NINE INCH NAILS TO OFFER AUDIOPHILE MIX OF HESITATION MARKS

If you’ve ordered the upcoming Hesitation Marks through Nine Inch Nails’ website, there’s another perk coming your way: a free audiophile version of the album. As the band’s tumblr announced this morning, this version will be released digitally for free download for you nin.com buyers on September 3rd in a variety of popular file formats such as flac and mp3.

Various personnel responsible for some of Hesitation Marks‘ sound spoke out about this other version of the album, such as Tom Baker, the album’s mastering engineer: “I believe it was Trent’s idea to master the album two different ways, and to my knowledge it has never been done before,” he said. “The standard version is ‘loud’ and more aggressive and has more of a bite or edge to the sound with a tighter low end. The Audiophile Mastered Version highlights the mixes as they are without compromising the dynamics and low end, and not being concerned about how ‘loud’ the album would be. The goal was to simply allow the mixes to retain the spatial relationship between instruments and the robust, grandiose sound.”

Adds in longtime Trent Reznor collaborator and album mixer Alan Moulder: “When we were mixing Hesitation Marks we decided to treat the mastering process in a slightly different way to the usual. Since we had tried to treat every other aspect of making this record differently to how we were used to, it seemed to make sense. We were mixing as we went along with the production of each song rather than at the end, so we thought that once we had a song pretty close we would send it off to Tom Baker, our long time serving mastering engineer, to give it some mastering treatment. Normally you wait until the record is finished being recorded and mixed, then take all the mixes to mastering. But we thought doing it again, as we went along, might make us push the process further and spend more time on mastering rather than rush through it at the end,” Moulder wrote on the band’s tumblr.

“Whilst doing this we became aware of how much low bass information there was on the record. Since that can define how loud of a level the mastering can be, we were faced with a dilemma: do we keep the bass and and have a significantly lower level record, or do we sacrifice the bass for a more competitive level of volume? The biggest issue in mastering these days tends to be how loud can you make your record. It is a fact that when listening back-to-back, loud records will come across more impressively, although in the long run what you sacrifice for that level can be quality and fidelity. So after much discussion we decided to go with two versions. On the main release Tom did exceptional work to maintain the integrity of our mixes and reproduce the low end as much as possible and still get a decent level, although it’s still nowhere as loud as a lot of modern records. The Audiophile Mastered Version is more true to how the mixes sounded to us in the studio when we were working on the songs. Have a listen, turn up the volume and enjoy the experience!”

WILLIAM CORGAN PRAISES JAMES IHA & JIMMY CHAMBERLIN, SAYS HE MISSES D’ARCY’S ‘SENSE OF INTEGRITY’

William Corgan discussed the Smashing Pumpkins songs “Mayonnaise” and “Soma” in a new interview with Crestfallen.  Corgan co-wrote the two songs with former bandmate James Iha.  He also discussed D’arcy and Jimmy Chamberlin:

“To give him credit, in both cases he wrote really beautiful ideas, or structures, that were different than I would write. They inspired me to write great songs on top of them, and maybe in that you could argue that that’s a good collaboration. He gave me something valuable that inspired something different in me. I could understand why people could get stuck on those things, but if you took the best 30 songs that I’ve written on my own against those 2 songs, I think I pretty much trump the argument. Particularly in regards to singles, in both cases neither song was a single, although back in the day Mayonnaise did get played by KROQ for a brief second. But it was never an official single, it was never pushed by the label as a single, although it probably should have been in hindsight. With that said, I wrote the songs that propelled the band to that other level, that those songs didn’t. At some point it gets into a weird nuances argument of who did what where when and why. I think it’s a shame that James and I, by the time we got to Mellon Collie, our relationship had deteriorated to the point where we weren’t working that way any more because I think that contribution with us together would have made Mellon Collie and other albums after that better albums. In a way that if you put Jimmy Chamberlin and me in a room, good things happen. To this day I miss D’arcy’s sense of integrity, but it’s not like the integrity of the indie world, she had a certain kind of musical taste, I think is the best way to put it, that I still respect. A real good keen sense of bullshit, and was very principled in that regard.”

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE DISS MILEY CYRUS

Queens of the Stone Age dissed Miley Cyrus in their announcement for their show in New York:

“On December 14 Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center will be designated as a (relatively) twerk-free-zone as QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE will play its debut headline engagement at the arena, restricting teddy bears to the merch table and returning guitars, drums and other such live instruments to the Barclays stage.”

Miley Cyrus made an infamous performance at the MTV VMA’s on Sunday Barclays Center.

