England’s Gentlemans Pistols have maintained a steady, if somewhat low-key – and apostrophe-free – presence over much of their dozen years together. Led by frontman/guitarist/founder/lone original member James Atkinson, they have released three albums – the latest of which, Hustler’s Row, arrived in mid-October – and toured mostly around their home country and mainland Europe, with a few gigs in Japan.
With Hustler’s Row, however, the band stand to make something of a bigger splash. For one thing, after two albums on the modestly underground Rise Above Records, the Pistols have signed with Nuclear Blast for the new record. For another, since 2009 the band’s ranks have included guitarist Bill Steer, whose other band – and fellow Nuclear Blasters – Carcass have experienced a remarkable resurgence in the wake of their 2012 comeback album Surgical Steel, raising the Pistols profile – even if slightly – by osmosis.
And Hustler’s is just an all-around more likable album than the previous releases, full of bouncy rhythms from drummer Stuart Dobbins and new bassist Robert Threapleton, fetching harmonies and hooks, and fantastic guitar teamwork from Steer and Atkinson. Its retro vibe channels everyone from Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple to The Sweet and Traffic, with just a hint of old Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, without ever sounding like mere idol worship.
Via Skype from the band’s home base of Leeds, Atkinson offered the following about the new album and the label situation, the evolution of Steer’s involvement with the band and its impact on their sound, and his hopes for the road ahead as the Pistols look to strike while the iron is comparatively hot.
Edmonton, AB metallers STRIKER are ready to set out on a new adventure with their forthcoming album ‘Stand In The Fire’ being released via their own Record Breaking Records label on February 5, 2016 and before it drops, the band has teamed with Bravewords.com for the Canadian premiere of their new track ‘Too Late’. Hear it below.
Brazilian singer and composer Edu Falaschi (Almah, ex-Angra) has confirmed his participation in the all-metal-stars Vivaldi Metal Project which already involves more than 70 musicians from such bands as Yes, Helloween, Stratovarius, Rhapsody of Fire, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Ring of Fire, Royal Hunt, Avantasia, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Symphony X among others. The metal version of the legendary classic masterpiece “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi is set to be released in the first half of 2016 worldwide.
The international Vivaldi Metal Project was launched at the end of 2013 by keyboardist, composer and producer Mistheria (solo artist who also worked with such top artists as Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Roy Z, etc.) together with co-producer, bassist Alberto Rigoni (solo artist, TwinSpirits). Right now it’s available for pre-order via crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMusic as mp3 or CD with various exclusive options: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/vivaldi-metal/exclusives
Anthrax has revealed the cover art for the band’s upcoming release, For All Kings, due out February 26, 2016 (Megaforce). The band’s drummer, Charlie Benante, who designed the artwork and worked closely with artist Alex Ross, talks about the concept in this short video.
Benante promises that the eleven-songFor All Kings will be “aggressive and super-thrashy.” The album was written by Benante, bassist Frank Bello, and rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, the dynamic triumvirate whose unique composition chemistry is, in part, what sets Anthrax’s music apart from other bands’ in the same genre. Add to that Joey Belladonna’s breathtaking vocals and the searing guitar leads by newest member Jonathan Donais, and it’s no wonder the band is so excited for fans to hear what will be their 11th studio album.
Anthrax is currently on tour with Slayer in Europe and will join up with Lamb of God here in the U.S. starting in January. On these dates, fans will be treated to songs from throughout Anthrax’s career, including the classics as well as the brand new “Evil Twin,” a song that Bello says “is a song that begs to be played live.” U.S. tour dates are below.
15 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
16 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
17 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
19 Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
22 Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, VA
23 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
24 Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT
28 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
29 Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN
30 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
31 Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
2 Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO
Korpiklaani has been folking since 2003 by conquering the folk metal world with the Finnish culture and nature. Being one of the heaviest and hardest working bands with the nine albums out by now proves Korpiklaani’s folk metal machine is unstoppable. The ninth album called NOITA is another fine slap of the catchy folk metal with the obvious ancient Finnish myth and culture of the past. Some water has flown under the bridge since the previous Korpiklaani interview, therefore it was about to have a conversation of the mastermind of Korpiklaani, Jonne Järvelä.
Interview and live pictures by Arto Lehtinen
Good day – how does the touring life look in the Korpiklaani camp ?
We are just now in Hamburg at Heidenfest 2015 and everything is fine. Ten days behind and about the same still left.
NOITA – NEW ALBUM
The Petrax studio has been a home studio cave for Korpiklaani for a while, Do you view that finding the right Korpiklaani sound is easier and natural progress there at the Petrax studio with the essential know-how how to carry out a good sounding album with the catchy hooks ?
