According to Billboard magazine's Boxscore data reported for the issues of November 28, 2009 through June 19, 2010, AC/DC's "Black Ice" tour has been a commanding presence around the world in stadiums and arenas worldwide since launching last year. For the period covered, AC/DC added $118 million in gross and more than 1 million in attendance to last year's respective totals of $135 million and 1.6 million. "Black Ice" has clearly tapped into a demand for AC/DC, resulting from the band's eight-year absence from touring, and takes its place as one of the band's most successful tours.
At #2 is BON JOVI — with just 35 shows in, the tour has rung up $52 million in gross and more than a half-million in attendance.
The TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA ranked third with more than $47 million.
METALLICA finished fourth among all touring acts in 2009 and extends the run with another $40 million in grosses so far this year. "In 2010, METALLICA has been taking their explosive, high-energy show to every corner of the world," says Adam Kornfeld, the band's longtime agent at Artists Group International. "METALLICA are clearly demonstrating world dominance on this tour by drawing huge numbers everywhere they play."
According to Forbes, Australian hard rock legends AC/DC made an estimated $114 million between June 2009 and June 2010, landing at position No. 2 on the magazine's list of Top-Earning Musicians of 2010.
Says the magazine: "This Australian heavy metal group has been shaking audiences all night long since 1973 and shows few signs of stopping. Second only to U2 in band tour earnings, AC/DC grossed a staggering $226 million on a worldwide tour that included 99 dates and brought in more than $2 million a night."
Forbes magazine's list of Top-Earning Musicians of 2010:
01. U2 ($130 million)
02. AC/DC ($114 million)
03. BEYONCE ($87 million)
04. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ($70 million)
05. BRITNEY SPEARS ($64 million)
06. JAY-Z ($63 million)
07. LADY GAGA ($62 million)
08. MADONNA ($58 million)
09. KENNY CHESNEY ($50 million)
10. BLACK EYED PEAS, TOBY KEITH and COLDPLAY (tied at $48 million)
Q&A: Rob Halford
Story by Melissa Henderson
Published July 16, 2010 03:27 PM
Rob Halford [ tickets ] is one busy metalhead. For almost four decades now, the Birmingham, England choirboy turned "Metal God" has been the soaring, shrieking voice of seminal heavy metal act Judas Priest. No mere studs-and-leather figurehead, mind you, Halford is also emerging as a bit of an entertainment titan in the metal world.
When not devoting himself to the band he helped catapult to worldwide success or designing clothing for his new line of metal wear, he puts out material with his eponymous side project on his own label, Metal God Records. "Halford IV: Made of Metal" is set to drop Oct. 5, and the band will kick off its summer tour this weekend in San Francisco (July 17) before joining the Ozzfest crew for August and then hurtling off to Japan for the fall.
But even the Creator got to rest on the seventh day, and SoundSpike wrangled a divine audience when the deity of all things metallic paused in his molten orbit to answer some of our more burning questions.
SoundSpike: What's it like being the "Metal God?"
Rob Halford: (Laughter) What's it...? Sorry for laughing. (Laughter) Because I do have fun with it. I love it. The fans have been calling me that forever, and it's just a real treat, you know? I've been called a lot of things in my life, but "the Metal God" -- it's just tremendous. And I guess it brings some things to the table, really. I mean, you've got to maintain that virtue, if you want to call it that, that the fans have given you. I just don't want to drop the ball or have a bad game, as they say on the pitch.
Who are your own metal gods?
It's quite a list as far as singers go -- because a lot of them are singers. Sadly, I'll start with the late, great Ronnie Dio. He was and still is a tremendous influence to me when I hear his voice. Very inspiring -- makes me want to sing, you know? Same with Ozzy, same with Brian [Johnson] from AC/DC, Bruce [Dickinson] from [Iron] Maiden. There've been a number of metal singers -- and I say singers, not growlers -- that really motivate me.
Your own singing style is one of the most influential and distinctive in metal. Do you do anything special to keep limber?
No I don't, actually. I mean, I don't drink and I don't smoke and I don't drug. I've been clean and sober for 25 years, and I think that's probably had a lot to do with my physical condition as I hurtle to 59 [years old] this August. Just being sensible, really. It is an instrument like I say, and if you respect it and you treat it well, it should hold together.
Are you planning to join Sound Strike, the artist boycott of Arizona in protest of their immigration laws?
I think music can either be a fist or an open hand, and mine's always been open-handed, quite frankly -- even though it sounds like a fist, or some of it does. I understand the idea behind the project, but I don't particularly agree with silence. I think it's much more useful for everybody to sit by the table and have an intelligent, amicable argument, and try and reconcile the discord.
How are Priest fans responding to Halford?
With Judas Priest we've always said that we always only wanted to be accepted and recognized as a heavy metal band. We love that name, we love that label. But then, what is Judas Priest? Is Judas Priest "Loch Ness?" Is Judas Priest "Living After Midnight," "Breaking the Law," "Painkiller," "Turbo Lover?" I'm really happy that I've spent my life in a band like Judas Priest because it's always an adventure. It's not a band that keeps replicating itself and staying in one dimension and approach and direction. You never know from one release to the next what to expect. And I think that moves into my solo activities as well. I mean, OK -- I'm firmly ensconced in the public arena as being a metal musician, but it's a lot more than that. It's a much bigger sphere of ideas and thinking than just saying, "This is Rob. He's a screaming metal singer with a screaming metal band."
