According to The Pulse Of Radio, the SMASHING PUMPKINS announced plans to record two new albums and it looks like they’re moving right along with their plans as Billy Corgan recently revealed the first album, “Monuments For An Elegy” featuring MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s Tommy Lee on drums, is done. Corgan told Loudwire: “So it’s done now, ‘Monuments For An Elegy’, that is; and what a relief.” The album still has to be mixed.
Corgan also shared his thoughts on the recording process. He said, “I’d most hoped to convey the joy of creativity, and how with any artistic endeavor, when undertaken with friends, makes the journey worthwhile. So let me say for the record… that ‘Monuments For An Elegy’ was one of the easiest and most pleasurable albums I’ve ever made.”
He added, “Having heard the album through for a first time in this, a finished form I was taken aback. ‘It’s indescribable, that,’ I told Shredder [SMASHING PUMPKINS guitarist Jeff Schroeder], meaning that what I heard was unlike anything I could recognize. Yet none of it was unfamiliar, either… big choruses, probing lyrics, odd twists of melody and guitars, guitars for days. Strange indeed.”
SMASHING PUMPKINS is hoping to release the project soon.
Songtitles set to appear on “Monuments To An Elegy” include “Tiberius”, “Being Beige”, “Anaise”, “One And All” and “Stomper”.
The group is also aiming to release a second album, “Day For Night”, in 2015.
Weiland‘s current tour with his solo band THE WILDABOUTS features him playing STP classics and select VELVET REVOLVER cuts alongside two songs from THE WILDABOUTS‘ forthcoming album, tentatively due in November. So far, seven songs have been recorded, with five more to come. It will be Scott‘s third solo studio LP and first since 2008′s “Happy In Galoshes”. Weiland has stated in recent interviews that the new album will be more of a full-band effort.
Regarding the songwriting process with THE WILDABOUTS, Scott told MSN Canada: “We all are very close friends. We all have a very similar taste in music — music that we grew up with, music that our parents grew up with and music that is current now. So it’s so easy [to write music together].”
He continued: “We talked about what we wanted, and I said, ‘First of all, I wanna make a rock and roll record again.’ I think that STP and VELVET REVOLVER fans aren’t getting necessarily what they want from an art record; that kind of production. I think if we make an art record, they’ll be into it, they’ll be a lot more receptive and we’ll have a bigger audience, at least from the core audience. And we’ll get new fans too. But I didn’t wanna make just a rock record, like hard rock and roll. I wanted to have it be retro-modern. I wanted to have influences from older music yet use sounds and techniques of recording that are modern and give it a combination — that one-two combination of modern-retro, retro-modern, whatever you wanna call it. You know, go away from using big Marshall sounds and find obscure, old fuzz boxes and all kinds of bizarre pedals. My guitar player’s pedal board is about as big as a surf board.”
THE WILDABOUTS originally began as a five-piece but recently decided to drop down to a four-piece. “The reason for doing that was, we started playing one time… like, there ‘s a couple of times Doug [Grean, guitar] was gone and we played, and we realized that it sounded a lot better as a four-piece; there was a lot more space between the beats, between the notes,” Scott told MSN Canada.
Last year, Weiland embarked on the “Purple At The Core” tour, where he and THE WILDABOUTS delivered selections from STONE TEMPLE PILOTS‘ first two albums, 1992′s “Core” and 1994′s “Purple”.
AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry has revealed to the Chicago Sun-Times that he “did a [recording] session with Paul McCartney a month and a half ago for a private thing.” Perry added: “I met him once or twice [over the years] to say hello. To spend 6 or 8 hours in studio with him recording! He makes you feel like [you're recording with just another guy]. He just happens to be a motherfucking huge talent! Everyone’s in the room at once; you play until you get a good take.”
Asked what it was like jamming with McCartney, Perry said: “It’s the great ego leveler. I was in the studio with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, playing guitar, and the three of us are looking at each other like, hey, we’re sitting here with Paul McCartney! And we’re all looking at each other like open-mouthed kids. Paul was really nice. He’s all about business [when he's recording]. At 72 he can still hit all those notes.”
Perry declined to offer any more information about the session, explaining that “it’s a project that were keeping under wraps for now. There will be [an announcement when the time is right].”
