Archive | March, 2012
Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors 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.
Yesterday, Spotify announced that they were extending unlimited free listening in the U.S. This comes less than three months after the streaming service had implemented a handful of restrictions on users of the free version.
Of course, having no time limits on music listening is great for the Spotify user. However, as Digital Music News asks, is abolishing restrictions on free listening a good business move for Spotify? That’s the question Bram and Zach try to answer in this week’s edition of Headbangers’ Brawl.
Zach: I think removing the restrictions on free listening is a good course of action. Spotify has been doing pretty well since it’s U.S. debut last Summer, and their partnership with Facebook has certainly helped. However, I still think of Spotify as “new,” and not only do they still need to attract more users, but they need to make sure that those users stay. Of course, the ultimate goal is to get free users to switch over to paid accounts. But let’s not forget why the free version is still profitable: advertisements. Now I couldn’t say whether or not the time limits discouraged people from using Spotify or not, but I have to imagine having no time limits will encourage free subscribers to use Spotify more (and thus be exposed to more advertisers). Of course, this then could lead to threat of Spotify become over-reliant on ads, which is currently Pandora’s big issue.
Bram: I’m not totally sure that this is the best move. I mean, for listeners and music fans, yes. They’re pretty much the main choice for streaming music, and from partnering with Facebook to giving new listeners free usage, they’ve made all the right moves since coming to America last summer. But what I’m a little concerned about is the money that artists are getting paid. If it’s really true that one million plays of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in 2009 only netted her $167, then there’s something wrong there. Even if 1 million plays actually got her somewhere around $1800, that’s still a really small number. If that free listening is coming at the cost of coming up with a better means of compensation, then I don’t think that it’s acceptable. Read more »
Even with a slight uptick in sales for 2011, it’s no secret that the record industry has seen better days. But despite the gloom and doom, publicist Josh Eldridge earlier this week announced the formation of a new metal label, Gravedancer Records. With support from his day job as a publicist at The MuseBox, Eldridge has launched the label, which will be distributed by EMI (the label group behind March Is Metal Month). With releases from Conan, Byzantine and Chrome Waves coming out this year, the label will also become an American partner for Europe’s Roadburn and Burning World Records. Eldridge spoke to Metal Insider about the new label, how his time at Century Media prepared him for launching a label, and what he’ll be looking for in artists.
So how did the label come about?
I finished up at Century Media last year and joined up with the MuseBox doing marketing and PR. As the head of marketing, doing A&R on what kind of clients we bring in, now was the time to do it. So with their help and assistance on the label service side of things and EMI Distribution, we decided to launch Gravedancer. It’s a way for me to work with the metal that I really love, which is why we’re in this business in the first place. I’d worked with Sid McCain [from EMI] for a long time going back to the Century days, and she was excited. I signed the first project a few weeks ago, Chrome Waves from Chicago. which is Stavros from Atlas Moth, Bob from The Gates of Slumber and Apostle of Solitude and Jeff from Nachtmystium and Wolvhammer. It’s an amazing fucking record. It’s very doomy and black metally like you would expect from those guys. The next thing we picked up is Byzantine, who used to be on Prosthetic. Chris Adler from Lamb of God discovered them and they signed to Prosthetic just as Lamb of God was jumping to Epic. They’re groovy but also technical. They get a lot of comparisons to Lamb of God and Meshuggah. They’d taken a hiatus, but now they’re back. We’re going to be recording in May and looking at an October release, tentatively. The Chrome Waves record will be a July 3rd release.We’re going to have CDs, digital and a very limited run of crazy vinyl packages that Jeff and Stavros are designing.
The third piece of the puzzle I’ve been working on is a partnership with Roadburn. That’s one of the most exciting things I have ever worked on. The Roadburn festival has become so iconic, and I’m a huge fan. I got excited about this and I saw a cool opportunity and we partnered up. So we’ll be putting stuff out from Roadburn/Burning World Records. The partnership can grow from there. We’re starting with the Conan record which is an amazing crusty, UK, doom metal band. We just premiered a track on Pitchfork and it’s got a lot of great attention. So that’s really my forte, the really technical stuff or the heavy, balls-out doomy, black metal kind of stuff. That’s what I’m trying to bring out with Gravedancer and I think we have three great records that fit that very well.
When is the Conan record coming out?
We’re finalizing everything right now as far as layout, but we’re eyeing a July 31st release date.
So Gravedancer launches in July?
