ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MERCENARIES: INTERVIEWS WITH ROCK STARS: VOLUME I
Celebrating almost a decade of rock writing, author Neil Daniels has compiled a selection of interviews with some of the world’s most famous rock and heavy metal artists. Amongst the thirty plus interviews includes Dio talking about his solo career and Heaven & Hell, Nikki Sixx on his controversial book The Heroin Diaries, Magnum vocalist Bob Catley on his fantastic solo work, Thunder on their post-reunion albums, Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton on his solo endeavours, Doro on her role as one of metal’s leading ladies and Foreigner on their success in the noughties. Rock ‘N’ Roll Mercenaries not only supports the big names but up and coming bands too, including the British metal band Nex, the Swedish AOR group Work Of Art and the Canadian melodic rock outfit Sonic X.
Interviews compiled: Al Atkins, Annihilator, Beyond Fear, Bob Catley, Broken Teeth, Bumblefoot, Dio, Doro, Foreigner, Funeral For A Friend, Glenn Tipton, Heaven’s Basement, Honeymoon Suite, Iced Earth, Jimi Jamison, Journey, K.K. Downing, Krokus, Nex, Nikki Sixx, Powerwolf, Primal Fear, Queensrÿche, Rose Hill Drive, Sammy Hagar, Saxon, Scorpions, Sonic X, Stone Gods, Terrarosa, Thunder, Work Of Art and Young Heart Attack.
ALL PENS BLAZING: A HEAVY METAL WRITER’S HANDBOOK
By NEIL DANIELS (Foreword by MARTIN POPOFF)
CHRONICLING FOUR DECADES OF HEAVY METAL & HARD ROCK JOURNALISM
IF YOU WANNA LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF METAL MAGAZINES THIS IS THE PLACE TO LEARN…
Ever wondered what it takes to be a heavy metal journalist? In this comprehensive collection, Neil Daniels has interviewed a staggering 65 of the world’s most successful writers of heavy metal and hard rock. Many of these writers are successful biographers, editors and long-standing freelancers who have interviewed some of the genre’s leading artists from KISS to Metallica and Black Sabbath to Slayer. They’ve travelled the world over, lived in tour buses, got drunk with their idols, attended some of the greatest gigs in history and are still alive to tell the tale. It’s all here; the wild stories, the anecdotes…and the advice!
All Pens Blazing offers a potted history of the genre as well as the publishing industry from the legendary Sounds and Melody Maker to metal bibles Kerrang! and Metal Hammer to modern day magazines like Terrorizer, Powerplay and Classic Rock. There’s also a wealth of information on fanzines and webzines as well as long-gone magazines like Metal Forces, RIP and RAW. With a foreword by the Canadian metal historian Martin Popoff, this collection makes essential reading for the heavy metal fan. It is also a worthy historical document for the serious enthusiast and can be used as a handy reference tool for the aspiring metal writer.
Includes exclusive interviews with: Geoff Barton, Dante Bonutto, Paul Brannigan, Steffan Chirazi, Ian Christe, Dave Dickson, Malcolm Dome, Paul Elliott, Lonn Friend, Neil Jeffries, Howard Johnson, Dave Lewis, Dave Ling, Peter Makowski, Matthias Madder, Joel McIver, Alexander Milas, Derek Oliver, Martin Popoff, Greg Prato, Dave Reynolds, Steven Rosen, Xavier Russell, Brian Slagel, Paul Suter and Jeb Wright, et al.
PLUS: Mark Blake, Bailey Brothers, Carol Clerk, Mike Exley, Ian Glasper, Bruce Mee, Mick Mercer, Jonathan Selzer and Sterling Whitaker et al.