STP FINISHED NEW EP RIGHT BEFORE CHESTER BENNINGTON LEFT TO TOUR WITH LINKIN PARK

Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo discussed STP’s new EP in an interview with ArtistDirect.com, “We just finished up the EP. I really do wish we were able to have the time to contribute an LP. For those kids out there, LP means “Long Play” [Laughs]. With everybody’s schedules and Chester having a huge responsibility to Linkin Park, we finished tracking everything on this one night. It was one of those dreaded last days in the studio where we were putting the finishing touches on something at about four in the morning and Chester had to leave at about 4:30am-quarter-to-5am in order to pack for Asia that day with Linkin Park. He’s still over there now. He’s been them for two-and-a-half weeks. He gets home, and we have rehearsals on the 29th. Then, we’re off on September 3 for a one-month run. Time was of the essence for this. We did manage to eek out four new songs, and we will include “Out of Time” on the EP. We’ll have a little five-song EP here, hopefully showing up in October.”

Dean later said regarding Chester, “Chester’s bursting with ideas. He brought in so much. It’s almost like he was bringing in a song every day. It’s like, “Hey man, let’s just stick to these four!” [Laughs] There’s actually a song on here that Chester wrote musically, lyrically, and melodically.”

KYUSS’ JOHN GARCIA: ‘TECHNICALLY, OUR NEW GUITARIST IS BETTER THAN JOSH HOMME’

Vista Chino (formerly known as Kyuss Lives!) frontman John Garcia compared his current guitarist Bruno Fevery to Josh Homme in a new interview with Greg Prato, “Bruno is an incredible guitar player. Technically, he’s better than Josh – in my eyes, in my personal views. But when you play Kyuss songs, I think anybody who knows anything about guitar, they can sit down and they can play ‘Demon Cleaner,’ they can play ‘Green Machine,’ they can play ‘Supa Scoopa and the Mighty Scoop.’ But one thing that’s missing in some of the musicians that can do that is the certain type of character. And Bruno has that character – he has the feel, he has the emotion. We’re super-stoked to have Bruno. He’s a diamond in the rough. If you don’t know who Bruno Fevery is, certainly after listening to Peace, you will for sure then. We’re lucky to have him.”

MELVINS’ JARED WARREN SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE STONER ROCK GROUP, RED FANG

Jared Warren, bassist of Melvins, recently spoke out about one of his favorite new bands, Red Fang:

“I’ve known Red Fang for a long time — from before their very humble beginnings in 1972, even. I knew them in the early days when they were grody dirt wizards that you never wanted to see with their shirts off. But there we were in Teeksville, Vermont, at 4 a.m. After literally burning the club to the ground following their poorly attended set, I’m pounding on the door of the cutest little bed and breakfast you’ve ever laid eyes on with a very drunk and hungry Red Fang demanding a pancake breakfast — topless.

In the years since, a few things have changed: The band successfully rescued guitarist David Sullivan from a hoarding situation (featured on the “If The House Is a Rockin’…” episode of Hoarders),bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam received his master’s degree in the Smooooth Sciences, guitarist/vocalist Bryan Giles started the world’s first 100-perecent anti-organic farm in his kitchen, and drummer John Sherman has climbed Mt. Everest in the nude, making him only the third person ever to do so. And none of them wets the bed anymore!

That’s just the stuff that’s been on the news. They’ve also been touring the world like mad, playing to thousands of sweaty, hygienically-challenged maniacs at festivals and non-ventilated venues alike. They’ve made several award-winning music videos that have lots and lots of views because they’re hilarious and awesome. Then this spring, they jogged 14 miles round trip to the studio everyday for 666 days and recorded a new record called Whales and Leeches.

I caught up with guitarist Bryan Giles at his neighborhood coffee shop shortly after the band recorded Whales and Leeches and asked him what their influences were while recording the new material. Giles took a slow drink of his perfectly frothed cafe latte and thoughtfully replied, “What are you, a fucking cop?” Looking for a little more insight, I asked how he thought the band had grown since their last record. He replied, “I don’t know who the fuck you are, man. If you don’t stop bothering me, you’re going to be eating that fucking iPad!” It’s clear that there’s a lot of excitement about Whales and Leeches in the Red Fang camp.

