Legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond (MERCYFUL FATE, KING DIAMOND) was interviewed on the June 19-21 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A couple of excerpts follow.
Full Metal Jackie: MERCYFUL FATE has had a lot of influence on a lot of bands. Do you feel at all uncomfortable when fans share the impact you've had on them?
"It's great to hear. I mean, I was very lucky the other day. I went and saw my friends in VOLBEAT play here in Dallas. And ANTHRAX was supporting. I met [ANTHRAX guitarist] Scott Ian before, but I met all of [the ANTHRAX guys] this time around and got to really talk to them. And what an amazing bunch of guys. I mean, really great human beings — nice people. It was amazing. And they just played and put on an amazing show. So it was a very good evening, and it was great to meet [them]. And they also were talking about: 'Hey! Let's do [MERCYFUL FATE's] 'Evil'.' [And I said] 'Okay, I can do 'Evil' in my sleep, so we can do that, if you want to.' And then one of the other guys said: 'Hey, there's a little more to it than just that.' It can quickly go wrong if you have not tested it properly. So some other time we'll do it. But I remember, the drummer [Charlie Benante] said that he could play the entire 'Melissa' album, if need be. So it's nice to hear that people are really that into that old music still."
Tell us, what makes the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival a good starting point to thinking about making new music?
"Well, it's always great to do when you're on tour. I mean, I was supposed to be in the middle of writing right now, when suddenly we were… We were planning our own tour for this autumn, and suddenly we got the offer of doing [the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival]. And it kind of put a stop to the… 'Cause [my] home studio is ready now to go, but this [tour] is very important to do. So we don't wanna be rushed with writing a new album anyway. So we are gonna take our time, and it's gonna be the best you've ever heard from us — there's no doubt in my mind — 'cause we have all the tools at our fingertips this time. But it has put, you can say, the brakes on starting that process, so we'll pick it up when Mayhem is done. But it's always great to come off a tour and then start writing, 'cause you are very, very inspired. I am, certainly."
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
"Dreams Of Horror", a 2xCD collection of KING DIAMOND songs, newly enhanced into ultimate editions by King Diamond and Andy La Rocque themselves, sold around 1,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release.
Released last November, "Dreams Of Horror" is the only "best-of" album covering the band's entire career. King Diamond and Andy La Rocque meticulously mastered and enhanced these 23 songs into the ultimate editions, chosen by the band from both the Roadrunner and Metal Blade catalogs.
Swedish bassist Pontus Egberg (THE POODLES, LION'S SHARE, ZAN CLAN) recently joined KING DIAMOND following the departure of Hal Patino.
King, 59, whose real name is Kim Bendix Petersen, underwent open-heart triple-bypass surgery in November 2010. He has since completed his cardiac rehabilitation program and has stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and is getting regular exercise.
Fan-filmed video footage of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's July 4 performance at the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark can be seen below.
Speaking about the fact that CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's current European tour marks the first time he has performed full shows with the band for the first time since 2006, guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan told FreqsTV: "It's a weird thing to be in that world; it's like going in a time warp. It's like we didn't miss a beat, but it's been almost a decade."
He continued: "You don't have time to waste energy on negative things or whatnot. And there's not really many negative things at all. We just all kind of went separate ways. But the thing that got [the reunion] going was the fans and people wanting us to play these damn songs. So I give kudos to the fans for making us get off our asses and do this."
Added CORROSION OF CONFORMITY guitarist Woody Weatherman: "To me, it feels awesome to be able to play these songs again that we haven't been playing. It's a challenge to jump back in and make it as real as it was, and maintain that vibe."
Continued Pepper: "But the songs have stood the test of time. And playing 'em, it's just such a pleasure to go… We had to learn, like, 22 songs.
"I'm sure all of us would agree we're not really the kind of guys to go backwards, but it's been fun to do, and it's kind of enlightenened me in a bunch of different ways of guitar playing, singing and whatnot. But it still just boils down to plugging in and playing — keeping your head in the right spot where you're not losing focus, and dropping the hammer as good as you can."
Keenan added: "To be honest with you, I can't complain. I wasn't sure quite what to expect, but people are showing up, it's fucking packed, and I think it's a good catalyst for us to go from here, if we want to, to see if we can still do it. It's not a novelty act, we're not going totally backwards, but the songs still stand this day as good as they did then, if not better. I think we're actually playing 'em better than we did back then. I mean, they've only had twenty years to figure the words out, so they're singing louder than they did back in the day."
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's first European trek with Keenan back in the fold since 2006 marks the first time the "Deliverance" lineup of the band has played together since 2001.
Keenan, who has been focusing on DOWN in recent years, is still considered to be a member of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY but was not involved in the reunion of C.O.C.'s "Animosity" lineup, which was resurrected in 2010 and has been recording and touring ever since.
Keenan joined CORROSION OF CONFORMITY in 1990, but he did not become the band's lead singer until the recording of "Deliverance", which came out in 1994.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's most recent studio album with Keenan, "In The Arms Of God", came out in 2005 on Sanctuary Records.
C.O.C.'s reunited "Animosity" lineup released its latest album, "IX", on July 1, 2014 via Candlelight Records.
John Corabi, former lead singer of MÖTLEY CRÜE, THE SCREAM and UNION, is still celebrating the 20th anniversary of the MÖTLEY CRÜE album that he appeared on by performing most of the songs from the LP with his backing band.
Video highlights of Corabi's July 4 concert at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California can be seen below (courtesy of California Rock News).
Corabi originally joined CRÜE in 1992 as the replacement for the group's original singer, Vince Neil, who was fired due to personal differences. With Corabi on vocals, MÖTLEY CRÜE released one critically acclaimed full-length CD, which ended up being a commercial failure in the wake of grunge despite a Top-Ten placing on the album chart. When Neil returned to the fold in 1997, Corabi was left on his own and formed the band UNION with ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick.
"A lot of fans said, 'No way I was buying that record when it came out,'" Corabi told CantonRep.com about the "Mötley Crüe" record. "I think we had kind of a die-hard fan base when it came out, but a lot of the people were angry with MÖTLEY for getting rid of Vince, or Vince leaving or whatever happened. But a lot of fans, once Vince came back, saw it, picked it up and ended up really enjoying it. It's still trudging along and selling and doing its thing. The best thing to me is that it still sounds as relevant now as it did when it came out."
