Rammstein: ‘We’re Taking Time Off’ [News]

Rammstein guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe gave an update on the band’s current status, confirming time off, but shooting down any chances for calling it quits.

“I think Rammstein [is one of] those things [that] can never be over,” he told Metal Hammer .

“The thing [about] those things is that they develop their own chemistry, their own energy. I think even if we would say it would be over, it would never be over. So if you’re asking me if we’re doing something right now, the answer is, we’re taking time off.”

The guitarist continued (via Blabbermouth ), “We just met a couple of months ago and we were just talking. We always meet once a year to see how everyone is, how people are. And so we decided to not do anything at the moment, so we’ll meet up next year again. But there’s so many things that we have in the pipeline that we’re gonna do…

“We have a live DVD coming out, we have another live DVD coming out, we have another live DVD… We have so many live DVDs right now that we have to work that through. So, I think, at the moment, everyone does his own thing. I think it’s important, because, again, Rammstein was always a band that took their time, that listened to themselves, listened to what they need, how much time they need between [albums] .”

In conclusion, Kruspe added, “One good thing about that the music industry changed is that you don’t have to do a record every year – it’s not necessary – and I think a lot of people that did this put [out] records that weren’t that great. So I like that idea, actually, to take breaks. Again, I think we will come back together. I love touring with Rammstein, and if somebody has a vision for a record, we’ll do another record.”

The group’s latest studio effort, “ ,” saw its release in October 2009 via Universal Records.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Woman Tries To Force Boyfriend To Stop Listening To ‘Evil’ Metal Music, Andrew W.K. Issues Brilliant Response [News]

In a recent edition of his “ Ask Andrew W.K. ” feature on Village Voice , Andrew W.K. received a question from an anonymous woman under Sick of Negative Vibes alias for advice to get her boyfriend to stop listening to “evil” metal music.

You’re rolling your eyes already, aren’t you? Well wait, ’cause there’s more. Much more. First, the lady’s letter:

“I’m writing today because you’re such a positive person and I need help dealing with negativity. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years, but recently I’ve been having a harder and harder time hanging out with him at his house. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have a problem with him personally, I just have a problem with his music. He’s always been into metal and pretty aggressive stuff, but now his musical taste seems to be getting truly evil.

“I can’t even describe how some of this music sounds – it’s just really negative vibes. The album artwork and posters and books he has in his room all confirm this. Lots of blood and guts and devils and just evil-looking stuff. I’m not a Goody Two-shoes or anything, but I was raised in a very loving family who taught me that stuff like this really can be bad for your karma, and I really don’t feel comfortable around it. And even more than that, I really don’t want this stuff corrupting my boyfriend and making him change from the loving, positive person he is.”

Crossing the line quite a bit, she added, “I tried removing some of the albums from his room and he freaked out. I tried telling him I wouldn’t come over with that stuff in his house, but that didn’t work either. I don’t want to make him mad, but I do want this negative stuff out of our lives. So, since you’re so focused on positivity, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. How do I rescue my boyfriend and our relationship from these negative influences?”

And then, Mr. Andrew showed how it’s done: “Dear Sick of Negative Vibes,

“You know what the biggest negative vibe is in this situation? You. Trying to make your boyfriend give up the music he enjoys – that is true negativity. I understand how you’re feeling, but rather than censoring someone’s experience, I suggest you strive to develop your own spirit and make it large and strong enough to appreciate and interact with all types of emotional concepts, all types of feelings, all types of people, and all types of beliefs – including those that deal with the ideas of darkness, cruelty, death, destruction, anger, hatred, and evil. Desperately trying to hide – or make other people hide – from certain types of feelings is a losing battle. And it’s likely that we’ll experience more hurt and damage in our efforts to avoid that part of the world than we will by developing a heart and mind capable of engaging with the full spectrum of reality, from light to dark, and beyond.

“It’s interesting how often people confuse ‘evil sounding’ music with true evil. By its very nature, music is benevolent. Music means well. It’s virtually impossible to bend the will of music toward a truly negative intention. Music can be used to achieve all sorts of things, depending on who wants to use it and for what purpose, but the music itself is pure goodness. Music doesn’t waste its time in dealing with human concepts like ‘good and evil.’ Thankfully, music exists in a realm above and beyond the need for logical ideas and theories. Music is where we can find relief from reason and truly experience ‘pure feeling.’ Music is what feelings sound like – feelings before we analyze and deconstruct them into digestible abstractions like “happy feeling” or ‘sad feeling.’ Music is just pure feeling.