So how would you characterize Halford in terms of metal genres?
Well, I think we need to come up with a new name because I don't think we can really pinpoint it. We had a release just recently called "The Mower," which has already been described in more ways than one as a metal song. Multidimensional metal? There's a new word. Because I think that's what the Halford band does, it kind of takes on a lot of different characters and a lot of different positions from the musical point of view. I mean, we're not a classic metal band, we're not a death metal band, a black metal band, a thrash metal band, a nu/core metal band, a prog metal band -- there's all these different things. It's playing. Just playing some tunes.
You recently had a contest for your opening act in San Francisco. How did you pick the winner, Cylinder?
One hundred and fifty bands contacted the office and I went to 150 MySpace pages, and listened to every band. It was absolutely fantastic. The variety more than anything else was just so exciting, and the scope of the different bands from brand new young bands that had only been together for a year to bands that have been together forever. I think I chose a band really in the essence of what an opening act should be about. When you open up for somebody, you try and bring in a band that kind of captures the spirit of the night, musically. So I settled on Cylinder and I think they're going to do a really good gig.
What advice do you have for musicians starting out these days, especially considering the recession and how it's hit the music industry?
Don't let what's going on around you distract you. All that matters is your music. I mean, if you're in a garage and you all show up and you've got an hour to play, that's the most important thing in your life at that moment. Focus on your music and then deal with the other things afterwards. Don't come together for an hour of jamming and be talking about the fucking oil spill -- which is horrific -- or that the gays can't get married yet, or that the state of the world is dire economically. Don't worry about any of that. Just concentrate on your music, and if those things that are going on in the world around you are having an impact on you, then put it in your music lyrically and work through that. Being a young, new musician is just about being true to yourself, believing in what you do, and trying to have some fun doing it.
The first track-by-track review of "The Final Frontier", the new album from British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN, has been posted on the Radio Metal web site.
IRON MAIDEN's 15th studio LP, "The Final Frontier", will be released in North America on August 17 (one day earlier internationally) via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
The band reunited with long-time MAIDEN producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in early 2010 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau to record the album and then moved to The Cave Studios in Malibu, California to finish the recording and do the mixing. Compass Point Studio is very familiar to the band, it was where they recorded the "Piece Of Mind" (1983), "Powerslave" (1984) and "Somewhere In Time" (1986) albums.
"The Final Frontier" features artwork illustrated by Melvyn Grant.
The track listing for the CD is as follows (total running time 76:35):
01. Satellite 15....The Final Frontier (Smith/Harris) (8:40)
02. El Dorado (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (6:49)
03. Mother Of Mercy (Smith/Harris) (5:20)
04. Coming Home (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (5:52)
05. The Alchemist (Gers/Harris/Dickinson) (4:29)
06. Isle Of Avalon (Smith/Harris) (9:06)
07. Starblind (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (7:48)
08. The Talisman (Gers/Harris) (9:03)
09. The Man Who Would Be King (Murray/Harris) (8:28)
10. When The Wild Wind Blows (Harris) (10:59)
IRON MAIDEN guitarist Dave Murray recently told Billboard.com about "The Final Frontier", "We breezed through the album, really. We actually finished it in six weeks. We were getting down a track a day — all playing together as a band, Bruce (Dickinson) singing, all in the same room, so there's a very live-in-the-studio feel to it. Once we finished a track we'd jump straight into doing some extra guitar bits. It was very quick for us."
Murray said the 10-track set mixes "straight-ahead, uptempo rock songs with good grooves with some other tracks that are kind of longer and more complex." The album closer, "When the Wild Wind Blows", is an 11-minute track that's one of the longest songs IRON MAIDEN has ever recorded. "The rhythm's a little bit different from what we've done before, and there's lots of melodies," Murray said. "It's a big song. We learned it in sections just because it was such a complex arrangement, but it sounds quite natural (on the record)."
1. Satellite 15... The Final Frontier - 8'40 :
The opening to Iron Maiden’s new album is a long experimental intro with drums sometimes tribal sometimes martial and guitars. After a short silence, a few subtle arpeggios and Dickinson's voice come into play, while Nicko McBrain (drummer) starts a robotic rhythm section with the double bass drum and well... I don't really know what to think of the result. After yet another silence, (one more out of many on this album) it all becomes clearer as an old Maiden riff and a chorus with easy lyrics to remember starts to play: “The Final Frontieeeer, The Final Frontieeeeer...”.
2. El Dorado - 6'49 :This first single, which is available to download for free already on the band official website, is neither the big hit of the album nor the most representative. It begins the same way Satellite 1 ended, a punchy guitar along with Nicko McBrain drumming loudly on his cymbals. This kind of firework effect is usually used to conclude a song or a show. Then comes Iron Maiden’s traditional horse-like rhythmic with a riff peering on Megadeth's heavy/thrash style. The chorus is catchy but not quite memorable and cruelly reminds me of the anecdotal opening tracks on the two previous albums. These tracks seemed to be there to fit the form of the album itself rather than the result of any kind of inspiration. Another habit of Maiden’s on this album is that the song often ends the same way it started.
