NORTH AMERICAN HEADLINE TOUR TO BE ANNOUNCED MONDAY, MAY 2ND
MAGMA ARRIVES JUNE 17TH
WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR GOJIRA’S NEW TRACK “STRANDED”
Roadrunner Records group Gojira have announced details of their anticipated new LP MAGMA. The follow up album to 2012’s widely acclaimed L’ENFANT SAUVAGE, MAGMA is heralded by the new single “Stranded,” which is streaming now accompanied by an official music video directed by Vincent Caldoni at www.Gojira-Music.com. Pre-orders for MAGMA are available today at www.Gojira-Music.com, with all orders receiving an instant grat download of “Stranded” (album art below). Exclusive bundles are also available, which include a limited edition 52 page hardcover book with exclusive photos, sketches and artwork from the creation of MAGMA. Additionally, all bundles also include a DVD and HD digital download of Gojira’s 2015 Rock In Rio performance featuring newly mixed audio done by the band themselves. MAGMA arrives everywhere June 17th.
Thanks to Mighty Music for the promo pictures of the band Additional live pictures taken from the show in Malmö by: Anders Sandvall
Here comes an update on what’s going on in the Nonexist camp. The band recently released their brand new album THRONE OF SCARS. If you’re interested in knowing more about the band and band leader Johan Reinholdz, make sure to check the previous interviews available in the Metal-Rules.com archives. When we last spoke, Reinholdz was in the process of mixing THRONE OF SCARS so this time I was interested in knowing more about how the work had proceeded. Former singer Johan Liiva has since left the band and Reinholdz has now taken over as lead singer. The band has also inked a deal with the Danish record label Mighty Music. Read more about what Reinholdz had to say down below.
Thanks to GerMusica for the promo pictures of the band Promo pictures taken by: Raimo Gedda Additional live pictures from the archives of: Anders Sandvall
VOICE OF REASON is the brand new fifth release from the undisputed kings of progressive/heavy metal, Cloudscape. The album was released at the end of January and their previous album came out in 2012. The band have always released albums quickly so why they had such a gap in between albums was one of the questions I brought along to singer Mike Andersson. With VOICE OF REASON the band worked with a producer they haven’t worked with before in Anders Theo Theander, however the album was recorded in the same studio they recorded their previous excellent albums; RoastingHouse Studio located in Malmo, Sweden. Read on to find out what the band is up to now that the album is released… enjoy.
Italy’s premier metallers are back and heavier than ever. Lacuna Coil’s upcoming album, ‘Delirium’ is set for release at the end of May, and it promises to be an insight into the darkest and most tortured corners of human experience. Based around the concept of an asylum in the hills of Italy, the record explores the themes of insanity, and as the name suggests, it’s a trip into delirium. We spoke to the band’s vocalists, Andrea and Cristina, to find out more about the album’s concept, where they got the inspiration for it, what it means to them and why they’ve taken a change in musical direction.
Hello, thanks for talking to Metal-Rules. How are you both doing today?
Cristina: Really great. We have a coffee machine, that helps.
You’re set to release ‘Delirium’ on 27th May, what can you tell us about the concept and how did you come up with the idea?
Cristina: It’s a long story, but to put a long story short we were working on one of the songs, we were working on the chorus of it and the word ‘Delirium’ came up. Since that day everything opened up in front of our own eyes, and in a second. So we immediately visualised the whole idea, not only for all of the lyrics, but also for the artwork, for the image that we wanted to connect with it. So, we imagined this fictional asylum close to Milan where patients within the asylum, and also spirits and old memories of patients that lived there before would tell us stories about their past experiences or their present experiences. So, the songs came out in this way, describing insanity, different levels of insanity. Not only from a medical perspective, but also something bigger that encompasses the insanity that we’re living in nowadays with everything that’s happening to us in the world.
The asylum that you talk about, is this place entirely fictional or based on anything real at all?
Cristina: It’s based on something real.
Andrea: We’d been visiting a couple of abandoned asylums that we have in northern Italy. One is about an hour out of the city, and the other one is a but further out. But still they’re very very dangerous because they’re falling to pieces, so you’re walking and pieces of the roof will come down around you. It’s not actually legal to go inside, but we wanted to check it out. Many people use it for pictures and stuff like that. It was very impressive to see all these very tall corridors and all the rooms, and thinking about people that lived there. We’d also been watching old pictures we found on the internet about patients. Those were more scary than some horror movies about these kind of things, because these patients were real first of all. Just the look on their faces, the emptiness, the sense of abandonment, the sense of getting really lost. That was scarier than something you see in a movie. You don’t need blood or violence. Just those pictures and the positions they were taking spontaneously, it was so weird.