NEW BOOK – DAWN OF THE METAL GODS: MY LIFE IN JUDAS PRIEST & HEAVY METAL
DAWN OF THE METAL GODS: MY LIFE IN JUDAS PRIEST & HEAVY METAL By AL ATKINS & NEIL DANIELS
“This was a philosophy that Allan, as well as K.K., John Ellis and myself emphatically believed in when we first got together, and is carried forward by Allan and Judas Priest to the present” Ian Hill – from his foreword
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF (JUDAS PRIEST STYLE) HEAVY 1969-2009
NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY
AL ATKINS PRESS RELEASE
NEW BOOK – DAWN OF THE METAL GODS: MY LIFE IN JUDAS PRIEST & HEAVY METAL by AL ATKINS (and NEIL DANIELS) FOREWORD BY IAN HILL
Al Atkins is the former lead singer and founder of the multi-million selling British
heavy metal band Judas Priest. Atkins will forever be associated with the self-
proclaimed Metal Gods. But how did it all happen?
During the 1960s when the popular Brum Beat era produced band after band
(such as The Move and The Band Of Joy,) Atkins played in various local outfits some
of which laid the blue print for the heavier progressive sounds of early Judas Priest.
And so it was in 1969 that a disillusioned Atkins decided to have a go at forming yet
another band with his childhood friend Bruno Stapenhill. The band in question was
Judas Priest quickly built up a reputation in the Midlands as a powerful live act and
even secured a record deal with Immediate, which was owned by ex-Rolling Stones
manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Unfortunately Immediate folded and so did Priest.
Undeterred, Atkins formed yet another line-up of Priest in 1970 with guitarist K.K.
Downing and bassist Ian Hill. At Atkins’ behest Downing and Hill ditched the name
Freight and resurrected the mighty Judas Priest. Through the early seventies Priest
supported many bands including Slade, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath.
Line-up changes continued until May, 1973 when Atkins finally decided to call it a
Atkins is the co-writer of several Priest songs which are included on the band’s first two albums Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings Of Destiny both of which eventually went Gold. Atkins co-penned the heavy metal classic ‘Victim Of Changes’ which was a combination of Rob Halford’s song ‘Red Light Lady’ and Atkins’ own ‘Whisky Woman.’ He also co-wrote the fan classics ‘Winter,’ ‘Never Satisfied,’ ‘Dreamer Deceiver’ and ‘Caviar And Meths.’ His autobiography contains very rare archive photos and memorabilia from Judas Priest’s past circa 1969-1973.
Also included are interviews with various members of Priest’s history and Atkins’
solo career. Dawn Of The Metal Gods includes a foreword by Judas Priest bassist IAN HILL as well as contributions from:
Bruno Stapenhill (Judas Priest Mark I)
Ernie Chataway (Judas Priest Mark I)
John Ellis (Judas Priest Mark II)
Trevor Lunn (ex-Judas Priest roadie)
David Howells (Gull Records)
Dave Corke (ex-Judas Priest manager 1970-‘76)
Norman Hood (IMA Agency)
Atkins’ debut solo album Judgement Day was released to great acclaim in 1989. But
it was Heavy Thoughts and Victim Of Changes (the latter being his collaborative
album with ex-Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland) that brought him strong sales and
critical acclaim around the world. Recently, Atkins has released his fifth solo opus
Demon Deceiver and formed the Midlands heavy metal band The Holy Rage. They’ve
shared the bill with ex-Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet, the NYC band Warrior Soul
and legendary rockers Skid Row.
In Dawn Of The Metal Gods Atkins share’s his entertaining life story with the
reader. This is not just a book for Priest fans but a bible for anybody wishing to form
a band in the tumultuous world of heavy metal.
Written in a style that represents Al’s working class Birmingham roots, Dawn
Of The Metal Gods will set the story straight on the roots of the world’s most revered
and dedicated heavy metal band. Celebrating 40 years of (Judas Priest style) heavy
Primal Fear recently hit the road performing concerts in the United States with select dates in Canada. On the last night of the tour, the band performed a scorching set in Austin, Texas where prior to jumping on stage, both vocalist Ralf Scheepers and bassist Mat Sinner took time out of their busy schedules to talk metal with Metal-Rules.com and fill us in on the history of the German Metal Commando’s, their recent on-stage jam sessions with Metal Mike Chlasciak and Pamela Moore and how they will always remember the immortal Ronnie James Dio.