You’re probably not saying to yourself, “So they kind of have their shit together, big deal! What does Whales and Leeches sound like?” because you’re not reading this anymore. You’ve already started listening to the record, or you’ve decided you’re more concerned with whether Bon Iver is still a thing or not. On the off chance that you’re a college paper writer hungry for the red-hot scoop, here’s some things to know about their new record that you should already be listening to and forming your own opinions about:

The record sounds very excellent and professional, you can tell that they’ve been practicing their instruments. Their songs sound more thought-out and trippier. Bryan and Aaron sound like they’ve gotten better at singing. Every song has a riff you like. Mike Scheidt from YOB sings on a song, so you’re gonna like that. It sounds more mature, like good cheese or your Aunt Sharon. Do you want me to keep rubbing your ear crotch? Sorry, I’m kind of a tease! You’re just going to have to take a few minutes to listen and let Red Fang’s filthy hands take the wheel, then come up with your own adjectives and opinions. I think it’s a great record and they’re going to make folks proud. I hope they don’t get all famous and stuck up and then the VH1 special and, oh Christ.

When reflecting on what the future might hold for Red Fang, I think drummer John Sherman slurred it best: “wchhy are yooo solllannngmm? Let’s maake ths sitchoo-ashun AWESome!” You said it, John. This is definitely the year for Red Fang.”

You can listen to Red Fang’s new single for their album, “Whales and Leeches” below:
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/107367500″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

DUFF MCKAGAN TALKS ABOUT WALKING PAPERS AND THE ROCKSTAR ENERGY UPROAR FESTIVAL

Rockstar Energy UPROAR recently interviewed Duff McKagan, known for his work with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Walking Papers. You can view the interview below:

What guided you to Walking Papers?
Barrett Martin and Jeff Angell had the germ for this band. I knew Jeff’s songwriting was epic, and his lyrics are especially outstanding. I can say that about him, because I’ve admired him for fifteen years. Everybody in Seattle has. Everything has its place on this record instrumentally. I’m really proud of this record, and I’m proud of this band live. It’s kicking ass. The shows have been extremely fun. I can say it’s an honor to play in a rhythm section with Barrett.

What attracted you to the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival?
Well, initially, Sean Kinney called. Jerry Cantrell, Sean, and I have been pretty tight buddies since 1990 or something. They approached Alice In Chains about co-headlining the festival, and Sean was really pushing to make this a sort of different UPROAR with a mixture of bands that could really interest and challenge an audience. The whole bill is like that. Sean knew our record would be coming out about the time of this tour starting. We talked about it, and John Reese who co-owns UPROAR spoke to me. It’s a family thing really. Reese was my tour manager in Guns N’ Roses. I’ve known John’s kids since they were bumps in bellies. I’m of course good pals with the Jane’s Addiction guys. There’s a lot of cool bands on this thing like Middle Class Rut and Danko Jones.

What appeals to you about judging the “Battle of the Bands”?
I don’t look at it as a “contest thing.” I could never be a pure judge of a battle of the bands like, “This band’s the best band here right now!” That would just be my opinion. I don’t usually do that. I thought this would be a good idea. Jerry and I are the two guys, and I thought it’d be best to do this to expose all of the bands on the list for the “Battle of the Bands.” I’ve seen some really cool groups. It’s not like I go out there every day, cross my arms, look at the stage, and say, “Hmm…” I’ve seen a couple good bands that really stood out. In New Jersey, I had just worked out, and I was sitting on these steps to the third stage, dripping from sweating. This band went on, and I didn’t even realize it. I thought, “Fuck, these guys are killer. Who the hell is this?” It turns out it was one of the bands competing in the “Battle of the Bands”—Black Clouds. I don’t know how we’re going to choose the band at the end. It’s going to be a tough thing to do.

Why’s that?
I really want it to be known that if it goes down anyway and we pick a “winner,” it’ll just be because that’s what you’ve got to do at the end of this thing [Laughs]. I really appreciate the effort from everyone. You see all of these bands who are on tour. Some are scared and some aren’t. It’s all a positive thing though. I wish everyone the best.

UPROAR seems like the perfect platform to launch this band.
It’s great for Walking Papers! It’s really profoundly great for us. Our record came out, and two days later, UPROAR started.

What’s been the best UPROAR Festival show so far?
I’ve got to say all of the places we’ve played have been great so far. We’ve played like nine gigs. Boston was great. It was packed that day. Even the first gig in Scranton was great for us. Everyone was getting the kinks out in every band. New Jersey was killer. Toronto was really good to us. It seems to be building a little bit. You can tell we’re a new band, and more and more people are hearing about us and coming for that 5:40 slot to see us. It’s really cool. It’s really cool to be a part of this band right now.

What have you been listening to?
We’ve been listening to these classic records at night on the bus. We’ve got a whole list of Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska, and classic Led Zeppelin. Then, you have the argument, “What Zeppelin record do you choose?” My daughter just got me back into Radiohead’s Ok Computer. She turned me on to a new band called Purity Ring from Canada. They’re like electronic-infused Siouxsie and the Banshees. I’m digging Middle Class Rut right now.

What’s next for you?
I take it one day at a time, man! There’s this tour, and then I’m sure another tour. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing with Walking Papers. It’s all about that gig-of-the-day.

Review: Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hesitation Marks’

Recently, iTunes began streaming Nine Inch Nails’ “Hesitation Marks” in entirety. Read AlternativeNation’s review of the album below:

The album begins with a glitchy, atmospheric instrumental titled “The Eater of Dreams,” which builds-up to transition to the synth beat driven “Copy of A.” This is easily the standout track on the album, along with “Came Back Haunted,” the other single. These two singles were released on August 13th and June 26th respectively. Throughout most of the recent festival performances, these two singles were played live, resulting in a positive response. The two singles, as well as “Find My Way” and “Disappointed,” have found their perfect fit in Nine Inch Nails’ live set.

“Find My Way” slows down the album a bit and possesses a How To Destroy Angels vibe to it. As Reznor croons in response to the minimalist beat and piano riff, it is understood that this track is also heavily influenced from the soundtrack work Reznor did for The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

A funky bass line surrounded by playful background noises and beats begins the next track, “All Time Low.” Like many tracks on the album, what the song lacks in catchiness, it makes up with the vast layers of noises and production. The track transitions to an old-fashioned sounding keyboard riff playing scales up and down in a krautrock fashion.

“Disappointed” has been played several times in Nine Inch Nails’ live set and seemed a bit lacking in comparison to the hard-hitting singles used to open the show. The song’s strongest feature is its synth work about halfway through.

The most criticized single of this release has been “Everything.” The song in comparison to earlier works such as The Downward Spiral is 10x more poppy and lifting. Comparisons aside, the single is quite strong. Its catchiness and lyrics are simple, yet that is exactly what allows it to excel.

The next track’s production is eerily similar to that of the 2007 release of Year Zero. “Satellite” contains all the blips, bleeps, and boops that Year Zero is known for, as well as Reznor’s more recent tendency to incorporate “ooh’s” and “aah’s” at a lengthy amount. “Various Methods of Escape” blends right in with the poppy and minimal style of the album.

Experimentation on “Running” includes synths, loops, an odd guitar noise, and many overdubs of vocals. “I Would For You” begins with a very deep bass synth and is most memorable for its rising chorus. “In Two” is full of energy and holds Reznor’s most strained vocals on the album. The amount of vocal effects on this track is very noticeable as the verses contain much echo and the choruses have an almost-robotic voice.

“While I’m Still Here” is a personal piece regarding Reznor’s position in the music industry and life. The track ends with a saxophone riff and transitions directly to “Black Noise.” Similar to how the album began, “Black Noise” is an instrumental, yet it is more heavy and cacophonic.

“Hesitation Marks” is without a doubt a change of direction for Nine Inch Nails. The signature distorted guitars and screamed choruses have been left behind for electronic beats, synth progressions, and pleasantly, smooth vocals. Reznor’s work in How To Destroy Angels and the two soundtracks have seemingly seeped into Nine Inch Nails material resulting in a more poppy, minimal, and electronic approach. While elements of Pretty Hate Machine, With Teeth, Year Zero, and The Slip are present, the sound on the album is definitely a less abrasive and more matured version of what is to be expected. Overall, “Hesitation Marks” sometimes may seem repetitive and overly-electronic, but its experimentation of dynamics and ability to blend sounds proves itself worthy of belonging amongst the NIN discograpgy. The album is officially released on September 3rd and is supported by the Tension 2013 tour.

Overall score: 8.5 out of 10

offspring

THE OFFSPRING ANNOUNCE SEVERAL RUSSIAN TOUR DATES

The Offspring have announced via the group’s official Facebook page that they will be returning to Russia this October and November. Those tour dates can be viewed below:

10/25/13 Krasnodar – Basket Hall
10/26/13 Voronezh – Event Hall
10/28/13 Moscow – Glavclub
10/29/13 Nizhny – Novgorod Arena
10/31/13 Samara – Palace of Sports
11/1/13 Kazan – Tatneft Arena
11/3/13 Ekaterinburg – Palace of Sports
11/5/13 Novosibirsk – Siberia Arena
11/7/13 Krasnoyarsk – Palace of Sports

WIN A CHANCE TO SEE STONE TEMPLE PILOTS REHEARSE THIS WEEKEND

From Stone Temple Pilots’ Facebook page:

We are giving 10 fans the chance to attend our rehearsal on September 1st in Los Angeles, CA before we head out on our US tour! If you are interested, please send your name, contact number, and social media account links (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/YouTube) to STPrehearsalcontest@gmail.com. If you are chosen, the full details will be provided to you. Please note, transportation will not be provided.