In a 2009 interview with Music Radar, Perry said about THE BEATLES: “Probably around the late ’60s, when they were getting ready to break up, that’s when I started to appreciate what geniuses THE BEATLES were, how they set trends and broke every rule in the book. How they went from being this live group to mastering the recording studio and showing everybody that nothing was impossible, as long as you had the imagination and the guts to go for it. Plus, they had gone from singing these simple love tunes to writing songs about any topic you could think of. I think that’s what really impressed me the most — they taught me that music could liberate you, teach you, take you somewhere else, expand your consciousness, all of that.”
He added: “THE BEATLES taught us all so much. They taught us to be brave, to follow our dreams and aim high. That’s a wonderful legacy to leave.”
SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan told LehighValleyLive.com in a new interview that his band enjoys playing more intimate venues instead of having time off while on tour.
“We choose to play small places,” he said. “It beats a day off. It’s memorable for us and memorable for the fans who come see us.”
He added: “Bands should be kissing fans’ asses. We play everywhere.”
Bolan also spoke about SKID ROW‘s decision to release a trilogy of EPs. The first, “United World Rebellion: Chapter One”, came out in 2013, while the second, “Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two”, is due on August 5.
“In this day and age, it’s not easy for some SKID ROW fans to go out and throw down 10 or 15 bucks for a new (full-length album),” Bolan said. “(Releasing the EPs) makes it easier on them. … There’s also a lot less pressure to write 10 songs and pick five.”
According to Rachel, SKID ROW approached the songwriting process for its new material the same way that it did its classic albums — by doing what came naturally.
“For about a year, I only listened to the music that influenced me growing up,” Bolan said. “Granted, there is a lot of great stuff out there but it’s not us. … At first it was kind of tough. We kept coming up with these riffs, great riffs, but they weren’t our signature (sound). We could write songs all day but it’s not a SKID ROW song until it gets to the band and gets their feeling and creativity. Then the floodgates just opened from a creative standpoint.”
“Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two” will contain covers of QUEEN and AEROSMITH classics as bonus tracks.
In a recent interview with Icon Vs. Icon, SKID ROW guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo spoke about the band’s mindset while writing the new material. “I think we have also gotten to the point that we are so appreciative of what we have and are so thankful,” he said. “We are really humbled by it all. I think with that comes a respect for the audience and what the band has been able to do over the course of the past 28 years. There is a respect for the songwriting, along with a respect for each other.
“Rachel and I really became conscious of how fortunate we are. To still be songwriting partners, band members and best buds after all this time is really something. That doesn’t get lost on us through this whole process. We are keenly aware of being present and in the moment. It sounds cliché, but when it really does happen, it is something truly incredible. I think we are just going to take that philosophy and presence of mind into the next release and create from there. It is a great sampling and a great place to be in when you are both on the same page with one and other. The results are something to behold.”
“Cry Of Achilles”, the new video from ALTER BRIDGE, can be seen below. The animated clip was directed by SiLee Films via Genero.
ALTER BRIDGE will hit the road for a U.S. headlining trek this fall, beginning on October 4 in Louisville, Kentucky and winding down on October 26 in Los Angeles. This is likely to be the band’s final run in support of 2013′s “Fortress” album. Tickets for the tour are available at AlterBridge.com.
ALTER BRIDGE drummer Scott Phillips told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that playing live is what it’s all about for the quartet. “That’s the reason that all of us initially got in a band, was to play,” he said. “It’s not about the recording process, it’s not about, you know, what we’re doing now, interviews and all that kind of stuff, it’s about jamming.”
ALTER BRIDGE is offering VIP packages on the fall tour that include a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with the band, an autograph session, the chance to check out an ALTER BRIDGE soundcheck, priority VIP check-in, crowd-free merchandise shopping, an on-site VIP host and exclusive VIP merchandise.
Singer Myles Kennedy is currently on the road as part of Slash‘s band, MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, AVENGED SEVENFOLD is back in control of its Twitter account after it was hacked and taken over by a group of racists. the band’s followers were subjected to vile slogans, images and video clips by an organization calling itself Clan Vv3 Ape Squad. The organization took responsibility for the hacks on its web site, writing, “Another couple Twitters got popped by your fellow neighbourhood apes. Mastodon, 131,000 followers — A7X, 1,230,000 followers.”
