The interviews - both video, audio and text - from the world of rock!
Miss Bomb conducted an interview with guitarist Eric Peterson of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT at this year's edition of the Bloodstock Open Air festival, which was held August 9-12 at Catton Park, Derbyshire in the United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
TESTAMENT's new album, "Dark Roots Of Earth", sold more than 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No, 12 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on July 31 via Nuclear Blast Records.
TESTAMENT's previous studio album, "The Formation of Damnation", opened with 11,400 units back in May 2008 to debut at position No. 59.
"Dark Roots Of Earth" was produced, mixed and mastered by acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap (ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE, ACCEPT, EXODUS). Special bonus tracks were recorded, mixed and mastered by Juan Urteaga (MACHINE HEAD, EXODUS, TED NUGENT, NIGHT RANGER) at his Trident Studios. The cover artwork for the effort (see below) was painted by Eliran Kantor, who has previously worked with ATHEIST, SIGH, ANACRUSIS and GWAR, among others.
DJ Erin of 89.5 FM WSOU conducted an interview with guitarist Jason Hook of Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH at this year's edition of the Heavy T.O. festival, which took place August 11-12 at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can now watch the chat below.
As previously reported, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has hit No. 1 at the Active Rock format with the band's current single "Coming Down". The track is the tenth consecutive Top 10 hit, cementing the act's position as one of the most relevant at the format.
Going back to "The Bleeding" in the spring of 2008, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is one of the most heavily played bands at rock radio, as "Never Enough", "Stranger Than Fiction", "Hard To See", "Walk Away", "Bad Company", "Far From Home", "Under And Over It", and most recently "Remember Everything", each has become an anthem in its own right. The band's current album, "American Capitalist", continues to sell extremely well, with 440,000 copies sold since its debut at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart last October. The imminent gold certification of the band's third record and cumulative track downloads exceeding one million sold proves that there are few acts more successful than FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is currently headlining the Trespass America tour, also featuring KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM, POP EVIL and others.
On August 16, Rustyn Rose of Metalholic.com conducted an interview with legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO, ANIMETAL USA). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
ANIMETAL USA made its U.S. live debut on June 29 at the Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the Main Events/Hall G.
The band released its self-titled debut album in the U.S. on June 26 via Century Media Records.
The track listing of "Animetal USA" is the same as that of the album that was issued in Japan, but also includes four bonus songs — "Touch", "JAM Project Medley", "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" (Japanese single version) and "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" (English version). "Give Lee Give Lee Rock Lee" is already familiar to anime fans, as it is the opening song to the "Naruto" spin-off, "Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals".
ANIMETAL USA is:
* Mike Vescera (OBSESSION, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, LOUDNESS) - Vocals
* Rudy Sarzo (BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO) – Bass
* Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT) - Drums
* Chris Impellitteri (IMPELLITTERI) - Guitar
The drums on ANIMETAL USA's debut album were laid down by JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis. He has since been forced to leave the group due to his touring commitments with PRIEST.
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach says that he is "friends" with Jon Bon Jovi again after he didn't speak to the BON JOVI frontman for many years following a dispute over money.
Despite the fact that the 1989 debut album from the Bach-fronted SKID ROW went five times platinum and produced several hit singes — including "18 And Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild", there was a lot of bitterness surrounding its success, largely due to the fact that in return for the helping hands of Jon Bon Jovi, SKID ROW reportedly had to enter a publishing deal with Jon's newly established Underground Music Company in which they waived their rights to publishing royalties. All money was paid to Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. After a public dispute, Richie Sambora gave his share of the money back to SKID ROW.
Speaking to ArtScenics TV this past June at the Hellfest festival in Clisson, France, Bach stated about his relationship with Jon Bon Jovi (see video below), "Bon Jovi took us on our first tour and we signed some papers with him that he got a cut of, if we made it big, that he would get compensated for helping us out. Nobody expected us to get as big as we got. Nobody thought that we would become a big band. That happens all the time in the music industry. Jon was like, 'We'll take you on tour, but if you guys make it big,' then he gets a cut of it. So I was bitter about that for awhile, but then I realized that we probably wouldn't have made it as big, or maybe at all, if he didn't take us."
He continued, "I actually had dinner with Jon a couple of years ago. We were staying at the Mandarin Oriental in London — me and Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer] — and we were sitting there. And the waitress says, 'Hey, guess who's over in the corner.' And me and Axl go, 'Who?' She said, 'Jon Bon Jovi.' And I go, 'Get the fuck out of here.' He was in the corner. And I didn't know what to do. 'Cause we had had words… Most of them were mine. [laughs] So I go, 'You know what?! Fuck this. I'm gonna go over there and say 'Hi' to him.' 'Cause we used to be great, great friends; I had Christmas dinner at his house and stuff. So I stood up and walked over towards Jon, and Jon was looking at me, going, 'Are you gonna be a dick or are you gonna be nice?' He's looking at me, like, 'What are you gonna do? What are you gonna say?' And I was like, 'Hey, man, how is it going?' And he was, like, 'Hey, man?' And we stood up and we hugged and then he came over to me and Axl's table and we drank about 15 bottles of red wine, had a great time. He gave me his phone number and I've texted him a couple of times. He's a good guy. We're friends again."
Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with German metal queen Doro Pesch. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: The times we are living in are a lot about gossip, bad reality shows where people are hurtful to each other and they say stupid stuff. It is a bit of a different society these days. I always find it admirable when people are like you and I feel I'm a bit like you and I try to see the positive stuff and I try to treat people in a kind way. One of the things I've thought of the last couple of years is that the main thing in life is about being a good person and to do good.
Doro: I couldn't agree with you more. Actually, I've got one little story to tell you and it's proof of that. On two occasions I did a past life regression and a year ago it was with a lady from Switzerland and you could tell that she knew that stuff. You look into her eyes and… yeah, she's a very wise woman. I didn't know if it would work but she said, "Lay down on the couch and relax." And I said, "No, it doesn't work with me." And then she said, "Tell me what you have on! Look at your feet!" and I looked at my feet and I started laughing. It was so funny and she said, "What's so funny?" and I said, "I have the weirdest shoes on. They are like little slippers. Where are my high heels or biker boots?" Then she said, "Well, look up!". You have your eyes closed during this, you're in a trance but you can still talk. I looked up and I had these weird clothes on and they were very uncomfortable and suddenly I was in this past life. I was a woman and I was in Hungary. It was pretty bad and I was hungry all the time and times were really tough. I saw myself on a horse, riding like crazy trying to warn the farmers of something and there was a war going on. This was a TV thing and for me it was interesting but to them it was not that interesting. Then I went into another lifetime and I was a guy and I was huge. I almost looked like Gerard Depardieu, like a butcher. It was 1648 in Dubrovnik and I'd never been there. We never played there. I was not so good and I was out with whores and drinking beer. It was unbelievable! I was married to a beautiful woman but she was boring and had two kids. Then they called me back for another TV thing and I said, "Yeah, it would be very interesting to do it again," so I went back and I actually saw myself dying in jail. I was sentenced to life and I was bad. I saw myself dying and then I saw something like my soul or something and it came out through my head and it formed into a light, like a little sun or a comet and then my whole conscience and all my feelings were in that thing and I looked down on my body and I was very sad and then another lifetime started. Then the lady said, "OK, now you've gotta come back!" and she woke me up and said, "Tell me the first thought that comes to mind!" and my first thought was that "You have to do good in life.That's the most important thing." It's very simple, but it's very important. Maybe that's why now I'm a little girl, because I overdid it. I had too much fun and I didn't care, so now I care. [laughs]
Metalshrine: Ronnie James Dio then? What did he mean to you?
Doro: When I first met him, I couldn't even speak English. It was in the '80s and it was my second tour. I think it was '87. The first one was with JUDAS PRIEST and it was my first time in Sweden and then with Ronnie James Dio in '87 and we had a great relationship but it was limited. We didn't really talk much. It was in the '80s and these big productions and there wasn't actually much time to talk. Then I did a song for a Dio tribute album, "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" and then times in the '90s were difficult when grunge was so big. Finally metal was coming back a little bit and I went to the "Magica" release party in New York. I went there and I said, "Hey Ronnie, congratulations to your new album!" and he said, "Oh, I'm so glad you're here. I wanted to tell you that I love the song you did for the tribute album!" Later on I was listening to the radio and Ronnie was on doing an interview and the DJ said "OK, what song do you wanna hear?" and he said "Let's hear 'Egypt (The Chains Are On)'." and it was our version. I was ready to cry and I was so touched. Then I did an interview with KNAC and my record was just being finished, "Calling The Wild" and then the lady asked me "So, any touring plans for the States?" and I said "Yeah, of course we wanna go on tour. Maybe opening up for somebody or do our own headlining tour in the clubs." She said, "How about a tour with Ronnie James Dio?" and I said, "Yeah, that would be awesome!" She then said "He's calling in an hour. Should I suggest it?" and she did. We ended up on tour together a couple of weeks later and it was the best tour in my life. It meant so much when metal came back in the States. I gave my life insurance to go on tour for the tour bus and the crew. It costs you and the record companies didn't do any tour support anymore. We went on tour together and it was the best tour. It meant so much. We went to Florida and I was watching the show every night and sometimes we went out to dinner, the whole crew and bands and it was so good. I remember Ronnie loved Indian food so we always went to Indian restaurants. At one of the last shows in Florida I was sitting next to the stage and suddenly Ronnie left the stage and the manager said, "You know what's coming, right?" I said "No." and then he said, "You're up!" and Ronnie came with a second microphone and on the last shows we did a couple of songs together. He was so inspiring and every night I watched the show. Even when he was exhausted and sick he gave it his all and he always took the time to greet every fan and write the autographs. I just thought, "I can learn from the best." We had a good vibe going. He didn't tell me, but he told some journalist that he was working on "Magica" 2 and 3 and that he wanted to do something together with me. I would've loved to do that. Who knows, maybe there is another life? [laughs]
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.
