The organisers of Download Festival have announced that the main stage on the Saturday this year has been renamed ‘The Lemmy Stage’ in tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, who passed away in December 2015. The statement can be read below:
Review By Bobby HQ Storm, Sandy Storm
It was that time of year again, Winter Wonderland hit Southern California as the city of Anaheim hosted the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) event, January 21 – 24th.
“Believe in Music” was this year’s theme as exhibitors from around the world gathered into the convention center, eager to showcase their new products and there is no doubt, the NAMM show is the platform for such a task. Innovation, creativity and sheer genius in capability was on full display as stated by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, “As we look at the record number of exhibiting brands, influx of new entrepreneurial spirit and attendance from 125 countries, the industry seems poised for vital growth and breakthroughs. The NAMM Show is a reflection of our industry, not only where it is now, but even more importantly where it is heading next.”
The 31st annual NAMM TEC awards was held on January 23rd, which honored individuals, companies and technical innovations that represent the music community as a whole. The events most prestigious award, the “Les Paul Award” recipient was artist and executive Don Was. Founding member of Was; the band had a unique blend of soul, funk and R&B. Don has also made a staple in the music industry as a producer, with such artists as Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Ziggy Marley and currently the President of Blue Note Records since 2011.
As we explored the endless isles of musical splendor, we were able to speak with several representatives of such products as Samson, showcasing their new light weight yet heavy hitter bass amplifier as well as their wireless video/audio system. ESP guitars are excited about their dedication to Bass guitarists and prove it by redesigning their Bass line. ESP also takes us through some of their artist signature series guitars. Sonor Drums are proud to have back in their fold; Nicko Mcbrain of Iron Maiden, and who better than Nicko himself to tell us about it. Nicko talks about the Sonor reunion and a couple of other gems as well, you can view our interview at this location. Check out the above mentioned product interviews, also including a chat with musician Mike Campese, below:
Now, what would NAMM be without the abundance of celebrations that carry on each night during the event? It seems that every club known throughout Southern California hosted a NAMM party. Zakk Wylde paid tribute to Black Sabbath with his show Zakk Sabbath. Graham Bonnet of Rainbow, MSG and Alcatrazz fame rolled into town to Rock a NAMM evening along with Kill Ritual. Hometown rockers L.A. Guns also hit the town to offer up their services. Other Star studded events included several remembrance concerts as well, such as the BONZO BASH honoring John Bohnam. Participants gracing the stage included Brad Whiteford (Aerosmith), Dave Lombardo(Slayer), Chad Smith(Red Hot Chili peppers), Simon Wright(Dio, AC/DC, Operation Mindcrime) to name a few. Another event was the Randy Rhoads Remembered; featuring such artists as Doug Aldrich(Whitesnake), Michael Angelo Batio, Roy Z(Tribe of Gypsies, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford), Chris Broderick(Megadeth) and Ronnie Montrose Remembered seen the likes of Steve Stevens(Billy Idol), David Ellefson(Megadeth), Legendary drummer Carmine Appice, and Brad Gillis(Night Ranger).
There was a second and very important theme that I witnessed throughout the event; a very prominent educational presence that seemed to have covered every aspect of the Music Industry. Workshops were set up throughout the day; both business and talent were center stage. Teachers and students alike showcased not only their musicianship, but the importance of music. I, for one, truly appreciated the two themes as they intertwined to create a natural surge of positive energy, especially in such a somber time in musical history; as the legends of music leave us on an almost weekly basis. One can’t help but wonder what the future holds. The urgency…, the necessity of rising stars to carry on the torch has never been greater.
Thanks to events such as The NAMM Show, music is resounding….and may it reach into every fabric of society and every fiber of being…..“Believe in Music”.
New York City-based hard rock act TOURNAMENT have released the title track to their “Teenage Creature” album, set for release March 25th, 2016. This is Tournament‘s first release with The End Records. “Teenage Creature” just premiered with Brooklyn Vegan, check it out below:
01. Teenage Creature **
02. Too Far Gone
04. Eye On You
06. Biff’s Future
08. Sean’s Place
09. Accident Boys (Trouble)
10. No Control
11. Life Is Over
Tournament are here to show you that rock isn’t dead; in fact it’s never been more alive. The members of the band all aptly hail from Rockland County, New York, and have known each other since they were teenagers. However it wasn’t until 2006 that the band—vocalist/guitarist Montana Masback, guitarist Sean Kraft, bassist Ryan Kelly and drummer Jordan Lovelace—migrated to Brooklyn and officially formed Tournament out of the ashes of their previous acts. Since then they’ve played countless shows and released the 2008 EP S”wordswallower”, 2009 full-length Years Old and the 2011 7-inch “Rx/Collar”. That said, their long-awaited new full-length “Teenage Creature” is unquestionably the pinnacle of their career and showcases how the band have fully developed their sound over the past few years.