“For this reason alone, it’s probably the greatest gift humanity has to work with. And also one of the most mysterious. It would be a total disrespect to lower our conception of music to something as literal as a ‘mood’ or an ’emotion’ or a ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ idea. Music exists outside of all that. And that’s why it feels the way it feels and doesn’t feel like anything else. No amount of reading or movie-watching or eating or even sex can quite equal the inexpressible pleasure of music for music’s sake. We must always remember this, especially when we begin to doubt the value of music or question its intention. Humans may have intentions, but music doesn’t. Music is humanity with all the bulls–t removed. Music is humanity at its best.

“So don’t get too caught up in lyrics, or album covers, or what the people playing the music look like. All of that isn’t music. That’s just human stuff – the icing on the cake – the human bits and pieces we throw in for our own purposes. Music isn’t involved in lyrics and imagery and style. Music is melody and rhythm. Besides, even the most sinister words and images cannot break music’s naturally bountiful spirit. And that’s why it can still feel so good to experience music of any variety. That’s why sometimes the angriest music can make you feel the happiest. Because here is a way to interact with those bad feelings in a totally good-feeling way. It’s cathartic. It’s healing. It’s good for the soul.

“Music is a safe haven where we get to explore the full range of what it is to be alive – a way we can explore feelings and sensations we can’t describe or have access to any other way. No one listens to ‘sad sounding’ music to feel awful. We listen to it because somehow it actually makes us feel good in a way that nothing else does – it’s a good feeling that’s hard to explain or get any other way. It seems mysterious and contradictory, but intense negativity can sometimes have an uplifting effect, especially when it’s experienced through music.

“Besides, songs that try too hard to be ‘nice and sweet’ can come off cloying and ingratiating. We all have our different tastes, and thank goodness we do. After all, if everyone thought the same way and liked the same music, life would be boring. At least almost everyone can agree that we love music in general – and that we actually need music in order to be complete human beings – and with that spirit at heart, we can respect each other’s individual preferences and tastes, and at least relate to the fact that we’re all trying to find good feelings through music one way or another.

“So please don’t give your boyfriend a hard time about the music he loves. Just love him and be glad he has music in his life that brings him joy. You can bring him joy too, or you can be a force that takes his joy away. And what would fill the void left by the absence of his music, anyway? It would probably be filled with his resentment for you, and more anger and disharmony than his ‘evil’ music ever brought into your relationship in the first place. Your intentions may feel noble and justified, but they’re only going to cause harm. Too much damage in this world is caused by people trying to ‘remove’ what they don’t like from existence. I hope you put your energy into adding joy to the world. And please don’t ever again try to take away someone’s music. Your friend, Andrew W.K.”

*starts slow clap*

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Dee Snider To Gene Simmons: ‘Rock Is Alive And Well, Business Model Is Dead’ [News]

Dee Snider to Gene Simmons: 'Rock Is Alive and Well, Business Model Is Dead'
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider issued a lengthy response to Gene Simmons ‘ recent “rock is dead” comments , insisting that only the “business model” of rock is long gone.

As for the rock music and spirit, all is well according to Dee. Check out what the frontman had to say via Facebook below.

“Recently, my esteemed colleague, Gene Simmons of KISS declared that ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll is finally dead.’ Really?

“While I have nothing but respect for Gene, he couldn’t be further off the mark. Yes, the rock ‘n’ roll ‘business model’ that helped KISS (and my band for that matter) achieve fame and fortune is most certainly long dead and buried, but rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Spend some time seeing and listening to these incredible young bands and their rabid fans and you will know that rock ‘n’ roll couldn’t be more alive. Yes, it’s not the same as it was for the first 50 years of rock’s existence, but the fire definitely still burns.”

Explaining what actually killed rock in his opinion, Snider added, “And it wasn’t some 15 year old kid in Saint Paul, Minnesota (to paraphrase Mr. Simmons) who killed the rock ‘n’ roll goose that laid the platinum egg… it was greedy, big city, record company moguls who made their own velvet noose to hang themselves with. It was they who took advantage of the consumer (and the artist for that matter) and drove them to use an alternative source of music presented to them.