Absolutely. Petrax is good place to record because it is farm place at countryside. There is its own peaceful atmosphere and we really like to record there. Also it is one of the best studios in Finland and near my home, so it is easy choice.
Noita being the 9th album in a row in the Korpikaani catalogue, that proves Korpiklaani is one hell of working band around, you don’t rest on your laurels at that much – where do you find that much energy and inspiration to keep going on ?
I don’t know actually. This is fun thing to do and at least for me this is the only thing that I can do, so maybe that drives us to keep going on.
You have systematically released new album every year or every second year, as for the time gap between NOITA and MANALA, there is a three year gap, how come it took a bit longer to have the ninth album out ?
We toured even more than usually, so we couldn’t find the time for song writing so much than before. Also I wrote, recorded and produced my “solo” album JONNE, which is not actually a solo album because I got help so much from many musician friends of mine. Then I produced, mixed and partly recorded Oceanwake new “Sunless” album, which also took some time.
How did you start working on the material for the NOITA album ? Do the lyrics come first before the music ?
Tuomas Keskimäki wrote most of the lyrics again, so there were lyrics first but I don’t put my focus on lyrics yet when writing music. When the main structure of the song is ready I start to think which of the Tuomas’s lyrics would fit to the character of the song.
What was the most challenging part of the whole writing and composing process of the NOITA album ?
Find the time to do it. The songs came very easy and naturally and we actually dropped some songs away from the album whole.
What does the title of the album originally come from ?
There are some songs about witch what Noita means in English and one of the key songs on the album is Ämmänhauta. It’s about one finnish folklore that lives strong in one little village, called Vesilahti, where I’m from with our bass player Jarkko. One powerful witch lived there and when she noticed that the end of her lifetime in here will be over soon her last wish was to be buried into the sacred ground of the church. So she managed to find four men to carry him to there secretly because during those times pagans were not allowed to be buried to the “holy” ground. Before their journey begun she had one important rule for those four men; If she would die before they reach their destination she must be buried straight to the place where that happens. They didn’t manage to get to the church’s graveyard and when the witch took her last breath those four men could not move her anymore because of her spell. So they buried her immediately to that place and threw birches on her grave to hide the body. Later on the story started to spread from mouth to mouth and people started to throw birches on the witches grave because they feared that witch will curse them if they would not do that everytime they passed her grave. So even nowadays there is a great pile of birches on the same place where the witch was buried.
The Korpiklaani figure known as Vaari did the first appearance on the front cover of TALES ALONG THIS ROAD and since then it has been an expected figure on covers. How did this come about ? Did you find it a good idea to have a mascot of your own ?
Exactly. I like the idea how for example Megadeth or Iron Maiden has their mascot adventuring always on the album covers. I wanted something similar and Vaari is our Eddie in a way.
FOLKING SINCE 2003
The main core of the line-up of Korpiklaani have soldiered up as a united team for about ten years, whereas the violinist got changed as well as the accordionist, as for finding these replacements – was it an easy going process to audit and find right guys with the suitable background and attitude to Korpiklaani ?
We have been lucky because every time when people changed in this band we’ve getting stronger. I don’t mean to put anyone down because we are really good friend with every ex-Korpiklaani members still but it is a fact. There always been a reason for the changes and it’s been both way deal. Some people got enough this kind of life style and they might to want to do something else in their lives. It was easy to find first Tuomas about four years ago and now Sami three years ago…time flies. Sami is still a new guy in our books J
Since the VOICE OF THE WILDERNESS album the guitarist, bassist have been in the band beside you and drummer Matson, apparently this has created the bond between you to take further steps for Korpiklaani and focus on building the band’s success ?
I think it is important to keep the band as stable as it is possible. That’s how we all can develop together as a band because this is teamwork if something.
When some member has departed, is it like the end of the marriage, that’s it and goodbye – or do you maintain some sort of contact to each other ?
Yes we are still contacted and friends with ex-members.
The Finnish language has been the big role in the lyrics, leaving the English kind of aside. The whole lyrics or could I say the poetry is fascinating, tending to go deep in the Finnish ancient culture, but do you feel it is kind of odd to have lyrics written in Finnish as the foreigner fans may miss the point in the meaning of the lyrics ?
I don’t feel it odd because nowadays it is easy to translate the lyrics if you want. Internet makes it very easy. Also we have explanations of each song on our booklet of the albums.
Do you feel kind of natural to sing the lyrics in Finnish on tours or do you have to switch it to the English after all ?
