Rock News: June 3rd, 2013
SMILE EMPTY SOUL To Release 'Chemicals' In The Fall
Los Angeles rock act SMILE EMPTY SOUL will release its new album,"Chemicals", in the fall. The CD will mark the band's first release through their own imprint, Two Disciples Entertainment, in conjunction with a unique business venture through Chicago's Pavement Entertainment. Distribution and marketing will be handled through Pavement via RED (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) and MRI in North America and through RSK Entertainment in Europe and the rest of the world.
Pavement Entertainment president Mark Nawara states: "I am happy to be a part of the new SMILE EMPTY SOUL album. I've been a huge fan of the band for years and look forward to big things to come from these guys."
Pavement's director of A&R Tim King adds: "I've been close to these guys and a strong supporter of them since the early 2000s. It's great to finally be working with them on a much larger scale."
Says SMILE EMPTY SOUL's Sean Danielsen: "With all that the band has been through over the years, we finally feel at home with forming our own imprint and calling all our own shots. We are also pleased to announce that we will finally have a proper European release this time around and look forward to getting overseas to the many fans that have waited to see us over the years."
SMILE EMPTY SOUL is currently putting the finishing touches on"Chemicals" and will embark on a summer tour before the album is released.
KORN Drummer Talks About Balancing Touring And Family Life
MikeDolbear.com recently conducted an interview with KORN drummer Ray Luzier. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MikeDolbear.com: You're certainly one for doing your homework; apparently you learnt 35 songs for your KORN audition! Have you always been that way?
Luzier: I was auditioning for a lot of bands around the time I was at MIand I wanted something national. I was a huge Ozzy [Osbourne] fan and I found out [former Ozzy guitarist] Jake E. Lee was holding auditions. He was one of my favourite guitar players and I was number 50 in line; the same drum set, everyone plays the same three songs. When you're in a situation like that, it's smart to bring a different element to it, because it gets quite boring for them, playing the same thing all day long. I always do more homework than needed. I learnt all the BADLANDS records that Jake played on, every Ozzy song that he played on. I did my research. I went in and said, "Jake, I love BADLANDS. Can we do 'Soul Stealer'?' And he said, "Let's just play the songs you learned," and I'm like, "Man, I love that song." The bass player's like, "Does it go like this?" and Jake says, "Let's just do the songs," and next thing I know they're figuring out "Soul Stealer" and all of a sudden everyone is concentrating on it. The manager walks in and goes, "What are you doing?" and it's nothing off the list that everyone else had learned. Sometimes that works, when you do your research because it makes you a little different. Sometimes you can't; a talent scout might call and say that there's a new artist who just got a record deal. There might be three songs, she's unknown so that's all you can learn but if they're a known artist do your homework because you never know what you could get tested on. With the ARMY OF ANYONEaudition, I learnt the six songs from off their demo and we ended up playing almost the whole [LED] ZEPPELIN "Physical Graffiti" record cos I knew they were ZEPPELIN freaks. I went to the bathroom, came back and they said, "You've got the gig." I said, "Can we play the songs?!"
MikeDolbear.com: How was it for you when you joined KORN and stepped into take over from another drummer?
Luzier: It was intense, especially with someone as powerful as KORN. This morning, there was a girl, a diehard fan, who had Jonathan's face tattooed from her shoulder to her elbow and my signature is tattooed on her arm. There are a lot of diehard fans out there. I'm up to 27 pictures of my name on people's arms and I'm just a farm boy from Pennsylvania! When a band like that sells 38 million records, and it changes so many musicians… it's scary what they've done. People will come up to Jonathan[Davis, KORN singer] and say, "You saved my life. I was thinking about suicide but KORN got me through it." It's more powerful than people think, and to be honest, I was a big KORN fan but I wasn't like, "I have to play for KORN some day." It was too big for me and no one could ever touch them because they're such unique musicians. Nobody on the planet plays like them, the way they attack and the feel they have… To be that identifiable is huge and no one sings like Jon Davis. Dave Silveria is quite a different drummer. The original five are what made KORN and I always respect that, but we're totally different drummers. It doesn't matter how technically good you are; you get the gig on whether you understand what's going on or not. There were no rehearsals after my audition forKORN, so for two months I was calling the manager and he was saying it was fine, but I didn't know what songs to learn or anything! We rehearsed one time. We flew to Dublin, I learnt the set list and we ran the set the day before at the venue and jumped in to the fire. I was nervous as shit!
