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Ex-FEAR FACTORY Drummer RAYMOND HERRERA Says 'The Industrialist' Album Would Have Sounded 'Way Better' With Real Drums

Metal Wani's William Richards and Sairaj Kamath conducted an interviw with former FEAR FACTORY drummer Raymond Herrera. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. Asked if he has heard the two FEAR FACTORY albums — 2010's "Mechanize" and 2012's "The Industrialist" — that were recorded after his departure from the band and what he thought of them, Herrera said: "I thought 'Mechanize' was really good, actually. I thought Gene [Hoglan] did a great job [playing drums on the record]. It was probably a little too thrashy for me, but for the most part, I think, from the interviews, it sounded like they were kind of trying to kind of recapture the 'Demanufacture' [1995] feeling, so I think they did a pretty good job doing that. ['The Industrialist'] I didn't like at all. I was really surprised that they used a drum machine [on the album], because I actually had thought about us doing that back when we did [2004's] 'Archetype'. I played around with the idea of possibily trying to record… or doing the album on a drum machine rather than me having to play it, but every time we did it, it came out really, really stale. Our demos were always with a drum machine, but it always sounded incredibly stale." He continued: "I would have loved to hear Gene on that record ['The Industrialist']; I think it would have been way better… I was really surprised that they went down the drum-machine route, because, like I said, we tried to do that, like, 12 years ago, and it didn't sound very good. We were able to come up with a couple of workarounds, but at the end of the day, it just doesn't sound the same, it just doesn't feel the same. Unfortunately. I wish it did. 'Cause it would have a been a lot easier for me over the years than having to learn all the songs that I would program… I mean, originally, most of the FEAR FACTORY drum parts were programmed on a drum machine, then I had to learn them, then I had to play them live. So it would have been way easier for me to just program them and not have to learn them and not have to play them. So, yeah, they kind of cut a lot of corners doing that, and I think there's been a lot of backlash about it too. "[Using a drum machine] makes it [lot] easier [during the] recording [process], 'cause you don't have to deal with setting up drums, getting drum sounds, your compressions, all your mics, you don't have to worry about editing… any of that stuff. So, I mean, it saves you a lot of time and a lot of money, but it doesn't sound very good, unfortunately. Like I said, I tried to do that a long time ago, so… As soon as you start to play a lot of the faster stuff… If you play really slow — like more 1-2 beats and more rock stuff — you can get away with doing it with a drum machine, 'cause it's not as noticeable. But if you start playing faster, it's very noticeable." Asked if he can foresee himself and former FEAR FACTORY bassist Christian Olde Wolbers ever reuniting with FEAR FACTORY for a new album and tour, Raymond said: "I don't see that happening. I doubt it. I don't think it'll happen. I thnk there's too much… How can I say? There's too much water under that bridge. But who knows? I guess you can never say no, right?! But there are no plans to do that, that's for sure." In a 2012 interview with ReGen Magazine FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares defended the band's decision to embrace drum-machine technology completely on "The Industrialist". He said, "The songwriting process was much quicker, much more efficient, much more cost effective. "Obviously, a band like FEAR FACTORY has always embraced the technology from the beginning — we've always been open about it, we've always talked about it. We've always talked about guys like [producer] Rhys Fulber helping us out, ever since 'Fear Is The Mindkiller', which was after 'Soul Of A New Machine'. We've embraced all that. "Most people are saying, 'Them using drum programming is no different. It doesn't really sound any different.' You know what I mean?! They can expect it from a band like FEAR FACTORY. Again, it's very cost effective. "The way music is going today, a lot of people don't make much money anymore, unless you're a big radio band or something like that. But for metal bands like us, we make most of our money just on touring and selling merchandise. And the record company is not giving much advances anymore. So you have to find ways to cut corners, financially, to try and save money. But this is nothing new for us, again, at the same time, 'cause when me and Burt [C. Bell, vocals] first did our first demo back in 1990, it was with a drum machine. . . So it's nothing new for us. We started that way. . . And then it wasn't until we met Rhys Fulber when we did the remix album, 'Fear Is The Mindkiller', which was in 1992, and that was when we were like, 'OK, Rhys can afford all this technology. Let's bring it in, let's embrace it, let's use it.' And ever since then, we've always gotten criticized for it. Because most metal fans, they just don't… At the time, back in 1992, it was not really well known in metal to do that kind of [stuff]… I'll put it this way: it wasn't really spoken about. I mean, bands have used other members and other stuff, samplers and stuff like that, to do certain things, but it was never talked about, they never brought it to anybody's attention. We embraced it and that has has kind of always been our concept."