According to Corabi, the idea to revisit his time with MÖTLEY CRÜE came from a brainstorm session with his manager.
"A lot of people assumed I faded off into the sunset," Corabi told CantonRep.com. "So my manager and I had the plan to do the acoustic record and build a little from there. I was gonna do a new electric record, but he said, 'MÖTLEY's doing their farewell, and they're not playing any of that material you were on. Learn that whole record and tour it.' There's a lot of interest in the fact we're out playing that record."
In a 2012 interview, MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars stated about the band's 1994 self-titled album: "I thought that was probably… To me, and I can only speak for me, I think that was probably the best album we've done. Musical-wise, the songs, I felt, were strong. And just musically, to me, it was, I guess, my BEATLES 'White Album'; that's kind of how I feel about that one. I'm not saying that any of my other albums are crummy or anything like that — I love every album that we did — but that one just has a special thing for me."
MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee echoed Mick's sentiments, telling Australia's Beat about the CD: "It's huge. Honestly, dude, it's one of my favorite CRÜE records. Sonically, the songs and the playing on that record is gnarly. We worked our arses off on that record. We had so much to prove: Vince was gone, we had a new singer who also plays guitar and writes and he brought a whole new element to this. But once fans are used to a certain thing, they just didn't want to know about any other version of MÖTLEY CRÜE. That's understandable, but when you break it down, that record still sounds rad today."
Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY have uploaded the first in a series of webisodes containing behind-the-scenes footage from the band's current European tour. The 22-minute clip, which focuses on the group's appearance at this weekend's With Full Force festival in Löbnitz, Germany can be seen below.
FEAR FACTORY's new album, "Genexus", will be released on August 7 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The follow-up to 2012's "The Industrialist" was co-produced by longtime collaborator Rhys Fulber, along with guitarist Dino Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell and mixed by Andy Sneap (ARCH ENEMY, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, MACHINE HEAD). Artwork was once again handled by Anthony Clarkson. Drums on "Genexus" were performed by Mike Heller (MALIGNANCY).
"The word 'genexus' is a hybrid of two words: 'genesis' and 'nexus,'" explained Burton C. Bell. "This word describes the next transition in human evolution as man moves forward to a 'mechanical' state of being. Ray Kurzweil predicts that the singularity will occur around 2045. 'Genexus' is the term for that next evolutionary process. Where humans are machines, machines are human, and the differences are oblivious to the naked eye."
He continued: "This album is a record of thought patterns, psychology and struggles of the Genexus generation. The cognitive machine has arrived, and it wants autonomy from the industry that created it. This machine struggles, like every other human has throughout the course of history. This is the story of every one of us."
Canadian guitarist Glen Drover (MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND) was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why he quit MEGADETH in 2007:
"That's kind of an old story, isn't it? But if you want me to revisit it, it's just… It was just personal stuff that I don't need to get into. But it was just… I wasn't really happy at the time there, in the situation. It's pretty much like I said in [my original] statement: I wasn't happy in the band at that time, and I just felt like I was away from my family too much, which I was. You know, my son was very young. It's personal, but it's true. That's what happened. He was very young, and I was missing out on a lot of his youth. And being that I wasn't happy in the band at that point, it was magnifying that. And that's pretty much what it is. But that's, yeah, old news."
On whether he has any regrets about leaving MEGADETH:
"No, not at all. There might have been… There was a moment after about a couple of years, I remember, where I felt… It's like any relationship: you get to a point down the road, and you start thinking about the good stuff that you really liked, and there was a lot of good stuff there. So I was kind of missing it for a little bit. But then I was reminded of why it wasn't right for me, and that was it. So, no, I don't have any regrets whatsoever. And that's just the way it works. There'll always be changes, because that's just the way that band works. You know, it's Dave's [Mustaine] band, and that's just the way it is. And it's cool. But I'm glad to have been a part of it, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity that he gave me to do it. I had a lot of great times, met a lot of great people, played good music and seen the world with my brother [former MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover] multiple times. To go out doing that on your own is one thing, but to go out and do that with your brother, who you're close with, and always have been… We've always been… especially with music… So for us to have been in a band like that, that we grew up with, and then now we're touring the world with them, it's just not something that you expect to happen in your life. Lightning doesn't usually strike twice in the same spot, you know what I mean?!"
On what he learned from being in MEGADETH:
"Well, I learned a lot of stuff on a professional level. Just how to conduct yourself… I learned a lot of it before with KING DIAMOND, and then going into that band [MEGADETH], [I] got into it further, so there was a lot of things I learned from Dave: what to do and what not to do with certain things, and learning the ropes even more. So, it was great to have that — to have the exposure and [learn to] do all that kind of stuff. How to handle intereviews, how to do this, how to do that… And, of course, it opened a lot of doors; there's no question about it. I mean, I do musical stuff for a living. If there hadn't been all these bands, I wouldn't be doing that kind of thing, which I love doing. I'd be doing it, but probably on a smaller scale. I'm pretty busy with it — there's no question about it — but I love it."
Glen's debut solo album, "Metalusion", was released in April 2011 via Magna Carta Records.
After some years in a proverbial ditch, outlaw country maniacs BOURBON CROW, featuring Wednesday 13 and Rayen Belchere (a.k.a. country rock artist Early Ray) have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their third studio album, "Off The Wagon & On The Rocks".
The band's 2006 debut, "Highway To Hangovers", piqued many Wednesday 13 fans' interest in the outlaw country sound, coupled with BOURBON CROW's irreverent lyrics and stripped back acoustics. The band followed "Highway..." in '09 with "Long Way To The Bottom", but since then the project has lain dormant until Rayen and Wednesday were able to buy their way out of their record deal. Now that has happened, they're looking for some help to move forward.
Here's what the boys had to say about the project: "Heyahhh, Mules!! You wanted it, you asked for it and now you got it!! BOURBON CROW is BACK!!! Back and working on the new CD, 'Off The Wagon & On The Rocks'.
"After buying ourselves out of our old record deal and taking control of our old record masters, we can finally do BOURBON CROW as we want, when we want and how we want! After this, though, we need your support to make this new release a reality!