Cristina: It was just disturbing. You could totally feel the anxiety, the pressure. It was really uncomfortable.
Andrea: The position of them when they were outside in the open, they were sitting randomly but it looked so weird. It inspired a lot, also about the research we did for the stage clothes and stuff like that. The way that we position ourselves in the pictures for the artwork and the promotional pictures.
So you did a lot of research on the subject?
Andrea: Yes, because we thought it was a very strong concept and it was worth doing something that really gives you an idea of what we meant with the metaphor of real life problems, and more generally the big problem of mental illness.
Cristina: And also something that we felt close to talk about, something that we also experienced in a way. Some of us went through episodes, periods of depression, some of us have been visiting for family reasons, places where people with mental problems were.
It touches everyone at some point.
Andrea: And there’s a strong reality to this part of you.
Upon first listen, the album strikes me as coming across a lot heavier than anything you’ve done in a long time, what are your reasons for this change in direction?
Cristina: It’s not like we just sat round a table and decided systematically, it was more of a spontaneous evolution of the record. We knew that we wanted to go heavier just because we enjoyed playing some of the songs more, when we perform live especially. So, the overall feeling of the band was that we wanted to do something heavier. But, of course, once you start songwriting you don’t know really where you’re going to go. So we didn’t really know that some of the songs were going sound THAT heavy compared to our usual type of songwriting. But, that’s what we liked about it, we said everyone is expecting us to maybe go softer, and we’re going in the complete opposite direction. We were loving it, but we also liked the fact that it was going to be something different from usual.
Andrea: We wanted to surprise ourselves first, and then also the listeners. That’s why we chose ‘House of Shame’ as the first song, which is probably one of the heaviest of the record. We thought that it was a good idea to shake things up, to say we’re back but it’s not just another Lacuna Coil record, because we’ve done quite a few records now. We wanted to tell people that we want to say something different this time, and we still have the passion to write music and to explore some territories that are not so common for us.
There are also a lot more growled vocals than we’re used to, why have you decided to make this change and why didn’t you use them so much before?
Cristina: Well, it’s something that we did at the very beginning of Lacuna Coil but we’ve never used as much as in this record. They just fitted perfectly with the vibe of the record and they were sounding great. I honestly love the sound of his (Andrea’s) growling vocals, I think they’re really distinctive. He has a very distinctive voice, and you can immediately recognise it as his voice. It’s so different from so many others. I was really excited when we decided to put more growls in the record.
Andrea: We kind of also, when we were songwriting with Marco the bassplayer who is the main songwriter for the band, came up with these heavy riffs and double bass. We thought instead of trying to water them down and make them more as we used to be and finding a compromise, we decided instead to push on the button and go full on heavy. If you’re going heavy, go all the way. Don’t try to make it work, just go for it. This way people can realise how honest the song is, not you trying to be cool by being a little heavier or whatever.
When releasing a new album, do you ever anticipate the response it will get or is it something you don’t think about?
Cristina: We don’t really think about reactions to be honest. That would be contrived, that would be really weird to sit down and write for somebody else. I mean, if we were a team writing songs for others then maybe we would think in this way. But, as soon as this is our art we want do something that we feel, something that we like, something that we can relate to. We don’t really think about how the album is going to be accepted, we didn’t really think about it. I believe that as soon as you’re honest and you’re putting out something that really represents who you are, I think you have a good that a lot of people will understand and like it.
For people who haven’t heard the album yet, how would you describe its sound?
Cristina: Ooh (laughs). Well if they’ve heard our music before this, they have to expect something definitely heavier. We stretched the vocals and we took them to the next level because Andrea’s never been as aggressive, and I’ve never reached higher notes. There are a lot of layers in this record, so there’s nothing so immediate. They will have to listen to songs over and over to find out all the layers that are in it, vocally and musically.
Andrea: If I had to describe the album, I’d say that it’s a trip. It’s a trip because it takes you through different curves, up and down. All the songs kind of build a little different mood, and until the end you can always go faster, there’s parts where you slow down and then go fast again. So, I would say it’s like a trip. A lot of people that have heard it told me that it’s an emotional trip in a way.
Cristina: And it’s also very evocative, very descriptive. So you’re totally sucked in as soon as you hear it, because you just listen to the lyrics and you know exactly where you are. The lyrics are just enhancing the music and helping the listener to have a more complete vision of everything.
What were the most challenging aspects of recording the album?