MASTODON also confirmed that its account was hacked.
Some followers were apparently unaware that the hackers had changed the AVENGED account’s username and avatar, somehow believing instead that a major mainstream rock band would begin posting racist remarks and images.
Both bands managed to get control of their accounts back within 24 hours, deleted the inappropriate posts and released brief statements on the situation.
Meanwhile, AVENGED SEVENFOLD is currently on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour with KORN, and guitarist Zacky Vengeance told The Pulse of Radio what it’s like to be second on the bill instead of the headliners this time around. “For us, we have 75 minutes a night, which is relatively short for us at this point, to impact the audience as much as we can. And we’re playing after a legendary band like KORN, who’s gonna go out there, play an entire set filled with radio hits that every single person knows, so for us, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to put on the best show — which is easy to do on a tour like this because we’re having a lot of fun.”
AVENGED SEVENFOLD will reissue its breakthrough second album, “Waking The Fallen”, in a new special edition on August 26 that will include 11 never-before-heard songs, a 30-minute documentary and more.
BigMusicGeek.com recently conducted an interview with CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer. A couple of excerpts from the chat are below:
BigMusicGeek.com: Looking back, how would you describe the group’s “Still Climbing” (1994) era? Considering the successes of “Night Songs” (1986) and “Long Cold Winter”, it really seemed that the record had been lost in the shuffle of it all.
Tom: It was a hard record to make because at the end of the “Heartbreak Station” tour, I got hit with the paralysis. I knew we had to make another record immediately. The record company was down our throats. I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t sing at all. So I would describe it with one word: dark. I was trying to write songs for a voice that wasn’t there. It was weird because they’d say, “You’re never going to sing again, but if you are going to sing, you have to completely retrain your voice.” So I started that process and I’m thinking, “Okay, what voice am I going to end up with?” I was basically trying to write songs for a voice that I don’t know what the voice is yet. It was just a weird time, man. Eventually, we had the songs and it was time to go. We put off the record for almost three years while I was struggling with my voice. And then, when we finally got in, we had to record those vocals very differently from what we did on the three records. I’d walk in behind the mic and just sing the song top to bottom on four or five tracks and then we’d comp it… I couldn’t do that on “Still Climbing”. We had to really kind of go one line at a time and really piece all of the vocals together because I was in such a bad place.”
BigMusicGeek.com: After the departure of (drummer) Fred Coury, how did everyone become interested with Kevin Valentine?
Tom: We ended up using (drummer) Kenny Aronoff (CHICKENFOOT, JOHN FOGERTY, JOHN MELLENCAMP) on that record. He was just amazing. The bottom line is that the drums came out really great. Actually, Fred said he thought it was the best drumming on any CINDERELLA record. Kevin had actually joined the band. When we got into the studio, (producer) Andy Johns is very good with drummers and Kevin, unfortunately, was not working out in the studio. So at that point, we brought in Kenny to cut it and then after the record was done, we were back to searching for a new drummer again. That’s when we found Ray Brinker, who came from the band BAREFOOT SERVANTS. I don’t know if you remember him. …He has also played with (classic rock vocalist) Pat Benatar, so he’s an amazing drummer. He’s actually the one who toured with us on that tour. …He’s a great guy.
BigMusicGeek.com: Am I correct in understanding that after being signed to Portrait Records by (A&R legend) John Kalodner, the group recorded an album? What is the status of these recordings? Will they be ever fully released?