Yeah, July will be the first releases. Then we’ve got the October release and we’ll go from there. I’ve been taking a lot of meetings with friends, and people have been receptive so I think we’ll have a lot of killer releases this year. Read more »
Filmed by Doug Freel, FIX: The Ministry Movie chronicles the highs and lows of Ministry. The documentary includes raw and uncompromising footage taken during 1996’s Sphinctour, and features interviews with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle), Ogre Nivek (Skinny Puppy), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and many others. And after long delay, FIX: The Ministry Movie will finally be released on DVD on April 10.
Along with the movie, the DVD will also come with an accompanying soundtrack recorded by former Ministry member Paul Barker. The soundtrack, called FIX This!!!, features Barker collaborating with Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless), Nivek Ogre, Chris Connelley, Alexis S.F., USSA and Jeffrey Kinart. And while Barker and Momsen’s song “Victory” is now available for purchase via the film’s website, we’re giving you an exclusive first listen.
So without further ado, listen to the song “Victory” in the stream below.
While FIX This!!! will be included with the DVD of FIX: The Ministry Movie, the soundtrack will also be available for purchase digitally on April 3. FIX: The Ministry Movie can be pre-order via the film’s website, while it’s two official trailers can be seen after the jump. Read more »
A new music video for the first single off of Meshuggah’s new album Koloss has been released and posted online. Granted, you’ve probably already listened to the song “Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion” a million times already. Well, even though the video is essentially a standard performance clip, it’s still pretty cool to see Meshuggah performing any material off of Koloss.
So take a break from listening to Koloss on repeat (which we assume you’re doing if reading this right now), and watch the music video for “Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion” above.
Rumors about the lineup to this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Tour, the late Summer/early Fall equivalent of Mayhem Fest, have started to make its way around the web. And if true, then Uproar has truly become Mayhem’s hard rock sister.
According to The PRP, bands like Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Buckcherry, P.O.D., and Papa Roach are in the running for this year’s late Summer touring festival. The Uproar Tour has always featured more hard rock leaning bands in its lineups. However, this rumored bill might have topped the tour’s first two lineups in regards to mainstream/radio friendly acts. Sure, fans going to Summer Slaughter (or even Mayhem Fest) this Summer will probably vomit at the thought of such a lineup as this. But for active rock fans, this is a pretty solid touring package. And who knows, maybe a few heavier acts will get added to the tour as well.
Of course, none of this has been confirmed just yet. An official announcement has yet to be made and probably won’t be made until April or May.
Lately, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has been making a lot of politically heated comments (emphasis on a lot). It’s getting to the point where many fans wish Mustaine would stop talking about politics and focus on music. Apparently, GWAR’S Oderus Urungus feels the same way.
The GWAR frontman was recently interviewed by TuRbO’s Metal Meltdown on RSU 91.3 FM during the band’s stop in Tulsa, OK Wednesday night (March 28). And to put it nicely, Oderus had some choice words for the Megadeth frontman. You can listen to audio of the comment below, but here’s a snippet of what Oderus had to say in response to the media coverage Mustaine has been getting as of late:
“Keep your fucking mouth shut, Dave Mustaine. Play your fucking guitar, alright? … We don’t want to hear about how Obama was born in Africa and how Rick Santorum is your man.”
And that’s just a sample of what Oderus had to say to Mustaine. He then went on to call the Megadeth frontman some less than kind words before the interview came to an end. Listen to audio of Oderus’ comments regarding Mustaine for yourself after the jump.
Update: In case audio wasn’t enough, now there’s video of Oderus requesting Dave Mustaine to “Shut the fuck up.” You can check out audio and video of it after the jump.
Read more »
Thanks to the 2008 documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, the Canadian metal trio were given a major boost in popularity. And now it appears that Anvil are about to star in yet another documentary.
In an interview with MusicFrenzy.net earlier this week, drummer Robb Reiner and frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow confirmed that there will be a sequel to Anvil’s documentary. This time, the film will focus on Anvil’s attempt at throwing a peace concert in Israel (yup, you heard us correctly). While audio of the interview can be heard online, Anvil posted the following excerpt on Facebook of them talking about the movie, tentatively titled Anvil 2: The Quest For World Peace:
Robb: “Me and Lips are gonna try to rally the world and throw a peace concert in Israel, and they’re gonna film it.”
Lips: “The selfish endeavor of making it for ourselves is pretty much done. We’re living the dream. Now it’s like, what can we do to change the world? We changed our world, but what can we do to change the world to make it a better place? There’s a way to use your celebrity for really good things.”