RACHEL BOLAN Says SKID ROW's Refusal To Reunite With SEBASTIAN BACH Proves That 'It Is Not About Money'

Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan. An excerpt from the chat follows below. Classic Rock Revisited: Are you satisfied with SKID ROW's legacy, or do you think you're still making it? Rachel: A little bit of both. I am really proud of what we've accomplished. Every time I think we've hit our absolute peak something else comes up. It could be a show that is so amazing, or you get booked to play at a huge festival where you play in front of a half a million people. [The Przystanek Woodstock festival in Poland] will be the biggest show we will ever play in our career. I think that is safe to say. We played Hellfest a few weeks ago in France and we were on in the middle of the day, and we were a little bummed out about it. We went out, and there were sixty thousand people there! After the show we were thrilled, as we could not even see the end of the crowd. We were wondering what a half a million people will look like. Classic Rock Revisited: If it was just about money, then you would tour with [former SKID ROW singer] Sebastian Bach. Everyone points the finger at you as to why this won't happen… Rachel: Well, there are a couple of things. We've been offered money. It's not as much as people would think, but we've been offered money to do it. I think us not doing it kind of says that it is not about money as to why we are not doing it. I am not patting myself on the back, but with our past success, I have plenty of money. I am more about being happy at what I do. As far as everyone pointing the finger at me, that came from one person. We are all individuals. If they wanted to do it, then I am sure I would have heard about it by now, as they are my best friends. It is what it is, and certain people say certain things, and you've just got to sit back and laugh. Classic Rock Revisited: Johnny [Solinger, current SKID ROW singer] has had to put up with a lot of shit. You have all survived the anti-fans out there… Rachel: You have the purists that are scared of change. That is why we called the album "Thickskin"... the first one with Johnny. You have to have thick skin. You know what's funny, Jeb? We had about 85% supporters, especially outside of the United States. People like SKID ROW music and they welcomed Johnny in. I am on the inside and it is not as bad as people would think. Read the entire interview at Classic Rock Revisited.

Ex-SLAYER Drummer DAVE LOMBARDO Interviewed By Brazil's GUIMA DRUM (Video)

Former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo was interviewed by Guima Drum druing his current Brazilian clinic tour. You can now watch the chat below. In a recent interview with Brazil's Portal 7, Lombardo was asked if he has any plans to ever get back together with the members of SLAYER. He replied: "I have no plans. I mean, they can knock on my door, but I don't know if I'll answer. [Laughs]" Lombardo continued: "I don't know. Right now I'm focused on my new band, I'm focusing on my drum clinics, writing music, on staying creative. And I just stay focused and don't let what happened in the past bother me or in any way inhibit my progress with the future." Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX). Lombardo told "Let There Be Talk" podcast about the musical chemistry of the original SLAYER lineup: "I appreciate the nucleus of the band. Like [John] Bonham. When Bonham was part of [LED] ZEPPELIN. When his son [Jason] took over, oh my God. C'mon. Really? I have respect for Jason and for what he's done, but when he put a double-bass pedal on a single bass drum, that just blew it for me. It's, like, 'Really, dude? Your dad was about single bass.' "There is a certain magic — just like with SLAYER, just like with AC/DC with Bon Scott — there's a certain magic when you have those musicians and nobody could replace that. Nobody. That's it. You can't. Yeah, SLAYER's new drummer [Paul Bostaph], yeah, a lot of fans like him. But there's that magic. It's chemistry. It's like when you meet a girl and you two get along really well, and it's like a chemistry; it's something special. Same thing with the band: you get these four guys, [and] they may hate each other, but on stage, there's magic. And that's what's missing, I personally believe." PHILM will release its sophomore album, "Fire From The Evening Sun", on September 16 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR. The band's lineup is completed by guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco "Pancho" Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR).

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PHIL RUDD Talks To New Zealand's THE ROCK FM About Solo Debut, New AC/DC Album (Audio)

Tracey Donaldson of The Rock FM radio station in New Zealand recently conducted an interview with AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. You can now listen to the chat at this location. Rudd released a solo album, "Head Job", on August 29 via Universal Music Australia. The official lyric video for the CD's first single, "Repo Man", can now be seen below. Over the past 20 years or so amidst spending time drumming for Australia's favorite rock export AC/DC, running a studio and a restaurant, racing cars, flying helicopters and a bit of farming in the land of the long white cloud; Melbourne-born drummer Phil Rudd has been quietly writing an album's worth of songs. From the rollicking first single "Repo Man", a gentle reminder about karma; to the rocking title track "Head Job", which does not have intimate connotations but is a play on words about going to the pub to commiserate with your mates about someone doing your head in… from the upbeat dirgy groove of "Bad Move" to the relationship-driven "Crazy"; Rudd has delivered a very personal album "about the shit that goes on," as the great man himself said. Perhaps with the exception of "40 Days & 40 Nights", these songs were more inspired by everyday personal experiences in life rather than being about touring the globe with the world's biggest rock band. Citing influences ranging from Ringo Starr and FREE/BAD COMPANY's Simon Kirke, to MOUNTAIN's Leslie West and AC/DC bandmates Malcolm and Angus Young, these songs and lyrics are all very special to Rudd and when talking about the release of this album which has had such a long gestation, he said, "I'm very happy for it to finally make its way out there and for people to hear it!" The songs were penned primarily by Rudd with the assistance of Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin — musicians Phil met on the local scene, which he says "turned out to be a great musical partnership." "Badge" and Martin also perform vocals, guitars and bass on the album, with Rudd sitting in the producer's seat. The tracks came together over a period of time recorded at several locations including the studio that Rudd built himself not far from his restaurant Phil's Place in Tauranga, New Zealand. "I hope everyone thinks this is a great album from start to finish because that's the idea," Rudd told Triple M. "We didn't put anything on there that we didn't like. There's no filler. There's plenty of Phil, but no filler." Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974. He had previously played with Angry Anderson in BUSTER BROWN and left that band to join the COLOURED BALLS with Lobby Loyde. When AC/DC bassist Mark Evans left the band in 1977, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of AC/DC. Rudd exited AC/DC in 1983 and was replaced by Simon Wright, then Chris Slade. When Slade left in 1993, Rudd rejoined the band. According to Noise11.com, Rudd moved to Tauranga, New Zealand in 1983 and has lived there ever since.

