Archive | January, 2012
Metal Insider’s Top 5 is a column where we count down the top five of…well basically anything.
Earlier today, our buds at Metal Sucks discovered something fantastic. The same designer responsible for this amazing shirt has just released another two shirts in a similar vein. This time, they meld Louis C.K. with The Dead Kennedys and Sam Kinison with Samhain. You can check out an image of both shirts off to the side, while you can buy them at the designer’s website. However, seeing both shirts reminded us how metal and comedy truly go together splendidly. In fact, the worlds of stand-up comedy and metal have collided on many occasions. So with that in mind, we decided to list the top five most metal comedians. Read more »
By now, you know that Mike Portnoy and guitarist John Sykes are no longer working together on the project they first revealed this past Summer. While we’ve heard from the former Dream Theater drummer since, the former Thin Lizzy/ Whitesnake guitarist has kept quiet.
In an update on his official website yesterday, though, Sykes finally spoke out about his failed collaboration. His simple and direct statement read as the following:
“The project I was putting together with Mike Portnoy didn’t work out, and I wish him all the best for the future. I’m continuing to work on my new album, and I look forward to putting out some great new music in 2012.”
Shortly after Portnoy confirmed that he wasn’t working with Sykes, and that the “secret” bassist in the trio was Billy Sheehan, rumors that Sykes had been replaced by former Poison/ Mr. Big guitarist Richie Kotzen had spread pretty fast. Then, radio personality/ That Metal Show cohost confirmed that the three were jamming via Twitter. And while we’re a little late on this, Kotzen himself also shared some insight via a Facebook post late Wednesday (January 25) night, saying the following:
“I wanted to address the recent rumor about the project with Billy, Mike, and I… Although we did throw some ideas around neither of us decided to make any public announcements so today’s internet buzz was a surprise. I will say I am a fan of both Mike and Billy. I’m sure a collaboration would produce some interesting results.”
Though somewhat of a vague response, Kotzen basically confirms that the three of them have been jamming together. Whether Kotzen has officially joined the power trio, though, still seems unclear. Either way, not only will we still hear new music from Portnoy (at least with Adrenaline Mob and Flying Colors if not the power trio), but also from Sykes this year.
The metal community was psyched last week when it was announced that King Diamond would be playing some of his first shows since his triple bypass heart surgery that he had last year. While his first performance back was at the Metallica 30th anniversary shows last year, when he did a mini Mercyful Fate set, he surprised everyone at Trees Lounge in Dallas this past Friday (27) by doing a three song King Diamond set. Metal Underground reports that he was a presenter for the Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown, a charity event. But it’s safe to say that nobody expected him to actually take the stage and perform. King did, once again, an abbreviated three-song set, which is about what one would expect from someone slowly starting to get his performance chops up again. He played “The Family Ghost,” “Burn” and “Evil” with a Dallas musicians Michael Harris and J.T. Longoria (a producer at Nomad Recording Studio) on guitar, Neil Brincks on bass and Matt Thompson on drums. King performed without makeup. Fan filmed footage of clips from all three songs are online, and while they’re lacking in sound quality, it’s good to see him back. You can see a bit of “Burn” above, while clips from the other two songs can be seen after the jump. Read more »
Earlier this month, singer Jesse Leach posted a few cryptic messages via Facebook that many believed hinted at his return to Killswitch Engage. While many agree that he would probably be the best choice to replace the recently departed Howard Jones, Leach quickly shot down the rumors and Killswitch Engage posted what was essentially a “help wanted” ad on their website. However, a recent interview with Leach has us asking again whether his return to the lineup might happen or not.
When asked by Australia’s Loud Magazine about his thoughts on Killswitch Engage’s recent split with Jones, Leach said “My viewpoint is to respectfully step back from the situation and support them. Whatever decision they make will be the right one for them and I look forward to what it is.” However, that’s not what we want to know, and Loud knew that when they asked whether or not the band approached him to rejoin the group. In response to that, Leach had the following to say:
“I’m not going to comment. Everyone wants to know… I’d rather those guys go through what they’ve got to go through and whenever they make that decision… They’re good friends of mine, so I’m respecting their space at the moment. It’s more fun, more mystery too; you don’t have to know everything. These days everybody is on Facebook and tweeting everything that happens. What’s happened to the mystery of music and not knowing everything?”