"We understand this might not be for everyone, but those who can pledge and support, please know that you are directly impacting the future of BOURBON CROW.
"If we raise more than our goal, we will be using that money to promote the new record and possibly tour, depending on how much we raise.
"There is no label, agent or bank fronting the money and telling us what to do. It's just US and YOU!
"Please spread the word, as we can only do this with your help. Keep checking back for updates and information and sneak peeks behind the scenes."
During a brand new question-and-answer session with asQme, guitarist Greg Mackintosh of British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST was asked how he sees the music industry evolving in the next ten years. He responded: "Well, it's obviously gonna progress with the online downloading thing now that Apple have adopted a Spotify type of [streaming] scenario."
He continued: "Personally, I'd prefer people downloaded our records for nothing than actually got them from Spotify, because Spotify only really benefits the few people that run it, and I can probably see the Apple thing going pretty much the same way. On the plus side, it seems that there's been a real resurgence in the vinyl market, with the reintroduction of vinyl chart coming back as well. And I know my son, for instance, is really into physical product, and he's, like, just turned 18, so that's quite… it gives you some confidence for the future."
He added: "So it's probably gonna go in two directions at first, and then there'll be some kind of… I don't know… other format that maybe comes along that decimates them both. But I guess we'll just wait and see. I'm not really a very good soothsayer when it comes to that."
Mackintosh last year spoke in more detail about how the Internet and digital music revolution has affected the music industry. He told Metal Road "It's kind of killed it a little bit, because there is no money for the industry. I don't mean for the bands — I mean, just in the industry, there's no money — so there's not as much for tour support, things like that, or promotion, so everyone kind of has to do extra things which you wouldn't normally want to do. Even just like the packaging of an album, you have to do 20 different formats just to try to sell it to people. It leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. We started in the music scene when it was more honest, shall we say?! But, I mean, there's plus points to the way it is now. People get to hear things faster, people get to promote things instantly. We don't have to rehearse as much, 'cause we just send each other things over the Internet."
PARADISE LOST's latest album, "The Plague Within", was released on June 2 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's Jeremy Spencer says that Lars Ulrich was a huge influence on him as a drummer and credits the METALLICA sticksman for inspiring him to play double bass.
Spencer, 42, started playing drums at age six on a drum set his grandmother purchased at Sears. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he met BULLETBOYS guitarist Mick Sweda. After spending a few years in various bands and projects, it was a fateful online discovery that would help spawn the beginnings of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH.
During an appearance on a recent edition of the "Metal Hammer Magazine Show", Spencer stated about METALLICA: "['Master Of Puppets' is] definitely my favorite, probably, metal album ever. It's gotta be top two for sure. It's a toss-up between that and… I actually like 'South Of Heaven' by SLAYER too. But when I first heard 'Master Of Puppets', man, the drumming and the double bass, I never heard anything like that before as a young kid. It made such an impression on me that I just kind of wanted to do all things double bass. There's some really fast moments in 'Damage Inc.', and it just stuck with me and made such an impression on me as a drummer when I was younger; I instantly fell in love with it."
Asked what was so special about "Master Of Puppets" in particular, Spencer said: "I think they blended… They kind of had some European melody going on in the guitars, especially in the early records. That was different. But it was just… It was a different beast at that time; nothing sounded like it. There was an energy coming from that, and I think the riffs and the arrangements of the songs, it made such an impression on me and on so many other people."
Regarding how much of an impact late METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton's contributions had on the way "Master Of Puppets" turned out, Spencer said: "I really don't know, but, obviously, he had some serious influence on them, 'cause their sound drastically changed [after his death]. But I love it. I think the first three records are incredible, to me."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's sixth album, "Got Your Six", will be released on August 28 through Prospect Park in North America and Eleven Seven Music outside North America.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will head out on a co-headlining fall tour with PAPA ROACH. The trek kicks off on September 4 in Lexington, Kentucky, winding down on October 9 in Glen Falls, New York. Also along will be IN THIS MOMENT and FROM ASHES TO NEW.
The two headliners actively involved their fans in the routing of the tour by giving them the opportunity to request the tour come to their city via a "demand campaign." Some 1.5 million people responded and made their choices known.
DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen says that music streaming service Spotify is an exploitative enterprise which is just as bad as Napster, the pioneering file-sharing service which unleashed piracy on the record business and began the cataclysm that caused worldwide revenues to decline from a peak of twenty-seven billion dollars in 1999 to fifteen billion in 2013.
Speaking to CTNow, Collen was asked about the fact that much of the DEF LEPPARD catalogue is not available on Spotify or other streaming services. He responded: "I love what Taylor Swift has done [i.e. keeping her music off Spotify]. I have a friend who is a songwriter, and he had a song that got over a million plays on Spotify, and he received 12 pounds, about $18-$19. That really sums it up. It's [as] bad [as], if not worse, than the whole Napster thing and downloading when it started. Again, a CEO from [Spotify] would make an amazing profit, whereas the artist is taken advantage of. I'm not a fan of that."
He continued: "I don't know where we stand in the future, but perhaps it would be good to do something else. When they show their true colors, you go, 'Well, it's the same old story again,' like some old blues guy getting $50 and actually owing his whole catalogue for life to someone who's ripped him off. It's a little like that. It happens all the time with artists, Michelangelo or whomever, back in the day. William Blake died penniless doing brass etchings, living on someone's floor. A businessman will probably think an artist is just content with the art. It's a bummer getting ripped off."
DEF LEPPARD in 2012 joined the long list of rockers who have re-recorded their biggest hits in note-perfect renditions. The band's frontman, Joe Elliott, told Classic Rock magazine: "We're trying to wrestle back our career and ownership of these songs. [DEF LEPPARD's former label Universal] own the originals; we're at loggerheads with them over the digital rights. And as long as they're playing silly buggers, we'll just keep recording them again."
The singer continued: "Until we can come to some kind of humane conclusion to this ridiculous stand-off, we're going to say, 'Fuck you!' We were offered a great deal two years ago and shook hands on it. And then some other twat at the label put a stop to it. It's our life and our music and we're not going to let them exploit us to the extent that they're trying to."
