LAMB OF GOD's JOHN CAMPBELL On New Drummer ART CRUZ: 'He Kicked A Little Fire In My Ass, And It Feels Dangerous'
on June 2, 2020 at 20:25
Richmond, Virginia-based metallers LAMB OF GOD will release their new, self-titled album on June 19 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. The follow-up to 2015's "VII: Sturm Und Drang" marks LAMB OF GOD's first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined the band last year as the replacement for the group's founding drummer, Chris Adler. Asked by Premier Guitar how seamless the transition from Chris to Art has been for him, LAMB OF GOD bassist John Campbell said: "I think that there are some subtle differences between the guys, although Art learned to play drums by looking up to LAMB OF GOD and Chris Adler. So he comes heavily steeped in the style. That said, there was some feeling each other out. In the beginning, we'd turn and look at each other for specific cues. Whereas, having played with Chris for years, we all knew exactly where the hits were. So there was some fine-tuning on points like that. As far as subtle differences, Art is just this insane ball of energy and he's going to hit everything on the razor-sharp perfectly. So he kicked a little fire in my ass, and it feels dangerous. It feels more exciting." This past April, LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton told Zippo Encore that "Art brings just such a great energy to — well, first and foremost to the music, but also just kind of the dynamic of the group. He's about 15 years younger than us, so that's kind of got its own energy," he said. "His drumming ability is pretty much limitless — he can play whatever you ask him to; he can play whatever he wants — and that's pretty exciting, to be able to have that tool available to us. "Art was certainly a professional drummer when he came into the fold, but some of the things we're doing at the level we're doing them at, he's never really been necessarily in those positions before," he added. "So to see his enthusiasm for it, his excitement, his curiosity — his eyes and ears are open, and he's killing it. It brings me a lot of joy. I love Art, man — I love the dude — and I'm really proud to have him in our band." Art filled in for Chris on several LAMB OF GOD tours in the past couple of years before being named Adler's official replacement last July. Cruz made his live debut with LAMB OF GOD in July 2018 in Gilford, New Hampshire. "Lamb Of God" was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).
New STYX Album Is 'All Written' And 'Ready' To Be Recorded, Says TOMMY SHAW
on June 2, 2020 at 18:17
STYX guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw spoke to Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF about the progress of the writing and recording sessions for the follow-up to "The Mission". Released in June 2017, that disc marked STYX's first new LP in 14 years. It was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, co-produced and co-written with Will Evankovich, a longtime collaborator of Shaw's in the SHAW/BLADES band and who also plays with THE GUESS WHO. Asked if fans can expect to hear new STYX music next year, Shaw said: "Well, we have to record it. It's all written; it's all ready to go. And now we're just waiting on transportation from Texas. And Lawrence Gowan [vocals, keyboards] has to get back into the country, 'cause he lives in Toronto. So we're working on all that stuff. The studio we use, Blackbird, an amazing studio, they've opened up. MEGADETH is recording there now. So they all have their protocols in place. And now we just have to get Todd [Sucherman, drums] and Lawrence and Ricky [Phillips, bass] here, and James Young [guitar], and we can lay it all down and get it mixed and be ready to go." Sucherman recently told Audio Ink Radio that the new STYX material "definitely leans to a progressive side with always a big, heavy emphasis on melody and lyrics. There are several songs and several lyrics in there that — I haven't even talked to Tommy about this — that are almost about what's going on in the world right now," he said. "It's like a prophecy, some of the bits in the lyrics… There's one song called 'Sound The Alarm' that I damn near stopped playing and burst into tears while rehearsing because it sounds like it was written about what's going on today, like he wrote it today. So next time I talk to Tommy, I've gotta ask him, 'What made you write that four months ago?'" During the late 1970s and early 1980s, four straight STYX albums sold at least two million copies — "The Grand Illusion" (1977), "Pieces Of Eight" (1978), "Cornerstone" (1979) and "Paradise Theatre" (1981). The band eventually replaced original singer/keyboardist/songwriter Dennis DeYoung in 1999 with Gowan.