3. Mother Of Mercy - 5'20 :A slightly medieval atmosphere, like a warrior's hymn, emanates from this track which begins, as many more to come on this new album, with a clean sounding part, as in the prelude of “No More Lies” on Dance of Death. After some guitar riff explosions, here comes the same verse again, played in a louder guitar version, and once more, the inevitable “click clock” horse-like riff. The chorus is another easy one to remember aka – the song's title – Dickinson seems to be literally “throwing” his voice to reach the higher notes.
4. Coming Home - 5'52 :The power ballad of the album is similar to “Out Of The Shadows” on A Matter Of Life And Death. However, this song is catchier as the chorus is good and the subtle keyboard makes a sensible appearance. Note also that there is a really nice lover's solo.
5. The Alchemist - 4'25 :
We get quickly into the thick of things with this plain track. No intro, no bridge. Only verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, verse, chorus. End of story. It is a traditional track with Maiden’s rhythmic riffs and Nicko McBrain's signature cymbal punching.
We are a third of the way through and all Maiden’s gimmicks have been distinguished already. However, this album seems different. These tracks were meant to be catchy but they eventually turn out to be average... At this moment, I think to myself “wait, that's weird, I didn't remember as many short tracks...”. My memory only slightly drifted away mostly because of the flood of never-ending tracks that struck me when reading the track-listing.
6. Isle Of Avalon - 9'06 :Iron Maiden demonstrate their talent for the crescendo intro with “Isle Of Avalon” : at first the guitar plays an Arabic motif by itself, then along with the same double quaver playing on the hi-hat as on “El Dorado”. The bass drum then comes in discreetly. Following the example of “The Longest Day” on the former album, the drums really show up like powerful explosions and a couple of rounds on the toms producing an indisputably dramatic effect. Overall, it is a good track that follows in the tradition of the epic songs on “A Matter Of Life And Death”.
7. Starblind - 7'48 :After another clean guitar/keyboards part followed by silence, the English band moves on to a heavy and lively part with a subtle soulful melody. The great chorus – slightly speed melodic – alternates between high and low vocal lines.
8. The Talisman - 9'03 :
With an acoustic guitar in the background, almost like an old magician, Bruce Dickinson tells us a story with an old man’s voice, creating a mixed feeling of comfort and disturbance. Then the prelude comes to an end, slowing down to announce a dimming silence and crashing into a new heavy start. It's getting a bit old and by now we know the drill. The Talisman is nonetheless a great track. These 9 minutes are a succession of intense moments, with the song’s catchy guitar riffs, and we are favorable to the “woooooohoooohooo”.
9. The Man Who Would Be King - 8'26 :For this track, of which the title reminds me of Blaze Baley's album names, Iron Maiden play the surprise card with... a clean sound intro. Once again. This prelude ends again in a short break before switching to a livelier song. Half-way through, the band goes into a break which does not puzzle us with its change of tempo, much like the unconvincing twist of a Hollywood movie. Note the pleasant guitar solo. The song comes to an end in an interesting way with a slow and progressive fade out, a true epilogue for this heavy moment of bravery.
10. When The Wild Wind Blows - 10'59 :
Some journalists, including your humble servant, let out an “Oh no!” when they announce the last track and its duration. The fact is that the end of “The Man Who Would Be King” would have been a great conclusion, having put up with these 4 mini-epic tales to move on to another never-ending track, the longest of the album, well it doesn't make you feel like listening to it. Needless to say, the prelude is once more made of keyboard and clean guitars. Dickinson's singing is once again in the narrative style. After the incredible suspense provoked by the ‘nth silence, the track begins and the guitars carry on with the prelude theme in an electric version. It is pretty standard yet remains efficient. “When The Wild Wind Blows” is the merriest song on the album. It seems impossible not to jump up and down when you hear it. After 11 minutes and some forgivable auto-plagiarism, this title ends in perfect symmetry, with a couple of arpeggios
leaving the way to a windy sound.
And nothing left to eat after that, you sponger assholes.
Opinion on the spot:
I'm sick of these journalists who constantly begin their comments with “It was only a first listening session, thus too difficult to give an opinion, a more in-depth session would be required to really reveal the subtle BLABLABLA...”. We know, you moron, that's precisely what it's all about. So here it is; an opinion with a total and responsible lack of retrospective at the end of this session. But be cautious because this was only the first listening session, thus... ahem... well here it is.
A new era has come; Maiden don’t know how to write hits anymore. Maiden are no longer comfortable or sharp, as shown with the wheezy and anecdotal tracks “El Dorado” and “The Alchemist”. Paradoxically, the never-ending tracks turn out to be catchier ones. They are much better constructed and less redundant than those on the previous album. They form great epic songs with a succession of great riffs, great melodies, great choruses and smart twists which wouldn’t shatter all those who are impervious to progressive patterned breaks. Nevertheless, this great step forward is dried up by this redundancy because of the way the tracks are written. After the fifth clean intro, you cannot help but smile. You just have to deal with it; today Maiden is a progressive metal band - albeit a good one.
The album is out on August 16th 2010
Bassist Uriah Duffy has released the following statement regarding his departure from the legendary rock band WHITESNAKE:
"My time with WHITESNAKE was awesome. David [Coverdale; WHITESNAKE frontman] and I have a great relationship; there are no hard feelings. It was simply time for us to go our separate ways."