“For example, take the bill of goods the record industry sold the mainstream public when introducing the CD format. ‘We have to charge more for it, because it’s a new technology and there’s a cost to setting up the infrastructure to produce them.’ The consumer believed them – it made sense – so they paid a $18.98 list price for a product they had been paying $7.99 list for previously. After all ‘you can’t break a CD with a hammer!’ (Remember that?)

“But when the infrastructure was in place and paid for in full, and the cost of producing a CD dropped to less than a dollar, did the record companies roll back the list price in kind? Not on your life. They weren’t about to do the right thing and cut their increased revenue stream. Those fat cats were enjoying their ill-gotten gains way too much.

“So when the general public finally realized they were being had, and the opportunity arose for them to stick it to the man, what did they do? The same thing their Woodstock Nation, baby boomer parents had done when they had their chance… they stuck it and they stuck it good. Does anyone remember Abbey Hoffman ‘s ‘ Steal This Book ,’ the massive selling, early ’70s hippy guide ‘focused on ways to fight the government, and against corporations in any way possible.’ Multiply that by a googolplex.

“Is it hard to make it rock ‘n’ roll? You bet. Always was, always will be. Will rockers make as much money as they did ‘back in the day?’ Probably not. But that won’t stop them, and they’ll be motivated by a much more genuine love of the art, and great rock will continue to be produced, played and embraced by rock fans.

“So in conclusion: Record company executives killed the old rock ‘n’ roll business model… and Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Dead!”

While we’re on the subject, Gene issued a brief Facebook statement on the matter, saying that his words were misinterpreted by the media, but that the point remains the same.

“Rock is dead – that was the headline in a recent interview I did, of course, taken out of context. That’s okay. It’s still true,” the bassist said, just to get back to the same line once again.

“Name a rock band in the last 30 years that has risen to iconic level. Nirvana ? Anyone else?

“Name iconic rock acts in the first 30 years – from 1958 through 1988 – Elvis , the Beatles , the Stones , Led Zeppelin , Pink Floyd , Springsteen , AC/DC , Metallica and Motown, and countless more.

“Yesterday KISS headlined a terrific event called ‘ Fashion Rocks .’ It was on CBS.

“There were some terrific acts on the bill. Jennifer Lopez , Nicki Minaj , sure, band called Perry , and many more. Including hosting by Justin Bieber and various models.

“Honestly, even though the event is called ‘Fashion Rocks,’ and even though KISS closed the show and headlined… THIS WAS THE ONE AND ONLY ROCK BAND ON THE ENTIRE BILL.

“Defense rests, your Honor.”

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Steven Wilson Working On New Album Featuring Guthrie Govan, Studio Photos Available [News]

Following the initial announcement earlier this year, guitar wizard Steven Wilson has officially entered studio to work on a follow-up to last year’s masterpiece “ The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) .”

Speaking of the 2013 effort, the band’s lineup doesn’t seem to have changed, and therefore features features Mr Wilson, master Guthrie Govan on guitar, bassist Nick Beggs , Adam Holzman on keys, and Marco Minnemann behind the battery kit.

As the description of the recently posted Facebook gallery reads, the group opted for Air Studios in London, the same place where Muse are reportedly getting busy with their new effort.

You can check out the gallery here , all photos by Lasse Hoile .

Here’s what Wilson had to say back in February: “This week sees the first anniversary of the release of ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing,’ which as well as hitting a personal high water mark, has subsequently become the most acclaimed and best selling album of my career. After more than 20 years and 30-40 albums that is a humbling and extremely gratifying thing to be able to say!

“This year will see the writing and recording of the follow up album to ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing’ (news, audio and video from those sessions when we have it), and next year will see a lot of touring with a new live show, planned to be even more spectacular than the one presented in 2013. Thank you for your continued support!”

“The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)” was voted second best album of 2013 by UG users. Stay tuned for updates.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Ace Frehley On Tommy Thayer’s ‘Spaceman’ Guitar: ‘I Mean, How Big Are The Balls On This Guy?’ [News]

During a brand new inteview with the Village Voice , original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke about the band’s current lead axeman, Tommy Thayer , who joined KISS in February 2003, stepping into the boots Frehley had been occupying for the KISS reunion that lasted from 1996 to 2002.