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CINDERELLA's JEFF LABAR Talks To 93.3 WMMR's JACKY BAMBAM About Solo Album (Audio)

Jacky BamBam of Philadelphia's 93.3 WMMR radio station recently conducted an interview with CINDERELLA guitarist Jeff LaBar. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. LaBar's solo video for the song "No Strings" was directed by James Erdman and features drummer Matthew Arnn, Jeff's son, guitarist Sebastian LaBar, and bassist Jasmine Cain. "No Strings" was recorded with TESLA drummer Troy Luccketta and was mixed by CINDERELLA drummer Fred Coury. It is taken from Jeff's solo debut, "One For The Road", which was released on August 26 through Rat Pak Records. The CD was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with longtime friend and noted engineer Ronnie Honeycutt, and was mixed and mastered by Chris "The Wizard" Collier (KXM, LYNCH MOB, LITA FORD). "I wrote 'No Strings' following my first marriage and subsequent divorce," LaBar tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "The relationship was awesome; the breakup, not so much." Jeff's first solo release highlights both his songwriting and guitar-playing abilities. It is also the first of two seven-song offerings of classic, hard rock style material that will be released via Rat Pak. About the album, Jeff states: "This record is written about parts of my life since the heydeys of CINDERELLA... and there is a lot more where that came from!" The song "Ode To Page" is Jeff's acoustic tribute to LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page. Other tracks set to appear on "One For The Road" are "Asking For A Beating", "Muse", "Hello Or Goodbye", "Nightmare On My Street" and "One For The Road". Tracks on the CD range from classic, early CINDERELLA-style hard rock, to groove-laden blues rock and really captures the magic and spirit of the genre that Jeff helped create. In a June 2013 interview with Legendary Rock Interviews, LaBar stated about his upcoming solo album: "The way it started was, I've been threatening to do a solo album or years and at the end of [the summer 2012] CINDERELLA tour, my tour manager Larry Morand and my wife Debi called me on it. They said, Look, Tom's [Keifer, CINDERELLA frontman] solo album is coming out this spring, he'll probably tour on it through the summer. Now is the time, Jeff. It's time to get in the studio and start putting your money where your mouth is.' So, that's what I've been doing." Asked how the direction of his solo material is different from what he has done with CINDERELLA, Jeff said: "The first song I recorded could have been a CINDERELLA song, I think, but you know when you get guitar players putting out solo records, from what I've seen, they are very self-indulgent in terms of guitar playing or even sometimes, they're instrumental records. Mine is self-indulgent in the sense that it will cover a lot of different types of music. The first song I did is called 'No Strings' and like I said, it's a rock song, it could be a CINDERELLA song. The second song I recorded is a total blues waltz/shuffle. The latest song I've done is almost like a FLEETWOOD MAC-type ballad. I've also written a slow, chunky metal song, a blues slide song and a flat-out metal burner, fast song so I think I am really trying to explore all of my different influences. It's all me singing and playing everything but drums." Asked if he enjoys singing, Jeff said: "Absolutely, I've been singing all my life. Since I started playing guitar at the age of nine or ten, I was also singing, sitting in my bedroom with [LED] ZEPPELIN and BEATLES songbooks. I didn't just learn how to play the songs I loved, but I learned how to sing 'em too. I actually started out as a drummer and aspired to be a guitar player, and then when I became a guitar player, I aspired to be a singer. [laughs] I got the chance to do a lot of background vocals over the years in CINDERELLA, but make no mistake, I see myself and believe in myself as a singer."

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THE AGONIST Featuring New Singer VICKY PSARAKIS: Fan-Filmed Footage Of Entire SUMMER BREEZE Concert

Fan-filmed video footage of THE AGONIST's entire August 15 performance at the Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl, Germany can be seen below. THE AGONIST will release its new album, "Eye Of Providence", on November 11 in North America (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media. The band's first CD with new vocalist Vicky Psarakis was recorded at The Grid studio in their hometown with producer Chris Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY). Vicky joined THE AGONIST as the replacement for Alissa White-Gluz, who left the band to focus on her new gig as the frontwoman of ARCH ENEMY. THE AGONIST released a two-song digital single on April 29 via Century Media. These tracks were the first to feature Psarakis. Commented THE AGONIST guitarist Danny Marino: "Creating this album has been an amazing experience so far. "Vicky has breathed new life into the songwriting process and we are so excited to share these first two tracks with the world! "The songs on this album represent a culmination of the past 10 years, as well as a new beginning for THE AGONIST. We're also thrilled to be back in the studio with our old friend and longtime engineer Chris Donaldson. "We can't thank our fans enough for their ongoing support in this new and exciting chapter of THE AGONIST!" THE AGONIST's third album, "Prisoners", debuted at No. 19 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. THE AGONIST 2014 is: Vicky Psarakis - Vocals Danny Marino - Guitar Chris Kells - Bass Simon McKay - Drums Pascal "Paco" Jobin - Guitar