Duffy spent five years with WHITESNAKE during which time he recorded an award-winning studio album, "Good To Be Bad", and played on the live release "Live In The Shadow Of The Blues". He also performed over 200 live shows on three world tours, including headlining appearances at major music festivals, among them the 2009 edition of the Download festival in the U.K. (to an audience of 80,000).
A member of WHITESNAKE since 2005, Duffy continued to work on outside projects. Officially parting ways with the band allows Dufy to give focus to a range of projects, including new acts THE MEMORIALS (with Thomas Pridgen of THE MARS VOLTA), BLACKGATES (also featuring former ANTHRAX vocalist Dan Nelson, drummer Paul Bostaph [TESTAMENT, ex-EXODUS, SLAYER, FORBIDDEN] and guitarist Jeremy Epp [THE VENTING MACHINE]), ongoing work with renowned rapper Lyrics Born, The Jazz Ma a, and his upcoming solo album for his own project, THE URIAH DUFFY BAND.
At this time WHITESNAKE is still exploring its options for the position of the band's new bassist.
WHITESNAKE is currently in the studio writing and recording the follow-up to 2008's "Good To Be Bad" for a spring 2011 release via Frontiers Records.
AEROSMITH bassist Tom Hamilton will throw out the first pitch tonight (Friday, July 16) at Fenway Park in Boston as the Boston Red Sox take on the Texas Rangers .
Commented Tom: "I'm throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game tonight. I think all of this bass guitar playing is going to work in my favor when it comes to chucking that thing.
"I think the real pitchers have it easy. They get to throw for hours but I have to do it all in one pitch."
Back On Black — the company which specializes in vinyl reissues of classic metal albums and is dedicated to providing top-quality releases for record collectors and metal fans worldwide — will release the classic debut album from DIO, "Holy Diver", on 180-gram limited-edition gatefold red vinyl on July 30.
Originally issued on May 25, 1983, "Holy Diver" has been hailed by critics as DIO's best work and a classic staple in the heavy metal genre. The LP was certified gold in the U.S. on September 12, 1984 and platinum on March 21, 1989.
"Holy Diver" re-entered The Billboard 200 chart in late May — shortly after the band's frontman, Ronnie James Dio, died of stomach cancer — at No. 149 and bowed at No. 11 on Pop Catalog (4,000; up 322%). A best-of from DIO, "The Very Beast of Dio", also debuted on Catalog at No. 32 (up 617%).
DIO's "The Very Beast of Dio" was officially certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on March 11, 2009 for shipments in the United States in excess of 500,000 copies.
Issued in October 2000, "The Very Beast of Dio" is the second greatest-hits collection CD — and the first to be released in the U.S. — from the Ronnie James Dio-fronted band.
DIO's last release was the "Holy Diver Live" CD, featuring a performance of the classic "Holy Diver" album in its entirety, from start to finish, recorded live for the very first time in 2005 in front of a sold-out London crowd. It also includes, among others, "Heaven & Hell", "Sign of the Southern Cross" and "Mob Rules" from vocalist Ronnie James Dio's BLACK SABBATH days, "Tarot Woman", "Man on the Silver Mountain" and "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" from the RAINBOW era and "We Rock" from his solo career.
BAD COMPANY and Rogue HD have announced the production of "Movin' On 2010". "Movin' On 2010" is a concert tour video blog and documentary production which will follow the BAD COMPANY North American Tour 2010. Film crews will follow the band and their crew during their daily tour activities and will film each night's show.
Director William Johnson describes the project as a film where the tour itself is the star, which means the cities, the venues and the fans are as much a part of it as the band themselves.
The original members of BAD COMPANY — Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke — along with guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Lynn Sorenson, are giving their fans a special look into their concert tour.
The new BAD COMPANY official iPhone and Android apps are being finished now and the "Movin' On 2010" tour video blog will be hosted exclusively in the smartphone apps and on the official BAD COMPANY web site. Fans will be able to interact with other fans at the venues within the app, see concert video clips and a backstage look into the tour itself.
According to Classic Rock magazine, URIAH HEEP will be joined by former WHITESNAKE guitarist Micky Moody on stage at this year's High Voltage festival on July 25 at Victoria Park in London, England. Moody will be with the band when they play the whole of their classic album "Demons And Wizards".
Moody, now a member of MONSTERS OF BRITISH ROCK alongside Neil Murray (ex-WHITESNAKE bassist) and Laurie Wisefield (former WISHBONE ASH guitarist), will play slide guitar.
Regrettably for MANOWAR and all their Ukrainian fans, Global Promotions - the company behind Global East Rock Festival 2010 - has failed to meet their contractual commitments making it impossible for Manowar to appear at the festival on September 4th, 2010 as originally planned.
Reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT have been confirmed for the Loud Park 10 festival, set to take place October 16-17, 2010 at Saitama Super Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Saitama City, Japan.
The festival billing is shaping up as follows:
Saturday October 16:
DIR EN GREY
Sunday, October 17:
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
3 INCHES OF BLOOD
For more information, visit www.loudpark.com.
Even as Joe Elliott releases the first album by his side project, Down 'n' Outz, Def Leppard is hatching plans for some archival projects in 2011. Elliott tells Billboard.com that the group, which is taking 2010 off from touring, is putting together a live album culled from its 2009 tour that may include some new material as well.