Robb: “We’re gonna go and rally this and we’re gonna try to pull this off. See, we don’t know if we’re gonna pull this off, but we’re gonna make a major attempt. And they’re gonna film our quest. And if it does happen, that’s amazing. And if it doesn’t happen…”
Lips: “…Then the world will see that, even though we tried, what the obstacles were and what we have to overcome. As a human race, what we have to overcome.”
Robb: “We’re gonna talk to lots of bands, politicians, corporations… Everything possible to be involved in this, we’re gonna rally, and we’ll film it in real time, and we’ll see what happens.”
Lips: “The whole concept started [when I was] sitting in the director’s house and there [was] a newspaper sitting on the kitchen table, and I just started flipping out, ’cause I [was] reading it. It was one of those situations where things were really melting down on the Gaza Strip. And I just [went], ‘What is this? When is this gonna stop? Is there something anybody can do about this?’ And he [went], ‘You could do something about it. You’re getting famous. You could do something about it.’ And I [went], ‘Well, what can we do?’ And he [went], ‘Think about it. Just give it some thought.’ About a few weeks later, I thought, what if we went to some place, like in Jerusalem, but in a no man’s land, like by the Wailing Wall, and we’ll hold the festival there — where all three major religious groups can gather in peace and bring a community together. The other aspect is the ‘global metal’ phenomenon. There is metal bands from every country on earth. This could be represented totally by the genre itself. ANVIL is rocking and we’re cruising, and this will be something that we’re doing as well.”
It’s unclear whether or not director Sacha Gervasi will return for Anvil 2: The Quest For World Peace. But let’s be honest, there are likely two questions popping into your head right now: 1) “Is a sequel to Anvil’s documentary really necessary?” and 2) “Anvil bringing peace to Israel? Really?” Well, to play the devil’s advocate, at least they’re trying to do something for a good cause. [Although word of advice, having been to the Wailing Wall myself, it’ll likely be next to impossible to even get equipment anywhere near the Wall let alone curate a festival there.] Plus, let’s not forget how well done Anvil: The Story of Anvil actually was (when it could’ve been a Spinal Tap rip off). So best of luck to Anvil on their quest to world peace, since they’re going to need all the luck they can get.
Last night, the UK progressive metal group had some bad news for fans hoping to see them at Bamboozle this May. TesseracT announced that they will not be playing the New Jersey festival this May as previously reported.
TesseracT gave the following explanation via Facebook:
“Due to a change of plans, we will no longer be able to attend this year’s Bamboozle festival in NJ. We’ve decided that we need to concentrate on finishing our second album during this time. We’re very sorry to be missing such a great festival, but we promise we will be back in the US soon!”
While TesseracT will be missing this year’s Bamboozle, guitarist James Monteith had the chance to catch hardcore rap group Onyx live. Monteith went to see Onyx’s show at the Jazz Café in London Thursday night (March 29). And as it turns out, a writer for Terrorizer Magazine was at the show as well. You can check out Monteith and Terrorizer’s review of the show (as well as a few pictures they took) at the magazine’s website.
On June 5, Fear Factory will release their eighth studio album (and second since guitarist Dino Cazares returned to the fold)called The Industrialist. And earlier today, the group revealed the album’s track listing and cover artwork.
Cazares and frontman Burton C. Bell were once again joined in the studio by producer Rhys Fulber, while the album was mixed by Greg Reely (Paradise Lost/Skinny Puppy/Machine Head). “Rhys has been our secret member. He is the one producer who has been able to understand what we have been trying to accomplish from the beginning and has opened our eyes to new things without sacrificing our original sound. His production and keyboard talents has made Fear Factory stand out amongst the many bands of our genre,” says Cazares.
Like with 2010’s Mechanize, Cazares took charge of bass on the album, rather than new bassist Matt DeVries. However, it’s still unclear whether The Industrialist marks drummer Gene Hoglan’s last contribution to Fear Factory, since he recently confirmed he would not be joining the group on the road.
While we may have to wait a little longer till we hear our first taste of new music from Fear Factory, you can check out the track listing to The Industrialist after the jump, while the cover artwork can be seen above. Read more »
Remember the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene in Wayne’s World? Ever curious as to how different the scene would’ve been like if Wayne and Garth were drunk and in the back of a police car? Well thanks to an intoxicated Canadian arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, we may have our answer.
While sitting in the back of the police cruiser, the intoxicated guy sang the Queen classic in its entirety. And luckily for us, his performance was caught on video and made its way online. “Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters, no nothing really matters…even the RCMP,” sang the drunk Canadian at the end of his rendition. As funny as the video above is (for all the wrong reasons), this isn’t the first time a Canadian butchered “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
[via Deadspin by way of Spinner]