MikeDolbear.com: Let's talk a bit about being a dad. Has it changed your outlook on music and band life?
Luzier: Absolutely. Everyone says that when you have kids, it changes your life. It's ten times more than what anyone ever says! I'm not a selfish, conceited guy, but when a kid comes along, it's really not about you at all. He took over the house; I'm just the dude that pays the bills. I'd just become an official member of KORN and had started doing press. I showed up and there's a football guy, Warren Moon, a legendary football player. They said a model, Aspen Lee, was going to interview me. I was like, "Great. A model and a football guy." I saw the model, who is my girlfriend now, and I said to the publicist, "If I don't marry her or have a child with her, I'm done. I'm tired of dating; I'll be single and I'll be happy." I was so over the whole scene. She had a boyfriend at the time and I was a gentleman. I said, "Here's my number and if you are ever in L.A…." Three months later, and I couldn't stop thinking about her. I got a text, "I'm in Austin, the same place that we met. I broke up with my boyfriend," and that was it. We started dating and she lived in Florida as a full-time model, seven days a week. It got quite annoying flying backwards and forth and flying her out. Five months into the relationship, she told me she was pregnant, so obviously I wanted to live with her and take care of her. We moved her out from Miami and when he was born, it was the best thing that ever happened. Everyone always says that, but it truly is. If you're not in the situation, you can't really know it.
Read the entire interview from MikeDolbear.com.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH: Why We Decided To Cover LL COOL J's 'Mama Said Knock You Out'
Metal Covenant recently conducted an interview with guitarist Zoltan Bathory of Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Covenant: What's new about [FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's forthcoming fourth studio effort, a double album that the band will release in two installments, "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1" and "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2"] and what are your expectations for these coming releases?
Zoltan: Well, you know, we were in a situation when this is our fourth record, right?! In every record we do, we progress somewhat. The first record was pretty heavy and I pretty much wrote the record by myself, like 95 percent. You have to start somewhere. Then we became sort of a real band and started to record the second and third album. That was the progression of everybody's writing. We even had a couple of member changes and everybody's influence was shaping the music to what it became. The first record is always your ticket in, to see if people like it or not, and the first record was extremely successful, so obviously that meant that we could stay around for a while and make a second record. The second record will be an answer to the question if this was a fluke or are these guys really good. The second was even more successful, so that sort of answer the question if we mean this and for the third record comes the question if we still have something to say. We did "American Capitalist" and it was even more successful than the previous one, so obviously we had something to say. Then comes the fourth record, and that is the motherfucker, because this is what happens. We already have three records and even though there is progression, this is our sound. This is about the time people may get bored with what you do or you have to do some kind of a change or some kind of a progression. It's kind of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't scenario. If we don't change and just keep doing what we do, people are gonna go, like, "Okay, I've heard this three times before. Do I care for another frigging record of the same band?" So you have to progress, but if you progress, where are you going? If we going to progress into maybe more commercial, then people would say, "Oh, that's their sound now, they've got money and wanna do and whatever." If we go heavier, then they're like "They're losing their commercial edge. They don't get radio time and this band is going down. They don't have songs now." So whatever you do, people are going to think something's wrong. So for us, it actually came out in a really interesting way, because we said we can't really care about much and we just have to do what we do. So we kept on writing and writing, and we were, like, "Just write everything that comes to us and then decide what ends up on the record," and we ended with 20 or something songs. So when we are looking at these songs, we sort of realized that there's nothing we wanna throw away. This is all good stuff, there were no fillers. We gotta put all out, and that actually brought us a really interesting opportunity that this will take away that stigma, because we're not doing what we always do. So the fourth record is a double record and two things happen with this. One, it's interesting because this is a double record, which is not the norm. Second, when you have 24 songs, you can experiment, because if you have 10 songs and you experiment with three, that's one third of the record and immediately people are gonna go, like, "Oh, they're changing their sound. What is that shit about?" So simply you don't have enough slots on the record to experiment, but when you have 24 songs, it's enough material to "sacrifice" 5-6 songs and expand in directions that I normally wouldn't do, like covering a hip-hop-song, which is very unpopular in these days. So we can do things that people will raise their eyebrows to, and we can do it because we have enough songs and enough slots for two records and people are not gonna question that we change. We won't change, we're just branching out. We are the same band, the same guys with the same music. We're not gonna play jazz fusion; it's not gonna happen. We are FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, but we can do these interesting things, so that's what this scenario gave us and that's where we are with this.
