Rumors of bassist Matt Snell’s departure from Five Finger Death Punch have been running rampant online. While the audition flyer that made its way around Hollywood was fake, it still raised questions as to whether Snell was still in the band or not. Well now it looks like it’s official: Snell is out of the band.
Guitarist Zoltan Bathory confirmed the news to Harddrive Radio, saying that Snell has been out of the group since December. As for why the news has been held back for so long, Bathory explained the following:
“You know, we want to concentrate on our record, and that’s the most important right now, the third record, so that’s why it wasn’t really like publicly available information. As for reasons, we have contracts between each other and the contracts that we have between each other always protect the band members. Like we have a contract with Matt, you know. Word by word the contract says I can’t tell you anything that would hurt his career if he goes any further.”
Bathory also confirmed the news with GunShyAssasin.com in a statement that was posted earlier this week as well. However, when we asked management for confirmation after seeing this statement, they informed us that an official announcement would be made soon. While the Harddrive Radio interview is hardly an “official announcement,” there is audio of Bathory saying the above statement, which can be heard over at Blabbermouth. Thus, it’s safe to say that Snell is officially out of the band.
As for who the band will replace Snell with is still unclear. We’ll keep you posted if more develops.
Chances are that by now you’ve been caught up with everything going on with Dream Theater. This past week, the band debuted The Spirit Carries On, which chronicles the audition process behind the band’s search for drummer Mike Portnoy’s replacement. While we certainly felt teased and annoyed by the trailer debut last week, we’d be lying if we said we haven’t been following the web series. Hell, like most of you, we want to find out who the new drummer is, and it’s been pretty cool to get an inside look into the audition process.
So as we wait patiently for tomorrow’s third and final episode of The Spirit Carries On, we decided to catch up with the people behind the making of the documentary. Director Mike Leonard and Over The Edge Productions were brought in by Roadrunner Record’s director of video production Rick Ernst to document Dream Theater’s search for a new drummer. Leonard and crew went in not knowing what the outcome was going to be, but in the end came out with what we now have been glued to for the past week.
Leonard took the time to talk with us about how the project came to be, initial worries about the fans’ response, and what could be the future outcome of The Spirit Carries On.
We all know what’s been happening with Dream Theater regarding their search for a new drummer, but how did you and Over the Edge Productions first get involved? Who approached who first about documenting the audition process?
I think I was in LA doing a music video when Rick Ernst, director of video production at Roadrunner Records, called me up and gave me the scoop on what was happening with the band. My company, Over the Edge Productions, has been doing work for Roadrunner for a while. Rick and I worked at MTV together and when he went to Roadrunner, he recruited OTE for a bunch of label work.
When we first watched the trailer and the episodes following it, we couldn’t help but feel that the documentary had a bit of a reality TV vibe. Did the band and management approach you about filming it like that, or did you pitch them on it?
It was very much thrown together last minute, we went into our first day of filming knowing it would be a documentary of some kind but didn’t really know how it would all pan out. The reality TV style wasn’t our intention, but given the nature of what we were filming (7 drummers competing for 1 dream job) well, let’s face it, it automatically feels like a reality show. However, I think after most fans watched the first two episodes, they realized, it’s not that at all. Maybe docu-reality, but it’s not like we were trying to make “Dream Theater Idol” here.
Fans have been waiting for a while now to find out who Dream Theater’s new drummer. Were you afraid of there being any backlash from fans upset with how the trailer and episodes extend the suspense?
Yes, this has been a huge issue that the label and the band wrestled with. The band really wanted to let people know right away, but soon after the filming was complete there was a lot of interest by television networks to air this documentary. So due to a potential broadcast deal it was delayed and so was the announcement. Regardless of that, after seeing the first few cuts of the movie, I think the band realized that this would be the best way to announce everything to the fans. They were so genuine about how much they wanted to introduce their fans to the new drummer and I know they felt terrible that they kept it from them for so long.
Out of the seven drummers that auditioned, was there one that particularly stood out to you?