VINNIE PAUL: 'There's No Bad Blood At All' Between Me And Other Former PANTERA Members

Current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has denied that there is any bad blood between him and his former PANTERA bandmates, claiming that he is "just not interested" in reconnecting with singer Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown. Asked by Metal Blast if he would consider reuniting with Anselmo and Brown, with guitarist Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) standing in for Vinnie's late brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, Vinnie once again rejected the idea, explaining, "Ah, man, I'm happy with doing what I'm doing here. PANTERA had 14 amazing years, and without my brother being here to be a part of it, it would be a travesty, man. I'm just not interested in it at all." Pressed if he thinks the bad blood that exists between him and his former bandmates can be put to rest eventually, Vinnie replied: "To me, there's no bad blood at all. It's like when you get a divorce from somebody, there's a reason why you got a divorce. You don't have to stay in touch with that person, you don't have to fucking see that person, or do anything with them. I'm just not interested." Vinnie Paul recently told Germany's EMP Rock Invasion that it is "not right at all" for fans to continue to clamor for a PANTERA reunion. He explained, "People are selfish, man. They want what they want; they don't care what you want. And it's unfortunate that people go, 'Oh, wow, man, they can get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it's PANTERA again.' No, it's not, you know. It's not that simple. If Eddie Van Halen was to get shot in the head four times next week, would everybody be going, 'Hey, man, Zakk, go play for VAN HALEN. Just call it VAN HALEN.' You see what I'm saying? I mean, it's really selfish for people to think that, and it's stupid. It's not right at all." Vinnie added, "They call it a reunion for a reason. It's called bringing the original members back to what it was. So there's a lot of these things that they call reunions that aren't really reunions. They've got one dude from the band floating around in them, you know. That's not a true reunion. With PANTERA, it'll never be possible." PANTERA broke up in 2003 due to an ongoing rift between Anselmo and the rest of the band. Dimebag was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with his and Vinnie's post-PANTERA act DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004. Vinnie and Philip's got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer. Vinnie and HELLYEAH are touring in support of their latest album, "Blood For Blood", and will head out on a North American tour later this month as guests of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and VOLBEAT.

BATTLE BEAST: Multi-Camera Footage Of 'Sabaton Open Air' Performance

Multi-camera fan-filmed video footage of Finnish female-fronted metallers BATTLE BEAST performing the song "Out Of Control" at the Sabaton Open Air on August 16 in Falun, Sweden can be seen below. BATTLE BEAST's self-titled sophomore album entered the official chart in the band's home country of Finland at position No. 5. Released in Europe on May 17, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was produced and mixed by the band at JKB Studios in Helsinki and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The cover artwork was created by Claudio Bergamin (HALFORD, ARJEN A. LUCASSEN, MAGICA). BATTLE BEAST in 2012 parted ways with lead singer Nitte Vänskä and replaced her with Noora Louhimo. In an interview with Metal Divas, Noora explained how she ended up fronting BATTLE BEAST: "[In] September [2012], I got a call from Anton [Kabanen, guitar] that they want me to join BATTLE BEAST. I had heard their music and loved the sound and the vocals, so the next day I called Anton and said I'm in. "Anton found me by accident on YouTube when he was searching for the new vocalist. He had been looking for a vocalist — male or female; [it did not] matter. The only thing that mattered was can that [he or she could] sing his songs without compromises. "I've been singing since I was 4 years old. While being a huge fan of heavy metal of '80s and a teenager, I had some classical singing lessons when I was 16 years old. Then at the age of 19, I started studying music in pop/jazz line. At the same time, I started doing some jam sessions at bars. There I found my first band (ADMIRAL OCTOPUS) in the blues bar. We used to play rock and blues music from '60s-'70s and Janis Joplin was the reason I got the rasp in my voice. After ADMIRAL OCTOPUS, in 2011, I took part in a singing competition ('Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star') at Henry's Pub of Tampere and won it with Janis Joplin's 'Piece Of My Heart'. That's how my single 'Relax' was born." BATTLE BEAST's debut album, "Steel" — which was originally released in Finland in 2011 via Hype Records — was made available internationally on January 27, 2012 through Nuclear Blast Records.