Cristina: For us singers, it’s recording vocals because it doesn’t really matter if you’re tired or if you’re sick, you have to be there. You have a certain amount of days, so you have to do it in that amount of days. For me it was challenging to try and reach the super high notes. It’s not always easy because some days everything is going good, and sometimes I’m like I’m too tired, I can’t do it.
Andrea: One thing that you’ve done one day, it’s so hard to reproduce. When we did the demos, some vocals that we sang on them still sound better than the ones we did in the studio. In the studio we sang it like 20 times, and at home when we were doing the demos we sang it once, and we never got the same exact intention, the same exact energy of that take. You can’t reproduce it. Sometimes it’s just that one take… you can’t reproduce it even if it’s longer or with a better pitch, even trying 20 different techniques you still can’t reach the same result. That’s an amazing thing about recording.
In terms of music videos, have you got any on the way?
Cristina: We are going to release a lyric video in a few days, but we’re going to film a proper video in the next few weeks.
What can you tell us about it?
Cristina: We’re still talking about it.
Andrea: We’re still discussing it, because we have a very clear idea of what we want but we need to find the right person to do it. We don’t want to abuse some cheap effects. As I said before, when we saw the picture of the real patients, those are stronger than any other horror picture I’ve seen. We want the video to be just like that. We want it to be very realistic and based more on the strength of the images than on some weird effect or light or whatever. We want everything to be more about the photography and the way you capture the images. That has to be strong.
I see you have a US tour coming up, but do you know when you’ll be back in the UK?
Cristina: Hopefully in the fall, because we’re playing in The Philippines and in China for the first time at the end of the month and the beginning of May, and then we’ll be in the US for some headlining gigs and some with Halestorm. At the end of that month the album will be released, then we’ll come back to Europe for some summer festival and we’ll be planning stuff for the fall, but we don’t have a schedule yet. Hopefully we can squeeze the UK in, possible during the summer. We don’t know yet.
Andrea: It’s going to be either in the summer for maybe one festival, or we’re going to come back for sure in the fall for a full European tour.
Cristina: It will be this year or next year, I believe.
Andrea: It will be before the end of the year, I think.
We’ve got to wrap things up there, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Cristina: I hope that people will understand the record and that they will understand that there’s a lot in it, and it’s deeper than it might seem from the first look or listen. So, I hope that they will understand everything of it because it is definitely a trip worth taking.
Iconic Guitarist, ZAKK WYLDE, Officially Opens Doors On His Much-Anticipated Wylde Audio
After a well received debut at NAMM 2016 in January, Zakk Wylde’s own Wylde Audio is now open for business at http://wyldeaudio.com
“I’m very excited for the launch of Wylde Audio in 2016,” Wylde states. “For me, it’s the next logical step. You start as a player, manager, VP of team operations, then team owner. I’ve surrounded myself with super talented people to make this vision become a reality and having Schecter on board as our distributor is going to allow me to bring Wylde Audio‘s boutique quality of craftsmanship to the next level.”
As previously reported Wylde Audio had struck a worldwide distribution deal with Schecter Guitar Research: Schecter Guitar Research and Wylde Audio recently announced a worldwide distribution deal. Schecter will distribute Wylde Guitars via its distributor network covering over 70 countries, which also includes handling fulfillment of the guitars in the USA.
“We are extremely proud to be working with Zakk and Wylde Audio on this endeavor,” states Schecter Guitar Research executive vice-president Marc LaCorte. “Zakk has been incredible in recognizing what he wanted in his own brand and bringing the best possible product to the market.”
Be sure not to miss Zakk currently out on-tour now across North America as part of “The Generation Axe” tour. The trek finds Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) and Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders) all touring together.
04/21 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
04/23 Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Community College
04/24 Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
04/25 Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
04/26 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
04/27 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
04/29 Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
05/01 Madison, WI – Orpheum Theatre
05/02 Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
05/04 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
05/05 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theater
05/06 Westbury, NY – Theatre at Westbury
05/07 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
05/08 Providence, RI – Providence Performing Arts Center
The Italian melodic modern death metal band Subliminal Fear have just released a lyric video “Self Proclaimed Gods” which is taken from their upcoming third album “Escape From Leviathan”. This album will be released May 13th 2016 by Inverse Records.
Evil Masquerade has just announced the full lineup and posted music samples from upcoming album “The Outcast Hall Of Fame.” Check out a video teaser trailer below. The album was produced by Henrik Flyman and mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Jorn).