Elliott told The Hollywood Reporter that DEF LEPPARD is in a unique position because they are one of few bands to have veto power. He said, "[Universal] can't release our back catalog, we're not going to let them put a song on a compilation unless we want it there, and they'll never be able to license. They won't be able to do anything without our permission because that's in our contract."
Asked to explain the crux of the band's argument, Elliott said, "We want to get the same rate for digital as we do when we sell CDs, and they're trying to give us a rate that doesn't even come close. They illegally put up our songs for a while, paying us the rate they chose without even negotiating with us, so we had our lawyer take them down."
He added, "When you do your own recordings, you're making about 85 percent and 15 percent goes to iTunes or whichever particular digital domain you put them up. Something along those lines would be fair. But they were offering us the opposite — a quarter of what we get paid on our CDs. So we thought if we can't get them to pay us a decent rate on the digital, then we're going to go in, re-record them and pay ourselves decently. Because we're not fighting against our own back catalog. If we put rerecords up against the originals, nobody would buy the re-records. So what we're trying to create is what they know by making as close as we can, forgeries of what we did in '83, '81, '87…"
Former DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore says that he is contemplating a return to his rock roots for several shows next year.
Blackmore, 70, quit rock and roll in 1997 to form a medieval folk band called BLACKMORE'S NIGHT with then-girlfriend and now-wife Candice Night. Since then, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT has released nine studio albums, with a new CD, "All Our Yesterdays", due in September.
Over the past few months, RAINBOW has been the frequent subject of reunion rumors, with singer Joe Lynn Turner — who fronted RAINBOW from 1980 until 1984 and was a member of PURPLE from 1989 until 1992 — repeatedly claiming that Ritchie was "intching" to play rock music and insisting that he was in talks with the guitarist about a renewed collaboration.
Speaking to the French newspaper Le Parisien for an article that was published on July 4, Blackmore was asked whether there was any truth to Turner's claims that Ritchie will reform RAINBOW and play some shows next year. The guitarist responded: "There's some truth, but also a bit of confusion and uncertainty. I'm thinking about playing rock again, just for a few days, next June, DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW songs. But for now, I'm not decided on the persons I want to work with. I've got a good idea about the ideal candidates, but it wouldn't be fair to say anything now. I will know exactly in one month who I want to have in this band to play DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW songs. We will probably play three or four shows in June; that's all."
Blackmore confirmed that a festival show in France will likely be part of the small run of dates he will play during his brief return to rock, but added: "I think that Joe [Lynn Turner] will not be part of the adventure, and he doesn't know it yet. He does his thing, I like him, and I made good albums and good songs with him, like 'Street Of Dreams'. But I'm thinking about doing a mixture in the band, with famous people and not so famous ones. That's my state of mind at the moment, and you're the first person I talk to about it."
After the Le Parisien journalist thanked Blackmore for giving him the "scoop," Ritchie said: "Yes, there should be about three or four people who might be interested."
After Blackmore's final departure from DEEP PURPLE in 1993, he resurrected RAINBOW before focusing exclusively on BLACKMORE'S NIGHT.
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor was interviewed on a recent edition of "The Mike Calta Show" on 102.5 The Bone WHPT in the Tampa Bay area, Florida. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons's recent comment that "rock is dead":
"I'm so tired of hearing that, man. [With] all due respect to Mr. Simmons, I think when he talks about rock being dead, I think he talks about the old-school way of album-tour-album-tour-album-tour. That's just not the way you do it anymore. There's so many other things and ways to continue the history of this industry, and to continue to be on top. I mean, I'm looking out at headlining Download [festival] in the U.K. [Sarcastically] Yeah, rock is dead. That's why there's 85,000 people here at 11:30 at night in a downopour, and nobody left. Yeah, rock's dead. Yeah."
On how the continued decline in music industry revenues has affected SLIPKNOT's bottom line:
"The only thing that's really been affected is albums sales. Because there's still just as many rock fans out there as there were, and there's a whole new generation coming up. I mean, the contracts that you signed back then — even today — you'd have to sell five, six million at a pop to be able to turn a profit. So, for people like me, it wasn't about making money off the album sales. I mean, it's be nice, but it wasn't the essential. I've always said, nobody's more surprised by our success than we are. Because, I mean, when we started, we were the band that was, like, 'Okay, hopefully we can get to a level where we can sell, maybe, two hundred thousand [copies of an album] and just tour… just tour for a year and a half and really build that foundation. And then, when everything blew up for us, we were, like, 'Uhhhhh…. What?!' It blew us away. We've never been worried about making money off that. For me, the album is the calling card. You hope people are hearing the music, but it's not essential to sell the music, and that's the thing you kind of have to balance today. 'Cause people are still buying CDs, but they're also buying music on iTunes, they're paying for accounts on Spotify. So it's not like they're not hearing the music. So when they come and see the show, and you play a song that is brand new and you get that huge pop, that's what it's all about. It's all about that live show… I mean, we just started playing 'Killpop' on this last tour, and we had put the video out probably a week before. And with every show after that, the pop got bigger and bigger and bigger, to the point where people were losing their minds. And that's a brand new song, for all intents and purposes. So, for me, the album is just the way to get the people to come in; that's how you further it. And, later on down the line, if you [do] a little touring, and eventually you sell enough albums, then so be it. But, for the most part, you can't worry about that. Because, at the end of the day, it's about people knowing the music, not owning it."
On whether there was ever a point where SLIPKNOT considered calling it quits:
"You know, there was a brief period where we were, kind of, questioning it. I mean, even while we were doing the subsequent tours after we lost Paul [Gray, late SLIPKNOT bassist]. It was hard. I mean, every show was hard. But it got a little easier… really just because of the fans. The fans needed us, and we needed them just as much as they needed us. So it was really rediscovering the fan base again and helping each other get back up on our feet. After everything that went down, it was encouraging to know that the fans were still there, and they weren't gonna let us fall. And as long as we kept doing things the way that we have always done, they were always gonna be there. So when this album [2014's '.5: The Gray Chapter'] came out, by the time we got into the studio, we were recommitted. It's, like, 'You know what?! We're gonna tell the story of Paul, but we also want to do this.' 'Cause people can smell a lie like a fart in a car. So when you do something that is disingenuous, when you are essentially faking it, people can tell and they'll rip you down as quickly as they put you back up. So, for us, leading with our hearts has always done us right. Once we went out, and especially that first show at Knotfest, it was, like, 'Okay, let's see what happens.' And it was fantastic. So… I mean, we're very fortunate right now."