Author JOEL MCIVER Discusses 'Know Your Enemy: The Story Of Rage Against The Machine' Book (Audio)

Renowned author and biographer Joel McIver's "Know Your Enemy: The Story Of Rage Against The Machine" is available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon. McIver wrote this compelling, insightful and entertaining look into RAGE's convoluted 25-year history, uncompromising politics and worldwide success after receiving the go-ahead by founding member and guitarist Tom Morello in 2012 to write an unofficial biography of his legendary group. "Know Your Enemy: The Story of Rage Against the Machine" is described in a press release as "an unbiased look at the group's views on important social and political issues, seamlessly presented with a comprehensive history and chronology of their remarkable career, highlighted by more than 20 million albums sold worldwide and two Grammy Awards." Said McIver: "I've wanted to write a RAGE book for some years now, but felt that the story needed to wait until the band's glory years are behind them, as they now almost certainly are. A natural peak came in 2009 and 2010 with the 'X-Factor'-slaying 'Killing In The Name' and the Victory show in London, and I was lucky enough to have the organizer Jon Morter help out with that side of RAGE's fairly insane tale. Elsewhere in the book, I enlisted the help of several learned writers and academics to illuminate the various sociopolitical issues which RAGE address in their music and offstage activism, making 'Know Your Enemy' rather different from the usual rock yarn. I even got guitarist Tom Morello's blessing to write it, although the band themselves declined to be involved." An interview with Joel McIver about "Know Your Enemy: The Story Of Rage Against The Machine" which was originally recorded this past May for "The Brad Bogner Show" can be streamed using the audio player below. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE disbanded in 2000 but reunited in 2007 and has played sporadic live shows ever since. The Californian four-piece band has earned the distinction of being the only heavy metal group to sell out major stadiums in numerous countries while featuring intensely political songs presented in direct opposition to mainstream popular music. The band also made international news when it topped Simon Cowell's immensely popular TV series "X Factor" for UK Christmas No. 1 in 2009. Interview (audio):

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FOO FIGHTERS: Audio Clip Of New Music

Bob "Moz" Moczydlowsky, the recently appointed head of music at Twitter and former senior vice president of product and marketing at Topspin Media, has posted a short snippet of some new FOO FIGHTERS music. Check it out below. Bob took to Vine to post: "Holy guitars, Batman! New @foofighters record makes 'em sound 100 feet tall. Coming soon." FOO FIGHTERS recently released an extended, three-and-a-half minute trailer for "Sonic Highways", the upcoming eight-part HBO documentary that chronicles the making of the band's new album of the same name. The trailer not only offers up quick excerpts of new FOO FIGHTERS music, but reveals many of the personalities that frontman and director Dave Grohl interviewed for the series, including Slash, Dan Auerbach of the BLACK KEYS, LL Cool J, Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Pharrell Williams, Joan Jett, CHEAP TRICK ‘s Rick Nielsen, Paul Stanley of KISS, Joe Walsh, ZZ TOP's Billy F. Gibbons, Macklemore, Buddy Guy and even President Barack Obama. The recording of the 44-minute disc took place in iconic studios in eight different cities around the United States, with the FOOs also collaborating with and interviewing local artists in each region. The eight-episode HBO series will follow the band to a different location each week. Dave Grohl says in the trailer, "I really believe the environment in which you write or record an album influences the musical result." At another point in the trailer, Grohl remarks, "This is a musical map of America. It's a chronicling of our journey to unravel our musical identity." The series premieres on October 17, while the album will arrive on November 10.

Guitarist EMIL WERSTLER Quits CHIMAIRA

Guitarist Emil Werstler has decided to leave CHIMAIRA after a three-year tenure with the band. Werstler spent the first few months playing bass for CHIMAIRA, but switched back to his original instrument in 2012 following the announcement that guitarists Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries were leaving the group at the end of 2011. Emil, best known for his gypsy jazz-infused guitar playing with LEVI/WERSTLER and DÅÅTH, has issued the following statement about his departure: "My time in CHIMAIRA has, unfortunately, come to an end. It is time for me to move on as I continue to focus on harvesting my abilities as a musician. "I'm very fond of everyone in the band and wish them all the best in the future. "Although this was a difficult choice to make, I feel it was necessary in order to take the next step in my career. The best is still yet to come and I'm very excited for the multiple projects I am working on. "I would like to thank the band, management, and, most importantly, all the fans for the endless support and understanding." Werstler is featured on CHIMAIRA's seventh studio album, "Crown Of Phantoms", which sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 52 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on July 30, 2013 via eOne Music.

MICHAEL SCHENKER's Guitars Stolen From Recording Studio In Germany

Sometime between 6 p.m. on Friday, August 29 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, August 31 at Kidroom Studios in Greven, Germany, where Michael Schenker is recording the new TEMPLE OF ROCK album, "Spirit On A Mission", thieves broke in and stole and number of Schenker's Dean Flying V and Michael Voss' guitars. At the moment, the full extent of what has been stolen is being assessed and the crime scene fingerprinted. However, Schenker's brand new Chrome V is one of the guitars that have been taken. A source close to the band said: "The Dean Chrome V is one of only three ever made. Michael's version is unique and made to his own specifications. There is not another like it, so it will be hard to sell." German police are examining evidence and the studio for fingerprints and DNA evidence to help catch the criminals. There will be more details once the extent of the damage and a thorough inventory has been taken at the crime scene. Anyone with any relevant information is asked to contact the Greven Police Station on +49 2571 9280. MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK's last CD, "Bridge The Gap", featured Michael Schenker alongside vocalist Doogie White, guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay, bassist Francis Buchholz and drummer Herman Rarebell. The effort marked the first time Schenker and fellow ex-SCORPIONS members Buchholz and Rarebell appeared on the same album since the classic 1979 SCORPIONS LP "Lovedrive".