Metal Covenant: [JUDAS PRIEST's] Rob Halford. It's rather unusual to have a guest vocalist on the opening track ["Lift Me Up"]. They usually end up somewhere around track 7 or 8 or something.
Zoltan: Well, this was another thing again, you know. We don't wanna do or don't care what's the norm. I think it's a good position we have, to really do whatever we wanna do. It's funny though, the lyrics to the song is "we just do what we do," so we'll do what the fuck we wanna do, and that's actually the lyrics to that song. We heard somewhere, somehow, I think it was on TV, where he said that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was one of his favorite bands. So when we wrote that song, I think maybe it was me who said that this sounds like old-school JUDAS PRIEST, you know. That kind of clicked, like, "Wait a minute, what if we could get Rob Halford to sing this since it's already kind of old-school JUDAS PRIEST?" We reached out to their management and originally they said "No, he doesn't have time and he's recording." But then Rob heard the song, because the management still passed it to him, and he was, like, the one who called us. You know: "I'm singing on the fucking track," so he really liked the track. A week later, he was in Vegas recording with us. That's kind of weird. You know, this is fucking Rob Halford — are you kidding me? He's in the studio, singing on our song. Jesus! It was very cool, yeah.
Metal Covenant: What about the other guests, like Max Cavalera[SOULFLY], Maria Brink [IN THIS MOMENT], etc.?
Zoltan: Everybody is good friends with us. It was only Rob we didn't know personally, obviously. Max has already sung with us before. He came out and sang one of our songs when SOULFLY was supporting us on a Canadian tour. During that [tour], we became friends and he came out and sang our song live, so that was kind of obvious to happen and Ivan[Moody, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] loves Max. Ivan's a big fan, so we reached out to Max. [HATEBREED's] Jamey Jasta, same thing — a good friend of ours for a long time. We have toured together many times. And then Maria from IN THIS MOMENT. Actually, we just needed a female voice for our low piece and we thought, "Just get Maria." She's a friend and she can do it. But then she came to the studio and we said, "Sing these parts too." She ended up singing more parts than what we actually wanted and it then became a duet instead of the low parts we wanted, because it was so good and we wanted to keep it. And then the last one was [American rapper] Tech N9ne. Today it's not okay to collaborate with anybody in hip hop. 10-15 years ago, that was the norm and then we wouldn't have done it. Now, when it's not okay, when it's taboo, I wanna do it. That's the point — when you rebel, when you give that middle finger, because today this is a sacrilege. You don't touch hip hop, but fuck that, we're gonna and we did it. We had an idea to cover [LL COOL J's] "Mama Said Knock You Out". We thought it was the irony of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, when people said "Mama Said Knock You Out", it just kinda went hand in hand. LL Cool J was always somebody who was cool. Even metalheads are okay with him. Everybody's heard that song and everybody knows that one and people are down with him. He's cool, he's okay, right? He's an artist that everybody accepts. Then we made the song heavy and when Tech N9ne came in, we thought, "Oh yeah, this is happening. Fuck it, Let's put it on the record."
Read the entire interview from Metal Covenant.
JASON NEWSTED: I Saved METALLICA Twice
Czech Republic's Muzikus.cz recently conducted an interview with formerMETALLICA, VOIVOD and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist and current NEWSTED frontman Jason Newsted. You can now listen to the chat in three parts below.