SLIPKNOT recently announced the lineup for the 2015 edition of Knotfest, which will take place on October 23-25 at San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, California.
The full lineup includes SLIPKNOT, KORN, JUDAS PRIEST, MASTODON, TRIVIUM, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, BRING ME THE HORIZON, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEVOUR THE DAY, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and many others.
SLIPKNOT's "Summer's Last Stand" tour kicks off on July 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida, wrapping up six weeks later on September 5 in Dallas.
SLAYER's eleventh studio album, "Repentless", will be released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2009's critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated "World Painted Blood" is the band's first CD to be produced by Terry Date, who has previously worked with PANTERA and SOUNDGARDEN, among others. It is also SLAYER's first album to be recorded after the passing of the band's co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013.
Asked what has been his biggest frustration throughout the process of making "Repentless", SLAYER guitarist Kerry King told the Phoenix New Times: "Probably the time it took to get a record deal done. And once that was done, the time it took to get into the studio. When you're ready, you're ready, and not being in is, is, basically wasting time to me. And I don't like to waste time, and I don't like people wasting my time. But the end result, I get it. Terry Date, you know, helped SLAYER, and SLAYER helped Terry Date. It seemed to me like he hadn't had a, a big record recently. He's had a ton of amazing records in the past, but it seemed to me like he needed a big record right now, just like we did."
He continued: "I knew [Terry's] name. I'm not a producer geek, I don't freak out on who produces albums and stuff, but I knew Terry's name because of the PANTERA boys. And I didn't know him back then. Once we started working and stuff he told me he did 'Louder Than Love'  by SOUNDGARDEN, which is one of my favorite albums. And I'm, like, 'Jesus!' I had no idea. That just added more to his credibility in my book."
Asked if Jeff's death influenced the lyrics of songs like "Chasing Death", with its themes of alcoholism, King responded: "A lot of people don't know that a year before Jeff died, I lost my longtime guitar tech. He passed away too. More unexpected than Jeff was. Um, that was difficult for me. Facing death... Part of — I'm getting to that age where you deal with more deaths than you do weddings. 20, 30 years ago, it was more weddings than deaths. So feeling like you're dealing with death and always cheating it… At the end of the day, I was having conversations with Jeff about his spider bite and everything, and I told him that he has just been chasing death. I said that he needed to focus on getting better and get rolling again. So part of that song is about addiction… and part of it is about the finality of dealing with death. I don't know. I had to write it. I don't usually have to write songs, but I had to write that one."
Gary Holt of San Francisco Bay Area thrash icons EXODUS has been the touring guitarist for SLAYER since January 2011 when Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard.
Hanneman eventually died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
Just prior to last month's season finale of HBO's Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series "Game Of Thrones", Scott Ian of ANTHRAX sat down with Music Choice and gave his pick of what house he would want to be a part of if he was on the show. He said (see video below): "If I could be in any of the noble houses on the TV show 'Game Of Thrones', I wouldn't — I wouldn't be in any of those stinking houses filled with assholes and horrible people. I would be one of the Free Folk. I would live up north of the wall, and I'd have a little cave, and I'd hunt rabbits. I'd kind of live my life on my own terms and just try and watch out for the White Walkers and wights and other creatures that live up north. But, yeah, I'd just kind of keep to myself."
ANTHRAX recently contributed a new song, "Soror Irrumator (Lords Of The Rock)", to the the second installment of "Catch The Throne: The Mixtape", for "Game Of Thrones".
Building on the success of Volume I — with over 2.5 million streams to date — that attracted hip-hop and reggaeton fans alike, "Volume II" of "Catch The Throne: The Mixtape" also features MASTODON, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, MUSHROOMHEAD, Method Man, Snoop Dogg and Yandel.
Produced by Launch Point Records, the 15-song mixtape features diverse artists representing "Game Of Thrones" families, leveraging themes and highlights from season 4. Showcasing the importance of music in "Game Of Thrones", each song on the mixtape samples music from the show's season 4 soundtrack. This year's mixtape also weaves in the overarching theme of fire and ice, providing listeners with an exciting lineup of heavy metal and hip-hop artists.
Ian told Finland's Kaaos TV: "[Our contribution to the mixtape] was a song we had already written [for our next studio album]. We didn't have time to start writing something brand new from scratch. We listened to all the material we had and made the decision. That one just… We all thought the same thing. Everybody listened to the demos and we all had the same idea that this one demo just sounded like that should be the song for 'Game Of Thrones', so it was a pretty easy decision. The lyrics weren't written yet, though — we only had the music — so then [the show producers] said you have to pick something about the show to write about. And I got to write about exactly what I wanted to write about [the Lannister family], so I was very happy about that."
He continued: "It was a really fun thing for me to do, because I'm such a massive fan of the show. So are Charlie [Benante, drums] and Frankie [Bello, bass] — they're really big fans. So it was just something really exciting that we got the call to do that. And we were, like, 'Yeah!' A lot of times you get calls for things, and it's kind of, like, 'Naaahhh. Just say no.' But this we were very excited about."
HardDrive Radio recently conducted an interview with ALTER BRIDGE and CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti about "Cauterize", the second album from his TREMONTI band. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he decides a musical idea should go to TREMONTI and not ALTER BRIDGE:
"The ALTER BRIDGE and TREMONTI division of where a song's gonna go is kind of a gray area, where back when it was CREED and ALTER BRIDGE, it was more distinct; it was kind of black and white. ALTER BRIDGE is getting heavier and heavier, and TREMONTI has already started out heavy. I think some of the stuff that I write that seems to be more atmospheric and epic, I tend to think Myles [Kennedy, ALTER BRIDGE singer] would be able to pull that off better than me vocally. I don't wanna ever limit a part's… what it can be by me singing on it when Myles can do just so much more with it vocally. But, usually, between the two bands, eighty percent of the time, it's whatever's best at the moment is going on that album."