"We've got tentative plans to do a four- or five-track EP of new songs as part of it," Elliott explains, citing inspiration from previous concert releases such as Kiss' "Alive II," Ian Hunter's "Welcome to the Club" and Genesis' "Three Sides Live," all of which included fresh songs. The set will actually be Def Leppard's first full-scale live album, since the group has only released concert recordings on compilations and recent deluxe editions of "Pyromania," "Hysteria" and "Adrenalize."
"There'll be stuff from this century on it -- 'Rock On,' 'Nine Lives,' 'Come On Come On,' " Elliott notes. "Vivian [Campbell] has been in the band 17 years, so I think he deserves a shot at being on a live record. We've got a live video out from the Steve [Clark] era, [1989's] 'In the Round, In Your Face;' I've always said before that if you're desperate to hear us live, put that video on and turn your telly off and just listen to the sound."
Elliott says Def Leppard is also thinking about a box set and is starting to put together a couple of books, after purchasing some 250,000 images from veteran photographer Ross Halfin.
"I think initially we're going to put out a coffee table book...that covers all aspects of our career, from 'On Through the Night' through last year, with commentary from the band and the photographer and maybe a few celebrities and fans," Elliott says. The group intends to follow with what he calls "an encyclopedia collection of different eras from the band." And, Elliott adds, the group members are writing new material and will likely do a full new album. "I don't want my past to be my future as well," he says. "I'd like to think we can still keep putting new music out."
Meanwhile, Elliott is particularly excited about the just-released "My ReGeneration," his first released with Down 'n' Outz, a band he formed with the Quireboys to pay homage to mutual heroes Mott the Hoople. The group came together, in fact, to open for one of Mott's 2009 reunion shows at the Hammersmith Odeon and put together a 13-song set that features covers of post-Hoople material, including the short-lived Mott and British Lions and frontman Ian Hunter's solo career. Down 'n' Outz plans two more albums, according to Elliott, which will include Mott the Hoople material, as well as a DVD due out later this year.
"It's satisfying an itch I needed to scratch," Elliott says of Down 'n' Outz, which will perform again on July 25 at the High Voltage festival in London, preceded by a warm-up club show. "This music is really close to my heart. I love these songs and I want people to know about them. I've taken it upon myself to try to slap a few people metaphorically across the face and say there's more to classic rock than 'Free Bird' and 'Stairway to Heaven.' I have nothing against those songs, but there's more to that era than them."
Love Bites? Well, not for Def Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen.
The British rocker married costume designer Helen L. Simmons on the beach at Florida's Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach resort in a sunset ceremony Friday.
"We've been looking for each other our entire lifetime," Collen tells PEOPLE. "To say we're ecstatic this day has finally come is putting it mildly. It could only be us for each other."
Guests included Collen's Def Leppard bandmates Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell, as well as Muay Thai champion and trainer Jean Carrillo, who served as best man.
The couple, who met on the band's 2008 Sparkle Lounge tour, also added some environmentally friendly touches to their big day.
"We didn't intentionally start out trying to have green wedding," says Collen, 52. "But since it's a natural part of our lifestyle to respect the environment, everything flowed pretty naturally."
They e-mailed their invitations, which were designed by Paperless Post, and their alcohol-free reception meal featured an organic vegetarian and vegan menu since Collen has been meat-free for 27 years.
Simmons, 42, wore a gown by South African designer Adele Wechsler, who specializes in natural fabrics, and Collen's suit was
German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER have set "The Clans Will Rise Again" as the title of their new album, due in Europe on October 1 via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded between mid-May and mid-July at the Meadow Studios, which is owned by GRAVE DIGGER's new guitarist Axel Ritt, and Principal Studios, where all of GRAVE DIGGER albums since 1995's "Heart Of Darkness" have been tracked. It was produced by Chris Boltendahl and mixed by Jörg Umbreit.
According to a press release, "Chris Boltendahl, Jens Becker, Stefan Arnold, HP Katzenburg and Axel Ritt offer an explosive mixture of the typical GRAVE DIGGER riff metal, combined with awesome epic chorus hooks, which will fascinate the fans from the very first note.
"'The Clans Will Rise Again' is a loose sequel of the 'Tunes Of War' album, but this time not a concept album about the Scottish history, rather a work about Scotland, its mysticism and its people."
"The Clans Will Rise Again" track listing:
01. Days Of Revenge
02. Paid In Blood
03. Hammer Of The Scots
04. Highland Farewell
05. The Clans Will Rise Again
07. Valley Of Tears
09. Whom The Gods Love Die Young
11. The Piper Mcleod
12. Coming Home
13. When Rain Turns To Blood
GRAVE DIGGER will celebrate its 30th anniversary at this year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 5-7, 2010 in Wacken, Germany. The band will perform its seventh and most successful album, "Tunes Of War" (1996), in its entirety at the event and will be accompanied by "illustrious guests," such as the 20-headed BAUL MULUY PIPES & DRUMS BAND from Hamburg, German metal queen Doro Pesch, BLIND GUARDIAN lead singer Hansi Kürsch and the metal a capella ensemble VAN CANTO. There will also be a special elaborate stage set with an extraordinary pyro show.