Speaking about his decision to leave METALLICA in 2001, Jason said: "I don't know if this is selfish, and anybody can take it the way they want, or maybe it's egotistical — I'm not sure — but I truly feel that I saved [METALLICA] in 1986 by being the right choice [to replace lateMETALLICA bassist] Cliff Burton] and being able to take all the shit [from the other guys in the band]… and take all the good, too. And I also saved their band 12 years ago by stepping aside and letting them carry on with what they wanted to carry on with.
"I was not able to be on the same page with them anymore; they were taking too much time away from the band. We hadn't plugged in our amps for months and months and months by the time that I made the decision and called the meeting to talk to them. There had been so much distraction from actually playing the metal that I couldn't take it anymore. I was busy with my other project — I already started recording. I was already going forward with another project that I was gonna do a worldwide release with, because they weren't spending any time playing any music."
He continued: "It's great to [spend time with] your family, and it's great to do all those things, but METALLICA is still a fucking priority, and it always was a priority for me. And I think that, over time, it became not just a priority for them. It was always, and my band is still right now the priority for me — even though I have [other things] going on, it's still what I put first. And anybody around me, anybody in my circle, [like] my wife, or anyone, knows that that's coming first. And I always put METALLICAfirst. When those guys stopped putting it first all the time — like we all used to do together — it changed things for me. They weren't able to give the same amount of time to play at volume and remember why we were doing this.
"When we played loud together, it transcended everything — all the rest of the world went away, all the issues, all the shit. When we went loud, nothing existed except our power.
"In August of 2000, when we stopped playing live, James [Hetfield,METALLICA guitarist/vocalist] had injured himself — he couldn't be the same player, he had to wear his guitar different, he couldn't stand at the mic the same, it was a different approach on things. He wasn't spending as much time on music because of life, and I understand that — I don't have anything against that. But if you're committed to having this thing, this giant fucking thing that we worked so hard for to be the priority, if all of a sudden other things are more important than that, I can't do it. It's got to be the priority the whole fucking time. And it was for me, but it wasn't for them. Ultimately, at that time in our career, I had to step off, because I had things to do; I had music to play and share with people, and they had a different vision of how they were gonna go about things at that point.
"James was in a serious emotional and [alcohol-abuse] trouble, and I knew that. And I had to step off. And when I stepped off, I do believe that was the catalyst for him to realize that there was trouble. 'Cause I was always his brother. Dressing-room-wise, Kirk [Hammett, guitar] andLars [Ulrich, drums] [always shared a] dressing room, James and Jason[shared the other] dressing room — for years. We were brothers. We were like-minded. We liked trucks, we liked guns, we liked the outdoors, we liked the mountains. We were like-minded people. We are brothers — strong brothers, like that. I mean, my family took James on as a family member. My mom sent… my mom probably still sends him birthday cards. We were that close. So when that kind of thing comes about where you don't have that same commitment anymore, or whether I'm misreading it or not, but we weren't committed the same way that we had been in the past, and I just wasn't feeling it; it wasn't right. And I was pretty well fucked up on some substances at that point too. So nobody was in their right mind.
"We should have kind of… Like Lars said awhile ago, we didn't take any time to assess the mental stability of the members of the band and the individuals. After so much hard work and not being home for 10 years, pushing and pushing and pushing it to be the biggest thing ever, we forgot about everything else. And it makes people unstable. And if we sat down and actually addressed people's mental issues… and I was addicted to painkillers and James was all drunk… It was a mess. If we would have addressed it as people instead of bringing in an outsider, then we could have probably done it. But because of what happened, and what transpired, and the managers bringing in an outsider and trying to fix it, and all that kind of shit, I was not gonna be a part of that."
Interview (audio) part 1:
Interview (audio) part 2:
Interview (audio) part 3:
Stone Temple Pilots Post Open Letter to Fans Explaining Reasons for Lawsuit Against Scott Weiland
As I Lay Dying's Tim Lambesis Posts $2 Million Bail; Preliminary Hearing Set for July 10
Last week, the members of Stone Temple Pilots filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that former frontman Scott Weiland used STP’s name and assets to promote his solo career, allegedly in breach of their partnership agreement. Now, STP has posted an open letter to fans to offer a detailed explanation about why they’ve decided to take Weiland to court.