Featuring on vocals:
– Mats Leven (Candlemass)
– Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance)
– Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars)
– Nicklas Sonn e (Defecto)
On backing vocals:
– Yenz Leonhardt (Stormwarrior, Lacrimosa)
Performed by the usual suspects:
– Henrik Flyman (guitar & vocals)
– Dennis Buhl (drums)
– Thor Jeppesen (bass)
– Artur Meinild (keyboard)
with the upcoming shows, tours and releases Leaves’ Eyes will introduce their new female singer: Elina Siirala, Finnish vocalist living in London. Leaves’ Eyes and former vocalist Liv Kristine will part ways for personal reasons.
Leaves’ Eyes: “Liv was the female voice of the band since the beginning in 2003. Together we toured through 50 countries and 5 continents, moreover we recorded 6 studio albums with outstanding singer Liv. We are full of pride in what we have reached together! From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank Liv for amazing 13 years of being our front lady, the work we have done together and all the passion for music that we shared all these years! We wish Liv all the best for the future, her solo career and other projects! Liv will always be an important part of the Leaves’ Eyes history but now we are looking forward to a new chapter and the new musical adventures of Leaves’ Eyes!“
Liv Kristine comments: “I am highly proud of having been founding member and front lady of Leaves’ Eyes, which has played a vital role in my life since 2003. Good luck guys, thank you for the amazing music, outstanding moments with our worldwide audiences, moreover, the passion we all share. Love, Liv”
Glenn Hughes is the newest member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for 2016 as he was inducted earlier this month with members of Deep Purple. He now joins the ranks of many of his peers like members of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Alice Cooper to name a few. It is a well deserved honor for his time with Deep Purple and in my opinion for his work with Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Hughes/Thrall, Trapeze, Gary Moore, Black Country Communion, California Breed and his solo career. Glenn is and has always been in his own realm of excellence. In his 60’s he still exulted more energy, charisma, and vocal strength than any of the young bands he has inspired and influenced. He is a consummate professional and the epitome of a frontman.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Glenn at a bitter sweet moment in his life, he was inducted in the HOF and on the same day his father passed away. In this interview Glenn discuss his parent’s sacrifices to buy him a guitar, his time with Deep Purple, and reason why he did not perform with his band at the induction ceremony.
SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival is set for Saturday, September 17 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Southern California. Eddie Trunk made the announcement with special guest Bret Michaels live on his SiriusXM show Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk on Sirius XM’s Hair Nation channel on Monday, April 18.
Rock fans from around the globe are invited to re-live the filth of the Sunset Strip for one night only at SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival. The current music lineup is as follows: Vince Neil, Bret Michaels, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kix, Slaughter, Lita Ford, Vixen, Britny Fox, BulletBoys, Faster Pussycat, LA Guns’ Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns, Loudness, Junkyard, Vain, Tuff, Bang Tango, Pretty Boy Floyd, Odin, Gabbie Rae, and Circus of Power. The festival will be hosted by Eddie Trunk.
Vince Neil says, “I can’t wait to perform back in Southern California where it all started for me. This is a big kick ass event and I’m gonna pull out all the stops on this one. What a great lineup, in a great venue… see you in September. Be there!”
Eddie Trunk adds, “I’m truly honored to host the first ever Hair Nation show. As a lifelong fan, friend and supporter of so many of these bands on radio and TV it’s great to see them have their own event to celebrate their decades of great music.”
SiriusXM will broadcast performances, as well as backstage interviews with artists, from SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival on SiriusXM’s Hair Nation channel, via satellite on channel 39 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. The broadcast will air the weekend of September 24.
General Admission and VIP tickets for SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival go on sale Friday, April 22 at 10:00 AM PT via www.HairNationFest.com and start at just $15 (plus fees).
SiriusXM listeners will be able to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public via a SiriusXM Ticket Presale from Wednesday, April 20 at 10am PT to Thursday, April 21 at 10:00 PM PT.
A limited number of exclusive experiences and VIP opportunities are available for purchase, including access to one or more VIP Lounges at the festival, premier seating and VIP restrooms, with some of the packages including exclusive meet & greet and photo opportunities with select bands, front row tickets, and more.
Information and pricing on all packages and experiences, including NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE, YOUTH GONE WILD, MEET & GREET VIP, FRONT ROW ULTIMATE VIP, and BOOZE CRUISE TRAVEL PACKAGE + FRONT ROW ULTIMATE VIP, is available at www.HairNationFest.com.