Legendary guitarist Slash spoke to The New Zealand Herald about being a solo artist after working with two of rock's most volatile frontman in Axl Rose (GUNS N' ROSES) and Scott Weiland (VELVET REVOLVER).
"Just being on my own has been really cathartic because it put everything in my lap," he said.
"Since I grabbed the reins and took off on my own, I have realized you don't need confrontation and volatility to make rock 'n' roll work. It's about playing music and having fun.
"I've always been in a band where there was a democracy, which was great, but there was always one guy who was really difficult."
Unlike Slash's solo debut, which featured different vocalists on each track and a number of guest musicians, the guitarist recorded all of his new CD, "Apocalyptic Love", with MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS, made up of singer Myles Kennedy (of heavy rockers ALTER BRIDGE), drummer Brent Fitz and bassist Todd Kerns:
"It's been a real blessing," Slash said of working with his current band. "I had gotten so used to such a tumultuous reality professionally that I was really inexperienced working in a situation where everybody just wants to get along and have a good time."
He added, "It takes a lot of the unnecessary bullshit out of the experience — and I work harder now than I have ever in my career. But at the same time it's really enjoyable because everybody's on the same page and we don't want to bog ourselves down with distractions and we just focus on the music.
"You know, when I started doing this it was a dream come true and I still look at it that way, but the last few years have been great because I've been doing exactly what it is I like to do and not having too much hassle doing it."
Asked about how he chooses which GUNS N' ROSES songs to include in his current live set, Slash said, "'Paradise City' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine' are songs I brought into the set when we first started touring. And there are a lot of songs that I had a major part in writing that we're not doing, but all the songs we are doing I had a major part in writing.
"But there really is no forethought [about which songs they play]. First off it has to be one that I enjoy playing. If it's fun to play, that's basically the criteria.
"'Nightrain' just works. There is no other song that drives like 'Nightrain'.
"Even though I did all those guitar parts [in 'November Rain'], I didn't bring the song to the table so I have no interest in doing songs like that.
"We haven't played ['Welcome To The Jungle'] for a long time. That's such a GUNS N' ROSES standard and it's one of those songs we do every once in a while and everybody goes crazy. But really, it's for the fun of it."
Photo credit: Travis Shinn
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach tells The Macomb Daily that he has been approached to write a memoir, which he predicts will make MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Dirt: Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band" "look clean" if he decides to take that tack. "It seems like such an overwhelming project, so don't hold your breath for it," Bach says with a laugh. "It has to blow me away before I release it. I want to write it by myself; I look at Duff McKagan's [VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES] book, Dee Snider's [TWISTED SISTER] book, they wrote them by themselves and they're amazing books. So I might try, but if it doesn't put goosebumps on my arm, I won't put it out."
Bach told the QMI Agency last year that his memoirs would likely be a collaboration with Larry Sloman, the same man who helped pen "Scar Tissue", the autobiography of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS singer Anthony Kiedis.
"'Scar Tissue' had a lot to do with Anthony Kiedis's relationship with his dad, and I had a very 'strong' relationship with my dad," Sebastian said. "[My dad] was a famous painter in Canada, he owned Art Space in Peterborough in the '70s and we came from California, and we were like freaks in Peterborough. The Peterborough Examiner — all the articles about when my dad first got there, it was like, 'The hippies are coming to town!' I swear."
In a December 2011 interview with Martyr Magazine, Bach was asked what fans can expect from his autobiography, "I've had a crazy life. It's gonna be from Peterborough to SKID ROW to fuckin' the Don Jail to Broadway. It's gonna be a crazy story," he said.
Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna at the August 5 stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. You can now watch the chat below.
SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner filled in for ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante on this summer's entire Mayhem run while Charlie was recovering from a minor hand injury.
Asked how it felt to be playing so many shows without Benante, Belladonna said, "It's always different when you've got somebody in there that's not in the band. [But] Jason's doing a great job. We can't say enough about how we've gotten along as far as getting the set down; he knows the songs. I haven't seen anything that's been troubling. No one's really had any complaints… that kind of stuff. We wouldn't offer [the gig to] someone that might not be able to do the job. Yeah, it's fine. But we miss Charlie and we wish he was around."