“Our purpose in taking this action is not to hurt Scott,” writes the band in a group statement on their website. “We want to move forward productively, and Scott’s choices and actions have prevented us from doing that.”
The band goes on to claim, as they do in their lawsuit, that Weiland sabotaged last year’s plans for a tour commemorating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Core, by heading out on a solo tour. “The plan was for a big tour where we’d perform the album in its entirety, along with some other favorite STP songs,” writes the group. “So, you might imagine our shock and disappointment when, without any notice, we learned that Scott had seized this tour for himself as his solo tour, and decided to do exactly what we as a group had planned.”
STP further states that “many of the decisions” Weiland made during this period were in violation of agreements the group made in 1996 and 2010, and that they were “harmful to the band.”
The group adds that they're looking forward to moving on and making new music with their new lead singer, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. "It was beyond time we made some new music, which was impossible in the dysfunctional environment we were in,” writes the band. “We wish Scott well. We’re really excited about the new music we’ve been making with Chester, including the song we just released, ‘Out of Time.’”
Megadeth Previews New Track, "The Blackest Crow"
Tim Lambesis is out on bail, but not out of trouble. The As I Lay Dying frontman posted two million dollars bail on Thursday, and is expected to be back in court July 10 for a preliminary hearing on charges he tried to have his wife killed, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Upon being released from jail in Vista, California, the singer was told to surrender his passport and ordered to stay away from his estranged wife, 32-year-oldMeggan Lambesis, and their three adopted children.
Prosecutors say Lambesis thought he was hiring a hitman last month when he gave an undercover officer an envelope containing one thousand dollars plus pictures of his wife and information regarding her home. He also allegedly gave the officer some dates when he would be with the couple's three children, to give him an alibi. Lambesis recently pleaded not guilty to the charge of solicitation for murder, with his attorney Thomas Warwick claiming that the singer's thought processes were “devastatingly affected” by his use of steroids.
Muse’s Matt Bellamy & Kate Hudson to Launch Signature Wine, HudsonBellamy
Megadeth’s upcoming album, Super Collider, won't hit stores until Tuesday, but fans can hear a little preview of the release now. The band has just posted a stream of "The Blackest Crow," a new cut from the album, on RollingStone.com.
Frontman Dave Mustaine tells Rolling Stone that while “The Blackest Crow” was originally inspired by his mother-in-law's battle with Alzheimer's disease, it was “altered to be more about a tragic loss and the depression that follows."
Mustaine notes that he tried to get country stars Willie Nelson and Miranda Lambert to contribute the track, but both stars weren’t able to make it happen. "Although [Lambert] declined, her manager was polite enough to reportedly say she didn't feel she could make the song better,” he reveals. “I was very flattered."
Chester Bennington Has “Tons of Great Ideas” for New STP Music
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and his fiancée Kate Hudson are going into the winemaking business. According to Life & Style, the couple is bottling a signature rosé wine called HudsonBellamy, which they have described as "crisp, bright and perfect for upcoming summer."
While the couple has yet to announce when the wine will arrive in liquor stores, they said they plan to sell it to restaurants and bars sometime soon.
Riding high from the success of the new Stone Temple Pilots single, “Out of Time,”Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington says he’s ready to get into the studio and record more new tracks as the group's new lead singer.
“For us the creative juices have just been flowing -- we've been writing, we have tons of great ideas," Bennington tells Rolling Stone. "Next week we're going back in the studio and hammering out some more music."
Bennington adds that while fans shouldn’t expect to get their hands on a full-length album anytime soon, the band expects to release singles on a regular basis. "Everything we're doing is on our own, so we're just taking it one track at a time,” he explains. “We would love to sit down and hammer out a record, but the reality is we're gonna make music, we're gonna make a lot of it, and we're gonna be in a position to release a single at a time, go out and really give people music the way they want to get it."
Source: Abc ePrep