CHARLIE ENGEN On Joining FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH: 'They Did A Great Job Of Making Me Feel Like A Bandmember'
on June 2, 2020 at 17:25
During an appearance on a recent episode of the "Rock & Roll Beer Guy" podcast, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer Charlie "The Engine" Engen spoke about how his life has changed since he was named the replacement for FIVE FINGER's original drummer, Jeremy Spencer, in the fall of 2018. "Financially, it was amazing, because it was the first time I had any sort of balance in my life," Charlie said. "I've always been 'feast or famine' my entire existence, which, on one hand, has been good, because it taught me a lot of different things. And I never gave in to 'The Man' sort of a thing, so I always kept my head on my shoulders. I had corporate jobs and whatnot, but they'd last a year before I'd be, like, 'All right. I can't do this anymore.' So as far as financially, it was just great to get some stability in my life. "Money-wise, not to beat it to death or get into details with it, at first when I joined them, it was right into a tour, so it was contract based, because they didn't know if they'd keep me around…," he revealed. "So that was contractual. Now we're just word-of-mouth agreement, essentially, because that's the way they like to operate, and I prefer that as well. You don't feel like you're getting treated like a fill-in puzzle piece. They did a great job of making me feel like a bandmember out of the gate, knowing that, obviously, from my angle, coming into a freight train that's moving a thousand miles an hour that's already now established as a premier rock band. And for them, like, 'Hey, we got this new guy on. Have fun.' They were really good about keeping it all cool, and it never felt, like, 'All right, man. Don't screw this up,' or anything like that.' He added: "Yeah, it started as a contract, and now it's just word of mouth. And it's nice — it feels good. Especially getting a record under the belt now too — it helps. It's a great situation for me." Spencer, who co-founded FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH with guitarist Zoltan Bathory, underwent back surgery in the fall of 2018 that required a significant recovery period. In announcing his exit from the group, he said: "The rigorous physical wear and tear has worn down my body to the point where I feel I can no longer deliver a performance you great fans deserve and one that brings me satisfaction and joy." Bathory previously described Charlie as "an unbelievable drummer," adding that: "The funny thing was that Jeremy kind of found him, but I followed him, so when he said who it is, I'm, like, 'Oh, yeah! That kid is fucking amazing.' So I already knew about him. So that was pretty cool. So I guess you can say that Jeremy handed down the torch." The 35-year-old Engen, who was previously identified only as "a drum prodigy" called "The Engine", played his first show with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on November 6, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. The Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Engen had been teaching drums for more than 15 years and offered private and Skype lessons at his home studio, along with playing in the bands SCALE THE SUMMIT and IDEOLOGY. Engen made his recording debut with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on the band's latest album, "F8", which came out in February.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN's JOHN DOLMAYAN: 'My Band Is Stupid, And We're Gonna Continue To Be Stupid'
on June 2, 2020 at 16:21
SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan, who is currently promoting his "These Grey Men" solo album, talked to "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, about the band's stalled attempts to record a follow-up to its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" LPs, which came out in 2005. Speaking about what a hypothetical new SYSTEM studio album would sound like, John said (hear audio below): "I think that had we made an album every three to four years, you would have seen an incredible growth and expression come out of SYSTEM. "It's a sadness for me that we never really fully met our potential and probably never will. Even if you release an album now, you can't get back the years that you did nothing. And I think if you talk to some of the other members of my band, they don't look at it that way, because they weren't idle necessarily." He continued: "The bottom line is that although you can do something on your own, even with my solo album, 'These Grey Men', I didn't have the benefit of the three other guys in my band who are so instrumental in developing the sound that I've come to be accustomed to, the song quality, the writing style, the lyrical content. Everybody brought something unique to SYSTEM OF A DOWN, and the bottom line is when you go and do your own project, you're gonna do the best