On on the status of bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, who played on "Cauterize" but is not part of TREMONTI's touring lineup due to his commitments with his main band, VAN HALEN:
"I'm so bummed and happy at the same time, 'cause he gets to do VAN HALEN stuff. But VAN HALEN stuff just popped up right in the window of us doing the first tour off this record. But, you know, from the get-go, [TREMONTI] was supposed to be a solo band where, if a member has to come and go for doing something like that, I'm open-minded to it; they can come back. I do it with ALTER BRIDGE; Myles goes with Slash and he comes back to ALTER BRIDGE. I think it's when it's your very first band, when a member does that, everybody cuts him out. But nowadays, I've been with so many different musicians, if somebody wants to go and do something, and it's a reasonable thing, obviously… I told Wolfgang, I'd do the same thing. If I was touring with VAN HALEN? VAN HALEN or the TREMONTI tour — I'd be going with VAN HALEN."
"Cauterize" was released on June 9 via Fret12. The follow-up to 2012's "All I Was" was helmed by producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette, who previously worked with ALTER BRIDGE and SLASH.
TREMONTI actually recorded two albums' worth of material during the "Cauterize" sessions and will release another full-length disc called "Dust" "probably within a year."
TREMONTI has recruited Tanner Keegan to play bass on its current tour.
"Fallen", the new album from STRYPER, will be released worldwide on Friday, October 16 via Frontiers. The CD was tracked at SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts and will include a cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic "After Forever".
30-second audio samples of all the tracks that are set to appear on "Fallen" have been posted on Amazon and can be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
"Fallen" track listing:
04. Big Screen Lies
06. Love You Like I Do
07. All Over Again
08. After Forever (BLACK SABBATH cover)
09. Till I Get What I Need
10. Let There Be Light
11. The Calling
12. King Of Kings
The first song from "Fallen", "Yahweh", which was co-written by SEVENDUST guitarist Clint Lowery, will be made available the week of July 6.
The cover artwork for "Fallen", which can be seen below, was designed by Stanis Decker, who worked with STRYPER on 2013's "No More Hell To Pay". STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet says: "We sent Stanis the concept about Lucifer being cast out of heaven and he sent us this amazing illustration, capturing the original idea perfectly. We're excited to be able to finally show all of you!"
Sweet recently stated about the musical direction of "Fallen": "It's gonna be… I don't wanna scare any fans away or anything, but it's gonna be the heaviest album we've done. Not in the sense that it's gonna be thrash metal or anything like that. It's definitely got a little bit of a darker vibe to it lyrically and musically. Some of the songs are tuned down — not like the modern Drop B stuff; I'm talking like the E dropped to D, 'Unchained' VAN HALEN kind of stuff. And it's just got a heavy sound to it. And I think when people hear it, in a good way, they're gonna go, 'That's STRYPER? What?' I think they're gonna be shocked."
He added: "The album was written and arranged very quickly (9-10 days, actually). This by no means reflects on the quality of the album. It's some of our best material to date and so far those who have heard it have said the very same. Chris Jericho [FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar] texted me and said that 'Yahweh' may be the best song since reuniting.
"There are songs on this album that coincide with sitting down and reading the bible.
"The music is heavy and the lyrics are bold and powerful, some taken right from scriptures.
"Sonically, I think this is our best-sounding album to date! Everything is crystal clear. The highs are crisp and the lows are tight and punchy. The more I listen, the more excited I am for all of you to hear it!!!"
Metal Storm conducted an interview with SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser on June 13 at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the SEPULTURA songwriting process:
"Nowadays we write all the time everywhere — at least I do. With a smartphone, whatever, a recording device, there's, you know… better quality, smaller… You know, you can handle anything, so you can record anything — a melody or lyrics, ideas and acoustic guitar or any instrument. But when we start writing, we really focus on a plan, let's say, like a topic — what we're gonna talk about, what we're gonna do. And then we can arrange the ideas that we have, the riffs. Eloy [Casagrande, drums] has a lot of drum loops and parts and stuff, so we just have to put together to start a new sequence."
On where SEPULTURA draws its songwriting inspiration from thirty years into the band's career:
"Everywhere. Everywhere. I mean, we have the privilege to travel the world, you know. Every year we go to a different place we've never been before. Since 1989… It can be the same country, but in a different town or in a different part of the country, etc., and ideas are flowing everywhere. Books are a great source [of inspiration] for us. Me and Derrick [Green, vocals], especially, we like to read a lot [and watch] documentaries and [discuss] politics, and whatever. We talk about these things naturally, and ideas come up and names, etc. I love to take musical ideas outside from music — not only listening to music, but books is a great source, like to create atmospheres and stuff that you can create some type of feeling in music. But everything is possible."
On whether 24-year-old drummer Eloy Casagrande has injected new energy into SEPULTURA:
"Oh, definitely. Eloy came to shake the uncles… Uncle Paulo [Xisto Pinto Jr., bass] and Uncle Andreas's worlds. [Laughs] It's great, you know?! We feel great to play with such an energetic drummer, such an amazing musician. He's 24 years old and he plays such… You know, he has the best of [former SEPULTURA drummers] Igor [Cavalera] and Jean [Dolabella] together — very technical and very powerful… like an animal, really… but very concentrated, very… He studied a lot and he started playing very young. And, of course, that gave many different… new possibilities for guitar riffing and bass, etc., vocal parts. And it's great. It's very exciting to have somebody like that with such a high level of energy and possibilities. So, yeah, we're very excited."
SEPULTURA's latest album, "The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart", came out on October 29, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records.