It is way more easy for me to sing in Finnish, my native language. Also it is easier to catch and share the feelings of the lyrics using Finnish.
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
How much do you spend time exploring and studying the Finnish ancient mythology and culture to ladle them for the lyrics and ideas to develop the soundworld of Korpiklaani ?
I don’t study about mythology or culture but being in this band has been teaches me a lot and still doing it all the time.
When penning the lyrics, do you have to have some certain place and atmosphere to reach the need mood for coming up ideas on papers ?
I’m not writing lyrics so much but when I do, I can be anywhere when I got an idea. I’ve been driving car when I got an idea and then just pulled over and writes it down. I’ve been sitting, when suddenly got inspired and just walking outside. You never know when it hits you.
You have traveled all over the world, have other cultures and social aspects brought more new ideas, visions and influences on the creation of the musical ideas ?
Absolutely. In the end everything is about your lived life. Met people and places. Being in the band is extremely good chance to meet lot of people and travel around the world.
The four Korpiklaani albums came out on the Austrian Napalm rec, which was a home for Korpiklaani for a long time, nowadays you are at Nuclear Blast. What is the biggest difference between these two labels from your point of view ?
Nuclear Blast is bigger and they can load a little bit more volume on marketing. Of course it would be easier and good to be on some of the Finnish label because being on contact would be easier but unfortunately “know how” and contacts are better at record labels abroad. That’s why most of the Finnish metal bands that are doing international career are on the lists of some record label from abroad. But in our case the interest of the record companies stands at abroad. Finnish record labels are not interest or ready to invest to band like Korpiklaani for some reason, which is sad.
I can’t help asking what was the main factor making you thinking of switching to Nuclear Blast ?
They offered the best deal and they have worked already some Finnish bands like Amorphis and Nightwish, so Blast just convinced us about a good business relationship. We signed again to Nuclear Blast filling second deal with them just before Noita.
KEEP ON GALLOPING
I have paid attention to the behavior and acting of the crowd at Korpiklaani’s gig, the people usually go utter beserk and the feeling is like getting catapulted thru the ceiling especially during the fastest tunes, being played. Do you try to set the place on fire and get people nuts on gigs or do you have to calm the moshing and pitting and surfing down time to time ?
We like to see when people gets crazy. Maybe that’s why we have so many up-tempo songs but to keep the feeling and drama of the show it is important to play also some mid tempo or even slow songs. That’s how the fast songs sounds even faster.
Where is the strongest and loyalist fanbase as well as wildest ones ?
Germany and Europe over all is at least most loyal because we can see the familiar faces on every gig for example on this tour now but North America and Canada are rising and rising for us all the time. The most wild audience is definitely in South America.
The videos of Korpiklaani seem to have been an important role. Do you view videos are the one way to catch some attention for Korpiklaani ? Obviously there will be a new video from the NOITA album ?
Now when TV doesn’t show music videos anymore, videos are in the web nowadays. Like on Youtube but I think it is in big role as before. At first we put out a video of Tein mina pillin pajupuusta, which shows us on stage. It’s filmed in Moscow, Russia. Now just a while ago we released a video to Ämmänhauta song.
When Korpiklaani was interviewed back in 2003, the whole thing was in the early stage of kicking the whole on as apparently it was based on the DIY attitude, how do you coordinate and keep your eyes on the business and so on and how do you make the last call what comes to booking festivals and gigs ? Btw are you still involved in Natural Born Records ?
We have a good management to take care about our booking and record label business, so we can put our focus for the music more but of course we are speaking everything through our management, so we know all the time more or less what is going on. Natural Born Records is JonneMusic nowadays and it handles my producer works, some part of merchandise works and publishing for Korpiklaani and JONNE bands.
Speaking of your solo, in my opinion the stuff on the solo album differs quite obviously from the Korpiklaani stuff, was it a conscious choice to separate the stuff from Korpiklaani by working them on the solo output ?
It was the reason for the solo album and band because those songs were so different, than Korpiklaani style. I didn’t have any need to put out a solo album but the songs were asking it if you know what I mean.
Can we expect more solo stuff from you ?
Yes, next album is already under work. JONNE is also real touring band, not just my solo project anymore but because there are also very busy musicians for example Santeri Kallio and Jan Rechberger from Amorphis we can’t play live so often.
All right I thank you for your time to do the interview for Metal-Rules.Com and wish all the best and I let you conclude the interview ….
Friday 13 was never this grim. We were close to losing an important brother from our metal community during the devastating attacks in France in the night of November 13.
