s really the metal go-to guy. But we wanted to use his abilities, but we wanted to use them with regard to how we saw the record being. One of the things we saw in modern metal is a guitar tone that doesn’t have a cohesive relationship with the drums. We wanted more organic drums to start with, and we wanted a guitar tone that came somewhere out of the high technology of the ’90s. So it’s really kind of a throwback with regard to our thinking, so if you’re thinking a drum sounding like a drum and the guitars sounding more in the vein of ‘Horrorscope’ for us, where it wasn’t just top end, but top end and low end with a little bit of mids carved out of them. I think that’s the thing I noticed the most about it. ”

He continued: “With regard to songwriting, we had done three records, ‘Ironbound’, ‘The Electric Age’ and ‘White Devil Armory’, that were for us, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. [Laughs] Or sisters! There’s something about them where there was a formula that we were, I think in our opinion, neglecting some of the other tools that we’ve accumulated over the years. ‘The Grinding Wheel’ is much more diverse. There’s an epic feel to some of the songs. There’s a sludgy, slower feel. There is ‘Our Finest Hour’, which has been released, which could fit on one of those other three records but everything else doesn’t seem like it would fit on these records. I think it’s a wider OVERKILL, but press play when you get it. I think that’s the best way for people to decide. Everybody has got to be a critic. That’s the idea of being a music fan. I’m a music fan, but I’m also a critic. I love or I hate, or it’s okay. It’d rather be loved or hated, not ‘Ah, it’s okay, whatever.'”

OVERKILL and NILE will join forces for a U.S. tour in February/March 2017.

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ORANGE GOBLIN Frontman Starts Fundraising Campaign For TEAM ROCK Employees After Company Collapse

ORANGE GOBLIN Frontman Starts Fundraising Campaign For TEAM ROCK Employees After Company Collapse

ORANGE GOBLIN frontman Ben Ward has launched a fundraising campaign for employees of U.K. music media company Team Rock.

Ward started the campaign after news broke yesterday (Monday, December 19) that more than 70 members of staff were laid off with no severance pay.

Team Rock‘s titles and brands include Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, the Golden Gods Awards and the Classic Rock Awards.

Team Rock was founded in 2012 and the business acquired the Classic Rock, Prog and Metal Hammer magazines from Future Publishing in 2013 in a £10.2 million deal. The business had grown to a staff base of 80, with 31 based in Glasgow and 49 based in London.

A handful of staff have been retained to assist the administrators, with all other employees let go.

According to The Scottish Sun, staff at the South Lanarkshire-based company said they had to watch the office locks being changed as they were told the devastating news.

One source told the site: “As we were being told, a joiner turned up and literally started changing the locks on the doors. That’s not something I’ve ever seen happen before and it certainly didn’t help the mood. It feels like an unnecessary slap in the face.”

The source added: “Christmas certainly isn’t going to be a good one for the 73 people here.”

Ward hopes to raise £20,000 via a campaign on fundraising platform JustGiving. “Today, 73 members of the Team Rock staff were told that the company is going into liquidation and that they are being made redundant with immediate effect with ZERO pay,” he said in a statement. “These are good, hard-working, committed people that through Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog, Team Rock Radio and more, have supported the rock and heavy metal scene in this country for decades and now we, the rock community, need to pull together to help give something back.”

According to the Daily Record, most recent accounts filed by Team Rock Ltd covering the 2015 year to March 31 show the business booked a pre-tax loss of £8.8 million, having booked a pre-tax loss of £4.3 million the prior year.

The company ended the 2015 year with net debts totalling £11.7 million, up from £5.9 million the prior year.

Team Rock generated sales of £6.5 million in the 2015 year, down from £7.5 million in 2014 and administrative expenses ballooned to £12.4 million, up from £9.3 million in 2014.

FRP Advisory is seeking buyers for the company’s assets. Joint administrator Tom MacLennan said the business had traded at a loss for “a significant period of time.”

MacLennan added: “The company explored every option to secure the long-term future of the business. However, the constraints on the cash position of the business were such that administration was the only viable option. The administration presents an excellent opportunity to acquire high-profile rock music titles, products and brands that have a substantial global following.”

Classic Rock had a monthly circulation of 50,219 the last time it was audited by ABC in 2015 and Metal Hammer stood at 20,961.

PEARL JAM, JOURNEY, YES To Be Inducted Into ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

PEARL JAM, JOURNEY, YES and ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA are among the 2017 inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Also being inducted at next April’s ceremony will be folk legend Joan Baez and the late hip-hop star Tupac Shakur. CHIC‘s Nile Rodgers will be given the Award For Musical Excellence.

The 32nd annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be held on April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where it will be held for the third time. An edited version will later air on HBO and there will be a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. Ticket details will be announced in January.

Artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single.

“I kind of feel like we were already in with our fans and the amount of records we’ve sold all over the world,” JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon told Rolling Stone. “I wasn’t expecting anything at all. I’ve learned to be that way. If you don’t expect something and it comes, then its good news. I’m honored. I think we’re all honored.”

Schon said that he hoped former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry will take the stage with the band on the big night. “I would be surprised if it didn’t happen,” he said. “But I’ll deal with it whichever way… I’m going to try and reach out [to Perry], as I’ve done many times. And [our current singer] Arnel [Pineda] is so gracious. He says, ‘Any time he wants to come on and do anything, I’ll very gladly step aside and let him sing.'”

