Thanks to press responsible for the band: Mats Rydström
Promo pictures taken by: Lars Brundin
Additional live pictures taken from the archives of: Anders Sandvall
Close Quarters is a pretty new sleaze/rock n roll act from Vadstena Sweden that recently released their second album ALWAYS A LOT, NEVER LITTLE which totally blew my mind the first time I heard it. I decided to take a closer look at the band and hooked up with guitarist KK and bass player Martin Hederberg in order to get to know a little more about the band and their past, present and future. The band have done more than 200 shows so far and have been support act to artists like Backyard Babies, Mustasch, Electric Boys and recently they opened for Tom Keifer in Stockholm. Close Quarters sure is the next big thing from Sweden so you better check out ALWAYS A LOT, NEVER A LITTLE which includes a co-written song with Nicke Borg from Backyard Babies as well as songs that feature appearances from Spike from The Quireboys and Pontus Snibb from Bonafide.
Tommy Henriksen is an American musician from New York who is best known from his current work as a guitarist / songwriter for Alice Cooper’s band and Hollywood Vampires. Henriksen is also a solo artist and sought-after songwriter, arranger, producer and mixer. He has worked with, among others: Lady Gaga, Meat Loaf, Lou Reed and Halestorm. For the last year and a half, the Alice Cooper band has toured the world with Motley Crue. In November, the tour finally arrived in Finland. I met a good-humored Tommy in Helsinki, and here is a summary of our interesting conversation which runs through Tommy’s past career and future projects.
September 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of Metal-Rules.com. What started as the dream of one man and a couple of friends in an isolated region of Canada (the East coast island of Newfoundland), has become one of the largest, longest running, and most influential, Metal webzines on the internet.
Let’s set the picture. The Province of Newfoundland, due to its low population (roughly 550,666 people in 1995) and relative geographic isolation gets only a handful of Metal concerts a year, and sometimes none at all! The total number of gigging Metal bands from Newfoundland in the mid-90’s were perhaps fewer than 10! (EvilG was actually in one of the few Metal bands, Oberon, founded in 1996.) Newfoundland was about as far away from the Metal hotbeds of NYC, LA, Tampa, Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Berlin, or Tokyo as you could possibly be. So you may be surprised to learn it all started in Newfoundland, Canada and is run by volunteers. Many people think we are a European site, and have a large paid staff! If they only knew… 🙂
EvilG embraced the internet early, and realized that geographic isolation didn’t matter in the dawning of the new digital age. He founded Metal-Rules.com with its battle cry of “Supporting REAL Metal“. Like most webzines, it started with little to no money, and a small audience, as the internet as we know it was still in its infancy. Through blood, sweat and beers, recruiting friends, volunteers, and hammering away learning primitive (by today’s standards) HTML programming we had a few milestones.
Over 20 years MR became one of the few bastions of REAL METAL on the internet. Never catering to trends, our industry reputation is stellar, our productivity is endless, and our content is king. We have more book reviews, interviews, concert reviews, DVD/video reviews, and of course album reviews than virtually every other Metal webzine on the planet. Think about that. Our archives are a massive treasure trove of photos and interviews that extends back 20 years. We often have people contacting us for information on projects they are working on, documentaries, books, and academic papers. Many new bands have had their first exposure here, their first interview, their first CD review, etc. As well, it’s always a pleasure to interview and cover the titans of Metal. This is what drives us volunteers to continue to support REAL METAL for 20 years…and onwards.
Thank you, the reader, causal, loyal and the die-hard, from dozens of nations around the world, for reading each and every day. We hope you enjoy our 20th anniversary feature!
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal has received intense attention in recent years as a whole new generation of metal-makers have generated bands that have embraced the directly pre-thrash roots of modern heavy metal.
In This Means War: The Sunset Years of the NWOBHM, Martin Popoff and dozens of his UK rock buddies document the frenzied fruition years of the movement, namely 1981 and 1982, and then the many facets that caused the genre to implode by the end of 1984, with cracks in the armour beginning to appear the previous year. Why did metal disappear in Great Britain with the first hungover light on January 1, 1985? And where exactly did it go? The answers are enclosed, in the words of those who were there… and then nowhere fast!
Utilizing his celebrated oral history method—rich with detailed chronological entries to frame the story—Popoff blasts through all of the big events from 1981 to 1984, in this action-packed book that serves as concluding volume to Wheels of Steel: The Explosive Early Years of the NWOBHM—same easy reading format, same attention to documenting the subject at hand with visuals from the glorious era.
