We’ve already gotten a taste of Biohazard’s new album Reborn In Defiance thanks to Nuclear Blast Europe’s Facebook stream of “Reborn” (which is no longer on FB but can be heard in this video). And while we wait for them to find a replacement for Evan Seinfeld (who has also been keeping himself busy musically as of late), the reactivated NYC hardcore metal group has given fans a special treat. Not only can they stream a new song off of their first album featuring in 18 years to feature the group’s original lineup, but fans can also download it for free! Head over to Biohazard’s Facebook page for your free download of a new song called “Vengeance Is Mine,” or listen to it in the video above if you want to give it a test run before downloading.
The free download comes right around the same time Biohazard announced a major update regarding the new album. Originally, Reborn In Defiance was supposed to be released in Europe on September 26, while a U.S. release date remained unclear. Now, the band has confirmed that the album will come out around the world on January 20, 2012. The album will still be released via Nuclear Blast outside North America, while the band will announce their U.S. label home in the near future. The band will supposedly also be throwing a release party in NYC, with more details expected to be announced shortly as well.
[via Noisecreep and Frequency]
Kamelot have just been confirmed for the second annual 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise. This now leaves fourteen bands left to still be announced for the metal cruise festival.
Judas Priest will be performing on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on Friday, October 7.
We all know that I’ve been a little hard on William Shatner. However, the basic consensus has been that his cover of “Iron Man,” featuring Zakk Wylde, is not very good. There was potential that Shatner’s over-enunciating speaking/singing style could have made for a fun cover, but in the end simply sounded like Wylde was recording a Black Sabbath cover with bad backup vocals.
So maybe that’s why I actually enjoy the video of Captain Kirk recording the final vocals (which was posted by the Shat himself on his YouTube channel) than the actual cover itself. Sure, it doesn’t actually sound too much better quality wise, but this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to seeing Shatner actually performing “Iron Man” spoken word style (or at least without loud guitars draining out his voice). Plus, no words can explain how awesome it is seeing the Shat doing multiple takes of him screaming “I AM IRON MAN” and “NOBODY WANTS HIM, NOW HE HAS HIS REVENGE!”
So go ahead and watch the video of Shatner recording vocals for his cover of “Iron Man” up top. Then, if you need a little more Shat in your morning, check out his rendition of Guns N’ Roses “You Could Be Mine” after the jump. The GN’R cover was done at the 1992 MTV Movie Awards, which had Shatner perform spoken word covers of the songs nominated for “Best Song.” Read more »
Photo by Todd Bell
For the past two days, Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter has been going at it nonstop on Twitter. While his tweet-a-thon has included responses to fans’ questions and interactions with the likes of Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe and Metal Blade’s Brian Slagel, a chunk of his tweets have addressed the core issues bands struggle with day to day. Hunter’s candid insight into the “misconception” many have about the recording industry is truly an eye opening read.
While we covered his interaction with Brian Slagel about Spotify, we realized that it was going to be very difficult to give Hunter’s tweets the proper coverage they deserve (seriously, he’d post anywhere from 10 to 30 tweets per hour). As we were trying to determine the best way to cover this during the first day of his Twitter rampage, it suddenly occurred to us: “Why don’t we actually talk to the Chimaira frontman himself?!”
Hunter was gracious enough to step away from his computer to talk directly with us. Hunter took the time to further break down the structures of record labels and touring, as well as frankly discuss the hardest part of going through lineup changes, why Spotify is a brilliant service, and how social networking has the power to do remarkable things.
First off, thanks for taking time away from Twitter to talk with us!
[laughs] Well thanks for pulling me away from it!
Is this the first time you’ve talked openly about the music industry, besides via Twitter?
I’ve kind of been more of a behind the scenes guy. I’ve really been in charge of handling a lot of the business for Chimaira. So I’ve fortunately seen a lot of what goes on. It’s kind of like one of those things you see where some people start to open up and you realize how important it is to be forward. And I guess since yesterday [September 27] there was just something inside that was like “It’s time to start talking about something real!” Some people have been doing it earlier than me, but I guess yesterday was my day to say “I’m over the misconception!”
Well yesterday (9/27), you really covered a lot about the music industry (including downloading, touring, etc.). So to start things off, what would you say is your biggest concern facing musicians right now?