Tom: Actually, it never was finished. We were in the demo stage and the deal blew up. We ended up in court with a lawsuit. No record was actually ever recorded. We wrote a lot of stuff and demoed a lot of stuff and we were getting ready to hire a producer. I won’t get into details, but we ended up having a falling out with Sony and a lawsuit occurred. We were tied up legally for quite a few years. In those situations, you have recording restrictions, so we couldn’t record as a group for a while. That’s when I started my solo record. (Bassist) Eric (Brittingham) and (guitarist) Jeff (LaBar) did their solo stuff and everybody kind of drifted apart. In terms of the recording aspect, we were still touring together pretty heavily back then. That’s really all we wanted to do. We just wanted to be a band and play music because the deal was so ugly. Once you get into the lawsuit thing with courts and judges, you’re pretty much screwed. It’s probably why we haven’t signed another record deal since. And honestly, it’s why I produced my record without a label involved. Normally, you would take demos to a label, sign a deal, and then let them pay for, fund, and produce the record for you. I didn’t want to deal with any of that, so when I started “The Way Life Goes”, it was produced without a label involved. We used our own money, did it on our own time and money because we just wanted to have a finished product. We always had the idea that if it ever got finished that we would take it to a label for distribution and marketing because that’s not something I wanted to do. When it was finished, we actually found a great home with Merovee Records. …They’re such a great label. They’re independent. They’ve had this really incredible faith in the record and in me and put everything into it. They’ve done a great job and I’m very grateful that I found them in that situation.
BigMusicGeek.com: Throughout your career, there have been countless rumors in regards to (BON JOVI frontman) Jon Bon Jovi having “discovered” CINDERELLA while playing at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia. Is this story entirely true?
Tom: Actually, I’m going to set the record straight because something came up online about this recently. Jon is credited with discovering the band. Or, in other words, his interest in the band actually led to a record deal. But if you went back a couple years before that, (KISS bassist/vocalist) Gene Simmons was actually the guy who first took an interest in the band. His interest did not lead to a deal for one reason or another. He took it to some labels and he actually did take it to Polygram, but they just weren’t interested. He did take an interest in the band, so I guess in terms of discovery, you really could credit Gene, even though both Gene and Jon showed an interest in the band. Jon‘s interest did eventually lead to a deal, but that was pulling teeth, too. He told his A&R guy they were chumming about us and said, “You’ve got to go down and see them.” He came down and he still wasn’t convinced. He wanted to hear more material and sign us to a six-month development deal. It’s not easy to get a record deal. Gene Simmons and Jon Bon Jovi can be singing your praises all day long and it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a deal. Gene was the first to take an interest and then a couple years later, Jon wandered into that club and went to his A&R guy. We finally won him over and he signed us to a full deal, but that was a bit of a process too. I’m grateful to both Gene and Jon for the interest they took in the band.
Read the entire interview at BigMusicGeek.com.
Former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery) has recorded an “incredible” new album with VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth which the axeman hopes will see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.
John 5, whose first “big break” came when he was selected by Roth to play lead guitar on the critically well-received 1998 release “DLR Band”, tells Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon in a new interview (hear audio below): “[Dave and I] just made another record, and it’s, like, the ‘California Sessions’, [Dave] was calling it. And it’s 11 of the greatest songs you’ll ever hear, and it’s just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it’s unbelievable. There’s a song called ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar & Grill’. And you know, just great, great songs. And hopefully sometime it’ll see the light of day. But he’s, of course, busy with VAN HALEN and all that stuff. But it’s an incredible record.”
He added: “[The new album with Dave] was made not too long ago — like, probably, maybe, a year and a half ago or something like that. ‘Cause I always go over to his house and we write music and things like that. It’s a lot of fun. They’re all original songs. I would just go over to his house during the day and write this music and then he would book the studio at night. So we would go into A&M Studios — Henson Studios, it’s called now — and we’d record. And it’s so great. I mean, it sounds like just Dave from that ‘Van Halen I’ or ‘II’ or ‘Women And Children First’ era, [in terms of his] singing [style], and it’s incredible, man. It’s really incredible. He loves it too, so maybe it’ll see the light of day sometime.”
John 5 also spoke about his collaboration with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford on the 2WO project, which released the much-maligned “Voyeurs” album in 1998 via Trent Reznor‘s Nothing Records label.
“Here’s what’s really cool: People love that record, they love that record now,” he said.
“When we were making that record, it was a very, very, very guitar-heavy record — very heavy guitar record,” he added. “And I remember Tom Morello from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE heard it and he was, like, ‘This is my favorite record. This is incredible.’ ‘Cause it was really aggressive and heavy and it had Halford going nuts on it. And we got signed to Nothing Records, Trent Reznor‘s label. And then, I was still making money and stuff, so I had to go on tour with somebody, and Halford took it to New Orleans with Trent [to remix it], and it totally changed; like, they took a lot of the guitars out. This was at a time when guitars weren’t really that popular, and they took a lot of these guitars out, so the record completely changed. I was shocked and disappointed — ’cause all the guitars were taken out. But what was so strong about that album is those songs were so strong; they’re such strong songs that it still holds up today. And people really enjoy that record. Halford has the songs with the guitars and all that stuff, and it sounds incredible.”