Wacken Open Air will mark the first and final time GRAVE DIGGER will play the entire "Tunes Of War" album live. The band will also perform some of its other "greatest hits," such as "Ballad Of A Hangman", "Heavy Metal Breakdown" and "Excalibur" at the end of its set.
GRAVE DIGGER's latest album, "Ballads Of A Hangman", was released on January 9, 2009 via Austria's Napalm Records.
Australian melodic metallers LORD will release a new EP, "Return Of The Tyrant", later in the year.
Commented LORD mainmain Lord Tim: "Anyone who has followed our history knows about DUNGEON, the band that spawned LORD after it dissolved in 2005. DUNGEON had a popular song called 'Tarranno Del Mar' — a fun pirate-themed song that LORD still enjoys playing to this day. We felt it was time to revisit the story and write the next part in the saga.
"The song 'Return Of The Tyrant' is full of piratey singalongs and is nearly ten minutes long, so it's quite an epic! Apart from that, we have some cool cover songs and a whole bunch of cool interpretations of LORD and DUNGEON songs, so there's quite a lot of material for an EP."
LORD has unveiled its latest touring venture, taking the band across Australia once again, including trips to the far north, as well as making their way back to Japan for the second year in a row.
Commented Lord Tim, "We're finally able to announce the tour dates for the rest of the year. This was a logistical nightmare with so many other high-profile acts touring Australia right now,meant that some places we wanted to get to just weren't realistic this time around. This tour will also include our run of shows in Japan with DORO and JADED HEART, which we're extremely excited about."
LORD's latest album, "Set In Stone", was released in the band's home country in late August 2009 via Riot! Entertainment. The cover art was once again created by Felipe Machado Franco, who has previously worked with ICED EARTH, BLAZE BAYLEY and AXEL RUDI PELL, among others.
English drummer Jonno Lodge (BIOMECHANICAL, ex-PAUL DI'ANNO) has completed the drum tracks for the debut album from Polish metallers HEXFIRE. The recording session took place at the Staffordshire Phoenixx Studios with engineer Stephen Parkinson. Drummers Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, AVANTASIA) and Diego Grom Meraviglia (ANCIENT, DOOMSWORD) also laid down tracks for the CD.
Commented HEXFIRE guitarist Jacob Liszko: "The last few weeks have been completely crazy for us. It's been a lot of work but we’ve finally finished the drum recording process.
"All those eight tracks recorded by Jonno Lodge are completely insane! We’re really happy with them. I would also like to say that all drummers did their job perfectly. We can be proud that we’re recording with such professional musicians.
"Once more, I must say the drum tracks are killer! So, be prepared for storming drums on the new HEXFIRE album!"
According to a press release, "HEXFIRE's sound can be described as power metal with a modern touch."
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/hexfireofficial.
RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with CHICKENFOOT/ex-VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony.
RockConfidential.com: It's nice to see that CHICKENFOOT has taken on a life of its own and people realize it is definitely a "real" band and not just another supergroup. How did you guys see it when you first got together?
Anthony: We didn't even see doing a record. When we first got together about three years ago we had so much fun that we decided to go into the studio and do some writing and see what would come of this. It definitely wasn't a supergroup thing where we picked out musicians to work with. I've known Chad Smith for years and I've jammed with Joe [Satriani] before. It was really just four friends with a little time to see what happens. We just wanted to get together and jam. We started writing stuff and it sounded great. Next thing you know we decided we needed to record what we were doing and then we got Andy Johns involved. Then we decided we should do a record. When you hear about "supergroups" you know they'll record a CD and hit the big arenas and make a lot of cash and then shake hands and say goodbye. It wasn't like that all. We want to have fun. We've all done our stuff in the past and we have absolutely nothing to prove. We're just diggin' the music
RockConfidential.com: That vibe definitely comes across. If you were lying to me right now it would be easy to see on stage if you were telling the truth or not! It's like a bunch of brothers on stage.
Anthony: Let me tell ya. We toured for a good part of last year and it was like a paid vacation. Not to dwell on it, but VAN HALEN in the later years became all about big business. It was more of a corporate thing and you almost lose sight of why you were doing it in the first place. Now it's like I've been rejuvenated. I feel like it's the first band I ever played in. I get to hang out with three of my buddies and have fun and then we get to go on stage and jam and have a good time! What more could you ask for?
RockConfidential.com: Think how many real brothers wish they had the bond you guys do. Especially you and Sammy [Hagar, vocals].
Anthony: We were great friends when he was in VAN HALEN. It wasn't until after he left VAN HALEN that we reconnected after a few years and really became buddies. We're better friends now than we were the first time around. The proof is watching the DVD or seeing us live. There is no act going on. We're having a great time on stage. How can you not when you see a guy like Chad up there just going nuts?
RockConfidential.com: When someone is known for dropping his pants as quickly as he does, you know you're in for a party atmosphere.
Anthony: There's been a few times where we told him to leave the sock at home! That's for his other band. It's definitely a fun vibe. Even Best Buy — who we did the album through — asked what was up and if we were gonna just call it a day. We were like, "hell no!" It may take a little while to put another one out because Joe's working on another solo album and Chad's in the studio with the CHILI PEPPERS. We'll wait. It's not like we're going to make it a revolving door type of band where Joe can't make it so we'll get another guitar player. This is a band and we're not going to replace anybody unless we just totally have to.