That doesn’t mean the process was painless. In fact in order to finish the album, which was recorded in their own studio and co-engineered by Lovelace and Kyle Keays Hagerman (Destruction Unit, The Men), Tournament had to reinvent themselves. “The record in its original form is completely different from what we are releasing now,” Kraft adds. “After a period of losing our way we made an effort to get back to the basics, strip everything down and simplify a lot of the manic ideas we had.” Turning points for the band were songs like “Scattered” and “Teenage Creature,” which saw them curbing their more experimental tendencies to create the type of urgent music they bonded over in the first place.
From the opening lick of the album’s title track, Tournament set the tone early via rumbling bass, Hellacopters-worthy guitar riffing, gritty vocals and a melodic sensibility that keeps these songs as infectious as they are incendiary. There’s also plenty of diversity inherent on “Teenage Creatur”e from the psychedelic instrumental track “Biff’s Future” to the relentless raw power of “Scattered.”
“We draw from many different influences and time periods but the moment a riff is introduced we know if it will work for Tournament or not,” Kraft explains. While the band cites acts like Thin Lizzy and Hot Snakes as influences, they’ve always found it important to develop their own sound even when it’s to their own detriment. “We’ve always felt like outsiders and I think that’s part of our collective mantra,” he continues, adding that the group feels a kinship with other acts who don’t quite fit in.
“Teenage Creature” touches on themes such as urban squalor, disillusionment with your peers, fading youth, dystopian futures and out-partying the devil, among other things. “I think our lyrical approach on this record in general was to try not to over think it, just have fun and laugh in the face of everything that crosses our path,” Lovelace notes. Masback adds that the revolving cast of characters in New York City and the group’s daily interaction with their surroundings also played a big part in the writing of the album. “We wanted to avoid being too cryptic or obtuse and by doing so we felt like we could make the lyrics more relatable for everyone,” he continues. In that spirit, songs like “No Control,” “Problems” and “Life Is Over” address the universal human condition in a way that’s far more celebratory than it is melancholy.
Ultimately “Teenage Creature” is the type of album that isn’t built on hype or buzzwords but lets the music speak for itself—and it does that in a voice that’s grizzled by late-night shredding, whiskey shots and cigarettes. “Personally I feel like this album is the best sonic representation of us as a band and people,” Kraft summarizes. Whether you’ve caught one of the band’s live performances or are only now hearing Tournament for the first time, there’s no question that this is destined to be one of the most exciting rock albums of 2016. Better yet, the group are already hard at work on a tour and follow-up release that will see them taking “Teenage Creature”‘s momentum to the future and beyond.
Alice Cooper and his HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES bandmates will bring some edge to the Grammys next week with a tribute to late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and the premiere of a hard-rocking, brand new song, ‘As Bad as I Am,’ according to rollingstone.com.
“We started this band as a means to toast our ‘dead drunk friends’ at the Rainbow, all the ghosts in the bar, and now I guess Lemmy is involved in that, too,” Cooper tells Rolling Stone. The group – which includes Johnny Depp, Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry and Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff McKagan, among others – are set to perform both during the awards ceremony, which will air live on CBS on February 15th.
“Lemmy was one of those salt-of-the-earth guys,” Cooper says. “Find me somebody who didn’t love Lemmy. He’s just one of those guys that’s impossible not to like.
“He was always funny,” he continues. “I’m a ‘healed’ alcoholic and I haven’t had anything to drink in 35 years. A lot of people that drink always feel a little bit like they owe an explanation to me. A couple weeks before his death, Lemmy came up to me and said, ‘Alice, I’ve quit drinking.’ And he’s got a glass in his hand. And I go, ‘Really?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I don’t drink whiskey anymore. I drink vodka.'” Cooper laughs. “And I went, ‘Lemmy, do you think your liver has any idea what color the alcohol is?’ He said, well it’s a step down from whiskey.’ And I went, ‘OK. Any step’s a good step.‘” He laughs.
Although Hollywood Vampires are still planning what they will do at the Grammys, Cooper wants to sing ‘Ace of Spades.’ Asked if he’d attempt to approximate Kilmister‘s gravely snarl on the song, Cooper laughs. “I might do it more ‘Alice Cooper style,’ but it would still have to have that growl, that guttural voice to make it work. I can’t picture, like, Creedence Clearwater doing that song.”
The Grammys will also serve as the first time people will hear ‘As Bad As I Am,’ which will appear as a bonus track on the upcoming deluxe edition of Hollywood Vampires‘ 2015 debut. The digital release, which will also stream on Spotify, will also contain two previously unreleased covers – the Who‘s ‘I’m a Boy’ (“I did that song once with the Who because it was so obvious for Alice Cooper to sing,” the singer says, “‘I’m a boy, I’m a boy, but my ma won’t admit it‘”) and Love’s “7 and 7 Is” (“I still have no idea what the lyrics mean,” Cooper says with a laugh, “there might have been drugs involved”) – when it comes out on February 12th.