We filmed with Mike Mangini the night before his audition and both as a person and as a drummer, he impressed me the most. Mike is such an incredibly genuine and nice guy, just like all the members of Dream Theater. He’s also incredibly meticulous about making sure he does his part and gets all the details right. All of the drummers that we filmed with were incredibly nice and professional, but Mike really made a great impression on me. Then watching him play in real life blew me away – he’s a monster. He plays the most complicated things like they’re nothing, just incredible. I’ll never forget it.
Are there any plans to release a physical copy of this documentary, maybe along with extra footage?
Yes, I believe there is going to be a DVD release this summer with the new album. We have talked about many different options and I have no idea what is actually going to happen, but I’m sure it will be released at some point and there’s tons of potential for bonus footage.
It all comes to an end (or at least we presume it will) tomorrow as the third and final episode of The Spirit Carries On will hit Roadrunner Records’ YouTube channel tomorrow (April 29) at 11am. In case you’ve been behind, you can still catch up and watch episode 1 and episode 2 online. You can check out other projects Over The Edge Productions are working on their website or Facebook.
Leading up to the release of Sounds of a Playground Fading, In Flames has filmed a series of webisodes recorded while the band was in the midst of recording their tenth album. The second out of six episodes has already been posted on YouTube. The clip features the band discussing guitarists Jesper Strömblad departure in addition to the writing process of the album.
You can watch the second webisode up top, while the first can be seen below just in case you missed it. Sounds of a Playground Fading, which marks In Flames’ first album with Century Media Records, will be released in North America on June 21. Just in time before they hit the road this Summer with Mayehm Fest.
What do you get two members of the Dallas Cowboys (singer Marc Colombo and bassist Leonard Davis) and one Miami Dolphin (drummer Cory Procter) form a metal band? You get Free Reign. Formed when all three were on the Cowboys together, Free Reign has just released their first full length record Heavier Than Metal, a follow up to their 2010 EP Tragedy. And if you need more proof that these guys are worthy of the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Award for “Most Metal Athletes,” then check out their new video for the song “One Step Away” courtesy of NoiseCreep.
In addition to premiering the video, NoiseCreep sat down with Colombo to get the skinny behind the song’s lyrics and video. In addition to NoiseCreep, though, you can check out the video for “One Step Away” up top. Free Reign’s first full length album, which was released through their own label DC Rightside Music, is available at online retailers now.
One of Century Media Record’s big signings from 2010 was electronica/metalcore group Vampires Everywhere! Recently, though, the band’s singer Michael Vampire fell ill, which forced the band to miss numerous dates of their current tour with Brokencyde. While at the time no reason was given for their absence, the singer himself issued a statement regarding what all took place:
“Hello Evil Ones,
I am writing to update all of you on my current situation regarding tour & my health. I have been in the hospital for over a week. During The Death Race Tour, I noticed my arm was swollen which progressed throughout the tour. The day of our Atlanta show, I was feeling horrible and asked the band to drive me to the hospital, which I thought was going to be an in and out experience. It turns out my arm was infected badly & needed immediate surgery. Thus VE! had no choice but to cancel tour dates until i was fully recovered. I am being released from the hospitaL this week and I am feeling much better! We will catch up with the Death Race Tour in Denver at the Marquee Theatre, which I am very excited for! I appreciate all your support during this horrible experience. I will never forget your evil love! See you all on the last leg of The Death Race Tour and our upcoming Horror Nights 2011 tour with Aiden, Eyes Set To Kill, Dr. Acula and Get Scared!”
A swollen arm, eh? Guess it’s only fitting that while Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman was sidelined by an infected spider bite, the singer from Vampires Everywhere! should get bitten by a vampire. Though glad to hear that the singer is making a speedy recovery. You can check out the rundown of upcoming Vampires Everywhere! shows after the jump. The group’s new album comes out May 17. Read more »
Who knew people still loved Limp Bizkit enough to go this far, eh? BrisbaneTimes.com.au reports that an Australian man was beaten to death over a drunken fight regarding Limp Bizkit’s music being played.