Video: GEOFF TATE's QUEENSRŸCHE Performs In Wichita

Fan-filmed video footage of the August 28 performance by Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE at The Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas can be seen below. In a brand new interview with the Daily Herald, Tate once again admitted that he is still perplexed as to why his former bandmates fired him from QUEENSRŸCHE in June 2012, a move which instigated lawsuits over the dismissal and sparked a protracted legal fight over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name. "I didn't see it coming," he said. "I didn't even think it was possible. First off, why would you break up a band that is incredibly successful and has been successful for years and years and years, for 30 years? There's no sense, it's very difficult, very difficult and becoming even more difficult day by day to operate and to be successful in the record industry. It's no mystery that it's hurting badly. And so why would you take this incredible successful entity and break it all apart? "And why would you fire the main writer? Why would you do that — and the person who is the face of the band and is the identifying key figure in the success of the group? I don't mean that to sound egotistical because it's not. It's just the truth. Why on earth would you do that? It sounds like career suicide, especially at our ages. We're all in our 50s. ... Why would you break apart this successful thing at this point in life? I can see if you had some grand plan that, if you're in your 20s and you had all this time and all these years ahead of you. But we're all in the last decade of our working lives. It just sounds like madness to me." Tate, who will continue with a new band called OPERATION: MINDCRIME while his former bandmates carry on recording and touring as QUEENSRŸCHE, believes that the settlement agreement will make it clear to fans the new QUEENSRŸCHE group — featuring Todd La Torre on vocals — is drastically different from what it was up to Geoff's dismissal in 2012. "I think (the settlement) makes people, or at least spells out for them, what actually is the situation," Tate said. "And by that I mean I wrote the majority of the music in QUEENSRŸCHE all of these years. And Chris [former guitarist Chris DeGarmo, who left QUEENSRŸCHE in 1998], when he was in the band, wrote the majority of the music in the band. So he and I were the ones that came up with the concepts and the soundscape and the image of the band. Everything that people associate with QUEENSRŸCHE, he and I did that. We were responsible for that. So what you have now with him not in the band and me not in the band, is you have the people who were responsible for what people associate with QUEENSRŸCHE not in QUEENSRŸCHE anymore. So QUEENSRŸCHE means something completely different now than it ever has before. See what I'm saying?" Named after QUEENSRŸCHE's epic concept album from 1988, "Operation: Mindcrime", Tate's new band will include Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE), Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO), Randy Gane (MYTH) and Kelly Gray (QUEENSRYCHE 1998 - 2001, 2012 - 2014). OPERATION: MINDCRIME will enter the studio in September to begin recording a trilogy project that Geoff's been working on for the past two years.

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SEETHER's SHAUN MORGAN Interviewed By MÖTLEY CRÜE's NIKKI SIXX (Audio)

SEETHER frontman Shaun Morgan was interviewed on a recent edition of the "Sixx Sense" radio show hosted by MÖTLEY CRÜE and SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx. You can now listen to the chat below. According to The Pulse Of Radio, Morgan has opened up in a new interview with Music Radar why SEETHER has not been able to hold onto a lead guitar player, with Johan Greyling, Patrick Callahan and Troy McLawhorn all joining and leaving the lineup since 1999. Morgan explained, "What drummers were to SPINAL TAP, lead guitarists are to SEETHER… The problem is that a lot of these guys have ego problems, plain and simple. We've seen guys become rock stars overnight, which becomes a problem because that's not how we operate." After spending a few years as a trio, the band enlisted lead guitarist Bryan Wickmann earlier this year for live work. Morgan told The Pulse Of Radio that ever since joining the band's crew as a guitar tech three years ago, Wickmann has gotten more involved with the band. "We were looking for somebody to augment the live sound again, so we asked him to do it, and in fact he's been involved on pretty much the past three album covers and artwork. He actually painted the painting that's on the cover of the new one. He's been highly behind the scenes but highly active in the SEETHER camp for a while, so we figured we'd put him onstage for a change." Morgan played all the guitar parts on SEETHER's new album, "Isolate & Medicate". "Isolate & Medicate", SEETHER's sixth album, sold 37,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release to debut at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart earlier this month. SEETHER, GODSMACK and others are taking part in the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, which kicked off August 15 in Clarkston, Michigan.