San Diego-based death metal die-hards PATHOLOGY are releasing their highly anticipated new full-length, Legacy of the Ancients, tomorrow, Tuesday, July 6 on Victory Records. The album, mixed and mastered by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Cannibal Corpse), is already getting great feedback from press with Metal Maniacs exclaiming, “You can feel through the sounds the rotting bowels, septic flesh wounds, Ebola breathing, cannibalistic head banging monsters these guys are. Obliteration and blood splatter coming your way low and HEAVY!”
The album will be specially priced for just $9.99 at all FYE stores as well as available from other stores and mail-orders or direct from Victory Records as part of a special package which includes a t-shirt (additional outlets listed below). The album features great artwork from Par Olofsson, which opens as a tri-fold expanded cover piece. Legacy of the Ancients is also being made available soon as a limited 500 piece vinyl pressing that is sure to be a collector’s item. The vinyl can already be pre-ordered directly from http://www.victoryrecords.com/merch/pathology
The band’s video for the song “Code Injection” will make its worldwide debut tonight on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball (3am ET/12 am PT). Directed by Gary Smithson (Exodus, High On Fire) it conveys the group’s brutal performance.
Speaking of performance, fans will get plenty of opportunities to see Pathology live for the remainder of the year as they perform 3 back-to-back North American tours in support of Legacy of the Ancients. Kicking off with a headlining performance at the Second Annual Las Vegas Death Fest July 17, followed by some shows with Jungle Rot, Woe of Tyrants and Lightning Swords of Death before the August 4th start of the full Enthroned and Destroyer 666 tour. This will be followed by additional national tours with Immolation, Vader, Abigail Williams and then Nile, Ex Deo, Psycroptic and Keep of Kalessin.
PATHOLOGY – Legacy of the Ancients available Tuesday, July 6th at:
All FYE locations Hot Topic Hastings Newbury Comics Bull Moose Zia Records Rasputin’s Silver Platters The Exclusive Co. Amoeba Electric Fetus Easy Street Records Waterloo Records Vintage Vinyl VictoryRecords.com CMDistro.com TheOmegaOrder.com Relapse.com Revhq.com Amazon.com Shockhound.com
BLEEDING FIST celebrate 5th anniversary at this year's Haliaetum Open Air
Slovenian kings of “chaos black metal” BLEEDING FIST will celebrate their five-year anniversary with an exclusive show at this year’s edition of Haliaetum Open Air (www.haliaetumopenair.com) performing as co-headliners with Forgotten Tomb and Purgatory.
The band comments:
“This concert will be the first step on a journey through suffering and utter pain to let thy countenance be raised up towards the dark light of the damned one in order to invoke his soul! Blood shall be spilled, candles burned and insane fanaticism shall obsess all the present at this glorious Satanic ritual!”
BLEEDING FIST recently released a new MCD entitled Macabrum Bestia Ex Abyssus through MORIBUND RECORDS.
For more info, consult www.bleeding-fist.com, www.myspace.com/bleedingfist, and www.moribundcult.com
It’s time to reveal first new ID: Exorcist -song in front of the public eye. FEED MY BLOODSTREAM is now available in band’s Myspace www.myspace.com/idexorcist
A little reminder from the previous press release:
Finland’s best kept secret when talking about intense balls-to-the-wall metal-massacre, ID: Exorcist releases it’s new full-lenght album Under a Ton Of Ice during July 2010.
Under a Ton Of Ice presents ID: Exorcist more darker, mature and aggressive than on their previous works. Mix up Sentenced’s chilling melancholy with American-stylish bonebraker riffs á la Sepultura and Machine Head, and there you have it! The album is produced, engineerd and mixed by the band itself, mainman of the process being guitarist Sami Hauru.
Let me go the way I want to
Feed my bloodstream
Death of a broken man
Good gone bad
Demon shaped phoenix
The video for the song Demon Shaped Phoenix is now available at Youtube!