On June 21, Carmziofa of United Rock Nations conducted an interview with SOULFLY and CAVALERA CONSPIRACY frontman Max Cavalera. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about SOULFLY's forthcoming tenth studio album, "Archangel", which will be released on August 14 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, Max said: "Well, I have not been excited for a SOULFLY record like 'Archangel' for ten years. It sounds really exciting, and I am excited. I worked with a great producer, Matt Hyde [SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM], and he understood what I wanted to do: this, kind of, exotic, mystic, biblical kind of record. And he helped me get through, and we did a lot of cool stuff together with the vocals; there's a lot of chanting and things I've never done before with my voice. It still sounds like Max, but there's a different feeling to it. And there's some trademarks on it. Like the first song's called 'We Sold Our Souls To Metal', it's a pure metal anthem. It's a great song — a declaration of proudness of being metal, and live metal, live the metal life. So it's, for me, my most honest way to tell the fans that I'm proud to be metal and I sold my soul to metal, so you should [sell] your soul to metal as well. It's a cool song… I don't know… I like the album artwork. Eliran [Kantor; TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH, SODOM] did it. And I really like the colors. I think it's gonna be a big SOULFLY record. It's our tenth record, so that's special in itself. It's not every day you release a tenth record. That's a feast on its own. That's a survival feast. [There's] a bit [of the] Middle East [influence] in the guitar. There's some riffs that are very Middle Eastern riffs and kind of Babylonian riffs. So it's pretty cool. That's from me listening to MELECHESH and BEHEMOTH and stuff like that."
The lyric video for the song "We Sold Our Souls To Metal", taken from "Archangel", can be seen below.
Max previously told Metal Wani about the mindset that is required to write a track like "We Sold Our Souls To Metal": "It just happens. You can't explain it. It's one of those things… [When] you play it, it has an instant reaction on the listener."
He continued: "I was very curious about that, so I was playing around with the song, playing it for people, to see what kind of reaction it gets. And almost everybody, the reaction was, like, 'This is so crazy. I can't wait 'till you guys play this live.' It's got this kind of New York hardcore chant that we do in the chorus — like, gang vocals. It's really, really fun, and everybody gets to sing together. That's why I was thinking that it's gonna become an anthem — the chorus, all the fans are gonna sing it together, and it's saying something. 'Cause, 'we sold our souls to metal,' I think every metalhead feels like that — that we did kind of a pact and we sold our souls for this music that we love so much. So it's something that I think [they'll] sing that with some kind of pride. I think it's gonna happen when that song comes out, at least. And then it ends [in a] very PINK FLOYD [-like way], which is really strange; I don't know why we did that. I still don't know if it was the right thing, but it came out like that. Marc [Rizzo] just did some really crazy guitars at the end of it that is just, like… It goes from total metal into crazy PINK FLOYD, but it works. I mean, it's really wild. And we like wild stuff. I always was drawn to weird, weird stuff, and that's definitely weird, in a good way."
Pre-order "Archangel" in a bundle or by itself in multiple formats and from this location.
"Archangel" track listing:
01. We Sold Our Souls To Metal
03. Sodomites (feat. Todd Jones of NAILS)
04. Ishtar Rising
05. Live Life Hard! (feat. Matt Young of KING PARROT)
07. Bethlehem's Blood
10. Mother Of Dragons (feat. Richie Cavalera of INCITE, Igor Cavalera of LODY KONG, Anahid M.O.P.)
Bonus tracks for CD/DVD special edition:
11. You Suffer (NAPALM DEATH cover)
12. Acosador Nocturno
13. Soulfly X
Bonus DVD: "Live At Hellfest 2014" (special edition only)
01. Cannibal Holocaust
04. Back To The Primitive
05. Seek 'N' Strike
07. Rise Of The Fallen
09. Roots Bloody Roots
10. Jumpdafuckup/Eye For An Eye
In regards to the band and the album cover, artist Eliran Kantor states: "I've been a fan of Max's music ever since discovering 'Beneath The Remains' in high school. When my wife and I got married, 'Territory' was even played at the dance party part of our wedding.
"Max asked me to do a traditional piece depicting Archangel Michael — and I tried to go beyond the straight-up neo-classical style as that has been perfected centuries ago, so I mixed in SOULFLY's own visual world: hence the wings and spear being shaped like the SOULFLY tribal icon, the cliff with the ocean view just like on the first record, and the Brazilian flag being the core of it's color scheme."
Speaking about "Archangel", Max told RockRevoltMagazine.com: "It's a very biblical, very mystic, very exotic kind of a album. This is a totally different vibe [from 2013's 'Savages']. There's songs like 'Sodomites', about the destruction of Sodom; there's songs like 'Shamash', about the Akkadian god of the sun; 'Ishtar' (since retitled 'Ishtar Rising'), which is the Babylonian queen; 'Titanomachy' (since retitled 'Titans'), which is about the war of the titans. So there's really more mystic, exotic sounds and songs and lyrics. So it's really cool. It's really artistic, the new SOULFLY, which I like about it."
In a separate interview with Metal Wani, Max called "Archangel" "an interesting record." He explained: "It's one of those [records] that come out once in a lifetime, an album like that comes out — really crazy sounds and very different dimensions. It's more experimental than the other stuff. It's still heavy as hell, and it's still fast. And Zyon's [Cavalera, Max's son] playing drums on it. He's actually playing really good. He reminds me of a young Dave Lombardo [SLAYER]. The fills that he's doing [are] really amazing; he surprised everybody in the studio. Matt Hyde is producing; he worked with SLAYER before. So it's really cool; a really good team."
SOULFLY will embark on a North American headlining tour at the end of September. Joining them on this epic campaign are Swedish melodic death metal visionaries SOILWORK, Polish technical death metallers DECAPITATED, and hot newcomers SHATTERED SUN.
FAITH NO MORE bassist Billy Gould has responded to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmons told Esquire magazine in September — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Gould told Kaaos TV (see video below): "I thought rock was dead in [trying to remember exact year] nineteen… eighty… one. [Laughs] When I heard the first PUBLIC IMAGE record, I thought rock was dead then. Because, I thought, they said they killed it, and good, it's about time humanity moved on."
He continued: "I kind of felt like we got into this era when GUNS N' ROSES came in and everything went retro, and I feel like we're still coming out of this retro thing. I mean, it has nothing to do with music sales, or the music business, whatever Gene Simmons is talking about. It more has to do with… culture working in a forward direction. I kind of feel like we went backwards for about twenty years. I'd like to see us go forward again."
Asked if he thinks there will be new stadium-sized rock bands after groups like METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN have retired, Gould responded: "It's hard to say. It's such a complicated thing, because there's so many aspects to that… To get to that big size, you need so much organization and logistics and corporate sponsorship and stuff. It's really an economic question whether that's gonna happen. I don't think it's a cultural question. I think there's always people that are gonna have good ideas that will make people wanna get together and do things, 'cause, as humans, I think that's just how we're built."