SIN CITY SINNERS vocalist/guitarist Todd Kerns, who is also playing bass in legendary guitarist Slash's (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) solo band, is scheduled to undergo surgery today (Friday, July 16) for a retinal detachment in his right eye. He says, "The recovery time is longer than I would like but the outcome looks good." He adds, "I will, unfortunately, be out of commission for the next several weeks so I cannot say what tours or shows I will be a part of until we know how things look down the road. I can say that, regardless of when and where, I will be back in action as soon as physically possible.
"I have been playing almost every night for God knows how many years now and the idea of not doing so for a while is a bit unnerving. I plan to make the best of it. There's always a new song to write."
Slash's next show is scheduled for July 29 in Hong Kong.
SIN CITY SINNERS — which consists of Brent Muscat (formerly of FASTER PUSSYCAT), Todd Kerns, Mike Eliis, and Rob Cournoyer (RAGING SLAB) — will release an acoustic EP, "Broken Record", later this month. The CD will contain new versions of your favorite SINNERS songs and previously unreleased music. There will only be a limited pressing of CDs and then it will become available on iTunes.
"Goin' To Vegas", the new video from SIN CITY SINNERS, can be viewed below. The clip was directed by Jason Green and features cameos from adult-film stars Ron Jeremy and Sunny Leone, Vegas entertainer Carrot Top, plus musicians Vinnie Paul Abbott (HELLYEAH, PANTERA), Bobby Blotzer (RATT) and Eric Dover (SLASH'S SNAKEPIT).
"Goin' To Vegas" comes off SIN CITY SINNERS' debut CD, "Exile on Fremont Street", which was released earlier this year.
SIN CITY SINNERS is best known for having a special celebrity guest jam with the band each week. They were voted "Best Local Band," second only to THE KILLERS in the Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best Of Vegas" readers' poll.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/scsinners.
Long-running U.K. glam rockers TIGERTAILZ have parted ways with drummer Matt Blakout. The group says in a statement, "The rest of the band wish Matt all the best in whatever he decides to do next. TIGERTAILZ are also very pleased to announce the re-instatement of former original drummer Ace Finchum for the remainder of the Bezerk 2010 gigs."
TIGERTAILZ made its live debut with new bassist Sarah Firebrand on April 17 at the rock club Fuel in Cardiff. The concert paid tribute to band co-founder Pepsi Tate, with all proceeds going to Amser Justin Time, the cancer charity set up in the bassist's memory.
As the U.K.'s answer to POISON and MÖTLEY CRÜE, TIGERTAILZ was the only U.K.-based band of this ilk to dominate the U.K. charts at the end of the '80s with "Bezerk" hitting the U.K. Top 40 and a U.K. Top 5 live video release filmed in their hometown Cardiff, "Bezerk Live" and "Video Frenzy". With songs that became Top 40 hits and were so catchy you couldn't stop singing them for days, "Love Bomb Baby", "Noize Level Critical", "Heaven" and "Living Without You" all became good time party anthems of a generation, and have influenced some of the contemporary acts of today.
Los Angeles metallers WINDS OF PLAGUE will enter the studio later this summer with producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, HATEBREED) to begin recording their third album for an early 2011 release via Century Media Records.
WINDS OF PLAGUE is busy decimating the weak across North America as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival all summer long while continuing to write material for its new CD.
WINDS OF PLAGUE drummer Art Cruz is a featured artist in Drum! magazine's latest issue and has partnered with the magazine's web site to launch a series of in-depth instructional video lessons.
"The Great Stone War", the latest album from WINDS OF PLAGUE, sold 6,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 73 on The Billboard 200 chart.
WINDS OF PLAGUE shot a video for the song "Approach The Podium" with up-and-coming director Nic Izzy of Reconstructed Media (DESPISED ICON, PROTEST THE HERO).
"The Great Stone War" was released on August 11, 2009 in the U.S. via Century Media Records.
Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, along with one of rock's most iconic guitarists, Slash, has announced San Mateo, California's own STATE LINE EMPIRE as the winners of "Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Slash," a first-of-its-kind unsigned band competition. After sifting more than 12,000 entries, Guitar Center and Slash hand-picked STATE LINE EMPIRE to receive the ultimate career-altering opportunity: record a three-song EP with legendary producer Mike Clink (GUNS N' ROSES, MÖTLEY CRÜE, MEGADETH) and have Slash write, record and perform on their single. STATE LINE EMPIRE will also receive a prize package that includes:
* A management development deal with The Collective
* Feature of winning artists' single on iTunes
* Worldwide distribution of winning artists' music through TuneCore
* $10,000 Guitar Center shopping spree
* New gear and endorsement deals from Ernie Ball Music Man
* An opening slot on Slash's Monster Energy Bash
* An editorial feature on the winning band in Guitar World magazine
"Earlier this year, Guitar Center and I set out to find a great unsigned rock and roll band with a lot of energy and some great songs and take them to the next level," said Slash. "I'm proud to announce that that band is STATE LINE EMPIRE. They're the real deal and we're going to be hearing some fantastic rock and roll from them in the near future. I cannot wait to get in the studio with them."