All the songs from band’s previous album, Imperiumi.net’s “Album of the week” Flatline are now available at ID: Exorcist myspace www.myspace.com/idexorcist
After a long period of mystery, ANGRA has announced the official title of its seventh full length: “Aqua”. It will be the first material released in the last four years and after the return of the drummer Ricardo Confessori to the band.
“Aqua” is a Latin word and means “water” in English. It represents the unique style that presented ANGRA to the world. Its incredible ability in mixing various music genres, transcending from Classical to Metal, Folklore to Modern, Pop to Experimental, has an unquestionable relevance nowadays and it is described in each detail of the new work.
The experience of great musicians like Eduardo Falaschi (singer), Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro (guitar players), Felipe Andreoli (bassist) and Ricardo Confessori (drummer) is one of the characteristics easily heard after an initial audition of “Aqua”. Artists who reached a higher level in an important moment of their careers and united the perfect way of playing, good sounds, conscious experimentalism joined to attractive themes.
The concept and the musical atmospheres of this new record, as well as the main classics of ANGRA discography are based on a rich and involving history. The whole composition of the album was directly inspired by “The Tempest” – the last play written by William Shakespeare and shown here through an epic vision compared to its dark side. “We really dedicated ourselves to the last work of Shakespeare to create “Aqua”. Besides all the qualities of the text, we founded out that the element “water” is one of the main characters of the history. It transforms itself during the cycles and changes the things around. It represents the rage of high tides and tempests, and then the forgiveness and wisdom in calm. Everything happens after a violent storm that occurs in the sea, in an island hill. While the wild waters come from up and down, a ship and the entire crew are fighting for surviving. As from this point, we developed one very interesting narrative that will get the attention of the listeners”, said the guitarist Rafael Bittencourt.
“Aqua” was produced by a new team that confirms the actual renovation purpose of the band. The album was entirely arranged by the musicians, co-produced and mixed by Brendan Duffey and Adriano Daga, from Norcal Studios, and mastered by Maor Appelbaum at Maor Appelbaum Mastering Studios, in California (EUA).
The art concept was created by the renowned Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes supervised by Rafael Bittencourt and Kiko Loureiro. “We have been worked with Isabel de Amorim since the “Fireworks” album so we wanted to change the artistic style in this new CD and the work made by Gustavo Sazes was exactly what we were looking for. Actually he is already our website designer and it was a natural choice”, said Kiko Loureiro.
“Aqua” will be released in Japan on July 31st by JVC/Victor and will be distributed in Europe by SPV/Steamhammer afterwards. In Brazil it will be self-financed and released on August 17th. “We need to have a support for the international market and the SPV and JVC have always been done an excellent work related to the promotion of our last records. But in Brazil we will make it different this time. It will be self-financed so that we can control everything referred to the CD”, said the vocalist Edu Falaschi.
After “Aqua” is officially released, ANGRA will start a new world tour.
The Big 4: METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX
Austria’s Stormbringer.at webzine conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine when the band played in Vienna on July 1, 2010. Watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether “Big Four” tour [featuring METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX] is something special for him or if it’s just “another MEGADETH tour”:
Mustaine: “Of course it’s special. It’s historical. It’s life-changing for a lot of people that were there. And I think the bragging rights for people who actually witnessed it versus somebody who saw it on YouTube or saw it in a movie theater or is gonna see it on the DVD that’s coming up… they weren’t there. So to actually watch it was a fantastic thing. Standing up on stage where I was [during the ‘Big Four’ jam at the Sonisphere festival in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22], being able to look next to me, on either side being flanked by so much tremendous talent, it was great. It’s just one of those things where in the moment it doesn’t seem as enormous as it really is. After the fact, you look back and you’re like… You know like when you survive a car crash, you don’t think it’s such a big deal until you watch it in slow motion, you’re thinking, ‘Oh, my god, I can’t believe I survived.’ So going up on stage was really, really amazing. Especially when I looked back and saw how everybody was embracing everyone and how I think that… If you were there, you would have heard when, through all the goodbyes and everything at the end, when James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] and I embraced, the whole audience went [wild], ’cause it’s what they’ve been waiting for. It’s what I think James and I both have been waiting for, too, so it’s a good thing.”