Perry‘s manager said the singer would not be available for interviews, but he did release a very short statement on his behalf: “I’m truly grateful that JOURNEY is being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.”

YES‘s induction, following two previous nominations, will occur one year shy of the legendary progressive rock band’s 50th anniversary.

“What an honor this is for us and all involved with the history of this band,” said YES guitarist Steve Howe. “We thank all the YES fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”

“We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honor of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition,” added YES drummer Alan White. “We thank everyone who voted for YES. We’ll see you soon, Cleveland!”

The members of YES who will officially be inducted into the Rock Hall are the “Union” tour lineup: current members White and Howe, the band’s late bassist and founding member Chris Squire, and former members Jon Anderson (vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Trevor Rabin (guitar).

YES was like my first girlfriend, to whom I was hopelessly committed,” said Bruford. “Despite a couple of wrinkles, I’m glad to hear the old girl is in fine shape.”

Kaye added: “I am honored to be included in YES‘s induction. I am delighted for my friends in the band, and I salute Chris, without whom it would never have happened. Chris would have been so very proud.”

In addition to Steve Howe and Alan White, YES‘s current lineup includes Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and Chris Squire‘s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015).

PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready was asked at the 2013 ceremony about his band’s chances. “You know, you never want to place any bets on anything,” he said. “I’m not a gambler, so I’m not going to try to put any odds on that. But I don’t know. I hope so. But you never know. You never know what happens. It could take a while.”

PEARL JAM will be the second of the seminal Seattle “grunge” acts — after NIRVANA — to enter the Hall. Two others, SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS, are also both eligible for induction.

McCready told The Pulse Of Radio he was appreciative of the long career he and the band have had. “When it comes down to it, getting to be 50 years old and looking back at that and going, ‘Wow, done all these PEARL JAM records and toured all over the world and played at a thousand-plus shows and got to make a career out of this,’ I’m very lucky and I’m aware of that, and I feel grateful that I’m still doing this.”

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DEMARTINI, PEARCY & CROUCIER Working On New RATT Music & ‘Back For More’ Tour Planned For 2017

The newly reunited RATT — featuring singer Stephen Pearcy, bassist Juan Croucier and guitarist Warren DeMartini — has begun “writing and recording song roughs” for a new studio album, according to a post on Pearcy‘s Facebook page. In addition, the band — which also includes former QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on RATT‘s last studio album, 2010’s “Infestation” — will embark on the “Back For More” tour in 2017, with the first confirmed date being the previously announced appearance at next year’s edition of the M3 Rock Festival, set to take place on Friday, April 28, 2017 and Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

At the end of last month, DeMartini, Pearcy and Croucier issued a press release claiming that they had taken control of the band’s name after a judge ruled against drummer Bobby Blotzer with respect to whether Croucier had committed trademark infringement by using the RATT name and logo to advertise his band RATT’S JUAN CROUCIER back in the fall 2015. The judge furthermore decided that the corporation WBS, Inc., of which Blotzer and DeMartini were thought to be the sole shareholders, and which Blotzer had claimed owns the RATT name and brand, did not have ownership interest in the RATT marks and that the name and brand was still owned by the members who were part of the original RATT partnership agreement: Pearcy, Croucier, DeMartini and Blotzer.

Under a 1985 written Ratt Partnership Agreement, the name/trademarks are the property of the partnership and can only be transferred with the unanimous approval of all partners. Thus, the judge ruled that in 1997 when Blotzer, DeMartini and Pearcy purported to transfer the trademarks to WBS, the transfer was invalid since Croucier, who was still a partner, was never advised of, and therefore did not consent to, the transfer. Therefore, the judge said, the partnership still owned the RATT name.

In addition to claiming to have expelled Blotzer from the partnership following the latest court ruling, Pearcy, DeMartini and Croucier said that Blotzer could now only refer to himself as a “former member of RATT,” as per the partnership agreement.

Earlier this month, Blotzer — who has been touring the U.S. for the last year with his own version of RATT, featuring a rotating cast of musicians, including vocalist Josh Alan (ex-SIN CITY SINNERS) — and his attorney Drew Sherman addressed the latest legal developments in the RATT camp during an interview with the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast.

Despite the fact that a judge ruled that the four-way RATT partnership — and not WBS — still owned the band name, Sherman said that no judgment has been entered either against or in favor of Blotzer. “Essentially, WBS owns the name,” the attorney said. “They — meaning Stephen, Juan, Warren — whatever they’re going out as, they do not have permission to [go out as RATT]. So right now they’re infringing the trademarks of RATT owned by WBS.

“The ruling that we have, there are many legal strategies that will be employed in order to change and bring to the court’s attention various other pieces of evidence as well as prior rulings,” he continued. “So it’s a long time before this is done. We’re not even at the appeals part yet, because there’s no judgment to appeal. So there’s a lot of time. Status quo will remain, and WBS owns the marks.”

Sherman also addressed the fact that Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini announced that they will perform — as RATT — at next year’s edition of the M3 Rock Festival. He said: “They do not have permission to play the M3 [as RATT], they do not have permission to advertise is as such. And I’ll just say this: right now, to throw that out there, to make these announcements, these press releases, without having a [court] judgment, I would say is very ill-advised. And I’ll leave it that for now.”

In should be noted that DeMartini‘s September 2015 lawsuit against Blotzer — in which the guitarist claimed that the drummer was falsely advertising his RATT “tribute band” as the real thing — is still pending in California state court.

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