Thursday, 31 May 2012

Black Sabbath Update

It's time for a brief update on Black Sabbath.

The band's string of reunion shows has recently kicked off and the band have already discussed how they are finding everything so far.

"Every time we get back together it's like we've never been apart," Geezer Butler told Kerrang! magazine. "Time doesn't seem to exist. We talk about old times. Ozzy's always telling jokes, pissing about."

He went on to say "Ozzy's really enthusiastic, it's great to see him like that. I haven't seen him like that for a long time. He really wants to do it, and we're all the same. And that's such a great attitude."

Ozzy also chipped in, revealing that he prefers more intimate shows to festivals.

"At festivals the audience are eight fucking miles away! You're there going 'Is anybody out there?'"

Monday, 28 May 2012

Best British album in 60 years...

Iron Maiden's 1982 release 'The Number Of The Beast' has been voted best British album of the last 60 years.

The album, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, topped Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in a special HMV poll to commemorate the Jubilee.

"We're astonished and delighted," said singer Bruce Dickinson. "Some of the most influential and classic albums from the past 60 years were in the running so it's a testament to our incredibly loyal and ever-supportive fans who voted for us."

The top ten British albums of the past 60 years according to the poll are as follows:

  1. Iron Maiden - 'The Number Of The Beast'
  2. Depeche Mode - 'Violator'
  3. The Beatles - 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
  4. The Beatles - 'Abbey Road'
  5. Pink Floyd - 'The Dark Side Of The Moon'
  6. The Beatles - 'Revolver'
  7. Queen - 'A Night At The Opera'
  8. Oasis - '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'
  9. Adele - '21'
  10. The Beatles - 'The Beatles (White Album)'

Monday, 21 May 2012

Every Time I Die announce UK tour

Every Time I Die have announced a UK tour for later this year.

The tour will see the band perform throughout late October and the early part of November.
  • 24 October - The Brook, Southampton
  • 25 October - The Fleece, Bristol
  • 26 October - White Rabbit, Plymouth
  • 27 October - The Haunt, Brighton
  • 28 October - Solus, Cardiff
  • 29 October - Electric Ballroom, London
  • 30 October - Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
  • 31 October - Academy 2, Manchester
  • 1 November - Garage, Glasgow
  • 2 November - Academy 2, Newcastle
  • 3 November - Cockpit, Leeds
  • 4 November - Corporation, Sheffield
Stray From The Path and Last Witness will provide support for the tour. Tickets will be priced between £14 and £16.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Black Sabbath respond to Bill Ward's statement

Black Sabbath have responded to Bill Ward's statement from earlier this week.


The band, although officially refusing "to make any detailed comment" regarding Ward's statement, have revealed their progress and have announced that they have "engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows".

Their full statement reads:

"We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals, making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download."

There has, as yet, been no official confirmation on who will drum for the band during the shows, but its is strongly rumoured that Ozzy drummer Tommy Clufetos will replace Ward.

Looks like we'll just have to wait until their warm-up show at O2 Academy Birmingham tomorrow night (May 19).

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Watain join Golden Gods line-up

Black metal band Watain have joined the line-up for this year's Golden God awards.

The Swedish death-dealers are set to not only join the mayhem that will ensue at the awards but are also set to spread shadows at the pre-awards show boat party, where Shadows Fall, Attica Rage, Fozzy and the fresh-faced Evil Scarecrow are performing.

The event itself already has a star-studded line-up of fine metal performers. Anthrax, Biohazard and Ghost are all scheduled to perform at the event. Adding Watain to that list is going to lead to some absolute carnage.

The event this year will also be presented by Chris Jericho, frontman of Fozzy and WWE icon. The event will take place at the Indigo2's O2 complex on June 11.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ronnie James Dio Special

Two year ago today the world lost a musical legend as Ronnie James Dio lost his battle to stomach cancer, aged 67.

To commemorate the life and works of Ronnie, we give you our top ten songs that he gave to us.

1. Dio - Rainbow In The Dark

2. Rainbow - Run With The Wolf

3. Dio - Holy Diver

4. Rainbow - Starstruck

5. Black Sabbath - Voodoo

6. Heaven And Hell - Neon Knights

7. Black Sabbath - Sign Of The Southern Cross

8. Dio - Stand Up And Shout

9. Dio - Killing The Dragon

10. Dio - Breathless

We don't think we need to explain our choices. They are Dio masterpieces and they are testament to the power and talent of a true rock god. R.I.P

Bill Ward officially out of Black Sabbath reunions

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has issued a statement which reveals that he will not be participating in the reunion shows with the original lineup.

The drummer had been keeping fans notified on his websites as negotiations continued with the individuals organising the reunion. In February Ward stated that he wouldn't be participating in the tour until a "signable contract" was offered.

But Ward has stated on his site that "after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued." He then added "I have to inform you that I won't be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012."

A key point of Ward's statement, however, is that he mentions the offer from a reunion representative of performing the first show for free. Ward states "Playing for free would not have been a problem for me", which poses the question: If you were willing to perform for free, why don't you do so for the sake of the fans and the rest of the band?

You can read the full statement below.

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians, 
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012. 
It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. 
To express my thoughts about you, the Sabbath fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets.” 
The man’s son is a young drummer. He’s going to see Sabbath, and he wants to see Bill Ward play drums. Upon hearing this news, I felt horrible. I couldn’t help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I’m not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can’t be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad. It’s sad that it’s come to this. “This” will surely leave a mark and be unwelcome to the memory. Hopefully “this” will heal and pass in time. 
My heart sank when Jimmy told me about this young boy. I know this boy is going to be disappointed, and I don’t know how to amend it, other than to put my arms around the boy and tell him I love him. Sabbath fans have a voice and a face, to me you’re human, you have families and despair. You have ferocity and emotions and graciousness, and at this moment as far as I’m concerned you are also that young boy in England. I don’t know how to amend my part in these failings other than to put my arms around you and say I love you and let you know I’m very, very sorry. 
Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn’t have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I’m doing it.
Earlier in April 2012, I’d been asked to participate “minimally” in the Download festival. I believe I’d been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs. 
I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad. I was taken aback somewhat by the date, and the fact it was Birmingham. Knowing the “signable” contract negotiations were at best in shreds, I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded. We contacted the representative for Black Sabbath to see if something could be worked out. In the meantime my drum crew and I, along with our US endorsers, finished all the necessary planning for a swift departure to the UK. There wasn’t a whole lot to complete; we’d all been on standby more or less since mid-January 2012. The remaining work in the UK was confirmed done by our European and UK endorsers and we were good to go by Friday, May 4 2012. There were two stress points: firstly, getting an agreement in place, and secondly, getting to England in a timely manner. Jetlag time was taken into account as well as drum practice, a drum practice room in the heart of Birmingham, accommodation, and travel arrangements were all in place to meet with any band rehearsals that may have transpired before the Birmingham show. So far everything that had been arranged was on my dime, but we didn’t move ahead without a realistic confirmation. 
Communications between the representative and my lawyer continued through the weekend of May 5 finalizing on Wednesday, May 9. The offer we received on May 9 was, “come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.” I was tempted. Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but “seeing how the first show goes” left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza. 
I had notified the representative that May 10 was my cutoff day in order to have good lead-in time for England. On the night of May 9 I asked for a brief letter to be sent to the representative asking to find out if we were at an end. On the morning of Thursday, May 10, I received a reply in the affirmative. After consulting with my advisors and crew a decision was made to let go and stop. 
I can’t prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can’t do that. All of you are important. It’s all the gigs or none at all. I can’t come to Birmingham and “see what happens” knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it’s all or nothing. I had to say “no” to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows. Saying no to Birmingham is very difficult for me. My family grew up in Birmingham. Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham. It’s still my hometown and I resent having to arrive at such a difficult choice. 
Although the statement was made that, “the door is always open” for me, as explained above, walking through that door is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many complicated issues and unseen and unspoken agendas on hand. I can assure you, my criteria for a “signable” contract is based in mindful principles, respectability, and acknowledgement of my history within the band. 
I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I’m tolerant of them; I’m frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I’ll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn’t win; the fans for an original lineup don’t win. Nobody wins, nobody. Even the ones who thought they did.
I didn’t want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent. This is the statement I didn’t want to write; it’s the last thing I wanted to do. But, I have written it, and now it can go into the universe. 
Since Spring of 2011, I’ve waited patiently and hopefully for a signable contract, you know the rest. I stand for the boy in the U.K., for the coming drum student, for all the drummers, who write their parts out and get stiffed on the publishing, I stand with the Sabbath fans chanting “Bill Ward” and asking “why?” and I stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.
On a final note, even though I’m at an end with the upcoming announced concerts, I will remain with an open mind and a position of willingness to negotiate "signable" terms with Sabbath’s representatives in the future. 
Stay strong.
Stay safe.
With all my heart and strength, I love you,
Bill Ward

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Velvet Revolver reunite...?

Yesterday we ran a story on how Scott Weiland had revealed that he was back with Velvet Revolver and the band would be touring later this year. Today, Slash has denied all knowledge of this.

In an interview with Minnesota's 93X Radio, Slash commented that Weiland was "out of his mind" and that he has "no intention of going back to that."

He added "there's been a common rumour going around. I know he's been positive about that subject. Maybe they know something I don't...I'll call Duff, but I seriously doubt it. We have no intention of going backwards."

So although Slash hasn't categorically ruled out a Weiland-fronted Velvet Revolver return, he has ruled himself out of the equation. Understandably so, considering Slash's solo record 'Apocalyptic Love' is about to be released and he will be touring on the back of that.

We'll keep you posted on any developments in this story.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Velvet Revolver reunite!

Scott Weiland has officially rejoined Velvet Revolver as a full-time member.

Weiland, who left the band in 2008, joined the band earlier this year for a special one-off show. But speaking to ABC news radio today he revealed that he would rejoin the band, stating that everybody has "grown up a lot" and that they've been able to "put egos and differences and old...conflicts aside".

Weiland has also revealed that the band will be doing some shows later this year, stating "We're going to go and do some shows in the late part of summer into early fall."