Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke to Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee for Judas Priest Drummer Les Binks.
In the chat Les Binks spoke about his current tour plans with Les Binks’ Priesthood, getting inducted in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and the extent of his participation in KK’s Priest potential tour.
When asked his future touring plans “I’m waiting to see about KK’s band might (tour) and there might be some guest spots for me, I haven’t had any tour dates yet but I’m waiting to see what develops. ”
When asked if he was part of the upcoming KK’s Priest Studio album “I chatted to him (K.K. Downing ) about this and I think there was problems regarding getting (KK’s) management sorted out and getting tour dates set up so he just decided to press on with (KK’s Priest) album Number Two. Now the thing is that there’s another drummer involved in the band. So I presume he’s played on this album as well. The only time that I would be involved (KK’s Priest) would be through a live situation as a guest performer. So as I say until there’s some dates that are like actually confirmed I’ll have to wait and see what develops there.”
Binks joined the up-and-coming Judas Priest in March 1977 for their world tour. Binks remained with the band for two and a half years, until July 1979, recording the studio albums Stained Class and Killing Machine and the live album Unleashed in the East. Binks received a writing credit for the song “Beyond the Realms of Death” from the album Stained Class.
In 2022, Binks was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Judas Priest via the Award for Musical Excellence.
Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon from Canada’s The Metal Voice recently spoke with Former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin on his upcoming Vinyl re-release of his 2022 ‘Thorns’ Solo album as well as his time with Black Sabbath. As well his time assisting the launching of Reggae boy band Musical Youth in the 80’s.
Tony Martin, former Black Sabbath singer, solo album “THORNS”, was released worldwide on January 14, 2022. The album is licensed in all of North and South America by Dark Star Records, and will be available to all other countries via Battlegod Productions.
The new album features Danny Needham (Venom), Magnus Rosen (HammerFall), Scott McClellan (who helped co-write the album) and Greg Smith who performed with Alice Cooper, Rainbow, Blue Öyster Cult, Pamala Moore and many more!
When asked about the ‘Thorns’ vinyl re-issue “Believe it or not we’re still working on it sounds strange but we were asked to do some more tracks for a vinyl version of the album. I’m hoping for the anniversary or maybe just a little bit after that we’ll have the vinyl version and then other stuff you know to go with it. Also we didn’t manage to get any videos created yet which sort of we got held back with that people were so tied up so it all sort of got a step back but yeah we’re still on it. I’ve had some ear infections and stuff which took me out of action for a little while. Just stuff you know things that you don’t even think are around the corner and just pop up and you go oh crap you have to deal with that first and then sort of move on. It’s great still working with Scott (McClellan). He is sending me so much material it’s mad I can’t keep up with him to be honest. We’ve got some extra songs, they (label) wanted to take some songs off the album to get them to fit on a vinyl and I didn’t want to do that and so they said well there’s only one other choice and that’s to write more songs and then we’ll do a double vinyl release, with extra tracks and stuff like that, so okay that works for me. So I got in touch with Scott and sure enough he just started sending songs riffs and riffs unbelievable how prolific he is. Then it was Choice which one do we choose, so it just got like a little bit draggy like you know it was sort of dragging behind our own sort of tails if you know what I mean.”
Is there a release date fore the re-issue? “I’m just discussing that with the record labels now. I’m not sure at the moment how quick or how slow they can get a vinyl pressed and into circulation so as soon as I know that then I’ll be able to sort of tell you what we’re looking at as a timeline um but all I can do really is do my bit. I was just gonna say once we get some videos completed that will sort of start to tell the story better you know um uh at the moment we’ve been concentrating on the audio part and because of the band or band the guys on the album are so spread out it’s really difficult to get them all in one place. As well we have to try and work out how we do it. We’ve been toying with green screen things and uh that’s got a certain success about it but um nothing quite like having all the guys in the same room together. “
When you were in Black Sabbath do you have any regrets for not speaking out at the time “It comes under the band politics heading, well band politics are a really weird thing to begin with, it wasn’t my band Black Sabbath. I was hired to carry the Black Sabbath legacy forward which I felt honored and privileged to do. So I didn’t have and I still don’t have any say in what goes on you know. They’re re-releasing the Tony Martin’s (Era Albums). I have no idea what’s happening with it. I know it’s going to be next year but that’s all I know and it was the same back then that I never really knew anything. I had my own personal manager Tony (Iommi) had a manager, Geezer Butler had a manager, it was a bit like Spinal Tap everybody’s got their own manager. You’d speak to your manager, then he’d phone up somebody else’s manager to go down to them and then he’d come back up to me. So it was a bit mad you know being in the band and a lot of the time it was reading between the lines to try and get an idea of what was happening because direct questions didn’t really work. I used to say to myself I don’t understand, that the bloke stood like you know 10 feet away from me and they won’t speak, so oh just uh speak to my manager about it. Ah okay so there you go up to your manager across there managing down and back up again it’s just a nightmare. So speaking out as you asked it didn’t really happen like that. You sort of posed the question. It went round and round and round. I was on pretty good terms with the guys. I mean I could speak reasonably freely but I was told in no uncertain terms from time to time not all not always but from time to time there’s nothing to do with you and my manager. He (Martin’s Manager) used to get so frustrated and in fact he kind of did himself out of a job really because Sabbath was managed by Iommi’s guys and so my manager was just sat there twiddling his thumbs mostly for most of the time.”