John 5 digitally released a new solo single, “This Is My Rifle”, on June 17. The track is taken from his eighth solo album, “Careful With That Axe”, to be made available on August 12 through 60 Cycle Hum. The effort features Rodger Carter on drums and Matt Bissonette on bass.
“Space Invader”, the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, will be released in North America on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on August 18 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, will include 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller‘s “The Joker”. This album is the first release under Frehley‘s new universal deal on eOne Music.
Audio samples of all the tracks that are set to appear on “Space Invader” can be streamed at Amazon.co.uk.
Asked what the songwriting process was like for “Space Invader”, Frehley told Guitar World magazine: “You know, all my life I’ve never had a formula for writing songs. Sometimes it starts with a guitar riff, sometimes it’s a lyrical idea or just a melody. Sometimes I wake up with an idea. There’s no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I write on an acoustic, sometimes on a bass. There’s a song on the new album called ‘Into The Vortex’. It’s a riff song, but I wrote it on a bass guitar. Why? Because I write differently with a bass guitar in my hand than an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. When I feel creative, I just sit down and start playing.”
Regarding whether he was writing differently in the early days of KISS, Ace said: “Yes, I wasn’t as structured as I am now. Even though I am not really structured — I’m at least cognizant of what’s going on. [laughs] Back then it was more hit or miss — and when I hit, I hit big. You know, I go back and listen to my 1978 solo record, and it still holds up. My whole body of work that I’ve created over the years has withstood the test of time. I know that I still have the goods. And when this record gets released, everybody’s gonna say, ‘Well, Ace did it again.’”
Ace also spoke about the recording process for “Space Invader”, telling Guitar World: “I did most of the recording at my friend’s studio in Turlock, California, called the Creation Lab. Turlock is in the middle of nowhere — it’s like a farming community — and that’s why I loved it. I have Attention Deficit Disorder, and there are absolutely no distractions when working at this place. You record for eight or 10 or 12 hours, then you go back to the hotel and go to sleep. You wake up and go back to the studio. There’s nothing else to do there, which means it’s the perfect place for me to record. Plus, I like working with the least amount of people, and this studio is great because it’s quiet and there aren’t all kinds of people walking through. I did most of this record with just me and a drummer, Matt Starr. For a couple of songs I brought in Chris Wyse from THE CULT to play bass.”
On the topic of whether there were things about 2009′s “Anomaly” that he wanted to change with “Space Invader”, Ace said: “I know that everyone is hoping that this album is heavier than the last one, and it is. I’m also doing an instrumental this time, called ‘Starship’, that isn’t slow. It’s a departure from the ‘Fractured Mirror’ style. It’s more fast paced and has a lot of transitions in it.”
Frehley also explained his decision to cover Steve Miller‘s “The Joker”, saying: “It was the record company’s idea, to be honest. And I was a little resistant when it first came up. But then I thought back to my 1978 solo record, when [producer] Eddie Kramer‘s assistant said to me, ‘Why don’t you try this song?’ And it was ‘New York Groove’. At first I said, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ and it turned out to be my biggest hit. So maybe history can repeat itself.”
The “Space Invader” cover artwork was created by Frehley‘s longtime friend, artist Ken Kelly, who designed the iconic cover art for two of KISS‘ best-selling LPs “Destroyer” (1976) and “Love Gun” (1977). Ken said: “It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace.”
Kelly, who is also widely known for his paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres, most notably for the Conan The Barbarian novels, continued: “I had spoken to Ace on a few occasions about the possibility, so I was delighted when it actually happened.
“I am very pleased with the results and proud to play a part of Ace‘s continuing successful career!”
Frehley added: “I’ve been talking with Ken Kelly since 2007 about painting a CD cover for me and it has finally happened! I couldn’t be more excited about the new ‘Space Invader’ cover, and the music behind it is also going to rock your world!”