On whether the “Big Four” tour will hit the U.S.:
Mustaine: “That’s up to METALLICA and their camp, because I think it’s fairly obvious, for myself… it doesn’t need to be the ‘Big Four’ for me to wanna play with James and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer]. I think if the ‘Big Four’ [tour in the U.S.] doesn’t happen, certainly a MEGADETH/METALLICA tour would be great — whether it’s just the two of us or if we have a support group or something like that. But yeah, I think it was really fun because of what we stand for in heavy metal. Me and James are like the ‘big daddies’ of this whole thing — we were the two guitar players that set the wheels in motion when the first tapes were made of METALLICA. I think it’s exciting now to look back and see all the millions of bands that have been created off what me and James did sitting in a room in Norwalk [California].”
According to Billboard.com, a DVD of the Sonisphere concert in Sofia, Bulgaria — which was beamed via satellite in HD to cinemas and was seen by more than 100,000 fans globally — is set to be released later this year. TV deals have also been struck for sets from Sonisphere and in Britain ITV2 will screen highlights from the U.K. festival. VH1 will show Sonisphere in the U.S.
In the U.K. it was screened in 79 cinemas. “At the Odeon in Leicester Square in London there was a mosh pit, and at the end of the show they had a stage invasion, which is just phenomenal to even think about,” says promoter Stuart Galbraith. “Not only are we hitting the territories that we’re playing with this tour, [with the cinecast] we’ve taken the ‘Big Four’ and Sonisphere into countries we haven’t been able to get to this year.”
METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX — the so-called “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal — played together for the first time in history on June 16 in front of 81,000 fans in Warsaw, Poland.
After more than 15 years as the driving force in Exmortem, Martin Thim have decided that its time to focus on new adventures and Exmortem is hereby history.
Exmortem have been one of the leading acts in the Danish metalscene for many years and set the bar high with albums like “Berzerker Legions” and latest “Funeral Phantoms”.
Our last album “Funeral Phantoms” is also viewed as the bands absolutely best release and we are proud to leave on the top of our career. With Funeral Phantoms we reached what we have always aimed for, so now it’s time for something new.
I’m also extremely proud to look back and be able to say that we never repeated ourselves, each album has it’s own sound and atmosphere, no album is alike. That is very satisfying as an artist!!
So why stop now?
The motivation is simply not there anymore and I would never try and force something just to keep going and I’ve never found it especially interesting to repeat myself. I’ve been working on some new material with Andreas for a new band, but there is no guarantee at this point that we will actually record anything, we would need the right people and they are not easy to find here. Apart from that I’m involved in a fully electronic project that is miles away from this genre.
Anyway, I’ve always been an entrepreneur and fiery soul, so life is simply too short to just focus on one thing, there is new territory to be discovered and I need to make new music. So this is the end of one thing and the beginning of something new, whatever that will be.
Morten will still be active in Spectral Mortuary and Simon got Horned Almighty that will soon have an album out on Candlelight. Kim is killing stuff and me and Andreas will be back eventually.
I would like to use this opportunity to say “thank you very much!” to all the past members of the band, you are all part of the history of Exmortem and a big thanks to those we have worked with!! I would also like to say a big hello and cheers to all the cool people I’ve meet through this music…you know who you are…I’ve also meet a lot of not so cool people, but you probably don’t know who you are…
Throughout the years there has been a lot of rumors about this band…. and they are all true!
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do”
Martin Thim and Exmortem.
To all you new folks out there, remember to check out those bands that started death metal, cause they got something most bands just don’t have today…. So find those first albums by bands like: Death, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Autopsy, Obituary, Dismember, Immolation, Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Grave, Morgoth, Cannibal Corpse, Gorguts, Ripping Corpse, Suffocation, Incantation and so on… that shit just sounded evil and wild… not triggered and clean.