Do you have any recollections if you or the Black Sabbath members at the time had issues getting paid “I never had any real issues like that but Sabbath as a name band as an entity when I first joined they were very short of money but slowly we sort of built it up and we got it into a position where it was really working quite well and money was sort of starting to come in.”
When asked about how he felt when Rapper Ice-T was brought in for the Black Sabbath ‘Forbidden’ album ” I didn’t like it, Cozy Powell didn’t like it, Jeff Nichols was really uncertain about it. (Tony) Iommi was into it and his manager was into it but we were totally bemused in the beginning. So imagine somebody coming into the writing studio and trying to tell Cozy Powell how to play drums and Cozy looking at him going, are you sure about this? Yeah it’s gonna be great, well I don’t see it myself but I’ll give it a try. So it was just bizarre, just really bizarre you know and nobody was really getting it. I mean the thing for me was like when they sort of mentioned that IceT was coming and I was just lost because they never told me for what? They didn’t know what he was going to do, like a track or two tracks or the whole album but they didn’t say, so I kept trying to find out. Like I was telling you earlier on to find out information I’ll speak to my manager and so on. In the end I just couldn’t concentrate. In the end I didn’t know if I was singing on the album at all? When I was in the studio I said is this actually going out with my voice on it or is he just coming in to replace my vocals and like you know then sing it? I was very lost really and so I really don’t like the album because it brings back all of those memories. I never felt happy with it, not ever and yet there were some good songs on there and when we were in rehearsals putting the songs together. “
When asked about his involvement with the band Musical Youth in the 80’s “Back in those days in the early 80s I mean I was a gigging musician grabbing any kind of work that I could at the time. Birmingham and England were famous for musicians. We’ve had everything from Reggae to Rock come out of this city. Well I’m a guitarist originally I started playing guitar when I was seven then and my name was put forward to help out with the kids in Musical Youth. The setup was the kids went to school, then their father Freddie Waite had a rehearsal studio in Birmingham. He picked out some really quite good musicians to take the role of each one of the kids, mine was the guitar. And then when the kids came home from school it was our job then to teach the kids what their father had written that day. So I was there for about a year or something you know with the kids um and we got on okay. Kelvin Grant was a bit of a monster you know, he’d come around from school like, oh man I don’t need one no white man teaching me to play no guitar. Actually look, your father has told me that you’ve got to learn this now. They were doing all right. They got really big. “
Tony Martin ‘Thorns’ Track Listing: As The World Burns Black Widow Angel Book Of Shadows Crying Wolf Damned By You No Shame At All No Where To Fly Passion Killer Run Like The Devil This Is Your Damnation Thorns
Black Sabbath released six albums with Martin on vocals: “The Eternal Idol” (1987),”Headless Cross” (1989),”Tyr” (1990),”Cross Purposes” (1994),”Cross Purposes Live” (1995) and “Forbidden” (1995).
For The Metal Voice Kenny Kessel reporting at W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless fan Q and A on Nov 18, 2022 at The Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York. Check out the fan Q and A and the answers from Blackie Lawless.
Blackie talks about death threats and getting shot at after the 80’s PRMC hearings and how it changed his life; the changing music industry with technology; if he would ever do another complete album live(other than the crimson Idol) and his recollections of Hear n ‘Aid experience plus a lot more.
During the Q and A Blackie was asked by a fan what happened after PMRC debate and how it affected the band and if the PMRC tried to shut the band down at the time. Lawless responded,” it changed my life, if that’s what you mean. It made me more of a recluse. A couple thousand death threats and bomb scares and getting shot at a couple of times usually has a tendency to alter your outlook on life a little. Also we were exposed to extreme pain very early and fame is kind of like this. If this table is a smorgasbord, it’s like an evil Genie stands down at the end of the the smorgasbord and says you can take anything you want but if you take one thing you take it all. You do not get to pick and choose, so all the good stuff that you like in the smorgasbord that’s wonderful but you got to take the bad stuff too. So it ends up being a life-altering experience but one I don’t think you can ever really go back at least I haven’t too. “
The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers. The committee was founded by four women known as the “Washington Wives”—a reference to their husbands’ connections with government in the Washington, D.C. area. The women who founded the PMRC are Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. The PMRC eventually grew to include 22 participants before shutting down in the mid-to-late 1990s.
One of the actions taken by the PMRC was compiling a list of fifteen songs in popular music, at the time, that they found the most objectionable. This list is known as the “Filthy Fifteen” and consists of the following songs along with the lyrical content category for which each song was considered objectionable. W.A.S.P “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” was number 9. (Wikipedia)
For The Metal VoiceFormer Anthrax singer Neil Turbin spoke to Producer Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford) at the Bowl for Ronnie Charityon Thursday, November 17, 2022 at PINZ Bowling Center in Studio City, California.