"I can't even put into words how awesome it was to get a call from one the greatest guitarists of all time to tell us we'd won 'Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record,'" said David Pearl, bassist for STATE LINE EMPIRE. "A lot of people have told us that they love our music and we appreciate their support so much but to hear Slash say that our band is 'rad' was something that I will never forget. We're incredibly grateful to Guitar Center for giving undiscovered bands like STATE LINE EMPIRE such an amazing opportunity."
Hailing from San Mateo, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, STATE LINE EMPIRE brings a blistering, road-trip style of rock and roll to the music landscape. The trio formed in 2009 and after a whirlwind first few months of songwriting, Tyson Yen, Dave Pearl and Cat found that an exciting chemistry had emerged and the band was born.
Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR have scheduled the following European dates as part of their "Darkness Reborn" tour:
Sep. 19 - HMH, Amsterdam, NE (with KORN)
Sep. 20 - Bataclan, Paris, FR (headlining show)
Sep. 21 - Forum, London, U.K. (headlining show)
Sep. 23 - Eishalle Seutweg, Winterthur, CH (with KORN)
Sep. 24 - Zenith, Munich, DE (with KORN)
Sep. 26 - Gasometer, Vienna, AT (with KORN)
Sep. 27 - Alcatraz, Milan, IT (headlining show)
Sep. 28 – [to be announced]
Sep. 30 - Den Atelier, Luxembourg, LU (headlining show)
Oct. 01 - Ancienne Belgique, BE (with KORN)
Oct. 02 - Rosengarten, Mannheim, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 03 - Palladium, Cologne, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 05 - Haus-Auensee, Leipzig, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 06 - C-Halle, Berlin, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 07 - Progresja, Warsaw, PL (headlining show)
Oct. 08 - Studio, Krakow, PL (headlining show)
Oct. 09 - KD Vltavaska, Prague, CZ (headlining show)
Oct. 11 - Vega, Copenhagen, DK (headlining show)
Oct. 12 - Arenan, Stockholm, SE (headlining show)
Oct. 14 - Pakkahoune, Tampere, FI (headlining show)
Oct. 15 - House Of Culture, Helsinki, FI (headlining show)
Oct. 17 - Tragarn, Gothenburg, SE (headlining show)
Oct. 18 - Sentrum Scene, Oslo, NO (headlining show)
DIMMU BORGIR has set "Abrahadabra" as the title of its ninth studio album, which will be released in Germany on September 24, in the rest of Europe on September 27, and in North America on October 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.
The word "abrahadabra" (which roughly translates into "I will create as I speak") first publicly appeared in Chapter III of "Liber AL vel Legis" (commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law") written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904.
DIMMU BORGIR singer/songwriter Shagrath shares the following about the new album: "After eleven months of total focus, dedication and professional team work, Darkness has been reborn. Some people have expressed their concern about the future of the band since the departure of some members of the clan. Let me assure you that things happen for a reason. The black flame burns brighter than ever before. With the mixture of our different musical preferences and the personalities involved, I will dare to say we have created a BEAST, the most detailed work to date out of our 17 years of existence. I know it's too much of a cliché to brag when you have a done a new album, but to put it short and simple, it's a fist in the face to all the doubters out there. Forward – Onward – March… ENTER THE SUPREME UNKNOWN."
For the second time in the band's career (i.e. 1996's "Stormblåst"), a one-word album title breaks the tradition of a three-word album title for a new studio release dating back to DIMMU BORGIR's 1994 debut, "For All Tid".
Guitarist/songwriter Silenoz has this to say on the topic: "We knew there would be some big changes with this album in more than one way and since we've had the three-word-title tradition for many years now, we thought it'd make a lot of sense for us to move on from that. It has served its purpose. We are a band that's all about change and moving forward. An album title consisting of one word goes hand-in-hand with the new material — it describes both the musical and lyrical content in a more imaginary way, not to mention the unity and the everlasting flame which is DIMMU BORGIR. Expect the unexpected!"
When asked about the central figure in the artwork and who/what he's supposed to represent, artist Joachim Luetke responds: "I think that's obvious. Since the whole 'setting' is located in an icy, bleak, winter-y, post-industrial era, we're pretty close to H.P. Lovecraft's nameless elder gods. They're represented by the mask's tentacles. In short: the mask/face personifies dominion of powers far beyond mankind. The nameless gods witnessed the birth of our universe and they'll watch it implode. To them, the age of mankind is but a blink of an eye."
In early June, DIMMU BORGIR announced its collaboration with Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas in addition to the 51 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir. To date, over 101 musicians have contributed to the making of the new CD.
Composer Gaute Storaas has said of DIMMU BORGIR: "Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing."
Luetke's artwork and layout art also graced two other DIMMU BORGIR albums: 2003's "Death Cult Armageddon", which has sold 130,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, No. 10 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and No. 170 on The Billboard 200 chart; and 2007's "In Sorte Diaboli", which has sold over 75,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and at No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart.
CANNIBAL CORPSE, DESPISED ICON and MISERY INDEX are among the confirmed bands for the Trois-Rivières Metalfest X festival, set to take place October 15-16 in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
The festival billing is shaping up as follows:
Friday, October 15:
MONONC' SERGE & ANONYMUS
Saturday, October 16:
For more information, go to this location.