"Sol Invictus", FAITH NO MORE's long-awaited follow-up to 1997's "Album Of The Year", sold around 31,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 14 on The Billboard 200 chart (which includes stream activity). The CD, which was released on May 19 via the band's newly formed imprint Reclamation Recordings, which is distributed by Ipecac Recordings, also landed at No. 2 in Australia, No. 4 in Germany and No. 6 in the U.K.
British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN were awarded the prestigious O2 Silver Clef by Nordoff Robbins last night (Friday, July 3) in London in recognition of "outstanding contribution to U.K. music." Previous winners include THE ROLLING STONES, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS and QUEEN; last year's Silver Clef winner was Jimmy Page. The very first Silver Clef was presented to THE WHO, by Twiggy, on June 29, 1976. In its 40-year history, the Awards have raised more than £8.5 million to fund Nordoff Robbins's groundbreaking work with music therapy.
Speaking of their win, IRON MAIDEN said: "Nordoff Robbins is an exceptional charity and their dedication to changing people's lives through music therapy is something we all very much support. We're extremely proud to receive the O2 Silver Clef Award and be part of the 40th-anniversary event celebrating this wonderful achievement."
Several photos from last night's event can be seen below.
IRON MAIDEN's 16th studio album, "The Book Of Souls", will be released globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.A.). It was recorded in Paris with the band's longtime producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from a tumor, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album's launch.
IRON MAIDEN have been awarded the O2 Silver Clef by Nordoff Robbins for : “outstanding contribution to UK music” ! pic.twitter.com/RIsNzGxtmm— I.Maiden-Coverslave (@Coverslave) July 4, 2015
IRON MAIDEN have been awarded the O2 Silver Clef by Nordoff Robbins for : “outstanding contribution to UK music” ! pic.twitter.com/RIsNzGxtmm
IRON MAIDEN galardonados Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef por contribución a música Británica https://t.co/9MyJVJ0hR7 pic.twitter.com/mG7AZhBYIf— Melomaniac Report (@Melomaniacshow) July 3, 2015
IRON MAIDEN galardonados Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef por contribución a música Británica https://t.co/9MyJVJ0hR7 pic.twitter.com/mG7AZhBYIf
Today's O2 Silver Clef Award winners, @IronMaiden talking passionately about the power of music #O2SilverClefs40 pic.twitter.com/CmzWrCalND— O2 music (@O2music) July 3, 2015
Today's O2 Silver Clef Award winners, @IronMaiden talking passionately about the power of music #O2SilverClefs40 pic.twitter.com/CmzWrCalND
Photo from Iron Maiden, the O2 Silver Clef Award winners from this year's... http://t.co/9sjPFxSVdW #TeamO2 pic.twitter.com/7SU7Xx6GYy— Bbmarmalade (@Bethy_Tweets) July 4, 2015
Photo from Iron Maiden, the O2 Silver Clef Award winners from this year's... http://t.co/9sjPFxSVdW #TeamO2 pic.twitter.com/7SU7Xx6GYy
Huge congrats to @IronMaiden the winners of the @O2 Silver Clef Award @NordoffRobbins1 #silverclefawards pic.twitter.com/Rpfo6b3goc— Now Magazine (@NowMag) July 3, 2015
Huge congrats to @IronMaiden the winners of the @O2 Silver Clef Award @NordoffRobbins1 #silverclefawards pic.twitter.com/Rpfo6b3goc
Veteran radio personality Jenn Marino, who last year joined MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx as co-host of "Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx" and "The Side Show Countdown With Nikki Sixx", conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford at the 2015 edition of U.K.'s Download festival. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what still blows him away about being in JUDAS PRIEST:
"It's a lot of things, but in a nutshell, it's the persistence of these fans that we've got. And Nikki will tell you the same thing about CRÜE fans — they're with you wherever you go, and it's, like, they'll wait for two, three years, maybe more, for you to come back to their town, their city. And it's just sensational to go out on the stage anywhere in the world and know that there's what we call the #priestfamily who's waiting for us. That still blows me away. I mean, I would never, kind of, preempt that that's what I expect, that should happen, because if you lose the fact that your fans have given you this life, then you need to do a reality check. We can't do this without our fans; our fans are our lifeblood, our fans give us this life in rock and roll. So that blows me away. And just the fact that you and I are sitting here, and I've been doing this for 41 years, and I still love it as much as I ever did — probably more so now. The passion and the determination… Again, I'm sure Nikki would say the same thing. When you put your gear on, and he straps his bass on, he's Nikki Sixx, and it's a different Nikki Sixx to the Nikki Sixx that we know. You change [and] you become that person that's important for your band and your fans."
On JUDAS PRIEST's future:
"Well, we have such an incredible reaction to [JUDAS PRIEST's latest album] 'Redeemer Of Souls' that that really motivated us to crack the whip and get on with making the next record pretty quickly. The clock is ticking, you know. We can't afford to wait three years, or five years now, to make the record. And especially while we're having this great, kind of, vibe with the fans and just this massive PRIEST family love fest type of deal. You know, who wants to go home and sit down for a year? And especially while the band is buzzing and the energy's there creatively. We had so much stuff happening in the studio, we had to put the blocks on because we were on a time schedule with the label. So we do have some stuff kind of left over from 'Redeemer Of Souls'. Although Richie [Faulkner, guitar], who's this crazy, non-stop, 24-hour guitar writing machine, he's just… Whenever I go in the dressing room, I go, 'What is that riff?' He goes, 'I don't know.' [And I go] 'Put that down. Save that one. Save that one.' So we've been accumulating all that since [the start of] this 'Redeemer Of Souls' tour. So, that's pretty much it. We'll be heading out for the rest of this tour 'till Christmas time, take a break, and then more than likely in the studio early of 2016 and see how quickly we can turn this around. It won't be a rush job, because we treasure everything that we do. But I think that the mindset is there to make this record efficiently and hopefully have it out there for our PRIEST family as soon as we can."
"Redeemer Of Souls" was released in July 2014. The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus" was billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots.
"Redeemer Of Souls" sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.