Hugo Aribart is a metal fan and music video editor who’s worked with some well known bands such as Dynasty of Darkness which debut album features members of Mayhem, Morbid Angel & The Kovenant. The 70s rock fueled French band Flayed and the blasphemous Black Metal band Regarde Les Hommes Tomber.
Here’s the man’s own words:
What is your name and what do you do?
Hello my name is Hugo Aribart, I’m 28 and I’m a video editor. I work for a tv channel called Star24 and i make music videos for metal bands.
Can you tell us what you saw at the concert? How did you manage to escape the incident? What were your first thoughts when you heard what had happened?
I saw the first five songs, it was excellent but I was too exhausted by my week at work and most of all, I’ve had enough of social interactions, so I left […] needless to say, parisian’s natural un-politeness doesn’t suits me very well and therefore I live in a small suburban town called Saint Germain En Laye 20 minutes away by train from Paris.
This and the fact I went to the venue alone made me leave the Bataclan to get some rest.
I didn’t notice anything unusual outside. It was a typical Friday night with people gathered around, talking; laughing, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer or wine or whatever at bar terraces, etc…
I came down into the subway and while seated in the train my phone didn’t stopped vibrating, I took it out of my pocket and that’s how I realized that i’ve had just escaped a slaughter; My friends were asking me if i was okay so I told ’em I was and asked what was the problem? and that’s how I knew I’ve had just escaped a massacre.
So I was like “WHAT THE FUCK?!”, it was so unreal.
Noticing that my phone’s battery’s was dying I texted my mother to tell her I was safe and took the train home and started asking everyone if someone wanted to have a beer with me, I just wanted to shut my brain down, so I did with my friends.
Hugo Aribart @ Hellfest
Hugo Aribart with Katon of HIRAX
What are your thoughts about what happened?
When I woke up the next morning horribly hungover my first thoughts where of confusion.
It took me a while to eat something, drink a lot of water before I was able to stare at a computer screen and then that’s where I watched the amateur footage online, you know, the video in which you see people running out of Bataclan’s back door walking over dead bodies (one of them is still moving though), people dragging their dead friends away, people hanging from the windows… While you can still hear the shooting in the back.
That’s when it hit me and I realized the horror.
I stood here, in front of my screen, speechless.
Peoples were killed because they went to a rock show, because they were at bars, because they went to a football game…
What shocked me the most is that a lot of the victims are the same age as me.
Clearly it is my generation that has been targeted. People like me who like to go out on a friday night.
Amongst all the places they struck, they attacked a place which was, to me, was the safest place in the world : A Rock show. I haven’t been able to feel anything but deep sadness and disgust for the last two days.
Did you know any of the people who lost their lives?
No, but a girl I know was there, I was looking for her amongst the 1,500 people in vain. I don’t know much but I know she got shot in the leg, she’s in a hospital and she will have the bullet removed early this week. I’ll try to call her again soon and perhaps ask her if she could give you her testimony.
I know that a friend of mine lost someone, I am still trying to reach out to more people.
I can also say that all the pictures of the victims posted on the social media really disturbed me because I recognized some of the people I saw in the Bataclan before the show.
What do you think the French government should do?
I don’t do politics at all, but we should get rid of ISIS very quickly…
What is the reaction and response by the metal community in Paris after the event?
The same as every community : deep shock, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, etc…
Do you think this will affect the metal community in the future?
Yes, the same way it affects everyone here, but life will go on.
What would you like to say to the French community and the families that lost their loved ones?
I’m really sorry for all their losses.
Would you still go out at concerts and events after this?
Of course I will! I won’t stop living my life the way I want because of this. I refuse to live in fear so should the rest of us. Just on that note, I am going to see SunnO))) in a week 🙂
We should take care of each other, not stupidly give into hate. I’m not the only one and they won’t get what they want.
Ronnie Romero has spoken about being sought out by Ritchie Blackmore to join the new line-up of Rainbow. Talking to Rafabasa.com the Chilean-born Lords Of Black frontman recalled the moment he was contacted by the legendary guitarist:
“I don’t know from how long they had me on their list, but they contacted me some months ago, at the beginning of summer, to tell me about a chance to an audition. I deeply remember that ‘day one’ and that first ‘hi,’ been doing your daily activities and receive an email from Ritchie Blackmore himself is quite hard to assimilate, after a few days, even weeks.”
He also talked about Blackmore’s recent statement that his vocal style as “a cross between Ronnie James Dio and Freddie Mercury.”