And by the way, this one’s way more packed with historical images, with more substantive text as well. It’s a beefy follow-up and conclusion to the well-received volume one, and the two together serve as a grand and exhaustive study of this momentous metal movement.
So come join Martin, along with dozens of the rockers themselves, as they together tell the tale of this ersatz genre’s maturity and demise, a demise that is ultimately laced with the pride that a platform had been created on which metal was to thrive for all of the rest of the loud ‘n’ proud ‘80s.
Note: like my recent book, Swords and Tequila: Riot’s Classic First Decade, I’m not only holding on price but lowering them a good 10% across the board. But still, remember, I am signing, packing these up and mailing from Canada. Orders will be signed from me to you, so please specify if it’s a present for someone else. Thanks for your support—this is my final word on the NWOBHM!
Price for This Means War including shipping:
US orders: $32.00 US funds
Int’l orders (all books go air): $38.00 US funds
Canadian orders: $37.00 Cdn. funds
Ask me if you’d prefer a PayPal invoice (please indicate what country you are in), or just do yer usual and direct funds to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or mail payment (personal check in US funds, cash, or INTERNATIONAL money order), to:
Martin Popoff, P.O. Box 65208, 358 Danforth Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4K 2Z2
Sweet postage savings to be had for multiple orders (or two of pretty much anything—long story, ask me!), especially for US orders. Email me at email@example.com with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for descriptions, cover art and ordering info for my other available 35 or so books that I have available for autographin’ and shippin’. Note: this will not be at my website for a good ten days, but I have the books now and am shipping them this week.
Frank Blackfire is a German guitarist, who started exploring and listening to his father´s Rock´n Roll albums at the early age of 6, and therefore learned how to love this genre and became a musician. Frank started to play guitar at the age of 15, and then at the age of 18 joined a cover band in which he played classic songs of acts such as Judas Priest or Saxon.
About 2 years later Frank joined the German Thrash legends Sodom, and entered with them the Music Lab Studios in Berlin, to record the “Expurse Of Sodomy” EP and later the famous “Persecution Mania” album, which were produced by Harris Johns. The album has been promoted on European tour, which was documented on the legendary “Mortal Way Of Live” live album and video. In 1989 the band completed another classic album, “Agent Orange”, which as the first German Thrash Metal album ever entered German charts. Frank left Sodom in 1989, but as his friends from Kreator were in need of a guitarist, he joined their ranks to support them on their North American tour. Soon after that he became regular member of the band, and except touring with Kreator, recorded with them the classic “Coma Of Souls” album (1990), “Renewal” (1992) and “Cause For Conflict” (1995).
After leaving Kreator in 1996 Frank focused on other music genres, and also started to teach guitar playing. Between 2000 and 2006 Frank lived in Brazil, where he was playing with several bands, and where he released an album and an EP with his band Mystic. In 2007 Blackfire joined Sodom at the Wacken Open Air festival stage, and then appeared on the Chris Witch Hunter Memorial Festival in 2008. In 2013 Frank started to work on his solo album titled “Back On Fire”, which was completed and released in 2015.
FRANK BLACKFIRE “Back On Fire” CD out now, featuring:
Frank Blackfire – guitars, vocals
John A.B.C. Smith – bass guitar, vocals
Toni Merkel – drums
and special guests:
Tom Angelripper – vocals in “Insane Human Race”
Nancy Kunze – vocals in “Beautiful World”
We are honored to have so many amazing supporters for the ROCK AGAINST MS FOUNDATION. These artists are gracious supporters to help build the foundation and fund the programs that will help people NOW with MS.
Steve Vai has donated a lesson in a private studio, which will come with a guitar he will personally sign to the winner.
Marky Ramone will have lunch with the winner in NYC, then off to SIRIUS/XM Radio to hang with him while he records his radio show.
Phil X (Bon Jovi/ The Drills) has donated a guitar lesson to be held at the famous FOO FIGHTERS 606 Studio, plus you get a guitar.
Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy/Whitesnake/Quiet Riot) has donated a bass lesson in a private studio, which will come with a bass that Rudy can personally sign to the winner.
Nick Menza (OHM/Megadeth)has donated a personal meet & greet with a bad-ass piece of cymbal artwork he created.