you can to make it great, but you don't have the benefit of the talent of the other people that were in your band with you. And I think each of our solo projects are poorer for it, although there's a lot of positive and good content coming out of each of us individually, it still pales in comparison to what we could have accomplished together. "But that's neither here nor there; it's not something that's in my power," John added. "My band is stupid, and we're gonna continue to be stupid, I guess. But we're not alone. TOOL was stupid for a long time, and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE has been quiet for some time too." In 2018, guitarist Daron Malakian publicly accused singer Serj Tankian of not wanting to record, with Tankian responding that creative and financial issues with Malakian led to the stalemate. In a message on Facebook, Tankian wrote that Malakian wanted to control SYSTEM's creative process, take more of the publishing money and be the only band member to speak to the press. Last year, Serj told Rolling Stone that the public airing of his dispute with Daron didn't open up any more conversations about SYSTEM's future. "I think it released a lot of tension and negativity," he said. "Everything became more public and open, and that was that. There were no further discussions." SYSTEM OF A DOWN played a couple of live shows in May 2019, including headlining slots at Columbus, Ohio's Sonic Temple festival and Chicago Open Air. The band was scheduled to play a number of European festivals this summer, but all of those shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. As previously reported, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, KORN and FAITH NO MORE's two concerts at Banc Of California stadium in Los Angeles, California, which were originally set to to take place on May 22 and May 23, 2020, have been rescheduled for May 21 and May 22, 2021. Existing tickets will be honored for the new dates
THOMAS YOUNGBLOOD On Next KAMELOT Album: 'Everything Is Fresh, But It Still Has This Signature Sound'
on June 2, 2020 at 15:05
In a recent interview with the "Jones.Show", KAMELOT guitarist and main songwriter Thomas Youngblood spoke about the importance of retaining the band's core sound while continuing to exlore new musical territory. He said (hear audio below): "The thing is we have so many ideas still. I was just working with Tommy [Karevik, vocals] and Oliver [Palotai], my keyboard player, and we have material for the new album right now that we're working on. And everything is fresh, but it still has this signature sound that we want to have and we feel is important. That's the trick for an artist — you've gotta make sure you give fans what they expect, but you don't want to give them the same thing, because then you're not growing and it's just gonna be boring. But we have been able to do that. "I think part of the longevity is surrounding myself with creative, talented people that contribute," he explained. "I have no problem with anybody taking the lead on anything or taking the source on anything, because, at the end of the day, what I want is the best to come out, and I think that that's one of the philosophies that has helped." Youngblood also talked about the emphasis on "emotion" in KAMELOT's music, sometimes at the expense of commercial viability. "The feel part is very important," he said. "I was speaking with Tommy Karevik, our singer, and we were talking about that a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes I have a little A.D.D. and I wanna get to the point on a song or a situation. Like, I don't want the song to be too long in a certain part or verse, and we were talking about a feeling. I said, 'The fans are gonna like this because of the feeling — they're gonna feel it. I know that it might take a little longer to get to the chorus, but…' He mentioned what we did in the past and how certain songs had this breathing that you could get to the chorus at a certain time — you don't have to rush it. And it was a great reminder, because when you've been doing this for so many years, you kind of forget some of that earlier thing that might have been appealing. So if you can make someone feel something, you can never apologize for it, even if it's not totally catchy or not totally fast — whatever it might be — but if you can make someone feel, that's everything." KAMELOT's latest album, "The Shadow Theory", was released in April 2018 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Haven" was helmed by acclaimed music producer Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen. Guests on the album include Lauren Hart (ONCE HUMAN), Jennifer Haben (BEYOND THE BLACK) and Sascha Paeth. The cover artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann. The first official book by and about KAMELOT, "Veritas: A Kamelot Legacy", marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the band, will be released later this year via Rocket 88.