Emmanuel McPherson, 48, repotedly objected when his flatmate, James Albert Madden, 24, played a Limp Bizkit album on his stereo. A physical drunken fight pursued, which led to Madden to hit McPherson about the head with an alcohol bottle, punch him and stomp on his face as he lay on the floor. Madden then placed McPherson’s body in a shopping trolly and dumped it in the creek. This event reportedly took place on May 25, 2009 while the two men were drinking at their unit with two women. Currently, Madden is being charged with McPherson’s murder, but pleads not guilty.
It should be noted, though, that it is unclear if the dispute arose from Madden playing Limp Bizkit or by simply using McPherson’s stereo. Though it still seems like an extreme course of action to take just for some “Nookie.” You can read the entire report over at BrisbaneTimes.com.au.
A Life Once Lost kicked off 2011 with a bittersweet start. While they found a new label home in Season Of Mist, they also found themselves parting ways with drummer Justin Graves. However, that hasn’t stopped the band in the very least, as they pushed forward with more touring and preparation for a new album. It was at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival (which took place at The Palladium in Worcester, MA earlier this month) where I caught up with guitarist Doug Sabolick. Outside the venue, Sabolick discussed the band’s reasoning behind going with Season Of Mist, the process of finding a new drummer, and the band’s plans for recording a new album.
A lot has happened these past few months. First, you signed to Season of Mist. What made you choose that label as your new home?
We shopped a lot of our demos around, a bunch of labels were interested. We didn’t really want to sign with any of the obvious labels, or be on a really small one, either. So we talked to them. Their US office is in Philly. They’re based in France, though. They offered us a good deal, that’s why we did it.
What was the reasoning behind parting of ways with Ferret Records?
The guys who we worked with at Ferret, they don’t have Ferret anymore, they have Good Fight. So we weren’t really working with anyone who were running it. So we were free to go.
Did the idea of going the DIY route ever pop into your heads, or was it obvious to you guys that you needed a label?
We were throwing around the idea of doing it that way, but in my opinion, I didn’t want to go down that road at this time. It’s just hard to make anything happen now, even where we’re at. We’ve been doing this shit for a long fucking time, and we’re still playing a second stage here [at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival]. We made this happen only because of us being a DIY- band mindset-wise. This is how we got here. But we need that label now. We’re doing international touring. Maybe we could’ve made it happen, but it’s already a lot of work doing what we do. I’d rather someone else do that. Read more »
In the past few months, several college radio stations, including most recently Rice Univeristy’s KTRU, have been of having their licenses and even stations sold by the University. Well, the College Broadcasters Inc. and a majority of the student media outlets they represent want everyone to know the harm that this can cause.
To increase awareness of how sales of student-run radio stations are affecting colleges and local communities, the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) are orchestrating a “minute of silence” today at noon. If all goes as planned, hundreds of college radio stations will go dark for one minute to display what could happen as universities continue to sell their stations’ broadcasting licenses. “This minute of silence is just the first step in a broader effort to make the nation aware of how critical student stations are to localism in broadcasting,” CBI president Candace Walton said in a press release.
The date was chosen to coincide with the date Rice University planned to sell KTRU to NPR affiliate KUHF, which would leave the channel silent until KUHF took over programming. While new developments in the purchase may keep KTRU on the air until May, CBI’s “minute of silence” will still go on as planned. Though CBI represents over 200 student media outlets, the exact number of stations participating in this event is unclear.
Both Bram and I have been involved with college radio in different fashions, and we can attest to how vital of a service it provides listeners. If you’re hearing metal on terrestrial radio, it’s probably on a college or community station. While it’s hard to imagine that college radio could become completely extinct, it’s still a scary thought. I mean, it’s not like regular FM radio is doing too well for itself either.
Unsigned & Streamed vets Anciients, who’s Season of Mist debut Heart of Oak is out now, have landed the opening slot on the Lamb of God tour. They’ll be playing from May 16 – June 10. Check out the dates here.
Sinestra Studios (who very often provides Metal Insider with some killer live photos) is hosting its very first art galleria and metal show on Saturday, May 25, at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets for the event are onsale now.
Louna has premiered a new music video for the song “Business” with Crave Online. The extravagant and politically themed music video comes in support of the Russian hard rock group’s new album, Behind The Mask, available now via Red Decade Records and MEG/RED.