Robbie Rist (Best known as Cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo) has donated dinner at Redballs Rock N Roll Pizza – made famous by the Foo Fighters – Eat with Robbie some of the best NYC Style pizza then hang out while his band plays some the greatest hits in music!
Phil X (Bon Jovi/ The Drills) has donated a personal meet & greet at the world Famous 606 Studios of the Foo Fighters – You also get a huge bag full of cool swag and sign-able awesome surprises!
About Multiple Sclerosis
Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
MS interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving.
Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The advancement, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease.
MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.1 million worldwide.
BABYMETAL–2015’s breakout all-girl-fronted Japanese heavy metal/teen-pop hybrid group–announced their sophomore album will be released April 1, 2016 via RAL/Sony Music Entertainment (for the U.S. release only) and revealed their initial U.S. tour dates on their “BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2016” (full tour itinerary below). The new album (title TBA) is available now to pre-order via the BABYMETAL’s official webstore, both as stand alone CD and special pre-order bundles. Click here to view the group’s new album and world tour announcement video.
News of the new album was revealed in front of BABYMETAL’s hometown fans over the weekend during their two headlining shows at Japan’s Yokohama Arena (26,000 people in attendance over two days). Click here to download live photos from the performance (photo credit: Taku Fujii).
Says KOBAMETAL (the producer and mastermind behind the group): “As prophesied by the FOX GOD, a new album will be released on April 1, 2016, also known as the FOX DAY. Since the release of BABYMETAL’s debut album in 2014, we have been racing across the globe non-stop on our World Tour. Through the last tour I have come across people from all over the world and have had the chance to feel that miraculous moment when everyone came together via BABYMETAL. Our new song ‘THE ONE’ contains lyrics that speak of uniting the world, or a crowd favorite at concerts ‘Road of Resistance’ that never fails to bring our fans together, every BABYMETAL song makes up this extraordinary story. I continue to believe that the songs of BABYMETAL continue to push them forward to discover new possibilities. All I can say right now is for all of you to wait patiently for the coming of the FOX DAY.”
2015 was a breakout year for BABYMETAL, the young trio of 17-year-old SU-METAL (Vocal, Dance) and 16-year-olds YUIMETAL (Scream, Dance) and MOAMETAL (Scream, Dance), backed by a four-piece band packing a heavy metal arsenal: they re-released their 2014 chart topping self-titled debut album (released digitally 5/12/15 and physically on 6/16/15 via RAL/Sony Music Entertainment), were the most sought-after band at Rock on the Range (U.S.’s premiere rock festival) and completed sold-out dates at Chicago’s House of Blues and New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom (part of their 2015 world tour); they’ve won several awards including the “Breakthrough Act” award at the 2015 Metal Hammer Golden Gods, the “Spirit of Independence” award at the 2015 Relentless Kerrang! Awards, MTV Europe’s “Wildcard Best Japanese Act” and several LOUDWIRE Awards. In addition, they were awarded the “Discovery Prize” at GQ Japan’s “Men of the Year 2015” Awards and the “Women of the Year” Award at VOGUE Japan’s “Women of the Year 2015” Awards. In July, 2015, they became the first Japanese artist to appear on the cover of METAL HAMMER.
Since forming in 2010, BABYMETAL have already achieved two major debut singles: “IJIME, DAME, ZETTA!” and “MEGISTUNE,” both of which ranked in the Top 10 Oricon Chart in Japan. Their first studio album BABYMETAL also earned the #1 spot on Japan’s album chart and Billboard’s World Album Chart The official live music video for their debut album’s lead single “Gimme Chocolate!!” has garnered over 36 million views on YouTube. 2014 saw BABYMETAL headline numerous sold-out shows from New York to London, including the 20,000 capacity Saitama Super Arena in Japan. They performed at major festivals in multiple countries such as the UK’s massive Sonisphere in front of 65,000 festival-goers and supported Lady Gaga on her “Artrave: The Artpop Ball” tour.