Two lucky unsigned bands will have the chance to play at SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival via SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival Battle Of The Bands, held Wednesday, August 17 at the infamous Whisky A Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA. The grand prize winner will open the main stage, and the runner up–as chosen by host Eddie Trunk and other celebrity rock judges–will open the second stage at SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival. Bands can apply for a chance to play the SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival Battle Of The Bands by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by June 17, 2016.
SiriusXM’s Hair Nation Festival is produced by Live Nation and Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE) and will feature nonstop music on two stages, including a rotating main stage with back-to-back performances, VIP Meet and Greets, a vendor village, and more.
Live Nation, President – Booking, Los Angeles, Rich Best says, “We’re excited to be able to bring some of the defining rock artists of the ‘80s and ‘90s back to the outdoor amphitheatre setting of Irvine Meadows for the second year in a row.”
John Reese of SGE adds, “Rock fans traveled from around the country and around the world for last year’s festival, so it was clear that there was a demand for the return of the music of Hair Nation. These bands helped define an era when rock and roll was larger than life, and every show was a party. Bringing so many of these bands together at one festival for as low as $15 is a great value for fans.”
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre is located 8808 Irvine Center Drive in Irvine, CA and is less than two hours from Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. It’s also conveniently located a short drive from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. For those traveling to the Southern California area to attend SiriusXM’s Hair Nation, there are a wide variety of lodging options in the Irvine area.
Hello Kurdt! It’s JP from Metal-Rules.com. Thank you for agreeing to the interview. You may or may not recall we met on 70, 000 Tons a few years back and I interviewed you (and the entire band) at that time. Time for another one! Thank you! The new album is charting and selling extremely well. To what do you attribute this new success?
I really don’t know other than the fact that having Mike back in the band has really grabbed fans attention. And apparently people think the record is good?
Where did you record the new album? Did yo have a chance to jam out the songs in the studio with the band or was it a matter of everyone learning their parts and sending them in?
We recorded it at my studio. We built it up around the drum tracks after the demos were completed.
As always you wore many hats for this album; lyricist, songwriter, producer etc…was it hard to switch roles back and forth during the project?
Not really but, it does help to have input from the rest of the band. It can be a bit difficult to keep perspective when you are so close to the project.
I realize you have been asked this many times but how the return of Mr. Howe come about? Were you at all apprehensive about the state of his voice after so many years away?
I was a bit concerned at the beginning but, after speaking with him the 1st time he said he was still able to sing and had taken care of himself so any apprehension was gone quite quickly. And the when we started doing the demos it became very clear that he was singing better then ever!
My friends and I often discuss the singers of Metal Church. Three studio albums by Wayne, four albums by Monroe and now four studio albums with Howe. With the return of Howe, does this in a sense, make him the official, ‘one -true’ singer of Metal Church…or ‘the voice’ of Metal Church if you prefer?
Well, in a way but he is THE singer for Metal Church!
Can you tell me about the inspiration for the album cover art? I must admit it seems a bit plain as compared to some of the other album covers. Did you make a deliberate decision to move away from the iconic ‘cross-guitar’?
It is the cross guitar. I made a deliberate decision to stay away from the cartoony typical metal album covers.
All of the Ronnie-era albums were excellent but XI seems to have a newfound energy? Where did that come from?
Im sure it was from the excitement of having Mike come back to the band and the fact that he was sounding bettr than ever. It gave us a new injection of life. And I also new that with him in the band that the atmosphere within the band would finally be a very positive one.
Many of the ‘classic’ US Power Metal / Thrash bands are experiencing nice career resurgences with Vicious Rumors, Helstar, Flotsam and Jetsam and you guys all putting out new albums this year. What is it that gives these bands the longevity?
I believe that its just the nature of the music. You never really outgrow it and you really never stop loving it. Besides with the new music biz totally affords us to keep doing it.
Considering the strength of the new material, will you be playing many of the new songs on the current tour? Will you being playing any songs from the Monroe era or leaning more heavily on the Howe era tunes? If yes, how do you feel about playing the songs that he sang on from the albums that you were not a part of at the time?
We are playing 3 songs off the new album and we are concentrating on the Mike Howe era for the rest of the set. We are doing a few from the David Wayne as well. WE wanted to play more of The Mike Howe era because a lot of these songs are new for this band and we wanted to play some newer material then what we have played in the past. We will not play any Ronny Munroe material.
When we last chatted on the 70, 000 Tons cruise, we discussed the possibility of a book, a DVD or a nice big Double Live album. Have there been any discussions along these lines?
Yes, we are still trying to figure out the best time and place to do a proper DVD and have a proper LIVE album. That is something that I very much want to do.
Lastly, what is your next step in world domination?
To play as much as possible and continue to make new music!!