The mystery of “not knowing everything” is fun, but his “no comment” still says a great amount. Namely, that there’s a very strong chance that KSE at the very least approached him about rejoining. At this point, though, it seems likely that Leach won’t join the group since he’s probably more happy playing local shows with The Empire Shall Fall. Still, Leach would be the band’s best option, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if they do a few shows (like the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival) together while KSE searches for a new/ permanent singer.
Of course, though, this is all speculation. And chances are we’ll learn more soon, or at least hear another update from Leach shooting down all the speculation.
Some fans have been up in arms about Van Halen reworking older demos and material for their new album A Different Kind Of Truth, while others couldn’t care less. Even we here at Metal Insider are still debating whether it really matters or not. And though the band has kept quiet about the accusations, we now have confirmation from Diamond Dave himself.
Recently, The Los Angeles Times interviewed David Lee Roth and producer John Shanks. In the piece, both commented on the album’s material, which they admit is made up of reworked or unreleased songs from the 70’s. “It’s material that Eddie and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely — or ironically, wink, wink — try to hail back to it [but] keep a safe, mature distance from it,” commented Roth, who also said that they still tried to collaborate on the material rather than simply rerecord. Shanks added the following about the writing sessions and working with Eddie Van Halen on looking through the archives for “golden nuggets”:
“Some of it was recorded in Dave’s basement when these guys were kids, and, sitting there next to Eddie, it was pretty cool just to go through that journey. And then when the sessions started just seeing how Eddie and Alex play together — there’s such a synchronicity in their feel and rhythm and their playing. There were times, honestly, I was just moved by it, not just as a musician but as a human being. The nuances of the way they communicate is staggering.”
Thus, Roth and Shanks’ comments basically confirm what we knew all along. One of my biggest beefs with them using older material was that the band seemed to keep quiet about it, though admittedly they haven’t done that much press for the album anyway. So I’m a little more at ease that the band (well, at least Roth) is being open about reworking unreleased material.
While we’ll have to wait a little more than a week for A Different Kind Of Truth to hit stores, we can at least listen to more samples from the album. Van Halen have already released a handful of snippets of songs, and now even more have been posted. Actually, now samples from the entire album have been posted online (some on Van Halen’s YouTube account and others on VanHalenStore.com’s account). You can listen to samples (plus leaked full versions of two songs) of each track from A Different Kind Of Truth (at least until they’re taken down) in the order they appear on the album after the jump. Read more »
It’s been a rough week for Anthrax while on tour to say the least. First, guitarist Scott Ian was hospitalized in LA with a severe viral infection, which forced him to miss the band’s shows in Kansas City (January 26) and Indianapolis (January 27). Then, drummer Charlie Benante announced that he was leaving the tour to be with his terminally ill mother in New York. Luckily for the band, though, they didn’t have to cancel any shows thanks to the help of some friends.
During the shows, guitarists from both Testament and Death Angel (including Alex Skolnick, Eric Peterson, Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar) helped fill in for Ian on various songs, while Gene Holgan (who has been playing with Testament) filled in for Benante. While Ian has since returned to the road, Benante will sit out for the rest of the tour, with Hoglan pulling double duty behind the drum kit. Holgan (also of Fear Factory) had the following to say about filling in for Anthrax:
“I am honored to have been asked by Charlie to fill in for Anthrax in his time of need. We are all metal brethren, and this is what we do. Unite for the cause, unite for the fans, and unite for metal. Everybody on this tour has pulled together to keep this tour rollin’, everybody is kicking ass. And everyone on this tour is sending our love and respect to the Benante and Bello families. And Charlie, we can’t wait to have ya back where you belong, my man. I’m just keeping your throne warm for ya bro.”
As cool as it is to see Anthrax playing with Gene Hoglan and members of Testament and Death Angel, we wish it was under better circumstances. We’re glad to see that Ian has recovered from his health scare, and we send our condolences and best wishes to the Benante family. You can check out a few fan filmed clips from the two shows after the jump. Read more »
Thanks to the overwhelming response to the first show, Refused have announce a second show in New York City.
Lamb Of God have been given praise and love by pretty much everyone in the metal community. And apparently someone at HBO loves Lamb Of God as well. That’s because a new promo for the hit TV series True Blood uses a sample of the song “King Me,” off of Lamb Of God’s new album Resolution. Before we move forward, yes you heard us correctly: Lamb Of God’s music has been used for the vampire drama. Need time to let that sink in?