“I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a KISS cover band [ LA’s Cold Gin ] ,” Frehley said. “He didn’t do anything; he was hired by Paul [ Stanley ] and Gene [ Simmons ] to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos – a business deal.

“Look, if he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else,” continued Frehley. “I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup like they did with [other KISS replacement members] Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent . That’s what the fans are upset about.”

Frehley also seemed particularly incredulous that Thayer is currently pimping a guitar (created with Epiphone ) called the “ Spaceman ,” named after the character Ace portrayed in KISS (see promo video below). “I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?” Frehley said. “But I don’t really want to talk about Tommy Thayer,” he added, half-apologetically. “Let’s talk about me.”

Asked if he had any discomfort about wearing Ace Frehley’s makeup, Thayer told Rolling Stone magazine (via Blabbermouth ): “No, first of all, I didn’t have any input on that. That was a decision that those guys made. There was not even a conversation about it, because I think it was so obvious, that they weren’t going to introduce new characters 30 years into the band. I never thought that there should be some new designs or something. I thought that would have been ridiculous. And the only thing is, you’ve got a lot of push-back from some of the diehards. And that’s understandable.

“Hey, you know, if you lived in the Seventies and KISS was your favorite band, and that’s what you grew up with, and suddenly there’s another guy wearing that makeup, I can understand how some people, it might not have appealed to them as much. But as time as gone by, a lot of people have changed their mind.”

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Iamthemorning Stream 2nd Album [News]

Russian duo Iamthemorning have streamed second album “ Belighted ” via Prog ahead of its release – and one track is available as a free download.

The 15-track work features Porcupine Tree and King Crimson drummer Gavin Harrison , and it was mixed by Tori Amos collaborator Marcel Van Limbeek .

Vocalist Marjana Semkina and pianist Gleb Kolyadin have received acclaim from Anathema ‘s Daniel Cavanagh , who recently said: “Iamthemorning emanate a certain magic. In Marjana they possess a beautiful, talented and charismatic vocalist, and in Gleb they possess the single greatest pianist I’ve ever met in my life.”

“Belighted” is released via Kscope on September 15, and it’s available now for pre-order via Amazon and iTunes . Grab track “ 5/4 ” off it for free below.

This is the second studio effort by the Russian progressive duo. Their debut album, “ ~ ,” was released in 2012. It was available for the free listening on the band’s official website for a limited time. In the year following their debut release, Marcel contacted them and invited the band to the London studios for their second album sessions. He also invited Harrisson to take part in the album making.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Five Finger Death Punch Has Already Recorded Four New Songs For Next Studio Album [News]

Las Vegas metallers Five Finger Death Punch have begun tracking brand new compositions for the follow-up to last year’s two-album set, “ The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell .”

“We’re at the studio right now, and we’re recording some new material,” FFDP drummer Jeremy Spencer told Artisan News earlier this month while promoting his autobiography, “ Death Punch’d: Surviving Five Finger Death Punch’s Metal Mayhem ” (via Blabbermouth ). “And after we finish the [fall North American co-headlining] tour with Volbeat , we’re gonna go back in and try to finish up everything in the winter and then get something out late spring [or] early summer.”

He continued: “We’ve recorded four [songs so far] . I’m liking what I’m hearing, but there’s a long way to go, so there’s no… We haven’t, like, ‘Cool, these are four singles.’ It’s not … We’ll judge the body of work when it’s done.”

FFDP’s tour with Volbeat kicks off on September 16 in Salt Lake City.

The band will also appear at Slipknot ‘s Knotfest , scheduled for late October in San Bernardino, California.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Drowning Pool To Perform Entire ‘Sinner’ Album On 13th-Anniversary Tour [News]

Texas heavy rockers Drowning Pool will celebrate the 13th anniversary of their debut album, “ Sinner ,” by performing the LP in its entirety on the 20-date “ unLUCKy 13th Anniversary ‘Sinner’ Tour ,” which is set to kick off in late October, Blabbermouth reports.

“Sinner” was certified platinum within six weeks of its release in 2001, while the CD’s first single, “ Bodies ,” was one of the most frequently aired videos on MTV by a new band. Drowning Pool reached out to an ever-greater audience with dynamic performances at Wrestlemania XVIII and Ozzfest during the summers of 2001 and 2002. Unfortunately, their streak of success was not to last. Shortly after rousing the crowd at Ozzfest in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 3, 2002, vocalist Dave “Stage” Williams was found dead of natural causes on the tour bus.