U.S. tour dates confirmed for the “BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2016”:
Wednesday, May 4 – Playstation Theater – New York, NY
Saturday, May 7 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, May 8 – Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion (Festival) – Concord, NC
Tuesday, May 10 – The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
Wednesday, May 11 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
Friday, May 13 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL
Saturday, May 14 – Northern Invasion (Festival) – Somerset, WI
Melodic metallers The Raven Age have announced that they will be one of the support bands on Iron Maden’s mammoth “Book of Souls” world tour that will see them playing through North, Central & South America , Australasia, South Africa and then culminating in a stadium & festival run throughout Europe in June
“It’s a game changer for us” said their drummer Jai Patel, speaking to Metal Rules after their sold out show with Mark Tremonti at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh
With a new album also planned for 2016, it will certainly be an exciting year for The Raven Age
SURPRISE ATTACK: Here is a new Primal Fear song for your headbanging pleasure, “Bullets & Tears”!!! \m/
Pre-order the band’s new album, RULEBREAKER from Apple Music and “Bullets & Tears”, “In Metal We Trust” and “The End Is Near” will all download instantly: http://radi.al/RulebreakeriTunes
Primal Fear “Rulebreaker”
The song comes from the upcoming album RULEBREAKER.
Release date: January 29, 2016
Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l
“Rulebreaker” track listing:
01. Angels Of Mercy
02. The End Is Near
03. Bullets & Tears
05. In Metal We Trust
06. We Walk Without Fear
07. At War With The World
08. The Devil In Me
09. Constant Heart
10. The Sky Is Burning
11. Raving Mad
12. Final Call (bonus track; deluxe edition only)
11. Don’t Say You’ve Never Been Warned (bonus track; deluxe edition only)
DVD (deluxe edition only):
* The End Is Near (video clip)
* Angels Of Mercy (video clip)
* Making Of “Rulebreaker”
PRIMAL FEAR vocalist Ralf Scheepers stated about “Bullets & Tears”: “‘Bullets & Tears’ is a powerful melodic track with a catchy guitar riff and an extraordinary melodic guitar intro, which is backed up by a choir chant later in the song. The story of the track is about a guy and how he went through all ups and downs in his life. He is growing stronger through every task and each disappointment he went through. The time for him has come to take his personal little revenge upon those people who gave him hell… You’ll always meet twice in life!”
ROCK ROYALTY JOIN FORCES FOR A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR TONY MACALPINE
December 12th: Benefit For Tony MacAlpine @ the Wiltern Theater, LA
Included in the show were:
John 5 & The Creatures
Steve Vai and band
Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt
The evening finale was an all-star jam with house band Portnoy, Sheehan, Sherinian, and featuring special guests.
Videos from the benefit show can be viewed below:
MacAlpine’s update on his health:
“Hello my friends,
I would like to say hello to you all and wish you the best during this holiday season. Regardless of whether you are near or far, this is the time of the year that brings friends and family together.
It has been a while since I have had the energy to write, so I will take this time to give you an update of sorts, a small window into some of my daily activities at this point.
Two months after my surgery on August 28th, I have been strictly following the course of these excellent Doctors of Medicine, and progress is being achieved at a rate they as well as I am encouraged by. It is a difficult routine that I must endure for many more months that involves a very intense series of drug therapies and constant analytical procedures that are overwhelmingly draining because of their brutal side effects, but my eyes and heart are on the big picture, which is recovery.
More often than not the biggest hurdle is knowing that after you engage yourself in this fight – this battle on a weekly schedule – you still must reserve some energy to think positive, as that is a very important and necessary mechanic in this healing process.
Your prayers, messages and positive energy are not going unnoticed, and although I have quite a long road ahead, it is not traveled alone, as I have all of you there for support. And I thank you all for that!
I will touch base and give you further updates soon.”
Swedish melodic death metallers THE DUSKFALL have released a new song “World Of Lies” with lyric video. It gives a taste of what’s coming in 2016 and presents also the new sound of finnish vocalist Aki Häkkinen that band recently attached in the line-up. This furious five is also giving out info that year 2016 will be highly active time for their live performances as they aim to storm stages as many places as possible.
Megadeth have unveiled a hyper-violent animated video for new single “The Threat Is Real.” The track is the second to be released from the band’s upcoming “Dystopia” album.
Reflecting the album title, the video depicts a futuristic dystopian society that is parts “Fallout,” “Mad Max” and “1984” in equal measure.
Megadeth – DYSTOPIA
Track listing for the album, due for release on January 22 2016:
01. The Threat Is Real
03. Fatal Illusion
04. Death From Within
05. Bullet to the Brain
06. Post American World
07. Poisonous Shadows
08. Look Who’s Talking (iTunes bonus track)
09. Conquer or Die
10. Lying In State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish (iTunes bonus track)
13. Foreign Policy (Fear cover)