When asked if he had any updates on the upcoming Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) Solo album “I can’t really say much, it’s being worked on, it sounds fabulous and all that, actually it sounds brilliant. “
When asked about working with Rob Halford “What we did for Robo back in those days it was cool. I was just at the Hall of Fame celebration and it was so cool to see Richie Faulkner and K.K.(Downing) heads spinning with their blond hair and Scott Travis, Tipton and Ian. The bottom line is we can never forget the meaningfulness of heavy metal and what it means to come from humble beginnings and to create it to another level, to where you create the new sound of the steel. And Les Binks I got to hang out with him and it was such a rad moment to see Les Binks and Scott Travis just rock out together at the Rock N Roll hall of Fame. It was so amazing to see everybody together.”
When asked about his future plans “I have a lot of things going on. Right now I am focusing on things with Bruce and working on my legacy, I’m writing three books right now.”
The BOWL FOR RONNIE, which returns after a three-year hiatus due to covid, will once again be hosted by television and radio personality Eddie Trunk, who is heard on SiriusXM’s 103 Faction Talk channel.
100% of the net proceeds from the BOWL FOR RONNIE will go to the Dio Cancer Fund (www.diocancerfund.org), which is now in its 12th year of raising awareness and much-needed funding for cancer research.
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund was formed in memory of the legendary rock singer Ronnie James Dio, who lost his life to gastric cancer in 2010. A privately funded 501(c)(3) charity organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has already raised over $2 million in its history. Monies raised have been committed to the cancer research work of the T. J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia Research, the gastric cancer research unit of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Ronnie was treated for gastric cancer during the last six months of his life, and other cancer research projects. The Dio Cancer Fund has committed funds to support the research of Dr. David Wong and his team at the UCLA School of Dentistry in developing a simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, which is in keeping with the Fund’s mission of cancer prevention, research and education.
Jimmy Kay from The Metal Voice recently interviewed Metal Blade Records founder and CEO Brain Slagel.
On the show they did a deep dive on the first two iconic Mercyful Fate albums and E.P., ‘Melissa’ and Don’t break the Oath, which have been re-released (as well as the rest of the MercyFul Fate and King Diamond Catalog on Metal Blade Records).
Also in the chat Slagel also gave an update on Mercyful Fate’s future recording plans.
Slagel was asked in the conversation about Mercyful Fate’s plans to record and release new music, he said, “So here are the plans. So there’s two (new) songs, one of which you know they’re playing in the set (“The Jackal Of Salzburg), which was supposed to be out prior to all of this (tour) but everything’s delayed. So the first thing is they’re going to finish up (that song) as soon as this tour is done. They’re gonna finish up that song, it’s mostly recorded and we’re gonna put that out to the digital people on the internet, so you’ll be able to stream that. I don’t know, sometime in the next few months so there’s that. They (Mercyful Fate) have another song they’ve written that’s also going to be out there as well, so there’ll be two Mercyful Fate songs out there. We’ll probably do some sort of vinyl thing with the two tracks as well. Then we’ll have a King Diamond album following that up and then we’ll go back to kind of the way we did in the 90s where the next record will be full Mercyful Fate album.”
Canada’s The Metal Voice recently spoke to Tobias Sammett about Avantasia’s album ninth studio album A Paranormal Evening With The Moonflower Society. which was released Oct 21, 2022 via Nuclear Blast.
Tobias Sammett was asked in the chat which singers he would like to be guests on future Avantasia albums he replied, “Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) is an open secret but Rod Smallwood who’s a very nice chap and always very respectful lets me know that it’s not going to happen. Paul Stanley is a great singer, one of my heroes I have to say of course. Lou Gramm (Foreigner) and Steve Perry. But I have to say Avantasia is not to be mistaken for one of those bucket list bands. I think that (guests) should be subordinate to the songs and to the performances themselves. The people I worked with on this record are six old family members and two new family members. I think they helped me to realize my idea, my feelings and I think they give the songs what they need and that’s why I think that should be more important. I don’t want this project to become one of those bands where people say, oh the songs don’t really matter but the new records got Steven Tyler, the Pope and …ect”
A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society consists of eleven magical songs and features numerous prestigious guest stars. It’s an adventure that’s sure to captivate the audience.
The album was produced by Tobias Sammet alongside AVANTASIA guitar player Sascha Paeth. The fantastic cover artwork was done by Swedish illustrator Alexander Jansson.
A Paranormal Evening with the Moonflower Society Tracklisting: 1. Welcome to the Shadows 2. The Wicked Rule the Night 3. Kill the Pain Away 4. The Inmost Light 5. Misplaced among the Angels 6. I Tame the Storm 7. Paper Plane 8. The Moonflower Society 9. Rhyme and Reason 10. Scars 11. Arabesque Total running time: 53:5