With a scratchy guitar riff and locomotive, Aerosmith-y rhythms, ‘As Bad as I Am’ and its catchy chorus – ‘Here’s to you, as good as you are/ Here’s to me as bad as I am’ – came from Depp. “Johnny says to me, ‘My dad was a bit of a rounder, one of those guys that was in and out of trouble all the time,‘” Cooper explains. “‘During Thanksgiving or Christmas, when we’d toast, he’d say, ‘Good as you are, bad as I am.‘” Cooper laughs. “And I went, ‘Wow, that’s really good.’ That actually sounds like an old, Irish toast of some sort. So once again, almost everyone in the band is a recovered alcoholic and it refers back to alcohol.”
Beyond the theme, though, Cooper‘s just happy with the way it sounds, and he’s looking for an opportunity to share it. “I like that it’s a pure rocker,” he says. “It moves. It’s what I think rock & roll needs right now.”
Shooter Promotions GmbH have announced via their official Facebook page that classic rock legends THIN LIZZY will be special guests of Ritchie Blackmore’s RAINBOW at this year’s Monsters Of Rock in Germany. The event takes place at Loreley, Freilichtbühneon on 17th June and Bietigheim-Bissingen on 18th June.
The band’s last show there was in 1983 and the two performances in Germany will be of only six worldwide.
Also added to the bill are prog rockers MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND.
THIN LIZZY recently announced a series of special anniversary shows for 2016 and 2107, more information can be found at this location.
Over a year since their last headline UK tour, THE DEFILED planned to grace our shores once more this January with a run of headline shows in January and February 2016 following a short run of dates as main support to In This Moment. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond their control, the In This Moment tour was postponed and so The Defiled‘s headline dates also became delayed.
Both the headline shows and the support shows with In This Moment have now been announced to take place in May. Full dates are below.
The AvD comments, “After our ‘Running in Circles’ tour getting postponed earlier this year we are proud to announce that we are hitting the road with our brothers Forever Never. These are off dates that coincide with our In This Moment UK tour so get ready for some intimate drunken shenanigans. Can’t wait to see all your pretty faces, let’s party!”
2016 will also be a record breaking year for the band when the four piece are officially added to the Guinness Book Of World Records. Braving arctic conditions, THE DEFILED became the first band to play a gig on an iceberg last year as part of Jagermeister’s Ice Cold Gig series. The stunt will be immortalised forever in the 2016 Guinness Book Of World Records.
Watch a video filmed whilst the band were in Greenland for ‘Five Minutes’ here:
Tickets for the tour are on sale now here.
Catch THE DEFILED at the following shows.
* With IN THIS MOMENT
** Headline with support from FOREVER NEVER
Tue 03 May Norwich – Waterfont Studio**
Wed 04 May Swansea – The Scene**
Thu 05 May Chester – Live Rooms**
Fri 06 May Newcastle – Think Tank**
Sat 07 May Sheffield – Corporation**
Sun 08 May Nottingham – Rescue Rooms**
Tue 10 May York – The Duchess**
Wed 11 May Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms**
Thu 12 May Oxford – The Bullingdon**
Wed 25 May London – The Forum*
Thu 26 May Birmingham – O2 Institute *
Fri 27 May Manchester – Academy*
Sat 28 May Glasgow – Academy *
Interview By Sandy and Bobby HQ Storm
This year’s National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) event took place in Anaheim, California from January 21st – 24th. Metal Shock Finland freelancers Sandy and Bobby HQ Storm attended, providing coverage for us.
Who better to catch up with than one of the best drummers in the business, IRON MAIDEN‘s Nicko McBrain! Nicko discusses his reunion with Sonor Drums as well as the band’s latest album “The Book Of Souls” and even his Rock n Roll Ribs restaurant. A couple of excerpts from Nicko‘s chat with Sandy can be read below and the full interview is available on the video:
On his new drum kit to be revealed, Nicko enthused:
“There’s something very very special that they’ve done for me on this drum kit, which I can’t really tell you about cos it’s gonna be revealed at the first show. It’s an absolute splendid, spectacular drum set and I think it’s probably gonna top the Somewhere In Time kit and that’s thirty years ago.”
Talking about “The Book Of Souls”, Nicko stated:
“Every album we’ve made is the best album we’ve ever made. If not in people’s interpretation of the music, it was in terms of the way we made it and the bond that we had after all these years. We had the best fun in William Tell Studios in Paris – we wrote in the studio, which is the first time we’ve ever actually done it. The whole album was written in the studio.”