Well, the reality is, the format that we were all releasing music on is virtually dead. So it becomes very difficult to understand how there’s any revenue, how there’s supposed to be a relationship between the artist and record label if neither are getting the revenue that they need to do the job.
Would you say that the labels are more at blame for the current problems, or the fans for illegally downloading?
I don’t think you can point a finger, honestly. For example, it’s really easy for an artist to blame the label for something. But at the same time the artist can be making stupid mistakes that they’re unaware of, and the only person they can blame is the label when the label might not have any idea what that issue is. So you can’t just blame people and you can’t just expect things to revert and go back to normalcy, but you also can’t keep these issues hidden from the young aspiring band, maybe people currently in the industry wondering why everything is so weird. I think it’s just time to realize the fact that the industry has changed and it’s time to adapt.
What would you say is the best way for musicians and the industry to adapt?
Ok, well I think it starts with the artist having to be good. And right now, what has been happening, labels will maybe get lucky with one band or they see success that another label is doing with one band. So you get a lot of copycatting and imitating. And I think what this period of time that we’re in [needs] is a reorganization, and you have to squeeze it so hard that you get rid of a lot of the bands and labels that are just trying to grab onto a quick cash grab. I think there needs to be an emergence of extreme originality. And it’s so difficult to believe that I can’t hardly find a metal band anymore that doesn’t sound exactly like the metal band that was just released last week or the week before that. It’s just this whole…I don’t know what it is, this Pro Tools generation. But I think that you’re going to, hopefully, see the end of that.
During some of your tweets, you explained how a record deal breaks down (with the label making 6-7 times more than the band). Though you highlight how labels are an important source of funding for promotion and production, you also admit that Chimaira is currently at a status where (though still not the biggest band) you can still get major media coverage without labels. Why, then, did the band decide to sign a recording deal with eOne Records last year when you guys were free agents? Did the band ever consider going DIY?
Yes, honestly, once we became free agents, that was the goal. We were fully intent on pushing forward and being completely independent. And I thought to myself “Ok, well if we wanted a publicist, we would hire the same publicist who was working for us at the same time, Maria Ferrero [Adrenaline PR],” and I would go to Maria and say “Hey, we’re without a label, could you do me a favor?” Maybe she would have, maybe wouldn’t. Either way, we would’ve paid her to do this service. Then there’s radio, we would’ve contacted the radio department. Marketing, we would’ve contacted Marc Shapiro [Branch Marketing Collective]. So all the people that our label were contacting to hire and outsource, we could do the same exact thing. Now then the biggest obstacle from that point would be getting it distributed, how you’re going to get it in the stores. We would’ve tried to do what’s called a “distro” deal with RED Distribution, who are familiar with Chimaira as they’ve distributed all of our other albums. So it’s essentially what’s called “cutting out the middle man.” Read more »
We’ve covered Scion’s music initiatives before. Not only did they sponsor our No Label Needed Contest and Series but the car company has released music from heavy acts like Magrudergrind, Enslaved, Wormrot and Primate through their imprint Scion A/V. They’ve also put on the annual Scion Rock Fest for the last few years, along with countless smaller shows they sponsor). But there’s two reasons why the New York Times’ recent profile about the car company entering the record industry is interesting. First off, it’s probably the only time we’ll ever read Wormrot’s name mentioned in a New York Times article that isn’t about trees. And second, it mentions how according to Ward’s Automotive (which tracks auto sales), Toyota (Scion’s parent company) only sold 46,000 Scion cars last year. That’s a major slump from the 173,000 cars sold in 2006. It looks like the music industry isn’t the only entity faced with declining sales.
Yet the Times profile also highlights a major point: that Scion A/V is more about making an impression than it is exploiting musicians – whether it impacts car sales or not. As Scion’s senior vice president Jack Hollis says in the article, “We have chosen to be supportive of the arts regardless of whether it comes back directly to us.” Or as the article puts it, the label’s cultural strategy is to “ is to build good will through many small actions rather than a few large ones.” Looking at the amount of cars they’ve sold recently, the amount of effort and resources they put into promoting music (while still letting artists maintain artistic control and ownership of their music) is not providing Scion with a huge payoff.
So don’t take this as us saying “BUY A SCION OR GOOD MUSIC WILL DIE!” All we suggest is next time you’re in the market for a car, maybe take a Scion for a test drive. Chrysler may have Eminem, but what other car company fully supports grindcore acts?