Four hours of High Quaility Live Footage from Hellfest 2010 – France can be found on METALHEADTV accesing the link below:
METALHEAD TV Episode 114 – Hellfest 2010
Watch bands like Deftones, Kiss, Twisted Sister, As I Lay Dying, Negura Bunget, Hypocrisy, Fear Factory, My Dying Bride, Nevermore, Motorhead, Slayer and many others performing live !
According to Digitalspy.com, Colin Farrell has reportedly agreed to star as OZZY OSBOURNE in a upcoming biopic of the rock legend’s life.
Despite the 61-year-old Black Sabbath frontman’s desire to be played by an unknown from his home city of Birmingham, Perez Hilton reports that the 34-year-old Crazy Heart star has signed on for the role.
A source said: “At least Colin and Ozzy are on the same page when it comes to using four-letter words! Colin drinks, he smokes, he womanises. He’s just a sleeve tattoo away from being a real rock star.”
Hilton went on to express his approval at the casting, saying: “The more we think about it, the more we think that he’ll nail it!”
Devin townsend on stage at TUSKA. Photo by Arto Lehtinen of Metal-Rules.com
Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR) performed his “Ziltoid The Omniscient” concept album in its entirety on Friday, July 2 at the thirteenth annual Tuska festival in Helsinki, Finland as a special one-off world-exclusive show. His DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT also played a set the following day at the festival, which featured additional appearances by TESTAMENT and OBITUARY, among many others.
Fan-filmed video footage of TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy putting on a cape and singing “Planet Smasher” during Devin Townsend‘s “Ziltoid” performance at Tuska can be viewed below.
02. By Your Command
03. Ziltoidia Attaxxx
04. Solar Winds
06. Guitar Duel (Ziltoid vs. Devin aka Captain Spectacular)
07. Intermission (Monty Python)
10. Planet Smasher (feat. Chuck Billy)
11. Color Your World
12. The Greys
13. Deep Peace
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT setlist:
08. Earth Day
09. Seventh Wave
Finnish mainstream media coverage of Devin‘s appearance at Tuska:
“Addicted”, the second in a series of albums from Townsend to be made available under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker, came out in November 2009 and has become the fastest-selling solo record in Devin‘s career.
Townsend is currently working on two new albums for 2011 release.
Los Angeles based Latin hard rockers TRIBE OF GYPSIES, featuring guitarist/producer Roy Z (HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON, JUDAS PRIEST), have issued the following update:
“To all the Tribe fans out, especially those of you who were with us in the early days – it is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that our original congalero, Doug Van Booven, passed away last night. Dougie played on the first Tribe Of Gypsies album and the Nothing Lasts Forever EP (as well as percussion on Bruce Dickinson’s 1994 solo album Balls To Picasso) and his passion and spirit was a big part of those records. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dougie’s family and friends and all those who knew him. Rest in peace, brother.”
Finnish metal media group Night Elves have posted details and footage from a memorial gala for RONNIE JAMES DIO held on July 2nd in Helsinki to coincide with the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival. The proceeds from the event went to Cancer Society of Finland.
The vocalists at the gala, held at the Tavastia club, included:
J. Ahola (TERÄSBETONI, NORTHERN KINGS)
Ari Koivunen (AMORAL)
Asim Searah (THE NIBIRUAN)
Antony Parviainen (MACHINE MEN)
Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT, NORTHERN KINGS)
Pekka Heino (BROTHER FIRETRIBE)
Tuple Salmela (TAROT)
Aleksi Parviainen (REVERSION, SOULCAGE)
The band on the night was as follows:
Guitar – Erkka Korhonen, Ben Varon (AMORAL), Zachary Hietala (TAROT) and Mr Crab (BLEAK, DIMEBAG BEYOND FOREVER)
Bass – Jari Ilomäki (SOULCAGE)
Keyboard – Vili Ollila
Drums – Janne Parviainen (ENSIFERUM)
The following video footage are courtesy of CalthaGold: