Tim Louie of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Aquarian Weekly: Was there some sort of catalyst to make you want to write a sort of tell-all book about PANTERA ["Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera"]?
Rex: I just wanted it to be in first person and to speak my truth. Ya know, I was sitting in the cheap seats just like the rest of the guys. Only four of us know what went on with that book, and as you get on through the book, you'll understand where it all will lead. If you just started reading the book, you're only scratching the surface.
The Aquarian Weekly: You mentioned how your life changed once you hit rock stardom. When was it that it really hit you that you were a certified rock star?
Rex: I don't know. You get money flying in front ways and back, and it was always not necessarily for the money, but just the critical acclaim of what you'd really worked your tail off for. It took us six years before we were even with a major label. We were turned down 28 times from different labels and stuff like that we couldn't get arrested. The point being that once you do start selling a lot of records and people recognize you and you've reached that point of… I wouldn't call it stardom because I'm not into the fame, I'm just into the jam.
The Aquarian Weekly: There was actually something funny that I read, where you mentioned that you, [late PANTERA guitarist] Dime ["Dimebag" Darrell Abbott] and [former PANTERA drummer and Dimebag's brother] Vinnie [Paul Abbott] got a strip club, and while you and Dime hung back, Vinnie would walk in with all of these bodyguards.
Rex: Yeah, well when you read the book, you will understand his persona and his way of going about things, and I'm not trying to hack Vinnie at all, I have a lot of empathy for him, but in the long run, the guy carries a lot of hatred with him that it's not right. Ya know? I understand about his brother, and well, he was my brother also, but I don't carry around this terrible vendetta against people.
The Aquarian Weekly: Did you find it therapeutic to write this book and to finally get a lot of shit off your chest?
Rex: Absolutely! It was cathartic for sure. Reliving all of those memories and stuff like that, it really made me go back and think, "Fuck, man! I wish Dime were still on this planet because God knows what would've happened." Unfortunately, he's not. I always envisioned that we would somehow try to get back together, but it was not meant to be, I guess.
Read the entire interview from The Aquarian Weekly.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones revealed some of the details following the LED ZEPPELIN jam sessions following their 2007 reunion. It's no secret that Page, Jones, and Jason Bonham were all geared up for more live work with the band, but the pair has now revealed that following Robert Plant's decision to not join in, the trio were working up original material for a new band.
Although both Steven Tyler (AEROSMITH) and Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE, SLASH) have gone public about their time working with the ZEP members, it seems now that the majority of the work was done before any vocalist entered the picture. Jimmy Page explained to Ultimate Classic Rock, "Certainly for Jason, myself, and John Paul Jones; Robert had his Alison Krauss project to promote. It seemed the right thing to go in and start playing new material. I thought we really should play to our strengths here, which was the music. But there were a lot of movements to bring in singers and do this, that and the other. And that would've changed the character too early from what we were doing. I won't say there was pressure, but there was a lot of hinting about this singer and that singer. For me it was more a question of, let's see what we can really do. And I don't think we got a chance to do that. Of course we would've played LED ZEPPELIN material, but you want to be playing some really, really good new music beforehand."
John Paul Jones added that once it was clear that Robert Plant was not going to be joining the exploratory rehearsals featuring the new material, it was never going to be merely a LED ZEPPELIN project with a new lead singer. "Not at all," he said. "That's a total misunderstanding. I said, 'Of course, if we go out (on the road), we're going to have to do some ZEPPELIN numbers.' And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, we rehearsed 'Carouselambra' (from 'In Through The Out Door'), which we've never done live before, and we had a bunch of new material done. But Jimmy and I couldn't agree on singers. . . I quite liked Myles Kennedy. He's got the range, but his voice is completely different than Robert's. Which was fine by me, because it was going to be a completely different band. But it didn't work out and we all moved on."
John Paul Jones has often made light of the fact that Page and Plant reunited in the mid-'90s for two albums and a world tour without him. He recalled that despite being partners with the pair in LED ZEPPELIN — he found out about their team-up through a third party. "I was kind of disappointed that I found out about. . . I read about it in the newspapers," he said. "I called up somebody who works with all of us at the time and said, 'I see the rumors are getting strong again,' because there's always rumors about reunions and stuff. And they said, 'Oh didn't they tell you?' And I went, 'Well, tell me what?' And he said, 'Well, they're getting back on the road again.' 'Oh, well, OK, (laughs) whatever.'"
KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley was among the biggest names in TV and radio who joined together at Dick Clark's Malibu, California home yesterday (Thursday, May 3) to pay tribute to the rock 'n' roll icon and TV and radio pioneer who passed away on April 18.
Commented Stanley: "Yesterday, the private memorial for Dick Clark took place, and I was there by invitation along with Erin [Stanley's wife], Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] and Shannon [Tweed, Gene's wife].
"Dick was a true icon who changed the world of rock and roll while making a career of using his love of music to make icons of others.
"To see rock's greats spanning five decades humbled and giving thanks to this giant only underlined once again the impact this wonderful man had on so many.
"Any of the current 'Idol'/'Voice'-type shows wouldn't exist without the trail that Dick Clark blazed to make them possible. He left an indelible mark on me for the irreplaceable generosity he showed KISS over the years. Always there with a word of guidance, we won't forget him. He will live on through his impact on countless aspects of American pop culture."
Clark died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California at age 82. According to The Pulse Of Radio, Clark's death came a day after being admitted for an outpatient procedure. Clark, affectionately known as "America's Oldest Teenager," is survived by his wife Kari, and his three children Richard Augustus II, Duane, and Cindy. Memorial plans have yet to be announced.
Over the course of the show's 30 years, artists who performed on "American Bandstand" included the BEACH BOYS, THE DOORS, MADONNA, and literally hundreds of others.
In 1964, "American Bandstand" moved to Los Angeles, where it would remain until 1989 when the show was canceled.
"American Bandstand" became one of television's longest running music shows, and the first network series devoted exclusively to rock n' roll.
Members of BLACK SABBATH, DISTURBED, ALICE IN CHAINS, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and MACHINE HEAD gathered this past Wednesday night (December 14) at the Key Club in Hollywood, California to help celebrate the life and music of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN) as part of this year's Dimebash.
Two musicians that were conspicuously absent from this year's event were former PANTERA members Philip Anselmo and Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Anselmo was originally supposed to appear at last year's Dimebash but pulled out at the last minute after coming down with pneumonia.
When asked about Anselmo's non-appearance at this year's concert, Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney — who organized the event — told Artisan News (see video below), "I think if we would have kept it on our original date, on [December 8], he would have been able to make it. Because Pepper [Keenan, Anselmo's DOWN bandmate] had obligations — they're doing a new DOWN record — and [Pepper] had obligations with [his participation in] the METALLICA [week-long 30th-anniversary celebrations in San Francisco]. So they were scheduled off through that time. But then when we had to move things, it's like, [Philip's] schedule, and doing… you know him — five projects at once… He sent the most apologetic letter; it was really, really cool, because it's the Philip I know. But he goes, 'Please don't count me out next year.' And like I said… I go, 'Hey, well, it could be three things. It could go either way. It could be, 'Third time's a charm,' or it could be 'Strike three, you're out.' So we'll see."
Haney recently called on Vinnie Paul Abbott and Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag's brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship 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.
Haney spoke out about the long-running feud earlier in the year, saying, "Everybody still has resentment towards each other about things in the past. It's easy to direct your anger at the wrong people. Philip didn't murder Darrell and [he] would never have wanted that."
Haney added, "Yeah, I resent Philip for becoming a jackass and a drug addict, and I'm a little sketchy about trusting him all the way yet. But some of the things he's emailed and some of the thing he's said — that's the Philip I know, the 'stronger than all.' There's always room in my heart for him — I love him."
Haney admitted that Vinnie was not happy that she had been in touch with Anselmo, saying, "I just hope some day he sees the light that I know Darrell is about, which is forgiving. I know it'll come in time — you've got to let go to continue on."
When asked by Artisan News about Vinnie's apparent decision to sit out this year's Dimebash, Rita said, "I sent him [a message]… On December 8 [the seven-year anniversary of Dimebag's death], I wanted him to know I was thinking about him, that I love him no matter what, [whatever] issues that he has. But I haven't spoken to him in almost a year now. He doesn't… But you know what?! I don't give up. I still love him. I have no animosity. And I just hope that he comes and celebrates with us [at some point in the future]."
Australia's Faster Louder recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Faster Louder: The white elephant in the room is obviously regarding the tragic death of [SLIPKNOT's] bassist, Paul Gray, it's obviously a difficult subject, but how have you reflected on it, and has it inspired you in any way?
Corey: It's been over a year now, and I've been slowly but surely talking a little bit more about it. Obviously, it's still with me, and it's still hard to talk about it. But I've found the more I talk about it, the easier it is to deal with it. The biggest thing it has taught me, is to not take anything for granted, you know. Paul was one of those guys who really lived it. He lived it right to the hill. He fought his demons, but he didn't let his demons control his personality. If you had just met him, you wouldn't have thought that he was fighting those demons. He was such a sweetheart, and there were times that I forgot that he had issues that he was fighting against, and it really kind of made him almost indestructible in my eyes. So when he passed, it fucked me up, to be honest. It was hard, and it is still hard, but it taught me that you have got to cherish every day and cherish every moment. I don't mean to be overly sensitive or anything like that, but you just have to take a minute in every day, and just reflect on where you are, and just realise what you've got, because you just never know where the next huge change in your life is going to come from. That's the biggest lesson I've taken from it.