As odd as this combo may be, singer Randy Blythe is making it clear that he’s ecstatic about the promo, revealing that he’s in “VAMPIRE GEEK HEAVEN” via tweet. Of course, though, some fans are a little turned off by Lamb Of God having anything to do with True Blood. Blythe, though, still doesn’t care about the haters, saying the following in multiple tweets:
“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK what you or ANYONE ELSE says about True Blood- I FUCKING LOVE IT, MY MUSIC IS ON THE PROMO, & I am CELEBRATING the sheer AWESOMENESS of the fact that I now have a connect & I am reveling in that AND ALL ITS FAGGY VAMPIRE GLORY!!! SO STOKED!!! & now I will drive to Kroger to pick up some pasta sauce, BLASTING “King Me”, & looking for goths to high-five! TRUE BLOOD, FTW!!!”
Well good for Blythe! It’s awesome to hear Lamb Of God’s music used in any promo (especially for a hit TV show). And the fact that it’s also being used for one of the band’s (or at leat Blythe’s) favorite programs is an even bigger win for them. While it’s definitely great promotion for the new album, as well as great exposure to a new audience, fans shouldn’t worry about Lamb Of God shows suddenly getting swamped by emo goth kids who watch True Blood…right?
You can watch the promo True Blood’s fifth season, featuring Lamb Of God’s “King Me,” above.
In 1988, Guns N’ Roses performed at The Ritz in New York City, which was filmed for MTV. The performance saw the original lineup at their best, still possessing the fire and hunger before becoming the larger than life (and highly dysfunctional) band we know them as today. Well, 24 years later, the venue’s name is now Webster Hall, and the original lineup has long since dissolved. But it looks like Axl Rose is heading back to the intimate venue.
Coinciding with NYC’s Fashion Week, Axl Rose and the new lineup of GN’R will reportedly perform a handful of intimate shows in the Northeast. One of the six dates confirmed so far is Webster Hall in NYC, which they will rename The Ritz for the night in honor of GN’R’s return. The run will also include two additional New York City performances at Terminal 5 and Roseland, plus shows in Chicago, Maryland and Atlantic City (at least so far).
I myself had the chance to see Axl Rose’s lineup during their four night stint at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, and it was amazing to see the frontman in an intimate setting (or at least a smaller venue than the arenas they usually tour). So I can only imagine how awesome seeing them in an even smaller place like Webster Hall will be. You can check out the six dates revealed so far (according to Blabbermouth) after the jump, while you can watch the original lineup’s infamous 1988 performance at The Ritz in its entirety above. Read more »
Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
On February 7, Van Halen will finally be releasing their long-awaited album A Different Kind Of Truth, their first with David Lee Roth since 1984. Chances are that you know about the uproar over the band reworking old demos for the album. Some songs like “She’s The Woman” are without question songs the band originally demoed in the 70′s, while fans have noted strong similarities in some of the recent samples and even the first single “Tattoo.” While many people’s first reaction may be of disappointment, all of the commotion also has some people asking “Who cares?” In fact, many will point out how many of Van Halen’s past songs were basically reworked demos. So is it really that big of a deal that Van Halen are doing that now? Well that’s the question Bram and Zach will be debating in this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl.
Zach: I’m not against the idea of Van Halen reworking or even reusing old demos at all. In fact, it probably would produce better material than if Roth and Eddie actually sat down now and tried to write together. I guess my problem with it all is how it seems like they (or their label, since let’s be frank, the band has done very little promotion themselves) are trying to push the songs as brand spanking new, which they are but only to a certain extent. It’s almost as if they don’t expect long-time fans to notice that some songs sound awfully familiar to an old demo (maybe 20 years ago it would’ve slipped, but not any more thanks to YouTube). If they were a little more open about how they reworked some old demos, this whole thing wouldn’t have caused such a stir. Then again, maybe they will end up playing that angle once they actually do press for the album.
Bram: I actually think it’s a dream come true for any Van Halen fan. The die-hards have known these songs as demos, but now the dust has been blown off them and they’ve been re-recorded for mass consumption. That’s an absolute win for people that have been following the band for over 30 years. And since there hasn’t been any Van Halen music for years, to hear songs that were written years ago sung by the person who originally wrote them is awesome. I also think it’s unfair to say that they’re trying to deceive their fans. As you said, they haven’t done press yet, but I’m sure in a week or two, there’ll a full-on media blitz as the album comes out. I’d be surprised if they don’t address it then. But for now, I think that recognizing the new songs as old demos is like an easter egg for the uber-fans, and as for everyone else, they’re hearing brand new VH songs! Read more »