SHAWN 'CLOWN' CRAHAN Says SLIPKNOT Will Never Ditch The Masks: 'I Would Feel Cheapened'
on June 2, 2020 at 14:13
During a recent appearance on "The Fred Minnick Show", SLIPKNOT percussionist M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan was asked if could ever see the band ditching its trademark costumes and performing unmasked. He responded (see video below): "There's not a day that doesn't go by that every member wishes we didn't have to wear that stuff. Especially since it was my idea in the sense of I brought it to the table. And for all I know, maybe some of the guys think it's the worst thing ever. They went with it because of our love for each other and our dream and our brand, but secretly, some people could be just, like, 'I can't believe I signed up my whole life for this,' whereas I'm only doing it with that. So I never forced it on anyone. It seems like it's what we wanted to do. And it's helped, and it really is who we are. "People ask me all the time, 'Are you gonna take off the mask?'" he continued. "And I say, 'Why do I need to do that?' You're only asking me because of behavior. You're only doing that because you have a hypothesis of all the other artists, some way or not, but I'm not a part of that test, that field research. I'm the Clown in a band called SLIPKNOT. We are not your kind. We are not like you. We're not part of your hypothesis. "For me, it's pure religion," he added. "It's my life. And I can't ever fathom going in so personal because of laziness or stress or just the will to not wanna put it on anymore. I signed the deal we did in the beginning, and there's just never been any [thought] of anything else. I really couldn't fathom us any other way. I would feel cheapened; I would feel betrayed. I think that's the difference. It's the self-worth in the dream, in the art that you create. Ours is very, very, very precise, and we do not deter away from staying the course." Crahan's comments echo those of SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor, who told Ireland's Overdrive in a 2019 interview that he couldn't see SLIPKNOT ever going unmasked. "It's such a part of our art," he said. "It's also part of the reason why we change the masks with every album. Unlike KISS, they have always used the same make-up and it never evolved. For us, we've changed with every album and not only the masks but also the outfits. You can totally tell every album by the uniform. I think things like that have kept SLIPKNOT relevant, it's kept the music vibrant, it's kept the live shows different and it's kept us from stagnating. So, no, I could never see us losing the masks. If we ever got the notion to do SLIPKNOT unmasked, I think I'd be, like, 'Well... eh, no.' We are all in our 40s now and we still very much have a love/hate relationship with what we do but every time we step on stage, we're absolutely prepared to give it everything we've got. So, for me, personally, when that feeling stops, when we start trying to cut corners and try to make things easier, just so we can 'get on with it,' that's when it's gonna be time to call it a day." SLIPKNOT recently canceled all of its previously announced summer 2020 tour dates, including the "Knotfest Roadshow", Knotfest UK and Knotfest At Sea, due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. The band had been touring in support of its latest album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which came out last August. The disc sold 118,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
DEEP PURPLE's IAN PAICE Offers Advice To Aspiring Musicians
on June 2, 2020 at 13:11
DEEP PURPLE's Ian Paice was asked during a recent question-and-answer session with fans if he has any advice for aspiring musicians. He said (see video below): "Just don't expect anything from your music other than to enjoy it. Surely, that's why you pick up an instrument in the first place — whether it's strum a guitar, play a piano or bang a drum kit — it makes you happy. If something else happens along the way and it becomes more than just a hobby, embrace it, respect it, but don't expect it. If it comes along, it'll come along because you've earned it, and that comes only because you believe in what you're doing." DEEP PURPLE's new studio album "Whoosh!", will be released on August 7 via earMUSIC. The legendary rockers' 21st studio effort was once again helmed by Canadian producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, PINK FLOYD, ALICE COOPER), who also worked on DEEP PURPLE's last two studio albums, 2017's "Infinite" and 2013's "Now What?!" "Whoosh!" will be available as limited CD+DVD mediabook (including the one-hour feature "Roger Glover And Bob Ezrin In Conversation" and, for the first time, the full live performance at Hellfest 2017 as video), 2LP+DVD edition, limited boxset and digital.
CLUTCH's JEAN-PAUL GASTER Looks Back On Touring With PANTERA: 'Those Guys Were Just Absolutely On Fire'
on June 2, 2020 at 12:26
In a recent interview with Joshua Toomey of the "Talk Toomey" podcast, CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster reflected on the band's early 1997 North American tour as the support act for PANTERA. He said: "[PANTERA] at that time was nothing like I'd ever seen before. I watched every single show, and the power that that band was able to put on stage, I think, was pretty mindblowing. The guys in the band were all great dudes — they were humble and happy to have us on tour; very, very friendly towards us. And those shows that we played were some of the biggest shows we ever played up to that point. I think probably the one show that really stands out for me the most was when we played in Brownsville, Texas, which is almost on the on the Mexican line — super far south in Texas. We've never played that far south ever again since then. And the crowd there was just absolutely on fire." He continued: "I think probably a lot of people think that might have been sort of the peak of the band, when they had their catalog going for them, the stage show was totally happening, and those guys were just absolutely on fire. And so I just have good, fond memories of that tour. And, man, I would love to do something like that again one day. Of course, that's not gonna happen, but, man, it was a beautiful tour, and we were very happy to be a part of it." Last month, CLUTCH released a new studio recording of the track "Smoke Banshee". The single was the latest in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the "Weathermaker Vault Series". CLUTCH frontman Neil Fallon recently confirmed to Sonic Perspectives that the band has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2018's "Book Of Bad Decisions" album. In April, CLUTCH released "Monsters, Machines, And Mythological Beasts", a themed digital-only compilation of songs from the band's vast catalog. "Book Of Bad Decisions" came out in September 2018. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group its third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200. "Book Of Bad Decisions" was recorded at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell.