Video: ROB ZOMBIE, DUFF MCKAGAN, BILLY IDOL, STEVE JONES Perform At 10th Annual JOHNNY RAMONE Tribute

Rob Zombie hosted the 10th annual Johnny Ramone birthday on August 24 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The show included live sets of RAMONES classics performed by some of Johnny's closest musician friends, including Zombie, Billy Idol, former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan and SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones. Fred Armisen ("Portlandia", "Saturday Night Live") also appeared at the tribute and brought along his punk rock alter ego, Ian Rubbish, to the festivities. According to RollingStone.com, Zombie and his band played a five-song set consisting of "Blitzkrieg Bop", "Rock 'N' Roll High School", "Beat On The Brat", "Lobotomy" and MOTÖRHEAD's tribute song "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." "We're here for one reason, and one reason only: to pay tribute to our good friend Johnny Ramone," Zombie told the crowd. "I miss him every day. He was a wonderful kind guy. There was nobody like him. There was nothing like the RAMONES, so we're here for Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy." "I was freaked out by the RAMONES," McKagan said during a panel question-and-answer session. "As a 13-year-old kid living up in Seattle, the RAMONES were the first punk band to come play. They were like my KISS. So 10 or 12 years later, 'Appetite [For Destruction]' came out, I got an opportunity to meet the RAMONES, and I actually didn't want to because I didn't want to ruin anything. They still remain bigger than life to me." Cited by both Time and Rolling Stone magazines as one of the most influential guitarists ever, the Johnny Ramone Tribute brings family, friends and fans together to celebrate the late punk guitarist's music and legacy with question-and-answer sessions, screenings of Johnny's favorite movies and musical guests. Past participants have included Tommy Ramone, Johnny Depp, Rob Zombie, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Chris Cornell, Nick Cage, Kirk Hammett, Steve Jones, Rose McGowan, Henry Rollins, John Waters, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, Shepard Fairey, Dita Von Teese and Billy Zoom, among many others.

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MEGADETH Mainman DAVE MUSTAINE's Stool Being Auctioned For Charity

A stool hand-assembled by Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH while recording the band's 2007 album "United Abominations" is being auctioned to benefit three children's charities as part of the TeamRock Monster Rock Auction, a charitable project launched by the Heavy Metal Truants. The stool, which was donated by "United Abominations" producer Andy Sneap, bears a note of authenticity signed by Mustaine himself. As previously reported, MEGADETH is continuing work on material for the band's next album, tentatively due in 2015. "We're taking our time with this one," Mustaine told Loaded Radio in a recent interview. "The last record we've done, we felt we were really on a positive upswing with [producer] Johnny K and we were excited to get in and do the record. But looking back over time, all the records that we had a lot of success with, personally…. Because, I mean, at the end of the day, if you don't like what you're doing, then what's the point? But the ones that we really got the most enjoyment out of was the ones that took the longest to write. We would sit with the songs and let them digest and assimilate and become part of us, instead of, 'OK, that's a great song. Let's go.' Or versus, 'You know what? Would it be better if we [played] this part one more time or cut that one in half or sped this up a little bit. There's so many variables." MEGADETH latest album, 2013's "Super Collider", sold 29,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart. davemustainestool_638

Original JUDAS PRIEST Singer AL ATKINS Returns With Third ATKINS MAY PROJECT Album 'Empire Of Destruction'

ATKINS MAY PROJECT, the band featuring original JUDAS PRIEST singer Al Atkins and Christian guitarist and music artist Paul May, will release its third album, "Empire Of Destruction", on September 29 via Gonzo Multimedia. "Empire Of Destruction" track listing: CD 01. Dog Eat Dog 02. Whisper To The Wind 03. A World At War 04. The Midas Touch 05. Here Comes The Rain 06. Darkness Within 07. Reckless Child 08. Paranoia DVD * Welcome To The Nightmare * Fight * The Shallowing (unplugged) * The Darkness Within * Enslaved To Love * Interview with Paul May and Al Atkins A seven-minute collection of audio samples of the tracks that will appear on "Empire Of Destruction" is available below. ATKINS MAY PROJECT's first CD, "Serpent's Kiss", was released in 2011 via Gonzo Multimedia. A follow-up effort, "Valley Of Shadows", came out in 2012. Atkins is the co-writer of several PRIEST songs which are included on the band's first two albums, "Rocka Rolla" and "Sad Wings of Destiny", both of which eventually went gold. Atkins co-penned the heavy metal classic "Victim of Changes", which was a combination of Rob Halford's song "Red Light Lady" and Atkins' own "Whiskey Woman". He also co-wrote "Winter", "Never Satisfied", "Dreamer Deceiver" and "Caviar and Meths". In 1989 Atkins released his debut solo album, "Judgement Day", to great acclaim. But it was "Heavy Thoughts" and "Victim of Changes" (the latter being his collaborative album with ex-JUDAS PRIEST drummer Dave Holland) that brought him strong sales and critical acclaim around the world. JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill penned the foreword to Al Atkins's autobiography, titled "Dawn of the Metal Gods: My Life in Judas Priest and Heavy Metal". The book, which was written with Neil Daniels — a freelance rock writer and heavy metal fan who befriended Atkins during the writing of Neil's book "The Story Of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith" (Omnibus Press) — was released in 2009 via Iron Pages.