As Romero states, the guitarist set the bar high with his description: “I just think about how lucky I feel, not just to get the gig, but how the hell they found me. Having so many good singers worldwide. From the first contact, I just tried to give my best to get it. I always believed in myself, and with the support of my family and close friends, even more. About his words, I just can be thankful, he put the bar quite high with his description. [Laughs] But I’m also glad with his confidence on me to this huge task.”
The new Rainbow line-up will be rounded out by Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert “Bob” Curiano, ex-Blackmore’s Night). The band have so far announced three dates for summer 2016, with two shows scheduled in Germany and one in the UK.
Here’s a video of Ronnie Romero’s band LORD OF BLACK:
Audio Fidelity To Release Alice Cooper’s “Muscle of Love” On 4.0 Quad SACD
“Alice returns to a pure rock sound…one of his most revered albums ever.”
Alice Cooper fans rejoice! Marshall Blonstein’s Audio Fidelity will be releasing the final Alice Cooper group album on 4.0 Quad SACD. Muscle of Love is the seventh studio album by Alice Cooper and it was the last album to feature the entire original band, and it was a true grand finale at that. Cooper stated in an interview at the time that the album marked a return to fundamentals. “It’s not complicated in any sense…It’s very basic rock & roll throughout.”
The two best-known tracks are undoubtedly the Top 20 anthem “Teenage Lament ’74,” which features none other than Liza Minnelli, Ronnie Spector, Labelle and the Pointer Sisters on backing vocals, and the rollicking title track. But other tracks are just as good – the Led Zep-stomping opener, “Big Apple Dreamin’ (Hippo),” the gentle “Hard Hearted Alice” (a precursor to Cooper’s future ballad-oriented direction), the raging “Working Up a Sweat,” and “Man with the Golden Gun.”
The 1973 return to the band’s more hard rock roots was a successful creative choice and catapulted Muscle Of Love into Billboard’s Top 10 Album Chart. That sound, complete with the prog-rock/heavy metal workouts, has proven over the years to be a significant piece of the Alice Cooper legacy.
“One of the best albums of the genre…a hard rock classic!”
INCLUDES: Miniature replica of the Institute of Nude Wrestling book cover
1. Big Apple Dreamin’ (Hippo)
2. Never Been Sold Before
3. Hard Hearted Alice
4. Crazy Little Child
5. Working Up a Sweat
6. Muscle of Love
7. Man with the Golden Gun
8. Teenage Lament ’74
9. Woman Machine
Produced by Jack Richardson, Jack Douglas
Mastered: Stereo CD, SACD & 4.0 Analog to High Definition DSD Digital Transfer: Steve Hoffman & Stephen Marsh
Motörhead have been forced to cancel tonight’s show in Paris, France (at The Zenith) due to the ongoing terror threat in that country after six simultaneous attacks on Friday night left at least 129 people dead, including the massacre at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert hall, where at least 80 people were killed.
“Due to the serious situation that our brothers and sisters are facing in Paris we have to postpone our gig until January. We are working on locking a date and will give details as soon as we can.”
Show production company Gerard Drouot Productions added on Facebook: ”Following the tragic events that occurred last night in Paris, the Ministry of Culture has taken the decision to close the Zenith Paris – La Villette on Sunday, November 15. The official Motorhead concert scheduled … is therefore postponed to a later date, probably on 21 January. We will confirm this report shortly.”
At least eighty people have been killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall in France during an Eagles of Death Metal concert. The incident was one of several gun and bomb attacks in Paris in which at least 120 people have been killed. France has declared a state of national emergency.
Scores were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted between 10-15 minutes. JournalistJulien Pearce, who escaped the 1,200 capacity venue after the shooting started told CNN(via Blabbermouth):
“We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.” Julien didn’t hear the attackers speak, but said a friend heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French.
“I found myself inside the concert hall when several armed individuals burst in, in the middle of the concert. Two or three men, without masks, came in with Kalashnikov-type automatic weapons and began shooting blindly at the crowd… It lasted 10, 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was a wave of panic. Everyone was running in all directions towards the stage. It was a stampede and even I was trampled on. I saw a lot of people hit by bullets. The gunmen had loads of time to reload at least three times. They weren’t masked; they knew what they were doing; they were very young.”
The siege reportedly ended when SWAT units stormed the concert hall. There were reportedly several attackers in the Bataclan looking for concertgoers who were in hiding. They also said that there was a shootout in the street, with police “firing at a rooftop position near the venue.”
Several hours ago, Eagles of Death Metal posted the following statement:
“We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.”
According to Washington Post, a US official has since confirmed that the band are safe and have been accounted for.