In January 2004, the band announced the addition of singer Jason “Gong” Jones . Their sophomore effort, “ Desensitized ,” followed several months later. In 2006, Ryan McCombs assumed the vocal duties, and a year later they released “ Full Circle ,” followed by a in 2010. McCombs, the only singer to ever record more than one album with the group, departed the following year, and was replaced by Suicide Hook vocalist Jasen Moreno , who made his official debut on 2013’s “ Resilience .”

“unLUCKy 13th Anniversary ‘Sinner’ Tour” dates:

10/22 – Jefferson, LA – Southport Hall
10/23 – Destin, FL – Club LA
10/24 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
10/25 – Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen
10/26 – Cape Coral, FL – Dixie Roadhouse
10/28 – Fredericksburg, VA – Hard Times
10/29 – Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas
10/30 – Lynchburg, VA – Phase 2
10/31 – Fostoria, OH – The New Nest
11/01 – Macomb, IL – The Outskirts
11/02 – Sioux Falls, SD – The District
11/04 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
11/05 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
11/06 – Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater & Lounge
11/07 – Salt Lake City, UT – Murray Theater
11/08 – Las Vegas, NV – LVCS
11/13 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
11/14 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory Concert House
11/15 – Missoula, MT – Stage 112
11/16 – Billings, MT – Babcock Theatre
11/18 – Minot, ND – The Original Bar and Nightclub
11/19 – Spring Lake Park, MN – Pov’s
11/21 – Racine, WI – RT 20
11/22 – Ringle, WI – Q and Z Expo Center
11/23 – Joliet, IL – Mojoes
11/26 – Joplin, MO – Rock 3405

“Resilience” sold 6,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 72 on the Billboard chart. The band teamed up with producer Kato Khandwalla at House of Loud Studios in New Jersey, as well as John Feldmann (the Used , Story of the Year ), and completed the album in Dallas.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Queensryche are working on material for their second album with frontman Todd La Torre , with a view to releasing it early next year, Classic Rock reports.

And drummer Scott Rockenfield says they want to be the band fans “know and love” on their 15th studio outing.

He tells Billboard : “We have a bunch of new material we’ve been working on for the last two years since we rolled in with Todd – stuff we’ve been digging deep and working on longer than just the last few months. There’s even stuff that’s been in our brains for as long as we’ve been musicians.”

He hasn’t put a timeframe on the project but adds: “It will be some time in the next few months. We’ll have a record out some time in early 2015.”

Rockenfield and co took over the rights to use the Queensryche name in April after a two-year dispute with fired frontman Geoff Tate . He later confirmed plans to continue under the name Operation: Mindcrime . He symbolically removed the TriRyche logo at his final show under the band banner, and he’ll begin work on his own album later this month.

Source: Ultimate Guitar

Megadeth have been forced cancel a string of shows, including their appearance at Motorhead ‘s Motorboat cruise, on the orders of Dave Mustaine ‘s doctor.

As reports, the mainman has been told to rest after experiencing “complications” linked to his spinal surgery in 2011.

But promoters behind this month’s Florida event have confirmed a replacement: supergroup Metal Allegiance , which includes Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Chris Broderick , alongside Phil Anselmo , Scott Ian , Mike Portnoy , Joey Belladonna and others.

Mustaine’s outfit say in a statement: “Due to complications arising from a previous cervical spine surgery, and upon his doctor’s strict recommendations, Dave Mustaine has cancelled all performances for the next eight weeks.

“With rest and treatment, he is expected to recover and resume performing soon. The band was looking forward to the concerts and cruise, and is disappointed that they will not be able to see their fans. Megadeth expects to return to the road and will see their fans soon.”

Anselmo, who will also perform on the cruise with Down , says: “I always love getting together with my brothers and throwing down. The Allegiance jam is sure to be the best jam I’ve been involved with yet.”

Mustaine went under the knife in 2011 to relieve the effects of stenosis, brought on by years of headbanging. He said soon afterwards: “My neck is completely recovered – the surgery was a breeze. I can headbang, but with the limitation of, ‘Do I want to headbang or do I want to be in a wheelchair?'”

Source: Ultimate Guitar