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SEBASTIAN BACH To TED NUGENT: 'Being A Racist Is F**king Weak'

Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has apparently responded to Ted Nugent's recent comments about him in which the legendary rocker described Bach as "incredibly gifted… but… weak." In an interview with Radio.com, Nugent stated about Bach: "I love the guy, he's incredibly gifted, a gentleman for the most part, but he's weak. He's weak. And he doesn't understand the concept of the [body as a] Sacred Temple. He doesn't understand accountability. He doesn't understand — clearly — how his indulgences and his poisons ruin his life. And his relationships, and his marriage. And his musical capabilities. I love the guy and if he's watching this, I love you, but when you're the drunk Sebastian Bach, you're nowhere near the Sebastian Bach that you are when you're clean and sober. Case closed. That isn't a Ted Nugent opinion, that's scientific truism." After Nugent's comments were posted on BLABBERMOUTH.NET on Friday, Bach took to his Twitter account to write: "Being a racist is fucking weak." Nugent has consistently denied that he is a racist, explaining back in a 2003 statement: "Throughout my 40-year career in the media, I have constantly praised the long list of black musical influences that shaped me as a young musician and continue to inspire me today. Furthermore, I have hired blacks and Mexicans to play in my band. Yet I'm a racist? I'll admit I'm a racist when you admit that one plus one equals seventeen." Nugent in February apologized for referring to President Barack Obama as a "subhuman mongrel," calling that word grouping "street-fighter terminology" and saying he wished he used "more understandable language," such as "violator of his oath to the Constitution." In a 2012 interview with Metal-Rules.com, Bach stated about Nugent, with whom he appeared on "SuperGroup", the 2006 VH1 "reality" TV program also starring ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian, ex-BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld and drummer Jason Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN, BONHAM, UFO, FOREIGNER): "To be honest with you, I think that Ted's political beliefs and social opinions overshadow how great a guitar player he is. More people know Ted for his outrageous views and political viewpoints. His music is so great, but a lot of people are disgusted by him. They don't like guns. People don't like racism, but he says some things that are from the Fifties. People don't think like that anymore; it's not acceptable. It's a shame because I love his music and he is funny as hell. He is so abrasive with his beliefs, it takes the fun out of it."

FAITH NO MORE Is 'Considering Doing Something New,' Says Bassist BILLY GOULD

Bassist Billy Gould of the reactivated influential alt-metal act FAITH NO MORE has revealed to Classic Rock magazine that the band may begin work on a new studio album at some point in the not-too-distant future, explaining, "to do something creative would be a really good thing to do." FAITH NO MORE recently hinted at the possibility of new music 17 years after the release of the band's last LP, "Album Of The Year", and debuted two new songs, "Superhero" and "Motherfucker" — when they supported BLACK SABBATH at London,'s Hyde Park on July 4. "We're considering doing something new," Gould said. "[But] we're not going to go into a room and bang out a bunch of songs just to put something out; it has to to be right." He continued: "Our relationships among ourselves are really positive at the moment, and to do something creative would be a really good thing to do. We're all at that stage. I mean, we're still the same people and there's still the same shit going on, but I think maybe we're a bit more appreciative of one another than we were fifteen years ago." The group, which made a comeback in June 2009 with a headlining performance at the Brixton Academy in London, England and has played sporadic shows for the past few years, launched a new Twitter account and one of the first posts in May was as follows: "The reunion thing was fun, but now it's time to get a little creative." "I think we still have a lot of potential to do really good things, and I think our heads, musically speaking, are in a really good space," Gould told Classic Rock. "If anything is to come out of this, I'll probably have to be one of the instigators. But everybody has to want to do this or it doesn't happen. "At this point, no one has a carrot or a stick to use on anyone else. If it comes together, it'll all be completely consensual." FAITH NO MORE singer Mike Patton said in a 2012 interview that one of the reasons the band's reunion didn't happen sooner is the fact that they wanted to avoid making it feel like a nostalgia thing — like "Here's FAITH NO MORE again." "We wanted it to feel fresh and still somehow vital," he said. "It wasn't an money grab. It's funny to say, but we all kind of reconnected, and after quite a long time we all kinda looked at each other and were like, 'Man, we actually spent half of our lives together.' It's interesting to see it through that set of glasses as opposed to the ones you wore back then. I suppose, at least personally speaking, I've grown up a lot since then, and I think I approach the music differently, and I felt better about the music than I did then."

MASTODON's BRENT HINDS Interviewed By THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's BEN WEINMAN

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN guitarist Ben Weinman recently conducted an interview with MASTODON's Brent Hinds for Weinman's newly launched PartySmasherInc.com web site. You can now watch the chat below. Weinman and Hinds have previously collaborated in GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA, the supergroup also featuring former JANE'S ADDICTION bassist Eric Avery and former THE MARS VOLTA drummer Jon Theodore. As previously reported, MASTODON will be the musical guests on the September 15 episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The band will perform several songs on the show's outdoor stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m.-12:37 a.m., ET) and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. MASTODON's sixth album, "Once More 'Round The Sun", sold around 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 24 via Reprise Records. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN has collaborated with rapper Jarren Benton on a song called "Rage" as part of the Converse CONS EP series, where artists who might not ever cross musical paths are invited to step into Converse Rubber Tracks studios and mix it up. Converse Rubber Tracks is a state-of-the-art recording studio that opened on July 13, 2011 in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The studio provides emerging artists with the incredible opportunity to record music in a high-quality studio at no cost. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's new song "Happiness Is A Smile" was made available on limited-edition colored seven-inch vinyl via the band's merchandise table and as a cassingle through the group's VIP packages during THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's recent U.S. tour.