Regarding whether fans can expect to see Benante back behind the kit for ANTHRAX anytime soon, Joey said, "I don't know. I'm not sure. I haven't really had any contact with him that much. I know he's healing and all that stuff. So I'm sure he'll figure it out one way or the other. And [in the meantime], we'll just go business as usual."
ANTHRAX recently spent time in the studio recording several cover versions of some of their favorite rock classics, to be included with the upcoming re-release of the band's latest album, "Worship Music". The band's guitarist, Scott Ian, said in a recent interview with Artisan News, "The drums are done and some of the guitars are done, but we're trying to finish off these last two songs — 'Smokin'' from BOSTON and 'Anthem' from RUSH."
In addition to the RUSH and BOSTON covers, ANTHRAX is also recording its versions of AC/DC's "T.N.T.", JOURNEY's "Keep On Runnin'" and BLACK SABBATH's "Neon Knights". The latter song is expected to appear on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album which is being assembled by the singer's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio.
JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford recently spoke to Loudwire about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to their 2008 concept album "Nostradamus".
Asked what fans can fans expect from the next PRIEST CD, Halford said, "We've already got a strong cross-section of ideas, some of them complete, some of them in bits and pieces. It's shaping up to be quite intense, in terms of the riffage and the strength of certain tracks. Much like every time you try and talk about music, it's practically impossible to capture it. You can only point it in the direction of where things are shaping up, and it's just glorious. If I try to pinpoint it, there are elements of 'British Steel' and there elements of 'Painkiller' in terms of the vibe. We've got a really solid record coming together slowly in a strong metal way that will make all of our PRIEST fans around the world very happy and content. At least I hope it does."
Regarding a possible release date for the new PRIEST album, Halford said, "I'm not really sure. It'll be ready when it's ready. We're not under the same clock as we used to be. I remember in the '80s we were banging out a record almost every year, and that was on top of putting in a world tour. We have the luxury now, if you want to call it that, of taking our time. And that's just because that's the way it is. We're just as eager to get this done as ever, but we do it at a slower pace. It's that British thing, you know? [laughs] It's that monarchy thing. But, I hope it'll be out next year. My gut tells me it'll be out next year. You know what, 2013, let's go for it. Let's look forward to that moment for another PRIEST record for everyone to bang their heads to."
JUDAS PRIEST played the final show of its "Epitaph" world tour on May 26 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England. The sold-out concert was professionally filmed for a 2013 DVD release.
On the topic of PRIEST's future touring activities, Halford said, "We're simplifying things from a road point of view. We're not going to go out on any two year treks. It's a little more difficult to do that at 61 than it was at 60. [laughs] Having said that, I was looking at the early editing of the PRIEST show a couple months ago in London at the famous Hammersmith Odeon. I got the DVD about a week ago and I can't stop watching it. It's just unbelievable to look at. What I'm trying to say is that the components, the important pieces of what being in a band is all about, are as strong as when we started out. I can see that, I can hear that, by looking at that DVD. That's encouraging. We are going to go out, we're just simplifying where we go out and for how long. It's definitely not the end. The heavy metal fat lady hasn't sang yet. She's tied up in a float case. She's handcuffed somewhere in a float case. There's no end in sight. Why say it's the end when it's not the end? Why say the end is coming when it ain't, you know? PRIEST is just going to keep going as long as it can. As long as we want to be in the band, as long as we want to keep making metal, we're going to keep doing it. At the forefront of all that, though, are the fans that look after us. We wouldn't deprive the fans of another great record or another great show. Our life has existed because of the fan base that looks after us. Our fans are excited and eager to get more PRIEST, so we'll hopefully deliver the goods next year."
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash told New York's Newsday that being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and the fact that the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, refused to be inducted along with the rest of the classic GN'R lineup closed the book on a GUNS N' ROSES reunion once and for all.
"I think that time is sort of passed at this point, but there was a period where big wads of cash were shaking in our direction," he said. "I think the concept of getting the band back together based on money is not going to happen."
Asked if the drama surrounding the GN'R Rock Hall induction — whether Axl Rose would show — was a bizarre experience, Slash said, "Given the history of the band, it really doesn't seem that bizarre. Originally I didn't want to deal with it. It was a big, unanswered question up until the 11th hour. We made do with what we had, and it turned out to be a really cool experience."
Regarding the 25th anniversary of GNR's "Appetite For Destruction", one of the most successful and important debut albums of all time which has gone on to sell more than 30 million copies, Slash said, "It doesn't seem like that long ago. The concept of a quarter of a century is crazy. It's become a very iconic record, and I'm proud of that. One of the most significant things about it is being considered a must-have for everybody's rock 'n' roll collection."