Faster Louder: SLIPKNOT are due to tour Australia as part of the Soundwave Festival in 2012. How has the dynamic of the live performances changed as a result of not having Paul there on stage with you, and having SLIPKNOT's original guitarist Donnie Steele filling in for live duties?
Corey: It's definitely changed, you know!? It's a subtle change, but it's a subtle change that's almost deafening. Paul's style was so distinctive, and his sound was so distinctive, that not hearing it took me a while to get used to, and still don't think I'm fully used to it. But it's about soldiering on, is really what it comes down to. It's seeing the audience and being in front of the audience that definitely helps, especially in countries that we haven't played in a while, and if it's their first time in seeing us without Paul, there's such a huge explosion. It's almost like they've been holding their breath for too long, and it comes out in a rush and it hits us. It reinvigorates us to just give it even more, for him, for the audience, for ourselves. I'm just really happy that we have Donnie to do that; he's one of the most selfless people I've ever met. He was like, "You know what?! I'm only going to do this if it feels right," and we all got together and it felt good. It felt right. We were all so close that there was only really only one person who was going to be able to fit those shoes.
Faster Louder: How important was it then to have someone close to the band to perform that duty?
Corey: It was a weird discussion, let's put it that way. There were a handful of names that were thrown about, but we all mentioned Donnie's name, and once we realized we were all on the same page, we were like, "Right — he's the one. He's the guy." He's the type of person that we were able to kind of put our emotions in his hands, and he kind of just walked with it. It's been really good to know that we still have the backbone of this band, because Paul's spirit is still with us, in so many different ways. I mean, there's not a day that goes by that at least once every hour that I don't think about him, so it's just knowing that someone who had Paul's back has ours now. It makes it infinitely easier.
Faster Louder: There are rumours that the next STONE SOUR album is going to be a double concept album. Can you shed some light on that, and what your influences were in writing it?
Corey: I've been writing almost non-stop. The idea that I have is very grand, and if we do it right, it will probably be the biggest thing of our careers. There are influences from stuff like ALICE IN CHAINS, old-school thrash like ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, with some really cool acoustic passages. It's going to hit on every cylinder and packed into the biggest engine ever, let's put it that way. It's a pretty serious story that I'm trying to weave in and out of all these riffs and stuff, so it's really exciting. It's basically the story of a man who's trying to figure it out. He can't figure out if he's happier when he's miserable, or if he's miserable about not being happy. It's almost like a midlife crisis, in a way. He's young enough that he knows that there's still alot of life to live, but he's old enough to realise that he can't be hung up on the romance of teenage depression and youthful aggression. Stuff like that. So he's really standing at the crossroads of his life, trying to figure out where he wants to go. There are stories about the people around him, stories about his romantic life, and there's really this internal struggle where he's going to burn forever or figure it out. Let's put it that way.
Read the entire interview from Faster Louder.
The four members of KISS spent all day (and late into the night) in the studio yesterday (Thursday, November 17) working on a new song for their upcoming album, "Monster". Check out photos from the studio at KissOnline.com.
In a recent interview with U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley stated about the follow-up to 2009's "Sonic Boom", "We've recorded eight tracks. Everything's on except the vocals. There'll be 10 on the album, with a couple of tracks as bonuses for different projects.
"'Sonic Boom' was a pivotal album in the sense that we were aware of who we were as a performing band, but we had to re-establish who we are as a recording band. That being done, this is much easier and that much more self-assured.
Added bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons: "This new record feels heavier than 'Sonic Boom'. It feels like [it's] a connection between 'Destroyer' and 'Revenge'.
Regarding some of the tracks that will appear on "Monster", Stanley said, "I'd be surprised if the album didn't start with 'Hell Or Hallelujah'. It's up-tempo, a great riff, definitive KISS. There's a track called 'Born To Be A Sinner', and Tommy [Thayer, guitar] has a song called 'Out Of This World', which is terrific. They're anthemic songs. That's the nature of how we write. There are no ballads."
Added Simmons: "'Are You Ready?' is a new track that I worked out, wrote, and brought everyone into the studio and said: 'Let's bang this out.' Another of the new songs, tentatively titled 'Wall Of Sound', we just came up with on the spot. The guts of that song were written in 40 minutes."
"Monster" is tentatively due in early 2012.