MEGADETH Is 'Really Happy' With Material For Next Studio Album, Says DAVID ELLEFSON
on June 2, 2020 at 12:01
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson recently spoke to Rockin' Metal Revival about the band's plans to record the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (hear audio below): "Well, we were scheduled to be in the studio at the end of March recording the new album. It's primarily written; it's ready to go. Then, when things started shutting down [due to the coronavirus pandemic], that had to be pushed back. So we are right now rescheduled to get in the studio — particularly for me and our drummer, Dirk [Verbeuren], to get in and cut the bass and drum tracks. And then from there, we'll just continue to build the songs in the recording studio. But the tunes are there. It's in motion. It's taken the last three years to write it, but it's great. "I hate to sound boastful and talk too much about it until it comes out, 'cause it's still in a formative phase, but we're really happy with it," he continued. "The management's really happy with it, the inner sanctum of our little staff we let weigh in on it, everybody's very stoked. They feel it is absolutely a perfect follow-up for 'Dystopia'." The early sessions for MEGADETH's 16th studio album took place last year in Franklin, Tennessee with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia". MEGADETH's new effort will be the first to feature drummer Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago. Late last year, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine teased songs that were "heavy as hell" with titles such as "Rattlehead Part Two" and "The Dogs Of Chernobyl". Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Listen to "RMR384-JTT-David-Ellefson" on Spreaker.
CANNIBAL CORPSE Is In Studio Recording New Album
on June 2, 2020 at 11:42
Florida-based death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE have apparently entered the studio to begin work on their next album. The new disc, which is tentatively due before the end of the year, will be the follow-up to 2017's "Red Before Black". On Sunday (May 31), CANNIBAL CORPSE singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher posted an Instagram photo of him in the studio, along with the following message: "Guess what I'm doing @manarecording @cannibalcorpseofficial @alexwebsterbass @erikrutanofficial #paulmazurkiewicz #robbarrett @metalbladerecords" "Red Before Black" was recorded at Mana Recording Studios in Saint Petersburg, Florida with producer/engineer Erik Rutan (SOILENT GREEN, BELPHEGOR, HATE ETERNAL), who previously worked with CANNIBAL CORPSE on 2006's "Kill", 2009's "Evisceration Plague" and 2012's "Torture". Rutan made his live debut with CANNIBAL CORPSE at the opening show of the "Decibel Magazine Tour" in February 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. He played with the band as the temporary replacement for guitarist Pat O'Brien, who was arrested in December 2018 for burglary and assaulting a police officer while his Florida home was in flames. In a 2017 interview with Aesthetic Magazine, CANNIBAL CORPSE drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz stated about the band's longevity: "It's about the love of the music. We're very fortunate to start out 30 years ago and have success right off the bat where everything was going great. We all just love to play and write songs, and after fourteen records, we just want to keep moving forward and we feel like we’e always have, and the popularity just grows with the band. We love to create and write the perfect brutal death metal CANNIBAL CORPSE song and I think we obviously must have achieved that to have this sort of longevity." Paul also spoke about CANNIBAL CORPSE's musical progression, saying: "If you listen to the early days of the first three albums, we're still CANNIBAL CORPSE but we were much rougher around the edges. We’ve all become a lot better musicians in that way and I think you hit it though because our new album kind of culminates our career. You take the beginning and you take it up to our 13th album, and you got the best of CANNIBAL CORPSE on 'Red Before Black', and it's just like that savageness dished up with that precision that wasn't there technically in the early days." View this post on Instagram Guess what I’m doing @manarecording @cannibalcorpseofficial @alexwebsterbass @erikrutanofficial #paulmazurkiewicz #robbarrett @metalbladerecords A post shared by George CorpseGrinder (@georgecorpsegrinder) on May 30, 2020 at 4:40pm PDT