KISS have put their name and logo on coffins, condoms, TVs, cruises, Archie comics, and possibly even Hello Kitty. Yet why has it taken Gene Simmons so long to place the KISS logo on a beer can?
Well the wait is over for alcoholic KISS Army members, as the band and wine distributor Rewine have announced the release of KISS-themed Zin Fire Wine and Destroyer Beer. The Zin Fire Wine is being described as a “bold and fruity 2010 California Zinfandel,” while the Destroyer Beer will be sold in a 33 cl (11.2 oz) bottle and 50 cl (16.9 oz) can. As of now, though, the private label liquors will only be available in Europe this Fall, launching first in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, and then followed by Denmark, The Netherlands, and the UK.
Paul Stanley himself commented on the latest collectors’ item in the KISS catalogue:
“This isn’t just something we put a label on. We wanted wine and beer unique to KISS and we got it. This stuff will set your taste buds on fire.”
Gene Simmons also assured that “If you love beer and wine, this one is for you!” Thanks Gene, but if you don’t mind us asking, how the hell would you know? You’re the guy that’s bragged about never being drunk in his life. While we’re not the least surprised that KISS is releasing a line of beer and wine, we think it’s a waste of brilliant marketing for KISS not to distribute their own line of cold gin. Let’s just hope that fans will remember to use a KISS Kondom after chugging a few Destroyer Beers and using their love gun. And remember, don’t drink and drive, or else you’ll end up in a Kiss Kasket (or a Kiss Urn).
You can go to KISSRocksDrinks.com to find out more information about the Zin Fire Wine and Destroyer Beer.
Metal By Numbers is a weekly column in which we look at the top metal sellers and debuts of the week.
While the top metal/hard rock debut actually comes from post-hardcore band Thrice, it would be unfair to not put the spotlight on Opeth. The Swedish prog metal band’s tenth studio album Heritage not only falls one spot behind Thrice’s, but also is their highest ranking debut to date, ranking in at #18. It’s pretty incredible to see a band like Opeth cracking the top 20, especially with an album as experimental as Heritage. Many have had mixed feelings for the album’s jazzier rock style, as well as its lack of death growl (the only record beside Damnation to solely use clean vocals). While the band may be further moving away from their death metal roots, it seems that fans still appreciate Opeth for being themselves. That, or they made some new fans thanks to NPR.
Thrice, Major/Minor (Vagrant) #17, 19,600 sold
For a band who really can’t seem to get a break, a top 20 debut is very good news indeed.
Opeth, Heritage (Roadrunner) #18, 19,090 sold
The prog/death metal group’s tenth studio album sold roughly around the same amount as 2008’s Watershed, which debuted at #23. It’s remarkable for any band to sell even half of what they sold three years ago nowadays, let alone the same amount.
Betraying the Martyrs, Breathe in Life (Sumerian) 1,150 sold
A solid first week for Paris’ metal/harcore group.
Read more »
Pentagram and Atheist are the latest bands confirmed for the second annual 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise, leaving 15 bands left to be announced.
After lots of speculation, it was finally confirmed that Rex Brown was no longer in Down. And now, thanks to another announcement made today, we see that Kill Devil Hill, the band also featuring drummer Vinny Appice, guitarist Mark Zavon (Ratt, W.A.S.P., 40 Cycle Hum) and singer Dewey Bragg, really has become the former Pantera bassist’s main focus as of late.
It was announced today that Kill Devil Hill have signed a new recording deal with SPV/Steamhammer Records. The supergroup will release their still untitled debut album, which is being produced by Warren Riker (Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, Cathedral), in March of 2012.
Brown had the following to say about signing with SPV:
“It is with a great pleasure to be aboard the SPV Music Blanket. We are looking forward to a great new experience with a label that has put out many great metal records. Cheers!”
Appice added the following:
“We are a new band with the power, energy and history to stand out, create music and be successful. We are proud to be with SPV, a label with the same attitude, talent and drive!”
Kill Devil Hill have been working on their debut album with Riker, but will be taking a short break to embark on a club tour starting this Sunday (October 2) in Clifton, NJ. You can check out an entire rundown of the band’s tour dates after the jump. Read more »